Stop Calling These Affairs Unless There Is Proof It’s Consensual. Consult Jesse Watters For Advice.

Gage Skidmore
Jesse Waters- Gage Skidmore-Wikipedia

“I wouldn’t say I invented tacky, but I definitely brought it to its present high popularity.” – Bette Midler


Why do Christian news organizations often use the word “affair* to describe what pastors do when they have sexual encounters with church members and staff?

Mike Phillips got my attention via this tweet.

What is an affair?

For purposes of this post, I want to focus on the sexual aspect of this word. Yes, I know emotional affairs exist and I agree that they can be damaging. However, I want to prove that sometimes, that which media calls *affairs,* are not really affairs after all but are clergy abuse. Unless the media has proof it was a simple affair, they must stop making a judgment on the relationship in this fashion. Words matter and misapplication can cause a victim to feel further abused.

Merriam Webster defines *affair* quite simply as:

a romantic or passionate attachment typically of limited duration

It defines a love affair as:

a romantic attachment or episode between lovers

The term “between lovers” implies a mutual relationship. Synonyms for the word *mutual* are bilateral and reciprocal.

A sexual relationship between a pastor and a church member or employee is not an equal relationship.

Many women who were molested by Harvey Weinstein had come to him for career advice or even to apply for a job. Weinstein, sensing his power in this dynamic, appeared to use it to sexually molest people who were in a subordinate position.

This is an old, old story: the boss expecting his subordinates to give him sexual favors. Matt Lauer, Bill O”Reilly, Roger Ailes, Kevin Spacey, and the list goes on and one. One is the famous person who could make things happen and the other was the subordinate person who had no power to make anything happen. These relationships are rarely consensual. And, in today’s environment, there is only one way to possibly prove it is consensual but more on that in a moment.

Recently, #metoo and #churchtoo have well demonstrated the point that that many sexual relationships are neither mutual or reciprocal. They can be coercive and in many circumstances the woman(or man) has sought friendship or counsel from their pastor. A pastor’s role in relationships is akin to secular counselors with the faith dynamic shoved into the mix to further confuse the matter.

One quick digression:

Being molested by a pastor or  church leaders often leads to a different outcome in the life of the victim than a typical boss/employee abuse. There is a profound faith dynamic here. No matter what some would have us believe, there is often the loss or diminishment of faith on the part of the victim. I am quite concerned that this dynamic is not being carefully spelled out by Christian leaders who claim to be *woke* when it comes to abuse.

People come to their pastor, hoping to get counsel for their issues. They are usually in a vulnerable state of mind, experiencing pain or trials in their life. They view the pastor as the person who will *have the answers.* Often times, if the pastor is clever (many predators are smart) or thought of as a hero to their congregation (a very bad thing, by the way), he can use his position to slowly groom a victim who will fulfill his wish for a sexual encounter. He is not a pastor. He is an abuser, a predator, a wolf.

Why in the world will the licensed secular counselor organizations remove a license of a a counselor for having sex with their client and even press charges (jail terms are involved) and churches, which are supposed to be following the One who is the Truth, do not? Churches often take the words *forgiveness* and *grace* and use them as bludgeons to force people to accept their sins and abuse as simple *mistakes.* This is evil incarnate in the body of a pastor.

I am shocked at the number of people who write me and say that a pastor having sex with a member/employee is a simple mistake as opposed to a grievous sin.They pull the *David was forgiven* card without contextualizing the situation. I believe that David molested Bathsheba. Had he been a priest in the Temple, he would have lost his job. However, David was not a religious leader but a political leader, albeit picked by God.

Remember when God told the people that they would not like having a king? I go apoplectic when people use David as an example for allowing their fallen pastor to return to the pulpit. Study your Bibles, folks, and look to our political landscape to see presidents and legislative leaders who have crappy morals and still remain in power.

How to prove a consensual relationship ala Jesse Watters.

One of the frequent comments I get when a pastor falls is “The woman wanted it.” Tullian Tchividjian claims that all of the women wanted it. Therefore, it wasn’t abuse abut a consensual relationship and he can still be a pastor. TT actually gets it. He knows that if it is abuse, he should not be in the pulpit.

I am not defending tacky Jesse Watters. I think he’s a jerk for dumping his lovely wife and sweet twins for a sleazy 20 something who is 14 years younger than he is. His affair is so typical as to be nausea inducing. He is marrying a woman who thought it was cool to get him to leave his wife and kids for her. He leaves his wife for the sleazy 20 something.They deserve each other.

But, it was a consensual relationship as far as I know because of the steps this seedy couple took to insure that old Jesse wouldn’t be another abuser kicked off the air at Fox.

