Open Discussion Page

Most comment policies for the blog are in effect on this page as well. However, we will not monitor the length of comments (unless some wise guy plays a game), the direction of the discussions or the relevance of the discussions. The Deebs may or may not participate in the discussion, depending on busyness of the current posts. In other words, go for it. This page is subject to change as we work out the inevitable issues.

Please note that the usual restrictions on personal attacks and other rude behavior still apply here.

Update: 660 comments in 3 weeks. Not bad. Since infinite is a bad idea in how big a page can be on a web site I'm changing things so comments are split into pages of 500 per page. Nothing is gone. Just click on the link for older comments. (GBTC)

Comments

Open Discussion Page — 6,803 Comments

  1. @ Bill M:
    That is hysterical!!! Maybe they can sell Indulgences for dog souls. The Protestants would wear disguises to purchase them!

    There are a lot of people who don’t believe God is going to redeem His earth. The lion lay down with the lamb? You wanna pet a lion someday? :o)

    Which means my RIP schnauzers, Monty and Rommel, will be there…. probably with new names, though. :o)

  2. @ Lydia:
    Thank you Lydia. Seems potential cautionary tale. I am also wondering how one on one counseling can be guarded– if someone having doubt about salvation… what does the irresistible grace person say? (planning to ask this of the cal teacher, even some everyday comments raise small concern– like how excited he is that he has just discovered that he doesn’t have to be concerned about his actions or effect because he can do nothing to thwart God’s sovereign will).

  3. Sopwith wrote:

    (Any Jesuit priest worth his weight in salt will tell you that Catholicism is based upon several factors, not just the Bible alone.

    Some of the best thinkers I’ve ever read were Jesuits. “The Bible alone” is a phrase that is as fluid and diffuse as the smoke of a campfire. I share Erasmus’s conviction that the Bible is not the sole repository of truth and beauty.

  4. Muff Potter wrote:

    I share Erasmus’s conviction that the Bible is not the sole repository of truth and beauty.

    Then the Bible would agree with you and with Erasmus:
    “25There are many more things that Jesus did. If all of them were written down, I suppose not even the world itself would have space for the books that would be written.” (John 21)

    And likely we have overlooked so much of the witness to God found in Creation itself:
    “”Or speak to the earth, and let it teach you; And let the fish of the sea declare to you. 9″Who among all these does not know That the hand of the LORD has done this, 10In whose hand is the life of every living thing, And the breath of all mankind?…” (Job 12)

  5. Here’s my latest update…
    I have enough to get food and gas through next week. I am running out of some of my treatment supplies ($100). My rent is due Friday ($565). Well need food and gas after next week. July’s bills will start coming due in 2 weeks ($500), plus $150 in bills that only come up once a year will be due in about 2 weeks.
    I continue to look for a job. I won’t give up. My health is still at the same plateau, neither improving nor getting worse. I’m hoping that shifts soon, too.
    Thank you all for your prayers and support. I am so grateful.

    http://www.gofundme.com/ljahelp

  6. Hey, NUMO
    I don’t know any ‘Celia’ and I am beginning to think perhaps ‘she’ is someone else who used to blog at SBCvoices when I was there. Thank you for the good word as to my character. The only good thing that comes out of this that now I won’t be worried about discussing the term ‘the gospel’ here at WW, since I’m told that was not ‘the problem’ with me. So in my next comment on the main topic, I was able to express myself without concern for ‘firestorms’.

    I was trying to give our buddy TED the heads-up, because some other people like yourself did try to point out some ‘inconsistencies’ and they got slammed, which made me feel very bad for them.

    On the whole, better if when people get upset they can ‘rant’ and get it out. I have no ill will towards any people here, ’cause I know now some of their stories and those stories tell me they also have been wounded and are here at WW to work so that it won’t happen to others. ‘All shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.’ Thanks again.

  7. @ Christiane:
    Again you are twisting things. No one else got slammed. People were fed up with your proselytizing and you tried to twist that to make yourself into a victim like always. Yes people have been hurt and they need to beware of people who are just here to play games. And no I didn’t blog at SBC Voices. I’ve been on and off the blogs for about eleven years and have observed your behavior time and again.

  8. @ Celia:
    CELIA, I don’t know who you are and before I came here to WW, I don’t believe we have ever interacted. The DEEBS wish this whole business to be ended, and I want to respect that.

    Like NUMO, I shall no longer respond to your comments as it upsets the purpose of this blog, and that is not why either of us are here.

  9. @ Christiane:
    I could have made the same comment about readings from the Gospels in a Luthrran church. Any Episcopalian could say the same as well – after all, we all use the Revised Common Lectionary.

    Oh well.

  10. Hey NUMO,
    I’m going to join you in praying for DEE and her family.
    That sounds like a lot of stress on her especially with today’s difficulties for her mother during surgery.

  11. @ Christiane:
    I’m sure you are right. It seems overwhelming, just reading about it, from having gone through serious health crises with elderly relatives myself.

  12. numo wrote:

    It is so very contrary to the eastern part of the ELCA to have “stars.”

    I’ll go ahead and change the subject…

    I am currently going to a LCMS church. I haven’t joined, feeling a bit disoriented after being Baptist for 20 years. I did grow up in a LCMS church, and went through confirmation, so not totally unfamiliar with how things work.

    I’m about to move, and will need to find another church, and there’s a few ELCA churches there that I’d like to visit, though I plan to visit at least one CBF Baptist church. I feel like I’m kinda halfway about my theology, as I don’t totally buy into the idea of sacraments, but I can see Communion more than baptism. LCMS seems to have a much stricter viewpoint on agreeing with sacraments than ELCA.

    The church I go to is much more open than your average LCMS church, closer to ELCA, but I’ve encountered some LCMS members who are very insistent that Christian fellowship does not exist unless you agree about everything theology-wise, which honestly, I just see as impossible. My brain literally can’t even fathom that.

    So, my questions are: Would I have to make a statement if I joined that I affirmed all the beliefs of the ELCA? Also, are there things I should look for in a ELCA church?

  13. I want to clarify a stance I took yesterday. When I talk/talked about theological/doctrinal illiteracy this was not some code word for calvinism. My statement was meant to convey that if people do not have some theological/doctrinal foundation (of whatever kind-let us say lutheran to match the recent conversation here) then they will be easy prey for somebody or some group who comes along selling/pushing doctrine. They will not be able to defend their own beliefs. And frankly they may recognize what they perceive to be a weak area in their belief system and think that they have found what they felt to be missing.

    And frankly, I still believe that and still endeavor be as informed as possible. It helps me spot some of the b.s., but it does not make me a calvinist.

  14.   __

    “The Restoration Of Beauty And Truth: “The Word Of God In The Hands Of The Common Man, Perhaps?”

    hmmm…

    Muff,

      hey,

      Yes, Desiderius Erasmus sought with all diligence to have the holy scriptures open to every man and woman in their native tongue, and his tremendious scholarship was to play a serious and vital role in the formulation of the Protestant Reformation. His efforts ultimately lead to the publishing, in printed form, of the Greek New Testament, which both Martin Luther and William Tyndale gracefully employed when translating their German and English New Testaments respectively. The rest is as they say history.

    We all have a part to play on spreading His truth – the Holy Scriptures?

    huh?

       “I would have the weakest woman read the Gospels and Epistles of St. Paul… I would have those words translated into all languages, so that not only Scots and Irishmen, but Turks and Saracens might read them. I long for the plowboy to sing them to himself as he follows the plow, the weaver to hum them to the tune of his shuttle, the traveler to beguile with them the dullness of his journey… Other studies we may regret having undertaken, but happy is the man upon whom death comes when he is engaged in these. These sacred words give you the very image of Christ speaking, healing, dying, rising again, and make him so present, that were he before your very eyes you would not more truly see him” – Desiderius Erasmus

        “I advised divines to leave scholastic subtleties and study Scriptures… I wish there could be an end of scholastic subtleties, or, if not an end, that they could be thrust into a second place, and Christ be taught plainly and simply. The reading of the Bible… will have this effect. Doctrines are taught now which have affinity with Christ and only darken our eyes” – Desiderius Erasmus

    “I perceived how that it was impossible to establish the lay people in any truth except the Scripture were plainly laid before their eyes in their mother tongue.” -William Tyndale

    “Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.” – Martin Luther

    This ‘plowboy’ is sincerely grateful for all these men’s prodigious efforts.

    Thanks be to God.

    “The grass will wither and the flowers will fall, but the word of the Lord will stand forever…” – Apostle Peter

    This is the word that has been faithfully proclaimed to you.

      Please make every diligent effort to present yourself approved to God, as an unashamed workman who accurately handles His word, the word of truth. 

    ATB 🙂

    Sopy

  15. @ ishy:
    No, you wouldn’t. All that you need: baptism and confirmation. The Apostles and Nicene Creeds are the gold standard, so to speak.

    As with anything else, much depends on the individual congregation. I’m not certain of what you’re looking for, so can’t reply to your other question. I would be very, very surprised if anyone was like some of the more hsrdline LCMS types, but YMMV.

  16. @ ishy:
    The whole agreeing about every single thing deal would make me quite wary.

    You are aware that the LCMS doesn’t allow women to be ordained, right? That said, if you like the congregation, you might want to stick around for a while longer. There’s no need to join anything if you don’t want to, but pressure to do so is, obvy, a huge red flag. I’ve only been around LCMS churches here in the East, which were *much* less strict than is typical in the Midwest.

  17. numo wrote:

    No, you wouldn’t. All that you need: baptism and confirmation. The Apostles and Nicene Creeds are the gold standard, so to speak.
    As with anything else, much depends on the individual congregation. I’m not certain of what you’re looking for, so can’t reply to your other question. I would be very, very surprised if anyone was like some of the more hsrdline LCMS types, but YMMV.

    Ok, thanks.

    The truth is, what I’m looking for is fairly simple. I want a church that follows God to the best of their ability, believes Jesus came to save us by dying on the cross, reads the Bible, isn’t authoritarian, and treats me as a contributing, theologically-minded adult.

    Being a single person, I spent two years visiting churches, and you wouldn’t believe how often I was told that they really didn’t have a place for or want single people over the age of 25.

    With all this mess in the SBC, I think I want to stay out of that, but plan to visit non-SBC Baptist churches, Lutheran churches, Methodist churches, and maybe even an Anglican church. Right now I don’t live near an Anglican church, but I visited one with friends awhile back and liked it just fine. There’s a large charismatic community in that area, and I don’t know that I’d be a good fit in a charismatic church anymore. But I am trying to keep an open mind.

  18. numo wrote:

    The whole agreeing about every single thing deal would make me quite wary.
    You are aware that the LCMS doesn’t allow women to be ordained, right?

    Oh yeah, me too. And while I am okay with female ordination, I have no interest in being ordained. I have the education to be (not counting that it’s SBC-based lol), but unless it was as a worship pastor or a missions pastor, I’m not too bothered. And I could do those without being ordained. I would rather be in a church that allows it, but sometimes choices end up being very limited.

  19. @ ishy:
    The other thing about the LCMS is that their official stance is closed communion. I’ve never seen any adherence to that in my limited experience, but a lot of their churches are quite emphatic about it.

  20. numo wrote:

    @ ishy:
    The other thing about the LCMS is that their official stance is closed communion. I’ve never seen any adherence to that in my limited experience, but a lot of their churches are quite emphatic about it.

    I’m pretty sure the one I’m going to now is closer to ELCA in most issues. Being that I was confirmed as LCMS, I got a pass, but they seem to allow everyone to come forward. They also have a female worship leader who does as much in the service as the pastor, and is treated as a pastor as far as I can tell.

    I did kind of subtly ask one of the staff members, and her response was that there was a pretty wide range of opinions even in the LCMS. So maybe that’s changing, but being new, I don’t really understand the politics yet, and being that I’m moving, I haven’t had more time to ask about it. I would like to know myself.

  21. @ numo:

    I visited a Lutheran Church this past Easter. Turns out it was an LCMS. They seemed very strict about communion. There was a write up about it in the handout. This particular church held to transubstantiation and asked people who weren’t clear about their position to speak to a deacon before they take Communion. Most odd to me is that they didn’t even offer communion on Easter.

  22. @ Bridget:
    Sounds ridiculously hard-line to me. The official podition is vlosed communion, though.

    I would, however, be VERY surprised re. transubstatiation. Lutherans, in general, do believe i the Real Presence of Christ in the rucharist, but that isn’t the same thing as transubstatiation. Luther used the image of a horseshoe being heated in a fire to try and explain what is essentially a mystery. The horseshoe is not the fire, but the fire has become part of the horseshoe, in a sense. The Luthersn position is called Sacramental Union. Or, as (iirc) someone from yet another denomination put it, Christ is “in, with and under” the bread and wine. This stuff is all pretty hard to parse out, anyway. But there’s definitely no “magic” involved! (For Catholics, either.)

  23. @ Bridget:
    Fwiw, i have never actually heard anyone discuss the Real Presence or make an isdue of it in any way. I only learned about the belief and its history in the ELCA because i wanted to know more. Researched it on my own.

    Communion is addressed in catechism classes, but they’re not terribly doctrinaire. Why would a 7th grader be interested in arcane theological arguments? 😉

  24. One last thing: the Wiki article on the eucharist in Luthernism is not entirely accurate. It appears to have been written by people who hold to a very “high” (almost Anglo-Catholic!) view of communion – they refer to Catholic customs and practices that are actually very rare in most Lutheran churches in the US.

    Since Vatican II, Lutherans and Catholics are much closer in their understanding of communion, but there are still (imo, to the best of my understanding) some important differences, too. However, we’re a lot closer to Catholicism in many respects than practically any other Protestant denomination, with the exception of some Episcopalians and others in the Anglican Communion. (Lots of both are not that way at all, but much closer to the Reformed tradition – *not* neo-Cal).

    Confused yet? 😉

  25. Christiane wrote:

    The DEEBS wish this whole business to be ended, and I want to respect that.

    Then why did you resurrect it and bring it up in another thread?

    Like you, I had some curiosity about those specific answers that you found in your denom, and how the answers from the Baptists were non-specific, multiple, and conflicting.

    So, like you, I went to an internet forum and found the following discussion on a very specific question.

    Is the Eucharist ‘required’ for Salvation?

    First response – yes AND no.

    1129 The Church affirms that for believers the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation.

    The answer is yes, as described in the CCC. Note that it says “for believers” not for non-believers. Non-believers may be saved by employing the graces God gave them outside of the sacraments because God is not bound by the sacraments, but for we who know what God requires of us, they are. So, for believers the Eucharist is necessary. However, personally receiving the Eucharist is only required once a year.

    Then we have just a – yes.

    It’s the same thing with the body and blood of Christ. We need to receive the body and blood of Jesus Christ for receiving eternal life.”

    Next we have another – yes

    It seems that if receiving the sacraments are required for salvation, then it should be all or nothing. Scripture says, “Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.
    Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. ”

    This sure sounds like a salvation requirement that should apply to all, no if’s, and’s, or but’s about it

    Then we have a – maybe not.

    I understand what you are saying, but then there are other verses which say if you believe in Jesus you are saved (without reference to the Eucharist or sacraments). So we need to harmonize scripture with scripture.

    Then an adamant – yes.

    Good Lord!
    What part of “unless you eat…drink… …you have no life in you” does she not understand?!?!?

    Then we have a – yes and no.

    So, to say that one must receive the Eucharist to be saved is not correct. Those who know what the Eucharist is must believe what the Church teaches about it or risk losing their salvation.

    Then a – no, but it’ll cost them.

    Its the same way that the CC says their is no salvation outside the Church.Yes,there is salvation wihtout the Eucharist but Christ said “Unless you eat My body and drink My blood you will have no life in you” Although it seems contradictory in Christ’s infinite mercy the Church says it is posible in certain circumstances.

    The fact is none of us all worthy of salvation.All those who recieve the Eucharist are better off than those who don’t and would not have to suffer the pains of purgatory as much or maybe none at all.

    Those who do receive the Eucharist are granted this special priveledge by God and He choose whom He wills. However those people also suffer more here on earth more than those who don’t.

    Next we have an – I don’t know, we’re getting conflicting answers.

    So far a few posters have said that the Eucharist is necessary for salvation (see above) and others have said it may be true for Catholics only

    Then another – no, it is not required.

    Is it possible to be saved without the Eucharist? Of course–ask the good thief who Jesus promised “today you will be with Me in paradise.”

    It looks like this next one is a – no for some and yes for others.

    Of course Jesus wants everyone to receive his body and blood and the invitation is for all persons but the proviso is they must be in union with Christ’s body first. This does not negate Jesus’ words at all, they mere clarify who must obey and who is not expected to do so. I hope that helps. It’s a rather complex issue.

    Then we have another adamant – yes, it is required.

    That’s garbage. There is nothing complex about Catholic soteriology, and nothing ambiguous in Our Lord’s words: “Unless you eat My Flesh and drink My Blood, you have no life in you.”

    No life.

    Those who like to dilute His teachings often overcomplicate what is plain, straightforward, and easily understood, to the harm of souls.

    Another – yes, it is necessary, but also no because on rare occasions God can choose otherwise.

    Christ makes it pretty clear that the Eucharist is necessary to salvation.

    God can, by extraordinary means, save souls who do not receive the sacraments. But that is NOT the norm. That is the exception to the rule. The rule is that the sacraments are necessary to salvation, and we do non-Catholics no service by assuming that they will be saved without the sacraments. The Church has never taught this, not even after Vatican II.

    Next we have – yes for Catholics, no for non-catholics.

    The Magisterium teaches that those outside the Church can be saved.
    The Church also teaches that those who are not Catholic should not receive the Eucharist.
    So, obviously, the Church does not teach reception of the Eucharist as necessary for non-Catholics to be saved.

    And finally another – yes it is required except on rare occasions.

    The Church teaches that only those in invincible ignorance may be saved apart from the sacraments. That would be by the extraordinary (meaning rare, out of the ordinary, uncommon) means of grace.

    The NORM is that only those within the Catholic Church who receive the sacraments can be saved.

    For us to give the impression that the sacraments are not necessary to salvation is to do grave disservice to souls. It is to lead them astray, and keep them from the one, true Church, outside of which there is no salvation.

    Well, what do you know? Something as simple as whether or not the Eucharist is required for salvation (something much more singular to answer than ‘what is the Gospel’) and we get yes, and no, and maybe, yes for some, no for others.

    Looks like to this simple question, we got no specific answer, we got multiple answers, AND conflicting answers.

    It *might* be that using an internet forum isn’t the best go-to source for any denom’s doctrine.

    Would you agree?

  26. numo wrote:

    This isn’t helping. Btw, not all Protestants see eye to eye with you.

    Do you find it perfectly acceptable that this topic was brought up on a completely unrelated thread?

    Eye to eye on what?

  27. numo wrote:

    Or, as (iirc) someone from yet another denomination put it, Christ is “in, with and under” the bread and wine. This stuff is all pretty hard to parse out, anyway. But there’s definitely no “magic” involved! (For Catholics, either.)

    Good explanation.
    As for those who celebrate the Lord’s Supper as memorial, I always like to think that the ‘real Presence’ may be there in a special way for them. REASON: I remember that beautiful verse in Scripture: “Lord, I believe. Help Thou my unbelief.”

    Yeah, I think the Good Lord helps us all in that way. He comes to us where we are at with blessing in His Hands. 🙂

  28. @ Christiane:
    Personally, i think Christ’s Real Presence is always there, regardless of what people do/don’t believe. These are petty human arguments; God’s presence is not bound by them. It is all a Mystery of the faith.

    The “in, with, and under” thing is used all the time by Lutherans, but it’s not anywhere near sufficient – i only know what Christ’s own words of institution were, before he died. Something thst transcends human understanding is going on there.

  29. @ BL:
    I will not engage further on this topic. If you want to learn about what other Protestants believe, well… there are some comments on this thread that would give you a start. You’ve got search engines, and likely a public library, too, so…

    Christianity is a very big umbrella.

  30. numo wrote:

    Fwiw, i have never actually heard anyone discuss the Real Presence or make an isdue of it in any way.

    It seemed pretty hard core to me, and they did use the word transubstantiation.

  31. ishy wrote:

    *gives everybody coffee and a cookie*

    🙂 Food as love and hugs. In my father’s French Canadian family, food IS love and hugs.
    There’s a beautiful quote from Corrie ten Boom about her aging mother, this:
    ““Mama’s love had always been the kind that acted itself out with soup pot and sewing basket. But now that these things were taken away, the love seemed as whole as before. She sat in her chair at the window and loved us. She loved the people she saw in the street– and beyond: her love took in the city, the land of Holland, the world. And so I learned that love is larger than the walls which shut it in. ”

    I remember coming to work as a teacher at a school where there were some ladies who were having problems with one another. They acted it out with ‘parties’ where they would invite everyone and exclude the persons they had difficulties with. The other persons reacted in the same way. It was not a happy scene. So I tried something very simple: one Friday morn, I got up extra early and bought tons of fresh doughnuts (all varieties) and set them out in the coffee room (teachers’ lounge) with a sign that said, “everyone welcome” and I drew a heart in the middle of the words. Well, something did change. Eventually there were monthly ‘birthday’ parties with everyone ‘welcomed’ and much food shared and it was good. It was really, really good.
    Something about your simple offering of food reminded me of that …. very healing comment you made there. 🙂

  32. @ Bridget:
    I’m curious as to who used the word transubstansiation. Or if they actually knew what it meant. (Cue Inigo Montoya clip from The Princess Bride.)

  33. numo wrote:

    This isn’t helping. Btw, not all Protestants see eye to eye with you.

    Agreed. I think it’s a very human thing to want others to be in lock-step with the theological constructs we believe and hold dear as individuals. And failing that? It’s best to just let them go. That way the old patterns of rancor and offense cannot escalate into crusades, pogroms, inquisitions, and all the other horrors of the past.

  34. BL wrote:

    Christiane wrote:

    The DEEBS wish this whole business to be ended, and I want to respect that.

    Then why did you resurrect it and bring it up in another thread?

    She posted that before Deb asked everyone to drop it.

    And frankly, I almost didn’t come back to this blog today because I was so turned off by some of the responses of others.

  35. numo wrote:

    I will not engage further on this topic. If you want to learn about what other Protestants believe, well… there are some comments on this thread that would give you a start. You’ve got search engines, and likely a public library, too, so…
    Christianity is a very big umbrella.

    I’m not sure how you could so completely choose not to address what I actually have posted.

    Since I haven’t expressed anything on what I believe, nor have I expressed disagreement with anyone’ doctrine, why are you suggesting that I go learn what other protestants believe?

    My *only* issue is that it is not acceptable to tout your denom as the one who has specific answers, not multiple answers or conflicting answers as compared to that *other* denom.

    Especially when the supposedly knowledge of a denom’s non specific answers, multiple answers and conflicting answers came from and *internet forum*.

    Shall I start inserting in multiple, unrelated threads what I learned on an internet forum about Catholic confusion on the Eucharist?

    And why is it you can enter any of these threads to correct me, but can’t address whether or not you found it acceptable for this issue to be resurrected on a completely unrelated thread, instead insisting that this is the last time you will speak on it?

    There was no firestorm.

    No one attacked you, or Okrapod, or Ted, or FITB.

    Is it your advice, that I should shut up and let false assertions and self-serving descriptions of events go unchallenged?

    *Who* has kept bringing it up?

  36. @ ishy:
    I hear you. Glad you did drop by, though.

    Myself, i abhor the rancor. There’s no need for it, nor for personal attacks. This blog is about abuse and help for the abused. I think we can all agree that help is one of the modt important things.

  37. @ BL:
    Like i said, i have no desire to engage with you on this topic. It is counterproductive, to say the least.

  38. numo wrote:

    God’s presence is not bound by them. It is all a Mystery of the faith.

    AMEN to this. Our ‘words’ and explanations are frail attempts to ‘explain’ the mystery of ‘God with us’. I think the Eastern Orthodox have a better way: they don’t try to explain or define the ‘mystery’ of Christ … they accept it with a great reverence.

  39. @ Christiane:
    Yes. I like certain things about the EO very much. This is one of them. And i really do think the reasoning and arguments about this are petty. Jesus said what he said and didn’t explain it further, as with his words in John chapter 6. I love to figure things out, but paradox and mystery ard at the heart of this, and i think reverent silence is one of the best responses possible.

  40. numo wrote:

    Frail is a apt word choice, too!

    NUMO, I think that we Western tradition Christians are much influenced by trying to ‘reason’ things out in the way of the philosophy of the ancient Greeks;
    whereas the Eastern Church was not so much influenced by the need to rationalize that for which there may be no words, because it is beyond our ability to fathom.

    And yet, God makes us to ‘ask’ and ‘seek’ and ‘wonder’ so we are what we are in our great desire to ‘know’ in the rational sense. When so often, what we need so much is to ‘be still’ and in the quiet, experience the Presence of God. I like the EO expression of that, yes. Beautiful!

  41. @ Christiane:
    Well, but… they *were* Greek. Not sure that the problem is knowing Greek philosophy, so much as the Scholastic theologians of the Middle Ages (in dome respects), Aquinas’ work, etc. (I’m not lambasting Aquinas per se, but i get lost i his convoluted explanations.)

  42. @ Christiane:
    I think it’s equally valid to ask questions, but we need the other dide – the acknowledgement that some things are too marvelous for us.

  43. ishy wrote:

    She posted that before Deb asked everyone to drop it.
    And frankly, I almost didn’t come back to this blog today because I was so turned off by some of the responses of others.

    Actually, we had been asked to drop it & take it to the Open Discussion area when it first came up on another thread a couple of days ago.

    I appreciate much of what Lydia posts. The priest reference was over the top and shouldn’t have been said.

    Christianne shouldn’t have brought up the contentious issue in the first place. Everyone else had dropped it.

  44. numo wrote:

    I think it’s equally valid to ask questions, but we need the other dide – the acknowledgement that some things are too marvelous for us.

    Hey NUMO,
    I look at the ESS debacle, which indeed has drawn attention to the age-old problem of our kind in wanting to understand the mystery of God …. the ESS folks failed to remember the teaching of Augustine this: ” ‘If you think you have grasped Him, it is not God you have grasped’. The Eternal Subordination of the Son could never be ‘orthodox’ Trinitarian teaching, because it fails by attempting to put Jesus Christ into ‘His place’ in a way that reveals the truth of Augustine’s ‘si comprendis, non es Deus’
    The neo-Cals have embarrassed themselves with their ESS advocacy. They have been challenged on ESS, even among their Calvinist brethren. And, in their pride, they needed to be challenged.

  45. @ Christiane:
    Not only do I hear you, I find it refreshing that you pulled a *good* quote from Augustine. He is too much maligned for his views on Original Sin (with which I greatly disagree), while other parts of his work are never discussed. (Obviously, he’s not responsible for the promotion of his particular views on Adam, Eve, etc. to the status of dogma… it’s those who came after him, and who favored his opinions, who bear the blame.)

  46. Ken F wrote:

    So far I have yet to get any convincing arguments that Penal Substitution is true based on answers to these questions.

    I have yet to find anyone who will address the 18 questions I drafted. I recently sent them to Grace to You (John MacArthur’s ministry), Together for the Gospel, The Founders Ministry, 9Marks, Al Mohler, and Ligon Duncan. I sent the questions to these ministries because their sites had “contact” info. I was not able to send to Desiring God because even though there is an “Ask Pastor John” segment there is no way to submit a question to Pastor John. GTY sent me handful of links to MacArthur’s sermons that did not address the questions. I asked for clarifying info but was told that their staff does not have time to answer my questions. 9Marks offered to send me a book. I found a blatant contradiction in the preface when I read it on the “Look Inside” feature on Amazon. I asked whether the book specifically addresses my questions or if it would be like all that I’ve read to date. I did not get an answer. I am still waiting for answers from the other sites. If the case for PSA is so clear, it strikes me as odd that no one is able to present a clear argument that does not rely on unverified premises and questionable interpretations of very few passages. I expected solid answers instead of hand-waving. One person I know pointed to Isaiah 53 as the proof text, but his whole point was based on a contested translation of a single word in verse 5. But it led me to this article: http://www.clarion-journal.com/clarion_journal_of_spirit/2013/10/punished-for-or-by-our-sins-the-suffering-servant-of-isaiah-53-santo-calarco.html. This article is consistent with others that I have read on Isaiah 53, but so far this one is the best to show that Isaiah 53 does NOT support PSA.

    Are myquestions too flawed for someone to answer them? I would expect the PSA advocates to have solid Biblical(TM) support for this theory. I’m still waiting.

  47. Ken F wrote:

    Are myquestions too flawed for someone to answer them?

    I like your questions. I have one of my own for the neo-Cons, this:
    Who do you say died on the Cross”

    RC Sproul JR. had written that only the Human Nature of the Person of Christ was crucified, which places Spruill into the heresy of denying the orthodox doctrines on the Incarnation and the Divinity of Christ.

    My question explores the logic of ‘Who’ was Christ? Was He a whole Person, wholly God and wholly Man as the orthodox teaching claims, possessing two Natures, one divine and one human.

    In short, a Person died on the Cross. Not a nature. But Sproul, Jr. who is a theologian much admired by neo-Cals would disagree with that observation.

    You’ve really worked hard, KEN. If they don’t respond to you maybe they have no answers themselves. Good job trying. The Body of Christ, in its diversity, is able to attempt to use that diversity to self-correct; and this work of the Body arcs always towards unity in matters of essentials.

  48. Christiane wrote:

    correction: ‘neo-Cons’ should be ‘neo-Cals’

    Are you sure? You might be on to something. They do see to be trying to con us into a different gospel.

  49. Ken F wrote:

    I found a blatant contradiction in the preface when I read it on the “Look Inside” feature on Amazon.

    The book they offered to send me is “It Is Well: Expositions on Substitutionary Atonement (9Marks)” by Mark Dever and Michael Lawrence. In the preface to the book is this statement: “Often, their discomfort is expressed in language objecting to anyone who would say that ‘penal substitution’ is the only way to talk about the atonement Christ has made. That would be a sound objection, yet I don’t know anyone against whom it could justifiably be made. No one I know argues that ‘penal substitution’ is the only way to talk about the atonement of Christ.”

    But here is what John MacArthur said about it: “There’s only one way to understand the death of Christ and that is under the principle of penal substitution.” (https://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/90-440/the-substituted-servant-part-2?Term=christus%20victor)

    I know that Dever and MacArthur support each other, and they are both featured speakers at Together for the Gospel. It’s stuff like this that causes me to wonder about validity of their arguments.

    Did I misunderstand what appears to me to be a blatant contradiction?

  50. Christiane wrote:

    The Body of Christ, in its diversity, is able to attempt to use that diversity to self-correct; and this work of the Body arcs always towards unity in matters of essentials.

    Another way of saying this:
    “… the reason life works at all is that not everyone in your tribe is nuts on the same day”
    (Anne_Lamott)

  51. @ numo:

    It was in the bulletin or a handout in the pew (don’t remember which) explain in their view on communion. I was honestly surprised myself.

  52. Ken F wrote:

    Did I misunderstand what appears to me to be a blatant contradiction?

    This is another way these guys remind me of politicians. They say one thing in front of one audience and something else in front of another. The true believers lap it up and never point out let alone question the contradictions.

  53. @ Bridget:
    All i can say is that it truly is… eccentric, for lack of a better word. It’s something that i gather a few Lutherans believe, as with Anglo-Catholics. As to why this particular congregation is still in the LCMS – ????

  54. @ Bridget:
    I think I’d have had to run outside and have a fit – laughing, screaming, whatever! Or else have either been stunned or burst out laughing in front of everyone. Seriously. It is like somd Lutherans’ nightmares! 😉

  55. Christiane wrote:

    Hey, NUMO
    I don’t know any ‘Celia’ and I am beginning to think perhaps ‘she’ is someone else who used to blog at SBCvoices when I was there. Thank you for the good word as to my character. The only good thing that comes out of this that now I won’t be worried about discussing the term ‘the gospel’ here at WW, since I’m told that was not ‘the problem’ with me. So in my next comment on the main topic, I was able to express myself without concern for ‘firestorms’.

    I was trying to give our buddy TED the heads-up, because some other people like yourself did try to point out some ‘inconsistencies’ and they got slammed, which made me feel very bad for them.

    OK, I guess I’m up to speed on this discussion (moved over from the main page) but I still think the reactions are a little bizarre.

    Like you, Christiane, I’ve noticed a slipperyness in the word “gospel” from a few people in my church, and it’s important that we sort that out and arrive at the conclusion that it’s Jesus–not any church, or church structure, or ESS, or YRR, or complementarianism (joyfully, winsomely or otherwise).

    Reading Millard Erickson’s book Who’s Tampering with the Trinity?, recommended by someone here at TWW. I recommend it too.

    ‘Night. This time I mean it.

  56. Ken F wrote:

    I know that Dever and MacArthur support each other, and they are both featured speakers at Together for the Gospel. It’s stuff like this that causes me to wonder about validity of their arguments.

    Gospel schmospel, both of those guys have been stripped of their humanity and read like fundamentalist Imams in Pakistan.

  57. @ numo:

    We observed something similar when we attended a mixed school/church service at a local LCMS church. I do not remember the exact word(s) they used to describe their understanding of the eucharist, but I remember being surprised and I remember mentioning it to the person with me. They also said check with a deacon if you do not understand, but do not participate if you do not hold this belief. Here again I do not have the exact words. However, I did think at the time that they also restricted communion to only the local congregation, and I distinctly remember being surprised that they did not include all lutherans.

    I could be mistaken. This was not any big deal to me at the time. Baptists practice closed communion and some? all? IFB churches have restricted it to the local congregation only. But did they say transubstantiation? I will check with them after the holidays and see.

    BTW, I really like those people and I respect their religious commitment even when I do not always agree with them.

  58. Ran across http://churchfight.com during a search of some of the topics covered here at TWW. The only description given is “an organization dedicated to the prevention of fighting within Southern Baptist churches over matters of governance, discipline, and Calvinism.” Anybody know who is behind the site?

  59. Celia wrote:

    Again you are twisting things. No one else got slammed. People were fed up with your proselytizing and you tried to twist that to make yourself into a victim like always.

    I for one have no clue what you are talking about. I do not see Christiane “proselytizing.” Moreover, you have no way of knowing what her innermost motives are. You are not a mind reader, much less a soul reader. Impugning motives is classic ad hominem.

    Your comments and a few of BL’s and Lydia’s leave a very, very bad taste in my mouth. Frankly, they are driving me away from this site. You criticize the control freakery of the Neo-Cals, but IMHO you are exhibiting the same control freakery yourself, by trying to dictate what Christiane can and cannot say, accusing her of passive-aggressive proselytizing, and on and on. I don’t know why you are so fixated on Christiane, but IMHO it is unseemly and uncharitable. So far, she has NOT responded to you with similar nastiness. Shouldn’t that perhaps tell you something?

    And now, like numo, I am through with this discussion. I just felt I should have my say, because the same attacks just keep recurring.

    Thanks,

    CGC

  60. On another note, I’d really welcome prayer & good thoughts. I’m currently off work with a nasty bout of depression, which started with an ear virus kicking off a bout of anxiety…Of course all the questions about God’s character & whether I can love & serve him have been going round & round in my head, as usual. I’m on meds but may have to change due to side-effects. I have been working too hard & ignoring warning signs, & significant life effects – including the death of my beloved Darcey dog at the end of March – have played their part. Any tips for swift & total recovery also welcome.

  61. @ Beakerj:

    Oh my gosh, I will pray!! I have OCD, the “doubting disease,” so I can relate. For me, Luvox has been a godsend. Prayers and hugs from one anxiety-prone dog lover to another.:D

  62. Re the Piper quote posted at the top, what in the world would possess someone to post something like that? And what is he even GETTING at? It’s vulgar and it’s incomprehensible. At least to me….and to anything I can imagine he is trying to say.

    Wow.

  63. Beakerj wrote:

    On another note, I’d really welcome prayer & good thoughts. I’m currently off work with a nasty bout of depression, which started with an ear virus kicking off a bout of anxiety

    I’m sorry. I’m wishing you the best.

  64. @ okrapod:
    sacramental union, more like, but there seems to be a trend toward a more Catholic theology of the eucharist among some Lutherans. The LCMS is officially closed communion, so clearly, this is in line with the head office.

    I posted some info. and a few links upthread, in case you want to look into this further.

  65. @ Catholic Gate-Crasher:
    they are trolling,and Dee is currently swamped, with her mom’s and MIL’s health problems, so it is really hard for her to keep up with comments.

    My advice: hang in there and just don’t respond to those kinds of comments. They will give up if you don’t give them anything to feed on, you know?

  66. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    I for one have no clue what you are talking about. I do not see Christiane “proselytizing.” Moreover, you have no way of knowing what her innermost motives are. You are not a mind reader, much less a soul reader. Impugning motives is classic ad hominem.

    I see people comment here with lots of enthusiasm, but I likewise missed the proselytizing. Maybe it was there and I was too dense to see it. For this reason I was not sure what to make of the argument. It seemed to me much to do about nothing, but this is the only blog that I follow and I have not been following it for very long.

    On 03 June at 6:30 PM I posted this link on the open forum: http://www.lynneforrest.com/articles/2008/06/the-faces-of-victim/#victim. The victim triangle is a tempting place to dance, but it’s very destructive. It seemed to me that there was something of this dynamic playing out. Given the nature of this blog, it should be no surprise to see victim dynamics bubble to the surface every now and then.

    In any case, I am very glad for the stimulating discussion here.

  67. It gets to be a hard line to distinguish between saying what one believes to be true and proselytizing in a world where truth is relative. It seems to me that people of good will should be allowed to say what they believe, call it truth, without being accused of proselytizing or being combative. That can be a very healthy and fruitful discussion, but people have to be willing to listen and take the back-and-forth in a spirit of love and truth. “Here’s what I believe to be true, here’s why, and here’s how it manifests” is not open to charges of proselytizing, condescension or offensiveness, at least in my book.

