Pastor Daniel Fusco of Crossroads Community Church Expressed Concern for Abuse Victims in USA Today But That’s Not How He Acted When Approached By Mary Fakhoury #churchtoo #metoo

Strong Woman

“They like to use those fancy words. They don’t like to say “raped,’” he said. “They say “misdeed,’ “inappropriate touching,’ “mistake.’ That’s insulting. I’m not a mistake.”
― Charles L. Bailey Jr., In the Shadow of the Cross


#IStandwithMary

The email that says it all.

I will refer back to this email from time to time in the post. The following post will give the context to this communication. In particular, I would like to call your attention to the dates mentioned and highlighted as well as the  written admission that the church received Mary Fakhoury’s November 2018 communication.

I have highlighted certain words in the correspondence. Those are my highlights, not the highlights of Daniel Fusco or Diana Blaser.

 

Daniel Fusco <dfusco@crossroadschurch.net>
Mon 1/21/2019 1:04 PM
Dear Ms. Fakhoury,

Thank you for your follow up email regarding the original letter you sent electronically on Tuesday, November 20, 2018Please note, we did in fact receive your letter.

The concern you shared about the safety of our church body is of sensitive nature and is in fact taken seriously.  We appreciate your heart and openness pertaining to Pastor Peter, as well as also we pray you do not have fear nor trepidation once you sent the letter.

Again, we thank you for your letter and pray God will bless & guide you.

In Christ,

Diana Blaser
Executive Assistant to Pastor Daniel Fusco
Crossroads Community Church

The email is unsigned and appears to be written by Blaser, an assistant, as well as Fusco whose name is at the top of the email. Or did he even look at it?

Lead pastor, Daniel Fusco, wrote an OP Ed published in USA Today, expressing his concern for those impacted by the #metoo movement

Daniel Fusco is the lead pastor of Crossroads Community Church in Vancouver, Washington. This is a large church with three campuses. Here is a link to his bio on the church website. (Click on his picture and the bio pulls up.) He has planted three Calvary Chapel churches and founded the Calvary Church Planting Network.

Due to the church’s association with Calvary Chapel, one may assume a top heavy authoritarian structure known as the Moses Model. The Phoenix Preacher has written extensively on this subject as have others.

In this model, a board of elders is established, but many critics charge that they often answer to the pastor or serve as stamps of approval.

As a model or idea, the Moses model is not wrong, though it does lend itself to autocratic rule. Detractors must take care, however, not to condemn every church leader using the Moses model as some work well and other models are also susceptible to abuse of power.

Here is a link to his 2017 OP Ed in USA Today: What Jesus could teach chefs, celebrities and a president about masculinity.

Here are some quotes from the post.

When we hear these stories, our hearts break for the victims. As a person of faith, this concern extends as well to the oppressed and marginalized. I am grateful that moving forward, men using their positions of power and influence to harass, demean or objectify women will be unacceptable. The “boys will be boys” idea, or whatever ways people try to justify this behavior, is finally seeing its long overdue demise.

…Any time a person is abused or harassed, it is wrong. And it’s even more alarming when abusers leverage positions of power as opportunities to prey on people.

…Far too many men feel that an oppressive, objectifying and demeaning view of women is just how we are — when the whole time Jesus is there, serving as the ultimate example of masculinity, for us to understand and emulate.

…I am hoping we will look at him with fresh eyes this Christmas and ask God how we can take on more of the qualities of Jesus. A heart to stand in the gap for other people, to see them in whatever state they are in, and push away any other thought than: God, how do you see this person, and how can I bless them today?

… I am not recommending any get-out-of-jail free cards for anyone who has perpetrated these evils that are being exposed. But we cannot forget that all of us are in need of forgiveness.

Are all sins equal or are some sins worse and deserving of worse punishment?

However, I see a red flag at the end of the piece. He says:

I am not recommending any get-out-of-jail free cards for anyone who has perpetrated these evils that are being exposed. But we cannot forget that all of us are in need of forgiveness.

I wish he had expanded on this concept. Some sins can also be crimes. Some sins are abusive when a person uses his hierarchical power to overcome a subordinate. Pastoral sex abuse involving a church member or subordinate is an abusive use of pastoral privilege. Surely Pastor Fusco is not equating the abuse of a young woman who was Johnsen’s subordinate to the sin of disobeying the speed limit? Perhaps this perception is what led to his tepid, almost cruel response (or lack thereof) to Mary.

If one carefully reviews Scripture, one can see that even God commanded different punishments for different sins. Jesus said it would be better to tie a millstone around one’s neck and jump into the abyss as opposed to abusing little ones (which can also apply to those in a subordinate or unequal position of power.) Matthew 18:6.

What happened to Mary Fakhoury?

The following is the story of what happened to Mary. She sent this to Pastor Fusco, assuming that he’d be understanding to her story, given his *compassionate* Op Ed. Sadly, she was wrong.

Since the previous church where Mary’s abuse occurred has responded in a sufficient manner, I agreed not to name the church in this post with Mary’s support. Mary has both expert legal representation as well as excellent counseling support.

The following is the letter that she sent to Pastor Daniel Fusco in November, 2018. I think most readers will agree that Mary was transparent and vulnerable as she reviewed her history with Peter Johnsen who she discovered his now serving as a pastor al Crossroads.

Dear Daniel

I’m writing to you today to share my response to the article you wrote for USA TODAY last December, the one on masculinity and Jesus. It’s been weighing on my heart a lot lately. My heart was feeling so heavy as the topic of almost every station at this time was sexual assault, because, yet again, another celebrity had come forward to share their story of pain and heartache. I couldn’t help but feel so angry. How could this happen again? Your name came up and I was so intrigued about what you had to say about masculinity.

I wanted to know more about what you were going to teach us on this topic knowing full well who Crossroads had hired a few months prior to this. I read it and my heart stopped for what felt like a few long minutes. I was so angry because how could a pastor write something like this knowing that someone on his staff was guilty of the very thing you wrote about. Then it dawned on me, Daniel probably doesn’t know. I wanted to give you the benefit of the doubt. I wanted to believe that Peter told you about his abusive past. I wanted to believe that he was mature enough to do this but judging by the article, that didn’t seem to be the case.

Daniel, I too, am part of the #METOOMOVEMENT you spoke of in your article. You mention in your article that “you are grateful that moving forward, men using their positions of power and influence to harass, demean or objectify women will be unacceptable.” You also mention, “Any time a person is abused or harassed, it is wrong. And it’s even more alarming when abusers leverage positions of power as opportunities to prey on people.” I’m so grateful that you have educated yourself on the topic of abuse and abuse of power.  I’m am grateful that you are aware of your power as well as challenging others.

Pastor Peter Johnsen did this very thing to me. Pastor Peter used his position of power to harass and demean me to get what he wanted when I working for him at another church. He did this by holding my job over my head every chance he got. As my boss, he criticized my work constantly frequently letting me know that my job was in danger, but never offering a plan or encouragement to improve. He reminded me of my mistakes almost daily and didn’t let me forget.  This was a way for him to break down my defenses, groom me, and force me to depend on him. He would tear me down, telling me that I wasn’t good enough for my job and then turn around and asked me for sexual favors knowing what he was doing.

At one point, Peter told me that no one cared about me and he was going to help change that by showing people what he saw in me. He preyed on me at my weakest moments and used his position of power to get what he wanted. The very person hired by Crossroads to lead people to Jesus did the unthinkable. Peter stole my virginity in his church office under severe pressure. I didn’t know what was happening until it was too late.

Peter wouldn’t take no for answer. He would often text me into the early hours of the morning asking for sexual favors. Even if I didn’t respond, he would continue to text me until I did respond. Often times, just to make him stop, I felt like I had to answer or give in to what he was asking. No matter how many times I would say “no,” he didn’t listen. He persisted until he got what he wanted.  Peter liked to remind me that “he needed to have sex at least 3 times a day because his wife wouldn’t do it for him”. Peter would often cry and apologize afterwards, but instructed me to not tell anyone for fear of losing his job and family. This served to instill a sense of responsibility and shame on my part, which caused me to feel trapped and unable to disclose what had happened, and become the guilty party.

During our last encounter of sexual intercourse, I had specifically said “No, I don’t want to have sex” but he persisted, pushed my hands away and proceeded. Afterwards, he offered the excuse, “I’m sorry, I just really needed it.” I was left feeling so hurt and confused as to what had happened. I said “no” but he didn’t listen. Peter had raped me.

Peter Johnsen was nothing short of abusive. He groomed me, pushing the boundaries of what is appropriate, tearing me down, and then using me at my weakest. As a victims of Peter’s, I bring this to your attention because, in my opinion, a man like this has no place in ministry. I believe that he poses a great danger to the church and others. I think Peter is a hurting man who needs a lot of help. I believe being in ministry intensifies his brokenness because of the pressure that it brings. In fact, his sexual advances were almost always done in moments of stress or after fights with his wife. I have no desire to be vengeful or hurt Peter or Marjie. I would prefer that everyone’s best would be considered

I write this letter with fear and trepidation and the hope that God’s will prevails. I humbly leave this situation in your hands.

The police report overlooked the problem of hierarchical abuse.

I believe that the police erred in their judgement that this was merely a “He said/She said.” Mary decided not to press the situation because Peter left the ministry.

Peter admitted to having frequent sex with Mary but claimed it was consensual in spite of the fact that he had authority over her in the church hierarchy. This is the abuse of power. At the very minimum, Peter Johnsen had frequent sex with a subordinate.

In the police report, it is clear that Mary was fearful of losing her job if she didn’t comply with Johnsen. I believe that it is quite difficult for those outside the church to understand the power that a pastor can exert on church members/staff. In many cooperations today, such behavior on the part of a boss would be grounds for dismissal and lawsuits. After such an event, that boss would be a pariah and viewed as a risk to other companies.

I believe that law enforcement may have erred in their judgement in this situation and that the DA should reconsider reopening this case. I plan to help Mary pursue this matter if she is up to the task.

Why did she write this letter to Crossroads?

She told me that she was concerned that Peter could continue to act in a similar manner in this church. If you will note, he is the Pastor or Emerging Generations which might raise some eyebrows.

She wondered if the church had notified the congregation of his past. I believe that those who attend this church should be fully apprised of Johnsen’s past. Remember, he did admit to frequent sex with a subordinate.

What response did she receive from Daniel Fusco?

None. Please refer to the email I posted at the top of this post. You will see that Fusco/Blaser admit that her email had been received and I guess they didn’t get around to it.

She waited two months and sent a followup email to see if they had received the email. Again, in the referenced email, you will note that they said they received her email and then proceeded not to respond directly to her concerns.

