Pete Wilson and Cross Point Church: Until There is Truth, Lessons Will Not Be Learned

“The truth.” Dumbledore sighed. “It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution.” ― J.K. Rowling link

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Pray for Cross Point Church

Question: What did the average Cross Point person know about Pete Wilson?

  • How many people in Nashville, along with the rest of the world, have heard about the successes of Cross Point Church and its beloved, former pastor, Pete Wilson?
  • How many people were asked by friends to attend this very cool church to learn about the Jesus?
  • How many books did Pete Wilson write and sell that extolled the virtues of Cross Point Church?
  • How many church members were asked to give their hard earned money to support the ministry of this church?
  • How many folks knew how much money Pete Wilson was making as head pastor?
  • How many people thought their pastor and church was a cut above other churches in town or even in the United States?
  • How many couples wanted to have a marriage just like Pete Wilson and his now separated wife……..What?

Let me back up. It is time to open up the closed doors of Cross Point Church and tell more of the story. The Gospel demands it, the truth demands it and the dedicated members of this church and those who have contributed money and time to the ministry, deserve it.

Today’s post is based on the reports of reliable sources who have reasons for their anonymity. Also, TWW received some emails from folks alluding to the background situation at Cross Point church.

Accountability: The folks who contribute time and money should have it. 

The pastor and the staff should be accountable to the members. However, the history of the ARC, of which Cross Point is a member, appears to have a history of limiting knowledge about finances and difficult issues to a tight knit little group of pastor overseers. They take care of each other very well when it comes to determining their pay scale and what to do when something untoward happens with one of their own.

It is the philosophy of TWW that any church that demands and seeks out publicity when things are looking good, need to be willing to take the hits publicly when things go bad. If you play in the public eye, you pay in the public eye. (A TWW maxim.)

Truth, not baloney, is at the base of the Gospel.

TWW posted Pete Wilson Is So Exhausted and Burned Out That He Became the President of the A Group.  We noted that the evangelical social media world was abuzz with sympathetic posts about burned out and exhausted pastors. I doubted Cross Point’s narrative from the outset. In fact, it made me a little mad. Poor Pete, extremely well compensated and universally admired by his many followers, was dog tired and ready to drop. Here is who I thought about.

  • The single mother who is working two jobs to support her children.
  • The doctor on the mission field living in difficult circumstances with hundreds of people waiting to see her.
  • ​The parents of severely handicapped children who needs daily, exhaustive care yet they have other children and can barely support their house.
  • The average Joe who busts his tush to support his family and can barely keep the lights on.

But, what if burnout wasn’t the truth? What if it was merely the excuse because Pete Wilson or CP’s leaders or the Arc’s Overseers demanded it? What if they don’t truly get the Gospel message that ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God? What if they are hiding the truth to look good to the world? The world we Christians are so quick to condemn for being sinful?

Understanding that all pastors are sinners is vital to understanding the Gospel.

Does it upset you when I say that your pastor is a sinner? If so, you need to figure out why. Your pastor is no different than any person in the pew. He may preach a good sermon, lead the church to do great things, be the nicest guy you have ever met but he is still a sinner. He can lie, cheat on his wife, and manipulate people just like anyone else. That is why he needs close accountability by those who are not *yes* men. But most church leaders only pick the yes men and that is harmful to the church.

What follows does not mean that Pete Wilson hasn’t done some wonderful things. It doesn’t mean that everything he has preached is wrong. All it means is that we must become wise and set our baloney filters in high.

Also, we must always question our baloney filters since we, too, are sinners. That is why TWW asks lots of questions before writing our posts. I have been thinking about this story for over the past week.

We cannot address our problems with pastors, leaders and churches if we do not know what the root issues involve.

If the root cause of Pete Wilson’s departure was not burnout then the church community is spinning its wheels addressing pastors and burnout. TWW has approached folks within 9Marks and The Village Church to sort out what really happened, not what was said to have happened. Why did 9Marks punish Todd Wilhelm when he refused to remain in a church that actively sponsored books by CJ Mahaney? Why did none of the elders at The Village Church speak out against the abusive behavior directed towards Karen Hinkley. Unfortunately, our questions will not be answered by either entity. This means that change will not happen in the long run since no one fully understands what happened.

The basic story behind the public story: I am getting so tired of this ole c**p.

This is what one of my sources said. “I am getting so tired of this ole c**p” and they had good reason to say this as you will see in the following allegations. 

1/10/17 Update

Due to the recent revelation that Brandi Wilson has filed for divorce from Pete Wilson, we have decided that it is no longer necessary to cause further turmoil . We have redacted this part of the post which deals with allegations including those that the Wilson marriage was on the rocks when Pete resigned. We were not asked to do this by anyone. We do it out of compassion for the family during this difficult time.

Comments

Pete Wilson and Cross Point Church: Until There is Truth, Lessons Will Not Be Learned — 1,364 Comments

  1. CHIPS wrote:

    Neo-Calvinism is a poisonous theology. 9 Marks is a poisonous theology. Stop following these! instead go back and focus on the Greatest Commandant, that you love God and love your neighbors as yourself.

    Spot on!

  2. CHIPS wrote:

    Oh btw your kind of churches loves to discipline and excommunicate people for not donating enough money.

    I think we should be careful assuming every church is like that, or ‘neo-cal’. Problems are found all over.

  3. Rodney wrote:

    If this report were filtered by “let he who is without sin cast the first stone” thinking, would the report be any different? Pete said from the pulpit many times that he was not perfect and that he had lots of struggles. I suggest we continue to pray for Pete, Brandy, his family, and Crosspoint. And with preachers as well as others in high visibility positions, realize they are human and likely sinful just as we all are.

    Rodney, your comments are sin leveling at its best. The fact that everyone sins and no one is perfect does not mean that sin should be swept under the rug and/or justified when the kind of sin being committed has harmful, devastating effects upon others. Pastors, such as Pete Wilson, are called even to a higher standard and will be judged more strictly as the Scriptures testify. The deception being sold is that we all are equally sinful. So therefore, be quiet and pray. This kind of sin leveling is a lie and very harmful to the church because it puts adulterers, pedophiles, wife beaters, murderers, thieves, into the same category as slipping up and saying a curse word or getting angry at your co-worker. Some sins are worse than others and inflict far more damage on the church, such as the sins I mentioned above. Sin leveling is harmful because it’s becomes an attempt to get people off the hook who have committed very serious sins for which they need to be held accountable. Think Mark Driscoll, C.J. Mahaney, Jack Schaap, Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Bakker, etc.

  4. wrote:

    CHIPS wrote:
    Neo-Calvinism is a poisonous theology. 9 Marks is a poisonous theology. Stop following these! instead go back and focus on the Greatest Commandant, that you love God and love your neighbors as yourself.

    While this is true, the church being discussed on this thread is not Neo-Calvinist. Sometimes we have to be careful not to resort to the Calvinist Whipping Boy when that doesn’t apply. There actually aren’t Neo-Calvinists hiding behind every rock and crevice. I think this post proves that the problems within Christianity are by no means limited to our bad boy Calvinists.

  5. Lea wrote:

    CHIPS wrote:
    Oh btw your kind of churches loves to discipline and excommunicate people for not donating enough money.
    I think we should be careful assuming every church is like that, or ‘neo-cal’. Problems are found all over.

    Ditto, Lea. Just read your comment now. 😉

  6. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Mike Smith wrote:
    Amy,
    Good piece and insights. I’m weary of the “Evangelical Whine-Speak” that, rather than confessing sin, whine’s about being “burnt out” or “broken” relative to committing their sin.
    I’ve experienced REAL job burnout.
    These guys “burnouts” are as fake as a three-dollar bill.

    Exactly, HUG. The poor dears have to preach 6 sermons on a weekend. Oh, and let’s not forget all the conferences and book deals, for which they are paid substantially. Meanwhile, there are people working two jobs which amounts to over 40 hrs. a week, just to make ends meet.

  7. Law Prof wrote:

    Problem is the church–not the true universal church, the Bride of Christ, but rather the institution–gets built up in people’s minds subtly and in not-so-subtle manners by people who love their power and are willing to do ruthless things to maintain it to the point that the gospel and the church become intertwined and it becomes exceedingly difficult for parishioners to separate the gospel, which is simply the good news that Jesus loves you and died for your sins, from their local institution.
    Anything that hurts the latter (such as bad publicity brought on unilaterally by a possible sociopath in the pulpit who wears tight jeans, has trendy hair, uses flowery words, is just so cute and TALENTED and who can’t keep their hands off other men’s wives and hottie staffers) is seen to harm the former.
    If one’s view of the Gospel were intertwined with Jesus rather than the institution, they’d never worry about the gospel being harmed because of the evil perpetrated by an NPD in the pulpit, the thought would hardly occur to a person coming from the proper perspective.

    LawProf, Excellent analysis. No matter how we look at it, the actions of Christians, and in particular very public leaders/preachers, has a bad effect upon the gospel, the church, and brings shame upon Jesus’ name.

  8. I feel that the comments of Nicole and Lisa from Pete’s church behave like codependent members of an alcoholic or incestuous family: They are trying to enforce the ‘No-Talk Rules’ and then the serious problems will just ‘go away’.

    What happened in their lives that they claim years of maturity in Christ and don’t display it with adult actions: Head on conversations about serious topics. Why are they letting the former senior pastor “skate”/off easy and all of the current church leaders who blew handling this. It wasn’t handled Biblically and that’s the problem. It was to happen before everyone.

  9. @ Lisa:

    Lisa, a lot of us, if not all of us here in the comments, have been there and done that with church leadership. You’ll find varying stories and varying results and endings.

    Your former pastor did not keep himself within the church walls. He has written 12 books, he has spoken at conferences, and has become your typical celebrity pastor (https://www.amazon.com/Pete-Wilson/e/B002VJP922). It’s very unfair to believe that the only people hurt by Pete Wilson is his immediate family (even though I’m sure they are deeply hurt) and the church members. To say that no one should talk about his actions – and his lying about why he resigned – isn’t a biblical response. Pete deserves forgiveness, but he does not deserve to be a pastor anymore.

  10. Law Prof wrote:

    True, and that’s why if Christians are watching the big stage each Sunday for an inspirational message from someone whom they don’t know and who does not know them, they are looking in the wrong place for Christian fellowship (and probably for the love of Jesus). That comes by being in genuine fellowship with people who know you and who you know, being iron to their iron, teaching them, learning from them, correcting, being corrected.
    Our model is garbage. The big stage is garbage. If your teacher has spotlights on him or her, if they go to conferences, if they have book deals, if they don’t come to your house, if you don’t go to theirs, if you don’t know them on anything but a superficial level (as in seeing them over years, through good and bad, seeing them at their best and worst) you are not learning from the right teacher, you’re not learning from one who knows you, who prays for you individually, who probably even cares about you as a person. If that’s you, you’re buying into a lie.

    And this is what these mega churches produce…the flashy guy on the stage. A motivational speaker who gets paid the big bucks. But he’s not a pastor if he doesn’t know his flock personally. He’s not a pastor if he doesn’t break bread with his parishioners, or visit them in the hospital, or pray with them when they are suffering and hurting.

  11. Unepetiteanana wrote:

    To say that no one should talk about his actions – and his lying about why he resigned – isn’t a biblical response. Pete deserves forgiveness, but he does not deserve to be a pastor anymore.

    I would say that since his new job means he might be ‘advising’ your church on something behind the scenes, and being paid by tithes, probably people outside his church have even MORE reason to pay attention now than they did before.

  12. @ Robert:
    Pete’s stylized cut looks more unisex to me. That may be what is trending now among our youth. I can remember a ‘grunge’ season a while back. Truth is, in our country, denim is the go-to fabric of choice for our youth, our middle-aged, our boomers too.

    But ‘stylizd’ hair on a man????? I don’t think this is ‘the thing’ …. I guess I’ve been around military folks too much, though. And a family that paid for cheap cuts and banked the rest of the dough out of an old ethic from a time when cash was hard to come by. ?

  13. @ Lisa:
    Lisa,

    A couple things. One, I can’t speak for everyone here but most of the commenters on this blog likely sympathize with the trauma people in your Church are going through. However, protecting the Church’s reputation by shoving its problems under the proverbial carpet is not going to be the first priority of very many people outside your small Church community.

    Those of us who have seen many disorganized Mega Churches like Cross Point crash and burn for tired predicable reasons, like adultery scandals and financial improprieties, are probably concerned about the INDIVIDUALS it has harmed. Not the institution, which is an illusion anyway.

    Your comments pertaining to your general theme also make little logical sense. If you truly believe that “the situation” is between Pete and his wife, then why are you interfering in the business of the Wilsons by commenting extensively on this blog?

    Your appearance here indicates that what you really believe is that you have the right to express an opinion about “the issues” between Pete and his wife, but others do not. How is that idea Biblical or fair?

    If your Church is happy to accept positive public publicity when everything is going well, then it should expect to respond to negative reactions when they are not. That’s how things work in the real world.

    Also, I hate to break it to you but this isn’t just about a failed marriage. If Pastor Pete was fooling around with staff members at the Church, an allegation that he isn’t denying to my knowledge, then that behavior could possibly constitute sexual harassment for which your Church is liable.

    It’s certainly a subject that needs to be investigated.

    You may not like to hear this but your Church leaders don’t call the shots outside your narrow community. Broader society and the secular government does.

    If you want to save your Church, then take a real look at the problems it’s facing, as opposed to getting angry at people on blogs.

    Good luck to you.

  14. Velour wrote:

    I wish I had known that. My ex-pastor (Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley) did the whole Mark Dever/9 Marxist/John MacArthur-ite “expositional preaching”. Time? Usually 1 hour and 45 minutes. 90 minutes if we were “lucky”.

    That;s because in many evangelical churches (Calvinist especially), the sermon is the end-all be-all.

  15. @ Lisa:
    Do you really think that you should be complaining about other people casting stones, dear, given the tone and content of your comments. 😉

  16. Darlene wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    I wish I had known that. My ex-pastor (Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley) did the whole Mark Dever/9 Marxist/John MacArthur-ite “expositional preaching”. Time? Usually 1 hour and 45 minutes. 90 minutes if we were “lucky”.
    That;s because in many evangelical churches (Calvinist especially), the sermon is the end-all be-all.

    I understand why so many ex-NeoCalvinists go to liturgical churches.

  17. Rodney wrote:

    And with preachers as well as others in high visibility positions, realize they are human and likely sinful just as we all are.

    This is a point that needs to be taken into account when setting their salaries and creating their high-visibility positions. Given that they are no more special than anyone else in the congregation, it does them no good to be treated as such at any point. They don’t need to be addressing congregations any larger than the rest of the church members do, nor do they need to they need any more book deals than the ordinary members. And they certainly don’t need vision-casting authority that other people don’t have. They’re all equally human and sinful, after all.

  18. Christiane wrote:

    @ siteseer:
    I thought with that hair STYLE (and it is styled), it looked practically like a glamour shot
    so CUTE! reminds me of a cute pixie cut I once had for a while when I was a girl (just after a dreadful permanent burned up most of my hair, the perm from hell)
    these Southern men with their hair … pompadours, styled cuts, extreme ‘mullets’, tinted and frosted, or greased up wonders or something in imitation of the wigs worn by certain telepreachers that resemble dead animals on top of their head
    This is cultural, yes?

    Thanks for the laugh, Christiane. I’m picturing the P.R. team advising these guys what will draw a crowd or sell a book or bring folks to conferences. It’s all about the windwo dressing, you know. Sexy, hipster dude with stylish hairdo, four o’clock shadow, classy jeans and cool lingo are the things that sell. Sadly, they sell big in Evangelical churches.

  19. Amazing to me that (editor removed name that was wrong) feeds you all of this information, wants Pete accountable, but is not willing to have his name mentioned. In fact, that’s like the old scheme of telling someone “I’ (ed name redacted) feels this way and believes all facts to be true, then he should be willing to say it and give credibility to the source itself…. having served as part of the 4 member executive team as such would have been wise to know as well….. How would one know this… because he is the only male staffer to resign after Pete who had close relationship and proximity to Pete Wilson.

    The sources of rumors (which is what they are until sufficient evidence and sources are exposed) are nothing more than opinion and crap unless validated with proof. The Bible says that allegation against elders in the church should not be leveled without sufficient proof. And, no where in the scripture is a man permanently disqualified from ministry because he sins and fails… if so, then the forefathers of our faith thought the bible were and are nothing less than grand imitators and fakes.

    The Gospel demands that we are all seen as redeemed and perfect in the eyes on God. And, we are all called to see each others through those same eyes. Do we excuse sin? No! But, we are also not in control of the effects, consequences and such. Christ died once for the sons of all mankind and at the cross it was finished. So, let’s approach such things with that truth in mind. And, let’s be real men and women and speak wha we believe to be true without anonymity and courage. Otherwise, without such we are not given a right to level accusations, allegations and implication on another person. Pete may, and I am certain does, have many failings and flaws…. but, he is no more obligated to share his sins with any of us than we are obligated to share with him. So, if we should mud sling against Pete and the leaders of CrossPoint…. then everyone here, including the author of this article needs to bare their mistakes, sins and shortcomings. Otherwise…. we are best left to tend to our own lives, and actually believe the Bible that everyone likes to quote and defend here…. God is in control, He is sovereign and He is the able to defend himself and his church…. He does not need us and our broken opinions to defend his bride the church or his reputation…. Plain and simple!

  20. Jacob wrote:

    Dee Holmes (fka mirele) wrote:
    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    Is that pic at the top supposed to be a church?
    It looks more like one of the industrial buildings around where I work, but bigger.
    Yes, it is supposed to be a church. Lots of churches are in office parks or “light industrial” today. Here’s an article called “Megachurches: photographing America’s drab new cathedrals” from the UK Guardian:
    https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2016/may/01/megachurches-christianity-lisa-anne-auerbach-photography-america
    I think the architecture follows the theology. The theology and praxis are stripped of almost everything religious, almost everything historical – almost as if there was no church history from the last apostle until the day that such-and-such non-denominational church popped up. So a non-descript warehouse or former factory or ugly but huge metal building kind of fits more than a traditional church building.

    Jacob, I think you’re on to something here. It’s a way of eschewing historical Christianity – a subtle way of communicating that the Neo-Way is The Way to do church. A rejection of most everything that has come before. We have arrived on the scene to bring you Relevant Christianity, folks. It is nothing like anything you have ever seen or heard before. Be prepared to have your socks knocked off!

  21. Darlene wrote:

    That;s because in many evangelical churches (Calvinist especially), the sermon is the end-all be-all.

    In others, it’s the music, that drones on and on and on…

  22. Lisa wrote:

    @ dee:
    You can’t even quote what I said correctly….LOL! no never heard of your blog until this situation, as I dare say is true of most commenting now

    Lisa, you’re wrong about this. Many folks commenting here have been doing so for years.

  23. @ Darlene:
    We saw SIN LEVELING utilized by pastors in SGM when they forced a ‘sinful’ toddler to meet with the church member who molested her. Both were sinners, don’t ya know?

    That was one of the worst travesties perpetrated by those charged to care for the flock, and it still makes my blood boil!

  24. Lisa wrote:

    Since there are 2 ladies writing this blog, they are in a “leadership” position. I wonder if any of their skeletons have been released from the closet…or from any other person posting who calls himself/herself a “leader”? Truth be known about many of us, people from some walk of life would be shocked, disgusted, hurt and want to write us off. Admit it! So perhaps we should do some digging on some other people on here who are commenting and find out about their lives regarding affairs, other sexual situations, drugs, alcoholism, prostitution, pornography, etc. We are told very straight forward that we are NOT to be the judge; only God is allowed that position. AND we are told that “he/she who is without sin cast the first stone”! What is to possibly be gained from a post like this with all these comments? Crosspoint is hurting enough, thank you very much. I know, because my husband and I helped start the church from day 1. We don’t need anyone else condemning, judging, offering their “wise” advise, blaming other staff, or even blaming us for being so blind to what was “really going on”. This post could have gone so very far in offering comfort, hope and support if the authors had merely gone on here to talk about a hurting church and calling “the church” to prayer. Oh, yes, some have said they are praying for Crosspoint while posting damning comments. Those prayers mean nothing if accompanied by a judgmental spirit.

    Lisa, I can only imagine how devastated you must feel, having been one of the founding members of this church. Most of us here have been through some kind of similar experience and we know devastation firsthand. My heart goes out to you and there is no desire on my part to add to your hurt.

    I understand that you want to uphold your church and you want to be Christlike in your response to the issue. I would like to respectfully point out another side you may not have realized.

    Pete and the elders said that Pete was “burned out.” He was tired from serving so devotedly. He was worn out from doing so much for so many. He needed a break. This message was spun into many articles aimed at the whole church with a message: You people need to take better care of your pastors. You expect too much.

    In reality, it appears that Pete stepped down because he was caught in sin. He did not need a rest, he moved right into another high level, high paying job.

    It appears that the elders who said they tried to get Pete to stay but he wouldn’t may have been the ones who asked him to step down?

    I ask if this is this fair to the church as a whole? Is it honest? Shouldn’t Pete have taken responsibility for his sin, apologized and stepped down? Shouldn’t the elders have been honest about what was happening? Did anyone realize that by providing Pete a graceful exit, they were placing a weight on the members who, it turns out, had done nothing wrong?

    Yes, we have all sinned and I’m sure many of us have things in our background that we are not proud of. Does that make it okay to make up a fake narrative to hide it? Would we be better to be honest and say, I’m not proud of that and I ask your forgiveness, to those we’ve hurt?

    How can God do the work he would want to in the church if we don’t trust him enough to be truthful?

    I can imagine that some of the comments here are painful for you to read. I’m very sorry. I know it is probably hard but I hope you’ll take into account that many people are speaking out of their own experiences of betrayal and disillusionment.

    At the same time, I do feel it’s important not to mischaracterize the desire for honesty as a desire to judge and condemn. The Bible tells us to “speak the truth in love,” so we know that is both possible and desirable. We are not supposed to choose between love and truth.

    I can tell you that, having been through a miserable situation and church split, I would have so welcomed the truth. I would have so welcomed transparency. I would have so welcomed not being made to feel like a bad guy just for wanting to understand what happened and why so that I could process it and grow. I personally believe that people need to know the truth in order to mature in their understanding. They can’t do that when problems are swept under the rug.

    I will be praying for you and for the others hurt at your church.

  25. siteseer wrote:

    We are told very straight forward that we are NOT to be the judge; only God is allowed that position.

    Is Lisa still on this blog? She’s incorrect.

    From James 3:1:
    Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.

    1 Cor 5:11
    But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.

  26. Deb wrote:

    We saw SIN LEVELING utilized by pastors in SGM when they forced a ‘sinful’ toddler to meet with the church member who molested her. Both were sinners, don’t ya know?

    That is horrifying.

    I think the concept that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” is to make us introspective about our own standing before God and our need for the Savior. To take it to mean there is no difference in seriousness between one sin and another is to excuse terrible cruelties as being of no more importance than stealing a pen. It is to completely ignore the damage done to one another by sin. How can people not see this? How can we get them to see it?

  27. I am amazed at all the mature and insightful comments that have dealt with Lisa’s accusations. Some of you have even shown a measure of grace and empathy in response to her anger. There are so many people who have been totally caught off guard and are still processing this horrible situation. I wouldn’t be suprised if Lisa’s response comes from a place of fear, pain and a big dose of shame.
    Because Pete has placed himself in the public eye, then lied, he should man up and face the consequences. Unfortunately, so far he hasn’t and his family, co-workers and congregation are suffering in their effort to protect him. As far as we know, “Lisa” could be his wife, sister, or mother. Nevertheless, until Pete publically “owns” and apologizes for his behavior, his family will suffer greatly having to cope with the pain of Pete’s betrayal and the desire to preserve the family.
    When life is going well, it is easy to praise God. When a person’s hurtful behavior has wreaked so many lives
    his/her willingness to confess with humility, make reparations and ask for forgiveness ideally shows the difference between how a believer deals with sin in their life versus a non-believer. Unfortunately that is often not the case, and the sinner shifts blame, tries to justify their choices or outright lies. It takes a brave man to own up to their misdeeds and start the process of healing for all involved. Pete does not seem to be that man.

  28. @ Daisy:

    Of course she’s wrong, of course she’s misapplying Jesus’ admonitions to the pharisees, of course she’s ignoring so many scriptures to make her point, of course she’s off base, of course she has no earthly clue how absurd everything she says sounds, how very unbiblical, how very abuser-supporting. Unfortunate thing, but those personality, celebrity-driven places tend to turn one’s sensibilities upside down.

  29. Lisa wrote:

    WOW! Talk about throwing stones! THIS is the very reason many are turned off to Christianity. Hypocrisy at it’s best.

    Your attitude is one of several things that has turned me off to going to church any more – that you are being so very defensive of a church or a pastor.

    You are being, what appears to me, to be overly sensitive to a politely- written blog post pointing out some bad things a pastor of a church did and are also attacking several people in the process.

    I said previously on this thread I do not understand slavish devotion to any one local church or to a preacher.

    I see more devotion by some self professing believers to their local church or to a preacher than to Jesus or to helping other Christians.

  30. Ann wrote:

    I wouldn’t be suprised if Lisa’s response comes from a place of fear, pain and a big dose of shame.

    Because Pete has placed himself in the public eye, then lied, he should man up and face the consequences. Unfortunately, so far he hasn’t and his family, co-workers and congregation are suffering in their effort to protect him. As far as we know, “Lisa” could be his wife, sister, or mother. Nevertheless, until Pete publically “owns” and apologizes for his behavior, his family will suffer greatly having to cope with the pain of Pete’s betrayal and the desire to preserve the family.

    Great point, the abused doesn’t want to think ill of the abuser and their betrayer if they’ve grown to adore them over the decades and hang on their every word, it must be like having an old friend suddenly stick the knife in you. The cultic churches I was in, I knew there was something wrong going in, but stupidly ignored it, and we never stayed longer than a few years before finally we said “Enough” and got run out of church. The pain was great, but not like being betrayed by a longtime friend.

  31. Lisa wrote:

    …I do not ask those questions, nor do I think it’s my business. That’s between he and his wife and the Lord and NO ONE ELSE!
    …So it’s none of my business OR yours!

    In most cases, I’d be kind of apt to agree that what is going on in someone’s marriage ain’t none of my bid-ness (*cue Kermit sipping tea meme*).

    But the Bible says it is the church’s business when a person is in a position of leadership in the church, the New Testament lays out certain criteria a person must meet to be in that role.

    If a person does not meet that criteria, they are to step down (according to the Bible).

    As to your comment about ‘single pastors.’

    Most churches do not hire adults singles. Most Christians are biased against singles and refuse to hire them for role of pastor.

    Unmarried Pastor, Seeking a Job, Sees Bias
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/22/us/22pastor.html?_r=0

  32. Lisa wrote:

    (point 1)
    The church is not about PETE; it’s about Jesus, as is the gospel.

    (point 2)
    If only you gals would spend more time and focus on spreading the Good News, rather than digging into the “scoop” of pastors lives, much more positive would happen

    Point 1. I raised the same point last time I was on here.

    I agree. Church should be about Jesus and helping other people, not about Pastor Pete. Therefore, it should not bother you that a blog writes a post about Pastor Pete.

    As to the second point. Part of being a good Christian is openly discussing problems with Christianity.

    Many people who visit this blog, and who lurk or post here, have been hurt by churches, certain types of theology, or by rank and file Christians.

    They (we) find some kind of comfort gathering with people who are in the same situation.

    I don’t know if I’ll ever attend another church again or join one, but thanks to this blog, I’ve learned what dangers to look for – like, don’t sign a membership covenant thingy, for example.

    This blog discusses many other preachers, not just Pete.

    There is a big, recurring problem in American Christianity that keeps overlooking a man’s character to promote him, and in treating churches as though they are for-profit businesses, where individuals are treated like interchangeable widgets and Financial Giving Units, rather than human beings each of whom Jesus Christ knows by name.

    Your Cross point church is just one of many sad examples of this. And how a lot of today’s churches cover up fraud and sin rather than deal with it honestly.

  33. Daisy wrote:

    Unmarried Pastor, Seeking a Job, Sees Bias
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/0

    From the article, a quote from Al Mohler:
    ***”Both the logic of Scripture and the centrality of marriage in society,” he said, justify “the strong inclination of congregations to hire a man who is not only married but faithfully married.”
    Mr. Mohler said he tells the students at his seminary that “if they remain single, they need to understand that there’s going to be a significant limitation on their ability to serve as a pastor.”***

    Okay …………. given that statement, why the ‘ell do these people pay any attention to what the Apostle Paul said – according to their interpretation, anyway!

  34. Lisa wrote:

    I will post no more of this level of gossip, perhaps slander, accusations with no proof, and an all out attempt NOT to help heal hurting people of our church but, rather, to add to the hurt!

    Knowing this blog as I do, you may feel rather silly when or if, in a few weeks or months from now, Deb and Dee do another post where they come forward with names and/or documentation showing what they’re talking about (should any more be forthcoming in regards to this particular pastor or church).

    I’ve disagreed with folks on this blog before, and at times have disagreed with Dee, but even so, I know they’re not liars.

    I don’t understand how them making a blog post mentioning that a church was covering up a pastor’s series of affairs or not being forth-right about it is hurting you or your church. Isn’t this a case of shooting the messenger?

    Should you not maybe feel a tad more upset with your pastor for having affairs or with the church for not being up-front about that and other matters?

  35. Daisy wrote:

    Should you not maybe feel a tad more upset with your pastor for having affairs or with the church for not being up-front about that and other matters?

    Correct.

    Lisa never answered me: Why didn’t church leaders confront him before all (Biblical way)?

  36. Unepetiteanana wrote:

    Your former pastor did not keep himself within the church walls. He has written 12 books,

    That “Plan B” book he wrote that I”m seeing on Amazon’s site looks familiar.

    I believe he was on TBN’s “Praise the Lord” and/or “Life Today” TV shows to promote that book over a year ago. (Unless I’m confusing him with another author with a book of the same name)

    I think Pete Wilson has been on TBN (TV network) before:
    http://www.itbn.org/search?search=pete+wilson&submit_search=search

  37. Daisy wrote:

    I don’t understand how them making a blog post mentioning that a church was covering up a pastor’s series of affairs or not being forth-right about it is hurting you or your church

    I think Dave had a good question to Lisa of ‘why are you hurting’ and the only good answer there is is that the accusations are true. (Or most of them at any rate) How much would a church or church member hurt from a pastor leaving? It might be a time of transition and difficult, but real pain? No. That comes from betrayal.

  38. Darlene wrote:

    wrote:
    CHIPS wrote:
    Neo-Calvinism is a poisonous theology. 9 Marks is a poisonous theology. Stop following these! instead go back and focus on the Greatest Commandant, that you love God and love your neighbors as yourself.
    While this is true, the church being discussed on this thread is not Neo-Calvinist. Sometimes we have to be careful not to resort to the Calvinist Whipping Boy when that doesn’t apply. There actually aren’t Neo-Calvinists hiding behind every rock and crevice. I think this post proves that the problems within Christianity are by no means limited to our bad boy Calvinists.

    Sorry I jumped the gun. I went to their website and read that they requires 20% donation. I just assumed that they were neo-Calvinists.

    Upon more careful reading it seems that they aren’t asking for 20% income from members. But that they are actually donating 20% of their weekly offerings away for missions.

    http://www.crosspoint.tv/about/values

    (1% More

    Cross Point launched with a commitment to set aside 10% of every weekend’s offering for missions in our community and around the world. In 2009, our leaders began the 1% More Campaign in which we’ve committed to increase that percentage by 1% every year for the next 10 years. By 2019, 20% of all offerings received at Cross Point will go back out the door to support missions efforts.)

  39. Michael R wrote:

    (name redacted) feeds you all of this information,

    I can reassure that (name redacted) is not one of the sources of my information.

    Michael R wrote:

    How would one know this… because he is the only male staffer to resign after Pete who had close relationship and proximity to Pete Wilson.

    Just because he is who you say he is does not mean he is the one who fed information to me. If he was, I would have remained silent and not responded to this information.

    Michael R wrote:

    And, no where in the scripture is a man permanently disqualified from ministry because he sins and fails… i

    We certainly did not say he was *permanently disqualified.* Are you mistaking us for someone else? As of right now, he hasn’t even confessed to the allegations

    .Michael R wrote:

    No! But, we are also not in control of the effects, consequences and such.

    If you know that there is a pedophile in your midst and you allow him to continue to molest in your midst, you are responsible. So I don’t get what you are saying.

    Michael R wrote:

    then everyone here, including the author of this article needs to bare their mistakes, sins and shortcomings.

    You are a new reader. Many have.

    Michael R wrote:

    God is in control, He is sovereign and He is the able to defend himself and his church…. He does not need us and our broken opinions to defend his bride the church or his reputation

    So why are you here defending the reputation of your church?

  40. Ann wrote:

    Nevertheless, until Pete publically “owns” and apologizes for his behavior, his family will suffer greatly having to cope with the pain of Pete’s betrayal and the desire to preserve the family.

    I had a commenter from Cross Point today I am responsible if is kids find out that Pete has lied.

  41. Michael R wrote:

    The Bible says that allegation against elders in the church should not be leveled without sufficient proof

    So if Dee has two sources we are grand, right?

  42. Michael R wrote:

    And, no where in the scripture is a man permanently disqualified from ministry because he sins and fails

    The man resigned a month ago in what now looks like subterfuge, and you’re already worried about sticking him back in ministry? Do you think maybe your priorities might be amiss?

  43. dee wrote:

    I had a commenter from Cross Point today I am responsible if is kids find out that Pete has lied.

    but if Pete had NOT lied, the kids wouldn’t have found out anyway

    messengers are not responsible for the mess, noLaw Prof wrote:

    As far as we know, “Lisa” could be his wife, sister, or mother.

    or ….

    she certainly is very passionate about not appreciating anyone who is asking questions about ‘Pete’

  44. Nancy2 wrote:

    Daisy wrote:

    Unmarried Pastor, Seeking a Job, Sees Bias
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/0

    From the article, a quote from Al Mohler:
    ***”Both the logic of Scripture and the centrality of marriage in society,” he said, justify “the strong inclination of congregations to hire a man who is not only married but faithfully married.”
    Mr. Mohler said he tells the students at his seminary that “if they remain single, they need to understand that there’s going to be a significant limitation on their ability to serve as a pastor.”***

    Okay …………. given that statement, why the ‘ell do these people pay any attention to what the Apostle Paul said – according to their interpretation, anyway!

    Again I think it goes back to Reformational prejudices. Unmarried clergy were too Catholic, I guess.

  45. Nancy2 wrote:

    ***”Both the logic of Scripture and the centrality of marriage in society,” he said, justify “the strong inclination of congregations to hire a man who is not only married but faithfully married.”

    Not only do they ignore Paul on singleness, but Mohler’s comment doesn’t take into account that at least in American society, that marriage is no longer “central.”

    Singles now outnumber married people in America , Sept 2014
    http://www.pri.org/stories/2014-09-14/singles-now-outnumber-married-people-america-and-thats-good-thing

  46. @ Michael R:
    Why in the world would you name Stephen Brewster in this post as a source since you do not have any idea who my sources are? The only ones who do are my sources and Deb. Period. To protect Stephen’s good name, I will say that he is not one of my sources and I feel bad people from his church are blaming him.
    However, from this point forward I will not offer any comment one way or the other about my sources since if you keep guessing you will hit on it.

    While we are at it, is Pete Wilson living with his wife?

  47. @ Michael R:

    That was a very long post defending the Wilson guy.

    I find it funny that I don’t see Wilson defenders coming on to this blog to defend Furtick, when Deb and Dee made posts critical of Furtick.

    Nor do I see Wilson Defenders jumping to the defense of Mark Driscoll when Driscoll was the subject of critical posts. Or John Piper and the million other pastors whose behavior has been covered. 🙂

    The Bible says that people in the church who are teachers or leaders are under stricter scrutiny than the rest of the church and to be held to higher standards, so I don’t know why Pete Wilson fans keep demanding the rest of us here ‘fess up to any and all our sins?

