“Never ruin an apology with an excuse.” Benjamin Franklin
(Note: I continue to call Sovereign Grace Churches, Sovereign Grace Ministries for an important reason. As many know, Mahaney kept changing the name of his group of churches throughout the years as he floated from controversy to controversy. I continue to use Sovereign Grace Ministries so that Googling will be a lot easier for folks. The accusations of abuse, which I believe with all my heart, transpired during Sovereign Grace Ministry days and I intend to make sure people remember that.)
The necessity of Al Mohler’s recent apology from an institutional point of view.
Al Mohler holds a position in the SBC that is unparalleled. He is the President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is credited with retuning that school to its fundamentalist roots as well as turning the tide in favor of Calvinism in the SBC.
Christianity Today recognized Mohler as a leader among American evangelicals, and in 2003 Time called him the “reigning intellectual of the evangelical movement in the U.S.”
I believe his best old ex friend CJ Mahaney called him the smartest man on the planet. Mohler protected and promoted Mahaney, even to the extent of educating Mahaney’s family members along with some of the Pastor’s College graduates (only a high school diploma necessary)at SBTS even when SGM was not a part of the SBC. When eyebrow were raised, Mohler was instrumental in helping Mahaney and family’ escape to Louisville into the protective arms of the SBC, proving that the SBC will take anybody so long as they give money and suck up to the right people.
So, in Mohler’s position as the reigning *big dog* of the Reformed Baptist movement, his apology was necessary. That apology was, in effect, his Mea Culpa admission of his disturbing lack of concern for victims in SGM as the head of one of the largest institutions in the SBC. It also was appropriate given his influence in the SBC overall. The enthusiastic acceptance of Sovereign Grace Ministries in the Southern Baptist Convention was a slap in the face to those who had been harmed by that entity.
So, Mohler’s apology was necessary on that level but, unfortunately, it was a total bust from a far more intimate understanding of Scripture. First, an example….
Al Mohler should have ditched the excuse since he is the reigning evangelical intellectual.
In the last post about the apology, Mohler claimed this.
“I believe in retrospect I erred in being part of a statement supportive of (Mahaney) and rather dismissive of the charges,” And I regret that action, which I think was taken without due regard to the claims made by the victims and survivors at the time, and frankly without an adequate knowledge on my part, for which I’m responsible.”
This is an excuse/ Mohler is an intellectual. Not only did he have the knowledge handed to him on a silver platter, anyone who spent as much time as he did pumping up a loser like Mahaney demonstrated that he didn’t care enough to learn. No, he knew or should have known. He just didn’t care about the victims. He is either really smart or he is just plain stupid. I think he is smart and that is why I don’t buy this. Stop making excuses.
Al Mohler allegedly, (and I believe it), attempted to interfere with Janet Mefferd’s position as a talk show host because of her dogged concern for the victims of Sovereign Grace Ministries.
(Note: This is not to be a discussion on political points of view, etc. Janet is a friend and she stood firm on two issues near and dear to my heart: Mark Driscoll (she exposed his plagiarism) and Sovereign Grace. She is one of the few people out there who had the courage to do that back in those lonely days.
When I first blogging and critiquing Sovereign Grace and CJ “Chuckles” Mahaney, there were few people who had any voice who supported those victims. She was one. I knew that there was pressure for her to lower the volume regarding SGM but I didn’t know the full story until this past week when she posted AL MOHLER’S INCOMPLETE APOLOGY: MY STORY
I began covering the Sovereign Grace Ministries scandal in 2012, on my previous nationally syndicated Christian radio show. As I dug more deeply into sexual-abuse victims’ accusations in a class-action lawsuit, spoke with some of those affected and began to conduct interviews to glean more information, I stated that the SGM scandal was American evangelicalism’s biggest sex scandal to date.
…In 2013, several months after I had been covering the SGM scandal, I was blindsided by two executives from my former radio network’s corporate headquarters on an extended conference call.
They told me that they had received a call from “Al Mohler’s office” that expressed “concerns” over my radio interviews with Detwiler, who had weighed in on the class-action lawsuit filed against Mahaney and others. They communicated to me that Mohler’s office did not believe Detwiler was a good guest choice.
Knowing that Mohler served on our company’s editorial board, I said, “‘Mohler’s office’ didn’t call you. You mean Al Mohler called you.”
Neither executive denied it.
I was chastised for a lengthy period of time on the phone, but I did remind these executives that my network contract provisions gave me creative control of my own show and the right to choose my own guests.
I also asked why, if Mohler had a problem with my coverage, he didn’t just call and speak with me directly about his concerns, instead of trying to influence me through back-door maneuvers involving my employer. The question was bypassed.
….One of the executives appeared to side with me after I explained the entire story. The other asked if I would be “open to suggestions” from Mohler’s office about guests to interview regarding the SGM scandal in the future, with the clear subtext that we weren’t really talking about “suggestions.” I said I was open to hearing suggestions for Mohler-approved guests.
A few days later, this same executive offered me the name of what he said was a Mohler-recommended guest: a Sovereign Grace pastor who called the accusations against Mahaney a “witch hunt” and advised his church members to “refuse to read or listen to the divisive speech” Detwiler and others “continue to spread.” He added, “To do otherwise is to poison your soul … and displease God.”
I told the executive a few other details about the “recommended” guest’s background — to which he reacted with appropriate surprise and concern — and told him that I would not be inviting such a pastor on my show.
No one in my company made any more Mohler-approved “guest recommendations” to me after that.
Janet has called for personal apologies from Mohler to be directed to all of the SGM abuse victims and their families and even to bloggers who stood by their side.
a personal apology to the sexual-abuse bloggers who stood all along with the SGM victims and were proven right — bloggers like The Wartburg Watch’s Dee Parsons and Deb Martin; Thou Art the Man’s Todd Wilhelm; and Spiritual Sounding Board’s Julie Anne Smith, among others.
What does the Bible say about apologies and forgiveness?
- Matthew 5:23-24 So, what if you are offering your gift at the altar and remember that someone has something against you? Leave your gift there and go make peace with that person. Then come and offer your gift.
- James 5:16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.
- Romans 14:19 Therefore, let’s keep on pursuing those things that bring peace and that lead to building up one another.
- Proverbs 14:9 Fools make fun of guilt, but the godly acknowledge it and seek reconciliation.
- Psalm 51:3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.
Conclusion: We are to go to our brothers and sisters and seek forgiveness directly from those who we have offended or sinned against.
Al Mohler’s apology does not cover those he individually hurt.
If Mohler believes what the Bible has to say about apologies, he must go to those he hurt specifically. This would include the families who brought the lawsuits against SGM and Janet Mefferd. He knows there are others who he hurt with his words. If he needs help in contacting those harmed in the SGM fiasco, I would be more than willing to help him out.
As for right now, I must stop writing. You are not going to believe what’s going on out there. JD Greear is looking into ways to kick Sovereign Grace and 2nd Baptist Houston out of the SBC and I’m not joking. I will write more about this tomorrow.
Hell is so frozen, they are installing an ice skating rink!
After Albert Mohler finishes apologizing to those he’s hurt in the SGM fiasco, he should apologize to the singles he hurt in his infamous address to the 2004 New Attitude conference, sponsored by Joshua Harris. Mohler pronounced delay of marriage to be sinful and laid blame for this newly found “sin” at the feet of single men.
Of course, in order to do all this apologizing Mohler will have no choice but to step down as president of SBTS, something he should have done years ago.
I was wondering if Mr. Mohler and Co. would reach out to those he harmed by his denying the truthfulness of the accusations. Many followed his lead and attacked the vulnerable. Please do not call another conference to discuss issues. As Spike Lee says, just “Do the right thing.”
This is the essence of this brutal religion. Like the Pharisees or Calvin’s Consistory, they lurk about, seeking whom they may devour. Be it braided hair or delayed marriage, this group never runs out of novel sins for which to beat the downtrodden. Ancient stoning gave way to yesterday’s burning at the stake, and today they must settle for serving orders of discipline, which is to make us quake in fear of being cast out from our community.
But many of us have awakened, and realized that we do not need their ‘churches’, their doctrine or their permission to love God. We are finding one another, at first on blogs, but perhaps we will once again learn how to come together as true ekklesia’s, and support one another like the family we were meant to be.
What a delightful bunch.
“I was wondering if Mr. Mohler and Co. would reach out to those he harmed by his denying the truthfulness of the accusations. Many followed his lead and attacked the vulnerable.”
Waiting for evidence that Al Mohler even understands the gravity of what he’s done. When he resigns, i’ll know for sure.
He has spent years cultivating his influence. like making a magnet, then making it a supermagnet. (i read about how to do this). He made himself a supermagnet to exert the force of influence.
In choosing to promote CJ Mahaney and SGM, he wielded his influence over multiple thousands of individuals to embrace CJ. And to reject the victims.
