An Act of Mercy By TWW Readers for a Human Trafficking Victim Causes Us to Question John MacArthur’s Limited Understanding of Victims

All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope. Winston Churchill

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On Friday, my Mac (6 months old) developed a scratch on an inner screen. This caused strange lines to appear and I was unable to fully view the screen. My computer is now in the hands of Apple and should be returned by Wednesday. Unfortunately, my husband’s very old computer stalled when I logged in. GBTC fixed it and got it back to us on Sunday at 3:30. My husband plans to get a new computer, pronto. During this time we were confronted with the possibility of a serious hurricane event. We spent yesterday and today getting ready. I think I got the last few cases of water in Raleigh. People were circling that water palette like sharks about to move in for the kill.

Given that, I did not have enough time to spend on this post as I had hoped and plan to spend more time on Wednesday. We also have a large portable generator so I hope to surface from time to time once the hurricane hits (if it does.) If you don’t hear from us, assume services are down. Raleigh is projected to be in the direct line as the hurricane moves inward and 1-2 feet of rain is predicted. Ah, summer-you ended too soon.

Is social justice the gospel?

The simple answer is “No.” As many readers know, the Deebs become downright irritable when people add onto the word *gospel.” The Gospel is profoundly simple yet deep. It is the death of Jesus for us. Martin Luther summarized the gospel as:

“that he is the Son of God and became man for us, that he died and was raised, that he has been established as Lord over all things” (“A Brief Instruction on What to Look for and Expect in the Gospels,” LW: 35:118).

But (and you knew there would be a but) the gospel changes us. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV) says this quite clearly.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here!

Jesus role modeled his concern for people in two ways.

  1. He always looked to the heart of the matter, pointing out the sin inherent in people. Interestingly, he tended to focus on the sins of the Pharisees, calling them snakes and white washed tombs.
  2. He spent his time with those who were rejected by society as opposed to the rich religious leaders and the movers and shakers of His day. I wonder if He would have gone to the White House evangelical dinner to hob nob with the movers and shakers of the evangelical establishment or if he would have attended a dinner at the Raleigh Rescue Mission instead?

So what is social justice?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as:

a state or doctrine of egalitarianism

  • the causes of human freedom and of social justice—Sir Winston Churchill
  • promote the common good and social justice—G. J. Schnepp

From my perspective, social justice is utilizing the resources of society, both Christian and secular, to alleviate suffering and pain brought about by the unjust and sinful actions of mankind.

Warren Throckmorton said of those Christians who believe in social justice:

They simply believe Christians should advocate for what’s right when the status quo is unjust and wrong.

Throckmorton recently addressed his concerns about a talk that John MacArthur gave to students. He titled the post John MacArthur: Victims are Everywhere.

He believed that it could appear that MacArthur mocked victims, either intentionally or unintentionally. I tend to agree. He gave these two examples. In the first statement, MacArthur claimed that there is a “mass of belligerent victims.” I guess he thinks victims should be far and few between and should always be nice and cooperative.

 And the more victim categories someone is in, the more empowered that person is, the more important that person is, the more truthful that person is, the more authoritative that person is. If you’re in multiple groups this is a new idea called “intersectionality.” All the segments of victimization come together for you, and your multiple victim status makes you the most authoritative person, the one to be listened to. But if you are not in any victim group, you have nothing to say, “Shut up, and sit down.” That’s where we are. We have an ever-increasing belligerent mass of victims who are defining their lives by what other people have done to them.

In the second, MacArthur appears to make light of the #metoo movement. I guess he doesn’t think it is really awful that so many churches have pastors and leaders who molest adults and children. Such a bummer, you know.

“All this has been done to me.” And so, hashtag, “Me too. I’m a victim.” “Me too, me too. I was abused, I was abused, I was abused.” “Somebody offended me. Somebody made a micro-aggression against me.”

Please read the entire post. Sadly, MacArthur lumps all victims together. There is a tiny minority who use the classification of victim to get attention. However, the Deebs have been writing for 9 1/2 years. In that time, we have written about victim after victim who have been legitimately hurt by the church and the number of these victims continue to rise. Is MacArthur on a roll because his institutions or associated churches have been suspected of abuse. Is it hitting too close to home for him?

Let’s look at some examples of social injustice.

  • When my father started school, he could not speak English. He was Russian and was constantly teased about being a *Commie.* As an old man, he was still hurt by those remembered taunts. Why did the fears of communism of that day cause people to hurt a little boy whose parents got away from the dreaded Communists?
  • People who came to this country from Ireland were viewed with suspicion, especially because they were Catholic. Many were forced to hide that they were Irish. My mother claimed she came from an old *Yankee* family who came over on the Mayflower. She was shocked when her DNA testing came back and she was 40+% Irish. She made us repeat it with another company to be sure. Her father hid his background from his family and claimed he had been a Protestant. What was wrong with the society in those days who would look down on hardworking neighbors?
  • I spent two years working for the Navajo Tribe, setting up a program of health care followup for the elderly. I spent my days traveling throughout the reservation, along with an interpreter since many elderly Navajo still used their native tongue. My Navajo interpreters spent the hours of driving, discussing the pain of their history with me≥  There were many days I was close to tears. The treaties made between the Native Americans and the US government were constantly declared null and void by greedy leaders as the tribes were shipped off to the reservations so the white Europeans could have the land they desired.
  • How many African Americans were relegated to second rate schools with old textbooks and substandard education just a few, short decades ago?
  • How many women have been told to return to abusive husbands because some Baptist and Reformed evangelical  preachers had a misguided view of marriage? Adultery was a get out of jail free card but getting beat to a pulp was not mentioned by Jesus, so the woman had to return and pray she wouldn’t get beaten.
  • How many children have been told by their pastors to keep quiet about their abuse by church leaders?

Are we being told that is it wrong to attempt to alleviate these ills from our churches and society since, in so doing, we are engaging in social justice? Why can’t the Gospel and social justice be synergistic?

  • Jesus healed the lepers.
  • He fed thousands.
  • He lectured the religious leaders on how poorly they treated their people.
  • He helped a woman leave her life of prostitution.
  • He was close friends with two women, Martha and Mary, and spent time talking alone to a woman who had a *dubious* history.
  • He reached out to a scoundrel and tax collector and caused him to make restitution.

Yes, Jesus came to pay a debt that we couldn’t pay. However, the price we pay for that paid debt should be a  changed heart which reaches out in love to others.

An act of social justice on the part of TWW readers.

As some of you know, TWW has taken on the cause of providing medical and dental care to victims of human trafficking through Project Fight of the Salvation Army. Many of you donated money in order to pay for the dentures of a woman whose teeth were knocked out by her trafficker. Due to the kindness of my son in law, Scott, we were able to get her premium dentures for only $480. Scott refused to take any money for the many visits and procedures that were necessary to prepare her mouth for the dentures.

We will be posting her pictures after her final fitting. She is a very young woman and has been so excited to have a beautiful smile. I received this letter from Project Fight today and was asked to share it with our readers.

“On behalf of the entire Project FIGHT team and the client that these donations served, I want to thank you for your incredible generosity.  The trauma that human trafficking survivors have suffered, and the challenges they must overcome to heal and become independent, oftentimes can feel overwhelming. As case managers, we strive to partner with our clients to meet their most pressing needs, one at a time. Medical and dental needs are often first on the list, but expenses and lack of insurance coverage can be prohibitive. Your gift made it possible for one very special client to regain self-esteem, smile and speak with confidence, and find employment to support herself. What once was a reminder of her abuser is now a reminder of her potential to overcome and achieve her goals. We cannot thank you enough for your monetary gifts, as well as your continued prayers for her.”

We plan to use the leftover money to help other clients in a similar fashion. Whenever that money is used, I will post exactly what it is used for, every. last. penny. This is an example social justice. A young woman, let down and marketed like she was cattle, has discovered that people do care for her and that her life is precious. Thank you.

Human trafficking is a scourge on our society. Many victims do not have identification and this delays their ability to get assistance they need to survive. Many people are working to change that which is another example of social justice.

I plan to write more on this subject later this week. I will look at groups like Sovereign Nations and show how MacArthur’s ideas mimics groups such as this.

Now, do I have enough canned foods????


Comments

An Act of Mercy By TWW Readers for a Human Trafficking Victim Causes Us to Question John MacArthur’s Limited Understanding of Victims — 150 Comments

  1. Definitely stay safe and take care of yourself, your family, your puppies. I hope the hurricane doesn’t pack as much punch as predicted.

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  2. He has shown us what is good and what YHWH desires of us: to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with YHWH our God.

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  3. “Is MacArthur on a roll because his institutions or associated churches have been suspected of abuse. Is it hitting too close to home for him?” Quite possible. Or he just misses the limelight. God bless you, and be safe in the storm. It looks like a bad ‘un.

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  4. Samuel Conner:
    He has shown us what is good and what YHWH desires of us: to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with YHWH our God.

    It seems a large swath of Christian’s have different definitions for justice, mercy, and humility.

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  5. “So what is social justice?
    The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as:

    : a state or doctrine of egalitarianism”
    ++++++++++++++++++

    well, no wonder John MacArthur & friends hate it so much.

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  6. elastigirl:
    “So what is social justice?
    The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as:

    : a state or doctrine of egalitarianism”
    ++++++++++++++++++

    well, no wonder John MacArthur & friends hate it so much.

    Hahaha. Good one.

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  7. Samuel Conner:
    He has shown us what is good and what YHWH desires of us: to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with YHWH our God.

    Right alongside James 1:27 (quoted here in the Neo-Cals’ beloved ESV): 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

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  8. refugee: Right alongside James 1:27 (quoted here in the Neo-Cals’ beloved ESV): 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

    I hit “Post” too soon. (But I’m not telling anyone here something they don’t already know.)

    From Matthew 25 (ESV):
    31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,[f] you did it to me.’

    41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’

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  9. (Does MacArthur prefer the ESV? Or some other version? Or does he even express a preference? I remember our hyper-Cal church preferred the ESV, but I don’t know about the GTY crowd.)

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  10. Be safe Dee & Deb! God bless y’all as you brace for the storm. My prayers are with you and all the people in the path of this hurricane. Lord have mercy!

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  11. How appropriate to write a blog post about victims as we remember what happened on our soil 17 years ago today. There are many victims from that day still suffering in mind, heart and body. Let’s not forget them just as we remember victims of all tragedies.

