As Boz Tchividjian Prepares to Leave Liberty, He Spoke a Hard and Prophetic Truth Aimed Directly at the SBC/Caring Well/ERLC. I Predict a Difficult 2020 for the SBC.

“I have learned now that while those who speak about one’s miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more.” CS Lewis


 

I was quite glad I was going to be in Greece when the Caring Well Conference took place. I figured that I would learn if anything out of the ordinary happened at the conference. Frankly, I was not excited about the gathering. I knew it would be just one more platform for leaders to feature themselves as the most caring of all. However, they didn’t give hoot until the Houston Chronicle article came out. Then they had to *Do Something!*

However the *do something* boiled down to some materials sent to local churches with the hope they might actually *do something* about sexual abuse and a conference that few were able to attend. I’ve watched the SBC through the years and what I see is a bunch of men (of course no women unless they drag up a few to cover for them) crying crocodile tears and promising change.

Sadly that *something* has boiled down to an Executive Committee mired in secrecy and offering little help  to survivors like Jules Woodson who is calling for Steve Bradley to give an account of his role in the cover up of her abuse. She is also calling for Germantown Baptist Church to revoke Andy Savage’s ordination. Bradley ain’t talking and neither are the leaders of Germantown Baptist church. It seemed (and still seems) that little will be accomplished.

I believe that the SBC leadership is going to be called into account for their system wide coverup of abuse.This conference was a just one more dog and pony show featuring safe survivors who are *good Christians* and are willing to believe that *something* will be done.

Frankly, my time was better used in following in the footsteps of the Apostle Paul. At least I grew to understand better the culture which, for the first time, was given the Gospel by Paul.

When I returned, I heard all about the good talks by survivors but very little on a talk given by Boz Tchividjian. I noticed some leaders and speakers giving each other high fives each other. Yet, few, if any, spoke about the talk given by Boz. Even in some Tweets, these speakers mentioned each other but Boz’s name was frequently missing from their assessment of *incredible* speakers.  So, I knew something was up.

Then, I heard from Tiffany Thigpen and Christa Brown that his talk was prophetic. Due to some illness in my family, I became distracted. Finally, I turned back to his talk given at the Caring Well conference. Boz Tchividjian spoke words that have been spoken by survivors on TWW and on other survivor blogs. Finally, there was someone who is willing to take on the SBC and their despicable history of covering up sex abuse.

In this talk, Boz states that he doubts he will be asked to speak again at SBC conferences. He will be speaking again but in a much larger forum and the SBC better be ready for some tough days ahead in 2020. But more on that later.

Here is the video. Please take the 15 minutes to listen. You will hear sentiments that have been expressed at TWW, now being expressed by Boz and aimed squarely at the leaders of the SBC/ERLC

Boz went out of his way to speak kindly of the survivors who were present. His beef, as is mine, was with the SBC. I will follow this with some comments.

Winter Inside the Church and Hope for Spring – Boz Tchividjian from ERLC on Vimeo.

My thoughts and observations

Boz was conflicted about appearing at the Caring Well Conference

Most victims couldn’t afford to get to the conference. Many had no wish to be there and some would have been triggered by the conference as well as worship music. I happen to know that this is true. Several SBC victims planned to be at other events when this conference was going on. Many were hurt that they were left out in the cold and no one reached out to them about the conference.

Boz claimed that the SBC is responsible for decimating the lives of countless victims.

This caused him to hesitate to appear. However, I am so glad he was there. He pointed the finger directly at the SBC leadership.

Boz was angered by the exhibit halls filled with businesses and he refused to wear his name tag lanyard.

On his lanyard were the names of businesses so it was a form of advertising. It was obvious that he felt this nod to money making enterprises was not in keeping with the pain involved in this conference.

Boz believes that there should be a long time of lamenting (like 5 years) and listening to victims before a hoop dee doo conference. (Hoop dee doo is my phrase, not Boz’s words.)

Boz nailed it here. The conference appeared to be more about *See, we’re doing something* as opposed to the leaders learning from the victims. For me, this conference was merely a dog and pony show in an attempt to assuage the concerns raised in the media.They made sure that victims like Christa Brown were not present since her years of advocacy have been studiously ignored or even vilified by the SBC leaders.

Boz claimed that the SBC only *did something* because a newspaper showed how sick the SBC has been in the past years.

Almost everyone, except those who went along for the ride, also believes this to be true. The SBC is not fooling anyone with their sudden concern about sex abuse.Participants have told us it will take years for changes to be made. So what else is new? Once again the SBC has an out. Tell everyone to be patient.

He claimed that the entire system of the SBC is irretrievably broken and must be dismantled and rebuilt.

He said the the church needs to be healed. A way for this to occur is to dismantle the entire “good old boys” (his words but ones I’ve also used) system. This system relies on book sales, conferences, and invitations given to one another instead of emphasizing caring and advocacy for victims.

The good old boys system is a system set up to protect one another. They should remember that Jesus didn’t have many friends.

Boz said they will claim that they are against abuse but when it involves a friend, they stop talking. From my perspective, the CJ Mahaney advocacy by the Reformed Baptists is a clear example of this. Jesus didn’t have lots of friends because he didn’t clam up and refuse to talk about those who were abusing the poor and let down. He pointed fingers at those involved in abusing God’s people.

Boz claimed that the SBC system excludes an entire gender from leadership,

He said he attended a meeting involving leaders from around the country. There was only one woman present. The SBC has to get insight from women. He made me laugh by saying this is not accomplished by some guy saying he will go home and ask his wife.

Boz called out the supposed autonomy of the SBC polity.

You will recognize what he said about this since many on TWW have said the same thing. He said a system that claims to have little or no authority over local churches would somehow find that authority if a church hired a woman or a gay person as pastor.

Boz believes that we’ve got it wrong when we say we are here to help victims. He said that the victims are here to help us.

This turns the tables on the church. Leaders like to be the ones in control, helping others It is a bit threatening to discover that church leaders are the ones that may be in need of help.

Boz used to believe that the victims hwere the man lying at the side of the road in the story of the Good Samaritan.

Now he believes that the church, specifically the SBC, is the *gravely ill*  person lying by the side of the road. The Good Samaritan are the victims who are willing, even after being ignored or further abused by the system which ignores them. Even then, they are there, willing to help. He believes that the victims are the shining stars in our churches and I, too, believe this.

Boz called out the SBC for only being willing to listen to *acceptable* survivors and this is hurting the ability of the SBC to deal with abuse.

He maintains that SBC leaders have deliberately overlooked victims who don’t agree with them or are critical of the SBC process. I agree. They want safe victims who will act nice, always go to church in spite of the abuse, and adhere to the  current cool theology du jour to make the leaders feel comfortable. Those unsafe victims are marginalized and vilified. They are not invited to the conferences, etc. They are accused of wanting to destroy the church because they didn’t act in the way the leaders want them to act.

Boz believes the SBC must listen ALL survivors

He believes the SBC needs to create an organization like the Australian Royal Commission did.

He says this organization needs to have pastors, leaders and all types of survivors, “not just the acceptable survivors.” They need to create a safe and confidential place for all survivors/victims to report their abuse.  In Australia, they had 17,000 people come forward. 8,000 who spoke their story in person and over 1,000 who wrote their story. It took about 5 years but the Commission got a handle on the scope of the problem. I believe that the SBC has no idea of the scope of the problem. The question is “Are they willing to discover just how serious the problem is?”

He says to have a conference only after spending 5 years of really trying to find out how many have been abused.

