A Letter From Jules Woodson to Steve Bradley, Stonebridge Church (SBC). It’s Time for the SBC to Respond.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Most people, if they know they have done wrong, foolishly suppose they can conceal their error by defending it, and finding a justification for it; but in my belief there is only one medicine for an evil deed, and that is for the guilty man to admit his guilt and show that he is sorry for it. Such an admission will make the consequences easier for the victim to bear, and the guilty man himself, by plainly showing his distress at former transgressions, will find good grounds of hope for avoiding similar transgressions in the future.”
Arrian, The Campaigns of Alexander


 

Ever since the Houston Chronicle expose of the serious and widespread coverup of child sex abuse in the SBC, I’ve been waiting for the SBC powers that be to say something about Steve Bradley and Stonebridge Church. I’ve also been waiting for Steve Bradley to show care and concern to Jules Woodson. Most of the world recognizes Jules as the face of the #churchtoo movement since her story was first exposed by TWW and Watchkeep in January 2018. Andy Savage was the man who molested Woodson when she was a high school student at that church which was formerly named Woodlands ParkwayBaptist Church.

That story led two pastors, Andy Savage and Larry Cotton who were at Woodsons’ church to step down from their current churches. Steve Bradley has refused to respond to Jules’ situation although was the senior pastor and responsible for the actions of Savage and Cotton. Bradley continues to be the senior pastor at Stonebridge, the new name for the Woodlands Parkway Baptist Church.

Bradley has made one comment, recorded in the Houston Chronicle, and since then has refused to come out of hiding.

Neither Bradley nor a StoneBridge spokesperson responded this week to a request for comment. In a January statement, Bradley said that the church was “heartbroken 20 years ago when this happened and we remain heartbroken.”

But he also said it is “simply not accurate” to say “that I or anyone else on the staff at StoneBridge Church participated in a conspiracy to cover-up this sexual misconduct.”

It appears that Steve Bradley is attempting to avoid dealing with his responsibility for the cover up of Jules Woodsons’ well documented molestation at the hands on one of Bradley’s underlings. However, efforts to contact those who are currently responsible for Bradley’s actions is difficult. His church does not have a board of elders. There are so called *Directors* but it is near impossible to get their names, let alone their contact information. Frankly, in 10 years of writing about abuse, I’ve never seen an SBC church with such a secretive leadership. This is highly irregular. Who’s in charge?

I am requesting that the SBC investigate Steve Bradley and the response, current and past, of Stonebridge/Woodlands Parkway Baptist Church. It is curious to me that the SBC appears to have sidestepped this church, especially in light of the Houston Chronicle coverage of Woodson’s molestation. This is a wealthy and well connected SBC church which probably contributes lots of money to the national organization as well as cozying up to SBC leadership.

Let’s see if the SBC leadership is up to the task or if they are merely promoting optics.

I am concerned that the SBC will ignore SBC churches which have been involved in coverup and, instead, *do education.* Education is fine. However, I believe that most churches in the SBC are well aware of their responsibilities in this matter. Eventually, the SBC must act to *decooperate,* or *defellowship* or whatever term it is the lawyers tell them to use to promote *autonomy* which ends up promoting *We can’t do a thing and that is a relief.*
Steve Bradley must respond. He was the man in charge then and he must take responsibility for what happened to Jules. It appears that Bradley has no intention of doing so. This letter is the last attempt to encourage him to act like a pastor and do the right thing.

 

15th May 2019
Steve Bradley
Senior Pastor, StoneBridge Church
One StoneBridge Drive
The Woodlands, TX 77382

Dear Steve,

Although it has been over 20 years since we last communicated, I have really held out hope that at some point you would have made it a priority to reach out to me. That has not happened, and so I am writing you in an effort to try and bring closure. Despite the fact you’ve had many opportunities to do so, especially since January when I went public with my story, you have made no attempts to personally apologize and right the many wrongs that have caused me so much pain. Your continued silence and lack of integrity in addressing this situation is beyond heartbreaking, not only to me but to my family as well.