By the way, this is not a Fox bash.You do remember Matt Lauer of NBC; Les Moonves of CBS; I am not making a political statement regarding Fox News or any other organization or candidate. Read this NYT article which lists a boatload of creeps. After Weinstein: 71 Men Accused of Sexual Misconduct and Their Fall From Power

So back to how Jesse and Emma proved it was consensual. Fox News host Jesse Watters to divorce after cheating on wife with 25-year-old employee

Watters’ wife, Noelle Watters, filed for divorce in October. The couple has twin girls.

Sources said the 39-year-old host informed the network of his adulterous relationship with Emma DiGiovine shortly after Noelle filed divorce papers.

DiGiovine was transferred to “The Ingraham Angle.”

“Within 24 hours of Jesse Watters voluntarily reporting to the Chief of Human Resources in November 2017 that he was in a consensual relationship with a woman on his staff, management met with both parties and a decision was made for the woman to be transferred to work on another program on the network where she currently remains,” the spokesperson said.

Let’s go through the steps:

  1. Watters reported his adulterous relationship to Human Resources.
  2. HR met separately with both parties and then together.
  3. From what I was told by one HR person in another company, both probably signed legal documents stating that this was not a coercive relationship.
  4. DiGiovine was removed from her position under Watters and was given a similar or lateral position on Laura Ingraham’s show.

They have since announced their engagement. Taking bets on the longevity of this one…

So what’s a pastor to do?

It is patently obvious that a pastor should be treated in the same way as licensed counselors and school teachers are treated. They should be fired from their position and have their *license to preach* removed. Sadly, there is not a professional licensing agency for pastors. So, instead, we get pastors who poorly poorly train their sheep by playing games with the Bible.

For now, if a pastor wants to prove he is in a consensual relationship outside of marriage, I think he and his paramour should find separate lawyers and have them draw up papers to prove that theirs is a consensual, albeit unbiblical, relationship.

It is rather amusing to think about it. The only way he can prove it is consensual is to admit it and get legal papers drawn up. But, if he does that, he loses his job. He shouldn’t worry, though.  He can play Tullian Tchividjian’s game, preaching cheap grace and forgiveness and find a bunch of people who haven’t really read their Bibles.

In the meantime, I suggest that all media stop calling these affairs (You, too, Christian Post) unless they have proof that it is simply that-a mutual, consensual affair.


Comments

Stop Calling These Affairs Unless There Is Proof It’s Consensual. Consult Jesse Watters For Advice. — 86 Comments

  1. Jesse Watters. I think he’s a jerk for dumping his lovely wife and sweet twins for a sleazy 20 something who is 14 years younger than he is. His affair is so typical as to be nausea inducing. He is marrying a woman who thought it was cool to get him to leave his wife and kids for her. He leaves his wife for the sleazy 20 something. They deserve each other.

    How does Sleazy 20 Something know he’s not going to do the same to her?
    Like when she’s a 30 or 40 Something, just like his now-ex?

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  2. It IS a crime in 13 states (including TX where I live) and the laws are apply equally to clergy in the same way as they are applied to health care providers, therapists, teachers. There IS NO CONSENT where there is an imbalance of power. Its about time more people are aware of these laws & start holding these predator pastors accountable by having them arrested when they criminally assault those they are chargred to care for.

    https://codes.findlaw.com/tx/penal-code/penal-sect-22-011.html

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  3. I agree that it is clergy sexual misconduct/abuse. Part of the problem is not labeling it properly, I agree. When it is labelled properly, then we can see why it is such a problem. Calling a sexual relationship between a pastor and congregant an “affair” is like having the wrong medical diagnosis. You have less hope of proper remedy in that situation. Same in this.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  4. Serious question:

    The Christian Post still calling rape “affairs” in their paper, are they using as a demarcation line the former used physical force, the latter didn’t use physical force? Meaning, even though grooming was used on the victim, physical force was not? Therefore it isn’t rape?

    I’m not asking about those under the age 18, just the adults. I can’t fathom where a church can look at a 14 year old and accuse her of being a honey pot, a Jezebel, having an affair with a pastor.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  5. Dee,
    Good post…. I am saddened to see this about Jesse Waters as I do find him to be an amusing commentator on the supposedly conservative Fox News.

    I think the only thing I disagree with is that it seems impossible to believe that affairs do not happen between pastors and congregants. I am sure that manipulation sometimes goes the other way. Ultimately, the Lord knows all and he is the righteous judge.

    Now, my statement above certainly does not take away from the gross abuse of “power” that you detail in a lot of your accounts. I am 100% aligned there and I am glad to see that our boy Dustin at least erased his internet presence. God help him if he does not confess and get real help.