In other words, there is much work to be done but there is little evidence that the SBC really wants to understand the scope of the problem. I have seen comments recently which express this.

Boz defined what constitutes an acceptable survivor.

This is the survivor that makes the church feel comfortable. It’s someone who still loves the church, believes in Jesus, is not attracted to someone of  the same gender, etc,

However, Boz says that Jesus moved towards the marginalized not away from them. He says that the church  needs to hear from survivors who do not fit into the acceptable survivor box.

This is a point I made prior to  the conference and got severely reprimanded by some acceptable survivors. All I was asking is for a place at the table for the unacceptable ones.

Boz said he has learned the most from those survivors who fall outside of the acceptable box. He calls them flashes of light.

These survivors have offered him unconditional love, exhibit kindness, believe in truth telling and have become his friends. These are those he calls flashes of light.

Boz read this quote from Henri Nouwen (a particular favorite of mine.)

Thought they do not deny the darkness, they choose not to live in it. They claim that the light that shines in the darkness can be trusted more than the darkness itself. Little bit of light can dispel slot of darkness They point each other to the flashes of light and remind each other that they reveal the very real presence of God.

Boz went on to name three flashes of light.

  1. Heidi

The first is Heidi who is a female pastor of a church with 85 members. She decided to do a series on sex abuse in the church. At the end of the series, 25 women, ages 55-85 came to see her and claimed that they had been abused. Most of them had never told a soul.

2. Christa

I happen to believe that he is speaking about Christa Brown whose stories have been told on this blog. He said she had been marginalized and vilified by leaders in the SBC yet she never stops speaking and inspiring him.Yet Christa was not an acceptable survivor.

3. Kristi

I have an idea that I know who this is but I will save that guess for another time. Kristi’s daughter had been abused while attending a church camp. Yet Kristi has become a help and inspiration for other parents who have experienced the same thing with their children

Boz ends on a note of hope.

He believes that God is up to something. He wishes for the SBC to embrace ALL survivors which will lead to the healing of a very sick church. There is hope. He believes winter is ending and spring is coming. This reminds me of the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in which it was always winter with no Christmas.

“Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight,
At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more,
When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death,
And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.”
C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

So why do I believe that the SBC is going to face a difficult time in 2020?  Reason Number 1: Boz is leaving Liberty University and is joining a law firm.

Julie Roys posted Boz Tchividjian to Step Down From Organization He Founded to Fight Abuse

Boz Tchividjian, the founder of G.R.A.C.E.—a leading organization that equips religious groups to deal with sexual abuse—today announced that he will be resigning as executive director of the organization in May. During an interview on The Roys Report, Tchividjian  also said he will be leaving his teaching position at Liberty University School of Law and will return to practicing law, focusing on helping victims of sexual abuse.

…G.R.A.C.E. has never been about me,” Tchividjian said. “It’s always been about serving and advocating for the wounded and educating and equipping Christ’s Church. And so, I think it’s time that somebody come after me, who has maybe different gifts than me, to take the organization and move it forward.”

What is his goal?

“Many of them (lawyers) should not be doing this,” he said. “They don’t understand victimization. They don’t understand the church . . . And they end up re-victimizing their own clients. I’ve encountered so many of these survivors who’ve been actually re-victimized by the very lawyers who are supposed to be advocating for them.”

He is already taking clients.

Tchividjian has already begun taking clients at his new law firm, Landis Graham French.

There is no question in my mind that Boz is going to be both an empathetic legal counselor who understands the problems inherent of those abused in churches. In fact, he is already involved in a representing a client who was abused at Matt Chandler’s The Village Church. This church is a member of the SBC…..

Baptist Press reported  on this in Southern Baptist megachurch denies liability in sex abuse lawsuit

The Village Church is represented by Dustin Gaines, a trial lawyer who attended the Liberty University School of Law and served as editor-in-chief of the Liberty University Law Review.

Jane Doe One has two lawyers. One of them is Basyle “Boz” Tchividjian, a law professor at Liberty University and founder of GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment). A former prosecutor, Tchividjian is the third eldest grandchild of the late evangelist Billy Graham.

You can read my take on this lawsuit in Updated: The Village Church Attorney’s Formal Response to Abuse Lawsuit: They Did Nothing Wrong

I have a feeling that churches which have mishandled sex abuse situations are a bit worried as Boz Tchividjian reenters their world as an legal expert in churches and abuse. I, for one, am grateful to have a seasoned expert like Boz representing clients who’ve been abused in churches. I often have folks ask me for names of attorneys who can help them as they seek redress for abuse which occurred in the church.

My prediction: The SBC better be prepared for an increase in lawsuits. In particular, I expect that the autonomy argument will face increasing challenges. In fact, it is already happening but I’ll save that for next week.

Answer Boz’s quip: Will he be invited back to the next SBC conference on abuse?


Comments

As Boz Tchividjian Prepares to Leave Liberty, He Spoke a Hard and Prophetic Truth Aimed Directly at the SBC/Caring Well/ERLC. I Predict a Difficult 2020 for the SBC. — 129 Comments

  1. GMFS: Cricket

    In the midst of all these matters, Wartburgers will not have forgotten their national sport, and I shall do my best to provide updates.

    So, South Africa polished off England’s tail-end early on Day 2; Jimmy Anderson the one to go, falling to Rabada for 4. Olly Pope remained unbeaten on 61, by some distance the pick of the batsmen. However, batting conditions look good today, and you may all expect South Africa to equal it today with at least eight wickets in hand. Rabada was the pick of the bowling, with 3-68. He was also the most expensive at an economy of 3.43 – but that is hardly expensive, and it was a dominant display with the ball by the Proteas whose innings has just got underway with a single to Elgar.

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  2. Nick Bulbeck: … you may all expect South Africa to equal [England’s first-innings total] today with at least eight wickets in hand.

    Make that seven wickets, as Stuart Broad has bagged a couple and Jimmy Anderson a third. South Africa are 66-3 as we resume after lunch. Opener Dean Elgar is still in on 41, and with England’s inability to prevent large middle-order partnerships from bedding in, the Proteas remain favourites to compile a big first-innings lead for an easy 4th-innings run chase (if, indeed, they have to bat again).

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  3. Will he be invited back? I hope so, but the odds are not very good at all.

    He gave a great, impassioned defense for survivors, but more importantly he disclosed the very hard, but real reason for the trouble about this issue within the SBC.

    Some conflate abuse and lack of women in leadership as a root cause.

    While others can’t/ won’t go there, either out of fear, or out of not seeing that the two connect the dots.

    But I agree with Dee 2020 is going to be, maybe not a bad year for the SBC, but a year of turmoil going forward

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  4. “I’ve watched the SBC through the years and what I see is a bunch of men … crying crocodile tears and promising change.” (Dee)

    The SBC is famous for having gatherings of pastors to discuss this or that (they call them “Pastors Conferences” at annual SBC conventions). They preach and discuss topics of interest, join hands, pray, cry, sing kumbaya, and resolve to make a difference … then return home to business as usual.

    Oh, you might hear them sobbing (preacher sobs), but many of them are “crying” without tears. It’s performance not brokenness.

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  5. “Will he be invited back to the next SBC conference on abuse?” (Dee)

    Nah. Would Elijah be asked to speak … or Jeremiah … or Nathan the Prophet, who pointed a finger in David’s face and shouted with rebuke “You are the man!” Nah, SBC leaders don’t want “seers” in their midst … it makes them uncomfortable.

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  6. Are there even any plans for a future SBC conference on issues of abuse?

