A Community Petition Is Started and Another Victim Comes Forward: The Boles Saga Continues

A Pasin STabbed My heart
A Pain Stabbed My Heart: Creative Commons

The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: ‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?’ But… the good Samaritan reversed the question: ‘If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?'”Martin Luther King Jr.


 

It has been quite a week. I’ve heard through the grapevine that some folks who’ve commented on Facebook in a negative fashion about Dustin Boles are receiving some sort of cease and desist letters with legal overtones but that may be just a rumor…maybe….

I’ve always found responses like this to problematic. Through the years, I’ve received some good advice from Wade Burleson when I’ve had to deal with people making uncomfortable comments. He believes in letting them wear themselves out. Once that happens, they tend to go away. For those of you who have been around since the *Velour* weirdness, Wade’s advice was spot on. They just got weary and faded away.

It’s my observation that once people start threatening legal action, those who were only mildly interested become pit bulls and the talk ratchets up. Such actions might have contributed to the following two responses.

The Petition: Together We Can Stop Him

Here is a link to Together We Can Stop Him at change.org

It was organized by Tara Knowles. As an abuse advocate, I want to heap piles of praise on Ms. Knowles for her courage. I have something to say for those who are hanging back because they fear the backlash. That is what happened in the church in Germany during WW2. Yes, there were incredible men like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a pastor who lost his life attempting to stop Hitler. But many of the members of churches sat back and didn’t say a word because they wanted to protect themselves and their churches. But at what cost?

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.-Edmund Burke

Today many of us honor Dietrich Bonhoeffer whose book, The Cost of Discipleship, outlines his thesis that following Jesus will most likely cost us something. He willingly gave his life to stop Hitler. I am guessing that Bonhoeffer’s response didn’t begin with the rise of Hitler. Most likely it began with little steps of standing up for truth and justice in his daily life. Jesus told us that He is the Truth. How many of us duck truth telling because it makes us feel uncomfortable? Ms Knowles is a role model of what it means to stand up for what she believes to be true.

If you follow this link, you will be able to see how she has linked various posts written about the situation.

In the South we are known for our hospitality and kindness, but we are also known for our loyalty and strong family & community ties. Unfortunately, sometimes the communities we hold so dear are threatened by the very people we have trusted with our whole hearts.

Recently a former local pastor, Dustin Boles, is attempting to start a new church in the same community of Ocean Springs that he betrayed only 3 years ago by allegedly preying on women in his congregation and grossly misusing his authority. We strongly feel that we do not want someone leading a church in our town that has the alleged history and potential to abuse their power…not with our daughters, sisters, wives or mothers. We deserve better than that.

When a pastor has an “affair” or “inappropriateness” with a person in his congregation, the burden rests on him as the person that has the power in this relationship. The power imbalance makes it impossible for “consent” to be given. So none of this, whatever “this” is, was consensual, ok, or fitting for a pastor.

Below are links that not only support the allegations of misconduct and lay out Dustin’s bizarre history, but they also relay some of the pain and disgust that the victims suffered at the time of the incidents and now with him possibly returning to power once again.

There are many supportive comments on the petition. Here is one. It’s a wonderful thing when men and women stand together in support of those who have been hurt.

In case Jessica sees this, I want let her know that I think she is incredibly brave and I would love to hear her story one day. As of 4:15 PM EST this petition had garnered 788 signatures of the hoped for 1,000.

Another victim (#3) speaks

I want to commend another woman who has bravely put her name on her story on Facebook. Thank you for sharing your truth. I believe you.

This was posted on Facebook. I have the screenshots. The following is the text from those. I am not providing the last name of the couple although I know it.

We started attending Mosaic Church on Easter Sunday 2010 after being invited by some friends.  We were immediately drawn to the pastor’s (Dustin Boles) preaching style and wit.  We became regular attendees and soon began volunteering at the church.  We participated in the baby dedication of our infant son led by Dustin Boles in 2011.  Liz’s dad fought and lost a struggle with cancer later that year – Dustin was there for him and our family.  Dustin spoke and led us in prayer in 2012 as her dad’s ashes were spread off the coast of Dauphin Island.  These life-altering moments we shared with our pastor created an incredible amount of trust and started to form a friendship that over the next few years included kid’s birthday parties and New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Then one night in 2016, that incredible trust and budding friendship was broken when he repeatedly and inappropriately put his hands on Liz.  He crossed a line that no man should cross.  He betrayed a trust that no pastor should ever betray.

This isn’t a new story.  The details were given shortly after the incident occurred.  Dustin was forced to resign from Mosaic and in our minds the correct outcome had occurred and the post was removed.  We have decided to make this new post to show our support for the movement to keep Dustin Boles from starting a new church, anywhere – but especially in Ocean Springs, where the affected parties of his wrongful behavior would be forced to feel small, isolated, insignificant, and discarded, among other things.

We’ve struggled mightily with the decision to come forward again because we had mostly come to terms with what had happened, and done our best to move on.  We also didn’t/don’t want the attention or focus that this post may put on us, therefore this will likely be our one and only post.  But ultimately we did not want our silence to be misunderstood as support for Dustin Boles.  Dustin helped our family through some very tough times, and was there with our family for some very good times, but, in our opinion, he disqualified himself from the position of pastor when he abused the incredible trust that members of a congregation give their pastor.

Sincerely,
Kevin and Liz

Will others come forward? I know of a potential 4th victim and am praying for her. I know coming forward is so hard. However, I can assure her, as well as Liz, that the #Metoo #Churchtoo movements are changing the face of churches all over the world. No longer will men, women and children who have been abused by the church need to remain silent. Pastors and church workers who abuse will no longer get a pass from their communities.

