Update 7/1/19 The Rest of the Karen Hinkley Story: Dealing With The Dallas Morning News, Matt Chandler and The Village Church Behind The Scenes

“Crying is all right in its way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later, and then you still have to decide what to do.”  – C. S. Lewis


Note: Amy Smith of Watchkeep gave me permission to use her name in this post. When you see the word *we,* it is referring to Amy and me.

Also, if things stay calm, I will post a great article written by TWW readers on the subject of ethics on Friday.


Many TWW readers people are aware that Amy and I worked on bringing the Karen Hinkley story into the public eye. Amy and I wrote a number of posts. The Daily Beast did a decent job in summarizing the mess.

Megachurch: Stay With Your Kiddie Porn-Watching Husband—or Face ‘Discipline’

So how did we get to that point.

How do we pick a story to tell?

Amy and I do not chase people, asking to tell their stories. Many times, we will post as story that we read about in the news or on various websites.The first and last time I chased a story was in the summer of 2009 when I called Tom Rich, FBC Watchdog and asked if I could tell his story. Thankfully, he said *yes* and we have been friends ever since.

In Karen’s case, she contacted Amy Smith and asked for help. Amy asked me to speak with her. She suggested that, if Karen wished to tell us her story, I could handle the membership covenant/church discipline angle and she could handle the issue surrounding Karen’s soon to be former prog viewing husband.

When victims call us, we assume the role of listener and supporter. We do not force anyone to *post* their story. And only one time did some wires get crossed but that is a story for another day.

I do not take advertisements on TWW nor do I do any kickback programs for book suggestions. I want people to know that I do this as a ministry. So I made sure that no one would be able to accuse me of doing this to *make money.*

In Karen’s situation, I was in Florida on our annual family vacation. I spent hours on the phone speaking with her, as did Amy. On several occasions I told her that we did not have to write her story if it made her feel uncomfortable. I reiterated that we only wanted to be of support to her. This situation took up the better part of a week and I’m thankful my family was understanding.Sound like I really had an *agenda,* doesn’t it?

Does/did The Village Church have ties to the Dallas Morning News (DMN)?

When Karen first contacted us, she expressed concern that a reporter at DMN, told her that this story would be published in the Sunday edition. But, Kevin Krause, the reporter, kept moving the date. Karen decided that if the DMN wouldn’t publish the story, then she would want us to do so. Once again, let me reiterate. We told her we would support her, no matter if she posted with us or not.

I spoke with Krause who told me the *lawyers were looking into the story and then they would publish it. However, I suspected something was up. Finally, he told me that the lawyers were concerned about lawsuits if they published the story.

I told Krause that it was a ridiculous excuse since Karen had supplied lots of emails and texts as proof of what happened. Also, he had a copy of the letter that was sent out to the intimate group of 6,000 TVC members, claiming Karen was *under discipline* and her porn viewing husband was *walking in repentance.*

I’ve long suspected that The Village Church has ties to the Dallas Morning News. As international media covered Karen’s story, the DMN stayed very, very quiet.Why?

Recently we discovered that David Roark, TVC’s *Communication and Resource Director,* also writes stories for the DMN. Here is one such article. There are many more.

Since graduating from college and getting married, I’ve worked full time as a writer for two local marketing companies and freelanced on the side, writing movie reviews and stories for several online and print publications. Taylor and I became Covenant Members in fall 2010, and we are currently part of the Dallas Northway campus.

We have since been told that there are others associated with DMN who also attend TVC. We would love to get confirmation on this. It is increasingly hard for me to believe that the DMN would turn a blind eye to a notable, provable yet negative story involving The Village Church. Thankfully, the New York Times is covering the story of the victim of  Matt Tonne or the Dallas community would have no idea that there is  a story of  national interest going on at TVC. Isn’t a potential lawsuit brought be a victim who was a child at the time of her rape of interest to the Dallas community?

I would love to hear the DMN explain this situation but it might involve Chandler imposing church discipline on DMN employees who have signed the infamous legally enforceable church covenant.

The refusal of the DMN to *notice* that anything is amiss at The Village Church will continue to result in the Dallas community not being informed of other untoward happening at TVC. Hint: the coming weeks may bring some eye opening reports. Thankfully, real news media like the New York Times and Religion News Service along with blogs, will be sure to get the word out.

Did  Matt Chandler manipulated a sad situation to attempt to discredit Amy and me: the rest of the story?

Matt Chandler and TVC put Karen Hinkley through hell in order to play games with church covenants and church discipline. There were legal sharks circling the TVC waters and Chandler knew they were in real trouble. For example, I would have paid big bucks to hear how Chandler could biblically* justify sending an announcement of Karen’s discipline to 6,000 members.Talk about harassment!

Karen fled Dallas during the debacle and landed in my neck of the woods in North Carolina. I spent a weekend with her, attempting to be a friend in the midst of this turmoil. Karen is a deeply committed Christian who honestly cared about the mission that she was forced to abandon due to her husband’s paraphilias.

She truly despised being the center of such negative attention and was obviously vulnerable during this time period. What transpired next is no reflection on Karen. She is a good and decent person who had just undergone through an horrific experience with her former church. I was amazed that she held up as well as she did.

Matt Chandler flew into town to make this situation go away. The last thing he wanted was a lawsuit so he came prepared to deal. I was not present at that meeting. So, what happened?

  1. Chandler agreed to get up in church and apologize for what happened. He would say that Karen was *justified* in seeking an annulment.
  2. Chandler promised that *heads would roll.* They didn’t.
  3. There was more than an apology that was offered as part of this deal. Amy and I would suggest that TVC members ask exactly what else happened.Update 7/1/19 Karen is very nice person who never asked for anything for herself. 

However, shortly afterwards, I received a call from Karen who shared with me that she was told by the pastors that we were using her for our agenda.Update: 7/1/19 Karen says she said she merely felt used. I was shocked and became quite teary at this point as I recalled the number of hours I spent away form my family trying to console her as the Dallas Morning News played their games with her. I spent a weekend with her, enjoying music and dinner in a nice area of North Carolina.

I asked her to explain how Amy and I had used her. I asked her to help me understand because I would never want to come across as having an agenda. I reiterated that Amy and I receive no money for what we do. I reminded her that I told her she didn’t have to tell her story and that I would still be there to support her through the rough times.

Karen, who is a good communicator, could not tell me what my *agenda* was. I realized that she was being manipulated by Chandler who was not happy that we faced off with him and wouldn’t back down. I told her that I would continue to pray for her as she headed off to law school.

This was quite hurtful to us. However, this attempt at TVC style intimidation didn’t work. It just made us smarter. We continued on in our *agenda* to support victims, to expose predators in the church, to target pastors and church leadership who cover up abuse and to help people to understand how some theology is used by authoritarian leaders to *control* the sheep. I think that our agenda is well defined and it has stood the test of time. I’m proud of what we are attempting to accomplish. But our agenda is rathe uncomfortable for certain leaders who would prefer that we get sidelined.

There are more stories about TVC waiting in the wings and some of those stories could be upsetting. Such narratives will probably be picked up by the media (except for the Dallas Morning News) and they might cause more questions to be asked of the leadership at The Village Church.

However, this time, victims and their friends will be better prepared.


Comments

Update 7/1/19 The Rest of the Karen Hinkley Story: Dealing With The Dallas Morning News, Matt Chandler and The Village Church Behind The Scenes — 333 Comments

  1. 3. “There was more than an apology that was offered as part of this deal. Amy and I would suggest that TVC members ask exactly what else happened.”

    Are you at liberty to explain what you mean by this?

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  2. Humans are social animals. Never underestimate the power of ‘belonging’ especially when your entire life revolves around that social group.

    Ms. Hinkley sounds like she struck a deal. Maybe to get back in or maybe to be left alone.

    Interesting and unexpected addendum to the story.

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  3. M. Joy: 3. “There was more than an apology that was offered as part of this deal. Amy and I would suggest that TVC members ask exactly what else happened.”Are you at liberty to explain what you mean by this?

    Nope but I’m hoping some folks. might ask some questions.

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  4. And Matt Chandler goes on selling “clean” steaks.

    Stay away, folks, stay away.

    I wonder if I should make my plans for Together For The Gospel 2020 now, since it looks like the popular speakers invited to this shindig have issues with child sexual abuse? April 14-16 in Louisville.

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  5. The Village “Church”. How in the world did they think it was their right or role to tell a woman who she must remain married to, much less a pedophile. I will never understand why people put themselves under this oppression. Do they not read their Bibles? “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” “Who are you (the Village Church) to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.”

    I guess the DMN credo is “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.” Thank God for media outlets who are not afraid of truth. Loyalty should never come before truth.

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  6. dee:

    Has Karen reached out to you at all since, or has she been silent?

    I’m glad you wrote you don’t blame her, as she continues to heal and establish a new life, we can hope and pray that your words mean something to her.

    My hunch – a financial settlement to set up elsewhere, along with the usual caveats – no talking, break off relationships with anyone who has the ability to talk/write freely, etc.

    In defense of the DMN, lawyers kill stories all the time. Media lawyers tend to be skittish, reporters mostly tend not to be. That having been said, seems any DWN news employee that attends Chandlers church is between a rock and a hard place.

    My prayer is that Karen may be able to reach out to you someday. Her world, her dreams, her expectations and her life were so destroyed, not only by her husband, but by the church, it’s mind-blowing.
    As so you compassionately point out, the community she knew is gone. While it is not uncommon to be called alongside someone so hurt, be there for a season and then lose touch, it’s hard.
    Meekness and compassion have steel backbones, you stout-hearted daughter of Stan:^)

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  7. Longtime reader, first time poster. Dee thank you for all you do and did with the Karen Hinkley situation. I am grieved to hear about how things ended in regards to Karen. Chandler is capable of anything and nothing would surprise me anymore. We were in a room and witnessed an Elder lie to a room full of small group leaders without batting an eye. Chandler also fired our campus pastor for being too much of a pastor. Apparently he was always with the sheep caring for them and that was somehow a threat. Didn’t matter that he was one of his oldest friends that had been with him from the beginning. I will never forget that Sunday Morning as our family was sitting right behind our campus pastor when they broke the news that he was no longer our pastor. They also ended up firing his replacement and still have not said why. It’s all very hush hush. My gut says they axed him because he stood up to them in some fashion. They very much conduct themselves in a cult like manner. As for the link at the bottom of the post I believe it. When I was in the STEPS program a woman in our group was badly mistreated by the counselors at the Flower Mound Campus while separating from her husband. Heartbreaking situation. Those involved with her “counseling” were quite sexist and I believe emotionally and spiritually abusive. I witnessed other abusive tactics while in the STEPS program they run. That program alone could be a topic all on its own. Keep up the good work and thank you again for your faithfulness!! Know that there are those of us here in the metroplex that get it and strive to bring healing where we can. Your efforts helped keep our family safe and for that I am forever grateful.

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  8. Dee, thank you for sharing this. It makes me even more determined to be praying for you and for your ministry! People who have a clear conscience don’t react like these have done. The meanness, bullying, and playing loose with Scripture and truth, only seems to be “working” for them as they attempt to silence victims. However, we know that nothing is hidden from God. Stay strong, Dee, knowing that God has set your path, and that many are praying for you. If you need a hug, I’m sending one across the continent 🙂

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  9. This may not make sense, but. From reading readings the article it wasn’t really about divorce but pulling away from male headship. By her asking for an anullment, she was àlso defying the church deacons.

    The Bible allowing separation, and divorce in the case of infidelity, why should TVC be irritated if she started dividing the finances, living away from her husband. How would have TVC reacted if her husband had actually had an affair. They’re not even following biblical standards.

    She didn’t submit herself to the control of the deacons and they got all wrapped around the axle.

    I wouldn’t be angry with her on how she become become angry with Dee, after the Chandler visit. It takes a long time to fully disconnect mentally from an abusive environment. As you think a person may be progressing, the abuser/manipulator can come in and pull on a loose string.

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  10. __

    “Tut,Tut, lôôks like 501c3 rain…”

    hmmm…

    ***When you sign an ‘TVC members agreement’ ™, rest assured your ‘domestic affairs’ are apparently fair game for brodcast publication…

    Sniff, Sniff…Do you ‘smell’ the profound hypocrisy?

    (sadface)

    TWW: “We will continued on in our mission *agenda* to support 501c3 victims…”

    Swooooosh!

    Speak Up!

    ATB

    Sòpy

    Intermission:
    MonaLisa Twins: “I’ll Follow The Sun?” – (A Beatles Cover)
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zjvDB5PV1_4
    Bonus:
    MonaLisa Twins – “Please Please Me?” (A Beatles Cover)
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=gjrZJg7iqfk

    ;~(§

    – –

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  11. The FBI did a check on HK’s husband’s computer and found no childporn. He wiped the hard drive clean or he switched computers. That’s not asking for forgiveness. When you come clean you’re supposed to take your lumps too. He had an exit strategy if he was caught. These guys plan everything out. He did it in such a way, knowing the environment of TVC, that it would place him in the center of attention, garnering sympathy.

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  12. __

    Is your 501c3 run by proverbial credentialed pastoral maniacs by maniacs means, perhaps?

    hmmm…

    You took your time to speak your mind…

    Out loud?

    Really?

    bump.

    With Houston Chronicle’s: Its exposure of more than 700 abusive 501c3 ‘professional’ pastors and counting,

    The 501c3 curtain goes up, what next will we find?

    The same ole lies, a tainted promise land; a biblical compromise! perhaps?

    What?

    “…Thirty-five years later, Debbie Vasquez’s voice trembled as she described her trauma to a group of Southern Baptist leaders. She was 14, she said, when she was first molested by her pastor in Sanger, a tiny prairie town an hour north of Dallas. It was the first of many assaults that Vasquez said destroyed her teenage years and, at 18, left her pregnant by the Southern Baptist pastor, a married man more than a dozen years older. In June 2008, she paid her way to Indianapolis, where she and others urged leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) and its 47,000 churches to track sexual predators and take action against congregations that harbored or concealed abusers. Vasquez, by then in her 40s, implored them to consider prevention policies like those adopted by faiths that include the Catholic Church…”
    https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/investigations/article/Southern-Baptist-sexual-abuse-spreads-as-leaders-13588038.php

    **

    TWW:“We will continued on in our mission *agenda* to target and expose 501c3 pastors and church leadership who cover up abuse.

    No longer a need to do the ‘501c3 tip-toe shuffle’ ™ ?

    (sadface)

    hmmm…

    Could b.

    [tears]

    ATB

    Sòpy

    Intermission:
    MonaLisa Twins – “Still A Friend Of Mine?”
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QsiKXfFkRoA

    ;~)(§

    – –

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  13. Besides his TVC position, Matt Chandler is President of the Acts 29 Network, founded by potty-mouth preacher Mark Driscoll. The Driscollites have a history of being church bad-boys. Why would we not think that this cast of New Calvinist dudebros do things behind the scenes that are deceptive in nature? Just ask members of SBC traditional churches which have been taken over by Acts 29-friendly “pastors” what they think about the young whippersnappers.

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  14. It is hard giving so much of yourself and your time helping someone wade through all the muck of that difficult situation. You worked so hard to remain honorable in your actions. It must have felt like a slap in the face to be accused of having an agenda when your actions consistently were focused on doing the opposite.
    My guess is Karen was past done and didn’t have the emotional bandwidth to keep going any
    more. Her children and family in similar agony just wanted it all to stop. As a mother her focus probably became more about moving forward. Giving their life some longed for normality. A settlement with non disclosure let there be an end to it. It could have all been about protecting her children from futher fall out, a strong motive for any mother to walk away from it all.
    Her settlement probably exists at all because of what you did. Ministries don’t fork out $$$ unless it is worth their while to do so. The light you both shone on this situation made them want to make it go away. It isn’t the most desirable ending and the frustration must be huge. You gave it your best efforts and that in itself is pretty amazing.
    Your efforts did a lot of good and put these sort of churches/leaders on notice that their power and control is not limitless. There are people that will say it as it is, without fear or favor.
    The standards of behavior you set for yourselves speak for themselves. Your intentions and actions were good You are modern day warriors that have the respect of many.

