Graphic Warning: UK Anglicans’ Nixonian Moment: Jonathan Fletcher, Peter Ball, John Smyth and The Possible Cover Up by Church Leaders


High above Saturn- NASA

“I feel that some people have a hard time with the truths around us, not only the sexual abuse by priests, but all bad things. I call it chosen ignorance. This modified form of ignorance is found in people who, if confronted with certain truths realize that they have to accept them and thereby acknowledge evil, and that scares them. Opening up and letting the truth in might knock them off their perceived center. It is too hard, period.”
― Charles L. Bailey Jr., In the Shadow of the Cross


 

Graphic warning: I will be discussing some details surrounding homoerotic activity of well known church leaders in England.


Before I begin, I want to say something to our US readers. The UK has different libel laws than we do. In the UK one must be able to prove that any information that is being shared about an individual can be proven to be true. In the US, our laws only require us to believe what we are saying is true and that we are not deliberately lying in order to bring malicious harm to another.

The fact that the Fletcher story made an appearance in the Telegraph (see Wednesday’s post) means that they have proof on the material they present. As a blogger involved in exposing abuse in the church, I am grateful that the US has more reasonable laws on the matter.


Today, I’m going to continue the discussion on the breaking homoerotic scandals within the Church of England.  I bet that caught your eye! I am so glad that no one warned me when I started this blog that I would be discussing homoerotic Anglicans and pastors who hire hit men. I might have taken up skydiving which seems a safer occupation.

Let’s start with Peter Ball who was part of the Anglo-Catholic movement. This well loved Bishop was trusted by  many, including Prince Charles.

Peter Wilfred Ball CGA (14 February 1932 – 21 June 2019) was a British bishop in the Church of England and convicted sex offender. In 1960 he and his twin brother (Michael Ball) established a monastic community, the Community of the Glorious Ascension, through which Ball came into contact with many boys and young men. He was the suffragan Bishop of Lewes from 1977 to 1992 and the diocesan Bishop of Gloucester from 1992 to 1993, when he resigned after being cautioned for sexual abuse; he continued to officiate at several churches after that.

In October 2015, Ball was sentenced to 32 months’ imprisonment for misconduct in public office and indecent assault after admitting the abuse of 18 young men over a period of 15 years from 1977 to 1992. Further charges of indecently assaulting two boys, aged 13 and 15, were allowed to lie on file in a contentious decision by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). He was released on licence in February 2017 and died two years later.

Sadly, there appears to be an inner circle that protects these elite, perverted and popular leaders. According to Premier 5/2019 in Bishop Peter Ball’s ‘charm and charisma’ enabled him to avoid conviction:

The inquiry said the diocese had a culture of “prioritising reputation” among senior clergy, who had a “permissive attitude towards some perpetrators, even when they had been convicted”.

Peter Ball was found to have abused his position as Bishop of Gloucester to deliberately manipulate vulnerable teenagers for his own sexual gratification, which included naked praying, masturbation and beating for his own pleasure.

The Archbishop of Canterbury at the time, Lord George Carey, is said to have had more compassion towards Peter Ball than to the victims.

The inquiry also found that the Church of England’s response was marked by secrecy, skirting round the truth and avoiding reporting alleged crimes and that their apology “remains unconvincing”.

According to the You Tube video at the end of the post, Ball may have encouraged young men to place the sign of the cross on their genitals. (Yes, I know the jokes will come given the name of this man. Please refrain, if at all possible.) Update 7/6/19 This was not attributed directly to Ball. However, it is odd that this was brought up in this discussion, making me think that perhaps there is more to this story.

John Smyth and his elite Christian camps are also mentioned in the video.

TWW wrote a number of posts on this disgraced man. He is the father of PJ Smyth who was brought to the US to lead a former Sovereign Grace church, Covenant Life Church, which endured its own set of sexual abuse cover up allegations. Smyth has since left that church to start his own church. Some of us have wondered if he knew about his father’s abuse since he was involved in those camps.

You can read about Smyth in John Smyth, the QC accused of beating boys at Christian camps, dies of ‘heart attack’

Andrew Graystone, who has worked as victims’ advocate in the case, said: “The victims are terrifically saddened. But, there’s also anger that the police, the church and the Titus Trust [which took over Iwerne Trust in 2000] had taken so long to start to engage with them. So, the opportunity for any justice has been lost.”

Last year, the Archbishop insisted he was “completely unaware” of claims Smyth, his colleague at the summer camp, had been subjecting boys to brutal sado-masochistic beatings.

In a radio interview he insisted that he had “never heard anything at all” about allegations regarding Smyth.

Smyth had chaired the Iwerne Trust, the charity that oversaw the camps,  and held summer retreats for public school boys om Dorset in the Seventies. They were described as religion’s Sandhurst, intended to produce the next generation of elite Christians.

Jonathan Fletcher is not called out by name in the embedded You Tube video but it is certain that they are discussing him.

The men said they did not name him since they wish to approach this from a pastoral point of view. I, on the other hand, want to approach this from a *justice for the victims* point of view. There appear to be a number of complaints against Fletcher which means that there are many victims of what many abuse survivor  advocates would call blatant clergy abuse.

Fletcher is a member of the conservative evangelical faction of the Church of England. I can imagine that there are many leaders of that movement who condemned the actions of Peter Ball but have kept their mouths shut when it is one of their own.

The points these men are discussing are important.

  • There appears to be a penchant for covering up despicable acts by popular leaders.
  • Those who are doing the cover up are leaders within the movement.Who knew, what did they know and when did they know?
  • They stress that penitence must be required, something that appears lacking in Fletcher’s personality who claims he didn’t do whatever they say he did. See my previous post for documentation.
  • It is the cover up that does the damage.

Some of my thoughts

  • Sadly, 16 years appears to be the age of consent for these acts. Apparently the law in England does not recognize the vulnerability of teens in that age range. They are easily manipulated by authority figures they are told to trust. This should be reconsidered given that 16 year old teens are vulnerable to older predators who can play head games.
  • I can only hope that law enforcement will find a way to charge Fletcher with crimes.
  • Some dudebro defender of Fletcher appeared in the TWW comment section to call us ungodly for discussing these actions with disdain. That only made us laugh, since it is quite clear that Fletcher was involved in some pretty *ungodly* stuff. The dots were connected a long, long time ago.
  • Get ready for more in kind revelations.
  • It appears that class status is a big deal in the UK. People go to the right public schools and the right Christian camps and are told they are meant to be the leaders in society. There are loyalties that build through the years that make it difficult to crack hardened shells.
  • How do they claim to follow Jesus and keep quiet about homoerotic clergy abuse?

I want to stress my concerns that 16 year old teens are treated as adults when it comes to consensual sexual activity. There is enough evidence that shows that teens can be damaged by sexual assault and may not be old enough to correctly evaluate the circumstances. I am not talking about two 16 year old kids here. I”m discussing older men like Jonathan Fletcher, Peter Ball and John Smyth who use their years and reasoning skills to walk though a 16 year old’s underdeveloped defenses.Teens and Sexual Abuse

At the minimum, the church should be leaders in preventing abuse of teens. Sadly, it appears that there are those in the church who really don’t care and may even be taking advantage of this situation.Talk about ungodly! Shame on all those who are participating in the cover up! You are as responsible as the pervert for those damaged by abuse.


Comments

Graphic Warning: UK Anglicans’ Nixonian Moment: Jonathan Fletcher, Peter Ball, John Smyth and The Possible Cover Up by Church Leaders — 131 Comments

  1. Got through 4 minutes of the video, just the intro. Way too much jollity, grinning, self-promotion, and coffee sipping for a discussion of sexual abuse. Here’s hoping the rest of the video has some gravitas.