    I’m not working as a preacher, nor do I want to be one.

  48. @ dee:

    Interesting when people with the ‘how dare you with the gossip and slander’ attitudes have no problem giving out names without proof of their own.

  49. For the record CP is not my church. I am not directly connected to Pete either. So I can’t answer if he is living with his wife, nor would it be my business. I am keenly aware of the rumors, the facts and the truth. No, the details are not all bared for the world. But, I can assure you that this shift and change for the church, for Pete and all involved is for the good of God’s great plan. I’ve walked this road with leaders, pastors and churches all over the country. In many instances there is in fact messes that could us some maintenance and assistance.

    As for being judged as pastors….. that judgement is tendered by God and not by man. Pastors answer to God and are accountable to His oversight. God will handle those men and leaders. And, I will boldly say to you…. until you have carried the mantle of pastoring a church and shepherding a congregation, I caution you to have judgement and opinion. I never knew until I walked that road myself. I used to have so many opinions and ideas about the position, the parameters and such…. but after nearly 20 years as a leader…. I know now that God will handle his own!

    I apologize for an assumption about those in this feed and site not baring their issues as I am a sporadic reader. But, I saw in this string of comments and post nothing to indicate.

    While Jesus did tell the woman caught in adultery that he wished better for her…. he did caution the religious surrounding her that only those without sin had a right to cast any stones.

    Let’s lead with grace, stand in love and allow God to enact the justice He deems…. which may surprisingly look like a radical and scandalous grace to most of us! @ dee:

  50. Michael R wrote:

    Should be proof and not opinion! @ Lea:

    The OP says they have been in contact with folks who are eye witnesses to what is going on there. They are just not comfortable at this point releasing those people’s names.

  51. @ Michael R:

    Also, have you read passages in the Bible that say if a guy violates the standards for leadership roles in the church, he should not be in that position, and “with such a man do not eat”?

  52. Michael R wrote:

    As for being judged as pastors….. that judgement is tendered by God and not by man. Pastors answer to God and are accountable to His oversight.

    They should be accountable to the church as well. Elders are supposed to be leading by example. If they can not be well thought of, they cannot lead. Period.

    This secrecy? This pastors first attitude? It doesn’t work. IT’s not good for the church or for the pastors.

  53. If you’re referring to 1 Cor 5 it is not a commentary on the elders of a church. And, it also goes on in 2 Cor to speak of that mans restoration to fellowship. All within the context of church membership and social interaction. No one can know the state of Pete, his heart or his life besides his family and himself at this point. So assuming those parameters were to apply, none in this feed seem
    To be in fellowship in the same context which would give right or opportunity to apply such ideals. @ Daisy:

  54. @ Lea:
    So if your child came to you and said that he or she was raped, would you tell him or her to shut up unless there were at least two witnesses to the rape?

  55. Not a scriptural mandate…. just the public opinion! That’s where you will find trouble with that argument. @ Lea:

  56. Michael R wrote:

    And, I will boldly say to you…. until you have carried the mantle of pastoring a church and shepherding a congregation, I caution you to have judgement and opinion.

    Maybe the current model is wrong. Maybe we have all made too much of pastors as the centerpiece of church. But in any case, if a pastor sets himself up as CEO type, then such a pastor should not be surprised when his life gets scrutinized.

  57. Michael R wrote:

    I’ve walked this road with leaders, pastors and churches all over the country. In many instances there is in fact messes that could us some maintenance and assistance

    Hmmmmmm, CYA???

  58. That’s something I totally agree with! I’ve pastored large churches and it’s hard to stay clear of being a centerpiece. Requires very hard work and diligence. @ Ken F:

  59. Michael R wrote:

    Not a scriptural mandate…. just the public opinion! That’s where you will find trouble with that argument. @ Lea:

    Which is not scriptural? If you’re talking about public opinion, take it up with Paul.

  60. Not CYA…. just community. Not all things should be bared for all to know and see. But definitely not hidden or excused. @ Nancy2:

  61. Michael R wrote:

    There isn’t a scriptural mandate calling pastors accountable to the congregation. @ Lea:

    Seriously? I think you’re missing a few things.

    IS this what pastors tell each other? Because that may explain a lot of problems we are seeing!

  62. Doesn’t the “nobody’s perfect” deflection contradict what the Bible says?

    Here’s what I read in Ephesians 5:1 – 17.

    “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.”

    And then . . . here’s a few clues about how to be imitators of God.

    “But fornication and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is fitting among saints.” So much for “we’re all sinners, so just focus on your own sin — you can’t call me out on my gross immorality, greed, unfaithfulness, etc.”.

    “Be sure of this, that no fornicator or impure man, or one who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” So much for “you can’t judge me.”

    “Let no one deceive you with empty words,” So much for “no questioning ‘God’s anointed; just suckitup and follow your leaders.'”

    “(for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true),”
    So much for “I’m still a leader even though I don’t live in the light and what I do is not good and right and true, and you being ‘critical’ of me is sinful.”

    “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” So much for “stop gossiping!! and “I, the leader, can point out all your defects but you are sinning when you shine the Light my way.”

    The implication here seems to bet that a person is de facto participating in works of darkness by NOT exposing them. Thank you, Deebs, for practicing what Ephesians preaches. Especially for taking the heat for the hurt and ignored.

    “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise,” So much for “I’m imperfect; I’m going to mess up; Not giving me grace when I do is your sinful problem.

    Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. So much for “you can’t understand without me, the preacher, to interpret God’s will to you.”
    ~~~~~~~

    I’ve been deceived — Big Time!! I don’t wish that kind of fallout on anyone. (“When one hurts/grieves, we all hurt/grieve.”)

    Refusing to face the truth doesn’t help anyone, though.

  63. Michael R wrote:

    That’s something I totally agree with! I’ve pastored large churches and it’s hard to stay clear of being a centerpiece. Requires very hard work and diligence.

    Not hard at all – just quit doing sermons. What would happen if an elder were to lead a participatory discussion rather than a monologue? It might look quite a lot like the early church.

  64. Michael R wrote:

    And, I will boldly say to you…. until you have carried the mantle of pastoring a church and shepherding a congregation, I caution you to have judgement and opinion.

    Are you saying that the Bible says that no one has the right to judge the actions of a Pastor unless they have also been Pastors?

    In other words, the Pastor might be a pedophile but those of us who have not had the awesome responsibility of being a spiritual leader, like yourself, can’t have an opinion about that Pastor’s fitness to be a Christian leader?

    I don’t know you, but the excuses you’re making for Pete Wilson seem very self-serving. Have you been in the same hot water he’s in, perhaps?

  65. I must be…. I never recall a passage calling pastors accountable to the congregation. I do recall guidelines for elders in accountability to the scriptures and other elders! @ Lea:

  66. Michael R wrote:

    Accountability is needed and good.

    Prove that from the Bible. Believers are not accountable to each other. But leaders are when they put themselves into a leadership model that is not supported by the Bible.

  67. Michael R wrote:

    I must be…. I never recall a passage calling pastors accountable to the congregation. I do recall guidelines for elders in accountability to the scriptures and other elders! @ Lea:

    Oy. So much parsing! And who choses the elders?

  68. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. @ Ken F:

  69. Michael R wrote:

    Accountability is needed and good. But not to the Masses. It’s not a democracy! @ Lea:

    So, what is it? Do the pastor and elders rule over the congregation in a top-down hierarchy?

  70. Michael R wrote:

    If you’re referring to 1 Cor 5 it is not a commentary on the elders of a church. And, it also goes on in 2 Cor to speak of that mans restoration to fellowship. All within the context of church membership and social interaction.

    No one can know the state of Pete, his heart or his life besides his family and himself at this point. So assuming those parameters were to apply, none in this feed seem

    It looks to me as though he committed adultery… which means he is not qualified to be in any sort of leadership position in a church nor should he be making bank off Jesus – such as writing books about theology.

    1 Cor 5 still applies to him – if he’s a Christian.

    Titus 1.7 says:

    An elder must be blameless, the husband of one wife, having children who are believers and are not open to accusation of indiscretion or insubordination.
    7As God’s steward, an overseer must be above reproach — not self-absorbed, not quick tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not greedy for money. 8Instead, he must be hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined.…

    How much more should that apply to a pastor than to someone lower on the totem pole. Do you think elders should be held to higher standards than pastors?

    Regarding your comment here:

    “No one can know the state of Pete, his heart or his life besides his family and himself at this point. So assuming those parameters were to apply, none in this feed seem”

    By that criteria, 1 Cor 5 and other biblical passages could never be carried out.

  71. Nancy2 wrote:

    Michael R wrote:
    Accountability is needed and good. But not to the Masses. It’s not a democracy! @ Lea:
    So, what is it? Do the pastor and elders rule over the congregation in a top-down hierarchy?

    IT’s not a democracy, it’s a cheerocracy! (but only for expastors)

  72. The elders were called to lay hands on other elders as they stepped into their role…. a process that began when the New Testament church began! @ Lea:
    @ Lea:

  73. He stepped down and isn’t a pastor or elder… so the assumptions of his accountability to such just don’t apply. He took action himself! Regardless of why…. he stepped away knowing he wasn’t fit to lead and couldn’t lead a church in this season! @ Daisy:

  74. Michael R wrote:

    The elders were called to lay hands on other elders as they stepped into their role….

    So the first elders were chosen by?

    The current elders are chosen by?

    Pete’s ‘elders’ who he is theoretically accountable to are? Did he pick them himself? Do you see a potential problem there?

  75. dee wrote:

    To protect Stephen’s good name, I will say that he is not one of my sources and I feel bad people from his church are blaming him.

    What is up with this! Are people trying to change focus to someone they are upset with? Very strange.

  76. The real truth is that we weren’t given a blueprint for church structure or exact plans for governance. So the construct we tend to use in America is a creation of culture and interpretation. We are all going to have a flawed approach. And we will all undoubtedly make mistakes. @ Lea:

  77. Michael R wrote:

    So I can’t answer if he is living with his wife, nor would it be my business. I am keenly aware of the rumors, the facts and the truth.

    It most definiteley is Church business. And now the man is supposedly going to be helping other church leadership!?! That is wrong.

  78. Michael R wrote:

    Accountability is needed and good. But not to the Masses. It’s not a democracy! @ Lea:

    I don’t think there’s much point in continuing to respond to your comments because they don’t seem very considered, Michael, yet I will say a few things.

    1) If you want to run a Church exactly as it was maintained in the New Testament, then you’re out of a job because there’s no Scriptural mandate for having full-time salaried Pastors.
    2) The idea that a “clergy class” of Pastors should rule over ordinary believers is not aligned with Protestantism.

    3) The Church is a democracy in the sense that its members can quit paying your salary if they don’t like the way you act.

    In that sense, all Churches are ultimately congregationalist in the U.S., in 2016, whether you like it or not.

  79. Michael R wrote:

    The real truth is that we weren’t given a blueprint for church structure or exact plans for governance. So the construct we tend to use in America is a creation of culture and interpretation. We are all going to have a flawed approach. And we will all undoubtedly make mistakes. @ Lea:

    So why hold so doggedly to the ‘it’s not a democracy’ model? Why believe the congregation has no role when it so obviously has a role.

  80. Ken F wrote:

    What would happen if an elder were to lead a participatory discussion rather than a monologue? It might look quite a lot like the early church.

    I think that’s what Paul had in mind in 1 Cor. 14 so the entire assembly participates for the edification and building up of all. It also assures those who might be deemed “less honorable” will receive abundant honor. 1 Cor. 12

  81. Michael R wrote:

    As for being judged as pastors….. that judgement is tendered by God and not by man. Pastors answer to God and are accountable to His oversight.

    This is even more deranged. And leaders believing this is why I don’t step foot in a 501c institution any more. Leaders are delusional about their leadership.

  82. That is crap! The church members must be grasping at straws to find fault with others !! As a parent, I think long and hard about my behavior before I act! @ dee:

  83. Bridget wrote:

    And now the man is supposedly going to be helping other church leadership!?!

    Thank you! I think I mentioned that earlier. Pete, by going to a church consulting business, has MADE himself the object of interest to every potential client – which may be your church! So we all have a stake, now. Who knows when your church will hire them on the sly and pay your tithes to Pete himself?

  84. Michael R wrote:

    And, I will boldly say to you…. until you have carried the mantle of pastoring a church and shepherding a congregation, I caution you to have judgement and opinion. I never knew until I walked that road myself.

    “Ours is a high and lonely destiny!”

    You know where that quotation comes from, right?

  85. Serving Kids In Japan wrote:

    You know where that quotation comes from, right?

    “You mean that little boys ought to keep their promises. Very true: most right and proper, I’m sure, and I’m very glad you have been taught to do it. But of course you must understand that rules of that sort, however excellent they may be for little boys – and servants – and women – and even people in general, can’t possibly be expected to apply to profound students and great thinkers and sages. ”

    Maybe I should re-read that book. I think I would have a new appreciation for it!

  86. Michael R wrote:

    You could have come to my churches then…. we were never given 501c3 status! @ Bridget:

    No thank you! I don’t believe in your hierarchial version of church leadership either.

  87. Michael R wrote:

    Accountability is needed and good. But not to the Masses. It’s not a democracy! @ Lea:

    Lie from hell. Mike, you’re deluded. No one runs the church, no one has the say. Jesus runs the church. You don’t give one rat’s butt about the Bible, where it says elders are to lead, if at all, by godly example, never by compulsion. You do not care.

  88. Michael R wrote:

    The real truth is that we weren’t given a blueprint for church structure or exact plans for governance. So the construct we tend to use in America is a creation of culture and interpretation. We are all going to have a flawed approach. And we will all undoubtedly make mistakes. @ Lea:

    And you’re making some that delude people, lead them in the wrong direction, and quite possibly make them fodder for abusers and monsters and people like you, their enablers.

  89. =
    dee wrote:

    I had a commenter from Cross Point today I am responsible if is kids find out that Pete has lied.

    All these people are doing is proving they are brainwashed.

  90. Michael R wrote:

    As for being judged as pastors….. that judgement is tendered by God and not by man. Pastors answer to God and are accountable to His oversight. God will handle those men and leaders.

    Mike – Cite me something from the Bible, anything, that supports that. Go ahead. You can’t. Just a made up lie.

  91. Law Prof wrote:

    And you’re making some that delude people, lead them in the wrong direction, and quite possibly make them fodder for abusers and monsters and people like you, their enablers.

    Oh,well. It’s not like the pew peons can do anything about it because …………
    “As for being judged as pastors….. that judgement is tendered by God and not by man. Pastors answer to God and are accountable to His oversight.” ~ Michael R

  92. Michael R wrote:

    And, let’s be real men and women and speak what we believe to be true without anonymity and courage. Otherwise, without such we are not given a right to level accusations, allegations and implication on another person.

    Says the man who’s giving only an initial as his last name?

  93. Here’s my guidelines:

    Ultimately, a pastor is accountable to the Lord (as are all believers), but earthly accountability is also essential to preserving godly leadership.

    A pastor (and all church leadership) should be held accountable by three principle means: a plurality of leadership, regular transparent communication and carefully established boundaries.

    As Paul directs Titus and Timothy, Church leadership should consist of a plurality of servant-leaders. The plurality serves three principle purposes: it diversifies gifting within leadership, it encourages members of the Body to seek opportunities to serve in leadership (i.e., 1Tim 3:1), and it militates against corruption and pride among those who assume authority. Shared responsibility for God’s people minimizes the potential for one man to inflate his pride and abuse his position or those under his charge.

    Secondly, a pastor must engage in regular, transparent communication with other leaders or trusted counselors. These conversations, conducted in an atmosphere of trust and agape love, give opportunity for a pastor to confess his sin to a brother and receive honest feedback concerning his behaviors and decisions.

    To be effective, these meetings cannot be optional or “as needed;” they must be regular opportunities that include an expectation that personal confession will take place in keeping with 1John 1:8.

    Finally, pastors must exercise self-discipline by establishing personal boundaries that protect against even the appearance of impropriety. For example, personal boundaries should include never meeting alone (or riding in a car, etc.) with a woman other than a wife; never obtaining unmonitored access to ministry funds, etc. While these stipulations cannot by themselves prevent sin, they do offer a degree of protection against personal temptation and false accusations.
    @ Law Prof:

  94. Michael R wrote:

    Yes I do…. and it’s not what I said! @ Serving Kids In Japan:

    But, you did say:

    As for being judged as pastors….. that judgement is tendered by God and not by man. Pastors answer to God and are accountable to His oversight. God will handle those men and leaders.

    In other words, pastors and elders aren’t to be judged or criticized by the pewsitters, implying that you and yours are above all the rest of us.

    Michael R wrote:

    Let’s lead with grace, stand in love and allow God to enact the justice He deems….

    Translation: “Shut up and let God handle it!” Apparently, that’s what the Catholic Church thought in regards to pedophile priests. How well did that work out for them?

    We need to learn from the mistakes of the past, Michael, not repeat them.

  95. Michael R wrote:

    servant-leaders

    I hate this term. It isn’t in the bible and people merrily skip over the servant part to get to ‘leader’. Bah.

    Michael R wrote:

    For example, personal boundaries should include never meeting alone (or riding in a car, etc.) with a woman other than a wife

    Funny how these pastors are so very, very much more tempted than men in every other part of life, who regularly do these things without issue.

    Putting up walls will not change the heart. It will not change a cheating heart. One thing Jesus really got to dig in on is that sin is a problem of the heart, and attitude, not circumstance.

  96. @ Michael R:

    I want to say Michael, I appreciate you actually engaging. I just think everything you said is steeped in christian corporate leadership groupthink and you need to go back to the drawing board.

  97. I am just shocked by your comments, but sadly I think many in the pastorate feel like you. I think it’s the reason we have had such an epidemic of adultery and sexual abuse by clergy. None of you think you are accountable to anyone. Oh you say you are accountable to God, but truth be told you think He is rubber stamping all your ideas because they are so wonderful. I have stated on this site that we don’t buy books by Christians unless they are dead and won’t go to a church if it has more than 1,000 people. However, after reading your comments I think we should just have house churches and get rid of pastors and para church organizations as the leadership is way out of control!@ Michael R:

  98. Thanks! My concern in all of this…. is the assumption and of us know what is or has actually happened without having the facts and both sides. And…. we have enough to manage in our own lives to worry about the management of each other’s lives. In the context of relationship, were we to have it with Pete or any leader, then we would have a place for such critical and constructive dialog. Dialog being key! We need to express opinion and listen well in relationship. Without relationship we all stand in a systematic monologue with our audience! I’m as guilty as anyone. The system is flawed because it is handle by humans who are flawed. Were it not for gods grace, we would all be in great trouble! @ BJ:
    @ Lea:

  99. Michael R wrote:

    Here’s my guidelines:
    Ultimately, a pastor is accountable to the Lord (as are all believers), but earthly accountability is also essential to preserving godly leadership.
    A pastor (and all church leadership) should be held accountable by three principle means: a plurality of leadership, regular transparent communication and carefully established boundaries.
    As Paul directs Titus and Timothy, Church leadership should consist of a plurality of servant-leaders. The plurality serves three principle purposes: it diversifies gifting within leadership, it encourages members of the Body to seek opportunities to serve in leadership (i.e., 1Tim 3:1), and it militates against corruption and pride among those who assume authority. Shared responsibility for God’s people minimizes the potential for one man to inflate his pride and abuse his position or those under his charge.
    Secondly, a pastor must engage in regular, transparent communication with other leaders or trusted counselors. These conversations, conducted in an atmosphere of trust and agape love, give opportunity for a pastor to confess his sin to a brother and receive honest feedback concerning his behaviors and decisions.
    To be effective, these meetings cannot be optional or “as needed;” they must be regular opportunities that include an expectation that personal confession will take place in keeping with 1John 1:8.
    Finally, pastors must exercise self-discipline by establishing personal boundaries that protect against even the appearance of impropriety. For example, personal boundaries should include never meeting alone (or riding in a car, etc.) with a woman other than a wife; never obtaining unmonitored access to ministry funds, etc. While these stipulations cannot by themselves prevent sin, they do offer a degree of protection against personal temptation and false accusations.
    @ Law Prof:

    Michael – The Bible doesn’t contain a description of what a pastor role is, if it even is a role, the word appears once in the singular in the entire NT, in Eph 4, and then only in a list, listed 4 out of 5 sorts of gifts or whatever they are (not really explained in that text).

    So from that tiny bit, you derive this theory that a pastor is to be the head person of a fellowship, the CEO, and, as you said earlier (and don’t try to obfuscate, you said it), accountable to no man, only to God.

    You get this from absolutely nowhere in the Bible, it’s made up by people who want to abuse others, who think they have the right to run things, who steal the spotlight from Jesus. Many of them are conscienceless NPDs, ranging from (as I recall) 400% more likely to have Narcissistic Personality Disorder than the average person to 3000%, according to a recently scholarly study. Think of that for a moment: 3000% more likely to be the sort of person described in Romans 1, in short, evil to the core.

    So, when you create and support this position that is not based on the Bible and it becomes one that destroys the true Church, don’t expect me to put up with it. You do not know what you’re talking about. You’re listening to men, and they’re telling you damnable lies.

  100. BJ wrote:

    I am just shocked by your comments, but sadly I think many in the pastorate feel like you. I think it’s the reason we have had such an epidemic of adultery and sexual abuse by clergy. None of you think you are accountable to anyone. Oh you say you are accountable to God, but truth be told you think He is rubber stamping all your ideas because they are so wonderful. I have stated on this site that we don’t buy books by Christians unless they are dead and won’t go to a church if it has more than 1,000 people. However, after reading your comments I think we should just have house churches and get rid of pastors and para church organizations as the leadership is way out of control!@ Michael R:

    I can appreciate your sentiments, but I WAS part of a house church in the late ’80’s – early ’90’s, and I honestly think the house church movement is not always everything it’s cracked up to me. The group that I was part of formed house churches as a direct response to an abusive church movement, and they went so far in the other direction that they turned out to be just as bad.

    THE reason my husband and I moved away from where we were was because I told him that it was time to get out of the house church movement we were part of.

  101. dee wrote:

    Ann wrote:
    Nevertheless, until Pete publically “owns” and apologizes for his behavior, his family will suffer greatly having to cope with the pain of Pete’s betrayal and the desire to preserve the family.
    I had a commenter from Cross Point today I am responsible if is kids find out that Pete has lied.

    If Pete has lied, the kids are going to eventually find out even if you say nothing, Dee. I don’t think the commenter was taking that into consideration.

  102. Well I am looking at 1 Timothy 5:20 and it say in the NIV “But those elders who are sinning you are to reprove before everyone, so that others may take warning.” There is nothing there that says that it is by an elder to an elder and you little guys don’t need to know. It says they are to be reproved before EVERYONE! When an elder board decides that they are going to let a leader resign quietly they are SINNING! The leader isn’t let off the hook because he quits first either. To much is given ( and in today’s world leaders are given A LOT) much is required. You guys are held to an even higher standard according to the Word of God, but instead you all want a pass when you screw up. I know you all want to protect your friends – all those folks in Washington do the same thing, but it is WRONG! It is a sad day when a very conservative Christian like myself can compare Christian leaders in the US to politicians. ChrisMichael R wrote:

    Spoken by and elder, to and elder and for the elders…. context is crucial! @ Bridget:

  103. Nancy2 wrote:

    Patriciamc wrote:
    It’s a few blocks from the Titans stadium (traffic nightmare!)
    I’ve been stuck in some nasty traffic jams in Nashville but I can’t imagine trying to get to and from that church and via I-65N/I-24W on a Titans’ home game Sunday afternoon or night! …….. Uhm, with my 5-speed manual transmission???? No, thank you!

    Owwwww . . . I live in Atlanta and we have our share of nasty, nasty traffic jams. I feel your pain. (Back in 2010, my husband, son and I were rear-ended in Nashville on I-24. The rental car we were in was totaled. No one got hurt.)

  104. Michael R wrote:

    He stepped down and isn’t a pastor or elder… so the assumptions of his accountability to such just don’t apply. He took action himself! Regardless of why…. he stepped away knowing he wasn’t fit to lead and couldn’t lead a church in this season! @ Daisy:

    A season which lasted 3 weeks! In that season he couldn’t even lead o e church. Now he sees himself as perfectly fit to lead the leaders of churches. He was so not ok, so empty, and so broken that he just needed some rest. Now, suddenly, he’s a cheerleader for pastors!

  105. Stephen W wrote:

    I attend, serve and give at Cross Point. It is my home church. I am so thankful that Pete obeyed God’s calling on his life to start this church and the amazing things God has done through it.

    Stephen W: I am late to address this, but I want to discuss a couple things you say. First of all, I think it’s good that you’ve found a church where you feel that God can use you and that you feel good about the things that are happening there.

    I am aware that Pete is just a man and just as much a sinner as you and I. However, I don’t see the benefit in spreading rumors, even if your allegations may be somewhat true.

    I don’t think what the Deebs have done here is “spreading rumors”. They have direct witnesses who have spelled out the things they are alleging. The Deebs have clearly specified what they say that is based on conjecture, or extrapolation (almost nothing). They have names that they could mention (but don’t to respect the person’s confidentiality) who have stated clearly what they know to be true. Also, this website has a long history of not saying ANYTHING based on rumor, conjecture or unfounded accusation. I would be very surprised if anything they say ever turns out to be false.

    So assuming that what they are alleging is true, don’t you think that the congregation should know that the head pastor has been involved in “moral failure”? Does it glorify God for this kind of truth to be covered up?

    As I see it, the church is the one place where this kind of thing NEEDS to be addressed and dealt with, and the head pastor should set the example of how this works. If he’s involved in this kind of really destructive sin, and no one sees how God works in his heart and changes him, how is God glorified?

    And it surely isn’t Biblical for this leader in the church to be committing, at best adultery, at worst sexual manipulation and “abuse” of underlings. Shouldn’t a leader be showing how God can bless and strengthen his marriage, and help him deal with whatever tendency to sexual sin he might exhibit?

    The best thing we can do as Christians is pray for the health of Pete and his family and for the local church. I believe that is what Jesus would do. But like I said we are all sinners and nobody’s perfect.

    Yes, praying for the health of Pete and his family and for the local church is a very good thing to do. But at the same time, there needs to be accountability for Pete. It may be that the whole congregation doesn’t need to know the details of his sin, but the congregation DOES need to know that there is accountability. Surely, that too, is what Jesus would do.

    And although you didn’t mention the need for people to forgive Pete and the other leaders who are covering up these “problems”, I do think that needs to be discussed. Forgiving doesn’t include just completely ignoring the past. Just because we might forgive someone who swindled us out of thousands of dollars by mis-managing our stock portfolio, doesn’t mean we need to re-invest with that person. It may be that down the road a ways we’d be willing, but frankly if someone had cheated me, and then apologized and repented, I wouldn’t expect he would even WANT to be re-instated to his position right away. If his repentence and contrition were sincere, I’d expect he’d he very introspective about how to avoid his previous sins, OR EVEN ANY PERCEPTION of such sin.

    A pastor who has mis-used his position of power to commit sexual sin (and sins of power and control over others) and damaged those around him, including co-workers, family and parishioners should be really leery of being put quickly into the same position of power again. It’s true that God forgives all, and heals all, but sometimes we also know that we are humans, and are easily tempted. True repentance and true love for the people around us should make us really, really unwilling to be in that situation again.

    Lastly, what is the church doing to help the victims? Pete’s wife and children — are they being helped through this time? Are they being surrounded with love and support? And the other women with whom Pete … dallied? Are they believed, as victims should be? Are they being loved and supported? Or have they been blamed and thrown out on their ear, because other leaders don’t want to hear what they have to say? When a story is all about the perp and nothing is said about the victim, I don’t have a sense that there is any real repentance or contrition.

    I am so happy to be a part of a church that is reaching the lost and making a difference in the world no matter how broken we are. I love my church!

    What are some of the things your church is doing to make a difference in the world? Tell us some of the good things!

    But also, it concerns me that your whole post says nothing about God, about grace, about love, about the joys and sorrows of the Christian life. Churches should be about God, about Jesus, about spreading love and spreading grace. IS that what your church is about? Or is it more about numbers, programs, structures and reputation?

  106. Michael R wrote:

    Spoken by and elder, to and elder and for the elders…. context is crucial! @ Bridget:

    Absolutely not! Everyone is everyone. Wow! You have set up a hierarchy for yourselves haven’t you?

  107. Law Prof wrote:

    So from that tiny bit, you derive this theory that a pastor is to be the head person of a fellowship, the CEO, and, as you said earlier (and don’t try to obfuscate, you said it), accountable to no man, only to God.

    When you (generic you) think about it, much of what we’re taught as being absolutely sacrosanct with respect to what the Bible teaches, is actually derived and proof texted with no explicit and universal textual declaration one way or the other.

  108. Daisy wrote:

    …which means he is not qualified to be in any sort of leadership position in a church nor should he be making bank off Jesus –
    I’m just starting to see something which causes ordinary Christians so much frustration. We think lack of biblical qualifications as elder/bishop/deacon should preclude these guys from leadership. But they don’t see it that way at all– nor do many of their friends and followers, Consider what Lisa– someone who helped start the church and has known him for years– said, “So it’s none of my business…and whether he is with his wife living right this second has absolutely NOTHING to do with his relationship with the Lord, his ability to preach…it makes him human, like the rest of us! WOW!” Maybe he could be shacked up with his ugly step-mother and it would still be irrelevant! Consider Michael R’s comment — once you step down as “elder” or “pastor” your accountability to such just doesn’t apply. So what they can do is move on up into leading leaders as ENTREPENEURS. A small church pastor has similar worries and limitations as a corporate manager. A megapastor has worries and limitations like a CEO. There are often pesky boards, and you can get fired. But an entrepreneur is accountable only to the marketplace. PR is everything. So critics must be silenced, because they’re bad for business. Reading the expastors has been eyeopening– but Carey Nieuwhof more so, He actually says what his buddies believe. On Sept 15th, before any critics complained about Wilson, Nieuwhof complained about the critics– lumping Noble– fired for drunkenness– together with Wilson as a victim of burnout. And, sorry to repeat myself—- no “moral failure” for either one!

  109. Michael R wrote:

    Spoken by and elder, to and elder and for the elders…. context is crucial! @ Bridget:

    “Spoken by …..” Oops! I thought it was written in a letter to Timothy.
    Paul was a church elder ……. Timothy was a church elder? I didn’t know that!
    Seriously, your comments make you sound very 9Marxist.

  110. Bridget wrote:

    Absolutely not! Everyone is everyone. Wow! You have set up a hierarchy for yourselves haven’t you?

    Maybe Michael R should tell us which few books of the Bible actually apply to we pew peons so we can rip out and burn the rest of them.

  111. Michael R wrote:

    He stepped down and isn’t a pastor or elder… so the assumptions of his accountability to such just don’t apply.

    To borrow a line from Dana Carvey: “How conveeeeeeeeeenient!”

  112. Michael R wrote:

    Michael R on Thu Oct 27, 2016 at 04:36 PM said:
    Amazing to me that Stephen Brewster feeds you all of this information, wants Pete accountable, but is not willing

    You are so arrogant. Wow. You come here and get on your soapbox and tell everyone what to do, how to think, etc.

    We’re adults. We don’t need you telling us what to do.

    Your lesson in humility, that you think you ‘have’: Straight ‘F’!

  113. Michael R wrote:

    For the record CP is not my church. I am not directly connected to Pete either. So I can’t answer if he is living with his wife, nor would it be my business. I am keenly aware of the rumors, the facts and the truth. No, the details are not all bared for the world. But, I can assure you that this shift and change for the church, for Pete and all involved is for the good of God’s great plan. I’ve walked this road with leaders, pastors and churches all over the country. In many instances there is in fact messes that could us some maintenance and assistance.
    As for being judged as pastors….. that judgement is tendered by God and not by man. Pastors answer to God and are accountable to His oversight. God will handle those men and leaders. And, I will boldly say to you…. until you have carried the mantle of pastoring a church and shepherding a congregation, I caution you to have judgement and opinion. I never knew until I walked that road myself. I used to have so many opinions and ideas about the position, the parameters and such…. but after nearly 20 years as a leader…. I know now that God will handle his own!
    I apologize for an assumption about those in this feed and site not baring their issues as I am a sporadic reader. But, I saw in this string of comments and post nothing to indicate.
    While Jesus did tell the woman caught in adultery that he wished better for her…. he did caution the religious surrounding her that only those without sin had a right to cast any stones.
    Let’s lead with grace, stand in love and allow God to enact the justice He deems…. which may surprisingly look like a radical and scandalous grace to most of us! @ dee:

    Let’s try this on: “Until you have been a frustrated or irritated spouse, do not pass judgment on those who assault their mates.”

    Nope.

    And Jesus didn’t “wish better things for the woman”. He told her to “Go and sin no more.”

    Stop being so limp.

  114. @ jjuulliiee:

    “Lastly, what is the church doing to help the victims? … And the other women with whom Pete … dallied? Are they believed, as victims should be? Are they being loved and supported? Or have they been blamed and thrown out on their ear, because other leaders don’t want to hear what they have to say?”
    ++++++++++++++++

    was she / were they asked to resign so Pete could keep on looking good, so his and all the other man pastors’ jobs and paychecks remained secure? sacrifice the woman/women to protect the men and their reputations and livelihoods?

    what kind of a golden parachute did Pete get on his way to another golden paycheck? what did the woman/women get, besides being ousted, loss of job, loss of community, a scarlet letter A, etc?

    gah, this is so typical of the stinking history of patriarchal societies. so pathetic. in this case, patriarchal dipsh|ts who think they’re God’s gift to the world.

  115. Tina wrote:

    I can appreciate your sentiments, but I WAS part of a house church in the late ’80’s – early ’90’s, and I honestly think the house church movement is not always everything it’s cracked up to me. The group that I was part of formed house churches as a direct response to an abusive church movement, and they went so far in the other direction that they turned out to be just as bad.

    I was part of a UK house church scene at around the same time. There are undoubtedly differences between the UK and US (at least, I assume from your flag that you’re based over there on the left of the map – correct me if I’m wrong!) but I agree that the house church movement was neither the hero, nor the villain, it’s often portrayed as.

    There was a certain weakness built into the house church movement, to which you alluded: it was always to some extent a reaction or protest against something, wasn’t it? It’s a risky business building something like that; one nearly always becomes what one hates (cf the speed with which Calvin founded a papacy).

  116. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    It’s a risky business building something like that; one nearly always becomes what one hates (cf the speed with which Calvin founded a papacy

    Yes.

  117. @ Michael R:

    What is your last name?

    What dog do you have in this fight?

    Has Pete paid you?

    Why have you gotten involved in churches all over the country with scandals? What role did you play? Why? Why couldn’t the other church leaders and the membership solved the matter Biblically — confronting the sinning pastor(s) ‘before all’?

    That church of Pete’s has serious problems if ‘the best’, ‘brightest’, and ‘most mature’ come here and throw their temper tantrums and try to shut down everyone else. (Note: This does not apply to someone who comments here regularly, and seems to have a good head on her shoulders about the matter.)

  118. GMFS

    I note that, while I lay yet abed, much was written here on the topic of eldership and accountability.

    George Bernard Shaw once said:
    Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.

    However, those are not the only two alternatives in a gathering of believers.

  119. I am not paid by Pete and never have been. I have never worked with or for Pete. And, my dog in this? I am a former pastor who has walked this road with pastors, leaders and congregations. It’s not about scandals, but about the process of renewal, restoration and revitalization of churches. I’ve long walked with pastors who have left church ministry. I’ve helped countless churches navigate the loss, absence and yes, scandals from pastors choices. I have helped church members navigate the loss of trust and the hurt caused by such things. My role? Someone able, gifted, chosen and preferred by many to navigate this journey. Who chooses me to be part…. not the pastor, but the churches lay leaders.

