Paige Patterson *Apologizes* and an Update on the Patterson Petition

Right actions in the future are the best apologies for bad actions in the past. Tryon Edwards

Dee is heading out for her annual family vacation on 30A in Florida. She may be out of pocket while in transit. Deb will hold down the fort.

Tonight’s two posts should be considered the posts for Friday.

The *apology*

Today, Paige Patterson offered what some might term an apology. You can decide for yourself. It is obvious that the petition is getting his attention.

The Petition

Today I spoke with the self identified author of the petition. Here is what I learned.

  1. There were around 20 people involved in writing/initiating the petition although the woman with whom I spoke was the initial writer.
  2. The initiators of the petition did not want to identify themselves by signing the bottom of the letter. All of them signed the actual petition. On this point we disagreed. I believe that authors of the document should have identified themselves. Without knowing who the authors are, we don’t fully understand the intent of the document. Without understanding the intent, how do we fully know what we are signing? We cannot trust anonymous people. Ofter we cannot trust those whose names we know.
  3. The author says that there were both Calvinist and non-Calvinist initiators of the petition.
  4. They used the 16 year old teen example because that was something they could prove. So they had to ignore the other concerns such as the woman with the black eyes and the 25 women who were abused by Darrell Gilyard and who were ignored by Patterson.
  5. The authors did not realize there was a woman on the SWBTS Board of Trustees and so referred to the Trustees as *brothers.*
  6. Some of the writers signed their names when this letter was sent to the SWBTS Board of Trustees.
  7. I explained that I become frustrated by those who accuse others of being *conspiracy theorists* when we ask why they won’t sign their names. Anonymity can breed confusion and mistrust.
  8. I mentioned that I felt that emphasizing *complementarian women who agreed with the Baptist Faith and Message 2000* was carrying things a bit too far, given the many concerns being expressed about how complementarianism is being portrayed. I believe the recent *male version* petition was wise to remove that term. She says that the Trustees would have complained that it was liberal women writing the letter if they didn’t. Sometimes we should not have to go out of our way to overly coddle adults.
  9. I reiterated that my concerns do not stem from any support of Patterson given that we called for his resignation in 2009!

I will respect the anonymity of the writer by not sharing her name. I appreciate her willingness to dialogue with me. She also kindly prayed for me over the phone.


Comments

Paige Patterson *Apologizes* and an Update on the Patterson Petition — 249 Comments

  1. I have to make a good faith..but partial retraction… of recent comments regarding gender of the petition authors. My memory is so shot, I cant recall exactly what
    I said, but basically called them dudes. Or, at least…uhmm..”concerned”..church ladies, to be polite.
    I’m going to side with the church ladies on this one, and not with the purveyors of this fine online establishment. Perception is reality. If the authors feel they live, work and worship in a reality benefited by anonymity, then they probably do.

    I do think they sold themselves short on the Darrell Gilyard allegations. Ladies, you don’t need to prove anything. It’s not your job. All you needed was to ask for an official statement from Mr. Patterson regarding his memory of what happened.

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  2. If all 20 writers signed under the online petition and if some put their names on the letter to the Board of Trustees and one publicly identified herself in the NPR interview, then the writers aren’t really anonymous.

    The SBC isn’t known for playing nice, and I do believe that perhaps for some of these women, retaliation could be swift and devastating, be it loss of employment, shunning, threats, fear of labelling, shaming, dismissal and reprisal.

    Fear certainly muddied the waters.

    Thanks for doing the heavy lifting Dee.

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  3. Thank you Dee for taking the time and energy to track down and connect with this author! that’s so helpful to clear up confusion and mistrust! I know it wasn’t an easy process, but so appreciate your due diligence and perseverance in making this happen and sharing more of the background behind this petition…

    enjoy your time away with your family!

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  4. FWIW I respect the authors’ choices! I also do not outright identify myself, and while it does limit my options I still try to do everything I can. Perhaps not to identify yourself, but being in a position to do something, is a frustrating situation that some folks bear not for themselves but for the sake of others’ safety and well being.

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  5. Unburdened by the fear or threat of nameless devastating retaliation, who knows what people might really be capable of. So folks in that situation who do SOMETHING won’t get any complaints from me.

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  6. This brings to mind a recent eventuality in my corner of the world. There was a similarly vague and general offering of regrets from an SBC pastor to “anyone” affecting negatively by his actions and/or words over the course of a period of time. There was a dearth of specificity as to where he may have fallen short. This to me left the impression that what was being apologized for was in the eye of the beholder and a matter of interpretation — which as a bonus allowed for the impression that the regret related more to a season of disunity born of misunderstanding, for which he was acting as the magnanimous bearer of the olive branch while lamenting man’s fallen nature.

    (Never mind that as with the Patterson situation, much had come out in written form and in word before a multitude of witnesses that called for direct apology and repentance. And as with this site, Wade’s, and others, even direct witness to this led to ostrich-style head-burying by much of those involved.)

    This version of regret or apology never surfaced as I know of in written form. I only heard some of it tangentially, as I was waiting in the hall to vote on a business matter while he gave an anecdote-laden sermon after a direct push in recent weeks and months on many levels for a specific outcome of the vote. Once the vote went his way, he reportedly told one of his collaborators on the vote that they’d been vindicated — good thing there wasn’t any specific apology or any written, right? Bu$iness as usual resumed for many of them.

    Back to Patterson’s latest offering. Apologizing in a general way for anything one has said allows for avoiding acknowledging specific shortcomings/ sin/ what have you (i.e that which is the source of confession and repentance). It also allows for essentially saying ‘sorry for what you think you heard, but I’m willing to take the first step so we can put this behind us and get back to business as usual’.

    Apologizing to ‘anyone’ offended allows one to not apologize directly to brothers and sisters, which in turn leaves the aggrieved without the chance to react directly with the one who has wronged them. No matter whether the general apologizer gets what they’ve done, the one who is due the apology wants what happened to be acknowledged in truth and in specific reality. This is especially the case when the action is one that has gone unacknowledged and unrecognized for a considerable period of time, leaving the aggrieved to deal with the consequences without getting to a point of offering forgiveness and moving on to healing.

    Here’s another thing: where is the acknowledgement of Patterson or others in similar situations of their being the one who would not listen in the Matthew 18 scenario that comes up so often? Using the Biblical admonition that we will be judged by the measure that we use on others, where is any admission of having acted wrongly, not rather using language that largely points to poorly executed turns of phrases? Again, using the Biblical measurements, compare the nature of David’s admission/confession to Saul’s regarding not carrying out God’s orders.

    Finally, doing things Biblically doesn’t stop with Matthew 18 and 1 Cor. 6, and that’s especially the case with those in authority. There’s 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1, where the matter of those in authority being above reproach appears. Again, if we’re going to use the Biblical measuring stick, an exemption is elusive for the authorities of having to meet that standard. Plus, it is Patterson et al who are the ones being sticklers about church discipline:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=22IfJ3OzRbY

    Dever to Patterson: ”We don’t need to spend this time talking about the abuses of church discipline. Boy, we understand they’re there, but they’re nowhere near that’s the main problem in most of our main churches (sic). It’s not personal vindictiveness, it’s so many things it’s not…”

    The discussion then gets to easy discipline targets, which is recommended by Patterson over someone caught in some “heinous iniquity because you’re going to have sympathy problems there.” Rather, its recommended to target those who hasn’t been in church attendance in five years — because we know that church rolls are updated vigorously, right? Of them, Patterson says, “they’re not intending to come, and we owe them – – if we love them – – a confrontation.”

    As you can tell from the comments, there’s a top-down priority and focus on display here. Plus, it’s Patterson in a convo with a disciplinarian who talks about the need for discipline, accountability, and what else? CONFRONTATION. Of course, it is Biblical do it whenever it’s called for and not in a cherry-picked situation (see 1 Cor. 5 for a difference in whether Paul thought heinous iniquity needed swift addressing). It may impinge on building projects, stained-glass window deployment and retirement options, but there it is. Additionally, it goes both ways, which means the flock/ sheep/ body of believers/ fellow brothers and sisters in Christ (I know the latter sounds pretty equal to the authorities, so stay with me) must call out activity that is not above reproach.

    Of course, those in authority are often not especially open to a Matthew 18 procession of events when they’re the one in the wrong. And in the case of addressing abuse situations, Romans 13 and rendering unto Caesar makes the matter not always akin to a matter or brotherly dispute in which a loss of fellowship is the primary outcome. Notice the opportunity for shifting standards? I mean, tell me how many tgc/ 9 marks disciplinarians would allow actions in the business world such as Patterson is currently associated with (Gilyard matter, abuse comments, etc.) — and thus reflecting on his church — to be dismissed with a general apology light on specifics in the manner that Patterson is offering. Suffice it to say, I’m less than impressed by the powers that be such as Patterson at the moment, as well as the consistency (or lack thereof) of adherence to Biblical principles as applied to leadership, in contrast to those they are supposed to be serving.

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  7. Bev: Thank you Dee for taking the time and energy to track down and connect with this author! that’s so helpful to clear up confusion and mistrust! I know it wasn’t an easy process, but so appreciate your due diligence and perseverance in making this happen and sharing more of the background behind this petition…

    enjoy your time away with your family!

    .

    Agreed. I was writing a comment and saw that Bev had said the same things, only better.

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  8. Concerning the PP apology, he did not back down from his harmful stance that divorce is never an option, even in cases of abuse. He is an intentional person and I can only assume that this is a deliberate omission. I believe in the sanctity of marriage but there are lines that should not be crossed and our Lord recognized this.

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  9. “She says that the Trustees would have complained that it was liberal women writing the letter if they didn’t.”

    Again, this is part of the problem. You are a liberal if you don’t agree to live under a mans thumb? Ugh.

    As for Patterson apology, weak. If he had started with that we might have had somewhere to go but he started with an attack. As far as I’m concerned, that makes this your standard sorry I got caught apology.

    Have fun on 30a! Love stinkys!

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  10. These women have been gaslighted into accepting not only that only some women’s voices matter, but into accepting the bizarre and constantly shifting standard for what constitutes evidence. Why do they think they have insufficient evidence to support concerns related to the domestic-violence-as-evangelism story or Darrell Gillyard?

    Patterson is on tape clearly and unambiguously saying he was happy a woman got beaten. There is no dispute that he wouldn’t hear female accusers of Gillyard because they had “no evidence” (meaning he thinks women’s witness statements aren’t evidence). There is no dispute that Gillyard was a serial sexual predator, proving Patterson’s dismissal of women accusers unwise and dangerous.

    Look, I’m not Baptist. This is their party and it’s up to them to choose their battles and tactics. But if they keep playing by the arbitrary and nonsensical ad hoc “rules” the men in power sporadically lay down, they’ll never fix anything.

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  11. FW Rez,

    http://www.standard.net/National/2018/05/05/Southern-Baptist-leader-who-advised-abused-women-not-to-divorce-doubles-down-says-he-has-nothing-to-apologize-for

    In 2013, PP said that if a woman is being abused, she should keep the problems within the church. Going before a judge might prevent the judge from being saved. PP has made it clear repeatedly that men are more important than women and the preservation of marriage is more important than a woman’s safety.

    Darrell Gilyard was convicted and served time for abuse.

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  12. refugee:
    Bless his heart. In the Southern meaning of the phrase, of course.

    He doesn’t want to lose his position or status. Patterson could have at least said that he would accept the outcome at the Southern Baptist Convention this year, even if it meant him stepping down as president. But the apology appears to be an attempt to keep his position in place.

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  13. I try to imagine the amount of conversation that must be going on behind closed doors with Rev. Patterson, as well as on the side of the Calvinistas, and my head swims.

    I feel like this is going to be a contentious convention, and more “dirty tricks” will be pulled. Let me be clear, I don’t think Patterson’s issues are a dirty trick, but I do think that the Mohlerites are capitalizing on it with glee.

    I read the apology and in my mind I hear it said through a clenched jaw. I’m curious what people’s reactions will be.

