President Elect J.D. Greear’s Congregation FINALLY Realizes It’s Southern Baptist

“The third question some of you just asked is ‘Since when did we become Southern Baptists?’ I get that. That’s something we don’t really wear on our sleeve here.”

J.D. Greear (upon announcing to his congregation that he was running for SBC President)

https://twitter.com/jdgreear?ref_src=twsrc%5Eappleosx%7Ctwcamp%5Esafari%7Ctwgr%5Eprofile

J.D. Greear – Twitter

Congratulations Southern Baptist messengers!

In electing J.D. Greear as the convention’s president, you have done something quite unprecedented.

First, Greear is the youngest Southern Baptist to be elected as president in the last 38 years

Second, not everyone at The Summit (Greear’s church) realized they were attending a Southern Baptist church.

SAY WHAT??? 

Here is how Greear broke the news to his congregation just four and a half months ago when he announced that he was running for president of the Southern Baptist Convention. (1:35 mark)

Let’s go over that again…

J.D. Greear said:

“The third question some of you just asked is ‘Since when did we become Southern Baptist?’ Uh, and I get that. That’s not something we really wear on our sleeve here. There are obviously parts of the Southern Baptist Convention that we’re not excited about, and we don’t feel like really represent who we are as a church…”

As Greear revealed, it’s all about the money – IMB dollars.

In our previous post, I mentioned this conundrum. As residents in the same geographic area as The Summit Church, Dee and I have known for years that some Summit attendees had no idea that their church was part of the Southern Baptist Convention. If you check out the church website, you’ll understand why. It’s been one of The Summit’s best kept secrets.

Now Summit members know for certain that they are indeed Southern Baptists since their pastor has been elected SBC president. What a tragedy that Greear has had such shame for the denomination which he will now lead.

Danny Akin once affirmed that pastors should put their theological cards on the table in plain view for all to see.

Akin wrote:

Act with personal integrity in your ministry when it comes to this issue [Calvinism]. Put your theological cards on the table in plain view for all to see, and do not go into a church under a cloak of deception or dishonesty. If you do, you will more than likely split a church, wound the Body of Christ, damage the ministry God has given you, and leave a bad taste in the mouth of everyone.

Apparently, it’s O.K. for a church to conceal its denominational card, which Akin’s great friend J.D. has done for years.

Buckle up, Southern Baptists. You’re in for quite a ride as the Neo-Cals commandeer the SBC ship for good. Make no mistake – Al Mohler, a five point Calvinist, is the ship’s captain. This is a sea change for the Southern Baptist Convention. Our prediction is that the Southern Baptist Convention will be barely recognizable to most Southern Baptists in very short order…


Comments

President Elect J.D. Greear’s Congregation FINALLY Realizes It’s Southern Baptist — 347 Comments

  1. Branding.
    Akin has a point, branding or the brand name is normally not hidden “under a bushel, no” – but “Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine”. That’s the goal of branding: identity, market placement: “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.” “Around the world, ’til Jesus comes”.

    So the cloak-and-dagger or flying stealth of who they are means something else is up. Oh, the mystery, the intrigue.

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  2. “The third question some of you just asked is ‘Since when did we become Southern Baptist?'”

    How would they have known that?! SBC’s young New Calvinist pastors go out of their way to conceal Southern Baptist affiliation. That’s why they give their churches cool names, like “The Summit Church” rather than “The Summit Southern Baptist Church.” It’s as if they are ashamed of being Southern Baptist at the same time they sneak around with stealth and deception to takeover the denomination! SBC church planters hide their Southern Baptist identity, while they hold their hand out for SBC church planting funds. Everything will change under the Dude President’s leadership … it will be cool now to be Southern Baptist. Good Lord! They youth department is running the church now!!

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  3. “Make no mistake – Al Mohler, a five point Calvinist, is the ship’s captain.”

    I can see it now. In a smoke filled hotel room in Dallas, in the wee hours of this morning, the new Dude President walked up to the Commander in Chief and gave him a high five. No words were exchanged – no need for them at this point – the mission has been accomplished.

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  4. If I am not mistaken, didn’t Summit get started as a Mark Driscoll Acts 29 church with NAMB funds? Or has that been stricken from the historical record, too?

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  5. J.D. Greear said:
    “The third question some of you just asked is ‘Since when did we become Southern Baptist?’ Uh, and I get that. That’s not something we really wear on our sleeve here.

    LOL. What a crazy thing that you’ve been attending church for so long and you have no idea what kind of church it is. Man.

    There are obviously parts of the Southern Baptist Convention that we’re not excited about, and we don’t feel like really represent who we are as a church…”

    Um…

    I would love to see a list here, and what he plans to change. That would be interesting.

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  6. Max,

    It’s not just that. They manuevered the whole seemly hit to make it look like they are heros for wiping out the “bad” non #metoo, non sjw SBC when they are just as guilty! They rewrote their own history right before our very eyes and it worked. Best manipulation stunt I have seen yet. Just slap a Jesus fish on it and do some emotional Jesusplaining and people fall right in line to pass the torch.

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  7. Lydia:
    If I am not mistaken, didn’t Summit get started as a Mark Driscoll Acts 29 church with NAMB funds?

    I don’t know, but there is a ‘summit’ near me (along way away from this one!) that is probably unrelated, but who knows.

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  8. Max: “The third question some of you just asked is ‘Since when did we become Southern Baptist?’”
    How would they have known that?! SBC’s young New Calvinist pastors go out of their way to conceal Southern Baptist affiliation. That’s why they give their churches cool names, like “The Summit Church” rather than “The Summit Southern Baptist Church.”

    Anaheim First Baptist has changed its name and “brand” twice in the past ten years or so.

    The first time it was PORTAL, all in Hipster-Kewl greys and muted maroons, with no mention that it was even a church. I know this because I got a lot of its business cards shoved under my door. (At least the Mormons & JWs ring your bell and go face-to-face.)

    Just last year it “rebranded itself” to “City Church”, bright red and white replaced the grey and maroon, and it has colorful street murals on its blank walls.

    The A-frame building with its Sixties spire steeple and two-story stucco classrooms in back remains constant, though repainted and re-signed.

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  9. Lydia:
    Max,

    It’s not just that. They manuevered the whole seemly hit to make it look like they are heros for wiping out the “bad” non #metoo, non sjw SBC when they are just as guilty! They rewrote their own history right before our very eyes and it worked. Best manipulation stunt I have seen yet.

    oceania has always been at peace with eurasia, and the chocolate ration has been increased from twenty grams to ten.

    Just slap a Jesus fish on it and do some emotional Jesusplaining and people fall right in line to pass the torch.

    Twenty-thirty years ago, the magick incantation was “The LORD!” instead of the Jesus fish. Every other word out of the mouth had to be “LORD! LOOORD! LOOOOORD!” like the goats in the parable.

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  10. Max:
    “Make no mistake – Al Mohler, a five point Calvinist, is the ship’s captain.”

    I can see it now.In a smoke filled hotel room in Dallas, in the wee hours of this morning, the new Dude President walked up to the Commander in Chief and gave him a high five.No words were exchanged – no need for them at this point – the mission has been accomplished.

    There is no more need for this “Christ” — We Have CALVIN!
    As it was CALVIN in the Beginning, Is CALVIN Now, and CALVIN Ever Shall Be!
    Predestined Geneva Without End, AAAAAAA-MENNNNNNN!

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  11. Lydia: Summit … Acts 29

    For years, The Summit Church held dual affiliation with SBC and Acts 29. As a young pastor, you don’t align yourself with Acts 29 unless you lean Calvinistic.

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  12. Lea: I don’t know, but there is a ‘summit’ near me (along way away from this one!) that is probably unrelated, but who knows.

    I was specifically talking about the Summit in this article.

    From wiki

    “Acts 29 was founded in 1998 by Mark Driscoll[6][7] and David Nicholas.[8] Beginning September 17, 2007 with the Raleigh Boot Camp, Acts 29 began using Great Commission Ministries as its mission agency for fundraising and leadership training”

    Greear was the youth pastor of Holmstead Heights Baptist church when he was hired. He eventually changed the name of the church and started a new building program. I think Acts 29/Namb was funding most of it.

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  13. Max: For years, The Summit Church held dual affiliation with SBC and Acts 29. As a young pastor, you don’t align yourself with Acts 29 unless you lean Calvinistic.

    Throw in The Gospel Coalition and you have the Calvinist trifecta.

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  14. The Calvinist takeover of the SBC is now complete. Can’t you just see the patting on the backs? The high-fives? This past Sunday, my pastor of a large Baptist Church in Raleigh “came out of the closet” and admitted he was at least a 3-point Calvinist. Sadly, he only revealed this to a small group who dared ask a few questions. Will he now be bold enough to state his Calvinism from the pulpit or post it on the church website? For the most part, his members are very naive. This is the third Baptist Church in Raleigh we have attended where the pastors refused to really state their Calvinism. I have to wonder if my pastor (our our traditional Baptist church) was Calvinists all along or slowly made a change and “forgot” to inform the congregation. As this pastor said this past week, “What’s the big deal?” Well, we will all see in the next few years ‘what the big deal is” as the Calvinists continue to usher in their emergent, social justice, open borders, lack of respect for Israel and the millennial kingdom and more and more of Tim Keller’s liberal beliefs. As one pastor, I forget whom, stated, “TRUTH INVITES SCRUTINY, BUT ERROR DOESN’T LIKE TO BE CHALLENGED.” Just try to question your pastor and see how long he takes before he tells you to find another church. It is the fault of past SBC leaders, who refused to clean up their act, that the Calvinists were allowed to get this far. And, don’t even get me started on their deflection, “Well, it’s just all about the gospel so let’s all just get along.”

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  15. Finegold: This is the third Baptist Church in Raleigh we have attended where the pastors refused to really state their Calvinism.

    These folks remind me of kids who know they are doing something naughty, so they attempt to not get caught. Stealth and deception by New Calvinists to take a denomination away from millions of Non-Calvinists is naughty behavior.

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  16. Headless Unicorn Guy:

    Twenty-thirty years ago, the magick incantation was “The LORD!” instead of the Jesus fish. Every other word out of the mouth had to be “LORD! LOOORD! LOOOOORD!” like the goats in the parable.

    LORD, Lord, Just….just..do life with us. Being here with you, lay it on our hearts to love up on each other, we want to be missional…..

    How am I doing on Church Lingo Bingo?

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  17. Lydia:
    Max,

    It’s not just that. They manuevered the whole seemly hit to make it look like they are heros for wiping out the “bad” non #metoo, non sjw SBC when they are just as guilty! They rewrote their own history right before our very eyes and it worked. Best manipulation stunt I have seen yet. Just slap a Jesus fish on it and do some emotional Jesusplaining and people fall right in line to pass the torch.

    Exactly. And I know a number of people who will buy it completely, and refuse to listen to anything but the official version.

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  18. Finegold: “TRUTH INVITES SCRUTINY, BUT ERROR DOESN’T LIKE TO BE CHALLENGED.”

    Good.
    Lies (in Jesus’ time, the religious elite) take the elevator, getting there first, while truth (that would be Jesus, crucified by the aforementioned lying elite, later resurrected having the last word) takes the stairs and evetually gets there.

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  19. Lea: Some of these things are beyond parody.

    Something to remember, Lea:

    In an Age of Extremes like today, as far-out and crazy as you can get in parody, there will be True Believers out there twice as far-out, twice as crazy, and DEAD SERIOUS.

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  20. Lea,

    This is the dude who just got elected to lead the denomination he isn’t enthused about? Am I confused? Maybe he is confused and thought SBC stood for Some Bro Cult. I guess as long as Al “keep women in their place” Mohler is still in power it doesn’t matter who the front man is-as long as he is anatomicly qualified for ministry and his wife keeps his oil changed enthusiasticly and frequently. Pastor’s wives putting out are what the church truly rests on apparently. Their most important role. Looking for a brick wall to pound my head on. A bit demoralized by following the convention. Had hoped to see footage of a widespread revival breaking out.

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  21. Deborah: Had hoped to see footage of a widespread revival breaking out.

    I guess things aren’t bad enough (yet) in the SBC for that to happen. A good sign will be when you see Southern Baptists en masse humble themselves, pray, seek God’s face, and turn from ‘their’ wicked ways. Until then, they will just move from one annual convention to the next to move chess players around. If there’s any hope for a genuine revival and spiritual awakening in SBC ranks, it will most likely be sparked at a small church somewhere where some good people realize they need God more than the SBC … and then proceed to call out to Him for mercy, forgiveness, and a new direction.

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  22. I just caught the Vice President’s speech. The streaming thankfully worked the whole time. Excepting the question and answer regarding the first female SBC missionary to slaves, it was the only session worth the listening.

    Form- Well delivered. The audience had little intellectual grasp. But the Vice President, brought it to their level. He even knew to change the delivery cadence, so an audience that has now idea what he said, knew when to clap.

    Substance- Not a note taker personally, much to the annoicance of my teachers. However, I did reach over six times to scrible paraphrased interpretations. Of these six, I’ll pick this to comment on.

    (In second half of speech)

    -What you confess matters.

    This is the first instance I know of where doctrinal confession, matters not only regarding personal soteriology of the confessor, but the nation.

    I see no interpretation other then personal confession is of concern to the public policy of the United States.

    At this point, I also remind myself the SBC, is evolving towards being a confessional convention. Shortly before the VP took the stage, Al Mohler refrenced Baptist confession of faith. He did so in response to the above mentioned missionary question.

    Whether he was referring to the 1689 Confession, or solteriology in general, I can’t say. Only that Baptist confession was something the SBC needed to stay faithful to.

    I restate my premise that Evangelicalism was founded in the 1940’s for the purpose of social influence.

    That, and the Vice President simply operates on a higher plain, then SBC Messengers. Masterfully done.

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  23. Deb: Right out of the Patterson/Pressler playbook. Get your tribe there for the vote.

    Oh yeah! As soon as you get the Tweet, get your behinds out of the coffee shop and back to the convention center to vote for Greear!!

    For you traditional non-Calvinist Southern Baptists, it’s best to put your behind in your past. This ain’t your grandma’s SBC any longer. The youth department is now in charge!

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  24. I pity the naive SBC pew, which have no idea what’s coming. Like the most recent church I attended, which was slowly being taken over by Calvinists, but hadn’t the slightest clue what was happening.

    Except for the ‘old folks’ being constantly reminded how ‘the elders’ are in charge, not the congregation. And weekly warnings that the bi-laws needed to be changed. Conditioning, to prepare them, even though most of these folks grew up in the church, paid for the building and can’t really understand what was so ‘wrong’ with the old bi-laws.

    On my very first visit, on having to admit coming from a Reformed Church, the wife of the Calvinist elder (whom I soon learned was running the takeover) stated outright that they were hoping to change denominations and make the church Reformed. The pastor’s wife seemed stunned by the news.

    These folks literally do not know what has hit them until it is too, too late, their church is ‘gone’, and most of them are too old to start over. They either sadly look for a Lutheran Church, or remain in sad disbelief, having lost all influence to the new kids in town.

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  25. truthseeker00: These folks literally do not know what has hit them until it is too, too late, their church is ‘gone’, and most of them are too old to start over. They either sadly look for a Lutheran Church, or remain in sad disbelief, having lost all influence to the new kids in town.

    “And who needs the old geezers anyway? OLDTHINKERS DOUBLEPLUSUNBELLYFEEL INGSOC!”

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  26. AnObserver:
    Rambler,

    In your “church lingo” you need to remember to use “Gospel” as an adjective at least a few times.

    And as an adverb.

    Until it gets so overdone it might as well be “smurf” or “marclar”.

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  27. I don’t trust these guys (and I believe the Bible teaches the doctrine of Election – which I suppose makes me a “Calvinist” of sorts) I prefer the 5 solas to tulip (though I think tulip to be true also). I hope you all don’t have me.

    Nevertheless, I don’t trust these “Calvinista” guys. They seem to exude the odor of slick marketers and politicians, rather the fragrance of faithful Bible teachers.

    I followed a bunch of these guys online (hundreds of mp3 sermons and all) for years. Mohler, Chandler, Piper, Dever, Mahaney, Russel Moore, Tullian, Tim Kellar, Driscoll, and many more.

    I think I benefited from much of their teaching. I believe they teach a lot of truth. Still, I lost confidence in them.

    The whole Sovereign Grace fiasco helped me wake up. The way these guys backed their boy Mahaney really spoke volumes. The evidence of serious misconduct seems overwhelming to me.

    Pragmatists, rather than faithful?????

    God knows, and will judge all of us.
    I need more time studying the Bible for myself, and less from these guys.

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  28. This is all sad what has happened to SBC. I am long gone but I still think it is sad. But it is not just SBC which has changed. I was working at a catholic institution right after Vatican II and a lot of their folks appeared to be just dumbstruck at the changes.

    Just yesterday we had an older dermatologist complaining to a patient (YoungDaughter) about the changes in health care. I think he had the best complaints, that they used to treat the sickest people but now they treated mostly those who had the insurance to afford it. University hospital based practice, not his choice.

    YoungDaughter complains that both the philosophies and methodologies of education are vastly different than when she went into the field 26 years ago. For the worse for the lower performing students. I hear why did she choose teaching; why did she not listen to her mama when she was young; how soon can she retire? And this is all based on reality. The changes are real, not just somebody’s subjective experience of things.

    But somebody brought some homegrown squash to the girl’s softball coach, and the coach who shares an office with YoungDaughter gave YD some squash, and she asked me to cook it, so maybe the world will last another day or two-not everything that people have always counted on is gone-just a lot of it. We drive around during the summer and buy fresh veggies from front yard veggie stands down in the poorer section of town. Because. Maybe as long as people do that we can survive as a people. Or not.

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  29. I don’t agree with churches not being upfront about their affiliation. It doesn’t have to be the name of the church, but it should be mentioned in the website and not be totally unmentioned in the church.

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  30. truthseeker00:I pity the naive SBC pew, which have no idea what’s coming. Like the most recent church I attended, which was slowly being taken over by Calvinists, but hadn’t the slightest clue what was happening … These folks literally do not know what has hit them until it is too, too late, their church is ‘gone’, and most of them are too old to start over.