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  12. I was told by a complementarian that my egalitarian interpretation of the bible had nothing to do with the gospel because I “was capitulating to the culture of feminism/ social justice”. All I did was point out that he was not considering the cultural context of the verses he spouted, nor what the original Greek actually meant. Yet it was okay for this guy to capitulate to the culture of patriarchy in his interpretation, or claim Jesus was sanctifying patriarchy. And wouldn’t social justice for abused and mistreated women and others be the fruits of the real gospel? Especially when the abuse of power in the church is creating the abuse and mistreatment of women and others? I just don’t understand why these people think social justice of victims within the church is such a bad thing even in comp circles. If men are supposed to lovingly lead their wives, they should make sure there is real accountability for men who abuse male headship as they call it instead of coddling these guys who manipulate the system against the victim. But then, I think the whole comp doctrine is a manipulation of the system anyway.

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  13. Add alll the Japanese Americans that were locked up, and their wealth takes away during WWII. My father knew some..

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  14. refugee: Right alongside James 1:27 (quoted here in the Neo-Cals’ beloved ESV): 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

    Yes. Jesus’ saying (to His antagonists), ” Go and learn what this means ‘I desire mercy rather than sacrifice’ “, also comes to mind.

    While the semantic content of the term “social justice” is not identical with the semantic content of the term “the Gospel” (and with apologies to toes out there, I’m not confident that our use of this term is identical to the way it is used in the New Testament), I have the strong sense that a lot of what the advocates of “social justice” are saying matters a great deal to God, and that it may matter more to Him than our formal religious gatherings. Perhaps we too need to learn what YHWH meant in the prophetic saying that He “desire(s) mercy, not sacrifice.”

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  15. Not too long ago in my last evangelical church one of the recurring “discussions” dealt with groups that ran food pantries in the city and people in our congregation that were protesting them. The reason? The didn’t give out the gospel to people, they just gave them food. (blink, blink…)

    When I asked why we could not start a small food pantry and run it out of one of the many unused rooms in the church basement, I was told that, “You know, there are rules, government regulations, logistical issues, all kind of problems with those things.”

    When I asked why there were people from our own congregation protesting those other food pantries, I was told that the kindest thing people could do for them was to tell them they were a lost sinner going straight to hell.

    I found this attitude to be almost universal in the evangelical churches of our area. Helping “outsiders” was considered an act of social justice and would be considered polluting the gospel. They would always bring up the stories about “rice converts” that the missionaries told them in the past.

    Almost all of these people who ran these churches and held to these ideas were MacArthurites and/or followers of the YRR. (Platt, Washer, Chan, et al.)

    It was all rather sickening.

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  16. Noevangelical: Not too long ago in my last evangelical church one of the recurring “discussions” dealt with groups that ran food pantries in the city and people in our congregation that were protesting them. The reason? The didn’t give out the gospel to people, they just gave them food. (blink, blink…)

    I was pondering the other day as to why Jesus, in the telling of the “Parable of The Good Samaritan”, didn’t mention anything about the Samaritan leaving a “Four Spiritual Laws” tract behind and/or assuring that the innkeeper had a Gideon Bible in each room.

    The gospel is important, obviously, but sometimes we need to love our neighbor even if there is no context for sharing the gospel.

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  17. From the post: “How many African Americans were relegated to second rate schools with old textbooks and substandard education just a few, short decades ago?”

    Continuing in my role of ‘yes, but’ let me say this. While that sentence is true it is not the entire truth. It never was ‘just’ the historically black schools which were second rate. It was also many rural schools, and schools in impoverished parts of town (I covered one when I was a public health nurse-it was almost exclusively white and second rate) and it was entire states. My home state of KY only made radical improvements when they were forced to so by court order, IIRC.

    I think that identifying inadequacies as being due to race, giving the impression that race would be the basic or even only issue, feeds into a pattern of group identity that often does not bode well for the identified group or for the nation at large, and which may be inaccurate in the first place.

    So, yes, there were poor schools including if you were poor or rural or black or in the south or in some areas of many big cities or if you were a recent immigrant and the schools did not offer ESL or equivalent or if you had a learning disability before the schools started to address that issue or and or and or.

    And we still have very poor performing schools, and we have a problem with people spending way too much for housing to get into a ‘good’ school district-all this right here in my town and right now. And all of this my daughter wades out into on a daily basis on the job. We have integration; the problems are not solved. We have federal program after federal program; the problems are not solved.

    Not all the social justice available will solve this; that is not where the problems lie. The causes are multitudinous and identifying one group or another as being victimized only tears them down in people’s eyes and still does not solve the problems.

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  18. Noevangelical,

    This kind of thinking predates the YRR…. I saw it in my fundamentalist Baptists 45 years ago..
    The fundies would also teach that such actions were pinko/commie things as well..

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  19. your multiple victim status makes you the most authoritative person, the one to be listened to. But if you are not in any victim group, you have nothing to say, “Shut up, and sit down.” That’s where we are.

    Is it me, or does it just sound like Johnny Mac is afraid someone will stop listening to him for three seconds? Or that he might be asked to listen to someone that is not him?

    This is a weird focus.

    Of course, the reason you should listen to victims is that they have an experience that you don’t understand, and by listening you may began to understand. But JM clearly has no interest in understanding – merely being heard himself.

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  20. Noevangelical:
    I found this attitude to be almost universal in the evangelical churches of our area. Helping “outsiders” was considered an act of social justice and would be considered polluting the gospel. They would always bring up the stories about “rice converts” that the missionaries told them in the past.

    Whatever happened to “God sends rain to the just and unjust” and “Give generously with no thought of reward”?

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  21. Lea: Is it me, or does it just sound like Johnny Mac is afraid someone will stop listening to him for three seconds?

    Sounds like the rant of an old man past his prime, so you may be right. Wonder if he told them to stay off his lawn too?

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  22. Jeffrey J Chalmers,

    That fits with the pastor’s upbringing. The protesters are most definitely YRR groupies which, in a lot of ways, are MacArthurites on steroids if you ask me. Telling them that really makes them mad…

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  23. Noevangelical: Not too long ago in my last evangelical church one of the recurring “discussions” dealt with groups that ran food pantries in the city and people in our congregation that were protesting them. The reason? The didn’t give out the gospel to people, they just gave them food. (blink, blink…)

    I….find this absolutely shocking. They were PROTESTING a FOOD PANTRY????

    No words.

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  24. Dee, are you planning to stay in Raleigh? I just saw that the Threat there is considered “Extreme.” Yikes?

    My younger son lives in an apartment complex five miles from NC State. I think he should come home here (north of Winston-Salem), but he says he’s “not sure yet” whether he’ll do that. Meanwhile, NC State has cancelled classes for Thursday and Friday. Trying hard not to freak out here.

    Praying for everyone in Florence’s path. This seems to be a lot bigger than people realize.

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  25. Lea: I….find this absolutely shocking. They were PROTESTING a FOOD PANTRY????

    No words.

    I think that this attitude is a difficult-to-avoid consequence of “the Gospel” conceived of as “escape from terrible post-mortem punishment.” Anything that is not strictly focused on that most urgent problem can look like “anti-Gospel.” In fact, for many people it’s hard to avoid deprecating or ignoring ALL “under-the-sun” forms of human suffering (I think this is part of what underlies widespread Evangelical skepticism of the hazards of large-scale environmental degradation, to use a less politically charged term).

    This posture seems to me pretty bizarre given the biblical emphasis on concrete mercy, love of neighbor, etc, etc, as visible correlates of true love of God. If this is one of the “fruits” of that understanding of the meaning of “the Gospel”, that may be telling us something.

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  26. refugee:
    (Does MacArthur prefer the ESV? Or some other version? Or does he even express a preference? I remember our hyper-Cal church preferred the ESV, but I don’t know about the GTY crowd.)

    IIRC, Johnny Mac wrote his own bible!

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  27. okrapod: Continuing in my role of ‘yes, but’ let me say this. While that sentence is true it is not the entire truth. It never was ‘just’ the historically black schools which were second rate. It was also many rural schools, and schools in impoverished parts of town (I covered one when I was a public health nurse-it was almost exclusively white and second rate) and it was entire states. My home state of KY only made radical improvements when they were forced to so by court order, IIRC.

    I am just going to point out that in the South, some districts actually closed down their public schools rather than integrate. For example, the Little Rock School district practically closed down rather than integrate in 1959. Here’s a whole article on “massive resistance” in Virginia.

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

    The state of Virginia handed out tuition vouchers to white students so they could attend “segregation academies.”

    My point is that yeah, rural schools got the shaft in a lot of ways, but rural schools weren’t being shut down because of money issues. Schools were being shut down by white school boards to keep out black children. We need to stop avoiding the fact that we white people treated black people abominably for centuries, first by holding them as chattel property, then with Jim Crow laws, then with trying to deny children an education or to eat at a lunch counter or ride a bus, even up to today, when black people have to worry about their very lives in their own homes.

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  28. Noevangelical:
    Not too long ago in my last evangelical church one of the recurring “discussions” dealt with groups that ran food pantries in the city and people in our congregation that were protesting them. The reason? The didn’t give out the gospel to people, they just gave them food. (blink, blink…)

    When I asked why we could not start a small food pantry and run it out of one of the many unused rooms in the church basement, I was told that, “You know, there are rules, government regulations, logistical issues, all kind of problems with those things.”

    When I asked why there were people from our own congregation protesting those other food pantries, I was told that the kindest thing people could do for them was to tell them they were a lost sinner going straight to hell.

    I found this attitude to be almost universal in the evangelical churches of our area. Helping “outsiders” was considered an act of social justice and would be considered polluting the gospel. They would always bring up the stories about “rice converts” that the missionaries told them in the past.

    Almost all of these people who ran these churches and held to these ideas were MacArthurites and/or followers of the YRR. (Platt, Washer, Chan, et al.)

    It was all rather sickening.

    Growing up, our church was part of a multi-congregation food pantry. The main sponsor was a large, liberal congregation.

    Our very small conservative SBC church would always end up with the “ethnic-sounding” names. We also learned that, for any address with an apartment number, TO A PERSON the address was fake (and the apartment complex would confirm it).

    So the people handing out the food would know how to get someone to “say the sinner’s prayer” and the recipient would always know how to respond (and if it was positive they would usually get a little extra in the bag). We would get tons of “decisions” but we NEVER had ONE person actually follow through with baptism, church membership, becoming a true disciple, etc.

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  29. Deebs:

    two things. One, we have a son, DIL, and two granddaughters in Raleigh (one 4 and one 4 mos.) who are filling plastic containers with water and hoping not to lose power.