    RE: The petition – as Bene D said, the SBC plays hardball (as Wade Burleson has written about) and I do NOT doubt the fear of reprisal. I grew up in a house where my father was a Deacon and head of the Finance Committee and was run out of the church for opposing the “vision” of the Pastor and his inner circle of supporters. In this case, the families that have run that church for decades. It split the church. That church is struggling, still financially strapped over 30 years later, as my dad warned. But, God help them, those families still shun him, my mother, and us kids who had nothing to do with it.

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  14. Translation time.

    “Pastoral ministry that occurred 54 years ago,”

    Hey, it was a different time back then.

    “I wish to apologize to every woman who has been wounded by anything I have said that was inappropriate or that lacked clarity.”

    I’m sorry if you were hurt.

    “Please forgive the failure to be as thoughtful and careful in my extemporaneous expression as I should have been.”

    I’m still right.

    PP’s problem of course, is that his words were quite clear, beyond inappropriate, and his “apology” does indeed show his heart. If he really rejects abuse and always has, it’s quite difficult to reconcile that with ignoring multiple reports of such, as well as deliberately sending someone back to an abusive situation, knowing the high likelihood of a repeat.

    Because he doesn’t listen to women generally, my guess is he’s been feeling the heat from other men in the SBC. We’ll see how far that goes.

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  15. Let’s read between the lines of what Paige wrote:

    “I wish to apologize to every woman who has been wounded by anything I have said that was inappropriate or that lacked clarity.”

    (He’s really saying—-let’s get this whole thing out of the way before the big convention so it doesn’t cause me any problems. Oh and by the way, I was right all along. The women are too dumb to have the “clarity” of understanding me so I have to explain everything to them).

    “We live in a world of hurt and sorrow..”

    (He’s try to minimize the wrong of what he did by spreading the guilt around…very clever)

    “Please forgive the failure to be as thoughtful and careful in my extemporaneous expression as I should have been.”

    (No, this isn’t a failure to be thoughtful. This was pure misogyny spoken from his heart. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Apparently Paige doesn’t understand that Jesus considers women’s needs to be on the same level as men’s needs. Remember the words of Christ “You hypocrites!….Shouldn’t this daughter of Abraham who has suffered eighteen years be free from what bound her?” Luke 13:15-16)

    “I would also like to reiterate the simple truth that I utterly reject any form of abuse”

    (Simple truth implies that we are all too dumb to realize that Paige is innocent. Nope. Why didn’t he say this years before? Even worse, why did he teach submission to abuse from the pulpit in the first place? It’s too late. There are thousands of better qualified people to take his place).

    Remember that in Ezekiel 34 God removes shepherds who feed themselves instead of the flock. God says to them
    “I will hold them accountable….because they did not care for My flock.”

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  16. NJ:
    “Pastoral ministry that occurred 54 years ago,”

    He should have added “..except I’ve told this story to maybe thousands of women since then.”

    I’ve heard him tell it.

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  17. Because the petitions ignore the biggest problems with Paige, it makes it easier for him to stay in the pulpit.

    Let’s be clear, Paige kept a sexual abuser in the pulpit—opening the door for him to hurt more people. That’s why Paige needs to go.

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  18. ishy: https://cryingoutforjustice.com/2018/05/11/paige-pattersons-been-exposed-now-bruce-ware-must-be-exposed-churchdv/

    Dobson used to say something similar on his radio program: “What did she do that made her husband treat her like that?” IOW, it’s all a wife’s fault when her husband takes a swing at her. She was asking for it.

    Strange, when he’s violent, she got on his nerves, unsubmissive.
    When he immorally aggressive, a woman led him on.
    He’s never responsible for his actions.
    When she reports him, she’s lying.
    This group of guys that thinks that way, not really the type of guy a woman wants to be with.

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  19. NJ: Translation time.

    “I sincerely pray that somehow this apology will show my heart”

    See, I was a good guy all along and you just didn’t perceive it.

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  20. Rambler: I read the apology and in my mind I hear it said through a clenched jaw. I’m curious what people’s reactions will be.

    Strictly opinion here, but I don’t thinks there is much doubt of how the parties will respond.

    For the anti-Patterson camp, no apology will ever be enough.

    For the pro-Patterson camp, they believe that another apology wasn’t required. They would support Patterson regardless.

    I also believe that the Trustees feel the same way. I don’t think there are many trustees on the fence. What happens is now just a question of numbers.

    Oh, to be a fly on the wall at the May 22nd meeting.

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  21. jyjames: Dobson used to say something similar on his radio program: “What did she do that made her husband treat her like that?” IOW, it’s all a wife’s fault when her husband takes a swing at her. She was asking for it.

    Strange, when he’s violent, she got on his nerves, unsubmissive.
    When he immorally aggressive, a woman led him on.
    He’s never responsible for his actions.
    When she reports him, she’s lying.
    This group of guys that thinks that way, not really the type of guy a woman wants to be with.

    That’s been my experience with many Christian guys in the SBC. And many treated me like I was ready to fall and kiss their feet for being so. Nope.

    That article didn’t mention that Ware’s son-in-law Owen Strachen is teaching the exact same thing at Midwestern. It stems out of Ware’s belief that women are not made in the image of God, therefore secondary to men.

    And people are crazy if they don’t think that’s how the New Calvinists are going to be treating women in the SBC despite their weak petitions.

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  22. Rambler: I try to imagine the amount of conversation that must be going on behind closed doors with Rev. Patterson

    My guess is the trustees are trying to put a band-aid on things until Patterson can make it appear that he is retiring of his own volition. I mean, who would want the savior of the denomination that delivered it from [insert any pet issue here, the more volatile the better] to go out in disgraced manner?

    One thing, however, they all have to remember is that accepting any culpability at all for anything can have serious consequences. Remember they are ALL (Patterson, SWBTS, SBC) named in a law suit for protecting an abuser. One would assume that the extent to which they have each others’ backs would be part of those discussions.

    Another agenda item for their back room talks is making sure that the next president is amenable to Patterson living on campus. Supporters have provided significant dollars to provide a retirement home for Patterson and will not be pleased if he does not get the benefit of what they have provided for him.

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  23. ishy:
    A sidenote to this discussion that I can get behind: https://cryingoutforjustice.com/2018/05/11/paige-pattersons-been-exposed-now-bruce-ware-must-be-exposed-churchdv/

    It will NEVER happen. Ware is part of the protected class. My guess is that if these women were afraid of retribution with Patterson, they cannot take on the very real abuses of the Calvinistas. Remember, CJ Mahaney is SBC now and JD Greear is his supporter. I am so glad to be out of the SBC.

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  24. Anne: These women have been gaslighted into accepting not only that only some women’s voices matter, but into accepting the bizarre and constantly shifting standard for what constitutes evidence. Why do they think they have insufficient evidence to support concerns related to the domestic-violence-as-evangelism story or Darrell Gillyard?

    I feel sorry for them. They believe they have to walk on egg shells to address outright, despicable abuse. When I saw it in my former SBC church, I spoke up strongly along with a few friends. They struck back, making us to be the problem. Sadly, for them, they did it to me. I won’t back down and I don’t walk on egg shells when it comes to abuse. When I left that church, I left strongly and they know exactly how I felt. I do NOT play *Oooh, he/they might get mad at me* games with people who do not deal with abuse in a Christian manner.

    Where are the prophets?

    Many women in the SBC actually believe there are *two sides* to the CJ Mahaney story. They are afraid to say one word because he is protected by the *in crowd.*

    Where are the prophets?

    Does anyone care about the 25 women who were told they needed to bring physical proof of their abuse and each of them needed to bring 2-3 witnesses? Has anyone reached out to them and offered help?

    Where are the prophets?

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  25. Here is a response from William Thornton regarding the apology at SBC Voices. Thornton is not a Calvinist, but is completely an SBC establishment man regardless of the issue. He is responding to Debbie Kaufman. For those not familiar with Debbie, the word “tact” is not in her vocabulary.

    “May I non-mansplain? I don’t see a better course ahead. The apology is sufficient to me. Trying to force the issue further, particularly in regard to the convention sermon, would be a colossal train wreck. SWBTS trustees are to meet at PP’s behest. Who knows what will come out of that? The sermon, unless he withdraws, will be a must-see event. I’d guess that he will do a good job. I look forward to being there.

    Sorry to disappoint any of the few females here but, I’ve had my DNA checked and I am, alas, 4% Neanderthal.”

    I think all of the SBC leadership is part Neanderthal to different degrees. Patterson is probably at least 50%.

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  26. “I become frustrated by those who accuse others of being *conspiracy theorists*” (Dee)

    We wouldn’t be theorizing conspiracies if the New Calvinists would stop giving us so much evidence!

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  27. ishy: He should have added “..except I’ve told this story to maybe thousands of women since then.”

    I’ve heard him tell it.

    Which would make Patterson 21 years old at the time he gave this woman advice. You mean to tell me he was already counseling husbands and wives at this age? Something is wrong with this picture, or Patterson has his math wrong.

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  28. “I reiterated that my concerns do not stem from any support of Patterson given that we called for his resignation in 2009!” (Dee)

    Which is why TWW posts on this sad situation carry more credibility than these letters which have a not-so-hidden agenda.

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  29. Ken P.: The sermon, unless he withdraws, will be a must-see event.

    I heard Patterson on Night Line in 1985 (just before a SBC Convention in Dallas) and figured out then that nothing he did was a “must-see” and that I didn’t want to have anything to do with his fundamentalist brand of religion. Nothing since has made me change my mind.

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  30. dee,
    Bruce Ware taught at TEDS when I attended. He was revered for his kindness and attention to students, as well as his theological competence. However, wonderful people can be wrong. I agree that his teaching in 2008 represents a causal relationship between a lack of submission from wives and an abusive response from husbands (and I’m a comp). “And the husbands on their part (because they’re sinners) now RESPOND TO THAT THREAT to their authority either by being abusive…” (emphasis added)

    Sadly, this could not be more clear. And he said the same thing twice.

    I believe that Genesis 3:16 teaches sin from both husbands and wives but does not demonstrate any causal relationship. Each is fully responsible for his or her sin. I’m very disappointed that Ware is not willing to admit his error.

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  31. Max:
    “I become frustrated by those who accuse others of being *conspiracy theorists*” (Dee)

    We wouldn’t be theorizing conspiracies if the New Calvinists would stop giving us so much evidence!

    Bingo! The majority of what I’ve learned about the New Calvinists has been here at TWW. And if I understand their modus operandi correctly, they are now waiting in the wings to pounce upon one of the most opportune times to make their strategic move, the goal which is the Calvinization of the entire SBC and its entities.

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  32. dee: Where are the prophets?

    Well, I can say, as a 60+ year Southern Baptist, that there have not really been many true prophets of the Lord in SBC ranks. There has been an over-abundance of teachers and a few good preachers here and there, but prophets are rare and endangered species. And even SBC evangelists are in short supply thanks to the New Calvinist movement pushing them out. The days of itinerant evangelists holding revivals in SBC churches is becoming a thing of the past. Heck, you don’t even hear much preaching of the Cross of Christ in SBC churches by local pastors – their sermonettes don’t scare the devil much these days. We definitely could use some prophets to set things straight, not only in the SBC but in America … a “Thus Saith the Lord” by real prophets, not self-proclaimed ones is the only thing that can fix the religious mess we are in.

    Having said all that, in the absence of prophets, a few bold men of God willing to stand and challenge Mohler and his agenda would be a good substitute.

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  33. FW Rez: I heard Patterson on Night Line in 1985 (just before a SBC Convention in Dallas) and figured out then that nothing he did was a “must-see” and that I didn’t want to have anything to do with his fundamentalist brand of religion. Nothing since has made me change my mind.

    I hear ya, Rez. I don’t get the big draw to listen to Patterson’s sermons. Maybe it’s because I’ve never been a Southern Baptist. ☺

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  34. Whoops… My comments haven’t been posting and here I realized that my name had extra letters added to it. Go figure. I have no idea how that happened. This phone has a mind of its own.

