A Statement Regarding Some Public Accusations

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“We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain


I had hoped that, by simply ignoring some things, peace would be achieved. Sadly, things have escalated and I find myself in a position of having to explain that which I had hoped would simply fade away. Abuse affects us all in differing ways. There is an old saying that hurting people can hurt people.

I have decided to explain things as simply as possible since this situation continues to escalate and I am being asked questions. Hopefully this explanation will suffice.

Accusations

This is a response to some accusations made by a survivor who is currently in the public eye. I have elected not to name her although that may not matter. She has accused me of speaking about her even when I am not. Over the last couple of months, a few bloggers, victims, and advocates including me have been accused of  one or more of the following actions.

  • Deliberately ignoring this victim when she attempted to reach out to us.
  • Forming a private conversation group involving me as well as two other friends (you would recognize their names) in order to harass this survivor online over the past year.
  • Accusing one survivor of saying this person was acting like a rapist.
  • Accusing me of criminal libel for this linked post which this survivor claims that  I wrote about her. See if you can find a name. I didn’t. (Note-This person’s last name does not begin with C.)
  • Claiming that this survivor has been routinely harassed by unsafe survivors and advocates who have since been blocked.
  • Posting a Facebook message in which motives of another advocate were wrongly attributed. This prompted some of us to be contacted by those who read the message.

My response:

  • I have never deliberately ignored a request for help by a survivor. However, the fact that I have thousands of emails that have gone unanswered because there is only one of me may have contributed to this. However, those who wish to reach me usually do. But,  I am not the only one accused of deliberately ignoring her.
    I have never deliberately ignored this woman until recently when these accusations began to be leveled at me as well as others. I decided on a course of action which would be to ignore this poor individual because I felt sorry for her. I didn’t want to contribute to any pain she has experienced
  • I have NEVER formed a private group for the sole purpose of bringing pain to a survivor. The other two people involved have strongly denied doing so as well. As one of them said to me “Do you think I’ve got time for this?”
  • If I had meant the discussed post to be directed towards this person, I would have said so. I do not pull punches when I write. At least give me that!
  • I saw the supposed *rapist* comment made by another survivor. That was not said and her interpretation appears geared to continuing a narrative that this *poor survivor* continues to be harassed by unsafe advocates and survivors.
  • Go through all of my tweets and see if you can find one that is harassing a survivor. They don’t exist.
  • I did not pay any attention to this survivor and did not recognize her name until sometime this summer.
  • This individual has spoken to a number of people about us.
  • Last night was the last straw. I, along with two others, was contacted by a person on Twitter that I have known for a number of years. She read a Facebook message that is making the rounds.
  • All of us have been blocked by this individual which is fine by me since I had only started to follow her once the accusations began. She claims that all those who were blocked are those people who are harassing her. Of course, I still read her blocked accounts in order to keep an eye on things. Blocking doesn’t work.

I have copies of all of these accusations and will post them if this continues. Given the upcoming conference, this would be undesirable.

My assessment

I believe that this individual is troubled which is not uncommon for those who have been through serious abuse, I, along with another, have contacted two individuals involved with this person with the hope that some will help her.

I have tried to ignore these silly accusations for awhile now. However, since others are getting dragged into this, I felt I needed to speak.

If any of you have questions about this or have been contacted, please let me know. I am asking all commenters not to mentioner her name. It will only cause the situation to escalate.

It is also my hope that those who love this victim will surround her with supportive care. I bear no ill will towards her. I don’t even know her personally. That I why this situation is so disconcerting.

Finally, I stand by my designated survivor post and will soon feature an article which will demonstrate what I mean by this. Well known and skilled survivors who have been abused within the SBC have been ignored and I am not talking about me. Some might think that this has been a ham handed attempt by some leaders to control the narrative. I have wondered this myself.

Please join me in praying for peace.

 


Comments

A Statement Regarding Some Public Accusations — 125 Comments

  1. Wow I had no idea this was still going on & intensifying. I’m not on Facebook though, it seems like that’s always where catfights go to die, more or less. I’m so sorry you & others have been dealing with this. I have theories about possible motivation, but probably best to just pray, as you requested. And my heart sinks further, looking into next week….

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  2. There is always at least the possibility that you and others are simply being set up in an attempt to discredit you. I do not have enough information to make this a charge; I only assert that it is a possibility.

    Btw, how does one both ignore and harass someone? You are truly multi-talented.

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  3. Social Media Attacks ™ are now common place. Has the #Metoo, #Churchtoo social media involvement now tuned into a wide-scale legal brawl? Are 501c3 attacks now so common place as to encourage certain religious individuals to sufficiently question wether or where they can safely place their time?

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  4. I’ve seen some of this drama on Twitter. That victim was called out by someone else, and I saw it, but seemed to take issue with everyone questioning the SBC’s motives in their abuse conferences.

    The SBC is using her, and others like her, and that is very plain to many of us. These conferences and books seem to be a lot more about making a buck while pretending to do something about the terrible abusers in their church. I personally don’t believe they care one bit about fixing abuse problems and removing those who enable abuse.

    I personally didn’t know who she was before the drama started. I do wish she and several others like Rachel Denhollander would reconsider participating in SBC-sanctioned abuse events. If for nothing else than for themselves, because I don’t believe the SBC leaders have their best interests at heart at all.

    I do have problems with people like Russell Moore, who I believe are outright liars in calling themselves supporters of victims while advertising the books of his abuse-enabling friends. I have serious problems with initiatives that pretend to be about preventing abuse when they are more about making money and supporting lawyers like MinistrySafe.

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  5. Abuse creates alliances that would normally not be made – and with that comes a myriad of emotions and experiences that are mixed together. Unfortunately this can result in high levels of emotions and misunderstandings. I get this. It’s important that at times we, as survivors, step back when we are overwhelmed to take care of ourselves.

