Finally, Thomas Chantry Found Guilty on 2 Counts Aggravated Assault. Retrial Likely on 4 Other Counts and a New Victim May Appear.

Dedicated with thanks to Susan Eazer:

I went to law school. And I became a prosecutor. I took on a specialty that very few choose to pursue. I prosecuted child abuse and child homicide cases. Cases that were truly gut-wrenching. But standing up for those kids, being their voice for justice was the honor of a lifetime.-Susana Martinez

Todd Wilhelm at Thou Art the Man described the presentation of the verdict.

At 4:13 P.M. the Jury returned and gave the envelope containing their verdicts to Judge Astrowsky.  The courtroom was deathly silent as we waited to hear the verdicts. Judge Astrowsky looked the forms over and then had the Clerk read the verdicts aloud.

The Jury found Thomas Chantry not guilty on counts 1 and 8.

The Jury found Thomas Chantry guilty on counts 6 and 7.

The Jury was deadlocked on counts 2-5. A mistrial was declared on these four counts.

…Sentencing was scheduled for Friday, September 28th at 9:00 A.M. The parties also agreed to have a Status Conference on the same day to discuss the 4 counts on which the jurors were unable to come to a decision.

It is my understanding from Todd that those two verdicts could carry a maximum of 3 years in prison. However, since this is a first conviction, he may only receive on year. Probation is also possible. I am hoping for prison time.

Was there a juror who had a bias coming into the trial?

When the following occurred, we learned some vital information about the nature of the deadlocked jury from Todd’s blog.

Judge Astrowsky thanked the jurors and said their service was now complete, they no longer had to comply with the admonition. He asked them to remain in a back room so he could come and personally thank them, and then they would be free to leave or to remain and answer questions from the two Attorneys.

Wilhelm learned that one of the jurors had no intention of voting to convict Chantry on sexual abuse charges.  Apparently, hereported that he had a friend whom he claimed was wrongfully accused of sexual abuse. He did not alert the Court about his bias. It is my understanding that it was his refusal to even consider that Chantry was guilty of  those 4 counts that resulted in a mistrial.

Here is what he learned from Ms Eazer from Todd’s blog.

In speaking with Prosecutor Eazer after the case she told me that the jury had switched from 9-3 to 10-2 and one of the remaining 2 was leaning to voting guilty as well.  She’s disappointed with the inability of the jurors to reach a guilty verdict on the remaining counts but is determined to retry the case and see that justice is done.

Susan Eazer plans to retry the 4 counts on which a consensus could not be met.

Given what we learned from the polling of the jury, I believe there is a high likelihood of his conviction on the other counts in the next go round. According to Wilhelm:

Susan Eazer said the State intends to retry Chantry on the counts the jury could not come to a concensus on. She also said the State intends to bring additional charges of sexual molestation against Chantry from a new victim.

There may be new charges against Chantry brought by a NEW victim, according to Wilhelm. During the trial, it was discovered that there was a police report alleging that Chantry had hurt another child. This evidence was received too late to be introduced into the trial. However, that report could be admitted in a retrial.

Here is copy of the memo submitted to the court which shows that Todd Wilhelm, once again exhibiting that he is a worthy recipient of the title TWW Official Hero, was the one who reported this information to the Court.

Here is a redacted copy of the police report obtained by the Court.




Where does that leave us?

I am thrilled with the verdict. I have been following this case since 2016. I believe it was TWW’s documentation of this case which led to despicable attacks from the supporters of Tom Chantry. I believe they were behind the letter that was sent to my church, to Duke University, etc. Thankfully the intellectual level of the letter was lacking and only served to embarrass the senders.

How a Letter Meant to Hurt Dee in Her Church and Community Gave Her a Precious Gift Instead

I also believe that the sickening attack on me by Frank Turk was due to my documentation of the charges surrounding Chantry. Apparently he was concerned that John MacArthur, who is now experiencing his own trials, might hear of his antics. Thank God he left social media after learning a hard lesson as to what constitutes actual libel.

Frank Turk Retires His Blog and Demonstrates That He Hardly Knew Us

What is it about Thomas Chantry that brings out the worst in people? It leads me to believe that there is a need for repentance by a fair number of leaders in ARBCA. How many of them knew about this? How many of them covered it up? How many of them gave the nod for the infamous letter sent to my church, my husband’s employer (Duke University), etc?

We have been posting about abuse in the church since 2009. We now have a great deal fo experience in assessing the claims of abuse. It was evident to us, right from the beginning, that Tom Chantry’s victims spoke in a truthful manner. We have a very good track record in this area. It was also obvious to us that the defenders of Tom Chantry were ill educated in the dynamics of sexual and physical abuse (as well as how to write a coherent letter…)

To those supporters from us:

We believed the victims in 2016 and we still believe the victims in 2018. On the other hand, we did not believe Chantry’s denials and we still don’t. We are pleased with the verdict of *guilty* on two charges and look forward to another trial in the future. Note to ARBCA: Maybe he should try for a plea in the next go round.


Comments

Finally, Thomas Chantry Found Guilty on 2 Counts Aggravated Assault. Retrial Likely on 4 Other Counts and a New Victim May Appear. — 159 Comments

  1. I do have some concerns over the prosecution’s approach. I did not see much effort made to expose the existence of spanking fettishes as a sexual perversion. The accusations concerning Chantry did not seem to point to some overzealous christian applying the paddle a bit too hard. Rather, he appeared to deliberately create flimsy excuses to ‘spank’ young, innocent children. This suggests, as even the ARBCA documents apparently attest, a spanking fettish, or deriving sexual pleasure from spanking. This also explains why this monster would spank small children hard enough to cause bruising and worse. I hope that anyone who is involved, or might have influence, would seek to find out why these things were not used to paint the picture of Chantry’s abuse as sexual in nature, even if no fondling too place. Such things are most likely true of John Smythe as well. These people are not simply physically abusive, but there is without doubt a sexual element to it all. It simply seems that we are not getting to the root (just caught myself in time to not make a really bad pun) of the issues in abusive ‘spanking’.

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  2. drstevej,

    Nature of my work some days, have to wait for code to load and that gives me some time to browse the Internet. And I’ve taken up TWW since the WCCC debacle so I watch for new articles and comments frequently some days. Other days I have to stay away and refresh my mind and spirit. It can be a bit much after awhile.

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  3. THE SPIN IS ALREADY IN.

    Here’s the first comment at the Thou Art The Man posting down the link, from a “Tim Fulton”:

    Tom has been vindicated of the molestation charges and convicted of spanking two of the children. I pray Tom is granted probation and allowed to put the last two years behind him and to pick up the pieces of his marriage and put them back together. He has a loving wife and three growing children who want and need there father and husband. I have known Tom and his father Walter and mother Joy for over 15 years. Tom and Christ Reformed Baptist were there for me 12 years ago when I was at the low point of my life and helped me through a very difficult time – I remember hearing Walter preach from Revelations 21 on the New Jerusalem and how that sermon moved – Tom also is a wonderful expositor of scripture I pray he is allowed to pick up in Ephesians where he left off a couple years ago – I’m fully aware of the bitter anger on this site I really feel the readers and commenters were falsely influenced by the sites founders – if the truth were known I wonder how many of the so called victims were readers of this blog and for that matter the jurists. To God be the Glory Great things He has done.

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  4. TS00:
    I do have some concerns over the prosecution’s approach. I did not see much effort made to expose the existence of spanking fettishes as a sexual perversion.

    I have the same concern, and I hope it’s addressed in great detail in the retrial.

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  5. Headless Unicorn Guy,

    Tim Fulton didn’t read the article very clearly then.

    “In speaking with Prosecutor Eazer after the case she told me that the jury had switched from 9-3 to 10-2 and one of the remaining 2 was leaning to voting guilty as well. She’s disappointed with the inability of the jurors to reach a guilty verdict on the remaining counts but is determined to retry the case and see that justice is done.”

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  6. This may be a bit out of ball-park, but I wonder if maybe, just maybe, this case and others like it will provoke some hard thinking among the “new reformed”/reformed baptists. They affirm God’s absolute sovereignty in election and reprobation and everything else, including what happens in their churches.

    By their sovereignty theology, a (now) convicted felon and proved-in-court-of-law child-batterer was placed, by God, into the teaching office of a number of their churches. One would hope that this recognition would stimulate some reflection on their part in terms of “why would God do that?” Perhaps they will draw beneficial inferences, such as “perhaps God is showing us that we need to be more diligent and scrupulous to accurately assess the character of the men we consider for appointment to the teaching offices of our churches.”

    One can hope.

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  7. Samuel Conner,

    And God couldn’t pull that off with out children being abused?!?

    When the Slenderman case was first reported, my son & I had a Calvinist tell us that God would be glorified by their crime, and it was preordained. My son asked why did a 12 yr old girl need to be stabbed 27 times and left for dead for God to be glorified? The Calvinist had no answer and my son, thankfully, rejected that idea.

    If the Reformed folks go there they are completely nuts!

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  8. Samuel Conner:
    By their sovereignty theology, a (now) convicted felon and proved-in-court-of-law child-batterer was placed, by God, into the teaching office of a number of their churches. One would hope that this recognition would stimulate some reflection on their part in terms of “why would God do that?”

    Many have a horrifying theology for that question. They said, “But we all deserve to be treated like that. We are so evil that we don’t deserve to be treated with anything but evil.”