    Two. Social Justice is a laudable goal. Those who have been denied the basics of life and opportunity are those that Jesus taught us to help. In my practice, I rescue children that the proper authorities seem to ignore, donating several hundred hours of my time each year helping loving parents recover a child or children from an abusive parent or evil step-mother (yes, they do exist outside of fairy tales). I feel obligated to help because I was blessed with great parents, and had a family with a great woman, and have been otherwise blessed.

    Thank you for all you do.

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  30. Jesus told the pharisees, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” Both of these commandments require love: love for God, and love for your fellow man. People can’t hear the Gospel when their belly is rumbling. This all reminds me of that old adage: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

    James covers this topic quite well in his epistle too. MacArthur et al. sound exactly like the people James is addressing in Chapter 2, verse 16. What purpose is a faith without works? The Apostle John also talks about this same thing when he says, “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” The common thread through all of this, if you haven’t already guessed, is love. I think that’s where the true Gospel begins and ends. I John 4:7-10 seems to bear that out.

    The error, I believe, occurs here when the “Gospel” and “social justice” are pitted against one another instead of being inextricably linked together as a single act of love. Why do we love others? Because Christ loved us first! That seems pretty simple to me. Perhaps I just don’t understand what MacArthur’s ‘statement’ is getting at!

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  31. refugee:
    (Does MacArthur prefer the ESV? Or some other version? Or does he even express a preference? I remember our hyper-Cal church preferred the ESV, but I don’t know about the GTY crowd.)

    I may be wrong, but I think he mainly preaches out of the NASB… ( one of the best translations, IMHO)

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  32. okrapod,

    Another way of looking at it. Here, we instituted public school busing 40 years ago. My mom and aunt owned a business and were told if they did not put a stop busing sign in their window the business would be vandalized. They replaced three or four plate glass windows within a year, lost count. The 40 Years of busing continued and many children here spent over an hour and a half on a bus one way to school each day. this was especially hard on poor kids who live far away from their school and could not participate in after-school activities like sports. The psychological effect of community rallying around their school as a focal point was also ruined. but the micromanaging social justice experts new best for us.

    The Supreme Court finally overturned it I think it was 2007. As of two years ago the government social experts decided to Institute segregated schools. They don’t call them that but that’s what they are. They were originally called people of Color Academies. but not everyone in that Community is happy. Seven well known black Pastors in our community are pressuring the governor for Charter Schools. They actually want academics instead of nothing but social justice curriculum all day long.

    The only victims I saw with 40 years of busing were the kids and the taxpayers. Yery gas bill aline is 80 million. yes we still have busing and you have to pitch a fit to get your kid and his neighborhood School.

    People can try to Define social justice all day long and it won’t work. Your brand may not be my brand. and the reason for this is it as based on thought policing and not “actions alone”.

    in fact, the face of what passes for social justice today has become quite forceful. Agree or be punched. Agree or lose your job. Agree or be ostracized and marginalized.

    Justice is Justice For The “Individual”. A lot of people want to live in the past but this country did a lot to overturn past injustices including a war. Rightly so. It’s about the freedom and responsibility to “self-govern”. There is also the attitude of Sinners sin and bad behavior is normal and expected.

    The scriptures do not teach that Jesus ran to the Romans and demanded they fix all the Injustice. But a lot of people interpret scripture that way. For some reason they seem to know what is best for the rest of us to do. I don’t see any difference from what MacArthur is saying to what this opinion piece is saying. Both want to interpret scripture for me and how they think ALL Christians apply their interpretation.

    I have long been concerned that lumping all victims of sexual harrasment, rape, molestation,gender discrimination, human trafficking (like too many children crossing the border) etc, etc into one big #metoo pot will only hurt real victims who do not have means or who fall through the cracks because of some misguided social justice compassion that’s not protecting them. like the human trafficked kids at the border. I personally saw this happen when the insurance companies and the lawyers took over the sexual harrasment industry.

    And worse in all of this, The most overburden segment of our population is the Working Poor citizen of all colors, shapes and sizes.

    I have truly been inspired by the testimonials on #walkaway. there are a lot of decent people out there in all shapes colors and sizes who want the best for one another. I am so glad they are speaking up. many people are just downright tired of being told how horrible they are if they don’t agree with the social justice issue du jour as it is presented. They are also tired of selective Justice.

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  33. Mark R: Growing up, our church was part of a multi-congregation food pantry. The main sponsor was a large, liberal congregation.
    Our very small conservative SBC church would always end up with the “ethnic-sounding” names. We also learned that, for any address with an apartment number, TO A PERSON the address was fake (and the apartment complex would confirm it).
    So the people handing out the food would know how to get someone to “say the sinner’s prayer” and the recipient would always know how to respond (and if it was positive they would usually get a little extra in the bag). We would get tons of “decisions” but we NEVER had ONE person actually follow through with baptism, church membership, becoming a true disciple, etc.

    Wait, this is confusing.

    Are you telling me that in order to get food, they had to pray a ‘sinners prayer’ and fill out a card, which you would then followup on to try to get them to come to church?

    Maybe if they didn’t know there were so many strings attached to this food they would be more likely to give you their real names.

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  34. Thank you TWW for bringing this forward. I’ve been hoping I would see this topic sooner than later. Reality check: It’s not victimization when there are actual victims.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ix_eHfGYuA – Here’s recent sermon of MaCarthur trying to explain himself “biblically.” Too much to say but he wraps it up, “nicely” with his low view of women at 54.11, “…should we make rebellious, disobedient women into victims…”

    It sounds to me like it was trusting “obedience” to men, that MaCarthur and others herald, that sadly created many victims – girls, boys and yes, women too…in the church – too.

    One must wonder why he is fighting so hard to denounce the sins of the church?

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  35. During this time we were confronted with the possibility of a serious hurricane event. We spent yesterday and today getting ready. I think I got the last few cases of water in Raleigh. People were circling that water palette like sharks about to move in for the kill.

    In New York it’d be BREAD & MILK!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6zaVYWLTkU
    (And in Milwaukee, toilet paper and powdered milk…)

    Is social justice the gospel?

    I have seen how Social Justice can go sour.

    In Newman Center in the early Eighties, the Social Justice Gospel ended up with a New Trinity of Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, and Fidel Castro.

    Looking back, it was a specific example of how when you add fill-in-the-blank to the Gospel the fill-in-the blank can take over and until Christ gets thrown under the bus.

    And the biggest Witnesses for this New Trinity were always the rich-kid “yuppie puppies” from their gated communities in the pricey parts of town.

    Since then, California has been taken over by such Social Justice Warriors in positions of power from Sacramento on down, constantly virtue-signaling their Social Justice Righteousness to one and all no matter who gets hurt.

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  36. Lea: Is it me, or does it just sound like Johnny Mac is afraid someone will stop listening to him for three seconds? Or that he might be asked to listen to someone that is not him?

    This is a weird focus.

    Not if Johnny Mac’s cosmos has room only for Johnny Mac.

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  37. Lea: Wait, this is confusing.
    Are you telling me that in order to get food, they had to pray a ‘sinners prayer’ and fill out a card, which you would then followup on to try to get them to come to church?

    Soup-ism.

    According to Martha of Ireland, during the Potato Famine of the early 19th Century (where Irish were starving to death en masse while cash crops and food exports to England continued uninterrupted), English charities providing relief would only feed Irish who converted from Catholic to Protestant. These forced converts were called “Soupers”.

    Just these conversions are the Evangelical version instead of the Anglican. With the added bennie that for each neo-Souper’s “sinners prayer”, the Witness who led them in it gets a brownie point for themselves on J-day. When I was in-country, it was a common belief that your position in Heaven would be determined only by your Fire Insurance sales record. The only thing God would ask of the Saved on J-day was “How many did you Lead to Christ?” Which led to comparison bragging about who Saved the Most Souls(TM).

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  38. Lydia,
    We saw the backlash to that kind of Social Justice (doublepluswarmfeelies for the SJWs no matter what the collateral damage) in November of 2016 and the fanatical support since.

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  39. ___

    “What Man Is This?”

    hmmm…

    This recent JohnMac backlash social justice media statement has really became an root male accountability issue; as media, specifically the #MeToo movement has apparently hit too close to home for him and some of these signers.

    As for the gospel, JohnMac has been preaching a false, toxic, and alienating gospel for some forty years.

    Jesus’ gospel, however, is available for all who simply believe His words, and accept His good news offer of eternal life.

    Do so today, you’ll be glad you did,

    Please see your bible for details!

    ATB

    Sòpy

    ;~)

    – –

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  40. Noevangelical: When I asked why there were people from our own congregation protesting those other food pantries, I was told that the kindest thing people could do for them was to tell them they were a lost sinner going straight to hell.

    Yet again, the Gospel of Personal Salvation and ONLY Personal Salvation.

    Snarked in the Missionaries-to-Ethiopia introduction of the South Park episode “Starvin’ Marvin in Space”:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starvin%27_Marvin_in_Space
    Though the way I remember that intro is the missionaries were not “attempting to convert the community by assuring them that their faith in Christianity will get them food” like the Wikipedia writeup claims, but assuring them that now that Their Souls are Saved, starving to death is no big deal.

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  41. Eeyore: Whatever happened to “God sends rain to the just and unjust” and “Give generously with no thought of reward”?

    Fake News.

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  42. Lydia,

    Oh my. That was awfu.l

    We immigrated to a small town over here when the city in the mid west where we were started to crumble during that time. I gave up a job to die for in order to do that. We missed the really bad trouble that way, but we had kids and we were afraid for their safety as well as for our own. The elementary school was within walking distance, and the hospital was maybe two miles away. Society could have totally collapsed and we could still have walked home.

    I still stay prepared. Because when SHTF happens, regardless of what it is, then lots of bad stuff is going to break out-did before and will again. I have lived in the Great Depression, WWII, Cold War, Korean Conflict, Viet Nam, the domestic cultural revolution, mob violence once, personal social disapproval, betrayal and divorce, disintegration of the religious tradition of which I used to be a native speaker, five (actually five) chronic disease conditions of which two are inevitably fatal, personal financial crash, and who knows how many hang nails.

    But I have water and food, and there is wood on the back forty, and I know how to lay a fire and use hand tools. I have experience with live and deceased chickens and at one time knew how to milk a goat. And I know how to set up a basic level first aide station and how to home school and how to teach a wee bit of music and how to dabble a wee bit in more than one language and how to do like the little lady in Gone With the Wind and say fiddle dee dee I will worry about that tomorrow.