My thoughts and prayers are with all of these victims. I believe you and I stand with you. The following is a song that I hope brings the victims peace in this trying time. You are strong and beautiful like these eagles.

Comments

A Community Petition Is Started and Another Victim Comes Forward: The Boles Saga Continues — 122 Comments

  1. Yes, coming forward is so hard! That’s why a victim I know has still not come forward publicly. She even excoriated me when I mentioned her case online, even though I named no names, and there was **no** possible way to identify her as the victim. She said I cheapened her “ineffable pain.” I was gobsmacked, and I felt like pond scum, but I do get it. If we haven’t been there, we have NO idea. I fully acknowledge this! No one but the victim knows the victim’s pain.

    My love and prayers for all victims. None of us can really understand what you’ve been through — not viscerally, that is. But we can still love and believe and support you.

  2. Since Dustin himself cannot seem to respond to the allegations and simply acts as if none of this is going on, I will assume it is all true like the majority of other stories on this site. Good job to all for coming forward. I am glad this blog exists and any Christian that cares about the integrity of their church should agree with me.

  3. When the petitions start of this nature, does the local or even the major city press start taking a look? Similar to what occurred with Jessica Hahn, Jim Bakker, and the PTL.

  4. It’s just a matter of time before Boles becomes the subject of local media reports, perhaps drawing national media attention. It was not wise for him to set up shop in his old territory … but better that the Body of Christ make a stand against him there than some other community taking him on unaware.

  5. dee: What Red Warning?

    I’m not seeing it at my house. Maybe it’s just on CGC’s device…?

    On a different note, I thought of you and all our space-loving Wartburgers this evening. We went outside to watch the International Space Station glide past in the night sky.

  6. dee:
    Catholic Gate-Crasher,

    What Red Warning?

    Must be a glitch on my device. It’s a red triangle with an exclamation point in the center, next to the URL in the top Nav bar. I’m guessing my system is telling me this site is not secure? Hey, what *is* secure these days? And my life is an open book these days. Sorry, Dee and y’all! I’ll just ignore it!

    MOD: It is because we are not yet forcing https:// We will be soon but not yet. GBTC

  7. From the change.org link: The power imbalance makes it impossible for “consent” to be given. So none of this, whatever “this” is, was consensual, ok, or fitting for a pastor.

    Re: TWW discussions about relationships between pastors and flock members, I believe in strong boundaries.

    Unfortunately I have felt “special” to a church figure who had some power over me. He was not even ordained, yet I got swept away: “I’m special, and God brought us together!” Those feelings alone were enough to erase any notion of consent, although I was a few years below legal age anyway.

    To clergy and lay leaders: Really, how small is your town? Is your God powerful enough to find you a date who isn’t sitting in a pew?

    To a member who feels special: I gently suggest a mental exercise. What would happen if you tested the specialness of the relationship by going to another church for awhile?

  8. Friend: Re: TWW discussions about relationships between pastors and flock members, I believe in strong boundaries.

    Unfortunately I have felt “special” to a church figure who had some power over me. He was not even ordained, yet I got swept away: “I’m special, and God brought us together!” Those feelings alone were enough to erase any notion of consent, although I was a few years below legal age anyway

    Some of these pastors are just predators and they would be predators even if they were not pastors. Seems like Boles is one of those. They lie, groom, break up relationships, and just do what they want to do to get what they want.

    I am starting to believe that “yes” or “no” is not enough even in relationships not based on power, as many of these predators lead women to believe they are consenting to a long-term relationship with someone who has already left their wife or is in the process of that. It’s wrong to lead someone on even without a power differential. With a power differential, there are way more complex issues at play and probably a lot worse lies and grooming. Someone who does that doesn’t care about other people; only about serving themselves.

  9. ishy: Some of these pastors are just predators and they would be predators even if they were not pastors. Seems like Boles is one of those. They lie, groom, break up relationships, and just do what they want to do to get what they want.

    Predators go where there is a supply of vulnerable prey. There are pastor-predators, teacher-predators, counselor-predators, etc.

  10. Max: Predators go where there is a supply of vulnerable prey.

    True. But I would add “vulnerable prey without consequences”. Schools, counseling organizations, even big businesses can have strong consequences. Sadly, most churches do not.

  11. A people wonder why “Evangelicals” are losing their relevance in society?? Yup, preach all sorts of morality, but DO NOT report on the behavior of these preacher boys..

  12. ishy,

    Even in places with strong consequence predators can get away with stuff for years if they are able to convince their victims regarding how special the relationship is, that there might be unfortunate circumstances if they are found out (job loss, jail, no more special times,etc). And predators, given who they are, can appear so normal to the rest of us. It’s why if you work with the especially vulnerable, vigilance is required. And, parents and guardians also need to be vigilant.

  13. ishy: “vulnerable prey without consequences”

    Yes, I wonder how many pastor-predators are lurking in American churches. Only the big-name guys seem to get caught, ending up as blogosphere subjects, with fewer still doing jail time. Teacher-predators = one strike and you’re out! Pastor-predators = move to a new church.

  14. Friend: Unfortunately I have felt “special” to a church figure who had some power over me. He was not even ordained, yet I got swept away: “I’m special, and God brought us together!”

    Like that internet photo-meme I saw years ago with a woman with a Crazy Stalker expression and the text:
    “YOU DON’T KNOW ME… BUT GOD TOLD ME IN A DREAM THAT YOU *WILL* BECOME MY HUSBAND!!!!!”