    My heart and purpose is not to shut people down and throw a tantrum…. what I saw here was a set of allegation and rumors. When people jump on the bandwagon of criticism based on these things…. well you can see the result. It brings out the bitter and harsh feelings of people. Many of those feelings have valid and real places of origin by past hurts. But, most have never encountered grace and the need for healing for both sides. Instead it becomes the desire to stand firm and defend ones own opinion and side. And, yes, even I can be guilty of such.

    I have been the lead pastor of both small churches and mega churches. I have been the one hurt by a serial adulterous pastor in my own church experience. I have been the angry and hurt. I have likely been one to hurt. And by having walked on both sides, I have a deep understanding of what few, if any here, understand. The mantle of being a pastor carries a weight and burden that only those who have walked that road can understand.

    I can tell many of the commenters here have been wounded and hurt by the church and it’s leaders. For that I am very sorry. It’s a valid and harsh reality. It is something that happens because human beings are broken and the results often generate brokenness.

    My hope is that we would look with the eyes of compassion from both sides. I’m certainly not perfect or the greatest example. But, because of my own experience and point of view, I wanted to be the minority who might stand for the vantage point of Pete. None of us know what did or did not happen. None of us know what is or is it true. But, all of us have stood on assumptions. The result is banter that tears down and does not build up. And as a result, we are all guilty (myself too) of creating further damage for the global church by creating tension, mistrust and bitterness for the church and it’s leaders.

    Thanks for engaging and asking these questions. @ Velour:

  120. Tina wrote:

    Owwwww . . . I live in Atlanta and we have our share of nasty, nasty traffic jams.

    I just moved to Athens from Atlanta to escape all that traffic!

  121. Velour wrote:

    Michael R wrote:
    Michael R on Thu Oct 27, 2016 at 04:36 PM said:
    Amazing to me that Stephen Brewster feeds you all of this information, wants Pete accountable, but is not willing

    Obviously, all protestations or lies to the contrary, Michael R. is a member of Cross Point and/or a personal friend of Pete Wilson.

    He would not be privvy to such personal information about the obvious witch-hunt going on over there about who leaked what info to the big bad outside world, if that were not the case.

    What’s bizarre, to me, is that Cross Point folks are defending a Pastor who isn’t able or willing to defend himself. Cross Point members may love Pete Wilson but the feeling is obviously not mutual because he’s kicked them to the curb very callously.

    Also, if Pete Wilson can’t say that he hasn’t committed adultery generally, or fooled around with staff members specifically, then I don’t think he is qualified for ministry.

    Putting him in a Christian leadership position of any kind right now, even one as slick and corporate as being the President of Group A, is a sick joke.

    If he doesn’t want to face scrutiny for his public role as a Christian leader, then let him go get a lower profile job outside the Christian celebrity industry.

    Perhaps the experience of working a few double-shifts at a minimum-wage retail job, in which he has no adoring fans to make excuses for his “problems and struggles,” will tell Pastor Pete what burn-out is really about.

    End of story.

  122. @ Dave A A:

    Yes, the expastors website is like a giant window into everything that is wrong in church!

    elastigirl wrote:

    was she / were they asked to resign so Pete could keep on looking good, so his and all the other man pastors’ jobs and paychecks remained secure? sacrifice the woman/women to protect the men and their reputations and livelihoods

    Women don’t need jobs with decent salaries and it’s OK to fire them for the benefit of men if they have a husband: (stuff I leaned early from church)

    Doesn’t seem like that bits changed in 20 years apparently!

  123. Lea wrote:

    Women don’t need jobs with decent salaries

    No; because they’re only equal in true value. They’re not actually valuable. Or, women are equal in value but different in cost.

  124. You know, after last night’s enlightening posts on authoritarian theology and the lack of biblical support for it, I am wondering now if the authoritarians care at all about sin. I mean, they’re Elect forever, right? Nothing they do can stop that, and so actually dealing with the consequences of deep-rooted sin isn’t a goal compared to enforcing the authority of the church over those who might have a problem with the “sinners”.

  125. @ Michael R:

    OK, Michael. If you have nothing to do with this church, how did you know the name that you write? You know more about the church than I did a few weeks ago.

    I have decided to remove that man’s name from this thread. He was not my source and you claim you don’t know anything about the church. So why in the world would you put some poor guy’s name down in a comment if y0u know absolutely nothing.

  126. ishy wrote:

    I am wondering now if the authoritarians care at all about sin

    To authoritarians, the only real sin is lack of submission.

    dee wrote:

    if y0u know absolutely nothing

    I think Michael said he knew the rumors and the truth? He didn’t say what they were or anything, though. Or how he knows them. My guess was that he is affiliated with the A group or some other similar group.

  127. dee wrote:

    @ Michael R:
    OK, Michael. If you have nothing to do with this church, how did you know the name that you write? You know more about the church than I did a few weeks ago.
    I have decided to remove that man’s name from this thread. He was not my source and you claim you don’t know anything about the church. So why in the world would you put some poor guy’s name down in a comment if y0u know absolutely nothing.

    Because Michael evidently has trouble telling the truth. The problem with lying is you have to remember too much, such as what you posted hours before, and if it was a lie, or if what you’re saying now is a lie, it’s hard to keep it all straight. Michael’s a great fit if he’s an insider at a church where the elders get together and generate a sob story about pastor simply being burned out from it all (“Why you ungrateful cads in the pews, you wore the poor guy out!”), when in reality, he was jettisoned apparently because he was wearing himself out chasing women.

  128. Lea wrote:

    I think Michael said he knew the rumors and the truth?

    Michael is playing games. I like straight shooters and this guy is not one of them.

  129. I wonder if A group really even knew the full story. Maybe they were duped as well.

    Though I have to admit I think the purpose of A group is atrocious.

  130. ishy wrote:

    I am wondering now if the authoritarians care at all about sin. I mean, they’re Elect forever, right?

    John Piper tells them to?

  131. Michael R wrote:

    My heart and purpose is not to shut people down and throw a tantrum…. what I saw here was a set of allegation and rumors.

    You sure added to them, michael and you were wrong. And since this is all a rumor and you know more than you claim, has living with his wife?

  132. Lea wrote:

    Women don’t need jobs with decent salaries and it’s OK to fire them for the benefit of men if they have a husband: (stuff I leaned early from church)

    I know one church in my area whose pastor is insisting he get a salary he wife would make so she can stay home with the kids. Unfortunately, many families who will pay that salary have women working jobs so they can pay that salary.

  133. Michael wrote that “The mantel of being a pastor carries a weight and burden that only those who have walked that road can understand.”

    Yes and Jesus said come unto me all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” The problem isn’t the burden of being a pastor,the problem is when a pastor doesn’t trust God and perhaps don’t even believe the Words in the Bible.

    When a pastor thinks he has more weight and burdens than anyone else it leaves him or her, open to self pity and then making allowances for their shortcomings and failings.

  134. @ dee:
    “Michael R wrote:
    My heart and purpose is not to shut people down and throw a tantrum…. what I saw here was a set of allegation and rumors.”

    Then why did you publicly contribute to those so-called allegations and rumors by posting the full name of someone at Cross Point whom you believe ratted Pete Wilson out? You had no proof that he/she has had any contact with anyone associated with this blog. You were just trying to smear him/her with the type of speculation you are falsely claiming to dislike.

    And probably fishing for information on behalf of whomever you’re working for, as well.

    Your whole schtick in this comment thread is based on nothing but circular arguments, other logical fallacies, and hypocrisy, Michael R.

    If you don’t want people to rely on secondary sources of information, then go tell Pete Wilson and the so-called leaders at Cross Point to issue some honest public statements instead of hiding behind a bunch of Bible verses quoted out-of-context in ludicrous ways.

    And if you truly believe in accountability regarding the contact of Pete Wilson whose name you’re trying to smear, and Dee, who is posting under her real name, then why don’t you cough up your real identity and tell us something about your background?

    There’s nothing wrong with posting general comments anonymously, but someone making the specific speculative accusations you are making should do so under his/her real name if he/she wants to be taken seriously, in my opinion.

    And yes, I am posting under my real name, which is so unusual that people often can look me up easily.

  135. Michael R wrote:

    And as a result, we are all guilty (myself too) of creating further damage for the global church by creating tension, mistrust and bitterness for the church and it’s leaders.

    Sorry, Michael. But in America (and elsewhere) “the church and its leaders” have earned mistrust all on their own, from believers and outsiders alike. We didn’t create it by calling out their nonsense.

  136. Michael R wrote:

    I’ve long walked with pastors who have left church ministry. I’ve helped countless churches navigate the loss, absence and yes, scandals from pastors choices. I have helped church members navigate the loss of trust and the hurt caused by such things. My role? Someone able, gifted, chosen and preferred by many to navigate this journey. Who chooses me to be part…. not the pastor, but the churches lay leaders.

    And is all this done within the context of your PR work with Group A, my gifted, able, chosen, and preferred, friend?

    It doesn’t sound as though humility is one of your strong points. 😉

    Also, per your previous comments about Church authority, how is it Biblical for lay leaders, rather than Pastors, to be asking you to help their Church?

  137. Deb wrote:

    @ dee:
    Removing that name is the right thing to do. Bravo!

    Don’t like to nit-pick, but the laddie in question’s name still occurs in the thread – I know Dee’s away from her desk, but I wonder whether you or GBTC (or emdy else with the Royal Prerogative) might do the editorial honours?

  138. Bridget wrote:

    You have set up a hierarchy for yourselves haven’t you?

    What gets me is when these local elders declare that they are not answerable to the congregation while at the same time they themselves are not in a system with bishops to which they are answerable. Hey, what a deal that is, to be answerable to nobody but your buddies if that. This brings up the issue of why. Why would somebody insist on such a system in the first place unless they either had things in their own lives to hide or perhaps they have just worshipped at the altar of power and ego. Or both.

  139. @ Janna L. Chan:
    Actually, I take that back. “Michael” might be privvy to the information in question if he’s just a corporate shill for Group A.

  140. “The mantle of being a pastor carries a weight and burden that only those who have walked that road can understand.”

    So does being poor, a single parent, illness, sorrow, suffering, pain, heartach, persecution.

    Pastors are not “extra” special before man or God. God never gave them a “mantle.” Stop believing you are set apart in some way and join the rest of the world down here. You have been taught a load of nonsense.

    You might need to explain how you know the truth but you know nothing? How you know names, but you dont know Pete?

  141. Janna L. Chan wrote:

    What’s bizarre, to me, is that Cross Point folks are defending a Pastor who isn’t able or willing to defend himself. Cross Point members may love Pete Wilson but the feeling is obviously not mutual because he’s kicked them to the curb very callously.

    I think that if he was only “burned-out and broken”, he would have let Cross Point down gently. He would have announced his departure a few months in advance and given the church time to adjust and regroup …… time to appoint and prep another lead pastor …… time to say goodbyes and hellos.

  142. “The mantle of being a pastor carries a weight and burden that only those who have walked that road can understand.”

    I was going to hush, but I too want to say something about that attitude.

    (1) What did the pastor think it means to be a functioning grown up on the job that ‘weight and burden’ were not part of it?

    (2) What does the pastor think the rest of us are doing if not weight and burden living? I practiced medicine and raised a family and part of that time as a single parent. The pastor is ill advised to whimper on my door step. I know it’s hard. But booze and women and power struggles only make it harder. Grow up.

    (3) If the pastor is not able to function at the level that the job requires tell me why we should have pity on his whining? It rather looks like that if he can’t do it then he obviously is not called by God to do it since God is not empowering him to fulfill his calling. This does not call for whining. It calls for a re-evaluation of one’s life and calling and re-aligning oneself with whatever it is that he is actually called to do. In other words, he needs to get into a situation where he can cope and quit asking the whole word to make special allowances for him. Just like the rest of us have to do. He is not special.

  143. Nancy2 wrote:

    I think that if he was only “burned-out and broken”, he would have let Cross Point down gently. He would have announced his departure a few months in advance and given the church time to adjust and regroup …… time to appoint and prep another lead pastor …… time to say goodbyes and hellos.

    I think I said in the previous thread, the thing that jumped out at me was all the publicity. Changing jobs, retiring, etc, these are normal and routine and not worthy of a million fawning articles in Christian press.

    If he had acted as you mentioned, it would not have been suspicious. (Although I do think someone mentioned that he took some time off at some point? But it sounded like the church was ‘trying to keep him’ which may well have been lies who knows (from the church leadership who was trying to keep this scandal business under wraps, not the poster).)

  144. @ Nancy2:
    Thanks, Nancy. I agree and actually made that point on the previous post about Cross Point and Pete Wilson.

    And I reject “Michael’s” argument that Pete Wilson isn’t responsible for cleaning up the mess he made at his former Church just because he’s now no longer technically a Pastor.

    Pete Wilson is not really a man. He’s just a little boy who’s been caught doing something very bad.

  145. @ Bridget:
    Because “Michael” talks in such vague generalities, it’s hard to understand his real point.

    Is he suggesting that the Bible says that Pastors carry such an awesome burden that we shouldn’t care if they have adulterous relationships with Church employees?

  146. okrapod wrote:

    But booze and women and power struggles only make it harder. Grow up.

    “Booze and Ladies
    Keep me right —
    As long as we can make it to The Show tonight!
    We’re an American Band!
    We’re an American Band!
    We’re coming to your town!
    We’ll help you party down!
    We’re an American Band!”
    — Grand Funk Railroad

  147. ishy wrote:

    I am wondering now if the authoritarians care at all about sin. I mean, they’re Elect forever, right?

    Amazing the attitude that comes with a personal “Get Out of Hell Free/My Speshul Pet” card signed by God before the foundation of the world…

  148. Law Prof wrote:

    So from that tiny bit, you derive this theory that a pastor is to be the head person of a fellowship, the CEO, and, as you said earlier (and don’t try to obfuscate, you said it), accountable to no man, only to God.

    Wasn’t that called “Divine Right of Kings”?
    The Christianization of “The King is a GOD”?

  149. dee wrote:

    Lea wrote:
    I think Michael said he knew the rumors and the truth?
    Michael is playing games. I like straight shooters and this guy is not one of them.

    Well, you know, the servant becomes like the master, Jesus said that. So if you follow liars who make up burn out stories (which have the effect of putting guilt on the congregation and then get followed up by a rash of blog posts telling parishioners how they need to care for the needs of their poor little burned out pastors) as reason for pastor’s exit and tell the congregation that they just begged him to stay, when in reality pastor was diddling with their wives and the staff and was a sexual predator on the loose and that’s why he had to go, was just getting too hot to handle, too much risk for the system, well when you follow liars like that who are evidently not following God but rather serving hell itself through their lies, what are you going to do when you blow into a watchblog? Tell the truth? Shoot straight? Be Christ-like? No way, He’s not your master if you’re following liars, you’ll lie like them.

  150. Michael R wrote:

    And, I will boldly say to you…. until you have carried the mantle of pastoring a church and shepherding a congregation, I caution you to have judgement and opinion. I never knew until I walked that road myself.

    Do you have any idea at all how this sounds to one of the pewpeons you feel need to be shepherded by you with your mantle? There are plenty of pewpeons who would love to walk the hard road that the pastors I know walk, even with the weight of that mantle.

  151. The idea that pastors are responsible only to God and that God will act if a pastor gets out of line is just opening the door to all sorts of abuse. It’s a small step from there to saying you must obey your pastor in all things because they are responsible to God, and if you have any problems your only recourse is to pray.

    Been there, done that, still have the scars.

  152. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Wasn’t that called “Divine Right of Kings”?

    Henry the Eighth relied on that one quite heavily as he beheaded Earls, Bishops and Wives.

    He was extremely concerned with the divine order that put him at the top where he didn’t have to answer to anyone but himself.

  153. okrapod wrote:

    (2) What does the pastor think the rest of us are doing if not weight and burden living? I practiced medicine and raised a family and part of that time as a single parent. The pastor is ill advised to whimper on my door step. I know it’s hard. But booze and women and power struggles only make it harder. Grow up.

    I’m with you there! My 1st husband died in an auto accident when our daughter was 6 years old. Two years later, I married a soldier in Special Forces – gone more than he was at home. Yeah, those poor burned out, broken babes should see what it’s like to “carry that mantle”.
    I’ll say what you said, only louder: GROW UP!

  154. ishy wrote:

    Though I have to admit I think the purpose of A group is atrocious.

    Exactly. Why does a real church need such “resources” like A Group or A Team or whatever. Like BJ said, these “church” leaders look a lot like politicians who want power in order to enrich themselves. They are like shepherds who love mutton.

  155. Nancy2 wrote:

    Yeah, those poor burned out, broken babes should see what it’s like to “carry that mantle”.

    The burnout rate for Caseworkers is 6 months. The ladies in our agency have all worked at it for more than 10 years a piece. Bet these whinny pastors wouldn’t last the six months. First off, they wouldn’t get to be in charge. Second, they’d be lied to, cussed at, threatened, and maligned possibly all those in one day.

    Nope, the burden of a pastor would be a frolic through tulip fields in comparison.

  156. dee wrote:

    I know one church in my area whose pastor is insisting he get a salary he wife would make so she can stay home with the kids. Unfortunately, many families who will pay that salary have women working jobs so they can pay that salary.

    A fact which will be ignored completely because it is inconvenient to their narrative.

  157. Gram3 wrote:

    Exactly. Why does a real church need such “resources” like A Group or A Team or whatever. Like BJ said, these “church” leaders look a lot like politicians who want power in order to enrich themselves. They are like shepherds who love mutton.

    For I am going to raise up a shepherd over the land who will not care for the lost, or seek the young, or heal the injured, or feed the healthy, but will eat the meat of the choice sheep, tearing off their hooves.

    “Woe to the worthless shepherd,
    who deserts the flock!
    May the sword strike his arm and his right eye!
    May his arm be completely withered,
    his right eye totally blinded!”

    Zechariah 11:16-17

  158. dee wrote:

    Michael is playing games. I like straight shooters and this guy is not one of them.

    C’mon now dee, cut him some slack, at least he hasn’t claimed to be an ex Navy Seal.

  159. @ Michael R:
    I do not know from where you derive your theology but from what I’m reading I see something that has nothing to do with what is in the Bible We can judge actions of any man. The only thing we cannot judge is that man’s salvation

    Are you really saying that we can’t judge a pastor for adultery, abuse, etc. Codswallop!

    Pastors are no more God’s Own then the smallest child in the most remotest part of the world There is no more a mantle on the pastor then there is on any Christian who is about God’s business

    You sound like one of the overseers in the ARC. I have read some things By Chris Hodges and the others that sound exactly like what you are saying here.

    I’m sure you have nothing to do with them but I might recommend you linking up with them since you definitely share a lot of the same unusual theology

  160. Mara wrote:

    The burnout rate for Caseworkers is 6 months. The ladies in our agency have all worked at it for more than 10 years a piece. Bet these whinny pastors wouldn’t last the six months. First off, they wouldn’t get to be in charge. Second, they’d be lied to, cussed at, threatened, and maligned possibly all those in one day.
    Nope, the burden of a pastor would be a frolic through tulip fields in comparison.

    Most of these guys wouldn’t survive a day as a preschool teacher, and I bet they couldn’t even do the work of their stay-at-home mom wives.

    It reminds me of an administrator I had that used to criticize everything I did as a teacher, but I walked in to her one day screaming at a child, after she had been there a whole 20 minutes alone.

  161. Mara wrote:

    Second, they’d be lied to, cussed at, threatened, and maligned possibly all those in one day.

    This just jumped out at me. I wonder what some of these people the Deebs write about would do if they could only deal with people just like them?

  162. Gram3 wrote:

    There are plenty of pewpeons who would love to walk the hard road that the pastors I know walk, even with the weight of that mantle.

    I carried that weight once–though it was lighter as an associate whereas pastor Bob carried the heavier weight of founding. We had a friend, Ed who wrote and recorded music and gave it all away. He wrote a song just for me and Bob and drove hundreds of miles to sing it at our church. The title was “Lay It Down”. “It” was the “mantle” and we laid it down and I never picked it back up and Bob hadn’t either, last I saw him. Ed (now with the Lord) was probably a true prophet, assuming they’re for today.

  163. Bridget wrote:

    “The mantle of being a pastor carries a weight and burden that only those who have walked that road can understand.”
    So does being poor, a single parent, illness, sorrow, suffering, pain, heartach, persecution.
    Pastors are not “extra” special before man or God. God never gave them a “mantle.” Stop believing you are set apart in some way and join the rest of the world down here. You have been taught a load of nonsense.

    Exactly. There’s no mantle. That was in the Old Testament. There are only people humbly serving one another, sharpening each other’s iron.

    There’s a certain type of person, either a person without a conscience, an evil, ruthless person, who wants to lord it over others and talks of mantles, and how they’re responsible only to God, not to man, how their calling is special, how they’re a set apart class, like the Levitical priests of old, how it’s not a democracy, they’re essentially the benevolent (though they’re never, ever benevolent) dictator of the fellowship.

    Those people ought to be set out of the fellowship immediately, thrown straight out, they’re dangerous predators, they are lovers of self, they’re abusers, superapostles Paul called them. Have nothing to do with them, unless the Lord tells you otherwise, probably not worth even reasoning with them, would be casting pearls before swine. That may well describe Pete Wilson.

    And then there are the people who’ve lost all discernment because they’ve ignored that still small voice for too long to follow the abusers described above, or perhaps they don’t know the Lord at all and never had the discernment in the first place, they’re just followers of men who want to pretend they have some spirituality in their lives, not lovers of Jesus, and both types, though they might not wish anyone harm, will do great harm by acting as enforcers, enablers, defenders of those who abuse. Pray for them, try to show them how foolish they’re being, and try to save them from the fire, hating even the clothing stained by the flesh. That may well describe our own Michael R.

  164. @ Michael R:

    Bible still says that people in leader roles in the church are held to higher standards than the Average Janes and Joes in the pews.

    And adultery is one condition that the Bible indicates disqualifies a person from church leadership. An adulterer can be forgiven (if they repent), but they are not to be in a church leader or teacher role.

  165. Janna L. Chan wrote:

    Then why did you publicly contribute to those so-called allegations and rumors by posting the full name of someone at Cross Point whom you believe ratted Pete Wilson out?

    I regret suggesting that the person(s) who are holding Pete Wilson responsible for his misconduct as a Pastor are “rats.”

    Rather, I think they’re people of integrity who have made the right call in trying to get the truth out there, because the official leaders of Cross Point Church aren’t stepping up to the plate.

  166. Michael R wrote:

    The mantle of being a pastor carries a weight and burden that only those who have walked that road can understand.

    Oh man, I hear you.
    Those long hours of sitting in your comfy, cushy, puffy, executive chair, in an air conditioned office, sipping on coffee, while some Ghostwriter authors your theology books, and you pay Result Source to buy your way on the NY Times best seller list.

    …Toiling away, getting paid five or six figures, to deliver some sermon to your best pastor buddy’s mega-church members, based on a stale, blog post you wrote six years ago.

    Telling your administrative assistant to block any phone calls from concerned parents who want to talk to you about how Joe Blow, who works as a Sunday School teacher in your church, is touching their children inappropriately.

    Or heck, just screen ALL your calls.
    Why Pastors Aren’t Answering Your Calls
    http://www.christianitytoday.com/karl-vaters/2016/august/why-most-pastors-arent-answering-your-phone-calls.html?paging=off

    Flying around in your private Leer jet (paid for by church tithes) to meet with other multi-millionaire church preachers about how to attract even more Giving Units (members) to your church…

    … Coming up with ways to argue to rank and file Christians that the Bible really doesn’t hold preachers, or those in church leadership roles, to higher standards than the rest of us….

    Has to be so exhausting.

  167. Robert wrote:

    The idea that pastors are responsible only to God and that God will act if a pastor gets out of line is just opening the door to all sorts of abuse. It’s a small step from there to saying you must obey your pastor in all things because they are responsible to God, and if you have any problems your only recourse is to pray.
    Been there, done that, still have the scars.

    It just occurred to me that this is the same rationale that many gender complementarians use concerning domestic violence. They tell women to just submit more to an abusive husband, don’t call the police or divorce the guy or take any other corrective measures, because supposedly, God will magically step in, intervene, and take the husband to task. I’ve seldom heard of that happening.

    Most of the time, the abuse goes on for many years before the wife has enough, calls it quits, and finally divorces the louse.

    Don’t ask me why, but God does not always step in and help people when they want him to, ask for him to, or need for him to.

    That holds true for abusive church situations, in abusive marriages, and God doesn’t always heal people of their sicknesses, or give them whatever else they’re asking for.

  168. Daisy wrote:

    Michael R wrote:
    The mantle of being a pastor carries a weight and burden that only those who have walked that road can understand.

    BTW, I wrote “Group A” several times when I meant “The A Group.” Sorry about that.

    Michael, if you are a PR consultant, I suggest that you try a sales pitch other than, “no one with a regular job in the secular world can possibly understand how hard it is to be a Pastor,” as that idea isn’t likely to go over well with any group paying a Pastor’s salary with what they earn from their less exalted callings in this life.

    And that applies to Pastors who actually do tend to their flocks, as much as it does to professional entertainers in the “Church business” like Pete Wilson. (Just my opinion about Pete Wilson, of course)

    Or at least drop the part about “wearing a mantle” because that sounds really weird, dude.

    😉

  169. Michael R wrote:

    I am not paid by Pete and never have been. I have never worked with or for Pete. And, my dog in this?

    Please post your real name and LinkedIn profile so that we can vet you.

    Nobody is buying your story.

    And yes, you are incredibly arrogant. You have been trying to control the narrative, shut down adults, etc.

    I don’t care who you are and what you claim. You are out of line.

  170. Michael R wrote:

    As for being judged as pastors….. that judgement is tendered by God and not by man. Pastors answer to God and are accountable to His oversight. God will handle those men and leaders. And, I will boldly say to you…. until you have carried the mantle of pastoring a church and shepherding a congregation, I caution you to have judgement and opinion. I never knew until I walked that road myself. I used to have so many opinions and ideas about the position, the parameters and such…. but after nearly 20 years as a leader…. I know now that God will handle his own!

    That is some very dangerous theology you just posted. You said that pastors answer to God, not men. That statement by itself is true. Because every single person (not just pastors) answers to God, not men. Men can only destroy the body. But God can destroy the soul in hell.

    However what you are implying is dangerous. You are saying in effect that pastors are above church discipline. Because you said it is not the place of men (church members) to judge pastors. This is wrong. Paul had no problem rebuking Peter when Peter make mistakes. (Galatians 2:11-21)

    Now ultimately yes pastors (in fact anyone) will answer to God, not men. But to use that to say that pastor, while running a church, doesn’t need to answer to men is TOTALLY taking things out of context. Because God do (and will) use men to execute judgement on sinning Christians. God will use even non-believing government as his agents of wrath. (Romans 13:4).

    So even more so that God will use Christians to bring judgement for serious sinners, that they get what they deserved and the victims are protected. Christians do not seek revenge. But exposing serious sins to the whole congregation, or even the police, is needed sometimes.

    And then you said “Unless you are a pastor yourself you have no idea how hard it is.” Ok fair enough. But the opposite is true. You have no idea how hard it is for some people to be a regular church member. It is almost like me talking to an alcoholic “Why don’ you just quit drinking? How hard can it me? You don’t see anyone else drinking.” I have no idea the struggles of an alcoholic.

    You are in effect saying “Yes Pete Wilson cheated on his wife. But you have no idea how hard it was for him to be a pastor. So you shouldn’t judge!” Ok so being a pastor means he can cheat on his wife? That he can lie about the true reason he is leaving his church?

    What twisted logic is this?

    A pastor is to be held to a higher standard.

    Now yes the church should be about love and forgiveness. But you have to remember that if a sinner is non-repentant, the church cannot forgive him/her. A sinner must repent first. And the sins must be exposed and that sinner be held accountable. And then the church forgives.

    You cannot ask the church to forgive what that sinner HASN’T admitted. That sinner isn’t even sorry. And if the church, instead of pushing for a repentance, instead encourage this kind of behavior by COVERING IT UP, it is in fact LEADING this pastor to HELL. He will be lost in his sins. The church should have handed Pete Wilson to Satan to be tormented, so he will repent of his sins.

  171. Michael R wrote:

    My heart and purpose is not to shut people down and throw a tantrum…. what I saw here was a set of allegation and rumors. When people jump on the bandwagon of criticism based on these things…. well you can see the result. It brings out the bitter and harsh feelings of people.

    Of course it is your desire to shut people down, name call them, accuse them, use Thought Reform techniques.

    That church’s leaders at Pete wilson’s church blew it. They had a Biblical obligation to confront him before all and be absolutely transparent. They blew it.

    Don’t tell me that it can’t be done. I was 4-years old when I watched the Presbyterian Church where my family were members confront as pastor in sin “before all”. It was done Biblically and correctly by the church leaders and the members. They even hired a new pastor all of the way from Scotland to come to California.

    https://www.freedomofmind.com/Info/BITE/bitemodel.php
    The BITE Model
    I. Behavior Control
    II. Information Control
    III. Thought Control
    IV. Emotional Control

  172. CHIPS wrote:

    You said that pastors answer to God, not men

    As Max wrote about this new breed of pastors that they are more “annoying than anoited”. But that’s what you get…a new Roman Catholic model with every senior pastor appointing himself as pope over his own fiefdom.

    The sheep exist merely to be fleeced.

  173. By serious sins I actually means serious sins. That includes rape, cheating on ones’ wife, etc. Serious sins requires serious treatement.

    I do not mean every smallest minor sins be exposed to the whole church. Downloads movies online, being late every Sunday to church, find a $20 bill on the ground and didn’t return it to the owner, etc. These are minor sins that isn’t seriously hurting anyone. So talk to that person 1 on 1 and give him time to repent alone with God.

  174. CHIPS wrote:

    And then you said “Unless you are a pastor yourself you have no idea how hard it is.

    Life is hard for all of us.

    Oh puhhhhhllllsseeee. This guy (Michael R.) is something else. As we say out here in California, “Would you like some cheese with your Whine?!”

    How much is Michael R. being paid to come here and do this. Public relations spin doctor.

  175. @ Michael R:
    Michael R wrote:

    As for being judged as pastors….. that judgement is tendered by God and not by man. Pastors answer to God and are accountable to His oversight.

    The correct word here is “tyrants,” not “pastors.”

  176. Michael R wrote:

    Accountability is needed and good. But not to the Masses. It’s not a democracy!

    Really? Pray, pay and obey? Seriously, this is the hallmark of authoritarianism. And where it leads is to pastors who refuse to sit down when their *elders* tell them to do so and instead claim that God has told them to move off to another state and start a church. I’m speaking of Mark Driscoll here, and that’s exactly what happened. He had an elder board, and he refused to sit under them.

    I’m thinking people should vote with their wallets and their feet under such authoritarianism.

    And while I’m at it, pastor just means shepherd. And shepherds take care of the sheep and that can get gnarly-you know, getting sheep out of bad situations, caring for the sheep’s feet and legs to keep them healthy, shearing the sheep to take care of their wool*, all of these things. I don’t see these megachurch pastors doing that!

    * Have you seen the picture of the escaped sheep Shrek? He escaped shearing for six years and when he was finally captured, his fleece weighed 60 pounds. Sheep are bred to be shorn yearly.

  177. CHIPS wrote:

    Now yes the church should be about love and forgiveness.

    Michael R. INTENTIONALLY omitted a major step. A church leader who sins is to be confronted “before all”.

    I was 4 years old when I watched my family’s Presbyterian Church confront a senior pastor in sin “before all”. The church leaders and members handled it Biblically. It was a time of deep pain for the church. But they took hiring a solid pastor so seriously that they hired a new Presbyterian pastor all of the way from Scotland! (And the Presbyterian Church was in California. He, his wife, and daughters moved to California to pastor this church.)

  178. Law Prof wrote:

    There’s a certain type of person, either a person without a conscience, an evil, ruthless person, who wants to lord it over others and talks of mantles, and how they’re responsible only to God, not to man, how their calling is special, how they’re a set apart class, like the Levitical priests of old, how it’s not a democracy, they’re essentially the benevolent (though they’re

    Yet, when it comes to their own sins/crimes, they add a few books to the NT on forgiving and definitely on forgetting!

  179. @ Michael R:
    Nice little piece of manipulation, that. The writer appears to be well practiced.

    Editor: You removed a name, early on, but another (or the same name) recurs a bit further down. Just wanted to point that out if it was a problem.

  180. Deana Holmes (fka mirele) wrote:

    I’m thinking people should vote with their wallets and their feet under such authoritarianism.

    Amen.

    Slam those wallets shut folks. They don’t respect you, then don’t give your money to a place you are treated with this level of contempt and disdain.

  181. This website and its comments is gossip.

    Repent publicly and take down this website. If you choose not to do so, then you are choosing to continue in this sin and are leading others into sin.

    Romans 14:1-13.

  182. HippieGramma wrote:

    @ Michael R:
    Michael R wrote:
    As for being judged as pastors….. that judgement is tendered by God and not by man. Pastors answer to God and are accountable to His oversight.
    The correct word here is “tyrants,” not “pastors.”

    +100!!!

  183. @ Michael R:

    By that argument, a church member cannot even go after a false prophet because that false prophet is not accountable to the congregation. That false prophet, after getting into the position of pastor, in immune to attacks and criticism from the congregation.

    That’s what happen when too much focus is placed on the position and office of pastor. And not enough focus on his heart and actions.

    Then you say “But the elders can confront him.” Ok, but what if the false prophet surrounded himself with yes-men as elders that agrees with every falsehood he is teaching?

  184. Michael R wrote:

    I must be…. I never recall a passage calling pastors accountable to the congregation. I do recall guidelines for elders in accountability to the scriptures and other elders!

    As a woman, that comes across as sexist, elitist, authoritarian nonsense. This is a big reason why the evangelical church in America has problems, because the men in the pulpit feel they’re elevated above the rest of use. No. Thanks. I’ll be out on the sidewalk.

  185. Deana Holmes (fka mirele) wrote:

    As a woman, that comes across as sexist, elitist, authoritarian nonsense.

    If they would recognize that women are supposed to be elders too, then it wouldn’t be sexist anymore! (just elitist/authoritarian).

  186. YDee wrote:

    You sound like one of the overseers in the ARC. I have read some things By Chris Hodges and the others that sound exactly like what you are saying here.

    To me his spiel sounds exactly like something someone from Expastors.com would say, to create doubt, guilt, and silence among pew peons who are starting to question the “above question, set-apart” status of their high-paid celebrity pastors.

    Especially if a few watchbloggers had been getting in the way of their recent PR “restoration” efforts.

  187. @ Lea:

    Actually, Crosspoint itself may have had women in some positions…I think patricia mentioned something about. I don’t know enough about their structure to say.

  188. HippieGramma wrote:

    ike something someone from Expastors.com would say, to create doubt, guilt, and silence

    First, I love your name!!

    Second, I think you have a lot of people throwing bible verses out and if the members of the church are not fully confident in their interpretations and instincts they can be stymied by someone they think knows the bible better than they do – because they went to seminary. We have to be very careful to listen, read for ourselves and be confident when we know something is wrong.

  189. @ Lea:
    I agree. Guilting, shaming, and silencing should always be red flags that an advisor’s motives are likely not entirely spiritual.

    Thanks for the compliment. I’m afraid we embarrass the heck out of our more conservative children (think Family Ties, Alex P Keaton) but I’m pretty sure they’ll eventually find out the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree

  190. @ Nancy2:

    I see. The dreaded ‘coordinator’ and ‘director’ titles make an appearance! (this nonsense pretty much drove me out of the SBC, btw).

  191. Nancy2 wrote:

    Okay …………. given that statement, why the ‘ell do these people pay any attention to what the Apostle Paul said – according to their interpretation, anyway!

    Nancy2, For what it’s worth, I think the emphasis on married pastors is rooted in an anti-Romanist mindset. It certainly isn’t biblical. After all, our Chief Pastor and Shepherd never married.