    Meanwhile, I suspect there may be much more extensive research/writing forthcoming from survivors, advocates, activists, and journalists to spotlight specific SBC-related situations, clarify the dynamics of local church autonomy and their ill effects on the entire SBC system, and support victims of abuse/cover-up in SBC settings.

    Christa Brown’s 2009 book was *This Little Light: Beyond a Baptist Preacher Predator and His Gang.*

    In 2020, kingdom Klieg lights are on the way.

    I am considering how I might contribute to such efforts …

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  7. That could mean millions. He could buy a baseball team and name it the “Boz Bombers”. Seriously the SBC is ripe for the pickings. Discovery alone would be so embarrassing to them that they would settle.

    Seriously it would be the only some of them could get justice. The SBC is a money machine without compare. One of their churches has more money than any of these victims will see in a lifetime.

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  8. ION: The magic of the FA Cup

    40-year-old Rochdale striker Aaron Wilbraham scored a dramatic late equaliser for the third-tier side against Premier Leaguers Newcastle this afternoon – earning the Millers what will, for them, be a big day out at St James Park for the replay. Fair brings a tear to your eye.

    But the news I know you’re ALL waiting for concerns the cricket. An intriguing second day sees South Africa on 197-5 off 74. A big first-innings lead is still inevitable, but I was expecting South Africa to be 200-2 at worst.

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  9. Judas Maccabeus: The SBC is a money machine without compare.

    SBC-affiliated churches “bring in” $10 billion (yes billion) annually. Each could easily direct funds to caring for local widows and orphans, and those who have suffered abuse at the hands of church leaders … if they wanted to.
    Most of those dollars are spent on church staff, maintaining facilities, fun and fellowship, and funding national SBC entities which make less impact for the Kingdom of God with each passing year. Sure, there are SBC churches which really care about the lost and hurting masses … Praise God for them when they reach out to their need. But, SBC’s multitude seems content on doing church without God. (I provide this perspective as an ex-SBC member for 70 years … I’m a “Done” now – done with SBC, but not done with Jesus)

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  10. Max: “I’ve watched the SBC through the years and what I see is a bunch of men … crying crocodile tears and promising change.” (Dee)

    Not just crying crocodile tears, but crying crocodile tears then making a hard sell for their new book or conference in the next sentence.

    I believe this whole Caring Well thing is simply a money grab. Buy the mostly useless Caring Well church study package for an exorbitant price! Buy expensive conference tickets! Buy our books! Support our supporting businesses!

    I walked out of the SBC after seminary and have never regretted it.

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  11. I will add that I am glad Boz is leaving LU. Boy, am I ashamed to be an alumnus. They are now perfect examples of everything wrong with the evangelical complex–it’s all about money and power. Let’s give the pretense of being Christians to gain gullible Christian supporters, but we’re really more concerned about fame and fortune.

    They should just become a secular private college, because the leadership doesn’t care one bit about Christ. Drop all the stupid rules and be honest about what you really believe. I am sure there are professors and staff members that are genuine believers, but I hope they find somewhere more honoring to their beliefs.

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  12. ishy,

    I totally agree..
    years ago, when I had a number of years under my belt at a “secular humanist, state U”, I realized that some of the exact same “politics” ( various qualitative and subjective metrics) of defining various “disciplines” and the relevant power structures was identical to my fundy church, and K-12schools… It was a real eye opener to me… and made me realize how “shallow” much of fundy/evangelicalism is! So much importance of deep down “heart attitudes”…

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  13. One of the best opening prayers I have ever heard.

    “Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on Your church. Amen.”
    Boz Tchividjian

    “He had, in fact, got everything from the church and Sunday School, except, perhaps, any longing whatever for decency and kindness and reason.”
    Lewis, Sinclair. Elmer Gantry . Penny Books. Kindle Edition.

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  14. ishy,

    “Let’s give the pretense of being Christians to gain gullible Christian supporters, but we’re really more concerned about fame and fortune.

    ….Drop all the stupid rules”
    ++++++++++++++++

    rules…. he- and she-religious person who imposes the most rules wins.

    gawwwwwwd, it’s the stupidest thing. utterly sick.

    a competition, to see which institution can look more devout by how long their rules list and hard they crack the whip. while sweetly smiling, of course.

    people are pawns, tricked into believing the more rules they adhere to the more godly they are. makes them better than their backslider peers.

    tricked into believing they’ll make God less mad at them (the unspoken point of the religion).

    tricked into believing it makes them elite christians who naturally belong at the elite rules-rich institution.

    christianity tends in this direction, just like all world religions, in this respect.

    ha, institutionalized christianity is a composite of the scarecrow, the tin man, and the lion. “…i i only had brain.” “a heart.” “the noive.” (well, they have plenty of nerve, but where’s the courage?)

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  15. elastigirl,

    Elastigirl,

    My General Association of Regular Baptist, GARBC, church and High School took PRIDE in their “second order removal” from the “world”…. ie do not Associate with Billy Graham because he Associated with “worldly chiristains, or gasp, Catholics!”
    I was encouraged to attend Los Angles Baptist College, LABC, which became Johny Mac’s Master’s College…. they were really into their rules, to be separate and “pure”… just like Bob Jones, and Liberty…..

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  16. Jeffrey Chalmers: I was encouraged to attend Los Angles Baptist College, LABC, which became Johny Mac’s Master’s College…. they were really into their rules, to be separate and “pure”… just like Bob Jones, and Liberty…..

    That’s one of the saddest things about Christian colleges, imho. I saw this very clearly as a student. A lot of parents sent their kids there believing they would be kept safe from the world. Those kids had been sheltered their whole lives. So of course, they did whatever they wanted to do once they got to college despite all of the ridiculous rules. Curfews and dress codes don’t make people good people.

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  17. Brian: Will he be representing clients pro bono? Thinking out loud, not all abuse victims end up as adults with a large war chest. Some do go down a dark path.

    A lot of people don’t have money to start these kinds of lawsuits, so he’d probably have to take them on a contingency basis. This is, btw, the way most torts (civil wrong) lawsuits are handled in the USA. My brother was in a hit and run in 2017 and his lawyer took him on a contingency basis and worked out a settlement for him.

    Boz is not the only one out there doing this. Jeff Anderson is a long-time lawyer handling church sex abuse cases, mostly of the Catholic variety. I know someone who clerked for Anderson, he knows his stuff. In the past, Mitchell Garabedian took Catholic child sexual abuse cases–he was portrayed by Stanley Tucci in the Spotlight movie. I don’t know if Garabedian is still practicing.

    I think Boz will work himself in a niche where he handles cases involving Evangelicals, since he comes from the community and understands how things work. He’s also got experience as a prosecutor, so he has an idea of what kind of evidence is going to work in trials. If I were the SBC, I’d be very concerned that Boz is hanging his shingle and I wish him the best of luck.

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  18. i watched Boz’s presentation. It was great.

    reminds me of visiting my relatives in the Pacific Northwest. and how i had thought my drinking water from the tap much, much further south was pretty good.

    ha — one taste of the cold cold clear thin unbelievably refreshing & tasty water from my relatives kitchen fawcett and all is put in perspective.

    when all you’re used to this thick, warmish, cloudy with sediment & improved with chemical additives thing called water that piped to you, you just don’t know.

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  19. Dee,

    You said, “Boz called out the supposed autonomy of the SBC polity.

    You will recognize what he said about this since many on TWW have said the same thing. He said a system that claims to have little or no authority over local churches would somehow find that authority if t] a church hired a woman or a gay person as pastor.”

