“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” ― John Bunyan link
Eagle has decided to start his own blog called Wondering Eagle. He learned so much about church plants through following SGM, he decided to do a blog plant. Please visit and wish him well. He will still be commenting at TWW but has spent much of the last two weeks setting this up.
Prayer for Julie
Once again, Julie has been taken to court by her husband. I do not have specific knowledge of the issues but I am concerned that it may involve custody for all of her children. If my hunch is true, I believe that this will have long term negative impact for the leadership in the Emergent movement. I am not Emergent. However, my hope has been that we would debate our theological differences in a civil and kind manner. To see a movement hurt by the obviously poor handling of this situation makes me sad.
There is some cautious hope for mediation on a secondary front and that is the one bright ray of hope that I have.
I will continue Go Fund Me for Julie. I will be updating the site today and sending our further thank you notes. As of today, I have disbursed $5500 to her which she is using for desperately needed legal help. Thank you to all of the kind people who have donated to her. She calls you her *virtual angels.* You have ministered to Julie.
Julie, there are many, many people who care about you. May the peace of God be with you.
Congrats, Eagle … Huzzah! Hoorah! Hooray! Looking forward to diving into your blog!
Julie, still praying, and hoping.
Prayers for Julie & her kids.
What exciting news about Eagle’s new blog. I look forward to reading and commenting.
Praying for Julie and her children.
Prayers for all. Hang in there, Dee and Deb, and stay warm and safe.
Yay for Eagle! I’m so excited for him. And for everyone I’m sure his blog will help.
I would also like to take the time to thank Dee and Deb for this blog. When I started reading here I had no context, no name, for what I had suffered and was currently processing. Through this blog, I’ve grown and learned so much. Even as recently as Julie’s case and the gaslighting… The NPD in my life had done that to me hundreds of times and I cannot explain the stupefaction and sense of isolation I felt. Through this blog, I have also accepted that I am suffering from PTSD. I resisted the diagnosis for a year and a half thinking my abuse wasn’t nearly to that level. And, finally, through this blog, I’ve begun to find a peace in healing. It’s a sweet calm brought to me by the authors and readers of TWW and their stories, comments, and teaching. Thank you all.
Glad this online community had helped yo so much. 🙂
I am so glad that you understand that PTSD is the basis for your suffering. I shall pray that you find the support you need to work this through. I am so glad that the people here could be of help to you. You are not alone. I would venture to guess that, at the minimum, 25% of our readers have suffered some form of PTSD. May you sense God’s peaceful presence in your life as you deal with this.
Not sure if I’d be dedicating much of a blog to a single individual. I’ve read your writings and you’ve been through a lot. However, I’m not getting the need for you to dedicate much of your blog writing about Andrew White. The issues surrounding people like Andrew in SGM? Absolutely, but it almost seems like this is a vendetta that you have against him personally. Just an observation. Not sure if others feel the same.
One purpose fora blog is to work out one’s feelings about traumatic experiences in life. Writing has been such a healing thing for me. When I started TWW, I know that I was working out an experience that I had in a former church.
Not only did I find healing but I also understood why I needed to have that experience. As I have said many times in the past few years, I am so grateful that I underwent a trying experience. It changed me for the better and made me better able to care about others.
I see Eagle’s blog as a way of working out his thoughts and feelings. I am a believer in the free market system in this regard. If his writing helps others, his blog will succeed. If it doesn’t, perhaps it will have helped him along his path to healing.
TWW stands ready to help any of our readers start their own blog, knowing that God works in and around our writing and our passions.
I also know Eagle very well. I know he is not doing this for a vendetta. He is still working out the most painful incident in his life. Prediction:1 year from now he will have found meaning and healing in his pain and in writing his blog.
Never give up,never surrender!
In addition, a blog provides a venue for others to voice their compassion, understanding and encouragement.
Much good has come from blog “voices.” 🙂
Very much agree with you. However, I struggle with using individual’s names on the internet where there is a one-to-one issue that has occured between just the two of them. Eagle could easily talk about the issue and work his way through his feelings/etc., without using the guys name, but to continuously put his name out there goes over the top for me.
I have very SERIOUS unresolved issues with a few pastors and individuals in my old SGM church. They hurt me deeply. DEEPLY! And it involved my family as well. I confronted them on the issues and they still have not asked for forgiveness to this day. I have never once dragged their names out on to the internet. Why? One, because they are brothers in Christ with me. Even though they go to a cult-like church and we don’t see eye to eye we are still Christian brothers. Two, because the issue is ONLY between them and me. Three, I’ve brought the issue to resolution the best that I have been able to and have tried to involve others but to no avail. It’s just not going to end is a satisfactory manner. That said, I feel it would be wrong for me to drag their names out in to the open when the issues don’t involve anyone else. For me, it would just be out of spite to get back at them and to show everyone what bad people they are and how they hurt me. Is that Christ-like? I don’t think so.