    It’s important now more than ever that we stay united for a common purpose of bringing awareness, education and providing a safe place for victims to come forward with their stories. If we create another culture of fear and infighting, we will have defeated all that we have fought for.

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  6. ishy: I’ve seen some of this drama on Twitter.

    I’ve apparently missed everything. It does sound like a lot, but then there is so much drama on twitter! That’s why I’m not on there. It seems like it’s going beyond that into some weird conspiracy theories which sound bizarre.

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  7. I hate conspiracy theories although I did get a good chuckle about the folks who wanted to storm Area51. They turned it into a party instead.
    Now, it appears, I am part of a conspiracy, meeting ins secret with others to plot out our strategy to harass someone. I am hoping that this will be seen by some sensible people who will give her the support she needs.

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  8. Brian,
    It’s a pretty big thing. I worked at the Convention for a couple years, and they had a giant room where everybody sold their books. It includes a lot of nepotism and celebrity endorsement. On one memorable day when I was not in “staff” gear, a certain SBC leader also somewhat violently pushed me out of the way without a word so he could shake another leader’s hand.

    But it’s not just the sales, because the panels are chosen at many of these events to allow some of these big names to highlight their new books. For example, I am expecting at the ERLC conference a big push to buy the Caring Well Lifeway “curriculum package”. They also have panels from Ministry Safe and some other “services” for churches. And Summit counseling pastor Brad Hambrick has a panel by himself, so certain he will be selling his books with the blessing of his head pastor bro JD Greear.

    I am disappointed with several abuse survivors for going along with all this. Most of the kerfluffle on Twitter was aimed at Denhollander and Beth Moore, though, and a couple other victims who sat on some of these panels got offended that everybody else was offended by the SBC’s motives. Moore has handled it fairly well, but I did see some angry responses from Jacob Denhollander. Rachael has said she would never support the gymnastics organizations again, but the Denhollanders don’t seem to see how it’s a bit disingenuous to support the SBC, especially since they are so blatantly turning the issue into a cash cow.

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  9. “Well known and skilled survivors who have been abused within the SBC have been ignored and I am not talking about me. Some might think that this has been a ham handed attempt by some leaders to control the narrative. I have wondered this myself.”

    That’s further informed by their leaving so many on the outside looking in — literally, in the case of this year’s convention — while they ran out a carefully crafted narrative. Autocrats gonna autocrat, especially when nest feathering at a personal or 501(c)(3) level faces disruption.

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  10. Lea: I’ve apparently missed everything. It does sound like a lot, but then there is so much drama on twitter! That’s why I’m not on there. It seems like it’s going beyond that into some weird conspiracy theories which sound bizarre.

    You are not a lone, I’ve missed it too. I have a twitter handle mainly to look up stuff and that’s it.

    I have some thoughts on this, but I don’t want to add to anyone’s pain inadvertently. I will simply pray for all involved.

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  11. ishy: On one memorable day when I was not in “staff” gear, a certain SBC leader also somewhat violently pushed me out of the way without a word so he could shake another leader’s hand.

    *Jaw drops*

    I just continuously wonder how many of these people are actually just literally terrible? I think it’s way, way too many.

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  12. Lea: I just continuously wonder how many of these people are actually just literally terrible? I think it’s way, way too many.

    He definitely is. I went to school with one of his kids and he’s definitely extremely emotionally abusive, if not in other ways. Since he pushed me, I suspect he is physically, too.

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  13. Lea: She is probably used to being hated. People have…strong…feelings about Beth Moore, one way or the other mostly. It’s very interesting.

    Yeah, Beth Moore is kinda an enigma to me. I almost wonder if she’s staying in all this just to spite the New Calvinists who really hate her (and some of them really do). She seems to handle all of the anger extremely well, but she is definitely a more traditional dispensational Baptist and doesn’t toe the New Cal line. It probably makes it worse to them that all her books tend to sell better than theirs do.

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  14. ishy:
    Brian,
    don’t seem to see how it’s a bit disingenuous to support the SBC, especially since they are so blatantly turning the issue into a cash cow.

    The playbook for so many seems to go a certain way.

    If there’s a headline-grabbing issue, market seminars and book studies on how to help. If you can make it look like your suggestions help to any degree, market seminars and book studies on how you did it, how anyone following your program can do it, and then tackle any number of issues by marketing new seminars and book studies. Find a way to get it into academia. Make connections, form an initiative, parachurch org, or foundation.

    If you can’t make it look like you’ve had an impact on the issue, market seminars and book studies purporting to engender brave, empowering dialogue on the issue. Continue to write and speak on the subject as you angle yourself as one fully versed on the complex issue. Find a way to get it into academia. Make connections, form an initiative, parachurch org, or foundation.

    Rinse, repeat.

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  15. ishy: Beth Moore is kinda an enigma to me.

    Yes, I find her fascinating sometimes. I just went to her timeline because of this and I saw her poking at people deifying Paul over Jesus! Ha. Comments have people flipping out too.

    I think she’s just living her life. I don’t expect to agree with her on everything but I love that she’s been somewhat vocal about stuff lately. You’re right though, she hasn’t cut all ties or anything either. It’s not really surprising the neo/new(?)cals hate her I guess.

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  16. I have personally know a couple of survivors of long-term emotional abuse who became so paranoid as to be psychotic. The abuse was the reason. They could not even trust their closest, longest term friends, and basically became non-functional. Perhaps this person is in similar circumstances. May God break this cycle of fear, and bring peace and friendship to this troubled person.

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  17. Lea: It’s not really surprising the neo/new(?)cals hate her I guess.

    Well, that’s a recent thing. For years, Beth Moore was one of only a few female teachers that the New Calvinists would send their wimmenfolk to hear. The SBC neocal churches near me literally filled buses of sisters to transport to her simulcasts/conferences. Her challenge of J.D. Greear, Russell Moore and other SBC New Calvinist darlings have put her in a bind with the new reformers.

