Thomas Chantry Trial, Day Nine – Guest Post by Todd Wilhelm

“After listening to the three-plus hour interview with Dr. Davis my feeling is she had little impact on creating doubt about the credibility and validity of the testimony of the victims in this case.”

Todd Wilhelm

 

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Scales of Justice

Our friend Todd Wilhelm is continuing to post about the Tom Chantry trial. We are grateful that he is in court each day and posting details of the legal proceedings; however, we understand that in certain corners of Christendom, reading the information Todd posts is highly discouraged. One has to wonder why…

There has been some interesting commentary regarding Todd’s posts, and Day Nine was no exception. Here are two comments that caught our attention.

https://thouarttheman.org/2018/08/10/day-nine-of-the-thomas-chantry-trial/#comment-5664

We are grateful that some who are following Tom Chantry’s trial are asking very important questions. Keep the questions coming…

Here is what Todd Wilhelm had to say about Day Nine of the court proceedings. We applaud Todd for devoting so much time and attention to what is occurring in the courtroom and disseminating pertinent information to those of us who could not be in attendance with him.


Day Nine of the Thomas Chantry Trial

(link)

Todd Wilhelm


https://thouarttheman.org/2018/08/10/day-nine-of-the-thomas-chantry-trial/The court session picked up with the video of Dr. Deborah Davis, an expert witness on memory. We had about 2 hours 45 minutes left to watch, having started watching late in yesterday’s court session.

Dr. Davis was a witness for the Defense. As such, John Sears was utilizing her testimony in an attempt to undermine the testimony of the victims who have testified in this case. Dr. Davis talked of “Infantile Amnesia.” She is of the opinion that children generally are unable to remember anything prior to age 3 or 4. She further stated that as adults we generally are unable to remember anything before the age of 10.

When Susan Eazer cross-examined Dr. Davis she was able to restore some sanity to the conversation. The first thing Ms. Eazer did was to highlight the fact that Dr. Davis is a hired gun for defense attorneys. Dr. Davis has testified as an expert witness in approximately 150 cases. Of those 150 cases she has testified in, she has testified for the State a total of 1 time!  Ms. Eazer than asked Dr. Davis about her fee structure.  She charges $3,000 per day, $1,500 for a half day, or $300 per hour. Additionally, she charges $100 per hour while traveling, plus expenses. When asked how much she was charging John Sears for her services, she said $3,000.

In my opinion, Ms. Eazer did a good job of neutralizing the testimony of Dr. Davis. Her questions were direct and specific. When she asked a question that required a yes or no answer Dr. Davis would initially work to avoid the simple answer, preferring to get into a long-winded explanation. Ms. Eazer would shut her down saying that was not the question and then restate the question and ask for a yes or no answer. Dr. Davis was clearly frustrated by this, several times rolling her eyes. It was obvious it pained Dr. Davis to not be in control of the conversation.

Eazer quoted from Dr. Davis’ writings regarding trauma in child sexual abuse. Dr. Davis is of the opinion that unless there is violence or sexual penetration involved in the abuse it does not meet her clinical definition of traumatic. Eazer asked Dr. Davis asked how many sexually abused children she has interviewed. Her answer – zero! I thought this really damaged the credibility of Dr. Davis. My thoughts of her are that she is a scholar who has spent her entire 40-year career in the ivory tower of academia talking with like-minded peers, none of whom have any real-life experience with the working class.

Susan Eazer was able to get Dr. Davis to grudgingly admit that it’s possible that a 3-4-year-old child may be able to recall being sexually molested, that it was highly unlikely but possible. Likewise, she admitted that an adult who was sexually molested at 8-10 years of age could possibly remember that experience, but not with any great detail.

After listening to the three-plus hour interview with Dr. Davis my feeling is she had little impact on creating doubt about the credibility and validity of the testimony of the victims in this case.

I looked up student’s ratings of Dr. Davis and the one below accurately depicts my thoughts of her.

Next, the Defense called Pastor Don Lindblad to the witness stand. John Sears established the facts that Pastor Lindblad has been a pastor for 46 years, the last 25 he has been pastor of Trinity Reformed Baptist Church located in Kirkland, WA. His church was a founding member of the ARBCA in 1997, and he is one of the top leaders in ARBCA.

https://thouarttheman.org/2018/08/10/day-nine-of-the-thomas-chantry-trial/

John Sears led Pastor Lindblad through a sanitized, obviously well-rehearsed recitation of his involvement with Tom Chantry which included the following:

The Chantry family asked Pastor Lindblad to attend the 2000 ARBCA investigation at Miller Valley Baptist Church as an advocate for Tom Chantry. As such, Pastor Lindblad sat in on all the meetings the 3-man investigative team conducted with Chantry.

Pastor Lindblad understood the purpose of the investigation was to bring about reconciliation between the Miller Valley Baptist Church and Tom Chantry by coming up with some recommendations to facilitate this.

In 2005 Tom Chantry contacted Pastor Lindblad concerning an email he had received from Victim 2. Lindblad contacted Victim 2 by email and eventually, a phone call was set up and took place on March 2, 2006. The phone call was a 3-way call between  Chantry, Lindblad and Victim 2. The call lasted approximately 20 minutes and Lindblad said nothing. Lindblad understood Victim 2 wanted an apology from Chantry. Chantry asked Victim 2 to forgive him for spanking him while tutoring him. Victim 2 thanked Chantry, Chantry wished him well in his future, bid him Godspeed and the phone call ended.

The Cross-Examination is where things began to fall apart for the ARBCA leader. Prosecutor Eazer came out with both guns blazing. She asked Lindblad series of rapid-fire questions about the purpose of the 2000 investigation, the 2006 phone call and then a 2009 email he received from Victim 2. Victim 2 felt the matter between he and Chantry had not been concluded in 2006 and wanted to speak with Chantry again. Lindblad responded to Victim 2 by saying Tom does not want to revisit the issue at this point in his life. Eazer asked him why, as a Christian, he would not want to speak with Victim 2? At this point, Judge Astrowsky stopped the proceeding and excused the jurors.

The Judge then admonished Pastor Lindblad saying he was intentionally evasive and non-responsive to Eazer’s questions. He told him if he did not understand a question he should state that, otherwise he needed to answer her questions. He then asked Lindblad to step down and leave the courtroom.

Judge Astrowsky then admonished Eazer for her question, “why, as a Christian…” He said bringing anyone’s religion into a question was inappropriate and he would be referring her conduct to the State Bar. He was also clearly upset with Pastor Lindblad’s conduct on the stand. He stated that if his evasive and non-responsive answers continue he would admonish him again and perhaps cite him for contempt of court and strike him as a witness! He said he would make this clear to Lindblad when he came back into the courtroom and John Sears said he would also speak to him.

Eazer told the Judge that her line of questioning was intended to impeach Lindblad for giving damaging, untruthful testimony.

Once court resumed Lindblad did marginally better answering Eazer’s questions. It was evident he was still not being truthful on several subjects, other times he grudgingly answered.

Eazer got him to admit that he knew the 2000 ARBCA investigation was about more than reconciling the two parties for some light spankings Chantry had administered during catechism class. He admitted that the ARBCA was investigating bare-bottom beatings administered to three boys with hand-crafted paddles, a boat oar and other instruments and Chantry then rubbing their bare butts.