    Semper paratus. It happend before and it will again. Alway has. Always will. Bible verses available on request don’t you know. Be of good courage. Nobody said it was going to be easy.

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  43. Lily Rose: I was told by a complementarian that my egalitarian interpretation of the bible had nothing to do with the gospel because I “was capitulating to the culture of feminism/ social justice”.

    All I did was point out that he was not considering the cultural context of the verses he spouted, nor what the original Greek actually meant.

    Yet it was okay for this guy to capitulate to the culture of patriarchy in his interpretation, or claim Jesus was sanctifying patriarchy.

    I rejected complementarianism years ago in large part because I saw it was not consistent with what the rest of the Bible has to say about women and marriage or God’s character.

    -And that was long before the current “Social Justice” movement of the last few years.

    And I’ve always been conservative, never a feminist, etc.

    There was a complementarian guy who used to post to this site on a regular basis.

    Any time myself or the other non-comps cited extra-biblical sources to clarify what some writing of Paul meant, he would dismiss that as not being biblical, and tell me I was engaging in a “liberal” practice.

    Then he turned around a post or two later and himself appealed to extra-biblical sources to support one of his complementarian points!

    See how that works?
    If a complementarian uses a non-Bible source to bolster pro- complementarian arguments, that is fine and dandy, it’s not capitulating to the culture or to liberalism,
    but if a non-comp does the same thing, (to defend non-comp points), suddenly, that is a “liberal” and “non biblical” thing to do and is forbidden!

    Lily, you may be interested in these videos / web pages / podcasts linked to in this post, as they address some of the things you raised in your post:

    The Handmaidens Conspiracy: How Erroneous Bible Translations Obscured the Women’s Empowerment Movement STARTED by JESUS CHRIST by D. L. Howell
    https://missdaisyflower.wordpress.com/2018/06/01/%E2%80%A2-the-handmaidens-conspiracy-how-erroneous-bible-translations-obscured-the-womens-empowerment-movement-started-by-jesus-christ-by-d-l-howell/

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  44. Speaking about things happening again. Every time they have a hurricane over on the coast we get rain and flooding and a few trees down, but we are pretty much too inland for anything else. And the weather people say that we are two or three days away from ‘it’. However, that weird thing that happens is happening. There is no wind; not a leaf quivers. There is no rain. The birds have disappeared even from our feeder which is rare. Everything has gone quiet. No sounds. Insects maybe? I really don’t know what the sound was or where it went. It is as if the whole of nature is holding itself in suspension just waiting-waiting-waiting. Over all that distance-amazing to me.

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  45. Preach it, Dee!

    And stay high and dry with your Puggles, sweetie.

    [My son & DIL are in western NC, and older daughter is near the GA/SC state line (though more inland), so I am definitely keeping an eye on the weather.]

    D.

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  46. __

    “Armed with the necessity of personal responsibility?”

    hmmm…

    The fundamental 501c3 issue here is taking personal responsibility for yourself, your staff, and your congregation. No amount of documentation is going to assist you in this.

    ATB

    Sòpy

    ;~)

    – –

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  47. Lea,

    Yes, as weird as it seems. They would gather on the days that the food pantry was open, and go down to the church and interfere with the people coming to get their food. So much so that the police had to be called, and they were forced to leave the premises. It was a protest disguised as evangelism.

    After that they would stand across the street and shout at the people coming. They were very much into street evangelism and being all “radical”. So these police incidents, and when someone punched them outside of a bar for shouting the “gospel” at them, were all viewed as badges of honor – a form of persecution. And these people were held up constantly as examples of what a true believer looks like.

    The rest of us slobs were always being compared to them, like “Why can’t you be more like your brother?” type of comparisons.

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  48. refugee,

    I would suspect the New American Standard. My former pastor was ordained by JMac and the church is Master’s U and seminarians. It appeared to be the Bible of choice, but I don’t recall what JMac preaches from.

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  49. FW Rez,

    “sometimes we need to love our neighbor even if there is no context for sharing the gospel.”
    ++++++++++++++

    honest kindness, music, and art for their own sakes.

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  50. Noevangelical: When I asked why we could not start a small food pantry and run it out of one of the many unused rooms in the church basement, I was told that, “You know, there are rules, government regulations, logistical issues, all kind of problems with those things.”

    When I asked why there were people from our own congregation protesting those other food pantries, I was told that the kindest thing people could do for them was to tell them they were a lost sinner going straight to hell.

    That sounds about par the course.

    I was just discussing something very similar to this at Julie Anne’s SSB blog here (and I think the one below it by me):
    https://spiritualsoundingboard.com/2018/08/27/almost-heretical-women-in-the-church-and-gender-roles/comment-page-2/#comment-420210

    I’ve observed there’s a real reluctance among a lot of Christians to offer practical help to people in their immediate vicinity, contra James 2:16:.

    If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?

    Many Christians I’ve encountered prefer to help people in far away lands that they will never meet, by cutting checks that pay funds to orphans overseas.

    But God help you if you’re some regular person going through a tough time, and you are that Christian’s neighbor or fellow pew sitter, they will give you the “tough it out, buttercup” speech.

    Apparently, many American Christians think that compassion is only for faceless, nameless people in third world nations, or in the really bad, downtrodden parts of American cities.

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  51. Samuel Conner,

    “I have the strong sense that a lot of what the advocates of “social justice” are saying matters a great deal to God, and that it may matter more to Him than our formal religious gatherings.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++

    our formal religious gatherings….

    you mean stand, sing, sit, stand, scripted prayer, sit, someone speaks, we daydream, we see friends, we leave.

    wasn’t that productive.

    (i’m sure i crossed over from realistic to cynical, there)

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  52. Bunsen Honeydew:
    refugee,

    He is an expository preacher ( I.e., verse by verse) so it wouldn’t take but a couple of minutes to follow along and see as he reads from the text if it from the NASB, or the ESV, believe it or not, he has done a MacArthur study Bible from the NIV ( nearly inspired version ( joke )

    I would suspect the New American Standard. My former pastor was ordained by JMac and the church is Master’s U and seminarians. It appeared to be the Bible of choice, but I don’t recall what JMac preaches from.

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  53. I’ve come to understand a fair bit about MacArthur and how his people operate since a close family member went into that camp about a decade ago and remains deeply enmeshed in it.

    One of those things is that the guy and a lot of his followers are quite privileged and comfortable. He’s a white male in his 70’s who has had little experience outside of white middle- and upper-middle-class American culture. The Gospel should challenge anyone who takes it seriously to step and reach and love and grow outside of their own microculture. But that does not seem to have happened for MacArthur and most of his followers. Add heavy Calvinist beliefs into the mix (especially total depravity) and you soon get a place from which it becomes too easy for them to disregard and disrespect those outside their group — including fellow believers who have differing views.

    The psycho-social aspects of this dynamic are cult-like. That’s why you see the repeated doubling down and circling the wagons when there is criticism from the outside. Doesn’t matter whether the subject is sexual assault, biblical doctrines, social justice, or university accreditation; the dynamic of the response is the same.

    This is why I think there won’t be any real change; the guy and his followers will keep doubling down and looking inward even if it ultimately makes everything collapse.

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  54. Some gentle and mild “on the other hand” thoughts. God is always in favor of justice. I don’t think the signers of the statement on the gospel and social justice oppose justice. But among some the social justice movement has replaced justice. Here are a few examples: like Dee, I lived in the 4 corners region many years, and raised a family there. Being part Native American (we are not natives, just earlier migrants to be all technical) myself, I cared deeply for the plight of the Navajo people. Great wrongs and hurts happened. Of course, bear in mind my friends who were Hopi or from the Pueblos down by Santa Fe view the Navajo as rape and pillage newcomer enemies. Every year the Navajo students received clothing from the school district (new for the new school year.) Poor Hispanic kids, often much poorer, did not. Justice says we work together to make sure all kids are adequately clothed. Social justice says we are only concerned about certain “victim groups.” Sorry, but poverty comes in all ethnicities. And at some point, if grandpa was bullied or spanked for speaking Navajo in the past, and apologies have been repeatedly made, it becomes counterproductive to continue to honor “social justice victims” today. When the initial abusers have passed away, holding their offspring somehow guilty is its own form of abuse.

    Or even more tmi for ya: one my of grandma’s was forced into child prostitution by her mom. Yeah, I care a great deal about human trafficking. But I also know some in the business are forced in, by people directly or systems (anti Indian racism in our case) but some make the reasoned choice. A young woman from a decent family who chooses to forgo available student loans and or work/study in favor of student by day call girl by night is not a victim. Men can be pigs (as can women) and on the job sexual harassment is pure torment to its victims. But on the other hand, some men and some women do deliberately attempt to sleep their way to the top. It happens.

    I love researching family history. My own has slave owners and slaves both, indentured servants and those that bought them, victims and victimizers. My own hair color and my dad’s middle name seem to go all the way back to England when the Vikings were the rape and pillage and abuse and enslave crowd. My ancestors were the victims (well, til the rapes and then some of my ancestors were the attacker also.) Do I need to hold the Danes as owing me anything, or thank them for the red hair and tall height and move on?

    Maybe I misread the statement, but it seems they are calling for real justice rather than social justice. Each person in each incident deserves justice, but it does me no good today to continually pick at the scabs of what the Danes did well over a thousand years ago, or the Kansans did over a hundred years ago, or what happened in my parent’s generation. Whatever it was, it happened to them, was bad, and should never have happened. But the folks alive today did not do it to them. Nor did their heirs.

    Justice? Always!!!!! Social justice based on belonging to some victim group??? Counterproductive.

    Truth be told each of us can find some group we are part of that has suffered injustice. But when everybody is a victim and therefor not accountable for their own actions, no body is really seen as a victim.

    And that is a darn shame for the real victims. Which is what I think this statement is saying: real justice for all, not tribalizing into special interest groups cutting each other’s throats since everyone can find a group to join.

    Your mileage may vary based on your own family history.

    Me, I’m a mutt. I’ve suffered, but refuse to be a victim because that gives the jerks power over me.

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  55. Dee, what an encouraging report about the lady you helped! Please do keep us posted about ways we can continue to help more trafficking victims. Praise the Lord for His Word being ALIVE in us so we can bless others in His name. Btw, I am in southern Wake county and need to stock up on some more non-perishable foods. I will pray for your protection in this storm and would appreciate your prayers also.