I’ve travelled all over twitter, especially around T4G conference time. the giddy and gushing men belittle & mock the allegations that CJ & Co. covered up the rape and molestation of children. Or they are clueless about it and chastise the outrageous gossip.
Al Mohler deliberately used his influence to create hordes of CJ fans who threw sand in the eyes of raped and molested children and their families. Kicked them. Then threw acid on them.
He did this on purpose.
Al Mohler is responsible for these consequences, however marginally unintended they may be. (although how can one be so smart and not know?)
I second your motion! He and all of his minions at SBTS should resign en masse, including administrators and professors. So who could fill all of these posts, who are not tainted by this scandal? Well, the many women scholars and ministers who have been fully quarantined from any infection through their exclusion from SBTS and the SBC. Problem solved.
The never seem to get around to pride or greed, though, which to me are the worst sins of all.
They also seem to really harp on the sins of the peon, but excuse any sins of leaders.And don’t even think about church disciplining a leader!
Wow, just Wow, with respect to Janet Mefferds experiences…
So, the Christain Industrial complex does behave just like “organized crime”, or high level corporate poltics, or, national and local politcs.. While we all have “known this”, seeing it here in black and white is SO IMPORTANT..
My, my… for how many years have listened to these “leaders” talk about how pious they are, and evil the world is…
The good news, this kind of stuff is now so public! And these “leaders” get to live with their actions exposed in bright sun light!! Hey Al Mohler, your looking pretty tan these days..
Personally, I don’t think apologies are altogether biblical…seeking forgiveness and making restitution, however, are! In Mohler’s apology, I don’t see the key elements of contrition, humility, brokenness, nor seeking forgiveness and willingness to make restitution for his actions (or inactions). I only see back-pedaling, excuses and a “oops, I’m sorry I got caught, and I really want to keep my job” kind of apology.
Perhaps I’m becoming more cynical in my old age, but his line of “gosh, I didn’t know” sounds just as stupid as when Albert Speer said it when he claimed he didn’t know anything about Hitler’s “Final Solution!”
Dr. Mohler: I was born at night, but not LAST night! Your “apology” rings very hollow to this ol’ Baptist in your 11th-hour attempt to save your own hide in the SBC.
Typical apology of a religious leader, whether pastor, reverend, minister, whatever entitled title a religious individual gives themselves, “I apologize, but YOU should have done this, this, this, more of this or that, so that I/we didn’t misunderstand you.”
Thus the sin/wickedness/evil done against the victim by the perpetrators is cast upon the victim all over again. It becomes the victim’s fault that evil people chose to do wicked and evil acts upon their target.
This is the typical behavioral pattern I have experienced and witnessed within the church system. The victims/targets are re-victimized all over again because self important religious people “don’t do anything wrong.” And I have heard that quote mouthed over and over again from church members who do not realize they are still sinners in need of a Savior every day. The “I don’t do anything wrong; I don’t sin anymore; I am a registered 501c. 3 card carrying church member,” allows sin to multiply within the church due to the “haves” and the “have-nots” religious entitlement programs.
The worship of religious leaders, ie., Nicolaitan system, has lead men like Mohler, desiring to protect their “kingdoms” in using the LORD’S Name for personal glory, fame, and money.
I believe it’s all about the proverbial dollar lining their fine suits, not about the state of the victims.
Scripture doesn’t really talk about Biblical “apologies” … but there’s a whole lot about “repentance” … Mohler ain’t done that yet … “So Sorry” is not repentance.
I totally Agree that this apology lacks!!! We must remember that APOLOGY < BIBLICAL REPENTANCE.( one is empty, often manipulative words… the other actions of humility and sorrow and offers of restitution where possible) I’m too old for hashtags, but that might have been mine if i were more current.
The other issue I see so clearly that many of these pious leaders use as deflection in apologies is flattery. Mohler’s citing of Rachael Denhollander’s influence in his “ understanding” seemingly solves two of his own image problems. The first, the outcry of many Southern Baptists that Misignony has been rampant for years and godly women have been routinely ignored in its institutions. The second, that someone as well known and highly respected among both survivors and advocates, and in intellectual worlds like Yale and Harvard ( where Ms. Denhollander has rightfully been acknowledged as an eloquent, keen activist in the pursuits of justice), is perceived as being in his camp.
I have had to wonder if Rachael Denhollander would accept John Engler back into MSU leadership if he came out with a statement of apology but no offering of action with all those he has wounded concerning Larry Nasser. Of course none of us know, what other promises or commitments were made in her closed meetings and she seems to remain hopeful. We will have to wait and see if there are actions to back his words. Ms.Denhollander has already seen how leaders of SGC have misused asking for her confidentiality concerning meeting/s with them , but have told others in members meetings that she is communicating with them. It has been a part of their playbook.
If A. Mohler has even a small understanding of how much more damage he did to these children and their families who were already living with the agony of life after clergy se*#+l abuse, to their misunderstanding of the goodness and sovereignty of God, to the boulder-sized shame they often carry around and can’t shake by minimizing and trivializing Mahaney's alleged cover up, he would at the very least, offer his resignation knowing he has disqualified himself from Biblical teaching /leadership according to 1 Timothy 3. IMO HE can not lead in gentleness or a life characterized above reproach. I truly believe they do NOT understand the way these kinds of abuses have profound affect on the ability of survivors to continue to seek a relationship with a God that was so grossly distorted by their actions. THEIR BODIES AND MINDS WERE INJURED AND RAVAGED, BUT THEIR FAITH HAS BEEN SLAUGHTERED in a way ONLY THE GRACE OF JESUS CAN RESTORE. I do not think any truly godly leader would understand this, and expect for those he wounded to accept his leadership or immediately trust him in any way. May God have mercy on His church and grant us renewal, restoration, and revival.
Lastly, there is the statement to all of us survivors and advocates that we should continue to keep up the pressure.
“ In all candor, this pressure is no doubt part of that explanation. That fact should serve to encourage survivors and their advocates to maintain such pressure.” A.Mohler
Really???? A rallying call from one of the leading silencers- one who with many of his colleagues has belittled, shamed, condemned as devisive and slanderous for a decade or more while we have???? I for one, need to hear less and see More.
Bingo! Hebrews 12:14 “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness, no one will see the LORD.”
Exactly! Love how you always say it so succinctly. Apologies, smologies. These people are really good at talkin’ purty – while destroying lives.
This is key, and is what they are most afraid of people realizing. We are not looking at random sins of pride creeping up, but deliberate, organized sin and crime.
They sometimes have to let a CJ or MacDonald take a fall, in order to protect the organization. Someday we need to put together the dots and take down the organization.
For anyone wondering the identity of Mohler’s “recommended guest” for Janet’s show:
It was/is Mickey Connolly.
Not just a garden-variety SGM pastor, but one of Mahaney’s BFF’s and most trusted lieutenants.
All the quotes about witch hunts, refusing to listen to read to divisive speech, and that bit about poisoning your mind and displeasing God appear in this old Brent Detwiler article concerning Slick Mickey:
I actually attended Mickey’s church during my grad school days (the church did/still does run a college ministry), but fortunately I didn’t get too invested in it, nor did i see Mickey’s nasty side. In fact, I only saw the sickly sweet facade that Mickey puts forth for his congregants.
By dismissing the victims with his “joke” and defense of C.J. Mahaney, Dr. Albert Mohler contributed and set a standard of downplaying abuse. He bears some responsible for the abuse of victims that went on in the Southern Baptist Convention churches in my opinion. He is also responsible, I think for setting up a culture that would dismiss abuse of victims. When the RCC abuse scandal came out he so clearly saw how wrong it was to cover up all the abuse. The victims within the SBC have been trying to get a sex abuse data base for what I think has been over a decade. I don’t remember hearing him fighting for this. What responsibility does Dr. Mohler have for his lack of advocacy for victims? His “apology” sounds very hollow. It does not sound like he understands at all what he did to hundreds of victims by dismissing the victims of SGM and not taking very seriously the victims advocates of SBC who were trying to get the data base to prevent others victims falling into the hands of abusers. I think he also created a culture among young men and women at the seminary he heads and within the Reformed movement sometimes referred to as Young Restless and Reformed of the dismissing of victims, not believing victims and how to pretend that you are not responsible for abuse when you are the head of an organization and the lead pastor of one of the churches involved, such as C.J. Mahaney did. Dr. Mohler is not the only one responsible. There are many others who contributed to the culture as has been so well documented here a TWW. I for one am appalled by the lack of heartfelt understanding in his “apology”and the lack of apology by others who created the terrible culture among impressionable young people. Shame on all of them!
Christian hierarchy rig everything in their favor. They want ALL the power and none of the blame.
I agree… but remember, they are our “leaders”, so we must “respect” their statements and proclamations… otherwise, we are just a bunch of divisive pew sitters…
history will not be kind to these “leaders”…. covering up kid abuse, especially kid sex abuse, is about as low as it gets..
I may be mistaken, but I think that “apology,” in its linguistic roots actually comes from “defense” or “justification” (for example, “christian apologetics” is about “defense/justification of the faith”).