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  15. Shirley Myers: playing loose with Scripture and truth … seems to be “working” for them

    This in a nutshell describes counterfeit “pastors” in the American church who twist Scripture to manipulate, intimidate, and dominate church members. It only works for them for a season … there’s a payday someday.

    Genuine pastors declare with Paul “We have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:2)

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  16. Shadowfax,

    The old adage, where there is smoke, there is fire….. there continues to allot of smoke coming out of TVC and Mr. Chandler……
    Hey TVC, my only “agenda” is that of the “Prime Directive” of TWW… listen/support victims, and hold church leadership accountable, Publicaly. For all you “supporter”, that say we should not air “dirty laundry” , I hold up the parable that we should be the shepherd that leaves the 99 to look for the single lost sheep. Also, I have professional colleagues that are just disgusted with the “church”, and all these types of “cover ups”….. my colleagues are not stupid, and they are watching the behavior of these “characters” like Mr. Chandler.

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  17. Shadowfax,

    Thank you Shadowfax for your insider perspective of TVC. Your words confirm what we outsiders have been concerned about for years:

    “… Chandler is capable of anything … witnessed an Elder lie … all very hush hush … conduct themselves in a cult like manner … emotionally and spiritually abusive … I witnessed other abusive tactics …”

    So glad to know that God delivered you and your family from this bondage. “We have escaped like a bird from the fowler’s snare; the snare has been broken, and we have escaped.” (Psalm 124:7)

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  18. Max: Besides his TVC position, Matt Chandler is President of the Acts 29 Network, founded by potty-mouth preacher Mark Driscoll. The Driscollites have a history of being church bad-boys. Why would we not think that this cast of New Calvinist dudebros do things behind the scenes that are deceptive in nature? Just ask members of SBC traditional churches which have been taken over by Acts 29-friendly “pastors” what they think about the young whippersnappers.

    A note on the origins of Acts 29 church-planting network that amplifies the deception in its DNA. Mark Driscoll was a CO-founder, not THE founder, of Acts 29. The other co-founder was David Nicholas. IIRC, he was the one with the vision and the funds, and Mark Driscoll eventually took over and Nicholas pretty much got removed from mentions in the origin story.

    See details on some of the origins and outworkings of Acts 29 in this post and reader comments:

    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2014/06/20/mark-driscoll-acts-29-continue-to-draw-criticism/

    Mark Driscoll and others did similarly with multiple co-founders of Mars Hill Church. It was not started by merely Mark and Grace Driscoll; other couples were equally involved, but likewise got ghosted in later versions.

    Deception in the DNA; the deeper the roots the more rotten the fruits.

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  19. In answer to Church Lady, yes we spent most of our time at the Fort Worth campus. We were a part of its early stages before they got settled into their own building. Before that we had gone occasionally to Dallas Northway Campus. They got rid of Lee Lewis, then Anthony Moore and now they have Dave Bruskas. Given Bruskas spent some time at Mars Hill perhaps he is more their speed.
    Very close friends of ours know Anthony and they couldn’t get him to talk about why he was axed. I believe he had some sort of “gag” order of some sort. Not sure how to legally define it? We had moved on before Anthony was fired but we were there for the transition from Lee to Anthony. Dirty dealings if you ask me.

    As for the comment about smoke….. yes there most definitely is fire. Sheep are definitely being ravaged. It’s awful. When we left we called everyone in our small group and told them we could no longer endorse TVC or it’s leadership and did what we could to make sure others were safe.

    Thank you for you kind words Max. Detoxing the last few years has been quite the experience. Their hooks run deep here. They wanted their hooks into Southwestern soooo bad. I personally witnessed them showing favoritism to someone high up at Southwestern all so they could get an “in”. When you have time to process its amazing all the little things that come together to see a bigger picture. Well the picture I see is absolutely disgusting and monstrous. Once I figure out legality around it I will be making some tshirts to wear around town speaking the truth of who they are and what they have done. Call it free advertising. My blood stills boils over their conduct and what they have gotten away with. We are very grateful to be safe and free but so many still aren’t. It’s not just TVC the whole area is rotten.

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  20. Shadowfax: It’s not just TVC the whole area is rotten.

    New Calvinism’s tentacles extend further than we would like to think. I talked about Mark Driscoll and Matt Chandler once with a new reformer in my area, “lead pastor” of an SBC church plant. He referred to them as his “influencers.”

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  21. Shadowfax: They wanted their hooks into Southwestern soooo bad. I personally witnessed them showing favoritism to someone high up at Southwestern all so they could get an “in”.

    Hmmm, this is interesting to me.

    We all have known for awhile that the New Cals were taking over the seminaries, and I witnessed SEBTS’s takeover personally, but I wonder if this is a sign that the New Cals are starting to fracture? What I mean is that it was inevitable that SWBTS would end up with a New Cal leader, but it would be someone approved by Mohler. But if Chandler and friends want to control SWTBS, this might be going against Mohler’s direction.

    Because the New Cals are so power-hungry, I predicted a long time ago that they couldn’t keep playing nice together for that long. Somebody was bound to want to be top dog and challenge Mohler for that position.

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  22. Max: New Calvinism’s tentacles extend further than we would like to think.I talked about Mark Driscoll and Matt Chandler once with a new reformer in my area, “lead pastor” of an SBC church plant. He referred to them as his “influencers.”

    I suppose when you have publishers in your back pocket your tentacles know no bounds.

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  23. ishy,
    Real Christ like behavior, is it not? When this stuff gets “exposed”, the contrast to what it means to be a “follower of Christ”, or have Christ as your master, is just breath taking….

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  24. Jeffrey Chalmers: When this stuff gets “exposed”, the contrast to what it means to be a “follower of Christ”, or have Christ as your master, is just breath taking….

    I’m still waiting for a good “biblical” explanation for why they deserve authority. They never seem to argue why, just that people should not question it.

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  25. ishy,

    It’s certainly plausible. They are the New Cal top dogs in this area. They could have wanted to help Al or build their own. Their interest was well before the outing of Patterson. It would seem competition is the only inevitability when you are dealing with the size of the egos they possess. Southwestern was nothing more than a giant pissing contest under Patterson. Al finally got one of his in at Southwestern and the firings have begun.

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  26. Shadowfax: It would seem competition is the only inevitability when you are dealing with the size of the egos they possess.

    I think we were also witnessing some of that with the Founders at Conference this year. I don’t think they’ve ever played super nice together, as I think the Founders resent the New Cals because they were “there first”. But I certainly felt like they were up to something.

    Power corrupts inevitably…

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  27. From the link at the end of the article above: “If there is a culture of domestic abuse that is being enabled at TVC, it needs to stop. Using membership covenants to keep women in abusive situations is nothing short of evil. I have also heard (unsubstantiated) reports of women afraid to pursue divorce because they fear more abuse, loss of support & community or being brought under church discipline, etc. THIS HAS TO STOP!”

    While this is not surprising (unfortunately) it is so VERY sad. I feel for abused Christian women who are totally trapped and can see no way out. They are left to suffer alone in the darkness and if they do have the courage to reach out for help… they are told that it’s all their fault for not submitting enough. They need to be heard, validated, and set FREE!

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  28. ishy,

    Another thought occurred to me. Mohler got Southwestern, but TVC was building their own Institute through the church. Completely under TVC control. It functions in competition to Southwestern. It was around the beginning of this Institute that I witnessed the Elder lie about having no qualified teachers yet to teach classes. They certainly view their Institute as on par with what Southwestern has to offer in so far as theological training is concerned.

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  29. Shadowfax: TVC was building their own Institute through the church. Completely under TVC control. It functions in competition to Southwestern.

    Really!? I had not heard about this. Although, I don’t live in Texas, so I don’t hear about TVC unless they do bad things (which does happen more than it should).

    I notice right away from their website that they challenge the idea of seminaries by saying this education should happen in the local church. But it also says that the Institute courses can get credit at SWTBS or DTS. Their prices are unusually low, which tells me there’s probably some indoctrination going on.

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  30. ishy,

    Most definitely it’s indoctrination. No question. They make all their own curriculum. From top down. Kids up to adults. The STEPS program as well was written by them. Total control. The credit o think is just there to give them a legitimate vibe.

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  31. Shadowfax: Very close friends of ours know Anthony and they couldn’t get him to talk about why he was axed. I believe he had some sort of “gag” order of some sort. Not sure how to legally define it?

    NDA. That sounds common. Interesting, thanks for sharing.

    Imagine how frustrating it would be, though. We have seen all sorts of issues with NDA’s going one way and not the other (victims being gagged, while offenders are free to spread lies).

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  32. ishy,

    There isn’t…. and the more that comes out, it is clear that TVC is NOT following the Master that followers of Christ are called to follow..
    I am especially struck by the fact that Mr. Chandler is able to fly out and personally met with Karin Hinckley, yet not really be involved with the family that had their daughter molested by a “dude bro” of Mr. Chandler’s org?

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  33. ishy: I notice right away from their website that they challenge the idea of seminaries by saying this education should happen in the local church.

    More control?

    I’m sure there are politics at other seminaries, but this all sounds next level. My pastor went to neighboring seminary before the conservative takeover and said the chill towards that happened after (when it had not been there before) was noticeable and bizarre.

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  34. If Chandler does not hold up his end of the agreement, Karen does not have to her’s. I sure wish I had not kept up my silence in a situation when my pastor told me a head would roll within 6 months and didn’t. I kept waiting, finally after 3 years and more people hurt. It wasn’t a crime, but still a very negative continuation. Karen, if those heads don’t roll like promised . . . (hope she didn’t promise not to read TWW!). And Karen, so what if TWW did have an agenda? Why kind of an agenda did Chandler say that could be worse than what his village did and who knows to how many others who were not as brave as you to stand up to them?

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  35. Lea: My pastor went to neighboring seminary before the conservative takeover and said the chill towards that happened after (when it had not been there before) was noticeable and bizarre.

    There definitely was a strong disdain for anyone not SBC and not attending a SBC seminary before Akin came. They were classified as “liberals” whether or not they were. Some of the people Akin brought with him were fairly favorable to Westminster Seminary, and I know there’s a good number of TGC people who went to Westminster. But of course, they have disdain for anyone not going to a Calvinist seminary, and going to SWBTS before the turnover last year was considered unacceptable if you wanted a SBC job outside of small church pastor.

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  36. Shadowfax: TVC was building their own Institute through the church. Completely under TVC control.

    Chandler wants to keep the pulse on indoctrination of TVC members in reformed theology by keeping it inhouse. It fits with the Acts 29 model.

    From The Village Church Institute website:

    “We believe it is the responsibility of the local church to train and equip the next generation of gospel-centered leaders”
    https://institute.thevillagechurch.net/institute/residency

    Of course “gospel-centered” = “Calvinism-centered” to folks like Chandler. It’s all about indoctrinating the next generation of church leaders. Target Generations X, Y and Z and you can alter SBC’s default theology and shift ecclesiology to reformed belief and practice within 20-40 years. This is the primary agenda of New Calvinism … they don’t really give a big whoop about believers over the age of 50, but will gladly take their money to finance the new reformation.

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  37. It is so hurtful as a victim of childhood sexual abuse that anyone would say the few people on the globe who actually go to bat for sexually abused children have an agenda.

    I knew after reading the Karen Hinkley story that Matt Chandler is a full-blown sicko, and I know sickos.

    Matt Chandler’s agenda is to get his creepy undeserving bottom kissed. The wicked man-wanna-be is terrified one day he will have to get a real job.

    Matt Chandler is an enemy of sexually abused children; that is for sure.

    People who listen to and promote Matt Chandler hate sexually abused children and hate women.

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  38. Max,

    Sadly that is true. They care nothing for the true elder among them and they also do a disservice to the younger by pushing marriage and immediate procreation upon them. Most are not ready for that. Especially from what I saw while doing the STEPS program. The marital problems were astounding. Many were not ready for marriage let alone children.

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  39. ishy: I think the Founders resent the New Cals because they were “there first”

    Oh yeah, the only “New” Calvinist that the Founders appear to like is Al Mohler … and that’s because Dr. Al was “Old” before he became “New” (a man stuck between the two worlds of SBC Calvinism). But the fact of the matter is, the New Calvinists are accomplishing what the ole boys couldn’t do after decades of conducting their “Quiet Revolution” … the new reformers are Calvinizing a once-great evangelistic denomination thanks to an Old Calvinist who turned New. Thus, while the old guard may not agree with the method and message of their neo-brethren, they put up with the young whippersnappers for the most part as long as the primary mission is achieved.

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  40. Guest: The wicked man-wanna-be is terrified one day he will have to get a real job.

    Could be why he has a sideline business in raising/selling expensive beef and his “Eat red meat, it is good for you” nonsense. He can always ride into the sunset if he needs to.

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  41. Shadowfax: Al finally got one of his in at Southwestern and the firings have begun.

    Longtime Wartburgers may remember that I “prophesied” this even before the Patterson scandal. Dr. Mohler has been on a campaign to install New Calvinist leaders at all SBC entities (seminaries, mission agencies, publishing house, ethics commission, etc.). He has darn near pulled it off. A brilliant strategist.

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  42. Max,

    Mark Driscoll and C.J. Mahaney hasn’t gotten real jobs.

    Can you imagine what these men would do if no one showed up at church on Sunday? They would be mortified.

    I believe that is a huge reason they have these agreements they want people to sign.

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  43. Guest: Mark Driscoll and C.J. Mahaney hasn’t gotten real jobs.

    A “pastor” who preaches to fools is always sure of a large audience. These actors would have no stage if it weren’t for spectators willing to buy tickets. The Great God of Entertainment sits on the throne in much of the American church … Driscoll and Mahaney are entertainers, not preachers of the Gospel.

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  44. SiteSeer: I will never understand why people put themselves under this oppression. Do they not read their Bibles? “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.”

    You ask simple questions that have very long and complicated answers that are different for everyone. For myself, a part of me sort of knew God existed all the while that I tried to deny God’s existence. But if the Christian God of my upbringing did exist, I disliked him very much. When I chose to know God 13 years later and began to love God and know God’s love for me, the Bible that I had read all my childhood and all the passages that I was forced to memorize and was brainwashed into believing certain interpretations only gradually became clearer to me as I read the Bible with a new heart and without anyone but the Holy Spirit’s help. Thinking I had to accept “God’s” oppressive fundamentalisms to have my relationship with Jesus, for a few years I did put myself under some of the same oppression that I had run from. I hurt my firstborn because of my actions of submission to religious oppression, rather than being a fully functional adult. Funny thing after finally reading and reading and reading the Bible with help of lexicons, concordances, and history, my early interpreters did not like the things I found it to really say. I have found that they didn’t really mean for us lay people, or even pastors to actually study the Bible. They meant for us to absorb their interpretations and translations of it. I read a Jehovah’s Witness Awake article which taught that if you read the Bible on your own without the Watchtower’s guidance you will fall into darkness within two years. Ha! Most Christians I know do not trust their own readings either, even if what their teachers say does not sound right. After realizing what was happening, I allowed my kids to read their Bibles on their own and tell me what it meant to them without telling them what I thought it meant. Their interpretations of many passages were very different from my programmed fundamentalist’s brain and I had many aha’ moments.. It was refreshing, deprogramming, and taught me a lot about how we people succumb and remain in religious oppression instead of enjoying and allowing for the freedom in Christ that God has promised us.

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  45. Guest: When I have read what Calvinist are saying, they talk about John Calvin, not Jesus Christ.