    Lea: I saw her poking at people deifying Paul over Jesus

    IMO, she is right to do that. The New Calvinists speak much more highly of Paul than they do of Jesus. They teach/preach almost exclusively from the epistles of Paul, seldom mentioning the words in red in the Gospels.

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  18. Lea: deified Paul

    “Deify” might be a little strong, but there is no doubt that they have elevated Paul higher than they ought. I once counseled a young neo-cal pastor near me who preached exclusively from the epistles of Paul (particularly Romans & Ephesians) that if he continued to teach only from Paul, he might miss Jesus … but if he would read the Gospels first, the writings of Paul would come into perspective.

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  19. Lea: *Jaw drops*

    I just continuously wonder how many of these people are actually just literally terrible? I think it’s way, way too many.

    Yeah, sounds so Christlike, doesn’t it?

    It’s everywhere, though. In every church. People worship celebrities and dismiss the pew peons with contempt. Nobody seems to remember the part about the first being last and the last being first.

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  20. A huge igniting fire for this whole Twitter drama was the SBC allowing Matt Chandler to appear at the convention last minute while making the abuse rally stay outside. I believe the first time I saw anything from the person I think this article is about, along with one of the other victims that was offended, is when people were calling out the SBC for this.

    I do think the SBC has “designated survivors” that they’ve chosen to represent their abuse “brand”. Some of those are very offended people have been calling them that.

    But it doesn’t change the fact that the SBC is treating most (or all) of the whistleblowers like trash. The designated survivors are mostly victims whose abuse happened outside the church. That is a problem and needs to be recognized as such.

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  21. JDV,

    Thank you Ishy and JDV:

    I was briefly involved in a multi level marketing (MLM) organization. The sales tables were just outside of speaker and audience room of the hotel. People were pumped up, given a break where they ran right to the sales tables, then right back into the room for more pumping up.

    That scenario seems odd for the edification of Him.

    Nothing against anyone for making a buck, selling their product.

    It sounds like “being of the world” for a Christian gathering.

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  22. ishy: Some of those are very offended people have been calling them that[designated survivors].

    And I actually kind of get that.

    But I agree with you, there are deep issues with the SBC and the treatment of abuse within the church that absolutely need to be addressed. The fact is, the SBC wants all this to go away more than they want to fix it. All of their actions are geared in that direction, imo.

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  23. dee:
    I hate conspiracy theories although I did get a good chuckle about the folks who wanted to storm Area51. They turned it into a party instead.
    Now, it appears, I am part of a conspiracy, meeting ins secret with others to plot out our strategy to harasssomeone. I am hoping that this will be seen by some sensible people who will give her the support she needs.

    Dee I do not have the human words to thank you for all you do. You must be doing something very important for God to be attacked like this. May God protect you and your family and give you peace if mind is my prayer.

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  24. ishy: I went to school with one of his kids and he’s definitely extremely emotionally abusive, if not in other ways.

    I may have taught that son in a college/career Sunday School class in the late-90s. If we are talking about the same son (his last name escapes me at the moment, but I remember his first name), then I thought he was a pretty nice guy – again, the son. I never met the father.

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  25. Dee:
    As one who deals daily with the hurting, I think you are framing this correctly as a “troubled” person. When someone is in pain and does not know what to do with that pain, their vulnerability leaves them open to irrationality in their thinking, acting, and speech. Unfortunately in those moments, we who wish to assist sometimes become the target simply because of our presence and interest. This is the risk that comes with the willingness to be a helper.
    Your response in terms of clarifying your position is wise as you have provided information and boundaries about what you were seeking to accomplish in this situation and with the person.
    Finally, prayer for the person with the hope they will find a place of safety.
    It is never simple or easy to walk a painful journey with someone. When our words and/or actions are misunderstood or misconstrued, may we depend on the grace of God to support us as He fully knows the meaning of our motives and willingness to help.

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  26. Welcome to the messiness of dealing in the real world with situations. All kinds of things happen for all kinds of reasons, and when exposed to enough different people you will encounter all of them. Only God knows for sure what is really going on, so I do not think it helps any to choose one of the following without clear evidence and post about it because that only makes you look just like the conspiracy theorist jumping to a conclusion based on what appears to be paranoia instead of actual hard facts.

    I am not judging the current situation as I know nothing about it, but in doing this Dee and other WatchBlog owners and participants will encounter all of the following:

    1) Lots of legitimate victims of evil. Some will find ways to deal with the pain and the anger associated with it in a way that is not self-destructive over the long term. For some, that means forgetting about what happened and moving on. For others stable enough it will mean becoming an advocate for change and a kind of prophet blowing a horn in warning. It would be nice if every former victim could get to that place, but that is not how it works. Others will end up handling the pain and anger in a way that proves self-destructive. These people unfortunately grow to become like their abusers in some way and when they realize that they can get filled with self-hate. Unfortunately I have met some Christians who are like that and it is not what God wants for sure, but we are warned about not letting “a root of bitterness spring up and defile many.” Operative word is that their actions begin defiling others. This is how someone who was abused as a child grows up into an abuser themselves.
    2. You will find people who are looking for attention and have learned how to get it by lying. I know of a couple of formerly famous Christians, like Mike Warnke, who have made up extreme stories and then sold that for fortune and fame. They are out there and will claim to be victims of whatever the latest craze is. That includes now the #meetoo trend. This always happens with each new trend. This is why automatically believing everything anyone says is not wise. In real cases what people say can be easily supported by others who also witnessed it which is why you do need more than one witness in order to publicly bring a matter up. Unless you are like Solomon who had the wisdom to figure out who the babies real mother was. Ignoring this fact just gives legitimate ammo to those who are attempting to defend indefensible acts.
    3) There are people with Alzheimers and other mental disorders who are convinced of something paranoid that is not now nor ever real. My sister-in-law is in the third stage and I have watched a brilliant internal medicine doctor turn into what is now someone with the intelligence of a small child. Along the way she started spouting weird conspiracy theories that she had made up. These people do exist and it is not necessarily easy to spot them online when you cannot observe them nor see them with their families.
    4) There are trolls out there who just like getting a rise out of other persons. Most of what they say are lies and they just waste other peoples time and drain energy. These can be blocked or ignored. To engage them is a total waste of time. They are out there to waste your time and to get you upset.
    5) There are also those Machs. who will go to great lengths to try to silence you or just be as big a troll as possible in order to get you as upset as possible and to waste as much time of yours as they can. They are out for revenge and everything they do is a lie. These are the people making money off of an abusers coattails and we see them defending evil men all the time for that purposes. They are defending their cash cow and will do so regardless of any actual facts.