  15. Friend,

    “Unfortunately I have felt “special” to a church figure who had some power over me. ”
    ++++++++++++++++

    changing contexts — from sexually abusive to other abusive (not sure what you would call it) — i, too have felt “special” to a church leader. it was a she. she got me to do things i would never have done (under normal conditions).

    to give up my life, basically. to do what she said. i ended up volunteering at least 15-20 hours per week. she controlled everything. had an opinion about everything i did or didn’t do in my life. you couldn’t defy her.

    until i did and we left. ptsd afterwards… panicked over not being to decide what clothes i should wear. (what if it’s the wrong shirt?!)

    so, this foray into my circumstances is perhaps an analogy to what it might be like in a sexually abusive clergy/lay context.

    all to say, the power of clergy over others is palpable. affects people like a drug (clergy and lay alike)

  16. I’m just sick reading this.

    I wonder many more victims there are?

    And of course he’d wait until the statute of limitations was up before starting a new church–how disgusting.

    If he does manage to get his church off the ground (probably in a hotel ballroom at this point), this is a “church” that definitely needs a protest to notify potential victims of the alleged predator at the front of the room.

  17. elastigirl: i ended up volunteering at least 15-20 hours per week. she controlled everything. had an opinion about everything i did or didn’t do in my life. you couldn’t defy her.

    Awful, just awful. PTSD does happen in churches, but it can be hard to explain. You paint a very clear picture.

    Adding to my running list of signs of a healthier church. Not just “can you say no” but also “can pastor say no.” No to asking too much. No even to accepting offers of help from overburdened sheep.

  18. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes,

    Here is another idea, contact corporate headquarters of the hotel chain. The hotel chain would be the sponsor in this situation. If the sponser gets multiple complaints on who their sponsoring, they’ll pull the sponsorship.

  19. Headless Unicorn Guy: GOD TOLD ME IN A DREAM THAT YOU *WILL* BECOME MY HUSBAND!

    Definitely happens in the stalker population. I also think folks in the non-crazy population get carried away with seeing signs from God, when they simply have a crush and happen to run into the person at the supermarket.

    Come to think of it, Jesus maintained impressive boundaries.

  20. Brian: contact corporate headquarters of the hotel

    I wonder what a hotel can do, without risking legal trouble? In April the Genesis II Church of Health and Healing booked space at a resort in Washington State for faith healing—selling industrial bleach to drink. The resort was hammered with bad PR on the big day, but did not feel legally empowered to end the event, as I recall. I didn’t get their logic, as a call to police about the sale of poison for human consumption should have worked… that’s not viewpoint discrimination.

  21. Brian: “It is not an Affair: It was Abuse”

    A good clear piece. I liked the concluding words: “it is time we all take responsibility for embracing the least of these among us, holding our leaders to the highest ethical standards, and removing them from ministry when they misuse their power and position. We start to do this by calling it abuse.”

  22. Headless Unicorn Guy,

    https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2018/04/06/582831662/schools-are-supposed-to-have-pass-the-trash-policies-the-dept-of-ed-isn-t-tracki

    Schools aren’t as good as they should be in reporting predators, especially private schools. Just this month, in my area of California, a teacher who has already been reprimanded for predatory behavior towards his colleagues was arrested for raping a teacher at the other school to which he had been assigned. The accused teacher is in jail, the district is being sued (rightfully so), and more teachers are coming out of the woodwork saying that they were accosted by the same staff member. This was a public school, but we have a local Christian school that has had at least three staff accused of student molestation in the past few years, all hired. although there were “iffy” things on their records. Safeguards are useless if you don’t use them.

  23. Headless Unicorn Guy: Like that internet photo-meme I saw years ago with a woman with a Crazy Stalker expression and the text:
    “YOU DON’T KNOW ME… BUT GOD TOLD ME IN A DREAM THAT YOU *WILL* BECOME MY HUSBAND!!!!!”

    God told me in a dream that she’s as crazy as a shi…. (oops!) er… ah…
    as an outhouse rat.

  24. Linn,

    It never said why Mr. Fennes was not prosecuted at the first school. At least we now know the schools and the churches are handling molestation in the same manner, horribly.

  25. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes: If he does manage to get his church off the ground (probably in a hotel ballroom at this point), this is a “church” that definitely needs a protest to notify potential victims of the alleged predator at the front of the room.

    I continue to be amazed that Boles would have enough supporters in the Ocean Springs area to launch his new church. Surely, the word is already out about his sick past and unrepentant comeback. The Body of Christ should naturally reject his attempt to do church there again, but I suppose he has enough loyal followers who will foot the bill. Reminds me of a Scripture:

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

    There is a segment of the American church which loves dudebro pastors with a past who won’t exhort them to holiness – it makes them feel better about themselves.

  26. Max: I continue to be amazed that Boles would have enough supporters in the Ocean Springs area to launch his new church.

    Lately I’ve read about church “planting” that starts with quiet deals to move members from one campus to another, along with funding the rental of the initial worship space. (Guess it is now too quaint to win souls or even rustle the neighborhood sheep.)

    Do you or other TWW folk know names of individual backers or networks that might be supporting him?

  27. Friend: names of individual backers or networks that might be supporting him?

    I don’t think that even Acts 29 would get behind him this time! I suppose there are some sugar-daddy individual supporters who would fund the bad-boy, but I don’t think the usual church planting networks would take the gamble. He still has his day job as a marketing guy in the pharmaceutical industry as far as I know.

