As We Wait the Verdict in Thomas Chantry’s Trial, Todd Wilhelm Reports That an ARBCA Couple Will be Tried For Abusive Spanking of a 1 year old Foster Child

What distresses me at times is that I meet a lot of people in their 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, who still say they’re a victim of child abuse. Dave Pelzer

Last Thursday, Tom Chantry’s trial went the jury. Since it is highly possible that a verdict will come in on Monday, I wanted to let you call catch up with what is going on.  Here are the links to Todd Wilhelm’s blog.

Day 10 of the Thomas Chantry Trial

Day Eleven of the Thomas Chantry Trial

Day Twelve of the Thomas Chantry Trial

If you have time, read the comments. They are most enlightening. Let me draw you attention to the following.

Did Thomas Chantry abuse another child after he left the church?

According to Todd:

Just a note for those of you, who like me, are not familiar with court proceedings. Prior to the jury coming into the courtroom to continue the trial in the morning, the Judge and Council for both parties conduct business, such as arguing and ruling on motions like that mentioned above. This is done so as not to prejudice the jury.

The next item of business concerned new information Prosecuting Attorney Susan Eazer had obtained over the weekend. She had discovered that Tom Chantry had been interviewed by the Arlington Heights, IL Police Department for severely spanking a child, leaving bruises that were still visible two days later. This occurred in 2004 at Christian Liberty Academy, the school where Chantry taught 5th and 6th-grade children.

Of course, John Sears argued against allowing this information into Court at such a late hour, saying that it should have been properly argued in a pre-trial evidentiary hearing.  Judge Astrowsky, after hearing arguments from both sides, agreed with Sears and ruled the evidence of Chantry’s ongoing abuse would not be allowed. (Of course, I am condensing  20-30 minutes of legalese into a few sentences!)

It should be noted that back in 2016 when I first started investigating this story I sent an email to Christian Liberty Academy alerting them to the fact that Tom Chantry had been arrested and charged with physical and sexual assault of Children. I suggested that they send a letter to the parents of every child that had been in a class taught by Chantry. As usual, I received no response!

I have filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Arlington Heights Police Department and as soon as I receive the Police report I will post it.

We will also post the police report once if is received. In the meantime…

A trial is slated for an ARBCA couple who abused a 12 month old foster child

Todd Wilhelm wrote More Child Abuse Perpetrated By Members of an ARBCA Church

According to Wilhelm:

Caleb and Mary Beery, currently members of San Tan Reformed Baptist Church (an ARBCA church) have both been charged with three felony criminal counts of child/vulnerable adult abuse. The alleged abuse occurred between January 23, 2016, and February 20, 2017. The victim of the abuse was their foster daughter. According to the criminal charges the baby girl would have been between one and fifteen months old at the time of the abuse. The baby was removed from their home in March of 2017. She was then sixteen months old.

My source for this story told me that the baby was “disciplined” by “beating severely on the bottom to the point of deep bruises and blisters (much in the manner of Chantry, it seems).

(Editor’s note: I had originally reported parents of the Beery’s reported the abuse to authorities.  I later was told that a church nursery worker was the one who first noticed the abuse and reported it.)

…Note to all those whose critical thinking skills are negligible, if you hold to the belief that corporal punishment is mandated by the Bible don’t become a foster parent!

May I also add that if you think the Bible mandates that you beat a baby please refrain from having any children.

Additionally, if you are attending a church that encourages you to spank a one-year-old child I would suggest finding a new church.

…Now we get down to some really good lawyering. Bruce Feder, Mary Beery’s defense attorney,  apparently argues that under the First Amendment the Beerys have a religious right to beat their foster baby! Therefore, he argues the felonies should be plead down to misdemeanors and the defendant given supervised probation!

…It appears the State didn’t agree with the Defense. They apparently had a meeting scheduled for June 25 where the Defense hoped they could wrap everything up. I think the State must have balked at dropping the felonies to misdemeanors, instead likely insisting on some prison time. The result was the Defense pulled out of the negotiations and as it stands a trial will be held in October.

Ted Tripp used to be a pastor of an ARBCA church but has reportedly left the denomination. Did his teaching contribute to this case?

According to Wilhelm:

Tedd Tripp teaches 1) employ the rod at the first sign of defiance; 2) apply the rod with the diaper or drawers down so the child feels the sting on their bottom or thigh 3) best to apply the rod with the child over your lap so there is a physical connection between you and the child and 4) hug the child afterwards – if they are not accepting of the hug or their heart is not yet sweet, continue to use the rod until it is!

Deb plans to do some writing on this. You should know that the ACBC recommends this book by Ted Tripp. So much for the *Biblical Counseling movement.* We wrote about it here.

And with that, you arecaught up. Please pray for the jurors tomorrow as the deliberate. Also, TWW sends out our warmest wishes and thanks to Susan Eazer, the prosecutor, who really gets child abuse.

Thank you also to Todd who has worked so hard and spent so much of his own time watching this trial. I have learned much from his writings and sacrifice. This fall, Matthew Phelps is slated tol stand trial for the murder of his wife, Lauren Hugelmaier. Victim in ‘cough medicine’ slaying case had 123 cuts and stab wounds, autopsy shows

Lauren and her family were (and are) members of a local church. The Deebs hope to attend the trial to stand in support of her family and also to observe the proceedings in the hopes that justice will be served. We have learned much from Todd Wilhelm and hope to do half as well as he did.


Comments

As We Wait the Verdict in Thomas Chantry’s Trial, Todd Wilhelm Reports That an ARBCA Couple Will be Tried For Abusive Spanking of a 1 year old Foster Child — 144 Comments

  1. dee:
    Bill,

    He makes me smile. I am trying to figure out how he does it? I think he lives under my kitchen table where I write my posts.

    You write posts under the kitchen table? SMH

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  2. dee,

    Just a theory, but perhaps a “bot” of sorts that frequently checks the site to see if there is a new post. One might even be able to automate the submission of the “1” first comment.

    Sort of like “HighFrequencyTrading”, but for ‘blog commenting. Perhaps we will get dueling algorithms among the commentariat.

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  3. So as I’ve said before on another post, I’m really disturbed by all the emphasis on spanking in reformed circles given my childhood experience with my dad.

    I have 3 theories as to why this is happening. My first is that a strong emphasis total depravity coupled with not baptizing infants leads to a long childhood where parents are literally trying to beat the sin out of their kids. Developmentally appropriate “misbehavior” is seen as a sin issue that has to be beaten out of the kid.

    The second is the culture war. So many culture warriors are just people overwhelmed with nostalgia for an imagined past that may or may not have ever existed. People think the culture is going into the toilet, they know people used to hit their kids, so they think that if they hit their kids now they will bring back the good old days. This is a bad idea now because the world is so much different now that it was 100 years ago. For instance, I will not teach my daughter to obey every adult without questioning because I know now how corrupt our institutions are.