    I have no idea in cases like this which of these you are dealing with but there is more than one possibility. If you are going to start your own blog you will eventually find all of the above. So count the cost before committing yourself…

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  27. JDV: The playbook for so many seems to go a certain way.

    If there’s a headline-grabbing issue, market seminars and book studies on how to help. If you can make it look like your suggestions help to any degree, market seminars and book studies on how you did it, how anyone following your program can do it, and then tackle any number of issues by marketing new seminars and book studies. Find a way to get it into academia. Make connections, form an initiative, parachurch org, or foundation.

    Except for the God-talk, how does that differ from secular business or self-help books, from The Secret to Art of the Deal?

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  28. Lea: People are *big time mad* about it on the twitters lol. “Prove someone deified Paul!!!!”

    All depends on how you define “Deify”, My Dear Wormwood.
    Twirl those Pens, debaters!

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  29. I saw this playing out on Twitter. I’ve been thinking about it since then. Sometimes I wonder if many of us have an additional “lens” (or lenses) that we look through in situations such as these. That lens being age and the experience that comes with it (I am 61). Some of these same types of situations I’ve been witness to through the years, and responded in a completely different way than I do today. In my thirties, although I didn’t think I knew everything, I certainly thought I knew a lot, but today, when I look back on those times my responses would be so different! My question now is, how does one give younger people the space to grow up and make their own mistakes without actually hurting them by pointing out what they are missing? I honestly want to learn how to do this! Dee and others on this site are teaching me this. I’m old, and I am still learning things.

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  30. Done One,

    “My question now is, how does one give younger people the space to grow up and make their own mistakes without actually hurting them by pointing out what they are missing?”
    ++++++++++++++++++++

    if a young person is hurt by someone who points out what they are missing…

    i’d say their stunted growth will simply continue indefinitely.

    constructive criticism isn’t exactly comfortable. but so what.

    it’s a short-cut in the quest to doing well. to knowledge and understanding. (like drawing the rainbrow bridge card when playing Candyland) (that’s the last board game i played. time to dig out Monopoly!)

    i recall reading that thin-skinned oversensitivity is a generational trait these days… (can’t stay up-to-speed on these subjects) how, why, exactly?

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  31. Muff Potter,

    Easy, they will think that it’s Satan’s work, because such a woman cannot be explained within the confines of their belief system.

    So when you add the “struggle against the dark”, it’s a doubling down of the religious crusade that they are on.

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  32. Done One: Some of these same types of situations I’ve been witness to through the years, and responded in a completely different way than I do today. In my thirties, although I didn’t think I knew everything, I certainly thought I knew a lot, but today, when I look back on those times my responses would be so different!

    In the words of the prophet Robert Zimmerman:

    “Oh, I was so much older then,
    I’m younger than that now…”
    — “My Back Pages”

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  33. mot,

    Thank you. I just want to get the truth out there. In order to be accepted by the SBC leadership, it appears that one must not name current acceptable leaders as having been involved in hurting a victim. It appears the only safe survivors are those who do not upset the current paradigm. Why is that? Or, if I’m wrong, surely someone can prove it.

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  34. mot: IMO the Neo-Cals do not like the Gospels or Jesus.

    That’s because they have trouble twisting the words in red to make them fit their theological grid. It’s easier for them to distort the writings of Paul to support the new reformation, rather than the transformation Gospel of Jesus.

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  35. Max: That’s because they have trouble twisting the words in red to make them fit their theological grid.It’s easier for them to distort the writings of Paul to support the new reformation, rather than the transformation Gospel of Jesus.

    Too true. Reading what they write on some of their boards turns my hair white, and my stomach sour. At one point I was shaking my head and repeating under my breath “The NeoReformed have no love in them.” They have the law, as they interpret it.

    Heck, I am struck by the fact that they demand so much reading and interpretation from their own reformed writers, as well as a working out of your thought processes with them, that they seem almost a new gnostic cult, with hidden wisdom only they can discern.

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  36. I think that some people just like to stir the poop via social media. I’m on Next Door for my neighborhood, and I appreciate the helpful information that comes my way. Then, there are the attention seekers. There was a 50-comment thread yesterday regarding a photo of a scruffy looking cat that the poster said he would kidnap to make sure it was taken care of. Other ND users knew the cat and the owners, and threatened to call the police on the original poster. Finally someone from a cat rescue group was called and spoke with the owners, assured everyone that the cat was. cared for, preferred to be outside…and people continued to trade insults for another ten comments or so. It’s like they have nothing better to do, and can be quite insulting. Some of them have their photo posted (I don’t), and they don’t care at all. We’ve become an anonymous, cyber mud-slinging culture, and we act worse than we would in person because we can get away with it.

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  37. Magistos: they seem almost a new gnostic cult, with hidden wisdom only they can discern.