The sentence structure was confusing although the letter appears to acknowledge that they knew she was concerned about Peter.  It is claimed that her concerns about Peter were taken seriously by an anonymous someone but there was no  mention of action except to wish Mary “God’s blessing.”  I’m sure she was grateful for this *thoughtful* expression of sympathy…I am grateful that she reached out to Jules Woodson and me.

This response to her email did not seem to match Pastor Fusco’s expressed concern for victims in his OP Ed. The response appeared demeaning and hardly expressed a *heart that is breaking* for the victim. To me, this email appeared to say. ” Too bad, so sad, and get lost.”

What happened when I called the church?

The person who took the call had no idea about the emails so I am not going to call him out by name. Apparently, Pastor Fusco was in a meeting. However, this gentleman claimed to be some sort of communications person. I communicated to him that I was a Christian in order to let him know that I get the lingo. I told him I had reviewed the Op Ed and that I was intending on writing a post from Mary’s perspective as well as notifying USA Today.  I thought the juxtaposition of what Pastor Fusco wrote and how he actually responded a year later was fascinating.

The individual claimed that he did not know what happened but he said that Pastor Peter was in a process of being restored. At this point I interrupted him since I knew then that he knew something was wrong with Peter. I explained the I did not believe this man should be restored to the pulpit and that restoration in the Bible is referring to restoration to the body of Christ. In other words, if he shows he is truly repentant and humble, maybe he could sit in the pews and take communion.

I told him that I would have this post up late on 5/28/19 and if Pastor Fusco had anything to say, he was welcome to do so. This is when he made a big mistake. He was irritated that I only gave them “24 hours” since this is a very busy church. I said that, in fact, they have had 6 months to respond since receiving the first email and that 24 hours was more than sufficient.

I gave them my phone number and suggested they could contact Mary at her email address since they have responded to her one time. As of this afternoon, Mary and I have not received any messages. Given their paltry response in January, this is no big surprise. However, if they ever stop being really busy and are willing to say something more than *God bless,* I would be happy to print it.

Future action:

I will be contacting USA Today with this post as a response to Pastor Fusco’s embarrassingly poor actions to the victim of pastoral abuse.

Given that Johnsen is now back in the pastorate, I plan to urge the DA to consider reopening the case. Rape and abuse of clergy privilege should never blown off as a *He said; She aid.” Think about it. If he had been a counselor, he would have been arrested for sex with a client. So a pastor, who holds the sacred responsibility of caring for a church member/subordinate gets a write off?

Sadly, the way that Calvary Chapel works is the lead pastor is the main dudebro with little accountability to others. Hopefully, members of this church will see this post so they can ask some badly needed questions as well as keep an eye on things…

How should Pastor Fusco have responded to Mary?

It appears that he needs further training in how to deal with sexual abuse in the church. It’s one thing to say that he cares about #metoo victims and it’s another thing, far more difficult, to actually care for victims. That takes time. A victim should NEVER have to send two emails to provide a response.

I suggest he contact Boz Tchividjian at GRACE and get some help. Here is an example of how he might have approach that ed this issue. This can be found on the GRACE website.

Dear Victims:

You are indeed victims. You have suffered and we do not want to add our silence to that suffering. Once again, one of God’s shepherds used his position of authority, his gift of words, his intellect, and personality to draw you in when you were vulnerable and in need of care. All power belongs to Christ. Any power we have is derivative and sacred and to be used only for His glory and the good of His people. Anything less is an abuse of that power. You have been victims of the gross misuse of power God intended for your good. We grieve with you. We stand with you in the light. You have courageously exposed the deeds of darkness. Thank you, for we, as the Body of Christ, need your voices. Now that the light shines, a failure to respond on our part means we have turned from the light you turned on.

We pray for you, knowing full well that each and every one of you has a hard road ahead as you seek newness of life, healing, and a restoring of your souls. We pray that the failure of a shepherd will not lead you to forsake the Good and Great Shepherd who turns tables over and cracks whips when those in His Church rob His sheep and distort the truth of who God is. We also pray that God will multiply the fruit of your hard labor, to cause the greater Body to step into light and examine itself regarding the many silenced victims that live in its midst.

Pastor Daniel Fusco, you blew this situation in more ways than one. It’s time to regroup and maybe join me in saying #IStandwithMary #metoo #churchtoo


Comments

Pastor Daniel Fusco of Crossroads Community Church Expressed Concern for Abuse Victims in USA Today But That’s Not How He Acted When Approached By Mary Fakhoury #churchtoo #metoo — 168 Comments

  1. Whoa, this is in my neck of the woods – give or take a few hours of driving. I can’t quite figure out this part of the email: ” as well as also we pray you do not have fear nor trepidation once you sent the letter.”

    So, if they are concerned about her fear or trepidation, why aren’t they concerned about the gravity of the rape committed? Again, this is a case of hurry-up-and-get-the-abuser-pastor-restored, and to heck with the victim. The pastor who wrote the OP Ed is a fraud. To write those words and respond the way he did is shameful. I’m sure glad she has legal counsel. I hope the church’s insurance is paid up to date.

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  2. It is too bad that the church did not respond to your inquiry. I saw pictures of the large staff-if this blog gets out I am sure they will hear of it. The email response to Mary was evasive and spoken in christian speak so that it did not sound like they were blowing her off-which of course is what they were doing. Hopefully they will respond in a constructive manner and answer her questions honestly. DO THE RIGHT THING, Pastor

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  3. dee: Maybe you should drop by….I would imagine that there are serious issues involved here. Can you imagine them getting irritated I didn’t give them more time? I hope their church attendees ask questions.

    I’m headed to Vancouver and Portland next week. Let me know if you’d like me to swing by 🙂

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  4. I am so sorry, Mary. You didn’t deserve this. Thank you for your courage in coming forward.

    I’ve been concerned for a while now that as churches are realizing that “Me Too” is a thing, they will give lip service to it in order to sound appealing, while remaining some of the biggest offenders. This pastor proved my concerns are real. What a phony and fraud! It’s one thing to speak in front of an audience you want to impress, quite another to speak in private to one other person. Character is who you are when no one is looking. Apparently this abusive womanizer, Johnsen, has so much to offer the church, that his sinful character doesn’t matter to them.

    Any so-called “restoration” must begin by making amends to the actual victim. A “restoration” that is supposedly going on while the victim is unaware of it is a deception. Send him to a 12-step program. And how do you “restore” something that never existed, btw? He obviously was a wolf in sheep’s clothing to begin with.

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  5. Julie Anne: Whoa, this is in my neck of the woods – give or take a few hours of driving. I can’t quite figure out this part of the email: ” as well as also we pray you do not have fear nor trepidation once you sent the letter.”

    It’s quite a strange statement to make out of the blue and by bringing it up when she hadn’t, plants the opposite suggestion that there is a reason she should have fear and trepidation.

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  6. SiteSeer: I’ve been concerned for a while now that as churches are realizing that “Me Too” is a thing, they will give lip service to it in order to sound appealing, while remaining some of the biggest offenders.

    I have had the same concerns. When I read articles supporting victims in the #metoo and particularly the #churchtoo movements, I suspected that most of the writers (men writers) were just blowing smoke. Well, here’s proof that one of them was. Now, how many more?

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  7. It is best for everyone who is pro preventing rape to clearly explain that MOST churches do not believe that rape of men, women, little boys or little girls should be against the law.

    All these MEN who poop all over rape victims need to sit down and shut up about morality altogether. The truth is I do not believe these men are Christians. They are misogynistic lazy conmen who do not want to work for a living. They are embarrassing.

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  8. None of this surprises me. The only time I get surprised is when any so called pastor actually does the right thing. That is very rare. I see the problem as endemic. What we in western culture call “church” and what Jesus calls “Church” are two very different things. It took me over 4 decades to see this, so I do not expect many others to recognize this yet. But when you compare what the Scriptures have to say about Jesus’ body with what is actually called church today they are obviously two very different things.

    Actually, I am writing an article on this topic now. Not that there are too many whom I think will care to read it. But others have read this recent article by Rick Joyner called “The church as we perceive it in the West is about to die.” I too see a need for this as we need to be following Jesus Christ and not some man or religious institution. The article is here: https://publications.morningstarministries.org/word-for-the-week/second-american-revolutionarycivil-war-part-17
    The religious institutions we have all have a very real tendency towards corruption over time. We keep getting sheared in the process. Time to stop being as foolish as sheep and start being shrewd instead…

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  9. I stand with Mary. She is a close friend of mine who is near and dear to my heart.

    I know how difficult this journey has been for her. I admire her courage and brutal honesty.

    This whole thing has required her to bear her soul, reopening her emotional wounds. She does so to help end this predatory behavior and blatant abuse of power as well as letting other victims know they are not alone and that their voices and their truths matter.

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  10. Here’s what I’m willing to bet went on. It was a longer letter, explained a lot more, maybe more defensive, maybe more open. Don’t know. But then it got cut down bit by bit, maybe vetted by a lawyer or communications guy or a team of people until there was basically nothing left. If that isn’t what happened, if that’s what Fusco intended from the start, then he’s deranged if he thinks that’s even a response. Then again, maybe he is.

    One more thing. He’s sure quite the courageous fellow, passing that along to Diana his assistant. Amazing how many of these manhood guys, the ones who have this fixation on the word “masculinity” run and hide behind a woman at the first sign of an uncomfortable situation. Look, I can understand deferring to a woman’s wisdom and all. Moses did it with Zipporah and it saved his life. But still, I doubt that’s really what Fusco’s all about here, deferring to his assistant Diana. Could it be that he’s a coward?

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  11. Nancy2(aka Kevlar): I have had the same concerns. When I read articles supporting victims in the #metoo and particularly the #churchtoo movements, I suspected that most of the writers (men writers) were just blowing smoke. Well, here’s proof that one of them was. Now, how many more?

    I think some of them that were previously blowing smoke are running scared now. Not just from sexual abuse, but from people like us who have woken up, and from the media which now can easily get out a message to a whole community before a church has time to “fix” the narrative.

    They are used to being able to make everything happen the way they want, and they are seeing friends being crushed under actions they internally support as beneficial or normal to men like themselves.

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  12. Julie Anne,

    Mary’s letter to the church includes these words: “I write this letter with fear and trepidation and the hope that God’s will prevails. I humbly leave this situation in your hands.”

    The church appears to be quoting her in its reply: “as well as also we pray you do not have fear nor trepidation once you sent the letter.” This seems to be an attempt to reassure Mary.