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  2. So much potential for the comments to go off track here.
    IMHO:
    -Being gay and gay sex is not the issue. (I am the proud father of gay son)
    -Engaging in sex with young people is a problem. (16 is ridiculous for the age of consent. No doubt the law was written by people who participate in this.)
    -Engaging in sex with people under your authority, especially young ones is a really big problem.
    -Covering up the activities is a really, really big problem.
    -This is similar to sex with seminarians and priests in Catholic church. If everyone is recruited to be engaged in the acts or covering up, then no one can talk without incriminating themselves.
    -As I understand it, this is not uncommon in British public schools and elite prep schools in the U.S.
    -This is not unlike out of control hazing that goes on in U.S. High School and college sports teams. (It is frequently sexual assault. Being part of the team requires silence. Happened in my town)

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  3. I can only agree with Loren Haas’ remarks here.

    And I got through just slightly over two minutes of that very chatty, chummy video. I bailed as the middle guy was talking about taking back the Episcopal Church. Seriously, you guys need to take care of your own problems before you start poaching churches. If those men said anything of interest, I’d like to be directed to the actual discussion instead of listening to all that chumminess.

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  4. Couldn’t media sources here in the United States help fight this, since libel laws are different. The information by sources passed to media here in the United States, then have it published. With the internet, the information would still get out.

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  5. If you were stuck alone on a desert island, and a Bible washed up on the shore, you read it cover to cover for the first time in your life and decided you believed in this Jesus and wanted to follow him- would you ever, in your wildest imagination, ever picture the kinds of things that go on in the established church??

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  6. Just a reminder that in the UK Public schools are what people in the US would call elite private schools (and they are usually boarding schools and often single sex).

    The age of consent in England is 16. It is an offense for a person over 18 in certain specified position of trust to have sex with someone under 18. So someone working in a school cannot have sex with a student under 18. Note this law came into force in 2001. The definition of specified position of trust does not seem to include priests, coaches, or youth group leaders.

    Also the Telegraph likes to see itself as the Conservative establishment newspaper (and producer of very difficult crosswords). If it is reporting this…

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  7. Bishop Ball “resigned after being cautioned for sexual abuse.” As I understand it, being cautioned in the UK is roughly equivalent to being given a Miranda warning in the US. The caution is, “You do not have to say anything. But it may harm your defence if you do not mention, when questioned, something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.” People can remain under caution for more than one police interview. The designation stays on file for some duration, but can eventually expire. Here is one article about the process: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1541359/What-it-means-when-you-are-quizzed-by-police.html

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  8. Dee – if you are in a ‘position of trust’ over a young person, like I am as a Youth Worker, like teachers, Social Workers & clergy are, & hence able to wield relationship based manipulative power, it is illegal to be in a sexual relationship with them. We have Abuse of Trust legislation specifically for these reasons. See here for basic details: https://www.emmottsnell.co.uk/blog/sexual-consent-and-positions-of-trust & here for the technical leagal details: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2003/42/part/1/crossheading/abuse-of-position-of-trust

    Also, if you did get into a liaison with someone under your authority or care in this way, even if 18 or older, it is still thought of as ridiculously unprofessional & would not be looked on kindly. As a Team Manager I would be looking to discipline any staff member who thought this was okay.

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  9. Erp,

    Hmm, I’ve just gone back & reread what I posted in light of what you said, & you’re right in that certain categories are technically left out. I think, under law though, that it could easily be argued that people in these positions hold the same ‘position of trust’ & so the law practically applies to them…that is definitely the way the professional bodies of Youth Work would interpret it. In fact, we are, as a profession, very strict with our sexual boundaries around young people, & for example, if an older volunteer met a younger person at one of our projects, & decided to pursue them, that would be against our rules totally. They (older) could not progress that in any way, & remain in our ’employ’, & any breaking of that would end up in a report to Children’s Services, & potentially a soft report in to the Disclosure & Barring Service. Any decent Clergy would run on the same rules on the ground.
    And given the recent scandals of sports coaches, particularly football coaches, abusing children, I would hope the law would seek to address these omitted categories.

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  10. The reference to the cross on the genitals is between 5:00 and 6:20 of the video. The speakers grin, laugh, and make faces throughout the description of an act of sexual assault during a sacrament. All three men joke about it. Victims of sexual assault deserve better than salacious, pubescent treatment.

    The guy on the right, the Rt. Rev. Gavin Ashenden, says that he was shopping at a market in 1981 and fell into conversation with a woodworker. The woodworker said he had recently been baptized, and asked “is it common” to have the sign of the cross imprinted on the genitals during baptism. The woodworker believed the practice was recommended by St. Augustine.

    Significant: Ashenden does not say that the woodworker told him that this sick assault happened to him, or that he witnessed such an assault. In the C of E, baptisms usually take place during regular Sunday services. Peter Ball could have baptized someone in private—but the speakers do not address the question. How credible is it that a woodworker would ask this question of a priest he just met?

    It is horrifying to see Ashenden minimize Bishop Ball’s damage even as he describes it: “He had this penchant for young men. He took it right up to the wire, and just a bit over.” “Although people are very rude about Peter Ball’s sexual proclivities, they were on the whole only just over the line.” He then mentions that “some poor man killed himself.”

    By Ashenden’s own account, he did nothing. That is entirely plausible. Bishop Ball did horrific things, and these three men provide no insight or solace for victims.

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  11. I have the impression that physical intimacy between higher social status males and male social inferiors was pretty normal in pagan Rome.

    Perhaps this mentality never left the Empire when it was “christianized” and has been with us down to the present.

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  12. “… an inner circle that protects these elite, perverted and popular leaders …” (Dee)

    For example, Judge Paul Pressler, SBC
    For example, Bill Hybels, Willow Creek
    For example, James MacDonald, HBC
    etc. etc.

    Abusive church leaders continue to abuse because of a protective covering by other church leaders. Paige Patterson knew about Pressler … WC elders knew about Hybels … HBC elders knew about MacDonald. It is not simply a matter of ignoring or denying the bad-boy behavior of senior leaders, the inner circle believes these “saints” are too big to fail and that the clergy always trumps the laity. This sin of silence … this pact with darkness … is a cancer in the evangelical church. There’s nothing Christian about it, of course.

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  13. SiteSeer: If you were stuck alone on a desert island, and a Bible washed up on the shore, you read it cover to cover for the first time in your life and decided you believed in this Jesus and wanted to follow him- would you ever, in your wildest imagination, ever picture the kinds of things that go on in the established church??

    NO! If you had told me as a child growing up in 1940s-1950s small town America that I would live to see a day like this … if you had painted a word picture for me of the gross sins in the 21st century church and nation … I wouldn’t have believed you. I suppose those things went on undetected back then, but I suspect that the enemy has come in like a flood and things are getting progressively worse.

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  14. SiteSeer:
    If you were stuck alone on a desert island, and a Bible washed up on the shore, you read it cover to cover for the first time in your life and decided you believed in this Jesus and wanted to follow him- would you ever, in your wildest imagination, ever picture the kinds of things that go on in the established church??

    Yes.
    Yes.
    And emphatically yes.

    A first time reader would not have 2000 years of organized religious tradition to overcome. They would read the words as is.

    What they would lack is internet access to research what they are reading.

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  15. SiteSeer: If you were stuck alone on a desert island, and a Bible washed up on the shore, you read it cover to cover for the first time in your life and decided you believed in this Jesus and wanted to follow him- would you ever, in your wildest imagination, ever picture the kinds of things that go on in the established church??

    No, I would not. And for me that is one of the best arguments I have found to prove that the institutional church around the world and the 501c3s here in the U.S. are not The Church Universal, nor are they what Jesus is building His Kingdom on. It is the devout followers of Christ who are The Body of Christ. No 501c3 needed. There were no denominations when Jesus started with the 144 and there will be none at the end at His return.

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  16. Samuel Conner:
    I have the impression that physical intimacy between higher social status males and male social inferiors was pretty normal in pagan Rome.

    Perhaps this mentality never left the Empire when it was “christianized” and has been with us down to the present.

    I suspect that as well. I dont believe Rome originated any such interactions though.

