When Pastors Breach Trust: My Testimony of Betrayal and God’s Grace

Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure…than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat. -Theodore Roosevelt


angel of courage
The Angel of Courage-my most precious gift


Several years ago, my husband and I, along with quite a few others, left a church under less than desirable circumstances. At the time, I made a promise to my family that I would not divulge the specifics of the incident. They were fearful because they knew I was starting a blog with Wanda (whose handle here is Deb) and were concerned for my safety. So, I promised. However, astute readers not only have figured out what happened but also where it happened. I have never confirmed or denied any guesses. 

So, today, as I tell part of my story in the form of a personal letter, I will still be somewhat vague about the incidents that caused me to “divorce” my church. Suffice to say, the main perpetrator is still serving a lengthy prison term.

Before I start, I would also like to address my former pastors and elders who are reading this.

As you know, one of the main elders, who was involved in judging the group of us, has admitted to spreading untrue and negative rumors about the state of my, as well as another couple’s, marriage. He is a former counselor, as well as an elder, and therefore has no excuse. He, by this action, has disqualified himself from being an elder yet he is once again serving in the capacity. Sure, he apologized to my husband but not to me or the other couple. But, what happened next shows his profound inability to understand just whose marriage is in trouble.

One of the four individuals, another elder, who “investigated” our concerns on behalf of the church leadership called me bitter, amongst other things. He also alluded to the untruthfulness of the family of one of the boys who was deeply hurt. That perceptive young man told us that “something was not quite right” with this “highly respected” elder after he was “interrogated” by him. Well, darned if he wasn’t right. This elder actually had a really serious problem and has left his leadership role at a major SBC institution, quit the church and is now divorcing his wife. This situation merely serves as an example of your profound blindness to the root of the real problems at your church and it is time for serious self-assessment.

That being said, here is :

A Letter to an Anglican (AMIA) Pastor

Dear Pastor P

When my daughter was at Wheaton College in 2007, she invited me to attend a new sort of Anglican Church. I was totally blown away by the service and came back home determined to see if such a church existed in my area. Lo and behold, it did and you were the new pastor. I desperately wanted to make a switch to your church and spoke with you about it. As you remember, I was a member of a Baptist church and was leading a sizeable Sunday school class (along with my husband and another man) and felt I needed to stay a bit longer with the class. But it was my intent to eventually become a member of your church. My husband agreed with me and we waited for the right time to make the switch.

So your church became my guilty pleasure. Rarely a week would pass without a question from someone in the Sunday school class. ”Are you going to join that church you like so much? Please don’t leave.” So we hung on for awhile.

Not only did I love the service and the people at your church, I grew to love you as well. You were so kind and steady and obviously loved the church. I will never forget the time you gave me one of the communion plates to help pass around during a Maundy Thursday service. You knew of my conflict and were encouraging to me. I introduced a number of friends to your church. With my encouragement, some are members there today, 

I knew we would eventually leave my former church. I had many doctrinal differences with them, like the age of the earth, and found AMIA more open to differing perspectives on secondary issues. But, I had to wait until I could leave without feeling like I was deserting a group of people whom I loved.

Little did I know that God had a serious and difficult lesson for me to learn. As you know, a situation that I could never have imagined was presented to me. I can assure you that I didn’t go looking for it and got a sick feeling it would change my life. I wanted to put my hands over my ears and refuse to listen but I couldn’t. It shook me, as well as my husband, to our very core. We tried to deal with it but the church leadership decided that we were the problem.

Pushed to the end of our rope, my husband and I left the church and ran into the arms of your church. We knew of the history of AMIA. It was founded by a group of pastors and parishioners who had to leave an untenable situation within the Episcopal church. They were seeking authentic faith and were abused by a hierarchy, which refused to listen to listen to their concerns.

That is why we came to you. We were hurt, shocked, and barely hanging on. We “knew” your church would understand. You had been in a denomination with pastors who had “gone rogue” and you sought truth by leaving their influence.

We honestly shared our pain with you. You are a pastor, after all, and we believed that our discussions with you would be handled with sensitivity and confidentiality. We were distraught and we know we didn’t say things perfectly. We were shocked at the enormity of the abuse experienced by some kids and what we saw as callousness on the part of a church hierarchy.

We poured out our hurts to you and sought refuge in the church. Within a couple of weeks of attending your church, a second shock occurred. We saw a recently released pedophile, with a 20+ year history of abuse, walking through your church. We had special knowledge of this man’s situation since he had ties to our childrens’ school and our former church. We knew when he was tried and convicted and sent to prison. We knew of the testimony of his own grown children who were estranged from him. Several people who were with us expressed concern. One lady who had been attending your church for over a year told us that she kept an eye on him as he walked freely throughout the church.

So, I emailed you and asked you about this man. You said that his parole officer said he was not dangerous. I then shared a bit of his history with you and said that 20+ years of alleged abuse are not cured by 18 months in the pokey.

Since you knew my story from my previous church, you were surely aware how difficult it was for me to talk about this matter. I even remarked that I couldn’t believe that God would make me deal with such a similar situation almost immediately upon arrival at my new church. You said it would be taken care of. From that moment on, I began to notice a coldness in your attitude towards me. I ignored it, thinking I was still “recuperating.”

We got involved in the church. I attended a Bible study. We even went to the AMIA gathering with the church in Greensboro and were so thrilled to be a part of this movement. But, it was not to be. We noted that you greeted us curtly at the meeting but I tried to brushed it off, assuming you were tired.

So, we applied to be a member of your church and attended the required meetings. Then, we were called to our pastoral interview. What happened next ranks as one of the worst moments in our lives.

After spending about 15 minutes asking us to say what we liked about the church, you suddenly announced that we could not join the church! Why did you spend that 15 minutes talking pleasantries, getting us to tell you why we liked the church before lowering the boom? Were you being cruel or were you simply nervous?

You told us that you had a “45 minute” conversation with our former pastor. You refused to tell us what was said, citing confidentiality, but it was evident that the two of you discussed everything, including what we had told you in confidence. It seems you were led to believe that we were under discipline at our previous church. We were not. What was so despicable about your pronouncement was that we were not given an opportunity to defend ourselves since we had no idea what was said.