  192. Law Prof wrote:

    And then there are the people who’ve lost all discernment because they’ve ignored that still small voice for too long to follow the abusers described above, or perhaps they don’t know the Lord at all and never had the discernment in the first place, they’re just followers of men who want to pretend they have some spirituality in their lives, not lovers of Jesus, and both types, though they might not wish anyone harm, will do great harm by acting as enforcers, enablers, defenders of those who abuse.

    While all those are certainly possibilities, there is one more I think got us where we are today in terms of this authority/rule acceptance in the church. Sometimes is so gradual it’s undetected. It’s a clever “conditioning” or “grooming” if you will that is dished out in such a way that it makes some sense to those who are being conditioned.

    I use a off-topic example of conditioning. Many years ago when my boys wanted to go see Jaws, I knew there were scenes that were very graphic and violent like a leg being torn from a body by the shark. Unbeknownst to me, they went with friends and saw it anyway. My son admitted it to me and said the violence “didn’t bother him one bit.” My reply to myself was “that’s what I was afraid of.” Compare that graphic scene to what we see on tv and movies on a daily basis and you will see how gradual conditioning becomes acceptable. Years ago there was a lot of uproar about subliminal influence that also goes unnoticed today.

    Just my 2 cents.

  193. Lea wrote:

    Michael R wrote:
    And, no where in the scripture is a man permanently disqualified from ministry because he sins and fails

    That depends upon the particular sin. Some sins do disqualify a person from re-entering the pastorate. But in today’s watered-down, commercialized, evangelical industrial complex, those sins are ignored. Pastors can commit adultery, fraud, pedophilia, live in million dollar mansions, drive their own personal jets, and overtly lie about their business practices and still remain pastors. Or step down for awhile, write a book about their experiences, feign some kind of sorry, and re-enter the limelight all shiny and new.

  194. Janna L. Chan wrote:

    Then why did you publicly contribute to those so-called allegations and rumors by posting the full name of someone at Cross Point whom you believe ratted Pete Wilson out? You had no proof that he/she has had any contact with anyone associated with this blog. You were just trying to smear him/her with the type of speculation you are falsely claiming to dislike.

    Is it possible for us to contact that person now? It is obvious that the Cross Point Church and/or Group A is going after him. Maybe we should ask him for all the insider details on this story. Since Cross Point and Group A already think he is guilt of “gossip”, he might as well help us expose absolutely everything.

    Funny that we have never even heard of that person until Michael R pointed him out. 😛

  195. MidwesternEasterner wrote:

    Okay …………. given that statement, why the ‘ell do these people pay any attention to what the Apostle Paul said – according to their interpretation, anyway!

    Again I think it goes back to Reformational prejudices. Unmarried clergy were too Catholic, I guess.

    Exactly my thoughts. For many Evangelicals, the idea is to be as far away from anything that resembles Roman Catholicism as possible.

  196. Michael R wrote:

    As for being judged as pastors….. that judgement is tendered by God and not by man. Pastors answer to God and are accountable to His oversight. God will handle those men and leaders. And, I will boldly say to you…. until you have carried the mantle of pastoring a church and shepherding a congregation, I caution you to have judgement and opinion. I never knew until I walked that road myself. I used to have so many opinions and ideas about the position, the parameters and such…. but after nearly 20 years as a leader…. I know now that God will handle his own!

    Michael R.: You seem to see only one side of the equation. Yes, pastors are accountable to God. But it doesn’t end there. They are also accountable to people – those people who are paying their salary. You know, the parishioners who support him. I don’t know where you get your theology from, but yours is a paradigm where pastors can do whatever they please, sin however they like (because we aren’t all perfect), and be accountable to no one. This is a mindset based in arrogance. A slap in the face to those people who respect him and support him in his ministry. By the way, which sins does a minister/pastor/leader get to commit without answering to any “man?” Fraud, sexual abuse, domestic violence, pedophilia, murder, adultery….? And we wonder why churches are being sued. It seems to me churches have lower standards than secular society. All in the name of sin leveling, i.e. – no one is perfect, we all sin, therefore leaders are not held accountable. This twisted paradigm is the reason Christians have become a laughing stock and are seen as hypocritical.

  197. Ken F wrote:

    Michael R wrote:
    And, I will boldly say to you…. until you have carried the mantle of pastoring a church and shepherding a congregation, I caution you to have judgement and opinion.
    Maybe the current model is wrong. Maybe we have all made too much of pastors as the centerpiece of church. But in any case, if a pastor sets himself up as CEO type, then such a pastor should not be surprised when his life gets scrutinized.

    Don’t you know, Ken? These men are above scrutiny. The Benny Hinns, Jesse Duplantis, Kenneth Copelands, Jimmy Swaggarts, Creflo Dollars, etc. etc., get to do and say whatever they please. After all, they’re “God’s anointed.” L. Ron Hubbard was right. Religion is big business, the way to get rich and prosper with impunity.

  198. Victorious wrote:

    While all those are certainly possibilities, there is one more I think got us where we are today in terms of this authority/rule acceptance in the church. Sometimes is so gradual it’s undetected. It’s a clever “conditioning” or “grooming” if you will that is dished out in such a way that it makes some sense to those who are being conditioned.

    I’d fit your description within category 1 in my post, the people who’ve stopped being able to hear the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit because they’ve followed Dear Leader too long, of course long term conditioning is what causes this debilitating condition, it doesn’t come all at once.

  199. Law Prof wrote:

    they’ve followed Dear Leader too long, of course long term conditioning is what causes this debilitating condition, it doesn’t come all at once.

    I refer to it as Spiritual Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: odorless, tasteless, colorless and deadly. It will knock a person (spiritually) out before they know it.

  200. Michael R wrote:

    There isn’t a scriptural mandate calling pastors accountable to the congregation. @ Lea:

    LOLOLOLOLOL!!!!! And this is why these charlatans can get away with doing whatever they please. In case you hadn’t noticed, Michael R., many of us at TWW were once duped by lines such as yours. Many of us here come from backgrounds of spiritual and church abuse and we don’t cow tow to pastors just because they are pastors. We have the opinion that pastors and those in authority must prove themselves to be trustworthy. And when it is discovered that they are not, we hold them accountable. We won’t drink the kool-aide any more. Of course, there are always uninformed, gullible sheople that will get taken in by the likes of religious charlatans, the kind that you seem to promote.

  201. Velour wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:
    they’ve followed Dear Leader too long, of course long term conditioning is what causes this debilitating condition, it doesn’t come all at once.
    I refer to it as Spiritual Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: odorless, tasteless, colorless and deadly. It will knock a person (spiritually) out before they know it.

    Right on, Velour.

  202. Daisy wrote:

    Michael R wrote:

    The mantle of being a pastor carries a weight and burden that only those who have walked that road can understand.

    Oh man, I hear you.
    Those long hours of sitting in your comfy, cushy, puffy, executive chair, in an air conditioned office, sipping on coffee, while some Ghostwriter authors your theology books, and you pay Result Source to buy your way on the NY Times best seller list.

    …Toiling away, getting paid five or six figures, to deliver some sermon to your best pastor buddy’s mega-church members, based on a stale, blog post you wrote six years ago.

    Telling your administrative assistant to block any phone calls from concerned parents who want to talk to you about how Joe Blow, who works as a Sunday School teacher in your church, is touching their children inappropriately.

    Or heck, just screen ALL your calls.
    Why Pastors Aren’t Answering Your Calls
    http://www.christianitytoday.com/karl-vaters/2016/august/why-most-pastors-arent-answering-your-phone-calls.html?paging=off

    Flying around in your private Leer jet (paid for by church tithes) to meet with other multi-millionaire church preachers about how to attract even more Giving Units (members) to your church…

    … Coming up with ways to argue to rank and file Christians that the Bible really doesn’t hold preachers, or those in church leadership roles, to higher standards than the rest of us….

    Has to be so exhausting.

    It’s a joke. I’ve twice been an elder (two churches), once on half time paid staff (another church), have watched the system from the inside, and I can say that being a pastor is a 24/7 job: 24 hours a week, 7 months a year!.

    There are decent people who are filling jobs called “pastor”, and while many of them may not be a pastor in the biblical sense, while many of them may be occupying a made-up position, they nonetheless serve as part of the fellowship and don’t hurt much, they have the right attitude and serve others, but I’ve never seen a one of the decent ones who’d whine about how very, very hard it is, “Oh brother/sister, if only ya knew how heavy the burden lies upon these poor shoulders!” Nope, the decent pastors they know they’ve got a good gig and feel thankful they get paid for doing what anyone within the church should be glad to do anyway: they like serving people and visiting and praying with shut-ins and delivering a little homily and showing up with a dish at the potluck and generally staying out of the way.

    It’s the clueless (like Michael R.), the jerks, the pompous, the sociopaths, the NPDs (like, perhaps, the subject of this thread), the ones who actually don’t do much of anything other than preen and “wear themselves out” squeezing their middle age spreads into those tightie jeans and calling for room service from the $175 all-expenses-paid hotel room the night before they deliver the canned speech at the T4G (or whatever) conference, who wine about how hard they work.

    My dad was an entrepreneur, he legitimately put in 80+ hours a week for years while I was growing up, practically killed himself. There are accountants and lawyers (I teach both) who get into big public firms and for the first several years sometimes put in up to 100 hours a week in the office.

    I laugh at pastors who whine about their workloads, you don’t know what hard work is. You’re a joke to those who really do work hard. The only reason any mantle you take on is heavy is because it wasn’t your mantle to begin with, foolish men, it’s Jesus’ mantle.

  203. Lisa wrote:

    We are told very straight forward that we are NOT to be the judge; only God is allowed that position.

    “For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?” (1 Corinthians 5:12)

    “I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.” (Romans 16:17-18)

    “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God” (1 John 4:1)

    “The spiritual person judges all things” (1 Corinthians 2:15)

    “Be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort” (2 Timothy 4:2)

    “For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God” (1 Peter 4:17)

  204. Michael R wrote:

    That’s something I totally agree with! I’ve pastored large churches and it’s hard to stay clear of being a centerpiece. Requires very hard work and diligence. @ Ken F:

    Me thinks pastors of mega churches enjoy being the centerpiece. The thrill of the limelight, the applause, people hanging on to your every word, buying your books, sharing your sermons. There’s no such thing as staying clear of being a centerpiece. Mega church pastors thrive on being the centerpiece. Who do you think you’re kidding?

  205. Michael R wrote:

    There isn’t a scriptural mandate calling pastors accountable to the congregation. @ Lea:

    Yes there is, “submit one to another”. Tired of your pick-and-choose garbage, you are a biblical ignoramus.

    Michael, you’re just about as smart and well-versed in the scriptures as the average person who’s an ignorant bully yet calls themselves “pastor”.

  206. After reading some of Michael R.’s comments and interactions with TWW folk over a period of time, I think he sounds like a public relations advocate who has some Christianese lingo under his belt. He’s not very good at it, either. 🙂

  207. Law Prof wrote:

    The only reason any mantle you take on is heavy is because it wasn’t your mantle to begin with, foolish men, it’s Jesus’ mantle.

    I think Naked Pastor could draw a cartoon with one of these mantle-bearers shouldering a mantel with a marble or granite surround. That would be a heavy mantel/mantle. A few of my most recent former churches had at least one of ’em. Such a hard, hard life. Whatever he didn’t want to do he passed on to associates or assistants. Or volunteers who had already worked their full-time job. Because double-honor and all that.

  208. Darlene wrote:

    people hanging on to your every word, buying your books,

    There is also a sabbatical before the book. I don’t know anyone outside of academia or the church who gets a paid sabbatical to do what they want to do anyway.

  209. Michael R wrote:

    There isn’t a scriptural mandate calling pastors accountable to the congregation. @ Lea:

    I just have to say that Michael R. touched a nerve with this kind of comment. That doesn’t happen very often with me on this blog. But it is this kind of disgusting comment of Michael’s that produces ignorant pew peons, ready to give their tithes and offerings to the charlatan on stage. I fell for this kind of hogwash and that is why I ended up being manipulated by a shrewd and diabolical cult leader. He was able to get away with his twisted teachings and immoral behavior because he was above being judged by anyone. This kind of sickening belief system needs to be exposed for what it is: Fraud, deceit, lies, lust, greed, perversion with a Jesus cover slapped on to it.

  210. Christiane wrote:

    After reading some of Michael R.’s comments and interactions with TWW folk over a period of time, I think he sounds like a public relations advocate who has some Christianese lingo under his belt. He’s not very good at it, either.

    He’s dreadful at it. Either he’s a clever troll, playing the part of the buffoon, lampooning the “I’m above you’all pastor stereotype” or he’s for real and has become so half-witted dull over the years from surrounding himself with equally dull “yes men” and benighted followers that he’s never even considered how truly wrong, self-serving and stereotypical his theology is.

  211. Gram3 wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:
    The only reason any mantle you take on is heavy is because it wasn’t your mantle to begin with, foolish men, it’s Jesus’ mantle.
    I think Naked Pastor could draw a cartoon with one of these mantle-bearers shouldering a mantel with a marble or granite surround. That would be a heavy mantel/mantle. A few of my most recent former churches had at least one of ’em. Such a hard, hard life. Whatever he didn’t want to do he passed on to associates or assistants. Or volunteers who had already worked their full-time job. Because double-honor and all that.

    Hard life….yeah, I heard that one in my former Christian cult. These guys are deluded. They wouldn’t know hard work if it hit them in the head. How about doing some physical work that hard, like lifting cement blocks for 8 hrs or digging ditches? Like George Thorogood said, “Get a haircut and get a REAL job.”

  212. Law Prof wrote:

    he’s a clever troll,

    I think Michael R. is a hired hand.

    How else was he, by his own claims, able to insinuate himself into churches across the country that had serious problems with their pastors?

    I’ve asked Michael R. to post his real name and his LinkedIn profile so that we can vet him.

  213. Law Prof wrote:

    There’s a certain type of person, either a person without a conscience, an evil, ruthless person, who wants to lord it over others and talks of mantles, and how they’re responsible only to God, not to man,

    That theology also conflicts a bit with Romans chapter 13.

    Therefore he who resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil.

    Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good.

    But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath upon the one who practices evil.

    The preachers or the world are still subject to secular authorities.

  214. Michael R wrote:

    Accountability is needed and good. But not to the Masses. It’s not a democracy! @ Lea:

    Oh, I get it. Accountability only to the other special class of elders/preachers/leaders. Very much like “no honor among thieves.” But you put on the religious front while filling your pockets. Nice gig you’ve got there.

  215. I found a couple of Michael R’s on LinkedIn who do ‘crisis management’ and ‘brand management’.

    Michael R.: Please post your real name and your LinkedIn profile as we’d like to read about you and vet you.

  216. Nancy2 wrote:

    Michael R wrote:
    Accountability is needed and good. But not to the Masses. It’s not a democracy! @ Lea:
    So, what is it? Do the pastor and elders rule over the congregation in a top-down hierarchy?

    Nancy2: By George, you’ve got it!

  217. Velour wrote:

    I found a couple of Michael R’s on LinkedIn who do ‘crisis management’ and ‘brand management’.
    Michael R.: Please post your real name and your LinkedIn profile as we’d like to read about you and vet you.

    Methinks he ran away some time ago.

  218. @ Law Prof:

    My dad was a lawyer who worked regular hours for a downtown law firm, saw a few clients in the evening at home (WW II remember) and in addition did what we would today call urban farming-large garden, chickens, milk goat, small orchard. When they asked him to teach SS he noted that he had plenty of Greek but no Hebrew and that he would run out to the seminary and get some Hebrew and then teach the class after that. And he did just that. I am not impressed with people who do not know how to work, or who do not appreciate the fact that they actually have some productive work to do.

    I worked the 11-7 shift at the hospital as a nurse while attending college full time in the daytime. For years. These preachers who give out before the day is out perhaps need to get some medical help-they may be sick or something.

  219. You know, every time people come on here to show how misguided we are, it just proves to me how much they are wrong. They always use the same half-verses, bad arguments, and thought control techniques, surely the same ones they use on those they teach to follow them. Nearly all of them are anonymous, and they always speak in absolutes.

    They’re never a match for the folk here.

  220. Michael R wrote:

    There isn’t a scriptural mandate calling pastors accountable to the congregation. @ Lea:

    Cilice, click, click, click, BOOM.
    (Did you hear me laugh as I walked out of the church and slammed the door shut behind me?)

  221. Michael R wrote:

    There isn’t a scriptural mandate calling pastors accountable to the congregation.

    I’m going to start keeping lists of these verses, because there’s so many of them.

  222. okrapod wrote:

    @ Law Prof:

    My dad was a lawyer who worked regular hours for a downtown law firm, saw a few clients in the evening at home (WW II remember) and in addition did what we would today call urban farming-large garden, chickens, milk goat, small orchard. When they asked him to teach SS he noted that he had plenty of Greek but no Hebrew and that he would run out to the seminary and get some Hebrew and then teach the class after that. And he did just that. I am not impressed with people who do not know how to work, or who do not appreciate the fact that they actually have some productive work to do.

    I worked the 11-7 shift at the hospital as a nurse while attending college full time in the daytime. For years. These preachers who give out before the day is out perhaps need to get some medical help-they may be sick or something.

    About a decade ago I was asked to help an area pastor out with packing his stuff, he evidently had been run out of his church or had unilaterally decided to move on (I never asked which). Spent a day with my pastor and another parishioner helping this other pastor load up stuff. He was a young guy, 35-ish, and he had this sleepy look about him. He did about as little as you could possibly expect a person to do under the circumstances, maybe 10% of the job, and we spread the other 90% fairly evenly among us (even though my pastor was pushing 60). Young pastor guy moved like he was running in water, just kind of moping along. At the end of the day, the other parishioner looked sidelong at me and said “That pastor there, real ball of fire, huh?” Willing to bet you that lazy young pastor who’d last about 30 days in a real job liked to wax on about how overworked he was and how heavy the mantle. Of course, this is just anecdotal, but still.

  223. Darlene wrote:

    Michael R wrote:
    Accountability is needed and good. But not to the Masses. It’s not a democracy! @ Lea:
    Darlene said: Oh, I get it. Accountability only to the other special class of elders/preachers/leaders. Very much like “no honor among thieves.” But you put on the religious front while filling your pockets. Nice gig you’ve got there.

    Look at the bright side. If certain accountability verses do not involve “the Masses”, I would say that the “woman submit”, “permit not a woman to teach” verses shouldn’t apply to “the Masses”.

  224. Michael R wrote:
    Spoken by and elder, to and elder and for the elders…. context is crucial! @ Bridget:

    Nancy2 wrote:
    Seriously, your comments make you sound very 9Marxist.

    Or TBNish.

  225. @ CHIPS:
    I agree that the A Group, Crosspoint, and/or other entities are likely after people they think have blown the whistle on Pete Wilson, so I’m definitely praying for those brave souls.

    The commenter Lisa, who claimed she was a founding member of Cross Point in some comments above, sure seemed open to exacting revenge on those whom she believes have harmed her Church. And she’s definitely of the opinion that Wilson’s very credibly alleged adultery and other problems are everyone’s else’s fault.

    That being said, I still think it’s up to the people who are likely being harassed by Cross Point or entities associated with it, to decide whether or not they want to make public statements about their possible role as whistle-blowers.

    As I said, I’m certainly praying for them.

  226. For what it’s worth, I watched a series of 8 videos that covered the basics of ARC. In one of the classes, Chris Hodges was talking about how ARC Pastors are accountable to their Overseers, who are actually peers in the pastorhood, and not accountable to the parishioners. Hodges justified this by saying something like, “You know, in the same way that parents aren’t accountable to their children.”

    And I thought, Whoa, did he just say that?

    [I’ve tried to look up the video, so I could get the quote exactly right, but I think they are protected now.]

    This reflects Michael R’s view, which makes me think Michael is either a very creative troll, or an ARC leader incognito.

    On a totally unrelated topic, do you know who my favorite Muppet is? Rizzo.

  227. Mara wrote:

    Nancy2 wrote:
    Yeah, those poor burned out, broken babes should see what it’s like to “carry that mantle”.
    The burnout rate for Caseworkers is 6 months. The ladies in our agency have all worked at it for more than 10 years a piece. Bet these whinny pastors wouldn’t last the six months. First off, they wouldn’t get to be in charge. Second, they’d be lied to, cussed at, threatened, and maligned possibly all those in one day.
    Nope, the burden of a pastor would be a frolic through tulip fields in comparison.

    Or the burden of being a public school teacher where most students have been raised in the crime riddled neighborhoods and think violence is a way to solve problems. These sissyfied pastors are a joke. I’m so tired of their whining.

  228. @ Dee:

    That or he’s a secular consultant who’s been fed some real gobbledygook by ARC or another wacky entity about their special take on Biblical issues, which he’s trying to sell online to people who actually have studied the Bible and aren’t crazy.

    Michael’s arguments came across as talking points to me, and he wasn’t able to rebut any of the counter-points others made to his remarks even though they addressed well-known issues of contention.

    The guy sure put on a lot of different hats. First, he was a random person who didn’t like “slander and speculation” on blogs. Then he was a long-suffering misunderstood Pastor. After that, he said he was a highly respected consultant to fallen Pastors. Then he went back to being just a normal person who doesn’t like “slander and speculation.”

    This dude needs to work on his back-story.

    😉

  229. Darlene wrote:

    Mara wrote:

    Nancy2 wrote:
    Yeah, those poor burned out, broken babes should see what it’s like to “carry that mantle”.
    The burnout rate for Caseworkers is 6 months. The ladies in our agency have all worked at it for more than 10 years a piece. Bet these whinny pastors wouldn’t last the six months. First off, they wouldn’t get to be in charge. Second, they’d be lied to, cussed at, threatened, and maligned possibly all those in one day.
    Nope, the burden of a pastor would be a frolic through tulip fields in comparison.

    Or the burden of being a public school teacher where most students have been raised in the crime riddled neighborhoods and think violence is a way to solve problems. These sissyfied pastors are a joke. I’m so tired of their whining.

    Those teachers generally have to grade homework every day, teach five to seven classes a day, work on weekends keeping up, deal with all the garbage and in some cases legitimate danger, and all for maybe $30K to $50K a year.

  230. GSD wrote:

    For what it’s worth, I watched a series of 8 videos that covered the basics of ARC. In one of the classes, Chris Hodges was talking about how ARC Pastors are accountable to their Overseers, who are actually peers in the pastorhood, and not accountable to the parishioners. Hodges justified this by saying something like, “You know, in the same way that parents aren’t accountable to their children.”

    And I thought, Whoa, did he just say that?

    [I’ve tried to look up the video, so I could get the quote exactly right, but I think they are protected now.]

    This reflects Michael R’s view, which makes me think Michael is either a very creative troll, or an ARC leader incognito.

    On a totally unrelated topic, do you know who my favorite Muppet is? Rizzo.

    They just make it up out of whole cloth, it’s not biblical. Just a lie.

  231. Daisy wrote:

    Don’t ask me why, but God does not always step in and help people when they want him to, ask for him to, or need for him to.

    Because a lot of folks hold to the same model as Michael R. They’re waiting for God to take control of the situation when what’s called for is that *they* take control of the situation. This is called being God’s servant, doing His will.

  232. Darlene wrote:

    Daisy wrote:

    Don’t ask me why, but God does not always step in and help people when they want him to, ask for him to, or need for him to.

    Because a lot of folks hold to the same model as Michael R. They’re waiting for God to take control of the situation when what’s called for is that *they* take control of the situation. This is called being God’s servant, doing His will.

    I thought Michael’s model was for pastors to take control of the situation, and if they’re pastors with attitudes and beliefs anything like Michael, that would quite possibly be nigh the opposite of God taking control.

  233. @ Law Prof:
    This reminds me of the group that ran the ‘C’ Street organization in D.C.

    Here is a description, so you can see why I think there is a similarity of sorts:
    “But David Coe, Doug Coe’s son and heir apparent, calls himself simply a friend to men such as John Ensign, whom he guided through the coverup of his affair. I met the younger Coe when I lived for several weeks as a member of the Family. He’s a surprising source of counsel, spiritual or otherwise. Attempting to explain what it means to be chosen for leadership like King David was — or Mark Sanford, according to his own estimate — he asked a young man who’d put himself, body and soul, under the Family’s authority, “Let’s say I hear you raped three little girls. What would I think of you?” The man guessed that Coe would probably think that he was a monster. “No,” answered Coe, “I wouldn’t.” Why? Because, as a member of the Family, he’s among what Family leaders refer to as the “new chosen.” If you’re chosen, the normal rules don’t apply.”

    I may be the only one who sees the ‘connection’, but some of the details do match up with the moneyed overseers of fallen pastors who ‘help’ them ‘recover’, yes.

    Certainly some of the same strange cultish thinking is present, yes.
    http://www.salon.com/2009/07/21/c_street/

  234. Law Prof wrote:

    Darlene wrote:
    Daisy wrote:
    Don’t ask me why, but God does not always step in and help people when they want him to, ask for him to, or need for him to.
    Because a lot of folks hold to the same model as Michael R. They’re waiting for God to take control of the situation when what’s called for is that *they* take control of the situation. This is called being God’s servant, doing His will.
    I thought Michael’s model was for pastors to take control of the situation, and if they’re pastors with attitudes and beliefs anything like Michael, that would quite possibly be nigh the opposite of God taking control.

    If you recall, LawProf, Michael R. said that God takes care of pastors/leaders/ministers when they sin. That the pew peons have no right to insist they be accountable for their actions. Hence, in Michael R’s model, leaders/preachers cover for each other and those who have been wounded by their harmful actions are ignored and left along the wayside.

  235. Lea wrote:

    @ Nancy2:
    I see. The dreaded ‘coordinator’ and ‘director’ titles make an appearance! (this nonsense pretty much drove me out of the SBC, btw).

    What’s with all those unnecessary titles and job descriptions. When did the church become like this?

  236. Darlene wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:

    Darlene wrote:
    Daisy wrote:
    Don’t ask me why, but God does not always step in and help people when they want him to, ask for him to, or need for him to.
    Because a lot of folks hold to the same model as Michael R. They’re waiting for God to take control of the situation when what’s called for is that *they* take control of the situation. This is called being God’s servant, doing His will.
    I thought Michael’s model was for pastors to take control of the situation, and if they’re pastors with attitudes and beliefs anything like Michael, that would quite possibly be nigh the opposite of God taking control.

    If you recall, LawProf, Michael R. said that God takes care of pastors/leaders/ministers when they sin. That the pew peons have no right to insist they be accountable for their actions. Hence, in Michael R’s model, leaders/preachers cover for each other and those who have been wounded by their harmful actions are ignored and left along the wayside.

    Yes, another biblical maxim he made up out of thin air and without a word of biblical support.

  237. @ okrapod:
    Okrapod, many of the young whippersnappers leading churches today would not be able to endure the workload you describe … that’s why they called themselves into the ministry!

  238. Darlene wrote:

    What’s with all those unnecessary titles and job descriptions. When did the church become like this?

    When it stopped being a real church.

  239. Nancy2 wrote:

    Darlene wrote:
    What’s with all those unnecessary titles and job descriptions. When did the church become like this?
    When it stopped being a real church.

    Yes, of course Nancy2. It all seems so unnecessary.

  240. Michael R wrote:

    Do we excuse sin? No!

    Then why cover it up?

    God is in control, He is sovereign and He is the able to defend himself and his church…. He does not need us and our broken opinions to defend his bride the church or his reputation…. Plain and simple!

    Then why would one need to cover up the truth? Is God not capable of handling it?

  241. dee wrote:

    Michael R wrote:

    (name redacted) feeds you all of this information,

    I can reassure that (name redacted) is not one of the sources of my information.

    Michael, it appears you have accused someone innocent by name on a public forum. Doesn’t this go against what you wrote in your post?

    Dee, there is still a name in the post, you may want to recheck it.

  242. Michael R wrote:

    He stepped down and isn’t a pastor or elder… so the assumptions of his accountability to such just don’t apply. He took action himself! Regardless of why…. he stepped away knowing he wasn’t fit to lead and couldn’t lead a church in this season!

    He stepped into a position to advise other pastors and, if I’m understanding the A group correctly, market and do damage control for them? So a man not qualified to be a pastor should be advising pastors? I guess I’m missing something.

  243. Michael R wrote:

    As for being judged as pastors….. that judgement is tendered by God and not by man. Pastors answer to God and are accountable to His oversight. God will handle those men and leaders.

    Oh, my, how convenient! Anyone know of other jobs that offer a blank slate for behavior like that?

  244. @ Darlene:

    It looks to me like the Pastors are all men and the women are working in lower status jobs. There are also men further down the ladder but I don’t see any women in what appear to be true leadership positions.

    Of course, I could be wrong because I don’t know what these staff members do on a day-to-day basis.

  245. siteseer wrote:

    Oh, my, how convenient! Anyone know of other jobs that offer a blank slate for behavior like that?

    Establishment politicians?

  246. siteseer wrote:

    He stepped down and isn’t a pastor or elder… so the assumptions of his accountability to such just don’t apply.

    So are you saying Pete Wilson bears no responsibility for actions he took as a Pastor less than 3 months ago, because he’s now working as a Christian corporate marketing consultant? In other words, if you get in trouble as a Pastor, your get-out-of-jail free card is abandoning your parishioners ASAP for a high-paying corporate job?

    Doesn’t Pete Wilson have an obligation to clean up the mess he made at his last job just because he’s an adult?

  247. Janna L. Chan wrote:

    This dude needs to work on his back-story.

    One of my favorite sayings: “Lying is like a boomerang. About the time you think ‘all is well’, it hits you in the back of the head.”

    Michael R. came here and lied. And we caught him. Over and over again. Whelp.
    It’s like how law enforcement tests a person’s story during an interview. They stop the story and re-start it. Ask questions. Try to throw a person off. An honest person
    will tell the story the same way over and over and over again.

    I’d still like to know Michael R.’s real name and for him to post his LinkedIn profile so that we can vet him.

  248. Sorry, siteseer. I meant to attribute this quote, “He stepped down and isn’t a pastor or elder… so the assumptions of his accountability to such just don’t apply.”

    to Michael R. , not you.

  249. @ Velour:
    Thanks, Velour. I think that Michael R., whomever he really is, has run for the proverbial hills because he got more than he bargained for on this blog.

    Plus, I suspect his primary agenda was fishing for information as to who tipped TWW off to the Pete Wilson story, and he wasn’t getting anywhere regarding that mission either.

    I’m not sure why that’s such a big deal as based on the comments from Cross Point members here, who admittedly are a very small sample of the Church’s membership in general, rumors about the alleged adulterous affairs seem to have been circulating at the Church for a long time.

    Pete Wilson’s problems were an open secret, it seems.

    In other words, no one at Cross Point is really surprised that Pete Wilson did what he appears to have done. They just don’t like seeing their Church embarrassed and may also still be in the denial stage of grief over his irresponsible abandonment of the congregation.

  250. @ Michael R:

    He should not only not be a pastor or church leader, but he should not be making bank off Jesus in any capacity, which would include working as some kind of church marketing consultant.

    Whether you like it or not, the Bible tells Christians to judge OTHER CHRISTIANS, and to HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE, even non-pastors. (Judge their fruits, beware of wolves in sheeps clothing etc)

    However, for pastors, teachers, leaders, the Bible says there are more stringent requirements for them.

  251. Michael R wrote:

    Finally, pastors must exercise self-discipline by establishing personal boundaries that protect against even the appearance of impropriety. For example, personal boundaries should include never meeting alone (or riding in a car, etc.) with a woman other than a wife; never obtaining unmonitored access to ministry funds, etc. While these stipulations cannot by themselves prevent sin, they do offer a degree of protection against personal temptation and false accusations.

    What you are describing there is the “Billy Graham Rule,” which is not biblical. It excludes and marginalizes single, adult women.

  252. Josh wrote:

    Repent publicly and take down this website. If you choose not to do so, then you are choosing to continue in this sin and are leading others into sin.
    Romans 14:1-13.

    Bless your whitewashed heart.
    Ezekiel 13:10
    “‘Because they lead my people astray, saying, “Peace,” when there is no peace, and because, when a flimsy wall is built, they cover it with whitewash,

  253. Michael R wrote:

    he stepped away knowing he wasn’t fit to lead and couldn’t lead a church in this season!

    Nope- he stepped down because he was burnt out….remember the narrative.

  254. Michael R wrote:

    I do recall guidelines for elders in accountability to the scriptures and other elders!

    I actually cannot believe you are making this argument.

  255. Josh wrote:

    This website and its comments is gossip.

    Technically, if your assumption is correct, they “are” gossip, not “is.” But is your assumption correct? I don’t see any evidence that you are correct. What is your evidence?

  256. dee wrote:

    Josh wrote:
    Repent publicly and take down this website. If you choose not to do so, then you are choosing to continue in this sin and are leading others into sin.
    Romans 14:1-13.
    Bless your whitewashed heart.
    Ezekiel 13:10
    “‘Because they lead my people astray, saying, “Peace,” when there is no peace, and because, when a flimsy wall is built, they cover it with whitewash,

    This guy could use a Christmas stocking stuffer for deprogramming from a cult. He is using classic Thought Reform techniques, researched by Dr. Robert Jay Lifton (Yale University), that authoritarian groups like the Chinese Communists use.

    https://www.freedomofmind.com/Info/BITE/bitemodel.php

    The BITE Model
    I. Behavior Control
    II. Information Control
    III. Thought Control
    IV. Emotional Control

  257. dee wrote:

    Michael R wrote:
    he stepped away knowing he wasn’t fit to lead and couldn’t lead a church in this season!
    Nope- he stepped down because he was burnt out….remember the narrative.

    +100

  258. dee wrote:

    @ Michael R:
    I bet you would be super great friends with the Overseers at the ARC. You need to get to know them.

    I’d like Michael R. to post his LinkedIn profile, his real name, and now that I think about it…his tax returns and his 1099’s.

    He claims that he knows nothing, yet he insinuates himself in churches with problems across the nation? And he WHINES about this blog?

  259. Janna L. Chan wrote:

    I think that Michael R., whomever he really is, has run for the proverbial hills because he got more than he bargained for on this blog.
    Plus, I suspect his primary agenda was fishing for information as to who tipped TWW off to the Pete Wilson story, and he wasn’t getting anywhere regarding that mission either.

    Agreed.

  260. Janna L. Chan wrote:

    “Michael” might be privvy to the information in question if he’s just a corporate shill for Group A.

    Actuall “F Troop” comes to mind.

  261. @ Velour:
    @ Michael R:
    OK now I know that Michael is trying desperately not to let us know who he is. He is using a proxy server, a no no here at TWW. My guess is that Michael is someone well known from the ARC, A Group or Cross Point i that order. He could also be a troll.

  262. dee wrote:

    Michael R is now in moderation and may be banned if he doesn’t lose the proxy server.

    But he was so entertaining…

  263. dee wrote:

    Josh wrote:
    Repent publicly and take down this website. If you choose not to do so, then you are choosing to continue in this sin and are leading others into sin.
    Romans 14:1-13.
    Bless your whitewashed heart.

    Snort!

    Janna L. Chan wrote:

    Pete Wilson’s problems were an open secret, it seems.

    It seems like they were if you were in the right circle to know. I the rest of the church was probably clueless.

  264. dee wrote:

    @ Velour:
    @ Michael R:
    OK now I know that Michael is trying desperately not to let us know who he is. He is using a proxy server, a no no here at TWW. My guess is that Michael is someone well known from the ARC, A Group or Cross Point i that order. He could also be a troll.

    Thanks, Dee.

    By the way, the name of the gentleman that “Michael R.” used/accused of giving info to TWW still appears in several places and needs to be redacted. It’s in quotes from other people like me and in several other comments.

    Please do a search for that gentleman’s name to make sure that it gets redacted in all spots.

  265. dee wrote:

    He is using a proxy server, a no no here at TWW. My guess is that Michael is someone well known from the ARC, A Group or Cross Point i that order. He could also be a troll.

    Oooh! Sneaky.