    Of course, what they mean is pew peons only deserve evil. That theology doesn’t apply to those who say those kinds of things.

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  9. ishy,

    Heard it weekly. Then the pastor wondered, ‘Why did everyone leave the only ‘true church’ in town?’ Yeah, I wonder why. Cause everyone is searching desperately for that God who loves to inflict evil upon them. For his own glory.

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  10. The headmaster of Christian Liberty Academy mentioned in the police report (Dr. Philip Bennett) = Tom Chantry’s sister’s father-in-law.

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  11. Noevangelical:
    Samuel Conner,

    If the Reformed folks go there they are completely nuts!

    I don’t think it’s a question of “going there”; it seems to me that that’s where they already are.

    My hope is that incidents of this kind will stimulate them to look for deeper evidences of good character than mere conformity to the confessional standards. To paraphrase James, the demons also have sound theology… .

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  12. ishy: Many have a horrifying theology for that question. They said, “But we all deserve to be treated like that. We are so evil that we don’t deserve to be treated with anything but evil.”

    Of course, what they mean is pew peons only deserve evil. That theology doesn’t apply to those who say those kinds of things.

    We can only hope that more and more whistle blower blogs like TWW will out this sort of thing for the sick and twisted religion it is.

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  13. Jerome:
    The headmaster of Christian Liberty Academy mentioned in the police report (Dr. Philip Bennett) = Tom Chantry’s sister’s father-in-law.

    Nepotism at its cruelest. . .

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  14. ‘..we believe the victims’. What needs addressing is the latent misogyny of, it seems to me, so many older christian males. An elderly baptist told me that because of Eve, women are still ‘cursed’, the lesser species, the temptresses, the seducers, so not to be believed if accusing men. They are under satan’s influence, trying to destroy the work of godly pastors/priests etc. He doesn’t say that often out loud…but it’s latent, so deeply part of his worldview and it needs to change. Here in the UK, churches are closing by the dozen, attendances plummeting, very few younger generations are going to be drawn to that theology, ever!

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  15. Samuel Conner,

    My hope is that many people will start to see that a theology who’s god needs to be glorified through the abuse of children is bankrupt at it’s core, and they leave running never to return. What love is this?

    In spite of all of Dave Hunt’s alledged faults, he was at least asking the right question. The Reformed faithful could do a lot of good simply by asking that simple question of their pastors, leaders, and of themselves.

    But hey, who are we to complain? Their god wills it!!

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  16. ishy,

    Ishy, you are exactly correct..these clowns that put forward that “theology” never fully apply it to themselves…. theys are “special” and seem to think the rules do not apply to themselves…. but then this is far from a new “problem”

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  17. Matilda,

    You do know that baptists are the origin of the “Two seedlines” theology. It is sometimes called “Serpent Seed” . It exists mostly in Primitive and Old Regular groups, but it’s impact on Baptist thought is much wider than that. These groups are highly Calvinistic.

    J.M.

    This is likely to account for that sort of thinking.

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  18. Samuel Conner,

    “They affirm God’s absolute sovereignty in election and reprobation and everything else, including what happens in their churches.”

    I don’t see any way out in their theology. No matter what is done or happens, it was ordained by God. They often trot out a tiny window of explanation they call “compatibilism” to explain away something too obvious but the cognitive dissonance their theology demands is definitely “sovereign”. 🙂

    This resuts in either: Chantry has to be innocent or God did not stop him for a reason. Yikes.

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  19. Jeffrey Chalmers:
    Ishy, you are exactly correct..these clowns that put forward that “theology” never fully apply it to themselves….theys are “special” and seem to think the rules do not apply to themselves…. but then this is far from a new “problem”

    I think this is the real reason they want a “Calvinist revival” as they call it, but harp on going back to the founding the SBC. The SBC founders wanted a caste system. They believed some people (mainly themselves) were better than others. I believe their entire theology revolves around creating an authoritarian system that essentially enslaves the lowest class.

    Mohler called some men wanting to be pastors “elites”. I do think he meant a set of pastors that were not only sold out to their cause, but bringing in the people and the dollars. Unfortunately, that quote was scrubbed from the SBTS website, but he uses the word “elite” a lot in everything else he writes so it’s definitely on his mind.

    Male non-pastors are “sheep”. Most men in their churches probably don’t even realize they are not considered equals to their leaders. Their patriarchy theology puts women as the lowest class (eliminates half the population from competition right there). He’s got Bruce Ware to teach all his baby pastors that women are inequal. It’s the same arguments that were used by the founders for slavery, just focused on a different group.

    “Jesus Did Not Say ‘Teach the Sheep to Self-Feed’” by Jared C. Wilson

    “..the male was made in the image of God in a direct, unmediated and unilateral fashion, while the female was made image of God through the man and hence in a indirect, mediated and derivative fashion. So while they are both fully image of God, there is also a God intended priority given to the man as the original image of God” – Bruce Ware, Summaries of the Egalitarian and Complementarian Positions

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  20. ishy,

    “Mohler called some men wanting to be pastors “elites”.”

    He did a big thing on this theme a while back telling a room full of young pastors they were God’s Messengers to teach the ignorant in the pews. So churches were invaded by a pimply-faced 20-something YRR who viewed themselves as God’s Messengers and everyone else in the church as ignorant. Tell me that’s not a recipe for eventual disaster!

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  21. Lydia,

    Do we have a reference for that? I’d like to save it. That was very similar to what he said about pastors being elites.

    I am thinking now that quote was on CBMW before they “rebranded” and took off most of their really offensive stuff. We’ve seen quite clearly how they are big on deception until they get themselves put in charge. I think their recent change in tone is to get someone like Moore in political office.

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  22. Lydia,

    Thanks FBC Jax Watchdogs!

    “The main means by which God saves his people from ignorance is the preaching and teaching of the word of God. That’s why a conference like this is so important. It’s not just because we think of the pastorate as a profession set along side other professions so that we can gather together for a little professional encouragement to go out a be a little better at what we do.

    No, we’re here because we believe that those who teach and preach the word of God are God-appointed agents to save God’s people from ignorance.”
    -Albert Mohler, 1/30 sermon at the 2011 FBC Jax Pastor’s Conference
    http://fbcjaxwatchdog.blogspot.com/2011/02/al-mohler-pastors-are-god-appointed.html

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  23. TS00: Heard it weekly. Then the pastor wondered, ‘Why did everyone leave the only ‘true church’ in town?’ Yeah, I wonder why. Cause everyone is searching desperately for that God who loves to inflict evil upon them. For his own glory.

    Yikes. I wonder how many of these Calvinists are actually worshiping the god of this world…

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  24. ishy,

    Yup, I see that theology throughout the Bible! ( being supremely sarcastic) . And you correct, pre civil war south was very class based… While there are significant exceptions, most of the conferdate solders were poor whites with no slaves convinced they were fighting to protect their home soil and “way of life” which was, basically, propping up the ruling class… pretty good deal, until it all came crashing down….

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  25. Jeffrey Chalmers: While there are significant exceptions, most of the conferdate solders were poor whites with no slaves convinced they were fighting to protect their home soil and “way of life” which was, basically, propping up the ruling class… pretty good deal, until it all came crashing down….

    Well, not quite the whole story. How much of the story it may have been is open for discussion. Both the north and the south used conscription to fill their ranks. In my state (NC) a bunch of people fled to the mountains to avoid conscription, the mountains at the time being less accessible than now Bounties were put out for these people. Hollywood made a movie about this, but I have forgotten the title.

    https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/congress-passes-civil-war-conscription-act

    In fact, in my state the eastern part of the state and the western part of the state were populated by people who tended to have very different ideas about both slavery and also class structures and also the war itself and also conscription. In addition, and I am not a civil war buff, but I think they say that the wealthy could hire some lad or man living in poverty to take the rich boy’s place in the army should that become an issue. Some sold themselves for that purpose. For the money. Never ever underestimate the poverty issue. Tenant farmers had and have have little reason to want to continue their way of life and even less reason to want to prop up the rich white man.

    When we first moved here from northern KY we ended up in the eastern part of the state and quickly found ourself in over our heads based on cultural differences. I now live in the western Piedmont and we are much more at home here than there. Differences continue to exist between the east and the west in this state-we just don’t happen to be at war right now.

    Think about this. The poor whites were at an economic disadvantage in trying to get poor man’s wok as long as the rich white could get a slave to do it cheaper. To assume that the poor whites were in agreement about slavery is far too simple a conclusion and does not always stand up against some of the evidence. Point being that it was a lot more complicated that it appears to have been from our vantage point of current values and from our years of exposure to propaganda from both sides.

    And why might this be important here on TWW? Think SBC then and now. And think (but do not mention) politics then and now which influence SBC folks. Are new calvinist SBC folks planting churches among the poverty stricken white southerners because there is where they can best promote class and caste because of course the poor whites want to prop up the rich whites? Obviously not.

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  26. okrapod,

    “Differences continue to exist between the east and the west in this state-we just don’t happen to be at war right now.”

    Same in Kentucky if you ever had the opportunity to travel around it. I had no idea how much Louisville was hated by the East before that. It was the first time I was ever called a flatlander. 🙂 Ky civil war history, as a border state, is a convoluted mess. But fascinating.