    The third is ecclesiology. We are in the process of leaving our YRR church planting network church for a Lutheran Church where my wife is assistant preschool director. The pastor told me that they have a strong ecclesiology, so they don’t try to control every aspect of a person’s life. I think this can be a real issue with church plants, nondenoms, and non-liturgical churches. When the meal isn’t the center of what it means to be church, it can quickly devolve into trying to monopolize people’s lives.

    I mean no offense by any of these points, and I’m not saying that if you do things or believe things I mention here that you are a child abuser. I’m just trying to figure this out and these are some things I am thinking.

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  4. Max: It is deeply disturbing that in the 21st century, we have churches and pastors which support the beating of children.

    Extremely disturbing.

    In the first year(s) of life, an infant must be able to depend on a loving, nurturing, reliable adult in order to develop trust. Without that bedrock of trust, conscience does not develop, along with most of the other positive things we hope our children will become. So the people who are beating infants and toddlers need to know they are liable to cause the exact opposite of what they are trying for, or, at best, a seriously wounded child who will carry those scars in their soul for a lifetime. These children are too young to understand what the parent imagines they are teaching, the only thing they will absolutely understand is that the person they depend on to meet their every need, protect, defend and comfort them is purposely hurting them. In other words, it is a nightmare to them. It destroys trust. It twists everything around backwards in their minds. It’s a terrible and self-defeating thing to do to a child.

    What is with this war on children among these groups? Is this how sociopaths perpetuate their type? Honestly? It’s horrifying, and the ignorance of Christians to blindly follow advice from persons who have no training, without ever reading a child development book, is maddening to me.

    And further, I don’t know about the state these people live in but when I fostered, it was against the rules to use corporal punishment and one had to agree not to.

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  5. Samuel Conner:
    dee,
    Just a theory, but perhaps a “bot” of sorts that frequently checks the site to see if there is a new post. One might even be able to automate the submission of the “1” first comment.

    VisualPing Chrome extension can notify you right away. I also keep the blog on my Feedly feed.

    I’m an early-to-bed kinda girl though. They are usually posted after I go to sleep.

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  6. Ricco:
    When the meal isn’t the center of what it means to be church, it can quickly devolve into trying to monopolize people’s lives.

    I think it just makes it much easier for abusers to be leaders and they end up teaching people not to trust God like they should. Not teaching theology of Christ’s sacrifice definitely does have this effect in the long run.

    As much as many of the Baptist churches (and schools) I’ve attended talked about trusting God, they didn’t seem to act like it. There were so many people that felt like they had to have absolute control over how they appeared to others, but ignored major sin like pride or greed. Being a “good Christian” was not about trust and faith, but how others perceived you.

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  7. I’ve been following the Chantry case and the case of someone I knew many years ago. One thing I have a hard time understanding is the willingness to support someone even after being found guilty on all charges. Short version is 4 felony charges of sexual assault of a child under the age of 14. Reading social media there are people that support him and justify their support by claiming that since we weren’t there when it allegedly happened then we dont know the truth. Anyone who speaks ill of him risks judgment from God because this isn’t true and the child made it all up. It’s sad, really, people will cherry pick the Bible to support them and their beliefs and when confronted with context and supporting scripture, they revert to victim blaming and staunch opposition to what they can’t or don’t want to believe. There are evil people in this world that do and say evil and terrible things and it’s time they realize it.

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  8. Ricco,

    “For instance, I will not teach my daughter to obey every adult without questioning because I know now how corrupt our institutions are.”

    This is very wise. My parents did similar. YET, it’s still easy to fall into the trap when everyone around you doesn’t ‘see’ what you see. I wonder to this day if I would have stayed in it longer had they not approached it in that manner when I was a kid. I am grateful.

    I don’t really understand your “meal” reference. And I am starting to wonder if Lutheran’s have ditched Luther? 🙂

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  9. Looking at cultural childrearing practices and it’s individual and national results was popular for a time after WW II. There was a lot discussed about ‘how could this happen’ after the war. Here is a link for a stating place for anybody who might be interested. Check the chart in this article.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lloyd_deMause

    In my skeptical and jaded current outlook I view some of this ‘the bible says’ movement not as people who feel compelled by scripture to do this or think that but rather as people who already and for other reasons and other motivations already think this and want to do that and use the bible for an excuse.

    How great it can be to do whatever you want to do anyhow, fool yourself as to your own motivations, and then put it on public display as acts of righteousness. I think ‘we’ are drowning in this sort of thinking, and I think this is nothing new under the sun.

    There is an interesting expression which says about somebody: ‘He ain’t all the way saved”. This idea flies in the face of crisis salvation theology, but it is a concept worth looking at even if one uses other theological concepts to do so. I think that people about whom it may be said he ain’t all the way saved then create lifestyles and churches and eventually whole cultures which suit the ain’t all the way saved mindset and then feel very comfortable and very holier than thou in what they have created-like the Pharisees of old-and they do it all the while quoting bible verses, a skill at which they think they excel.

    It is satanic deception causing blindness-if they are lucky. For others they do not even seem to be deceived.

    Go Deebs, Go!

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  10. Lydia: I don’t really understand your “meal” reference. And I am starting to wonder if Lutheran’s have ditched Luther?

    I thought he meant the eucharist.

    The majority of Christians are in denominations in which, and with somewhat variation in understandings, the eucharist is the most holy moment of worship. One of the terms used concerning the eucharist is ‘the meal’ referring to the eat my flesh and drink my blood (food indeed and drink indeed)-however understood but certainly and at least in the symbolism involved.

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  11. “Ted Tripp used to be a pastor of an ARBCA church but has reportedly left the denomination. Did his teaching contribute to this case?”

    Possibly. I’d also be looking into possible influence by the Pearls. They definitely believe in switching babies. Perhaps spanking them too.

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  12. Brother Maynard: One thing I have a hard time understanding is the willingness to support someone even after being found guilty on all charges … support him and justify their support … Anyone who speaks ill of him risks judgment from God … cherry pick the Bible to support them and their beliefs … victim blaming

    We see this over and over in the cult of personality in America. Followers stand by such leaders ’til the bitter end … loyalty, denial, blindness. False prophets and false theology would not find pulpits in America, if it weren’t for a gullible pew willing to support them and keep them there.

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  13. Siteseer: people who are beating infants and toddlers need to know they are liable to cause the exact opposite of what they are trying for, or, at best, a seriously wounded child who will carry those scars in their soul for a lifetime

    And if that doesn’t break the heart of “Christians” who beat children, nothing will. If that thought doesn’t altar the way a “Christian” treats a child, nothing will. Indeed, are they Christians at all? These churches are full of religious folks who follow teachings and traditions of men, but how many really know Christ?

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  14. Ricco: The pastor told me that they have a strong ecclesiology, so they don’t try to control every aspect of a person’s life.

    During the newcomers class in my Lutheran church, a person asked question about taking communion with his daughter who is in a Catholic Church. He felt it was the right thing to do. As you know Lutheran’s have their own view of communion. The pastor looked at him with a smile on his face and said “I am not your boss.” I whispered to my husband, “We are joining this church!” They have lived that in their kindness to me when this blog got attacked by what I believe to be supporter of Thomas Chantry.