You then told us that one of your church leaders and you were going to hold “meetings” with our former pastor and us in order to deal with the problem. Then you might be willing to consider us for membership.

You asked us some questions and we slowly realized that you believed our former pastor and did not believe us. You asked us why we didn’t go to our denominational head for resolution. We realized that you did not understand the independent nature of each church in the SBC and tried to explain that to you but you wouldn’t listen. There were other such allegations but you would not listen to our side. We begged you to think of the boys who had been hurt but you refused to listen to us, preferring to think we were exaggerating. We were not. In fact, if anything, we had only told you part of the gory details.

I started crying, rather loudly if I remember correctly. Did you know that I had never done such a thing like that in my life? You sat there, rather coldly, barely even noting my distress. I remember looking at you and saying, “No matter what happens here, I did the right thing. I defended those who were forgotten and abused.” At that point I ran from the room as my equally shocked husband told you that there would be no further meetings. You said nothing, sitting like a bump on a log.

My husband met with our former pastor and got a few things straight. That pastor then called you and you notified us that we could now join your church. We realized that we could never do such a thing. When we needed you the most, you turned away showing preference to another pastor, believing his account. That trust could not be restored. Our confidence had been betrayed as well.

A very strange incident happened a week or so later, adding insult to injury. A woman from your church asked me to go get coffee with her at Panera. I was curious. I was slowly regaining my equilibrium and hoped to get some encouragement from her. Instead, I got the message. She told me that God was calling me to step down from teaching and I shouldn’t let my pride get in the way! Gee, how comforting and sensitive! I guess you all thought we might actually join your church after all.

I thanked her for the advice and promptly ignored it. You see, this was the final sign that we were not to join your church. Years ago, when I was leaving Dallas, Pete Briscoe of Bent Tree Bible Fellowship came up to me and gave me a hug. He said, “Never, ever let anyone tell you that you can’t teach.” Little did I know at the time that God had a much bigger teaching plan for me.

I hope she told you how positive I was about you. I knew that my former church had bamboozled you and that you would one day learn the truth. She tried to get me to say negative things about you but I saw through the game and would not do so. But, I did remind her about the pedophile. I will never, ever be quiet when I believe that children are at risk. I told her to make sure he was being watched. Oh yeah, I gave her the address of the new blog I was starting and invited her to visit me there.

It is important that you understand this next part. If I had to go through all the pain and embarrassment again, I would do so willingly. You see, I had to experience all of this in order to enter a new ministry that I had yet to flesh out. I would have never believed that pastors would actually pursue their members and try to “discipline” them for doing the right thing. I needed to see how pastors believe other pastors over congregation members. I needed to see how pastors would willingly breach confidentiality to further their agendas or to suck up to friends. Since that time, I have heard testimony after testimony of people who have lived through these trials. 

I  have experienced, first hand, the pain that is caused by many callous churches in America. However, Wanda (Deb) and I now have a place called TWW that reaches out to our brothers and sisters who have been hurt, so hurt that many of them have turned their backs on formal churches. And when they tell me “You will never believe what happened to me” I can truthfully and compassionately say, “Oh yes I do, I have been there.”

My former church did something bad but God used the pain to cause me to go places beyond my wildest dreams. I have met wonderful people from across the globe and some of them have become my friends. It is difficult to express how much I love the people who I meet here. I can write and teach to my heart’s content and I do so with my dearest friend. How great is that!

Not only are we writing a book with an awesome pastor but we have some surprising things in store for our friends who have been wounded by churches. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to think God would put me in this position.

So, in closing, I want you to remember this. You hurt me but I am glad it happened. You pushed me in a new direction and my thoughts have spread far beyond a Sunday school class in your church. I have forgiven you because I now understand what God needed me to see. I also have a feeling that you have grown to understand that perhaps there were two sides to that pastor’s story.

Let me leave you with this. About a year ago, I was invited to a small party at the home of a couple whose son had been hurt at my previous church. He is doing so well. He is a strong believer and pursues the truth. He was deeply hurt when his church did not believe him and it could have ended badly. But he saw people who did not know him well come to his defense. We believed him over an arrogant group of pastors. Not only that but he realized that all of us were willing to take the hits to our reputations because he, along with others, were worth it! 

That night, at the party, he handed me a Diet Coke without me asking him. I asked him how he knew. He said he overheard me say I was looking for a Diet Coke and he wanted to get it for me. And then he handed me a gift. It was a carving of the “angel of courage” and he simply said, “Thank you."  That little statue sits beside me whenever I write a post. In fact I am looking at it as I write now. Every time I feel a bit discouraged, prevailed upon, misunderstood and maybe a little afraid, I look at this most precious of gifts and know that I will always, always, always, stand up for those hurt by churches. That statue means more to me than the approval of pastors and even more than your understanding of my pain. This young man felt loved and that is more important to me than a perfect church home and an Anglican pastor who likes me.

Because of you, I can say to others, “I understand, I, too, was once hurt.” Pastor P, you were a part of a grander scheme. The next time someone lands on your doorstep seeking refuge, please be the place of healing that AMIA has been for you. Love them and give them rest. Who knows, you might be surprised what they can do once they have healed. May God bless your church, your ministry, and your family.

In His care

P.S. – Keep an eye on that pedophile.

Lydia's Corner:  Isaiah 43:14-45:10  Ephesians 3:1-21  Psalm 68:1-18  Proverbs 24:1-2


When Pastors Breach Trust: My Testimony of Betrayal and God’s Grace — 91 Comments

  1. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    Thanks for this, Dee. It’s interesting how many of us walk with a limp.

  2. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    I think there are more and more of us which testify to the disarray of today’s churches. We should be sharing the gospel, not thinking up new ways of “gospel abuse.”

  3. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    Wow, your faith remains intact after both of those instances? What a story and what encouragement to all of us who have been broken by a church. Have you ever heard Dr. Rod Rosenbladt’s message “The Gospel for those Broken by the Church?” It is a powerful message.

  4. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    Great! Make me cry before I go to bed!