    The church’s response is still awkwardly written and apparently clueless or evasive.

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  13. SiteSeer: It’s quite a strange statement to make out of the blue and by bringing it up when she hadn’t, plants the opposite suggestion that there is a reason she should have fear and trepidation.

    Please see my comment above. It is indeed a strange statement, but the church is quoting Mary’s letter and probably trying to reassure her.

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  14. Peter Johnsen is no different than Uncle Raggy, James MacDonald, or my own stepfather.

    I think what people don’t understand is that abusers and molesters both are weak minded people. They prey on those who are unable to defend themselves.

    Thank you Mary for coming forward. Hopefully your actions will give others the courage to come forward too.

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  15. SiteSeer,

    You make some great points:

    1) Talk is cheap.
    Nearly every sin James MacDonald practiced, he preached eloquently against. He could be condemned simply on his words alone. It even suggests that when a man ‘doth protest too much’ one might want to take a closer look at his actions.

    2) Abuse does not equal ‘a fall into sin’.
    We all succumb to sin. David is a perfect example. But that is enormously different from a deliberate abuser, who grooms and manipulates his victims for lengthy periods, pursuing sin like a lion pursues a deer.

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  16. SiteSeer: Julie Anne: Whoa, this is in my neck of the woods – give or take a few hours of driving. I can’t quite figure out this part of the email: ” as well as also we pray you do not have fear nor trepidation once you sent the letter.”

    It’s quite a strange statement to make out of the blue and by bringing it up when she hadn’t, plants the opposite suggestion that there is a reason she should have fear and trepidation.

    Agreed. It strikes me as a veiled threat.

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  17. NJ,

    Dee:

    In conjunction with NJ’s comment above, how old was Mary when she was raped by Peter? Was she just out of High School?

    I can’t put my finger on it, but it could be an indicator of the type of the other possible victims.

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  18. Bridget: This “pastor” should be charged with rape, coercion, and NEVER work in a church again. He abused his position in the worst possible way.

    Why is it that these ‘pastors’ always seem to get a pass when it comes to law enforcement?

    This has to end, and ‘churches’ must be made accountable to same laws of the land that secular companies and corporations must abide by.

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  19. Friend: The church appears to be quoting her in its reply: “as well as also we pray you do not have fear nor trepidation once you sent the letter.” This seems to be an attempt to reassure Mary.

    Thank you for seeing what I missed, Friend.

    Mary, thank you for your willingness to go public with your story. That is a huge and brave step to make to help ensure this man is stopped. People don’t understand how vulnerable it is to do something like this. You are a hero in my eyes!

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  20. Get ready for:

    I’ve watched him on that stage from 35 rows back for months now…I know he’s a godly man…I really know him, you don’t know him like I do!

    She’s only one woman, what about Matthew 18, where are the two witnesses?

    But what about forgiveness?

    But we’re all sinners!

    But what of all the good he’s done?

    What of David?

    This should be handled privately, you’re airing our grievances before an unbelieving world!

    How many people have YOU saved?

    You are destroying the church!

    And the unspoken words, but perhaps the true meaning behind all of the above: “I hate you, you attacked my idol.”

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  21. TS00: Nearly every sin James MacDonald practiced, he preached eloquently against. He could be condemned simply on his words alone. It even suggests that when a man ‘doth protest too much’ one might want to take a closer look at his actions.

    I’ve always thought a part of that is “Self-Medication In Secret”. They preach on their Secret Sin as a way of self-treating it without anyone finding out. Until one day it all blows up in their face.

    (Though JMac of HBC seems to have gone well beyond that; he sounds more like a flat-out sociopath constructing and polishing an Angel of Light mask.)

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  22. Muff Potter: Why is it that these ‘pastors’ always seem to get a pass when it comes to law enforcement?

    “Touch Not Mine Anointed!”, of course.
    Plus, Souls are the Currency of Heaven, and He $aved Lot$ of $ouls.

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  23. Dee from original post: “At this point I interrupted him since I knew then that he knew something was wrong with Peter. I explained the I did not believe this man should be restored to the pulpit and that restoration in the Bible is referring to restoration to the body of Christ.”

    and

    “He was irritated that I only gave them ’24 hours’ since this is a very busy church. I said that, in fact, they have had 6 months to respond since receiving the first email and that 24 hours was more than sufficient.”

    Nice! Good job! You go, girl! Way to hold them accountable for their hypocrisy and worship of “king Culture”.

    For those who haven’t seen it yet, here is a message concerning “King Culture” that I just saw yesterday. It is a good way to look at and understand this dynamic of men in positions of authority believing that they are entitled to little “extras” and get surprised when people call them out on it.
    The actual message starts about 27 or 28 minutes in.

    https://livestream.com/pepperdineuniversity/harborpbl19/videos/190780153?fbclid=IwAR1dyQ-T-KDTGkxGmf0GdSBlhlajO2qTZJmztcY92yt0Dfvw3MfzhNjt8aw

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  24. I’m totally grossed out by this guy Peter “I’m sorry, I just really needed it” Johnsen. Grossed out and nauseated.

    He has admitted to having sex with her, a person under his pastoral care and authority, someone whom he also had employer authority, and he was committing adultery against his wife (all abusive deliberate sins and perhaps a crime has also been committed).

    By Mary’s testimony (which I believe), he was also harassing and raping her, which he felt entitled to do “I needed it” (SICK!, a crime), coercing, manipulating and lying to her.

    Really, Crossroads???? This type of man is qualified to be called a shepherd amongst you????? Unreal.

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  25. Song of Joy,

    This really tragic thing is considering the authoritarian with a nice fake face culture of CC, considering the present state of celeb evangelicalism, and considering the toxic environment that invariably seems to occur when men are elevated above their proper place as just a co-heir, this guy might actually be a “good fit”.

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  26. Law Prof: One more thing. He’s sure quite the courageous fellow, passing that along to Diana his assistant. Amazing how many of these manhood guys, the ones who have this fixation on the word “masculinity” run and hide behind a woman at the first sign of an uncomfortable situation.

    There is a good reason why he deferred to his asst. She is able to take the flak and not him. Someone is trying to protect the pastor. I really hope we see their response soon.

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  27. A certain acquaintance of mine visited a megachurch in Ohio with friends. The pastor was promoting his book about “biblical manhood” and suggested that the women should buy it for their husbands. I looked up the guy’s Twitter, and he posted his article saying that men practicing biblical manhood would protect women from the Harvey Weinsteins of the world. A month or two later, he retweeted Tullian Tchividjian’s sob story and not to criticize it.

    Some church people are like this – imagining themselves to be very good at delivering righteous condemnation to the deserving party… who is different from them and they already didn’t like.

    PS,

    “Emerging generations” seems to cover children of all grade levels and young adults.

    https://crossroadschurch.net/ministry/crossroads-kids/
    https://crossroadschurch.net/ministry/crossroads-students/
    https://crossroadschurch.net/ministry/young-adults/

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  28. (from original post, at the end of Mary’s email): “I write this letter with fear and trepidation and the hope that God’s will prevails. I humbly leave this situation in your hands.”

    My guess is they will (try to) wiggle out of responsibility because Mary’s email didn’t specifically ask for a response to her. I certainly think she deserves to know the response and actions taken (or not taken) when they received this information, but it wasn’t explicit in the original communication.

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  29. To Mary: I am sorry that you experienced abuse from this man and applaud your courage for coming forward. You have my prayers.

    RE: Peter Johnsen – You should confess your sins to everyone, but especially to Mary, and should turn yourself in to the authorities. Rape is a hideous crime. The right thing to do is man up and face the music. But you won’t.

    RE: Daniel Fusco – Show some leadership and remove this creep from your church. You are complicit if you do nothing.

    RE: Church Members – Show some support for Mary by withdrawing your support for the church in time, resources, attendance, and especially money until this issue has been resolved by removing this person from your midst. He does not belong within 1000 miles of your children. Time to start investigating this situation for yourselves and asking a LOT of questions.

    You all just gave our faith a very big black eye. I have relatives in your area and will recommend they stay away from you and your church.

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  30. I just tweeted Daniel and asked him if he was going to respond to the serious allegations concerning one of his staff members. I guess the tweet goes directly to him as I could not see it. I do not know all the ins and outs of tweeting. Can you tweet and it not show up on the recipients twitter feed? I doubt he will respond as my question was straight forward. This is the first time I have tweeted a pastor directly concerning his weak response to a victim. If anyone finds some response given by Daniel I would appreciate it if you give us a heads up on this blog. I do not know the pastor or the church and specifically referred to the response he gave to Mary (whom I believe)-or lack thereof. I am assuming the pastor has to respond shortly.

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  31. Lance:
    I just tweeted Daniel and asked him if he was going to respond to the serious allegations concerning one of his staff members. I guess the tweet goes directly to him as I could not see it. I do not know all the ins and outs of tweeting. Can you tweet and it not show up on the recipients twitter feed? I doubt he will respond as my question was straight forward. This is the first time I have tweeted a pastor directly concerning his weak response to a victim. If anyone finds some response given by Daniel I would appreciate it if you give us a heads up on this blog. I do not know the pastor or the church and specifically referred to the response he gave to Mary (whom I believe)-or lack thereof. I am assuming the pastor has to respond shortly.

    He’ll probably block you. He’s such a brave, stand up guy, he’s already proven that great courage by hiding behind Diana.

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  32. Song of Joy: By Mary’s testimony (which I believe), he was also harassing and raping her, which he felt entitled to do “I needed it” (SICK!, a crime), coercing, manipulating and lying to her.

    Really, Crossroads???? This type of man is qualified to be called a shepherd amongst you????? Unreal.

    And of course, he must of played a pity card and said he was sorry and would never do it again, and they put him back in.

    Though, I agree with
    Guest that many of these men do not believe these things are wrong. Women and children are not humans in their eyes.

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  33. Lance: I do not know all the ins and outs of tweeting. Can you tweet and it not show up on the recipients twitter feed?

    Lance, try it again. It sounds like it didn’t register or get sent. You should be able to see it.

    Oh, and can you pls post his Twitter handle here? thanks!

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  34. ION: Cricket

    So, after a shaky start at the Oval, England set South Africa 312, and dismissed them for 207 within 40 overs – a convincing win for the hosts in the end, aided by an extraordinary one-handed catch on the mid-wicket boundary by Ben Stokes.

    Tomorrow sees the Windies take on Pakistan at Trent Bridge; a dry day forecast for Nottingham tomorrow.

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  35. You probably already know but Mary might have more success with a civil tort claim since they judge based on “preponderance of evidence” rather than “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard. If Peter is on a “restoration plan” that means the church and Peter agree he committed misconduct. I suppose the trick is proving legally liable misconduct as opposed to breaking church rules.

