“I was sexually abused by a former campus ministry leader and pastor” – Jen Willems (Tim Keller’s Redeemer and the PCA)

“I’m sharing my story to warn people and reach out to other victims.”

Jen Willems

https://publicdomainpictures.net/en/view-image.php?image=211776&picture=woman-looking-away

Woman Looking Away

Yesterday a brave woman named Jen Willems published her tragic story of being sexually abused during college by someone she should have been most able to trust – the campus ministry leader and pastor. (see screen shot below of her Facebook post).

https://www.facebook.com/jen.willems.3/posts/2561564163868998

The sexual assault took place in 2001 when she was an undergraduate at Princeton. Because Jen has given permission to share her story, we are publishing it in its entirety.

Just weeks after launching our blog over eight years ago, Dee and I began to realize that sexual abuse was a HUGE PROBLEM in Christendom. We have dedicated much of our time and energy giving a voice to victims who have been silenced.

Here is yet another account of someone who was sexually abused and subsequently silenced. Thanks to social media, victims are now able to share their horrific experiences far and wide with the click of a button. This reality is sending shivers down the spines of the spiritual elite who prior to the internet have been able to control the flow of information.

As a member of a Southern Baptist church, I recently observed my own denomination attempting to control what is being published via social media when messengers convened in Houston for their annual meeting. Here is the resolution “on Christlike communication and the use of social media” that messengers approved (see screen shots below).

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http://www.sbcannualmeeting.net/sbc18/resolutions

http://www.sbcannualmeeting.net/sbc18/resolutions

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It will be very interesting to see how Southern Baptist leaders attempt to enforce this resolution going forward. Would they come after Jen Willems for sharing her testimony via social media had she been a Southern Baptist?

It is noteworthy that the president-elect of the Southern Baptist Convention, J.D. Greear, reveres Tim Keller, who until his recent retirement was senior pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City (the church mentioned in Jen’s story).

Without further adieu, here is Jen’s testimony. Please keep this brave woman in your prayers. May she find peace in finally sharing this painful experience in a public forum.


I was sexually abused by a former campus ministry leader and pastor

JEN WILLEMS·THURSDAY, AUGUST 2, 2018

Trigger Warning: Sexual Abuse

Note: Yesterday, August 1, an email was distributed to the entire community at Redeemer Presbyterian Church and Redeemer City to City concerning the termination of one of its former pastors, David Kim. This email refers to “an individual who made serious allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct by David approximately 17 years ago, when she was a college student and David was the founding director of a campus ministry at her university.” I am that individual. In light of this email and the fact that I believe it gives an inaccurate impression of what happened, I feel compelled to share my story now.

When I was a college student at Princeton in 2001, i was sexually violated by a campus ministry leader, David Kim. I met David in fall 2000. I was a new Christian and had started attending Manna Christian Fellowship, where David was Executive Director. I met with him several times for spiritual guidance. I spring 2001, I was alone off campus working on my thesis. David showed up at the house where I was staying. He said he was going to study with me, and I believed him. However, he had other intentions.

First, he started rubbing my shoulders, but then he quickly progressed to touching all over my body, under my clothes, lying on top of me, and holding me really tight pressed up against his body. As this was happening, I went into shock and don’t remember much until the next day. My memory of what happened that night is in pieces, and a lot of pieces are blurry or blocked out. I was shocked, scared and confused. I trusted David as a spiritual leader who was teaching me about God. I never thought of him as anything else, and I couldn’t reconcile the man who many students revered with the man who was assaulting me.

The next day David asked how I felt about the previous night. I expressed distress and explicitly told him I felt uncomfortable, conflicted and confused. I described two voices in my head: one screaming at me that what he was doing was wrong and dangerous and I should run; the other telling me that David was trustworthy and wouldn’t do anything wrong. His response to my distress was: “Well, nothing happened,” and he prayed with me.

Once he knew he could do what he wanted and get away with it – he manipulated me into trusting him and not telling on him – he did what he wanted. He behaved inappropriately towards me multiple times until I graduated and moved to Texas.

This was never a consensual relationship. I was a new Christian, new to Manna, and a college student. David was a campus ministry leader and the first person who ever really taught me about God. I trusted him as a spiritual leader, and he used that position of trust to betray and abuse me.

By 2005, I had become immensely troubled by what David had done to me, and I was worried that he was doing the same thing to other girls. I sought help reporting David from a highly-respected, professional “Christian” counselor in Dallas, Daren Martin. After telling Daren about the PTSD symptoms I’d been experiencing, I told him what David had done to me. Daren’s response was: “What’s the big deal?” He said I was overreacting and that David hadn’t done anything wrong. He advised me: “Ask David if he has feelings for you.”

Since Daren was no help, I called David and confronted him by myself. His reaction was: “Who did you tell?!” I said I’d told a counselor. He freaked out and was mad that I had talked to anyone about it. All he cared about was that his secret was out. I was not at all equipped to handle confronting him by myself, and it didn’t go well, but I knew he needed to be held accountable. David reported to no one. He was the sole leader of Manna. There was no one above him for me to report him to. He was very resistant to the idea of accountability and kept making excuses. Finally, he agreed to talk to a local pastor. Our agreement, as I understood it, was that he would confess what he did to the pastor and the pastor would know what to do. A week or so later, he called and told me he had talked to the pastor. He also recommended I read a book about shame. I naively believed he had actually confessed to the pastor.

Shortly after my confrontation with David, I received a call from Daren’s office saying that he was no longer seeing clients. No explanation was given. I heard elsewhere that he had been caught sexually exploiting a client, among others. The Texas Department of State Health Services website confirms that Daren Martin surrendered his license for reasons “Related to sexual exploitation of a client.” This explains his horrendous counsel and failure to help me report David. Daren was a sex predator too.

Daren and David both gaslighted me. They both tried to manipulate me into believing that the sexual and spiritual abuse I had suffered was “nothing,” that I was overreacting, that it wasn’t even wrong. Around the same time, I disclosed that I had been sexually violated by David to three women at my church. By then, my health was rapidly failing, and I believed I had done as much as I could at the time.

In the aftermath of the abuse and my attempt to report and confront David, I struggled with a myriad of debilitating health problems: PTSD, breast cancer, Lyme disease, neuro-immune disease, migraines, chronic pain, etc. I had to withdraw from school three times and quit a job and volunteer work, all due to illness related to trauma.

In contrast, David was rewarded with increasing power and success in his ministry career. He continued in his role as Executive Director of Manna Christian Fellowship. He also became the Director of Gotham Fellowship at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC, the Executive Director of the Center for Faith and Work at Redeemer Presbyterian Church, and the Vice President of the Center for Faith and Work at Redeemer City to City. https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-kim-8135289

The recent outpouring of stories of sexual abuse and assault triggered memories of my own abuse and reminded me that there was never any justice in my case. I didn’t know what consequences, if any, David had ever faced for abusing his power and exploiting a student under his care.

I met with the pastor who David had supposedly talked to in 2005. I asked if David had ever confessed to him. He said no. However, as soon as the presbytery told David about my report in May, David immediately called the pastor and convinced him that he had met with him years ago to discuss accountability, but he never told him what he did or to whom “to protect Jen.”

On April 30, I met with two pastors from the metro New York presbytery (governing body comprised of pastors and leaders of local churches in a region) and gave them a detailed account of the abuse both in writing and via video conference. They began forming a commission – a group of all male presbytery members who have no experience or training in investigating sexual abuse allegations – to do an internal investigation involving one of their own pastors. They asked me I was willing, if they decided to have their own trial, “to testify before the commission, which would include answering questions by whoever would represent the defendant?” I told them that the process they outlined is incompatible with addressing sexual abuse allegations and would be re-traumatizing, and that I decided to go directly to Redeemer with my report instead.

On May 15, I notified the Director of HR for Redeemer Churches and Ministries and Redeemer City to City that I had been sexually violated by David Kim when I was a student and he was a campus ministry leader. Five times I requested an independent investigation by qualified investigators to determine if there were other victims. Five times they denied my request. They did not listen to my concerns. Instead they tried to control the process to protect themselves. Ultimately, Redeemer City to City quietly terminated David without informing anyone as to why. On June 6, the HR Director emailed me to say that David was no longer employed there and that “Our involvement in this matter has concluded.” I have emails documenting all my correspondence with the HR Director as well as the presbytery.

At the time Redeemer City to City (CTC) “concluded” their involvement on June 6, there was no investigation. No one notified the thousands of young adults this man has influenced in over two decades as a pastor and campus ministry leader. I questioned how many other victims there might be and how many other people have tried to report abuse at Redeemer and been treated like I was?

On July 25, I shared a short summary of my experience and concerns with a limited audience on facebook. My post quickly spread to Redeemer.

On August 1, I received a copy of an email that was distributed to the Redeemer and CTC communities indicating that they have reconsidered the way they mishandled my report. The email reveals that the individual who reported David was a female student in Manna 17 years ago. There are only a small number of people who fit that description, so I decided to identify myself and address some concerns I have with the information presented.

The email states that when CTC confronted him, “David was forthcoming and, while he disputed several specific claims, did admit to having inappropriately crossed boundaries with the college student while he was a in a position of ministerial leadership… CTC and Redeemer HR… obtained additional third-party information that corroborated David’s acknowledgement of inappropriately crossing boundaries with the student.”

I adamantly oppose the use of the phrase “inappropriately crossed boundaries” to describe what David did to me. That is a gross understatement. David targeted, groomed, assaulted, abused, gaslighted and silenced me. He used his position of spiritual authority to deceive and exploit me. And when I practically begged him to come clean in 2005, he again duped and silenced me. I assume he did not disclose his behavior to Redeemer when he was hired or to the PCA when he was ordained. He has not been “forthcoming.” His deliberate deceitfulness demonstrated over time is even more disturbing to me than the assault.

While I’m encouraged that Redeemer and CTC appear to be moving towards greater transparency and better handling of reports, I’m discouraged at how long it has taken to move in that direction. Their initial response to me was wrong. Their email did not acknowledge that. And I still wonder how many others have received similar treatment or been deterred from reporting at all over the years.

Moreover, no one has informed the Manna community, and they need to know. This happened to me when I was a student and David was a single, young man leading a campus ministry by himself with no oversight or accountability.

Churches should be safe places for victims of sexual abuse to be heard and supported. Far too often, they are the places of abuse, and they are more committed to self-protection and silencing victims than to honesty and caring for those who have been harmed. The damage this causes is immense. For me, the abuse I suffered – both initially and when I first tried to report and confront him – destroyed my health and my life. The cost to me – physically, spiritually, emotionally, financially, relationally – is immeasurable. I still struggle with PTSD from it. I am compelled to speak out because I know I’m not the only one, and other victims need to know they are not alone. #MeToo #ChurchToo


Comments

“I was sexually abused by a former campus ministry leader and pastor” – Jen Willems (Tim Keller’s Redeemer and the PCA) — 232 Comments

  1. 1st? Although it doesn’t seem to matter that much in light of the horrendous events described here.

    All I can really offer is my horror, my sorrow & my empathy toward Jen as I am also a sexual abuse survivor.

    It’s not enough; I don’t know what is enough except Jesus–the real Jesus who holds us tenderly and never condemns or rejects us…and who suffered through the same type of horrible sin and indignities that we are seeing in our world today.

    I pray for healing and loving people in your life to help you heal.

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  2. Molly245: IT’s not enough; I don’t know what is enough except Jesus–the real Jesus who holds us tenderly and never condemns or rejects us…and who suffered through the same type of horrible sin and indignities that we are seeing in our world today.

    Beautifully expressed. Thanks. Jesus is also the one who never lies, never covers up, never blames the victim and always holds the predator accountable.

    Jesus was there witnessing a young girl’s heart seeking Jesus with a fellow believer and instead experiencing the evil one via a so-called spiritual leader. Bait and switch. The spiritual leader was serving the wrong spirit, and thus misleading a child of God.

    As stated earlier: millstone, neck, deep sea. Jesus’ answer to bait and switch.

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  3. jyjames: Jesus was there witnessing a young girl’s heart seeking Jesus with a fellow believer and instead experiencing the evil one via a so-called spiritual leader. Bait and switch. The spiritual leader was serving the wrong spirit, and thus misleading a child of God.

    As stated earlier: millstone, neck, deep sea

    Yes! Milestone, deep sea….that is actually quite comforting. Thanks you jyjames!

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  4. As a pastor this brings tears to my eyes, my heart breaks over this. So wrong at so many turns!

    What a brave woman Jen is to have kept after them until they FINALLY started to acknowledge SOME (and sadly only some) of the sin.

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  5. I may know of a different case at Redeemer that has also been mishandled. I hope Jen’s story will prompt this other survivor to come forward.

    I have to say that I am so tired of these guys thinking they can have some sort of church trial with survivors: ALL MEN and one lone survivor?!?! Who does that??? This is another reason why women MUST be in leadership and be present in these kinds of situations. I highly doubt any woman in leadership would agree that this sort of meeting would be appropriate. So many men don’t get it. They need to have a woman’s perspective, and their wisdom and insight.

    Thank you, Jen, for speaking out. You will be helping countless people by telling your story. I believe you. You did the right thing.

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  6. Funny how the verses cited for resolutions in a Biblical manner are in Matthew 18 and brother-to-brother direct wrongings (with the consequences only being regarding the transgressor as a heathen or tax collector). Conspicuously absent are citations regarding the actions of civil authorities (e.g. Romans 13) and thus rendering unto Caesar that which is his.

    This site addresses scores of matters properly handled by the latter and recommends that, yet such engagement isn’t always received in a Biblical manner (e.g. Paul’s calling out Peter’s error in Galatians 2) by the brothers and sisters as it were. Yet, the resolution appears to narrow Biblical matter handling invariably through the power structure we are warned — Biblically — will contain grievous wolves not sparing the flock.

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  7. ___

    Fumbling the PCA Religious Ball: “Another Sexual Abuse Coverup, Perhaps?”

    hmmm…

    Redeemer Presbyterian Church (PCA), has keep consistent throughout the summer — Forget the abused, — expressly the #MeToo whistle blower, Jen Willems. (Maybe others…) Sure we know only too well, this is a ‘family’ of 501c3 churches and ministries directed and administered for the good of the leadership of this cover the butt 501c3 PCA organization.

