Do Jared Wilson, the SBC, The Gospel Coalition and 9 Marks Recognize the Difference Between Clergy Abuse and an Affair?

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“Surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of man he is.”
― C.S. Lewis


 

I’m enjoying my last full day at the beach in Florida before heading home. In the next two weeks, I will presenting two stories of sexual abuse; one in the SBC and another in a nondenominational church. I also want to followup on the lack of response by SBC pastor, Steve Bradley, to Jules Woodson. His silence is nothing short of abusive since he was the main pastor in charge when Jules was molested.

Today, I was stunned by a post recommended on The Gospel Coalition’s website. It was posted by a TGC insider, Jared Wilson, on the 9 Marks website. Folks, it is obvious to me that these guys do not get the power dynamics involved when a pastor commits what they claim is simple *adultery.

Can We Restore Pastors After Sexual Sin: A Longer Answer

This post discusses how to restore a pastor who has had an *affair with a partner.* Read that carefully. There is no mention made of the misuse of the pulpit to gain sexual favors with vulnerable women. (Their churches only have men as pastors and one can assume if the *partner* was a man, that pastor would be out of the pulpit for a lifetime.)

Wilson begins his post by outlining potential disqualifying sins beside *adultery.*

we rarely bring in the disqualification conversation as it relates to short-tempered, argumentative, or otherwise un-self-controlled pastors

Wilson claims that his *tribe* reckoned with Mark Driscoll which is codswallop!

As one who has followed Driscoll for 10 years, I feel confident in saying that nothing could be further from the truth. Driscoll was the darling of the Calvinista set. Piper was delighted with Driscoll’s theology. Papa Bear Mohler even tried to get janet Mefferd in trouble when she exposed Driscoll’s plagiarism.The seminaries couldn’t wait to get Driscoll on their campuses.

Evangelicals seem to most often discuss disqualification as it relates to adultery—which, to be clear, is disqualifying—but we rarely bring in the disqualification conversation as it relates to short-tempered, argumentative, or otherwise un-self-controlled pastors. The “fall” of Mark Driscoll is probably the closest my particular tribe has come to reckoning with the full-fledged (dis)qualifications for ministry, but it is still not a widely understood concept in the age of the celebrity minister.

Let’s take a look at a post that Jared Wilson wrote in 2013. By then, most people with an ounce of sense knew something was really off with Driscoll. Wilson did not *reckon* with Driscoll. He promoted him, even saying that Driscoll saved his life. (You can read where he says this here although the post seems to have disappeared..) Read his whole post. He even goes after the haters (read bloggers).

He might say this post was begging Driscoll to do better but The Gospel Coalition, Piper, Akin, Mohler and others promoted Driscoll and allowed his behavior to get increasingly bizarre, verbalizing excuse after excuse. Wilson, in this post, even gave Driscoll an out by acknowledging the possibility that his plagiarism was *unintentional.* Now where have we heard that before, folks?….

There are lots of people who want Mark Driscoll to fail and fall. I am not one of them. I love and respect Pastor Mark. His preaching helped saved my life. I have profited immensely from his ministry, especially in my early days of church planting and trying to figure out what missional ministry could look like among young adults. I do not know Mark personally. We have never exchanged so much as email messages. But we have mutual friends. He was kind enough to endorse my first book. During my time with the Docent Research Group, I did some editing work on a few of his book manuscripts. When I wrote the piece linked above, he was gracious enough to send a note of thanks and encouragement through his personal assistant.

Its clergy abuse, not an affair

Please note the assumption that the pastor simply had an *affair partner.* Wilson appear to make an assumption that this sin was simply a mutually consenting relationship. Why do I say this? He does not mention the possibility that this was not a simple affair but an abusive relationship in which a pastor used his office to wield his power over a vulnerable member of his church body.

cutting off all contact with their affair partner,

I wrote It’s Clergy Sex Abuse; Not an Affair! in 2016.

A pastor holds a position of power in the relationship and is misusing the power differential to gratify himself at the expense of a parishioner who comes to him for spiritual advice or counseling.

Here is what the American Counseling Association has to say about the ethics of a sexual relationship between a counselor and a client. Surely the church should agree with such ethics.

” The 2005 ACA Code of Ethics continues to recognize the harm that can be impacted upon clients when they are sexually intimate with their counselor. The counseling relationship is one based on trust, so we must respect the power differential inherent in any counseling relationship regardless of the counselor’s theoretical orientation or perspective. Engaging in any type of sexual or intimate relationship with a current client is abuse of power. Clients come into counseling emotionally and psychologically vulnerable and in need of assistance, so a counselor trying to engage in such relationships would be trying to take advantage of that client and their vulnerabilities to meet their own needs. Relational/cultural theory frames this as striving for a “power with” instead of a “power over” relationship.”

Google power dynamics in a pastor having sex with a congregant You will see article after article on the particular problem of a pastor have sexual relations with members of his church.

It is deeply concerning to me, given the discussions of the last year, that The Gospel Coalition, 9 Marks and Jared Wilson are still stuck on the simple paradigm of the pastor’s *affair partner.*

In discussing repentance, once again, the other person is not mentioned.

He mentions that there are more parties at stake than the sinner. However, the woman is not mentioned in his paradigm. He’s worried about the reputation of the church and *the body.* The woman is not mentioned. It appears to me that she is just a problem to be overlooked.

We are simply discerning repentance. That is biblical, and it is gracious because there are more parties at stake than simply the sinner in question — there is the body, the reputation of the church, and the credibility of our witness for Christ

The pastor’s restoration to the body can be immediate but, once again, the other half of the equation is absolutely disregarded.

What about the woman? Is she still part of the church? If he has been involved in using his position to abuse a member of the church, why should he be allowed to return to the same church body? How are they supporting her in the midst of this emphasis on the pastor? Does she even matter to them,?

For any person who has fallen into discipline-worthy sin, restoration to the fellowship can be relatively immediate. I say “relatively” because of the considerations above. But paying penance is not a biblical virtue.

Restoration to the pulpit is possible but not one word is said about the woman.

Does the woman just sit there and watch the guy become the celebrity pastor once again? What happens to her in this paradigm?

Repentance is an immediate re-entry to the fellowship, but re-entry to the pastorate takes the testing of time.

John Piper: And very practically I think this is what I would say: A man who commits adultery, say, in the ministry, should immediately resign and look for other work. And he should make no claim on the church at all. He should get another kind of job and go about his life humbly receiving the discipline and sitting and receiving ministry, whether in that church or in another church. And then the church should turn that around if it believes it should, not him.

Why don’t they get that a clergy sexual relationship usually has nothing to do with sex and everything to do with power?

This post, and another I plan to write about next week, appears to show that we have a long way to go when it comes to clergy sex abuse. It appears these guys still think this is all about sex when it is really all about power.