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  36. Song of Joy: I’m totally grossed out by this guy Peter “I’m sorry, I just really needed it” Johnsen. Grossed out and nauseated.

    He has admitted to having sex with her, a person under his pastoral care and authority, someone whom he also had employer authority, and he was committing adultery against his wife (all abusive deliberate sins and perhaps a crime has also been committed).

    By Mary’s testimony (which I believe), he was also harassing and raping her, which he felt entitled to do “I needed it” (SICK!, a crime), coercing, manipulating and lying to her.

    Really, Crossroads???? This type of man is qualified to be called a shepherd amongst you????? Unreal.

    AMEN and AMEN.

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  37. Ishy: And of course, he must of played a pity card and said he was sorry and would never do it again, and they put him back in.

    That IS the most common characteristic of a successful Sociopath — the ability to turn on a dime and Play the REAL Victim, reversing all blame onto his prey. Call it Mass Charm Person and/or “Shining the Stupid Ray on everyone”.

    Only the victim sees him as he really is, and nobody will ever believe him/her. Ever.
    Everyone else can only see the Angel of Light Mask.

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  38. Noevangelical:
    https://danielfusco.com/
    Another dudebro who wants to “make Jesus famous”.

    I once was a regular attender at a Calvary Chapel back in the days when Chuck Smith was still knocking people around and asserting his kingship, or lordship, or whatever it was he did, and I was also once an elder at a good old neocalvinist abuse cult, and I know to interpret that phrase.

    It means “Making Daniel Fusco Famous.”

    Simple translation, very straightforward actually. And you need to know that anything that might compete with the brand of Daniel Fusco and make him less famous is to be ignored, swept under the rug, or perhaps even destroyed. I think Mary has a pretty good handle on this aspect of things.

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  39. Headless Unicorn Guy: That IS the most common characteristic of a successful Sociopath — the ability to turn on a dime and Play the REAL Victim, reversing all blame onto his prey.Call it Mass Charm Person and/or “Shining the Stupid Ray on everyone”.

    Only the victim sees him as he really is, and nobody will ever believe him/her. Ever.
    Everyone else can only see the Angel of Light Mask.

    Once I told my big boss (one level removed, boss to my immediate supervisor) that I “felt micromanaged.” That’s all I said — just how I *felt.* Didn’t say who I thought was doing the micromanaging. Just said how I felt.

    This boss fired back that my statement was “vicious.

    What???

    How can merely stating what I *felt* be vicious??

    This was the same boss who ordered my immediate supervisor (the Ultimate Micromanaging Control Freak) to tell me that I was forbidden to learn new stuff ***on my own time.*** (I countered that what I learned on my own time — in this case SEO — was nobody’s business but mine.)

    Control Freaks Gotta Control. That’s the only thing they’re good at.

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  40. What a professional christian says:

    “The concern you shared about the safety of our church body is of sensitive nature and is in fact taken seriously. We appreciate your heart and openness pertaining to Pastor Peter, as well as also we pray you do not have fear nor trepidation once you sent the letter.

    Again, we thank you for your letter and pray God will bless & guide you.”
    ————

    What an objective person hears:

    “We don’t give a $h\t.”
    ———–

    What a dog named Peter hears:

    “blah blah blah blah blah Peter blah blah blah blah”
    ———–

    what a cat named Safety hears:

    “………”

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  41. I have to go with Crossroads (CR) on this one. Here is why:

    -The allegation explicitly states a minister committed a violent felony. Not stated, but potentially implied is that Crossroads may have acted unethically.

    – CR Leadership has a fiduciary duty to CR, (The Corporation) and it’s collective assets.
    That primary asset is the continued revenue stream resulting from the ongoing goodwill of potential contributors. It is a non-tangible, but vital asset to the survival of CR.
    -Mary, is not their fiduciary duty.
    -Mary may have significant damages.
    -While not known to be involved with the underlying alleged crime, CR could potentialy face unwanted supeana, if evidence emerges that pertains to the alleged crime.
    -Dee, (a blogger, and therefore an individual similar to a member of the press) contacted CR, and a staff member self reported the organization as a witness of some sort. Dee stated she was told, “restoration” was involved. Whatever that means. This is a damaging line of questioning.

    The bottom line is a witness has broad leeway to avoid, or at least attempt to avoid making statements.

    Turning from the present legal situation, and to the statements in Scripture, CR has substantial precident. If some wrongdoing has taken place, a witness/s can not be forced to condemn themself/s.

    It’s up to Plaintiff’s Counsel, or Prosecuting Attorney to make it stick, or not. Refusing to admit wrongdoing, is not itself, wrong.

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  42. Nathan Priddis:
    I have to go with Crossroads (CR) on this one. Here is why:

    -The allegation explicitly states a minister committed a violent felony. Not stated, but potentially implied is that Crossroads may have acted unethically.

    – CR Leadership has a fiduciary duty to CR, (The Corporation) and it’s collective assets.
    That primary asset is the continued revenue stream resulting from the ongoing goodwill of potential contributors. It is a non-tangible, but vital asset to the survival of CR.
    -Mary, is not their fiduciary duty.
    -Mary may have significant damages.
    -While not known to be involved with the underlying alleged crime, CR could potentialy face unwanted supeana, if evidence emerges that pertains to the alleged crime.
    -Dee, (a blogger, and therefore an individual similar to a member of the press) contacted CR, and a staff member self reported the organization as a witness of some sort. Dee stated she was told, “restoration” was involved. Whatever that means. This is a damaging line of questioning.

    The bottom line is a witness has broad leeway to avoid, or at least attempt to avoid making statements.

    Turning from the present legal situation, and to the statements in Scripture, CR has substantial precident. If some wrongdoing has taken place, a witness/s can not be forced to condemn themself/s.

    It’s up to Plaintiff’s Counsel, or Prosecuting Attorney to make it stick, or not. Refusing to admit wrongdoing, is not itself, wrong.

    Dang, Nathan.

    This isn’t a business, it’s supposedly the Kingdom of God. This isn’t about evidentiary standards and Fifth Amendment rights to remain silent. I know all about that stuff, I once practiced that stuff, I’ve taught it in higher ed for 16 years–and I can even write about it with acceptable grammar. You promote the truth and openness in the Kingdom of God. No matter what.

    Your post is disgusting.

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  43. Nathan Priddis: It’s up to Plaintiff’s Counsel, or Prosecuting Attorney to make it stick, or not. Refusing to admit wrongdoing, is not itself, wrong.

    Personally I think the clown that spoke to Dee used “restoration” to assure her (a fellow Christian) that it’s ok. The church is dealing with it, then got brassed when he realized she wasn’t their type of Christian.
    If this outfit is an authoritarian Moses model, they probably don’t get out much. Their primary experience consists of all church all the time.
    That’s why Fusco doesn’t get it. The church membership won’t either.

    Restoration is for old cars & furniture.

    Refusing to admit wrongdoing is all kinds of wrong.

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  44. Law Prof: It means “Making Daniel Fusco Famous.”

    Call me a fuddy-duddy, but I could hardly listen to the book promo on his Twitter. His preaching style is FM pop DJ delivery, and I don’t think he could hold his hands still if you paid him.

    Well, maybe if you paid him.

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  45. Law Prof: This isn’t a business, it’s supposedly the Kingdom of God.

    Yes and no. Their “kingdom” and their “god” equals Crossroads Community Church and it’s leadership. We’ve seen this before. Ol’ “I needs it” Pete will declare himself restored (just like the couch in our basement) and some worship leader will cry out how worthy ol’ “needs it” is and all will be right and btw ol’ Pete sure could use a “love offering”.

    And then the godless press (who being American probably consists of a fair chunk of christians – just not the right kind) will start their persecution.

    And then the main show starts because ol’ “needs it” Pete probably has left a trail of victims because he’s been needing it for a long time.

    And that restoration will split wide open like the cheap naugahyde of that old couch in my basement.

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  46. Jack: Personally I think the clown that spoke to Dee used “restoration” to assure her (a fellow Christian) that it’s ok. The church is dealing with it, then got brassed when he realized she wasn’t their type of Christian.
    If this outfit is an authoritarian Moses model, they probably don’t get out much. Their primary experience consists of all church all the time.
    That’s why Fusco doesn’t get it. The church membership won’t either.

    Restoration is for old cars & furniture.

    Refusing to admit wrongdoing is all kinds of wrong.

    The main problem with those churches promoting the Moses Model first off is that it’s just completely wrong for the New Testament era. Absolutely, completely wrong. Unsupported by the New Testament.

    The second problem is Moses was renowned for being the most humble man in the history of the entire world, at least up to his time, while I have never seen a Moses model church where the pastor wasn’t unusually proud, arrogant, haughty and entirely unlike Moses.

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  47. George: Peter has been removed from the church website.

    Archived version:

    Peter Johnsen

    Pastor of Emerging Generations

    Peter grew up in the Pacific Northwest with a passion for Jesus and ministry within the local church. He has been serving in pastoral ministry since 2002, in Los Angeles, Portland and Vancouver. After graduating from California State University, Northridge, he earned his Masters of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary. Peter has also served as the General Manager of Boomerang, a non-profit coffee and generosity shop in downtown Vancouver, WA. Currently, he is leading our Family Ministries, to partner with parents and caring adults, so we can teach our kids how to simply respond to Jesus!

    In 2003, Peter married his beautiful wife, Marjie, after they met while serving as counselors at a Crossroads youth summer camp! Together they are raising 3 young boys who enjoy playing sports, being silly and building legos. When Peter isn’t developing and leading ministries to reach and disciple the next generation, he’s spending time with his family.

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  48. PC: You probably already know but Mary might have more success with a civil tort claim since they judge based on “preponderance of evidence” rather than “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard. If Peter is on a “restoration plan” that means the church and Peter agree he committed misconduct. I suppose the trick is proving legally liable misconduct as opposed to breaking church rules.

    Good observation.
    Truth be told?
    I hope she sues the livin’ poo-poo out of em’ (crossroads).

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  49. When will they ever learn? Maybe ten years ago you could get away with blowing off the victim, but no longer. Are these pastor dudebros so clueless that they truly imagine the victim — stonewalled by *them* — will just stop there? Haven’t they seen the copious instances where victims, thwarted and sidelined by their churches, then went on to contact authorities and media?? Have they learned nothing from all these cases?

    This is not just evil. It’s stupid!!