    There’s just something un-Christian about the New Calvinist modus operandi. I really think the new reformers don’t give a big whoop that they have to lie their way into a church to steal it and its assets away from good people who sacrificed to pay for it over the years. They justify their stealth and deception for the good of the reformed cause, to restore the “gospel” that everyone has lost … they alone possess truth, you know.

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  31. Bart,

    Welcome from another Calvinist (well T-U-_-I-P… I hold limited attainment not limited atonement).

    Often it is easier to get control of an entity than it is to manage it afterwards.

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  32. Marie: I don’t agree with churches not being upfront about their affiliation. It doesn’t have to be the name of the church, but it should be mentioned in the website and not be totally unmentioned in the church.

    There are 3 Summit churches in my area of SW Florida and one of them is on the campus of Florida Gulf Coast University. Their program for the university students is called “Ignite” and the list of books for discipleship making is here:

    https://static1.squarespace.com/static/53a1ee4ae4b0d840eaf14b11/t/56f149fa8a65e2a8f7899d67/1458653690994/Appendix+D+%28Book+List%29.pdf

    Recommended Reading includes John Piper, Tim Keller, David Platt, Eric Metaxas,Ken Sande and others.

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  33. Bart: I don’t trust these guys (and I believe the Bible teaches the doctrine of Election – which I suppose makes me a “Calvinist” of sorts) I prefer the 5 solas to tulip (though I think tulip to be true also). I hope you all don’t have me.

    This place seems open to anyone humble enough to admit that, while we have our own beliefs, we could be wrong. What turns people off is those who claim to have all the answers and doubt the salvation of anyone who disagrees.

    I never want to dehumanize people and reduce them to simply what they believe. People are worth much more than that.

    Welcome!

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  34. Marie: I don’t agree with churches not being upfront about their affiliation. It doesn’t have to be the name of the church, but it should be mentioned in the website and not be totally unmentioned in the church.

    A young reformed pastor at an SBC church plant near me did an amazing thing! On his church sign, under the cool church name he decided on, he but “A Reformed Southern Baptist Church.” He then posted what “Reformed” meant on the church website “Beliefs” page, along with a clear affiliation with the SBC on the website’s “About” page. While I don’t agree with the young man’s theology, I sure appreciate his integrity to be open and honest about his theological leaning. Just tell me who you are … you will always know who I am!

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  35. AnObserver: you need to remember to use “Gospel” as an adjective at least a few times

    And don’t forget to be gospel-centered this and that. Gospel-centered preaching, gospel-centered parenting, gospel-centered dating, gospel-centered coffee, etc.

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  36. Lea:
    Apparently Mohler was on about how they need godly men at seminary so his daughters will have someone to marry *alltheeyerolls*

    Or maybe that was someone at the mike? Trying to read sarah smith’s live tweets. Mohler said seminaries are the best place to get married.

    I think women here might have stuff to say about that.

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  37. Lea: Mohler said seminaries are the best place to get married.

    Depends on the seminary, I guess. Certainly not SBTS! You would end up with one of those complementarian guys who would subordinate the life out of you.

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  38. Max: Reckon which seminary ‘godly’ young men go to these days?

    I know some that went recently to Southern BTS, Mid-West BTS, NO BTS, SW BTS, DTS, WTS. These are godly young men whom I have worked with in a church setting.

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  39. Dave Ramsey Dave Ramsey Dave Ramsey Dave Ramsey Dave Ramsey Dave Ramsey Dave Ramsey Dave Ramsey Dave Ramsey Dave Ramsey Dave Ramsey Dave Ramsey Dave Ramsey Dave Ramsey Dave Ramsey Dave Ramsey Dave Ramsey

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  40. Max: They justify their stealth and deception for the good of the reformed cause, to restore the “gospel” that everyone has lost … they alone possess truth, you know.

    So did the Communists and Objectivists.

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  41. Max: And don’t forget to be gospel-centered this and that.Gospel-centered preaching, gospel-centered parenting, gospel-centered dating, gospel-centered coffee, etc.

    Thirty years ago in all the Calvary Chapel clones, the overused buzzwords were “SCRIPTURE” and “SCRIPTURAL”.

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  42. drstevej,

    These Neo-Cals had better learn all they can about STEWARDSHIP (which Dave Ramsey is currently discussing on stage at the SBC gathering) and teach their younger congregants because when they run off all the older church members who have been contributing to their churches FOR DECADES, somebody’s gonna have to pay the bills to keep doors open.

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  43. drstevej,

    Good to hear. The YRR taking over churches in my area would not be characterized as “godly” young men … they have lied their ways into pulpits … they are downright mean … some of them are SBC seminary graduates.

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  44. Deb: somebody’s gonna have to pay the bills to keep doors open

    Some young reformers lied their way into control of a traditional SBC church near me. After recruiting enough like-minded reformed members, the YRR pastor succeeded in passing a vote on elder-rule governance. Long-established members kicked and screamed a bit before starting a new church across town. The reformers ended up with the church, but not enough tithing units to pay the bills. They cut back on meetings there to reduce electric demand. But, by golly, they accomplished their mission … they Calvinized a non-Calvinist church; I bet they really feel good about that.

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  45. Deb:
    drstevej,

    These Neo-Cals had better learn all they can about STEWARDSHIP (which Dave Ramsey is currently discussing on stage at the SBC gathering) and teach their younger congregants because when they run off all the older church members who have been contributing to their churches FOR DECADES, somebody’s gonna have to pay the bills to keep doors open.

    That’s definitely true. Anyone who looks at church giving should know that.

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  46. Max: And don’t forget to be gospel-centered this and that.Gospel-centered preaching, gospel-centered parenting, gospel-centered dating, gospel-centered coffee, etc.

    I wouldn’t mind that so much if they hadn’t changed the definition of “the Gospel”.

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  47. So if you are a Calvinist and you believe we are all God’s creation then you must also believe God created millions if not billions of us to burn in hell. In a nutshell is this what a Calvinist believes?

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  48. Deb,

    Agree. That’s probably the reason for the Dave Ramsey dominance at the convention including giving materials to teach Financial Peace to the delegates. Ramsey’s materials are good, IMO. Our church has taught the seminar a number of times.

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  49. drstevej,

    Dave Ramsey is an annoying mix of excellence and arrogance. I listened to his radio show years ago when it was called, “The Money Game”. At that time, he wasn’t that far removed from having lost everything. As the show progressed, the compassion in his voice began to fade. He became more harsh and demanding with the ladies whose husbands were not heeding his channelled advice. He also talked more about how his hard work entitled him to frivolous irems. He talked more rigidly about church government and tithing. I seriously doubt that he’s submitted to anyone in years. It’s no surprise that he now runs with this crowd.

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  50. Deb:
    drstevej,

    These Neo-Cals had better learn all they can about STEWARDSHIP (which Dave Ramsey is currently discussing on stage at the SBC gathering) and teach their younger congregants because when they run off all the older church members who have been contributing to their churches FOR DECADES, somebody’s gonna have to pay the bills to keep doors open.

    Not to mention all of the grunt work that has to be done to keep a church (both the building and the people) functioning well.

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  51. Our prediction is that the Southern Baptist Convention will be barely recognizable to most Southern Baptists in very short order…

    I respectfully disagree. The SBC has a great reputation for doing opposing things at the same convention. J.D. has just had to put out his first “apologetic” tweet for having Pence speak, (which the convention went wild over) while passing a resolution supporting immigrants. Some folks wanted to reinstate Patterson as President Emeritus of SWBTS. If the smaller, more fundamentalist crowd feels threatened, the will bring the buses in mass!

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  52. truthseeker00,

    This is almost literally what happened to the church I grew up in my whole life. The church elders decided that it would be better to “merge” with the young, hip, SBC church from downtown, than to keep searching for a pastor. They convinced a majority of the membership, and now when I run into one of them in town they have this look of regret. My wife and I left the church we had called home for decades. The hardest thing we ever did. The older generation there has said that they’re trying to “wait and see”. Many have said that they just don’t want to have to start completely over, and are reluctantly staying put.

    I don’t understand what draws people to these types of pastors.

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  53. I’m becoming confused by this discussion topic. The SBC has a long standing problem with racism and sexism. I understand this brand of YRR seems to cling to an extreme complementarianism which certainly contributes to the abuse that is permitted to take place. However, I don’t think this is a neo-cal issue. The “traditional” free will baptist churches are not exempt. They all try to protect the institution and their little fiefdoms above all else.

    The Calvinism rants feel like strawmen and move us beyond the focus of this sight.

    Christ and him crucified. Protect the most vulnerable among us regardless of how it could destroy the institution.

    The thing that disqualifies the SBC as a church that I would ever attend again is the fact that they included the Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem as a part of their program. Including Mike Pence as a part of the conference is beyond ridiculous too.

    And inerrancy. That’s hard to stomach too.

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  54. What Happened: Dave Ramsey is an annoying mix of excellence and arrogance. I listened to his radio show years ago when it was called, “The Money Game”. At that time, he wasn’t that far removed from having lost everything. As the show progressed, the compassion in his voice began to fade. He became more harsh and demanding with the ladies whose husbands were not heeding his channelled advice.

    Spies, Cash, and Fear: Inside Christian Money Guru Dave Ramsey’s Social Media Witch Hunt
    https://www.thedailybeast.com/spies-cash-and-fear-inside-christian-money-guru-dave-ramseys-social-media-witch-hunt

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  55. It is the deceptive element that I find so disconcerting. Few even knew the Summit was a Southern Baptist Church because it worked against the image they were projecting. Don’t want to be associated with them. Now that he is President – the Southern Baptist Convention is great.

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  56. Brent Detwiler:
    It is the deceptive element that I find so disconcerting.Few even knew the Summit was a Southern Baptist Church because it worked against the image they were projecting.Don’t want to be associated with them.Now that he is President – the Southern Baptist Convention is great.

    These people are snakes. Actually, that’s very unfair to snakes.

    They are deceitful usurpers, who will do anything just to gain power and money. It is a travesty, and has nothing to do with Christianity, though it disgraces the name.

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  57. Brent Detwiler,

    Just as deceptive as what Mahaney did changing the soteriology of churches in Sovereign Grace Ministries.

    Oh, that’s right. Great is a fan of Mahaney, featuring two of his books on his recommended reading list. Birds of a feather…

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  58. Good post and I am enjoying the comments….. I agree with Bart above. As a Calvinist myself I cringe at some of what is going on. It is worth saying that the fundamentalists can also dish it out and I have been on the receiving end of it myself. The abuses are not limited to any one group for sure.

    Perhaps some can elaborate on what their issue with Pence is? He seems like a good man and I am glad he is in the current admin..

    I know little about JD Greer so I am hoping he can bring some positive change. I do agree that this looks like a coup for the side that I admittedly belong to…. but when you lead an organization you need to serve everyone. Perhaps JD will not be a divisive figure. I hope he has a genuine heart for people.

    On the subject of infiltrating churches….. I had this idea years ago. That is the flaw with congregationalism! You can attend a church, make friends, invite your friends, get voted on the board, and then after a few years get your friends onto the board. Presto! You get a free building. This can be done by hand picking five families to start attending your “target” with you. If the Baptist churches were run by a non-Calvinist board, they could prevent this. It is no different than buying tons of stock in a company you really want to run. They are corporate raiders! I do not like the deception involved but God will judge them for this. Nor do I think God is pleased with “kicking people to the curb”. Deb and Dee see right through this strategy and I am glad it is being brought to light.

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  59. George,

    Great comment, and I appreciate your honesty. We’re not against all those who are Reformed, just the Neo-Cals who are using deception to gain control. I, for one, plan to expose them even more in the months to come.

    Anyone want to share their experiences in a guest post? Just shoot me an email.

    deb@thewartburgwatch.com

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  60. Brent Detwiler:
    It is the deceptive element that I find so disconcerting.Few even knew the Summit was a Southern Baptist Church because it worked against the image they were projecting.Don’t want to be associated with them.Now that he is President – the Southern Baptist Convention is great.

    I wonder if any more YRR pastors will follow JD’s lead and “come out of the closet”?

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  61. What Happened: Dave Ramsey is an annoying mix of excellence and arrogance.

    The basic ideas of low debt are good but nothing revolutionary. What he’s good at is giving it a biblical gloss.

    But man, try arguing with his followers that one piece of his advice might not be universal and it’s like arguing with a cult member. Weird stuff.

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  62. drstevej:
    Deb,

    Agree. That’s probably the reason for the Dave Ramsey dominance at the convention including giving materials to teach Financial Peace to the delegates. Ramsey’s materials are good, IMO. Our church has taught the seminar a number of times.

    Another reason, if I’m remembering right (we went through his Financial Peace seminar at the SBC church where our children went to Awana), is that he is a strong advocate for tithing. Please correct me if I am remembering this wrong, as it was more than a decade ago that we went through his class.

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  63. Deb:

    That was a great article!

    I’m glad you enjoyed it. I just found their site today.

    I’m still skimming over various posts on their site.

    Here’s one quote from another page at their site, which made me laugh, because I’ve been saying the same thing about complementarians the last couple years on this blog, and at Julie Anne’s:

    There are considerably more representations of women at Ark Encounter, most notably in the ark’s “living quarters,” where the wives of Noah and his sons are given names, ethnicities, and hobbies (as none of this is in the Bible, the degree of “artistic license” taken by folks committed to biblical inerrancy is breathtaking).

    Source:
    “Free to be Feminist?”
    https://rightingamerica.net/free-to-be-feminist/

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  64. What Happened:
    drstevej,

    Dave Ramsey is an annoying mix of excellence and arrogance.I listened to his radio show years ago when it was called, “The Money Game”.At that time, he wasn’t that far removed from having lost everything.As the show progressed, the compassion in his voice began to fade.He became more harsh and demanding with the ladies whose husbands were not heeding his channelled advice.He also talked more about how his hard work entitled him to frivolous irems.He talked more rigidly about church government and tithing.I seriously doubt that he’s submitted to anyone in years.It’s no surprise that he now runs with this crowd.

    There have also been reports that he is harsh and abusive to his employees.

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  65. refugee,

    I think you are correct about his emphasis on tithing. One place where he differs from other financial advisors.

    I disagree with many of his opinions, but it’s not a bad place to start if you are in debt. It’s just that people take his words as gospel and they aren’t.

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  66. Nancy2(aka Kevlar): I wonder if any more YRR pastors will follow JD’s lead and “come out of the closet”?

    We saw the same thing with Highpoint and boy, some of Highpoint’s members were livid on Twitter that they were a Baptist church. Particularly because apparently Chris Conlee was stating from the pulpit they were nondenominational. They hurried to quit the SBC fast after that came out, simply because of the rage of their own people.

    My former church was also not openly SBC, though most people here would recognize the pastor as being SBC. I remember being in a Sunday School class or group and somebody mentioned us being Baptist (could have been me, don’t remember exactly), and one person got very mad and insisted it was a lie. Their website does say they are SBC, and the pastor did mention once attending the convention, but in the seven years I went there, once was I think all I heard it mentioned. I guess people don’t read the website. Maybe they just aren’t really paying attention at all, I don’t know.

    I do think churches have to be careful not to be intentionally deceptive, though I’ve seen a good amount of intentional deception explained away in my time as a Christian.

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  67. George: but when you lead an organization you need to serve everyone.

    In SBC life is that the president is a key part of the selection process determing who gets on the various boards. The problem has been that past presidents have ONLY provided access to people who share their agenda. There is no concept of coalition… winner takes the spoils.

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  68. DEAR WARTBURGERS,

    By coincidence, Roebuck asked me a couple of questions upstream that I have been asking myself this week as I’ve reflected on a long Christian journey and the state-of-the-SBC. They were: (1) Do you no longer consider yourself Southern Baptist? (2) How do you think of yourself, as a Christian?

    Well, I have been both Christian and Southern Baptist for 60+ years. That journey began when I knelt at an altar in a small-town SBC church to accept Christ into my life. I heard Truth and responded to it by my own free will. I experienced what is referred to as being born-again.

    I haven’t always been Christlike in my long life and have spent lots of hours weeping and repenting of sin along the way. I have been a long-time Bible teacher and occasional lay preacher in SBC churches. I have complemented my wife’s spiritual gifts as we’ve endeavored together in the Great Commission given to all believers. My daughter, a talented musician, has been an SBC worship leader. My son-in-law, SBC seminary-trained, has served faithfully as a pastor in rural SBC churches. I have relatives who have served on foreign fields as SBC missionaries. We would all be characterized as “traditional” Southern Baptists, whosoever-will-may-come folks, non-Calvinist in belief and practice. When I signed on as an SBC member, that’s all there was! And I was OK with it, because I was one of those whosoever-will guys who heard the message of Christ for ALL people and received it gladly.

    Turn the clock forward six decades. Southern Baptists are struggling to find a new identity. The denomination is clearly trending toward Calvinism, a theology that most of Christendom just doesn’t accept and certainly not the belief system millions of Southern Baptists like me signed up for over the last 150 years. Well, that was then; it’s now that we face. My wife and I have grown weary with SBC battles – it seems that Southern Baptists are always fighting about something. My daughter, son-in-law and family made a difficult and heart-wrenching decision to drop out of SBC earlier this year. My relatives no longer serve as SBC missionaries. The SBC is changing; a generational shift in theology and ecclesiology now controls the wheel. The election of J.D. Greear at SBC-Dallas sends a message loud and clear across the SBC landscape that New Calvinism will become the denominational default within a few years.

    Folks, I have been a reluctant participant in the blogosphere, thinking I could make a difference in the proliferation of New Calvinism in SBC ranks and perhaps help others who were struggling with these things. I’m an old guy who just needs to move on now. Kicking against the goads at this point would be a futile exercise. My blogosphere input on New Calvinism ceases today. For everything, there is a season – my wrestling with the new reformers is over (unless I encounter them face-to-face, rather than cyberspace).

    “Do you no longer consider yourself Southern Baptist?” No, Roebuck, I don’t. With much agony, I officially quit those ranks this week.

    “How do you think of yourself, as a Christian?” Well, Roebuck, if you are asking what affiliation I now have with religious institutions, I guess I would say I’m a “Done” … done with institutional church right now, but not done with Jesus. My wife and I will now seek the Lord on His next assignment for us. If you are asking what I think about myself generally as a “Christian”, I suppose I have done the best I could to honor and serve Christ for these past 60+ years. I have failed Him at points along the way, but felt His hand raising me up again. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still. I will go until He comes for me.