That power, in the hands of the  clergy, can be quite dangerous. It often shows itself in other areas such as authoritarian behavior, entitlement mentality, serious anger issues, emotional abuse of others, etc.

Jared Wilson is a leader in the SBC which supposedly cares about sex abuse in the church.

I am saddened by the lack of insight in this article. Wilson is a leader in the SBC

Jared C. Wilson is an Assistant Professor of Pastoral Ministry at Spurgeon College, Author in Residence at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, General Editor of For The Church (and host of the FTC Podcast), and Director of The Pastoral Training Center at Liberty Baptist Church in Kansas City, MO.

It appears that some of them still don’t get it or don’t want to get it. Why not?


Comments

Do Jared Wilson, the SBC, The Gospel Coalition and 9 Marks Recognize the Difference Between Clergy Abuse and an Affair? — 112 Comments

  1. Doesn’t 9Marks and TGC emphasize the authority of the local church and its elders? If this is true, of course an elder/pastor has a huge power advantage over any “partner” from the flock. That’s the definition of abuse/harassment.

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  2. Ken P.: Doesn’t 9Marks and TGC emphasize the authority of the local church and its elders? If this is true, of course an elder/pastor has a huge power advantage over any “partner” from the flock.

    Apparently, these authority hungry men don’t seem to have authority over their own body parts! They just want authority over everything else . . .

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  3. Could it be that the potential for misuse of the power differential is simply not on the “radar screen” of these leaders? Perhaps it’s part of the “we have authority from God” thing.

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  4. “Abuse of flock” is a real thing, and it generally involves misuse of power. But I don’t recall this being the kind of thing that abusive leaders actually get charged with. Am I not remembering well?

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  5. No they don’t get it. An ARC church I attended had Dino Rizzo speak a few weeks ago and the pastor gushed about what a blessing Dino was as the special speaker that Sunday on Instagram. I made a comment on his Instagram that considering Dino’s past history, I was surprised the church had Dino speak. That was all I said. The pastor blocked me from his Instagram.

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  6. The reason they don’t show concern for the woman is because they view such an affair as an abuse of HER power — the power of a temptress over a weak man. These guys would be disgusted with them both, but most of all with the woman for ruining a pastor. Completely the opposite of an abuse framework.

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  7. Long before I ever heard of TWW it alarmed me that a pastor’s sexual misconduct was nearly always dubbed ‘an affair’, even when it involved a minor or a vulnerable member of his congregation. There are, no doubt, instances in which a godly pastor falls to temptation and indulges in an illicit relationship with a fully willing adult woman.

    This happens. The mother of one of my best friends in high school was the church secretary, and ended up in an affair with the pastor. Neither of them suffered from patterns of heinous sin, but were two less-than-happily-married individuals who made the mistake of allowing an intimate bond to form.

    But I suspect this is more the exception than the rule. Most of what we are seeing today is not a single indiscretion, the ‘fall’ of a godly man, but the exposure of false shepherds who live a lie.

    Driscoll, Hybels, MacDonald and many before them did not just suffer from a moment of weakness, but practiced longstanding patterns of unrighteous, abusive and destructive behavior. They did not have a like-minded partner, but victims, who were taken advantage of due to their trust, position and/or idol worship of the pastor.

    It is very important for bodies to make the distinction between a lapse into sin and an ongoing pattern of unrighteousness. The former may allow more ready rehabilitation into the body, although I would not recommend them ever being restored to leadership. The latter needs to acknowledge the extent of their misbehavior, make amends to his victims and be held accountable, rather than have his misdeeds lightly forgiven. If crimes were committed, all should be held to the full standards of civil law.

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  8. Do Jared Wilson, the SBC, The Gospel Coalition and 9 Marks Recognize the Difference Between Clergy Abuse and an Affair?

    Hard to recognize the difference when you personally benefit from NOT recognizing it.
    Privileges of Pastoral Rank and all that, including SEXUAL rights over all inferiors and other animate property.

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  9. ___

    “501c3 Profession Or Divine Calling, Perhaps?

    hmmm…

    Dee,

    hey,

    You’ve apparently gone back to carpet bombing/bashing errant misguided calvinestas. As you are well aware, restoration is always an option with them unless ‘rather’ they (in a profound proverbial ‘weak’ moment) hire a women or a gender lettered individual for senior staff-N-pulpit. Also, the seductive woman as the perpetrator is not mentioned in your abuse paradigm. It is not if but when, as graduate students are trained in a good discerning seminary.

    ***

    “Pay close attention to your life and to your teaching. Persevere in these things, for by so doing you will save both yourself and those who hear you…” -Apostle Paul

    *

    Jeremiah 23:22 : “But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.” -The Almighty

    ATB

    Sòpy

    ;~)§

    – –
    Intermission:
    Tears for Fears – “Shout”
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=aI9lo5BRJmg

    -=-

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  10. For all of the words that these guys write, they sure don’t have much worthwhile to say. Articles, conferences, blog posts, books, sermons, radio shows, podcasts, and they don’t even recognize the most basic realities outside of their own bubble. They sure as heck have no clue what women face and deal with.

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  11. John: Should family members be allowed to serve together on a paid church staff, and what should be the guidelines if any for limiting or prohibiting this? Has anyone ever thought about this in a systematic way?

    I used to work for a large multi-campus church where family members were on staff together. It was very uncomfortable. Husbands and wives. Pastors and wives. Mothers and sons. Fathers and sons. We had a staff of 75 and I think I counted close to 30 were related to one another.

    If I had a conflict with one family member I never knew if that conversation (read that as assertive confrontation) could be trusted. Discipline was awkward. Most pairs enjoyed positions of leadership (department head) with higher salaries and additional benefits. One employee (son of a director) was a high-schooler who was promoted and paid more than me and I hold two college degrees.

    From a leadership perspective things could get…interesting. For instance, the CFO of the church and his wife both worked at this organization. His wife was head of another department. If I was in charge of a particular project and she didn’t want to follow protocol – what options were left to me? Do I confront her directly? Sure. And then what, when that fails (which it did). I approach my supervisor (her husband). Now what? He confronts her and supports me? How does that play out at home? What if he sidesteps the issue and gives her special treatment to avoid marital conflict at home? Then he sets precedent that other employees don’t have to follow the same protocol on this particular project. Messy!

    You just never knew where loyalties lie and who to trust. It was highly ineffective and uncomfortable.

    Where I currently work (healthcare) – family members cannot report to one another. The secular world (from my experience) is very careful about this because they understand how sticky it gets. The church? Nope.

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  12. chris s,

    The article came out seven months ago and is not recent. It discusses one aspect of the circumstances, not all the ramifications, and it suffers from poor exegesis throughout – the most obvious example being his disregard for the meaning of the word he translates as disqualified, (adokimos), the common meanings being castaway, rejected, reprobate.
    From a (as a negative particle) and dokimos; unapproved, i.e. Rejected; by implication, worthless (literally or morally) — castaway, rejected, reprobate..