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  35. anon in the EFCA: I’m very disappointed that Ware is not willing to admit his error.

    There is a mean streak of arrogance in New Calvinist ranks. You won’t hear many cries of “I was wrong” coming from their ranks.

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  36. FW Rez: “I sincerely pray that somehow this apology will show my heart”

    See, I was a good guy all along and you just didn’t perceive it.

    It’s quite revealing about his heart but not in the way he thinks.

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  37. ishy:

    And people are crazy if they don’t think that’s how the New Calvinists are going to be treating women in the SBC despite their weak petitions.

    Exactly. As I said on one of the other posts in the comment section, the new boss will be the same, if not WORSE, than the old boss. Who do the Calvinists think they’re kidding? They’re not known for being a champion against the abuse of women. Rather, just the opposite.

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  38. FW Rez: I heard Patterson on Night Line in 1985 (just before a SBC Convention in Dallas) and figured out then that nothing he did was a “must-see” and that I didn’t want to have anything to do with his fundamentalist brand of religion. Nothing since has made me change my mind.

    I hear ya, Rez. I don’t get the draw when it comes to Patterson’s preaching. Maybe it’s because I’ve never been a Southern Baptist.

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  39. anon in the EFCA:
    I believe that Genesis 3:16 teaches sin from both husbands and wives but does not demonstrate any causal relationship. Each is fully responsible for his or her sin. I’m very disappointed that Ware is not willing to admit his error.

    But that’s only one of many wrong things Ware has been teaching. He is one of the main proponents of eternal subordination of the Son.

    Much of his theology is dependent on the idea of the submission of women to men. You say he’s kind to his students, but is that just to his male students? He’s made it quite clear he believes women only exist to serve men.

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  40. drstevej: PP trying to deconstruct his use of the Hebrew term for construct.

    He should have kept that fine Hebrew professor at SWBTS that he released because she was a woman. She could have helped him on proper exegesis at a time like this.

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  41. NJ: PP’s problem of course, is that his words were quite clear, beyond inappropriate, and his “apology” does indeed show his heart.

    And he hasn’t changed his mind or learned anything.

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  42. jyjames: Strange, when he’s violent, she got on his nerves, unsubmissive.
    When he immorally aggressive, a woman led him on.
    He’s never responsible for his actions.
    When she reports him, she’s lying.

    And anything other than that, anything that treats her with respect and listens to her opinions and wants and needs, means he’s ‘sinfully passive’. I’ll take that kind of supposed passivity any day over a ware or a patterson!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  43. dee,

    “Where are the prophets?”
    +++++++++++++++++

    in the “no longer needed” pile along with some of the other spiritual gifts, perhaps?

    (or is it the “very inconvenient because we can’t control it” pile?)

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  44. Paige Patterson’s apology is written in a very strange, disjointed manner. And as you pointed out elsewhere, it is primarily about one Paige Patterson. Coupled with his very odd behavior and speech patterns in the video in which he discussed the 16-year-old “stacked” girl, I do not believe this man is thinking clearly and don’t understand the mindset of anyone who’d consider him a trustworthy authority. Cannot understand it.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  45. Ken P.: Sorry to disappoint any of the few females here but, I’ve had my DNA checked and I am, alas, 4% Neanderthal.”

    Those ‘pastors’ over at SBC Voices are a piece of work.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  46. Bene D: The SBC isn’t known for playing nice, and I do believe that perhaps for some of these women, retaliation could be swift and devastating, be it loss of employment, shunning, threats, fear of labelling, shaming, dismissal and reprisal.

    Make an Example of one and a thousand will remain silent.

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  47. dee: They believe they have to walk on egg shells to address outright, despicable abuse.

    This is the norm isn’t it? The leaders can behave contemptuously but the complaint must always be immaculately worded not to offend. SOP

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  48. Law Prof:
    I do not believe this man is thinking clearly and don’t understand the mindset of anyone who’d consider him a trustworthy authority.Cannot understand it.

    One thing I’ve wondered about Piper is if he really has gone mentally downhill, how would anybody do anything about it? The same might apply to Patterson. Could anyone even make them get checked by the doctor for it?

    I am facing a similar thing with my father. Because of the privacy laws, it’s hard for me to even have him examined. I’m sure it will be hard to take PoA until a doctor has made some sort of ruling on the matter.

    Since many of these guys believe wives and daughters can never assert any kind of authority, and probably think they are above everyone else, how can anyone confront them if they do have some sort of mental decline?

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  49. Rambler,

    “…and more “dirty tricks” will be pulled.

    the fear of reprisal.

    …But, God help them, those families still shun him, my mother, and us kids who had nothing to do with it.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    regarding this, and comments above mentioning “devastating retaliation”:

    shocked, astonished, furious… that would be me.

    (cue climactic scene in the film ‘Witness’: “ENOUGH!!!! IT’S OVER–ENOUGH!!” — Harrison Ford as John Book.

    my friends and relatives who are agnostic, atheist, muslim, hindu, & buddhist have too much class and value for what is right, moral and kind to stoop to even considering such things.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  50. jyjames,

    Thanks for the link to the Bruce Ware issue. Nothing will happen to him because just CJ Mahaney is protected by Mohler, so will Mohler protect Bruce Ware. SBTS profs have nothing to fear.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  51. Thersites,

    “The leaders can behave contemptuously but the complaint must always be immaculately worded not to offend. SOP”
    ++++++++++++++++++++

    How dainty they are, Southern Baptist leaders & their TGC/T4G/9 Marx friends.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  52. ishy,

    My pet theory: One of the things that makes you a weirdo in time, that makes you one of unsound mind, is when you think you’re “all that”, when you don’t see the need to listen to anyone anymore.

    Of course, these men who think they’re the great called and anointed, who think the Bible has established a position called “pastor” which is the great visionary for the church, the speaker under the spotlights, the highlight of each week, all eyes upon him, worthy of praise and honor, greater than the others (hey, what says “greater” more clearly than an elevated stage?), have essentially done just that–cut off dissenting voices that might sharpen their iron. These men also tend to construct fantasy theologies that make women primarily an offspring creation devise, less than them in all other respects, and thus not worthy of consideration. So they have no need of listening to them, of allowing them to be like Zipporah to them, and saving their lives.

    They have made of themselves little islands of greatness in their own minds. They obviously don’t care about I Cor 1, in which Paul, guided by the Lord Himself, tells us that no person should glory in themselves in the presence of God. Of course, anyone who’s seen them up under the spotlights knows that this is their stumbling block.

    Perhaps that’s how you reach the point where you can’t empathize anymore, or even write a couple good coherent paragraphs of apology.

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  53. FW Rez,

    “One thing, however, they all have to remember is that accepting any culpability at all for anything can have serious consequences. Remember they are ALL (Patterson, SWBTS, SBC) named in a law suit for protecting an abuser.”
    ++++++++++++++++++

    maybe whiffs of this lawsuit was what triggered flipping the switch to turn on a major effort to re-brand, re-image, reorganize, re-strategize (which What Happened was talking about on previous post.)

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  54. dee: I feel sorry for them. They believe they have to walk on egg shells to address outright, despicable abuse.

    I feel sorry for their little girls who could be being sexually abused knowing their mothers are man-worshiping misogynist and they cannot expect help from their own mothers. I was one of these little girls and will never forgive my mother for being so selfish and perverted. I do not believe any woman who takes her little girl to these churches loves her little girl.

    People should think of the little girls growing up in The Southern Baptist Wife Beating Convention listening to this soul-crushing garbage.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  55. “Sorry to disappoint any of the few females here but, I’ve had my DNA checked and I am, alas, 4% Neanderthal.”

    I’m a jerk. Sorry, ladies.

    As an aside, is he admitting to a belief in human evolution?

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  56. Guest: I was one of these little girls and will never forgive my mother for being so selfish and perverted. I do not believe any woman who takes her little girl to these churches loves her little girl.

    Sorry for what you have suffered and you make an excellent point – as an adult a woman chooses martyrdom at the hands of her husband and his churchmen of her own life, but why/how does one do that to one’s own daughter…

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  57. Max, the only prophecy I’ve heard in recent years was from an older SBC gentleman and statesman, who, with great sadness, said, “History will not be kind to Pressler and Patterson.”

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  58. Anthony: the only prophecy I’ve heard in recent years was from an older SBC gentleman and statesman, who, with great sadness, said, “History will not be kind to Pressler and Patterson.”

    A true prophet of the Lord would have added Mohler to that short list.

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  59. Law Prof:
    Paige Patterson’s apology is written in a very strange, disjointed manner.And as you pointed out elsewhere, it is primarily about one Paige Patterson.Coupled with his very odd behavior and speech patterns in the video in which he discussed the 16-year-old “stacked” girl, I do not believe this man is thinking clearly and don’t understand the mindset of anyone who’d consider him a trustworthy authority.Cannot understand it.

    </blockquote
    I felt there was something wrong with the letter as well. Especially the first sentence, which sounded disjointed.

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  60. __

    Doth time serve wherein the Right Reverend Page Patterson may redeem his banish’d honor and restore himself into the good thoughts of the SBC church world again?

    hmmm…

    This is his sword; I robb’d his wound of it; behold it stain’d with his most notorious blood…

    – –

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  61. Headless Unicorn Guy: ishy: He’s made it quite clear he believes women only exist to serve men.

    Just like Sexual Predators.
    And Pornography.

    Which makes the pastor a pimp and the husband a john who pays the pastor’s salary, and the wife/woman is the sold tool at their pleasure. Tragic.

    According to trafficking research, men in the business who own women have very specific vocabulary they use to capture and keep their women in their place as tools.

    Wonder how that compares to this type of pastor’s theological rhetoric to keep women in their place? Scary.

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  62. Nathan Priddis,

    I’ve read thousands of college papers over the years, and have seen some that start like that, no introduction, no context, just jumping right in without sufficient clarity. His words are also arranged in an odd manner, and of course, you can imagine I’ve seen that in a lot of college papers. But there is a difference between young, unformed minds and the president of a seminary and former president of a large denomination. Students produce this level of work because they forget to do their assignment until the last minute and just kick it out without a proofreading or vetting for coherence—or because they’re drug-addled or apathetic. But to produce something like this when you are at least nominally a highly-educated person and have had time to reflect, knowing it will be reviewed by thousands, maybe millions, when your career is in jeopardy, is bizarre and does not speak well of Patterson’s mental faculties.

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  63. Law Prof: But to produce something like this when you are at least nominally a highly-educated person and have had time to reflect, knowing it will be reviewed by thousands, maybe millions, when your career is in jeopardy, is bizarre and does not speak well of Patterson’s mental faculties.

    The “highly-educated person” sold out brains and soul when embracing misogyny, the ultimate dumbing down to entitled men who rule (though no fault of their own, 😉 wink) and women as tools.

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  64. Law Prof: that makes you one of unsound mind, is when you think you’re “all that”, when you don’t see the need to listen to anyone anymore.

    Very true. Another path of dumbing down instead of stepping up.

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  65. Ken P.,

    We are asking our brothers in Christ to understand how deeply hurtful these kind of flippant responses are. Now I’m not familiar with Debbie Kaufman. But the response from this guy is a great example of how condescending this side can be to women.

    They love to move the goalpost by accusing women of not speaking up exactly how they want us to speak. The truth is that no matter how gentle we try to be, our gentleness will often be labeled as not good enough by them because the reality is that nothing we do will ever be considered good enough by them. They want to keep the blame on women as a tactic to keep the spotlight off themselves.

    So please take it with a grain of salt when someone tries to say that she wasn’t tactful enough. This guy completely lacked tact in his arrogant response to Debbie.

    (Ken, we understand that you were quoting this as an example of how the SBC is responding. We aren’t blaming you at all for what this other guy said.)

