Russell Moore Ditches the SBC and Joins Barnabas Piper and Ray Ortland at Immanuel Nashville, an Acts 29 Church.

The Cone Nebula-NASA

The path of the cruciform life does not, in fact, “work” if we judge it by the standards of success that have enveloped us since birth. . . . In the short-run, eye-for-an-eye Darwinism produces much better results than Sermon-on-the-Mount Christianity. Russell Moore


A couple of weeks ago, I wrote Russell Moore Resigns From the ERLC and Moves to Christianity Today While Media Registration for the SBC Convention Is Carefully Controlled
At the end of the portion on Moore, I asked the following questions.

  • Was he forced out?
  • Did he just get tired of the game?
  • Has the SBC needlessly jumped into politics?
  • Was the political conflict necessary?
  • Does George Soros run the SBC or is it the guy from Pizzagate? (PS I will not allow ANY discussion of PIzzagate at TWW.)
  • Is Moore still into patriarchy?
  • Did he ever really believe patriarchy or was it expedient at the time?
  • Who is the real Russell Moore?

Due to the excellent reporting by Julie Roys and Religion News Services, we have some interesting answers to a few of those questions. The Roys Report posted the Leaked Letter: Russell Moore Says He Left SBC Over Sex Abuse & Race Issues, Not Trump The letter is an eyeopener. So what did he tell the ERLC trustees a little over a year before his resignation?

Was it about politics surrounding Donald Trump? No.

(Please do not let this devolve into a political debate because it would miss the very real concerns expressed by Moore.)

At the above link, you can read the entire letter that Moore wrote to the ERLC trustees in February 2020. It was posted originally by Religion News Services. The first answer to one of my questions was surprising. His concerns had nothing to do with the controversy surrounding the former President.

But in his letter to the trustees, Moore claimed most Trump supporters he met had “been nothing but kind and encouraging to me.”

Was it about sex abuse in the SBC? Yes!

According to this letter:

Instead, he argued, “the presenting issue here is that, first and foremost, of sexual abuse.”

As we know, Moore was a huge supporter of JD Greear’s wish to investigate the ten churches named by the Houston Chronicle. The SBC Executive Committee only chose to look at three of them and then broadly exonerated the others.

According to Moore’s letter:

“This Executive Committee, through their bylaws workgroup, ‘exonerated’ churches, in a spur-of-the-moment meeting, from serious charges of sexual abuse cover-up,” Moore complained in his letter.

As an aside in the Roys Report was this comment about Loritts and JD Greear.

While he called for investigation into other SBC churches’ sexual abuse cover-up, Greear hired Bryan Loritts as executive pastor at Summit Church despite allegations related to a previous church where Loritts had been on staff. An investigation commissioned by Summit found “no convincing evidence” Loritts covered up sex crimes, but failed to resolve significant discrepancies and questions.

When The SBC Executive Committee appeared to channel the Godfather.

Now it gets interesting. Apparently, Rachel Denhollander criticized the EC during the dumpster fire known as Caring Well. In an interview with Moore:

Denhollander criticized the Executive Committee for how it had reported on the case of Jennifer Lyell, who had accused a Southern Baptist seminary professor of abuse.

Uh oh! Are these guys threatening Moore? Sounds like it to me.

After the conference, Moore said in the letter, he had received a veiled threat from Executive Committee trustees, characterizing it as being delivered with Mafia-like menace: “You’ve got a nice little Commission there; would be a shame if something happened to it.”

Was it also about racial reconciliation? Yes!

According to the letter:

“At the same time,” he wrote, “the other absolutely draining and unrelenting issue has been that of racial reconciliation.”

He said there was concern about critical race theory.

On race issues, Moore claimed in the letter that SBC leaders had been concerned about the ERLC promoting critical race theory,

However, it went deeper than that when an SBC leader expressed concern that most black *girls* are egalitarian. This is not my wording but the wording of some stupid SBC leader. Good night!!!

‘I was really just concerned about that black girl, whether she’s an egalitarian,’” referring to the hire of Trillia Newbell to the ERLC and questioning her commitment to the SBC’s complementarian gender theology.

During the 2019 SBC annual meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, Trillia Newbell offers a lamenting prayer for the sexual abuse that’s occurred in the church. (RNS photo by Butch Dill)
“When I asked what possibly could lead him to think that a woman who has written complementarian articles for complementarian websites was an ‘egalitarian,’ he responded: ‘A lot of those black girls are,’” Moore recalled in the letter.

Mike Stone was on the Executive Committee and caused Moore *psychological terror.*

I believe that this sort of thing could be quite true.

Their objections, Moore charged in colorful terms he disavowed, were that he was “‘not playing enough to the Bubbas and the rednecks; they pay the bills.’”

…While Stone has said in the past he was not seeking Moore’s resignation, Moore in his letter said this was part of a strategy to keep him “in psychological terror, so that I will not say what the Southern Baptist Convention has assigned me to say, much less to reveal what I know about what goes on behind the scenes.”

Years ago, I read Wade Burleson’s book: Hardball Religion: Feeling the Fury of Fundamentalism. He documented his time on the IMB. I think that he would agree that if one runs afoul of these *good old boys,* one can expect a hardball response. There was the *knife* incident which I will never forget. So, I find Moore’s “psychological terror” quite believable.

So, Russell Moore did what hundreds of thousands of us have done: he *done quit* the SBC.

The Roys Report posted Russell Moore Exits SBC, Joins Acts 29-Affiliated Evangelical Church.

T.J. Tims, lead pastor of Immanuel Nashville, announced Tuesday (June 1) on social media that Moore is now the church’s minister in residence.

Digression: I have always wondered about that * in-residence* thing. I suspect it is one way for the church to call someone “super dee dooper” special.” I wonder if I should begin an *in residence* program for TWW. For a small, yet somehow significant love offering, I will begin taking applications for the positions. In the meantime, I now pronounce myself as *blogger in residence.*  End digression.

Immanuel Nashville is a conservative evangelical congregation that is affiliated with the Acts 29 church planting network. It is not a Southern Baptist congregation,

I have written several blog posts about the tendency of church leaders in this *network* to be heavily authoritarian, despite what they may say about being autonomous, diverse, and all that other nice-sounding stuff. However, I don’t think Moore has to worry about being church disinclined. He will be a *celebrity in residence.*  In fact, I have found that the Acts 29 DNA doesn’t stray far at all from its celebrity leader, Matt Chandler. But maybe I shall be proven wrong. I would really, really like that to happen.

Digression Alert: So, I was scrolling through the leadership of Immanuel Nashville, and look what I found. Another celebrity, actually a  child of a celebrity, who is an assistant pastor.

   

Here is his blurb. It leaves out the fact that he has a wife. End digression alert.

So many people have left and are leaving the SBC. Many folks like Moore and myself have faced some significant blowback within the SBC. His was from a much at a higher level of SBC leaders. Mine was from a bunch of local SBC church leaders.  However, being treated poorly and threatened sure helps one to be grateful for a new beginning.

Final Questions

  • Does Moore still believe that the word *patriarchy* is preferable to complementarianism?
  • Moore originally had CJ Mahaney write the forward to his book Adopted for Life. Does he still support Mahaney, given that one of the 10 churches pointed out by the Houston Chronicle was Mahaney’s current church, Sovereign Grace Louisville?

Moore’s new *pastor to pastors, Ray Ortlund, seems to be an outspoken supporter of CJ Mahaney and reportedly just spoke at a Sovereign Grace Church


His blurb.

Maybe we will learn more about Moore as he sheds the shackles of the SBC.