    This discussion board does better than most at hosting different views around a common topic, I will say, but even here, from time to time, we still have a kerfuffle. But I’ve been impressed with the way the people of good will find a way to stay in a civilized and even good-willed path.

    Me, if I am proselytized to being more like Christ, bring it on. I’ll probably have to change to be more like Him, anyway, so show me the way.

  68. Ken F wrote:

    I see people comment here with lots of enthusiasm, but I likewise missed the proselytizing.

    It was in a different post’s comments, but I wouldn’t describe Christiane’s comments as proslytizing. That had to come from somewhere else.

    I’m not bothered by Catholic proslytizing, though. I am interested in what Catholics have to say. So, I, still technically a Southern Baptist, ask for continued allowance for Catholic opinions.

  69. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    Frankly, they are driving me away from this site.

    Nooooooooo! Stay with us, Beaker!
    And take it easy, take care of yourself, and get well soon.
    I have been dealing with depression myself for the past few months. I also have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (triggered by severe mono and a stroke). I’m with you!
    There may come a day and a subject that you and I vehemently disagree on, but I’ll still be with you!

  70. Ken F wrote:

    The victim triangle is a tempting place to dance, but it’s very destructive. It seemed to me that there was something of this dynamic playing out. Given the nature of this blog, it should be no surprise to see victim dynamics bubble to the surface every now and then.

    That is such an excellent article, and I absolutely agree that I have seen what looks like this triangle played out from time to time, and not just recently. And certainly not just here. In my long life I have known a few people who have developed this technique to the level of an olympic sport. If the persecutor is clever it can sometimes be difficult to tell which one is the original persecutor and which one is the original victim.

    Numo is dead right. Don’t talk to them. Do not reply. Don’t take the bait. Refuse the game. If they are really clever the bait is almost impossible to ignore sometimes, and that never ends well. I am thinking that this is where turning the other cheek is hard as the dickens but is at the same time a good power move.

  71. ishy wrote:

    It was in a different post’s comments, but I wouldn’t describe Christiane’s comments as proslytizing. That had to come from somewhere else.

    I saw that other thread and was confused by the accusations of proselytizing because I did not see it. I too like to hear other views.

  72. okrapod wrote:

    I am thinking that this is where turning the other cheek is hard as the dickens but is at the same time a good power move.

    I believe that, in behavioral psychology, this technique is appropriately referred to as ‘extinguishing’ behavior.

  73. ishy wrote:

    Ken F wrote:

    I’m not bothered by Catholic proslytizing, though. I am interested in what Catholics have to say. So, I, still technically a Southern Baptist, ask for continued allowance for Catholic opinions.

    When I was going through an intense and relentless time of suffering, I found that what the Roman Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox had to say was the only stuff that made sense, provided meaning, in my situation. So, I’m with you. Well, a former Presbyerian, not a Baptist… 🙂

  74. Nancy2 wrote:

    @ Nancy2:
    Sorry – I’m funcused….. Migraine and exhaustion.
    CGC – stay!
    Beaker – get well!

    Vigil prayer tonight: I will include Nancy-two, CGK, Beaker, and Dee & family.
    Beaker, I’m sorry you lost your pup. That’s heartbreak, I know. Somewhere around on the blogs, many of us ‘proselytize’ that ‘dogs have souls’. I’m shameless about doing it. I love dogs. Someone once said that the unconditional love of dogs is the nearest thing to the way God loves us that we get to experience on Earth. Can’t remember who said it. But, yeah. Our pup is family. You have my heartfelt sympathy on your loss.

    Nancy Two: put an ice pack (frozen vegetable bag will do) on the back of your neck. It may help the migraine.

    CGC – remember this: there are no members of the Body of Christ who are dispensible … all are important, all are needed

  75. PaJo wrote:

    When I was going through an intense and relentless time of suffering, I found that what the Roman Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox had to say was the only stuff that made sense, provided meaning, in my situation. So, I’m with you. Well, a former Presbyerian, not a Baptist…

    I’ve been thinking a lot about the mystery of God lately. I don’t think it’s just Baptists, but most (non-charismatics) contemporary services are so bland when it comes to acknowledging God’s power. I think charismatics handle that better in contemporary services, but are too much for me. And I missed the old hymns, and I love congregational recitations of Scripture. But I think many churches have gone so “seeker sensitive” that they reduced their message to almost nothing, less than your average seeker could even handle.

  76. Thanks all, much appreciated. Yep, losing the pup was hard, but she had a wonderful life, & it was a life complete. May we all get to say that.

  77. ishy wrote:

    I’m not bothered by Catholic proslytizing, though. I am interested in what Catholics have to say. So, I, still technically a Southern Baptist, ask for continued allowance for Catholic opinions.

    How did you come to such a live-and-let-live view of things? It’s a good thing and I applaud it.

  78. @ Muff Potter:

    There was an EO (eastern orthodox) guy who used to comment on this thread sometime back. His stuff was long and wordy but you got the message, his religion is thee-one-and-thee-only-true-religion. I’ve not seen Christiane do any such thing, despite the allegations made by one commenter.
    Awhile back, I almost got into it with an anti-Catholic bigot over at another blog (which shall remain unnamed) and I’m not even a Catholic! I don’t think they can help themselves, and it’s not confined to any one particular belief system.
    Numo and Okrapod got it right I think, don’t engage them.

  79. Muff Potter wrote:

    How did you come to such a live-and-let-live view of things? It’s a good thing and I applaud it.

    It may be partly innate to me. I’ve always been interested in a variety of view points. But I do think spending a lot of time on reddit helps. Not that I necessarily recommend it, as it’s problematic in other ways.

  80. @ Muff Potter:
    Well, to be fair, he is a convert from a Protestant background. Converts are, on the whole, different from those who grew up with X, whether X is a religion, a political party, a way of cooking food… you name it.

  81. numo wrote:

    @ Muff Potter:
    Well, to be fair, he is a convert from a Protestant background. Converts are, on the whole, different from those who grew up with X, whether X is a religion, a political party, a way of cooking food… you name it.

    One of the other things that causes long-winded answers is when the words people use don’t mean the same things; getting to the point where meanings are at least understood, if not agreed upon, can take a lot of words; alas, it is not often that internet-based discussions on group-comment boards can get to that point, so people who aren’t “my way or the highway” can end up sounding like that. Or pedantic. It’s kind of frustrating, but if we don’t understand what the words mean, it’s hard to have a discussion.

    :-/

  82. ishy wrote:

    But I think many churches have gone so “seeker sensitive” that they reduced their message to almost nothing, less than your average seeker could even handle.

    I agree. Most “seekers” (or “unchurched” or whatever the flavour of the week is) are seen as lesser beings. That everyone has a church-shaped void that needs to be filled. Not everyone has that void. The message should be honest and not couched in sugary language that insults the intelligence. It will either take or it won’t, and sometimes it won’t take until you give the person something deeper to reflect on.

  83. PaJo wrote:

    but if we don’t understand what the words mean, it’s hard to have a discussion.

    I think that is a serious problem.

  84. Here is an interesting article my wife pointed out to me today: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/26/opinion/sunday/who-blames-the-victim.html.

    “For those looking to increase sympathy for victims, a practical first step may be to change how we talk: Focusing less on victims and more on perpetrators — ‘Why did he think he had license to rape?’ rather than ‘Imagine what she must be going through’ — may be a more effective way of serving justice.”

  85. Beaker J and all who are especially wounded, weary, and suffering ~

    Agreed > > Life is a real kicker at times.

    I pray for”healing for the brokenhearted, freedom from lies and circumstances that captivate us, open doors to our individual prisons;

    for God to give unto us beauty for ashes, the oil of His comfort and joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that we might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.” from Isaiah 61

    and also, from Paul’s prayer for us in Ephesians 3:16 – 21,

    that according to the riches of his glory he may grant us to be strengthened with might through his Spirit in the inner person,
    and that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith; that we, being rooted and grounded in love,
    may have power to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
    and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that we may be filled with all the fullness of God.
    Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think,
    to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, for ever and ever. Amen.

    I pray for God’s love in all the hurting places.

  86. Here is the newest update…
    Thank you all: my car is full of gas, I have food until after the holiday weekend, and I have ordered the treatment supplies I had run out of.
    My next urgent need is for rent (due in 2 days). I have part of it, but still need $440 to cover it (this includes the processing fee GoFundMe takes out). After that, the July bills will start coming due in about 10 days (the usual $500 plus an additional $150 that only comes once a year).
    Thank you all so much. You have/are saving my life. Words are completely inadequate to express my gratitude. THANK YOU.

    http://www.gofundme.com/ljahelp

  87. And Now: Tennis

    Serena through after what the commentators on the Beeb described as an “almighty scrap” against Christina McHale, after Juan del Potro’s fine win against Wawrinka.

    Currently on Centre Court: another British underdog (Dan Evans this time) against Roger. Evans did win the first point on serve – so he can tell his grandweans he was beating Roger Federer on Centre Court – but Federer broke to take the opening game. Early signs of an upset are conspicuous by their absence so far, then. That said, it’s decent tennis so far. Evans certainly hasn’t turned up just to make up numbers.

    Bizarrely, over on Court 1, Sam Querrey is a set and a break up against Djokovic. That presumably won’t last, but it’s noteworthy.

    Oh, and Venus won 10-8 in the third despite having to go off for rain while match point up earlier on – possibly the worst-timed onset of weather at Wimbledon this year. Loosely on which subject, the All England Club are actively considering playing on the middle Sunday to clear the backlog of matches brought on by a very wet first week. I say.

    IHTIH

  88. Today’s status.
    I am continuing to look for ways to make money…and working on not being afraid (ha!).
    I still need $330 to cover July’s rent, and July’s bills start coming due in a week ($500 for usual plus another $150 for 2 yearly bills coming due). Plus the ongoing need for food and gas, living….
    With all that is going on, the anniversary of my mom’s passing snuck up on me and the emotions there caught me off guard. Sigh. I am a survivor, however, and I am not going to give up.
    The financial help you all have given still overwhelms me and the notes of encouragement and prayers are very much appreviated. You all are so special. THANK YOU!!

    http://www.gofundme.com/ljahelp

  89. Christiane wrote:

    If they don’t respond to you maybe they have no answers themselves.

    I finally got some dialogue from one of the six ministries to whom I sent the questions.

    Without stating the ministry, here is a part of the response I got:
    “Just because I don’t have adequate time to hash out all the arguments for PSA or to scour the Scriptures to see if I can find find a clear text that will hit you between the eyes, that doesn’t mean that *no one* can do that. First of all, passages like 1 Peter 3:18 seem pretty clear to me. So it’s really difficult for me (or anyone else for that matter) to come up with what could be a killer passage–knowing that you’ve probably already considered most of the obvious ones and decided for one reason or another that they aren’t as clear as I (and most of the Protestant church) think they are. Second, while I’ve read the Bible many times and studied this doctrine in some depth, that doesn’t mean I have all the convincing passages at my mental fingertips on a moment’s notice.”

    Has anyone out there tried to ask their pastors, elders, or friends these questions? Did anyone get reasonably articulated answers?

  90. @ Ken F:

    KenF, I can’t remember the exact questions you asked, but I do recall reading them, and at the time, thinking that there was a lot of content to be covered, and that I could actually see people not having time to write out all the answers and so on, without being malicious or snotty. (That said, I think the wording of the response you got was incredibly snotty.) Were I to be asked your list of questions, I might try to respond as best I could, but in large part, I might refer you to a book or website or a blog I had found helpful….where it was already stated in a form that had been vetted for clarity and so on.

    Does that make sense?

    I *have* asked questions of this caliber of knowledgeable people, but generally in person, but sometimes online, and in dialogue form, and I have had very good responses from all kinds of people: pastors/priests and laymen, Protestant/Evangelical, Catholic and Eastern Orthodox. But I think the good response was because of the personal investment–the responder was assured that I was engaged and had some skin in the game.

    Those are just a few thoughts; perhaps they are helpful, but if they are not, just let them go. It was not my intention to offend.

  91. PaJo wrote:

    Those are just a few thoughts; perhaps they are helpful, but if they are not, just let them go. It was not my intention to offend.

    Thank your for your feedback. I very much understood what you meant. My questions are posted above in this thread, and also under the interesting items tab – just search on substitution. I was reluctant to send the questions by email, but since the YRRs publish SO many articles online I felt like it was not out of bounds to ask them electronically. In person, the only responses I get are praise from people who don’t believe it, and either avoidance or anger from people who do. No one has attempted to answer even one of the questions. I guess it’s an inherently polarizing topic.

    I have read a lot of articles and books in favor of PSA, and so far, all of them assume what they attempt to prove. The YRRs are so good at proof-texting that I expected they would be able to do better with this. But all they can offer is peer pressure. In my day job I have to ask hard and rigorous questions and provide positive proof for all my answers for the questions I get. I am not allowed to get away with hand-waving and unproven assumptions. I was expecting that better answers were out therefor PSA. But I don’t think they are any. This alone is convincing me that PSA is fatally flawed. I’ve been recommending to the PSA advocates that they should try to answer questions like this because these questions will not go away. I suppose I am too direct. But I’m tired of being told to believe something just because “all the cook kids are doing it.”

    Thanks again for your thoughtful response. I was not at all offended (I actually like vigorous discussion).

  92. ishy wrote:

    The fact that they are trying to punish very young girls for outing the abuse they suffered is awful.

    Sigh. This shows an all too familiar (in my experience) focus on the ‘church’s image’ rather than on the people who actually make up the church. I agree that to attempt to ‘out’ the names of the young girls because the church has gotten negative publucity from this is heinous. It smacks of retaliation with intent to silence. God help those girls and their families.

  93. @ Ken F:
    OK, so without responding directly to your questions, because I am lazy tonight, here is why I can’t go all in on PSA: it’s because PSA goes against the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. All of the three persons are one in essence, right? Well, if this is so, then how come God the Father is so offended by our sin that a price has to be paid or His holiness can’t be accommodated, but Jesus Christ can take on our flesh and dwell among us, apparently able to look upon us.

    And if God is unchanging, the same yesterday, today and forever, then how can our sin change His love for us? So much so that someone has got to pay the price for our sin, like it is something we have taken from Him and whatever it is has to be paid back?

    And (again, and…sorry), if you work out the PSA theory to its logical conclusion, God the Father killed Jesus. When I finally realized that this is where it has to go, I threw up. Literally. And that was the end of PSA for me, because it makes no sense in the light of other, more ancient Christian dogma. It doesn’t make sense in light of the story of the Prodigal Son…no one had to repay anything..the son repented and returned, and the father ran out to greet him, not with a scowl and a list of debts, but with open arms and love.

    Anyway, that’s at least a response to some of the thoughts about PSA.

  94. PaJo wrote:

    OK, so without responding directly to your questions,

    Thank you for your thoughts – I very much agree with you. I should probably explain a little more why I put those questions together. I don’t remember ever being taught anything but PSA until recently. When I started my research into Calvinism, I discovered how important PSA is to reformed theology. It did not take me long to find that PSA is a horrific explanation for the atonement. I all found the inherent contradictions you describe, and many more. So I naively talked with some people about what I was finding, which got me pounded with a barrage of lofty arguments and heresy claims. Not wanting to be found a heretic, I double downed on my research.

    By now I’ve read hundreds of pages of arguments both for and against PSA. The arguments against PSA are very compelling. The only weakness I’ve found in them is they don’t more directly attack the PSA assumptions. Many of the arguments for PSA that I have found so far seem very compelling because they are built on pretty solid logical conclusions. But ALL of the arguments I’ve found for PSA are fatally flawed because they are built on bad premises and unproven assumptions.

    The pro-PSA writers and speakers are extremely forceful. They push this theory as the primary way of understanding the atonement, as if it is so foundational that to deny it is to abandon authentic Christianity. They allow for no differing views, and for every argument raised against PSA they are able to put together very convincing counter-arguments. But the counter-arguments are nothing more than straw men because they are built on the same bad assumptions.

    I basically got fed up with lofty arguments that go nowhere and decided to attack the assumptions by putting together the list of questions. I figured that people who really believe in PSA should be able to support their assumptions. I thought that I would get some answers that would be difficult to counter. I thought I would get answers that would make me triple down on my research. But that has not yet happened. I don’t think they can answer the questions with any kind of intellectual honesty because the questions themselves demolish the arguments for PSA. And I think they know this, which is why I suspect they end up feeling attacked, as if my questions are unfair.

    PaJo wrote:

    if you work out the PSA theory to its logical conclusion, God the Father killed Jesus.

    John MacArthur actually teaches this. He still has a sermon with this exact quote on his website. He also teaches that the ultimate reality is Jesus saves of from God. How twisted. Not surprisingly, the only response I got from his ministry is a list of MacArthur sermons that don’t address the questions. I asked for clarification about a week ago and am still waiting for a reply.

    PaJo wrote:

    It doesn’t make sense in light of the story of the Prodigal Son

    This parable is a key passage in the discussion about PSA. Note that the father goes out to both sons, even the self-righteous son who despises his father for being so inglorious and generous.

    Further up in this thread is a long list of articles I found relating to Calvinism and PSA. I’ve added a few to my own personal list since I posted it. My disdain for PSA as a theory continues to grow. I have to fight the temptation to not despise the people who push it so hard.

    To summarize, I agree with you and am thankful for your feedback. Maybe if I had been able to vomit over the logical conclusion I would have been able to get it out of my system. Instead, I felt compelled to put together and send out the questions. I’m still wondering what do do with them because they generate so much heat.

  95. PaJo wrote:

    Anyway, that’s at least a response to some of the thoughts about PSA.

    The tipping point for me was the writings of Katharine Bushnell and my own conscience. Here’s what Bushnell wrote almost a century ago:

    “If we find even in the Bible anything which confuses our sense of right and wrong, that seems to us less exalted and pure than the character of God should be:
    if after the most patient thought and prayerful pondering it still retains that aspect, then we must not bow down to it as God’s revelation to us, since it does not meet the need of the earlier and more sacred revelation He has given us in our spirit and conscience which testify of him.”

  96. A small observation on the atonement, if I might. This from Colossians 1:

    For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him [the Son], and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

    When God created limited, fallible beings in his own image, and gave them dominion, he took what might be called a big risk. When you give someone else freedom from your control, you always risk them doing something that you didn’t want them to do. There are Falls other than that of Adam and Eve referenced in the Bible – where, for instance, did the serpent get his superior craftiness from and why did he want to convince Eve that God was lying? In all, then, God created a world – visible and invisible – in which wonderful things could happen; but in which terrible things could also happen. Many of those terrible things could happen to people who had no part in planning them.

    Colossians 1 indicates, to my mind, this: In due course, God let all his fulness dwell in his Son as he walked this earth as a human being. In doing so, he suffered terrible things himself but, in some way that creation has yet to fully grasp or see, put those things right at his own expense. You might say that the cross was far bigger than just sucking up the punishment for our sins. At the cross, God himself took ultimate responsibility for all of his creation: even the stuff that he did not personally do – indeed, that in some cases was done by sentient beings in direct defiance of his explicit commands to them, abusing the very freedom that he had given them. Again, in some way that we have yet to witness, this taking of responsibility will eventually bear fruit for every last created being who never truly saw justice or hope in this life (the last will be first, if you will).

    My basic problem with PSA is that it’s such a small and limited attempt to call attention to what Jesus accomplished at the cross. Yes, of course we’re finite and fallible beings; that doesn’t mean we have to go out of our way to be extra-finite and extra-fallible, though.

  97. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    My basic problem with PSA is that it’s such a small and limited attempt to call attention to what Jesus accomplished at the cross.

    Well said. The atonement is so much bigger.

  98. PaJo wrote:

    And (again, and…sorry), if you work out the PSA theory to its logical conclusion, God the Father killed Jesus.

    I never understood revulsion some had with the Easter story until I found out they had been taught that basically God put Jesus on the cross, not us.

  99. Bill M wrote:

    PaJo wrote:

    And (again, and…sorry), if you work out the PSA theory to its logical conclusion, God the Father killed Jesus.

    I never understood revulsion some had with the Easter story until I found out they had been taught that basically God put Jesus on the cross, not us.

    In essence, the man-made ‘God of Wrath’ is, in reality, a very small god after all.

  100. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    At the cross, God himself took ultimate responsibility for all of his creation: even the stuff that he did not personally do – indeed, that in some cases was done by sentient beings in direct defiance of his explicit commands to them, abusing the very freedom that he had given them. Again, in some way that we have yet to witness, this taking of responsibility will eventually bear fruit for every last created being who never truly saw justice or hope in this life (the last will be first, if you will).

    At the cross, God himself took ultimate responsibility for all of his creation: even the stuff that he did not personally do – indeed, that in some cases was done by sentient beings in direct defiance of his explicit commands to them, abusing the very freedom that he had given them. Again, in some way that we have yet to witness, this taking of responsibility will eventually bear fruit for every last created being who never truly saw justice or hope in this life (the last will be first, if you will).

    http://blog.archny.org/steppingout/images/evemary.jpg

  101. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    At the cross, God himself took ultimate responsibility for all of his creation: even the stuff that he did not personally do – indeed, that in some cases was done by sentient beings in direct defiance of his explicit commands to them, abusing the very freedom that he had given them. Again, in some way that we have yet to witness, this taking of responsibility will eventually bear fruit for every last created being who never truly saw justice or hope in this life (the last will be first, if you will).

    Here is an interesting article that expands on that theme – http://perichoresis.org/redeeming-genius/:
    “Imagine: Papa accepts our bitter rejection of Jesus and uses our rejection as the way of his acceptance of the real and broken us, the way of our adoption into the family forever. ‘I will take your murder of My Son and I will use your betrayal as My way of embracing you in your great darkness.’ And, of course, the Holy Spirit was not standing around shocked at our miserable unfaithfulness. The Holy Spirit was finding His/Her way inside our brazen obstinance as we lifted Jesus up on the cross, making our self-righteous condemnation of Jesus into the temple of Her presence. This is grace. This is God. This is redemption. Our Father never needed a sacrifice; we did. And we, as one man, with one accord damned His Son, and our Father accepted our ‘faith’ and our ‘will,’ and our ‘decision’ to crucify His Son as the means to establish and real and everlasting relationship with us inside our faithless betrayal. This is salvation. This is adoption. This is redeeming genius and love almost beyond our wildest imaginations. This is good Friday. Today let us get over our pride, and glory in the fact that the blessed Trinity outsmarted us and used our unbelieving, self-righteous contempt as the way to secure our inclusion in the very life of the Trinity.”

    But it could be dangerous to read stuff from Baxter Kruger because new-Calvinists consider him to be a universalist (he is not).

  102. So a Christian buddy of mine told me that one of the local Anglican churches has embraced a fundamentalist worldview. Has a gay staff member sign a covenant of celibacy even though he’s married. The pastor is a former Pentecostal preacher. The kicker is that the church is growing. People seem to like it.
    The Anglican Church I grew up in was very tolerant.
    Guess you can’t go home again.
    In spite of what is espoused on the blog & for the most part in comments, I can’t help but feel the battle for tolerance in religion is a losing proposition.
    I think Christian thought has a lot to offer but I have no clue how to engage it without going down the fundamentalist rabbit hole.
    Maybe I’m over thinking it.

  103. @ Jack:
    Is this church ECUSA or some other Anglican affiliation? Some of the ones that broke away from the ECUSA in the US affiliated with Anglican churches in Africa that, while they may be egalitarian (as was discussed elsewhere here in the last few days), they think it’s totes ok to legislate the death penalty for gay people. So I guess I wouldn’t be shocked if they’re [other Anglican], but if they’re ECUSA, that surprises and concerns me.

  104. @ Josh:
    The church is affiliated with the Anglican Church of Canada. I know that there has been much debate there, though I haven’t been involved with the church since I was a teen.
    The church I went to was tolerant. Much different than the rampant bigotry of the Pentecostal church I last attended.
    My buddy also told me that this covenant was not general knowledge with the congregation. In fact he started the conversation “I probably shouldn’t be saying this…”
    Apparently there are some hidden things going on….sound familiar? But the vestry (church board) would have known (or should have known)
    But Anglican Churches here are responsible to the Anglican Church of Canada, unless the head office doesn’t know what’s going on. Or maybe the whole tolerance thing is a scam to get people in the door. Or maybe it was never as tolerant as I thought.
    Anyway it was disappointing to hear.

  105. @ Jack:
    Ah, Canada! I didn’t see your flag last time and assumed… and, well, you know what that does…

    Anyway, I agree, that is not only intrinsically disappointing, it’s disappointing on another level given the way that the leaders seem to recognize the shamefulness of their dealings, in that they hide their maneuverings under the table. Sigh…

  106. @ Josh:
    Happy fourth of July! At least we can celebrate the democracies we live in! Might not be perfect but better than the alternatives.

  107. I don’t know if anyone’s interested, but Wade Burleson and I had quite a discussion in the comments on his blog. I (and a few others) were very distressed with his “panacea” for fixing marriages (http://www.wadeburleson.org/2016/06/15-words-and-15-seconds-that-save-any.html). Sensing that he was ready for the discussion to be over, I decided to write a blog post instead of continued commenting because I think his perspective is larger than just him. I thought some folks here might be interested.

    https://lovewithoutfear.net/2016/07/06/can-others-harm-us-if-we-have-faith/

  108. Here’s the latest…
    Thanks to you all, my July rent has been paid, the first to bills that come due are covered and I have money for food and gas for the coming week. THANK YOU!!
    My job situation and my health seem to both be in a sort of holding pattern – not getting better but not getting worse…I will keep moving and change will come, hopefully sooner rather than later. (Ha!)
    So, the next needs coming up are the rest of July’s bills, which start coming due next week – $350 for the regular and $150 for those 2 that come up once a year.
    I am so grateful for you all’s continued support: financially, with encouragement, and with prayers. I truly do not know where I would be without your help. It is a scary thought….thank you all so much.

    http://www.gofundme.com/ljahelp

  109. Jeff S wrote:

    I don’t know if anyone’s interested, but Wade Burleson and I had quite a discussion in the comments on his blog. I (and a few others) were very distressed with his “panacea” for fixing marriages (http://www.wadeburleson.org/2016/06/15-words-and-15-seconds-that-save-any.html). Sensing that he was ready for the discussion to be over, I decided to write a blog post instead of continued commenting because I think his perspective is larger than just him. I thought some folks here might be interested.

    https://lovewithoutfear.net/2016/07/06/can-others-harm-us-if-we-have-faith/

    It was interesting, thanks for pointing it out. I have occasionally read Wade’s blog, am not well versed with his point of view yet I was surprised and thought his title was Pollyanna, “any marriage can be saved” was an overstatement. But your point is of much greater importance, yes we can be severely maimed by others, especially those we should otherwise trust.

    It is too easy to say we are immune to circumstance, as if we are fish isolated in a fishbowl that can be taken from room to room, protected in our own secure environment. Long term spiritual abuse distorted the foundation for several of my close friends, their world was painfully shifted by their spouse, another by their pastor.

  110. Christiane wrote:

    Jeff S wrote:
    I think his perspective is larger
    Hi JEFF,
    I left you a comment over on your blog.

    I saw, thanks 🙂 I’ve approved it and will respond when I have a minute. Thanks for reading 🙂

  111. Beakerj wrote:

    @ Jeff S:
    Thanks for tackling this Jeff, divorce is a hard hard thing, & this doesn’t help.

    I just read it Jeff. Good article. Thanks. I didn’t realize you were blogging.

    Are you on Twitter?

  112. I’m thinking in light of all the discussion here that New-Calvinism needs a new set of five points. Here’s a potential first cut:
    “Total Denial” of truth, evidence, justice, alternative explanations/interpretations, etc.
    “Unconditional Accolades” for New-Calvinist leaders and supporters.
    “Limited Justice” for those who have been abused or otherwise mistreated.
    “Irresistible Inconsistency” in describing doctrine, applying standards, writing biographies, demonstrating financial integrity,etc.
    “Perseverance of the Aint’s” – Poorly credentialed “Leaders” and “Teachers” must be propped up at all costs.

  113. @ Ken F:

    It looks to me like they are creating a situation where church ‘brothers and sisters’ can have a feeding frenzy with each other as the prey. I have seen this sort of thing among hyper fundamentalists. Any idea that one person can confront another person willy nilly is bad news, like: I saw your second cousin on your mother’s side at the bank this morning, and I confronted her about the report that somebody had seen her go to the movies (Disney with grandkids) and I asked her if you had confronted her about it and called for public confession and repentance. She said you had not, so I am now confronting you about your lack of confronting a sinner especially when it was your own kinfolk. And by the way I have already mentioned this to the pastor.

    That was made up, but I have actually seen one neighbor ‘report’ another neighbor to the pastor for letting a teen band practice in her garage because the music they were playing was too worldly. At that point the pastor went over there to confirm the report and was caught lurking in the bushes trying to listen to what was going on inside the garage. I gather that they were already not a noise problem since he had to get so close to listen.

    When they say church discipline in the hands of the brothers and sisters all the time-huge red flag!

  114. okrapod wrote:

    When they say church discipline in the hands of the brothers and sisters all the time-huge red flag!

    There was a very nasty call-out culture in my sons’ church college ministry. Students were calling each other out all the time over stupid stuff, all in the name of Christian Accountability (another practice that has no support from the Bible). It created quite a mess.

  115. @ Ken F:

    No, it’s not fresh off the press. It’s a 4 year old article goaltending for Mark Driscoll.

    Notice how he uses the NIV version of Matthew 18:15, because the ESV says “sins against you”.

  116. Stan wrote:

    No, it’s not fresh off the press. It’s a 4 year old article goaltending for Mark Driscoll.

    Very interesting. TGC put a July 07, 2016 date stamp on it and posted it on their front page. But it’s the same article that was published in 2012. Kind of ironic for an article that emphasizes minimizing weirdness…

  117. Ken F wrote:

    I’m thinking in light of all the discussion here that New-Calvinism needs a new set of five points. Here’s a potential first cut:
    “Total Denial” of truth, evidence, justice, alternative explanations/interpretations, etc.
    “Unconditional Accolades” for New-Calvinist leaders and supporters.
    “Limited Justice” for those who have been abused or otherwise mistreated.
    “Irresistible Inconsistency” in describing doctrine, applying standards, writing biographies, demonstrating financial integrity,etc.
    “Perseverance of the Aint’s” – Poorly credentialed “Leaders” and “Teachers” must be propped up at all costs.

    Spot on!

  118. @ Ken F:

    Yup. And I could tell you how the accountabilibuddies don’t stop after you graduate, move out, and start working. And if you’re a young man who chooses to live alone, look out. I actually think it’s the very easy answer to CBMW’s great mystery of why men leave the evangelical church.

    Also, your five points of NeoCal made me LOL.

  119. Stan wrote:

    accountabilibuddies

    Accountability to other believers is another one of the false teachings that is very popular with the YRRs. My research on this stunned me. I put together a paper a couple years ago based on that research, but it’s too long to post in a comment. But a simple word search on “accountability” and related terms in the Bible is the place to start.

  120. @ Stan:
    As a young(ish) single man, I can be glad that my home church is too mired in tradition to have gotten the memo that everyone needs accountabilibuddies (thanks, good term). Once when I mentioned the men’s “accountability groups” that we had in the campus Christian organization in which I participated during college, people at my church just couldn’t comprehend it. I guess that’s one positive (despite the growing negatives that I’m seeing as they move toward joining the SBC – for all the wrong reasons, heh…).

  121. Ken F wrote:

    okrapod wrote:
    When they say church discipline in the hands of the brothers and sisters all the time-huge red flag!
    There was a very nasty call-out culture in my sons’ church college ministry. Students were calling each other out all the time over stupid stuff, all in the name of Christian Accountability (another practice that has no support from the Bible). It created quite a mess.

    A friend called me this morning over this very thing. Her 15 year old son (good kid, works, good grades,etc) just returned from from an SBC summer camp. He refused to confess sins in an accountability group they had the first night. For the rest of his time there he was nit picked by the adults! for the sin of having a bad attitude. It was constant and the other chaperones piled on trying to talk to him about his refusal to cooperate. he came home declaring he was not going back to youth group. Ever again. And he grew up in that church…..the YRR took it over about 2 years ago.

    Think of the teens too afraid to NOT go along. The peer pressure and wanting to please the leaders. I was so proud of him. His mom put him on the phone and he was shocked I congratulated him for being a lone independent thinker. The adults from the church group accused him of disrespecting the leaders. Yeah! There is hope!

  122. @ okrapod:

    It becomes a sin sniffing culture. SGM was exactly like that. If you read sgmwikileaks you would see what I mean. It is gag worthy. People lived like that every day! The Puritans were the worst.

  123. @ Jeff S:

    Went and read the post and comments. I am struggling with the concept of inner and outer pain. It reeks of dualism. As if the spiritual is separate from the physical and mental body. the entire person is not well when living in the midst of a narcissist, sociopath or manipulator even without the physical abuse. it affects all of ones “being”. But Not our salvation. I think bringing up the idea one can just fill up with Christ misses the point and reduces Jesus.

  124. Bill M wrote:

    Jeff S wrote:
    I don’t know if anyone’s interested, but Wade Burleson and I had quite a discussion in the comments on his blog. I (and a few others) were very distressed with his “panacea” for fixing marriages (http://www.wadeburleson.org/2016/06/15-words-and-15-seconds-that-save-any.html). Sensing that he was ready for the discussion to be over, I decided to write a blog post instead of continued commenting because I think his perspective is larger than just him. I thought some folks here might be interested.
    https://lovewithoutfear.net/2016/07/06/can-others-harm-us-if-we-have-faith/
    It was interesting, thanks for pointing it out. I have occasionally read Wade’s blog, am not well versed with his point of view yet I was surprised and thought his title was Pollyanna, “any marriage can be saved” was an overstatement. But your point is of much greater importance, yes we can be severely maimed by others, especially those we should otherwise trust.
    It is too easy to say we are immune to circumstance, as if we are fish isolated in a fishbowl that can be taken from room to room, protected in our own secure environment. Long term spiritual abuse distorted the foundation for several of my close friends, their world was painfully shifted by their spouse, another by their pastor.

    I have been around this stuff too long. The worst hurt and I mean long term anguish I have seen in people comes from those they trusted the most as in spouses, family and church friends/pastors. The place and persons they thought had their back became the source of great harm. It takes years to process that sort of thing. It is crushing. I have seen normally strong successful people break down in anguish over it.

  125. Lydia wrote:

    As if the spiritual is separate from the physical and mental body.

    This is what much of Western Christianity teaches and has long been rejected by Judaism. I too reject it and I’m not even a Jew. And Providence guard and protect the plucky young man you spoke of who stood up to his inquisitors bravely!

  126. Muff Potter wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    As if the spiritual is separate from the physical and mental body.

    This is what much of Western Christianity teaches and has long been rejected by Judaism. I too reject it and I’m not even a Jew. And Providence guard and protect the plucky young man you spoke of who stood up to his inquisitors bravely!

    Actually, if you want to count ‘much of Western Christianity’ as including the Catholic Church, there is this in the formal Vatican Catechism that shows a rejection of duality:

    “364 The human body shares in the dignity of “the image of God”: it is a human body precisely because it is animated by a spiritual soul, and it is the whole human person that is intended to become, in the body of Christ, a temple of the Spirit:232

    Man, though made of body and soul, is a unity. Through his very bodily condition he sums up in himself the elements of the material world. Through him they are thus brought to their highest perfection and can raise their voice in praise freely given to the Creator. For this reason man may not despise his bodily life. Rather he is obliged to regard his body as good and to hold it in honor since God has created it and will raise it up on the last day. 233

    365 The unity of soul and body is so profound that one has to consider the soul to be the “form” of the body:234 i.e., it is because of its spiritual soul that the body made of matter becomes a living, human body; spirit and matter, in man, are not two natures united, but rather their union forms a single nature.

    366 The Church teaches that every spiritual soul is created immediately by God – it is not “produced” by the parents – and also that it is immortal: it does not perish when it separates from the body at death, and it will be reunited with the body at the final Resurrection.235

    367 Sometimes the soul is distinguished from the spirit: St. Paul for instance prays that God may sanctify his people “wholly”, with “spirit and soul and body” kept sound and blameless at the Lord’s coming.236 The Church teaches that this distinction does not introduce a duality into the soul.237

    “Spirit” signifies that from creation man is ordered to a supernatural end and that his soul can gratuitously be raised beyond all it deserves to communion with God.238″

  127. Lydia wrote:

    A friend called me this morning over this very thing. Her 15 year old son (good kid, works, good grades,etc) just returned from from an SBC summer camp. He refused to confess sins in an accountability group they had the first night. For the rest of his time there he was nit picked by the adults! for the sin of having a bad attitude. It was constant and the other chaperones piled on trying to talk to him about his refusal to cooperate.

    That is frightening. It’s the heavy 1970’s Shepherding Movement’s mind control techniques, including using group enforcers.

    We’ve seen this kind of thing before: Mark Driscoll’s imploded church Mars Hill in Seattle did that, Sovereign Grace Ministries did that/C.J. Mahaney, Mark Dever’s 9Marks is doing that/Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., and I was reading that people who’ve escaped John MacArthur’s The Master’s College/Seminary report the same heavy-handedness.

  128. @ Lydia:

    I think my paper is too long to post, but I will try anyway.

    “Un-Biblical Accountability”

    I cannot find evidence that “accountability” was a common word used to describe the way Christians are to relate with one another before the mid-20th century. Since then, it has reached iconic status in the American evangelical Christian culture. Its predominant place in our language is almost exclusive to this particular subset of Christianity. It has become so well entrenched in the last few decades that few people seem willing to question whether or not we should tolerate the way it is being used in the church. Nor whether or not its use has appropriate scriptural support.