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  13. “Driscoll was the darling of the Calvinista set.” (Dee)

    No doubt about it! SBC was overpopulated by Driscollites in the early days of its New Calvinist church planting movement. Indeed, SBC used Driscoll’s church planting model to introduce reformed theology (the New Calvinist radical version) into SBC life. SBC even aligned itself with Driscoll’s Acts 29 church planting network – there are numerous SBC churches holding dual affiliation with Acts 29 … Matt Chandler, SBC pastor, is now President, Acts 29. Yep, Driscoll was a major influencer and darling of SBC’s Calvinista … and, to many SBC church planters, the potty-mouth preacher from Seattle is still The Man!

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  14. “The Gospel Coalition, Piper, Akin, Mohler and others promoted Driscoll and allowed his behavior to get increasingly bizarre …” (Dee)

    The more sophisticated of the New Calvinist tribe put up with Driscoll because he was a major attractor to the New Calvinism movement. They may not have agreed with the potty-mouth’s message and method, but at the end of the day they wouldn’t rebuke him because he was critical to the new reformation. They used him and when he was done, they were done with him. You’ve not been done until you’ve been done by a brother.

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  15. “The woman is not mentioned. It appears to me that she is just a problem to be overlooked.”

    For you women who may have bought the complementarian lie, consider this. The New Calvinist movers and shakers really don’t give two hoots about you. The “beauty of complementarity” is only beautiful to them, as long as they can control the spiritual life out of you. Stick with them and you will be subordinated into obscurity, not mentioned and overlooked.

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  16. Bridget: Apparently, these authority hungry men don’t seem to have authority over their own body parts!

    You know, it shouldn’t be too much to ask for a servant of God to keep his pants on! IMO, one strike and you’re out! Being “Pastor” is a sacred office … for God’s sake, act like it! Men of God are led by the Spirit … preacher-boys are led by the flesh. We’ve got too many flesh-babies in the American pulpit and not enough men who live out faithfulness to the Bride of Christ and their own bride.

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  17. TS00: They did not have a like-minded partner, but victims, who were taken advantage of due to their trust, position and/or idol worship of the pastor.

    A lot of churches and other workplaces have clear rules against this precisely because it’s hard to distinguish between romance and deception. Besides, folks are supposed to focus on their jobs, not scope out the tempting staff and flock.

    Many churches we discuss on TWW have a “team” that safeguards the almighty pastor, secret processes, and obscure, punitive rules just for the members.

    In a healthier church (or hospital, college, etc.), trust and productivity thrive because the rules are clear to everyone. It’s fine for a student and professor to have coffee in the campus cafe and talk about physics, but not fine for the professor to invite the student home for martinis.

    And guess what? Pastor Omnipotent only has coffee with his henchmen or his wife. Convenient, confusing, and oppressive.

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  18. This article in a Scottish newspaper gives details of a very difficult case which caused a great deal of pain to many people while the subject sailed serenely into the ministry backed by favourable liberal winds. It ended in disgrace and failure.

    https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/12481829.rev-james-nelson-murderer-who-became-a-church-of-scotland-minister/

    I also know of a Baptist choirmaster who ran off with a teenage girl around the same time. He was eventually restored to fellowship and he eventually moved to the USA where he exercised a successful choral and, later, a pastoral ministry.

    For what it’s worth, I thought both decisions were wrong.

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  19. TS00: There are, no doubt, instances in which a godly pastor falls to temptation and indulges in an illicit relationship with a fully willing adult woman.

    This happens. The mother of one of my best friends in high school was the church secretary, and ended up in an affair with the pastor.

    The problem with this scenario is “this pastor” is the woman’s spiritual authority (as many believe) AND is her superior in a work environment. Has he not taken advantage of this women’s vulnerability as an unhappy wife? as his employee? This type of relationship is definitely looked upon as wrong in a secular job.

    And don’t take me wrong. I am not saying that a woman can never be the seducer in such cases. I’m saying a pastor, a boss, has responsibilities towards his congregants, employees, that puts him/her in an advantage in this relationship.

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  20. It is abuse. It would be like me as a teacher having an ” affair ” with one of my high school seniors. I’d be using my position to woo the the girl just like a pastor, and don’t tell me these guys in the pulpit don’t know the power they have over these people…

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  21. Max: Being “Pastor” is a sacred office … for God’s sake, act like it! Men of God are led by the Spirit … preacher-boys are led by the flesh. We’ve got too many flesh-babies in the American pulpit and not enough men who live out faithfulness to the Bride of Christ and their own bride.

    Is it possible that some of this truly is the result of errant theology? I rarely see this pointed out, but one of the major ‘benefits’ of Calvinism is the license it gives one to ignore the misdeeds of the flesh. In fact, they so distort the concept of ‘the flesh’ that they imagine that it is the god-cursed sin nature that, for them, has been transformed, so it is no longer an issue.

    The waters become very muddy when you add in the penal substitutionary atonement theory, which grants the ‘elect’ a robe of righteousness to tidily hide their sin.

    When you view yourself as irrevocably chosen by God, all sin forever covered and invisible to God, you end up with a virtual license to sin. All of the pious talk about ‘faith alone’ frequently hides a desire to ‘sin boldly’.

    After all, you will never be held accountable for your actions, and have a guaranteed ticket to heaven. That might, at least subconsciously, lead to the moral carelessness and concupiscence that even Calvin and Luther were forced to admit their theology too often produced in people.

    I don’t know if I am making sense. I experienced some of this myself, as I found myself becoming surprisingly nonchalant about my growth in righteousness and reveled in my newfound freedom from guilt. It was a relief to be rescued from the holiness perfectionism in which I was raised, but Calvinism tends to produce the polar opposite. There is truly little barrier to sinning like the devil, should you be so inclined.

    I found it best to return to the guidance and accountability of an intimate relationship with God, rather than rely on the shell of religion and false ‘assurance’ of Calvinism.

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  22. TS00: you will never be held accountable for your actions, and have a guaranteed ticket to heaven.

    Morally bankrupt folks might have the theology of the Get Out Of Hell Free Card. I don’t believe that most Christians think this way, though. Many think they can lose their salvation, and many want to follow Christian teachings.

    I believe that salvation is durable, that the Crucifixion and Resurrection hold infinitely more power than my sin.

    This belief does not, however, cause me to go out on a spree of crime and licentiousness. Prayerful confession is a powerful moment of regret for me. It’s not an empty transaction or lingering guilt trip; it’s a time to improve.

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  23. TS00: When you view yourself as irrevocably chosen by God, all sin forever covered and invisible to God, you end up with a virtual license to sin. All of the pious talk about ‘faith alone’ frequently hides a desire to ‘sin boldly’.

    New Calvinism if allowed to run its course will lead to antinomianism.

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  24. “It appears that some of them still don’t get it or don’t want to get it. Why not?”