Now, I DO write about the issues and problems that I have come against with them and others within SGM without ever using their names OR giving clues to their names. To this day I’ve never shared the church that I attended in SGM where this mostly occured because people could easily figure out who those people were and who I am as well. I just won’t do it. It wouldn’t be right.
Regarding Eagle, I now have read his story three times. It’s a truly sad story. If I’m honestly looking at what he has written about this guy at the SGM church he attended, Ealge really appears to have a burr on his saddle that he just can’t let go of and that there just be a bit more “anger” with Eagle towards this guy that he is able to admit to himself. I could be wrong, and hope that I am, I just don’t think it’s a biblical action that a Christian should be doing.
all that said, i have reservations about the section on this person plus use of his real name.
Did you read the first post? I put together a plan of about 50 topics I would like to tackle. Everything from why atheism is a faith system, to my cognitive dissonance in Mormonism, to a lot of issues. I really want to dive into the Problem of Evil, and so many other doubts. I will say this, my blog is probably the only one that has links to John Piper and Dan Barker on the same page. But that’s reflective of my spiritual journey. Wondering Eagle is not about one person, its about a lot of people and issues. That said, I’m still trying to find wa way forward. No I am not bitter it was a difficult situation that not only hurt me but my family in California as well.
In reading this I get the vibe that you are still detoxing from SGM. And you still feel a sense of loyalty to the people who hurt you. It takes time. One of the things I would like to write about is how long it took me to detox from Mormonism. It took about 15 years to get that out of my system. And I never was even baptized but I did drink the Joseph Smith kool-aide. That was one of the good things I liked about my faith crisis, as it helped me get it out. But feel free to criticize me. I’m a grown man, I’m fine with it.
One reason why I want to write about detoxing from Mormonism is becuase I don’t think people know how long it takes one to get something out of their system. All too often there is this mentality in many places of “get over it”,”have you moved on yet?” or “what’s taking so long?” Philip Yancey wrote about this, and that hit a nerve in me. The evangelical Christian culture can make it worse for those trying to get something out of their system. Its like healing from cancer, a tumor, etc… Does a person recover over night? No…it takes time. In some cases it takes years. Evangelical Christians are not reknowend for their patience.
I cannot tell you how many times if I dared mention an actual name of someone who did something then I was bitter, hateful and had a vendetta. Why not just move on? Yes, that one is a favorite. Most people like things vague which is one reason things don’t change.
If Andrew has a problem with it, I am sure you will hear about it. On the other hand, he can blog about you using your real name so that is something to consider.
I wish you great healing from thinking things through while you write. The story about your mother and Piper’s book still brings tears to my eyes.
It’s not his real name.
Don’t we all do things that others consider unbiblical? Sometimes it helps for us to be viewed in our entirety.
For example, Eagle has reached out to 140 people for forgiveness. Just this morning, he met with a well-known SGM leader and asked for forgiveness for showing anger to him. Maybe one day he can talk about it.
I’m not sure I could do what he did.
ah. that’s good. I wouldn’t think actual names (in this kind of situation) are a good idea.
Admiral, you’re my hero.
It was actually his pamphlet “Don’t Waste Your Cancer” and yes I would like to retell and drive that point home. There are so many things I would like to get off my chest. Sometimes I feel like I am going to explode.
Some of the issues I am working on now are the following.
1. Why don’t evangelicals talk about the sin of gluttony.
2. Why many evangelicals will be unable to reach atheists.
3. My experience with cognitive dissonance in Mormonism.
4. Some thoughts about cognitive dissonance in atheism (ie how its a faith system) 🙂
5. I’m playing around on the Problem of Evil issue and how one church responded to it.
My life is busy and I have work, social activities and gym equipment and a pool to abuse. That said if I had a couple of pugs maybe they can man the blog 24-7 😛
Eagle – the pugs would pug the blog, let’s get our personal pronouns right 🙂
Also, if you want to find a really amazing Andrew White Google Canon Andrew White. He’s from near me & I’ve heard him speak.
One other thing I would like to state….is that I don’t let myself off easy. I don’t shift the blame, pass it off, or refuse to look at my mistakes in the mess that was created. If you read my posts you will notice that I claim full ownership for my part of this mess. That’s important for me becuase I firmly believe that I should own my part.
Ask and you shall receive, Eagle: My Night of Gluttony.
Hee! I shall take your hint and Google Canon White meself…!
(BTDT, have the T-shirt). Hang in there, brother.
I have already visit Eagle’s site, and as far as I can see can proudly claim to be the First person to comment… !