    What do we mean in Christianity when we say “hold me accountable”? It reminds me of the Inigo Montoya line in The Princess Bride: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” Different people appear to use it in different ways, and I’m not convinced there is any consensus on what the word represents in a church setting.

    What does the word actually mean? In what ways is it harmful to use within the church? When we ask for accountability, what are we really asking? Are we asking someone else to take responsibility for our sins? Are we asking someone else to punish us if we sin? Are we hoping that the fear of future embarrassment will keep us from sinning? Is it an unspoken admission that we fear man more than we fear God? Is the goal to help us to stop sinning or to get us closer to God? Does it reflect an assumption that sin management is more important than genuine holiness? Has it becomes a fleshly means of sanctification apart from the Holy Spirit? To what extent is it meant to be a form of “morals policing”? What would happen to us if no one held us accountable but God?

    What would happen if we were no longer allowed to use the phrase “hold accountable” in our fellowship? What word or words would we use instead? Here are synonyms for “hold accountable” from http://www.thesaurus.com/browse/hold+accountable:

    allege, arraign, arrest, attack, blame, brand, charge, cite, complain, denounce, implicate, indict, name, prosecute, sue, summon, apprehend, attribute, betray, censure, criminate, finger, frame, impeach, impute, incriminate, inculpate, libel, litigate, recriminate, slander, slur, tax, blow the whistle, bring charges, file claim, hang something on, lay at door, let have it, lodge complaint, pin on, point finger at, serve summons

    Which of these words best captures what we mean when we ask another believer to hold us accountable? Which Bible verses support any of these words as the way believers are supposed to relate to each other?

    For comparison, let’s try the list of antonyms:

    applaud, approve, commend, defend, exculpate, exonerate, free, let go, pardon, praise, retreat, support, compliment, flatter, protect, absolve, vindicate

    “Support” and “protect” both seem to be much closer to what we mean than any of the synonyms. Why is that? How did we come to use a term that pretty much means the opposite of what we really intend?

    For “accountability” the synonyms are liability, answerability, blameworthiness. How do these words line up with the way believers are supposed to relate to one another?

    Forgetting for now what we think the word “accountability” ought to mean within the church, what does it mean in common English? Here’s the definition from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accountability:

    A is accountable to B when A is obliged to inform B about A’s (past or future) actions and decisions, to justify them, and to suffer punishment in the case of eventual misconduct. Accountability cannot exist without proper accounting practices; in other words, an absence of accounting means an absence of accountability.

    Does this sound Christian, to keep an account of another’s behavior in order to punish when needed? Note that “Biblical” or “Christian” accountability is not one of the categories on the list of different types of accountability. If there was to be a section for “Christian Accountability” (the way Christians are supposed to relate to one another), what would it need to say in order to be consistent with the definition?

    A web search on “held accountable” will show plenty of articles about how people are or should be held accountable in non-church settings. In all cases it means something along the lines of punishment. For example, I never find articles about holding a corrupt government official accountable by coming alongside him with love and support. If the rest of the world uses that word in a very different way than the way we use it in the church, does our use of the word create an obstacle for outsiders? Does it help the world to know that the Gospel is good news when they hear us speak so much about the need for accountability within the church? Or does it make the Gospel sound like bad news?

    One important point to note is that accountability is not a choice made by the person who is held accountable. They are accountable for their actions whether or not they want to be held accountable. For example, a person does not get to choose whether or not they are accountable to civil officials if they break the law. And an employee is accountable for meeting performance standards whether or not they agree with the expectations. By contrast, in church settings, accountability is very often talked about as if it is a freely made choice. This suggests that the church is not using the right word.

    The secular uses of the word “accountability” and “hold accountable” are not looking very spiritual at this point in the discussion. So what does the New Testament say about accountability?

    The Greek word for accountable is hupodikos. It means brought to trial, answerable to. It is from hupo (under) and dike (justice, penalty, punishment). “It denotes one who is under obligation to make compensation” … “for failing to do what is right” (from Spiros Zodhiates). This is very consistent with how “accountable” is used in English. Both the Greek and English words carry the idea of punishment. This Greek word is used only in Romans 3:19 – “Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God.” This word is only used in terms of our relationship with God, never in terms of our relationships with people.

    Another Greek word used to convey this idea is logos, which means a word, a statement, a speech. It is sometimes used in a similar manner as accountable, as in:
    • Matthew 12:36 – “But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment.” (accountable to God)
    • Luke 16:2 – “And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an accounting of your management, for you can no longer be manager.” (implication is accountability is to God)
    • Act 19:40 – “For indeed we are in danger of being accused of a riot in connection with today’s events, since there is no real cause for it, and in this connection we will be unable to account for this disorderly gathering.” (accountable to civil officials)
    • Romans 14:12 – “So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God.” (accountable to God)
    • Hebrews 13:17 – “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.” (it is the leader who is accountable to God, not the person that is accountable to the leader, but in any case the accountability is to God)
    • 1 Peter 3:15 – “but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;” (we are accountable to non-believers to explain our hope)
    • 1 Peter 4:5 – “but they will give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.” (accountable to God)

    Another word is anakrino, which means to examine, investigate. This does not have the connotation of our English word for accountable because it does not carry the threat of punishment.
    • 1 Corinthians 14:24-25 – “But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an ungifted man enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all; the secrets of his heart are disclosed; and so he will fall on his face and worship God, declaring that God is certainly among you.” (called to examination or investigation by the church body, with an emphasis on worshiping God)
    • Acts 4:9 – “if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well” (used in a defense against the religious leaders)

    One passage often cited for accountability to church leaders is Romans 13:1-7:

    Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.

    But this passage is about how we are to subject ourselves to civil authorities, not church leaders. Unless we are suggesting that church leaders should rule with swords and bring wrath on disobedient people (like The Inquisition?) But Matthew 20:24-26, Mark 10:42-43, Luke 22:44-46, 2 Corinthians 1:24, 1 Peter 5:3 all make it abundantly clear that church leaders are not to “lord it over” the body of believers. Therefore, this passage affirms that our accountability is to civil authorities, not to church leaders.

    That’s pretty much what the New Testament covers for account/accountable. When it talks about accountability it emphasizes that we are accountable to God and to civil leaders. I have not found anything in the New Testament that says we are accountable to other believers. I cannot find any verses that say we should hold each other accountable or ask others to hold us accountable. At least in the way the vast majority of the English-speaking world understands the word.

    So where does this idea of Christian accountability come from? It appears to have two roots. One root is the various “one another” passages (see Appendix B). The key take-away from this list of verses is that all of them emphasize relationship or require relationship. Accountability does not require relationship, which makes it easy. The “one another” commands do require relationship, which makes them hard. Did the evangelical culture choose to go down the easy path because it seems to yield results without much effort? Or have we merely gotten used to using a word that does not mean what we think it means?

    The other root is non-Biblical. I have not found anything definitive, but it appears that “accountability partners” started in the 1960s with weight loss groups. “Accountability” and “accountability partners” are predominant themes on current weight loss and fitness web sites, which gives credibility to this theory. Initially, the purpose of the accountability partner was to have someone to help one avoid the embarrassment of the weekly accountability weigh-in. Accountability partners have also become very popular in the business world, where the accountability partners help one to meet performance goals for which one is accountable.

    Accountability makes sense in a hierarchical business model where performance goals are important. But is a business model the right model for how believers should related to one another? One danger of a business model for a church is that the pastor can become viewed as the CEO whose orders must be followed, the church staff and elders as the executives who are accountable to execute the vision, the church members as employees who must be managed, and non-believers and non-members as customers to satisfy. To what extent should Christians be adopting such a business model for the church? Does following this model help to explain why accountability is emphasized in some bodies of believers more than others? Is there any Biblical support for churches following a business model, or is this a modern invention with no Biblical support?

    There are very many Christian web sites that talk about Biblical accountability. What I find interesting about these sites is that they consistently emphasize the “one another” type of passages rather than the actual meaning of the word, and most emphasize making accountability voluntary and relational. It’s probably a noble attempt to Christianize the word, but it completely changes the meaning of the word as the rest of the world understands it. The problem with redefining words to mean something different in church is the confusion it creates for those who don’t know exactly what we mean by the word. How can any of us know for sure what the other person means by this word when the church meaning is almost the opposite of the non-church meaning?

    However, there is a place for accountability within the church: when church people behave illegally or unethically. In those cases they should be reported to the appropriate authorities so that they can be appropriately held accountable for their conduct. Examples include abuse, extortion, tax evasion, stealing, drug use, fraud, bribery, and kick-backs. The important distinction is that these are offenses against the civil legal system, not moral lapses that are otherwise legal.

    Should we continue to include “accountability” in our Christian vernacular? Does the concept of being accountable to other believers agree with the New Testament commands? Is the benefit of using this word worth the risk? Do we need a new word? What is the right word?

    I propose that we agree to not use “accountability” within the church to describe our relationships. We can do better.

    (If this works I will post the two appendices separately)

  129. @ Lydia:

    I tried copying the text of my paper into a comment here. It’s on the long side and has not yet cleared customs. But here’s an appendix that could be helpful.

    Some potential pitfalls of accountability:

    Useless against the flesh.
    • Colossians 2:20-23 – “If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, ‘Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!’ (which all refer to things destined to perish with use)—in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.”

    Results in an impossible life of “sin management.” The Pharisees excelled in accountability, but failed to obtain adequate righteousness. How much accountability would be good enough?
    • Matthew 5:20 – “For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.”

    Leads to a “bait and switch” form of Christianity. People are lured into the church with love and grace, and then pounded with performance expectations after they are in. Jesus always explained expectations up front and never moved the goalposts. He never tricked people into the kingdom.
    • Luke 9:57-62 – “As they were going along the road, someone said to Him, ‘I will follow You wherever You go.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.’ And He said to another, ‘Follow Me.’ But he said, ‘Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.’ But He said to him, ‘Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God.’ Another also said, ‘I will follow You, Lord; but first permit me to say good-bye to those at home.’ But Jesus said to him, ‘No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.’”

    Replaces one kind of sin with another. For example, if the fear of embarrassment is the motivation for better behavior, then the replacement sin is pride.

    Creates a condition or attitude where there is a human mediator between man and God.
    • 1 Timothy 2:5 – “For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,”

    Focuses the attention on outward behavior rather than core beliefs and motivations.
    • Matthew 5:27-28 – “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.’”

    Focuses our attention on our flesh, which is exactly the wrong result.
    • Romans 8:6-8 “For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”

    We become man-pleasers more than God-pleasers.
    • Galatians 1:10 – “For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.”

    It can result in us “falling from grace” and back into performance under the law.
    • Galatians 3:3 – “Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?”

  130. Velour wrote:

    Beakerj wrote:
    @ Jeff S:
    Thanks for tackling this Jeff, divorce is a hard hard thing, & this doesn’t help.
    I just read it Jeff. Good article. Thanks. I didn’t realize you were blogging.
    Are you on Twitter?

    I actually don’t blog (any more). I did for a while on “A Cry For Justice”, and then a little bit on my own blog before I got married. But after I got married I just ended up not really having the time. So now I just use my own blog as an outlet from time to time, or if I need a place to put my thoughts that requires a little more than FB can provide 🙂

    Perhaps some day I’ll get back to blogging more regularly when life settles down. 4 kids and a wife means a LOT going on these days- but, I do have a heart to speak into these kinds of things, so I hope the Lord has something for me in the future.

  131. Lydia wrote:

    @ Jeff S:
    Went and read the post and comments. I am struggling with the concept of inner and outer pain. It reeks of dualism. As if the spiritual is separate from the physical and mental body. the entire person is not well when living in the midst of a narcissist, sociopath or manipulator even without the physical abuse. it affects all of ones “being”. But Not our salvation. I think bringing up the idea one can just fill up with Christ misses the point and reduces Jesus.

    Yes. I think I would have done better in the discussion to immediately focus on the “inner” vs “outer” pain distinction. You have said it very well here.

    I’ve said before that through my marriage, I never once felt distant from God (which is a different experience from others- but it is my story), but I was certainly very broken and damaged. I mean, just the way my brain worked (or didn’t) was messed up. I can’t believe how I used to process things. But through all that, it was still “well with my soul”. God never let me go.

  132. Lydia wrote:

    I was so proud of him. His mom put him on the phone and he was shocked I congratulated him for being a lone independent thinker.

    It seems that every time I write positively of leadership on this site it blows up in my face a bit. But I’ll go out on a limb again and state that that young men demonstrated true leadership by standing against a wrong and dangerous standard. Very impressive.

  133. @ mirele:
    Sorry I missed this earlier. I won’t convince you of what I know to be true here in middle and high schools.

    I get it that many think accommodations of every stripe should be made by institutions and companies by thousands for a few who make demands. I see both sides. I think it is unrealistic not to expect some pushback on the accommodation. I have read IEPs of transgender HS freshman where the teachers are required to use the gender pronoun that student demands for that day. Get that? And teachers are walking on eggshells.

    When personal accommodations and similar protections are made for all fat kids, there might be more empathy. Instead they are given a different ” you are unacceptable” message. It is uncanny how certain groups pick and choose who is worthy and who isn’t.

    Yes, it is cool here in public schools.

  134. @ Velour:
    The YRR leaders who are emotionally undeveloped have no clue. It is their normal. Thank God for a rebellious teen!

  135. @ Muff Potter:
    It has huge implications with people. For example They are taught not to trust God given instinct that would protect them. It delays healing, etc.

  136. @ Ken F:
    Good stuff Ken!

    I first realized the horrors of this reading the Puritans. They were eaten up with it. It was all couched in such spiritual terminology it was lije a black hole you could not escape.

    In my opinion, the true meaning of the resurrection was hijacked long ago to a view that is meaningless and that affirms the sin sniffing minutiae.

  137. Christiane wrote:

    Actually, if you want to count ‘much of Western Christianity’ as including the Catholic Church, there is this in the formal Vatican Catechism that shows a rejection of duality:

    The phrase “…much of…” does not imply any particular brand of Christianity nor does it single out any one sect, it’s just a broad panoply which has its exceptions just like any other generalization.
    In previous comments on this blog, I’ve praised Catholicism for its recognition of human worth, its disavowal of past abuses, and its evolution beyond the mores and cultural milieu of the 16th century.
    It is my fervent hope that American Protestant Evangelicalism can have a similar Renaissance.
    Fascinating articles of Catholic belief on ‘the soul’! I must confess that they pretty much mirror my own with the exception of its immortality (article 366) which I don’t believe in.

  138. On a lighter, sporting, note, congrats are due to Sir * Andy Murray (also known nowadays as “Sophia’s dad”) on his second Wimbledon title. And, indeed, to runner-up Milos Raonic for a fine overall performance in what will hopefully be a breakthrough tournament.

    In yet more good news for the locals:
     Heather Watson and Finland’s Henri Kontinen won the Mixed Doubles;
     Gordon Reid, whose home club is four miles away from where I sit at this moment, won the Gentlemen’s Wheelchair Singles (having won the doubles yesterday);
     Jordanne Whiley, together with partner Yui Kamiji of Japan, won the Ladies’ Wheelchair Doubles

    At the same time, Serena’s Wimbledon was far from disastrous (Ladies’ Singles and Doubles titles on the same day)…

    Well, that’s the grass-court season over for another 11 months.

    IHTIH

    * Strictly speaking, he’s not a Sir yet; but it’s only a matter of time at this rate.

  139. Lydia wrote:

    @ Velour:
    The YRR leaders who are emotionally undeveloped have no clue. It is their normal. Thank God for a rebellious teen!

    Exactly, Lydia.

    He’s a discerning young man and tell him and his parents from me: Standing ovation!

  140. Velour wrote:

    He’s a discerning young man and tell him and his parents from me: Standing ovation!

    Indeed he is Velour. Makes me think the character Yoona-939 in David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas a tale in part of a future dystopia and the connections which lead up to it.

  141. Muff Potter wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    He’s a discerning young man and tell him and his parents from me: Standing ovation!
    Indeed he is Velour. Makes me think the character Yoona-939 in David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas a tale in part of a future dystopia and the connections which lead up to it.

    Amen, Muff.

  142. @ Josh:

    Credit to South Park for “accountabilibuddies”.

    @ Ken F:

    Excellent list! In just my experiences and opinions, you have a bit of emotionally stunted yet physically grown men at these churches whose sense of morality never developed beyond “if I get away with it, it’s OK”.

  143. @ Stan:

    The paper itself has better info, but it’s still in customs (posted immediately above the list). I wrote it primarily because of what my sons were going through. Accountability among Christians is not Biblical, but it’s been pushed so hard that many people now think it is.

  144. Stan wrote:

    Excellent list!

    That list was an appendix to the actual paper. The paper is now visible (I posted it at 6:40 this morning). It was a bit more readable in the original formatting, but this text only version is still understandable. I am interested in feedback since I am not a Greek scholar and I had to trust what I could find from what real Greek scholars had written. The other appendix was a list of “one another” passages. I don’t think I need to post that since those passages are pretty easy to find.

  145. @ Jeff S:
    His inner v. outer thing doesn’t make much sense to me. Also, Fox’s Book of Martyrs is of interest, but as for historical accuracy, i don’t think scholars would say that it’s a text that can be mined for facts. (Like the older Catholic treasuries of the lives of saints, which is more than a bit ironic in this case.)

  146. Lydia wrote:

    I get it that many think accommodations of every stripe should be made by institutions and companies by thousands for a few who make demands. I see both sides.

    I think it is unrealistic not to expect some pushback on the accommodation. I have read IEPs of transgender HS freshman where the teachers are required to use the gender pronoun that student demands for that day.

    Get that? And teachers are walking on eggshells.

    It gets even more confusing:

    What It Means To Identify As Non-Binary
    “I’m very adamant about making sure people understand that I am somewhere on the spectrum, but I’m not a man and I’m not a woman.”
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/what-it-means-to-identify-as-non-binary_us_577e7ddee4b01edea78cc979

    “Joyner explained that being non-binary means not identifying as either male or female. They said they often refer to themselves as “pretty boy,” “femme boy,” “non-binary guy” or “trans person.”

    ❓ 😕

  147. Lydia wrote:

    I see both sides. I think it is unrealistic not to expect some pushback on the accommodation. I have read IEPs of transgender HS freshman where the teachers are required to use the gender pronoun that student demands for that day. Get that? And teachers are walking on eggshells.

    How did we get here? It’s almost as krazee as the court of the Red Queen through Carroll’s looking glass.

  148. Maybe it’s time we tried to understand the ‘person’ behind the ‘label’ we give them OR the ‘label’ they have chosen for themselves.

    I once wrote this tribute to someone who defied ‘labels’:

    “”What you ‘associate with’ you support.”

    I proudly give you my friend Joyce. And I mean MY FRIEND.

    I met Joyce when I taught teenage addicts for “Straight and Narrow”, a drug rehab run by the Diocese of Patterson, NJ.
    The rehab school where I taught the teenage residents was a mile or two from the rehab residence.

    Joyce was employed to work at the rehab and came to the school to help with supervision. Joyce had done time for drug use and related activities. She had scars from knife wounds on her wrists, which were pretty much hidden by the long-sleeved men’s shirts she wore. She had been a lesbian and still wore man’s clothes, (I must say, with great style: her trade-mark bow-tie, with a freshly ironed shirt, very neat). Her Afro was always neatly turned out. She felt uncomfortable wearing ‘women’s clothes’ because of some terrible things that had happened to her when she was a small child.
    Joyce had lost her top front teeth, so she talked ‘funny’ and put her hand up over her mouth when she smiled. (Very endearing.)
    I always bought extra sodas to work with me and shared them with her at lunch. She was good company and I was glad to know her. She lived at the rehab residence and I gave her rides sometimes, so she wouldn’t have to take the bus. Some days, she didn’t feel very well.
    “What you associate with, you support.” Yeah. I supported her with sodas, and companionship at lunch, and rides in my car. And with friendship, until her death from AIDS.

    I was sad when she died. She was one of those people that spoke of the Christ who had saved her.
    The way she told it, you knew it was true.

  149. Here is the latest update.
    I am applying for another county job (DMV). As of now, I have $200 toward the bills coming due this week. Need another $150 (plus the percentage GoFundMe takes out – 7.9% + $0.30 per transaction). I will need another $150 (plus fees) by next week to cover those pesky once a year expenses. I have food and gas to get me through this week.
    My anxiety levels have been up some this past few days. But, I pray, meditate and am determined not to give up. Again thank you all so much for you care – you gifts of cash, gifts of prayer and encouragement, the gift of your time. Thank you.

    http://www.gofundme.com/ljahelp

  150. Muff Potter wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    I see both sides. I think it is unrealistic not to expect some pushback on the accommodation. I have read IEPs of transgender HS freshman where the teachers are required to use the gender pronoun that student demands for that day. Get that? And teachers are walking on eggshells.

    How did we get here? It’s almost as krazee as the court of the Red Queen through Carroll’s looking glass.

    Political correctness has been our downfall. Not being able to debate all sides of any issue keeps us ignorant binary thinkers. People are trained to call any disagreement with the reigning view racist or homophobic or bully or elitist or what ever is the insult of the day. These sort of accusations wreck careers these days. So people are silent if they think there is another angle to an issue that has not really been considered. Over the years, people learn to go along to get along. This costs us in so many ways.

  151. @ Lydia:
    This question would probably come across better as face to face but this is the only form we have.
    I’m asking this in all seriousness. What would be a good compromise? I think it will eventually get better. What’s happening now is a lot of people who formerly had no voice, now using that voice. Among those people are both good & bad.
    For what it’s worth I would push back hard on the gender-of-day stuff if it were happening in my community. That’s not in the spirit of equality. There are other conversations that need to happen. Our society has always been fractious. For good or bad we can see the cracks now.

  152. @ Jack:

    Hey Jack, I don’t know where to start. The thing about these discussions is we tend to put each other in immediate categories. In a discussion we had earlier on this you sort of implied I was homophobic so I am a bit gun shy. How does one prove otherwise just because they don’t subscribe to the tactics and demands of certain movements? I am big on individual freedom which necessitates individual civil rights. so that is my framework. Individual civil rights does not mean people have to agree or even bake cakes. The irony of it is some of my older homosexual friends (includes an extended family member) are appalled and embarrassed with the tactics of that lobby. They see it backfiring and setting back their quiet work toward acceptance and instead causing division. They don’t want to be part of the corporate shakedown of intimidation for lobby money. They don’t want to blackmail city councils about parades. They don’t want to shove it down people’s throats. Before the government forced change many companies were offering SS benefits.

    OTOH, my daughter performs with 2 transgenders both under the age of 18. One started the process quite young and the other is in the process. There iwere incredible accommodation made for both long before the presidents blackmail edict to schools. The students go out of their way to address them as they prefer. The school made special restroom arrangements for them. I am in a lot of social situations with these students and their parents. People go out of their way to be respectful of their wishes.

    The way to have a voice is not to censor other voices. I don’t see any difference in those tactics than I do with the people we are always discussing here that try to shut people down and sensor. Both use shame, guilt, fear, divisions, etc. they are just on opposite sides. On one side the big insult is to be called a liberal. On the other, the big insult is to be called a conservative. I am just waiting for the day ‘libertarian’ is an insult. :o)

    Law making is supposed to be a grueling sausage making process. That is because there should be debate on issues. But it does not work the way it was designed. It never worked perfectly but I know from my background if you put a bunch of people in a room to make policy, with strict rules for process, over time, it is amazing how differently each side starts viewing certain issues they were dead set against. Why? Because each person made a case, gave opinion, facts, looked at long term consequences, cost/benefit analysis, fairness, etc, etc. They did their homework. We don’t do our homework anymore.

    It can be done if grown ups are involved. If it can be done with one of the oldest unions in this country (from the whiskey rebellion) and upper management who never came together at a table except for negotiation, there is no telling what can be done. But, for whatever reason, people gravitate to those who just want power and control and use their weaknesses to get it. They love to divide and conquer. They create division and use intimidation instead of persuasion.

  153. There are two or three very fruitful discussions going on here the noo, which I don’t want to hinder, but I’d like to interleave another at this point, by returning to a topic that was discussed a few weeks ago, namely: The “Sufficiency of Scripture”.

    Two people were kind enough to express an interest in my views on this, and naturally, as I’m vain and egotistical *, this appealed to me. More to the point, there are numerous other Wartburgers who could supply some really good input on the topic.

    It’s a big topic and, perhaps, best addressed as a conversation with lots of short comments rather than one “Part 1 of 17… pile of War-And-Peace. Plus, I have to go out in a few minutes. But I’ll suggest this for starters.

    I do not believe in the sufficiency of scripture (or SoS for short) for the simple reason that I don’t believe it is biblical. You might put it this way: I reject SoS, not because I don’t believe scripture has authority, but precisely because I do believe it has authority. And if we assume it does, then our views on what scripture is, and where it fits in the bigger picture, must themselves be based on scripture.

    To cut this comment as short as possible: to me, scripture points to Jesus alone as God’s ultimate revelation of himself to us. It does not point to itself. And scripture itself refers to the Holy Spirit as the Person of the Godhead who, as Jesus put it:

    … will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.

    I do not think it remotely credible that “all the things that the Father has” are fully contained in a few extra pages of scripture, i.e., the as-then-unwritten New Testament. It seems clear to me, therefore, that to say “Well, yes, Jesus reveals the Father, but now we need the scriptures to reveal Jesus and we can only know him through scripture” just doesn’t square with scripture’s own testimony. We still need the Holy Spirit, in Person, to reveal Jesus to us, as much as did the early church.

    A major objection raised at this point generally goes along the following lines: But I have no way of experiencing what you say the Holy Spirit is telling you. So we must have something we can both see, which means we don’t use the Holy Spirit, we use scripture.

    1) Firstly, that doesn’t solve the problem – because who gets to make the final judgement on the “correct” interpretation of scripture? Especially when we consider modern-day challenges in situations that are not addressed at all in scripture and where at best we must pick somewhere in scripture and extrapolate from it. Scotland is unbiblical. Antibiotics and surgery are unbiblical. Motor transport and air-pollution is unbiblical. Electricity is unbiblical. The vast majority of what Jesus said and did in the presence of his disciples is, John tells us, unbiblical. What then?

    2) Secondly, I – and others like me – said we cannot rely on scripture alone. I never said we don’t need scripture.

    3) And thirdly: so, it’s difficult to learn to listen collectively to the Holy Spirit. So? Knuckle down and deal with it, Church. If he’s told us to do it, it can’t be impossible. No more than learning to pray. Listening collectively to the leading of the Holy Spirit (as in, It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us…) only seems unrealistic because we, the Church, don’t bother to practice it very often. And actually, the Bible does give us some good pointers.

    Hmm… that was meant to be short. Never mind – it’s a start!

    * I may have mentioned this before.

  154. Muff Potter wrote:

    Fascinating articles of Catholic belief on ‘the soul’! I must confess that they pretty much mirror my own with the exception of its immortality (article 366) which I don’t believe in.

    I expect the belief in the immortality of the soul comes from the idea that God breathed the life into Adam, and also this from Ecclesiastes 12:7
    “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return to God Who gave it.”

  155. Christiane wrote:

    I expect the belief in the immortality of the soul comes from the idea that God breathed the life into Adam, and also this from Ecclesiastes 12:7
    “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return to God Who gave it.”

    I disagree. I’m convinced that the doctrine of an immortal soul was an invention of Hellenism, carried aloft by Augustine and his theological progeny. I am of the opinion that the writer of Ecclesiastes was referring to the life-force that God animates and gifts all living creatures with, nothing more, nothing less. When I breathe my last and my life-force departs, I go down to Sheol and that’s that.
    But I also believe the Prophet Daniel and supernatural literal resurrection, at which time I will be judged by my maker. Whether I have a goodly inheritance in Olam Ha-Ba* or I get sent away in contempt remains to be seen.
    I hope in the former. Faith to me is not certainty, it’s just plain hope. For me it’s a lot like Dorothy Gale clicking her ruby slippers together.

    *Olam Ha-Ba is the Jewish version of what Western Christianity calls ‘Heaven’. It differs from the Christian view in that the best of this world gets carried over into the next. The joys of a flesh and blood existence does not have the evil connotations of Greco-Roman dualism, the concept is foreign to Jewish thought.

  156. I am curious about what readers think about Kay Arthur’s Precept upon Precept Bible Study. Also about Bible Study Felliwship?

  157. @ Ken F:

    Far be it from me to offer an original languages-level study on law and grace, but I go back to Matthew 25: There’s a final exam coming for us Christians, and Jesus gives us the answers, and I don’t think saying that you made guys in your small group tell everyone whenever they masturbated fits in any of those given categories. We are to honor the law, but Christian life is not a self-guided quest for moral perfection.

    Granted, Christians should have relationships with other Christians who share godly values. Confession and correction can be a beautiful thing within proven, trusted, and long-standing relationships. But churches creating programs that forces this to happen among acquaintances and even strangers is not biblical. And anyone who implies grace is withheld without public confession like Mark Driscoll used to do, you might as well look up the nearest Jehovah’s Witness temple.

  158. @ Stan:
    @ Stan:
    I’ve been going to confession privately my whole life. And it has been a healing experience to speak the truth and to ask God for forgiveness, and although I know this is not the way other denominations conduct confessions, I do think there is some benefit to the process being ‘private’. First of all, it is easier (ha!) to speak the truth about weaknesses and failures when you don’t have to know that half the town will hear about it by morning. And since the process BEGINS with a private examination of conscience, and with prayer, the continued experience of privacy seems not at all outside of ‘going into one’s closet to pray’ in the sense that ‘confession’ is not a ‘show’ or some rite of passage in an arena that may turn out to be a toxic place where your ‘secrets’ are turned back against you with a vengeance.

    I’m for confession, but private at least does this: it is not something that attacks a person’s dignity, rather, it is a way of ‘teshuva’ (of returning to God again) after having turned away from Him.
    Nothing I have heard of ‘confession’ practiced in neo-Cal land is anything but horrendous in my opinion. I feel for the person who is put through the humiliation, among people whose ways are more of seeking to be ‘entertained’. It sounds cruel and destructive.

  159. Muff Potter wrote:

    Olam Ha-Ba is the Jewish version of what Western Christianity calls ‘Heaven’. It differs from the Christian view in that the best of this world gets carried over into the next. The joys of a flesh and blood existence does not have the evil connotations of Greco-Roman dualism, the concept is foreign to Jewish thought.

    There is another piece to this that is often overlooked. God is not going to destroy the earth He created. He is going to redeem it.

  160. @ Christiane:
    I had a friend years ago in crisis who went to a priest and was turned away because he was not Catholic. It was the on again off again religion of his childhood and all he knew. Evidently he did not have the right official standing.

  161. I’m not sure where to post this off-topic subject, but possibly a “trend,” if not a Christian trend–
    I’ve heard that Pokémon Go has designated many churches as a “gym” in their game.

  162. Lydia wrote:

    There is another piece to this that is often overlooked. God is not going to destroy the earth He created. He is going to redeem it.

    I believe this too. Plain reading literalists, however will insist that everything will be destroyed just like it says in 2nd Peter. Here again, folks who want to believe what they want to believe and have it confirmed by their favorite prophecy guru, will not be swayed. They have no interest in critical thought or a layperson’s investigation of Greek text. Contradictions which appear elsewhere in Scripture are only apparently so. God says what he means and means what he says, no if(s), no and(s), and no but(s).

  163. @ Muff Potter:

    Wright thinks that ‘heaven’ is some intermediate state, but the final goal is a new heavens and a new earth. There are a number of theories about all this. But I have the real answer: We Don’t Know for Sure Much of Anything.

  164. okrapod wrote:

    But I have the real answer: We Don’t Know for Sure Much of Anything.

    Bingo! Prudence would suggest that yours is indeed the best answer from multiple choices on the scantron.

  165. Muff Potter wrote:

    Lydia wrote:
    There is another piece to this that is often overlooked. God is not going to destroy the earth He created. He is going to redeem it.
    I believe this too. Plain reading literalists, however will insist that everything will be destroyed just like it says in 2nd Peter. Here again, folks who want to believe what they want to believe and have it confirmed by their favorite prophecy guru, will not be swayed. They have no interest in critical thought or a layperson’s investigation of Greek text. Contradictions which appear elsewhere in Scripture are only apparently so. God says what he means and means what he says, no if(s), no and(s), and no but(s).

    And scripture doesn’t really say much at all about it which finally led me to believe the most important thing is what we do here and now. Yes, I said “do” as in how we live, love, do justice, mercy and compassion. I think that was The message and modeling from Jesus Christ not only as he walked among people but in the culmination of the resurrection.

    However the focus for well over a millennia has been on some variation of fire insurance.

  166. bonnie knox wrote:

    I’m not sure where to post this off-topic subject, but possibly a “trend,” if not a Christian trend–
    I’ve heard that Pokémon Go has designated many churches as a “gym” in their game.

    Where better to post than this thread?

    Also, I’ve seen discussions in the church social media community that churches are incorporating their “gym” status (whatever that means, I seriously don’t know; I’ve never done the Pokemon thing) into their youth-targeted advertising. [Insert your own emoticon with a wry smile and one raised eyebrow here]

  167. Josh wrote:

    bonnie knox wrote:
    I’m not sure where to post this off-topic subject, but possibly a “trend,” if not a Christian trend–
    I’ve heard that Pokémon Go has designated many churches as a “gym” in their game.
    Where better to post than this thread?

    Also, I’ve seen discussions in the church social media community that churches are incorporating their “gym” status (whatever that means, I seriously don’t know; I’ve never done the Pokemon thing) into their youth-targeted advertising. [Insert your own emoticon with a wry smile and one raised eyebrow here]

    I’ve played it. This is indeed the case, that churches are stops or gyms. Stops means you can get some free game items. Gyms are like forts. Three teams try to gain and keep control of them, and if your team owns it, you can help protect it.

    And the trend is actually as much happening with adults as kids. But there’s also been some big problems, as there’s been some targeting of these places for violence.

  168. ishy wrote:

    And the trend is actually as much happening with adults as kids. But there’s also been some big problems, as there’s been some targeting of these places for violence.

    I’m not sure how widespread the problem is, but here is one report:
    http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2016/07/armed-muggers-use-pokemon-go-to-find-victims/

    As for me, I grew up when Pokemon the card game was huge, although I was never allowed to play it because it was viewed as demonic in my part of Christendom. So I just tell people that I’m not a gamer, and never played it as a kid, so for me to jump in now would be cultural appropriation. 😉

  169. Stan wrote:

    But churches creating programs that forces this to happen among acquaintances and even strangers is not biblical. And anyone who implies grace is withheld without public confession like Mark Driscoll used to do, you might as well look up the nearest Jehovah’s Witness temple.

    It’s spiritual malpractice at best, spiritual rape at worst. It’s terribly abusive.

  170. Muff Potter wrote:

    God is not going to destroy the earth He created. He is going to redeem it.

    So much of the oldest liturgies in the Church speak of this. In the Eastern Orthodox, the prayers and psalms celebrate the redemptive transformation of all Creation through the salvation wrought by Jesus Christ. The Scriptures speak of this redemption of Creation in the Book of Romans. And in the Book of the Apocalypse (Revelation), the phrase ‘behold, I make all things new’ reflects this promise.

  171. Lydia wrote:

    However the focus for well over a millennia has been on some variation of fire insurance.

    In a word yes. It varies from mainline to mainline and can take circuitous routes even amongst the fundagelical set. Basically it’s a cosmic transactional policy with terms and conditions that apply. You must sign on to these terms and conditions or you’re not saved, and your end destination is hell whether you deserve it or not.

  172. Lydia wrote:

    In a discussion we had earlier on this you sort of implied I was homophobic so I am a bit gun shy

    That wasn’t how I wanted the discussion to go. I apologize for that.
    My main concern is with biblical literalism. If we take the Bible literally without context, a lot of nastiness occurs.
    As for libertarianism. It is not a bad thing. I wouldn’t want the government to legislate my thoughts and I am firmly against accommodation being used by some as a bully tactic. I have had some experience with that in the workplace & it’s not fun.
    Thanks for taking the time to explain your position.

  173. Have you all read about the research into the testosterone and cortisol levels of winners and losers? I have not read much on it yet but the NIH has some abstracts so this is actual research. Just where it will lead they don’t seem to know yet. I am thinking, though, don’t anybody let the sanctified testosterone people or those who credit Jesus’s accomplishments to his testosterone get hold of the research.

  174. @ Jack:
    Thanks, Jack. Yes the rigid literalism is a huge problem. No room for hyperbole, metaphor, idioms, chiasms, etc that are part of ancient communication devices.

  175. @ Leslie:
    I am not sure what you mean by intensive. I have tried those types of study in the past but t don’t do well with the strict process. I am the type that goes off the path and wants to understand Greek or Hebrew words in their historical context. Not an easy task.

  176. ION:

    Boris Johnson has been appointed Foreign Secretary. This can only end well.

    #CrikeyTheWorldsGoneMad

    IHTIH

  177. Leslie wrote:

    Has no one on this blog been in an intensive bible study?

    Yes, but not a packaged one. That’s why I didn’t respond to your earlier post – I have no experience with either program referenced.

    Are you studying as an individual or within a group?

  178. BL wrote:

    Leslie wrote:
    Has no one on this blog been in an intensive bible study?
    Yes, but not a packaged one. That’s why I didn’t respond to your earlier post – I have no experience with either program referenced.
    Are you studying as an individual or within a group?

    I’m with Lydia about studying the Greek & Hebrew meanings of words, their context, and what they mean.

    I was in a church (NeoCalvinist) that supposedly subscribed to the intensive Bible study method. I found that they idolized themselves, their thoughts, their ideas, proof-texted their doctrines-of-men, their friends’ books.

    Here’s the old Presbyterian minister J. Vernon McGee (a Texan who lived in CA) and his Bible Bus program. The Bible in 5-years. http://www.ttb.org/

    As other posters like Max and Muff have pointed out, there’s nothing like sitting quietly with the Word of God yourself.

