Heath Lambert and FBC Jacksonville: This Post Is Way Too Long but FBCJ Members Will Not be Able to Say “We Didn’t Know That!”

Tropical Depression Cristobal-NASA

Warning to FBCJ members and hangers on: This post will require something from you. Do you want to know about Heath Lambert? What about ACBC? Do you think its just a nice, little counseling service in case your kid  gets a bit depressed? I have been following the development of nouthetic counseling and the ACBC stuff for years. Do you know that Lambert is a Calvinist? Do you know what that means for you? I have provided the reader with all sorts of links just in case you think I’m stretching the truth. Please feel free to contact me with questions.


I have been following church upheavals for 11 years. FBC Jacksonville has long been on my radar. It is known, in particular, for the tenure Jerry Vines. Here is what Wikipedia says.

Charles Jerry Vines (born September 1937) is an American preacher and former pastor of what was then the nation’s third largest Southern Baptist church, the First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Florida. Like his former co-pastor Homer G. Lindsay Jr., Vines is well known for his conservative and sometimes controversial public stances, as well as his wide-reaching influence in the Southern Baptist Convention and the local political arena. He retired from the First Baptist pulpit on February 7, 2006, and was succeeded by Mac Brunson. On February 4, 2007, Brunson named Vines Pastor Emeritus of the church.

Did you notice that little word *was* in reference to FBC Jax being the third largest church in the SBC during Vine’s tenure. Sadly, that is no longer the case. During Mac Brunson’s tenure, membership declined. Brunson often focused on accepting paid, outside speaking engagements as well as making sure he (and his family) had nice digs within the church setting (Didn’t his dog get nice digs at the church as well?) as well as a beautiful expensive house within a gated community along with other grants. He lived well.

This Wikipedia entry for FBCJ is important in understanding what has happened in recent years.

As of 2014, First Baptist Church has 28,000 members and an average attendance of around 3,000 for Sunday services.[2][3] The main Downtown Campus comprises several square blocks of property connected by above-ground crosswalks. The campus includes several auditoriums for services, a Sunday school building, and facilities for First Baptist Academy, a private K-12 school.

This is a church which had massive infrastructure and abysmal attendance, only 11%, at church services. It appears that there was no need for such large facilities. I have learned that much of the church fell into disrepair and there was no money to care for such a large facility.

So it should come as no surprise that it was reported First Baptist Church to sell 90% of its downtown property

Declining membership means a declining budget and the church cannot afford the $7 million yearly expense to maintain its buildings.

The church plans to sell nine of its 10 blocks and Lambert tells News4Jax that offers have already come in. The church sold another block of its downtown property last year.

…Daniel Davis, the president of JAX Chamber, wants to work with the church and developers to grow this section of downtown. He believes it will work for retail, business and residential space.

…Lambert plans to renovate the church’s oldest sanctuary, the Hobson Auditorium. It was built in 1904.

His plan includes spending $30 million to renovate the auditorium as well as the building and parking garage next to it. The refurbished facility is scheduled to open in early 2022.

Pay attention to the parts of the church which will be kept. This church has tremendous potential for growth and that has not gone unnoticed by leaders in the SBC. The 10% that is left is quite attractive to pastors hoping to revitalize churches.

Enter Heath Lambert: the head of the controversial Association of Certified Biblical Counselors as well as an Associate Professor at SBTS.

Heath Lambert was an associate professor of counseling at the ardently Calvinist SBC seminary-Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville. If you think he came to FBCJ to be a simple pastor of counseling under Mac Brunson, you haven’t been following the news in the SBC. FBCJ was a plum ripe for the plucking.

The SBC has been involved in the *revitalization* of older churches. Let me translate that for you. One of the most difficult things about starting a new church plant is trying to find and rent facilities. There are many within the leadership which urge SBC Baptist preacher types to find a church facility that is already bought and paid for.

Last year I received a call from church in the Boston area. Twenty Calvinist young folks arrived at their church and began to join committees, etc. They were attempting to get themselves elected to position of leadership in the church. Why might that be? This church was an historical church with paid for facilities. I explained to the pastor what was likely happening. Those 20 young church *revitalizers* were given the boot.

I have been following Heath Lambert for a number of years. I am quite critical of his intellectual soft ACBC curriculum.  “You, too, can become a respected counselor by following this simple program.” This organization claims that they certify biblical counseling competency. However, I’e written a number of posts on this subject. Do you want to know what your new pastor believes about counseling?

In the following posts, I came to the conclusion that church members should flee such counseling. It is clear that confidentiality will not be guaranteed and counselees could be subjected to church discipline.Read the counseling contract carefully. You will see what I mean. Better yet, avoid this sort of counseling at all costs.

The following is part of a post that I wrote in 2018.


Start 2018 post

Another Reason to Avoid Biblical Counseling: Confidentiality Is Not Guaranteed When Sin™ Is Involved

Finally, back to biblical™ counseling. Here are my previous posts in case you missed them.

According to the website for ACBC (Association for Certified Biblical Counselors):  (Note 6/17/20-This has been removed since Lambert has stepped down from this position but the following is what existed on the site in 2018.)

Dr. Heath Lambert is the Executive Director at the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors.  ACBC is the largest biblical counseling organization in the world with counseling training centers and certified counselors in 29 countries.

Dr. Lambert is a faculty member at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and their undergraduate institution, Boyce College, where he has taught since 2006.

Dr. Lambert is a founding council board member of The Biblical Counseling Coalition.  He serves on the editorial boards of The Journal of Family Ministry, and The Journal of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.

According to First Baptist Church, Jacksonville:

Dr. Heath Lambert came to FBC JAX in 2015 as associate pastor. In May of 2018, he assumed the role of senior pastor. A faithful teacher of God’s Word, Pastor Lambert is also a leader and advocate of biblical counseling, serving as Executive Director of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors

…Pastor Lambert earned a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Biblical and Theological Studies and Political Science from Gordon College in 2002; The Master of Divinity of Degree (M.Div.) in Christian Ministry from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2005; and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in biblical counseling from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2009.

Make sure you understand his allegiances beyond the biblical counseling world.

  • Faculty member at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Founding member of The Biblical Counseling Coalition.(I mistakenly said Gospel Colaition although he is well published over there.
  • Editorial board of the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
  • He also speaks for 9 Marks (added 8/18)

Given his background, what might you expect about his view on the church?

  • He is Reformed and believes in a strict authority structure within the church.
  • He believes in strict gender roles.
  • He believes in church discipline.
  • Church authority over a believer’s life trumps confidentiality.

What does he think about confidentiality in biblical counseling?

In a series called “Truth in Love” he speaks on Counseling and Confidentiality which you can listen to here. The following are some comments that jumped out at me.

  • Since Lambert became the director of ACBC, confidentiality is one of the most frequently asked questions. (Ask yourself, why might that be?)
  • He believes that secular counseling places a premium on confidentiality. He does not mention that even secular counselors must report child abuse and seem to do a better job of that than the church but why muddy the waters?
  • He does believe that abuse is required to be reported in *most* states. It is curious that he does not say that abuse must always be reported even if the counselor is not required to report it.
  • In Biblical counseling, confidentiality is *often* valuable but it is not the most important. (Ask yourself, what is more important?…)
  • Matthew 18 as your answer.  Of course it is. I knew he would get around to this since Matthew 18’s verses appear to be the most important part of the Bible after the Cross and Resurrection.

Matthew 18:15-19 NIV:

Dealing With Sin in the Church

15 “If your brother or sister[a] sins,[b] go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’[c] 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be[d] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[e] loosed in heaven.

19 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.

  • Lambert believes that if the counselor is aware of sin, there is a requirement to disclose that sin if the person continues to sin. Think about that for a moment and ask the most overlooked question, “What sin must be disclosed?” You will not get a definitive answer.
  • If the counselee does not stop *sinning* then Lambert says the counselor must get 2-3 witnesses ala Matthew 18:16 in order to confront them.
  • If the counselee still does not stop doing the undefined sin, he/she must be reported to the entire church. Remember when Matt Chandler reported Karen Hinkley’s supposed sins to all 6,000 members????
  • Then, if the undefined sin is still present in the life of the counselee, that sinner should be kicked out of the church and shunned!

Lambert appears to claim that making sure that sin in the life of the believer should be prosecuted. Therefore, the counselor must work with the leadership of the church to make sure that discipline happens. Seriously?

End 2018 post


Given the above, why would you seek counseling from an ACBC counselor? The following is what I would expect to occur at FBCJ. I hope I am proven wrong.

Heath Lambert will institute Calvinism as the preferred theology of FBCJ.

How could he not? This is what he was taught and this is what he believes. FBCJ was a perfectly situated for a Calvinist incursion. It is a church in turmoil, looking for a strong leader. It is my opinion that Lambert came to FBCJ with the intention of becoming the senior pastor ASAP. FBCJ had the infrastructure, even with 90% being sold off. I have been told that Trey Brunson was instrumental in bring Lambert to FBCJ. Those I interviewed said that Trey was a great admirer of folks like Matt Chandler whose church is currently being sued for the molestation of an underage child. Who can forget the Karen Hinckley situation?

I have no problem if a church chooses to be Calvinist in its theology so long as the members have been told about the switch in emphasis. Now, Lambert may say something like the following “I believe in grace, don’t you?” And all God’s people said, “Amen,” except…maybe they should ask what Lambert means by grace. He most likely means the *doctrines of grace.* Do you know what they are? 

  1. Total depravity
  2. Unconditional election
  3. Limited atonement
  4. Irresistible grace
  5. Perseverance of the saint.

Such theology espouses that God determined who would be a Christian before time began. So, if you weren’t chosen, you will not be going to heaven to matter how many squints you put it in the nursery. Same goes for your children. Has Lambert mentioned this to you yet? Why don’t you ask him if you doubt me on this?

Heath Lambert will be authoritarian in his tenure just as much as Brunson was an authoritarian.

For those of you who want to continue at FBCJ, and goodness knows they need every bit of your tithe money, be sure to agree totally with him or be prepared to have some problems. Lambert insists he had nothing to do with the following. I don’t believe him. Eric Johnson Lambasted by Heath Lambert and Fired by Al Mohler

It appears to me that Lambert is thin skinned when it comes to his beloved ACBC accreditation being challenged by a real academic. Of course he’s worried. ACBC is problematic in a number of ways. It is simple to become certified by ACBC. It is hard to get a real PhD in psychology like Johnson.