    If you back back further, Sparta is reported to have utilized homortotic relationships as military cohesion. These seem to include youth/adult mentorship, if I remember.

    Returning forward to the Common Era, I would mention Jesus at the edge of Caesarea Phillippi.

    He references the Gates of Hades not prevailing, and to me it makes sense. Any attempt to construct a Gentile Ekklesia would have pre-existing Gentile social phenomena in it’s foundation.

    The Gates of Hades where one location were homoerotic and paraphila activities constituted organized religious practice.

    The worship of Pan has been edited from Christian history. We dont want to talk about it.

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  17. Friend,

    The reference to the cross on the genitals is between 5:00 and 6:20 of the video. The speakers grin, laugh, and make faces throughout the description of an act of sexual assault during a sacrament. All three men joke about it. Victims of sexual assault deserve better than salacious, pubescent treatment. “And they shook when they laughed like a bowl full of jelly!”

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  18. Friend: Wild guess: abuse of the powerless is found in every human society.

    I am not referring to individual acts or private events. I am referring to structured elements in societies.

    The worship of Pan at the Gates of Hades was an activity taking place in an outdoor temple, specifically constructed for that purpose. It represented an organized element within Greek/Latin cultures. Pan (and Faunus) was a poly-sexual deity.

    Pan was a shepherd, like elitist Christian personalities. He genuinely attended to flocks. And, was extreamly sexual in all aspects.

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  19. Friend: Wild guess: abuse of the powerless is found in every human society.

    I think so. This is just as much a “human” thing as a “church” thing.

    In general society is becoming more egalitarian and just like slavery this garbage is being taken to the curb.

    The true heroes are the victims that come forward. They bring their humiliation to the light. Now is the time for the church (all of them) to prove their worth.

    I’ve left Christianity, I challenge the church to give me reason to come back.

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  20. Max: . I suppose those things went on undetected back then, but I suspect that the enemy has come in like a flood and things are getting progressively worse.

    And I disagree. This stuff has festered for years, maybe centuries, in the dark corners, closets, behind ‘polite’ society.

    Our society is so much more open. This is a good thing. There’s never been a better time to press the attack.

    I don’t believe in a literal devil but however you visualize it, let him come and face us in the open.

    Don’t get discouraged and don’t let him scurry back to the darkness.

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  21. Jack: The cover up makes me think of some bizzaro version of the BBC series “Keeping Up Appearances”.

    Good point. I kind of feel like I am getting British humor a bit more since learning about this stuff.

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  22. Nathan Priddis: The worship of Pan at the Gates of Hades was an activity taking place in an outdoor temple, specifically constructed for that purpose. It represented an organized element within Greek/Latin cultures. Pan (and Faunus) was a poly-sexual deity.

    Pan was a shepherd, like elitist Christian personalities. He genuinely attended to flocks. And, was extreamly sexual in all aspects.

    I see, so you think that Jesus was referring to Pan worship when he said the gates of hell would not prevail against the church? I guess when he said ‘prevail’ he must have meant at the final end someday.

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  23. Mr. Jesperson: https://www.foxnews.com/faith-values/christian-speaker-texas-design-conference-complaints

    The Village Church is back in the news…

    Makes sense to me. If you’re going to invite someone to speak from a church that sees over half the population as either second-class or as demonically-singed trash, well, you’re going to have problems. And this is not just in the design community. My evil too big to fail employer would never extend a speaking invitation to someone from an organization like TVC for the same reason. You just can’t get around the fact that TVC discriminates on a religious basis. Which is fine within their church, but not so fine out here in more public spaces.

    I’d also note that The Village Church would never invite a woman or LGBTQIA person to speak from their pulpit, so obviously they should understand why the DFW AIGA would hold this position.

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  24. Does Great Britain and/or England have Romeo and Juliet laws like those in some of states here in the U.S.? In Colorado it’s the following:

    -14 years old or less, up to a three year difference.

    -15 and 16 years old, up to nine years difference.

    Honestly, I would like to see these exceptions even more restrictive.

    Back to England and Great Britain, is there such laws or is it once your 16, you can fall prey to 40 year olds?

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  25. SiteSeer: I see, so you think that Jesus was referring to Pan worship when he said the gates of hell would not prevail against the church?

    Worship of Pan died out around the time of Jesus’ ministry. That has been explored by Christian writers in English from Milton to Chesterton. Pan is not very topical today, except among fans of Zamfir. Christians have been comfortable with images of Pan, half man and half goat, in European and American art for centuries.

    I’m not sure Pan was a shepherd. He was a nature god and, among other things, the god of shepherds. There might not be a parallel between a Bad Shepherd and our Good Shepherd.

    The problem with Peter Ball was a lack of consent: sexual abuse of the powerless by the powerful. I do not know whether worship of Pan was abusive or merely pagan.

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  26. Brian: We know how TVC treats rape and molestation victims. How do they treat those living the homosexual lifestyle?

    I have no idea how TVC treats LGBTQiA people. But I do want to point something out.

    Being LGBTQIA is not a lifestyle. It’s who we are. I’m asexual (took me decades to figure this out) and there are some Christians who think being asexual is just as much of an issue as being gay or lesbian. That’s if they even understand asexuality, which many of them don’t and confuse with gender roles. Here’s what one guy, the president of a prominent ministry wrote a month ago, and I quote:

    At the core anatomy and physiology are simple concepts. The desire for an asexual culture is abhorrent and depraved. One is given one’s anatomical makeup by one’s creator and the denial of such is a denial of one’s self and more importantly an evil rebellion against God. The bible tells us that the one who engages in such thinking has been given over to a depraved mind. While some would call this a psychological disorder, the matter goes much deeper The problem is not just a matter of self denial it is a matter of mass delusion. Romans 1 explains that no matter how the culture tries to dismiss this the truth is there for all to see and we know it. The judgment of God is not just upon the individual it is on the land itself and the mass delusion is the evidence of that judgment. That mass delusion will only result in the very destruction of the land itself. It is the antitheses [sic] of an ordered culture. An anarchy.

    This guy is completely confused. Asexual means: “a person who has no sexual feelings or desires.” It does not mean “removing gender roles from society.”

    *drily* Apparently it’s a sin not to have a heterosexual libido and interest in sexual activity, and it’s a problem if we’re not constantly fighting off lust. Trust me, I have my own besetting sins I have to fight off.

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  27. __

    “Now with blaring social media in our faces, the onus is on us, the parents, perhaps ?”

    hmmm…

    Frequent Wartburg Watch Blog readers understand that if you don’t choose to attend such services at these possibly questionable offensive 501c3 establishments, guessing the safety level forthwith becomes a mute point.

    However, if you do choose to attend, the onus is on you, the parent.

    With various forms of social media at our fingertips declaring so much 501c3 close quarter abuse, and subsequent cover-up, parents can no longer exempt themselves if they subject themselves or their children to such religious establishments.

    To be fore-warned is to be fore-armed. Beware! Privileged 501c3 clergy will never fixed the problem unless there is strong incentive for them to do so like withholding attendance and donations.

    Apparently, social media is giving us, as parents, the option of changing the way we ‘respond’ to such 501c3 religious matters to the safety and betterment of our children.

    If for every daughter that is abused by these 501c3 religious b@$tards, a glaring some fifteen of our sons are now at risk of sexual abuse, what does this stat. mean besides shrinking attendance rosters?

    (sadface)

    Who would stand in line for this?

    Paybacks are hell?

    Their coming…

    Get some rest Dee, you look tired…

    ATB

    Sòpy

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ftm1hiXgYsA

    – –

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  28. This is so sad for the church! This is so terrible for the boys, teenagers!

    The Penn State college football empire crumbled after their leaders’ evil deeds against the young boys, and the cover-up by top leaders were uncovered.

    Such depravity even among those who bear God’s name!

    A suggestion here: Even though this may not change all men, it should help reduce such abuse in the church. One of the things the Catholic church needs to reform: No celibacy requirement for priests. They should be allowed to marry.