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  56. Praying for those in the path of the storm. Lesson learned from Katrina is that cell towers will be overloaded but text messages will get through when voice calls fail. We are 165 miles inland from the coast but we were out of power for 10 days and 30 days getting internet and land line back. Between trees down on roads and debris plan on being self-sustaining because help may be slower getting to you than expected. If you don’t know your neighbors well now you will after the storm because shared resources can be invaluable.

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  57. Daisy: Many Christians I’ve encountered prefer to help people in far away lands that they will never meet, by cutting checks that pay funds to orphans overseas.

    But God help you if you’re some regular person going through a tough time, and you are that Christian’s neighbor or fellow pew sitter, they will give you the “tough it out, buttercup” speech.

    Apparently, many American Christians think that compassion is only for faceless, nameless people in third world nations, or in the really bad, downtrodden parts of American cities.

    Great point Daisy.
    It somehow never occurs to them that if “buttercup” doesn’t get a brake job, she won’t be able to get to work, and it can set off a whole series of outward ripples, none of them good.

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  58. FW Rez: The gospel is important, obviously, but sometimes we need to love our neighbor even if there is no context for sharing the gospel.

    It never even crosses their minds that loving our neighbor IS THE GOOD NEWS does it?

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  59. Lydia,

    Lydia, what I have trouble with is when people like Mac and here, you, who are so busy pointing fingers at actions taken to improve a situation that they disagree with, that it seems like you are more invested in an us vs them narrative, than in the idea that where we see injustice we should act. Sure, bussing has been shown not to have been effective but without trying how would we have known? Sure, merely shaming people for sexist behavior in all its forms without offering them a chance to grow and overcome their blind spots won’t magically fix our systematic sexism. But I believe we have an obligation to act when we see injustice. And those people that fight for social justice are doing just that. Instead of mere handwringing, maybe some prayer and dispensing bible verses, they go out and show others the massive injustices they have experienced and propose real tangible change so that needless suffering can be ended. That I can respect. Sitting and griping that they don’t always get it right? That screams to high heaven that the person doing the griping is more invested in a narrative about themself than in harm caused to others. It shows me a person who believes that something is taken from them when others demand an equal slice of the pie. Doesn’t Christianity teach love for the stranger, the least of these, literally for everyone? Doesn’t it teach that all things are possible with God? Where is that faith when you approach these issues?

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  60. Bunsen Honeydew:
    refugee,
    Jmac is an expository preacher, ( his sermons are usually a verse by verse type of sermon).
    So it wouldn’t take long to listen and see what actual translation he is using.

    Although I guess he could go back and forth from the NASB and the ESV versions….

    I would suspect the New American Standard. My former pastor was ordained by JMac and the church is Master’s U and seminarians. It appeared to be the Bible of choice, but I don’t recall what JMac preaches from.

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  61. refugee: (Does MacArthur prefer the ESV? Or some other version? Or does he even express a preference? I remember our hyper-Cal church preferred the ESV, but I don’t know about the GTY crowd.)

    You can get the MacArthur Study Bible (the gold standard for MacArthurites) in three flavors: NKJV, NAS, and ESV. He produced the ESV to appeal to the New Calvinists in order to expand into their market (it’s all business, you know), even though he would be considered as a “classical” Calvinist. However, since MacArthur endorsed “The Statement on Social Justice & the Gospel” the young reformers will probably shelve his study bible in favor of the ESV Study Bible produced by Crosman … it is THE real gold standard in their tribe.

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  62. Daisy,

    Daisy, is that the same Donna Howell that has been on Jim Bakker show, and has been speaking at conferences with Jennifer Laclaire of the infamous sneaky squid spirit ????

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  63. MacArthur’s Study Bible was also released in the new NIV several years ago:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xwaLzuzg8Y

    MACARTHUR: “over 15 years ago when the first issue of the MacArthur Study Bible came out in the NKJV I was ecstatic…this was just a monumental moment in my life…here we are over 15 years later and another monumental moment has happened in the development of the MacArthur Study Bible. Pretty exciting to think about it going to the NAS and the ESV…and finally, and I’m so grateful for this, it’s reached the NIV…I’m so thankful for the folks at Nelson who pulled it off and who worked to make it a reality”

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  64. “Why can’t the Gospel and social justice be synergistic?”

    How can we deny that Christians should not be leading the way in social justice? Jesus spells it out in Matthew 25: 35-40:

    For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

    “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

    “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

    MacArthur is nothing more than a man puffed up with hot air.

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  65. Jesus in Luke 4:18 states “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed,”

    If this isn’t The Gospel, I don’t know what is. These are His very own words telling us why He came. This is reinforced by Luke 7:18-23 where we see Jesus doing physical acts in real life (not just “in my heart” types of things). Oh, and not requiring correct doctrinal beliefs before doing them either.

    I think it is fair to say that “The Gospel” without concern for the oppressed – and actually doing something to help them is no Gospel at all.

    Questions I am pondering:

    Does this mean all Christians should be social justice warriors of one sort or another?

    If we are not concerned about the oppressed are we simply not “preaching” the gospel at all?

    What does being concerned about the oppressed look like? And who does it include? (This blog certainly includes one group of oppressed folks and the combined efforts certainly give one hopeful example of what it looks like).

    How much of the gospel do we have in us if we are not involved in real life physical acts of mercy to others or if we have not a care in the world about the plight of the less fortunate?

    I wonder. I wonder about these about myself – and by extension so many other people like me that I know and who call themselves “Christian”.

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  66. Regarding intersectionality. I had never heard of the term before this. For those, like me, who might be wondering, the following might help. These come from two completely opposite sides of this issue and they provide some background about it.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=w6dnj2IyYjE

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rc7VUoytoU4 – This is from PragerU and falls a little too close to contempt and derision for my tastes. But it was helpful in understanding one viewpoint. I don’t know of course, but I can see this being a stance that MacArthur could take.

    A quote I came across that seems put it succinctly:

    “A black woman has some disadvantages because she’s a woman and some disadvantages because she’s black. She also has some disadvantages specifically because she’s a black woman, which neither black men nor white women have to deal with. That’s intersectionality; race, gender, and every other way to be disadvantaged interact with each other.”

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  67. Afterburne,

    “If we are not concerned about the oppressed are we simply not “preaching” the gospel at all?”
    ++++++++++++

    a lifetime in church has shown me that the point of preaching the gospel is praying the sinner’s prayer.

    and after that initiation, it’s motivational speeches on self-help, followed by chiming in with a prayer request for one’s hurt toe, or job satisfaction.

    it’s insurance for the great hereafter, and my hurt toe now. and a good parking place at Costco.

    it’s long past time for the immense and explosive resources of the God of the Universe coming towards us to be recognized (at long last) and put to exponential industrious use in addressing human suffering & solving problems that plague planet earth now.

    starting with wherever we find ourselves, and wherever our expertise lies.

    Jesus/God/Holy Spirit in us, ‘their’ hand joining with ours, ‘their’ voice joining with ours, ‘their’ wisdom influencing our thoughts with ideas and discoveries, ‘their’ creatio ex nihilo joining with our creative abilities…

    We all have talents, skills, abilities. Jesus/God/Holy Spirit energize us to be super-able.

    it’s like a swimming pool waiting for people to get in. we can get in, learn how to move around, learn how to use the water to float, to propel ourselves efficiently, learning how to improve our stroke.

    or like a ship in dry dock. looks great. but doesn’t do anything. doesn’t do what it was meant to do. as soon as it’s in the water and launched, the propellers work with the water to move the ship.

    we learn to be in God and God in us, we learn to work with God, we learn to work with God to propel through our endeavors.

    i mean, what’s “ye shall receive dunamis explosive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you” all about anyway?

    it’s certainly not about parking places.

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  68. Afterburne,

    i didn’t read the articles you linked to, but i understand the concept of intersectionality.

    kind of a high fallutin’ little word, there

    …for something so very basic and observeable: certain demographics are at a disadvantage. are overlooked. are passed over. are ignored. are invisible. are viewed with suspicion. are not treated fairly. are not treated well. are denied opportunities. are compensated less for the same work/skill level.

    if one can’t see this, then of course there is nothing to do.

    if one can see this, then…. do we still do nothing?

    i’m no expert on how to address these things in the big picture of society, but i do address them in my own little sphere.

    (like, i always thank and make eye contact with the silent, invisible bus-people from a 3rd world country making minimum wage diligently cleaning other people’s gross food mess at restaurants)

    words like ‘intersectionality’ and ‘victim’ seem to be getting on some people’s nerves (like the writers of the the Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel).

    but how can they miss the reality behind the words??

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  69. elastigirl: words like ‘intersectionality’ and ‘victim’ seem to be getting on some people’s nerves

    I am going to omit the details, but here is the big picture. A close relative of mine has recently started therapy with a psychiatric practice which has a very impressive amount of brand name paper hanging on the wall, who see patients only by referral, and with whom were are all impressed. The patient has experienced serious ‘issues’ even to the point at one time of being life threatening in seriousness, not any of it the patient’s ‘fault’ or ‘responsibility’.

    ‘Victim’ is getting on their nerves over at the psychiatrists practice also, as well as ours. Following initial evaluations the supervising psychiatrist looked the patient square in the fact and said, relative to a very objective and serious tale of bad things happening, ‘Well, I guess that makes you a survivor”. The patient and the family have been told to ‘change the narrative’ and quit thinking like a victim-get the word out of the vocabulary. They instituted a therapy protocol in which, or so they told the patient, would result in changing how one thinks about prior ‘events’ and which prepares one to accept the fact that bad things happen and will continue to happen because that is how life is, but how one reacts to bad things is what matters most. Specifically that the patient can learn new ways of thinking about and dealing with bad things including prior ‘events’. Again specifically, the parent has been told this: When a bad thing happens and the patient reports it (of course not talking about criminal behavior) the parent is to reply on the order of ‘Yes, that was bad, but you seem to be okay’ and then the parent immediately is to redirect the conversation to pleasant things.

    So….I think ‘yes’ to this nation addressing its social problems and improving whatever can be improved. But I think ‘no’ to self-designation as a perpetual victim. In short the medical people are saying the equivalent of toughen up buttercup, move on, control yourself and your own thinking and behavior, step over stuff and carry on.

    You will all recognize this as cognitive-behavior theory and therapy, variations of which are said to be useful even in PTSD (nothing phony about the original traumas) and which utilizes some solid bases as to how minds work. Needless to say I have spent a number of hours reading on this these past few days. I believe in the value of what they are saying; it has been around for quite a while with some good outcomes to show for it.