    It is so nice to be in a church that has conservative theology yet gives breathing room for the members. I have been there 31/2 years and am at peace. May that be your experience.

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  15. okrapod: In my skeptical and jaded current outlook I view some of this ‘the bible says’ movement not as people who feel compelled by scripture to do this or think that but rather as people who already and for other reasons and other motivations already think this and want to do that and use the bible for an excuse.

    This is the point Jonathan Haidt makes in the Righteous Mind. We don’t really reason our way to moral decisions. What we usually do is make decisions in our lower brain then reason out a justification. I think this is the way pretty much everyone reads the Bible. The problem is when people don’t acknowledge the possibility of this.

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  16. Max:
    It is deeply disturbing that in the 21st century, we have churches and pastors which support the beating of children.

    There will be ARBCA people who claim that this is not true. The fact that leadership has not dealt with these cases appropriately leads me to believe that they don’t give a rip.

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  17. dee: they don’t give a rip

    “God’s Spirit specifically tells us that in later days there will be men who abandon the true faith and allow themselves to be spiritually seduced by teachings of the devil, teachings given by men who are lying hypocrites, whose consciences are as dead as seared flesh.” (1 Timothy 4:2)

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  18. Regarding the foster child, a church nursery worker reported? I wonder if this was an attendee of the church or a paid nursery worker.

    Regarding Ted Tripp’s advice, it’s pretty much all terrible but this “apply the rod with the diaper or drawers down so the child feels the sting on their bottom or thigh” seems to be common in the worst cases and not so much taught (that I recall) in the general support for spanking. It takes things, along with the second bit of advice, in a more sexual direction which, to put it mildly, seems like a *mistake*.

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  19. Brother Maynard: Reading social media there are people that support him and justify their support by claiming that since we weren’t there when it allegedly happened then we dont know the truth

    This is a classic straw man argument. *you weren’t there.* Even Ken Ham uses it to justify young earth creationism.

    Justice for abuse-sexual and otherwise-means making a judgment on something that only two people saw. the victim and the abuser. Imagine if people had to witness every crime before arresting and convicting the abuser? Ad it is, come go free and most people believe they are guilty. OJ Simpson and casey Anthony come to mind. I bet those same people believe that those folks are guilty even though *no one was there.* We are the worst of hypocrites if we protect our own while condemning others.

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  20. okrapod: In my skeptical and jaded current outlook I view some of this ‘the bible says’ movement not as people who feel compelled by scripture to do this or think that but rather as people who already and for other reasons and other motivations already think this and want to do that and use the bible for an excuse.

    I really like this. I think you are correct.

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  21. okrapod,

    Got it. Btw, I think the real thing was a “meal”. Lol. Logistically, for institutions, that doesn’t always work well, though. I never could wrap my head around it as a “Means of Grace” —no matter the explanations.

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  22. dee: It is so nice to be in a church that has conservative theology yet gives breathing room for the members. I have been there 31/2 years and am at peace. May that be your experience.

    I hope so. My theology is pretty up in the air while I’ve been deconverting from Calvinism the last couple of years. Im pretty liberal on a lot of things currently, but everything seems really subject to change for me right now. What I like about a liturgical service is the things I struggle to take literally are still very meaningful symbolically. I’ve been very honest with the pastor, and he is very ok with a wide range of views, especially on secondary subjects, which is a breath of fresh air.

    My philosophy now is that I don’t need to agree on every single little thing with my church. I just want to be valued as a person more than my agreement on every little theological position the church holds

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  23. dee: this verse is rarely quoted when discussing Timothy’s qualifications for church leaders…

    It’s quite apparent that there are a lot of things overlooked in Scripture when selecting men to fill the pulpit these days. That’s why we have so many preacher-boys in the American church, but few men of God.

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  24. Ricco: This is the point Jonathan Haidt makes in the Righteous Mind. We don’t really reason our way to moral decisions. What we usually do is make decisions in our lower brain then reason out a justification. I think this is the way pretty much everyone reads the Bible. The problem is when people don’t acknowledge the possibility of this.

    Yep. I think this is pretty accurate, and the people who bang on about the bible being ‘inerrant’ tend to be the worst about this.

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  25. Ricco,

    I find Haidt an Academic breath of fresh air in this day and time. But I think he misses a bigger point that people are not on the same page as to what is moral or not. Some think it’s moral to control people’s choices out of compassion and they “reason” this out, too, as best for society. Or they demand others agree with their definition of morality. Some think that’s immoral. . The really hard part is getting on the same page concerning what is moral. People divide over it which is ok, too, as long as they don’t try to infringe on Liberty that isn’t physically harming others. (But people differ on that, too!)

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  26. Ricco: I’ve been very honest with the pastor, and he is very ok with a wide range of views, especially on secondary subjects

    It’s OK for a pastor to be open-minded with church members as long as his spiritual brain doesn’t fall out! When it comes to “secondary” subjects, it depends on what the secondary subjects are IMO. Al Mohler and his “theological triage” comes to mind. In his effort to sell Southern Baptists on New Calvinism in its ranks, he proposed a list of essential things that Christians should agree on, but dropped soteriology to a secondary tier (which provided theological wiggle room to invite the young Calvinists on board). In my mind, how Christians deliver God’s plan of salvation to a lost and dying world is an essential element of the Great Commission. We should all agree on that! In the case of Calvinism, 90+% of Christendom have rejected the tenets of reformed theology as it relates to soteriology. Calvinism is the outlier, not sole truth as they try to sell it.

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  27. Lea,

    I remember reading about an emergent church years ago that only had tables and chairs in an storefront type place. The whole service was around a group meal. I can’t remember the name or where. Wonder if it’s still around.

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  28. “Throughout the trial, the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches’ investigation into Chantry’s misconduct was mentioned. During that investigation more than 20 years ago, nothing was reported to the police.

    Tuesday, Judge Astrowsky warned both counselors to not derail too much into ARBCA as they are not being tried in this case.

    “If this were a trial of ARBCA, they’d be convicted,” he said. “But that’s not what this trial is about.”

    Eazer agreed.

    “It’s a good thing ARBCA isn’t on trial in this case,” she said. “They should but they aren’t.””

    https://www.verdenews.com/news/2018/aug/18/chantry-trial-jury-deliberations-continue-tuesday-/

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  29. Lydia,

    I’d encourage you to read his book or at least watch his TED talk. He addresses that issue. Basically, through questionnaires, he Hs identified 5 moral foundations. Liberal morality tends to be based on 2, while conservative morality uses all five. What he sees is that both sides believe they are moral, they just value different attributes in a different balance to get there.

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  30. Max,

    I don’t disagree. Lutheran soteriology can’t really be defined by the Arminian vs Calvin debate since it developed earlier.

    I was thinking more about YEC, complementarianism, etc.

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  31. Ricco: Lutheran soteriology can’t really be defined by the Arminian vs Calvin debate since it developed earlier.

    Hmmm … I heard an old fellow say that Paul was a Calvinist!