    Awwwww…. Dee. I’m giving you a big fat long lingering hug right now. I’ll write more later. Thank you for sharing this. So much I want to say but I’ll say good night with this: This story helps me to both forgive md rejoice. It makes my story mke sense; clarifies the purpose and usefulness of my own story; and gives me the courage to keep sharing it in order that I may have a greater love for the unloved.

    I’m so thankful for you both. Truly

    Good night dear friends ; )

  5. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    I can testify that every word Dee has written is true.

  6. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127


    What an encouraging comment! We are just following God’s call…

    On a very positive note, DUKE just beat UNC in Chapel Hill by one point at the buzzer!!!

    It doesn’t get much better than that (if you’re a Duke fan).

  7. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    It seems to be the commonality of all who post here — we have been dragged, unwillingly, to the darkside of the church, and seen, first-hand, how the priorities of the system can be so horrendously out of sync with the priorities of Jesus.

    I thank God that He held you fast through the darkness and the fire, and equipped you, in that place, to be a bringer of His grace to so many of His other wounded children. May His light continue to shine through you — for a city built upon a hill cannot be hidden

  8. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    I have been reading TWW for some time now. I am always amazed how you hit the nail on the head every time.

    My wife and I had been in an abusive situation with the mission agency we were with for over 20 years. We have been back in the same country, same city, working as “tent-maker” missionaries. God has validated our faith, our lives, our calling and our work for Him.

    We have often said when we return to the states, if we put a sign in our yard announcing the “First Baptist Church of Hurt” meets here, we would have a mega-church in a few weeks.

    We know how you feel, because we have been there, too.

    Thank you for the courage to share your experiences with us.

  9. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    For what it’s worth I never liked that church much anyway… 🙂 I hope every dear old pastor of ours that reads on here some day begins to understand the pain they’ve caused some of their congregation. I would sincerely hope if that if they understood it, it would have never have happened. But maybe that is asking too much?

    Considering that even the Sunday after my Sunday School teacher was arrested (the main perpetrator of the story) they never spoke to us about it. They tried to teach a lesson as normal, ie cracking jokes and what not and all of us 12-13 year olds just sat and stared. Couldn’t they see we were confused and in pain? Couldn’t they have approached us and talked to us? Told us some information? No they swept it under the rug and with it my last bit of faith in them.

    So maybe it is asking too much.

    I’m so glad everything has turned out well for you “Sharp Christian Blog Queens” (as accurately named by FreeJinger) and hope that everything continues as planned. Or at least in HIS plan anyway 🙂

  10. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127


    I have to come out of hiding for this one ;-)I am deeply sorry for what you have been through. I cried while reading your post and the tears came again when recounting your experience to my family.

    I have given up on church altogether because of the lack of integrity shown by the Piper/Mahaney/Dever-loving pastor and elders of a reformed baptist church here in South Africa. TWW ministry has been the means God has used to comfort, encourage and instruct my wary, wounded heart. I thank God from the depths of my being for you and Deb.

    Trina and Eagle

    I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed reading your comments on various threads. I learn so much from you both and have laughed out loud numerous times at what you have shared – thank you!

    Other posters

    Thank you so much for all your offerings. I love reading your comments each day and have been helped enormously by you all.

  11. Pingback: When Pastors Breach Trust: My Testimony of Betrayal and God's … | pastorleaders.com

  12. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    A lot of thoughts about a wonderfully open post; but it requires more than blog-comment sound bites to convey my thoughts.

  13. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    I am thankful for you. As I have said before, we have been in a church where a small group including several staff members tried to go the “discipline” route and hauled faithful, gracious, generous, life-long dedicated Christians in and tried to kangaroo court them. They had a favorite term, that some members were “anxious presences” in the church. They went after my spouse for doing what the church had elected my spouse to do. They went after the most loving and lovable man because he would not silently let them lead the church down a path he felt was wrong. The went after a kind, gentle, highly productive theologian and teacher who had been attacked in emails that used foul language, as well as another theologian in our church. They abused deacons in the church, telling rumors about them that were untrue. But they became disgusted that they were not succeeding in running people off, and they left. All in large part due to a lay leadership in the church that refused to go along with the abuse. It has scarred several people, and a side effect was the destruction of the careers of some ministers ending seminary education who had to wait three years to be ordained and missed employment opportunities that are no longer available to them, because the cabal controlled the ordination process, and the healing of the church, to the point of being able to ordain, took another year.

    There have been no apologies, and no one seems to understand the hurt and the scars, except those closest to the situation.

  14. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127


    In one short article I have illustrated for me the truth that …

    (1). God takes all things, even difficult and dark circumstances, and turns them around for our good and His glory, and
    (2). A woman gifted by the Spirit to teach or lead is going to teach or lead regardless of the obstacles intentionally placed in her path, and
    (3). The bride of Christ, the church of the Living God, is so much greater, so infinitely more important than any one religious 501C-3 non-profit organizatino, and
    (4). God is using a couple of North Carolina girls to bring healing to a number of evanglicals burned by religious authoritarianism, and
    (5). Real-life honesty and gut-wrenching transparency are the means through which the Spirit moves in power.

    Very moving elder Dee! 🙂

  15. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    Thank you for your advice. I will put it on my short list. You know, we really are a community, something I have taken to calling The Fellowship of the Wounded.” More to come.

  16. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    You have so much to offer. That is the beauty of God. He can take pain and turn it into beauty as we reach out to others. Had we gone with our original intent for this blog (a kind of faith new review) we would never have met you. My life would have been impoverished. So, the pain was worth it to meet you!

  17. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    You guys sure stay up late! This old lady fell asleep around 11:15 or so.

  18. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    The Anglican Mission in America’s unstated raison d’etre is that recognizing women and GLBT persons as full persons within the church is just icky. Have you changed your mind on that, Dee, or are you still clinging to those ideas? I can tell you that for myself, “Christian” intransigence on recognizing women and GLBT persons as the equals of male heterosexuals has made it very near impossible for me to ever darken the door of a church again in my life.