    I called him as a group, but arc would work too.

  266. @ dee:
    dee wrote:

    He gave me a stomach ache.

    He was certainly a non-credible pest. But it was also very interesting to see the types of arguments he made and the responses he got. Very entertaining. But I agree with your decision because this particular fever had run its course.

  267. @ dee:
    I agree. “Michael” just repeats himself ad nauseum.

    Fortunately, at Thou Art The Man, Todd and I have security settings that put the blog in “read only” mode for people coming from proxy servers, so they can’t comment.

    That keeps most trolls away.

    @Lea, you’re right. I’m probably over-estimating the number of Cross Point members who knew about Pete Wilson’s problems.

    @Christiane, I think there’s something very odd about Michael’s Christianese, too.

  268. dee wrote:

    Michael R is now in moderation and may be banned if he doesn’t lose the proxy server.

    I’m computer illiterate in this way. What is a proxy server and why is it a tell tale sign that Michael R. is up to no good?

  269. BeenThereDoneThat wrote:

    Josh wrote:
    Repent publicly and take down this website.
    You forgot to pretace that with “thus saith the Lord” like any proper authoritative order. Come on. You know you want to.

    Josh should go to a 12-step group like for the Codependents to Sex Addicts, Sex Anon.
    Josh has no boundaries and is just pulling a codependent game, like a sick person married to an alcoholic or a drug addict.

    Don’t Talk. Don’t Tell. Don’t Feel.

    Josh has no healthy boundaries. I wonder what kind of family he grew up in that he can’t pick a healthy church and will ‘go to the mat’ for a dysfunctional person. And of course impose the sick family/system’s ‘no talk rules’.


  270. Josh
    wrote:

    Repent publicly and take down this website. If you choose not to do so, then you are choosing to continue in this sin and are leading others into sin.
    Romans 14:1-13.

    Josh, would you please post your grades from elementary school through college for the following subjects: U.S. History, Political Science, and Constitutional Law. Me thinks you didn’t earn very good grades.

    I earned A’s in all of my classes. And guess what…the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is alive and well.

    MOD: Corrected some of the formatting. The reference is still a bit off and links to Dee’s comment which contains a reference to Josh’s comment.

  271. Daisy wrote:

    Whether you like it or not, the Bible tells Christians to judge OTHER CHRISTIANS, and to HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE, even non-pastors. (Judge their fruits, beware of wolves in sheeps clothing etc)

    Yes we must judge pastors more strictly. And the best part is, God himself will ALSO judge elders and pastors more strictly.

    James 3:1
    Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.

    He want to get into position of power in churches and then, on purpose and knowingly, screw around and screw things up? Good luck on Judgement Day.

    We will pray for his soul but no one can help him unless he repent. He think losing face, get humiliated and losses his income is bad? Try the burning hot fires of hell and the fury of almighty God who can destroy his soul in hell!

    Now I am not saying he will go to hell. No one can know that. But if he as a pastor doesn’t repent for cheating on his wife and ruining his own church, can his faith be real?

  272. dee wrote:

    @ Velour:
    @ Michael R:
    OK now I know that Michael is trying desperately not to let us know who he is. He is using a proxy server, a no no here at TWW. My guess is that Michael is someone well known from the ARC, A Group or Cross Point i that order. He could also be a troll.

    So he knows his technology. Definitely some educated IT guy or PR guy for Cross Point, A Group or ARC.

  273. CHIPS wrote:

    So he knows his technology. Definitely some educated IT guy or PR guy for Cross Point, A Group or ARC.

    Exactly. “Michael R.” — or whomever he is — is no amateur.

  274. Lea wrote:

    I called [“Michael R”] as a group, but arc would work too.

    I assume you meant “A Group”, but when I first read your comment, because you didn’t capitalise * I assumed you just thought he was a group – that is, there’s more than one of him.

    This would make sense:
     The one who commented first, making a specific allegation, without evidence, against a named pastor within Cross Point, and at the same time claiming that one shouldn’t do what he’s just done
     The next one, who says pastors shouldn’t be held accountable
     The one who’s been a lead pastor at a mega church
     And another mega church
     And a small church
     And another small church
     The one who’s been a consultant to “countless” other church groups helping them get over the damage caused by pastors whom they’re not competent to hold to account

    I mean – at how many churches can you be the lead pastor in one lifetime, assuming you want to do more than collect a month’s salary and bounce out?

    Actually, of course, this is an inflatable CV of the sort you regularly see on LinkedIn. For instance: I arrange for a small figurine of myself to be cast from a suitably soft metal with a moderately low melting-point. I give one to each of several churches I visit. Now I’m their lead pastor – get it? The carefully selected, and heavily interpreted, scribsher fragments are drawn from the same school of logic.

    * This isn’t a complaint – if, for instance, you’re commenting on a mobile device, it may be that capitals are a bit of a nuisance to type.

  275. GMFS, incidentally – where it is still and misty, with very good running conditions.

    Very different in Dhaka, where England are struggling badly against Bangladesh.

  276. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    * This isn’t a complaint – if, for instance, you’re commenting on a mobile device, it may be that capitals are a bit of a nuisance to type.

    Ha. This was me be lazy, partly because I was headed out the door and also just because 🙂

    I didn’t think about him being an actual group, some things were consistent, some things were twisty. But it’s an interesting thought.

  277. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Actually, of course, this is an inflatable CV of the sort you regularly see on LinkedIn.

    IF you think about it though, this could be pete’s resume in a few years. Only partially inflated, really.

  278. @ Darlene:
    Using a proxy server doesn’t necessarily mean you’re up to no good. There are arguably many good reasons to want to hide your identity from a website or internet service provider, although websites aren’t obligated to accept anonymous visitors, who may behave badly, of course.

    It’s just silly for Michael R. to be claiming that others are not being held accountable for their supposedly unGodly actions, while he’s hiding behind both a fake name and a fake IP address.

    In my opinion, this guy is wearing the mantle of a complete loser.

  279. dee wrote:

    Michael R wrote:
    he stepped away knowing he wasn’t fit to lead and couldn’t lead a church in this season!
    Nope- he stepped down because he was burnt out….remember the narrative.

    To be fair, Pete himself did talk about “leading from empty”, lacking the energy to lead, and indecisiveness. Pete also said he’d been “out of season”, and now needed to be “poured into for a season.” AFAIK he personally didn’t ever describe it as burnout– that came from the “churchleaders” and the media. Even “ex-pastors” initially wrote, “this was not another story of a high-profile pastor who was stepping down due to extreme burnout or failure of morals.” On the latter point, they may have had a little wolf-wool obstructing their vision.

  280. Daisy wrote:

    What you are describing there is the “Billy Graham Rule,” which is not biblical. It excludes and marginalizes single, adult women.

    I’ve heard this “biblical maxim” before, once told a good friend to run screaming from a church where h was being considered for leadership: the pastor and elders told him a condition of being a leader was he never be alone with a woman not a family member.

    My best guess is the Billy Graham rule came from men advising Graham (probably fluttery, immature, dudebro-type men) who’d read Elmer Gantry and the fictional account in that novel involving a woman seducing Gantry and then extorting money out of him by threatening to go public. That novel is creeping up on 100 years old these days, a relic, but back when Graham’s ministry was just taking off, it was still a hot issue. Best guess is they took a piece of pure fiction and got all worked up about it and worried about conspiracies and being a little too impressed with themselves, started making rules–which have been passed down over the generations and now have become sacrosanct in certain man-only pseudo religious cliques, so that Michael now condescends to inform us of this rule as if it was brought down from the mountain by Moses, carved on a tablet.

  281. Ken F wrote:

    He was certainly a non-credible pest. But it was also very interesting to see the types of arguments he made and the responses he got. Very entertaining. But I agree with your decision because this particular fever had run its course.

    He probably was a dedicated troll. He never really responded to arguments, if you pointed out that what he said had no biblical basis, it was as if your comment didn’t exist to him, just kept a stiff upper lip. It almost seemed like a lampooning of the type.

  282. @ Law Prof:
    I’d think he might just be an ordinary troll, too, if he hadn’t been using insider information to fish for information about TWW’s sources for this article…in a not-so-subtle way.

    🙂

    Somebody with an agenda pertaining to Pete Wilson or Cross Point sent this guy over here.

  283. Law Prof wrote:

    He probably was a dedicated troll.

    His comments were inconsistent and mostly boring. But I found the replies to him from others here very interesting. I always learn things when people like this try to weigh in.

  284. Daisy wrote:

    What you are describing there is the “Billy Graham Rule,” which is not biblical. It excludes and marginalizes single, adult women.

    110% agreement here Daisy! And is whatever the Graham patriarch says unimpeachable? Must everything he says be treated as if it’s from the fire and smoke of Horeb?

  285. Dave A A wrote:

    On the latter point, they may have had a little wolf-wool obstructing their vision.

    Why wasn’t Pete Wilson “confronted before all” by his church’s leaders?

    At the tender age of 4 years old I watched my family’s Presbyterian Church in California discipline a senior pastor “before all” for having sex with at least one other woman (perhaps more?). I was 4 years old and didn’t really comprehend everything going on. But I knew that it was: a) very serious; b) all of the adults were very somber; c) some people cried; d) the pastor was fired from his job; e) the confrontation was public like the Bible says is supposed to be done to a church leader; f) this had been a betrayal to the church community; and g) they were going to hire a new, solid pastor. [The new guy was Scottish and came all of the way from Scotland to California, with his wife and children, to pastor this church.]

  286. Ken F wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:
    He probably was a dedicated troll.
    His comments were inconsistent and mostly boring. But I found the replies to him from others here very interesting. I always learn things when people like this try to weigh in.

    Agreed.

  287. dee wrote:

    OK now I know that Michael is trying desperately not to let us know who he is. He is using a proxy server, a no no here at TWW. My guess is that Michael is someone well known from the ARC, A Group or Cross Point i that order. He could also be a troll.

    Wow, that takes a bit of effort. I wonder if this isn’t an “operation” for which “Michael R” is being paid? *rolls eyes* What was it that was said about Watergate, which is still true today? “It’s not the crime, it’s the coverup”? Think about it.

  288. Deana Holmes (fka mirele) wrote:

    . I wonder if this isn’t an “operation” for which “Michael R” is being paid?

    That’s what I said at the get-go. I wanted to see his real name, his LinkedIn profile, and while we’re at it his tax returns and 1099’s, so that we could vet the guy.

    Radio silence.

    Coward.

  289. Velour wrote:

    Why wasn’t Pete Wilson “confronted before all” by his church’s leaders?

    For the answer to “why?” let me channel an imaginary friend or follower:
    There was no moral failure.
    Moral failure is irrelevant and immaterial. It’s OK not to be OK.
    Moral failure is none of your business, or mine.
    Pharisees stones King David!

  290. @ Muff Potter:

    “110% agreement here Daisy! And is whatever the Graham patriarch says unimpeachable? Must everything he says be treated as if it’s from the fire and smoke of Horeb?”
    +++++++++++++

    people like having heroes. if christians were truly honest (truly honest, mind you), they would not respond with “Jesus is my hero”. i highly doubt it. jesus great, but too floaty — not enough skin on to be a hero — at least in the same way. of course he’s the ultimate hero — but who can argue that he’s a bit far-removed.

  291. Dave A A wrote:

    To be fair, Pete himself did talk about “leading from empty”, lacking the energy to lead, and indecisiveness.

    But he was able to fill his tank within a month and roar into a new job requiring him to lead and be decisive?! I’ve heard the “empty tank” line before as an excuse to get out while the gettin’ was good … before the affairs rumor caught up with other ex-pastors.

  292. Michael R wrote:

    Regardless of why…. he stepped away knowing he wasn’t fit to lead and couldn’t lead a church in this season!

    If the allegations of adulterous relationship(s) prove to be true, he is not fit to lead a church in any season! He would be disqualified from ministry, as well as advising others who are in ministry.

  293. elastigirl wrote:

    people like having heroes. if christians were truly honest (truly honest, mind you), they would not respond with “Jesus is my hero”. i highly doubt it. jesus great, but too floaty — not enough skin on to be a hero — at least in the same way. of course he’s the ultimate hero — but who can argue that he’s a bit far-removed.

    That’s very true. I know people that go on and on about this preacher or that leader, but they don’t talk about God half as much.

  294. Re: the Billy Graham Rule. I don’t think it is entirely stupid.

    When my male boss and I worked together, traveling all over the world, without stating it outright, we held to a pretty similar guideline for our interactions. We stayed on separate floors in hotels, never met anywhere but in the lobby or restaurant, and so on.

    It was a great security for my career, in that when I rose in company management, no one ever suggested it was due to sexual favors granted. That was a protection for me in a completely secular world where such promotions happened *all the time* and undermined the management chops of the female in particular.

    It also gave no ground to anyone who would seek to undermine either one of us through gossip, either professionally within the company or personally to our spouses. And yes, there were some young women in the company who went after my husband as a means of undermining me and stunting my ability to do my job…because they wanted it.

    It’s a weird world out there, and it’s not stupid to protect yourself from predators, who may not be the person you are working with.

  295. PaJo wrote:

    When my male boss and I worked together, traveling all over the world, without stating it outright, we held to a pretty similar guideline for our interactions. We stayed on separate floors in hotels, never met anywhere but in the lobby or restaurant, and so on.

    I understand where you’re coming from, but the Billy Graham rule goes far beyond what you have described. These guys say that a man can’t have lunch with a woman who is not his wife, can’t stop on the open highway to assist a woman in changing a flat tire ……,..
    They can be good Samaritans – they just can’t be good Samaritans towards women. Reputation trumps kindness.

  296. @ Nancy2:

    There are specific situations where it is a good idea not to be too friendly and avoid speculation. They are not universal to every woman ever! It’s just absurd to talk about not getting on an elevator with strangers and not having lunch in a public place, etc.

    When I first started working with my boss and he didn’t know me as well (and I didn’t know him) he was much more careful but never graham rule careful. If anyone did that in the real world they would probably be in trouble for discrimination and just plain rudeness.

    That doesn’t It’s not best to probably stay out of opposite sex coworkers hotel rooms on conferences. But these things should be reasonable.

  297. @ Nancy2:

    Ah. Well then.

    This world just gets weirder. I know of people who are telling their sons to never help a woman who has been attacked, is unconscious, drunk, whatever…”Keep your DNA off of her…stand guard, call 911, but don’t touch her” because of what has happened regarding date rape, drunken sexual encounters, and so on in recent times. It’s just so sad to me. A little bit of sobriety (in every sense, not just alcohol-related) would go a long way.

  298. Michael R wrote:

    The Bible says that allegation against elders in the church should not be leveled without sufficient proof.

    This is great news for pedophiles. They can become elders and get away with molestations on young ones longer!

  299. Janna L. Chan wrote:

    @ Law Prof:
    I’d think he might just be an ordinary troll, too, if he hadn’t been using insider information to fish for information about TWW’s sources for this article…in a not-so-subtle way.

    Somebody with an agenda pertaining to Pete Wilson or Cross Point sent this guy over here.

    I’ll accept that theory, very possible. It’s exceedingly difficult to tell the difference between a sincere cultic church apologist or intelligence gatherer and a troll, such is the mindset of that crowd.

  300. Lydia wrote:

    Michael R wrote:

    The Bible says that allegation against elders in the church should not be leveled without sufficient proof.

    This is great news for pedophiles. They can become elders and get away with molestations on young ones longer!

    I think Michael’s gone, he got in way over his head, couldn’t answer squat, couldn’t get the info he wanted, and ran.

  301. Max wrote:

    Dave A A wrote:

    To be fair, Pete himself did talk about “leading from empty”, lacking the energy to lead, and indecisiveness.

    But he was able to fill his tank within a month and roar into a new job requiring him to lead and be decisive?! I’ve heard the “empty tank” line before as an excuse to get out while the gettin’ was good … before the affairs rumor caught up with other ex-pastors.

    Not much different from the behavior of an exec trying to make a run for it just ahead of federal indictments, there’s always some reason other than the truth for their sudden departure.

  302. Lydia wrote:

    Michael R wrote:
    The Bible says that allegation against elders in the church should not be leveled without sufficient proof.
    This is great news for pedophiles. They can become elders and get away with molestations on young ones longer!

    Well, and it doesn’t say that. It says multiple witnesses, which the article claims to have. Witnesses can include hearing the person admit they did wrong, even if they try to hide it to the larger church.

    Eyewitnesses include other elders and pastors, too. Any elder or pastor that tries to cover up wrongdoing of one of their own does not qualify anymore to be in those positions, since they are no longer above reproach, love what is good, or are just.

  303. Max wrote:

    s able to fill his tank within a month and roar into a new job requiring him to lead and be decisive?!

    Expastors move in mysterious ways”

  304. @ ishy:

    I also think that there’s value in considering and adhering to the spirit of a law. For example, the call to have sufficient proof before making accusations against an elder is meant to protect people from mindless slander, but it should not preclude common sense and a basic sense of decency, in my view.

    For example, it’s obviously not reasonable to expect to find evidence that an elder raped or murdered someone without first making a good-faith allegation against that person and then seeking to investigate it. Even then, you’re unlikely to have direct or even indirect witnesses to such extreme crimes.

    If Christians took some of the Bible verses that people such as Michael R. throw around in strange contexts, absolutely literally, then Christianity would have died out long ago because it would have been considered a religion for unreasonable nutcases.

  305. ishy wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    Michael R wrote:
    The Bible says that allegation against elders in the church should not be leveled without sufficient proof.
    This is great news for pedophiles. They can become elders and get away with molestations on young ones longer!

    Well, and it doesn’t say that. It says multiple witnesses, which the article claims to have. Witnesses can include hearing the person admit they did wrong, even if they try to hide it to the larger church.

    Eyewitnesses include other elders and pastors, too. Any elder or pastor that tries to cover up wrongdoing of one of their own does not qualify anymore to be in those positions, since they are no longer above reproach, love what is good, or are just.

    And don’t forget not showing partiality.

  306. Law Prof wrote:

    Lydia wrote:
    Michael R wrote:
    The Bible says that allegation against elders in the church should not be leveled without sufficient proof.
    This is great news for pedophiles. They can become elders and get away with molestations on young ones longer!
    I think Michael’s gone, he got in way over his head, couldn’t answer squat, couldn’t get the info he wanted, and ran.

    How much do you suppose he was paid for attempting to go up against all of us?

  307. Dave A A wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    Why wasn’t Pete Wilson “confronted before all” by his church’s leaders?
    For the answer to “why?” let me channel an imaginary friend or follower:
    There was no moral failure.
    Moral failure is irrelevant and immaterial. It’s OK not to be OK.
    Moral failure is none of your business, or mine.
    Pharisees stones King David!

    That’s how they think. Sad.

    I said this up the thread, but when I was 4-years old I watched the Presbyterian Church my family belonged to in California confront a senior pastor “before all” for having sex with a woman (or more than one…I was a little girl and didn’t really understand all of the details). I remembered it was a somber, somber, somber meeting.

    But they handled it Biblically and he got confronted before all.

  308. Max wrote:

    Dave A A wrote:
    To be fair, Pete himself did talk about “leading from empty”, lacking the energy to lead, and indecisiveness.
    But he was able to fill his tank within a month and roar into a new job requiring him to lead and be decisive?! I’ve heard the “empty tank” line before as an excuse to get out while the gettin’ was good … before the affairs rumor caught up with other ex-pastors.

    Yes. It was all very suspect language the resignation.

  309. Velour wrote:

    How much do you suppose he was paid for attempting to go up against all of us?

    Two possibilities: 1). He was an upper echelon insider trying to gather intelligence so as to initiate a purge, and thus having a stake in the matter, no need for remuneration, he was serving his own interests. 2). He was a loyal sycophant, some underling at CP or a related entity, such as ARC, who had at least rudimentary knowledge of computers and networks and such and hence, the proxy server. Under these conditions as well, there’d likely be no need for remuneration, as the opportunity to serve the leaders was thrilling, made him feel dashing and a bit like Mission Impossible, and would likely earn him goodwill in the organization.

  310. @ Velour:
    Probably very little because he didn’t get any incriminating information about the specific person he was after or acquire any insight about who else may have been the source for the article.

    Nor was the rest of this guy’s performance very impressive.

  311. @ ishy:
    I don’t even buy that interpretation. Again, I think we are reading a one sided convo of the situation in Ephesus. Not all churches had elders so perhaps a “literal, for all time, in every church”-interpretation is a good reason not to have ‘elders’. Hee hee.

  312. Law Prof wrote:

    as the opportunity to serve the leaders was thrilling, made him feel dashing and a bit like Mission Impossible

    Troller “Michael R.” apparently didn’t realize that we are a formidable group over here…spread across the nation and in countries around the world. It’s like going before a jury of one’s peers…and we rip his story to shreds in the jury room.

    In this case, we didn’t get as far as the jury room. We cross-examined him too and his story was in tatters.

  313. Law Prof wrote:

    He was a loyal sycophant, some underling at CP or a related entity, such as ARC, who had at least rudimentary knowledge of computers and networks and such and hence, the proxy server.

    The insiders at Cross Point who handle the media/network tech stuff would know about proxy servers.

  314. Law Prof wrote:

    Two possibilities: 1). He was an upper echelon insider… 2). He was a loyal sycophant,

    I’ll go with #3, he is a frat boy who grew tired of the prank calling people and asking if their refrigerator is running.

  315. Nancy2 wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:
    He was a loyal sycophant, some underling at CP or a related entity, such as ARC, who had at least rudimentary knowledge of computers and networks and such and hence, the proxy server.
    The insiders at Cross Point who handle the media/network tech stuff would know about proxy servers.

    Of course.

    But what’s it to them if Pete Wilson left the organization. Why is this the ‘hill [they’re] going to die on’?

  316. Bill M wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:
    Two possibilities: 1). He was an upper echelon insider… 2). He was a loyal sycophant,
    I’ll go with #3, he is a frat boy who grew tired of the prank calling people and asking if their refrigerator is running.

    I still think he was paid.

    Or it is Pete Wilson himself showing up.

  317. Velour wrote:

    But what’s it to them if Pete Wilson left the organization. Why is this the ‘hill [they’re] going to die on’?

    Best guess is anything that besmirches the reputation of the organization is an existential threat to an insider’s power, pride and paycheck as well as to the system itself. If it can be demonstrated that the current elders overlooked a massive scandal in their midst, then upon gaining knowledge of it covered it up, then lied about it before the congregation, that could result in the implosion of the church. Sure, a certain percentage of blinded parishioners would follow leadership straight off a cliff–and some of those people are the types who blow onto the watchblogs and shout down and shame and attack anyone interested in getting the truth out–but even at a dysfunctional church with cultic tendencies and a smattering of sociopaths in leadership there are usually mature Christians there who genuinely care about the truth, and they will head for the exits at the sign of evil in the leadership.

    Even a relatively small percentage of mature Christians heading out the backdoor can be devastating for the megas, as they are often the reliable givers and the volunteers, and without them, the church can come apart. The typical mega is a place of enormous financial pressure because often there are poor financial controls in place and an attitude of eternal expansion. They’re often leveraged to the hilt and poor credit risks (I learned this when in B2B tech sales having issues with getting credit approval from 3rd party lease partners with 501(c)(3) religious nonprofits, was told pretty bluntly by a manager with the leasing company: “Churches are lousy credit risks, they don’t pay their bills on time”), a loss of even a modest percentage of income from tithes can put them under very fast.

  318. Lydia wrote:

    @ ishy:
    I don’t even buy that interpretation. Again, I think we are reading a one sided convo of the situation in Ephesus. Not all churches had elders so perhaps a “literal, for all time, in every church”-interpretation is a good reason not to have ‘elders’. Hee hee.

    It’s based on Jewish law and other laws at the time, but they didn’t have forensic evidence or investigative journalism. In a rape/physical abuse cases, I don’t think there’s a need for multiple witnesses anymore because the police can fairly concretely determine the perpetrator through physical evidence.

    But Michael R’s comment didn’t even apply in this situation, because there are multiple witnesses, and because he just flat out got the verse he was quoting wrong.

  319. Janna L. Chan wrote:

    @ Velour:
    Probably very little because he didn’t get any incriminating information about the specific person he was after or acquire any insight about who else may have been the source for the article.
    Nor was the rest of this guy’s performance very impressive.

    So true, Janna.

    The guy (or group)…must think we’re all idiots. Obviously they have very little experience with this crowd, how diverse we are, and what a smart, savvy, Biblically literate group we are to contend with.

  320. ishy wrote:

    But Michael R’s comment didn’t even apply in this situation, because there are multiple witnesses, and because he just flat out got the verse he was quoting wrong.

    Yep.

  321. Law Prof wrote:

    Even a relatively small percentage of mature Christians heading out the backdoor can be devastating for the megas, as they are often the reliable givers and the volunteers, and without them, the church can come apart. The typical mega is a place of enormous financial pressure because often there are poor financial controls in place and an attitude of eternal expansion. They’re often leveraged to the hilt and poor credit risks (I learned this when in B2B tech sales having issues with getting credit approval from 3rd party lease partners with 501(c)(3) religious nonprofits, was told pretty bluntly by a manager with the leasing company: “Churches are lousy credit risks, they don’t pay their bills on time”), a loss of even a modest percentage of income from tithes can put them under very fast.

    Many of the megas in Atlanta have also had a bad habit of overbuilding before they had the finances to do so. My longtime former church split over whether or not to go into major debt to dress itself up like a mega, and it pretty much ended the church. The church around the corner split after building a multi-million dollar building, and they never really recovered.

  322. BeenThereDoneThat wrote:

    Josh wrote:
    Repent publicly and take down this website.
    You forgot to pretace that with “thus saith the Lord” like any proper authoritative order. Come on. You know you want to.

    LOL.

    So true.

  323. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    This would make sense:
     The one who commented first, making a specific allegation, without evidence, against a named pastor within Cross Point, and at the same time claiming that one shouldn’t do what he’s just done
     The next one, who says pastors shouldn’t be held accountable
     The one who’s been a lead pastor at a mega church
     And another mega church
     And a small church
     And another small church
     The one who’s been a consultant to “countless” other church groups helping them get over the damage caused by pastors whom they’re not competent to hold to account
    I mean – at how many churches can you be the lead pastor in one lifetime, assuming you want to do more than collect a month’s salary and bounce out?

    Oh that is funny, Nick. Very insightful.

  324. Lea wrote:

    There are specific situations where it is a good idea not to be too friendly and avoid speculation. They are not universal to every woman ever! It’s just absurd to talk about not getting on an elevator with strangers and not having lunch in a public place, etc.

    When I first started working with my boss and he didn’t know me as well (and I didn’t know him) he was much more careful but never graham rule careful. If anyone did that in the real world they would probably be in trouble for discrimination and just plain rudeness.

    That doesn’t It’s not best to probably stay out of opposite sex coworkers hotel rooms on conferences. But these things should be reasonable.

    Funny thing is Jesus was alone with woman many times. Like the woman caught in adultery, after everyone left. Or the woman at the well. Or when Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene after his resurrection. There are probably more cases.

    Point is if it is a sin for a man to hang out with a lady not his wife, then Jesus would have sinned. So obvious that is not the case. A man can hang out with a lady not his wife. How else would a boyfriend date a girlfriend?

    Now it is not a good idea for a man to go to a bedroom with a lady that is not his wife. But stuff like hanging out, lunch or doing work together is perfectly fine.

    God said sex before marriage is not ok. But anything else is just man-made rules. Even if a man goes into a bedroom with a lady, that in of itself is NOT a sin.

    Now yes this is not recommended because it can potentially (not always) lead to temptation. But some of these churches goes to far and create their own sins.

  325. ishy wrote:

    Many of the megas in Atlanta have also had a bad habit of overbuilding before they had the finances to do so. My longtime former church split over whether or not to go into major debt to dress itself up like a mega, and it pretty much ended the church. The church around the corner split after building a multi-million dollar building, and they never really recovered.

    Some think they’re doing God’s work by gosh and so, with Him on their side, how can they fail? If you’re sitting in the pew wondering why your church with an average age of 62 needs a new family life center with full sized gymnasium at a cost of $6 million and your new 34 year old pastor is pumping this as the thing that’s going to help him reach thousands in the suburbs for Jesus and bring about revival in the city (and make him leader of a MEGA) and he keeps waving his hands on Sunday and Wednesday night about it and he spends a thousand or so of church funds having someone do up beautiful-looking full color plans for expansion and renovation (gone are those pews and old school podium and stained glass window eyesores, in with the black collapsible chairs–just uncomfortable enough to get people standing and shouting and singing–elevated stage with mod-looking plexi podium and exposed spotlights and flat black paint) who are you, o ye of little faith, to throw the wet blanket on that? Aren’t you just the same for poo-pooing this as the old stiff-necked crowd who looked into the Promised Land and saw only giants? I mean, so what if your giants are $6 million of leverage, what’s money to the Lord? And anyway, why you’re not really giving til you give OVER 10% a month on GROSS, not net, so why can’t you up it to 20% (gross, not net) so the pastor’s–er, Lord’s–work can be done and the pastor–er, Lord–be glorified in this city?

    If you can’t get with the program, maybe you need to die off–or be disciplined and excommunicated and shunned–just like those stiff necked ones back in the desert so the real people of faith can enter the Promised Land–I mean family life center–with the exercise rooms, aerobic center with 150 feet of floor to ceiling mirrors (mirrors alone at a cost of $15,000, same as what you paid your first pastor annually 30 years ago when the congregation was founded) and the fully-stocked coffee shop with commercial grade stainless coffee and latte machines and room for a barista–by the way, maybe there is a place for you, interested in being a volunteer barista?

  326. What is the point here? Why does some married preacher, boss, business owner or such want to have some one-on-one private time with some woman not his wife? Scads of folks both secular and religious find that to be suspicious behavior. So, if there is that in our culture that looks on that as suspicious, why would some married preacher, boss, business owner or whatever put himself in that position when part of what he has to sell to the public is his reputation? It just seem so ridiculous and so self destructive for him to do that. Is he actively trying to destroy his own reputation? Where is his common sense? Or is this a chance for ‘my wife does not understand me’ as the opening sentence? I am just not thinking that there is some necessity for him to do this sort of thing.

  327. okrapod wrote:

    What is the point here? Why does some married preacher, boss, business owner or such want to have some one-on-one private time with some woman not his wife? Scads of folks both secular and religious find that to be suspicious behavior. So, if there is that in our culture that looks on that as suspicious, why would some married preacher, boss, business owner or whatever put himself in that position when part of what he has to sell to the public is his reputation? It just seem so ridiculous and so self destructive for him to do that. Is he actively trying to destroy his own reputation? Where is his common sense? Or is this a chance for ‘my wife does not understand me’ as the opening sentence? I am just not thinking that there is some necessity for him to do this sort of thing.

    Issue’s not so much the fact of being alone with the opposite sex, it’s the pharisaical attitude of making rules that are not in the Bible which will invariably end up being enforced with more gusto than what actually is in the Bible (because, of course, once a Pharisee makes a rule, they take the pride of an owner of a shiny new car in it). Leaders are to be above reproach (not kamikaze drunks, abusers, well thought of, sober sorts, kind, known for service and humility, not all about themselves and diddling with other people’s spouses, etc.), but nowhere does it say they can’t be alone with one of the opposite sex. Not in the Bible.

    There may be times, of course, where being alone with a member of the opposite sex would demonstrate that you’re not above reproach (e.g., the subject of this article as well as a substantial number of Christian celebrities, who generally have worse reputations for morality than the average Hollywood star) but to then make a rule saying you may not do that at all is like knowing the speed limit’s 70, figuring if people go 65 they can be pretty certain of never going over 70, and then disciplining anyone who goes 66.

    The problem’s not whether this is a decent way to behave–as a general rule I don’t like to be alone with women not my wife–but whether or not it should be a rule.

  328. Lea wrote:

    ishy wrote:

    I am wondering now if the authoritarians care at all about sin

    To authoritarians, the only real sin is lack of submission.

    dee wrote:

    if y0u know absolutely nothing

    I think Michael said he knew the rumors and the truth? He didn’t say what they were or anything, though. Or how he knows them. My guess was that he is affiliated with the A group or some other similar group.

    My guess is that he has very recently become affiliated with the A Group…if you all catch my drift…

  329. @ ishy:
    Thanks, Ishy. The other thing we have to remember is that the standard of quote unquote legal proof was very different in the early Christian days.

    For example, simply being accused of a crime by two or more credible witnesses could have been considered legitimate grounds for concluding that someone was guilty.

    Now, as you pointed out, our standards for proof can be much more sophisticated and fair.

    In my view, that’s why it’s illogical to crudely apply narrative accounts of how things were done 2000 years ago to the situations we face in 2016. This is especially true as many early Christians believed that the second coming would happen in their own life times or shortly thereafter.

    They weren’t considering how their standards or actions might affect the Church in 2000 years. Nor could they, really.

    Thus, I think we have to apply common sense and compassion to problems facing Churches today and ask ourselves a question such as, “would God really want us to dismiss the claims of children claiming to have been raped because there are seldom two or more witnesses of any kind to that egregious crime?”

  330. @ zooey111:
    Yes, he could be Pete Wilson or he could just be someone taking everything Wilson is saying behind the scenes at face value.

    I doubt that Wilson himself is doing the dirty work of getting on blogs. He has free labor and/or hired hands to do that for him.

  331. @ okrapod:
    It makes one wonder about the seemingly drive by assertion in Luke 8 about the women, married and not married, traveling around with Jesus and the 12 male disciples. I find it fascinating from a 1st Century POV.

    Surely it had to be incredibly scandalous. I hardly know what to make of it.

    8 After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, 2 and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; 3 Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.

  332. @ Law Prof:

    And at a mega church I went to, on the invitation of a friend, they charged for ALL classes. A person couldn’t sign up for any class without shelling out money. No money = no classes.
    So the whole enterprise (it’s not a church) is about catering to the wealthy. The classes are for the wealthy.

    The have-nots are automatically excluded from rubbing shoulders with the haves by not having the funds to pay.

  333. @ Law Prof:

    I don’t see all that much wrong with having some rules and guidelines. The military has some rules. Medical ethics requirements about doctors and patients are based on rules/guidelines. The local school system has written rules that no teacher can be alone with any student at any time or at any place. We live in the culture we live in and some rules are necessary in order to do so safely. But then, I don’t see that every rule be it officer/enlisted; doctor/patient; teacher/student; employer/employee or even preacher/the watching world has to have a specific bible verse to validate it.

    My thinking:
    To follow what I gather is your line of thinking, and which I have read is one idea which has been around since the reformation, you seem to be saying that everything which the bible does not specifically prohibit is permitted. (The opposite idea also around for a long time is that if the bible does not specifically permit something then it is forbidden.)

    if we are to say that the bible does not prohibit married people from getting private with the opposite sex then we are required to say it is all hunky dory even to the point of ignoring some cultural norms to do so, then why would we not say that since the bible does not prohibit polygamy or slavery or patriarchy then we are required to say that is all also hunky dory regardless of what our culture says about it.

    But the bible does say that even some things which are permitted are not a good idea-not profitable IIRC. This is my argument. It is not a good idea. And I think that making a ‘rule’ that one should avoid things that are not a good idea is not inconsistent with scripture.

    And FWIW I do not see in scripture the necessity to choose either of the opposite understandings of the role of scripture as in paragraph 1 above. I do not see scripture as a comprehensive and precise procedure manual as those two ideas suggest, and I do not see that calling scripture profitable for doctrine and reproof and instruction is righteousness necessitates either restricted view. I do think that it is inerrant and sufficient in all things necessary for salvation, but it does not supplant the Holy Spirit, or the general understandings of the church (understood as the universal body of believers over time) or render useless common sense in areas where the scripture is not specific. And, I don’t see that it makes such a claim for itself.

  334. @ Lydia:

    It was a group which the text indicates apparently included some of Jesus’ family members.

