Church Discipline and Abuse

“Never laugh at live dragons.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien link

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(This page is subject to updates as new material (or overlooked old material) becomes available.)

Church discipline is today's hottest topic in churches. There is no question that 9Marks is the leader in the need to discipline in the church. They define it thusly:

Church discipline is the process of correcting sin in the life of the congregation and its members. This can mean correcting sin through a private word of admonition. And it can mean correcting sin by formally removing an individual from membership. Church discipline can be done in any number of ways, but the goal is always to correct transgressions of God’s law among God’s people.

The Process based on Matthew 18:15-20

  1. A congregant is told to stop and repent of a particular sin.
  2. If he doesn't, then two or more people are told to confront him.
  3. Then it gets announced to the church.
  4. Then the congregant gets kicked out of the church. if he doesn't *repent.*

The Real Problem: What should be disciplined is not defined a priori.

We are all sinners and all of us are dealing, day to day, with our walk with God. What sins should be disciplined? 

There is no question that some sins are severe. 1 Corinthians 5 deals with a case of incest in the church. I doubt there are many who would disagree that such a sin should be disciplined. Other such sins might include cases of adultery in which a man leaves his wife and children, someone who embezzles money from the church, etc.

The bad news is this.  Many churches decide, on the fly, to discipline just about anything. This might include pride, divisiveness, arrogance, sinfully craving answers to questions (we kid you not), resigning from church, asking questions about budgets, disagreeing with a pastor, etc.

Why won't they define which sins they punish up front?

Unfortunately, church leaders are sinners just like the rest of us. They can use these poorly defined rules to stifle disagreement, to play "I'm the authority around here" card, to get rid of opposition so the pastor can do things his way, or just because they are in a bad mood. One man got disciplined for not smiling at his pastor in the supermarket!

Would you move to a country that had no defined laws and a police force that could arrest you for anything? Why should you be member of a church that practices church discipline and refuses to tell you what they will discipline?

Two classic examples of abusive church discipline

1. Karen Hinkley and Matt Chandler's Village Church

Karen discovered that her husband was viewing child pornography while they were together on the mission field. There were confessions of pedophile behavior as well. Karen returned home and the state of Texas allowed her an annulment of her marriage.The church put her under discipline and claimed that her ex husband was *walking in repentance* after about a month of counseling. Along with Amy Smith of Watchkeep, we broke this story which became known internationally. The actions of the church were so grievous that eventually Matt Chandler had to apologize to Karen and state that she was certainly justified in seeking a divorce from her pervert husband. The embarrassment and harassment from the church that Karen endured is well documented in our series.

The Village Church, Child Pornography and a Hero Makes a Statement

Part 1-Jordan Root Is a Confessed Internet Child Sex Abuser: Should The Village Church Trust Him?

Part 2: The Abuse of Church Discipline at The Village Church

Watchkeep: Karen Hinkley’s Response to The Village Church Email

The Village Church: Child Pornography is Child Sex Abuse/ Josh Duggar /Christian Janeway’s Story

Matt Chandler’s Sermon Asking for Forgiveness While Stressing the Need for Church Discipline

An Apology from Matt Chandler/Elders of The Village Church and a Statement of Forgiveness from Karen Hinkley

The Village Church and 9Marks Demonstrate Why Church Discipline Is Not Ready for Prime Time

My Comment on The Village Church’s Discipline Was Not Approved at First Things. Why?

Why Is Bryan Loritts Featured at The Village Church Website? Doesn’t Matt Chandler Get It?

Lessons Learned From The Village Church and Matt Chandler on Membership, Abuse and Repentance

A TWW Tutorial Analyzing The Village Church Elders Apology to Karen Hinkley and Others

2. Todd Wilhelm and UCC Dubai- a 9 Marks church

Todd Wilhelm, a member of UCCDubai was being considered for a position of leadership in the church. He discovered that the church was selling CJ Mahaney books in the book store and that 9 Marks, as a whole continued to support CJ Mahaney after the accusations of the cover up of child sex abuse against Sovereign Grace Churches. Mark Dever, the head of 9Marks, remains a very close friend and supporter of CJ Mahaney.

Todd, an advocate fighting against child sex abuse, said he could not, in good conscience, support the bookstore. When the church refused to remove CJ Mahaney's books, he decided he would resign from the church. Being a person of intelligence, he decided to look at a variety of church before joining one. This was in direct violation of their membership covenant (we will be writing on this next week) which states you must join an approved church immediately. Wilhelm was put on a list of possible people to be disciplined (names a care group) for 6 months.

Todd offered to sign a waiver so that the church would publicly discuss why they put him on the discipline list. 9Marks declined.

So, here you have a man making a principled stand in a foreign country. Child sex abuse mattered more to him than pushing books by CJ Mahaney for 9Marks. He was abused by the church for acting in a rational, Biblical manner.

Oddly enough, when CJ Mahaney was disciplined by his own church, Mark Dever allowed him to attend Capitol Hill Baptist Church, even allowing him to preach, which demonstrates that church discipline only applied to the little guy in their system.

My, My Dubai: 9Marks Played Hardball While Lifeway/ David Platt Stretched the Truth

The Magisterium of the United Christian Church of Dubai Have Spoken (By: Todd Wilhelm)

TWW Suggestions

We do not believe you should officially join a church that strongly emphasizes church discipline unless you have observed them in action for a few years. We believe that such churches are itching for an opportunity to exercise their authority. We also believe they do not understand common sense. If Matt Chandler couldn't get it right, and he is a really in with the 9Marks boys, then why would any other pastor get it right?

However, if you have signed on the dotted line and the membership contract states you cannot leave a church while under discipline, you can legally leave the church, no matter what they say. You can resign from your church whenever you wish. Please refer to our coming Page "How to Resign From Your Church and we will give you tips.

Finally, if you must attend one of these church, look for a large(meg) New Calvinist church. There are several in our area. There are so many people attending that you can go to church each week and participate in activities and they will not know if you are a member of not.

Another story of church discipline/abuse

Heritage Bible Chapel Admonishes a Former Member to Repent or Else…

Are Pastors at Heritage Bible Chapel Re-Abusing Wives Harmed in Abusive Marriages?

Did Southern Baptist and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminaries Replicate a Hotel California at Heritage Bible Chapel in Princeton, MA?

Links to stories of church discipline

The following links are from stories that we have written on church discipline. We hope you will find them helpful as you explore this area. We are one of the few blogs that has written extensively about abusive church discipline and we have one things to say. Caveat Emptor!

Church Discipline – A Difficult Task? Guest Post by Todd Wilhelm

Fellowship Memphis: It Appears Seeking Truth and Righteousness Deserves Church Discipline

The Allegedly Abusive Church Discipline Practices of Steve Estes: Senior Pastor of CEFC and Lecturer at Westminster Theological Seminary

2015: Abusive Church Discipline, Gender Confusion, Defective Membership Contracts and the Silence of Gospel™ Leaders

If *Simil Justus et Peccator;* Then What Should the Churcch Discipline?

9Marks and Church Discipline at SEBTS: What About Case Studies?

Guest Poster at SBC Voices Shares Concerns About Extreme ‘Church Discipline’

Jonathan Leeman and 9 Marks: Abusive Church Discipline and the Problem With Matthew 18

Membership Covenant Abuse: A Rebuttal to Leadership Journal Post on Church Discipline

Capitol Hill Baptist Church/9 Marks: The *Hotel California* of Church Discipline

Is This Church Discipline Acts 29 Style?

Ill-defined Church Discipline in the Hands of Sinful Leadership

Church Discipline Is Ill-Defined/ The Wounded Warriors

Abusive Church Discipline: How to Recognize It and Escape

Should Autonomous Churches be Cooperating in Church Discipline?

Is Church Discipline Going Rogue?

Is Church Discipline Getting a Bad Rap? Yes and No

My Experience with Church Discipline at Covenant Fellowship – Debra Baker

TGC Takes ‘Church’ Discipline to a Whole Nutha Level!

Churches Attempting to Force Mediation and Limit Members’ Right to Resign Under Discipline™

Evangelical Free Church of America Intervenes in Punishment of Abuse Victim; Steve Estes Thumbs His Nose and Westminster Theological Seminary Remains Silent

What Should We Do About 9Marks and Other Abusive Churches? Guest Post by Dale

What Makes 9Marks Churches So Unhealthy? – Guest Post by Dale

Should Members Keep Giving Money to a Church That Refuses to Disclose the Pastor’s Salary?

The Gospel Coalition Gives Potentially Problematic Legal Advice on Church Covenants and Civil Lawsuits

How to Research and Avoid Churches Like Heritage Bible Chapel, Charles River Church, or Southshore Bible Church

Ryan Ashton’s Experience of Abuse in Monday Nights, a Redlands, CA House Church

Tim Challies: Church Members Drool; Pastors Rule

Update on LaVonne Pfeil: The Little Old Lady Who Was Lied About and Thrown Out of Her Church

Jessica Fore, a Victim of Domestic Violence, Is Indicted by The Presbyterian Church in America for Contempt Toward the Church and Its Leaders

Nine Marks of an Abusive Church

NeoCalvinists in Charge: Are They Creating a Divisive *Us versus Them* Church Culture?

A TWW Tutorial: Steve Estes of Community Evangelical Free Church (EFCA) Excommunicates Domestic Violence Victim Who Was Married to His Son

Ken Ramey and Lakeside Bible Church Elders Cause Pain for a Young Rape Victim and His Mother

Ken Ramey of Lakeside Bible Church, a John MacArthur and 9Marks Supporter, Has a Disturbing Response to a Young Teen’s Rape

9Marks and Grace to You: You Dumb Sheep Can’t Last Without an Approved™ Church to Protect You

You Thought Skynet Was Bad? Wait Until You See What Is Coming to a Church Near You

Woman Excommunicated from Lutheran Church Takes Legal Action

Pastor Who Ejected 103 Year Old Church Member Voted Out by Congregation

Banned From Church – Two Christian Grandmas Kicked to the Curb by Their Pastors

Have You Been Reported to Your Church Leaders? TWW Has Got You Covered!

The Dones: Faithful Church Refugees and the DeChurched Project

Do Acts 29 Churches Share the Same DNA as the Mothership – Matt Chandler’s The Village Church?

The Presumption and Favoritism Involved in the 9 Marks View of Church Resignation

71-Year-Old Granny Perp-Walked Out of Church – Say It Ain’t So!!!

First, It Was Biblical™ and Gospel™; Now They Are Messing with Love™


Comments

Church Discipline and Abuse — 205 Comments

  1. Church discipline can be done in any number of ways….

    And boy have we seen those any number of ways that churches implement discipline here at TWW! But when you get to make the rules (those who hold the keys), then you get to decide who is gets to be punished and who gets to be praised. And as we know, all animals are equal, but some animals (pastors, elders) are more equal than others. The ball is always in the court of those who make the rules, so it’s a lose/lose proposition at 9Marks and Acts 29 churches from the get go.

  2. My power cord just died on me so I need to get another one on the morning. I will probably be behind in responding.

  3. Many churches decide, on the fly, to discipline just about anything. This might include….”

    a wife who is overheard telling her husband to “hush”. 🙂

  4. “Discipline”, “accountability” and “membership” are buzzwords in these circles. They are what Jesus and Paul called “the commandments and traditions of men”. Actual Biblical words that reflect the heart of God – like mercy, compassion and justice – are strangely absent.

  5. @ dee:
    @ GuyBehindtheCurtain:
    This way of posting is EXTREMELY helpful. Thank you, TWW!

    Darlene wrote:

    any number of ways that churches implement discipline

    I was thinking that Briarwood’s Police Force might become part of the church discipline picture, unfortunately:

    “Alabama Church Seeks to Form Its Own Police Force – Briarwood Presbyterian cites attacks and threats on other places of worship; ACLU objects By Ian Lovett, WSJ, April 16, 2017

    “Alabama soon could allow a Birmingham church to establish its own police force, a move with little precedent in American history that would empower a religious group to do a job usually performed by the government…”

  6. And don’t forget this is done “in love.” Such twisted use of the term coming from people abusing power. Either they don’t get it or they are truly that evil as far as manipulating is concerned.

  7. I didn’t know before joining my 9 Marxist/John MacArthur-ite gulag (aka “church”, cough, splutter) that I would be forced by the pastors/elders (Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley) into 8 1/2 years of meetings to be “disciplined” for the following:

    *not being “friends” with an out-of-control, verbally abusive, deeply troubled
    woman alcoholic/widow whom was the pastors’/elders’ friend and whom they treated
    with Nouthetic Counseling/Scripture verses instead of referring her to a physician

    *not being “friends” with a second woman/retiree who was a horrific verbal abuser
    of members and attenders, including telling men who’d been laid off not to come to the fellowship meal/church potluck lunch “until they had jobs” and “could contribute”.
    They ALWAYS contributed. She ridiculed me for helping a young mother who has cancer
    and is a neighbor and for doing my laundry on a Sunday (“violating the Sabbath”) because
    I had helped the mother on a Saturday. Sigh.

    *I was disciplined for having the wrong decor and I was told that I had to get rid of
    my Italian cross in my living room, a birthday gift that I’d had for years, that I’d always loved, and that is beautiful art work, and it costs hundreds of dollars. The senior pastor and his hate speech retiree woman friend, both ex-Catholics, didn’t like me having it and gave me a big, big, big lecture about “false idols”. Gee, I never told them to get rid of their belongings or their birthday gifts!

