Why Didn’t the SBC/ERLC/Caring Well Leadership *Designate* Survivors Jules Woodson and Christa Brown as Speakers?


The Wounded Angel-Hugo Simberg

“Kind words are the music of the world. They have a power which seems to be beyond natural causes, as if they were some angel’s song, which had lost its way and come on Earth, and sang on undyingly, smiting the hearts of men with sweetest wounds, and putting for the while an angel’s nature into us.”- Frederick William Faber


I have two more non-designated survivors whose stories need to be told. I’ll try to get them in next week.


I was standing with survivors, advocates and supporters who gathered at “For Such a Time as This Rally” and so I got to thinking. Why are some of the most well known victims of abuse within the SBC standing outside while others, some who were not abused in the SBC or well known, being featured inside? It made no sense to this observer of all things evangelical.What was their selection criteria? Or better yet, what was their deselection criteria?

I am no longer a member of the SBC, having found a home within a conservative Lutheran church. However, I feature sermons by Wade Burleson, an SBC pastor, for the weekly EChurch@Wartburg. I left the SBC over my former SBC church’s handling of a pedophile situation. It had become difficult from me to attend  the Baptist churches in my area. Frankly, I am grateful that this experience pushed me to look for another church denomination and am thankful for where I have settled.

I continue to closely watch the SBC because it was a Baptist church which opened my eyes to how poorly sex abuse can be handled by churches.

The faith problem

Does the victim have to hold the proper, local church membership and maybe even lead Bible studies in order to be recognized by the SBC leadership as being *appropriate?*

Several victims have said that the faith problem has not been well addressed by the SBC. Many people who have been abused walker just drift away from the faith.  Being abused by a pastor is not just sexual abuse. It involves a betrayal of the spiritual kind. Those who were supposed to be role models of the faith either abused or covered up abuse and didn’t *care well* for victims. “I thought my pastor was supposed to be godly but he molested me. This is all a farce.”

To make matters worse, many victims are treated as the bad guys because they should still *follow Jesus* even after suffering the horror of being sexually abused. “Be a nice victim, go to church and keep evangelizing.”

I am glad that some victims seem to have no problem with their faith when their godly leader betrayed them by sexually abusing them or covering up their abuse and demanding their obedient silence. So long as it’s true and not stuffed down deep inside so that one is recognized as being a *good* Christian when all they really are are people pleasers. They could one day wake up and realize they haven’t fully dealt with the pain.

I contend that many more victims just silently drift off. In fact, I suspect that it is a relief for some pastors and leaders who were able to quickly forget about the *incident* and go on to more important topics like *Should our building be 50,000 or 60,000 square feet?*

All abuse is horrific but abuse that takes place in churches can have a profound effect on the victim’s spiritual life.’ I suspect that there are many in leadership who don’t want to deal with this fact. Instead, they fall back on *comforting* doctrines like: “If they were real Christians they wouldn’t have left or drifted from the faith.” “Once saved, always saved so I guess they weren’t saved in the first place.” “I always knew that they weren’t that committed.”

You see, I think there is more to repent of beyond the actual abuse. Do the pastors and leaders out there understand their complicity in this matter? Jules Woodson drifted from the church almost immediately and her pastors all went on to lead big and cool churches, never once indicating whether they ever thought about her.

There are quite a few leaders in the SBC, some who will be attending the Caring Well conference, who bigly supported CJ Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Ministries. Have they ever considered how their stance was perceived by those who were profoundly hurt? Do they even care?

Do they repent merely for some of the sexual abuse and not repent for the pain and loss of faith by those molested? How many of them have reached out to those they know have been hurt or do they play Tim Challies game?  He certainly didn’t want to break into his routine to understand if people were being abused How courageous! I think many pastors function in similar ways.

Thinking Biblically About C.J. Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Ministries

For this reason I have deliberately avoided learning too much. I have had to question my motives, especially since I have repeatedly been on the receiving end of scathing criticism for not using my platform to speak out against Mahaney. I have chosen to read the news stories, to understand the basic facts, but conscience compels me to stop there. To do more may not be spiritually beneficial, it may not reflect good time management, and it may not be loving toward those who are involve

So, Challies did what the others did. They dreamed up an excuse for the inexcusable. He was able to pretend it was not up to him to do anything because he needed to stick to the gospel of good time management. I wonder. Will he be proud of this stance as life goes on? My guess is he will never think about it just like so many leaders rarely think about those who have moved on and away from church. I wouldn’t be surprised if the boys at 9 Marx would support church discipline for those who, having been molested, left their gospel™ care.

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

The SBC leaders should feature of at least one of those who have left the faith because of their abuse. The leaders as well as all of us, need to sit there and listen to the story. Maybe they’ll start feeling a little uncomfortable…or will they revert to platitudes to placate themselves. (Are they platitudes or doctrine? Sometimes I can’t tell the difference.)

The VIP problem

What happens when well known SBC church leaders get caught in sex abuse or covering up for the abuser?  Take a look at the churches featured in the Houston Chronicle’s  Abuse of Faith: 20 years, 700 victims: Southern Baptist sexual abuse spreads as leaders resist reforms.

What happened to Houston’s Second Baptist Church? Weren’t heads going to roll? They didn’t. 2nd Baptist is too big and too important to get the boot. “After all,(say loudly), it’s Ed Young! You know, THE Ed Young!”

The SBC hired *Armani Ronnie Floyd* (he’s actually called this by some) to take over the Executive Committee to *look into all of this stuff.* He’s paid really, really well. So do you think he cares about this? Or is it a political job?… Let me remind you that one of the members of the Executive Committee actually decided to cause some waves at the For Such a Time as This Rally.This leg me to believe that getting the Founders president, Tom Ascol, elected as SBC President was far more important than victims since it is always and only about the gender thing. Get them women submitting and abuse will melt away. Problem solved!

Could it be that some pastors and leaders are just too important to get the boot? Yes, and they will be kept around so long as they play ball with the power brokers. I bet some will say “Hey, Dee, they got rid of Paige Patterson.” Yep they did. I called for his resignation 10 years ago but I did so purely on the basis of his awful treatment of women who were abused. Then there was the Paul Pressler dustup. (He whose name must not be spoken.) Some of today’s power brokers attended the dedication of Patterson Hall at SEBTS. I wonder if any of those who were *oh so concerned* about Patterson statements (made in 2000 at a CBMW conference that some folks attended so they already knew about knew about it and did nothing) spoke out against him back then or did they just slap backs? Was it all too threatening for their ministry?

Back then, I was a bit naive. I wondered why everyone didn’t see what I saw. Now, Dee has been taken to school. Patterson was not part of the inner crowd nor did he adhere to some of their doctrinal slants. His SWBTS wasn’t doing so hot with the numbers either. So, he was a convenient pawn to demonstrate (this should be said with a loud voice)  “We support victims.”

I contend that there are some VIPs who will never be called out by today’s supposedly kinder and gentler SBC. For example, they have to deal with the fact that clean steak entrepreneur and Village Church celebrity Matt Chandler, is overseeing a lawsuit against his church for a rape of a 12 year old girl at a christian camp. Matt is so important that he couldn’t get off his duff to call this family. I predict that since Chandler is a VIP, he will get cover from the boys.

On that note: CJ Mahaney and SGC Louisville still touts their membership in the SBC His was one of those church mentioned in the Houston Chronicle. It appears his head didn’t roll either, even with Mohler’s decision not to be CJ’s good buddy any longer.

Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville also partners with the Southern Baptist Convention for the purposes of training and gospel mission.

If someone was unfortunately molested in one of the VIP churches, one will not be featured at an SBC function to learn how to begin *caring well.*

I’m not sure i will be able to give you an answer to the title question but I want to give you some thoughts by two victims.

Jules Woodson

Just about everyone knows Jules’ name these days. Interestingly, her story resulted in both Andy Savage (who molested her) and Chris Conlee (his co leader) stepping down. During this time, their church Highpoint, left the SBC. I was told that the church itself would have asked to be removed from the list because the SBC wouldn’t do that secretly. After all, it was a megachurch and therefore “important!”(Say loudly.)

Jules is now a nationally sought after speaker. She has spoken on CBS and Dr Oz. She has been quoted by untold numbers of media outlets and did a video Op Ed with the New York Times. She has some amazing offers for the coming months. She is also an excellent speaker, something I discovered the first time she spoke with CBS a few days after her story was posted here.

I watched her speaking to a group of SBC pastors on the street near the Rally.She was so sincere and well spoken that a group of them gathered around her and laid hands on her to pray. At that point, I seriously began to question why she wasn’t invited to speak inside. Why wasn’t she asked to speak at the Caring Well conference? She and I spoke and here are some of her thoughts on the matter. Remember, we are not saying these things are the reasons. Only those in power know. However, her thoughts made sense to me.

  • Her story led three current SBC pastors to resign. Is this threatening?
  • The lead pastor, Steve Bradley, who did not do anything to help her when she was molested under his watch, continues to be the head pastor at Stonebridge Church (the name was changed) which is a megachurch in Houston. Bradley is now a bigwig who refuses to speak to Jules. He has NEVER spoken with her. Maybe the EC doesn’t want to deal with a VIP? Read her letter to Bradley. He has never responded. Awkward!
  • Jules has consistently said that Ministry Safe asked her stepfather for her medical records during the time they were working with Andy Savage and Highpoint Church after Jules came forward.This is a violation of trust as well as HIPPA. After all, Jules was an adult! Consequently, she doesn’t support Ministry Safe which is tightly tied into the SBC. Must victims support this organization in order to be *acceptable?”
  • Jules drifted from the church after her molestation. However, she never fully lost her faith but she isn’t one of those “I love the local church and I signed their membership covenant” type of person. She understands how one’s faith can be squashed when molested by a pastor. Must she pretend that all is well and state “I love the church” in order to be acceptable by the gospel™leaders?
  • She is attending a church in a different denomination than the SBC. is this a problem? And no, she is not going to say which one. If that must be known, why? Does it make a difference? I think it might.
  • She named her abuser and he was part of the SBC. Do they not like having SBC VIP molesters named?