    So, no, there are no perpetual victims at this house, no victims by definition regardless of observable criteria that could lead to that approach. The narrative has changed.

    The supervising psychiatrist is a young black woman originally from Alabama, and the counselor is a middle aged white man with a prosthetic limb. They seem to practice what they preach.

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  70. elastigirl,

    Because, as HUG would say, doctoral purity is supreme! Never mind what I, what is most important is reciting my specific doctrine. And therein lies the rub….. each flavor of Christainity has its own specific “distinctions” , and my distinctions are more holly than yours….
    When you have lived “in the church” for as long as I have, in mant different states, one can beging to see how many of these “distinctions” are very selfish ways of playing the school yard game: “ na na, I am better than you!”

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  71. Jeffrey J Chalmers:
    elastigirl,

    many of these “distinctions” are very selfish ways of playing the school yardgame: “ na na, I am better than you!”

    My interpretation of a lot of what I have seen in the churches (like you, across multiple states, different denominations and over many years) is that the kinds of agendas that are pursued by fallen image bearers in “the world outside the churches” — power, status, money, … sex, etc, etc — are also pursued by fallen image-bearers inside the churches. It’s another arena in which people pursue what they want.

    A major difference is that naked self-interest is harder to conceal and easier to spot outside the churches. Inside, it can be camouflaged with the language of “call”, “vision”, and justified with tendentious uses of the Biblical text.

    This is not to indiscriminately dump on churches or on church people. The great majority of the people I have met are kind, good-hearted people who genuinely want to love God and neighbour and who try to do that. I think they also tend — perhaps this is a property of good-heartedness — to be somewhat insensitive to the abuses of those who are “set over” them, perhaps in part because of the concealment issues.

    And there there is the biblical saying that “Love covers a multitude of misses” — sometimes unwisely.

    We need to be not only as gentle as doves, but as wise as serpents.

    Part of that wisdom, that I hope will become more widespread in future, is to recognize that there are deviant personality types — narcissists, sociopaths, etc — that are attracted to church office. We need to learn how to discover these people before they are granted authority to wreak havoc.

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  72. Originally young son had said maybe home by Friday and we were thinking they would bring him back where they picked up this bunch, a base in Morrisville near Raleigh. But, Wake County could be getting right damp and windy by then because of the hurricane, and the 449th being a CAB they might think they could dare the air and do it. You never know about some people. But no. Tomorrow at 1:00 in Greensboro. Whew! I am too old for this mess.

    So, not to offend anybody, but God bless America. May we solve our problems soon and with justice and mercy move on.

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  73. Samuel Conner,

    In case I may have raised hackles with my use of “deviant” in my final remark, I’ll note that every living person deviates from the true Image of God, which (as I understand it) is Jesus. We all sin and fall short of God’s glory. Some kinds of deviation seem more amenable to reformation or transformation than others (narcissists and sociopaths, for example, seem to be pretty obdurate personality types; not very changeable. These also seems to be true of paraphiliac personality types). And some kinds of deviation are more destructive than others when entrusted with authority and power.

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  74. Noevangelical: They would gather on the days that the food pantry was open, and go down to the church and interfere with the people coming to get their food.

    That is bonkers. And anti-evangelism. Also, probably a lot of the people getting food were Christians to began with. Sooo, all around bad.

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  75. Kathi:
    “Why can’t the Gospel and social justice be synergistic?”

    How can we deny that Christians should not be leading the way in social justice? Jesus spells it out in Matthew 25: 35-40:

    For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

    “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

    “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

    MacArthur is nothing more than a man puffed up with hot air.

    Exactly. Matthew 25: 31-46. Apparently it’s missing from some people’s Bibles. Which is pretty weird, because it’s a rather long passage!

    Stay safe, everyone!! Younger son is heading home here from Raleigh tomorrow. (We are just north of Winston-Salem.) Praying for everyone in Flo’s path.

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  76. Noevangelical: The rest of us slobs were always being compared to them, like “Why can’t you be more like your brother?” type of comparisons.

    I grew up with “Why can’t you be more like your brother?”
    Said brother was a charming NPD Sociopath who could lie and manipulate his way out of the Last Judgment.

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  77. Samuel Conner: In case I may have raised hackles with my use of “deviant” in my final remark…

    Especially when these days “deviant” always defaults to sexual kink.

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  78. Afterburne: A quote I came across that seems put it succinctly:
    “A black woman has some disadvantages because she’s a woman and some disadvantages because she’s black. She also has some disadvantages specifically because she’s a black woman, which neither black men nor white women have to deal with. That’s intersectionality; race, gender, and every other way to be disadvantaged interact with each other.”

    This is a really helpful description, actually. Thanks.

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  79. Benn:
    Daisy,

    Daisy, is that the same Donna Howell that has been on Jim Bakker show, andhas been speaking at conferences withJennifer Laclaire of the infamous sneaky squid spirit ????

    “Sneaky Squid Spirit”?
    WTF?
    Or is this the latest Spiritual Warfare fad?

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  80. Lea: Is that the one where they keep needing bigger and bigger spaceships? Because that was fantastically on point.

    That’s the one.
    “Bigger and bigger spaceships” paid for by Love Offering donations on the 700 Club, staged as word-for-word parodies of actual cry-on-cue “sacrificial giving or God can’t work” sales pitches.

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  81. okrapod: So….I think ‘yes’ to this nation addressing its social problems and improving whatever can be improved. But I think ‘no’ to self-designation as a perpetual victim.

    The problem I see with this is that if someone has *just* been attacked, or is still being hurt, they are not to the point where they can talk about being a survivor really. That is deep work, but it doesn’t come at the point of injury. I’m betting your therapist was dealing with the individual on their actual level. You have to heal from your injury before you can move on. You have to not be constantly revictimized, before you start talk about surviving. And people’s rate of healing is individualized too. It’s a process, not immediate.

    When we start talking about society wide issues, racism is still a thing. Sexism is still a thing. People are being hurt all the time. Just telling them not to be a victim might help in specific therapy sessions with people who are ready to move past trauma, but doesn’t solve anything for the wider world.

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  82. okrapod: perpetual victim

    I will also say, it’s the ‘perpetual’ part of this that is a problem, not the victim part. Victim is an objective word. If someone is a victim of a crime, we don’t try to guilt them into saying they weren’t. We just accept. A young man was killed in his own apartment recently. He was a victim. He doesn’t have the luxury of growing past it and becoming a survivor.

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  83. Lea: you see him soon and enjoy your time!

    It is not really time. He and his family live here in this town. This is coming home, not visiting. Home to be husband and father and son and brother and uncle and back to his civilian job and like he said his ‘place on the pew’. This is all of us getting back to normal and usual. I mean, I like him and all, but this is the end of a torn up year for all of us. And we are soooo ready for this to happen.

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  84. Lea,

    I understand what you are saying, but that is not how it works for lots of people in lots of situations.

    People often wake up from surgery and feel like survivors in the recovery room, especially if the surgeon tells them they will be okay. People complete cancer surgery and chemo and are declared ‘survivors’ officially even though the cancer is sure to be fatal in due time. When I had radiation they came around and officially gave us little pins declaring us cancer survivors even though all we had done was complete radiation. That survivor attitude facilitates optimum functioning. Watch the secular news. Somebody falls and sustains a really scary impalement on something which barely misses a vital structure and they are ‘survivors’ even while in the hospital. Physical rehab utilizes the idea of you can do it, no matter how difficult or long or discouraging because-winner/survivor.

    And let me say this. A person who sees themselves as victim potential, as compared to somebody who thinks you mess with me and you will wish you had not because I am not your victim-outcomes of that may be quite different.

    In the school where my daughter teaches, in a faculty of about 100, several of the very best are black and female-both-and preacher’s wives-and given honors classes in recognition of the quality of work they do. They could have focused on female and black, but they chose to focus on quality of work, and nobody messes with them. The principal does not mess with them. Self respect on steroids. Young daughter made sure that her oldest got two of them last year because-quality.

    Legal victimhood is certainly a thing. An attitude of ‘I am a victim’ as opposed to ‘I am a survivor and a force to be reckoned with’ can be self destructive, even while one is still in the hospital. And I suppose that everybody knows that this has been around for a long time; I first saw this attitude practiced professionally when I was in nurses training in the early fifties. That is why the nurse will drag the patient out of bed and into a chair moans and groans or not-physical necessity. You can do it; this will not stop you; here I will help you do it.

    Can everybody do it all the time? Of course not. Does that lessen the value of it when properly used? I think not.

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  85. okrapod: The supervising psychiatrist is a young black woman originally from Alabama, and the counselor is a middle aged white man with a prosthetic limb. They seem to practice what they preach.

    Um ya, sounds like they learned from gospelly preachers how to take money from victims after telling them to stop whining. It would be nice though if they only charged as much as Bob Newhart did: https://vimeo.com/97370236

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  86. Afterburne:
    Jesus in Luke 4:18 states “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed,”

    You should understand that Macarthur Calvinists and New Calvinists do not believe this would be a definition of the “Gospel” (and they are the only ones I usually see capitalizing that word).

    They define “Gospel” as God saving the elect and damning the rest of humanity to hell. Jesus is an atonement, but the rarely make much mention of Jesus or His words at all. They often have a very strong focus on Old Testament law and only use the NT for proof texting verses like in Romans about predestination or Ephesians 5 for complementarianism.

    The New Calvinists go even further (as do some of Macarthur’s minions) to say that patriarchy is a central point in the “Gospel” because their system of authoritarianism, some are more “elect” than others. In other words, as Mohler said, some pastors and elders are God’s “elite” (and he used that word). Husbands enforcing their authority on their wives and families, and pastors enforcing their authority on church members is a way of proving who is really elect or not. And they claim to know who is and who isn’t.

    As far as I can tell, the statement on social justice defines social justice by marriage and LGBTQ+ issues only. That makes little sense to me. So while I think most of Macarthur’s “elect” would believe themselves above the poor and downtrodden and consider them not worth helping because they believe God has damned them, I don’t think that’s what this statement is about. I think it’s another Nashville statement on marriage, but is directly attacking Mohler and Moore’s moderate platforms on LGBTQ+.

    I will add that I don’t believe Mohler and Moore care one bit about gay people. There’s something political going on there that I’m sure we’ll hear more about in the future.

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  87. Samuel Conner: We all sin and fall short of God’s glory.

