Paxton Singer, Former Youth Pastor at Harvest Bible Chapel, On Trial for Allegations of Sexual Molestation

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“Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also more hard to bear. The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increases the burden: it is easier to say “My tooth is aching” than to say “My heart is broken.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain


 

The Petition

Having signed this petition, I would ask that you, too, consider signing this petition to show support of the victims of Paxton Singer.This well written petition is a great place to find links to the charges against Singer.

The Charges and Trial

Do you remember Paxton Singer, a former youth pastor at Harvest Bible Chapel who is now undergoing trial of sexual molestation allegations? Since this was on going during the whole mess with James MacDonald, it would not surprise me.

Julie Roys reported: Harvest Confirms Pastor Failed to Report Abuse, Yet Accepts Explanation That He Thought He Had Reported It

Harvest Bible Chapel (HBC) this week published an update confirming an allegation I published in May that HBC Aurora Pastor Craig Steiner failed to report an incident of suspected child sex abuse involving former Harvest Student Pastor Paxton Singer.*

The update also stated that Steiner “believed that he had completed all the necessary steps in his role as a mandatory reporter” by placing an initial phone call to DCFS in January 2018. Yet this contradicts statements Steiner made in texts with other Harvest pastors the day he learned of the incident.

In the update, Harvest said it had recently received a letter back from DCFS confirming that Steiner failed to provide sufficient information for a report when he called the DCFS hotline on January 31, 2018. As a result, no incident report was filed with the department.

Instead, DCFS said that the formal report, which then led to Singer’s arrest in October, 2018, was filed on June 13, 2018, by Rob Williams, a former counselor at Harvest.

…Harvest concluded its latest update by expressing regret that Steiner didn’t provide sufficient information to DCFS for a report. The church added that since then, all Harvest mandatory reporters have been “trained in the proper steps for completing a full DCFS report,” and will “stay up to date with DCFS training every year.”

I appreciate that the church is now providing training on reporting abuse, but I am disappointed that Harvest appears unwilling to hold Steiner accountable. Also, there remains one other alleged victim of Singer’s that seemingly remains unreported.

The Daily Herald reported Requesting photo of underpants ‘not a crime,’ defense argues as trial begins for ex-Harvest youth pastor

The first day of Paxton Singer’s trial on a charge of sexual exploitation of a child began Wednesday with defense attorney Terry Ekl arguing Singer is innocent because he never asked the victim to take off any clothing.

The state law Singer is accused of breaking specifically prohibits a person from knowingly enticing, coercing or persuading a child to take off clothing for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification of the person or the child.

…Kane County Assistant State’s Attorney Lori Schmidt argued that texts sent in October 2016 are important because “this is part of the slow enticement of grooming” the teen, she said.

…The boy looked up to Singer as something of a mentor, Schmidt said.

But that relationship “quickly turned” into something else, she said in her opening argument. Texts from Singer to the boy got more personal, with Singer asking the boy if he had had his first kiss, if he was dating anybody, and if that person was a girl, she said.

The Daily Herald reported Prosecutors: Former Harvest Bible Chapel youth minister repeatedly asked about underwear, sleepover.

Paxton Singer, 25, of Sugar Grove, is charged with enticing a minor to remove clothing for his own sexual gratification and misdemeanor disorderly conduct in that he asked the minor, then 16, if he masturbates and if he could spend the night at his home.

…February 2017, Singer texted the teen that he had a “weird and a little creepy question” about what type of underwear he preferred. (Ed. Dee says: Yep that’s weird and creepy.)

….The boy’s father testified he became alarmed and objected in November 2017 when Singer asked that the boy sleep at Singer’s house.

The father called Singer and later cut off contact with him. “I felt very uncomfortable about it,” the father testified. “That was like the last straw for me, after the request for a sleepover.”

The Daily Herald reported on the Paxton Singer trial in Frank spiritual talk about sex, or exploitation? Judge weighs difference in pastor’s exploitation case

Defense attorney Terry Ekl again argued prosecutors haven’t shown any evidence that Singer asked the teen to take off his clothing, or that the teen ever did. The teen sent Singer a photo of underpants on the floor.