There is no question that Jules has accomplished much in the eyes of the media, the church and the nation. Far more than some of the participants. So, why was she not approached? Is she an unacceptable™ survivor? If so, why? This makes no sense to me.

Christa Brown

Any SBC conference on abuse should include Christa Brown. I read her famous blog, Stop Baptist Predators, before I started blogging. Her website listed the pedophile from my church as well as every last Baptist molester she could find. She was abused by SBC leadership and local pastors for her work. She was called every name under the sun by godly™ SBC leaders. Wade Burleson told me at the Rally that the abuse she verbally received is beyond imagining. Yet, through it all, she kept blogging and listing all the Baptist predators she could find. All of us who blog or who support victims owe a debt of gratitude to her life’s work.

Although she gave up her blog in 2017, she keeps her research up and available. She also updates her website with relevant information. ‘It is interesting to me that Christs Brown’s book has not been pushed by the ERLC which is supposed to be *Caring Well* these days. This Little Light: Beyond a Baptist Preacher Predator and His Gang was groundbreaking. She wrote before just about anybody that you will see on the stage at the conference.

Christa is an attorney. She was also abused by her Baptist youth pastor. The following is her story which the SBC seems to ignore.


Open letter to Tommy Gilmore, the Southern Baptist pastor who sexually abused me as a kid:

Have you ever felt any remorse for what you did to me? That’s the question I always wonder about.

It’s been on my mind a lot lately because I’ll be speaking on June 11 at the For Such a Time as This Rally outside the SBC’s annual meeting in Birmingham, urging that the denomination institute better safeguards against predatory pastors like you. The horror of what I experienced from your abuse and from the keep-it-quiet cover-up responses of church and denominational leaders ultimately launched a long period of advocacy efforts on my part, because no child should ever experience the horror of what you did to me, and no adult should ever have to go through such a nightmare to try to expose a child-molesting minister.

The most difficult part of this kind of advocacy work is that it sometimes resurrects horrific memories. I did an interview with a reporter just the other day and, when she asked if I could talk a little about what happened to me as a kid, my mind was suddenly a jumble of disjointed flashbacks, and there it was again, that urge to vomit and run.

I remember how, in the beginning, when I balked at what you wanted, you said you would pray for me, so that I would come to accept that this was God’s will for my life. To this day, when someone says they’ll pray for me, it feels in my body more like a threat than a comfort.

I remember how you drove me out on that long dark road near the Addison airport – to do what you wanted and what you insisted God wanted.

I remember how you told me that God had called me to be your “helpmeet” in your holy work for God’s kingdom.

I remember how you quoted the Bible, instructing me to “lean not unto thine own understanding.” You said it was a sin for me to even try to understand and that I was supposed to just trust.

I remember the time you told me it was your 30thbirthday and you were feeling old and needed “special help” to feel better. Now I know that you didn’t even tell the truth about something as simple as your age. It was just one more ruse to get what you wanted.

Was there ever anything you said that was true and genuine? Or was every bit of it just some religiously-fueled set-up of a con-job for sexually abusing me?

I remember how, each time when you were finished with me, you would always say “God loves you, Christa.” I can still hear your voice. Do you know how much I hate those words – “God loves you”? I can’t even hear about God’s love without wanting to vomit and run.

I was a girl who would have done anything for God.

I remember how you shoved a beer in my hands there in the old parsonage on Dixiana and laughed at my reluctance about drinking alcohol. “Brother Hayden preaches against it,” I protested. But you said it was just another one of those rules for “lesser believers” and that it didn’t apply to us.

I remember how you insisted I take a shower at that parsonage, yelled at me to not get my hair wet, and when I started to get out, demanded that I clean myself better “down there.”

I remember how, after I flat-out broke down one day at a piano lesson in the church sanctuary and told music minister Jim Moore about the abuse, he instructed me to never speak of it again. Years later, I was shocked to learn that, even before I broke down, he had actually learned about the abuse from you. He said you had told him that you were afraid a congregant had seen you in “a compromising position” with me. Yet, Moore did nothing and your abuse of me escalated.

By the way, just as you faced almost no real consequences, Moore too never faced any consequences for his role in the cover-up. Even years later, when the church learned about it, and after Moore so-wrongly labeled your abuse of a kid as “consensual,”the church still kept him as music minister and, after his retirement, it even honored him for his work with youth choirs by establishing the “Jim Moore Concert Series.” Of course, I was a member of one of his youth choirs when he was covering up for your abuse. But I digress….

I remember how you dragged me into your office and made me apologize to your wife, Sue. As if I were the one to blame. So, as a 16 year-old-girl, I blubbered and begged for Sue’s forgiveness. She offered a stony “I’ll pray for you.” (There they are again – those words that now make my stomach clench.)

I remember how you made me kneel in your office for what seemed like forever while you stood over me endlessly praying that God would cast Satan from me. I was terrified. I truly believed that I had harbored Satan, like you said, and I didn’t know how I had ever let Satan in.

I remember a lot of the rest as well – too much. They’re memories that to this day I can hardly bring myself to speak of. I’ve had lots of trauma therapy – at my own expense of course. No help from you.

You destroyed so much of the girl that I used to be. I’ll always wonder what my life might have been if I hadn’t encountered you.

Are you even aware of how destructive you were? You ripped my whole world asunder and sullied my very soul.

You twisted faith itself into a weapon against me. You weaponized Bible verses, God, and everything I held holy. And for what? For your own sick and criminal desires.

If I could turn back time, I would run from you just as fast as I would run from someone welding a knife or a gun. But back then, how was I to know that the faith I held in my own heart could be perverted into such a powerful weapon against me?

You should have faced jail time, but you didn’t. Thanks to the fact that music minister Jim Moore and senior pastor Glenn Hayden kept things quiet and didn’t report you to the police, you were never criminally prosecuted. I figure the deacons knew about it too, eh? I remember how confused I felt when Bill, a boy I had known since I was 9 years old, suddenly told me that his dad wouldn’t let him ride bikes with me anymore because he was afraid I might be a “bad influence.” His dad was a deacon.

I remember how, after months of abusing me, you moved on to a bigger church, First Baptist of Tyler, Texas. I guess that, despite what you did, FBC-Farmers Branch must have given you a good reference. But I’m curious – how did you rationalize that you were “above reproach” and still qualified to be a pastor?

I remember how the church threw you a going-away reception with a big pot-luck supper and how Brother Hayden praised you from the pulpit as a great man of God. What was I to think? You were a man of God and I was a girl who incomprehensibly had harbored Satan. It was all so terrifying.

It took me decades to put together the pieces of trauma and understand the horror of what you and the church put me through. And then, of course, I encountered the trauma of so many others in Baptist life who tried to silence me all over again. Did you know that the church threatened to sue me when I first started talking about all this? That was like a preemptive nuclear strike in my head, and it nearly did me in.

But ultimately I rallied, and with enormous re-traumatizing effort and pain, I gathered the proof of what you did. I obtained a sworn affidavit from Jim Moore, and with sweat of blood, I finally prodded the church to sign an apology letter acknowledging your “very serious sexual abuse” of me and to send it by certified mail to all the churches where you had worked.

Did it make any difference? I don’t really know.

The Orlando Sentinel wrote that, when they began asking questions at one of your prior Florida churches, you resigned. But recently I noticed that, on your LinkedIn profile, you listed working as a “minister of preschool education, consultant” in “Southern Baptist churches” for a period that lasted four more years after that Orlando Sentinel article and after FBC-Farmers Branch sent out those certified letters and after the Baptist General Convention of Texas said that it had entered your name in its file of “known offenders.” That was pretty distressing for me to see. And I’ve wondered whether allowing you to work as a “consultant” was just another way for churches to help “hide” you by keeping you off church staff registries. In any event, not only did your ministerial career continue for decades after FBC-Farmers Branch knew about your abuse of me, but apparently it still continued even after I exposed you. No one in SBC life gave a hoot.

For years, you worked as a children’s minister at First Baptist of Atlanta, the church of former SBC president Charles Stanley. Did you tell the church about what you had done to me as a church girl in Farmers Branch? I’m betting you didn’t. But after all I’ve seen, I could also believe that the church knew and just didn’t care.

Various media outlets have written about your abuse of me, including the Austin American-Statesman, Ethics Daily, and the Christian Science Monitor. I also wrote a book about it. But despite my best efforts, there was never any significant reporting about it in Atlanta where you spent much of your career. That’s too bad because I think congregants who had kids under your ministerial care should know the truth about you.

How many other victims did you have? An anonymous woman once wrote me saying she had experienced something similar with you, and based on the time-frame she described, I figured it had probably happened when you were in Atlanta. She said you had apologized. But she also said that she too didn’t think you should be allowed to be a minister.

And what about Kaye Maher? All that sexual harassment stuff when you were at FBC-Oviedo in Florida? Did you ever apologize to her? Or was all of that just good-old-boys fun for you?

I sometimes wonder how I would feel if you were to apologize to me. Truthfully, I can’t even imagine it. I’ve lived with the calculated brutishness of what you did for a very long time.

I’ve noticed that, in your real estate business, you trade on your “45 years in the Ministry”as though that renders you trustworthy, and you claim to have “retired” from ministry. So I guess you don’t tell people that you actually had to resign from a church when questions were raised about your sexual abuse of a church kid.

I’ve also noticed that you named First Baptist Church of Orlando as a “church partner”for your real estate business. It certainly appears as though you received a great deal more support from Southern Baptists than I ever did.