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  32. Max: We see this over and over in the cult of personality in America.Followers stand by such leaders ’til the bitter end … loyalty, denial, blindness.False prophets and false theology would not find pulpits in America, if it weren’t for a gullible pew willing to support them and keep them there.

    In the end it comes down to the people in the pews. Bad religion will drive out good if sufficient numbers of laypeople prefer the bad.

    I think I have seen principled leaders gradually influenced by the pressures from beyond the local congregation to conform to what has happening in wider church culture. One can end up in a bad place without having been that way from the beginning.

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  33. Ricco,

    Am familiar but still see the same problem when it comes to the founding concept of “self governing”. One Ex. I may not actively work to bar abortion but I don’t want to be forced to pay for it, either. Right now, I am forced to subsidize it. Conservatives may label me immoral but so do liberals/leftists. For me, the financial aspect is immoral, too. (Gasp) Again, I really appreciate his work. Especially that he is committed to actual dialogue. Kudos to him! He has put a lot of effort into increasing dialogue. We need more like him in Academia!

    https://openmindplatform.org

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  34. Lydia:
    Lea,
    I remember reading about an emergent church years ago that only had tables and chairs in an storefront type place. The whole service was around a group meal. I can’t remember the name or where. Wonder if it’s still around.

    Huh. Interesting. I’m not sure I would go that far (would you get up between courses to sing hymns?), but I would love to see what people thought of it!

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  35. Max:
    “Throughout the trial, the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches’ investigation into Chantry’s misconduct was mentioned. During that investigation more than 20 years ago, nothing was reported to the police.

    Tuesday, Judge Astrowsky warned both counselors to not derail too much into ARBCA as they are not being tried in this case.

    “If this were a trial of ARBCA, they’d be convicted,” he said. “But that’s not what this trial is about.”

    Eazer agreed.

    “It’s a good thing ARBCA isn’t on trial in this case,” she said. “They should but they aren’t.””

    https://www.verdenews.com/news/2018/aug/18/chantry-trial-jury-deliberations-continue-tuesday-/

    Me thinks that this might be a hint that civil actions lie in the future. Presumably TJC can be reached that way (after the fashion of the OJ criminal trial aftermath) if the jury does not convict.

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  36. Lea: Huh. Interesting. I’m not sure I would go that far (would you get up between courses to sing hymns?), but I would love to see what people thought of it!

    This is an intriguing idea, sort of on the Corinthian meeting pattern, but trying to get it “right.” Jesus did a lot of ministry in the context of meals. Table fellowship seems to have been important to the earliest Church (Acts: “broke bread from house to house” and “ate together with glad and sincere hearts” as well as Paul’s big dispute with Peter about whether Jewish believers should share table fellowship with Gentile believers).

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  37. There is no excuse for hitting a 12 -15 month old child hard enough to leave deep bruising &’blisters’. That’s child abuse clear, simple & end of discussion.

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  38. Samuel Conner: Me thinks that this might be a hint that civil actions lie in the future.

    At the very least, the judge’s words should shut down the rhetoric coming out of ARBCA. If they have any sense (which they haven’t demonstrated to date), they will lay low now.

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  39. Ricco,

    I totally disagree with that. And from reading Luther, too. He was as Augustinian as they come. He planted a flag on adding “alone” to faith as the foundation for the church. He did not accept what is referred to as the “works” aspect of James. . I have met too many faith alone rogues to buy that one. Metanoia counts, IMO. It’s what Jesus preached. And in general, Luther was downright hateful. There is a whole sub chapter in William Shirers, Rise and Fall, about Luther’s writings on the Jews and how they were used to bring the church in line in the 1930’s. (There is a funny site called the lutherinsulter that does nothing but quote his insults). There are 4 groups Luther hated and wrote about: Catholics, Jews, Women and Serfs/peasants. He advised the Princes and Electors to wipe out the peasants.

    But then I also think much of the Reformation was political and to a lesser extent, spiritual. And I am glad it happened. I am just not romantic about church history. It was a bloody mess about power, land and money. Don’t get me started on the founding of the SBC! 🙂

    But, from what I can tell about some Lutheran churches here, they have pretty much ditched or ignored Luther except the name. Most Christian “historical hero’s” are a trap when we try to promote them. Not all —but most of the biggies.

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  40. Samuel Conner,

    Lydia:
    Lea,
    “I remember reading about an emergent church years ago that only had tables and chairs in an storefront type place. The whole service was around a group meal. I can’t remember the name or where. Wonder if it’s still around.”

    “Table fellowship seems to have been important to the earliest Church”
    +++++++++++++++++

    within reason…. my time at 1st Church of Dysfunction turned this idea into rules and program. Because it’s “biblical” to eat together.

    talk about engineered community…. turned people into engineered beings, as well.

    eating is simply an event that happens throughout the day. i imagine NT folks who spent time together naturally moved from religious time to “ok, lets eat”.

    christian culture (like most religions, i think) is so prone to systematizing everything according to divine instruction. what is natural, occurring naturally, is replaced with a formula.

    kind of like the food industry taking something edible and nutritious (like a piece of fruit, vegetable, meat, cheese) and subjecting it to all manner of processing and reselling it.

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  41. Lydia,

    That all seems like fair criticism. I’m never again going to believe that one system has all the answers and defend it while ignoring its faults. I’ve been burned too many times for that. I’m joining this church because my wife works there, I like the people, and it seems like they aren’t caught up in a lot of the evangelical craziness I’ve come to dislike. I also like liturgy.

    Personally, I’m a Barthian/Trinitarian when it comes to soteriology. At least I am most days. I don’t think you can separate faith and works because what we truly believe is what we live out, not simply what we say we believe.

    I’m totally with you on the Reformation. Needed, in my opinion, but the source of lots of problems we are still dealing with.

    My point on soteriology is yes, Luther was all about faith alone. However, as I see it, in my limited study, he also talked about God’s role in salvation. Also, a sacramental understandings seems to include works by definition. Taking communion is a thing you do. Also, he predated the Calvinism vs Arminianism debates so, by definition, Lutheran theology doesn’t fit neatly into either camp. It may very well be more Arminian than Calvinist. I don’t have a dog in the fight because, as I said, I don’t fall into either camp.

    Bottom line for me: every institution has a messy history and gets some things wrong. We should be ok with being in fellowship with people we disagree with. The problem is when they try to control our thoughts. My old church did that, and this new one seems ok with letting me be myself.

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  42. elastigirl: talk about engineered community…. turned people into engineered beings, as well.

    I hate that so much. My current church is like that. If I was Evangelical Pope, I would ban the word “intentional.” Just live your life and be friendly. Not everything has to have an explicitly stated “gospel purpose.” That is an exhausting way to live.

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  43. In case you were wondering, my first two acts as Pope would be:

    1. No life application portion of the sermon. Help us understand the Bible but stop trying to run our lives. Other than how we treat each other in a general sense, everyone’s lives are too different for this.

    2. If the pastor is going to talk about money, his let year’s tax return must be projected on a screen behind him and handed out to every member.

    3. Ban the word “intentional”

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  44. Ricco: If I was Evangelical Pope, I would ban the word “intentional.”