    WARTBURGERS: I love you all. You may be a motley crew, but you are precious in His sight. We’ve not always agreed on things, but I’ve learned new perspectives from our disagreements. I treasure the fellowship we’ve had along the way.

    DEEBS: Thank you for your endeavors to use TWW to speak for those who have been abused and to flag issues of serious concern for believers in the 21st century church. It is a work that is pleasing to God. May he continue to give you strength and wisdom in the days ahead.

    P.S. I “might” become an infrequent TWW troll … and I “might” provide occasional half-wit and wisdom on matters other than New Calvinism (I’m done with that thing!). My wife just reminded me that with my spare time now, I need to clean out the backyard shed.

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  69. drstevej: Ramsey’s materials are good, IMO. Our church has taught the seminar a number of times.

    I had a few issues with his/her presentation. They go after credit of any kind as would a died in the wool SBCer after alcohol. Plus he picks up the tithe portion of the OT as if it was spoken by Jesus in the Gospels.

    Plus a church some of us were considering for a month or so started a DR sermon series and basically turned it into a prosperity gospel with a guarantee. Do “this” and money will magically appear in your accounts. If not we’ll refund all the giving you’ve done during the series “no questions asked”. Our last time at that church. 🙁

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  70. Max,

    Thanks so much for your thoughtful commentary. If you don’t mind, I may include it in an upcoming post soon. I mention you often to my husband. Your comments have always been SPOT ON!

    Praying for your peace in leaving the SBC behind. For now, I plan to stay and fight with my keyboard strokes.

    Please keep in touch either via comments or an email.

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  71. Ray Wickham: Some folks wanted to reinstate Patterson as President Emeritus of SWBTS.

    The report of how PP interacted with the board at the seminary put a quiet to most of that talk fairly quickly.

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  72. Deb:
    refugee,

    Same stuff was presented by Ramsey at the SBC gathering.

    *sigh* We could have put all our kids through good colleges and had something left over for a retirement account, if we hadn’t tithed to our abusive church for two decades.

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  73. Max,

    Max,
    Blessings to you and yours. You have brought much good food for thought in your comments, and your heart for the Lord has always been evident.

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  74. Deb,

    Feel free to use my comment if you think it would be helpful. I will continue to do what I can on a local basis. The New Calvinists have come in like a flood … if the Southern Baptist pew across America really wanted to raise up a standard against it, they would have done so by now. I suppose the masses are uninformed or misinformed, but many I know are just willingly ignorant while theology drifts and ecclesiology shifts around them.

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  75. Thank you, Max, for your clear and heartfelt explanation of your situation. I have always valued your posts here, felt a kindred spirit in fact, and your walk in Christ has been evident to me, and an encouragement to me. Again, thank you.

    Yes, kicking against the goads gets very tiresome. At some point a simple following of The Way gets subsumed in church politics. I know that you will continue to be an inspiration and encouragement to all you meet along the way. I know you don’t make this move lightly, but I strongly believe you have done the right thing.

    I hope you will still comment here. You don’t have to be a combatant in any kind of church wars, but I for one have really grown from your simple but profound observations. So clear. I need simple and clear sometimes.

    Again, I know this kind of decision is not easy, or a casual thing for you, but I hope you are at peace with it. As you have helped me to internalize, it’s the Church, not some church, that matters in the end.

    All best to you, my friend, and Brother in Christ!

    Sincerely,

    Steve (roebuck)

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  76. Max,

    Max, we need you here at TWW. With all of this branding going on, we need your straight talk and Scripture quotes, your guidance and encouragement. Your teaching, experience, Bible knowledge, and walk with the Holy Spirit are like gold here. Ever grateful for what you share. We may not be an important entity, like the SBC, but we highly value what you share. God bless.

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  77. Max,

    I managed to write my reply without actually ‘replying’, so it won’t have your name link at the top. Look a post or two above and you’ll see it…

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  78. Max, I hope you do “occasionally troll” the Wartburgers! I’ve always enjoyed your comments and your deep heart for the church and people. Enjoy your “retirement” but don’t be a stranger!

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  79. Max: if the Southern Baptist pew across America really wanted to raise up a standard against it, they would have done so by now.

    They may have bills to pay, children to feed, and a roof needing repair. Personally, I believe there will be an exodus if it is not already happening. Most people are not agitators but many eventually figure things out. At the heart of it, what does a family do instead of the traditional SBC routine? Big decision. Takes time. Most people have internet access. That dynamic changes the picture.

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  80. NC Now: Plus a church some of us were considering for a month or so started a DR sermon series and basically turned it into a prosperity gospel with a guarantee. Do “this” and money will magically appear in your accounts.

    I almost said I got that vibe too but I haven’t done the program itself, so I’m glad you mentioned it.

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  81. deb:
    Max,

    Take a break to refresh yourself, but please come back! You are a voice crying in the wilderness.

    Ah, ‘Vox clamantis in deserto’ – the Dartmouth College motto. My partner, her father, her sisters, a couple of neices, and so forth, are all Dartmouth alums.

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  82. Resolutions aren’t the same thing as revolution. The [Southern Baptist] denomination remains firmly committed to a “complementarian” approach to gender roles, for example, meaning that it believes women are unfit to lead churches.

    When I tuned in briefly to a presentation Wednesday morning by a Baptist seminary head, his assertion that “we’re not going to have a female as a preaching professor, that’s just not going to happen” drew sustained applause.

    But it’s still significant that the SBC is being forced to grapple publicly with sexual abuse, domestic violence, and misogyny.

    The seminary head only made his comment in the first place because a woman in the audience has asked about how he was working to develop female leadership in his institution.

    Source:

    https://slate.com/human-interest/2018/06/mike-pence-gave-a-trump-stump-speech-to-a-crowd-of-southern-baptists-and-it-didnt-go-over-very-well.html

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  83. Lea: I almost said I got that vibe too but I haven’t done the program itself, so I’m glad you mentioned it.

    To be honest I have no idea if this was a part of the official program or just local spin.

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  84. Bill:
    So if you are a Calvinist and you believe we are all God’s creation then you must also believe God created millions if not billions of us to burn in hell. In a nutshell is this what a Calvinist believes?

    I’m afraid it’s considerably worse that that. Historically, Calvinists have tended to affirm that the sight of the sufferings of the damned will increase the blessedness of the elect. I think that this attitude goes all the way back to Tertullian, who was eager to see his enemies suffer in endless torment. Welcome to Latin tradition christianity.

    I noted in a previous comment thread that when one combines monergism/predestinarianism with infernalism, one arrives at something quite grotesque. I used to be able to put up with it (some of Piper’s writings helped to anesthetize the conscience), but it has gotten harder in recent years.

    For many or most, the flaw in this conjunction is reckoned to be in the concept of monergism and its implication of predestinarianism; God doesn’t predestine to endless suffering, He simply respects the free wills of those who reject Him, and is bound by His moral character to inflict endless punishment. As DB Hart shows in his “God, Creation and Evil: the moral implications of creatio ex nihilo”, this isn’t as tidy a solution as it appears. My suspicion is that the flaw is in infernalism.

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  85. Max,

    Come back and visit often, my brother.
    I’ve traveled a similar path. …… Saved and baptized in 1976 …..l have experienced the changes, from the female point of view, of course. I haven’t pulled my membership yet, but I may before the end of this year.

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  86. Max,

    I hope you keep commenting here. There are plenty of non-SBC topics where we will be needing your perspective.

    I quit my SBC church a few weeks ago, not because they have gone full YRR but because it became clear that this is where it is headed. I simply could not keep going against the flow there.

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  87. Samuel Conner: Calvinists have tended to affirm that the sight of the sufferings of the damned will increase the blessedness of the elect.

    Here is a sample from Tim Challies:
    https://www.challies.com/articles/can-we-enjoy-heaven-knowing-loved-ones-are-in-hell/

    “once sin is removed from my life… and I love the Lord my God with all of my heart and all of my soul in undiluted perfection, my compassion, my love, my concern will be much more for the vindication of God’s holiness than for a corrupt fallen kinsmen of mine.”

    There are many more examples available, but this is sufficient. It’s pretty disguating to read.

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  88. Lea: Or maybe that was someone at the mike? Trying to read sarah smith’s live tweets. Mohler said seminaries are the best place to get married.

    I think women here might have stuff to say about that.

    Ugh, really? I am sure there are decent seminary guys, but far too many of them remind me of the Commanders in Gilead (Handmaid’s Tale). They have doctrines and they’re going to stick to them, no matter how much it harms people.

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  89. drstevej: I like inerrancy. God breathed and He does not have halitosis.

    Sorry, but this annoys me because it’s a glib toss-off of the problems with inerrancy.

    When did God place the inerrancy in the writings (not calling them scriptures here)? Was it when the writers were looking for the particular turn of phrase? When they wrote it down on the parchment or papyrus? Or when they dictated it to their scribes? When the scribes copied over the second, third, fourth generation copies and they accumulated errors?

    And when can we say that they were flatly WRONG about what they wrote? For example, slavery is very much a part of the writings but we may not realize it because the translations tend to minimize that “servant” actually means “slave” and yes, Paul really did send Onesimus back to his owner. And how that little episode, immortalized in Philemon, was used for centuries to support chattel slavery, which is now illegal?

    When you say something is inerrant, you’re saying it’s without error. I have to wonder how much of this came over in a distorted fashion from Islam in the last few centuries. The Qur’an is held to also be without error, and not only that, some Muslims think there’s an ultimate copy of the Qur’an in paradise because it’s literally God’s Words through the angel Gabriel to Muhammad.

    When I hear someone describing the writings of the Christian Bible to be “inerrant” (or those other i words “infallible” or “inspired”), I cringe. Because I do know (very imperfectly) a couple other languages and I know translation is not easy. Add in that the translation is from languages that generally do not exist today to languages which did not exist when the original documents were written, and you’ve got some pretty inconceivable gaps.

    Also, as a woman, I struggle to find myself in the writings, because they seem so very male-oriented. It’s very occasionally that you hear from women. It breaks my heart when Mark 14:9 is read (“And truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached in all the world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.”) and we don’t know her name. She anointed Jesus for her death and we don’t know her name.

    Yeah, I’m feeling a bit annoyed and put out right now, because to me, the enterprise of “church” seems a long way from Jesus and doesn’t seem to have much of a place for women who didn’t follow the approved path.

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  90. Marie:
    I don’t agree with churches not being upfront about their affiliation. It doesn’t have to be the name of the church, but it should be mentioned in the website and not be totally unmentioned in the church.
    I agree. I’m uncomfortable with generic names for churches. It feels almost like lying to potential members….

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  91. Ken F (aka Tweed): Here is a sample from Tim Challies:
    https://www.challies.com/articles/can-we-enjoy-heaven-knowing-loved-ones-are-in-hell/

    There are many more examples available, but this is sufficient. It’s pretty disguating to read.

    I’m afraid that for these people, this is what the Romans 8:29 or 1 Jn 3:1-3 transformation of the believer into the likeness of Jesus amounts to.

    No weeping over Jerusalem for them.

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  92. Ken F (aka Tweed): “How do you think of yourself, as a Christian?” Well, Roebuck, if you are asking what affiliation I now have with religious institutions, I guess I would say I’m a “Done” … done with institutional church right now, but not done with Jesus.

    This brief quote might also be a glimpse into the thinking (or rationalizations) of church leaders who suppress reports of terrible sins against members of their congregation — they have much more compassion for God’s glory than they do for the suffering of a fellow human being under their “care.” The second great command is totally eclipsed by the first. IIRC, 1 Jn 4 reverses this; the evidence of our love for God is seen in how we treat others, especially fellow believers:

    Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.

    There is a lot of “form of godliness, but denial of its power”

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  93. NC Now,

    Yea ,I personally put Ramsey in the same class as televangelist. People fall all over themselves listening to these guys with their magic formulas for prosperity.

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  94. Samuel Conner: I’m afraid it’s considerably worse that that. Historically, Calvinists have tended to affirm that the sight of the sufferings of the damned will increase the blessedness of the elect. I think that this attitude goes all the way back to Tertullian, who was eager to see his enemies suffer in endless torment. Welcome to Latin tradition christianity.

    In fairness, the question of how the sufferings of the damned impinge on the blessedness of the saved is also a problem for non-calvinist infernalists, and the proposed solutions are not a whole lot more satisfactory. David Hart spends some ink on this in his “moral implications of creatio ex nihilo”.

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  95. Max,

    Max,
    I, for one, have been encouraged by your input and wisdom concerning the Neo-Cal takeovers of SBC churches. Having had a ‘hostile takeover’ almost happen at our little SBC church, I was emboldened to stand up against our former pastor’s stealth and subterfuge because of your common sense wisdom and words of encouragement. It was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do in my life, but you and many others at here at TWW caused me to realize that what was happening at our church was not an isolated or coincidental incident. The struggle is difficult and the spiritual warfare is real, but I pray God will guide you and strengthen you with renewed zeal and fervor in the coming days. As disheartening as the current series of events may be, God always leaves “7,000 men in Israel who have not bowed their knees to Baal!” Let us take courage in that.
    Blessings to you and yours.

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  96. Lea: Or maybe that was someone at the mike? Trying to read sarah smith’s live tweets. Mohler said seminaries are the best place to get married.

    I think women here might have stuff to say about that.

    I laughed at that one. There was like 15 single guys. A few were cool, but I wouldn’t have dated most of them. Most men won’t go to a SBC seminary unmarried. It’s treated like a cardinal sin to be single.

    I already had a plan for my life when I went to seminary and no man was half as attractive as going back overseas.

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  97. Max,

    I hear you. It reminds me of that poem by Shel Silverstein about the woodpecker peckin’ on a plastic tree. In fact it does not matter how good the woodpecker is, or how persistent, or how committed to the task, if the tree is plastic then it just is.

    I am sorry this has happened, and I am sorry that your family has had to take such drastic steps. Stay in touch, for our sakes if not for yours. In the very best way that southerners say this, “bless your heart”, and bless your wife and your daughter and your son-in-law and anybody else involved in this.

    Just in case you missed it, in eternity we are having a barbecue on the south lawn. See you there. Eventually.

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  98. Lea,

    Ugh, no thank you. I seriously thought about going to Southern for an MDiv when I was still an undergrad. But one day two seminary students, one from Southern, one from Southeastern, were home for the summer and were comparing their experience. They said, unaware of what I was considering, “only two types of girls get an MDiv. The ones that want to get married, and THOSE girls.” I knew exactly which one I would be, but didn’t want to be subjected to that attitude. Ironically, I never thought about seminary again until I met my husband, who was beyond thrilled to meet a girl who really liked theology.

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  99. Max,

    Happy Trails, Max!

    You are wise. It’s over. The other bad guys won because they are more clever and willing to wear new masks unashamedly. It’s a great socio/psychological lesson on group manipulation, though. If anything, we can become wiser and more independent and that counts for something. You have been a blessing to me. Now, go weed the garden! 🙂

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  100. Yup, deception, or not telling the whole true, or hiding some things for “the sake of the gospel”, is one the traits of a Christian that is all throughout scripture, and is the first “fruits of the spirit”, isn’t it???

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  101. Deb:
    drstevej,

    These Neo-Cals had better learn all they can about STEWARDSHIP (which Dave Ramsey is currently discussing on stage at the SBC gathering) and teach their younger congregants because when they run off all the older church members who have been contributing to their churches FOR DECADES, somebody’s gonna have to pay the bills to keep doors open.

    This is a huge problem and they know it. But Russ Moore has the answer.

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  102. Nancy2(aka Kevlar): Now that is the ultimate submission!!!

    Ultimate submission for me was in the English class of Dr. Annabelle Jenkins at Ga Tech (1960s). She required us men to say “Yes Ma’am” to her in class. If we forgot, she required us to say it twice or we were in trouble. I humbly complied.

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  103. drstevej,

    Nah. She’s a celebrity figurehead to fill the gender quota. I’m talking about bringing money “in”. Russ Moore is going for the UN/federal dollars that go to NGO’s such as ERLC is part. Todd has done some great research on it.

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  104. jyjames:
    Max,

    Max, we need you here at TWW. With all of this branding going on, we need your straight talk and Scripture quotes, your guidance and encouragement. Your teaching, experience, Bible knowledge, and walk with the Holy Spirit are like gold here. Ever grateful for what you share. We may not be an important entity, like the SBC, but we highly value what you share. God bless.

    This, yes this.

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  105. Deb,

    It’s the ultimate evil. The “angel of light” deception strategy. One has no chance to defend against it. By the time one realizes they were deceived, they have participated and are part of the deception. That was me in the mega world. I can totally understand that some people look the other way. But it only perpetuates it. And it was much more healthy in the long run to just admit that I was stupid, fell for the totalitarian niceness and deal with that honestly. Embarrassing? Yes. Expensive lesson? Yes.

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  106. Preacher’s Wife: They said, unaware of what I was considering, “only two types of girls get an MDiv. The ones that want to get married, and THOSE girls.”

    Ugh.

    There may be a lot of nice men at conservative seminary, but man the stories I’m reading tell me that I am perfectly happy to have attended a completely secular institution.

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  107. drstevej: Ultimate submission for me was in the English class of Dr. Annabelle Jenkins at Ga Tech (1960s). She required us men to say “Yes Ma’am” to her in class. If we forgot, she required us to say it twice or we were in trouble. I humbly complied.

    Why on earth did she have to require it? Southern men have always known how to say yes ma’am to women; it is only good manners. Hrumpfh.

    Also they know when and how to address or refer to a woman as Miss Susie rather than simply Susie. I think this is a cultural residual of the older language use of the formal vs the familiar forms of address that some other languages have. For example: when I filled in the info papers at the church, name and address and such, they wanted ‘title’ meaning Mr/Mrs/Dr etc. They also said what do you want to be called. So I filled in ‘Dr. Surname’ and asked to be called ‘Given Name’. Father S calls me ‘Ms Given Name’. Old South Carolina boy there who knows his manners.

    How quaint? How stuffy? How silly? Who cares. It shows respect, and it is as good a hobby as any. But it sure has nothing to do with skinny jeans and skin ink; just saying.