    Priorities, I fear. Power and position restoration that runs afoul of Scriptural calls for being above reproach etc. helps branding and business models. Thus, some who claim Scripture is clear in terms of top-down church autocracy and discipline might conveniently get oh-so-forgiving and restorative — ‘cuz love! — to those who fit the power $$$tructure.

    The brand and funding machine get a measure of stability most welcome to the counters of beans and mites. (And as a bonus, the restoring autocrats get to extend a favor to a fellow autocrat and perhaps can extract one down the road for themselves.)

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  25. Bridget: I’m saying a pastor, a boss, has responsibilities towards his congregants, employees, that puts him/her in an advantage in this relationship.

    And this abusive situation is caused by a fraudulent system in the first place. The idea of a pastor or priest as a full time paid officer of the church is foreign to New Testament teaching. The idea of “pastoral authority” is also not Biblical. Whilst the New Testament writers encourage us to take guidance from older and more mature Christians, the only authority each one of us submits to his the Lord Jesus Christ himself. But the 9Marks and TGC have utilised this fraudulent system where they have appointed themselves to positions of power, authority and influence. As a result they have abused that and should be held to account.

    John Piper: “And very practically I think this is what I would say: A man who commits adultery, say, in the ministry, should immediately resign and look for other work. And he should make no claim on the church at all. He should get another kind of job and go about his life humbly receiving the discipline and sitting and receiving ministry, whether in that church or in another church. And then the church should turn that around if it believes it should, not him.”

    Although he is not guilty of adultery, he is guilty of “fraudulent authority” and – correct me if I am wrong – receiving a large salary for his position. He should resign and get a job in the real world. But I don’t think he would last 5 minutes in the honest jobs many of us here do!

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  26. “The “fall” of Mark Driscoll is probably the closest my particular tribe has come to reckoning with the full-fledged (dis)qualifications for ministry,”–Jared Wilson
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Jared, that is hysterical. if it wasn’t so heart-breakingly untrue.

    Who amongst you had convictions? Who amongst you had the courage of your convictions? Who amongst you publicly called out Mark Driskle’s egregious abuse & wrong-doing? who amongst you stood up for those whose lives were destroyed? who amongst you was anything more than flaccid and impotent?

    You all kept your hands clean. Your own spiritual fastidiousness was far more important to you than all than those suffering at the hands of Mark Driskle. A stunning level of self-interest.

    Here’s what Jonna Petry has to say:

    “After multiple appeals were continually rejected by Mark and Jamie, we discreetly implored some local and then national leaders, whom Mark said he respected, to help us, including John Piper and C.J. Mahaney. No one was willing to get involved. I was shocked and heartbroken again. You’re kidding? The whole Body of Christ and no one is willing to step in, judge the matter, and attempt to make things right? How can Matthew 18 be carried out if not one Christian leader will stand in to bring peace and reconciliation?”

    “https://joyfulexiles.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/jonna-mhc-story-29.pdf”

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  27. “It appears that some of them still don’t get it or don’t want to get it. Why not?”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    misogyny: dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women.

    misogyny.

    they may love the women in their lives. they may have high esteem for many women they are acquainted with. none of which precludes an ingrained prejudice against women.

    articles like this one, and so, so many other comments, tweets, blog postings, articles, betray this.

    i don’t think they have a clue, however. Quite a sight to behold.

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  28. Well, to be fair, he didn’t actually say they came close to reckoning with Mark Driscoll. He said it was “the closest they’d come.” which isn’t saying much because they’ve never come anywhere near reckoning with any failures among their own. So he can say that without it meaning a thing but sounding cool.

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  29. SiteSeer: Well, to be fair, he didn’t actually say they came close to reckoning with Mark Driscoll. He said it was “the closest they’d come.” which isn’t saying much because they’ve never come anywhere near reckoning with any failures among their own. So he can say that without it meaning a thing but sounding cool.

    Quite so. In fact, I’m sitting at the Mac typing this, which is the closest I’ve come to the geographical South Pole all day.

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  30. elastigirl: it is equally fair to observe that he and his tribe have all the conviction & courage of a sea cucumber when they are at issue.

    Because many of those leaders probably know they are guilty of extreme pride and even greed. Some of them (like Piper) have even said so.

    But as TS00 said above, they don’t care. God elects, and there’s nothing that can change that, even sin. So they can do whatever they want.

    I do see discrepancies on the attitude of leaders versus how they treat members, though. My friend in a New Cal church was telling me they sometimes have 2-3 church disciplines a week. What’s the point in church discipline if even God doesn’t change what you do? Of course, I don’t believe that’s a theology thing, but a cultic tactic to keep members complacent. “We’re commanded to do it… but it sure seems to keep our numbers up!”

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  31. Anonymous 2,

    Yes, and they assume they (the men) are attractive to the women (and female children). Because they keep telling each other that. At least there’s one place in John Piper’s sad life that he can believe he’s a rock star with women.

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  32. My pet peeve is the absolute silence on the subject of dual relationships within this group of men who believe themselves to be special. *Pastor* is a fiduciary relationship that requires that well-defined parameters be placed on it and that they be known by all. This is because dual relationships become exploitative and abusive quickly and without limit. Real professionals (like doctors, mental health professionals, attorneys and anyone else who could, within the parameters of and due to the nature of, their professions gain access to your trust and therefore your emotions [like love, sexual attraction, fear], exaggerated & unearned trust [and therefore compliance, which becomes a protection from their own liability], your money, your body, your children, your marriage, your livelihood) practice in light of their clients’ welfare. Contrast this with pastors who “hold the kings to the kingdom” (Calvinists whose theology is that God has given them the authority to expel individuals from the “kingdom” and consign them to hell) hitting church members up for reduced cost car repairs, special $ donations for *Pastor Appreciation Week, gift cards for Pastor’s Wife Appreciation Week, birthday and graduation presents for his kids and gifts for his anniversary, housing for his visiting family, discounted tuition at private school, free medical and orthodontic care for his family, etc). This extends to the Pastor pressuring the elderly to leave their homes and estates to *the church” without advising them how much of the Pastor’s actual “take” will be. Couple all of this with the secrecy of his income and true financial benefits, as well as the privacy protections of the law toward “charities” (ie, your Pastor) and you have a formula for Harvest Bible Chapel. And none of this takes into account that “oversight,” if any, is conducted by the groomed and truly powerless group of the Pastor’s hand-picked lackeys called elders.

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  33. One thing that occurred to me–in all of the issues around abuse, all Jared is concerned about is whether pastors can be returned to ministry. TGC doesn’t write about how churches should deal with victims. TGC doesn’t write about how they can do a better job of protecting their members. TGC doesn’t deal with the scandals that have rocked their churches over and over again lately.

    No. They write about pastors and their precious ministries, because that is the only thing that’s really important to them.