Over the past 11 months you have made only two public statements…One was to Channel 2 News in Houston and the other was posted to your website but has since been removed. Both of these statements were retraumatizing as they minimized what happened, were misleading about facts, denied a cover-up, and denied an effort to silence me. You continue to decline to take full responsibility, as well as be held accountable, for the many failures made by you and the church. From these statements it is clear that you either don’t understand the devastating effects clergy sexual abuse has on victims, as well as how the mishandling of such abuse compounds the existing trauma, or you just don’t care…Both of which are extremely dangerous and ignorant positions to take as senior pastor of a church.

Your lack of compassion towards me as I have tried to seek closure and healing for the physical, emotional, and spiritual abuse I suffered as a member of your congregation has been reprehensible. This was my church and you, Larry, and Andy were my pastors and spiritual leaders…I trusted you all. You have no idea the despair, isolation, and self devastation I’ve experienced because I was thrown under the bus, not just for Andy’s sake, but for your sake, and the reputation of the church. Though I, and others, have continued to plea for justice and accountability regarding the ways my abuse was so wrongly handled, it has been to no avail. Therefore, I am reaching out personally with the hope of gaining some understanding and healing for the many ways in which you have failed me.  Below is a list of questions I have struggled with for so long and I would very much appreciate you taking the time to respond.

  • Why did you not immediately call the police when you learned of my abuse?
  • Were you/are you aware that in the state of Texas, clergy are mandated reporters of child sexual abuse
  • Why did you not immediately pull Andy from his position on staff when I first reported my abuse?
  • Why did you allow Andy to resign instead of firing him?
  • Why were you not transparent and honest with the congregation that Andy had sexually abused a minor in the youth group?
  • Why did you, nor anyone on staff, ever reach out to me after I reported the abuse to offer support, help, or to ask me what I wanted and needed?
  • Why did you allow and/or think it was appropriate to throw Andy a going away party at the church?
  • Why did you not inform anyone at Germantown Baptist Church about my abuse when Andy was hired on staff there?
  • Why did you think it was appropriate, and even go so far as to call a meeting with my Mom and Stepdad asking for their blessing, to bring Andy back on staff at the church?
  • Why, when my Mother and Stepdad adamantly said NO at that meeting, did you not realize that the initial situation remained unresolved?
  • Why have you and the church not offered to conduct and submit to a third party investigation as Austin Stone did with Larry and Highpoint did with Andy?
  • Why do you feel you are above reproach and qualified to pastor a congregation when you have repeatedly failed to handle my abuse in a lawful and ethical manner?

Though you have refused to respond to other people’s attempts to dialogue with you regarding the ways you have mishandled my abuse, my prayer is that by reaching out to you personally, you will finally choose to handle things differently. I have been deeply wounded by your words and actions from 20 years ago and continuing to this day. I sincerely request that you respond to my inquiries not only with honesty but with empathy as well.

Respectfully,

Jules Woodson


Comments

A Letter From Jules Woodson to Steve Bradley, Stonebridge Church (SBC). It’s Time for the SBC to Respond. — 78 Comments

  1. RE:“Most people, if they know they have done wrong, foolishly suppose they can conceal their error by defending it, and finding a justification for it; but in my belief there is only one medicine for an evil deed, and that is for the guilty man to admit his guilt and show that he is sorry for it. Such an admission will make the consequences easier for the victim to bear, and the guilty man himself, by plainly showing his distress at former transgressions, will find good grounds of hope for avoiding similar transgressions in the future.”
    ― Arrian, The Campaigns of Alexander

    Makes me think of Felicity Huffman coming forward and admitting her guilt in the Varsity Blues scandal while Lori Loughlin (a Christian) and her husband defiantly pleading no guilt. I have far more respect for a shame filled Felicity accepting the responsibility and consequences for her choices. She will find ‘good grounds of hope for avoiding similar transgressions in the future.’

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  2. In general, which Scripture verses do these churches use to defend their actions.

    To this specific church, not addressing Jules and then asking her parents for permission to allow the pedophile to return was assaulting her again and again.

    My pedophile stepfather, my younger sisters and brother’s father, died only then did I start getting relief.

    To survive, you get to learn the pedophile playbook. From my knowledge, Stonebridge just said to all pedoohiles that their church is a target rich environment.