And I nearly gagged when I saw your stated desire that, because of you, “every client will have a deeper understanding of God’s love.” Suffice it to say that I certainly did not gain a “deeper understanding of God’s love” from my interactions with you. To the contrary, I can hardly even bear to hear those words. For me, your version of “God’s love” was evil incarnate.

And so I’m still wondering … do you ever feel a shred of remorse? Are you even capable of remorse?

How would you feel if someone did to one of your grand-kids what you did to me? Does that thought ever cross your mind?

Still trying to understand,
Christa Brown


Thoughts on Christa’s story.

Christa was:

  • Abused in the SBC.
  • She documented the despicable number of SBC pastors caught in abuse.
  • She is well known to media and other advocates and survivors.
  • She is an attorney
  • She’s write a book on SBC abuse 10 years ago!
  • She has spent more years than most of the victims combined in speaking out against SBC abuse.
  • She did this alone, with little support, especially not from the SBC, which makes me feel sick.

So why isn’t Christa speaking?

  • Was it because she discussed the secret file of SBC offenders?
  • Was it because her SBC abuser is still around?
  • Was it because Charles Stanley is mentioned?
  • Was it because she would not meet alone with SBC leaders without a professional third party present to be sure the truth was told.
  • Was it because she documented abuser after abuser in the SBC? Is that awkward?
  • Was it because some of those folks mentioned on her website are still running around the SBC, being famous SBC leaders?
  • Was it because she named her abuser and he was in the SBC? Perhaps non-named abusers makes it more conformable for the leaders?

I would love to hear from anyone who has other ideas. I can say this for sure. Some survivors are acceptable and are designated to speak and others are not. I hope that survivors and speakers who are at the Caring Well conference will be able to find out why two of the more nationally well known SBC victims were not *designated* by the leadership to speak. I think it looks bad, really bad.

I’m sure Jules and Christa won’t mind me calling them *undesignated* survivors. They both got what I meant the first time around but then again, they’ve been out here in the trenches.

I leave you with this song. I think it may be time to bring back TWW’s Fellowship of the Wounded. We need one another.


Comments

Why Didn’t the SBC/ERLC/Caring Well Leadership *Designate* Survivors Jules Woodson and Christa Brown as Speakers? — 148 Comments

  1. I recalled your asking a similar question at the time:
    “I would love to hear from readers why they think the SBC couldn’t find space for the Rally, especially given such advance warning.”

    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2019/06/05/why-wont-southern-baptist-convention-leaders-allow-the-for-such-a-time-as-this-inside-the-convention-doors/

    I replied:

    Tthe fact that they had a 2018 rally means this wasn’t some surprise. If they wanted to hear from anyone, they’d make sure they were heard.

    Autocrats gonna autocrat. Controlling the message and optics is a spiffy priority in the business model version of the brave neo-SBC. Tweets from the lead priority setter combine with the recent JD Greear weather balloon on the role of women front and can serve as a wink and a nod to the enmeshed, the status climbers, and the “don’t wanna rock the boat crowd”.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  2. JDV,

    They did it this summer and now they are doiing it again at the Caring Well conference in another week. Why? Why not Christa and Jules? Both molested in SBC churches. by SBC pastors. Both have a national presence. Christa has written a book and I’m sure we will be seeing the same from Jules along with some other nationsl invitations. But, somehow, they just aren’t good enough for the SBC? ROFL. They have hit a nerve. I look forward to seeing which one or tow it is.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  3. dee,

    Which denomination did they go to to find a child abuse survivor? Any survivor that can speak publicly and educate the public, I’m all for them.

    But, as large as the SBC, they couldn’t find someone, even if it wasn’t Christa or Jules?

    I see this in particular as a redirect away from the SBC.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  4. dee:
    JDV,

    They did it this summer and now they are doiing it again at the Caring Well conference in another week. Why? Why not Christa and Jules? Both molested in SBC churches. by SBC pastors. Both have a national presence. Christa has written a book and I’m sure we will be seeing the same from Jules along with some other nationsl invitations. But, somehow, they just aren’t good enough for the SBC? ROFL. They have hit a nerve. I look forward to seeing which one or tow it is.

    Just as we see business enterprises rely on carefully curated messaging and narratives to the product buyers (as well as the stockholders), we saw the SBC roll out a response crafted behind closed doors and unveiled at the convention, despite legit efforts for other voices to be heard in a proper context.

    Just as many presumably fear inconvenient truths — largely about syatemic fails and prioritie$ other than truth, repentance, and victim care — to cloud the rollout, many figure to have the same concerns at future events and initiatives.

    There was never a satisfactory answer as to why the overtures prior to the 2018 convention resulted in a lack of event meeting space, no? This only adds to the notion that abuse victims who might challenge the narrative were presumably viewed as an impediment to the narrative rollout at such a time as that — which for them was a time of inconvenient headlines and scrutiny which threatened revenues streams.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  5. Too close to home.

    If their idea of dealing with sin is pointing the finger at someone else, well then, Jules and Christa will not serve them well.

    If their idea of leadership is cover-up and not fess up, again, they don’t want to acknowledge these two star witnesses with regard to what is happening under their watch in their enterprises.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  6. Two thousand years have passed but nothing has changed. The religious authority figures, leveraging God’s good name and making Him look like garbage by their Narcissistic ways, are still damn well serving their own evil desires just as much as ever. There was hell to pay then, and the Pharisees were massacred by the Romans in 70AD, and there still is today. There is a great storm coming and the brunt of it will hit our so called Narcissistic “Christian” celebrities and the Machs that are on their coattails. These are among the most evil men who ever lived. Men like Hitler did not pretend to be pious and good, they were what they were. But these snakes and white-washed septic tanks only care about their false public images and have no fear of God. And so the days of Ananias and Sapphira shall return. It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  7. Wow, dee. your unvarnished, unsweetened communication is like the freshest, cleanest, coolest Sierra air.

    the contrast is so striking — the insecure, self-interested scaredy-cat little boys in SBC leadership who want their powerful careers more than anything in this whole world.

    they would have made different choices if it were otherwise, and would be making different choices now. it couldn’t be more plain.

    i mean, self-interested-power-&-money-loving is as self-interested-power-&-money-loving does.

    dee, you put a lot into writing this (in light of the other $h|t you’re having to deal with). thank you many, many times over.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  8. christa brown, i am deeply sorry for what has happened to you. thank you many, many times over for your courageous stand you’ve taken. standing tall amongst shinking limp male leaders who stand for nothing because of what it will cost them.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  9. An hypothesis: perhaps victims of abuse who are unwilling to “keep it in the church” in terms of seeking redress (and who are unwilling to remain silent if unable to find redress while “keeping it in the church”) are unacceptable as “public faces” of the abused. They are not controllable?

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  10. From the post:
    “So, Challies did what the others did. They dreamed up an excuse for the inexcusable. He was able to pretend it was not up to him to do anything because he needed to stick to the gospel of good time management. I wonder. Will he be proud of this stance as life goes on? My guess is he will never think about it just like so many leaders rarely think about those who have moved on and away from church.”

    Ironically, Challies posted an article yesterday about the importance of a good conscience – https://www.challies.com/articles/its-all-about-the-conscience/

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  11. Brian: as large as the SBC, they couldn’t find someone, even if it wasn’t Christa or Jules?

    I suspect there might be capable and willing speakers to address the conference within the list of 700 victims noted by the Houston Chronicle.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  12. “The SBC hired *Armani Ronnie Floyd* (he’s actually called this by some) to take over the Executive Committee to *look into all of this stuff.*” (Dee)

    That position requires a telegenic leader with glitz and glamour; thus, they picked someone who had been trained in mega-maina for the job at hand. The office is just not befitting of a humble servant man of God from some obscure post within SBC.

    The last President/CEO of the Executive Committee resigned after moral failure … I wonder if that story will be told at the conference?

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  13. When bad things happen, people feel a need to differentiate themselves from victims: “That won’t happen to me because _______. OK, I feel safe learning more.”

    Larry Nasser, who abused Rachael Denhollander, was a physician, not a pastor. He is in prison, so we feel safe from him. Most of us are not Olympic gymnasts, so we can create a (false) sense of security by reassuring ourselves that These Things only happen in unusual situations.

    Thus Rachael can inform listeners without scaring them about safety at church—for good or ill. She has no control over listeners’ inner thoughts.

    To be very clear, I am not criticizing Rachael or any other survivor. We do what we can, and we cannot change the past.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  14. Dee, I think you are spot on about some pastors being secretly relieved when abuse victims quietly drift away. The same is often true with anyone else the pastor sees as causing trouble.

    Regarding those who no longer go to church, one difference between Lutheranism and Calvinism is the former’s teaching that genuine believers can fall away (and potentially come back again). The latter holds that anyone falling away was never regenerate to begin with. Because of this, I’ve wondered if Calvinistic doctrine isn’t perhaps the origin of “once saved always saved”. (Where saved = truly regenerate.) Not all people giving up on church cease to believe in Jesus of course, but I can see how a pastor could use OSAS to simply dismiss the person in question. Quite the contrast with the shepherd leaving the 99 to search for the 1 lost sheep.

    Not that I want to see the opposite extreme, where the pastor and elders go all Hotel California on somebody, but true pastoring seeks to care for the wounded without trampling on or abandoning them.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  15. Great commentary. I appreciate when you go all mama-bear on these “men of God.”

    It’s pathetic that these BIG ”FAITHFUL” “MEN OF GOD” run scared of two women.