Comments

Russell Moore Ditches the SBC and Joins Barnabas Piper and Ray Ortland at Immanuel Nashville, an Acts 29 Church. — 179 Comments

  1. Re the Barnabas Piper pic: Why do they always have that hair?

    I agree with Cynthia: Not my circus, not my monkeys; and we’ve got plenty of monkeys of our own. But I can’t help wondering…is a move from SBC to Acts29 a case of “out of the frying pan, into the fire”?

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  2. Really… Are we back to Matt Chandler again? Village Church… Cedarville University and Anthony Moore… Of all the evangelical groups he could be associated with he picked Acts29? Is anyone else out there paying attention to this? Russell Moore just shot any credibility he had left.

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  3. dee: Not a bad analogy.

    I didn’t even know Mark Dever had a sister, but she’s a deacon at Immanuel, apparently. https://twitter.com/NotinOurChurch1/status/1400466231426232324

    What are the odds Russell Moore will call future investigations of his friends ‘psychological terrorism,’ too?

    The letter is the latest dramatic version of himself. The one thing that stays constant in the hero-under-fire.

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  4. If you have not, please carefully read the entirety of Moore’s letter to the ERLC. It is written from the standpoint of a victim. Interesting way for him to portray himself. Was he seeking a savior? Just very odd wording . . .

    Both the overt and covert power of the SBC is intimidating. While pastoring an SBC church in Nashville nearly two decades ago, we were discussing becoming a dual SBC/CBF church. Many of our members were either SBC or Lifeway employees (both were MUCH larger in 2000 than today) and openly shared that if we became CBF, they would have to leave the church as they could lose their jobs for the church supporting CBF.

    BTW, I am applying for the position of TWW “therapist in residence.”

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  5. Wild Honey: Not that I have any room to judge, having made a church frying-pan-to-fire move myself before.

    Many of us have made such a move. The difference is that most of us don’t make it a power move.

    I’m just so jaded about these men. The best of them seem to have only one good idea. “I’ll make noise about the way women are treated. Children and minorities will have to find a different guy, and it’s just toooo hard to worry about who is cooking the books. Oooo, I wonder if churches can sell ownership shares?” /hypothetical

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  6. Luckyforward: If you have not, please carefully read the entirety of Moore’s letter to the ERLC.

    I felt a great deal of empathy for Moore after reading that letter. I didn’t view it as him presenting himself as a hero or a victim. I saw it as an explanation for why he’s leaving the organization he’s grown up in, and after reading how he was treated, who can blame him? Imagine having your children ask your spouse if you’ve had a “moral failing” because of the way you’re being treated?

    When I read that letter, I believed I was listening to a traumatized survivor who tried to speak up for the truth as he saw it and found the truth wasn’t welcomed. It felt like another account of horrendous spiritual abuse.

    I’ve listened to Barnabas Piper for years on the Happy Rant podcast. Yes, he’s reformed. But he’s not his dad. He seems to be quite a bit more thoughtful and open on many issues, especially since having to live through his own divorce. I hope Moore finds a place to actually be ministered TO even as he ministers to others.

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  7. Under these circumstances, to me, “minister in residence” sounds a bit like “refugee”, as in “we are providing temporary ministry opportunities during this period of transition.”

    I think that “minister in residence” is a kind of ad hoc position, not a formal permanent ministerial staff role.

    Here’s an example:

    https://www.firstpresbyterian.org/sites/default/files/other/Residence-Minister-First-Call-Positions.pdf

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  8. “Mike Stone was on the Executive Committee and caused Moore *psychological terror.*”

    Stone would be considered an old guard Southern Baptist (of the Paige Patterson sort). He will be running against Al Mohler this month for SBC President at the annual convention (put your money on Mohler).

    Interestingly, Tom Ascol has thrown in his support of Stone rather than endorsing his old bud Mohler. Appears that the Ascolites (Old Calvinists) will be battling for denominational control vs. the Mohlerites (New Calvinists). Mainline (non-Calvinists) Southern Baptists don’t seem to matter much anymore. Stone ‘may’ be a non-Calvinist, but who really knows these days. It’s increasingly difficult to sort out the good guys from the bad guys in the SBC (there are bad boys in both Reformed and non-Reformed SBC ranks).

    I’m not a Russell Moore fan, but no Christian leader should cause “psychological terror” … the enemy of the church does that, not friends. This SBC mess is resulting in a battle for the soul of the denomination … Jesus should be the soul of it, but no one talks about Him much anymore – His authority and influence in the SBC is waning.

    https://www.baptistpress.com/resource-library/news/georgia-pastor-former-executive-committee-chairman-stone-to-be-nominated-for-sbc-president/

    IMO, Mohler will be crowned Lord of all at the convention. The New Calvinists will be sure to leave the coffee shops and tweets long enough to cast their vote at the convention hall.

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  9. Regarding “hardball religion”, one of the few really distinct memories I have of a moment of preaching at the wanna-be-mega that was my next-to-last church affiliation, was the mention, in a preaching series on Nehemiah, of the incident in which Nehemiah pulled out the beards of certain people who had allowed their children to intermarry with the surrounding nations, contrary to stipulations in The Law.

    It was in the context of “leadership lessons from the book of Nehemiah.” The point, IIRC, was that “rough handling” is appropriate in certain circumstances.

    I’m afraid that people who want to “break eggs in order the make the omelet” will have no difficulty finding precedents in the Scriptures.

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  10. “Moore’s new *pastor to pastors, Ray Ortlund, seems to be an outspoken supporter of CJ Mahaney and reportedly just spoke at a Sovereign Grace Church” (Dee)

    “We do not believe C.J. Mahaney’s confessed sins have disqualified him from Christian ministry. Or to put it positively, from all that we have seen, heard, and read, we believe C.J. Mahaney is, at this moment in time and based on those sins which he has acknowledged, still fit to be a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ and a pastor to others.” (Kevin DeYoung, Carl Trueman, and Ray Ortlund)

    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2011/08/03/is-c-j-mahaney-fit-for-ministry/

    Til death do us part …

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  11. I wonder if Moore had to sign a membership contraaa, uhm, covenant when he joined A29 Immanuel? And, where will he rank in the food chain? Will Moore do/say what he pleases, or will the church elders hold his feet to the fire and make him March in lockstep with them? Will the Imannuel staff influence what Moore writes for CT? Does Moore know that Banabas is twice-married pastor ???…..because that goes against one of Moore’s “core values”…….. Oh, so many questions!

    And then there’s Barnabas’ hair ….. please ….. how old is he? Most boys that style their hair that way start it when they are in 7th or 8th grade and discover (and play in) mommy’s styling gel. By the time they finish college, or get through their second year of full time employment, they outgrow “bed head”.

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  12. Bridget: His comment says everything about what he thinks about women and African Americans. It’s a sad commentary.

    Patterson is far from being the only white, male SBCer who thinks that way – he just had the gall to say it out loud with the belief that his statement would not be public ally exposed.
    My personal experiences bear a strong influence on my attitude, but IMO women and African Americans rank right up there with shelter puppies – “ let’s make sure they’re house broke before we let’em through the door “ kinda thing… cuz, Lord knows, I’ve nipped a heel or two.

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  13. In a responsive reading from Immanuel’s Sunday Service: “By coming to church we’re coming to Jesus Himself.”

    Anyone else find that odd? Heretical? I’m not sure how to interpret it but it sounds like something only someone with an inflated understanding of who/what the church is could say. Am I missing something and there is actually a scriptural basis for equating coming to a/the church with coming to Jesus?