This business of aggression/abuse, sin, forgiveness and moving on…
Part 1 of 3
Way back when, the Lord formed Adam [and, by extension, Eve] out of the dust of the earth. From the outset, we shared many characteristics with the animal kingdom, and undoubtedly that was magnified by the Fall (more could be said here, but I don’t want this comment to grow an unreadably large number of arms and legs).
Part 2 of 3
Most animal species compete internally; for some combination of territory, food, herd dominance, mating rights, etc. But in many species, actual physical fighting is rare, because fighting carries the risk of injury which – in the wild – usually means death. Instead, individual animals compete via some form of display. The competition between them is, in effect, psychological, and the most intimidating or impressive individuals rise to the top. And here’s the thing: in herd animals, as the hierarchy becomes established, it’s often observed that the majority “in the middle”, who are neither particularly intimidating nor particularly recessive, go along with it. It gives them order and stability which in turn helps their own chances of surviving to reproduce. This is a simplification – solitary animals obviously don’t compete for herd dominance, for instance, and some species fight each other to the death – but there is still a lot of truth in it.
Part 3 of 3
As physical beings marred by sin, humans also exhibit a certain amount of herd-animal behaviour. Although I don’t really like either term, I’ll use the words “aggressor” and “victim” here for the sake of brevity. The practical upshot is that most people find it more comfortable to side with an aggressor than with a victim. That’s because aggressors are aggressive. If you see Person A putting down Person B, then it’s better not to get involved because you might be next. So, when Person B turns around and appeals to the group, what do you do? Well, the easiest option is to tell the victim to “get over it” or to “move on”. That’s your best chance of a quiet life.
Telling victims of abuse to “move on” is really just a way for the quiet majority to enter the “conflict” safely when the real conflict is already over. The aggressor has established his or her herd dominance and we feel instinctively that it will cost us more to challenge them than to challenge the victim. But in God’s kingdom, the King defends the weak.
I wonder if a couple of suggestions about the new site would be in order? Better here maybe than there.
The term evangelical, like charismatic, is so generic and covers such a multitude of views (and sins!) that it might pay to define exactly which part of this broad constituency you have in mind. It’s not as though no evangelicals ever confront gluttony or cannot deal with atheism in a thoughtful way. Nor is the problem of evil new. May be it’s a problem for us moderns because we have been fed a diet of rights; it’s certainly something that needs to be discussed and brought out in the open.
This might be because I’m on the other side of the pond, but I’m not sure I know exactly what neo-calvinist refers to.
I also thought somewhereintime had a point in having reservations about naming individuals with whom you are currently estranged. Those in the public sphere, such as mega pastors, have to put up with criticism as by definition what they teach and the influence they have is public. It comes with the territory. I know Matthew 18 if often misused to try to shut down criticism or discernment, but personal issues should, wouldn’t you agree, be dealt with person to person.
Just my two cents’ worth – and I mean in Euros, of course!
Have a good weekend. 🙂
Nick Bulbeck wrote:
That would be an interesting convo. It seems to have a sinister connotation for some Americans who have gotten out of evangelicalism. Perhaps it is a “style” more than theology? More about gaining followers?
Not sure but would love to discuss it sometime with different viewpoints. Evangelicalism could be Dobson, Ted Haggard, Driscoll or even Joel Osteen. Now we are seeing the Progressive/Emergents behave in the same ways some of us see as Evangelicalism in recent history. Say the last 20 or 30 years. The rise of Christian niche marketing seems to be the catalyst?
I’m with you, Ken. I think any website that deals with the Christian landscape ought to have a page for definitions – their definitions of things like evangelical, fundamentalist, neo-cal, and so on and so forth. Because in my experience, different sites seem to have very different things in mind regarding these terms.
In fact, wouldn’t it be useful if there was a site/blog that worked this out and published a set of definitions that other blogs could point to and say “we subscribe to these definitions of these terms”.
As it stands, there is an awful lot of confusion and vagueness…
I would actually like to write a post about how words are being redefined. For example…what is a fundementalist? In the late 90’s a fundementalist was someone who dressed foramlly, KJV only, no rock, etc… Mark Driscoll I would suggest has redefined the word. Now fundementalist means wearing jeans, Neo-Calvinist, and considering those outside your spectrum to hardly be Christians, if at any.
As for nameing names the names I am using are pseduo. Some people might be able to connect the dots. There are a million ideas that I have and I am figuring this out as I go along. One thing that is key in talking about what happened is that I will never play down my role. As a man I feel a moral obligation to accept responsibility for my part. Even if I was a militant skeptic at the time who drank some of the Hitchens kool-aid.
Here is the post for next week. Its a letter thanking a friend for the love and grace he showed me duirng my faith crisis, medical crisis, Dad’s brain tumor and false accusation.
WhyTony at Scribd has been taken down and this put up instead:
“We have come to understand that Julie filed a court motion at Hennepin County Family Court on Monday, January 26th. Since then, there have been two subsequent conferences between the court and Tony and Julie’s attorneys on Feb 3 and Feb 11. At the Feb 11 conference, Tony and Julie were urged by the court to remove all their posts and comments related to their marital issues and children. They were also urged to have their supporters and proxies remove posts and comments related to these topics as well.
Tony chose to honor the court’s request by removing his document that same day. At his requrest and to comply with the request of the court, the statements posted to storify and Scribd are being taken down as well.”
Tony is such an honorable and acquiescent sort of guy. I’m sure that he isn’t aware that posts and comments have been Julie’s only way to have the voice that he’s been afforded for years.
I wonder if that is why MPT took his posts down? Although if it is, who asked him to? I find the court request a bit strange. Taking down articles would be like asking a newspaper to retract articles. Julie does not have a site where she put up her own articles about herself and had her friends add their support. Nor did she write a 12 page report about her divorce.
And the blurb does make it sound like Tony is such a nice guy for complying 🙄 Julie only commented on other people’s articles while trying to correct information that Tony’s supporters said about her.
Re MPT, yah who knows, but wouldn’t it have been to his advantage to have said so up front? Some of the anger would have drained away, on both sides.
I too find the court request strange. I wonder if it’s merely Tony with his lawyer asking for retroaction. Stuff on the internet sticks around, so what would be the legal point except as an attempt to CYA? I don’t know. But I was glad that Julie’s lawyer asked her not to make any more statements because of the unscrupulous people involved.
A quote attributed to Cardinal Richelieu: “Give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, and I will find something in them which will hang him.”
More parsing and mind games from the Tony Jones quarter:
I agree with David’s post. No one has asked me to remove any posts and I doubt that any court would do so.
Let’s review, once again, the legalities surrounding libel.
1. You must never knowingly tell a lie about someone. You can say whatever you believe to be true. In the United Sates, we have a right to believe anyone we darn well want to believe.
2. And…you must knowingly tell a lie for the express purpose of harming another. Both 1+2 must be met in order for libel to be proven.
I can assure all of our readers that TWW would never knowingly publish anything that we knew to be a lie. Secondly, we tell our stories to protect our readers, not to harm the object of our post.
by the way, David of Naked Pastor posts for the same reason that we post. To help others.
That the court wants posts to be taken down is nonsense. I highly doubt the court would tell others to tell blogs to take down posts. They would need to subpoena us to do so and have a good reason in doing so. I cannot think of one legal reason to remove a post but I am willing to entertain suggestions.
Thank the Lord for the freedom of speech.
It is my understanding that this was in Family Court which is different from Civil court where a libel charge would be handled.
In Family Court, it is the best interests of the children that take precedence. The judge doesn’t care nearly as much about what benefits the adults. So while the judge might not be able, legally, to insist on posts being taken down, he or she might be putting them both on notice that their behavior is not helpful to their children. S/he might request it in order to try and keep things from getting even more conflictual, but I don’t think s/he could order it be done. I don’t know if s/he did request it, but I’m just suggesting that as a possibility.
I don’t think you are in any legal danger.
I doubt there is a “judge” involved concerning the internet. My guess is that some of Tony’s supporters needed a way out of this and needed to save face doing it. Especially McLaren with his pseudo legal threat. The only people this helps are Tony and his cronies. If people are so worried about the children they can start with Tony’s behavior since he left her to care for 3 small children alone while he traveled, spread the rumor she was crazy, then left the 3 children in care of said crazy woman while courting a spiritual wife….. ad nauseum up to now with him breaking an agreement..
When I see folks mention the kids, I know what tactic they are trying to play. That “care” was blown out by Tony years ago. And breaking the current agreement is NOT concern for the kids. It is Tony using them as weapons and tools. It is what NPD’s do.
Brother Maynard nails it.
He really does. This is such an education for the church of the power of language to hide the truth.
Having worked in law for decades as a paralegal (including litigation and family law), family law judges don’t ‘make requests’ to have internet posts taking down. Family law judges are very busy, don’t know what’s going on during internet posts, and really don’t get involved.
If this claim (of course it’s a pure public relations spin from Tony Jones & Company) had any merit, we would see a copy of a filed court order on the internet with the family law judge’s name!
Additionally, that judge can’t trump the First Amendment rights of others here in the U.S. (or the Free Speech rights of those in Canada like those of David Hayward at The Naked Pastor, the blogger, cartoonist, former pastor).
If a MN family court judge was this overreaching and unprofessional, that judge can be disciplined (and well knows it).
TONY CAN DO NO WRONG.
Once you accept this and Agree Completely with Tony, We Won’t Have A Problem, Will We?
My Dear Wormwood,
I refer you to my previous epistle about Semantics.
Your Ravenously Affectionate Uncle,