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  50. TS00:
    Catholic Gate-Crasher,

    I’m sorry you haven’t a more pleasant place to work, where the people would respect you and utilize your strengths for everyone’s advantage. Control and power games nauseate me.

    Thank you!!! I am now retired and blessedly free of that place. I freelance part-time for a wonderful woman who is scrupulously fair and unfailingly appreciative of hard work. It has been so healing! (She is also a devout Southern Baptist.)

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  51. I noticed Johnsen is no longer listed as a pastor at Crossroads and his twitter account is deleted. Let’s hope the church will hire an outside 3rd party to investigate whether or not any misconduct happened at their church while Peter Johnsen was a pastor there. Also, once the church learned of the accusations how did the pastor remain in a position of trust??? Not cool church, not cool.

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  52. Law Prof: Dang, Nathan.

    This isn’t a business, it’s supposedly the Kingdom of God. This isn’t about evidentiary standards and Fifth Amendment rights to remain silent. I know all about that stuff, I once practiced that stuff, I’ve taught it in higher ed for 16 years–and I can even write about it with acceptable grammar. You promote the truth and openness in the Kingdom of God. No matter what.

    Your post is disgusting.

    He’s right, though, isn’t he? The “church” is just a business.

    And you are right, that it’s disgusting.

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  53. Friend: Peter Johnsen

    Pastor of Emerging Generations

    Peter grew up in the Pacific Northwest with a passion for Jesus and ministry within the local church. He has been serving in pastoral ministry since 2002, in Los Angeles, Portland and Vancouver. After graduating from California State University, Northridge, he earned his Masters of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary. Peter has also served as the General Manager of Boomerang, a non-profit coffee and generosity shop in downtown Vancouver, WA. Currently, he is leading our Family Ministries, to partner with parents and caring adults, so we can teach our kids how to simply respond to Jesus!

    In 2003, Peter married his beautiful wife, Marjie, after they met while serving as counselors at a Crossroads youth summer camp! Together they are raising 3 young boys who enjoy playing sports, being silly and building legos. When Peter isn’t developing and leading ministries to reach and disciple the next generation, he’s spending time with his family.

    Such a typical, glowing bio, exactly like countless others I’ve read in the years I’ve been a Christian. Nowadays, I wonder how many of them were covering up something heinous, just like this one. Based on all I’ve learned about people, in the course of growing old, I expect quite a few.

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  54. SiteSeer,

    “serving in pastoral ministry”
    ++++++++++++++++++

    these words just really bug me. so lofty-sounding. he’s just a church worker on salary.

    i know so many people who tend to others spiritually, emotionally, materially as part of their lifestyle. including me. not family, but others in their community. if pastor means shepherd, it’s simply what they do.

    it never occurred to any of them that they should be remunerated for what they do. what an utterly preposterous notion. they simply take responsibility for their faith, using their gifts. and it feels good and right — as using one’s gifts and talents typically does feel.

    why seek to be hired to do such things? why only do such things if a paycheck is attached? why wait to do such things until your ‘faith manager’ (church worker) tells you to?

    we can create our own dang opportunities. people are worth it. and our gifts are needed in action.

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  55. SiteSeer: He’s right, though, isn’t he? The “church” is just a business.

    And you are right, that it’s disgusting.

    Just so sick of it all. A bunch of them are just businesses. Tools to aggrandize a little group of preening, abusive narcissists who are six-year-old tyrants in adult bodies. A system to provide them with an income and perhaps the fame and adoring strokes from fans that they so covet.

    Anyone who treats the church like a business, they don’t know what The Church is.

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  56. elastigirl:
    SiteSeer,

    “serving in pastoral ministry”
    ++++++++++++++++++

    these words just really bug me.so lofty-sounding.he’s just a church worker on salary.

    i know so many people who tend to others spiritually, emotionally, materially as part of their lifestyle.including me.not family, but others in their community.if pastor means shepherd, it’s simply what they do.

    it never occurred to any of them that they should be remunerated for what they do.what an utterly preposterous notion.they simply take responsibility for their faith, using their gifts.and it feels good and right — as using one’s gifts and talents typically does feel.

    why seek to be hired to do such things?why only do such things if a paycheck is attached?why wait to do such things until your ‘faith manager’ (church worker) tells you to?

    we can create our own dang opportunities.people are worth it.and our gifts are needed in action.

    You’re describing actual pastors there. The people listed fourth in the list of five gifts in Ephesians 4. You’re actually using biblical standards for New Testament pastors, near as I can tell, because there’s no “pastoral office” described or defined in the New Testament. The people you’re talking about are true biblical pastors, members of the Body of Christ, servants like Jesus described.

    They people who write glowing bios and odes to their own greatness and who talk of “serving in pastoral ministry” and who pause to tell you about “their calling” and direct the church with “their vision”—those seem more like the super apostles Paul described in II Cor. 11 to me.

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  57. Law Prof,

    Notice how Mark Driscoll and C.J. Mahaney have not been man enough to go out in the big bad world and get real jobs.

    If Keith Raniere and Allison Mack had sense enough to call their perverted cult something Christian they would not be in the trouble they are in.

    When these people start wanting more attention, more money, and submissive women it is obvious they are just perverted cults. The name Jesus gives them cover.

    I always knew Doug Wilson and Mark Driscoll were abusive cult leaders and nothing else.

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  58. Law Prof,

    I was thinking the same thing. Nice little cottage industry he has built for himself in the PNW. Multi-campus “church”? Check. Blog? Check. Social media Presence? Check. Radio Program? Check. Personal Website, books, media? Check. Multiple Streams of income? Priceless!

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  59. Nancy2(aka Kevlar): He’s still listed as the youth minister — grades 6-12.

    I didn’t see his name there a minute ago.

    Used to be that churches handled these situations silently, with predictably bad results. Maybe they are changing the website and planning to contact church families, before making a public announcement.

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  60. elastigirl: if pastor means shepherd, it’s simply what they do.

    it never occurred to any of them that they should be remunerated for what they do. what an utterly preposterous notion. they simply take responsibility for their faith, using their gifts. and it feels good and right — as using one’s gifts and talents typically does feel.

    Very insightful. Perhaps the reason for the proliferation of abusive ‘ministers’ is that they are all essentially mercenaries, hired guns. It is the men and women who minister to others moment by moment, out of a heart of love, that are God’s true shepherds. It does not require a title or an anointing. This I imagine you as being, elastigirl.

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  61. TS00,

    thank you, TS00.

    it’s just all so striking…

    ‘church’ seems to me to make such a big deal of itself, take itself so seriously, claiming ownership of the word ‘pastor’ for itself (kind of like someone from imperial England stepping off a boat and stepping on a foreign land and claiming it for England, jamming a flag in the ground).

    when really, ‘church’ is religion-McDonalds.

    let’s build a new store or remodel this old one to look really spiffy. let’s pipe in music that conveys the right image and appeals to the right demographic. we’ll hire people with the right look and pedigree and give them a special-sounding title.

    oh, coffee drinks are popular? ok, let’s re-do our menu. oh, salads are trending? ok, let’s re-do our menu. let’s rearrange our entire business plan because these things are popular. and then we’ll put another one across town, and another one, then another one in an ever-increasing radius.

    afterall, the only way to get marketshare is to target the right customer base.

    …really, my experience of church is spiritualized silliness. it’s designed to sound holy, righteous, and sanctified. it’s packaged to look like a starbucks. it runs like a McDonalds.

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  62. Not sure whom to reply to with this comment, as a number of you have taken up the theme of whether something like a Biblically-Based Church™ should be held to the standards of the bible.

    Wartburgers will be familiar with this wee scrippie from John’s account of Jesus’ earthly life:

    But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?

    ISTM that the biggest source of persecution for seekers after Jesus in the US are the 501c (or whatever it is) “churches”. They are nothing, but nothing, but businesses. But they have made themselves some Jesus™ and have set themselves up as arbiters of who can, and cannot, get any of this Jesus™. It’s quite true that they want to make their Jesus™ famous; they certainly want it to be more famous than Jesus of Nazareth, because the more people conflate the two, the more profit there is to be made from their Jesus™ by diverting the attention of those seeking Jesus of Nazareth. The fact that the 501c’s are above the law, of course, makes them extremely dangerous.

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  63. I have a good friend that was pretty “high up” in a major Pharmaceutical company. That company has a policy that co-workers, not just supervisor/subordinate, can not date, obviously applying to outside work. My friend had two people “under him” come to him and ask for one to be transferred to a different part of company so they can date! That is how serious some companies go to prevent the kind of situation in this post… Apparently, this Big Pharma has previously acted on this policy…. and this was told to me over a decade ago….

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  64. Nick Bulbeck:
    Not sure whom to reply to with this comment, as a number of you have taken up the theme of whether something like a Biblically-Based Church™ should be held to the standards of the bible.

    Wartburgers will be familiar with this wee scrippie from John’s account of Jesus’ earthly life:

    ISTM that the biggest source of persecution for seekers after Jesus in the US are the 501c (or whatever it is) “churches”. They are nothing, but nothing, but businesses. But they have made themselves some Jesus™ and have set themselves up as arbiters of who can, and cannot, get any of this Jesus™. It’s quite true that they want to make their Jesus™ famous; they certainly want it to be more famous than Jesus of Nazareth, because the more people conflate the two, the more profit there is to be made from their Jesus™ by diverting the attention of those seeking Jesus of Nazareth. The fact that the 501c’s are above the law, of course, makes them extremely dangerous.

    And that’s the truth. Many of them can be extremely dangerous.

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  65. TS00: Sorta wish he had been given a good swift kick with a sharp high heel where he really needs it . . . All women should take self defense classes.

    I agree with the sentiment but no one should need self defense classes.

    As far as heels goes a co-worker of mine in the warehouse has a really cool pair of pink steel toed boots….

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  66. Jeffrey Chalmers: That company has a policy that co-workers, not just supervisor/subordinate, can not date

    One of my colleagues kindled a relationship with an executive in our company. Neither of them oversaw our department, but we looked like a shiny bauble to this couple. The executive seized our department’s employees, just to build an empire. Another executive sought vengeance by seizing the physical part of the growing empire: our offices and cubicles. We literally had to sit at desks in an open hallway. Unwinding the damage was an accounting nightmare. Fun times!

    Corporations might lack souls, but they understand the consequences of human behavior.

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  67. Noevangelical: Book,chapter, and verse please.

    Ok. This will be poorly laid out because I’m in the middle of eating. I’ll pick John 7-8. I believe there is crossover to the CR situation on three points.

    Precidence: When a witness/s has stumbled and may damage themself/s, they have a right to silence, and to attempt avoidance of further damage or embarrassment.