    If you are appointed to that position, please eliminate the following words/phrases as well: missional … gospel-centered … complementarity.

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  45. Lydia: Got it. Btw, I think the real thing was a “meal”. Lol. Logistically, for institutions, that doesn’t always work well, though.

    There are a number of ideas that one can get from the scripture on this. One could say that if the last supper was indeed a seder then the only time which would fulfill the ‘as often as’ comment would be a seder, and since we don’t do seders then it was meant only for the Jews.

    Or one could look at Luke’s description and note that there seem to be two ‘cups’ one with the meal and one “after the meal’ with the ambiguous ‘in like manner’ to the the cup after the meal applied to bread somehow. But like they say, Luke was not there. He did the best he could just as he said in his initial statements.

    Or we could say that it was evidently not all that important since John’s gospel does not even mention it, so we can just skip it-or perhaps make it optional since Paul did mention it later. But once we start down the road of who does not mention what we have to admit that the ‘virgin birth’ has limited mention in the NT and does not seem to be vital to the epistles. Good thing because really? I mean, getting supernatural is so weird and so unprovable. Like singing ‘washed in the blood’ as if who does that, washes stuff in blood.

    At the same time the people at the last supper were males and disciples/apostles themselves, so if we say that the limitation of the priesthood to males is due to a males only original twelve then we could limit the eucharist to males only.

    Or we could note that Jesus mentioned the his body as food and his blood as drink at the time when some disciples quit following him, a time before the last supper. Something about ‘how can this man give us his flesh to eat…’And he let them go we note; he did not run after them with wait/wait you have misunderstood me and/or wait until you see what I do at the seder before my death. Apparently John’s take on the idea without the grain or the grapes or the ritual nature of the event.

    Or, God forbid, we could say that indeed one can get way too literal in the approach to scripture and in doing so miss the message, a message which in fact might play itself out in more than one kind of thinking over the centuries. Nah-that kind of thinking is only for liberals, or maybe traditionalists, or maybe churchianity folks or maybe just the other guys down the street who of course are mistaken-probably.

    And let’s not even think about the number of other things which we include in christianity which can be thought about similarly. Like for one example the foot washing actually done in catholic and anglican and free will baptist practice, variously done that is. IMO if we are to survive and succeed then we have to commit ourselves to scooting down on the pew and making room for ‘them’ and they for us. And like the man said, ‘tear down this wall’.

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  46. Ricco,

    i imagine if you were Evangelical Pope you’d divest yourself of all associated power, wealth, & perks — save making sure no one usurps your position. (and brings it all back)

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  47. Ricco,

    wait, i like your list, there. can i add to it? then you can divest yourself of all power.

    (or would you still need power to make your changes stick? just planning ahead, here…)

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  48. elastigirl,

    I’d love to think that about myself. That’s a flattering view. I’m reality, that power would probably corrupt me over time and I’d stat using it more and more to help my friends and punish my enemies. I don’t believe in total depravity, but I think history shows us the utter corruptability of people.

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  49. elastigirl,

    It’s an open list. Help yourself!! My wife and I are also working on a christianese thesaurus too. Unfortunately, this story makes me thing that “biblical discipline” is the christianese synonym of “child abuse.”

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  50. okrapod: In my skeptical and jaded current outlook I view some of this ‘the bible says’ movement not as people who feel compelled by scripture to do this or think that but rather as people who already and for other reasons and other motivations already think this and want to do that and use the bible for an excuse.

    “Men of Sin” will always glom onto some sort of Cosmic-level Authority — Bible, Koran, Darwin, Freud, Marx, Nature, Science — to get Cosmic-level Justification for “What I Wanna”.

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  51. Lea: Huh. Interesting. I’m not sure I would go that far (would you get up between courses to sing hymns?), but I would love to see what people thought of it!

    These types of groups exist. I’ve recently been to one.
    It’s a mixed bag, and may work better in theory than practice.

    It’s dependent on factors such as the local homeless level. The higher the incidence rate of homelessness, the less functional the gathering will be.

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  52. okrapod,

    Really good stuff here. I think you have mentioned before that you are Anglican. I think Anglican/Episcopalian would be my natural home, too.

    For me, I’m most comfortable when people at least leave the option open to understand things like communion symbolically as well as literally. I’m open to the literal interpretation of some of these church traditions, but for me, the history and symbolism is a stronger argument. Things like communion and baptism have been what Christians have been doing together for 2000 years. That gives it value. The way I think is I want these traditions to continue, but I want people to have some flexibility in determining how they see the meaning of these traditions.

    One thing I like about modern Lutheran teaching on communion is they say that Christ is “under” the elements. That is a very broad statement that leaves an opening for both a literal and a symbolic understanding.

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  53. okrapod,

    I have absolutely no problem with any of that until the guy on the platform says it’s a “means of Grace”. if the person on the platform says it’s a means of Grace for some but not for others as they believe it’s in remembrance, then I am fine. See? Is there room for me? It really depends on the guy on the stage. 🙂

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  54. Max: If you are appointed to that position, please eliminate the following words/phrases as well:missional … gospel-centered … complementarity.

    Servant- leader

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  55. Ricco,

    I hear ya! It really boils down to freedom of thought and open discussion. In my view what separates Calvin and Luther is that Calvin systematized Augustinian precepts. He was a lawyer, you know. 🙂

    My big thing is what these churches are teaching children and the youth. I cannot stress enough how appalled I am at the Gospel Project curriculum in SBC churches for children and teens. if these kids don’t hate God and church by the time they are 20 it will be a miracle.

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  56. Max,

    Whoever is doing the christianese thesaurus, I want a copy! What would be really cool is to do a provenance on each one of these buzzwords/phrases. I bet guys like hybels, Warren and Buford would show up quite a bit. I have always found that amusing since the young restless and reformed claim that they were saving us from such types but they promptly went on to adopt a lot of their method and terminology.

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  57. I live in the same county as the Beerys. I suspect that there is a vipers’ nest of these abusers in this county and this deepens my suspicions. There is a network of these Reformed Baptist, Family Integrated churches here that seems to be under the radar. Some members of these kinds of churches are politically involved and their actions against their opponents are anything but Christian. The more I learn, the more horrified I am about some of the things that go on in church. No wonder so many people are turning away.

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  58. Ricco,

    “No life application portion of the sermon. Help us understand the Bible but stop trying to run our lives. Other than how we treat each other in a general sense, everyone’s lives are too different for this.”

    Amen. One thing I miss about a former Baptist pastor who was a Hebrew scholar focused on understanding the text within it’s historical context. He would even include pics of archaeological finds, etc. And he would do it all in 20 minutes. He’s now teaching at a university away from Mohler. Lol.

    it was really quite amazing because you couldn’t stop thinking about it after you left. And making your own applications.

    The YRR guy after him preached on strict application for an hour and cried every time. (It only took a few times for me to recognize regurgitated Piper sermons. No thanks)

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  59. Lydia: I have absolutely no problem with any of that until the guy on the platform says it’s a “means of Grace”. if the person on the platform says it’s a means of Grace for some but not for others as they believe it’s in remembrance, then I am fine. See? Is there room for me? It really depends on the guy on the stage.