“Asking for a picture of a young man in his underwear may sound unusual, weird or strange,” but being weird is not illegal, Ekl said, likening the red underpants to a Speedo swimming suit in terms of exposure.

…Singer is accused of asking a boy, then 15, for a photo of the boy in his underpants; for a photo of the underpants; and for the boy to stay at his house overnight. He did so via text messages between February and December 2017.

“For what other reasons would he want a picture of him in his underwear, exposing his genitals through the underwear?” Schmidt said.

She disagreed with a theory the judge floated, that in today’s “liberal” or “progressive” times it might be appropriate for a youth pastor to frankly discuss sexual topics with a teen. He also asked if it was akin to a Catholic priest speaking in detail with a parishioner in confession.

“I don’t think God cares what kind of underwear a child wears,” Schmidt replied.

I was sent a link to some google docs about the trial that I found interesting.The following is a screenshot of one of those documents. Please go to the link to see all three docs.

I am disturbed by the responses of Harvest Bible Chapel to the allegations in this matter. Anyone with a smidgen of understanding of sexual exploitation would know that the alleged actions on the part of Singer is a serious matter and should have been reported to law enforcement immediately.

I am hoping that the trial judge will decide not to dismiss this case and that justice will be served.


Comments

Paxton Singer, Former Youth Pastor at Harvest Bible Chapel, On Trial for Allegations of Sexual Molestation — 65 Comments

  1. …Singer is accused of asking a boy, then 15, for a photo of the boy in his underpants; for a photo of the underpants; and for the boy to stay at his house overnight. He did so via text messages between February and December 2017.

    “I’m Chris Hansen with Dateline NBC; we’re doing a series on predators who meet minors on the Internet…”
    — standard “BOOM!” moment from To Catch a Predator

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  2. I literally said (as best as I can type out) “Da foojatta whatta?” to the defense’s arguments. Disturbing is being generous.

    Methinks HBC is burning down around its elder’s ears at this point.

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  3. Two thoughts:

    Why didn’t the father of the teenager go to Child Protection Services himself?

    Being a serious issue, why didn’t HBC keep pushing it until they got a response?

    I’m just pointing to the two weak links in the whole issue. No blame in particular, just the failing points in the process.

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  4. Brian,

    I’ll develop my thought further. We know for the most part how HBC royally messed up their response, Dee’s post above.

    In regards to the father’s response, did he think the situation was not that serious? Or did HBC have such a culture as to have congregants run every major thought and decision through their local HBC church?

    I’ve had to report or instruct someone to report abuse to CPS regarding family members being the victim, once the abuser was family, once it was an in-law.

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  5. I’ll say this again. The American church seriously needs to reevaluate its youth ministry model. I don’t see in Scripture the office of “youth pastor.” What I do see is an exhortation for older saints to disciple young believers. It is a recipe for disaster when you turn flesh-baby leaders loose on other flesh-babies. In my 70+ year snapshot of SBC life, youth pastors weren’t mature enough in the faith to lead others … their “ministry” was primarily coraling young folks into shallow Bible studies, feeding them pizza, with occasional fun outings. Young associate pastors need to serve under mature senior pastors for a few years before they get any ministry assignments; likewise, young folks in the pew need to be mentored by older church members.

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  6. TS00:
    What person, anywhere, is okay with a youth pastor asking a kid about his underwear and seeking pictures of him in them? Anyone?

    Uhhh, no one anywhere. Right? Hopefully?

    Oh wait, if that was the case we wouldn’t be reading about this. Sooo very creepy and perverted.

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  7. Magistos: Methinks HBC is burning down around its elder’s ears at this point.

    “Every plant that my Heavenly Father did not plant will be pulled up by the roots” (Matthew 15:13) … “If this work is merely human, it will fall apart” (Acts 5:38).

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  8. TS00: What person, anywhere, is okay with a youth pastor asking a kid about his underwear and seeking pictures of him in them? Anyone?