    Not sure how Moore could be OK with such a statement (he was preaching that day).

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  14. FW Rez: “By coming to church we’re coming to Jesus Himself.”

    A charitable interpretation would be to guess that this statement has in mind Jesus’ saying “Where 2 or 3 are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

    Less charitable interpretations are also possible, of course, for example that the elders reckon that their presence overseeing things is necessary for an assembly to actually be “in Jesus’ name” (so that the saying means, in effect, ‘where 2 or 3 properly ordained elders are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of the group that is gathered around those elders.”

    ====

    I have my own idiosyncratic interpretations/hypotheses. I suspect that the sayings in both Paul and the 4th Gospel ‘supper discourse’ about the coming and presence of the Spirit do not refer primarily to the ‘location of the Spirit’ as being ‘within individuals’ but rather the primary meaning in view is ‘in the midst of the group’ (an example of the same language clearly having “group” reference is John 1:14 — the Word, made flesh, “dwelt among us.”)

    This may be why Jesus had to depart from among the midst of the apostles in order for the Spirit to be willing to come — while Jesus was there, there was not a “one another” spirit among the apostles, who were competing for access to and favor with Jesus — using him for their own advancement. Perhaps the Spirit could not work among them in that kind of relational environment.

    I think that Jesus’ “there am I in the midst of them” saying ought to be interpreted through the lens of the ‘supper discourse’, that Jesus would not leave the apostles orphaned, but would send another counselor, the Spirit, to dwell among them in his place. If that’s right, the responsive reading should have been more along the lines of “in assembling together in the name of Jesus, the Spirit of God dwells in our midst to work in and through us.”

    I’m of the opinion that within the Protestant traditions, even the parts of that tradition that place more emphasis on the (visible) presence and working of the Spirit, this is an aspect of pneumatology that is not fully developed. Paul seems to think of the assembled congregation as a kind of “human corporate temple within which God dwells by the Holy Spirit.” This might be why Paul repeatedly emphasizes the importance of the quality of relationships among believers — the Spirit dwells in the midst of the group, and a toxic relational environment is inimical to the working, and perhaps even the presence, of the Spirit.

    One of the things that I noted over the decades of my affiliation with various strands of US conservative protestantism is that there was not nearly as much emphasis on “one another” in the preaching as one finds in Paul’s writings (which were generally the source material for the preaching). If the above speculations/hypotheses have some merit, they might be a useful explanatory perspective on the perceived decline of these churches.

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  15. FW Rez: “By coming to church we’re coming to Jesus Himself.”

    Anyone else find that odd?

    In New Calvinism, everything is “gospel-centered”, without every preaching the Gospel. To them, Calvinism = Gospel. Proper theology trumps proclaiming Jesus to ALL people. I suppose they figure if you show up at their church, you must be of the elect and that you are coming to Jesus whether you know Him or not.

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  16. drstevej: Matthew 18:20. New International Version … “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

    I have listened to several sermon podcasts at SBC New Calvinist church plants in my area (to hear what makes them tick). The young reformers seldom drop the name of Jesus. They talk more about Piper and Calvin, than they do Christ. It’s questionable what name they are really gathered in. I have never heard any of these “lead pastors” present Gospel truth about Jesus and Him crucified to those who come to their churches. Hope it’s different in your area.

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  17. Max:
    “Mike Stone was on the Executive Committee and caused Moore *psychological terror.*”

    Stone would be considered an old guard Southern Baptist (of the Paige Patterson sort).He will be running against Al Mohler this month for SBC President at the annual convention (put your money on Mohler).

    Interestingly, Tom Ascol has thrown in his support of Stone rather than endorsing his old bud Mohler.Appears that the Ascolites (Old Calvinists) will be battling for denominational control vs. the Mohlerites (New Calvinists). Mainline (non-Calvinists) Southern Baptists don’t seem to matter much anymore.Stone ‘may’ be a non-Calvinist, but who really knows these days.It’s increasingly difficult to sort out the good guys from the bad guys in the SBC (there are bad boys in both Reformed and non-Reformed SBC ranks).

    I’m not a Russell Moore fan, but no Christian leader should cause “psychological terror” … the enemy of the church does that, not friends. This SBC mess is resulting in a battle for the soul of the denomination … Jesus should be the soul of it, but no one talks about Him much anymore – His authority and influence in the SBC is waning.

    https://www.baptistpress.com/resource-library/news/georgia-pastor-former-executive-committee-chairman-stone-to-be-nominated-for-sbc-president/

    IMO, Mohler will be crowned Lord of all at the convention.The New Calvinists will be sure to leave the coffee shops and tweets long enough to cast their vote at the convention hall.

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  18. And the book, Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortlund has ties to the Evangelical Industrial Complex since Dane was VP of publishing at Crossway for ten years and his brother, Ray, is a regional director of Acts 29 and a council member of The Gospel Coalition.
    Have not read Gentle and Lowly but it amazes one how it is promoted all over the place.

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  19. Paul K: I felt a great deal of empathy for Moore after reading that letter. I didn’t view it as him presenting himself as a hero or a victim. I saw it as an explanation for why he’s leaving the organization he’s grown up in, and after reading how he was treated, who can blame him? Imagine having your children ask your spouse if you’ve had a “moral failing” because of the way you’re being treated?

    Before we start feeling too sorry for Russell Moore, let’s remember that first and foremost that he’s a card carrying, TGC, 9Marks, Acts 29, hard complementarian, calvinista. I don’t know for sure, but I bet here has dished out a little “psychological terror” himself. Plus, given his background in secular and SBC politics, he knows how the game is played.

    Also note that his e-mail is dated February 2020. It’s no resignation letter. Funny how the e-mail gets released 3 weeks before the SBC convention. Perfect timing for maximum damage to Mike Stone’s SBC Presidential run.

    Moore’s buddy Al Mohler has distanced himself from Moore and his opposition to the 45th President and Moore’s support of CRT/I. Dr. Moore appears to have lost too many friends in the SBC.

    His downfall may be Karma as much as anything else. Personally, I will not miss Dr. Moore. I hope the ERLC bites the dust, too. The SBC does not need a political arm.

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  20. Ken P.,

    “Also note that his e-mail is dated February 2020. It’s no resignation letter. Funny how the e-mail gets released 3 weeks before the SBC convention. Perfect timing for maximum damage to Mike Stone’s SBC Presidential run.”
    +++++++++++++++++

    well, what better way to make people aware of corrupt shysterdom?

    if people need to be warned, i’d say it’s very good timing. they’re paying attention right now.

    Jen Lyell is also a witness firsthand to the kind of human being Mike Stone is. Are you aware of her story?

    on what basis do you dole out the benefit of the doubt?

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  21. Ken P.: I don’t know for sure, but I bet here has dished out a little “psychological terror” himself.

    I think if you’re going to insinuate something like that, you should have some evidence. You did provide a caveat that you don’t know for sure, but still…

    Moore’s letter presents a very traumatizing experience. I don’t know Moore from Adam, but we wouldn’t think to blame a victim of clergy sexual abuse, spiritual abuse, etc… It really sounds to me he got raked over the coals for causes near and dear to the hearts of TWW readers.

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  22. Ken P.: I don’t know for sure, but I bet he has dished out a little “psychological terror” himself.

    Moore and the New Calvinist gang he belongs to have been dishing out “theological terror” on Southern Baptists for year. They came in like a flood, deceiving their way into SBC life to tyrannize a once-great evangelistic denomination through manipulation, intimidation and domination. Yeah, Moore ain’t squeaky clean … don’t feel sorry for him.