    Glad you brought that up.

    In discussing reconciliation (confession and what goes with it) I read recently in some Catholic literature that the doing of it (the sacrament of reconciliation) as a means of grace (sacrament) depends on the individual penitent and their attitude of heart. It can be a means of grace or it can be useless ritual, the author was saying. And it does not depend on the priest-be he good or evil-but rather on the person repenting. Who would have thought.

    That makes it like the Catholic idea of sacramental marriage in which the groom and the bride actually administer the sacrament to each other as one way of understanding it and in which certain things between the two render the ritual legal but not sacramental. For instance, lying or threat or coercing of any sort or various deceptions or withholding necessary information, that sort of thing. This can lead to a determination of nullity of the sacrament of marriage as in it never was a sacrament for some people in the first place, ritual or no ritual.

    Except in that way of thinking it does not depend on the ‘man on the stage’ but rather on the participating individuals themselves. Sounds a little bit like what you are saying, that a thing might be a ‘means of grace’ for one person but not for another person.

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  60. Ricco: I’m open to the literal interpretation of some of these church traditions, but for me, the history and symbolism is a stronger argument.

    Everybody understands that it is symbolic, it is just that some think that it is also ‘literal’ in some way. Also, not instead of. Both and. Meanwhile there are various ideas of what ‘literal’ even means. In my immediate family of four adults we have four somewhat different ideas regarding this. I don’t see how that needs to be a problem.

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  61. Lydia: Whoever is doing the christianese thesaurus, I want a copy!

    Dave Miller (SBC Voices) actually wrote a fairly balanced perspective on this several years ago: “Problems with Gospel-Centered Terminology”.

    https://sbcvoices.com/magnifying-the-gospel-and-missing-the-point-problems-with-gospel-centered-terminology/

    I certainly don’t encourage Wartburgers to tune into SBC Voices (aka, New Calvinist Voices), but Miller drew attention to the problem with a tribal vocabulary within the reformed movement, which has only gotten worse.

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  62. Max,

    Those guys crack me up. Did you see Thornton’s article today on financial fraud in churches? Those guys love big government micromanaging until it comes to church and money. Then it’s hands off.

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  63. Lydia:
    Nathan Priddis,
    I just pictured myself at the Kroger at 8 am on Sunday trying to find ready-made food to take. Lol

    The vast majority of our meals together (there are one or two exceptions) are prepared by paid staff and not potluck, which is nice for people who want a break from cooking!

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  64. Lydia: The YRR guy after him preached on strict application for an hour and cried every time. (It only took a few times for me to recognize regurgitated Piper sermons. No thanks)

    Actor onstage (“Hypokritos” in Koine Greek), reciting his lines and crying on cue.

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  65. Lydia:
    Max,

    Those guys crack me up. Did you see Thornton’s article today on financial fraud in churches? Those guys love big government micromanaging until it comes to church and money. Then it’s hands off.

    And if that big gubmint micromanaging is dancing to their tune and acting in their favor (marrying Church & State like Constantine), they LOVE it like Harley Quinn LOVES her Joker.
    “DEUS VULT!”

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  66. drstevej:
    dee,

    2 Yorkies, 2 Shelties

    Equals 4 Yip-Yaps.

    “Bark bark bark bark
    Bark bark BARK BARK!
    Until you could hear them
    All over the park.”
    -T.S.Eliot, “The Pekes and the Pollicles”

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  67. Max: We see this over and over in the cult of personality in America. Followers stand by such leaders ’til the bitter end … loyalty, denial, blindness.

    And that goes for Politics as well as Churches (and their most recent overlap/hybrid, the Christianese Culture War).

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  68. okrapod: I thought he meant the eucharist.
    The majority of Christians are in denominations in which, and with somewhat variation in understandings, the eucharist is the most holy moment of worship.

    That’s usually the mark of a Liturgical church.
    (Which was the only type of church for some 1500 years.)

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  69. Siteseer: So the people who are beating infants and toddlers need to know they are liable to cause the exact opposite of what they are trying for, or, at best, a seriously wounded child who will carry those scars in their soul for a lifetime.

    In the words of the prophet Pat Benatar:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KkTnreoAUc
    (Which was Denounced as Satanic when it hit the charts. Definitely remember James Dobson among the usual suspects.)

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  70. Max: Ricco: Lutheran soteriology can’t really be defined by the Arminian vs Calvin debate since it developed earlier.

    Hmmm … I heard an old fellow say that Paul was a Calvinist!

    That is a known mind game called “All Great Men Are”.

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  71. Lea: The vast majority of our meals together (there are one or two exceptions) are prepared by paid staff and not potluck, which is nice for people who want a break from cooking!

    It’s a concept I like a lot. But there are a lot of details that have to be successfully handled. The group I visited was almost 100. Even that small, it was a lot of food. They had the preparation working well. It was designated volunteer labor.

    There were a few homeless attending and some noise. Someone who is uptight might be turned off by this. It did not have the typical mega-church vibe in any way. Food will attract people, and pets can’t just be left outside.

    Overall, it was a unique and pleasant experience, but it’s not for everyone.

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  72. I am attaching a link for the free download of a book called “Thy Rod and thy Staff they comfort me” by Samuel Martin. I found it fascinating and wish I had known this information when my children were small.

    He makes the following points:
    The current day Christian practice of spanking children for punishment is based on 5 verses in Proverbs.
    The book of Proverbs was written specifically to young men (in Jewish culture that would be the equivalent of teenagers today).
    Proverbs was an extension of the Law of Moses and how it should be applied to young men who were left uncorrected as they headed towards a life of crime.
    Throughout history and to this day Jewish rabbis who abide by and interpret the Law of Moses for their people don’t apply those verses to small children or to girls.
    The concept of corporal punishment for children is nowhere to be found in the NT or teachings of the early church.
    The NT makes it clear that we are no longer under the Law of Moses but under the Law of Christ.

    Download Thy Rod And Thy Staff They Comfort Me: Christians and the Spanking Controversy
    https://whynottrainachild.com/2013/06/22/download-martins-book/

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  73. okrapod: In my skeptical and jaded current outlook I view some of this ‘the bible says’ movement not as people who feel compelled by scripture to do this or think that but rather as people who already and for other reasons and other motivations already think this and want to do that and use the bible for an excuse.

    How great it can be to do whatever you want to do anyhow, fool yourself as to your own motivations, and then put it on public display as acts of righteousness. I think ‘we’ are drowning in this sort of thinking, and I think this is nothing new under the sun.

    That pretty much sums up where I have landed in regards to ‘christianity’. Seriously, even a slightly clever person can twist and stitch together scriptures to support pretty much anything desired. Which is why I reversed out of the Reformed world of ‘the only perfect church’ and find myself back where I started – seeking to muddle through, loving God and others rather than serving my own interests. And believing, once again, that the Spirit of God is something real, that actually communes with our spirits to correct, teach and guide us. I’ve never received a ‘word of the Lord’, but have enough sense to listen to my conscience and follow my gut, and I am learning that it is actually much safer than trusting others whose motives I know not.