    One other thing…. most companies have rules where dating a subordinate is a recipe for getting fired. So, the business community seems to grasp this abuse of power scenario.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  6. Brian:
    Serious question:

    The Christian Post still calling rape “affairs” in their paper, are they using as a demarcation line the former used physical force, the latter didn’t use physical force? Meaning, even though grooming was used on the victim, physical force was not? Therefore it isn’t rape?

    a) A person commits an offense if :
    1) the person intentionally or knowingly: (I’m leaving out the list of sexual offenses)
    b) A sexual assault under Subsection (a)(1) is without the consent of the other person if: (omitting the list of offenses)
    10) the actor is a clergyman who causes the other person to submit or participate by exploiting the other person’s emotional dependency on the clergyman in the clergyman’s professional character as spiritual adviser;

    c) In this section:
    3) “Health care services provider” means:
    E) member of the clergy;

    Physical force or violence is not the determining factor to define sexual assault, per the TX statute.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  7. Divorce Minister: clergy sexual misconduct/abuse

    These terms make sense. In some cases the word rape applies. Laws vary, every case is different, all are wrong and destructive, and some are even worse than others.

    Pastors were not born yesterday. Every last one of them knows that sexual contact with members is wrong, regardless of anyone’s marital status and regardless of who makes the first move.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  8. As Anna noted in her comment, there are many states that include clergy in the list of professionals who are not allowed to have sex with their clients/congregants. Period. Full stop.

    In my state, it is a class 4 felony for counselors, therapists, and clergy to have any kind of sexual relationship with their clients/congregants. There is no exception or distiction for consent because, per the statute, where this power imbalance exists, there can be no mutual consent.

    This is a subject have spent some time researching as a dear friend of mine was a victim of our former pastor…we later found out that she was one of many. She did sue him personally as well as the church because his wife is the administrator and was aware of past incidents and did nothing to protect. They ended up settling out of court. By the time we had recovered enough to have the courage to consider criminal action, the statute of limitations (3 years) had run out.

    To the point of the original post, it took me (and my friend’s attorney) nearly 6 months to convince her that it was NOT an affair. He had so painstakingly groomed her for over a year (talk about premeditation) that it was hard for her to see that it wasn’t her fault…

    She has recovered and is doing well in a loving relationship…but it’s been almost 13 years…

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  9. Headless Unicorn Guy,

    How can ANY of you start adding adjectives to this woman he had the affair with?? Being a reporter, you should all KNOW better! Keep your OPINIONS to yourself about the woman, & stick to the facts about the story. It is only your OPINION that she is sleazy! She may very well be a kind, and loving woman who happened to fall into SIN with a married man. Who I might add is also a Godly man. WE ALL fall short of the glory of God-YOU ALL included! I get so sickened reading all of you judging hypocrites! Turn the mirror around and look at yourself!! God knows the sins you commit in the dark and behind closed doors! The only difference is that this pastor lives his life publicly.

    Just please for the love of God, STOP JUDGING!! If you want to cover the story, cover the damn story, but keep your opinions to yourself-you are the ones who keep the sick sinners away-bc they read your bashing stories of a good man who feel short and then they think, “If they will turn on a man they loved and respected so quickly like vipers, what would they ever say of me when I share my sin?” LOOK IN THE MIRROR-ALL OF YOU!!!

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  10. Headless Unicorn Guy,

    Frankly, at that point, the guy’s hormones will have waned, his apparent attractiveness (the context of his life, ie, his perceived power and income)will have faded and ED will leave her wondering about her choice. It’s a rough generalization, but Watter’s character (or Tullian’s) has been on display for years on TV and his words and opinions have been scripted and paid for. You can love a man for all the things he has been, but in the case of Watters, Tullian,etc, there’s just no there there. Never has been.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  11. Anonymous: Just please for the love of God, STOP JUDGING!! If you want to cover the story, cover the damn story, but keep your opinions to yourself-you are the ones who keep the sick sinners away-bc they read your bashing stories of a good man who feel short

    It is obvious to me that you do not understand the Biblical meaning of judgment. We are not to judge the salvation of any person. However, the Bible points out sins and explains why they hurt the body of Christ.Read 1 Corinthians 5. I assume you think Paul was judging this man and Paul is now a bad man in your eyes.

    Nope. We are to judge. I am frankly appalled that you would defend such actions. Emma knew he had children and should have walked away from him since she knows the pain this will bring to his family. Anyone who doesn’t put the kids before herself doesn’t deserve to be a stepmother to them.

    Jesse dumped his wife and twin children and even goes so far to sign an agreement that he is involved in an adulterous affair is not a good man. He spent time posting pictures of all of his vacation trips with his honey while his wife was dealing with a shmuck who divorced her for a 20 something.