    And frankly I don’t see the hideous repression of women in that era that some folks see. We see represented business women, and powerful wives of powerful men, and women who have their own money, and women who are managers of households with multiple servants, and all the way back to Proverbs the recurring comment ‘listen to your mother..the words of your mother…’ I think the emphasis on how terrible it was for women in comparison to men may be off center a tad.

  335. @ ishy:
    I am familiar on where it comes from. I think it is similar to the wrong interpretation we see from Corinthians about lawsuits. People blanket apply it with no common sense. It is speaking of trivial matters which gives us insight into what was going on in that culture and why it even needed to be mentioned. All the letters we’re dealing with issues within that particular group. We can glean from them overall wisdom but to treat it as law for all time is problematic.

    I think the same of 1 Timothy on this matter because to not take that into consideration means we throw out the very important concept of the priesthood and practice favoritism based on titles and a spiritual caste system. We can accuse Marcus or Mary on one witness but not Levi because he is an elder?

    I also take into account it was Ephesus. The wonder of the world pagan temple cult and such. The entire book of 1 Tim theme is false teaching.

  336. @ okrapod:
    I agree with you there were exceptions. And I am thrilled scripture mentions them. It often had to do with wealth, thinking of the patriarch or one was an outcast with nothing to loose . The Greco-Roman Paterfamilias is interesting to research. And it was the prevailing culture at the time. I suggest secular sources. Here is a tiny start:

    http://www.pbs.org/empires/romans/empire/family.html

  337. okrapod wrote:

    I don’t see all that much wrong with having some rules and guidelines. The military has some rules. Medical ethics requirements about doctors and patients are based on rules/guidelines. The local school system has written rules that no teacher can be alone with any student at any time or at any place. We live in the culture we live in and some rules are necessary in order to do so safely. But then, I don’t see that every rule be it officer/enlisted; doctor/patient; teacher/student; employer/employee or even preacher/the watching world has to have a specific bible verse to validate it.

    Under some circumstances, the Billy Graham rule is ridiculous, bordering on evil. When I was teaching, one winter day I had stayed late for a parent- teacher conference, to finish some disciplinary paperwork, and set up for the next day. When I was on my way out of the building, I met one of my 16 year old male students in the hallway who had stayed for wrestling practice and was the last to leave. He had left the headlights on in his car and the battery was dead. He was walking around looking for someone to help him. As far as we could tell, the building was empty except for the janitorial staff, who were ……… somewhere. I did not hesitate to drive my car to the student parking lot and give him a jump start. Should I have said, “Sorry kid. You’re on your on. I have my reputation and career to protect.”?

  338. ishy wrote:

    My longtime former church split over whether or not to go into major debt to dress itself up like a mega, and it pretty much ended the church. The church around the corner split after building a multi-million dollar building, and they never really recovered.

    “Build it and they will come” is an old but evergreen false belief. I also know of a church that split in part due to the pastor’s ambition to build another temple. Even going back to my childhood, our church started to decline when the new building was built. And, of course, it has often been noted that (sometimes) when a corporation builds its signature high-rise or campus it is signaling that the end is coming. Not sure which is the chicken and which is the egg, but that seems to be how it goes in those cases.

  339. @ Lydia:
    Yes, and based on my research, Paul was also likely concerned that lawsuits would be handled by courts managed by Pagans that might be unfriendly toward Christians.

    It was hundreds of years before Constantine or a Roman emperor who came shortly after him, allowed Christian civil cases to be tried in Christian courts, to my knowledge.

    There certainly wasn’t the concept of a secular civil court system, such as the one that exists in the U.S. in 2016, in the early Christian Church’s time.

    And yes, I am aware that I’m oversimplifying a complex theme in lieu of writing a 45-page blog comment.

    😉

  340. @ okrapod:
    It was a world in which Roman legal law gave the male head of household the right to execute members of his family for any reason.

    I don’t think that policy was good for women.

  341. okrapod wrote:

    What is the point here?

    It seems to me to be a matter of wisdom for individuals. It is also a matter of wisdom for people in responsible positions oin organizations to make policies that promote wise behavior since not all persons in said organizations are wise individuals. It also seems that some at TWW take those policies (personal or organizational) as a commentary on the character of women (and some men might think those policies are a commentary on the character of men.) I think those policies reflect a realistic view of human behavior. Not everyone is wise, and it only takes one unwise individual to affect the entire organization.

    Maybe it’s a generational or cultural thing.

  342. Lydia wrote:

    I think it is similar to the wrong interpretation we see from Corinthians about lawsuits. People blanket apply it with no common sense. It is speaking of trivial matters which gives us insight into what was going on in that culture and why it even needed to be mentioned.

    So true.

  343. Nancy2 wrote:

    Under some circumstances, the Billy Graham rule is ridiculous, bordering on evil.

    A man at work won’t step foot in the team’s kitchen to pour himself a cup of coffee if I am by myself or another woman is by herself. It is ridiculous.

  344. okrapod wrote:

    I think the emphasis on how terrible it was for women in comparison to men may be off center a tad.

    However, such women had to operate under the protection (and authority) of men, whether it was her father, brother, or husband. I suppose that a wealthy woman could make arrangements for protection for herself, but I imagine that would have been a very small minority of women.

  345. Law Prof wrote:

    Issue’s not so much the fact of being alone with the opposite sex, it’s the pharisaical attitude of making rules that are not in the Bible which will invariably end up being enforced with more gusto than what actually is in the Bible (because, of course, once a Pharisee makes a rule, they take the pride of an owner of a shiny new car in it)

    I felt a huge weight lift off me when I ripped up and tossed in the recycling container ALL of the books by men and women about these insufferable rules after my tour-of-duty of a NeoCalvinist church.

    Brad/FuturistGuy calls it “Shehad” (she + had, sounds like jihad) for the conservatives/NeoCals’ “War on Women”.

  346. @ Nancy2:
    When I listened to some pastors teach in this I wondered if they knew what life was like before cell phones. Would they drive past a woman with car trouble so they did not have to be alone with her while taking her to call for help?

    This was a big rule at the seeker megas. But mainly because the pastors were convinced people were always trying to bring them down because they were so important. But if they had a particular controversial issue they wanted to discuss, they had no problem with it. Funny how that worked.

  347. @ Gram3:
    The irony of the 3 witnesses rule is that it took 3 women to be the equivalent of one male witness in that era

  348. okrapod wrote:

    And frankly I don’t see the hideous repression of women in that era that some folks see.

    I see the repression. Just look at patriarchal cultures today, where most women and girls have no agency (except those from families that broke the mold and gave it to them), and you get an idea of the tyranny that women and girls lived under in those times.

  349. Lydia wrote:

    The entire book of 1 Tim theme is false teaching.

    Which makes using 1 Tim as the basis for false teaching all the more maddening.

  350. Velour wrote:

    I still think he was paid.

    If so then he was a very poor representative, more of a bad caricature, inconsistent and unable to grapple with an informed audience. Whoever paid him should ask for their money back.

  351. Lydia wrote:

    I don’t even buy that interpretation. Again, I think we are reading a one sided convo of the situation in Ephesus. Not all churches had elders so perhaps a “literal, for all time, in every church”-interpretation is a good reason not to have ‘elders’. Hee hee.

    As I’ve argued before, the practice of extrapolating Paul’s organizational strictures out of their way-back-then contexts and insisting that they must apply in the here and now is not much more than 40-45 years old.

  352. Bill M wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    I still think he was paid.
    If so then he was a very poor representative, more of a bad caricature, inconsistent and unable to grapple with an informed audience. Whoever paid him should ask for their money back.

    LOL

  353. Muff Potter wrote:

    Lydia wrote:
    I don’t even buy that interpretation. Again, I think we are reading a one sided convo of the situation in Ephesus. Not all churches had elders so perhaps a “literal, for all time, in every church”-interpretation is a good reason not to have ‘elders’. Hee hee.
    As I’ve argued before, the practice of extrapolating Paul’s organizational strictures out of their way-back-then contexts and insisting that they must apply in the here and now is not much more than 40-45 years old.

    Good to know, Muff.

  354. Lydia wrote:

    @ Gram3:
    The irony of the 3 witnesses rule is that it took 3 women to be the equivalent of one male witness in that era

    I didn’t know that.

  355. Gram3 wrote:

    It seems to me to be a matter of wisdom for individuals.

    I think a blanket billy graham rule is created as some sort of substitute for wisdom and common sense. As Nancy mentioned in some cases it is actually evil (yes let’s leave someone stranded by the side of the road in the dark to avoid the ‘appearance’ of evil!).

    Yes, if the pastor is making a great effort to be alone with women who are not his wife that may be a problem. Likewise, it is a problem if he is making too great an effort not to be. The focus IMO is the same! You are still thinking solely of sex, scandal, etc with these rules.

    The ideal is to think of women as people. 80 year old Mabel whose husband just died is not a threat to your virtue or reputation, she is a human in need of help. The oft given example that if a woman is walking down a dark alley naked she is at risk for rape makes me think that she is in need of help! I would hope a godly man would see that, rather than a threat and rather than an object of lust.

  356. @ Lea:

    I wanted to add, that rules are not a substitute for wisdom or character.

    People should build a good enough character to recognize when it’s time to break the rules

  357. Janna L. Chan wrote:

    Sorry, siteseer. I meant to attribute this quote, “He stepped down and isn’t a pastor or elder… so the assumptions of his accountability to such just don’t apply.”

    to Michael R. , not you.

    Thanks, Janna- no problem!

  358. Law Prof wrote:

    I think Michael’s gone, he got in way over his head, couldn’t answer squat, couldn’t get the info he wanted, and ran.

    What about the guy he accused, he came on here and dropped that guy’s name like a bomb. If he will do that on a public forum, what are they up to in private. Hopefully not some kind of vendetta like happened to Pajama Pages.

  359. Velour wrote:

    I see the repression. Just look at patriarchal cultures today, where most women and girls have no agency (except those from families that broke the mold and gave it to them), and you get an idea of the tyranny that women and girls lived under in those times.

    What I see is the assumption of links between cultures of a couple thousand years ago and cultures of today. For example, I hear Lydia and some arguing that the culture of Ephesus was quite different from what one might think and that thus we ought not assume much about biblical instructions aimed at the Ephesians. I suspect that this attitude that things were quite different is apt to be more correct that an extrapolation back to then based on what we see now. And, no, patriarchal cultures of today are not all alike. Both Judaism and Islam are technically patriarchal religions yet the status of women is not the same in each, for example.

    Another thing that bothers me is that in the NT we see women who, for example, traveled with the Jesus entourage and who had their own money and who had a church meet at their house and who were in business and one who traveled to Rome on business and carried Paul’s epistle with her, and whom Paul recognized as co-laborers. It is too far a step for me to conclude that this many women were all unusual exceptions to some variation of serious repression. Not to forget to mention yet again the alleged conditions at Ephesus, and not to forget to mention that some people worshipped goddesses. And if that were the case, that all this was exceptional, why would not this unusual event be noted in scripture, some explanation as to just how it could be that so many women were so mentioned in the gospels and epistles if this were so far outside the cultural limits of the day.

  360. Janna L. Chan wrote:

    It was a world in which Roman legal law gave the male head of household the right to execute members of his family for any reason.
    I don’t think that policy was good for women.

    It was a bad law, but it was not differentially discriminatory against females since the pater familias had complete control over the entire family both male and female.

  361. @ Muff Potter:
    I would add that the practice in question is also selectively applied. For example, there are lots of admonitions about not criticizing Pastors per the so-called anti-slander standards of that day, but little talk of the fact that the conception of a modern full-time Pastor didn’t exist in Paul’s time.

    Instead, the Church elders were all expected to have secular day jobs.

  362. Nancy2 wrote:

    Should I have said, “Sorry kid. You’re on your on. I have my reputation and career to protect.”?

    I am not sure, but if you had been a current employee of this local school system then you might have had to refuse to drive him home because your employment was contingent on abiding by the rules. I guess you would have had to call his people to come get him.

    This rigid local rule was put into effect only recently (last year I think) after one too many teachers actually did one too many things with one too many kids. The latest one went to jail, and the system acted to protect kids, teachers and the school system.

  363. @ okrapod:
    True, except that women were discriminated against in the sense that they could never exercise any control over their male relatives as a potential paterfamilias, and the up and coming male relatives knew it.

  364. @ okrapod:
    My understanding is that there was also a much bigger social stigma to arbitrarily killing boys than there was to killing girls.

    My main point being that women had virtually no legal redress if they were abused during Biblical times.

    Things are better than that in the U.S. today.

  365. Janna L. Chan wrote:

    True, except that women were discriminated against in the sense that they could never exercise any control over their male relatives as a potential paterfamilias, and the up and coming male relatives knew it.

    That is so.

  366. @ okrapod:
    The worse people behave the more rigid rules and laws that affect decent people who would not dream of doing such. My kids are learning this sad fact of life.

    Because a bunch teens had a riot at the mall over Christmas, one under 18 cannot be at the mall on weekends without an adult. While they hate the mall, there was one Friday evening she needed to run in and pick up a newly hemmed choral dress. She couldn’t. So it goes.

  367. @ okrapod:
    My view is that the laws and traditions were there to use if they wanted to. I would think having a kind father would have been very important to daughters back then. Same with kind husband. So I read with that in mind.

    So, I am thrilled with the legal equality we enjoy today. I am not so thrilled with the idea we must demand special rights and throw merit out the window. I could not stand that attitude in the 80’s and it seems to have gotten worse. I am supposed to support women being promoted just because they are women? I view equality as opportunity. Not equal results handed to us because of gender. It sort of negates the whole idea, IMO.

    Women, like men, can be horrible leaders, managers, etc.

  368. okrapod wrote:

    was a bad law, but it was not differentially discriminatory against females since the pater familias had complete control over the entire family both male and female.

    Except the need for the family name to continue through males made a difference…for sons. Especially since there was a large mortality rate for children surviving to 10.

  369. siteseer wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:

    I think Michael’s gone, he got in way over his head, couldn’t answer squat, couldn’t get the info he wanted, and ran.

    What about the guy he accused, he came on here and dropped that guy’s name like a bomb. If he will do that on a public forum, what are they up to in private. Hopefully not some kind of vendetta like happened to Pajama Pages.

    My guess, based on experience, is a lot of nasty things are going on right now behind stage at cross point. But they can’t afford for the pew sitters to know. I am sure the money is not flowing like it did for the great Pete.

    If people only knew how much of it was all fake. All.the. time. They don’t want to know, sadly.

  370. okrapod wrote:

    For example, I hear Lydia and some arguing that the culture of Ephesus was quite different from what one might think and that thus we ought not assume much about biblical instructions aimed at the Ephesians.

    Well, it’s no secret (see Acts) that Ephesus had a unique and serious culture around the Temple of Diana. Women had a bit of power within that pagan temple cult, btw. I do think that informs our reading. It certainly explains why Paul mentioned Adam formed before Eve and women are saved by “childbearing”. :o)

  371. @ Lydia:

    Precisely, and I was using the example of Ephesus in saying that in evaluating prior cultures by our cultural expectations of how things would have been then based on how things are now would not be a good way to evaluate older cultures.

  372. okrapod wrote:

    @ Law Prof:

    I don’t see all that much wrong with having some rules and guidelines. The military has some rules. Medical ethics requirements about doctors and patients are based on rules/guidelines. The local school system has written rules that no teacher can be alone with any student at any time or at any place. We live in the culture we live in and some rules are necessary in order to do so safely.

    We’re supposed to be different from the world. Plain and simple. Other than purely procedural rules, such as following Robert’s Rules of Order or insisting upon a second count of offerings to prevent fraud, things like that, I find it wrong and pharisaical to establish rules for morality that are not within the Bible. It says “God, you didn’t know what you were doing, you should’ve established additional rules for elders.” Only a fool does that.

  373. Law Prof wrote:

    Some think they’re doing God’s work by gosh and so, with Him on their side, how can they fail? If you’re sitting in the pew wondering why your church with an average age of 62 needs a new family life center with full sized gymnasium at a cost of $6 million and your new 34 year old pastor is pumping this as the thing that’s going to help him reach thousands in the suburbs for Jesus and bring about revival in the city (and make him leader of a MEGA) and he keeps waving his hands on Sunday and Wednesday night about it

    The situation was really bizarre, but it was actually the pastors that were against it. The group that wanted all the stuff tried to remove the pastors and some of the deacons so they could turn the church into a mega like North Point. This group actually made up some horrible stories about a couple of the pastors.

    They sounded much like the Calvinistas, but there was a big Calvinista group already in the church, and most of them did nothing either way and just let it happen, then went and made their own church. The group that did do it was mostly very wealthy people who seemed to just want to control what the church did.

  374. okrapod wrote:

    …you seem to be saying that everything which the bible does not specifically prohibit is permitted.

    I don’t believe that and am not saying that. The Bible says nothing about crack cocaine, but the principle established of not being a wine bibber, not being a drunk, certainly would encompass that. But in the case of never being alone with a woman, there is no principle that would encompass that (and one cannot reasonably use “above reproach” as a catch-all, I’d say the establishment of extrabiblical rules would be far more along the road to failing to be above reproach than being alone with a woman, inasmuch as Jesus never once forbade the former, but was forever reproaching the Pharisees, who specialized in the latter).

    Point is, Jesus specifically, repeatedly and explicitly condemned the Pharisees for elevating their extrabiblical, man-made rules and for punishing people for failing to follow them, one could argue it was a central theme of His ministry.

    My young friend I mentioned above, the one who was being considered for leadership but on condition of following the never-alone-with-a-non-family-woman rule, the one I told to run screaming, the one I also told “Have nothing to do with the leaven of the Pharisees”. One morning that young man’s best friend saw a young lady who attended that church (who he knew well) crying in the parking lot before service, went over to her and asked what was wrong, found out there’d been a bad fight with the boyfriend. Sat down in the car with her and spent all morning talking with her, praying, really blessed her. She told me about it later, said it was a turning point in herd relationship with the boyfriend, who later became her husband (that young lady, by the way, is my adult daughter, and the boyfriend with whom she’d had a falling out is now my son-in-law and the good friend who comforted the young lady, he was the best man in their wedding a year later). Guess what happened that morning? Pastor came out, took one look at the young man (who at that point might have been saving a future marriage, who at that point was truly being a pastor to her and sharing church with her) and ripped into him. One person without a title, but truly a pastor, the other with the title and the salary, who had no earthly clue what a pastor was.

  375. siteseer wrote:

    What about the guy he accused, he came on here and dropped that guy’s name like a bomb. If he will do that on a public forum, what are they up to in private. Hopefully not some kind of vendetta like happened to Pajama Pages.

    Yes, he comes in, drops a man’s name in public like it was nothing, evidently without any evidence (just the vaguest of inferences) and then goes accusing Dee and Deb of being gossipy when they evidently have numerous accounts from church insiders. What a piece of work.

  376. okrapod wrote:

    Nancy2 wrote:

    Should I have said, “Sorry kid. You’re on your on. I have my reputation and career to protect.”?

    I am not sure, but if you had been a current employee of this local school system then you might have had to refuse to drive him home because your employment was contingent on abiding by the rules. I guess you would have had to call his people to come get him.

    This rigid local rule was put into effect only recently (last year I think) after one too many teachers actually did one too many things with one too many kids. The latest one went to jail, and the system acted to protect kids, teachers and the school system.

    Zero problem with school districts making such a rule, no problem with making rules specifically to protect children, such as background checks for nursery workers and pastors, no problem with screening pastors with tests that indicate personality disorders, but when one establishes rules for elders that are extrabibical, what is the church going to do when one violates one? Discipline them? Demote them? Excommunicate them? What? And what if they are doing something good, like what I described above with the young man who may have saved my daughter’s relationship and who built up her faith, should he have been disciplined for doing good?

  377. @ okrapod:
    Oh I agree! Study history to see how bad it was and appreciate the present while we strive to be better “individuals” with the opportunities.

    I never forget that MEN had to vote for the 19th Amendment. Like my g-grandfathers. Bless them!

  378. @ Law Prof:

    I understand what you are saying, but about married people being circumspect, I don’t think that comes under the heading of pharisaical rules too heavy for people to bear. Now I will admit for the sake of clarity that I may be excessively biased due to personal experience. While I personally was both married and in practice I avoided anything that even faintly looked like an impropriety for two reasons: one that I was the first woman ever to practice medicine in that county and plenty of people threw that in my face and looked for reasons to do me in, and two because I thought it was the right thing to do for the sake of the marriage. My husband did not live under such constraints, something I found out too late to do anything to protect myself from the results. Now fast forward: one is that it was he and not I who indulged in adultery, and two that now I hear my ideas being called something condemned by the bible-or at least I think that is what I am hearing. Meanwhile, segments of ‘the world’ are coming to enact the same principles by which I lived for the sake of safety if nothing else.

    There is a disconnect here. I think really, self protection is anti-christian? Going the extra mile for the marriage is pharisaical? Voluntarily putting restraints on one’s self in order to achieve certain goals is, what, despicable behavior or something? I just can’t go along with that.

    So, I do not agree with you, but I see that you are making decisions based both on principle and personal experience and I value that. That is also what I am doing, but with different ideas and different personal stories. Thanks for interacting with me on this.

  379. Okrapod –

    I think we’re just talking past each other and (I think) both making good points. Very sorry to hear about your ex; nothing to say but what a lousy way to treat someone–adultery, might as well give someone a knife in the back. Not at all saying people shouldn’t self regulate, shouldn’t avoid situations in which they might be tempted. E.g., I don’t like to be all alone with women other than my wife, don’t want to get too close except on a professional level or in social situations, not because I’m worried about losing control and groping another woman, but because were I to get too close to a colleague, start developing emotional intimacy, something bad might happen in time. It’s a possibility, however remote, so I just avoid it altogether.

    So we’re holding hands there (ahem, not literally). The only area in which I’d have a problem with this is with a church establishing specific rules which they’d be compelled to enforce–and often with absurd, antibiblical results. Certainly, if it appears that there’s an issue with someone, it’d be foolish to let them go counseling members of the opposite sex in private, just like it’d be foolish to let previously convicted pedophiles have access to the youth group, such as so often happens in cultic churches.

    It’s just the hard-and-fast rules, such as were wrongfully enforced against my young friend by his Pharisee pastor (recounted in previous post), which I despise and consider unbiblical

  380. Law Prof wrote:

    Point is, Jesus specifically, repeatedly and explicitly condemned the Pharisees for elevating their extrabiblical, man-made rules and for punishing people for failing to follow them, one could argue it was a central theme of His ministry.

    Wonderful story.

  381. okrapod wrote:

    @ Law Prof:

    That sounds reasonable. I can live with your position on the church issue.

    You sound reasonable also, I understand where you’re coming from and it makes sense.

  382. Law Prof wrote:

    okrapod wrote:
    @ Law Prof:
    That sounds reasonable. I can live with your position on the church issue.
    You sound reasonable also, I understand where you’re coming from and it makes sense.

    I enjoyed the exchange between the two of you and thought you both had some very good points! Thanks!

  383. You missed the blogger’s point. As a church member you deserve the truth not lies to protect Pete’s next business arrangement. The bibles states pastors are held to higher standard. You should want to prayer for Pete but also help the next person understand more about his integrity. @ Stephen W:

  384. Lea wrote:

    I think a blanket billy graham rule is created as some sort of substitute for wisdom and common sense. As Nancy mentioned in some cases it is actually evil (yes let’s leave someone stranded by the side of the road in the dark to avoid the ‘appearance’ of evil!).

    If an organization has such a rule, it is to protect the organization from the effects of unwise decisions of people which can compromise the organization. That is my understanding of the BGR. Organizations have all sorts of policies for all sorts of reasons.

    Anyone who sees someone along the side of the road who apparently needs assistance will make a judgment about what to do about that situation. If it is not associated with the organization, then I don’t see how the rule would apply. My main point is that such a rule has nothing to do with the character of any particular man or woman or the character of men as a whole or women as a whole.

  385. Law Prof wrote:

    It’s just the hard-and-fast rules, such as were wrongfully enforced against my young friend by his Pharisee pastor (recounted in previous post), which I despise and consider unbiblical

    I think the main problem with the Pharisees as well as with the senior pastor in your story is that they forgot the purpose of the rule/law and made the rule/law more important than greater laws. If I were the younger guy who got chewed out, I would prepare to make a defense of my actions to the other elders or to the church. If my defense was unsuccessful, I would prepare myself to accept the consequences. Which I’ve done a time or two.

  386. Gram3 wrote:

    If an organization has such a rule, it is to protect the organization from the effects of unwise decisions of people which can compromise the organization

    If an organization is a church, it should be answering to a higher rule than the church handbook. Where true goodness and the rules are in conflict, I don’t think the rule book makes the cut. Side of the road is not the only scenario when IMO it would be wrong to ignore a hurting person to follow a rule.

    Even in a secular organization, devotion to rules in the face of evil can have negative pr affects on the organization.

  387. Lydia wrote:

    Well, it’s no secret (see Acts) that Ephesus had a unique and serious culture around the Temple of Diana. Women had a bit of power within that pagan temple cult, btw. I do think that informs our reading. It certainly explains why Paul mentioned Adam formed before Eve and women are saved by “childbearing”. :o)

    Thank you very much as to the whole subject (context) surrounding the famous (infamous?) Timothy passages with regard to women in ministry! Which is the simpler solution? Paul refuting a pagan creation myth in a letter to his protege in Ephesus? Or employing all manner of skullduggery and byzantine rhetoric to prove that women have no business in the pulpit. Which makes more sense?

  388. Lea wrote:

    Even in a secular organization, devotion to rules in the face of evil can have negative pr affects on the organization.

    some ‘denominations’ do not hold to the ‘conscience’ of a person being their moral guide,
    so for these organizations, ‘rules’ and ‘authority’ override a person’s conscience

    such ‘denominations’ can demand that their followers do many immoral things in pursuit of what they see as a final ‘good’,
    even though the sacred Scriptures forbid the willing participation in evil that good may come of it

  389. Lea wrote:

    Even in a secular organization, devotion to rules in the face of evil can have negative pr affects on the organization.

    I never thought about this, but it is true. How many cover-ups have we seen in businesses where people were afraid to speak up due to possible job loss. The job loss would come because they technically broke company rules by speaking out.

  390. Lea wrote:

    Even in a secular organization, devotion to rules in the face of evil can have negative pr affects on the organization.

    As entropy sets in, Lawful Neutral drifts through Lawful Stupid and comes to rest at Lawful Evil.

  391. ishy wrote:

    Many of the megas in Atlanta have also had a bad habit of overbuilding before they had the finances to do so.

    Didn’t this Rabbi from Nazareth have a short parable on just that subject?

  392. BeenThereDoneThat wrote:

    Josh wrote:

    Repent publicly and take down this website.

    You forgot to pretace that with “thus saith the Lord” like any proper authoritative order. Come on. You know you want to.

    And don’t forget to pronounce “LOOOOOOOORD” with all caps and multiple “O”s.

  393. Muff Potter wrote:

    Which is the simpler solution? Paul refuting a pagan creation myth in a letter to his protege in Ephesus? Or employing all manner of skullduggery and byzantine rhetoric to prove that women have no business in the pulpit. Which makes more sense?

    It would depend on one’s mental state. It appears to me that Little Man Syndrome does a real number on one’s ability to think rationally.

  394. Gram3 wrote:

    Anyone who sees someone along the side of the road who apparently needs assistance will make a judgment about what to do about that situation. If it is not associated with the organization, then I don’t see how the rule would apply.

    Back when I was still teaching, I had a flat one early winter evening, more than 30 miles from home. I had woke up that Friday morning with a sinus infection and I knew how hard it would be to wrangle a sub on a Friday morning, so I went on to school. I felt rotten, but I stayed late for a P/T conference, and finally headed home just as it was getting dark. I was unable to avoid debris that came off of a semi as I was going up the parkway exit ramp and punctured a tire. Lovely. It was raining. The next vehicle that came up the ramp behind me stopped. A man got out and changed my tire for me. He got soaked. He refused to take any money. He just put my equipment back in the trunk of my car, accepted my thanks with a nod, and left. I’m so glad that man was a humble, blue jean-clad factory worker, and not some suit and tie BG/YRR preacher man.

  395. Gram3 wrote:

    ishy wrote:
    My longtime former church split over whether or not to go into major debt to dress itself up like a mega, and it pretty much ended the church. The church around the corner split after building a multi-million dollar building, and they never really recovered.
    “Build it and they will come” is an old but evergreen false belief. I also know of a church that split in part due to the pastor’s ambition to build another temple. Even going back to my childhood, our church started to decline when the new building was built. And, of course, it has often been noted that (sometimes) when a corporation builds its signature high-rise or campus it is signaling that the end is coming. Not sure which is the chicken and which is the egg, but that seems to be how it goes in those cases.

    Think Crystal Cathedral, Robert Schuller’s elaborate mega.

  396. Christiane wrote:

    some ‘denominations’ do not hold to the ‘conscience’ of a person being their moral guide,
    so for these organizations, ‘rules’ and ‘authority’ override a person’s conscience
    such ‘denominations’ can demand that their followers do many immoral things in pursuit of what they see as a final ‘good’,
    even though the sacred Scriptures forbid the willing participation in evil that good may come of it

    And so you get people willing to lie, to rat out another parishioner who spoke to them in confidence about issues they perceive with leadership, willing to look the other way when leaders abuse, molest, harass, all to protect the “gospel” (i.e., the good of the organization)

  397. @ Muff Potter:
    The amount of mental gymnastics they use for the childbearing interpretation is chilling! They end up teaching that bearing children is a work of salvation or a required act in sanctification! Few question it!

  398. @ Nancy2:
    I think I am not communicating my basic point very well, so I’m going to quit while I’m behind. 🙂 I’m happy that you got some help on that horrible day.

  399. Nancy2 wrote:

    A man got out and changed my tyre for me. He got soaked. He refused to take any money. He just put my equipment back in the trunk of my car, accepted my thanks with a nod, and left. I’m so glad that man was a humble, blue jean-clad factory worker, and not some suit and tie BG/YRR preacher man.

    Agree. He wasn’t a “real man” or a “biblical man”, just – er – a man. (Which, sadly, improves the chances of his not being a jerk.)

    #respect

  400. Lydia wrote:

    The amount of mental gymnastics they use for the childbearing interpretation is chilling! They end up teaching that bearing children is a work of salvation or a required act in sanctification! Few question it!

    Like I’ve said before, their doctrine will not see the 22nd century. The masses now have more access to information than they did even with Gutenberg’s invention. Oh sure, there’ll be a few isolated pockets of gender-based hierarchy, but it will no longer have the stranglehold over the minds of believers it once had.

  401. Muff Potter wrote:

    CHIPS wrote:
    God said sex before marriage is not ok.
    Chapter and verse please?

    If you look at a woman lustfully who is not your wife, you already committed adultery. So never mind actually having sex with her before marriage.

    This doesn’t mean Christians don’t sin. Of course we all do. But Christians must never defend sin. Christians must admit their sins and repent. It is much better to be a sinner who knows the truth, than a self-righteous person who are blinded in darkness and lost in his/her sins.

    Matthew 5:27-28New International Version (NIV)

    Adultery
    27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’[a] 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

  402. CHIPS wrote:

    If you look at a woman lustfully who is not your wife, you already committed adultery.

    I don’t think this particular verse would apply to people who aren’t married.

  403. Lea wrote:

    CHIPS wrote:
    If you look at a woman lustfully who is not your wife, you already committed adultery.
    I don’t think this particular verse would apply to people who aren’t married.

    For example 1 Corinthian 7:8-9 talks directly to those unmarried. It say it is “Good for You” if you stay unmarried. But if you cannot control yourself (in maintaining sexual purity) and is burning with passion (to have sex), you should marry. If sex before marriage isn’t even a sin, then a single person should be allowed to have sex with whoever they want. But then WHY is this even a concern for Paul? Then WHO CARES about passion or “cannot control yourself”?

    Sex before marriage is indeed a sin. That’s why Paul cares about that passion and people who cannot control themselves.

    Another example would be Hosea’s wife Gomer. She wasn’t married and was a prostitute. However if sex before marriage isn’t a sin, then it would actually be ok for her to be a prostitute. Why not? What is the difference?

    But God actually compared her to an adulterous wife in Hosea 1:2. But hey she wasn’t even married! That wasn’t fair right? It is fair because sex before marriage is INDEED a sin. And being a prostitute is very bad, even when she wasn’t married.

    I kind of want to focus on abuses in churches. So I won’t spent too much time on this. There are many resources online that shows that sex before marriage is a sin, if you need more resources.

    Now this doesn’t mean that someone is less valuable as a potential spouse if they had sex before marriage. Not at all. In fact it would be sinful for a Christian to reject another Christian just because he/she had sex before.

    Why? Because EVEN ATHEISTS will accept a non-virgin as their spouse. If a Christian refuse to accept a non-virgin as their spouse, then that Christian love people LESS than an atheist. How can someone who received the saving grace of Jesus LOVE LESS THAN another person who doesn’t even know God? This should be a major concern of their heart and spiritual life with the all forgiving Jesus.

  404. okrapod wrote:

    Janna L. Chan wrote:
    It was a world in which Roman legal law gave the male head of household the right to execute members of his family for any reason.
    I don’t think that policy was good for women.
    It was a bad law, but it was not differentially discriminatory against females since the pater familias had complete control over the entire family both male and female.

    That might have been the law. But I don’t think it was practiced like that. Romans do know a good wife when they see one. And if the husband just kill his good wife like that, it would be heavily looked down on.

    For example when the crazy Emperor Nero banished his own wife Claudia, the public was outraged. The people would openly parade the street to ask for her return. Of course crazy Nero being crazy had her murdered instead by cutting her veins and suffocating her in a bath house. But the Roman citizens knows a bit about right and wrong.

    Now the Roman people are some of the most sinful people. But even sinful people had some morality and decency.

  405. Law Prof wrote:

    Point is, Jesus specifically, repeatedly and explicitly condemned the Pharisees for elevating their extrabiblical, man-made rules and for punishing people for failing to follow them, one could argue it was a central theme of His ministry.

    Reminds me of “I Kiss Dating Goodbye” and the courting movement. That pretty much killed Christian Dating for many people in that generation. Who is actually going to invite their parents or elders to a date? When they post this idea so impossible and so absurd, people just give up and go marry a non-believer.

  406. Muff Potter wrote:

    CHIPS wrote:
    God said sex before marriage is not ok.
    Chapter and verse please?

    What’s that stuff about it being better to marry than to burn in passion? I just can’t work around that, plus all the admonitions against sexual immorality (several in the Bible, OT and NT) that in context have zilch to do with adultery?

  407. Lea wrote:

    CHIPS wrote:
    If you look at a woman lustfully who is not your wife, you already committed adultery.
    I don’t think this particular verse would apply to people who aren’t married.

    But it being better to marry than to burn in passion would.

  408. Gram3 wrote:

    @ Nancy2:
    I think I am not communicating my basic point very well, so I’m going to quit while I’m behind. I’m happy that you got some help on that horrible day.

    You weren’t behind, Gram3. I fully understood your viewpoint and concur.

  409. Law Prof wrote:

    Muff Potter wrote:
    CHIPS wrote:
    God said sex before marriage is not ok.
    Chapter and verse please?
    What’s that stuff about it being better to marry than to burn in passion? I just can’t work around that, plus all the admonitions against sexual immorality (several in the Bible, OT and NT) that in context have zilch to do with adultery?

    Hmmm….sure hope there aren’t Christians here trying to defend sex before marriage. Unbelievers….now that’s a different story.

  410. Darlene wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:
    Muff Potter wrote:
    CHIPS wrote:
    God said sex before marriage is not ok.
    Chapter and verse please?
    What’s that stuff about it being better to marry than to burn in passion? I just can’t work around that, plus all the admonitions against sexual immorality (several in the Bible, OT and NT) that in context have zilch to do with adultery?
    Hmmm….sure hope there aren’t Christians here trying to defend sex before marriage. Unbelievers….now that’s a different story.

