Another Post on the Evils of Social Media at The Gospel Coalition. Is It All About Virtue Pummeling, Sin Leveling, and Tribal Loyalty?

Messier 82-The Cigar Galaxy-NASA

“Some virtues, when they become fashions, also become exaggerated. Just because nobody likes a judgmental attitude does not mean that there isn’t a sort of spoiled, self-righteous hypocrisy when one man obsessively commands other men not to judge without knowing the circumstances without himself, too, knowing their circumstances behind their judgments.”― Criss Jami, Killosophy


Amy Moore, on Twitter, used a term I hadn’t heard before but I thought it apropos. Recently, there have been a plethora of posts on*how good Christians should behave on social media.* This has nothing to do with the Capital riots. These posts were written well before them but seem to be continuing as nauseam. Was there a memo that went out to the Calvinista dudebros to write about how evil social media is when it comes to dealing with the behavior of some *leaders” or “pastors?” So many have been written, it seems we have progressed beyond virtue signaling to virtue pummeling (Amy’s term.)

Let’s look at one such example. Recently The Gospel Coalition posted Resist the Pharisee Temptation on Social Media by Daniel Darling. Darling was formerly the VP of Communications at the ERLC and is now Senior VP at National Religious Broadcasters as well as an associate pastor at Green Hills Church where he “he leads in the areas of discipleship, leadership development, and serves on the preaching team.” Green Hills is a member of the SBC and Darling is presently pursuing his MDIV at SBTS.

Digression Alert: Todd and I have been discussing something that we are noticing when it comes to pastors of churches. Take Darling…He is a pastor, he is Senior VP of National Religious Broadcasters, and is pursuing his degree at SBTS. We know one SBC associate pastor who is also a teaching pastor of three other churches located in different parts of the country. It seems to us that some of these churches are getting half or less of a pastoral effort. I wonder if they are paid as full time? We are looking into this newest trend and we aren’t talking circuit riders here…End Digression Alert

Darling calls out the self-righteousness of those on social media.

Let’s take a look at some of his statements.

  • (In describing the Pharisees) I’m a good person. I’m on the right side of all the right issues. And I’m here to publicly declare this to those not as good as me.
  • We shouldn’t hesitate to use our voices to stand up for the vulnerable and against injustice. And yet our words can so easily morph from prophetic witness to Pharisaical tribal signaling.
  • Social media may be the most public forum for this kind of Pharisee. Here we dunk on the worst, cherry-picked extremes from other traditions and tribes in order to let the world know we are better
  • The way to go viral is to call out someone else with incendiary language that leaves our critics seething and our fans cheering.
  • What the Pharisees longed for wasn’t illegitimate, but they failed to recognize their own fallenness.
  • Paul saw himself as a forgiven sinner talking to other sinners about the One who forgives sin.
  • resist building a reputation or platform on the backs of other Christians. We can do this in small ways, by the controversies we decline to engage and by the words we use when we do engage

Are those who battle sex abuse, domestic violence, and other forms of clerical abuse *self-righteous* or do they speak for the little guy who doesn’t have microphones like the one at ERLC, the Religious Broadcasters, or in the pulpit?

I can only speak from personal experience. I started this blog 12 years ago and primarily covered Mark Driscoll as well as the serious allegation of sex abuse and coverup in Sovereign Grace Ministries. I was roundly and regularly attacked by the BFFs of The Gospel Coalition. Joe Carter of TGC publicly accused me of libel due to my dogged recounting of what was going on in SGM.

The Gospel Coalition was an ardent supporter of CJ Mahaney and Mark Driscoll for years prior to their inevitable fall. They supported them years after their abuses were common knowledge. Darling is pastor of a church in the SBC which currently signals that CJ Mahaney’and his SGC, Louisville, is faithfully practicing the Baptist Faith and Message 2000. In fact, in 2011, Darling targeted a church protest blog for Covenant Life Church, while at the same time pushing a sermon by CJ Mahaney. During that year, 2011, I, along with SGM Survivors and other groups were revealing the serious problems in SGM. According to Darling’s treatise on self-righteousness, he is a good guy for being nice to his buddies on social media and those of us who were trying to reveal what was going on in SGM were the bad guys.

Darling did the same thing with Mark Driscoll, in 2012 (several years after Driscoll’s antics were known), he wrote:

I highly respect Mark’s ministry and feel that he has been a terrific leader in advancing the gospel through church planting and leadership development.

Those of us who report on abuse have often borne the scorn of church members, celebrity pastor paparazzi, and the tight circle of backslapping dudebros of TGC, Acts 29, SBTS grads, etc. And it is our work that finally convinced many that Driscoll and Mahaney were problematic. Yet, there has been dead silence except for Al Mohler who did speak out against Mahaney a year ago.

This has nothing to do with self-righteousness. It has everything to do with defending the abused. Men like Darling appear to need to be pounded over their heads before they are willing to consider the possibility of abuse within their ranks. They often seemed to stick their fingers in the wind to see which way the wind was blowing (what does Mohler thinks, etc.) BEFORE they were willing to speak to a problem. They waited until the Houston Chronicle exposed the despicable sex abuse of children in the SBC to make statements if they even did that… One of these days we might point out all who never spoke our against these guys and some who continue to support them.

The sexual abuse of children, women, and men has profound, lifelong implications for those who have been wounded. The same goes for victims of domestic violence who were told it was unbiblical to leave an abusive spouse, even after they landed in the hospital. Yet, we are all supposed to forgive them.

The forgiveness problem

It is not up to those of us who are bloggers to *forgive* those who abuse. It is not up to Darling, either. That privilege belongs to the victim and God. Most molesters say they are sorry when faced with prison time. Automatic forgiveness on the part of pastors makes a mockery of grace when it comes to serious sins. And, believe you me, there has been plenty of abuse and plenty of cheap grace out there, especially when it is offered to those within the preferred tribe.

We are all sinners but we all do not sexually abuse children or physically abuse our spouses. Do not sin level.

Yes, we all sin. We are all in need of grace. We should all repent when we do sin. However, not all sin is the same. Some sin is so bad that the ramifications of them last for a lifetime and beyond. (Generation to generation… Example- a grieving child becomes a substance abuser and then is unable to offer support to his own child in the future.) The SEBTS seminary student who molested a bunch of young teen boys in my former church is now out of prison. However, what he did to those boys affects them to this very day. Darling apparently really liked CJ Mahaney. Yet, last week, we told another story about sexual abuse in a family that was part of the inner circles of Mahaney’s CLC church. This is pain that has lasted for this family for a long time.