    Even with new SBC procedures, if the pedophile knows he won’t get reported, all the children in that church are at risk.

    It will much easier for the pedophile to make coercive threats to the children, to keep their crimes silent.

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  3. “Frankly, in 10 years of writing about abuse, I’ve never seen an SBC church with such a secretive leadership. This is highly irregular. Who’s in charge?”

    How bizarre for a church to have secret leadership! Who/what are they hiding from??

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  4. The abusing and molestation children create an anxiety and anger in them, which can become destructive as an adult. Referencing Ephesians 6, we’re not supposed to be bringing our children to “wrath”.

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  5. Brian:
    Would holding prayer vigils outside of these churches, like what’s done outside of Planned Parenthood now, help in combating the abuse and the denial of it?

    They’ll have the cops there in a heartbeat. What’s good for the Planned Parenthood goose is unacceptable for the SBC gander.

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  6. Eeyore,

    Has it been tried before?

    We pray for people’s health to improve. We pray for someone to repent and come to Jesus, to turn away from drug/alcohol abuse, illegal behaviors. The same should apply to a local congregation. No placards, just outside on the sidewalk praying for them. Just thinking aloud.

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  7. When the clergy doesn’t think of themselves as servants of the flock, but rather leaders who “cast a vision” for the church, they behave less as shepherds and more like taskmasters. A shepherd would not have protected a predator at the expense of his victim. I don’t know what’s going on in those churches that keeps the people and money coming, but it is not of Christ.

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  8. The idea of holding a prayer vigil is…well…sweet. well-meaning. And naive.If you haven’t fought the long fight with conservative Christianity, the “guys in charge” and their entrenched, heels-dug-in refusal to deal with the reality of sexual abuse, clergy abuse, and power-and-control behavior in Churches, how would you know that these men are more concerned about protecting men and protecting the reputation of the church (and, they think, the reputation of God) than they are about protecting children and believing women.
    A prayer vigil would be seen as an attack. Against men and the church. I agree, they would call the police and play the victim card immediately.

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  9. Jules, you have written well. Keep putting the letter “out there” until you receive a decent answer. Your story breaks my heart. A going away party indeed… You may not know this, but your letter has reached me in Australia, via a Facebook share. I will share it with my friends in Australia and New Zealand.

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  10. Stonebridge’s “Core Values”- my comments inserted and start with a “>>”

    Being Real
    Creating a safe environment where you can come as you are.
    >> FAIL to be safe for Jules, then or now.

    Godly Friendships
    Connecting with each other to pray, laugh, cry together, and to encourage each other in our walks with Jesus.
    >> FAIL to connect with Jules, then or now.

    Practical Teaching
    Challenging each other to apply God’s Word to our real lives, right now.
    >> FAIL by Steve to apply God’s Word to his real ife, right now.

    Serving Others
    Living outside of ourselves by opening our eyes to needs around us and acting to meet them.
    >> FAIL by Steve to see needs of Julies and her family to meet them.

    The Next Generation
    Each generation investing in the one behind so that we effectually pass on our faith.
    >> FAIL to invest in Jules and her children…

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  11. There are answers to these questions. They are not difficult. It’s simple, these ‘men of God’ are afraid of a woman who has lefted herself out of the dark hole of doubt, fear and self-hate. They can’t face the painful truth of their misplaced institutional protective nature.They are intoxicated with their false power. Their comfortable position of a high seat has a strangle hold on them.

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  12. JP: protecting children and believing women.

    How about protecting anyone abused? I couldn’t give a fig if they are believers or not. It would be just as wrong if this abuse had happened to a non believing teen!

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  13. JP: A prayer vigil would be seen as an attack. Against men and the church. I agree, they would call the police and play the victim card immediately.

    I’m starting to like this idea. Livestream it. Bring children. Give the children sweet little hand-painted signs that say things like “Jesus wants me to be safe in church.” Alert the media. Hold hands and sing hymns. If the church calls the police, refuse to leave, lie down, and make them drag everybody into the black maria.

    My only question is who would organize this. It would have to be done with Jules Woodson’s approval if not per presence.