    Parents of boys, don’t trust every leader to deal with your sons in hidden settings!

    Have mercy on us all, Lord. Please stop these criminals!

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  29. Brian,

    We have what is considered ‘good practice’, generally, rather than laws – for under 16’s it is 2/3 yrs difference, with eagle eyes & intervention on anyone ‘dating’ someone 12 yrs & 364 days or younger, unless they are a very similar age.

    Over 16 & under 18 it’s still frowned on for an adult ’18’ to be dating a child ‘under 18’unless they are close in age or in a prior relationship when the older one turns 18.

    Technically, however, once over 16 you could get into a relationship with a much older adult, although much closer attention is paid now to the dynamics of coercion etc. I have worked with Young Women 16 & over who have been involved with 30 something yr olds, & Police didn’t have any reason to intervene once they had interviewed the 16yr olds & seen informed consent from them. 16 yr olds can get married here, or join the army,with parental permission so they fall into a weird category.

    How do the Romeo & Juliet laws line up alongside the age of marriage laws? I read something weird about quite a lot of what we would say were under-age girls getting married at 14, 15, as their parents gave permission.

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  30. SiteSeer: I see, so you think that Jesus was referring to Pan worship when he said the gates of hell would not prevail against the church? I guess when he said ‘prevail’ he must have meant at the final end someday.

    My thinking has morphed over many years and I have not arrived at a final conclusion. But yes, I’m convinced this failure to prevail is something that occurs at the end of the age. I read in a more literal way then most, so therefore a different takeaway.

    The setting is not a single site. The Hermon area has several mysterious locations. They are mentioned, but not explained in the Old Testament. The Church Fathers did not accept Jewish views such as the Books of Enoch. Hermon was forgotten and history moved on.

    However, the practices where nearly adopted into the Church. They quietly continue to this day in secrect. It’s no longer a structured official activity of social elites, just mutually tolerated by Christian leaders.

    The actual Gates are a different subject. You would think the importance of declaring who amoung the Dammed, would be linked to a desire to understand the nature of reality in our Universe. The Church would logically be the main proponent of advanced Physics. It’s a legitimate question to wonder where the dead go.

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  31. Beakerj: the problem in the Catholic church has been paedophilia, not celibacy. They are not the same thing, & many paedophiles are also married with children of their own.

    Celibacy has apparently created a problem too. My understanding is that a lot of emotionally stunted men, incapable of relating well to others (i.e., dating and marrying), have entered the RC priesthood. Not all RC priests are emotionally stunted, of course. In recent years, some archdioceses have required candidates to undergo psychological evaluation before seminary.

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  32. Nathan Priddis: Hermon was forgotten and history moved on.

    However, the practices where nearly adopted into the Church. They quietly continue to this day in secrect. It’s no longer a structured official activity of social elites, just mutually tolerated by Christian leaders.

    I can believe that the church has always had perverts who protected one another. It’s harder to accept that rumored practices of Pan worship have been handed down for 2000 years.

    The geographical questions are very interesting. The Jews did not like any pagan temples. How did you conclude that the one at Caesaraea Philippi was unusually offensive? I would think that the association with Herod is a bad enough, without a pagan temple and supposedly throwing goats into an abyss.

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  33. Wartburg, At some point along the way 501c3 POD/PDI/SGM/SGC members failed themselves with the failure of expedient discernment and biblical Berean due diligence. Sadly, their children are still paying for it today. Now the whole of the SBC is being infected with this inflected religious plague. God help them.

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  34. SiteSeer: Jack: The cover up makes me think of some bizzaro version of the BBC series “Keeping Up Appearances”.

    I would point out that such things have been whispered about for many, many decades. Even in my naivete I knew something about the sexual abuse going on in the elite private schools of England. And I agree with the poster who suggests that it is very similar to what goes on in fraternities and God only knows where else in society. I have said it many times, and I’ll say it again: This is not an anomaly. It is an ages old system of traumatizing and controlling those who are considered to be future political and religious leaders. We would be very foolish to believe that this is some new sort of abuse problem due to select perverts running loose. It is institutional, rampant and purposeful. And it is time to put an end to it. May God help us to do whatever it takes to do so.

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  35. Friend: My understanding is that a lot of emotionally stunted men, incapable of relating well to others (i.e., dating and marrying), have entered the RC priesthood.

    Like Holy Orders are a consolation/booby prize for being an InCel?
    That can’t end well.

    I’ve seen the same pattern in various fandoms, from gaming to proto-anime to Furry. They tend to attract “emotionally stunted…incapable of relating well to others”. In that case, it’s a safe space/refuge.

    But in the RCC, it’s characteristic of busybodies having “private revelations” that those of us “incapable of relating to others (i.e. dating and marrying)” MUST be God’s Choice for Holy Orders or monasteries or convents. I was once told that since I couldn’t find a girlfriend, I MUST have a Vocation for the Priesthood — strongly implied “DEUS VULT!” And “your daughter is so Holy and never dates — she’d make a Wonderful Nun!” is a joke for a reason.

    Kind of like Fundagelicals “Salvation by Marriage Alone” but in the opposite direction. With a seasoning of Clericalism.

    Again, this can’t end well. I think Martha of Ireland once had a guest posting on Internet Monk about how such pressure and expectations contributed to a major priestly sex scandal in her country. A lot of people became priests, monks, and nuns who weren’t cut out for the vocation because of ironclad expectations and one day it all blew sky-high.

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  36. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes: *drily* Apparently it’s a sin not to have a heterosexual libido and interest in sexual activity, and it’s a problem if we’re not constantly fighting off lust.

    Isn’t that just a Christianese take on “Everybody MUST Get Laid”?
    Where asexuality and/or virginity is THE Unpardonable Sin?
    I got more than enough of that pressure in my twenties to last the rest of my life.

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  37. __

    “It’s Always Good In Life For This?”

    hmmm…

    “Extreme 501c3 church sounds that haunted me, they tormented me every day
    I wasn’t given a voice, yet I didn’t give up His light
    I closed my eyes and closed myself and closed my world and never opened up to anything that could get me along
    I had to close down everything, I had to close down my mind
    Too many things that would cut me, too much can make you blind
    I’ve seen so much in so many church places, so many heartaches, so many faces
    So many dirty things, you couldn’t even believe…” [1]

    *That I would stand in line for this?

    (sadface)

    Sòpy

    – –
    [1] lyrics modified. Moby – “Extreme Ways” (All rights reserved.)
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JLOgY8hWe1

    ;~(§

    – –

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  38. Friend: I can believe that the church has always had perverts who protected one another. It’s harder to accept that rumored practices of Pan worship have been handed down for 2000 years.

    The geographical questions are very interesting. The Jews did not like any pagan temples. How did you conclude that the one at Caesaraea Philippi was unusually offensive? I would think that the association with Herod is a bad enough, without a pagan temple and supposedly throwing goats into an abyss.

    Pan is long gone. The idea of a weirdo in the woods who spends too much time with animals and water nymphs, is never going to jive with the Gospel. The cultural practices remained amoung false teachers.

    Church history is highly corrupt and this corruption is structural. One type of corruption is sexual in nature. Of course we could name others.

    Pagan practices where mixed with multiple Jewish elements brought in by Priest and Pharisees who converted in Acts. This is an amalgamation of the Law, philosophy and paganism. As fast as Paul traveled, super Apostles followed.

    When I say amalgamation with a pagan element, I am not making general claims. The notion that the Church conquered Rome is absurd. The Edit of Toleration began the process of eventual marriage of the two and eventually three entities. Society at large transitioned over time into Christian co- mingling.

    For a random citation, I might pick Jude. Verse 4 mentions traits of false teachers. One is an offensive sexuality. The whole book is bizarre and it does not separate human sexuality from things pertaining to members of the Heavenly Host. It even mentions testimony of Enoch concerning the end.

    There is no grand universal conspiracy, but various sectors of the Church have their own infections. This post just pertains to CofE. SBC has their own.