    Finally, get something straight. I am NOT a reporter. I write about what I see in the world and I get to give you my opinion. This is a blog, not Fox News. Oh wait…dpn’t they give opinion as well?

    Of course we are all sinners. However, you appear to be sin leveling. There are some sins that are worse than others because they cause pain and suffering to little children and their mother. Sorry, that dog can’t hunt. I suggest you spend time reading your Bible and concentrate on what the word judgment means and doesn’t mean. If you note, I did not judge his or her salvation, just their tacky little affair.

    And no-this is not a *good man.* he needs to repent and go back to being a full time dad to his kids.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  12. George,

    I believe that there are *affairs* as well. But, I believe that the offending couple must go to an attorney or Human Resources and make sure that the papers are signed correctly. If not, he will be in big trouble when it hits the fan. And, in my observation, it usually does hit the fan.

    If he’s going to play the adultery game, he needs to endure the necessary legalities and pain to protect himself. But, of course, that’s unbiblical. So he gets what he deserves. Perhaps God is smiling at this Catch 222

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  13. dee: Jesse dumped his wife and twin children and even goes so far to sign an agreement that he is involved in an adulterous affair is not a good man.

    I have to say, I certainly agree with this but I was put by your calling his gf sleazy so many times. She is younger and he was her boss and although i certainly don’t condone this behavior I would put most of the onus on him. You seem to have more compassion for women in churches in a similar situation.

    I don’t agree that signing some sort of ‘this isn’t coerced’ statement would really tell you anything when manipulation and grooming are involved. This might be something she’ll regret with hindsight, or not, but not knowing either of them I would be inclined to save my vitriol for him. Like most cheaters, he was probably lying through his teeth about his marriage, and maybe she’s too young or in love to see it. HUG, I would be interested to hear what she has to say in 10-20 years to get the fuller picture.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  14. To put “lipstick on a pig” is a rhetorical expression, used to convey the message that making superficial or cosmetic changes is a futile attempt to disguise the true nature of a product or person.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  15. Anonymous: God knows the sins you commit in the dark and behind closed doors! The only difference is that this pastor lives his life publicly.

    Oh, so he is only guilty of honesty, and that means the rest of us are not.

    How public was the pastor when this began? Did he make an announcement during services that he would be spending time with a woman other than his wife? Did he invite the whole congregation to Denny’s to talk with him and the two women and his children about the merits of leaving his family? I’m sure the congregation would have been highly supportive of all this living his life publicly. /sarc

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  16. “People come to their pastor, hoping to get counsel for their issues. They are usually in a vulnerable state of mind, experiencing pain or trials in their life … he can use his position to slowly groom a victim who will fulfill his wish for a sexual encounter. He is not a pastor. He is an abuser, a predator, a wolf.” (Dee)

    Scripture describes them like this:

    “These are men who delight in self-indulgence; they are foul spots and blots, playing their tricks … Their eyes cannot look at a woman without lust, they captivate the unstable ones, and their techniques of getting what they want is, through long practice, highly developed … under a curse, for they have abandoned the right road … their fate will be the black night of utter darkness.” (2 Peter 2 Phillips)

    This is just one of several strong warnings in the Bible directed at church leaders who mislead God’s people. A “pastor” who leads someone under his care and trust into sinful conduct, who deceives the vulnerable, is under a curse. This is one of those Scriptures that predator-pastors skip by quickly, ignoring that “their fate will be the black night of utter darkness.” Only cheap grace would give them a pass … true Grace does not … the Savior is also Judge.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  17. Pingback: Linkathon! - Phoenix Preacher

  18. Brian:
    Jeannette Altes,

    What would you consider a reasonable statute of limitations?

    Hmm…well, certainly more than 3 years. Perhaps at least 10 years. In my state, the statute of limitation for child sexual assault is 10 years from the point the victim first tells someone. I think that one should have no limit. The limit for rape is 20 years, so maybe that should apply to this, as well.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  19. ishy: The concept of media mislabeling sexual abuse as an affair is a good point. It suggests yet one more way the perpetrator has control of the narrative to the detriment of the victim.

    Well, he is famous *eyeroll*

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  20. As Dee continues to reference counselors and ethics, as a standard, I thought I’d like to reference the Code of Ethics regarding counselors and sexual relationships from the American Counseling Association to which I am responsible for upholding as a Licensed Professional Counselor.

    Pastoral ministry, regardless of denomination, needs such a document!

    A.5. Prohibited
    Noncounseling Roles
    and Relationships
    A.5.a. Sexual and/or
    Romantic Relationships
    Prohibited

    Sexual and/or romantic counselor–
    client interactions or relationships with
    current clients, their romantic partners,
    or their family members are prohibited.
    This prohibition applies to both in person and electronic interactions or
    relationships.