    *

    Folks, punch in : redeemer pca david kim into your browser, this as well : PCA: david kim.

    PCA Rev. David Kim WAS executive director of the Center for Faith & Work, a ministry of Redeemer Presbyterian Church (NYC). He previously served as director of the Gotham Fellowship (Gotham Initiative) and founded Manna Christian Fellowship at Princeton University.
    http://2011.jubileeconference.com/david-h-kim/

    After Jen Willems’ August second Facebook #MeToo exposure of PCA Rev. David Kim , he was quietly dismissed (erased), and His actions disavowed.

    How are we not surprised.

    Think they are going to get away with it?

    – –

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  8. Julie Anne: This is another reason why women MUST be in leadership and be present in these kinds of situations. I highly doubt any woman in leadership would agree that this sort of meeting would be appropriate. So many men don’t get it. They need to have a woman’s perspective, and their wisdom and insight.

    Agreed. I believe history will show that the marginalization of women was sheer foolish on the part of men. Many Christian women have the gifts of intuition and discernment, which would prove valuable in knowing how to handle these circumstances. God is watching, and I believe those who sweep sin under the rug will one day be called to account.

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  9. Julie Anne: They need to have a woman’s perspective, and their wisdom and insight.

    I fully agree with you on this. Here is a tension I am trying to work through. While I don’t agree with gender-based roles and hierarchy, I also don’t agree that there are no differences between men and women. The fact that a woman’s perspective is valuable must be due to her being more than just another person. If it is true that men and women are alike in every way but plumbing, then there would no compelling reason to oppose decisions made by men-only or women-only groups because there would be no statistically significant difference in their decisions. Maximizing the differences between men and women like the way CBMW (et al) does is clearly a disaster. But minimizing the differences also has its problems. The fact that it makes so much sense to include a woman’s perspective must mean that a woman brings more to the table than just another perspective that is statistically indistinguishable from what another man would bring. My concern is that minimizing the differences can have the effect of undermining the rationale for including women.

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  10. A woman should always be part of an investigation into sexual abuse no matter what the situation ..church or school or business ..simply due to the biological fact that most sexual assault is a man assaulting a woman. I didn’t say 100 percent but definitely most. Or it’s a man assaulting another male.

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  11. “Resolved that we guard our tongues …”

    The Bible also says that we should sound a warning with our tongues and sometimes blow a trumpet that will ring through the land. The blogosphere provides that trumpet in the 21st century, when church leaders refuse to deal with their own.

    “Sound the alarm! Put the trumpet to your lips!” (Hosea 8:1)

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  12. Does anyone know who prepared/submitted the “shut-your-mouth” SBC resolution?

    Could it be a Patterson follower … or perhaps a New Calvinist trying to protect the movement from criticism?

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  13. Ken F (aka Tweed),

    There are unquestioned differences at the level of “population”. Statistically, females are on average smarter than males by a few points of IQ, but the distribution of test scores is narrower than that of males. That sort of makes sense from a functional perspective given that from “of old” in most cultures, females have been the primary rearers of the young. That’s a high consequence task that must be done well for the survival of one’s lineage; there must have been high selective pressure for female intelligence. I’m not aware of documented statistical population differences in intuition or empathy or the ability to “read” people, but I strongly suspect that they are real and substantial.

    To an earlier point; yes, females are indispensible in church governance (and all other kinds of governance; corporate boards, for example) for the gifts and talents they contribute (a practical, functional argument that “complements” the case that can be made from Scripture and theological anthropology). I don’t know of any successful enterprise that substantially idles half its workforce.

    —–

    The mighty keep falling. One wonders what is going through Tim Keller’s mind at this moment.

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  14. Ken F (aka Tweed): While I don’t agree with gender-based roles and hierarchy, I also don’t agree that there are no differences between men and women. The fact that a woman’s perspective is valuable must be due to her being more than just another person. If it is true that men and women are alike in every way but plumbing, then there would no compelling reason to oppose decisions made by men-only or women-only groups because there would be no statistically significant difference in their decisions.

    I wholeheartedly agree, Ken. The problem with stereotyping should be obvious to those who do not fall within the “mandated” boundaries, talents, and/or strengths. We have read on this blog of those who are not married who object to teachings directed solely to those who are married.

    We must recognize the individuality of every member of the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12)and encourage each person to participate in the area of their giftings.

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  15. Max:
    Does anyone know who prepared/submitted the “shut-your-mouth” SBC resolution?

    Could it be a Patterson follower … or perhaps a New Calvinist trying to protect the movement from criticism?

    Does that resolution even matter other than a kind of social pressure? SBC doesn’t have conscience-binding extra-biblical standards and oaths that compel one to remain in conformity to them. Perhaps the point is to threaten heavy-handed discipline (in neocal SBC churches that do that kind of thing) the presumably large number of victims who have not yet raised their voices. If that’s the motive and that is what is done, I expect it will back-fire in the long run.

    “Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”

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  16. Deb: Many Christian women have the gifts of intuition and discernment, which would prove valuable in knowing how to handle these circumstances. God is watching, and I believe those who sweep sin under the rug will one day be called to account.

    Deb, I wonder how many Reformed leaders actually believe this. Even if some of them believe in “feminine intuition”, I know there is a contingent of unknown size who still think the entire female sex is ontologically lesser than the male one. Weaker intellectually, less intelligent, less able to employ logic, and inherently more emotional and prone to deception. The Bible says so, right? So in addition to the common worldly impulse to protect the institution at all costs, I think there may be an exegetical/hermeneutical issue in play. Those who believe what I just outlined will automatically suspect and distrust female accusers, while giving men the benefit of the doubt and/or treat them with kid gloves.

    Not that they’ll say so, of course. You’re more likely to hear something about the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. The standard of proof can then be made into a moving goalpost.

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  17. Jen’s been very brave not only in coming forward with this story, but in every step along the way in trying to confront it. Her post on Facebook brought me to tears.

    If this power and authority gospel was really true, then it wouldn’t breed so much abuse, corruption, lies, and cronyism. It’s a heresy that I’m certain offends God greatly.

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  18. NJ: Deb, I wonder how many Reformed leaders actually believe this. Even if some of them believe in “feminine intuition”, I know there is a contingent of unknown size who still think the entire female sex is ontologically lesser than the male one.Weaker intellectually, less intelligent, less able to employ logic, and inherently more emotional and prone to deception.

    Over and over from New Cals I hear “Women are always deceived”. Men that seem to be attracted to New Calvinism seem to have this desire to own and control other people, and I think they created their theology to do so.

    Lately, though, after seeing Mohler’s 1993 speech and Moore’s direction toward politics, I am wondering if their whole focus is to create something like in the Handmaid’s Tale. There’s something very sinister about everything they do that goes way beyond theology.

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  19. Tim Keller is disgusting.I read his book Reasons For God. It was quite good until the end. He was unable to tell the readers that God actually wanted to save them. All he could say was seek God and see what happens.

    I think all this bad behavior ties in with their religious nonsense.

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  20. WHEREAS it is more comfortable to point the finger at others than resolve issues in our own ministries….

    RESOLVED to purchase expensive stained glass images and display them as a statement that our leaders are larger than life heroes.

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  21. NJ: Those who believe what I just outlined will automatically suspect and distrust female accusers, while giving men the benefit of the doubt and/or treat them with kid gloves.

    A thought-provoking point made by NT Wright in his “The Resurrection of the Son of God” is that the first people who were granted to encounter the resurrected Jesus were women and, in spite of contemporary distrust of female testimony, the Gospel writers did not white-wash this fact. (You can actually see hints of this distrust right in the Gospel narrative: Lk 24:22-23 ) It’s one of the arguments Wright makes that the NT resurrection accounts are rooted to eyewitness testimony; these stories were too precious to the gospel authors to suppress them on account of their by-contemporary-standards awkwardness.

    It would seem that God has more confidence in female testimony that many of the male leaders who reckon they stand in God’s place in the churches.

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  22. It’s a vague sort of resolution, one that generally, most people of good conscience should be able to agree upon. Who thinks it’s a good idea to tear another down, to gossip or slander? Who in Christendom wouldn’t want to pursue healthy, biblical avenues for resolving conflict? Who’d disagree with caution and wisdom and unity under Christ?

    In this case, the problem isn’t so much what they write, it’s what they do. In light of all that has gone down in the SBC recently, all the abuse that’s been exposed on social media, all the “shouting from rooftops” things that are apparently true, things that might help prevent other abusers within the SBC from having free run at victims, what sort of human being sits down and writes up such a resolution? In my opinion, one who no longer cares about the truth, one who lusts for power at all costs and who hates the light which exposes them.

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  23. NJ: Even if some of them believe in “feminine intuition”, I know there is a contingent of unknown size who still think the entire female sex is ontologically lesser than the male one. Weaker intellectually, less intelligent, less able to employ logic, and inherently more emotional and prone to deception

    Mathematics is the most intellectual of academic pursuits. Women have made many contributions to the field even if their numbers are not proportional to the number of females in the general population. In computer science Ada Lovelace stands out as the first computer programmer. Grace Hopper is notable for contributions to programming languages. The “Christian” response to such activities has been negative for a long time, see Hypatia. Wikipedia has a long list of accomplished female mathematicians https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_women_in_mathematics which can be consulted for more about the three I’ve mentioned.

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  24. Jeffrey: Tim Keller is disgusting.I read his book Reasons For God.

    His book “The Prodigal God” has received mixed reviews within Christendom. His chapter on redefining sin probably appeals to the YRR.

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  25. Samuel Conner: Does that resolution even matter other than a kind of social pressure?

    Probably not. At their annual meeting, Southern Baptists approve a dozen or so resolutions each year. The messengers discuss them at the conference, reject or approve, then go home and forget about most of them. Such was the case of one that was approved in 2013 “On Sexual Abuse Of Children.” In that resolution, it stated “we encourage all denominational leaders and employees of the Southern Baptist Convention to utilize the highest sense of discernment in affiliating with groups and or individuals that possess questionable policies and practices in protecting our children from criminal abuse.” Although not stated, the resolution clearly had Al Mohler in mind in regard to his Mahaney/SGM affiliation. He apparently winked an eye at that resolution and went back to Louisville to help Mahaney and his SGM church become members of SBC!

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  26. Ken F (aka Tweed),

    There is also no shortage of women who promoted comp doctrine and still do. And we are all aware of a very highly placed woman who enabled her perverted husband and even intimidated his victims for decades. Maybe the real problems are unnecessary “hierarchies” in Christendom? I fear a false security here with the quota mentality. Why expect church leaders to investigate themselves properly? It seems naive to keep expecting something different than we have see with the hierarchical Christianity.

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  27. Julie Anne: So many men don’t get it.

    It’s all about power. Even outside the church there’s been a power differential.

    Authoritarian churches have seen that “power” eroded in so many ways. Society is a lot more pluralistic with many previously disenfranchised groups finding their voice. Of which women are one.

    The great irony is society in general is adhering to adage “do unto others…” So it’s becoming safer to speak out.

    Expect it to get worse as these churches (and this isn’t just a Christian thing) double down on the oppression.

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  28. Is groping criminal activity? Prove it. Private setting, no other witnesses, no evidence. It never happened. This is a repeated pattern. And you get to pay your abusers salary for the privilege. Oh, but not in my church my Pastors different. Keep dreaming. All men are pliable, your Pastor might not fall into this particular specific sin but in what sins does he struggle or fail? The Pastor goes to God and only an διώτης goes to the current Pastor in legal not for your profit organizations. Wake up, Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord. Alone.

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  29. Sòpwith:
    http://2011.jubileeconference.com/david-h-kim/
    After Jen Willems’ August second Facebook #MeToo exposure of PCA Rev. David Kim , he was quietly dismissed (erased), and His actions disavowed.

    ‘Quietly dismissed’ — which is good for business.

    This is while recent posts discussed the churches that allow public shunning/discussion of what they deem to be unrepentant sin (whether or not it is) to supersede privacy rights.

    Double standards, anyone?

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  30. Law Prof:
    In this case, the problem isn’t so much what they write, it’s what they do.In light of all that has gone down in the SBC recently, all the abuse that’s been exposed on social media, all the “shouting from rooftops” things that are apparently true, things that might help prevent other abusers within the SBC from having free run at victims, what sort of human being sits down and writes up such a resolution?In my opinion, one who no longer cares about the truth, one who lusts for power at all costs and who hates the light which exposes them.

    It’s very opposite to the change in tone they were projecting publicly, too. Wish more of the media had pointed out that resolution.

    Most of what I hear about “handling things biblically” has nothing biblical in it. The Bible does say to make things public if they are not handled internally. I have heard the argument repeated that all crimes need witnesses, but if they are crimes, then that’s not the church’s prerogative to investigate, either. I belief these internal investigations have very little to do with handling things the right way and very much to do with abusers protecting other abusers.

    And I agree with JDV that “quietly dismissed” is nowhere near biblical.

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  31. Ken F (aka Tweed): If it is true that men and women are alike in every way but plumbing, then there would no compelling reason to oppose decisions made by men-only or women-only groups because there would be no statistically significant difference in their decisions.

    I think men and women are more alike than different.

    I don’t know if women see more or are more empathetic at handling abuse cases because of biological factors, or, I think it’s more likely, we women are conditioned from the time we are girls to be nurturing, to pay attention to other people’s moods, and cheer them up if they’re feeling down, etc.

    Then, you have the factor that all men are in charge of churches, they don’t let women lead. Women are excluded from influential positions and not listened to..

    Comp doctrine says women are weak, stupid, easily deceived, and need to be led by men,

    so of course men in these sorts of churches aren’t going to listen to women and know what it’s like to be in a marginalized or vulnerable position and be blind to abuse even if it is going on under their noses.

    Or, they are not going to care to do anything about the abuse, because it does not benefit them to do so.

    If the situation was reversed, with all women in the lead and no men allowed, maybe we’ still be seeing the same dynamics, but only with men calling out the abuse the women leaders doing nothing.

    Since men are the ones in power in these churches, they don’t have to pay attention to people, to any abuse, or care about the “little people” below them who are being abused.

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  32. ishy: Most of what I hear about “handling things biblically” has nothing biblical in it.

    I’ve developed a visceral reaction to the mention of “its biblical”.