    To be fair, teaching of the Law was likely a far greater threat to Gentile converts. Continued idol worship and temple sexuality where probably not that important in the early Church decades.

    Regarding offense to the Jews by this sites existance, I have no idea if it caused greater offense. This site was unique though.

    Compare it to Mars Hill. People did not go the grotto to listen to Greek oratory. It was purposely built for ritual religious sex. They probably tossed sacrifices into the water as well. Groto sites where unique.

    What do the allegations in this post have in connection to the grotto? They are not accidental. They are not the result of lack of accountability. Things happen, because they purposely have been allowed to happen by leaders. They want it that way.

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  39. TS00: This is not an anomaly. It is an ages old system of traumatizing and controlling those who are considered to be future political and religious leaders. We would be very foolish to believe that this is some new sort of abuse problem due to select perverts running loose. It is institutional, rampant and purposeful. And it is time to put an end to it. May God help us to do whatever it takes to do so.

    I do agree with you.

    C S Lewis wrote of some of these things in his autobiography, Surprised by Joy. I found it very hard to read, just heartbreaking what kids were put through.

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  40. TS00: I would point out that such things have been whispered about for many, many decades. Even in my naivete I knew something about the sexual abuse going on in the elite private schools of England. And I agree with the poster who suggests that it is very similar to what goes on in fraternities and God only knows where else in society.

    Yup. A “never gone even to a day of classes” freshman was attacked in broad daylight on the sidewalk in front of a fraternity at UT Austin, dragged in and sexually assaulted by a number of frat members. It was never reported in the papers, but we all knew about it, especially since the frat was first kicked out of the frat association and then forced to shut down (this took *years*). It kind of made me sick to see the frat had been allowed to reopen in more recent years. The initial incident happened 39 years ago.

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  41. Nathan Priddis: Compare it to Mars Hill. People did not go the grotto to listen to Greek oratory. It was purposely built for ritual religious sex.

    They did not go to listen to oratory?

    Acts 17:21 “Now all the Athenians and foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing more than hearing and articulating new ideas.”

    And as far as the Stoics mentioned in verse 18, which of the two do you think was the prime motivator for going to Mars Hill?

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  42. JDV: They did not go to listen to oratory?

    Acts 17:21 “Now all the Athenians and foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing more than hearing and articulating new ideas.”

    And as far as the Stoics mentioned in verse 18, which of the two do you think was the prime motivator for going to Mars Hill?

    Mars Hill is located in Athens. Caesarea Philippi is extream Northern Israel. It’s an artesian spring.

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  43. Friend,

    Now that’s an idea I can get behind, I think a psychological test is a great idea for anyone entering the ministry, as they will be bound to deal with many vulnerable people.
    But again, even if you are emotionally stunted & so on, that doesn’t cause paedophilia & the kind of wholesale sexual abuse of children that the Catholic Church has seen.

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  44. Jack,

    “Now is the time for the church (all of them) to prove their worth.

    I’ve left Christianity, I challenge the church to give me reason to come back.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++

    well, as i see it, christianity isn’t the church (any or all of them).

    christianity schmistianity…

    God made people…God became a people (God’s human hand, our human hand – we match!)…. so we could know each other, with the potential for ultimate closeness.

    that’s pretty much it.

    it’s kind of like air. you haven’t really left it. you just give inhaling deeply a try.

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  45. Nathan Priddis: Continued idol worship and temple sexuality where probably not that important in the early Church decades.

    I’m not sure that it wasn’t a significant concern for Paul. 1 Corinthians is very concerned to protect the consciences of people who might be tempted to return to the temples — the concern about “destroying a brother” by eating meat purchased from shops that used altar offerings for their meat supply, for example. The recommendation (in spite of what seems to have been his preference that “in the present emergency” people remain single) that everyone marry, “because there is so much fornication” might also be related to the pagan temples.

    It’s hard for us to imagine what it was like to be a follower of Jesus in the early years, when every cultural influence was in opposition (many or most of the early Gentile converts were also slaves of unbelievers).

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  46. Beakerj: even if you are emotionally stunted & so on, that doesn’t cause paedophilia

    Thank you for pointing that out. Pedophilia stems from a severe personality disorder.

    A priest who has immaturity, poor social skills, lack of insight, or a primitive personality can create misery in a congregation. The church should never be an employer of last resort for people who cannot function socially, as it has been in a minority of cases. (There is a priest shortage.)

    To be clear, I have deep respect for people who live celibate lives. The RC priests and nuns I have known are skilled and well adjusted.

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  47. Nathan Priddis: For a random citation, I might pick Jude.

    Quick rereading is never advised for the Bible, but that’s what I did.

    Jude reminds me of a TWW post (forgive the shorthand): Oh no, look who’s back! He’s preaching! He has a book to sell! Didn’t I already tell you about this guy? Don’t you remember what he did last time?

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  48. Friend: By Ashenden’s own account, he did nothing. That is entirely plausible. Bishop Ball did horrific things, and these three men provide no insight or solace for victims.

    I agree with you. They are not victim focused. *It’s all consensual.* I have a feeling that the UK Anglicans are finally having their #churchtoo movement. Finally, the Telegraph (my friend n the UK says it’s kind of like the NYT) is posting. Som there’s little doubt that this happened, given their libel laws.

    BTW_ I agreed with your assessment on the cross/genitals dustup and adjusted the post accordingly. I am still suspicious that there is some rater bizarre stuff going on and am trying to figure out why they alluded to this. Thank you.

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  49. Beakerj: But again, even if you are emotionally stunted & so on, that doesn’t cause paedophilia & the kind of wholesale sexual abuse of children that the Catholic Church has seen.

    I wish there was a test to see if a person is a pedophile or a sexual molester who is entering the ministry to get access. I do not point my fingers only at the UK since the US is suffering the same fate.

    It’s time for the church to wake up and get what’s going on. The Church Universal is being used by men and women who have profound psychiatric disorders and have targeted the church as a *safe* placed for molesters. It is not the fault of the church when one of these people shows up. It is the fault of the church for ignoring it.

    Anyone in church leadership in the UK who knew about this or *heard rumors* should be ashamed of themselves for covering it up. They are equally responsible for step Ain that the victims have endured.

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  50. Muff Pottter: Yeah, you’re right dee, this one really pegs the creepometer.

    You know what really concerns me? The response of the leaders to this situation. The three guys on the video wouldn’t use Fletcher’s name because they wanted to be *pastoral.* They were being pastoral to Fletcher, not to the victims.

    Do you know how I would have handled it?

    First, my pastoral response to Fletcher would be to slap him good and hard upside the head. Then, as he was recuperating, I would find some funds to hire a really good lawyers to figure out how to go after this nut job.

    Then I would find funds to provide counseling for the victims.

    Then, I would expose all the men and women who knew about this and covered it up.

    Finally, if this was kept quiet due to *class level* distinctions, I would foment a rebellion. Wait, that’s already happened.

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  51. Maria,

    I’m wondering if they are smiling because they are highly anxious about discussing this. Occasionally, I’ve started to laugh in the midst of a bad situation.

    https://psychcentral.com/lib/laugh-in-the-face-of-anxiety/

    In spite of their rather strange demeanor and apparent lack of understanding on how to respond appropriately in these situations. However, if we understand the class focused culture in which they exist, they are doing something rather unusual. They are speaking out. I bet they are getting pushback from the boyz in the UK.

    Look at how a few have responded on this blog. We are *ungodly.* We are gossips that are recklessly *connecting the dots.* Can you imagine the pushback they are getting.

    I am hoping they will begin to understand the pain nor by the victims in these situations. It is pain that lasts a lifetime. In the meantime, Fletcher is sitting around, still collecting accolades for his leadership.

    So glad to have this blog to call it out.

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  52. dee: I’m wondering if they are smiling because they are highly anxious about discussing this.