Eazer stated to Lindblad that you were very well aware of what Victim 2 had said. Lindblad said “yes.” And you were aware that the allegations against Chantry were a bit more serious than administering a spanking during a catechism class. Lindblad said “correct.”

Eazer then introduced Exhibit 65, a letter Victim 2 had written to Lindblad. Eazer said, “You knew Tom had beaten [Victim 2] with his pants down and rubbed his bottom.” Lindblad said “yes.”

Eazer got Lindblad to admit that he strongly supported Tom bringing his church into the ARBCA and was not happy that Miller Valley Baptist Church was opposing it.

Eazer drilled Lindblad on a statement he had made in an interview with her where he said, “We (ARBCA) believe the charges were not true.” Eazer asked Lindblad if ARBCA would take that position today. Lindblad said “yes.”

Eazer then introduced Exhibit 76 and asked Lindblad if he went to other ARBCA churches to tell them “what was fact and fiction in the Chantry case.” Lindblad responded “no.” You don’t remember saying that? Lindblad said “no.” Eazer was looking for the place in the document where Lindblad said that and then the Judge brought the trial to a recess. I am sure she will confront him with the evidence once court resumes tomorrow.

Below is a comment from a reader of this blog that proves Lindblad did visit at least one church to spread the news that the ARBCA company line is that the criminal charges against Tom Chantry are not true. CRBC is Christ Reformed Baptist Church, the church formerly pastored by Tom Chantry.

After the jurors were excused for the day Judge Astrowsky said he was going to reconsider referring Eazer’s conduct to the State Bar. He said he appreciated her response given in defense of her line of questioning. My personal opinion is the continued evasiveness of Lindblad on the witness stand may have played a part in the Judge changing his mind.

I have really not done justice to the exchange between Eazer and Lindblad. She asked many questions which I have not recorded where Lindblad attempted to artfully dodge the truth. He is clearly not used to having his word questioned. He concocts what he thinks are clever answers which may fly in a meeting with his church members, but don’t cut it in a court of law. Once the trial is over I intend to get a transcript of this session to let the world see the behavior of this “man of God,” one of the ARBCA’s most respected leaders!

Friday’s trial will resume with Susan Eazer cross-examining Pastor Lindblad. That will be followed by Tom Chantry taking the stand.


Comments

Thomas Chantry Trial, Day Nine – Guest Post by Todd Wilhelm — 115 Comments

  1. Deb,

    Thanks for sharing this!

    Todd,

    Thank you for continuing to go up to the trial and bringing us these reports. I know that your continued reportage is getting eyes on it and I know it’s making the leadership of ARBCA squirm, because they’re being shown for who they are. I would just say that if I was in ARBCA and/or in Pastor Lindblad’s congregation, I’d be looking to get out, because he comes across as a slimy liar.

    I do wonder how today’s testimony went–it’s not often that a defendant in a criminal case takes the stand. No pressure, but really looking forward to it.

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  2. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes: Deb,

    Thanks for sharing this!

    Todd,

    Thank you for continuing to go up to the trial and bringing us these reports.

    YES!!!

    And… from the post:

    “Once the trial is over I intend to get a transcript of this session to let the world see the behavior of this ‘man of God,’ one of the ARBCA’s most respected leaders!”

    Please, do. The coverage here of a “man of God” is shocking! Heartbreaking to think about what the children and parents have gone through when this is the leadership in their church.

    Thank God, that in the US, though we have Freedom of Religion with some dysfunctional churches and leaders, we also have Rule of Law and the Common Good.

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  3. Deborah: Could he get in legal trouble for lying like a rug under oath? I am intrigued that this evil being exposed is in churches of every size and flavor. And it gets covered up in all of them as well.

    To be honest, no, probably not.

    So the best way for this information to get out is for our Deebs to promote what Todd puts on his blog. I do appreciate them giving over the space.

    Also, Dee, I’m looking forward to seeing a picture of your black pug rescue!

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  4. I note that false memories are an issue in many cases (and in particular ‘recovered memories’). However IIRC this case has contemporary evidence and an admission to a degree by the defendant.

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  5. And people can’t figure out why so many churches across the United States are closing and people are leaving and never looking back. Pastors care more about themselves and their jobs and reputatuins more than they do about Jesus.

    Protecting pedophiles is more important than protecting the victims… Lindblad should drop to his knees and repent immediately.

    Dr Davis is what Todd states… a phony. She has never once interviewed an abused child and she is an “expert”? Nah, she is a money grabbing charlatan. What a clown!

    Chantry is a scumbag!

    I can’t help but wonder when John Loftness in Soverign Grace will repent from his pedophilia “spankings” he gave.

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  6. Deborah,

    Years ago, a well heeled guy here was aquitted for murder due to lack of evidence. (A book, “Double Jeopardy” by Bob Hill was written about it). Now that I look back on it, the defendant was most likely a charming and believable sociopath who took the stand and convinced a lot of people of his innocence. But, in the end, he did end up perjuring himself and spent 10 years in prison for it. Had he never taken the stand, there would have been no justice at all. The family and friends of the victim never gave up even after acquittal. They knew he was guilty.

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  7. “Eazer quoted from Dr. Davis’ writings regarding trauma in child sexual abuse. Dr. Davis is of the opinion that unless there is violence or sexual penetration involved in the abuse it does not meet her clinical definition of traumatic. Eazer asked Dr. Davis asked how many sexually abused children she has interviewed. Her answer – zero! I thought this really damaged the credibility of Dr. Davis. My thoughts of her are that she is a scholar who has spent her entire 40-year career in the ivory tower of academia talking with like-minded peers, none of whom have any real-life experience with the working class.”

    Bingo! And isn’t she supposed to bring a compassionate understanding POV as a female? (Reminds me of the ivory tower academics I have heard who think pedophiles can be remediated)

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  8. Dr. Davis says children really don’t have any memories under the age of 10. I guess that totally wipes out elementary school memories. Memories of who our teachers were and who our friends were. I personally treasure those memories. Since Dr. Davis admitted that she hasn’t interviewed any children who were sexually abused, I would think that in further trials where she is called to testify, the astute prosecutor will do his homework on her, and refer to this trial. That’s like me saying I’m a gourmet cook when I’ve never stepped foot in a kitchen. How can I know my subject unless I’m thoroughly familiar with it. Keep up the good work Mr. Wilhelm. We need more people like you.

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  9. I have many memories from under the age of 10. I even have a vague, shadowy memory of being terribly frightened when my crib had been moved to another room due, my mother reports, from my sister’s illness. I can recall other incidents clearly, of which there are no photographic or video recordings, so I know that they are indeed coming from my own memory, such as memories from the day my sister, 14 months older than I, went to school and left me at home alone, and the day she took me to her kindergarten picnic (I was 4), getting ‘lost’ on the way home (it was a block away!) and the teacher rescuing us and giving us many books and other exciting materials, as she was retiring.

    One of the things about academics is that, to flourish, one often has to establish a niche, a distinctive viewpoint that sets one apart from others. Then one must ‘publish’ articles and books to support one’s theories. There is such a very real possibility of a fabricated expert, who exists, and establishes academic ‘documentation’, to tell a desired story. If pastors can live a lie, do we think academics cannot as well?