What happened? Johnson was the last actual PhD holding psychologist at SBTS. Lambert believes in the supremacy of the ACBC. Here is Lambert’s confession.

The importance of these issues leads to another problem with the way I spoke about Dr. Johnson that night. I believe the centrality of Christ is really on the line with whether or not we believe God has given us sufficient resources to help troubled people. But my sin took the focus off of Christ, and placed it on me where it should never be. I am so ashamed of that.

But I really believe what I teach about these things. I know that Jesus Christ has forgiven me, and I pray that now you will too.

Remember this when you sign up for counseling. Lambert really believes that he has found the key to emotional salvation. That should make you worried.

Things to watch out for: membership covenants and church discipline

For now, I plan to watch and see if such things are instituted and how they are applied. I recommend that no-one sign a membership covenant which is, in reality, a legal contract. I have written reams on this subject but will spare the reader for now.

Some thoughts on Mac Brunson and Heath Lambert

  • Lambert is a hardcore Calvinist.
  • Both are authoritarian.
  • Both do not like to be challenged. Think Tom Rich for Brunson and Eric Johnson for Lambert.
  • Both are adept at wiggling around the truth when necessary
  • Lambert will get some monetary help in putting FBCJ back on its feet.(See if the NAMB is donating money.) Brunson ignored  monetary realities.
  • Lambert is a better preacher.
  • Brunson will always be remembered for the grave injustice he inflicted on Tom Rich.
  • Lambert will fire more people and may bring in more help from his BFFs at SBTS.
  • Will Lambert attempt to bring resolution to Tiffany Thigpen’s concern about Jerry Vines’ book? Or will he chicken out of that one as too challenging? I bet on the latter.
  • Why does it matter if there are 28,000 members when almost none of them (11%) come to church? Talk about weird…

Well, you have your work cut out for you to make it through this tome. Go for it. Learn about what’s going on in your church.


Comments

Heath Lambert and FBC Jacksonville: This Post Is Way Too Long but FBCJ Members Will Not be Able to Say “We Didn’t Know That!” — 161 Comments

  1. First Baptist Atlanta sold their downtown property approx. 25 years ago for a healthy profit and then turned around and used debt/proceeds to purchase the old Avon distribution center in northern suburb of Atlanta. A win win financially. FBCJ will probably do likewise. The downtown properties are worth more sold than serving as a church. FBA did loose some membership but picked up more wealthier congregants from the northern suburbs. FBCJ I am think is using the same playbook. Go where the money is….so get what they can from their property, move facilities to a higher giving profile of attendees and pretend it is all God’s plan.

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  2. The recruitment of counseling ministry into church disciplinary processes is distressing.

    It also seems to me to be a misapplication of Mt 18. Sin disclosed in the course of counseling is not against the counselor, so it would seem to be in violation of not only confidentiality but also the plain meaning of the text for the counselor to involve others.

    Perhaps the theory is that if the counselor commands the counselee to repent and the counselee does not, that is a new instance of sin against the authority of the counselee (which stands in for the authority of the church hierarchy), and that becomes the justification for involving others, in the course of which the original details of the underlying transgression are disclosed.

    I agree that one should run from such counseling. And run from churches that offer it.

    ——

    Of course, in the “new normal” of COVID-19, there is little face-to-face counseling and excommunication, shunning, etc. do not have much bite to them. It must be painful for these people to be church leaders in such times.

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  3. prodinov: First Baptist Atlanta sold their downtown property approx. 25 years ago for a healthy profit and then turned around and used debt/proceeds to purchase the old Avon distribution center in northern suburb of Atlanta. A win win financially.

    In more than just for the properties. One of the big keys to creating a megachurch is affluent members. Successful megachurches are nearly always in high income suburbs. I’m certain that before the move, FBCA had a good number of affluent members, but moving north pulled more wealthy people down from the northern suburbs.

    Likewise, Northpoint only plants churches in the most affluent areas around metro Atlanta. It makes their claim to be all about only reaching people for Christ a bit dubious.

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  4. yes good ole Northpoint. I actually attended the preliminary meetings where property purchasing was discussed since Northpoint would vacate the Avon building for FBCA. 2 men, very influential brought him (Stanley-the committee) computer printouts that in the 90’s were new to how you pinpoint influence/money. Every decision from that point forward was based on where you could draw the most money givers, etc. Now approx 20 years ago, that church in main campus was pulling in over $1 million weekly. Me thinks FBCJ has already started to plan such possibility. Selling is first step. FBCJ will not be honest until after they have everything in place irregardless of the congregants. These pastors/snakes are always lining there pockets. A Stanley got what he wanted, bought his little million dollar mansion in Milton, and a mega church that has a budget where even the lowliest salaried employees live in the top percentile of home buyers. FBCJ is studying the playbook.

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  5. sighs

    In other disappointing New Cal news (is it ever hopeful?), Kevin Deyoung is espousing quiverfull ideas to the New Cals for “culture revolution”. As if the quiverfull movement didn’t already prove that your kids are just going to up and leave you and the faith if you go that route, not to mention the severe abuse that gets heaped on kids in these kinds of cultural settings.

    https://web.archive.org/web/20200618013102/https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevin-deyoung/its-time-for-a-new-culture-war-strategy/

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  6. prodinov: Me thinks FBCJ has already started to plan such possibility. Selling is first step. FBCJ will not be honest until after they have everything in place irregardless of the congregants. These pastors/snakes are always lining there pockets.

    That’s absolutely what they are going to do. I’ve only been to Jacksonville once, so I don’t know it well, so I don’t know where that might be. But it will be where the richest people in Jax are. Likely up and coming so they can sell high and buy lower.

    I lived in Johns Creek for 26 years and watched Northpoint carefully expand to the most affluent areas of metro Atlanta. I also listened to a lot of their messaging, both through advertising and their attendees. People really believed that church was only about reaching people for Christ and no one thought to consider why they avoided lower income (and often more population dense) areas.

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  7. ishy,

    This is a shocking article. Kevin De Young actually advocates having more kids than you think you can handle. Children and spouse ought never to be means as to an end. The ideas expressed in this article are hugely damaging to children and spouse. The damage will last a lifetime for the children of parents who build their family on this abusive ideology.

    Kevin De Young and TGC should take this post down. Dee/Todd, will you write a post on this?

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  8. Sjon: This is a shocking article. Kevin De Young actually advocates having more kids than you think you can handle. Children and spouse ought never to be means as to an end.

    I don’t find it so shocking, I guess, because it’s an idea that’s been around a long time. I’ve just never heard it espoused by the New Cals before. Though they’ve always been open about their belief in the ends justifying the means.

    But it is, and has proven to be, a terrible philosophy. Not only is it not effective in doing what they claim in making more Christians, it’s causes financial strain on families and neglect and abuse on children. I actually think the New Calvinist belief in authoritarian control has long been shown to fail, because it allows for abuse and eventually people get tired of hypocritical and authoritarian leaders.

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  9. prodinov: First Baptist Atlanta sold their downtown property approx. 25 years ago

    approx. 50 years ago I was baptised in that church bu Charles Stanley. Later he wrote my recommendation to enroll at Dallas Seminary. He was constantly challenged by the old guard at FBC Atlanta, even having a deacon take a swing at him in a deacon meeting.

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  10. ishy: It makes their claim to be all about only reaching people for Christ a bit dubious.

    I’m sure they can find a way to spin it as fundamentally rooted in concern for the poor — the most effective way to reach the poor is to reach the rich first and mobilize their resources into ministry to the poor.

    It reminds me a bit of a joke that circulated in the school of missions I attended in the ’80s — in response to the posters another department of the university was posting advertising pay scales in various fields, some of the missions students began talking (in jest, I’m sure, but today I would take it seriously) about their ambition to go into “incarnational ministry to the wealthy.”

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  11. ishy: we were probably neighbors in Johns Creek. drstevej: not quite 50 years. Here is a synopsis:
    The Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Martin Sinderman in an article in February 2001 had this to say about the church and the site:

    “In October 1988, the church paid a reported $20 million to Avon Products for 52 acres along North Peachtree Road and Interstate 285 in north DeKalb County to be used as a site for its newest home. Two years later, First Baptist sold the bulk of the church’s Midtown holdings for $43.5 million to G. Lars Gullstedt, a Swedish developer who spent some $100 million for five blocks along Peachtree and West Peachtree early in the 1990s, announcing plans for a massive high-rise redevelopment project that would link downtown and Midtown. The recession of the early 1990s put a hitch in a lot of real estate plans — including those of both Gullstedt and First Baptist. Gullstedt filed for bankruptcy in Sweden in 1993. First Baptist, which had been paid a reported $15 million of the total price, had to swing a deal with Gullstedt’s Swedish lender to regain control of the land. First Baptist’s Midtown site sat idle for a number of years. Finally, in a transaction Atlanta Business Chronicle cited as “Honorable Mention — Land Deal of the Year” for 1999, BellSouth Corp. purchased the property for a reported $16.3 million.”

    Bottom line, downtown churches were no longer able to grow based on demographics. In Atlanta, I can’t imagine the thousands baptized by Stanley over the decades. Some like him, some don’t, but many deacons wanted to take swings at him for his abrupt changes on divorce. You could not be a SS teacher nor deacon if divorced. So when Stanley got divorced the question arose was why was he still pastoring? Or why not take a long sabbatical? Heath? Watch it play out….FBCJ will keep going downhill no matter where they locate. FBJ Jax (T Rich) has so well documented the historics that the next decade will be a decade where it is only a shell of itself…

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  12. “Warning to FBCJ members and hangers on … Do you know that Lambert is a Calvinist? Do you know what that means for you?” (Dee)

    As a 70+ year Southern Baptist (I’m a “Done” now), I can tell you that the average Southern Baptist doesn’t give a big whoop about things like “theology.” But if you attempt to take away their potluck dinners and other social gatherings, you will have a war on your hands! That’s why the SBC has been such an easy target for the New Calvinists … a once-great evangelistic non-Calvinist denomination has surrendered without firing a shot. Somewhere along the line, Southern Baptists became a religious people with little spiritual substance. The Great Commission is no longer the mission.