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  23. …Mike Stone was on the Executive Committee and caused Moore *psychological terror.*..”..

    See that?
    They even try to Stone you when your walking out the door.

    That’s wisdom of the ages, right there. Russel Moore..and everybody….gettin Stoned. You learn something new everyday.

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  24. FW Rez: In a responsive reading from Immanuel’s Sunday Service: “By coming to church we’re coming to Jesus Himself.”

    Anyone else find that odd? Heretical?

    I’ve heard this in our former YRR churches, too, from different levels of leadership. I don’t like it, either.

    I think there is a blurring of the lines between the Gospel (a personal relationship with Jesus, etc.) and community with other Christians. Community can help us grow in our relationship with Jesus, but it can also harm us (being comprised of imperfect people, including ourselves). This is why I personally think it important not to confuse the two.

    There is also further blurring of the lines between (a) community with other Christians and (b) church. Someone can have strong relationships with family members, friends, neighbors, and/or co-workers who are Christian. But, to those who conflate “church” with “Christian community” and/or (more dangerously) a personal relationship with Jesus, the only community that counts is the “local church.”

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  25. Wild Honey: I think there is a blurring of the lines between the Gospel (a personal relationship with Jesus, etc.) and community with other Christians.

    I heard a young New Calvinist lead pastor say “I am the Gospel.” While they talk a lot ‘about’ grace, there isn’t much talk at all within the NeoCal community about having a direct experience ‘of’ Grace, an encounter with the Living Christ. This branch of reformed theology troubles me in a lot of ways.

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  26. Wild Honey: FW Rez: In a responsive reading from Immanuel’s Sunday Service: “By coming to church we’re coming to Jesus Himself.”

    In a sense, I see it the opposite way that you do. I don’t see it as a blurring of lines, but more as drawing lines …… putting Jesus in a box……. it insinuates that we must gather inside of man-made walls (lines) to be near Him…… because they do not see the true church. He cannot and will not be confined to the interiors of man-made structures. Jesus wasn’t cooking in a church fellowship hall when He made bread and fish, and called to His disciples.

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  27. Max: While they talk a lot ‘about’ grace, there isn’t much talk at all within the NeoCal community about having a direct experience ‘of’ Grace

    In their hands, “Grace” has become a meaningless buzzword.

    “Grace” in the official name of a church or parachurch org should be approached with the same caution as “People’s Democratic” in the official name of a Third World country. “The more adjectives about Democracy in a country’s official name, the nastier a Dictatorship it is.”

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  28. Wild Honey: There is also further blurring of the lines between (a) community with other Christians and (b) church. Someone can have strong relationships with family members, friends, neighbors, and/or co-workers who are Christian. But, to those who conflate “church” with “Christian community” and/or (more dangerously) a personal relationship with Jesus, the only community that counts is the “local church.”

    This is how the Sunday morning worship experience becomes an idol which also tends to make the head pastor one and how both becomes stumbling blocks to your personal relationship with Jesus Christ. This is rarely taught anywhere but it is true. The last church I was a part of for a long time did admit this but they ended up going some other place where Jesus was absent.

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  29. Bridget: One can have this with non Christians as well.

    You’re absolutely right. I totally wasn’t thinking about that in this context, but good point. There are definitely people in my life who don’t share my faith but help clarify things and, ironically, show what strong community can look like.

    Thank you.

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  30. Nancy(aka Kevlar): In a sense, I see it the opposite way that you do.I don’t see it as a blurring of lines, but more as drawing lines …… putting Jesus in a box……. it insinuates that we must gather inside of man-made walls (lines) to be near Him…… because they do not see the true church.He cannot and will not be confined to the interiors of man-made structures.Jesus wasn’t cooking in a church fellowship hall when He made bread and fish, and called to His disciples.

    I like this description. I think we’re seeing different aspects of the same problem.

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  31. Ken P.,

    understood.

    but is there anyone or anything in SBC leadership that’s not political / politics?

    i’m a little rattled — today, instead of seeking to understand Jen Lyell’s recounting of events, Mike Stone’s fan club deletes tweets and blocks people, ignoring her completely.

    just how many parts degenerate and how many parts moron are these people???

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  32. Max,

    Ascending He did not delegate big shouts to gatekeep / ration / veto the gifts, He distributed gifts differing = grace abounding = mercy multiplied.

    Grieving / quenching / blaspheming Holy Spirit = distrusting Him in their fellow widow and orphan, in the other other. At the start of those ten days it was still the pas de deux.

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  33. FW Rez,

    We don’t need any money-spinning curriculum from those sorcerers, merging prior and subsequent works exactly identically as the new Calvinists do. Read James, Isaiah 55 – 58 – 61, Jeremiah (about Josiah), Jonah (about Jeroboam II), what Jesus says about talents, what Paul says about a crown and about the superapostles, Prov 21: 10-31 (which isn’t about women), the questions the general public are going to ask us in the hereafter. Whether we vetoed the general public from seeing Holy Spirit in our subsequent works, will be what determines how God must decide about us (in Nature).

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  34. Max,

    As I have posted previously, our church “small group” has been following our pastor who has preavhed through the Bible, one book a week… kind of crazy…. anyway, reading/engaging with the TWW brings out all the NT verses about how a follower of Christ should behave/think/act…… the depravity of leaders/people like PP et al just becomes even more apparent….

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  35. Sorry to barge in on the conversation, but…

    This link was shared with me on Facebook. I don’t know how legitimate it is, or even how relevant, but it alleges that Moore received a lovely severance package.

    https://capstonereport.com/2021/06/04/whistleblower-reveals-erlc-trustees-never-saw-leaked-russell-moore-letter/36192/

    Anyone have insights on this Randy Adams guy?

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  36. Just a broken heart here. The SBC has been good to me and two of my life long friends are Baptists, and were with me when I walked the path to Catholicism. I am sad to see what is going on, knowing that there is a lot of pain that only God knows.

    No church is perfect, we humans make sure of that. But, ideally we minimize the pain we cause, and be servants and not leaders. (The St. Vincent De Paul Society use of servant-leader drives me crazy, but it’s just their choice of words.)

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  37. Anna A,

    “(The St. Vincent De Paul Society use of servant-leader drives me crazy, but it’s just their choice of words.)”
    +++++++++++++++++++

    i despise how christian culture has co-opted the term servant-leadership. well, i despise disingenuous at all times.
    .
    .
    i grew up christian, in many contexts. i never heard the words ‘servant leadership’ until CBMW started peddling patriarchy.

    it’s as misnomered as the other marketing word “complementarian”.

    both terms were adopted into popular usage to protect male power by pacifying resistance to it. and there’s no more easily-led person than an evangelical christian. dress anything up in the right language (such as exclusive male power) and they are putty in the controller’s hands.

    first came the message of male power and female submission. in my view, this was a convenient vehicle to attract men to church so they’d want to come. (really, evangelical men are afraid of women, so they had to do something).

    second was the co-opting the term “servant leader” to break down resistance. and perhaps as a kind of insurance policy.

    Robert Greenleaf coined the term “servant leader” in 1970. (he was management development and research chief for AT&T in the late 1920s til 1964, then began “second career” of writing, consulting and teaching).

    i read how The Greenleaf Center (founded by him) describes the concept. seemed very different to evangelicalism’s embrace of it in practice and theory, which focusses on “leader” and “authority” and “submit”… hence evangelicalism’s compliance culture.

    since church is a dwindling prospect, the professional christian church industry is, as well. Shoring up power (to protect money) is the mission.