  19. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127


    You are one of the reason the pain was worth it. You are one of the most encouraging people I have ever met. You remind me of Barnabas in the new Testament. he was called the “Son of Encouragement.” You are so strong in spite of being abused by people who were sadly mistaken in their perception of the faith. We need to get back to that old saw “We are just a group of beggars telling other beggars where to find bread.” The moment we begin to think we are just a bit better than the other guy, we fail.

    In fact, I think that one of the reasons so many people fail to speak out against abuse is because they fear that these guys will come from them. So, they live in a plastic cocoon, existing in a gray halfway world, never coming out and living passionately for Christ. They, instead, passionately protect themselves and die a little each day.

    I am glad you have read Disappointment With God. Just remember, there are decent people out there who love the Lord and live transparently. The Bible has examples of the Remnant in each generation. The faith often turns on those who were outside the “system.” I hope you will see the face of God in the ministry of His Son. He was the One who condemned the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. In Him we have hope.

    Thank you for your kindness to us.

  20. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    Thank you for your kind comment. I thought of you when I wrote this last night. Imagine someone in Australia comments here! I am so glad that you do.

  21. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    John Piper, in my opinion, does not answer the question beyond a simplistic theology. His answers do not give people the answer to the question “Why?” Even for me, the OT represents difficulty which I have wrestled with for years. I have come to some peace on the matter. In fact, it was Disappointment With God that gave me the beginning of a way to approach the question. Piper seems to have a hard time representing a God of love. He appears, often, to stress a God of vengeance. Theologically, he says nothing wrong, but he seems to have an inability to reach the hearts of those who are struggling.

  22. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    Thank you for your work as a missionary. You put more on the line every day than many of us do in a lifetime. I am sorry that you had to deal with the pain of an abusive agency as well.
    It seems that you have found your approval from God and the people you serve as opposed to abusive men. Isn’t it freeing to know you are doing His will than the will of silly men? Thank you for your courage-I admire you.

  23. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127


    Yep, I was up late doing two of my favorite things — watching the “Battles of the Blues” (Duke vs UNC) and blogging.

    I believe your testimony will bring comfort to so many who have also been treated harshly by their pastors.

  24. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    How nice to hear from you! Folks, this is one fearless young woman. I have great confidence that God is preparing the next generation of “watchers.” We are willing this blog to her! “Sharp Christian Blog Queens!” Well that is a compliment .

    Frankly, Lise, these types of ministries treat everyone like 10 year olders. Then they don’t have to justify themselves. Remember when one of the former pastors told our co-teacher that the pastor was the parent and this guy was the child? Major bull alert. But, I know you will hold their feet to the fire. Remember, keep an eye out for the young uns coming along so you can train them in the fine art of bull detection.

    Hope school is going well.

  25. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127


    I’m so glad that I have entertained you. I’m a regular jokester. I keep my co-workers laughing all day and my friends are always thoroughly entertained. My humor is what gets me through on most days. I feel you on not going to church. Is that Dever-loving pastor you mentioned Gustav Pritchard–a former pastoral assistant at CHBC?

  26. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127


    Thank you for your testimony about these two abusive churches. I agree that God prepared you for the ministry here at TWW and Fellowship of the Wounded (perfect name). I love that God is using you and Deb, a couple of NC girls, to reach and comfort and minister to those wounded by the church. I’m a NC girl too. 🙂 It’s exciting to see how far-reaching your ministry is and how many lives you’re impacting for the the gospel and the kingdom. Much love to you!!

  27. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127


    You made me spit out my drink: Where is Don Rumsfeld?!! We need shock and awe!

    Love it! That. is. RICH.

  28. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127


    Thank you. That really reaches down and touches my heart in a most moving way. I am so glad to have both of you and all of those here who contribute daily. It has been an essential part of my healing.


    I found your statements entirely encouraging and a blessing. I love it when you say how God works through transparency and pain–THAT is real power! It truly is and I wholeheartedly agree! I am thankful for your encouragement to Dee and Deb as it has in turn blessed all of us here by their ministry. You are right, they are a PRIME example of awesome women teachers and leaders.

  29. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127


    I was up late too trying my best to hang on and read this new post. I feel ya! 11:00 is usually my bed time as well.

    Both of you please thank your husbands for us… For partnering with you in a way that allows you to minister to the Fellowship of the Wounded (TM).

  30. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127


    I prefer E Dee! Thank you for your kind comment.

    I wish there were more pastors who emphasize love over authoritarian mandates. In fact, I wish they were more like you. More people need to hear your message.

  31. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127


    I find that many of these neo-Reformed/Calvanistas have a hard time reaching the heart of the believer. They do preach a harsh vengeful God. One who has a right to eff everybody up whenever he chooses because of his good pleasure. How can you continually describe God’s supposed destroying of humans, inhuman situations, election and so forth as a PLEASURE of God.

    If I am made in the image of God and bear a likeness of Him in my spirit, how then if something breaks my heart and enrages me that it does not provoke an even greater outpouring of compassion, anger, justice and love towards the oppressed, hurt, abused, murdered, downtrodden? They always preach and speak in a way that makes it seem that God is so disconnected from his creation. That his heart is so cold yet just and Sovereign. As I have said before, the focus on Sovereignty puts God in a box. It tells me nothing about his heart. As a believer, as one created by such a Creator, the best way I can connect with HIm, understand Him, trust Him and know HIm is to know his heart. If you tell me that heart is bent on rules and self-aggrandizement, but has no real compassion to intervene in my life, to come down out of his High and Holy Place and be with me who is contrite adn lowly in spirit, then what kind of compassionate God is that? The God they teach is not the God shown to me in Isaiah who promises to restore peace to His people, to create praise on the lips of mourners, who promises to loose the chains of injustice… Where is this God in this neo-Reformed religion? Piper has not met Him, I am convinced. And neither have his croonies.

  32. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    I believe the arguments for inclusion of GLBT are not the same as inclusion of females. We did a series of three articles on the subject ending with the one at the end of this comment. The other two were written directly before this one if you want to read the series. Most everyone was annoyed with us in one respect or another. It was one of those equal opportunity offender type issues. Ah well…link

  33. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127


    No, though I believe he has some connections in CHBC. He seems eager to make his name known and would wear it as a badge of honour to be named on a website alongside his Neo-Calvinist heroes so I won’t give him that satisfaction! 🙂

  34. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    Oh boy! I’m working on today’s post and watching a video of Jeff VanVonderen talking about Healthy and Abusive Spiritual Dynamics.