  28. elastigirl: all to say, the power of clergy over others is palpable. affects people like a drug

    And from what you describe, it even includes something like withdrawal. 🙁

    I’m so sorry she put you through that.

  29. Side question:

    Is there a trend of new church plants, in no way connected to the mega churches, using live feed from the mega churches for their Sunday sermons. The new plants have no pastor on the staff, therefore not having to pay for one. There is an Elder Board to oversee the rest of the church’s operations and duties.

    I’m not complaining, just curios. Has anyone seen this trend in local churches?

  30. Brian: live feed from the mega churches for their Sunday sermons. The new plants have no pastor on the staff, therefore not having to pay for one

    And is, therefore, not a church.

  31. Brian,

    so, sort of like a movie theater, then.

    like when the local cinema pays Universal Studios to sell tickets to watch Howard The Duck.

    it’s just a local church pays mega church to collect donations to watch Howard The Pastor.

    that’s the stupidest thing i’ve ever heard.

    but, as this silly religion of mine demonstrates so often, stupid is as stupid does.

    (darn – we probably gave capitalists-for-christ ideas, here)

  32. elastigirl: so, sort of like a movie theater, then.
    like when the local cinema pays Universal Studios to sell tickets to watch Howard The Duck.
    it’s just a local church pays mega church to collect donations to watch Howard The Pastor.
    that’s the stupidest thing i’ve ever heard.

    That’s exactly what it’s like. There’s one where I live, but you can watch the live stream online at home. The satellite is HUGE, too, and parking takes 30 minutes alone. They don’t have Sunday School, just home groups. I totally don’t get why you’d even bother going to the satellite.

  33. It looks like the Vintage Church Facebook page and Web site have been removed. Also looks like Dustin Boles Facebook page is gone.

  34. ishy: They don’t have Sunday School, just home groups. I totally don’t get why you’d even bother going to the satellite.

    I’ve been to gateway a couple times and it’s so weird. They have a band for the worship part of the service (which was super not my cup of tea). And then you watch a video screen? For like, an hour? I don’t get it.

    All the churches that have ‘satellite’ offices are affiliated with whatever mothership, as far as i know. There is one near me that has a bunch of satellite stuff.

  35. ishy,

    the local mega nearby has installed satellite churches in nearby towns doing this very thing.

    but brian is wondering (& me, too) about situations where a church in no way connected with the mega church opts to beam in the sermons? and presumably pays the mega church for the service?

    like, are there any mega churches selling their video sermons for any church in the world (regardless of denomination, or perhaps other particulars) to show?

    (or maybe you’ve already answered this question)

  36. elastigirl: beam in the sermons

    Well, call me a Luddite, but I like to eyeball the preacher before, during and after, and then optionally ask impertinent questions.

  37. Friend,

    put on your scrutiny eyes and look right through him? that’s always fun. (shocks them a little)

    adventures in how to get the christian leader to avoid making eye contact with you at all costs.

  38. FYI:
    Great article by Rachael Denhollander over at the Guardian:
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/sep/22/rachael-denhollander-larry-nassar-gymnastics-abuse
    Here she tells how many in the churches don’t get or don’t want to “get” abuse.
    When she was in high school, a subsitute Sunday school teacher asked, if Bathsheba bore any responsibility in what happened to her.

    “So what do y’all think about Bathsheba?” the teacher asked casually. “Does she bear any responsibility for this?”

    I flinched. Oh no … please don’t go there.

    Just then, a female classmate spoke up, pointing out that David, as the king, held Bathsheba’s life in his hands, and therefore, she couldn’t have said no.

    Thank you, I sighed, amazed she’d had the courage to say something. I wouldn’t have touched that one with a ten-foot pole. Not at that point, anyway. I was too afraid I’d break down if I tried. But my relief quickly dissipated when one of the only guys in the class whom I respected jumped into the discussion.

    “I don’t think that’s right,” he offered calmly. “She could have chosen death. This wasn’t abuse.

    (Emphasis mine)

  39. elastigirl: but brian is wondering (& me, too) about situations where a church in no way connected with the mega church opts to beam in the sermons? and presumably pays the mega church for the service?

    like, are there any mega churches selling their video sermons for any church in the world (regardless of denomination, or perhaps other particulars) to show?

    There’s got to be some doing that, but I doubt they are paying anyone. Megas are super careful to own anything that might be using their brand. They want ownership of church plants, and are very strategic of where they put them.

    There’s another method that is much more commonly used, though, and that is plain stealing of the sermons. Church plants with a wannabe celebrity pastor like Boles have no problem using the sermons from megas and presenting them as their own. Sometimes they buy them, but stealing is much more common in the plants without a lot of startup cash.

  40. Gus: “I don’t think that’s right,” he offered calmly. “She could have chosen death. This wasn’t abuse.”

    Wow.

  41. ishy: There’s got to be some doing that, but I doubt they are paying anyone. Megas are super careful to own anything that might be using their brand.

    If you wanted to do this, the easiest thing to do would be to watch one of the preachers that are on tv sunday morning I would think.

  42. This is such important kingdom work you are doing, Dee. I think of John the Baptist crying out, “Repent, the kingdom of heaven is at hand”to the religious leaders. If it was at hand 2000 some years ago, how much more so now? May those who have been wicked and abused the flock call upon God in His mercy and bear fruit of repentance.

  43. ishy: They want ownership of church plants, and are very strategic of where they put them.

    Toooo early for me to be commenting. I read that and I’m all like, “At MY church, a nice lady buys the plants and waters them all summer long!”