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  27. ishy,

    “Jesus Did Not Say ‘Teach the Sheep to Self-Feed’” by Jared C. Wilson”

    Oh My Word. I cannot think of a place where Jesus told us to learn how to read, either. Please correct me if I am wrong. I think we assumed that was a good thing.

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  28. Noevangelical:
    Samuel Conner,

    My hope is that many people will start to see that a theology who’s god needs to be glorified through the abuse of children is bankrupt at it’s core, and they leave running never to return. What love is this?

    In spite of all of Dave Hunt’s alledged faults, he was at least asking the right question. The Reformed faithful could do a lot of good simply by asking that simple question of their pastors, leaders, and of themselves.

    But hey, who are we to complain? Their god wills it!!

    It’s a fair point, and I’m sympathetic to it. David Bentley Hart makes even stronger criticism of this, and more broadly of a key element of the Latin theological tradition, in his “God, Creation and Evil: The Moral Implications of Creatio Ex Nihilo.”

    But I think your hope for the Reformed is not likely to be fulfilled. Their commitment to their confessional standards is basically unbreakable, and their approach to church polity and supra-congregational governance is designed primarily (IMO) to prevent modification of the confessional standards. In a typical Reformed denomination, the adopted confessional standard cannot be amended without a majority vote of ordained leaders at the General Assembly. But to get ordained as a leader, you have to demonstrate present conformity to the confessional standards and swear oaths to remain in conformity to them in the future. If your proposed amendment to the standards is not adopted at the General Assembly (and it won’t be), you are vulnerable to discipline for violating your oaths. It’s a perfect system for freezing the doctrine in place. God help them if the doctrinal system happens to be flawed in any significant way.

    This is why my expressed hope is more modest, that they would at least recognize from incidents like this that when evaluating candidates for pastoral office, they can’t assume that “conformity to doctrinal standards” or “homiletical skill” are trustworthy proxies for “good character.”

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  29. Samuel Conner:

    This is why my expressed hope is more modest, that they would at least recognize from incidents like this that when evaluating candidates for pastoral office, they can’t assume that “conformity to doctrinal standards” or “homiletical skill” are trustworthy proxies for “good character.”

    I would amend this to “they MUSTN’T assume …”

    From comments on the “Day 14” post at Todd Wilhelm’s “Thou Art the Man,” the lives of the abused children have been significantly damaged by what they suffered at TJC’s hands. Pastoral search committees MUST NOT assume that evidence of “sound doctrine” and “good preaching skills” in a candidate are by themselves evidence that the candidate will be a “good shepherd.” If they cannot find strong independent evidence of good character, either don’t hire or extend the probationary period for multiple years and watch the man like a hawk. By all accounts, TJC gave evidence of disqualifying character traits (anger, violence) in his first months at MVBC. Churches should be unforgiving in this regard.

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  30. okrapod,

    No, they’ve chosen to subject women. That may be an even bigger group then those who are very poor. And then they put responsibility on the non-pastor men to provide the money.

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  31. From that police report: Chantry, a fifth and sixth grade teacher, disciplining a five year old? What, did he just volunteer to do all the spanking needed for the school or something? Not suspicious at all! Sheesh.

    “Wilhelm learned that one of the jurors had no intention of voting to convict Chantry on sexual abuse charges. Apparently, hereported that he had a friend whom he claimed was wrongfully accused of sexual abuse. He did not alert the Court about his bias. It is my understanding that it was his refusal to even consider that Chantry was guilty of those 4 counts that resulted in a mistrial.”

    Well, this is awful. Also I have come to believe the VAST majority of these ‘my buddy was falsely accused’ stories are just someone buying their friends story.

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  32. okrapod,

    I agree with your overall summary, and what is worse, the North openingly and legally allowed rich to buy a mercenary to do their “service” for them! My point was more that we humans are very quick to want to create caste system, social systems, which make others “accountable” but not ourselves! That “women” that you gave me, made me eat the fruit!
    And one of my favorite lines, “We are all equal, just some are more equal than others!”

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  33. Lea:
    Well, this is awful. Also I have come to believe the VAST majority of these ‘my buddy was falsely accused’ stories are just someone buying their friends story.

    Remember Frank Turk having a meltdown that his buddy Chantry could have done none of those things and would not face any convictions? But Chantry was convicted on two counts, and the retrial may add more convictions. So Turk was wrong.

    I saw people watching women getting assaulted and then claiming the woman was “overreacting” and “it wasn’t that bad” and the woman “misunderstood”. People who saw it with their own eyes! They chose not to see the truth.

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  34. ishy: Mohler called some men wanting to be pastors “elites”. I do think he meant a set of pastors that were not only sold out to their cause, but bringing in the people and the dollars. Unfortunately, that quote was scrubbed from the SBTS website, but he uses the word “elite” a lot in everything else he writes so it’s definitely on his mind.

    Mohler seems like one of those people who is obsessed with how smart and important he thinks he is. Arrogant.

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  35. ishy: “Jesus Did Not Say ‘Teach the Sheep to Self-Feed’” by Jared C. Wilson

    Now I’m just thinking Jared has never been to a farm. Pick up a book, Jared!

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  36. okrapod: Both the north and the south used conscription to fill their ranks.

    The way I heard it, and I am by no means a civil war buff, is that the north had so many more people they could fill an army with mostly poorer conscripts, whereas the south needed to draft all men who were able between the relevant ages. Feel free to correct if needed.

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  37. Lea,

    It is Jared Wilson. He’s one of the more crazy of the bunch.

    Most herds now are not used for their wool, but to clear areas of grass and weeds. Down here in the South, that also includes kudzu.

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  38. ishy: Down here in the South, that also includes kudzu.

    Good news about kudzu. It is edible. Come the next disaster the south will probably have at least water and kudzu.

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  39. ishy: I saw people watching women getting assaulted and then claiming the woman was “overreacting” and “it wasn’t that bad” and the woman “misunderstood”. People who saw it with their own eyes! They chose not to see the truth.

    That is so crazy! People are very able to ignore realities they don’t like.

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  40. ishy:
    Lea,
    It is Jared Wilson. He’s one of the more crazy of the bunch.

    Most herds now are not used for their wool, but to clear areas of grass and weeds. Down here in the South, that also includes kudzu.

    My brothers friend had a goat at one point that he used to avoid mowing 😉

    I’m just amused at the idea that Jared thinks Jesus, who was no doubt actually familiar with sheep, thought all sheep had to be hand fed, like little babies lol. Jared has probably never seen a sheep in real life.

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  41. Samuel Conner: From comments on the “Day 14” post at Todd Wilhelm’s “Thou Art the Man,” the lives of the abused children have been significantly damaged by what they suffered at TJC’s hands. Pastoral search committees MUST NOT assume that evidence of “sound doctrine” and “good preaching skills” in a candidate are by themselves evidence that the candidate will be a “good shepherd.” If they cannot find strong independent evidence of good character, either don’t hire or extend the probationary period for multiple years and watch the man like a hawk. By all accounts, TJC gave evidence of disqualifying character traits (anger, violence) in his first months at MVBC. Churches should be unforgiving in this regard.

    Yet, how many churches have anything to go on other than that this person was ‘ordained’, i.e., proven to hold to ‘correct’ doctrine? If it is a newly minted pastor, straight out of seminary – like ours – there is unlikely to be much of a record to view. If the pastor has held office before, it is my suggestion that one or more elders take the time to visit their former congregations, get to know a few congregants, and ask honest questions. My guess is that one would be able to find out if the pastor was leaving due to ‘personality’ or ‘character’ issues. Most leaders are legally prevented from exposing such issues, but not the guy in the pew.

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  42. TS00,

    If anything I have learned is of any use to anyone, thanks be to God.

    And I’m not concerned to be acknowledged in attribution — all good ideas are ultimately from God, the Giver of all good gifts.

    The thing that concerns me is that we’ve been at this “church” thing for nearly 2000 years and it seems that the lessons about “what to avoid” and “what to insist on” that each generation learns somehow do not get passed on to subsequent generations.

    For heaven’s sake, Paul wrote against manipulative and exploitive “superapostles” ~1960 years ago, and we are still dealing with them!

    What gives?

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  43. Judas Maccabeus:
    Lydia,

    Not suprising.It is held officially by only a small minority of Baptists, but has far wider influence on their thinking.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two-Seed-in-the-Spirit_Predestinarian_Baptists

    J.M.

    I also suspect it had wider influence. If you slow down long enough to think it over, it’s actually a logical extension of Calvinism.

    I personaly am fascinated by this concept’s history and wish I knew more. Did you ever have first hand encounters or knowledge?

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  44. Lea: I’m just amused at the idea that Jared thinks Jesus, who was no doubt actually familiar with sheep, thought all sheep had to be hand fed, like little babies lol. Jared has probably never seen a sheep in real life.

    This is the kind of misuse of metaphors that has been ongoing in the church forever. Anyone who has never seen a herd of sheep with an actual shepherd might be surprised to discover that he looks little like the ‘pastor/shepherd’ of The Church. He does not stand in front of them and deliver a weekly monologue about the best way to avoid dangerous territory and find good grass! He hikes up his robe – or takes it off – and leads them. That means he walks ahead, spies out the good land and steers them away from danger. Then he stands guard lest any wolves sneak up to attack. No sermonizing, nor rule-making, no scare-mongering. He leads, provides and protects. This is what he is charged to do, and it is not a very romantic, highly respected or well-paid job. It is a 24 hour tiresome, all-weather job, and the sheep will never acquire the necessary skills to ‘survive’ by attending savvy leadership conferences. They need a humble, dedicated servant who loves them and devotes his life to watching out for them.