    Indeed. When New Calvinism first reared its ugly head in my parts, I listened to sermon podcasts by the young reformers to determine what made them tick. I sat with a pencil and tablet with the following 4 columns: God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Calvinist icon. When I heard those names mentioned, I would make a check mark. At the end of the “sermon”, I recorded several references to “God”, only occasional mention of Jesus, and hardly a word about the Holy Spirit. New Calvinist icons (Piper, etc.) and the old dead guys like Calvin and Edwards got more airtime than Jesus! It doesn’t take long listening to the new reformers before you ask yourself “What happened to Jesus?!!”

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  46. Guest: Calvinism sounds like a cult.

    “New” Calvinism IS a cult! The movement has all the usual characteristics you see in cults: unquestioning commitment to leaders, indoctrination, control, manipulation, intimidation, domination, the group is elitist (they alone hold truth), polarized (us vs. them), church leaders are not accountable (yes-men elders), preoccupied with making money, instill the belief that their church is the one true church (if you leave, you will be shunned/excommunicated), you sign over your souls to them via membership covenants, etc., etc.

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  47. Shadowfax:
    …now they have Dave Bruskas. Given Bruskas spent some time at Mars Hill perhaps he is more their speed.

    This is a reason why pseudo-Christian cults of personality could even be part of God’s plan. They essentially act as a quarantine of dangerous and toxic behavior—and they often act as an education in cults for the actual Christians who get drawn into them. Many of the people who are drawn to these places (I didn’t say all, there are many reasons why reasonable people might attend such a place, but I personally believe most genuine Christians find a way out eventually), and particularly the leaders, are precisely the sort of gullible people or personality-disordered, sociopathic, abusive types you want nothing to do with. When a pseudo-Christian cult falls, as happened with Mars Hill and is probably happening with Harvest and may happen with TVC, the problem metastasizes and gets spread throughout churches all over.

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  48. Guest:People who listen to and promote Matt Chandler hate sexually abused children and hate women.

    I know exactly where you’re coming from and can commiserate with you. But along with those who don’t give a rip about anything other than their idols being propped up and hate anything that might come between them and the idol, such as abused children or even Jesus Himself, are some people who do genuinely care about others and Jesus, but are just honestly duped or trying to work through the issues, or are ignorant of what’s really going on, because they’re into their church life and their friends and pay no nevermind to the internet. Many of them will come out of their fog or their stupidity at thinking they’re there to “be a light in darkness”, like I thought I was, and they’ll be regretful in time.

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  49. Guest:
    Max,

    When I have read what Calvinist are saying, they talk about John Calvin, not Jesus Christ.

    They talk like they worship John Calvin. Calvinism sounds like a cult.

    I’m Presbyterian and Calvin only comes up occasionally in Sunday school or something.

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  50. Patti: I read a Jehovah’s Witness Awake article which taught that if you read the Bible on your own without the Watchtower’s guidance you will fall into darkness within two years. Ha!

    Ha indeed! That’s not cultish at all.

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  51. Lea: I’m Presbyterian and Calvin only comes up occasionally in Sunday school or something.

    My experience with New Cals is that they don’t talk much about Calvin at all. But they mention Piper and Mohler WAY more than God.

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  52. Law Prof: When a pseudo-Christian cult falls, as happened with Mars Hill and is probably happening with Harvest and may happen with TVC, the problem metastasizes and gets spread throughout churches all over.

    Most mega ministries are cults of personality. They are built on sand and collapse when their leaders are removed. Mars Hill proved they could not exist without Driscoll, Willow Creek is coming apart without Hybels, Harvest is struggling without MacDonald, TVC requires Chandler – no Chandler, they fall.

    “If this teaching or movement is merely human it will collapse of its own accord” (Acts 5:38). Like dominoes in the sand, New Calvinism will eventually fail – it depends too much on celebrity leaders.

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  53. Shadowfax,

    “Before that we had gone occasionally to Dallas Northway Campus. …and now they have Dave Bruskas. Given Bruskas spent some time at Mars Hill perhaps he is more their speed.”
    ++++++++++++++++++

    you’re kidding.

    Dave Bruskas, the richly-rewarded lackey of Mars Hill infamy, landed at The Village Church?

    my, what variations on a theme. i imagine he’s ideal for Matt Chandler.

    “Bruskas took the lead in informing campus pastors that they couldn’t advocate for the staff they had to lay off due to financial pressures. The pastors were supposed to get in line. At the time, Driscoll, Bruskas and Turner had gotten significant pay increases while about 40% of the staff faced layoffs.”

    lots and lots of information here. including pastor salary calculation models.

    https://www.wthrockmorton.com/tag/dave-bruskas/

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  54. Law Prof: are ignorant of what’s really going on, because they’re into their church life and their friends

    I think there are a lot of people who just live in their little world and they don’t see the problem until it happens to them or someone they love. I feel the same about some of the ‘complimentarians’. If they are in functional relationships with kind decent men they might not see the issue but when they’re not oh man. It’s a mess. (And men often don’t see things like sexism because it doesn’t affect them which why it is so important to listen).

    The true believers who see the problems and still won’t deviate from the party line are the ones I have no patience for.

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  55. elastigirl: Dave Bruskas, the richly-rewarded lackey of Mars Hill infamy, landed at The Village Church?

    Chandler knew Bruskas from his Acts 29 affiliation before the Mars Hill collapse. He was on the Acts 29 board, along with Bruskas – Chandler eventually became Acts 29 President, with Bruskas acting as Acts 29 Vice-President for a while. They are dudebros from way back.

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  56. Kudos on your persistence in supporting victims of abuse, even when a victim turns her back on you. Do not take it personally, regardless of what Ms. Hinckley said to you about your “agenda.” Like any victim, I’ll bet she is simply doing what she feels she has to do to take care of herself and her children. Give her space. You haven’t done anything wrong.

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  57. ishy: My experience with New Cals is that they don’t talk much about Calvin at all. But they mention Piper and Mohler WAY more than God.

    Oh yeah, mentioning the “C” word is a sure giveaway – they prefer the stealth and deception approach to conceal their identities until they get you hooked … then they feed you with Piper, Mohler et al. When they have your trust, they gradually start to spring Calvin and Edwards on you. The real “C” word (Christ) hardly comes up.

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  58. Shadowfax,

    Dave Bruskas
    +++++++++++++++++++++++

    i can see why The Village Church hired him.

    his active and passive participation in corruption at Mars Hill doesn’t seem to have overshadowed his career — because those are the skills & aptitude church leadership wants.

    Jon Krombein, who was an elder at Mars Hill Church for almost eight years, made an impassioned appeal to the remaining lead pastors of the eleven campuses to speak out and call for the release of information that so many ex-members and donors want to see.

    These pastors simply refuse to walk in the light.

    We need mediation to get the truth. An anonymous donor will match your contribution to help pay for mediation.

    Jon Krombein’s challenge went out to Pastors Dave Bruskas, David Fairchild, Ed Choi, Tim Smith, Ryan Williams, Matthias Heusel, Aaron Gray, Bubba Jennings, AJ Hamilton, Matt Rogers, Jason Skelton, Scott Harris, and Seth Winterhalter.

    He said that these men know more than they are saying, and that they knew Mars Hill Church had “cooked the books,” yet they remained silent. He implored them to speak openly to avoid their culpability in these matters from hanging over their future ministries.

    Jon Krombein’s call was simply ignored.

    https://musingsfromunderthebus.wordpress.com/tag/dave-bruskas/

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  59. Max: When they have your trust, they gradually start to spring Calvin and Edwards on you. The real “C” word (Christ) hardly comes up.

    It’s probably a difference between YRR fanboys and pastors. I haven known a lot of YRR fanboys, and they can’t stop quoting Piper. It’s almost like they are a New Calvinist version of Siri whose only sources are New Calvinists.

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  60. Brian:
    Have many of the graduates from your seminary, who were not NeoCal, end up starting independent churches?

    I really don’t know. I was there during the takeover, and previously SEBTS was the least Calvinist, so I imagine some did. I doubt that’s the case now.

    There are New Cal non-denoms. Usually they are affiliated with 9 Marks or Acts 29. There’s also a whole host of churches who are actually SBC but tell their members they are non-denom. We’ve seen that with both Highpoint and Summit. I remember some of the Highpoint people found this out over Twitter and were furious. JD Greear had to tell Summit they were SBC when he ran for SBC President…

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  61. ishy: Young, Restless, and Reformed. I am not sure who coined that, but it’s what the young men attracted to New Calvinism are called.

    AKA Calvinjugend or Chairman Calvin’s Red Guard.

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  62. ishy: Young, Restless, and Reformed. I am not sure who coined that, but it’s what the young men attracted to New Calvinism are called.

    Here for such a time as this to remake the world in the image of the One True Way.

    60-80 years ago, it would have been Communism instead of Calvinism.

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  63. STEPS is basically TVCs alternative to a 12 Step recovery program (like Alcoholics Anonymous). I looked at it as an option when I wanted to get sober but found it extremely rigid and controlling. Now I’m in AA, sober, and attend a small nondenominational church and I’m so grateful

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  64. Law Prof: This is a reason why pseudo-Christian cults of personality could even be part of God’s plan. They essentially act as a quarantine of dangerous and toxic behavior—and they often act as an education in cults for the actual Christians who get drawn into them. Many of the people who are drawn to these places (I didn’t say all, there are many reasons why reasonable people might attend such a place, but I personally believe most genuine Christians find a way out eventually), and particularly the leaders, are precisely the sort of gullible people or personality-disordered, sociopathic, abusive types you want nothing to do with. When a pseudo-Christian cult falls, as happened with Mars Hill and is probably happening with Harvest and may happen with TVC, the problem metastasizes and gets spread throughout churches all over.

    Ok, I’m trying to unpack this.

    On the one hand this part of God’s plan.

    On the other hand when the cult falls it metastasizes (spreads) to churches all over.

    One would think the creator of all could come up with something better.

    Personally I think this is all people driven. Organizations like TVC do take care of their people, a previous post described how they provided a much needed lawnmower. Over time they pull you further and further in with the whole carrot and stick routine.

    Then the whole world is the church and your kids go to the church school and all your friends belong to the church because as you became more invested became more divested of any interests or friends outside the church.

    Before you know it, the pastor’s giving you a footrub and that seems as normal as pie.

    Social psychology…not God. This can happen to any one of us.

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  65. Lea: They talk like they worship John Calvin. Calvinism sounds like a cult.

    I’m Presbyterian and Calvin only comes up occasionally in Sunday school or something.

    I was raised in a Christian Reformed Church (Calvinist) and a non-Calvinist Baptist School. In the CRC I rarely heard Jesus’ name. I was a Calvinette, the name for the girl’s church club like Missionettes is for the Assemblies of God. I thought Calvin was another name for God, the saviour. When my daughter attended a Sovereign Grace Church in college with her then boyfriend, she immediately felt that it was weird because she only heard the word savior a lot and not Jesus, Who was talked about equally as much with the Father and the Holy Spirit at the church we raised her in.
    The Baptist school was not much better at introducing me to the real God. I only remember hearing Jesus’ name a lot as it pertained to his obedience to God. In order to escape God’s wrath, we needed to choose Jesus as the Savior and be obedient to God just like He was. As an adult, I know people in both traditions who I believe to have true relationships with God through Jesus Christ, and those whom I question if they actually know God at all. Wade Burleson’s sermon have done a lot of good for me to soften my PTSD trigger over just the word Baptist. And his messages also make it difficult for me to believe that he really is a Calvinist because of the difference from the CRC messages I grew up with. Every now and then he says something that I just don’t think the same way as he does. But that’s ok. Dogmatic extremism can be found in all religions when we stray away from Jesus Christ.

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  66. Max: Longtime Wartburgers may remember that I “prophesied” this even before the Patterson scandal.

    Yes, Max, I remember. I contended that it wouldn’t happen because the prevailing sentiment of the trustees would be that SWBTS not become another Calvinist seminary. But who am I to question what has been foreordained by Mohler?

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  67. Jess,

    So glad to hear you got out and are doing better. Yes it’s is extremely controlling and I believe designed to keep people in bondage not set them free. They have alterior motives in the structure of their “12 steps”.

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  68. elastigirl: his active and passive participation in corruption at Mars Hill doesn’t seem to have overshadowed his career

    Nope! Potty-preaching, plagiarism, and plundering didn’t stop Driscoll from an unrepentant comeback, either!

    “The prophets prophesy falsely,
    And the priests rule on their own authority;
    And My people love to have it so!
    But what will you do when the end comes?” (Jeremiah 5:31)

    These folks will continue to have a stage as long as their audience cheers them on. Failing in past ministry doesn’t seem to bother their admirers.

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  69. Max,

    In my professional world, the things these clowns pulled would either get me fired, or in deep, deep do-do

    So, here we go again… these “Christain leaders/orgs” turn what is “right and wrong” on its head….

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  70. ishy,

    This sounds like a take on CJ Mahaney and his Pastor’s College. The Pastor’s college was an indoctrination into the ways of Sovereign Grace ministry. Even men with theological degrees from prestigious schools were forced through the year of Pastor’s College.

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  71. Lea: I feel the same about some of the ‘complimentarians’. If they are in functional relationships with kind decent men they might not see the issue but when they’re not oh man. It’s a mess. (And men often don’t see things like sexism because it doesn’t affect them which why it is so important to listen).

    Oh my, that is exactly what I have found. Some of my closest friends just stop up their ears to anything I have to say about egalitarianism. The ones who have had their marriages go badly just blame the men for all their problems. The ones who have everything comfy cozy, don’t want to hear it. They say things like how much they don’t want to have any decisions and like the male leadership.

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  72. Shadowfax: They call it their “discipleship” program, but it is soooo much more than that.

    Indoctrination, re-education, inculcation, proselytizing, “spirit”-washing, group think, and assorted other cultish stuff for the good of the new reformation.

    This is not the discipleship Jesus had in mind when He said “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations – help the people to learn of Me, believe in Me, and obey My words” (Matthew 28:19-20 AMP). The New Calvinists make disciples unto Calvin and themselves. Jesus has been diminished in their expression of faith … they focus on doctrines ‘about’ grace, rather than a direct experience ‘of’ Grace, an encounter with the living Christ.

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  73. Patti,

    “They say things like how much they don’t want to have any decisions and like the male leadership.”
    +++++++++++++++

    imagine that. feeling entitled to be exempt from personal responsibility in one’s life. yeah, that sure sounds like Jesus.

    how many parts ridiculous, embarrassing, & dishonorable?

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  74. Patti: clearer to me as I read the Bible with a new heart and without anyone but the Holy Spirit’s help

    The key to becoming free from the fowler’s snare! The Holy Spirit will lead you to Truth … cults of personality don’t want you to know this; they want you to listen to their interpretations of Scripture not that voice within you.

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  75. Speaking of indoctrination, beware of churches which require you to take a new members class … they are typically theological indoctrination, rather than instruction on where the bathrooms are, etc.

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  76. Jack: Ok, I’m trying to unpack this.

    On the one hand this part of God’s plan.

    On the other hand when the cult falls it metastasizes (spreads) to churches all over.

    One would think the creator of all could come up with something better.

    Personally I think this is all people driven.Organizations like TVC do take care of their people, a previous post described how they provided a much needed lawnmower.Over time they pull you further and further in with the whole carrot and stick routine.

    Then the whole world is the church and your kids go to the church school and all your friends belong to the church because as you became more invested became more divested of any interests or friends outside the church.

    Before you know it, the pastor’s giving you a footrub and that seems as normal as pie.

    Social psychology…not God.This can happen to any one of us.

    Sure, it’s people-driven. But that doesn’t mean it’s not God’s plan. I do not think that God is thinking: “Wouldn’t an evil place be great so that people can be abused.” Of course not. But He might very well allow such things to happen, knowing the tendencies of suckers to be attracted to charlatans, and let it happen, to keep the actual church less screwed up by these types—again, a quarantine, if you will.