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  66. Anthony:
    Max, the only prophecy I’ve heard in recent years was from an older SBC gentleman and statesman, who, with great sadness, said,“History will not be kind to Pressler and Patterson.”

    Max, who was the statesman?

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  67. Anthony: I’ve always thought his death was caused by a broken heart.

    There are a lot of brokenhearted Southern Baptists lamenting over the changes to this once great denomination. It appears at this point, they too will die that way.

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  68. How is it that so many of these ‘Christian’ men seem to believe that being kind & decent to women is predicated on how ‘submissive’ they are, rather than on loving your neighbour as yourself, & being Christlike to all? Such a basic misunderstanding of the roots of our view of each other & how we act towards other people! I feel like a minor Biblical theme has been allowed to devour the major Biblical exhortation about inter-human relationships.

    But then I’m just a screeching almost-divorced childless Jezebel, no what do I know?

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  69. Anthony:
    It would be unkind of me to introduce his name into this discussion and would accomplish nothing positive.

    I respect your decision not to share his name. So sad that the sharing of one’s name would bring out the possibility of negativity.

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  70. Rambler: But, God help them, those families still shun him, my mother, and us kids who had nothing to do with it.

    Makes me think of the scene in the old film Soylent Green where Edward G. Robinson weeps into his hands at the table and sobs:

    “How did we come to this?…”

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  71. Lea,

    “Again, this is part of the problem. You are a liberal if you don’t agree to live under a mans thumb? Ugh.”

    Yup. Pretty much sums it up.

    Meaning that as women wise up, church will become less and less relevant in their lives.

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  72. refugee:
    Bless his heart. In the Southern meaning of the phrase, of course.

    What was it that Gram3 use to say??? Bless his IBTWL (itty bitty teeny weeny little) heart, or something like that.

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  73. Unfortunately, a few words from Patterson now do not make up for his actions toward women over the past 54 years. His actions have spoken louder than his few words.

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  74. jyjames: Strange, when he’s violent, she got on his nerves, unsubmissive.
    When he immorally aggressive, a woman led him on.
    He’s never responsible for his actions.
    When she reports him, she’s lying.
    This group of guys that thinks that way, not really the type of guy a woman wants to be with.

    His Majesty the Baby, throwing a tantrum every time he doesn’t get his own way IMMEDIATELY.

    The only M&F relationship they’re capable of is a Cartman-and-Cartman’s-Mom.

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  75. refugee: Bless his heart. In the Southern meaning of the phrase, of course.

    Blayly provides another opportunity to use this Southern phrase: https://warhornmedia.com/2018/05/08/paige-patterson-and-female-beauty/. A short sample:

    Leading the witch hunt are self-styled “Southern Baptists” like Oklahoma pastor Wade Burleson. He is out for Paige’s blood and he can taste it. Of course Burleson is a rabid feminist who wants women to lead men, starting in the church. He promotes the feminist rebellion against our Heavenly Father over among the feminists of Christians for Biblical Equality.

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  76. jyjames: as an adult a woman chooses martyrdom at the hands of her husband and his churchmen of her own life, but why/how does one do that to one’s own daughter…

    Same dynamic as hazing?
    “I Didn’t Have It Easy, Why Should She”?

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  77. Ken P.: For the anti-Patterson camp, no apology will ever be enough.

    Here’s the thing, though. I hope that there might be a pro-Patterson camp, for whom no apology will be enough.

    That is, no apology will keep him in the style to which he has become accustomed. This camp, if it exists, believes in great grace, but NOT in cheap grace, and they want to see fruit in keeping with repentance. Indeed, they want to see repentance, and they’re not going to settle for anything less.

    At the same time, they want to see Mr Patterson restored to a right mind, and – as far as is meaningful – a right posture towards any and all of his victims, so that they are truly free to forgive him, as opposed to commanded to drop it and move on because whoever gives a f*** about them anyway.

    I should clarify at this point, because “forgiveness” means mutually exclusive things to different people in Christendom these days. I believe that when Jesus commands us to forgive – and that he most certainly does – he cannot possibly be loading us with an oppressive burden. When we forgive Jesus’s way, it sets us free. Forgiveness is an act of mercy, given as a demonstration of spiritual stature and authority, by one who is truly strong to one who is – whatever outward appearances may suggest – in fact weak. (Incidentally, that’s why a narcissist will refuse to genuinely receive or accept forgiveness.)

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  78. ishy: You say he’s kind to his students, but is that just to his male students?

    Does he even have female students?? I wouldn’t think females would be allowed in his classes.

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  79. Bridget: Does he even have female students?? I wouldn’t think females would be allowed in his classes.

    Nearly all degrees are required to take theology. There is an MDiv in women’s studies and multiple MAs who allow women. However, I believe they have gone to lengths to make themselves much less welcoming to female students than when I attended a SBC seminary.

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  80. Rambler,

    Some of these people, in my opinion, are simply nuts. Just turn away from them and kick the dust off your feet. You try to reason with them, appeal to their better nature, you might just discover they have neither reason nor a better nature.

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  81. Law Prof: these people worship their theology, they worship their interpretation of the Bible

    Bibliolatry, with a focus on teachings of men rather than a Christocentric interpretation of Scripture.

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  82. jyjames: Scary.

    I’ll tell you what’s scary. That people put up with this garbage year after year after year. Membership in these authoritarian and abusive churches is totally voluntary. NO ONE has to have anything to do with these outfits. The word has been out for a long time – walk away, people!

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  83. Law Prof: What a piece of work Blayly is.

    The YRRs are not saying anything about these recent scandals- their silence is deafening. But Blayly is willing to weigh in.

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  84. roebuck: walk away, people!

    It would be interesting to note what Walk-Away Folk do to grow their faith & fellowship:
    1. Study the Bible themselves.
    2. Pray at home and with trusted friends.
    3. Do Bible study with friends.
    4. Do service projects with non-profits in the community.
    5. Share a meal or coffee with Christian friends, with non-Christian friends.
    6. Visit other churches.
    7. Donate to a favorite cause or directly to someone in need.
    ???

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  85. Max: Your admission into Heaven does not require church membership on Earth.

    Thanks as always for your encouraging words.

    I live way out in the country, and ‘going to church’ would be problematical in any case. I am blessed to have a wonderful Christian (non-denom, but really serious) family living on the adjacent property, so there is a general Christian vibe around. More ‘walking the walk’ than ‘talking the talk’.

    I have been forced into early retirement due to medical issues (I am only a young pup in my 60’s), so I’m puttering around the homestead here most of the time. Hard to describe, but this place and my routine and my interactions with my neighbors – it’s all church.

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  86. Max: It’s a form of mind control, pure and simple.

    Yes, it is mind control, just like any other cult.

    I just sure wish people wouldn’t set themselves up to be hurt. Things are different now. Trust needs to be given carefully. I used to say that I’d rather get burned once in a while than live a cynical mistrustful life. But the wolves are prowling…

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  87. jyjames: It would be interesting to note what Walk-Away Folk do to grow their faith & fellowship:
    1. Study the Bible themselves.
    2. Pray at home and with trusted friends.
    3. Do Bible study with friends.
    4. Do service projects with non-profits in the community.
    5. Share a meal or coffee with Christian friends, with non-Christian friends.
    6. Visit other churches.
    7. Donate to a favorite cause or directly to someone in need.
    ???

    Thanks for reminding that there are plenty of ways to keep the faith. I’m at that point where it’s more important for me to walk the walk. I can get pretty confused when I try to talk the talk 😉

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  88. roebuck: I live way out in the country, and ‘going to church’ would be problematical … Hard to describe, but this place and my routine and my interactions with my neighbors – it’s all church.

    Then you do “go to church.”

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  89. I thought it was helpful that the women left the phrase “complementarian women who agreed with the Baptist Faith and Message 2000” in their petition. It helps to show, as the recent events at WCCC also show, that complementarians sometimes get simplistically identified as supporters of abuse/abusers.

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  90. Rambler: Wow. That was a rabbit hole. I knew nothing about the Blalys but now I can file them with Doug Wilson. Talk about Gog and Magog.

    It is high praise to be condemned by Blayly.

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  91. GMFS

    So, today is the final day of the Premier League season. The final round of matches can only change the table standings in two places that are significant.

     If Liverpool lose (at home to Brighton) and Chelsea win, Chelsea will move above us and we will drop out of the crucial top four, meaning we do not qualify for next season’s GiveUsYerMoney Cup via the league.
     If Southampton lose (at home against champions Man City) and Swansea win (at home to Stoke), and the winning margins in those two matches add up to an improbably high total of 10 goals, then Swansea will move above Southampton on goal difference and Southampton will be relegated.

    IHTIH.

    Now I’m going to finish my kwafi and then go and sand down the woodwork on the front of the garage. Assuming that goes well, I’ll prime it after that and maybe even put the gloss on today. Depends on the weather, but it’s glorious the noo.

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  92. Thersites: It is high praise to be condemned by [some strange laddie on the interweb].

    There is that. I came to the conclusion, some years ago, that the sign of a genuine ministry was that at least three of the top ten googles of your name were from biblians condemning you as a heretic. Ironically, those sites normally have “watch” in their names somewhere – watchtower, watchman, and so on. I know I’ve said this before, but the fundamental difference between Deebs and the heresy-spotters whose sites I wouldn’t give tuppence for is that Deebs have always blogged in support of people. Specifically, those people who are attacked from within institutionalised christianity, and struggle to find a voice.

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  93. Nick Bulbeck: I came to the conclusion, some years ago, that the sign of a genuine ministry was that at least three of the top ten googles of your name were from biblians condemning you as a heretic.

    It’s a bit more challenging because I did something similar and found that EVERY famous Christian is deemed a heretic on one site or another (I searched on “name heretic” or “name heresy”). Rather than being a mark of genuineness, it seems more to be a mark of fame.

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  94. Ken F (aka Tweed),

    Hmm… there is that. Perhaps I should refine it as follows. The two signs of a genuine ministry are that
     The google heretic thing, and
     The ministry agrees with me doctrinally

    But then, any ministry that agrees with me doctrinally is by definition genuine, <satire>because all of my opinions are based squarely on the pure Word of God through the scripture</satire>, so actually the google thing is redundant. Never mind.

    Interestingly, one of the sites condemning Deebs as heretics also has a big thing about condemning John Macarthur as a heretic. I kind of agree with them, in that I believe he teaches heresy in the shape of extreme scribsheral sufficiency, but I part company with them when they declare him to be a Druid.

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  95. jyjames: Paige Patterson’s remarks about women and abuse have been causing division in Southern Baptist circles.” by Carol Kuruvilla

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/southern-baptist-leader-apologizes_us_5af60055e4b032b10bfaa8b0

    This quote from Gaines is an overused and bad rationale:

    “Far better to be wronged than to participate in an ungodly exchange of words before a lost world that is listening and watching.”

    It’s more likely that the “lost” watching world is repulsed by denominational leaders excusing and rationalizing bad behavior. SBC leadership is not helping how the “lost” view Christianity.

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  96. Nick Bulbeck: Hmm… there is that.

    But I still agree with you. I find it helpful to see who is opposing any particular ministry or teacher, and for what reason. In the same way, I find it more useful to look at 1-star product reviews because the negative reviews often help me to better understand why I should buy a product. I suppose this is a twisted logic coming from my deep-seated scepticism.

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  97. Ken F (aka Tweed): This quote from Gaines is an overused and bad rationale:

    “Far better to be wronged than to participate in an ungodly exchange of words before a lost world that is listening and watching.”

    I wonder who helped Gaines write this letter. Once again he had to thank PP for leading the Crusade in the SBC. PP helped destroy the SBC I once loved.

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  98. Patterson has used the “the world is watching” rational to argue why Christians should not take abuse cases to court. I don’t think it is an appropriate argument in that situation. It is, however, exactly why he should decline to give the SBC Convention sermon next month.

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  99. JDV: Of them, Patterson says, “they’re not intending to come, and we owe them – – if we love them – – a confrontation.”