And that is how “apologies” are generally used, to defend or justify the one making them. I echo all who have called for “repentance”, and I hope that it will be “from the heart”.
Good discussion here.
As I others I have said before I sure Mohler’s “apology” was more of doing something preemptively after the Houston article came out exposing the SBC. I am sure either Mohler or someone on his staff feared a headline indicating what Mohler did. At least they can’t claim Mohler never addressed it.
I wish I could believe that Mohler really had a change of hear or realization of just how bad the allegations are about Sovereign Grace. Then again someone like Mohler is in such a bubble that they don’t understand things that someone like you or I do.
I know about this. he also constantly lectured the people in his seminary to get married or they wouldn’t get jobs.
“So, the Christain Industrial complex does behave just like “organized crime”, or high level corporate poltics, or, national and local politcs”
before ESS was roundly trounced as justification for male headship at ETS 2016 in San Antonio, things got really ugly. A christian celebrity we all would know by name threatened Todd Pruitt. Carl Trueman wrote about it.
“The Big Eva world is indeed run as the personal fiefdom of a few,…
But cross those few, or touch their dogmatic golden calves, and you can expect the fight back to be dirty, relentless, increasingly dangerous, and by and large hidden from the watching world – the world, that is, that funds evangelicalism on the assumption that hard-earned donations go to spreading the gospel, not building personal platforms and nixing the dissidents.
When Todd told me of the vicious attacks he was receiving yesterday, I was shocked to know the name of the person involved. But then again I was not shocked at all — such vile attacks are part of the culture. I get them myself all the time, usually cloaked with some throat-clearing token piety at the beginning or the end.”
Other leaders did the same thing. JD Greear pushed Mahaney and Driscoll and now he has removed the evidence of this from his website. I got told off by Greear for asking him to speak to his BFF Mahaney about the reports of child Sex Abuse cover up. he told me I was uncharitable and guilty of character assassination.
I posted this on another thread, but believe it pertains to the topic of ‘apologies’ by those who have both seen and perpetuated abuse.
A well-done, truthspeaking message from a former Harvest member:
This is the kind of evidence that needs to come forth, and it is out there in bucketloads. It is not simply James, but all of these so-called leaders who are self-serving, abusive and not about God from the outset. Yeah, that includes many big names and their progeny, who are now trying to CYA. Anyone who worked there for long, if they had any kind of exposure to James and his gang of thieves, could not help but know what was going on. All of their talk is rubbish.
I would encourage any honest people, who saw the truth and bolted, to come out with what they know, and share the intimidation tactics that may have been used to silence them.
I was in a tiny little insignificant church, but these are the same sorts of things I experienced. One thing said by the pastor, then the exact opposite declared to b true, as if the former had never been said! I would be looking around, gripping my seat, and doing everything I could to keep from standing up then and there and demanding an explanation. Because the grooming, brainwashing and intimidation still had me in their grip.
And when you go to the pastor in private, there is always a ‘reasonable’ explanation, that proves you misheard, misunderstood or misremembered. It was all you. And on and on it goes . . .
I was. thinking about appointing myself as The Really Right Reverend Dee.
Mahaney and Driscoll are both represented in recommended resources.
And I am the Rarely Right Reverend drstevej
The pugs were playing with my phone.
This is the link.
I’d like to think he was distracted by a rawhide chew toy under your kitchen table.
A lot of people are being manipulated right now by the Puritanesque sjw masters of manipulation. It’s just crazy to even bother to untangle it all anymore. Why would discussing Janet Mefford’s dealings with SGM/Mohler be political?
Sheesh! Even food is Political these days!
Ever wonder why JD Greear, with his position, cannot investigate the entities first? That really falls more in line with his responsibilities. Why not investigate the longtime financial ties of SBTS to Mahaney/SGM/T4G. It may go even deeper than money to accreditation issues, jobs, perks, etc.
Sincerely, you should write a manifesto, kinda sorta’ like a declaration of independence from brutal religion of any brand.
All the “complentarians” would really love that!
We just must, “shine like lights in a crooked and perverse generation,” …where the crookedness (power brokers) and perversion is INSIDE the walls of the organized church. Who knows, maybe that’s what Paul was referring to…if that’s the case, we’re right on par.
While you can still find some tidbits on Driscoll over at https://jdgreear.com/, he has nuked all posts about C.J. Mahaney. I suppose he thinks Driscoll is respectable enough again, but Mahaney is a potato too hot to handle right now. These guys are slick.
“Why would discussing Janet Mefford’s dealings with SGM/Mohler be political?
Sheesh! Even food is Political these days!”
i take it as a request to not start a liberal/conservative food fight. refraining from throwing that handful of mashed potatoes because Janet Mefferd thinks such-&-such about hot topics A, B, & C.
What do I get for worshiping you? And what’s it gonna cost me?
I think I am, much against my will. Please pray for me.
Certainly! The behaviour being demonstrated in the “high places” of the CIC is a crime before Holy God … and it comes with its own set of crime bosses, street captains, and organized hits. It’s a pyramid structure where control, manipulation and intimidation is ordered and carried out by loyal followers. It’s about money, pride, power and protection. Theo-politics can get ugly and they don’t need to be dragging Jesus into the mess.
You took the words right out of my mouth.
“witch hunt”: credible but inconvenient accusations
From the OP: “JD Greear is looking into ways to kick Sovereign Grace and 2nd Baptist Houston out of the SBC and I’m not joking. I will write more about this tomorrow.”
What, have they begun installing women pastors?
I did some sleuthing yesterday and found this article where Greear gushed on Mahaney and Driscoll. https://t.co/IUtCBMgk2S
He comes off very cold to me. I don’t think he is at his nature an empathetic person. He may never understand.
Oh, that can’t possibly happen, not while JD Greear is in charge. He is quoted as saying yesterday (by Robert Downen of the Houston Chronicle) that “‘We would rightly begin to ask questions’ if church endorsed gay or female pastors. We must make our position on abuse equally clear.”
In other words, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention, JD Greear, equated looking at child sexual predator pastors (and removing their churches) with calling female or “gay” pastors. Last I checked, being female or gay wasn’t a crime, while being s sexual predator IS.
If anyone needs a pertinent example of why the SBC is an awful, awful organization and churches should detach from it, there you go. When the head of the organization basically repeats Seth Dunn from Pulpit and Pen a week earlier, you KNOW there is a huge problem.
Better Wolves than Women. That is what these men believe.
Millstones all around, honestly.
“You are not going to believe what’s going on out there. JD Greear is looking into ways to kick Sovereign Grace and 2nd Baptist Houston out of the SBC and I’m not joking.” (Dee)
I believe it. I suspect Greear had a behind-the-scene conversation with the real “President” of SBC, Al Mohler … perhaps a midnight meeting in a Louisville alley, or an email exchange on a secret server.
In regard to Mahaney and SGC, they have most likely decided that C.J.’s liabilities now outweigh his assets for the New Calvinist movement, so now is the time to break ties. It will look like they are doing the right thing after not doing the right thing for years. In regard to Ed Young, he has never been in the loop with the Mohlerites, so no problem giving him and Second the boot – they don’t need him to advance the new reformation.
The religious and secular media will praise Greear and he will get a standing ovation from Southern Baptists across the country; it will be evidence that SBC needed a New Calvinist in charge all along, it’s a win-win for Greear and the movement. Greear et al. will make a BIG deal out of dealing with these bad-actors and their churches and come across as taking the high road, after they have been on the low road. I repeat … these guys are slick!
“Al Mohler allegedly, (and I believe it), attempted to interfere with Janet Mefferd’s position as a talk show host”
Regarding taking on men in Evangelicalworld with powerful friends:
Power has been concentrated in the hands of a very few who are friends. Mess with one of their family and the consigliere comes after you.
what an utterly preposterous state of affairs. mafia for jesus!
“He comes off very cold to me. I don’t think he is at his nature an empathetic person. He may never understand.”
never met the man, of course, but judging by what he puts out there, he appears to do what he does for the sake of power. end of story. Which reminds me of,
“There is no good and evil, there is only power and those too weak to seek it.”–Lord Voldemort
I may have mentioned it here before, but if not: After I got back from Louisville and T4G last year, I told my brother that Mickey Connolly reminded me of a Boston mafia thug. I’ll be honest, he unnerved me. On the other hand, I knew I was doing the right thing.
Excellent post about apologies, Dee. It drives me nuts that power players do these apologies after the earth-shattering report exposes them, and then still finding subtle ways to lower their culpability a few percentage points. As if those percentage points would turn into sympathy points for them!
I think there is still a lot of brand protection, because sackcloth seems to be too humiliating, and ashes too messy, for some of these apologizers.
SkyFall: “Birds of a proverbial feather flock together!, Perhaps?”
“Humble pie brought them down?”
They meant no ‘harm’ to anyone?