    I was not saying that the spread of the problem was necessarily God’s plan. God has plans that people screw up. Now how that works with am omniscient, omnipotent God, I can’t say, but yet I know it happens because the Bible is replete with specific examples, such as the Israelites demanding a king, which was not God’s plan, and getting what they asked for. I also knows that God uses evil people and monsters as part of His plan: e.g., Nebuchadnezzar, a proto-Hitler, who was called God’s “servant.” Also recognizing that I am not presuming I know what is and is not God’s plan, I equivocated in the post you quoted. I can’t be sure, it’s just a theory.

    Agreed with what you say about the social psychology of cultic organizations.

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  77. Shadowfax,

    Thinking out loud:

    The IFB I was baptized in, their discipleship course was a 26 module at home course. I would have a meeting each time with the lead pastor after completing a portion of the modules. There we would discuss any questions I had. This course wasn’t created by any of the offending IFB colleges listed in the Houston Chronicle article.

    It was great, no pressure, moving at your own pace.

    Does the structure of the discipleship programs contribute to abuse?

    I initially took it to get deeper into the Bible, being a new Christian.

    But going to a new church, why would you need to go through the new church’s discipleship program? My understanding would be that a discipleship program is for baby Christians, to get their nose in the Bible.

    What other use are these programs?

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  78. FW Rez: I contended that it wouldn’t happen because the prevailing sentiment of the trustees would be that SWBTS not become another Calvinist seminary. But who am I to question what has been foreordained by Mohler?

    The problem within the traditional (non-Calvinist) wing of SBC right now (which is still the majority) is that there aren’t any leaders who will challenge Mohler, who will “Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die” (Rev 3:2).

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  79. Patti: Calvinette

    Cavlinette!!! Lol at that name.

    One thing I do think I got growing up baptist is a very good grasp of bible stories and verses, at least the main stuff. I often know more than others my age at a bible study.

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  80. Patti: And his messages also make it difficult for me to believe that he really is a Calvinist because of the difference from the CRC messages I grew up with.

    I am in a weird position when people start ranting about calvinists on here because I joined the ‘liberal’ presbys and I feel like they are kind and respectful and I love how they treat women. It’s…soothing? After a lifetime of never thinking women were allowed anywhere near pastoring or what have you. (On Wade in particular, he says stuff that bugs me occasionally but overall I think he means well. He’s still a bit too baptist at this point for me.)

    At the same time, there are a lot of things I really loved about baptists, the hymns, the free will emphasis, the membership nuts and bolts decision making stuff I was too young to be a part of. And yes, potlucks and socials. I still know people I grew up in church with and see them now and then. But I can’t accept the restrictions being placed on women anymore and I don’t agree with their stance on other social issues. But I got out before the authoritarians came on, even if I did go to Dever’s church for a while I never saw it (probably because I never attempted to join)> So.

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  81. Brian:
    Bridget,

    Serious question, didn’t JMac do the same?

    He started a bonafide accredited college, although they are currently having problems with their accreditation do to all kinds of issues. Dee has some posts on that if you want to look them up. CJ Mahaney and company wasn’t a real college. It was a one year Pastor’s College (official name choice) that simply indoctrinated men into the Sovereign Grace way of doing things.

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  82. Max: Speaking of indoctrination, beware of churches which require you to take a new members class

    Don’t most churches have a new members class? I don’t think it was ‘required’ but I was very glad to have a chance to ask questions, about the church and what the denomination believes, etc. I found it quite helpful. I probably wouldn’t have bothered if I was’t changing denominations, though.

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  83. Lea: Patti: And his messages also make it difficult for me to believe that he really is a Calvinist because of the difference from the CRC messages I grew up with.

    I am in a weird position when people start ranting about calvinists on here because I joined the ‘liberal’ presbys and I feel like they are kind and respectful and I love how they treat women.

    I see Patti’s point, because SGC had a very different theology before Mahaney ran away to the protection of Mohler. Wasn’t it more charismatic in flavor? I had friends at Liberty whose parent was hired for a job in Lynchburg, and they were harassed for years because SGC didn’t give him permission to take it. And it was at a a secular college. So the authoritarianism was part of it, but they seemed very anti-education outside of their Pastor’s College (as Mahaney only had a HS diploma, I believe). I don’t think the switch to Calvinism had any relationship to actual theology, only who could protect him from the scandals.

    I do try to separate New Calvinists from Calvinism in general, but I do think the New Calvinists have a lot more in common with John Calvin than most classical Calvinists. The one exception being baptism.

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  84. Lea: Don’t most churches have a new members class?

    Yes, but not the sort offered by some of the SBC churches in my area. One in particular down the road from me has a 13-week course for new/prospective members written by John MacArthur … you can imagine what that is! Another, an SBC church plant, has a 4-week introduction in the doctrines of grace … they don’t even promote their church as being affiliated with the SBC (that tidbit is tucked away in a corner of their website) – most of the members don’t know they are Southern Baptist! (SBC President J.D. Greear kept SBC affiliation from his congregation for years! … go figure)

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  85. ishy: SGC had a very different theology before Mahaney ran away to the protection of Mohler. Wasn’t it more charismatic in flavor?

    Yes, Mahaney called himself an apostle before his new-found faith in New Calvinism. I think Mohler and crew were more interested in Mahaney’s church-planting model than Mahaney … the same reason they invited Acts 29 into the fold. The Mohlerites needed a proven church planting scheme to use by NAMB to quickly plant reformed theology into SBC life. A brilliant strategy that worked!

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  86. Lea: Don’t most churches have a new members class? I don’t think it was ‘required’ but I was very glad to have a chance to ask questions, about the church and what the denomination believes, etc. I found it quite helpful.

    Seems to me you’d want to know what the denomination believes, etc., BEFORE you became a new member.

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  87. Bridget: He started a bonafide accredited college, although they are currently having problems with their accreditation

    Actually John MacArthur leeched onto an already accredited college (the school’s WACS accreditation was achieved many years prior to the MacArthur regime, when it was known as Los Angeles Baptist College). LABC was struggling financially in the 1980s when MacArthur took over its presidency ‘temporarily’ and got it renamed ‘The Masters College’.

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  88. Lea,

    You make a good point.
    I would not try to guess what percentage of Reform Protestants believed or understood the underlying tenants of Calvinism. Probably not many.

    Adhering to Reform Doctrine would in no way reflect badly on a person. I would presume the average Reformist is just trying to work out their faith like all the rest of us.

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  89. Personally I think this is all people driven .Organizations like TVC do take care of their people, a previous post described how they provided a much needed lawnmower.

    Relationships are certainly factor, but not quite as stated. TVC doesn’t take care of their people, although the believers there do take care of each other. There are many things that TVC does well. That is what makes it so difficult to accept what you are hearing when what you are hearing challenges everything you believe. It took me over a year to realized that the issues I saw, and was reporting, were absolutely known by and approved by Matt Chandler. At that point it was game over and we left.

    As someone else pointed out, many aren’t aware of abuse, and they only come to realized it is happening when it happens to them. As we have shared our experience with others there, many have said “when you say it like that, they sound evil.” Some leave, some don’t.

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  90. At the point they hired Bruskas, I was still receiving emails though I had long since left TVC. This is what they said. Pay attention to the timeline.

    “We are excited to announce a campus pastor candidate for the Fort Worth campus. On August 5, we will let the church know who this candidate is and present him as our campus pastor and an elder candidate. After he and his family are introduced, you’ll have a few opportunities to get to know him and ask questions at Town Hall Meetings. Then, at 5 p.m. on Sunday, August 12, Covenant Members of the Fort Worth campus will vote on this man as campus pastor.

    How We Got Here
    The Lord has worked through the Fort Worth campus in amazing ways since its launch in 2013. We’ve seen lives changed, addictions broken and marriages healed. The Lord has also sustained us through some difficult trials, including the transition of two different campus pastors.

    We’ve spent the last year and a half without a campus pastor in Fort Worth, and God has used our elders and staff to lead the campus. Though there have been many challenges, we’ve had the opportunity to see God continue to work and shape our people into the image of Christ and to reach our community.

    Given our story here and the reality that we’re continuing to look forward to a day where we transition from being a campus at The Village Church to an autonomous church, we’ve sought to move slowly and patiently as we’ve considered our future and a new campus pastor.

    In a desire for additional due diligence, we decided to work with an outside group called Vanderbloemen to extend our search. There were over 100 applicants to the position, and this month, they presented us with four finalists. After interviewing and spending time with these men, it became apparent to everyone involved in the process that the Lord was leading one specific candidate to our church.

    Timeline
    On August 5, we will announce who this candidate is, and then August 6 will mark the start of the 21-day review for Covenant Members to submit elder qualification concerns about the candidate. We will hold Town Hall Meetings on August 8 and 10 at the Fort Worth campus. The candidate will preach on Sunday, August 12, and there will be a formal vote on him as campus pastor that night at 5 p.m.

    Covenant Members at our Fort Worth campus, please make every effort to attend at 5 p.m. in order to vote. We won’t confirm and hire the candidate until the vote and 21-day review are complete. Join us in prayer over these next weeks as we seek the Lord’s will and wisdom and come to a decision together. ”

    I always wondered if anyone emailed TVC and said, “Really, after reviewing 100 candidates the only person you could find to pastor a branch of this megachurch was the guy who presided over the Mars Hill downfall?” In all of America, there was no one but this guy with taint of corruption on him?

    I’m sure they wouldn’t tell if anyone did. Also, note the timeline. The members were given all of a week to decide on this. Two days from the town hall to the vote. What if someone had concerns, how could those possibly be addressed in such a short time. Though I fell for all of this for a number of years, it now seems to glaringly obvious how manipulative they are and how little input anyone who isn’t a yes-man elder has.

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  91. Nathan Priddis: Adhering to Reform Doctrine would in no way reflect badly on a person. I would presume the average Reformist is just trying to work out their faith like all the rest of us.

    But the Really Truly REFORMED that come under scrutiny on this blog are more like “Real Pieces of Work” than “working out their faith”.

    Looking at these guys’ Restoring the True Gospel antics, I keep being reminded of:

    “So me and mine all have to lay down and die so you can have your Perfect World?”
    — Captain Mal “Tightpants” Reynolds, Serenity

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  92. Max: Speaking of indoctrination, beware of churches which require you to take a new members class … they are typically theological indoctrination…

    How does that differ from RCIA or Catechism class in liturgical churches?

    Where does teaching and “showing the newbies the ropes” of a tradition end and high-pressure indoctrination (commonly called “cult brainwashing”) begin? Especially when the latter can wear an Angel of Light mask of the former?

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  93. Patti: They say things like how much they don’t want to have any decisions and like the male leadership.

    Sounds like infantilization plus passive Excuse Machine. Years ago I remember similar reasons given by UK women who converted to one of the ultra-strict versions of Islam.
    It can be a relief to just coast along and have all your decisions made for you just to make the thrashing and anxiety stop. But as Entropy sets in, the price of this becomes higher and higher.

    And the statement you quoted sounds like it came from someone who was on the top of the pile, personally benefiting from the system.
    “The goal of the High is to remain the High.” — G.Orwell

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  94. To Shadowfax,

    We, too, loved Lee Lewis and were sad when he got fired. He was truly a shepherd. Lee walked someone I am close with through a very painful divorce. That’s probably why Lee didn’t fit well. As for the guy who came after him, he wasn’t fired for speaking up. There was a victim, Matt slipped up and admitted the victim was male.

    I appreciated hearing your story, it sounds very much like ours. And yes, detoxing is the right word. Thank you for sharing your story. It has been hard, so many of our friends remain there, when we explained why we left, friends would say, “when you say all that, they just sound evil”. But we soon learned, most of the friends would stay. I get it.
    They have convinced themselves for years that the charming, charismatic guy on stage really cares about them, and if they do what he says, they can be part of something great, too.
    Now when someone presents facts to the contrary, it is hard to accept. It means coming to terms with the fact that all that money you’ve given went to buy Josh Patterson’s big house and not to people who actually needed it.

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  95. Shadowfax:
    Lance (the other one),

    They did a similar thing when they brought in Anthony as well. It’s only a horse and pony show. They make their decisions before they bring them before the congregation.

    Agreed. Matt stands up and preaches from some random passage, ends the sermon with, “and based on all that, we believe God is calling us to ________” and the vote passes by 99.6%, or at least they say it does. Who would know if it didn’t really? It probably does, the people staying aren’t questioning any of leaderships decisions. I’ve personally experienced what happens when you stand up and question their decision. I found out exactly how disposable I was and exactly how authoritarian they were.

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  96. Lance (the other one): I’ve personally experienced what happens when you stand up and question their decision. I found out exactly how disposable I was and exactly how authoritarian they were.

    What you experienced was most likely in the fine print of the membership covenant you signed: “Thou shalt never stand up and question leadership decisions.”

    No believer in the Lord Jesus Christ should experience what you did in the assembly of God’s people. The Berean Christians were considered more noble than the rest because they searched the Scriptures to see if what Paul was saying was true … it’s time for the noble among us to stand up and question those who illegitimately lord over others, who manipulate, intimidate, and dominate those who profess the name of Christ … to question what they are saying to see if it passes the Truth test. No one … no one in the Body of Christ is disposable. No one … no one in the Body of Christ has the right to exercise counterfeit authority over others.

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  97. Lance (the other one),

    I am sorry you had a similarly bad experience. I think there are more of us then we know all scattered and licking our wounds. I did hear something about a possible victim potentially criminal terminology in reference to Anthony’s departure. I think he hit someone. If he had cheated or something of that sort I think they would have said something? Perhaps not. Lee definitely had a heart that’s for sure. I’m sorry your friends haven’t seen it yet. Doing the right thing can be a lonely endeavor. If you all are still around the metroplex we should find away to get together. Hang in there, you are not alone. And yes, when you speak of who they are and what they have done it does sound evil because it is. Money definitely seems to be a top priority for them. They always liked to punt the needy to the home groups. Somehow the laypeople were to pay tithe to keep them in luxury and also have xtra money to help the needy all on their own.

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  98. 2buddies:
    As someone else pointed out, many aren’t aware of abuse, and they only come to realized it is happening when it happens to them. As we have shared our experience with others there, many have said “when you say it like that, they sound evil.” Some leave, some don’t.

    We must have common friends who won’t leave the cult, ha!

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  99. Max,

    Yes the TVC atmosphere is very much high school. A great big high school popularity contest. Mixed with twisted theology that makes people think they are “married ” to or in a “Covenant ” with the church. So it becomes not voluntary but obligatory. I get your your meaning though and you are correct.

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  100. Shadowfax: They always liked to punt the needy to the home groups.

    And while the home groups are ministering to the needy, you can find church leaders tweeting their lives away at Starbucks. They seem to have plenty of time to shop for skinny jeans, but not enough time to visit the sick in hospitals and nursing homes.

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  101. Lance (the other one),

    This is pretty cool.

    ….”Then, at 5 p.m. on Sunday, August 12, Covenant Members of the Fort Worth campus will vote on this man as campus pastor.”…

    Picturing a toga…purple.
    Trumpet blast…followed by..
    BEHOLD!!…..
    ……..THE MAN!!

    And the Herald better not say it with a Monty Python voice. It should be purely Roman.

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  102. I’ve attended 2 Baptist churches, one North American Baptist and one SBC, in North Dakota. Both had new members classes that one took before becoming a member. These met for 3 or so sessions during the Sunday school hour and went through basic doctrine, the church’s statement of faith, church structure and bylaws, and sharing ones personal salvation testimony. After that one joined the church. Done well, it is a good way to get all the cards on the table and any questions answered.

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  103. Guest: When I have read what Calvinist are saying, they talk about John Calvin, not Jesus Christ.

    They talk like they worship John Calvin. Calvinism sounds like a cult.

    I read half of the London Baptist Confession of Faith 1689 yesterday, because I am a masochist. I want to understand where the people I’m picketing come from.

    My opinion here is definitely going to be a minority one, but the LBFC 1689 has the same defect all creeds and confessions seem to have–they don’t mention the life and teachings of Jesus at all. We get the birth, the death and the resurrection, but everything in between is pretty much *poof* nonexistent. So much for “love God and love your neighbor as yourself” and “blessed are the peacemakers,” etc., etc.