    I would agree. Adultery is specifically called out, so are orgies (which are not put in a specific marital context), and so is a more general admonition against sexual immorality, and it’s targeted again and again, and not in an adultery-based context. So while I don’t want to put man-made rules on anyone, I don’t think there’s much reasonable argument supporting the notion that the writers of the Bible prohibited sex outside of marriage.

  411. Law Prof wrote:

    I don’t think there’s much reasonable argument supporting the notion that the writers of the Bible prohibited sex outside of marriage.

    “That the writers of the Bible did not prohibit…”

  412. Darlene wrote:

    Hmmm….sure hope there aren’t Christians here trying to defend sex before marriage. Unbelievers….now that’s a different story.

    A lot of Christians give me little incentive to maintain my virginity at age 40+. I’m a single lady.

    According to a lot of Christians I meet online, God is A-OK with pre-marital monkey business, which I guess means it’s acceptable for me to go to a bar this weekend, pick up some dude, and Get Bizy.

  413. Lea wrote:

    I don’t think this particular verse would apply to people who aren’t married.

    Nor do I. I’m convinced that Jesus was simply using hyperbole to illustrate a larger picture. There’s good reason that the authors of The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy disavowed hyperbole (in article 13) as a valid literary device in Scripture, that way the plain sense can always be made to apply with no wiggle room when necessary to bolster a particular position.

  414. Muff Potter wrote:

    the authors of The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy

    Other important things to know about the authors:

    *they believe that the U.S. government should be overthrown

    *they believe that 10 men from each local church should take over locally, then state-wide, and nationally

    *they believe in slavery

    *they believe that non-Christians should be enslaved (apparently anyone not in lock step with them)

    *they deny the Holocaust took place

    *they want the U.S. to be run on a Biblical Patriarchy model.

    In short, they’re nutcases.

    No, no, and no to everything they espouse. I reject The Chicago Statement and the men behind it.

  415. Unepetiteanana wrote:

    Pete deserves forgiveness, but he does not deserve to be a pastor anymore.

    Speaking of ex-pastors, the expastors.com have a new article up on modesty (not implying in any way that women tempt pastors to become expastors through their immodest attire) on which they’re not only encouraging comments but RESPONDING. Noticed they’ve still not got around to responding to any comments on the Pete Wilson interview.
    Off topic — expastors.com has ads, which always seem to be for rather “defrauding” tee-shirts.

  416. Daisy wrote:

    A lot of Christians give me little incentive to maintain my virginity at age 40+. I’m a single lady.
    According to a lot of Christians I meet online, God is A-OK with pre-marital monkey business, which I guess means it’s acceptable for me to go to a bar this weekend, pick up some dude, and Get Bizy.

    Unfortunately just because someone claim that they are Christian, it doesn’t mean that they actually is one. 🙁

    Now once again I am not saying Christians must live sinless lives to “prove” that they are Christians. Then we will have church police and fall into the same trap as the neo-Calvinists.

    However if a Christians defend outright and clear sins, something is seriously wrong with their faith in God. Bullying the weak is ok, drugs are ok, sex before marriage is ok, etc.

    Can a bully be saved? Can a drug addict be saved? Can a prostitute be saved? Yes they can. But there must be a repenting heart. That person must feel sorry and want to stop, and slowly work toward stopping his problems. And the church should be patient and gentle with that person. But to do all these, that person must have a repenting heart. If that person won’t even admit his sins, no one can help him.

  417. Gram3 wrote:

    @ Nancy2:
    I think I am not communicating my basic point very well, so I’m going to quit while I’m behind. I’m happy that you got some help on that horrible day.

    I understand what you’re saying. I’m the one who wasn’t very clear. I just meant that some places, like certain churche/religions take protecting their reputations to the extreme.

  418. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Agree. He wasn’t a “real man” or a “biblical man”, just – er – a man. (Which, sadly, improves the chances of his not being a jerk.)

    LOL but sad.

  419. Dave A A wrote:

    Speaking of ex-pastors, the expastors.com have a new article up on modesty (not implying in any way that women tempt pastors to become expastors through their immodest attire) on which they’re not only encouraging comments but RESPONDING. Noticed they’ve still not got around to responding to any comments on the Pete Wilson interview.
    Off topic — expastors.com has ads, which always seem to be for rather “defrauding” tee-shirts.

    Yeah. Oops. The first comment or on the “Modesty” article was me. I meant to type in as “Preacher’s Wife”. The article and video made me so angry, I wasn’t thinking straight and typed in “Pastor’s Wife”.

  420. Nancy2 wrote:

    Dave A A wrote:

    Speaking of ex-pastors, the expastors.com have a new article up on modesty (not implying in any way that women tempt pastors to become expastors through their immodest attire) on which they’re not only encouraging comments but RESPONDING. Noticed they’ve still not got around to responding to any comments on the Pete Wilson interview.
    Off topic — expastors.com has ads, which always seem to be for rather “defrauding” tee-shirts.

    Yeah. Oops. The first comment or on the “Modesty” article was me. I meant to type in as “Preacher’s Wife”. The article and video made me so angry, I wasn’t thinking straight and typed in “Pastor’s Wife”.

    I just went there and posted this:

    ” Christiane Smith • in a few seconds Hold on, this is waiting to be approved by ExPastors.

    No. I don’t accept the premise that the way any person dresses causes the sin of another person. I think the problem begins with viewing human persons as ‘objects’ and not understanding that they possess a dignity that comes from being made in the image of God and that they possess a soul from God, and therefore, they ARE deserving of respect AS human persons.

    Nothing else needed. Nothing can add to this or detract from it. The clothing a woman wears is NOT the cause of a man’s inability to see her as a human person and not a sex object. The responsibility for seeing people as sex objects falls to those who programmed our young to devalue ‘the others’, whether they were women, men, Muslims, Catholics, African American, Caucasian, Latino, people from another culture or place . . . . once the young are taught that human dignity depends on surface values only, then it is easy to steer them into seeing those who are different from them as ‘objects’ instead of people.

    I recommend that those men brought up to see themselves as ‘male headship’ believers take another look at Our Lord and His teaching specifically. They need to return to Him and to do it in humility. Only then, is there any hope that they will be able to see women in the proper perspective again. ‘Clothes’ don’t matter where human dignity is recognized.”


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  421. Muff Potter wrote:

    I’m convinced that Jesus was simply using hyperbole

    I was part of a group going through Matthew. In 16:6, in response to the disciples forgetting to bring bread Jesus responded to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees. I though Jesus was just slipping in a joke. Instead of debating me I was treated as a heretic. So, referring to your contention, no, in many if not most circles making the point that Jesus used hyperbole or told a joke would get you burned, figuratively of course, hyperbole included.

  422. Christiane wrote:

    The clothing a woman wears is NOT the cause of a man’s inability to see her as a human person and not a sex object.

    Yep. In every circumstance, a man has a choice whether or not to dwell upon a woman’s attire or lack thereof and lust after her. I don’t care if the woman is buck naked. Where I teach (very warm southern climate, it was in the 80s today) some young ladies at the university like to strut their stuff and wear precious little, it’s my choice what to do with my eyes, and I’ve had to learn to maintain non-wandering eye contact only with coeds approaching me for help with their homework or clarification on the exam. Men who want to throw the responsibility off on women are cowards and sniveling babies.

  423. Bill M wrote:

    I was part of a group going through Matthew. In 16:6, in response to the disciples forgetting to bring bread Jesus responded to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees. I though Jesus was just slipping in a joke. Instead of debating me I was treated as a heretic. So, referring to your contention, no, in many if not most circles making the point that Jesus used hyperbole or told a joke would get you burned, figuratively of course, hyperbole included.

    Those are some serious ignoramuses there, hyperbole was a time-honored rabbinical tradition, Jesus used it all the time. What the heck are people thinking? Do they read much? Methinks they’re more likely the heretics, the secret unbelievers, the doubters.

  424. Law Prof wrote:

    Men who want to throw the responsibility off on women are cowards and sniveling babies.

    I don’t at all believe that if a man lusts after a woman it is anybody else’s responsibility than the man, but Scripture also teaches us not to be a stumbling block.

  425. CHIPS wrote:

    However if sex before marriage isn’t a sin, then it would actually be ok for her to be a prostitute. Why not? What is the difference?

    There is sort of a big difference between these things!

  426. Robert wrote:

    also teaches us not to be a stumbling block

    The problem with the whole ‘purity/modesty’ culture is that no one can actually define what is modest. Because it is ENTIRELY cultural! Men who see women wearing very little every day adjust.

    I think being a ‘stumbling block’ is a lot more than clothing. Maybe if someone threw themselves at a man that would be a stumbling block. Not wearing a v neck.

  427. Christiane wrote:

    @ Robert:
    ‘Clothes’ don’t matter where human dignity is recognized.

    I’ve seen some interesting articles and interviews with Elizabeth Smart, the young woman in Utah who was kidnapped from her family home and sexaully assaulted for 9 months. She is highly critical of “purity culture”, including Mormon purity culture.

    Elizabeth said that children should be taught that they have value, no matter what happens too them sexually.

    She was taught by teachers and the purity culture at church that if you had sex before marriage you were a ‘chewed up piece of gum and who would want you?”. So as she was being sexually assaulted she kept thinking of those words…who would ever want her? That she had no value. Was now worthless.

  428. Lea wrote:

    Because it is ENTIRELY cultural!

    There are entire cultures that live topless and have for thousands of years. Are the women all sinning? (I don’t think so). Is it because they don’t have the gospel? (I don’t think so.) But we do what is acceptable within a culture so as not to being offense. This does not mean I cover myself from head to toe so that my Christian brother is not tempted. What would these guys do if they lived in a culture where nakedness was normal?

  429. CHIPS wrote:

    However if a Christians defend outright and clear sins, something is seriously wrong with their faith in God. Bullying the weak is ok, drugs are ok, sex before marriage is ok, etc.

    You do know what false equivalence is right?

    Lea wrote:

    There is sort of a big difference between these things!

    Yep, you said it even simpler than my 50 cent word phrase (false equivalence).

  430. Bridget wrote:

    This does not mean I cover myself from head to toe so that my Christian brother is not tempted. What would these guys do if they lived in a culture where nakedness was normal?

    Perhaps I should not have said anything because I have not yet seen the video, so I don’t know what kind of “modesty” they are talking about. I just want to be able to not see a woman’s underwear when she sits down.

    And yeah, the whole “purity culture” thing is messed up, especially when it gets extended into “emotional purity”. I would have liked to have married the first woman I fell in love with. It didn’t happen for me that way, and I suspect that’s true for most people.

  431. Robert wrote:

    so I don’t know what kind of “modesty” they are talking

    I’ll save you the trouble. They don’t define it all, just say it’s a ‘gift’ because they won’t have to lust. And they play ridiculous ‘the puppies are about to die’ sad music while a bunch of men say they ‘hate’ talking about this or telling people what to do. But.

  432. Robert wrote:

    “emotional purity”.

    A friend told me that when you have sex with someone you are ‘soul bonded’ or something? What??? I don’t know where that came from.

  433. Lea wrote:

    A friend told me that when you have sex with someone you are ‘soul bonded’ or something? What??? I don’t know where that came from.

    There’s no end to what you (generic you) can pull out of your a$$ and then claim that Scripture demands it.

  434. Law Prof wrote:

    Yep. In every circumstance, a man has a choice whether or not to dwell upon a woman’s attire or lack thereof and lust after her. I don’t care if the woman is buck naked. Where I teach (very warm southern climate, it was in the 80s today) some young ladies at the university like to strut their stuff and wear precious little, it’s my choice what to do with my eyes, and I’ve had to learn to maintain non-wandering eye contact only with coeds approaching me for help with their homework or clarification on the exam. Men who want to throw the responsibility off on women are cowards and sniveling babies.

    Here is one of my comments on the modesty article:
    “First of all a correction: a mistakenly entered a comment as Pastor’s wife. My husband is a preacher, but not a church pastor.

    Now, on to business: I would strongly advise you to avoid Walmart, Lowe’s, public resteraunts, and county fairs. You would be astounded at the scantily clad women in those places that would cause your heart to sin. Restrain your ministry to safer places.”

  435. @ Nancy2:

    I saw that and their response.

    Robert (same Robert as here? IDK) makes the excellent point that the problem is the ‘pastors or ex pastors’ in the stupid video are linking attraction with lust and cannot seem to separate the two. They then make the extra step of deciding they are sinning by this lust/attraction, and then deciding it is the womens fault, even though they say it isn’t in the video. Kind of. Or maybe they say they don’t want to blame. But still, they want you to ‘gift’ them with modesty so they don’t lust. It’s so absurd.

    I’d comment there but I hate disqus.

  436. Lea wrote:

    They then make the extra step of deciding they are sinning by this lust/attraction, and then deciding it is the womens fault, even though they say it isn’t in the video. Kind of. Or maybe they say they don’t want to blame. But still, they want you to ‘gift’ them with modesty so they don’t lust. It’s so absurd.

    Does there exist only visual attraction? What do some men do when it is the scent of a woman’s perfume, the sparkle in her eye, the sound of her laughter, her ability to participate in an intelligent conversation, or the lilt in her voice that attracts them?
    If attraction is only visual, what do they do if the problem is just the beauty of a woman’s face, or the way a woman carries herself, or the way she walks?
    Where does it stop?

  437. Nancy2 wrote:

    Does there exist only visual attraction?

    I think the men who say this either have an agenda or are deeply confused about what they are really wanting.

  438. Lea wrote:

    Nancy2 wrote:
    Does there exist only visual attraction?
    /
    I think the men who say this either have an agenda or are deeply confused about what they are really wanting.

    I know a lot of things I’ve heard guys say is ingrained about attraction is actually cultural, because standards of beauty are always changing, and are different from culture to culture. I think many guys just use it as an excuse. But those are the same guys I know that have been divorced multiple times and are never happy.

  439. Lea wrote:

    Robert (same Robert as here? IDK) makes the excellent point that the problem is the ‘pastors or ex pastors’ in the stupid video are linking attraction with lust and cannot seem to separate the two.

    Different Robert, but if I understand him correctly I concur. I think one of the things that is going on here is the demonization of male sexuality.

  440. Lea wrote:

    I think the men who say this either have an agenda or are deeply confused about what they are really wanting.

    I think they’re weak and just trying to find a scapegoat in case they start committing adultery or viewing porn.

  441. Robert wrote:

    I think one of the things that is going on here is the demonization of male sexuality.

    That’s kind of how I was reading it too. To me, there is nothing wrong with looking at a man (since I am female) and thinking ‘Shemar Moore sure is a handsome fellow’ (as I might have remarked to coworkers the other day which is why I am using him as my example.) But that doesn’t mean that if he were in the office, i would be filled with unreasonable lust and bound to take off all my clothes. Or that he would be any less attractive if he were covered head to toe, which he often is on television. It doesn’t stop his eyes from sparkling!

    Nancy2 wrote:

    I think they’re weak and just trying to find a scapegoat in case they start committing adultery or viewing porn.

    I think this is definitely part of it. Please wear a burlap sack because otherwise I will be in sin and it will be your fault. NOPE. Wrong. Sidenote: This attitude is probably half of why ex-pastors needed its own website.

  442. Robert wrote:

    I just want to be able to not see a woman’s underwear when she sits down.

    I hear you. I don’t want to see them either. I also don’t want to see guys underware because their pants are down at their knees. But I just move along.

  443. Robert wrote:

    I just want to be able to not see a woman’s underwear when she sits down.

    I’m not directing this specifically to you, Robert, but my former husband and I discuss this occasionally since he has a problem with most women’s dress in church (or anywhere I might add….) It may be oversimplifying the matter, but I suggested he stop focusing on body parts. We do have a choice where we direct our eyes.

    On a similar note, many years ago a girlfriend and I got sick to death watching men checking out every women who passed by and the obvious body parts of interest to them. We decided to experiment by doing the same to men…(focusing on the crotch area). After one or two times, we were so humiliated and embarrassed at ourselves we couldn’t continue. lol Do men not feel that way somewhat or do is it a natural thing for them I wonder?

  444. Victorious wrote:

    Do men not feel that way somewhat or do is it a natural thing for them I wonder?

    I think that old “boys will be boys” idiom/excuse comes into play here ……… and I do mean boys, not mature men.

  445. Lea wrote:

    CHIPS wrote:
    However if sex before marriage isn’t a sin, then it would actually be ok for her to be a prostitute. Why not? What is the difference?
    There is sort of a big difference between these things!

    No there is no difference. Someone who slept with 4 or 5 ex’s is just as sinful in adultery as a prostitute who slept with 1,000’s. Anyone who breaks just ONE law is guilty of breaking all laws. (James 2:10). And someone who breaks a law just once is just as guilty as someone breaking it 1,000 times. It doesn’t matter because the punishment is ALWAYS the burning fires of hell. There are no exceptions, unless someone repent of their sins and accept Jesus’s forgiveness.

    Please read 1 Corinthian 7:8-9. Did it say if you cannot control yourself, go ahead and have sex? That if you really like your BF and are passionately in love, go ahead and have sex?

    Nope! It say you should to get married.

    I ask you once again. If BF/GF can just go ahead and have sex, why doesn’t Paul just say it? Why does he say they should get married?

    Now you can go ahead and have sex with you BF. You are still a Christian. And Jesus will always forgive you. You will be in heaven 100% chance. But never defend a sin or deny that a sin is a sin. That is a much more dangerous stance to be in.

    And I am not talking about man-made sins here. I am talking about those very clear sins that everyone that read the bible will agree it is a sin.

    So sure, go ahead and sin. You will end up hurting God, yourself and others. But you will stay be saved. But if you start denying the truth of God, you risk your own salvation. Because you might be worshiping a different God from Jesus. The true Jesus said sex before marriage is a sin. If “your Jesus” say sex before marriage is ok, then he is not the true Jesus.

    Jesus will always forgive you. But sins are always going to be sins.

  446. @ Nancy2:

    Exactly! My husband said it wouldn’t matter one bit if women cover up from head to toe, because a man (who is so inclined) would just use his imagination as to what was under the cover.

  447. Lea wrote:

    Robert wrote:
    “emotional purity”.
    A friend told me that when you have sex with someone you are ‘soul bonded’ or something? What??? I don’t know where that came from.

    You do become one fresh with anyone that you have sex with. (Mark 10:7-9) (Genesis 2:24) The body and soul connection is joint together by God. And no man can ever separate it in their life time. How can man separate what God has joint together?

    Does this mean your body is literally your ex’s body? Does this mean your soul is literally your ex’s soul? Of course not! Else you will be able to move his body. And you will be able to read his mind. So that isn’t what Jesus meant. Jesus was saying that sex was designed by God to be a bonding act, between just one woman and one man. It was a wonderful gift that each will offer to each other in marriage. And they will be bonded with each other. And that bond will NEVER be able to break, even if they do physically separate and never see each other again.

    In simpler terms, someone who had sex with 4 ex’s before their spouse will not be able to bond as easily as someone who is a virgin. And the more sexual partner one had, the weaker the bond they WILL have with their future spouse. When someone said “I had sex with my 4 ex’s and they all mean nothing to me now” they are wrong. There is still “something” there. We might not be able to observe it. But Jesus said it and we take his words by faith.

    Once again this is only talking about sex. A relationship is more than sex. However Jesus is saying do not underestimate the power of sexual bond. If your sexual bond is weak, you will have to work so much harder at everything else (other types of bond) to make your marriage work.

    This doesn’t say that one cannot pray to God for healing of their body and spirit. One can definitely pray to God for stronger sexual bonds with their spouse. If you learn to love like Jesus loves, your love is infinite and there is no need to worry.
    But what Jesus said stands true. Sex is a bonding act that cannot be broken in our life time.

    Also this doesn’t mean that a non-virgin is worth less than a virgin. If a Christian view it this way, that Christian has sinned. Christians cannot look down on each other. But instead forgive each other and lift each other up. We don’t judge and condemn anymore, because neither did Jesus judge and condemn us.

  448. CHIPS wrote:

    You do become one fresh with anyone that you have sex with. (Mark 10:7-9) (Genesis 2:24)

    Both of those are about marriage. And they are metaphors! Oy.

  449. CHIPS wrote:

    Jesus was saying that sex was designed by God to be a bonding act, between just one woman and one man.

    Many people remarry, after divorce or widowhood. I do not see that they are less ‘bonded’ because of it written anywhere in the bible. Heck, some of those wonderful kings in the OT had a bazillion wives anyway.

    Bonding is about a lot more than sex.

  450. CHIPS wrote:

    No there is no difference. Someone who slept with 4 or 5 ex’s is just as sinful in adultery as a prostitute who slept with 1,000’s. Anyone who breaks just ONE law is guilty of breaking all laws. (James 2:10). And someone who breaks a law just once is just as guilty as someone breaking it 1,000 times.

    I understand what you’re trying to point out and I agree with the intent, but I find it difficult to believe that it’s all the same and don’t believe the Bible supports that. If we’ve sinned just once (as everyone of course has) we’re lost without Jesus and would be destined, but for Him, to the same place apart from Him for eternity as one who’s spent every moment of their life in open, spiteful rebellion against the Lord.

    But, I can’t extrapolate from that to the notion that, for example, a young lady who has gone too far with her fiance one time is all the same as if that same young lady with the same nature and nurture had decided “Bleep you, God, and your bondage of purity” and then turned to porn and prostitution and slept with 1,000 men. It’s not all the same, some sins take you farther down the road away from the Lord, and as you sin more and more, your conscience becomes more seared.

    It’s true that breaking the law just once makes you a lawbreaker, makes you guilty, in need of a savior, but you cannot leap from that proposition to telling me John the Baptist (described by Jesus Himself as greatest among any who ever lived) is equivalent to Hitler, no better (let me repeat, I am not saying that John the Baptist, by his own inertia and without Jesus, could climb his way any closer to Heaven than even Hitler).

  451. CHIPS wrote:

    You do become one fresh with anyone that you have sex with.

    Nonsense.

    How about all of the people who are sexually abused as children, raped, forced into human trafficking, including sex slavery? They aren’t bonded to the people that they were forced to have sex with.

    They have lots of trauma to contend with.

  452. Robert wrote:

    I don’t at all believe that if a man lusts after a woman it is anybody else’s responsibility than the man, but Scripture also teaches us not to be a stumbling block.

    We’re in agreement, I’m not saying that women should wear clothing intentionally to provoke weak men, might as well swing a bottle in front of a alcoholic, it’s bad form. But as you point out, it’s ultimately the man’s responsibility how he reacts.

  453. Lea wrote:

    A friend told me that when you have sex with someone you are ‘soul bonded’ or something? What??? I don’t know where that came from.

    Soul ties and such, I think just more superstition and hocus pocus masquerading as Christianity. Can’t find that concept in the Bible.

  454. Velour wrote:

    She was taught by teachers and the purity culture at church that if you had sex before marriage you were a ‘chewed up piece of gum and who would want you?”.

    Another one is where they get a flower and pull it apart, petal by petal, until all that’s left is the empty stump and tell young girls that’s what it’s like when they have sexual contact (or even share a kiss) with someone not yet their husband. Funny, Jesus never said anything like that.

    What ought to be done is someone should do the same thing, petal by petal, before a purity culture prig, and tell them “Here’s your barren soul as you descend deeper and deeper into purity culture pharisaism.”

  455. CHIPS wrote:

    No there is no difference. Someone who slept with 4 or 5 ex’s is just as sinful in adultery as a prostitute who slept with 1,000’s. Anyone who breaks just ONE law is guilty of breaking all laws. (James 2:10). And someone who breaks a law just once is just as guilty as someone breaking it 1,000 times.

    I beg to differ. There are parsecs of difference. James 2:10 is written to Torah observant Jews of that time, not to 21st century gentiles. Don’t get me wrong, James’s epistle is chock full of universally accepted principles and the admonishment to do good to one’s neighbor. I can get behind that, but at day’s end that’s where it ends for me.

  456. Law Prof wrote:

    I’m not saying that women should wear clothing intentionally to provoke weak men,

    I recall men of the Elizabethan era appreciated a well turned ankle.

  457. I think a reasonable question is what does it mean to lust? Does it involve looking at someone and finding them attractive, maybe even becoming aroused? None of those things really happen intentionally. Is it dwelling on those thoughts? Is it taking those thoughts into the area of imagination? At what point does this become sinful without involving any action?

    Furthermore, despite popular opinion not all men are attracted to the same thing. I don’t know if there’s any way to dress that won’t be found attractive by anybody.

  458. Robert wrote:

    I don’t know if there’s any way to dress that won’t be found attractive by anybody.

    Which is why this whole thing is so maddening! Women can do nothing to control the lust of men. They must control it themselves. However we define it. Or just lust and catch yourself! Repent, try to do better next time. Just don’t bother me or other women about it as we have control.

    I’m with Nancy, a good chunk of this is an excuse for the ACTIONS of men, not the thoughts. These ‘expastor’ types? Half of them are ‘ex’ because they ACTED. Not because they had a thought. And then they blame the attraction for the lust. They blame the lust for the actions. They blame the women, ultimately, for it all. So just put on more clothes and all will be well. NO. It doesn’t work that way. Umpteen abusive prairie dress wearing cults and duggar type dumb swimsuit families have proved that.

  459. Nancy2 wrote:

    Does there exist only visual attraction?

    Very unlikely. I think it’s a plethora of components that make up this thing called attraction, not easily measured and quantified. I know a Lutheran guy who left his smokin’ hot California blond trophy wife for a lady (14 years his senior) he met in choir. No kids luckily, and as far as I know, they’re still very happy doing life together.

  460. Lea wrote:

    I’m with Nancy, a good chunk of this is an excuse for the ACTIONS of men, not the thoughts. These ‘expastor’ types? Half of them are ‘ex’ because they ACTED. Not because they had a thought. And then they blame the attraction for the lust. They blame the lust for the actions.

    If that’s the point (spoken or unspoken) of that article I wholeheartedly agree. If these people don’t have enough self-control to remove themselves from tempting situations and keep their pants zipped, they should not be in ministry.

  461. @ Lea:

    “So just put on more clothes and all will be well. NO. It doesn’t work that way.”
    +++++++++++

    ha…. i remember reading about fashion and ‘scintillation’ in by-gone European eras, and all the big skirts and crinolines. the sheer sound of rustling fabric as she moved and walked was a considered a turn-on to men.

    “it’s her fault, your honor! her taffetta was rustling! See, she’s doing it again!”

  462. Law Prof wrote:

    CHIPS wrote:
    No there is no difference. Someone who slept with 4 or 5 ex’s is just as sinful in adultery as a prostitute who slept with 1,000’s. Anyone who breaks just ONE law is guilty of breaking all laws. (James 2:10). And someone who breaks a law just once is just as guilty as someone breaking it 1,000 times.
    I understand what you’re trying to point out and I agree with the intent, but I find it difficult to believe that it’s all the same and don’t believe the Bible supports that. If we’ve sinned just once (as everyone of course has) we’re lost without Jesus and would be destined, but for Him, to the same place apart from Him for eternity as one who’s spent every moment of their life in open, spiteful rebellion against the Lord.
    But, I can’t extrapolate from that to the notion that, for example, a young lady who has gone too far with her fiance one time is all the same as if that same young lady with the same nature and nurture had decided “Bleep you, God, and your bondage of purity” and then turned to porn and prostitution and slept with 1,000 men. It’s not all the same, some sins take you farther down the road away from the Lord, and as you sin more and more, your conscience becomes more seared.
    It’s true that breaking the law just once makes you a lawbreaker, makes you guilty, in need of a savior, but you cannot leap from that proposition to telling me John the Baptist (described by Jesus Himself as greatest among any who ever lived) is equivalent to Hitler, no better (let me repeat, I am not saying that John the Baptist, by his own inertia and without Jesus, could climb his way any closer to Heaven than even Hitler).

    We have to remember what Lea is saying. She is saying that sex before marriage is not even a sin. I pointed out to her that it is indeed a sin, no matter how many or little one had sex with before marriage. And she say there is a big difference between sleeping with 4 or 5 ex’s than a prostitute. I tell her that the sin itself is the same.

    We have to separate the “consequences” into two type. One is earthly consequences during this life time. The other is eternal consequences. What I was talking about was eternal consequences, which is the hot fires of hell for those that don’t repent. That’s why it is indeed dangerous to say premarital sex is not a sin.

    One can repent of their sin but NEVER change their ways, and they will STILL be saved.

    But if someone REFUSE to admit their sins, as CLEARLY written in the bible, one is in danger of worshiping a FALSE Jesus. And so their salvation is NOT secured.

    As for earthly consequences, I agree with what you wrote Prof. I want to clarify that I do not mean that someone who slept with 4 or 5 ex’s is in the same “situation” as a prostitute who slept with 1,000’s. Like I said I believe that sex is a “bonding act”. The more sexual partner one had, the weaker the sexual bond for their future spouse. Once again sexual bond is just one aspect of the relationship. But God say this sexual bond is important and we shouldn’t down play it.

    So what I was talking about was indeed about salvation. Everyone needs Jesus. Eternal consequences and earthly consequences need to be separated.

    Sin always hurt God, others and/or yourself. And like you I used to think that the more sin one does, the worst his/her life will be. However I know this isn’t true. There are plenty of very good people that have great sufferings, like Jesus himself. And there are plenty of very evil people that gets away with it all in this life time, like Stalin.

    Sin is not karma. And it is preciously because sin often doesn’t seem to have any direct consequences, people would go sin. Little do they know, God often makes plans for 1,000s of years. And the consequences of their sin might happen after their life time.

    This of course doesn’t make it ok. One day God will wake everyone up from their death, and they will see witness ALL the consequences of their sins after their life time. That’s why for those that don’t repent, God’s judgement will be true and fair (Revelation 16:7)

    For example Alois Hitler, Adolf Hitler’s father. Alois was a terrible dad is per historical records (let’s assume they are true in this example). He couldn’t care less for his son(s) and would often beat him. Alois, most likely, provoked his son to anger (Ephesians 6:4).

    So what right? What is the big deal right? Alois was just another one of many abusive fathers right? And Adolf is just one of many abused children right? What can an abused child do? He couldn’t possibly kill millions right?

    Adolf Hitler will certainly deserve judgement. But Alois Hitler will also take the blame for being a terrible father. (Assuming neither ever repented to God) God sees all timelines.

    Exodus 20:4-6
    4 “You shall not make for yourself [a]an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing loving kindness to thousands (of generations), to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

  463. CHIPS wrote:

    And she say there is a big difference between sleeping with 4 or 5 ex’s than a prostitute.

    I said sleeping with your boyfriend is different from being a prostitute. It is also different from rape. And Mass murder.

  464. Lea wrote:

    CHIPS wrote:
    You do become one fresh with anyone that you have sex with. (Mark 10:7-9) (Genesis 2:24)
    Both of those are about marriage. And they are metaphors! Oy.

    Is the follow verse a “metaphor” too? That if you have sex with any prostitute (who already slept with 1,000s of people before you) you will become ONE BODY with her. And you will end up hurting your own body. Because while all other sins are outside of your body, sexual immorality (by having sex with any prostitute, married or not) is sinning against your own body.

    1 Corinthians 6:16-18 New International Version (NIV)
    16 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.”[a] 17 But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.[b]

    18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.

  465. Lea wrote:

    1 Corinthians 6:16-18

    Please go ahead and explain 1 Corinthians 6:16-18 to me then. I am all ears. =)

    I am not trying to make your feel bad. I am trying to bring you the truth of God as a loving brother in Christ.

  466. CHIPS wrote:

    I am not trying to make your feel bad.

    Oh honey. I don’t feel bad at all. I just want you to cite verses that mean what you’re talking about, not irrelevant one.

  467. CHIPS wrote:

    For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.”[a] 17 But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.[

    It doesn’t sound to me from this passage that sex is a ‘soul bond’. It is a bond of flesh only.

  468. Lea wrote:

    CHIPS wrote:
    Jesus was saying that sex was designed by God to be a bonding act, between just one woman and one man.
    Many people remarry, after divorce or widowhood. I do not see that they are less ‘bonded’ because of it written anywhere in the bible. Heck, some of those wonderful kings in the OT had a bazillion wives anyway.
    Bonding is about a lot more than sex.

    That’s what one would hope. If a person has 4-5 ex sexual partners, of course the hope is all the past sexual experience has zero effect on the future relationships and marriage. And for all non-virgins, I WISH that you are right. You are all my brothers and sisters in Christ. What do I stand to gain by wishing the worst for your relationships? Of course I do WANT THE BEST for you non-virgin Christians.

    However if you look at the statistics, you will know that God is right. People who had more sexual partner consistently have a HIGHER divorce rate than those that had less sex.

    http://family-studies.org/counterintuitive-trends-in-the-link-between-premarital-sex-and-marital-stability/

    This study only look at those that divorced within 5 years. So in effect any marriage that lasts for more than 5 years is viewed as a “success” in this study. Now we being Christians won’t agree with this 5 years limit, since our marriage are supposed to last our whole life. But that is a different discussion.

    The first 1 or 2 sexual partner makes the biggest difference. And then it sort of levels off until someone has more than 10 sexual partners. There might be other factors. But to me it is easier to just take God’s word for it, that sexual bonding is VERY important in a marriage. And the more ex sexual partner one had before marriage, the weaker the sexual bond.

    Once again Christian can pray to God for healing. They can pray for stronger sexual bond in marriage. And God willing he will grant those prayers. However for this to happen Christians MUST repent of their sexual sins and admit their errors. Denying their sins won’t ever help them.

  469. @ Muff Potter:

    Lea wrote: “A friend told me that when you have sex with someone you are ‘soul bonded’ or something? What??? I don’t know where that came from.”

    Muff wrote: “There’s no end to what you (generic you) can pull out of your a$$ and then claim that Scripture demands it.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++

    It came from a book they read, from the discussion in some ‘small group’ they attended, or from the ‘message’ some christian speaker gave which they heard. A citation was probably never included. Ultimately, it came from having ‘heard it through the [christian] grapevine’.

    Christians are conditioned to trust, have child-like faith, do everything within their power to keep the good feelings peace. Scrutiny is a foreign concept. (but this is old news)

    So, they heard that “when you have sex with someone you are ‘soul bonded’” or have soul ties. It was gravely communicated, by someone with perceived gravitas. This is the definition of what “biblical” means.

  470. Lea wrote:

    CHIPS wrote:
    For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.”[a] 17 But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.[
    It doesn’t sound to me from this passage that sex is a ‘soul bond’. It is a bond of flesh only.

    I have my reasoning to believe that sex is both spiritual and flesh bond. But at this discussion I don’t think that is too important. The point here is that sex outside of marriage is a sin that all Christians are commanded by God to avoid.

    If you admit that sex will indeed cause a flesh bond here, you got to also admit that Paul is also telling Christians to stop having sex outside of marriage.

    I think this verse I cited is quite relevant. =)

  471. @ CHIPS:

    I looked at that study and it doesn’t break down by age! I am amazed at that. I don’t know that we can tell much about it without looking at other variables than number of partners. Also, they don’t even LOOK at mens sexual history! This is not a good study. It needs a lot more data.

    CHIPS wrote:

    And for all non-virgins, I WISH that you are right. You are all my brothers and sisters in Christ. What do I stand to gain by wishing the worst for your relationships? Of course I do WANT THE BEST for you non-virgin Christians.

    1. This is quite directed! I thought we were having a friendly discussion and now it’s all ‘I do not judge you, sinner’.
    2. Most Christians are probably ‘non-virgins’. Sheesh.

    elastigirl wrote:

    So, they heard that “when you have sex with someone you are ‘soul bonded’” or have soul ties. It was gravely communicated, by someone with perceived gravitas. This is the definition of what “biblical” means.

    Yes. You’re probably right. She goes to an ARC church, btw.