    It shows they have no desire to clean house and unearth all the skeletons. It’s easier to stand on top of them and deny they exist,

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  16. JDV: There was never a satisfactory answer as to why the overtures prior to the 2018 convention resulted in a lack of event meeting space, no? This only adds to the notion that abuse victims who might challenge the narrative

    At first I had hoped they were gaping g to truly be open to the victims. The Caring Well material is good. However, part of caring well is to look in the mirror and face your own complicity in the matter of coverup. There are some leaders who need to do that and I mean some celebrity and named leaders who are involved in all of this.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  17. Ava Aaronson,

    Ava Aaronson: If their idea of leadership is cover-up and not fess up, again, they don’t want to acknowledge these two star witnesses with regard to what is happening under their watch in their enterprises.

    They do want to control the narrative. For example, Christa Brown was asked to have a meeting with them. She wanted to bring a professional outsider to witness the conversation. After all, she has been harmed by the SBC. Suddenly it was no go and no show.

    Why wouldn’t they allow a witness for a woman who was abused by the molester and then reabused by the SBC leadership, calling her all sorts of names? It seems to me that they have something to hide. Perhaps they were going to quiz her about her *faith*( to make sure she’s the *sign you church membership contract* type of woman? Forsue, there is something that they didn’t want said.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  18. I think of the quote, (I forgot sho said it) “Let my heart be broken. T things that break the heart of God.”
    I pray these leaders would humbly take responsibility to do right.
    May Jesus comfort and bless Jules and the other survivors.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  19. The first half of the 21st century isn’t any different than the first half of the 18th century. There were churches on the side of the antislavery movement. But, they wanted to take things sloooowly.

    In Friend’s post, she talked about people putting a mental buffer between them and the issue. For the nonsurvivors who do this, they prevent themselves from really addressing the issue.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  20. Ken F (aka Tweed): (Challies) is an elder in a New-Calvinist 9Marks church in Canada

    Grace Fellowship Church, Toronto, Ontario
    Pastor Paul Martin (B.A., The Master’s College; M.Div., The Master’s Seminary)

    https://www.gfcto.com/about/affiliations

    “we share John Piper’s convictions about the Bible’s teaching on God’s sovereignty, salvation, mission, suffering, and the way one should live the Christian life”

    “9Marks Ministries, founded by Pastor Mark Dever, pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC, has been formative in our understanding of how a church is to be governed”

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  21. dee: They do want to control the narrative. For example, Christa Brown was asked to have a meeting with them.

    They probably had Paige Patterson’s interview technique in mind … “break her down” … nip it in the bud, shut her mouth, cover it up.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  22. elastigirl,

    Thank you for saying that. These leaders are truly, as you said *scaredy cats* for avoiding have shade tossed in the laps where it belongs. Most of those leaders have been covering up for what they knew for years and they are still hiding. But they put out a curriculum, which looks fine, to direct attention away from them. They need to repent. Not generally but specifically. And they won’t. They like to pretend they are good guys.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  23. Friend: so we can create a (false) sense of security by reassuring ourselves that These Things only happen in unusual situations.
    Thus Rachael can inform listeners without scaring them about safety at church—for good or ill. She has no control over listeners’ inner thoughts.

    And it only happens to the “wrong people.”

    There is overlap between how churches react to sexual abuse in their own turf, and how schools handle bullying in their own schools, and how employers handle workplace bullying in their own workplace.

    And the bystanders in each situation, it’s usually the same: they feel safer if they can believe that the victim of the abuse did something to “ask for” or to “deserve” the abuse, because these bystanders think “that cannot and will never happen to me, because unlike the victim, I would never do X, Y, Z, or whatever else the victim did.”

    That is one of the psychological reasons behind that… I learned a lot of this stuff from reading a billion books on workplace abuse, bullying, domestic abuse and other such topics.

    People don’t want to believe being groped, harassed, raped, or bullied can ever happen to them
    – it can be scary to think about –
    so they chose to rationalize it as, “the victim surely must have done something to cause the abuse.”

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  24. Max: The last President/CEO of the Executive Committee resigned after moral failure … I wonder if that story will be told at the conference?

    Do you think a guy who’s made a bundle from the tithes of the faithful is going to irritate other leaders? There are many bodies birdied in this crowd and they don’t want the dead to rise.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  25. Friend: Thus Rachael can inform listeners without scaring them about safety at church—for good or ill. She has no control over listeners’ inner thoughts.
    To be very clear, I am not criticizing Rachael or any other survivor. We do what we can, and we cannot change the past.

    Absolutely. None of us are criticizing the victims who are speaking.This is not about them. It’s about the leadership and some other victims who have beeb strangely frozen out. I’m trying to figure out why. Icare about the victims, all victims. I’m speaking for them since they are not being listened by SBC leaders.

    However, I. do have this to say to the victims/survivors who are speaking. Please find out why Jules and Christa were not invited and tell the truth about that. If you can’t find that out, then ask why that is.

    I’ll have two more rejected survivors to consider on Monday. One of them I wrote about when I first started blogging.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  26. dee: They want predictable and clean.

    Certainly! So they chose the conference speakers carefully, knowing that the media and concerned bloggers would be looking in. SBC needs to improve its reputation on abuse and enhance its brand by appearing to be dealing with it. Controlling the narrative is key. I’m sure they will come out of this looking like they are taking the high road … but it will be “fake news” most likely.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  27. NJ,

    Great comment. I think that “once saved, always saved” got its fame by being included in the TULIP of today’s Calvinists.

    I think that my pastors at the Lutheran church would be understanding of those who drift. Actually, I know it is true since one of my pastors said something kind to a friend who visited the church, having left another church due to observing a poorly handled abuse situation. He nodded his head and said “There’s a lot of that going around these days.” Then he put his hand on his shoulder in a kindly way/

    I also think that today we all understand much better the effects of abuse trauma on a soul. So, someone sitting out of church due to abuse if very different than those who leave and say “I just don’t believe it anymore.”

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  28. Brian,

    Could you find that quote for me? I remember saying that some folks were not abused in the SBC which is true However most all of them are now in the SBC, particularly in the Reformed community of the Baptist church.

    In this post I tried to make the point that Christa and Jules were both molested in the SBC.The lead pastor when Jules was molested, Steve Bradley, is still a big shot in the SBC and he refuses to speak about it. And the Boyz don’t know what to do. It’s awkward!

    Now Christa documented all SBC pastors who molested or covered up molestation. Look on the front page of Stop Baptist Predators. Some of those guys are still tight with the leaders and are recognized as leaders.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  29. dee: Do you think a guy who’s made a bundle from the tithes of the faithful is going to irritate other leaders?

    If the SBC is ever going to experience a genuine revival and spiritual awakening, it will have to be led by men of God currently not in a leadership capacity within the denomination. I can take you to men of God (not preacher-boys) at SBC churches in my area … they are serving the Lord and their congregations faithfully … they are spiritual men who teach and equip the flock to do the work of the ministry … they serve in mini-church, not mega-church … they know the names of each church member (and their dogs) … they will live and die in obscurity, except among God’s people who know and love them … yep, they would be the best leaders of SBC for such a time as this, but SBC’s elite will never be privileged to know them or make room for them. There are two kingdoms within Southern Baptist life … the SBC Kingdom and God’s Kingdom … they often move on two different roads.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  30. Samuel Conner: They are not controllable?

    I think this is 100% the problem. Which is not to say that they are controlling the other survivors, but they know what the message is from them and can fit it into whatever framework they have, and if it isn’t directed at the SBC really that works better for them.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  31. Friend: When bad things happen, people feel a need to differentiate themselves from victims: “That won’t happen to me because _______. OK, I feel safe learning more.”

    I think some of it is ‘just world fallacy’. IE, if only i don’t drink, or watch what I wear and where I go i can protect myself from X. Which quickly morphs into ‘it is that persons fault that this happened, because if they had only been wiser it would not’.

    We know that’s a lie, but it’s a comforting and convincing one.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  32. from a previous thread…

    Jerome: Church of SBC bureaucrats Jonathan Howe (denomination’s new PR guy) and Augie Boto (its attorney) looking to ‘restore’ Senior Pastor Sam Boyd following ‘personal failing’

    UPDATE:

    Elders of prominent Nashville church Forest Hills Baptist finally admit to congregants the nature of their Senior Pastor’ departure:

    [This is the home church of newly hired SBC spokesman Jonathan Howe and the denomination’s longtime lawyer Augie Boto]

    http://eepurl.com/gDd3vn

    “In late July of 2019, some of the Elders received concerns from Sam’s daughters…[they’d] learned that Sam Boyd had engaged in inappropriate relationships with several women, in some instances of a sexual nature, both inside and outside of our church body dating back to 2016.”

    “Sam’s actions have disqualified him from being the pastor of Forest Hills Baptist Church.”

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  33. dee,

    “She was seriously hurt by the leaders in the SBC and the current Boyz know it”
    ++++++++++++++++

    boyz, publicly acknowledge this in the big way it deserves, take full responsibility, make restitution & reparations.

    take a stand, boyz, for what is right.

    for what is biblical, if you need to hear that word to be motivated.

    it will cost you and the organization. as it should.

    (it’s old news, but would a comprehensive list of who these boyz are be helpful, whether retired or not?)

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  34. dee,

    I misunderstood part of it. I’ll redirect my question. If this is to address abuse and rape within the SBC, why were not all of the speakers/survivors at this conference chosen based on having been members of the SBC at the time they were harmed?

    Like Max said, they have 700 to choose from.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  35. “Great comment. I think that “once saved, always saved” got its fame by being included in the TULIP of today’s Calvinists.”

    I suspect that would be the “reformedish” Calvinistic Baptists of the Gospel Coalition, etc. Scott Clark at Heidelblog has pointed out how they are not traditional Reformed in multiple areas. Michael Horton has critiqued the OSAS formulation as something not actually Reformed. Both are continental (Dutch) reformed, though they have a lot of affinity with traditional Presbyterians. Personally, I wish 1) that more leading lights of NAPARC would distance themselves from the GC bunch as not Reformed, and 2) that PCA pastors would quit quoting the likes of Piper from the pulpit.