  179. Velour wrote:

    As other posters like Max and Muff have pointed out, there’s nothing like sitting quietly with the Word of God yourself.

    Try it at 4:30 in the morning. Light some candles, make some coffee. And pray and read and journal, if the thoughts come, or sit and take in the quiet.

  180. I’m holding my breath:
    my son’s at the airport in Istanbul, Turkey (yes THAT airport) and he and his girlfriend are waiting to board another flight to Latvia. He just called.

    Yesterday, all flights into Chicago and NYC were cancelled due to severe weather, including my son’s original scheduled flight to connect with Finnair in NYC. Soooo, four hours of re-routing later, new schedule: NYC to Istanbul, Turkey (yikes, says mom), and on to Latvia, home of my son’s girlfriend’s family.

    I will be up all night until I know they are safe in Latvia. If anyone wants prayers tonight for any reason, I will be up … just let me know. I’m definitely geared this night for praying.

  181. Leslie wrote:

    Has no one on this blog been in an intensive bible study?@ Leslie:

    I’ve done Precepts. It’s very much about finding out what the Bible says for yourself (though as we’ve discussed, modern translations can be problematic). It’s just fine, except that it drives me nuts to write all over my Bible. It always has. I don’t even underline or highlight.

  182. Velour wrote:

    As other posters like Max and Muff have pointed out, there’s nothing like sitting quietly with the Word of God yourself.

    Or pacing the room with it, indeed.

    I read a rather sycophantic review of a “Mark Driscoll” book once – that is to say, the author’s name was given as “Mark Driscoll”, though who had actually written it is hard to say. The reviewer described it as being “packed with scripture”. And I thought at the time:

    1) Satan’s temptation of Jesus was also “packed with scripture”;
    2) If you really want to read a book that’s packed with scripture, what about the Bible? It has loads of scriptures in it.

    Indeed, in the case of the ESV study-bible, fully 40%</b of the content is scripture. Amazing.

  183. @ ishy:

    My most precious material items are my late moms bibles. She used different translations but all are all full of notes, highlights and such and falling apart.

  184. okrapod wrote:

    What translation(s) do you use personally? This is not a trick question…

    It didn’t come across as a negative question, so no worries there.

    At the moment I’m reading through the New King James (about to re-read the minor prophets as I found them interesting and I ought to know them better anyway). This is partly because I’ve not read it through from cover to cover yet. I have read the NIV, the NASB and the New Living Bible from cover to cover in the past.

    For studying, I generally use the NASB (mentally correcting “worshiped” to “worshipped” as I go) in connection with the Greek, of which I know enough to get by with assistance. I know almost no Hebrew, but I do love languages, and Strong’s and similar tools you can get online are useful when I’m studying a fragment of OT in detail.

    In general, I strongly support the idea that there is no single “best translation”, and as and when I need to decide where I stand on some issue than I need to read several different translations (as well as at least some research into the GreeBrew) to get a decent grasp. I think there’s a lot to be said for picking a translation and then reading (over about a year!) from Genesis 1 to Revelation 21.

    IHTIH… hoo aboot yersel?

  185. Velour wrote:

    I’m with Lydia about studying the Greek & Hebrew meanings of words, their context, and what they mean.

    As other posters like Max and Muff have pointed out, there’s nothing like sitting quietly with the Word of God yourself.

    I have several notebooks dating all the way back to the 70s filled with stuff gleaned from doing just what you said.

    Reading chapter by chapter through.

    Sometimes concentrating on a single book.

    Chasing certain themes throughout.

    Spent a couple of years reading 5 chapters of Psalms and 1 chapter of Proverbs every day.

    Using concordances & dictionaries (and now with biblehub.com and other various sites with a gazilion Scripture translations, huzzah! at the resources at our key-clicking fingertips).

    What I have found after 40 years is that those are the teachings that have stayed with me. Fed me. Corrected me. Encouraged me. Protected me. Guided me.

    Whereas, often the teachings that came through some expert’s book or program, or ‘official’ Bible studies with 1 person in control, (teachings which often seemed so exciting and deep and new at the time!) – became channels for deception, error, and subtle legalism providing burdens of unwarranted guilt.

    There is always a a need for new/young Christians to receive teaching that gets them foundationally grounded.

    Yet, we live at a time when a great number of people pursue fame & fortune by coming up with the –

    NEW! EXCITING! NEVER BEFORE KNOWN! GROUNDBREAKING! INNOVATIVE!

    christian teaching and an even greater number of believers willing to chase, purchase, and/or receive those teachings.

  186. My own Christian formation included hearing the Word read aloud in Church every Sunday from the time I was even too little to read. I think this has made a real difference in my own respect for sacred Scripture as ‘gift’, as so many liturgical responses to the reading of the Word are ‘thanks be to God’. Another help was that the readings of OT, Psalms, Gospels, and the rest of the NT were co-ordinated around the events celebrated in the Church Year. After a while, for example, we came to expect the readings of the prophet Isaiah and others before Christmas. And during Lent, we journeyed with Our Lord as He set His face toward Jerusalem.

    I was fortunate to be able to hear the sacred Scriptures read aloud in Church from the time I was very small. A lot of Scripture seems more to me of ‘prayer’ than something to study, yes.

  187. Cricket:

    Pakistan have all but won the First Test at Lords following England’s first-innings collapse today; on a low-scoring wicket, England are currently 85 behind with little prospect of adding more than a handful of runs tomorrow morning.

    IHTIH

  188. So I went to a friend’s viewing last night. I did a eulogy. There was a number of us speaking. As one of our other friends went up to speak, the priest snapped ‘ make it quick’.
    This toad of a man slept through most of the eulogies.
    This is not the only time I’ve seen pastors & ministers act so full of themselves. God wants me to take moral instructions from this bunch? I strongly feel ‘no’.
    The only time I’ll even consider church will be out of respect for someone having a wedding or funeral. I may eat these words someday but for now going to church only seems to be hastening my departure from faith.

  189. @ Jack:

    That is horrible Jack! I think the big problem is when people make their living as Christians they tend to become desensitized. So yeah I totally understand staying away from that . I do, too, to a certain extent except for visiting around so my kids can get a feel for different traditions, A few summers back we visited a Catholic church for about a month while we were out of town. One of my kids, who was 13 at the time and had only been baptized for about a year, wanted to take communion on our third visit. I warned her that I didn’t think it was allowed but she went up and stood in line anyway and was turned down. A bit embarrassing but she was warned. I couldn’t really figure out how they knew it because it was a pretty big church in a typical vacation spot.

    The one thing I really encourage a lot these days is not to hold sad sacks, perverts and charlatans against Jesus Christ. We are not sock puppets but make choices of how we live and what we do everyday. We make the choice to use our free will as a blessing or a curse every single day. Even though we have disagreed on several issues I would rather spend my time around people like you who get it than the typical churchgoer Who doesn’t.

  190. @ Lydia:
    Hi LYDIA,
    I wonder if your daughter understood what happens during communion . . . the priest says ‘Body of Christ’, and the communicant responds ‘Amen’ which is a confirmation of belief in the ‘real Presence’. If a person does not receive communion, they can still receive a blessing by crossing their arms over their chest to indicate this is wanted.

    I’m sorry your daughter was disappointed. I wish the priest had gone ahead and given her communion, instead of confusing and upsetting her. All ‘rules’ aside, kindness is always the greater law at the Lord’s table. Especially to a child.

  191. What is the update on your son? Is he okay? Christiane wrote:

    I’m holding my breath:
    my son’s at the airport in Istanbul, Turkey (yes THAT airport) and he and his girlfriend are waiting to board another flight to Latvia. He just called.

    Yesterday, all flights into Chicago and NYC were cancelled due to severe weather, including my son’s original scheduled flight to connect with Finnair in NYC. Soooo, four hours of re-routing later, new schedule: NYC to Istanbul, Turkey (yikes, says mom), and on to Latvia, home of my son’s girlfriend’s family.

    I will be up all night until I know they are safe in Latvia. If anyone wants prayers tonight for any reason, I will be up … just let me know. I’m definitely geared this night for praying.

    @ Christiane:

  192. @ BJ:
    Hi BJ, thanks for your concern

    They are safe in Latvia. They made it out of the airport in Istanbul hours before the coup started. My ‘mom’ instincts were right: even though my son’s girlfriend said that she thought Turkey was ‘safe’, I knew about the recent terrorist attacks at that very airport, and I have no great opinion of Turkey’s ‘stability’.

    When they got re-routed, my son failed to tell me the connection to Latvia was changed to Istanbul, until just before they boarded for NYC. No sleep. No peace. (we moms are moms until the day we die)

    Thanks for your concern. All is well, thank God.
    They are flying home connecting in Helsinki in a few weeks. Problem now is their visits into Italy for ‘vacation’: Remini, Florence, and Venice. More worries. I need to get a grip.

  193. Lydia wrote:

    My most precious material items are my late moms bibles. She used different translations but all are all full of notes, highlights and such and falling apart.

    I certainly don’t fault anyone for doing it, but I think part of the reason is that I have atrocious handwriting, and would never be able to read it later. I can’t even underline properly without crossing out the verse!

  194. @ ishy:
    I hear you! I use online a lot….especially interlinears. It is easier to makes notes, too. Back in my moms day, penmanship was important and her margin notes are easy to read, too..

  195. Lydia wrote:

    I warned her that I didn’t think it was allowed but she went up and stood in line anyway and was turned down.

    I follow former Pres. Jimmy Carter’s rule: I take communion wherever I am, no matter what denomination.

  196. Jack wrote:

    God wants me to take moral instructions from this bunch? I strongly feel ‘no’.

    No, God has the same problem with the hypocrite, abusive clergy elite that you, I and others have with them.

  197. Lydia wrote:

    @ Christiane:
    I had a friend years ago in crisis who went to a priest and was turned away because he was not Catholic. It was the on again off again religion of his childhood and all he knew. Evidently he did not have the right official standing.

    I do not know of any priest who would do this. But I suppose if you search hard enough you can find just about anything.

  198. Christiane wrote:

    @ Lydia:
    Hi LYDIA,
    I wonder if your daughter understood what happens during communion . . . the priest says ‘Body of Christ’, and the communicant responds ‘Amen’ which is a confirmation of belief in the ‘real Presence’. If a person does not receive communion, they can still receive a blessing by crossing their arms over their chest to indicate this is wanted.

    I’m sorry your daughter was disappointed. I wish the priest had gone ahead and given her communion, instead of confusing and upsetting her. All ‘rules’ aside, kindness is always the greater law at the Lord’s table. Especially to a child.

    I agree, Christiane, especially in the case of a child or of someone who doesn’t know any better.

    In these situations the priest should explain the policy up front before Mass begins. That is the charitable thing to do.

    My Pentecostal neighbor was miffed that she could not receive Communion at my parish. I asked her, “Do you believe that the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus?” “No,” she said emphatically. “Then why do you want to receive something you don’t believe in?”

    ISTM that such an attitude betrays almost a contempt for Catholic sensibilities. It’s as if the non-Catholic is saying, “Well, I am going to help myself to y’all’s Table on my own terms, and to heck with your understanding of the matter.”

    So much for common courtesy.

  199. BJ wrote:

    so glad to hear he is safe. I have two boys and my husband says my full time job is worrying! I hope they have a wonderful time!@ Christiane:

    Amen!!

  200. Leslie wrote:

    I always liked J. Vernon . He seemed to interpret the Bibke with a lot of common sense@ Velour:

    He was a real character, too!

  201. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    I’m sorry your daughter was disappointed. I wish the priest had gone ahead and given her communion, instead of confusing and upsetting her. All ‘rules’ aside, kindness is always the greater law at the Lord’s table. Especially to a child.

    I agree, Christiane, especially in the case of a child or of someone who doesn’t know any better.

    In my own opinion, all that was needed was that the child wanted to receive . . . at that point ‘knowledge’ of doctrines and our feeble explanations of ‘transubstantiation’, all fade into the background.
    The truth is, with all my Catholic training and teaching, and I have even taught in Catholic school,
    I myself can NEVER comprehend the full mystery of ‘the real Presence’ of Our Lord in communion. I don’t think any human person could.

    It was enough that a child wanted to come forward and receive. I feel sad for Lydia’s daughter.

  202. Christiane wrote:

    In my own opinion, all that was needed was that the child wanted to receive . . . at that point ‘knowledge’ of doctrines and our feeble explanations of ‘transubstantiation’, all fade into the background.

    Well, that may be your opinion, but that is not the opinion of any church that I know of. Even my own denomination which practices ‘open’ communion’ has some baseline rules about who is or is not invited to the table. This is not graham crackers at VBS and should not be treated as such.

  203. @ okrapod:
    Hi OKRAPOD,
    In the case of Lydia’s daughter, I was thinking about two concepts.
    First, that wonderful Scripture from St. Luke’s Gospel, this: “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.”
    And secondly, this from the Gospel of St. Matthew:
    “But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come to me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”

    When I wrote ” All ‘rules’ aside, kindness is always the greater law at the Lord’s table. Especially to a child.”, Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote, this:
    “I agree, Christiane, especially in the case of a child or of someone who doesn’t know any better.”

    Thank you for sharing your point of view. I hope I explained my opinion in a way that you can understand I also would not take anything pertaining to the Eucharist lightly.

  204. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    I asked her, “Do you believe that the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus?” “No,” she said emphatically. “Then why do you want to receive something you don’t believe in?”

    Excellent question – did she give an answer?

    ISTM that such an attitude betrays almost a contempt for Catholic sensibilities. It’s as if the non-Catholic is saying, “Well, I am going to help myself to y’all’s Table on my own terms, and to heck with your understanding of the matter.”

    The Charismatic movement crossed all denominational lines back in the 60s. I think it was the primary factor in breaking down / lowering the historical barrier between catholics & protestants in the USA.

    I wonder if her response was more of a sloppy we’re-all-one-big-religious-family so these ‘little’ differences are of no importance rather than contempt for your sensibilities?

    A few years ago I ran across an article that reported a high percentage of American Catholics do not believe in the real presence and also a large percentage who didn’t know what it meant. There were various articles and polls over a period of several years with varying results, but the gist was that among American Catholics there was significant disbelief and ignorance of the doctrine of transubstantiation.

  205. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    I agree, Christiane, especially in the case of a child or of someone who doesn’t know any better.

    I can share that I have beautiful photographs of my son with Down Syndrome being given communion by two priests who visited at Eastern Christian Children’s Retreat in Wyckoff NJ. In the photographs, my son is smiling.

    When I think of the mysteries such as the Incarnation and the Eucharist, I realize that we may have the ‘words’ to ‘explain’ the ‘doctrines’, yes. But we can’t begin to get our minds around the ‘mystery’ of these events. I’m not sure we are meant to.

    What does my son understand? I don’t know. I do know that he is kind to those less fortunate than himself: he can walk, and he frequently will bring toys to stretcher-bound residents and gently lay the toys into their hands. I’d say he is very much a ‘servant’ in the Kingdom of Our Lord, and as such, there is a place for him also at the Table. 🙂

  206. Christiane wrote:

    What does my son understand? I don’t know. I do know that he is kind to those less fortunate than himself: he can walk, and he frequently will bring toys to stretcher-bound residents and gently lay the toys into their hands. I’d say he is very much a ‘servant’ in the Kingdom of Our Lord, and as such, there is a place for him also at the Table.

    I’d say the same Christiane. Such a simplicity, such a complete tuning in to the frequency Jesus spoke of, the one that cuts through hardness of heart and makes this world a better place in the here and now.

  207. okrapod wrote:

    @ Christiane:

    Does the RCC deny the Eucharist to your son?

    No, the priests who visit the Retreat give communion to my son, and I understand to others also. There is some controversy in the Church, but lately Pope Francis has offered support of administering the sacraments to the disabled (physically and mentally):

    “The pope added that some might argue not everyone, such as the mentally disabled, “understands,” to which he said “It’s you [the priest] who doesn’t understand!”

  208. Christiane wrote:

    There is some controversy in the Church, but lately Pope Francis has offered support of administering the sacraments to the disabled (physically and mentally):

    “The pope added that some might argue not everyone, such as the mentally disabled, “understands,” to which he said “It’s you [the priest] who doesn’t understand!”

    I like this Francis. It would appear that he listens to his Jiminy Cricket within rather than iron-clad dogma.

  209. @ Christiane:
    And all of this becomes even more complicated when looking @ the Protestant churches that affirm the Real Presence… we might not believe in transubstantiation per se, but we still believe.

    Am with you on not being able to comprehend what all of this means, and on not barring the way to children and/or other would-be communicants who have faith in Christ. Our faith in our own severely limited understanding causes a great deal of pain, imo.

  210. Off topic – I am dealing with some big issues in my life now, and could use everyone’s prayers. I am still having a lot of terrible pain in my foot. I may end up having some bones fused. My parents and a lot of other family family members live over 900 miles away in another state. My parents are getting up in age. They need to be either in a nursing home or assisted living home. They are refusing. My dad was ill recently and after a hospital stay had to go to rehab. My mom made it all about her and not him. She has dementia (doesn’t know it) and is not in a good way. She takes all of her anxieties, etc. out on my sister who lives near her. It’s gotten to be quite rough on her. Because of my health with my foot, etc., I have been advised by my doctors not to make the trip up to see my parents at this time. If they go into a home (probably before Christmas) then we will have to make the trip up there. When adults become the “parents” to their own parents it becomes hard. They are resisting most home health services. This whole situation just tears me up. Luckily I have another relative I call all the time for support, plus my sister and her family, my own immediate family and friends. If anyone else has been in a similar situation or is in one now, I would love to hear how you are coping. We are all doing a lot of praying now.

  211. bonnie knox wrote:

    I’m not sure where to post this off-topic subject, but possibly a “trend,” if not a Christian trend–
    I’ve heard that Pokémon Go has designated many churches as a “gym” in their game.

    True. My writing partner’s church is one of them, so he’s bracing for a Poke-taku siege. Even changed the church sign to welcome them.

    His opinion is that the reason so many churches are Pokémon Gyms was “Payback – who was denouncing Pokémon the loudest when it first came out as an anime?”

  212. ishy wrote:

    And the trend is actually as much happening with adults as kids. But there’s also been some big problems, as there’s been some targeting of these places for violence.

    Actually, I have heard stories of stalkers staking out Pokémon Go sites. And some staking out the site and robbing players who show up.

  213. Josh wrote:

    I’m not sure how widespread the problem is, but here is one report:
    http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2016/07/armed-muggers-use-pokemon-go-to-find-victims/

    That’s the one. Set a beacon and rob Pokémon Go players as they show up.

    There also have been a couple cases of players finding dumped murder victims along watercourses. And two who walked off cliffs while staring at their smartphones.

    Other videos on the subject have surfaced on YouTube. Including one firsthand account from a 15-year-old girl who acquired a pedo stalker who staked out a Pokémon Go site looking for prey. But the main videos have been cautionary ones to “Play in groups”, “Don’t trespass”, etc.

  214. Ok Velour i’m over here on the open discussion I hope this is the right place. I believe I found out who the guy is that they put in leadership position at GBFSV. It wasn’t difficult to put in Cupertino and go through the list of offenders and see what their offenses were. There was only one there I could see who had the crime of child porn and that was a James D. Carroll.

  215. Lydia wrote:

    @ Jack:
    Thanks, Jack. Yes the rigid literalism is a huge problem. No room for hyperbole, metaphor, idioms, chiasms, etc that are part of ancient communication devices.

    “When you point at something with your finger, the dog sniffs your finger. To a dog, a finger is a finger and that is that.”
    — C.S.Lewis

  216. Harley wrote:

    Off topic – I am dealing with some big issues in my life now, and could use everyone’s prayers.

    I will be praying for you and your family. Thanks for sharing honestly about the trials you are all going through.

    *I am sorry for the terrible pain in your foot and will be praying.

    *Your elderly folks and their health and memory problems. And resistance to outsiders helping. (I found it very helpful to consult with a geriatric social worker who advised me how to handle these elderly relatives. It truly saved my sanity! So did the support groups that the social worker told me to attend. And to take care of myself.)

    Love, hugs, and prayers from California,

    Velour

  217. Daisy wrote:

    They don’t want fair, workable, and safe solutions like yours, but rather to force people who disagree with Transgenderism to accept completely accept it and say it’s moral and peachy keen.

    Just like Church Ladies, they want to rub their Righeousness in your face.

  218. Prayer Request….. I am asking for all of you to please pray for Billy. . He is having difficulty coping lately and he doesn’t understand why I do the work that I do. Funds are so limited but I must reiterate that God is good and we are moving along and getting along. Pray that i’m able to get the work to meet the basic expenses. I believe that God answers prayers and if you pray for work for me I know He will bring it to me.
    Ok aside from that Billy is having a hard time. The kids were relentless this year in calling him a faggot, homosexual, gay, and all because of what happened to him and the fact that Billy doesn’t have a girlfriend. Some of the girls at school kept telling my son repeatedly to “get a life” over and over whenever he was engaged in conversation with other kids. His stutter was pointed out repeatedly. Keep in mind that last night Billy had a melt down and this all came out, I had no idea. Billy normally tells me everything however I believe he kept this to himself because he knows that I tend to go crazy and would have found each kid and reported it! I know that’s a bit overboard but I can’t change that these things hurt me and make me angry. I have accepted that I can’t do anything about it now and believe me I still want to. My son isn’t coping very well with the flashbacks and I must say that I am scared. This is so much bigger than me and i’m terrified that these flashbacks will swallow my son up. It is so frustrating as a mother to stand bye and watch him fall apart. Sometimes I wonder if i’m failing him because I can’t take it away. I can only try to say and do what I think will help him in that moment. I try to encourage and uplift him and work him through these feelings. He seems fine on the outside but on the inside it’s like he’s in a prison and mom can’t get him out. Mom can’t save him from the replay of his abuse that go’s over and over in his head. A lot of the times I have no idea it’s occurred. I just see a change in his demeanor and I know all is not right with him. I don’t blame him and I am not saying he isn’t doing better , he is. He is so much further than I thought he would be. Anyways i’m asking you to please pray for my son. Please pray for good friends this year as he enters high school. Pray for teachers who will be patient and kind to him but also hold him accountable. Billy will receive accommodations for his dyslexia but they do not always implement them and he is to embarrassed to ask for them a lot of the time. He has been made fun of because we don’t have what the other kids in his school have and I have stressed the importance of character, values, the love of a parent, and integrity over materialism and money. Those things are noble but don’t do much for him in the midst of trial when these kids make him feel like less than nothing. I can’t change this for him as he has to learn to deal with them so please pray that God will give him wisdom and a sharp tongue where he just exercises wisdom, strength, and confidence with his words and uses scripture because His word is sharper than any double edged sword. I believe if Billy focuses on what God has given him in his life how Christ has provided a loving home where all his needs have been more than met. I want the Billy to see the joy in these things and be humbled by them someday. It’s not what we are able to obtain but how can we take what God gives us and bless others with it? I want Billy to see that we are rich in Christ and even rich in the things which God has allowed us to use that belong to Him. Thank you for thinking of my son and for your continued prayers. We are blessed beyond measure and sometimes it’s easy to forget the small things in life that mean so much. God is good and thats all I know.

  219. Thanks Velour for the kind words. I am going to see if I can find an on-line support group for people like me who have elderly parents. Mine are 83 and 86. My sister takes so much of the guff from my mom, and it makes me mad. I have been trying to distance myself from them. Not calling every day, and not talking about things that will get her mad. I see my foot doctor this coming Friday morning – 8 am your time, to see what we will do next. I really just want to be out of this terrific pain. Not too much to ask. It may take more surgeries though. I have had 17 already on my left foot.

  220. Harley wrote:

    Thanks Velour for the kind words. I am going to see if I can find an on-line support group for people like me who have elderly parents. Mine are 83 and 86. My sister takes so much of the guff from my mom, and it makes me mad. I have been trying to distance myself from them. Not calling every day, and not talking about things that will get her mad. I see my foot doctor this coming Friday morning – 8 am your time, to see what we will do next. I really just want to be out of this terrific pain. Not too much to ask. It may take more surgeries though. I have had 17 already on my left foot.

    Oh Harley, I will put you on my calendar and be praying the day you have your appointment. And I will be praying before then too.

    If your sister isn’t in an care-giver support group, I really recommend one run by social workers.

    The best piece of advice I got when taking care of an elderly person was to give them two choices, like a child: “the red dress or the blue dress”. That way they feel a sense of control, which they are losing.

  221. marquis wrote:

    Ok Velour i’m over here on the open discussion I hope this is the right place. I believe I found out who the guy is that they put in leadership position at GBFSV. It wasn’t difficult to put in Cupertino and go through the list of offenders and see what their offenses were. There was only one there I could see who had the crime of child porn and that was a James D. Carroll.

    You’re a good researcher.

    I’m not going to say online who it is because of Megan’s Law and because of the legal disclaimer there:
    “Legal and Illegal Uses. The information on this web site is made available solely to protect the public. Anyone who uses this information to commit a crime or to harass an offender or his or her family is subject to criminal prosecution and civil liability. Any person who is required to register pursuant to Penal Code section 290 who enters this web site is punishable by a fine not exceeding $1,000, imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding six months, or by both the fine and imprisonment. (Pen. Code, § 290.46, subd. (k).)”

    My biggest issue is just the complete lack of safety. The latitude given to him to come to everything. To lead a team. The lies the pastors/elders told because he was their friend and they said he was “coming off Megan’s List”. The Sheriff and the California Attorney General called that story “all lies” and “total lies”.

    I don’t want someone who is attracted to kids to be given this kind of latitude. It’s not safe.

    And it’s important, for all of the people who’ve never been caught but want to hurt kids, to have really good rules in place.

  222. @ marquis:
    You tell Billy that our hearts are with him (I’m sure I can speak for a lot of commenters on TWW). We may be miles and miles away, but our hearts are with him. – and you. I wish, wish, wish some of us could be close by to give encouragement in person.
    I used to be a teacher – grades 7-12. I’ve had students who were handicapped and students who were abused. For the life of me, I can’t understand why some kids treat their peers as badly as they do. On the flip side, sometimes there are a few good kids that will step up to the plate, defending and helping classmates who have a tough row to hoe. I hope and pray Billy finds friends like that.
    I know how crazy high school can be, too. I hope he has some teachers that will look out for him.
    Give Billy a hug, and tell him it’s from Nancy2 in Kentucky. I think about Billy often.

  223. Velour wrote:

    marquis wrote:

    Ok Velour i’m over here on the open discussion I hope this is the right place. I believe I found out who the guy is that they put in leadership position at GBFSV. It wasn’t difficult to put in Cupertino and go through the list of offenders and see what their offenses were. There was only one there I could see who had the crime of child porn and that was a James D. Carroll.

    You’re a good researcher.

    I’m not going to say online who it is because of Megan’s Law and because of the legal disclaimer there:
    “Legal and Illegal Uses. The information on this web site is made available solely to protect the public. Anyone who uses this information to commit a crime or to harass an offender or his or her family is subject to criminal prosecution and civil liability. Any person who is required to register pursuant to Penal Code section 290 who enters this web site is punishable by a fine not exceeding $1,000, imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding six months, or by both the fine and imprisonment. (Pen. Code, § 290.46, subd. (k).)”

    My biggest issue is just the complete lack of safety. The latitude given to him to come to everything. To lead a team. The lies the pastors/elders told because he was their friend and they said he was “coming off Megan’s List”. The Sheriff and the California Attorney General called that story “all lies” and “total lies”.

    I don’t want someone who is attracted to kids to be given this kind of latitude. It’s not safe.

    And it’s important, for all of the people who’ve never been caught but want to hurt kids, to have really good rules in place.

    Oh I agree that harrassing someone no matter what they have done is not good. I am assuming it’s this guy because of the information that was put up there. Please anyone who see’s my post don’t harrass or bother this man. I believe contacting the pastor of this church and letting him know that having someone in any ministry position where children are present is an unsafe environment and also puts a temptation in front of someone who clearly has a problem. I don’t know the disclaimers for megans law but I do now. If the moderators see the name if you don’t mind deleting it for me that would be great! I don’t want to cause any issues for anyone. Anyways I contacted the church yesterday and left a message for the pastor expressing my concern. I did not name this man as I do not know for sure if it is him.

  224. Nancy2 wrote:

    @ marquis:
    You tell Billy that our hearts are with him (I’m sure I can speak for a lot of commenters on TWW). We may be miles and miles away, but our hearts are with him. – and you. I wish, wish, wish some of us could be close by to give encouragement in person.
    I used to be a teacher – grades 7-12. I’ve had students who were handicapped and students who were abused. For the life of me, I can’t understand why some kids treat their peers as badly as they do. On the flip side, sometimes there are a few good kids that will step up to the plate, defending and helping classmates who have a tough row to hoe. I hope and pray Billy finds friends like that.
    I know how crazy high school can be, too. I hope he has some teachers that will look out for him.
    Give Billy a hug, and tell him it’s from Nancy2 in Kentucky. I think about Billy often.

    Thank you Nancy2 and Velour you all here are amazing to think my son as you all do. He is one special kid as I believe all children are special. My heart leaps for joy at the possibilities that Billy has ahead of him in his life I also at times feel sadness because my struggle runs deep. I can’t for the life of me remove how I feel about the violation and on top of that hearing my son and seeing him cry is incredibly hard. It brings back floods of emotions from that night all over again and it’s nothing I can do to stop it. I have to dig deep and just ask God over and over to please remove the images I get and the intense pain I feel. You know, we try to move forward and not think about it but there are times when I encounter my sons struggle or my own and it’s just there so I really have to rely on my faith in Christ, my hope in Him that he will remove the pain in that moment and hope for something positive. I know this sounds silly but it’s all I know how to do. No amount of therapy or medications will remove what lies in the heart. Hopefully that makes sense. With this said we will be ok and Billy will get through it as we journey together. I have learned so much from Billy and there are times when he humbles me by his attitude and his outlook on life. Your prayers mean so much to me and my son.

  225. Hi, I wanted to let everyone here know that my friend Sarah who posted on her blog “The Stones Will Cry Out” along with her friend Marci, Sarah is taking a lot of heat for that post from those within the Lakeside Bible Church Community. It has come to my attention that those close to her are being attacked over her posting about what happened to my son. Sarah has never named names of us, the perpetrator, or our former church! This is how far those within LBC are willing to go in order to silence not just me and Billy but any one who defends us or stands up against child sexual abuse!!!! Please go to sarahtaras.com and read the post(it is an incredible post and well written by Marci and Sarah) you can clearly see that she never named anyone or named the church!!!! But I have and Dee has called out Ken Ramey and LBC however you don’t see them coming after her or me because he knows he can not because he has attempted to contact me and I will not allow it. However those within this church will reach out through relationships and business connections in order to silence those who speak out against child sexual abuse or any abuse within the four walls of LBC. I don’t believe a lot of these members have the full truth and have been lied to by Ken Ramey and the leadership there at LBC regarding Billy and what really happened. I had no idea Sarah and her family are being attacked for her doing what is right and what God had laid on her heart and that was to cry out for my child and for me. I am furious that she is being attacked or mistreated in any way over this but it also go’s to show that she hit a nerve with her post and they know other members are reading her blog including the pastor/elders/leadership within LBC. It’s obvious they keep a close eye on her and what she writes. Sarah has also made it clear that if they keep it up she will start dropping names and information that Ken Ramey and LBC would prefer for her to keep quiet. I implore those here to not only pray for us but for Sarah and to hold LBC accountable for their nasty tactics and attacks on the body of Christ. Sarah is now taking hits for me and my son and it is not right! I am sick of these people and we are not going away we are not going to be silent and I assure all of you we will CRY OUT!!!!!!

  226. @ marquis:

    Will read it. And lend my support for the cause.

    Also that other blog where you’ve seen my posts blocked me from the forum because they take a stance against Jews that I don’t agree with (after all Jesus, Mary, Jospeh and the others…were Jewish). Anyone they disagree with, for the slightest thing, they malign.
    So while they had a couple of good points, they weren’t very mature about all of the good people in life, including Jewish people (I’ve got friends, bosses, and even relatives by marriage who are Jewish).

    Love and hugs,

    Velour

  227. I also must say one more thing. It is obvious to me now more than ever that lies about my child and what happened to him are just as fresh today as they were beginning the day after his rape May 19,2013!!!!!! Ken, the elders,deacons, the perpetrator, and his family have done an excellent job at spinning the truth about what really happened to Billy if people are trying to hurt sarah and her family. The documents have been posted and there is no need for me or Billy to defend or say anything in regards to what really happened because they speak for themselves. As you can see it doesn’t matter if the truth lies in those documents those with in lakeside bible church will believe their pastor and leadership no matter what because I can now see just how much a lot of them idolize him! They are enamored with him and therefore he can do and say what he likes and he will have defenders to the end. He can accuse a child rape victim of being a participant in his own abuse and a homosexual or just allude to a child rape victim as one!!! This needs to stop and if anyone from lakeside bible church is reading these posts know one thing BILLY AND I ARE NOT GOING AWAY!!! We will not stop until you acknowledge what happened to Billy and give full disclosure! I demand a public apology to my son as he is entitled to one after what you have done in the aftermath of this tragedy. His perpatrator has been held accountable by the state of Texas even if it was just probation and counseling. You, however have added insult to injury and have abused Billy with your slander and lies in this situation. Anyone who has supported you and have known the truth all along also owe my child an apology and I expect it at some point there is no negotiating this. Leave those who have supported billy alone you are only making yourselves look like fools by attacking those who are only doing what God has called them to do and that is give comfort to the hurting, the broken, the abused!

  228. Velour wrote:

    @ marquis:

    Will read it. And lend my support for the cause.

    Also that other blog where you’ve seen my posts blocked me from the forum because they take a stance against Jews that I don’t agree with (after all Jesus, Mary, Jospeh and the others…were Jewish). Anyone they disagree with, for the slightest thing, they malign.
    So while they had a couple of good points, they weren’t very mature about all of the good people in life, including Jewish people (I’ve got friends, bosses, and even relatives by marriage who are Jewish).

    Love and hugs,

    Velour

    I agree with you on this velour. I also believe the same blog who may have blocked you blocked me as well because I wouldn’t side with them on how they felt about TWW or Dee. Although I believe they are well intention ed in a lot of what they are saying I guess it’s not ok to disagree. I don’t believe any race of people are bad I believe there can be people within races who do bad things or who are not good people.

  229. marquis wrote:

    I agree with you on this velour. I also believe the same blog who may have blocked you blocked me as well because I wouldn’t side with them on how they felt about TWW or Dee. Although I believe they are well intention ed in a lot of what they are saying I guess it’s not ok to disagree. I don’t believe any race of people are bad I believe there can be people within races who do bad things or who are not good people.

    I completely agree with your points.

    I guess I’m surprised, although not shocked, that they blocked you too over there.

  230. Marquis – My son was made fun a lot all thru school. He has Aspergers Syndrome, but most people wouldn’t know it. He is super high functioning. But we had an IEP, which helped out a lot. He got extra time for tests and certain things. He graduated from college and has his masters degree in a science field. I also had a doctor many years ago that is dyslexic like your child. To tell you what all this fine Christian man and doctor accomplished would astonish you. He has more degrees than I can even remember. But yet he chose the field he went in to, as he and I said back then to specifically help me out. So your son, can do anything he wants to. I live in Tyler, not that far from you and know that the school district can help you out on these matters. We didn’t live here when our children were growing up. Tell your son from me, one mother who has been thru things with her son, that he too shall survive. I always told my kids to do their very best this day. If today they couldn’t do what others thought he could. That was their problem. If they were truly doing the best they were capable of, that was enough for me. Maybe tomorrow you are capable of doing more and maybe more the next day.But today is what counts. Not tomorrow or yesterday. We all have failures and we all have days that we just can’t accomplish much. That is not a failure. Make sure Billy understands this. Some days I don’t get much done. We were out all day running errands and doctors apps for me. I am exhausted and no energy left because of my foot pain. But hopefully tomorrow I can get more done. (for most people what I can do isn’t much). But for me I know my limits and I know not to push them. I never expected my kids to be straight A students. My daughter was mostly, and my son partly. This with having a dad who has a Phd. in a science field. Their best effort for each day is to praised.

  231. Harley, thank you for sharing this and billy does get those accommodations. However they have not always been implemented and they expected students to request them. In my sons world to request some of those accommodations is to show that he’s inferior or hes not smart. Theres a lot of times where he just doesn’t think to ask. This is a wonderful school district with a lot of good teachers but we have encountered ones that do not teach him and in fact he at times has been treated as a problem child rather than them recognize his struggle and help him. He does summer school every year and every year it’s a class between 7 and 12 students. I get nothing but good reports from the teachers and his grades jump from failing to high 80’s almost to a 90. He is the only kid I know who loves summer school. He gets one on one with the teachers, plenty of time to complete work, kids are not picking on him in class, and he receives positive interactions with the teachers the entire time he’s there. I wish he could have this all the time. My hope is that we will navigate 9th grade well I am excited for him to start high school this year. I would love to get together with you sometime.
    Billys ptsd on top of his learning issue and in addition to his father not being in his life combined with the bullying can and has taken a tole on him emotionally and spiritually. He is doing his best to cope and I’m trying not to go crazy when he is being hurt. My financial situation is taking a toll on me and actually is affecting my son. I am submitting my resume to a friend who will pass it on to where her husband works. This job will take a lot of my time if I get it and this means a change for billy, as I won’t be there as much. However we need a steady income the church has killed any chance I had to continue my business. I work very hard and I must say it is upsetting because we did not deserve what they did to me with my customers. With this said God is good to us and I’m certain this will work out for our good in spite of ken ramey and LBC’s wicked deeds. My friend Sarah Taras is being attacked by this corporation posing as a church and they are going after her family as a means to get back at her for supporting billy on her blog sarahtaras.com ” The Stones Will Cry Out “. They are furious with her and I guess they finally got word of this particular post because KEN RAMEYS sermon on Sunday was about her and what she posted about billy and me. She has now put them on notice to back off or she will expose more things she knows about the going ons at LBC. Anyways this is what they do and how they operate. Now people close to us are taking hits for supporting billy.