    *I was disciplined for a church member’s genetically inherited brain disorder (Dyslexia) and her serious memory problems (short-term, working, and auditory) as my ‘sin’ problem
    because she couldn’t remember entire events. She can’t work and has been getting a disability check every month for 30 years…but the pastors/elders said I needed to be disciplined for her problems. She doesn’t believe in medical care or support groups for her disability. She kicks back, lives with her sister, watches tv, drinks coffee, eats snacks, and goes discount shopping.

    *I was disciplined for bringing 10-pounds of bbq beef brisket to the fellowship meal.
    The chairman of the elder board called me at home and said the elders had a meeting about me and that I had been “too lavish”. Sigh. Those people have NO class and NO MANNERS!
    The folks at the fellowship meal ate it in record-speed time.

    *I was disciplined for dealing with reality, I work in law, and for saying that divorce really exists. The Dyslexic/Adult Child of An Alcoholic church member insisted when she found out that people were divorced that they call their ex-spouse their “current spouse” because “they aren’t really divorced in the eyes of God”. Sigh.

    *I was disciplined for not giving the church busybodies my personal business and for saying that I didn’t discuss it. I was treated to temper tantrums and meltdowns that I “didn’t trust” a church member. My family was also treated to this rudeness and they were completely offended by it, and they don’t even go to that church!

    *I invited a woman church member to join me at an Alison Krauss (Bluegrass) concert that I had saved for to buy the expensive tickets for more than 1 year! And a nice dinner — all at a mountain top winery and outdoor concert arena. The ingrate church member told me that if the band used any cuss words that we would have to leave, immediately. She repeated her evangelestic fear-mongering/immaturity. Krauss doesn’t cuss and neither do her band. For not wanting to be close to such a rude church member again, because she was so rude, I was disciplined again. She lives in her own small, rude, self-centered world.

    *I was disciplined with being “destined for Hell” and “not one of us” by four pastors/elders for discovering a Megan’s List sex offender/child pornographer at church who was a friend of the pastors/elders. They said it “wasn’t a big deal” and he “was coming off Megan’s List”. The California Attorney General’s Office and the sheriff’s called them “liars” and said it was “all lies”.

    *I was disciplined for not using hate-speech or being friends with those who use it.
    In my state (California) and at my job I can be fired for such speech. I refuse to conduct myself in such a tacky fashion. I have diverse colleagues. We simply respect hard work and get along. Whom somebody dates is their business, not mine. My supervisor is in that protected class of persons/protected from illegal discrimination. He is hands down a better human being than ANY of my ex-pastors/elders!!! And I mean it!

    *I was disciplined by the chairman of the elder board for riding my bike to church in the summertime in a dress. Sigh. I was told I was immodest, in front of a group of other people. My quip: “It’s great that bike shorts are so thin they can go on under a dress.”

    *I was disciplined for not going to Bible studies on Friday nights. I was actually screamed at by the senior pastor. “What is your excuse?” Me: “I’m at work and in commute traffic. I’m NOT home in time.”

    *I was disciplined for not getting a law firm client to fork over $1 million dollars because a church member wanted to buy a home. I can get fired for that completely illegal and unethical conduct and my bosses could be disbarred!

    *I was disciplined for not agreeing with the excommunications/shunnings of a godly doctor in his 70’s on some trumped up charge and before him a godly woman in finance in her 50’s.
    Both are stand-up Christians and as good as gold!

    On and on it goes.

    Salem Witch Trials II.

    Just another name for abuse.

    Oh yes, and I was excommunicated and shunned.

  8. Zechzav wrote:

    “Discipline”, “accountability” and “membership” are buzzwords in these circles. They are what Jesus and Paul called “the commandments and traditions of men”. Actual Biblical words that reflect the heart of God – like mercy, compassion and justice – are strangely absent.

    Spot on!

  9. Divorce Minister wrote:

    And don’t forget this is done “in love.” Such twisted use of the term coming from people abusing power. Either they don’t get it or they are truly that evil as far as manipulating is concerned.

    So very true.

  10. @ Velour:

    Velour, words fail me. With such horrific treatment I would not blame you for not going to a church ever again! I need to throw out my John MacArthur books the sight of them brings my mood down.

  11. Zechzav wrote:

    @ Velour:
    Velour, words fail me. With such horrific treatment I would not blame you for not going to a church ever again! I need to throw out my John MacArthur books the sight of them brings my mood down.

    Thanks, friend.

    Words fail me too.

    I took my John MacArthur books, and all of those other NeoCalvinist books, and I ripped them to shreds and put them in separate recycling containers so that NO ONE could ever read them again! I felt much better after the purging.

  12. “The actions of the church were so grievous that eventually Matt Chandler had to apologize to Karen and state that she was certainly justified in seeking a divorce from her pervert husband.”

    Did he really? It was a while ago but my recollection is that he never actually apologized for forcing her to stay married to a pedophile. He non-apologized for doing it “harshly”, “not providing clarity”, etc.

    Because the correct answer is either A: the membership covenant is a fallible document written by men and always subject to overrule by Scripture, or B: it’s an inerrant prophecy written by Apostles and we’re the kind of wacko church that believes in that.

  13. @ Steve Scott:
    Fantastic.

    “Even though the sound of it
    Is something quite atrocious
    If you say it loud enough
    You’ll always sound precocious…”

  14. I absolutely agree 100% that all kinds of abuses need to be exposed and opposed.

    I am not sure how to handle church discipline correctly, however. Within the past few months we had a example of church discipline at our parish. One organization had a history of failure to deal with some abusive people in that organization, resulting in nobody even going to the hospital when one abusive member lay in extremis even though the rector called the president of the organization actually from the itself and notified them of the situation. Nobody went, not even knowing that the family was there. Nobody cared enough to even do that. So the rector, along with the appropriate vestry warden met with the organization and vocally reprimanded this behavior, forbade them from participating as an organization in certain upcoming church functions, and said that the restrictions on the organization would continue until he saw some evidence of repentance and change in behavior.

    Now, I really like what he did, and the members of the organization have already had a meeting and resolved to clean up their act and have admitted among themselves that what they did was some kind of not good. This, IMO, is repentance and resolve which will in good time result in restoration of privileges of the organization to continue at this parish.

    I really want to see this sort of church discipline continue at our parish. This sort of thing might have rescued the UMC church where I was before and where things fell apart because of the behavior of some pew persons, not the behavior of the clergy.

    I am terribly sorry for people who have been unjustly disciplined in other situations, but I do not want to see the idea of church discipline removed from our parish as long as it is handled this well.

  15. I disagree with the statement that what is to be disciplined is not defined a priori. Please think about these points:

    The Matthew 18 passage deals clearly with personal offenses: “If thy brother offend thee” (Mt 18:15).

    The NT clearly lays out sins for public discipline:
    1. Causing division within a church contrary to biblical doctrine (Rom. 16:17)
    2. Immoral conduct (1 Cor. 5:1-5, 11)
    3. A covetous spirit (1 Cor. 5:11)
    4. Idolatry, or consorting with the false religion from which one was saved (1 Cor. 5:11)
    5. Railing, or being verbally abusive (1 Cor. 5:11)
    6. Being a drunkard (1 Cor. 5:11)
    7. Extortion (1 Cor. 5:11). This denotes being
    a)Vicious, ravenous, destructive, like a wild animal (MT 7.15);
    b)Violently greedy (LU 18.11); substantivally robber,swindler b)
    8. Going to law against a fellow Christian (1 Cor 6:5-7)
    9. A disorderly lifestyle and testimony (2 Thess. 3:6, 14). In the context of 1 and 2 Thessalonians, this refers to:
    a) The instructions of I Thessalonians 4:1-12.
    (1)Immorality
    (2)Stealing, defrauding
    b)Being unruly, disregarding authority (1 Thess 5:14)
    c)The doctrine Paul taught the Thessalonian believers (2 Thess. 2:15).
    d)Gross disobedience to Scripture (2 Thess. 3:14).
    10. Heresy (Tit. 3:10)
    11. Sinning pastors are not exempt from church discipline! (1 Tim. 5:17-20).

    The formatting here may be off a little. I have lifted this material from my own Baptist Polity course notes. Scripture seems quite clear.

    The Matthew 18 passage is instruction for personal offenses. The authors are correct that the method of dealing with public sins isn’t so defined. It may be that when a situation as blatant as 1 Corinthians 5 is present, the leadership should bring it to the congregation directly for church action.

  16. If these leaders really believed that church discipline was the best thing for the church, they would be scrupulous about the things that lead to church discipline, and they would apply them to everyone, including leadership.

    They do neither.

    Therefore, the Calvinista/Acts 29/9 Marks view of church discipline must be for other reasons. I believe the main reason is that once people saw their churches are closer to cults than churches, they would leave. One of the biggest signs of a cult is whether or not they let you leave and choose where you would like to go without punishment. These churches fail on that point. Plus, if they really believed that other types of churches led people to salvation, they wouldn’t have a problem with them going there. But to force people to stay within the network, for salvation, for money, for power, for a good ole boys network–sign of a cult.

  17. GuyBehindtheCurtain wrote:

    Anyone can be first if they actually release the post.

    FYI. GBTC doesn’t comment, write posts, or toss out opinions. In general. I just try and keep things between the lines.

  18. ishy wrote:

    One of the biggest signs of a cult is whether or not they let you leave and choose where you would like to go without punishment. These churches fail on that point.

    Absolutely. One of the reasons that I want to see things handled properly is because if nobody does anything with situations which flare up then that just leaves more people at risk for more damage. IMO, letting people pack up and leave regardless of why they want to do that (and I in fact did it once) accomplishes two things: it recognizes people’s right to do so whether they are in the right or the wrong, and it may help to defuse the situation in the process.

    Seeing that it makes sense to let people go, I conclude that the churches who refuse to do that are up to no good-big time.

  19. ishy wrote:

    But to force people to stay within the network, for salvation, for money, for power, for a good ole boys network–sign of a cult.

    I would leave the salvation out. They are more messed up than I thought if they think they can force people to go to Heaven. I think it’s all about money, power, and control.

  20. We should all realize by now that this is really about leadership control in New Calvinist churches, rather than Biblical discipline. Such practice goes back to the roots of Calvinism. John Calvin did the same thing in Geneva. He applied pressure by various means in an effort to create ‘his’ Christian utopia; shunning, excommunication, exile, torture, and execution were in his tool kit. New Calvinist belief in this regard is really aimed at silencing dissent by exercising illegitimate authority over the lives of church members. If you can get members to walk the line in various “sins” by whopping them with Matthew 18 based on your definition of sin, you can also put fear in their hearts to keep their mouth shut about overall church belief and practice. It has little to do with maintaining purity and holiness before God.

    Church membership covenants are like employee contracts. They are intended to intimidate you, but have no legal bounds over you. Just as you are free to leave a company and use the experience you gained there at another job, you are free to leave a church without fear of repercussions. There is freedom in Christ, not bondage to a system.

  21. Nancy2 wrote:

    ishy wrote:
    But to force people to stay within the network, for salvation, for money, for power, for a good ole boys network–sign of a cult.
    I would leave the salvation out. They are more messed up than I thought if they think they can force people to go to Heaven. I think it’s all about money, power, and control.

    There are people that believe it for salvation reasons, though, so I don’t feel it would be honest of me to do so. I think the ones I know, though, were not “head” pastors.

    I wanted to include it, too, because just in the past couple weeks, we had commenters here saying that Calvinista churches don’t really believe that you can’t be saved if you go to a non-Calvinista church. They would not have a problem with people going elsewhere if that were really true.

  22. Stan wrote:
    <blockquoteHe non-apologized for doing it “harshly”, “not providing clarity”, etc.

    Very true, they often do apologize that way: “We regret there wasn’t enough clarity in the process”.

    Basically means they think they could’ve done a more thorough job of explaining their reasons for punishing and humiliating you because obviously, being stupid sheep, you cannot be expected to understand the reason you’re being beaten by the shepherd.

  23. @ Velour:
    Let your testimony be a lesson to all. Illuminating. Thanks for sharing.

    The forced friendship situations are quite the deal.

    When our kids were preschool/lower school ages, a teenage boy in our community Christian family group was picking on the little boys, our youngest included. My husband asked the teenager’s dad to perhaps have his older boy play with boys his own age at gatherings. The group leaders then kicked us out of the group, demanding an apology and the forced friendship of our little ones with the out of control teenager. Later that summer, the teenager boy took out the eye of his little preschool brother. No longer allowed in the group, as outcasts we were thankful it was not our son’s eye.

  24. Velour wrote:

    Zechzav wrote:

    “Discipline”, “accountability” and “membership” are buzzwords in these circles. They are what Jesus and Paul called “the commandments and traditions of men”. Actual Biblical words that reflect the heart of God – like mercy, compassion and justice – are strangely absent.

    Spot on!

    Amen! The good St. Ambrose sought even in the early days of the Church to offer some advice that is still much needed now:

    ““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 Doctor of the Church

  25. Now they are here and telling me that they need to tear out my whole kitchen floor also because water has seeped between layers and is trapped. So, two bathrooms and one kitchen from one burst water pipe.

    This will go down as one of the worst holiday disasters so far. I have quite a collection of these now, but this is headed for the top of the list.

  26. Discipline like everything else involved ” politics”….Do you really think a wealthy tithing member who makes a misstep would be disciplined in the say way as a poor single mother?

  27. ishy wrote:

    Therefore, the Calvinista/Acts 29/9 Marks view of church discipline must be for other reasons. I believe the main reason is that once people saw their churches are closer to cults than churches, they would leave. One of the biggest signs of a cult is whether or not they let you leave and choose where you would like to go without punishment. These churches fail on that point.