    It’s increasingly clear that the atmosphere at Harvest Bible Chapel under MacDonald’s reign opened the door for disobedience, rebellion and perversion. We shouldn’t be surprised that they had a deviant youth pastor!

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  9. TS00,

    “What person, anywhere, is okay with a youth pastor asking a kid about his underwear and seeking pictures of him in them? Anyone?”
    ++++++++++++++

    perhaps people who look to a textbook of rules for how to think.

    they didn’t find the chapter and verse that said “do not feel ok about a youth pastor asking a kid about his underwear and seeking pictures of him in them.”

    It’s not in the Constitution of the United States, so perhaps this is a tricky one for the judge.

    there’s too much i don’t know and understand about the legal world, so i’ll stop (but not before i say too often i observe the strangest forms of injustice being served).

    but christianity i do know and understand. i see more and more how in practice it’s about faith in a book, a quest about knowing a book, about a great cosmic machine that simply spits out z when you type in x and y.

    it’s just not my religion at all.

    it’s really weird having a religion that has no name.

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  10. TS00: What person, anywhere, is okay with a youth pastor asking a kid about his underwear and seeking pictures of him in them? Anyone?

    No one from TGC has written any articles about “9 Things You Need to Know” about it, so how could anyone possibly know?

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  11. drstevej,

    ah… gotcha.

    for the record, christianity left me.

    let’s be honest – christianity is what the people with power make of it. they’ve narrowed it so much i simply don’t fit anymore. its proponents absolutely do not want me. They’re afraid of me.

    ridiculous

    MOD: You seem to have misspelled your handle. I’ve fixed it. Let me know if this was wrong. GBTC

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  12. Brian:
    Brian,

    I’ll develop my thought further. We know for the most part how HBC royally messed up their response, Dee’s post above.

    In regards to the father’s response, did he think the situation was not that serious? Or did HBC have such a culture as to have congregants run every major thought and decision through their local HBC church?

    Just processing out loud from the perspective of someone who was once in an HBC plant…

    I agree that the father should have reported the incident to the proper civil authorities. But I can also see where a combination of naïveté or ignorance or social pressure would have made him really unsure what the right thing was to do.

    Yes, someone asking my kid for a picture of their underwear is going to sound internal alarm bells. But if you’re not familiar with the concept of grooming (and a lot of people out there aren’t, including myself until just a few years ago), you may not have the words to articulate what exactly is causing those alarm bells to go off.

    And I think perhaps the evangelical church is still feeling the aftermath of purity culture, where there’s not really a comfortable place to openly talk about anything remotely sexual without shame and stigma becoming involved. And this incident was male-to-male, which in HBC circles adds another level of potential shame and stigma. Which the boy’s father may have been trying to protect him from. (Not trying to say this was right, just that I think there are nuances to take into account here.)

    So, if he’s trying to protect his son but doesn’t know exactly what he’s trying to protect his son from, I could easily see a parent going to an elder or pastor that he/she knows and trusts and respects and saying, “Hey, this happened and I’m really uncomfortable with it and don’t want it to happen again, but I’m not sure what to do about the situation from here…” and then the elder/pastor saying, “Don’t worry, we hear you, we’ll take care of it from here.”

    The father’s really the only one who can say what his thought process was. And while yes, he didn’t go far enough in reporting to the RIGHT authority figure, he did NOT ignore it or sweep it under the rug. He DID report to an authority figure (presumably one he trusted). It was unfortunately not the right authority figure, but for all we know he is kicking himself in the pants right now for that.

    Again, just processing out loud. Not trying to pick a fight, just trying to add to the discussion.

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  13. Wild Honey,

    Meant to add, asking for a picture of underwear is clearly weird, but it’s not as obvious as asking for a picture of an unclothed body part. Like the former college pastor who turned out to have a foot fetish and was giving foot rubs to young men for years before someone recognized it for molestation.

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  14. And from the Defense side in the Google Doc above: “Singer didn’t know Victim was dressed. It’s just as likely victim would have had to go put underwear on.” Is it just me, or does this sound like grasping at straws?