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  38. FW Rez: “By coming to church we’re coming to Jesus Himself.”

    The Body of Christ, is described in Rom 12, 1 Cor 12, & Eph 4: the 18 gifts of the Holy Spirit endowed to the Church, at least one each, to all Jesus followers: prophecy, service, teaching, exhortation, giving, administration, mercy, wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, discernment, languages, interpretation, apostles, evangelists, pastors.

    In addition, the fruit of the Spirit is evident in ALL Jesus followers: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control.

    Love as in 1 Cor. 13.

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  39. Anna A,

    I went through the broken heart stage …… crushed, actually. Now, I’m just angry, fed up, disappointed, and disgusted. I was raised Baptist. I officially joined an SBC church in1978, when I was 14 yo. I have been a member of 3 other SBC churches since then.
    (I live in a rural area, so we are always 15 to 20 years behind on everything, soooo ……).

    I did not see the BF&M2k in our church until early 2011. I watched/experienced/ the gradual silencing/alienation of women progress through our churches. I’ve had deacons literally turn their backs to me and rant at everyone around about how ungodly it is to have a woman (me) teaching a mixed-gender teenage class. I’ve watched as deacons and trustees shake my husband’s hand, and walk right past me as if I’m not even there.
    I’ve had it with not being allowed to participate in theological or business discussions just because I have female plumbing, ……. while I’m free to go to the ladies class and help decide who to send flowers and get well cards to….
    I got tired of missing special services because I was busting my tail as kitchen committee leader ……… getting my tires on asphalt at 6:30 am to pick up special orders ….. not having time to sit down and eat……spending the whole day setting up, serving, and cleaning up…… and on and on. I have listened to sermons, all the while realizing that none of those words applied to me, because I am a woman………..

    Once, Bailey Smith (former SBC pres.) said that a wife should submit to her husband as if he were God. My husband bought into that idea whole hog. Things changed —- he changed. That caused a lot of serious problems for us. It still does.

    And the past few years …….. the abuse, the cover-ups, the exposures, the lies, the do-nothing “committees” ……… I can’t do it any more. I don’t know what I am now, but I can’t be a Southern Baptist. And, I didn’t abandon them – they abandoned me.

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  40. Anna A: be servants and not leaders

    May God mend your broken heart with love, joy, and peace.

    Some of the greatest servants I’ve met along the way have been Catholic sisters. Here, near, and far.

    Evangelicalism, as far back as I can remember, is built on its own type of celebrity. The pastor, the youth group leader, the women’s leader, even the choir director back in the day. All with great stage performance. Bringing in the crowds, hauling in the $$$. Guess it’s their job. Turns out evil.

    The Catholics seem to have only one superstar and that’s the pope himself. In the US, my estimation is that most Catholics are about 50/50 with the pope, and either way, it doesn’t seem to matter in their day-to-day.

    That’s my unofficial purely anecdotal 2¢ worth. Take it or leave it or take it with a grain of salt.

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  41. Serving Kids in Japan:
    Sorry to barge in on the conversation, but…

    This link was shared with me on Facebook.I don’t know how legitimate it is, or even how relevant, but it alleges that Moore received a lovely severance package.

    https://capstonereport.com/2021/06/04/whistleblower-reveals-erlc-trustees-never-saw-leaked-russell-moore-letter/36192/

    Anyone have insights on this Randy Adams guy?

    No idea other than he’s the NW Baptist guy. But, he’s telgraphing pretty hard he’s the populist, anti-establishment revolt candidate.

    First impression:
    He’s positioned to draw away the anti-vaccer and conspiracy crowd. (You notice the Russel Moore vaccination card posted without comment. It’s unrelated to the text, but an obvious dog whistle.)

    He repeats accountability. I presume this to mean directing the SBC organs towards open Trumpism.

    He never uses any Qanon vocabulary, but paints an elitist picture of corruption that parallels Qanon’s disdain for elitism, and the unseen hand guiding institutions.

    Woke, and radical leftist, is used in such a way that Moore is obviously a threat, without precisely claiming Moore is a woke radical leftist.

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  42. elastigirl: dress anything up in the right language (such as exclusive male power) and they are putty in the controller’s hands.

    Especially ‘Biblical’.
    All ya’ gotta say is ‘Biblical’, Huey (helicopter) a few verses out, and you’ll have em’ genuflecting like trained seals.
    And like Max says, a good gift of gab helps.

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  43. Muff Potter:

    elastigirl: (really, evangelical men are afraid of women,

    And they also resent the sexual power that women have and that they don’t have.

    All fundamentalists (of any religion) are afraid of female sexuality. That’s why they all would do anything to keep them in submission.

    Hence my theory, that all fundsmentalists really belong to the same religion, and that fundamentalist Islam, fundamentalist protestantism or catholicism, fundamentalist hinduism, etc. are just different denominations of the fundamentalist religion.

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  44. Another thing that is touted in order to spin money is “intimacy with God”. But you don’t need to run to that “on line shop” or the artfully stanced stand or stall at the back of your “campus”.

    Read OUT OF the MEANING OF Scriptures (the whole lot). It takes us a lifetime to guess God – preferably talking with sensible friends, and praying for everybody. It takes Him the briefest instant to catch up with us. That IS intimacy. Already.

    There is a sense in which there will be those who will be “saved” and those who will be “not saved”. Holy Scripture doesn’t make it our job to see to others, only ourselves. What questions are the general public going to ask us in the hereafter?

    The whole gospel, when they see Holy Spirit strengthened relating, is what will help them count the good cost. The people of the world have already written the power grabbing, dehumanising system of the world off but it may be all that is left for them. “Why didn’t you tell us the whole Gospel? Why did you take away from these words of Christ’s?”

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  45. elastigirl: i despise how christian culture has co-opted the term servant-leadership. well, i despise disingenuous at all times.
    .
    .
    i grew up christian, in many contexts. i never heard the words ‘servant leadership’ until CBMW started peddling patriarchy.

    it’s as misnomered as the other marketing word “complementarian”.

    both terms were adopted into popular usage to protect male power by pacifying resistance to it.

    This is really unfortunate; one of the things that (in my experience, anyway) that “hits” new readers of the synoptic Gospels (especially Luke and Matthew), is the tension between Jesus and the apostles, with Jesus repeatedly (and how many times did this happen that are not mentioned in the texts? It seems to have been a “theme” in the apostolic band throughout the course of Jesus’ public ministry) attempting to re-orient them away from “control” and toward “service.”

    I have the sense (and it’s probably just a guess) that many present day self-promoting christian leaders have a “ministry model” that is rooted in the idea that Jesus is now enthroned at the right hand of the Father, is ruling the nations with a rod of iron, crushing enemies beneath his feet, subjugating all things, etc., etc., and perhaps they conceptualize their present ministry tasks in similar terms, adjusted to the local contexts.

    There is, of course, an alternative vision that draws inspiration from “kenotic theology”, and that sees in the pattern of “surrender of privilege” and “acceptance of suffering for others’ sakes” a better model of present-day leadership in the churches. My interpretation of the biblical texts is that Paul was firmly in the “applied kenotic theology” camp, as one sees in texts such as Phil 2:1-11, 2 Cor 8:9 and Eph 5:1-2. And this was not something that Paul simply put on others, he modeled it in his own ministry methods (which he characterized as “imitating Christ”) and invited (or commanded) his readers (who included elders, deacons, presbyters) to do the same.

    I think that this might be an aspect of Paul’s theology that is under-noticed in a lot of present-day preaching.