    Legislated (not God-given) authority and legislated (forced) submission is a real problem in authoritarian churches.

    More on this later…

  35. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    Wade burleson put it succinctly in a talk he gave. “Does your theology trump your love.” Some people, fearing excesses in human behavior feel the need to control it. They become legalistic in their hearts and can no longer discern the real question people are asking. Piper lives in a Calvinista bubble, surrounded by adoring fans who let him say anything he wants and consider his opinion nest to God’s word. In so doing, he has lost his connection to the deep and painful questions people ask and how to answer them.
    When someone asks “What about the mass killings in the OT” they are not seeking the response “Because God can do it and He is always right.” They want to understand the struggle and hear someone admit that this is a hard question and you are not a loser if you question God.

  36. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127


  37. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    I agree with Eagle’s assessment on women pastors. It is amazing to me how I have done such a 180 on this topic. But then, after SGM, you’re willing to do a 180 on a lot of supposed doctrinal “truths”.

    I really sympathize with you a little, Eagle. I haven’t doubted the faith, but I’m really struggling with going to any corporate church. I’ve become extremely cynical, suspicious, and just downright uncomfortable with the whole scenario. I’m not sure when or if I’ll ever be comfortable “going to church” again. And when I hear or read the term “local church” I just want to vomit. I almost literally feel nauseous. I guess, where I’m at is, I trust God and Christ, but I struggle with trusting people. And the sick and sad thing is is that I’m finding myself more inclined to believe non-believers over believers…it’s not necessarily a trust issue, but I’m much more inclined to take non-believers at face value. It’s a terrible place to be.

    Thank God for this blog, Survivors, SGMRefuge, SpiritualTyranny; man…without you guys, I’d be going crazy. It’s nice to see Christians more interested in truth than with their own personal reputations and well-being. As far as I can tell, none of the bloggers I’ve mentioned are making a living out of what they do. It’s done because “they will know [us] by [our] love.”

  38. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    We hope next week to unveil a new “thing” for folks like you (actually like us as well). We hope to truly give some people a place of refuge.

  39. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    Rick P. and Lynn,

    As an aside: nothing to do with the topic at hand (sorry Dee and Deb! 🙂

    Just wanted to ask: Does Australia rock as much as I think it does? I’ve never been, but from what I’ve read and seen I get the feeling like it might be the most awesome place on the planet. Am I wrong? (If I am, don’t tell me…I want to live in the fantasy.)

  40. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    Awesome! Can’t wait. 🙂

  41. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    Oh yeah…yay Duke!!!

    I like NC a LOT, but I like Duke even a LOTTER!!

  42. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127


    Thank you for your story of hurt and betrayal.
    Your willingness to “forgive” those who hurt you and betrayed you.
    Your willingness to “see” God’s Grace in the middle of hurt and betrayal.

    And the benefit…
    “Because of you, I can say to others, “I understand, I, too, was once hurt.”“

    Your willingness to stand” fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free…
    Your willingness to “always, always, always, **stand** up for those hurt by churches.”

    I fully understand – and cry with you – I understand, I, too, was once hurt.
    I still shed a few tears now and then – I was seperated from those I still love…

    Mat 16:24
    Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me,
    let him deny himself, and **take up his cross,** and follow me.

    Seems “Eternal Life” will lead to crucifixion – taking up your cross.

    Now – Crucifixion stinketh – Especially – Crucifixion by Christians.
    BUT – Resurrection is glorious. 😉

    Welcome ALL to – The Fellowship of the Wounded.

    And – We have a Dream…


    To dream … the impossible dream …
    To fight … the unbeatable foe …
    To bear … with unbearable sorrow …
    To run … where the brave dare not go …
    To right … the unrightable wrong …
    To love … pure and chaste from afar …
    To try … when your arms are too weary …
    To reach … the unreachable star …

    This is my quest, to follow that star …
    No matter how hopeless, no matter how far …
    To fight for the right, without question or pause …
    To be willing to march into Hell, for a Heavenly cause …

    And I know if I’ll only be true, to this glorious quest,
    That my heart will lie will lie peaceful and calm,
    when I’m laid to my rest …

    And the world will be better for this:
    That one man, scorned and covered with scars,
    Still strove, with his last ounce of courage,
    To reach … the unreachable star …

  43. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    Southwestern – re. the AMIA, there was a time when I would have defended them.

    Not anymore.

    (And… the politics that are going on with some of those African bishops are quite disturbing, imo. No need to transplant that to the US; we’ve got enough problems of our own!)

  44. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    Recently i had an email exchange with a man who was convinced that I didn’t love the men I write about. I hope this helps him to understand me better.

  45. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    “that one Man, scorned and covered with scars”
    Another song
    One Man. By R and C MacDonald
    One man to change the world
    one word to bring it down
    one stand to right a wrong
    only the meek can break the strong
    only the meek can break the strong

    One God and one Mediator and One Who judges justly — Jesus!

  46. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    Dee, I agree with Trina: Great, make me cry first thing in the morning when I get up and don’t have time or mental capacity to respond properly.
    And, yeah, usually we have to go through it ourselves to believe that these things actually do happen in our beloved church walls. BTDT.

    Dee: “Recently i had an email exchange with a man who was convinced that I didn’t love the men I write about.”

    You know, when we fail to call men on their sins that are leading to their own destruction, that’s when we fail to love.

    Some men have made themselves into fools by rushing in where angels fear to tread. When men do this, the loving thing is to point out their sin. If they are so shielded by “yes” men, then the only thing left to do is to take it to the streets or take it to the blogsphere. We do these men no favors by pretending they aren’t in sin when they take the Lord’s name in vain* and/or tromp all over the 2nd greatest commandment.

    We love them by not giving them a pass on their patterns of sins that bring them under God’s judgement.