I am a conservative Lutheran. My church does not allow me to forget that I am a sinner, in need of forgiveness. We are led in a confession of sin each week. Believe me, I get it. I can be dismissive of others. I don’t care for the poor as much as I could. I have been guilty of angrily responded to someone who has cut me off on the highway. However, I have never molested a child. I have never murdered another human being. When one puts sins of anger or disregard one the same level as the sin of the molestation of a child, one is sin leveling. The Old Testament demanded different punishments for different sins and crimes. Our judicial system punishes murder more harshly than possession of small amounts of prescription drugs. Some sins are truly worse than others.

Jesus has called us to be a light on the hill. When a church hides the abuse of children and women within the church walls, that church should be called out. I’ve not built my blog on the backs of other Christians. I have built my blog on telling the stories of those who have been deeply wounded by Christians in positions within churches and parachurch ministries. I believe that Darling should do the same since he is the VP at National Religion Broadcasters. He has told the stories of others who have come forward including Rachel Denhollander. That one was easy since it didn’t involve abuse in the SBC. He interviewed Kimberlee Norris who does NOT legally represent victims, only church leaders. I would love to see him call out abuse in his tribe. But that means he should be willing to stand up for those who have been harmed by those in the church. It may even mean he will have to call out his own tribe. That one is a lot harder. It takes both courage and compassion.

Post after post on TGC and by church leaders on the evils of social media is beginning to fall on deaf ears. It’s quite obvious that the church has failed in the area of abuse. If all of these posts a=have nothing to do with abuse, then say to upfront. I tire of the emails telling me this is all about Pulpit and Pen. It’s a good excuse but it is simply not believable.


Comments

Another Post on the Evils of Social Media at The Gospel Coalition. Is It All About Virtue Pummeling, Sin Leveling, and Tribal Loyalty? — 129 Comments

  1. Could it be that the New Calvinist dudebros are growing increasingly concerned that social media is telling it like it is regarding the method and message of their aberrant faith? Could it be that they don’t want the word out about the darlings in their tribe who have stumbled? Could it be that they recognize social media “gossip” strikes too close to the truth about the ails of their movement? So, they shame their followers into steering clear of any source of information except what they hear through approved avenues. It’s the stuff that cults are made of.

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  2. Bloggers exposing abuse and other forms of misconduct are TARGETS. I’m pretty sure I was hacked this week and sensitive info from my emails regarding a victim was leaked. I’ve had to increase security on my computer devices/change passwords, etc.

    We are being watched, harassed and targeted. Big Eva is worried for sure. Don’t think for a second they don’t have eyes (and IT professionals) on anyone that is exposing them, writing about them, getting contacted by victims and those with information that could cause them problems.

    Safeguard your data Dee!!

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  3. They have to resort to sin leveling because they are a bunch of terrible men who know they are terrible but still think they are better than everyone else.

    I don’t trust anyone who tells other people to do things but does not hold that expectation for themselves. They and their followers rage and harass people constantly on social media to get publicity, but tell others the same thing is evil. TGC is a bunch of phonies.

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  4. Dee, do you think you’re included in the “ex-vangelical semi-pro lament artist” category? 😉

    https://mobile.twitter.com/dandarling/status/1347507757302296578

    I was thinking about this the other day. They’ve embraced this idea that the ultimate sin is self righteousness from John Piper and Tim Keller without any awareness that one can be self righteous about understanding self righteousness.

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  5. I’ve definitely seen the posts about this topic before the Capitol riots but, given the first linked article has a date of Jan 8, it is hard not to see this specific one as being linked to the events of Jan 6, especially considering how intertwined the events and aftermath were to various social media platforms.

    I agree some of the prior articles on TGC have seemed aimed at various blogs, including this one, but I’m not seeing it here, especially considering how this forum stays apolitical.

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  6. ishy,

    Amen… I was thinking alone the same lines.. I (and other that believe in being honest in our science) will get personally attacked by some of the Young earth creationist, of which Al Mohler is one, and Johnny Mac is also, yet we can not defend/expose disgusting abuse that these “leaders” cover-up. I have seen this for years, unfortunately, leaders can not stand the “heat” and the only way they react is to attack the exposers..

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  7. “how evil social media is when it comes to dealing with the behavior of some *leaders” or “pastors?” So many have been written, it seems we have progressed beyond virtue signaling to virtue pummeling (Amy’s term.)”

    Or, as Rick Wilson said tonight, “Swagger Monkeys” – those who communicate loudly, publicly, & often but then can’t take it when they are publicly held to account (about their very own public words & actions), IOW when they can’t CONTROL the narrative and they can’t stand it!

    Pulpit vs pew, they set themselves up as Us (in charge) and Them (just silently follow plz as you empty your pocketbook into the passing plate).

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  8. Jeffrey J Chalmers: Amen… I was thinking alone the same lines.. I (and other that believe in being honest in our science) will get personally attacked by some of the Young earth creationist, of which Al Mohler is one, and Johnny Mac is also, yet we can not defend/expose disgusting abuse that these “leaders” cover-up. I have seen this for years,

    I think churches that insist on the most narrow view of minor issues – you have to accept whatever is the latest pseudo-scientific statement from Ken Ham, you have to affirm very specific details of some eschatological timeline – I think all of that is used to distract from real issues. You can ignore or excuse scandals, but hey, you are “orthodox” because you enforce the correct, “Biblical” view about dinosaurs.

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  9. “Take Darling…He is a pastor, he is Senior VP of National Religious Broadcasters, and is pursuing his degree at SBTS. We know one SBC associate pastor who is also a teaching pastor of three other churches located in different parts of the country. It seems to us that some of these churches are getting half or less of a pastoral effort. I wonder if they are paid as full time?”
    +++++++++++++++++++

    gaaaahhhddd….. pastor schmastor. i can’t think of a more glorified, inflated idea these days. reminds me of Thigh Master, electric can openers, coffee pod machines, and other things that cost too much money, are silly and totally unnecessary.

    monetizing ministry… riding the gravy train, like Right Now Media. it’s just out of control. like all the zillions of kitchen gadgets at bed bath & beyond that no one needs.

    hell, i’ve ‘pastored’ my prayer group for free for years. if we had 200 people or more i’d still do it for free. it’s not a job. it’s simply a function. zero overhead, with a big one-two punch.