Muslin, fka Dee Holmes,
“I told my brother that Mickey Connolly reminded me of a Boston mafia thug. I’ll be honest, he unnerved me. On the other hand, I knew I was doing the right thing.”
yeah, not much of a neck, there.
i’m sure he’s no match for you.
“Al Mohler allegedly, (and I believe it), attempted to interfere with Janet Mefferd’s position as a talk show host because of her dogged concern for the victims of Sovereign Grace Ministries.” (Dee)
” … after I had been covering the SGM scandal, I was blindsided by two executives from my former radio network’s corporate headquarters … They told me that they had received a call from “Al Mohler’s office” that expressed “concerns” over my radio interviews with Detwiler … Knowing that Mohler served on our company’s editorial board, I said, “‘Mohler’s office’ didn’t call you. You mean Al Mohler called you.’ Neither executive denied it.” (Janet Mefford)
And that folks is a glimpse of the power mongering that has been going on in the New Calvinist movement, particularly in the SBC. Big Al puts the word out on you and you better be scared! I suspect he has been making a lot of calls of that sort. The new reformation is all about control, manipulation, and intimidation. Countless traditional SBC churches have felt the heavy-hand of young reformers who have taken over their pulpits by stealth and deception. SBC entity leaders have been moved around like chess players on a theological chess board. It’s a system of power, politics, and protection. None of it is Christlike; none of it is of God. When will this madness end?
Repentance of that sort must not be necessary for the predestined.
Like I’ve quipped before, the whole bunch of em’ makes me think of Scorsese’s mob flicks, Goodfellas and Casino.
Now, that I like.
I’m going to go for: the Reverend As F*** Nick Bulbeck.
Can’t wait to see how you sign your diocesan thank-you notes. Maybe:
Of course it won’t cover those he hurt. He’s only sorry — he got caught.
(Besides he may not be predestined to make a real apology)
“As for right now, I must stop writing. You are not going to believe what’s going on out there. JD Greear is looking into ways to kick Sovereign Grace and 2nd Baptist Houston out of the SBC and I’m not joking. I will write more about this tomorrow.” (dee)
If somehow that is pulled off you can go ahead and stick a fork in the SBC. That will start a mass exodus of the SBC megachurches (Fellowship, Prestonwood, FBC Dallas among the ones here), which essentially leaves no $ for the hierarchy. LifeWay may get pennies on the dollar if they can connive Mardel into absorbing them.
They have their Get Out of Hell Free Card, signed by God before the foundation of the world.
Someone responded to that:
Is Singleness a Sin?
Mohler didn’t just stop with that one guest speech.
A few years ago, last I saw, he was periodically putting up studies and articles on his web site that attempted to defend marriage by slamming singleness and shaming adult singles.
For example, at one point, Mohler gleefully posted some study alleging that single adults are miserable, marriage makes people happier and healthier, singles die alone, sicker, etc.
All those “marriage =(equals) bliss and great health” studies have been debunked by Bella DePaulo over at the ‘Living Single’ blog at Psychology Today.
I’ve long found it reprehensible and baffling that Christian guys like Mohler bash singleness to defend marriage when the Bible never does such a thing.
The Bible says singleness is, in some ways, preferable to marriage (1 Cor 7), and Jesus was a single, childless adult.
With a title like that there is nowhere to go but up…
I don’t think a lot of Christians who complain about delayed marriage realize that a lot of us who remain single did want to get married, but we remain single against our hopes.
For the single women past 30, the Mohlers out there assume we are unshaven, man hating feminists, or we hate marriage, or we blew off marriage to focus on career. None of those stereotypes are true for a lot of Christian women who wanted to marry and sincerely do not understand why they are still single.
I myself spent years doing what Christians told me to do: pray for a spouse, try dating sites, go to singles classes, and so on.
A lot of Christian women out there are in the same position as I am, single by Circumstance, so it really grates for guys like Mohler to scold me for being single, as though I chose to be single.
Harumphhh! Greased pigs!
Jesus was single.
Saint Paul was single (and actually recommended singleness).
How, then, can singleness be even remotely a sin???
I saw an article the other day where a psychologist said he coined the phrase “Empathy Deficit Disorder.”
Did you see the Seth Dunn tweet from about a week ago about that very thing?
Julie Anne did a post about it on her blog:
Seth Dunn Tweets that a Woman Pastor is Just as Bad as a Sex Offender Who is Hired as a Pastor
Oh sorry, I did my last message before getting to the last part of your post.
A thing that I find odd is that Jesus plainly taught that some are called to singleness for the sake of the Kingdom, and that those who are so called ought to embrace that and pursue it (Mt 19:12).
It’s as if Jesus’ words on this subject simply don’t matter — my “take” on Max’s observation that the neo-cals don’t mention Jesus much from the pulpit. And that is exceedingly odd in that part of “making disciples” in “the Great Commission” is to “teach them to observe everything I have commanded.”
I don’t know why these people think that the rest of human race should pay any attention to them.
To be perfectly clear, I’m criticizing Mohler and others who reject singleness as a valid calling.
I have a quick question for everyone about the conversation regarding singleness. Did Mohler ever say that all singleness is the result of a shortcoming or sin? I find it hard to believe that he would say anything that so obviosly contradicts the Bible’s teaching about singleness. Many of you have correctly quoted the appropriate verses in the comments. I think that Mohler knows better than that. There is a difference between being arrogant and stupid, I simply think he is arrogant. Someone on here already mentioned that they know he is smart.
I am as frustrated as anyone about all the cover ups and double standards. But….. It seems that most of their teaching on the subject was regarding immature men that had no clue on how to be ready for marriage. I could be wrong.
These guys all look ridiculous enough for their double standards and sticking up for CJ. I think the root of their issue is power and money…. maybe it was about job security for them and their buddies.
Too bad that Dr. Greear didn’t call for an investigation of SBC leaders who sheltered individuals and organizations which have harbored sexual predators in the past.
A 2013 SBC resolution “On Sexual Abuse Of Children” had Mohler in mind when it stated:
“We encourage all denominational leaders and employees of the Southern Baptist Convention to utilize the highest sense of discernment in affiliating with groups and or individuals that possess questionable policies and practices in protecting our children from criminal abuse.”
Shortly after that resolution was adopted by SBC messengers at the 2013 annual convention, Mahaney and SGC became SBC members in the shadow of Mohler’s Southern Seminary. Nah, Greear wouldn’t touch that with a 10-foot pole. In the meantime, he is being celebrated within SBC’s New Calvinist ranks for making his bold stand last night. It’s certainly the right thing to do, even if there is a little theatre to it.
In his “Briefing” today, Dr. Mohler went after the state of California. To paraphrase him, the closer we get to California, the closer we get to immoral/leftist/liberal whatnot. The message I sent in the “Contact” box read, “the closer we get to the SBC, the closer we get to scandal and cover up. Clean off your own back porch.”
He also criticized the city of Berkeley for mandating Meatless Mondays (for city events and meetings).
Doesn’t this guy have more important matters to attend to than “briefing” folks on Meatless Mondays in Berkeley, California? A seminary president…really?
Well, along that line, I remember him saying this about the “sin of waiting”:
“The sin that I think besets this generation…is the sin of delaying marriage as a lifestyle option among those who intend some day to get married but they just haven’t yet. This is a problem shared by men and women. But it is a problem primarily of men. We have established a boy culture in which boys are not growing up into men.”
He’s just trying to distract everyone right now from his meathead support of Mahaney.
Somehow, Mohler’s “sorry” reminds me of this:
Just a game he’s playing?
At the risk of moderation and even banning, I will say this, because it must be said plainly:
“Dr.” Mohler is a flaming a**h**e. He is not nearly as smart as he thinks he is, and as some attribute to him (mostly because evidently he has a lot of books). How he got where he is baffles me, but then I am baffled by a lot of what passes for ‘leadership’ of various allegedly Christian outfits.
Week after week, year after year, we have been hearing on TWW the idiotic and hateful and unbiblical if not downright Satanic utterances of these charlatans, these grifters, these con men. And they just smirk all the way to the bank, after which they return to their million dollar homes.
They are stripping The Church of any credibility it had left in our ‘culture’. They are the most venal of preening self-congratulatory clowns. They will never repent of anything, because they are lost. So sad.
But people give them power. Since the beginning of this blog I have been wondering how it happened. I guess they’re quite slick indeed, as Max would say.
It’s all so sad. Maybe, finally, something will change with the latest round of revelations. But I don’t know, I don’t know…
What an obnoxious thing to say. Both men and women are marrying later, so why not call it a girl culture? Adolescence is lasting longer—unfortunately!—but is the answer to goad immature people to marry?
As Daisy has pointed out, marriage does not happen for everyone, even if people want it. But people should marry when they are ready. Particularly if they have been abused or otherwise harmed by early experiences, people should have time to heal and grow whole before attempting a lifelong relationship. This is not sinful. This is wise, and compassionate toward the future spouse.