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  13. The only thing you got totally wrong was “Lambert is the better preacher.” Not so..Brunson preaches to you…Lambert preaches AT you….big dif.
    Also wrong…Lambert was hired to lead the counseling ministry, then bullied his way into the associate pastor position.
    Tip of the iceberg.

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  14. Max:
    “Warning to FBCJ members and hangers on … Do you know that Lambert is a Calvinist? Do you know what that means for you?”(Dee)

    …I can tell you that the average Southern Baptist doesn’t give a big whoop about things like “theology.”But if you attempt to take away their potluck dinners and other social gatherings, you will have a war on your hands!That’s why the SBC has been such an easy target for the New Calvinists …

    I think that is so, so true. That is why it is so easy for a guy like Heath to come in and the church doesn’t care much about Calvinism, and it is easy for Heath to deny that he is one. He has addressed the Calvinist question multiple times during question and answer sessions very well. What DOES matter to many members, is if the Man of God is having his minions send “discipline letters” to members for their sins of getting remarried, or criticizing leadership, or if the Man of God is openly lying about what has happened to staff members who leave. That is the story that needs to be told that can save peeps from being sucked into an abusive church.

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  15. Cathy Hogan: Praying for direction.

    To folks trapped in such ministries, there is a tension between two passages of Scripture: “Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together” vs. “Come out of her My People and do not be a partaker of her sins”.

    “Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice? At the highest point along the way, where the paths meet, she takes her stand” (Proverbs 8:1-2)

    Standing sometimes means leaving.

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  16. TR: if the Man of God is openly lying …

    … he is not a Man of God.

    When I think of the stealth and deception in the New Calvinist movement (there have been numerous reports), the following passage always comes to mind:

    “You are of your father the devil, and it is your will to practice the desires which are characteristic of your father … When he lies, he speaks what is natural to him, for he is a liar and the father of lies and half-truths.” (John 8:44)

    Behind the seminary degree, behind the charisma, behind the gift of gab, behind the method and message … is a father of lies.

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  17. Sjon,

    I’ve written a bunch of posts on the matter. This all started with the quiver full movement a decade ago. Everyone jumped on the bandwagon, including Al Mohler except…For all their yapping, few had more than a couple of kids which includes Mohler.DeYoung kept producing offspring, everyone complimented him and few followed in his path. I bet he’s just upset that he’s got so many kids and can’t get others to do the same. I wonder if his wife is getting tired of so many kids and homeschooling and whatever.

    I can assure you that the folks I his congregation will pat him on the back for producing so well and continue to ignore him.

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  18. prodinov: but many deacons wanted to take swings at him for his abrupt changes on divorce. You could not be a SS teacher nor deacon if divorced. So when Stanley got divorced the question arose was why was he still pastoring?

    That is a very interesting story. He was anti divorce and then it happened to him. They convinced him because his wife was *nuts* according to the grapevine. he obviously agreed. He was also into selling Amway at one time to enrich his pockets from what I have been told.

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  19. Yes, the Amway was a big part of the Stanleys initial wealth. They were “Diamonds”. I knew many in Atlanta that were part of their downline. During the late 80’s Stanley made lots of money on producing and selling cassette tapes motivating his troops. These assisted Stanley in learning how to do likewise with his ministry In Touch which started with selling cassettes of his sermons. Stanley’s Amway cassettes were fascinating to hear his motivational and manipulation to sell Amway. I have searched Ebay and other sources to try and find those old cassettes from 30 years ago and have yet to find them circulating. So this is a pattern. Look at the son. Even before Northpoint was built and monetizing based on the congregants….if you do a deep deep search on the books by the Stanleys, look at Andy’s very very first books. He was a co-auther with his dad. Why? The books were rehashed sermons by the dad but throwing his son’s name as co-author so his son could financially benefit and get his foot in the door. It worked. I don’t hate the Stanleys in no way….but they show identical attributes in the evangelical world that is a pattern and is used by all these pastors at the top of the link within the SBC. They have destroyed the deep doctrines that were so essential to their mission minded platforms from generations ago. Wade has definitely been aware of this and has spoken his concerns. No one seems to be listening. Sad.

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  20. Max: Standing sometimes means leaving.

    Sometimes even Jesus walked away

    “Yea, the same man may both fly and stand, as the call and working of God with his heart may be. Moses fled (Exo 2:15), Moses stood (Heb 11:27). David fled (1 Sam 19:12), David stood (24:8). Jeremiah fled (Jer 37:11, 12), Jeremiah stood (38:17). Christ withdrew himself (Luke 9:10), Christ stood (John 18:1–8). Paul fled (2 Cor 11:33), Paul stood (Acts 20:22, 23).”

    From John Bunyan, cited here

    https://tollelege.wordpress.com/2015/02/11/to-flee-or-to-stay-by-john-bunyan/

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  21. prodinov: they show identical attributes in the evangelical world that is a pattern and is used by all these pastors at the top of the link within the SBC. They have destroyed the deep doctrines that were so essential to their mission minded platforms from generations ago.

    This was the main reason I left evangelicalism. I saw that the loudest voices about how to live were more concerned with how much power and money they got out of it. Some of them committed terrible crimes. I’ve had conversations with these people. I went to school with them. I’ve seen everyone around me blindly follow them and parrot their empty words.

    I had a nightmare the other night about some of the friends I have left in New Calvinist churches being shunned by their family members for questioning their beliefs. People from very close families who used to have more sense before they fell in with the New Cals. I woke up telling myself it wasn’t true, but it easily could be true or might very well come true in the future.

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  22. Samuel Conner,

    Great Bunyan quote! During my church experience spanning 70+ years, I have had to make a choice to go, go back, or stay. I would only go back now if I saw a widespread outbreak of hungering and thirsting after righteousness … or even an isolated Body of Christ which were genuinely doing that. In the meantime, I will be the church rather than go to church.

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  23. Max: Whew! The last thing the church needs is a quiver full of New Calvinists!

    New Calvinism will be out of favor by the time those kids grow up. Just like Gothard’s movement is gone now that those kids are becoming adults.

    These leaders always believe they can change things forever, but just as they took power from others, others will take power from them. The pendulum is always in motion from one side to the other…

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  24. I try not to comment on here to frequently but I feel it necessary speak out On some comments made above on Kevin DrYoungs article.

    While I am not a believer in the Quiverfull movement I believe some statements painted wih a wide brush. So let’s deal with some of the I believe unfair assumptions

    In my life as a Christian I have known 4 families with 7 or more children and my observations have been as follows;

    1. None of the women I interacted with felt forced to do this. They old me and others that this was done after prayer and a conviction from the Lord,a couple actually told me it was their desire and not their husbands. These were not handmaidens but strong, educated women.

    2. The husbands and fathers were committed along with their wives, they were helpful and assumed whatever tasks were necessary to keep things going. One thing I
    noticed was they all had jobs that were flexible with time do that if a need arose they could be available and not be stuck at work. Their marriages weren’t perfect but they worked and actually were a better than mine. Hey we’re involved with spouses and children.

    3. The children were normal, better at sharing than smaller families I think. Children have free will and some loved Jesus and some not so much. Parents know that there are no guarantee’s that every child is going to turn out to love Jesus, some I know don’t follow the faith but their still moral people and good citizens and deeply loved by their parents. The same thing occurs in small families too. Give these parents some credit,they are realists.c

    4. So when is it wrong to stretch your faith, to do more than you think you can? No Navy Seals here? EriN married I wanted zero children, because of selfish reasons, money being one of them, I had four,twin girls and two boys, God provided and my heart changed.
    Money was tight but God provided for each of these fami!ies, just like mine and yours, and the stories were often amazing how God came through for them. And yes they used their minds and made wise financial decisions. Their children got cars, went to prom and etc. Money or the lack thereof shouldn’t e the major factor in many of our decisions on our spiritual walk.

    If done right, with the Lord’s guidance,two spouses living each other and committed why not have a large family. Look, there tons of dumpster fires in Christian families small and rage and mega and small churches, there are no cookie cutter methods for making healthy families and churches, each teaching and doctrine can and has been abused.

    Many readers of TWW have views that are counterculture to what the American church believes and I would say that having a large family is counterculture too.

    I read Kevin DeYoung’s article and though I don’t like the term “culture wars” Christians have used the political system to bring about good, i.e.William Wilberforce, though more often than not the political field has been a snare. Also no where does DeYoung say it’s a mandate but perhaps something to consider. We have to remember that in many of our poorer countries our brethren have large families and are poor, we have no right to judge them with our western values no more than we have the judge our our fellow believers who feel that they desire a large family. Now if they make it a mandate or make it a test of a believers love of Jesus than we part ways. I know some in the Quiverfull movement do that and if that is the argument than I would have concerns, same with homeschooling, house churches, mega churches and everything else.

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  25. Max: “Religion” in Bunyan’s day must have been healthier. There is a vast difference in Religion (teachings and traditions of men) vs. Relationship (an encounter with the Living Christ).

    Max, I have had that weaponized and used against me.
    “YOU have a (sneer) ‘Religion’. I Have a (smiiiile) RELATIONSHIP!”
    Over-saved Christians can turn anything into a One-Upmanship Smackdown.

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  26. Sjon: This is a shocking article. Kevin De Young actually advocates having more kids than you think you can handle.

    “Outbreed the Heathen.”
    Quite Darwinist, actually.
    According to Gould, when Charles Darwin coined the term “survival of the fittest”, he was talking in terms of relative reproductive success over time. Those with more offspring over several generations will dominate the gene pool.

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  27. See and Sjon , I am disappointed in your remarks about Kevin DeYoungs wife, she may well be tired or maybe not. I know plenty of women (I am a nurse ) who are tired of one or two children. I know several women with large families and they are happy having them and love them . Also a couple of them desired a large family not their husbands and are strong, educated and definitely not handmaidens. You don’t know her heart and your making some unfounded assumptions that I think are hurtful.We talk a good game about empowering women in this site and then you say what you said about this mother. Give her motives for having a large family the benefit of the doubt, the same we all do.

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  28. dee,

    Trying to see the funny side: I’ll bet it was only when De Young’s conference speaking was curtailed due to C-19 that he spent enough time at home to suddenly realise he had 8 kids and counting!

    With household mayhem increasingly evident, with his global mission diminished, but the global spread of C-19 inspirationally illustrated in every newsflash, he had a bright idea: I’ll start evangelising and catechising and (most importantly) calvinising the brood! Then they will grow up and evangelise and catechise and calvinise their own broods and then they will, and they will and they will…ad infinitum until the world is wondrously filled with newer and newer Calvinists!