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  108. okrapod,

    I grew up saying yes Ma’am and yes Sir to my parents out of respect (and Southern custom).

    English profs at Ga Tech were a strange breed. You could not major in English so these profs taught only basic classes.

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  109. Headless Unicorn Guy: Max: They justify their stealth and deception for the good of the reformed cause, to restore the “gospel” that everyone has lost … they alone possess truth, you know.

    So did the Communists and Objectivists.

    . . ., the company to which they belong.

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  110. Max,

    Of course, you are free to do whatever. And a break can be refreshing. But I hope you troll and comment more than you expect [like I do!] You have a valuable perspective.

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  111. Max,

    I’m so sorry to see you go Max. I still think you should stay – here and in the SBC – to proclaim the Gospel offer and to encourage others.

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  112. Nick: I don’t understand what draws people to these types of pastors.

    I am very sorry.

    In my opinion, initially the Calvinists do not show their true colors. They love bomb the members, winning their trust, and only then do they subtly shift the meaning of the gospel; usually so subtly, most only feel a vague discomfort now and then, for which they blame themselves.

    I have been in a few of these circles over the years, and it seems to me that the key tool used by false teachers is the promise of ‘The Solution’. Whatever it is that you fear, or most want to avoid, they proffer the real ‘solution’. If you conform your marriage and family to their system, you will avoid divorce. If you homeschool your kids, you will avoid rebellion and unwed pregnancy. If you kowtow to the church discipline theory, you will keep the church ‘safe’. It really is the same principle used my most politicians – feed and play upon peoples’ fears.

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  113. Max,

    I appreciate your comments, from a fellow believer. I too have been witness to this Calvinist Takeover of Christianity, although for not quite as long as you.

    I too wonder what God wants from us, who have seen this thing for what it is. I used to think the goal was to ‘save’ The Church. Increasingly, I have begun to suspect that God desires to save his children from The Church. Perhaps those with experience, who have survived the corrupting of the gospel without renouncing the true gospel, still have work to do. I am thankful that you have family that understand and support you. Some don’t have that, and find it impossible to fully walk away.

    I pray for your peace and that God will continue to use you to build up and bless others.

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  114. Max: P.S. I “might” become an infrequent TWW troll … and I “might” provide occasional half-wit and wisdom on matters other than New Calvinism (I’m done with that thing!). My wife just reminded me that with my spare time now, I need to clean out the backyard shed.

    Max, please don’t leave! Years ago I quit referring to myself as SBC, but belong to a church that cooperates with both SBC and CBF. If it were strictly SBC, I would move elsewhere–maybe across the street and worship with the Methodists!

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  115. Samuel Conner: My suspicion is that the flaw is in infernalism.

    My suspicion as well, though I have not had time to do a study in this area yet. I have heard, and shrugged off, the comments through the years from those who reject infernalism as a man-made concept introduced by The Church for fear-based control. Now I see what they mean.

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  116. truthseeker00: The Church. Increasingly, I have begun to suspect that God desires to save his children from The Church.

    I recently ran across the idea that Zion and Babylon symbolize two sets of values. Zion represents the presence of God, relationship, and sacrificial service. Babylon represents the institution, with power, control, and hierarchy. In this view, the problem is not the “church” as much as it is which system the church pursues. The kings get drunk on Babylon, while Babylon gets drunk on the blood of the saints. Many churches are pursuing Babylon, with the expected results. This is an interesting idea, but I cannot find much written about it. It could be that God wants to save us from the institution.

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  117. Deb,

    Deb, I think that a distinction between Neo-Cals and Calvin and reformed needs to be made. If I recall correctly J.D. Grear didn’t list Calvin’s Institutes on his recommended reading list. Most neo-cals read someone else’s interpretation of Calvin or Edwards etc. For instance, in neo-cal circles Piper is viewed as a Jonathan Edwards scholar, but in the mainstream academic circles Piper’s books on Edwards are castigated and ignored because he isn’t an Edwards scholar. (He probably doesn’t really understand Edwards.) Calvin wrote his institutes to the King of France to defend protestantism, specifically to show how the reformed Protestants held to the Apostle’s creed. How many neo-cal churches recite the Apostle’s Creed (or Nicene Creed) in their Sunday services. I suspect if Calvin were alive today his practice or religion would look more like Post Vatican II Roman Catholicism than TGC or 9Marks.

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  118. Max,

    Well—whenever you are done with the backyard shed, we hope you come back to share your thoughts. We’ve really enjoyed hearing your perspective here. It would be a major loss if you decided to move on.

    By the way, many of us here have faith in the southern Baptists folks—faith that they won’t just take this sitting down. No matter how hard someone tries to take over their demonization, the reality is that people aren’t going to just allow Calvinism to be shoved down their throat. Most likely they will vote with their feet until the Calivinists realize that the sovereignty of God won’t allow them to take what many other people have spent years building.

    I remember reading a quote by Sam Walton that went something like this:
    The only boss is the customer. And he can fire everyone in the company from the chairman on down simply by taking his money somewhere else.

    I have a feeling that these southern Baptists are much tougher than people think.

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  119. drJ: I suspect if Calvin were alive today his practice or religion would look more like Post Vatican II Roman Catholicism than TGC or 9Marks.

    I recall reading a thread on a theology blog where they were discussing what would happen if Calvin showed up today… Would he be a Calvinist? Would he agree with TULIP? It was interesting that there was disagreement over this.

    So, if Calvin showed up today, what church would go to? An SBC neo-cal church where they talk about TULIP, but dunk adults instead of sprinkling infants? Probably not. Calvin was not a big fan of the Anabaptists of his time, to put it lightly.

    A pastor friend of mine was always leaning Calvinistic, and at some point he finished his education and went full “black coffee” Calvinist. And to his credit, he left the independent church he was leading, and became a Presbyterian.

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  120. drJ: I suspect if Calvin were alive today his practice or religion would look more like Post Vatican II Roman Catholicism than TGC or 9Marks.

    A couple of days ago the morning devotion on a site which sends me stuff was a quote form St Fancis de Sales. Part of the quote, the thing when he mentioned suffering sounded a lot like John Piper, only a lot better. St. Francis de Sales was the Roman Catholic bishop of Geneva not too long after Calvin. So I thought, hmmm. I wonder if there was some cross-breeding there between calvinistic ideas (assuming that Piper was anywhere in the ball park with that) and Roman Catholic thinking. Except, of course, that de Sales was actually thinking wheras….

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  121. Max,

    Max, I do hope that you come back to TWW occasionally. Your comments are valuable. As for me, I am just a simple old physicist. John 3:16 is about my limit in theology.

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  122. I am speaking as somewhat of an outsider. I am a member of a Southern Baptist Church. But I do not consider myself Southern Baptist.
    Was everything going along just perfect before these neo-Cals came and took over worming there way into the Southern Baptist churches? I don’t think so. At least that isn’t what I saw. Lots of dying churches in this town is what I saw. Lots of gray haired congregants with not a lot of young people. I don’t mean to be too critical of the older members. I love the older members of my church. They are very sweet, seasoned saints who teach me a whole lot about life and faith. They hold on to there faith through many hard knocks of life. A real example of true faith. I admire them.
    But can we be honest. Maybe it is just my experience and that is not the experience of the Southern Baptist Churches as a whole. But it appears to me one of the reason that the neo-Cals were so successful in the take over, if that is in fact what happened, is because there were a lot of dying churches. At least that is what I saw here. There were big roles that they had. Lots of “members” on the roles. Very few who attended regularly or in fact the people who ran the churches and those who attended regularly didn’t even know who the “members” were who were on the roles and not attending. So for what ever reason the faith wasn’t passed on to the next generation that I could see any way. Not all by any stretch. There were also a lot of “members” that didn’t appear to be believers at all, if you think that regular attendance is a mark of a believer. There were some problems.

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  123. okrapod: I thought, hmmm. I wonder if there was some cross-breeding there between calvinistic ideas (assuming that Piper was anywhere in the ball park with that) and Roman Catholic thinking.

    The original reformers could not help but be heavily influenced by catholic thinking, im sure. Luther was a priest of course. But that is an interesting link you noted between calvin and his local bishop.

    Of course, ‘what would X think now’ is a fun mental exercise but pretty much impossible to know. We are all influence so much by modernity, and by what we know of history.

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  124. Ken F (aka Tweed): Here is a sample from Tim Challies:
    https://www.challies.com/articles/can-we-enjoy-heaven-knowing-loved-ones-are-in-hell/

    “once sin is removed from my life… and I love the Lord my God with all of my heart and all of my soul in undiluted perfection, my compassion, my love, my concern will be much more for the vindication of God’s holiness than for a corrupt fallen kinsmen of mine.”

    There are many more examples available, but this is sufficient. It’s pretty disguating to read.

    This seems to be a regular thing throughout the centuries, from Tertullian to today’s theologians. “…love and pity for hell’s occupants will not enter our hearts.” (J.I. Packer in Christianity Today, 2002)

    That’s so amazingly cruel, I’d rather go to hell than endorse a god who would take love and pity from people.

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  125. truthseeker00: In my opinion, initially the Calvinists do not show their true colors. They love bomb the members, winning their trust, and only then do they subtly shift the meaning of the gospel; usually so subtly, most only feel a vague discomfort now and then, for which they blame themselves.

    “Over a paven plain that seemed unending
    They passed unfaltering till it found an end
    In one long shallow step; and these descending
    Fared forth anew as long away to wend.

    “I thought they travelled for a thousand years;
    And at the end was nothing for them all,
    For all that splendour of sceptres and of spears,
    But a new step, another easy fall.

    “The smile of stone seemed but a little less,
    The load of silver but a little more:
    And ever was that terraced wilderness
    And falling plain paved like a palace floor.

    “Rust red as gore crawled on their arms of might
    And on their faces wrinkles and not scars:
    Till the dream suddenly ended; noise and light
    Loosened the tyranny of the tropic stars.

    “But over them like a subterranean sun
    I saw the sign of all the fiends that fell;
    And a wild voice cried “Hasten and be done,
    Is there no steepness in the stairs of hell?”
    — G.K.Chesterton, “Nightmare” (excerpt), 1922

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  126. Lea: But that is an interesting link you noted between calvin and his local bishop.

    Not his local bishop. De Sales was born a few years after Calvin died. Same location.

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  127. Deb: I have heard Greear recommend reading The Institutes in one of his sermons.

    OMG. I read The Institutes for “light reading” when I was in law school, because I was crazy. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone unless they have a background in the history of early Protestantism and Catholicism at the time of the Reformation. And, nope, I didn’t have either of those things in my background, so The Institutes didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.

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  128. Lydia: Deb,
    It’s the ultimate evil. The “angel of light” deception strategy. One has no chance to defend against it. By the time one realizes they were deceived, they have participated and are part of the deception.

    Like the folk-magic tradition Manly Wade Wellman used in much of his supernatural fiction:

    If you participate – even passively/unknowingly – in a black magickal working, you have given the black magick power over you. Many of the sorcerous villains in these stories use the “angel of light” (or at least “angel of benign”) deception strategy to trick their followers/marks into unknowing participation. (Conversely, mental reservations or doubts can prevent such participation in attendees/viewers.)

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  129. Lydia: Muslin, fka Dee Holmes,
    Here is a real life Handmaidens tale. It’s not Christian based, though.

    Sounds as much like the unholy spawn of Gorian fanboys and online Incels as it does Handmaid’s Tale.

    BRANDING THE CULT FOUNDER’S INITIALS ON THE WOMAN’S CROTCH? REALLY?

    Article Excerpt:
    Led by Keith Raniere, NXIVM has been accused of vile crimes within a sub-sorority known as “Dominus Obsequious Sororium,” which loosely translates to “master over slave women.”

    The indictment against Mack and Raniere charge the leader and his second in command with sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy, and forced labor conspiracy.

    And here is the Wikipedia page on the cult:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NXIVM
    MLM pyramid scheme, a lot like a crossbreed of Amway and Scientology (Celebrity spokeshole and all) with an acronym for a name.

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  130. Ken A: So for what ever reason the faith wasn’t passed on to the next generation that I could see any way.

    When I left SBC for FWB the local SBC churches (only two) right before the CR had attendance but nothing that I thought was actual substantive christianity. I had children that I did not want raised in that sort of thing.

    I have said before here that there were problems before CR, but I guess one had to be there to believe it. The churches that I knew at the time were spiritually sick but not actually dying-anemic, diluted, puny, pick a word-riddled with the shifting secular ideas of the day. Said ideas we would today be calling politically correct like let’s ignore adultery, let’s say that Jesus did not heal the sick much less raise the dead, and let’s coexist rather than dig in and declare the essentiality of Jesus. And for goodness sake let’s not get our lives in shape because that would be ‘works’ and stay away from the charismatic movement because that is ‘crazy’ and quit taking things too seriously because that would be ‘fundamentalist’ and ‘judge not’ and in sex ed let’s tell the kids not just the facts but overlook it when they turn it into a lab course. But hey isn’t it all fun now that we are free from old ideas and restrictive ‘laws’.

    And I said no. Just no. We are out of here. Then came the CR, except I did not know it since we were off the beaten path in a small town, so we never went back to SBC. And thus we were delivered from the soon to follow neo-Cal disaster. But I absolutely do see why people took up with the CR. That would be those who felt like I did but who stayed with SBC none the less and welcomed reform. And the next generation of SBC kids grew up with it. Back to the bible sounded good. Who knew in the beginning what some folks were planning to do with the bible once they went back to it.

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  131. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes: When you say something is inerrant, you’re saying it’s without error. I have to wonder how much of this came over in a distorted fashion from Islam in the last few centuries. The Qur’an is held to also be without error, and not only that, some Muslims think there’s an ultimate copy of the Qur’an in paradise because it’s literally God’s Words through the angel Gabriel to Muhammad.

    i.e. The Islamic equivalent of “KJV 1611 ONLY!” Christians.

    I’ve heard it said that “Calvin Islamized the Reformation”.
    Today his More-Calvinist-than-Calvin spiritual descendants have ISISed it.

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  132. Samuel Conner: I’m afraid it’s considerably worse that that. Historically, Calvinists have tended to affirm that the sight of the sufferings of the damned will increase the blessedness of the elect.

    This actually has a name: THE ABOMINABLE FANCY.

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  133. Dave Ramsey has for years pushed the idea of tithing 10% of one’s gross income, something Larry Burkett did for years before his passing. It’s one of the things that eventually turned me off of Ramsey.

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  134. Max: “Do you no longer consider yourself Southern Baptist?” No, Roebuck, I don’t. With much agony, I officially quit those ranks this week.

    Joining your relatives in the Walk Away from Omelas.

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  135. NJ: Dave Ramsey has for years pushed the idea of tithing 10% of one’s gross income

    Yes! I forgot about that part.

    Mostly I stopped following him on facebook because he was yammering about how spouses MUST have joint bank accounts, yadayadayada. And it was every other post for a while – completely irrelevant to me. And then his followers, if you tried to talk about doing some sort of value analysis on a new cheap car verses an older expensive car, would just flip out and repeat what dave said. Used cars only. No math allowed, I guess. Meh.

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  136. ishy: We saw the same thing with Highpoint and boy, some of Highpoint’s members were livid on Twitter that they were a Baptist church. Particularly because apparently Chris Conlee was stating from the pulpit they were nondenominational.

    Joke from the Eighties, a phone-in to Rich Buhler’s talk show:

    “We were Nondenominational — you know, Baptist with the labels painted out?”

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  137. Lea:
    Headless Unicorn Guy,

    I’ve seen this referenced before and I’m always stumped at Allison Mack – the actress? Yes. Crazy!

    Scientology already snapped up Tom Cruise and John Travolta; NXIVM had to settle for what was left.

    also Big Name Celebrities.

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  138. Daisy, thank you for that link to rightingamerica.net. I’m still going through the archives. They’ve got some interesting stuff on both feminism and creationism as they relate to evangelicalism. I am especially intrigued by evangelical arguments against women’s rights as well as old earth/old universe creationism, and how those arguments have changed over time. If their positions are rock solid, why change the given rationales?

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  139. Muslin fka Deana Holmes: That’s so amazingly cruel, I’d rather go to hell than endorse a god who would take love and pity from people.

    Theirs is a cruel and petulant god.
    How can you expect anything different in the way of attributes, mores, and deeds?

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  140. Lea,

    If you read a lot of Reformation era secular history it becomes more clear that not only was it more political than spiritual but they believed early on they were Reforming the RCC. Luther’s 95 Theses are mostly about indulgences. Of course, back then, the doctrinal was wrapped up in law and politics. It’s interesting and you are right, people tend to try and understand it from a modern perspective. That’s why Neo Cal movements concern me. It’s regressive. There isn’t really a good fit for what we understand as individual liberty.

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  141. Ken A,

    All I can say is it seemed there was REAL church autonomy back then. It wasn’t top down as it is today. The local associations could kick out churches but I never heard of it happening. Pastors were seen more as employees than god’s. There were a few large church powerful pastors but they pretty much just ruled their own roost. And large back then meant 600 people. Lol. It’s the authoritarian control and constant social engineering into private lives that blows my mind, now. I can’t figure out if we became dumber as a people and need a guru or if it’s just a celebrity culture thing?

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  142. Muff Potter: Muslin fka Deana Holmes: That’s so amazingly cruel, I’d rather go to hell than endorse a god who would take love and pity from people.

    Theirs is a cruel and petulant god.
    How can you expect anything different in the way of attributes, mores, and deeds?

    And the Predestined Elect long to become as Godly as their god.

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  143. Lydia,

    Luther’s 95 Theses were a pastoral response to the hawking of indulgences by Tetzel (with the approval of the Pope) whose sales pitch (when paraphrased into English) read: “When the coin in the coffer rings; a soul from purgatory springs.”

    I toured Luther’s House in Wittenburg and they have a preserved copy of Tetzel’s pitch (in German). The jingle rhymes “geflingen” and “gespringen.”

    Luther’s Theses were posted as an invitation to academic, theological debate but were taken and reprinted on a local press and distributed far and wide.

    (One of the first tweets to go viral).