    Reading the LBCF 1689 is like beating a dead horse, over and over and over again. I felt deader reading it.* Everything is spelled out, with whatever (proof) text(s) they think applies, yanked out of context. The LBCF 1689 is very much a child of Calvin’s “Institutes of the Christian Religion,” which does much the same thing.

    Chapter 3 talks about “God’s Decree” (aka “predestination”), and even though the authors skip around it, it’s pretty clear the predestination is of the double type.

    Chapter 5 point 5 states (and some of you will find this familiar):

    The most wise, righteous, and gracious God doth oftentimes leave for a season his own children to manifold temptations and the corruptions of their own hearts, to chastise them for their former sins, or to discover unto them the hidden strength of corruption and deceitfulness of their hearts, that they may be humbled; and to raise them to a more close and constant dependence for their support upon himself; and to make them more watchful against all future occasions of sin, and for other just and holy ends. So that whatsoever befalls any of his elect is by his appointment, for his glory, and their good.

    It’s all about God’s glory. But I could think of many things that happen which are not good for the human beings involved. 🙁

    Chapter 10 point 4 has this to say:

    Others not elected, although they may be called by the ministry of the Word, and may have some common operations of the Spirit, yet not being effectually drawn by the Father, they neither will nor can truly come to Christ, and therefore cannot be saved: much less can men that receive not the Christian religion be saved; be they never so diligent to frame their lives according to the light of nature and the law of that religion they do profess.

    Ugh. The deity depicted here reminds me of the trickster god we have here in the Southwest, Kokopelli and not Jesus, who is the very image of God.

    Reading all that stuff (and I only got halfway through), and all I could think was, “Whatever happened to ‘For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.’?” (1 Cor. 2:2)** This is what the neo-Calvinists are bringing to the SBC. Yikes.

    * The people I picket would say it’s because I’m dead in my trespasses and sins. Well no, it’s because there’s no life in those words.

    ** Oh, because I’m an unsaved wretch, I’m not supposed to quote the Bible at them because I don’t believe in its utter inerrancy and their way of interpreting it as the only way. I ignore them and quote away.

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  104. The NAB churches had some accountability to the conference. There was an area minister who had some oversight. The missionaries all raised their own support. The NAB church supported missionaries from many different mission organizations. A much larger percentage of the NAB church budget went to missions. Theologically there wasn’t much difference. Both churches have a congregational system of governance. Except I hadn’t even heard of Calvinism until I attended the SBC church. The SBC church had this fixation on handguns and a significant number of congregants have concealed carry permits and come to church armed. I guess that is what folks do in Texas, Louisiana, and New Mexico where most of them are from. I found it kind of shocking, especially given North Dakota has the highest suicide rate increase in the country and far more people are killed in accidents and suicides than murders. The NAB church had mostly Norwegians. That lutefisk is enough to drive out the riff raff I guess. The SBC supported missionaries via contributions to the IMB and NAMB, who were then sent out fully funded. In all honesty, although I go to an SBC church, I do not feel comfortable about the SBC and would prefer not to be associated. But the little church I attend has such down to earth, real, genuine people, who despite all our many flaws and imperfections love God and love other people. I have found it to be a place of healing, belonging, sweet fellowship, solid preaching and teaching of the word. There is no authoritarianism. The pastor and elders really are humble servants. So . . . I’m still in the SBC.

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  105. Lance (the other one): I’m sure they wouldn’t tell if anyone did. Also, note the timeline. The members were given all of a week to decide on this. Two days from the town hall to the vote. What if someone had concerns, how could those possibly be addressed in such a short time. Though I fell for all of this for a number of years, it now seems to glaringly obvious how manipulative they are and how little input anyone who isn’t a yes-man elder has.

    Sometimes I give little outlines about how other churches do things. Today I’ll just assert that other churches do things differently.

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  106. SiteSeer: Do they not read their Bibles?

    Short answer: No. Most people who identify as Christian do not read the Bible. The statistics bear this out. They only hear what little is heard in the average evangelical service, or seen on the big screen. This is the most Biblically illiterate generation in church history.

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  107. Sarah: the little church I attend has such down to earth, real, genuine people, who despite all our many flaws and imperfections love God and love other people. I have found it to be a place of healing, belonging, sweet fellowship, solid preaching and teaching of the word. There is no authoritarianism.

    With all the bad press about SBC, this is important to point out. With 47,000 churches, most are small congregations (<200 members) which still hold to traditional (non-Calvinist) belief and practice. Many are small rural churches or in small town American communities. They are populated by members who love the Lord and serve Him the best they know how; they pray together and have fellowship one with another. They have humble pastors who preach Truth, love their congregations, and minister to the sheep as a good shepherd. They visit the sick, marry members and bury them; they shake your hand and hug you on Sunday morning; they know the names of your children and your pets. Not all in SBC is wrong; it's the trend away from this with a new generation of new reformers that is concerning. Certainly, there is a scattering of bad-boy church leaders among traditional churches; not all is good and tidy in every small church. But there are still a lot of folks in SBC ranks who know and love the Lord in both pulpit and pew. I speak from a 70 year tenure in SBC life.

    I may be nostalgic to hope that what is good in SBC will remain, as I know that forces are against it to shift belief and practice of the people known as Southern Baptists. There is an authoritarian patriarchy gaining ground to draw a line in the sand between clergy and laity, to establish an overlord structure which manipulates, intimidates, and dominates. It's sad to witness a once-great evangelistic denomination go through this. But God …

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  108. Noevangelical: This is the most Biblically illiterate generation in church history.

    So true. That’s why they are easy targets for the latest church movement. They don’t have enough Truth in them to test the spirits in their midst and discern genuine vs. counterfeit coming from the pulpit.

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  109. Gus: Paige Patterson: “Those With Whom Darrel (Gilyard) Sinned are Not Innocent Either”

    This is a common way of dismissing victims. It’s just another version of ‘she was a temptress’ or ‘she was asking for it’. dismissing victims as imperfect and therefore deserving of abuse is a common deflection. Except this one is probably about them being gay.

    Nobody is ‘innocent’ entirely or perfect except maybe small children, but when you’re calling out abuse that is irrelevant.

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  110. Jerome: Patterson explaining that Gilyard would be out of the pulpit for just two years as he’d need to work on rebuilding his marriage:

    I love how these ‘high view of marriage’ guys think you can just ‘work on’ a marriage for a year or two and it’s all better.

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  111. Max: So true.That’s why they are easy targets for the latest church movement.They don’t have enough Truth in them to test the spirits in their midst and discern genuine vs. counterfeit coming from the pulpit.

    Yeah. You’ve got to be pretty far gone to mistake Doug Wilson, John Piper, Cee Jay Mahaney, Kenneth Copeland, James MacDonald, John MacArthur, or Donald Trump for Jesus Christ.

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  112. ishy: I notice right away from their website that they challenge the idea of seminaries by saying this education should happen in the local church.

    I think that Chandler feels threatened by Seminaries and their gradustes.

    I once saw a video of him (or read a text – I cannot recall which) where he more or less explained that he had twice in his life decided to go to seminary, and both times decided not to pursue that education only very late in the process.

    If the head pastor – or whatever C’s title is at TVC – needs no seminary education, then neither do his underlings.

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  113. Gus: If the head pastor – or whatever C’s title is at TVC – needs no seminary education, then neither do his underlings.

    Matt Chandler is “Lead” Pastor at TVC. It is a title prominent in the New Calvinist community signifying the Main Dudebro at a church.

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  114. Lance (the other one),

    “As for the guy who came after him, he wasn’t fired for speaking up. There was a victim, Matt slipped up and admitted the victim was male.”
    +++++++++++++++++

    How was that slipping up? What happened?
    ——–

    “It means coming to terms with the fact that all that money you’ve given went to buy Josh Patterson’s big house and not to people who actually needed it.”
    +++++++++++++++++

    who is Josh Patterson and what happened regarding his big house?

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  115. Shadowfax,

    “A great big high school popularity contest.”
    ++++++++++++++

    would you describe christian church culture in Dallas as a whole like that?

    i visited Dallas & its environs for a week on a business trip, a little over 20 years ago. every place has its peculiarities, and i was trying to understand this place.

    (i love world travelling, and have been in extremely exotic & remote places. but if business-trip-to-Dallas was what i had to work with, i still donned my explorer’s hat)

    i’ve since learned that christian church culture is a very powerful force in Dallas. it’s striking to me because where i live it is no such thing.

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  116. elastigirl: would you describe christian church culture in Dallas as a whole like that?

    Or possibly just dallas itself really? Idk. I have visited many, many times but never lived there.

    It’s the south and Christian culture can be a big deal here in general. And Dallas is just so big it has it’s own peculiarities. I think I mentioned I have visited gateway there a few times and also a very fancy Presbyterian (PCU) church and the tone is pretty different between the two.

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  117. elastigirl: What happened?

    I’d wondered why this guy was suddenly disappeared from The Gospel Coalition Council:

    https://www.tvcresources.net/resource-library/sermons/the-sanctity-of-human-life–3

    [Jaanuary 2017] Anthony Moore, our Fort Worth Campus pastor, has committed grievous, immoral actions against another adult member…He has been removed from his role as a campus pastor and as a Village elder due to these actions…we believe he is unfit for ministry at this time…We do not plan on sharing any additional details about the nature of this sin issue at this time…we believe sharing anything more than what we have is not helpful to anyone”

    [months later, Anthony Moore popped up as ‘Biblical Research Fellow’ at Cedarville University]

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  118. Friend:
    Noevangelical: Gadzooks! They have replaced the Holy Spirit with Vanderbloemen.

    Sigh. Other churches post the opening in church publications.

    …which is not to say that they replace the Holy Spirit. (I need to think faster and type slower.) A job listing lets everyone know about an opportunity instead of keeping it hermetically sealed. I’m sure there are good pastors who don’t want the congregation to know that they are ready to move on. If a listing goes only to a staffing agency, the selection of candidates is limited by humans.

    Spread the word, pray, invite the congregation into the process early and often.

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  119. He’s since been named Special Advisor to CU President Thomas White and is now a professor teaching theology to young men:

    https://www.cedarville.edu/Academic-Schools-and-Departments/Biblical-and-Theological-Studies/Faculty-Staff/Moore-Anthony.aspx

    “Biography
    Dr. Anthony Moore…previously served as a pastor and as a pastoral intern for Mark Dever…He is a highly sought-after preacher and has been a featured speaker at numerous conferences around the country.”

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  120. Jerome,

    That’s interesting. He could have been working connections he had from Southwestern. It is my understanding that Patterson got Dr. White in at Cedarville. While Moore was at Southwestern it’s possible he and White knew each other. Moore also did a Dever internship at Capital Hill Baptist before “being called” to TVC as Campus pastor.

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  121. Max: there are still a lot of folks in SBC ranks who know and love the Lord in both pulpit and pew.

    I’ve been to the nearest SBC church more often than to any church other than my own. That’s because it offers itself generously to the community.

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  122. Lance (the other one): preaches from some random passage

    This is what I like about a lectionary. Yeah, it lacks spontaneity, although preachers can always add whatever they feel inspired to say. But if you go every Sunday, you will hear the entire Bible read aloud every few years, without even doing any homework.

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  123. elastigirl,

    I definitely think TVC seems to have a socially immature dynamic to it. There is this pressure to conform and please BIG time. Everyone is chasing after pleasing the “speshul anointed” leaders. So they can climb up the access and success ladder. So how much of it is immaturity or cult.
    As for the wider area. Dallas is definitely its own beast. I have lived other places in the US and this is different in terms of the Institution called church around here. The ones I have looked into after leaving TVC do not have the immaturity necessarily, but they all have running at their foundation and need for the institutional entity to be the center of things. I think to the detriment of our actual calling as human beings. So even the ones that weren’t cult like they still expected loyalty to the entity as the only expression of living and serving Jesus.
    Friends I have that have lived here a long time who most definitely are not believers have noted that church is used constantly as a way to make business contacts and conduct networking.

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  124. Dee,
    I am sorry for the hurt you have experienced in this situation. I can tell you love and respect Karen and don’t hold anything against her. I pray Matt Chandler will truly humble himself before the Lord and seek not his or TVC’S reputation but to be a servant. You are doing his soul a favor by helping him see he needs to repent, that God in His mercy has given him time in this life to do so. May we all prepare to present our deeds done in faith to please God when we stand before Him.

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  125. Shadowfax: That’s interesting. He could have been working connections he had from Southwestern. It is my understanding that Patterson got Dr. White in at Cedarville. While Moore was at Southwestern it’s possible he and White knew each other. Moore also did a Dever internship at Capital Hill Baptist before “being called” to TVC as Campus pastor.

    Anthony Moore is indeed a “dear friend” of Cedarville President Thomas White.
    And Paige Patterson would’ve been a Cedarville trustee when both of them were hired there.

    https://www.drthomaswhite.com/2008/08/22/a-lesson-in-leadership/

    “Southwestern Seminary held its convocation marking the beginning of the fall semester. While preaching from John 13, Dr. Patterson asked seminary student Anthony Moore to come to the stage…Moore, whom I know as a student, a dear friend…was asked to sit in the chair of our founding president, B.H. Carroll on stage…Patterson took off his esteemed regalia, poured water in a bowl, and removed both the shoes and socks of Moore…I watched my hero in the faith wash the feet of my friend”

    “Patterson, as you probably know, led the Conservative Resurgence with Paul Pressler…Some have suggestion [sic] that his influence may have corrupted him, but those who suggest such things do not know the Paige Patterson that I work beside on a daily basis…Some call for change in the Southern Baptist Convention, but as for me, I only hope that my generation can follow in the footsteps of the godly men who have gone before”

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  126. Jerome,

    “Anthony Moore, our Fort Worth Campus pastor, has committed grievous, immoral actions against another adult member…He has been removed from his role as a campus pastor and as a Village elder due to these actions…we believe he is unfit for ministry at this time…”–The Village Church
    ++++++++++++++++++

    huh

    so they ARE capable of taking a stand, then.

    i guess they have very selective balls of courage. when it suits them.

    quite the contrast to what The Village Church did here:

    “By the beginning of June, the Braggs had shared with the Village Mr. Tonne’s name as the man they believed had molested their daughter, but thousands of church members still did not know an assault had even been alleged.

    Ms. Bragg heard that Mr. Tonne had started a leave of absence for undisclosed “personal” reasons. The Village had emailed families and asked them to write him cards of encouragement.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/10/us/southern-baptist-convention-sex-abuse.html

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  127. elastigirl: i’ve since learned that christian church culture is a very powerful force in Dallas. it’s striking to me because where i live it is no such thing.

    I’ve heard it said that Texas is like a whole separate country within a country.

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  128. Gus: I think that Chandler feels threatened by Seminaries and their gradustes.

    Wasn’t he the guy that fist bumped Driscoll when Piper was talking about how dumb people were for not appreciating the doctrine of Doug Wilson?
    Or am I thinking of someone else and a different situation?

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  129. Friend: I’m sure there are good pastors who don’t want the congregation to know that they are ready to move on. If a listing goes only to a staffing agency, the selection of candidates is limited by humans.
    Spread the word, pray, invite the congregation into the process early and often.

    I don’t know how others do it, but we have a ‘pastor search committee’. As far as I can see, it’s been a very open process, although I don’t think they share all the candidates until they make a choice, the fact that they were searching hasn’t been secret.

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  130. Jerome:
    He’s since been named Special Advisor to CU President Thomas White and is now a professor teaching theology to young men:

    https://www.cedarville.edu/Academic-Schools-and-Departments/Biblical-and-Theological-Studies/Faculty-Staff/Moore-Anthony.aspx

    “Biography
    Dr. Anthony Moore…previously served as a pastor and as a pastoral intern for Mark Dever…He is a highly sought-after preacher and has been a featured speaker at numerous conferences around the country.”

    Wonder how many people go from very serious sins we can’t tell anybody about to…teaching? Highly sought? Sigh.