To be clear, the quote was from Mohler, not Max!
Yeah, I didn’t delay marriage! Been married 50 years!
When Mohler said “We have established a boy culture in which boys are not growing up into men”, I figured he was trying to be like Driscoll.
There is a lot going on out there. I will update you tomorrow.
The economy is changing, and “new household formation” is declining as it becomes harder and harder for young people to earn enough to sustain a household. This is getting dangerously close to politics, and I don’t want to ignite controversy, but I’ll note that this perhaps ought to be a matter of concern to people who care about the future of the churches, which are dependent on the earnings of their members.
In this particular instance, it was not. There have been other talks when it has. Mohler jumped on the Chuckles Mahaney bandwagon when Mahaney was teaching about early marriages back when we first started blogging. They were talking about trying to get people married off by18 and sent to college married.
You will enjoy the post tomorrow.
“Doesn’t this guy have more important matters to attend to than “briefing” folks on Meatless Mondays in Berkeley, California? A seminary president…really?”
well, certainly, but the truth of it would make him look too bad.
so, he points the spotlight somewhere else. but where… hmmmm,…what can i make look bad, score gospel points, & still be politically correct…
why, CALIFORNIA, of course!
Spin dear lady, spin.
Spin is everything.
Lewis Carroll put it this way:
“I don’t know what you mean by ‘glory,’ ” Alice said.
Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. “Of course you don’t—till I tell you.
I meant ‘there’s a nice knock-down argument for you!’ ”
“But ‘glory’ doesn’t mean ‘a nice knock-down argument’,” Alice objected.
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”
Cover-up, and damage control-didn’t something like that happen in the RCC?
While we’re at it, I think I’ll be the blog’s Native American Medicine Man.
In the interest of inclusivity and all.
Blergh. These men fail to understand how much has changed since they were in their 20s and you could support a family on far less than what is required today. Young people are putting off marriage because they aren’t making enough money, they have lots of debt [much of it college loan debt undischargeable in bankruptcy], and it’s not because they haven’t grown up. If anything, a lot of young people are looking at how their parents did it and saying, “Nope, going to wait.”
Also, to be perfectly blunt about it, and not what Mohler and the rest of the gang want to hear, women are not economically desperate to get married. It’s not “Pride and Prejudice” where desperate parents are angling to get their daughters invited to the best social events so they can catch a man.
I’d remind everyone that for the last decade, the USA has been in the odd position where more than 50 percent of adult women are not in a marriage. That means they’re widowed, divorced or never married (and certainly not listening to Al Mohler). I read an article on the BBC today which indicated that around 25 percent of the British population (male and female adults) had never been married. With the economic independence of women rising, marriage really needs to become a partnership of equals rather than a relationship of so-called complementary relationships, to work out.
Well said, and in that context, the criticism of young people who are declining to undertake obligations they can’t yet afford amounts to “blaming the victims.”
Which IMO should not surprise us, that being (IMO) something of a pattern.
You are so right. The changes are complicated, and they go back decades if not a century. I remember church shopping as a young nuclear family. How welcome we were! But if my husband was out of town and I made the second visit to a church with offspring in tow, the welcome was, how shall I say, hard to detect. Churches need to be just a bit more loving and kindhearted toward people in all phases of life. Entertaining angels unawares and all that.
“But if my husband was out of town and I made the second visit to a church with offspring in tow, the welcome was, how shall I say, hard to detect. ”
oh my goodness…. i understand. some years ago, we, too were church-shopping. every time, the pastor made a bee-line for my husband, greeted him enthusiastially, talked to him. i was 100% ignored. i was standing right there. i broke into the conversation and introduced myself and extended my hand. i think handshakes were returned. definitely no eye contact, though.
i think it was more male-related, than breadwinner-related, though.
You might have a point about Mohler and Driscoll. However, if I were to meet a woman in the near future and contemplate marriage, Mohler and Driscoll are two men from whom I wouldn’t want marriage advice. In fact, I could use some brain bleach after flipping through Driscoll’s “Real Marriage” book several years ago and reading some of his comments.
I don’t think I was called to singleness, nor do I regard it as “a gift.”
I didn’t want to be forever single. I really thought I would’ve married years ago.
However, that doesn’t mean I enjoy it when Christians or churches treat me (or other singles) like second class citizens or shame us for “failing” to be married.
You might reference the article I linked to higher up the page, “Is Singleness A Sin.”
Mohler will not hire unmarried men to be preachers.
Single and Evangelical? Good Luck Finding Work as a Pastor
Yes, some Christians, Baptists included, think that singleness is sin. They think waiting past age 35 to marry is sin. THey think never marrying is sin.
They think choosing to remain single is sin, and they think single by circumstance is sin (You obviously weren’t praying hard enough for a spouse if you’re 45 and still single, etc)
I’ve read through the years where some preachers will say something like this:
“unless God has called you to singleness, you are in sin if you are not married.”
There is so much wrong with that I don’t know where to start.
I don’t believe God “calls” anyone to singleness or marriage.
God leaves that up to you. God doesn’t decide for you whether you marry or are single, anymore than God decides for you if you wear sandals or sneakers tomorrow morning.
Next, even if you want marriage (like I do) and sign up for 100 dating sites, it’s still not a guarantee you will find someone to marry.
I cannot force a man to marry me, that is not how it works.
Just because a person wants to be married does not mean it will happen – no matter how many singles church classes I attended, no matter how many dating sites I tried, it just did not happen.
All “singleness is a sin” Christians act like marriage WILL absolutely happen if you just do steps X, Y, and Z.
Well, I did steps X, Y, Z and remain single to this day, so something is wrong with those ideas.
It’s been my observation for years now that 99% of conservative Christians never stop to consider or think about the singleness of Jesus of Nazareth UNTIL…
Until a liberal author or theologian writes scholarship or fictional literature suggesting that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene (spelling)?
Until some guy writes a book or article seriously speculating Jesus was married, conservative Christians don’t care about the singleness of Jesus.
Most Baptists and Protestants think everyone should be married, and if they’re not married, they have failed, or are in sin.
That seems to them especially true if applied to women: how many times have I had to sit through “Motherhood is a woman’s highest, God given calling” type speeches or sermons in churches.
I think I may have read this in one of Bella DePaulo’s articles, but some article stated that more people in America now will spend more time single than married.
That is, not only are there more never-married adults, but even for adult who will marry: they marry later in life, there are more divorces / some partners die young, so the end result is, for instance…
You may have a woman who marries for the first time at age 38, and her husband dies when she is, say, I dunno, 49, she doesn’t remarry. So she ends up being single more over her life than she was married. The article I read said that sort of thing is increasing.
One article says this is also playing a role
(they don’t have the time OR the money to date anyone, because they are playing caregiver to an ailing family member):
The Call to Care for Aging Parents Comes Sooner Now
“More millennials are responsible for their parents and grandparents, sometimes derailing careers and family life.”
You’re absolutely right. His path to seminary president was because he was good at fundraising, not because of his academic prowess. As a seminary student, he was hired to do fundraising, because head of fundraising at SBTS, and became seminary president from there.
I personally think the Founders have something to do with his rise to power.
From Dee’s twitter feed:
“Mahaney sitings: Just heard from a UK reader. “Last week I learnt that CJ was speaking at a big conference in London this June. Yesterday they announced he’s cancelled. See https://www.proctrust.org.uk/proclaimer/ema-2019-update/ … He may, of course, have been dropped, or asked to withdraw.”
I am appalled to hear that CJ Mahaney was due to speak at EMA 2019 in London. This conference probably draws the largest crowd of ‘reformed’ or ‘new calvinist’ pastors in the UK from across denominations. This serves to illustrate the need for public repentance from Al Mohler, Mark Dever, Kevin De Young, Don Carson, John Piper and others who have stopped their ears to the cries of the Sovereign Grace victims of sex abuse and continued to promote CJ Mahaney/Sovereign Grace. Their actions have led thousands of other church leaders and congregants the world over to believe that it’s ok to ignore the cries of the abused, to treat the abused and those who advocate for them as ‘persecutors of the Church’and the stories of the abused as one big ‘anti-gospel’ hoax.
The leaders of the Proclamation Trust (who run the EMA conference) would have been well aware of CJ’s reputation and the alleged link to sex abuse cover up in Sovereign Grace but until Al Mohler’s apology, they will have believed the testimony of the aforementioned ‘new Calvinist’ big shots and ignored the victims and their advocates. Rachel Denhollander’s advocacy for victims of sex abuse and her clear warning statements regarding Sovereign Grace Ministries and CJ Mahaney were widely known in the UK but obviously ignored by the Proclamation Trust.