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  74. Mary27:
    * The book of Proverbs was written specifically to young men (in Jewish culture that would be the equivalent of teenagers today).
    * Proverbs was an extension of the Law of Moses and how it should be applied to young men who were left uncorrected as they headed towards a life of crime.
    * Throughout history and to this day Jewish rabbis who abide by and interpret the Law of Moses for their people don’t apply those verses to small children or to girls.
    * The concept of corporal punishment for children is nowhere to be found in the NT or teachings of the early church.
    * The NT makes it clear that we are no longer under the Law of Moses but under the Law of Christ.

    So much for “SCRIPTURE! SCRIPTURE! SCRIPTURE! SCRIPTURE! SCRIPTURE!” a la Ezzo, Pearl, and Dobson…

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  75. Bill:
    Drsteve exactly what is the point in your beingnumber 1? Am I missing something here?

    It’s like taking a moment to breathe deeply of fresh air… just before diving into the polluted waters of whatever troubling darkness is currently undergoing the “light” treatment.

    At my house, it might be likened to the deep, steadying breath taken just before tackling a rogue spider or emptying a mousetrap. Ew.

    DrSteve is not the only one in the game; he’s just been the most successful, lately. Another “mental health break” is Nick’s reporting on totally unrelated events to break up an otherwise grim contemplation of man’s inhumanity to man.

    Hats off to the Deebs. I couldn’t do what they do, but I certainly appreciate it. The evil have had their way too long. It’s time to shine the light in the corners and sweep.

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  76. dee:
    Bill,

    He makes me smile. I am trying to figure out how he does it? I think he lives under my kitchen table where I write my posts.

    You write your posts under the kitchen table?
    🙂

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  77. Ricco,

    Rocco,
    I could barely bear to read this post.

    We came out of a church that admired Wilson and invited him to be a guest teacher, so you probably get what I mean.

    Terrible place. Terrible theology. Monstrous god.

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  78. NJ:
    “Ted Tripp used to be a pastor of an ARBCA church but has reportedly left the denomination. Did his teaching contribute to this case?”

    Possibly.I’d also be looking into possible influence by the Pearls.They definitely believe in switching babies.Perhaps spanking them too.

    The Ezzos, too. “Growing Babies God’s Way” was, I think, one title. “Growing Kids God’s Way” was another.

    God’s Way apparently involves rigidly scheduling sleeping and eating (including nursing, to the point where some babies failed to thrive), ignoring a crying baby, and (IIRC) spanking.

    Anything else was evidently not God’s way.

    It was quite the fad at our former church in the 1990s.

    Ezzo followers were fanatical and divisive. The name “Ezzo” was banned from discussion in a number of online homeschooling discussion boards I used to frequent.

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  79. Ricco:
    Lydia,

    I’d encourage you to read his book or at least watch his TED talk. He addresses that issue. Basically, through questionnaires, he Hs identified 5 moral foundations. Liberal morality tends to be based on 2, while conservative morality uses all five. What he sees is that both sides believe they are moral, they just value different attributes in a different balance to get there.

    I find it so ironic that conservative Christians I know insist that the only morality is to be found in the church. Atheists have no foundation for a moral code and no way of knowing right from wrong, these blind believers insist.

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  80. refugee,

    Oh I know what you mean. My wife and I were in a bad place emotionally, so we stupidly went and got “biblical counseling” in Moscow Idaho from Mike Lawyer, Doug Wilson’s dean at St Andrews and consigliere. It was awful, and the only thing that saved us was we didn’t go to that church so there was only so much they could do to us.

    When I finally recovered enough to start investigating what was going on over there in Moscow, I was horrified. There aren’t words for how bad it is.

    Glad you got out!

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  81. Ricco,

    Sigh. The majority of my kids are atheists and agnostics now. The reformed church and its reformed people did an effective job of inoculating them against faith.

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  82. refugee: The majority of my kids are atheists and agnostics now. The reformed church and its reformed people did an effective job of inoculating them against faith.

    What a sad thing. And that folks is the end of a journey for those who travel with New Calvinism.

    Refugee, I pray that times of refreshing in the Lord will come for you and your family.

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  83. refugee,

    “I find it so ironic that conservative Christians I know insist that the only morality is to be found in the church. Atheists have no foundation for a moral code and no way of knowing right from wrong, these blind believers insist.”
    ++++++++++++

    they’ve clearly never been in the wild. (outside the christian bubble :|)

    crimany….

    some of the most excellent human beings i know are atheists. kind, generous, honest even when it’s to their disadvantage because their personal standard is being honest and truthful…

    conservative christian, if refugee is describing you, get to know people outside your church bubble. expect your life to be richer for it.

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  84. Bill,

    no one cares.

    like the morning when the radio station played their daily call-in game, and i knew the answer, called the studio, made it through to the dj… got my name announced and my voice gushing on the radio & everything. won a totally cool prize.

    no one gave a flying fick.

    but it gave me a lift!

    in an otherwise strenuous and stressful day (for which i was grateful to be alive).

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  85. Max: It’s quite apparent that there are a lot of things overlooked in Scripture when selecting men to fill the pulpit these days.That’s why we have so many preacher-boys in the American church, but few men of God.

    Another reason for so many “preacher-boys” is that there is big money in starting your own church–and it has nothing to do with a calling from anything or anyone other than Cold Hard Cash, and no accountability to anyone.

    If people really *wanted* men of God, they wouldn’t send their money to the Preacher Boys.

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  86. okrapod,

    I am always intrigued and challenged by your comments, Okrapod. You have such a variety of experiences and enough time logged in on earth to think deeply about what you have seen and heard. I see you are unashamedly in the “don’t have all the answers camp” which is always refreshing to me. Thanks for taking time to post. I think TWW has an amazing group of commentors!

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  87. Ricco:
    In case you were wondering, my first two acts as Pope would be:

    1. No life application portion of the sermon. Help us understand the Bible but stop trying to run our lives. Other than how we treat each other in a general sense, everyone’s lives are too different for this.

    2. If the pastor is going to talk about money, his let year’s tax return must be projected on a screen behind him and handed out to every member.

    3. Ban the word “intentional”

    Excellent! I love #2 – can you imagine?

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  88. refugee:
    Ricco,

    Sigh. The majority of my kids are atheists and agnostics now. The reformed church and its reformed people did an effective job of inoculating them against faith.

    I applaud them for their honesty. There are way too many people in church that are just playing the game. Including pastors and elders. And, honestly, I have a lot of questions myself.

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  89. refugee: Ezzo followers were fanatical and divisive. The name “Ezzo” was banned from discussion in a number of online homeschooling discussion boards I used to frequent.

    As those kids are coming of age, I wonder how that’s working out for those people

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  90. PaJo: If people really *wanted* men of God, they wouldn’t send their money to the Preacher Boys.

    Give us a king shouted Israel! Christian celebrities would have no stage if it weren’t for an audience buying tickets to get in the theatre. Together they rebel against God.