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  45. Samuel Conner:
    TS00,

    If anything I have learned is of any use to anyone, thanks be to God.

    And I’m not concerned to be acknowledged in attribution — all good ideas are ultimately from God, the Giver of all good gifts.

    The thing that concerns me is that we’ve been at this “church” thing for nearly 2000 years and it seems that the lessons about “what to avoid” and “what to insist on” that each generation learns somehow do not get passed on to subsequent generations.

    For heaven’s sake, Paul wrote against manipulative and exploitive “superapostles” ~1960 years ago, and we are still dealing with them!

    What gives?

    Ah, one might have to meander into conspiracy territory there, and consider the possibility that the institutions and powers of this world actively subvert truth and actively promote lies. Yeah, The Church is one of those institutions that control what is known, taught and believed. As you said, we were warned.

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  46. TS00: Yet, how many churches have anything to go on other than that this person was ‘ordained’, i.e., proven to hold to ‘correct’ doctrine? If it is a newly minted pastor, straight out of seminary – like ours – there is unlikely to be much of a record to view. If the pastor has held office before, it is my suggestion that one or more elders take the time to visit their former congregations, get to know a few congregants, and ask honest questions. My guess is that one would be able to find out if the pastor was leaving due to ‘personality’ or ‘character’ issues. Most leaders are legally prevented from exposing such issues, but not the guy in the pew.

    It’s a head-scratcher, isn’t it?

    The problem, IMO, is in our “professional ministry” training system. We encourage young men to “seek calls” and then send them off to professional ministry school while still young and untested as human beings. There they learn doctrinal standards and certain technical skills associated with current expectations for how pastors ought to function in public worship and church administration. We imagine that this training “qualifies them for ministry.”

    It’s basically the same kind of training system we use for lawyers and doctors, but without the rigorous technical certification standards and (notionally) ethical standards. It’s been previously (recently) noted by the Deebs that secular professionals are much more vulnerable to de-licensing for professional or moral failure than are professional ministers.

    It looks to me like “it was not so from the beginning.” Paul appointed as overseers of the churches he established men who were well known to the members of the church and to the local community beyond the church. These were not outsiders parachuted in to supervise people who did not already know them well.

    My private opinion is that, except in rare circumstances, we should not be ordaining people who do not have grown children who clearly manifest good character — the kind of people one’s children have grown into tells you a great deal about what kind of people the parents were. If the parents can reproduce good character in their own children, it may be safe to entrust them with oversight of other people.

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  47. TS00: This is the kind of misuse of metaphors that has been ongoing in the church forever. Anyone who has never seen a herd of sheep with an actual shepherd might be surprised to discover that he looks little like the ‘pastor/shepherd’ of The Church. He does not stand in front of them and deliver a weekly monologue about the best way to avoid dangerous territory and find good grass! He hikes up his robe – or takes it off – and leads them. That means he walks ahead, spies out the good land and steers them away from danger. Then he stands guard lest any wolves sneak up to attack. No sermonizing, nor rule-making, no scare-mongering. He leads, provides and protects. This is what he is charged to do, and it is not a very romantic, highly respected or well-paid job. It is a 24 hour tiresome, all-weather job, and the sheep will never acquire the necessary skills to ‘survive’ by attending savvy leadership conferences. They need a humble, dedicated servant who loves them and devotes his life to watching out for them.

    I nominate this for comment of the week.

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  48. Bridget: “In speaking with Prosecutor Eazer after the case she told me that the jury had switched from 9-3 to 10-2 and one of the remaining 2 was leaning to voting guilty as well. She’s disappointed with the inability of the jurors to reach a guilty verdict on the remaining counts but is determined to retry the case and see that justice is done.”

    To which the Godly Response is:
    “FAKE NEWS! FAKE NEWS! FAKE NEWS!”

    Phrased in a more SCRIPTURAL(TM) way,
    “The Kings of the Earth rage against GAWD and His Anointed!”

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  49. Samuel Conner,

    Agreed, with the caveat that good parents can have kids that reject their training.

    But I would certainly like to see a return to appointing elders (There is no biblical precedent for pastors) from the congregation in which they will serve. Of course, this doesn’t work so well in a Mega-church, which may be telling. But in a small, local congregation, the people will know, with little doubt, whether or not so-and-so who has lived in their midst for decades is honest, trustworthy and safe to follow. Nothing is fail-safe, but it seems to me that most cases of abuse and dangerous nepotism arise from the faulty ‘pastor’ concept.

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  50. Matilda,

    Absolutely – I have experienced this terrible attitude amongst many Christians even now. When I was young the onus was always on the females when men allowed their lust to overcome them. One of my professors told us women should always wear dresses two sizes too large, and another elderly gentleman told me I was aping men because I was wearing pants and, apart from aping my superiors contrary to God’s design, was tempting them as well. The support for clergy and leaders in the church who have been exposed for sexual assault is amazing.

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  51. TS00,

    It is because it is virtually impossible to find a church without a pastor and a controlling ‘statement of faith’ that it is unlikely that I will return to a church setting.

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  52. Samuel Conner:
    My private opinion is that, except in rare circumstances, we should not be ordaining people who do not have grown children who clearly manifest good character — the kind of people one’s children have grown into tells you a great deal about what kind of people the parents were. If the parents can reproduce good character in their own children, it may be safe to entrust them with oversight of other people.

    In writing this, I don’t mean to wound the consciences of good-hearted readers whose children have not lived up to their expectations.

    Parenting is difficult work, hard to do well, and the “outcomes” are vulnerable to all sorts of chance things (such as the hiring of paraphiliac ministers). The “test” I proposed may exclude good people who would be excellent overseers.

    The thought behind it is that “shepherding” a local congregation presents challenges that resemble those of shepherding a family. I think this is the logic underlying Paul’s “tests” for presbyters and deacons. It’s a sound logic, I think, and one that is disregarded today in much pastoral hiring practice.

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  53. Judas Maccabeus:
    Matilda,

    You do know that baptists are the origin of the “Two seedlines” theology.It is sometimes called “Serpent Seed” .It exists mostly in Primitive and Old Regular groups, but it’s impact on Baptist thought is much wider than that.These groups are highly Calvinistic.

    J.M.

    This is likely to account for that sort of thinking.

    Oh, yeah. Branham and “Serpent Seed”.

    The basics of “Serpent Seed” is that besides bearing the Godly Seed of Adam, Eve literally screwed the Serpent to beget a parallel Satanic bloodline of “Serpent Seed”, Sons of Satan as Christians are Sons of God. And ever since (despite Noah’s Flood), this Serpent Seed bloodline has continued to this day. Beware Thou of the Mutant.

    (During my time in-country in the Seventies, I heard AM radio preachers preach about Nephilim and Noah’s Flood as Ethnic Cleansing of Nephilim bloodline. Serpent Seed sounds like it would tie right in with that.)

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  54. Lea: ishy: I saw people watching women getting assaulted and then claiming the woman was “overreacting” and “it wasn’t that bad” and the woman “misunderstood”. People who saw it with their own eyes! They chose not to see the truth.

    That is so crazy! People are very able to ignore realities they don’t like.

    As Reichsminister Speer would put it, They “arranged their mind” as he did.

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  55. Samuel Conner: For heaven’s sake, Paul wrote against manipulative and exploitive “superapostles” ~1960 years ago, and we are still dealing with them!

    Quoting Paul Chapter-and-Verse for Justification, no less!

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  56. Lea: The way I heard it, and I am by no means a civil war buff, is that the north had so many more people they could fill an army with mostly poorer conscripts, whereas the south needed to draft all men who were able between the relevant ages. Feel free to correct if needed.

    And in the North, if you were rich enough, you could “hire a substitute” to get drafted in your place.
    (i.e. A much more direct version of the Vietnam-era dodge of Spending for Medical/Student Deferments.)

    The South had this loophole too, but the Southern white Honor Code meant it was pretty much never used in the CSA — “hiring a substitute” was considered rank cowardice instead of a shrewd business move.

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  57. TS00: This is the kind of misuse of metaphors that has been ongoing in the church forever. Anyone who has never seen a herd of sheep with an actual shepherd

    Thinking of the context of the biblical text, at least we *can* observe sheep in modern day and understand these metaphors in some way. People like Jared go full steam on their interpretations of verses without having CLUE ONE about the reality 2k years ago and basic stuff that was well understand at the time. And this is a thing they *could* learn, not at all so complicated as other metaphors, idioms and social stuff that we might not fully understand. We take a letter, which was written to a specific group of people in the past, at a specific church, in response to another letter that we do not have, and interpret based on the English translation of that and make up rules whole cloth for modern day. That’s nuts.

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  58. Lea: “Wilhelm learned that one of the jurors had no intention of voting to convict Chantry on sexual abuse charges. Apparently, hereported that he had a friend whom he claimed was wrongfully accused of sexual abuse. He did not alert the Court about his bias. It is my understanding that it was his refusal to even consider that Chantry was guilty of those 4 counts that resulted in a mistrial.”

    There are Juror Search firms with psychologists and psychiatrists who search for just that.
    (For a fee, of course.)