    I find myself seriously wondering how reference checks go for these people. Are they being done? Are they being lied to? Do they know the truth and not care?

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  131. Shadowfax:
    elastigirlFriends I have that have lived here a long time who most definitely are not believers have noted that church is used constantly as a way to make business contacts and conduct networking.

    My dad was a successful business owner and definitely not a believer. He was, in my opinion, beyond atheism, at least the average atheist has some passion or anger at God, which is probably closer to God than absolute apathy, which as far as I could ever see was what dad had for God. Nonetheless he joined a church—significantly, the one just a block away from his business. In retrospect I assume it was about the money, the contacts, networking. There we were, a completely irreligious, essentially atheist family, and one day we just up and started going to church. Pastor Parish (actual name) even put my 10-year old self up front as one of the two acolytes. Spent most of my time trying to furtively blow out the candle I’d lighted. This lasted one month, and that was pretty much my total religious experience as a child. Again in retrospect, I assume dad, who may not have been a Christian but was definitely not a hypocrite, could not take the idea of faking up something he did not believe to make a buck. He was too honest for that.

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  132. Law Prof,

    “He was too honest for that.”
    +++++++++++++++

    quite frankly, my relatives who are agnostic (and the best of human beings) are too honest to ever deign to darken a church’s doors.

    (i didn’t plan the alliteration — but then i didn’t edit it out, either)

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  133. Muff Potter: I’ve heard it said that Texas is like a whole separate country within a country.

    Muff Potter: I’ve heard it said that Texas is like a whole separate country within a country.

    Muff Potter: I’ve heard it said that Texas is like a whole separate country within a country.

    That nails it. We have had many friends from Texas going back decades. Friends going back 30 years are from Dallas. You could also say that Dallas itself, in spite of being a fairly new city, has the sort of nouveau riche, strutting chauvinism that makes some there consider themselves to be their own special thing within Texas

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  134. Lea,

    I was really impressed with the pastoral search process at my church, especially after I was asked to be on one of the committees. We are a mid-size church (about 600), with English-speaking and Spanish-speaking congregations. Over a period of five years, we lost three pastors due to retirement, and one due to illness. That was about half of our staff. All the new hires were chosen carefully and methodically, and they have proven to be a good fit and brought much-needed new vision to our congregation. We do a standard background check (the computerized kind), but we also ask their references if there is any reason they should not be hired for our congregation. That’s quite a heavy question, and on my committee we did get a couple of “nos”-that person would not be a good fit. I’m sure their honesty saved my church a lot of heartache. I don’t know what kind of questions other search committees ask, but that question seems to have been a benefit to my church. By the way, we don’t have “perfect” pastors/staff, but they do seem to listen and understand that they are answerable to God and us, their congregants.

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  135. Law Prof: Again in retrospect, I assume dad, who may not have been a Christian but was definitely not a hypocrite, could not take the idea of faking up something he did not believe to make a buck. He was too honest for that.

    I wonder if the Almighty had way more respect for your dad’s honesty than all the simpering suck-up toadies who have none.

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  136. Linn: I don’t know what kind of questions other search committees ask

    I heard from people discussing when the senior pastor was hired they went and watched some of the main candidates preach on the sly and did a huge amount of vetting. I haven’t been on any of the more recent committees but the new hires seem decent to me.

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  137. Lea: I heard from people discussing when the senior pastor was hired they went and watched some of the main candidates preach on the sly and did a huge amount of vetting. I haven’t been on any of the more recent committees but the new hires seem decent to me.

    Some places produce a congregational profile to guide the search committee and inform candidates. I have a lot of respect for interim clergy, who walk a congregation through the transition for 1-2 years while not being eligible to accept the position.

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  138. Muff Potter: I wonder if the Almighty had way more respect for your dad’s honesty than all the simpering suck-up toadies who have none.

    I don’t know how God is going to deal with my father, but I do know the Bible’s pretty clear about there being different levels of judgment, and as near as I could ever tell my dad was a kind and decent man who, flawed as he was, had not entirely obliterated the image of God in which he was made.

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  139. Gus,

    Something from college was sparked by your comment. If you want the organization to continue if something happened to you, hire good people.

    Pastoring is supposed to be a gift, not something a sheepskin would automatically enable you to do it.

    But, by creating his own seminary, he could be passing on his own theology.

    It’s my understanding that seminaries sometimes do teach apposing viewpoints on different things as Christ’ return, etc. Is that correct or incorrect?

    This isn’t my complete thought, I know I’m missing something. 🙂

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  140. Sarah said:
    That lutefisk is enough to drive out the riff raff I guess.

    LOL! Sarah, having grown up in the Red River Valley, and eating lutefisk every Christmas Eve, I appreciate this comment!

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  141. Noevangelical: Short answer: No. Most people who identify as Christian do not read the Bible. The statistics bear this out. They only hear what little is heard in the average evangelical service, or seen on the big screen. This is the most Biblically illiterate generation in church history.

    This is both sad and horrifying to me, but I agree 100%. I was asked to be in a summer women’s Bible study. I was very excited as we’ve recently left the church and are in limbo. The leader told me ahead of time it would be a Joyce Meyer study. Sigh. I decided to go anyway…The Holy Spirit can teach us wherever we are. I determined I’d keep my comments to a minimum. I have been so utterly disappointed that our Bible study is listening to 40 minutes of Joyce teaching, then having a discussion. We don’t even open our Bibles. There is no ‘studying’ going on, no determining context, etc. I’m trying to play nice and only bring up one or two points of the message I disagree with per week, but it’s hard. And everyone seems shocked that I’d question Mrs. Meyer.

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  142. Fedora: I have been so utterly disappointed that our Bible study is listening to 40 minutes of Joyce teaching, then having a discussion.

    Yeah, I absolutely hate these kind of formats. They are just really boring to me. I do think it can be helpful to have some structure of someone who has done research on the passages or topic, but…ugh. (this is not joyce Meyers specific btw, we have one sunday school class that is using a similar type of format and I always go to a different one).

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  143. Brian,

    I have an MA from a seminary, and a degree from a Bible college. They do compare views of theological issues, while of course always insisting that their doctrinal interpretation is the correct one. However, I have to give both institutions credit that we read original source material on all the different views, not just a summary of them presented by the school’s own preferred interpretation. I thought that was fair.

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  144. Shadowfax,

    We were at FW campus off and on for 4 years . Not as early as I were but we wound up going at the same time. So wow! I have recently spoken to present members were told specifics about Anthony Moore moral failure. It almost became a legal issue but as far as I know no charges were filed. It was during a “counseling” session.i was never a member. I was in the pews when the letter about Tonne unnamed at that time was read. A lot of covert abuse there and as u say hush hush and manipulative kindness. I potentially have found a safe church on Morrison dr. I had almost given up hope as well!

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  145. Fedora,

    I can really relate to what you said. Before we left the “Bible church” I taught a class on how to study the Bible, using some well know material from a respected source, to the leaders and the pastor. As soon as we were done, rather than embrace getting back to the Bible they abandoned it entirely. Every class for both adults and children was either going thru a video series or some Lifeway curriculum.

    When I asked what those of us who wanted to simply study the Bible were supposed to do, I was told that I could study on my own until they were done. In effect, we were shut out of every group because of it. And, the thing is, they were never done with those video series. So we were done done.

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  146. Friend,

    At my other sister’s church, a Cowboy church. The interim pastor ended up filling the position.

    The old pastor, the founding pastor, who moved up from Texas to Colorado, wanted the whole congregation to start driving 30 miles to a new location. He wanted to move it 30 miles closer to the Front Range, so they could grow. They told him no because they were attending his church, in the first place, because it was close to home. He left, they stayed and grew the church there.

    They had a difficult time finding anybody.

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  147. LInn,

    Thank you. 🙂

    So does anyone know if Matt Chandler’s private seminary follow the same standards?

    I listened to an audio file from RC Sproul explain predestination. Even though I still don’t agree with the Reformed view of it, he was still through to explain the view I agreed with. I still learned something.

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  148. Churchlady,

    Small world!! Glad you think you have found a place. We still have not. We have to be extremely mindful in our search as we have children with special needs to consider.
    I think I did hear that things were “possibly” criminal. They are so dishonest I don’t think we will ever fully know what all went down.

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  149. Churchlady,

    We had heard mixed things in regards to Anthony while we were at Southwestern. I do know there was someone at Fort Worth campus that wanted to tell the elders they objected to them calling Anthony because of his dealings at Southwestern. Sadly they all seem to be cut from the same cloth. I am with you on the sickening feeling! I don’t know how long it will be but eventually they will all fall from their lofty perches.

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  150. Noevangelical,

    Our former church’s so called bible study had deteriorated to the endless reading of some new book, (using study guides of course ), or watching videos. There was no continuity of study, just jumping from one trendy topic to another. These studies did nothing to better acquaint a Christian with the written word.The only word we were getting was from the author of the book or video.

    Thankfully, we now attend an American Baptist church that actually does study the bible and pray on Wednesday nights. We use many translations, commentaries, etc.and we dig through a bible book. (presently Acts ) Occasionally, we’ve done a topical study. We are not a large church ( around 150 attendees) so we do have more access in getting to know one another. BTW, most of our congregants are from other religious backgrounds then Baptist but studying the bible together, even with our differences, is a robust, rewarding time of study.

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  151. Guest,

    godreports.com/2017/06/joyce-meyer-overcame-abuse-by-father-led-him-to-christ-years-later/

    I commend Joyce on being able to show other survivors that the road to healing is Jesus by using her own experience. BUT! By excusing her fathers actions by saying child molestation was a normal lifestyle “back in the hills”, she’s preventing any…she’s enabling pedophiles.

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  152. Brian: “Calls to Normalize Pedophilia on the Rise: New Report Reccomends Workshops Instead of Prosecution”

    If it’s any comfort, the man who claimed pedophilia is going “mainstream” was banned from Reddit a few years ago. Yes, a German medical student did refer to pedophilia as a “sexual orientation” at a lecture last year, but that is wildly incorrect, and maybe her English is not perfect. It is a disorder, plain and simple. The med student’s point was that people cannot control their (abnormal) desires, but she spoke very foolishly.

    The UK report suggesting a diversion program for nonviolent first offenders who viewed indecent child images is more disturbing to me, but fortunately it has upset the public. Truly I don’t see a movement to normalize pedophilia. If anything, people are now more aware of the harm of child sexual abuse than in the past.

    I’m cringing even more than usual…

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  153. Brian: At my other sister’s church, a Cowboy church. The interim pastor ended up filling the position.

    The old pastor, the founding pastor, who moved up from Texas to Colorado, wanted the whole congregation to start driving 30 miles to a new location. He wanted to move it 30 miles closer to the Front Range, so they could grow. They told him no because they were attending his church, in the first place, because it was close to home. He left, they stayed and grew the church there.

    They had a difficult time finding anybody.

    Looks like the congregation won! Even if it took some effort. I’m surprised that a pastor would try to get a congregation to follow him 30 miles. Even Moses had considerable trouble keeping people together. 😉

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  154. Jerome:
    I’d wondered why this guy was suddenly disappeared from The Gospel Coalition Council:
    https://www.tvcresources.net/resource-library/sermons/the-sanctity-of-human-life–3
    [Jaanuary 2017] Anthony Moore, our Fort Worth Campus pastor, has committed grievous, immoral actions against another adult member…He has been removed from his role as a campus pastor and as a Village elder due to these actions…we believe he is unfit for ministry at this time…We do not plan on sharing any additional details about the nature of this sin issue at this time…we believe sharing anything more than what we have is not helpful to anyone”
    [months later, Anthony Moore popped up as ‘Biblical Research Fellow’ at Cedarville University]

    Of course, there’s 1 Tim. 5:20 “Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.” But when branding and bottom lines are at risk, it’s understandable that autocrats might go another direction ‘cuz priorities.

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  155. Noevangelical: Short answer: No. Most people who identify as Christian do not read the Bible. The statistics bear this out. They only hear what little is heard in the average evangelical service, or seen on the big screen. This is the most Biblically illiterate generation in church history.

    It’s so much easier not to do the Berean thing when you can have smiling people give you videos and books with modern bells and whistles that are much easier to digest than Scripture. Plus, isn’t searching the Scriptures that what they pay their anointed shepherds (sic) for?

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  156. Lance (the other one): Also, note the timeline. The members were given all of a week to decide on this. Two days from the town hall to the vote. What if someone had concerns, how could those possibly be addressed in such a short time. Though I fell for all of this for a number of years, it now seems to glaringly obvious how manipulative they are and how little input anyone who isn’t a yes-man elder has.

    Have experinced it before when they’re not seeking input as much as they want to say they sought input. Containing qs and upfront info is par for the course. Autocrats gonna autocrat.

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  157. ishy: It’s probably a difference between YRR fanboys and pastors. I haven known a lot of YRR fanboys, and they can’t stop quoting Piper. It’s almost like they are a New Calvinist version of Siri whose only sources are New Calvinists.

    An associate pastor who was also training at SEBTS would say in studies or sermons “John Piper says” or “Piper says” on a frequent basis. I remember thinking not that massive profundities followed every “Piper says” but along the lines of “this guy sure gets quoted a lot”.

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  158. Friend,

    It used to be the megachurches were only down in Colorado Springs, Colorado. In the past decade, in the metro area around Denver, the megas have come info being: Brave Church (a former HBC church), Flatirons, some of the Calvary Chapels.

    I’m only speculating, but I think the Texas pastor wanted to get in on the “nickel and noses”.

    🙂

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  159. Friend: This is what I like about a lectionary. Yeah, it lacks spontaneity, although preachers can always add whatever they feel inspired to say. But if you go every Sunday, you will hear the entire Bible read aloud every few years, without even doing any homework.

    Not the whole Bible unless it is an unusual lectionary. Most skip sections like the genealogies in Chronicles. For the Revised Common Lectionary one can check the list of readings (by book) at https://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu/citationindex.php

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  160. JDV,

    Serious question, I’m asking because I don’t know the answer myself: The blind read the Bible in braille. Wycliffe Translators are or already have created videos for a sign language Bible. That’s because the brain of a person that signs interprets differently than a person who talks.

    So if people watch videos, listen to an audio Bible, can be prompted by The Holy Spirit? If yes, why then are people who only go to church on Sunday or only do video Bible studies still bibicly illiterate?

    (Humor) Bigfoot Sightings: I was supposedly sighted near North Platte Nebraska during 11/2017. That was a false sighting. I was recovering from surgery, in northern Colorado, during that time.

    🙂

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  161. Fedora: I’m trying to play nice and only bring up one or two points of the message I disagree with per week, but it’s hard. And everyone seems shocked that I’d question Mrs. Meyer.

    Good luck. It’s like knocking your head against a brick wall. Maybe you’ll plant a seed with one or two people to learn more.

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  162. Jerome: Anthony Moore, our Fort Worth Campus pastor, has committed grievous, immoral actions against another adult member…He has been removed from his role as a campus pastor and as a Village elder due to these actions…we believe he is unfit for ministry at this time…We do not plan on sharing any additional details about the nature of this sin issue at this time…we believe sharing anything more than what we have is not helpful to anyone”

    I beg to disagree, I think it would be real helpful to a lot of people, probably.

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  163. Noevangelical: Short answer: No. Most people who identify as Christian do not read the Bible. The statistics bear this out. They only hear what little is heard in the average evangelical service, or seen on the big screen. This is the most Biblically illiterate generation in church history.

    Isn’t it ironic? The people most up in arms about making sure everything is “biblical” don’t even personally know the Bible.

    People died so that we could have access to read the Bible ourselves. We are awash in Bibles and Bible translations geared for anyone and everyone. Yet people don’t bother to read it.

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  164. Brian,

    “(Humor) Bigfoot Sightings: I was supposedly sighted near North Platte Nebraska during 11/2017. That was a false sighting. I was recovering from surgery, in northern Colorado, during that time.”
    ++++++++++++++++++

    a cousin? you apparently have cousins in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and in the mountains of Northern California.