  44. Gus: “She could have chosen death. This wasn’t abuse.”

    The morally bankrupt theme that women should die rather than lose their one and only “virtue” is more well known in Catholic tradition, but found everywhere in purity culture. I have a friend in her seventies who still shudders at the mention of St. Maria Goretti, patron saint of rape victims—to the dismay of some who survived rape. Others virgin martyrs are Agatha, Agnes, and Lucy.

    One applicable clobber verse is Hebrews 12:4: “In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.” Gothard’s favored chapter, Deuteronomy 22, contains technicalities about whether a rape victim cried out for help, and whether she could have been heard (assumptions about willingness).

  45. Friend: “At MY church, a nice lady buys the plants and waters them all summer long!”

    LOL! That sounds like a great church. I approve.

  46. Gus,

    Yes. This is the message I received growing up. I literally cried the first time I read, not too long ago, in black and white print that Bathsheba bore no responsibility for her rape. I cannot imagine being a survivor and surrounded by that kind of toxic thinking.

  47. Wild Honey:

    the fact that people in church took a biblical text that blames david, over and over, for this and never bathsheba and turned it into ‘how can be we blame the woman here?’ tells you alot about our culture sadly.

  48. It is power, elastigirl, and it is a drug. The power is not just in the preacher. It is also in the carefully crafted lighting, music, theology, clothing, hairstyles, etc on stage, and even whether the pastor hollers or whispers or fakes tears, etc.

    It is a drug in the sense it is designed to release specific neurotransmitters in your brain. And yes, it is designed to give you withdrawal symptoms if you walk away.

    To quote Nancy Reagan, “JUST SAY NO.” Find a real church.

  49. Max,

    “Holographic “pastors” are next.”
    +++++++++++++++

    ha… in that case, i’ll re-enter church culture, volunteer in the video production booth, and play with the knobs until he’s the size of 18″ princess leah. (“Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.)

    (why stop there. i could superimpose her white gown and hairstyle, buns & all, over his evangelical christian leader costume.)

  50. Marie: May those who have been wicked and abused the flock call upon God in His mercy and bear fruit of repentance.

    How can they when They Can Do No Wrong?

  51. elastigirl: like when the local cinema pays Universal Studios to sell tickets to watch Howard The Duck.
    it’s just a local church pays mega church to collect donations to watch Howard The Pastor.

    A lot of the time, Howard the Duck is preferable to Howard the Pastor.

  52. Headless Unicorn Guy,

    quack quack quack quack intentional quack quack quack gospel-quack quack quack quack for-a-season quack quack quack one another quack quack quack for god’s glory quack quack quack

  53. Jerome: article

    That piece is a real hoot, illustrating the subculture’s need to lap up a tale of a dramatic plummet into sinnnnnn. “Backslidden” is the word the writer uses for himself. As far as I can tell, he drank beer at concerts. His repentant self imagines a readership of shockable maiden aunties when he calls Bathsheba an adulteress.

  54. Lea: All the churches that have ‘satellite’ offices are affiliated with whatever mothership, as far as i know. There is one near me that has a bunch of satellite stuff.

    I wonder what the Big Honcho’s cut from the action ($$$…) is?

  55. Friend,

    They just threw that in for no reason too “David seemed to be a good man—until he slept with another man’s wife, the affair leaving the adulteress, Bathsheba, great with child.”

    This greatly minimizes David’s actions and I love how they pretend he didn’t have a bunch of wives and concubines and ‘adultery’ was the most shocking thing about what he did.

  56. Lea: This greatly minimizes David’s actions and I love how they pretend he didn’t have a bunch of wives and concubines and ‘adultery’ was the most shocking thing about what he did.

    As HUG would say, they’re preoccupied with ‘pelvic’ issues to the point where virtually no other type of signal can get past the brain stem.

  57. Lea: This greatly minimizes David’s actions and I love how they pretend he didn’t have a bunch of wives and concubines and ‘adultery’ was the most shocking thing about what he did.

    This is something that frustrates me to no end with people who call themselves Christians. It always really bothers me when Christians totally ignore stuff in the Bible to make their point. Or they don’t bother to research clobber verses to make sure that’s what they really say.

    I’ve had a lot of trouble going to church at all lately, but I think the main reason is that I’m just so tired of Christians who use the Bible any way they want to say anything they want.

  58. Muff,
    I haven’t seen anybodys balance books, but I think most of these operate as one individual with multiple campuses and I suspect the accounting of it is ordered the same way. I think the real money question is in how much they pay staff at various locations, verses how much they ‘save’ by having one person (or two or three) as the main preacher for multiple locations.

  59. Jerome: Tom Ascol’s Founders Journal just last year published an article calling it an affair, characterizes Bathsheba as an “adulteress”

    Well, what can we expect from a bunch of dweebs who tried to characterize Rachael Denhollander as an agent of “principalities and powers”?

    Perhaps the article you cited was meant as a warm-up for trying to besmirch Rachael. Think they underestimated her?

  60. ishy,

    Mm, don’t think the students who designed that little ritual thought it through. Looks like they wanted to draw attention to the degradation of the environment, made some sort of “confession” to a few scraggly plants, and then Christian Twitter descended to call them heretics and, uh, Protestants.

    If Christians consistently prized critical thinking, I’d be with the critics on this one. The students need to learn not to put rough drafts on social media.

  61. Lea: This greatly minimizes David’s actions and I love how they pretend he didn’t have a bunch of wives and concubines and ‘adultery’ was the most shocking thing about what he did.

    I think the story of David, Abigail and Nabal is pretty shocking if you forget that we are supposed to like David.