    That’s the intention behind this article. Peons are not important, only pastors. Show me where they are standing up for victims and I might believe they have better intentions.

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  34. John:
    I saw this the other day: https://www.lbc.edu/blog/leading-the-church-as-a-family/. Should family members be allowed to serve together on a paid church staff, and what should be the guidelines if any for limiting or prohibiting this? Has anyone ever thought about this in a systematic way? Any resources out there you know of?

    Dee has written about this regarding John Macarthur and Master’s. His son-in-law not only is hugely unqualified to run a college, but he was dealing with himself on the side. I tried to find Welch’s academic background, but I didn’t find it. But he didn’t know about basic education laws, which is hugely problematic, and one reason Masters is still on probation.

    Macathur himself does not have a real PhD or DMin, but qualifies himself as a college or seminary president (recently switched). People claim he doesn’t use his honorary title himself (I’m not sure I believe this), but he does put himself in positions that should be held by someone with real academic degrees.

    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2018/08/24/john-macarthurs-son-in-laws-alleged-compensation-for-video-production-and-macarthurs-alleged-comments-during-a-meeting-with-seminary-students/

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  35. ishy: One thing that occurred to me–in all of the issues around abuse, all Jared is concerned about is whether pastors can be returned to ministry. TGC doesn’t write about how churches should deal with victims. TGC doesn’t write about how they can do a better job of protecting their members. TGC doesn’t deal with the scandals that have rocked their churches over and over again lately.

    New Calvinists protect their tribal chiefs at all costs. I suppose they figure that wayward ministers and ministries would never have had a stage if they weren’t predestined. So they must restore them to complete their destiny. The pulpit must be protected, the pew is expendable.

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  36. elastigirl: “It appears that some of them still don’t get it or don’t want to get it. Why not?”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    misogyny: dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women.
    misogyny.
    they may love the women in their lives. they may have high esteem for many women they are acquainted with. none of which precludes an ingrained prejudice against women.
    articles like this one, and so, so many other comments, tweets, blog postings, articles, betray this.
    i don’t think they have a clue, however. Quite a sight to behold.

    elastigirl,

    I agree with this. I wonder if they truly love their wives, /view their wives, as fully human beings. I wonder if instead they love themselves more than anyone else and must believe they are entitled to be fixed in their perspective and not be open to anyone else’s, including a “new creation” perspective, even if offered by another male theologian. I wonder if part of this is, what I’ve read elsewhere, a priority of sex, which, devoid of genuine mutuality, is about power, not connection, not unity. I’ve noticed that their new political “definition of marriage”, which use to be “between a man and a woman” is now “between a man and a woman and with sexual relations”, as opposed to including somehow a humble reference to all elements needed for “leaving and cleaving”.

    I , fairly recently, attended a complementation wedding ceremony and for the first time in my fairly long life, with remembrance of many wedding ceremonies, heard the official refer to and use “sexual relations” as a part of the “vision cast” for the couple(now what I call “the complementarian/patriarchal stamp of approval”, maybe even a higher priority “stamp” than “women can’t speak/teach in church”). Elevate that/minimize or eliminate friendship, or friendship is not a valued dynamic in regards to their view of women IMO. But, they do seem to “want” women for an “audience”/cheerleading and adoration/admiration and for delegating duties to them, or receiving effort from them in areas that are not in the easiest areas for them to “serve” in. Is that love? It doesn’t sound like it, to me, or respect either.

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  37. Nick Bulbeck:

    SiteSeer: Well, to be fair, he didn’t actually say they came close to reckoning with Mark Driscoll. He said it was “the closest they’d come.” which isn’t saying much because they’ve never come anywhere near reckoning with any failures among their own. So he can say that without it meaning a thing but sounding cool.

    Quite so. In fact, I’m sitting at the Mac typing this, which is the closest I’ve come to the geographical South Pole all day.

    Ah, you have uncovered the favorite tool of political and religious ‘authorities’ – political speak. Use words that, strictly speaking, are true but do not really say anything of significance. Makes everyone think you mean exactly what they think, yet offers complete plausible deniability.

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  38. Ella: I wonder if they truly love their wives, /view their wives, as fully human beings.

    IMO, if you love your wife (I do), you desire to see her walk in freedom … free in Christ to fully realize her place in the Body of Christ, without religious boundaries. The “beauty of complementarity” is a cute way to refer to bondage.

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  39. ishy: all Jared is concerned about is whether pastors can be returned to ministry. TGC doesn’t write about how churches should deal with victims. TGC doesn’t write about how they can do a better job of protecting their members. TGC doesn’t deal with the scandals that have rocked their churches over and over again lately.

    No. They write about pastors and their precious ministries, because that is the only thing that’s really important to them.

    Do you think Jared understands that “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”

    The lack of concern for victims (along with the lack of any speaking about the subject) speaks volumes as well.

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  40. Max: The “beauty of complementarity” is a cute way to refer to bondage.

    Much like favorite Presby claim of ‘safety in the plurality of elders’. As if one man could be corrupt or self-seeking, but never a group of them.

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  41. Ella: I wonder if they truly love their wives, /view their wives, as fully human beings.

    To love someone is to treat them as if they have infinite worth and value. I have too often seen decent men, usually the insecure, needy type, turned into arrogant brutes as complementarity offered them the long desired opportunity to be ‘king of the jungle’. Stomping upon his most needed and greatest asset, the husband now believes in his ‘God-given authority’ to be a total ass.

    I know this sounds harsh, but I have witnessed so many enter unwarily into the patriarchal Calvinist fold, only to see their reasonably healthy marriage suffer, oftentimes irreparably. Sadly, I also lived it.

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  42. Bridget: Do you think Jared understands that “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”

    In a way, but through worm theology. But that’s another contradiction–if they are so convinced men are sinful worms who can do nothing right, then why won’t they just shut up?

    I was indirectly responding in my head to someone who replied to dee’s tweet of this post, who kept insisting that Jared was only “hypothesizing” and dee went too far in discussing the article. If that’s the case, then where’s all the articles against abuse and dealing with their scandals? There are none. Pastors are the only thing important to Jared and TGC.

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  43. TS00: I am doubtful that the individual pastors mean much to them. It is the reputation of the position and their own personal authority they seek to protect.

    I wish I could say the same, but that’s not what I saw in seminary. They draw rank and file to protect their own, even small church pastors. I suspect it’s to gain voting support in the SBC.

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  44. ishy: If that’s the case, then where’s all the articles against abuse and dealing with their scandals? There are none. Pastors are the only thing important to Jared and TGC.

    I agree. Pastor is the only part of the equation they discuss. It is sad.

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  45. TS00: Not contradicting you, just inferring a different motive than brotherly love. If any pastor is maligned, the office of ‘Pastor’ suffers; hence the coverup of even the ugliest of offense

    That’s true, too. I don’t think these guys personally care about other pastors, but there are benefits and expectations to being part of the club.