  232. Lydia wrote:

    The one thing I really encourage a lot these days is not to hold sad sacks, perverts and charlatans against Jesus Christ. We are not sock puppets but make choices of how we live and what we do everyday. We make the choice to use our free will as a blessing or a curse every single day. Even though we have disagreed on several issues I would rather spend my time around people like you who get it than the typical churchgoer Who doesn’

    Thanks! As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t know how “real” the bible is. I’m pretty sure that much did not happen exactly as written, but that’s the nature of faith, right? Whatever difference in opinion we have had, I am sure that there are more points that we agree on, such as the essentials – that all of us are equal and all of us deserve to be treated with respect.
    I think is says a lot that I am learning far more about faith here than I have in any church or any denominations within. So yes, I would sooner spend my time with and engage with free thinkers such as yourself. Free will is never a curse.

  233. Here is the latest update.
    On the health front, the tumor looks to have shrunk some more and is not spreading, so that is good news. I am tired and, for some reason, sore. But that is improving, as well.
    On the job front, there is still no change. I continue to keep my eyes open, but being a 50+ woman with health issues doesn’t seem to make me terrible appealing, especially in a slow job market. Sigh. Will keep looking, though. Something will work.
    So, thanks to you, all of my July bills are paid as well as food and gas through the month. The next thing coming due, then, is August rent – $565 ($620 with the GoFundMe fees).
    Again, I am so grateful for each of you – your gifts, encouragement, and prayers all help more than I can express. Thank you.

    http://www.gofundme.com/ljahelp

  234. Thank you for all of your prayers and support for billy. I am not sure if this is appropriate to ask for help still. I don’t even know how you repost my gofundme that dee set up. I’m embarrassed to even mention that we are struggling. My car broke down a few weeks ago and I’m still repaying those who helped me pay for repairs. It set me back in paying for my utilities, phone, food, gas, insurance, and ect….. Billy and I are cutting it so close that I’m rationing our food currently. I have had reschedules and cancellations with housecleanings so that takes away immediate income. I don’t know what else to do as those who have prayed and helped already provided such relief. I hate having to tell billy no on wanting to eat up everything. He’s not starving but he’s a growing teenage boy who has hollow legs and wants to eat non stop. I have to monitor just in this area because food has to stretch until I get paid. That only happens with housecleaning for which im still working off for what was advanced for the repairs on our car. Ok , I am hoping by sharing that we are in need that you will be able to pray specifically and possibly help. If no one can help I understand and I’m just grateful for what has been done already for me and billy.

  235. They are furious with her and I guess they finally got word of this particular post because KEN RAMEYS sermon on Sunday was about her and what she posted about billy and me. She has now put them on notice to back off or she will expose more things she knows about the going ons at LBC. Anyways this is what they do and how they operate. Now people close to us are taking hits for supporting billy.
    Hi, I read the posts about your son and was extremely disturbed by what happened to you all! I saw this recent post so I went to the churches website and listened to last Sunday’s sermon because I wanted to see how they would try to spin this. Was it from 7/17? Because I just listened to that sermon and I didn’t hear anything about a blogger so it made me wonder if I had misunderstood you. I have to say for a JMac clone, he didn’t use scripture that much. Rather he quoted from books more than The Bible. Could you clarify where in the service your friend was talked about? Could it be that it wasn’t in the sermon, but addressed prior to the actual sermon? If is was in the actual sermon, could you let me know what part so I can listen again? Thank and I will be praying for you!

  236. BJ wrote:

    They are furious with her and I guess they finally got word of this particular post because KEN RAMEYS sermon on Sunday was about her and what she posted about billy and me. She has now put them on notice to back off or she will expose more things she knows about the going ons at LBC. Anyways this is what they do and how they operate. Now people close to us are taking hits for supporting billy.
    Hi, I read the posts about your son and was extremely disturbed by what happened to you all! I saw this recent post so I went to the churches website and listened to last Sunday’s sermon because I wanted to see how they would try to spin this. Was it from 7/17? Because I just listened to that sermon and I didn’t hear anything about a blogger so it made me wonder if I had misunderstood you. I have to say for a JMac clone, he didn’t use scripture that much. Rather he quoted from books more than The Bible. Could you clarify where in the service your friend was talked about? Could it be that it wasn’t in the sermon, but addressed prior to the actual sermon? If is was in the actual sermon, could you let me know what part so I can listen again? Thank and I will be praying for you!

    It was from this prior sunday. He never mentions names but when he throws out situations where people are blogging or listening to podcasts he was alluding to a particular person. After I listened to what he said I immediately knew he was talking about her. Keep in mind I hadn’t spoke to her for awhile and out of the blue I get a text and she tells me some things that had recently transpired with the church and that they were calling her a slanderer they had been going to her family members saying ugly stuff. So, I was right when after listening to that sermon he was in fact referring to her and what she posted about my son. She confirmed it. So it’s not that he’s broadcasting details he puts things out there that the members in his congergation would know who he is speaking of. This is a regular thong for him to do. And yes if you listen to his sermons he quotes more books and other people than he does focusing on God’s word. When he’s trying to drive a point he will pepper his sermons with so many verses that seem to fit the one verse he is focused on and he gives a decent background to the context of his sermons yet a lot of the time he doesn’t give the correct history on what’s going on who the author of the book in the bible hes talking about is really addressing. Hope that makes sense.

  237. By the way when ken ramey makes references to certain situations in his sermons where only his congergation would know about ( because LBC is gossip central) people are so enamored with him there that they take it upon themselves to exercise galatians 6:1 on people who ken deems as disobedient or who is in a trespass. A lot of them bide for his attention or just follow his teachings that the 1st two steps of church discipline should be going on all the time in his church. He preaches this all the time. Go to his sermons on “search and rescue ” and disunity in the church “. There are many others where he says it. If you want to be in good then telling on members, confronting members should be happening all the time according to ken and th r leadership.

  238. This link that was posted on the The Gospel Coalition today deserves some attention: http: http://thomrainer.com/2016/07/eight-warning-signs-bully-church-member/

    My initial thought was, what if a pastor is like this? But someone already commented with, “How do you deal with pastor who is a bully?” He replied nine minutes later with, “Please keep the comments on topic.” The question could not be more on topic. And his reply reveals the problem: church “leaders” of this ilk don’t consider themselves to be members. They consider themselves to be a cut above and cannot see the hypocrisy in such a blog. Incredible.

  239. Ken F wrote:

    This link that was posted on the The Gospel Coalition today deserves some attention: http: http://thomrainer.com/2016/07/eight-warning-signs-bully-church-member/
    My initial thought was, what if a pastor is like this? But someone already commented with, “How do you deal with pastor who is a bully?” He replied nine minutes later with, “Please keep the comments on topic.” The question could not be more on topic. And his reply reveals the problem: church “leaders” of this ilk don’t consider themselves to be members. They consider themselves to be a cut above and cannot see the hypocrisy in such a blog. Incredible.

    Thom Rainer is an insider who toes the party line. He does not care about the abused sheep.

  240. @ Ken F.

    Sorting out the Kingdom’s true gems from the fake glitter is a lifelong treasure hunt, imo.
    Not taking “truth” for granted is proving to be very eye-opening and valuable for me, as well.

    Broken trust does have some advantages. lol

    I even turned on God and asked if He was going to turn out to be fake, too.

    He isn’t.

    He’s for us, not against us.

  241. @ Ken F:

    Don’t know anything about Thom Rainer, so I can’t comment other than on his blog post, which I read – it was commendably short!

    Of course, his eight hallmarks of a bully exactly describe the bully in the pulpit too, with the possible exception of point 8 about having moved between congregations (or “churches” [plural] as he describes them). The bully pastor generally stays in the same place and makes it serve him.

    It is easy to overlook the fact that there are churches dominated by bullies in the pews. This is an entirely different toxic culture from the mega”church” business run by a charismatic entrepreneur/CEO forging a glittering career as a motivational speaker. There’s more than one kind of bully, and I’ve observed both in church settings. (Although that’s also a crude simplification because there are more than two kinds of bully!) The kind that Rainer presumably had in mind is the bully who is not drawn to static positions of leadership or authority. These people actually shun office, precisely because they don’t want any kind of responsibility – even the kind that involves them preaching regularly.

    But I agree, entirely, that anyone who wants to talk about bullies in the Church cannot pretend that bullying from the pulpit is off-topic.

  242. bullying from the ‘pulpit’ started long ago with self-righteousness and finger-pointing as key features, and we have this witness from early Christianity that confronted the harshness in a way that was therapeutic:

    “”“For he who endeavours to amend the faults of human weakness ought to bear this very weakness on his own shoulders, let it weigh upon himself, not cast it off.
    For we read that the Shepherd in the Gospel (Luke 15:5) carried the weary sheep, and did not cast it off.

    And Solomon says: “Be not overmuch righteous;” (Ecclesiastes 7:17) for restraint should temper righteousness.
    For how shall he offer himself to you for healing whom you despise, who thinks that he will be an object of contempt, not of compassion, to his physician?

    Therefore had the Lord Jesus compassion upon us in order to call us to Himself, not frighten us away. He came in meekness, He came in humility, and so He said:
    “Come unto Me, all you that labour and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you.” (Matthew 11:28)
    So, then, the Lord Jesus refreshes, and does not shut out nor cast off, and fitly chose such disciples as should be interpreters of the Lord’s will, as should gather together and not drive away the people of God.

    Whence it is clear that they are not to be counted among the disciples of Christ, who think that harsh and proud opinions should be followed rather than such as are gentle and meek;
    persons who, while they themselves seek God’s mercy, deny it to others . . .”

    St. Ambrose (340-379 A.D.),
    a Father and a Doctor of the Church

  243. Velour, I went to Thomas rainers post on bullies and asked him specifically what his advice is when a pastor bullies a rape victim? I don’t believe he read my question or what I told him because he asked if I reported the crime when it is clear in my question to him that my sons perpetrator took a plea deal. You can’t take a plea if the crime wasn’t reported so I’m assuming he skimmed through my question or is attempting to not answer it. So I again clarified that I did report it and reiterated my initial question how to deal with bullies when it’s your own pastor? Well I still have no response but I’m giving him time because he mat not have seen it yet. A Ryan chai praised his first post and requested that he do a 2nd post on bullies in the church. Well I agree with Ryan except I told Thom a second post would be great on pastors who are the bullies. I’m curious to see the response and if he has any sound advice or is this just a post about people in the church who finally wake up to legalism and speak up and as a result they are labeled bullies!

  244. Many thanks for everyone’s support and prayers. My sister and I have decided that distancing ourselves from our mom is a good thing for now. She does have to take my parents everywhere they want to go, or to rely on other family members. But we know how to cut her off from treating us bad. But that is an ongoing fight. I saw my foot doctor this morning. I have 2 choices with my foot. One is to have to bones fused, which would be permanent and probably relieve my pain. The other is a type of infrared therapy treatment. No guarantees on if it would work, and since I also have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, it is iffy. My doctor is pushing for the 2nd treatment, but it would be a stop gap effort and I would have to keep going thru recurring cycles of the treatment. I have made my choice, and I am praying it is the right one.

  245. @ marquis:

    Good for you for even going over there and challenging Thom Rainer, asking hard hitting questions, and giving a real-life situation.

    I will be surprised the day that ANY of these men get this criminal topic, and how to handle it correctly. What will it take? Having one of their own children abused?

    I went to a church wanting to be in a Christian community, know others, be known,
    hear the Word of God, and grow as a Christian. And I got totally burned. Like you and your son.

    And I came out of it realizing this: I know far more than I thought I knew! I will NEVER listen to authoritarian men again. We are a priesthood of believers. God equipped you and me and we know just as much (maybe more about some stuff).

    I am so tired of these arrogant, pompous, controlling, holier-than-thou men at these churches and on so many of these blogs. Clanging bells. White-washed tombs.

    Hugs,
    Velour

  246. Harley wrote:

    Many thanks for everyone’s support and prayers. My sister and I have decided that distancing ourselves from our mom is a good thing for now. She does have to take my parents everywhere they want to go, or to rely on other family members. But we know how to cut her off from treating us bad. But that is an ongoing fight. I saw my foot doctor this morning. I have 2 choices with my foot. One is to have to bones fused, which would be permanent and probably relieve my pain. The other is a type of infrared therapy treatment. No guarantees on if it would work, and since I also have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, it is iffy. My doctor is pushing for the 2nd treatment, but it would be a stop gap effort and I would have to keep going thru recurring cycles of the treatment. I have made my choice, and I am praying it is the right one.

    I’ll continue to pray for your health and the right choice, Harley. I am so sorry you are in so much pain.

    About your mom, have you and your sister run this situation by her physician and a social worker? There are medications that elderly people can be put on to help calm them down from this level of acting out.

    I’m glad you and your sister are taking care of yourselves.

  247. BL wrote:

    Using concordances & dictionaries (and now with biblehub.com and other various sites with a gazilion Scripture translations, huzzah! at the resources at our key-clicking fingertips).
    What I have found after 40 years is that those are the teachings that have stayed with me. Fed me. Corrected me. Encouraged me. Protected me. Guided me.

    That is wonderful.

  248. @ marquis:

    Here is my YELP review of my ex-church, a Neo-Calvinist/9Marks/John MacArthur-ite church located in Northern California (Silicon Valley). YELP has taken down negative reviews from other former church members, including mine. YELP always takes down anything involving child safety.

    *******************************
    Here’s my revised YELP review of my ex-church with a few more details for those escaping that NeoCalvinist/Comp gulag.
    “It was very disturbing to be a member of this church and to see the level of mistreatment shown by the GBF pastors/elders to adult Christians, an iron-fisted authoritarian control over adult Christians’ lives and demands for “obedience.” There were excommunications and shunnings ordered of dear Christians for any independent thought.
    Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley is one of the growing number of authoritarian, NeoCalvinist churches spreading across the U.S. and it’s not *Biblical*.
    *Heavy Shepherding. GBFSV practices the 1970’s heavy-Shepherding movement’s un-Biblical control of Christians’ lives by the pastors/elders. The Florida founders repented for its abuses and un-Biblicalness. The GBF pastors/elders have not repented and the damage is growing in the lives of the Body of Christ at GBF. GBFSV copies the model of Mark Dever (Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington, D.C. 9Marks organization. It is a heavily criticized model, including by conservatives, who have said that there is only ONE Biblical mark of a healthy church: Love. The other 9Marks are un-Biblical and it’s the Heavy Shepherding Movement all over again with new language.
    *Membership Covenants. Members are told to sign them because they’re *Biblical* and back to a Biblical basic. In point of fact they aren’t Biblical and are used to exert authoritarian control over members’ lives. Jesus required people to sign how many pages to follow Him? Correct answer: 0 pages.
    *Congregational vote. GBFSV wants your money but doesn’t believe in a true Biblical church honoring the Holy Spirit’s work in Christians lives and giftedness. It is more authoritarian control exerted by a few yes-men over the Body of Christ, hobbling the power of the Holy Spirit to truly work. I will never go to a church again that is run like GBF. I will never give money to one again.
    *Women. GBF pastors/elders promote Complementarian/Patriarchy doctrine and that women are to “obey” and to “submit” and be 2nd class citizens. At GBF they live under the old Covenant and not the new one in Christ. GBF pastors/elders espouse the Council on Biblical Manhood Womanhood which teaches a Semi-Arian Heresy by Bruce Ware and Wayne Grudem called the Eternal [a lie] Subordination of the Son to justify the subordination of women. It is untrue and is trinatarian heresy. GBF has put this man-made doctrine on par with The Gospel. If you reject Comp you reject The Gospel. Nonsense. Read: Wartburg Watch blog for more info.
    *Teaching. GBFSV does not permit Godly women to teach the Word of God. They base this on the writing of the Apostle Paul. Paul wrote Timothy about one woman — original text in Greek said “the woman” — teaching one man error. Paul wanted her to learn correctly first. The issue wasn’t her being a woman, the issue was error – and that would be true if it was a man in error. Manipulative anti-woman Bible translators conveniently changed the text to something Paul never said.
    *Nouthetic Counseling. GBFSV pastors/elders believe that Bible is sufficient counsel for everything. They have no training and licensing, do not follow California law, and frequently cross over the line into the Unauthorized Practice of Medicine (a crime in California that can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony). This bogus form of non-counseling comes from the un-trained Jay Adams and his books. It should be called what it is: malpractice. Examples of the GBF pastors/elders doing this: not getting an older woman alcoholic to the care of a physician to supervise her treatment and spending months with members discussing “gossip” and drawing pictures on the blackboard. In the end this woman, her adult children, and church members were harmed.
    Additionally, the GBFSV pastors/elders held me responsible for the genetically inherited brain disorder – Dyslexia – of a woman church member who refuses medical care. She can’t remember entire events and accuses other people like me of lying. Dyslexia isn’t just a reading problem but a memory problem involving short-term memory problems, working memory problems, and auditory memory problems.
    Excommunications/Shunnings/Stalking. A godly woman left GBF for a saner church and was harassed by church members on the orders of the GBF pastors/elders. A godly doctor was excommunicated for dissenting in private. I was excommunicated because the GBF pastors/elders blamed me for someone’s memory problems. A truly bizarre church!!!
    *Credentials. Snr pstr’s *Ph.D*. is from a MO. diploma mill.
    GETTING OUT: Don’t tell them. Send a certified/return receipt letter & resign, no details. Call 911 and contact an attorney if they bother you. Read: Wartburg Watch blog for details.
    DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: Women – call domestic violence shelters/support groups for help getting out. Call 9-1-1. Read: A Cry For Justice blog by pastor/cop.
    **************************
    I learned that I know more than I thought I did & I will never listen to authoritarian men again!”

  249. Velour – ask Dee and Deb for my email address and we can talk about this off this blog. I know there are many others on this blog who are in bad pain to. It’s not for wimps. Believe me, I know that. But I am so thankful we serve an awesome God who is there with us thru our roughest times of pain. So many times in the past, when I think I couldn’t stand another day of pain because of recuperating from surgery, etc., God always gave me the Grace to get thru it.

  250. Hi velour, I forgot to ask dee yesterday if she emailed you billy’s sizes. I had wanted to wait until close to school starting before any clothes were given to him. Of course this is if the offer is still available if not no worries I will figure it out. Bilky starts H.S. next month, wow I can’t believe time flew by. He has sprouted up and went down three sizes. He packs on a little weight whenever hes about to get a growth spurt. He is excited about H.S. bit also nervous because of this past school year and the kids giving him a hard time. He will be moving on with these same kids and they were relentless in reminding billy that he couldn’t afford the things they have. This is not true as I have told Billy we can have and achieve things it will take longer and we havery to work for it. Anyways in the moment when he’s picked on its hard for kids to see that. Billy has overcome so much and he does recognize that we are where God has us for now.

  251. marquis wrote:

    Hi velour, I forgot to ask dee yesterday if she emailed you billy’s sizes. I had wanted to wait until close to school starting before any clothes were given to him. Of course this is if the offer is still available if not no worries I will figure it out. Bilky starts H.S. next month, wow I can’t believe time flew by. He has sprouted up and went down three sizes. He packs on a little weight whenever hes about to get a growth spurt. He is excited about H.S. bit also nervous because of this past school year and the kids giving him a hard time. He will be moving on with these same kids and they were relentless in reminding billy that he couldn’t afford the things they have. This is not true as I have told Billy we can have and achieve things it will take longer and we havery to work for it. Anyways in the moment when he’s picked on its hard for kids to see that. Billy has overcome so much and he does recognize that we are where God has us for now.

    I thought the lady getting the clothes was Cathloic Gate-Keeper or someone like that.
    I will post a question and ask.

  252. Harley wrote:

    Velour – ask Dee and Deb for my email address and we can talk about this off this blog. I know there are many others on this blog who are in bad pain to. It’s not for wimps. Believe me, I know that. But I am so thankful we serve an awesome God who is there with us thru our roughest times of pain. So many times in the past, when I think I couldn’t stand another day of pain because of recuperating from surgery, etc., God always gave me the Grace to get thru it.

    Will do, Harley.

    By the way, Texas is so big than it’s now taking up Canada! That’s why the Canadian flag is showing up by your name, again!

  253. Velour wrote:

    marquis wrote:

    Hi velour, I forgot to ask dee yesterday if she emailed you billy’s sizes. I had wanted to wait until close to school starting before any clothes were given to him. Of course this is if the offer is still available if not no worries I will figure it out. Bilky starts H.S. next month, wow I can’t believe time flew by. He has sprouted up and went down three sizes. He packs on a little weight whenever hes about to get a growth spurt. He is excited about H.S. bit also nervous because of this past school year and the kids giving him a hard time. He will be moving on with these same kids and they were relentless in reminding billy that he couldn’t afford the things they have. This is not true as I have told Billy we can have and achieve things it will take longer and we havery to work for it. Anyways in the moment when he’s picked on its hard for kids to see that. Billy has overcome so much and he does recognize that we are where God has us for now.

    I thought the lady getting the clothes was Cathloic Gate-Keeper or someone like that.
    I will post a question and ask.

    Oh my gosh I’m so embarrassed. I’m sorry I for some reason thought it was you. I think you may have reposted or something like that. Please forgive my fopau.

  254. @ marquis:

    You weren’t too far off. I was the one who coordinated the posts earlier when we had that discussion.

    I think I got a response on the other thread, but my screen name wasn’t there.

    We’ll get an answer soon.

    Hugs.

  255. @ marquis:

    By the way, YELP has kept up my review of my ex-abusive church, also a John MacArthur Master’s Seminary graduate as the senior pastor. I posted it above.

    Members are contacting me who want to leave that church. They have NEVER experienced such an abusive church.

  256. Velour wrote:

    @ marquis:

    By the way, YELP has kept up my review of my ex-abusive church, also a John MacArthur Master’s Seminary graduate as the senior pastor. I posted it above.

    Members are contacting me who want to leave that church. They have NEVER experienced such an abusive church.

    Seriously? ?? So the one where they have that guy who is on megans list in a leadership position is your former church?

  257. marquis wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    @ marquis:
    By the way, YELP has kept up my review of my ex-abusive church, also a John MacArthur Master’s Seminary graduate as the senior pastor. I posted it above.
    Members are contacting me who want to leave that church. They have NEVER experienced such an abusive church.
    Seriously? ?? So the one where they have that guy who is on megans list in a leadership position is your former church?

    The very same.

    But people are on to them. And fleeing.

    The pastors/elders told me in the meeting where they screamed at me and defended their sex offender friend that “child porn wasn’t a big deal”, their friend had been convicted of it, served prison time, and was on Megan’s List.

    I told them it was a very big deal. I discussed the differences between child porn, illegal and criminal violations of federal and state law. I discussed in graphic detail all of the crimes that are committed against children to make it. All felonies. Heartbreaking felonies.

    I discussed the difference between adult porn which is legal. While it is legal, there are people who are forced to do it and they are being trafficked. Tim Fall wrote a good article about it on his blog. https://timfall.wordpress.com/2013/03/15/rape-drugs-roadside-stands-and-human-trafficking-there-are-no-innocent-bystanders-see-more-at-httpwww-jennyraearmstrong-com20120612rape-drugs-roadside-stands-and-human-trafficking/

    So the senior pastor was blushing bright red. The other three elders were stunned into silence.

    (My sister, who knows me too well, said that the pastors/elders had no clue that when they dished it out to me that I was fully capable of calmly upping the ante in the most breathtaking way.)

    I said that the research studies done by the F.B.I. and District Attorneys’ Association of the U.S. of inmates in prison, convicted for child porn, show that those inmates admitted to having gotten away with on-contact sexual abuse of children. More than 90% of them admitted to it, and the statute of limitations was too old to prosecute.

    But in short, where there’s smoke (child porn) there’s usually fire (on contact sexual abuse of children).

    The pastors/elders said I was “destined for Hell” for discussing child safety, had I prayed for their friend [I said I was there to discuss child safety and it wasn’t prayer time].

    Anyway, they gave their friend carte blanche access to all children, including at a 5-day sports camp.

    So many churches are such dangerous places – for adults and children alike. Especially the NeoCalvinist churches.

  258. @ marquis:

    I got a response from Catholic Gate-Crasher. So she’s getting the clothes and things.

    “That was moi. I work in the apparel industry, and we have a big sample sale coming up. Alas, I may be in Wilmington, NC, during that time, moving younger son into college, but if I prework the sale, I can do some shopping. I get my kids’ stuff at sample sales, because it’s a lot more bang for the buck….
    Is it OK if I send the stuff to the Deebs? Or maybe even meet up with them to do a delivery? I am only an hour and a half away from Raleigh / Durham. Thanks!!!”

    Please ask Dee to send the email to Catholic Gate-Crasher regarding sizing.

    We’ll figure out how to get the items mailed from North Carolina to Texas.

    Love and hugs,

    Velour

  259. @ Lydia

    I love the history of the Church in the British Isles, especially during the time of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles and the Danelaw . . . and I love the history of how sacred Scripture was preserved and passed down, so I share something from that time that I thought might have meaning for others.

    If you trace the history of sacred Scripture in Britain from the King James Bible back into previous centuries, you will come to Tyndale, Wyclif, and before them, Alcuin.
    And before Alcuin, to Ceolfrith and to the ‘Lindisfarne Gospels’ which were copied and illuminated beautifully (in the tradition of the Book of Kells) in the ‘scriptorium’ room at Lindisfarne Abbey (founded by Aiden).
    The tradition of the ‘scriptoriums’ (rooms where Scripture was copied by hand) goes back even further to the time of the Septuagint scholars who were set to work on the island in the harbor of Alexandria and produced a Greek translation of the Old Testament, through Saint Jerome and his Vulgate tradition, through Cassiodorus and his reworking of Jerome’s Vulgate of the old Latin texts.

    The Lindisfarne Gospels represent the ancient tradition of ‘recieving what was handed down and preserving it to pass on intact’,
    and in the scriptorium on Lindisfarne, the hand-written sacred texts were copied with great care according to that tradition.
    The printing-press would not be invented for another eight centuries into the future, so these monastic scriptoriums were an important connection for the sacred writings to be preserved and passed on.

    It’s good to know something of the history of how sacred Scripture ended up in our hands . . . there was a long line of people who cared greatly that this should happen, and they too were members of the Body of Christ and a part of the heritage of all Christian people

    BTW, the first Viking raid in the 900’s was an attack on Lindisfarne, where the monastery was plundered and where many were slaughtered. That also, is a famous part of British history and soon the Vikings made colonies in Britain and for a time a portion of Britain was ruled by them during the ‘Danelaw’. They were converted to Christianity . . . so their forbears came to rob and kill, and instead their descendents found a ‘pearl of great price’, the holy faith of Our Lord.
    Not a bad thing to know about, I think.

    P.S. The ancient Anglo-Saxon Chronicles tell of that first Viking raid on ‘Holy Island’ ( Lindisfarne ).

  260. A prayer request-moving next week. House is not ready, so will be living in a trailer. I work from home right now, but wouldn’t mind finding a better-paying job. And want to find a church that prays, gives, and treats everyone as a child of God.

  261. Ken F wrote:

    Has anyone had experience with “Disciples Path”?

    Never heard of it – sorry.

    IHTIH. (But, back in the real world, it’s not even slightly helpful… 🙁 )

  262. ishy wrote:

    A prayer request-moving next week. House is not ready, so will be living in a trailer. I work from home right now, but wouldn’t mind finding a better-paying job. And want to find a church that prays, gives, and treats everyone as a child of God.

    I will be praying for you.

  263. Prayers for

    Christiane, Harley, ishy

    folks healing from abuse

    all TWW’ers

    for burdens lifted, peace deepened, beauty for ashes, and love for our hurts.

  264. @ Ken F.

    I don’t know either.

    Here’s a thought-train sparked by your research on accountability that I’m still mulling over.

    How does “walking by the Spirit” (Galatians 5 and elsewhere) fit in with “church accountability?”

    The iron sparking iron at this site is intense.

  265. I have made up my mind to have the surgery. I know this isn’t what my doctor wants, but I know my body best. I even wondered what my family doctor would say, and my daughter said she would tell me to have it and go with my gut instincts. My daughter and I also have a condition called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. EDS is a connective tissue disorder which causes a lot of things in your body. It is often mistaken for Fibromyalgia. In fact, most people with bad fibro, which I thought I had, really have EDS. It won’t kill you, but it can make life harder. I did have a semi decent day. Was able to go out shopping on my own for about 2 hrs. Totally wore me out. I spent the rest of the day on either the couch or recliner. I guess I will call my foot doctor on Monday and set up an appointment to discuss the surgery with him.

  266. Harley wrote:

    I have made up my mind to have the surgery. I know this isn’t what my doctor wants, but I know my body best. I even wondered what my family doctor would say, and my daughter said she would tell me to have it and go with my gut instincts. My daughter and I also have a condition called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. EDS is a connective tissue disorder which causes a lot of things in your body. It is often mistaken for Fibromyalgia. In fact, most people with bad fibro, which I thought I had, really have EDS. It won’t kill you, but it can make life harder. I did have a semi decent day. Was able to go out shopping on my own for about 2 hrs. Totally wore me out. I spent the rest of the day on either the couch or recliner. I guess I will call my foot doctor on Monday and set up an appointment to discuss the surgery with him.

    Thanks for the update.

    I have been praying for you about this.

    I will get your email from Dee. I will keep in touch with you that way too.

    Love, hugs, and prayers.

  267. trs wrote:

    Prayers for
    Christiane, Harley, ishy
    folks healing from abuse
    all TWW’ers
    for burdens lifted, peace deepened, beauty for ashes, and love for our hurts.

    Amen!

  268. trs wrote:

    How does “walking by the Spirit” (Galatians 5 and elsewhere) fit in with “church accountability?”

    I’m not sure if I understand your question. One of the best books I’ve read about the difference between walking in the spirit vs the flesh is “Tired of Trying to Measure Up” by Jeff Vanvonderen. He made a great point about Jesus living in the flesh (like we do), but not walking according to the flesh. Apart from Jesus, we can only live and walk according to the flesh. Because of what he has done for us, we can now choose, but only through him, to walk according to the spirit. Accountability among believers is a cheap counterfeit of spiritual living. It’s using the flesh to give the appearance of spiritual living. But all that living by the flesh does for us is produce death (the mind set on the flesh is death).

    As for church accountability, if that means things like churches being accountable for their finances and church leaders being accountable before the law for the protection of children, then this is a separate topic.

  269. Wade Burlesons’ sermon today is powerful. I would have never thought of the things he talked about. Thank you Wade. I have found a peace in my heart over my decision to have the surgery. I knew that I would eventually have to have this done years ago. It has always been in the back of my mind. Will the surgery, give me the opportunity to walk again, probably not. But I’ll probably be able to walk around the house more. Velour, I can tell you are praying. I have had 3 sleep filled nights in a row. This is rare. To Ishy and Christiane, prayers for you to. I think we all could write the book – How to Handle Pain for Dummies, the christian way.

  270. Evangelical Exodus: The Protestant seminary that produced dozens of Catholic converts
    http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Item/4932/evangelical_exodus_the_protestant_seminary_that_produced_dozens_of_catholic_converts.aspx

    While producing a number of successful and popular Protestant pastors, SES has also been the site of a mass exodus across the Tiber.

    In the decade from 2004 to 2014, more than two dozen faculty members, students, and alumni of SES have entered into full communion with the Catholic Church.

    Keeping in mind that only around two dozen students graduate from SES each year, this is rather a significant percentage.

    The obvious question is: “How can a school co-founded by an Evangelical theologian-apologist known to be critical of Catholicism produce so many Catholics?”

    In an effort to answer this very question, Douglas M. Beaumont has collected the accounts of nine conversions from SES, including his own, in a new book, Evangelical Exodus: Evangelical Seminarians and Their Paths to Rome, published by Ignatius Press. Beaumont responded to questions from Catholic World Report via email.

  271. @ Daisy:

    When I was on youtube looking for Sola Scriptura explanations and Prima Scriptura yesterday I came across a series of youtube videos by a British Eastern Orthodox priest who had been raised in an evangelical family and Bible College.

    It was very interesting.

    Since part of my family are Russian Orthodox Christians, I don’t really mind. People have different denominations, things that they like, that suit them. I posted here yesterday that at the end of the day I look for one thing in Christians – of any denomination – lives: fruit. Do they show the Royal Law of Love to other people?

  272. Velour wrote:

    Sola Scriptura

    The funny thing about “sola scriptura” is that it’s not in the Bible. So if one is to take it literally, one either has to deny sola scriptura because there is no “sola scriptura” in the Bible, or one has to throw out the individual books of the NT because there is no scripture that lists which books are supposed to be in the NT. In fact, of the five “solas” of the reformation, the only one that is actually in the Bible is “faith alone” and the actual verse says “not by faith alone.”

  273. Ken F wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    Sola Scriptura
    The funny thing about “sola scriptura” is that it’s not in the Bible. So if one is to take it literally, one either has to deny sola scriptura because there is no “sola scriptura” in the Bible, or one has to throw out the individual books of the NT because there is no scripture that lists which books are supposed to be in the NT. In fact, of the five “solas” of the reformation, the only one that is actually in the Bible is “faith alone” and the actual verse says “not by faith alone.”

    Oh that is too funny.

    That reminds me that when that crass Arizona *pastor* (Joshua or whatever his name is, not the other crass AZ pastor Mark Driscoll) threw a temper tantrum in Starbucks that the red cups no longer said “Merry Christmas” and posted it on the internet.

    Twitter and the #RedCup hashtag posters had a field day.

    One man promptly retorted: “I’m going to boycott the Bible because it doesn’t say ‘Merry Christmas’.” Touche.

  274. @ Ken F:

    I’m in largely in agreement with sola scriptura, and I agree with sola fide (salvation is by faith alone), but I think some Christians go way too far with the sola scriptura belief – they want to apply the Bible to areas of life where I don’t think that is the purpose of the Bible, they do stuff like that.

  275. I wanted to thank velour and all of you here for your prayers and support. I have been struggling financially for some time now and was embarrassed to ask for help or post anything on the gofundme Dee set up. I figured that God would just provide, which He does but it was put to me that you don’t have because you have not asked. Certainly God does not forget us because we are experiencing his grace continually. Even when when a billy can’t get met He is still providing. I hope this makes sense. I am beyond grateful for the help you guys just don’t even know. Tears came the other day when I saw the recent gofundme for us. There is so much pressure with not just financial but working billy through some tuff stuff. It becomes challenging to focus on what I need to do to survive and then wonder should I be doing something else? Could I do more? Am I capable of more? Will billy and I ever come to a place where this doesn’t still hurt as bad? Anyways I share this because words just don’t seem like enough to express gratitude and relief to know that when some of those funds hit the bank this week that will mean food for us. I am literally left with cearl and canned food and I have been telling billy no on the fruit because I have to ration it. We are not starving at all but when I have to stretch what we have until I get that next house then that’s how it has to go. Billy is a growing boy and he does not by any means ever go hungry but he is,hungry all the time. He’s a teen and those of you with teen boys know their appetites. There are more bills than what I can keep up with at the moment but I’m working on taking care of what I can. Billy starts school in august and I’m told by a friend that I won’t know what billy will need for school supplies until after the 1st day of class. Praying it’s not that expensive. He just shot up another few inches and is 6 ft now and dropped 2-3 sizes. I don’t think he’s done filling out. He go’s through shoes like women change purses. It gets frustrating at time with how hard he is on his clothes. I just found out we will need to come up with 330.00 for drivers ed. Billy doesn’t want to do football since the kids who didnt like him used the sport to bully him by grabbing his face mask during practices and throwing him down. Apparently kids do it all the time and play it off as if they are just playing around. Billy doesn’t want to do football this year because they bullied him there and the coaches don’t exactly show much empathy because he’s a guy they are supposed to duck it up. So billy in place of football is taking intro to Engineering. He wants to go to Texas A&M and design safer oil drills and environmentally safe ones. He has always wanted to go to Texas A&M I tried to convince him to go to Liberty University ( my college ) due to lack of money I never finished school but I sure will make sure billy go’s. Anyways we are less than an hour from A&M and billy wants to get into programs which will gear him towards his goal. So since he’s doing engineering we need another elective and he has picked drivers ed. It’s cheaper to do it through the school but boy is it still costly on top of the regular everyday living costs. I also need to get billy in with a good psychologist for his ptsd and they cost money. We tried the free services and needless to say it soured billy towards where I took him. He is struggling with anger, and grief over the assault and he’s not sleeping again. I’m not sure what has triggered him. He wants to do gymnastics as he said it helps him work off frustration and anger bit it’s 145.00 a month he was allowed to try it out for free for one week and he loves it. Billy understands that it’s just not possible right now but it’s on the list. So please pray for these things these are things I never had to consider for my son but I am trying to do whatever I can to work billy through his trauma and that includes offering him opportunities that will help him. I wish we could go back and live more simple I wish I could give my son the life of peace he had before joe hurt him and me. I know this isn’t possible but it’s still tugs at my heart. I hope I haven’t offended anyone here by putting out our financial business or struggles. My heart is,so grateful for what we have and how we have been loved here at TWW.

  276. I am curious… Not defending either opinion (for or against Church of the Highlands, Chris Hodges, Dino Rizzo, ARC, etc)…

    According to scripture:

    1) How should the situation with Mr. Rizzo have been handled?

    2) How should church oversight be managed?

    3) Why should the church be focused on ouraelves rather than God’s lost children?

    4) What is Chris Hodges teaching that is not biblical?

    5) If there is only one God and one book that is the true living word of God then what is wrong with churches coming together as one rather than as a multitude of diaparit bodies?