    Yeah, for sure, I can dig it.
    But nowhere, lemme’ repeat, Nowhere, does it say that I’m obligated or expected to match God’s glory and munificence.

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  88. okrapod: Can everybody do it all the time? Of course not. Does that lessen the value of it when properly used? I think not.

    I think some people have more of an ability to bounce back, and others should not be looked down on if they don’t. We know that some people are more susceptible to things like PTSD, because of adverse life events or other risk factors. They might have to work harder at it.

    I don’t have any issues with people addressing this in therapy, because the therapist is going to be aware (hopefully!) of the particular circumstances and temperament of that individual and address them with compassion, but when someone (and I’m speaking of people like MacArthur not your comments) makes blanket statements about how wrong it is for people to be ‘victims’ or have a victim attitude when they try to call out real issues that have happened to them? That’s counterproductive imo.

    Can we never talk about things that have been done to us in an effort to see that they may not happen to others? I would think that could be part of proper healing strategy, to get to the point of ‘survivor’. Just as getting your day in court oftens helps victims of crimes process and move on. Because somebody has heard them. Many people simply need to be heard.

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  89. Headless Unicorn Guy: “Sneaky Squid Spirit”?
    WTF?
    Or is this the latest Spiritual Warfare fad?
    H-U-G

    Jenifer Laclaire is a modern day charismatic prophetess, that is really out there..

    None of her prophesy ever comes to pass, but she still takes the $$$$$$ and buy beach front property in California
    I was alluding to the link about the author of the a book mentioned, and how I wouldn’t put much stock in anyone that would be caught on stage with the gal that had the sneaky squid spirit prophecy.

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  90. Lowlandseer:

    I think you’re wrong about their concern (or lack of) for social justice. Kevin de Young has just published an interesting article on the subject over on the TGCwebsite

    https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevin-deyoung/social-justice-gospel-issue/

    I don’t think everyone in TGC agrees on that issue. But I don’t think everyone who writes for TGC holds to all/most New Calvinist beliefs.

    When I see Mohler and Moore going out of their way to reach out or care for the poor and downtrodden, I will believe they are honest about it. I’ve heard, with my own ears, New Calvinists talk about how there’s no point in being generous to anyone outside their group because God damned them after life and the elect should treat them as damned.

    But I’ll also be honest and say that I believe many of these celebrity pastors lie about their beliefs. As we saw with Macarthur, what he said in his “private” seminary sermon was very different from what he has said publicly. Nor would I believe Kevin deYoung.

    Macarthur’s statement wasn’t a really a statement on “social justice”. It’s a statement on marriage. The title got attention, but I don’t think it was accurate in terms of content.

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  91. ishy: Nor would I believe Kevin deYoung.

    I straight up don’t like him because of all his complementarian focus and honestly, I think these guys agree 100% with that whole section of the statement, they just don’t want to be viewed as racist.

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  92. One thing often missed about intersectionality is that it’s a neutral term. John Macarthur is just as much an exemplar of it as some LGBTQ person of color raised in poverty. Does anyone think that being white, male, and the son and grandson of established Christian pastors did not make a synergistic contribution to his current comforts and accomplishments? He might have gotten there anyway, but the odds would have been way longer and he could have picked up some compassion along way. When he is able to acknowledge all that, leaving out any preening about being one of the chosen, I might listen to him on the perils of victimhood.

    I just finished helping with a short memoir written by a family member who grew up black, female, and poor in rural Mississippi, during Jim Crow. She never once portrays herself as a victim, and she built a good life. But I have also seen the accumulated burden on generations of her family — from going to schools that got the bedraggled castoffs from the already substandard white schools, from teachers with barely a high school education themselves, from the stress of wondering if a wrong step or glance might get you lynched, from no access to the therapy and support that can help turn victims into survivors, and from the racism that did not vanish from view when they moved north.

    It’s not any lack of intellect or work ethic that has kept most of her branch of the family less educated and less secure than my side (which looks a lot more like Macarthur’s). Even in old age and ill health, she keeps an open door to those in need. She can no longer run her women’s ministry at her church, so she posts her encouragement daily on Facebook. Always, always, it’s about compassion, support, and gratitude. My remaining patience with Christianity is due to people like her.

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  93. westerner: But I have also seen the accumulated burden on generations of her family

    Yes, all one has to do is follow lineages to see how that works. Career people beget career people. It isn’t mysterious or because some lines are smarter than others. For example, I know that my patriarchal heritage negatively affected my kids’ opportunities simply because I did not “know the ropes” that would give them a competing edge in the college and career world.

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  94. Patti: For example, I know that my patriarchal heritage negatively affected my kids’ opportunities simply because I did not “know the ropes” that would give them a competing edge in the college and career world.

    I have several friends who are insistent that their kids have to go to a Christian college. As someone who attended one, I highly recommend against it. The primary reason is that nobody outside of fundagelicalism respects a Christian college degree. If you want them to have a better chance of succeeding, send them to a secular university. Maybe there’s a few Christian colleges that are not to bad academically, but it won’t matter how good they are, because the perception is quite strong that they are not. And it’s perception that gets people hired.

    The other reasons I hear mostly have to do with protecting their son or daughter. Any parent who thinks a Christian college is going to keep their kid from “falling into sin” is deluding themselves. Especially if those kids have been sheltered their whole lives. They can get away with whatever they want. And, they are not going to be protected from bullying students, teachers, and general life issues. There were way more bullies at the Christian college I attended than at the secular university I went to.

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  95. Muff Potter: Yeah, for sure, I can dig it.
    But nowhere, lemme’ repeat, Nowhere, does it say that I’m obligated or expected to match God’s glory and munificence.

    One might make the case that Jesus lays a burden of that kind in His “be … even as the Father is …” sayings. “Be merciful …”, “Be perfect …”. It appears to me that Jesus intensifies the ethical demands one finds in OT Law.

    I intuit that you are referring to “qualification for salvation.” I don’t think my counterexamples interfere with your objection; Paul seems to think that unbelieving Gentiles can, through perseverance in doing good, pursue immortality. I am no longer as confident of my understanding of the NT as I once was.

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  96. ishy,

    I had wanted to go to a christian college because: boys. Like perhaps good pickings for a husband. Never happened though-secular schools. Ah, the fantasies of youth.

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  97. Something that is often overlooked in discussion of “victims” is permanent damage and ongoing injuries. The discussion is often framed around a point in time or one incident. Someone badly burned, physically, may never be able to stand in the nice warm sun again, because it feels like acid on their healed skin – and it would be absolutely cruel to exhort them to “get some sun, your so pale, here I’ll drag you into the sun”. The equivalent can occur in the emotional, mental and spiritual realms – permanent damage that means permanent limits.

    Then there is ongoing damage, continuous injury. Again using the sun as something that most people adore, like to spend time around when it’s not too hot – there is a genetic disorder that results in NO ability to repair the skin and DNA damage the sun does constantly, an allergy to the sun. Skin peels off, massive cancers, you do not want to go in the sun, for the sake of your very life. To shame this one for not going in the sun, or forcing them to go in the sun, or specifically setting up the areas they have to work, sleep or exist in to be sun-drenched would also be horrible and cruel.

    “Victim” has to include discussion of differences – differences of previous experience (horrible burns), inherent limits (genetic sun allergy), reactions of others (does that burn victim now either face being treated like Freddy Krueger if they go out barefaced, or stereotyped as Islamic if they choose to wear veils) and exclusion due to systems (like that sun-drenched workplace).

    There also needs to be some awareness that not everyone is like me, and that my “kindness” in dragging my poor burned friend into the nice warm sun is in fact abject cruelty. And this applied to the physical, mental, emotional, relational, social, legal, spiritual – all aspects. Is is good to focus on the injuries? Heck yeah, if we’re trying to heal them (instead of just tell the person with a broken leg to quit whining and keep running) or we’re trying to scream at the beach bunny trying to drag her burned friend out onto the beach or we’re convincing HR that, no, actually Kathy does NOT do well in a sun-drenched workspace and does need entirely artificial light. Why do we do it? So everyone can thrive and be part of the community whatever their experiences, limits, or other other’s limits of them.

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  98. ishy: The primary reason is that nobody outside of fundagelicalism respects a Christian college degree.

    You know it is not just fundamentalists and evangelicals who have christian colleges. I would hate to see the f and e crowd spoil it for everyone else. But the price for a private college is not worth it-I guess-since we don’t have the money to send the g’kids anywhere but to state schools and that if they commute. We have in this town a formerly Baptist university which costs a fortune and as far as I can tell the draw is just that-you get to mingle with people who can afford that sort of thing. Social stratification. “Our kind.” The denoms can probably find better use for their monies.

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  99. okrapod: You know it is not just fundamentalists and evangelicals who have christian colleges.

    There are lots of private colleges with a Christian background that are well respected and properly accredited. They tend to be more like regular private universities in a lot of ways, regardless of religious affiliation. I’m guessinggoing to a gtown or Baylor is different from going to liberty in a lot of ways. Our smallish Baptist college seems to have been sort of strict (they weren’t supposed to go party with the college across the street) but people still respect the degree itself. So probably it depends.

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  100. GreekEpigraph,

    I have trouble understanding what all the talk is about forcing people to do something which would be harmful. Operative word ‘harmful’. If you have to get out of beg to prevent vascular clots it is not harmful to do so, referring to my previous comments about nurses getting people out of bed. Nobody in health care is advocating forcing anybody to do anything harmful. If preachers are doing that, somebody else will have to deal with it. I am not responsible for what preachers say or do; I am first and last in health care-toddler to old lady this is who I am.

    Now as to what I wanted to say. I used to work for a branch of the federal government, and among the many trainings we had one was about handicapped people in the workplace. This was not about religion-at all. So we were told to never mention or use any word that applied to the handicap, as if we did not notice it. They called them not ‘disabled’ but rather ‘other abled’ and the extremes to which they went were, well, extreme. This was the administrative branch of the Dept of Veteran’s Affairs and they hired ‘other abled’ vets when they could. The idea of identifying people as ‘disabled’ was the great no-no.

    This idea of rehab of folks, both physical and emotional, is with us to stay. It is not going to be that those who can benefit from as much rehab and therapy as they can get will be denied it merely because it might not apply to all. Some people may be irretrievably damaged, and nobody is trying to force them into anything-at least not in medicine.