    “The advent of printing was an important pre-condition for the Protestant Reformation… At the same time, however, the new medium also acted as a precipitant. It provided the “stroke of magic” by which an obscure theologian in Wittenberg managed to shake Saint Peter’s throne.”

    source: Elizabeth Eisenstein, “The Advent of Printing and the Protestant Revolt: A New Approach to
    the Disruption of Western Christendom,” in Transition and Revolution, ed. by Robert M.
    Kingdon (Minneapolis, Minn.: Burgess Publishing Co., 1974),

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  144. Headless Unicorn Guy: This actually has a name: THE ABOMINABLE FANCY.

    I did not know it had a name. Searching on the name of it makes it so much easier to find quotes. This is what the YRR’s “homeboy” has to say about it:

    Jonathan Edwards

    “The sight of hell torments will exalt the happiness of the saints forever. Can the believing father in Heaven be happy with his unbelieving children in Hell? I tell you, yea! Such will be his sense of justice that it will increase rather than diminish his bliss.”
    [“The Eternity of Hell Torments” (Sermon), April 1739 & Discourses on Various Important Subjects, 1738]

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  145. Max: Oh yeah!As soon as you get the Tweet, get your behinds out of the coffee shop and back to the convention center to vote for Greear!!

    For you traditional non-Calvinist Southern Baptists, it’s best to put your behind in your past.This ain’t your grandma’s SBC any longer.The youth department is now in charge!

    Pew sitters barely go like they used to years ago. It’s mostly church staffers and insider pastor yes people. I wonder if all the denominational entity employees represent their churches and vote. The Neo Cal/SJW wing is adamantly opposed to localized online voting. (like groups meeting at their local association or convention office is watching the streamline and voting). So it’s become sort of entrenched establishment elite bureaucrats like it is in DC.

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  146. Muslin fka Deana Holmes: This seems to be a regular thing throughout the centuries, from Tertullian to today’s theologians. “…love and pity for hell’s occupants will not enter our hearts.” (J.I. Packer in Christianity Today, 2002)

    That’s so amazingly cruel, I’d rather go to hell than endorse a god who would take love and pity from people.

    I dunno. I have mixed feelings. My father was an abusive psychopath who loved getting people to pity him even as he beat my mom and abused me. He died in good standing in his ACNA church. He was also in good standing with Dr. Kim Riddlebarger’s church before he moved out of the area. He had an arrest record for what he’s done to my mom, and people pitied *him*, including his church. He slandered me and my mom in multiple churches and destroyed our reputations. He left us to go homeless when I was 19. My mom is disabled. He got away with all of it. No true remorse. He’s committed adultery, the works. Total sex addict. No church ever cared. If caught, he pulled out the pity card.

    To the end, he never truly apologized to me or my mother. He wrote emotionally abusive letters to us every year until his death. Letters that contained blanket apologies meant to manipulate us, but no specific events or behaviors for which he was sorry. And in the same letter, while pretending to be nice and gracious to us, using personal information against us as a dagger to drive into the heart and twist. The old line from him, “I’m proud of you, but you’re still not good enough because you’re not married, or you don’t have a house, or fill in the blank, and you need me to fix up your wretched life.”

    I tried to plead with him years ago by mail, as a last letter to him, to repent for real. Instead he played the victim and he and his entire family whined about how mean and unforgiving I was to go no contact, after years of taking more and more financial and emotional abuse from him.

    He had his chance. If he’s in hell, it’s not for lack of warning or pleading with him. On the one hand, I don’t relish a creature’s suffering. For example, I hate and fear cockroaches, but even I can pity them and their pain when their squished or exterminated. On the other hand, what sort of creature is someone like my father? Is he even human anymore? He seemed up to the end hard-hearted towards evil. Why would that change just because he died? He received so much grace and so many chances, and yet he spat in the face of all of it repeatedly, and harmed me and my mother up to the end. His lack of apology when he died abused me all over again, one last time.

    There is a part of me that hopes no one will pity him any longer. He has had so much pity and so many free passes. He could have murdered us in the middle of church, and he’d somehow manage to get everyone to pity him and blame us for it.

    It wouldn’t be justice if everyone (including God) just kept pitying him. Why can’t I or my mom have pity? Why are we so undeserving of it after all we’ve been through? When is it our turn? I don’t want him to fry per se. I just want him far, far away from me, so that I don’t have to be around him ever again. And I want public vindication from all the slander. I want him exposed for what he did to us. Whatever happens in the afterlife, I don’t want him pitied *even more*.

    You say you’d rather go to hell than endorse a god who would take love and pity from people. But I’d say it’s a living hell already to think that God and everyone else loves and pities a psychopath who has had so many chances and so much pity already. Because “love” and pity for them comes at the expense of their victims. I’ve never received such love from anyone in my life that my psychopath father has received. I get no free passes. I can go die in a gutter for all anyone at various churches or on my father’s side of the family cares. My father has been coddled so much already. Why can’t people pity the victims of the evil people, instead of pitying evil people who dug it for themselves and who wouldn’t turn back from their evil ways even though some people pleaded with them?

    I hope that perspective makes sense.

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  147. Ken A:
    Was everything going along just perfect before these neo-Cals came and took over worming there way into the Southern Baptist churches? I don’t think so.

    As a woman, I was treated a whole lot better by the traditional Baptists than the New Calvinists. Paige Patterson himself told me that he was thrilled to see a female missionary. The change from Patterson to Akin in one year was quite dramatic in the way that other male students felt like they could treat women. Though Akin now is playing a big “we respect women here” tune, that was not how it was that first year.

    I do not think the traditional complementarian Baptists were “good” about the way they treated women. But they did treat me better than the New Cals.

    It was not until I came to an egalitarian church that I finally felt like I was treated like a whole person, though.

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  148. Clockwork Angel: Why can’t people pity the victims of the evil people, instead of pitying evil people

    I don’t know. Many people have tried to explain the reasons but I think it mostly comes down to it just being easier. They don’t ask as much of them.

    And if you feel pity for cockroaches, especially the flying ones, you are a better person than most. I’m glad you’re here.

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  149. ishy: It was not until I came to an egalitarian church that I finally felt like I was treated like a whole person, though.

    I was never treated terribly anywhere, but yes. It makes a huge, huge difference to be in an egalitarian church. I will never go backwards on this.

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  150. Clockwork Angel,

    Totally understand your comment! In fact, I got to the point that when ignorant people told me to pity, forgive and pray for the evil sociopathic narcissistic people I knew for a fact harmed others, I just considered them part of the problem and knew to avoid them like the plague. I can’t change them. First of all, few people at church (including pastors) understand forgiveness. What is forgiveness if there is no acknowledgement of the wrongs done. Right? Pretend it’s not happening? It could be walking away. Forgiveness doesn’t mean automatic Fellowship. It could even mean you don’t seek to avenge but walk away. Why is it Christians think it’s healthy to be around such toxicity to prove you are long suffering and just persecuted which is required for an extra crown or something. My fav is, “you are a sinner, too”. Sigh.

    Sociopaths are the first to use your Christianity against you. Frankly, I don’t view God as that unreasonable. I am big believer in free will. God doesn’t choose for us. We decide how we carry His image. I don’t view “being human” as an excuse to do evil to others. I think the more evil we are, the less human we are. I don’t think our existence is sin. But many do. They see all people in one big category of automatically guilty sinners. I think God values you too much (and expects you to value yourself) to expect you to continue putting up with such vile treatment.

    It’s impossible to balance justice and mercy as it is usually taught today. But I do think mercy reigns when admitting the evil and having serious remorse. Jesus preached belief AND metanoia for salvation. It is conditional and metanoia is NOT works. It’s living out the ‘new creation’. Sadly, I think most of the institutional church gets it totally backwards. One of my favorite admonitions in scripture is to be blameless which denotes actionable behavior. . It helps if you are dealing with reasonable people who understand the difference between basic disagreement and actual “actions” or deeds. That is getting rare these days, too. You have lived a horror. Or what I call a “black OP” because it was someone else’s alternative reality you were sucked into.

    I pray for you a long life of peace and truth.

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  151. Lydia: Muslin, fka Dee Holmes,

    Here is a real life Handmaidens tale. It’s not Christian based, though.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.thedailybeast.com/ex-nxivm-sex-cult-member-reveals-allison-macks-role-in-gruesome-branding-ceremony

    Yeah, I’ve been keeping up with NXIVM. I am STILL shocked the feds have gone after him and Allison Mack. This isn’t the usual sex trafficking case. I was pleased to see that NXIVM is suspending itself for the time being, presumably because the judge was unwilling to let him go even with $10 million in bail on the table*. Kind of hard to run your upstate cult when the cult leader is locked up in a Brooklyn jail.

    *The fact that Raniere was holed up in Mexico before his arrest and swiftly deported by the Federales probably played into the judge’s decision to keep him locked up. He has the ability to get out of the country if he wanted.

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  152. Lydia,

    I will have to take your word for it. I couldn’t know how it was before the CR as to local church autonomy. I am not of the opinion now that the denomination has much to do with the church that I belong to now. We support the cooperative program and contribute to Lottie Moon. They don’t have any effect on us other than that, that I am aware of. I support the IMB. I don’t really like the rest of the SBC. It has no effect on my life.

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  153. Headless Unicorn Guy: This actually has a name: THE ABOMINABLE FANCY.

    What an appropriate name!

    I’ve been thinking for a number of years that churches need a way to screen for (“for” as in “to detect in order to exclude”) sociopathic traits in candidates for church office. The “abominable fancy” might just do the job.

    As part of the character and qualifications examination for appointment to any church office, require of the candidate a detailed explanation of how in eternity the redeemed will regard the sufferings of the damned.

    Any candidate who can do this without visible evidence of anguish (or, worse, with evidence of satisfaction) probably is profoundly deficient in empathy, which is one of the two distinguishing traits of sociopathy. Disqualify such candidates.

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  154. refugee: Then there was the commenter who equates racism with supporting homosexuality and women as senior pastors…

    I will have to look for that.

    I thought this was an interesting juxtaposition in the actual statement:
    “The basis of MY decision, however, arises out of something that I hope unites us all.

    Last Fall our board initiated a review of the seminary’s financial condition.”

    (I know he goes on to say other stuff, not just about finances)

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  155. Lea: I don’t know. Many people have tried to explain the reasons but I think it mostly comes down to it just being easier. They don’t ask as much of them.

    And if you feel pity for cockroaches, especially the flying ones, you are a better person than most. I’m glad you’re here.

    Because successful malignant sociopaths have a superpower:
    The Mutant Ability to Induce Guilt & Pity.

    It’s like a Magick spell. Let the Sorcerer say certain words, make certain gestures, and they all fall on their bellies before him.

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  156. refugee,

    Just saw it!

    From the comments: “that puts these people in the same category as churches supporting women senior pastors, homosexuality, and racism.”

    *One of these things is not like the others…* (actually they are completely different)

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  157. Ken A,

    He is Calvinist, though he claims to be a four-point Calvinist. Mohler would have never put him there if he wasn’t Calvinist and that was a huge issue when he was appointed to SEBTS. He acted quite a bit more New Cal early in SEBTS’ years, and I’ve heard he is more balanced now, but he is still a Calvinist. And no one could be appointed chancellor to an SBC seminary unless they were a strong complementarian.

    https://founders.org/2006/03/06/danny-akin-on-southern-baptists-and-calvinism/

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  158. Clockwork Angel: I hope that perspective makes sense.

    It does make sense.
    And you raise some good points.

    The only thing I could say in response is that I hope that the Almighty will take an enlightened approach in ensuring that such people can never hurt another living thing again.

    Beyond that, I could never endorse horrific medieval torments (which was the original context of Muslin’s comment) for evil doers, my conscience won’t let me.

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  159. Lea:
    refugee,

    Just saw it!

    From the comments: “that puts these people in the same category as churches supporting women senior pastors, homosexuality, and racism.”

    *One of these things is not like the others…* (actually they are completely different.

    Note the invocation of Teh Fag Card in the comment.

    “Homosexuality — just the mention of the word is sufficient to induce — PANIC!”
    — paraphrase of a narration scene from Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

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  160. ishy: He acted quite a bit more New Cal early in SEBTS’ years, and I’ve heard he is more balanced now…

    Mellowing with age is a common pattern.
    Wisdom eventually displaces TRVTH!!!!!(TM).
    Remember “My Back Pages” by Bob Dylan?

    …but he is still a Calvinist. And no one could be appointed chancellor to an SBC seminary unless they were a strong complementarian.

    Ideologically Pure True Believer.
    Only when you have been completely broken to The System will you be promoted within The System.

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  161. Drstevej,

    I had a cousin that tried everything to get out of having to do, so get a letter from her dentist, three different doctors, and actually went to a psychiatrist and got a letter trying to get relief, but alas to graduate she finally put on her big girls pants and did it….

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  162. drstevej,

    The story I was told was way back in the day there was a graduate of Tech that was an absolute genius, I mean an Einstein genius, but as crazy as it is to believe, he didn’t know how to swim, and drown a couple years after he got out of Tech. The powers that be said it would never happen again to a Tech grad.

    They were doing some renovations for the athletes and they dug up the original pool, that it all started in not long ago..

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  163. Benn,

    I googled this…

    If you wanted to learn how to survive in the water, Georgia Tech had just the course for you. From 1940 until 1987, drownproofing, a method for surviving in the water for long periods of time, was a required course for Georgia Tech students. Coach Freddy Lanoue, who taught the class until the mid-1960s, developed the drownproofing technique in response to events happening in the world at that time. He indicated that more navy sailors had drowned during World War II than were killed by artillery fire because they could not survive in the water for long periods of time if their ship was sunk.

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  164. I hope the following comment/question isn’t too far off course, but it may illustrate the way the SBC is to function going forward.

    First, does anyone else know details, other than those that are publicly available, about the Raleigh White situation in Georgia. The church was kicked out of the convention for alleged racist behavior toward a church that was sharing their building. Read two or three articles to get the PR version of the story.

    Here’s my loose analysis of the situation.

    1. I have attempted to find fellowship in at least ten Southern Baptist churches since marrying my beautifully brown wife. She generally just wants to hear a message of hope, sing songs of hope, interact with friendly people for a few minutes, and have the pastor say a kind word to her on the way out the door. Programming is designed with her in mind. I, on the other hand, have a tendency to ignore or chalkenge the programming in an attempt to find genuine felliwship or determine if that is possible. My wife has been generally welcome, while my experience has been like that of the minority church sharing the building. We’ve experienced much rotteness in the SBC, but not racism.

    2. This seems to wreak of structural and hierarchical accountability with church discipline becoming more centralized and directed at churches themselves. I believe this represents a shift in the way SBC hierarchy wants to function and be viewed. Read Greear’s 2012 reasoning for low CP giving and you’ll see how he views his role as a leader. He makes valid points about CP expenditures to validate his own authority.

    3. The church that was alleged to have been wronged should have quietly walked away as I have done when treated this poorly. It is a network plant of Bishop A.B. Vines, the new first president of the SBC.

    4. Racism is a vulgar defilement of healthy Christian felliwship and a foul charge to make if untrue. This kind of passive aggressive behavior is so common in the church tthat the association would likely find a majority of its churches guilty under similar conditions. If your going to receive the benefit of assumed virtue, in the public square, you should be accountable for the blood of Servetus there as well.

    5. The Washington Post indicates that the initial plan was to transfer ownership of the building to the minority congregation. When ddid the offending congregation decide that they didn’t like black people.

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  165. __

    “Issuing A Wake-up Call To Da SBC, Perhaps?”

    hmmm…

    https://youtu.be/0JrlKcoD1Qw

    SKREEEEEEEEEETCH!

    Showing kind church folk what J.D. Greear apparently doesn’t want them to see, —a Christian church without Calvinism…

    (grin)

    Sacred 501c3 cows going, going, gone; humility’s finest, —one at a time…

    Romeo Foxtrot, shall we dance?

    hahahahahaha

    Have they forgotten the widow’s mite?

    “You nullify the word of God in favor of your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many such things…” -Jesus

    (sadface)

    Sòpy
    —-
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ZE5MXYhR4-g

    ;~)

    – –

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  166. ishy,

    It is a nice comment on Akins article. Thanks.
    I prefer particular redemption. It has a specific design. I would also say that the sacrifice of Christ is sufficient for the whole world of sinners, if they would come.
    Don’t others limit the atonement in that , if it was designed to save all, it certainly doesn’t save all?
    I always come back to the book of Acts saying over and over something like, “all who were appointed believed.”

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  167. Some important blog posts and news articles have shown up today — the day following the SBC annual meeting. Here is one of them, from newly-elected SBC President J.D. Greear. He addresses survivors, pastors, and advocates. EXCERPT:

    In recent weeks there has been an increased awareness of the church’s need to be more skilled and more aware in how we care for marriages and dating relationships where abuse is present. I know that many public figures that have spoken out have been applauded for doing so. And doubtless there are many of us—in the SBC specifically—who feel like the proactive pieces that have been written in recent weeks (to which I contributed one) are groundbreaking.

    At the same time, I have begun to hear more and more from many of my sisters in Christ (and some brothers) who have been championing this cause for much longer than a few weeks. Hearing their stories and sensing their passion, I am realizing that we need to be more humble and sober than this. Our awakening to the issue of abuse, even if just to new nuances of the issue, means that we were previously asleep. And as we struggled to learn how to care for the vulnerable well, people were suffering. The church’s clumsiness has often meant that the suffering of others was longer in duration and deeper in impact than it should have been.

    https://jdgreear.com/blog/better-late-still-late-advocating-victims-sexual-abuse/

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  168. From *Baptist Press*, ERLC: New initiatives on women, abuse, by Tom Strode. EXCERPT:

    DALLAS (BP) — Russell Moore announced new initiatives on women and abuse during the report of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission Wednesday (June 13) at the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention.

    Moore, the ERLC’s president, said the entity will convene a women’s summit as a major part of its work in the year ahead. He also told messengers the ERLC is partnering with LifeWay Research in commissioning a full-scale study on the extent of abuse in churches.

    http://www.bpnews.net/51089/erlc-new-initiatives-on-women-abuse

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  169. brad/futuristguy,

    Their response needs to be to de-center themselves from the conversation. And bring in experts who are *actually* experts, and not their friends and certainly not themselves – they dont have the qualifications, history, or experience to lead in this topic.