    ‘Viral New Calvinism, what could be better!’ I’d better tell the boys at TGC!’ Kevin exclaimed. ‘Stand by your beds lads..and erm, lassies!’

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  29. A couple post back I was challenged on a statement regarding historical Christian attitudes on women. I couldn’t recall the Westminster Confession without reviewing it’s content.

    The DeYoung/ TGC advocacy of Church procreation is totally consistant with the Westminster Confession. Specifically, this position lays out the doctrine of the continuance of a holy seed through biblically correct copulation.

    This draws from the Doctrine of Original Sin, where sin is transmitted through semen. But now, it lends itself through the procreation of a godly seed(semen) towards building the New Israel. (Note the word, “increase” below)

    See Chapter 24 Westminster Confession:

    “Section 2.) Marriage was ordained for the mutual help of husband and wife,(1) for the increase of mankind with legitimate issue, and of the Church with an holy seed;(2) and for preventing of uncleanness.(3) …”

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  30. prodinov,

    Heh, shout out to my neighbors, then, ishy and Prodinov. Roswell resident here since 1986. Very familiar with North Point, FBC Atlanta, and all the goings-ons, but you two tell it better.

    Born in Jacksonville, lived there awhile in my early years, and still have family there. I am reading this whole series with EXTREME interest.

    Between this and the revelation of how deeply Paige Patterson’s Conservative Baptist Network had/has its tendrils embedded in the SBC EC, my religious news feeds are blowing up. Makes my little ACNA pond seem practically silent.

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  31. Chuckp,

    Thanks for your thoughts, which are helpful, If you check back you will see that I didn’t make any remarks at all about Kevin De Young’s wife. I agree with you that we should not make assumptions and should be sensitive. I cannot speak for Dee, but I suspect she would agree too. (I think you have probably read too much into Dee’s brief mention of Kevin’s wife.)

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  32. Chuckp: While I am not a believer in the Quiverfull movement I believe some statements painted wih a wide brush.

    The problem is not big or small families. The problem is the roots of Quiverfull. I knew some of the movement’s founders. They were angry people. The early books put out by the movement are way, way out of mainstream American Christian belief. The name “quiverfull” refers to children as arrows. The movement was built on a fear of being outbred by People We Don’t Like.

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  33. Nathan Priddis,

    Given you POV, why don’t you get all those who believe in the Westminster Confession to have more kids and adopt lots of kids. I would expect that all the families should have a minimum of 8 like the DeYoungs. However, my observation of those who believe in this confession do not all have large families. So, are they disobedient? How many kids do you have?

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  34. Chuckp,

    You have four kids. That seems a bit measly. Why don’t you have more, lots more? If you can’t physically, then adopt. There are tons of kids out there. Surely you want to follow what “the American church* supposedly follows although I go to an *American* church and I don’t hear this being taught.

    I, too, know some large families whose kids have grown up being very good with *sharing* who reject the large family which is supposed to be standard in the American church. Sharing often turned into using the older kids to take care of the younger kids because Mom and Dad just couldn’t do it well.

    Frankly, this is a choice you get to make. But the moment you claim this is the better way, you lose me. There is no question in y mind that DeYoung thinks it is the better way just like he thought CJ Mahaney was *the man.*

    I don’t care if you have 20 kids or 1 kid or 0 kids so long as you are following the path God has set before you. For example, Karen Swallow Prior and her husband have no kids and have no plans to adopt yet they are being highlighted by The Gospel Coalition.

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  35. I haven’t posted for a little bit, but would just like to reiterate that our little Southern Baptist ‘paid for’ church has been approached now on at least three occasions by a Southern Baptist ‘church plant’ not even a mile away from us. They were meeting in a school. But the school they were using is currently closed due to COVID 19, so they’re looking for a building. We sit on four acres of prime real estate–a peach ripe for the pickin’ by one of these ‘church revitalizers’. I have warned our leadership about the dangers of ‘partnering’ with them. And so far, we have staved them off, but for how long? All it takes is for a bunch of them to join our church and ‘revitalize’ it by voting the old guard out by sheer majority. Needless to say, I wouldn’t be sticking around to see that happen! I can’t articulate how sad and disgusting these ‘hostile takeover’ tactics are, especially when being used by the Body of Christ!

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  36. Friend: The name “quiverfull” refers to children as arrows. The movement was built on a fear of being outbred by People We Don’t Like.

    They were often very invested in homeschooling. I’m not knocking homeschooling–it’s possible to do it well and can be a better option than other types of schooling.

    But the teachings in the Quiverfull movement about homeschooling are really disturbing. Like being adament that no one in a public school can get a good education (I have heard that one personally from a someone I know). Then you got people like Voddie Baucham claiming that girls shouldn’t be educated, are the property of their fathers, and exist to fix any desire for a younger woman in their fathers (CREEP FACTOR 1000%). The object of Quiverfull philosophy is to turn out little religious and political clones of parents, but studies have shown this doesn’t happen because people naturally try to get escape authoritarian upbringings.

    This is a pretty interesting article that talks about homeschooling and whether it results in the kids turning out the way parents want. https://theconversation.com/homeschooled-children-do-not-grow-up-to-be-more-religious-45690

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  37. QUIVER = “tremble or shake with a slight rapid motion.”

    When you ask the wife and she quivers… your quiver is full.

    For us it came after: 8 miscarriage, the birth of our daughter, one failed private adoption and the successful adoption of our son from an adoption agency. Her FULL QUIVER meant a FULL QUIVER. That was 34 years ago.

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  38. Root 66,

    Yeah, they discussed that movement in the article.

    Someone pointed out on Facebook that this is a logical conclusion of New Calvinism. You are elect or not in their beliefs, but many believe in family election. Their belief in family election really isn’t founded in their theology, but I remember my former New Cal theology professor claiming that God wouldn’t make his kids into anything he (prof) wouldn’t want them to be. And I bet most of these leaders believe similar because they can’t concieve any perspective that doesn’t put what they want at the center.

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  39. ishy: interesting article

    It is indeed, thanks.

    I don’t think that we can believe every child is a bearer of God’s image, and simultaneously believe our job is to isolate children in body, mind, or spirit. Yes, sure, give them structure and moral moorings, teach them our ways, all of that. But every child is an individual, and adults thrive best when they are strong enough to face a variety of ideas and circumstances.

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  40. ishy: Then you got people like Voddie Baucham claiming that girls shouldn’t be educated, are the property of their fathers, and exist to fix any desire for a younger woman in their fathers (CREEP FACTOR 1000%).

    Baucham huh?
    I swear the guy is a bizaare combination of Uncle Remus and Simon Legree.

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  41. ishy: are the property of their fathers

    Dangerous. Seriously evil.
    As mapped out in the novel “Legal Grounds”.
    The 5th commandment applied for the benefit of pure evil.
    Very disturbing, immoral, destructive and illegal.

    It’s a miracle when a person escapes and recaptures their personhood, with full agency, just as God created each of us to be.

    This evil happens, yes, even in the “church”, and the recovery can also take place – recovery by the grace of God (they will leave that evil “church” behind, though).

    Why do “churches” protect & provide cover for these predatory monsters? Money. The predator pays the pulpit’s salary. Big time. Co-dependency at its finest.

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  42. Wasn’t Mr. Mohler, “the smartest guy around” or something to that effect? I must admit that I am glad I do not belong to a system whereby I feel the need to offer mere platitudes to the boss, whenever I have to mention his name. I believe in giving compliments, used sparingly, and well-deserved without hyperbole.

    My disillusionment is that many Christian (Evangelical) leaders are less honest and less intelligent than they pretend to be. Although John Lennox is a hard act to follow.

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  43. Dee, I reread my article and no where did I say support the Quiverfull movement yet you had your claws out toward me or so it seems.
    What I did state was that I felt some of the usual stereotypes coming out from the comments made by readers on this blog about large families and you confirmed it by saying that these families often use their older children to watch the younger which if you go back to my article I said the families I knew made a concentrated effort not to do that. Dee, so you knew a few that did that, it doesn’t mean all families do it. Also I saw was the bias that large families are due to patriarchal guys who oppress their wives, not always true either.

    As far as the American church, my church doesn’t teach family size either but if you walk in a church with zero or one or twelve you will probably be critiqued
    by fellow members and pastoral staff . Zero or one children your selfish , five or six or more your weird, homeschool your weird, public school , you
    turning your children over to Satan’s system. The comparisons never end. Parents can’t win .
    Also , just like any group there is a continuum on where people lie about why they have a large family, some are of the Quiverfull movement and some just like large families because they love children and then everything in between. Dee, sometimes we put labels on people and not the person themselves. I don’t like people labeling me, I am not a republican because I am an evangelical, and so I am loathe to label others even though you are probably right about Mr. De Young. But even if he is a full 100 percent Quiverfull guy no where did he say it was a mandate. Voddie Baucham on the other hand has clearly laid out where he stands on the Quiverfull continuum.

    I also agreed that the size of your family is you and your spouses liberty in Christ. So I think we agreed on more things then we disagreed on.

    Dee , I just want to ask you straight up if what I said about Ms. De Young made you angry. I do believe it was wrong to bring her into this in what you said but I apologize IF how I said it wasn’t the best. ( I apologize to Sjon too)

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  44. Friend: The problem is not big or small families. The problem is the roots of Quiverfull. I knew some of the movement’s founders. They were angry people. The early books put out by the movement are way, way out of mainstream American Christian belief. The name “quiverfull” refers to children as arrows. The movement was built on a fear of being outbred by People We Don’t Like.

    This concept of a child as an arrow, is what I understood the movement to be.

    I have also heard the term used in connection to Christian ministry whereby children are raised in a foster or orphanage setting. The resulting product(children emerging from ministry care) are conceptually view as arrows.

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  45. Root 66: We sit on four acres of prime real estate–a peach ripe for the pickin’ by one of these ‘church revitalizers’.

    Church “replant” and “revitalization” are New Calvinist code for takeover. Lots of SBC churches have fallen for that deception. Under the guise of helping a struggling church, they really just want the stuff. The young whippersnappers get stars in their crowns by the New Calvinist elite if they successfully capture more churches for the movement.