    If they simply let people go that would be acting like Jesus. While Jesus spoke of course of a good shepherd risking life and limb to seek one lost lamb, He was also quite willing to let people come and go freely. Kind of a thing with Him, remember the time recounted in John 6 when He said some really hard-to-take words and virtually everyone just up and left except for His tiny core of disciples? Did He run after the crowds who’d walked off, promise a more seeker sensitive message? Did He berate them? Discipline them? “Love them well” by slandering them after they left?

    Nope, since Jesus wasn’t about money and power and prestige and programs and megachurches and book deals and honoraria and seats of honor at the T4G conferences and expansion programs with huge mortgages to service and six to seven figure salaries with perks and kingdoms on this earth, He didn’t have to devise ways to terrify people into staying in the fold, He gave them freedom.

    God’s about freedom, Satan is about enslavement.

  28. @ JYJames:

    This is an excellent example of what can happen if nobody does anything to stop some things which require a firm hand. Just doing nothing is not a solution. Abuse is not a solution. Somewhere there have to be good procedures and solutions.

  29. Let me see if I understand. Is it the consensus that there should be no church discipline at all or any kind, or is the consensus only that abuse needs to stop?

    I need to know this in order to monitor what I say.

  30. okrapod wrote:

    Now they are here and telling me that they need to tear out my whole kitchen floor also because water has seeped between layers and is trapped. So, two bathrooms and one kitchen from one burst water pipe.

    This will go down as one of the worst holiday disasters so far. I have quite a collection of these now, but this is headed for the top of the list.

    Hope your insurance comes through for you. We were able to ‘babysit’ my son’s house while the water damage was repaired when his water pipes burst on the second floor (water heater location, go figure). It took months. My husband took the mornings and I came in during the afternoons until my son came home from work. But in the end, the work was beautifully done and the place looked better than before.

    You get through it. No fun, though.

  31. K.D. wrote:

    Discipline like everything else involved ” politics”….Do you really think a wealthy tithing member who makes a misstep would be disciplined in the say way as a poor single mother?

    Some Are More Equal Than Others and MONEY TALKS!

  32. Law Prof wrote:

    Stan wrote:
    He non-apologized for doing it “harshly”, “not providing clarity”, etc.

    Very true, they often do apologize that way: “We regret there wasn’t enough clarity in the process”.

    “They all talk like Liability Lawyers!”
    — Afternoon drive-time on KFI

  33. Zechzav wrote:

    “Discipline”, “accountability” and “membership” are buzzwords in these circles.

    I vaguely remember a 194os-vintage movie that showed up on TV a lot when I was a kid. About a guy who returns from a fishing trip to find the Nazis have taken over America and he immediately gets grabbed and “forcibly interrogated” by the SS. There’s a scene near the end where the SS type is bragging about how easy it was to take over and that America will now have “ORDER! DISCIPLINE! ORDER! DISCIPLINE! ORDER! DISCIPLINE!” over stock footage of Nazis marching in unison. The repetition of “ORDER! DISCIPLINE!” in thick stage-accent German forming a mantra recited at high volume.

  34. JYJames wrote:

    I was thinking that Briarwood’s Police Force might become part of the church discipline picture, unfortunately:

    “Alabama Church Seeks to Form Its Own Police Force – Briarwood Presbyterian cites attacks and threats on other places of worship; ACLU objects By Ian Lovett, WSJ, April 16, 2017

    “Alabama soon could allow a Birmingham church to establish its own police force, a move with little precedent in American history that would empower a religious group to do a job usually performed by the government…”

    In Saudi and Talibanistan, the badge of office of the religious police is the Whip.
    Always carried and immediately used HARD on any infraction.

    Maybe Briarwood (the test balloon) will make their church police’s sign of office the Electric Cattle Prod, just like in The Handmaid’s Tale.

  35. K.D. wrote:

    Discipline like everything else involved ” politics”….Do you really think a wealthy tithing member who makes a misstep would be disciplined in the say way as a poor single mother?

    Don’t ask Political Questions, Comrade.

  36. Stan wrote:

    Because the correct answer is either A: the membership covenant is a fallible document written by men and always subject to overrule by Scripture, or B: it’s an inerrant prophecy written by Apostles and we’re the kind of wacko church that believes in that.

    NOT “inerrant prophecy written by Apostles”.
    The word is SCRIPTURE!

  37. Max wrote:

    Shauna wrote:
    Your pastor has an arsenal full of weapons to go against you if you resist.
    Sounds so Christian, doesn’t it?

    And his Enforcer (God) has (and is) The Biggest Weapon of All.

    “BEGONE FROM ME YE CURSED, INTO EVERLASTING FIRE! JOIN THE DEVIL AND HIS ANGELS!”
    — (Lightbulb-head) God on the Great White Throne scene in most every Jack Chick tract

  38. Shauna wrote:

    Not everyone is called to the position of Shepherd however many are lined up seeing the good ole dollar sign and comforts that are offered by just going to seminary.

    Few who occupy American pulpits are actually called, Shauna. If the great multitude who occupy that office in our nation were actually on an assignment from God, Americans would know it! A genuinely called-forth man of God is a rare and endangered species in our land. The evidence – or lack of it – is there for all to see.

  39. The bad news is this.  Many churches decide, on the fly, to discipline just about anything. This might include pride, divisiveness, arrogance, sinfully craving answers to questions (we kid you not), resigning from church, asking questions about budgets, disagreeing with a pastor, etc.

    Just like “Hooliganism” under Russian law (both Soviet and Putin-eras) — meaning anything those in POWER say it is.

    “Some will say that what we do is illegal. Before that can happen, make sure WE are the ones who define what is legal and what is not.”
    — L Ron Hubbard

  40. okrapod wrote:

    Let me see if I understand. Is it the consensus that there should be no church discipline at all or any kind, or is the consensus only that abuse needs to stop?
    I need to know this in order to monitor what I say.

    Don’t think anyone here thinks there should be no church discipline. I’ve never read anything anyone wrote here that would indicate they believed that. Of course there should, but it should be for sins that drag down the morale and morals of the church, such as what was occurring in the church at Corinth. Obviously child molestation would fit this description. It should be reserved for superapostles, the self-appointed leaders who abuse the people and rule by raw exercise of power, which also was a problem at Corinth. You could argue the people most likely to assert their right to discipline others in a church setting such as Mr. Driscoll, Chandler, etc., would fit this description.

    Ironic that many of those most likely to resort to church discipline are those most likely to need it.

  41. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    K.D. wrote:

    Discipline like everything else involved ” politics”….Do you really think a wealthy tithing member who makes a misstep would be disciplined in the say way as a poor single mother?

    Some Are More Equal Than Others and MONEY TALKS!

    I’m afraid what happens IS a lesson in ‘be afraid, be very very afraid’ where the powerful ‘head-ship’ rulers of these little religious fifedoms will choose someone who is defenseless and unable to raise advocates for support, and they will inflict such torment on these defenseless ones as a LESSON to all in the ‘church’ as to what can happen IF someone DARES to step out of line. It’s the degree of vulnerability of the abused that gives away just how corrupt the abusers have become. Bullies don’t act against those they know are in a strong position to push back.

    The ‘bullies’ are ‘disciplinarians’, no. In a little enclosed society where bullies rule, fear becomes the dynamic used for control. Of course, ‘compassion, mercy, and humility’ would be seen as signs of weakness among any entity relying on brutality to shore up power of ‘leadership’.

    So what DOES real ‘Church discipline’ look like? 🙂 The kind that re-directs a person towards Christ? Perhaps it remains for Churches to understand that this re-direction was always the work of the Holy Spirit within the conscience of an individual: that a person must CHOOSE on their own to return to the Lord. Maybe it remains for the Church to offer help and assistance in the person’s journey back to the Lord …. maybe it remains for those in the Church who would supplant the Holy Spirit’s role to simply ‘get out of the way’. (?)

  42. Shauna wrote:

    retirement packages for pastors and men who profit from its members

    There will be no comfortable retirement for “pastors” who profit from church members. God has a way of working all that out. Payday someday.

  43. Max wrote:

    Shauna wrote:
    Not everyone is called to the position of Shepherd however many are lined up seeing the good ole dollar sign and comforts that are offered by just going to seminary.
    Few who occupy American pulpits are actually called, Shauna. If the great multitude who occupy that office in our nation were actually on an assignment from God, Americans would know it! A genuinely called-forth man of God is a rare and endangered species in our land. The evidence – or lack of it – is there for all to see.

    I don’t see any pulpits in the NT era. We’re all called if we know Jesus, all priests, and no one gets to claim a calling above any other. Otherwise, what was that stuff the Lord inspired in Paul about different parts of the Body, giving special honor to the ones considered less presentable?

  44. It isn’t just calvinista churches. I can tell lots of stories of life in IFB churches as well.

    Most recently my 86 year old grandmother getting fondled by a pervert while she was playing the organ. The pastor did nothing, everyone told her it was innocent and when she told the church it was either he was going to go or she was they basically said goodbye.

    My own former IFB church publicly church disciplined two 13 year olds after their year long assault/molestation by a 20 something Golden Boy preacher man at church. They did send him to jail but still punished the victims, including telling the leadership of their private Christian IFB what they did, furthering their shunning. Any members who breathed a word of this to anyone outside of the church were also threatened with church discipline.

  45. Shauna wrote:

    Not everyone is called to the position of Shepherd

    I love the picture of a shepherd that Isaiah drew for us:
    (Isaiah 40:11)
    “Like a shepherd He will tend His flock,
    In His arm He will gather the lambs
    And carry them in His bosom;
    He will gently lead the nursing ewes.”

    If the word ‘pastor’ means one who acts as a ‘shepherd’, then the ‘male headship’ folk need to read how God Himself sees the role of a shepherd as is written in the Book of Isaiah. Then maybe, they would be filled with shame at the harm they have done, and repent.

    But if the money was all they came to seminary for, then may God have mercy on the innocent victims of these men.

  46. Law Prof wrote:

    Ironic that many of those most likely to resort to church discipline are those most likely to need it.

    wise words

  47. @ Law Prof:

    As I have said before I was in a church where it all fell apart. The clergy had nothing to do with it. Do you have any suggestions as to how to handle a situation where one bunch of pew persons is basically acting like bullies against other pew persons? It looks to me like something needs done, but what?

  48. This is where when we are aware of victims of sexual abuse in a church and this crap happens it is right to find the family reach out to them and give them an opportunity to out these churches who try to conceal this abuse. If the members of that body won’t hold them accountable because of fear and I get that then we as a body outside that church need to start outing them. Let them threaten us because unless we are slandering and lying we have nothing to fear by telling the truth and I believe it is loving to expose this crap. This is the only way that it will begin to stop. Pastors need to be put on notice no more victimizing victims or making victims out members who tell the truth! Personally I have had it with this crap of scaring members into silence and shunning victims. The children you speak of are the same age my baby was when he was abused and it hits right to my heart hearing about these children. I ache for their abuse their parents and the fact that no justice had been served. At least billy received justice in the state of Texas. His perpetrator took a plea and could not hide behind the pastor. Dee and Deb provided a platform for billy. Do let’s pray that we can usher victims to report, and give them a place to out these fools for their abuse by putting them on the same playing ground. Because sorry when the pastor had moms a pulpit and an army of members or men willing to support his silencing victims then he has leverage and is not playing fare. Here victims will have a platform and it puts them at an advantage, public opinion and it warns others of the dangers lurking in these abusive churches! I have said my peace! If these victims you speak of ever come here and see this I believe you I’m so sorry for what your going through and I support you 100% as does billy!!!!! I Fear a Cage wrote:

    It isn’t just calvinista churches. I can tell lots of stories of life in IFB churches as well.

    Most recently my 86 year old grandmother getting fondled by a pervert while she was playing the organ. The pastor did nothing, everyone told her it was innocent and when she told the church it was either he was going to go or she was they basically said goodbye.

    My own former IFB church publicly church disciplined two 13 year olds after their year long assault/molestation by a 20 something Golden Boy preacher man at church. They did send him to jail but still punished the victims, including telling the leadership of their private Christian IFB what they did, furthering their shunning. Any members who breathed a word of this to anyone outside of the church were also threatened with church discipline.

  49. @ Velour:

    It is the Sin Against the Holy Ghost to balk at attending Alison Krauss concerts! A pox upon these philistines! 😉

    Seriously. What dreadful people. In every way.

  50. ishy wrote:

    If these leaders really believed that church discipline was the best thing for the church, they would be scrupulous about the things that lead to church discipline, and they would apply them to everyone, including leadership.
    They do neither.
    Therefore, the Calvinista/Acts 29/9 Marks view of church discipline must be for other reasons. I believe the main reason is that once people saw their churches are closer to cults than churches, they would leave. One of the biggest signs of a cult is whether or not they let you leave and choose where you would like to go without punishment. These churches fail on that point. Plus, if they really believed that other types of churches led people to salvation, they wouldn’t have a problem with them going there. But to force people to stay within the network, for salvation, for money, for power, for a good ole boys network–sign of a cult.

    This!

  51. okrapod wrote:

    As I have said before I was in a church where it all fell apart. The clergy had nothing to do with it. Do you have any suggestions as to how to handle a situation where one bunch of pew persons is basically acting like bullies against other pew persons? It looks to me like something needs done, but what?

    I was in a church where the same thing happened. They tried to use church discipline, and it just made the situation worse, as everyone just left. I think out of a church of 2,000, 30 were left. Maybe it still was the right thing to do, but just because you do the right thing doesn’t mean others will do the right thing.