    Whatever, I’ve already decided not to go to their church! They should be weeping, not smiling. Until the institutional church starts agonizing over things like this, I don’t see much hope in it ever recovering a measure of holiness pleasing to God.

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  53. Max: I’ve already decided not to go to their church!

    The trio bravely offer themselves as the pure and holy alternative to the Anglican Communion. They encouraged people to share the episode before viewing.

    If these men have now thought better of their behavior on camera, they can apologize or even take the episode down. I think they are accidentally doing the Anglican Communion a favor.

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  54. dee: Look at how a few have responded on this blog. We are *ungodly.* We are gossips that are recklessly *connecting the dots.* Can you imagine the pushback they are getting.

    That person’s comment just gets me- I’d like to know just how else these dots can be connected? There is none! The only question is how extensive the problem is. And judging from the strong desire not to lift the lid, I’d guess very extensive.

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  55. SiteSeer: I’d like to know just how else these dots can be connected? There is none! The only question is how extensive the problem is. And judging from the strong desire not to lift the lid, I’d guess very extensive.

    I have a feeling that the box under that lid is full of dots!

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  56. I finally put the video on. It was informative.

    1. This is a cabal.
    2. It is not abuse.
    3. The Father has provided us with terms and names to help us articulate things of the Kingdom.
    (for example-wolves and sheep)
    4.The alledged are Wolves.
    5. This is a Wolf Pack.
    6. Packs are organized and adopt social rules specific to their group.
    7. Homo-erotic acts are used by this group to facilitate pack cohesion and structure. (a bit like the Spartan society is alledged)
    8. This pack is every bit a part of the Ekklesia, just as are the Sheep. One Church, one baptism, one Lord.
    9. This pack is an enemy and preys on the Sheep.
    10.This represents a modern age continuation of behavior inherited from the foundational era of the Church.

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  57. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes,

    Thank you. 🙂

    When a blanket statement is made on how one group treats another, the next question should be “what did they do specifically?” That information is never provided.

    Does TVC have a person denounce their homosexuality before they can be a member of the congregation?

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  58. dee:
    Maria,

    I’m wondering if they are smiling because they are highly anxious about discussing this. Occasionally, I’ve started to laugh in the midst of a bad situation.

    https://psychcentral.com/lib/laugh-in-the-face-of-anxiety/

    In spite of their rather strange demeanor and apparent lack of understanding on how to respond appropriately in these situations. However, if we understand the class focused culture in which they exist, they are doing something rather unusual. They are speaking out. I bet they are getting pushback from the boyz in the UK.

    Agreed. Guy on the left (Kevin) seemed extremely nervous, and part of the laughter seemed from disbelief about what kinds of things occurred. Also agreed that they seem new at these kinds of discussions, and displayed a certain lack of sensitivity at times that perhaps comes with more experience interacting with victims.

    “What were we to do? We both just remained surprised about it.” Gavin (guy on right) said something like this when describing the sign of the cross situation. I think this is a classic example of British understatement and reserve. I think he also said this incident happened in 1980-something. I imagine he likely felt powerless to do much of anything, given the culture of the time and country. And notice the joke about getting sued for libel at the end? I wonder if that was as much a concern as being “pastoral” for not to name “He Who Shall Not Be Named.”

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  59. Brian,
    The following info does not reflect my stance on the issue in question I am merely relaying what I know from having spent some time at TVC.

    When I was at TVC they taught that anyone who identifies as homosexual should live a celibate life and they like to shift the focus of one’s identity as being in Christ so they should “surrender” their inclinations and see that one is not defined by their sexuality but by their identity in Christ. So if one was willing to do that I believe they then can be a “member”

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  60. Shadowfax,

    Thank you 🙂

    If the organizers of the conference TVC was attending said they were removed because of their “keep it quiet” stance on child molesters, the organizers would have made real impact.

    Instead, they put out a generic, one size fits all, press release. If you had no other info on TVC, the article looks like a political hit piece on Christianity.

    Whichever side of the theological or political side of the fence an organization is, the organization making the statement needs to be specific.

    Just my observation. 🙂

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  61. @Nathan Priddis Pan at the Gates of Hades and lots of sex initially reads to me as a bit of folk history not supported by the evidence (think of the needle being a gate in Jerusalem). That the springs of Banias were considered sacred to Pan in the Hellenistic period on does seem true (and sacred to other deities before, also true). I would be interested in any academic sources rather than speculation for the rest. Note that some if not many of the non-Christian Romans apparently had some rather wild ideas about what Christians got up to in their services. Josephus doesn’t seem to mention much except that Herod built a temple for Augustus there.

    I read Berlin, Andrea M. 1999. “The Archaeology of Ritual: The Sanctuary of Pan at Banias/Caesarea Philippi.” Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 315 (August): 27–45. https://doi.org/10.2307/1357531 which noted the very meager literary information about the cult at Banias and that the archaeology showed a certain amount of what was likely ritual dining. No indication of any evidence of sexual orgies etc

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  62. elastigirl: well, as i see it, christianity isn’t the church (any or all of them).

    christianity schmistianity…

    God made people…God became a people (God’s human hand, our human hand – we match!)…. so we could know each other, with the potential for ultimate closeness.

    that’s pretty much it.

    it’s kind of like air. you haven’t really left it. you just give inhaling deeply a try.

    I get spirituality and closeness. I was a true believer for a long time. Breathing deeply doesn’t automatically default to the Christian God.

    But I digress…

    These churches are claiming to be God’s representatives.

    My challenge stands. When I read the gospels I get an impression of humility, service, tolerance.

    I’ll assume it’s all real from this point for the sake of discussion.

    The old testament depicts a human interaction with the perfect divine.

    As a result it was passed down through an imperfect lens depicting the very human concepts of the time.

    The fact that Jesus arrived at a time of unprecedented peace (relatively speaking) would have no accident. He came when that society was more open to the message.

    Once again we have a secular republic (or in my case a constitutional monarchy) with levels of unprecedented peace and prosperity (again relatively speaking).

    The challenge still stands. How is any church going to convince me it’s real. I ain’t into the type of stuff are into. Massive fail C of E. And I used to consider myself Anglican…

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  63. Jack,

    It has never been the job of men in a religious institution to convince you that it is real. If they could, then some other people from some other institution could come along and convince you that it is not. It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convince you of the reality of Jesus Christ. People can play a role, but it is small. My belief started with an encounter with a spirit. No man convinced me, so no man can unconvince me, if you get what I am saying. And no, the State Church of England and Jesus’ Church is not the same thing. The former made by men. The latter is being made by God. Need I say more?

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  64. Jack,

    “Breathing deeply doesn’t automatically default to the Christian God.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++

    well, breathing air deeply into one’s lungs is simply a metaphor for how available God is.

    If one is sincerely knocking (switching metaphors now), who else is going to respond? Pan?

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  65. Nathan Priddis: However, the practices where nearly adopted into the Church. They quietly continue to this day in secrect. It’s no longer a structured official activity of social elites, just mutually tolerated by Christian leaders.

    Or maybe these kinds of behaviors get repeated under similar circumstances (hierarchy, power/money/control of one class over others, secrecy) because the nature of sin leads in predictable directions?

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  66. David:
    Here is an article by Gavin Asshenden (one of the speakers) with the title “there is no such thing as spiritual abuse”. Note the comments below the fold incidentally. The tone and tenor is not untypical of a certain type of Christian discourse in the UKhttps://archbishopcranmer.com/there-is-no-such-thing-as-spiritual-abuse/

    Thank you for this link. I am currently working my way through some information that has been enlightening to me. It is my hope to be able to put together a post that will help readers in the US to better understand the evangelical community in the COE. I plan to do my next post on the subject on Wednesday.

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  67. Sòpwith,

    In this post and others like it we are discussing the evangelical group within the COE. The way things are going I the US, we may soon be at 30% as well. The Catholic Church lost a boatload of the faithful due to their scandals. I believe that we are facing our own Waterloo.