    Anything the Gospel Coalition crowd has said or done that is true and good can be found elsewhere, and the questionable stuff I think is enough to warn people away from them. Especially their apparent refusal to learn from past mistakes and grave sins from those harmed on their watch.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  36. From the post:
    “This leg me to believe that getting the Founders president, Tom Ascol, elected as SBC President was far more important than victims since it is always and only about the gender thing. Get them women submitting and abuse will melt away. Problem solved!”

    According to Ascol, the real problem is lack of regenerate church membership and lack of church discipline:
    https://founders.org/2019/02/13/southern-baptists-sexual-abuse-and-a-far-more-serious-problem/:

    “Yes, churches need to take action to protect members from sexual abuse. However, if a church will not commit to guarding its membership and lovingly practicing discipline the Bible commands, then whatever steps it takes and however loudly it laments are little more than moral signaling and posturing.”

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  37. JDV,

    “There was never a satisfactory answer as to why the overtures prior to the 2018 convention resulted in a lack of event meeting space, no? ”
    ++++++++++++++++++

    well, Phillip Bethancourt took 5 1/2 weeks to respond to Ashley Easter’s email with the following:

    “From what I understand, the unusual facilities setup at the annual meeting means that there are space shortages. I know other people and groups have run into trouble with securing space. So, that would lead me to expect that the likelihood may be slim for the resource room.

    On the rally location, I am glad you were able to visit the site to get clarity on options As I mentioned, that decision (as well as resource room space allocation) is outside of my control…”

    who is Phillip Bethancourt?

    According to The Gospel Coalition: Phillip Bethancourt is executive vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission and assistant professor of Christian theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

    Perhaps he took some kind of stand behind the scenes. If so, it didn’t amount to anything.

    Does Phillip have any personal conviction on how his SBC colleagues put their hands over their eyes so they don’t have to see the inconvenient individuals who were sexually abused in SBC churches?

    He’s quiet about it. He has powerful jobs that give him great personal significance.
    .
    .
    Phillip Bethancourt, if you believe it is wrong for the SBC to ignore Christa Brown, Jules Woodson, and their fellow victims and advocates and pretend they don’t exist, how can you be strong and very courageous and take a public stand?

    (or is strong and very courageous rationalized away as something other people do who don’t have important jobs to protect, retirement wealth & all?)

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  38. From the post:
    “I wonder if any of those who were *oh so concerned* about Patterson statements (made in 2000 at a CBMW conference that some folks attended so they already knew about knew about it and did nothing) spoke out against him back then or did they just slap backs? Was it all too threatening for their ministry?”

    Here is part of a statement on abuse by CBMW:
    “Moral clarity requires us to confess what the Bible actually teaches. Biblical Christianity blesses, honors, and protects women and children. Anything else falls short of what God requires of us. And we dare not fall short here. The glory of God and our witness are at stake. Nothing is more important than that.” (https://cbmw.org/topics/complementarianism/a-time-for-moral-clarity/)

    So nothing is more important than reputation. According to this statement, the victims are irrelevant.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  39. Ken F (aka Tweed): “Yes, churches need to take action to protect members from sexual abuse. However, if a church will not commit to guarding its membership and lovingly practicing discipline the Bible commands, then whatever steps it takes and however loudly it laments are little more than moral signaling and posturing.”

    I’m not big on people trying to figure out who is ‘regenerate’ or not, but if any of these idiots took the time to try to figure out what abusers are really like, and weed them out, they would do a lot of good. The problem is they are really, really bad at that and you can’t trust them not to just throw the accusers out. Until THAT is fixed, all of these laments are little more than moral signaling and posturing.

    (and that’s not even getting into how they create abusive people by teaching them to treat others, like women, poorly. Read any thread about whether women should pastor and you will find a lot of people who clearly *despise* women)

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  40. Brian: members of the SBC at the time they were harmed?

    I believe the last two popes have met only with survivors of abuse in RCC institutions. If they expanded the scope, it could look like deflecting or finger pointing, and a severe case of People In Glass Houses.

    The main page for the Caring Well conference says, “The American church is facing an abuse crisis.” Ambitious scope, not pinpoint focused on problems within the SBC.

    https://erlc.com/upcoming-events/2019-erlc-national-conference

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  41. dee,

    Actually, it is another formulation of what Thomas Aquilas spoke of in his Summa Theologica (in which he references early church fathers – so it’s not a Reformation view really).
    “I answer that, God does reprobate some. For it was said above (A. 1) that predestination is a part of providence. To providence, however, it belongs to permit certain defects in those things which are subject to providence, as was said above (Q. 22, A. 2). Thus, as men are ordained to eternal life through the providence of God, it likewise is part of that providence to permit some to fall away from that end; this is called reprobation. Thus, as predestination is a part of providence, in regard to those ordained to eternal salvation, so reprobation is a part of providence in regard to those who turn aside from that end. Hence reprobation implies not only foreknowledge, but also something more, as does providence, as was said above (Q. 22, A. 1). Therefore, as predestination includes the will to confer grace and glory; so also reprobation includes the will to permit a person to fall into sin, and to impose the punishment of damnation on account of that sin.”

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  42. dee: I think that my pastors at the Lutheran church would be understanding of those who drift.

    Suffering can cause people to drift. I’m starting to think that God gives more weight to suffering than to following all the rules.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  43. Lea: The problem is they are really, really bad at that and you can’t trust them not to just throw the accusers out. Until THAT is fixed, all of these laments are little more than moral signaling and posturing.

    Agreed. The other big problem with Ascol’s article is how he glosses over the real problem: church leadership. From the Houston Chronicle article: “Ultimately, we compiled information on roughly 400 credibly accused officials in Southern Baptist churches, including pastors, deacons, Sunday school teachers and volunteers.”

    Ascol makes it sound like the problem is with pewpeons. He completely glossed over the real problem.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  44. elastigirl,

    Phillip, if you’re reading, I apologize for the last part of my question to you.

    to sort of rephrase:

    it is plain wrong for the SBC to ignore victims (who represent an inconvenient truth) whose abuse was perpetrated or enabled by your colleagues, your fellow Southern Baptist leaders. To pretend that these victims (& their advocates) don’t exist.

    Especially while actively promoting the likes of Matt Chandler, and refusing to hold any leader accountable who is high profile and high revenue-generating.

    surely you feel some conviction about the inherent wrong being done here.

    in speaking to your colleagues and your superiors, do you ever say, “This is egregiously wrong. This can’t continue.”?

    (or there’s always “this half-@$$ed effort makes us every bit the flaccid hypocrite people think we are.”)

    Phillip, in the positions you’re in, how can you actively use your influence for what is right? not merely going in the right direction, but taking a stand on what is right, and what is wrong.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  45. Ken F (aka Tweed),

    “Moral clarity requires us to confess what the Bible actually teaches. Biblical Christianity blesses, honors, and protects women and children. Anything else falls short of what God requires of us. And we dare not fall short here. The glory of God and our witness are at stake. Nothing is more important than that.”

    So nothing is more important than reputation. According to this statement, the victims are irrelevant.
    +++++++++++++++

    ha… keep quoting the party line because God needs us to look good.

    as if i need to be protected….

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  46. Ken F (aka Tweed): Ironically, Challies posted an article yesterday about the importance of a good conscience – https://www.challies.com/articles/its-all-about-the-conscience/

    A point that Paul makes (I think it’s in 1 Cor 4) is that the fact that one’s conscience does not accuse oneself does not mean that one is guiltless.

    Sociopaths tend to have perfectly clear consciences, their consciences being basically non-functional.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  47. Haven’t read comments yet, so don’t know if this already mentioned.

    Matt Chandler, under fire for mis-handling sex abuse situation, has written a book about sex abuse and church . Apparently ignores own church. Apparently going to be major speaker at church meeting about sex abuse.

    Blogs that view most Christians as hypocrites or basically mean people are having a field day over this.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  48. dee: Some of those guys are still tight with the leaders and are recognized as leaders.

    This is why SBC leaders don’t want to desk with Christa. It only makes them cowards, of course. And it continues the abuse by leadership. It’s awful for Christa and they continue to be unable to get over themselves and care for the abused.

    You are brave, Christa.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  49. Brian: Sorry, I meant the 19th century, the 1800s.

    Evangelicals like to point out how British Evangelicals like William Wilberforce and Hannah More began agitating for stopping the slavery portion of the triangular trade that had made Britain rich. (I am not downing these people, they stood up at a time when Britain made LOTS of money from Britain selling goods to West Africa in exchange for slaves, and then slaves in the West Indies in exchange for rum, sugar and other products.) However, they don’t ever mention the American Quakers like Benjamin Lay and John Woolman who were abolitionists in the middle of the 1700s, a good four or five dcecades before Wilberforce or More. I don’t know if it it’s the “not Evangelical” part that scares Evangelicals, or that the Quaker radicals went all the way to abolition, not merely to stopping the slave trade. I don’t know enough about the period and the politics to say. However, I will say that Benjamin Lay was *definitely* an acquired taste. He was quite radical and got read out of more than one Quaker meeting for his demonstrations.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  50. Friend,

    What a bunch of hypocrites. The SBC is the ones with the log in their eye.

    I hope the press is taking detailed notes and then going back the Houston Chronicle articles.

    Will there be a rally outside the conference?

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  51. Brian: There were churches on the side of the antislavery movement.

    And a denomination that was pro-slavery; the Southern Baptist Convention was founded by Calvinist slaveholders. It took the SBC 150 years to repent of their racial roots – at its annual meeting in 1995. Those early Southern Baptists truly believed that sovereign God was on their side in the Civil War, until early Confederate victories turned to defeat. Following the War, the SBC distanced itself from the Calvinistic theology of their founders and remained distinctly non-Calvinist in belief and practice for 150 years … until Al Mohler.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  52. Ken F (aka Tweed): If Challies wants to be taken seriously about conscience he should own up to his public refusal to appropriately address the Mahaney scandal.