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  33. Abigail: A woman should always be part of an investigation into sexual abuse no matter what the situation ..church or school or business ..simply due to the biological fact that most sexual assault is a man assaulting a woman. I didn’t say 100 percent but definitely most. Or it’s a man assaulting another male.

    I basically agree with you, but I’d want more than one woman, or make sure the woman or women you get on board are empathetic to victims.

    It’s been my unfortunate experience in life that some women can be just as cold, heartless and uninterested in helping victims as many men are.

    I’ve been bullied by girls back as a kid, and bullied by a woman boss on a professional job I had. And in those cases, girls and women saw what was going on, and none stepped up to defend me.

    So, IMHO, it has to be the right woman, or right type of women, to step into these roles. Some women look the other way when abuse is going on.

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  34. Thersites: I’ve developed a visceral reaction to the mention of “its biblical”.

    I now hear “It’s my opinion that…”

    And it’s usually really easy to poke holes in most “It’s biblical” arguments.

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  35. Daisy: Since men are the ones in power in these churches, they don’t have to pay attention to people,

    Arrogance may be the defining characteristic of stupid people. Anyone who thinks they know it all and is incapable of taking in instruction or disagreement is left with their own substantial limitations, especially when they decline input from half the population.

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  36. NJ: Those who believe what I just outlined will automatically suspect and distrust female accusers, while giving men the benefit of the doubt and/or treat them with kid gloves.
    Not that they’ll say so, of course. You’re more likely to hear something about the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. The standard of proof can then be made into a moving goalpost.

    Men not believing women (especially when women report they, or someone else, has been abused) also happens in Non-Christian contexts.

    I did a blog post about this months ago, with a lot of links to studies and articles about how and why so many men disbelieve women:

    On Men Not Believing Women and Being Blind to the Sexism and Harassment Women Often Endure
    https://missdaisyflower.wordpress.com/2017/07/26/%E2%80%A2-on-men-not-believing-women-and-being-blind-to-the-sexism-and-harassment-women-often-endure/

    This is another area (men not believing women) where gender complementarian churches are not “counter cultural” on gender issues, like they say they are, but they’re just like the secular culture, who they claim gets everything wrong about gender.

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  37. Julie Anne:
    .

    I have to say that I am so tired of these guys thinking they can have some sort of church trial with survivors: ALL MEN and one lone survivor?!?! Who does that???This is another reason why women MUST be in leadership and be present in these kinds of situations.

    That is not a “trial”. It is an inquisition!

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  38. Samuel Conner: It’s one of the arguments Wright makes that the NT resurrection accounts are rooted to eyewitness testimony; these stories were too precious to the gospel authors to suppress them on account of their by-contemporary-standards awkwardness.

    It would seem that God has more confidence in female testimony that many of the male leaders who reckon they stand in God’s place in the churches.

    That’s an interesting argument. I think he may be on to something there. Thank you for bringing that up.

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  39. Thersites: Arrogance may be the defining characteristic of stupid people. Anyone who thinks they know it all and is incapable of taking in instruction or disagreement is left with their own substantial limitations, especially when they decline input from half the population.

    Arrogance is the #1 common trait of liars. Makes sense. Pride is the deadliest sin, Satan is the Father of Lies. Another way to put it is the Honesty-Humility connection:

    https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/247531

    This makes it very odd that church leadership is sitting with the truth about men assaulting women, girls and boys, and DOING NOTHING. The trend with each #Church,MeToo story is that they went to leadership and NOTHING HAPPENED. This indicates that there’s a whole lot of truth being spilled in the leadership office – truth that goes nowhere while predation flourishes. In the church.

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  40. OldJohnJ: Mathematics is the most intellectual of academic pursuits. Women have made many contributions to the field even if their numbers are not proportional to the number of females in the general population.

    In computer science Ada Lovelace stands out as the first computer programmer.

    Grace Hopper is notable for contributions to programming languages.

    The “Christian” response to such activities has been negative for a long time, see Hypatia. …

    That information may be troubling to James Damore, James Damore (of google memo fame) fans, and…

    To guys such as Jordan Peterson who advocate for traditional gender roles, as well as to Peterson’s fan boys, and several women writers who say they are feminists, but they never- the- less often argue against any point other feminists make about how society is not equitable towards women.

    A study I cited on my blog relating to women in tech careers – a Finnish study – showed that there are traditional gender role expectations even in Finland.

    This being so, even though many Peterson supporters and various James Damore Google Memo supporters, like to say that Finland is a gender egalitarian culture where women often choose to forgo computer programming because all women would prefer knitting scarves and what not.

    However. That’s not what another Finnish study I came across concluded.

    The other study said Finland still has traditional gender role expectations, which may be influencing women to stay out of tech- related fields.

    The link to that study, with excerpts, is about half-way down this page, under the heading “Other Studies, Articles”-

    Do All Or Most Women Innately Prefer Non-Tech Careers? Re: James Damore Google Memo (part 1)
    https://missdaisyflower.wordpress.com/2018/02/08/%E2%80%A2-do-all-or-most-women-innately-prefer-non-tech-careers-re-james-damore-google-memo-part-1/

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  41. Daisy: That information may be troubling to James Damore, James Damore (of google memo fame) fans, and…

    To guys such as Jordan Peterson who advocate for traditional gender roles, as well as to Peterson’s fan boys

    You have significantly mischaracterized both men.

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  42. Daisy:
    This being so, even though many Peterson supporters and various James Damore Google Memo supporters, like to say that Finland is a gender egalitarian culture where women often choose to forgo computer programming because all women would prefer knitting scarves and what not.

    I read an interesting study done on Github and whether women were treated equitably by other programmers. There’s a link to the full study in the article:

    https://news.ncsu.edu/2017/05/gender-bias-in-programming-2017/

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  43. jyjames: This makes it very odd that church leadership is sitting with the truth about men assaulting women, girls and boys, and DOING NOTHING. The trend with each #Church,MeToo story is that they went to leadership and NOTHING HAPPENED. This indicates that there’s a whole lot of truth being spilled in the leadership office – truth that goes nowhere while predation flourishes. In the church.

    Yes, and this is so common, Christians who automatically defend their pastor or church need to stop it with the appeal to the Matthew 18 or whatever Bible passage that talks about confronting your brother in private before going public or to the law or however that goes.

    Plenty of people have tried to resolve an abuse issue by going, in private, to their pastor or some other muckity-muck in their church, only for the matter to be swept under the rug and nothing done about it.

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  44. Daisy: I think men and women are more alike than different.

    I think I agree with you. The reason I say “I think” is because I am still de-programming from my earlier Christian indoc. On the one hand, I hear people say that men and women are alike in every way except plumbing. On the other hand, I also hear people say that a woman’s perspective is needed. Both of these cannot be completely true because they are contradictory. It’s kind of like saying, “we need to embrace diversity because we are all the same.” But it seems like we actually need to embrace diversity precisely because we are NOT all the same, and that the non-sameness adds value. I suppose the non-sameness between men and women shifts among different cultures, but is it ever completely eradicated? Do we ever get to a point where the sameness is so pronounced that we don’t need cross-gender input? And if we got to that point, would it be good?

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  45. Thersites: You have significantly mischaracterized both men.

    Nope, I sure have not. That is common, by the way. Fans of both always say, either “have you read his memo / book” or “you’re misunderstanding him.”

    No, I read the memo, I’ve read interviews with and articles about Peterson to know what they think. Peterson defends traditional gender roles by appealing to archetypes in various cultures.

    I’ve got more on my blog about Damore you can check out (you can click on my screen name to this post to get to the home page of my blog, and use the blog’s search feature for “Damore”).

    Peterson is a secular version of a Christian gender complementarian.

    Jordan Peterson’s moment of fame — and the dangers of patriarchal pseudoscience
    https://www.salon.com/2018/05/22/jordan-petersons-moment-of-fame-and-the-dangers-of-patriarchal-pseudoscience/

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  46. ishy: I read an interesting study done on Github and whether women were treated equitably by other programmers. There’s a link to the full study in the article:

    Thank you for the link. I’ve seen similar, other studies that show the same thing… Articles/studies about how when men’s and women’s names are left off projects, math tests, etc, the women get higher marks or the same… but when the teacher sees the name, they mark women lower.

    Female Coders Are Rated More Highly Than Men Except When People Known They’re Women
    https://missdaisyflower.wordpress.com/2017/09/30/%E2%80%A2-female-coders-are-rated-more-highly-than-men-except-when-people-know-theyre-women/

    There are other studies and articles similar to that one out there… teachers tend to grade girl students down more on math tests than boy students, when they can see their names, that sort of thing.

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  47. Molly245: John Johnson:
    Molly245,

    1st doesn’t really matter. I wish it would just disappear from the comments section, especially when talking about stuff like this.

    I so agree with you!

    Having lived through some of the topics posted, the race-to-comment game rings shallow. But not everyone has been through the grit and grind of some of these topics on a very personal level, thank God, actually.

    A step away from the race-to-comment game, is the sometimes sort-of-theological or semantics argument that again sidetracks or seemingly derails the humanity of what goes on with abuse and harassment. But, again, not everyone has this type of lived experience – and again, thank God – so it’s good to have interest even from a philosophical viewpoint.

    Finally, there are so many different viewpoints – and lived experiences – on a blog that is global. The Deebs keep it focused and humane. So, thank God for all, and especially for the Deebs and the Guy Behind the Curtain. God bless.

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  48. Daisy: Fans of both

    I feel more inhibited than you to hijack this thread on a largely irrelevant tangent. I sufficed to say it was mischaracterized and would strongly provide support for that conclusion but this is not the place. I would however point to the inflammatory “fan boys” phrase in your prior comment as not a way to engage in fruitful discussion.

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  49. OldJohnJ: Mathematics is the most intellectual of academic pursuits. Women have made many contributions to the field even if their numbers are not proportional to the number of females in the general population. In computer science Ada Lovelace stands out as the first computer programmer. Grace Hopper is notable for contributions to programming languages. The “Christian” response to such activities has been negative for a long time, see Hypatia. Wikipedia has a long list of accomplished female mathematicians https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_women_in_mathematics which can be consulted for more about the three I’ve mentioned.

    Marjorie Rice was a San Diego housewife with a high school education, but she read an article about finding pentagon patterns that could “tile the plain” in an endless repeating pattern in Scientific American. At that time, nine pentagonal patterns for “tiling the plain” had been discovered. She discovered four more, on her own, without a computer and without an advanced education. Ultimately, with the use of computers, it was determined there are only 15 tesselating pentagon patterns.

    http://mentalfloss.com/uk/design/32348/the-housewife-who-beat-mathematicians

    This was a problem that had stumped mathematicians for a long time, and yet she discovered four of 15 types. Women get logic.

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  50. Ken F (aka Tweed): On the one hand, I hear people say that men and women are alike in every way except plumbing. On the other hand, I also hear people say that a woman’s perspective is needed. Both of these cannot be completely true because they are contradictory.

    If a woman’s perspective is valuable, it’s perhaps because women tend to experience the world in a different way from men, partly due to societal conditioning.

    If you are a complementarian man in the USA, you’ve likely been raised to think you can be bold, outspoken, assertive, and people won’t question your comments, but they will take you seriously up front.

    If you’re a woman, you’ve been told to be small, quiet, and passive, and you find when you do speak up (like to address abuse) that you are disbelieved or brushed aside by men in power.
    (Men who have been trained to only recognize other men as being their true equals and peers)

    I do think there are some differences. Women tend to suffer anxiety more than men, from what I’ve read – not sure if that is biological in nature.

    Women respond to pain differently, yet most medical tests only consider the male experience.

    Women have different heart attack symptoms from men, usually.

    Even when there are differences, I get suspicious of people who try to capitalize off them to argue that women should be limited or held back in some way.

    (Like, we cannot talk women programmers in the United States seriously and make sure the ones who want to enter that career don’t encounter obstacles which, yes, may exist due to sexism and gender societal expectations that may put girls off to tech careers…

    Because, Jordan Peterson and James Damore say, supposedly, Finland, which is a supposedly Gender Egalitarian mecca, the women there choose to sip tea and make babies all day, rather than learn to program in Java.
    See, women are secretly really happier and biologically programmed being June Cleaver stay at home wives and mothers.)

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  51. Thersites: I feel more inhibited than you to hijack this thread on a largely irrelevant tangent. I sufficed to say it was mischaracterized and would strongly provide support for that conclusion but this is not the place. I would however point to the inflammatory “fan boys” phrase in your prior comment as not a way to engage in fruitful discussion.

    Oh meow, a Joran Peterson and/or Damore proponent (is proponent more to your liking than the phrase “fan boy”?)

    The term “fan boy” was not meant to be a put down, it was merely a descriptive term. You were reading insult into something where none was intended.

    Trying to talk Peterson or Damore advocates out of their support is like trying to de-convert gender complementarian Christians regarding leaving complementarianism, so I generally don’t bother, or not much.

    I’m just responding to comments others are putting in their remarks, which sometimes remind me of other related issues… so to me, it’s not tangential.

    I also don’t post here as often as I used to, so this should not matter so much.

    People can visit my blog for more, to see I’ve not mischaratercized Damore, and go and google critiques of Peterson to see I didn’t mischaracterize him. Both men are sexist, and I question anyone who shows either allegiance.

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  52. Daisy: If a woman’s perspective is valuable, it’s perhaps because women tend to experience the world in a different way from men, partly due to societal conditioning.

    Even when there are differences, I get suspicious of people who try to capitalize off them to argue that women should be limited or held back in some way.

    On the nurture vs nature debate, the inherint biological differences have to have an impact on the nurture aspect. I don’t see a way to avoid that, so it makes the debate complicated. I fully agree that neither men nor women should be stereotyped based on gender. Rather, jobs/tasks should be assigned based on demonstrated skills and abilities rather than on stereotypes. When it come to physical abuse, it appears that women and children are at a statistical disadvantage due to general size and strength differences between fully grown men compared with women and children. I guess this is a long way of agreeing with the premise that women’s voices are needed.

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  53. ishy: Most of what I hear about “handling things biblically” has nothing biblical in it.

    Tragically true. It is reaching a stage where “biblical” is becoming a euphemism for “in such a manner as to preserve the convenience of the wealthy and/or privileged”. Whatever its first-century Galilean antecedent was, the Gospel™ is not good news for the poor.