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  68. SiteSeer: Or maybe these kinds of behaviors get repeated under similar circumstances (hierarchy, power/money/control of one class over others, secrecy) because the nature of sin leads in predictable directions?

    I think you are both missing the true nature of the spiritual war that we are in. We do not wrestle with flesh and blood, but with rulers and authorities in high places. The ways of evil were perfected eons ago between Satan and his hierarchy of angels. What we are seeing here is a reflection of that reality.

    Satan is the god of this world. It is currently under his rule and dominion. The ways of the world are according to his design and structure. If in reporting and conversing about the corruption in what calls itself a church we forget this overarching truth, then we end up focusing on the wrong enemy and have carnal conversations about mere men. In many of these structures you could lop the human head off and someone just as corrupt, or perhaps more so will simply take its place. That is why we are instructed to pray in the Lord’s prayer, to let your Kingdom come and your will be done. There is no solution that does not involve the expansion of Jesus’ Kingdom to take control of what Satan is now in charge over.

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  69. dee,

    Note the sleight of hand in Gavin Ashenden’s article (he’s the guy on the right in the video):

    the term ‘abuse’ has its roots in the world of you which sees the driving human dynamic as one exercising power. This is not a Christian perspective, but it just certainly a current secular one. It has roots in both Nietzsche and Marx.

    The classic Christian worldview up-ends the relations of power and talks instead of kenosis and self-emptying. So anything authentically Christian can never involve an abuse of power.

    Hear that, survivors? You were not abused, because “abuse” is undefined in Christianity. Oh and by the way you’re a bunch of Marxists.

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  70. SiteSeer: Or maybe these kinds of behaviors get repeated under similar circumstances (hierarchy, power/money/control of one class over others, secrecy) because the nature of sin leads in predictable directions?

    I think you are describing random acts resulting from sin entering the World, combined with environments conducive to committing sinful acts. Examples being organizational secrecy and lack of transparency.

    My contention says the CofE scandal is symptomatic of an organized struggle underway since the beginning.

    You ask, is not sinful nature to blame? I say it plays a part, but there is another part. Sin entered the World, but it came from another World, in order to enter ours. My narrative from the beginning is not orthodox Christianity.

    You discribe random acts that would be the result of the Doctrines of the Fall and Original Sin. I say it results from the Emnity and it is organized.

    In Genesis 2:1, two Host have been assembled. One of Heaven and one of Earth. Eve carries the entire Human Race. She is the mother of all, and will be the first target. By the close of chapter three, the war is underway. The garden transitions out of the story.

    By Matthew 13, the Evil One has seed and he shows it in the field. Even the Angels can not rid the field of tares, because the wheat would be destroyed the process. They grow together. It is one Church.

    Jude vs.4 mentions a personal traits of these tares.

    -They lie quietly alongside and amoung.
    -They transfer or transport the grace of God, (metatithēmi)
    into lacivessness. (aselgeia)

    Their subtle private acts are intentionaly bringing destruction. It is a cabal within the CofE, just as there are many engaged in a civil war inside the Church.

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  71. dee: I believe that we are facing our own Waterloo.

    Well, there will be a BIG Waterloo someday for the church at large! “When judgment begins, it will begin at the house of God first.” I suspect we are quickly approaching that day, hastening its arrival by gross sin and disobedience in both pulpit and pew. When, Lord Jesus, when?

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  72. Erp,

    Nice link.
    I’m not aware of any evidence of orgies. It would seem the opposite is true. Ceasarea Philippi represents the highest pinnacle of society, and I presume a highly ordered public standard of behavior was expected and enforced.

    Religion in antiquity would have been diverse just like today. I do accept that fertility and sexual elements are historical, and span all of BCE.

    This is my assessment of grotto settings. The grotto is a religious part of the region as a whole, and the established social structure and well.

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  73. ION: Tennis

    It took an in-form Roger just 74 minutes to secure his 99th career singles win at Wimbledon today; big-serving Matteo Berrettini was the unfortunate laddie across the net today. It took Rafa some 30 minutes longer to win by approximately the same margin, although at least 15 of those would’ve been the extra time taken by Rafa in between points. Next up for the Fed is Kei Nishikori. Rafa is up against Sam Querrey next, and if the big two win those matches we’ll have a Roger/Rafa semi. Routine progress for Novak in the top half of the draw.

    All happening in the Lassies’ event today; new wee lassie Coco Gauff’s fine run was halted by Simona Halep, but we’ll certainly be seeing more of Coco, methinks (and everyone else thinks too, for that matter). Local lassie Jo Konta’s good summer continued as she beat Czech leftie and 6th seed Petra Kvitova. Konta plays the equally-Czech Barbara Strykova in the QF tomorrow, with a possible semi-final against Serena to follow – though Alison Riské will have somewhat to say about that first.

    And speaking of Serena, she’ll have a busy day on Centre Court tomorrow as she returns later in the afternoon to pair up with Sir Andy Murray in their second-round mixed doubles. Not too many empty seats for that one, I shouldn’t think.

    IHTIH…

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  74. David,

    Reference Romans 1:24,27.

    Reject the Bishop’s advances and watch your career stall. Sounds like segments of the C of E are predatory. The rest protect the predators.

    Outside of the systematic predation, have any of C of E priest been caught molesting young children? If caught what happened to them? The children get any help?

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  75. Max: “When judgment begins, it will begin at the house of God first.” I suspect we are quickly approaching that day, hastening its arrival by gross sin and disobedience in both pulpit and pew. When, Lord Jesus, when?

    If my sources are correct, and I have reason to believe that they are, then by three witnesses it will start in about a year or the third quarter of 2020. I have seen Jesus ending the current quiet period and become active in raising Himself over His Church soon. The most clear element of that was a clear and intense fear of God returning. In order to be effective, there will have to be well publicized events of men killed in services in ways that are clearly connected with God. If the early church needed Ananias and Sapphira then so do we…

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  76. Beakerj,

    http://www.theadvocate.com

    “In Louisiana’s Push For Minimum Marriage, Conservatives Fight For 15 Years Old”

    It originally started as a fight to have the minimum marriage age at 18 years. The bill was bipartisan with the exception of the more conservative elements within the Republican party. I think they all compromised on age 16 with conditions.

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  77. Friend: The classic Christian worldview up-ends the relations of power and talks instead of kenosis and self-emptying. So anything authentically Christian can never involve an abuse of power.

    Hear that, survivors? You were not abused, because “abuse” is undefined in Christianity. Oh and by the way you’re a bunch of Marxists.

    Hmm…I would turn his statement around on him and ask, “therefore, if an abuse of power is taking place, it cannot be authentically Christian – so you are saying you all are not authentically Christian?”

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  78. elastigirl: If one is sincerely knocking (switching metaphors now), who else is going to respond? Pan?

    I suppose to the ancient Romans, he did, or they thought he did.

    Lots of sincere knockers also find Allah replying, or Krishna, or the Jewish version of God or the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

    It doesn’t take away from your faith, it’s just the results of the knock may vary.

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  79. Nathan Priddis: Their subtle private acts are intentionaly bringing destruction. It is a cabal within the CofE, just as there are many engaged in a civil war inside the Church.

    Nathan, I am curious if you see this as part of what the Bible refers to as “doctrines of demons” (1 Tim 4:1)?

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  80. SiteSeer: Lots of sincere knockers also find Allah replying, or Krishna, or the Jewish version of God or the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

    While I do hold many other religions in high respect, this metaphor keeps reminding me that the knocking goes both ways in Christianity. Matt. 7:7 has seekers doing the knocking: “Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.” Rev. 3:20 shows Christ seeking us: “Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me.”

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  81. SiteSeer,

    That is a little difficult to know what you believe demons to be. This is a matter of terms and definitions, and I cant speak to that.

    Vs.1 discribes a period of time where mass departure occurs. Some (presumably leaders) encounter spirits. Seperately, departure is occuring because doctrines have been sourced from demons.(presumably told to leaders in encounters)

    Lets go back to the subjects involved in this post. They are Evangelicals operating in a very non-Evangelical CofE. Thsre is no other purpose for their presence then to meet and doctrinaly influence the next generation.
    And, yes it does not appear to involve doctrines once delivered by the Apostles.