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  46. Our daughter and son in law raised their 8 children in the Bill Gothard/ Quiverfull/ homeschool movement. They were Ill equipped mentally, emotionally, financially and spiritually to do so. Son in law became verbally, physically, emotionally and financially abusive. Several of the children became suicidal. Our daughter finally was forced to file for divorce to save her 3 youngest and herself. It’s not easy but they are better off than before. The kids from 11 to 28. None of the older children have married . The 19 year old and his girlfriend had a baby in March.

    None of it turned out the way they were promised and the way they expected.

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  47. Chuckp: my church doesn’t teach family size either but if you walk in a church with zero or one or twelve you will probably be critiqued
    by fellow members and pastoral staff . Zero or one children your selfish , five or six or more your weird, homeschool your weird, public school , you
    turning your children over to Satan’s system. The comparisons never end. Parents can’t win .

    Then walk the heck out of that church.

    I’m a parent. I had rambunctious, ill-clad offspring in church, and that got uncomfortable. But never, never, NEVER did my church judge me for the number of children or the educational choices we made.

    Parents CAN win by going to a church where the behavior is not toxic, or by not going at all. Why would any parent expose a child to an environment where the number of children is questioned, along with where they go to school?

    Why is your church not supporting you in your choices, and encouraging you?

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  48. Max,

    Yes Max,

    I agree. But many in the flock believe that these leaders are super smart (intellectual?) and above reproach. This may be off-topic, but what is a Ph.D. in biblical counseling? Does anyone know how rigorous the SWBTS is? I know that Trinity Intl. University has a rigorous DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY (THEOLOGICAL STUDIES) and is a research PhD.

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  49. dee: I think he’s upset that he has a large family and no one seems to be copying his obviously superior domestic ideology.

    This infuriates me. DeYoung is the guy who wrote “Crazy Busy” but I can just about guarantee you that with all the schmoozing and hobnobbing this guy does in all the right circles, his wife has most of the burden of raising their children. So he’s free to blather on and tell *women* that we should take on more than we can bear. Why does my mind go to Andrea Yates? (She killed her five young sons, was schizophrenic, and her husband Rusty basically escaped the home every day knowing full well she was schizophrenic.)

    Kevin DeYoung is a religious leader who “tie[s] up heavy, cumbersome loads and put[s] them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.” (Matthew 23:4)

    If you think I find this disgusting, you’d be correct on that.

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  50. Chuckp: See and Sjon , I am disappointed in your remarks about Kevin DeYoungs wife, she may well be tired or maybe not. I know plenty of women (I am a nurse ) who are tired of one or two children.

    I have no problem making the statement I did about Kevin DeYoung’s wife. She’s working harder than Kevin DeYoung is in raising their family. I would bet money on it.

    I’d also point out that the older children in large families often find themselves raising their younger siblings. One of my friends was dragooned into raising her twelve younger siblings. She’s never had children of her own, because she was exhausted growing up raising smaller siblings all the way through college. It was only when she entered law school that she was able to get out of the sibling raising business. That said, her mother was also in her law school class. When H. got admitted, H’s mother, a mover and shaker in the area, called up the dean and sweet talked him into admitting *her* as well. H couldn’t even escape her mother in law school!

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  51. Chuckp,

    “I am disappointed in your remarks about Kevin DeYoungs wife”
    ++++++++++++++++++

    trust me. every woman who observes a mother of many children is thinking to herself, “I wonder if she is getting tired of so many kids,…..”

    the mother knows that’s what they’re thinking, and chances are she’s asking herself the same question.

    it’s simply as honest a question as there ever was.

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  52. elastigirl: every woman who observes a mother of many children is thinking to herself, “I wonder if she is getting tired

    In my case it was one kid who had a complete terror of trying on clothes. Poor mite had had surgery as an infant, and screamed in agony when we had to buy things for that part of the body. This was not something I could explain to my fellow shoppers. But I’m sure they had questions galore!

    (Child now shops with confidence and dare I say verve.)

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  53. Vance: many in the flock believe that these leaders are super smart (intellectual?) and above reproach

    Well, as ministers of the Gospel, they should be above reproach – indeed, Scripture demands that they ‘must’ be in order to hold that sacred office! Unfortunately, the watchblogs continue to report on the shame and disgrace coming from New Calvinist ranks. The line is getting longer by the day of “reproached” pastors.

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  54. Nathan Priddis: The DeYoung/ TGC advocacy of Church procreation is totally consistant with the Westminster Confession. Specifically, this position lays out the doctrine of the continuance of a holy seed through biblically correct copulation.

    Like I said before, it’s impossible to make this stuff up.
    The Bible has been repeatedly used to concoct and conjure up all kinds of manifestos and ideologies; and to make them stick with the approval of the Lord himself.

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  55. Sjon: he had a bright idea: I’ll start evangelising and catechising and (most importantly) calvinising the brood! Then they will grow up and evangelise and catechise and calvinise their own broods and then they will, and they will and they will…

    It’s called “bedroom evangelism”, and was a fave of the Massachusetts Puritans.
    Now crossed with a “multiplying ministry” pyramid racket.

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  56. Chuckp: You don’t know her heart and your making some unfounded assumptions that I think are hurtful.

    It is a comment and question that deserves an answer. If DeYoung wants people to have scads of kids, he (and his wife) should discuss how they handle life. DeYoung (until Covid) travelled extensively to conferences, etc.He writes books, he write a blog. He’s involved in various podcasts and he is a pastor of a sizable church. He wrote a book about being *Crazy Busy.*

    So, it is a valid question. Not a hurtful discussion. And DeYoung’s wife doesn’t need your defense. I bet she can speak for herself.So don’t act all huffy like and tell women what they can ask about and what they cannot.

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  57. dee: It is a comment and question that deserves an answer. If DeYoung wants people to have scads of kids, he (and his wife) should discuss how they handle life. DeYoung (until Covid) travelled extensively to conferences, etc.He writes books, he write a blog. He’s involved in various podcasts and he is a pastor of a sizable church. He wrote a book about being *Crazy Busy.*

    So, it is a valid question. Not a hurtful discussion. And DeYoung’s wife doesn’t need your defense. I bet she can speak for herself.So don’t act all huffy like and tell women what they can ask about and what they cannot.

    It’s a culture war. The purpose of discipled church kids is a culture war. If families can’t afford them, so what? It’s a war..for control of the culture.

    As far as stressed out women are concerned, it was said the Woman was to bear in sorrow.

    Why would the preachers of the gospel care? They are men, and the doctrines say that God uses the preacher to bring restoration through declaring the word. That primarily means the public sermon, to the corporate body.

    Here is the evolution of this male focused thinking: (circa late 300’s)
    ..”The disease was brought in through a woman’s corrupted soul: the remedy came through a woman’s virgin body…”..
    By 1519, the remedy is being discribed as doctrines of Election and Grace. And those doctrines are declared primarily in pastoral sermons.

    TGC post in 2020 that couples need to increase procreation to wage culture war. They are being called to advance thhe Kingdom by increasing numbers of Elect, to wage this war.

    Back to my beginng point:
    Westminster Devines in the 1600’s said exactly this; Marriage was also to increase the “godly seed.”

    If one saw the Church as New Isreal, then to you it is automatic, that the Church will, and must, engage society/ies around it. Just as Israel was in perpetual war with the surrounding nations. This can only be done with a equaly perpetual increase in children of the Kingdom.
    This is not some theory, but tangible in history.

    The Great Migration of Puritans was to build a City on a Hill the whole World would see.

    The Doctrines underpinned the dominion of white men, in the Antebellum era preaching. Society was to be White, and Christian.

    Continental Reform teachings, then being called Neo-Calvinism, where hybridized with Afrikaaner Christianity to produce Apartheid. The National Party, represented a Christian nation, in South Africa. Apartied was the natural outworking of the concept of a godly seed.

    It doesn’t matter what century, continent or context, the struggle evolves and new opponents will be found. But, always the need for more foot soldiers. They are nothing but pawns to be expended.

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  58. Nathan Priddis: TGC post in 2020 that couples need to increase procreation to wage culture war. They are being called to advance thhe Kingdom by increasing numbers of Elect, to wage this war.

    Their logic is flawed.

    How do they know they’re breeding “elect”. If God already decided then what’s the point in doing any action? It’s all preordained!

    Hold on, Gang, I’m going to ask God if I’m an elect.

    I will pray “Dear God, am I one the elect? As in one of those chosen at the beginning of or maybe before creation to be saved and with you forever? Please answer in the next 5 minutes. I will take your silence to be an unequivocal “yes”. Thanks, Jack”

    Let you know the result.

    …….Five minutes later…..

    And I’m back. For those who think I mock, I seriously prayed just like I used to and waited in silence for 5 full minutes (even set a timer).

    I am happy to report that I appear to be one of the elect!

    Unfortunately, I am only irresistibly drawn to potato chips….

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  59. Jack: How do they know they’re breeding “elect”. If God already decided then what’s the point in doing any action? It’s all preordained!

    I explained this earlier, but most believe in a type of family election. This isn’t really found in their theology. I think they really can’t stick to their own beliefs, either by believing that they themselves may not be saved nor their families. It’s easy to preach to others you don’t care much about that they might not be elected, but hard to imagine yourself in that position when you consider yourself one of the devoted.

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  60. ishy: It’s easy to preach to others you don’t care much about that they might not be elected, but hard to imagine yourself in that position when you consider yourself one of the devoted.

    And if Calvin’s teaching on evanescent grace is true, there is no way one can be sure that they have not been tricked by god into believing they are elect when in fact they are not.

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  61. Ken F (aka Tweed): And if Calvin’s teaching on evanescent grace is true, there is no way one can be sure that they have not been tricked by god into believing they are elect when in fact they are not.

    The nature of God and whether is is good or arbitrary, is in question here.

    The Canons and Confessions are filled with proof text. Reform doctrines will be difficult in the afterlife to refute because of both Scripture and logic. Reform places responsiblity on the Woman, and Adam, but ultimately on God. He is Sovereign. And, he made all. How can one not be responsible for what he creates.

    This is what I take from the Satan’s statements before God. God even admitted he was moved against Job without cause. Satan went out from the presence of God, and God spoke no more to him, only to Job.

    The allegations brought by the Satan against the justice of God went unanswered.