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  10. No memories before the age of 10??? Either Dr. Davis is a liar, or something is wrong with her brain – or both. At $3,000 per day, I vote for liar.
    The people who defend and lie for predators make me more angry than the predators do!
    If I had the opportunity to take Chantry, Davis, Lindblad, et al down in the woods where no one would hear then scream ……… the temptation might overpower me!
    Would any church leaders or “experts” defend me?

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  11. ” … the ARBCA company line is that the criminal charges against Tom Chantry are not true …”

    Well, I’ve been hesitant to use the “c” word … but ARBCA is coming across as a cult. The warning signs are there: absolute authoritarianism, little tolerance for questions, resistance to critical inquiry, unreasonable fear about the outside world looking in (blogs), leaders are always right, protection of other leaders at all costs, attempts to shield followers from truth – even as it emerges in a court of law.

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  12. Hey Dee! I wanna see you new pug! What’s her name? What’s her name?
    We have 5 dogs, now – all rescues…….. 3 from the animal shelter and 2 that were abandoned.
    Yeah, 5 is a lot. But we live on a farm – we have room!

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  13. Nancy2(aka Kevlar),

    I might just suggest, to you and others, that your understandable anger with abusers and liars, due to your wording, might be suggested to be a threat, or a call to violence. In a world where our words hang in the air forever, it might be prudent for all to make sure they do not write words that are expressive of feelings but not meant to be taken literally. Such hyperbole could be used to make people appear a danger to others that they really are not. Wouldn’t the powers that be love to paint people on blogs such as this as ‘kooks’ and potentially dangerous? How about it Deebs? Maybe a word of warning to those posting to not use hyperbole?

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  14. Truthseeker00,

    As in, the common, hyperbole most understand to be non-threatening, such as ‘I would break his everloving neck!’, when in reality, all hearers know full well that the speaker would never physically attack anyone. But the words, without knowledge of the speaker, appear otherwise.

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  15. I remember in kindergarden cutting my figure with a saw ( they let us use tools in the mids 60’s!) and “ coming to” on my teachers lap, and I had peed my pants! That would be 62 years ago, in Oakland, CA. It was obviously tramatic to me, and there was “no penetration”!…except for the saw tooth!

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  16. PS… to this day, I can “pass out” easily…. I have a clinically diagnostic condition that my blood pressure can drop for a variety of reasons, including injury….. in fact, had a tooth removed recently and passed out in oral surgeons chair!
    .. so, not only can I remember, but there is a medical reason for what happened..
    it seems to me that the abuse stories being told are a h@$$ of alot more tramatic than me cutting my figure with a saw, and peeing my pants on the teachers lap!

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  17. Truthseeker00,

    Nancy was asserting sarcastically what Chantry did —but to children.

    They are going to accuse one of such no matter how flowery and platitudinal one communicates. My favorite accusation is “I don’t like your tone”. It’s really about daring to disagree and painting the other side in insulting labels instead of discussion/debate. Might as well tell people to censor themselves. Some of the best responses to such are sarcasm, absurdity, satire, etc. if you are worried about being Christian, think of Paul suggesting the Judaizers castrate themselves. Yowza!

    The problems with groups is they have unwritten group think rules so when outsiders come in, they freak and instead of discussing the issue, they censor based on “how” one communicated. This blog has a rule that victims of abuse are protected. That isn’t the case everywhere.

    I can see it now, Chantry defenders call out blogger for threatening to take him to the woods. If Nancy could do that, I doubt she would announce it. (Wink)

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  18. Lydia: I can see it now, Chantry defenders call out blogger for threatening to take him to the woods. If Nancy could do that, I doubt she would announce it. (Wink)

    My point exactly. But it could give them one more excuse to encourage their members to not frequent such ‘dangerous’ sites. I agree that they will distort whatever is said, but I am just encouraging others (and reminding myself) to not give them ammunition needlessly.

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  19. Truthseeker00,

    If people attend their churches, chances are the majority do what they are told anyway. Independent thinkers can’t last in those places. And I have no idea how to counteract that. I gave that up due to frustration with group think.

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  20. Erp: I note that false memories are an issue in many cases (and in particular ‘recovered memories’). However IIRC this case has contemporary evidence and an admission to a degree by the defendant.

    I’d also note that this case and trial does not have factors that make false memories possible, such as intensive leading questioning of small children or hypnotism of adults to “recover” memories. Those two factors have been shown to lead to false memories.

    Thomas Chantry is a guy who should have never been around kids as a pastor or a school teacher. He is, imho, a perv. Even the teachers in my junior high who had specially carved paddles for use in giving “three swats” for discipline didn’t use them hardly at all. The threat of the paddle was enough. Chantry was hitting kids for his own perverse enjoyment.

    (Yeah, this was Dulles Junior High School in Stafford, Texas in 1973, a huge shock to a kid who had been born and raised in the California Bay Area. It was like I’d moved to another country.)

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  21. Somewhereintime: Pastors care more about themselves and their jobs and reputations more than they do about Jesus.

    Where are the sincerely faithful and stalwart pastors and leaders that condemn the evil in their profession?

    Jesus called out the evil among the religious leaders of his time. Without reservation.

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  22. jyjames,

    If you are Piper, it is predestined that there are pedos/bad guys in the celery, so why bother calling it out! Remember, Good will come out of it!

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  23. The big evil in christianity is making the pastor the “king and lord” over the congregation. This is where Piper and the rest have fallen off of the slippery road. They truly believe that they rule supreme over”their” churches. Not realizing that they themselves are just part of the body. All have a role, but nowhere do I read that they rule as god.

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  24. Lydia: Dr. Davis is of the opinion that unless there is violence or sexual penetration involved in the abuse it does not meet her clinical definition of traumatic.

    Years ago, didn’t Experts say the exact same thing about Rape?

    “unless there is violence or sexual penetration involved…”

    “I did not know that woman in a Biblical sense.”
    — Doug Phillps ESQUIRE?

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  25. Somewhereintime: The big evil in christianity is making the pastor the “king and lord” over the congregation.

    IMHO, narrow it down to evangelicalism.
    The church evolved to having a pope, then answered in a reformed (1517) way with a pastor, which evolved to be evangelicalism. The pastor thing appears to not work, as you point out.

    Next step? Priesthood of all believers with a focus on all 18 gifts of the HS, (Rom 12, 1 Cor. 12, Eph. 4)? (It’s taking centuries to get past the class, race, and gender divisions with their power dynamics.)

    (The gift of discernment filters out the predators, the gift of giving provides money, the gift of administration organizes people and activities, the gift of service gets things done, teaching does Bible study, evangelism spreads the word, etc. I’ve seen individuals do their gifts. However, not under a church enterprise, because the pastor or the set-up, get in the way. What pastor or board would submit to those who have the gift of discernment as given by the Holy Spirit, God. God doesn’t force or armtwist. His work is voluntary. Gifts are neither paid for [no tithing involved] nor forced [no signed covenants] and have nothing to do with a pastor. Gifted directly from the Holy Spirit to the faithful believer.)

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  26. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes: Thomas Chantry is a guy who should have never been around kids as a pastor or a school teacher.

    Lindblad propping up Chantry = Paterno propping up Sandusky.