    The ERLC women’s summit will likely be women they are friends or close associates with, the same circle of women as usual, who most will not know anything about abuse (experientially, longevity – been processing it a long time, and/or academically). They will not seriously counter or challenge anything.

    The SBC has historically not listened to countless people, including myself, on this topic. They chose not to see or were too priveleged in the system that they didn’t have to see what was going on. This disqualifies them from leading the discussion. They don’t have the tools to know what to look for and the years of processing and discernment and for some experts – academic training – to lead this, effectively.

    J.D. almost gets it right, in seeing that he missed it and others were suffering as they saw it and were working on this for a long time but no one was listening. But his next step needs to be to de-center himself and men and women in the SBC who don’t have experience and training in abuse from the conversation.

    They also need a lot of outsiders perspective who don’t have SBC bias.

    *And* a lot of the work they are looking to do – so many have already done.

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  170. emily honey,

    Yes, I completely agree with all you’ve said in your comment. My posting the links was not an endorsement of what they’re doing. Just information that gives indicators of where they’re at — or think they’re at.

    I expect there to be intense scrutiny from secular media, some Christian news media, and survivor communities precisely because numerous prominent SBC individuals and agencies have lost trust on this and other relevant issues. If the SBC has *any* experts, they are the women and men that have been ridiculed and marginalized for years. So, if the SBC wants credibility, they need to take care of things in a completely different way. And they owe a number of people a major apology and to make things right …

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  171. emily honey,

    🙂

    Two of the five toxic church/ministry experiences I endured were in SBC churches (one of them a Nehemiah Project church plant), and I worked at Golden Gate Seminary from 1996-2007, so I have a *lot* of “thoughts” on where the SBC is at, and will likely keep tracking how this all plays out. And it looks like from today’s Twitter comments from abuse survivors, advocates, and activists that a whole lot of other people will be as well.

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  172. Max,

    Max, I cried when I read your post. I’m new to this community and didn’t grow up SBC, but two of my supporting churches back home have been taken over by stealth SBC Calvinists- which is sad and wearisome beyond words. IMHO you are the sort of disciple I think the Lord Jesus had in mind when he started his church. The kind of person I want to be- just an normal person who met Jesus and decided to really follow Him. Brother, I bless you in the name of Jesus, together with your wife, your children and all those whose lives you touch.

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  173. Ken F (aka Tweed),

    You’re on to something. After ten years of training cross cultural workers in the three areas of spiritual warfare (world, flesh, devil) I’ve learned a lot from other’s insights. Biggest revelation-“the World” (ie “human made systems in which a group of people act and think contrary to God’s character) is a huge part of the organized church worldwide. Some common worldly stuff in the American churches would include: top down CEO leadership, “bigger is better”, professional music/buildings will attract people, branding and franchising, formal education as the qualification for leadership.

    All this to say, I think you’re right. Babylon isn’t necessarily a city or place, but the systems of this world which place people in power and control over others. Same as the tower of Babel where they said, “come, let US build and tower and let US make a name for ourselves.”

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  174. While it’s no relation to J.D.’s Summit ‘Stealth Baptist’ church, the church next door to mine (and many hundreds of miles away from the J.D. Summit) is a Summit ‘Stealth Baptist’ church. The Mother Summit church that “planted” it is in a larger city about 20 minutes away. Anyhow. A couple years ago, I realized those two churches that I had assumed were non-denom were very much SBC. I had been in the Mother Summit Church for an event and looked around while I was there. Availed myself of their ‘literature’, by which I mean their Sunday bulletin, visitor information brochures, children’s ministry info, etc. it was not obviously Baptist anywhere in their information. Something made me wonder if it was Baptist. Well. You have to poke around a bit on their website, but the persistent poker can find the affiliation.

    A short time after my discovery, one of my church’s ministry staff mentioned Summit. We had a nice but very short exchange about the fact that it’s really SBC. He even said, “Most of their members don’t know they are SBC.” Indeed, he thought that a good thing. You see, he said, people have preconceived notions about denominations, so it’s a far, far better thing to not openly disclose it. Lotta people would never set foot in it if they knew it was SBC from the get-go. So it was a good, good thing, indeed. I asked why it was NOT a good thing to openly disclose denominational affiliation. Wouldn’t people feel they were being intentionally fooled when they found out? Not at all. Well, maybe some of the ol–uhh, that is, oldER people like me might, but young people like him don’t want to be hassled with that. They would rather not know. They want to join a church because they just like it. Never mind denominational ties or obligations. Not important. Only ol–ahem, that is, oldER folks like me care about that stuff.

    So there you go. His 3.5 decades of wisdom schooled my 5.5 decades of ignorant, archaic notions about truth and disclosure. The young-uns prefer to enjoy their ignorance. Silly me. Wallowing in truthful details, openness, honesty,

    And the ministry staff member? He eventually left our staff and our church. While I miss various positive things that he brought to our church body, I don’t at all miss his attitude of ‘I’m a young, hip dude, got my degree in church ministry, and you need to pay close attention so you too can become, well, not young–way too late for that–but enlightened.’

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  175. GMFS

    So, on the train just now. There’s rain forecast this morning; with a bit of luck I’ll get to the office before it starts (25 minutes walk fae Waverley) but I’ve got full waterproofs with me as I’ll almost certainly need them coming back, thanks for listening.

    There’s one more stop between here and Edinburgh and I’m a bit concerned that the Loud Lassie may get on. Her friend is sitting at my table and there’s one empty space… she talks incessantly about the workplace. There’s a Loud Laddie too; he talks loudly on his phone throughout the journey, but he’s not here this morning. But… the loud lassie’s here.

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  176. Dear Sam,

    I’m praying for you and your family.

    Trusting you and your prayer request to Jesus. He knows what is on your heart and what you have need of.

    Trace

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  177. So, the stopping train in front of us is running to time, according to the interweb, so we shouldn’t get held up too badly into Enbruh today. There’s a generic scheduling issue here with the “express” right behind a slow train. What inevitably happens is that the express catches up with the stopping train before Linlithgow and then has to crawl along for many miles of yellow signals (technically, “cautionary aspects”). We’re in the Winchburgh Cutting the noo, with a line speed of 100 mph and we’re doing about 20. Though there’s some kind of engineering equipment by the line and this may mean there’s a temporary speed restriction of some kind.

    Trains in the UK aren’t very long by global standards; even a big freight train is around 40 wagons at the most. But trains are kept widely separated on a track because it takes them a significant distance to stop. So, as soon as a train passes a signal that signal turns to red, not turning to green until the train has passed several more signals. In effect, each train is a couple of miles long in that sense, and the faster the line speed, the more pronounced the effect because a train’s stopping distance increases with the square of speed.

    The Loud Lassie is in full flow but I’ve managed to tune her out so far.

    IHTIH

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  178. Daisy: Greear never did respond to any of my tweets to him in that thread.

    That’s one way of “dealing with” women. Stonewall.
    Can happen frequently at church, depending on the church. Women aren’t worthy.

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  179. Greear twittered several months ago about his mentor Bobby Roberson, an Independent Fundamental Baptist (IFB) preacher:

    https://twitter.com/jdgreear/status/963222675777835009

    “Bobby Roberson, beloved pastor of Gospel Light Baptist Church in Walkertown, NC, whose ministry had a big impact on me, passed away today…he planted then pastored GLBC for 60 years. That’s the way to do it.”

    https://twitter.com/jdgreear/status/964579695223336961

    “Honoring the legacy of Bobby Roberson of Gospel Light Baptist Church in Walkertown, NC, a man to whom I owe an eternal debt of gratitude…he taught me to cherish the gospel”

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  180. Ah hah. Gospel Light is just down the road from us. A friend of my daughter, who happens to be a retired nurse, went to church and school there. I have been by there but not to a worship service It is a smaller version of a larger IFB complex we have here-not another campus, just a smaller version of IFB stuff. Here they (the IFB) seem to be similar and seem to be what one would expect from IFB churches. They fill a spot for some people, but they are not for me.

    I will say this. One of the male teachers where young daughter teaches is IFB but which is in a town just a bit farther down the road from Gospel Light. He is way out there in some things, but he has the courage of a martyr and will stand up to whatever and whomever in the IFB way, which makes him a sort of hero in my eyes.

    Conclusion: IFB is a presence in this area. If Greear has been influenced by our local IFB people/person then that may contribute some to his success. The rest of us can learn from them in some aspects.

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  181. Max,

    Dear Max,

    I do so hope you will continue to write here. Although I am not really SBC, but rather a General Baptist from the UK, where the SBC does not exist, I joined an SBC church as My husband and I wanted to be Baptists. The first church we joined turned towards the NAR, the second we joined was taken over by a young pastor who went for John Macarthur’s elder led church polity, with the consequent patriarchal teaching, and so now we attend a tiny church, hoping to escape from all the shenanigans. The large mega church nearby, McLean Bible, has been taken over by the SBC with Platt at the helm.
    We, like you, are seeking the Lord daily so that we spend the remaining time we have on this earth proclaiming the Saviour and serving Him in whatever way He wills. Your experience mirrors ours and therefore all that you say is of great value to us in encouragement. You have understood the dangers of calvinism, the evil of subordinationism, and the need to leave behind an institution like the SBC which is now run by authoritarian and rigid leaders. Thomas Helwys wrote about such people!

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  182. Muslin fka Deana Holmes,

    I don’t understand this. Isn’t this making doctrine more important than a victim’s experience? Something that is often pointed out here from the other direction?

    I thought acknowledgement of a victims experience was part of “compassion” here. Do you have any idea what it is like for people who live through what CO lived through? CO tried to give us an overview and I know how hard it is to do that because people cannot understand the depths of the horror. I can’t even imagine growing up like that but I know several who have. It’s is own hell.

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  183. Pertinent to more than one idea here. J Vernon McGee is one whose radio talks came on the radio while I was sitting in the kiddie school car pickup line for years. And yes he was a Presby calvinist, but he had some good ideas. One quote from him that I found on line is that he said that God created the universe and has a plan for it. He goes on to say that you (generic) may have a better plan, but you don’t have a universe.

    Exactly. I don’t know about eternal torment or whatever, or for that matter Wright may be correct that heaven may not be a actual place either. I just don’t know. I do know that Amy-Jill Levine, an orthodox Jew teaching religion at Vanderbilt, has said that Jesus is the first one in their tradition to make a big issue of it-nobody else made much of the idea before Jesus. Yeah, well, I would add that apparently those in his audience understood what he was saying or else what was the point in the first place, so it could not have been original with Jesus.

    I am thinking that we cannot just dismiss any of the ideas out of hand unless/until we have further divine revelation on the subject.

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  184. Lydia,

    Good stuff.

    BTW I am an annihilationist. Edward Fudge has written extensively on this examining what Scripture actually says. The loss to the wicked remains but Heaven is not sullied by pleasure in their suffering.

    As far as forgiveness goes, without repentance on the part of the perpetrator, no reconciliation can take place. We ‘forgive’ by refusing to want revenge, by refusing to become like our adversary, and walking away from toxic people, leaving them the God. We are not responsible for them – we can leave them in His hands.

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  185. okrapod,

    NT Wright argues that Jesus’ “good news” was about God finally returning to Israel, in mercy and judgment, after His long absence during the exilic and intertestamental periods. It’s an explicit reference to Isaiah 52:7.

    Wright also argues, contra very common “man in the pew” conceptions, that the Christian hope is not that we “go to heaven after we die”, but that we will be raised from the dead into a new form of incorruptible embodied life, like Jesus’ resurrection body, and that we will dwell in a renewed Earth, not in a disembodied heavenly spiritual realm.

    Even Rev 21-22 sees it this way — we don’t go to heaven to be with God, rather God renews heaven and earth and then Himself comes to earth to dwell with humanity in the New Jerusalem. “Now the dwelling place of God is with men.”

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  186. refugee,

    There are many ironies at work, and the leaders of SBC institutions especially will have quite a bit of theological wrestling to do as they continue to be confronted with the practical (and harmful) implications of their beliefs. Will they do it? Remains to be seen.

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  187. okrapod,

    I have another possible ideological connection with Greear’s establishment and the local IFB or former IFB folks.

    At the local SBC mega is Gary Chapman of Love Languages fame, or naming a building after him at Moody fame, of marriage counseling long time experience, along with his wife. Gary is a long time pastor at SBC mega, one who has outlasted more than one senior pastor, and whom I believe to be the major power/influence in the preacher business at SBC mega. When Gary first came to town he did so a a teacher at the largest IFB complex around here, a place which was Piedmont Bible College at the time (IIRC) but they have enlarged and have further accreditation and just generally have upgraded. I have heard him preach, not just talk about his specialty, and he is one I would go listen to when I could because he is ‘solid’ in his doctrine in my opinion. And SBC mega practically bows before him, in ways of course which do not threaten the current pastor.

    Will Toburen was a local boy who grew up at SBC mega and was long time on the staff and who was the assumed heir to the pulpit when the long time former pastor died. I have heard him preach. Another ‘solid’ person, in my opinion. Will did not get the job, so he took the job as Executive Pastor at Summit with Greear. Will has to have been influenced by Chapman, everybody there was. I have been influenced by him even from the outlying outskirts. And some of what these guys say rather rings a bell with me as being fundified-ish but without the awful excesses of some Baptist fundamentalism.

    I have never heard Greear preach, but when he says that ‘yes’ he is SBC but ‘no’ since some things he is not into so much concerning SBC, I think–Hmmm. Where have I heard that before? Birds of a feather? And some of the feathers are very similar to IFB feathers. Not all, but some.

    Disclaimer: I have been FWB fundamentalist but not IFB. However, my daughter’s first husband was an IFB missionary kid and I got a belly full of IFB from that family. I think that Baptist fundamentalisms are a mixed bag. What?? Yeah, I do. But also I think that I tend to know it when I see it pretty much.

    Could Baptist fundamentalism influence be one missing piece of the puzzle as to what Greear thinks in some areas?

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  188. okrapod: I have never heard Greear preach, but when he says that ‘yes’ he is SBC but ‘no’ since some things he is not into so much concerning SBC, I think–Hmmm. Where have I heard that before? Birds of a feather? And some of the feathers are very similar to IFB feathers. Not all, but some.

    I did want to hear more specifics on the things he didn’t like about SBC. Interesting when you say something like that people are free to fill in the things *they* don’t like and assume you mean the same, when really you may mean something else entirely.

    Also ‘fwb’ is an acronym that means one thing to me which is doubtless not what you meant here so I had to look…free will Baptist?

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  189. Lea: Also ‘fwb’ is an acronym that means one thing to me which is doubtless not what you meant here so I had to look…free will Baptist?

    Free Will Baptist means more than one baptist denomination, whether fundamentalist of moderate. They grew out of the quarrel among early baptists about the atonement, whether it was general or particular. For whom did Jesus die, the elect only (particular) or everybody (general). They have been a small group, but they are not the only baptists who have (at least in the past) believed in general atonement.

    Translation: arminian/either moderate or conservative/ SBC used to be like that. Alas!

    Free will does not mean the individual and personal decisions about this or that concept or doctrine that people make. It means that when it comes to salvation the person has a choice to either accept or reject the offer of Christ for salvation. It does not belittle the role of grace, but it does resist the ideas of total depravity and irresistible grace. Nor does free will mean that people’s ‘will’ is not influenced by their circumstances (like maybe some jungle tribe that never heard the gospel) but it only means that when choice is an option one can choose one way or the other.

    Think SBC in my youth. Think the Methodists and the majority of Christianity, to the extent that I understand what people are saying.

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  190. Interesting discussion on annihilationism. Whenever we get on that subject, the real question becomes—Does God exist in the first place?

    There’s only two possibilities:

    Possibility #1) God doesn’t exist. If so, then we can make God in our own image. We can invent God to be whatever we want–as warm as fuzzy as we want to believe. If God doesn’t exist, then we can change God anytime we want. Because then we are in control of drawing the shape of what God is.

    Possibility #2) God does exist. Then this introduces the possibility that God can set boundaries with us that we disagree with. If God exists then He has feelings/thoughts/desires that are not necessarily the same as ours. Then it’s possible for our idea of God to be totally different from what He wants to be.

    If God exists—-then can God make choices that we disagree with?

    If God exists—-then does God automatically change His boundaries whenever we dislike them?

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  191. okrapod,

    Oop, One more thing. The issue of apostasy. Does one lose one’s freedom of choice? They say no, mostly but not exclusively based on Hebrews 6, that one can apostatize-can deny Christ. They think that all the assurances of the faithfulness of Christ toward those who believe are true, but that those promises do not prevent the person from outright apostasy if the person chooses to do that.

    In other words, they do not believe in once-saved-always-saved. They do not think that this or that sin automatically puts one in the position of an apostate-not remotely-but they do think that one maintains freedom to choose to leave from following Christ and that God lets them do that.

    This is where they differ from even the old style SBC, the issue of eternal security.

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  192. Lea: Interesting when you say something like that people are free to fill in the things *they* don’t like and assume you mean the same, when really you may mean something else entirely.

    And here you have revealed the ‘key’ to Calvinist doublespeak. Also known as lawyerese, PC talk, CYA and various other terms. John Calvin was a genius at, if not the originator of, talking out of both sides of your mouth, make everyone think you agree with them and stay clear of perjury talk. When I began reading his writings, I saw how masterful he was. You literally can make what he says mean whatever you want, depending on your definition of the words. Ring any bells? Yep, these folks even dare to offer multiple meanings to the word ‘is’.

    This is exactly what my former Calvinist pastor was so good at. Ten different people could listen to the same sermon and hear ten different things. Mohler, Piper and all the leaders of this movement have been well-trained in this ‘never let ’em know what you really think’ sort of talk. The Church is no different than any other political institution, with its powerbrokers vying for power, authority and personal benefits. All while sounding so holy.

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  193. brad/futuristguy: There are many ironies at work, and the leaders of SBC institutions especially will have quite a bit of theological wrestling to do as they continue to be confronted with the practical (and harmful) implications of their beliefs. Will they do it? Remains to be seen.

    Do you really think they intend to wrestle with their doctrine? No, they will simply tweak their language. This is the same thing we see in politics, ad nauseam. How many politicians denounce the ‘Big Government’ they each and every one support? All of them! When will we wake up to the fact that those in power will NEVER do anything but talk about limiting power? So we will get the church version of PC talk on racism, the value of women and whatever else riles the ruled. Talk, talk, talk is the closest to change one will ever see when you have hierarchical, power-based institutions, apart from the few crumbs of (often illusory) concession to appease the unruly crowds.