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  10. Jacob: You can ignore or excuse scandals, but hey, you are “orthodox” because you enforce the correct, “Biblical” view about dinosaurs.

    This group is really bad about that, but a core part of their theology is how there is a small elect and everyone else is condemned by God. They talk a lot (a lot a lot) about how biblical they are, but they ignore large swaths of the Bible, including most of the gospels.

    In fact, for awhile now, I haven’t really considered them Christians, because Jesus is basically not much more than an atonement to them. They are more of a Judaic sect. We saw some pushback on ESS, but there’s a lot of troubling theology in the New Calvinist camp and only the people concerned about abuse seem to be calling them on it.

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  11. elastigirl: gaaaahhhddd….. pastor schmastor. i can’t think of a more glorified, inflated idea these days. reminds me of Thigh Master, electric can openers, coffee pod machines, and other things that cost too much money, are silly and totally unnecessary.

    My dad is agnostic but he watches similar news sources to most evangelicals. They often have a commercials some of the SBC megapastors. Yesterday, my dad asked me why these guys were always on his news channel. I said that they probably paid for the commercial like everybody else. He said, “Where would they get the money as a pastor to do that?” Right? It’s not even their money they are probably using…

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  12. daniel darling’s article demonstrates the lack of accountability in evangeliworld easily seen by those on the outside, earning its reputation as integrity bottom-feeder.

    RE: Ravi Zacharias and RZIM, perhaps I’m wrong but I would expect that Daniel Darling and his approving readers are among those who are either saying “he who is without sin cast the first stone”, or else saying nothing at all.

    really, this mindset is the whole reason Ravi got away with all he did, as well as RZIM’s enablement.

    an unwillingness to plainly say concerning one’s peers if not oneself,

    “x happened, it is wrong and inexcusable, here are reasons why it happened, and here are the destructive consequences…”

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  13. elastigirl: monetizing ministry… riding the gravy train, like Right Now Media. it’s just out of control.

    These folks will realize someday that merchandising the Gospel was not a good idea. Do you reckon any of them get up each morning and pray?:

    “Two things I ask of You Lord;
    Do not deny them to me before I die:
    Keep deception and lies far from me;
    Give me neither poverty nor riches” (Proverbs 30:7-8)

    Nah, “ministry” has become a profitable business for those who have a bent to deceive and lie. Book deals, speaker fees, and a mega-mania cash cow await those who know how to work the crowd. A touch of charisma, a gift of gab, and a bag of gimmicks will take you far in the Christian Industrial Complex. It’s a glorious life of big screens, skinny jeans, and fog machines! Heck, adoring crowds will still give you a standing ovation when you fall from “grace.” What a deal!!

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  14. One distinction that is not properly made in many churches (because it usually benefits the offender) is the difference between forgiveness and reconciliation. The process of forgiveness can move forward whether the offender takes responsibility for or repents of their actions (although it sure helps the process to go faster if he does). Forgiveness is also a process… It is not like flipping a light switch. The time the process of forgiveness takes is very dependent upon the severity of the offense and how deeply it has impacted the one who was offended. Jesus commands us to forgive, but he doesn’t say that it has to be done immediately. Many times those who have been offended, need time to process the pain and the hurt and forgiveness comes down the road.Reconciliation is another story, though. Reconciliation is dependent upon the offender taking responsibility for their actions, repenting of those actions, making restitution, and showing evidence of changed behavior. Many times forgiveness and reconciliation are combined so a church doesn’t have to deal with a messy situation or the offender gets past their own guilt and shame by sweeping it under the rug to move on. Combining the two like that is not only not biblical, but it’s also emotionally unhealthy and even damaging to the one who has been offended. A classic case of this happens in churches (and I’ve seen this happen many times) is an emotionally and/or verbally abused wife who is exhorted to forgive and stay with her abusive husband because he shown bogus signs of repentance or because the church leadership is fooled by his “godly man” appearance n public. His behavior never changes, the church does nothing, and eventually the wife has had enough and leaves him… Then the church disciplines her for divorcing him!

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  15. HereIStand: Reconciliation is dependent upon the offender taking responsibility for their actions, repenting of those actions, making restitution, and showing evidence of changed behavior

    Good point. Too often, we have seen fallen ministers being restored to ministry before they have reconciled their sin. In so doing, they make unrepentant comebacks even if they have made an outward show of repentance … expressing sorrow, perhaps, but not truly repentant hearts. Disappearing for a short season to be restored doesn’t cut it if you have not demonstrated reconciliation to those who you have wronged.

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  16. Danny,

    What I would suggest is, that if you feel Darling’s post is about the riots, then go back to the other post to which I linked. Darling went after a CLC blog in 2011. he’s been at it a long time.

    I have read just about every post that TGC has posted on the evils of social media.(I doubt I’ve missed many.) The suggestions that Darling made in this one do not deviate one bit from the rest of those posts written before the riots.

    If this post was supposed to be limited to the riots then he shold have said so. He didn’t. This is just like the emails/messages I get that any current post du jour about the evils of social media is about Pulpit and Pen. I just don’t buuy it.

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  17. Jeffrey J Chalmers: (and other that believe in being honest in our science) will get personally attacked by some of the Young earth creationist, of which Al Mohler is one, and Johnny Mac is also,

    I have been attacked for years on this subject, including at my former church. That is why I will only post opinions on the subject that are written by those who are old earth/theistic evolutionists.

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  18. Ava Aaronson,

    As someone who writes opinions on public forums, I expect criticism. It startles me when a well-known pastor or parachurch leader will not expect the same. I was listening to some talking heads yesterday and was pleasantly surprised when one of them said he expects and welcomes criticism.

    As I keep saying, over and over again, we are to be the light on a hill. And we don’t get to tell people not to look when bad things get illuminated. Character is revealed in how we act when people go after us.

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  19. ishy: This group is really bad about that, but a core part of their theology is how there is a small elect and everyone else is condemned by God.

    And just like that one neo-Nazi I encountered during my college days (who divided everyone into Master Race and Subhumans), GUESS WHICH GROUP THEY PUT THEMSELVES INTO?