    “Hidden Wisdom” = “OCCULT Gnosis” in Greek.
    THAT was the original meaning of “The Occult”.
    “Occultists” were those in the know of this Hidden Wisdom/Knowledge, like the later term “Illuminati”.

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  38. dee,

    Are they holding as examples, a survivor that was abused in a home or a survivor that was molested in a small SBC church (less than 150 capacity), which are all legitimate. But, their examples exclude all the mega churches?

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  39. Brian: “Illuminati”, there are some in the SBC probably wishing for secret conferences now.

    You think they haven’t been having those?! I strongly suspect Al Mohler and his band of Mohlerites have been having meetings in smoke-filled rooms for years to plot their New Calvinist takeover of the SBC. He has hand-picked New Calvinist directors of most SBC entities, including former executives that reported to him at SBTS and his own pastor! I don’t care for his theology, his arrogance, and his slick ways … but he is a great strategist!

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  40. Magistos: At one point I was shaking my head and repeating under my breath “The NeoReformed have no love in them.”They have the law, as they interpret it.

    This is so sad. I belonged to a small NeoReformed church once and attended a women’s discipleship meeting on the topic of suffering. I left the meeting shaking my head, wondering what on earth had just happened. It was a house full of women, four of whom were pregnant</strong, talking about suffering#/strong>,and no one cried. I didn’t understand at the time because as individuals they seemed so compassionate, but there was a strong disconnect between their theology and their hearts.

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  41. Just wanted to share with y’all–after work yesterday, I got on the road for vacation. I was driving through a middle-sized city and apparently “mini-meg church row” is on the highway. I passed ULife Church, Encounter Church, and my favorite “Real Life Church”.

    I sometimes don’t know what people are thinking when they are thinking of names for contemporary churches…

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  42. I can’t aptly convey how grateful I am for you and the work you do Dee. I am so sorry you have to deal with the aftermath of drama like this.

    With that being said, I know the one you are speaking of. She followed me about a year ago and when I saw she was also an abuse survivor I decided to follow her back. I muted/un-muted her several times over the last few months, trying to give her the benefit of the doubt. I finally decided to block her shortly after some combative remarks she made towards other survivors and advocates I highly respect. I just couldn’t deal with her toxic & combative vibe anymore.

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  43. Friend,

    I learned a bit of the history of church naming here in the US. “First Baptist Church of Houston”, First Christian Church of Dallas, Disciples of Christ” were named “First” because they were the first and sometimes the only church of that denomination in town.

    The stuff that gets me is when the pastor leaves for another church, he takes the name of the church with him, because it’s trademarked by him.

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  44. ishy: I sometimes don’t know what people are thinking when they are thinking of names for contemporary churches…

    So long as there’s beaucoup butts in the seats with beaucoup greenbacks being collected, I don’t think they really care what its name is.

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  45. Brian: I take it that you’re a traditionalist in regards to naming churches

    It’s not so much that as several were so similar and they were all within a mile on the same street. They all looked very similar, too.

    And “Real Life Church” made me want to go there and count how many times they made things formulaic. I’ve been in evangelical churches long enough to know that there’s very little “real life” in them.

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  46. ishy,

    Rachel Denhollander purposely, knowingly protected Al Mohler concerning CJ Mahaney while her husband was obtaining a PhD at SBTS. It might have been more wise to keep quiet about Mahaney instead of pick and choose who she would use her gravitas to publicly call out. Can you imagine if she had? It would have been National. Mohler totally got a pass from her yet he was most involved in protecting and promoting Mahaney with a place to land when he fled Maryland. Just goes to show the same political games are often played in the survivor world. And I have seen quite a few over the last 10 years. Not impressed.

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  47. Muff Potter: So long as there’s beaucoup butts in the seats with beaucoup greenbacks being collected, I don’t think they really care what its name is

    I’m sure you’re right. They were all so blatantly competing with one another, though. Seems like if you want to do better, you’d pick somewhere else.

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  48. Lydia: Just goes to show the same political games are often played in the survivor world.

    I agree, but the Denhollanders then shouldn’t be surprised when other survivors call them out. They have been playing the games in the SBC world they’ve been trying so hard to disclaim in the gymnastics world, and people are rightly calling them out for it.

    I don’t think people are going to stop pointing it out, so they might eventually have to choose whether to stop being so public in the SBC or completely taking a stand against the SBC abuse “brand”.

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  49. ishy: I don’t think people are going to stop pointing it out, so they might eventually have to choose whether to stop being so public in the SBC or completely taking a stand against the SBC abuse “brand”.

    I think people who want to stay *in* the SBC are kind of between a rock and a hard place. It’s super easy for me to say burn it down, because I’m not involved at all. It’s (comparatively) easy to go after individuals who have been more or less caught, like Patterson or CJ. But to go after people who promoted, or associated with them…it’s an ever widening circle.

    Who’s responsibility is it to do that? I don’t feel like any of the survivors have institutional power in any way and those are the people who really need to start taking action. People like the Denhollanders (sp) or even Beth Moore, can bring awareness and pressure, but they can’t fix it.

    I think it takes some people a long time to decide something isn’t fixable.

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  50. Lydia,

    Just a question, and I mean it – simply a supposition. Would it be possible that the Denhollanders were picking their battles, and therefore waiting for the right time? Or are they rightly accused (apparently) of playing SBC games? I, sadly, try to find the best motives in people, until I can’t. I have no gotcha, I really want your opinion.

    ishy,

    It’s that the church names have all gotten so fuzzy, you can’t remember one from the other, and forget about being set apart like Jesus said we were to be.

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  51. Lea: I think people who want to stay *in* the SBC are kind of between a rock and a hard place … I think it takes some people a long time to decide something isn’t fixable

    It took me over 70 years to come to that conclusion – I come from a long line of SBC faithful. Southern Baptists have always fussed about this and that, but the new reformation brought with it a whole new set of problems. I grew weary with the battle – the rock and the hard place were so uncomfortable – so I entered the Done ranks.