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  165. Brian,

    “Serious question, I’m asking because I don’t know the answer myself: The blind read the Bible in braille. Wycliffe Translators are or already have created videos for a sign language Bible. That’s because the brain of a person that signs interprets differently than a person who talks.

    So if people watch videos, listen to an audio Bible, can be prompted by The Holy Spirit?”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++

    i’d say a resounding yes. i imagine people in this position have developed heightened forms of mental processing of information that might give them a view to a different angle on things.

    the problem in this greater conversation isn’t merely not studying the bible for oneself. it’s filling your mind with other people’s thoughts who think highly enough of themselves to go after publishing contracts. which they have to fulfill with one stupid thing after another.

    some cities have ‘bubblegum alleys’. instead of heads on spikes, i think people should stick their too-many-christian-books on the bubble gum coating the exterior walls as a warning to all would-be christian writers.

    (except for fiction — there are at least a few decent ones)

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  166. Brian: So if people watch videos, listen to an audio Bible, can be prompted by The Holy Spirit? If yes, why then are people who only go to church on Sunday or only do video Bible studies still bibicly illiterate?

    Because there’s not a lot of Bible in a lot of those video studies. And often they are affected by a bias of interpretation.

    I went to a church with a fairly well-known pastor for years. I liked him personally a lot, and even though it was a big church, he went out of his way to know the members. But each Sunday, during the sermon, which is televised, they read a few verses and then never mentioned them again. There was no Bible in his sermons. This style is very common in the SBC and in non-denominational churches.

    I’ve never learned so much Bible at any church or school as I have by studying it for myself. Studying Greek in seminary revolutionized that even more, because it became clear to me that Bible translations had agendas. For example, the word often translated “elders” is an adjective used in parallel in Titus in both the masculine and the feminine, but most Bible translations translate “elderly women” as “older women”, while the masculine is translated “elders”. In that Greek case, it can be used as a noun, as in “male elders”, but it’s a parallel passage, which means “female elders” should also be used.

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  167. elastigirl: the problem in this greater conversation isn’t merely not studying the bible for oneself. it’s filling your mind with other people’s thoughts who think highly enough of themselves to go after publishing contracts. which they have to fulfill with one stupid thing after another.

    There’s a lot of this, too. There’s some Christian study authors that focus heavily on the text. I would say Beth Moore is one of them, even though I don’t agree with all her conclusions. But there’s a lot that want people to hear their words way more than the Bible (like John Piper).

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  168. Brian: So if people watch videos, listen to an audio Bible, can be prompted by The Holy Spirit?

    The story of Pentecost says “yes” in every language.

    I think we benefit from experiencing Scripture in as many ways as we can: reading silently, aloud, singing passages, listening to passages read and sung/chanted, writing down a favorite verse, including it in a piece of art. It’s also pretty amazing to read passages in a foreign language, even if it’s just dimly recalled high school Spanish.

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  169. ishy: For example, the word often translated “elders” is an adjective used in parallel in Titus in both the masculine and the feminine, but most Bible translations translate “elderly women” as “older women”, while the masculine is translated “elders”. In that Greek case, it can be used as a noun, as in “male elders”, but it’s a parallel passage, which means “female elders” should also be used.

    Yep. And Phoebe was called a literal deacon, yes? So…women elders and deacons, right there, passed over. Typical. (and that’s before even getting into junia)

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  170. JDV: An associate pastor who was also training at SEBTS would say in studies or sermons “John Piper says” or “Piper says” on a frequent basis.

    That’s because he doesn’t have the spiritual maturity to say “Thus saith the Lord.”

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  171. JDV: followed every “Piper says”

    When a pastor can’t hear God, he relies on what Piper says. For the life of me, I don’t understand what folks see in this clumsy little guy … he makes stuff up as he goes along! And to think that thousands of young reformers jump out of bed each morning to tune into Twitter for the latest Piper Point, Dever Drivel, and Mohler Moment.

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  172. Shadowfax,

    Thank you for your comment. I am trying to collect all of these sorts of comments into draft. It might be interesting to post on *what people are saying.*

    Chandler is no pastor. I remember getting a comment from a. elder after I had cricked the number of Sundays Chandler is *allowed* to be away from the church. Her is gone more than he is present. The elder said that they think he’s worth it and they pick top the slack.

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  173. Shirley Myers,

    Thank you for your kind comment. I had a bit of a burnout situation this week and have been trying to get my head back on straight. I'[m feeling much better today. I also think I had a bit of a virus.

    The WaPo and NPR thing, along with lots of phone calls by reporters is overwhelming. I plan to get back to what I like to do and that is this blog,

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  174. Brian: This may not make sense, but. From reading readings the article it wasn’t really about divorce but pulling away from male headship. By her asking for an anullment, she was àlso defying the church deacons.

    Totally agree. They kept using terms lie *we need to push her back under us.* Real nice guys…

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  175. Jennifer Molteno: My guess is Karen was past done and didn’t have the emotional bandwidth to keep going any
    more

    Absolutely. I do Hot blame her at all. TVC acts like an abusive ex husband who wants to hurt someone. So, he tried to hurt us. he doesn’t understand that we won’t back down. He can play his little games.

    In some respects, I bet he wanted to embarrass us and get us to shut up with this tactic. We are just getting louder. Now others are joining the fray. Loved Julie Roys’ recent column about James MacDonald and Chandler.

    There are many other news outlets looking into his situation,. better yet, Boz and Mitch Little are now involved. Laughing that Chandler and his dudgbros wouldn’t even meet with them. They are weaken the face of real strength.

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  176. Max: And to think that thousands of young reformers jump out of bed each morning to tune into Twitter for the latest Piper Point, Dever Drivel, and Mohler Moment.

    As HUG has quipped many times, they are like die Hitlerjungend and the young Bolsheviks who greased the rails for Comrade Stalin’s rise to power.
    There is no reasoning with that kind of zeal and true belief.

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  177. brad/futuristguy: Mark Driscoll and others did similarly with multiple co-founders of Mars Hill Church. It was not started by merely Mark and Grace Driscoll; other couples were equally involved, but likewise got ghosted in later versions.
    Deception in the DNA; the deeper the roots the more rotten the fruits.

    Thanks for reminding me of those lovely days trying to figure out Driscoll. Chandler and gang loved the guy.

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  178. Max: New Calvinism’s tentacles extend further than we would like to think. I talked about Mark Driscoll and Matt Chandler once with a new reformer in my area, “lead pastor” of an SBC church plant. He referred to them as his “influencers.”

    My former pastor at a once great church which was taken over by the Calvinists, totally weirded me out. The first Sunday he got up and said he was afraid everyone would stay at home and listen to *Driscoll.* I remember thinking that only about 2 people in the church knew who that was. But he was trying desperately to be cool.

    Then, just before we left, he got up in the pulpit, looking like he was about to cry and said he couldn’t believe John Piper stepped down from his pulpit. He then waxed eloquent, saying that he and his friends were now the *gray hairs* and would need to fill the gap.

    The guy was total tool, constantly name dropping despite the fact he is NOT in the inner circle. He soooo wants to be. He decided he wanted to *speak with us.* I said it wouldn’t happen and that we were outta. there. Then, he asked if we needed his help in finding a new church. I laughed so hard, tears were flowing.

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  179. ishy: But if Chandler and friends want to control SWTBS, this might be going against Mohler’s direction.
    Because the New Cals are so power-hungry, I predicted a long time ago that they couldn’t keep playing nice together for that long. Somebody was bound to want to be top dog and challenge Mohler for that position.

    Papa Bear Mohler will stay in charge. If Chandler steps on his toes, he will be slapped away like a fly. Rumor has it that Chandler is in big trouble.

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  180. dee: There are many other news outlets looking into his situation,. better yet, Boz and Mitch Little are now involved. Laughing that Chandler and his dudgbros wouldn’t even meet with them. They are weaken the face of real strength.

    You know, (in a perverse sort of metaphor) they’re gonna wind up just like the Wehrmacht did on the steppes of Mother Russia.

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  181. Mary27,

    I have received calls from women (and one man) at TVC who have been hurt by the TVC pastors/elders/counselors who wanted them to go back to their abuser with the pastors supposedly protecting them. except, as you know, the pastors have other steaks to fry.(I am having so much fun with Chandler’s cattle business.

    TVC is now in the eyes of news media. The NYT two pieces hurt them badly and reporters are circling. There is more coming. The lawsuit will be fascinating if it ever gets to court. My guess is that there is a big settlement coming for the victim along with a NDA.

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  182. dee: Papa Bear Mohler will stay in charge. If Chandler steps on his toes, he will be slapped away like a fly. Rumor has it that Chandler is in big trouble.

    Comrade Stalin had no problem purging and executing some of his best military commanders.

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  183. Shadowfax,

    They got this idea from CJ Mahaney who started a Pastors College. He forced anyone who wanted to be a pastor in his church to go through his 9 month training even if they had an Mdiv. Also, a pastor could have a high school education and go through the 9 months and be the pastor. CJ Mahaney himself never went to college and thought he was just as theological adept as any theologian. You know how that turned out for Sovereign Grace Ministries. CJ conned all of them, including Chandler.

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  184. Brent,

    Thank you. Over the years both Amy and I have come to the conclusion that we did the best we could given the situation. And, dude to our intervention, TVC had to back off. There was no one else during that time who wanted to help her, including the Dallas Morning News which also played games.

    I really cared about her and for a long time felt really bad about it all, trying to evaluated if I did anything wrong. I can truly say we just wanted to help her and muddled through the best way we could. There aren’t many examples of people who do what we do out there and we are kind of blazing a new trail.

    Both Amy and I agree that we truly had Karen’s best interests at heart. Chandler did not. As you can see Chandler didn’t change. More and more stories are emerging and will become known.

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  185. Jeffrey Chalmers: . Chandler is able to fly out and personally met with Karin Hinckley, yet not really be involved with the family that had their daughter molested by a “dude bro” of Mr. Chandler’s org?

    Best comment of the thread award! I wished I had tied those two things together.

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  186. Anna: heard Anthony was inappropriate with a woman in a pastoral counseling situation, but do not know any other details beyond that. It was stated from the pulpit that he was removed due to a moral failing, which was not specified

    And one more piece of info to put into the draft. Thank you.

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  187. 2buddies: As someone else pointed out, many aren’t aware of abuse, and they only come to realized it is happening when it happens to them. As we have shared our experience with others there, many have said “when you say it like that, they sound evil.” Some leave, some don’t

    I still remember leaving my former church due to what I believe was a seriously mishandled pedophile situation. That pedophile is in prison. One of the so called *church leaders* (they weren’t, the pastor was totally in charge), when informed as to what happened said “That’s so bizarre.” perfused to believe that they could do something like this.

    I think it is due to our own pride when we refuse to believe what is front of our keys. We cannot accept that we gave so much to a church and believed in the mission so much and we were wrong about the character of this leading the institution. It’s called 8cognitive dissonance.*

    So many of the people who attend are decent folks, trying to serve God and one another. I try to reassure them that we all can be fooled. In fact my next post makes the point when it comes to molesters. I know I have been fooled in the past and I can still be fooled. That’s why I ask lots of questions.

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  188. Shadowfax: They did a similar thing when they brought in Anthony as well. It’s only a horse and pony show. They make their decisions before they bring them before the congregation.

    That’s why many church meetings are absolutely useless. The vote has already been determined.

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  189. Lance (the other one): It means coming to terms with the fact that all that money you’ve given went to buy Josh Patterson’s big house and not to people who actually needed it.

    Could you expand on this? This sounds interesting. I’m curious about the salaries and benefits of the pastors at TVC. Also, I lived in Dallas for 10 years and am familiar with the expensive real estate areas. Do the pastors live in Park Cities, etc?

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  190. Gus,

    That’s a good find. Back in 2010, on this blog, I called for Patterson to resign. I also documented a boat load of stuff on Gilyard. So glad to see the rest of the world is catching up. I love Tom Rich. Ee’ve been friends since 2009.

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  191. dee: constantly name dropping

    How to tell if a newcomer to your New Calvinist church is in the tribe:

    (1) He will be carrying an ESV Bible
    (2) He namedrops Calvinist icons: Piper, Mohler, etc.
    (3) He occasionally wears a “Jonathan Edwards Is My Homeboy” T-shirt
    (4) His wife/girlfriend enters & exits church three steps behind him
    (5) He talks about doctrines of grace, rather a direct experience of Grace

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  192. dee: Chandler hates bloggers. I wonder why?

    The same reason Robert Morris called watchblogs “Satan’s Hit List” and lectured his congregation not to participate (“gossip”) on them. Bloggers tell it like it is – informing, warning, exposing – and the mega-boys are concerned their number might come up next. If they didn’t have anything to hide, they would encourage not discourage the fine work of watchbloggers, who provide a service to the Body of Christ. Christian celebrities cover and protect each other – they are more concerned about ‘their’ kingdom than ‘the’ Kingdom. Chandler didn’t rebuke MacDonald because they were dudebros.

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  193. dee,

    “I have received calls from women (and one man) at TVC who have been hurt by the TVC pastors/elders/counselors who wanted them to go back to their abuser with the pastors supposedly protecting them.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++

    let’s qualify the word “hurt”.

    they were exploited, in the name of God mind you, by TVC staff in power because of their power and for the sake of their power.

    they were manipulated, in the name of God, into walking vulnerably into dens of psychological and physical abuse.

    the scars and damage will be with them for the rest of their lives.

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  194. Shadowfax: Even prayer has lost its meaning due to it being reduced to “elder led” prayer meeting.

    I’m sorry, but there is no clear indication in Scripture that the elders are always to lead prayer. On the other hand, there are numerous examples of the congregation of the Lord breaking out in prayer as the Spirit moved them. In New Calvinist works, “elder led” really means “elder controlled” … church leaders have to control every jot and tittle of your life for fear that the Holy Spirit might get on you and they won’t be able to control it!

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  195. Shadowfax: Even prayer has lost its meaning due to it being reduced to “elder led” prayer meeting.

    I was young and now I’m old. I spent 70+ years as a Southern Baptist (before I became a “Done” when the New Calvinists took over). The best prayer warriors I knew in that long SBC tenure – those with a genuine spiritual gift of intercession – were laity (both male and female) rather than clergy. Of course, those were the days when SBC churches had prayer altars – many of those have been boarded over with stages to allow pretty-boy preachers more room to strut.

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  196. dee:
    Jerome,
    Doug Wilson…did you know he’s an HIV conspiracy theorist? So much for brilliant.
    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2014/06/27/doug-wilson-and-the-american-family-association-hivaids-conspiracy-theorists/

    Much as I loathe Wilson, I am very interested in viruses and I had to go to the link to see what this even *means*. I am always surprised people will invent so much nonsense rather than just accepting that all the other scientists were on point. There is a ton of research about this virus? I get that people were still figuring things out in the 80s (especially the early 80s) and understand much better now but still, What?

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  197. Lea: This is why I always thought he a Dever were a weird mix. Unless Dever likes stupider sycophants.

    Mahaney gave Mohler and Dever money back when he was freely throwing Sovereign Grace money around. https://thouarttheman.org/2016/02/24/cjdenominationfunds/

    I always thought he bought his way into the T4G inner circle. Although, he did have a certain measure of credibility with his successful church planting model – which SBC patterned for the New Calvinist movement. Since Mahaney didn’t have a big stack of books (Mohler joke), they weren’t after him for his spiritual intellect.