    However, I do believe that going right into church discipline is a mistake. I think there’s a lot of mediation that can be done between an incident and a church discipline process. The Calvinistas jump right into church discipline for really minor, even dumb, reasons, and that’s purely wrong and very much against the things Jesus said.

    I think there are good reasons for church discipline, and I think abusing other humans is at the top of that list. Some things in the US and other western countries need to be handled by the legal system, like embezzlement, but that doesn’t mean a parallel church discipline process shouldn’t be done in the church. I do think that now many Americans put a whole lot of trust in abusers, and treat the humble and godly like dirt, so it’s not likely to get better.

  52. JYJames wrote:

    The forced friendship situations are quite the deal.

    Ahh yes. They were always calling it “unity” when in point of fact, as many have noted here in prior threads, the NeoCalvinists seek “uniformity”.

    I’m glad you protected your children from that dangerous teenage boy at church, even though it cost you dearly.

  53. A question about the various “permpages” — will there be a tab or something on the top navigation bar so readers can access these new pages directly? Or was there an explanation for this and I missed it … ? Thanks

  54. Christiane wrote:

    And Solomon says: “Be not overmuch righteous;” (Ecclesiastes 7:17) for restraint should temper righteousness.

    Thanks Christiane for sharing that St. Ambrose quote.

  55. @ Shauna:
    You are a courageous woman. I hope God blesses you for having the courage to stand up for Billy and to speak the truth !

  56. I Fear a Cage wrote:

    Any members who breathed a word of this to anyone outside of the church were also threatened with church discipline.

    Heartbreaking….

    I am so sorry.

    How many times have we heard of children who were victims of sex abuse being “disciplined” and their families being shunned? Too many to count.

  57. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    @ Velour:
    It is the Sin Against the Holy Ghost to balk at attending Alison Krauss concerts! A pox upon these philistines!
    Seriously. What dreadful people. In every way.

    Thank you Catholic Gate-Crasher. That evening cost me $600 and I wish I could get my money back from the church member. She ruined an evening that I had been looking forward to (the Alison Krauss & Union Station concert) for more than one year.

    In that world of evangelical Christianity they are always talking about their *rules*,
    as though the universe would implode if something doesn’t go according to plan with their rules. They are the most immature people. They can’t get along with others because they are so self-centered.

  58. Law Prof wrote:

    It should be reserved for superapostles, the self-appointed leaders who abuse the people and rule by raw exercise of power, which also was a problem at Corinth. You could argue the people most likely to assert their right to discipline others in a church setting such as Mr. Driscoll, Chandler, etc., would fit this description.
    Ironic that many of those most likely to resort to church discipline are those most likely to need it.

    My sentiments exactly, LawProf.

  59. Pingback: Linkathon! | PhoenixPreacher UNITED STATES

  60. Ty Nancy2 In spite of all this God is still good He has been ever sustaining to me and billy. It may not see like it but I agree church discipline should be exercised but I think that it should be reserved in cases where warranted and not so quickly. If I’m in sin I truly hope patience and kindness would be exercised in helping me restore my fellowship with Christ. I should be accountable for the choices I make not beat over the head with scripture and the law. Nancy2 wrote:

    @ Shauna:
    You are a courageous woman. I hope God blesses you for having the courage to stand up for Billy and to speak the truth !

  61. @ Fred Moritz:

    You said something about a course in Baptist polity. Do you mind saying what brand of Baptist that was and when that was? I spent several decades as a Baptist, first SBC and then FWB, after being born into a family that for generations had been Baptist, and I never heard the first hint that all those listed conditions and actions and sins should be dealt with by official church discipline. I never heard it or saw it at church, I never heard talked about it at home, and I never heard it in any religion class I ever took (and I took quite a few). But that was rather long ago, perhaps things have changed; or perhaps you are from a different Baptist denomination?

  62. Velour wrote:

    In that world of evangelical Christianity they are always talking about their *rules*,
    as though the universe would implode if something doesn’t go according to plan with their rules. They are the most immature people. They can’t get along with others because they are so self-centered.

    I’m pretty sure their universe would fall apart since it’s based around individual men and not Christ. Even their ESS theology basically puts men in the position of God the Father on Earth.

  63. I’m not certain if this is the thread to put this. Great news billy and I have been discussing his plans for the summer.
    I believe I shared he wanted to serve at Lassen Pines Camp. I believe that would be amazing for him to do again. The last time he went he was 13 and left two weeks after the rape. Those 82 days were the hardest days being without him but God knew he would need it. We had planned on him going months prior to the assault. What a blessing that turned out to be. Billy proudly served kids by working in the dish room for five weeks. Kids sometimes 600 in a week who would be coming to hear the gospel. It was also a place for billy to get away while I grieved and processed and dealt with a majority of the church discipline I was put under. Thankfully billy wasn’t present for most of that time.
    Billy mentioned being a life guard and I thought wow what a great fit for him. I wasn’t sure if I could afford the Red Cross training. Scott from the camp emailed me today asking if billy would like to lifeguard this summer wow wow wow God sure does work doesn’t He? We hadn’t mentioned life guarding to him. He also offered to help with some of the cost of the classes. Again God is moving. I can’t wait to tell billy.
    Now here comes my request and this is solely for billy. I left my job as I felt cornered and to stay would have been worse. I struggled greatly with this as you all were kept up to date on how excited I was to be there to get the pay I was getting. Had it not gotten extreme I would have stuck it out and I actually have a peace about this in the midst of financial fear, no paycheck this week. Billy has actually been sleeping through the night since I left not sure if it’s just coincidence or if he just feels more secure with me home in the middle of the night. Prayer has a lot to do with it as God has been answering your prayers for my son.
    Ok so here gos does anyone have any frequent flyer miles for billy to use to get to camp this summer? I definitely don’t have funds as I’m trying to figure out how to sustain for the next few weeks. He needs to fly into Sacramento however I can drive him to any airport in Texas as far as Dallas, Austin, Houston and San Antonio if need be.
    I am not asking for funds just the possibility that someone may have an unused ticket or frequent flyer miles they don’t need.
    Billy could stay here and work but I believe spiritually he can grow in the environment at camp, he can mature being with other kids, and the Luffs are amazing people who will teach billy things I can’t as a woman. He is coming into manhood soon and there’s so much he can learn from Scott and the amazing staff up there. They are structured but also know how to enjoy time together. They all work together and play together it’s a team of men and women solely devoted to ministry every cent that goes into this place is used for Gods glory. Kids who can’t afford camp Scott will work it out so that no kid is left out who wants to come. I couldn’t think of a more wonderful place for billy to be. He also can take an educational leave from his job so it will be there when he returns.
    This is a lot to ask and I hope I’m not violating any rules here. I want to respect what Dee and Deb have said recently. If there isn’t anyone with what I requested then if you could pray for a way for me to get billy there I would be ever so grateful. If I could drive him to California I would do it in a heartbeat. I have not left the state of Texas in 12 years which means I have not seen those who raised me since billy was 1 years old. My heart aches to go home for a time but that is ok. I’m content with the life God has given me even in the struggle I’m content. I think billy will grow emotionally and spiritually at Lassen pines. It also places in in a position of serving others who will hear the gospel. I can’t think of anything more exciting and important than that for a teenager.
    Again Dee I hope I’m not violating any rules here. If I did let me apologize to you and the readers in advance please forgive me.

  64. I'm removing a bunch of comments. Most MAY be back. Dee and I don't have time this afternoon to sort it out this minute.

    No mentioning the names of non public figures without their permission. (And we may want proof of such permission.)

    And no accusations of non public figures without references.

    And NO discussion of this issue at this time.

    GBTC

  65. The baptist church I was saved in and grew up in I never heard about discipline or anything the calvinistas are doing today. They were structured in a way where the members and leadership were equals but were serving in the capacity they were called. Notice the word serving not controlling. It must be that this movement of Calvin and 9 marks have taken 20 years to infiltrate the churches. Old school baptist I had never heard or experienced this stuff growing up. okrapod wrote:

    @ Fred Moritz:

    You said something about a course in Baptist polity. Do you mind saying what brand of Baptist that was and when that was? I spent several decades as a Baptist, first SBC and then FWB, after being born into a family that for generations had been Baptist, and I never heard the first hint that all those listed conditions and actions and sins should be dealt with by official church discipline. I never heard it or saw it at church, I never heard talked about it at home, and I never heard it in any religion class I ever took (and I took quite a few). But that was rather long ago, perhaps things have changed; or perhaps you are from a different Baptist denomination?

  66. Sorry ,I understand my previous comment being deleted your right. I should have permission to mention names. Please feel free to delete immediately. GuyBehindtheCurtain wrote:

    I’m removing a bunch of comments. Most MAY be back. Dee and I don’t have time this afternoon to sort it out this minute.

    No mentioning the names of others without their permission.

  67. @ Velour:

    I think I am persona non grata at my old church. Even after not attending services I still helped with a few projects. They told a guy I help to not contact me. I am not going to get into details, but there are a lot of stories. I did get in trouble and fined once for telling personal info to an ordinary parishioner, rather than one of the leaders. Right now I just visit different churches each week, and am reluctant to join a new one.

  68. Seekeroftruthweb wrote:

    @ Velour:
    I think I am persona non grata at my old church. Even after not attending services I still helped with a few projects. They told a guy I help to not contact me. I am not going to get into details, but there are a lot of stories. I did get in trouble and fined once for telling personal info to an ordinary parishioner, rather than one of the leaders. Right now I just visit different churches each week, and am reluctant to join a new one.

    Wait, the church ” fined” you? Sort of like traffic court?

  69. Velour wrote:

    In that world of evangelical Christianity they are always talking about their *rules*,

    as though the universe would implode if something doesn’t go according to plan with their rules

    Didn’t that Rabbi from Nazareth go against “according to plan with their rules”?

    Like God specializes in The Unexpected….

  70. Velour wrote:

    How many times have we heard of children who were victims of sex abuse being “disciplined” and their families being shunned? Too many to count.

    Remember the testimony of Boz T — how in all his years as a prosecutor specializing in sex abuse of children, he NEVER saw a church show up on the side of the victim? Always “RALLY ROUND THE PEDO, BOYS!”

  71. Velour wrote:

    Christiane wrote:
    And Solomon says: “Be not overmuch righteous;” (Ecclesiastes 7:17) for restraint should temper righteousness.

    Thanks Christiane for sharing that St. Ambrose quote.

    There’s a reason why “Righteousness” has a primarily NEGATIVE meaning these days.

  72. ishy wrote:

    I was in a church where the same thing happened. They tried to use church discipline, and it just made the situation worse, as everyone just left. I think out of a church of 2,000, 30 were left.

    All 30 congratulating each other on their own Righteousness?

  73. Christiane wrote:

    I’m afraid what happens IS a lesson in ‘be afraid, be very very afraid’ where the powerful ‘head-ship’ rulers of these little religious fifedoms will choose someone who is defenseless and unable to raise advocates for support, and they will inflict such torment on these defenseless ones as a LESSON to all in the ‘church’ as to what can happen IF someone DARES to step out of line.

    Make an Example of one, and a hundred will fall right into line bleating praises.

  74. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    ishy wrote:

    I was in a church where the same thing happened. They tried to use church discipline, and it just made the situation worse, as everyone just left. I think out of a church of 2,000, 30 were left.

    All 30 congratulating each other on their own Righteousness?

    and choosing the weakest among them to be the next example of their vicious ‘church discipline’ so as to keep all the others in line out of fear ….. bullies feed only on the weak who have no one to speak for them OR who have no one who DARES to speak for them …. circular firing squad, one victim at a time

  75. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    All 30 congratulating each other on their own Righteousness?

    They seemed to be the ones who were mostly confused at the whole situation. The issue was on going into debt to make a megachurch building complex like several that were already in town. The pastors were against it, as were a lot of people, and so the debt group ran several of the pastors off with horrible rumors about financial embezzlement and nepotism (even though the budget was open, and the church voted on everything). Then the Calvinistas just used it as an excuse to up and make their own church in the middle of all of it. It was weird and sordid and just a big mess.

  76. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Velour wrote:

    In that world of evangelical Christianity they are always talking about their *rules*,

    as though the universe would implode if something doesn’t go according to plan with their rules

    Didn’t that Rabbi from Nazareth go against “according to plan with their rules”?

    Like God specializes in The Unexpected….

    🙂

    C.S. Lewis wrote a bit about ‘the unexpected’:
    directed towards justice, yes, but also goes deeper into mercy and serves goodness;
    and is therefore powerful enough to take down any evil that would use ‘the rules’ for its own agenda:

    “It means that though the Witch knew the Deep Magic, there is a magic deeper still which she did not know. Her knowledge goes back only to the dawn of time. But if she could have looked a little further back, into the stillness and the darkness before Time dawned, she would have read there a different incantation. She would have known that when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor’s stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards.”
    (Aslan describing the Deeper Magic)

    C.S. Lewis didn’t ‘laugh’ at watchful dragons, no;
    he ‘snuck past them’. Very clever of him, and so very fortunate for his readers. 🙂

  77. From the post:

    Church discipline can be done in any number of ways, but the goal is always to correct transgressions of God’s law among God’s people.

    The goal of church discipline is never to correct transgressions of God’s law. It’s to promote love. The trouble is that “promote love” isn’t sufficiently well-defined for some, so out it goes. What do you mean by “love”? If you can’t spell it out in a document that applies to all people for all time, you obviously don’t know, so we’d better go back to the Law. Come to think of it, people in the church who’ve been set free from the Law often long to go back to it, in the same way that Israel in the wilderness, having been set free from Egypt, wanted to go back there.

    The only answer I can give to “what is love” is – it’s through a gate that’s narrow, that not many people find.