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  20. Jacob: you have to accept whatever is the latest pseudo-scientific statement from Ken Ham,

    So frustrating. People listen to him and have no idea how wrong he is. So many have come here trying to convince me that he is *scientific.* I usually recommend Francis Collins’ book, The Language of God. He is one of the greatest scientists of our time and is also a Christian. Ken Ham looks puny when compared to Collins.

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  21. ishy: We saw some pushback on ESS, but there’s a lot of troubling theology in the New Calvinist camp and only the people concerned about abuse seem to be calling them on it.

    Some of them dove for cover when ESS was promulgated. However, it still exists since it is one of their *gotcha* arguments for the subordination of women. There hinky ESV translation of Genesis 3:16 is an example of another such attempt.

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  22. HereIStand: One distinction that is not properly made in many churches (because it usually benefits the offender) is the difference between forgiveness and reconciliation.

    You make a very good point. Too many times (and I am writing one woman’s story tomorrow) the biblical counseling crowd demands that a woman returns to her husband after he physically abuses her. he says he’s sorry and she must forgive and take him back.

    This is a dangerous situation that will often lead to more abuse. The woman is told she is to blame and needs to try harder in a myriad of areas.

    What really disturbs me is the church leader forgives a man who has abused his wife after he simply says “I’m sorry.” That is naive and dangerous. The church leader doesn’t have to prerogative to say that he forgives that sin. That is up to God. The leader was not the one abused. As you said, it may take years or even a lifetime for the wife to forgive her abuser.

    Some may never be able to forgive their abuser and that is alright. God, who knows all, understands. So often the *if you don’t forgive neither will I forgive you” is improperly applied to those who have been abused. Jesus was teaching the Pharisees just how hard the Law is. Jesus forgives even the lack of forgiveness.

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  23. dee: There hinky ESV translation of Genesis 3:16 is an example of another such attempt.

    Hinky in what way?
    I’m staring at an ESV (Crossway 2001) text side by side with my King James version, and other than the personal pronouns, I can’t see any significant difference.
    If you have a magic decoder ring, please share.

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  24. dee: Do you think these guys do actual work or just regurgitate old sermons, etc.?

    The New Calvinists “borrow” sermons from each other. If you close your eyes when listening to some of the young reformers, you’d swear it was Piper speaking. Jeremiah screams through the ages at them “I’m against the prophets who steal my words from each other, declares the Lord.” (Jer 23:30)

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  25. Let’s see now. The pharisees were the ones “in the pulpit”, and Jesus rightly called them white washed sepulchers. They regularly did NOT protect those who were not in power, but loved to get praises for each other. Yet Jesus (and John the Baptist) were more than willing to berate those in power for their behavior IN PUBLIC. Now which of these groups does Dee emulate? Which does the ‘Gospel Coalition’ emulate? Hmmmmm.

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  26. Dave: The pharisees were the ones “in the pulpit”, and Jesus rightly called them white washed sepulchers. They regularly did NOT protect those who were not in power, but loved to get praises for each other. Yet Jesus (and John the Baptist) were more than willing to berate those in power for their behavior IN PUBLIC. Now which of these groups does Dee emulate? Which does the ‘Gospel Coalition’ emulate?

    The New Calvinists are cursed with a Pharisaical spirit.

    An ambassador for Christ is right to call them out. Dee is an ambassador for such a time as this.

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  27. emily honey: The incessant article and book writing and tweeting from these groups has always come across as pathological to me, rather than something restful and natural.

    I do agree they are a bit pathological, but as a marketer, I think it’s really more about marketing and sales. Unfortunately, their audience is in too deep to realize they are being played.

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  28. I think the point of his article was the casual way in which one group puts down another group and was not addressing abuse as such. He does mention it, of course, and goes on to say that it should be called out/reported. (point 2 above). As for mentioning Mark Driscoll, his article was about the contrast between gimmicky teaching and maturity. He was in fact calling out MD and Ed Young Jr.
    Overall, the TWW post and subsequent comments highlight perfectly the issue he was addressing – Pharisaism in the modern church. Here are a few examples
    I’m a conservative Lutheran
    Aberrant faith
    A bunch of terrible men
    TGC is a bunch of phonies
    Swagger monkeys
    I haven’t really considered them Christians
    The new Calvinists are cursed with a Pharisaical spirit. Dee is an ambassador for such as this.

    “Christians are not immune to this. We are tempted to broadcast our own righteousness by letting everyone know—on social media, in articles and blogs, even in published books—that we are not like those other kinds of Christians.” (Daniel Darling)

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  29. From the article: “Paul saw himself as a forgiven sinner talking to other sinners about the One who forgives sin.“

    Paul withstood even the most highly regarded amongst church leaders when it was demanded, and we don’t know that every word used had the preamble of “we’re all sinners, you’re a sinner, I am a sinner” all in hushed tones: “But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face because he stood condemned” (Galatians 2:11).

    Paul appeared to express quite strong sentiments about the supposed “super-apostles” exalting themselves as well as those evidently causing issues as well as disturbing and misleading believers (cf. Galatians 5:12).

    Peter might not have hyper-focused on disclaimers and quietude in instances like Ananias and his wife in Acts 5 and Simon in Acts 8. In the former case where fear fell on the multitude thereafter, did a disclaimer that Peter was a sinner need to be the focus as he was used to call out sin in those cases?

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  30. So…this guy boasts a “bachelor’s degree in pastoral studies” from “Dayspring Bible College”, huh?

    unaccredited “Dayspring Bible College & Seminary”, that the state of Illinois cracked down on for characterizing its diplomas as bachelor’s degrees:

    https://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1872371.html

    Judge: “Their right to free speech does not include a right to use deceptive language to describe a post secondary degree.”

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  31. Darling got a “bachelor’s diploma” from this outfit in 2001:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20010304012954/http://www.dayspringbiblecollege.edu/academics.html

    “Dayspring Bible College uses a highly individualized method of teaching. Students are provided with a quiet learning center in which to study. Assistance is readily available for questions or other difficulties that they may encounter. Students are enrolled in courses that are made up of study paks, audio or videotapes, and/or a textbook. All necessary course material is issued to the student and he is able to progress at his own rate. Periodically, in the course material, the student is required to obtain the college supervisor’s initials before proceeding.”