    I her what you’re saying and I don’t disagree with you. However, while this type of hire will certainly get the attention of SBC leadership, all they can do is disfellowship the church. They can’t fire the hire.

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  20. Amen to Speaking the Truth in Love!!

    Reminds me of what little I’ve heard of Mother Teresa’s speeches; speaking Truth with gentleness, but not catering to the audience’s comfort.

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  21. Les Puryear,

    “However, while this type of hire will certainly get the attention of SBC leadership, all they can do is disfellowship the church.”
    ++++++++++++++++++

    and make a righteous stink about it, to the full extent of public relations and politics. turning it into some kind of rallying cry. exploiting the human beings at this church to score as many points as they can.

    sounds like power to influence or command thought, opinion, or behavior to me.

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  22. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes: I think Boz will work himself in a niche where he handles cases involving Evangelicals, since he comes from the community and understands how things work.

    Without a doubt.
    I’ve always said that a good tort lawyer can smell money like a good hound can smell treed coons.
    And after Max’s comment about the SBC bringing in 10 billion in revenue per year?
    What’s not to like?

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  23. Jeffrey Chalmers:
    elastigirl,

    Elastigirl,

    My General Association of Regular Baptist, GARBC, church and High School took PRIDE in their “second order removal” from the “world”…. ie do not Associate with Billy Graham because he Associated with “worldly chiristains, or gasp, Catholics!”
    I was encouraged to attend Los Angles Baptist College, LABC, which became Johny Mac’s Master’s College…. they were really into their rules, to be separate and “pure”… just like Bob Jones, and Liberty…..

    Yep. BBS (Summit) and Cedarville College (U), here. I “know” the old LABC, and Grand Rapids (Cornerstone), and Western (Corban), and Faith. There is only one that is in “favor” at the church where I attend. I imagine you know which. Secondary separation. My college has morphed into SBC.

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  24. The SBC is “between a rock and a hard place.” If it seriously responds to abuse, the SBC elevates the role and meaning of women during a time it is pushing complementarianism and debating women behind the pulpit. How do you support women and not raise their stature – personally and spiritually at the same time?

    Sad . . .

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  25. Brian:
    Luckyforward,

    Would it go over better if there was female involvement proposed without pushing women in the pulpit?

    From my experience, I do not believe the Southern Baptist Convention has enough overall respect for women to view them as worthy, rather the issue is abuse, “preaching”, or anything else.

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  26. Brian: Could it be said these colleges are the equivalent of cultural Christians?
    They’re just conservative, throwing God/Jesus in the conversation once in awhile?

    No, I think it’s different than that. The closet thing I can think of is reality TV. It’s all staged, but they want you to think it’s all happening out of natural actions. There’s a huge trust in the rules to keep people safe, but many students aren’t really following them because they believe in them. Or they don’t follow them at all and get away with it because of who they are, what sports team they are on, or who their famous pastor father is. Falwell Jr was recently seen smoking and drinking on Instagram with members of the football team. If those students had not been athletes, they would have been suspended instantly.

    People get jobs based on who they are related to and not their ability or talent. I remember constantly being asked who I was related to. One of my professors claimed that he made his daughter sign a contract that he would pick her husband, so he could choose “a good Christian from a well-known family”. Because “good” and “well-known” were considered the same thing…

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  27. ishy,

    To put it in the context of abuse, the line “But if we made this public, it would diminish the cause of Christ” comes to mind. The bad is there, but for some reason hiding it and/or pretending that it isn’t there somehow makes churches seem like they are really following God.

    But that’s all a sham. Non-Christians know churches are abusing people and they dislike Christians even more for refusing to deal with it. The only ones who are really buying into the lie are other Christians who want to believe so bad that everything is good that they are willing to overlook horrible things that happen by the churches they support. Probably because they equate the church with God.

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  28. Luckyforward: How do you support women and not raise their stature – personally and spiritually at the same time?

    I realise your question was rhetorical, but one way – AWWBA – is to redefine both “support” AND – more subtly – “women”.

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  29. ishy: Falwell Jr was recently seen smoking and drinking on Instagram with members of the football team. If those students had not been athletes, they would have been suspended instantly.

    Yup… kids of peon’s were thrown out of my fundy school, but PK’s did seem to be protected….. because daddy was on board, or his church had power…. Falwell jr is not the only one…….

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  30. Max: Oh, you might hear them sobbing (preacher sobs), but many of them are “crying” without tears. It’s performance not brokenness.

    I remember a testimony from a guy in some comment thread (here or elsewhere) about his realization that pastor was crying on cue. He saw and heard the identical sermon/testimony years later and pastor cried with the exact same sobs at the exact same point.

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  31. ishy: One of my professors claimed that he made his daughter sign a contract that he would pick her husband, so he could choose “a good Christian from a well-known family”.

    Thus uniting House Lannister with House Baratheon…

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  32. Max: Would Elijah be asked to speak … or Jeremiah … or Nathan the Prophet, who pointed a finger in David’s face and shouted with rebuke “You are the man!” Nah, SBC leaders don’t want “seers” in their midst … it makes them uncomfortable.

    They prefer Court Prophets on their payroll who tell them what they want to hear.

    The Court Prophet tells the King whatever the King wants to hear.
    The True Prophet tells the King what the King NEEDS to hear.

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  33. Off topic but surprised you haven’t been mentioning Todd Bentley— the supposed apostle approved by the apostles club of the New Apostolic Reformation…. (including Bethel Church of Redding) who was recently under investigation by a committee of peers and “defrocked” for sexually abusing women for years, plus substance abuse. It’s big news in the Charismatic/Pentecostal circles. Huge story as people had been complaining about him for a long time and nothing was done.

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  34. Brian,

    Brian: Would it go over better if there was female involvement proposed without pushing women in the pulpit?

    Looks to me like the whole policy depends on declaring women unworthy of everything. If you let one woman do one thing, where will it END! Circle the wagons!

    Meanwhile, over in the US military, women are now allowed to do everything, although they remain a minority.

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  35. Benn: But I agree with Dee 2020 is going to be, maybe not a bad year for the SBC, but a year of turmoil going forward

    First I would like to say that Boz did a great job in the video. What the church as a whole needs is a whole lot less of leaders slapping each other on the back and praising their “great work” and a whole lot more of men and women with courage to stand up and verbally slap these people in the face and tell them they need to repent now, before God makes things much, much worse for them.

    And as far as how this year is going to go, well God has been warning me of a great storm that is coming for over 10 years now. I have been observing signs that this thing is much closer now, probably just starting under the surface. I am going to call this storm “Godzilla” because it is rising out of the sea like a dragon and it is pointed firstly at what calls itself “Jesus Church.” This storm includes a great deal of political and economic chaos and it is a global storm that will affect much more than just the comparatively little SBC. There is much fire coming with it as it is intended to purify Jesus Bride who is very, very sick and rebellious, and very deceived.

    There is coming substantial violence between men, including those claiming Christ. This will cause a great deal of change very quickly, just as the roaring party attitude of the last decades of twenties came to a crashing end with the Great Depression, so too will much of what we think cannot change quickly actually will. This will affect us all and it should for none of us completely look like Christ yet, and for most a thick veil of pride hangs over our faces and obscures our own darkness and personal need to repent of very specific things. I am convinced that this year will be a very difficult one for everyone. It will begin to sober us up, not just to the evil that we see in others that angers us but also to that which is hiding inside of us. There is no enemy out there that can do as much damage to that which we love faster than our own carnal impulses. Another round of judgment is coming from above. May we choose to co-operate with it instead of kicking at the goads…

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  36. Headless Unicorn Guy: Thus uniting House Lannister with House Baratheon…

    The funniest thing about that is that he *thought* he was head of House Lannister when he was just from a minor merchant’s house. He didn’t even teach his own content. We read straight from Grudem’s textbook in class.