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  198. Shadowfax,

    “The whole operation is nothing but an illusion. Even prayer has lost its meaning due to it being reduced to “elder led” prayer meeting.”
    +++++++++++++++

    led, leading, leader, lead…

    what an obsession christian culture has with these words. like, getting some kind of base pleasure from smelling their own armpits.

    i don’t ever remember hearing these words growing up.

    there’s a reason they’ve become a ubiquitous part of the christian status quo.

    this is what i surmise:

    Two problems were recognized by christian powerbrokers

    1. men seem to be losing interest in going to church
    2. make church a more secure & financially attractive career path to men

    The solution: empower one group over another

    *appeal to men’s egos/insecurities by linking power over women to godliness and call it leadership

    –trick everyone into buying into this idea by adding the word ‘servant’ to ‘leadership’

    *appeal to would-be-could-be-men-pastors’ egos/insecurities by linking Alpha Dog (power over everyone, but especially their male peers) to godliness and call it leadership

    –trick everyone into buying into this idea that obedient followership is a condition of godliness by exploiting their need for God and fear of God
    .
    .
    (but then of course “godliness” is whatever the powerbrokers decide, as they make God in their own image)

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  199. elastigirl,

    “2. make church a more secure & financially attractive career path to men”
    +++++++++++++++++++

    i could have said this better.

    The problem is

    2. “pastor” lacks job security and financial viability as a career path

    if church is going to viewed in terms of a business model, that needs to be fixed.

    (therefore, empowering one group over another to control the variables)

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  200. Max: I’m sorry, but there is no clear indication in Scripture that the elders are always to lead prayer.

    If you’re an alpha male strong man, you simply use circular reasoning and special pleading… and …. and VOILA! The Bible ‘clearly teaches’ that only elders can ‘lead prayer’.

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  201. elastigirl,

    Agreed. It has taken them a while but they seem to have successfully transitioned things to a phallic shaped gospel. Feeding their own power and egos. Obsessed with male power and domination over women, children and other men who are not the chosen “anointed ones”.

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  202. Muff Potter: If you’re an alpha male strong man, you simply use circular reasoning and special pleading… and …. and VOILA! The Bible ‘clearly teaches’ that only elders can ‘lead prayer’.

    When I’m ill, I ask my 5 year old grandson to pray for me. He loves me and his prayers are sincere, the real deal.

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  203. I once was young and now I am old also. I remember in the late ‘70’s how the church was upset about the fact that men weren’t attending very often. I remember that Promise Keepers started about that time, supposedly to attract. men back to the church.

    At that same time there was a bible study in our town that attracted women from all denominations. For 20 years we studied the Bible in depth. Isaiah, Revelations, the Gospels, etc,etc. Verse by verse. Hours of homework. No fluff, just the real stuff. I remember our bible study leader saying that with what we had learned that we knew more about the Bible than seminary students. Fast forward a few years. A move, a new town and a new church. The women’s Bible study was just basically a sharing session. The women were about 10 years younger than me. I suggested to the Pastor that I lead a bible study on the Bible, He agreed. That lasted about 3 weeks. The pastors wife thought it was too heavy a study for the ladies.

    I have been a “done” for 10 years. I cringe to see the younger generation doing Christian lite. One of my own granddaughters was recently hired as music minister. She is being paid $80,000 a year. All the trappings. A full band , fog machine, fantastic sets, she doesn’t get why I rarely come to see her perform. I refuse to tithe to any church who would use my money that way.

    I grieve for today’s church. And I grieve for the generation who only knows Church lite. I hold onto the verse that says “ Strenghten that which remains”.

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  204. Max: When I’m ill, I ask my 5 year old grandson to pray for me. He loves me and his prayers are sincere, the real deal.

    Amen Max, and amen!

    “Truly I tell you,” He said, “unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
    — Jesus of Nazareth —

    Said neo-cal elders from up thread should take a lesson…

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  205. To Dee –
    As far as J Patterson’s house, I guess it is just a matter of judgment. In my opinion, 4,100 sq ft and an acre in one of the nicer areas of the county is excessive, but they aren’t stupid enough to do a lot of the dumb stuff Matt’s friends Mark and James did. They live in areas that are top 10% of the county, but not the million dollar mansions.

    As far as salaries and perks go, I think that the guys at the top are doing very well, though I’m sure if someone were to check the budget, it would be disguised in a bunch of different places. Housing allowance, salaries, travel perks, comping questionable expenses, etc. I’ve heard that the pastors at the bottom are paid pennies. That seems to be how all these places operate. The pastors at the bottom were a revolving door, probably due to the pay. Since they were the people who were actually supposed to be doing the pastoring, it makes it hard to get connected. I also heard from a pastor who had been a Groups pastor in the 2014ish time frame that he had 1,100 people that he was responsible for shepherding. They had a multi-million dollar budget surplus every year but they wouldn’t even spend the money to staff things so that people could easily have access to a pastor.
    Also, when I went to the budget meetings, I remember Josh Patterson bragging about how they were accountable because they use the ECFA. We all know what a joke that is.

    To Shadowfax – I’d imagine we would have no problem starting a “we left The Village” support group if we wanted. I remember one of the first churches we visited after we left, there were former-TVC people everywhere. TVC is so big, sometimes you don’t even realize that people left, you just assume you haven’t run into them in a while. We asked a couple of them why they left, no surprise, we heard about bad counsel to hurting marriages, a lack of care, and bullying.

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  206. Shadowfax:
    elastigirl,

    Agreed. It has taken them a while but they seem to have successfully transitioned things to a phallic shaped gospel. Feeding their own power and egos. Obsessed with male power and domination over women, children and other men who are not the chosen “anointed ones”.

    Amen to that! You should have started posting here a lot sooner. It is refreshing to hear that someone else saw the same things that my spouse and I did. There are some, but most seem to remain blinded.

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  207. Leslie: The pastors wife thought it was too heavy a study for the ladies.

    Then the pastor’s wife and her ladies will always be swimming in shallow water. There’s so much more to experience as a Christian and they don’t have a clue. Deep calls to deep.

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  208. Friend: I thought the fog machine was the trendy dude standing behind the pulpit.

    Yep, just a bunch of smoke and mirrors. “Hurry, Hurry, Hurry!” shouts the carnival barker … “Come experience the Great God of Entertainment! The Greatest Show on Earth!”

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  209. Leslie: The pastors wife thought it was too heavy a study for the ladies.

    1. I would be very hulk smash about this and
    2. This is why I have zero interest in ‘ladies’ bible studies for the most part. Just a bible study. That’s fine.

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  210. elastigirl:
    Leslie,
    ” was recently hired as music minister. She is being paid $80,000 a year. ”
    +++++++++++++++

    my husband and i did this for free for over 10 years.

    When I was a kid the music minister, unpaid was replaced by a pastors son in law, paid.

    Not that I’m opposed to paying people in general but…hello nepotism.

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  211. Lea: 1. I would be very hulk smash about this and
    2. This is why I have zero interest in ‘ladies’ bible studies for the most part. Just a bible study. That’s fine.

    ********
    Been my experience too with many, Ladies Only, bible studies. Full of fluff and sweetness. Worse yet, attempts at changing behavior so it *fits* into a completarian viewpoint.

    Many years ago our women’s study was to read together, …eeek, ‘The Total Woman ‘. It was so awful we didn’t get through but a chapter of two. We all decided to ditch the book and studied the gospel of John. Even in the mid 70’s awful books, study materials, were beginning to surface. To quote someone, please ” just give me Jesus ! ”

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  212. Mae: Many years ago our women’s study was to read together, …eeek, ‘The Total Woman ‘. It was so awful we didn’t get through but a chapter of two. We all decided to ditch the book and studied the gospel of John. Even in the mid 70’s awful books, study materials, were beginning to surface. To quote someone, please ” just give me Jesus ! ”

    The Total Woman. Dress up as a Vegas show girl to greet hubby at the door when he comes home from work. Sold as Christian advice to strengthen marriage through surrender.

    Please, somebody tell the purveyors of comp doctrine that it was invented by a woman in 1973.

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  213. Friend: The Total Woman. Dress up as a Vegas show girl to greet hubby at the door when he comes home from work. Sold as Christian advice to strengthen marriage through surrender.

    Sounds like it would have made a good companion book to Driscoll’s pornographc “Real Marriage” … I guess these folks are serving up what the masses want. Just give me Jesus!

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  214. Lance (the other one),

    Better late than never! I so think it’s important to encourage where we can. The TVC messes with your head and your faith. Happy to meet up anywhere anytime. Just get contact info from Dee. I am not surprised you came across other refugees. I have too in our search for a possible church body. Although some of the other refugees we met came from other big name churches in the metroplex. Mode of operations sounded like they were the same as TVC. It’s good to be free!

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  215. Leslie: I have been a “done” for 10 years. I cringe to see the younger generation doing Christian lite. One of my own granddaughters was recently hired as music minister. She is being paid $80,000 a year. All the trappings. A full band , fog machine, fantastic sets, she doesn’t get why I rarely come to see her perform. I refuse to tithe to any church who would use my money that way.

    I grieve for today’s church. And I grieve for the generation who only knows Church lite. I hold onto the verse that says “ Strenghten that which remains”.

    We pretty much opted out of evangelicalism before the whole rock band, fog machine stuff took off. That’s how we ended up in a Calvinist church, as it was the only conservative church which still used hymns and piano/organ. I do not think I could sit through the entertainment and emotional manipulation sideshow. And yes, I so pity the younger folks who know nothing else. My niece’s son plays the drums for their mega church, and I have to be very creative in my responses when she sends me clips.

    It’s just as well I’m a done, as I don’t think I could ever find a church in which I would fit.

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  216. Leslie: I have been a “done” for 10 years. I cringe to see the younger generation doing Christian lite. One of my own granddaughters was recently hired as music minister. She is being paid $80,000 a year. All the trappings. A full band , fog machine, fantastic sets, she doesn’t get why I rarely come to see her perform.

    In the words of the prophets Emerson Lake & Palmer:

    “WELCOME BACK MY FRIENDS
    TO THE SHOW THAT NEVER ENDS!
    WE’RE SO GLAD YOU COULD ATTEND!
    COME INSIDE! COME INSIDE!

    “WE’VE GOT THRILLS AND SHOCKS!
    SUPERSONIC FIGHTING COCKS!
    LEAVE YOUR HAMMERS AT THE BOX!
    COME INSIDE! COME INSIDE!

    “IF YOU FOLLOW ME
    THERE’S A SPECIALTY!
    SOME TEARS FOR YOU TO SEE!
    MISERY! MISERY!

    “AND NOT CONTENT WITH THAT
    WITH OUR HANDS BEHIND OUR BACKS
    WE PULL JESUS FROM A HAT!
    GET INTO THAT! GET INTO THAT!

    “COME INSIDE!
    THE SHOW’S ABOUT TO START!
    GUAR-AN-TEED
    TO BLOW YOUR HEAD APART!
    ROLL UP! ROLL UP!
    SEE THE SHOW!!!!!”

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  217. Friend: The Total Woman. Dress up as a Vegas show girl to greet hubby at the door when he comes home from work. Sold as Christian advice to strengthen marriage through surrender.

    Ever heard the phrase “Pornography for the Pious”?

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  218. __

    By any other name: “Calvinism is a dangerous square peg in a religious round hole.”

    hmmm…

    It was religious tyranny when John Calvin pushed his false sovereignty of god false gospel in the sixteenth century , it is religious tyranny for Albert Mohler & Co. now to stealthily push the Doctrines Of Grace, the same tyrannical false gospel today. Beware the TULIP planters are quietly coming to a SBC church near you!
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rW23RsUTb2Y

    – –

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  219. Headless Unicorn Guy,

    What bothered me so much ( back then and now ) was the blatant message to women, that using one’s sexuality, would get a woman things she wanted ( especially material goods ) she wanted from her spouse. It came off as a con game, a sham. Make hubby feel like * THE man *, all the while plotting to get, stuff. Like being a prostitute, give sex, get money. Only a least a prostitute doesn’t fake what her profession is.
    Anyway, No real mention of love, partnership, respect, growing together in Christ, etc.

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  220. Mae: the blatant message to women, that using one’s sexuality, would get a woman things she wanted ( especially material goods )

    The youth minister once preached to our group that girls would sell their souls to get a nice dress. He believed that boys were not tempted by material things. Normally he saved his condemnation for non-Christians, so it was a little odd to hear him write off the salvation of the female half of the youth group, while some of the male half had muscle cars and designer clothes.

    I guess he thought the boys had a Zen-like detachment from their Camaros.

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  221. Sopy

    I’m afraid that I cannot approve your comment. Unless you havw proof for me that this is happening, then you are wrong. There is not one single abuse advocate in my sphere who is using abuse victims in order to *put women in the pulpit.” You are a conspiracy theorist. Cut out the nonsense.

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  222. Mae: What bothered me so much ( back then and now ) was the blatant message to women, that using one’s sexuality, would get a woman things she wanted ( especially material goods ) she wanted from her spouse.

    That’s so gross.

    So many of these men want to keep women from earning/having their own funds, and then require them to pay the piper to get anything from them, while and the same time patting themselves on the back for ‘taking care of’ women and blaming them (sometimes) for being ‘gold diggers’. It’s a sham.

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  223. Friend,

    Outrageous. Sounds like he was Driscoll, before Driscoll.

    This so flies in the face of the, supposed cherishing of women, we hear from the completarian preachers.I do believe too many men have been brainwashed ( and Bible beaten ) into believing women are not to be trusted but forever managed.

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  224. Lea,

    Yes, many a man wants control over their spouse. What’s unfortunate is too many women have bought into it.I have known a few women who do think it’s OK for a man to be the breadwinner, boss, whatever, if she gets the perks to go with it.
    What is so frustrating, is it not a healthy arrangement for any marriage. It’s a false pretense, a shallow fantasy world of preset, presuppose male/female roles.
    It’s a far cry from what a Christian marriage should be made of.

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  225. Mae: It’s a far cry from what a Christian marriage should be made of.

    Oddly enough, what any marriage should be made of, not just Christian.

    Would you be surprised to find out that non-religious folks (in general) seem to have a better handle on what a good marriage is as opposed to what it is in some sectors of the ‘Christian’ subculture?

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  226. Sòpwith: It was religious tyranny when John Calvin pushed his false sovereignty of god false gospel in the sixteenth century, it is religious tyranny for Albert Mohler & Co. now to stealthily push the Doctrines Of Grace, the same tyrannical false gospel today. Beware the TULIP planters are quietly coming to a SBC church near you!

    The spirit of John Calvin lives on. Fortunately, it has only inhabited 10% of Christendom worldwide for the last 500 years.

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  227. Sòpwith: 10%?… my foot

    I believe that number still holds worldwide. However, the New Calvinist movement has increased the percentage of those holding to reformed theology in the American church. I suspect that SBC is now running closer to 30%. It should be noted that SBC’s millions of members in 47,000 churches are still considered non-Calvinist in belief and practice … most SBC members don’t have a clue about the reformed movement in their midst. However, there is definitely a generational theological shift occurring as SBC plants 1,000 new churches per year which are primarily staffed by the new reformers with members in their 20s-40s. They are “replanting” about that many more each year (replanting = a nice way to refer to the takeover of traditional churches by stealth and deception).

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  228. Sòpwith: “We’re gonna need a bigger boat…”

    Mohler and his Mohlerites have essentially taken over the entire SBC fleet! New Calvinist leaders now control most SBC entities: seminaries, mission agencies, publishing house, church planting network, and a growing number of traditional churches falling victim to stealth and deception.

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  229. __

    Imagine,” 47,000 SBC churches falling victim to the stealth and deceptive jaws of Calvinism? “

    Oh joy…

    hmmm…

    Yet, Calvinism isn’t the only big fish hungry:

    “In a highly-ironic twist, the First Baptist Church of Greenville, SC, the same church that produced the very first president of the Southern Baptist Convention, William Bullein Johnson, is now an LGBTQ-affirming, pro-same sex marriage, and pro-transgender church…”
    https://www.nowtheendbegins.com/baptist-churches-start-to-ordain-homosexuals-and-perform-same-sex-marriage-rituals/

    Dunt, Dunt, Dunt, Dunt…
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=a6CsW4dCk_8

    It’s just the kind of day to leave it all behind, huh?

    RUN.

    ;~(§

    – –

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