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  46. Samuel Conner: I have the sense (and it’s probably just a guess) that many present day self-promoting christian leaders have a “ministry model” that is rooted in the idea that Jesus is now enthroned at the right hand of the Father, is ruling the nations with a rod of iron, crushing enemies beneath his feet, subjugating all things, etc., etc., and perhaps they conceptualize their present ministry tasks in similar terms, adjusted to the local contexts.

    I think you’re being generous. I don’t think they think that deeply about it. I think it goes about as deep as “I want to be in charge, so I should be in charge and God would want me to be in charge because I want to be.” Even if nobody else wants them…

    The one thing I think I really realized in seminary and since was that it’s a lie that most pastors are rooted in theology and the Bible. Oh, they might swear up and down that God and theology are their driving force, but… it’s just not true. Most “because Bible” arguments are based on presupposition from things they want to be true or that benefit them. They pick the verses they like and completely ignore the ones that are inconvenient for their beliefs. Or they are set in “tradition” and the way it’s always been done (not as much true anymore, though).

    And the more desperately someone wants to be visible and in charge, the more likely they are to be unable to see other viewpoints or believe that others deserve autonomy.

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  47. ishy: And the more desperately someone wants to be visible and in charge, the more likely they are to be unable to see other viewpoints or believe that others deserve autonomy.

    In the last congregation I was affiliated with before I threw hands in the air and gave up on “institutional church”, it seemed to me that there was a dynamic among the elders that was reminiscent of the competitive spirit one sees among the apostles prior to Jesus’ ascension.

    Maybe at a practical level, what we are seeing in many churches is something along those lines; Jesus is an avenue toward power over others.

    One would guess that the Searcher of hearts is not pleased when He encounters this in self-described servants of the Gospel.

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  48. ishy: And the more desperately someone wants to be visible and in charge, the more likely they are to be unable to see other viewpoints or believe that others deserve autonomy.

    And the more desperate the in charge leaders are for the working person’s $$$, the more likely to be unable to see other viewpoints (orphans & widows), or believe that others deserve autonomy (self-guidance by the Holy Spirit) with their hard-earned $$$.

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  49. Samuel Conner: Maybe at a practical level, what we are seeing in many churches is something along those lines; Jesus is an avenue toward power over others.

    One would guess that the Searcher of hearts is not pleased when He encounters this in self-described servants of the Gospel.

    Yeah. I think that’s always been the case to some extent, but the churches were a lot smaller, so people had less power over large groups of people. But now megachurches have a few heavily controlling pastors over thousands of people. And they don’t usually become pastors because of their character, but their charisma or they are a yes-man to someone with charisma.

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  50. Max: the SBC Pope.

    “‘In heaven, is the crucible of our saint-making going to have been through our jobs? I don’t think so. The Scripture makes clear that it will be done largely through our marriages.’ – Dr. Albert Mohler

    “This teaching makes it crystal clear: Single people will always fall short until they arrive at marriage, the ideal breeding ground for saints. This is a devastating blow to single Christian whose desire for faithfulness is hampered by their marital status.” – Cindy Wang Brandt, from her book “Outside In” where she quotes Mohler and comments on how this plays out for Singles in the [SBC] church. Her podcast is called: Parenting Forward.
    ———–

    Mohler throws Singles under the bus. This “leader”.

    Jesus, however, didn’t throw his disciples under the bus for being single, neither the men nor the women. Jesus himself was not married. We follow Him. Mary, Martha, & Lazarus were a family of single adults, where no spouses are mentioned. (Obviously, the three had parents.) John the Baptist? No spouse mentioned, although both of his parents have stories. So many prominent saints have no marriage legacy for their saint-making.

    Apparently, this “leader” doesn’t read nor teach from the Bible. Unfortunately. Best to follow Jesus rather than the musings of wayward men, no matter how high they are on the clergy ladder, no matter how prominently they appear on stage, no matter how elegantly they are seated at table.

    This “leader” may also not be following @RobDownenChron’s data at the Houston Chronicle regarding the hundreds of other wayward clergy.

    It appears some clergy just do what they want to do, and call themselves church leaders. Entitlement. Jesus followers, beware of such (mainly) men.

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  51. Ava Aaronson: The entertainment center of the world.

    “Today we have the astonishing spectacle of millions of dollars being poured into the unholy job of providing earthly entertainment for the so-called sons of heaven. Religious entertainment is in many places rapidly crowding out the serious things of God. Many churches these days have become little more than poor theaters where fifth-rate producers peddle their shoddy wares with the full approval of evangelical leaders who can even quote a holy text in defense of their delinquency. And hardly a man dares raise his voice against it. The Great God Entertainment … has taken fast hold of the minds of the retarded saints of our day …” (A.W. Tozer, ‘The Root of the Righteous’, 1955)

    Retarded saints?! Whew, if only Tozer could see them now!! (66 years later)

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  52. elastigirl: so…..why bother with the parentheses at all, then?

    Cuz Muff can do the math, backwards and forwards ….. distributive property.
    If we lump all of the religions that Gus mentioned together, they all share the same thing (multiple)….. patriarchal fundamentalism.
    That could be represented through the mathematical law of distributive property:
    fundy(Islam+Protestantism+Catholicism+Hinduism) ……

    Just, uhm, well, get over it. Muff and I are mathematicians. We go a little off the rails sometimes. I have my own argument about complementarianism, using the xx and xy chromosomes by relating it to the x-y axis and the slope-intercept formula.

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  53. Ava Aaronson: “‘In heaven, is the crucible of our saint-making going to have been through our jobs? I don’t think so. The Scripture makes clear that it will be done largely through our marriages.’ – Dr. Albert Mohler

    “This teaching makes it crystal clear: Single people will always fall short until they arrive at marriage, the ideal breeding ground for saints. This is a devastating blow to single Christian whose desire for faithfulness is hampered by their marital status.” – Cindy Wang Brandt, from her book “Outside In”

    Mohler must have skipped over 1 Corinthians 7. His buds over at 9Marks don’t have a problem with singleness. https://www.9marks.org/article/did-paul-prefer-singleness/

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  54. Ava Aaronson: “This teaching makes it crystal clear: Single people will always fall short until they arrive at marriage, the ideal breeding ground for saints. This is a devastating blow to single Christian whose desire for faithfulness is hampered by their marital status.”

    SALVATION BY MARRIAGE ALONE.
    All the rest of us can Have Fun In Hell, HAW! HAW! HAW!

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  55. Ava Aaronson,

    It would appear that in AM’s view, Jesus’ words in Mt 19:10-11 are no longer operative. It would also appear that Paul, in 1 Cor 7:32-34, is seriously off base. Perhaps Paul can be given a pass on this, since the recent versions of the BFM had not yet been formulated.

    My first reaction to your AM quote was “yikes — he seems to regard marriage to be an ‘under the sun’ form of purgatory.”

    It has always seemed to me that the work of “under the sun” sanctification will never be completed under the sun. One is obliged to await the ‘beatific vision’, when at last, when one clearly sees Jesus, the true image bearer, “as he is”, one is at last like him.

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  56. Max: Mohler must have skipped over 1 Corinthians 7. His buds over at 9Marks don’t have a problem with singleness. https://www.9marks.org/article/did-paul-prefer-singleness/

    I think Mohler believes that Paul would have had to have been married to become a Pharisee, but that his wife must have died. This was something I heard several times after Akin took over at SEBTS.

    But, there’s very little basis in the Bible for marriage to be our ultimate goal and the New Cals have been scrambling to retranslate the Bible to support it.