    Now I say, the Canons and Confessions blame God and therefore are slanderous. But, slander is only slander, if you can prove it is a lie. If you can’t, then it’s not slander.

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  62. Nathan Priddis: The nature of God and whether is is good or arbitrary, is in question here.

    I dont know of any reformed confessions or canons that deny God’s goodness. And I don’t believe any say he is arbitrary. They all seem to be pretty clear that whatever God does is good by definition, and nothing he does is arbitrary.

    I think the real question is whether or not the reformed confessions acurately interpret the teachings handed down by Jesus through the Apostles and the writers of the NT. I don’t think disagreements over reformed theology will ever be resolved on this side of eternity. But on the other side, I suspect there will be numerous exclamations of “Oh, now I get it!” on all sides. You seem to think it will be a big war in heaven. But I suspect it will be more like a big celebration when we all get to finally understand the actual truth. Perhaps we will all be laughing about how wrong we were.

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  63. Ken F (aka Tweed): I dont know of any reformed confessions or canons that deny God’s goodness. And I don’t believe any say he is arbitrary.They all seem to be pretty clear that whatever God does is good by definition, and nothing he does is arbitrary.

    I think the real question is whether or not the reformed confessions acurately interpret the teachings handed down by Jesus through the Apostles and the writers of the NT. I don’t think disagreements over reformed theology will ever be resolved on this side of eternity. But on the other side, I suspect there will be numerous exclamations of “Oh, now I get it!” on all sides. You seem to think it will be a big war in heaven. But I suspect it will be more like a big celebration when we all get to finally understand the actual truth. Perhaps we will all be laughing about how wrong we were.

    My thinking is very much in flux, and definitely now believe in a future war. That one takes place is already laid out in Revelation. Where I have now left orthodoxy is my belief it is not just future, but also no longer believing it is limited to angels.

    I would counter that you reread carefully the two appearances of the Satan in Job. The fact of Job being hated is a given, just from his name alone. But, he is acvusing God of being capricious is jis administration. He is favoring Job.
    This is dispite his claim that Job is completely corrupt, and would turn on God if only had opportunity. And, man in general.

    So the Judge(God) is openly accused of partiality in while Court was in session.

    It’s different from human, historical statements on God’s nature. For one, the Satan feels no need to justify himself. Man does.

    But, I say it also has over lapping positions to later human statements. God is the Creator. If something takes place in the Kingdom of God, both those of Heaven and Earth could argue he is responsible should somethinng go wrong. The only variable is what particulare circumstance is that creature trying to evade.

    The position of the first Adam is God is to blame, through his creation of the Woman. The Satan even points this out when he says…skin for skin. Adam condemns the mother of all living to a capital charge. On that point, the Satan has God.

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  64. Nathan Priddis,

    I am extremely distrubed by Kevin DeYoung’s post that children are assets to adults’ cultural war.

    “have more children and disciple them like crazy. Strongly consider having more children than you think you can handle….Do you want to rebel against the status quo? Do you want people to ask you for a reason for the hope that is in you (1 Peter 3:15)? Tote your brood of children through Target.”

    Christ is not enough for the reason of the Hope in you but parading your kids in public is!!

    No only your children are assests for the adults’ war but also prepare for collateral damage as “I understand that being a good parent does not guarantee believing children.”

    So birth “more than you can handle” and some of them will go to hell so that you can be “counter cultural”.

    And in the same breath, Kevin slip in “…A child’s soul will last forever” to disarm the reader’s discomfort about the thought of more birth means more children will go to hell under Calvin’s system.

    Am I read correctly that Kevin is encouraging “child sacrifice” here?

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  65. Sowre-sweet Dayes:
    Nathan Priddis,

    I am extremely distrubed by Kevin DeYoung’s post that children are assets to adults’ cultural war.

    “have more children and disciple them like crazy. Strongly consider having more children than you think you can handle….Do you want to rebel against the status quo? Do you want people to ask you for a reason for the hope that is in you (1 Peter 3:15)? Tote your brood of children through Target.”

    Christ is not enough for the reason of the Hope in you but parading your kids in public is!!

    No only your children are assests for the adults’ war but also prepare for collateral damage as “I understand that being a good parent does not guarantee believing children.”

    So birth “more than you can handle” and some of them will go to hell so that you can be “counter cultural”.

    And in the same breath, Kevin slip in “…A child’s soul will last forever” to disarm the reader’s discomfort about the thought of more birth means more children will go to hell under Calvin’s system.

    Am I read correctly that Kevin is encouraging “child sacrifice” here?

    No I dont think he is calling for any such thing. Having more children then you can afford is quite common in the Church.

    If you look at vs.14, you will see the Scripture mentions suffering for righteousness. The question is, whose list of rules is utilized to define what is righteousness? And, how do you visualize God?

    I think the situation (of excess child rearing expense) is one of presentation. You can say:
    -We are broke and struggling to make ends meet. Those crazy kids.
    Or.
    -We are trusting God to provide, and we desire all portions of our lives, including family life, to be centered on Christ. We are Kingdom minded.
    These two are the same situation, only rephrased. But, the latter feels better if your out of money, and the house is filled with stress. Christian marriages are often unhappy.

    But sacrificing oneself, and or family, is normal. Again, that is Kingdom minded, or any of the myriad such cliches we use all the time. They all mean we are sacrificing something to God. John Calvin is actualy associated with seals or emblems of a burning heart, and hand. The intended image is of offering oneself to God.

    What the future holds, God knows. But this may be a highwater mark for Evangelical power. Society is under stress, and one symptom is plummeting birth rates for caucasians, Evangelicals included.

    Neo-Calvinism emerged in the 1890’s as a reaction to European intellectual trends towards personal freedom, errosion of the State Churches, etc.. The Neo-Cal Jesus Christ became a demanding God, who cried, Mine! Personal devotion was not enough. Social order must be arrayed into Seven Spheres. Family life was organized into the Family Sphere. Your family is not really yours, it is Christ’s and there are responsibilities.

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  66. Nathan Priddis: Max: … the New Calvinist Kingdom, i.e.

    It is very much a real kingdom, winner take all.

    So, who would you say is the current reigning King of this Kingdom? Piper? Mohler? Other?

    There seems to be multiple competing sub-kingdoms within NeoCal life, with key players who only put up with other sub-kingdom rulers for the common good of the movement. I suspect some of them would be willing to backstab when necessary to capture the apex of the pyramid, striving to be at the top of this religious Tupperware mountain.

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  67. Chuckp: Also no where does DeYoung say it’s a mandate but perhaps something to consider.

    Then why does he say, “The future belongs to the fecund”? It’s right there in the last paragraph.

    Honestly, I haven’t been able to take DeYoung seriously as a source of wisdom for years, ever since he co-signed a letter in support of C.J. Mahaney. The letter contained at least two provable falsehoods, and to this day neither DeYoung nor his cohorts have taken responsibility, or even explained themselves for signing their names to lies.

    Based on that, I’m fairly certain that RevKev will refuse to accept any responsibility, if any couples have more children than they can care for because of his words in this article. Just like Lambert will hold himself blameless even if anyone “accredited” by the ACBC hurts or abuses people in the course of their counselling.

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  68. Nathan Priddis: My thinking is very much in flux, and definitely now believe in a future war. That one takes place is already laid out in Revelation. Where I have now left orthodoxy is my belief it is not just future, but also no longer believing it is limited to angels.

    …this may be a highwater mark for Evangelical power. Society is under stress, and one symptom is plummeting birth rates for caucasians, Evangelicals included.

    I’m having trouble following your logic. You seem to assign a gigantic amount of power to Satan, almost as God’s equal and rival. You are predicting war. You are developing novel theology about angels and demons, suggesting that you are not quite focused on the only world and life you have ever known. You seem to view Revelation as some sort of future history book. Not everyone agrees.

    And now you are suggesting that lower birth rates among white people are a sign of “stress.” Have you considered the ever-changing definition of white, which used to exclude Italians and Jews? Have you noted that birth rates, regardless of ethnicity, tend to go down when opportunities for education go up? It’s better for women to develop adult judgment before marrying, instead of being handed off and constantly pregnant from age 18 to 48. It’s better for men and children too.

    Perhaps I have misunderstood what you are saying, but any discussion that links large numbers of children with predictions of supernatural war is going to alarm me.

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  69. Nathan Priddis: What the future holds, God knows. But this may be a highwater mark for Evangelical power. Society is under stress, and one symptom is plummeting birth rates for caucasians, Evangelicals included.

    There’s a couple of things to unpack here. Society is under stress but your statement about one race’s birth rate is somehow linked to it is false.
    Birth rates in the industrialized nations have fallen significantly often due to economic pressures. Ironically economic pressures in developing nations cause the inverse problem (particularly access to education and the cost of birth control). There’s more than I possibly fit in a comment section.
    But as the father of mixed race children, I find the assertion about Caucasian birth rates to be disturbing. In essence the statement implies that evangelical power is linked to a robust caucasian birth rate. I’ll let others draw their own conclusions but I don’t agree with that and that line of thinking will lead down some pretty dark holes.
    There’s a significant number of evangelicals that are not caucasian and why fbcjax declined so precipitously has more to do with church culture and mis management than the “Caucasian” birth rate.

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  70. Friend: I’m having trouble following your logic. You seem to assign a gigantic amount of power to Satan, almost as God’s equal and rival. You are predicting war. You are developing novel theology about angels and demons, suggesting that you are not quite focused on the only world and life you have ever known. You seem to view Revelation as some sort of future history book. Not everyone agrees.

    And now you are suggesting that lower birth rates among white people are a sign of “stress.” Have you considered the ever-changing definition of white, which used to exclude Italians and Jews? Have you noted that birth rates, regardless of ethnicity, tend to go down when opportunities for education go up? It’s better for women to develop adult judgment before marrying, instead of being handed off and constantly pregnant from age 18 to 48. It’s better for men and children too.

    Perhaps I have misunderstood what you are saying, but any discussion that links large numbers of children with predictions of supernatural war is going to alarm me.

    Your comment is 3 paragraphs. The underling timeframe of par.1, falls within a range bracket, based on your personal concept of the age of the Universe.
    YEC=6000+ years.
    Physicists=Billions of years.