  62. Jerome,

    He spent more time denouncing David’s sins, to be fair.

    As for the “Bathsheba was an adulteress” aside, – which some groups try to justify by constructing an elaborate honey-trap theory as to why she was bathing at that time of day – I prefer the assessment of Matthew Henry who wrote –
    “2 Samuel 11:1–5 (MHCWB:CUOV): Bath-sheba, whom he debauched, was a lady of good reputation, and, till she was drawn by him and his influence into this wickedness, had no doubt preserved her purity. Little did she think that ever she could have done so bad a thing as to forsake the guide of her youth, and forget the covenant of her God; nor perhaps could any one in the world but David have prevailed against her. The adulterer not only wrongs and ruins his own soul, but, as much as he can, another’s soul too.”

  63. ishy,

    What elastgirl was asking further is what my basic question was. I was just curios if this was a trend or not.

  64. Jerome: Tom Ascol’s Founders Journal just last year published an article calling it an affair, characterizes Bathsheba as an “adulteress”

    Did he characterize David as an adulterer and/or note that he gave the order to put her husband Uriah on the battle line to have him killed?

  65. Lowlandseer,

    Eh, I dont like your version any better. It acts as if David ‘persuaded’ Bathsheba in some normal seduction, rather than all the actions being DAvid’s. All the biblical blame is laid on David. Anything else is conjecture.

    And as for this “He spent more time denouncing David’s sins, to be fair.”

    To bE FaiR, he spent a lot more time talking about how awesome David was than denouncing him in any way and the sin against Uriah is described as if it is a sin again Uriah alone: One thing these guys constantly leave out is the sin again Bathsheba of killing her husband. In samuel, she grieves for him and in the geneology of Jesus she is listed as the wife of uriah.

  66. Brian:
    ishy,

    What elastgirl was asking further is what my basic question was. I was just curios if this was a trend or not.

    Maybe you should do some research on it if you are very curious? It is not a trend that I have seen.

  67. Max,

    Here’s the whole passage:

    Think first of David, Israel’s greatest king. The youngest and most unimpressive of Jesse’s sons, God chose David to lead his covenant people. David was a poet, a warrior, a musician, a shepherd, a lover of sound doctrine, an adulterer, a schemer, a murderer.

    David seemed to be a good man—until he slept with another man’s wife, the affair leaving the adulteress, Bathsheba, great with child. Then David connived to make her husband, one of the most courageous and committed soldiers in the king’s army, think he had impregnated his wife while on a weekend furlough. It didn’t work, so David’s machinations turned deadly—he had the soldier, Uriah, intentionally killed in battle. Yet, in Psalm 51 we read of David’s incredible, gut-wrenching confession, and his dramatic repentance before God. As he does toward all penitent sinners, God had mercy on David, even calling Jesus the final David, the sinless king and Savior of sinners.

    1) Mrs. Persnickety is laughing at the sentence that begins with “The youngest and most unimpressive of Jesse’s sons, God…”

    2) David comes off sort of like Dustin B., Tullian T., and some other Men Who Fell And Now Want Their Pulpits Back. Funny how fallen women never get rewarded.

  68. I received a series of comments which we made by someone who reminds me of Ann of Biloxi. because certain claims are made about the victims, I will not allow the comments but I will quote from some of her thoughts so people can see the lack of knowledge on the part of these commenters which indicates the poor teaching, IMO, that they have received. Each of the quotes are from AB followed by my answer.

    “What I see here is a woman that was afraid to own up to the responsibility of making a mistake with another human”.
    Well, it is relief for me that she acknowledges that pastor is a human. I guess he could have been a animal or an ET sort of guy,.

    “The woman should own up to the fact she made a mistake.”
    First and foremost, this was not a mistake./ Count to 10 and hold your breath….why do people who want to defend their pastor always use the word *mistake* instead of *sin?* If the woman Wass manipulated and groomed, she may have been vulnerable to his behavior. Read ups on grooming. Did you know if a counselor did this, they would lost their license and be sent to prison. I guess you standard for your chosen man of God is far lower than societal standards .

    ” Being a pastor gives no man any sort of “power” or “higher authority”” Yes, it does and it is time for you to read your Bible instead of listening to your girlfriends. The pastor is placed in a position to influence vulnerable individuals just like a counselor in the secular world. That is why it is so emotionally damaging. Pastors in these positions, just like doctors and counselors can misuse their positions. Pastors are as sinful as the rest of us and my experience of 10 years leads me to understand that in fact, the pastor holds an. unequal power differential making him able to better manipulate those who serve under him. Most businesses to day will fire bosses who have a relationship with those undervthem. One woman’s husband was a youth pastor directly under the pastor.Unequal power.

    “These are false accusations and I find it disgusting and demented to attempt to tear down someone and their family for trying to move on with their lives”

    Could you please send me your proof that these are false accusations? Or do you merely believe that they are false allegations? Isn’t it sweet that you think the pastor should move on with his life. You have not wondered about those he left behind when he *moved on.*

    “Dustin has repented and sought forgiveness”
    Ummm, how do you know that is true. Has he done that with the women who’ve come forward.. Or did he just convince you that sought forgiveness. You have no right to apply forgiveness . Biblically, that is left up to those he offended. As far as I know he has not done that with those who harmed. Here is a little secret, AB. Perhaps if he had sought out these women and tried to make it right, we would not be in this position today. Food for though. Those *I’m sorry* words are very difficult, especially if one is not sorry. Read your Bible and please send me the evidence that this is a false accusation. I will publish it.