    -Chapter seven begins a two day confrontaion of Jesus vs members of Preisthood, Scribes and Pharesses. These are individuals serving in official capacities as leaders of the nation.
    -The setting is Jerusalem and ends in the Temple Treasury, on day two.
    -A sexual crime is publicaly alleged on day two, by the Scribes and Pharisees. It is not yet a trial, but Jesus is the subject of an attempted entrapment. He needs to pronounce some sort of position. The Scriptures apply in regards to the formulation of any position he takes.

    1. The above stumbled badly because no thought was placed into a strategy, but a self-inflicting statement had already been made. (The woman was taken in the act)

    Multiple witnesses will automatically incriminate themselves if they continue. We know this because a death penalty case must be established by two and three witnesses. At this point, we don’t know who they will be, but they are trapped.

    2. There are required, and non required, actions on the part of a witness. They are not required to voluntarily testify.
    In John 8, the witnesses are not required to kill the accused. They are required to cast the first stones, prior the the public joining in.

    3. The witnesses can cease speaking when they realize their situation. They also have a right to avoidance, as shown by the eldest who went out from the treasury.
    This identifies which men where guilty of wrong doing. They are the ones who commited adultery with her.
    The youngest Pharisees, by going last, identify themselves as members of the general public. Their purpose in coming was to join in stone throwing, after the witnesses, as required by the Law.

    Jesus does not have an official capacity, and therefore no ability to summon the eldest to return. The witness have successfully extracted themselves from the situation.

    The situation concludes when Jesus tells the woman he is not a witness.

    So back to Crossroads, where we are now post blunder.
    -The Leaders have no requirement to make further embarrassing statements.
    -Any statements could expose required actions.
    -Protecting oneself does not bring further condemnation in addition to any original act. They have rights to avoidance similar to that discribed with the Cities of Refuge. (Running from the situation)
    -Like the Leaders of Israel, they are recognized as legitamate leaders in the Kingdom of God. Actions and positions are two separate things.

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  68. Jack: I agree with the sentiment but no one should need self defense classes.

    As far as heels goes a co-worker of mine in the warehouse has a really cool pair of pink steel toed boots….

    I’m channeling pop songs of my grade-school days…

    “Mah boots are made for walkin’
    And that’s just what they’ll do —
    One of these days mah boots
    Are gonna walk all over you!”

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  69. Nick Bulbeck: The fact that the 501c’s are above the law, of course, makes them extremely dangerous.

    Especially when since 2016 in this country, they have a Friend in High Places to protect them. All it costs is enough flattery to become a favorite at Court. TOUCH NOT MINE ANOINTED!

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  70. elastigirl: ok, let’s re-do our menu. oh, salads are trending? ok, let’s re-do our menu.

    Let them re-do their menu from now until hell freezes over.
    More and more people are finding out that their ‘salad bars’ are tainted with salmonella so to speak.

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  71. Law Prof: The main problem with those churches promoting the Moses Model first off is that it’s just completely wrong for the New Testament era. Absolutely, completely wrong. Unsupported by the New Testament.

    But it’s Calvary Chapel’s trademark, and most all “non-Denominational Fellowships” in my area are Calvary Chapel clones with the labels repainted. THAT’s how much influence Papa Chuck (the original Moses of the Moses Model) had on the local Born-Again scene.

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  72. Friend: His preaching style is FM pop DJ delivery, and I don’t think he could hold his hands still if you paid him.

    Does that remind you of another ManaGAWD covered on this blog with similar “Jazz Hands”?

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  73. Law Prof: Simple translation, very straightforward actually. And you need to know that anything that might compete with the brand of Daniel Fusco and make him less famous is to be ignored, swept under the rug, or perhaps even destroyed.

    Including a meddling Rabbi from Nazareth.
    “CRUCIFY! CRUCIFY!”

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  74. dee: Just got word from an anonymous source that Peter Johnsen has been fired from his position at Crossroads!

    That still doesn’t let the church off the hook if they were really trying to “restore” him!! Oh, darn, it became public…

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  75. Friend,

    In the past what has these type of churches done after removing the visual information on the person? Get the congregants to circle the wagons? Sneak the person out the back door? What seems to be the common process/response?

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  76. dee:
    Just got word from an anonymous source that Peter Johnsen has been fired from his position at Crossroads!

    So this whole thing with the rape allegations and confessed abuse of a parishioner slides along just fine, as in he’s going to be restored, so long as they’re able to keep it under wraps, but when it hits social media, suddenly, he’s fired.

    If a person is truly fit to be restored, if the Lord truly told them “Restore this guy”, then there should be absolutely no question that he should be restored no matter what goes on social media, no matter whether a billboard is put up across from the church building with graphic photos of the assault itself. Nothing should matter if they’re truly following Jesus in this.

    If he should not be restored and he’s not fit because he’s a wolf or because he’s no longer above reproach, then it should not matter if he’s the biggest rainmaker Crossroads ever saw, shouldn’t matter if his presence would cause the youth ministry to explode and for 25,000 new people to come walking through the church doors. Nothing should matter if they’re following Jesus in this, because He has already proven he could create a megachurch in the open air in one day—then cause it to go “poof” with a few words.

    The only option NOT open to them, assuming they don’t want to give the whole thing away and prove up once and for all that they’re not about the truth, that they do not care about it, but are just about protecting the institution and themselves is the path they took, Again, they’ve proven that they’re not about the truth, that it’s just a business.

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  77. dee,

    “Just got word from an anonymous source that Peter Johnsen has been fired from his position at Crossroads!”
    +++++++++++++++++

    a positive.

    but why on God’s beautiful earth does an organization that purports to do what it does in the name of God have to be compelled to start taking (baby) steps toward doing due diligence, doing the responsible thing, doing the right thing???

    crimany, they’re just like the deceitful Goliath company i’m facing.

    I am David with my sling and 1 stone (yes, David is a type of me, a woman), facing the Goliath national company who exploited my elderly father. who refuse to do the mere reasonable thing, let alone the morally right thing, unless compelled to the point of no other options.

    color me unimpressed.

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  78. Brian: In the past what has these type of churches done after removing the visual information on the person?

    The case I know best was my own, and it predates social media. I accidentally divulged the abuse to a clergy member, not knowing it was abuse. The clergy member subtly drew me out. After that, the predator stopped volunteering with the youth, but nothing was ever said. He kept his distance from me and certain other youth club members, while continuing to hang out with other teens. Knowing nothing about any official action, I tried to say hi to him once or twice and he just glared at me.

    He was not the only predator in that church. They could have abused dozens of us, but each of us felt like the only one. More likely, we felt like rejected girlfriends who ought to keep quiet about our disappointment. I totally blamed myself.

    It took many years for me to figure out what happened. I have no way of knowing how common this silent approach was, but it does have some attributes of the RCC abuse scandal and certain TWW cases, eh?

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  79. TS00:
    Headless Unicorn Guy,

    Ha, you should have seen the swift edit I made the first time I found myself singing that in front of my small children. They know the real words now.

    I only vaguely remember the original song back when it was on the Top 10. I have a much better memory of one of our class clowns singing it in a squeaky parody voice.

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  80. elastigirl: I am David with my sling and 1 stone (yes, David is a type of me, a woman), facing the Goliath national company who exploited my elderly father. who refuse to do the mere reasonable thing, let alone the morally right thing, unless compelled to the point of no other options.

    At least they don’t “make long prayers in justification”.

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  81. “So back to Crossroads, where we are now post blunder.
    -The Leaders have no requirement to make further embarrassing statements.
    -Any statements could expose required actions.
    -Protecting oneself does not bring further condemnation in addition to any original act. They have rights to avoidance similar to that discribed with the Cities of Refuge. (Running from the situation)
    -Like the Leaders of Israel, they are recognized as legitamate leaders in the Kingdom of God. Actions and positions are two separate things.”

    They are recognized as legit leaders in the Kingdom of God like the Leaders of Israel? At least the Leaders of Israel had a line of succession, with position confirmed in part in Matthew 23 right before their actions were called out. (And of course, their position was about to head to the wayside.)

    Where is the succession that ties to legitimizing them as “leaders in the Kingdom of God”? Does just saying one is a legit leader make it so, or perhaps we are in a season where the actions — and fruits thereof — is how they are to be primarily known?

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  82. JDV,

    I had no need to say there is a tie-in.
    “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.”

    The authorities that have been established, where established by God. They are legitamate.

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  83. Nathan Priddis,

    I had no need to say there is a tie-in.
    “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.”

    The authorities that have been established, where established by God. They are legitamate.
    +++++++++++++++++++++

    then i establish myself as an authority.

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  84. Nathan Priddis: Doesn’t work that way.

    Sure it does.

    People who mind their P(s) and Q(s), and who don’t do the kinds of things to others they wouldn’t want done to themselves, need no kings, leaders, princes, or potentates.

    They are a law unto themselves.

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  85. Nathan Priddis:
    JDV,

    I had no need to say there is a tie-in.
    “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.”

    The authorities that have been established, where established by God. They are legitamate.

    The leaders of Crossroads can can themselves ordained leaders of God, but that does not make them that. Have you ever read in the Bible about all the people who say “Lord, Lord, look at all we did in your name” and He responds “I never knew you.”

    Have you read about the people Paul called “superapostles” who were very obviuosly not leaders in the church or coming in the name of God, in spite of their proclamations and their followers and fans in the church at Corinth?

    Anyone who claims that someone must have been placed in authority by God because they say it’s so and because they can get some people to show up on Wednesday and Sunday to listen to them speak simply does not care about the many things in the Bible that clearly and absolutely disprove this.

    I can call myself a chicken salad sandwich, but that does not make me one. Leaders at Crossroads can call themselves “ordained by God”, but that does not make it so. Nathan Priddis can call himself “discerning”, but that does not make it so.

    You

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  86. Bridget: Just because someone is leading in a church doesn’t mean they were given by God.

    Of course, this is so obvious and so supported by numerous places in the Bible—in fact, it’s a major, major theme of the Bible and especially Jesus’ ministry—that it is truly shocking when one claims to be a Christian and says what Nathan says. It makes me question not only his discernment, but his sanity.

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  87. Law Prof,

    Professor?!?
    You cut me to the quick. Have you ever heard me lay claim to sanity?

    You remember of course even Satan appeared before God among the Elohim? And petitioned God, twice, and it was granted. Satan actualy prays.

    And that God consulted among the spirits, when he wanted to kill Ahab. And God approved the spirits plan of enticement.

    Or that Balaam, an enemy, prophesied of the end, and his words are included in Scripture.