    I think his conscience is dead concerning this issue. He found it quite easy to publicly support Mahaney. He’s been silent since.

    I won’t be listening to Challies’ blustering until he has a conscience.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  53. Ken F (aka Tweed): However, if a church will not commit to guarding its membership and lovingly practicing discipline the Bible commands, then whatever steps it takes and however loudly it laments are little more than moral signaling and posturing.”

    So untrue. Calling the police when someone is sexually abused would just be moral signaling and posturing under this description.

    Fools.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  54. Friend,

    This just came to me. The ERLC, is it just copying what GRACE does? Because the advertisement talks about a ppastor needing to show up for this to learn to fight abuse in the church, in general. Also, didn’t GRACE have their big conference, which was also live streamed?

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  55. Max,

    And a denomination that was pro-slavery; the Southern Baptist Convention was founded by Calvinist slaveholders. It took the SBC 150 years to repent of their racial roots – at its annual meeting in 1995. Those early Southern Baptists truly believed that sovereign God was on their side in the Civil War, until early Confederate victories turned to defeat. Following the War, the SBC distanced itself from the Calvinistic theology of their founders and remained distinctly non-Calvinist in belief and practice for 150 years … until Al Mohler.

    I did not then and do not now believe the SBC repented of their racial roots.IMO it was a PR move=period. How many people of color work for the SBC? What percentage?

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  56. Lea: I think some of it is ‘just world fallacy’. IE, if only i don’t drink, or watch what I wear and where I go i can protect myself from X.

    During my first prostate cancer scare, I encountered a variant of that:

    “You eat meat, don’t you? You Got Cancer because YOU ATE MEAT!”

    Naturally, this was from a Vegan, waving their Veganism as a Magick Shield against my cancer cooties.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  57. Wow, very well written to back up your position. And something I recognized about Patterson from the get go. Abused women staying with their husbands and “submitting” and looking out for older teenage girls is COMMON mainstream conservative evangelicalism thought. Every 9Marks church believes in the former, there’s always something about unbiblical divorces in the contracts. Matt Chandler met Lauren when he was 23 and she was 17 so he was clearly identifying underaged teenage girls as “built”. When will Beth Moore be petitioning for his personal destruction?

    This whole thing has become: JD Greear and Russell Moore will save the day on behalf of the attractive female abuse survivors, whose lives turned out fairly successful anyway, from the relatively small abuse problem within the Arminian and Trump-supporting wings of the SBC, that no one knew about until the Chronicle article.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  58. “Some of today’s power brokers attended the dedication of Patterson Hall at SEBTS. I wonder if any of those who were *oh so concerned* about Patterson statements (made in 2000 at a CBMW conference that some folks attended so they already knew about knew about it and did nothing) spoke out against him back then or did they just slap backs? Was it all too threatening for their ministry?

    Back then, I was a bit naive. I wondered why everyone didn’t see what I saw. Now, Dee has been taken to school. Patterson was not part of the inner crowd nor did he adhere to some of their doctrinal slants. His SWBTS wasn’t doing so hot with the numbers either. So, he was a convenient pawn to demonstrate (this should be said with a loud voice) “We support victims.”“

    Bingo. Glad you see it. They set up a false dilemma for their own protection. Get rid of Patterson to show we dealt with the problem. Note how Mahaney was left out of all that. . So then the narrative became if you pointed out what they are ignoring about themselves (that was worse than Patterson’s stupid words!) you are defending Patterson! A typical projection with gaslighting tactics. Then one was put in the pro Patterson camp. It was intellectually dishonest and served to protect a lot of guilty but “important” people. But it was part of the SBC rebranding strategy. A lot of people fell for it. So, the phoniness continues and the more clever and diabolical people win. Again. They always do.

    Truth is there are no good “sides”. And I include Wade and Ben Cole in that. Wade outed a victim without her permission to seek revenge on Patterson for what he did to him at IMB. (His blog was full of it but not much on Mohler, etc.) Otherwise, he would have respected her need not to go public at that time. It’s in her own legal testimony

    . Victim stuff is a tricky business. I have been thrilled that the horrors have been getting out to the public but at the same time, it doesn’t always go the way we want. We can’t force people. We can’t make leaders like Moore, Mohler, etc, decent honorable men. We can report crime to the authorities and help victims become strong but beyond that? We can always walk away as church is voluntary, thank God. Most of it is corrupted, IMO.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  59. Lydia: “… the phoniness continues and the more clever and diabolical people win. Again. They always do. Truth is there are no good “sides” …”

    One does not achieve SBC elite status with a good side. Godliness and holiness are not traits that position Southern Baptists to national leadership roles … crafty deceivers with a touch of charisma and a gift of gab get those spots. The big-boys all have dirt on each other and choose carefully when to sling it to accomplish their agenda. Sad to see a once-great evangelistic denomination end this way.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  60. Bridget: I think his conscience is dead concerning this issue. He found it quite easy to publicly support Mahaney. He’s been silent since.

    I won’t be listening to Challies’ blustering until he has a conscience.

    A thought that has been percolating in my thinking for a while (and that has occasionally surfaced in prior comments) is that one might be able to interpret some of the “features” of current trends in the churches as forms of “assortative association” based on cognitive styles or other psychological traits.

    From my reading(admittedly limited, primarily Martha Stout’s “The Sociopath Next Door”), sociopaths are not utterly lacking in any conscience at all, but for them that mental function is more “procedural” or “computational” than “affective” or “felt”. “Normal” (or perhaps “population norm”) conscience “feels bad” when one believes one has done something wrong. Sociopaths don’t seem to experience this (or experience as strongly); they rely more on lists of rules — which can come from anywhere (the Bible, or other holy books, or external social expectations, contracts, etc).

    Stout makes the point that the upper reaches of organizations tend to be “enriched” (above the roughly 4% incidence in the general population) in people with these traits — they are more willing to do whatever it takes to rise to positions of power.

    Just thinking out loud — what would happen in an organization run by people who didn’t “feed bad” when they did bad things, and whose internal understanding of “right and wrong” was defined by lists of permitted and forbidden behaviors?

    One would see lots of questionable behavior (that would “feel bad” to normal conscience) that was justifiable as “technically righteous” because it did not transgress the list of forbidden behaviors (in years past I saw a bit of this in elder chicanery involving things that were IMO really iffy but were technically permitted by the denominational “book of church order”).

    I think that these organizations might tend to become rules-dominated themselves, the leaders imposing their understanding of how people regulate their behavior on everyone else. These organizations might tend to become external-constraint controlled rather than internal-constraint controlled. It would have an oppressive, top-down feel to it.

    Perhaps there’s some validity to this thought, and perhaps it helps a little to understand some of the transformations we see in the churches.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  61. With respect to the OP by Dee. As HUG would say, it is about “purity of doctrine/message”. SBC leadership is just a bunch of power hungry men playing out a game of Thrones, and there “power” is their specific doctrine/message. Hence, only people that will say exactly what the “current powers that be” want get to play.

    I have seen this over, and over, and over in my 50 yrs plus in the church. Who ever is currently in power defines the specific doctrine… and anyone that does not toe that specific line ( dot their “i” and cross your “t”).

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  62. Max,

    “One does not achieve SBC elite status with a good side. Godliness and holiness are not traits that position Southern Baptists to national leadership roles … crafty deceivers with a touch of charisma and a gift of gab get those spots. The big-boys all have dirt on each other and choose carefully when to sling it to accomplish their agenda.

    Sad to see a once-great evangelistic denomination end this way.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++

    so, it used to be good. great, even. i presume even then there were SBC elite. People who rose to the top to lead and make decisions.

    from what you’re describing, i assume these people were expressly not

    “crafty deceivers with a touch of charisma and a gift of gab get those spots. The big-boys all have dirt on each other and choose carefully when to sling it to accomplish their agenda.”

    so, the SBC had survived and thrived in the past for a long time without the destructive scuzz.

    -what did they do differently then?

    -what changed?

    -what things changed in the greater culture that were perhaps catalysts to the change with the SBC?
    —————————-

    i’m on a quest to put together my thesis on why i’ve opted out of the institution (which i also see as inherently corrupt, ultimately).

    well, it’s becoming a necessity — at least one person in my long-time prayer group which i started many years ago is ‘concerned about me’ — i surmise that she is wondering if i’m a dangerous person to be aligned with.

    i know from experience that one of the next steps could be talking to others in the group and fomenting enough fear of me that many leave and start their own prayer group.

    (i love my prayer group — it’s the most productive spiritual thing, and full of friendship and mutual support. it would be a huge loss to me.

    nothing like religion, christian or otherwise, to mess up honest and good friendship.)

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  63. Jeffrey Chalmers,

    Jeffrey Chalmers:
    With respect to the OP by Dee.As HUG would say, it is about “purity of doctrine/message”. SBC leadership is just a bunch of power hungry men playing out a game of Thrones, and there “power” is their specific doctrine/message.Hence, only people that will say exactly what the “current powers that be” want get to play.

    I have seen this over, and over, and over in my 50 yrs plus in the church. Who ever is currently in power defines the specific doctrine… and anyone that does not toe that specific line ( dot their “i” and cross your “t”).

    I have often wondered if the issues or innerancy and women in the ministry were manufactured by some in the SBC to reduce the leadership pool?

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  64. Brian:
    Muslin, fka Dee Holmes,

    Was it John Woolman who was beaten and harassed for his views when he traveled the southern part of the U.S.?

    I don’t believe so. He was unyielding in his beliefs, but gentle and peaceful in their expression and was received in that spirit.