    Lindblad’s credentials are admirably, likewise Paterno’s legacy. Too bad they didn’t do the right thing about predators assaulting children under their watch. Over years, decades. This is not incidental. This is practice. And they have propped up the predators. Shameful. Evil.

    They can have crowds applauding; the crowds applauded Barabbas and put Jesus on the cross.

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  27. Jeffrey J Chalmers:
    jyjames,
    If you are Piper, it is predestined that there are pedos/bad guys in the celery, so why bother calling it out!Remember, Good will come out of it!

    But they don’t really believe stuff like that. Pastors like Piper lose their minds if someone even says something bad about them on the internet. I mean, Piper thinks a woman giving him directions is horribly offensive. I’ve seen people like him and friends who have told peons to forgive an outrageous crime, but they’ve gone after those they consider lesser for asking too many questions or walking away from their church. Caste systems always end up like.

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  28. jyjames: Priesthood of all believers with a focus on all 18 gifts of the HS

    I’ve dreamed of such a church during my 60+ year Christian journey. I guess I made the mistake of reading the New Testament from cover to cover as a new believer and expected church to look like that … I’ve never got over it.

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  29. jyjames: IMHO, narrow it down to evangelicalism.
    Priesthood of all believers with a focus on all 18 gifts of the HS, (Rom 12, 1 Cor. 12, Eph. 4)? (It’s taking centuries to get past the class, race, and gender divisions with their power dynamics.)

    I wish someone would write a book about what this could look like. It certainly wouldn’t look like any of the popular ministry models.

    My church is about to do a churchwide spiritual gifts inventory and restructure. They have a lot of committees having meetings but often the same issues get hashed over and over while no outward ministry gets done. I am looking forward to seeing our outreach and mission grow from this. I’m the missions director, and I want to see us reaching out to anyone who needs Christ.

    Pray for our church, though, as there’s that small group of vocal people who are fighting any kind of change that diminish what they perceive as their authority. And the church has suffered mightily because of some of the choices that group has made.

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  30. Truthseeker00,

    These people are going to distort whatever is said no matter what. No sarcasm, no jokes, no metaphors ……. not even any opinions outside of theirs, or they will distort and use whatever is said (bits and pieces out of context, even).
    People who don’t march lockstep with them …………….

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  31. Just to clarify, here is what I wrote concerning Dr. Davis’ views of memory:

    She is of the opinion that children generally are unable to remember anything prior to age 3 or 4. She further stated that as adults we generally are unable to remember anything before the age of 10.

    Susan Eazer was able to get Dr. Davis to grudgingly admit that it’s possible that a 3-4-year-old child may be able to recall being sexually molested, that it was highly unlikely but possible. Likewise, she admitted that an adult who was sexually molested at 8-10 years of age could possibly remember that experience, but not with any great detail.

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  32. Max: These churches are so legalistic and lifeless, I’m surprised the pulpits have any folks in the pew to lord over.

    In my experience, the people stay for the other people. In a world in which many have no family nearby, the church becomes their family, their community and their reason for existence. The authoritarian pastor knows and takes advantage of this fact.

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  33. jyjames: (The gift of discernment filters out the predators, the gift of giving provides money, the gift of administration organizes people and activities, the gift of service gets things done, teaching does Bible study, evangelism spreads the word, etc. I’ve seen individuals do their gifts. However, not under a church enterprise, because the pastor or the set-up, get in the way. What pastor or board would submit to those who have the gift of discernment as given by the Holy Spirit, God. God doesn’t force or armtwist. His work is voluntary. Gifts are neither paid for [no tithing involved] nor forced [no signed covenants] and have nothing to do with a pastor. Gifted directly from the Holy Spirit to the faithful believer.)

    And you can see why this never has, and never will, take place in the Institutional Church. It is the playground of authoritarian bullies who acquire prestige, power and wealth from their controlling abuse of others.

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  34. ishy: I wish someone would write a book about what this could look like.

    https://www.amazon.com/19-Gifts-Spirit-Leslie-Flynn/dp/1564763374/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1534022306&sr=8-1&keywords=nineteen+gifts+of+the+spirit

    The writer cites: Romans 12, 1 Cor. 12, Eph. 4 for 19 gifts. I list tongues/interpretation together, thus, my total of 18 or 3 is the # for God x 6 is the # for man = 18. Then the writer studies what the Bible says about each gift, separately. Also, he groups them as speaking, serving and signifying. I group them into evangelism, discipleship, and fellowship – what I believe to be the three functions of the Body of Christ.

    This Bible study book made my experiences in missionary and church work make sense. The whole team did evangelism but only some individuals were HS gifted and the difference was obvious. Same with teaching. A guy with discernment (new convert, not a pastor) could “read” motives and see the spirit behind people’s actions, like the apostles with Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5. That guy on the team saved us time and trouble.

    So, IMHO, God has gifted each believer, but I’ve never seen a Christian organization that has a HS-gifted administrator (one of the gifts listed) running things by facilitating or organizing everyone on the team to use their HS gifts for building up the Body of Christ. I’ve been on short term teams that worked this way, however.

    Most Spiritual Gift surveys seem like HR talent screening. But HS gifting is not HR placement. Big difference. Human [Resources] vs. Holy [Spirit].

    HS gifts are motivation for personal obedience to God. IMHO, when a person steps out of line, the HS withdraws the gift until they get back in line. Walk by the Spirit. Not judging others, but I hold myself accountable to God.

    David Marquet writes about his secular world experience of changing from a top-down hierarchy to a flatly administrated multi-tasked team: “Turn the Ship Around”. He changed from giving orders to organizing equally gifted and personally responsible adults – that were all aiming for the same goals.

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  35. Max: I’ve dreamed of such a church during my 60+ year Christian journey. I guess I made the mistake of reading the New Testament from cover to cover as a new believer and expected church to look like that … I’ve never got over it.

    My dream, my mistake, too, and no, I’ve never gotten over it. With you on this one, Max. Once seen, even from a distance, it can’t be denied.

    Every day, there’s another “great” leader caught with their hands in the cookie jar or in some other very inappropriate place, and their wall of defense built high.

    Times up, moving on, out to open sea with the wind of the Holy Spirit on our sails. Sometimes adrift, it seems. Other times, on course. God knows. He’s way ahead of the journey we are on. Ever grateful. Thanks, JC.

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  36. jyjames:
    The writer cites: Romans 12, 1 Cor. 12, Eph. 4 for 19 gifts. I list tongues/interpretation together, thus, my total of 18 or 3 is the # for God x 6 is the # for man = 18. Then the writer studies what the Bible says about each gift, separately. Also, he groups them as speaking, serving and signifying. I group them into evangelism, discipleship, and fellowship – what I believe to be the three functions of the Body of Christ.

    That’s not the kind of book I’m asking for, though. There are a lot of books on the gifts, but not on what a church would look like that fully implemented the use of them.

    What method would you use to test gifts of new believers? How do you train members to use their gifts? Mentorships? Gift groups? What kinds of ministries would that church have to utilize all the gifts? How would they function? Would they even need paid pastors?

    Most importantly, what kind of impact would that church have on the community and the world?

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  37. ishy,

    Not sure people really need to be ‘trained’ to use their gifts, so much as ‘freed’. In my former church, people were not encouraged to use their gifts, or seek to fill the needs of the community. Rather, we were encouraged to put our shekels in the basket and let ‘The Church’ decide how to use them. Our job was simply to imbibe what we were told, and go home and look in the mirror to see if we looked more holy.