    Remember when Michael Jackson went to court that one time on child molesting charges?
    Amazing what getting a couple rabid MJ fans (“Not MY Michael!”) on the jury can do…

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  59. Lea,

    Ah-ha! You are simply resistant to God’s command that you wear a headcovering, aren’t you? 😉 Because, of all the problems in the world, whether or not women’s heads are covered is huge. (Yeah, my Calvie pastor pushed headcoverings. His poor wife.)

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  60. Lydia:
    Judas Maccabeus,

    How does that translate to wider thinking can you give an example?

    1. Their “going back to their “roots “, well, these are their Calvinist roots. Only difference is that these guys tried to answer the question of why are the elect elect. Their new Calvinist descendants just shrug.
    2. Their view of woman. As the one who introduced “corruption “ by her relations with Satan, her and all like her are especially guilty of corrupting the human race.

    There is a bit more, but I am on my phone.

    J.M.

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  61. I’m very disappointed the jury was not able to convict but I will praise them for letting it go to a mistrial rather than let themselves be hijacked by a juror with his own personal agenda. Also I am hoping that with this as somewhat of a practice trial, the next will present a much more thorough case, making the sexual component clear, and that jury selection can avoid another problem with dishonest jurors. And if I could have another wish, it is that even more facts would be revealed and that anyone else involved in covering this up would go down. I’m especially sorry that the victims will have to go through this again but hoping that at this point they are strengthened with firm resolve realizing the power they have. I hope if there’s any more victims out there, they will join their strength to this case, as well, for their own justice and for the sake of future victims, both of Chantry and those who would emulate him. I believe there’s a lot more fire behind this smoke, just due to the exaggerated reactions from Chantry’s cohorts.

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  62. Does Turk have a relationship with MacArthur? I’m not aware of any association with MacArthur other than vicariously through Phil Johnson. Turk works a regular job, and lives in Arkansas. Isn’t MacArthur’s church in California? I don’t see how his despicable rudeness would be of any concern to MacArthur.

    I do find it interesting that Tom Chantry was brought on as a writer at Turk’s blog http://new-calvinist-gadfly.blogspot.com/

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  63. At the risk of sounding like I am merely pandering, I was struck with a realization, as I was out working in the yard: I have found more ‘shepherds’ on this blog, and other spiritual abuse blogs, than I have ever found in church.

    For years my loved ones have expressed concern, always asking ‘When are you going to get back to church?’ Even I have whine and complained to God – respectfully, of course 😉 – why don’t you provide the ‘community’ your word says I need?

    And then it hit me that I have found it here. It is here that men and women are acting like true shepherds, scouting out the landscape for dangers, flushing the ravenous wolves out of the caves and sounding the alarm when predators are sighted.

    I am deeply moved to think of what God has established here, and thankful for this community. May I ever seek to serve and shine what little light I have to help others, and step back in repentance when I find myself simply looking for strokes. Thank you all, for taking up your staff and taking your watch.

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  64. drstevej,

    drstevej: Skin is a good head cover.

    😉 Pretty much my response, when the flock responded to a ‘head-covering’ sermon by nearly every woman and girl showing up the next week with a head covering – except for my family and one other. (Since we were both elder families, the others appeared to breathe a sigh of relief, and most quickly dropped it.) I think this is when I started looking for the exits, serious-like.

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  65. Virgil,

    It was obvious for years that Turk hoped to be closely associated. Perhaps employed, too? That was my impression back in 2007 when he was building his online brand and begging everyone to link to him.

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  66. TS00,

    I have had a similar sense. Unfortunately, IMO it’s getting harder to find “face-to-face” church where it is safe to have views that don’t closely conform to what is approved by the group. I pulled away when I realized that the elders would, if they knew the direction my thinking was moving in, not want me to associate with the rest of the group — basically excommunicated and expelled myself for the sake of the unity of the rest of the group.

    TWW seems to be populated by kind and patient people. Thank you all.

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  67. Samuel Conner,

    Many of us have experienced “excomunication” ( or at least a “shunning”) some of us multiple times. I have lived long enough, and been through enough, that alterative view, especially w/r to “ Christianity” does not “threaten me”…. while I have been guilty in past and probably still make to many generalizations, I think many “leaders” are threaten by people that “think”…

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  68. Headless Unicorn Guy: =

    (During my time in-country in the Seventies, I heard AM radio preachers preach about Nephilim and Noah’s Flood as Ethnic Cleansing of Nephilim bloodline. Serpent Seed sounds like it would tie right in with that.)

    The supernatural origin of the Nephilim is an idea going back at least to the 2nd Temple period, elaborated in a then widely popular book (sort of a late-intertestamental/early Christian period equivalent of the “Left Behind Series” [apologies to fans of those books]) called I Enoch. The portion of that book called “The Book of Watchers” elaborates at great length on the Gen 6:1-3 story and its aftermath in the Flood. While this book is not taken seriously today as a guide to teaching (for the most part; there are bona fide OT scholars such as Michael Heiser who seem to find some value in it as a glimpse into OT Hebrew demonology), it had a significant influence in the early church (the great Latin Father Tertullian considered it to merit inclusion in the Canon, for example). Infernalism is more plainly taught in it than in either OT or NT, and it may be responsible for this aspect of the Latin theological tradition, shared by RCC and Protestant alike.

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  69. Lydia: What?!! Headcoverings?
    Was he not familiar with ALL of 1 Corinthians 11 in historical context?

    The practice did not go away at the end of the NT period. Head coverings for women at mass used to be required but now, so I am told, is either recommended or optional since VII. As recently as when I was an intern at the old St. Joseph’s in Louisville the nuns had built a grotto on the grounds and a head covering was required for women to enter it. A num sat at the entrance with a supply of little head covering thingies for women who had not brought their own.

    So, regardless that Paul’s original audience was long ago and far away, the practice continued but with some slight cultural variations.

    Then outside of religion there was the whole mystique of the nurses’ cap including what it was, what it symbolized, how it was to be worn, when it could and could not be worn, what it meant on the job if you forgot your cap and left it home, etc. I have not seen a nurses’ cap for a long time now, but in terms of centuries of various head coverings for various reasons a few decades is a vey short time. Mine is put away for the grandchildren, and I have taught them how to take a plain piece of copy paper and fold a nurses cap and how to attach and wear it. With pride.

    Then there is the aristocracy and their hats, and of course wedding veils right on for those who choose that. At one time EWTN was saying that orders that wore traditional habits were growing faster than those which did not-coverings.

    When I was young there was a hat store on fourth street which we frequented. There were just times when a hat was necessary. I loved the ole time fanciness of that. I felt very feminine and very grown up. The only hat I now have is a sun hat left over from working in the back forty. Sigh. But back when I had a small Honda bike and was trying to learn to I did have a motorcycle helmet. Maybe that counts.

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  70. okrapod: Head coverings for women at mass used to be required but now, so I am told, is either recommended or optional since VII.

    I went to a confirmation a few months back and don’t recall any great number of head coverings for women so I’m guessing they aren’t an issue. Certainly no one asked me to wear one. (I was a little thrown by the holy water(?) basin at the front and didn’t do the sign of the cross with it, which I guess is what you were supposed to do.)

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  71. Lea: (I was a little thrown by the holy water(?) basin at the front and didn’t do the sign of the cross with it, which I guess is what you were supposed to do.)

    That is optional at our church. I think it is optional for the catholics, but either way I doubt that anyone would notice. Nobody used head coverings when we worshipped with the catholics some 15+ years ago. I don’t think they are as up tight about stuff as some evangelicals are about their stuff.

    In our tradition there are said to be some who are fixated on doing stuff just right, a sort of ecclesiastical OCD, but I have never met one of them. The have their own service and we have ours. I don’t know what their problem is, but bless them.

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  72. okrapod: either way I doubt that anyone would notice

    I don’t think anyone but my bf did and I would have just walked on by if the whole family hadn’t stopped. He was trying to tell me what to do but I didn’t know what it was supposed to *mean* so I didn’t want to do it. Still too Baptist at heart I guess!

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  73. Douglas Belardi: Chantry should only be allowed to “plea” if he alocutes in open court

    I totally agree. I think the prosecutor is not pleased with the way things went. So, I would tend to lean towards new trial happening.

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  74. Virgil: Does Turk have a relationship with MacArthur? I’m not aware of any association with MacArthur other than vicariously through Phil Johnson.
    He does. He became angry with me what I asked if MacArthur knew about his tweeting. There was a link somehow between Pyromaniacss and MacArthur.

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  75. Samuel Conner: My private opinion is that, except in rare circumstances, we should not be ordaining people who do not have grown children who clearly manifest good character — the kind of people one’s children have grown into tells you a great deal about what kind of people the parents were. If the parents can reproduce good character in their own children, it may be safe to entrust them with oversight of other people.

    This should be requisite for those so-called Christian “ministries” that tell people how they ought to train their children. From what I’ve read, some of them have their own issues with estranged adult children, yet they’re still out there telling others what to do.

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  76. Headless Unicorn Guy: Oh, yeah. Branham and “Serpent Seed”.

    The basics of “Serpent Seed” is that besides bearing the Godly Seed of Adam, Eve literally screwed the Serpent to beget a parallel Satanic bloodline of “Serpent Seed”, Sons of Satan as Christians are Sons of God. And ever since (despite Noah’s Flood), this Serpent Seed bloodline has continued to this day. Beware Thou of the Mutant.