    Required courses “King James Version”, “Creation Science”, “Biblical Separation”:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20010304014603/http://www.dayspringbiblecollege.edu/courses.html

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  32. HereIStand,

    My church is working on a five week DVD series about forgiveness right now. It is “Embracing Forgiveness” by theologian Barbara Cawthorne Crafton. You can view the first two installments at the church website. It is a little dry, but rich in insight. I think that you will find it inline with HereIStand’s comment.
    Crosswalknapa.org

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  33. Darling back in 2013 deflecting for Thomas White when prescient concerns were were being raised about White being given the reins at Cedarville:

    https://www.jeremybouma.com/cedarville-university-goes-southern-baptist-new-president-is-thomas-white-former-vp-of-student-services-at-swbts/

    (in comments) “you do not know that this man will be as hard right as some in the SBC are. The SBC is very diverse” —Daniel Darling

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  34. ION: Cricket

    A very poor first day for Sri Lanka on Day 1 of the First Test against England in Galle. Sri Lanka won the toss and batted… and as every Wartburger will know, if you win the toss and bat, you really want to bat out the day. In fact Sri Lanka were skittled for 135, with captain Dinesh Chandimal top-scoring on 28 and Dominic Bess picking up a 5-fer.

    A lot of poor shots to blame, although England looked determined to match them at one stage with both openers departing cheaply to leave the visitors on 17-2 in the 9th over. Bairstow and Root steadied things superbly, however, both ending the day unbeaten on 47 and 66 respectively (I know – Root 66) and England on 127 for 2. In fact England were only a couple of big heaves short of achieving a first-innings lead on Day 1.

    Wartburgers wishing to follow the BBC text commentary will wish to know that play begins tomorrow at 10 am local time (0430 UTC), with commentary starting at 0415 UTC.

    IHTIH

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  35. ishy: their audience is in too deep to realize they are being played

    When you swim in shallow water, you don’t have to wade out too far until you are too deep. The New Calvinists in my area – I know many of them – are spiritually immature for the most part. They have been easy targets for the stealth and deception of New Calvinism. It’s sad – they are good people otherwise. Their problem is two-fold: (1) they are too trusting of NeoCal leaders, and (2) they lack discernment.

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  36. dee: That is why I will only post opinions on the subject that are written by those who are old earth/

    When I was young I got interested in the YEC and checked it out. Eventually I discarded it because of the lack of orthopraxy on those preaching it and the fact it does not fit the data, period. So FYI I am now an old earth creationist following those like Dr. Ross who are humble and do not respond in kind being rude and arrogant in debates. He debates Athiests and YEC’s leaders you are familiar with. The stuff he says makes more sense to me than anything else. Without a Creator guiding creation you are left with a God called Infinity that is far less likely than simply admitting their must be a creator somewhere. You either assume God is Infinity with no proof that exists or their is a Creator creating all of the indescribable complexity of our universe and life.

    Also, for the other thing that keeps getting discussed here there is real concern about long term, maybe even permanent long damage from even those who are asymptomatic: https://www.foxnews.com/health/coronavirus-survivors-lungs-worse-than-smokers-surgeon

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  37. Muff Potter,

    Max,

    dee,

    In every Bible I’ve ever seen it says “your desire shall be for or towards your husband” and the conjunction is “and” and not “but”. ESV that I’ve found on line says contrary to and but.

    1. The verse is descriptive of human emotion. The prescription is for men, authority figures and everybody, to not trifle with the emotions of another human being that may be potentially looking up to them, or feel attached, whether it be women, boys, subalterns, etc. The verse is a “just so story” about common human hazards.

    2. In connection with God rule is ALWAYS permissive and nurturing.

    3. Nos 1 and 2 add up to a mature attitude leaving others free and not using them.

    4. It is a serious thing to misrepresent things of God.

    5. In the parallel usage in 4:7 Cain is being told not to lyingly pamper temptations but to wise up. In both cases it’s the widsom and the genuineness that is being urged on us. The sin being called out involves, indeed, lying to oneself.

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  38. Jerome:
    Darling got a “bachelor’s diploma” from this outfit in 2001:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20010304012954/http://www.dayspringbiblecollege.edu/academics.html

    “Dayspring Bible College uses a highly individualized method of teaching. Students are provided with a quiet learning center in which to study. Assistance is readily available for questions or other difficulties that they may encounter. Students are enrolled in courses that are made up of study paks, audio or videotapes, and/or a textbook. All necessary course material is issued to the student and he is able to progress at his own rate. Periodically, in the course material, the student is required to obtain the college supervisor’s initials before proceeding.”

    Required courses “King James Version”, “Creation Science”, “Biblical Separation”:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20010304014603/http://www.dayspringbiblecollege.edu/courses.html

    Aas usual, Jerome, you are one step ahead of the rest of us. Thanks for the info. So, how does a guy with this background get all of these plum jobs?

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  39. Sòpwith,

    God understands contingency that is why He is able to plan providence and why we should listen for what He wants to inform us of.

    Humans have the capacity to turn contingency (what I might do) into necessity (what I can’t undo).

    We are being given the chance to opt into what He foreordains for as many of humanity as possible, insofar as we get an inkling of it.

    Holy Spirit strength enables free fulfilling of the values in the Beatitudes, James, Is 55, 58, 61, etc. Jesus, ascending, distributed gifts differing – He didn’t ration them – which is why there is grace abounding and mercy multiplied.

    Sadly many Calvinists and others, from a viewpoint of “philosophical idealism” (which is based on figments or memes) tend towards literalism.

    God’s version of the Bible like all real language, alludes and when allusions intersect, we get meanings. Such people find Scripture devoid of meaning, it is just by itself.

    In “neo calvinism” they have introduced contradictory doctrines like ESS that aren’t of a piece, as well as defying logic about our will.

    They allowed themselves to be treated as figments without any initiative, discretion, intuition, or power of inference, therefore they maintain (to avoid facing the shame that got foisted on them by their overlords) that we should be treated thus also.

    This has totally destroyed world culture, politics, everything.

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  40. Lowlandseer: Dee is an ambassador for such as this.