  277. Marquis – my heart breaks for what you and Billy have gone thru. I remember that my own son was bullied a lot in school and even now as an adult finds it hard to make real friends. I am thankful that he has a great church to go to in Fort Worth and loves the single group. His job looks like it will be ending and he not sure where he will end up working at. Wherever the company sends him to. We are all praying that he can stay in Ft. Worth, as it also not that far from his dad and I. If I could tell Billy anything, it would be that God is greater than all that happened to him. Stand proud and rise above it. I know he has heard words of this sort time and time again. I have often told my son that same thing. If you have to repeat these types of words to him daily, then do so. We all learn by hearing things time and time again. Some of us by different style. Whatever is his style of learning, focus on that and keep reaffirming the good things God does for him and how much God and all of us love him. I will keep praying for you my fellow Texas. Although, I was a Yankee by birth but got to Texas as soon as possible. That’s what hubby says. But after having lived in our fine state for over 31 years now, I guess you can say I am a Texan.

  278. marquis wrote:

    I wanted to thank velour and all of you here for your prayers and support. I have been struggling financially for some time now and was embarrassed to ask for help or post anything on the gofundme Dee set up.

    I knew you were. I had posted to you before what your monthly expenses were, but you didn’t respond. Maybe you were embarrassed, shy, or didn’t see it.

    But we knew that things were still tight.

  279. Christiane wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    As other posters like Max and Muff have pointed out, there’s nothing like sitting quietly with the Word of God yourself.
    Try it at 4:30 in the morning. Light some candles, make some coffee. And pray and read and journal, if the thoughts come, or sit and take in the quiet.

    Good idea.

  280. Velour wrote:

    Christiane wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    As other posters like Max and Muff have pointed out, there’s nothing like sitting quietly with the Word of God yourself.
    Try it at 4:30 in the morning. Light some candles, make some coffee. And pray and read and journal, if the thoughts come, or sit and take in the quiet.

    Good idea.

    Oh I didn’t realize you never saw my response. I did post expenses but because if people are doing this for billy and want to know what it’s going for I set aside my embarrassment because i want to be as transparent as possible. However it was me asking for anything after that I have difficulty with as I don’t want to be a burden to others in this situation. I understand that there are many that have greater needs than us and I certainly don’t want to take away from that. I hope this makes sense. It’s really hard to ask and recognize that I can’t provide for my son in the way he was use to before this happened. We struggled but nothing like this since ken did what he did with those relationships business and personal. It won’t be like this forever but again I find myself having to put plans of college for myself on hold any any other luxury because we just need to get through this. Understand though ,that in spite of all that has happened billy is a continuous joy of my life and we are learning to continue to be content in all things. It may seem dark at times I csn assure all of you we live a blessed life and I pray continually that this remains as a constant reminder. I don’t know if my heart would still be open to others if it weren’t for dee ,deb, and all of you here including some of those who never abandoned us from LBC and I’m not referring to anyone in leadership there.

  281. @ marquis:

    Oh, please forgive me, Marquis. I didn’t mean to hurt you, upset you, or cause your further embarrassment.

    I saw your response today at 5:14 p.m. and the $145 needed per month for Billy’s driving lessons.

    I just meant a total picture: rent, utilities, gas, food, clothes, etc. For instance, Jeannette Altes posts how much she needs for rent $565 and that it’s $640 needed to be raised because GoFundMe takes out their fees. Am I making any sense? Just what are your specific needs/obligations every month for you two. That’s all.

    Love and hugs,

    Velour

  282. Velour wrote:

    @ marquis:

    Oh, please forgive me, Marquis. I didn’t mean to hurt you, upset you, or cause your further embarrassment.

    I saw your response today at 5:14 p.m. and the $145 needed per month for Billy’s driving lessons.

    I just meant a total picture: rent, utilities, gas, food, clothes, etc. For instance, Jeannette Altes posts how much she needs for rent $565 and that it’s $640 needed to be raised because GoFundMe takes out their fees. Am I making any sense? Just what are your specific needs/obligations every month for you two. That’s all.

    Love and hugs,

    Velour

    Velour you didn’t embarrass me at all. I was happy to share the needs because I felt it was and is right to be transparent when asking for help. Please forgive the misunderstanding here. There is nothing I’m upset about I’m grateful you had asked because it shows just hoe much you care. Thank you velour for caring.

  283. marquis wrote:

    Velour wrote:

    @ marquis:

    Oh, please forgive me, Marquis. I didn’t mean to hurt you, upset you, or cause your further embarrassment.

    I saw your response today at 5:14 p.m. and the $145 needed per month for Billy’s driving lessons.

    I just meant a total picture: rent, utilities, gas, food, clothes, etc. For instance, Jeannette Altes posts how much she needs for rent $565 and that it’s $640 needed to be raised because GoFundMe takes out their fees. Am I making any sense? Just what are your specific needs/obligations every month for you two. That’s all.

    Love and hugs,

    Velour

    Velour you didn’t embarrass me at all. I was happy to share the needs because I felt it was and is right to be transparent when asking for help. Please forgive the misunderstanding here. There is nothing I’m upset about I’m grateful you had asked because it shows just hoe much you care. Thank you velour for caring.

    I posted a,long time ago the utilities, rent, ect in another post I believe. This recent one was of some things that are coming up.

  284. marquis wrote:

    I posted a,long time ago the utilities, rent, ect in another post I believe. This recent one was of some things that are coming up.

    OK, I’m heading to bed and I didn’t save a copy of it. If you remember the date/time/thread, please let me know. I will search here tomorrow.

    You’re welcome, Marquis.

    It’s my own little ministry here on TWW.

  285. The real question here brothers and sisters is can we as Christians forgive him and others like him and is he , like all of us offerred redemption by our Lord and Savior.
    Daryl has paid his debt to society and sufferred the humiliation for what he has done.
    Are we going to continue to condemn him and in effect punish him over and over or are we commanded by God to forgive and pray for him
    instead.
    I dont think we have to be stupid about this or not vigilent as the devil is very good at his job.
    Forgiveness is not an option believers…

  286. pat

    It is not my responsibility to forgive someone else who has committed a sin against another. Tht is up to the person sinned against. However, it is well within my purview to discuss people who have committed atrocities like child sex abuse and to warn others that pedophiles can appear to be repentant but are not necessarily. I believe in a watch and wait situation. 

  287. One other quick thought, professions of forgiveness can be as cheap as professions of salvation.

  288. Velour wrote:

    Sola Scriptura

    Crying out for Justice has posted an article today about the christian conscience, and they list 5 or 6 examples where the bible tells us who important that is.

    There is more to being a Christian than scripture.

  289. @ Christiane:

    Thanks for the history lesson. I have worked at not being tribal. I think it limits us and causes us to spend too much time defending a tribe instead of individuals harmed by the tribe. I will admit it is very hard not to be tribal. But there is also an exclusivity to tribalism that bothers me, too. I have seen this happen to the SBC and it breaks my heart. There was a joke making the rounds a while back that Ligon Duncan of T$G could not take communion at Mark Devers church. And they are partners In their Gospel gig. That is tribal exclusivity.

    OTOH, I am all about freedom of worship and freedom of conscience. Tribes have every right to exist except when they are harming the innocent least of these –especially on a grand scale. At that point I would hope more people would stop supporting the tribe much less promote it.

  290. Daisy wrote:

    Why you should be skeptical when someone defends an alleged rapist’s character

    This was a good article, Daisy.

    Regarding this point: “Dion says that friends and family of perpetrators, along with the public, are often unwilling to see “red flags” because doing so might threaten that relationship and their own sense of safety and good judgment.”

    I know I have explained away red flags before, to my own detriment. It is very hard to convince yourself that someone you trusted is really a terrible person. It takes work. Proof sometimes. Sometimes nothing will do it.

    Lydia wrote:

    OTOH, I am all about freedom of worship and freedom of conscience.

    I was sort of interested in the discussion of ‘unity’ the other day that Paula brought up. I do not think of unity as everybody thinking the same thing! I have always excepted that no two are alike in thought entirely – the only way to make it so is to shut down the ability to think. And reasoning through things, even if you sometimes are rethinking opinions you held, is important for growth. If we don’t think about these things, how will we know that a position is truly right, not just something we accepted because we were told?

  291. @ Lea:
    People are really talking about conformity not unity, aren’t they? It is really interesting how that works in some situations. The SBC leadership have been excluding people for a long time because they are not Calvinist. Now that there is a lot of pushback all they can talk about is unity. And how much of a sin it is not to be unified.

  292. Lydia wrote:

    OTOH, I am all about freedom of worship and freedom of conscience.

    I know you are, Lydia, to your credit. And in that respect, you are more ‘catholic’ (small ‘c’) than you know. That’s a compliment, I want to be sure you understand that. We seem sometimes to mis-understand one another, which I’ve always thought was due to my inability to communicate well and to listen better.
    I’m a work-in-progress. I try to ‘fall forward’ these days. 🙂

  293. @ pat:

    I don’t know who Daryl is but have you considered the life long humiliation and suffering of his victim? Things can never be the same after some evils are done whether or not there is forgiveness from the victim. The consequences are life long for the victims of certain evil deeds. Daryl made a choice. His victim had no choice.

  294. @ Christiane:

    thisThe exclusivity I speak of is very much a Catholic position. In some cases the same rules Dever's SBC church has. They have every right to do that but it is certainly not inclusive or welcoming.

  295. Lydia wrote:

    The exclusivity I speak of is very much a Catholic position. In some cases the same rules Devers SBC church has.

    Kind of like communion. I have been told if you are not catholic you cannot take communion. If you are not a member at some churches you cannot take communion.

    My new church has a ‘take it if you feel led’ or something policy, which I like. Not that there is anything wrong with the other positions, it’s just a different way of looking at what communion is and what taking it means, I guess.

  296. Lydia wrote:

    @ Christiane:

    The exclusivity I speak of is very much a Catholic position. In some cases the same rules Devers SBC church has. They have every right to do that but it is certainly not inclusive or welcoming.

    I don’t know much about Dever, and I could use some specifics in your commenting re: Catholic exclusivity as it relates to Dever,

    but in the matter of moral conscience and faith, this IS the formal teaching of the Church:
    “1782 Man has the right to act in conscience and in freedom so as personally to make moral decisions. “He must not be forced to act contrary to his conscience. Nor must he be prevented from acting according to his conscience, especially in religious matters.”53

    So, if you are inclined, as I think you may be, let’s explore ‘Dever’ and Catholic ‘exclusivity’. I am at home most of the day, and I would be glad of good company and conversation.

  297. This page is rather long, so it was hard for me to find one good summary paragraph or point to quote in the snippet, but I did my best.

    Inerrancy: Albert Mohler, Jr. by Scot McKnight
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2016/07/25/inerrancy-albert-mohler-jr/

    Snippet:

    The second observation is that here is how Mohler’s logic works: I believe in inerrancy, therefore the Bible is not wrong.

    Over and over he says, Since I believe in inerrancy this theory about a passage can’t be right. This is a priori logic, if not fideism, and it is being used for a doctrine that was formed, if my reading of the history is right, on the basis of inductive logic.

    Third, for someone who affirms inerrancy of the Bible there is precious little emphasis in this study on the Bible itself.

    ….It is because of understandings of inerrancy like this of Mohler that many of us don’t want to use the term “inerrancy.” What does that mean? In the hands of Mohler, the word “inerrancy” is boundary-drawing politics and polemics.

  298. @ Christiane:

    Baptism, communion, etc. for members only. And that is ok, let’s just not pretend it is something it isn’t or that different especially when there is a belief the sacraments are a means of grace. That is akin to withholding grace. The Episcopalians allowed us to take communion when we visited, no questions asked. That used to be how it was in the SBC when I was a kid. Whether one should take it or not was between them and God.

  299. From the thread, “History of Complementarianism – Part 2”
    —————-

    Christiane on Mon Jul 25, 2016 at 10:05 AM said:

    Velour, do you remember reaching out to PAULA and asking her if something was wrong and if she needed prayer, when most were upset with her negativism?

    Kindest thing I read all day.

    And I thought, yes, this woman ‘gets it’ . . . . that people who hurt sometimes lash out at others, and that Paula was showing signs of being in distress….
    ————

    My feeling about that poster, Paula, is not that she is lashing out due to having been hurt.

    My impression is more that Paula R. has a chip on her shoulder and holds very “black and white” thinking (disagreement, or opposing views, are viewed with suspicion or paranoia – you are considered an enemy if you disagree on a topic).

    Even if she is acting out due to stress or hurt, that does not excuse her behavior.

    I grew up with a verbally abusive older sister.

    I was taught by my mother to be a passive doormat and not to put boundaries in place, not even with rude people or with bullies. I was programmed to sit in silence and take abuse off people.

    I have since learned that it is acceptable to have boundaries and be assertive, even to bullies, so I began confronting my verbally abusive sister the last 2, 3 years, when she’s verbally lashed out at me.

    At times when I have confronted her on the abuse, my sister attempts to justify her very bitter, hateful tongue lashings of me by asking me to pity her.

    She will say she screams horrid things at me because she is under stress – from her boyfriend, health problems, her job, etc.

    I’ve learned, based on experience and reading stacks of books about abuse, that nothing excuses abuse – not even if the person claims they are under stress or have been hurt.

    I’ve been under my own variety of stress and hurt, but I rarely deal with that pain by lashing out at my sister (or whomever else).

    My sister (like all bullies and abusers) is making a choice to handle her anger and pain by using me as a punching bag.

    My sister could just as easily choose to deal with that anger, stress, and hurt in another way, by taking a jog around the block, or something else that does not involve making myself, or others, feel like trash.

    I will at times make allowances. I used to be on friendly terms with a co-worker on one job who usually treated me with respect and friendliness.

    But one day, the co-worker was very rude and grumpy with me all day long, and I had done nothing to deserve it. I had no idea what had set her off. So I just tried to avoid her as best I could all day.

    The next day, this co-worker apologized to me and said she kept biting my head off the previous day because she was under stress in her personal life. In her case, I was willing to let it go.

    But for someone like my sister, or the poster named Paula R. (who was also hostile on previous threads weeks ago), if it’s a pattern of behavior, and the person does not apologize, or even seem willing to apologize, I’m not as apt to let them off the hook for it.

    Since childhood, I was trained to roll over and take any and all forms of abuse from people.

    I no longer put up with rudeness and abuse from anyone, regardless of their motives for why they are being abusive.
    —————
    Source of comment by Christiane I am responding to:
    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2016/07/22/history-of-complementarianism-part-2/comment-page-2/#comment-270913

  300. From the thread, “History of Complementarianism – Part 2”
    —————-
    by okrapod said (in reply to Christiane):

    You may be correct, but I have seen Paula’s approach both utilized and also taught in hyper-fundamentalist circles and by no means were all those people hurting.

    I would not dismiss her as just another hurting person when it may well be that she learned this approach to evangelization and argumentation from the same or similar sources where I heard it.

    If that is some form of evangelization, it’s a huge fail.

    I am not attracted to whatever form of Christianity Paula R. was promoting or defending, where it’s apparently acceptable to be aggressive and hostile to someone, just for possibly disagreeing with some opinions, or for not walking in lock-step with them on every point.

    The Bible (the one that Paula R. says she believes in and was doggedly defending), says that how you treat others does matter.

    Apostle Paul says if you have correct doctrine but don’t have love, your religion is worthless and bunk. (1 Corinthians 13:1-2)

    I used to have an internet friend who said she was Christian, and I was a good, supportive friend to her over the years during her trials.

    This friend of mine became completely unhinged and infuriated with me when I began questioning the Christian faith, complete with profanity-strewn insults at me having doubts about Christianity. He responses shocked me.

    I never would have thought she would lash out at me like that, but she did.

    I did ask that friend, “Why would I want to remain part of a faith whose advocates get this incredibly rude and hateful over another believer having doubts?”

    I also asked that friend if she read this in the Bible (Galatians 5:22-23):

    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

    I wasn’t seeing that Christian friend of mine live out the ideals the Bible (that she said she believes in) was promoting. I saw the opposite from her.

    Is this fundamentalist way of insulting someone to get them to believe in Jesus like the M.R.A. or P.U.A. (pick up artist) guys who teach “negging?”

    PUAs tell young, single men who want dates to insult women to get the women to date them (this is called “negging”). That approach does not work.

    There’s this expression that goes, “You can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.”

    A person who professes Christ who is regularly putting me down, or being condescending or smug, is not making Christianity look appealing to me.
    —————
    Source of comment by okrapod I am responding to:
    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2016/07/22/history-of-complementarianism-part-2/comment-page-2/#comment-270918

  301. pat wrote:

    The real question here brothers and sisters is can we as Christians forgive him and others like him and is he , like all of us offerred redemption by our Lord and Savior.
    Daryl has paid his debt to society and sufferred the humiliation for what he has done.
    Are we going to continue to condemn him and in effect punish him over and over or are we commanded by God to forgive and pray for him
    instead.
    I dont think we have to be stupid about this or not vigilent as the devil is very good at his job.
    Forgiveness is not an option believers…

    Is this the sexual predator from Ken Ramey’s church in Texas that you’re talking about?

    Let me be very blunt: This isn’t his first “rodeo” committing sex crimes, nor do I think it will be his last. He is one dangerous, destructive person to the public and we build prisons in our society for the likes of him. He should have gotten hard prison time.

    Apparently you missed the part of Scripture where Jesus said that it would be better for a millstone to be tied around a person who harmed a child and that they be drowned in the deepest sea. Jesus did not go on a lecture about forgiveness. And he absolutely could have.

    We are told throughout the Scriptures to render justice. And that it wrong to call an evil person good and an innocent person evil. Yet that is what Ken Ramey’s church did in this situation.

    The mother whom the church had counsel the sex crimes victim’s mom said that it really wasn’t a big deal. Exhibit A in her own life was that she thought her child had been sexually abused at a Texas day care, had damage on her private parts, and so the mom just switched day cares and moved on!

    That woman is a nut case and has wires loose! I had to contact the Texas Attorney General’s Office about her and copy that up to the AG’s office. That is outrageous. Children she suspects are being sexually abused at a day care and her answer, after believing that her daughter was harmed, was to NOT protect children? To put other children in harm? She calls herself an adult and a Christian? Ohhhh puhhhlssseee.

    She’s a mandated reporter under Texas law and she belongs in jail for what she did.

    That Texas church has no training about how to deal with sex offenders. There are highly trained psychologists and doctors who have training in dealing with these offenders.

    So an untrained church blows it, harms a victim, harms his mother, deprives them of a livelihood and of Christian fellowship in their darkest times. Let’s move on here. Nothing to see her.

    Absolutely. Totally. Despicable.

    Dr. Anna Salter, Harvard educated psychologist/researcher/author of Predators, interviewed on Tier Talk, a professional show for the corrections/prison industry employees.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRtccELtlJw

  302. From the thread, “History of Complementarianism – Part 2”
    —————-
    ibelieve said:

    …It seems as if you have a different point of view something is wrong with you.

    What Paula Rice is saying about the bible is pretty much mainstream Christianity.

    I know very few people IRL who do not believe that bible is holy spirit inspired… it’s not just any ole book as some have implied here. But to each their own…

    You said,

    “It seems as if you have a different point of view something is wrong with you.”

    That is actually Paula’s attitude. I’m willing to agree to disagree.

    If someone does not fully share my view on some aspect or another of the Bible, depending on what it is, my first reaction is not usually, or always, to automatically assume and jump to the conclusion that the person hates the Bible, is “anti Bible,” or doubts that the Bible was initially inspired by the Holy Spirit.

    Paula R’s attitude, however, was that if you are disagreeing with her, even in the most minor way, it is tantamount to being an anti-Christ, or anti-Bible (I forget all the phrases she used).

    You said,

    “What Paula Rice is saying about the bible is pretty much mainstream Christianity”

    The part about Jesus being the same thing as a printed ink on paper (published book), no, I don’t think so.

    What exactly does Paula R. think about the Bible? How can I know if her views are “mainstream” Christian beliefs when her views were not terribly clear over on the subject?

    I did try to understand where she was coming from, and based upon the parts I think I was understanding correctly, I was largely in agreement with her.

    I even pointed that out to her a few times, but she continued to lash out at me and act like I’m an Ogre because she thinks I’m in total opposition to her opinions about the Bible or the faith.

    You said,

    I know very few people IRL who do not believe that bible is holy spirit inspired…

    In so far as I remain with the Christian faith, I too believe that the Bible was inspired by the Holy Spirit.

    I think most other posters here believe that as well (barring maybe the atheists who show up).

    Where are you getting the notion that most readers at this blog don’t believe the Holy Spirit played a role in the Bible’s formation or writing?

    Do you recognize that the Holy Spirit worked through humanity to produce the Bible? Because that is what happened.

    The autographa (the very first copies, The Originals) were lost.

    Human scribes had to make hand written copies from the originals, and we have many of those surviving copies today (New Testament manuscripts).

    Sometimes, the scribes introduced errors into the manuscripts, and scholars over the years had to use textual criticism to figure out what the original readings were, and to weed the scribal mistakes out.

    Then, you get English speakers over the centuries who wanted Bibles in English.

    So scholars had to study the Hebrew and Greek languages in which the Bible was first written and figure out how best to translate from the source languages into the target languages.

    All of that can introduce error or biases into the text.

    All of those things are historical realities of how we get our Bible versions today.
    I’m not sure if Paula R. was aware of that or not.

    Paula R. seemed to think that English Bible versions (such as the KJV, NIV, NASB, etc.) wafted down from Heaven, penned and printed by God himself, into our book stores today.

    You said,

    it’s not just any ole book as some have implied here.

    Nobody has implied that the Bible is “just any ole book.”

    You’re attributing views to people here that they (or many of them) don’t hold, and reading things into their posts that they have not said – which is an awful lot of what Paula R. did, for some reason I cannot comprehend.
    —————
    Source of comment by “ibelieve” I am responding to:
    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2016/07/22/history-of-complementarianism-part-2/comment-page-2/#comment-270927

  303. Velour wrote:

    Dr. Anna Salter, Harvard educated psychologist/researcher/author of Predators

    I listened to one of her talks linked previously (don’t know if this is the same one). It was very informative.

    I think she is the one who said when she goes to prisons, she notices that one type of scary guys have often a good group of the guards completely snowed, to where they think he is the best guy in the world, and the other half very wary. This is because of intensive grooming and manipulation of those they need access to.

    Reading up on narcissists has also helped me understand this type of person. The ‘love bombing’ at the beginning, followed by harshness/withdrawl/etc..

  304. dee wrote:

    It is not my responsibility to forgive someone else who has committed a sin against another. Tht is up to the person sinned against. However, it is well within my purview to discuss people who have committed atrocities like child sex abuse and to warn others that pedophiles can appear to be repentant but are not necessarily. I believe in a watch and wait situation.

    Good call. Forgiveness simply means that you’re not gonna launch a retaliatory strike in response to someone who’s harmed you (real or imaginary).
    Forgiveness does not nullify the law of sowing and reaping.
    Nor does it stop the wheel of Karma.

  305. Hi velour I can’t find where I posted expenses but I will do it again in about 30 minutes. Dee I have that email ready. I am getting ready to send it to you

  306. dee wrote:

    However, it is well within my purview to discuss people who have committed atrocities like child sex abuse and to warn others that pedophiles can appear to be repentant but are not necessarily.

    If it’s okay, I’d like to jump in here and offer a perspective. John Shore wrote a small book on reasons why women stay with abusers. If you scroll down to “Reason #7: He Lies” http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:BfSnttYVZZwJ:forums.our-place-online.net/index.php%3Fshowtopic%3D6864+&cd=15&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us I think this applies extremely well to those who sexually abuse children. Just substitute child molesting for wife abusing, here is a snip:

    An abusive man has no consistent or immutable truth within him, because his entire life is a lie. He is a lie. When he goes out in the world, he does not go out as a man who beats his wife. He goes out as a man who shares the values and morals of all the men out in the world who don’t beat their wives. He is pretending to be someone he isn’t. He is pretending to care about things he doesn’t. He is pretending to believe in things he doesn’t. He is pretending to have nothing in particular to be profoundly ashamed of.

    He is a lying. Not a little. Not about a particular aspect of who he is. He is lying, all the time, about the entirely of his life and character. And he needs you to be complicit in that lie. You are the nearby needle he needs to not pop his balloon, the stage manager (and co-star) who makes his play possible. He depends upon your shame at being with the kind of man he is to stop you from publicly acknowledging that you are, in fact, with a man like him.

    I have not studied all child molesters in detail, all I can say is those I have had the misfortune to know have fit this description. So when they “repent” or express sorrow, you have to understand, the person is not operating out of the same system of truth/values as you are.

  307. @ Daisy:

    I don’t understand this whole thing with Paula. When she finally posted what she actually believes about the Bible, there was a lot there that I agree with. It almost seems like she is looking for disagreement, looking for an argument and is quick to go on the offensive towards anyone she thinks doesn’t see things *exactly* as she does. And then classes everyone who comments on this site as though they all have one perspective.

    Daisy, if there’s anyone who *doesn’t* have a log in their eye, it’s you. Your comments are always informative, well-reasoned, and stated in a neutral manner. I can tell that you’ve thought in depth about a lot of issues and researched them. I’ve appreciated many articles you’ve linked to. I can’t see why anyone would object to anything you’ve posted.

  308. siteseer wrote:

    He is a lying. Not a little. Not about a particular aspect of who he is. He is lying, all the time, about the entirely of his life and character.

    I think this is where our love for people has to be discerning as well. I have met this man. You just have to erect walls and stay away, you can’t hug him out of his lies.

  309. Lydia wrote:

    Baptism, communion, etc. for members only. And that is ok, let’s just not pretend it is something it isn’t or that different especially when there is a belief the sacraments are a means of grace. That is akin to withholding grace.

    No, actually not. One explanation I read from a reputable catholic site but not specifically from the catechism bases part of their thinking on what Paul said about eating and drinking damnation to oneself by ‘not discerning the Lord’s body’ and this being a cause for some to be sick and even deceased. I have not looked up chapter and verse, but it was Paul who said that. So they think that discerning the Lord’s body means a specific doctrinal belief about what ‘this is my body…my blood’ means. Thus, those who do not believe that should not be participating in the eucharist with them for their own good. Now, it is more complicated than this, but this is one aspect that has been discussed.

    Another aspect, and this we heard in RCIA, is that to take ‘communion’ when one is not actually ‘in communion’ with the Church is something one cannot do, because there is no communion there. In other words it is hypocritical phoniness. I don’t remember his exact words, but that is the idea.

    When I get the time I will check this out further.

    As to open communion in the episcopal church, in our parish there is an explanation in the sunday bulletin that communion is limited to baptized christians who have confessed their sins (this is part of the liturgy) and been forgiven. In other words to those who are ‘prepared.’ But no, there is no policing this at the time, nor do I see how they could. So ‘open’ is a somewhat limited concept.

  310. On a different thread here, I was thinking yesterday about all the ministers I have known in my life and about the ones I’ve watched on tv. My question, is where have all the good ones gone that show true humility when they enter the pulpit? We still have Wade Burleson, who I love to hear preach. He shows humility when he preaches. But then you have the the likes of the big names like Driscoll, Piper, Mahaney, Joyce Meyers, Joel Osteen, etc. It’s all about the money to them. I could add dozens of more big names to my list. I grew up with pastors who felt called to be in the pulpit. When they preached the Word of God, you knew they had a personal relationship with God. I know there are a lot of good ministers out there. My nephew being one of them. I am so tired of hearing how these ministers are all so rich, it’s sickening. Recently Yahoo listed the richest ministers in the world. Wow, I was not impressed. The minister I grew up with made this statement, when I did, I want to either have just led a soul to Christ or given the biggest amount of money that I possibly can to the ministry. I don’t think Robert Morrison would dare say that, or his cronies. I want good Godly ministers. Ones that still pray with people individually. Who care about the individual members of the congregation. Ones that personally go on hospital calls. The ones I read about here on this blog aren’t like that. I pray that God brings up more women and men like this for the ministry. We need them so much.

  311. marquis wrote:

    Hi velour I can’t find where I posted expenses but I will do it again in about 30 minutes. Dee I have that email ready. I am getting ready to send it to you

    Great. You could also nutshell it on the GoFundMe page if you’re permitted to do that.
    I don’t know how that works, though.

  312. This is from the Complementarianism thread:
    —————-
    Christiane wrote:

    THANK YOU for this, Nick. Now, one more question: in a community of faith that does not have a central teaching authority, how is it determined whether or not a passage of Scripture is to be taken literally or in some other way (allegorically, perhaps)?

    I’m not sure why there has to be a central authority to define the Bible?

    A lot of Protestants who disagree on parts of the Bible end up pretty much the same place in some aspects of soteriology, for example – they all acknowledge that salvation comes through or by Jesus Christ.

    Even though Roman Catholics claim to be in unity on stuff, they’re not, really. There are pro-abortion Catholics in the USA, for instance. I came across one of their sites several years ago. American Catholics are comfortable with using birth control, which I believe goes against some of the teachings that come out of the Vatican.

    The funny thing is, back when I was researching the RCC years ago, I came across a page by a well-known RC apologist guy who was saying it’s not true that RCCers are unified in every point. (This was years ago, and I don’t remember the guy’s name).

    He was saying that is a Protestant misunderstanding of Catholicis. He was saying there is actually a range of difference of opinion on different topics, and Catholics are not forced to walk in lockstep on every subject under the sun.

    I also recall reading in a book that the RC magisterium has only interpreted a small number of Bible verses, such as five or six in total. They haven’t defined every last portion of the Bible.

  313. siteseer wrote:

    I don’t understand this whole thing with Paula. When she finally posted what she actually believes about the Bible, there was a lot there that I agree with. It almost seems like she is looking for disagreement, looking for an argument and is quick to go on the offensive towards anyone she thinks doesn’t see things *exactly* as she does. And then classes everyone who comments on this site as though they all have one perspective.

    Daisy, if there’s anyone who *doesn’t* have a log in their eye, it’s you. Your comments are always informative, well-reasoned, and stated in a neutral manner. I can tell that you’ve thought in depth about a lot of issues and researched them. I’ve appreciated many articles you’ve linked to. I can’t see why anyone would object to anything you’ve posted.

    Thank you, siteseer.

    I too was puzzled by Paula R’s posts, not just to me but to others here.
    Where I felt I understood her views, I was largely in agreement with what I read, so I don’t know why she was acting like I was in disagreement.

    I’ve been questioning some of my beliefs the last few years, including the Christian faith (which has been a painful thing, it’s not something I do lightly), so during this time of questioning, I’m very receptive to hearing I may be wrong on whatever topic.

    You said, “Daisy, if there’s anyone who *doesn’t* have a log in their eye, it’s you.”

    Thank you. I do admit a time or two on this blog (around a year or more ago), I got really grumpy and snippy with several people here, such as Numo and Nick B., and a few others, and I did apologize a few times for that.

    I’m not above losing my temper and saying rude things to people myself, but that’s not my general tendency, and I almost always feel horrible after I snipe at someone.

    I am glad you enjoy the links I post. I like to do a lot of reading, especially online.

  314. Muff Potter wrote:

    Forgiveness does not nullify the law of sowing and reaping.

    Also, MANY Christians have been led to believe that forgiveness = trust. This is a very bad teaching. Forgiveness is granted/given. Trust is earned. One can forgive without ever trusting that person again. Abusers and abusive systems exploit this bad teaching to make people people feel guilty – they make you think you are wrong to withhold trust. Lawbreakers and abusers need to be held fully accountable for their actions, even if they are granted forgiveness in a Christian sense. The only reason to ever trust such a person again would be after they have been held accountable for what they did (like extended prison time) and have consistently demonstrated (not just spoken) authentic repentance. But I suspect few abusers get to this point.

  315. Daisy wrote:

    I’m not sure why there has to be a central authority to define the Bible?

    Yes, and what if the central authority gets it wrong? lol

    My husband was raised RC and has extended family who are all RC. Their beliefs are all over the place, central authority or not.

  316. siteseer wrote:

    My husband was raised RC and has extended family who are all RC. Their beliefs are all over the place, central authority or not.

    we are a VERY diverse Church, but in matters of faith and morals, we generally agree ….. the joke is that if someone wants to emphasize a variance on what is the going philosophy about a theological point, they can ‘found’ another ‘order’. 🙂 It works for us. Sometimes the discussions get a little heated: like the Molinists and the Thomists some centuries ago. They were allow to ‘disagree’, but it got so bad that the Church ordered them to stop fighting. Diversity? yes …. what is that saying in the Church:

    “In Essentials Unity, In Non-Essentials Liberty, In All Things Charity ”

    A quote from Pope Francis:
    “Unity does not imply uniformity; it does not necessarily mean doing everything together or thinking in the same way. Nor does it signify a loss of identity. Unity in diversity is actually the opposite: it involves the joyful recognition and acceptance of the various gifts which the Holy Spirit gives to each one and the placing of these gifts at the service of all members of the Church. It means knowing how to listen, to accept differences, and having the freedom to think differently and express oneself with complete respect towards the other who is my brother or sister. Do not be afraid of differences!”

  317. Harley wrote:

    I pray that God brings up more women and men like this for the ministry. We need them so much.

    It is very worrisome.

    I don’t think that we’re any safer in small churches than mega churches, from the men who want money and power.

  318. Daisy wrote:

    Even though Roman Catholics claim to be in unity on stuff, they’re not, really. There are pro-abortion Catholics in the USA, for instance. I came across one of their sites several years ago. American Catholics are comfortable with using birth control, which I believe goes against some of the teachings that come out of the Vatican.

    The funny thing is, back when I was researching the RCC years ago, I came across a page by a well-known RC apologist guy who was saying it’s not true that RCCers are unified in every point. (This was years ago, and I don’t remember the guy’s name).

    He was saying that is a Protestant misunderstanding of Catholicis. He was saying there is actually a range of difference of opinion on different topics, and Catholics are not forced to walk in lockstep on every subject under the sun.

    Hi DAISY,

    THANK YOU for responding. I did respond to Siteseer with this, which may also help:
    we are a VERY diverse Church, but in matters of faith and morals, we generally agree ….. the joke is that if someone wants to emphasize a variance on what is the going philosophy about a theological point, they can ‘found’ another ‘order’. 🙂 It works for us. Sometimes the discussions get a little heated: like the Molinists and the Thomists some centuries ago. They were allow to ‘disagree’, but it got so bad that the Church ordered them to stop fighting. Diversity? yes …. what is that saying in the Church:

    “In Essentials Unity, In Non-Essentials Liberty, In All Things Charity ”

    A quote from Pope Francis:
    “Unity does not imply uniformity; it does not necessarily mean doing everything together or thinking in the same way. Nor does it signify a loss of identity. Unity in diversity is actually the opposite: it involves the joyful recognition and acceptance of the various gifts which the Holy Spirit gives to each one and the placing of these gifts at the service of all members of the Church. It means knowing how to listen, to accept differences, and having the freedom to think differently and express oneself with complete respect towards the other who is my brother or sister. Do not be afraid of differences!”

    My question was wanting to understand how some parts of the Bible (Genesis, for example) are seen so lock-step as ‘literal’ by people like Ken Ham. And yet, I’m fairly sure he would not take the verses pertaining to Our Lord’s words at the Last Supper in a literal sense, as we Catholics do. I’m trying to sort out what mechanism or ‘standard’ people like Ken Ham would follow to decide what part of Scripture must be seen as literal and then what other parts of Scripture should not be held to the same standard. I hope this makes sense. I’m still those &^*)%%% pain meds, so I am ‘trying’ but I’m a bit unglued, I know.

  319. siteseer wrote:

    Yes, and what if the central authority gets it wrong? lol
    My husband was raised RC and has extended family who are all RC. Their beliefs are all over the place, central authority or not.

    That was what I noticed in studying Roman Catholicism several years ago.

    They will claim to be in unity and agreement, but then there are examples of them not being so.

    If you make any sort of critique or flaws with relying on one central group to defer to in matters or morality or biblical interpretation, some Catholics then start claiming the opposite: they will say ‘oh no, we allow for differences. We don’t have an official policy on everything.’

    So, they want it both ways.

    I finally gave up debating Roman Catholicism years ago because it was like trying to nail Jell-o to the wall. The arguments flip flop, or the goal posts change.

  320. @ Daisy:
    The ‘authority’ Catholics agree on is the primary authority of their own moral conscience, which takes precedence in their decision-making. It a rather grown-up thing to have the responsibility to examine one’s conscience and study what the Church teaches, then pray about it, and THEN to consider the reality of the situation which one is facing. But in the end, Catholics listen to their own private conscience and the Church defends this within reason.

    I’m sure non-Catholics have something similar. At least I hope private moral conscience is respected by many in the Body of Christ. One way of determining ‘cult’ behavior is when the ‘leadership’ expects ‘lock-step’ performance among the sheep. Very rigid. Very controlling. Disrespectful of the dignity of persons.

  321. @ Daisy:

    Oh, how horrible. Heartbreaking. This keeps happening every year. Some kind of safety device needs to be invented to alert parents when babies are forgotten in a carseat. Carseats these days face backwards and the sides wrap around so it’s hard to see into them unless you are right behind them. If babies are asleep and quiet, they are so easy to miss and when there’s a change of routine, everyone thinks someone else has the baby. I cannot imagine how the parents must feel.

  322. siteseer wrote:

    This keeps happening every year. Some kind of safety device needs to be invented to alert parents when babies are forgotten in a carseat.

    Parental responsibility is the best safety device there is. I come from a time when it was unthinkable to leave a baby or a todler alone in a car under any circumstances. You didn’t ‘forget’ your kids in the car.
    But the world has moved on. We have become a feckless and self absorbed culture that thinks of nothing but what it wants now. Download a new APP on your ‘smart device’, pass a law that only federally approved ‘smart seats’ can be sold…
    Rant over.
    I rest my case.