    It’s the same with men in general. They speak very highly of men, and I believe their whole hyper-complementarian theology is designed to attract as many men as possible while keeping half the population “in line”. But the moment a man speaks up against them and steps out of line, it’s church discipline or scathing commentary a la Phil Johnson.

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  46. SiteSeer: That was absolutely heartbreaking to read. So the one worthwhile member is pushed out, what a ridiculous farce religion is.

    Cant be surprised when brand and bu$ine$$ priorities of hirelings etc. tend to override true religion per James’ letter.

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  47. __

    “If any pastor is maligned, the office of ‘Pastor’ suffers?”

    hmmm…

    Forget scriptural qualifications —Apparently, unless 501c3 pastors get caught red-handed breaking U.S. laws, and convicted, in a timely fashion, it’s kinda hard these days to get rid of them, huh?

    Please recall these are 501c3 organizations, —not necessarily comprising or reflecting Jesus’ idea of ‘His church’.

    The pastorial corruption situation has apparently become so intensely bad that ‘Internet social media embarrassment’ ™ is now being used (at least to put a dent) extensively to rid the 501c3 church of these proverbial stealthy parasitic credentialed pastoral insects. (Your apropos descriptive adjective goes here)

    ;~)§

    – –

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  48. ZechZav: And this abusive situation is caused by a fraudulent system in the first place. The idea of a pastor or priest as a full time paid officer of the church is foreign to New Testament teaching. The idea of “pastoral authority” is also not Biblical.

    9Marx and TGC did not invent paid clergy; and pastoral authority is claimed in plenty of places where volunteers fill the pulpit. I spent 10 years in churches that worked perfectly well without paid clergy, and respect both unpaid and paid approaches (while drawing the line at obscene wealth).

    Many on TWW oppose payment of clergy, but I would guess that most American Christians have lived their lives in churches where clergy are paid: SBC, RCC, mainline Protestant, Eastern Orthodox, etc. Is there a significant difference in the faith of Christians who come from such traditions?

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  49. TS00: If any pastor is maligned, the office of ‘Pastor’ suffers; hence the coverup of even the ugliest of offenses.

    So tragic and wrong-headed. Everybody knows people sometimes do bad things. To name a secular parallel: Larry Nassar committed horrific crimes, but naming him did not discredit the worldwide practice of medicine. Exposing his misdeeds was important to bring about justice, and to force institutions to devise better ways to protect patients and athletes.

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  50. ishy: No. They write about pastors and their precious ministries, because that is the only thing that’s really important to them.

    That’s the intention behind this article. Peons are not important, only pastors. Show me where they are standing up for victims and I might believe they have better intentions.

    I suspect that from their perspective, this is justified (painful to see that word used in this context) by the importance they assign to the ministry of public preaching. Also, it may be that the terrors of post-mortem punishments that they reckon they are saving people from are so much worse than the pre-mortem sufferings of the laity that they latter are not worthy to be reckoned with (sort of a semantical flip-flop on Romans 8:18). That sounds really cynical but from my “question infernalism” perspective, that’s how it looks.

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  51. Max: IMO, if you love your wife (I do), you desire to see her walk in freedom … free in Christ to fully realize her place in the Body of Christ, without religious boundaries.The “beauty of complementarity” is a cute way to refer to bondage.

    I’m glad to hear that you do love your wife. Your opinion and description of shared life makes way more sense to me than the complementarian vision. Their vision and all of their protectiveness of their roles, with claim that God prescribes it brings this to my mind.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Q-bB-qywJ0

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC387823/

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  52. Samuel Conner: I suspect that from their perspective, this is justified (painful to see that word used in this context) by the importance they assign to the ministry of public preaching.

    I posted above that I had a recent conversation with a friend in a New Calvinist church over this very thing. They were scrambling to church discipline so many people because their system of trusting only in preaching isn’t working, and behind the scenes, it’s clear they know it. I don’t think all (or even many) of TGC has figured that out, but this large church has. Their church is crumbling around them, as are the churches of many of their high-powered friends. But they can’t publicly admit they are wrong, either.

    I suspect more of them know it than they let on, but to admit it might mean losing everything.

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  53. ishy: losing everything

    For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

    It sounds like the crumbling of that church might lead to something better than church discipline and trusting only in preaching. Sad and painful for people who just want to live a good Christian life in community.

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  54. Ella,

    Thanks for the links. Interesting. Baboon is a good fit!

    Ella: Your opinion and description of shared life makes way more sense to me than the complementarian vision.

    My wife and I “complement” each other in our spiritual gifts. She is just as important as me in the Body of Christ. If these “baboons” would understand this, they would know that a shared vision can harness diverse personalities and giftings regardless of gender to fulfill the Great Commission together. No one part is more important than another in the Kingdom of God.

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  55. If a psychologist sleeps with a patient, I am pretty sure it is a crime–not adultery. The patient has been exploited. In my home state, I have to sign off that I have not done any such actions for employment screening as clergy for a job. Sad, that this isn’t understood by the author of the 9Marks article (or at least, it wasn’t discussed as I could tell). Some places consider it a crime besides morally wrong.

    Also, it saddens me that care for the exploited women in these situations is so conspicuously absent. Calling it adultery obfuscates the reality that it is abuse of power with the women being abused by clergy in these situations who have access given to them by virtue of their ecclesiastical position.

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  56. Max: My wife and I “complement” each other in our spiritual gifts. She is just as important as me in the Body of Christ. If these “baboons” would understand this, they would know that a shared vision can harness diverse personalities and giftings regardless of gender to fulfill the Great Commission together. No one part is more important than another in the Kingdom of God.

    LOL. Thanks for enjoying the links. It is not only humorous, to me, but also a bit hopeful, there are some “good male baboons”, and the male scientist in a longer video version, seems to truly long for the peacefulness of the newly created culture and seems to want to retire near this group he’s followed and studied for so long.

    I’m not opposed to the word “complementary” but refuse to use it favorably and separate it from patriarchy since it’s been hijacked by that group.

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  57. TS00: To love someone is to treat them as if they have infinite worth and value. I have too often seen decent men, usually the insecure, needy type, turned into arrogant brutes as complementarity offered them the long desired opportunity to be ‘king of the jungle’. Stomping upon his most needed and greatest asset, the husband now believes in his ‘God-given authority’ to be a total ass.
    I know this sounds harsh, but I have witnessed so many enter unwarily into the patriarchal Calvinist fold, only to see their reasonably healthy marriage suffer, oftentimes irreparably. Sadly, I also lived it.

    TS00,

    I’m sorry you and others have had to go through this type of “transformation” of your husbands. I appreciate your honesty. I use to believe marriages, families and communities must be better inside churches than outside. I think that is marketed by some, but I stopped being influenced by that marketing quite a while ago. Now, if someone says they’re a pastor I assume the worst first instead of last. I’m not proud of this assuming, it’s just a “description” but possibly a warranted “prescription.” On the other hand, I’m very grateful and learned much from the #metoo/#churchtoo era and the egalitarian leaders, men and women, who used their positions of influence and power to speak things that made sense to me on those issues.