    By 1783, (100 years before the Civil War) virtually all Quakers in North America had freed their slaves and stopped trading in slavery.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  65. mot,

    Jeffrey Chalmers: “…only people that will say exactly what the “current powers that be” want get to play.”

    Mott: “I have often wondered if the issues or innerancy and women in the ministry were manufactured by some in the SBC to reduce the leadership pool?”
    +++++++++++++++++

    well, at this point, is there much we can put past them?

    I put all the ‘statements’ in the same category. The Danvers Statement, The Nashville Statement, etc).

    Diabolically by design. People who did not sign were suddenly viewed as suspect. non-thinking christians get on the bandwagon, grab their pitchforks. Potentially career-destroying, life-destroying.

    how many signed under duress? (if their conscience speaks and they are able to hear it, they can always seek to remove their signature.)

    i marvel at how the-ends-justifies-the-means is so easily rationalized in the SBC, in christian culture. since religion is what we make of it, in christianity itself.
    .
    .
    *well-known christian powerbrokers quietly making threats to destroy careers
    —–
    (search Carl Truman, “In The End It All Comes Down To This”)
    .
    .
    *seminarian’s career destruction, threats, explosives on his front porch requiring police escort for his kids
    ——
    (search Ralph Elliot; Against the Wind: The Moderate Voice in Baptist Life, Carl Kell; ANATOMY OF A SCHISM: HOW CLERGYWOMEN’S NARRATIVES INTERPRET THE FRACTURING OF THE SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION, Eileen Renee Campbell-Reed)
    ——————-

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  66. mot,

    The “doctrine of inerrancy” has quite a history, and has been used as a “club” or “stake to burn someone on” for a long time…..
    One could same the same for the various creeds, but it seems that “doctrine of inerrancy” is ob a different “level”..

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  67. elastigirl,

    My independent, fundamentalist Baptist church and schools taught me well how to apply different “doctrinal purity” tests to others….. in fact I would say that is a major focus … the irony, they do apply Christ’s and Paul’s teaching that if you don’t have “love”…. it all means nothing…

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  68. Brian: Was it John Woolman who was beaten and harassed for his views when he traveled the southern part of the U.S.?

    So far as I know, no. He lived in the 1700s and died just before the Revolutionary War. Southerners didn’t get nasty about their Peculiar Institution until after the founding of the USA.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  69. Jeffrey Chalmers,

    “the irony, they do apply Christ’s and Paul’s teaching that if you don’t have “love”…. it all means nothing…”
    +++++++++++++

    preposterous

    amazing, how religion causes one to no longer be able to comprehend ‘treating others the way you would want to be treated’.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  70. mot,

    from the books you’ve read, do you thoughts on these questions?

    -what did the SBC and its leaders do differently in the past (prior to the conservative takeover)?

    -what changed?

    -what things changed in the greater culture that were perhaps catalysts to the change with the SBC?

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  71. ION: Athletics

    So, another national record for Blighty’s Dina Asher-Smith – but she had to cede the world title to 32-year-old Jamaican legend Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who won with a 10.71 clocking. Bronze for Marie-Josee Ta Lou of Cote d’Ivoire.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  72. mot: I have often wondered if the issues or innerancy and women in the ministry were manufactured by some in the SBC to reduce the leadership pool?

    It certainly does limit the competition. From my outsider’s perspective, these guys express highly uniform beliefs, have wives and children, live quite lavishly, and come from a small selection of educational institutions. They also tend to be of European extraction.

    When a group is that uniform, it remains wonderfully unaware of anybody else’s abilities. It has a teeny tiny comfort zone and tends to get wildly hysterical when confronted by scandalous ideas like women preaching, or calling the cops on assailants. This week the sky was falling because Beth Moore dared suggest that Jesus has higher authority than Paul…

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  73. Jeffrey Chalmers,

    Jeffrey Chalmers:
    mot,

    The “doctrine of inerrancy” has quite a history, and has been used as a “club” or “stake to burn someone on” for a long time…..
    One could same the same for the various creeds, but it seems that “doctrine of inerrancy” is ob a different “level”..

    If you would not say that you believed in innerancy you would be accused of not believing the Bible. If you were a Pastor, etc. any jobs were no longer available to you in the SBC. In every since these people were secretly black balled.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  74. elastigirl:
    mot,

    from the books you’ve read, do you thoughts on these questions?

    -what did the SBC and its leaders do differently in the past (prior to the conservative takeover)?
    The conventions were not political.

    -what changed?

    The Fundamentalist had a plan to gain more than 50% control of the convention through committee appointments of their people.

    -what things changed in the greater culture that were perhaps catalysts to the change with the SBC?

    Women were being allowed to get their Master’s degrees in seminary and some were even encouraged to study to be pastors. The Fundamentalist stirred this up as not lining up with the submission of women and a violation of 1 Timothy 12.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  75. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes: all the way to abolition

    Some of these denominational struggles are fairly well known, others less so, since some denominations later ceased to exist. I’ve read the records of a Methodist Protestant congregation that tried a member for breaking the church’s rule on slave holding. He was given time to comply but refused. That must have been exceedingly unpleasant for absolutely everyone, in a large congregation that had a lot of members from very humble backgrounds.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  76. oh my word… once again, christian culture outdoes itself on continually breaking the record for the stupidest thing i’ve ever heard.

    churchleaders.com tells everyone which christians to follow — simply because they’re popular — because “we feel strongly that these people can help you with leadership and worldview.”

    “This Top 100 Christian leaders to follow on Twitter list was put together by our editorial team using a combination of metrics including Hubspot.com, our own personal algorithm and a little editorial energy. In general, the rating system we used took into account the number of followers, the power of followers and the number of updates”
    .
    .
    ok, it’s settled. there will be no returning to the institution.

    https://churchleaders.com/pastors/pastor-articles/165262-brian-orme-top-100-christian-leaders-to-follow-on-twitter.html

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  77. Friend: This week the sky was falling because Beth Moore dared suggest that Jesus has higher authority than Paul…

    I was not following this week’s issue with Beth Moore, but I have recently been confronted with it. I cannot ever remember a time in my adult Christian life when I did not believe that all of the letters in the NT must be interpreted through the gospels. And this primacy of the gospels is reflected in liturgical churches that stand for the gospel readings but not for the OT and epistle readings. But I’ve recently run across people who insist that the words of Paul have the same authority as the words of Jesus, and that the gospels have no more importance than the letters of Paul. The people who push this dismiss all church tradition to the contrary. I don’t know where this comes from.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  78. elastigirl: churchleaders.com tells everyone which christians to follow

    The new trend in Christianity seems to be learning how to not learn. All the popular sites tell everyone what to think or know about just about everything. It’s as if there is some kind of race to the bottom, where true holiness is measured by how well one can group-think. I am hoping this is just an appearance that does not reflect reality. But I am having doubts.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  79. Friend,

    The link you sent me from the SBC, for this conference, paraphrasing it said that pastors would learn how to spot and deal with predators. It wasn’t a mea culpa of recognizing past failures in this area and what they come up with.

    GRACE trains churches to handle the same thing.

    Boz and his people come to your church.

    The SBC’s advertisement is all Las Vegas style, and as Ishy told of her experience, they use these conferences to push their latest books.

    An honest, and not a rhetorical question, is the SBC just recreating the wheel?

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  80. Brian: is the SBC just recreating the wheel?

    Sorry, I’ve been traveling and am even slower on the uptake than usual. But I really don’t know much about the SBC or GRACE. If GRACE has a good approach that can be adapted, maybe that’s helpful.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  81. elastigirl: well, it’s becoming a necessity — at least one person in my long-time prayer group which i started many years ago is ‘concerned about me’ — i surmise that she is wondering if i’m a dangerous person to be aligned with.

    I’ve been thinking about this. How rotten.

    Long ago my own prayer group came apart at a time of great strain in the congregation. I still miss the activity and members but not the crazy disagreements. We did not have the skill to bring issues to the surface and settle them in a calm way. We also did not have the skill to overlook differences.

    I hope your group can do something besides whisper and tiptoe out.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  82. Friend,

    Isn’t it the hyperdispensationalist that view Paul’s letters as more enforceable (sorry, I couldn’t come up with a better word)?

    Having been a shut-in, off and on, for the past few years, I watched Les Feldick’s program on TV. He viewed the Four Gospels as more Old Testament. He also viewed First and Second Peter, James, and Jude as more Jewish books, not as applicable to Christians.

    I learned watching his program, but his view on those books seemed odd. And this was during when I was attending an IFB denominational church.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  83. Friend,

    thank you so much for you concern. that’s so sweet of you.

    The group is inherently very eclectic. charismatic, non-denominational-baptisty, non-denominational-pentecostaly, lutheran, catholic, orthodox,…

    we make it a point to be flexible and focus on what we agree on. some people cross themselves. some people pray silently in tongues. some people pray scripted prayers. some go on and on (although trying to keep it brief), some are extremely brief with just 5 or 6 words. some pray in their home language (russian, arabic, chinese dialect). some never utter a word.

    but to this one person, it seems church attendance is something to be less flexible about, and she seems very wary all of a sudden. behind her smiles, it’s almost like she wonders if i’m a soviet spy, a dangerous traitor. I suspect she’s talking to people at her church about what to do. don’t know how hyper her church is.

    hoping for reasonable common sense all round.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  84. elastigirl,

    i’m not a mainstream person… but i can pretend. or at least tamp down. i’m doing my best to conduct myself in a mainstream way when our prayer group meets. focussing on the main things, the important things.

    (sure wish religion didn’t make people so scaredy-catty. as if the God of the universe had only way to do everything… a ridiculous thought. it’s great to be open.)

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  85. Brian,

    just a prayer group. although there’s talk of incorporating a bible study. which would be great. i think. not sure to what degree i’ll have to tamp down my perspectives.