    This is consistant with Neo-Evangelicalism as called for in the 1940’s. Including a sructural corruption.

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  82. Mr. Jesperson:
    How about a billionaire child molester who only got caught in his old age?One with connections to Presidents from both parties: https://www.foxnews.com/us/billionaire-jeffrey-epstein-due-in-federal-court-after-sex-trafficking-arrest

    And will his ‘connections’ be charged and held accountable? Or are we seeing J.E. get thrown under the bus while all of his damning evidence gets confiscated and permanently ‘lost’?

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  83. If anybody deserves to be under a bus, it’s this guy. Epstein is a convicted offender who got a sweetheart deal in 2008. He got 13 months instead of life, because Alex Acosta decided against notifying victims: this WAS the “loss” of evidence. The failure to notify victims violated state and federal law. Some of Epstein’s victims were as young as 14. Every one of Epstein’s associates should be investigated. That could take forever, as he might have kept compromising information about many men. Here is some of the Miami Herald’s work on the topic: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/article220097825.html

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  84. Lowlandseer:
    A other excellent article from AnglicanInk on the scandal.

    http://anglican.ink/2019/07/04/the-english-the-evangelicals-and-the-elites-the-school-for-scandals/

    While I’m sure their coverage of this incident is fine, I wouldn’t personally use Anglican Ink as a source due to the way they like to comment on and interpret events. What I mean is, they’ll use this as ammo against women’s ordination. That’s the only reason they cover these things–to show how “liberal” and “apostate” the Church of England / TEC is and how evil women bishops/priests are.

    (My Credentials: Ex-Continuing Anglican who got fed up with their sexism.)

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  85. Friend,

    Don’t get me wrong. IMO, Epstein deserves far worse places than the underside of a bus. I am simply suggesting that we should demand that ALL of the criminals be held accountable for their crimes. There are many testimonies of lurid sex parties attended by powerful people. My best guess is that his was an operation to get the goods on people, providing photos and videos that might come in handy when favors are needed. Nor do I believe for a moment that he was acting alone. Who is behind Epstein, and others who have carried out similar programs, such as Roger Ailes? When will we acknowledge the existence of organized sex abuse for blackmail, rather than pretend like these guys merely had insatiable sex appetites? Believe me, I absolutely abhor sexual abuse . . . but I suspect what we are looking at here is far more than that, as victims of such abuse have been charging for decades.

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  86. David:
    Here is an article by Gavin Asshenden (one of the speakers) with the title “there is no such thing as spiritual abuse”. Note the comments below the fold incidentally. The tone and tenor is not untypical of a certain type of Christian discourse in the UK

    https://archbishopcranmer.com/there-is-no-such-thing-as-spiritual-abuse/

    Oh dear, I’m getting flashbacks of my time amongst Continuing Anglicans. Some of them like this guy way too much. I remember this guy’s blog posts creeping me out–particularly when he’d cover child abuse in the CoE. One post a few years ago featured him defending a dead bishop (? can’t remember exactly) who had been accused posthumously of being a child molester. He was upset at the CoE’s move to, I think, either remove some statue thing of the guy or rename something that was named after him. Sorry, my memory is really fuzzy, but I just remember being creeped out by this blogger’s desire to exonerate a dead guy over a living accuser simply because the man was dead and couldn’t defend himself.

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  87. TS00,

    I also suggest that it is naive to believe that it was Acosta, on his own, who decided to let Epstein off so lightly. (And no, that doesn’t mean I don’t think Acosta should pay for his devious, reprehensible and illegal actions.) But he could not have gotten away with such a travesty unless he was acting on behalf of people in high places.

    Sometimes I think people are afraid of finding far greater conspiracy than they care to acknowledge, and prefer to believe that such things happen randomly because of one or two bad apples. Recall that the FBI as well as the state were involved in the original investigation of Epstein. Did the FBI just do whatever Acosta suggested, in spite of their massive trove of evidence? Power protecting power, federal and state government agencies working together to cover up criminal activity, cooperative tools receiving highly lucrative positions and payoffs, and links between serious crimes and highly placed individuals suggest systemic, organized operations at play.

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  88. TS00: Who is behind Epstein, and others … Believe me, I absolutely abhor sexual abuse

    It’s clear that you abhor sexual abuse. Apologies, I did not mean to imply otherwise. Who is behind Epstein? Interesting question. He was rich and powerful enough to act on his own, and the trove of material on other men was in his possession.

    He appears to have hobnobbed with an awful lot of people over the decades. Probably some were not involved with his sick network. Let us hope the truth comes out.

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  89. Jack,

    “Lots of sincere knockers also find Allah replying, or Krishna, or the Jewish version of God or the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

    It doesn’t take away from your faith, it’s just the results of the knock may vary.”
    +++++++++++++++++

    this is how i see it:

    (i’m breaking it up for easier reading… presuming i’m actually being read)

    #1.

    pursuit of a higher power(s) accompanied by life-giving things like philadelphia, kindness, honesty, generosity, meekness, self-discipline, etc. will lead a person to the one and only God whose names i understand as yahweh, jehovah, elohim,…

    other people groups have other names for the one and only God.

    some interpret the many aspects of God as multiple identities, or multiple gods.

    as people have pursued a higher power, they seem to have found something. the higher power seems to have been responding back.

    there seems to be self-revelation on the part of God.

    (i liken it to bread baking:….

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  90. #2

    (i liken it to bread baking: bread is quite an amazing thing — the amount of trial and error with raw materials like grains, grinding them up, combining them with other discovered things, applying heat,..

    and finally to have discovered yeast is amazing — how it all works together, what makes it work, in order to produce something edible that is nutritious, too.

    a profound enough of a discovery that it has remained a staple of diets ever since.

    the pursuit of God is trial and error with ‘raw materials’ as well. some tangible, some intangible. eventually, amazing discoveries are made. profound enough of a discovery that it remains a staple of societies.)

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  91. #3

    as God self-reveals (like a polaroid picture), the aspect (or identity) of God known as Jesus is when it comes into sharpest focus.

    God self-reveals, tries to reach, to the point that God actually becomes one of the creatures God has been trying to reach.

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  92. #4

    all people who pursue God (by whatever name) accompanied by life-giving things like philadelphia, kindness, honesty, generosity, meekness, self-discipline, etc. find God to some degree.

    they find shades of God.

    and then they all go in crazy, incorrect, and wrong directions, too. (life-taking)

    they all end up adding components that are life-taking.

    even those who end up seeing God’s self-revelation of Jesus.

    christians, they call themselves, add components to their understanding of God that are egregiously life-taking. not ritual sacrifice, but egregiously life-taking all the same.
    .
    .
    .
    (for the record of my own self-revelation, i see God’s self-revelation of Jesus and am persuaded by it.

    religion is what people make of it. christianity is what people make of it. and i reject some of it, especially the life-taking parts. in that sense, i do not subscribe to “christian”)

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  93. Mr. Jesperson: If the early church needed Ananias and Sapphira then so do we…

    “And great fear and awe gripped the whole church, and all who heard about these things.” (Acts 5:11)

    The organized church could certainly benefit with “great fear and awe” sweeping through its ranks.

    I suspect that God will begin to “neutralize” some ministers and ministries soon.

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  94. Max:
    Mr. Jesperson: If the early church needed Ananias and Sapphira then so do we…

    Max: I suspect that God will begin to “neutralize” some ministers and ministries soon

    Hope you mean this as a metaphor. I’m fine with corrupt pastors being driven out of the ministry. I’m fine with criminals being investigated and prosecuted. Frankly, though, I do not want God to strike people dead. We should be able to manage some earthly justice.

    The idea of linking medical problems with sin bothers me in general. Too many Christians blame others for their own ailments, everything from infertility to coronaries.

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