    Anyone who can tell me what Church the Pattersons attend wins the prize! I mentioned this before, but can’t recall which thread.

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  100. dee: CJ Mahaney is SBC now and JD Greear is his supporter

    That speaks volumes about J.D. Greear’s qualifications to lead the SBC as its next President (a vote sure to happen in June). However, in my 60+ years as a Southern Baptist, I haven’t observed much import in that position. For the most part, they travel around the country and give speeches at SBC churches for a couple of years and are then replaced by another elite from the ranks from the ruling party at the time. Having said that, Greear’s appointment would send an important message to the YRR army … “We have arrived!” So, a President Greear would be big deal to them. But the real man who has been running the SBC for years is Al Mohler; any New Calvinist leader would have to bow to Mahaney or pay the price of being shunned by King Mohler.

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  101. Thersites:
    It is high praise to be condemned by Blayly.

    Except that he has flooded the market with it so badly by now that his condemnation does not mean much anymore. It is a compliment, but just not worth much.

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  102. Ken F (aka Tweed): It’s more likely that the “lost” watching world is repulsed by denominational leaders excusing and rationalizing bad behavior. SBC leadership is not helping how the “lost” view Christianity

    Got that right! This lost has no desire to re-engage the church. Unfortunately I will need to continue to wrestle with Christianity as my wife remains Christian. The opinions here help me keep my perspective on the whole religious exercise insofar as “the church” does not appear to represent the whole of the faith. SBC is not the only denomination with issues.

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  103. Guest: I feel sorry for their little girls who could be being sexually abused knowing their mothers are man-worshiping misogynist and they cannot expect help from their own mothers. I was one of these little girls and will never forgive my mother for being so selfish and perverted. I do not believe any woman who takes her little girl to these churches loves her little girl.

    People should think of the little girls growing up in The Southern Baptist Wife Beating Convention listening to this soul-crushing garbage.

    I’m sorry that this happened to you, and I appreciate you for sharing it here. My biggest fears about these terrible attitudes towards women involve the effects that they would have on my children. Even without them experiencing the horrific type of abuse that you did, I think that these ideas could be crippling in future relationships for our daughters AND our sons.

    From the outside, my own life actually looks pretty compatible with comp teachings. I could probably keep sitting in the pews and going to the potlucks without causing a stir. But I can’t stand the idea of our kids being indoctrinated with this patriarchal nonsense.

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  104. FW Rez:
    Patterson has used the “the world is watching” rational to argue why Christians should not take abuse cases to court. I don’t think it is an appropriate argument in that situation. It is, however, exactly why he should decline to give the SBC Convention sermon next month.

    Translation: Ladies of the church, the world is watching. So, if your servant-leader is beating you, keep it hush hush. It’ll make the SBC (and me) look bad.

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  105. Nick Bulbeck: So, today is the final day of the Premier League season.

    DUH!!!!

    It’s not – that’s tomorrow. Thing is, because I was off work yesterday (Friday), today feels like a Sunday.

    I wish to offer my profound apologies to anyone who may have been hurt by any inadvertent inaccuracy in my earlier comment. Now, give me a pulpit and a sh**-ton of money.

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  106. Dave A A: Anyone who can tell me what Church the Pattersons attend wins the prize! I mentioned this before, but can’t recall which thread.

    Birchman Baptist, Ft. Worth.

    Pastor Bob Pearl will be giving the ‘prayer of response’ following Patterson’s convention sermon, according to the 2018 SBC Annual Meeting program published last month.

    The church made news several years ago:

    http://dallas.culturemap.com/news/city-life/07-18-14-birchman-baptist-lawsuit-sean-rafferty-suicide-life-insurance/

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  107. Nick Bulbeck: I wish to offer my profound apologies to anyone who may have been hurt by any inadvertent inaccuracy in my earlier comment.

    Does this mean someone needs to start an anonymous petition against you?

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  108. Law Prof:
    Ken F (aka Tweed),

    What a piece of work Blayly is.You know, these people worship their theology, they worship their interpretation of the Bible.They sure don’t seem to act ANYTHING like Jesus, though.

    First, a correction. That piece was written by Tim Bayly (not Blayly).

    Now to the article Bayly wrote, defending Patterson. When speaking about the advice he gives to abused wives at the CBMW Conference in 2000, Bayly omits the part where Patterson tells the wife to go back to her abuser knowing he will get even more violent. He does not even mention the black eyes that this wife gets following Patterson’s advice. Rather, Bayly skirts around all of the ugliness of this advice and paints Patterson out to be a victim of feminists who are out to get his hide. The fact that Tim Bayly avoids mentioning the ugly details of Patterson’s advice leads me to believe that he, like many other Patriarchalists, think it is a woman’s Duty to suffer for the Kingdom of God by being a submissive wife to an abuser.

    Secondly, his defense of Patterson with regard to Darrell Gilyard, either shows that Bayly hasn’t done his homework in looking at the evidence, or he doesn’t believe the evidence. That is, he defends Patterson ignoring 25 women who accused Gilyard of sexual harassment. Perhaps Bayly thinks they were all hussies, a word he likes to fling around when it comes to women who don’t fit the perfect mold of Patriarchy. After all, this is a guy who thinks that no Christian woman has the right to publicly criticize a male pastor on her blog or in an article online. That is permitted only by males.

    There is an ugly, despicable underbelly to this kind of Patriarchy. One but only appreciates women when they remain in their strict, restrictive places. Should they get out of line, the women in this environment will suffer such humiliation, such retaliation, such wrath, so as to be terrified to ever get out of line again.

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  109. roebuck: I’ll tell you what’s scary. That people put up with this garbage year after year after year. Membership in these authoritarian and abusive churches is totally voluntary. NO ONE has to have anything to do with these outfits. The word has been out for a long time – walk away, people!

    “Walk away”. Easier said than done when one is a woman with children dependent upon her husband in these circles.

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  110. Speaking of Tim Bayly, it would not surprise me in the least if a case of spousal abuse in his church, in which the wife was counseled to remain with her abuser, surfaced at some point. I am not reticent in the least to say that men in these circles actually hate women. Of course they would deny such a thing because they make a point of praising a certain kind of woman. But those women are the kind they mold into an image with strict requirements. Any woman not fulfilling those requirements is considered a hussy, a harridan, a biddy, a Jezebel that deserves to be tarred and feathered and hung out to dry.

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  111. Darlene:
    Speaking of Tim Bayly, it would not surprise me in the least if a case of spousal abuse in his church, in which the wife was counseled to remain with her abuser, surfaced at some point. I am not reticent in the least to say that men in these circles actually hate women. Of course they would deny such a thing because they make a point of praising a certain kind of woman. But those women are the kind they mold into an image with strict requirements.Any woman not fulfilling those requirements is considered a hussy, a harridan, a biddy, a Jezebel that deserves to be tarred and feathered and hung out to dry.

    Bah. The Bayly bros, Franklin Graham, etc, can bite my ……. never mind.
    Jesus said, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
    So, I simply assume that these men ‘o gawd wish for us to treat them the same way they treat us!

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  112. Also speaking of Tim Bayly, one of his former church members corresponded with me by email a number of years ago and said that he and his wife had undergone marriage counseling with Bayly for some minor issues, and that it almost completely destroyed their marriage. Then they wised up and got out before they were served more Kool-Aid.

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  113. John:
    I thought it was helpful that the women left the phrase “complementarian women who agreed with the Baptist Faith and Message 2000” in their petition. It helps to show, as the recent events at WCCC also show, that complementarians sometimes get simplistically identified as supporters of abuse/abusers.

    That disclaimer was necessary because, in their circles, egalitarian women (and men) are immediately dismissed as “liberal feminists” who “deny the authority of the Bible.”

    I’m sure most comps would not condone abuse. However, there are definitely comp leaders who tell people to stay in abusive marriages. I have personally heard it, in addition to reading about multiple instances such as this one. The church has made marriage an idol, with most people believing that divorce is never an option. Belief in gender roles has hurt a lot of people spiritually, mentally, and even physically.

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  114. Just my personal opinion, but I believe what gets tossed around as “cheap grace” is the only kind of grace there is, and is what was historically taught in SBC churches. By that I mean that repentance was properly defined as a change of mind where one agrees with God that one is a sinner, and throws his or herself on the mercy of God by faith in Jesus. It is the stellar a one radical difference between John MacArthur and a real Baptist. A real Baptist knows people cannot “produce fruit worthy of repentance.” If they could, Jesus had no reason to die. A real Baptist understands God paid the total price of salvation. We cannot obtain it with good works nor lose it with bad works. And God isn’t surprised when our works are evil. THAT kind of salvation experience DOES produce folks so deliriously in love with Jesus in thanksgiving that most DO ever after strive to please Him.

    But a fundamentalist or a Lordship Salvationist or a Calvinist really is deep down searching for confirming works. Jesus saying if you believe in Him you will never perish is not enough. Their question is “what must I do to be saved?” meaning simple belief cannot be enough. Fair enough, many verses do speak of judging for our works BUT the Bible also tells us that the “work” we are given to do is believe in Jesus.

    UNLESS the SBC ceases preaching the false gospel of works touted by the fundamentalists, the Lordship Salvationists, and the Calvinists IT SHOULD PERISH. It is no longer evangelizing, but engaging in a pagan religion that is a weird combination of shamanism and works salvation.

    Real faith only salvation IS good news. Having to work to gain salvation or keep salvation is NOT good news because NONE of us can do that. There is a reason for the Brief Order of Confession and Forgiveness in Lutheran liturgy, and it is not because we are able to keep the law!

    The SBC and those of us who are former SBC need to be praying and working for a REAL salvation by faith revival in that convention. And until there is one I suggest worshipping elsewhere, or at least quit all volunteer positions and sit on your wallet. That will send the in it for the money crowd and the I want to boss this army crowd running. Hopefully the unsaved relying on my works crowd will exit with them, and then maybe….just maybe…God will see fit to use the SBC again.

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  115. Ken F (aka Tweed): Does this mean someone needs to start an anonymous petition against you?

    No, no, no. The world is watching, remember, and the one thing the world cares about is how well we hide our ****-ups.

    I suppose that, on paper, “god” is also watching. But he’s in heaven; no need to worry about him. Anyway, he’d be stuffed if he didn’t have us to protect his reputation, so he’d better keep quiet if he knows what’s good for him.

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  116. Nick Bulbeck: No, no, no. The world is watching, remember, and the one thing the world cares about is how well we hide our ****-ups.

    Good point. However, I can neither confirm nor deny that I may or may not have seen and/or signed a petition asking for your permanent removal as a commentor on TWW for the many times you have cruelly slandered Roger Bombast.

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  117. Given the title, I was expecting an apology from Paige. I didn’t see one. He should have apologized for the advice he gave the women with the black eyes (assuming the event ever really happened – I am skeptical.) He should have apologized for indicating in a sermon that the advice quoted was correct. (It wasn’t, and he repeated that error.) He should have apologized for the words he used describing the young women (I have not seen the video, so I can’t be more specific.). He should have apologized for not doing anything when he was told of abuse in his churches, using the stupid 3-witnesses excuse. He didn’t apologize for any of these things. I assume he does not think they are worth apologizing for. He should not only be removed from office, he should be removed from the pastorate.

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  118. Darlene: I am not reticent in the least to say that men in these circles actually hate women.

    I wouldn’t say hate as much as I would say “scared-you-know-what-less” of.

    I think they fear the primal strength and staying power of women who generally lead healthier and longer lives than men do.

    I think it’s also a genuine jealousy of what they have that these over-grown little boyz are bereft of.

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  119. linda,

    Linda,

    True Christians know that they need to “walk worthy” of their calling, and that genuine faith is expressed through good works (see Matthew 25, the sheep and the goats.)

    No amount of simply believing in Jesus Christ (even the devil believes, and trembles) is going to save a person if they continue to wilfully break the 10 Commandments or give no thought whatsoever to the injury of their “neighbor” but their actions.