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  38. Truthseeker00:
    Btw, I have been praying for you, and am so glad you are doing better.

    Thank you, I really appreciate it! It’s been a long week, but I’m feeling a lot better.

    Truthseeker00:
    ishy,
    Not sure people really need to be ‘trained’ to use their gifts, so much as ‘freed’. In my former church, people were not encouraged to use their gifts, or seek to fill the needs of the community. Rather, we were encouraged to put our shekels in the basket and let ‘The Church’ decide how to use them. Our job was simply to imbibe what we were told, and go home and look in the mirror to see if we looked more holy.

    I agree and disagree a little. I totally agree that most churches just don’t let people use their gifts at all. Most just want one or a few teachers and everybody else doing menial things.

    I disagree that training isn’t needed. I think everyone can benefit from being trained to use their gifts, if at least to recognize in what ways they can be used. But for a few gifts, for example, my gifts are teaching and evangelism–those require a good bit of training. My forays in Baptistland taught me that a lot of people are bulls in china shops with their gifts. Some of that is a lack of freedom to use them properly and just get desperate to do so, but others just don’t know that there are sometimes better ways to do things.

    I just took a spiritual gifts inventory that had a lot of questions about being upset if people don’t immediately respond the way you want, particularly in evangelizing them. I do think there is pride often wrapped up in expectations, but other people just aren’t very good at judging the emotional state of others. It takes training to learn to be aware of that.

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  39. Todd Wilhelm: Just to clarify, here is what I wrote concerning Dr. Davis’ views of memory:

    She is of the opinion that children generally are unable to remember anything prior to age 3 or 4. She further stated that as adults we generally are unable to remember anything before the age of 10.

    Susan Eazer was able to get Dr. Davis to grudgingly admit that it’s possible that a 3-4-year-old child may be able to recall being sexually molested, that it was highly unlikely but possible. Likewise, she admitted that an adult who was sexually molested at 8-10 years of age could possibly remember that experience, but not with any great detail.

    Just stop a minute and imagine a world where this was actually true. We’d all be wandering around like mindless zombies who don’t remember the most important things that affected them. Absolutely ridiculous.

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  40. ishy: What method would you use to test gifts of new believers? How do you train members to use their gifts? Mentorships? Gift groups?

    This seems to be where things often fall apart. Every dysfunctional group has clear answers for this, whether it be some a gifted leader or apostle, an accountability group, a board of elders, highly paid consultants, some kind of hierarchy, etc. How would a functional group do it differently?

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  41. ishy: That’s not the kind of book I’m asking for, though. There are a lot of books on the gifts, but not on what a church would look like that fully implemented the use of them.

    That book, for now, may be the Bible. What’s going on in churches today, if it’s not in the Bible, may be questionable. Historical context, yes, but we can assess VALUES, since God never changes.

    Regarding recognizing gifts, a class I took encouraged us to volunteer for different things in the Body of Christ and the evidence will be there. I was a missionary twice and led individuals to Christ, but it was clear that evangelism is not my gift. Neither is administration, nor giving (not endowed with riches here). Etc. However, I do see evidence of other gifts, as described by the Bible – nothing to do with HR and talent screening.

    The guy who administrated our mission team was not charismatic, at all. Great administrator. No one was drawn to him, personally, except his wife. OK, he was a nice guy, fine. Boring, and blah – didn’t matter. When he went over the schedule for the day, he’d crack a joke as an aside and no one laughed much. Not an entertainer. Always cheerful and positive, though. He was not American and non-native where we were serving so he had a horrible accent in the native language. Fluent but didn’t sound great. Again, didn’t matter. Everyone understood him.) He managed things well. We were all pleased to serve with him steering the boat of our little project. Humble heart, gifted administrator.

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  42. Geva Roberts: Dr. Davis says children really don’t have any memories under the age of 10.

    If this purported ‘expert’ actually said this, she is a liar and an idiot, and no expert. I actually suspect liar-for-hire. I have lots of rich memories going back to my early years, and I have had them corroborated and know they are ‘real’ memories.

    Probably so have you all. Probably so has our ‘expert’. I wonder what the defense paid her to testify…

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  43. Truthseeker00: Not sure people really need to be ‘trained’ to use their gifts, so much as ‘freed’.

    True. The Holy Spirit endows each with at least one spiritual gift (Rom 12, 1 Cor 12, Eph 4) for the benefit of the Body of Christ. Gift. From the beginning, without training and gatekeepers. No one controls this but the Holy Spirit. We completely control, however, whether we accept the gift.

    (Are we filled with the Spirit and His gifting the moment we accept Christ as our Savior and commit our life to follow Him? Or, is there a second step: get saved, get filled. I don’t know. Church people argue about this stuff. The guy with the gift of discernment had a one-step process, from what I know, and he was a real gift to the church.)

    As mentioned, though, the problem is, who will receive? The system seems to be set up against these very gifts that are meant to build up God’s church. Here in this court case the expert testifies that even a child cannot be believed in sharing truth about what they have experienced – for the benefit of the church. Good grief. How can we send kids to Sunday School if their brains can’t even register what is going on? Ridiculous. Schools would not recognize “Dr.” Davis as an “expert”.

    I was at a funeral of an elderly church lady, and her adult children said that when she was alive, they never listened to her. After her death, they realized they had missed the blessing of her gift. Others, not relatives, shared at the funeral how they had been blessed by this elderly woman’s gift. Clear acceptance of, and rejection of, the gift the Holy Spirit was giving, with consequences both ways. Rejection seems to happen a lot with women, and the older they get, even more so. When she was alive, I asked the woman if her church acknowledged her gift. “My church, my pastor? No, never,” she said. Rejected. So put in practice when/where received. Dust shaken off sandals.

    Personally, I try to listen and be aware, as God sends individuals to individuals despite institutions. Peter went to Cornelius. Philip visited the Ethiopian.

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  44. Geva Roberts,

    “Dr. Davis says children really don’t have any memories under the age of 10.”
    ++++++++++++++

    pardon? I distinctly remember at age 2, when my sister was born.

    on the day she came home from hospital, i remember posing for the picture in front of hospital, mom in wheelchair holding baby, dad crouched next to her on 1 knee, i was sitting on that knee, and sister was wrapped in one of my blankets.

    how could i not remember that!

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  45. SiteSeer: Just stop a minute and imagine a world where this was actually true. We’d all be wandering around like mindless zombies who don’t remember the most important things that affected them. Absolutely ridiculous.

    Spot on. Learning math functions and learning to read? Better wait until grade 4 or 5, 10 years old, when long-term memory kicks in? The “Dr.” is clearly not in the house.

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  46. ishy: I wish someone would write a book about what this could look like. It certainly wouldn’t look like any of the popular ministry models.

    I recommend T4T by Steve Smith and Ying Kai. It presents a model of church which is participatory, lay lead and reproduces disciples who make disciples. No superstar CEO pastors. No buildings. Refreshingly, the T4T model is nothing like any popular ministry forms used in standard evangelicalism around the world.