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  14. Brian,

    “Would holding prayer vigils outside of these churches, like what’s done outside of Planned Parenthood now, help in combating the abuse and the denial of it?”
    ++++++++++++++++++++

    why not signs and many, many people? a bullhorn…

    what’s wrong with protest? (i seem to remember T4G making a thing about Protest in the word Protestant at their 2016 conference.)

    i have reached my limit with christians co-opting prayer as a passive vehicle for some other purpose.

    to make a public statement, for instance, like making a scene of praying at restaurants. the purpose is not to be thankful and express it to God — it is to draw attention to oneself. to advertise, to broadcast a message that says “we’re spiritual and you’re not. shame on you.”

    seems to me it is very dishonest to use prayer as a means of protest.

    protest honestly.

    …and that’s what i think about that.

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  15. __

    Toppled Religious Dominos: “The SBC Watchmen On The Wall Hath Failed Abused Women, Perhaps?”

    hmmm…

    Jules,

    hey,

    We are certainly a long way from frozen yogurt, huh?

    (sadface)

    May you know Him who is true.

    May you yet receive speedy relief, justice, & closure.

    Please hold fast to what you have in Jesus, so that no one or no thing may seize your joy.

    Pastor Steve Bradley: “if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will restore it fourfold…”

    “Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!”

    ATB

    Sòpy

    Intermission:
    Grupul Estelle: “Thy loving kindness…”
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JQvfJnESbT4
    Reference:
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yu-ICnjoBC8

    ;~)§

    – –

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  16. Anyone old like me remember Rush Limbaugh’s “Dan’s Bake Sale”?? People came out in droves it got huge even before texting. Why not a public protest outside??? I guarantee you the staff would HAVE to address it!!! Wish I lived over there…..

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  17. Brian,

    I don’t know the answer but I appreciate the question. I think the big dogs expect the little people to fade into the woodwork if they are ignored long enough or fed enough slick lines. Time to flip the script and grab the mic from those with lying, dishonorable,abusive or enabling agendas. Way past enough is enough!

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  18. elastigirl,

    Placards and bullhorns would make it a protest.

    Holding a prayer meeting in another area church? Coordinate with other churches across the country/globe. Something along the lines of the U.S. National Day of Prayer. Pray for all the current victims and survivors of childhood abuse and molestation. Also pray the churches and institutions to gain the wisdom to combat it.This could be live streamed. Maybe I’m reinventing the wheel. Again, thinking aloud.

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  19. elastigirl,

    Brian,

    Brian, were you suggesting prayer as a means of protest or of changing the situation through corporate prayer?

    If the former then yeah, let’s just get a bullhorn and protest.

    But if you reality meant to suggest we should pray as a community on site as a means to bring about spiritual breakthrough then I say that’s a good suggestion.

    I’ve seen God answer corporate prayer many times and in startling ways. And I don’t mean prayer for the sick to be healed. I mean prayer for justice for the opressed, removal of corrupt officials, and truth to be uncovered. I would join you but I don’t live anywhere near Texas.

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  20. elastigirl,

    Just caught up with the discussion. Several ways to do this. Have some people gather at the church in question and lead the prayer with streaming live. Simultaneously run have a group Zoom call which anyone can join for corporate prayer. Zoom can take up to 500 people at one time with breakout groups for small group interactions/prayer.

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  21. Brian: Would holding prayer vigils outside of these churches, like what’s done outside of Planned Parenthood now, help in combating the abuse and the denial of it?

    I have already done that last year. There was no one to walk with me. My good friends just walked in and attended services where a fundraiser for Voice of the Martyrs India was preaching to a congregation and raising money for the “ministry.” He preached there six weeks (what a number) in spite of me warning them about how they were almost certainly getting scammed. Most “ministries” out of India are a scam (they do not call it a cleptocracy for nothing.) And all of the evidence is that Tom White put together a network of child molesters with the International Partner “ministries.” They kicked out the founders son because he suggested accountability as they hired a convicted felon for embezzlement to be a vice-president.