    (During my time in-country in the Seventies, I heard AM radio preachers preach about Nephilim and Noah’s Flood as Ethnic Cleansing of Nephilim bloodline. Serpent Seed sounds like it would tie right in with that.)

    “Branham and “Serpent Seed”.”

    Ah, yes, William Branham. His mysoignistic view of women was legendary. Considered most of them to be Jezebels, trying to lead the men of God astray. In consideration, it is not all that different than the current view in many complimentarian circles. In all cases, they find women spiritually deficient, Branham wrote a pham-let, “How to find a Bride.” It is a real hoot, let me tell you.

    I suspect that the infusion of this theology in the Baptist moment, particularly in the south, has a strong and continuing influence on their current spiritual descendants.

    J.M.

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  77. Nathan Priddis: I also suspect it had wider influence. If you slow down long enough to think it over, it’s actually a logical extension of Calvinism.

    I personaly am fascinated by this concept’s history and wish I knew more. Did you ever have first hand encounters or knowledge?

    Yes. Been round the block a few times.

    William Branham, a major post-war healing revivalist was largely the inspiration for the founder of my former church to go into revival-healing ministries back in the late 40s. He even “borrowed” slogans and entire sermons. While most of the daffy theology that came from William Branham had died out before the 70s when I joined, you still had a bit of holdover from those days. Mostly, they attached the “serpent seed” to any woman that was seen as “uppity.” Woman in pants, “Bobbed hair” and Women preachers were all seen as symptoms of this seed. So were people who “left the ministry.” It finally imploded 7 years ago. Arnold Murray of Shepherd’s Chapel also holds this theology, as well as much of the “British Israel” movement.

    I am in a much better place now, but I giggle at some of this thread, because virtually 100% of women in our church wear head coverings all the time. But relax, my wife is a trustee.

    J.M.

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  78. Judas Maccabeus:
    Lydia,

    Not suprising.It is held officially by only a small minority of Baptists, but has far wider influence on their thinking.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two-Seed-in-the-Spirit_Predestinarian_Baptists

    J.M.

    Very eye-opening.

    Could a different iteration of two-seed be the serpent-seed theology which falsely teaches that Jews are Satan’s offspring?

    True story time: I am a Jewish believer in Jesus, the Jewish Messiah. A few years ago, I attended a large church in upstate NY, where a lay person had begun teaching on “End Times.” I’m not usually one to venture out mid-week in the evening, in the cold, much less to attend an End Times lecture, but I was so impressed by the Lord one day, that I went to class. I was a minute late, the class had begun. I quietly entered, made my way to an empty seat at the large round tables, and notice that the 10 or so people gathered we’re engaged in quite a discussion, with Bibles open, and much pointing to verses. As I am actively in the process of sitting, lowering into my seat, I hear from the teacher, “…And that’s why Satan is the father of the Jews…”

    Incredulous. Before I could stop myself, I peered around the people sitting between me and the teacher, took a deep breath, “I’m Jewish. Would you mind repeating that?” Turns out that the others had heard this same vile teaching the week before and went to class quite prepared to argue for the Truth. God bless them.

    End of the story: My husband and I took over the class the next week, after finding out that the teacher filed false class notes to the pastor, well intending to teach this falsehood. The next term, I taught a class which went 10 MONTHS past the 6 week term. In those 10 months, we missed only 2 weeks (one due to a blizzard). The class I taught was Fruchtenbaum’s Life of Messiah from a First Century Jewish Perspective (a harmony of the gospels). A Jewish lawyer got saved at John 6:60, when many disciples left Jesus when He offered them the Bread of Life and I asked if anyone present wanted to accept this Bread.

    Moral of the story: Whether two-seed or serpent seed – self-righteous evil people need a “theology” to set themselves apart and above the fray.

    I get frustrated with the falsehood that pastors are set apart and stand above the Body of Christ and that they should not be held accountable for crimes against children because they teach Ephesians well. I do not understand how people can be so hardened and blind.

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  79. okrapod,

    I get tradition. What freaks me out are churches where it was never a tradition and due to teaching, pastor, etc, it starts. That is what blew my mind. It has a cult feel to it.

    Some hat stores remain on 4th run by Korean women. You can find the same hats at their stores you can in an uppity boutique in the suburbs for half the price.

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  80. Remnant: Very eye-opening.

    Could a different iteration of two-seed be the serpent-seed theology which falsely teaches that Jews are Satan’s offspring?

    The serpent seed doctrine is also from The Christian Identity Movement a sort of Alt-Right movement known for racist and sexist teachings. Very disturbing stuff and people.

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  81. Lily Rose</strong
    Someone else mentioned Shepherd's Chapel Pastor Arnold Murray was a proponent of the serpent seed doctrine and was part of Christian Identity Movement. I heard that as well.

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  82. TS00: At the risk of sounding like I am merely pandering, I was struck with a realization, as I was out working in the yard: I have found more ‘shepherds’ on this blog, and other spiritual abuse blogs, than I have ever found in church.

    For years my loved ones have expressed concern, always asking ‘When are you going to get back to church?’ Even I have whine and complained to God – respectfully, of course – why don’t you provide the ‘community’ your word says I need?

    And then it hit me that I have found it here. It is here that men and women are acting like true shepherds, scouting out the landscape for dangers, flushing the ravenous wolves out of the caves and sounding the alarm when predators are sighted.

    I am deeply moved to think of what God has established here, and thankful for this community. May I ever seek to serve and shine what little light I have to help others, and step back in repentance when I find myself simply looking for strokes. Thank you all, for taking up your staff and taking your watch.

    Agreed. This site and a few others like it are the only threads to belief that still make any sense to me.

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  83. Remnant: Moral of the story: Whether two-seed or serpent seed – self-righteous evil people need a “theology” to set themselves apart and above the fray.

    What a great class you all must have led. What an opportunity. I have not read the book you mentioned, but the current emphasis on Jesus the first century Jew as understood by his actual audience at the time has been a breath of fresh air in an otherwise stagnant and moldy religious perspective recently. Jesus in context makes so much more sense than much of what is being taught today.

    And you are so right on about ‘the moral of the story.

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  84. Christian identify movement is so anti-Christ in teaching that it makes me physically nauseous. I can’t even go there. (Not that others shouldn’t … God bless those who can and do.)

    That first day with the false evil teacher, I pointed out to him what I thought was a logical observation: if Satan had relations with Eve, and she bore his evil offspring, they would have been destroyed at Noah’s flood since the only survivors were righteous through Noah.

    Know his answer?

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  85. Lily Rose: The serpent seed doctrine is also from The Christian Identity Movement a sort of Alt-Right movement known for racist and sexist teachings. Very disturbing stuff and people.

    From Wikipedia-“Christian Identity beliefs were primarily developed and promoted by two authors who regarded Europeans as the “chosen people” and Jews as the cursed offspring of Cain, the “serpent hybrid” or serpent seed (a belief known as the two-seedline doctrine). White supremacist sects and gangs later adopted many of these teachings”. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Identity

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  86. okrapod: the current emphasis on Jesus the first century Jew as understood by his actual audience at the time has been a breath of fresh air in an otherwise stagnant and moldy religious perspective recently.

    We had a rabbi teach a few sunday school classes this year and they were fantastic. I would be happy to have much more study from that perspective.

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  87. Remnant: Could a different iteration of two-seed be the serpent-seed theology which falsely teaches that Jews are Satan’s offspring?

    Let’s put it this way, Remnant:
    “Serpent Seed” is the ULTIMATE “Two-Seed” theology.
    Making the Other the literal Spawn of Satan ramps it up to COSMIC Importance.

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  88. Remnant: As I am actively in the process of sitting, lowering into my seat, I hear from the teacher, “…And that’s why Satan is the father of the Jews…”

    Incredulous. Before I could stop myself, I peered around the people sitting between me and the teacher, took a deep breath, “I’m Jewish. Would you mind repeating that?” Turns out that the others had heard this same vile teaching the week before and went to class quite prepared to argue for the Truth. God bless them.

    And then then there is a whole ideological-sub-culture of fundagelicals who go completely zealous into the other extreme. A place where even the slightest critique or perceived disagreement can get you (generic you) branded as an unsaved anti-semite.

    John Hagee is big on this stuff as was the late Chuck Smith and the late Chuck Missler.

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  89. To the guy behind the curtain:
    If you’d be so kind, please fix the first sentence of my previous comment so that it has only one ‘then’.

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  90. Muff Potter: And then then there is a whole ideological-sub-culture of fundagelicals who go completely zealous into the other extreme.A place where even the slightest critique or perceived disagreement can get you (generic you) branded as an unsaved anti-semite.

    John Hagee is big on this stuff as was the late Chuck Smith and the late Chuck Missler.

    I believe you have miss-characterized Messrs Smith and Missle

    I have many personal unresolved questions regarding Smith. Having said that, never have I suspected Anti-Semitism. I cannot recall any instances of random alligations of Anti-Semitism leveled against their detractors in return. Nor have I ever thought Haggee was comparable in doctrine to Smith and Missler. Certainly not Missler.

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  91. Remnant: That first day with the false evil teacher, I pointed out to him what I thought was a logical observation: if Satan had relations with Eve, and she bore his evil offspring, they would have been destroyed at Noah’s flood since the only survivors were righteous through Noah.
    Know his answer?