    The idea that a Christian has no accountability for their behavior after they have been saved and sanctified is the false gospel.

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  120. Leila:
    Also speaking of Tim Bayly, one of his former church members corresponded with me by email a number of years ago and said that he and his wife had undergone marriage counseling with Bayly for some minor issues, and that it almost completely destroyed their marriage. Then they wised up and got out before they were served more Kool-Aid.

    I can believe it. Hard-core complementarianism can be, in my experience, terrible for a marriage. I’ve been married for a couple of decades, long enough to have some ups and downs, and one of the lowest points in our relationship was when we were involved with a group that emphasized gender roles. Marriages (and the people in them) are just too diverse for everyone to squeeze into these narrowly defined roles. It really messed with my mind!

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  121. Through their actions, I meant.

    The old proverb “Actions speak louder than words” definitely holds true when it comes to Christianity.

    Many will come saying they believed in Him who were actually harming their neighbors all along with their selfishness and narcissism.
    Their some profession of faith does not demonstrate that they actually know Him. Walking in His ways does.

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  122. Jerome: Birchman Baptist, Ft. Worth.

    Pastor Bob Pearl will be giving the ‘prayer of response’ following Patterson’s convention sermon, according to the 2018 SBC Annual Meeting program published last month.

    The church made news several years ago:

    http://dallas.culturemap.com/news/city-life/07-18-14-birchman-baptist-lawsuit-sean-rafferty-suicide-life-insurance/

    </blockquote
    That's crazy. Blood money, is supposed to be a figure of speech. Not actual funds you bring into the congregation. Even those who consented to the death of the Christ got that memo.

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  123. As a Calvinist and complimentarian myself, I think one of the things missing from a lot of the “culture” in these churches is just common sense balance. If you give yourself to expository preaching and good exegesis, you should not end up teaching your “favorite doctrines” over and over. I was at a church many years ago where I know I was in the minority as far as my doctrinal positions. The church let me teach a lot, and I always insisted on books of the Bible and I took my good old time. Now, over time, people figured out where I stood on these doctrines…. and others had no clue because they were newer believers. At any length, there were no arguements one way or another. I think what helped is when I approached the texts that I knew would be “sticky”, I gave a lot of time to both views, and I explained my own journey. I always wanted to inspire people to study on their own and allow the Lord to take them on their own journey.

    It is though enough to apply the easy texts in the Bible and I always figured people were struggling more with everyday stuff than they were the tough doctrines. So I let God’s word do the heavy lifting for me and attendance was always solid in classes.

    Just my two cents…..

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  124. Caroline: I’ve been married for a couple of decades, long enough to have some ups and downs, and one of the lowest points in our relationship was when we were involved with a group that emphasized gender roles.

    Same.

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  125. George,

    George. I think it’s commendable to identify as comp, on a non comp thread.

    You mention a specific “culture”. Is it possible something besides culture is at play?

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  126. Nathan Priddis:
    George,

    George. I think it’s commendable to identify as comp, on a non comp thread.

    You mention a specific “culture”. Is it possible something besides culture is at play?

    In addition to culture, I think it is spiritual warfare. But, there will always be bad actors in big organizations…. there will always be movements where we get involved and then we look back and say “what was I thinking”? In Acts 20 Paul warned the elders about “wolves”.

    What determines how an organization responds to these bad actors is a matter of culture. The double standards and lack of transparency had been festering a very long time and blogs like this end up being the only means of accountability. An organization with a healthy culture invites accountability and works hard for transparency. They do not wait for something to break, they assume that something will and they seek constant, diverse support from other leaders and non leaders to prevent a crisis from getting worse when it does occur.

    Within all that, of course, is the fact that power and money corrupt. But it still points to a dysfunctional culture. Some on here may know the stories about Wells Fargo…. it is a similar issue.

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  127. I think you speak very well. And, I’m intrigued by both your mention of warfare, and Acts 20.

    Is this warfare possibly enmity between the Seed of the woman and Serpent?

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  128. GMFS

    So, after a brief false start, TODAY is the final day of the Premier League season. The final round of matches can only change the table standings in two places that are significant.

     If Liverpool lose (at home to Brighton) and Chelsea win, Chelsea will move above us and we will drop out of the crucial top four, meaning we do not qualify for next season’s GiveUsYerMoney Cup via the league.
     If Southampton lose (at home against champions Man City) and Swansea win (at home to Stoke), and the winning margins in those two matches add up to an improbably high total of 10 goals, then Swansea will move above Southampton on goal difference and Southampton will be relegated.
    IHTIH.

    Now, as I did finish sanding/blowtorching (not in that order) the woodwork yesterday, but didn’t manage to paint it, I’m waiting for the wood to dry after last night’s rain.

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  129. Ken F (aka Tweed): …I find it more useful to look at 1-star product reviews because the negative reviews often help me to better understand why I should buy a product. I suppose this is a twisted logic coming from my deep-seated scepticism.

    It’s not really twisted logic, of course (reading between the lines, I suspect we’re agreed on this!). People are people, and the negative reviews – as much as the charges of heresy, whether well-founded or delusional – are all a part of the evidence.

    I take a similar approach to hill-walking route reviews, especially here in the UK. Ben Lomond (Scotland’s southernmost summit over 3000 feet), Snowdon (the highest mountain in Wales) and Skiddaw (one of the four English hills over 3000 feet) are all very popular, in part because they’re so accessible. As a result, connoisseurs often affect to despise them. But I like them all, for the same reasons they’re popular.

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  130. linda:
    Real faith only salvation IS good news.Having to work to gain salvation or keep salvation is NOT good news because NONE of us can do that.There is a reason for the Brief Order of Confession and Forgiveness in Lutheran liturgy, and it is not because we are able to keep the law!

    The interesting thing about New Calvinists is that insist that you’re a worm and can’t be elected unless God chooses you, but you have to constantly prove that election to them. They will never admit they have a works-based theology, but they do.

    I have a much simpler way to determine if a church is worthy. How much do they preach about Christ and then live out what Christ taught? I don’t believe sincere followers of Christ can do much else but live out their faith, but they do have to be seeking Christ first. And if you are following Christ, you talk about Him and what He did in his life and through His death and resurrection.

    Looking back on the churches I’ve attended, I realized that very few of them sought to follow Christ. Especially the few that really wanted to become popular, suddenly everything became about getting more people and they talked about Jesus less and less. Those that were cliquish usually had sermons that were mostly pastor stories and little Bible.

    One thing I have been asking people, particularly the New Calvinists who try to recruit me, is when the last time they heard a sermon about the ministry of Jesus. Many can think of one, but have little recollection of it. The New Calvinists often can’t think of one at all, and nearly all of them have said they had been going slowly through Old Testament books for years.

    Where’s Jesus in these churches? Why do they even call themselves Christians?

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  131. ishy: Where’s Jesus in these churches?

    He’s not the kind of member they are looking for. Not compliant enough. Asks too many questions. Gets upset over the wrong issues. Hangs out with the wrong people.

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  132. ishy: but you have to constantly prove that election to them.

    Which is self-defeating because if one is not elect there is nothing one can do to make it different because their will in the matter is utterly irrelevant. And because of evanescent grace they have no way of knowing if they are among the elect or the reprobate.

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  133. ishy: The New Calvinists often can’t think of one at all, and nearly all of them have said they had been going slowly through Old Testament books for years.
    Where’s Jesus in these churches? Why do they even call themselves Christians?

    Makes you think, doesn’t it..?

    Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

    Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

    Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

    Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

    Thomas and Philip replied, “That’s all well and fine, Lord, and believe us, nobody respects your divinity more than us. But the danger with all that mystical stuff is that it can lead to liberalism”.

    Then they departed from there, and wrote many books documenting the technical specification whereby a thing might be “gospel”. In due course they parted from one another and became enemies, as they could not agree on whether gospel repentance must always align itself according to the principle of weak supervenience.

    Jesus did other things too after that time, but… whatever.

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  134. Ken F (aka Tweed): And because of evanescent grace they have no way of knowing if they are among the elect or the reprobate.

    So what is the point of going to church, doing missionary work, trying to recruit people?
    You can stay home Sunday and save 10%.
    In fact there was no point to Jesus showing up so the whole Christian enterprise becomes useless.
    And that explains suffering. God doesn’t care, he just set a clockwork universe in motion so he can watch it run, kind of like my model train set until he to put on a Godzilla costume and rampage through it, destroying that wonderful creation (except for a few elect because what would be the point of being awesome unless you had someone to see your awesomeness)
    And I get to rule over my family in the exact same way! I’ll bet they can’t wait for the elected me to lovingly guide them!

    Postscript: Jack lovingly told his wife to get in the kitchen and make him pancakes according to God’s will.
    Jack currently lives in the back shed, presiding over a congregation of garden gnomes.

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  135. Jack: So what is the point of going to church, doing missionary work, trying to recruit people?
    You can stay home Sunday and save 10%.
    In fact there was no point to Jesus showing up so the whole Christian enterprise becomes useless.

    Exactly. This is why theology (and anthropology) are important. If we start with a wrong view of God and humanity we will end up in the wrong place. The New Calvinists stress that the gospel is not man-centered. What?!? If it is not man-centered, why did one member of the Trinity become eternally human? How much more man-centered could it be? If you start from Jesus and the incarnation it puts a different focus on everything.

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  136. Nick Bulbeck: I suspect we’re agreed on this!

    Yes, except that you have a more free and mature attitude about it. You enjoy popular things in spite of them being popular because you enjoy them. I often find myself avoiding popular things simply because they are popular, to the detriment of my enjoyment.

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  137. Ken F (aka Tweed): What?!? If [the good news] is not man-centered, why did one member of the Trinity become eternally human?

    I came across a great quote recently from former archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Ramsey:

    God is Christlike, and in Him is no un-Christlikeness at all.

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  138. ishy: One thing I have been asking people, particularly the New Calvinists who try to recruit me, is when the last time they heard a sermon about the ministry of Jesus.

    New Calvinists talk a lot about God, with hardly a word about Jesus, and seldom say anything about the Holy Spirit. Quotes from New Calvinist icons (Piper, etc.) actually get more sermon time than the precious name of Jesus.

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  139. Ken F (aka Tweed): He’s not the kind of member they are looking for. Not compliant enough. Asks too many questions. Gets upset over the wrong issues. Hangs out with the wrong people.

    In between hanging out at the bar on Saturday night with the “wrong kind of people” and busting up the tables selling the preacher’s books and the praise band’s CDs on Sunday, yeah, that guy would not be welcome at a lot of churches.

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  140. But by all accounts, Patterson is not a Calvinist. So the pathological patriarchy and obsession with gender roles is not entirely a “Calvinist” thing.

    I used a fair bit of gender role enforcement at the Pentecostal church I used to attend albeit not as overt. Things like men doing manly activities like fishing or sports and women doing teas & quilts.

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  141. Ken F (aka Tweed),

    “I often find myself avoiding popular things simply because they are popular, to the detriment of my enjoyment.”
    ++++++++++

    conforming to nonconformity, no matter how unenjoyable it is.

    (sorry… just remembering a topic i chose for a high school english class to a write a paper on… and how the logic train eventually arrived at something like ‘alternative for its own sake is not free-thinking’)

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  142. Jack: But by all accounts, Patterson is not a Calvinist. So the pathological patriarchy and obsession with gender roles is not entirely a “Calvinist” thing.

    True. Patriarchy is present in many aspects of church and society. It may have become such a big deal in the SBC because it was one area where the “conservative” traditionalists (such as Patterson) and the New Calvinists ( Mohler et al) could agree with each other while being opposed to the “liberals” that they wanted to get rid of. So there was some common ground for BFM2000, CBMW, etc, and a rough litmus test for “Who’s with us?”
    I realize that I’m oversimplifying, especially with the way I’ve labeled the groups.

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  143. elastigirl: Jack, you picked a wrong day to demand pancakes. (Mother’s Day in America)

    Lol. It was more of a cautionary tale. Right now pancakes are being made for mom. She just found out because the smoke alarm just went off. Chaos in our house as usual….we don’t even have any garden gnomes.