    Very few of these guys are as powerful as they believe they are in their heads. That’s why New Calvinism is so effective. It tricks men into thinking they are powerful when they are really just peons to other men.

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  37. ishy: One of my professors claimed that he made his daughter sign a contract that he would pick her husband, so he could choose “a good Christian from a well-known family”. Because “good” and “well-known” were considered the same thing…

    If Saudi Arabia had freedom of religion they (the prof., Voddie Baucham, and others) could probably all move there and be much happier than they are here?

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  38. I do wonder if behind closed doors the “good ol boys club” recognizes the very real threat Box appears to be becoming to the SBC and the Evangelical world in general regarding their lack of Christian abuse response.

    If they don’t…

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  39. Ollie,

    Doesn’t surprise me a bit.

    Fisher: Can you give some links? Last I heard Rick Joyner was refusing to take the matter seriously by accusing the whistle blower of operating in a spirit of witchcraft.

    Oh, good old Rick Joyner. The one so many of us can thank for the label of “Jezebel spirit” when we have the audacity to say the emperor is naked. Of course, none of his dreams and visions and inventions pierce through his own motivations.

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  40. Magistos,

    “I do wonder if behind closed doors the “good ol boys club” recognizes the very real threat…”
    +++++++++++++++++

    i have a feeling they do.

    they are in too deep, unfortunately. they have too much invested in the system of the institution: too much of their career, their income, their mortgage, their standard of living, their peer standing, their professional image…

    as to those last 2 things, i have my doubts they understand how compromised and corrupt they are observed to be.

    their association with the SBC is a liability for them.

    if they have convictions, it will certainly take courage to act on them. there will be a cost and loss in extricating themselves.

    really, i can’t see anything honorable in accommodating the system of the SBC. in not speaking out loudly, not taking a stand very visibly.

    at what point do the ends justify the means? how much is personal comfort, reward, & convenience wrapped up in it?

    the same goes for Beth Moore. To the degree she is affiliated with Brian Houston’s Hillsong (& perhaps Lifeway publishing, maybe the SBC itself) [and benefits from it all], it is a moral compromise.

    i’m sure the legalities are complicated. but steps can be taken.

    so what if it’s hard?

    the freedom will be awesome.

    (am i being to idealistic here? someone challenge me.)

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  41. elastigirl: the same goes for Beth Moore. To the degree she is affiliated with Brian Houston’s Hillsong (& perhaps Lifeway publishing, maybe the SBC itself) [and benefits from it all], it is a moral compromise.

    I don’t think the change from within method works well at all. I think it’s just making the powers that be dig their heels in more. But maybe Beth and Wade and Rachael see things we do not, I don’t know.

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  42. ishy: Very few of these guys are as powerful as they believe they are in their heads. That’s why New Calvinism is so effective. It tricks men into thinking they are powerful when they are really just peons to other men.

    Just finished reading Brandon Sanderson’s “Words of Radiance.” I find dog-earing books mildly sacrilegious, but I sure dog-eared this one: “Power is an illusion of perception… Some kinds of power are real – power to command armies… These come into play far less often than you would think. On an individual basis, in most interactions, this thing we call power – authority – exists only as it is perceived.”

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  43. Wild Honey: “Power is an illusion of perception… Some kinds of power are real – power to command armies… These come into play far less often than you would think. On an individual basis, in most interactions, this thing we call power – authority – exists only as it is perceived.”

    Funny, ten minutes ago I was rereading the Wheel of Time. Haven’t gotten to Brandon’s books yet in the reread, though I read Starsight last month.

    But one of my favorite Robert Jordan quotes also seems to apply, “I’d name you Darkfriend as well, but I suspect the Dark One would perhaps be embarrassed to associate with you”.

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  44. Brian: https://reformationcharlotte.org/vp-of-southern-baptist-convention-north-american-mission-board-hosts-casino-night-at-his-church/

    “… enjoy hors d’oeuvres, black jacks, poker, roulette, craps, and a game truck for the chance to win special prizes! …”

    Yep, things have really changed in the ole SBC since the New Calvinists came to town. (Blueprint Church is affiliated with The Gospel Coalition)

    “Cheap grace means grace sold on the market like cheapjack’s wares. The sacraments, the forgiveness of sin, and the consolations of religion are thrown away at cut prices.” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

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  45. Max: I feel something in my bones about the road ahead

    It is not just me. In a unlikely place I ran into two other Christian men who have the same kind of humbling situation that I do that both have said that they are seeing similar futures. One is an ex-pastor now on the mission field and the other is a counselor (state licensed one.) These are the only ones I have ran into saying the same things. One is in the middle of what he called a “Macedonian Call” to a small town in Colorado for his own personal safety. The other left the country after having glimpses of the future where he was fighting and killing other Americans. God orchestrated me running into these two gentlemen. The latter has warned more people than I have. He said no one believed him. My experience with the Holy Spirit have shown me that this Spirit is not dead, nor is His hands in any ways tied from doing whatever he wants or saying whatever he wants whenever he wishes.

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  46. In early December, he said in a video on his Facebook page that he has left the ministry to focus on his new beard care company but this week announced on social media that he will start a new school of ministry.

    I don’t know if anyone caught this from the article about Bentley, but he does have another way to support himself besides slapping people around to get them healed.

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  47. I appreciate that the “Boz” man is stepping up. When the lawsuits start picking up, they will have wished that they had listened better. It is beyond amazing that the SBC did not pay attention to the Catholic Church scandals. They had a taste of it when the Chronicle listed all the known abusers in the SBC. I believe it is 2 billion and counting for the catholic church. A class-action lawsuit would certainly open their eyes. This is the tip of the iceberg. What is so sad is that it takes lawsuits for them to finally “man” up to the abuse that has been perpetrated under their watch. May God be True and every man a liar. God help us.

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  48. Brian,

    Ezekiel chapter 8, verses 6 and 12:

    And he said to me, “Son of man, do you see what they are doing–the utterly detestable things the Israelites are doing here, things that will drive me far from my sanctuary? But you will see things that are even more detestable.”

    He said to me, “Son of man, have you seen what the elders of Israel are doing in the darkness, each at the shrine of his own idol? They say, ‘The LORD does not see us; the LORD has forsaken the land.'”

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  49. Mr. Jesperson: There is no enemy out there that can do as much damage to that which we love faster than our own carnal impulses. Another round of judgment is coming from above. May we choose to co-operate with it instead of kicking at the goads…

    Many people make a careful decision to leave the church because they are tired of institutional hypocrisy, or no longer believe. That is not the same as carnality or rebelling. Why would God punish people for making a free decision to walk away?

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  50. After listening To Boz Tchividjian address, and reflecting on how the Gospels present the earthly ministry of Christ, I have to wonder where Christ would spend his time today…… for some reason I do not think Christ would be hanging out getting his picture taken in from of the “stained” glass at the SWBTS chapel, or getting his picture taken with Jerry Falwell Jr, in his office with all of the framed pictures of Jerry Jr. shaking hands with the powerful….