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  15. I first became aware of the Paxton Singer incident many weeks, or months, ago. At the time I assumed that he was already in prison. Reading the above indicates that what he did is even more extreme than just doing something very wrong, very bad and very stupid (how can dirty underwear not be a turnoff regardless of the gender?).

    The shocking thing about this event is that Paxton is so young. This is what made me pay attention to this. He is very much a victim too.

    There is an oddity of adults being sexual interested in underage. Even if, for an adult, another adult ws not better ignoring the legal implications is very baffering.

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  16. Here’s a disturbing tweet from Desiring God, posted October 5:

    “God cares more about your happiness than you do. He is so serious about your joy that he threatens hell if you refuse to find it in him.”

    https://twitter.com/desiringGod/status/1180573636912205824

    TWW does its level best to combat warped thinking like this. It dismays me that “thinkers” such as John Piper & Co. churn out so much material that makes God look like a stalker boyfriend.

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  17. Friend:

    Here’s a disturbing tweet from Desiring God, posted October 5:

    “God cares more about your happiness than you do. He is so serious about your joy that he threatens hell if you refuse to find it in him.”

    If Piper actually believes his five (actually seven) point Calvinism he would never write such a thing. If his Calvinism is true, everyone’s salvation or reprobation was determined in eternity past. No one’s salvation or reprobation is at risk, by definition. And there is no way god can threaten anyone since there is nothing any human can do to change the list. You are either on the list or you are not. So Piper is just piping more of his hot air.

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  18. Friend: It dismays me that “thinkers” such as John Piper & Co. churn out so much material that makes God look like a stalker boyfriend.

    It reminds me of a great meme. It has a picture of a pale, white, dark blond male supposedly representing Jesus with this dialogue:
    Jesus: Let me in.
    Answer: Why?
    Jesus: So I can save you.
    Answer: From what?
    Jesus: From what I’m going to do to you if you don’t let me in.

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  19. Friend,

    Desiring God, posted October 5:

    “God cares more about your happiness than you do. He is so serious about your joy that he threatens hell if you refuse to find it in him.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++

    who is behind Desiring God? who is it that puts out these ridiculous, dangerous ideas? all i can tell is it’s founder is John Piper.

    it’s like churchleader.com. They tell people what to think. They are a 100% shadowy entity.

    is it one person? a few people? a group of people?

    who controls them? a covert think tank of sorts? a public relations firm? the SBC Executive Committee? Zondervan Publishing, Lifeway Publishing, to point people towards authors of books to buy?

    do christians even care to know who it is who is feeding them their thoughts? telling them what to believe, what to do?

    (too many questions)

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  20. Friend: It dismays me that “thinkers” such as John Piper & Co. churn out so much material that makes God look like a stalker boyfriend.

    Yes, my first thought was that this makes god sound abusive. Not good. And tells you a lot about the mentality of the people writing this drivel.

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  21. Ken F (aka Tweed): If Piper actually believes his five (actually seven) point Calvinism he would never write such a thing. If his Calvinism is true, everyone’s salvation or reprobation was determined in eternity past. No one’s salvation or reprobation is at risk, by definition. And there is no way god can threaten anyone since there is nothing any human can do to change the list. You are either on the list or you are not. So Piper is just piping more of his hot air.

    This is fairly typical of Calvinists, much as they resent being told so. They simply cannot color within the lines of their system, as it would present a monstrous God and an unbearable life. So they compartmentalize their beliefs, and do not recognize how so much of what they say utterly contradicts their supposed theology.

    If Calvinists believed what they teach, they could never say anything about making choices, seeking God, avoiding sin or evil, choose you this day whom you will serve, or any other suggestion of having an alternative to that which God decreed for you in eternity past. In other words, just shut up and see what God has chosen for you, good or ill.

    It doesn’t make a bit of difference, as it was all God’s choice and it all is for his glory. So rejoice in the rapes, murders, abortions, and every other injustice, crime and evil Calvi-god has ordained to come to pass in this world. How dare any Calvinist do otherwise? Unless were they ordained to rob Calvi-god of his glory?