  78. okrapod wrote:

    @ Law Prof:
    As I have said before I was in a church where it all fell apart. The clergy had nothing to do with it. Do you have any suggestions as to how to handle a situation where one bunch of pew persons is basically acting like bullies against other pew persons? It looks to me like something needs done, but what?

    If pew people are the bullies, then they should be disciplined. Makes no difference.
    The church as a whole should do the disciplining by consensus, and if they cannot reach a consensus, then there you go, that will not get done.

    But the whole paradigm is nonsense. There’s no distinction in the NT between “pew people” and “pulpit people”; the Levitical priesthood to whom the Israelites were to tithe because they hadn’t been given an allocation of land is no more. The distinction between the clergy and laity is no more, there is no more holy of holies into which only a Levite can go; the holy of holies is within us, the Holy Spirit, every believer, and that is why we’re now all priests.

    The problem is with the paradigm. The church as it typically now exists is divided into clergy and laity, experts and novices, professionals and amateurs, and the profession attracts an enormously high percentage of conscienceless, evil people. Naturally the average NPD or socioopath will be drawn to a position in which they can exert their authority over naive people who think they have a special connection with God, naturally they love being one who cannot be challenged, naturally it gives them pleasure to abuse and destroy one who dares to challenge their “God-given” authority. Of course. No wonder we have such destruction associated with church discipline. The mode of doing church is flawed and I think at this point, this time, fatally so.

  79. Law Prof wrote:

    The problem is with the paradigm. The church as it typically now exists is divided into clergy and laity, experts and novices, professionals and amateurs, and the profession attracts an enormously high percentage of conscienceless, evil people. Naturally the average NPD or socioopath will be drawn to a position in which they can exert their authority over naive people who think they have a special connection with God, naturally they love being one who cannot be challenged, naturally it gives them pleasure to abuse and destroy one who dares to challenge their “God-given” authority.

    This is a very good point. Sometimes I think I should go visit a Quaker church that has unprogrammed worship services just to experience what a church is like that has no distinction. Unfortunately, there’s just not that many around here.

    Genesis 3 has so many clobber verses that are used badly by abusers, but I think this idea that somebody has to “take charge” is directly from the fall and is not God’s plan.

  80. ishy wrote:

    The problem is with the paradigm.

    take the ‘triangle’ with the ‘headship leaders’ at the top point and turn it top-down;
    then the ‘leaders’ can be ‘servant-leaders’ in support of the rest of the Church, better yet to be self-less in their serving

    as for the bullies and those they are attempting to bully; in the Christian faith, it is right to stand up for those who are being harassed and abused. I don’t see an alternative where Christian people are permitted to see bullying and ‘look away’, no. It would be good to know the specifics of a situation, but when someone is being abused right in front of you, you cannot say ‘it is not MY problem’ if you are a Christian person, no. That would just be to encourage the bully, and that would be a sin (sin of ‘omission’)….. there is no room for ‘tolerating’ bullying in Christianity

    as for it happening in a Church with a pastor????? Oh no. Our Lord Himself observed a scene and felt compassion for those who were ‘harassed and helpless and without a shepherd’. If people in a Church are being harassed and are helpless against it, likely they also are ‘without a shepherd’.

  81. Seekeroftruthweb wrote:

    @ Velour:
    I think I am persona non grata at my old church. Even after not attending services I still helped with a few projects. They told a guy I help to not contact me. I am not going to get into details, but there are a lot of stories. I did get in trouble and fined once for telling personal info to an ordinary parishioner, rather than one of the leaders. Right now I just visit different churches each week, and am reluctant to join a new one.

    I am sorry to hear that was done to you.

    What do you mean you were ‘fined’?

  82. @ Nancy2:
    out of curiosity, I just looked up MY Chinese zodiac sign and found out why I have so much love for dogs 🙂

  83. Christiane wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    ishy wrote:
    I was in a church where the same thing happened. They tried to use church discipline, and it just made the situation worse, as everyone just left. I think out of a church of 2,000, 30 were left.
    All 30 congratulating each other on their own Righteousness?
    and choosing the weakest among them to be the next example of their vicious ‘church discipline’ so as to keep all the others in line out of fear ….. bullies feed only on the weak who have no one to speak for them OR who have no one who DARES to speak for them …. circular firing squad, one victim at a time

    Sometimes, it is the strongest ones who are chosen as an ‘example’ of to discipline.

    And of course with the internet anyone can start a blog page, as I have done devoted to the abuses of my ex-church, which they can’t stop. Sometimes bullies should be more careful of whom they bully…

  84. Max wrote:

    We should all realize by now that this is really about leadership control in New Calvinist churches, rather than Biblical discipline.

    It’s not just about New Calvinist churches though. You can find “leadership control” in any church . . .

  85. Law Prof wrote:

    Very true, they often do apologize that way: “We regret there wasn’t enough clarity in the process”.
    Basically means they think they could’ve done a more thorough job of explaining their reasons for punishing and humiliating you because obviously, being stupid sheep, you cannot be expected to understand the reason you’re being beaten by the shepherd.

    There must be a playbook. That quoted sentence is too familiar!

  86. Fred Moritz wrote:

    . Causing division within a church contrary to biblical doctrine (Rom. 16:17)

    Fred,

    This is the game of ‘pin the Scripture verse’ on the (thinking) Christian to justify abusing them. These Scripture verses were used against me for refusing to socialize with an out-of-control drunk (a woman/widow), for keeping a distance from church gossips,
    for refusing to use hate speech (I can get fired from my job for it), and for
    discovering a Megan’s List sex offender/child pornographer in our midst who was the pastors/elders’ friend and they said was “harmless”.

    Jesus had the biggest problem with religious leaders.

  87. BAM and velour nailed that’s right girl!!!!! To bad for them while your there they control the narrative and you once you break away and sort through all their Matthew 18 crap and I don’t mean Gods word it’s beautiful and it’s truth but these controlling pastors distort Gods word this chapter inparticular in order to exercise control over Christians. Once you stop with the meetings and cut them off they go nuts scrambling to self protect because ones like us are ticking time bombs to them and they know it. They know they are in trouble and nothing will get them out of it except to cut off everyone from you. However you will always be a threat to their system as will me and billy until they reconcile with God. Velour wrote:

    Christiane wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    ishy wrote:
    I was in a church where the same thing happened. They tried to use church discipline, and it just made the situation worse, as everyone just left. I think out of a church of 2,000, 30 were left.
    All 30 congratulating each other on their own Righteousness?
    and choosing the weakest among them to be the next example of their vicious ‘church discipline’ so as to keep all the others in line out of fear ….. bullies feed only on the weak who have no one to speak for them OR who have no one who DARES to speak for them …. circular firing squad, one victim at a time

    Sometimes, it is the strongest ones who are chosen as an ‘example’ of to discipline.

    And of course with the internet anyone can start a blog page, as I have done devoted to the abuses of my ex-church, which they can’t stop. Sometimes bullies should be more careful of whom they bully…

  88. Fred Moritz wrote:

    The NT clearly lays out sins for public discipline:
    1. Causing division within a church contrary to biblical doctrine (Rom. 16:17)
    2. Immoral conduct (1 Cor. 5:1-5, 11)
    3. A covetous spirit (1 Cor. 5:11)
    4. Idolatry, or consorting with the false religion from which one was saved (1 Cor. 5:11)
    5. Railing, or being verbally abusive (1 Cor. 5:11)
    6. Being a drunkard (1 Cor. 5:11)
    7. Extortion (1 Cor. 5:11). This denotes being
    a)Vicious, ravenous, destructive, like a wild animal (MT 7.15);
    b)Violently greedy (LU 18.11); substantivally robber,swindler b)
    8. Going to law against a fellow Christian (1 Cor 6:5-7)
    9. A disorderly lifestyle and testimony (2 Thess. 3:6, 14). In the context of 1 and 2 Thessalonians, this refers to:
    a) The instructions of I Thessalonians 4:1-12.
    (1)Immorality
    (2)Stealing, defrauding
    b)Being unruly, disregarding authority (1 Thess 5:14)
    c)The doctrine Paul taught the Thessalonian believers (2 Thess. 2:15).
    d)Gross disobedience to Scripture (2 Thess. 3:14).
    10. Heresy (Tit. 3:10)
    11. Sinning pastors are not exempt from church discipline! (1 Tim. 5:17-20).

    Translation:
    “I KNOW I’m Right — I HAVE A VERSE!”

    Makes you wonder if Christians have a brain or just an ammunition hopper loaded with linked belts of Bible Bullets (either the Verses themselves or just the Zip codes). No meed to actually think or feel or actually become involved with someone else, just recite the thoughtstoppers. Calvary Chapelites are masters of this — fire enough Bible Bullets so fast that in the time it takes the mark to respond to one, a hundred more are on the way, fire for effect.

  89. Christiane wrote:

    @ Seekeroftruthweb:
    sounds like you were in a cult

    Not exactly a cult. More like a Fundy splinter church, the type that used to be called an “aberrant Christian group” and is now called a “TACO” (don’t remember what the acronym stands for). The main difference was definitions: Christianese cult-watch groups of the time defined “cult” entirely by Theology and Doctrine, NOT by abusive or control-freak behavior towards their people. In the days of Hal Lindsay, their Theology and Doctrine was typical; however their behavior…

    The name of the group was “Koinonia House Christian Fellowship”, Whittier, California, circa 1974-76. I remember (1) college campus recruitment; (2) moderate love-bombing; (3) one marathon prayer/worship session; (4) “cult compound” with “barracks” bunks excavated in a basement; and (5) pressure to “come out from among the Heathen” and move into the compound. (And years after breaking contact, I found out in passing that some of the members had to be abducted and forcibly deprogrammed — but remember, they weren’t a Cult because their Doctrine was Correct!)

    Then I discovered organized SF litfandom and Dungeons & Dragons — about the time the BIG “This Is It!!!” Rapture Scare of the time fizzled out. And got more “Fellowship(TM)” from the easy yoke and light burden of the “K-One Commandos” and “Expeditions Limited” D&D groups.

  90. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    In my opinion, church discipline in these circles is actually church punishment. And it is abusive by definition.

    That is where I am now at after all those post up there. I certainly have plenty of ammunition now.

  91. dee wrote:

    That is where I am now at after all those post up there. I certainly have plenty of ammunition now.

    Amazing to have the Big Picture, and to see the progression of what is happening. Thanks for doing this. What a gift to the Body of Christ! We are very blessed!

  92. Velour wrote:

    I’m glad you protected your children from that dangerous teenage boy at church, even though it cost you dearly.

    It was a miracle, really. God delivered us out of a potentially very bad situation for our children. Sometimes rejection from man (people), is actually a promotion from God, moving on to better pastures, higher ground.

  93. JYJames wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    I’m glad you protected your children from that dangerous teenage boy at church, even though it cost you dearly.
    It was a miracle, really. God delivered us out of a potentially very bad situation for our children. Sometimes rejection from man (people), is actually a promotion from God, moving on to better pastures, higher ground.

    Indeed!

  94. brad/futuristguy wrote:

    A question about the various “permpages” — will there be a tab or something on the top navigation bar so readers can access these new pages directly? Or was there an explanation for this and I missed it … ? Thanks

    Yes.The current sidebar will cease to exist and in its place will be links to pages, etc.

  95. JYJames wrote:

    When our kids were preschool/lower school ages, a teenage boy in our community Christian family group was picking on the little boys, our youngest included. My husband asked the teenager’s dad to perhaps have his older boy play with boys his own age at gatherings. The group leaders then kicked us out of the group, demanding an apology and the forced friendship of our little ones with the out of control teenager. Later that summer, the teenager boy took out the eye of his little preschool brother. No longer allowed in the group, as outcasts we were thankful it was not our son’s eye.

    We had a similar situation, not in a Church but in a lake community in NJ. A thirteen year old was harassing smaller children in the neighborhood. I asked his mother to tell him not to speak with my five year old. I mentioned the age difference, but she didn’t get it. She said that MY son had caused a problem by making her son angry. (?) So we went into protective mode: our child was carefully watched over by one or both of us parents or by his older sister at the lake.
    The carnage got worse as the thirteen year old bullied the grandchildren of an old Italian couple down the street. One day, at the lake beach, in front of everyone, the teenager picked up a rock and hit one of the little ones in the head. They had to call the paramedics. The child had to have surgery. The teen’s mother had no where to hide.

    Someone subsequently put a large rock through the front window of her new car. And then her tires were slashed by someone also. The family moved within months to another lake community. The teen? The parents had money and lawyered up. The little boy? Not so good.

    Bullies are raised. I have no doubt. I’m glad you were able to escape your situation, yes. We moved later that year to another state where my husband got a better job.

  96. Bridget wrote:

    It’s not just about New Calvinist churches though. You can find “leadership control” in any church . . .

    Agreed. Wherever agenda meets arrogance … where self supersedes Spirit … you will find leaders controlling instead of shepherding the flock.

  97. Law Prof wrote:

    We’re all called if we know Jesus, all priests, and no one gets to claim a calling above any other.

    Amen! Whose job is the ministry? Every believer has a part! We are, indeed, all priests. Unfortunately, most 21st century church leaders don’t preach/teach the priesthood of the believer (singular). It’s much easier for them to control you if they can get you to believe there is a hierarchy in ministry, where the pulpit is more important than the pew. Once long-standing key doctrines in Southern Baptist life, priesthood of the believer and soul competency have been diminished during the New Calvinist takeover of the SBC.