    When I read your definition of love, I like it, and think of my young adult children.

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  58. Samuel Conner: Also, it may be that the terrors of post-mortem punishments that they reckon they are saving people from are so much worse than the pre-mortem sufferings of the laity that they latter are not worthy to be reckoned with (sort of a semantical flip-flop on Romans 8:18).

    Given the efforts expended by some of them to rake in as much money as possible along with other good things of this life, it’s hard to believe that they really set much store by the “afterlife”.

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  59. Ken P.:
    Doesn’t 9Marks and TGC emphasize the authority of the local church and its elders?If this is true, of course an elder/pastor has a huge power advantage over any “partner” from the flock.That’s the definition of abuse/harassment.

    They have all the power and sense of entitlement, and zero sense of noblesse oblige. In their hierarchies, responsibility is a one way street (up, of course, not down).

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  60. Friend: It sounds like the crumbling of that church might lead to something better than church discipline and trusting only in preaching. Sad and painful for people who just want to live a good Christian life in community.

    No doubt, but the leaders are really scrambling to keep their power and money and doing very stupid, desperate things. And the members, of which my friend described both family and friends, are terrified of losing their entire culture and circle of friends. They can’t imagine a world that doesn’t revolve around this church.

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  61. ishy: No doubt, but the leaders are really scrambling to keep their power and money and doing very stupid, desperate things. And the members, of which my friend described both family and friends, are terrified of losing their entire culture and circle of friends. They can’t imagine a world that doesn’t revolve around this church.

    Sounds like Harvest. And many other churches on a smaller scale. We attended a church for a year where we heard constant references to a period in their recent history dubbed ‘the worship wars’.

    The pastor and his wife frequently used this phrase, never getting how telling it was. Those who view the challenges within a church as a ‘war’ view the ‘leadership’ as the legitimate ‘authority’ and all challenges thereof as sinful and illegitimate. Is it any wonder that it led to ‘war’?

    The pastor was, btw, unwarily under the influence of a Calvinist elder who had gained almost complete control of the board and was gradually reshaping this formerly Wesleyan church into his desired form of authoritarian, elder-leadership. When we left there was talk of changing its by-laws accordingly. God help them all, good folks who have served in this rural church and community for decades – they have no idea what they are in for.

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  62. TS00: Sounds like Harvest. And many other churches on a smaller scale

    It’s a big church that’s been written about on TWW. They haven’t fallen apart like HBC yet, but they seem to be right on track to do so in a similar explosive fashion.

    TS00: The pastor was, btw, unwarily under the influence of a Calvinist elder who had gained almost complete control of the board and was gradually reshaping this formerly Wesleyan church

    Wow, even the Wesleyan church? But that elder sounds like he was perfectly following the New Calvinist playbook.

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  63. Ella: there are some “good male baboons”

    I resemble that remark!

    Ella: I’m not opposed to the word “complementary” but refuse to use it favorably and separate it from patriarchy since it’s been hijacked by that group.

    The New Calvinist distorted position on the role of women in the Body of Christ may very well be the thing that triggers their downfall. When enough female believers declare “Enough is enough!” and start dragging their tithe-paying husbands/boyfriends out of the sorry mess, perhaps they will become more Biblically friendly to their wimmenfolk. But, that’s doubtful – the underlying theology is so warped.

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  64. ishy,

    Hopefully I am reading you correctly on this, but I think what you wrote could be explained by the fact that they have no good external mechanism to deal with sin in their own ranks, and in the ranks of the rank and file member.

    What I mean is, they are directed to look inward and upward to make silent confession, but there is no public confession and no actual absolution in their system. It’s all internal, in the theater of their minds.

    In contrast, other traditions have a very robust way to deal with sin. Weekly confession and absolution, in addition to private confession and absolution.

    The Reformed may have accountability partners or groups, but nothing, I suspect, reaches the level of depth necessary to do any serious reform on themselves. Confession is silent and internal, self directed, and so is the absolution. They silently absolve themselves, and as long as everything remains private it can remain hidden.

    This might explain a little of why the other party is forgotten in all of this. They can privately (in their own mind) admit to an affair, but they cannot admit to abuse of power because that would require a complete change of life if they are honest. Their theology says they are disqualified from preaching again, but their private sin management practices keep a lid on that ugly (to them) thought. Internally they keep the lights very dim.

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  65. Things aren’t going to get any better in some corners of the American church until the people of God stop caring what Jared Wilson, The Gospel Coalition, 9Marks, and New Calvinist icons think about anything!

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  66. TS00: When you view yourself as irrevocably chosen by God, all sin forever covered and invisible to God, you end up with a virtual license to sin. All of the pious talk about ‘faith alone’ frequently hides a desire to ‘sin boldly’.

    Sounds like some people need to reread Romans 6:1-2, reading their lips if they must to help with reading comprehension.

    Editor: Your sarcasm was not helpful so I’m keeping all of your comments in moderation to approved in order to help you to remember the Bible verses dealing with love and kindness.

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  67. Noevangelical: The Reformed may have accountability partners or groups, but nothing, I suspect, reaches the level of depth necessary to do any serious reform on themselves. Confession is silent and internal, self directed, and so is the absolution. They silently absolve themselves, and as long as everything remains private it can remain hidden.

    This might explain a little of why the other party is forgotten in all of this. They can privately (in their own mind) admit to an affair, but they cannot admit to abuse of power because that would require a complete change of life if they are honest. Their theology says they are disqualified from preaching again, but their private sin management practices keep a lid on that ugly (to them) thought. Internally they keep the lights very dim.

    From what I understand, my friend has said there is required confession, but they believe the Bible solves all issues non-physical and even some physical. The problem comes in when it’s someone else’s abuse. The victim is usually blamed, sometimes completely. There are those who conduct church discipline there who are trying to do the right thing. But there are those (particularly the elders) who are quick to blame women for the sins of men.

    Unfortunately for many people who undergo biblical counseling, they quickly find out that the Bible is not a solution for mental illnesses or when you get blamed for someone else’s actions. But the counselors usually are required/expected by these churches to denigrate any sort of outside psychological or legal help. New Calvinist theology also tends to place a lot of blame on victims and declare they must be causing at least half the problems.

    I agree with you when it comes to abuse of power. The ones in those churches reinforcing patriarchy are the ones who have most or all of the power and are benefiting from patriarchy. I’ve noticed they are also the most like to avoid talking about Jesus’ model of ministry.