    The Flood missed a few?
    The Serpent Seed had their own Ark (like the Jinn in Declare by Tim Powers)?

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  92. Lily Rose: From Wikipedia-“Christian Identity beliefs were primarily developed and promoted by two authors who regarded Europeans as the “chosen people” and Jews as the cursed offspring of Cain, the “serpent hybrid” or serpent seed (a belief known as the two-seedline doctrine).

    From the Wikipedia link, they sound like homegrown Nazis who straightened out the arms of their Hakenkreuz and called it The Cross of Christ.

    And as for the link to British Israelism, not THAT’s opening a can of High Weirdness dating back to Victorian times. I first learned its history from KOOKS: A Guide to the Outer Limits of Human Belief by Donna Kossy, and that kinda says it all.

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  93. Remnant: I get frustrated with the falsehood that pastors are set apart and stand above the Body of Christ and that they should not be held accountable for crimes against children because they teach Ephesians well.

    In Marxspeak, “Their Ideology is Pure, Comrades.”

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  94. Headless Unicorn Guy: The Flood missed a few?
    The Serpent Seed had their own Ark (like the Jinn in Declare by Tim Powers)?

    Close. The flood wasn’t of the WHOLE earth, but rather only localized and of the known world (which doesn’t make any sense whatsoever). So much twisting of scripture to make sure Jews are what they need Jews to be in order to justify their hatred and their superiority as God’s Chosen People.

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  95. okrapod,

    “, but the current emphasis on Jesus the first century Jew as understood by his actual audience at the time has been a breath of fresh air in an otherwise stagnant and moldy religious perspective recently. Jesus in context makes so much more sense than much of what is being taught today.”

    Totally agree. Yes, it makes so much more sense. I have also enjoyed some OT discussions and debates at a local
    Temple by scholarly Rabbis. Wish I could attend more. We could learn from that tradition.

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  96. Nathan Priddis: I believe you have miss-characterized Messrs Smith and Missle

    Not at all. Permit me to clarify. It was a generalized statement about fundagelicals who become enamored of all things Jewish in order to proselytize amongst the Jews.

    It cannot be denied that Smith and Missler were also in this broad and general campground.

    And if you (generic you) don’t agree with their shtick? What else can you possibly be but unsaved? And with some of them (not necessarily Smith and Missler), you just might be an anti-semite too.

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  97. Muff Potter: Not at all.Permit me to clarify.It was a generalized statement about fundagelicals who become enamored of all things Jewish in order to proselytize amongst the Jews.

    It cannot be denied that Smith and Missler were also in this broad and general campground.

    And if you (generic you) don’t agree with their shtick?What else can you possibly be but unsaved?And with some of them (not necessarily Smith and Missler), you just might be an anti-semite too.

    Thank you for clarifying. I am very enamored with, and nostalgic towards the Jesus Movement, but also am still unsure how I feel about it’s complicated history and numerous parts.

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  98. Nathan and Muff, while I find the study of Jesus from a Jewish perspective essential to my faith, and firmly stand against “replacement theology,” I fully also stand against Judaisers of this present age who have preached to me that, as a Jew, I am obligated to keep Feasts and sabbaths. It saddens me that many Gentiles feel like second class citizens in the Body of Christ and attempt to take on the mantle of Jewish life to compensate.

    Again, we who believe, are all an essential part of the Body, non of us better than another. Pastors and teachers included.

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  99. Remnant:
    Nathan and Muff, while I find the study of Jesus from a Jewish perspective essential to my faith, and firmly stand against “replacement theology,” I fully also stand against Judaisers of this present age who have preached to me that, as a Jew, I am obligated to keep Feasts and sabbaths. It saddens me that many Gentiles feel like second class citizens in the Body of Christ and attempt to take on the mantle of Jewish life to compensate.

    Again, we who believe, are all an essential part of the Body, non of us better than another. Pastors and teachers included.

    I don’t follow Hagge in any way. I have not considered him as serious. His relationship with Judaism feels complicated. I wouldn’t be confident claiming the love of Israel is sincere, regardless of the public image.

    Do you have an opinion of him?
    More than that, I’m curious in how you define a modern Judaiser?

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  100. I’ve not followed Hagge’s Theology in many years. I’d totally forgotten about him until you mentioned him, so I will refrain from forming an opinion. But, if I’d have taken him seriously, I’d probably have remembered him.

    I consider modern day Judaisers those who teach that doing Christianity the Jewish way is an essential of the faith and that those who do not partake are missing out. I believe that one, whether Jewish or Gentile Believer in Christ, may indeed partake of Feasts and Sabbaths as they wish, with the understanding that they are not, and cannot, follow them in a fully biblical manner, because each has elements of Levitical priesthood and Temple sacrifice, which is not only forbidden to Christians, but impossible due to the end of both. Extreme Judaisers, of which I have personally known, teach that Gentile males must draw blood at the circumcision site in order to become acceptable to Christ, er, Yeshua.

    Again, yet another weird teaching, setting up a false dichotomy whereby the Jewish believer views himself as better than Gentile believers.

    Backwards of that, decades ago, I had a Gentile friend who used to rub my arm, as if I was a genie in a bottle, because he felt I was closer to God as a Jew. Hogwash! Yes, there are unfulfilled promises to Israel that are yet to be fulfilled in the Messianic Kimgdom, but for now, was are all one in Christ, whether lay or pastor, Jew or Gentile. One body. One Head. One Christ. Equal.

    Anyway, that’s my take. Your opinion?

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  101. PS – I was once told by a Popular Jewish evangelist who discipled me in my early years as a believer, that I had failed in my duty to marry a Jewish believer by marrying a Gentile one. Almost 40 years later, I still cry foul. That, in my most humble opinion, is a Judaiser.

    Doesn’t anyone read Galatians?

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  102. Remnant,

    I think you are correct that Hagee is not really important.
    I also think what you discribed are Judiasers.

    One area where I do not qualify as orthodox, is the parables. In this case, the warning of the three types of Leaven. (Herod-Pharresses-Sadducees)

    I am convinced the former two entered the Church in Acts, and form a continuous 2000 year chain. They where Paul’s Judiasers and super apostles. Their teachings evolved over the centuries, and as passed to Gentile students. The Leaven eventually leavens the whole lump.(parable of woman and the leaven)

    Serpent Seed was mentioned above. What was not mentioned was Pharresses where called vipers and the Devil was their father. It’s not genetic, but rather one of reckoning. Just as Gentiles who believe/ed where reckoned as of faithful Abraham, the father of those who believe. Those who opposed the Holy Spirit, where reckoned as children of the Opponent.

    The Seed of the Serpent will wound in the heel.

    This is what was spoken in Eden concerning the two Seeds.
    This is not the Church triumphant ending, acceptable amoung the Brethren, so to speak.

    How do you feel about this concept?

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  103. Ken F (aka Tweed): Too creepy for me.

    Same here. It appears as complicated and convoluted as any of the Eastern-Asian religions. Made me think of what beginners have to do in order to get into a Shaolin (martial arts) temple.

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  104. Nathan Priddis,

    I should add this, that there is no difference in Jew or Greek.

    However, the Church is nearly all Gentile. Hoeever again, this is due to demographics, historical anti-semitism and geo-political realities.

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  105. Remnant: I consider modern day Judaisers those who teach that doing Christianity the Jewish way is an essential of the faith and that those who do not partake are missing out.

    Based on my limited investigation into Christian history, I am coming to the conclusion that the Judaizers won from the very beginning. It very much looks like the liturgical, sacramental, and ecclesiastic practices of the very early church included practices that mostly came directly from Jewish practices, and these practices persist today. I thought I would find examples of very early forms of Christianity looking like informal home groups. Instead, the earliest writings show liturgy, sacraments, hierarchy (bishops/pries/deacons), ceremony, fasting, etc., from the very earliest times. I was hoping to find historical examples that would undermine toxic fundagelical expressions of Christianity. I found little historical support for current Protestant practices, but I also found overwhelming historical support for what I had always considered stifling, legalistic, and overly complex rituals and traditions. It turns out the the early church looked much more like Eastern Orthodoxy or older forms of Roman Catholicism than what I was expecting. If there are historical examples of the types of I was hoping to find I have not been able to find them anywhere. I am now trying to process what I found. It makes me think that some questions are better left un-asked. I think my best advice to anyone wanting to investigate church history is: don’t. If you are happy with your church tradition don’t look further.

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  106. Remnant: Backwards of that, decades ago, I had a Gentile friend who used to rub my arm, as if I was a genie in a bottle, because he felt I was closer to God as a Jew.

    That’s a new one on me, and I thought I’d heard it all…

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  107. Muff Potter: Not at all. Permit me to clarify. It was a generalized statement about fundagelicals who become enamored of all things Jewish in order to proselytize amongst the Jews.

    The way you describe it, it has the aroma of Bait-and-Switch.

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  108. Muff Potter: And then then there is a whole ideological-sub-culture of fundagelicals who go completely zealous into the other extreme.A place where even the slightest critique or perceived disagreement can get you (generic you) branded as an unsaved anti-semite.

    John Hagee is big on this stuff as was the late Chuck Smith and the late Chuck Missler.

    As a guy who was mixed up in an End Times Cult in the Seventies:

    THE ONLY REASON THESE GUYS ARE PRO-SEMITIC IS “ISRAEL IN THE LAND” FULFILLS SOME END TIMES PROPHECY, i.e. “THIS IS IT!!!!!”