  323. Velour wrote:

    marquis wrote:

    Hi velour I can’t find where I posted expenses but I will do it again in about 30 minutes. Dee I have that email ready. I am getting ready to send it to you

    Great. You could also nutshell it on the GoFundMe page if you’re permitted to do that.
    I don’t know how that works, though.

    I don’t even know how to link gofundme here when I post lol. I am not sure how to do that but I will try. Thank you velour for always thinking of us. I need to put that together quick. In need and I’m just trusting and praying

  324. marquis wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    marquis wrote:
    Hi velour I can’t find where I posted expenses but I will do it again in about 30 minutes. Dee I have that email ready. I am getting ready to send it to you
    Great. You could also nutshell it on the GoFundMe page if you’re permitted to do that.
    I don’t know how that works, though.
    I don’t even know how to link gofundme here when I post lol. I am not sure how to do that but I will try. Thank you velour for always thinking of us. I need to put that together quick. In need and I’m just trusting and praying

    I just copy, cut and paste it up the thread to the recent post.

    Since Dee started the GoFundMe account, I really don’t know how that works. I know her mother-in-law is nearing the end of her life from cancer and is in the final stages.
    So Dee is pretty worn out.

    I don’t know if there is a way for you to update/thank donors and to state your current needs.

  325. Muff Potter wrote:

    Parental responsibility is the best safety device there is. I come from a time when it was unthinkable to leave a baby or a todler alone in a car under any circumstances. You didn’t ‘forget’ your kids in the car.

    Yes, if I had little ones still, I know I’d be paranoid enough to check that seat every time I got out of the car, even if I knew I didn’t have the baby with me!

    People do forget, though, Muff. Usually it happens when something changes the routine. Like every morning mom takes the baby to daycare and then goes to work, but this one day she has a doctor appt or something and dad has to take baby. But on the way, baby falls asleep and is silent, dad gets lost in his thoughts, slips back into his usual habit, goes straight to work and goes inside. Parents Magazine did an article awhile back http://www.parents.com/baby/safety/car/danger-of-hot-car-for-children/

  326. siteseer wrote:

    But on the way, baby falls asleep and is silent, dad gets lost in his thoughts, slips back into his usual habit, goes straight to work and goes inside

    I guess it’s time for people to put their phones with their babies. Parents always manage to keep track of their phones.

  327. Muff Potter wrote:

    Parental responsibility is the best safety device there is.

    Some years ago one of my associates investigated a fatality case where a large truck was backing up, the driver stopped to allow someone absorbed in his cell phone to walk past the back of his rig. Unbeknownst to the driver the person circled back as the truck was slowly backing up complete with the loud beep beep beep. If some folks are too absorbed to look out for themselves, good luck getting them to take care of their offspring.

  328. People can forget about a child in the car. Once long ago I drove my oldest to school and then headed for the hospital. Just before I made the turn into the parking lot a little voice from the rear seat said ‘did you forget about me?’ I had forgotten about the younger one. I was tired, had been called back the night before and had sleep loss residuals, and I was distracted.

    Now, in favor of what Muff said, I did change my morning route and after that dropped off the younger one first knowing that there was no way the older one would let herself be forgotten. Or for that matter no way the older one would not hop out of the seat belt, unlock the car door, charge into the hospital and demand to be driven to school; or even perhaps start leaning on the horn right in the parking lot. Because, yes, one can forget, and it is the youngest who are the most helpless.

    What a tragedy for all when things like this lead to a fatality.

  329. Lydia wrote:

    @ Christiane:

    Baptism, communion, etc. for members only. And that is ok, let’s just not pretend it is something it isn’t or that different especially when there is a belief the sacraments are a means of grace. That is akin to withholding grace. The Episcopalians allowed us to take communion when we visited, no questions asked. That used to be how it was in the SBC when I was a kid. Whether one should take it or not was between them and God.

    Hi LYDIA,

    I expect that there will always be a sadness that communion is ‘restricted’ in my Church. I do know this: that my son with Down Syndrome is permitted to receive and he is profoundly challenged mentally. I wrote about it here:

    okrapod wrote:

    @ Christiane:

    Does the RCC deny the Eucharist to your son?

    No, the priests who visit the Retreat give communion to my son, and I understand to others also. There is some controversy in the Church, but lately Pope Francis has offered support of administering the sacraments to the disabled (physically and mentally):

    “The pope added that some might argue not everyone, such as the mentally disabled, “understands,” to which he said “It’s you [the priest] who doesn’t understand!”

    and I wrote about it here:
    Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    I agree, Christiane, especially in the case of a child or of someone who doesn’t know any better.

    I can share that I have beautiful photographs of my son with Down Syndrome being given communion by two priests who visited at Eastern Christian Children’s Retreat in Wyckoff NJ. In the photographs, my son is smiling.

    When I think of the mysteries such as the Incarnation and the Eucharist, I realize that we may have the ‘words’ to ‘explain’ the ‘doctrines’, yes. But we can’t begin to get our minds around the ‘mystery’ of these events. I’m not sure we are meant to.

    What does my son understand? I don’t know. I do know that he is kind to those less fortunate than himself: he can walk, and he frequently will bring toys to stretcher-bound residents and gently lay the toys into their hands. I’d say he is very much a ‘servant’ in the Kingdom of Our Lord, and as such, there is a place for him also at the Table.

    Lydia, OKRAPOD gave a fairly good explanation of the ‘theology’ of ‘why’ there is a ‘barrier’,
    but I honestly and have always felt that Our Lord comes to those in all denominations in some way during the Lord’s Supper, and yeah, even when that silly preacher placed ‘cheap bread from Walmart’ at the back of his church and jokingly told his sheep to feed themselves on the way out. Our Lord takes care of us, in ways we do not understand. I believe there are no barriers or limits to this care. Not even a Catholic priest saying ‘no’ to your child, or that silly neo-Cal mega preacher could mess with that grace.

    As for Baptism, our theology IS different, yes, but IF a Christian person IS baptized ‘in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit’;
    than our Church accepts this as a valid baptism no matter the denomination OR who does the baptizing ……

    If you would like to discuss ‘grace’, let me know.

  330. okrapod wrote:

    People can forget about a child in the car.

    I read an article about this in the washintonpost (magazine maybe?) many years ago. Saddest thing I’ve ever read by far. It basically was talking about how things like how your brain gets used to things like driving a certain route and goes on auto pilot, and if you change your routine you may be more prone to this. Especially if a child was facing the wrong way, and not able to be seen in the mirror and not making noise. It proposed some options for preventing this – I believe there was some sort of device that would beep? But it’s still not perfect.

    We have two or three cases of this recently. Awful.

  331. To my dear friends here at WWB – I saw my foot doctor this morning. He has agreed to do the bone fusion surgery on August 24th. My doctor has his own operating room in his office, so I don’t have to go to the hospital. No iv, no nothing. I spent a lot of time praying about this all weekend, plus I researched the procedure. It’s minimally invasive (hopefully). We are praying that the end results will mean that I can be able to walk around the house by myself, and maybe do a few more things. My doctor, is a fine christian man. He always prays with me before my surgeries. This will be my 4th foot surgery in 11 months. I don’t recommend this, but I intend for this to be my last one on this foot. I so wish I lived closer to Dallas so that I could attend Bent Tree church. But it’s about an 1 1/2 to 2 hr drive from my home. I so appreciate everyone’s prayers. Hopefully the next 4 weeks will go by fast and I won’t be in that much pain. Keep your prayers coming, as I can feel them.

  332. Velour wrote:

    marquis wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    marquis wrote:
    Hi velour I can’t find where I posted expenses but I will do it again in about 30 minutes. Dee I have that email ready. I am getting ready to send it to you
    Great. You could also nutshell it on the GoFundMe page if you’re permitted to do that.
    I don’t know how that works, though.
    I don’t even know how to link gofundme here when I post lol. I am not sure how to do that but I will try. Thank you velour for always thinking of us. I need to put that together quick. In need and I’m just trusting and praying

    I just copy, cut and paste it up the thread to the recent post.

    Since Dee started the GoFundMe account, I really don’t know how that works. I know her mother-in-law is nearing the end of her life from cancer and is in the final stages.
    So Dee is pretty worn out.

    I don’t know if there is a way for you to update/thank donors and to state your current needs.

    I was in contact with dee the other day briefly as she does have a lot more on her plate. She said having me post our needs would be good as those of you here would like to hear it from me.I need to figure out how to do update. I’m so grateful dee did this for us she has been an incredible support base especially to billy

  333. marquis wrote:

    I was in contact with dee the other day briefly as she does have a lot more on her plate. She said having me post our needs would be good as those of you here would like to hear it from me.I need to figure out how to do update. I’m so grateful dee did this for us she has been an incredible support base especially to billy

    Maybe you could email Deb, whose contact info is at the top of the page. Maybe Deb would be willing to help with the update of the GoFundMe.

  334. @ Harley:

    Keeping you in prayer with your foot surgery, health, pain level, and other needs.
    Hugs to you and your family from California!

    Love,
    Velour

  335. Well, here’s the latest…
    The job front is discouraging. Not finding much, but not giving up, either.
    The health issues are still fairly static: not getting better, but not getting worse. Re-evaluating the treatment plan. The tumor doesn’t bother me most of the time, but other issues (back, knees) have been acting up again.
    My car is acting up and I don’t know what the issue is. May just need a tune-up, but could be more than that. Sigh.
    So, I have food and gas through this week. Pending needs are: rent is due Monday ($565), will continue to need food and gas…, August bills start coming due the end of next week ($450), car may need repairs ($$??).
    I am so grateful to all of you for your continuing care, concern, and help. As I type this, I am tearing up. I don’t know how I would have survived this year without the generosity you all have shown. I am overwhelmed by it all. Thank you so much.

    http://www.gofundme.com/ljahelp

  336. Daisy wrote:

    But for someone like my sister, or the poster named Paula R. (who was also hostile on previous threads weeks ago), if it’s a pattern of behavior, and the person does not apologize, or even seem willing to apologize, I’m not as apt to let them off the hook for it.
    Since childhood, I was trained to roll over and take any and all forms of abuse from people.
    I no longer put up with rudeness and abuse from anyone, regardless of their motives for why they are being abusive.

    Excellent post, Daisy.

  337. @ Jeannette Altes:
    Jeanette, I am so sorry your situation is so dire. I’m not where you are yet, but it is possibly coming. I closed out my last investment last friday so what is in my checking account is it. It costs me about 3500 per month just to pay bills and expenses. My part time job pays 500-600 per month, I want to sell the house but my job doesn’t pay enough to rent an apartment in even a marginal part of the city. I started the paperwork so i can drive for uber and i'[ll get work study when the semenster starts, but I am terrified of what is going to happen in a few months. I will have to get rid of my dog and maybe the cats and that breaks my heart. My obligation to them has kept me from committing suicide many times in the last 2 years.

    And what I really hate is that I can’t help other people out financially.

  338. @ Daisy:
    Oh, Daisy, once again we find ourselves in a similar place from totally different directions. I found out last week that the bit__ at work is technically my boss.She has the tact of a sherman tank and the personality of a rabid rottweiler. Two other people keep telling me to just take, that the big boss likes her and that’s just the way it is. I so want to fight back, but I need to job too badly.

    And re: taking it from family, just because they’re family. My first epiphany was about 40 years ago. My brother was giving me shit during Christmas dinner. i suddenly got fed up, left the table and drove home to Oklahoma. and didn’t talk to any of them for months.

    This was a big reason why I cut my mother off 4 years ago. I would not take stuff from her that I would not take from any other person on this earth.

  339. To Dee – a note about your mother-in-law. As I have said, we lost my mother-in-law, a year ago this coming August 19th. She was the sweetest Christian you could ever meet. But she was also a southern woman through and through. About 6 weeks after giving birth to my daughter (over 11 lbs), my in-laws were visiting us. She looked at me and at my hair, then said G. don’t you think you need to get your hair colored. It’s kind of looking mousy. I still remember that comment and its been 29 yrs now since my daughter’s birth. Cherish the special memories you have of you mom-in-law. Laugh a lot and cry a lot to. Nothing is wrong with that. The last time I saw her alive, I took my laptop with me to her nursing home. I had downloaded George Beverly Shea singing “How Great Thou Art”. How she loved to hear him sing that. Even though she hadn’t been able to speak for over a year, she silently mouthed the words of the song, and tears were streaming down both of our eyes. Another sweet memory to cherish. Nothing is easy about what you are going through, but remember, that we at this blog, your true friends, are all supporting you with prayer. Lean on this when you need it in the next hard weeks and months that go by. Don’t hesitate to call on your friends here for a need you have. For you have more than met many of our needs by you and Deb’s blog. We love you our sister in Christ and our friend.

  340. @ Ken F.

    ” Apart from Jesus, we can only live and walk according to the flesh…”

    E X A C T L Y !!!

    You answered my exact question, which was not very clearly stated.

    Also appreciate the forgiveness vs trust comments.

    And Stan’s comment about forcing folks into a “Biblical” mode re: accountability.

  341. Praying for you, nm girl. Thank you for sharing about your trials. I sure have felt at times like I’m drowning in life.

    God values your life and loves who you are. You bless and matter to people more than you know. You are as important to the Body of Christ as you are to your beloved pets.

    In God’s realm, we ARE members of one another. People here are honored to listen and bear each other’s burdens because we all affect each other in ways we do not even understand.

    My family member attempted suicide (during which God graciously intervened, thankfully). I just wanted to say something in response to what you said earlier.

    I hope I’m not inadvertently broadcasting foot-in-mouth syndrome here. If so, I shall chew diligently, I assure you. Thanks for your grace for my intrusiveness.

  342. I am awed by the way the gifts of the Holy Spirit flow on this blog.

    I glean from every post.

    Tact is not my strong point and the gifts of mercy touching flayed souls and wounded hearts here are an example to me.

    I want to be more like that.

    Thanks to all who post here. You all have been a part of God’s healing in my life.

    Computers shutting down now. I’m outta here.

  343. @ nmgirl:
    My dear, thank you and I understand that desire to help others. I wish you were in my vacinity, I would just take you for coffee aND coversation. I’m so sorry you may have to give up your pets. 🙁
    I will be thinking of you often and pray you have what you need. {{{{HUG}}}}

  344. nmgirl wrote:

    @ Jeannette Altes:
    Jeanette, I am so sorry your situation is so dire. I’m not where you are yet, but it is possibly coming. I closed out my last investment last friday so what is in my checking account is it. It costs me about 3500 per month just to pay bills and expenses. My part time job pays 500-600 per month, I want to sell the house but my job doesn’t pay enough to rent an apartment in even a marginal part of the city. I started the paperwork so i can drive for uber and i'[ll get work study when the semenster starts, but I am terrified of what is going to happen in a few months. I will have to get rid of my dog and maybe the cats and that breaks my heart. My obligation to them has kept me from committing suicide many times in the last 2 years.
    And what I really hate is that I can’t help other people out financially.

    Thanks for letting us know your struggles NMGirl. I will be praying for you.

    I wanted to give you some ideas:

    *Suicide Prevention hotline: keep this with you 24/7

    http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

    *Mental Health Care. Have you been seen by a doctor, including at a low-cost mental health clinic, for care? Have you been diagnosed? Put on medication? This is very important.
    There is also low-cost therapy and free therapy.

    Please call your county’s public health and ask to speak to an advice nurse.

    *Debtors Anonymous

    A wonderful support group that deals with debt and underearning. There are in person groups in major cities and urban areas. There are phone-in and Skype meetings in non-urban areas. They have lots of support.

    http://debtorsanonymous.org/getting_started/index.php/find/findameeting

  345. trs wrote:

    I am awed by the way the gifts of the Holy Spirit flow on this blog.
    I glean from every post…
    Thanks to all who post here. You all have been a part of God’s healing in my life.
    Computers shutting down now. I’m outta here.

  346. Harley wrote:

    We love you our sister in Christ and our friend.

    So sweet and so true, Harley. Great story about your own family too.

    Love and hugs,

    Velour

  347. @nmgirl,

    By the way, check out Tiny Houses on youtube. Many people are downsizing to them because they find them affordable.

  348. Thanks to everyone for your ideas and support. I really appreciate it. Right now, I’m emotionally stable with meds and therapy, but I am so vulnerable to even the slightest thing going wrong. I’m vulnerable financially and emotionally and I HATE that feeling. I remember when fixing the air n conditioning when it’s not working in 100+ temps did not have to be a deliberate decision. (BTW, they did not charge me! Love to TLC Plumbing- AGAIN)

    In my last crisis, when I was trying to decide to live or die (today, I choose to live), realized that the decision would be easier if I was still a believing Christian. I wouldn’t have to be afraid of what comes next. (Unless the Calvinistas are right and I’m not one of the elect.)

  349. nmgirl wrote:

    Right now, I’m emotionally stable with meds and therapy, but I am so vulnerable to even the slightest thing going wrong. I’m vulnerable financially and emotionally and I HATE that feeling.

    I’m so sorry, but I’m glad you are taking care of yourself medically and with therapy. I’m sure they’ve mentioned that exercise and the outdoors can also help mentally – this is evidence based no hokum. I have been stressed lately, and am finding yoga and the sauna helpful personally. (I am thankful to have a job.)

    But if your troubles are financial, what will help most is finding some sort of work. I wish you the best of luck in that!

  350. nmgirl wrote:

    Right now, I’m emotionally stable with meds and therapy, but I am so vulnerable to even the slightest thing going wrong. I’m vulnerable financially and emotionally and I HATE that feeling. I

    I would recommend that you check out Debtors Anonymous for support with all of this.
    (They also have phone in meetings for people and there are some specifically geared for health issues and mental health issues.)

  351. nmgirl wrote:

    In my last crisis, when I was trying to decide to live or die (today, I choose to live),

    Has your therapist had you come up with a safety plan? A written one that you agree to.
    Here is the form: http://www.sprc.org/sites/default/files/Brown_StanleySafetyPlanTemplate.pdf

    Email it to your therapist. You two need to sit down and go over it. You keep the original and your therapist keeps a copy.

    For instance, when you’re really feeling on edge/alone/afraid — you could post over here on the Open Discussion thread and ask for support. Just an idea.

  352. nmgirl – I have been on meds for a severe chemical imbalance for close to 25 yrs now. I know a lot about mental health needs and problems. Even after all this time, I still have to check in with my psychiatrist every 3 months, and will do so for life. I know when things get to me, as with all I’ve been going on now, to depend on God even more. To talk more to people. To pray more. To back off from the stress if you can. I haven’t been able to do that totally, but to a degree. I still bear a lot of stress with being in severe pain with my foot everyday. Exercise does help a lot of mental health patients. But if you are not an exercise person (I’m not too much, and can’t right now because of my health issues), then at least get out in the sun for a few minutes every day. I usually manage that when we go my various doctors appointments. Plus, I love to go to my keyboard and play the old hyns of the church. I can’t sing all the great, even though some have said I do. But I let the words and music of the hymns bathe my soul. I will even listen to christian cds. If there are relationships that are stressing you out, maybe consider putting some distance between you and them if possible. Sleep is a big issue for me. When I am in a lot of pain, its hard to sleep. Plus I’m on medication to sleep with that cause me to have fantastic dreams. Some call them nightmares, but I prefer to say they are adventures. I wish I could tell you more of the things I’ve done over the years to help me out, but these are just the top things. I will also take an additional pill of my daily meds when needed. Above all else, remember that this blog is praying for you. There are lots of others out there that have been through similar things. Love and prayers nmgirl.

  353. Harley wrote:

    Plus, I love to go to my keyboard and play the old hyns of the church.

    I play my guitar and sing sometimes when I’m stressed. Music is soothing.

  354. Lea wrote:

    Harley wrote:
    Plus, I love to go to my keyboard and play the old hyns of the church.
    I play my guitar and sing sometimes when I’m stressed. Music is soothing.

    I figured out how to turn my keyboard into a (limited) piano keyboard and drag out the song books and scare the dog. He much prefers I tunes.

  355. nm girl —

    lol — keep singing the truth. You are valued and loved.

    Thanks for posting. Your tranparency is a gift.

    btw, the calvinistas are right about not much . . . hmmm . . . make that — the calvinistas are right about nothing that comes to mind right now.

    The “elect” are the people who believe Jesus. An iota of a mustard’s seed worth of “faith” (i.e. that Jesus is telling the truth) gets you in. No biggie.

    When faith that God loves us falters, God’s family gathers round and “faiths us up.” That’s why God gives us each other and spiritual gifts. We wouldn’t need either if each of us were already “perfected” (which is not going to happen in this life).

    Hope you keep posting.

  356. I probably need to add —

    The “elect” are people who believe Jesus and let Him know in each one’s own personal way that they want Him and His love personally in their personal lives.

    Just remembered that “the devils also believe, and tremble.” HAH!! Well they need to — devouring, joy-stealing, bullying, evil liars that they are.

    I’m going with what Dee says in her post here:

    “For me, love is a very important component of my faith. It was the realization that the God of the universe loved me and wanted to be in relationship with me that turned my heart to Him.” — Dee, member of Jonathan Edwards Clan by marriage

    btw . . . so GLAD not to be chewing on my feet today.

  357. nmgirl wrote:

    Lea wrote:
    Harley wrote:
    (omitted)

    I figured out how to turn my keyboard into a (limited) piano keyboard and drag out the song books and scare the dog. He much prefers I tunes.

    This made me laugh right out loud. :0)

  358. @ PaJo:
    I love to sing but do not have perfect pitch by any means. When people ask me why as an agnostic I celebrate Christmas, I tell them. It’s the only time of year anyone can sing as loud as they want to in public without being arrested.

  359. When I was a child, there was this chorus we used to sing in church. Here are the words. “He’s all I need. He’s all I need. Jesus is all I need. He’s all I need. He’s all I need. Jesus is all I need.” Maybe some of you remember singing this chorus. I still love the words and hold onto them. Music has always been an integral part of my life. My family was very musical. It touches my soul, more than I can say. It ministers to me in a way that I can’t explain. My song for Polly would be “Because he lives, I can face tomorrow. Because he lives, all fear is gone. Because I know he holds the future. My life is worth the living just because he lives”.

  360. nmgirl wrote:

    @ PaJo:
    I love to sing but do not have perfect pitch by any means. When people ask me why as an agnostic I celebrate Christmas, I tell them. It’s the only time of year anyone can sing as loud as they want to in public without being arrested.

    You sound like you would have liked my dad. My mom had a great voice, and a good ear, and my dad had a good voice but, well, let us just say, he felt free to choose a new key at any given note.

    He joked that mom sang at weddings and he sang at divorces. :0) But at his funeral, I played on the piano a whole bunch of cowboy songs he loved, and sang right out loud…so I knew all the words and sang them in my heart. I’m glad he sang right out loud. As long as I didn’t have to sit next to him. LOL.

  361. @ Christiane:

    I think the exclusive club and tribal mentality with both Catholics, Baptists and others plays into the ability to hide evil deeds more efficiently perpetuated against innocents over long periods of time. In Spotlight, the victims recalled the concept of viewing a priests attention as attention from God himself. The priest conveys the grace through sacrament. What a position to hold up against a poor kid from a poor neighborhood who has a single mom. In Spotlight, they found that these were typically the kids who were targeted for abuse.. If it were only a few victims we would not be having this discussion but it was thousands upon thousands and even global and it’s reach. It was systemic. that cannot be argued, if we are honest. We are starting to see the same thing in Evangelicalism. Dr. Snipes, the ex priest who’s information really turned the investigation around, argued that the system of secrecy around the entire issue of celibacy (his research started in the 60’s) created the perfect conditions for the ones who were pedophiles to operate in secret.

    The system and beliefs have not changed. Catholics are sent to speak before the legislatures of states who are debating the statute of limitations on reporting. They speak against it. Your constant promotion of Catholic doctrines and leaders reminds me of the old Soviet union tactics. Your constant promotion of Catholic doctrines and leaders reminds me of the old Soviet union tactic when the supposedly more moderate and nicer Khrushchev took Stalin’s place. The claim was that it wasn’t the system that was the problem. It was the leadership.

    There is much wisdom in analyzing what people believe and why In order to end abuse in what some call the body of Christ. Some of the problems are in polity that is really a system that encourages people to blindly trust based on positions and titles which brings about the perfect conditions ability to hide evil whether it is in a Baptist church or a Catholic parish.whether it is in a Baptist church or a Catholic parish Doctrinal teaching is what causes people to go along with the polity.

    At some point The victims have to be more important than the doctrine, the system and its leaders.

    I don’t call any of this “grace” no matter how one receives it.

  362. “His eye is on the sparrow, and I know he watches me”. That was one of my late grandmother’s favorite songs. So many old hymns of the church. Another here – “Just a closer walk with thee, grant it Jesus is my plea. Daily walking close to thee, let it be, dear Lord let it be. Many times when I’m going thru times of pain, as now, I wake up in the morning with a song that has come to my mind. It stays there all day long. I always used to sing a song in my mind before going unconscious during surgery. But now, my foot dr has his own operating room in his office, and uses other types of meds to put the patient in lala land. He told me once that I talked to him the whole time and laughed with him. I told him I hope I didn’t say anything wrong. He said I didn’t. I’ll even ask for my lipstick to moisten my lips, and a glass of water to drink. But I don’t remember any of it.

  363. @ Lydia:

    Part 1

    Well, I agree with your passion about protecting people, only I think that much ‘abuse’ is not limited to sex and not limited to children and certainly not limited to religion. What bothers me is the tendency of people to miss the point. The point is the evil in the heart of man, or if one chooses the medical paradigm the ‘sickness’ in the mind of man.

    We have heard much about people saying that the organizational structure of the RCC was to blame for the sex abuse scandal. Mismanagement. We have heard that priestly celibacy was to blame. That has been soundly denounced as not true on this very TWW. Now, and I do not mean this unkindly, you seem to take the position that the doctrinal position of sacramentality shares the blame. I have a problem with this. If sacramentality creates a situation where sex abuse can thrive we had better be seriously afraid of the Anglicans, Lutherans, Presbyterians and Methodists. A couple minutes on google will turn up the PCA quoting the Westminster Confession on this, the Anglicans quoting their documents, and the Methodists and Lutherans stating their positions and quoting their documents as needed. That does not even include those sitting on non-sacramental evangelical pews who keep thinking to themselves that there is more to baptism and the Lord’s supper than merely symbolism. We are not all lurking to prey on children, nor are all the clergy in these sacramental Protestant denoms some threat to people based on baptism and the Lord’s supper.

    Continued in part 2 if I can get the details of my computer upgrade to do what I ask it to do.

  364. @ okrapod:

    Part 2

    Organizations can get into trouble. Individuals can be mentally ill and/or criminal. But simply because one is an organization or an individual does not mean that they are among the culprits. Similarly, I fail to see how sacramentality as a belief could be so wrong if the Catholics do it and yet so thoroughly fly under the radar when Protestants do it. There is something missing in this picture.

    However, I do think that perhaps the issue of grace need not be discussed here. The Catholic idea of grace and the idea of grace in some Protestant traditions have some quite different aspects. I said that once here some time ago and people were quick to say that this was not correct, that grace is grace, period. Perhaps so, but the idea of what grace is and what it means and how one interacts with grace and what the bible says/means regarding grace, those things have some really different ideas among different groups of Christians and denominations. However, since the neo-cals have grabbed onto this and used the word I am thinking that trying to discuss it here would be counter productive.

    It worked! I do consider man’s new BFF the computer to be basically a hostile force.

  365. okrapod wrote:

    Perhaps so, but the idea of what grace is and what it means and how one interacts with grace and what the bible says/means regarding grace, those things have some really different ideas among different groups of Christians and denominations.

    I know more of ‘grace’ from my son with Down Syndrome than from any doctrine or definition. And it saying that, I affirm that my son is a blessing on the Earth for those who see his acts of kindness and gentleness towards those who cannot walk in his group home.

    ‘Grace’ cannot be ‘defined’, I don’t think in human words, but sometimes, sometimes it can be displayed and when that happens, dear God, what a gift to see it.

  366. okrapod wrote:

    The point is the evil in the heart of man, or if one chooses the medical paradigm the ‘sickness’ in the mind of man.
    We have heard much about people saying that the organizational structure of the RCC was to blame for the sex abuse scandal. Mismanagement.

    It’s not one or the other, imo. It’s both.

    You have the evil person who wants to do wrong.

    You have the organization that makes that too easy, or covers it up.

    One is fixable, one is really not. That’s how I look at it.

  367. Christiane wrote:

    A hymn for Polly’s sake from the eastern Church:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHi-1taeqeo

    One of my old favs from a Baptist hymnal:
    When I Travel My Last Mile (He Will Hold My Hand)

    1. Some day when I’ve traveled my last mile here,
    The call will be coming for me;
    I’ll enter the lifeboat that will be near
    To carry me over the sea.

    CHORUS:

    He’ll hold my hand
    (Hold to my hand)
    As over death’s river I go;
    Then safe I’ll be
    (Safe I shall be)
    In beautiful heaven I know.

    2. My bark shall sail safely tho’ waves dash high,
    For Jesus will be at my side;
    He’ll still the rough waters when by and by
    I’m crossing the river so wide.

    CHORUS:

    3. I’m ready to go to that golden shore
    To live there while ages shall roll;
    I want to see Jesus and saints of yore
    In heaven the home of the soul.

    CHORUS:

  368. okrapod wrote:

    It worked! I do consider man’s new BFF the computer to be basically a hostile force.

    The computer is absolutely deterministic (when the hardware is functioning correctly). The apparent lack of determinism is due to the immense amount of software that is used for even such simple appearing tasks as viewing and commenting here on TWW. Since we have no input into how this mass of software is written there is the ever present possibility (likely hood?) of invoking something undesirable or just unexpected.

    Given that we are so accepting of computers and their software I don’t find it surprising that many in the churchianity domain are invoking the same sources of trust. I don’t know if those pushing the YRR/Complementarian line of religion are purposely making assumptions about such acceptance or not. Perhaps the increasing surrender of control over what we see and do is common to both of these domains.

    As an aside, I do not believe we or the world we live in is deterministic. I do believe we will be held accountable for our decisions.

  369. OldJohnJ wrote:

    The computer is absolutely deterministic (when the hardware is functioning correctly). The apparent lack of determinism is due to the immense amount of software that is used for even such simple appearing tasks as viewing and commenting here on TWW. …..
    As an aside, I do not believe we or the world we live in is deterministic. I do believe we will be held accountable for our decisions.

    Let me see. The computer is absolutely deterministic; the world we live in is not deterministic; therefore the computer is an alien from another world? I know you did not say that, but I really like the sound of that idea none the less.

  370. okrapod wrote:

    Let me see. The computer is absolutely deterministic; the world we live in is not deterministic; therefore the computer is an alien from another world? I know you did not say that, but I really like the sound of that idea none the less.

    Yes, I said and meant my comment about computers. If a computer is given the same program and data it will produce the same answer. However with the internet we can never repeat the same calculation. A great deal of effort is spent in computer science trying to get around this intrinsic determinism of computers to come up with unbreakable authentication and encryption schemes.

    I also affirm my belief that the universe is not deterministic and by implication that we have free will to some degree. This belief is rooted in my understanding of the basic physics, quantum mechanics, that in principle describes all of the physical processes of that support life.

  371. OldJohnJ wrote:

    okrapod wrote:
    Perhaps the increasing surrender of control over what we see and do is common to both of these domains.

    Wow. I have not even considered that as an influencer in surrendering control. Much food for thought.

  372. “Now, and I do not mean this unkindly, you seem to take the position that the doctrinal position of sacramentality shares the blame”

    Nope. I think there are MANY ingredients that go into creating a perfect environment for long time sustained abuse that was basically a global problem when the dominos started falling. I am willing to analyze anything and everything that contributes. As the curmudgeonly lawyer for the abused who fought this long before it was investigated said of the church, if it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to abuse one.

    We have discussed the ingredients that went into making SGM the perfect environment for child abuse. I don’t think we exhausted the topic but we got close.

  373. @ okrapod:

    I don’t think we ever consider all the alternatives. I know I did not. And it is a human nature thing (not the good part)

    When the pew sitters were given proof such heinous acts had been perpetuated on children with the knowledge of leadership, why didn’t they leave? We all know the reasons and some are quite rational but most are simply human nature reasons. I never questioned this until a few years ago, ironically, because of a conversation I had with a Catholic friend.

    My friend grew up in Catholic royalty here. His parents were on the various Catholic charity boards, he and his siblings all went to Catholic school and even Catholic colleges. He was a regular at mass and also involved in community Catholic charities. That is the background.

    He didn’t pay too much attention to the scandal as it happened during a time he was very busy building a business. And it was not exactly a subject his parents or siblings were open to discussing at all.

    I happened to have lunch with him and his wife a few days after they had gone to see Spotlight. He was beside himself at the scope of the problem. He is one of those guys who is trained in doing crisis analysis and was looking at all the angles. But one thing he said really shocked me and helped me see all of this in a different light whether it is Catholic, Baptist or what ever. He said he could not understand how people could still go and support the church. Why it was able to stay in business with any credibility after such a far reaching scandal at all levels.

    He was also concerned about his family relationships because he did not think he could ever be involved again. His trust was breached. What he thought was solid and true turned out to be evil. He did not mean that every single person in the Catholic Church was evil . He meant the institution itself.

    I thought he was over reacting because I was thinking in terms of the typical human nature. But we are talking about barbarity. And tons of people in leadership knew. Now I think he is asking very good questions. And we need to ask all the questions we can about doctrine and polity that creates an environment of secrecy and abuse that protects predators. We should ask it of Baptist, SGM, and anywhere else it was sustained and swept under the rug for so long. I guess I am not clear on why that is a bad thing.
    .

  374. How do sacraments add to the problem? What they communicate, if I understand Holy Communion right. If a priest who was molesting children took Holy Communion, he was communicating that he was free of any grave or mortal sin. It also communicates that it unites us with Christ and helps free us from “passions” like sexual sin.

    What does it communicate when one recieved Holy Communion from such a priest over and over finding out later finding out later about his grave mortal sin.

    I realize there are caveats with mortal, genial sins, frequent confessions, etc but isn’t the priest part in administering the sacraments important?

    The situation with the sacraments made me think of the situation between Augustine and the Donatists. The latter protested taking communion from corrupt priests. Augustine told them to suck it up. Their protest made him so furious he advised wiping them out. Yikes!

  375. Lydia wrote:

    The situation with the sacraments made me think of the situation between Augustine and the Donatists. The latter protested taking communion from corrupt priests. Augustine told them to suck it up. Their protest made him so furious he advised wiping them out. Yikes!

    There was no such thing as The Rights of Man in those days.

  376. Lydia wrote:

    etc but isn’t the priest part in administering the sacraments important

    technically, the Church believes in ‘ex opere operato’, not ‘ex opere operandis’

    the ‘grace’ of a sacrament flows from Christ, the ONLY Priest who was ever without sin

    Example: Baptism

    “See where you are baptized, see where Baptism comes from, if not from the cross of Christ, from His death. There is the whole mystery:
    He died for you.
    In Him you are redeemed, in Him you are saved “
    (St. Ambrose)

  377. My entry to the hymn sing upthread:

    1 Jesus! what a friend for sinners!
    Jesus! lover of my soul;
    Friends may fail me, foes assail me,
    He, my Savior, makes me whole.

    Refrain:
    Hallelujah! what a Savior!
    Hallelujah! what a friend!
    Saving, helping, keeping, loving,
    He is with me to the end.

    2 Jesus! what a strength in weakness!
    Let me shield myself in Him;
    Tempted, tried, and sometimes failing,
    He, my strength, my vict’ry wins. [Refrain]

    3 Jesus! what a help in sorrow!
    While the billows o’er me roll,

    ****** Even when my heart is breaking,*******

    He, my comfort, helps my soul.

    4 Jesus! what a guide and keeper!
    While the tempest still is high,
    Storms about me, night o’ertakes me,
    He, my pilot, hears my cry. [Refrain]

    5 Jesus! I do now receive Him,
    More than all in Him I find,
    He hath granted me forgiveness,
    I am His, and He is mine. [Refrain]

    ****** He’s sure been there with me when I’ve been there. ******

    http://www.hymnary.org/text/jesus_what_a_friend_for_sinners

  378. Also, this one.

    I’m surprised to see that this song is I Am a Wounded Soldier

    I learned this song as I Am A Wounded Healer, so I’m going to write these lyrics that way.

    I am a wounded healer (originally: soldier)
    But I will not leave the fight
    Because the Great Physician Is healing me

    So I’m standing in the battle
    In the armour of His light
    Because His mighty power Is real in me
    I am loved I am accepted
    I am loved I am accepted
    I am loved I am accepted
    And my wounds will be made whole.
    I am a wounded healer (orginally: soldier)
    But I will not leave the fight
    Because the Great Physician Is healing me
    So I’m standing in the battle
    In the armour of His light
    Because His mighty power Is real in me
    I am loved I am accepted
    I am loved I am accepted
    And my wounds will be made whole.

    https://www.musixmatch.com/lyrics/TPM/I-Am-A-Wounded-Soilder

  379. @Velour

    Longtime reader, very occasional commenter here. I wish I could believe this heart-warming story. However, I live in the Des Moines area, and all is not as it seems with the church in the CT article.

    We have several friends who attended this church for decades and who are extremely missions-minded. According to our friends, many of the people who left were chased off by the current pastor. We’ve heard the same story from different people and have no reason to doubt them.

  380. Lydia wrote:

    So anyone in the Catholic Church can give out Holy Communion? I guess I am confused.

    well, if you were Catholic, you could be a Eucharistic minister and give out communion, yes

    I think what you confusing though is the role of the priesthood in celebrating mass . . . you might want to look up ‘epiclesis’

    BTW, my father’s last holy communion was given to him by the hospice nurse who ‘heard us talking Catholic’ and told us she was a Eucharistic minister and carried communion with her. We took her up on it. It is one of my dearest memories that I shared that with my father.