    A.5.b. Previous Sexual and/or
    Romantic Relationships
    Counselors are prohibited from engaging in counseling relationships with
    persons with whom they have had
    a previous sexual and/or romantic
    relationship.

    A.5.c. Sexual and/or Romantic
    Relationships With
    Former Clients
    Sexual and/or romantic counselor–
    client interactions or relationships with
    former clients, their romantic partners,
    or their family members are prohibited
    for a period of 5 years following the last
    professional contact. This prohibition
    applies to both in-person and electronic
    interactions or relationships. Counselors, before engaging in sexual and/or
    romantic interactions or relationships
    with former clients, their romantic
    partners, or their family members, demonstrate forethought and document (in
    written form) whether the interaction or
    relationship can be viewed as exploitive
    in any way and/or whether there is still
    potential to harm the former client; in
    cases of potential exploitation and/or
    harm, the counselor avoids entering
    into such an interaction or relationship.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  21. Anonymous,

    Not arguing, but something to think about. How many abuse and molestation cases reported from the home include the perpetrator being the stepparent? I don’t know the exact numbers myself, but that was my own situation.

    My Dad fooled around on my Mom. She knew it was happening but didn’t have the proof. That is until he was in a drunk driving accident where the women was with him in the car. My Mom then divorced him.

    My stepfather then groomed his way into getting my Mom to Mary him. The rest is ugly history.

    One person’s selfish motives and actions can have repercussions to those around them, people who may not have any way to control them.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  22. ishy,

    “In other detestable news…”
    ++++++++++++++

    …..i just…. for squids’ sake, what is wrong with SBC men in leadership?

    they try to overcome impotence and opt for stupidity in the process.

    (if there were women in leadership, and if by [slim] chance they were just as stupid, i’d mention them, too. but of course they don’t exist in the SBC)

    maybe their arrested development is missing the lesson on cause and effect. that there are consequences to what one says and does.

    (well, i deal with that every few days here at the homestead, actually)

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  23. Anonymous: “If they will turn on a man they loved and respected so quickly like vipers, what would they ever say of me when I share my sin?” LOOK IN THE MIRROR-ALL OF YOU!!!

    Bah. Finally someone’s talking sense. If all of you WartsAndAllBurgers would look in the mirror, then maybe you’d actually see the sick person behind you trying to share his sin.

    You’re all rubbish.

    Up Yours,

    Roger Bombast

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  24. Brian,

    tasmanian tigers…. no, not a one.

    are they a real thing?

    i saw a tiger at an animal show at marine world…

    a two-fold experience — while the trainers were very conscientious, i hate animals in captivity. but the power of that animal, even from the back half of the outdoor theater, was breathtaking.

    defies description (kind of like being a few yards away from a cello performing in a string quartet — unbelieveably, achingly, tear-inducingly powerful). an absolutley gorgeous animal.

    even so… shades of seeing sasquatch, mothman, and a ufo.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  25. This is an old, old story: the boss expecting his subordinates to give him sexual favors. Matt Lauer, Bill O”Reilly, Roger Ailes, Kevin Spacey, and the list goes on and on.

    Or Thomas Jefferson echoing an old Roman custom.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  26. elastigirl: Brian,
    tasmanian tigers…. no, not a one.

    are they a real thing?

    Officially, Thylacines (Tasmanian Tigers) went extinct in the 1920s. But there are cryptid sightings of them every now and then. (Everyone knows Thylacine are extinct except the Thylacines?) Including a couple sightings outside Tasmania, on the Australian mainland.

    Thylacines are up there in the top tier of cryptids. Speculation as to how they may still be around centers around tiny surviving populations in uninhabited areas. With occasional explanations of occasional mainland sightings as a covert trap-and-release program before they went exitinct.

    Of course, if you want a Holy Grail of Aussie cryptids (and I don’t mean the Yowie), there’s the Giant Gawana of the Outback — a HUGE apex-predator monitor lizard.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  27. ishy:
    In other detestable news:
    https://baptistnews.com/article/ahead-of-conference-on-sexual-abuse-sbc-promotes-author-whose-church-is-being-sued-over-its-handling-of-a-ministers-alleged-molestation-of-an-11-year-old-girl

    Oh great, Chandler’s back in the news. The man who isn’t qualified to manage a Dairy Queen (not even the one across the street from his church) can write ANOTHER book. Can he PLEASE disappear?

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  28. Satan attacks marriages and families. Most of us see the results of this nearly every day. We humans are all too vulnerable to the grass-is-greener syndrome, becoming discontented and thinking, is this all there is. I had one friend who even theorized that human males are not naturally monogamous, and thus we should not be surprised when they stray. I asked a male acquaintance once why men cheat and he simply said, “Because they can.” Not to mention, we all know it’s not at all unusual for men to think with their, um, pants….