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  22. Max,

    Truth! I was concerned about the lack of spiritual depth in the students in my church’s youth group, after volunteering for a few events. The kids were even asking my husband and I for a Bible study because they realized playing games where you pick your nose and post it to snapchat was ridiculous. (This is not an exaggeration, I saw it happen.) I put together a plan for a “real” Bible study for the teen girls, no topical, “fluff” studies. (I should note that I’m not a flake. I work at the high school that most of the kids attended so I had a relationship with the vast majority of them.) After talking to the lead preacher about my plan, he was beyond thrilled and backed me completely. The youth minister and his wife, not so much. They put the kabash on a Bible study, “it wasn’t in their planning.” After expressing our concern to the elders, and this youth pastor, that the kids will leave the church as soon as they age out of the program, because they have no biblical knowledge of why they’re even there, we continued to try to attend the church for another year. I was labeled as a troublemaker and “trying to take the youth minister’s job” for trying to start a Bible study. (I’m 53 years old, the youth minister could be my son. I don’t want to hangout with teenagers. I just believe in the Titus 2 model.) The lead preacher is weak, and the lead elder is the youth pastor’s father. Needless to say, we’re no longer attending there and I have a Bible study for ladies in my home, the ages range from 17-58.
    There is no model for youth ministry. It’s a cottage industry that universities have started so they can make more money by offering a degree to kids that don’t want to grow up. The youth minister I dealt with worked no more than 20 hours a week and considered 2 hours of open gym basketball part of his “work.” This “job” attracts lazy people and perverts. There is no “calling” to this ministry.
    I’ve got more stories than I could tell in this forum but I believe wholeheartedly that there is no basis for this “ministry” whatsoever.

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  23. elw66: There is no model for youth ministry … There is no “calling” to this ministry.

    Agreed. The Church of the Living God should be offering our children more in spiritual development than hanging out with some dudebro … many of whom have young boys and girls on their perverted minds, not ministry.

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  24. elw66: lead elder is the youth pastor’s father

    My son-in-law, an SBC bi-vocational pastor, was forced to resign after challenging the immaturity, inexperience, and ineptitude of a deacon’s son for this position. The other deacons backed him up … another example of the ‘ol boys system at work in the SBC.

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  25. Max: another example of the ‘ol boys system at work in the SBC.

    In another common model, the youngest pastor serves as youth pastor to pay his dues—er, uh, bring fresh perspective and gain valuable experience.

    The two models are not mutually exclusive.

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  26. Friend: It dismays me that “thinkers” such as John Piper & Co. churn out so much material that makes God look like a stalker boyfriend.

    Adds a whole new dimension to “JESUS IS MY EDWARD CULLEN!”, don’t it?

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  27. elastigirl: Friend,
    Desiring God, posted October 5:
    “God cares more about your happiness than you do. He is so serious about your joy that he threatens hell if you refuse to find it in him.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++
    who is behind Desiring God? who is it that puts out these ridiculous, dangerous ideas? all i can tell is it’s founder is John Piper.

    Some of these tweetable turns of phrases here and elsewhere which pay little or no heed to what they imply make me retch

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  28. JDV: Some of these tweetable turns of phrases here and elsewhere which pay little or no heed to what they imply make me retch

    Twitter…
    WHY DO YOU THINK THEY CALL THEM “TWITS”?

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  29. Friend: “God cares more about your happiness than you do. He is so serious about your joy that he threatens hell if you refuse to find it in him.”

    I don’t know what bothers me more about this quote – the lack of logic or the seriously twisted theology it shows.

    God cares about everyone’s happiness.
    You can only find [happiness in] him if he irresistibly chose you to.
    Therefore God is sending the vast majority of mankind to hell.

    Am I the only one who questions not only the logic but the missing love and good news [gospel] in this syllogism?

    If God cares so much about every individual’s happiness, why were so many ordained irresistibly for (supposedly) eternal conscious torment (under Calvinism’s theology)? If God cares so much about every individual’s happiness, wouldn’t he maybe consider wooing them – or at least not leaving them burdened with the curse of being enslaved to sin due to some other person’s sin – rather than threatening them with the worst sort of punishment if they do not submit to his forced love?