  98. Max wrote:

    Once long-standing key doctrines in Southern Baptist life, priesthood of the believer and soul competency have been diminished during the New Calvinist takeover of the SBC

    what I don’t understand is how the SBC could agree to BOTH viewpoints which so firmly CONTRADICT one another …. I don’t see soul competency standing beside the neo-Cal teachings in the same Church, no …… wouldn’t the neo-Cal ‘leadership’ punish the person who claimed ‘soul competency’ ???

    How does it work, if it works?
    ?

  99. Christiane wrote:

    what I don’t understand is how the SBC could agree to BOTH viewpoints which so firmly CONTRADICT one another …. I don’t see soul competency standing beside the neo-Cal teachings in the same Church, no …… wouldn’t the neo-Cal ‘leadership’ punish the person who claimed ‘soul competency’ ???
    How does it work, if it works?

    They don’t work at all together. Mohler wants you to believe it does, but I’m pretty sure it’s only so his minions can continue their takeover of that church. Once a neo-Calvinist is in charge, then the new covenant will remove any such beliefs from that church.

    But I will point out both of those were removed from the Baptist Faith and Message 2000. So even though Mohler might make reference to them, they’ve already been demolished officially.

  100. Max wrote:

    Amen! Whose job is the ministry? Every believer has a part! We are, indeed, all priests. Unfortunately, most 21st century church leaders don’t preach/teach the priesthood of the believer (singular). It’s much easier for them to control you if they can get you to believe there is a hierarchy in ministry, where the pulpit is more important than the pew. Once long-standing key doctrines in Southern Baptist life, priesthood of the believer and soul competency have been diminished during the New Calvinist takeover of the SBC.

    Amen to that!

  101. Bridget wrote:

    There must be a playbook. That quoted sentence is too familiar!

    It’s virtually always fake talk, almost never genuine. Even when these abusive leaders give a “heartfelt”: “I’m sorry, sooo sorry”, it sounds like they’re trying to fake sincerity. I have one time–and one time only–in decades on this earth, heard what I believed to be a bona fide apology from a church leader who’d previously been abusive.

    All others have been carefully crafted and lawyered, they’re usually hiding behind something or playing around with you.

    Fake Apologies:

    “Mistakes were made” (e.g., Mark Driscoll) — As if they didn’t work a math problem properly (that would be a mistake) rather than engaging in a pattern of torture as they attempt to destroy your friendships, harm your career, isolate you from those who really love you, such as family and non-church member friends and attempt to chip away at your very sanity. Folks, that’s not a mistake, that’s an evil person doing what evil people do; to hurt someone like that requires a truly malicious, possibly reprobate, Jesus-hating heart. That is NOT a mistake. Don’t let any abusive leader ever apologize for “mistakes” again, call them on it and don’t back down; they didn’t make mistakes, they were doing evil things and possibly are evil, and unless they’re apologizing for THAT, they don’t get it and are probably just in damage control.

    “We messed up the process (e.g., Matt Chandler) — This means, as I said in another post, that the process with them at the top of the pyramid deciding in secret councils who will and will not have their lives destroyed based on their ad hoc rules is nonetheless fundamentally sound, they just messed up when the minutes of the secret council leaked and hit the press, resulting in the need for damage control.

    “We’re sorry that we weren’t clear enough” (Chandler again, as well as pretty much every abusive leader) — This means they’re sorry you were too dense and carnal to understand all the godly intentions of their scheme to discipline you, shun you and destroy your life.

    “I’m the worst sinner in the whole wide world, O woe is me, a sinner” (e.g., Josh Duggar, Tullian T.–who also worked the suicidal thoughts angle into the narrative) — This is a maudlin attempt to get the pity of all the followers who remain, so that the leader can be stroked and coddled, like a wounded animal you rescue. Leader is also probably secretly hoping that the followers will then turn on the dread accusers and let ’em have it (“Hasn’t this poor man suffered enough?” “Accusers of the brethren!” “Have you no sin yourself?” “Judgmental hypocrites!”)

  102. Fred Moritz wrote:

    I disagree with the statement that what is to be disciplined is not defined a priori. Please think about these points:
    The Matthew 18 passage deals clearly with personal offenses: “If thy brother offend thee” (Mt 18:15).
    The NT clearly lays out sins for public discipline:
    1. Causing division within a church contrary to biblical doctrine (Rom. 16:17)
    2. Immoral conduct (1 Cor. 5:1-5, 11)
    3. A covetous spirit (1 Cor. 5:11)
    4. Idolatry, or consorting with the false religion from which one was saved (1 Cor. 5:11)
    5. Railing, or being verbally abusive (1 Cor. 5:11)
    6. Being a drunkard (1 Cor. 5:11)
    7. Extortion (1 Cor. 5:11). This denotes being
    a)Vicious, ravenous, destructive, like a wild animal (MT 7.15);
    b)Violently greedy (LU 18.11); substantivally robber,swindler b)
    8. Going to law against a fellow Christian (1 Cor 6:5-7)
    9. A disorderly lifestyle and testimony (2 Thess. 3:6, 14). In the context of 1 and 2 Thessalonians, this refers to:
    a) The instructions of I Thessalonians 4:1-12.
    (1)Immorality
    (2)Stealing, defrauding
    b)Being unruly, disregarding authority (1 Thess 5:14)
    c)The doctrine Paul taught the Thessalonian believers (2 Thess. 2:15).
    d)Gross disobedience to Scripture (2 Thess. 3:14).
    10. Heresy (Tit. 3:10)
    11. Sinning pastors are not exempt from church discipline! (1 Tim. 5:17-20).
    The formatting here may be off a little. I have lifted this material from my own Baptist Polity course notes. Scripture seems quite clear.

    Scripture does seem pretty clear, it also seems pretty clear that many of the leaders we call out here should be called out publicly, as they seem to tick off virtually every one.

  103. ishy wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:

    The problem is with the paradigm. The church as it typically now exists is divided into clergy and laity, experts and novices, professionals and amateurs, and the profession attracts an enormously high percentage of conscienceless, evil people. Naturally the average NPD or socioopath will be drawn to a position in which they can exert their authority over naive people who think they have a special connection with God, naturally they love being one who cannot be challenged, naturally it gives them pleasure to abuse and destroy one who dares to challenge their “God-given” authority.

    This is a very good point. Sometimes I think I should go visit a Quaker church that has unprogrammed worship services just to experience what a church is like that has no distinction. Unfortunately, there’s just not that many around here.

    Genesis 3 has so many clobber verses that are used badly by abusers, but I think this idea that somebody has to “take charge” is directly from the fall and is not God’s plan.

    My church is more along those lines. Not Quaker, and we do have a pastor, but anyone can share, speak, sing, pray. Vision Sunday is us all gathered around talking about our hopes, dreams, plans. Where several plans overlap we often take it up as a church project; otherwise we make a note to pray for and support one another.

  104. @ Christiane:
    “‘Soul competency’ is the view that individual Christians may go directly to God through Christ without any other mediator. ‘The priesthood of the believer’ is the view that through Christ each believer is a priest – both clergy and laity – responsible to God for interpreting and following the Bible and for interceding on behalf others.” (Russell Dilday)

    Soul competency has historically been the most distinctive Baptist doctrine. Yet the new reformers at operation in SBC life don’t accept it because of their warped view of God’s sovereignty.

  105. Law Prof wrote:

    “Mistakes were made” (e.g., Mark Driscoll) — As if they didn’t work a math problem properly (that would be a mistake) rather than engaging in a pattern of torture as they attempt to destroy your friendships, harm your career, isolate you from those who really love you, such as family and non-church member friends and attempt to chip away at your very sanity. Folks, that’s not a mistake, that’s an evil person doing what evil people do; to hurt someone like that requires a truly malicious, possibly reprobate, Jesus-hating heart. That is NOT a mistake.

    Preach it!

  106. Max wrote:

    Soul competency has historically been the most distinctive Baptist doctrine. Yet the new reformers at operation in SBC life don’t accept it because of their warped view of God’s sovereignty.

    Well, historically to an extent. It was first put forth in that terminology in a book in 1908 by E. Y. Mullins.

    http://www.theopedia.com/soul-competency

    The idea in some form was no doubt there, but the specific doctrine as described as ‘soul competency’ is relatively more recent. At least I think 1908 is relatively recent when it comes to stating doctrines.

    In the loooong struggle between calvinism and free will among Baptists I would think that probably not everybody thought the same way about this, given that it does leave the way open to deny election, and probably the more calvinistic Baptists were uncomfortable with that all along.

    Personally I never heard it emphasized back in my childhood and youth in SBC churches, nor did I hear anything to the contrary.

  107. Law Prof wrote:

    “I’m the worst sinner in the whole wide world, O woe is me, a sinner” (e.g., Josh Duggar, Tullian T.–who also worked the suicidal thoughts angle into the narrative) — This is a maudlin attempt to get the pity of all the followers who remain, so that the leader can be stroked and coddled, like a wounded animal you rescue. Leader is also probably secretly hoping that the followers will then turn on the dread accusers and let ’em have it (“Hasn’t this poor man suffered enough?” “Accusers of the brethren!” “Have you no sin yourself?” “Judgmental hypocrites!”)

    According to one study (The Sociopath Next Door?), THAT is the number-one characteristic of a Sociopath — turning the tables and play the Poor Poor Innocent Real Victim with the Mutant Ability to Induce Guilt/Pity. (The latter is also called “Shining the Stupid Ray on people”.)

  108. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    In my opinion, church discipline in these circles is actually church punishment. And it is abusive by definition.

    They are imitating their Omnipotent Sovereign God, whose only reason for existence is to PUNISH! PUNISH! PUNISH! PUNISH! PUNISH!

  109. This is a good comment that demonstrates the problem with church discipline. I would love to see readers respond to this man’s list.

    Fred Moritz wrote:

    disregarding authority

    This is where things get dicey. What precisely is meant by *disregarding authority?* I want specifics that could be laid out. I disregarded authority over a pedophile situation. I disagreed with authority when they pushed young earth creationism in the church.

    A *disorderly* lifestyle? Seriously? What in the world does that mean precisely? I have hard a hard week. There are clothes all over my bedroom as I reorganize my closet. I am weeks behind in paperwork for the house and 2000 emails behind for this blog. Would you bring me up on charges at your church?

    A covetous spirit? Oh, good night! Have of the SBC would be thrown out on this one. What do you mean by this? I really want the cute pair of shoes? I want my church to be a megachurch-or is that just church growth?

    Your list is most helpful to me since it gives specific examples of how Scripture can be used or misused by churches.

    I would not want to be a member of your church since it is quite obvious to me that your list could easily become a template for abusive church discipline.

    Be careful when quoting Scripture. Words can mean many, many things. That is why the SBC participated in racism in the past.

  110. Max, if you were the pastor of our local SBC I’d still be one. But until and unless they go back to actually being SBC, NOT Puritans of the worst sort covered over with the tulip we will stay outtathere.

  111. Christiane wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    ishy wrote:
    I was in a church where the same thing happened. They tried to use church discipline, and it just made the situation worse, as everyone just left. I think out of a church of 2,000, 30 were left.

    All 30 congratulating each other on their own Righteousness?

    and choosing the weakest among them to be the next example of their vicious ‘church discipline’ so as to keep all the others in line out of fear …..

    What do Predators eat after they’ve killed/driven off all the Prey?

  112. dee wrote:

    I would love to see readers respond to this man’s list.

    I tried. I asked him what Baptist denomination was he talking about that had the class from which he got these notes. I thought that might be a place to start, but he did not reply.

  113. okrapod wrote:

    It (soul competency) was first put forth in that terminology in a book in 1908 by E. Y. Mullins.

    Interestingly, E.Y. Mullins was a former President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where Al Mohler now sits on the throne. The new reformers have darn near declared Mullins a heretic for teaching such things as soul competency and priesthood of the believer, although both are supported in Scripture. But they don’t fit in the tenets of reformed theology, nor align with their Calvinist God.

  114. okrapod wrote:

    Personally I never heard it emphasized back in my childhood and youth in SBC churches, nor did I hear anything to the contrary.

    The essential teaching/preaching of soul competency was most likely embedded in your pastor’s sermons – whether that term was used or not. Additionally, at some point, the Sunday School curriculum would have included teaching to reflect the competency of your soul to go directly to God through Christ; His death on the Cross and your faith in Him secured you that privilege – no other mediators necessary.

  115. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    In my opinion, church discipline in these circles is actually church punishment. And it is abusive by definition.

    No doubt about it! “Discipline” implies that you have to force someone to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience if necessary. Likewise, “abuse”, regardless of form, is a pattern of behavior used to gain and maintain power and control. The authoritarian rule being demonstrated in some churches, particularly New Calvinism ministries, via restrictive membership covenants, shunning, excommunication, etc. is nothing short of church abuse. We have certainly seen discipline turn to abuse in some of those churches – some worse than others in the nature of the discipline/abuse exercised on church members.

  116. dee wrote:

    This is a good comment that demonstrates the problem with church discipline. I would love to see readers respond to this man’s list.

    I had a problem with this one:
    “8. Going to law against a fellow Christian (1 Cor 6:5-7)”

    Does that include reporting physical/sexual abuse, or any other criminal acts, to secular law enforcement?

  117. @ Max:

    What I am saying is that this was not preached per se to my knowledge where and when I was in the churches were I was. That is to say, the offer of salvation through Christ alone was of course preached, but I heard no emphasis that anybody was even thinking about some issue of some mediator or not. And while we are at it, I heard no specific emphasis on priesthood of the believer. Specifically, nobody even suggested that each person could interpret scripture any way they wanted to and that was okay to do, or that one acted as some mediator? substitute through intercession. And, for that matter I never believed that about scripture interpretation and still do not.