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  47. I kind of wonder whether the spiritual gifts mentioned are supposed to be a definitive kist or whether they are given as examples? I wonder if we are using the talents we have to meet the needs of the situations that present themselves, if we’re pursuing the things we feed drawn to, developing skills and serving others, if that is the point of spiritual gifts and how they work to meet the needs of the body? And maybe it is more fluid, as we grow and change? You see a need and feel drawn to figure out how to meet that need, and so a ministry grows. People need to feed safe to try and like it will be ok if they fail.

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  48. Fisher: I recommend T4T by Steve Smith and Ying Kai. It presents a model of church which is participatory, lay lead and reproduces disciples who make disciples. No superstar CEO pastors. No buildings.Refreshingly, the T4T model is nothing like any popular ministry forms used in standard evangelicalism around the world.

    Interesting, I picked it up and put Spirit Walk on my “to read” list. Smith is a Quaker? If I can say one thing about Quakers, it’s that it’s probably less likely to attract the narcissists like Baptistland would. Sure some still end up there, but when you go in knowing that you have no chance to be the #1 sheep, it’s probably less likely.

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  49. SiteSeer:
    I kind of wonder whether the spiritual gifts mentioned are supposed to be a definitive kist or whether they are given as examples? I wonder if we are using the talents we have to meet the needs of the situations that present themselves, if we’re pursuing the things we feed drawn to, developing skills and serving others, if that is the point of spiritual gifts and how they work to meet the needs of the body?

    This still does require people learning to communicate, which is probably the biggest learning challenge for the church. There are still a lot of things that require people to work together and learn how to compromise.

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  50. Todd Wilhelm: $3,000

    Are you telling me that it’s legal and acceptable to openly pay people for their testimony at a trial? I’ve lived on this planet for 60-odd years (some of them very odd indeed!), and I didn’t know this. I find it deeply troubling…

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  51. ishy,

    The Quaker’s made up for it in education. Like Sidwell Friends K-12, tuition 34,000 year for the well heeled in DC as one example. Their local preschool here is pretty outrageous, too. But boy is it nice! They also started quite a few well known colleges that are now non denominational like Bryn Mawr, Cornell or Johns Hopkins. But the ones that are still Quaker and their k-12 schools market mostly to the wealthy.

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  52. ishy: There are still a lot of things that require people to work together and learn how to compromise.

    Yes, Church requires working together. The T4T book is about evangelism, the Spirit Walk book is about personal discipleship (I read it on Kindle last night). Good foundations, but people working together in church (fellowship or teamwork) is where child abuse and sexual harassment arise. The spiritual gifts given by the HS to benefit the church, such as discernment, address community problems, beyond getting saved (T4T) and living piously (Spirit Walk).

    A CT article about Gilbert Bilezikian, “The Man Behind the Megachurch”, notes that Hybels aimed to create an Acts 2 community. But this article describes perversion of the founders:

    https://esmartinonline.wordpress.com/2018/08/10/systemic-sexual-perversion-in-the-foundation-of-willow-creek-commmunity-church/

    Bottom line, if a church community
    – does not safeguard children at least to the extent of our public schools, (respect their testimony and memory) and
    – does not safeguard employees against sexual harassment at least to the extent of secular work places (believe the women, use outside investigations)

    … why be a part of such a church community? The church needs to step up to quality community behavior, regardless of their highfalutin inerrant theology.

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  53. Cricket

    England eventually declared their first innings on 396-7, with Woakes unbeaten on 137 – his maiden Test century. With day 4 affected by multiple rain delays, India are 66-6 (what a great-looking score!). With India needing 223 to make England bat again, it looks as though only the weather can save them from an innings defeat. But this is cricket; anything can happen, including actual magical phenomena. Even a strong batting performance by England.

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  54. Given the legal precedents set by the Catholic priests abuse scandal, I wonder if prosecutors can go after ARBCA the same way. Some states also have state level RICO-type statutes too.

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  55. Lydia,

    There are lots of people who do this. Both prosecution and defense use their services. Some of them are quite skilled at their professions, but frankly I am not sure how the lawyers would know who to trust seeing as it is not their profession. Young son in applying for his AUSA position submitted a transcript segment from a trial in which he did a good job at dismantling the testimony of a psychologist in a trial when he was an ADA. He used it as an example of what he could do ‘on cross’ at the time. There are seminars and such which lawyers can go to when learning how to do it. I get the impression that a lot of lawyers are quite good at it.

    But yes, it is very much a part of how the system works. Now not every ‘expert witness’ issue is financially lucrative. I was ordered to court twice to testify as to what a set of films showed about some prisoners who had been injured while in custody, and the state paid me the going rate for that, which was next to nothing at the time. It did not take an ‘expert’ especially, just any old radiologist. On one of the times the court called me at the last minute to drop everything and come immediately. I tried but could not find a parking space, and the judge was some kind of nasty to me about it. Thank you, Lord, that you did not call me to the practice of law. Seriously.

    “Those were the days.”

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  56. ION: Sport

    So, India dismissed for 130 in their second innings, so England won the Second Test by an innings and 159 runs.

    In the European Athletics, Team GB had matching Lauras in the women’s 1500m (Wee Laura Muir and Taller Laura Weightman); Wee Laura, the pre-event favourite, took off surprisingly early – with around 1000m to go – and left everyone behind to win gold. Taller Laura may have overdone it trying to stay with Wee Laura, but hung on for bronze. More remarkably, the British men’s team qualified for the final of the 4x100m without dropping the baton. That said, I’m perhaps being a little unfair there; after a decade-long spell of persistent DNF’s, the British laddies have started to polish up their relay act lately.

    The women’s 5000m is underway the noo, as are the men’s pole-vault and the women’s hammer. The relay finals are coming up later. I’ll keep you all posted.

    IHTIH

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  57. okrapod,

    Interesting. I have some friends have been called to testify because of their field or peripheral involvement. Big hassle! I had to chuckle at your comment because it reminded me so much of the conference business where a new strategy to counter act another new strategy is offered for xx $. And off we go with the latest new and improved tactics, strategies, loopholes, etc. That’s one thing when it comes to medical or engineering techniques but quite another when it comes to Human Resources or the law.

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  58. Crisis management/witness attacking — with kingdom-dedicated funds? Like our hosts suggest, people fundign such institutions need to look really hard at where the money is going.

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  59. Lydia:
    Deborah,

    Years ago, a well heeled guy here was aquitted for murder due to lack of evidence. (A book, “Double Jeopardy” by Bob Hill was written about it). Now that I look back on it, the defendant was most likely a charming and believable sociopath who took the stand and convinced a lot of people of his innocence. But, in the end,he did end up perjuring himself and spent 10 years in prison for it. Had he never taken the stand, there would have been no justice at all. The family and friends of the victim never gave up even after acquittal. They knew he was guilty.

    Oh my, Lydia. I remember learning about this wicked man who violently killed his fiancee. And then afterward endeavored to con Christians in some local church. He was a sociopath. Frightening how he was able to get away with murder!

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  60. ishy,
    “When the church was run only by layman” Gene Edwards. IIRC, he wrote several books that were popular in the house church movement. They were very good books, IMO, but I don’t think many groups were able to pull it off. I was a member of ‘House Church Central’ back in the day, and I think we (the church) needs something like that again. It was a forum / website to connect like minded people. A couple of groups tried the house church model around here, but they quickly devolved into weirdness.