Unfortunately two of the remaining speakers at the conference have strong links to Sovereign Grace: Don Carson and Dave Gobbett. Don Carson’s earlier statement backing SGM and CJ is well known. Dave Gobbett is a former intern of Mark Dever at Capital Hill Baptist and is now the senior pastor of Highfields Church, Cardiff, UK. Dave Gobbett has probably done more to promote Sovereign Grace Ministries (Churches) and Sovereign Grace Music than anyone else in the UK. He is good friends with Bob Kauflin (co-pastor with CJ at SGC Louisville) and Devon Kauflin of Sovereign Grace Music and has brought them to the UK on several occasions. Again, Dave Gobbett would presumably have been well aware of the sex abuse scandal, but has chosen to carry on promoting Sovereign Grace. Sovereign Grace Music is now widespread in UK reformed churches, with many congregants unaware of its unsavoury links.
Do any readers have any further information on whether the Proclamation Trust was dis-invited CJ Mahaney from the EMA 2019 conference or if he withdrew of his own accord?
Proc Trust/EMA should be open about the reasons for CJ no longer speaking at EMA 2019 – if they asked him to withdraw, they should say so.
In every church I’ve ever been in, single women outnumbered the men by 20-30%. Currently, in my church, there are no single men, but about 15 single women.
The New Cals would never allow studies on this, I’m pretty sure, but from what I’ve heard, the numbers are reversed in in New Cal churches. Way more single men than women. I know my friend at Grace Community said that any single woman that wanted to be married could have her pick of men.
I can’t say I’ve met a New Calvinist single guy I thought was worth marrying. Most were arrogant, misogynist, and couldn’t think for themselves. They just parroted Mohler and Piper in answer to every question, even conversational questions about the weather. No, thank you!
Voilà two things these complementarian clowns – if you pardon my language – are extremely scared of:
– economic independence of women
– marriage as a partnership of equals
For Dave Gobbett’s links with Mark Dever, CJ Mahaney and Sovereign Grace see link to interview on Bob Kauflins’s website:
(For context: Dave Gobbett is still speaking with Don Carson at the EMA 2019 conference in London run by Proclamation Trust. CJ Mahaney was also due to be speaking until yesterday when it was announced that he has withdrawn: https://www.proctrust.org.uk/proclaimer/ema-2019-update/ )
I am posting this to illustrate how far the influence of Al Mohler, Mark Dever and others has spread and the far reaching damage of their example of deliberately ignoring the cries of Sovereign Grace sex abuse victims and their advocates. They need to publicly repent and actively warn those to whom they have introduced CJ Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Ministries/Churches/Music.
One of the churches we went to, the pastor informed my wife that there was a congregation at the church that catered to her ethnic group. We were standing together…holding hands….so I don’t think it was a mistake.
Some people are very ignorant.
In one memorable case, I felt more like the woman at the well.
Our church has actually tried to fight the problem of inconsistent welcome by having a coffee for newcomers every Sunday. Those coffee hours are really great, but designing an activity to serve one population always sends messages wafting around that say “pizza is for people with kids” or “only married people play handbells.” HOW DID WE GET HERE?
“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents”
I observed this several times in an SBC New Calvinist church plant near me. As Matt Chandler used to say “I preach to men.”
Once we learned to tolerate each other’s “uniqueness” 50 years ago 🙂 we’ve had a “complementarian” marriage; her spiritual gifts complement mine! We work to fulfill the Great Commission together as God leads; no gender barriers around here. I even cook a few meals and wash the dishes! She preaches to me all the time! 🙂
Sovereign Grace Music is New Calvinist indoctrination wrapped in a song.
In the early days, Mohler was pretty tight with SBC’s Founders Ministry, spoke at their conferences, etc. I’ve always thought that Tom Ascol had a hand in the young Mohler’s rise to fame. I suspect they hatched a plan together via New Calvinism to do what the Founders couldn’t do in their “Quiet Revolution” … Calvinize the SBC. SBC’s “Old” Calvinists may not agree with the method and message of their neo-brethren, but I’m sure they are tickled to death to see the mission accomplished – the new reformation has succeeded in taking over the largest non-Calvinist Protestant denomination in America!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:- New Calvinists are Not Calvinist and I have referenced books, articles and websites that make this clear. So it is highly unlikely that “old” Calvinists will be “tickled to death” at what has happened. Instead of throwing such aspersions about the place, you and the other 90% of non-Calvinists would serve your denomination better by standing up for your own principles and beliefs.
Shouting “yah, sucks, boo” from the sidelines won’t change anything.
Dr. Mohler has a gift of gab and comes across as intelligent. But, if you listen to him carefully, he circles a lot and leaves you wondering “Huh?!”
His words will eventually put him in a hole he can’t get out of. When I think of Man-Of-Many-Words-Mohler, I’m comforted by a passage in Proverbs 10: “You will say the wrong thing if you talk too much.” That will be his undoing someday.
I personally don’t think the Founders and New Cals are all that different in theology. I do think the Founders probably thought they would be personally reaping all the benefits (power, money), and that is what had caused the falling out.
Theology had never been at the heart of any of this. It’s a means to an end.
The core problem is following celebrity leaders (of whichever Christian ‘club’) rather than following Christ. It just so happens that following celebrity leaders is a particular problem within the New Calvinist movement at the moment. But it is by no means a problem restricted to the New Calvinist movement, as this blog often illustrates.
Or the fact that a woman might know a little more “truth” about life than an man does.
So, can a “religious man” learn anything (via wisdom and knowledge from the Holy Spirit) from a woman who knows Jesus as her Teacher, LORD, and Master?
Is there such a thing as a “humble pastor or church leader man?”
This is a character trait of which I am searching for.
Do we see asking for forgiveness and restitution anywhere in our culture today? Not trying to defend anyone. I was raised in the SBC church and attend one today. This whole thing makes me livid. I brought the subject up to my dad who is a SBC pastor. He told me he thinks the LGBT group started this to bring down the SBC. I asked him if he believed that there were real victims involved. It took him awhile to admit that yes there probably were; I was shocked to hear that his first response was that this was fake. The SBC is full of older generation people. The smaller churches are dying a very slow death. The SBC colleges in my state are full of youth who claim Christ in name only and the Divinity departments are in shambles and full of false teaching and sin that is kept hidden. I think the SBC is in its’ last days, so to speak.
Exactly. I’ve often thought that if he were as intelligent as people say he is that he would be a lot more intelligible. I quit paying much attention to his musings because of that “Huh” factor. There is a faux intellectualism that sounds cool but doesn’t really add value. Everyone wants to be like C.S. Lewis but no one can communicate like he could.
I’ll be the elephant in the room and say from my experience raising two young men who struggle with the curse of sin, the readily available porn culture is not helping. My own daughter told me she had not yet met a young man who hadn’t seen porn. Now, I can blame the church for not tackling these issues, myself and my husband for not putting enough Christ in their homeschool experience, or I can admit that they are responsible for themselves and they and God are the only ones who can work on their heart. I think it comes down to the individual. But, the outside “worldly” pleasures are very real.
Ah but it does. It warns. It comforts. It tells suffering people they are not alone.
We do stand … one voice at a time. Having no organized avenue within SBC life to confront the Calvinization of the denomination, old pew peons like me rely on cyberspace to get the word out – to inform and warn unsuspecting Southern Baptists that New Calvinism is headed their way. TWW and other watchblogs are making a tremendous difference in this regard; they have come into the world for such a time as this.
Lowlandseer, thanks for your articulate input and documented resources along the way in educating TWW readers that “New Calvinists are Not Calvinist.” While I may not agree with the tenets of reformed theology, this hybrid thing does a disservice to classical Calvinism. It might surprise you to learn that I have “Old” Calvinist friends. In my long SBC life, I have known several of them – I found them to be civil in their discourse and respectful of other expressions of faith. They were not out and about to takeover churches and assets of those who disagreed with their version of truth (there are millions of non-Calvinist Southern Baptists in 45,000+ churches across America).
I’m an old guy now. No one listens to me much within mainline Southern Baptist churches in my neck of the woods; they just don’t see that they are gradually losing their grip on SBC identity in belief and practice. So I shout “’yah, sucks, boo’ from the sidelines” in an attempt to make a difference in someone’s life here and there.
Downen has tried to explain that his tweet was not intended to suggest that Greer was making an equivalency. https://twitter.com/RobDownenChron/status/1098141198219440128
I think Greer is attempting to find solutions and do the right thing so I give him a pass. Seth Dunn, however, is clearly being reprehensible.
Here is a fun tweet from Downen:
Wow, I had never heard that, but that is a good point.
I kind of blew-up on my in-laws over Christmas for running down millennials and younger. I’m a millennial (born in 1985). I’m a university professor and I LOVE my students. They were born between 1997-2001. They are smart, curious, kind, and funny. Many of them are also naive and immature, but from my observation, many of their parents were and are very overprotective and haven’t let them do things for themselves. Also, they have had to deal with a social media environment in their teens that is extremely toxic. Jonathan Haidt and Jean Twenge have done great works documenting the dangers of social media for young teens.
There are lots of reasons people are delaying marriage, and unlike people like Mohler say, many of those reasons are good. Instead of seeking to listen and understand, people like Mohler and Wilson and Piper would rather rail against the culture.