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  54. Ken F (aka Tweed): On the nurture vs nature debate, the inherent biological differences have to have an impact on the nurture aspect.

    I agree; it’s a complex chicken-and-egg. And one that, moreover different cultures have processed differently. Our misguided friend from a recent post who thought that pictures on toilet doors demonstrated god-ordained universal differences between the genders… badly misses that point.

    Your point that individuals shouldn’t be subject to gender stereotypes cannot be stressed enough. Whatever differences exist between the genders, other than plumbing, are statistical in nature.

    Adult height – to which you sort of alluded – is a good example, not least because I’ve never come across anyone who thinks it’s an emotive issue. Also because it’s so clearly and empirically demonstrable that only one person currently in the public eye would be capable of denying it. Men are taller than women on average, or some variation on that theme, is something everyone understands. Everyone also understands that there are short men and tall women, and that everyone is exactly the height s/he is. A woman who is 6′ tall is considered entitled to wear, for instance, clothes made to fit someone who’s 6′ tall – she’s not supposed to wear short clothes because “woman are short”, and the converse applies to a man who is 5’4″.

    Unlike height, most traits that are touted as gender-influenced are generally emotive. But ensuring major decisions are made by a mixed group can only help broaden the group’s perspective.

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  55. Nick Bulbeck,

    Though as a short man, I wonder whether the Pied Piper thinks tall women are sin-induced mutations. What on earth would he do if he were forced to ask directions from a tall policewoman?He’d have to ask her to sit on the floor so that she could look up at him.

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  56. Thersites,

    Yes. And what has taken place in Scandinavia, too. But I’ve been down this road which isn’t as binary as it is presented. I spent my career in a man’s world so I have a bit of a different take on most of this stuff anyway. And interestingly enough the public stem schools here do just about everything they can to put females on the stem track in elementary. It’s still not translating in high numbers to high school.

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  57. Daisy,

    I hope I don’t show “allegiance” to anyone I am not duty bound to. I still think you misunderstand and mischaracterize both men. I am simply not reading or hearing what you are — as a proponent of the long format where it gets pretty in-depth. Quillette also has some interesting articles that tend to present both sides you might enjoy.

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  58. Ken F (aka Tweed),

    I am not particularly fond of kids. Sounds horrible, doesn’t it? I would never choose to work in a nursery or teach little kids. I did it at church to help since I used nursery services. and that doesn’t mean that I do not treat children well or don’t want what’s best for them. I don’t really understand the whole nurture argument. so I really appreciate it when people don’t put me into the stereo typical categories. my position is that people should be free to choose the direction that best fits them. I am not a big fan of forcing people into categories they don’t want to be in. I think the trap is when we assert that “all” women or “all” men.

    Maybe I don’t even understand what nurturing means? If it’s a biological function then that’s one thing. If it’s supposed to be some sort of innate temperament, that’s another one which is more scary to me! Lol.

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  59. As a former SBC (Moderate) pastor and current psychotherapist (spiritual but not “Christian”), it pains me to share that a number of my ongoing caseload have experienced the same as Jen. The trust they have lost in the individuals who harmed them as well as the churches who failed to hear their stories have translated into a faith struggle with the Father.

    No wonder . . .

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  60. It makes no sense not to have females on that commission to listen to cases of sexual abuse. I don’t even know how the presbytery can justify such a thing. It has nothing to do with male or female authority. This has everything to do with being compassionate and listening to grievances and cases of abuse. What in their minds could possibly be justification for having an only all male panel listen to these cases? This isn’t a teaching position or pastorate. Anyone who has been part of the Presbyterian Church perhaps you could weigh in here. And I’m speaking specifically of the PCA and OPC.

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  61. The SBC has Resolutions. The Independent Fundamental Baptist has The Old Paths Journal. Woe to anyone that questions a IFB man of God’s pronouncement. Take heed anyone other that a Baptist preacher to every blow the trumpet(or whistle) about sin.
    IFB taught me to:
    1) read my Bible every day (kJV only)
    2) pray
    3) attend church (IFB is the true church) every service unless sick or working
    4) TITHE!10% is starting point, that’s not even giving, all goes to the local IFB church, don’t do that, I’m a thief.
    5)go soul winning, witness to everyone all the time
    That is just the basics. Then we get into separation to be “right with God.”
    I was a true believer for 30 years.Just couldn’t take it anymore. Internet site’s like The Wartburg Watch have helped me view the church differently.Your work and many of the comments shared have been a real eye opener over the past 6 years. Time and again I am shocked by stories like Jen’s. I do hope she can get the help she needs. Maybe publicly telling her story is a starting point? I just don’t know. Who am I to say she shouldn’t make her story public? She did the Matthew 18 thing. And how did the church authorities respond?
    Matthew 10:17 Jesus said, “But BEWARE of men…”
    Jen, may God help and comfort you. Ignore the teaching of the preachers that tell you to keep quiet.
    https://oldpathsjournal.com/publish-it-not/

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  62. Lydia: I am not particularly fond of kids. Sounds horrible, doesn’t it?

    It does not sound horrible. I am very fond of my own kids, but not so fond of others. As I heard it put once, “I wouldn’t sell my kids for a million dollars, and I wouldn’t buy yours for a quarter.”

    I was using “nurturing” in the sense of how we are raised. As in if someone is tall, how much is due to genetics (nature) and how much is due to good nutrition (nurture)? In the masculine/feminine debate there is a lot of debate about how much these characteristics are inculcated vs genetically preprogrammed.

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  63. Darlene: What in their minds could possibly be justification for having an only all male panel listen to these cases?

    To take advantage of group-think?

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  64. Mike,

    Mike,
    I went to a IFB church and school, and what you said above is exactly correct. On top of that, my seventh grade teacher ( early 1970’s) was arrested and taken away in hand cuffs. We were never told why, and there was plently of rumors. A couple of years ago I looked into it and found out 5-10 yers after “leaving”my IFB school,( in the 1980’s) he was arrested, and this time convicted, of sexual abuse of minor boys (He had also been teaching at another Christain school in Southern Ca). He spent many years in Caifornia state prison, now on Ca’s Megans list. I got ahold of court documents, and what he did is VERY depraved. Finally, he was grooming me back is seventh grade. Oh, while in prision he published an article in a “Creation Science“ journal. So, the IFB do not have an inside track on being “more spiritual”, than any others…. despite how they like to tell you… and they certainly do NOT handle sexual abuse properly …..
    So, IFB

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  65. Max: I’ve never been a Tim Keller fan (Keller is a leading New Calvinist) since listening to him stumble through answering a simple question “What is the Gospel?” Trying to explain the Gospel to a lost man through the lens of New Calvinism is not preaching the Gospel. Keller left the audience hanging.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0g-s4Qhtyk&t=91s

    Calvinism does not facilitate the spreading of the gospel. In its place, they teach the doctrine that they falsely believe believing in will save them.

    The gospel is not ‘Properly believe in the Calvinistic Tulip and/or the Substitutionary Atonement and you will be considered smart enough to be saved’.

    What men and women of all races, intelligence levels and walks in life are called to is believing in a good, trustworthy God who loves and desires good for all of his creation. This was demonstrated literally in Jesus, the innocent suffering for the guilty, without their request. We are called to believe in the loving goodness of God – which Calvinism officially rejects, proclaiming instead a cruel, limited partiality that seeks the good of only a very select few while gleefully orchestrating the destruction of the rest as a show of power.

    Gee, I wonder why Calvinists have such a hard time explaining the gospel? And I wonder why abuse is so prevalent in an institution that celebrates a false image of a cruel deity who toys with men, pretending to offer them love and salvation, when in reality, most of them were never intended to receive it?

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  66. Truthseeker00: What men and women of all races, intelligence levels and walks in life are called to is believing in a good, trustworthy God who loves and desires good for all of his creation. This was demonstrated literally in Jesus, the innocent suffering for the guilty, without their request. We are called to believe in the loving goodness of God –

    Thanks for stating this clearly. Thanks, JC, for accomplishing this for us.

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  67. Daisy, Your positions on these 2 are supported by PZ Meyers in posts and links to other souces at his blog pharyngula. If someone wants a male scientist’s point of view.

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  68. Law Prof: It’s a vague sort of resolution, one that generally, most people of good conscience should be able to agree upon. Who thinks it’s a good idea to tear another down, to gossip or slander? Who in Christendom wouldn’t want to pursue healthy, biblical avenues for resolving conflict? Who’d disagree with caution and wisdom and unity under Christ?

    In this case, the problem isn’t so much what they write, it’s what they do. In light of all that has gone down in the SBC recently, all the abuse that’s been exposed on social media, all the “shouting from rooftops” things that are apparently true, things that might help prevent other abusers within the SBC from having free run at victims, what sort of human being sits down and writes up such a resolution? In my opinion, one who no longer cares about the truth, one who lusts for power at all costs and who hates the light which exposes them.

    This is a huge issue that I found within Calvinism. The words they say sound so reasonable – the problem is in their application. So, you take a bible verse – who is going to argue with scripture – and you twist it into justification for whatever you wish. And the naive pew-warmers simply do not see how they are being manipulated.

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  69. Daisy: Plenty of people have tried to resolve an abuse issue by going, in private, to their pastor or some other muckity-muck in their church, only for the matter to be swept under the rug and nothing done about it.

    It’s a good guess that Jesus would render “Woe” to those who have that stuff swept under their church office rug – doing nothing about it – while they posture as leaders in the church.

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  70. Nick Bulbeck,

    “Though as a short man, I wonder whether the Pied Piper thinks tall women are sin-induced mutations. What on earth would he do if he were forced to ask directions from a tall policewoman?He’d have to ask her to sit on the floor so that she could look up at him.”
    ++++++++++++++++

    that’s funny

    have you ever watched the TV series “Reggie Perrin” (Martin Clunes). so dang funny. his boss Chris has very short chairs opposite the tall desk in his office.

    well, that didn’t sound funny at all — but the series as a whole is extremely entertaining.

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  71. Truthseeker00…And the naive pew-warmers simply do not see how they are being manipulated.

    Some pew-warmers are naive. Some pew-warmers are sadists by proxy and want to get in on the action a little, encourage leaders in their abuse. And some just don’t care, so long as the abuse doesn’t turn their way. Others are just programmed to submit to authority, maybe it’s their nature, maybe their nurture. The Milgrim Experiments in the 1960s are indicative of this: studies showed that roughly 2 of 3 normal people, middle class types, were willing under certain circumstances to potentially kill (deliver a lethal shock to an innocent third party) so long as someone with perceived authority was willing to take control of the situation and responsibility for it. Scary.

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  72. Jeffrey Chalmers:
    Jeffrey Chalmers,

    PS
    My IFB school, and church, were part of the GARBC ( general association of Regular Baptist Churches) …. kids in my school called it GARBAGE..

    I went to three separate schools. The one I loved was Regular Baptist. Happy memories. But I was also very young, and not so pleasant years would follow.

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  73. Another case where the public, the institutions, the faith leaders, etc., all side with the predators. Culture war of predators and everyone else, it seems, vs. young victims. Predatory culture of putting it on the victims to forgive, forget, be gracious, and stop wrecking everyone’s lives as well as the great community. After all, they say, “sin happens”, everywhere.

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/this-is-not-hazing-this-is-rape-a-texas-towns-football-nightmare?ref=home

    ‘Hope and Healing’ “Since the scandal broke, La Vernia’s faith leaders have been encouraging the town to embrace mercy and acceptance for the accused rapists.”

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  74. Law Prof: The Milgrim Experiments in the 1960s are indicative of this: studies showed that roughly 2 of 3 normal people, middle class types, were willing under certain circumstances to potentially kill (deliver a lethal shock to an innocent third party) so long as someone with perceived authority was willing to take control of the situation and responsibility for it.

    There is a lot of re-thinking on the Milgram experiments including some on faulty procedures and more recently around its conclusions. Many participants did protest and tried to resist but were manipulated into compliance. One conclusion that struck a cord was that resisting evil orders is a skill that can be taught.

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  75. Nathan Priddis: The Milgrim Experiments in the 1960s are indicative of this: studies showed that roughly 2 of 3 normal people, middle class types, were willing under certain circumstances to potentially kill (deliver a lethal shock to an innocent third party) so long as someone with perceived authority was willing to take control of the situation and responsibility for it.

    There has been continual re-evaluation of the Milgram experiments. Some question the procedures and other question the conclusions. Apparently the Milgram experiments and the later electro shock experiments had a significant amount of participants that did protest and tried to resist but were manipulated into compliance. The manipulation part is where I find hope, that more people exist that do object, they simply need to be taught the art or skill of resisting evil.

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  76. jyjames:
    Another case where the public, the institutions, the faith leaders, etc., all side with the predators. Culture war of predators and everyone else, it seems, vs. young victims. Predatory culture of putting it on the victims to forgive, forget, be gracious, and stop wrecking everyone’s lives as well as the great community. After all, they say, “sin happens”, everywhere.

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/this-is-not-hazing-this-is-rape-a-texas-towns-football-nightmare?ref=home

    ‘Hope and Healing’ “Since the scandal broke, La Vernia’s faith leaders have been encouraging the town to embrace mercy and acceptance for the accused rapists.”

    Horrifying!! It always amazes me what values people will compromise to be ‘famous’ or a noted athlete.

    So sick that this community, like so many others actually thinks that this type of behavior is ok—and I’ll bet that if the chess team did that….or any other group other than football players….there’d be a hue and cry all over the state.

    One of the many terrible results of competition run rampant.

    But, of course, all things are permissible if you are an AllStar athlete Celebrity Pastor…

    Sick!!!

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  77. elastigirl: have you ever watched the TV series “Reggie Perrin” (Martin Clunes).

    I haven’t seen the recent series, but it was a re-make of a classic 1970’s sitcom called “The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin”, with Leonard Rossiter in the title role. The obnoxious boss, in that series, was called CJ. Life imitating art?