    We were part of a house church also, and it did not take long for two of the men to take over and the whole thing went poof. Too bad too. I still think that it is a good model, even though I am a member of a fairly large denomination. I would like to be part of a church plant if people would only check their egos at the door. The problem I we experienced was mostly with the men and their lust for power and control. Sad.

    Anyway, check out Gene Edwards. Considered Subversive, but interesting reading none the less.

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  61. roebuck,

    It is legal and common to pay an expert — a scientist or a doctor or an engineer or someone else who is recognized for their special expertise. The judge decides whether or not to allow a paid expert to testify, and it depends on whether the individual is recognized as someone with the right qualifications to testify about something technical. Expert witnesses do not testify about matters that are outside their expertise. You can google ‘Daubert Standard’ if you want to know the legal rules judges use in deciding whether to allow expert testimony.

    I’ve been an expert witness, and I worked for weeks to understand the case, review the facts, have a sound basis for my testimony, and write an extensive report on my conclusions. All that before I got on the stand at trial. I would not have done this without pay.

    If an expert is already employed by a police department, etc., then testifying is part of their job. But for a professor, testifying is is not their university employment. You do it nights, weekends, and instead of vacation, so everyone I knew got paid for their time. I saved my volunteer time for my church and the local women’s shelter 🙂

    Not all experts do good work, and that’s why they go through cross examination like any other witness and why the testimony always includes that they are being paid and their pay rate. Some experts develop a reputation for always saying xxxxxx and yyyyyy, and I suspect this is the case here.

    I am not a psychologist and have no scientific expertise in memory and how it develops in children, so I have no professional opinion.

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  62. Noevangelical:
    We were part of a house church also, and it did not take long for two of the men to take over and the whole thing went poof. Too bad too. I still think that it is a good model, even though I am a member of a fairly large denomination. I would like to be part of a church plant if people would only check their egos at the door. The problem I we experienced was mostly with the men and their lust for power and control. Sad.

    Yeah. After Southern Baptist life, I knew the type well. I go to a Methodist church now, and I like that pastors are rotated and not guaranteed either a church or a big salary, so that does tend to attract less of those types. But it certainly hasn’t eliminated big egos from the membership. We got several “I’ve been at this church the longest, so what I say goes and I’ll cause all sorts of problems if I don’t get what I want all the time.”

    But I still don’t see much of people actually using their gifts in any type of church. A lot of churches train members to let church happen to them while they sit passively. Or use church like a country club. So those people let the egos take the lead so they don’t have to do any work.

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  63. ishy: A lot of churches train members to let church happen to them while they sit passively. Or use church like a country club. So those people let the egos take the lead so they don’t have to do any work.

    And exactly where would I find that church model in the New Testament?

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  64. Max: And exactly where would I find that church model in the New Testament?

    Pretty sure it’s in Revelation 3, where the church at Laodicea was warned for being lukewarm and not a good thing could be said about them.

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  65. “Susan Eazer was able to get Dr. Davis to grudgingly admit … that an adult who was sexually molested at 8-10 years of age could possibly remember that experience, but not with any great detail.”

    I was molested at 7, 8, 9 ,10 years of age and can tell you exactly all of the details. A kid remembers so they can strategize and try to avoid the next episode.

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  66. ishy: This still does require people learning to communicate, which is probably the biggest learning challenge for the church. There are still a lot of things that require people to work together and learn how to compromise.

    Absolutely.

    And, btw, my auto-correct keeps changing ‘feel’ into ‘feed’ for some reason, lol.

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  67. nw hiker: I was molested at 7, 8, 9 ,10 years of age and can tell you exactly all of the details. A kid remembers so they can strategize and try to avoid the next episode.

    I am so sorry, NW Hiker. It makes me so angry that children are subjected to this and the insult of being told they can’t possibly remember it or any details about it that matter is really a slap in the face on top of it all. Hopefully the jury has enough common sense to disregard something so obviously wrong.

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  68. ishy,

    I remember at my old “bible church” making the case that the church was an organism, rather than an organization. They looked at me like I was nuts and poo-pooed the idea. Perhaps the church would have fewer problems if it stopped modeling itself after pyramid schemes and large corporations. As has been said here many times, deprive the beast of it’s food source (money) and the beast dies.

    In many ways we are just biding our time. We have found a safe place to worship because the rest of the church is so unsafe. There are too many opportunities to be used and abused, even by those who claim to be our friends. After 30 years of Christianity, I can count the Christian friends I have on less than one hand. “We” have very little contact with any of the people who claimed to be “brothers & sisters” in the churches which we used to enjoy fellowship. Personally, I have none.

    It’s very sad actually. Despite the fact that I believe in a different model for the church, we have chosen a safe place because we have had so many bad experiences with the institutional church. After 30 years of building relationships, only to see them vanish into thin air when we started asking questions, and given the suggestion to leave because we were not a good fit for them, we essentially do what you have described. For how long? I don’t know. But some of us are not equipped to fight anymore. We now put our focus on private discipling relationships with family and friends, and our “public” display of religion (for lack of a better word) is limited to the safe church we call home.

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  69. ishy: Pretty sure it’s in Revelation 3, where the church at Laodicea was warned for being lukewarm and not a good thing could be said about them.

    Yep, it fits:

    “Because you are lukewarm — neither hot nor cold — I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.”

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  70. “She further stated that as adults we generally are unable to remember anything before the age of 10.”

    TIL all my memories of kindergarten are imaginary!

    I mentioned the other day that I have at least one memory from when I was two. My understanding is intense circumstances generally make memory stronger, which would be true in the sense of trauma. For instance, I may forget about that day when I was 9 and I ate my regular lunch and nothing of note happened, but remember quiet clearly the challenger exploding.

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  71. Noevangelical,

    I’m sorry. And I can relate. I tend to feel that if I do commit to going to a church, it is going to be a very non-authoritarian, liturgical type, like the Anglican (Episcopelian) church I sometimes visit. They are pretty hyper in their social justice mindset, but it’s better than hitting on the women.

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  72. Lea,
    I have memories going back to around age 23, though before age 10 these memories are fragmentary; “snapshots” often without context.

    Memory definitely Age 3 (1958):
    With my father in San Gabriel Mission yard, near a wall and fountain. This had to be at my younger brother’s baptism, which gives me a definite time fix of late 1958.

    Age 3 or 4 (1958/59):
    My mother is carrying me out onto our front yard. I wave at the garbage truck as it rumbles past. Some time around this I have a dream where an Allosaurus is walking down the same street in front of our house wearing Allosaur-sized tennis shoes.

    Unknown age, but could not have been after age 3 (1957/58):
    Isolated “snapshot” – I’m crawling on all fours with a load of poop in my pants, and my mother is trying to catch me for a diaper change. Similar “playing dinosaur” crawling on all fours with rope in my pocket for a tail.

    Between age 4 & 6 (1958-1960):
    * Somehow getting tangled up in a blanket while watching TV on the floor (I think it was a B&W version of Robin Hood); think it’s closer to 5-6 because my brother is present.
    * Dream where I’m watching an episode of Rocky & Bullwinkle and remember Boris Badenov saying the line “Feet for Food”. Confirmed dream as I watched R&B for years afterwards and never came across that line again.
    * Some vague memories about my grandfather’s funeral; did not attend, but stayed in Grandma’s house (whose exact layout and décor I still remember; I was fascinated by the fireplace). Some vague memories of Grandpa and a couple of his equally-aged relatives.
    * Dream where a silhouette in long cape and wide-brimmed hat comes into my bedroom at night; seque to scene where my father and I are outside investigating where something smashed through the fence behind the house.
    * Also a few of kindergarten and 1st Grade, but they kind of all blur together. (Including getting bashed on the head when I ran down a length of active swings on a dare.)