  472. elastigirl wrote:

    @ Muff Potter:
    Lea wrote: “A friend told me that when you have sex with someone you are ‘soul bonded’ or something? What??? I don’t know where that came from.”
    Muff wrote: “There’s no end to what you (generic you) can pull out of your a$$ and then claim that Scripture demands it.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++
    It came from a book they read, from the discussion in some ‘small group’ they attended, or from the ‘message’ some christian speaker gave which they heard. A citation was probably never included. Ultimately, it came from having ‘heard it through the [christian] grapevine’.
    Christians are conditioned to trust, have child-like faith, do everything within their power to keep the good feelings peace. Scrutiny is a foreign concept. (but this is old news)
    So, they heard that “when you have sex with someone you are ‘soul bonded’” or have soul ties. It was gravely communicated, by someone with perceived gravitas. This is the definition of what “biblical” means.

    The thing is I don’t think I am “brain-washed” or conditioned. If I was, I won’t be on Wartburg and WonderingEagle to defend against church abuses. If one day my own church elders and pastors starts abusing people, I doubt I will sit quietly. I will probably be loud and clear against them and be thrown out of their “temple”.

    I think my conclusion is from all the stuff I have read and heard over my life with Christ. I had my own sexual temptation problems that I had (and will) to dealt with. So trust me that what I said above (being bonded to a person) doesn’t help me neither. Now I actually never had sex with another person. But I had watched many many many exotic images. So in my opinion, I too has been damaged sexually. And my future sexual bonds with my future wife will not be as strong as it could have been.

    But I have found that in Christ is true freedom. Because we know when we do sin, God is right there to forgive us. That he will forgive us of everything. That he will slowly, patiently and gently work inside us to work us away from sin and toward righteousness. But once again this can only happen if we repent.

    True freedom is this: That I lay bare ALL 100% of my sins in front of God, and he still forgives me. That I am in his perfect LIGHT and nothing is hidden, yet he still loves me.

    That beats walking in DARKNESS and trying to cover all my sins. That beats being proud and defending my sis. I once too was in darkness. I was in darkness for many years in my sins. But now through God’s mercy and grace I am in the light. And I pray that I never go back to the darkness ever again.

  473. @ CHIPS:

    You know what? I think you should hold fast to your convictions. Live according to your conscience and what you believe God is telling you to do. IMO, that’s very honorable. There are other commenters here who are walking the same path you are.

  474. CHIPS wrote:

    The more sexual partner one had, the weaker the sexual bond for their future spouse.

    I was widowed just days before my 27th birthday. Are you saying that my first marriage has weakened the bond between me and my current husband?
    If so, I strongly disagree.

  475. @ BeenThereDoneThat:

    Bingo. Which is why I still hang out at TWW. We’re eclectic and diverse in our belief systems, and yet we manage to peacefully coexist. I have no doubt that CHIPS’s ethos of exhorting his brothers and sisters with the truth in love is heartfelt, sincere, and genuine. Even though I don’t share his or her beliefs, I will defend with vigor his or her right to promulgate them.

  476. @ CHIPS:
    Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying that sex outside of a marital bond is right, but just think about the mortal ancestors of Jesus, our Savior.
    Rahab was a prostitute before the walls of Jericho fell. Tamar posed as a prostitute and was impregnated by Judah. Ruth was a widowed Moabite who married again and became the g-grandmother of King David.
    This makes it obvious to me that inappropriate sexual relations, or sex with more than one person, does not limit God’s power or the blessings he offers to us if we accept Jesus as our savior and strive to be like Him and to live by His Word.

  477. CHIPS wrote:

    The thing is I don’t think I am “brain-washed” or conditioned.

    The scary thing about brain washing is that we may not realize what happened until we’re out of it! Not that I think you are, I just disagree on the ‘soul bond’ thing. I had a couple other responses to you that are stuck, btw.

    Nancy2 wrote:

    If so, I strongly disagree.

    Yeah, I really don’t believe there is any scriptural support for the idea that a second marriage (or 7th, like the lady Jesus was talking) would be less bonded than a first. I don’t know why this is going around but I really think it’s off.

  478. Velour wrote:

    CHIPS wrote:
    You do become one fresh with anyone that you have sex with.
    Nonsense.
    How about all of the people who are sexually abused as children, raped, forced into human trafficking, including sex slavery? They aren’t bonded to the people that they were forced to have sex with.
    They have lots of trauma to contend with.

    We are dealing with some high level theology here. One that no one understand perfectly. But I will try to explain this to you.

    I too grief for rape and sexual abuse victims. However we have to call truth as truth. Something can be very disturbing but yet totally true at the same time.

    You are right in saying that they have a lot of trauma to deal with. And that actually proves my point of view.

    If you ask any rape victim, I am sure 99.99% of them will tell you that relatively they rather get physically abused. Like getting slap in the face and punched the in chest. Bruises will hurt but they will heal up. But sexual abuses tend to stay with the victim.

    (Let us not go the extremes when it comes to physical abuse, like cutting someone’s hand off. That of course would be worst than sexual abuses. But I am sure you would agree that would be on yet another level altogether.)

    Once again I am very grief for sexual victims. But let us look at our observations. Why does sexual abuses hurt so much more than physical and eve verbal abuses?

    If someone punched us abusively, we can heal up and move on. After the event, we usually have no problem telling all our friends about it.

    If someone verbally abused us, we most of the time can heal up and move on. Once again we can tell that tale to even strangers.

    Why then is it so hard for a sexual abuse victim to heal up? Why then is it so hard for a sexual abuse victim to tell their stories to others, even years after the event? They are actually the victim, so why does it still feel shameful to them?

    Because according to God, sex is a act of love that bonds people together. In a sexual abuse, sex was instead used as the exact opposite of love. It was instead used purely for pleasure and power. And that bond was immediately separated after the rape. That’s why there were so much pain.

    Now of course it isn’t a sin to get raped. The victim had no choice in the matter. However the action itself is bonding. The years of pain afterward is prove that the bonding exists.

    Now of course the victim has every right to hate that rapist. The anger is not in the sex itself. The anger is in the fact that the rapist didn’t develop a relationship, didn’t ask for permission and has zero intention of marrying the victim. So at the core it is the LACK of relationship that is the cause of the pain and anger.

    We can see this also in the punishment in Deuteronomy 22:23-29. This might be shocking but a rape doesn’t always lead to a death penalty to the rapist. The rapist only dies if that girl is engaged or married. However if the girl wasn’t engaged or married, the rapist will instead be made to marry the girl. So the rapist will be made husband of the girl. And he must take care of her all his days and never be allowed to divorce her.

    I am not saying here I support this law. I am only stating what is said.

    What is God saying here? God is saying that the reason a rapist deserve to die is because he STOLE another man’s wife, NOT for the rape itself. This sounds very twisted. But that is the law of God.

    So if the girl wasn’t engaged, the rapists didn’t actually stole the girl away from another man. So the rapists doesn’t deserve death. Instead he must marry the girl and love her for all his days. God want the rapist to take care of the girl, instead of killing the rapist. And taking care of this girl will be the atonement of the rapist.

    Is God saying here that rape is ok? Of course not! However taking everything we talked about, God is saying that sex does lead to a bond. And God rather make the rapist take care of the girl then killing the rapist.

    If there was no bond after sex, then the rapist should just be killed. Other laws in the old Testament will kill people for crimes much less than rape, such as a teenager disobeying a parent. Why then is rape special? Is this some male sexual dominant law? No! Because we all know that Jesus loved all women.

    And if there is no bond, why then must the rapist marry the girl? Why can’t he just pay a fee, or work some hard labor, or sell himself to slavery and pay all that money to the father?

    Taking everything in, the most logical explanation (for me) is that sex does lead to a bond between two people. Even the rapist will be bonded to the victim. That’s why God said the rapists must marry the non-engaged girl.

  479. Nancy2 wrote:

    CHIPS wrote:
    The more sexual partner one had, the weaker the sexual bond for their future spouse.
    I was widowed just days before my 27th birthday. Are you saying that my first marriage has weakened the bond between me and my current husband?
    If so, I strongly disagree.

    We have to keep in mind that sexual bond is just one of many bonds. You can bond with your second husband in other ways, like playing chess together or cooking together.

    All I am saying is, as per the bible, sexual bond is important and cannot be underestimated. Christians’ shouldn’t go everywhere and sleep around. Else they weaken their sexual bond with their future spouse.

    Now as for widows, God is quite clear that they should remarry. (1 Timothy 5:14). So the sexual bond problem isn’t really related.

    As for your question, I am afraid to give you an answer. As I said you can bond with your second husband in other ways. And God can definitely heal you and increase your sexual bond with your second husband. So I am NOT saying that your current sexual bond with your second husband could have been better if he was your first husband. I am saying that is a possibility, from what I have read from the bible.

    God revealed some secrets to us. Other he keep hidden. Some stuff that God revealed to us seems to be contradictions. And in our lifetime we might never find out the whole truth. But we don’t need to. Let’s wait until we meet the Lord and he will reveal all things to us. We just need to focus on loving God, loving others just as much as we love ourselves.

  480. Nancy2 wrote:

    @ CHIPS:
    Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying that sex outside of a marital bond is right, but just think about the mortal ancestors of Jesus, our Savior.
    Rahab was a prostitute before the walls of Jericho fell. Tamar posed as a prostitute and was impregnated by Judah. Ruth was a widowed Moabite who married again and became the g-grandmother of King David.
    This makes it obvious to me that inappropriate sexual relations, or sex with more than one person, does not limit God’s power or the blessings he offers to us if we accept Jesus as our savior and strive to be like Him and to live by His Word.

    Yes God can definitely use sins of men and make something great out of it. God can fix a lot of things.

    However I am sure no one will argue that Rehab was right in being a prostitute.

    Yes God can fix things for us. This doesn’t mean we should go out and break everything (by sinning) and then expect God to fix things.

    Once again I am not talking about widows here. I am talking about those who play loose with their sexuality. They will damage their future sexual bond with their future spouse.

  481. Lea wrote:

    CHIPS wrote:
    You can bond with your second husband in other ways, like playing chess together or cooking together.
    HA!

    Exactly. My experiences in the first marriage …. good and bad, trials, failures, and successes ….. has served to make me more mature and has made my second marriage stronger and more resilient in every way. Marriage is an emotional bond more than a physical one.

  482. Nancy2 wrote:

    Rahab was a prostitute before the walls of Jericho fell. Tamar posed as a prostitute and was impregnated by Judah. Ruth was a widowed Moabite who married again and became the g-grandmother of King David.
    This makes it obvious to me that inappropriate sexual relations, or sex with more than one person, does not limit God’s power or the blessings he offers to us if we accept Jesus as our savior and strive to be like Him and to live by His Word.

    I’ve tried to find one instance in the OT of a 1:1 marriage but the only one I can think of is Uriah and his wife. Polygamy was the “norm” as was temple prostitution by both men and women and divorce is well documented as the norm as well. Surely culture comes into consideration as far as God’s gracious longsuffering and mercy doesn’t it?

    Not making excuses by any means, but scripture clearly does not paint a picture of God’s intended one man/one woman for life.

    Just sayin’…..

  483. CHIPS wrote:

    Once again I am not talking about widows here.

    You clearly want to, though. Because it strengthens your argument.

    But it isn’t biblical.

  484. CHIPS wrote:

    I pointed out to her that it is indeed a sin, no matter how many or little one had sex with before marriage…I tell her that the sin itself is the same.

    We have to separate the “consequences” into two type. One is earthly consequences during this life time. The other is eternal consequences. What I was talking about was eternal consequences, which is the hot fires of hell for those that don’t repent. That’s why it is indeed dangerous to say premarital sex is not a sin

    I agree with what you’re saying here. One thing I still have reservations about is that exactly the same eternal consequences exist regardless of behavior, that it’s either perfectly black or perfectly white; there is strong biblical evidence for the notion that there are varying consequences, different levels of judgment, even eternally, that it’s not entirely black/white (I’m not suggesting purgatory or middle ground between being with Jesus eternally versus being apart from Him eternally, because He’s the whole thing, and eternity apart from Him would be horrific–no room for any legitimate middle ground), e.g., Matthew 11, Luke 12, Hebrews 10, James 3. I don’t know for certain, but there seem to be some indications here that being apart from Jesus isn’t precisely the same level of judgment for everyone regardless.

    CHIPS wrote:

    Like I said I believe that sex is a “bonding act”. The more sexual partner one had, the weaker the sexual bond for their future spouse. Once again sexual bond is just one aspect of the relationship. But God say this sexual bond is important and we shouldn’t down play it.

    I agree with this and recent scientific research has supported this bonding element, there are physiological changes that occur when people have sex. Not to say God can’t heal anything, can’t redeem and forgive, but agreed, it’s not something to be taken lightly.

  485. Victorious wrote:

    Nancy2 wrote:
    Rahab was a prostitute before the walls of Jericho fell. Tamar posed as a prostitute and was impregnated by Judah. Ruth was a widowed Moabite who married again and became the g-grandmother of King David.
    This makes it obvious to me that inappropriate sexual relations, or sex with more than one person, does not limit God’s power or the blessings he offers to us if we accept Jesus as our savior and strive to be like Him and to live by His Word.
    I’ve tried to find one instance in the OT of a 1:1 marriage but the only one I can think of is Uriah and his wife. Polygamy was the “norm” as was temple prostitution by both men and women and divorce is well documented as the norm as well. Surely culture comes into consideration as far as God’s gracious longsuffering and mercy doesn’t it?
    Not making excuses by any means, but scripture clearly does not paint a picture of God’s intended one man/one woman for life.
    Just sayin’…..

    Actually God do mean for a married couple to stay together for life. Matthew 19:3-12 is quite clear on this.

    Pharisees ask Jesus if divorce is lawful for any reason at all. Jesus turned around and tell them that divorce cannot even be done. Because when God joins two people together, man cannot separate them.

    Now of course people can go get a divorce. So on earth yes they are divorced. But in God’s eyes, unless there was sexual immorality or abuse involved, are they really divorced? Nope. That’s why it wasn’t lawful.

    Of course the context here is that women worth nothing and men worth everything. And men were finding every excuse to divorce their wives. In this context Jesus said you might think you have divorced you wife and you go marry another. But truth is, unless sexual immorality or abuse is involved, you never actually divorced you first wife in God’s sight. Because that cannot be done.

    Does this mean a divorce person must not be allowed to marry again? Actually no. One has to separate a sin from practice. Long story short, a Christian must repent if he/she divorced the spouse unlawfully. Unlawfully means their spouse never cheated on them and never abused them. They must first repent of their sin.

    After they have repented and have picked their life together, they should see if it is at all possible to be reconciled back to their ex-spouse. This would be the will of God. However if such reconciliation is not possible at all, such as that spouse has moved on and married another person, that would also be the will of God. Then that person is free to remarry.

    And the person is not off the hook. He must always remember the sin of the divorce. And from that guilt and shame, remember the forgiveness he received from God. Now he must go out and love his next wife with his whole life. Even if he lies to the whole world he cannot lie to God. So shame on anyone who claim to be Christian, yet stays selfish in his second marriage.

    I say this and not the Lord. But if I am running a church, anyone who divorce twice (not related to sexual immorality or abuse) while claiming to be a Christian must never marry again. And I am not talking about the time when they were non-believers. There must never be a third marriage for such a Christian, who divorced twice while they are already a Christian. They can change church and go marry else where. But not in my church. Now yes there can be exceptions depending on the situation. Since this is a man-made law from me and not God. But I will say this man-made rule from me is pretty solid.

  486. CHIPS wrote:

    Actually God do mean for a married couple to stay together for life. Matthew 19:3-12 is quite clear on this.
    Pharisees ask Jesus if divorce is lawful for any reason at all. Jesus turned around and tell them that divorce cannot even be done. Because when God joins two people together, man cannot separate them.
    Now of course people can go get a divorce. So on earth yes they are divorced. But in God’s eyes, unless there was sexual immorality or abuse involved, are they really divorced? Nope. That’s why it wasn’t lawful.

    Of course they would be divorced in God’s eyes. After all He referenced the very law that permitted divorce in Deut! The law was established as a concession to the prevalent practice of putting away wives “for any reason.” The certificate of divorce was a merciful document that allowed the divorced woman to marry again with proof that she would not be committing adultery and was free from the previous marriage. Even God mentioned the legal proof of His divorce from Israel as the certificate of divorce. (Jer. 3:8)

  487. Victorious wrote:

    Not making excuses by any means, but scripture clearly does not paint a picture of God’s intended one man/one woman for life.
    Just sayin’…..

    Even Samuel’s (as in I & II Samuel) father had two wives. And yet, Samuel was a great prophet and a great man of God.
    Solomon was the son of David and the woman he committed adultery with and murder for………… Uhm, was Bathsheba wife number 8 or 9 ……. maybe # 10? I don’t recall. Many, if not all of Solomon’s marriages were for political gain and the protection of Israel. Yet, these men were “God’s anointed”.
    I’m not sayin’ any of it was right. I’m just sayin’ that’s how it was.

  488. CHIPS wrote:

    There must never be a third marriage for such a Christian, who divorced twice while they are already a Christian.

    Why are you focused on the ‘third’ marriage?

    And are you planning to have a church?

    Law Prof wrote:

    , there are physiological changes that occur when people have sex.

    There are, oxytocin is released. But that doesn’t mean that sex with one person means lack of bonding with another. I went to look this up to see if there was any research that said so, and apparently this is a hot button thing in the christian community so maybe that’s why it’s provoking such a response.

  489. Nancy2 wrote:

    I’m not sayin’ any of it was right. I’m just sayin’ that’s how it was.

    At the risk of sounding like a broken record….I’m afraid we’ve done to marriage what the Pharisees did to the Sabbath. What was intended as a blessing has become burdensome and legalistic. Notice when Jesus was offering the Samaritan woman at the well living water, He never chided her for her multiple marriages. Could that have been because He knew she was the victim of those “for any reason” divorces? I think that’s the most logical reason.

  490. CHIPS wrote:

    nstead he must marry the girl and love her for all his days.

    1. Do you really think he would ‘love her for all of his days’ just because they got married?

    2. The reasons the laws were as they were is because women were PROPERTY. No bueno.

    3. I have more to say about everything you just said but I have plans. Maybe later.

  491. CHIPS wrote:

    Now of course it isn’t a sin to get raped. The victim had no choice in the matter. However the action itself is bonding. The years of pain afterward is prove that the bonding exists.

    Wrong. It’s the humiliation that exists after years. Violating another human being causes anger, humiliation, and sadly fear that it may happen again. I’ve seen women cut their hair off; intentionally gain weight; refuse to join in social events; etc. out of fear. It’s a horrible crime deserving of legal punishment in prison.

  492. Victorious wrote:

    Nancy2 wrote:
    I’m not sayin’ any of it was right. I’m just sayin’ that’s how it was.
    At the risk of sounding like a broken record….I’m afraid we’ve done to marriage what the Pharisees did to the Sabbath. What was intended as a blessing has become burdensome and legalistic. Notice when Jesus was offering the Samaritan woman at the well living water, He never chided her for her multiple marriages. Could that have been because He knew she was the victim of those “for any reason” divorces? I think that’s the most logical reason.

    Jesus didn’t condemn her. However it doesn’t mean he approve of her having so many husbands. In fact if you read the whole story in context, he was point out her sins. And marrying so many husbands, and now living with a man who wasn’t even her husband, was definitely a sin. And so she needs that living water that Jesus will give her.

    And of course God directly said that he hates divorce (Malachi 2:16). God didn’t say any exception like your wife is annoying or she cannot cook a tasty meal. God didn’t say any except like your husband cannot fix your car or didn’t take you travelling. God said he hates all divorces.

    I can talk more about this. But I will just go back to the Greatest Commandant. That we are to love God, love others just as we love ourselves. If we Christians say divorce is OK, then we are saying divorce fulfills the Greatest Commandant.

    How is divorce a demonstration of your love for God?
    How is divorce a demonstration of your love for others, just as much as you love yourself?

    And to husbands. How is divorcing your wife a demonstration of you loving your sinful wife just as much as Christ loved the sinful church and gave himself up for her? (Ephesians 5:25)

  493. Lea wrote:

    CHIPS wrote:
    nstead he must marry the girl and love her for all his days.
    1. Do you really think he would ‘love her for all of his days’ just because they got married?
    2. The reasons the laws were as they were is because women were PROPERTY. No bueno.
    3. I have more to say about everything you just said but I have plans. Maybe later.

    1) No I don’t think the rapist would “love her for all his days”. If I get a daughter and she got raped, there is (almost) no way I will let her marry that rapist. That’s why I said I do not personally agree with that law. I was only stating what God said.

    But we have to think then. Why does God wrote that law that way? Why can’t we just kill the rapist, no matter if the girl is engaged or not? Why is there an exception if she wasn’t engaged or married?

    And even if we don’t kill the rapist, why don’t we just sell that rapist into slavery and all the money to given to either the girl or her father? No one will complain. And this is even more money than the bridal price.

    Nope. God said let the rapist marry the girl. Why? You might not agree with my reasoning. But it is perhaps something that we have to consider.

    2) If you say the laws were written that way (rapist be made to marry the girl) because women were property, you are also saying that God viewed women as property. Why? Because God himself wrote that law.

    That is clearly not the case. Jesus loved women. And Jesus is God. So God loves all women.

    Why would a loving God, who does love the girl, say the rapist must marry the girl. This in effect means the father should “consider” letting the rapist marry her. Now the father has every reason to refuse. But why would God even ask this of the father? Like you said the dad don’t trust the rapist one bit. And there are far better solutions when it comes to punishing someone for rape (as mentioned above).

  494. Victorious wrote:

    CHIPS wrote:
    Now of course it isn’t a sin to get raped. The victim had no choice in the matter. However the action itself is bonding. The years of pain afterward is prove that the bonding exists.
    Wrong. It’s the humiliation that exists after years. Violating another human being causes anger, humiliation, and sadly fear that it may happen again. I’ve seen women cut their hair off; intentionally gain weight; refuse to join in social events; etc. out of fear. It’s a horrible crime deserving of legal punishment in prison.

    But why is sexual abuses so much more painful than physical abuse? Obviously getting raped once is more painful than getting punched in the face once or kicked in the chest once.

    One clear example. When someone said they were physically abused, we can actually ask them the details. Were you beaten? Were you slapped around? Did he push you into a table? etc. And that person can actually tell us.

    But when someone said they were sexual abused, we do not ask them for the details. We do not need to know the private and personal details. We just start moaning for that person because we know right away how bad it is.

    Why the difference?

  495. CHIPS wrote:

    Jesus didn’t condemn her. However it doesn’t mean he approve of her having so many husbands. In fact if you read the whole story in context, he was point out her sins. And marrying so many husbands, and now living with a man who wasn’t even her husband, was definitely a sin. And so she needs that living water that Jesus will give her.

    Jesus NEVER pointed out anyone’s sins other than the Pharisees who were self-righteous, vipers, and hypocrites. Women needed support and protection for the very reason they were mistreated throughout history. If she was given a certificate of divorce as was required by the Mosaic Law, she was not guilty of sin but was the victim of prejudice and the hardness of the hearts Jesus spoke of.

    Jesus met her where she was…at the well to get water. He used that menial task to offer her eternal life and identify Himself as the Messiah. He often used daily situations to relate a spiritual truth just as He did when He spoke of Himself as the “Bread of Life.”

    Re: Malachi 2…God can’t say He hates divorce and then divorce Israel Himself!! It was the treacherous treatment and justifying it in order to divorce that He hates.

    …. Take heed then to your spirit, and let no one deal treacherously against the wife of your youth. For I hate divorce,” says the LORD, the God of Israel, “and him who covers his garment with wrong”….

  496. CHIPS wrote:

    One clear example. When someone said they were physically abused, we can actually ask them the details. Were you beaten? Were you slapped around? Did he push you into a table? etc. And that person can actually tell us.
    But when someone said they were sexual abused, we do not ask them for the details. We do not need to know the private and personal details. We just start moaning for that person because we know right away how bad it is.
    Why the difference?

    No person who calls himself/herself a Christian should ever ask such questions regardless of the crime against an individual. They WILL be asked, however, when that person presents at an emergency room for either injury. Both physical abuse and sexual abuse are crimes and are punishable by a court of law. That’s the bottom line. The governing authorities, according to Romans 13, are designed for the protection of citizens and the punishment for crimes.

  497. CHIPS wrote:

    So if the girl wasn’t engaged, the rapists didn’t actually stole the girl away from another man. So the rapists doesn’t deserve death. Instead he must marry the girl and love her for all his days. God want the rapist to take care of the girl, instead of killing the rapist. And taking care of this girl will be the atonement of the rapist.

    What girl wants to spend her life with a man who violently rapes her? Didn’t matter, did it? And what about a married woman who gets raped by a total stranger? Is the married woman “bonded” to the rapist? And then we have the pedophiles …… Is a 3 year old boy “bonded” to a pedo who abuses him?

  498. CHIPS wrote:

    How is divorce a demonstration of your love for God?

    How is beating, emotionally abusing, or being the king or queen of the home demonstrating your love for your wife or husband. God commanded us to love one another, not just him.

  499. CHIPS wrote:

    Now of course it isn’t a sin to get raped. The victim had no choice in the matter. However the action itself is bonding. The years of pain afterward is prove that the bonding exists.

    I’m gobsmacked. I really am. The broken teeth and noses. The vaginal tearing. Eyes swollen shut so that even the tears are no help. And finally, the mental anguish in the aftermath is supposed to be proof of god’s (small ‘g’ intentional) wonderful bonding via the sex act?

    You’ll have to do better than that. Circular reasoning, special pleading, and Hueying verses out of context ain’t gonna cut it with rational people who go by their conscience and moral compass within.

  500. Nancy2 wrote:

    CHIPS wrote:
    So if the girl wasn’t engaged, the rapists didn’t actually stole the girl away from another man. So the rapists doesn’t deserve death. Instead he must marry the girl and love her for all his days. God want the rapist to take care of the girl, instead of killing the rapist. And taking care of this girl will be the atonement of the rapist.
    What girl wants to spend her life with a man who violently rapes her? Didn’t matter, did it? And what about a married woman who gets raped by a total stranger? Is the married woman “bonded” to the rapist? And then we have the pedophiles …… Is a 3 year old boy “bonded” to a pedo who abuses him?

    Exactly.

    I heard this “bonding” nonsense on Christian radio before, the purity culture crowd, the I Kissed Dating Goodbye crowd and on and on. Just because it’s been touted in these venues doesn’t make it ‘Biblical’.

  501. CHIPS wrote:

    Now of course it isn’t a sin to get raped. The victim had no choice in the matter. However the action itself is bonding. The years of pain afterward is prove that the bonding exists.

    This is NOT Christianity. Wherever you have been going for this kind of ‘teaching’, you would be better to leave it at once and find yourself a healthier faith community. Your words are very, very disturbing. Please get free of this kind of thinking and get to a better place, and God be with you.

  502. Victorious wrote:

    CHIPS wrote:

    Jesus didn’t condemn her. However it doesn’t mean he approve of her having so many husbands. In fact if you read the whole story in context, he was point out her sins. And marrying so many husbands, and now living with a man who wasn’t even her husband, was definitely a sin. And so she needs that living water that Jesus will give her.

    Jesus NEVER pointed out anyone’s sins other than the Pharisees who were self-righteous, vipers, and hypocrites. Women needed support and protection for the very reason they were mistreated throughout history. If she was given a certificate of divorce as was required by the Mosaic Law, she was not guilty of sin but was the victim of prejudice and the hardness of the hearts Jesus spoke of.

    Jesus met her where she was…at the well to get water. He used that menial task to offer her eternal life and identify Himself as the Messiah. He often used daily situations to relate a spiritual truth just as He did when He spoke of Himself as the “Bread of Life.”

    Re: Malachi 2…God can’t say He hates divorce and then divorce Israel Himself!! It was the treacherous treatment and justifying it in order to divorce that He hates.

    …. Take heed then to your spirit, and let no one deal treacherously against the wife of your youth. For I hate divorce,” says the LORD, the God of Israel, “and him who covers his garment with wrong”….

    You said: “Jesus NEVER pointed out anyone’s sins other than the Pharisees who were self-righteous”

    Then what do you make out of John 8:11?

    “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

    Is Jesus not calling her a sinner here? And which sin is it? Adultery.

    I am totally against abuse. I mean yes we are all sinners ourselves. And yes we should focus on our own sins before worrying about others. I totally get it. But you cannot just turn 180 degree around and say you won’t point out any sins of others. This is the other extreme and it is totally wrong. There is a place for correction out of love.

    When you see your brother having a drinking problem, you should try to stop him. When you see your sister having sex with her non-Christian boyfriend, you should talk to her both about premarital sex and dating a non-Christian.

    If that person come back and say “Hey don’t judge”, you admit to him/her right away that you are not perfect. But you must point out their errors out of love. If you say nothing, you don’t really care about the well-being of that person.

  503. Nancy2 wrote:

    CHIPS wrote:

    So if the girl wasn’t engaged, the rapists didn’t actually stole the girl away from another man. So the rapists doesn’t deserve death. Instead he must marry the girl and love her for all his days. God want the rapist to take care of the girl, instead of killing the rapist. And taking care of this girl will be the atonement of the rapist.

    What girl wants to spend her life with a man who violently rapes her? Didn’t matter, did it? And what about a married woman who gets raped by a total stranger? Is the married woman “bonded” to the rapist? And then we have the pedophiles …… Is a 3 year old boy “bonded” to a pedo who abuses him?

    This is the reason why I do not like to get into deep theology. Firstly deep theology isn’t clear for anyone. I have a stance, but I will be the first to admit that I do not know for sure. And secondly deep theology are always highly offensive to people. Because they are always highly disturbing and doesn’t seem to make sense on the surface.

    I am not sure if you read what I wrote. I said I DO NOT support that law. I will not let my own daughter (if I get one later) marry that rapist, no matter what that law say. Even if my daughter goes crazy and want to marry that rapist, I won’t let her. I will “gladly” disobey God here, and “pretend” I don’t understand what he is saying here. So I am in total agreement with you here.

    What I want you to consider is why did God wrote that law? We can’t just ignore it. What is God telling us here? Why would God move a daughter out of the father’s hand into the rapist’s hand. Why would an all loving God write this law here?

    BTW I am not trying to convince you of anything. Honestly what do I stand to gain but the hate of others? I am explaining to you why I believe what I believe, that sex is indeed bonding. That every single sexual encounter is bonding in spirit and flesh. That’s why no one should play loose with their sexuality.

    The side that is troubling is indeed when it comes to rape, incest and other terrible terrible things. Are they bonded to that terrible criminal? I know what you are thinking and feeling. I understand it. But I am looking at it from everything that I had learnt and that is my conclusion. You do not have to agree. And once again I will admit that I am not sure. This will probably be a question that we have to ask God when we meet him in heaven.

    And I have to keep repeating this. God can repair anyone. And God can increase your sexual bonding with your spouse. God can help you. So even if what I said is true, it WILL NOT necessarily hurt your future/current marriage. If you pray to God and are learning to love like he does, you have nothing to worry about. God is our healer and he can do all things.

  504. Bridget wrote:

    CHIPS wrote:

    How is divorce a demonstration of your love for God?

    How is beating, emotionally abusing, or being the king or queen of the home demonstrating your love for your wife or husband. God commanded us to love one another, not just him.

    I am not sure if you even read my posts. But I repeated SO MANY times that if your spouse committed sexual immorality or he/she abused you, you have the right to divorce that person tomorrow. I am against abuse. I know about CJ Mahaney and other terrible pastors that cover up their crimes.

    The context of my statement is that, if your spouse DID NOT commit sexual immorality and didn’t abuse you, what ground do you have to divorce that person? What you find him boring? You find him fat? He doesn’t make as much money as your co-worker Johnny? He isn’t as healthy as he once was? Is any of that biblical grounds for divorce? Nope!

    Anyone that divorce their spouse, OTHER THAN sexual immorality and abuses, is clearly breaking the Greatest Commandment. That person doesn’t love God and doesn’t love her husband as herself. Is that not a sin? Or are we going to try to define how her husband isn’t her neighbor?

  505. Muff Potter wrote:

    CHIPS wrote:

    Now of course it isn’t a sin to get raped. The victim had no choice in the matter. However the action itself is bonding. The years of pain afterward is prove that the bonding exists.

    I’m gobsmacked. I really am. The broken teeth and noses. The vaginal tearing. Eyes swollen shut so that even the tears are no help. And finally, the mental anguish in the aftermath is supposed to be proof of god’s (small ‘g’ intentional) wonderful bonding via the sex act?

    You’ll have to do better than that. Circular reasoning, special pleading, and Hueying verses out of context ain’t gonna cut it with rational people who go by their conscience and moral compass within.

    Where did I say rape is a “wonderful bonding” act? Please stop putting words into my mouth. I said there is bonding. But it is TERRIBLE. It is a terrible bond. That’s why the pain is so bad, often times takes years to heal.

    Think of a high school bully and his victim. There is actually a “bond” there. No one can say that the bully doesn’t know the victim. But it was a terrible bond, one that causes much pain and suffering.

  506. CHIPS wrote:

    CHIPS wrote:

    This is the reason why I do not like to get into deep theology. …

    I am not sure if you read what I wrote. I said I DO NOT support that law.

    What I want you to consider is why did God wrote that law? .

    I don’t think this is a theology question, i think this is you not understanding the culture. These laws do not apply now so you don’t have to worry about that.

    A woman or rather her father was given the choice of marriage or money in this situation. Marriage because a woman on her own was unprotected, she might never be able to be married otherwise. So a kindness, even though it sounds strange in our culture.

    Not because she was so bonded. You are missing some things because you are too attached to that idea. I have been wondering…you may just be very young.

  507. CHIPS wrote:

    You said: “Jesus NEVER pointed out anyone’s sins other than the Pharisees who were self-righteous”
    Then what do you make out of John 8:11?
    “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
    Is Jesus not calling her a sinner here? And which sin is it? Adultery.

    It is an important point to note that although the story of the woman caught in adultery is found in most of our printed Bibles today, the evidence suggests that the majority of Bibles during the first eight centuries of the Christian faith did not contain the story. Externally, most scholars would say that the evidence for it not being an authentic part of John’s Gospel is rock solid.

    https://bible.org/article/my-favorite-passage-thats-not-bible

    You might want to read the evidence against the story and consider, as well, the hypocrisy of the Pharisees throughout scripture.

  508. Chips

    Where and how did you come to have these particular understandings and beliefs concerning scripture? I say this because people can read scripture on their own and come to very different opinions, but you have so many ‘different’ ideas that I am thinking that you heard some of this preached somewhere. Are you associated with a particular group that shares these particular understandings of rape and bonding and evaluation of pain levels and subsequent marriages for non-virgins and such? Frankly, I spent some time with fundamentalist baptists in the past and you are way off the chart even compared to them on some of these issues.

  509. CHIPS wrote:

    The anger is in the fact that the rapist didn’t develop a relationship, didn’t ask for permission and has zero intention of marrying the victim. So at the core it is the LACK of relationship that is the cause of the pain and anger.

    You have no clue how wrong this statement is!

  510. CHIPS wrote:

    This might be shocking but a rape doesn’t always lead to a death penalty to the rapist.

    In Mosaic law, if the rape victim doesn’t cry out for help during the rape, she is the one who is commanded to be stoned to death.

  511. Nancy2 wrote:

    CHIPS wrote:
    The anger is in the fact that the rapist didn’t develop a relationship, didn’t ask for permission and has zero intention of marrying the victim. So at the core it is the LACK of relationship that is the cause of the pain and anger.

    You have no clue how wrong this statement is!

    I don’t think CHIPS has thought through all the possibilities here, because he doesn’t seem to get that being raped by someone you DO have a relationship with could be even more traumatizing.

  512. Lea wrote:

    But that doesn’t mean that sex with one person means lack of bonding with another.

    I’m not saying you can’t bond with another if you have had sex with someone else. But, if you’re saying it doesn’t matter, if you’re saying all’s well if one decides to have sex with various and sundry strangers and then, just like that, snap the fingers and voila! you’re married and there are no consequences, nothing to work through, no issues, no struggles owing to sleeping around (not even to mention the increased likelihood of STDs), I’ll say good luck trying to defy gravity.