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  78. Darlene,

    I wish victims would steer clear of “church panels” for such. It’s a total waste and usually ends up revictimizing them. Report to legal authorities and/or speak out. And, If the victim is up to it and gives permission, warn the public loudly. Beyond that, it’s a black hole of brain gaming, manipulation and image management. All institutions exist at some point to maintain themselves. People spend their lives looking for decent “leaders to follow when Christ is their leader. it’s hard for people to wrap their heads around that any sort of panel is going to be focused on saving the institution. that might include getting rid of the embarrassment who caused the problem but it’s not exactly pro victim. it’s a mistake I’ve seen over and over no matter who is part of that process.

    Look at Willow Creek as an example. Egalitarian Women in leadership made no difference, really. To me the issue is not about gender, it’s about the institution versus the individual.

    IMO, a “church panel” for such can talk to police or read about it like the rest of us. Less chance for them to do pre damage to the victim and manipulate outcomes.

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  79. Lydia,

    Amen
    To me, that is what the parable of leaving the 99 to look for the one lost sheep….. putting the individual above the group (instutuion)..

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  80. Lydia,

    Throughout history, the “church” has been quite good at sacrificing the “indivudual” for “the sake of christ”… i.e. how many were burn at the stake for not having the “right” doctrine… ,

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  81. Lydia: To me the issue is not about gender, it’s about the institution versus the individual.

    Law Prof mentioned the Milgram experiments that revealed 80% of people can be manipulated into doing evil. There are also the Asch conformity experiments that indicate 75% of the population cannot be relied on to think for themselves. A guess would be both experiments are measuring roughly the same thing, most will follow the herd even to the point of doing evil.

    It sounds like that minority, the other 20% to 25% of the population able to think separately or resist doing evil sounds like a very valuable commodity to have. This characteristic likely has nothing to do with gender. If you factor in the courage to actually speak up or take action you probably have an even smaller minority. Their ability to say no against the evil in their own group sounds like just the tonic needed to counteract the drift towards corruption in institutions. Unfortunately like the prophets of old such independent thinkers are the first to be purged, even in otherwise sane and decent organizations. They may be difficult to put up and can be wrong like everyone else, but no one likes disagreement. So instead of shunning them they should be sought after as a valuable ingredient.

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  82. Jeffrey Chalmers: Throughout history, the “church” has been quite good at sacrificing the “indivudual” for “the sake of christ”… i.e. how many were burn at the stake for not having the “right” doctrine… ,

    However, there is another type of individual that is rewarded with a church standing ovation for improprieties: Hybels, Savage, Conlee, etc. The institution persists or hangs on this type of individual.

    “In many evangelical churches, the pastor is the superstar on which everything else rests, making accusations of harassment particularly difficult to confront. A pastor such as Mr. Hybels is a conduit to Christ, with sermons so mesmerizing that congregants rush to buy tapes of them after services.

    “In the evangelical world, Mr. Hybels is considered a giant, …”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/05/us/bill-hybels-willow-creek-pat-baranowski.html?nl=top-stories&nlid=58957744ries&ref=headline

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  83. Deb,

    Note subsequent to the NYT coverage of Superstar Hybels today: when he originally stepped down in October, Hybels said he intended to do his Leadership Shtick globally, focusing on the 3rd World:

    “Hybels was planning to step down as senior pastor.

    “’I feel released from this role,’ he said, adding that he felt called to build on Willow Creek’s reach across 130 countries with a focus on leadership development, particularly in the poorest regions of the world.” http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-met-willow-creek-pastor-20171220-story.html#

    “Felt called” – by whom or what [desires]?

    Same MO as Mark Aderholt who was exported to Eastern Europe to evade US radar and spread his improper behavior abroad. Imagine the trail of victims Aderholt left throughout the regions he worked. Does anyone care? Do those victims even have a voice or was it their job to serve the Superstar American missionary – however he deemed necessary – stealth?

    Why is it that US churches export their deviant leaders abroad – as if that is “helping” – anyone?

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  84. These stories are getting old. Is it too much to ask a man “called” into the ministry to keep his pants on?! Or perhaps that’s the problem – they were not genuinely called into the ministry, but chose that career path to prey on others. The pew is just too trusting of the pulpit … sadly, they should be able to trust church leaders, but you just can’t put your blinders on these days.

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  85. Thersites,

    Zimbardo did the Stanford Prison experiment in ’71. He writes about group think and more in “Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil’ . I can’t recall gender differentiations as a specific part of his research but it’s been a long time. There were females participating in the Abu Ghraib torture scandal he talks a lot about. Even a female General involved.

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  86. Daisy,

    I know you would agree Daisy, that even IF women were biologically wired to be interested in only the home life, how on earth do they figure that man is still the boss. It seems to me that if there was a hierarchy, women would be the boss. She sends her man out into the big cruel world to fetch for her all the things she needs to live and provide for their children in their cozy little safe house. Somehow complimentarian men recognize the man’s servanthood within their kind of logic. But they can’t stand that it backfires on them. So they invented the word servant- leader. Nowhere in the Bible does it even ever command men to be leaders of women.

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  87. Max,

    i’d be pleased if christian culture would jettison the words “called”, “calling”. (& of course we all know the bs bingo words, christian edition, to add to the list)

    good grief, i’ve seen these words lauded about when really what they meant was “this direction is the most convenient”.

    …overspiritualized… load of old bobbins (inspired by Beakerj)

    (pretty good alternative to what i was really thinking)

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  88. Law Prof: Some pew-warmers are naive. Some pew-warmers are sadists by proxy and want to get in on the action a little, encourage leaders in their abuse. And some just don’t care, so long as the abuse doesn’t turn their way. Others are just programmed to submit to authority, maybe it’s their nature, maybe their nurture. The Milgrim Experiments in the 1960s are indicative of this: studies showed that roughly 2 of 3 normal people, middle class types, were willing under certain circumstances to potentially kill (deliver a lethal shock to an innocent third party) so long as someone with perceived authority was willing to take control of the situation and responsibility for it. Scary.

    Agreed. It is when I began to believe that the elders in my church truly were so mind-controlled that they would obey even the order to kill that I grew scared. Yes, these were men I had known – and brought into the church – for many years, and yet somehow they had fallen so under the thrall of this pastor, they seemed utterly incapable of challenging a single thing he said. I sometimes think that if I had not found Wartburg Watch, and discovered that others had experienced this same thing, that I would never have believed what my own gut was warning me of. It is simply too difficult to wrap your head around if all around you are bemused, and consider you ‘nuts’ to question the ‘only true church’ in town.

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  89. Lydia: Look at Willow Creek as an example. Egalitarian Women in leadership made no difference, really. To me the issue is not about gender, it’s about the institution versus the individual.

    Just yesterday I had the chance to question my brother, who is still a part of one of WCC’s offshoots, and once was part of the worship team at the mother ship. It was sadly clear that his allegiance to the institution was too great to ask the really hard questions. He seemed to admit that Hybels ‘maybe’ had some problems, but now that he is out, all should be hunky dory. In his eyes, Heather and Steve (he is good friends with Steve) apologized for any mistakes they made, and now all could just get on with the program. There seemed to be no awareness of how deep the problem ran, and how many ‘made mistakes’ in knee-jerk allegiance to Hybels and his organization, rather than seeking out truth and justice. I also pointed out to him, and he reluctantly agreed, that Hybels was guilty of far more than a momentary lapse into sin that could be charitably forgiven, but of systematic predatory behavior. He did allow that Hybels had never acknowledged his sin, and that this really needed to happen. He said that the elders knew of the alleged problems for quite some time, but that the members knew nothing until the Tribune article. And yet, he was not quite ready to demand the resignation of all of the elders for having failed in their responsibility to the congregation.

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  90. elastigirl: i’d be pleased if christian culture would jettison the words “called”

    Oh, then you’ll love what I ran across on The Gospel Coalition website as the New Calvinists try to explain the Scripture “Many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:12):

    “The external call goes to all people. But only the elect experience the internal call” (Guy Waters)

    Sounds like something John Piper would tweet.

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  91. Just saw the latest, and most serious, allegations concerning Hybels. I have seriously mixed feelings. I am not too surprised that there were more serious ‘sins’ committed than had yet been exposed, and yet, I could not help but hope that perhaps he had restrained his impulses for the most part. I also find myself partially sad for what this might mean for his, and other churches, and partially hopeful that perhaps people will be stirred to greater awareness of the problems with the Institutional Church.

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  92. I guess I join other commenters in wondering why some posts are not showing up, but others are? Any clarifications from the Deebs as to what is going on, and what we should view as ‘normal’?

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  93. Law Prof: Some pew-warmers are naive. Some pew-warmers are sadists by proxy and want to get in on the action a little, encourage leaders in their abuse. And some just don’t care, so long as the abuse doesn’t turn their way. Others are just programmed to submit to authority, maybe it’s their nature, maybe their nurture. The Milgrim Experiments in the 1960s are indicative of this: studies showed that roughly 2 of 3 normal people, middle class types, were willing under certain circumstances to potentially kill (deliver a lethal shock to an innocent third party) so long as someone with perceived authority was willing to take control of the situation and responsibility for it. Scary.

    I posted a response to this, which did not show up. Just wanted to reply that I experienced this very thing, and found myself wondering if the elders in my church could be manipulated even to the point of committing great crimes, or abandoning their wives and families. These were men I had know for many years, and most of them had been friends of our family who we brought into our church. It was very frightening, and I kept telling myself (as did my spouse) it must be my overactive imagination. Until I discovered the Wartburg Watch, and found that others had experienced the same troubling things I had.

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  94. Max:
    These stories are getting old.Is it too much to ask a man “called” into the ministry to keep his pants on?!Or perhaps that’s the problem – they were not genuinely called into the ministry, but chose that career path to prey on others.The pew is just too trusting of the pulpit … sadly, they should be able to trust church leaders, but you just can’t put your blinders on these days.

    I have grown almost reflexively skeptical of subjective claims of “divine call.” I’m sure it can and does happen — Saul on the Damascus road, for example — but it seems unwise to me to encourage young men of untested character to “seek” calls to ministry. It might be much better for local churches corporately to set apart older people (of both genders) who are known, well-tested over years of lay service and of proved good character for ministry purposes. If they need further training, provide that. This business of young men going to “professional ministry” grad school and being parachuted into positions of trust and power over people who don’t know them is IMO part of the problem.

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  95. Truthseeker00: I guess I join other commenters in wondering why some posts are not showing up, but others are?

    All of my posts are showing up. Maybe you should try posting rubbish (or, as my central-belt-dwelling compatriot likes to put it, “nonsense”); it’s always worked for me.

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  96. Daisy: Because, Jordan Peterson and James Damore say, supposedly, Finland, which is a supposedly Gender Egalitarian mecca, the women there choose to sip tea and make babies all day, rather than learn to program in Java.
    See, women are secretly really happier and biologically programmed being June Cleaver stay at home wives and mothers.)

    Damore is living on another planet. So many female software engineers in my workplace. And they’re good at what they do–including myself.

    Maybe Google (for whom Damore worked) should lighten on up on the H1B visas so that more women have opportunities. Seriously. Think about it. Most H1B visa workers come from Asian countries. India especially comes to mind. They don’t have as many opportunities for women in those countries as we do in the USA. So, hiring more and more H1B visa workers results in fewer women in the workforce.

    Maybe if Damore had worked for a company that eschewed the H1B visa, he’d have had far more encounters with female software engineers.

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  97. Truthseeker00:
    Just saw the latest, and most serious, allegations concerning Hybels. I have seriously mixed feelings. I am not too surprised that there were more serious ‘sins’ committed than had yet been exposed, and yet, I could not help but hope that perhaps he had restrained his impulses for the most part. I also find myself partially sad for what this might mean for his, and other churches, and partially hopeful that perhaps people will be stirred to greater awareness of the problems with the Institutional Church.

    Steve Carter has announced his resignation:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2018/08/05/steve-carter-resigns/

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  98. Max,

    ““The external call goes to all people. But only the elect experience the internal call” (Guy Waters)”
    +++++++++++++

    is that so…

    i guess some ‘experiences’ are more equal than others.

    i’m sure mine don’t count’.

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  99. WWJD? When Jesus encountered Zachaeus, he demonstrated genuine repentance in concrete ways. What would be the concrete expressions of repentance in Bill Hybel’s life? And, WWJD to bring healing and joy to all the women? WWJD if he were the teaching pastor at Willow Creek? How does a shepherd leave the flock during such a crisis? This must have been a very difficult time for Steve Carter, but does his resignation really accomplish good for the church?

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  100. Max: Is it too much to ask a man “called” into the ministry to keep his pants on?!

    Wondered about this for a l-o-n-g time but, Max, you have a way of putting it. Your question boggles the mind. The more they get caught, the more they shift their theology and such, too. Grace, mercy, and forgiveness at the top is trending now.

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  101. Deb: Red pill / Blue pill

    Truthseeker00: I would never have believed what my own gut was warning me of. It is simply too difficult to wrap your head around if all around you are bemused, and consider you ‘nuts’ to question the ‘only true church’ in town.

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  102. Darlene,

    It depends on how someone is employed, but in general, ministers and associate associate ministers are members of the presbytery, not the local congregation. Their discipline is handled by the presbytery, and the members of presbytery are the teaching elders (ministers) and ruling elders (lay leaders). In the OPC & PCA, those can only be men. I do not believe that precludes the presbytery from seeking outside help from someone more qualified to handle those matters, but I’ve never heard of a presbytery doing that, either. (A congregation can still depose its minister, but that is a different process.)

    I can see why a well-intentioned presbytery would act the way it did – it’s what they always do. However, I can also understand why Jen would not trust the process or want to be involved. I am a little hopeful that a result of #churchtoo will be increased sensitivity to the vulnerability of victims in this process, and that there will be an openness to considering ways to give them an acceptable way to approach these things.

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  103. Samuel Conner: This business of young men going to “professional ministry” grad school and being parachuted into positions of trust and power over people who don’t know them is IMO part of the problem.

    Agreed. Most of SBC’s 1,000+ new church plants are led by “pastors” fresh out of seminary. Certainly we need the energy of youth in church, but it must be coupled with the wisdom of age … young folks to speed things up a bit, old folks to slow it down. A church with a pastor in his 20s-30s with an “elder” board of same age is a recipe for disaster.

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  104. Max: Agreed.Most of SBC’s 1,000+ new church plants are led by “pastors” fresh out of seminary.Certainly we need the energy of youth in church, but it must be coupled with the wisdom of age … young folks to speed things up a bit, old folks to slow it down.A church with a pastor in his 20s-30s with an “elder” board of same age is a recipe for disaster.