There is so much people trying to control other people’s life going around.
Some people get married young and it works
Some people get married young and it is a disaster
Some people never want to be married
Some people would like to be married and never find a spouse
My wife and I got married when we were both 23. We will be married for ten years this summer. I’m not married to her because I really wanted to be married or said all the right prayers. I married her because I was lucky enough to meet her and smart enough to realize how good what we have together is. My heart goes out to people who haven’t found that.
You can’t just waive your magic wand and make other people’s lives work out the way you think they should. People with good marriages need to realize the element of luck and chance that went into them ever meeting their spouse and thank God for their good fortune. What many like Mohler do instead is heap guilt and shame on people who haven’t been so lucky.
Baptist News Global (https://baptistnews.com/) is including coverage of the Houston series revealed sex abuse scandal in its coverage. That coverage is primarily curation of links to stories elsewhere. One good one I saw this morning is “The Problem of ‘Evil’ in Describing Southern Baptist Abuse Crisis” (https://rewire.news/religion-dispatches/2019/02/19/the-problem-of-evil-in-describing-southern-baptist-abuse-crisis/). It is by the brother of a SBC abuse survivor who is now a Presbyterian pastor. It is well worth a read.
They are also going to be for about a week publishing themselves “several” opinion articles on it.
The first was “The national conversation about sexual abuse by Baptist clergy is important. But it doesn’t go far enough” (https://baptistnews.com/article/the-national-conversation-about-sexual-abuse-by-baptist-clergy-is-important-but-it-doesnt-go-far-enough/#.XG013_ZFw8U) by Peggy Haynes, a sex abuse survivor who has been working with survivors for 20 years.
The second, today, is “Clergy sex scandal proves Dale Moody was right about ‘once-saved-always-saved’ as a dangerous heresy” by Alan Beam, who self describes as “Twenty-three years ago, I was forced to resign as pastor of an American Baptist Church. My crime? I had attempted to ensure that a self-proclaimed “youth minister” would no longer enjoy one-on-one access to the congregation’s high school students.
“What many like Mohler do instead is heap guilt and shame on people who haven’t been so lucky.”
if memory serves, that’s the “sucks-to-be-you” gospel.
I’m a middle-aged prof, was in college when you were born, but the old guard was doing the same stuff to us back in the day, they generally didn’t want to listen and understand, they judged us for superficial things, such as guys wearing long hair (without regard to the fact that many of them still had the pompadour hairstyles that were popular when they were young—and that had been criticized by the generation that came before them), and railed against us without seeking to listen or understand.
We have a WINNER
I just did a spit take. That is hilarious.
Here’s the cached text from CJ Mahaney’s planned international (UK) conference speaking jaunt. Thankful that as of yesterday he has ‘withdrawn’ from speaking.
“We are very excited about EMA 2019, Lifted Up: Preaching the Cross and really hope that you will be able to join us.
Don Carson will bring our ‘From Study to Pulpit’ at the beginning of each day looking at the passion narrative of John’s Gospel (John 18-19). Hugh Palmer will deliver a ‘Pen Portrait’ on Billy Graham a man who kept the cross at the forefront of his preaching. CJ Mahaney will help us think about Cross-Shaped Ministry and Nigel Styles will deliver the inaugural ‘EMA Lecture on Preaching’. Each day will end with a conference sermon by Dave Gobbett, James Hely-Hutchinson and Andrew Sach. There will also be an array of seminars both one-offs and also seminar streams.”
I understood that Paul was married – 1Cor 9:5 and the following quote from Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical Histories
“1. Clement, indeed, whose words we have just quoted, after the above-mentioned facts gives a statement, on account of those who rejected marriage, of the apostles that had wives. “Or will they,” says he, “reject even the apostles? For Peter and Philip begat children; and Philip also gave his daughters in marriage. And Paul does not hesitate, in one of his epistles, to greet his wife, whom he did not take about with him, that he might not be inconvenienced in his ministry.”
(Complete works of the Ante-Nicene, Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers, NPNF2-01, chapter 30)
More cached text from EMA 2019 website:
This year will be our 36th Evangelical Ministry Assembly and will be in a new venue, the historic Westminster Chapel in the very heart of London.
The theme of this year’s conference is Lifted Up: Preaching the Cross. As well as our ‘From Study to Pulpit’ sessions on John 18-20, we will also have a main session on Cross-Shaped Ministry, a Pen Portrait and a Conference Sermon to end each day.
The speaker line up for this year includes: Don Carson, Hugh Palmer, C.J. Mahaney, Dave Gobbett, James Hely-Hutchinson, Andrew Sach, Nigel Styles, Garry Williams, Rob Scott, Carrie Sandom, Gwilym Davies, Robin Weekes, Vaughan Roberts, Daf Meirion-Jones, Jonathan Lamb, Lewis Allen & Matt Fuller.
I believe we are on the same wavelength. This is essentially how I see all that goes by the name of ‘Christianity’. I grow increasingly convinced that it was a cult from the start, and what we are seeing is simply what it looks like behind the curtain. Y’all can cling to your high priests if you like, I for one believe that the moment the veil was rent in two these men were made nonessential. Which is what they most fear the masses realizing.
I’m an old guy now too Max and I enjoy our discussions and am happy to stand with you against these young upstarts who are bringing the Lord Jesus and His Church into disrepute.
Mark Dever was big in the Founders faction before launching his 9Marks brand.
He was a featured speaker year after year at the Founders Conference:
Besides future ARBCA personalities, those old Founders conferences are a virtual who’s who of today’s T4G/TGC/9Marx/etc. ‘New Calvinists’:
Mark Dever? check
‘Lig’ Duncan? check
Al Mohler? check
John Piper? check
John MacArthur? check
Even a young JD Greear:
Bingo! And thus has it always been in the institution known as Christianity. Doctrine not working for ya? Invent a new one – and claim it is what you meant all along! Words, words, words – they are simply tools to use for manipulation and control.
If you look at the backgrounds to these speakers, you find they have a lot in common – The Proclamation Trust, Cornhill Trust, St Helen’s Bishopsgate, Eden Baptist Church Cambridge, Cambridge University, TGC, The Good Book Company, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, UK Regional Gospel Partnerships, FIEC (who gave up their independence a long time ago), Keswick Ministries, IFES. It’s quite insidious.
I’m 61, never-married (not that I didn’t want to be at one point), happy, productive, looking forward to a retirement in a few years in which I can serve God in all the things I love to do, financially self-sufficient…I am very thankful for the great life God has given me. Maybe I should write Mr. Mohler and tell him I am not miserable at all. I think what causes problems is marriage just to be married. I hold to marriage highly, but I also recognize it may not be for everyone, and I get that right from Matt. 19 and 1 Cor. 7.
I don’t believe it either Daisy.
But it does beg another question:
How did God get transformed into an obsessively compulsive control freak?
I agree 110% that the expose by the Houston Chronicle is NOT a turning point in the SBC. I think it is an opportunity for them to perform some external bandages to a broken system. They have known about this for years and could, had they actually been repentant, brought their own sins to light.
I know this is true because, in my SBC church, I made extensive efforts for years to help the leadership become informed on and be proactive about abuse. I helped them by researching the topic on my own time, crafting a plan for child protection, and at every turn was met with resistance and/or apathy. The elders insisted upon creating their own policy, assuring me that the leadership would get it done properly. The resulting policy was severely inadequate and had areas which an abuser could take advantage of children. The overall attitude toward my care for the welfare and protection of children was taken as being suspect of and mistrustful toward leadership.
The authoritarianism found in so many of these church leaders completely impedes progress in this area. They may show concern on the outside, but they have not truly prioritized or come into their own when it comes to abuse in the church. They are the experts, not to be questioned.
This is the church culture that policies, training videos, etc. will NOT fix.
Churches and leaders that are spiritually abusive will have little success in preventing other forms of abuse.
Insidious is the right word. The ties within the ‘Club’ are disturbing but not immediately obvious to the casual observer.
By human obsessively compulsive control freaks who want to be god?
I think there’s a difference between being ignorant and just being an ***hole.
I think (my opinion) that the pastor you spoke of falls into the latter realm.
Why are we still talking about Mohler’s phony apology? 😉 So much going on in the other citadel of phoniness, as Harvest continues to rival modern politics as the ultimate circus of deception and manipulation.
Luke and Landon are out (finally), but there are still plenty of yesmen to protect the franchise. I truly pity those who are staggering from all of this, but not sure the edifice of ‘group orgasmic worship of celebrity idol with great band’ called Harvest is worth preserving.
The scary thing is that these authoritarian monstrosities have been reproduced everywhere. I had no idea, until checking the other day, that my own city had a Harvest. Sad. This is not to suggest that the poor brainwashed people involved even know what has been done to them. Watch this somewhat painful interview, and you see how MacDonald traumatized young up and coming pastors, leaving them brainwashed and deeply wounded, and still replicating many of his evil ways.