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  51. Me
    Sadly many people in the evangelical church believe that priests abuse because they can’t marry. As I keep saying, a priest who swished to violate his view would do so with a consenting adult not a 5 year old church. Pedophiles are quite pleased that evangelical believe this. It gives them cover.

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  52. dee: many people in the evangelical church believe that priests abuse because they can’t marry … Pedophiles are quite pleased that evangelical believe this ..

    Priests abuse because they have depraved minds … evangelical pastors abuse because they have depraved minds.

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  53. He said a system that claims to have little or no authority over local churches would somehow find that authority if t]a church hired a woman or a gay person as pastor.

    This is true and continues to put the lie to all talk of ‘autonomy’ as an excuse to do nothing.

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  54. Max,

    Bad things will always happen, that is why we have laws and prisons! The real depravity is “covering it up for the sake of the church” which is just BS. I live/work in the “evil, secular humanist world” and my smart colleagues see right through these cover ups…. The only people that are being fooled by these cover -ups are the gullible pew sitters. But I guess that is the point of the depraved leaders that sacrifice victims to their alters of power…

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  55. Brian:
    Luckyforward,

    Would it go over better if there was female involvement proposed without pushing women in the pulpit?

    Women don’t need to be “pushed” into the pulpit, just not pushed out.

    Complementarianism particular the hardline type and respect for women appear incompatable to me. If you auto default to supporting a husband over the wife, you will never be able to deal with this type of abuse.

    However, you can certainly involve women at all levels in church leadership without making them a quote unquote pastor. The SBC used to be better at this. Their hyperfocus on keeping women down in response to ‘culture’ has resulted in a deeper imbalance than existed before.

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  56. ishy: I don’t think the change from within method works well at all. I think it’s just making the powers that be dig their heels in more.

    I think it only works if you can get enough people…I dont know what percentage would be required to flip a thing from bad to good (to put it simplistically) on a particular topic. 50%? 70%? Or half of leadership? I do think there is a number and if you can flip it to that number it might work and be worth trying.

    Leaving is simplest. Enough people leaving might have a similar effect or it might leave the hardliners in charge and things would get worse but the people who left don’t have to deal with it.

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  57. Max: The watchblogs are an Ezekiel 8 “hole in the wall” allowing the church to see what really goes on in the “ministry.”

    “And what you keep secret shall be shouted from the rooftops.”
    — Some Rabbi from Nazareth, 2000 years before KFI’s “Hour of the Bullhorn”

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  58. Jeffrey Chalmers: I have to wonder where Christ would spend his time today…… for some reason I do not think Christ would be hanging out getting his picture taken in from of the “stained” glass at the SWBTS chapel, or getting his picture taken with Jerry Falwell Jr, in his office with all of the framed pictures of Jerry Jr. shaking hands with the powerful….

    Maybe hanging out at a Furry con? Or Brony con? Or Gamer con?

    Sometimes all that keeps me going is remembering that Rabbi from Nazareth snubbed the Rich and Powerful God Squadders to hang out with freaks and losers like me.

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  59. Me: I appreciate that the “Boz” man is stepping up. When the lawsuits start picking up, they will have wished that they had listened better. It is beyond amazing that the SBC did not pay attention to the Catholic Church scandals.

    Not amazing to me.
    False Apostate Romish Popery(TM) as opposed to The One True Church(TM – US!)

    “I THANK THEE, LOOOOOOOOOOOOOORD, THAT I AM NOTHING LIKE THOSE FILTHRY ROMISH PRIESTS OVER THERE!!!!!”

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  60. Max: Brian: https://reformationcharlotte.org/vp-of-southern-baptist-convention-north-american-mission-board-hosts-casino-night-at-his-church/

    “… enjoy hors d’oeuvres, black jacks, poker, roulette, craps, and a game truck for the chance to win special prizes! …”

    And remember – The House always gets its Tithe and then some.
    The only ones getting rich at a casino are the casino owners.

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  61. Mr. Jesperson: And as far as how this year is going to go, well God has been warning me of a great storm that is coming for over 10 years now. I have been observing signs that this thing is much closer now, probably just starting under the surface.

    In their theory of generational cycles, Strauss & Howe predicted a pattern heading towards a “Fourth Turning” Crisis Era (on a level with the Civil War or WW2) they called “The Crisis of 2020”. Writing this (from analyzing generational types that work into a four-generation pattern) back in the Eighties, they could only speculate what this “Crisis of 2020” would be: Internal Political? International Political/War? Environmental/Ecological?

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  62. Mr. Jesperson,
    Something else is I have been reading and hearing similar “THIS IS IT!!!!!” Armageddon predictions (both classic and secular) since I was a kid in the Sixties. (i.e. 50-60 years ago.) To the point I burned out on it some 40 years ago; I still get the “THIS IS IT!!!!!” junk mail and spam. And I come from a church where claiming Private Revelation is the characteristic way to flake out.

    Even if your claimed Private Revelation is legit (and from my POV I have no way of saying it is or is not), said signal is going to have an uphill climb in an environment with such a noise-filled environment. Too LOW a signal-to-noise ratio.

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  63. Friend: Many people make a careful decision to leave the church because they are tired of institutional hypocrisy, or no longer believe. That is not the same as carnality or rebelling. Why would God punish people for making a free decision to walk away?

    I never said that God is punishing those that are fed up with institutional hypocrisy. Now God does discipline His children, otherwise they are not really His at all.(Heb. 12:6) I have walked away from 501c3 traditional “churches” because I plainly see that, according to the scriptures, those are not Jesus’ true church. My fellowship is with others, like those here, who are trying to understand what the truth is and have real conversations about what is right and wrong in life and not just follow some empty traditions that we do not practice outside of the 501c3 building.

    If you believe what the scriptures plainly state and have ever read the Revelation of Jesus Christ, then you know that eventually some very severe times are coming. There are also periodic rounds of discipline that God has sent in order to purify His people. This started with the Jews who built the Golden Calf to worship with their 40 year life sentence wondering in a hot and dry desert prison and continued in cycles from there throughout history. I see that God does not change and is still doing this periodically. There is judgment coming from God against the hypocrisy of His people, wherever it exists. Pride is so very common that few see it in themselves, and I am talking about Christians here.

    Part of the conversation here has to turn to us looking inward, or else we are just making a bunch of hypocritical noise like everyone else in our culture. So what concerns me most is my own hypocrisy and the severity of the times coming that God will use to deal with it. Everyone here has been fooled by a false Christian religion of some kind. And while they take different forms the hard truth that slapped us in the face will do us no ultimate good if we do not spend as much time looking inward at our own sin, as the clear sin of those who manipulated and abused us with a false Christianity. Judgment begins in God’s house and it is not just about the other guys sin but also about our own. Without that ability to be honest with ourselves, we become just like these “pastors” that abuse others while calling out the sins of third parties. If you do not know what I am talking about, read the O.T. books by the prophets. The ones that lived through the harsh days of judgment of old lamented not just of the sins of rulers and the people (and they certainly did a lot of that) but also their own sins.

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  64. Mr. Jesperson: One is in the middle of what he called a “Macedonian Call” to a small town in Colorado for his own personal safety.

    What is a “Macedonian Call”?

    The other left the country after having glimpses of the future where he was fighting and killing other Americans.

    Did either of these guys give any details or otherwise elaborate on their call and/or visions?

    With my background, I have to steer clear of the “THIS IS IT!!!!” types. It’s literally a matter of anxiety attack and sanity loss, especially right now – I’m just coming off a months-long period of depression that killed my ability to create.