    Max; No disrespect to these young men coming out of seminary, but they are much to young and full of themselves to realize the wisdom it takes to pastor a church.

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  105. mot: Max;No disrespect to these young men coming out of seminary, but they are much to young and full of themselves to realize the wisdom it takes to pastor a church.

    Most of them start seminary with that, having been told for years that they could do no wrong.

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  106. Truthseeker00: I posted a response to this, which did not show up. Just wanted to reply that I experienced this very thing, and found myself wondering if the elders in my church could be manipulated even to the point of committing great crimes, or abandoning their wives and families. These were men I had know for many years, and most of them had been friends of our family who we brought into our church. It was very frightening, and I kept telling myself (as did my spouse) it must be my overactive imagination. Until I discovered the Wartburg Watch, and found that others had experienced the same troubling things I had.

    You’ll go insane trying to make evil good, you’ll question yourself, question if you’re really seeing what you’re seeing and hearing what you’re hearing. You’ll go crazy.

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  107. Thersites: There is a lot of re-thinking on the Milgram experiments including some on faulty procedures and more recently around its conclusions.Many participants did protest and tried to resist but were manipulated into compliance.One conclusion that struck a cord was that resisting evil orders is a skill that can be taught.

    I’d read that there were some recent studies that questioned what Stanley Milgram was doing and whether it really proved his point. Some figure that the subjects of the experiment might have known the thing was a farce and played along; as you point out, others question the methods and what they really prove, was it too coercive to establish that the people actually operated under free will? Possibly the experiments were fatally flawed. But it’s chilling that anyone not part of the 3% or so of the population without a conscience could ever be persuaded under any circumstances to potentially kill another in the interests of a scientific experiment. I have seen some extraordinary behavior from church members that makes me believe the Milgram Experiments and Asch Conformity experiments were pretty close to the truth.

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  108. Daisy: Comp doctrine says women are weak, stupid, easily deceived, and need to be led by men

    And the ones who accept the equal IQ of women raise and teach them that a godly woman will pretend to be stupid, easily deceived and in need of male guidance so that her comp men can pretend to be smart, not easily deceived, and never in need of female guidance. I think that is why the comp camp keeps appearing dumber. Can you imagine if sports team members all kept playing worse on purpose just so the others could pretend to be the best?

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  109. Samuel Conner,

    Same with me w/r to “devine call” or “led of(by) the Lord”… if someone says it with respect to living more Christ like, I will not be so cynical…. but, when it involves said person demonstrating “leadership” to the pew peons, my cynical side picks up..
    How many of the abusive leaders highlighted by TWW use the line: “ you need to get behind the vision of the leader, or you are being disobedient to the body”?

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  110. Jeffrey Chalmers: “devine call” or “led of(by) the Lord”

    Let’s be honest about this. In our collective experiences (mine as a 60+ year Southern Baptist), how many church leaders have we encountered who we considered Christlike enough to be under a “devine call” or “led of(by) the Lord”? I’ve known a few such precious souls in my long journey, but they are rare and endangered species in the 21st century church IMO. Oh, I’ve met plenty who have been led by their flesh and not the Spirit, led into the ministry because it looked like a good career path, and/or religious rebels led by theological systems which caught their interest because it was so diametrically opposed to the faith of their fathers (the New Calvinist movement comes to mind).

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  111. Jeffrey Chalmers: “devine call” or “led of(by) the Lord”

    To bring this back to the blog topic, it is clear that David Kim was not under a divine call, nor led of(by) the Lord, to be a campus minister at Princeton! Ms. Willems’ testimony is evidence of that. Defenders of the pulpit will say “Sin happens.” Well, that’s not good enough for representatives of the Kingdom of God on earth. Nor is it good enough for other church leaders who defend abusers amidst the cries of victims, who (as Ms. Willems notes) when abuse is reported “control the process to protect themselves.”

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  112. Seeing this published resolution “on Christlike communication and the use of social media” approved simply solidifies my decision to leave the Baptists for greener pastures.

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  113. Max,

    Max, this really is the “core” issue… claiming some sort of “higher calling/leading”, and covering up to protect your own, or “the system’s” “posterior” … IF one truly believes that G&d is all powerful, why does his “representatives” here on earth to cover up anything? IT seems to me that if all of the “Christian leaders” were truly open and honest, and that worried about “for the sake of the gospel” the Church would really be a “witness to the world”, no matter how “bad” the leaders behave. The “world” in general, is not be default, honest and transparent… I see that all around me.

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  114. Julie Anne: I have to say that I am so tired of these guys thinking they can have some sort of church trial with survivors: ALL MEN and one lone survivor?!?!

    I agree and it is a natural outcropping of not respecting or supporting women. If nothing else, there should be some sort of victim’s advocate involved, but the idea that a panel of men should make all decisions concerning women doesn’t sit well with me. And it obviously leads to pretty poor outcomes.

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  115. Julie Anne,

    (of course, they shouldn’t be having a trial at all, they should have someone outside the organization investigation where there is no crime involved, and the police where there is.) I get that this is a polity thing, but I have read other horror stories from pca on how this works on victims.

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  116. Ken F (aka Tweed): While I don’t agree with gender-based roles and hierarchy, I also don’t agree that there are no differences between men and women. The fact that a woman’s perspective is valuable must be due to her being more than just another person.

    Women have different experiences in life, and that is one reason. Men generally do not have to deal with sitting in church made up of all women elders and pastors who think they are ‘prone to being deceived’ and ‘more emotional’. Many of the differences between men and women come from culture and nurture, not nature.

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  117. ishy: Over and over from New Cals I hear “Women are always deceived”. …Lately, though, after seeing Mohler’s 1993 speech and Moore’s direction toward politics, I am wondering if their whole focus is to create something like in the Handmaid’s Tale. There’s something very sinister about everything they do that goes way beyond theology.

    If you wanted to abuse and control women, how could you set up a better system? Some of these people have been taught wrong and going along with the crowd, and some of them are teaching these things on purpose, imo. Not sure how to sort them out.

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  118. ishy: after seeing Mohler’s 1993 speech and Moore’s direction toward politics, I am wondering if their whole focus is to create something like in the Handmaid’s Tale. There’s something very sinister about everything they do that goes way beyond theology

    Remember the Dodeka secret society?

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  119. I think that there is a clear advantage for a society to recognize that there are differences between male and female populations in both nature and nurture while at the same time recognizing individual differences within those populations.

    I have seen over the years a whole potful of women who at the same time resent the mess out of the fact that they have to work a job outside the home with young children still in the home, while at the same time they also resent the mess out of the fact that they do not think they are being treated fairly on that job.

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  120. I think that there is a clear advantage for a society to recognize that there are differences between male and female populations in both nature and nurture while at the same time recognizing individual differences within those populations.

    I have seen over the years a whole potful of women who at the same time resent the mess out of the fact that they have to work a job outside the home while there are young children still in the home, and also at the same time they also resent the mess out of the fact that in their opinion they are not being treated fairly on that job.

    Equal opportunity resentment one might say.

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  121. Nick Bulbeck: Though as a short man, I wonder whether the Pied Piper thinks tall women are sin-induced mutations.

    Ha! Probably.

    I am reminded that in Beth Moore’s letter she alluded to several men who were shorter and how she felt the need to wear flats so as not to tower over them because they don’t take it well when a woman is taller…

    I too think height is a good example of a trait which is actually observable and proven, unlike most stated differences between men and women(many of which are neither). Just because men are ‘taller’ than women doesn’t me that you (man) are taller than me (woman). Now apply that to literally everything else.

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  122. Lea: I am reminded that in Beth Moore’s letter she alluded to several men who were shorter and how she felt the need to wear flats so as not to tower over them because they don’t take it well when a woman is taller…

    Oh, brother! She must really feel guilty when she’s around John Piper or Russell Moore!

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  123. Thersites: They may be difficult to put up and can be wrong like everyone else, but no one likes disagreement. So instead of shunning them they should be sought after as a valuable ingredient.

    Seeking out and nourishing the ability of people to disagree with the group, is one of the ways of preventing groupthink. If you get rid of all disagreement, you will make poorer decisions, and there are ways to encourage it culturally and with the setup of the group discussions.

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  124. Lea: I agree and it is a natural outcropping of not respecting or supporting women. If nothing else, there should be some sort of victim’s advocate involved, but the idea that a panel of men should make all decisions concerning women doesn’t sit well with me. And it obviously leads to pretty poor outcomes.

    When you have a theology that says all women are temptresses and men can’t help being seduced, then they will treat it like a war panel. Add to that protection of the institution and their salaries above all else, and there’s no way they would make it fair.

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  125. Max: To bring this back to the blog topic, it is clear that David Kim was not under a divine call, nor led of(by) the Lord, to be a campus minister at Princeton!Ms. Willems’ testimony is evidence of that.Defenders of the pulpit will say “Sin happens.”Well, that’s not good enough for representatives of the Kingdom of God on earth.Nor is it good enough for other church leaders who defend abusers amidst the cries of victims, who (as Ms. Willems notes) when abuse is reported “control the process to protect themselves.”

    It might be better to say that, granting the judgment of charity that DK’s subjective sense of “divine call” was actually valid at the first, he betrayed that call and disqualified himself by preying on Jesus’ people rather than serving them as a righteous undershepherd.

    I see an analogy to the David/Bathsheba incident and its aftermath. David was certainly called to be king over Israel; Samuel had been commanded by YHWH to annoint him to be that. But at some point, he stopped shepherding Israel with integrity. And after that point, the sword never left his house, either in his lifetime or in his descendants’.

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  126. Samuel Conner: … granting the judgment of charity that DK’s subjective sense of “divine call” was actually valid at the first … I see an analogy to the David/Bathsheba incident and its aftermath. David was certainly called to be king over Israel …

    But David was not called to be “pastor” of Israel … he was a military leader, not a ministry leader. Kim shouldn’t be given any slack on this – whether he was “called” or not, he permanently disqualified himself from ministry at Princeton but chose to pursue professional ministry … until his sin found him out. Forgive Kim if he repents? Certainly. Restore him to ministry? NO!

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  127. Max: Agreed. Most of SBC’s 1,000+ new church plants are led by “pastors” fresh out of seminary.

    It’s a Jobs Handout Program for loyal on-fire Calvinjugend.

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  128. Clockwork Angel: Maybe if Damore had worked for a company that eschewed the H1B visa, he’d have had far more encounters with female software engineers.

    In my shop, Customer Support (the guys manning the phones) are all male, but our actual development/maintenance staff is 50/50 coed.

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  129. Truthseeker00: Just saw the latest, and most serious, allegations concerning Hybels.

    Pastor(TM) is like Paterfamilias in pre-Christian Rome — absolute sexual rights over all his inferiors and animate property. Rank Hath Its Privileges.

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  130. Truthseeker00: Just yesterday I had the chance to question my brother, who is still a part of one of WCC’s offshoots, and once was part of the worship team at the mother ship. It was sadly clear that his allegiance to the institution was too great to ask the really hard questions.

    The Party Can Do No Wrong.
    Ees Party Line, Comrades.

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  131. Max,

    Agreed. And I’ll add (this is part of the analogy that I see) that IMO David ben Jesse should, after acknowledging that his conduct had given the nations grounds to blaspheme YHWH, have abdicated in favor of a righteous son (if any of them were). That might have prevented the slaughter that afterward overtook his children. In the actual event, it kind of looks like DbJ had surrendered his moral authority and could neither prevent his children from doing the same things he had done (rape, murder) nor punish them after they followed in his footsteps.

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  132. jyjames: Note subsequent to the NYT coverage of Superstar Hybels today: when he originally stepped down in October, Hybels said he intended to do his Leadership Shtick globally, focusing on the 3rd World:

    Including sex tourism in Bangkok?

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  133. jyjames: “In many evangelical churches, the pastor is the superstar on which everything else rests, making accusations of harassment particularly difficult to confront. A pastor such as Mr. Hybels is a conduit to Christ, with sermons so mesmerizing that congregants rush to buy tapes of them after services.

    Translation:
    “There is only one Mediator between God and Man — PASTOR Hybels!”

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  134. Lea,

    ““on Christlike communication and the use of social media””
    +++++++++++++++++++++++

    ‘Christlike’…. like magic putty for those with power – they can mold it into whatever weapon is most convenient to silence and control those on whom their power depends.

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  135. Thersites: I’ve developed a visceral reaction to the mention of “its biblical”.

    30 years ago, I developed the same reaction to the equivalent “It’s SCRIPTURAL”.

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  136. Lea,

    I don’t think it made any difference at Willow Creek. Both genders sought to protect the institution. the only difference I saw is the women were better at using the compassionate language.

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  137. ishy: Over and over from New Cals I hear “Women are always deceived”. Men that seem to be attracted to New Calvinism seem to have this desire to own and control other people, and I think they created their theology to do so.

    Just like the NSDAP!

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  138. Lea: I am reminded that in Beth Moore’s letter she alluded to several men who were shorter and how she felt the need to wear flats so as not to tower over them because they don’t take it well when a woman is taller…

    Nothing personal, but another reason why not everyone is “into” Beth Moore teaching.

    Jesus confronted the tall egos of short stature of his time, head on. He did not “feel the need to …” because “they don’t take it well when …”

    Tiptoe-around-the-ego takes the church down a path of trouble. God has no time for people’s egos. Pride goes before a fall. Simple truth.

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  139. Lydia,

    Protecting the institution is a problem in many organization, across genders, that has to be dealt with. Doesn’t mean excluding one group from decision making doesn’t cause extra problems in addition to that.

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  140. jyjames: He did not “feel the need to …” because “they don’t take it well when …”

    I wasn’t quoting Beth, I was paraphrasing, just to be clear.

    I don’t have to be a ‘fan’ of Beth Moore to see where she’s coming from.

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  141. Max: But David was not called to be “pastor” of Israel … he was a military leader, not a ministry leader.Kim shouldn’t be given any slack on this – whether he was “called” or not, he permanently disqualified himself from ministry at Princeton but chose to pursue professional ministry … until his sin found him out.Forgive Kim if he repents?Certainly.Restore him to ministry?NO!