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  194. truthseeker00: Yep, these folks even dare to offer multiple meanings to the word ‘is’.

    One difficulty for me has been that actually there is more than one meaning for the word ‘is’ and for all his chicanery the one whom you seem to be referencing was technically correct.

    Once I set out to make a list of the different nuances of meaning for the word ‘up’ and the list not only got quite long, but also some of the meanings were almost opposite. And the synonyms, at least based on usage, can appear to be opposites. For example, a house fire may result in the house burning down and all its contents burning up. So, consumed by fire may be either up or down or both.

    Not to forget to mention the many uses of the word ‘fire’ which could mean the aforementioned house or could mean intense enthusiasm or even young love.

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  195. truthseeker00: And here you have revealed the ‘key’ to Calvinist doublespeak. Also known as lawyerese, PC talk, CYA and various other terms.

    They all do it. All Comp guys do it (equal in essence but not role). It’s not Calvinist doublespeak, it’s just plain old deception.

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  196. @emily and @truthseeker00.

    I have no huge hopes that SBC leaders will do the substantive things that need to be done. Still, this is a providential moment in which they have been called out for months in a row about a disastrous past and still disastrous present. This past week, the one blog post that most put that on display, IMO, was this one: “No More Covering Up Abuse or Covering for Abusers–a Plea for Churches,” by Sheila Gregoire.

    https://tolovehonorandvacuum.com/2018/06/sbc-and-women-for-such-a-time-as-this/

    It serves as a virtual checklist for many major instances of abusive theologies and activities from Southern Baptist leaders, some of these situations still unresolved, unrepented from, unapologized for. She’s given those who care to keep watching a list of indicators that past problems – of both traditionals and Neo-Calvinists – have been addressed.

    So, if nothing happens, nothing happens. But I do believe in the necessity of putting the spotlight on them to expose the realities of either their move toward compassion or their remaining in complacency, and remove any excuse.

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  197. okrapod: Not to forget to mention the many uses of the word ‘fire’ which could mean the aforementioned house or could mean intense enthusiasm or even young love.

    Or as a verb, “Start shooting!”

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  198. Lea: They all do it. All Comp guys do it (equal in essence but not role). It’s not Calvinist doublespeak, it’s just plain old deception.

    As cataloged by Lewis in Screwtape Letters and Orwell in “The Principles of Newspeak”.

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  199. truthseeker00: And here you have revealed the ‘key’ to Calvinist doublespeak. Also known as lawyerese, PC talk, CYA and various other terms. John Calvin was a genius at, if not the originator of, talking out of both sides of your mouth, make everyone think you agree with them and stay clear of perjury talk.

    John Calvin was trained as a lawyer; he wanted to enter the clergy, but his father forced him into an unwanted career in Law. And we’re seeing & suffering the results.

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  200. Samuel Conner: Wright also argues, contra very common “man in the pew” conceptions, that the Christian hope is not that we “go to heaven after we die”, but that we will be raised from the dead into a new form of incorruptible embodied life, like Jesus’ resurrection body, and that we will dwell in a renewed Earth, not in a disembodied heavenly spiritual realm.

    Wasn’t that the original Christian afterlife, before the “Intermediate State” (required for continuity of the individual between mortal life and Resurrected) metastasized into Fluffy Cloud Heaven?

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  201. Calvin gave strict instructions that he be buried in the common cemetery with no tombstone. He wished to give no encouragement to those who might make it a Protestant shrine. Today, his grave site is unknown.

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  202. okrapod: Pertinent to more than one idea here. J Vernon McGee is one whose radio talks came on the radio while I was sitting in the kiddie school car pickup line for years. And yes he was a Presby calvinist, but he had some good ideas. One quote from him that I found on line is that he said that God created the universe and has a plan for it. He goes on to say that you (generic) may have a better plan, but you don’t have a universe.

    That sounds like J Vernon McGee…

    Back when I was listening to Christianese AM radio in the Seventies, he was the one radio preacher who made the most sense. Not pretentious at all, just “Here I am, here’s what I’m doing”. Sometimes you wanted to shout at the radio “You’re wrong on that point, McGee!”, but you couldn’t help but like the old guy.

    To this day, when I hear “How Firm a Foundation” as a Processional hymn at St Boniface, I half expect to hear “Through the Bible, with J Vernon McGee…” coming in as a voice-over after the first verse.

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  203. Lydia:
    Muff Potter,

    Et tu, Muff? Nothing about growing up in that horror? Doctrine over person?

    Muff’s said several times that he did time in a Calvary Chapel.
    Doctrine over Person is part of the landscape there.

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  204. truthseeker00: apart from the few crumbs of (often illusory) concession to appease the unruly crowds.

    Fog machines, hip worship music teams, 27 year old ‘elders’ with the Bluto look (3-4 days without a razor?) in skinny jeans.
    Bread and circuses.
    Cash-flow wise, it’s not sustainable.

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  205. brad/futuristguy,

    They most recently treated me like a piece of dirt: the whole time I was around them, the two times I left, etc. I was and remain really damaged by them and am not so hopeful. I do hope that my lack of hope is wrong 🙂

    They are willing to deal with the Patterson camp, but not much else. Which, that, to me has appeared theo-politically advantageous for one group of the SBC and not really a true transformation of the inner heart of the SBC. Even if it might happen to lead to true transformation, it just gives me an off feeling at the moment and hasn’t and doesn’t sit and look right to me at all. I need way more convincing.

    It’s important to put a spotlight on things, I agree.

    But for them – they need to lay down the SBC and all the SBC socialization, and actually *see* and get to know the very people in front of them. They operate too much in constricting roles, caricatures of people/thoughts, authoritarianism (many of it the hyper kind), us vs them mentalities, prescripted talking points rather then free and natural dialogue, little to absolutely no vulnerability.

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  206. Headless Unicorn Guy: Wasn’t that the original Christian afterlife, before the “Intermediate State” (required for continuity of the individual between mortal life and Resurrected) metastasized into Fluffy Cloud Heaven?

    I don’t know, but since I am apparently about to find out sooner rather than later, I have my preferences. I would rather that the dead are just dead, and as someone has said that the dead do not know that they are dead, and then at some point the resurrection. That would be rather like one possible understanding of what the angelic messenger said to Daniel about ‘rest’ then resurrection. I really do not look forward to some existence of just hanging around waiting for something to happen.

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  207. Nick Bulbeck: So, as soon as a train passes a signal that signal turns to red, not turning to green until the train has passed several more signals.

    i.e. Standard block signaling.
    And even your long drag freights are around 40 “goods wagons” (“freight cars” in my North American dialect)? That explains British choice and design of locomotives, small by US standards. And your European coupler system (link-and-pin with buffers) doesn’t look like it’d take the drawbar pull of our knuckle couplers, so that’s probably a big factor.

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  208. Headless Unicorn Guy: Wasn’t that the original Christian afterlife, before the “Intermediate State” (required for continuity of the individual between mortal life and Resurrected) metastasized into Fluffy Cloud Heaven?

    Yes. NTW argues that the “metastasis”, as you put it, has had the effect of Platonizing christian eschatology. Its arguably one of the ways that the pagan Greek world influenced the early Church (and through it, the later churches down to the present). When Paul speaks of the Gospel being “foolishness to the Greeks”, it’s probably “resurrection” that he has in mind. To Greek philosophy, the world of matter was inferior to the world of spirit and no-one in his right mind, having in death been liberated from “the prison of the physical body”, would want to be returned to physical embodiment of any kind.

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  209. emily honey: brad/futuristguy,
    I highly doubt any of it will happen.
    They’re too defensive – their identities are enmeshed/conflated with “SBC” (whatever that means).

    And The System works Just Fine – for them.

    “I Got Mine,
    I Got Mine,
    I DON’T WANT A THING TO CHANGE
    NOW THAT I GOT MINE!”
    — Glenn Frey, “I Got Mine”

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  210. Samuel Conner: Yes. NTW argues that the “metastasis”, as you put it, has had the effect of Platonizing christian eschatology.

    JMJ/Christian Monist covered that exact subject (“Platonic Dualism”) a lot on his old blog and in his book Butterfiles in the Belfry, Serpents in the Cellar.

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  211. emily honey: But for them – they need to lay down the SBC and all the SBC socialization, and actually *see* and get to know the very people in front of them. They operate too much in constricting roles, caricatures of people/thoughts, authoritarianism (many of it the hyper kind), us vs them mentalities, prescripted talking points rather then free and natural dialogue, little to absolutely no vulnerability.

    What you’ve articulated in this paragraph is the core of why this is not ultimately about #MeToo/#ChurchToo or about a social justice movement — but about an entire black-or-white paradigm that leads to hierarchy and authoritarianism/submission and forms of legalism that crush the spirit. The spotlight situation is just the current potential doorway to what is truly needed, which is a paradigm shift at the deepest levels … a Spirit-induced transformation that removes all the us/them, perfectionism, and appearance of good in their veil of autonomy.

    Paradigm shifts don’t happen quickly. Nor do substantive efforts to deal with unresolved issues for the past. Even the Mennonites took a three-year period to *finally* deal with the leftover legacy of damage by John Howard Yoder, after decades of denial, deflection, and silencing of survivors. (See case study #2 in link.)

    https://futuristguysfieldguides.wordpress.com/c1-institutional-examples-of-remediation/

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  212. truthseeker00: I pity the naive SBC pew, which have no idea what’s coming.

    “It Can Happen Here” reviews 3 takes on “the pew” as it were, the ordinary folk living normal lives – some say their happiest years – during the Holocaust.

    “In their different ways, Mayer, Haffner, and Jarausch show how habituation, confusion, distraction, self-interest, fear, rationalization, and a sense of personal powerlessness make terrible things possible. They call attention to the importance of individual actions of conscience both small and large, by people who never make it into the history books.”

    The tie-in? The rise of authoritarianism, mentioned by several here on this thread.

    The ten Boom family did their part, as did Bonhoeffer. Maybe it is up to the rest of us to acknowledge women, for example, in the Church, just as the institutions in “their happiest most profitable years” progress in gas lighting and stonewalling.

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  213. Samuel Conner,

    Jesus seems to have differentiated between physical and spiritual bodies in his statement about what is sown is physical…Do you have any thoughts on that?

    From my own viewpoint I tend to see the quibble between what is a ‘bodily’ resurrection as opposed to perhaps the disciples were having either visions or mass hysteria or something to have a potential answer that what they were seeing was a ‘spiritual body’ which had different aspects and possibilities than a physical body has.

    The fact that the early church may have come to other conclusions does not carry much weight on this idea for me unless and until I get more evidence of some sort as to what a spiritual body might actually be. St. Aloyisious of the Aqueduct or such is entitled to his own opinion but he is not entitled to my opinion without adequate biblical correlation or even some scientific explanation.

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  214. okrapod:
    Samuel Conner,

    Jesus seems to have differentiated between physical and spiritual bodies in his statement about what is sown is physical…Do you have any thoughts on that?

    From my own viewpoint I tend to see the quibble between what is a ‘bodily’ resurrection as opposed to perhaps the disciples were having either visions or mass hysteria or something to have a potential answer that what they were seeing was a ‘spiritual body’ which had different aspects and possibilities than a physical body has.

    The fact that the early church may have come to other conclusions does not carry much weight on this idea for me unless and until I get more evidence of some sort as to what a spiritual body might actually be.St. Aloyisious of the Aqueduct or such is entitled to his own opinion but he is not entitled to my opinion without adequate biblical correlation or even some scientific explanation.

    I can’t do the subject justice — consider reading Wright’s “The Resurrection of the Son of God.”

    In 1 Cor 15, in his extended discussion of the resurrection, Paul makes the statement that you reference at the beginning. The specific text in question, 1 Cor 15:44 makes the contrast between the “psuchikon” body that dies and the “pneumatikon” body that is raised.
    It comes down to how you understand these two terms. See Wright for an extended discussion.

    I don’t read Greek with any facility and have to use the various props to which laymen resort at need. But I’ll note that even in the English translations, there are hints in the context that 1 Cor 15:44 is not a contrast between “material” and “non-material” bodies. In the prior verses, Paul uses as illustrations the various kinds of bodies that created things have. There are different forms of embodiment, but they are all forms of embodiment. And there is an explicit parallel in 15:42, where the contrast in between the death of the corruptible body and the resurrection of the incorruptible body. In the Gospel accounts of the Resurrection, Jesus seemed anxious to assure His frightened disciples that He was not a mere departed spirit, but in fact was “raised from the dead” into new embodiment.

    That’s probably not persuasive; much better to examine Wright’s book, which surveys 1st century ideas about afterlife in both the Jewish and Greek worlds and shows that the present-day “man in the pew” idea of spirit life after death is much more Greek than Jewish. Again, the Greeks believed in spirit survival. What they found foolish, and indeed undesirable, was the idea of returning to bodily form after having escaped it through death.

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  215. Ya’ll, Al Mohler is apparently on the Jordan Peterson Train? Is this real life?

    per twitter:
    “The Jordan Peterson event last night did not disappoint. He is a formidable public intellectual. Stay tuned to #TheBriefing and my website in coming days for a review and response”

    This guy is the most smartest Christian ever? Really? Like, really? #lowstandards

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  216. Lea: emily honey: They operate too much in constricting roles, caricatures of people/thoughts

    Yes. This is a good way to put it, they see only a caricature of real people.

    Pay your tithe.
    Volunteer when asked.
    Vote yes to leadership decisions.
    Show up and be an audience.
    Missing anything?
    Caricatures support hierarchies of authoritarians/the deciders.

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  217. Lea: This guy is the most smartest Christian ever? Really? Like, really? #lowstandards

    A friend used to say James Dobson was the smartest Christian ever as she tuned in daily.

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  218. Headless Unicorn Guy: That explains British choice and design of locomotives…

    Standard block signalling, indeed, but not everybody kens aboot it (to be fair, most people probably aren’t that interested in my railway stories either!).

    Loco size/train length is actually more subtle than that. Much of the rail network was built in the 1800’s and early 1900’s, and while the track itself has been upgraded, the routes often haven’t. This is because they have to thread their way around a relatively densely populated island, and replacing the existing route infrastructure isn’t often feasible. So the cuttings, tunnels and embankments are a certain size, meaning that the available loading gauge is smaller in Blighty and it’s not feasible to build really big locomotives. Another factor is the winding nature of many of the routes.

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  219. brad/futuristguy,

    I appreciate your work that you do. I encourage you (and others here) to keep writing and speaking in whatever ways to help bring about change. (Also, Max, please don’t leave! 🙁 )

    This is just me piggy backing off your comments and you would likely agree and have said much about this:

    It’s definitely correct paradigm shifts don’t happen quickly, this is true from an academic and intellectual perspective, and unfortunately – experientially as well. Unfortunately, I know what it *feels* like to live with that reality for years, the “it takes time”. For many people, justice never comes. At least not in their lifetime. Sometimes there is the tease or appearance of it, only to be followed by heartbreak and re-traumatization. Which is why I think a theology and philosophy of judgment and restoration, resurrection, and the ultimate paradigm shifter – Jesus – offered in Christianity, is so compelling.

    Paradigm shifts don’t happen quickly in lots of systems – family, government, church, business, etc. Sometimes it never happens. Sometimes it takes generations. Sometimes it happens in a surprisingly quick way.

    Yet even in the Yoder case there is still a lot of unresolved trauma and enablement and debate still occuring. (I’ve only very loosely followed it.)

    I think that often the paradigm shift occurs in the individual and then finding a community that has and is going in the same direction. And then that individual becomes more transformed into that new paradigm the more they engage with others who are following the paradigm shift. (I think this is ultimately what the church and the kingdom of heaven is about, here. With Jesus and the Holy Spirit being the incarnate and indwelling Paradigm Shifters themselves.)

    The dysfunctional or damaging individual or group then has to do the same if they want to truly live. They have to give up their life to find it. The SBC needs to die in a lot of ways, in order to live. Then resurrect as something else, as something new.

    I hope they do.

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  220. okrapod: Jesus seems to have differentiated between physical and spiritual bodies in his statement about what is sown is physical…

    Could it be possible for this to not be an either/or issue? Perhaps it’s something like the way Jesus is fully human and fully divine in a way that defies full explanation. Could it be that we will be resurrected into a physical body that is also spiritual, in a way that we cannot fully explain?

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  221. Samuel Conner,

    Yeah. I used to read Wright quite a bit, not the one you suggested but I did read his thing about life after life after death, but I am so burned out on Wright that I put him aside a couple of years ago. I got to where I thought he was just making stuff up as he went along perhaps to maintain his reputation as an original thinker or perhaps because his extensive output had drained him dry and he needed new ideas wherever he could find them. I am sure that is probably too harsh, but he lost me on one or more of his excursions into whoever-thought-that land.

    Some folks are now having a recurrence of the discussions as to whether there actually was a resurrection or whether the disciples were experiencing or thinking that they were experiencing something entirely different. The closest answer I have seen is the assurance by just about all that the consensus is that the disciples themselves were convinced that Jesus was resurrected.

    Beyond that it seems to be just conjecture. Most of the conjectures are so repugnant to me that I hope to hope that they are incorrect, and no doubt that is a bias which affects my thinking on the subject. Well, nothing I can do about it so time to move on.

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  222. okrapod: I really do not look forward to some existence of just hanging around waiting for something to happen.

    While I do hesitate to respond. Since I know how good you are at research and such a good thinker. Still this seems sad to me. “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord”. Don’t get me wrong. I am no looking forward to leave this earth sooner rather than later. I still have things on earth I want to do. There is a grandchild now! I want to be here with and for my family. But as I look to the next life, I look so forward to being with my Savior. He loved me when I wasn’t lovely. He paid a price I couldn’t pay. He sends the blessing every day of which, I deserve none. I want to be with Him. I don’t think it will be boring. I think I will have plenty to do there, bodily or not. I think I will be overly joyful in doing it. “Eye has not seen ear has not heard, what God has prepared for those who love him.” Humbly submitted.

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  223. So, as I’ve noticed before, ethanol is quite good for treating chronic cramp in a neck muscle.