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  52. Magistos,

    IMHO, based on Jacob’s reactions, they are fully invested in “playing the game”, so to speak. Rachael could be doing these conferences and things in the secular world and avoid the SBC abuse moneymakers. She could still have the same message and maybe even a wider audience. I think Rachael has enough clout to do that. But she’s playing heavily within

    And Jacob could have just not replied to the victims who are upset. Or he could have replied more gracefully. That’s not what he did at all. He kinda went ballistic in the tweets I saw. One of them in response to Jules Woodson.

    In other words, I don’t think they have to choose between their church and Rachael’s message. Rachel doesn’t have to do the SBC conference and book stuff to get her message out. But she should be questioning the way the SBC has treated their victims the way the gymnastics world treated her abuse, if nothing else, and listening to those victims about the way the SBC has treated them since this whole Caring Well thing started, because it’s not good.

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  53. ishy: And Jacob could have just not replied to the victims who are upset. Or he could have replied more gracefully. That’s not what he did at all. He kinda went ballistic in the tweets I saw.

    Do you have any links to that? I would like to see what’s up.

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  54. Juulie Downs,

    In my individual therapy sessions and in my pain management group therapy sessions (debilitating pain in people under age 60 and the child abuse they suffered are interconnected) they have spoken about an exaggerated fight or flee response in survivors when a loss of control is felt.

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  55. I am not up to date on who’s trolling whom on any given day, and I haven’t got a clue as to the identity of the troubled person. Nor do I want to know. These days, I have to prioritize and parcel out my levels of indignation to things much closer to home.

    Having said that, I stayed up way too late last night reading Rachael Denhollander’s book. It’s a fascinating story, and gives great insight into the journey of an abuse survivor. My own takeaway (and others’ mileage most certainly will vary) was that she was worn very thin between her growing notoriety as the legal process ground onward, the lack of support from her local church, and oh, a little matter of trying to be a mommy to three small children (and then giving birth to a fourth child). So it’s entirely plausible to me that she would need to pick her battles.

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  56. Brian: an exaggerated fight or flee response in survivors when a loss of control is felt

    In her book Rachael Denhollander adds a third response: Freeze. A person in the midst of the crisis, whatever form it takes, sometimes has no perceived way to fight or flee, so they just shut down (freeze).

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  57. Lea,

    It’s been a couple months since I paid attention, so not sure I could find it now. Most of the stuff I saw was only a few weeks after the convention. And a couple people tagged me into the conversations at that time.

    I was actually surprised by dee’s post yesterday that it was all still going on so heatedly.

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  58. ishy,

    “But she should be questioning the way the SBC has treated their victims the way the gymnastics world treated her abuse, if nothing else, and listening to those victims about the way the SBC has treated them since this whole Caring Well thing started, because it’s not good.”
    ++++++++++++++++++

    my thought at the moment:

    why does a church organization get special treatment? even if one kid glove and one boxing glove?

    a church organization that has abused, covered up, and enabled abuse should receive the same scathingly direct approach as Michigan State University, USA Gymnastics, and harvey weinstein.

    the very same.

    why even partially sweetened and softened?

    are christians just suckers for christian leaders’ sweetness, light, and smiles? do they feel obligated to turn off their engines-of-what’s-right and respond in kind with sweetness and smiles?

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  59. ishy,

    Thanks. I didn’t see any of it so I don’t feel comfortable commenting in detail I guess. It certainly would have surprised me to see. IDK.

    I do think we as humans are prone to defending people we know and like, and we have to watch to make sure we haven’t been taken in. Just in general.

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  60. ishy,

    Would making a choice between Jacob’s potential career in the SBC and Rachel’s message be the better choice to describe the situation?

    A person doesn’t burn possible, future connections that they could use, if the truth isn’t your objective.

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  61. ishy: I’m sure you’re right. They were all so blatantly competing with one another, though. Seems like if you want to do better, you’d pick somewhere else.

    I live in the Pacific Southwest Bible Belt.

    It extends Eastward from LA and San Diego into Arizona and as far as the Western edge of New Mexico.

    A saturation point (for mega-churches) has been reached in this region and it is no longer economically viable to ‘plant’ new ones.

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  62. ishy: Seems like if you want to do better, you’d pick somewhere else.

    CVS set up shop right recently nearby across the street from Walgreens. Home Depot is across the street from Lowes. I assume there is something here that corporations have researched…

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  63. Lea: I think people who want to stay *in* the SBC are kind of between a rock and a hard place. It’s super easy for me to say burn it down, because I’m not involved at all. It’s (comparatively) easy to go after individuals who have been more or less caught, like Patterson or CJ. But to go after people who promoted, or associated with them…it’s an ever widening circle.

    Here’s a song that segues nicely into the spirit and call to action of what you describe.
    Enjoy…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdEQkRq_xrw

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  64. Brian: Would making a choice between Jacob’s potential career in the SBC and Rachel’s message be the better choice to describe the situation?

    Well, my point was that I think Rachael could get away with bowing out politely from the SBC stuff and not being very vocally in support of it without them bowing out from their SBC church. At the same time, she still could speak about abuse to secular audiences and have put out her book.

    I don’t think it had to be an either or position. I think they’ve chosen to invest in the SBC initiatives. And maybe they are just blind to the commercialism of it all, but now they’ve been called out on it, I don’t know that it’s that hard to see anymore.

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  65. ishy: I don’t think it had to be an either or position.

    Neither do I, and I don’t fault the Denhollanders one bit for acting in their own self interest.
    To me it’s a very human thing to do, and I’d have done it myself.

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  66. Himalaya,

    Political expediency says Jacob, i.e., the cowards way out. Rachel has the juice to go outside the confines of the SBC to illuminate the issues of childhood abuse of any kind.