    I was left with little recourse. It came to me that I should walk around the place seven times for seven weeks so I did while the services were going on. One week, the service was cancelled so I just walked around the empty building. I did just that alone. I carried no sign as I was calling out to God and not man. I got noticed after a couple of weeks. The head pastor came out and talked to me briefly. So did a policeman that they hired who wanted to take my name. I gladly gave it to him as a permanent testament about what I was doing to be remember at the final judgment day.

    I do not know what came of it, but I know that God answers prayer. I prayed for the victims of the US office head Tom White all around the world and President Isaac in Nigeria, plus the others we don’t know about yet. God heard the prayers. I think that your idea is a good one. That was the end for me of calling empty religious services that cheat the congregation “Church.” What most believers call “Church” are just religious services meant to please a few or many men, and not God.

    Jesus is building His Church and it will prevail. I no longer think that His Church has much to do with the institutions who label themselves as churches. His Church is where people are honest and not where religious games are played as the norm. His Church is where prayers get answered. His Church promotes Jesus Christ and not some damned by God institution in shameless self-promotion. His Church produces Christ-likeness instead of religious hypocrisy. In many ways what we call Church will be judged and it will die. It has to in order for Jesus to be restored as an actual head of The Church instead of the One who knocks at the door and will not be let in. Rev. 3:20

    https://thouarttheman.org/2018/10/13/spirit-church-of-bartlesville-ok-doesnt-want-to-hear-the-inconvenient-truth-about-vom/

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  22. (Unrelated HBC developements)

    I think Julie Roys is reporting the first potentially criminal allegation. If intimidation of mandatory reporters occurred, that would imply possible criminal exposure.(May 15th)

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  23. Mr. Jesperson: That was the end for me of calling empty religious services that cheat the congregation “Church.” What most believers call “Church” are just religious services meant to please a few or many men, and not God.

    Jesus is building His Church and it will prevail. I no longer think that His Church has much to do with the institutions who label themselves as churches. His Church is where people are honest and not where religious games are played as the norm. His Church is where prayers get answered. His Church promotes Jesus Christ and not some damned by God institution in shameless self-promotion. His Church produces Christ-likeness instead of religious hypocrisy. In many ways what we call Church will be judged and it will die. It has to in order for Jesus to be restored as an actual head of The Church instead of the One who knocks at the door and will not be let in. Rev. 3:20

    That is pretty much my opinion as well. I think God is in the process of revealing the hypocrisy, and calling his people out of these man-made, man-serving institutions. Today’s Pharisees are clamping down ever harder, seeking to once more establish a Theocracy in which people cannot freely dissent. Time will tell if God allows such a beast to come to full fruition.

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  24. __

    Toppled Religious Dominos: “The SBC Watchmen On The Wall Hath Failed Abused Women, Perhaps?”

    hmmm…

    Jules,

    hey,

    We are certainly a long way from frozen yogurt, huh?

    (sadface)

    May you know Him who is true.

    May you yet receive speedy relief, justice, & closure.

    Please hold fast to what you have in Jesus, so that no one or no thing may seize your joy.

    Pastor Steve Bradley: “if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will restore it fourfold…”

    “Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!”

    ATB

    Sòpy

    Intermission:
    Grupul Estelle: “Thy loving kindness…”
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JQvfJnESbT4
    Reference:
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yu-ICnjoBC8

    ;~)§

    – –

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  25. Nathan Priddis,

    http://julieroys.com/former-counselor-accuses-harvest-failing-report-abuse-threatening/

    “Former Counselor Accuses Harvest of Failing to Report Abuse & Threatening Him
    Posted in Church Issues, Evangelicalism by Julie Roys

    A former counseling pastor at Harvest Bible Chapel said former and current church staff failed to report at least one incident of suspected sexual exploitation of a minor by former Harvest Youth Pastor Paxton Singer. The former Harvest counselor, Rob Williams, also alleged that a former Harvest executive warned him not to report suspected abuse, while a church attorney stood by and said nothing.

    Singer, who was charged on October 17, 2018, with sexual exploitation of a child, is awaiting a bench trial set for July 10 in Kane County, Illinois. ”

    more at the link.