    …goodness, at the moment i don’t feel like i belong anywhere in christianworld. if it’s not toe-curlingly stupid or toxic-ly tyrannical, it’s one big minefield.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  86. I see it as the SBC is making a big commercial advertisement for their brand. They stuck their finger in the air to see which way the wind is blowing and realized that promoting themselves as caring about victims would look good to potential future tithing units. Unfortunately, the actual victims didn’t pass casting. Not the right image they want to promote. Those who did pass casting? They’ll drop them without a thought if they don’t remain useful.

    It all makes perfect sense when you realize it isn’t about God or actual faith.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  87. Ken F (aka Tweed): The new trend in Christianity seems to be learning how to not learn. All the popular sites tell everyone what to think or know about just about everything. It’s as if there is some kind of race to the bottom, where true holiness is measured by how well one can group-think. I am hoping this is just an appearance that does not reflect reality. But I am having doubts.

    I’m not sure how new it really is, but I think you explained the evangelical mind really well. It’s just moved from old style media to new. It’s so good to step out of the bubble and realize you can breathe and think and reason!

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  88. Ken F (aka Tweed),

    “It’s as if there is some kind of race to the bottom, where true holiness is measured by how well one can group-think. I am hoping this is just an appearance that does not reflect reality. But I am having doubts.”
    +++++++++++++++++

    i think that’s about right.

    if you don’t think like the group, you’re branded with some scarlet letter. probably H for heretic.

    so, people are afraid of not fitting in, professional christians are afraid of losing their jobs and/or the esteem of others,…

    and the powerbrokers who tell everyone what to think, are they afraid or just giddy with power?

    if afraid, what are they afraid of?

    or perhaps it’s all about monetizing faith more and more, and building brands with brand loyalty.

    boy, that sure sounds like Jesus.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  89. Ken F (aka Tweed): But I’ve recently run across people who insist that the words of Paul have the same authority as the words of Jesus, and that the gospels have no more importance than the letters of Paul. The people who push this dismiss all church tradition to the contrary. I don’t know where this comes from.

    I know some believe that Jesus, coming to the Jews as the old testament Messiah, was still speaking an old testament message aimed at the Israelites. Based on Galatians 1, they believe that the risen Jesus appeared to Paul and taught him one-on-one for 3 years in the desert. So they feel that Paul’s message is really the risen Jesus’ message, which is specifically for the new testament church, as opposed to for Israel. Once they see things in this light, it seems to become easy to forget the character, words and lessons of the earthly Jesus and supplant them with Paul’s, “in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.”

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  90. elastigirl: and the powerbrokers who tell everyone what to think, are they afraid or just giddy with power?

    if afraid, what are they afraid of?

    Afraid of people finding out the truth, that they are just the little men behind the curtain.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  91. Samuel Conner: Perhaps there’s some validity to this thought, and perhaps it helps a little to understand some of the transformations we see in the churches.

    Frankly, I think you have put the whole thing in a nutshell, very well.

    And the irony, that these persons are in the position to teach others about conscience and faith and God, is just… rich.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  92. SiteSeer: Based on Galatians 1, they believe that the risen Jesus appeared to Paul and taught him one-on-one for 3 years in the desert.

    What? I never hear this. I will have to do research.

    My understanding on Paul is that his letters are older than the Gospels? That and there being so specifically directed at churches and very rulesy is probably why they get such focus

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  93. SiteSeer: I see it as the SBC is making a big commercial advertisement for their brand. They stuck their finger in the air to see which way the wind is blowing and realized that promoting themselves as caring about victims would look good to potential future tithing units.

    Certainly, the New Calvinists (the current reigning party in SBC) saw this cause as an opportunity to paint a picture that they are taking the high road. They will use it as another reason to push traditional SBC belief and practice aside, where all those awful abusers live. The new tribe will appear squeaky clean and a champion of the abused … while SBC congregations should be concerned about all the young reformed flesh babies coming their way. It’s just another spin game by the Mohlerites.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  94. Ken F (aka Tweed): “… all of the letters in the NT must be interpreted through the gospels …” VS. ” … people who insist that the words of Paul have the same authority as the words of Jesus, and that the gospels have no more importance than the letters of Paul …”

    Therein lies the essential difference in a traditional view of Scripture (Gospel) vs. New Calvinist presentation of Scripture (another gospel).

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  95. SiteSeer: t’s so good to step out of the bubble and realize you can breathe and think and reason!

    Just to show how low TGC has stooped, here is their lead article today: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/conscience-in-the-workplace/

    What might happen in our places of work if we sought, with God’s help, to keep a clear and healthy conscience?

    What planet do these folks live on that they think they need to tell Christians to follow their consciences at work, as if it is some kind of a breakthrough idea? But then again, it could be pretty radical for folks in TGC. What we really need is for them to put out something soon telling us whether or not Christians should look both ways before crossing the street.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  96. SiteSeer: Once they see things in this light, it seems to become easy to forget the character, words and lessons of the earthly Jesus and supplant them with Paul’s

    Very interesting. I had not yet stunbled across that theory.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  97. Ken F (aka Tweed),

    “What we really need is for them to put out something soon telling us whether or not Christians should look both ways before crossing the street.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++

    you’re funny!

    perhaps they could include a little motivating song with a big purple and green dinosaur mascot.

    good grief and for squids’ sake… they should meet my muslim friends who have the strongest of character. they simply don’t permit themselves otherwise. their 9-year old daughter and 11-year old son could teach them lessons about a clear and healthy conscience.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  98. Ken F (aka Tweed): … tell Christians to follow their consciences at work … could be pretty radical for folks in TGC …

    Yes, the new reformers need to be reminded of this! Many of them are approaching antinomian in moral belief and practice. I’ve not seen many accusations of “Christlikeness” within New Calvinist ranks.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  99. Ken F (aka Tweed),

    Two things I see reading his article:

    1. I Cor. 8:7; his application of this verse made no sense. That whole section is an answer to the Christians eating meat, that had been offered to pagan idols, being later sold in the market. New Christians there in Corinth were afraid the meat contained evil spirits. Paul was saying that wasn’t the case and to go ahead and eat the meat. But, he also said that a more mature Christian, who would eat the meat, not to push a baby Christian to do the same, causing them worry. Today, a new Christian would only need to read the Scriptures to help relieve that worry if a similar issued occurred.

    He made it sound bad to have those feelings.

    2. He basically to Colin Smith’s article, who he quotes, used it as a template, and added new examples.

    Otherwise, if his goal was to write to an audience of new Christians, it’s fine.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  100. Brian: Colin Smith’s article

    Which is even more ridonkulous, as it implies that Christians are the only people in the world who have consciences. That’s actually a dangerous belief, dehumanizing all non-Christians and all self-described Christians who are Not Exactly Like Me.

    Christianity does not need to claim a trademark on every human quality. We can afford to give God a little more credit than that.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  101. Brian: Otherwise, if his goal was to write to an audience of new Christians, it’s fine.

    But why did he feel compelled to write anything at all? Is there really a such a crisis in evangelicalism that new believers would not think about their consciences until told to do so? Also, he did not indicate his guidance was just for new Christians. I suspect that writers like this are way too insulated in their bubbles. Even more shocking is the demand signal that stimulates this steady supply of nonsense.

    Hmmm, should Christians wash their hands after using the toilet? Can someone please help me know what to do?

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  102. Leslie: https://sports.yahoo.com/southern-baptists-ready-put-spotlight-143334311.html

    “Megan Lively of Wilson, North Carolina, says she’s been solidly supported by SBC leaders since identifying herself as a key figure in a 2003 sexual-assault incident that contributed to last year’s ouster of the Rev. Paige Patterson as president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.”

    It should be noted that current “SBC leaders” are New Calvinists. I’m not a Patterson fan (what he did was god-awful), but he was a vocal opponent to the New Calvinist takeover of the SBC. This stinks to high heaven with theopolitics. The new boys are taking the high road against all those ole boys who have been on the low road (that’s the picture they are painting). Of course, abuse knows no theological boundaries … there are bad-boys across the church spectrum; New Calvinism has had its share.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  103. Friend,

    “Christianity does not need to claim a trademark on every human quality. We can afford to give God a little more credit than that.”
    ++++++++++++++

    ha… to some degree, christianity worships christianity.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  104. elastigirl: (i love my prayer group — it’s the most productive spiritual thing, and full of friendship and mutual support. it would be a huge loss to me.

    nothing like religion, christian or otherwise, to mess up honest and good friendship.)

    I am truly saddened to hear this.
    It sounds like you guys have common ground in the things you pray about, a common soil made of a common humanity.

    I sincerely believe that when something like that is compromised because of religious and doctrinal differences that don’t mean a damn thing, the devil cackles with delight.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  105. Max,

    Some of these survivors are new kids on the block. Yes, Megan got taken care of and deservedly so. The boys had decided to go after Patterson and she was at the right place at the right time. I can assure you if it had been one of the gospel™ boys, she would have gotten the boot.

    See tonight post.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  106. Ken F (aka Tweed): What we really need is for them to put out something soon telling us whether or not Christians should look both ways before crossing the street.

    With every sentence backed up with multiple SCRIPTURE(TM) proof texts?

    A lot of Christians won’t even turn over in bed unless they have specific SCRIPTURE(TM) to quote regarding it.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  107. dee: I can assure you if it had been one of the gospel™ boys, she would have gotten the boot.

    Oh yeah, the new reformers protect their own to the very end. Consider Mahaney … Mohler didn’t start distancing himself from his bud until the Houston Chronicle articles put a spotlight on him … sad thing is, Mahaney is still in an SBC pulpit.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  108. Stan: The author makes $125000 for 30 hours a week to suggest that Christians should comply with sexual harassment policies and not scream at subordinates.

    This explains the need for articles about how to use a conscience.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

Leave a comment - Click here for our commenting rules

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