    Paragraph two has a timeframe of seven decades. (You may not be aware that Evangelicalism didn’t exist prior to 1947-48) And, it is concentrated into recent years, months, days and even hours. Yes hours. Look at today’s headlines and you see social stress, which affects birthrate, including Evangelicals, which translates into changes in Evangelical power, when Evangelical children become future consumers and voters.

    An impoverished or unsophisticated society, as you refrenced, produces high birthrates. Examples. Pre-Industrial Europe. Palestinians under Hezbollah leadership. Developing nations in general, prior to globalization.

    Our current social evolution lowers birthrates with high cost of housing and education, changing role of women, changing expectations of childrearing etc. Soviet Russia produced changes in birthrates, due to a different set of change related factors.

    Here is something for you to think about:
    There are four major types of Eschatological thinking.
    2000 years of Church=Four Endings.
    All four where devised somehow, by someone. Dispensationism is the most pinpoint. A guy is injured in 1827 while riding a horse, and likely very bored convalescing for a couple months. From bed he drafts the framework of Dispensationism, and it upends Protestant thinking.

    People create new ideas. We make stuff up.
    But, the expectation of a future war, predates the Church.

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  71. Nathan Priddis: your personal concept of the age of the Universe.
    YEC=6000+ years.
    Physicists=Billions of years.

    Neither of those is a personal concept.

    All you have established is that apocalyptic writings exist. You have not shown that they accurately predict the future, or even that they are meant to be read as accurate, literal prophecy. Wars have been fought for a long time, and it’s not a stretch to assume there will be another one.

    I am still troubled by the notion of bearing large numbers of children as preparation for a future war. I’ve been hearing about this all my life, always from white American Christians who feel threatened. Have you also heard this kind of talk? If so, what do you think about it?

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  72. Nathan Priddis: People create new ideas. We make stuff up.

    Oh, yes, on this we can agree. “Evangelicalism” was around before 1947-48. In fact the more fundamental versions of modern evangelical thought go to the end of the nineteenth century. It was a response to concepts in science and thought that challenged the current worldview. It’s no coincidence that Wahhabi Islam came around about the same time.
    I think the current trends toward authoritarianism in some evangelical denominations is linked to changes in society. Women entering “nontraditional” roles, gay marriage and secularism are just a few. Toss in economic uncertainty in recent times and there is a recipe for fundamentalism among those who feel their perceived special place in society is threatened.
    So we see “future wars” and the xenophobic idea that “we” are being “outbred” by “them”.
    You’re kit bashing history to fit your narrative.

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  73. Max: So, who would you say is the current reigning King of this Kingdom?Piper?Mohler?Other?

    There seems to be multiple competing sub-kingdoms within NeoCal life, with key players who only put up with other sub-kingdom rulers for the common good of the movement.I suspect some of them would be willing to backstab when necessary to capture the apex of the pyramid, striving to be at the top of this religious Tupperware mountain.

    I am no follower of SBC polity. But here some random thoughts/observations.
    Piper- No. What was the question? It’s still no because of the detachment from the realty of the surrounding environment. He talks in a detached and dreamy fashion. No.

    BTW. Here’s a quirky little experiment for you.
    Go to the Desiring God home page. Look at the logo in upper left corner. This time pretend you’ve never seen it before.
    -It’s red, not blue, gold or white.
    -It’s an optical illusion.
    -It’s inwardly focussed.
    -It’s four in number, sorta like the four Ruwach of Heaven striving on the Great Sea.
    -It’s empty at it’s core, there is nothing there.
    -It’s creation into a cross requires a presupposition in the mind of the viewer.
    I say it’s a sign, or omen, and still a no.

    I think SBC has a secret society problem, and the factions are pragmatic, but ultimately don’t like each other. Currently, I think there is lack of direction and worry that social pillars that give SBC influence are dated. I think Trump frightens them, in a Faustian way.

    To answer your question in a more serious way, I wish I knew more about Lonnie Frisbee encountering the Neo-Cal world. Especially interaction with Mahaney. I think that may, or may not be a key piece to the puzzle.

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  74. Friend: Neither of those is a personal concept.

    All you have established is that apocalyptic writings exist. You have not shown that they accurately predict the future, or even that they are meant to be read as accurate, literal prophecy. Wars have been fought for a long time, and it’s not a stretch to assume there will be another one.

    I am still troubled by the notion of bearing large numbers of children as preparation for a future war. I’ve been hearing about this all my life, always from white American Christians who feel threatened. Have you also heard this kind of talk? If so, what do you think about it?

    I say they are personal concepts. Changing a belief in one area can easily affect belief in another area. As example,believing either YEC or an older dating concept in Genesis 1 will alter how you read the entire book, with perhaps unintended consequinces.

    Here’s another: I was raised in a dry culture. Alchohol was evil, and this idea could be traced to specific American groups in the 1800’s. However,one reads along in the Gospels and finds Jesus consuming adult beverages.

    No problem. We use a humourous retrofit kit to fix a theology glitch,
    -Its not wine…its formented grape juice- and keep reading. An unintended consequince left over from the 1800’s means you have an overide feature in your brain that you use at 6:00 AM in your personal devotions/prayer time. You train yourself to overide text, and you can use this on anything. You can get really good at it. In fact, it will work on any text.

    Apocalyptical writings and accuracy: I’m not sure what to say here. This was the fulcrum of the Higher Criticism era. It’s the unanswerable question. Either one does, or does not, believe the book is true.

    Lot’s of kids: Yes, I have heard that reasoning. I think it’s a background ideology, but it’s definitely practiced. You can sorta tell by who shows up on Sunday in an Econoline Van, or two cars.

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  75. Friend: 1) You are reading way too much into clunky graphics.

    2) The problems with the SBC are not secret societies, but its failure to shake off its origins, and its embrace of ever more oppressive teachings and practices.

    1. Maybe, but it does make the graphics more interesting.
    2. Girl Friday comes forward with a groping accusation involving Individual One. She claims Individuals Six, Seven and Fourteen pressured her to shut up. Later I1 is restored by Individual 95, in East Mufasa Land, by arraingement of Individual 3. Upon inquiry, all these people knew each other earlier in life, and are practicing networking behaviour, in private. It’s a secret society.

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  76. Nathan Priddis: Apocalyptical writings and accuracy: I’m not sure what to say here.

    I’m pretty sure some of it (like those Gnostic Gospels that were so big in the tabloids) was 2000-year-old fanfic. Such as the ones that included “shipping” Jesus with Mary Magdalene. (Once you’ve racked up some experience with fanfics, you start noticing patterns.)

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  77. Serving Kids In Japan: Chuckp: Also no where does DeYoung say it’s a mandate but perhaps something to consider.

    Then why does he say, “The future belongs to the fecund”? It’s right there in the last paragraph.

    Outbreed (and Overwhelm) The Heathen.
    Quite Darwininst, actually.

    P.S. Ever heard of “Lebensborn”?
    P.P.S. Didn’t Comrade Ceausescu implement a similar forced breeding program to make Romania the biggest (in population) country in Europe?

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  78. Max: There seems to be multiple competing sub-kingdoms within NeoCal life, with key players who only put up with other sub-kingdom rulers for the common good of the movement. I suspect some of them would be willing to backstab when necessary to capture the apex of the pyramid, striving to be at the top of this religious Tupperware mountain.

    What do predators eat when they’ve eaten all the prey?

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  79. Nathan Priddis: Hmmm. Define partialy true.

    If we Christians are to have any hope of finding truth in the Bible, we should start by admitting some things. The Bible has a well-documented history as having been written gradually, in several different ancient languages. It tells of several different ancient cultures radically different from ours. Several narratives in the Bible are also found in even earlier texts (Gilgamesh).

    The Bible describes practices such as slavery that are illegal in the United States. Today, as in the past, there are Christian slavery apologists plying their trade in the USA.

    Are we not brave enough to say we reject slavery although it is recorded in the Bible? Does even that assertion challenge the Truth of the Bible? If the approval of slavery is a Biblical truth, or a Christian belief, I will stop being a Christian.

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  80. Friend: If we Christians are to have any hope of finding truth in the Bible, we should start by admitting some things.The Bible has a well-documented history as having been written gradually, in several different ancient languages. It tells of several different ancient cultures radically different from ours. Several narratives in the Bible are also found in even earlier texts (Gilgamesh).

    The Bible describes practices such as slavery that are illegal in the United States. Today, as in the past, there are Christian slavery apologists plying their trade in the USA.

    Are we not brave enough to say we reject slaveryalthough it is recorded in the Bible? Does even that assertion challenge the Truth of the Bible? If the approval of slavery is a Biblical truth, or a Christian belief, I will stop being a Christian.

    Friend: If we Christians are to have any hope of finding truth in the Bible, we should start by admitting some things.The Bible has a well-documented history as having been written gradually, in several different ancient languages. It tells of several different ancient cultures radically different from ours. Several narratives in the Bible are also found in even earlier texts (Gilgamesh).

    The Bible describes practices such as slavery that are illegal in the United States. Today, as in the past, there are Christian slavery apologists plying their trade in the USA.

    Are we not brave enough to say we reject slaveryalthough it is recorded in the Bible? Does even that assertion challenge the Truth of the Bible? If the approval of slavery is a Biblical truth, or a Christian belief, I will stop being a Christian.

    Your comment spans an enormous timeframe, and with gilgamesh, touches on pre-historic.

    But first: Without knowing how Mr. Potter defines partial, I was at a loss of how to respond. Did he mean Doctrine of Infallibility issues, translation inaccuracy, lost books, historical inaccuracies, etc?

    With that said:
    Yes, the Bible can be documented as trustworthy in it’s historical transmission through the centuries.
    (Please note, this is not a reference to the Infallibility Doctrine which I believe to only date from the 1800’s, originating from Princeton Theology and the Niagara Bible Conferences)

    One can also choose to set aside extra-biblical evidence(archeology) and philosophical argument(if the existance of God is accepted as a given, can he not communicate in writing) and look solely at the book itself. The book in both old and New Testaments quotes itself. This can be used to verify a historical chain of transmission, just as a court witness can be challenged on their statements. The books are looped back into themselves.
    Sir Isaac Newton laid out a discription of transmission in an addition to his work, on Daniel and the Apocalypse, though I can barely recall the details now.

    I do not use the word narrative to discribe refrences to topics found in both the Bible and extra-biblical sources. I see it as one event, but referenced by later authors independently. Those authors are then free to give their own narratives of the event as they understand it. This is how I also believe quotes of Enoch, the seventh from Adam, are found in Scripture. Jude quotes Enoch, not necessarily the Book of Enoch.