    (*taking the Lord’s name in vain is not just limited to using “God” or “Lord” or “Jesus Christ” as swear words. Taking God’s name in vain also includes declaring that God has said something that God has not actually said.”

  47. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    I’ve probably been to five different churches in North Carolina in my lifetime and believe it or not I am pretty sure I’ve been to the church you reference. What are the chances of that, eh? 🙂

  48. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    dee – deb

    “God used the pain to cause me to go places beyond my wildest dreams.”

    2 Cor 1:3-9

    Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
    the Father of mercies, and **the God of all comfort;**

    Who comforteth us in all our tribulation,
    that “we”may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble,
    by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

    For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us,
    so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

    And whether **we be afflicted,** it is for your consolation and salvation,
    which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer:
    or whether **we be comforted,** it is for your consolation and salvation.

    And our hope of “you” is stedfast,
    knowing, that as “ye” are partakers of the sufferings,
    so shall “ye” be also of the consolation.

    For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble
    which came to us in Asia,
    (Which came to us in – The First Church of “The Hierarchical Abusive Religious System.”)
    that we were pressed out of measure, above strength,
    insomuch that we despaired even of life:

    But we had the sentence of death in ourselves,
    that we should NOT trust in ourselves,
    but (Trust) in God which raiseth the dead:

    Yes – Crucifiction Stinketh – But – Ressurection is Glorious.

    Jesus loves me this I know…

  49. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    Argo said:
    “As far as I can tell, none of the bloggers I’ve mentioned are making a living out of what they do. It’s done because “they will know [us] by [our] love.”

    We can’t speak for other bloggers, but Dee and I have never received even a penny for our efforts. We are coming up on our third anniversary of blogging here at TWW, and we see this as our ministry. I am overjoyed to hear that the time we invest in writing these articles are making a difference in your lives. We see that as eternal fruit. 🙂

  50. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    i would not be surprised if you guessed it,especially if you have hung out in our area. Which of the two churches my former or my almost former church?

  51. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    The gentleman said he “sensed” I did not love them. Sigh…he doesn’t fully understand me, considering that he has been reading the blog for all of one week. You know, God sometimes get angry at men (Jesus did in the Temple), yet He still loves. Not being God and all, I do my best to allow both feelings to reside in me at the same time but sometimes it is hard. So, I make it a point to pray for those I am mad at, sometimes through clenched teeth. I wonder, how many of these celebrity preachers and their followers ever take time to pray for those who have been harmed? Don’t know. I wonder why he did not say that Driscoll shows precious little love for many people. Aaarghh-need to think more on this.

  52. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    We don’t make any money?????? Funny, I could swear that I have had more riches in doing this blog than in many other more cash based enterprises in my life.

  53. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127


    There’s a town in Virginia named Hurt, and after your comment I couldn’t resist Googling to see if there’s a Baptist Church there. Sure enough there’s the “First Southern Baptist Church of Hurt, VA” Too funny!

  54. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    Argo at 12:24pm

    OMG – you have described EXACTLY how I feel but have been to scared and ashamed to say it. Thank you. I NOW KNOW I AM TRULY NOT ALONE.

  55. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    Scooters mom
    Stay tuned. We may have something that might help you in the gap. We plan to announce it next week.

  56. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127


    Thanks for keeping us so informed! Was your dad excited about Duke’s win last night? It was pretty awesome!

  57. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127


    We’re storing up our treasures in heaven, which includes these wonderful friendships were are making here on earth. 🙂

  58. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    Thanks so much for writing this. Reading this story and having this background gives me such a good perspective on you and Deb.

    I am sorry that you went through that. I cannot tell you how disappointed I am in both churches, though it is hard to know all of the details.

    I consider myself fortunate to have witnessed problems caused by a 35 year old man in our youth group who was assisting the youth pastor. I was 19 at the time and was never rejected by my church, but I did witness my church taking some very unwise actions. The man tried to persecute me and destroy my reputation with some friends who had gone off to college in another town, but it did not work. My friends knew me, and they realized something had to be wrong if I was forming the opinions I had. The church was really unwise, however. Eventually, everything worked out. The man went to another church and probably had more problems. I never did keep up with him.

    I learned so much through that experience, though it was difficult.

    The main thing I learned, (and you have learned it, too) is that even though bad things happen in the church, and sometimes at the hands of those who would be spiritual leaders, these are not the actions of God. I can see that you clearly learned that, too.

    The other things I learned were just common sense instincts about churches, disclosure, proper barriers, the need to involve outside parties (the police), keeping an abuser from having the platform so that he/she cannot shape the story and control the fallout, and the necessity of being totally honest with people, instead of using spiritually sounding language to cover things up.

    I have used those skills for the last 30 years, and they have come in handy in the founding and organization of a church.

    I can tell by what you have written, and from your previous posts, that you have learned some of the same lessons.

    I hope and pray that God will continue to put you in places where you can share this information. It would be fine by me if you used names, dates, and places. I understand your reason for not doing so, but I think that if you ever could that would be good. People have to live with their actions, good or bad. They are a memorial in and of themselves.

    Take care. I really do appreciate your blog, though we disagree on some issues. Those disagreements, however, are not nearly as important as our areas of agreement.

    God bless.

  59. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    RE: Southwestern Discomfort on Thu, Feb 09 2012 at 09:18 am:

    You are not alone. I too can no longer acquiesce to the disenfranchisement of LGBT people in the churches. It violates my conscience as a human being.

    Conscience is what compelled Roger Sherman to leave Massachusettes & found Rhode Island. It was what prompted Anne Hutchinson and her pupil Mary Dyer to risk the wrath of the reformed clerics in their day. Conscience knows no caution even when it risks the neck of the person it resides in.

    I still believe in Jesus’ virgin birth, his bodily resurrection from the dead, and his bodily return to earth one day, the rest for me anyway is largely conjectural.

  60. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    I have never had to deal with an abusive pastor and/or church (I pray I never will), but if I ended up in a bad situation, I feel like I could recognize the red flags. Thanks!