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  144. Max: New Calvinists talk a lot about God, with hardly a word about Jesus, and seldom say anything about the Holy Spirit.

    The Authority figure is favored, however, they fail to acknowledge Jesus going after the sales tables in the Temple and the religious leaders of his day. They also fail to recognize the Holy Spirit’s role in the demise of Ananias and Sapphira, for example. All of God is love, sometimes tough love. God doesn’t change even though some favor their particular flavor of their god, i.e., the wanna-be-in-charge (via entitlement) here.

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  145. Jack: So what is the point of going to church, doing missionary work, trying to recruit people?
    You can stay home Sunday and save 10%.
    In fact there was no point to Jesus showing up so the whole Christian enterprise becomes useless.

    Good point. When God – Jesus, the Holy Spirit – don’t show up, the wheels have left the Temple (“Then the glory of the Lord departed from over the threshold of the temple…” Ez. 10:18). It’s no longer church, no matter who they have on stage, Hybels or Savage or Patterson or Piper or Wilson, etc. It’s a gathering, but what’s the point? Better to go with God, and go where God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) is, especially on the Sabbath, His day of rest for us.

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  146. ION: Fitba’

    Well, with Chelsea losing 3-0 at Newcastle (managed by former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez), and ourselves winning 4-0 at home to Brighton, Liverpool finish in 4th, with guaranteed GIveUsYerMoney Cup fitba’ next season. Spurs remain 2 points ahead of us in 3rd, though, with a remarkable 5-4 win at home over Leicester City.

    At the other end of the table, Swansea lost at home to already-relegated Stoke, ensuring that Swansea too are relegated. Southampton, who were all but safe even had Swansea won, held out against Man City at home until injury time, when City’s last-minute winner ensured they become the first side in Premier League history to reach 100 points in a season. And Mo Salah’s early goal for us took his league tally to 32, also a record for the 38-game season.

    So, the final honours are as follows…

    GiveUsYerMoneyCup
     Manchester City
     Evilchester United
     Spurs
     Liverpool

    Europa League:
     Chelsea
     Arsenal
     Burnley

    Relegated:
     Swansea
     West Brom
     Stoke

    IHTIH

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  147. Jack,

    ha… our smoke alarm went off, too! after some commotion and rustling sounds, i was presented with a tray and large platter with pancakes & syrup fanning out on one side and several pieces of toast and butter fanning out on the other side.

    (i think my daughter misunderstood all my recent ‘low carb’ banter)

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  148. Caroline: Patriarchy is present in many aspects of church and society.

    “white, male grievance culture…” Even the unSBC Super Seeker Hybels was of such, on the prowl with the rationale of what he deserved but wasn’t getting from his wife. Another case of entitlement, instead of the very rewarding but very hard work of collaboratively working out his marriage behind the scenes. Instead, behind the scenes Hybels was an entitled schmuck as bad as or worse than those he decried.

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  149. Nick Bulbeck: Thomas and Philip replied, “That’s all well and fine, Lord, and believe us, nobody respects your divinity more than us. But the danger with all that mystical stuff is that it can lead to liberalism”.

    Then they departed from there, and wrote many books documenting the technical specification whereby a thing might be “gospel”. In due course they parted from one another and became enemies, as they could not agree on whether gospel repentance must always align itself according to the principle of weak supervenience.

    Jesus did other things too after that time, but… whatever.

    DYING!!

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  150. KInd of off topic but current in the news and a current example of some church stuff. I will supply some background as necessary.

    First variable in this scenario.

    The Brits right now are not just entirely US Friendly, to put it mildly, though somebody I believe in the house of lords has indicated that as far as he is concerned they might be willing to consider a request for our president(?) to address parliament, considering… Chilling way I say it, but apparently one step; but warm–nope.

    Second variable.

    The Anglican Communion has put The Episcopal Church in a temporary time out (can’t vote on stuff) because in the US TEC permits same sex church weddings. Priests have option to refuse, but none the less the denom is in favor of it officially.

    Third variable.

    And now a royal wedding looms in which the american bride is bi-racial not to mention divorced not to mention some family of origin issues, and the race issue has caused some nastiness among some folks.

    Now it gets interesting

    So at the royal wedding the A of C of the C of E will officiate and do the vows and pronouncements, but somebody has to give an Address. Harry and Meghan have agreed to have somebody do it whom the press has said that they have never met and apparently never heard of but agreed to after a conversation with said A of C.

    Guess who. Michael Curry, primate of TEC, an African American who had defended (and promoted) gay marriage both here and with the other primates who voted him down; a man who traces his lineage to slaves and tenant farmers in the US south, and who even though from Chicago was diocesan bishop of NC and who preaches like the best of the best of black southern protestant preachers. I heard him once-believe me he has it down pat.

    I love it. Nationality, race, family background, social doctrine and preaching style. I don’t know what all that means for the Brits, but it certainly looks like a statement of some sort. Way to go Justin Welby, and way to go whoever all gave you permission to do that (I am thinking).

    And no I do not agree with either Justin Welby or Michael Curry on everything, in fact I mostly don’t care what either one thinks about much of anything most of the time, but this looks like a public step which I find encouraging.

    In fact, the Jesus I see just might upset some tables in some similar way from time to time, even though the issues might be different. I sure hope I am not wrong about this.

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  151. Caroline: I think some of them worry (know?) that if their “smokin’ hot wives” had a choice, they would leave.

    I think you’re probably right, they would leave if it was bad enough in any one of the patriarchal regimes that many of them languish in.

    It’s the ones who live in the smiley smarmy world of patriarchy lite, not bad enough to just up and leave, but stultifying enough to ensure that they cover up the internal misery so nobody can see. They’re the ones I really feel solidarity with.
    Paul Simon put it this way:

    I know a woman
    Became a wife
    These are the very words she uses
    To describe her life
    She said a good day
    Ain’t got no rain
    She said a bad day’s when I lie in bed
    And think of things that might have been

    Slip slidin’ away
    Slip slidin’ away
    You know the nearer your destination
    The more you’re slip slidin’ away

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  152. ION: Space exploration

    NASA announced recently that it intends to send a helicopter to Mars. (Obviously, this is a small drone that will be launched there by rocket, not a quasi-magic helicopter launched from Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.)

    AWWBA, the martian atmosphere has around 1% of the density of earth’s at sea-level where I am as I type*; presumably there are Wartburgers living somewhat above this. As a consequence, the rotor blades must spin around 10 times faster than they would on earth to generate enough lift. Ground level on Mars (depending somewhat on where exactly on Mars you are – there are deep canyons and high mountains) is equivalent to around 100,000 feet on earth, well above the height at which it is possible to fly a helicopter on earth. On the other hand, the engineers are assisted somewhat by the lower Martian gravity.

    I am sure other Wartburgers will be as excited about this as I am.

    * Around 15m above sea level, to be exact, which corresponds to a drop in air-pressure of about 2 millibars.

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  153. No Beth, the idea that our works have any part in our salvation is a false gospel. Salvation is simply always and only what HE did.

    Now, I think you missed part of what I said. A person who has truly experienced that kind of “no works” salvation WILL normally (mental illness, emotional impairment, etc may have an ill effect) live loving like Jesus.

    Here is the difference: wife number one knows she has the heart of her husband. She knows nothing she could ever do will stop his love, even adultery. He spends himself constantly expressing his love for her. She knows that before he married her she felt unloved, unlovely, and did many horrible things. But he loved her and believed in her. One day he risked his life stepping in front of a truck to push her out of the way. Does she love him? YES! Would she ever willingly hurt him? NO. So because he loves her, she is faithful, treats him well, does all she can to show her love. Wife number two married a man who let her know right off the bat there were many things she could do, or fail to do, that would end the marriage. She lives in constant fear of doing the wrong thing and losing him. He demands she do many things she is not capable of doing, and demands she not do things she cannot help but do. After years of this, her love for him is gone and she is left only with fear.

    Wife number one will spend her life loving, serving, and telling everyone about her wonderful husband. Wife number two will spend her life checking to see how she is doing, pointing out everyone else’s failure to do as much as she does, and warning everyone to fear her husband.

    Nah, either Jesus saves or we earn it. Since we cannot earn it (like it or not the Bible does say we all are sinners) we can accept it as a free gift or spend our lives unsuccessfully tilting at windmills to earn it.

    Personally I think the biggest hurdle many folks face is how it hurts the pride and humbles us to realize there is really nothing we can DO to earn or keep our salvation. Much we can do to show and share it, but nothing to earn or keep it. Except, of course, to let our pride make us refuse it.

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  154. Nick Bulbeck: I am sure other Wartburgers will be as excited about this as I am.

    I am–thanks for the explanation on how it’s supposed to work, because I was trying to figure it out given the thin, nearly nonexistent atmosphere.

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  155. Caroline:
    Muff Potter,

    I think some of them worry (know?) that if their “smokin’ hot wives” had a choice, they would leave.

    Including the Head Pastor/Apostle’s Smokin’ HAWT Wife.
    Which is why all the theologizing and preaching that “GOD HATES DIVORCE WITH SUCH A PERFECT HATRED…”

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  156. Caroline: It may have become such a big deal in the SBC because it was one area where the “conservative” traditionalists (such as Patterson) and the New Calvinists ( Mohler et al) could agree with each other while being opposed to the “liberals” that they wanted to get rid of.

    Just like the Pope, Luther, and Calvin’s one area where they could all agree:
    Exterminate the Anabaptists.

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  157. Ken F (aka Tweed): Which is self-defeating because if one is not elect there is nothing one can do to make it different because their will in the matter is utterly irrelevant. And because of evanescent grace they have no way of knowing if they are among the elect or the reprobate.

    Ah, but there is.
    Having Perfectly Parsed, Utterly Correct, Truly Reformed THEOLOGY.

    (2-300 years ago it was getting Super Filthy Stinking Rich.)

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  158. FW Rez:
    Patterson has used the “the world is watching” rational to argue why Christians should not take abuse cases to court. I don’t think it is an appropriate argument in that situation. It is, however, exactly why he should decline to give the SBC Convention sermon next month.

    And miss his Standing Ovation?
    “THE VOICE OF A GOD, NOT OF A MAN!
    THE VOICE OF A GOD, NOT OF A MAN!”

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  159. Ken F (aka Tweed): The YRRs are not saying anything about these recent scandals- their silence is deafening. But Blayly is willing to weigh in.

    “When it is dangerous to speak, the Wise say nothing.” — Aesop

    But the Stupid can’t keep their mouths shut.

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  160. roebuck: Thanks for reminding that there are plenty of ways to keep the faith. I’m at that point where it’s more important for me to walk the walk.

    Welcome. Me, also. Trying to figure it out without a dynasty to bankroll. Not trying to be cheap about it, however, the Holy Spirit brings fruit and gifts without charging money, only heart commitment.

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  161. Nick Bulbeck: Around 15m above sea level, to be exact

    I’m at about 1500m above sea level, approximately. One benefit of the less dense atmosphere is a better view of Mars, which was quite impressive upon rising tonight.

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  162. Jerome: Birchman Baptist, Ft. Worth.

    Thanks! Don’t know why I couldn’t find that myself. I was imagining Mark Dever might convince them to “church discipline” Patterson due to missing too many services while at conferences or on safari. But from the article you linked, it looks as if THEY may be the ones needing to be “church disciplined”.

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  163. Headless Unicorn Guy: Just like the Pope, Luther, and Calvin’s one area where they could all agree:
    Exterminate the Anabaptists.

    On the equally slim pretext of defending the concept of the Trinity. As if God couldn’t take a little discussion on those not spelled out, impossible to grasp characteristics of God?

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  164. linda,

    You make some great points. Astonishing that some can get so far off track. I once was sitting in a basement church buffet and overheard a man saying that if salvation were a free gift, given without regard to the merit of the recipient, that it’d be “no great honor.” He had it exactly 180 degrees wrong; have no idea why the man bothered to attend a Protestant church, because he wanted his great honor. We don’t get to have it, we don’t deserve it.