    Definite 1961 – I was mesmerized by the symmetry of the number “1961”, how it read the same right=side up or upside down. Also remember reading a National Geographic on the 100th anniversary of the Civil War.

    Age 7 (1962) – Duck & Cover “bomb drills” during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Remember having to wear (fireproof?) name tags during them.

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  73. ishy,

    I’ve never heard him mention being a Quaker. In fact, he comes from a Baptist background. But like many here on TWW Smith has come to the conclusion that “doing church” as most of us know it is broken. In particular people become pew sitting members rather than disciples who obey Jesus on a daily basis.

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  74. Fisher:
    I’ve never heard him mention being a Quaker. In fact, he comes from a Baptist background. But like many here on TWW Smith has come to the conclusion that “doing church” as most of us know it is broken. In particular people become pew sitting members rather than disciples who obey Jesus on a daily basis.

    It was in one of the book blurbs. Maybe he just used them as a model.

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  75. ‘Dr. Davis talked of “Infantile Amnesia.” She is of the opinion that children generally are unable to remember anything prior to age 3 or 4. She further stated that as adults we generally are unable to remember anything before the age of 10.’

    I can’t bear that they are using such a ridiculous & de-personalising tactic to silence abuse victims. How dare they?

    Not only, as we hear in this thread, does it imply that those who do clearly remember abuse are somehow lying or having false memories, but just how stupid do they think we are? I can clearly date my first memory to the 21st Feb 1971, the day I saw my new baby brother in his incubator. Not only that, I lived in Hong Kong as a child from age 4 to almost 8 & I have vivid lengthy memories of everything from home, school, the harbour, nature, flights & so on. It’s bonkers.

    Attempting to discredit victims is bad enough (it’s diabolical in my opinion) but to think this would do it is just doubly insulting to all.

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  76. Beakerj: I can’t bear that they are using such a ridiculous & de-personalising tactic to silence abuse victims. How dare they?

    It gets Chantry off and puts $3 grand in the expert witness’s pocket.

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  77. And it has worked in countless tragic abuse cases, in which significant evidence existed to back accusers’ claims. Anyone who discounts the power of evil to prevent justice in this world has not been paying attention.

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  78. TS00,

    People like me, who dig into such things; who once believed that if enough people simply knew what was going on things would somehow change, are driven nearly to despair at the naive who trust so implicitly in ‘the system’ to ‘do the right thing’. Be it the courts, the presbytery or any other man-made institution, all too often power and money subvert true justice.

    I do believe justice will someday prevail, but, with David, I cry ‘How long’ must we wait? I fervently hope that justice will be served in this case, and that this man will be prevented from doing anyone else harm. But I will not be easy until the sentence is declared.

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  79. Lea:
    “She further stated that as adults we generally are unable to remember anything before the age of 10.”

    TIL all my memories of kindergarten are imaginary!

    I mentioned the other day that I have at least one memory from when I was two. My understanding is intense circumstances generally make memory stronger, which would be true in the sense of trauma. For instance, I may forget about that day when I was 9 and I ate my regular lunch and nothing of note happened, but remember quiet clearly the challenger exploding.

    I totally agree that intense circumstances generally make memory stronger. I remember with great clarity the day my father died when I was 7 years old.

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  80. Ken F (aka Tweed): Ezekiel 34 also fits, but in a different way.

    Indeed.

    “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock. I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves. I will rescue my flock from their mouths, and it will no longer be food for them.” (Ezekiel 34:10)

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  81. MSN has another story about Willow Creek; this time about paying off a lawsuit over a special needs teacher molesting kids….

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  82. Jeffrey Chalmers: MSN has another story about Willow Creek; this time about paying off a lawsuit over a special needs teacher molesting kids….

    When you are “seeker-friendly”, church leaders need to have enough spiritual sense to discern which of the seekers are friendly and which are not.

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  83. Truthseeker00: But it could give them one more excuse to encourage their members to not frequent such ‘dangerous’ sites.

    If they weren’t offended by their pastor punching a kid or abusing them, I don’t really care if they are offended by people making jokes about taking them out to the woodshed.

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  84. Headless Unicorn Guy: Lydia: Dr. Davis is of the opinion that unless there is violence or sexual penetration involved in the abuse it does not meet her clinical definition of traumatic.

    Years ago, didn’t Experts say the exact same thing about Rape?

    I mean, obviously that is nonsense, but how would that statement by ‘Dr’ Davis even apply when in this case their *was* violence?

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  85. ishy: What method would you use to test gifts of new believers?

    This is interesting. I’m thinking a little bit about how people are really into that enneagram thing, which as I understand it is a personality test. But maybe something like that could be used in directing people? Not sure.

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  86. GracieAnne: Not all experts do good work, and that’s why they go through cross examination like any other witness and why the testimony always includes that they are being paid and their pay rate.

    Indeed. I know some trials have been tossed because ‘expert’ testimony was found to be faulty or fraudulent. You might have a case where the defendant was guilty, but the process was flawed. The cross is very important.

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  87. Muff Potter,

    The most glorious day for me will be when ALL the settled lawsuits against Megas for the last 20 years are made public to their members. Some are ridiculous like Peta/ Vegans angry because some chicken franchise owner goes there, etc. But others are very instructive in terms of what was kept secret from paying “donors” and “members”.

    If your money helped pay a settlement to keep publicity away, you should know about it.

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  88. Muff Potter: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-met-willow-creek-paid-3-million-to-settle-lawsuits-over-sexual-abuse-20180810-story.html

    Donors (tithes and offerings) paid for this, too. Settlements for child sexual abuse in their church. Does that mean victims should not be paid settlement money? No, recovery is costly. It means churches should screen and care about their adult hirees and volunteers. The church gives predators access.

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  89. Lea: If they weren’t offended by their pastor punching a kid or abusing them, I don’t really care if they are offended by people making jokes about taking them out to the woodshed.

    Exactly. The whole bunch who put up with the abuse of children under the guise of religious “discipline” need to be offended by the rest of Christendom more than they are. They are a strange lot, indeed … especially the parents who give a church leader free reign with a whip over their child. They, too, will cry but not be heard.

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  90. Lydia: The most glorious day for me will be when ALL the settled lawsuits against Megas for the last 20 years are made public to their members.

    An even more glorious day for me will be when these despots and mountebanks are no longer exempt from filing IRS form 990.

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  91. jyjames,

    But, do not forget, they claim they have the “proper” way to worship/do church…
    In my 50 plus years on the earth, it would hard for me to count all the preachers/religious teachers that claim they have the “right” way to do due Christianity… what makes me want to through up is how many of these same clowns covered up corruption/depravity within their own ranks…. yup, they really have the “proper” way….

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  92. Lea: If they weren’t offended by their pastor punching a kid or abusing them, I don’t really care if they are offended by people making jokes about taking them out to the woodshed.

    So true!

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