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  65. Lea: ishy, I know you’ve mentioned this before but it is *so deeply weird* to me. Glad I went to a godless heathen college.

    My PK roommate was just as annoyed with it as I was. She had the “acceptable lineage” for a Liberty student, but what did it really mean? Just like with the secular college admissions scandal, it often meant parents who didn’t expect their kids to work that hard to achieve. The legalism of LU and many Baptists also relied so heavily on rules that whether or not students were becoming good people didn’t matter.

    I mean, how many articles has TWW done about how badly nepotism hurts church people? Grace and TMU is a big example, but Harvest was pretty disgusting. And a lot of people in those churches didn’t seem to care about their abusive and unqualified leaders.

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  66. I listened to Boz speech at the Caring Well conference, very good.My only question/reply is how could he be associated with Liberty in the first place.The current scandel and past ones are nothing that I would want my name connected with.I know some of the past dirt and a internet search will lead one to the present dust in Lynchburg. Maybe I am just a skeptic but I lived their and have relatives married in that family,Liberty and the Falwells are not what they present to the world.

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  67. Headless Unicorn Guy: Even if your claimed Private Revelation is legit (and from my POV I have no way of saying it is or is not), said signal is going to have an uphill climb in an environment with such a noise-filled environment. Too LOW a signal-to-noise ratio.

    Agreed. And that is nothing new. There was much less noise in ancient Israel and yet almost no one at all believed any of the actual prophets until it was too late. Even then they wanted to throw one into a hole and let him starve to death. But at least they believed that God could choose a man and actually speak clearly to them. Now we have men claiming to have “true theology” telling their followers God is now mute and basically does not love His own people enough to get a warning to anyone. What kind of God is it that we say we believe in?

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  68. HeadlessUnicornGuy: I have been reading and hearing similar “THIS IS IT!!!!!” Armageddon predictions (both classic and secular) since I was a kid in the Sixties.

    Same, except i’m not as old as you. But I have been hearing them all my life and I cannot take them seriously. Just stop telling me that ugh. If it happens it will happen, I dont know why people are so obsessed with it. /rantoff

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  69. JeffreyChalmers: It is not just “weird”, it is disgusting….. yup, our “value” is all about who were are related to..

    It’s disgusting yes but for me…why on EARTH would I care who your parents are, especially when they are strangers to me??

    I met many of my friends parents in school and they all seemed like nice people. The ones who bought us meals got bonus points, with the parent who brought a home cooked easter dinner down to feed a bunch of college students ever year at the top of the pack. That stuff matters. What they did for a living? Who can even remember.

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  70. ishy: I mean, how many articles has TWW done about how badly nepotism hurts church people?

    nepotism is a huge issue that needs more attention. It seems like it’s always present, but never the main focus in these stories.

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  71. Lea: nepotism is a huge issue that needs more attention. It seems like it’s always present, but never the main focus in these stories.

    And some of these preacher-man dynasties could teach lessons on nepotism to the Saudi Royal Family and/or the Kims of North Korea.

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  72. Remember when Jerry Jr and wife Becki had kin from both sides sentenced to prison within weeks of each other?
    Was easy to miss, if you didn’t know the maiden names of Falwell Jr’s mother (Macel Pate Falwell) and wife (Becki Tilley Falwell):

    https://www.roanoke.com/news/local/forest-man-sentenced-in-theft-of-political-donations/article_c696e73b-9b12-561f-b0ea-7209787b4e6c.html

    “Samuel K. Pate Jr…stole contributions totaling more than $1.1 million to pay for a lavish lifestyle of vacation homes, luxury vehicles and jewelry”

    Pate, the son of the late Sam Pate Sr (brother-in-law of Jerry Falwell Sr.), followed his father into the Christian conservative direct mail fundraising business and served with him on the deacon board of Thomas Road Baptist Church.

    “Pate took $319,691 from Christians in Defense of Israel, $153,445 from Catholic Advocates, $30,614 from the House Conservative Fund and $11,300 from the Republican Majority Campaign, prosecutors said.”

    Becki’s dad…

    https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/north-carolina-landowner-sentenced-impeding-and-obstructing-administration-internal-revenue

    “Thomas Tilley…to serve 32 months in prison to be followed by one year of supervised release, and ordered to pay $7,676,757 in restitution”

    “According to court documents, beginning in 1993 and continuing through at least 2010, Tilley sent the IRS fraudulent financial instruments in an attempt to fraudulently discharge his tax debt; used nominee and sham trusts to purchase and sell real estate to conceal his assets; and placed false liens on properties to impede the IRS’ collection of his tax debt. Tilley also failed to file federal and state income tax returns for tax years 1994 through 2013, despite earning substantial income and, in 2009, claiming a net worth as high as $30 million and annual income of $822,000 on a financial statement.”

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  73. Brian:
    ishy,
    What were the entry or transfer requirements for Liberty University?

    It’s really easy to get in. LU also accepts transfers from a number of unaccredited Christian colleges, such as Bob Jones and Pensacola Christian College.

    LU gave me a “full” scholarship, but there ended up being a lot of hidden fees and things. I transferred from a state university, and that ended up being problematic because LU made me retake a lot of my intro classes. I had to retake a few near the end because they kinda hid the fact that they wanted me to do so. So it took much longer to graduate. And I can tell you that unless your employer is a Baptist institution, many employers don’t consider Christian college degrees favorably. I now wish I had transferred to another state school.

    Dealing with LU’s financial dept was a nightmare for myself and most students I knew. They were not problems I saw at the state university. I believe they were often intentionally deceptive and downright dirty sometimes.

    Their online program is huge now, but I often recommend people go elsewhere. A lot of state schools have excellent and affordable online programs (I went to one myself for a graduate degree). Unless you are going to work in a church, it’s not really worth the trouble.

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  74. Mr. Jesperson: This is a term that he used himself to describe the move he was working on. I suggest you look Apostle Paul call to Macedonia to see what he must have been referencing.

    At one time I would have been on board with the type of prophecy you are describing. I believe you are sincere. But what are people supposed to do to prevent this vague and ominous threat? It sounds like whole countries are going to feel the wrath of God. Whole countries are incapable of repentance, and surely God knows that. Exactly what is God planning, and why, and how can we band together to stop him?

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  75. ishy,

    It is my understanding Liberty U is a “young earth creationist” school. So, I would not respect any science classes from them…or at least have a high suspicion of them….
    PS I was taught YEC in high school…. the science i was taught was almost useless…

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  76. Friend: But what are people supposed to do to prevent this vague and ominous threat? It sounds like whole countries are going to feel the wrath of God.

    I too once believed that God only works in absolute linear determinism.
    But no longer.
    I now believe that the Almighty just spins the roulette wheel to see what we’re gonna’ do, and then cleans up the mess and does a resart-reset when he has to.

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  77. Friend,

    My understanding is Paul was kept from going into Macedonia (Greece) to spread the gospel, by the Holy Spirit. It wasn’t until later, through a dream, the Holy Spirit directed Paul into Macedonia. But from the conversation, I think I’m still missing something.

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  78. Friend,

    “Exactly what is God planning, and why, and how can we band together to stop him?”
    ++++++++++++++++

    that’s funny.

    i’ve heard prophecies for years and years — both doom and boon. nothing very notable every happened.

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  79. dee,

    I have heard that many times as well. And it gives the false notion that Evangelicals could not do the same types of heinous crimes. I do, however, believe that the policy of enforced celibacy is problematic. There are so many great responses that I could spend a few hours responding. This is not good for somebody who types at most, 20 wpm.