    A friend of mine got entangled with a married man some years ago. She was at a vulnerable place in her life, and he took advantage. He made her feel attractive again, and she gobbled it up. He threw the oldest line in the book, “My wife doesn’t understand me but YOU do,” and she fell for it. He claimed that his marriage was irretrievably broken in all but the legalities. The truth was the exact opposite, of course. My friend eventually walked away and later wrote a book about the experience in which she fully owned up to her part in the mess. Another friend who was in much the same boat put it this way: “He threw the pass, and I chose to catch it.”

    What more than one person above said bears repeating. If they cheat once, they are a cheater, and they’ll cheat again.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  29. Mark R,

    Men like Billy Graham, I imagine they seriously meant what was written in the books published under his name. Were the others as serious?

    (Break in thought) it’s members of the body of Christ that feed the machine. We stop feeding it, it goes away.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  30. StillWiggling: I asked a male acquaintance once why men cheat and he simply said, “Because they can.”

    I think this is blame shifting nonsense, personally. People cheat because they want to, not because they ‘can’. A lot of people ‘can’ and choose not to.

    Satan doesn’t need to ‘attack’ marriages and families, people peopleing do a good enough of job of blowing up their own relationships without any help.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  31. Max: The Christian Industrial Complex and its celebrity preachers keep on truckin’.

    Exactly the issue! Back in my pastoral days, I used to challenge the good folks that I served to become their own theologian. Not their favorite TV preacher, not their favorite Bible study writer, not the study guide written by a “noted” Christian, not even me as their pastor! We care more about what others write than the conclusions we should be reaching on our own, which would dry up books by “celebrity preachers.”

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  32. Lea,

    It’s not blame shifting, II Corinthians 10:2-6. My understanding of this if we don’t walk in obedience of God, then we open yourself up to the prince of this world, Ephesians 2:2. The onus is still on the person.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  33. Brian: It’s not blame shifting, II Corinthians 10:2-6.

    I’m staring at that verse looking for where it says men cheat because they CAN….

    I repeat. Blame. Shifting. Nonsense.

    Not for nothing, but the idea that men cheat because they don’t get sex, which it seems like *might* be what you’re saying (not what the OP said) is not backed up that I can anecdotally or with data. There is a lot more to it. (and if someone is not getting sex, there is probably a lot more to that too)

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  34. dee:
    One comment not approved. Implying that Billy Graham got thrown into the Lake of Fire for letting someone ghost write his book is over the top.

    Dee, that’s just a specific variant of “Everyone gets thrown into the Lake of Fire except MEEEEEEEEEEEE!”

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  35. Brian:
    Lea,

    Satan attacking, that’s in the book of Job and Ephesians 6. The “devil made me do it,” that’s sin leveling. I haven’t seen that in the Bible yet.

    Only on old footage of Flip Wilson, and I don’t think he counts as Divinely Inspired SCRIPTURE.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  36. Brian: Satan attacking

    The context was satan attacking ‘marriage and families’ as some sort of excuse for cheating. I think that’s bunk. YMMV. ‘The devil made me do it’ isn’t really sin ‘leveling’ its just excuse making and generally speaking, a persecution complex.

    For the record, I would say any time a cheater tries to explain their reasons for cheating to get a sympathetic ear, get ready to hear a bunch of lies.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  37. Brian,

    Also I went back and no wonder i was confused with your point, as you switched from using the language about cheating because someone ‘can’ to the comment about satan, which were entirely different?

    It wasn’t a very clear point and I stand by mine. Men cheat (and anyone really) because they want to, not because they ‘can’ or ‘satan’. They often go to great lengths to do so, lying and seeking out people to cheat with. People who tell you different are selling a story.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  38. dee: One comment not approved. Implying that Billy Graham got thrown into the Lake of Fire for letting someone ghost write his book is over the top.

    Quite so. Now, of course, if that ghostwriter had also ghostwritten a book once that contained a passage which, if taken out of context and read a certain way, could have been inferred to cast doubt on penal substitutionary atonement, that would have been another matter. Not only would God have had to throw Mr Graham into the Fiery Loch, but he would have had to destroy dozens of bridges in random violent lightning strikes. Because – well, homosexuality, obviously.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  39. Luckyforward,

    “I used to challenge the good folks that I served to become their own theologian. Not their favorite TV preacher, not their favorite Bible study writer, not the study guide written by a “noted” Christian, not even me as their pastor! We care more about what others write than the conclusions we should be reaching on our own, which would dry up books by “celebrity preachers.””
    +++++++++++++++++

    well, you’re pretty great! i might even consider attending again, if there were more like you.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  40. elastigirl: Luckyforward,

    “I used to challenge the good folks that I served to become their own theologian. Not their favorite TV preacher, not their favorite Bible study writer, not the study guide written by a “noted” Christian, not even me as their pastor! We care more about what others write than the conclusions we should be reaching on our own, which would dry up books by “celebrity preachers.””
    +++++++++++++++++

    well, you’re pretty great! i might even consider attending again, if there were more like you.