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  26. raswhiting: “Former Counselor Accuses Harvest of Failing to Report Abuse & Threatening Him
    Posted in Church Issues, Evangelicalism by Julie Roys

    I suspect that this was the motive behind the illegitimate lawsuit, as Harvest sought desperately to hide its criminal guilt in not reporting sexual abuse against a minor.

    Only this makes sense of MacDonald opening the Pandora’s box this suit was sure to be. He would never have been stupid enough to push to the forefront for all the world to see the decades of financial shenanigans pointed out by TED and others. But in this, somebody, or multiple somebody’s, were at risk of going to jail. I believe many who were in the know are still scrambling to distract from or reshape he narrative on these incidents and save their own skins. MacDonald has simply used their complicity against them to try and save his own sinking ship.

    That’s my best guess, anyway.

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  27. Brian: In general, which Scripture verses do these churches use to defend their actions.

    Patriarchy 1:1-23894729374298374

    They prioritize men over women and ‘pastors’ over laity.

    This pastor guy is full on CYA at this point. He hopes that if he says nothing it will go away. And if his church and community doesn’t hold him responsible it might.

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  28. Nancy2(aka Kevlar): In my eyes, Steve Bradley’s crime is just as bad as Andy Savage’s, if not worse.

    I wish I had bookmarked the guy from SBC voices who explictely said that he was told that if as a ‘youth director’ he ‘got in trouble’ with one of his charges they would quietly shift him around. This was SOP for these men. THAT is the problem here. The system worked exactly as it was set up, for the benefit of these men. That’s what needs to change and it’s not going to happen under the influence of people like Mohler and Piper.

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  29. Lea: I wish I had bookmarked the guy from SBC voices who explictely said that he was told that if as a ‘youth director’ he ‘got in trouble’ with one of his charges they would quietly shift him around. This was SOP for these men.

    You mean just like Those Filthy Romanist Papists(TM)?

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  30. Lea: The system worked exactly as it was set up, for the benefit of these men. That’s what needs to change and it’s not going to happen under the influence of people like Mohler and Piper.

    It helps that they tend to put full blame on women and children for “tempting” them. And in New Calvinist theology, they wrote it right in that men will always do evil, even after being “redeemed”. They can’t help themselves and everybody should be feeling sorry for them and hold the women accountable for the actions of men.

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  31. ishy,

    Making a clarification based on your’s and Lea’s input.

    Doctrine, just being organized thought, misused by the Neo Cals and the other denominations, who shift around the pedophiles and abusers.

    In the Houston Chronicle article, concerning on IFB church, where the pastor brought it to the congregation as sex outside of marriage.

    Am I on the right track?

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  32. In the Neo-Cal defense:

    I don’t look at these men as though they are making up doctrine on the fly. I believe they are attempting to be faithful to what has been handed down by those who went before us. In turn, the teachings of the Fathers represented the Faith, once delivered by the Apostles.

    From memory, Augustine taught that Eve was to blame. I think his words where something like this. Or close to it at least.

    …sin entered the world through a woman’s corrupted soul..

    Regarding the death of infants, this doctrine also is handed down from the Synod of Carthage 419. This Canon pronounces anathema, making this a central Doctrine of the Gospel. (Canon below is Canon Two / Against Pelagius)

    -Canon 110. (Greek cxii. bis)
    That infants are baptized for the remission of sins

    Likewise it seemed good that whosoever denies that infants newly from their mother’s wombs should be baptized, or says that baptism is for remission of sins, but that they derive from Adam no original sin, which needs to be removed by the laver of regeneration, from whence the conclusion follows, that in them the form of baptism for the remission of sins, is to be understood as false and not true, let him be anathema.