    By her own childhood experiences, Rachel has the street credibility. Jacob has no street credibility.

    Is this an example of NeoCal leadership of the family?

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  67. Himalaya,

    Now that I’ve read it, I absolutely see Jacob’s point and he seems fairly respectful (unless I missed something). There is nothing wrong with an honest disagreement.

    This seems to be one of those things where people are offended by a term, less so than a concept. And different choices in tactics. But maybe will move this into the other thread if I have more thoughts.

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  68. Brian: Is that taking into account the crossovers from Catholicism to Protestantism and vica versa?

    Whether it has any particular religion’s trappings is immaterial.

    What’s important is the burning desire in any human heart to throw off the yoke of any type of tyranny.

    Elton John’s piano licks and Bernie Taupin’s lyrics capture the sentiment quite well I think.

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  69. Muff Potter,

    “What’s important is the burning desire in any human heart to throw off the yoke of any type of tyranny.”
    +++++++++

    makes me wonder… (i’m sure this has been discussed at TWW previously, but) why do some people not realize they are subjected to a form of tyranny? why do they seem happily numb / oblivious in the middle of it?

    the scales haven’t tipped yet in what they’re getting / giving up? or if the scales have tipped, they are in some kind of mental fog about it?

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  70. elastigirl:

    makes me wonder… … why do some people not realize they are subjected to a form of tyranny?why do they seem happily numb / oblivious in the middle of it?

    Likely comes from the difficulty in separating doctrine from leaders. The issue becomes even more difficult if the doctrine might be the issue. It is so hard to change our way of thinking and, like it or not, we are all tribal.

    For some it may be an easy process to leave their tribe. For others it can be a long and difficult road. It is not easy to realize and then admit that your tribe is wrong.

    You 1st have to recognize that – which also means recognizing that you have been believing something wrong all along.

    Then comes the difficulty of parsing out what is true and what is not. What do I believe really? This can get very muddled since it is usually tied into the community of friends and support which can be threatening to leave for many reasons.

    At some point in the process one may eventually arrive at the point where they can leavd. But this all can be a very long and trying process made even more difficult in a smaller population where there are few alternatives.

    There are so many factors that combine to make this an extremely difficult process for many folks.

    There could easily be (and probably have been) whole books written about this.

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  71. Dee, it’s quite obvious that this person does not know you nor have they actually interacted with you. Your goal is to simply give a voice to survivors of clergy abuse and to shine a light on rather disheartening situations, that others would rather not talk about and look the other way. I hope this individual gets the love and support that she needs to help her in her overall healing. Whenever the enemy is being exposed, anyone and anything in any form will be used. Keep doing what you’re doing Dee, the truth is always revealed at the right time.
    1 Cor 15:58: So, then, brothers and sisters, don’t let anyone move you off the foundation [of your faith]. Always excel in the work you do for the Lord. You know that the hard work you do for the Lord is not pointless.

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  72. elastigirl: makes me wonder… (i’m sure this has been discussed at TWW previously, but) why do some people not realize they are subjected to a form of tyranny? why do they seem happily numb / oblivious in the middle of it?

    the scales haven’t tipped yet in what they’re getting / giving up? or if the scales have tipped, they are in some kind of mental fog about it?

    Yes, it’s been discussed a good many times here at TWWW.
    I think Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn said it best when he wrote:

    “You only have power over people so long as you don’t take everything away from them. But when you’ve robbed a man of everything he’s no longer in your power — he’s free again.”

    When a single working mother realizes that the money she scrimped and saved for a brake job or new shoes for the kids is being wangled from her by the siren-songs of the ‘praise and worship’ team and the mouthings of the pastor about ‘trusting the Lord’ for your needs, the tipping point you speak of is probably reached, and it can go either way.

    Hopefully, she’ll wake up and realize that even her self respect is on the line, and if she succumbs, she will indeed have been robbed of everything.

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  73. Afterburne,

    thank you for the response, Afterburne. I, too, didn’t recognize tyranny. once i did, i still kept on — for God, alone.

    I figured God was worthy of my best, even in adverse conditions. even if i was being taken advantage of.

    …but then i realized, this is stupid.
    .
    .
    many years later, i look back on it all as a colossal waste of a good chunk of my life. a waste of resources i could have given elsewhere that would have had a better return on my investment. not money, necessarily.

    resources that would have gone straight to human beings *for free*.

    instead of enriching the pastor’s career and legacy. pooh on those, for sure! as i give a flying fick about ’em.

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  74. Muff Potter,

    Golden Eagle
    ++++++++++++

    what almost gave me shivers was how large the bald eagles’ heads and faces are (at least the one’s i saw — saw a few). as big as a human’s. bigger?

    how many parts fearsome, and how many parts powerfully dignified? absolutely gorgeous.

    i’ll never understand how some humans don’t seem to give a rat’s @$$ about respect for, care and dignity of animals.

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  75. StillWiggling:
    I am not up to date on who’s trolling whom on any given day, and I haven’t got a clue as to the identity of the troubled person. Nor do I want to know. These days, I have to prioritize and parcel out my levels of indignation to things much closer to home.

    Having said that, I stayed up way too late last night reading Rachael Denhollander’s book. It’s a fascinating story, and gives great insight into the journey of an abuse survivor. My own takeaway (and others’ mileage most certainly will vary) was that she was worn very thin between her growing notoriety as the legal process ground onward, the lack of support from her local church, and oh, a little matter of trying to be a mommy to three small children (and then giving birth to a fourth child). So it’s entirely plausible to me that she would need to pick her battles.

    Thank you, StillWiggling.

    I met Rachael at a the Valued conference on sex abuse in the church in San Diego last spring, and she was the most compelling speaker and the kindest, most authentic person I met there.

    I believe with all my heart that she is the real deal, and I applaud her tremendous and self-sacrificing efforts to speak the truth in love and righteousness.