  61. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    Amazing how much pain there is from abuse at the hands of pastors. Thankfully I haven’t had major abuse, but about a year ago, I “dared” to question my pastor on something he’d said to another member, as well as question the frustration I heard in a sermon. He quickly removed me from leadership of the ladies’ Bible study, and in the next breath “suggested” that I visit other churches. He even told me to take the women’s group with me to another church! So much for treasuring the members of your congregation! In vain I tried to call one of the pastors that he was supposedly “accountable” to. It was the worst use of my cell phone minutes, since all this guy did was defend my pastor to death. Meanwhile, I accurately predicted the demise of this church and the psychological problems of the pastor.

  62. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    Former CLC er
    Your church was part of a system of churches which, in my opinion, had ingrained a sense of pastoral entitlement. A certain leader found a foolproof method to build the kingpin and to “make” others keep the crown on his head. I am so sorry how you were treated. At least you got smart and started to ask questions. And, even better, you left. It is good to know that the church eventually had to face their problems. I am so sorry for the nonsense that you had to endure.

  63. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    When the events outlined by my wife Dee occurred, Pastor P was a young and inexperienced minister. He seemed preoccupied with his own interests and the success of his church, rather than the interests of the abused boys.

    He expressed concern that he would not know how to handle people like us who might stand up for a cause greater than himself or our former pastor. He asked if we would complain to his boss (his bishop) if we happened to disagree with him. We were incredulous.

    So, Pastor P took the easy road, following the advice of our previous pastor, and rejected our offer to join his church.

    Perhaps by now, Pastor P has come to understand that, as far as we are concerned, it was always about helping the abused boys and not about him.

  64. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    It was the Anglican church I’ve been to. (Unless there is more than one in that area that has a Pastor P) I was actually down that way this past weekend and went to a SBC church in Garner.

  65. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    It is a nice church with lots of good people.

  66. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    The Episcopal church is more than glad to accept the LGBT and even ordain them and put them in places of power and control in their denomination. On the other hand, if you’re against abortion they will have a problem with you regardless of your gender preference.
    But Christians who really don’t like people such John Piper, Mark Dever, Al Mohler and many other conservative theologians would find sympathetic ears.

  67. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    Oh cut the baloney! I don’t like some of those guys and you know what I believe about abortion. There are a vast number of people who don’t fit into the Piper or not Christian false paradigm that you propose. In fact, recent stats seem to suggest that, in the last 10 years, there has not been any increase in the number of people who buy the Calvinista perspective. There are plenty of us out there.

  68. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    Hi Dr. Jon ! Welcome!

  69. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    Thank you, thank you for being a champion for those children that don’t have a voice!! (and for the rest of us!) The comments come here so fast. I’ve been reading your blog for the last week after I found MarsHillRefuge. I have some thoughts on Driscoll’s college sex talk you posted the other day, but I wonder how you keep the conversations (like IM produces separate conversations with the same person that you don’t which question is being answered anymore)! Anyway, I wanted to respond to how it was said the why most people don’t tell their stories, and I know more for me it’s not being frightened. It’s evaluating and making sure that I’m not behaving the way I was treated. It’s also the tapes in my head about divisiveness and wolves. It’s the struggle with the authority that gives you no voice and makes you doubt so much. Those are the moments that I wrestle with even as I recognize them and dance with the grace and freedom of my Lord. And I am not doubting nor dismissing the fear out there; I just know I can’t be the only one thinking the way that I think. Thank you so much for those of you that share. It makes me feel like I’m not taking crazy pills!

  70. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    sheesh, Jimmy. I think you need to get out more. Meet a few people. Seeing people as falling into one of two camps (LGBT/pro-abortion or Piper-Dever-Mohler fans) says more about you than any of us.

  71. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    Dee: ‘The gentleman said he “sensed” I did not love them.’

    Perhaps the gentleman had an honest concern. I would imagine that you would know since you seem to have several emails going back and forth.

    Forgive me for being hardened by certain tactics abusive systems use again people who make waves. But red flags go way up when ever someone wants to accuse another of “Not walking in love” as a way to shame them into silence. Not saying this man is doing this. But it is so common it is a temptation to think so.

    Also, another thing I see is that our culture doesn’t like angry women and this carries over into the church. It is as though a woman cannot BE angry without sinning because the anger, itself, is a sin. So, many men think that an angry woman, because she is angry, she is automatically sinning and not walking in love.

  72. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    You said “But red flags go way up when ever someone wants to accuse another of “Not walking in love” as a way to shame them into silence” Poor guy-bloggers never shut up until they are stone cold dead!

  73. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    Queen Momma,

    Welcome to TWW! Yes, our readers are passionate and comments are being posted rather quickly.

    Since you are new, we have written quite extensively on Family Integrated Churches. If you search “family integrated churches” on our blog, all the posts should be listed.

    One of my purposes in writing of my daughter’s experience of hearing Mark Driscoll in person is to alert parents about how he interacts with their children on college campuses and at retreats when he is invited to speak. His “shock and awe” approach is NOT appreciated by this mom! I also resent the fact that evidence of his inappropriate dialogue is being systematically removed from the internet. It is not going unnoticed!

  74. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    It may just be the painkillers (running shoes don’t work well on ice), but when folk claim “you aren’t walking in love”, this is what comes to mind. 🙂

  75. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    You should take painkillers more often. I laughed so hard that I am still recuperating. I may make this one of our theme songs for the blog. Sorry about the running shoes on ice incident. hope you heal quickly.

  76. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    Dee…I so want to write one of these to MD one day. You and Deb are my inspiration!

  77. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    And you are an inspiration to others as well. The day will come and all I ask is that you send us a copy!

  78. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    Lessons Learned?

    Never , Never , Never reveal your problems to a minister, pastor, elder, counselor, whoever ….

    You must have your own support network first with the Big G and then with family and close friends who are not involved in your situation directly (ie, Toughen it up Soldier).

    Apparently churches are only for the weak, because that is what the leaders count on , so they can manipulate people to get their way and when their thru with you , you will be tossed like a used tissue for the next gullible one.

    You need to stand back and watch who has the pastor’s ear, as you being a newbie will defiantly not, unless of course you have plenty of $$$$


    “Everything You Say Can And Will Be Used Against You”



  79. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    Stupid computer! Everything I typed got wiped out! Maybe I should do bullet point FAQ question and answers!