    Now let me say that ‘my dad the lawyer’ was also a lay Bible teacher (that is not the term they used) and neither did I hear him talk about some need to convince people that they did not need some human mediator. I am thinking that the issue was not an issue so much because nobody was thinking along those lines very much.

    Lydia and I have talked about this before, because we are from the same town/county, except I am at least one generation older than she is. I believe her when she tells me what what she heard in church, and I hope she believes me, but we heard very different emphases. I am thinking that times change and what churches emphasize change with the times.

    Now here is the punch line. The town was Louisville, Ky, and of the churches I went to each in it’s own time was considered ‘the seminary church’. Way back when it was Walnut Street and later Crescent Hill. We heard scads of seminary profs fill the pulpit and preach on lots of things, but mediators pro or con was not a sermon I remember at all. I remember scads of sermons on this or that which the conventions supported, especially what was called foreign missions back in the day, but no presentation and/or analysis of either soul competency or priesthood of the believer specifically.

    I believe you when you say you did hear it. This is not a matter of not believing you. It does present itself to me, however, when people are surprised at some of the changes in the SBC statement of faith, because I do not think that certain ideas were nearly as cut and dried and/or universal within Baptistville as some people feel that they were. In other words, while the switch to calvinism has been painful and ugly to watch, I do think I see how it could have happened.

    And, no, I am not a calvinist.

  118. okrapod wrote:

    no presentation and/or analysis of either soul competency or priesthood of the believer specifically.

    I heard soul competency and priesthood of the believer in church. But I’m a little younger than you, and in a rural Kentucky area 150 miles south of Louisville. The seminary preachers don’t pay much mind to us.

  119. @ okrapod:

    One more thing and then I quit this subject. For those who find what I am saying too hard to think possible.

    When I was a young adult in school the pastor at Crescent Hill was John Claypool. This was when Crescent Hill was ‘the seminary church’ and it had a large contingent of seminary students who attended that church. There were separate SS classes specifically for the seminary students even. Dr. Claypool was awesome. I even sometimes stayed up after having worked the night shift at the hospital just in order to get to church and hear Dr. Claypool.

    Now, was Dr. Claypool preaching on soul competency and priesthood of the believer-ever? frequently? never? I never heard him do so, but here is what he did do. He left the Baptist ministry, became an Episcopal Priest, pastored for a while as an Episcopal priest and later taught in a seminary affiliated with the ‘Continuing Episcopal’ movement. So, you tell me. How probable was it that he was preaching against priesthood as practiced in Holy Orders? Zip. I don’t think he preached it and I missed it. I think he most likely avoided the topic-at least from the pulpit. So, why was this still ‘the seminary church’ and why were all those seminary boys there? Like I say, Baptists were not all in lock step anyhow and anywhere I am thinking, but certainly not in Louisville in my era.

  120. okrapod wrote:

    nobody even suggested that each person could interpret scripture any way they wanted to and that was okay to do, or that one acted as some mediator? substitute through intercession. And, for that matter I never believed that about scripture interpretation and still do not.

    A person made in the image of God encounters something in the sacred Scriptures that affects their lives powerfully. Many people give this kind of encounter as a witness of God’s providence at a critical point in their lives. I do believe in this, as for so very many, the sacred Scriptures is all they have of ‘sacramental’, even though they do not accept the Bible as a sacramental.
    Doesn’t matter. God’s providence in the lives of such people isn’t bound by barriers in doctrines or in separation from the sacred things of God …. the Holy Spirit goes where He will go. God takes care of people when they reach for Him.

  121. @ Christiane:

    That is lovely, but what I said was about the ‘interpretation’ of scripture. That is where people determine what the bible means when it says x y z and then use that as a building block in doctrine. In Baptistville that used to be expressed as ‘the word in Greek actually means..’ at which point you end up with several people who have entirely different ideas of the same statement in scripture. Now it is increasingly popular to surmise what the inference may have been in the cultural setting such that the bible does not really mean what that other guy over there thinks it means since I am right and he is wrong, and on and on and on. This is what I mean by the individual interpretation of scripture. It can and does frequently and quickly become a chaotic mess. ‘To each his own understanding of scripture’ is what I do not agree with.

  122. Nancy2 wrote:

    Does that include reporting physical/sexual abuse, or any other criminal acts, to secular law enforcement?

    well, if a person is an active, practicing paedophile intent on molesting children even in a Church setting,
    it IS POSSIBLE to understand that they have set themselves away from God willingly and no longer wish to live ‘in Christ’ …. in short, the paedophile has left the community of Christian people by turning away from Christ willingly

    Problem solved: the criminal needs to be in the hands of legitimate legal authorities for the protection of the whole community

    then, if the person seeks repentance, fine

    but don’t let a paedophile who is active hide behind the Church ….. such a person is not in control of their own behavior if they are saying ‘Lord, Lord’ and at the same time, destroying children’s lives, no

    There are NO PASTORS with ‘paedophile buddies’….. there are only paedophiles and their enablers who might be calling themselves priests or pastors or rabbis;
    so this business of not reporting sexual abuse to the law cannot be justified by quoting Scripture, no

  123. okrapod wrote:

    Seeing that it makes sense to let people go, I conclude that the churches who refuse to do that are up to no good-big time.

    Let’s see, who didn’t let people go? Oh yeah, that guy Pharoah. He said he would, but then changed his mind and tried to stranglehold the Israelites to keep them from leaving.

    When Israel was in Egypt’s land
    Let my people go!
    Oppressed so hard they could not stand,
    Let my people go!

    Go down, Moses,
    Way down in Eqypt’s land;
    Tell old Pharoah:
    Let my people go!

  124. The final stanza of Let My People Go:

    Oh, let us all from bondage flee,
    Let my people go!
    And let us all in Christ be free,
    Let my people go!

  125. Fred Moritz wrote:

    I disagree with the statement that what is to be disciplined is not defined a priori.

    And it all kind of goes wrong from here, because “the statement that what is to be disciplined is not defined a priori” refers quite specifically to the habit of arbitrary church discipline as practiced by the sub-church organisations discussed on TWW. It is they who do not define what they will discipline, reserving for themselves the right to “discipline” just about anything their local power-brokers think fit – regardless of what scripture does or does not say.

    The context is clear.

  126. @ okrapod:
    would you say that sacred Scripture is the product of an authoritative Church, then?

    or, having been taken out of the context of the Church, having realized that there are many thousands of denominations resulting from all the various interpretations of individuals;
    would you still say that there is a possibility that between an individual person and the sacred Scriptures, an encounter might occur that is providential? I think that is a possibility.

    I think I understand what you are saying. I am one for an authoritative COLLEGIAL Church which has received, preserved, and passed on the deposit of faith given by Our Lord to the Apostles. Once that is set aside in favor of ‘oh goodie, I don’t need them anymore, I’ve got the Bible and can sort it out myself’

    well, the ‘them’ being set aside includes 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).
    You see, 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’. From the time of the scriptoriums on Lindisfarne, there would be another 800 years before the time of the printing press and the Reformation.

    I tend to trust the collegial interpretation of the Church that cared enough to guard and serve the Word and pass it forward intact because what we have received wasn’t ‘rewritten’ like the neo-Cal version of the ESV, no.
    It was jealously protected and watched over like the treasure that it is. That guardianship still stands, in my opinion.

  127. @ Christiane:

    Yes, I go with the traditional understandings over the centuries, except when there is new evidence for instance from science concerning the age of the earth or something, and then I tend to listen to more modern theologians/ historians/ critics who make suggestions as to how some traditional understanding (perhaps a literal understanding) need not be determinative and perhaps some other sort of understanding (literary maybe rather than literal) would be a good way to look at it.

    At any rate what I do not practice is DIY bible translation or interpretation by Okrapod, or anything that looks like that. And, yes, I have a Mounce reverse NT at home just for fun, but no I do not do my own thing regardless.

    What I am saying has nothing to do with the devotional use of scripture. Of course God speaks to people through scripture, that is not at all what I am talking about.

  128. okrapod wrote:

    while the switch to calvinism has been painful and ugly to watch, I do think I see how it could have happened

    Calvinism is a dead letter. Young folks being attracted to the “new and improved” SBC life it offers will become disillusioned when they find there is no spiritual life in it. If there was any lasting spiritual substance to it, all of Christendom would have been reformed over the last 500 years.

    During my 60+ years as a Southern Baptist, I have heard plenty preaching/teaching directed at instructing believers in the freedom that they have in Christ via soul competency and priesthood of the believer doctrines, whether those terms were used or not. Perhaps I heard that because those are the places I chose to hang out, knowing the Truth embedded in those doctrines.

  129. @ okrapod:

    But, no, I do not think that the church is ‘authoritative’ the way I presume that you may think that it is. It seems to me that making an ‘authoritative’ statement at one period in time, believing that it is close to being carved in stone, only to find more evidence later which requires making modifications on the prior statement later rather negates much of a solid use of the word ‘authoritative’.

  130. Nancy2 wrote:

    dee wrote:
    This is a good comment that demonstrates the problem with church discipline. I would love to see readers respond to this man’s list.
    I had a problem with this one:
    “8. Going to law against a fellow Christian (1 Cor 6:5-7)”
    Does that include reporting physical/sexual abuse, or any other criminal acts, to secular law enforcement?

    It includes whatever an abusive person wants it to include given their personal interest in the matter (and if that interest involves stifling parents who want to get legal justice for a child abused by a Sunday school teacher, then God help those parents and that child).

    This list of things the Baptist fellow who stopped by for a hit-and-run gives us is not a list of scriptural things that call for official church discipline, it’s just not. Scriptures do not give us a clear list. Do not. But abusive churches often provide “clear lists” and give shills like Fred Moritz ammunition to troll the blogs and scold.

  131. Some more folks were here and the latest word is that they may have to tear out my entire kitchen floor, even removing the cabinets to get at the floor, and yes in this old house there may be this or that and the asbestos inspectors will be coming tomorrow and it looks like they may have to tear up the entire floor down to the underlying beams, but not to worry they will put us up in a motel for the duration. Try not to fall into the basement through the beams. OSHA don’t you know.

    I want my mama.

  132. To Velour:

    I know you’d not approve of the admiration because you are humble, and understandably so. But you’ve been an inspiration to many readers, and I do see what you do for others via the “fund-me” campaigns and the various reports you often give on the situation about others and their desperate pleas. And this after the way you’ve been treated by a counterfeit church?

    Thanks, dear sister. That’s the way to do it. It’s called the love of Christ, and it’s beautiful.

  133. okrapod wrote:

    I want my mama.

    By, howdy. I would want my momma, too. Even if insurance covers every penny including meals while your in a motel, it will be an extended, Royal pain! I hope the repair work goes quickly with no more little surprises!

  134. Church/monastic discipline has been an issue for a long, long time. I was reading today “The Desert Fathers: Sayings of the Early Christian Monks”, which is translated from the Latin text of Book 5 of “Vitae Patrum”, also available in Migne’s “Patrologia Latina” volume 73, columns 851-1024. Chapter 9 in my (Penguin Classic) translation is titled Non-Judgement. It contains a dozen sayings on judgment within monastic communities. Here are a few of them:

    “2. A brother sinned and the presbyter ordered him to go out of the church. But Bessarion got up and went out with him, saying, ‘I, too, am a sinner.’

    “4. In Scetis a brother was once found guilty. They assembled the brothers, and sent a message to Moses telling him to come. But he would not come. Then the presbyter sent again saying, ‘Come, for the gathering of monks is waiting for you.’ Moses got up and went. He took with him an old basket, which he filled with sand and carried on his back. They went to meet him and said, ‘What does this mean, abba?’ He said, ‘My sins run out behind me and I do not see them and I have come here today to judge another.’ They listened to him and said no more to the brother who had sinned but forgave him.

    “5. Joseph asked Poemen, ‘Tell me how to become a monk.’ He said, ‘If you want to find rest in this life and the next, say at every moment, ‘Who am I?’ and judge no one.

    “10. A hermit said, ‘Do not judge an adulterer if you are chaste or you will break the law of God just as much as he does. For he who said “Do not commit adultery” also said “Do not judge.”‘”

  135. Boston Lady wrote:

    To Velour:
    I know you’d not approve of the admiration because you are humble, and understandably so. But you’ve been an inspiration to many readers, and I do see what you do for others via the “fund-me” campaigns and the various reports you often give on the situation about others and their desperate pleas. And this after the way you’ve been treated by a counterfeit church?
    Thanks, dear sister. That’s the way to do it. It’s called the love of Christ, and it’s beautiful.

    Oh my friend, thank you so much for your kind words. I was so dismayed that at first I laughed out loud when I read your kind words. And now I am crying. Happy tears…because I am so surprised.

    Love and hugs to you, Boston Lady, from California,

    Velour

  136. Law Prof wrote:

    and give shills like Fred Moritz ammunition to troll the blogs and scold.

    He is not even trolling it well. He threw out one discredited comment yesterday morning and left. Maybe it was the wrong blog to troll.

  137. okrapod wrote:

    Some more folks were here and the latest word is that they may have to tear out my entire kitchen floor, even removing the cabinets to get at the floor, and yes in this old house there may be this or that and the asbestos inspectors will be coming tomorrow and it looks like they may have to tear up the entire floor down to the underlying beams, but not to worry they will put us up in a motel for the duration. Try not to fall into the basement through the beams. OSHA don’t you know.

    I want my mama.

    it will be beautiful when they are done …. and hopefully insurance will pick up most, if not all the costs

    it takes time …. when it gets too much, come here to TWW and unload …. a lot of us have likely had water damage in our own homes and we KNOW from it and you get through it

  138. okrapod wrote:

    Of course God speaks to people through scripture, that is not at all what I am talking about.