    What a kind comment. I am deeply hunbled. Thank you.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  41. Anonymous: a good man who feel short and then they think

    A good man falling short?
    Julie Anne could maybe answer this accurately, or Brad the Futurist Guy, but didn’t Tullian have several victims? And at that, over a period of years?

    It’s not like the guy fell into temptation and had a consensual affair one time and never again.

    No, he used his position of influences to sucker multiple women into sexual relations with him, and it went on for months and months.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  42. Anonymous: 1.
    How can ANY of you start adding adjectives (ie “sleazy”) to this woman he had the affair with??

    2. LOOK IN THE MIRROR-ALL OF YOU!!!

    1. I’d say that IMO, automatically by definition,
    if a woman has sexual relations with a guy she knows to be married
    AND she is okay with him breaking up his marriage to be with her,
    she has earned the adjective “sleazy”

    2.
    I’ve never banged a married dude, or encouraged or caused a married dude to divorce his wife to be with me.

    Among my sins include things like giving the middle finger to motorists who hack me off,
    and in my defense, that was in Houston, where the people drive like maniacs.

    I hate this sin leveling garbage you “thou shalt not judge otheres, what about God’s grace and how about YOUR sins” types always throw out.

    I may be a sinner, but there are some sins I have never committed nor would I ever, so kindly don’t lump me in with the Jesse Waters or Waters’ mistress, or with the Tullian T.’s of the world, thanks.

    Also, Tullian and Waters chose to be public figures, so they fairly get more scrutiny than the rest of us who are private citizens.

    Even the Bible says that those in the church who are in positions of more influence / power / responsibility / teaching are to be held to more accountability than the peons.

    I don’t think it’s Pharisaic spiritual pride to bring any of that up, either.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  43. Lea,

    When I was in my twenties – well, way before then – that adultery was wrong.

    And oddly enough, due to complementarian and secular gender stereotypes, I was taught that ALL MEN ONLY WANT ONE THING, so if I had worked with Watters, I would’ve been highly suspect of him had he tried anything.

    But that was just me, and maybe my case was unique…

    Because at the same time I was being propagandized to believe all men are sex crazed (and hence not to be trusted),

    my mother and most complementarian teaching I was exposed to raised me to live without boundaries, which at the same time, left me attractive and vulnerable to abusers and creeps (like Jesse Waters).

    But I guess inwardly, I was very convicted to save sex for marriage, which made it more difficult for the pervs and creeps to sucker me sexually.

    I suppose I put more weight on my abstinence conviction than I did on the “be a doormat and let men(and occasionally women) walk all over you” teaching I got from mom and the church.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  44. Sarah: The concept of media mislabeling sexual abuse as an affair is a good point. It suggests yet one more way the perpetrator has control of the narrative to the detriment of the victim.

    Does anyone remember a couple of months ago the pushback the media got for referring to GIRL / TEEN victims of Epstein as “under-aged women.”

    I recall seeing several blistering editorials telling the public to stop referring to little girls as “under aged women”

    The Myth of The ‘Underage Woman’
    https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2019/08/jeffrey-epstein-and-the-myth-of-the-underage-woman/596140/

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  45. Luckyforward: Back in my pastoral days, I used to challenge the good folks that I served to become their own theologian.

    Another former pastor I know describes his philosophy of ministry as helping fellow believers identify their individual giftings and equipping them to serve the kingdom as they are called. It is too bad neither of you are behind pulpits anymore.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  46. StillWiggling: Satan attacks marriages and families.

    I never see concern from Christians about Satan attacking single adults.

    Julia Duin sort of brings this point up in her book Quitting Church. And rightfully so.

    There is and has been an epidemic of Christian single adults who wanted to be married (I was one of them), but we never found our spouse and so we remain single.

    I don’t see Christian groups or secular conservative “pro family” groups ever, ever doing a freaking thing to actually help single adults get married.

    All they like to do is complain about falling marriage rates and shame singles for being single.

    Where were these doofi when I was single and wanted to get hitched?

    They could’ve been fixing me up with dates with their cute single male friends. (Yes, cute matters to me. Money, not so much).

    Anyway, Duin asked in her book why more churches don’t more often pray (and take other steps) about it, ask God to send mates to the singles who want marriage. But they never do, nope.