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  68. Max,

    “The New Calvinist distorted position on the role of women in the Body of Christ may very well be the thing that triggers their downfall. When enough female believers declare “Enough is enough!” and start dragging their tithe-paying husbands/boyfriends out of the sorry mess, perhaps they will become more Biblically friendly to their wimmenfolk. But, that’s doubtful – the underlying theology is so warped.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++

    all female believers need to do is refuse to attend. i think an all-male church was kind of their dream all along. erasing women makes things very convenient for them.

    but the greater dream was personal power. i don’t think they realize that when the women are gone, their quest for power means they will end up turning on their own kind.

    the logical conclusion of the entire exercise is a church of one male human being.

    but they will have stood true to their principles, no compromise. that will be its own reward. as they stand there, crown on head, fur-trimmed robe over shoulders, scepter in hand, and gaze out at their empty domain devoid of resources which they rule.

    so, so stupid.

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  69. elastigirl,

    I would like to think self-destruction is the final end. But I suspect they will take down everyone and everything they can in the process. Look at the history of any despot, and you will see the massive harm they wreak upon all within their reach before they are inevitably taken down. Too many have already been harmed.

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  70. TS00,

    thinking further:

    i don’t think they’ll be happy when women aren’t there. they like women there for how it looks and feels. looks and feels normal. they would just prefer to interact with them on their own terms, when they feel like it, and how they feel like it. women who are acquiescent if not silent.

    they certainly like women to do all the things they don’t want to do. taking are of babies, kids, preparing food, serving food, cleaning up. clerical tasks. tasks in general.

    i don’t think they’ve thought things through. When women no longer come, they will miss them.

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  71. Ishy: In case you hadn’t seen this insanity:

    http://julieroys.com/chicago-radio-host-former-bodyguard-say-james-macdonald-asked-arrange-murders/

    “Under Illinois law, a person who requests or encourages someone to murder another person is guilty of solicitation of murder which is a Class X felony which comes with a 15-30 years prison sentence.”

    https://www.christianpost.com/news/megachurch-founder-james-macdonald-allegedly-sought-murder-for-hire-police-investigating.html

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  72. Bridget: Hope law enforcement is removing all the weapons and ammunition from James MacDonald. He is someone ready to implode.

    It sounds to me like he just needs to go to jail without bail until a trial.

    The earlier story of him sticking knives in the photos of people he didn’t like was a hint, I think. I worry about his reaction now.

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  73. Charis: I used to work for a large multi-campus church where family members were on staff together. It was very uncomfortable. Husbands and wives. Pastors and wives. Mothers and sons. Fathers and sons. We had a staff of 75 and I think I counted close to 30 were related to one another.

    If I had a conflict with one family member I never knew if that conversation (read that as assertive confrontation) could be trusted. Discipline was awkward. Most pairs enjoyed positions of leadership (department head) with higher salaries and additional benefits. One employee (son of a director) was a high-schooler who was promoted and paid more than me and I hold two college degrees.

    From a leadership perspective things could get…interesting. For instance, the CFO of the church and his wife both worked at this organization. His wife was head of another department. If I was in charge of a particular project and she didn’t want to follow protocol – what options were left to me? Do I confront her directly? Sure. And then what, when that fails (which it did). I approach my supervisor (her husband). Now what? He confronts her and supports me? How does that play out at home? What if he sidesteps the issue and gives her special treatment to avoid marital conflict at home? Then he sets precedent that other employees don’t have to follow the same protocol on this particular project. Messy!

    You just never knew where loyalties lie and who to trust. It was highly ineffective and uncomfortable.

    Where I currently work (healthcare) – family members cannot report to one another. The secular world (from my experience) is very careful about this because they understand how sticky it gets. The church? Nope.

    I will say again, for the umpteenth time:

    MEMBERSHIP IN ANY CHURCH IS 100% VOLUNTARY.

    Until and unless people just say NO, all the things that are discussed here in TWW will continue. People are so easily mesmerised and bedazzled and bewildered into thinking that the problem is them, when it is the church and its ‘leadership’ that is truly broken.

    Peer pressure and our social nature work together to keep everybody’s mouth shut, and it just gets worse and worse until you have implosions like Driscoll and MacDonald and countless others. And then, all of a sudden, everyone has a story to tell.

    It will never change, either, until and unless people exercise their discernment and stop being tithe chumps.

    But I expect it will never change, because people are so readily mesmerised and bedazzled and bewildered into thinking that the problem is them, especially when it comes to ‘spiritual authority’.

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  74. roebuck,

    And let’s face it, they are selling what many people want to buy: a ticket to heaven, free concerts, an accepting community, social events, holiday extravaganzas, etc. One might be forgiven for calling it extortion; you want our goodies, sign on the dotted line.

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  75. This could be a possible scenario: If they persist in dominance they will miss women’s/wive’s genuine admiration/adoration. I suspect they want this and getting it, in an authentic sustainable form is in conflict with dominance. A famous theologian, member of TGC, I hear from hearsay, says he likes/loves his wife’s admiration. I’ve seen a couple of movie lines that, to me, seem to reference this idea: “She doesn’t adore me anymore” says a perplexed and hurting older husband. Or, “You use to….” character can’t even get the word out, but his character and intentions for the object of his desire had been revealed (not to empower, provide, protect and enjoy life together in mutual consideration, but to take away choice and control, with the expectation that that could force the adoration to come back)

    One thing that might motivate women who’ve been duped to see the light (in reference to the baboon video) is to consider their personal responsibility for their health and their children’s health. People (or even baboons) get, literally sick, from being pervasively bullied/manipulated and not able to fulfill their desires for exercising movement in things they are drawn to that are fulfilling (have their efforts intentionally sabotaged repeatedly). Also, the video suggests that “wiring” is not an excuse to avoid areas of collaborative, noncompetitive practice that might be hard/different at first. Neuroscience proves pathways aren’t static, I think, and that sounds hopeful to me(for me). It might even produce, not the fearful dreaded feminine characteristics they so dislike, misunderstand and disrespect, but rather the self-control/management, self-respect they may wish they had more of, if they don’t have it. They may come to enjoy, deeply, seeing others empowered rather than exercising power over and trying to replicate the alpha, with underlings, version of themselves/their kingdoms. Their own long term health, too, may depend on it. Maybe undeniable light will shine on this idea from outside the organized church and they will be more open to facts and stochastic processes than considering any vision from a woman.

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  76. Noevangelical: The Reformed may have accountability partners or groups, but nothing, I suspect, reaches the level of depth necessary to do any serious reform on themselves. Confession is silent and internal, self directed, and so is the absolution. They silently absolve themselves, and as long as everything remains private it can remain hidden.

    Axioms of an honor/shame culture:
    1) IF NO ONE KNOWS OF MY SIN, I AM NOT SHAMED.
    2) DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES.

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  77. Brian: They possibly took Leykis 101 (Radio shock jock Tom Leykis)?
    I’m sort of kidding here.

    haha! They do want to keep their priority the priority and call it Authority. At least Leykis is honest and doesn’t claim to be speaking for God, at least according to my quick check at wiki.

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