    If a mere man treated a woman like this, it would be considered not only sexual abuse but a crime. Oh, and btw, under Piper’s theology, no one can ‘refuse’ to find happiness in God. It is he who refuses to offer them escape from the curse of sin he deliberately sicked on them, ensuring that they never had a snowball’s chance in you-know-where of finding any so-called ‘happiness’.

    Not a lick of honesty or meaning here. But then, that’s Piper in a nutshell.

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  30. elw66: It’s funny how the rules of nepotism never apply within the church…

    Most churches are ruled by the power and influence of one or more prominent families … not prominent because they are spiritual (they usually aren’t), but prominent because they are big whigs in the community and/or wealthy.

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  31. TS00,

    TS00–

    I think you might just have Anti Calvinist Obsessive Disorder—when Calvinism is seemingly all you think about; all you debate about; all you want to rant about.

    Do you mainly read the Bible looking for verses that smell like they fit your brand of anti Calvinism, or, do you read to enjoy God himself?

    The most common symptom of Anti Calvinist Obsessive Disorder is the complete disregard for kindness, humility, gentleness, love, and patience as though it were not a fruit of the Spirit.

    If you get more joy in being an anti Calvinist than you do a Christian, you have probably misunderstood Calvinism and be plagued with Anti Calvinist Obsessive Disorder.

    Christians aren’t Calvinists or anti Calvinists first. We belong to Jesus. I find my identity by remembering that Christ died, and that my life is hidden with Christ in God.

    People with Anti Calvinist Obsessive Disorder like yourself want to finish every fight and win.

    Calvinists realize and understand they don’t have to win every argument nor have to enter every argument.

    I don’t know you but I’ve seen more than enough of your comments on TWW to wonder if you have lost sight of Christ. Anti Calvinist Obsessive Disorder might just be a reason Jesus gets marginalized, minimized, and forgotten in Christendom and in the Church today.

    If Jesus isn’t of first importance to us, we may forget He is the only one who wasn’t born totally depraved; and is the only one who took our sin, died on the cross, drew us to Himself, and the one who holds us till the end.

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  32. Mike Medow: Calvinists realize and understand they don’t have to win every argument nor have to enter every argument.

    Hilarious! I hope you see the irony of your comment. Its very presence reveals the argumentative nature of Calvinists wanting to win every argument! They can’t even get along with each other, let alone those who disagree with their views. Perhaps if Neo-Calvinistic pastors weren’t being trained in seminaries to stealthily and deceptively take over non-Calvinist churches, your comment might carry a little more weight. However, having been burnt by one of them myself, I too am very wary and will sound the alarm of anything Calvinistic! The Jesus I know didn’t sneak His theology in through the back door. He didn’t have to–because His Word is Truth!

    Besides, most everything that the “Pied Piper” says is merely a skewed and twisted shadow of what the truth really is–it seems close enough to the truth to make for a good tweet, but it is theologically unsound, as TS00 so carefully points out.

    Piper’s god sounds more to me like a petulant glory hog fearful of losing control over his creation by choosing only certain ones to glorify him, all the while condemning the rest, who don’t have that choice. My God, on the other hand, has no such inferiority complex.

    Perhaps a quote from A.W. Tozer, an outstanding theologian, could help bring this into proper perspective, “Man’s will is free because God is sovereign. A God less than sovereign could not bestow moral freedom upon His creatures. He would be afraid to do so.”
    In His sovereignty, God isn’t fearful of not being glorified by His creation. All glory is already His, so He has little reason to arm-twist us with hell in order to get it!

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  33. Root 66: … most everything that the “Pied Piper” says is merely a skewed and twisted shadow of what the truth really is – it seems close enough to the truth to make for a good tweet …

    “If you have a distaste for the sweetness of God’s word, it is not merely owing to a void, but to a contrary fullness. Identify it and desist. Else God will apply his merciful emetics” (John Piper, recent tweet).