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  80. Jerome: “[Jerry Falwell Jr’s father-in-law] Thomas Tilley…to serve 32 months in prison to be followed by one year of supervised release, and ordered to pay $7,676,757 in restitution”

    “According to court documents, beginning in 1993 and continuing through at least 2010, Tilley…used nominee and sham trusts to purchase and sell real estate to conceal his assets; and placed false liens on properties to impede the IRS’ collection of his tax debt.”

    Of course, Falwell’s fraudster-in-law was on Liberty’s Board of Regents!

    https://www.liberty.edu/alumni/alumni-news/?MID=5990

    “Iris and Tom Tilley, parents of Becki Falwell, wife of LU Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr., are introduced at Friday’s convocation as members of the Board of Regents. The Tilleys made it possible for the new Tilley Student Center to be built at Campus North.”

    “Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr…said the sale of a plot of land on a family farm made it possible for the Tilleys to give to the center.”

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  81. Jeffrey Chalmers: It is my understanding Liberty U is a “young earth creationist” school. So, I would not respect any science classes from them…or at least have a high suspicion of them….

    That is correct. I was a transfer, though, and took science at a public university, so I couldn’t tell you what was taught.

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  82. Mr. Jesperson: Headless Unicorn Guy: What is a “Macedonian Call”?

    This is a term that he used himself to describe the move he was working on. I suggest you look Apostle Paul call to Macedonia to see what he must have been referencing.

    CAN’T YOU GIVE A DIRECT ANSWER?

    This reminds me of the commenter (don’t remember which blog) who was full of all these mysterious references to “Signs of the Times” and “Luciferian” Conspiracies but every time you tried to pin him down on anything, all you’d get would be “Let Him Who Has Eyes to See, See; Let Him Who Has Eyes To Hear, Hear.”

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  83. Headless Unicorn Guy: This reminds me of the commenter (don’t remember which blog) who was full of all these mysterious references to “Signs of the Times” and “Luciferian” Conspiracies but every time you tried to pin him down on anything, all you’d get would be “Let Him Who Has Eyes to See, See; Let Him Who Has Eyes To Hear, Hear.”

    That’s the kind of stuff you hear all the time from people who claim to be Nickists but who have completely misunderstood Nickism.

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  84. Jerome: the new Tilley Student Center

    Reminds me of the stained-glass windows at the SWBTS chapel. Now that I think about it, Liberty University took some of those windows when they started coming down (the Jerry Falwell Sr. window and others).

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  85. Headless Unicorn Guy: Did either of these guys give any details or otherwise elaborate on their call and/or visions?

    Neither went into great details about why they are doing what they are doing now or the specifics of how the warnings were communicated with them. The one just finished his masters in counseling last year. He has been working in the mental health field for decades and runs groups working trying to help people with mental disorders get and stay stable. He does not talk much about what he is doing or why. It was only after I brought what I have seen up a number of times privately that he confided in me what he is doing. This is more of a personal thing to him.

    The other man is an ex-teaching pastor who is now in training on the foreign mission field. He comes from a family with other missionary experience in previous generations. He was seeking God in a time of prayer and fasting with his brother and father a number of years ago. He says that God clearly spoke to all of them to get ready. His dad has passed now, but his brother has bought a cabin in a very rural area in the north mid-west and has prepared it for use when and if needed. He has reserve plans where he can get back into the country very quickly and make his way to that cabin to join his brother in a time of crisis.

    And it is interesting that you mention your recovery from what is generally known as a mental health crisis. I met these people in a online mental health support group. They were both leaders in it for a time. I am one of the current leaders of the group and it is my personal ministry outreach. So from my point of view, Father God (the one Jesus called Abba) loves those struggling so much that He sent those who know a little about what is coming to try to help people like you. I was once like that myself, so I know what it is. Ignorance about the future is no help when there are things that could and should be done to prepare. Personally, I am very, very concerned for others who are currently not stable as the future will only make it more challenging. We will need to be attached to “the Rock” Himself more than ever.

    All three of us have recovered from episodes and become stable without medication, so we know that it is possible. Not easy, at all, but possible.

    What I have seen boils down to probably more than 30 dreams I have had in over the past 10 years now. Most of these I have wrote down and shared with anyone I know that could handle them. While I do not know how severe things will ultimately get, I have come to my own conclusion and interpretation that the times will be the worst in the US since 1929-1946. I do not know if these will be less or more severe than those times. Probably some of both depending on location and how one looks and compares the two.

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  86. Headless Unicorn Guy: This reminds me of the commenter (don’t remember which blog) who was full of all these mysterious references to “Signs of the Times” and “Luciferian” Conspiracies but every time you tried to pin him down on anything, all you’d get would be “Let Him Who Has Eyes to See, See; Let Him Who Has Eyes To Hear, Hear.”

    Maybe you gotta’ have a kind of special, secret, and arcane knowledge (gnosis) to understand it?

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  87. Headless Unicorn Guy: CAN’T YOU GIVE A DIRECT ANSWER?

    I did give you one. He used the term but did not go into detail about why he was using the term. I find this a common problem in Christianity as many use special insider language that outsiders have no idea of because they have not extensively studied the Bible. I try not to speak this way, but this guy is not me…

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  88. Muff Potter: Maybe you gotta’ have a kind of special, secret, and arcane knowledge (gnosis) to understand it?

    Or “The Sphinx” from the movie Mystery Men, a bottom-of-the-barrel Superhero whose only superpower was Being Mysterious.

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  89. Muff Potter: (gnosis)

    For some reason this reminded me of wisdom from The House at Pooh Corner, by A. A. Milne:

    The more it snows (Tiddely pom)
    The more it goes (Tiddely pom)
    The more it goes (Tiddely pom)
    On snowing

    And nobody knows (Tiddely pom)
    How cold my toes (Tiddely pom)
    How cold my toes (Tiddely pom)
    Are growing

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  90. Mr. Jesperson: Good luck with that! If God is evil then we are all doomed. This is a Christian blog, or have you noticed?

    I don’t think God goes around wreaking vengeance on whole countries for (not) doing some undefined thing.

    So no, I do not think God is evil.

    God is our refuge from evil. God is love.

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  91. Mr. Jesperson: I did give you one.He used the term but did not go into detail about why he was using the term.I find this a common problem in Christianity as many use special insider language that outsiders have no idea of because they have not extensively studied the Bible.I try not to speak this way, but this guy is not me…

    OK. That makes sense. He didn’t tell you what he meant, I don’t get the reference at all or don’t see how it applies. As a long-standing aficionado of the weird, I do know there are a lot of extraordinary claims floating around. (Now if Coast to Coast AM would just get off the “All Conspiracy Theory, All the Time” kick and go back to ghost stories, UFOlogy, cryptids, Forteana, and classic general strangeness…)

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  92. Friend: I don’t think God goes around wreaking vengeance on whole countries for (not) doing some undefined thing.

    A lot of Christians and Preacher-men DO.
    They’re not happy unless Someone (NEVER themselves) gets it in the neck from God.
    It’s a combination of “More Christian Than Thou” one-upmanship and the Zero-Sum Game.
    During my time in-country in the mid-to-late Cold War, it was Global Thermonuclear War as God’s Judgment. Locked into Inerrant SCRIPTURE by Hal Lindsay’s followers.

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  93. Friend: I don’t think God goes around wreaking vengeance on whole countries for (not) doing some undefined thing.

    So no, I do not think God is evil.

    God is our refuge from evil. God is love.

    Thank you for saying this. I agree.

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