    Max,

    One can’t solve a problem wholly within the same system where it got created – Godel. We ought to value more underlying explanations for distinctions, then we would begin to see multi-dimensionally. Until then Dee and the people she criticises might be “thought” (without enough thinking) on a par.

    dee,

    Lowlandseer,

    if you don’t believe in ESS or that God’s foresight and his concern for all interfere in our capacities, you don’t need to defend the people being criticised. In the extracts and previous utterances, there is ambiguity as well as strange, slavish relationships, among celebrities. I prefer the “label” designer outlet churches as that homes in on the attitude.

    The things I have criticised appear in an influential segment of the RCC also. I met a “calvinist” who goes against the things we criticise; I haven’t managed to get out of him yet what he sees “calvinism” as consisting of, so it’s obviously a movable feast.

    I’ve seen these hazards, officially or unofficially, in almost every denomination I’ve known (and that’s a lot). The only remedy is LOTS of prayers and Scripture meditations.

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  41. GMFS!

    Quick update on the cricket. Debutant Dan Lawrence has just gone for 73, off a rather better-than-average delivery by Dilruwan Perera, to end a 4th-wicket partnership of 173. Root still in on 161; his celebration for his 150 was muted, strongly suggesting that he’ll be disappointed without a double century here. New man in is Jos Buttler.

    IHTIH

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  42. Abigail,

    Your comment hits home… Back in my fundamentalist youth world, ( many decades ago) I distinctly remember a feeling that yes, we are under the “evil, secular humanist” gov’t and laws, but because WE are saved and have the real TRUTH, we are the ultimate deciders of pious/righteous behavior….
    So, it is not much of a “stretch” to go the next step and say, hey, the perp in our “village” is normally a “repentant, Truth speaking, HS filled, dynamic, leader” … we all sin, and he is repentant, so why should we subject him to that “evil, secular humanist, gov’t system??”
    I have seen it with my own eyes…. and we at TWW have seen it … I could go on and on and on..

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  43. dee: I have been attacked for years on this subject, including at my former church. That is why I will only post opinions on the subject that are written by those who are old earth/theistic evolutionists.

    FWIW, Dee Charles Spurgeon and B.B. Warfield were OEC in their beliefs. So it hardly a “liberal” position.

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  44. Max: Flattering other dudebros

    Another one of the documented characteristics of “Strongmen” as researched & described by Ruth Ben-Ghiat in her book of the same title. They promote each other lavishly, charmingly. They keep each other in power as they dominate & grift the working class with authoritarianism, delusion, lies & iron fists. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5sJkoDUAXiQ

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  45. Ava Aaronson: They promote each other lavishly, charmingly. They keep each other in power as they dominate

    In my area, I’ve found that SBC’s New Calvinist church planters (in their 20s-30s) hang out with each other, but don’t pay much attention to church members. They love each other more than they love the flock. They don’t call hurting folks when they are sick; they don’t do hospitals, nursing homes or funerals; they don’t visit church families; they don’t know member names … essentially, they don’t pastor as they ought. But they have plenty of time to hang out at coffee shops, tweet their lives away, and rehearse the show they will bring each Sunday with big screens, skinny jeans, and fog machines.

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  46. And one more attack on social media.at TGC by Brett McCracken

    https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/whataboutism-foolishness/

    “If you’re looking to grow in logic, rhetoric, and critical thinking, don’t spend much time online. Put down your phone, exit your echo chamber, and look to better sources for wisdom—like the Bible, the church, nature, books, and beauty.”

    Certainly wouldn’t want those stories of abuse to affect *beauty* now, should we?

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  47. dee: “Put down your phone, exit your echo chamber, and look to better sources for wisdom—like the Bible, the church, nature, books, and beauty.”

    Echo chamber?! Good Lord, there has not been a bigger, more effective echo chamber on planet earth than New Calvinism! The new reformers echo each other ad nauseam; there would not be a New Calvinist movement without social media! What they are really saying is “Listen only to US!”

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  48. dee,

    Talk about eco chamber… that clown spoken above went to a college that you just work on your own speed, and only use “limited, approved course material”…. and I am supposed to listen to these clowns and not question anything they say??
    In contrast, in my classes my students always keep me “on my toes” by questioning all the time..
    and college kids can be smart, and cocky…. there is no way in the world I could “get away with” the antics that the Neo-Calvinist do…

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  49. Jeffrey J Chalmers: went to a college that you just work on your own speed, and only use “limited, approved course material”…. and I am supposed to listen to these clowns and not question anything they say??

    The ability of the dudebros to overlook the weak education of a number of their celebrities is astonihing. I still remember one guy who wrote about his appalling score on his GMAT. I’m not sure I have ever seen one that low. He remarked on how wonderful that SBTS still admitted him. It was about 8 years ago and I can’t find the article but I will. SBTS was taking guys from Mahaney’s Pastors’ College that had never achieved an undergraduate degree.

    I doubt highly that they have ever had a candidate with your level of academic achievement. Drives me nuts!!!

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  50. dee,

    Well, oddly enough, I happen to agree that it’s good to get out of an echo chamber. Specifically, I recommend to anyone who will listen (that’s about seven people over the last 20 years) that christians should not spend all their time meeting with one para-church group (or “church” as they’re known) but should attend the gatherings of different, and unfamiliar, church groups. As you know, we can learn a lot, and grow a lot, by praying and worshipping alongside other believers with different traditions and backgrounds.

    That’s probably not what this laddie meant, though.

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  51. dee: The ability of the dudebros to overlook the weak education of a number of their celebrities is astonishing.

    I doubt highly that they have ever had a candidate with your level of academic achievement.

    Even Herr Mohler is not really an academic, but boy do they paint him as one. He got his job because he was good at fundraising, not academics.

    I don’t think we should discount the power of cults, though. Some of the smartest people I know are wrapped up in New Calvinism. They have undergrad and graduate degrees from prestigious colleges. They used to be decent, thoughtful people. For the life of me, I don’t know why they are so enamored with this group.

    The New Cals definitely care more about charisma and power rather than education. I do wonder if the movement attracts the already entitled, though, and that’s more of a key indicator than education. Men who come from affluent families and have been told their whole lives that they deserve more than everyone else.

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  52. dee: The ability of the dudebros to overlook the weak education of a number of their celebrities is astonishing.

    Who needs an education if you have a touch of charisma, gift of gab, and bag of gimmicks?! I have all those (plus education) and could be a celebrity mega-pastor … if I wanted to 🙂 … I prefer to be last, so I can be first.