Yes, it does follow.
i.e. All About The Benjamins, Baby.
Just read their resignation letters:http://julieroys.com/james-macdonalds-sons-resign-shakeup-harvest-continues/
A couple of initial thoughts.
Someone once said “Sin will take you further than you want to go, leave you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay.” James MacDonald’s failings have cost his whole family much.
Throughout all this mess, not much mention of Jesus … not from the MacDonalds, HBC elders, HBC members. Just sad testimonies of deception, personal loss, and impacts on the church. Jesus is lost in the narrative. Such is the cult of personality.
To offer a thought on possible answers to the question that leads the OP, perhaps one should not reckon that there is genuine repentance until the person who claims to be repenting “produces (discernible) fruit in keeping with repentance”.
That would also modulate how one applies Mt 18; relational forgiveness is not conditioned on repentant words, but on actual changed life.
The verse references the authority/right (Gr. exousian) to take a believing wife. And verses from two chapters earlier add further perspective: “And I wish all men to be even like myself. But each has his own gift from God; for one has this, but one that. Now I say to the unmarried and to the widows, it is good for them if they should remain as even I” (1 Cor. 7-8).
elastigirl: if memory serves, that’s the “sucks-to-be-you” gospel.
strong: AKA, Calvinism.
well, i see this kind of gospel everywhere, really. if you don’t fit the right mold. if the gospel doesn’t work for the least of these, it doesn’t work at all. but, another topic for another post.
“There is a faux intellectualism that sounds cool but doesn’t really add value.”
sounds like many an article and book i’ve read by people with degrees after their names. or people without the degrees, trying to run with that crowd.
the more exotic syllables used the more i know they’re trying too hard as well as not trying hard enough.
the point of writing is the reader, not the writer.
Porn is in the eye of the beholder. I kniw that sounds trite, but I live in the Intermountain West and we have a thing called “porn shoulders”. Everyone else calls these sleeveless blouses and dresses but in certain parts of Arizona and Utah, it’s porn. I know this sounds ridiculous. I wish I was lying.
“I think what causes problems is marriage just to be married.”
or marriage just to be legit.
or marriage just to be christian.
In 30 years of full time service to Jesus, in the multiple countries and states where I have traveled I have met maybe three pastors like this. Two are retired, the other is “lead pastor” at a 200 person congregation in the midwest. The latter guy is such a breath of fresh air- he just doesnt take himself too seriously. But he does love Jesus. So yeah, they’re out there but few and far between. Kind of like real disciples who are hard to find too (you know, “small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it”)
Karen: “Or the fact that a woman might know a little more “truth” about life than an man does.
So, can a “religious man” learn anything (via wisdom and knowledge from the Holy Spirit) from a woman who knows Jesus as her Teacher, LORD, and Master?
Is there such a thing as a “humble pastor or church leader man?”
This is a character trait of which I am searching for.”
I’ve had to be intentional in trying to “see” humble leaders/people for inspiration. Recently, I enjoyed the documentaries “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” about Fred Rogers and “RBG” about Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I was also refreshed by this piece about Vijay Gupta: https://www.pbs.org/video/street-symphony-1546641522/
The posts here at TWW and the comments are meaningful and helpful to me and I’m grateful. I experienced, as married, and then a widow and single mom, what seemed, to me and others, like a deceptive takeover of a church by Piper followers. My family…was hurt and helped at that church, resulting in confusing and complex grief in that and other parts of life. I will never trust those types of organized church places again and am very glad that I did not allow their “help” in particular key, longer term, areas of rebuilding life. (I like what RBG’s mother’s advice to her when she married was….”keep some independence”). Before that church, my family experienced what seemed like manipulative(no conversation) tactics, for a significant step, in a more liberal church. Someone in the mix of the conservative church takeover referred me to CBE and I began reading and listening to the conflict surrounding women in church teaching roles(over a decade now). I now hold association with an organized church pretty loosely, but do still sporadically attend. Recently, refreshingly, an unmarried female pastor was hired.
From the bottom of my maternal heart, thank you for saying all of this. From what I see, many of today’s young adults absolutely love their parents; the old generation gap is gone.
Even out in The World, parents of this generation were lavishly praised for micromanaging their kids. My own young adult offspring recently asked why we were not as strict as some other parents during the teen years. (I nearly fainted.)
I think you’re right. But it highlights how some churches are obsessed that everyone must be their proper ‘ministry’.
I have no doubt that intentional or not this leads to a ‘divide & conquer’ strategy. Some of the pastors like MacDonald & Driscoll & others probably find that beneficial to their overall control of a congregation.
Grateful for your brief testimony Ella. You have inspired me today in my faith in Jesus Christ.
You are good people! There is such strength and restoration in humility.
Lovely thought. A wife as an “inconvenience”. Apparently, according to Clement at least, Paul didn’t believe in the whole KJV “helpmeet” thing. His wife was an inconvenience, eh?
Just goes to show how “highly” the early church fathers thought of women.
Is your wife, by chance, an inconvenience? (Rhetorical question, not directed at Lowlandseer but all churchian husbands) Easy solution: relegate her to hearth, home, and child-raising while you go out and do the “important” stuff.
I think it happened when certain people made him over in their own image.
Thanks for your kind words.
Also, I’ll add that for those who watch RBG I hope they read the credits, too, and make note of “The Martin Ginsberg Award for Husbanding”
My own view is that Paul was referencing those apostles who were married and not necessarily including himself in that number. NT Wright goes over the possibilities.
If Paul was married, did his wife leave him when he became a Christian?
Did she die before he embarked on his missions?
Was he single all along?
The idea that he left her behind so as not to be inconvenienced, flies in the face of the facts that many women accompanied Jesus and, later, the apostles to support them.
Denny Burk takes an entirely different view. He gives the Greek word !”agamos” it’s opposite meaning and suggests we drop another awkward word from the text altogether!
You can have a laugh here.
Well, certainly Clement by his own words (as quoted by Eusebius) is flying in the face of facts. I don’t know about the other early church fathers, although I have heard others (who have made more of a study than I have) say that the early church male leaders worked assiduously to restore the ante-Jesus status quo (regarding women’s subordination, subservience, and inferiority) that Jesus had set aside during his physical presence on earth.
Must be the lack of coffee this morning? I didn’t see anything to laugh at, and I didn’t read from the text a suggestion to drop the word from the text, and I’m not sure that “unmarried widower” would constitute an opposite meaning from “unmarried”.
Where is the documentary available, please?
Funny true fact – I am one of those who stays in the movie theater to read *all* the credits after the film ends. Sometimes I’m the only one (except for the ushers, waiting to clean up the theater); sometimes I see kindred spirits still there after the lights come up.
I’m not sure what happened to my response. It may be lack of coffee, but I read through the article you linked and didn’t find anything laughable.
This is important, and many churchgoers are ripe for abuse from not understanding how manipulators work. I am seeing ‘apologies’ begin to appear from Harvest elders, and people just eat them up. If you have long experience with manipulators, you realize that words mean nothing. Until people confess and forsake all evildoing, pretty words of apology do nothing but manipulate trusting victims.
The documentary, RBG , is available to rent on CNN and Prime, maybe other places, too. I saw it twice when it was first out in theaters this past summer. CNN ran it for free sometime last fall. Here’s the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biIRlcQqmOc
There is also a movie, “On the Basis of Sex”, that Justice Ginsberg’s nephew, I think, wrote, that came out in Dec, 2018 In an interview with CNN Justice Ginsberg mentions both the documentary and movie. She was also asked about her female role models and marriage.
In terms of staying for credits, I don’t always do that unless I really enjoyed the movie. Another memorable credits viewing experience was for “Kubo and the Two Strings”. The artwork in the midst of credits was beautiful. (I think it was Kubo….)
A start I guess. But as I noted elsewhere, HBC members (and the church at large looking in) need to hear confession & repentance coming from the elders, not apologies … there’s a vast difference. A genuine display of remorse and penitence would be appropriate – these guys should have reeled MacDonald in a long time ago … “Sorry” is not enough. I witnessed periods of confession/repentance/forgiveness in the past in small churches when they drifted off-track … it brought healing to the Body of Christ. I suppose mega church doesn’t feel a need to do that.
Remaining leadership at HBC need to call for a “Solemn Assembly,” where there is confession and repentance of sin. The whole body focused too much on MacDonald – there needs to be a renewed commitment to Christ, a return to first love.
Whether it’s Harvest or the SBC, throwing out sweetly worded apologies, then carrying on as usual is typical behavior for self-seeking narcissists. This is what the masses in the pews need to be taught. Instead, they say, ‘Ah, he’s sorry. All’s good.’ And the abuse goes on. They are bound by commitment, a good ‘worship’ experience and a love for the community they have formed, and most would prefer to never even consider that their pastor is anything but good and trustworthy.
Such is the cult of personality that has infested the American church in far too many places. It blinds the pew to seeing no wrong in the pulpit … God hates it.