    Other than that, the Jews are Expendable and after fulfilling Prophecy as the Armageddon Tripwire will be destroyed for their unbelief by Christ at the Second Coming (Coming Soon, and boy is he mad!). Just more Expendable pawns to move about on the End Times gameboard, nothing more.

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  109. Headless Unicorn Guy: Oh, yeah. Branham and “Serpent Seed”.

    Also sounds related to David Icke’s Reptilian Illuminati Conspiracy (or could make the jump to a baptized version of Icke). Or the Serpent Men from Bob Howard’s pre-Conan “The Shadow Kingdom” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shadow_Kingdom).

    But it can depend on the serpent — “Ka Nama Kaa Lajerama!”:
    http://www.furaffinity.net/view/1256203/
    (Do NOT go off this picture – much of artist’s work is very NSFW.)

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  110. Headless Unicorn Guy,

    Headless Unicorn Guy, you wrote “THE ONLY REASON THESE GUYS ARE PRO-SEMITIC IS “ISRAEL IN THE LAND” FULFILLS SOME END TIMES PROPHECY, i.e. “THIS IS IT!!!!!””

    I was raised in a very pro-Semitic family and I never heard this from my family or church. We were always referred to Genesis 12, loving God’s people, and loving the people that Jesus came from.

    When I first heard this supporting Jews to fulfill prophecy claim on the radio from a Jewish man I was shocked. In my reading of numerous books on the subject I’d never come across it. But I kept an eye out after that and after several more years of reading I did find someone say something like that and after a few more years of reading on the subject another one. But this belief in my experience is rare in the extreme and would only explain a fraction of the pro-Semitic attitude of even those who hold it.

    Also note that for those who believe in the pre-tribulation rapture they don’t need any prophecies to be fulfilled before they are raptured. Just read the books they wrote back in the 1800s and early 1900s before the state of Israel. Even back then they were pro-Semitic and thought the rapture could be at any minute. And for those who hold to the post tribulation rapture we believe we’re going to go through the tribulation too. So I don’t even see the theological sense of this claim for most of the people (there are always exceptions to everything)who are “pro-Semitic.” It also doesn’t make sense of our support of and helping out of Jews outside of the state of Israel.

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  111. Lydia: Based on DNA or beliefs? My kids have a full Jewish grandmother.

    A friend of mine, whose mother identifies as fully Jewish, says there is no such thing as being genetically Jewish anymore. According to him, being Jewish is a matter of religion, not blood. Ancient bloodlines have long been intermixed.

    This, not to open a can of worms, suggests that the fairly common belief in a separate future for ‘Jewish’ believers may be a misinterpretation of Paul. It is also possible, from what else he wrote, that he was saying that he who is ‘a child of promise’ (a believer) is ‘true Israel’; thus the ‘all Israel’ who would be saved refers to ‘all believers’, Jew and Gentile alike. This, IMO, makes more sense in light of the New Testament insistence that there is to be no more distinction between ‘Jew’ and ‘Gentile’, slave and free, or male and female; but that all are one and the same in God’s sight. Would seem sort of odd to reinstitute a separation, after so much emphasis on eliminating it?

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  112. Paul: Headless Unicorn Guy, you wrote “THE ONLY REASON THESE GUYS ARE PRO-SEMITIC IS “ISRAEL IN THE LAND” FULFILLS SOME END TIMES PROPHECY, i.e. “THIS IS IT!!!!!””

    Because my background in-country was during the heyday of The Gospel According to Hal Lindsay (and its derived corollary, Christians For Nuclear War).

    AKA “End Time Prophecy Is Being Fulfilled Even As We Speak! We May Not Have a 1975!! Or Even a 1974!!!” with the Armageddon clock constantly ticking (tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick…)

    Much later I realized all Hal Lindsay had done was to take the mainstream trope of Inevitable Global Thermonuclear War (It’s Coming! It’s Coming!), spray on a Christian coat of paint, and sweeten the pot with promise of getting Raptured into Heaven just before the first warheads detonated. This with all the implied authority of SCRIPTURE(TM). He was laughing all the way to the bank while I (and who knows how many others) were having flashbacks like ‘Nam Vets.

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  113. Muff Potter: It would appear that kinship, as to who is considered a Jew and who is not, is determined through the female line in Jewish culture.

    https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/ask-the-expert-matrilineal-descent/

    In Jewish culture, yes. Biblically, Jewish lineage is followed through the father’s line.

    Belief in Jesus the Messiah does not negate one’s Jewish lineage, therefore does not affect my Jewish identity. Belief in Jesus simply means that I am a Jew who believes in the Jewish Messiah.

    I retain my Jewishness, just as I retain my femaleness. But just as my Jewishness does not set me above nor apart from Gentiles who believe in Jesus, neither does my femaleness set me below or apart from men who believe in Jesus.

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  114. TS00: A friend of mine, whose mother identifies as fully Jewish, says there is no such thing as being genetically Jewish anymore. According to him, being Jewish is a matter of religion, not blood. Ancient bloodlines have long been intermixed.

    This, not to open a can of worms, suggests that the fairly common belief in a separate future for ‘Jewish’ believers may be a misinterpretation of Paul. It is also possible, from what else he wrote, that he was saying that he who is ‘a child of promise’ (a believer) is ‘true Israel’; thus the ‘all Israel’ who would be saved refers to ‘all believers’, Jew and Gentile alike. This, IMO, makes more sense in light of the New Testament insistence that there is to be no more distinction between ‘Jew’ and ‘Gentile’, slave and free, or male and female; but that all are one and the same in God’s sight. Would seem sort of odd to reinstitute a separation, after so much emphasis on eliminating it?

    Not agreeing with your friend’s mother. God knows who is who. And there are indeed unfulfilled promises to the Jews, who are a far different peoples than the Church. When the NT says Church, it means believers in Jesus, whether Jew or Gentile. When it says Jew or Israel, it plainly means the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Nothing needs to be altered in End Times prophesies based on current cultural elements.

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  115. Lydia:
    Remnant,

    Great comment! To oversimplify it for my thickness, I don’t see Jesus as a new or different religion but an example of what the Jews got wrong.

    Lydia, while I find myself in hearty agreement with much of what you post, this has me stumped.

    Jesus was promised to all people from the opening chapters of Genesis. God promised a “One” who would fatally wound Satan. As humanity progressed, the prophesies of who that One would be became more and more specific.

    Thru Abraham
    Through the Tribe of Judah
    From the House of David
    Through a virgin
    From Bethlehem Ephrata

    Also Prophesied was the national rejection of Messiah. Yes, they got that wrong,

    But God used their rejection of Messiah to bring the Good News to the Gentiles. Jews brought Messiah into the world, their rejection of Messiah caused Gentiles to become partakers, then in the end, also prophesied is that one day, the nation of Israel will repent of this one great sin.

    Romans 11:1 I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew.

    Verse 11: Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. 12 But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their full inclusion bring!

    Verse 25:I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, 26 and in this way[e] all Israel will be saved.

    When will all Israel be saved? When the fullness of Gentiles has come in, and their hardening is released and they repent of their national sin of rejecting the Messiah Zech 12:10:

    10 “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit[a] of grace and supplication. They will look on[b] me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son. 11 On that day the weeping in Jerusalem will be as great as the weeping of Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. 12 The land will mourn, each clan by itself, with their wives by themselves: the clan of the house of David and their wives, the clan of the house of Nathan and their wives, 13 the clan of the house of Levi and their wives, the clan of Shimei and their wives, 14 and all the rest of the clans and their wives.

    And the glorious forgiveness is found in the next verse, Zech 13:1: 13 “On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity.

    So, I don’t see it as since the Jews failed in Plan A, God had to move through the in Plan B.

    No, it’s always been one long, consecutive Plan A which ends up benefitting all people, both Jews and Gentiles, even though Jews have one set of plans and promises while Gentiles have their own set of plans and promises. The current set of plans of the Gentiles is to provoke the Jews to jealousy: Rom 11:11 11 Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious.

    Gentiles make Israel jeaslous until (verse 12) the full inclusion of Israel occurs sometime in the future – which is when the repenting of Zech 12 occurs.

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  116. Nathan Priddis,

    I’ve read your comment several times and, if I am understanding you, yes, I agree, that what is referred to are spiritual fathers (Abraham on the one hand, Satan on the other).

    DNA is unchanged. One is either Jew or Gentile. What changes is where one puts their faith: with God or against.

    The church is comprised of Jewish believers in Messiah and Gentile believers in Messiah. The church is comprised of male and female. What makes us all equal, is that there is no dividing wall making Jews greater than Gentiles, or males better than females (as was experienced in the Mosaic Law’s commandments of hierarchal Levitical priesthood).

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  117. We believed that he was guilty back in 2016 and now it looks like the jury agreed .

    Have those associated with prosecutor, judge, jurors, and witnesses started receiving poison pen letters like happened with Dee?

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  118. Pingback: Linkathon! – Phoenix Preacher

  119. “However, since this is a first conviction, he may only receive on year. Probation is also possible.” (Dee)

    IMO, that’s not enough of a deterrent for other child abusers watching this case. If the promise of a millstone waiting for you on Judgment Day doesn’t scare you to death, a short jail time on earth ain’t no big deal.

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