    And all the young Piperites shout “Wow, Daddy, Wow!”

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  34. Max: “If you have a distaste for the sweetness of God’s word, it is not merely owing to a void, but to a contrary fullness. Identify it and desist. Else God will apply his merciful emetics” (John Piper, recent tweet).

    And all the young Piperites shout “Wow, Daddy, Wow!”

    Man, that’s so deep, I don’t get it!

    Meanwhile, old coots like me just have to settle for “Jesus loves me, this I know…” 🙂
    And I’m OK with that!

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  35. Root 66: Man, that’s so deep, I don’t get it!

    That’s the problem with you and me Root … we just ain’t smart enough to be New Calvinists! With our lack of intellect, there is no way we can understand Piper Points. Yet, Jesus loves us, this we know. Praise the Lord! Piper doesn’t understand that he needs to put the cookies on the bottom shelf so children can reach them.

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  36. Max: “If you have a distaste for the sweetness of God’s word, it is not merely owing to a void, but to a contrary fullness. Identify it and desist. Else God will apply his merciful emetics” (John Piper, recent tweet).

    And all the young Piperites shout “Wow, Daddy, Wow!”

    “THE VOICE OF A GOD, NOT OF A MAN!
    THE WORDS OF A GOD, NOT OF A MAN!”
    (How well did that work out for Herod Agrippa?)

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  37. Root 66: Piper’s god sounds more to me like a petulant glory hog fearful of losing control over his creation by choosing only certain ones to glorify him, all the while condemning the rest, who don’t have that choice.

    Does Pious Piper’s god sound anything like Pious Piper himself?

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  38. Mike Medow,

    I find it curious that Calvinists so frequently say things that undermine the theology they claim to affirm. If Calvi-god sovereignly determines whatsoever comes to pass, and all things were decreed in eternity past, then anything I ever think, say or do has been irresistibly determined to be. I can no more leave undone what Calvi-god has decreed than I can fly to the moon.

    If there is such a thing as Anti Calvinist Obsessive Disorder it is only because the deterministic Calvi-god predetermined that it exist. If I have been cursed with such a disorder, from whence did it come but Calvi-god? Who are you to question Calvi-god, O man?

    Why would a Calvinist ever question anything that happens in this world? Are not all things part of God’s sovereignly decreed will, predetermined to take place just as he desires, the evil as well as the good? Surely a Calvinist cannot rue the rapes, murders, child abuse or genocides that have taken place, let alone a few people opposing Calvinism.

    All must unquestionably be a part of Calvi-god’s irresistibly decreed, sovereign will. What can I do if Calvi-god has chosen to burden me with Anti Calvinist Obsessive Disorder, for his good pleasure?

    Shall I tell you why I am really so anti-Calvinist? It is not only because I escaped from its raging fires deeply singed, and saw so many others wounded as well. Only 2 families remain of the thirty or so with whom we were intimately involved with in our former Calvinist church. And for that, I rejoice every day. I won’t detail the ways so many lives were damaged but simply repeat a comment from a friend who once attended with us: “Everyone leaves that church in worse shape than they entered it.”

    What it all boils down to, in my opinion, after studying and meditating upon these things for many years now, is that a distorted and grotesque image of God cannot but damage the lives and relationships of those who hold it.

    You speak of Jesus being all that matters, of being so important. I ask you, ‘To whom’? Surely Jesus doesn’t matter to those whom Calvi-god did not choose, to those for whom Jesus did not die, to those who were not chosen to receive forgiveness and life everlasting, to those who were deliberately made as fodder for the fire, and are just being toyed with in the mean time?

    The Calvinist and the non-Calvinist cannot really agree to just get along, as much as many have attempted to pretend they can. They hold to two completely different gospels. One says ‘God so loved the world’; the other redefines those words to mean ‘God so loved the elect’.