    I should drink more of it.

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  224. okrapod,

    I got quite lost in NTW’s “Paul and the Faithfulness of God”, which is the longest and most controversial of his historical project books. I’m not convinced that he is right to read the Greek language that we are accustomed to understand as “righteousness of God” as actually referring to “covenant faithfulness of God”. OTOH, on my 2nd try (a detour from PTG by way of his commentary on Romans), I do find that his “take” on the structure and flow of this letter makes better sense to me than the conventional protestant readings. In particular, 15:8 is quite puzzling and out of the blue if the question of God’s commitment to fulfill the promises to Abraham have not been on Paul’s mind in the earlier chapters of the letter. The famous “intermission” in chapters 9-11 also fits more coherently into the letter as Paul’s meditation on how God may yet manifest covenant mercies toward Israel than as what I had previously thought was a kind of emotional outburst that didn’t really matter to the flow of the argument from chapters 5 through 15.

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  225. Lydia: Et tu, Muff? Nothing about growing up in that horror? Doctrine over person?

    I was raised Lutheran in the Southeast corner of Wisconsin. I go back far enough (as a little kid) to remember when Lutheran pastors still wore the cassock on high holy days. Back then you couldn’t tell Pastor Sorensen from Father Doyle the Jesuit on high holy days.

    In that land of ago, Church, Catholic Mass, and Shabbat for the Jews was just something you did in your respective faith community, it had its own separate sphere from the rest of everyday weekly life.

    Sure there was doctrine, but you didn’t get beat over the head with it.

    I have no lurid accounts of abuse or clergy malfeasance, if anything, I have fond childhood memories, especially Velma Albrecht’s split-pea soup at the Wednesday night soup suppers.

    So, in answer to your query, the only time I experienced doctrine over person-hood was when I was a Calvary Chapelite. The cognitive dissonance along with the endless hamster wheel of what it is to be a ‘Biblical Christian’ got to be too much and so I exited their religion. I haven’t looked back.

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  226. Nick Bulbeck: So, as I’ve noticed before, ethanol is quite good for treating chronic cramp in a neck muscle.

    I should drink more of it.

    I’m convinced that you might fancy a fine Tequila. Not the cheap swill mind you, but the good stuff distilled in the Northern Sonora of Mexico.

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  227. okrapod: Samuel Conner,
    Jesus seems to have differentiated between physical and spiritual bodies in his statement about what is sown is physical…Do you have any thoughts on that?

    All I know is that the term “spiritual body” seems to attract a lot of Woo-Woo these days, trying to explain what is probably unexplainable (at least with the minimal source material we have). Lotsa crackpots out there who’ll tell you exactly what it means.

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  228. Nick Bulbeck: ethanol is quite good for treating chronic cramp in a neck muscle.

    It’s also the active ingredient in hand sanitizer. In my view, it’s the germs that make it to the inside of the body that are the problems, not the ones on the outside. So ethanol really should be administered internally. In fact, I think I need to take a dose right now…

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  229. Headless Unicorn Guy,

    A lot of times it is other women who get in the way and block the voices of women whom the system wasn’t so kind to. It worked fine for them so there obviously isn’t really a deep problem, or they were able to rise above the problems (which isn’t true – if they truly faced and understood the problems the only holy response is to confront it head on and not enable it, so there’s no such thing as “rising above” unless you leave), and so on.

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  230. Lydia,

    That is not correct. Summit church started from a reboot of Homestead Heights church in Durham when JD returned from a two year stint overseas with the IMB.

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  231. drJ: in the mainstream academic circles Piper’s books on Edwards are castigated and ignored because he isn’t an Edwards scholar.

    I’m a little behind in the thread. In mainstream academic circles (or anything away from the sbc) Piper isn’t really considered academic. Period.

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  232. jyjames: A friend used to say James Dobson was the smartest Christian ever as she tuned in daily.

    The same Dobson who bragged about beating his little dachshund with a belt to show her who’s boss?
    If he can do that, he probably has no qualms about about tearing a nursing baby away from its mother either.

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  233. okrapod,

    J Vernon McGee at one time was a Calvinist, but as I understand reading about his life, the more he read the Bible, the more he refuted Calvinism. If you go to youtube, pull up some of his sermons and Q&A’s and you can hear it for yourself. He was a smoker and was diagnosed with cancer and dedicated the rest of his life teaching through the Bible before he died, refuting Calvinism along the way.

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  234. drJ:
    Deb,

    Deb, I think that a distinction between Neo-Cals and Calvin and reformed needs to be made.If I recall correctly J.D. Grear didn’t list Calvin’s Institutes on his recommended reading list.Most neo-cals read someone else’s interpretation of Calvin or Edwards etc.For instance, in neo-cal circles Piper is viewed as a Jonathan Edwards scholar, but in the mainstream academic circles Piper’s books on Edwards are castigated and ignored because he isn’t an Edwards scholar.(He probably doesn’t really understand Edwards.)Calvin wrote his institutes to the King of France to defend protestantism, specifically to show how the reformed Protestants held to the Apostle’s creed.How many neo-cal churches recite the Apostle’s Creed (or Nicene Creed) in their Sunday services.I suspect if Calvin were alive today his practice or religion would look more like Post Vatican II Roman Catholicism than TGC or 9Marks.

    I think you are correct in your estimation of what Calvin would resemble today.

    I see Reformed Theology as an ongoing creation. Each generation receives, interprets and passes on something of itself.

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  235. Paradigm shifts don’t happen quickly in lots of systems – family, government, church, business, etc. Sometimes it never happens. Sometimes it takes generations. Sometimes it happens in a surprisingly quick way.

    Great point here! Sort of like Malcolm Gladwell’s Tipping Point idea. When something is there for a while, but at some point it reaches into the general consciousness and then all of a sudden it’s everywhere.

    I wrote the piece that Brad referenced, and I am praying that we are in a tipping point right now. I just hope that people see that it’s more than just about abuse, but about the whole system that says that women are not even fully in God’s image, and that men “need to get them ready for heaven” or whatever.

    No, we are fully saved, fully gifted, and fully equipped.

    I think people are seeing that the way we talk about marriage, family, and abuse isn’t working. Just read Gary Thomas’ new book about it (it’s not out yet; I read an advanced copy) and it’s awesome. I believe The Tipping Point is coming!

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  236. Max,

    Max, your comments more than any others’ have taught me the most and meant the most to me, a longtime lurker. I haven’t commented much since someone else used my pseudonym, but have been wanting to thank you for some time now. You are having more of an impact on people than you know. I hope to see comments from you now and then.

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  237. Sheila Gregoire,

    Yes!

    Your blog post is spot on. Thanks for writing it. The rewriting history and rebranding the narrative will not lead to everlasting change. The questions you are asking are the very ones that need answers.

    *I guess I shouldn’t really say *never* in regard to justice coming about, as in the Chrisitian story there is “that day” we hope in. But many will never see justice over abuse or mistreatment outside of that day – which is what I was alluding to when I used the category of never.

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  238. Also there are many different views and theories on the day of judgment – and what that even means. Literal or allegorical or OT customs, and so on, etc. But regardless, in a general sense, I do have hope that in some form everything will one day come to light.

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  239. Sheila Gregoire: Paradigm shifts don’t happen quickly in lots of systems – family, government, church, business, etc. Sometimes it never happens. Sometimes it takes generations. Sometimes it happens in a surprisingly quick way.

    #1. To follow up what you said, @emily honey about paradigm shifts, and what @Sheila Gregoire said about hopefully being at a tipping point, I’d add that one of the tools I learned in strategic foresight (futuring studies) is STEEPER. This deals with the order things tend to change. Here’s a copy-and-paste section from a post on that topic.

    https://futuristguy.wordpress.com/opal-design-systems-files/opal-connection-zone/

    26. Trend-Tracking: Fads, Short-Term Trends, and Drivers of Change

    Futurists keep up with diverse aspects of societies, and especially look to discern what is changing. This is done through a technique called “environmental scanning,” which assumes that the order things tend to change in a culture can be captured by the acronym STEEPER. So, like a chain of dominoes, once a significant cultural change occurs in Society, Technology tends to follow suit. As Technology changes, that impacts the Environment, and all of the above start working themselves out in terms of changes for individuals and groups in their Existential (identity) issues. As more people’s lives are affected by what started as a social change, the last three areas to follow suit are, in this order, Politics, Education, and Religion. These final three are the most “conservative” in terms of how tenaciously they cling to the ways of the past. (Sidenote: After working at a seminary for over a decade, I have to wonder if combining Religious Education intensifies the sluggishness of transitions …)

    The trick with trend-tracking comes not so much in identifying social changes, but in discerning which are just pop culture fads (probably two years or less of social influence); which cultural trends have short-term impact (at least five to 10 years of influence); and which are “drivers” of long-term, deep-level change (50 years or more).

    This concept is especially important to us: We are smack dab in the middle of a confusing era with substantial changes globally in prevailing paradigms and contemporary cultures. This level of upheaval has happened in Western civilization only three times since the founding of classical Greek culture over 2,500 years ago. Could this mean that missional models will be “drivers” within the next primary paradigm, while emerging and multi-campus churches and church planting movements prove themselves to be mere faddish blips on the seismographs of social change? Whatever “wins” has crucial consequences for how we interact in our cultures.

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  240. brad/futuristguy,

    #2. Continuing that train of thought to tipping points and change, over 20 years ago, I ran across a quote that I can’t shake, about how deep-level change takes place — in other words, paradigm shifts. Below is the copy-and-paste of a section from a post on that.

    https://futuristguy.wordpress.com/2009/10/25/helen-haste-quote-on-generations-and-measuring-change/

    “In the long run, what counts is how the next generation thinks. How far new ideas permeate culture is not measured just by attitude change during one generation, but by what is taken for granted in the next.” ~ Helen Haste, page 149 in The Sexual Metaphor: Men, Women, and the Thinking that Makes the Difference (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1994, ISBN 0-674-80282-9)

    Ms. Haste used that statement to begin a chapter on ”The Next Generation” (i.e., the “post-feminist” generations), whose members grew up not having to fight the social and political battles of the feminist movement in the 1960s and ’70s especially, but who inherited the results of those who did. Since these younger generations of women and men live in a world that takes feminism as a given, what does that mean?

    Whether we approve the worldviews and agendas of feminism or not, if we want to understand the context of the world we now live in, we’ve got to grapple with what is really there and not just with what we believe should ideally be there. If we don’t choose to contextualize for that real world, we shouldn’t really complain when everyday people are repulsed by our presence and/or presentation. We can’t blame their responses totally on their spiritual blindness when we prove ourselves to be culturally blind, can we?

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  241. brad/futuristguy,

    #3. So … putting some of those concepts together, the big question is, “Are #MeToo and #ChurchToo ‘drivers of change,’ or just mere fads?”

    If they are drivers of change (and I suspect they are), then the underlying concepts of PARITY in the value of women and men; girls and boys; will be taken as a given in next generations. So will EQUITY in seeking dignity of individuals, and justice and fairness in society, for all.

    Why do I think these are drivers of change? I have been observing many dimensions of abuse survivor issues for over 40 years — basically my entire adult life. Much of that interest comes from being supportive of my sister’s ministries — as a theological conservative/evangelical Christian. Romae [pronounced row-MAY] began with support for domestic violence survivors in the mid-1970s. She branched out from there to sexual assault survivors, rape crisis counseling, child abuse prevention training, and more. For more historical background, see this post:

    https://futuristguy.wordpress.com/2018/04/29/domestic-violence-ministry-and-controversy-in-conservative-christianity-some-historical-context-and-perspective/

    So, #MeToo and #ChurchToo did not just show up in 2017 out of a socio-cultural vacuum. There has been a long historical arc building up to Tarana Burke instigating #MeToo 10 years ago, which served as groundwork for the social explosion that happened in the wake of revelations about Harvey Weinstein.

    The vast majority of the activist work of the last 45-50 years has been by women. Along the way, men have been adjuncts to this movement. (In terms of secular history, the so-called “first men’s movement” described pro-feminist men of the 1960s and ’70s.)

    So, back to tipping points, I believe what we’re looking for are combinations of long-term trends that build toward change, along with catalyzing events that bring the need for change into the spotlight. With #MeToo, it was a merging of feminist activism, advocacy for women survivors of abuse and violence, investigative reporting on child abuse and systemic coverup (as in the film *Spotlight*) — and then Harvey Weinstein provided a catalyzing person with a series of women sharing their personal accounts and Ronan Farrow and others with key reportage.

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  242. brad/futuristguy,

    #4. With #ChurchToo, I believe we can see the movement toward change building over decades such that, once #MeToo emerged in the national scene in 2017, it provided a natural segue for addressing publicly women who’d survived abuse, harassment, and violence in church-related settings.

    Ministry movements parallel to those in society were building as well, though religious resourcing for recovery and advocacy has often been 15 to 20 years behind those from secular sources. (And this delay reaction seems standard, that the STEEPER’s “R” for religious institutions is super-slow to change and grow.) In the era my sister began ministering, she most often worked with community groups and agencies because churches were not (yet) interested. The earliest Christian books on domestic violence were published in the early to mid-1980s.

    As best I can recall without going to do some research right now, earliest Christian books for women on recovery from sexual abuse and/or clergy sexual misconduct were showing up around that same time. For men who’d survived sexual abuse, Christian books were not much available until the early to mid-1990s, following resources coming out of the “second men’s movement” (Robert Bly/Iron John; Sam Keen/Fire in the Belly) and “third men’s movement” (Promise Keepers).

    Books on spiritual abuse recovery didn’t really get going until the early 1990s. In the internet era, connections started getting made for group-specific spiritual abuse recovery in perhaps the early to mid-2000 decade. The few more “broadband” spiritual abuse survivor blogs like Wartburg Watch, Warren Throckmorton, and Spiritual Sounding Board began emerging after mid-2000 decade. (By “broadband,” I mean addressing a range of abuse issues and survivor accounts, from multiple theologies, denominations, and movements.)

    It would be intriguing to track these various Christian abuse survivor/recovery movements that had been building separately, and see how they’ve been progressively intertwining. There have been efforts behind the scenes for at least 5 to 8 years to develop resource sites that address all of them — sexual assault and harassment, domestic violence, spiritual abuse, etc. Key dimensions that have been relatively absent from all of these are the racial diversity aspects

    And now in 2017 and 2018, we have the equivalent of an #SBCToo, as I mentioned that Sheila Gregoire had tracked the history of in her post on “No More Covering Up Abuse or Covering for Abusers–a Plea for Churches.” If you want to see the build-up in the SBC specifically, that post has the major case studies. Also check out the blog posts of Christa Brown, Wade Burleson, Ben Cross, FBCJaxWatchdog, and others who pioneered resistance against SBC leaders on these issues, as well as against misuses of power.

    So, was the push for recognition of women’s issues at this year’s SBC annual meeting an attempt to turn the SBC liberal? Make an idol out of “social justice work”?

    Or was it a recognition that the next generations see embodiment of faithful practice of biblical principles as an essential dimension of the Gospel? And also that the reputation of the SBC is now in the spotlight, and intense scrutiny is not likely to fade?

    It is intriguing that the mission statement for The Courage Conference (founded by younger generation abuse/survivor advocate Ashley Easter) says:

    The Courage Conference exists to be a refuge for survivors, a place to educate and empower advocates, and a catalyst to spark the conditions where this movement for change can become a Justice Generation that resists abuse everywhere. Now in its third year, this annual gathering of abuse survivors, advocates, and those who love them is an event that is especially poised for this moment in history.

    https://www.thecourageconference.com/our-mission

    “A Justice Generation …”

    Final thoughts: Going back to the quote from Helen Haste, it seems that biblical justice is what next generations of Christians are taking as a given, and also what non-Christian and post-Christendom next generations are taking as a given. So, if Southern Baptist Convention members expect to bring the Gospel message effectively to these next generations through evangelism, discipling, and missions, they must address what “biblical justice” really means.

    And, I would argue, how we connect with survivors are crucial dimensions of biblical justice. Unfortunately, the broader SBC’s track record on sexual abuse, harassment, and violence against women does not bode well for their praxis being all that “biblical.” What will they do, as individuals, and in every entity that is part of the Cooperative Program? It’s not just a matter of being “relevant,” but where both faith in and practice of the Gospel meet the needs of those in our churches and in our communities.

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  243. Deb,

    Wowzers, Deb … I really got on a roll there last night. As I started writing, I just kept seeing the many long-term trends and significant points in recent history coming together, and kept on going.

    This could be “the perfect storm” for creating a platform for substantive change in the long run, in both society and Church. What will the Church do about it — and especially now the SBC?

    * They are being exposed and cannot so easily escape the spotlight and go back into the dark.

    * They have many perpetrators and perpetuators of abuse in their midst whom they must deal with.

    * They have survivors whom their leaders and entities have further harmed, with whom they need to go through truth and reconciliation processes.

    * They have many women and men who attempted to be of constructive help along the way but were instead rebuked, and should now be acknowledged and publicly apologized to.

    If I had the opportunity to share one key message with newly-elected SBC president, J.D. Greear, I’d say this:

    Getting the SBC house in order is essential to your whole-Gospel-to-the-whole-world mission of this day. Otherwise, you bring people into an environment poisoned by the antithesis of the Gospel. The track record in place shows the SBC has not had the corporate will to accomplish this before (but perhaps now could), and that it cannot do this from internal resources alone (because you haven’t). I believe many survivors would assist the SBC on abuse issues, if invited. Theologically-sound pastoral and organizational equipping resources are available. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, only decide to engage the challenges of getting equipped and moving forward. Do you want our help?

    Perhaps the speech given by Mary DeMuth at the For Such A Time As This Rally will be a source of clarification and encouragement in the challenging reconstruction ahead:

    https://www.marydemuth.com/the-abused-the-church-must-do-better/

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  244. Nick Bulbeck: So the cuttings, tunnels and embankments are a certain size, meaning that the available loading gauge is smaller in Blighty and it’s not feasible to build really big locomotives. Another factor is the winding nature of many of the routes.

    So the “rolling English Drunk” not only laid out the Rolling English Road but the Rolling English Railroad?
    http://www.gkc.org.uk/gkc/books/rolling.html

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  245. Pingback: Linkathon! - Phoenix Preacher

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