    The more honor people get, the less honor Jesus gets.

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  165. Beth74,

    linda,

    Interesting discussion. Continuing on that line of thought, think about this—if a 500lb person said they were currently a championship marathon runner, would you believe them? Nope. Because becoming a marathon runner causes changes in a person.

    Becoming a Christian causes changes in a person too. We let go of the 500lb weight of sin on our backs to accept the free gift of Christ. I agree with both of you that our salvation is by grace alone. However accepting Christ still involves repentance. And repentance requires changes. We cannot follow Christ on the straight and narrow path and at the same time follow the world on the broad path to destruction.

    If becoming a Christian is saying the sinner’s prayer yet then continuing to follow the path of sin—–then by that definition the wolves are excellent Christians. Yet Jesus said that we would know them by their fruit. We discern the wolves by their deeds.

    There’s a reason the Bible describes the “fruits of repentance”
    “Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God.” Matt 3:8 (NLT)

    “Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therin?”

    Being God’s children doesn’t give us an exemption from God’s law of sowing and reaping. So the question becomes what do we do when God sets boundaries with us that we disagree with?

    According to the Bible the acid test of whether we actually love God or not is whether we obey Him.
    “Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome.”
    1John 5:3 (NLT)

    “If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth.” 1John 2:4 (NLT)

    Let’s not forget that Jesus drew the line in Matt 7:21 that just because we choose to do things a certain way doesn’t mean that God will accept it.

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  166. linda: No Beth, the idea that our works have any part in our salvation is a false gospel. Salvation is simply always and only what HE did.

    That depends on how you (generic) define ‘salvation’. This is a crucial point of disagreement much of which is contested because of definitions and vocabulary.

    If ‘salvation’ depends only on what Jesus did and the human person has no part to play, then either one is a double predestination calvinist or else one is a universalist. If Jesus died only for the elect, and the elect have no choice in the matter, then yes ‘salvation’ depends only on what Jesus did. If Jesus died for all, and ‘salvation’ depends only on what Jesus did, then all are saved. Assuming of course that ‘salvation’ means go-to-heaven-when-you-die.

    Is it enough to believe, assuming that believing means agreeing as to the person and work of Christ? Beth is correct that even the demons believe and tremble. So what is the difference between how the demons believe and what we call ‘belief’ and declare it ‘saving faith’-saying that this (kind of) believing is different from the other (kind of) believing?

    If I understand it correctly the calvinist position is more saving grace, not saving faith. The opposite position is that ‘salvation’ does not stand alone but that there is rather ‘justification/ sanctification’ as one process, all due to grace which enables both faith and also human co-operation with God toward ultimate ‘salvation’.

    People have been arguing this for what-certainly 500 years and I know not how long before. Nobody convinces the other person; each person preaches to their own choir. However, any idea that after the reformation then every person or group which identifies as protestant sees the issue in exactly the same way is obviously incorrect.

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  167. By the way, I don’t want anyone to think I necessarily believe Beth is way off track like that guy in the church basement potluck I referenced. She sounded like she was just saying if a person is actually saved, it’s generally going to show and we’ll know them by those good fruits—a concept I totally endorse.

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  168. Avid Reader,

    AV.
    I think you have made small errors that result in major directional drifts. In short, you are duplicating the error of Law and Gospel.

    Let’s take one error only, since I am not at a keyboard right now.

    Matt. 3:8. You overlooked who is being addressed. It is NOT the general population.

    It is important also to use an actual translation when quoting the Scriptures.

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  169. okrapod: People have been arguing this for what-certainly 500 years and I know not how long before. Nobody convinces the other person; each person preaches to their own choir.

    A big part of the problem is the false dichotomies that different sides set up, as if the only options are polar opposites. This makes it difficult to have meaningful discussion because if you take a position that backs away from one of the extremes you get accused of embracing the other extreme.

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  170. Ken F (aka Tweed): A big part of the problem is the false dichotomies that different sides set up, as if the only options are polar opposites. This makes it difficult to have meaningful discussion because if you take a position that backs away from one of the extremes you get accused of embracing the other extreme.

    That’s for sure. It is annoying. Some people probably just are not aware that there is any other way to do it than one extreme or the other. Sometimes however it looks like bullying plain and simple. But also some times people just resort to ’tis too ’tis not perhaps out of habit.

    I had one g’kid who thought that ‘but you said’ was a real winning argument. So she would quote something that had been said long ago and in a totally different context. Like ‘but you said’ that reds can too go in with the whites in the washing machine. Sure enough once I had put a really old bath towel of mixed colors in with the whites because the towel had been used and washed for literally years and no way was there any red that was going to run left in that particular towel under those particular circumstances. But try explaining context this and unique that and exception the other to somebody who thinks that ‘but you said’ is the winning argument for everything.

    I do wonder, however, if that sort of thing is not one of the childish things that one puts away when one grows up. But I have a quote! is what I used to hear a lot. I want to say ‘you and everybody else’ last time I checked. Oh, well. My oncologist and I have been known to quote statistics back and forth when all the while the answer is ‘nobody knows for sure, and for sure we don’t know’.

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  171. Nathan Priddis,

    Hi Nathan,

    Since you asked the question, here’s the answer. Yes of course I use real Bible translations!!! (I’m still cracking up at that one!) Typically I like to check each reference in several different translations and then quote the one that is easiest to understand. Are you asking me to only quote the KJV? Is there a particular translation that you want me to use?

    Secondly, Jesus put the dividing line between OT and NT at John the Baptist. Matt 3:8 is referencing John the Baptist preparing the way for Christ to come by preaching “repent for the kingdom of God is at hand.” Jesus preached repentance too. Are you saying that the message of repentance and believing in Christ doesn’t apply to us today?

    What about the words of Christ to go and sin no more? Does that still apply to us today? Or was that only for the one lady that Jesus spoke it too?

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  172. okrapod: I had one g’kid who thought that ‘but you said’ was a real winning argument.

    Sort of an all-in-the-family version of “I HAVE A VERSE!”?

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  173. okrapod wrote, quoting Ken F (aka Tweed):

    A big part of the problem is the false dichotomies that different sides set up, as if the only options are polar opposites. This makes it difficult to have meaningful discussion because if you take a position that backs away from one of the extremes you get accused of embracing the other extreme.

    That’s for sure. It is annoying. Some people probably just are not aware that there is any other way to do it than one extreme or the other.

    I think that captures it really well.

    I commented recently about my conviction that the holy spirit makes a point of leading people to interpret scripture differently on a range of topics. This was not well received, but I will continue to make it, because I don’t believe Jesus is building a church out of people who have no particular love for one another but who, by coincidence, happen to agree intellectually on matters of religious theory. That’s not a strong church – as soon as they come across an intellectual disagreement, they will split apart. Rather, I believe he is building a church out of disciples of his who love one another, and whose love for one another is refined in the fire (so to speak) to the point where it can pass what seems for some reason to be the ultimate test, which is that they continue to love one another – and everything that implies – even in the face of theological difference.

    This is not a claim that the Holy Spirit is creating “confusion”; it is a claim that he is creating diversity, as a means to the much more important end of training us to love one another. It may be tempting, I suppose, to read into this that I’m saying we should abandon the bible and just believe whatever we want. This is not, of course, what I am saying at all; it’s one of those false dichotomies whereof Ken spake.

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  174. Nick Bulbeck,

    Could be. Add to what you said what I am about to say and there we have diversity, and a real life test of the theories.

    I think that we don’t know. We just don’t know. And yes I can quote a verse or two but won’t. Anyhow what we come up with at best are approximations even while we cannot agree with what the specific variables are, the latter also being approximations. And I think that we confuse think with feel with want with a big dose of not paying attention partly because we have to be preoccupied with that disconcerting business of staying live, fed,clothed and perhaps even semi-sane. Pause. Deep breath.

    So, on our best day we walk by faith and not sight. I am not trying to sound religious by that statement, but I do think the we wander in the woods with only dappled sunlight and even that only on the margins with the meadows. As you said perhaps it has to do with loving one another, but it also seems to me to be self preservation because given the missing variables and the approximations and the limited sunlight there is a good chance that the other person may well be correct.

    Unless of course they disagree with me, and then forget all I just said.

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  175. Nick Bulbeck: … he [ the Holy Spirit] is creating diversity, as a means to the much more important end of training us to love one another.

    “After some days Paul said to Barnabas, ‘Let us return and visit the brethren in every city in which we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are.’ Barnabas wanted to take John Mark, along with them also. But Paul kept insisting that they should not take him along who had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work. And there occurred such a SHARP DISAGREEMENT that they separated from one another, and Barnabas took John Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus. But Paul chose Silas and left, being committed by the brethren to the grace of the Lord. And he was traveling through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.” Acts 15:36-41 (NASB)

    Sharp Disagreement = Two teams: Paul & Silas, Barnabas & John Mark, visiting 2 different regions.

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  176. Nathan…… You are asking some really good questions. I think you have gotten some good answers, especially from Avid Reader. Some of the things that Jesus said can be difficult to understand. What I have done in those cases is look at other texts in the Bible written by other authors to shed light on what He meant. You need to use scripture to shed light on scripture. In the case of whether Jesus was speaking to all of us, or to only the hearers, I think AV pointed out some great new testament texts that prove that Jesus meant everyone.

    I don’t think the main purpose of this blog is to serve as a Bible study or debate forum. But it can be fun to do that! Your own church and Christian friends can serve you much better though.

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  177. @Nathan

    George: You need to use scripture to shed light on scripture.

    Thompson Chain Reference Bible – the Bible explaining itself. (I prefer NASB, personally.)

    BTW, some of the side notes here have been VERY helpful to me, too. So, thanks, y’all. God bless.

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  178. okrapod: So, on our best day we walk by faith and not sight. I am not trying to sound religious by that statement, but I do think the we wander in the woods with only dappled sunlight and even that only on the margins with the meadows.

    Why did I think of Over the Garden Wall when I read that?
    (Other than staying up much too late last night streaming the whole miniseries…)

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  179. Nick Bulbeck: I don’t believe Jesus is building a church out of people who have no particular love for one another but who, by coincidence, happen to agree intellectually on matters of religious theory.

    I agree with this. Very much so! #SittinginACalvinistChurchFullofExBaptists

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  180. okrapod: Add to what you said what I am about to say and there we have diversity, and a real life test of the theories.

    It’s all good!

    Regarding the fact that…

    I think that we don’t know. We just don’t know.

    … I certainly don’t know. If indeed Jesus, as described in the gospels, demonstrates what God is like, then he demonstrates a God I would worship, or follow anywhere. But obviously, we can’t “know Jesus” through the Bible; we can only know about him. Knowing a person, in any meaningful sense, involves knowing what they are saying and doing in real time. (As Jesus put it: “I call you servants no longer [but friends] because a servant doesn’t know his master’s business”.) The Bible will never tell us what he’s thinking and feeling, though of course people love to cherry-pick verses that project their opinions on that.

    That’s why I call myself an agnostic. I find the idea of a God who becomes (and, in some sense, eternally is) human, who sides with the disregarded and the oppressed, who leads by example – who, IOW, is like Jesus – compellingly wonderful. What such a God thinks of, or wants for, me, I have no idea.

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  181. Law Prof: The more honor people get, the less honor Jesus gets.

    As if there’s a Zero Sum Game in play?
    Where the only way to get more for me is take it away from you?

    That way lies Lord Farquar from Shrek decreeing all his subjects shall have their legs amputated so no one can ever be taller than himself.

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  182. Avid Reader: If becoming a Christian is saying the sinner’s prayer yet then continuing to follow the path of sin—–then by that definition the wolves are excellent Christians. Yet Jesus said that we would know them by their fruit. We discern the wolves by their deeds.

    And I’ve come to conclude the Sinner’s Prayer Litmus Test is crapola.

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