    Or that the High Priest prophesied concerning the Christ, that it was better for one man to die.

    Not to mention the nations where divided among the Sons of God. And that only Michael, the Prince of Israel, helped the messenger of God.

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  88. Law Prof,

    Professor?!?
    You cut me to the quick. Have you ever heard me lay claim to sanity?

    You remember of course even Satan appeared before God among the Elohim? And petitioned God, twice, and it was granted. Satan actualy prays.

    And that God consulted among the spirits, when he wanted to kill Ahab. And God approved the spirits plan of enticement.

    Or that Balaam, an enemy, prophesied of the end, and his words are included in Scripture.

    Or that the High Priest prophesied concerning the Christ, that it was better for one man to die.

    Not to mention the nations where divided amoung the Sons of God. And that only Michael, the Prince of Israel, helped the messenger of God.

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  89. I happened on this review of a book and I couldn’t help wondering how a similar principle might work within the church world. Here’s a small excerpt-

    https://themoderatevoice.com/kings-conquerors-psychopaths-from-alexander-to-hitler-to-the-corporation-book-review-and-interview-part-1/

    Some political observers and historians feel that authoritarianism, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, is making a comeback in the United States and in Europe after being discredited and (in part) defeated during World War II. The questions are always: how does that happen? Is it the strength of personalities, or ideologies that become unstoppable? Where did it start and can’t we be comforted by all the powerful Kings and conquerors throughout history?

    In his must-read, can’t-put-it-down book Kings, Conquerors, Psychopaths: From Alexander to Hitler to the Corporation Joseph N. Abraham provides a fresh take on these and other questions, backing it up with solid (often shocking) research that concludes we can’t just blame authoritarians but those who follow, obey, and emulate them. It is virtually in humanity’s genetics. He convincingly makes (and documents) the case that despite often romantic images, kings and conquerors were vicious criminals — and the fact the they were psychopaths, narcissists, and sadists became whitewashed, almost in a form of mass hypnosis.

    I haven’t read the book so can’t vouch for whether it’s a good read but the premise is food for thought.

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  90. Nathan Priddis:
    Law Prof,

    Professor?!?
    You cut me to the quick. Have you ever heard me lay claim to sanity?

    You remember of course even Satan appeared before God among the Elohim? And petitioned God, twice, and it was granted. Satan actualy prays.

    And that God consulted among the spirits, when he wanted to kill Ahab. And God approved the spirits plan of enticement.

    Or that Balaam, an enemy, prophesied of the end, and his words are included in Scripture.

    Or that the High Priest prophesied concerning the Christ, that it was better for one man to die.

    Not to mention the nations where divided amoung the Sons of God. And that only Michael, the Prince of Israel, helped the messenger of God.

    You are incapable of being cut to the quick, Nathan. You just bounce right back up like one of those inflatable toys we used to play with where you knock it down, but it bounces right back up unfazed, and you keep punching and punching until you’re worn out, and there it still stands.

    You forgot to remind me that Saul was also among the prophets. And to tell me about how Nebuchadnezzar (an Iron Age proto-Hitler) was called “My servant” by the Lord. But Nathan, why is that relevant? Of course the Lord can use whomever He pleases for His purposes, and if He wants to bargain with Satan himself, for whatever reasons please Him, His ways are not my ways, there’s something to it that is absolutely beyond my imagination or ability to comprehend. The One Who not only is aware of the dance of every atom, but created every atom, and conceived of the notion that there could be an atom, can be understood about as easily by us as a house cat understanding calculus.

    But that doesn’t mean that because a person is declared a leader of a church, that they are doing God’s will, are His servants in the Christian sense of being His authority at all. There are so many verses in the Bible that refute this completely. Again, a major theme of Jesus’ ministry was that the leaders were not only falling short of being God’s authority to whom they should bend, but instead were “sons of hell”, “blind guides”, etc. The balance of the New Testament is large part a warning to look out for those who go around calling people to themselves but are liars and wolves. This is probably a top-3 theme of the entire Bible, if it be fair to talk about the Bible in terms of themes.

    And in the interest of absolute honestly, I’m not technically a professor, am one step down, a lecturer. But being surrounded by people superior in intellect to me and therefore being insecure, I go by “prof” because it sounds better.

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  91. JDV,

    I believed that with the broad range of followers of the blog, some are not familiar with the text and don’t care. Others are, and need no reminder of the identities of the Elohim.

    My point remains the same. God has established authority great and small. From the god of this World, or the Elohim to whom he apportioned the nations and even men of Earth, such as elders.

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  92. Nathan Priddis,

    “God has established authority great and small. From the god of this World, or the Elohim to whom he apportioned the nations and even men of Earth, such as elders.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++

    hmmm….

    you seem to be saying that God has appointed satan/the devil/evil forces (the god of this world). Am i understanding you correctly? can you explain your reasoning?

    i know you aren’t saying that God has appointed all authority…. because you made it clear that God has not appointed me. (i’m dying to know how you know that)

    How do you know God has not appointed me?

    How do you know which authority God has, in fact, appointed?

    What is the process by which you come to your decisions?

    (this should be interesting.)

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  93. elastigirl,

    Maybe he has appointed you. I have no idea. You might be a guy named Bob and lead a church of 5000. I might be a guy named Bob.

    If you are confused about the nature of spiritual beings, I would suggest Googling Professor Michael Heiser.
    I do not subscribe to his over-all direction, and do not endorse him, but you may find his material helpful. Where I don’t subscribe does not pertain at the moment. It might perhaps be a crash course if you are not familiar with the material.

    He has approached the study of ancient lanquage, history and spiritual beings in a scholarly manner. The Evangelical world more or less does not.

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  94. Law Prof,

    You will forever be Professor to me. Don’t sell yourself short.

    I am not the person I used to be. There have been some pivotal points along to way. From the end of the 90’s I probably would have identified the same, or mostly the same concepts I pick up from you. (I’m guessing here based only on my recollection of your various post)

    If one identifies problems, it’s normal to search for corrective measures. If there is corruption and bad doctrine, then a logical solution would call for a return to integrity and sound doctrine.
    Bemoaning the state of affairs, and longing for revival is an American pastime pretty much. A Calvary Chapel type environment of the 60’s would be an example.

    As the years pass (for me) the idea of corrective measure, applied to a problem, equals solution, reaches a point of exhaustion. It does not reflect our 2000 year history. At least this was my experiance.

    Go back and review the list of individuals/groups you cited above. Set aside the mortal/immortalality for a moment and suddenly they all have a common thread.
    (Nebuchadnezzar is sort of an outlier in that he is appointed by God, but barely connects to the group, and the Kingdom of God. Still, let’s keep him in the list.)

    All where appointed as ministers of God.
    All fought the will of God after appointment.(Nebuchadnezzar the least direct)
    All attempted to seize or alter the line of succession to the Throne of David/God.(Definitely Neb did this)
    All fought/fight against the Christ ether prior, or following his birth.

    1. Would it be fair to say God has a continuous revolt by his ministers, both in Heaven and on Earth?
    2. It remains active, and has not concluded?
    3. We have a complicated situation as believers in this life?
    4. A believer has a logical expectation to appear before the Court in Heaven?
    5. It would be understandable for a believer to begin positioning themselves to make Court statements and motions prior to arrival?
    6. Might adopt a deferential and perhaps diminuative attitude towards prior decisions and appointments of the Court?
    7. Deteriorating health would make these positions more prominent?

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  95. Nathan Priddis:
    Law Prof,

    You will forever be Professor to me. Don’t sell yourself short.

    I am not the person I used to be. There have been some pivotal points along to way. From the end of the 90’s I probably would have identified the same,or mostly the same concepts I pick up from you. (I’m guessing here based only on my recollection of your various post)

    If one identifies problems, it’s normal to search for corrective measures. If there is corruption and bad doctrine, then a logical solution would call for a return to integrity and sound doctrine.
    Bemoaning the state of affairs, and longing for revival is an American pastime pretty much. A Calvary Chapel type environment of the 60’s would be an example.

    As the years pass (for me) the idea of corrective measure, applied to a problem, equals solution,reaches a point of exhaustion. It does not reflect our 2000 year history. At least this was my experiance.

    Go back and review the list of individuals/groups you cited above. Set aside the mortal/immortalality for a moment and suddenly they all have a common thread.
    (Nebuchadnezzar is sort of an outlier in that he is appointed by God, but barely connects to the group, and the Kingdom of God. Still, let’s keep him in the list.)

    All where appointed as ministers of God.
    All fought the will of God after appointment.(Nebuchadnezzar the least direct)
    All attempted to seize or alter the line of succession to the Throne of David/God.(Definitely Neb did this)
    All fought/fight against the Christ ether prior, or following his birth.

    1. Would it be fair to say God has a continuous revolt by his ministers, both in Heaven and on Earth?
    2. It remains active, and has not concluded?
    3. We have a complicated situation as believers in this life?
    4. A believer has a logical expectation to appear before the Court in Heaven?
    5. It would be understandable for a believer to begin positioning themselves to make Court statements and motions prior to arrival?
    6. Might adopt a deferential and perhaps diminuative attitude towards prior decisions and appointments of the Court?
    7. Deteriorating health would make these positions more prominent?

    I don’t often understand things well, slow learner. That’s not false humility, it’s a reality I’ve dealt with for five decades. You’re saying that you’re less likely to make judgments about what God is or isn’t doing and through whom (or not) as you approach your meeting with Him? Am I reading that right? Forgive me if it’s something else and it’s flying over my head.

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  96. Nathan Priddis,

    i understand spiritual beings quite well. but you were talking about authority from God, which you seem to purport to be able to discern.

    therefore, i expect you have an answer to these questions:

    –How do you know which authority God has, in fact, appointed?

    –What is the process by which you come to your decisions?

    (not sure why you keep evading these questions)

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  97. SiteSeer: Does “it is finished” not pertain to this?

    If there is a court case, perhaps we are exhibits more than witnesses.

    It is important to make distinctions of thing one, and thing two, three or four.
    Christianity is not a precise subculture.
    If one says “it” the question then becomes what thing does “it” distinguish.
    I claimed in statement #2 that a rebellion is in progress. That is not the same thing as Jesus death.

    A continuing rebellion is consistant with the Scriptures:

    …The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool…

    The Lord is now seated. History (the story) did not stop at John 19:30. The story turns to vs 31.

    For now, Christ’s enemies are doing quite well. I am also quite confident we will both be witnesses and exhibits in Court.

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  98. elastigirl,

    “I understand spiritual beings quite well. but you were talking about authority from God, which you seem to purport to be able to discern.”