    Eucharistic ministers are not necessarily priests or men even. They are usually adult Catholics who have some training in the work of service as a Eucharistic minister.

  381. @ Lydia

    “I am willing to analyze anything and everything that contributes . . .”

    I’ve been thinking about how the teaching that “to obey God is to obey a specifically titled person (i.e. husband, preacher, priest, rabbi, imam, etc.)” and “to disobey said person is to disobey God” undergirds systemic abuse.

    When people believe their salvation or standing with God is integrally intertwined with a person who is a pedophile or abuser, they are effectively ensnared.

    Even when they find out the facts about someone they trusted, the “programming” is difficult to overcome and some seem never to do so.

  382. Connie wrote:

    @Velour
    Longtime reader, very occasional commenter here. I wish I could believe this heart-warming story. However, I live in the Des Moines area, and all is not as it seems with the church in the CT article.
    We have several friends who attended this church for decades and who are extremely missions-minded. According to our friends, many of the people who left were chased off by the current pastor. We’ve heard the same story from different people and have no reason to doubt them.

    I am sorry to hear that and that your friends, and their friends, were chased off from that Iowa church by the pastor.

    That is so sad.

  383. @ Lydia

    I’ve been wondering about the same questions your friend has.

    And the same questions about Ken Ramey’s church — where people not only “obey” the pastor’s re-definition of a crime but also his instructions for shunning the two most hurt by the crime.

  384. @ Connie

    Thanks for the “on the scene” report. I trust information shared in blog comments more than published articles. The facts shared on blogs are a lot more trustworthy, imo.

  385. Lydia wrote:

    So anyone in the Catholic Church can give out Holy Communion? I guess I am confused.

    No they cannot. A lay eucharistic minister can actually dispense the elements to somebody (hand it to them in proper fashion), but the LEM cannot say the words of consecration of the elements. The LEM can serve at mass and can take the consecrated elements to the bedside, or perhaps to shut ins (I don’t know what the boundaries are) but only a catholic priest, or someone that the catholic church recognizes as ordained within the lines of apostolic succession can do the consecration. I say the latter because, if I am correct, that under some limited circumstances catholics can take communion with some orthodox, but you would have to ask Christiane specifically about that. An ordained permanent deacon in the RCC cannot consecrate the elements either, but they can do weddings and they routinely preached at the RCC church where we were.

    The RCC does not take communion with the anglicans or allow anglicans at their eucharist. The anglicans welcome catholics but we know that they don’t do that and we respect their right to live by their own rules. Not that they or we have any problem with that as far as I know. There is some sort of agreement between the episcopal church, the lutherans (some lutherans?) and the moravians in which they recognize each others ordinations, but the RCC is not a part of that. It has to do with the details of apostolic succession. One of the members of my family is both a lector and a LEM in our parish, but that has nothing to do with the RCC.

    However, the RCC does recognize protestant baptism if and only if the trinitarian formula was used, ‘in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.’ When I was considering becoming a catholic I had to submit a baptismal certificate (or official letter) showing date and circumstances of baptism (Baptist) and certifying that the trinitarian formula had been used. And the RCC recognizes emergency baptisms performed by lay people with the proviso that a priest could not be obtained and there was an actual emergency. I believe that if the person survives they are supposed to track down a priest and do something or other, but I am not sure what. In the catholic hospitals I have seen nurses do baptisms.

    Christiane or Catholic Gate Crasher or HUG or any other catholics here please feel free to correct where I am mistaken and add whatever needs to be also said.

  386. okrapod wrote:

    I say the latter because, if I am correct, that under some limited circumstances catholics can take communion with some orthodox, but you would have to ask Christiane specifically about that.

    in some instances, it is permitted . . . when I was at Catholic high school, the nuns told us that, if we got hit by a bus outside of the Greek Orthodox Church down the road, the priest could come out and give us the last rites.

    The sooner there is more reconciliation between the ‘families’ of our faith, the happier I will be; but the Church moves in centuries rather than in decades, and we are told we are allotted three-score and ten years, and I shall soon be over-drawn. 🙂

  387. @ trs

    Child predation is heinous no matter where it occurs. When the spiritual aspect is added into the scenerio, the long term ramifications cannot be measured in their devastation in the most important parts of a person’s life. Their psychological identity and their spiritual well being. It makes my blood boil.

  388. Since Spotlight, my first reaction to the Pope or to any RCC cleric is to wonder

    how many children were abused on his watch, or

    how many abusing clerics they transferred from or received into his parish, or

    how many times was he himself transferred or silenced for reporting abusers to the hierarchs.

    I have difficulty (based on the Spotlight stats from even that long ago) believing that any cleric can serve without enmeshment in the pedophile/cover-up network.

    Right now, I sincerely cannot hear anything the RCC has to say about God.

    Thousands and thousands of suffering children interfere with the message.

    I check out the SNAP site and read the same old/same old.

    Spending time, money, and effort for the safety of children is not that difficult. No time, effort, or money can restore a child’s innocence.

    That’s just me, though . . . .

    I do love some very fine RCC folks. I have been honest with them about my fears for their children within the church context, though.

  389. I sincerely cannot hear anything about God from “Evangelical” hierarchial networks, either.

    People who don’t get child sexual assault or child abuse or spousal abuse do not get God at all.

  390. @ Lydia

    Amen to that.

    I can’t think of any poster on this blog who disagrees with that statement.

    What’s very strange and worth analyzing, as you have mentioned, is the commonality of the type of resistance we all experience in our diverse venues.

    Waaaaayyyyy weird, if I may say so.

  391. Hi, I will be giving dee an update and what the expenses are for her to post, thank you velour and everyone here for your prayers for billy and for me. Thank you for the incredible relief you have brought to our lives financially and just helping us through a time of feeling displaced from the church. Please continue to pray as dee is helping me and billy with something to vindicate billy’s name in this community. This is a big deal as it is necessary for Billy’s healing.

  392. Here’s today’s update….
    Health still static: no better, but no worse. Going to try some new things as I can afford them this coming month.
    Still no interviews or viable jobs. Trying to stay upbeat and continue to keep my eyes open. This cannot go on forever.
    Rent is due tomorrow and I have part if it – need another $400 to cover it. Will need more food in a couple of days. I’m on a very simple and soecific diet. Most of what is in food banks, etc., is on the “do not eat” list for the cancer and does make me feel worse. August’s bills start coming due next week – $450.
    I cannot adequately say in words what the help and support you give means. I am amazed and so deeply grateful to each of you. I pray it comes back to you when you need it most. Love to you all.

  393. Here’s today’s update….
    Health still static: no better, but no worse. Going to try some new things as I can afford them this coming month.
    Still no interviews or viable jobs. Trying to stay upbeat and continue to keep my eyes open. This cannot go on forever.
    Rent is due tomorrow and I have part if it – need another $400 to cover it. Will need more food in a couple of days. I’m on a very simple and soecific diet. Most of what is in food banks, etc., is on the “do not eat” list for the cancer and does make me feel worse. August’s bills start coming due next week – $450.
    I cannot adequately say in words what the help and support you give means. I am amazed and so deeply grateful to each of you. I pray it comes back to you when you need it most. Love to you all.

    http://www.gofundme.com/ljahelp

  394. This is in reply to Christiane, the post:
    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2016/07/29/a-woman-should-not-be-president-john-piper-owen-strachan-al-mohler/comment-page-1/#comment-272711

    Snippet:

    (by Christiane)
    it’s almost as though they TRUST the person they are attacking NOT to attack back in kind;
    which is in itself, a huge sign of being in over their head with their behavior and even on some conscious level acknowledging that their own treatment of others is so vile that it will bring the ceiling down on them IF they aim it at the ones they don’t trust not to hurt them.

    Actually, that was part of the thought process that kept me trapped into taking my sister’s abuse since childhood.

    My sister bites my head off because she knew I was a passive doormat who would not stand up to her.

    When I started confronting sister for the first time ever about her verbal abuse (about 2 yrs ago), she started playing the “Pity Me” card.

    “I am being cruel to you because my life is so, so hard, feel sorry for me, don’t hold my abuse of you against me,” was how she would sometimes play things when I started calling her out on her terrible behavior.

    Sister tries to rationalize her bully behavior by saying she is under great stress. Her boss is mean. Her boyfriend is a louse. Her dog ran away from home last week. And on and on with the list of problems she’s having.

    My mother raised me such to buy into that stuff, too. To think I had to feel sorry for people, even ones who were being abusive to me.

    I was taught to think that other people’s feelings were more important than mine, so hey, if Big Sister is having a lousy work week and wants to explode at me and yell at me for HOURS over the phone (or in person if we are visiting),
    I should do the “loving, sacrificial” thing and sit there in silence and just take the abuse, because the poor dear is in distress and needs a sympathetic ear.

    Then, awhile back, I read the book “The Verbally Abusive Relationship,” among other books by therapists, psychologists, and others, and I learned a few things.

    I learned that there is no excuse for abuse.

    Dealing with stress or anger in life by lashing out at other people is a choice abusers make.

    My sister is not being cruel because she lacks control of it and cannot help it. She is making a choice to be cruel to me.

    I too have faced stress, anger, disappointment, and heartbreak in my life, but more often than not, I do not choose to deal with it by verbally berating people in my life, as my sister has done to me.

    Part of me standing up to Sister a couple years back was holding her accountable for her tongue-lashings and telling her she needed to stop treating me with disrespect.

    And that I no longer care if the reason she is lashing out is that she is tired, hurting, had a bad day at work, or whatever.

    I was harassed really bad at one job I had, but I never once phoned my sister up at that time to scream at her and run her down to blow off steam over my bad boss.

    To blow off stress in my life, I would go on bike rides, or runs, or whatever. I figure my sister can do likewise with her stress.

    I hope I’ve made it clear to Big Sister that I’m not a “safe person” for her to dump her negative emotions on any more.

    Another thing: I lost patience with Big Sis because it’s a one-way street with her:

    Big Sis expects me to feel sympathetic towards her when she is telling me about her problems (which I always have been),

    But if I try telling her that I, Daisy, am hurting, under stress, or upset, she screams insults at me, tells me my problems are not a big deal, etc.

    I get no sympathy or empathy from her, not even when I’m in a rough patch in life.
    But she expects me to coddle her when she’s angry at life, or is in a slump.

    I don’t play that game with her any more. I don’t invest my time and energy into people who don’t reciprocate.

    I have been keeping her at arm’s length the last couple years, and my life is more peaceful as a result.

  395. Daisy wrote:

    I have been keeping her at arm’s length the last couple years, and my life is more peaceful as a result.

    I understand. Daisy, I could have typed those very words myself in my own situation. I wish there was another way, but there wasn’t. Some day, there will be a reconciliation, but I needed peace in my life, and I do understand how that is so important.

    Has your sister ever been evaluated for her behaviors? By a psychologist?

  396. Christiane wrote:

    Has your sister ever been evaluated for her behaviors? By a psychologist?

    Not that I am aware, no.

    She was a wild child when she was a teen, broke rules, disobeyed the parents, and I remember my parents taking her to some sort of mental health professional back then to figure out what her problem was.

    She may have seen a counselor a few years ago, but I’m not sure.

    I’m not sure if she’s ever been diagnosed or not.

    She is, however, definitely a verbal abuser.

    I’d say about 90% of Evans’ book about verbally abusive people describes my sister perfectly.

    My sister is not reasonable, especially when she’s in one of her rages.

    I was the opposite in temperament and behavior from her since my childhood. I don’t pick fights with people or explode and blow up at them as she does. I don’t tell people their feelings don’t matter, which she does to me.

    Now that I’m over being a doormat and feel confident confronting people, I can do those things now, but I don’t willy nilly run around being hateful, rude, or mean to people, or taking my stress in life out on my sister.

  397. Velour do you know how to post the gofundme here I have not figured out how to do that? As of right now I have 867.00 in back rent and water bill. This has accrued over time due to her raising the rents as this is standard every year it go’s up. We have between 200-265.00 with electric bills alone a month(it reaches the triple digits in and it’s humid), 30 a month for trash, 85 a month for car insurance, 350 a month for food, another 200 for gas ( you can’t drive anywhere here in this area without it being long distances ) I also have a 2003 Toyota which gets good gas mileage but my engine light and brake light is on and at this point as long as it’s not preventing me from driving it has to stay that way until I can do the repair. Billy’s school is coming up and school supplies plus what is needed for drivers ed is coming up in a matter of weeks. I know what drivers ed will cost 335.00 and school supplies shouldn’t be more than 65.00 but there will also be lab fees and maybe other materials for classes. Billy is really leary of playing sports now because of the kids use of the word faggot towards him, they bullied him on the field last year, and the most impact on him is the physical that is required. Billy can not get through the physical with out a severe break down due to having to lower his pants and therefore I can not I will not put him through that right now. He has cried the last two times to the point where even the doctor recognized that he had been abused. I share this only to let you know that billy can not enjoy sports like he use to so he has picked drivers ed and introduction to engineering as his electives in place of them. I work for the YMCA caring for over thirty horses you can imagine the physical labor in this Texas heat. I walk the length of the size of two football fields carting 50lb bags of feed and 50lb bails of hay when I feed. I feed twice a day seven days a week. I do this as a filler to make ends meet for the houses I lost and ones that cancel or ones I do not have anymore. Billy is an amazing kid as he helps me a lot of the time because it takes one and a half to two hours each feeding and i’m paid by the hour 8.25 an hour. I drive 16 miles round trip so when you take out taxes and gas i’m really getting pennies. The wonderful thing about this job is the horses are therapeutic it’s a solitary job and I do a great job that my job is never threatened. The little bit of pay comes just in time for a bill or food and gas that i’m desperate for that day. However it’s never enough as I just can’t get over the hump. I clean the houses I have left and those are such a blessing and i’m still working off two of the houses where I had to get paid in advance to meet my car and food needs along with utilities. I want you all to know that I work and I am doing the very best I can to accommodate our needs and be here for billy. I still spend nights up with billy with his ptsd, there is still a lot of fears and anxiety that he expresses and now that H.S. is starting I must confess that i’m a bit scared and excited at the same time. H.S. is challenging as it is when your just a regular kid without trauma and without any learning disabilities so for us with our life it is challenging. We still have a long road ahead clearing billy’s name and I am submitting my resume for jobs that I believe will bring a better financial situation and will accommodate billy where I can be here for him. We have needs that are right now but I’m going to just post this here and see God continually work as He always does please pray for billy and me. We love all of you and hopefully this does not get lost in these posts.

  398. Daisy wrote:

    My sister is not reasonable, especially when she’s in one of her rages.

    This (rages, not ‘reasonable’) is red-light behavior . . . she needs to be seen by someone who is competent. Well, your parents did try to find help for her.

  399. @ Velour:
    Thank you velour Dee already asked me to email her the update. There’s no hurry as I’m just trusting that God will provide work in the mean time until she can get to it. I will email Deb shortly with the update as well. I did post here what the immediate needs are and the costs. Velour thank you for being so supportive I wish we lived closer. I know one of you lives close to us I just can’t remember so if that person ses’s us please give your email to Dee or Deb to give to me I would love to connect with you. Well anyone here I would love to connect with those of you in our area at least maybe we can have coffee or just a cool glass of water and fellowship.

  400. @ marquis:

    Welcome, Marquis. Hugs to you and Billy. I love you folks. I wish I lived closer. I am in Northern California.

    I just want to make sure that Catholic Gate-Crasher got the clothing needs info email from Dee or Deb. I don’t have everyone’s emails.

    Love and hugs, sweetie.

  401. Marquis – I live in Tyler, which is about 2 1/2 hrs from you. I wish I was in the position to drive and come help you out, but I can’t really drive much now. Dumb question here, but have you ever thought about moving to the College Station/Brant area? They have a couple of great churches there, great schools, etc. I lived there for 3 months about 8 yrs ago while in transition due to Hurricane Ike. I love that town.

  402. I have been trying to get things done around the house before my upcoming surgery. 24 more days to wait. I’m trying to do it little by little. Making lists in my head of things that need to get done or bought. Slowly making progress.

    I read where a lot of you follow Tim Fall’s blog. Where is that located at? I think I met this man many years ago. I would love to read his blog. If he is the same man, he was very wise beyond his years and helpful.

  403. Harley wrote:

    Marquis – I live in Tyler, which is about 2 1/2 hrs from you. I wish I was in the position to drive and come help you out, but I can’t really drive much now. Dumb question here, but have you ever thought about moving to the College Station/Brant area? They have a couple of great churches there, great schools, etc. I lived there for 3 months about 8 yrs ago while in transition due to Hurricane Ike. I love that town.

    I lived in College Station/Bryan for seven years prior to moving to this area. I left because we commuted for two of those years to LBC and when I lost my job with GM and after discussing it with the pastor/elders at LBC is what prompted me to move to where there would be more jobs and they had promised to come along side of us more if we were closer. Little did I know that this would not be true. It was conditional from my experience and of course after what happened with billy it was definitely not true! Because we are here and billy has grown up in this community since third grade and due to my growing up (moving around several times through out my childhood ) and never having a stable life I stay put to give billy security and I want to be able to give him roots. We have been here for seven years now and Billy is about to enter H.S. with friends who he has been with since the third grade. I feel this is very important for his emotional well being as well as spiritual. I tried the churches in college station which is why we ventured out and found LBC at that time. I’m certain there are many good churches there we just never found any when we were there. I also can’t afford an uproot (moving expenses, first month and last month rent plus deposit and no job there to sustain) the financial aspect of moving would be foolish for me since I have a lady who rents to us who is a Christian and who has been wonderful these past years. Billy and I have had the privilege of living in the same home since we moved here. Billy loves this neighborhood, our home , and the friends he has established over the past few years. So needless to say there is nothing in college station for us anymore. It would be like picking a town/city and just uprooting change is not something I do unless I have everything planned out to where it’s wise and I can afford it. This is a wonderful school district it’s in the top ten also billy and I shouldn’t have to move because of a knucklehead pastor who chooses to slander a rape victim and a kid. Billy and I feel very strongly about what Ken Ramey has done in the aftermath and we are fighting it. If he will do it to my son he will do it to anyone to protect LBC and his image or whatever it is they have been doing. We could come out to Tyler one weekend and have coffee with you : )

  404. Velour wrote:

    @ marquis:

    Welcome, Marquis. Hugs to you and Billy. I love you folks. I wish I lived closer. I am in Northern California.

    I just want to make sure that Catholic Gate-Crasher got the clothing needs info email from Dee or Deb. I don’t have everyone’s emails.

    Love and hugs, sweetie.

    Velour you do know that I am from Northern California right? That is where billy went to work at a christian camp. What part of N.Cal are you from?

  405. Catholic Gate-Crasher, thank you thank you thank you big hugs to you from Texas I believe Dee sent it to her/him

  406. marquis wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    @ marquis:
    Welcome, Marquis. Hugs to you and Billy. I love you folks. I wish I lived closer. I am in Northern California.
    I just want to make sure that Catholic Gate-Crasher got the clothing needs info email from Dee or Deb. I don’t have everyone’s emails.
    Love and hugs, sweetie.
    Velour you do know that I am from Northern California right? That is where billy went to work at a christian camp. What part of N.Cal are you from?

    I’m in Silicon Valley. But I’ve moved around California.

    Where were you from?

  407. Velour wrote:

    marquis wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    @ marquis:
    Welcome, Marquis. Hugs to you and Billy. I love you folks. I wish I lived closer. I am in Northern California.
    I just want to make sure that Catholic Gate-Crasher got the clothing needs info email from Dee or Deb. I don’t have everyone’s emails.
    Love and hugs, sweetie.
    Velour you do know that I am from Northern California right? That is where billy went to work at a christian camp. What part of N.Cal are you from?

    I’m in Silicon Valley. But I’ve moved around California.

    Where were you from?

    Mt Shasta vicinity

  408. Marquis – I’m sorry that College Station didn’t work out for you. We went to College Station First Baptist Church, which I loved. The pastor really preached to us. But on the flip side, they knew our problems after being dislocated from the hurricane and no one ever reached out to us at the church. My daughter was a senior at Texas A&M at the time, plus my son’s college had relocated them to there for 3 months while Texas A&M Galveston was being repaired. More than anything I can say about our time there is that I found a time of healing. Time to stay away from what we lost in Galveston. I agree, that you shouldn’t have to move because of a bully at your church and that awful church. If you ever get up to Tyler, let me know you are coming and we will have you and Billy over. In the time, I’m sorry if I offended you in anyway. I just didn’t know your circumstances. Thanks for explaining them to me. Plus, what about clothes for yourself. I wear plus size clothing and always can give things away. I pray for you and Billy a lot. You have a support group in Texas whether you know it or not.

  409. Daisy wrote:

    But if I try telling her that I, Daisy, am hurting, under stress, or upset, she screams insults at me, tells me my problems are not a big deal, etc.

    Daisy, I watched a ted talk this weekend on vulnerability. I think I might be a bit the opposite from you, because it sounds like you open up to people about things in your life. I, otoh, find that very hard to do.

    The lady’s name is Brene Brown and I’m about to read (one of) her book(s). But I was thinking too, that vulnerability to abusive people is not healthy. But how does one know when to open up and when not?

  410. Daisy- thanks for reminding me to read on the side of this blog about other bloggers. Sometimes my brain doesn’t seem to be working. I looked up Tim Fall on his blog, but unfortunately he is not the man I met years ago.

    This hasn’t been a good day for me pain wise. I am going back to bed this afternoon for a long, hopefully refreshing nap before evening plans.

    Thank you Daisy and others for reminding me of things and even correcting me at times. I
    need it. Love to all – G

  411. Harley wrote:

    Marquis – I’m sorry that College Station didn’t work out for you. We went to College Station First Baptist Church, which I loved. The pastor really preached to us. But on the flip side, they knew our problems after being dislocated from the hurricane and no one ever reached out to us at the church. My daughter was a senior at Texas A&M at the time, plus my son’s college had relocated them to there for 3 months while Texas A&M Galveston was being repaired. More than anything I can say about our time there is that I found a time of healing. Time to stay away from what we lost in Galveston. I agree, that you shouldn’t have to move because of a bully at your church and that awful church. If you ever get up to Tyler, let me know you are coming and we will have you and Billy over. In the time, I’m sorry if I offended you in anyway. I just didn’t know your circumstances. Thanks for explaining them to me. Plus, what about clothes for yourself. I wear plus size clothing and always can give things away. I pray for you and Billy a lot. You have a support group in Texas whether you know it or not.

    Oh no offense was taken by your suggestion at all. I guess that was a quick response because peoplefrom LBC suggested we move. I’m good on clothes but thank you souch for the offer. I loved college station to. It was hard leaving but turned out to be alright.

  412. Harley wrote:

    If he is the same man, he was very wise beyond his years and helpful.

    It’s gotta be someone else! Or it might have been me (on a good day!). Where would we have run across each other, Harley?

  413. Dee, I am sorry for your loss. May Polly’s memory be eternal and her rest with the saints. :0(

  414. Tim – you are the not the Tim Fall I knew. Wish you were. You are way to young to be this man. I have tried looking him up on facebook, but can’t find him. I do find your blog interesting though.

  415. I don’t post much, but I do read every article here, and most do the comments, so I kind of feel like part of the family. I want to ask for prayer.

    My young adult daughter has Lupus, and possibly other autoimmune illnesses. She has been very sick for a long time, and this year has been especially bad. We only received the diagnosis a few months ago, but thankfully have gotten her going with some excellent physicians (especially amazing since our health insurance is our state’s version of Medicaid).

    She had a terrible reaction to the first drug she was prescribed – one which is virtually universally safe and effective. We’ve had to drop that one and start a more harsh one, and she’s having some tough side effects from it. It also takes up to two months to begin working; she’s had five weekly doses so far, and there is no improvement. She has also been having to take daily prednisone for a couple of months, and although it is helping a tiny bit, it’s making her miserable.

    She is so sick she frequently can’t leave the house. One of the complications of her illnesses is that she cannot tolerate *any* UV rays. Not even through clothing, windows, in most shade on sunny days, through most clouds, fluorescent and halogen lighting, etc. She doesn’t really have any friends, and we have no church family since my divorce last year.

    She is naturally deeply depressed. She also struggles with PTSD and anxiety from the pre-divorce years. I’m also deeply depressed, have terrible anxiety, and am disabled by fibromyalgia and complex-PTSD (although the first attempt at applying for disability was denied).

    I’m exhausted, my heart just aches all the time, and I’m not even sure if God is real anymore. My poor daughter is going through all the same, but worse because she’s so much sicker than I am. We have almost no help, and none at all on a day-to-day, survival basis. She and I are both desperately lonely. I also have a younger teen daughter who has been diagnosed with some schizoid disorders; she’s also lonely and unsteady. She taking some powerful medications that do help, and is in counseling, so it’s not critical right now, thankfully. Finally, my youngest is dealing with some depression, too, although he also has help.

    I don’t even know what to ask you all to pray for. I’m not even sure I believe it will make any difference. But I’m here asking anyway. Thank you all.

  416. @ Persephone:

    First, I’m glad you read the articles here and the posts even though you haven’t commented
    until now.

    I recall seeing your name, maybe on another blog? (Perhaps Spiritual Sounding Board or A Cry for Justice.) I am glad you’ve let us know of your incredible struggles right now
    and those of your family.

    I am so sorry to hear about your daughter’s Lupus, medication problems, and constricted
    life.

    I am sorry to hear of your other dauhghter’s mental health problems. And your son’s depression.

    And the weight that you’re under from all of these problems. What state do you live in, if you don’t mind sharing? We could always look up resources.

    I just wanted to add some resources to the list:

    *Nationally Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI)
    http://www.nami.org/

    *Lupus
    http://www.lupus.org/chapters
    http://www.mollysfund.org/programs-services/lupus-support-groups/

    *Catholic Charities (you don’t have to be Catholic and they won’t foist Catholic
    ideas on you but have a good network of support and services)
    https://support.catholiccharitiesusa.org/p/salsa/donation/common/public/?donate_page_KEY=9113&iq_id=69647056-VQ6-81389142747-VQ16-c

    *Food
    Second Harvest Food Bank
    http://www.feedingamerica.org/

    *Debtors Anonymous (a free group dealing with debt, underearning, and other issues
    like medical: there are in-person meetings in major area, SKYPE meetings in some
    areas, and phone in meetings. There are some groups devoted to medical issues.)
    http://debtorsanonymous.org/

    http://debtorsanonymous.org/getting_started/index.php/find/?_ga=GA1.2.1663153515.1469591911

    ********************************
    I am praying for you, your daughters, and son.

    I am sorry. I don’t have words for the valleys of this life. Only holding a hand,
    passing the tissues, and a cup of tea or coffee (or juice).

    Velour

  417. @ Persephone:

    That all sounds so difficult. I certainly will remember you and your children in prayer. Keep in touch. This is a good place for lonely people. Lots of good people here.

  418. Persephone wrote:

    I don’t even know what to ask you all to pray for. I’m not even sure I believe it will make any difference. But I’m here asking anyway. Thank you all.

    Thank you for your transparency and honesty here. I am praying for you and your family. And there is a longer post, with links, in customs that should be going up later from me.

  419. Thank you, Velour and okrapod. It’s so hard, feeling so isolated. I’ve talked with my counselor about how there is an unspoken understanding among the evangelical church that the divorced are the new Untouchables. It’s actually much harder to deal with the subtle snubbing than any outright challenge regarding my decision to leave my abusive marriage.

    We live in Oregon. I’m trying to figure out if there’s any way to get any kind of respite of or nursing help with my older daughter. I’m not seeing it now, but maybe eventually. I’m so exhausted.

  420. Persephone wrote:

    Thank you, Velour and okrapod. It’s so hard, feeling so isolated. I’ve talked with my counselor about how there is an unspoken understanding among the evangelical church that the divorced are the new Untouchables. It’s actually much harder to deal with the subtle snubbing than any outright challenge regarding my decision to leave my abusive marriage.
    We live in Oregon. I’m trying to figure out if there’s any way to get any kind of respite of or nursing help with my older daughter. I’m not seeing it now, but maybe eventually. I’m so exhausted.

    Oh sweetie, I am so sorry.

    Kathi, who helps Julie Anne at Spiritual Sounding Board blog, is in Oregon and has
    a background as a social worker. Send Julie Anne an email and ask to be put
    in touch with Kathi, if possible. I know that Kathi sometimes meets up with people,
    just for encouragement and ideas.

    Here’s the San Francisco Warm Line, to help deal with hard topics that aren’t suicidal.
    They take calls from California and across the nation. (They got a grant.)
    Please keep it with you.

    http://www.sfchronicle.com/health/article/Mental-health-warm-line-offers-reassurance-5945704.php?t=99b049554f754c15d9

  421. Persephone wrote:

    We live in Oregon. I’m trying to figure out if there’s any way to get any kind of respite of or nursing help with my older daughter. I’m not seeing it now, but maybe eventually. I’m so exhausted.

    I prayed for your family yesterday and as soon as I opened my eyes today.
    See if you can get in a support group run by social workers. When I was taking care of an elderly relative, I was in a support group (free) run by the county and staffed with two highly trained social workers. It saved my sanity! They gave me ideas to take care of myself.

  422. Persephone wrote:

    I’ve talked with my counselor about how there is an unspoken understanding among the evangelical church that the divorced are the new Untouchables. It’s actually much harder to deal with the subtle snubbing than any outright challenge regarding my decision to leave my abusive marriage.

    Maybe you should try a mainline denomination, like the Methodists.

    I am no longer part of a NeoCalvinist church, but I was shocked at the lack of proper support shown to people in various crisis, especially women.

    One woman church member told women that they had to call their ex-husband their current husband, because the church member didn’t believe in divorce and that these women were “married forever” to their (ex) spouses. Loony tunes. Crazy. No boundaries. We have courts, laws, legislatures — and yes, divorce. That’s reality.

    Keep asking for help, telling the truth, and stay away from toxic people. If you can,
    go to a free concert or anything that is free to get you out of the house.

  423. okrapod wrote:

    @ Persephone:

    That all sounds so difficult. I certainly will remember you and your children in prayer. Keep in touch. This is a good place for lonely people. Lots of good people here.

    Many, many good people here who know how to pray for others when there is suffering, yes. Can your daughter with lupus go out at night after it’s dark? Maybe to walk a little bit each night? To stay in day after day sounds so miserable. Please know that you will be kept in prayer by people here.

  424. Three more weeks till my foot surgery. The pain seems to be getting worse. I have been trying to do some cleaning around the house. Things that you never think to clean. A friend jokingly asked if I was pregnant as that’s what she did when she was pregnant. I laughed. My baby is almost 27 and that particular venue was shut down not long after that. I now realize that if I can do just a few things a day that need getting done, it’s better. I am still holding on to God and also knowing that friends and family are supporting me with prayer. Now if I could just get rid of those stupid Robo calls that disturb my afternoon naps, things would be a whole lot better. Me and my gospel music have been getting along really good lately. Played the keyboard a bit and listened to cds. Ishy, I pray you are feeling good after your surgery yesterday. Christiane, how are you feeling? Take it one day at a time and try not to do to much, take it from one who has been there and could gladly write the book on What not to do after major surgery – But please follow doctors orders (I used to fudge on those).

  425. @ Harley:

    Praying for you, Harley. By the way, maybe you are still “fudging” if you are pushing yourself so hard that you are cleaning too much and are in more pain.

    I put my phone numbers on the federal government’s Do Not Call Registry.
    https://www.donotcall.gov/

    I file complaints against the numbers that do call me on the electronic form.
    I also use the “block” feature on the phones to block that number from calling again.
    Sometimes they use a different number. But every little bit helps.

  426. Harley wrote:

    Christiane, how are you feeling? Take it one day at a time and try not to do to much

    Thank you for asking. I’m good. This week, I went out on my own for the first time to buy groceries. No problem driving. I was enjoying the shopping, putting things in the cart for my family, and after about forty minutes, I felt warmish and started trembling a bit, a little shaky. My goodness, what a humbling experience. I thought I was stronger than that. Everyone said I ‘over did it’, but I was enjoying overdoing it SO MUCH! I had help checking out and help putting the groceries in the car, thank God. I am humbled. Silly me. Slowing down now. A little bit more each day, easy-does-it. So much needs doing. So much I want to do. I am humbled. But God is good. I can still pray my vigil times, just not as often.

    Thanks for asking. I hope they can help you with your pain. I will pray for you. Hugs.

  427. Christiane – slow and steady wins the race. Of course, I expect you and Velour and company to tell me the same thing to. Baby steps make a difference. I was told over 20 yrs ago when I had my first knee surgery that I was allowed up 15 min on the hour or every 2 hours. I could get a lot accomplished in 15 minutes. I would tell my kids that too when cleaning up the house or doing other things. So when I’ve been doing things around the house here, it’s usually less than 10 or 15 minutes. But going out shopping just wears me out. Hubby takes me to get groceries, and he either pushed my wheelchair with the grocery cart or I push it myself. If we do more than 2 errands a day, I am done for hours and hours on end. The next 2 1/2 weeks till my surgery, so far, don’t seem to be to busy. Still praying for you, Ishy and others in needs on this blog including Marquise.

  428. Here is the latest….
    Thanks to you all, I was able to pay my rent this week. Thank you!
    I am hoping to get some information today on what treatment course is best next. Attempts at generating some income through online recommendations this week proved unsuccessful. I will keep looking and trying.
    My immediate needs are food and gas. I am about out if food. August’s bills start coming due in a few days and total $450.
    I am so grateful to all who have been and are willing to help. This past week was proof that little pieces combined add up to enough. Thank you for all you have and are doing. God bless and keep each of you.

    http://www.gofundme.com/ljahelp

  429. Velour – at that camp out next year, I’ll fix my easy chicken and dumplings. These are so good. Maybe a peach cobbler or two. One of my specialties. We like to cook here in Texas.

  430. Harley wrote:

    Velour – at that camp out next year, I’ll fix my easy chicken and dumplings. These are so good. Maybe a peach cobbler or two. One of my specialties. We like to cook here in Texas.

    I’m in California. Between now and then if I win the Powerball, I will buy a tweaked out RV and swing by Texas to pick you up. We will then drive to Kentucky in style, just like our fearless green-eyed leader Nancy2.

    If I don’t win the Powerball, we will have to fly economy class. A rental car.
    You know the routine.

    I’m down for peach cobbler, chicken and dumplings.

    While we were going to have this as “women only event” in Kentucky, we here at Pound Sand Ministries (TM) should open it up to our fair-minded brothers in Christ here. If it was gals only it would be way to much like the Council on *Biblical* [cough, splutter, gag] Manhood Womanhood conference.

    We are living under the new Covenant. So the men-folk are invited.

  431. My son needs prayers. He is dealing with a lot of stress right now. His job situation was in limbo for awhile. He found out last week he will still be staying where he is in Ft. Worth, but still he’s not sure what he will be doing. He’s moving to a nicer apartment in a few weeks. He also has some health issues that need to be addressed. He might have gotten some of the new health issues from my side of the family. I don’t want him to go thru the same things that his sister and I have been thru. He’s going to come down to visit us this coming Friday thru Saturday. I think he needs a big dose of tlc from me. He didn’t seem to understand last night why I wasn’t yelling at him after calling him out on something. To me that would have been counter productive. I just kept reminding him of God’s love (he is a fine christian man), and that we would always love him. He has changed so much this past year. He has matured into what any of us would want. I think all of these changes have gotten to him and he needs a few days vacation, which I’m trying to get him to take.

  432. Harley wrote:

    My son needs prayers. He is dealing with a lot of stress right now. His job situation was in limbo for awhile. He found out last week he will still be staying where he is in Ft. Worth, but still he’s not sure what he will be doing

    Will do.

    I hope you have a wonderful visit with your son and he is refreshed.

    Love and hugs,

    Velour in California

  433. I’ve told you about my money struggles and how I’m working to sell my house as a way to reduce expenses. Yesterday I was doing more purging and was struggling over an item. I realized I was getting rid of stuff I really wanted to keep in order punish myself. My subconscious was telling me I needed to suffer even more for the financial mistakes I had made. That just giving up my home of 30 years and possibly my best furry friends was not enough.

    Of course this after a week where I found out I have to get a new roof (hail) and the insurance check doesn’t even come close to covering the cost. Don’t know where the difference is going to come from.

  434. @ nmgirl:

    I am so sorry to hear of your financial struggles and the ways you’re punishing yourself.

    I recommend Debtors Anonymous, in person meetings if you are near one or more,
    or telephone meetings if you aren’t as a way to get help and support around.
    http://debtorsanonymous.org/

  435. @ Velour:
    Thanks for the suggestion. The problem is that except for house and car, I have very little debt (<$3000 for old medical bills). My problem is cash flow – too little income. As soon as I get a smart phone (tomorrow) I am going to start driving for Uber to try to raise more income. My part time job requires standing for an entire 8 hour shift and I can not do that more than 2 times per week.

    I have also appealed the denial of financial aid. Even though I never used financial aid for my previous degrees, those hours are now being held against me. Apparently when it comes to getting financial aid, you can be TOO edeucated.

  436. nmgirl wrote:

    My problem is cash flow – too little income.

    Believe it or not, this is something Debtors Anonymous also works on, as well as self-care, action plans, etc.

    Were you denied for federal financial aid? If “yes”, I would recommend that you write the White House online and ask for assistance, the U.S. Department of Education,
    and your local elected officials. I’ve done this many times and as the saying goes, “Water runs down hill.” It works.

  437. nmgirl wrote:

    @ Velour:
    Did not know that. thanks for the info.

    Welcome. They also have what’s called Pressure Relief Groups, where you meet with 2 other people to come up with an action plan and go over what’s causing you pressure.

    Also it’s a good place to learn about and deal with self-care issues.

  438. NM girl – you and I are going through some rough times right now. But I know that we are more than conquerors thru Christ. We will get past this. Maybe a bit scarred and weary, but trust me, we will make it. I