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  91. dee: There will be ARBCA people who claim that this is not true. The fact that leadership has not dealt with these cases appropriately leads me to believe that they don’t give a rip.

    Oh they’ll give a rip alright. Wait till the gavel comes down hard and heavy, and one of em’ gets sent to the hoosegow for a spell. Only then will it finally sink in that their ‘religious liberty’ does not extend to the beating of babies and children.

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  92. Muff Potter,

    Here’s the thing: When you are involved (brainwashed) in one of these churches, you really believe it when you are told that some ‘godly’, ‘innocent’ pastor or parent is being ‘persecuted’ for using ‘biblical discipline’. You believe that ‘the world’ just doesn’t get it, and that those who do – that’s you and your church – will always be falsely accused. I remember when a pastor and several family members from a small church nearby were accused of child abuse. Most in my circle thought they were simply being attacked because they believed in ‘spanking’. I happened to have friends who attended the church before these crazies split off, and they assured me that there were real issues going on there, as in ‘spanking’ two month old babies and spanking as a training tool.

    I admit, I bought into the concept of spanking, and still need to reevaluate it fully from the outside, but we would never have dreamed of spanking an infant. Or hitting older children for ‘inappropriate’ behavior. If I were to allow for spanking at all – and I am not sure I now could – it would be for deliberate, in-your-face, ‘No!’ rebellion – which most loved and properly attended kids simply do not normally engage in. You don’t spank children for being children, and the vast majority of our job as parents is teaching our children what is appropriate and what is not. It is not something that brute force lends itself to.

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  93. While I only comment occasionally, I see from this thread that there is another “Bill” that comments here. To avoid any confusion, I will from now on comment as “BillToo”. Two points, my old church tried to push the Ezzo’s child rearing philosophy onto us. I took the full course – stupidly without questioning at first whether it was really “from God” – but later came to the conclusion that it was not. Second, although just a minor mention on this current thread, I notice there seems to be a distinct “we know better than them” prejudice here against young earth creationism. I think this is very short sighted. There is only one set of “evidences” available to us since we can’t go into a lab with the scientific method and try to recreate creation. Young earth creation seems to me as valid a belief as any other to explain the evidence we have. It seems to me unfair to dismiss it simply because certain “evangelical crazies” happen to believe in it. There are plenty of “evolution” nut cases out there as well. Many in this group seem to look down on those that believe in some sort of young earth creation. I don’t think that is an appropriate attitude.

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  94. BillToo: It seems to me unfair to dismiss it simply because certain “evangelical crazies” happen to believe in it.

    I used to believe in young in earth creation. I ended up rejecting it based on science and logic, not because of the crazies behind it. That said, there are some very scientifically dishonest and/or incompetent people pushing it, such as Ken Ham.

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  95. BillToo: Young earth creation seems to me as valid a belief as any other to explain the evidence we have.

    Science progresses by comparing predictions made by its theories to measurements and observations made based on the theories being tested. Discrepancies between predictions and observations are the source of improved theories. Perhaps the recent observations of the spiraling together of two neutron stars, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GW170817 is one of the strongest indications of the overall correctness of our present fundamental physics theories. YEC is not science at any scale. These groups offer no theories that can begin to make testable predictions about the physical world. However, polished theme park displays and the internet we use for these comments do require use of technologies built on the very science the YEC community disparages.
    In its earlier years YEC was a well covered topic for discussion here at TWW. However, it doesn’t offer insight to the various abuse situations that are currently the primary topics. You might want to examine “creationism” under the Categories menu. I have been a reader and commentor from almost the beginning of TWW. The intellectual and spiritual insights of the Deebs are remarkable and admirable. My educational background includes an earned PhD in experimental physics granted in 1967.

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  96. PaJo: Another reason for so many “preacher-boys” is that there is big money in starting your own church

    “Writing for a penny a word is stupid. If you want to make a million dollars, Start Your Own Religion.”
    — L Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology

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  97. refugee:
    Ricco,

    Sigh. The majority of my kids are atheists and agnostics now. The reformed church and its reformed people did an effective job of inoculating them against faith.

    Expose the subject to a disabled or fake form of a pathogen, and when they are subsequently exposed to the real thing, their immune system will immediately and automatically REJECT it.

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  98. Headless Unicorn Guy: Expose the subject to a disabled or fake form of a pathogen, and when they are subsequently exposed to the real thing, their immune system will immediately and automatically REJECT it.

    False teaching/theology always contains a wrong view of God, man, sin, and salvation. When one is constantly exposed to mistruth and half-truth, he can’t discern Truth when it comes by.

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  99. Ken F (aka Tweed): I used to believe in young in earth creation. I ended up rejecting it based on science and logic, not because of the crazies behind it. That said, there are some very scientifically dishonest and/or incompetent people pushing it, such as Ken Ham.

    And then there are free-thinking rogue renegades like Potter, who are on everybody’s sh…, er.. ah… poo-poo list.

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  100. refugee: Another “mental health break” is Nick’s reporting on totally unrelated events to break up an otherwise grim contemplation of man’s inhumanity to man.

    You have the position in a nutshell.

    We are blessed, in UK politics, with the Official Monster Raving Loony Party (whose long-standing electoral slogan is “Vote for insanity – you know it makes sense”). Party policies include banning greyhound racing to stop Britain going to the dogs, and for all vehicles to be fitted with bungee ropes to save fuel on the return journey. (There’s plenty more where those came from!) Obviously, they’re not serious. But they’re a bit of an institution here, and a part of their charm is that they stay (so to speak) in character for all of their public pronouncements or appearances. That is, it’s all a bit of fun, but they never openly admit this.

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  101. refugee:
    Ricco,

    Sigh. The majority of my kids are atheists and agnostics now. The reformed church and its reformed people did an effective job of inoculating them against faith.

    There has been a bit of a similar epidemic here and I think that’s why Mohler has been desperate to rebrand to SJW. The growth climaxed and they needed a new strategy They used a bunch a people for 20 years, took control of churches and resources, cleaned house, recruited a ton of young men and wrecked havoc. But now they need to take the focus off the angry controlling determinist God they hawked. And there are always new crops coming up to control.

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  102. Max: “If this were a trial of ARBCA, they’d be convicted,” he said. “But that’s not what this trial is about.”

    Eazer agreed.

    Some cases like this really need to happen, in my opinion, because until religious groups find it more damaging to sweep crimes under the rug than to report them, they are not going to change their ways.
    “It’s a good thing ARBCA isn’t on trial in this case,” she said. “They should but they aren’t.””

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  103. SiteSeer,

    Somehow my comment got left off the quote-

    In my opinion, this needs to happen. Until some religious groups are held accountable and there is a price paid, they will not change their ways. It needs to be more damaging to cover up a crime than to report it.

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  104. Lydia: There has been a bit of a similar epidemic here and I think that’s why Mohler has been desperate to rebrand to SJW.

    At the same time the term SJW is acquiring a stench on a lot of the Internet.

    But then, Christianese knockoffs usually surface around the time the mainstream thing they’re knocking off jumps the shark.

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