    One genuinely offers forgiveness and life to all men – any who are weary and heavy laden, who hunger and thirst. The other plays games with the meaning of those words, and ends up limiting God’s grace to a preselected few. ‘Whosoever will may come’ becomes a disingenuous ‘Whosoever can will come’, as Calvi-god has made all unable, and only reverses his curse to enable a chosen few to be ‘able’. Only one of these can be the gospel of Christ – the other, the opposite, is anti-Christ.

    So, yeah, I have a huge issue with those who seek to withhold the precious words of life from the vast majority of helpless, and otherwise hopeless sinners. When you talk about Jesus, for some reason you never mention how few – in your theology – Jesus actually came to bring light, hope and salvation to.

    Jesus came declaring good news for all people, and John Calvin tried to take it away from most. Not too many Calvinists I have known – and I moved among quite a few for over a decade – ever bothered to bring out that sort of ‘scary stuff’ Sproul admitted most Calvinists prefer to keep in the closet. I believe they are hiding it from themselves as much as anyone else.

    I have seen more lives, marriages, families and faith journeys poisoned by Calvinism’s horrific caricature of our good and loving God than I can count. I do feel an obligation to do what I can to prevent any more from suffering likewise, which must surely come from the sovereign, determinative decree of Calvi-god. What can I possibly do that was not decreed in eternity past?

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  39. TS00: The Calvinist and the non-Calvinist cannot really agree to just get along, as much as many have attempted to pretend they can. They hold to two completely different gospels. One says ‘God so loved the world’; the other redefines those words to mean ‘God so loved the elect’.

    Exactly. As a former Southern Baptist (for 70 years), it amazed me that so many lifelong SBCers didn’t get this. When the New Calvinists began to infiltrate the denomination, they called for unity – to agree to disagree, to get along to go along, to make room under the big SBC tent for diverse theologies. But how can two distinctly different versions of the gospel co-exist in a single denomination?! It impacts the way evangelism and missions are delivered to a lost world. Southern Baptist identity is being redefined by a handful of New Calvinist leaders, while millions of non-Calvinists in the pew are silent. SBC’s denominational gifting in evangelism has been forfeited.

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  40. TS00: I find it curious that Calvinists so frequently say things that undermine the theology they claim to affirm. If Calvi-god sovereignly determines whatsoever comes to pass, and all things were decreed in eternity past, then anything I ever think, say or do has been irresistibly determined to be. I can no more leave undone what Calvi-god has decreed than I can fly to the moon.

    J Michael Jones (formerly Christian Monist, now battling Multiple Myeloma) once posted about someone he used to know who went Predestination to the point of Utter Determinism. JMJ related that near the end, the guy would just lie in bed in the morning waiting for CalvinGod to Will his arms and legs to move. This ended in suicide; the guy ended up throwing himself in front of an oncoming train.

    Here’s the posting:
    https://jmichaeljoneswriter.com/2019/09/10/ramblings-fatalism-determinism-and-free-will/

    The part I summarized above starts about halfway down, a paragraph before the graphic of a marionette puppet. Look for the name “Owen”.

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  41. Headless Unicorn Guy,

    What a tragic story, but yes, I believe Owen was at least being consistent with what Calvinism asserts. Most will not do that, as it leads to the sort of despair which took Owen’s life.

    I have seen that same sort of despair begin to creep into people’s eyes. They ask repeatedly for some explanation for why prayer matters, why getting up in the morning matters, why anything matters. Because if all is pre-programmed and totally outside of your control, nothing really matters.

    If you are a puppet, as per Calvinism, you will perform as your strings are pulled. It does not matter if it ‘seems’ like you make choices – they all have been secretly, irresistibly programmed by an outside power far greater than you. There is no use thinking, planning, praying or caring about anything. Que sera sera.

    Which is why few Calvinists speak or live like consistent Calvinists. If they followed the logic, they would all throw themselves in front of a train.

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  42. TS00: I have seen that same sort of despair begin to creep into people’s eyes. They ask repeatedly for some explanation for why prayer matters, why getting up in the morning matters, why anything matters.

    Which is almost a textbook symptom of serious Depression.
    A symptom that specifically surfaces when everything crashes and burns and all hope is lost.

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