    For no otherwise can be understood what the Apostle says, By one man sin has come into the world, and death through sin, and so death passed upon all men in that all have sinned, than the Catholic Church everywhere diffused has always understood it. For on account of this rule of faith (regulam fidei) even infants, who could have committed as yet no sin themselves, therefore are truly baptized for the remission of sins, in order that what in them is the result of generation may be cleansed by regeneration.
    ———
    The following, says Surius, is found in this place in a very ancient codex. It does not occur in the Greek, nor in Dionysius. Bruns relegates it to a foot-note.
    ——–

    [Also it seemed good, that if anyone should say that the saying of the Lord, In my Father’s house are many mansions is to be understood as meaning that in the kingdom of heaven there will be a certain middle place, or some place somewhere, in which infants live in happiness who have gone forth from this life without baptism, without which they cannot enter the kingdom of heaven, which is eternal life, let him be anathema. For after our Lord has said: Unless a man be born again of water and of the Holy Spirit he shall not enter the kingdom of heaven, what Catholic can doubt that he who has not merited to be coheir with Christ shall become a sharer with the devil: for he who fails of the right hand without doubt shall receive the left hand portion.]

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  33. Brian: In the Houston Chronicle article, concerning on IFB church, where the pastor brought it to the congregation as sex outside of marriage.

    Am I on the right track?

    For molestation and pastoral abuse, that’s exactly the argument they use to the public. Andy Savage called it an “indiscretion”.

    Within their own ranks, though, it’s always the woman or female teenager’s fault.

    If they abused boys, then they will say the boy made it up or misremembers (a la Tom Chantry or Paul Pressler). From what I’ve read, there’s a misconception by many Christians that straight men can’t abuse boys. That’s a myth. But from what I’ve seen, this is the most likely scenario where everything is denied. Everyone believes the reason his lawyer didn’t put Chantry on the stand this time was his complete denial of everything, even after he admitted to spanking some of the kids. Plus he went off on conspiracy theories and such.

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  34. Nathan Priddis: I don’t look at these men as though they are making up doctrine on the fly. I believe they are attempting to be faithful to what has been handed down by those who went before us. In turn, the teachings of the Fathers represented the Faith, once delivered by the Apostles.

    Lea’s point that these doctrines are the result of patriarchy still stands. It doesn’t really matter “who started it”.

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  35. ishy: Everyone believes the reason his lawyer didn’t put Chantry on the stand this time was his complete denial of everything, even after he admitted to spanking some of the kids. Plus he went off on conspiracy theories and such.

    A defense lawyer’s task is to DEFEND his client; that includes keeping the client from becoming THE main witness for the Prosecution. There are a lot of cases where the defendant insisted on taking the stand turned out to be what got him convicted, and his defense lawyer has to make the call as to whether it will help or hurt his defense.

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  36. Headless Unicorn Guy: A defense lawyer’s task is to DEFEND his client; that includes keeping the client from becoming THE main witness for the Prosecution.

    Oh I wasn’t disagreeing with that. But his first lawyer did put him on the stand (probably at his insistence), and it was pretty much a disaster.

    He’s just demanded a new trial. He sounds like a nightmare client. A guilty one. But I’m pretty sure he is so used to everybody doing his bidding that he’s not going to change.

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  37. Brian: If I understand correctly, since the woman is blamed for the fall, the women is automatically to blame?

    They also claim they can’t help it because of total depravity. But women can help it, somehow. It’s very contradictory. It helps to understand that they don’t consider women fully human like men, but created beings with a sole purpose to serve men.

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  38. Brian:
    Nathan Priddis,

    If I understand correctly, since the woman is blamed for the fall, the women is automatically to blame?

    Going strictly from what I recall, the train of thought goes something like this.

    The woman cause the initial issue and this resulted in the corruption of creation. God then determined to use men as the process by which he redeems creation.

    Calvinism (1619) developed this concept to mean the declaration (sermons) of God’s ministers was the route of joyful news of redemption reaching mankind. (Preachers preach, and the Elect hear the Gospel and are caused to believe)

    The sermon is important, and preacher is male.

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  39. Brian: Are there any abuse/molestation survivors who go out and speak to the Christian congregations to dispel the myth, educate them?

    A number of them. But that congregation has to allow it, and the ones with the biggest problems won’t allow them. And they often tell members not to read things online (Highpoint and ARBCA did this).

    This was just in Christianity Today. They are trying to recoup from their obvious biases, methinks, but it was a good article:
    https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2019/june/sbc-abuse-survivors-advocates-profiles.html

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  40. Brian,

    No. They correctly identify the seed of the Woman is Jesus. But then they just move on and take no further thought to it and its meaning. All humanity is of her seed and we are at war with the seed of the Serpent.