    “slandering a man”

    Do you know what the word means, AB? Were you ever taught this in church? Slander is the deliberate telling of a lie in order to bring harm to another. It’s in the Bible. Most times churches use it for what I can an inconvenient truth. Here is a link to my post on what the Bible says. And I’ll be waiting for your proof regarding the false allegations. I would assume you have it….

    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2013/03/18/slander-or-an-inconvenient-truth/

  69. Continuing on demonstrating that AB has not been well taught.

    “This is false information and shows proof that you know nothing of Dustin’s life.”

    I never post anything that I do not believe to be true. However, since you claim to know it is false, I ask you to send me your proof of the matter and post it.

    You call me “petty”

    I have been defending women children and men who have been sexually abused in the church for over 10 years. I make no money for what I do because I refuse to take ads. I defend those who have been harmed not only from the actual abuser/molest, whatever but also those who have subsequently been abused by insensitive, ill-educated and Biblically illiterate supporters of the unsupportable..

    Let me suggest that you read about cognitive dissonance. You might find it helpful.

  70. AB

    “Perhaps he is trying to move on with his life after the mistake he made has been repented and forgiven.”

    It is my understanding that he has not repented in front of and been forgiven by those who believe they were harmed. It takes guts to say “I'[m sorry.” If he had done this, I have a feeling this wouldn’t have happened. In fact, this story appears to have gained legs means to me that he missed some folks in his apology and forgiveness tour.

    AB-send me your proof. I will post it. In the meantime, do some reading on the #Metoo #churchtoo.movement and cognitive dissonance. Time to get *woke.*

  71. dee: First and foremost, this was not a mistake.

    dee correct me if i’m wrong, but several of these accounts involve women being touched without their consent, including in the middle of the night, and stalked. Even if you want to quibble about where the lines of consent and coercion cross, you would think those events would be pretty clear cut. So…why the defense? Why the need to attack the women involved, when the man is a clear predator and the only one claiming to be any sort of spiritual leader?

  72. Repentance means confession, it means true remorse and a change of behavior. If you’ve followed this story here, you’ve read about Dustin’s behavior in Bible college, Dustin’s behavior at the Met Church in Dallas, and Dustin’s behavior at Mosaic. What I haven’t seen, heard, or read is Dustin’s confession, Dustin’s remorse, Dustin’s repentance and a life changing behavior in both him and his wife who is equally guilty here. It’s not my job to forgive him, he didn’t do this to me – but he did it to my sisters in Christ and if he’s done it before – over and over again, what is to stop him from doing it now or in the future.

  73. dee: Could you please send me your proof that these are false accusations?

    So…Dustin has ‘repented’ and asked for forgiveness and the women are not taking responsibility for their own actions, but these are simultaneously false accusations???? All of them????

    Logic goes out the window when you throw every defense of someone you can think of at a wall and wait to see what sticks.

  74. Lea,

    I think you are reading something into the quote that isn’t there. I say that confidently because the denunciation of killing Uriah comes in the next chapter – “ The murder of Uriah is twice mentioned: “Thou hast killed Uriah with the sword, though not with thy sword, yet, which is equally heinous, with thy pen, by ordering him to be set in the forefront of the battle.” Those that contrive wickedness and command it are as truly guilty of it as those that execute it. It is repeated with an aggravation: Thou hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon, those uncircumcised enemies of God and Israel. [2.] The marrying of Bath-sheba is likewise twice mentioned, because he thought there was no harm in that (v. 9): Thou hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and again, v. 10. To marry her whom he had before defiled, and whose husband he had slain, was an affront upon the ordinance of marriage, making that not only to palliate, but in a manner to consecrate, such villanies.”

    And the point of the article seems to me to be about true repentance and God’s forgiveness.

  75. dee,

    From speaking with someone who has a ministry witnessing to the drug addicted and those on parole, he told me someone on drugs will lie to you.

    They will steal your wallet and then turn around and help you find your wallet. This may correlate to the predators too.

    He said that until a person on drugs stops making them their god, they’ll never change. He said they’ll keep going back to prison until they realize this.

    Again, this may apply to predators.

  76. dee: “Perhaps he is trying to move on with his life after the mistake he made has been repented and forgiven.” (AB)

    Then he needs to move on with his pharmaceutical marketing career and stay out of the ministry! He disqualified himself from that sacred responsibility. Boles is done, he just hasn’t quit yet. If there weren’t so many gullible ABs in the church, folks like Boles would have no stage.

  77. Gus,

    I like how she described how she felt about not wanting to be called on, or at least how I understood it, out of fear of emotionally coming apart.

    Well and good meaning people need to understand this. Coming at the issue directly may cause some to withdraw more.

  78. Lea: So…Dustin has ‘repented’ and asked for forgiveness and the women are not taking responsibility for their own actions, but these are simultaneously false accusations???? All of them????

    Yeah, this stuck out to me, too. These comments are completely contradictory. So at least one of them is a lie. But this person is not to be trusted at all if some of their comments are untrue, and it’s easy to see some of them are untrue.

  79. Serving Kids in Japan,

    i suppose wonkavision is too much to hope for. then i could just pick him up with 2 fingers (let him dangle for a bit in front of my scrutiny eyes…well, we could get creative at that point), and put him in my purse.

    in my childhood sentimental box i’ve got a few ken clothes i could dress him up in…or barbie clothes.

  80. linda,

    “Find a real church.”
    +++++++++++

    well, my experience described above had no special lighting, music, crafted theology, clothing, hairstyles, etc on stage. it was rather stripped down.

    power of clergy over lay is just in the church tool box.

    a real church… my prayer group which i started a number of years ago is church enough for me. and as real as it gets. with zero overhead.