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  53. ishy: Some of the smartest people I know are wrapped up in New Calvinism … For the life of me, I don’t know why they are so enamored with this group.

    New Calvinism, with all its aberrations of faith, is more of an intellectual challenge than a spiritual pursuit. Some smart people prefer the former to the latter in doing church … which, of course, is not a very smart thing to do.

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  54. dee: weak education of a number of their celebrities

    Fakes. Lies. False resumes.

    Nothing wrong with making something of oneself through real work (a real job that has nothing to do with collecting donations/tithes).

    But lying about degrees, etc., is in line with the Father of Lies, and we all know who that is.

    Thinking about the Ravi Saga. Apparently, he’s not alone in the con.

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  55. Ava Aaronson: Thinking about the Ravi Saga. Apparently, he’s not alone in the con.

    John Macarthur is another. His doctorates are also honorary, and interestingly enough, one is from a time when Talbot/Biola and Masters were connected because the Talbot extension was meeting at Grace. The rumor is that Macarthur managed to pull all the students from that program into Masters, effectively “stealing” that program from Talbot.

    Macarthur claims he doesn’t call himself doctor, but his bio on the TMS site claims otherwise.

    https://web.archive.org/web/20201021135428/https://www.masters.edu/about/chancellor

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  56. Ava Aaronson,

    Unfortunately, you are correct. In the fall of 1983 I attended a Campus Crusade retreat and the guest speaker made a BIG deal about how he was a “Berkeley Radical” when he was a student….
    I thought interesting, I had just graduated from Berkeley the previous Spring ( this conference was at a retreat in upstate NY, whereCampus Crusade students from many schools were attending).
    So, i went up to him to ask him when he went to Berkeley, etc.. ( I grew up in the Bay Area, so knew allot about the 60-70’s).. Anyway, the guy only attended one summer school class at Berkeley!!
    Later during the conference we had a “pickup football game”… and this same speaker was being a real a$$, arguing about calls, etc… I am like REALLY? We are out here to get some exercise!! This was not a BIg10, or in my case a PAC 10 game!!! Let’s say it really “soured” me..

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  57. Jeffrey J Chalmers: Claiming a “doctorate” when it is honorary is, effectively, stealing 4 plus years from those of us that have a Earned doctorate…

    I agree. I watched a family member struggle through their doctorate. It looked like an unbearable amount of work.

    I have noticed comments that claim that some of these people who write books did the work required, but people are naïve if they really think a lot of these Christian celebrities write their own books and do their own research. Most have ghostwriters.

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  58. Jeffrey J Chalmers: Claiming a “doctorate” when it is honorary is, effectively, stealing 4 plus years from those of us that have a Earned doctorate…

    Exactly. A man with integrity would not promote an honorary doctorate for personal benefit. An earned degree includes rigorous requirements, such as matriculation, attendance, course credits, a dissertation, and the passing of comprehensive examinations. While it is an honor to have such degree bestowed upon you based on life achievements, “Dr.” should never precede your name to make it appear you have more education than you really do … it’s deceptive. It’s OK to note honorary recognitions on your bio or ministry website … but “Pastor” (when you are actually called to that position) is the only title a church leader needs … that is honorable enough for a man of God.

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  59. Jeffrey J Chalmers: – Campus Crusade retreat
    – the guest speaker
    – made a BIG deal about how he was a [something] when the guy only …
    – this same speaker was being a real a$$ [in pick-up football]
    – arguing about calls, etc…

    Big Evangeo blast of nothing:
    All flash, no dash
    All show, no go
    All talk, no walk
    All hat, no cattle
    All sizzle, no steak
    All fur coat, no knickers
    All foam, no beer.
    All brand, no substance.

    Been there. Seen that. Fits.
    Cosplay. The Bill Bright brand.

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  60. Jeffrey J Chalmers: Claiming a “doctorate” when it is honorary is, effectively, stealing 4 plus years from those of us that have a Earned doctorate…

    Jeffrey, I am in total agreement.
    You guys (guys includes women too in present-day parlance) who worked your patooties off, through blood, sweat, tears, and adversity, are the real McCoy.
    There is nothing honorary whatsoever in granting the prize to those who never flew through the flak bursts and the Focke-Wulfs so to speak.

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  61. GMFS Part 1 of 2: Cricket

    So, Root went on to make his fourth double century in Test cricket; with time lost to rain (and more forecast), the England tail did rather try to score quick runs and this didn’t go well, as the last 5 wickets fell for 49 runs. Root eventually was the last man out, caught on the boundary for 228 leaving England all out for 421.

    Sri Lanka, with a first-innings deficit of 286 (more than twice their entire first-innings score) are batting therefore primarily to save the game, and have made an excellent start; Perera and Thirimanne compiled a century opening stand before Perera was caught at deep mid-wicket on 61. It was a very poor delivery from Sam Curran, too, so Perera will be kicking himself. Neverthelss, Sri Lanka are currently 134-1.

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  62. GMFS Part 2 of 2: Space

    NASA are hoping to conduct the long-awaited hot fire test of their SLS core booster some time after 22 o’clock UTC today. Meanwhile, SpaceX have swapped out 2 of the 3 Raptor engines from the SN9 starship prototype, and will almost certainly need at least one more static fire test before a test flight. So, no SN9 flight this weekend.

    IHTIH

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  63. Remember when Baptist preachers were very firm not be called reverend because that was sacrilege? Remember when they were not pastors because they were called to preach and the members were called to do the “pastoring” in the sense of being there in time of trouble, tending to each other’s needs with deacons leading the way?

    No, to a real Baptist back then there were no Right Reverend William Smythe NOR Pastor Bill. There was only Bro. Bill, equal to the flock and serving by the call of God AS DISCERNED BY THE VOTE OF THE PEOPLE UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF GOD.

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  64. linda: Remember when Baptist preachers … Bro. Bill, equal to the flock …

    Yeah, for 150 years Southern Baptists were like that … when soul competency and priesthood of ‘the’ believer were held as doctrinal truths in SBC ranks. The New Calvinists now in control of SBC have diminished those long-standing doctrines in order to separate the flock into a “we are in charge” pulpit and “you do what I say” pew. And, it’s working for them!

    Whose job is the ministry? Every believer has a part! I doubt that Southern Baptists will get back to that in my lifetime. (I’m an old guy now)

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  65. Max: separate the flock into a “we are in charge” pulpit and “you do what I say” pew. And, it’s working for them!