    They just like to sit back and complain about declining marriage rates and come up with all manner of insulting assumptions about why some of us remain single – we must be ugly, too fat, too ugly, didn’t do enough work to get married, we were too career obsessed, etc.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  47. Wild Honey,

    “their own theologian.

    Another former pastor I know describes his philosophy of ministry as helping fellow believers identify their individual giftings and equipping them to serve the kingdom as they are called.”
    +++++++++++++++

    very great, too. really, the kingdom is planet earth.

    wherever a person might be. At their workplace. in the classroom. in the lab. in the hospital, the courtroom, the conference room. in city hall, legislative sessions, the white house. At the grocery store, target, costco. at a sporting event. at Disneyland. in one’s neighborhood. at the dinner table.

    (not that you were suggesting this, Wild Honey–) to equate the kingdom to the church institution & to restrict our gifts and talents to the confines of church events is missing the point, as i see it.

    i have personally wasted my giftings (including the gift of the Holy Spirit), time, and energy by allowing them to be exploited by the institution for its own enrichment to the exclusion of everywhere and everyone else.

    not any longer.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  48. Wild Honey: Another former pastor I know describes his philosophy of ministry as helping fellow believers identify their individual giftings and equipping them to serve the kingdom as they are called.

    If ministers/ministries are not reaching lost folks for Christ (the Great Commission), discipling them in the pure Word of God, helping them to identify their spiritual giftings, and equipping/releasing them to do the ministry themselves … then they are doing church without God.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  49. elastigirl:
    Wild Honey,

    “their own theologian.

    Another former pastor I know describes his philosophy of ministry as helping fellow believers identify their individual giftings and equipping them to serve the kingdom as they are called.”
    +++++++++++++++

    very great, too.really, the kingdom is planet earth.

    wherever a person might be.

    Yes!

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  50. Daisy: When I was in my twenties – well, way before then – that adultery was wrong.

    I don’t like the overemphasis on her as ‘sleazy’. That’s all. We dont know how there relationship happened, we do know he was significantly older and her boss. It’s not unreasonable to think there were some dynamics there we would normally point out.

    HE is the one who cheated though. He made a vow. What she did wasn’t right, but there seems to be, as I said, a lot more grace allotted to women in similar situations at a church. Don’t misread me.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  51. Daisy: I never see concern from Christians about Satan attacking single adults.

    Because Satan, like church!, doesn’t apparently care enough about singles *eyeroll* That’s how you know this isn’t really about satan…

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  52. Lea: I think this is blame shifting nonsense, personally. People cheat because they want to, not because they ‘can’. A lot of people ‘can’ and choose not to.

    Satan doesn’t need to ‘attack’ marriages and families, people peopleing do a good enough of job of blowing up their own relationships without any help.

    I agree that it’s nonsense, especially in this day and age.
    I’ll concede that there was indeed a time when men could better facilitate extra-marital liaisons because of their positions, but those days (significant power differential) are long gone.

    And yes, I’ll agree even more that people are unfaithful because they choose to be, not because they ‘can’, or because ‘Satan’ made them do it.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  53. Lea: I’m staring at that verse looking for where it says men cheat because they CAN….

    I’m staring at the same verses, and neither can I see an explicit connection to the proposition that men cheat because they can.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  54. Wild Honey,

    Interestingly, it is the reality that each of us has an individual walk with God that some congregations disliked. Those members that wanted me to emphasize doctrine vs. relationship decided I was “liberal.” The early days of the Neo-Cons.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  55. Muff Potter: I agree that it’s nonsense, especially in this day and age.
    I’ll concede that there was indeed a time when men could better facilitate extra-marital liaisons because of their positions, but those days (significant power differential) are long gone.

    Remember that American Christians are notoriously Late Adopters.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  56. Daisy: There is and has been an epidemic of Christian single adults who wanted to be married (I was one of them), but we never found our spouse and so we remain single.

    I’m another.

    I don’t see Christian groups or secular conservative “pro family” groups ever, ever doing a freaking thing to actually help single adults get married.

    All they like to do is complain about falling marriage rates and shame singles for being single.

    The Inerrant Dogma of Salvation by Marriage Alone.
    And we long-term singles are the Defectives in the Reject Bin, if not pots created for Destruction.

    I remember hearing that before the 1950s, the proportion of Marrieds to Singles was lower than it has been since — something like one-in-three or one-in-four would never marry. And after the Everybody Is Married Law of Nature of the Nifty Fifties, we’re getting back to that as conditions change.

    And Christians(TM) are among the latest of Late Adopters in general, so why shouldn’t they be the last in this respect as well?

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

Leave a comment - Click here for our commenting rules

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *