Together for the Gospel – Who Is REALLY Being Worshipped?

"And I hate to bang the same old drum that I always bang at this point, but lay people need to realize there's big money involved, and some of the high profile cases of guys who survive long after they should not have survived because they are no longer of good reputation, some of those cases connect to money.  It's as simple as that."

Carl Trueman

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:KFCYUMCenter.jpgKFC Yum! Center

Together for the Gospel 2016 has come and gone, and the 2018 conference has already been announced.  It appears this Neo-Cal gathering will go on and on and on… that is, as long as a megacrowd flocks to the KFC Yum! Center to sit at the feet of its heroes.  In all sincerity, WHO is REALLY being worshipped at T4G? 

In our previous post, we featured snippets from the April 20th Mortification of Spin (MoS) broadcast. We are grateful to Carl Trueman, Todd Pruitt, and Aimee Byrd for their courage in taking on the Neo-Cal 'establishment'.  Please pray for them because who knows how the Neo-Cal celebrities who have A LOT at $TAKE will react?  We loved the discussion that the post generated, and we so appreciate Todd Pruitt for taking the time to interact with some of our commenters.

As I have thought about all of this, I realized that quite a few of our readers weren't around in the early days of our blog and missed some posts that are tucked away in our archives.  As a follow-up to what the MoS hosts discussed, I thought I would feature two posts that are as relevant today as they were when they were posted.  The first one — The Danger of Personality Cults Among the New Calvinists — was published on February 24, 2010.  We had just learned of a seminary professor named Carl Trueman, who was speaking out about the cult of celebrity developing among the YRR crowd.  It was music to our ears because no one else seemed to be singing that unpopular tune.  If you enjoyed the MoS discussion, you will greatly appreciate what Carl had to say over six years ago.

The second post that we are featuring — Together for the Gospel (T4G) 2012:  Bigger and Better? — calls attention to the T4G financials.  As Dee said of me in a comment, Deb always follows the money.  In case you didn't realize it, there are BIG BUCK$ in the conference circuit.  That's why they are on the rise.  As Carl Trueman said on the recent MoS broadcast:

"And I hate to bang the same old drum that I always bang at this point, but lay people need to realize there's big money involved, and some of the high profile cases of guys who survive long after they should not have survived because they are no longer of good reputation, some of those cases connect to money.  It's as simple as that."

Later in the MoS broadcast Carl stated emphatically:

Just open your eyes and look at the level at which some of these guys are living at.  We're not talking of huge millions and millions of dollars, but we're talking of hundreds of thousands of dollars.  In our world we're talking of significant sums of money that are attached to particular names that have become brands…

Hopefully, our second post (initially published on August 17, 2011), will help open your eyes to what's REALLY going on at the T4G conference and bookstore!  Sure they give away some free books, but look at how expansive the T4G bookstore was.  My guess is they're selling A LOT more books than they are giving away.  Otherwise, why have a bookstore at all???

Thanks for a great discussion this week.  Let's keep it going…


The Danger of Personality Cults Among the New Calvinists (link) 

Since Dee and I began our investigation of the “New Calvinists”, we have become increasingly concerned that this hot new theological movement may have a very serious downside, namely, hero worship.  We are becoming extremely familiar with the leaders of this movement because their names and faces seem to be everywhere on the internet, among other places.  You likely know them, too.  Let’s begin with the Fab Four of “Together for the Gospel” aka T4G – Al Mohler, Ligon Duncan, Mark Dever, and C.J. Mahaney, not to be confused with those whom we call the Fab Five (the Fort Lauderdale Five of the 1970s Shepherding Movement who were Bob Mumford, Derek Prince, Charles Simpson, Don Basham, and Ern Baxter).    

Al Mohler serves as President of the SBC’s flagship seminary, the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and is a board member of Focus on the Family.  He also is a member of the governing body of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, which is housed at SBTS.  The CBMW web site is being re-constructed at this time. Ligon Duncan, who hails from the Presbyterian Church of America, serves as President, and Chairman of the Council, of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals and as Chairman of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.  He is also a Council Member of the Gospel Coalition. 

Mark Dever serves as senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church and is the founder of 9 Marks.  He is a Council Member of the Gospel Coalition and serves on the Council for the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals.  Rounding out the Fab Four is C.J. Mahaney, who heads up Sovereign Grace Ministries, is Vice-Chairman of CBMW, is a Council Member for the Gospel Coalition and serves on the Council for the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals.  Now you know how these guys have gotten to know each other so well. 

Here are some of the other leaders of the “New Calvinists”, not in any particular order.  There’s Mark Driscoll, John Piper, Joshua Harris, and Matt Chandler.  I know I’m leaving some out.  Sorry!

Recently, we discovered that Carl Trueman, a Professor of Historical Theology and Church History at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, is also concerned about what’s happening in the “New Calvinist” movement.  He wrote an excellent article in September 2009 entitled “The Nameless One”, which can be found at this link:

http://www.reformation21.org/articles/the-nameless-one.php

If you are enamored with the New Calvinists, please take the time to read Trueman’s article.  He begins by explaining that in recent months he has been asked what he thinks about the young, restless, and reformed (YRR) movement.  While he is overjoyed by the positive aspects of this movement — that more Christians are reading their Bibles, going to church to hear the gospel preached, and studying the writings of the reformers (Calvin, Owen, etc.) — he is beginning to realize there may be some “shortcomings and potential pitfalls”.

Trueman writes:  “One striking and worrying aspect of the movement is how personality oriented it is.  It is identified with certain big names, rather than creeds, confessions, denominations, or even local congregations.”

He continues:

“Yet the hype surrounding today’s leaders of the YRR movement far outstrips anything these earlier heroes enjoyed in their lifetime; indeed, Luther never became rich, despite his great stature, and never headed up a ministry named after himself, or posted a fee-schedule for speaking engagements on his website.”

Trueman explains that Martin Luther had to work as a gardener and carpenter to make ends meet during the Reformation.  He also explains that neither Owen, Edwards, or Spurgeon ever enjoyed the “good life”.

Here’s how Carl Trueman explains the potential pitfalls of the YRR movement:

“The significance of the leaders of the YRR movement, however, seems less like that of ages past and at times more akin to the broader cultural phenomenon of the modern cult of celebrity, a kind of sanctified Christian equivalent of the secular values that surround us.”

Trueman goes on to name the world’s celebrities: Brad, Angelina, Tom, Barak, etc., and explains that the Christian world has its celebrities, too.  Then he then hints of the idolatry described in 1 Corinthians 1.

Here are quotes from Trueman’s article that I found thought-provoking:

“The supply side economics of the YRR movement is also worrying here, as it can easily foster such idolatry by building up a leader’s importance out of all proportion to his talent.”

“Carrying on from the danger of personality cults, part of me also wonders if the excitement surrounding the movement is generated because people see that Reformed theology has intrinsic truth or because they see that it works, at least along the typical American lines of numbers of bodies on seats (in Britain, we’d say ‘bums on seats’…)”

“Finally, I worry that a movement built on megachurches, megaconferences, and megaleaders does the church a disservice in one very important way that is often missed amid the pizzazz and excitement: it creates the idea that church life is always going to be big, loud, and exhilarating, and thus gives church members and ministerial candidates unrealistic expectations of the normal Christian life.”

Trueman then explains that in the real world many of us worship in churches of 100 people or less, and church for most of us is rather routine and ordinary.  All the hype will inevitably lead to disappointment.

The concluding paragraph of Trueman’s article begins as follows:

“Ultimately, only the long term will show if the YRR movement has genuinely orthodox backbone and stamina, whether it is inextricably and inseparably linked to uniquely talented leaders, and whether ‘Calvinism is cool’ is just one more sales pitch in the religious section of the cultural department store.  If the movement is more marketing than reality, then ten to fifteen years should allow us to tell.  If it is still orthodox by that point, we can be reasonably sure it is genuine.”

Our question about the YRR movement is this:  just who is being glorified – God or man?  We can be so idolatrous.  That’s why God’s first commandment is “You shall have no other gods before me.”  For those of you who are caught up in the YRR movement, it’s just something to think about…


Together for the Gospel (T4G) 2012: Bigger and Better? (link)

Together for the Gospel (T4G) 2012 is fast approaching, and the Fab Four are hoping for a record breaking crowd at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky. If you’re wondering why C.J. Mahaney bailed out of Covenant Life Church to attend Capitol Hill Baptist Church (CHBC), there is a strong possibility that it has everything to do with T4G. As C.J. Mahaney stated in his May 2008 message to the CHBC congregation,

“And I must make at least one brief comment about Together for the Gospel. If you aren’t aware of this conference, it just took place a few weeks ago in Louisville, Kentucky. It was attended by over 5,500 primarily pastors were in attendance. This conference is really the fruit of your senior pastor’s leadership, you senior pastor’s friendship with a number of individuals.”

Let’s stop right there. Do you know how the Fab Four (Dever, Duncan, Mahaney, and Mohler) became acquainted? Ligon Duncan spilled the beans on the T4G blog several years ago by explaining:

“T4G is a biennial conference that grew out of a set of now Gospel friendships. Mark Dever, Al Mohler, C.J. Mahaney and I had all been friends for a number of years (Mark, Al and I have known one another since the 1980s, and Mark introduced Al and me to C.J.).”

At one time the link to Duncan’s comment on the T4G blog worked (http://www.t4g.org/blog/page/3/); however, the website has been revamped and the Together for the Gospel blog no longer exists. Oh well… At least we know with certainty who introduced C.J. Mahaney to Al Mohler and Ligon Duncan, namely Mark Dever.

What follows are my personal thoughts and opinions on the Together for the Gospel conference.

First of all, if you check the Together for the Gospel address at the bottom of the website, you will see “525 A Street NE, Washington, DC 20002”. Now let’s verify the mailing address for Capitol Hill Baptist Church. It is “525 A Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002”. So T4G is headquartered at Capitol Hill Baptist Church…  With the planning of T4G 2012 in full swing, it seems obvious to me why Mahaney made his move from Covenant Life Church to Capitol Hill Baptist Church. My guess is that he is devoting much effort toward the planning of the largest ever T4G conference. I have heard that they are hoping for 10,000 attendees. And that’s certainly possible. As Mahaney stated above, there were over five thousand attendees in 2008 and I believe over seven thousand in 2010. With the T4G conference being held for the first time in Louisville’s new arena, they will probably exceed their goal.

Here is the crux of what I would like to discuss about this conference. Do you have any idea how much revenue a conference of this size generates? Don’t forget about the HUGE bookstore. It appears to me that the organizers of T4G have modeled their conference after the ones planned by AMWAY kingpins who have excelled at this marketing approach for two or three decades. One such kingpin lives here in Raleigh and holds conferences in the very same Louisville arena where T4G will soon take place. Indications are that there were fifteen thousand attendees at that kingpin’s most recent conference. Back in 2004, Chris Hansen of Dateline did an undercover investigation of this AMWAY kingpin who hails from my area. It was appropriately called “In Pursuit of the Almighty Dollar”. Here is the transcript.  The bottom line of this investigation was that these leaders perched atop their pyramids make most of their money from conference fees, books, and other sales tools.

As far as I can determine, the conference fees charged for T4G are comparable to those charged by AMWAY kingpins. And it’s obvious that there are a ton of books sold at Together for the Gospel. What happens to all that cash collected from conference fees and book sales? We are talking millions of dollars. Yes, I know that there is a substantial charge for renting the facility, but…

Mahaney explained that mostly pastors attend T4G. By that I’m sure he also meant future pastors, as in seminary students (who attend at a reduced rate). Have you ever thought about who is paying for these pastors to attend T4G? Conference fees, hotel and food costs, as well as transportation? My guess is that the churches are paying all of these expenses. I wonder if church members even know that their pastor is attending this conference.

It has been interesting to see more speakers being added to T4G 2012. I wonder what their cut will be (sorry, I meant honorarium). I also wonder if they will be advertising their latest book at the conference. You know the answer to that!

Where are those who are sounding the warning about these Calvinista prophets who appear to be profiting handsomely from this venture? Does anyone know how much these guys are pocketing from this conference? Does anyone even care?

Then there is the “Together for the Gospel” label. Yes, those who label themselves as New Calvinists (whom we call Calvinistas) are congregating, but what about Christians outside their narrow little circle? Would they feel welcome at T4G? It is obvious from the roster of speakers that they would not.  Not much togetherness from my perspective.

What is most amazing is that these pastors or pastor wannabe’s soak up all this information at the conferences and come out sounding just alike. It certainly appears that the Fab Four have been successful in cloning the T4G attendees. Recently, I checked out the website of a Southern Baptist church located in a small town here in North Carolina which will remain unnamed. The relatively young pastor graduated from a Southern Baptist Seminary and has links on the church website to the websites of Mahaney, Mohler, Dever, Piper, etc. In his blog he often quotes these men whom he revers. I can’t help but wonder how his strong allegiance to these leaders affects his congregation. Perhaps this church (which was recently established) is a foreshadowing of things to come as the Calvinistas increase their sphere of influence and try to advance their movement throughout Christendom.  Since Dever, the mastermind of Together for the Gospel, is BIG on church discipline, expect things to change in churches across America as the T4G attendees go back and implement what they have been taught. Dever’s Nine Marks are having a significant impact throughout Christendom as well.

Here is the bottom line. As long as the Together for the Conference is successful, there will be ripple effects throughout the churches and organizations where the T4G attendees have influence. Dee and I are extremely concerned by the hyper-authoritarianism exhibited by this crowd, and we believe much is at stake. One has to wonder whether there is a direct correlation between the Calvinstas (who are so dogmatic about their theology) and the success of Rob Bell’s book Love Wins. It is clear from our commenters here at TWW that true believers are being driven out of hyper-authoritarian churches in DROVES!

Yes, it’s a no brainer that C.J. Mahaney is closely associating himself with Mark Dever and Capitol Hill Baptist Church during the planning stages of the Together for the Gospel conference.  There is much work to be done to make T4G 2012 the biggest and best conference ever! Is Mahaney double-dipping by receiving a salary from both SGM and T4G?  It will be interesting to “observe” what happens regarding Mahaney’s church affiliation after the conference is over. Rest assured, we will be watching.

Thanks for letting me rant about something that is extremely upsetting to me. It grieves me deeply when I see so-called prophets become profiteers. Is anyone besides Dee and me upset about the ever-increasing Christian conferences? Your feedback will be greatly appreciated.


We want to conclude with a little ditty performed at the 2006 Ligonier National Conference by Rappers John and Ligon Duncan.  Hope it never disappears from the internet!

Comments

Together for the Gospel – Who Is REALLY Being Worshipped? — 566 Comments


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

    @ Divorce Minister:

    Ding, ding, ding! You're the WINNER!


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

    "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." I Timothy 6:10, NIV

    Follow the money to the root… It is so sad that "gospel" is connected to this mess.

    Reminds me of the cr#p (ed.) I heard coming out of the Mars Hill Church ex-in-laws during my separation and divorce. Words not matching actions. It is very confusing especially when Bible words are invoked while empty of substance and doubly so coming from pastor celebrities so many revere.


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

    Truman said that people see that Reformed theology works. What does that mean? I guess he’d say that Arminiism (spelling?) doesn’t work, whatever that means.

    I think the rise of the YRRs over the last few years is one example of how society, American society specifically, has been moving towards extremism. I mean we’ve always tended towards extremes, but now, we’re going off the rails. The left is now the extreme left, and the right is now the extreme right. This leaves people like me in the middle pulling out our hair. The harsh legalism of Calvinism fits in such an extreme environment, that is, until it burns out, and extremism always burns out.

    By the way, what are the young, restless, and reformed so gosh darn restless about? They can’t wait to rush out and tell everyone how they’re chosen and others aren’t? I’ve never understood this.


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

    By the way, that video’s going to give me nightmares.


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

    1 Corinthians 1: 10-17 has **special** relevance here, and I will highlight a verse that jumps out at me:

    Verse 13: “Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?”

    This cult of personality and covetousness for money–both of which are idolatry–is the number-one reason why these Calvinistas will tolerate and perhaps even begin to encourage excommunication of battered wives and wink at sexual abuse in the church. It’s about THE LOVE OF POWER AND MONEY, all in the name of “church discipline.” Baal, Molech, and Mammon!!

    They’re playing to and attracting misogynistic, power-mad men hellbent on grinding women and children under their feet; and **the primary motivator appears to be the love of cash flow.** The scary thing is that young men are getting indoctrinated into thinking that it’s perfectly fine to grind your wife into a Stepford mold.

    I will start praying for the protection of Carl Trueman, Todd Pruitt, and Aimee Byrd–as well as you, Deb. I was drawn to this website awhile ago, and in the face of this growing evil, I’m convinced that you’re doing God’s work in exposing it–very much!

    I could be wrong about this, but I have a subtle but bad witness in my spirit that these Calvinistas–Al Mohler, C.J.Mahaney, et.al.–have begun a “soft”-style persecution of genuine Christians within their churches. Maybe I’m full of cr#p here: I surely hope so. But if there is a genuine spirit of Molech operating here, as I strongly suspect it to be, do NOT be surprised if these idolators turn to hard persecution if they believe they can get away with it.

    Do not rule out arson or other assassination attempts, for example, by their followers if they are opposed long and successfully enough and see that their beloved mammon supply is thretened. I know I’m sounding very paranoid and suspicious, and I wouldn’t blame anyone if they thought I was a kook–nonetheless, people who threaten profits have been murdered before. Yes, as followers of Christ, we are **obligated** to call out sin like this!! But I advise every watchman and watchwoman crying out against this sin: be careful and take precautions.

    The blood of Karen Silkwood still cries up from the ground, oh Lord…as well as that of Michael Servetus and the infants at Tophet. Deliver us, oh Lord, from every evil, in the Name of Jesus. Amen.


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

    I posted a longer excerpt in the previous topic, but I thought I’d excerpt one sentence because I think it’s a very astute observation by Professor Amy Laura Hall of Duke Seminary:

    A currently popular Christian writer and speaker in the United States named John Piper gave a short lecture in 2009 to the annual meeting of the Religious Newswriters Association about a movement and marketing scheme he calls “the New Calvinists.”

    (Hall, Amy Laura: Love in Everything: A Brief Primer to Julian of Norwich, The Princeton Seminary Bulletin (2015) URL: http://psb.ptsem.edu/hall/ . Footnotes omitted)

    I’d particularly draw your attention to the phrase “movement and marketing scheme.” I think Professor Hall is on to something here.


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

    From the post: “…we have become increasingly concerned that this hot new theological movement may have a very serious downside, namely, hero worship.”

    1 Samuel 8: Israel demanded a king.


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

    Dee & Deb, TWW readers, I haven’t read the blog post above yet, but I want to alert all of you to a back and forth dialogue between Phil Johnson of GTY (MacArthur’s ministry), and Brent Detweiler and some former SGM members. It is very eye-opening as to the willful blindness that the T4G crowd have regarding C.J. I think someone who has the know how should take screen shots of the conversation because Mr. Johnson may delete it at some point. Perhaps Brad Futuristic Guy. Brent D. was asked by Phil Johnson if he knew about the cover up of sexual abuse while he was in SGM and Brent gives a response. Phil Johnson’s reply is mind boggling. Anyway, I cannot do it justice with my mere words. Here’s the Facebook link:
    https://www.facebook.com/philliprjohnson/posts/10156805378475472?comment_id=10156807787525472&reply_comment_id=10156834336460472&notif_t=feed_co


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

    By the way, I meant Facebook not blog post for the above. And also, there is a lot of discussion there about the evidence pointing to C.J's guilt and many ex-members talking about their experiences. Phil Johnson and those who support him just brush these folks off. Please, if any of you have the time and interest go over to Facebook and read this dialogue. It will take awhile, but give you an even better idea of the mindset of the T4G and the Neo-Cals circling of the wagons.


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

    Tim Keller didn’t make your list? Sorry, I am absolutely NOT a Keller fanboy because there are far, far FAR too many in Reformed circles who buy every book the guy writes, forward his quotes/tweets/video roundtables non-stop, buy and then preach his sermon series one after another, base Sunday School teaching on his books and videos, etc.

    He may look like a nice grandpa with a smooth, sweet sounding baritone voice, and his motives may be 100% pure and good, but he is absolutely contributing to the worshipful demi-god world of reformed theology. And if celebrity worship is a problem in Calvinist circles, Keller Worship is at least a part of the problem.


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

    THIS. IS. RIGHT. ON!@ JYJames:

    Yes, 1 Samuel 8. The Israelites certainly DID demand a king, didn’t they?? And what did Adonai tell Samuel? “It’s **Me** they’re rejecting.”


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

    @ Boyd:

    Agree.


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

    Tenth!

    (And lest we go down a route we’ve been down before here, I am the tenth commenter, not the leaver of the tenth comment.)


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

    @ Darlene:
    I have saved a series of screen shots of the whole Facebook conversation as of Saturday April 23rd, 12:02 Greenwich time. It will take some time to make it more manageable, but it’s all stored for now. Please, let me know if anybody would like to have the image files.


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

    @ Patriciamc:

    I think he was saying that Reformed theology “works” in that it was the hot trend of the moment. The idea is that some church big-shots were gravitating to Reformed theology because that’s where the money and notoriety was at.


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

    As I stated on the previous thread, the emphasis on the centrality of preaching by the early Reformers has had unintended consequences. Among the YRR and NeoCal crowd, it is the centrality of the preacher. Palpable idolatry–a need for perhaps 9500 Theses to be posted to the Internet in response to the marketing schemes of this present group.


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

    I think, however, the congregations of these pastors that attend these conferences are moving on–the pastors will always be the last to move. Revival of authentic Christianity does not typically start with status quo leadership–it springs up in spite of them.


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

    Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    I am the tenth commenter, not the leaver of the tenth comment.

    The tenth comment would be:

    Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s comments, nor his avatar cartoon, nor his really clever point thou wishest thou hadst made thyself, nor anything that formeth a part of thy neighbour’s online profile.

    IHTIH


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

    @ Nick Bulbeck:
    Good one!

    Also, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s massive library, his popularity with the YRR crowd, or his wildly successful church plant.


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

    Compare with:

    I am the Lord thy Blogger. Thou shalt read no other Blogs before Mine.

    Thou shalt not make unto thyself an citation of any other blog in heaven above or on earth beneath. Thou shalt not comment on them nor entertain their doctrines, for I, the Lord thy Blogger, am an jealous Blogger, blocking the children to the third and fourth generation of them that doth critique My Blog, but showing loving kindness to thousands that do attend My Conferences and sow generously into the offerings thereof.

    Thou shalt not critique the name of the Lord thy Blogger, for the Lord will not hold guiltless any that slandereth Him, however truthfully.

    Etc.


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

    ION:

    I’m a bit conflicted regarding today’s fitba’, since Liverpool host Newcastle who are newly under the management of Rafa Benitez – he of Istanbul Champions’ League final fame. Newcastle need the points to avoid the drop, too.

    IHTIH.


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

    The T4G comparison to Amway is perfect. So true.

    Also, if anyone gets a chance, go to the T4G website to see the videos from last week’s conference, especially the ones of the panels. You can just tell these guys love to be on stage. They love the adoration.


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

    @ Boyd:
    Keller’s gig is coming up next April with The Gospel Coalition’s next big conference. Their first National conference was in 2009. Mark Driscoll was one of the main speakers.


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

    P.S. City are now 2-0 up on Stoke at the Etihad, with half-time imminent. This win – for such it looks certain to be – will lift them above Arsenal into third, at least until Arsenal’s visit to Sunderland tomorrow.


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

    @ mirele:

    It’s this quote of Piper’s that tells me something is very, very wrong in the movement he leads:

    “If you are still alive in this age of terror, thank God, and stop whining about government surveillance. If you still have any job of any kind during this, the Second Great Depression, pick up your broom, and stop complaining about minimum wage. Oh, and keep going to church every Sunday, because God deserves your obeisance.”[11]

    These words are harsh and violent, not gentle; words that inspire fear, not love.

    Essentially Piper’s God is a God interested only in self-glorification; and when he thinks of his depraved’, worthless followers at all, it’s only to instill harsh discipline and fear.


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

    May wrote:

    @ mirele:

    It’s this quote of Piper’s that tells me something is very, very wrong in the movement he leads:

    “If you are still alive in this age of terror, thank God, and stop whining about government surveillance. If you still have any job of any kind during this, the Second Great Depression, pick up your broom, and stop complaining about minimum wage. Oh, and keep going to church every Sunday, because God deserves your obeisance.”[11]

    These words are harsh and violent, not gentle; words that inspire fear, not love.

    Essentially Piper’s God is a God interested only in self-glorification; and when he thinks of his depraved’, worthless followers at all, it’s only to instill harsh discipline and fear.

    Where is that Piper quote from?


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

    IFON:

    Barak Obama, in a speech in London today, urged the young to “reject cynicism”.

    Yeah, right; he would say that.

    [joke]


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

    May quoting Piper.
    May wrote:

    Oh, and keep going to church every Sunday,

    …because Piper and the Calvinistas need your money and support to take over the church.

    or

    …because you aren’t depressed enough and need to be brought lower.


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

    @ Nick Bulbeck:

    He, he! Obama!

    Telling us Brits how to vote! As if the Americans would tolerate the British PM going over and telling Americans who to vote for in their election. 😉


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

    @ Edward:
    The Piper quote is cited by Dr Amy Laura Hall in an article she wrote on st Julian of Norwich. Her reference for it is:

    John Piper, “The Young & the Reformed.” Religious Newswriters Association Conference. Minneapolis, MN, September 11, 2009. Panel Discussion.

    This is her article: http://psb.ptsem.edu/hall/ Mirele linked to it above.

    Dr Hall has definitely done her research on Piper.


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

    I’m developing carpel tunnel of the index finger syndrome from scrolling through the myriads of comments in the past few days.


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

    @ brad/futuristguy:

    Use a different finger for a while. Sometimes using the middle one can be therapeutic.
    😉


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

    FYI: The footnote in Dr. Amy Hall’s article links to:

    John Piper, “The Young & the Reformed.” Religious Newswriters Association Conference. Minneapolis, MN, September 11, 2009. Panel Discussion.


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

    @ May:
    So true, such a horrible picture of God. Where is the love?


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

    Edward wrote:

    Where is that Piper quote from?

    It’s hard to say. I tracked down the September 11, 2009 speech given by Piper, it can be found on this page here:

    http://www.desiringgod.org/messages/on-the-new-calvinists

    But the quote isn’t in there. I am thinking this is Professor Hall taking Piper’s general remarks here and putting a quote in his mouth. Because Piper is going to make sure you understand, by God, that you are *absolutely insignificant* compared to God’s glory. Seriously, Piper is all over this insignificance.

    It’s worth it to listen to Piper for 15 minutes as he explains Calvinism to these reporters. You can see how invested Piper is in Calvinism, he recommends books for the reporters to read, he talks about how many sermons Calvin preached on various books of the Bible, he quotes from Calvin. And yes, while Jesus does come up, it’s only in the context of penal substitutionary atonement. (Hello, Jesus was more than just that, John!)

    I personally believe Piper believes in absolute insignificance, but only for the little people. After all, he has this nice website, Desiring God, which has a few hundred of his sermons for his fanboys. He’s a big wheel in the resurgence of Calvinism. If he was really as into “absolute insignificance,” he wouldn’t be the shameless self-promoter that he is. I also doubt Piper thinks about insignificance in the “pale blue dot” sense and contemplated it. (The “pale blue dot” is a picture of the Earth from 6 billion kilometers away, it’s a pixel against the vastness of space.) For the record, I have, a lot.

    Now I am going to listen to Prince tributes. Frankly, and let me scandalize the Piper acolytes, I think Prince Rogers Nelson was a better thing to come out of Minneapolis than John Piper and his resurgent Calvinism.


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

    @ mirele:

    Mirele, Could it be that Dr Hall was at this news conference and recorded the quotation, but it was not captured on film/ recorded.

    Regardless, it does sum up his attitude very well. As does this one, taken from the same event: ‘As Piper describes it, people desire the truth that God is omnipotent (all powerful) and that, in contrast, humans and our bodies and daily concerns are like dust.’


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

    Deb wrote:

    @ Martos:
    Why of course we’d love to have those files.

    Dear Deb,

    You should receive a couple of emails from me. Please, use the files on the second email. I realised that I made a few mistakes when taking the screenshots after I sent you the files, and decided to redo it all.

    Facebook conversations become really hard to follow when they get very long!


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

    Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Barak Obama, in a speech in London today,

    He has not done right by you all. Nobody ought to demand that he agree with everything, but he is over the line. On the other hand, UK has issued a traveler’s advisory to avoid my state since they might be in danger here, apparently because the Brits are keen for their men to get into our ladies’ rooms.

    There is an old saying about pots and kettles which might apply here.


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

    What if they aren’t using their profits for personal gain? John Piper has mentioned that he lives off of a certain amount, and any money given to him by book royalties or his church salary goes to ministries. What if the T4G gang is rolling the profits into ministry, and why was this never discussed in this post as a possibility?

    Concerning the Carl quote above: “look at the level at which some of these guys are living at…hundreds of thousands of dollars.” What is evidence for the T4G gang living like this? He says “open your eyes,” but I don’t see evidence of them wasting wealth. If you guys do, why don’t you tell us?
    It applies to Driscoll and others, of course, but this post is targeting T4G guys specifically. No evidence = unsubstantiated claims.


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

    May wrote:

    Mirele, Could it be that Dr Hall was at this news conference and recorded the quotation, but it was not captured on film/ recorded.

    There was a press conference I didn’t listen to (also on the same web page), and Piper was on the panel. It’s entirely possible it was there.

    The thing is, it’s well-known that Piper is all over humanity’s absolute insignificance in the face of God’s glory. It doesn’t seem to have occurred to Piper that God also found humanity infinitely valuable, to the point that Jesus, God’s human image, lived among us. But you won’t learn that from Piper, because if you drill down in Piper’s belief system, Jesus only died for some people, and that choice was (presumably) made before the Big Bang.


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

    “Trueman explains that Martin Luther had to work as a gardener and carpenter to make ends meet during the Reformation. ”

    Actually, his eventual wife, former nun, Catherine von Bora, became the chief grunt worker. She ran the brewery and other income streams while he wrote and spoke.


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

    May wrote:

    “If you are still alive in this age of terror, thank God, and stop whining about government surveillance. If you still have any job of any kind during this, the Second Great Depression, pick up your broom, and stop complaining about minimum wage. Oh, and keep going to church every Sunday, because God deserves your obeisance.”[11]

    @ May:
    Why bother to find new cures for Cancer? God wants you to suffer.

    Oh wait, Piper did go for prostrate cancer treatment.

    But he is important as one of God’s anointed messengers.


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

    Lydia wrote:

    “Trueman explains that Martin Luther had to work as a gardener and carpenter to make ends meet during the Reformation. ”
    Actually, his eventual wife, former nun, Catherine von Bora, became the chief grunt worker. She ran the brewery and other income streams while he wrote and spoke.

    Beat me to it….Catherine kept the entire ” household/family/income ” together….
    Something the YRR crowd would never tell you…


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

    Patriciamc wrote:

    I mean we’ve always tended towards extremes, but now, we’re going off the rails. The left is now the extreme left, and the right is now the extreme right. This leaves people like me in the middle pulling out our hair.

    Tell me about it


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

    K.D. wrote:

    Catherine kept the entire ” household/family/income ” together….

    Which is kind of what it sounds like the Proverbs 31 woman is doing. Though you’ll never hear that preached in a complementarian sermon.


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

    May wrote:

    @ Nick Bulbeck:
    He, he! Obama!
    Telling us Brits how to vote! As if the Americans would tolerate the British PM going over and telling Americans who to vote for in their election.

    I am embarrassed….seriously embarrassed.
    Lydia wrote:

    Patriciamc wrote:
    I mean we’ve always tended towards extremes, but now, we’re going off the rails. The left is now the extreme left, and the right is now the extreme right. This leaves people like me in the middle pulling out our hair.
    Tell me about it

    I wish I had hair left to pull out…..


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

    Lydia wrote:

    Why bother to find new cures for Cancer? God wants you to suffer.

    Years ago – 10 years I think it was – Piper came to my neck of the words and preached at a conference. The theme was suffering. He glorified it. I was left with the impression that, if you’re not suffering, you’re not holy and God doesn’t really have time for you. And that if God knocks down your son in car accident (he referred to this anecdote) you should thank him for the suffering he has bestowed upon you.

    I felt very uneasy about it at the time – but every other single person was raving about how wonderful he was.

    I don’t know whether that was pre- or post- his prostate cancer.


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

    Will wrote:

    What if they aren’t using their profits for personal gain? John Piper has mentioned that he lives off of a certain amount, and any money given to him by book royalties or his church salary goes to ministries. What if the T4G gang is rolling the profits into ministry, and why was this never discussed in this post as a possibility?

    Concerning the Carl quote above: “look at the level at which some of these guys are living at…hundreds of thousands of dollars.” What is evidence for the T4G gang living like this? He says “open your eyes,” but I don’t see evidence of them wasting wealth. If you guys do, why don’t you tell us?
    It applies to Driscoll and others, of course, but this post is targeting T4G guys specifically. No evidence = unsubstantiated claims.

    Let’s grant, for the sake of argument, that your assertions are correct, and the T4G gang is not making piles of money by what they are doing. That still leaves the questions of their ill-treatment of abuse victims, their hyper-authoritarianism, their emphasis on conferences and books and non-congregational modes of ministry, their celebrity culture…


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

    @ Martos:

    Thanks! Looking forward to reviewing them.


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

    Will wrote:

    What if they aren’t using their profits for personal gain? John Piper has mentioned that he lives off of a certain amount, and any money given to him by book royalties or his church salary goes to ministries. What if the T4G gang is rolling the profits into ministry, and why was this never discussed in this post as a possibility?

    Concerning the Carl quote above: “look at the level at which some of these guys are living at…hundreds of thousands of dollars.” What is evidence for the T4G gang living like this? He says “open your eyes,” but I don’t see evidence of them wasting wealth. If you guys do, why don’t you tell us?
    It applies to Driscoll and others, of course, but this post is targeting T4G guys specifically. No evidence = unsubstantiated claims.

    Two points:

    1) The T4G guys appear to be living at a much higher level than Joe Average. If (for example) Piper pulls in $1 million a year, and only takes $100,000 of that as income, that still puts him $46,000 + ahead of the average American family in 2015.

    2) So it’s going into “ministry”. I question whether a ministry that sets preachers up above everyone else, teaches the insignificance of humanity as compared to God’s glory, and also attempts to shove women into a secondary role is actually “ministry.” Remember, Piper and the rest of the Neo-Calvinists believe that God chose the saved before the foundation of the world. The “ministry” they do is not to all humanity. And, in my opinion, this shows in their many ministries. It’s all about promoting their doctrines.


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

    Three weeks ago my wife was diagnosed with stage IV endometrial cancer. As we were discussing her illness a few days ago it occurred to us that these false ministers and preachers are cancers in the Body of Christ.

    Cancer kills by robbing the body of nutrients and fluids and by crowding out healthy cells. Cancer cells contribute absolutely NOTHING to the good of the body. So it is with these horrible people.

    They take and take, giving nothing in return. They are only interested in their own survival. The more of them there are, the more damage they do. They are cancers.

    Nothing good can be said about cancer. Cancer is not forgiven or minimized with you-only-heard-one-side-of-the-story excuses. Cancer is evil and must be destroyed.

    Cancer cells feed and grow on sugar. These evil men feed and grow on money. It’s time to starve them out!


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

    Uncle Dad wrote:

    Three weeks ago my wife was diagnosed with stage IV endometrial cancer

    I’m so sorry to hear of this diagnosis, Uncle Dad. You and your wife will be in my prayers. 🙁


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

    @ Uncle Dad:

    So sorry to hear about your wife's diagnosis. I will be praying for her.

    Your analogy is excellent!


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

    @ Uncle Dad:
    THIS. Is also truly wise!

    When people stop giving these false reachers money, that’s when this spiritual cancer will end!


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

    @ Uncle Dad:
    Will be praying for you and your beloved.


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

    Will wrote:

    What if they aren’t using their profits for personal gain?

    Why don't you ask for a financial statement to prove you're right and we're wrong?

    It's interesting that T4G doesn't disclose it's financial information to an accountability group like ECFA – not that that really means a whole lot, but it's better than nothing.


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

    @ Uncle Dad:

    Will be praying for you and your wife. Sorry to hear about her illness.


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

    @ Uncle Dad:

    That’s terrible news. May God strengthen you as you take care of her, and yourself.


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

    Will wrote:

    What is evidence for the T4G gang living like this? He says “open your eyes,” but I don’t see evidence of them wasting wealth. If you guys do, why don’t you tell us?
    It applies to Driscoll and others, of course, but this post is targeting T4G guys specifically. No evidence = unsubstantiated claims.

    You say it’s obvious that the accusations of wasteful gathering and spending apply to Driscoll. I agree.

    But Piper and his cronies apparently had no problem with that, for years on end. Which raises the question: Why?

    Deb is right, Will. Try asking for financial statements from the Reformed Big Dogs. And see how far you get.


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

    Uncle Dad wrote:

    Three weeks ago my wife was diagnosed with stage IV endometrial cancer. As we were discussing her illness a few days ago it occurred to us that these false ministers and preachers are cancers in the Body of Christ.
    Cancer kills by robbing the body of nutrients and fluids and by crowding out healthy cells. Cancer cells contribute absolutely NOTHING to the good of the body. So it is with these horrible people.
    They take and take, giving nothing in return. They are only interested in their own survival. The more of them there are, the more damage they do. They are cancers.
    Nothing good can be said about cancer. Cancer is not forgiven or minimized with you-only-heard-one-side-of-the-story excuses. Cancer is evil and must be destroyed.
    Cancer cells feed and grow on sugar. These evil men feed and grow on money. It’s time to starve them out!

    Prayers for you, your wife, and your family….


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

    Can there be any doubt that money is C.J.'s love language?  He lavishes it upon those for whom he cares deeply.  Here are some examples of him doing just that…

    (1) Todd Wilhelm provided an audio clip of Mahaney giving two checks amounting to $10,000 to Mark Dever's church on its 125th anniversary. I assume one check was from CLC and the other from SGM – each check was probably $5,000.

    https://thouarttheman.org/2016/02/24/cjdenominationfunds/

    (2) Then we have Mahaney presenting a check in the amount of $10,000 to his favorite seminary (SBTS) – starting at the 8 minute mark.

    http://d3pi8hptl0qhh4.cloudfront.net/media/audio/fall2006/20061024mahaney.mp3

    "And that boys and girls is how you get invited back!" C.J. Mahaney (9 minute mark)

    NO JOKE!!!  Money TALK$


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

    Uncle Dad wrote:

    false ministers and preachers are cancers in the Body of Christ

    Very sorry to hear of your wife’s illness.

    The day before 9/11 I sat through a lecture by a genetic researcher on combating some types of cancers. It was some time ago but I recall he said that some cancer cells masquerade as healthy cells and thus evade the body’s immune system. At the time he was very hopeful and thought he was close to a breakthrough but I heard months later his solutions worked in the lab but broke down in the body.

    If I may add to your analogy here by mentioning that these charlatans work in the same way, masquerading as healthy cells and thus evading the body’s immune system. I think this also brings up another description, TWW works to unmask some of these cancers within the Body of Christ so the normal correctives can then do their function.


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

    mirele wrote:

    It’s all about promoting their doctrines.

    That’s all it’s ever been about. I noticed it 10 years ago. And have been calling them out ever since but nobody listens to me.

    That’s why I read TWW.


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

    May wrote:

    Lydia wrote:
    Why bother to find new cures for Cancer? God wants you to suffer.
    Years ago – 10 years I think it was – Piper came to my neck of the words and preached at a conference.

    Was that, by any chance, New Word Alive in 2008?


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

    Uncle Dad wrote:

    They are cancers.

    I am so sorry to hear of your wife’s cancer.

    You are right- this is a movement that takes and takes – it laps up people’s money, time, adoration. What does it give in return? ‘Correct doctrine’ and ‘discipline’.


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

    @ Deb:

    Mammon is C.J. Mahaney’s god, if appearances are correct. Now, if I’m wrong, may the Lord Jesus rebuke and correct me. However, Deb, wasn’t Mahaney involved in some type of alledged extortion? I know I should come through your blog to find the reference, but if you could provide the link as a shortcut, I’d be grateful. Otherwise, don’t worry: me the bulldog will dig it out.:))

    Extortion, especially done for money, is a HUGE red flag that money and power, not Jesus, is a person’s god. The sin is so serious that it is listed in 1 Corinthians 6:10 as one that will disinherit any believer from the kingdom of heaven (unless repented of, of course)


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

    @ Darlene:

    It is absolutely gross, Darlene! There is one man who basically said the ‘trivial’ stuff that came out before made it the survivors own fault that nobody believed them. Disgusting.


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

    Eeyore wrote:

    Let’s grant, for the sake of argument, that your assertions are correct, and the T4G gang is not making piles of money by what they are doing. That still leaves the questions of their ill-treatment of abuse victims, their hyper-authoritarianism, their emphasis on conferences and books and non-congregational modes of ministry, their celebrity culture…

    I agree that money-grubbing is not the only potential problem with these guys and their movement, but this post is primarily about celebrity and money. I wanted to address the money part; I didn’t pretend to try to defend every bad thing about these guys.

    Also, I don’t mean to nitpick, but the issue is not “making piles of money,” but whether or not they’re keeping it. Guys like John Wesley and Francis Chan have “made piles of money” off of book sales, but they gave it away. I hope the T4G guys do the same.


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

    @ Lea:

    Also! The guy doesn’t even realize that trivial stuff was not trivial, as proven by the more shocking things that’s came out later. He displayed a lack of discernment and he blames it on the people who saw it all along. Maddening!


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

    mirele wrote:

    Two points:
    1) The T4G guys appear to be living at a much higher level than Joe Average. If (for example) Piper pulls in $1 million a year, and only takes $100,000 of that as income, that still puts him $46,000 + ahead of the average American family in 2015.
    2) So it’s going into “ministry”. I question whether a ministry that sets preachers up above everyone else, teaches the insignificance of humanity as compared to God’s glory, and also attempts to shove women into a secondary role is actually “ministry.” Remember, Piper and the rest of the Neo-Calvinists believe that God chose the saved before the foundation of the world. The “ministry” they do is not to all humanity. And, in my opinion, this shows in their many ministries. It’s all about promoting their doctrines.

    Thanks for your organized response.

    1) These guys “appear”? Maybe Piper takes home $100k? I was looking for real evidence, but that is speculative. We might be very justified in saying “maybe their lifestyles are wasteful,” but this post is saying, “their lifestyles ARE wasteful!” and there’s just been no substantiation of that claim, but everyone is going along with it.

    2) Their ministries have other problems, sure, but that’s not relevant to the extravagant lifestyle claim that this post makes.


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

    Deb wrote:

    Why don’t you ask for a financial statement to prove you’re right and we’re wrong?

    You’re absolutely right, and I will do that. I hope they disclose something. But it is irresponsible to make accusations that they are wasting people’s money if you don’t have evidence for it. I appreciate you exposing injustice, but that exposing should come with evidence. When people aren’t convinced, you don’t get to say “Well prove they’re not doing what I say they’re doing!” That’s not how evidence works.


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

    Serving Kids In Japan wrote:

    You say it’s obvious that the accusations of wasteful gathering and spending apply to Driscoll. I agree.
    But Piper and his cronies apparently had no problem with that, for years on end. Which raises the question: Why?

    That’s a great question! I know that some of those guys try to live far below their means: Piper says his former was church salary more than necessary (https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/piper-on-pastors-pay) and Platt’s whole thing is partially about radical frugality enabling radical generosity.

    You’re right, them being okay (as far as we know) with Driscoll’s lifestyle is suspicious, but ultimately can’t serve as evidence that they themselves are extravagant.


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

    @ Julie Canny:

    “I could be wrong about this, but I have a subtle but bad witness in my spirit that these Calvinistas–Al Mohler, C.J.Mahaney, et.al.–have begun a “soft”-style persecution of genuine Christians within their churches. Maybe I’m full of cr#p here: I surely hope so. But if there is a genuine spirit of Molech operating here, as I strongly suspect it to be, do NOT be surprised if these idolators turn to hard persecution if they believe they can get away with it.

    Do not rule out arson or other assassination attempts, for example, by their followers if they are opposed long and successfully enough and see that their beloved mammon supply is thretened. I know I’m sounding very paranoid and suspicious,…”
    ++++++++++++++++

    don’t exactly know what the ‘spirit of molech’ is, but I don’t think you’re paranoid at all, and are right to be suspicious.

    Just Tuesday Carl Trueman wrote,

    “And, above all, it is that those parachurch leaders are wrong who consciously leverage their status in parachurches to exert far-reaching power over others, even outside their own organizations. Two attempts of which I am aware have been made by such men to have me fired simply because of articles I have written critiquing them and their organizations. That is evil, not simply distasteful.”

    http://www.alliancenet.org/mos/postcards-from-palookaville

    (I have my guesses who these 2 parachurch leaders are.) When “Christian” powerbrokers try to get someone fired for criticizing them, i’d prefer to dispense with the christianese “persecution” and say this is what mafia thugs do. it’s beyond intimidation — they went the distance and made a concerted effort to ruin someone.
    —–

    Another example of Christian intimidation, arson, threats because of dissent:

    Last week, prompted by a comment in a recent TWW post (Protesting Together for the Gospel 2016), I found an interview with a Baptist professor Ralph Elliott who wrote a book credited as ‘history-making’, & ‘igniting a firestorm of controversy’ (“The Message Of Genesis”, 1961, Broadman Press, publishing arm of Southern Baptist Convention at the time).

    Mr. Elliott is described as ‘the first exile of the Southern Baptist controversy, caught up in the take-over movement begun in 1979.’

    in the interview he is asked the question, “How were you treated during the controversy?”

    He responds, “…My family were the ones who really suffered. We received threatening phone calls. And once explosives were thrown on our front porch, damaging the floor. For a while, the police had to escort our children home from public school.”

    I gather he lost his job and he and his family were forced to relocate to a different part of the country.

    All this…. because of dissent. A different perspective. Not towing the party line.

    I think you, me, all of us are right to be concerned about not only the efforts of the powerbrokers to ruin people, but also of their influence over their groupies and what fanatical actions they might take.

    the interview with Ralph Elliott; it was very interesting and enlightening in many respects:

    https://books.google.com/books?id=c7A0WVhEnS8C&pg=PA28&lpg=PA28&dq=baptist+professor+book+genesis+not+literal+1960s&source=bl&ots=fwnBKMyVl7&sig=-Or1OAAmy-u2YdBz5NHBPSMOV8g&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiLvN6xsZHMAhUL0mMKHcYhCVEQ6AEIOTAE#v=onepage&q=baptist%20professor%20book%20genesis%20not%20literal%201960s&f=false


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

    @ Deb:

    Never mind, Deb, I found http://www.brentdetweiler.com and found a chunk of the extortion story…

    Oh my, this is worse than I thought.:(( While I’m going to have to read a bunch of sources on this issue, I can tell you that Mr. Detweiler’s lament sounds shockingly familiar to my story of being workplace-bullied by narcississtic and anti-social bullies.

    And it resonates as someone who has been repeatedly victimized by sociopaths (read, “The Sociopath Next Door,” Martha Stout.)

    If Mr. Detweiler is correct, C.J.Mahaney doesn’t have enough conscience to fill a thimble. Church to him is just a way to make BUCK$.


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

    @ Will:
    Where is your proof, they aren’t? Spend a lot of personal time with them and their families, do you? :o)

    I guess a better question is how come they are not transparent? How come their pewsitters don’t demand to be a part of developing the budget at their respective churches and know how much they make? Why are they such lemmings?

    As far as Molher is concerned his lifestyle is paid for by the SBC so other income streams are pure gravy.

    There is a discussion on another blog right now about the trustees of some SBC institutions keeping the entity presidents salaries confidential. They even signed confidentiality agreements about it. Say what? Why does that need to be a big secret? Sounds just like Jesus doesn’t it? Sigh.

    Why people continue to give them money just blows my mind.


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

    Will wrote:

    When people aren’t convinced, you don’t get to say “Well prove they’re not doing what I say they’re doing!” That’s not how evidence works.

    Why? It works for them.


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

    @ Will:
    Will, T4G is a non profit para church ministry, right?. Surely such a non-profit para church ministry files a 990 and lists its officers. You can start there. Good luck!


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

    Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Compare with:
    I am the Lord thy Blogger. Thou shalt read no other Blogs before Mine.
    Thou shalt not make unto thyself an citation of any other blog in heaven above or on earth beneath. Thou shalt not comment on them nor entertain their doctrines, for I, the Lord thy Blogger, am an jealous Blogger, blocking the children to the third and fourth generation of them that doth critique My Blog, but showing loving kindness to thousands that do attend My Conferences and sow generously into the offerings thereof.
    Thou shalt not critique the name of the Lord thy Blogger, for the Lord will not hold guiltless any that slandereth Him, however truthfully.
    Etc.

    Unfortunately, that’s right on the money.


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

    @ Will:
    Piper had enough money from Desiring God to fly a film crew to Geneva to make his retirement video in front of statues of Calvin.

    For the glory of God, of course


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

    @ Will:

    “What if the T4G gang is rolling the profits into ministry, and why was this never discussed in this post as a possibility?”
    +++++++++++

    come now, don’t you think if this were the case they would have communicated it? why keep something like that secret?


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

    May wrote:

    @ Nick Bulbeck:
    He, he! Obama!
    Telling us Brits how to vote! As if the Americans would tolerate the British PM going over and telling Americans who to vote for in their election.

    Actually, a lot of world leaders did that back when Obama ran the first time. But you’re right; it’s best that we stay out of EU politics. We’ve got enough mess of our own to take care of!


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

    John Piper spoke at a conference a number of years ago in Northern Ireland called New Horizon. From what a friend told me who attended this conference that what he said did not go down too well with the people. Do not remember what he spoke on. May try to find out. Obviously very discerning attendees.


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

    @ Will:

    Do the math… It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that when you charge the kinds of registration fees the Neo-Cals do (also talking about TGC conferences), there is quite a bit of cash involved.


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

    @ Julie Canny:

    I was just about to bring that to your attention. 🙂 Thanks for asking about it.


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

    Very simple answer…TG4TG should publish its books…. Ultimately, much of the money comes from churches that supports pastors to attend, so it is the pew sitters money…. It is a called accountability.

    Deb wrote:

    @ Will: Do the math… It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that when you change the kinds of registration fees the Neo-Cals do (also talking about TGC conferences), there is quite a bit of cash involved.


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

    elastigirl wrote:

    come now, don’t you think if this were the case they would have communicated it? why keep something like that secret?

    Ain't it the truth? We have proof of Mahaney flaunting $10,000 checks to his buddies' ministries.


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

    @ Will:

    Money can be used for more than just living a lavish lifestyle. It can be used to buy fame which is at least as important to these men. It is fame that is so, so seductive to them. Piper, for example, may channel a lot of money into Desiring God, but that is a very handy means of promoting his name, books and teachings. The perpetuity and elevation of his teaching is of higher value to him than a cruise. But pride in one's legacy is as wrong as gluttony of lifestyle. It just looks holier unless you really know what's underneath it.


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

    Jeffrey Chalmers wrote:

    Ultimately, much of the money comes from churches that supports pastors to attend, so it is the pew sitters money…. It is a called accountability.

    So true. It reminds me of those in SGM who had no idea that Mahaney and gang were funneling money to a Southern Baptist seminary instead of their very own Pastors College. When they found out, many were very angry!


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

    @ Will:
    Without going into detail, there are a number of people, real estate attorneys, etc. who have been burned by some of these celebrity types. We have not published much of the information that we have received regarding thee lifestyles of these individuals.

    When I went thru school for my MBA I learned much about tangible assets and intangible assets. On the tangible side, many of these well known guys live in expensive homes, travel extravagantly-first class or business, stay in lovely resorts, etc. We know of one pastor who asked his congregation to sacrifice moving up into more expensive homes and give the money to the church. However, during that time, he moved to a very expensive home and has been know to arrive on private jets paid for by his church members, etc. You would know his name and would probably be shocked.

    Then there are the intangible assets which include prestige, power, authority, etc. These, too, can be bought with money.

    Here is what I advise people to do . If you cannot find out how much money your pastors is making, then be very suspicious. Drive by his house and see if he has a second home. Ask why he has to go to conferences when they are live streamed these days. When he does go and speak, does he double dip-getting his church to pay his expenses and getting the conference to do the same/

    So, I guess I disagree with you when you take into consideration tangible and intangible assets.


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

    @ Anonymous3:

    From the Moderator:

    We have a regular commenter who goes by the moniker 'Anonymous'. For the sake of Dee and myself (who co-write this blog) as well as other commenters, I have changed you moniker to Anonymous3. Thanks for understanding. 🙂

    Welcome to TWW. We are so glad you're here!


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

    @ dee:
    They not only double dip, they triple dip:
    They are paid a salary, which they receive even when they are trotting all over to conferences rather than tending their own flock.
    Their expenses are paid to the conferences.
    They are paid by the conferences.
    It is a great gig.


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

    @ Deb:
    Thank you.


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

    Will wrote:

    I was looking for real evidence,

    You go ahead and try to find out what pastors/elders make in the Neo Calvinist movement. Most of their parishioners can’t even find out how much they make. Sometimes if they try to find out they are labeled as trouble makers of they are good that they do not need to know.


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

    Bridget wrote:

    good

    Should be “told”


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

    I had a comment in the works and it was devoured by a time out error.

    Circling the wagons is to be expected at this point but if there’s a case coming along that seems to suggest how truly mercenary the conference scene is …

    http://strongermen.org/details

    Eric Mason and Mark Driscoll are scheduled to speak at the same conference in spite of Mason being on the A29 board that publicly announced MD needed to step aside from ministry and that MH was ejected from A29.

    And yet in 2017 they’re both keynote speakers at a conference? No problems for either of these guys? Of course Acts 29 scrubbed the notices about Driscoll and Mars Hill but it’s not like the press didn’t cover what happened, and it’s not like bloggers such as Throckmorton or myself weren’t documenting the public statements.

    So … it seems that if we want a window into just how mercenary the conference scene can be an Acts 29 board member who publicly called for Mark to step down has got no problem showing up at the same conference at which the disgraced Mark Driscoll is also a speaker.

    http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2016/04/mark-driscoll-to-be-guest-speaker-at.html


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

    @ dee:

    Don’t forget that for some, as Anonymous3 said, it is not about the money. Another area for many of these guys is the “Legacy” (their name, books, prestige in Christianity’s history) that they hope to leave behind.


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

    @ Anonymous3:

    Yes, the idea that whatever legacy we have is secured for us by Christ Himself so we don’t need to obsess about it as if it were something we could control doesn’t seem to register with some of these guys. Probably no one has been more explicit about legacy being the guiding motive for him than Mark Driscoll.


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

    Joe wrote:

    The T4G comparison to Amway is perfect. So true.

    Yes!


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

    Will wrote:

    But it is irresponsible to make accusations that they are wasting people’s money if you don’t have evidence for it. I appreciate you exposing injustice, but that exposing should come with evidence.

    Speaking of Christians wasting people’s money, or trying to, please see my post on the last thread:
    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2016/04/20/mortification-of-spin-hosts-discuss-abusive-pulpits-on-bully-pulpit-broadcast/comment-page-1/#comment-249244
    🙂


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

    Lydia wrote:

    Why people continue to give them money just blows my mind.

    I think Deb and Dee should consider making that line an additional heading on the top of the blog.

    Maybe put it under or by “dissecting Christian trends” at the top. Use it as one of several of the blog’s mottos. 🙂


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

    Boyd wrote:

    Tim Keller didn’t make your list? Sorry, I am absolutely NOT a Keller fanboy because there are far, far FAR too many in Reformed circles who buy every book the guy writes

    Tim Keller has written, or said, some really bizarre-o stuff about married sex that ends up excluding unmarried, celibate people.

    This page details that:
    http://undermuchgrace.blogspot.com/2015/09/tim-keller-sex-and-eternal-submission.html


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

    Will wrote:

    Platt’s whole thing is partially about radical frugality enabling radical generosity.

    Oh, and Platt left the Radicals he led behind and now has a cushy office, free world travel and a nice 6 figure income running the IMB in spite of the fact his Radical church did not participate in the Cooperative program. How Radical.

    I am constantly amazed at the gullibility of their followers at the glaring hypocrisy. Platt is appointed to the position and publicly declares: now I see the beauty of the Cooperative program.

    Hello? So he was appointed for his celebrity not his experience?

    Don’t even get me started on his deception cincerning the over 50 year old missionaries who wete told to take the early retirement deal because they wouldn’t get another one any better. We then they were required to sign a contract for their money that said they couldn’t say anything negative. But suddenly they have money to hire younger ones! Who are Reformed?

    With Christian leaders like this we might as well join the mafia.


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

    Uncle Dad wrote:

    Three weeks ago my wife was diagnosed with stage IV endometrial cancer.

    I’m sorry.


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

    @ Will:

    How much do you think Piper makes per year?


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

    As a professor at a public university, our salaries are public… With a little digging… Thisis true at most state universities… Ironic that the Church is more secretive than those secular, humanistic state universities!!
    What are these church, para churches trying to hid?
    Deb wrote:

    Jeffrey Chalmers wrote:
    Ultimately, much of the money comes from churches that supports pastors to attend, so it is the pew sitters money…. It is a called accountability.
    So true. It reminds me of those in SGM who had no idea that Mahaney and gang were funneling money to a Southern Baptist seminary instead of their very own Pastors College. When they found out, many were very angry!


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

    The Amway comparison is apt. I feel like many of these guys are really just motivational speakers- guys who love public speaking and acclaim. All they have to do is throw some religiosity in and they can do it tax-free.


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

    Lydia wrote:

    Piper had enough money from Desiring God to fly a film crew to Geneva to make his retirement video in front of statues of Calvin.
    For the glory of God, of course

    I don’t think Piper is living in poverty.

    I wonder if Will has heard of these Word of Faith guys, like Benny Hinn, Rod Parsley and others who are on TBN? Those guys are rolling in the dough.

    Creflo Dollar was in the news just a few months ago for something nutty – like asking his church members to send him $X thousands or millions or whatever for a new private jet plane.

    You can’t tell me there aren’t swindlers among all branches of Christianity, including the Neo Calvinists. They are not living out of Motel 6’s and driving 15 year old Yugo cars.


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

    @ May:

    I see non-Americans lecturing us Americans all the time on how they think we should vote, conduct our affairs, and so on.

    It’s usually European guys who are movie actors and rock stars who live in the U.S.A. for 5 years or more.

    I find it really strange they do this, because as an American, I have little interest in telling Non-Americans how to handle their internal affairs, or even their foreign political stuff (how they deal with other nations), – Exception: I refer to situations that do not directly impact me living here in the U.S.A.

    If, for example, Britain wants to trade sock-juggling ferrets with Germany and hold ferret parades with France every year, I would find that weird, but you know, it’s not my place to lecture them on that, so they can go right ahead, without any lectures from me.


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

    @ Daisy:
    The biggest mistake people make is thinking money is the motivator. Not true. The compelling motivation is recognition. Think of it as being admired, having followers, etc.

    (WSJ used to highlight this every Jan from HR/Psy biggies who track these sorts of things)

    The money eventually follows and becomes a means of measuring the success of the recognition factor.


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

    Lydia wrote:

    then they were required to sign a contract for their money that said they couldn’t say anything negative

    That is not necessarily new I am sad to say. When we came back from Africa in the 50s we were asked (not told) to refrain from saying anything negative because it would effect giving. In other words, don’t tell what you have seen. Paint a rosy picture. Any residuals of any prior misplaced idealism I may have had came to a screeching halt at that moment. It wasn’t the only thing but rather it was the last straw. Misrepresenting reality is not a particular talent of mine.


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

    Daisy wrote:

    How much do you think Piper makes per year?

    I don’t know. If he makes $10 million a year, but lives off of $70k and gives the rest to ministry, then he is innocent of the extravagant lifestyle that this post accused the T4G guys of.
    The quote by Carl said, “look at the level at which some of these guys are living at” – I am looking, but I’m not seeing any info on how they live. If we don’t have info, then how are we justified in making accusations?


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

    @ May:
    It is very easy to control people who are seeking to suffer.

    When my former church was taken over by the calvinistas their theme was “brokenness”. So while people were seeking to be more broken the Calvinista, along with his pimply face Seminary friends, had free reign to make a lot of changes that no one dared to question because they were too busy being broken.


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

    Lydia wrote:

    Piper had enough money from Desiring God to fly a film crew to Geneva to make his retirement video in front of statues of Calvin.

    I agree with you that it may be wasteful and self-indulgent to use DG funds just for that purpose, but that’s not relevant to the issue of lifestyle extravagance, unless we know they were experiencing an extravagant lifestyle while traveling for it.


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

    @ Will:
    How much does it cost to fly a film crew to Geneva to make a retirement video? I would call that extravagant living. And that is just one example.

    It’s not about the salary. I know mega church pastors who don’t pay for anything including their car tires, vacations, plane fare, eating out, etc. I know one that had his entire mortgage paid off as a prerequisite for coming to the church.

    It is one thing to make a six-figure income and quite another to make a six-figure income and have no expenses.

    It’s not a lot different from the poor peasants giving the king nice gifts just to be near the throne. It’s the concept of a throne that is the problem.


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

    @ mirele:

    Now, now, you know Piper barely gets by!

    Piper lives in a 58 year old, 1,000 sq. ft. house, makes his wife clip coupons and shop blue light specials at K-Mart, and he re-uses his dental floss.

    Piper can’t manage to buy new shoes, so when his old ones get worn on the bottom, he puts cardboard on the inside.
    Piper follows Sheryl Crow’s advice and uses only one square of toilet tissue per bathroom visit.

    Piper is going through such a hard financial time right now, he can’t even afford a new water sprinkler, so he has to make due with this:
    http://www.gulfcoastfishingconnection.com/forums/showthread.php?t=16193

    Maybe Deb and Dee should make a ‘GO FUND ME’ account for John Piper, so he can make ends meet?


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

    Lydia wrote:

    Where is your proof, they aren’t? Spend a lot of personal time with them and their families, do you? :o)
    I guess a better question is how come they are not transparent? How come their pewsitters don’t demand to be a part of developing the budget at their respective churches and know how much they make? Why are they such lemmings?
    As far as Molher is concerned his lifestyle is paid for by the SBC so other income streams are pure gravy.
    There is a discussion on another blog right now about the trustees of some SBC institutions keeping the entity presidents salaries confidential. They even signed confidentiality agreements about it. Say what? Why does that need to be a big secret? Sounds just like Jesus doesn’t it? Sigh.
    Why people continue to give them money just blows my mind.

    It’s the accuser that needs evidence. Neither of us has proof either way, so in light of that, we should refrain from making unsubstantiated accusations about people’s lifestyles.

    I agree that the members of their churches should ask for financial accountability. It might in fact exist – my point is, we don’t know, so we can’t act as if we do know.

    Mohler is making a lot of money, yes – they all are. That’s not a bad thing if they are using it wisely, and investing in other forms of ministry. We don’t know either way, so we can’t act as if we know.


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

    elastigirl wrote:

    come now, don’t you think if this were the case they would have communicated it? why keep something like that secret?

    I can see where you’re coming from. I also think it’s unreasonable to expect all ministry leaders to detail how they spend their discretionary income. Platt could be giving all his books royalties away, like Chan does – we don’t know, so we are unjustified in assuming the worst.


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

    Deb wrote:

    Do the math… It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that when you charge the kinds of registration fees the Neo-Cals do (also talking about TGC conferences), there is quite a bit of cash involved.

    I agree that there is a lot of money being made, which is not a sin by itself. But this post went further, and accused them of using it improperly and sinfully – taking advantage of church members, living extravagant lifestyles, etc. But where is the evidence for those claims?


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

    Will wrote:

    I agree with you that it may be wasteful and self-indulgent to use DG funds just for that purpose, but that’s not relevant to the issue of lifestyle extravagance, unless we know they were experiencing an extravagant lifestyle while traveling for it.

    Huh?

    I suppose if they packed a loaf of bread with peanut butter for John and the crew then it was not extravagant to film a retirement video in Geneva.

    Got it.


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

    Lydia wrote:

    Why people continue to give them money just blows my mind.

    My guess is fear. Fear that if they don’t, they’re probably not ‘saved’ and can only look forward to god* exacting his vengeance by torture upon expiration from this world.

    *small ‘g’ intentional


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

    Speaking of greedy pastors.
    I can’t remember where I saw it(*), but a few years ago I saw a blog post about how some greedy preachers get clever.

    Rather than using the money they get on highly visible, conspicuous purchases, such as fancy sports cars and big houses, they opt for stuff like fancy vacations to France or exotic locations.

    *It may have been Pajama Pages blog where I read about that:
    Steven Furtick and the Walter White conundrum
    http://www.pajamapages.com/steven-furtick-and-the-walter-white-conundrum/

    Pajama Pages blog has another interesting post about this stuff called,
    “In which I argue that Perry Noble and Steven Furtick are not overpaid”


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

    dee wrote:

    Without going into detail, there are a number of people, real estate attorneys, etc. who have been burned by some of these celebrity types. We have not published much of the information that we have received regarding thee lifestyles of these individuals.

    I’m great to hear that you have information to back up the accusations of this post! I look forward to you guys publishing that info the next time you make accusations based upon it.


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

    Internet Monk has some thoughts on Mahaney and Together for the Gospel.

    http://www.internetmonk.com/


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

    Lydia wrote:

    It’s not about the salary. I know mega church pastors who don’t pay for anything including their car tires, vacations, plane fare, eating out, etc. I know one that had his entire mortgage paid off as a prerequisite for coming to the church.
    It is one thing to make a six-figure income and quite another to make a six-figure income and have no expenses.

    I agree that the entire compensation package is relevant, which was a major problem with Mark Driscoll, especially since we saw evidence of his extravagant living. But for the T4G guys we don’t (yet) have that evidence, so the accusations of extravagant living in this blog post are unjustified.


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

    Jeffrey Chalmers wrote:

    Very simple answer…TG4TG should publish its books…. Ultimately, much of the money comes from churches that supports pastors to attend, so it is the pew sitters money…. It is a called accountability.

    They won’t. Religious non-profits are not required to follow the same disclosure rules that non-religious 501-c3(s) are required to abide by.


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

    Patriciamc wrote:

    Actually, a lot of world leaders did that back when Obama ran the first time

    Yes, I remember that.

    There were also “regular Joe Europeans” and other people from other parts of the world on social media commanding Americans to vote for Obama.

    I remember, vaguely, it got really bad when it came down to votes in Ohio. There was something about Ohio in the news, and Europeans were screaming at Americans in Ohio to vote for Obama.

    I was like, really? I don’t take to social media to tell people outside the U.S. who to vote for in their nations.
    Yes, there is this page at The Guardian, October 2004: (ed.)

    Last week G2 launched Operation Clark County to help readers have a say in the American election by writing to undecided voters in the crucial state of Ohio.

    In the first three days, more than 11,000 people requested addresses. Here is some of the reaction to the project that we received from the US

    British try to sway Ohio swing voters
    http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/1021/p01s01-woeu.html


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

    Daisy wrote:

    I see non-Americans lecturing us Americans all the time on how they think we should vote, conduct our affairs, and so on.

    That must be quite irritating.


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

    @ Will:
    Will, these guys make their living in public, jump up and down all the time begging us to look at them, buy their conference tickets, buy their books excetera excetera. And they do all of it in the name of Jesus Christ.

    If they do not want public attention or uncomfortable questions then they need to get out of the public Arena using Jesus to sell their personal brand.

    It is perfectly ok to point out that they go to extremes to hide their income streams and all the free perks. One way they do this is they have armies of gullible young men like you to rebuke for daring to question the great men of God.

    Not buying today. Many here will have much more patience with you then I will because I live at Ground Zero and have seen the devastation and the gullibility of the followers.

    Spend your money on your family or on some poor single mom who needs a brake job instead of these guys. The Lord I know will be pleased.


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

    @ Will:
    It appears to me you would not be satisfied if we provided you with “evidence.”


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

    @ Daisy:
    Oh dear! Are we going to have to trot out the dusty old “don’t tread on me” Flags from the American Revolution? :o)


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

    @ Will:
    Mohler’s compensation package is confidential. The trustees set it and have signed confidentiality agreements. Why the SBC ever allowed that I will never understand. But it still would not give us any indication of an income or perks he received from together for the gospel. Nor would it include his free mansion and Driver.


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

    @ Lydia:
    Amen, Lydia. People like Will make my blood boil. He is either trolling or willingly blind to the facts.


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

    @ Daisy:

    Ok, sock-juggling ferrets just totally cracked me up.


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

    Patriciamc wrote:

    Internet Monk has some thoughts on Mahaney and Together for the Gospel.
    http://www.internetmonk.com/

    What struck me on reading this – yet again – was the sheer brazenness of Mohler in pushing Mahaney before the congregation. As the blogger said:

    Scandals don’t matter.

    Victims don’t matter.

    This is one of your leaders and you will submit.


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

    dee wrote:

    @ Will:
    Here is what I advise people to do . If you cannot find out how much money your pastors is making, then be very suspicious. Drive by his house and see if he has a second home.

    The church I’m going to now had a little business meet to approve pastor salaries the other day and to approve the pct of salary designated for housing, because there are special rules for that (not sure what).

    For instance, many churches provide housing or apparently they can designate a part of the salary gor housing.

    When I went to chbc they had several nice townhouses set aside for staff. I haven’t been there in a while so j don’t know if mark fever lives in one or has a housing set aside.


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

    Lydia wrote:

    Will, these guys make their living in public, jump up and down all the time begging us to look at them, buy their conference tickets, buy their books excetera excetera. And they do all of it in the name of Jesus Christ.
    If they do not want public attention or uncomfortable questions then they need to get out of the public Arena using Jesus to sell their personal brand.
    It is perfectly ok to point out that they go to extremes to hide their income streams and all the free perks

    I agree with that! So, what evidence do we have that they are living extravagant lifestyles, going to extremes to hide income/perks, etc.? If we have none, then how are we justified in making accusations?

    Not that this is relevant, but you don’t know my age or whether I’ve bought anything from these guys – assumptions without evidence.


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

    @ Lydia:

    Yes, I have no doubt that different Christian shyster preachers have different motivators, for some, it might be getting their ego stroked, more so than stacks of cash.


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

    Lydia wrote:

    Mohler’s compensation package is confidential. The trustees set it and have signed confidentiality agreements. Why the SBC ever allowed that I will never understand. But it still would not give us any indication of an income or perks he received from together for the gospel. Nor would it include his free mansion and Driver.

    ^I just read this part. If Mohler has participated in the deliberate concealment of his compensation, then I agree with you that it’s not right.


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

    @ Will:
    Your are just trying to stir up trouble and hijack this post.


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

    As I mentioned above, the salaries of most public, and a fair amount of private universities faculty and administrators are!! Yet big name Baptist seminaries are not? Why???

    ?e=”Go to comment of this author”>Lydia wrote:

    @ Will:
    Mohler’s compensation package is confidential. The trustees set it and have signed confidentiality agreements. Why the SBC ever allowed that I will never understand. But it still would not give us any indication of an income or perks he received from together for the gospel. Nor would it include his free mansion and Driver.


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

    Will wrote:

    I agree with that! So, what evidence do we have that they are living extravagant lifestyles, going to extremes to hide income/perks, etc.? If we have none, then how are we justified in making accusations?

    I can’t figure out why you are being so defensive towards these preachers concerning monetary matters?

    Even if they are as poor as Job’s turkey, they have shown via their arrogance, attitudes towards women in general, and towards abuse victims, that they don’t care about people, or even much about God.


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

    @ mot:
    I have been surrounded by this for 10 years. There is no actual reasoned thinking involved. Maybe I should clarify that — they tend to extreme concrete thinking even well into their thirties.

    I think this comes from being indoctrinated instead of educated both in public school and in Christian education, sadly. (Everything is about standardized testing now)

    They have little ability to see patterns or the abstract critical thinking of connecting dots and/or mapping.

    It has been a perfect generation to target for a mass movement like the young restless and reformed. Don’t misunderstand me there have been plenty of movements and history of young men wreaking havoc. But this one is a bit different because it targets pulpit in churches.


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

    mot wrote:

    It appears to me you would not be satisfied if we provided you with “evidence.”…People like Will make my blood boil. He is either trolling or willingly blind to the facts.

    Not trolling, or trying to boil people’s blood. Just pointing out that possession of evidence is both a logical and moral prerequisite to making accusations. There very well could be facts to be seen, but they aren’t mentioned in the blog post above.


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

    Daisy wrote:

    I can’t figure out why you are being so defensive towards these preachers concerning monetary matters?
    Even if they are as poor as Job’s turkey, they have shown via their arrogance, attitudes towards women in general, and towards abuse victims, that they don’t care about people, or even much about God.

    That could all very well be true, they could be very bad people; but that’s not relevant to what I was talking about. The only thing I’m contesting here is whether the accusations of extravagant living are justified. I’m not trying to stir up trouble, just admonishing the authors to back up this specific claim like they’ve backed up so many in the past.


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

    @ Will:

    If he participated in the concealment? He is the veritable pope of the SBC. If he said ‘I want to make my income and perks known’, they would be known. He is not the “victim” of the trustees and the confidentiality agreement.


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

    Will wrote:

    I don’t know. If he makes $10 million a year, but lives off of $70k and gives the rest to ministry, then he is innocent of the extravagant lifestyle that this post accused the T4G guys of.

    The quote by Carl said, “look at the level at which some of these guys are living at” – I am looking, but I’m not seeing any info on how they live. If we don’t have info, then how are we justified in making accusations?

    70K is a ton of money.

    So, you think Piper is living in dire poverty?

    I just do not see why you care that people suspect that some of these guys are making lots of money off Christianity – which is not unheard of.

    You have heard of greedy tele-evangelists such as Robert Tilton, Creflo Dollar and others, right?

    It’s not like the idea of people making a buck off God is impossible or unheard of. Or, are you defending the Pipers et. al. in particular because you dig their theological views?

    Not that I need Piper to be demonstrated to be a greedy coot to dislike him, as I already have grounds to reject and dislike the guy based on his weird tweets, sexist teachings about women, and his insensitive victim-blaming comments about survivors of natural disasters, alone.

    Comedian John Oliver Creates Fake Church, Gets Thousands of Dollars
    http://www.christiantoday.com/article/comedian.john.oliver.creates.fake.church.gets.thousands.of.real.dollars.in.donations/63200.htm

    To mock televangelists and demonstrate how they get away with tax exemptions, British comedian John Oliver created a fake church, which he called “Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption.”

    Now, the mock church has turned out to be a big hit, receiving thousands of dollars in actual donations.


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

    Lydia wrote:

    If he participated in the concealment? He is the veritable pope of the SBC. If he said ‘I want to make my income and perks known’, they would be known. He is not the “victim” of the trustees and the confidentiality agreement.

    That makes a lot of sense; you’re probably right about that.


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

    @ Will:
    Do you know any whistleblowers in that movement? Because that is the only place you are going to get the evidence you are looking for. In the meantime as all of this goes on in the name of Jesus Christ, uncomfortable questions, speculations and projections are made because it is done in secret when it should be transparent.


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

    Lydia wrote:

    @ Will:
    Will, T4G is a non profit para church ministry, right?. Surely such a non-profit para church ministry files a 990 and lists its officers. You can start there. Good luck!

    I can’t find a 990 form for T4G online. Its address is the same as Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington DC and I fully believe that T4G is managed under some aspect of CHBC. In other words, I fully believe T4G is hiding under the skirts of CHBC’s tax exemption, which means they don’t have to file anything.

    Just out of my own curiosity, I looked up Desiring God. (You can do this here: http://foundationcenter.org/findfunders/990finder/) I found that John Piper was paid $57,278 + 7,082 from related ministries in 2013 as part of Desiring God Ministries. He was the vice chair and started 4/1/2013 (salary for a full year would be $73,370). The CEO/chair was paid $100,173 plus $20,174 from related organizations. I suspect the start date of 4/1/2013 was after Piper retired from Bethlehem Baptist.

    Now, let me remind you of the average *family* income in the USA in 2015: $53,657 (per money.cnn.com). John Piper, even in a partial year, brought down more money than the average American family. And that’s just from Desiring God!

    Let’s be clear: T4G has money–they were able to rent YUM Center for their little shindig. It’s disingenuous to suggest they can have a meeting, give people stacks of books, and not have a lot of money. But we’ll never know, because T4G is hidden in CHBC.


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

    Lydia wrote:

    It’s not about the salary. I know mega church pastors who don’t pay for anything including their car tires, vacations, plane fare, eating out, etc. I know one that had his entire mortgage paid off as a prerequisite for coming to the church.
    It is one thing to make a six-figure income and quite another to make a six-figure income and have no expenses.

    Some time ago, this very blog did a post about a preacher who was using his church’s credit card and some other funds to pay for – I think stuff like -wine, a new watch, or some other stuff.

    Even if these preachers are not using the funds to buy private jet planes, diamond rings, and mansions, they are living on “easy street” compared to many of their church members, if they are not having to pay much in the way of groceries, rent, etc., because their church is paying for that stuff.

    I would be happy living a simple life of no Porsche car, no diamond rings, no butlers and maids, and just having someone else pay for lodging, food, and other bills.


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

    Daisy wrote:

    I just do not see why you care that people suspect that some of these guys are making lots of money off Christianity – which is not unheard of.
    You have heard of greedy tele-evangelists such as Robert Tilton, Creflo Dollar and others, right?
    It’s not like the idea of people making a buck off God is impossible or unheard of. Or, are you defending the Pipers et. al. in particular because you dig their theological views?

    I totally agree with you about guys like Creflo Dollar. I am familiar that speakers often live extravagantly off of ministry earnings. That’s not what I’m disputing – I’m disputing the lack of specific evidence. Just because it happens with televangelists, and just because we don’t like these guys or what they do, does not mean they are living extravagantly off of ministry funds.

    It’s not relevant what my motivations are – I could be Mrs. Piper, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that we act in truth and in love as disciples of Christ, which means presenting evidence when we make accusations. To omit it, or to find fault without evidence, embodies neither the truth or the love of Christ. That’s all I’m saying.


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

    Will wrote:

    we don’t know, so we are unjustified in assuming the worst.

    I don’t know, I find this “let’s always think the best of celebrity preachers no matter what or until we see contrary information!” is rather polly-anna-ish, and that extreme bothers me as well.
    And that’s how your continued defense of these guys comes across to me.


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

    Lydia wrote:

    Do you know any whistleblowers in that movement? Because that is the only place you are going to get the evidence you are looking for. In the meantime as all of this goes on in the name of Jesus Christ, uncomfortable questions, speculations and projections are made because it is done in secret when it should be transparent.

    I agree with all of that. This blog post, however, and many of the commenters here, go beyond questions and speculations and begin to level accusations and judgments based off of presumptions. If we don’t know, we don’t accuse – is that too much to ask of Christians?


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

    @ Daisy:
    We are sinning by asking questions. What a shame.


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

    Lydia wrote:

    Huh?
    I suppose if they packed a loaf of bread with peanut butter for John and the crew then it was not extravagant to film a retirement video in Geneva.
    Got it.

    I am sorry I don’t have the link handy, but a few years ago, a site or two did stories on preacher Benny Hinn claiming touristy, tropical visits as being Gospel-related.

    Hinn was taking his private jet to places like Hawaii, or places like that, and visiting sandy, pretty beaches, but he insisted it was all for the Gospel and winning non-Christians to the Gospel.


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

    @ dee:

    I remember an article on TWW a couple years back reporting that Kevin DeYoung had spoken at 22 conferences in a 4-year span. Who is paying for all those travel expenses? Is his church paying? Are the churches/ parachurch organizations that host the conferences paying?


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

    Glad for this post. Watching Spotlight and shocked at the parallels even in how these T4G types cover for each other regardless of who gets hurt. People are being harmed by so called ministries while those who consider themselves powerful are unaccountable. Avoid them.


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

    Daisy wrote:

    I don’t know, I find this “let’s always think the best of celebrity preachers no matter what or until we see contrary information!” is rather polly-anna-ish, and that extreme bothers me as well.
    And that’s how your continued defense of these guys comes across to me.

    I can appreciate that – when there are people you have wronged you and the world, it’s very distasteful to see anyone defending them. But I want to clarify that I am not thinking “the best” of them: I’m not claiming that they live in poverty and give it all to missions. They almost certainly don’t do that, but we don’t know what they do, so let’s all stop pretending we do.


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

    ION:

    Some eye-catching headings on the BBC website today. Of which the best was this one:

    Australian MP sets river on fire

    IHTIH


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

    Patriciamc wrote:

    Internet Monk has some thoughts on Mahaney and Together for the Gospel.

    http://www.internetmonk.com/

    And if you don’t want to read about that, read about the pastor who took on the payday loan industry in Garland, Texas. I am seriously impressed. (We in Arizona got rid of payday loans via initiative and referendum several years ago, but in their place we now have car title loan outfits. I know of two major intersections here in Mesa that have these loan sharks on three of the corners. One of them is near my house.)


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

    @ Daisy:
    Well everything is okay because Al Mohler preached against the Prosperity Gospel at T$G. As long as you compare them to Benny Hinn they look pretty good


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

    Will wrote:

    I’m great to hear that you have information to back up the accusations of this post! I look forward to you guys publishing that info the next time you make accusations based upon it.

    Goodness.

    One of the reasons I have a hard time accepting people’s strong or unrelenting defenses of big name (or even little name) preachers is that you won’t do this for anyone else.

    Had anyone on this blog accused me, Daisy, of taking Gospel- faith- related money and living the high life on it, or part of it, I seriously doubt you’d be on this blog taking them to task over it and asking them to “prove Daisy is doing that.” This stuff only comes up if it’s a John Piper, or some other big-wig.

    John Piper is just some guy. He puts his pants on one leg at a time. Piper and other celebrity preachers are no better than “Average Mary” or “Average Bill.”


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

    Will wrote:

    But for the T4G guys we don’t (yet) have that evidence, so the accusations of extravagant living in this blog post are unjustified.

    Their theology blows barf, and they are horribly sexist and do didley to actually assist child abuse and domestic abuse victims, which is really grounds enough to dismiss them.


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

    If I were one of the TG4TG crowd, especially one of the leaders, I would demand open transparency of all of the books..
    I can not put my mind around the fact that they are keeping it secret! It is not their money to start with! How many times have we in the pews been preached at that it is G$d’s money.. It they believe that, then they would completely comfortable about telling the world how G$d’s money is spent… it is that simple..

    Daisy wrote:

    Will wrote:
    we don’t know, so we are unjustified in assuming the worst.
    I don’t know, I find this “let’s always think the best of celebrity preachers no matter what or until we see contrary information!” is rather polly-anna-ish, and that extreme bothers me as well.
    And that’s how your continued defense of these guys comes across to me.


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

    Daisy wrote:

    Goodness.
    One of the reasons I have a hard time accepting people’s strong or unrelenting defenses of big name (or even little name) preachers is that you won’t do this for anyone else.
    Had anyone on this blog accused me, Daisy, of taking Gospel- faith- related money and living the high life on it, or part of it, I seriously doubt you’d be on this blog taking them to task over it and asking them to “prove Daisy is doing that.” This stuff only comes up if it’s a John Piper, or some other big-wig.
    John Piper is just some guy. He puts his pants on one leg at a time. Piper and other celebrity preachers are no better than “Average Mary” or “Average Bill.”

    I totally agree that anyone who is unjustly accused should be defended, including you and me, and even including people we don’t like. There are no double standards in the kingdom of God.

    You seem confident that I personally would not do that for you, a Christian sister; but I don’t know what evidence you have for that accusation.


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

    P.S… Playing the “you are sinning by being contentious” to ask how the money is spent is one of the oldest tricks in the book and should be the second red flag…

    Jeffrey Chalmers wrote:

    If I were one of the TG4TG crowd, especially one of the leaders, I would demand open transparency of all of the books..
    I can not put my mind around the fact that they are keeping it secret! It is not their money to start with! How many times have we in the pews been preached at that it is G$d’s money.. It they believe that, then they would completely comfortable about telling the world how G$d’s money is spent… it is that simple..
    Daisy wrote:
    Will wrote:
    we don’t know, so we are unjustified in assuming the worst.
    I don’t know, I find this “let’s always think the best of celebrity preachers no matter what or until we see contrary information!” is rather polly-anna-ish, and that extreme bothers me as well.
    And that’s how your continued defense of these guys comes across to me.


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

    Daisy wrote:

    Their theology blows barf, and they are horribly sexist and do didley to actually assist child abuse and domestic abuse victims, which is really grounds enough to dismiss them.

    All of that could very well be true! I’m just talking about the extravagant living thing. We don’t know, so we can’t act like we know, which is what this blog post does.


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

    Will wrote:

    All of that could very well be true! I’m just talking about the extravagant living thing. We don’t know, so we can’t act like we know, which is what this blog post does.

    So everyone should pay no attention because we don’t know about the finances because they won’t give out the information about their finances. Tha makes sense.


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

    Bridget wrote:

    So everyone should pay no attention because we don’t know about the finances because they won’t give out the information about their finances. Tha makes sense.

    You’re right, we shouldn’t just look the other way – we should fight for accountability and transparency. Then, once we have evidence, we are in a better position to make any accusations that need to be made.


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

    mirele wrote:

    I can’t find a 990 form for T4G online. Its address is the same as Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington DC and I fully believe that T4G is managed under some aspect of CHBC. In other words, I fully believe T4G is hiding under the skirts of CHBC’s tax exemption, which means they don’t have to file anything.

    Some thoughts in terms of investigations and detailed information …

    There is no separate non-profit at this time for an entity called “Together for the Gospel.” However, from some *preliminary* research, it would appear that Together for the Gospel MAY POSSIBLY be all or part of a non-profit called “Gospel Projects” that appears on the NCCS (National Center for Charitable Statistics, whose *public information* database acts as an official clearinghouse for U.S. non-profits and is also linked with the IRS database).

    Gospel Projects is located at the same address as Capitol Hill Baptist Church. However, the two entities have different EINs (Employer Identification Number). Gospel Projects is EIN 471679070, and Capitol Hill Baptist Church is EIN 911786555.

    The public records for Gospel Projects contain no Form 990 and no information about governing officials *at this time*. However, the IRS ruling date for non-profit status is noted as 2015. So, *IF* Gospel Projects happens to be the organization that runs Together for the Gospel, I would find it curious that T4G is 10 years old but only recently has gone the route of non-profit. If Gospel Projects is NOT related to T4G, then it would seem that T4G must be running under the auspices of some other non-profit or for-profit organization. Either way, that leads to many other questions about the governance of T4G, its financial mechanisms, transparency, and accountability.

    In the meantime, whatever Gospel Projects does cover, as a registered non-profit it must meet IRS regulatory requirements about financial transparency and governance. So, perhaps some future research will yield details about that. But meanwhile, this information at least creates a base for developing investigation questions.

    These kinds of research take a lot of time, over time. For instance, it took many months and several people working periodically on public document research to uncover the fact that Mark and Grace Driscoll and Mars Hill Church together were functioning in 2014 with *AT LEAST* 10 active organizational entities (2 non-profits, 1 for-profit, 4 LLCs, 1 CRUT, and 2 Living Trusts), and at least 4 then-defunct former Mars Hill LLCs. There were also at least 2 other LLCs that hadn’t yet been confirmed by research. So … potentially as many as 16 entities involved with the combined dealings of the Driscolls and Mars Hill Church.

    And here we are, about 16 months after the formal closure of Mars Hill Church, and still no accounting of how several million dollars of donations directed to the “Global Fund” were spent, or the disposition of all assets and whether they went to designated non-profit as I understand is required when setting up a non-profit.

    So — as some final thoughts — How much information is “enough”? How can “reasoned speculation” lead us to better research questions? And is the apparent lack of transparency about non-profit agency financial details, itself a relevant piece of “information”?


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

    Will wrote:

    That could all very well be true, they could be very bad people; but that’s not relevant to what I was talking about. The only thing I’m contesting here is whether the accusations of extravagant living are justified.

    I think it’s relevant at this point, because you seem to think exonerating them on the money stuff means they are A-OK guys, even though they are hurting people with their sexism and negligence of caring for child abuse and domestic abuse victims.

    You said, “The only thing I’m contesting here is whether the accusations of extravagant living are justified”

    Why do you care? Why do you care if people here assume that Piper and his friends are, or might be, greedy? Why does it matter so much?


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

    Will wrote:

    It’s not relevant what my motivations are – I could be Mrs. Piper, it doesn’t matter.

    It matters to me.

    I don’t have patience for this sort of thing. It’s like people (usually complementarian, conservative Christians) who demand absolute proof (and in the form of tape recordings, photos, signed confessions by the accused, etc) before they will believe a woman who says her husband has been abusing her.

    That isn’t how dishonest people or abusers work. You may not always get the level of proof you want.

    To keep holding out for the sort of proof you want in some cases is being pretty naive.

    When you’re naive about stuff like this (abuse or preachers who swindle funds, whatever it is), or you get too demanding, the bad guys continue to get away with their shady behavior, while you continue to stay unmoved, asking everyone else for proof.

    I don’t know that these celebrity preachers deserve being given the benefit of the doubt. About anything.


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

    Will wrote:

    They almost certainly don’t do that, but we don’t know what they do, so let’s all stop pretending we do.

    I think I may bow out of future exchanges with you on this issue, because it’s become a broken record. 🙂


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

    Bridget wrote:

    So everyone should pay no attention because we don’t know about the finances because they won’t give out the information about their finances. Tha makes sense.

    That is how it works. You can never find out so you can’t mention it. That makes total sense in their doctrinal world. Add some christianese and you can make it a sin to mention it. And of course only what they write is “relevant”. :o)


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

    @ Will:

    I’m only semi-Christian with a dash of agnostic the past few years.

    But no, I doubt you’d defend me as much as St. Piper.


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

    Daisy wrote:

    Will wrote:
    It’s not relevant what my motivations are – I could be Mrs. Piper, it doesn’t matter.
    It matters to me.
    I don’t have patience for this sort of thing. It’s like people (usually complementarian, conservative Christians) who demand absolute proof (and in the form of tape recordings, photos, signed confessions by the accused, etc) before they will believe a woman who says her husband has been abusing her.
    That isn’t how dishonest people or abusers work. You may not always get the level of proof you want.
    To keep holding out for the sort of proof you want in some cases is being pretty naive.
    When you’re naive about stuff like this (abuse or preachers who swindle funds, whatever it is), or you get too demanding, the bad guys continue to get away with their shady behavior, while you continue to stay unmoved, asking everyone else for proof.
    I don’t know that these celebrity preachers deserve being given the benefit of the doubt. About anything.

    I am convinced if the wife had a black eye or broken arm most of these guys would look the other way….especially if a ” buddy” was involved….


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

    Lydia wrote:

    That is how it works. You can never find out so you can’t mention it. That makes total sense in their doctrinal world. Add some christianese and you can make it a sin to mention it. And of course only what they write is “relevant”. :o)

    You know what it kind of reminds me of?

    All the time Deb and Dee and other blogs began doing stories on spiritual, domestic violence, or child abuse, and the preachers of those churches, and their members, would say to the abuse survivor blogs, “You don’t have all the facts yet.”

    When it turned out that yes, the spiritual abuse blogs did have the entire story (including insider e-mails and so on).

    But they always try to shut the doubters and the suspicious up saying something like, “You don’t know the entire story.”


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

    I never suggested they were A-OK guys, in fact I conceded multiple times that the accusations may in fact be true.
    As for why I care, I’m sorry, but the question of whether or not an accusation is true has nothing to do with why you, and I, and dee, and all of us, are sitting on our computers commenting on it.

    I never requested absolute proof – above, I conceded that Al Mohler is probably intentionally concealing his salary, and that is suspect. Just because some complementarian, conservative Christians demand absolute proof doesn’t automatically mean that I’m doing the same thing, when I have not.

    I’m sorry if you don’t have patience for it, but it doesn’t matter what you think, or me, or anyone else on here. What’s actually true is what matters, and we don’t know that, but we merrily we roll along indulging our pre-judgements in this echo chamber, and immediately questioning the motivations of a newcomer who asked a simple question about evidence.

    When you say “the bad guys continue to get away with their shady behavior,” you act as if speculating and accusing without concrete evidence will mean that the bad guys will no longer get away with it. But isn’t it so that, even with hard evidence, they usually do anyway? Why then are we rushing to make unsubstantiated accusations as if that will do anything except make us feel a little better?


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

    Will wrote:

    You’re right, we shouldn’t just look the other way – we should fight for accountability and transparency. Then, once we have evidence, we are in a better position to make any accusations that need to be made.

    Get the evidence then, Will (I doubt you can or will). But no one here is doing anything wrong because they wonder what happens to the money or wonder how much these pastors make. Asking the questions is not wrong.

    And it is suspicious that so many of them don’t want anyone to know their salaries, or how much they receive from conferences. I refuse to be in an institutionalized church. I don’t trust church leaders. I don’t believe that most of them function according to scripture or have Godly character. I also hate the fact that they harm the Church (Christians) with their abusive ways (one of which is by not revealing their finances). So, yes, they are guilty of bad character because they keep secrets from the body.


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

    @ Will:

    That was a pretty condescending response, or that’s how it read to me.

    But as I said above, I am pretty much done chatting with you on this matter, because you are on a crusade, and it’s become a broken record.


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

    Julie, I can totally relate. One reason I keep coming back here is that this stuff reminds me so much of the workplace bullying, toxic micromanagement & control freakery I’ve experienced. It is rampant here in Dilbert-World! (The other reason is because my goddaughter went through 23 years of hell in a predominantly Catholic albeit ecumenical “charismatic covenant community” heavily influenced by the shepherding movement. Tons of parallels with this stuff!)

    Julie Canny wrote:

    @ Deb:

    Never mind, Deb, I found http://www.brentdetweiler.com and found a chunk of the extortion story…

    Oh my, this is worse than I thought.:(( While I’m going to have to read a bunch of sources on this issue, I can tell you that Mr. Detweiler’s lament sounds shockingly familiar to my story of being workplace-bullied by narcississtic and anti-social bullies.

    And it resonates as someone who has been repeatedly victimized by sociopaths (read, “The Sociopath Next Door,” Martha Stout.)

    If Mr. Detweiler is correct, C.J.Mahaney doesn’t have enough conscience to fill a thimble. Church to him is just a way to make BUCK$.


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

    Daisy wrote:

    Yes, there is this page at The Guardian, October 2014:

    Correction: I think the date was 2004, not 2014, as I typed in that post.


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

    “I considered church people easy to fool … they have a trust that comes from being Christians. They tend to be better folks all around and seem to want to believe in the good that exists in people.”

    – convicted child molester to Dr. Salter

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2010/september/21.49.html


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

    @ Daisy:

    This is why Lord Jesus cautioned us to be as wise as serpents while being innocent as doves, and why He warned us to LOOK OUT for ravening wolves in sheep’s clothing. Wolves by **definition** are not and will never be sheep–unless God steps in with a divine miracle. The brain of someone with Anti-Personality Disorder will very seldom allow that person to make moral choices…

    @ Catholic Gate-Crasher:

    WOW,am I with ya there!! Seriously frightening, how workplace/schoolyard/monastic bullying can be…and what people need to understand is that bullies tvery frequently have some type of personality disorder…


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

    @ Edward:Those questions are not answered. I also want to know if CJ Mahaney gave him money.


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

    Daisy wrote:

    I remember, vaguely, it got really bad when it came down to votes in Ohio. There was something about Ohio in the news, and Europeans were screaming at Americans in Ohio to vote for Obama.

    I had to laugh the night of his first election. BBC was obsessing over one county in VA. It was bizarre.


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

    @ Will:

    You are not changing anyone's mind. We know that CJ Mahaney/SGM gave SBTS $200,000 before they were even part of the Southern Baptist Convention. We do know that he has given money to Mark Dever and other people. I don't give a rip if you don't think money has anything to do with us or whether not you think it is correct for us to say that we suspect that. But I suspect it, and I stand by it and you can continue to defend the boys. One thing is certain, in spite of your defense and your negativity towards those of us on this blog, you are allowed to comment  here — something that your BFFs don't allow.

    So continue to live in your Pollyanna testosterone world and continue to defend the boys. I'm sure they will be very pleased to know who you are and will even sign one of your Bibles for you.


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

    Daisy wrote:

    I was like, really? I don’t take to social media to tell people outside the U.S. who to vote for in their nations.
    Yes, there is this page at The Guardian, October 2014:
    Last week G2 launched Operation Clark County to help readers have a say in the American election by writing to undecided voters in the crucial state of Ohio.
    In the first three days, more than 11,000 people requested addresses. Here is some of the reaction to the project that we received from the US
    British try to sway Ohio swing voters
    http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/1021/p01s01-woeu.html

    I remember that! It didn’t set too well with me. I would never tell another country how to vote (unless it was to vote against ISIS!), and I didn’t appreciate them trying to tell me how to vote.


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

    Irish lass wrote:

    John Piper spoke at a conference a number of years ago in Northern Ireland called New Horizon. From what a friend told me who attended this conference that what he said did not go down too well with the people. Do not remember what he spoke on. May try to find out. Obviously very discerning attendees.

    Good for them! Let’s hope the madness stays out of Ireland.


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

    Deb wrote:

    @ Boyd:
    Keller’s gig is coming up next April with The Gospel Coalition’s next big conference. Their first National conference was in 2009. Mark Driscoll was one of the main speakers.

    Sadly, I am well aware of the upcoming TGC gathering.


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

    @ WenatcheeTheHatchet:

    [Mod: Sentence about banned topic removed.] I was blogging earlier this week about how one of the weirder things about the conference circuit is that next year Eric Mason (A29 board member) and Mark Driscoll are scheduled to speak together. Circling wagons between CJM and his allies would be expected, but it seems a signal of how mercenary the conference circuit has become that Mark Driscoll’s scheduled to speak at a conference alongside an A29 board member that publicly signed off on 1) kicking MH out of A29 and 2) publicly requesting MD step down from ministry. That neither Driscoll nor Mason seem to have had any problem lining up speaking gifts at a conference with the other guy says a lot about how unprincipled they are at a practical level.


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

    Even if money weren’t a factor, if every penny generated from the books, sermon downloads, blogs, conferences, and every other revenue source were donated to helping the poor, the hero worship would still be a huge problem.


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

    Will,

    Why are the books of these groups and churches not open? I consider it a responsibility of the leaders to make their books open when they live off of others donations… I see NO justification for not being transparent. The closed books are enough to make me VERY suspicious. Fundamentalist/evangelical leaders pound into our heads how fallen/depraved we are… O.K., financial transparency holds people to account to help prevent further falseness….. Are the leaders being debated here above being "fallen"???? Will wrote:

    mot wrote: It appears to me you would not be satisfied if we provided you with “evidence.”…People like Will make my blood boil. He is either trolling or willingly blind to the facts. Not trolling, or trying to boil people’s blood. Just pointing out that possession of evidence is both a logical and moral prerequisite to making accusations. There very well could be facts to be seen, but they aren’t mentioned in the blog post above.


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

    Will wrote:

    If we don’t know, we don’t accuse – is that too much to ask of Christians?

    Give it rest, Will. Is that too much to ask? I, for one, am tired of your hijacking of this thread.


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

    brad/futuristguy wrote:

    First of all, thanks for the additional information on CHBC/T4G/”Gospel Projects.” As I know from Scientology, which has quite a number of entities that file 990 forms every year that have virtually nothing of use on them. The real information is all squirreled away under the 501(c)3 “”church” of Scientology”. I strongly suspect the same thing is going on here, but I’d love to be proven wrong.

    And here we are, about 16 months after the formal closure of Mars Hill Church, and still no accounting of how several million dollars of donations directed to the “Global Fund” were spent, or the disposition of all assets and whether they went to designated non-profit as I understand is required when setting up a non-profit.

    I suspect that some of the Mars Hill monies went to the successor churches in the Seattle area, but it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that some of it is being piped in to The Trinity Church in Scottsdale. Driscoll is talking about going full-bore retro-Sixties in furnishings, including an Airstream trailer out front as a welcome center. (This is in his latest video.) All I could think of was “What does God, oops, Mark Driscoll, need with a starship, oops, Airstream”?


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

    @Will

    I haven’t gone back up and reread every post so maybe my observation is not entirely accurate. But here goes.

    I struggle to see where anyone made ‘accusations’ of extravant lifestyles for any of the T4G mob. Allusions to, certainly. Speculation, yes. And that is perfectly reasonable. There is a whole pile of cash being raked in through these conferences and book sales. It’s perfectly legitimate to wonder where it’s going. The intransigence and lack of transparency that most of these men display otherwise fuels the speculation that people engage in.

    Because we do not know. That’s how it works. Speculation happens because of lack of information. And because facts that we do know of in other similar situations eg. Steven Furtick, Mark Driscoll, etc indicate the worst. It is natural therefore to extrapolate that to these guys too, because they don’t share any information.

    Since no information is forthcoming what should we do? According to you, asking speculative questions is tantamount to baseless accusations. In my 20 years of experience in accounting and finance, most of the time that the response to a question about money is on the lines of “baseless accusations” – there is something to hide. Maybe not something illegal, necessarily, but certainly unsavoury,unethical or even immoral. In fact that axiom holds true in pretty much any other situation too, I would say.

    A parallel would be the earlier post where people asked questions about Carl Trueman’s involvement in finding Mahaney fit to hold pastoral office which he hasn’t addressed. Todd Pruitt took issue with these questions accusing commenters of slander for asking those questions.

    Why the defensiveness? Do you guys know that defensiveness is the silliest response to a question? It just fuels more speculation. Or is that what you really want? Engender more speculation to try and prove your point about these blogs as being hotbeds of mere speculation?

    Where has the money gone? It’s a legitimate and valid question. Banging on about lack of evidence does not detract from that question. Extravagant lifestyles are one way of applying that cash. But not the only way. They may be hoarding it in investments. There may be land bought through shell companies and trusts….there’s lots of ways to hide/apply money besides just flaunting it.

    Churches and parachurch organisations have historically been pretty bad with accounting for an using money. Especially in the evangelical world. I audited church and parachurch books for a living for the first few years of my career. I’ve seen enough to turn my stomach.

    So pardon me if I do not give these guys the benefit of the doubt simply because there is no “evidence”.

    Where has the money gone?


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

    Edward wrote:

    @ dee:

    I remember an article on TWW a couple years back reporting that Kevin DeYoung had spoken at 22 conferences in a 4-year span. Who is paying for all those travel expenses? Is his church paying? Are the churches/ parachurch organizations that host the conferences paying?

    Here’s the link to that post – Kevin DeYoung’s CrazyBusy Life (which inspired the Book of the Year).

    With a schedule like that, how in the world did Kevin find time to declare Mahaney ‘fit for ministry’? I do see that he spoke at a number of SGM conferences during that time frame… So much for objectivity. :-(

    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2014/05/28/kevin-deyoungs-crazybusy-life-which-inspired-the-book-of-the-year/


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

    mirele wrote:

    I can’t find a 990 form for T4G online. Its address is the same as Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington DC and I fully believe that T4G is managed under some aspect of CHBC. In other words, I fully believe T4G is hiding under the skirts of CHBC’s tax exemption, which means they don’t have to file anything.

    Exactly. So T$G is a “church” that does not file. Now, CBHC is authoritarian so those who go there would not dare inquire why T$G is under their tax free umbrella.

    Clever, huh?


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

    Ron Oommen wrote:

    They may be hoarding it in investments

    That would be a former mega church pastor I know who lived a basic upper class lifestyle no extravagance. Now, a multimillionaire in retirement. Still does not show it off.


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

    Where is the “like button”

    Ron Oommen wrote:

    @Will
    I haven’t gone back up and reread every post so maybe my observation is not entirely accurate. But here goes.
    I struggle to see where anyone made ‘accusations’ of extravant lifestyles for any of the T4G mob. Allusions to, certainly. Speculation, yes. And that is perfectly reasonable. There is a whole pile of cash being raked in through these conferences and book sales. It’s perfectly legitimate to wonder where it’s going. The intransigence and lack of transparency that most of these men display otherwise fuels the speculation that people engage in.
    Because we do not know. That’s how it works. Speculation happens because of lack of information. And because facts that we do know of in other similar situations eg. Steven Furtick, Mark Driscoll, etc indicate the worst. It is natural therefore to extrapolate that to these guys too, because they don’t share any information.
    Since no information is forthcoming what should we do? According to you, asking speculative questions is tantamount to baseless accusations. In my 20 years of experience in accounting and finance, most of the time that the response to a question about money is on the lines of “baseless accusations” – there is something to hide. Maybe not something illegal, necessarily, but certainly unsavoury,unethical or even immoral. In fact that axiom holds true in pretty much any other situation too, I would say.
    A parallel would be the earlier post where people asked questions about Carl Trueman’s involvement in finding Mahaney fit to hold pastoral office which he hasn’t addressed. Todd Pruitt took issue with these questions accusing commenters of slander for asking those questions.
    Why the defensiveness? Do you guys know that defensiveness is the silliest response to a question? It just fuels more speculation. Or is that what you really want? Engender more speculation to try and prove your point about these blogs as being hotbeds of mere speculation?
    Where has the money gone? It’s a legitimate and valid question. Banging on about lack of evidence does not detract from that question. Extravagant lifestyles are one way of applying that cash. But not the only way. They may be hoarding it in investments. There may be land bought through shell companies and trusts….there’s lots of ways to hide/apply money besides just flaunting it.
    Churches and parachurch organisations have historically been pretty bad with accounting for an using money. Especially in the evangelical world. I audited church and parachurch books for a living for the first few years of my career. I’ve seen enough to turn my stomach.
    So pardon me if I do not give these guys the benefit of the doubt simply because there is no “evidence”.
    Where has the money gone?


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

    brad/futuristguy wrote:

    So, *IF* Gospel Projects happens to be the organization that runs Together for the Gospel, I would find it curious that T4G is 10 years old but only recently has gone the route of non-profit. I

    That could have something to do with SGM, civil lawsuits, etc.


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

    @ Ron Oommen:
    What is truly frightening is that if churches and parachurches don’t get their act together and start running far tighter financial ships in general, American churches could lose their tax-exempt status. I am beginning to believe from the content of this particular thread that **we the laity** have got to start laying down the law for financial accountability!!


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

    dee wrote:

    Those questions are not answered. I also want to know if CJ Mahaney gave him money.

    Sex, power, money. Jesus evicted the greedy from the Temple, resisted the temptation for power (Matt. 6), and decried even looking lustfully at a woman (Matt. 5). Paul said do not even eat with sexual perverts, extortioners, etc., that claim to be Christians (1 Cor. 5).

    Right and wrong. What more needs to be said – Jesus was unambiguous. Like Dylan sang, “Gotta Serve Someone.”


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

    Deb wrote:

    Edward wrote:

    @ dee:

    I remember an article on TWW a couple years back reporting that Kevin DeYoung had spoken at 22 conferences in a 4-year span. Who is paying for all those travel expenses? Is his church paying? Are the churches/ parachurch organizations that host the conferences paying?

    Here’s the link to that post – Kevin DeYoung’s CrazyBusy Life (which inspired the Book of the Year).

    With a schedule like that, how in the world did Kevin find time to declare Mahaney ‘fit for ministry’? I do see that he spoke at a number of SGM conferences during that time frame… So much for objectivity.

    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2014/05/28/kevin-deyoungs-crazybusy-life-which-inspired-the-book-of-the-year/

    Therein lies the problem – was the panel objective enough? More to th point can it be SEEN to be objective?


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

    Julie Canny wrote:

    @ Ron Oommen:
    What is truly frightening is that if churches and parachurches don’t get their act together and start running far tighter financial ships in general, American churches could lose their tax-exempt status. I am beginning to believe from the content of this particular thread that **we the laity** have got to start laying down the law for financial accountability!!

    I’d have to declare my bias in this – I am in favour of churches losing tax exempt status except for legitimate charitable work. I think the industrial complex that churches have unfortunately become in many places would be dealt a mortal blow.


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

    Ron Oommen wrote:

    I am in favour of churches losing tax exempt status except for legitimate charitable work. I think the industrial complex that churches have unfortunately become in many places would be dealt a mortal blow.

    Ditto. Agree.


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

    Ron Oommen wrote:

    I’d have to declare my bias in this – I am in favour of churches losing tax exempt status except for legitimate charitable work. I think the industrial complex that churches have unfortunately become in many places would be dealt a mortal blow.

    Agree. They are asking for it by taking advantage.


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

    Ron Oommen wrote:

    I’d have to declare my bias in this – I am in favour of churches losing tax exempt status except for legitimate charitable work. I think the industrial complex that churches have unfortunately become in many places would be dealt a mortal blow.

    I’m pretty in agreement.


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

    @ Julie Canny:

    i’m curious about what is truly frightening about churches losing their tax exempt status.


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

    @ Ron Oommen

    I hear what you are saying, but then the crux of the issue becomes this: who gets to decide what is legit charity work and what isn’t? Given the increasing persecution of Christians around the world, you can see where the loss of tax-exempt status could render the Body of Christ and the American poor at large much more vulnerable than they already are. Tax-exempt status has enabled an unparalled level of frredom for American churches, a freedom I’d hate to see us lose.

    However, as Goethe said, with every right comes a responsibility, and this is where I believe that we the. Body of Christ need to get awfully tough. If Calvinistas won ‘t give an accounting to their congregations, their churches should simply throw them out!!

    Or…call in the IRS!

    @ elastigirl:
    See my above comment to Ron. Call me a status-quo kinda gal, but I believe that stripping American churches of tax-exempt status could lead to unprecedented loss of freedom of religion to American Christians. My gut hunch.


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

    My alternative solution is this: **enforce the tax-exempt laws already in place** with more legislation demanding an absolute accountability, just like they (often) do for bueinesses. And if certain churches won’t be transparent, fine: treat them as criminal organizations under RICO statutes!


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

    Pardon the above creative spellings. 😛


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

    Julie Canny wrote:

    @ Ron Oommen

    I hear what you are saying, but then the crux of the issue becomes this: who gets to decide what is legit charity work and what isn’t? Given the increasing persecution of Christians around the world, you can see where the loss of tax-exempt status could render the Body of Christ and the American poor at large much more vulnerable than they already are. Tax-exempt status has enabled an unparalled level of frredom for American churches, a freedom I’d hate to see us lose.

    However, as Goethe said, with every right comes a responsibility, and this is where I believe that we the. Body of Christ need to get awfully tough. If Calvinistas won ‘t give an accounting to their congregations, their churches should simply throw them out!!

    Or…call in the IRS!

    @ elastigirl:
    See my above comment to Ron. Call me a status-quo kinda gal, but I believe that stripping American churches of tax-exempt status could lead to unprecedented loss of freedom of religion to American Christians. My gut hunch.

    Valid point and I would agree with the freedom perspective. However I think the biggest weakness of the church today is its institutionalisation. Fundamental to that is money and financing. Without the tax exempt status there would be, imho, more circumspection and consideration about giving and spending funds given by the rank and file. It might weed out the TBN types and anyone else with a similar attitude to the money.

    I re-read some writings of Richard Wurmbrand recently. The contrast he paints between the tax exempt and prosperous but spiritually lukewarm Western churches and the poor, persecuted but spiritually vibrant Soviet era churches behind the Iron Curtain is hard to ignore.

    I do think that the whole clergy vs laity thing is not what was intended for the church. Without the monetary underpinnings that would fall apart and I believe that would be a good thing for us.

    In my opinion of course. I can think of numerous objections to this opinion of course!


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

    Julie Canny wrote:

    Or…call in the IRS!

    And, in the comment directly after that …

    My alternative solution is this: **enforce the tax-exempt laws already in place** with more legislation demanding an absolute accountability, just like they (often) do for bueinesses. And if certain churches won’t be transparent, fine: treat them as criminal organizations under RICO statutes!

    This has been a key part of the problem, as — if I understand correctly — there have not been deep IRS investigations taking errant religious non-profits to task since 2009. That is a complicated political and regulatory situation. But what it means is the current regulations are not really being enforced, so we can’t expect that to be a solution anytime soon. Probably likewise political oomph to force the IRS to follow what’s already on the book.

    For background, see this research article by Becky Garrison:

    http://marshilllawsuit.com/files/MoneyOverMissionatMarsHillChurch.pdf

    Also, ECFA (Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability) — the supposed “certification” watchgroup for member churches and ministries — hasn’t exactly proven itself effective in warning the public of members that are failing to follow requirements for governance, transparency, accountability, and financial openness.

    So, looks like protests, blogging, investigative reporting, lawsuits, and such like are the current tools available to put the spotlight onto individuals and organizations where there is apparent failure to obey regulatory requirements for non-profits.


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

    @ brad/futuristguy:

    As a P.S. to my previous comment on IRS enforcement of existing regulations, the Mars Hill Church situation has made a lot more church leaders and Christian readers aware of this problem.

    But others have been aware of the larger situation of politics and the IRS. Here’s a very recent article from The Daily Signal, “How Is the IRS Auditing Churches? Group Demands Answers” by Mariana Barillas. It talks about some of the opposing movements in our society over the issues of IRS and religious non-profits, audits, and freedom. Bottom line: It’s still messy, and likely will be for quite a while.

    http://dailysignal.com/2016/04/11/how-is-the-irs-auditing-churches-group-demands-answers/


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

    This may be off topic a bit but it is John MaCarthur discussing biblical counseling, these ideas are just plain dangerous. I have the video marked at the point where he says biblical counseling is the only counseling that has any validity. I suggest listening to portions of it if you can stomach it. How many people who have struggled with depression, bipolar disorder etc have been hurt by this type of black and white thinking.

    https://youtu.be/NjZQmNudjxU?t=46m45s


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

    @ Ron Oommen:

    Hmm. I will have to investigate Richard Wurmbrand’s writings on the subject and pray about this position
    ; a poor but spiritually alive church beats Laodicea hands-down, and maybe the tax-exempt status is actually a curse in disguise.

    But to be honest, I’m not so certain that big chunks of the American church is so Laodicean anymore! If nothing else, the horrors of ISIS and the increasing amount of what is characterized as “soft” persecution in America–i.e., Christians losing their jobs, religious freedoms under attack, etc., seem to be waking up the Body of Christ in America as to what’s going on spiritually.

    I know that I and my fellow Christians are praying for revival, and we all seem to be increasingly in prayer at times. I’ll tell you one thing: the horrors of ISIS crucifying Christian CHILDREN and burning and beheading Christians has got me praying like I’ve never seen before! And there’s no way in Hades that I’m the only one…I can’t believe that…

    So perhaps God has found a way to bust through that institution-spawned complacency without actually requiring us to take down the institutions. HOWEVER…

    We have to give an account to God what we do with our time, talents, and money: and if we continue to allow the Wolf Shepherds to resist accountability, God Himself will call us to account!

    BTW, total agreement with you about how the clergy-laity separation is unBiblical: no argument here. While I do agree that there are meant to be clergy (apostles, prophets, teachers, pastors, evangelists), the pure Bible truth is that we are ALL a royal priesthood, each and every one of us! We are ALL meant to be ministers of the Gospel and ambassadors for Christ, each and every one of us…we are all called to lead as well as follow in edifying the Body of Christ and spreading the Good News…we’re all clergy and we are all laity in the ultimatr sense…

    What these Calvinistas are, are Pharisaical high priests robbing widows’ houses while making a show of their pretended piety, promoting the Big Lie that God is somehow a respecter of persons. Oh no, He’s not!! IMHO, I hope God builds up the laity in their churches and the IRS to take down these wolves…


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

    @ brad/futuristguy:

    YES!!Total agreement with your diagnosis of the problem, and thank you for providing this info. Will try to study it, for sure. I prefer to use the tools we have now to turn up the heat on the Wolf Shepherds, and that’s why I really support the Deebs here.:))

    It is MANDATORY that the IRS gets the political will and strengthening to do the auditing and enforcement it needs to do, and an empowered, repentant, Spirit-filled American laity may be very key to accomplishing as to what has to be done.

    Nonetheless, what I can’t figure out is this: Scripture clearly states that the saints will judge the world, and that the Bible clearly mandates that the least esteemed in the church are to be the actual judges (1 Corinthians 6:1 through 8). So…

    (Opens mouth, bulldog bays at the cosmos:)

    WHY AREN’T THE MEMBERS OF THESE CALVINISTA CHURCHES FIGURING OUT THAT GOD IS CALLING THEM TO JUDGE THE CONTROVERSIES AND CRIMES AND ACCUSATIONS IN THEIR CHURCHES INSTEAD OF LETTING THE WOLF SHEPHERDS HAVE ALL THIS POWER????

    (Bulldog settles down and panting, thinks for a moment, and then realizes–)

    Ah, but the flock isn’t being taught from **this Scripture,** because it would mean the end of the Wolf Shepherd reign, now wouldn’t it??


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

    @ Julie Canny:

    “Given the increasing persecution of Christians around the world, you can see where the loss of tax-exempt status could render the Body of Christ and the American poor at large much more vulnerable than they already are.”
    ++++++++++++

    the body of Christ and the american poor…. if you’re implying that Christian churches actually help the American poor, I feel like laughing. I’ve been to church all my life, several different ones. if any of them did anything for those in the greater area or the world who were struggling with means or in hardship, it was never talked about.

    I’ve never known any church to do anything but invest their resources in keeping members and attenders interested and happy in order to keep coming back. everything was for itself.


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

    @ Ron Oommen:

    here here, cheers, and amen.


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

    elastigirl wrote:

    I’ve been to church all my life, several different ones. if any of them did anything for those in the greater area or the world who were struggling with means or in hardship, it was never talked about.

    That’s exactly why I go my church. After leaving my previous church because there was no place for people without children, I visited several other churches. This particular church is very active in the community, particularly in lower-income areas building homes, operating a dental clinic and food bank, opening a “dream center” for high-risk youth, etc. They’ve also done a great job keeping Christ at the center of everything they do. I just wish more churches were like this and not so focused on their budgets and intra-church activities, or their particular system of theology.


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

    @ elastigirl:

    I disagree. I’ve known some parachurch ministries that actually did and *do* help the poor–the premier ones being Catholic Charities, Sharing and Caring Hands (run by Mary J. Copeland, who I believe is Catholic) and Community Emergency Services (Lutheran). I’ll throw in St. Stephen’s as well.

    Where I live (Minneapolis, MN), they have provided a serios and very real lifeline to the Without these organizations, I guarantee you that many Minneapolis homeless persons would be starving or dead: that’s a fact.


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

    Ugh, my smartphone is fighting me. Let me do some spelling and grammar correction on that last paragraph:

    “…a serious and very real lifeline to many Minneapolis/Minnesotan homeless persons.”

    Add that insertion.


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

    @ patriciamc:
    THIS. Is a real church you go to!


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

    Julie Canny wrote:

    I disagree. I’ve known some parachurch ministries that actually did and *do* help the poor–the premier ones being Catholic Charities, Sharing and Caring Hands (run by Mary J. Copeland, who I believe is Catholic) and Community Emergency Services (Lutheran). I’ll throw in St. Stephen’s as well.

    You and elastigirl are talking about two different things. You are referring to parachurch organizations. She is talking about local churches she has been involved with.

    My 34 years of experience with local churches has been similar to elastigirls. The money that came into the local church stayed within the walls of the church.


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

    @ Julie Canny:

    “So perhaps God has found a way to bust through that institution-spawned complacency without actually requiring us to take down the institutions.”
    +++++++++++

    it sounds like you’re saying that God prefers to allow these horrific isis tragedies and human sufferings to continue for the express purpose of stirring the fat, spoiled, self-serving, insular Christian institution in America from its self-centered reverie than to give the church the severe spanking it deserves.

    i don’t think I’ve hated my religion more than at this very moment.


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

    @ Julie Canny:

    I’m glad to hear of these organizations that are making a difference like this. There are many where i live, as well. But they are not churches. no freaking way are they churches. they’re too busy trying to get people in the doors so their staff can have gainful employment with meaningful, busy careers.


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

    @ patriciamc:

    you are very lucky.

    yesterday and today I’ve been thinking of starting my own church. but not a (stupid) church — simply an outlet for people to get involved together in helping others, making a difference, where the needs are greatest. people are very happy to donate their time, energy, & money to actually help others. yes, to actually help others.

    and i don’t require a salary to do this.


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

    @ Bridget:

    hi, bridget (fellow west-coaster, where it is not 4:15 am).

    aren’t you sick of it all.


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

    Julie Canny wrote:

    http://www.sharingandcaringhands.org
    Mary Jo Copeland’s org…

    Imagine – the financial information of this organization right in the drop down Menu selection. When there is nothing to hide it is easy peasy.

    They seem to do alot of good without interference from a church or the government.


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

    This as with so many other articles and comments are really helping me personally, thank you all I hope God blesses you and your families.


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

    @ elastigirl:

    I am. I can’t participate in a church in a box thing at all right now. Maybe never again. Need to find a place to help others. 4:15 is fast approaching – having “one of those” nights.


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

    Bridget wrote:

    Julie Canny wrote:

    http://www.sharingandcaringhands.org
    Mary Jo Copeland’s org…

    Imagine – the financial information of this organization right in the drop down Menu selection. When there is nothing to hide it is easy peasy.

    They seem to do alot of good without interference from a church or the government.

    Bingo.


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

    Julie Canny wrote:

    the tax-exempt status is actually a curse in disguise.

    It’s worse than a curse. Why should someone making 200+k be able to make his house payment with pre-tax money? Can you do that? Can anyone here do that? Additionally, anything you buy for your house, car, etc is with pre-tax money IF you are ordained. Essentially you live a tax-free life IF you’re ordained. Granted, this is the law so they aren’t doing anything illegal. One day 501(c)(3) will go away. The true church will be left standing. The crooks will take their business elsewhere. Meanwhile, we’re left with a business that calls itself a church.


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

    __

    Theology Reformed?

    hmmm…

    Calvinism 101: In his “Institutes of the Christian Religion”, John Calvin presents the idea of God’s total Sovereignty, particularly in salvation and election.

    In this work he presents the idea that God in His Supreme Sovereignity choose to save only a potion of mankind after his fall in the garden; that this glorious work is a singular work of election whereby certain individuals, who are dead in sin and totally unable to obey God’s moral law, are thereby by the grace of God ‘elected’ to salvation, and that thought no merit or works on their part. This election is unconditional and final. All those elected by God will be saved, all those not elected will suffer the fate of unregenerated mankind, i.e. the fires of hell. 

    This body of theology, John Calvin presents to the reader, as the Christian religion. 

    For more information you can, of you desire, listen to this work here:
    https://m.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLFqIhxOIROV_5vxkGDAtEEv9T6R5XlTCw

    Hope this helps.

    ATB

    Sopy


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

    Deb wrote:

    The Fab Five…

    Ugh. That’s how Driscoll always refers to his kids.


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

    brian wrote:

    This may be off topic a bit but it is John MaCarthur discussing biblical counseling, these ideas are just plain dangerous. I have the video marked at the point where he says biblical counseling is the only counseling that has any validity. I suggest listening to portions of it if you can stomach it. How many people who have struggled with depression, bipolar disorder etc have been hurt by this type of black and white thinking. https://youtu.be/NjZQmNudjxU?t=46m45s

    We have previously written about Nouthetic (aka Biblical) Counseling and its sometimes harmful effects. From what I remember reading over at SGM Survivors, psychiatrists and professional counselors were frowned upon as were legally prescribed drugs.

    When I watched that Broadway skit tribute to C.J. Mahaney, there was a line in the song that appears to indicate that SGM opposed secular psychology.

    At the 0:54 minute mark, we hear…

    "You made sure psycho-babble got nixed." 

    Pretty sure this was a position reflected throughout the SGM 'family of churches'.


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

    ION:

    The Met Office is promising “severe winter conditions” over the northern Scottish hills this week.

    #YaBeauty! *

    IHTIH

    * Works best in a Glasgow accent.


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

    Sopwith wrote:

    All those elected by God will be saved, all those not elected will suffer the fate of unregenerated mankind, i.e. the fires of hell. 

    I think this theology leads to arrogance. I’m elected, I’m chosen, I’m special. And, if I’m a church leader or pastor, I must be extra special to God.

    This is despite the rhetoric of we’re all just worms, worthless, (in Piper’s words) dust. The Bible warns so clearly about the sin of pride. It makes it clear it’s a trap that can easily be fallen into.

    We can all be guilty of pride. And even hypocrisy. YET. It takes an unbelievable scale of hubris for someone like CJ Mahaney to blatantly flaunt his HUMILITY – to build a career and reputation on it – and to somehow (I’ll never understand this one) get others like Mohler, Dever etc to buy it.


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

    May wrote:

    We can all be guilty of pride. And even hypocrisy. YET. It takes an unbelievable scale of hubris for someone like CJ Mahaney to blatantly flaunt his HUMILITY – to build a career and reputation on it –

    But at same time, he preaches a sermon on how one must obey the pastor as he did after T$G.

    (I think he was angry)

    The humble benevolent tyrant.


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

    “We ‘Have’ The Truth!”

    Tromp, Tromp, Tromp…

    Q. Is New Calvinism a Cancer invading the local body of Christ today?

    hmmm…

    Apparently It is succeeding by robbing the local body of the proper emphisis of scripture, the milk of the word, and by denying a form of Christ like discipleship that leads to true christian maturity and wittness.

    Be all you can be?

    They (the initiated mass of twenty somethings) by stealth will then induce, quietly over time, the fatalistic ideas of a body of theology know as Calvinism. [1]

    huh?

     Discerning and dissenting members ‘are’ simply crowded out?

    What?

    You Decide.

    ATB

    Sopy 
    __
    [1]  See John Calvin’s ICR :
    https://m.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLFqIhxOIROV_5vxkGDAtEEv9T6R5XlTCw


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

    Bridget wrote:

    The money that came into the local church stayed within the walls of the church.

    What about missions? Several churches have heavily supported missions and I know local ones with food banks. I don’t know percentages though.

    One thing I used to like about baptist churches is that they had business meetings where I think this spending stuff was brought to the church as a whole? Granted I was a kid so I may be getting this wrong. This is why elder led is scary, no accountability to the church.

    I think these para church pegs like this gospel one are problematic because they are not even accountable to the church. At least, if you are at a church, you probably have some idea how your pastors are living.( In mine they gave us the salaries In a business meeting.) but the people who go to conferences give all this money and seem to have zero idea what it’s being spent on.


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

    @ Sopwith:
    That is such a horrible thing. What do you believe Sopes? Why do you think people are so committed to this?


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

    Will wrote:

    What’s actually true is what matters, and we don’t know that, but we merrily we roll along indulging our pre-judgements in this echo chamber, and immediately questioning the motivations of a newcomer who asked a simple question about evidence.

    When Christian leaders’ monies come from the generosity of their communities, it is imperative that it be respected. The communities give for the Lord of the universe, in front of Him. That being the case, why do these leaders keep their incomes hidden? It appears they are ashamed of what they take, and that they believe they are not accountable to their ‘investors’. It is dishonest and arrogant, and it is unbiblical. (cf Ananias/Sapphira’s dishonesty re monies for the community.)

    Suspicion is a healthy response to such behavior. Empiricism doesn’t work for this kind of situation because it provides no way to go forward in the face of bland denial and collusion. People are left to search for patterns, and use discernment. Some do that better than others.

    These leaders have created an impasse: suspicion/resentment on one side and dishonesty/ shame/arrogance on the other. It degrades relationships. IMO, these leaders disqualify themselves from their position by their recalcitrance.

    Does anyone remember seeing a vid of Christmas house tour through the Mohler’s place? It showed an expensive home full of great furniture, a gigantic library, and endless costly tchotchkes, including multiple nativities, table settings. They show off while their communities suffer broad economic struggle.


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

    Lea wrote:

    One thing I used to like about baptist churches is that they had business meetings where I think this spending stuff was brought to the church as a whole?

    Yes. Those are a rarity the days. People are just fine with handing over their money and trusting a few with Christianese titles to make the decisions for them with no input. Why do you think that is? Why do people so easily give up their choices and responsibilites to a few to decide for them? It is the oath to corruption.

    This is going on in many segments if our society. I don’t get it.


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

    Lydia wrote:

    Why?

    Fear.


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

    Joe wrote:

    You can just tell these guys love to be on stage. They love the adoration.

    I attended the second one. The self-admiration was so thick you could cut it with a knife. There was one point where one was praising another and I got physically ill because the voice in my head was screaming a warning claxon. That was one of a couple of events that opened my eyes to what was really going on.


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

    May wrote:

    It’s this quote of Piper’s that tells me something is very, very wrong in the movement he leads:
    “If you are still alive in this age of terror, thank God, and stop whining about government surveillance. If you still have any job of any kind during this, the Second Great Depression, pick up your broom, and stop complaining about minimum wage. Oh, and keep going to church every Sunday, because God deserves your obeisance.”[11]
    These words are harsh and violent, not gentle; words that inspire fear, not love.
    Essentially Piper’s God is a God interested only in self-glorification; and when he thinks of his depraved’, worthless followers at all, it’s only to instill harsh discipline and fear.

    Oh wow. What a horrible quote. It’s also not objectively true, but that is a discussion for another thread.


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

    May wrote:

    As if the Americans would tolerate the British PM going over and telling Americans who to vote for in their election.

    Advice is fine, but I’d rather the Brits send over an electable candidate…


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

    @ Sopwith:

    Have you been enlightened on Calvins views on reprobation? He touches on this bizarre theology in IRC book 3, chapter 2, section 11.

    “I am aware it seems unaccountable to some how faith is attributed to the reprobate, seeing that it is declared by Paul to be one of the fruits of election; and yet the difficulty is easily solved: for though none are enlightened into faith, and truly feel the efficacy of the Gospel, with the exception of those who are fore-ordained to salvation, yet experience shows that the reprobate are sometimes affected in a way so similar to the elect, that even in their own judgment there is no difference between them.”

    Ok. So an unsaved person can look saved, act saved and even believe they are saved when the truth is they are really reprobate and were never elected before the foundation of the world!!! But they don’t know it! And God wants them to believe they are elect!

    ‘Hence it is not strange, that by the Apostle a taste of heavenly gifts, and by Christ himself a temporary faith is ascribed to them. Not that they truly perceive the power of spiritual grace and the sure light of faith; but the Lord, the better to convict them, and leave them without excuse, instills into their minds such a sense of his goodness as can be felt without the Spirit of adoption.”

    The trickster God! They get ‘temporary” faith then go to hell!!!!! God wants them to feel saved! And He is good to do this even though the plan ‘from the foundation of the world’ was to send the poor deluded schmuck to hell! Well at least he can feel saved, temporarily. That is grace!

    Ok, will stop. It actually gets more convoluted in a black hole circular reasoning sort of way. I honestly believe Calvin was a sociopath. A tyrannical despot who created a god in his own image.


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

    @ Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist:

    What does it take to get out? How come those warning signs are not recognized by more? It is a whole career path to walk away from.


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

    Steve wrote:

    Lydia wrote:
    Why?
    Fear.

    They think the few know best for them?


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

    Will wrote:

    When you say “the bad guys continue to get away with their shady behavior,” you act as if speculating and accusing without concrete evidence will mean that the bad guys will no longer get away with it.

    We have evidence, Will. The big boys refuse to open their books, and reveal their salaries and other expenditures. They’re hiding this information, about what they’ve done with other people’s money. And they wouldn’t go hiding this info unless they had something to hide, and a reason to hide it.

    Maybe not the kind of evidence you’re looking for, but it’s evidence nonetheless.


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

    @ Steve:
    I think being in a tribe or movement has a lot to do with it. Identity. People have a hard time with that one. In my view it has a lot to do with the re emergence of collectivism.


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

    Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    May wrote:
    As if the Americans would tolerate the British PM going over and telling Americans who to vote for in their election.
    Advice is fine, but I’d rather the Brits send over an electable candidate…

    I don’t know why not most Americans seem to be totally enamored with the royal family


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

    @ Lydia:

    Yep.

    I’m sure there are plenty of reasons. My conclusion after a few decades of observation is that many believe they will go to hell if they resist in any way. I know that sounds crazy but sadly, I think it’s true for many.


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

    @ brad/futuristguy:

    Following money is one angle. But you can also follow people. The same person is president of both gospel projects and t4g. Matt Schumcker. See the following two links. I’m sure he’s connected to other enterprises in this same grouping.

    http://www.orgcouncil.com/dc/washington/gospel-projects-070.http://news.sbts.edu/2016/04/20/southern-seminary-trustees-approve-historic-budget-elect-faculty/


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

    @ 1Jn2Go:

    Link not working.


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

    brad/futuristguy wrote:

    This has been a key part of the problem, as — if I understand correctly — there have not been deep IRS investigations taking errant religious non-profits to task since 2009. That is a complicated political and regulatory situation. But what it means is the current regulations are not really being enforced, so we can’t expect that to be a solution anytime soon. Probably likewise political oomph to force the IRS to follow what’s already on the book.

    I wonder if it is because it would be spun as persecution and the churches would get their people so riled up- people who rarely look further for facts than what the pastor or the para-church ministry claims.


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

    __

    “Religious Susceptible N’ Saduction?”

    The Phantom of New Calvinism: “The Point Of No Return?” [1]

    hmmm…

    Beaker,

    Q. What is it about this mass of ideas (New Calvinism) that a young pastors find so appealing?

    http://religionnews.com/2014/05/20/troubling-trends-americas-calvinist-revival/

    http://sbcvoices.com/the-appeal-of-calvinism-to-young-pastors/

    https://paulspassingthoughts.com/2013/07/25/more-on-why-new-calvinism-has-massive-appeal/

    Q. Is New Calvinism appealing?

    DeYoung, Duncan, Mohler: What’s New About the New Calvinism
    The Gospel Coalition 9,866 views
    SUBSCRIBE20,440
    668
    Published on Mar 24, 2014TGC council members Kevin DeYoung, Ligon Duncan, and Albert Mohler discuss the eclectic movement of new Calvinism, including the need for enthusiasts to identify and settle in a particular ecclesial home.

    Kevin DeYoung, Ligon Duncan, and Albert Mohler on appeal of New Calvinism:
    http://thegospelcoalition.org/resources/a/deyoung_duncan_mohler_whats_new_about_the_new_calvinism

    (the above document removed from TGC website)

    video: 
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jscdlO1BUj0

    Aditional info:
    https://m.youtube.com/results?q=Why%20is%20new%20calvinism%20so%20appealing%3F&sm=3

    hmmm…

    John Piper ‘defines’ “New Calvinism” below:

    John Piper: “…What am I referring to when I talk about “The New Calvinism?” In 2008 Collin Hansen published ‪Young, Restless, Reformed‬: ‪A Journalist’s Journey with the New Calvinists‬. I’m not aware of the use of the term, “New Calvinists” before this book. (And the credit—or blame—goes to the Crossway team, not Collin, since he never uses the term in his book. It’s only in the title.) Time Magazine picked it up in 2009. The cover story on March 12, 2009, was titled “Ten Ideas Changing the World Right Now,” of which number three was “The New Calvinism.” ‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

    John Piper: “What is it?”

    John Piper: “The best way I can think of to define it is to give twelve features of the movement as I see it.  (I do not mean for these features of the new to be dividing lines between the new and the old.)  I don’t think there are such lines. I don’t think there is a clear distinction between the new and the old except perhaps in regard to the use of media and technology that didn’t exist 20 years ago. How can there be distinctives unique to the New Calvinism when the Old is as diverse as St. Augustine and Adoniram Judson, Francis Turretin and John Bunyan, John Calvin and Charles Spurgeon, John Owen and George Whitefield, John Knox and J. I. Packer, Cotton Mather and R. C. Sproul, Abraham Kuyper and William Carey, Lemuel Hanes and Robert Dabney, Theodore Beza and James Boice Isaac Backus and Martyn Lloyd-Jones? If there is such diversity in the Old, can we find dividing lines between the Old and the New? I don’t think so. And why would I include Packer, Sproul, and Boice among the old and not the new? How can you draw a line between the Philadelphia Conferences on Reformed Theology, the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, and The Gospel Coalition? How can you draw a hard line between Banner of Truth Publishers and Crossway Books? Or between the late Elder D. J. Ward and Thabiti Anyabwile? The old is too diverse, and the connections between the old and the new are too organic, to claim things for the new that weren’t there in some aspects of the old. And the new is too diverse to claim any uniform downgrade or upgrade over the old. History is too complex for broad brush commendations of the one over the other, or condemnations of the one under the other. On any given issue, you could find periods and persons and movements among the old that would outshine the new. There is no claim in my assessment that the new is better.

    John Piper’s Twelve Features of New Calvinism: So with that in view here are the features—I say features not distinctives—that I see in this movement called The New Calvinism. The New Calvinism, in :

    (Full Feature’d New Calvinism:)  

    1. its allegiance to the inerrancy of the Bible, embraces the biblical truths behind the Five Points (TULIP), while having, at the same time, a disinclination to use the acronym and other systematic packaging, along with a sometimes qualified allegiance to “limited atonement.” The focus IS on Calvinistic soteriology, but not to the exclusion of appreciating the broader scope of ‘Calvin’s vision’ ™ .

    2. The New Calvinism embraces the sovereignty of God both in salvation and in all the affairs of life and history, including evil and suffering.

    3. The New Calvinism has a strong complementarian flavor with an emphasis on the flourishing of men and women in relationships where men embrace the call to robust, humble, Christ-like, servant leadership.

    4. The New Calvinism leans toward being culture-affirming rather than culture-denying, while holding fast to some culturally alien positions, for example, on same-sex practice and abortion.

    5.The New Calvinism embraces the essential place of the local church, is led mainly by pastors, has vibrant church planting bent, produces widely sung worship music, and exalts the preached word as central to the work of God locally and globally.

    6. The New Calvinism is aggressively mission-driven, including missional impact on social evils, evangelistic impact in personal networks, and missionary impact on the unreached peoples of the world.

    7. The New Calvinism is interdenominational, with a strong (some would say oxymoronic) Baptistic element.

    8. The New Calvinism includes charismatics and non-charismatics.

    9. The New Calvinism puts a priority on true piety in the Puritan vein, with an emphasis on the essential role of the affections in Christian living, while also esteeming the life of the mind and embracing the value of serious scholarship. Jonathan Edwards would be invoked as a model of this combination more often than John Calvin — whether that’s fair to Calvin or not.

    10. The New Calvinism is vibrantly engaged in the publishing of books, and, even more remarkably, in the world of the internet, with hundreds of energetic bloggers, and social media activists, with Twitter as the increasingly default way of signaling things (old and new) that are worthy of being noticed and read.

    11. The New Calvinism is international in scope, multi-ethnic in expression, and culturally diverse. There is no single geographic, racial, cultural, or governing center. There are no officers, no organization, nor even a loose affiliation that would encompass the whole. I would dare say there are outcroppings of this movement that none of us in this room has even heard of.

    12. The New Calvinism is robustly Gospel-centered, or cross-centered, with dozens of books in recent years coming at the gospel from every angle and applying it to all of life, with a commitment to seeing the historic doctrine of justification bear the fruit of sanctification personally and communally. [2]” -John Piper

    Hope this helps.

    ATB 🙂

    Sopy

    __
    [1]  
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TFZrM38mf7Y
    [2]
    http://www.desiringgod.org/messages/the-new-calvinism-and-the-new-community#full-video


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

    I read the FB post and comments, but not all of the replies that are not shown directly.

    I note the words that Mr. Johnson used:

    “Actively participated in a cover up” of several child abuse incidents, and “engineered” a conspiracy…

    It remains clear to me that Mahaney’s denials and the language he uses, which is very similar, is designed to address a situation that is more egregious, requires more intent to harm, and requires actual deception.

    Neither Mahaney, nor Johnson, nor others close to Mahaney are denying:

    1. That Mahaney knew of sexual abuse at his church
    2. That Mahaney was the chief apostle of SGM, and as such was responsible for the policies SGM used in handling sexual abuse
    3. That Mahaney is responsible for the training that all SGM pastors received in dealing with child sexual abuse.

    Number 1 is reasonably believed to be true because Mahaney was the pastor of the church and chief apsotle for SGM. The incidents of child sex abuse at the church is not in question. The numbers appear to be high for one church. We have nearly 1000 in attendance at our church. If a child in our church was abused, and it was reported to one staff member, by the end of the day the police, the pastor and our elders would know. I can’t imagine the pastor not knowing.

    If the staff persons under the pastor never reported to the pastor, which again is unreasonable to believe, then that again shows a reckless system of training that those persons received. And that training was designed and approved by Mahaney.

    So there is really no defense to any of this – except to set the bar really high – “actively engaged in a cover up” or “engineered a conspiracy”.

    People who are appropriately upset by all of this should keep the language simple and not let Mahaney set a bar too high.


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

    Ok this comment is going to sound insulting and snarky and really obnoxious and I apologise in advance but I’m not sure whether I find it funny or ironic (or both!) that the trademark owner of both 9Marks and T4G has the name Schmuck-er.


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

    Uncle Dad wrote:

    Three weeks ago my wife was diagnosed with stage IV endometrial cancer. As we were discussing her illness a few days ago it occurred to us that these false ministers and preachers are cancers in the Body of Christ.

    I’m so sorry to read this, Uncle Dad (I love your screen name, btw). My husband is fighting cancer, also. I will be praying for you guys.

    Your comparison to the cancer in the body of Christ is so apt.


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

    Lydia wrote:

    The biggest mistake people make is thinking money is the motivator. Not true. The compelling motivation is recognition. Think of it as being admired, having followers, etc.

    Money represents power, lots of kinds of power.


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

    Lydia wrote:

    The biggest mistake people make is thinking money is the motivator. Not true. The compelling motivation is recognition. Think of it as being admired, having followers, etc.

    Yes, or at least money is only one motivator, and often not primary.

    Someone like Piper isn’t very interested in money, for eg. He’s set himself up to be an authority on God, and many accept it. That’s a lot of power, right there—direct line to the Maker of the Universe and all that.

    Also, Piper presents God as someone who requires us to bring Him constant glory while also despising ourselves. Being able to tie large groups of people into masochistic knots is ugly, and sometimes when I watch him, it seems like he finds it aphrodisiac. Just ugh!!

    Anyway, yep, there are many corrupt motivators; money is one among them.


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

    patriciamc wrote:

    elastigirl wrote:
    I’ve been to church all my life, several different ones. if any of them did anything for those in the greater area or the world who were struggling with means or in hardship, it was never talked about.
    That’s exactly why I go my church. After leaving my previous church because there was no place for people without children, I visited several other churches. This particular church is very active in the community, particularly in lower-income areas building homes, operating a dental clinic and food bank, opening a “dream center” for high-risk youth, etc. They’ve also done a great job keeping Christ at the center of everything they do. I just wish more churches were like this and not so focused on their budgets and intra-church activities, or their particular system of theology.

    This is why I am no long attending church.
    1. The political aspect in SBC churches now is overwhelming. I am a Republican, but I don’t want to hear about Mr. Obama nor the ” liberal media” nor anything in that realm.
    2. There is no push into the missionary world of other than those who ” look like us.”
    3. There is this ” everyone is lost except us SBC” attitude….
    If that so, did everyone go to hell before 1500 when there were no Protestants? And if you listen to them, there Peter, Paul, etc were the first Southern Baptists….


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

    @ Anonymous:
    Add to that his long time signature sermons on Hebrews 13:17. It doesn’t add up


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

    @ Patrice:
    I need to clean this up. Money becomes a motivator in that it affirms the exalted position. It is a measurement they come to rely on and the larger stage and comforts it brings. Piper has no clue what it is like to struggle financially beyond what he might have experienced in college or so. He has been a kept man in Ministry. Same for many of them whether rich or just comfortable.

    But in the early days the motivator is almost always recognition/fame/followers. Ministry really attracts this mindset.


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

    So — as some final thoughts — How much information is “enough”? How can “reasoned speculation” lead us to better research questions? And is the apparent lack of transparency about non-profit agency financial details, itself a relevant piece of “information”?

    Excellent questions.


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

    elastigirl wrote:

    I’ve never known any church to do anything but invest their resources in keeping members and attenders interested and happy in order to keep coming back. everything was for itself.

    A while ago I read an analysis of how much of the typical church budget goes for the Sunday morning production, I only remember it was the majority of the funds. It is a good question to ask if you were on the inside, of course asking the question may result with you being on the outside.

    One issue with the 501c3 status is I found it became a crutch. I found I only gave to non-profit status organizations while ignoring others in need, my wife and I have since corrected that error.

    At the very least it would be helpful to remove the special privilege that religious organizations have over other 501c3 organizations so they would have to present their form 990. Too many people have no suspicion when no information is disclosed and may only inquire or dig deeper if incomplete information is provided. Lastly, don’t get me started on “pastors” housing allowance.


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

    Anonymous wrote:

    So there is really no defense to any of this – except to set the bar really high – “actively engaged in a cover up” or “engineered a conspiracy”.

    Thanks for pointing this out. It gets exhausting following the word games, redefinitions of not only words but events.

    The culture of SGM speaks to not reporting child abuse as being part of the leadership culture. An ingrained thinking of authoritarianism. There was a high degree of suspicion taught toward secular organizations like law enforcement, child protective services, the judicual system, mental health professionals, etc. So they must handle such in-house God’s way.

    IOW: Cult.

    The only thing missing was a large compound with locked gates.


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

      __

    “Prepared 4 Retribution?”

    hmmm…

    … You have offered gifts of monetary offerings and guile to every religious official who passed by, you have built your lofty place at the head of every New Calvinist way, and at the head of the pastorial conference you have set up shop and sold your wares…you have taken your parishioners tithes and offerings, for which you gave them gall to drink; yet, eye has not seen, nor ear heard what our gracious Lord has genoriously prepared for ‘those’ who love Him.

    Sopy


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

    @ Bridget:
    I see what you are saying: that’s mostly true, and it appears that indeed we are talking about apples and oranges…

    But to my mind, any **decent** church will encourage its members will, at bare-bones minimum, to donate heavily to parachurch ministries. When I was Catholic, the local churches (St. Olaf, St. Joan of Arc, Basilica of St.Mary) encouraged people to give to the poor very heavily–and while I might be wrong about this, I think there tends to be far less tendency among Catholics than other denominations to make a division mentally between church and parachurch: the corporal works of mercy are **that** heavily stressed, so I tend to believe that for most Catholics, it’s just “church.”

    On the other hand, I will concede that among the very conservative to moderatelyly conservative sola scriptura churches, the obsevations by elastigirl and others about churches not feeding others but themselves are VERY accurate.


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

    @ Bill M:
    And don’t get me started on humongous mega church campuses and property tax.

    Can you say, “bad neighbor”?


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

    @ Uncle Dad:
    I am terribly sorry. Your illustration is spot on.


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

    Julie Canny wrote:

    See my above comment to Ron. Call me a status-quo kinda gal, but I believe that stripping American churches of tax-exempt status could lead to unprecedented loss of freedom of religion to American Christians. My gut hunch.

    I think it would be cleansing.


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

    Julie Canny wrote:

    “soft” persecution in America–i.e., Christians losing their jobs, religious freedoms under attack, etc., seem to be waking up the Body of Christ in America as to what’s going on spiritually.

    I have a hard time thinking we have persecution against Christians in America. A lot of these claims are trumped up by those with a lot to gain by religion to keep people supporting their ability to be non-transparent. They spin everything to make it seem like Christians are being singled out but I just don’t see it. Being held to the same rules as everyone else / not being given an advantage above everyone else / is not persecution.

    I used to feel as you do, Julie, but having seen the claim of religious persecution used to defend horrors like Hepzibah House has completely changed my mind. I really doubt those who donate to some of the “Christian” legal defense funds think their funds are going to such things as that.


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

    elastigirl wrote:

    I’ve never known any church to do anything but invest their resources in keeping members and attenders interested and happy in order to keep coming back. everything was for itself.

    Oh, but “soul winning” or, in more modern churches, the advertising outreach to bring more people of the community into their pews IS their gift to the community 😉


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

    @ elastigirl:
    Elastigirl (forgive me, I don’t know your real name at all), my intent is not to upset you–not at all. I am not claiming that God unleashed ISIS: that’s Satan’s work, as far as I’m concerned. I *do* think that God made a way for this horror to be exposed to kick the church in America out of its complacency, but a suspicion is not a pronouncement From On High. I’m not John Piper or John MacArthur; please keep that in mind.

    Regarding Sharing and Caring Hands: it’s true that they’re not directly
    affiliated with church or government–so I guess they don’t technically qualify as a parachurch ministry: I was wrong about that. However, Mary Jo in **our neck of the woods** has been a very outspoken and open Christian, so it’s understandable why some like me would think that.

    My feeling again is that if tax-exempt status were yanked from churches and parachurches, organizations like Mary Jo’s will not be spared either–not in the long run.

    On the other hand, I AM 100% IN AGREEMENT with Bill M.: no church or parachurch should be allowed to
    get away with not filing a Form 990 when other organizations have to file such! I was unaware that they were given a free pass on that, and put bluntly, **that is bunk.**


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

    Anonymous wrote:

    I read the FB post and comments, but not all of the replies that are not shown directly.
    I note the words that Mr. Johnson used:
    “Actively participated in a cover up” of several child abuse incidents, and “engineered” a conspiracy…
    It remains clear to me that Mahaney’s denials and the language he uses, which is very similar, is designed to address a situation that is more egregious, requires more intent to harm, and requires actual deception.
    Neither Mahaney, nor Johnson, nor others close to Mahaney are denying:
    1. That Mahaney knew of sexual abuse at his church
    2. That Mahaney was the chief apostle of SGM, and as such was responsible for the policies SGM used in handling sexual abuse
    3. That Mahaney is responsible for the training that all SGM pastors received in dealing with child sexual abuse.
    Number 1 is reasonably believed to be true because Mahaney was the pastor of the church and chief apsotle for SGM. The incidents of child sex abuse at the church is not in question. The numbers appear to be high for one church. We have nearly 1000 in attendance at our church. If a child in our church was abused, and it was reported to one staff member, by the end of the day the police, the pastor and our elders would know. I can’t imagine the pastor not knowing.
    If the staff persons under the pastor never reported to the pastor, which again is unreasonable to believe, then that again shows a reckless system of training that those persons received. And that training was designed and approved by Mahaney.
    So there is really no defense to any of this – except to set the bar really high – “actively engaged in a cover up” or “engineered a conspiracy”.
    People who are appropriately upset by all of this should keep the language simple and not let Mahaney set a bar too high.

    Actually, I think you may be wrong about point number 1. First, Mahaney has never admitted to knowing about sexual abuse in his church and is certainly attempting to maintain plausible deniability. It is public record that Mahaney’s assistant pastors at CLC knew about the sexual abuse and also were informed of the decision not to report to the authorities. In one of the comments on FB, Phil Johnson suggested that Mahaney’s assistant pastors may have deliberately concealed these facts from him. So, I don’t think Johnson would agree with point number 1 either.

    I’m reminded of the old saying “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”. For the record, I think the idea that Mahaney was the only member of the pastoral team who DIDN’T know about the abuse is so implausible as to require extraordinary evidence to support it. Needless to say, that evidence has not materialized.


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

    Patrice wrote:

    Also, Piper presents God as someone who requires us to bring Him constant glory while also despising ourselves.

    Let me be frank and to the point. I no longer believe that God is in constant need of having his ego stroked. I now believe it’s a lie from the father of lies.


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

    @ Muff Potter:
    One of the most clever of lies, ever.


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

    Muff Potter wrote:

    I no longer believe that God is in constant need of having his ego stroked.

    Unlike some of those promoting this misunderstanding of God.
    Perhaps they have made God into their own image?


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

    @ Edward:
    Wasn’t there one victim family that had direct interaction with Mahaney and email documentation?


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

    Mara wrote:

    Perhaps they have made God into their own image?

    IMO, that is exactly what Calvin did.


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

    Mara wrote:

    Unlike some of those promoting this misunderstanding of God.
    Perhaps they have made God into their own image?

    Exactly.

    Every person sees God through their own filters and limitations. I have read that we tend to imbue God with the qualities of our own fathers. Myself, it has taken a great deal of study and conscious effort to replace that default view with the God who is revealed through the scriptures and Jesus Christ.

    People reveal a great deal about themselves in how they see God.

    Psalm 50 may be relevant here… particularly,

    These things you have done and I kept silence;
    You thought that I was just like you;


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

    K.D. wrote:

    And if you listen to them, there Peter, Paul, etc were the first Southern Baptists….

    LOL! Yep, and then there are the people who think that Paul wrote the King James version. But you’re right, this is exactly what I didn’t want when I was church shopping. Keep at it; there are good ones out there even if you have to go to a denomination or group that you’ve never gone to before.


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

    Lydia wrote:

    @ Edward:
    Wasn’t there one victim family that had direct interaction with Mahaney and email documentation?

    It’s been while since I’ve read through all the relevant material, but my understanding is that at least one family has claimed to have corresponded directly with Mahaney. However, I don’t think any documentation of this communication has been made public yet.


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

    Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    The Met Office is promising “severe winter conditions” over the northern Scottish hills this week.

    I have a friend from Scotland who lives in the US part-time. Scotland’s current weather is why he’s enjoying our nice southern spring right now.


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

    siteseer wrote:

    People reveal a great deal about themselves in how they see God.

    And countries, churches, and men reveal a lot about themselves and how they see God by the way they treat women and children.


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

    Lydia wrote:

    IMO, that is exactly what Calvin did.

    So did Luther, a thoroughly Medieval image.


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

    @ siteseer:
    Siteseer: I totally agree with you that Christians should be held to the same level of accountability and transparency as anyone else! No argument here.

    Regarding “soft” persecution: I’m thinking more of *individual* C hristians losing jobs, etc. when taking unpopular stands based on their religious beliefs.

    No question that these Calvanistas are d@mn good at persecuting Christians in their own flock who don’t go along with their cult agendas, that’s for sure! I almost wsnt to say that it’s Christian-on-Christian crime/bullying, but **they’re not really Christian.**

    Regarding Hephzibah House, I’ve never heard of them, and I’ll admit I’m brand new to this area of darkness. It saddens me tremendously that wolf shepherds would use accusations of persecution as a way to cover predatory behavior and avoid accountability, but somehow it doesn’t surprise me. I will look at Hephzibah House and study what happened there: any links or suggestions you provide will be welcome!

    I recognized Piper, MacArthur, et.al. quite awhile ago as unfit shepherds who don’t care about their flock: all one has to do, really, is watch their deportment, carriage, and tone of voice, and you can tell. Piper is so locked up in his own phallo-idolatry and self-centeredness that he’s virtually autistic with it. I’ve looked at the positions of the “Biblical Manhood/Womanhood” movement in the light of Scripture, and I find them wretched, very self-serving towards to men who espouse them, and a horrific twisting of Scripture. Put bluntly, I think they’re Antichrist teachings. And Antichrist wolves will use any effective neans to keep their flocks helpless, weak, and easy prey: that’s what wolves do.


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

    Beakerj wrote:

    @ Sopwith:
    That is such a horrible thing. What do you believe Sopes? Why do you think people are so committed to this?

    I know my name’s not Sopy, but… This is a real head-scratcher. The only thing I can come up with is that humans like being special, being a part of something that’s exclusive. So, in the extremes of Reformed theology, this thining that some are created to be saved and some are created to be tortured for all eternity (geesh!), well, I think for those who assume they’re saved, it creates the ultimate of the exclusive club, the ultimate restricted country club.


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

    Edward wrote:

    1. First, Mahaney has never admitted to knowing about sexual abuse in his church and is certainly attempting to maintain plausible deniability.

    He has not denied it, either. He only said he had “never conspired to protect a child predator.” That is a pretty meaningless statement. Don’t you think if you were in the position he is and you truly knew nothing about it, you would say so clearly?

    I have read at least one family’s account of dealing with him directly (can’t remember if there were more), so to say there is no evidence is to call these people liars. They did not get their day in court (yet) to have this testimony entered as evidence. But in reading their statements and CJ’s it is not hard for me to decide which has the most marks of reliability.


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

    Julie Canny wrote:

    I recognized Piper, MacArthur, et.al. quite awhile ago as unfit shepherds who don’t care about their flock: all one has to do, really, is watch their deportment, carriage, and tone of voice, and you can tell. Piper is so locked up in his own phallo-idolatry and self-centeredness that he’s virtually autistic with it. I’ve looked at the positions of the “Biblical Manhood/Womanhood” movement in the light of Scripture, and I find them wretched, very self-serving towards to men who espouse them, and a horrific twisting of Scripture. Put bluntly, I think they’re Antichrist teachings. And Antichrist wolves will use any effective neans to keep their flocks helpless, weak, and easy prey: that’s what wolves do.

    Preach it sister!


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

    Muff Potter wrote:

    Patrice wrote:

    Also, Piper presents God as someone who requires us to bring Him constant glory while also despising ourselves.

    Let me be frank and to the point. I no longer believe that God is in constant need of having his ego stroked. I now believe it’s a lie from the father of lies.

    This.


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

    brian wrote:

    This may be off topic a bit but it is John MaCarthur discussing biblical counseling, these ideas are just plain dangerous. I have the video marked at the point where he says biblical counseling is the only counseling that has any validity.

    A young guy with depression was not helped by JMac’s church and ended up committing suicide over their shoddy “treatment” of his condition.

    You can read more about that on a New York Times article dated from 1985 by googling for
    “Church Sued Over a Suicide Says It Will Change Training”

    JMac’s beliefs in this area are criticized in the book “Why Do Christians Shoot Their Wounded?: Helping (Not Hurting) Those with Emotional Difficulties,” by Carlson

    I linked to this last week, a page which I find mostly to be in error:
    Which Do You Need More, Counseling or Repentance?
    http://www.christianpost.com/news/which-do-you-need-more-counseling-or-repentance-161717/

    The author of that page holds similar views to JMac about mental health problems and its treatment.

    Notice the headline alone is misleading. It doesn’t need to be an either/or proposition, as the title suggests. A Christian can use spiritual means AND (Non Christian) counseling.

    I don’t know why some Christians want to frame it as being a mutually exclusive situation – other than the fact they have some really warped views of what sola scriptura is and what the Bible should be used for and when.


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

    Bridget wrote:

    My 34 years of experience with local churches has been similar to elastigirls. The money that came into the local church stayed within the walls of the church.

    I’m pretty down on churches and church people and am cynical about them, and I had issues with a person or two at my dad’s church-

    But to remind folks, I do know that my dad (who goes to church weekly, and he and I have a somewhat rocky relationship), and some of the church people at my dad’s church, do charity work in our city and local community.

    My dad’s church does stuff like help fund destitute women go through college in the area. They help pay for their text books and/or room and board.

    The church runs and staffs and pays for a food pantry in town (that I’ve volunteered at), where they give food and gently used clothing items away for free to the public, and they get Christian doctors to come in 2 – 3 times a week and give free medical care.

    My dad’s church, in conjunction with several other Baptist churches in the area, fund a homeless/abused women’s shelter. I volunteered there with some people from his church.

    My dad volunteers to drive people even older than him to doctor appointments (at his own expense in his car) when they don’t have the funds or family members to do that.

    My dad and another guy from his church drive around, on behalf of their church, helping elderly women that live alone – he does stuff like install new curtain rods for them, unclogs sinks for them, etc.

    Some Christians and churches do actually do what the Bible says they are to do, but IMO, they seem few and far between.
    I see too many Christians and churches too often who are greedy and expend little time or money helping hurting people (financially or emotionally).


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

    @ 1Jn2Go:
    1Jn2Go wrote:

    Following money is one angle. But you can also follow people. The same person is president of both gospel projects and t4g. Matt Schumcker. See the following two links. I’m sure he’s connected to other enterprises in this same grouping.

    Thanks 1Jn2Go … and somehow the links got fused into one and a piece disappeared. Here they are, separated:

    http://www.orgcouncil.com/dc/washington/gospel-projects-070.php

    http://news.sbts.edu/2016/04/20/southern-seminary-trustees-approve-historic-budget-elect-faculty/


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

    siteseer wrote:

    Edward wrote:
    1. First, Mahaney has never admitted to knowing about sexual abuse in his church and is certainly attempting to maintain plausible deniability.
    He has not denied it, either. He only said he had “never conspired to protect a child predator.” That is a pretty meaningless statement. Don’t you think if you were in the position he is and you truly knew nothing about it, you would say so clearly?
    I have read at least one family’s account of dealing with him directly (can’t remember if there were more), so to say there is no evidence is to call these people liars. They did not get their day in court (yet) to have this testimony entered as evidence. But in reading their statements and CJ’s it is not hard for me to decide which has the most marks of reliability.

    I may have been unclear in my previous comment- I was not saying that there is no evidence that families communicated directly with Mahaney, only that this evidence has not yet been made public. (I believe that this evidence exists and that it will almost certainly become public in future legal proceedings.) I was also saying that the idea that Mahaney was the only member of his pastoral team who didn’t know about the cover-up is so unlikely that the burden of proof is on HIM to demonstrate that he didn’t know. So far, he has not made any attempt to exonerate himself before the church and the outside world. He seems to be content to say only the bare minimum that will allow him to escape legal liability.


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

    Lydia wrote:

    Mahaney

    Yeah, didn’t he give a sermon based on the sufferings of Job, where we’re supposed to think of him as being Job and pity him?

    It was like after Driscoll was asked to speak at some church a few months after he ran away from Mars Hill, he did some sermon that was a “pity me, I have life so very hard” type of thing.

    Dirt Bag preachers never want to take personal responsibility. They like to take advantage of other people and bully them but not be held accountable for what they do. They ask to be treated like victims.


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

    Julie Canny wrote:

    Regarding Hephzibah House, I’ve never heard of them, and I’ll admit I’m brand new to this area of darkness. It saddens me tremendously that wolf shepherds would use accusations of persecution as a way to cover predatory behavior and avoid accountability, but somehow it doesn’t surprise me. I will look at Hephzibah House and study what happened there: any links or suggestions you provide will be welcome!

    Ah, where to start on Hepzibah House… here are a few links. Be warned, they are difficult reading:

    https://kittycat1.wordpress.com/horror-hidden-behind-god-hephzibah-house/

    http://hephzibah-girls.blogspot.com/

    http://www.jeriwho.net/tlohh.html

    Hepzibah House is only one example of this kind of egregious abuse going on behind a “Christian” facade. There are, unfortunately, many more.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/leavingfundamentalism/2013/10/02/christian-reform-homes-an-introduction/

    Mother Jones did an expose on another-
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/08/new-bethany-ifb-teen-homes-abuse

    This part is pertinent:
    Authorities in the state are barred from inspecting the homes or even keeping track of them. (New Beginnings has operated under multiple names in Florida, Mississippi, and Texas.) “It’s hard to understand it, but faith-based is just taboo for regulation,” says Matthew Franck, an editor at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, who authored an investigative series on the state’s homes in the mid-2000s.

    Organizations like David Gibbs’ Christian Law Association have defended these monsters, as well as pedophiles like Bill Gothard, terming it as though they are being persecuted for their faith. The Home School Legal Defense Fund, likewise, has opposed legislation that would expose abusive parents who are hiding behind home schooling, on the grounds that Christian’s freedoms are threatened.

    I have a real hard time hearing the “church” rail about the supposed immorality of the secular world while they are hiding secrets like these.

    (Sorry for the OT)


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

    brad/futuristguy wrote:

    This has been a key part of the problem, as — if I understand correctly — there have not been deep IRS investigations taking errant religious non-profits to task since 2009. That is a complicated political and regulatory situation. But what it means is the current regulations are not really being enforced, so we can’t expect that to be a solution anytime soon. Probably likewise political oomph to force the IRS to follow what’s already on the book.

    You can’t trust the IRS to do right about this subject, not since Scientology blackmailed the IRS into a secret agreement in 1993.

    The one thing I think should absolutely be done is force churches to file 990 or 990 EZ forms. I’m tired of the unaccountability of this ocean of money propping up the Church Industrial Complex.


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

    Edward wrote:

    I was also saying that the idea that Mahaney was the only member of his pastoral team who didn’t know about the cover-up is so unlikely that the burden of proof is on HIM to demonstrate that he didn’t know. So far, he has not made any attempt to exonerate himself before the church and the outside world. He seems to be content to say only the bare minimum that will allow him to escape legal liability.

    Ah! you and I are in agreement, then.


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

    Daisy wrote:

    Some Christians and churches do actually do what the Bible says they are to do, but IMO, they seem few and far between.
    I see too many Christians and churches too often who are greedy and expend little time or money helping hurting people (financially or emotionally).

    I’ve seen many churches, good churches, unintentionally fall into the trap of getting so focused on their budgets and their intra-church activities, that they take the focus off Christ and forget others in the community.


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

    Lydia wrote:

    And don’t get me started on humongous mega church campuses and property tax.

    Can you say, “bad neighbor”?

    I’ll take the bait. Our local county commissioners passed a new ordinance last year requiring a conditional use permit to build or expand a “community gathering” facility in the county’s urban residential zone, it was obviously targeted at churches. One of the objections voiced by the churches was they didn’t like being singled out by the law.

    In the interest of fairness they should have recognized they had already created the precedent by singling themselves out for special benefit by escaping property tax. If an indicator of compassion is the ability to see through the eyes of others, then the local churches failed in this matter.


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

    I hear ya, Elastigirl, but (pace Lydia:)) there is one huge exception.

    The Catholic Cuurch is the biggest provider of charity services in the world. With, in many cases, the smallest overhead. (E.g., Catholic Relief Services: 4% overhead.)

    Several years ago, my family and I drove through McDowall County, West Virginia, a depressed coal-mining community. The level of poverty was eye-opening and frankly staggering. For mile after mile we saw no supermarkets, and we wondered where people shopped. Then we came to a food and clothing pantry under the aegis of Catholic Charities — no doubt an outreach of the Glenmary Fathers, the apostles of Appalachia.

    A few miles farther on, there was a Super-Walmart. But unlike Catholic Charities, they actually charge for stuff. 😉

    If tax exemption goes away, there goes Catholic Charities and a host of other Catholic relief organizations that serve the poor and destitute regardless of race, creed, color, or anything else. Try replacing that charitable infrastructure some other way. Good luck with that. elastigirl wrote:

    @ Julie Canny:

    “Given the increasing persecution of Christians around the world, you can see where the loss of tax-exempt status could render the Body of Christ and the American poor at large much more vulnerable than they already are.”
    ++++++++++++

    the body of Christ and the american poor…. if you’re implying that Christian churches actually help the American poor, I feel like laughing. I’ve been to church all my life, several different ones. if any of them did anything for those in the greater area or the world who were struggling with means or in hardship, it was never talked about.

    I’ve never known any church to do anything but invest their resources in keeping members and attenders interested and happy in order to keep coming back. everything was for itself.


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

    @ Anonymous:

    Excellent points! Thanks for this.


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

    Bill M wrote:

    A while ago I read an analysis of how much of the typical church budget goes for the Sunday morning production, I only remember it was the majority of the funds.

    I’m sorry to repeat myself on this, but I just read the other day about Mark Driscoll of The Trinity Church making appeals on his site asking for members to donate or pay for a yellow fire truck, around 800 “mid century” styled chairs, an Air Stream (spelling?) trailer (which someone on another site can cost anywhere from $20,000 to $50k, depending on condition), and other stuff.

    I put to the link to that video on the previous thread, maybe on this one earlier.

    There’s this church in Texas where the preacher seems like a friendly enough guy, but I look at some of the stage antics he puts on, and I wonder how much it’s costing his church.

    For one sermon, he had a life size train replica that can move and blow smoke on train tracks on his stage.

    For another sermon, he had one or two dirt bike guys zip their motorcyles above him and around him on stage (they had brought in huge mounds of dirt or whatever).

    He had another episode where there was a huge, life sized bridge with trees and stuff on stage.

    He’s done several other sermons like that, with huge sets and props, and all I can think of is “what is the expense for this, couldn’t the money have gone to help people in his community or church.”

    I don’t even remember what most of the sermons were about.

    In advertising, they call this phenomenon “vampire advertising,” when viewers remember your neat or cool commercial or cute mascot, but NOT the product you were advertising….

    Like, you might remember the cute dog in the 1980s beer commercials but might not remember the name of beer he was shilling for. Churches are doing this same thing these days, IMO.

    What good is your sermon if I can’t remember the message of it and only remember that you had a huge train on stage?


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

    @ mirele:

    The political and regulatory situation on this remains a mess. And meanwhile, the system has definitely been abused by some religious non-profits and churches, as is apparent from other research that gets done into such organizations, their boards, and their staffs. Maybe the main sources and spotlights are currently online … because public access information is maintained, and we can use it to profile these organizations and activities.

    In terms of trends of how this profiling of errant organizations may happen in the future, there was some intriguing analysis after the Panama Papers leak about how the “fourth and fifth estates” of mainstream media and online/social media have meshed in the reporting of emerging news stories.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/11/business/media/panama-papers-leak-signals-a-shift-in-mainstream-journalism.html

    There have been a few comments in threads of survivor blogs in recent months about something similar, where victims of abuse have developed connections with survivor bloggers, and so more detailed information and analysis has begun showing up earlier on these blogs than in the news sites of mainstream secular or Christian media. Often, groups of survivors from the same situation have been collecting and curating large amounts of source material.

    It’s intriguing that, only a few years back, it seemed these many Christian news outlets weren’t so very interested in a lot of these stories that survivors were attempting to tell. That seems to have changed because there are, sadly, so many situations of abuse and scandal in the American church, spread across so many different streams of theology and denominations. I wonder if now, these outlets are going to have to demonstrate they understand abuse and can be trusted to tell the stories accurately. Or maybe it’s just a reflection of a long-term trend toward DIY — do it yourself. In that way, the internet has certainly made reporting by citizen journalists much more accessible.

    That’s all in the big picture. What it means potentially means for Together for the Gospel and other such entities and “industrial complexes” is that voluntary transparency and accountability is a better path to take to demonstrate trustworthiness. Organizations that seem to purposely hide crucial information about appropriate governance, financial accountability, and communications transparency are sending out signals that *should* be interpreted as warning signs.


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

    Thank all of you for your prayers and encouragement.

    Allow me to add to the analogy.

    We have a tendency to see cancer as something that happens to someone else. We never think that it will happen to us.

    Whenever problems concerning corrupt churchianity are mentioned, there is always someone who will say, “But it’s not in MY church. Why just last week our pastor said, ‘insert inane quote here’.”

    Follow the money. Is the church’s income being used to benefit the organism or the organization? Are the people being cared for or used? Are the ministers servants or despots?

    Cancers can remain hidden for a time, but they are eventually exposed.


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

    brad/futuristguy wrote:

    Organizations that seem to purposely hide crucial information about appropriate governance, financial accountability, and communications transparency are sending out signals that *should* be interpreted as warning signs.

    I’m not creating new indicators here of what constitutes a non-profit doing its due diligence to demonstrate its trustworthiness to the public. Those are basically the same categories the IRS is (supposed to be) looking for.

    The best IRS source I found that overviews these issues in understandable language is the *Compliance Guide for 501(c)(3) Public Charities.*

    https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p4221pc.pdf


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

    Lydia wrote:

    Can you say, “bad neighbor”?

    In the past several years, I’ve read in the news about churches with loud bells or music that blares publicly.

    Some of this stuff is computerized, and the computer is rigged to ring the bells or play the church music at certain times of day.

    Neighbors to the churches complain, but the churches refuse to turn the volume down or stop the music.

    How many people do you think this will convert to Christianity, vs. people who will think, “Christians sure are big inconsiderate jerks, and so I don’t want anything to do with their faith.”

    If you google for it, you can find many examples. I just grabbed one of several:

    Pastor Gets Jail Time for Noisy Church
    http://legacy.wltx.com/story/news/local/2014/09/11/pastor-gets-jail-time-for-noisy-church/15459063/

    Sept 2014

    Columbia Police officers have been called to the church more than 50 times for noise complaints.

    Neighbors said the noise coming from the musical equipment could be heard late into the evening and early in the morning, and permeated their home. The neighbors recorded some of the episodes as part of their evidence of the noise.


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

    @ brad/futuristguy:

    FWIW, another document from the IRS that I found helpful is this 8-page summary. It gives key details and descriptions of the following elements in *Good Governance Practices*:

    * Mission.

    * Organizational Documents.

    * Governing Body.

    * Governance and Management Policies, including executive compensation, conflicts of interest, investments, fundraising, governing body minutes and records, document retention and destruction, ethics and whistleblower policy.

    * Financial Statements and Form 990 Reporting. (Although churches are not required to submit Form 990, it equates to a very large checklist of considerations for conflict of interest.)

    * Transparency and Accountability.

    https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-tege/governance_practices.pdf

    As has been suggested in a number of comments in this thread, figuring out the profile of who is involved and what is going on — behind T4G or other organizations — is significant to analyzing a “Christian industrial complex.”


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

    @ Patriciamc:

    Sometimes I think their personal prejudices or theological views color why they do some of this.

    In my own family (who are Christians), for example, they are reluctant to give me emotional support if I ask for it because they think it’s shameful to admit to having a weakness. I ran into other Christians like that in churches I went to.

    Some Christians don’t want to help anyone and everyone. They only want to help very specific groups who are, in their opinion, worthy of receiving emotional (or financial or whatever type of) support.

    Some Christians think you’re supposed to tough out life’s problems on your own without turning to anyone else for any sort of help.

    Then you get Christians who assume if something bad happened to you, it’s God because it’s God’s judgement on your sin (supposedly), or God is trying to make you stronger, so they will not intervene to help you get out of a scrape. I’ve seen that before.

    I even saw a well known preacher with a weekly show tell people over the years that if they have a family member who is drifting or falling away from God to pray to God that God send strife, heartache, and other bad things into their life (because the trials will supposedly turn them back to God).


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

    Daisy wrote:

    Then you get Christians who assume if something bad happened to you, it’s God because it’s God’s judgement on your sin (supposedly)

    That should have been “it’s good because…”


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

    @ Julie Canny:

    hi, Julie. actually elastigirl is my real name (which i’m careful to never link to my suburban identity).

    i’m sure we’re comrades and not opponents. i obviously have a hard time with the problem of evil (donning my supersuit at least allows me opportunities to do something about that).

    your comment was quite graphic re: isis. i wanted to cry and felt nauseous. that, plus the immediate suggestion that God has co-opted it all for the sake of a self-centered, self-righteous, priviledged & coddled religious institution (instead of divinely taking them both out with one shot) was… too much.

    but of course i know your intention was not malicious.


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

    @ Catholic Gate-Crasher:

    i love the catholic community. it is selfless and serving the community (ALL the community) here as well. were i in a position to re-enter a church of some kind, that is the one i would choose.

    surely there must be some categorical difference between a true charity with measurable relief & help offered, and ‘a church’, for IRS purposes.


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

    Will:

    Wanted to say thank you for joining the discussion.

    Money in religious circles has been of an interest to me for many years.

    In many religious organizations, the information is not presented in a transparent way, if at all.

    As I have become older, I have grown more suspicious of conferences and speaking ministries that have no accountability beyond themselves. I like much of what is presented at T4G, but if I were in charge, the finances of T4G would be completely open. All attendees would see an income statement and a balance sheet every year. People would know what those speaking were being paid. And if there is a paid Board of Directors, I would let everyone know what the Board is being paid.

    This is really not that hard. It is possible, that the entire thing is a wash – or close to it. But that does not seem likely.

    Moreover, Carl Trueman, who knows these participants and knows something of the evangelical speaking circuit, has said that hundreds of thousands of dollars are involved. Maybe he is just guessing, but I suspect not.

    I thought about going into the ministry as a college student, but eventually went in another direction. I felt like my God given gifts were directing me in a different direction. But I also felt the pull and inherent conflict of earning a living and preaching/ministry. Frankly, I cannot think of how it would feel to be well off financially, and to realize that came about as a result of preaching. I realize there is a tension there, but at any rate, one of the things that would keep things honest is complete transparency.

    I believe that would be good for the organizations, those who minister through them, those who are ministered to, and those who support or attend.

    How hard would it be for T4G to publish online an income statement and balance sheet? Maybe they do that. But if they don’t, why not?

    I have a reasonable suspicion as to why.

    If you are friends with these folks, or you attend T4G, let me know if you ever look into this, and what you find out. And more importantly, how you are treated for asking.


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

    patriciamc wrote:

    I have a friend from Scotland who lives in the US part-time. Scotland’s current weather is why he’s enjoying our nice southern spring right now.

    Well, each to his own; and I wish your friend all the very best of warmer climes. But Scotland’s current weather is why I’m enjoying our nice northern spring right now.

    (It’s not always like this: in 2011 it rained torrentially almost literally every day from May through to December. Many fields locally were completely waterlogged throughout the entire summer and autumn. I’d have swapped for drier climes then, right enough.)


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

    @ elastigirl:
    I’m truly sorry for my triggering you. I know in my spirit that **we are** comrades, comrades in the fight against true evil: evil that cloaks itself in “godliness.”

    I hope I’m not being condescending, but I want you to know and feel in your spirit that God is really going to hold these Wolf Shepherds to account. All the people who, in their smug, self-righteous, sociopathic way who have harmed the American flock–including those who abused you and me, Elastigirl!– caused the misogynist rams to butt the ewes, and who poison Our Savior’s reputation for BUCK$, are going to be forced to give an account before the Bema. God the Son will “grab them by the lapels” and order, “What did you do to my flock??”

    And some to many of them are going to hear, “Depart from me you workers of iniquity, I NEVER KNEW YOU!”
    Some to many of them will be spared, saved as if through fire, because they did it ignorantly–but they will receive no reward because they didn’t build with gold, silver, rubies, sapphires–they’re using the hay, stubble, wood, etc. of doctrines of men–specifically, phallic worshippers clothed as “men of God.”

    Their time is coming, unless they repent. The C.J. Nahaneys, Mark Driscolls, the Estes… it’s coming, Believe it!

    That by no means indicates that we shouldn’t expose these fruitless works of darkness: we absolutely should! But we all can have the confidence that …”they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifested unto all men, as theirs also was” (2 Timothy 3:9).


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

    Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    If tax exemption goes away, there goes Catholic Charities and a host of other Catholic relief organizations that serve the poor and destitute regardless of race, creed, color, or anything else. Try replacing that charitable infrastructure some other way.

    Parachurch charities can be identified separate from churches and the perks local churches and their pastors receive. There are nonprofits that are not religious that are tax deductible. My guess is that some of the religious charities fall under this category (or could).


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

    @ siteseer:

    THANK YOU for these links, Siteseer! I will check them out. Yes, Bill Gothard…oh yes, **that predator I’ve heard of before.** Seems he heavily preached this super-legalistic, anti-modern “doctrine” that was controlling as controlling could be, and was discovered preying on young 18-year-old girls.


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

    Daisy wrote:

    Then you get Christians who assume if something bad happened to you, it’s God because it’s God’s judgement on your sin (supposedly), or God is trying to make you stronger, so they will not intervene to help you get out of a scrape. I’ve seen that before.

    In my opinion this too is a load of horse poo-poo shoveled out by the same ethos which says that you exist solely to aggrandize God’s glory. It just ain’t so. Good and bad stuff happens to the good, the bad, and the ugly alike, just like a roulette wheel.

    I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all. — Ecclesiastes 9:11 —


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

    K.D. wrote:

    And if you listen to them, there Peter, Paul, etc were the first Southern Baptists….

    Hmm. I thought Paul was Jesus. (Wink)


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

    @ brad/futuristguy:

    Interesting. Trying to follow. Schumacher works at 9 Marks, was affirmed by SBTS for T$G?


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

    @ Bill M:
    I wish they had nerve the for that here! But many of the movers and shakers including media people —attend the megas.


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

    Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    I hear ya, Elastigirl, but (pace Lydia:)) there is one huge exception.

    Huh?


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

    Uncle Dad wrote:

    Whenever problems concerning corrupt churchianity are mentioned, there is always someone who will say, “But it’s not in MY church. Why just last week our pastor said, ‘insert inane quote here’.”

    Exactly. Or, “no church is perfect”. Sigh


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

    K.D. wrote:

    elastigirl wrote:
    I’ve been to church all my life, several different ones. if any of them did anything for those in the greater area or the world who were struggling with means or in hardship, it was never talked about.
    […]
    This is why I am no long attending church.
    1. The political aspect in SBC churches now is overwhelming. I am a Republican, but I don’t want to hear about Mr. Obama nor the ” liberal media” nor anything in that realm.
    2. There is no push into the missionary world of other than those who ” look like us.”

    Over time, TWW folk have listed denominations that might be safe to check out, as well as qualities to look for in a church.

    This one is unusually easy for newcomers to investigate: “What does this church do in local outreach, mission, and ministry?”

    My own church has free counseling and aid for the homeless; a virtual food pantry where people donate gift cards for supermarkets, etc.; long-standing commitment of funds and volunteers to a local homeless shelter; ditto for a different feeding program for the homeless; annual program to buy, wrap, and deliver Christmas gifts to poor families. We house a second congregation of people from a war-torn country. In addition, the building hosts a Head Start program, AA meetings, etc. We have a couple of mission trips each year (domestic and foreign, for children and adults), and we directly support churches in poor countries by providing money, people, and materials.

    These are just off the top of my head… but really, any church leaders and informed members should be able to describe a congregation’s local charity, outreach, and missions. Such commitments are major clues about a church.

    (We also have an annual business meeting to discuss a detailed budget. No mystery about what happens with money.)


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

    Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    (It’s not always like this: in 2011 it rained torrentially almost literally every day from May through to December. Many fields locally were completely waterlogged throughout the entire summer and autumn. I’d have swapped for drier climes then, right enough.)

    Oh my goodness! That had to have hurt crops. My friend’s mother refuses to visit here anymore (Nashville area) in August because it’s so freaking hot (upper 90s F). The last two summers that she hasn’t come have been very mild. I sent word to her that she’s causing the heat!


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

    @ Friend:
    One of the local megas here has a benevolence ministry with warehouses chocked full of stuff. You just have to be willing to fill out an 8 page application explaining why you are in need of help and why you are either divorced, never married single mom, etc, etc. Where you have applied for jobs, if you have ever been fired, blah, blah. If you attend church, where, what grouos involved in, etc. Then a committee deliberates on whether you are worthy of help with your electric bill this month.

    By that time people are so demoralized, they will accept the dark and freeze.


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

    Uncle Dad wrote:

    Whenever problems concerning corrupt churchianity are mentioned, there is always someone who will say, “But it’s not in MY church. Why just last week our pastor said, ‘insert inane quote here’.”

    Well actually, what they’re saying is true. Yes, there are corrupt churches that are really damaging the message of Christ. To be fair though, there are many, many good churches where the people live out the message of Christ, and without inane quotes! There are also many churches in the middle where dust gathers on the congregants, but that’s another story.


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

    Uncle Dad wrote:

    We have a tendency to see cancer as something that happens to someone else. We never think that it will happen to us.

    Oh, I’ve been researching my current church, and all up and down the Internet, so far so good. I don’t want to be one of those clueless people in the congregation.


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

    Daisy wrote:

    How many people do you think this will convert to Christianity, vs. people who will think, “Christians sure are big inconsiderate jerks, and so I don’t want anything to do with their faith.”

    I think the same thing when I hear religious leaders go on and on about how gay people will burn in hell. Sure, that’s going to encourage them to accept Christ – not.


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

    Daisy wrote:

    Sometimes I think their personal prejudices or theological views color why they do some of this.
    In my own family (who are Christians), for example, they are reluctant to give me emotional support if I ask for it because they think it’s shameful to admit to having a weakness. I ran into other Christians like that in churches I went to.
    Some Christians don’t want to help anyone and everyone. They only want to help very specific groups who are, in their opinion, worthy of receiving emotional (or financial or whatever type of) support.
    Some Christians think you’re supposed to tough out life’s problems on your own without turning to anyone else for any sort of help.
    Then you get Christians who assume if something bad happened to you, it’s God because it’s God’s judgement on your sin (supposedly), or God is trying to make you stronger, so they will not intervene to help you get out of a scrape. I’ve seen that before.
    I even saw a well known preacher with a weekly show tell people over the years that if they have a family member who is drifting or falling away from God to pray to God that God send strife, heartache, and other bad things into their life (because the trials will supposedly turn them back to God).

    You know, people just can’t be true Christians and have these attitudes. I suspect most are just pew-sitters, including the ministers!


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

    elastigirl wrote:

    i love the catholic community. it is selfless and serving the community (ALL the community) here as well. were i in a position to re-enter a church of some kind, that is the one i would choose.

    Most of what I know about Catholics is from EWTN, but it seems like Catholics do a better job than others in keeping Christ front and center, or at least the ones on EWTN do. : )


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

    @ patriciamc:

    Oh, and if I’m still around in a hundred years or so when women are allowed to be priests, then I might think about joining a Catholic church (I refuse to say “convert” since we’re the same religion.).


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

    Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    ION:
    Todays great heading from the BBC news website…
    Man starts London marathon at finish by mistake
    IHTIH

    Oh no! Well, Tim Peake ran it on the space station!


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

    I just read that 9marks article and it disturbingly starts like this ‘Is it ever right to fire church staff?’

    How is that a real question in the first place!??


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

    Lydia wrote:

    One of the local megas here has a benevolence ministry with warehouses chocked full of stuff. You just have to be willing to fill out an 8 page application explaining why you are in need of help and why you are either divorced, never married single mom, etc, etc. Where you have applied for jobs, if you have ever been fired, blah, blah. If you attend church, where, what grouos involved in, etc. Then a committee deliberates on whether you are worthy of help with your electric bill this month.

    In my last church, we had to be careful with helping people because there were grifters around (area churches shared info with each other), but nothing like multi-page surveys and committees. Geesh.


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

    Lea wrote:

    I just read that 9marks article and it disturbingly starts like this ‘Is it ever right to fire church staff?’

    How is that a real question in the first place!??

    Oh wait just finished the article. This isn’t meant to apply to pastors elders or deacons. So.


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

    Lea wrote:

    How is that a real question in the first place!??

    Only if you are paid well to conjure up lofty but inane doctrinal thoughts in a bubble outside the real world. :o)


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

    Lydia wrote:

    Interesting. Trying to follow. Schumacher works at 9 Marks, was affirmed by SBTS for T$G?

    Synthesizing the information from links that various commenters have posted above, plus some other details from reports of Trustee meetings at SBTS, it looks like Matt Schmucker has many interconnections with the … has it been called the “Gospel Industrial Complex”?

    * Was the founding Executive Director of 9Marks, which is associated with CHBC (Capitol Hill Baptist Church) in Washington, D.C., where Mark Dever is Senior Pastor.

    * Has been the Executive Director of Cross Conference and of the T4G (Together for the Gospel) conference.

    * Is the registered owner of the trademarks for both 9Marks and T4G.

    * Is a Pastor at ARC (Anacostia River Church) in Washington, D.C., where Thabiti Anyabwile also serves as a Pastor.

    * Is a Trustee on the Board for SBTS (Southern Baptist Theological Seminary), where Albert Mohler is president. He has recently served as a Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees and also Chairman of the Board’s Executive Committee. If the SBTS Trustee Board functions similarly to where I used to work, then the Executive Committee handles key business items in between the Board’s regularly scheduled meetings, meaning the Chairman of that committee wields significant responsibility and influence.

    * Is co-author with Phil Newton of Elders in the Life of the Church: Rediscovering the Biblical Model for Church Leadership (Kregel, 2014).


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

    @ Lea:
    He wrote that before Mahaney, Driscoll and Darrin Patrick. ‘o)


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

    @ brad/futuristguy:

    Wow. The perfect yes man for Mohler.


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

    __

     Calvinesta Shack : “I’m all right?”

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rbQgaHZOFZ0

    hmmm…

    New Calvinism : “the ultimate of the exclusive ‘religion’ club” ?

    The New Calvinist: “some are created to be saved and some are created to be suffer in Hell for all eternity…”

    Nothing personal, Patricia MC,  just everyday calvinesta religious business…

    Skreeeeeeeeeth!

    “Run Christian, Run!!!!”
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=x2-MCPa_3rU

    ATB

    Sopy


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

    @ Lydia:

    Yes, an apparent high level of affinity. But, as best as I’ve been able to see by parsing various Christian “industrial complex” structures the past few years, they generally present themselves as an oligarchy of influence, with the same people showing up on the boards or in the businesses each others’ churches, ministries, speaking events and conferences, books and other journal publications, non-profits entities and activities.

    FWIW, this post overviews the conceptual framework and processes I use to identify elements and interconnections in an “industrial complex.”

    https://diagnosingemergent.wordpress.com/10-institutional-emergent-industrial-complex/


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

    THEY BEAT AN INFANT AT HEPHZIBAH HOUSE???? AND RON WILLIAMS SADISTICALLY CHEERED THIS ON????

    Ron Williams is a worthless son of Belial!!!
    siteseer wrote:

    Julie Canny wrote:

    Regarding Hephzibah House, I’ve never heard of them, and I’ll admit I’m brand new to this area of darkness. It saddens me tremendously that wolf shepherds would use accusations of persecution as a way to cover predatory behavior and avoid accountability, but somehow it doesn’t surprise me. I will look at Hephzibah House and study what happened there: any links or suggestions you provide will be welcome!

    Ah, where to start on Hepzibah House… here are a few links. Be warned, they are difficult reading:

    https://kittycat1.wordpress.com/horror-hidden-behind-god-hephzibah-house/

    http://hephzibah-girls.blogspot.com/

    http://www.jeriwho.net/tlohh.html

    Hepzibah House is only one example of this kind of egregious abuse going on behind a “Christian” facade. There are, unfortunately, many more.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/leavingfundamentalism/2013/10/02/christian-reform-homes-an-introduction/

    Mother Jones did an expose on another-
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/08/new-bethany-ifb-teen-homes-abuse

    This part is pertinent:
    Authorities in the state are barred from inspecting the homes or even keeping track of them. (New Beginnings has operated under multiple names in Florida, Mississippi, and Texas.) “It’s hard to understand it, but faith-based is just taboo for regulation,” says Matthew Franck, an editor at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, who authored an investigative series on the state’s homes in the mid-2000s.

    Organizations like David Gibbs’ Christian Law Association have defended these monsters, as well as pedophiles like Bill Gothard, terming it as though they are being persecuted for their faith. The Home School Legal Defense Fund, likewise, has opposed legislation that would expose abusive parents who are hiding behind home schooling, on the grounds that Christian’s freedoms are threatened.

    I have a real hard time hearing the “church” rail about the supposed immorality of the secular world while they are hiding secrets like these.

    (Sorry for the OT)


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

    I recall Al Mohler driving to work (about 150 yards from his mansion to the seminary offices)in a Cadillac Escalade. I observed the Mohler family living a lifestyle that corresponds to maybe low to mid six figures.

    T4G is a mutual admiration society. It takes a lot of marketers, public relations, and social media specialists to keep the spotlight fixed on the Fab Four. That is really where the money that Trueman talks about comes into play.

    At its height the CBMW had maybe four or so social media specialists trawling the blogs, Twitter, and Facebook putting out the message. If they were seminary students who worked part time and made $20,000 each you’re talking about a hundred grand to pay for them. For several years the CBMW was a jobs program for promising foot-soldiers.

    Also Mohler has any number of “research assistants” at least one of which I assume will read this comment.


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

    brad/futuristguy wrote:

    Yes, an apparent high level of affinity. But, as best as I’ve been able to see by parsing various Christian “industrial complex” structures the past few years, they generally present themselves as an oligarchy of influence, with the same people showing up on the boards or in the businesses each others’ churches, ministries, speaking events and conferences, books and other journal publications, non-profits entities and activities.

    Loyalists have to be raised up and placed onto the boards of the various organizations. It takes time and money to do this. It starts when the young men are in Bible college. They land an internship at IX Marks or wherever and get free housing from CHBC. Then they go onto seminary and get a part time job from the seminary or an associated organization.

    Putting the same man in multiple roles is a way of distributing the cost. Usually they’ll stick a church with the majority of the cost, but these churches often pay modest salaries. Maybe $40,000 for a pastorate. But various para-church organizations can supplement. You end up with guys who have always made their living off the “industrial complex” and will vote as they’re supposed to.


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

    @ Friend:

    My one question about all this is do the funds come from the tithes and offerings or is extra giving required to fund the charity work?


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

    @ R2:

    Yup. “Blessed be the ties that bind” … but the also tend to blind. It’s part of how these “interlocking directories” work.


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

    Lydia wrote:

    One of the local megas here has a benevolence ministry with warehouses chocked full of stuff. You just have to be willing to fill out an 8 page application explaining why you are in need of help and why you are either divorced, never married single mom, etc, etc. Where you have applied for jobs, if you have ever been fired, blah, blah. If you attend church, where, what grouos involved in, etc. Then a committee deliberates on whether you are worthy of help with your electric bill this month.

    By that time people are so demoralized, they will accept the dark and freeze.

    Matthew 6:19 says, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal” … and the poor go hungry watching the moths and the thieves, but the committee is satisfied that nobody dishonest got a sack of canned goods.

    Our outreach to homeless folks is both kind and skilled, from what I have seen. The clients get to know the counselors, and relationships build up. I think it makes our town stronger and safer for everyone.

    Reducing desperation is good, no? If the church has an envelope full of bus passes, shouldn’t the counselor give one to this fellow who says he needs a ride to court? Even if he’s a bad egg, he can do only so much harm with one bus pass.


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

    Bridget wrote:

    My one question about all this is do the funds come from the tithes and offerings or is extra giving required to fund the charity work?

    Funding comes from a combination of sources. The Christmas gifts are donated by parish families who receive lists with age/size/wish. I am fairly sure we give funds to the shelter from the annual outreach budget. The counseling of homeless clients is done by very skilled volunteers as well as clergy in the two churches that share the ministry. For mission trips, there is some fund raising.

    I sense that you have an underlying question, and would say that this is not a strong-arm church. Tithing is neither defined nor expected. There’s an annual stewardship time that might be mentioned in a couple of sermons, in a low-key way. Specific business needs (capital campaign, renovating the Sunday school building) are discussed in meetings between services and sometimes in letters sent to every household.

    Here’s what doesn’t happen: nobody says we have to give one thin dime, and nobody tells us that we are robbing God or that demons will come after us.

    A transparent budget process, and reasonable payments for such things as roofs and salaries, are good for the health of a church.

    To tie this to the main topic: we’re allowed to be rational and moderate.

    Hope I covered your question…


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

    @ Friend:
    Re: “The Christmas gifts are donated by parish families who receive lists with age/size/wish,” this is completely voluntary. If somebody wants to participate, they choose a list, and drop off the gifts on a particular Sunday. Children really enjoy helping to shop for these gifts.


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

    @ Bridget:

    My experience with them is lots of government grants.


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

    Daisy wrote:

    There’s this church in Texas where the preacher seems like a friendly enough guy, but I look at some of the stage antics he puts on, and I wonder how much it’s costing his church.

    Was his name Ed Young Jr.???


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

    @ Lydia & others:

    One thing I’ll say for the mainline denominations (and Catholicism), is that the central governance they have in place seems to make it almost impossible for strong-men to arise and take over.
    Not so with the calvinistas and other non-calvinista fundagelical sects.


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

    Friend wrote:

    I sense that you have an underlying question,

    Not at all. I thought I was a bit blunt. That was the straightforward question. Thanks for the response. Glad you seem to be in a healthy place for you.


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

    Anonymous wrote:

    If you are friends with these folks, or you attend T4G, let me know if you ever look into this, and what you find out. And more importantly, how you are treated for asking.

    Great reply to Will! Especially the last part. 🙂


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

    Deb wrote:

    Was his name Ed Young Jr.???

    It’s this guy:
    http://kerryshook.org/

    But I can see Ed Young Jr doing that stuff


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

    @ Sopwith:

    **AMEN!!**


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

    Muff Potter wrote:

    One thing I’ll say for the mainline denominations (and Catholicism), is that the central governance they have in place seems to make it almost impossible for strong-men to arise and take over.

    I agree. Methodists can get bogged down in their bureaucracy, but it does help protect the church from the cult of personality. Also, problems can be taken out of the local church and handled elsewhere.


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

    __

    “The Point Of No Return?”

    Is New Calvinism already bankrupt?

    hmmm…

      All it takes is one small loss of faith, and this questionable religious system (New Calvinism) [AKA house of cards] will come crashing down. This is the single most reason why they continue to prop up questionable Calvinist ministers such as the insider Reverend C. J. Mahaney.


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

    @ siteseer:

    Siteseer: just want you to know that I’ve been parsing through/reading the links you’ve put on the thread at my request, and I am **HORRIFIED.**

    That’s no joke: I’m as horrified as
    horrified can be.

    But instead, rather than attack someone’s tax-exempt status, I’d rather arrest and convict these “ministers” for sexual assault, torture, and unlawful imprisonment; also, the parents who send their precious children to thse so-called “reform houses” need to go to PRISON for **child abuse.**

    Thos is a human rights NIGHTMARE. Amnesty International needs to be contacted, for real!!

    Revoking tax exempt status? Too mild! PRISON is called for. These people are sadistic crminals!


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

    Daisy wrote:

    I even saw a well known preacher with a weekly show tell people over the years that if they have a family member who is drifting or falling away from God to pray to God that God send strife, heartache, and other bad things into their life (because the trials will supposedly turn them back to God).

    As if God is a puppet who will non-discriminately grant ill reasoned requests.


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

    Julie Canny wrote:

    Thos is a human rights NIGHTMARE. Amnesty International needs to be contacted, for real!!

    Revoking tax exempt status? Too mild! PRISON is called for. These people are sadistic crminals!

    It is horrible, I was unable to sleep at night for some time after learning about it.

    The problem is that those who have tried to get something done run into a brick wall. The people who run the homes present it as a case of the government persecuting religion and the church people whose gifts support these places take their word for it, never knowing what is going on behind the scenes. The government doesn’t want to touch off accusations of persecuting religion. So the status quo remains.

    But anyways, my point was that a lot of the scary claims of religious persecution are put out by people like this who have things to hide. There is often more to the story.

    It isn’t persecution to expect a Christian to do the job they were hired to do, it isn’t persecution for a Christian to have to follow the same rules as everyone else. Believers have it very well in this country.


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

    Muff Potter wrote:

    One thing I’ll say for the mainline denominations (and Catholicism), is that the central governance they have in place seems to make it almost impossible for strong-men to arise and take over.

    I’m not sure if you mean take over the denomination central government or take over a local church. If the latter I’ve witnessed one up close and found the central governance little use. The views of “laity” were not treated seriously by the hierarchy, apparently only those of “pastors” were received.


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

    “Al Mohler serves as President of the SBC’s flagship seminary, the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and is a board member of Focus on the Family.”

    I wonder if this has anything to do with the overthrow of James Dobson of Focus on the Family and the stealth take over. Anyone know anything more about this?


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

    @ Bill M:
    The hierarchy of the Catholic Church protected a lot of pedophiles for many years.


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

    @ R2:
    Grooming to be a non thinking follower and future despot.


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

    Bridget wrote:

    Not at all. I thought I was a bit blunt. That was the straightforward question. Thanks for the response. Glad you seem to be in a healthy place for you.

    Your gracious words have stayed in my mind yesterday evening and this morning. Our parish has flaws, but I think it does much more good than harm.

    We invest so much energy here in understanding the problems of churches. One way to weaken the bad churches is to strengthen the good ones.


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

    @ John Weaver:

    Thank you for letting us know. Dee and I met someone a while back who stayed at one of their homes, and she shared some disturbing information.


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

    @ Daisy:

    Looks like I'll be doing a little research on another flamboyant pastor.


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

    Lydia, when you say “the hierarchy,” you make it sound as if every bishop did this. That is simply not true. Far too many bishops were culpable, notably Cardinals Law and Mahony, among others, here in this country. But others were not and in fact stood against the tide. Simple fairness requires a recognition of this.

    Such sweeping, wholesale statements make me despair of ever getting the truth out there, in all its messy complexity.

    That is why I said “pace Lydia.” Forgive me, but you seem to see my Church as evil incarnate. Do you think we Catholics ever do anything right?? 😉

    Lydia wrote:

    @ Bill M:
    The hierarchy of the Catholic Church protected a lot of pedophiles for many years.


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

    Uncle Dad, I am so sorry, and I will keep y’all in my prayers. Cancer is horrible. You are right: No one expects it to happen to him/her. Yet it seems to be everywhere these days. Praying for healing. God bless you.


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

    Just now dropping into this piece after being away from cyberspace for a few days. (Built a huge backyard swing set for my grandson – whew!)

    My first thought when looking at the title “Who is REALLY being Worshiped?” is that there would be no worship unless there be worshipers. As a group, I’ve never seen a more gullible group of worshipers than the young, restless and reformed. Idols would have no stage unless they have an audience. Cult of personality? Certainly!

    Paul had the “Fab 4” in mind when he offered the following: “Do not be haughty [conceited, self-important, exclusive], but associate with humble people [those with a realistic self-view]. Do not overestimate yourself” (Romans 12:16). Humility is not the first word that comes to mind when one considers this movement and the movers of it.

    If you think about it, there is nothing too appealing about any of the New Calvinist elites. Just a bunch of aging preachers who are struck on each other. Without an army of gullible YRRs, they would have no following … they would all still have obscure ministries. A carefully planned strategy of books, conferences, and effective use of social media have put these ole boys on thrones constructed by self, rather than the hand of God. Will the worship last? Probably, as long as they have worshipers who put more focus on the new reformation in all its pride and arrogance, rather than humbling ministering in Jesus’ name.

    Have the New Calvinist leaders over-estimated themselves (Paul’s warning above)? I certainly hope so.


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

    Max wrote:

    “Do not be haughty but associate with humble people

    Mohler, Duncan and Dever are all right then – they associate with Mr True Humility.


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

    Max wrote:

    Do not overestimate yourself” (Romans 12:16).

    Ha! Every one of these pastors needs that on a pillow or wall hanging to look at every day. Because their rank arrogance is the source of many problems in church.


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

    May wrote:

    Mohler, Duncan and Dever are all right then – they associate with Mr True Humility.

    Oh, but Paul says to “associate with humble people [those with a realistic self-view]”. He wasn’t thinking about someone who proclaimed them-self as an Apostle! That would not be a realistic self-view!


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

    Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    when you say “the hierarchy,” you make it sound as if every bishop did this.

    I took the comment differently. In my case when I mentioned hierarchy I was referring to the system I was not referencing everyone involved. I was saying that taken as a whole system, possessing a central church government or hierarchy is not necessarily a protection. Regardless of the sentiments of everyone involved in the central government, in my case the hierarchy failed. I believe this was true in the Catholic church as well.


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

    @ Catholic Gate-Crasher:
    I am an equal opportunity offender. You might not be aware I grew up SBC and don’t give their system a break, either. :o)


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

    Bill M wrote:

    ly. In my case when I mentioned hierarchy I was referring to the system I was not referencing everyone involved.

    This is an area where I have had much discussion with mega church proponents concerning “issues”. They maintain it is just bad people in a good system. I believe the systems can be a problem in sheltering the bad. We are seeing this very thing in the SBC.

    Brad’s work on understanding this has been invaluable to me.


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

    Lydia wrote:

    They maintain it is just bad people in a good system. I believe the systems can be a problem in sheltering the bad.

    The random child abuser who shows up in church looking for prey is a bad person. The system (which generally includes multiple church staff/pastors in these cases) that protects him is a bad system. The guy that was a missionary/pedophile/pornographer was a bad person. The system that tried to put his wife under church discipline for leaving him was a bad system.


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

    Muff Potter wrote:

    Let me be frank and to the point. I no longer believe that God is in constant need of having his ego stroked. I now believe it’s a lie from the father of lies.

    Amen! God as the ultimate narcissist—doesn’t get much worse than that.


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

    Bill M wrote:

    I’m not sure if you mean take over the denomination central government or take over a local church. If the latter I’ve witnessed one up close and found the central governance little use. The views of “laity” were not treated seriously by the hierarchy, apparently only those of “pastors” were received.

    I meant take over of the local church by a homegrown Stalin or Il Duce. In other cases however, strong-men are installed into power at the ‘planting’ of the church, which is standard procedure for Calvary Chapel’s ‘Moses Model’ of church governance.


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

    Lydia wrote:

    The biggest mistake people make is thinking money is the motivator. Not true. The compelling motivation is recognition. Think of it as being admired, having followers, etc.

    Jesus speaking of the Pharisees:

    “They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues, and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men. ”

    Updated would be:

    “They love the place of honor at conferences and the chief seats at the podiums, and respectful greetings in public places, and being called Humble by other men.”


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

    Patriciamc wrote:

    I agree. Methodists can get bogged down in their bureaucracy, but it does help protect the church from the cult of personality. Also, problems can be taken out of the local church and handled elsewhere.

    I was raised a Lutheran in the Southeast corner of Wisconsin, and yes the bureaucracy can get stultifying at times. But the upside is as you’ve pointed out, it can curb the worst abuses of power.

    I’m thinking that maybe the SBC never had a strong central authority and operated under some loose Articles of Confederation so to speak?
    If that’s true, it would go along way in explaining how Mohler, Mahaney, and other strong-men accrued the power they have today.

    Maybe Lydia and other Southern Baptists (and/or former Southern Baptists?) could set the record straight. Since I wasn’t raised as a Southerner and have never been a Baptist, I can only speculate on this issue.


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

    BL wrote:

    Lydia wrote:
    The biggest mistake people make is thinking money is the motivator. Not true. The compelling motivation is recognition. Think of it as being admired, having followers, etc.
    Jesus speaking of the Pharisees:
    “They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues, and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men. ”
    Updated would be:
    “They love the place of honor at conferences and the chief seats at the podiums, and respectful greetings in public places, and being called Humble by other men.”

    Excellent application!


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

    @ patriciamc:
    Thanks Patricia. Anyone who’s been here a while will know that this subject is my bete noir. I just don’t get it’s appeal, but they shout so loudly about it being the ‘true gospel’. I have asked God, until I was blue in the face to help me accept it if true, to change me to be able to do that. No change, not a sausage. I figure that God, if he exists, & I’m not always sure, doesn’t want me to believe it. On a good day I realise that as we’ll all be conformed to the image of Christ then eventually we’ll know & love God as he is & all this will be behind us. But I just cannot see any appeal in their belief at all, nor the incredible amount of pride that those who hold it seem to have about their ‘superior’ believing ability. I think it was Lewis who said if you are prepared to just accept anything about God because he’s big, then you’s be equally as willing to worship an omnipotent fiend.
    I also see a lot of loud religiosity with those guys, not so much the fruit of the spirit.


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

    @ Beakerj:

    Sounds like God gave your his answer!


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

     __

    What Mark Dever believes and teaches :  “Calvinism is the gospel, and John Calvin is its theologian, The ‘Institutes Of The Christian Religion’ it’s faithful guide, and the Synod Of Dort its clearest representation.”


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

    John Weaver wrote:

    Major expose on Mercy Ministries\Mercy Multiplied was published. Thought you guys would like to know:
    http://www.slate.com/articles/life/cover_story/2016/04/at_mercy_multiplied_troubled_young_women_come_to_believe_their_mental_health.html

    I can’t wait to read the Slate article. Mercy Ministries is just down the road from me!

    The alternative paper in Nashville, the Nashville Scene, has also done some articles on Mercy Ministries. The Nashville Scene is far left and very anti-religious, so I read their religion articles with a bit of skepticism, but something about their Mercy Ministries articles rang true.

    http://www.nashvillescene.com/nashville/jesus-rx/Content?oid=1198270

    http://www.nashvillescene.com/pitw/archives/2009/01/22/mercy-ministries-update-big-donor-loss


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

    @ Beakerj:

    I can see a couple or so things that might attract people.

    If I am saved by no choice of my own, then I need not worry about losing my salvation regardless of what I may do, and this could be crucial seeing that the god that is preached is basically nobody who can be pleased with me in any way. So: eternal security.

    At the same time, if man has no choice as to his own salvation, and if indeed some are not saved, then it must be because God made the choice for them to be not saved. The latter idea follows from the first idea.

    And, also, if man has no choice then I cannot be held responsible for my inability to convert everybody I meet since their eternal destiny is already determined and sealed. This trying to convert people is a big issue in some forms of baptist practice. How great to get away from the responsibility.

    And sure, the I am special thing, but others have discussed that.


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

    Daisy wrote:

    I linked to this last week, a page which I find mostly to be in error:
    Which Do You Need More, Counseling or Repentance?

    And:

    Over her seven months at Mercy, Hayley says staff often denied her requests for Xanax, instead emphasizing prayer as a better way to treat the panic attacks.

    ….When her brother died unexpectedly a month into her stay, Mercy didn’t bring in the certified grief counselor that her parents had requested, she says. According to Hayley, Mercy staff unswervingly held her and others to a one-size-fits-all counseling curriculum.

    …In a larger sense, Mercy illustrates what happens when a hard-line, religiously oriented organization inserts itself into a gaping hole in the United States’ mental heath system. Because organizations like Mercy are barely subject to government oversight, it’s likely not an anomaly.

    Source:
    The Mercy Girls. These young women enrolled in an influential Christian counseling center for help. That’s not what they found.
    http://www.slate.com/articles/life/cover_story/2016/04/at_mercy_multiplied_troubled_young_women_come_to_believe_their_mental_health.html


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

    Muff Potter wrote:

    I’m thinking that maybe the SBC never had a strong central authority and operated under some loose Articles of Confederation so to speak?

    The SBC has prided itself that it is not a denomination: autonomy of the local church. There are no articles of anything. One of the criticisms of the direction that SBC has been going sounds like it is acting like a denomination which is contrary to baptist-ism-dom.


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

    @ Daisy:

    Go to a licensed counselor, is the moral of the story for me (although it sounds like mercy people got sort of tricked, because the language was very misleading). At least people with a license have a professional standards board of some kind.


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

    John Weaver wrote:

    Major expose on Mercy Ministries\Mercy Multiplied was published. Thought you guys would like to know:

    http://www.slate.com/articles/life/cover_story/2016/04/at_mercy_multiplied_troubled_young_women_come_to_believe_their_mental_health.html

    Troubling but excellent article. These people seem to have no clue how the brain works.

    Here again-
    organizations like Mercy are barely subject to government oversight

    and

    he booming field of strictly Christian counseling is almost entirely unregulated by the medical and psychological establishments, in part due to a lack of consensus among Christians about what “Christian counseling” should look like. It is here that a program like Mercy can flourish, by harnessing Christian skepticism of the country’s secular mental health system while simultaneously taking advantage of that system’s language and regulatory holes.

    Because Mercy doesn’t actually require its counseling staff to be licensed, they’re not subject to state-administered standards of clinical knowledge, a minimum number of training hours, or legal oversight.

    I wonder what would happen if traumatized people could just be surrounded with love and acceptance instead of everyone trying to ‘fix’ them.


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

    The Mercy article made me think of similar stories of ‘recovering’ childhood sexual abuse I heard from a woman who went to the Minerth-Meyer facility many years ago.


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

    @ Deb:

    Shook comes across as a genuinely nice guy, not an egomaniac like Driscoll, but most of his sermons (you can watch them on TV every week on TBN) are big production numbers, with big sets, or cars on stage. I do sometimes wonder how much his church has to pay for that stuff.

    I’d say about 95% of Shook’s sermons are about marriage: how to have a better marriage, how to get a long better with your spouse, how to overcome marital problems.

    I think his show is called “Kerry Shook Ministries” or something like that, but considering the unrelenting drum beat on marriage he does, I think he should call his show, “Marriage Sermons by Kerry Shook.”


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

    @ Daisy:

    Sorry, I didn’t see that someone else had shared that link already until after I posted it.

    It’s chock full of, “just pray your PTSD or anxiety away!” type stuff and criticizing patients for when that approach does not work.


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

    siteseer wrote:

    I wonder what would happen if traumatized people could just be surrounded with love and acceptance instead of everyone trying to ‘fix’ them.

    My idea of Christian counseling would be using therapeutic techniques like CBT, MI, PE, etc but including love and maybe occasionally praying together in the end. That is clearly not what these people are doing.


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

    siteseer wrote:

    Christian skepticism of the country’s secular mental health system

    There are good reasons for people, christian or not, to have a degree of caution about the secular mental health system, just as one must have a certain level of caution about the entire health care industry. Nothing is any where near perfect, and the incautious can get stuck in some less than optimum situations in a lot of ways. One’s motto should be that the eleventh saying is ‘get a second opinion.’

    Biblical counseling for mental health issues does not qualify as a second opinion however.


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

    okrapod wrote:

    The SBC has prided itself that it is not a denomination: autonomy of the local church. There are no articles of anything. One of the criticisms of the direction that SBC has been going sounds like it is acting like a denomination which is contrary to baptist-ism-dom.

    Not even a loosely-based confederation, articles or no? If looked at from that angle, it does make my case that baptist-dom as you say, had no central safe guards to prevent strong-men like Mohler from having their way with autonomous congregations. The very autonomy they thought they had got steam-rolled by war-chiefs when push came to shove.


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

    Beakerj wrote:

    I think it was Lewis who said if you are prepared to just accept anything about God because he’s big, then you’s be equally as willing to worship an omnipotent fiend.

    You might enjoy reading some of Roger Olson’s observations on Lewis and how the Neo-Calvinists have tried to make him their own now by using reverse spin on his writings.


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

    Muff Potter wrote:

    Not even a loosely-based confederation, articles or no? If looked at from that angle, it does make my case that baptist-dom as you say, had no central safe guards to prevent strong-men like Mohler from having their way with autonomous congregations. The very autonomy they thought they had got steam-rolled by war-chiefs when push came to shove.

    They cooperated under a loose affirmation of the Baptist Faith and Message (BFM) for a century.

    I had never even heard of the BFM until the 90’s when suddenly it became a very important document. And I had extended family very involved in many aspects of SBC life. It was not considered a “confession”, though.

    It has been changed several times.In 2000 they added the part about women not being able to pastor. And Mohler insisted on adding an “s” to the part on priesthood of believer. Now we know why.

    http://assets.baptiststandard.com/archived/2000/7_17/pages/bfm_meaning.html

    There are many of us who believe Mohler is trying to institute a back door Presbyterian polity of ruling elders and such. I hope there is enough “No King but Jesus” attitude left to fight it off but I doubt it. The young’uns love their gurus and their authority over others.


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

    Muff Potter wrote:

    The very autonomy they thought they had got steam-rolled by war-chiefs when push came to shove.

    Well, in the past there were votes at convention for such major changes. Now, they have been strong armed by stealth and deception and it has been very profitable for quite a few.

    I am not convinced a hierarchical polity is better protection as the system lends itself to abuse and power. The PCA won’t even let women judge in their hierarchy when there is an appeal. But they allow them to be witnesses. Isn’t that sweet of them?


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

    Together for the Gospel – Who Is REALLY Being Worshipped?
    The HUMBLE one, of course.
    (chuckle chuckle)


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

    Muff Potter wrote:

    You might enjoy reading some of Roger Olson’s observations on Lewis and how the Neo-Calvinists have tried to make him their own now by using reverse spin on his writings.

    This has been a point of hilarity to me for years. He’d never pass the membership test/theological strictures of those churches.


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

    Lydia wrote:

    There are many of us who believe Mohler is trying to institute a back door Presbyterian polity of ruling elders and such. I hope there is enough “No King but Jesus” attitude left to fight it off but I doubt it. The young’uns love their gurus and their authority over others.

    Anyone remember those Apostate Romish Papists and their Elite Priesthood ruling through Priestcraft?


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

    Lydia wrote:

    They cooperated under a loose affirmation of the Baptist Faith and Message (BFM) for a century.

    Yes, really loose. One church where I was had its own statement of faith pasted on the inside of the front cover of the hymn book, and my Dad said that the SBC could not tell the individual churches what to believe. Now surely that would mean within limits, but certainly there was nothing like the doctrinal conformity some current people are trying to institute.


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

    Daisy wrote:

    @ Daisy:

    Sorry, I didn’t see that someone else had shared that link already until after I posted it.

    It’s chock full of, “just pray your PTSD or anxiety away!” type stuff and criticizing patients for when that approach does not work.

    Beat them with rods to drive the Jinn of Peritonitis from their belly while reciting the Koran over them…


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

    siteseer wrote:

    The Mercy article made me think of similar stories of ‘recovering’ childhood sexual abuse I heard from a woman who went to the Minerth-Meyer facility many years ago.

    AKA False Memory Syndrome/False Memory Implantation that fueled the Satanic Panic of the Eighties.


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

    siteseer wrote:

    I wonder what would happen if traumatized people could just be surrounded with love and acceptance instead of everyone trying to ‘fix’ them.

    It fixes them without needing to “fix” them.

    Though these days you find it more in My Little Pony fandom than in churches. Thursday night in the lobby of BABSCon’s overflow hotel I actually heard a “testimony” from a young East Coast guy whose life was seriously torpedoed in high school by a Columbine-style witch hunt for The Mutants after 9/11 and who was being fixed by his involvement in the fandom.


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

    okrapod wrote:

    At the same time, if man has no choice as to his own salvation, and if indeed some are not saved, then it must be because God made the choice for them to be not saved. The latter idea follows from the first idea.

    “In’shal’lah…”


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

    @ Lydia:

    The WORST part of autonomy now is that they trot it out as a technicality to protect Mahaney. They (Who? The KBC?) allowed him to become SBC and then use autonomy to let him off the hook as a predator protector! In fact, Barbers resolution (suggestion) does not focus on entities at all. We had one of those by Peter Lumpkins in 2013 and Mohler totally ignored it by continuing the partnership with cozy relationship with Mahaney. So what good does either hierarchy of autonomy do when decent people refuse to stand up to protecting evil?

    Baptists are big on voting on everything. These days, you can’t even get a decent motion to the floor because they bow to Mohler and the god of celebrity. They like their place in the “inner ring” as Lewis calls it. Even Barber admitted that on the thread.


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

    siteseer wrote:

    I wonder what would happen if traumatized people could just be surrounded with love and acceptance instead of everyone trying to ‘fix’ them.

    And “believe” them. That one is HUGE.

    You saw what Todd Pruitt wrote: We can’t just blindly believe the blog stories. Gee, did they even try to read the survivor victim stories or contact them?


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

    There is no doubt they are trying to install quasi-Presbyterian church government across the SBC. They make it explicit.

    Lay people are not trusted to keep good doctrine. Only thoroughly vetted elders can do this. And when the elders step out of line, you need a way to control them. From church history we see the tendency of this kind of thinking eventually leads toward having a Pope.


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

    Beakerj wrote:

    I think it was Lewis who said if you are prepared to just accept anything about God because he’s big, then you’s be equally as willing to worship an omnipotent fiend.

    That explains a lot of Calvin’s and Mohammed’s followers…


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

    @ okrapod:

    There was no doctrinal “conformity” that I can remember. Conformity was a dirty word.


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

    Patrice wrote:

    Also, Piper presents God as someone who requires us to bring Him constant glory while also despising ourselves.

    Like courtiers staying on the King’s good side by out-flattering everyone else?

    When the King’s like Lord Farquar from Shrek (an acondrophlasic dwarf) who decrees all his subjects must have their legs amputated so NOBODY can ever be taller than their Lord?

    “A God who is Omnipotent but NOT Benevolent.”


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

    siteseer wrote:

    Daisy wrote:

    I even saw a well known preacher with a weekly show tell people over the years that if they have a family member who is drifting or falling away from God to pray to God that God send strife, heartache, and other bad things into their life (because the trials will supposedly turn them back to God).

    As if God is a puppet who will non-discriminately grant ill reasoned requests.

    Let the Sorcerer summon and bind the Spirit to the Sorcerer’s Will.
    Let the Sorcerer command the bound Spirit to send Strife, Heartache, and Destruction upon the Sorcerer’s enemy…


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

    siteseer wrote:

    The people who run the homes present it as a case of the government persecuting religion and the church people whose gifts support these places take their word for it, never knowing what is going on behind the scenes. The government doesn’t want to touch off accusations of persecuting religion. So the status quo remains.

    But anyways, my point was that a lot of the scary claims of religious persecution are put out by people like this who have things to hide.

    And those 22 Copts who could explain religious persecution to these guys are unavailable for comment.


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

    Ever notice whenever Deb or Dee utter Blasphemy against the Big Dogs, Defenders of the Faith like Will all suddenly come out of nowhere?


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

    @ Muff Potter:
    Yes. It’s a whole different universe, really.


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

    Deb wrote:

    @ Will:

    Do the math… It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that when you charge the kinds of registration fees the Neo-Cals do (also talking about TGC conferences), there is quite a bit of cash involved.

    Compare that with my total expenses at BABSCon this past weekend:
    * Half-share of room in the overflow hotel (most expensive part): $250-300.
    * Con registration (pre-reg): $60.
    * Meals when onsite (breakfast buffet free with room): $20-30.
    * Transportation costs to and from the con (gas & meals): about $100.
    * Dealer’s Room budget for Pony Swag: around $100.


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

    Julie Canny wrote:

    @ Deb:

    Never mind, Deb, I found http://www.brentdetweiler.com and found a chunk of the extortion story…

    Oh my, this is worse than I thought.:(( While I’m going to have to read a bunch of sources on this issue, I can tell you that Mr. Detweiler’s lament sounds shockingly familiar to my story of being workplace-bullied by narcississtic and anti-social bullies.

    And it resonates as someone who has been repeatedly victimized by sociopaths (read, “The Sociopath Next Door,” Martha Stout.)

    If Mr. Detweiler is correct, C.J.Mahaney doesn’t have enough conscience to fill a thimble. Church to him is just a way to make BUCK$.

    Well, “Pastor” IS in the top ten professions for Sociopaths…


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

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    It does, it truly is the outworking of ‘might makes right’& explains how people can perpetuate barbarity in God’s name.


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

    R2 wrote:

    From church history we see the tendency of this kind of thinking eventually leads toward having a Pope.

    And, as we know, there are Popes and there are Popes. (One of my all-time favourite quotes comes from a Roman bishop in Brazil, by the name of Helder Camara: When I give food to the poor, people call me a “saint”. When I ask why they are poor, people call me a “communist”.) Just like there are protestant clergy, and there are protestant clergy.

    Whether you, dear Wartburger, are sympathetic to Rome or not, my point is that the “reformed” glitterati are emphatically not. The very heart of their gospel is that they are “reformed”, and not Rome. Where else, they ask, is anyone who loves God going to go but them? Who else has the words of eternal life besides them? And yet, beyond a few doctrinal technicalities, they are Roman Church to the very core of their being – they only difference being that they want to be the Papacy.

    They’re not even slightly reformed.


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

    @ Bridget:
    I think you’re seeing here, in Friend’s comments, some of the differences between how ainline and liturgical churches handle governance and financial issues vs. what you and i and lots of others have experienced elsewhere.

    One thing (personal experience, and I’m not saying this is universal): growing up Lutheran, i honestly cannot recall anyone being dunned for $, and nobody – i mean nobody – talks about tithes. This has also been true of the RC parishes I’ve visited, and also of Episcopalian services I’ve attended. All giving comes under “offerings,” which are voluntary. Never coerced from the pulpit or, in the Lutheran churches I’ve attended, by members of the church council. That some people in some congregations *do* put pressure on others, i have no doubt, but that is a reportable offence against denominational policy, and as such, should be the subject of intervention and investigation from higher up. (Providing that someone has reported it.)


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

    Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Whether you, dear Wartburger…

    P.S. – apologies… I meant that to be “Wartburgers” in the plural.


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

    ION:

    Midway through the first half at White Hart Lane and Spurs have hit the woodwork twice as well as having had 114% of possession despite the fact that this is both physically and mathematically impossible. The question everyone is asking: why aren’t West Brom 4-0 down yet?

    IHTIH


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

    @ Friend:
    Yes to your second graph!

    Every congregation/parish has its flaws and foibles, but knowing there are places to get help for abuses in a given congregation/parish is a very hopeful thing, imo. That there can be red tape is a given, but i think the kinds of systems I’ve seen in my part of the ELCA tend to be, on the whole, good ones, that are intended to benefit laypeople and clergy alike. I’ve heard of some clergy in my district being dismissive of parishoners – never a good thing, and just plain stupid. They undercut their own calling and livelihood in so doing. But… there are a few arrogant jerks in any crowd. If they’re clergy, acting on those impulses is more than likely going to be grounds for disciplinary action.


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

    @ Catholic Gate-Crasher:
    I hear you. In Ireland, priests and nuns who stood up and were whistleblowers re. sexual abuse suffered pretty severe consequences. The point is: you are correct in saying that lots of clergy and religious have tried to stop these evils, and i believe their numbers to be far greater than those who protected pedophiles and other abusers.


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

    In a nut shell…

    Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    And yet, beyond a few doctrinal technicalities, they are Roman Church to the very core of their being – they only difference being that they want to be the Papacy.


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

    Lydia wrote:

    Money becomes a motivator in that it affirms the exalted position. It is a measurement they come to rely on and the larger stage and comforts it brings. Piper has no clue what it is like to struggle financially beyond what he might have experienced in college or so. He has been a kept man in Ministry. Same for many of them whether rich or just comfortable.

    But in the early days the motivator is almost always recognition/fame/followers. Ministry really attracts this mindset.

    Yep. It is weird to think that all leaders should be plain poor for a few years of their lives. After all, it isn’t always necessary to experience something in order to have empathy. But when these people don’t listen to the experiences of those who are poor, they lack empathy, and must experience it themselves to get it through their heads what it is like. How embarrassing for them.

    We can see it here with Todd too. He and his leader-pals (more discerning than most!) will not give credibility to the painfully-told tales of those who have suffered at SGM. These guys want “proof” but those tales do not count. Story after story after story are available to them and they do not go there in any way. They are empty of empathy.

    I have no patience with such hard-heartedness. It is a form of heart-stupidity and IMO it means they hold their positions illegitimately.

    Then Todd complains about us ‘hating’ church authority. He has no idea whether we hate or just dislike it. He doesn’t know whether we are against all of it or just the forms it takes today. He doesn’t bother to find out. Nope, it’s ‘hate’ and bad&wrong and never again will he communicate with such disgusting people.

    His twitter-mocking shows that he believes himself superior to us. Which is just like Jesus, isn’t it? Oy. Something governs him—maybe it’s power, kudos, money—who knows? Whatever it is, he needs to clean up his heart or pursue a career outside the Christian community.


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

    Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    And yet, beyond a few doctrinal technicalities, they are Roman Church to the very core of their being – they only difference being that they want to be the Papacy.

    Not just Pope, but a Borgia Pope of the Renaissance. (There’s a reason Dante’s Divine Comedy put one Pope — Peter — in Heaven, another in Purgatory, and all the rest in Hell.) MY butt on the Throne of Peter, MY voice pronouncing Dogma ex Cathedra.

    Contrast this with the current REAL Popes:
    John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis I.


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

    Patrice wrote:

    His twitter-mocking shows that he believes himself superior to us. Which is just like Jesus, isn’t it?

    Why do you think they call them “Twits”?


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

    numo wrote:

    @ Catholic Gate-Crasher:
    I hear you. In Ireland, priests and nuns who stood up and were whistleblowers re. sexual abuse suffered pretty severe consequences. The point is: you are correct in saying that lots of clergy and religious have tried to stop these evils, and i believe their numbers to be far greater than those who protected pedophiles and other abusers.

    The same happened when Spanish Colonial priests and bishops stood up and were whistleblowers re the abuse and exploitation of the natives in Spanish America. We only know of the atrocities today from the documentation of these clerical whistleblowers.


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

    Beakerj wrote:

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    It does, it truly is the outworking of ‘might makes right’& explains how people can perpetuate barbarity in God’s name.

    They are like their God.
    Omnipotent but not Benevolent.

    “The only goal of Power is POWER.”
    — Comrade O’Brian, Inner Party, Airstrip One, Oceania, 1984

    “There is no Right, there is no Wrong, there is only POWER.”
    — Lord Voldemort

    Except these guys append “GOD SAITH!” to O’Brian & Voldemort.


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

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    P.S. I’ve seen the fruit of the belief that “God is just the One with the Biggest Whip.”
    It’s not good.


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

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    Portuguese America, and French, too. (Brazil, Quebec, etc…)

    I wonder if any priests or religious in Haiti challenged the plantation owners who were severely abusive to enslaved people for fun? God knows, there were a lot of them!


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

    Beakerj wrote:

    Muff Potter wrote:

    You might enjoy reading some of Roger Olson’s observations on Lewis and how the Neo-Calvinists have tried to make him their own now by using reverse spin on his writings.

    This has been a point of hilarity to me for years. He’d never pass the membership test/theological strictures of those churches.

    I had my own moment of quiet hilarity on precisely that point. The occasion was a meeting with the elders of our church to challenge them on their proposed changes to the church constitution. The YRR pastor, following Piper’s lead, was frequently quoting Lewis at the time. When not quoting Lewis he was quoting Piper. The proposed constitution required belief in eternal conscious torment with no possibilty of escape, thus excluding Lewis. Even more amusing was the exclusion of Piper from possible membership due to his too liberal definition of “inerrancy” in comparison with their required belief that the “sixty-six books, as originally written, … are entirely free from error”.


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

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    I would love to read up on such Whistleblowers and how they managed within the system. especially in places like Ireland where it was so oppressive for so long.


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

    I was thinking about ‘celebrities’ as those who build themselves up on the contributions of the people … a lot like how the gifts of gold from the Hebrew people were used to build up the “golden calf” idol they worshiped in the desert.

    Idolatry must have its ‘sacrifices’: money is not enough, so in the case of the extremist neo-Cals, there are the innocent victims offered up to the shielded predators by the ‘annointed’ ones.

    Yes, the title of this article asks the right question: who is really being worshiped? I think we know the sad truth of it.


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

    Wise words Will. Its really know one’s business.@ Will:


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

    @ John:
    We have been “sinning by questioning”. :o)


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

    Lydia wrote:

    @ John:
    We have been “sinning by questioning”. :o)

    “Questions lead to Thinking;
    Thinking leads to Doubt;
    Doubt leads to Heresy;
    Heresy must be dealt with;
    Blessed is the mind too small for Doubt.”
    — Warhammer 40K


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

    Lydia wrote:

    And “believe” them. That one is HUGE.

    You saw what Todd Pruitt wrote: We can’t just blindly believe the blog stories. Gee, did they even try to read the survivor victim stories or contact them?

    So true, Lydia.

    The things that poor girl went through… and I am getting so tired of the “forgiveness cures all” philosophy. It doesn’t work like that.


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

    Patrice wrote:

    Then Todd complains about us ‘hating’ church authority. He has no idea whether we hate or just dislike it.

    Or deeply distrust it, for good reason.


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

    No, God did not choose people to go to hell. All were on their way to hell and God, being rich in love and mercy chose to save some.
    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:


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

    John wrote:

    No, God did not choose people to go to hell. All were on their way to hell and God, being rich in love and mercy chose to save some.

    You don’t get out of it that easy. If it was so simple, there would not be a debate.
    1. God is capable of saving everyone.
    2. He desires that none would perish.
    3. In your paradigm, no one can come to God without God drawing him.

    Therefore, we have a problem. God wishes none to perish and He has the means to make it so. Therefore, He does ordain some to hell because he didn’t choose them.


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

    John wrote:

    No, God did not choose people to go to hell

    Sorry, John, but saying “no” is a bit condescending. If I were you I would say “I disagree.” Unless it is your desire to irritate people…


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

    R2 wrote:

    Lay people are not trusted to keep good doctrine. Only thoroughly vetted elders can do this.

    And I know the many elders who are not elder material…


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

    Will wrote:

    If we don’t have info, then how are we justified in making accusations?

    You sound exactly like the people at Steven Furtick’s Elevation Church. In their mind, a 16,000 sq ft house is much deserved.


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

    John wrote:

    No, God did not choose people to go to hell. All were on their way to hell and God, being rich in love and mercy chose to save some.
    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    So why did God create all those “never gonna get saved” humans? Billions of them, each a magnificent piece of art, made by an Artist who knew, as He was forming each, that He was going to allow him/her go into eternal suffering.

    If confronted with such a terrible situation, this small human would be appalled and would refuse. But God, the creator of the universe, can do no other?

    Such a god is not worth believing in. Rather than all good and all powerful, he is a god of limitations and full of shadows.


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

    siteseer wrote:

    Edward wrote:
    I was also saying that the idea that Mahaney was the only member of his pastoral team who didn’t know about the cover-up is so unlikely that the burden of proof is on HIM to demonstrate that he didn’t know. So far, he has not made any attempt to exonerate himself before the church and the outside world. He seems to be content to say only the bare minimum that will allow him to escape legal liability.
    Ah! you and I are in agreement, then.

    How can someone prove that they don’t know something? I don’t think it’s even a possibility that one can prove such a thing. Personally, I’m inclined to think there’s someone that knows what C.J. knew, but they ain’t willing to talk. And their reason is most like for self-preservation.


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

    Bridget wrote:

    Ron Oommen wrote:
    I’d have to declare my bias in this – I am in favour of churches losing tax exempt status except for legitimate charitable work. I think the industrial complex that churches have unfortunately become in many places would be dealt a mortal blow.
    I’m pretty in agreement.

    The only bad part about this is that the smaller churches – 100 members or less – with a pastor that is truly genuine and working with a small budget to begin with, will suffer the biggest fallout. The big mega churches would hurt a bit, but I question whether they would be forced to close up shop. The little churches, however, would most certainly suffer.


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

    Julie Canny wrote:

    My alternative solution is this: **enforce the tax-exempt laws already in place** with more legislation demanding an absolute accountability, just like they (often) do for bueinesses. And if certain churches won’t be transparent, fine: treat them as criminal organizations under RICO statutes!

    Yes, this is an excellent solution. This would eliminate a large swath of phony preachers and charlatans.


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

    I had an experience at work today that was so much like the manipulative spiritual abuse y’all have described. I am still shaking from it. Alas, I cannot go into details. Let’s just say that mega churches and mega corporations play by the same toxic playbook.


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

    John wrote:

    No, God did not choose people to go to hell. All were on their way to hell and God, being rich in love and mercy chose to save some.
    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    Or he choose to give us all free will. To choose on our own.


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

    Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    Let’s just say that mega churches and mega corporations play by the same toxic playbook.

    I don’t know The attract the samedee wrote:

    And I know the many elders who are not elder material…

    Um, 27 year old elders?


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

    Oh wow, that was a mess


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

    Lea wrote:

    John wrote:

    No, God did not choose people to go to hell. All were on their way to hell and God, being rich in love and mercy chose to save some.
    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    Or he choose to give us all free will. To choose on our own.

    Ah, the lovely evil babies theology

    What John means is that God “chose” to pass over them when He “chose” the ones to be elect….before the foundation of the world, of course.

    It is sort of like….hell by default, then, since God is choosing for Eternal life and humans have no volition in that construct.


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

    In Texas, counties’ property records are searchable by the public. Match the records up to their publicly available wives’ names, and:

    Todd Wagner, Senior Pastor of 9Marks healthy church Watermark Community Church lives in a $1.36 million house: http://www.dallascad.org/AcctDetailRes.aspx?ID=00000400810000000

    Kevin Peck, Lead Pastor of Acts29’s Austin Stone Community Church lives in a $661K house: http://propaccess.traviscad.org/clientdb/Property.aspx?prop_id=155006 (this church meets at a high school by the way)

    Kerry Shook of Woodlands Church’s house is $867K. Montgomery County’s page doesn’t allow direct links, but search the name here: http://www.mcad-tx.org/html/records.html

    Compared to all that, Matt and Lauren Chandler are impoverished in their $355K house: https://www.dentoncad.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=100&Year=2016&PropertyID=179726&PropertyType=R&AbsCd=SL9154A

    Yes, it can be proven.


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

    Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    mega churches and mega corporations play by the same toxic playbook

    That’s because most are driven by the flesh, rather than led by the Spirit.


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

    @ Max:
    I think it might be more accurate to say that they use and endorse the same tactics as big corporations because that’s where they got them in the 1st place…


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

    Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    Let’s just say that mega churches and mega corporations play by the same toxic playbook.

    I was going to say above that they attract the same personality disorders.


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

    Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    R2 wrote:

    From church history we see the tendency of this kind of thinking eventually leads toward having a Pope.

    And, as we know, there are Popes and there are Popes. (One of my all-time favourite quotes comes from a Roman bishop in Brazil, by the name of Helder Camara: When I give food to the poor, people call me a “saint”. When I ask why they are poor, people call me a “communist”.) Just like there are protestant clergy, and there are protestant clergy.

    Whether you, dear Wartburger, are sympathetic to Rome or not, my point is that the “reformed” glitterati are emphatically not. The very heart of their gospel is that they are “reformed”, and not Rome. Where else, they ask, is anyone who loves God going to go but them? Who else has the words of eternal life besides them? And yet, beyond a few doctrinal technicalities, they are Roman Church to the very core of their being – they only difference being that they want to be the Papacy.

    They’re not even slightly reformed.

    Where is the ‘like’ button!


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

    @ Catholic Gate-Crasher:
    that might be because both are practically propaganda machines. While Jacques Ellul wasn’t writing about megachurches when he published Propaganda half a century ago he might as well have been.


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

    dee wrote:

    You are not changing anyone’s mind. We know that CJ Mahaney/SGM gave SBTS $200,000 before they were even part of the Southern Baptist Convention. We do know that he has given money to Mark Dever and other people. I don’t give a rip if you don’t think money has anything to do with us or whether not you think it is correct for us to say that we suspect that. But I suspect it, and I stand by it and you can continue to defend the boys. One thing is certain, in spite of your defense and your negativity towards those of us on this blog, you are allowed to comment  here — something that your BFFs don’t allow

    So continue to live in your Pollyanna testosterone world and continue to defend the boys. I’m sure they will be very pleased to know who you are and will even sign one of your Bibles for you.

    Preston Bennett here, I read the blog in a “catch up” fashion every so often, so comments I think of making would mostly be way late so I refrain. I am a 10+ year member of CHBC. I have specific comments to make regarding this thread.
    1) the speculation that the 10,000 dollar donation Mahaney made to our church as evidence of buying favor or special treatment: I believe highly unlikely. While 10,000 is not a small sum to me, it is a fraction of 1% of the annual budget of CHBC, even the year it was made. I know this from sitting through some, but not all, of our annual tedious but necessary budget meetings in detail with the pages in front of me. If 10000 dollars is the floor for buying special treatment at our church, then my wife and I have yet to experience such special treatment over the last number of years.
    2) church budget/salaries: The budget meeting of CHBC is open to all members, and before someone asks or comments, it is closed to non-members. It is detailed. The salaries at the full member meeting are listed as an aggregate. However, the individual salaries of all are available to church members by presenting themselves to the church office and asking.
    3) Mark Dever, and many, but not all, of staff members live in church owned housing (due to the astronomically high and prohibitive housing costs on capitol hill) The following is common knowledge among members, as a large number have been in his home. His townhome is a larger one for D.C, across the parking lot from the church, but is not opulent. “Normally” furnished I would say. I honestly do not know who pays the utilities. Some might criticize and say that he is living expense free-or at least mortgage free; but the negative side of that is that he has no equity in the house (ie the amount one would profit when they sell their home, the sale price minus paying of the remaining, if any, mortgage). I don’t know what kind of car he owns, I have seen him driving, but don’t recall, which leads me to believe it is nondescript, like my subaru and toyota camry. After ten years, I seen no evidence externally that he is living an extravagant lifestyle.
    4) T4G is “run” our of our church. i have no knowledge of the T4G financial books. I do plan to enquire. Most of the volunteers staffing the event are our members.
    5) The comments made by the the new contributer “Will” seemed entirely logical to me. If you have a speculation/accusation to make, then it is incumbent on the accuser to produce the evidence if the speculation is to rise to the level of fact/truth, not the other way around. ie , Deb’s earlier comment “Why don’t you (Will) ask for a financial statement to prove you’re right and we’re wrong?” I believe it would be Dee or Deb or another contributor that would need to produce facts to prove their speculations correct.
    I also believe Will received rude condescension from Dee with the description of his views and comments as a “pollyanna testosterone world” and the description of him as a presumed pastor-groupie of some kind ie “even sign one of your Bibles for you”. Uncalled for, particularly from the sites moderator. That is all.


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

    Patrice wrote:

    Such a god is not worth believing in. Rather than all good and all powerful, he is a god of limitations and full of shadows.

    Ever been beat up with Romans 9:20-22? It’s standard fare in those circles as a whip and a cattle prod. God owes you nothing by way of fairness or explanation because those concepts are yours, and his ideas of said concepts are way above yours. They supercede any of your tainted ideas of ‘goodness’.

    C.S. Lewis argued cogently against this pile of horse poo-poo and exposed it for what it is, a great big Lazy Susan of tautology and circular reasoning in various bowls, trivets, and platters.


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

    @ numo:
    Churches are exempt from most employment laws.


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

    @ Preston Bennett:
    Were you attending CHBC when Mahaney fled CLC to Dever?

    Thanks for letting us know about the free volunteers for T4G. It has to make tons of money.


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

    @ Preston Bennett:
    Living free in DC is nothing to sneeze at.

    However, Opulent lifestyles is not what I first think of when it comes to Dever. I think of authoritarianism, membership contracts for the Body of Christ, controlling people, embracing a fleeing pedophile protector and Shepherding cult Apostle of the people of Destiny, keys to the kingdom of human mediators for declaring salvation, lack of love, etc, etc.


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

    Preston Bennett wrote:

    the speculation that the 10,000 dollar donation Mahaney made to our church as evidence of buying favor or special treatment: I believe highly unlikely.

    I was just sort of struck by how blatantly and publically he did it. That is bizarre. And tacky.

    I used to attend CHBC and believe I mentioned the townhouses somewhere. They are very nice and DC real estate is insane. I’m glad to know the membership of the church at least knows the church budget. Really, I think it’s probably the church salary + organization salary + book sales that gets some of these guys + free rent (combined with the weird tax protections pastors get on that) that begins to add up…


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

    @ Lydia:
    Yes, Preston was a member of CHBC when Mahaney gave the $10,000. How do I know?

    Mahaney was commending this church for having been around for 125 years. I believe it was founded in 1878, so a simple calculation indicates Mahaney gave the monetary gift in 2013. Wasn’t it from SGM?


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

    Preston Bennett wrote:

    The salaries at the full member meeting are listed as an aggregate. However, the individual salaries of all are available to church members by presenting themselves to the church office and asking.

    I am familiar with this scenario. The church staff know who asks questions. Why isn’t the information simply presented to the people who pay the expenses? Why do members need to present themselves at the church office like they are under scrutiny?


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

    Bridget wrote:

    Why do members need to present themselves at the church office like they are under scrutiny?

    Good point. My new church gave all three pastors salaries, including percentage designated as housing, to members at a short business meeting post sermon for a vote.


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

    @ Deb:
    I did not really understand the CHBC attitude toward respecting SGM church discipline and why they were not concerned that Mahaney came there instead of facing his own church discipline rules.

    It just did not fit the CHBC focus on church discipline.


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

    @ Lydia:
    The rule makers are the only ones who can be the rule breakers because it is THEY who are in charge. It reminds me of Animal Farm – some are more equal…


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

    @ Preston Bennett:

    Thanks for your comment. I have a couple of reactions to what you shared.

    First, what we are trying to establish with Mahaney's monetary gifts is that he was funneling money from SGM to those outside this 'family of churches' and it appears that quite a few in 'the family' didn't know about. 🙁 That is the crux of the issue for me, not buying  the loyalty of your BFFs.

    Secondly, I see no downside to the free housing that is provided to the key pastors at CHBC or any other pastor for that matter. Housing costs are a BIG expense for most of us. Granted, Dever and his fellow pastors aren't able to take advantage of real estate appreciation since they don't own their residences; however, they likely have a higher disposable income due to not having to pay a mortgage and all the expenses that go along with home ownership. I would imagine their investment portfolios have made up for the difference. Pastors who aren't saddled with a mortgage payment, real estate taxes, homeowners insurance, and repair bills should count their blessings!

    And finally, some of us are passionate because child sexual abuse really matters to us. We have heavy hearts for those who have been hurt by those in their congregations, whether on church grounds or not. The pain inflicted is still the same.


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

    Thank you Ron Oommen, Patrice, and Anonymous for your ability to discuss ideas in a respectful and non-prejudicial tone. I appreciate it.


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

    Deb wrote:

    Secondly, I see no downside to the free housing that is provided to the key pastors at CHBC or any other pastor for that matter. Housing costs are a BIG expense for most of us. Granted, Dever and his fellow pastors aren’t able to take advantage of real estate appreciation since they don’t own their residences;

    Housing takes an average of 30%-50% of income for Americans.

    And as to real estate appreciation? Since the housing bubble exploded, real estate DEpreciation has been the norm.

    So, freeing up 30-50 % of your income and not having to care whether or not your mortgage is underwater – I’m not seeing the downside either.


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

    BL wrote:

    And as to real estate appreciation? Since the housing bubble exploded, real estate DEpreciation has been the norm.

    Not in DC.


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

    Preston Bennett wrote:

    1) the speculation that the 10,000 dollar donation Mahaney made to our church as evidence of buying favor or special treatment: I believe highly unlikely.

    The money wasn’t given quietly and without fanfare. Why is that?

    Is it a common practice in your church to have people in the forefront of the church on display as they give check donations to the church?

    If not, then Mahaney was afforded special treatment.

    Do you really think that having him publicly handing out check donations doesn’t make for warm and fuzzy feelings towards him by all who observed?


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

    Muff Potter wrote:

    Ever been beat up with Romans 9:20-22? It’s standard fare in those circles as a whip and a cattle prod. God owes you nothing by way of fairness or explanation because those concepts are yours, and his ideas of said concepts are way above yours. They supercede any of your tainted ideas of ‘goodness’.

    Yeah, I have and I am very sorry you have too, Muff.

    Does God disobey, say, the Golden Rule just because He can? Calvinist election turns the Golden Rule into “for thee but not for Me”. Yet it is a fundamental principle of love and God is love (Christ makes that clear).

    For those who find mystery hard to manage, who want to set God into a doctrinal system, it is difficult to rest with His many conundrums. I have sympathy. How does free will work for such small bound creatures as us? How does a God who is All-Knowing and Everywhere make His plan work with resident evil and free will? When we bump up against Unknowing, what do we insist upon and what do we let go?

    Reformers sacrifice part of God’s goodness to their need for order/understanding. They impugn the breadth/depth of His love, and then say, “God’s ways are not our ways. He is so much above us that we cannot conceive how to question HIm.” They see themselves as brave, willing to stare down the face of darkness. But IMO, it takes more courage is to insist on God’s complete goodness, love, and mercy against all evidence. It is not a place for compromise of fundamentals; nor is it a place where human reason can hold sway.

    [Just had to let that out, made me very irritable today, for some reason. Probably cuz of politics lol.]


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

    Dear Mr. Bennett,

    I’m glad to read your detailed response to some of the comments here. A few things that occurred to me:

    Preston Bennett wrote:

    If 10000 dollars is the floor for buying special treatment at our church, then my wife and I have yet to experience such special treatment over the last number of years.

    Have you ever declared yourself the Apostle of anything? Have you written a bunch of books, and do you get lots of money from royalties and speaking fees? Have you ever run from your own flock when they’re seeking answers from you?

    Perhaps the reasons why you’ve never received special treatment for your gifts are: a) you’re not a pastor or other bigwig; b) you can’t say, “there’s lots more where that came from”; and c) you’ve never really needed any special favours.

    However, the individual salaries of all are available to church members by presenting themselves to the church office and asking.

    So how are non-members supposed to get that info? I’d be pleasantly surprised if members aren’t sworn to secrecy about those salaries.

    After ten years, I seen no evidence externally that he is living an extravagant lifestyle.

    You mean, apart from the extravagant power he has over the congregants, by making them sign away their civil rights with membership contracts? Apart from that, right? Maybe that power means more to him than flaunting money.

    The comments made by the the new contributer “Will” seemed entirely logical to me. If you have a speculation/accusation to make, then it is incumbent on the accuser to produce the evidence if the speculation is to rise to the level of fact/truth, not the other way around.

    Will struck me as being rather clueless, I’m afraid. The fact that Dever, Mohler and the rest are hiding their salaries is enough evidence to me that they have something to hide. And that information is hidden, if not necessarily from their members, then from the public — in particular, the IRS.

    Also, Will seemed to harp on the notion that we should assume the best of these men — or at least, not assume the worst — simply because they’re Christians, or because they wear the “ManaGAWD” title. This in spite of the fact that, on so many occasions, they’ve acted in the worst ways possible. Dever, by breaking his precious 9Marx rules to give shelter to Mahaney. Mohler, by lauding Mahaney at T4G and rubbing it in the faces of his accusers. And yet, when it comes to money, we’re supposed to assume that they’re as pure as the driven snow?

    Critics of Scientology have a saying: “It’s always worse than you think.” I have a feeling that applies to all spiritual abuse, no matter what guise it takes.


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

    Never my intention to be condescending. Therefore, I disagree. We cannot judge God. He is free to do as he pleases, yet there is no injustice with God. God has greater allegiance to His glory and divine purposes than He has to people. If , not, it makes people thee center of all things. God filters all His decisions through one thing: His glory. Yes, God is not desirous of any one perishing. God does not delight in the death of the wicked. But, God is angry with the wicked every day. All decisions are according to His perfect will and pleasure. Respectfully. I see you called me out for saying no, but, I do not see people rebuked on this blog who consistently judge Mohler, Pier and others as to their motives, which only God know there heart. Example. they are in it for the money or trying to turn the Convention to Presbyterianism, etc. I am retiring in one week from being a college professor. I took no income from teaching the last three years. My wife, who retired a month ago and I had an income of a quarter million dollars a year. We are generous givers and stewards. I fail to see where the ability to make money is so frowned upon. However, I am still learning. As always Dee, I appreciate your allowing me to comment no matter how radical they may be.@ dee:


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

    @ Patrice:
    A round of applause for both you & Muff. You do a great job of pointing out the great contradiction in what Calvinists believe about God.


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

    Patrice wrote:

    Reformers sacrifice part of God’s goodness to their need for order/understanding. T

    What a great point. Yes, I see this all the time.


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

    Will wrote:

    Thank you Ron Oommen, Patrice, and Anonymous for your ability to discuss ideas in a respectful and non-prejudicial tone. I appreciate it.

    I don’t know as much of the financial goings-on as do Deb and Dee. But I am certain that when they become certain and irritable about something, they have good reasons.

    Anyway, being irritable or angry isn’t wrong, yah? It’s a godly response to injustice.

    Even the appearance of evil is not something that we should indulge, much less underhanded influence/support by monies or favor. There are many threads of it woven into this situation.

    Money always influences. It is powerful that way. In my liberal circles, we are having the same kind of argument. Is/isn’t Clinton influenced by the lobbyists and her super-pacs? Of course she is. “Prove it,” she declares. And there is no physical in-hand evidence that a materialist requires. Thus, she says, it doesn’t happen.

    Surely, of any group, Christians would be clearest about the immaterial spiritual aspects that makes up much corruption, whether mild or severe.


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

    Preston Bennett:

    Thanks for the information.

    I suspect that CHBC is run properly, except that I disagree with the recent decision to do away with the prohibition of having too many staff as elders (or not having more lay elders than staff – forgot how that was put). I read Jonathan Leeman’s posts about it, and I did not find them to be persuasive. Ethically it is never a good idea in a nonprofit for the staff to also be the Board of Directors. That is a bad practice.

    But the interest I have is in T4G. The Yum Center is a big place. I am sure it rents for quite a sum. If $10,000 attend, I am sure that is a lot of money.

    I have no belief that Dever, Mohler, and others started T4G with the intent of making money. But now that the thing is so large, and so much money is involved, I believe it would be a better practice for the finances to be open.

    That was Carl Trueman’s larger point – the intersection of the Gospel and money, and how these things need to be transparent.

    I think that you have characterized Dee and Deb’s criticisms unfairly. No one has said definitively that these guys are taking exorbitant speaking fees. But Carl Trueman recognizes that the entire enterprise involves a lot of money, and that some of people in the evangelical world are living way above the means afforded by their regular jobs due to speaking, conferences etc.

    The obvious problem is that the set up on these things leaves these guys open to the charge that they are making a lot of money at these conferences. Trueman, who is in a better position to know than any of us, seems to confirm that.

    Your suggestion that Dee and Deb write T4G and ask for the financials before expressing their opinions on this arrangement is not fair. They have never been to T4G. Neither have I. I have never given them money. Accordingly, I don’t feel as though they owe me anything. They clearly don’t. But as a Christian, and someone who observes generally, and after listening to Dr. Trueman, I have questions.

    I will ask this directly. I hope that you will respond. Do you honestly believe if Dee and Deb sent a letter to T4G asking for the financials and honoraria information for the speakers that they would get a full answer?

    I would really like to know if you believe T4G would respond to Dee and Deb positively.

    If you do, you know this can easily be tested.

    And then what?

    If T4G tells Dee and Deb to take a hike, would it in any way affect your opinions?

    Or would you feel that Dee and Deb, as critics, really don’t deserve to know anyway?

    And if you feel that way, haven’t you set up a scenario where Dee and Deb can’t write about this because they don’t have inside information, but you agree they shouldn’t be given inside information anyway?

    As you may have seen above, I suggested to Will that he ask for the information, and let us know how he is treated, and what the response is.

    I will make the same suggestion to you. You are a CHBC member, and supporter of T4G, I assume. I don’t know if you have ever attended.

    If Dee and Deb asked for the information, and are turned down, would you be willing to ask for the information? If not, why not?

    I am not trying to be disagreeable with you. It just seems to me that you are very trusting of certain people because they are nice and you like them. And that admiration causes you to believe that they are doing the right thing in all areas, even though you could be wrong about that.

    And I suspect your admiration for them causes you not to be concerned about the amount of money made at T4G or on books. You assume that they are not making that much, or if they are, they are giving it away.

    And your admiration is so strong that you would probably never dare to ask for this financial information because it would seem offensive and it would appear that you do not trust them. And you don’t want to appear that way.

    If all of these things are true, you can see how nonprofits can go off the rails when they are run by the staff, and when there is so much trust and admiration that no one really asks the basic questions that ought to be asked. And no one wants to even admit that they care.

    If you have a different feeling about this, or I have said something that is not accurate, please come back and reply.

    Thanks.


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

    Will:

    You are welcome. And thank you for the compliment.

    I hope that you will hang in there and continue to engage, time permitting, on this blog.

    I don’t agree with all of the opinions on this blog, or of the commenters, but I do believe that Dee and Deb are sincere and dedicated believers. And I believe that on many issues they are on to something. That is, they have a point that needs to be considered.

    I hope that you will continue to express your opinions here, and that I have the opportunity to dialogue in the future with you.


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

    Will wrote:

    Thank you Ron Oommen, Patrice, and Anonymous for your ability to discuss ideas in a respectful and non-prejudicial tone. I appreciate it.

    There were other people who engaged you in a civil manner besides those three. Maybe you just didn’t like what they had to say? Besides, how in the world are people to know what your version of a “respectful and non-predjudical tone is?” You appear to expect an awful lot from people before you will listen to what they are saying.


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

    Serving Kids In Japan wrote:

    Will seemed to harp on the notion that we should assume the best of these men — or at least, not assume the worst — simply because they’re Christians, or because they wear the “ManaGAWD” title

    I’m sorry, but I never cited either of those things as reasons for not assuming the worst of them. Rather, I cited our responsibility as Christians:

    What matters is that we act in truth and in love as disciples of Christ, which means presenting evidence when we make accusations. To omit it, or to find fault without evidence, embodies neither the truth or the love of Christ…
    If we don’t know, we don’t accuse – is that too much to ask of Christians?… But I want to clarify that I am not thinking “the best” of them: I’m not claiming that they live in poverty and give it all to missions. They almost certainly don’t do that, but we don’t know what they do, so let’s all stop pretending we do….I never suggested they were A-OK guys, in fact I conceded multiple times that the accusations may in fact be true.


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

    @ Bridget:
    There is a “perfumed Prince” aspect to living in that world. They are some of the most unreasonable and thin skinned out there.


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

    @ Will:
    Some of us have a different definition of what being Christian means. It does not include making bank and fame off a tyrannical version of God nor protecting and promoting those who protect predators.

    Innocent children are worthy of fighting for.


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

    John wrote:

    God filters all His decisions through one thing: His glory.

    So the filter does not involve love? What if His glory is found in His sacrificial love for His people?

    John wrote:

    As always Dee, I appreciate your allowing me to comment no matter how radical they may be

    Thank you for understanding this. Unfortunately, the TGC crowd will block anyone who critiques them, especially regarding the SGM mess. That is not what we do over here.

    One other thing to understands that this blog is not a gathering of the inner circle like TGC, CBMW, T4G, etc. This blog is open to any and all. They are also free to express their thoughts and opinions. It is my opinion that the boys over at the clubs are big enough to handle how they are perceived outside of the exacting standards of their group.

    I am quite comfortable with you taking me to task for my POV. I am also comfortable with those who call us names, etc. My goal is to hear everyone, including our worst detractors. I grow from this. I do not get bent out of shape when someone questions my motives, etc. It is helpful to think how I might be perceived.

    I also makes it a priority to love those who have been deeply wounded by the church. I think loving others reflects the love that God has given to me.


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

    Anonymous wrote:

    I will ask this directly. I hope that you will respond. Do you honestly believe if Dee and Deb sent a letter to T4G asking for the financials and honoraria information for the speakers that they would get a full answer?

    These dudes will not let anyone comment on TGC's website who said they support the SGM victims. I am blocked from Mark Dever's twitter account. If he cannot even put up with me looking at his little comments, do you think he will give me the financials? You sound a bit naive.

    Do you know that I call churches that I discuss on this blog? Rarely do any respond. So Will is asking me to do something that is nigh on impossible.


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

    His glory includes His marvelous love. Love is just not the predominant attribute as I understand it. I believe it is his holiness. I enjoyed reading your response and sharing those important in sights.@ dee:


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

    Dee:

    I had thought there would be no way for you to get the financials, but your comment confirms it.

    No one can rightly criticize you for not having the information.

    I bet the financials are not given out.

    I wonder if the commenter will inquire. I suspect he will not because he assumes everything is fine, and he expects you and other people should be of that opinion.


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

    Will wrote:

    I’m sorry, but I never cited either of those things as reasons for not assuming the worst of them. Rather, I cited our responsibility as Christians.

    I stand corrected. I’m sorry for misrepresenting you, Will.

    But I still think that you’re being hopelessly naive. You don’t seem to understand the dynamics of abuse, or the ways in which abusive and manipulative people tend to operate. Typically, they don’t make it easy for concerned and conscientious individuals to find hard evidence against them. And they rely on our willingness to assume that, in the absence of such evidence, there’s no reason to be suspicious of them, or make accusations.

    Yes, speaking as a fellow Christian, I have a responsibility to the truth. Another responsibility is to be wise, which includes being wise to the ways of evil and abusive people. Very often, the way to spot them isn’t through documents or “smoking gun” statements, but through patterns of behaviour. Patterns like Dever insisting that only institutional churches can decide who is a Christian, and that members sign away their civil rights to be considered such. Patterns like Mohler chewing out Penn State for its handling of sex abuse, and yet backslapping with Mahaney. Patterns like both of these men receiving gifts of cash from Mahaney, and then headlining him and lauding him at their latest T4G circus. Right in the face of those who suffered under his “apostleship”.

    Mahaney and his gospel buddies have demonstrated abundantly to me that they have nothing for contempt for Jesus’ little lambs, and regard for no one but their own clergy class. That is more than enough reason for me to assume that they’d be willing to rook the sheep out of piles of money. Please, Will, educate yourself about these things, for your own good, and for the sake of those you care about.


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

    @ John:
    That is how the typical narcissist defines love.


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

    John wrote:

    His glory includes His marvelous love. Love is just not the predominant attribute as I understand it. I believe it is his holiness.

    Hi, John. In the pursuit of conversation, and only for that purpose, but I really enjoy this kind of stuff may I say…

    First, why should we assume that there is a hierarchy of values among the attributes of the character of God? For that matter why would we assume that the character of God is a cluster of attributes instead of an undivided and indivisible whole? It sounds almost like saying that God can look at Himself and say, well I like this about Myself better than I like that about Myself, or saying that this about Myself is more important than that about Myself. Humans can do that because we are fragmented like this, a mixture of good and bad, wise and clueless, obedient and rebellious, and even good and better, and on and on. We can say that well part of me says thus (wants to do this) and part of me says non-thus (wants to do that) and I there I am on such and such issue. I don’t see anything is scripture that explains that God is caught in any trap like that, even one of his own making. And yes I have struggled with some of the philosophical positions about the relationship between God and time but they do not seem to apply to this issue. In my thinking this is an area in which we have developed a thinking system about something which we do not understand and then we have forgotten that it is merely a system and not the reality itself, and then we have proceeded to build various clusters of beliefs based on that system all of which are limited in value. I am thinking that in our smartest day we do not understand God, and no matter how much we think we know we are limited until ‘we see HIm as He is’ like that good ole boy said.

    Second, time was when I, like you, earned some money and had some money, and my husband and I were in the process of building a little mini-empire of sorts. It was not evil. It was consistent with what our culture and even our religions consider how-people-ought-to-do. However, I found it was a potential pit of quick sand which could easily destroy people, rather like when I rev the motor too high on my lawn mower and am lucky to escape unscathed by the blades. I note that you have been prosperous, and it is correct that this is not evil. My personal experience with prosperity however is that it can create a perfect situation in which evil may set up shop.


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

    @ Preston Bennett:

    Hey Preston

    I have a great idea. Since Dever has blocked me from even seeing his tweets (which is useless since I still see them) and therefore does not want to hear from me, why don't you ask him for me. I remember when you first came to this blog. You said you would provide the truth about 9 Marx, Dever, etc. I am now going to hold you to that promise.

    Please find out how much money CJ has given to Dever through the years. I have a feeling it may be more than the $10,000. I so appreciate your willingness to help bring out the truth in this matter.


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

    __

    “Stealth Seed?”

    hmmm…

      From what I’ve gathered so far, SBTS graduate students (for example) don’t actully start teaching Calvinism openily immediately upon being imbeded in a 501(c)3 non-profit Church environment, as there is some delay in instigating a incremental adjustment in theological direction of that local church. Apparently invisibility is perfered to an ‘open ‘ approach. The results are incremental, over time, by secret, until a general consensus is obtained and can be consistently maintained. Parishioners not clued in on this New Calvinist practice are apt to succumb to this effort as compliance is also incremental in nature.


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

    Anonymous wrote:

    I bet the financials are not given out.
    I wonder if the commenter will inquire. I suspect he will not because he assumes everything is fine, and he expects you and other people should be of that opinion.

    I’m sorry, but if you read what I wrote, I am not “assuming everything is fine.”

    I did email into@t4g.org four days ago, and predictably, have not heard anything.


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

    ^”info@t4g.org”, that is.
    @ Serving Kids In Japan:
    Thank you for the thoughtful response.


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

     __

    “Push Comes To Shove?”

    hmmm…

    A major Calvinist idea:

      That the Holy Spirit acts exclusivly apart from man’s will, affecting regeneration and conformity to God’s moral law. (this denotes the idea of force)

    Plese note : Before Augustine in the fourth century, gleaned from the scriptures, was the idea that the Holy Spirit worked with human will to affect regeneration.
     (this denotes the idea of cooperation)

    The scriptures bear this out:

    “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” – Apostle Paul; Philippians 2:12, 13.

    Force or a cooperative effort?

    You decide.

    The most profound thing in a person is his or her will, not sin. The will is the essential element in God’s creation of human beings.

    Sin however, (in contrast) is a perverse nature which entered into folk. 

    In someone who has been born again, the source of the will is Almighty God. 

    “…for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” 

      With focused attention and great care, Apostle Paul says you have to “work out” what God “works in” you; not work to accomplish or earn “your own salvation ™ ,” but work it out so you will exhibit the evidence of a life based with determined, unshakable faith on the complete and perfect redemption of the Lord. As you do this, you will  not be bring an opposing will up against God’s will; But a will lovingly ‘captured’ by God and faithfully doing His will day by day.

    With the Holy Spirit’s aid, God’s will soon permeates your will; and with the consistant aide of God’s Spirit, your ‘choices’ will become more and more in accordance with God’s will, just like breathing. 

    As a result, obedience to the Holy Spirit and God’s words will become ‘a way of life’.

    “I have hid Thy word in my heart that I might not sin against Thee.” -King David

    Hope this helps!

    ATB

    Sopy


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

    Serving Kids In Japan wrote:

    You don’t seem to understand the dynamics of abuse, or the ways in which abusive and manipulative people tend to operate. Typically, they don’t make it easy for concerned and conscientious individuals to find hard evidence against them. And they rely on our willingness to assume that, in the absence of such evidence, there’s no reason to be suspicious of them, or make accusations.

    “For Satan himself can transform himself to appear as an Angel of Light.”
    — some Rabbi from Nazareth

    Because successful sociopaths, successful serial killers, successful abusers are MASTERS at camouflaging what they really are. If they weren’t, they’d have been exposed for what they are long ago. We only hear about the dumb ones who slipped up.

    Only the victim/target ever sees the true face behind the Angel of Light mask. Because watching the victim KNOW what’s coming and squirm helplessly and alone makes abusing him all the more Delicious.

    A successful sociopath will be grooming third-party allies and supporters to isolate and gaslight and discredit the victim in advance if said victim ever speaks up.
    “Go ahead and squeal, tattle-tale! Nobody will EVER believe you! Because YOU’re the Crazy Kid and I’m the Sweet Little Angel!”

    Nobody will be as Concerned and Compassionate as a Sociopath, as Polite as a Sociopath, as SINCERE as a Sociopath — until the instant you have Outlived Your Usefulness.

    I grew up with a younger brother who was a probable NPD, possible Sociopath, and definite Master Manipulator.


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

    Will:

    Sorry for the misquote. I think it is great that you emailed T4G. I hope you will receive a thorough response. It would please me greatly to find that everything is reasonable.

    I would be interested in knowing Preston Bennett’s thinking now that we have learned that Dee has been rebuffed by T4G, and that you have emailed them, and have not received a response.

    I would hope that Preston Bennett would try to obtain the financials for T4G. I don’t believe that he will because I think he assumes things are fine, and he doesn’t want to rankle people. It’s ok if he decides not to do that. But he can never really say that T4G is run openly if they don’t release their finances, and he ca