  81. Lea,

    Yes-some were touched without consent. I will be posting shortly about what constitutes an affair and what does not. My ending point is that unless you know it was consensual (with proof and I give an example) one cannot use the word *affair.*

  82. Robert M,

    The problem with David is trying to compare him to a priest (pastor.) He wasn’t. He was a political leader, not the priest in the Temple. I will be posting about what constitutes an *affair* versus a coercive. relationship shortly.

  83. When you look at my new post, (up shortly) I will slap anyone upside the head who says this is an endorsement of a particular medical personage

  84. dee: The problem with David is trying to compare him to a priest (pastor.) He wasn’t. He was a political leader, not the priest in the Temple.

    Exactly. And when he committed his grossest sins, he was in the military not the ministry!

  85. Gus: “I don’t think that’s right,” he offered calmly. “She could have chosen death. This wasn’t abuse.”

    Unbelievable that these so called churchmen and Sunday School ‘teachers’ can have their heads stuck so far up their fannies, that they come up with inane pronouncements like these.

  86. dee,

    “Being a pastor gives no man any sort of “power” or “higher authority”

    dee: “Yes, it does and it is time for you to read your Bible instead of listening to your girlfriends. The pastor is placed in a position to influence vulnerable individuals just like a counselor in the secular world.”
    +++++++++++++++

    i reckon i as a full-fledged adult need a pastor as much as i need someone to remind me that 1+1=2. but yes, it is true — a pastor is deliberately hired to influence others. a pastor deliberately puts himself/herself in a position to influence others. as he/she sees fit.

    engaging with an expert to improve one’s golf swing or to learn artistry at the piano, that i can understand. but faith and spirituality? so deeply personal.

    seems pretty dangerous to allow oneself to be influenced in that arena. especially concerning very private things that make one vulnerable. double especially since the power differential + concept of God = undue influence.

  87. Lea,

    I don’t suppose you’ll be impressed, then, by the fact that Calvin called David a monster over his actions.
    #bubblelife. 🙂

  88. Lowlandseer:
    Lea,

    I don’t suppose you’ll be impressed, then,by the fact that Calvin called David a monster over his actions.
    #bubblelife.

    Why would I care one way or the other?

    BTW I’m presbyterian so…

  89. Lea,

    Acts 20:28, the church in Ephesus was one such church, minus the beaming in of holographic preacher. From what I’ve been reading, the churches set up by John had elders and one pastor. Ephesus was set up with elder only teaching, counseling, etc.

    My understanding is that the Greek Orthodox church structure is set up in a similar manner.

    I’ve heard of the Protestants using this once on the radio and once on the internet.

    Again, I was just curious if anyone else had seen this.

  90. Muff Potter: Gus: “I don’t think that’s right,” he offered calmly. “She could have chosen death. This wasn’t abuse.”

    Unbelievable that these so called churchmen and Sunday School ‘teachers’ can have their heads stuck so far up their fannies, that they come up with inane pronouncements like these.

    That’s just because all of us are thinking with the Flesh(TM) while they are thinking with the Spirit(TM).

  91. Muff Potter: Unbelievable that these so called churchmen and Sunday School ‘teachers’ can have their heads stuck so far up their fannies, that they come up with inane pronouncements like these.

    These people being mostly male, it wouldn’t be their, er, fannies …, would it?

  92. Serving Kids in Japan: Perhaps the article you cited was meant as a warm-up for trying to besmirch Rachael. Think they underestimated her?

    She is so far above them all. In character, in faith, in understanding, in strength, in wisdom…

  93. dee: AB-send me your proof. I will post it. In the meantime, do some reading on the #Metoo #churchtoo.movement and cognitive dissonance. Time to get *woke.*

    It always amazes me how some manipulative, womanizing men can bamboozle women into fighting their battles for them. They prey upon women and set them on each other. AB is in so deep, so convinced of the poor, pitiful man’s victimization, ready to come out swinging in defense of a sleazeball who gropes unsuspecting women under the dinner table. Ready to move on with his life… What hogwash. He’s not moving on, he’s getting himself set right back up in the same scenario again.

    DEE: This make be an imposter. GBTC

  94. SiteSeer

    Did you make a major change to your email or is someone imitating you?

    GBTC

  95. Bole’s Facebook account and The Vintage Church website have been taken off-line. These characters would have no ministry without social media; they depend on it heavily. Indeed, IMO, the whole New Calvinism movement would stop dead in its tracks without tweets and retweets flying through cyberspace.

  96. Gus,

    I am aware that the slang term ‘fanny’ can have different meanings (in the UK and Australia) for English speakers.

    I had its American usage in mind as simply a toned down term for the more vulgar one that starts with an ‘a’.

  97. Muff Potter,

    I was aware of that. I was only trying to be – somewhat – funny. It seems I didn’t succeed at it. Sorry for the (slightly) inappropriate comment.

  98. Brian: Acts 20:28, the church in Ephesus was one such church, minus the beaming in of holographic preacher.

    What? You asking about people beaming in services and you reference ephesus?

  99. Gus: I was aware of that. I was only trying to be – somewhat – funny. It seems I didn’t succeed at it. Sorry for the (slightly) inappropriate comment.

    No harm no foul Gus, I too thought your comment was funny!

  100. Julie: I’d be willing to bet this guy went to one of those complementarian churches.

    Probably so, and as HUG would say, those places demand ideological purity over all else.
    It takes precedence over any common sense and common morality shared by all humans, whether they be of faith or no.