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  57. ishy: I think Mohler believes that Paul would have had to have been married to become a Pharisee, but that his wife must have died.

    Not surprising. The NeoCals are always making Bible interpretations by tormenting Scripture and taking text out of context to make things fit their theology. They just need to come up with their own Bible translation – a more expanded version of the ESV which incorporates what Mohler, Piper, et al. think it should say … and then demand that Christendom destroy all other translations promptly.

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  58. Nancy(aka Kevlar): That could be represented through the mathematical law of distributive property:
    fundy(Islam+Protestantism+Catholicism+Hinduism) ……

    ….and in some computer programming, fundy(Islam+Protestantism+Catholicism+Hinduism) is called a function.

    fundy is the function, and Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, and Hinduism are variables being passed into the function. 🙂

    You wrote: Just, uhm, well, get over it. Muff and I are mathematicians. We go a little off the rails sometimes. I have my own argument about complementarianism, using the xx and xy chromosomes by relating it to the x-y axis and the slope-intercept formula.

    I wouldn’t consider you and Muff going off the rails 🙂 , but then, I understood Muff’s explanation and I like math. (And I, and maybe(?) other Wartburgers, would be interested in your mathematical explanation about complementarianism….IF you wanted to provide your mathematical explanation, and knowing I wouldn’t necessarily understand all of it).

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  59. ishy: But, there’s very little basis in the Bible for marriage to be our ultimate goal and the New Cals have been scrambling to retranslate the Bible to support it.

    After reading Cindy Wang Brandt’s AM quote with her comments, I looked for his supporting text. Found the opposite, as indicated. So maybe “off the rails” here is more this leader’s camp (with his fellow off-the-railers, including some wives).

    People can believe whatever they want but to teach this as Gospel when it’s manmade imagination, reaps serious karma, also according to the Bible. It’s nowhere in the Gospel, unless I’m missing something.

    Thinking of amazing church saints like Jeanne de Chantal. She did her best work as a widow. Single as the lone oak on Lone Oak Path. Single as the dangerously crowded lane ascending Mt. Everest. Single.

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  60. Mark R: I wish to apply for the position of “devil’s advocate in residence”. After all, if somebody doesn’t take a contrarian position, TWW becomes an echo chamber.

    I believe that position is already taken, but I don’t think you really understand where many of us are coming from. Many of us have been down that road. For years and years. We tried to support the theology. We tried to just “get along” and hope it gets better.

    Some of us have seen really awful things done to others. Some of us have had really awful things done to us. I personally witnessed two institution takeovers, a church takeover, a child molestor protected, and a sexual abuse survivor booted from school while her abuser got to stay.

    If you think it’s just about theology and positions, then you need to go back and read more of the posts and comments here…

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  61. elastigirl,

    researcher,

    Sorry I’m so late ….. storms in Kaintuck territory again and our internet’s been down.
    Several years ago onTWW we were having a discussion about an article that sent us down the patriarchy/compementarian road and women being dependent on men for leadership. Somehow we veered into genetics and the chromosomal difference between male and female. Males have an xy chromosome, while females have an xx chromosome ……. the male y and female x made my mind wander into algebra. So, I jokingly/sarcastically posted a comment relating males and females to the slope-intercept formula.
    Here is basically what I said, as best as I can remember.

    The slope-intercept formula is the most commonly used formula to find the slope ( or a set of coordinates) of a strait line. The formula is: y=mx + b, where m and b are constants and x and y are variables. Mathematically speaking, y is the dependent variable, while x is the independent variable ———- the value of y is dependent upon the value of x. ……. Ahem, the male is dependent on the female: the value of the male is dependent on the female. So patriarchial/complementarian crowd has it backwards.
    There is math in everything….. everything…… all the way down to atoms and ions. If God made everything, then he put that math there. So, I must be right, and the patriarchal/complementarian crowd just can’t do the math!

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  62. ishy: TWW becomes an echo chamber

    I suppose topics like Russell Moore leaving SBC have been reduced to an exchange of words between an “Echo Chamber” and a “Filter Bubble.”

    New Calvinism is a Filter Bubble. Al Mohler described it this way:

    “Where else are they going to go? If you’re a theological minded, deeply convictional young evangelical, if you’re committed to the gospel and want to see the nations rejoice in the name of Christ, if you want to see gospel built and structured committed churches, your theology is just going to end up basically being Reformed, basically something like this New Calvinism, or you’re going to have to invent some label for what is basically going to be the same thing, there just are not options out there, and that’s something that frustrates some people, but when I’m asked about the New Calvinism — where else are they going to go, who else is going to answer the questions, where else are they going to find the resources they going to need and where else are they going to connect. This is a generation that understands, they want to say the same thing that Paul said, they want to stand with the apostles, they want to stand with old dead people, and they know that they are going to have to, if they are going to preach and teach the truth.”

    Where else are the new reformers going to go but to the Filter Bubble prepared for them? Who else holds truth but the Filter Bubble? Only in the Bubble, will you be able to connect with Bubblees just like you; you have no other options. In the Bubble, you will be exposed only to opinions and information that conform to the beliefs you have been indoctrinated in. The Bubble has been feeding you in seminaries, on social media, at TGC and T4G conferences, in Bubble Books, and hanging out in the coffee shop with your NeoCal dudebros who act and think just like you. Oh, The Bubble is great!

    The watchblog Echo Chamber, on the other hand, is comprised of common echoes in the Body of Christ about being used and abused by those in the Bubble. They try to inform and warn others to steer clear of The Bubble. May the Echoes break the Bubble.

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  63. Max: The watchblog Echo Chamber, on the other hand, is comprised of common echoes in the Body of Christ about being used and abused by those in the Bubble. They try to inform and warn others to steer clear of The Bubble. May the Echoes break the Bubble.

    Well put Max and I concur.
    In a loose sort of way, we are similar to the abolitionists of old, with TWW standing in as a kind of underground railroad for those who want to escape their neo-cal masters.

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  64. Nancy2(aka Kevlar),

    That was awesome! So clever!

    now, this calculation could be used to figure out the grade percentage of a steep road, i take it? Like, those yellow signs on mountain roads that say “6% grade”?

    so, the constant would be the 0 degrees horizontal line (driving on the road on the flat valley floor),

    and the variable would be the angle created as the horizontal line moves up (say, from 9:00 on the clock face to 10:00 on the clock face / or, driving on the road at its steepest point on the mountain).

    you did say slope.

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  65. elastigirl,

    i really am quite educated (i just avoided the math part, as much as i could get away with, at least).

    you see, so-called teachers just threw data at me minus the significance. and i’m sitting there thinking, “so? so what? you’re not going to tell me why, or who, or how, or when? sorry, not buying it. nope. not buying into this thing called algebra.”

    …but this could be the dawning of the age of algebra (for me)

    (i learn the darnedest things here)

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  66. elastigirl: this could be the dawning of the age of algebra (for me)

    (i learn the darnedest things here)

    My 7-year old grandson is a gifted whiz kid. He loves math, constructing math problems for fun. I’m convinced he could hold his own in college algebra/calculus. I’ve had to polish up on math to solve the problems he throws at me. Fortunately, he also likes to play, fish, hike, soccer, and other childhood things … so I can be Papaw and just hang out with him.

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  67. elastigirl: you see, so-called teachers just threw data at me minus the significance. and i’m sitting there thinking, “so? so what? you’re not going to tell me why, or who, or how, or when? sorry, not buying it. nope. not buying into this thing called algebra.”

    Sounds like some of the issues I had with university calculus….or, for that matter, many things that are “taught” by rote memorization.