    Whose job is the ministry?

    Everyone has a part: Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4. Every Christian is endowed with a GIFT from the Holy Spirit to be GIVEN to the church. There are a total of 18 listed within these 3 lists. (No $$$ involved.) We can look at these lists and reflect on what GIFT the Holy Spirit has endowed (GIVEN) us for the church, and then actively seek to GIVE that GIFT.

    Example: I’ve been a short term missionary twice, doing all sorts of outreach. I know I am NOT gifted with evangelism. Other gift(s) are apparently prominent.

    Our pastor who taught these 18 gifts advised being active & willing to serve as a Christian & then note where you are MOST effective – that is your gift. It’s Holy Spirit given, like breathing, natural, a gift from God through a Christian to the Church. No $$$ involved with this God-given gift. The only transaction is that others in the Church are also active with their gifts, so we ALL equally benefit without charging dues, paying salaries.

    Were we $upported by others as missionaries? Yes. We donated years of our time and then walked away to continue our careers without any payout from the mission work time.

    Should church workers be paid/supported in the local church? Possibly but not necessary according to Scripture, IMHO – each local church discerns what is godly/Holy Spirit directed/in line with the Bible, in their context. The GIFT itself is just that – a GIFT from God to the Church via the Holy Spirit – not to be bought nor sold.

    Should churches own buildings, property? Possibly, IMHO, but also not necessary.

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  66. Michael in UK: One can’t solve a problem wholly within the same system where it got created – Godel. We ought to value more underlying explanations for distinctions, then we would begin to see multi-dimensionally.

    Contrary to what some Wartburgers may think, I don’t have a problem with other expressions of faith and other theologies beside what I hold … unless they waiver from a Christocentric criterion for interpretation of Scripture. No matter how you spin it, New Calvinism is not Christ-centered even if the new reformers keep telling us they are. They are reformed theology-centered, Calvin-centered, Piper-centered, etc. ESS is but one example of diminishing Christ in their belief and practice. I can’t value “underlying explanations for distinctions” that do not hold the precious name of Christ above all others, nor “see multi-dimensionally” those dimensions which have no place in the Kingdom of God.

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  67. Friend: There are so many good ways to form communities, express love for God, and love our neighbors.

    Good ways.

    OTHO, one of the not good ways would be to put a pastor or priest or any person (other than Jesus) at the center of it all. Not good. Ever. Cult.

    When a person steps forward to offer their pastoring gift among followers of Christ, one of the first observations should be, Does this pastor stand laterally with the 17 other gifts the Holy Spirit offers to the Church via Followers, like, for example, the gift of discernment? All on level ground at the throne of God, and in sync/guidance of the Holy Spirit.

    Romans 12, 1 Cor 12, Eph 4. There are 18 gifts listed, not just one. All equally functioning in the Body of Christ, as the text notes.

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  68. Ava Aaronson: There are 18 gifts listed, not just one. All equally functioning in the Body of Christ, as the text notes.

    But in practice those 18 gifts are:
    Tongues, Tongues, Tongues, Tongues, Tongues, Tongues, Tongues, Tongues, Tongues, Tongues, Tongues, Tongues, Tongues, Tongues, Tongues, Tongues, Tongues, and Tongues.

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  69. Sòpwith,

    Doesn’t Jesus and don’t the apostles and the OT prophets have things to comment about false gospels. To judge from what others have reported “Neo” or “New” calvinism with its ESS is overtly false, but who has experience to know how to tell? I’m convinceed that I in the past sometimes witnessed covert ESS.

    Max: I can’t value “underlying explanations for distinctions” that do not hold the precious name of Christ above all others, nor “see multi-dimensionally” those dimensions which have no place in the Kingdom of God.

    Good. Some other comments have not spelled out the issue; the Kingdom of God is a very different thing from what the designer outlet churches say; it is about our trading with each other to build each other up to perseverance. Christ sent Holy Spirit.

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  70. Max: True worshipers

    The worship of God is to not stunt the growth of the fellow adopted widows and orphans in Father’s firm (Prov 21: 10-31).

    The praise of God is to show Him we know he is the One to go shopping from without price, for our fellows (Is 55, 58, 61, James) and for just government everywhere.

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  71. Headless Unicorn Guy: those 18 gifts are:

    Tongues only? Sounds equally malpractice as pastoring only. Both tongues & pastor are only on one list, notably.

    … as listed:

    18 Gifts of the Spirit Comprise the Church

    Romans 12 1 Corinthians 12 Ephesians 4
    1. Prophecy 8. Wisdom Apostles
    2. Service, helps 9. Knowledge Prophets
    3. Teaching 10. Faith 17. Evangelists
    4. Exhortation 11. Healing 18. Pastors
    5. Giving ($$$) 12. Miracles Teachers
    6. Leader/Admin Prophecy
    7. Mercy 13. Discernment
    14. Tongues
    15. Interpretation
    16. Apostles
    Teachers
    Service/helps
    Admin., leadership

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  72. Ava Aaronson: Headless Unicorn Guy: those 18 gifts are:

    That table didn’t show up as it should. Oh well, it’s sort of the idea. The three lists, Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, & Ephesians 4, spell it out, describing how the Body of Christ is intended to function as an organic network of equally gifted saints, all inclusive standing on level ground under the guidance of God the Father, Son, & Holy Spirit. No middleman.

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  73. Ava Aaronson: 18 Gifts of the Spirit Comprise the Church

    Unfortunately, churches turn this into a checklist and then declare that Pastor has all of the qualities.

    Plenty of Christian traditions don’t require praying in tongues (especially without interpretation). Some Christians view prophecy as predicting the future, while others see it as speaking truth to power. Etc.

    The appointment of a pastor should make sense. Everything should. Far too many Christians abandon critical thinking at church, and proceed to abandon it the rest of the time too.

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  74. Michael in UK: the Kingdom of God is a very different thing from what the designer outlet churches say

    Jesus, in His earthly ministry, taught extensively about the Kingdom of God … the Apostles echoed His teachings about the Kingdom of God in the here and now … the early church held Kingdom principles high and knew how to be and live as Kingdom citizens. The average Christian in the 21st century church has lost contact with the Kingdom of God on earth. The teachings and traditions of men now rule – there’s a vast difference between being religious and living in the Kingdom.

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