    I realize that. I guess the ‘clear meaning of Scripture’ is a real bear of a problem for some denominations, when people disagree and get upset with each other over ‘who’s right’

    But I think, if we want to stay in the shallow waters and argue about ‘who’s right’, we can;
    but wouldn’t it be better to look at the CHANGED LIVES of people that have been touched for the better through sacred Scripture and realize that it is THERE that we see ‘the clear meaning of Scripture’.

  139. . . . . “If God stops loving us, then complementarianism will cease. But as long as God is good and strong and loving, he will see to it that there is a remnant who embrace his design for men and women. . . . .

    So, the reason among all the other reasons that I mentioned and could mention that I believe complementarianism will endure is not a passing fancy — is not going to go away — is that no matter how great opposition to Christianity becomes, there will always be a remnant of complementarians willing to die for the truth, and they will be the kind of people who will give their lives rather than conform to a nonbiblical culture.”

    John Piper

    . . . has turned complementarionism into “the Gospel.”

    It amazes me that John Piper continues to know/claim to know exactly what God is going to do. He appears to be quite arrogant to me.

  140. @ Bridget:
    @ Christiane:
    Did you catch this part?
    “It is too profound, too integral with both nature and grace, both creation and salvation. That’s reason number one that it won’t fade away.”

    Complementarianism/male headship is an integral part of salvation??? Really! Does that mean a man can be saved if he isn’t head over a woman, and a woman can’t be saved unless she answers to a mortal man?

  141. Christiane wrote:

    okrapod wrote:

    Doesn’t matter. God’s providence in the lives of such people isn’t bound by barriers in doctrines or in separation from the sacred things of God …. the Holy Spirit goes where He will go. God takes care of people when they reach for Him.

    I agree, and this is a lovely truth to meditate upon. Thank you, Christiane.

  142. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    the sub-church organisations

    Your doppelganger “God” couldn’t have put this better Himself. The spokespersons for various sub-church organisations can talk about “biblical” church discipline until they’re blue in the face, but it is impossible in the context of unbiblical “church”.

  143. Nancy2 wrote:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/e2medianetwork/2017/04/ask-pastor-john-male-headship-lost-cause/

    Where are the complementary articles about “female bodyship”? If one does a “google” for “female bodyship (which is the complementary function, is it not?) (using the quotes and ignoring “female body shop”) one will discover that in the entirety of the WWW, a grand total of one (1) winsome, gospelly individual has ever discussed this crucial topic, over which complementationist folks may soon become martyrs.

  144. Dave A A wrote:

    over which complementationist folks may soon become martyrs.

    Yep. Pastor John is playing the martyr card mighty hard in this one.

  145. Dave A A wrote:

    winsome, gospelly individual has ever discussed this crucial topic, over which complementationist folks may soon become martyrs.

    I will base my response on worm theology on this one: We are lowly worms. Worms do have bodies and heads.
    But research has proven that worms have extremely small brains in their heads.
    These people are willing to be martyred for something of extremely low, almost non-existent intelligence. So, let them go for it. I’m sure their martyrdom will rank a close second to Jesus dying on the cross……. in their dreams, anyway.

  146. Bridget wrote:

    Yep. Pastor John is playing the martyr card mighty hard in this one.

    3 complimentary points aren’t the main point— which is that when the great tribulation comes, complementationists will be dying rather than “conforming”.

  147. Nancy2 wrote:

    I will base my response on worm theology on this one: We are lowly worms.

    One could have fun with this by substituting “wormship” for “manhood and womanhood” or “complementarianism”… For example “If God stops loving us, then wormship will cease.”

  148. Nancy2 wrote:

    So, let them go for it. I’m sure their martyrdom will rank a close second to Jesus dying on the cross……. in their dreams, anyway.

    they mis-use the term ‘martyr’ …. in the faith, ‘martyr’ is a word that meant ‘witness’, not to male-headship/subordinate womanhood,no, but to stand witness to Christ as Lord, even if the price was to lose one’s life

    when ‘martyrs’ are honored in the Church, it is for their witness TO CHRIST

    neo-Cals want to place ‘male-headship’ in the position of something to be martyred for; then they reinforce the idea that they are practicing self-idolatry

  149. I wonder at people who ‘kiss up and kick down’. I don’t find anything in that way of life that is honorable OR Christian. And yet, that is the core structure of the ‘male-headship’ world.

    The mystery to me is how some women in it gain their power, as toadies to the bullies, as willing participants in that which belittles their own. And yes, I’m a fan of Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid’s Tale), the writer of fundamentalist patristic dystopian ‘fiction’ which is ‘already among us’, AND ‘yet to come’.

  150. The Jewish people have a story about how to get a handle on the need for humility (because of out of control hubris);
    and the need for encouragement coming from knowing our place in God’s Creation:

    ” It was said of Reb Simcha Bunem that he carried two slips of paper, one in each pocket. On one he wrote: Bishvili nivra ha-olam—“for my sake the world was created.” On the other he wrote: V’anokhi afar v’efer”—“I am but dust and ashes.” He would take out each slip of paper as necessary, as a reminder to himself.”

    Taking each note out AS NEEDED was the important thing, as it kept perspective …. kind of like the writing of C.S. Lewis, this:

    ““You come of the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve,” said Aslan. “And that is both honour enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth.
    Be content.”

  151. Christiane wrote:

    hey mis-use the term ‘martyr’ …. in the faith, ‘martyr’ is a word that meant ‘witness’, not to male-headship/subordinate womanhood,no, but to stand witness to Christ as Lord, even if the price was to lose one’s life

    Joan of Arc ……… a martyr, and now a saint.

  152. @ Nancy2:
    Lottie Moon, a Southern Baptist woman, who gave up her food for her beloved Chinese and died weighing sixty pounds …..
    she is now remembered in the Anglican Church and the Episcopal Church in the USA formally:
    “Moon is honored together with Henry Budd with a feast day on the liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church (USA) on December 22.”

  153. Christiane wrote:

    Lottie Moon, a Southern Baptist woman, who gave up her food for her beloved Chinese and died weighing sixty pounds …..

    IMO, most Southern Baptists don’t even know what Lottie Moon did – and we have a special offering named after her!

  154. @ Nancy2:
    the children, at least, should be taught about how she LIVED the Gospel ….. children thrive on examples and good role models

  155. Max wrote:

    John Calvin did the same thing in Geneva. He applied pressure by various means in an effort to create ‘his’ Christian utopia;

    Something I observed regarding North Korea:

    Ever notice Utopia(TM) is always an Insect Hive under a God-King?

  156. ishy wrote:

    Mohler wants you to believe it does, but I’m pretty sure it’s only so his minions can continue their takeover of that church. Once a neo-Calvinist is in charge, then the new covenant will remove any such beliefs from that church.

    Just like Comrade Stalin’s takeover of Eastern Europe in the aftermath of WW2.

  157. Dave A A wrote:

    Your doppelganger “God” couldn’t have put this better Himself.

    Being gentle and humble in heart, I appreciate your saying so; but in fact you have put it very well yourself:

    The spokespersons for various sub-church organisations can talk about “biblical” church discipline until they’re blue in the face, but it is impossible in the context of unbiblical “church”.

    Best regards,
    God

  158. This recent article on TGC has some interesting comments: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/beware-of-broken-wolves. The article appears to point fingers at blogs such as TWW, but the author refuses to provide any concrete examples. I believe it ties in to this topic because of how easy it can be to label people as “wolves” over honest theological disagreements. Those broken wolves have to be disciplined you know.

  159. Nancy2 wrote:

    most Southern Baptists don’t even know what Lottie Moon did

    In the last century, Southern Baptists knew about Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong. They were clearly reminded about their sacrifices on home and foreign mission fields before annual offerings were taken up in their names. But, the New Calvinists don’t have a clue about them … however, they are glad to take their share of the annual offerings from across SBC to plant reformed churches in North America and plant reformed theology in foreign lands.

  160. Ken F wrote:

    This recent article on TGC has some interesting comments: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/beware-of-broken-wolves. The article appears to point fingers at blogs such as TWW, but the author refuses to provide any concrete examples. I believe it ties in to this topic because of how easy it can be to label people as “wolves” over honest theological disagreements. Those broken wolves have to be disciplined you know.

    New Calvinists will label anyone a “wolf” who do not agree with them. They need to know that they are creating “broken sheep” through their aberrant belief and practice. Rather than putting them in the wolf category, they need to minister to hurting sheep instead of hurting them more … but they can’t, because they themselves are wolves who devour rather than heal.

  161. Max wrote:

    In the last century, Southern Baptists knew about Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong. They were clearly reminded about their sacrifices on home and foreign mission fields before annual offerings were taken up in their names. But, the New Calvinists don’t have a clue about them … however, they are glad to take their share of the annual offerings from across SBC to plant reformed churches in North America and plant reformed theology in foreign lands.

    IMO, some of these NCs would be more than happy to take offerings given in the names of Tokyo Rose and Mata Hari!

  162. @ Ken F:
    Joe Carter’s article about “Broken Wolves” was strange enough. But, when he advised church women to turn on broken women (wolves) to get your womenfolk under control, he came across even more perverted. Lord Jesus, deliver us from such leadership in the days ahead!

  163. Placed under church discipline for

    -Reporting Billy’s Abuse

    -Refusing to stop cooperating with police/district Attorney

    -Refusing to worship with my child’s perpetrator

    -Telling others what happened to Billy

    -Refusing counsel by the pastor

    Yes it exists and I feel like an idiot I had no idea that we were under discipline until we left LBC

  164. Max wrote:

    But, when he advised church women to turn on broken women (wolves) to get your womenfolk under control, he came across even more perverted.

    I could not agree more. These people need more exposure outside of their bubble so that they have to answer for their wickedness. Their theological disaster is largely going unnoticed by the public.

  165. Seekeroftruthweb wrote:

    @ Velour:
    Sorry for the late reply. Fined means I had to pay money to the church ($100). They sometimes used fining as discipline, and at times decided people no longer had to pay.

    Oh.My.Good.Gracious!

    I would REFUSE!

  166. Nancy2 wrote:

    IMO, most Southern Baptists don’t even know what Lottie Moon did – and we have a special offering named after her!

    That is absolutely correct. I go way back before the neo-cals and I even went to Carver School and took courses in stuff like ‘the history of baptist missions in (name the place)’ but other than just the names on two special yearly offerings I had no idea who those people were, nor did it ever cross my mind to find out. Totally not on my radar.

    I am not convinced, however, that focusing on special or particular people is a good thing-like the neo-cals focus on Spurgeon for example. That business can too easily be abused.

  167. okrapod wrote:

    I am not convinced, however, that focusing on special or particular people is a good thing-like the neo-cals focus on Spurgeon for example. That business can too easily be abused.

    I thought about this for a long time. And I agree it is not good to celebrate those who ‘talk the talk’;
    but we need examples of people who have ‘walked the walk’, so that we have an idea of THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO.

    If I look at Spurgeon and at Lottie Moon, I see that difference. We need to see what it looks like when a human person lives out the gospel with their whole soul and mind and heart, in a way that is self-giving. And children benefit from knowing it is possible to live this way ‘upon honor and conscience’. No one in the SBC is raising big money on Spurgeon. Why Lottie Moon?

    Because. 🙂

  168. Ken F wrote:

    Their theological disaster is largely going unnoticed by the public.

    And what’s more disturbing, mainline denominations are not paying much attention to the proliferation of New Calvinism in their ranks. At this point, I suppose they think the movement is harmless enough since young folks are going to church again. Boy, will they regret not taking notice sooner!

  169. Max wrote:

    mainline denominations are not paying much attention to the proliferation of New Calvinism in their ranks

    what mainline denominations are you speaking of, other than Baptists or evangelical Presbyterians?

    I don’t think neo-Cal doctrine would be accepted in Methodism or in the Anglican/Episcopalian community, certainly not in the Catholic/Orthodox circles, no

    ‘non-denominational’ groups are usually far from main-stream denominations, are they not?

  170. Christiane wrote:

    what mainline denominations are you speaking of, other than Baptists or evangelical Presbyterians?

    The new reformers have made inroads into The Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA) and the Assembly of God (AOG) denominations. Mark Driscoll is speaking at a conference this weekend hosted by an AOG mega-church in my area: http://strongermen.org/

  171. “Never laugh at live dragons.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien

    “Because thou art crunchy and taste good with ketchup.”

  172. Christiane wrote:

    ‘non-denominational’ groups are usually far from main-stream denominations, are they not?

    In my area, “non-denominational” meant Calvary Chapel Clone with painted-over labels.

  173. Max wrote:

    And what’s more disturbing, mainline denominations are not paying much attention to the proliferation of New Calvinism in their ranks. At this point, I suppose they think the movement is harmless enough since young folks are going to church again. Boy, will they regret not taking notice sooner!

    When they’re Purged by the New Order?

    “Tomorrow belongs
    Tomorrow belongs
    Tomorrow belongs to ME…”
    Cabaret

  174. Max wrote:

    But, when he advised church women to turn on broken women (wolves) to get your womenfolk under control, he came across even more perverted.

    Calling upon the Aunts to get the Handmaids back in line.

  175. Max wrote:

    … but they can’t, because they themselves are wolves who devour rather than heal.

    They’re not even wolves, Max.

    They’re feral junkyard dogs with a collective case of Rabies.

    Wolves have more class than that.

  176. Pingback: The problem of excommunication – a response to Desiring God | Here's the Joy

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