    Agreed; I did not mean in the suggestion of an analogy that DK should continue “in office” as DbJ did. And, indeed, things never went well for DnJ after that incident. It may have been better to abdicate as a public expression of repentance and an acknowledgement of the loss of integrity.

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  142. Samuel Conner: it kind of looks like DbJ had surrendered his moral authority and could neither prevent his children from doing the same things he had done (rape, murder) nor punish them after they followed in his footsteps.

    Interesting analysis. Kept the title but lost the moral ground. Wonder how many “leaders” we have that are in a similar situation, stealth or cloaked in “grace”. Time will tell, with the fall-out from swept-under-the-rug moral failure.

    Another question is: if a religious leader is told that a church person/leader is a predator (has preyed on someone), and they sweep it under the rug, is this, too, a moral failure on the part of the leader? Do they, too, retain their title while losing their footing on moral ground?

    Are there entire systems manned with leaders who have titles sans moral fiber/footing?

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  143. Max: But David was not called to be “pastor” of Israel … he was a military leader, not a ministry leader.Kim shouldn’t be given any slack on this – whether he was “called” or not, he permanently disqualified himself from ministry at Princeton but chose to pursue professional ministry … until his sin found him out.Forgive Kim if he repents?Certainly.Restore him to ministry?NO!

    I don’t believe anyone is “called to be pastor” in the way that these guys understand it. I don’t believe a fair reading of the New Testament would support the notion that such a position exists–again, at least the position as they understand it.

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  144. Law Prof: I don’t believe anyone is “called to be pastor” in the way that these guys understand it.

    For a bunch who believes God has foreordained everything, it’s clear that most of them choose to be pastors – even though they don’t believe in free will. They are a strange lot.

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  145. Max,

    Max,
    I keep thinking about what you wrote. Over my not quite as long as you, but still respectable number of years, I can think of quite a few number of examples, from variuos flavors, where the leaders claim to be lead, or told, “by the Lord” for such and such, but as time went by it did not pan out. Unfortunately, pew peons are not encouraged/supported in questioning these “leaders” to attempt to hold them accountable… y

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  146. In 1971 when I was a senior at Ga Tech God called me into the ministry. I had been accepted to grad school at Ga Tech when it happened. My parents were stunned but supportive. My grandmother unexpectedly gave me a check to cover seminary expenses. I asked no one for money and He provided.

    I could never have predicted the course the ministry has taken me since then but I do not question His direction.

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  147. ishy: Over and over from New Cals I hear “Women are always deceived”. Men that seem to be attracted to New Calvinism seem to have this desire to own and control other people, and I think they created their theology to do so.

    Lately, though, after seeing Mohler’s 1993 speech and Moore’s direction toward politics, I am wondering if their whole focus is to create something like in the Handmaid’s Tale. There’s something very sinister about everything they do that goes way beyond theology.

    From my memory, Augustine said sin entered the World through a woman’s corrupted soul. He was Calvin’s foundation.

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  148. drstevej: God called me into the ministry.

    Thanks for sharing your story.

    Does “God called me” mean hand over a check? Clearly not, as you point out.
    Does “God called me” mean God’s authority over the flock so, “Flock – don’t question”, etc.?

    The money-demand and the authority direct from God over others is where “God calling” gets weird.

    I, too, believe, God directed me to my profession. I went to college and found a job through the normal channels, without proclaiming “God’s call”. I was also a missionary twice, however, without the aura of authority over others. It was sharing the Gospel as an invite.

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  149. jyjames,

    My desire is to exercise authority and respond to authority in a manner pleasing to God. I do not believe the call to serve in the church is higher than other callings in society. Each has an opportunity to help fulfill the Great Commission.

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  150. drstevej: My desire is to exercise authority and respond to authority in a manner pleasing to God. I do not believe the call to serve in the church is higher than other callings in society. Each has an opportunity to help fulfill the Great Commission.

    Indeed. Very well stated. Lovely.

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  151. Jeffrey Chalmers: pew peons are not encouraged/supported in questioning these “leaders” to attempt to hold them accountable

    Because they have been taught that there is to be a distinct division between the clergy and laity, where the clergy rules and the laity are ruled, where the clergy is anointed and they are not. This is, of course, not Biblical. Whose job is the ministry? Every believer has a part. In the Church of the Living God, all members (in both pulpit and pew) are to hold each other accountable to a holy standard.

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  152. I believe everyone is called to ministry, but ministry means being a servant, not a leader. Jesus is the only leader of the church and that’s why the veil tore at Jesus’ death. I don’t believe in “servant leadership” or “pastoral authority” or anything else that puts one of God’s servants over another.

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  153. drstevej:
    In 1971 when I was a senior at Ga Tech God called me into the ministry. I had been accepted to grad school at Ga Tech when it happened. My parents were stunned but supportive. My grandmother unexpectedly gave me a check to cover seminary expenses. I asked no one for money and He provided.

    I could never have predicted the course the ministry has taken me since then but I do not question His direction.

    I’m glad you’ve served the Lord. But I truly believe that in this modern age in which all who know and follow Jesus are part of a royal priesthood, there no longer being any special Levitical priests, that God calls every Christian to the ministry, and that no calling is greater than another. The greatest anyone can possibly do is follow Jesus, do what He asks, no more, no less. Different parts of the Body, but the same Body, different gifts, but the same Holy Spirit, all working together, none greater than the other, all for the glory of God. You have to realize that based on what I’ve seen and heard and experienced over the course of over a third of a century, when anyone speaks of how God called them into the ministry, as if that were anything different from what others experience, I tend to immediately identify that person as either: 1). a fraud, 2). a narcissist, or 3). a deluded Christian, well-meaning perhaps, but simply paying more attention to preacher types and those who thump their chests and call themselves leaders than to the simple truth of what Paul said in I Cor. 12.

    I understand you were called into the ministry. So is everyone else who ever knew Jesus. We are are called into the ministry.

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  154. drstevej:
    jyjames,

    My desire is to exercise authority and respond to authority in a manner pleasing to God. I do not believe the call to serve in the church is higher than other callings in society. Each has an opportunity to help fulfill the Great Commission.

    If you think your authority is over other men and women who also know Christ, who are royal priests serving Jesus just like you, in that you can tell them authoritatively “Do this or don’t do that”, and you believe that you possess such a power outside of pure prophetic revelation or simply imploring them to follow what God has clearly said in the Bible (an authority we all possess at all times), then I would suggest either you did not hear from God in 1971, but instead listened to your own lusts, or that you have stopped hearing from Him at some point. If, on the other hand, you exercise authority over things in your life, sins and struggles, using that authority and overcoming with Christ’s help, exercising authority over those things God puts in your way, perhaps even over demons themselves, but not over men and women also made in God’s image and holding the priesthood status exactly as you hold it, then I’d say you’ve got it and you’re on the right track.

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  155. ishy:
    I believe everyone is called to ministry, but ministry means being a servant, not a leader. Jesus is the only leader of the church and that’s why the veil tore at Jesus’ death. I don’t believe in “servant leadership” or “pastoral authority” or anything else that puts one of God’s servants over another.

    Perhaps one could say that it is much more biblical to aspire “lead [by example] through service” than to aspire to “serve by leading [controlling others]”

    “servant leadership”, properly nuanced, goes right back to Jesus’ words: “whoever would be great among you, let him become servant of all”

    The “great men” of Jesus’ age sought, and of ours seek, authority over others. That is one of the things that alarms me about the present state of the churches.

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  156. Lea,

    It’s not about gender, imo. That’s a deflection from a bigger problem of “institutional panels” investigating themselves. The gender argument is a false sense of security, I fear. after everything we have learned over the past 15 years why would it be wise for a victim to go before such a panel? The institution wants to maintain itself and grow. We assume things about leaders in an institution based on what? Gender? The egalitarian women leaders at Willow Creek we’re certainly more interested in protecting the institution.

    A few weeks ago just for grins, I posted a comment on SBC voices in a post about dealing with abuse in the church. Keep in mind these are mostly pastors. In my comment I suggested it would be wise for pastors to tell their congregations to report abuse to the authorities (which they can do anonymously) before they even tell the pastor. The comment was deleted. You see, that would be giving away institutional Authority.

    My position is that its taking a chance, based on much experience, a victim would be revictimized by such “well meaning” people and is too great a risk. I’m starting to wonder if we have learned anything at all?

    I watched in horror, a video at the women’s rally of the SBC,nas a female speaker begged pastors to give her “agency”. Doesn’t that defeat the purpose?

    I have been around here long enough that my non-comp Bonafides shouldn’t be in question.

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  157. ishy: I don’t believe in “servant leadership”

    I think using the term ‘servant leadership’ in a church context is just a way of avoiding the ‘servant’ part of it. Nothing wrong with being a leader, leadership can happen quite naturally and be a great thing, but self appointed leaders who also claim a calling to bully other people (and often times to get rid of actual natural leaders in the church that aren’t them) are mostly the issue here.

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  158. Samuel Conner: Perhaps one could say that it is much more biblical to aspire “lead [by example] through service” than to aspire to “serve by leading [controlling others]”

    I absolutely believe this. I also think this is the core ‘witness’ we have to other people.

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  159. Lydia: The gender argument is a false sense of security, I fear. after everything we have learned over the past 15 years why would it be wise for a victim to go before such a panel?

    I wasn’t speaking to this particular issue but more generally. I think having a mix of experience on a decision making body is useful, because monolithic groups miss things. [And of course, churches that have all male elder bodies, all male pastors, tend to have other unsavory views about women that would affect their decision making abilities. I don’t think you’re going to end up randomly with an all male panel of any size without actively excluding women in church]

    As for why a victim would want to go before such a panel? Well, they might not of course. If it were me, I would ask what the purpose of such a panel was. I could see an occasion where I wanted to give a warning in order to prevent future tragedies. I could see where you might want to get something on record. I could even see wanting to call everybody’s bad behavior as you left the church. I could see many reasons. However, if it were to evaluate the victim themselves in some way, or judge their story with the idea of some sort of discipline for them, or to get approval from this group, I would probably say skip it.

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  160. Lydia: I watched in horror, a video at the women’s rally of the SBC,nas a female speaker begged pastors to give her “agency”. Doesn’t that defeat the purpose?

    Well, my agency was leaving such a church so I get what you’re saying here. What is actually happened is that women are being actively encouraged or alternately prevented from doing things (taking agency I suppose) within a specific church or within their marriage. That doesn’t mean they can’t, but they would have to ignore the pressure and probably leave the church and many people aren’t ready to do that. It could very easily blow up relationships, and not everyone is ready to do that either. Maybe that lady isn’t ready, but she’s getting close. This is a step in that direction.

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  161. Law Prof: If, on the other hand, you exercise authority over things in your life, sins and struggles, using that authority and overcoming with Christ’s help, exercising authority over those things God puts in your way, perhaps even over demons themselves, but not over men and women also made in God’s image and holding the priesthood status exactly as you hold it, then I’d say you’ve got it and you’re on the right track.

    Exactly.

    It’s interesting that the leaders exercising authority by telling others what to do, are the ones who have little control over themselves.

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  162. jyjames: It’s interesting that the leaders exercising authority by telling others what to do, are the ones who have little control over themselves.

    Some 40 years ago, a business magazine did a humor piece on how the goal of organizations is Infinite Power with Zero Responsibility. (To which my type example is Caesar Caligula.)

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  163. Law Prof: But I truly believe that in this modern age in which all who know and follow Jesus are part of a royal priesthood, there no longer being any special Levitical priests, that God calls every Christian to the ministry, and that no calling is greater than another.

    However, there are still specialists within that Body. That’s how I view the ordained priesthood of my church, as specialists within the congregation.

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  164. Max: For a bunch who believes God has foreordained everything, it’s clear that most of them choose to be pastors – even though they don’t believe in free will. They are a strange lot.

    Witch doctors and tribal shamans, the whole bunch of em’.

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  165. Law Prof: royal priests serving Jesus just like you

    Priesthood of ‘the’ believer is a foreign concept in the American church because church leaders have intentionally diminished that Scriptural truth to create a distinct separation of clergy and laity (an unBiblical model). The only “authority” in a church should be Christ, but sadly His authority is waning in the organized church.

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  166. Max: Priesthood of ‘the’ believer is a foreign concept in the American church because church leaders have intentionally diminished that Scriptural truth to create a distinct separation of clergy and laity (an unBiblical model). The only “authority” in a church should be Christ, but sadly His authority is waning in the organized church.

    Just had to quote this, Max. Needs to be said again, and again.

    The tithe-10%-laity that supports the full time church clergy (nowadays as entertainers and business entrepreneurs as they build their dynasties) may be a model, due to economics, that goes away as we lose ground in the middle class. No predictions here, just wondering.

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  167. jyjames: Just had to quote this, Max. Needs to be said again, and again.

    The tithe-10%-laity that supports the full time church clergy (nowadays as entertainers and business entrepreneurs as they build their dynasties) may be a model, due to economics, that goes away as we lose ground in the middle class. No predictions here, just wondering.

    I have had similar forebodings for more than a decade. I don’t think that many mainstream Evangelical churches know how to be churches of the poor. Funny thing, though, there were not many rich, powerful or ‘wise’ among those who were called to Christ in the churches of the first Century. Perhaps the churches will have to be re-founded on principles and practices that more closely resemble those of the original founding.

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  168. Samuel Conner: Funny thing, though, there were not many rich, powerful or ‘wise’ among those who were called to Christ in the churches of the first Century. Perhaps the churches will have to be re-founded on principles and practices that more closely resemble those of the original founding.

    … and more closely resemble those of the original *funding*.

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  169. Lydia,

    “It’s not about gender, imo. That’s a deflection from a bigger problem of “institutional panels” investigating themselves. The gender argument is a false sense of security, I fear.’

    “I watched in horror, a video at the women’s rally of the SBC,nas a female speaker begged pastors to give her “agency”. Doesn’t that defeat the purpose?”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++

    parts of my brain are asleep at the moment…

    do you mean that begging for agency and then being allowed to have agency will do nothing to mitigate institutions protecting themselves at the expense of the individual? (pretty sure that’s what you mean)

    i agree the big picture problem is institution over the individual.

    more telescoped in, the fact that women have to resort to begging church leaders in public for their own personal ‘agency’… utterly pathetic church leaders and church culture.

    such an affront to half the world, to God who with love and power created them.

    i understand why women don’t leave (and the investment it all represents), but the throbbing question is still shouts on its own volition through the atmosphere & air waves, “why don’t you leave??!”