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  81. Nathan Priddis: Hmmm. Define partialy true.

    Fair query, and it deserves an answer even if brief (I can only speak for myself here other people’s mileage may vary).

    In one of his Epistles, the Apostle Peter declares that women are the ‘weaker vessels’ in the overall scheme of things. Since I’m not an inerrantist, I consider the declaration patently false. If anything, and using history and everyday life as a body of data, women are the stronger of our species.

    Even so It does not preclude me from believing the rest of his Epistle as partially true, with its lofty sentiment and nuggets of wisdom. For me, Scripture does not have to be an all or nothing proposition.

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  82. Nathan Priddis: Yes, the Bible can be documented as trustworthy in it’s historical transmission through the centuries.

    But every translation suffers simply from being a translation, and from the translators’ limitations and biases. People base much of their belief system and approach to life on a single ambiguous word (for example, “virgin” versus “young woman” in Isaiah). Truth is there to be found, but literalists would have us take the simple route, neither studying the scholarship nor reading and thinking for ourselves.

    My own tradition encourages adherents to read the Bible and also use our powers of reasoning and our understanding of history and tradition. We’re not very big on obeying the church authorities these days, although that was a thing in past centuries.

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  83. Friend: If we Christians are to have any hope of finding truth in the Bible, we should start by admitting some things.The Bible has a well-documented history as having been written gradually, in several different ancient languages. It tells of several different ancient cultures radically different from ours. Several narratives in the Bible are also found in even earlier texts (Gilgamesh).

    The Bible describes practices such as slavery that are illegal in the United States. Today, as in the past, there are Christian slavery apologists plying their trade in the USA.

    Are we not brave enough to say we reject slaveryalthough it is recorded in the Bible? Does even that assertion challenge the Truth of the Bible? If the approval of slavery is a Biblical truth, or a Christian belief, I will stop being a Christian.

    Friend, imho, we need to realize that what was the intent of biblical slavery, and the travesty that happened in this country, and other modern day versions and justifications of actually owning people.

    Do you remember about reading about pirates and them raising the black flag as they approached their enimies on the open sea.

    We still use one of their phrases today in sports and in business

    We are taking no prisoners

    That was what raising the black flag was all about, none of the losers would live.

    The reason the Bible doesn’t condemn slavery ( imho) was to allow people in totally dire circumstances to be able to live, with all of our safety nets in our modern culture we can’t relate to the life people lived in the past

    I would much my son go into slavery, if he faught in a battle, than to see the black go up and take no prisoners and all the losers be massacred

    But to equate what happened here with any thing that the Bible is talking about is kinda conflating two different issues

    What happened to slaves in the us past, was a travesty, wretched, horrible, and inhumane, built off the worst possible human free will

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  84. Benn: The reason the Bible doesn’t condemn slavery ( imho) was to allow people in totally dire circumstances to be able to live, with all of our safety nets in our modern culture we can’t relate to the life people lived in the past

    I would much my son go into slavery, if he faught in a battle, than to see the black [flag] go up and take no prisoners and all the losers be massacred

    If someone lost a battle, or was poor, the only two choices were to take their lives or to enslave them? Isaiah 1:16-17 suggests that the people of that time had more imagination and higher duties:

    “Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.”

    At best, the Bible is describing slavery as a condition of ancient societies. We can—and must—actually do better than to quote Paul or any other writer of Scripture and say, “It’s in the Bible, so it must have been good, or better than the alternative.” I’m not content to pat myself on the back because I refrain from pushing losers into the sea. My job is to love and help people, and to work so that others have a better life.

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  85. Muff Potter: Fair query, and it deserves an answer even if brief (I can only speak for myself here other people’s mileage may vary).

    In one of his Epistles, the Apostle Peter declares that women are the ‘weaker vessels’ in the overall scheme of things.Since I’m not an inerrantist, I consider the declaration patently false.If anything, and using history and everyday life as a body of data, women are the stronger of our species.

    Even so It does not preclude me from believing the rest of his Epistle as partially true, with its lofty sentiment and nuggets of wisdom.For me, Scripture does not have to be an all or nothing proposition.

    Oops. Correction. I referred above to Infallibility, but should have said Doctrine of Innerency. DoI emerged in the 1800’s.

    (BTW. I take it you have never heard of Andromeda, The Woman in Chains.)

    I think this is a Gordian Knot situation. Theologian’s teachings on the Kingdom of God, history and creation of man, as well as gender roles, have rendered doctrine into a complete mess.

    This has nothing to do with women being stronger individuals then men often are. On this point you are right.

    But this refers to the wife as asthenes-skeuos. A container or item of some kind, not a reference to strength of character personhood in some fashion.
    And one that is asthenes, left in a weakened or powerless state of existance. One can be the stronger of the species, and asthenes skeuos, at the same time.

    Both Peter and Paul in the Epistle to the Ephesians are refrencing the ancient origins of man. Specifically Genesis 2:1.

    The man and the woman are introduced, just like any modern wedding in which we say, ladies and gentlemen, Mr. and Mrs….only God introduces them as the second of two armies.

    .”Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.”.

    As the latter vessel created, God can now say of them:
    ..”These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,”..

    The Woman is very much a vessel and therefore:
    ..”Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.”..

    And the Serpent had a problem with this, as do theologians.

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  86. There are some problems within secular counseling as well. I have heard several reasons that certified biblical counselors use that they state about concerns with state certification. They mention that they are a lot of restrictions that interfere with faith issues like for example there are 19 states with certain regulations and restrictions on state certified counselors with addressing orientation. I have read some on the internet that seem to proves of that concern to be true. So what do you recommend for a person to do in wanting to reach out to teens in those states?

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  87. Friend: But every translation suffers simply from being a translation, and from the translators’ limitations and biases. People base much of their belief system and approach to life on a single ambiguous word (for example, “virgin” versus “young woman” in Isaiah). Truth is there to be found, but literalists would have us take the simple route, neither studying the scholarship nor reading and thinking for ourselves.

    My own tradition encourages adherents to read the Bible and also use our powers of reasoning and our understanding of history and tradition. We’re not very big on obeying the church authorities these days, although that was a thing in past centuries.

    1. Every translation is a facsimile of original text. Some are so bad, as to be worthless for study. A decent facsimile can still transmit the necessary information.
    2. Translators can be corrupt, and or hostile to the faith and have reason to alter the text, for deceptive purposes. But an altered text can still convey necessary information, despite such attempts.
    (I am thinking here of the Masoretic Text underlying the King James Version)

    I would put forward my own doctrine on translation: Having been made kings and preist, it is the task of the individual to understand the teachings of the Scripture. And will give an account of their handling in the life to come.

    On literary interpritation, I don’t think must people that identify as such actualy are literalist.

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  88. Friend: If someone lost a battle, or was poor, the only two choices were to take their lives or to enslave them? Isaiah 1:16-17 suggests that the people of that time had more imagination and higher duties:

    “Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.”

    At best, the Bible is describing slavery as a condition of ancient societies. We can—and must—actually do better than to quote Paul or any other writer of Scripture and say, “It’s in the Bible, so it must have been good, or better than the alternative.” I’m not content to pat myself on the back because I refrain from pushing losers into the sea. My job is to love and help people, and to work so that others have a better life.

    Please don’t take this the wrong way, but you have a tremendous grasp of the obvious ( forgive my snark)

    I’m not talking about you, we condemn Calvinist we almost every other breath here.
    People have a free will to do right and/or wrong, and free people have done that ( the right and the wrong)
    My point was to the people that can’t understand why the Bible and Paul didn’t condemn it.

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  89. Benn: Do you remember about reading about pirates and them raising the black flag as they approached their enimies on the open sea.

    We still use one of their phrases today in sports and in business

    We are taking no prisoners

    That was what raising the black flag was all about, none of the losers would live.

    Actually, that was raising the RED flag.
    The black flag announced them as pirates (and since many pirates had unique black flags, sometimes the individual pirate and their reputation).
    The red flag was the traditional “No Quarter! No Prisoners!”

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  90. Headless Unicorn Guy: The original Damsel in Distress?

    Who knew. I struggle with identifying the stars, especially with light pollution.

    I would hesitate to discribe her as a damsel in distress, because that might trigger a chivalry image in any potential reader.

    -Peter called her the weaker vessel, and finished the chapter by mentioning heavenly powers and positions.
    -Paul in Ephesians refered to a mystery, when he discussed marriage.
    -The Satan refered to her then current abandoned state when he said, skin for skin.
    -Agustine blamed her for the state of mankind.
    -Westminster Devines expanded on Augustine’s doctrine, and left women with few protections in Chapter 24.
    -Current Complimentarians such as CBMW hold her in contempt as domestic servant and sex object.

    So, viewed as a snapshot in time, Andromeda is very much in sorrow and ruled over, as was foretold in Genesis. Her name however, as a ruler, is quite out of keeping with the image of chains. It is foretold that a woman shall encompass a man.

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  91. Headless Unicorn Guy: In a culture where young (unmarried) women were supposed to be virgins, the two would be synonymous. And could be a single word meaning both.

    Thanks, HUG. My reservation is about deeming a translation unacceptable because Isaiah 7:14 says “young woman,” as if that denied Mary’s virginity or undermined Christian values. Other modern languages manage to have a single word for a young or unmarried woman, without the cargo hold of emotional baggage. I almost think we lose sight of the Holy Spirit’s role in Jesus’ origins.

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  92. Jack: Or we just make it up as we go along.

    Well yes and no.
    The constelations are ancient. Andromeda is a greek word predating the Christian era. However, the greek compositions where drawn from much older material.

    If you recall Paul’s speech in Athens, he quotes Aratus, “In him we have are being”. This poem was an official Court catachism of sorts, and was intended to instruct in ancient stories of the stars. It dates fron a couple hundred years before Paul. The Psalmist spoke of these stars circa 1000 BC, when he wrote what we call the 19th Psalm. So therefore, no.

    But, when the Devines of Dort crafted the Canons in 1619, they altered the understanding of this same Psalm, and it’s later citation by Paul in Romans. Instead of stars, they changed the meaning to clergy delivering sermons.

    That is an example of a major efort to make ideas up, by clergy. So therefore, yes.

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