  80. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    First off, I couldn’t believe the picture on the ad for the sex talk. Second, there are plenty of wise books out there already that are quite respectful, are really honest and open about the act, and on top of that talk about the communication you need to deal with sensitive subject like this. I think there is a time and place to talk about this stuff, but there needs to be a great deal of wisdom, discernment, and some relationship. Let alone to having the responsibility of communicating the risks (and not just physical mind you). I didn’t know so much about HPV until the post on the sex talk.

    I do think being careful with the word “natural” is important. There are many things that we do as humans that are not “natural” and dangerous. I believe loving God and loving people (knowing your spouse!!), praying for wisdom, seeking wise counsel, and seeking His Word are essential to any question I am not sure about.

    It frightens me the extent and damage that is occurring being a former “gee…if they use the word “biblical” it must be” sucker.

    The Holy Spirit is alive and well, and will not be disregarded in my life!

    Keep up the good work!

  81. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127


    You can bet that I will never trust someone out of the box again. That is why we now recommend that people not sign membership covenants, especially not until you have been at the church for a long, long time and the leadership has earned your trust. There is no church that should tell you just to “trust them.” That is earned. They sure as heck don’t trust you, why should you trust them?

  82. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    Every Christian should remember that what is biblical about you is that you are a priest, you have a priesthood. Any who would deny you your priesthood is denying your faith. The biblical concept of a priest is one who has a direct relationship with God (all Christians have that!!!) and a responsibility to represent God to others, to be His hands, feet, face, etc., and to carry His love to those they encounter, as well as a responsibility to pray on behalf of those they encounter. It is to be a ministry of reconciliation of people to God.

    When those who put themselves in charge of a congregation of God’s priests seek to discipline one of God’s priests to maintain or enhance their “authority”, it is a violation of the priesthood of that believer.

    Abuse of the congregation by one who claims to be a leader, whether by inappropriate teaching, preaching, practice, or aberrant theology requires that the congregation discipline that supposed leader, regardless of the title of pastor, elder, deacon, etc. If a church does not have an accountability system in place that includes those with those titles, it is a cult, plain and simple. Avoid misplacing your priesthood in that context and flee the sinful structure.

  83. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    Having an electronic sound system is not “natural” and surely not “biblical”!!! Just an example of how ridiculous are some of these mega church proclamations about what is “biblical” or not.

    And the “Gospel” is the good news that Christ saves and that by belief in Him and that he is God incarnate, we are redeemed from the penalties of sin. There is no such thing as “gospel” marriage, child rearing, education, church organization, etc.

  84. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127


    I LOVE the Beverly Hillbillies! I used to watch it all the time when I was young. Granny was a trip!

    Thanks for sharing it. It really applies to this post.

  85. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    Bill Kinnon,

    Oh my! I remember EXACTLY when I saw Saturday Night Fever. I had just finished my freshman year of college and had gone to Myrtle Beach with some of my girlfriends to relax before starting my summer job. We saw it in a theater there.

    The Strut – Saturday Night Fever

    BTW, I didn’t remember John Travolta’s belt being unbuckled. Pretty daring…

  86. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127


    I totally agree about not divulging personal info to pastors, etc. In fact, I now counsel people to “check out a church” as if they are the ones interviewing them for a place in their life. They should spend time there and not answer personal questions but let people know they are simply checking it out to see if it fits their requirements for a church. (Best to do some study so you know what the requirements are…reading the letters to the churches in Revelation helps) You won’t find a perfect church. (I get so sick of hearing this as an excuse for evil) But you can find a “pure” Church. A key indicator is if the pastor is one of the prieshood and not some exhalted leader that people refer to as a ‘great man of God’. There are no ‘great men of God’. Just humble lowly servants who would look like losers to the worldly.

    I find it amazing that people have to make appointments months in advance to speak with their pastor. Right. Just like Paul. Growing up, our pastors were always stopping by the house or we were going over to their house for some reason or other. We all knew each other quite well. No hiding agenda’s there. It isn’t possible. And the thought of a pastor having a body guard was so outrageous it never entered our minds. But now, they are common even in the medium mega sphere.

    NEVER sign anything to join. Let your yes be yes and your no, no. There are some humble servants laboring in the vineyard out there but they are becoming harder to find.

  87. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    Keep personal things out of emails to people from church (especially staff). Amazing what gets copied to who, and can be disseminated to multiple people in the blink of an eye.

  88. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    I am Anglican and didn’t go through any type of tribunal to join. I can’t see myself ever subjecting myself to that type of initiation process for any church. Maybe because I spent the first 27 years of my life in a high-demand, autocratic disciplinarian church.

    I too am sorry that you experienced it, but as you said, it was a springboard into your new ministry.

  89. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    I very much enjoyed the services at the Anglican church and hope, one day, to attend on again. As I said subsequently, every church polity and theology can descend into control and abuse. It depends greatly on the character of those involved. I truly am glad that it happened to me. i have a bit of a backbone and it opened my eyes in to the underbelly of churches. Hopefully, my understanding will help others.

  90. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    Dee –

    I am sorry for what you experienced with these two churches. At the same time, I’m thankful that God has used it in your life to reach out to those hurt by such systems and men. God can turn ashes to beauty.

    I’m continually amazed, though, to see how pastors (shepherds?) relate to their congregations. It seems they tend to interact with what they would call THEIR peers across the board (across the road, down the street, on the other side of town/the country) instead of the ones that God has brought to them. Many (most?) put themselves on a separate level than the people they are supposed to be serving. It is a concerning trend to me. The Apostles themselves did not do this and Jesus brought correction when they (Apostles) were looking at elevating themselves.

    Celebrity pastors seem to be building a tower to heaven(?) I don’t see the function of this in the NT. But, then again, some of these celebrity pastors are the same ones finding new and imperative doctrines that have been neglected!

    Thankfully, our Lord is capable of redeeming souls whenever and wherever He pleases, even in the midst of messed up church systems and under the leadership of sinful men. God is faithful and receives the glory!