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  170. Jen, thank you so very much for your courage in publicly sharing your story. Like you, I hope that your account will encourage any other David Kim and/or Redeemer victims to come forward. I hope they’ll be treated from the start with more compassion and integrity than you’ve experienced.

    Dr. Diane Langberg (PCA expert in trauma therapy) has said that a church’s institutional response to sexual abuse allegations ought to reveal the heart and character of God to the victims. Redeemer and the NY presbytery–so far–have failed you at that level.

    Your voice matters, though. It really does.

    You’ve already educated Redeemer into handling the situation better. I’ve read Redeemer’s August 1 email (posted by Amy Smith on Twitter), and hope that the upcoming independent investigation into David Kim is truly independent, and not another internal investigation in disguise, designed merely for institutional protection (and/or PR). Since Redeemer has already fired Kim, it seems as if this independent investigation is their attempt to find any other Kim victims.

    I hope and pray that the leaders at Redeemer are humble and teachable, and that you find peace and healing…

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  171. elastigirl,

    “do you mean that begging for agency and then being allowed to have agency will do nothing to mitigate institutions protecting themselves at the expense of the individual? (pretty sure that’s what you mean)”

    How can one adult give another “agency” in a voluntary organization in a free country? Even our constitution says our agency and rights, it outlines, are inherent. Our rights do not come FROM government. Government is supposed to protect them. In addition to that, as adult believers our agency in the voluntary body of Christ comes from Jesus Christ. Not the pastor. What male pastors can “give” her they can also take away. I’m afraid the protesters sounded more like dissidents in the Soviet Union than free women in our republic. They do not know they are free?

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  172. jyjames:

    Are there entire systems manned with leaders who have titles sans moral fiber/footing?

    I can’t imagine that this is not common, and not just in religious “enterprises”

    Three things that seem to be true have weighed on my thoughts in recent years:

    * Eric Hoffer’s famous dictum that “every great cause starts as a movement, eventually turns into a business, and ultimately degenerates into a racket”

    The Jesus movement has been “business-ified” in our lifetimes, and there are clearly parts of it that look a lot like rackets

    * the “Iron Law of Institutions”: office-holders in institutions tend to use their office to advance personal interests rather than the mission of the institution

    This isn’t hard to see in every field of human endeavor; the churches are not immune to this, and perhaps are especially vulnerable because of the presumption that officers are more righteous than the mass of members

    * the prevalence of sociopathy in the upper reaches of organizations:

    ABout 4% of the population is thought to be seriously deficient in both conscience and empathy (Martha Stout, “The Sociopath Next Door”). Dr Stout asserts that sociopaths are attracted to positions of power, and that the upper reaches of institutions tend to be “enriched” in this personality type compared with the general population.

    If those three are all true, and I suspect they are, their combination does not bode well for the possibility of the long term health of christian institutions.

    Perhaps we need non-institutional forms of christianity.

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  173. jyjames: The tithe-10%-laity that supports the full time church clergy (nowadays as entertainers and business entrepreneurs as they build their dynasties) may be a model, due to economics, that goes away as we lose ground in the middle class. No predictions here, just wondering.

    And it’s a valid wondering jyjames.
    As I’ve opined here before, unless the up and coming kids are slated to become, doctors, lawyers, and other upper-strata professionals, they have no economic future.
    And from that standpoint, the model you cite is not sustainable.

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  174. Law Prof,

    In general terms here, not specific to any one person’s claims:

    – The authority of the call – can be used to manipulate others.
    – The authority of the annointing by the Holy Spirit – same possibility.
    – The authority of the prophetic – same.
    – The authority of Bible knowledge – as in, the claim, “I know Scripture better than others or I have advanced degrees in Bible, or I have the secret message of the Bible…”

    4 claims to authority seen in the church, used to be in command and control over others, (instead of being in charge of one’s own life, and then persuading others to do the same, for themselves).

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  175. Lydia,

    “They do not know they are free?”
    +++++++++++++

    i’d say psychological captives.

    perhaps some do know they are free, but that if they exercise that freedom it would be like defecting from a closed country where the cost for doing so means leaving behind your ‘family and home’.

    and perhaps they realize how ludicrous it is that exercising their freedom means loss of their community. in America, in God’s church, of all places. so maybe they’re giving their best shot at trying to persuade the f’ed up leaders of their beloved community to see what tyrant scum they’re being. in an effort to stay in their community.

    it’s so f’ed up.

    i so want to spell it out. john piper’s and wayne grudem’s headship deserves all the expletives.

    i bet jesus would say it. i bet he would say it all.

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  176. when evangelical women / baptist women say they want to be able to exercise agency, i imagine they mean to participate in any and all ways in their church, let alone their own lives at home. and the greater their own skill, knowledge, expertise, & perhaps passion, the greater their opportunity & influence.

    surely there are some saavy and smart strategies for making this happen in comp/pat church groups, beyond begging. and before simply evacuating.

    has anyone written a book/articles about such strategies?

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  177. elastigirl,

    You are probably right. But why would they trust such leaders to change considering recent history of Patriarchy,bDriscoll, Mahaney and even the BFM? Some women even affirmed the BFM! Every good relationship/church community is built on trust. Without that? Others mileage may vary.

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  178. elastigirl,

    Oh, I forgot to add that there have been several articles on SBC voices from a pastor’s wife and other pastors on how to go about doing what you suggest. the pastor’s wife warned and chided women about being too demanding or too uppity about such things like working in the nursery. The guys were basically debating where women could teach and committee assignments. It was all very positive. Lol. Sigh.

    But remember, the BFM is everything now. Many women willingly affirmed it to get rid of Patterson. Any woman who affirmed the BFM in order to be able to teach or have a committee assignment is taking an oath that she cannot “pastor”. Let the defining of “Pastor” in every Church begin! Lol.

    You can’t make this stuff up. Reality is often more convoluted and Stranger Than Fiction!.

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  179. elastigirl: i bet jesus would say it. i bet he would say it all.

    He said, “Woe unto you,” which translates, from the NT Greek, I believe, into, “From God’s point of view, you are pretty much toast.”

    In their shoes, not an enviable position.

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  180. Lydia:
    Lea,
    She may not be ready, as you say, but she was deemed a leader and activist for Christian women. I don’t get it.

    For Christian women *in the SBC* where they are ate up with Comp nonsense and treat women like dirt. She has some deprogramming to do, is what I’m saying, and this is an early step.

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  181. elastigirl: when evangelical women / baptist women say they want to be able to exercise agency, i imagine they mean to participate in any and all ways in their church, let alone their own lives at home.

    Yes. And they are being actively discouraged and prevented.

    Lydia: But remember, the BFM is everything now. Many women willingly affirmed it to get rid of Patterson. Any woman who affirmed the BFM in order to be able to teach or have a committee assignment is taking an oath that she cannot “pastor”.

    Think how messed up this is though. I think that’s exactly what she was probably getting at…that system is crazy making.

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  182. Lydia: several articles on SBC voices from a pastor’s wife

    How many articles at Pravda written by women did you see before the church me-too scandals? All of a sudden, the New Calvinists are trying to look female-friendly. Would they ever post anything written by a female pastor, rather than a pastor’s wife?

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  183. elastigirl: it’s so f’ed up.

    i so want to spell it out. john piper’s and wayne grudem’s headship deserves all the expletives.

    i bet jesus would say it. i bet he would say it all.

    When you (generic you) strip away all the other-worldly-flowery-horse-poo-poo-perfectionism, I bet he would too.

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  184. Oh goodness. If nobody has said this I just have to say it.

    Last year in PublicSchoolWherever in the South (please note that-in the south) GK#1 in her honors courses had four women teachers who would not fall into the SBC approval bunch, and one man who would not either. I am saying this to make a point.

    One woman was both a pastor and a pastor’s wife. She was black. Another woman was a pastor’s wife but not a pastor herself and was a master teacher in her field. She was black. Another woman was a ‘black Latina’ to use her words. Mexican origin, ancestors fled to Mexico about when the SBC was at its worst infamy, and she was teaching Spanish as a native speaker. Great teacher. The kid is throwing Spanish words around for fun. And the fourth woman was a died in the wool up-north-Yankee math teacher who was not married. The man was flagrantly ‘alternative’ and also a great math teacher. GK#1 mother who also teaches at the school had specifically requested both pastor’s wives/pastor for her kid because of their skill and integrity and reputation. All four were great teachers.

    I’m telling, SBC is going to have to get with the program when it comes to women or lose totally out in the competition for the heroes of female opportunity. Where in this bunch was the evangelical preacher’s wife on the faculty? None. I don’t want to hear from preacher’s wives who have to have a map to get off their own property. Phooey. Go clean your kitchen one more time or something, because out in ‘the world’ you got some real competition for the minds of the young. And I for one do not care one whit if they lose out. It is about time for the chickens to come home to roost.

    Not that I feel intensely about this, of course; but I guess that is obvious.

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  185. jyjames: As in some countries, women are not allowed in the driver’s seat.

    In the Kingdom of God, the rules are different … “Gone is the distinction between Jew and Greek, slave and free man, male and female — you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). In the Kingdom, women can drive too!

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  186. Lydia: Does Beth Moore count?

    She is one of the few female teachers that the New Calvinists have placed their seal of approval on to send their wimmenfolk to. Her “grace, grace, grace” teachings fits with the reformed message and does not threaten the men since she never “preaches” to them, only women. LifeWay loves her – she’s made a ton of money for them. And she helped bring down Paige Patterson – that was HUGE for the new reformers; she has earned a forever place in their kingdom.

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  187. Redeemer City to City is not a church. They have no standing to prosecute him, or whatever it is she would like. Whatever church David Kim is a member of should deal with the issue. It may be he is not a member of any church. Her issue is with David Kim. I don’t believe any church or parachurch willingly kept him working while knowing his sin. If I’m wrong, correct me

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  188. Godith: Redeemer City to City is not a church. They have no standing to prosecute him, or whatever it is she would like.

    At the time she contacted them, he was their employee. They have since terminated him, but if you read what she says, she requested an independent inquiry and some way of notifying people who worked with him that may have been abused. She also thought the email they sent out was inaccurate and this is my understanding of whs why she released her story publicly.

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  189. Truthseeker00: Gee, I wonder why Calvinists have such a hard time explaining the gospel? And I wonder why abuse is so prevalent in an institution that celebrates a false image of a cruel deity who toys with men, pretending to offer them love and salvation, when in reality, most of them were never intended to receive it?

    Because when THEY are being cruel, toying with/abusing/manipulating their inferiors (“Are They GOD’s Chosen?”), pretending to offer them love(TM), they are being like their god.

    And the more cruel they are, the more manipulative, the more false, the more GODLY they are.

    Nya ha ha, My Dear Wormwood.

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  190. Max: She is one of the few female teachers that the New Calvinists have placed their seal of approval on to send their wimmenfolk to.

    Ever hard of the term “Judas Goat”?

    Her “grace, grace, grace” teachings fits with the reformed message and does not threaten the men since she never “preaches” to them, only women.

    Like “Democratic, Democratic, Democratic” in the official name of a Third World dictatorship.

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  191. jyjames: elastigirl: i bet jesus would say it. i bet he would say it all.
    He said, “Woe unto you,” which translates, from the NT Greek, I believe, into, “From God’s point of view, you are pretty much toast.”

    “Put butter in your pockets, ’cause you’re gonna be toast!”

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  192. apparently Kim disputes her account greatly

    http://dkstatement.info/

    more at the link

    “I want to be absolutely clear: I have never sexually assaulted or abused anyone as has been alleged by a woman with whom I was friends for many years. Had CTC conducted an independent investigation as promised, I would have been able to share relevant detail, context, and evidence, and that information would have confirmed that I handled this situation appropriately. I first met this friend 18 years ago when I was a seminary student working at a student-led campus Christian fellowship. She was a senior at the time, and I was a few years older than her. Over a period of several months, we had grown closer, bonding over shared mutual interests. One evening she was at my house, and we were both studying and talking. At one point during the night, while sitting close to me, she told me that her back and neck were bothering her. I offered to give her a massage, and she accepted. She seemed appreciative, and it was in this context, believing that she was reciprocating interest, that I briefly touched her chest over her shirt. I believed my affection was mutual and the physical contact was consensual, and she gave me no indication to the contrary. At no point did she express any verbal or non-verbal discomfort or refusal, nor did she move away or ask me to stop. Afterwards, we continued to study, and there was no other physical contact with her. It was only later that she told me that she had felt uncomfortable with what happened between us. Upon hearing this, I felt absolutely terrible. I immediately apologized and asked for forgiveness, which she readily granted.

    After our interaction and my apology, we continued to keep in touch as friends for about five more years, hanging out together one-on-one and in groups, talking on the phone, exchanging friendly emails, and sharing prayer concerns. Other than this brief encounter and occasional hugs to greet one another, I never had any physical contact with her. We talked about that evening a few times during the course of our friendship, and I again conveyed my sorrow, and she affirmed her forgiveness and never expressed any anger or ill-will. I never asked her not to share about the interaction with other people. When she asked me to share about it with our pastor, I willingly did so, and he counseled me. When I became ordained, she wrote to congratulate me and expressed her sadness about not being able to attend the ceremony. She supported me in my ministry financially and through prayer support for years, with every indication that we were engaged in a healthy friendship and that the encounter from 17 years ago had been completely resolved between adult Christian friends.

    This is why it was a complete shock to learn about this recent allegation of sexual assault and abuse. Although I was forthright in the initial conversation with CTC about this single interaction with her, I could not give the full context to CTC because my recounting was only a few minutes long and CTC did not advise me of the specific allegations. After the initial conversation with CTC, I was not given any opportunity to provide any further information as was promised. Although I clearly and repeatedly told CTC that I would fully cooperate with an independent investigation and made myself available to be interviewed by the investigators, the investigation never took place. I felt deceived, and as I was told not to speak to anyone about this pending the investigation, I never had the opportunity to fully explain the situation or defend myself. To this day, CTC still refuses to provide me with the specific allegations made by her, and I do not know exactly what she has accused me of. ”

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