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  68. Max: My 7-year old grandson is a gifted whiz kid.

    Max, I wasa “gifted whiz kid”.
    Your grandson is going to need a lot of support. Someone who can see the overwhelmed kid attached to that colossal IQ. ANd at 7 he’s only in first grade. It’s going to get worse until it hits bottom in the high school years. He will need someone alongside him, someone who can keep him playing, fishing, hiking, soccer, and all those things other than Math Math Math.

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  69. Headless Unicorn Guy,

    Thanks HUG for the advice. I’ve already noticed that he gets overwhelmed sometimes – his mind is always running fast. At my age, I will stick with him as long as possible. Been training my son-in-law how to fish, hike and other outdoor things, so hopefully he will keep that going with the grandsons. My daughter plans a lot of outdoor play for them. The “whiz kid” is always inventing things with items he finds in the outdoors.

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  70. Max: Thanks HUG for the advice. I’ve already noticed that he gets overwhelmed sometimes – his mind is always running fast.

    Been there.
    Mind always racing at redline, even when I sleep (when I’m able to sleep).
    Racing in one of two ways. Either down so many paths at once he’s unable to focus on any one of them OR he’s got the hyperfocus trait and concentrates on one to where he seems autistic.

    And it’s real EASY to get overwhelmed. Either by sensory overload (too much bright light, too much movement, too much noise, too much so sort out. Often you just freeze up until you’re able to get away from the overstimulus, all coming in at Eleven.

    There’s another effect of being a Kid Genius. Like some “conservation of neurological energy”, the other parts of his personality development are in danger of falling behind as far (if not farther) than his IQ races ahead of his age. You have to remember he’s an overwhelmed kid (even if he can speak intellectually like an adult), not a giant brain in a jar.

    This is especially compounded if all the adults in him can only see the giant brain floating in mid-air. (Gasp.. He’s a GENIUS!) That makes it worse – until you have an Adult Genius Intellect with the rest of the personality stuck at toddler. I had to grow up from emotional age 6 to 20 literally overnight, and the damage is still there.

    Wesley Crusher and Doogie Houser are the FANTASY of The Kid Genius. THe reality is far different.

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  71. Headless Unicorn Guy,
    And now we come to your specialty, Max:
    Christ and the Kid Genius.

    The BornAgainBibleBelieving(TM) branches of the church are EXTREMELY anti-intellectual (“Vain Imaginings of Man”), anti-smart kid (“In the FLESH instead of The Spirit”), and generally as conformist as an insect hive (“SCRIPTURE! SCRIPTURE! SCRIPTURE!”). It’s not only chickens who will peck defectives to death in the barnyard. Beare Thu of the Mutant.

    And a lot of smart whiz-kids have grown up emotionally isolated and are starving for a place to belong. In Woke-speak, A Safe Place. With me it was Dungeons & Dragons and various SF & Fantasy fandoms. (You can see the problem with a lot of churches right there.)

    Also, a lot of smart kids/borderline Aspies understand everything EXTREMELY literally. (This is compounded by the side effects in the previous comment.) Long ago on Rachel Held Evans’ blog, an “Ask an Aspie” guest post cited that such IQ/personality combos “should not be involved in certain types of religious evnironments”. In personal experience, Rapture Ready/Hal Lindsay eschatology and Jack Chick soteriology is an espeically destructive combination, easily weaponized as a beatdown. And the beatdown might not even be intentional but accidental, the result of taking everything literally combined with The Book of Revelation. And conformist cultic church environments don’t help.

    I think Proverbs says something about “Don’t Exasperate Your Children” and smart kids not only get bored easily, they get overwhelmed and exasperated easily.

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  72. Headless Unicorn Guy: Don’t Exasperate Your Children

    Words to live by.

    Temperament is hard wired. Powerful early experiences shape emotional reactions in durable ways. Every child is different.

    We let our youngs lead the way. Small children develop interests that sometimes turn into careers or lifelong interests. Klutzy parents can produce an athlete. Illiterates can produce writers. I know one family with five generations of doctors, but interests and talents can come from nowhere. One of our young former neighbors does improv, while everybody else in the family does something scholarly.

    Our principle has been to encourage the child’s own interests, and expect those interests to nurture a good work ethic, an ability to face challenges, and a desire to achieve. When parents just love their children through thousands of ballet lessons, or softball practices and games, or trips to the library, those children just might turn out to be well rounded and discerning.

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  73. Friend: what interests does your grandson have besides math?

    Anything outdoors. He seems to be able to turn the math machine in his mind off when he gets out in nature. He also likes books about the outdoors – he’s currently reading “My Side of the Mountain” (Jean Craighead George). IMO, there is a nature deficit in his generation … kids just need to get outside more.

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  74. Max: IMO, there is a nature deficit in his generation … kids just need to get outside more.

    You are so right about that! When people are calling the police because they think cicada noise is a burglar alarm, we’ve lost something.

    I think spending time outdoors is an overlooked way to build resiliency and find peace. It’s good for kids (and adults) to have specific outdoor commitments, too, so that we encounter different kinds of weather.

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  75. Headless Unicorn Guy: Get outside? Where do I download the App for that?

    There ain’t no App for that, HUG! Connecting with nature requires you to disconnect from everything else.

    My grandson has a tee-shirt “Get Outside and Do Things.”

    When you retire to Arizona, listen for Gambel’s Quail calling to assemble their chicks, watch Roadrunners hunt for lizards, and smell desert blooms after a Spring rain. It will bring peace to your soul.

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  76. Max: There ain’t no App for that, HUG! Connecting with nature requires you to disconnect from everything else.

    Digital dullards have no desire or intention to ever disconnect from their electronic wonderlands. And the grand irony is that they actually think they’re ‘smart’.
    Have you seen the ads on TV and elsewhere in which young well-heeled yuppies still have their noses buried in their iPADs even in the great outdoors?

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  77. Muff Potter: Have you seen the ads on TV and elsewhere in which young well-heeled yuppies still have their noses buried in their iPADs even in the great outdoors?

    Oh, now I’m going to get all self-contradictory. Some of that is indeed ignoring nature and friends, but a lot of it is photography and sharing. I know a young college student who is recovering from an illness. She makes images of her daily routine, from being stuck at home, to going to the store, and returning to the great outdoors. Then she edits these into little journal entries to share with friends online. The resulting videos are clever and moving, and she gets a ton of love from people who can’t visit in person.

    This is a generational difference, and way beyond posting updates on Facebook.

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  78. Muff Potter: Have you seen the ads on TV and elsewhere in which young well-heeled yuppies still have their noses buried in their iPADs even in the great outdoors?

    When we took our kids to Glacier NP, we overheard a nearby teenager melt-down over not having internet connection where they were staying – very sad! (hope she got over it) Even my 4-yr old did an 8-mile hike one day, though the huckleberries were very distracting!

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  79. Muff Potter: Have you seen the ads on TV and elsewhere in which young well-heeled yuppies still have their noses buried in their iPADs even in the great outdoors?

    Yes, I saw one walk into the glass door at Walmart the other day while staring at his cellphone. He darn near broke his nose! Enjoying the great outdoors for some of these folks is hiking from the car across store parking lots; observing nature is dodging road kills in their cars.

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  80. readingalong: When we took our kids to Glacier NP, we overheard a nearby teenager melt-down over not having internet connection where they were staying – very sad! (hope she got over it)

    At least she didn’t keel over dead immediately when she lost the app to “breathe in… breathe out… breathe in… breathe out…”

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