    So what about those who could benefit from rehab/ therapy but who do not want to do it. There are those, and that is a recognized problem in many?all? venues. If they can but do not want to then effectively they cannot. That is their choice. But it would not be fair or just or merciful, to use terms we have been using recently, to deny that those who can benefit from this or that and who want to do so the opportunity to do it. Think John McCain, torture survivor, maverick, senator, warrior to the end. How he did that I do not know, but he did. Some can. There is better attitude and there are more therapies available now. There is still a long way to go but the gov even right now is talking about the PTSD problem and how to effectively help the most vets.

    And no, the religionists do not get to control the discussion. People need to get past thinking that they do.

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  101. okrapod:
    GreekEpigraph,

    I have trouble understanding what all the talk is about forcing people to do something which would be harmful.Operative word ‘harmful’.If you have to get out of beg to prevent vascular clots it is not harmful to do so, referring to my previous comments about nurses getting people out of bed.Nobody in health care is advocating forcing anybody to do anything harmful.

    ———-

    Sometimes that’s a hard line to draw. Not with your example, but many situations are less clear cut. One thought-provoking book is Extreme Measures (not the movie by that name) by Jessica Zitter, a trauma doc. She had been rethinking some of the medical heroics she used to promote across the board.

    Okrapod:

    And no, the religionists do not get to control the discussion. People need to get past thinking that they do.
    </blockquote
    Amen to that

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  102. Westerner: rethinking some of the medical heroics

    That would be hard. There are some laws and ethical guidelines of course, but with a dying unconscious patient and no family to make the decisions-hard and hard.

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  103. Okrapod, just using physical examples (admittedly hopefully extreme) to illustrate ongoing issues that might be caught and dismissed under the “victim” label – ones that do require understanding that interventions may be required, not just “quit calling yourself a victim and get on with it” response, as JMac suggests.

    And yes, I am also glad that religionists are not doing the defining, or my non-verbal wheelchair bound sister still would not be able to access public buildings. Yay for disability supports in construction!

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  104. GreekEpigraph,

    I am so sorry about your sister. I am thinking that she is fortunate to have you for a sibling; you seem wise and compassionate. I don’t know what is your sister’s problem but I had a first cousin who had severe CP from birth. They were able to help him some with appropriate therapy, but of course there was no cure or even much response to treatment. It was hard on everybody.

    Have you had someone try to demand from her what she cannot do? How did you handle it? You don’t have to answer if the information is personal and would not help anybody; just giving you the opportunity to if you want to.

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  105. It’s unusual for someone to demand that someone as obviously profoundly disabled as my sister “pull up her socks”, so to speak. The experience of one of my other cousins comes to mind though – she is also severely disabled but she and her parents struggled for her to walk and talk and be mainstreamed – but she walks “different” and talks “different” and doesn’t “do as well”. She noted that it would have been easier if she had been more obviously disabled (wheelchair user), as there would have been less bullying and less “if you just tried harder, you could”, including well-meaning but in the end merely cruel attempts to force her to just do it right, when she was already working at or even beyond her capabilities.

    I fed disabled children in the facility my sister was in short-term, when I was ten – children who were left to watch TV. My sister couldn’t bear the sound of a TV for years after that, so yes, I have a bit wider perspective of the parts of life that just don’t fit the pull up your socks narrative.

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  106. OTOH, it was not uncommon for Christians to blame my mother for not having enough faith to see my sister healed. When we had a therapy program that required volunteers, the ones that came and stayed for years were uniformly NOT the people of faith – those would come for a short period but leave when “nothing was getting better”. Her therapy kept her alive . .

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  107. Lowlandseer,

    Wow, first time since my deconstruction I’ve agreed with portions of what DeYoung has to say. Until these people stop mistreating their own church members with membership contracts, biblical counseling, sin leveling, etc., I’ll have an extremely hard time taking any of them seriously. I guess this showed me that an individual piece of writing can be good even when coming from a source I don’t trust

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  108. Jerome:
    MacArthur’s Study Bible was also released in the new NIV several years ago:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xwaLzuzg8Y

    MACARTHUR: “over 15 years ago when the first issue of the MacArthur Study Bible came out in the NKJV I was ecstatic…this was just a monumental moment in my life…here we are over 15 years later and another monumental moment has happened in the development of the MacArthur Study Bible. Pretty exciting to think about it going to the NAS and the ESV…and finally, and I’m so grateful for this, it’s reached the NIV…I’m so thankful for the folks at Nelson who pulled it off and who worked to make it a reality”

    Jmac, as I understand, waited for permission to use any and all study notes and commentary that he felt was necessary in companion to the NIV translation, me thinks that is why it took so long for the NIV study Bible..

    As an aside the 2011 version of the NIV is one of the top 2-3 versions going, (IMHO)…..

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  109. ishy: You should understand that Macarthur Calvinists and New Calvinists do not believe this would be a definition of the “Gospel” (and they are the only ones I usually see capitalizing that word).

    They define “Gospel” as God saving the elect and damning the rest of humanity to hell.

    And guess on which side of the divide they place themselves?

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  110. “rethinking some of the (medical) heroics”
    ++++++++++++++++

    what about rethinking emotional heroics, or hard times heroics?

    my sibling and dad have been caregivers for our mom for a few years . it has been so hard. devastating to our emotional health, physical health, ability to sleep, to every aspect of our lives.

    my dad has been caught up in spiritual heroics to a certain degree.

    based on principles from a lifetime in christian culture, he did not permit himself any attitude except for positive and upbeat. grateful. joyful. Rejoice in the Lord always. Persevere.

    he believed it was the only appropriate way to be for an uncompromising christian. (and i think he partly found gratification in being a christian hero).

    the pressures and burdens and grief and fear he carried were enormous. his beliefs, which had been pounded in to him his whole life, did not permit him to feel, to vent the pressure, to be honest with himself or others what he was experiencing. no feelings other than joy and gratitude were permitted.

    he wound up with some serious health issues, which i believe were in large part caused by suppressing all this.

    he could be viewed as a victim of circumstances. but in the mindset of his christian culture,’victimhood’ (the state of being a victim) is imcompatible with faith.

    victim: a person harmed, injured, or killed as a result of a crime, accident, or other event or action.

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  111. GreekEpigraph,

    That thing about people blaming you mother is hard to even listen to. No telling how much that hurt her. Back when I was in school ‘childhood schizophrenia’ was thought to be due or partly due to maternal rejection, even if the mother had no idea of that. It was a horror to watch people being told that they had ‘done this’ to their child.

    You also have had to deal with a lot of difficult things. I am glad you are here and can talk about it. There are people who can’t even talk about it; for you to share this is bound to be a light in dark for some who read here. May the day come when better solutions are found, but until them I am so glad you are here and talking about this.

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  112. Ricco: Until these people stop mistreating their own church members with membership contracts, biblical counseling, sin leveling, etc., I’ll have an extremely hard time taking any of them seriously.

    And let’s not forget lying to defend good buddies of theirs like C.J. At least, I don’t plan on letting them forget it.

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  113. linda: Maybe I misread the statement, but it seems they are calling for real justice rather than social justice. Each person in each incident deserves justice, but it does me no good today to continually pick at the scabs of what the Danes did well over a thousand years ago…

    Justice? Always!!!!! Social justice based on belonging to some victim group??? Counterproductive.

    I find it hard to accept that MacArthur is calling for anything like individual justice, considering his refusal to give justice to at least two *individual* women who accuse him of covering up for men who raped them.

    Even harder when I learn that he said this in Part 1 of the sermon series that led to the now-famous statement:

    “Let me make it clear. In God’s eyes – listen – no one is a victim. We are all perpetrators of open rebellion, scandalous, blasphemous sin against God.”

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  114. Serving Kids in Japan: Even harder when I learn that he said this in Part 1 of the sermon series that led to the now-famous statement:

    “Let me make it clear. In God’s eyes – listen – no one is a victim. We are all perpetrators of open rebellion, scandalous, blasphemous sin against God.”

    May the word go out throughout the land, and let it free one human being at a time from this sick and twisted religion.

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  115. ishy:
    I’ve heard, with my own ears, New Calvinists talk about how there’s no point in being generous to anyone outside their group because God damned them after life and the elect should treat them as damned.
    /blockquote>
    The more I hear of New Calvinism the more turned off I get. I suppose that means I was not pre-selected as one of the “elect” at the beginning of time so that I never stood a chance according to these guys even though I am a Christian (just not the right one). And how do these guys know that anyone outside their group is not one of the “elect” waiting to hear about new calvinism so they can become elect. Do they proselytize to the homeless and needy before they give them charity and those who reject new calvinism receive nothing? And how do women fit into this? Matt Chandler of the Village Church is on record saying that he mostly “teaches to the men” so it does not appear that women are very important to this group. Is that woman who did not want to stay married to a pedophile and subjected to church discipline still a member of the “elect” after she left that church? Or was she never considered one of the elect to begin with even though they sent her to the mission field? Their whole doctrine just does not make sense and it certainly isn’t in line with what Jesus taught.

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  116. Muff Potter: Yeah, for sure, I can dig it.
    But nowhere, lemme’ repeat, Nowhere, does it say that I’m obligated or expected to match God’s glory and munificence.

    That’s right. And when we are told to ‘be perfect, as your Father who is in heaven is perfect’ it helps to do a word study in order to understand what we are being told. I have fought with perfectionism my entire life, as I struggled to be what I thought God wanted me to be, and then as I struggled to not lay my baggage upon my children.

    Imagine my surprise, and delight, to discover that the Greek and Hebrew have much broader meanings than what is reflected in the English. The word ‘perfect’ essentially means ‘nothing which belongs left out’, with possible meanings including ‘complete’, ‘intact’ and ‘healthy’. In other words, all of my life I was trying to be like God, which I can never be, when all God really wants is for me to be what he did make me to be. He desires to redeem us, to make us once again healthy and whole, so that each of us can reach our unique, creative potential, just as he did in his creative acts.

    How often are we misled by distorted interpretations and meanings into defeated, destructive mindsets that can rob us of peace, meaning and joy? God wants – and knows – what is the ultimate best for us! It is not about us not being ‘good enough’. It never was.

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  117. Ricco: I guess this showed me that an individual piece of writing can be good even when coming from a source I don’t trus

    Calvin was great at this. He could write very insightful stuff, interspersed with his nonsense.

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  118. TS00: Calvin … could write very insightful stuff, interspersed with his nonsense.

    Aberrant theology employs the 80:20 rule. A believer is drawn in by the 80% which rings true, but leaves you exposed to the 20% which subtly indoctrinates you with error and keeps you from reaching your spiritual potential.

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