    Therefore you remember that He..
    ..maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire..

    And to others he said..
    …Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High..

    All of these where assigned a function and authority as he determined. I have said nothing new here.

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  99. Law Prof,

    Your on the right road, but going the opposite direction.

    Death may have the effect of making one more concerned (not less) with prior judgements of God. And, a related increased interest in those whom he has taken actions through.

    The above paragraph has two distinct parts.

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  100. Nathan Priddis,

    “Therefore you remember that He..
    ..maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire..

    And to others he said..
    …Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High..

    All of these where assigned a function and authority as he determined. I have said nothing new here.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    speak plainly, man. i long for a straightforward reply. why is that so hard? i’m beginning to believe you enjoy playing with people’s minds for your own entertainment.

    my questions were:

    –How do you know which authority God has, in fact, appointed?

    –What is the process by which you come to your decisions?
    ————-

    with regard to your information quoted above (“maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire”), are you saying that applies to satan/the devil/evil spirits/darkness?

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  101. elastigirl,

    You have asked multiple times about my process. I think you are stuck on this point.

    There is no process. I have no process. People are not a process.

    People do whatever they want, with the information they possess and with the options open to them, in the moment said options are available.

    Examples:
    -Peter possessed a level of information about the Christ. He stated..you are the Christ. He chose that decision.
    -Peter chose to deny the same Christ. It was a choice he regretted after the fact.

    He was consciously interacting with his reality. This concept is officially anathema to doctrines such as Calvinism.

    On recognizing authority:
    …All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made…

    If something has been made, then God is ultimately the one that made it.

    I think Michael Heiser’s content would be very timely for you regarding spiritual beings.

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  102. Nathan Priddis,

    So I agree there’s been a continuous rebellion since the beginning of time with the exception of 2/3 of the angels. I’ve been a part of that rebellion even after coming to know the Lord in that dorm room back in ’82. It’s just now I’m aware of that ongoing struggle with my Maker and aware of what He did to remedy that. I understand people get a little more circumspect as time passes and they know they’re coming close to meeting Him. So this is what you’re trying to say about being more deferential to past decisions? Maybe more fear of the Lord because you’re thinking maybe being a part of that rebellion yourself, not so different from the ones we call out here (and maybe assuming we’re not as different from them as we might think), that you’re slower to judge and give them more latitude? I’m still trying to figure out. You talk like one of my law professors, I have trouble untangling it.

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  103. Nathan Priddis,

    “You have asked multiple times about my process. I think you are stuck on this point.

    There is no process. I have no process. People are not a process.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    …only because you refused to answer it. til now.
    —————

    “On recognizing authority:
    …All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made…”

    this is utterly meaningless at face value. it obviously means something to you. no one will have a clue unless you elucidate ye.

    look, Prid, this is your last chance. speak plainly.

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  104. Law Prof,

    Uhmm…maybe somewhat.
    There is a generality to your description. It’s fine sorta.

    My expectation falls outside the lines of normal, and perhaps allowable Christian thought.
    I don’t look at the afterlife quite in the sense of generality.

    If you search for Heaven sermons online, you would presume them to be a dime a dozen. But Heaven is not a typical sermon topic. Some could pass for a bong hit.

    That to me is strange because the whole point of religion is to justify oneself worthy of afterlife.

    But it one expected to have a work related relocation, to a smelly armpit of a community? You would speak of ththe place as though it involved a real relocation, to a real address.

    If you expected to argue a case in a specific Federal Court, you would have certain expectations. I assume you would also put forethought into your actions and statements prior to actual appearance, and presentation of your legal construct.

    What I expect is an address before the Court. That’s likely reversed in a typical Christian mind.

    Ok. Let’s pick an actual enemy of God. I’m choosing one from 3000 years ago making them disconnected from ththe issues of today.

    Ahithophel is discribed as incredibly wise and Godlike. As a kinsman of Uriah, he had a right to kill David. David was a murderer, and could also be thought of as a kidnapper. Both acts punishable by death.

    David is the offender, Ahithophel is in the right. He is following the Law of God. He ends up grouped with Judas, Jesus, Absalom and the sons of Haman, as cursed with hanging. He attempted an attack on the lineage of Christ.

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  105. With Ahithophel, don’t know, all I can do is speculate. A really wise guy, gifted, brilliant, just the sort of person that God sets up to assist a great Jewish king at a pivotal time in Jewish history. Of course he had every right to be enraged at David. David’s hands weren’t clean. But maybe there was more afoot that just David the man, there was the future of Israel, God’s plan for the world, the whole thing leading up to Him dying for us, and it was going to come through David’s line. Why? Because that’s what God was doing. I don’t know why God wanted that, but of course, who am I to argue? I’m a cat and there’s that calculus. And if that was what was going on, and it’s hard to imagine it wasn’t, in retrospect, there was probably no one in a better position to perceive that than Ahithophel, who’d been given angel-like wisdom by God Himself and was closer to David than anyone.

    The point of my faith isn’t to justify myself worthy. This is a Christian cliche because it’s the heart of the matter.

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  106. Law Prof,

    I left a rambling txt while tired reply, complete with extra rambling.

    An average Christian Male is trained to express self depreciating statements. Augustine set the example and even some of the original symbolism remains, such as a burning heart, or similar phraseology.

    When I mentioned a rebellion, it was not in reference to personally embarrassing behaviour.

    Rebellion- Engaging or joining in violent uprising against established government figures.

    One is not like the other

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  107. Law Prof,

    Your reply is completely unbiblical. Where’s the second witness you ask? HIS OWN ADMISSION. Peter admitted to adultery at minimum, and that alone is a permanent disqualification from ministry, period. Case closed, end of story. There’s no restoration to leadership from that.

    In regards to the church airing it to the unbelieving world, what about the command avoid “giving the appearance of evil.” This is a public ministry; the pastor wrote an op-ed in USA Today for crying out loud. You’re suggesting the proper course of action is to say nothing publicly? That’s patently asinine. We are held to a HIGHER standard. “For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” 1 Peter 4:7

    When sin is done by leadership, the correction is to be done publicly. “Better is open rebuke than hidden love.” (Proverbs 27:5)

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  108. Tyler Long:
    Law Prof,

    Your reply is completely unbiblical. Where’s the second witness you ask?HIS OWN ADMISSION. Peter admitted to adultery at minimum, and that alone is a permanent disqualification from ministry, period. Case closed, end of story. There’s no restoration to leadership from that.

    In regards to the church airing it to the unbelieving world, what about the command avoid “giving the appearance of evil.” This is a public ministry; the pastor wrote an op-ed in USA Today for crying out loud. You’re suggesting the proper course of action is to say nothing publicly? That’s patently asinine. We are held to a HIGHER standard. “For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” 1 Peter 4:7

    When sin is done by leadership, the correction is to be done publicly. “Better is open rebuke than hidden love.”(Proverbs 27:5)

    Yes, Dee’s right. I was mocking the whole thing. You overlooked the part where I said “Get ready for…”. And you’re definitely right, it’s not biblical.

    But it’s the pattern with way too many people. I’ve watched defenders over the years come here and start out with angry denials, they’ll call you a slanderer, a liar, shout about Matthew 18 (which they take out of context pretty badly). Then, when the whole thing’s proven up and the evidence is slapping them in the face, or maybe there’s a cracked voice apology in front of the congregation, they’ll pivot to “But what of King David–he wasn’t perfect, either, was he?” And then to “But what about forgiveness? You evil servant of h—, your sins won’t be forgiven because you’re not willing to forgive.” People will do this without even acknowledging “Oh sorry, I was wrong when I was telling you there’s NO WAY Pastor Niceface could’ve done that thing.” If they would at least do that, acknowledge something once in a while, there’d be some humanity there that you’d feel you could work with, there’d be something about their behavior that sounded Christian. A few people do, in fact, I’ve seen the transformation of some people here as they came to terms with the truth and realized they’d been in a type of idolatry of a flawed man and church system. A few have joined us thereafter. But most, in my experience, not even close.

    Interestingly, this didn’t happen here, no defenders have come over. So I was wrong with the warnings, at least on this forum to this point. A few possibilities: 1). They’re genuinely shocked and feel no desire to defend this, they have the right attitude about it, 2). They’re ignorant of TWW (extremely unlikely that all of them are), 3). They’ve been given a different set of marching orders, to ignore TWW completely, and they are fanatically lockstep at Crossroads as none have broken the code. I don’t know which of the three is correct.

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  109. Was just taking a break from the work I should be doing and did a bit of net search and came across this: “‘Love can bring this country back together,’ said local pastor Daniel Fusco…Let’s be like God and let’s love people even if we don’t agree with them.”

    He gave this stirring message about love and healing and loving even the ones who are saying things we hate hearing. He did it right after the election 2.5 years ago. Got quite a few views on FB and a little local media recognition out of it (“Crossroads Community Church pastor’s message of healing goes viral”), a lot like he did in 2017 in USA Today when he spoke out about abusers leveraging their power to facilitate their abuse.

    Talk is so cheap. It feeds a narcissist’s lust for attention, it provides cover and misdirection for abusers. Am not saying Fusco’s a narcissist, God knows one way or the other, am not saying Fusco’s an abuser, all-in-all (though the way he treated a victim in this case seems highly abusive). But I am saying Daniel Fusco had the opportunity to love someone who was hurting and with whom he disagreed, that he had a great chance to stop an abuser from leveraging their power.

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  110. I went through the exact same mental abuse, working with Peter for a year.

    He would tell me, “you know people tell me I should just give up on you.” Making me feel like no one wanted me at the Church, just him. Only he believed in me.

    Tell me that I was immature, unequipped, not ready to serve. But he believed in me, and would say, “you can do it.” He would hold ministry over my head and threaten to pull me out of everything if I didn’t submit to his rules, even if they weren’t biblical principals. And he did do it to me twice. Humiliated me by putting me back into leadership, announcing it in front of everyone, and pulling me back out 2 days later for breaking a “rule” that was never spoken, let alone it wasn’t even a sin or wrong. Just what he thought. Never giving me a game plan just telling me I was “in restoration.”

    Now that he is gone, all the pastor’s have pulled me back in and have me serving in a lot of places. I’m so thankful to see that it wasn’t just “how Peter operated” or “he just does things differently.” Causing me to feel crazy at times, but that I was infact being manipulated and phycologically abused by him.

    I didn’t type this up to join in and try and talk poorly about him, but I’ve never got to really voice this and now reading those words, gave me peace to know I wasn’t crazy, I wasn’t doing things wrong, it was something wrong with him.

    I wish him well, and pray for Him.

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