    Another hero of mine, Tim Tebow, was criticized as not being a real Christian for playing football on Sundays and fraternizing with the myriad unsavory characters in professional sports.

    Yet, God had given him a national platform on which to proclaim His glory. And Tebow did, both in word and in deed, and he continues to do so most devotedly.

    Sometimes, you have to walk a very thin line to get an opportunity to share God’s goodness, justice, and righteousness in a very public way.

    We may resent the corruption behind the platform offered to Rachael — but let us not forget the blessing of her having been given that platform.

    May she continue to use any and all platforms the Lord affords her to promote the truth of Jesus Christ, both His unfailing mercy and His unfailing justice…which are really just two sides of the same coin. May hope be restored to the victims of abuse by the execution of God’s justice on this earth, and may we offer compassion to the broken-hearted and downtrodden.

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  76. elastigirl: i’ll never understand how some humans don’t seem to give a rat’s @$$ about respect for, care and dignity of animals.

    They don’t care because it’s not in them to care.
    They believe that animals are only put here to serve their needs and whims.
    Some of them will even use Scripture to justify their cruelty.
    Smugly assured that the Bible mandates their ‘dominion’ (like Sauron’s ring) over all life.
    Noted mega-preacher Robert Jeffress is of this mindset and here’s a link to his latest pronouncement:

    https://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/robert-jeffress-climate-change-is-an-imaginary-crisis-that-god-wont-let-happen/

    After reading, I didn’t know whether to laugh, cry, fart or cuss.
    I think I did all four, but can’t remember in what order.

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  77. Hi Dee,

    I, Shauna and Billy can fully attest that your plate is full. At times I may have felt ignored but realized that you have a personal life and a blog that demands so much of your time. There are many who reach out and need you to hear their stories just I had shared mine with you and Billy was able to receive some of your time. Both of us recognize that anytime you couldn’t respond was for those reasons and we absolutely understand and love you dearly for the help you gave and what your advocacy with this blog did for my son. I haven’t visited here in a long while and maybe have jumped in a few times over the past few years because, even our life is busy and we have been trying to move forward. You and TWW readers were there for us and got us through a very difficult time. I’m stunned to be reading this and it is clear that maybe in your busyness the survivor whoever they are took that busyness as a slight or that you don’t care because they have difficulty with coping and rejection. I don’t know I’m just guessing. Billy and I may not communicate with you like in the beginning however we 100% know you do the very best you can and have a heart of gold. I’m glad to know you and I’m really glad it was you who told Billy’s story.

    Update on Shauna(me) & Billy (my son)

    Ok so Billy is in his Senior year of HS ( what a journey) Next fall Billy is applying to the Biomedical Engineering Department at Texas A&M to get into the biomedical field. The company I work for specializes in biomedical field and next summer they are having Billy come to NC to work and train for certifications which will help him immensely. He came to me last year and told me that he wanted a career in the biomed field. I’m so proud of him.
    A few months ago a neighbor who I’m acquainted with at the time decided to give Billy his BMW 3 series ( wow! God is good) it is a 10,000 car in excellent condition (like new) with 100,000 miles on it and perfect for Billy. I asked the neighbor if he was sure he wanted to give him the car. He told me that Billy is a really good kid and he knew if he gave him the car that he would appreciate it the most. What a compliment. Billy came home in tears saying he couldn’t believe it and kept thanking God. As you know Billy struggles with ptsd however he’s been steadily overcoming a lot of it. Billy is healing and well. He also went on o Prom last year with a very lovely girl.
    Me:
    My job is going incredible! I visit hospitals and surgery centers and sell medical equipment such as anesthesia machines and medical grade mounting arms made for the ER. I sell patient MRI monitors and demo them. I love what I do and my job is salary plus commissions based. I get to travel and work independently in Texas while the company is In NC. God is good to me.

    News:
    Dee I think you need to look into placerita bible church (Adam Tyson) he’s billys former youth pastor. Placerita is part of The Masters. Seminary. Kanye West and Kim Kardashian are now and have been attending Adams Church he’s professed his faith in Christ yet Kanye’s church of music looks to be a man who has a group of followers , nothing good going on at his gatherings. It’s really disturbing but disguised as Christian worship songs. Anyways he has the yeezy shoe line in which he really has that alter ego name calling himself yeezus- Jesus. It’s pure blasphemy. To top it if he has many photos portraying himself as Jesus Christ and in his music. Adam Tyson is also wearing his yeezy shoes. It’s what Kanye is representing. Anyways I contacted GCC and the response I got from two elders was unbelievable. These men are enthralled with Kanye and Kim they even so much has said it inmy conversation with them yesterday. It’s something to look into.

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  78. This is a sad situation, Dee, but I think to anyone who reads this blog, your character is obvious. The idea that you would be engaging in the accused behavior is just totally out of sync with everything you express here. I’m sorry this is happening and I’m sorry for this person who is probably just not coping well right now. Praying that all will smooth out for everyone concerned.

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  79. Afterburne,

    i applaud you. such a worthy investment, with the most precious dividends.

    i’ve often thought of the last day of my life.

    with the track i was on, it was destined to be, “Yep! I did it! I didn’t cave, didn’t compromise into one of those consumer christians. Be more! Do More! Refuse to be the weak link. That was me!”

    …and in reviewing these accomplishments, it will dawn on me: “Was i happy?”

    no.

    “my family… did i take the time to invest in them? and cultivate love and relationship over the long haul, with a tapestry of rich, heart-warming memories?”

    no.

    but i was true to principle.

    and so what.

    (this is no longer me, and will not be me. i’m unapologetically shooting for happiness, and investing in my family. which doesn’t preclude giving back — on my own terms — and leaving the earth a healthier, cleaner, more peaceful place. it’s not an either-or proposition.)

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