    The Joseph and Mary thing is separate and related to something that happened in the Exile.
    It would take two lines of David’s decendents to retake the throne. It’s not directly pertinent to Calvinism.

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  41. Nathan Priddis: But that congregation has to allow it, and the ones with the biggest problems won’t allow them.

    Not just because they are survivors, but women aren’t allowed to speak to a group of men, and the majority of the abused are female. But I doubt they’d listen to a male survivor, either.

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  42. ishy: It helps to understand that they don’t consider women fully human like men, but created beings with a sole purpose to serve men.

    Serve and SERVICE (nudge nudge wink wink know what I mean know what I mean…)

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  43. Nathan Priddis: I don’t look at these men as though they are making up doctrine on the fly. I believe they are attempting to be faithful to what has been handed down by those who went before us. In turn, the teachings of the Fathers represented the Faith

    The Bible speaks of ‘doctrines of demons.’ I wonder what that really means.

    Jesus said his sheep hear his voice and recognize it and follow. Maybe it’s likewise for the other guy.

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  44. SiteSeer,

    Seven Mountains may be a likely example.
    -Celebrity leaders receive a vision or appearance. They then proclaim a doctrine to staff and followers. The followers model their lives on the doctrine, and believe they are changing the World for Christ.

    A Jim Jones / Jonestown would be obvious, but abnormal. There seemed to be relatively little doctrine.

    -The leader had delusions or got stoned, he passed on commands to followers.

    1. Generally, I would expect a doctrine of (sourced from) demons to be a teaching on the Law / piety / evangelization in promotion of the Kingdom of God / etc.
    2. A relatively high chance the leader involved had a traumatic experiance, or was somehow not their usual selves. They may also felt something was lacking in their lives.

    There seems to be an intellectual inconsistency with some of these doctrinal origins.

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  45. ishy,

    Disputing the myth, molesters can go after both boys and girls.

    My stepfather, the man who molested me, tried to molest one of his own blood relatives. It was his own niece, in her mid teens. He tried it at the same time he was molesting me.

    She was living under the same roof as my family. My Mom got wind of it and convinced her to move out. My stepfather convinced the family that the issue with her.

    Years later my Mom told me he was jealous of me being around his niece, since we were only two years different in age.

    So molestation has nothing to do with gay or straight.

    Dee, thank you for the platform to spread the awareness of the crime.

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  46. Brian: So molestation has nothing to do with gay or straight.

    That’s why I called it a myth. But it is something a lot of Christians believe.

    It’s particularly heinous because it causes them to believe that there are no such abusers in their ranks, and they will either completely deny their existence or support the abuser saying the victim is lying. We’ve seen both with Tom Chantry–ARBCA still supports him and seems to believe the victims are lying. Chantry’s Pyro supporters like Phil Johnson have just started pretending he didn’t exist. Complete and total denial.

    I do believe the message is getting out there, but writing it is one of the best ways to reach people in these churches right now because their leaders won’t allow victims to speak. There are many other churches, though, that will listen, and that can be a path, too.

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  47. ishy: Not just because they are survivors, but women aren’t allowed to speak to a group of men, and the majority of the abused are female. But I doubt they’d listen to a male survivor, either.

    Because a male survivor is Unmanly.

    To be a survivor in this context, a male would have to admit that another male “made a woman out of him”. As Dennis Prager wrote in one essay, defining male and female in terms of Penetrator-and-Penetrated — what Torah was given to prevent.

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  48. ishy: From what I’ve read, there’s a misconception by many Christians that straight men can’t abuse boys. That’s a myth.

    A myth that plays right into the hands of molesters.

    Because same-sex pedophiles normally identify as Straight. From mention of stucies, it appears that what attracts them to pre-pubescent boys is the LACK of masculine sexual characteristics — no facial hair, minimal body hair, soprano/contralto voice, and lack of blatant male genitalia. All FEMALE-associated secondary sexual characteristics. Like the male child isn’t really male so it REALLY isn’t Homosexual. Wipe mouth, announce “I have not sinned”, repeat.

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