Another Letter From Russell Moore on Sex Abuse and SBC Leaders and an SBC Leader Claims Sex Abuse Advocates Are Satanic Dupes

Cosmic Reef released April 24 to celebrate its 30th anniversary (NASA/ESA/STScI)

The greatest evils in the world will not be carried out by men with guns but by men in suits sitting behind desks.C. S. Lewis


Wow! There is so much going on that I don’t know where to begin. Things are still concerning on an issue that I must keep confidential for now. However, the day is probably coming within the next two weeks that all will be revealed. I promise you all will be the first to know.

I believe that the reason that there is so much disturbing information out there is due to the SBC Annual Meeting which runs from June 15-16. There is a great deal of disagreement and pain on behalf of the SBC members, including sex abuse victims who may have been used to promote a platform as opposed to being loved and supported.

Frankly, if things continue as they are, I predict a split in the SBC. If not an outright split, a continued precipitous decline in membership. One thing is certain, the SBC has little street cred and the following two articles will not help matters.

A second letter by Russell Moore is leaked in which he blames the SBC for mishandling sex abuse while he endured legal threats and accusations.

I’m certainly glad to hear him acknowledge what many advocates knew. In my opinion, the Caring Well Initiative was a dumpster fire as many watching realized that this was mere *virtue-signaling* on behalf of the SBC. The Houston Chronicle report on sex abuse in the SBC caused SBC leaders to find a response, any response but make it seem like the SBC cares. So it was no surprise that The Christian Post reported: SBC leaders mishandled ‘crisis of sexual abuse,’ Russell Moore claims in second leaked letter.

The overview:

Southern Baptist Convention leaders mishandled a “crisis of sexual abuse” in the denomination through methods such as intimidating whistleblowers into silence and exonerating churches with credible allegations of negligence of sexual abuse victims, according to Russell Moore, the former leader of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

Apparently, this letter was written by Moore to JD Greear. It should not come as any surprise that they received all sorts of threats, legal and otherwise. At least it was no surprise to me as I had contended with veiled legal threats by some in my former church. Thankfully, I had excellent legal counsel and would assume that Greear and Moore had the same.

First came legal threats that were apparently directed toward Moore and Greear

“Simply speaking to the press or, in your case, reading off the names of churches already identified in the Houston Chronicle reporting by Rob Downen—not in your case as indictment, but merely as warranting an examination—resulted in backroom and hallway threats of retribution and intimidation. These included possible attempts to ‘censure’ you to investigations and defunding, and all the rest,” he said.

Then came accusations directed towards the survivors, calling them *crazy*and *worse than predators.”

You and I both heard, in closed door meetings, sexual abuse survivors spoken of in terms of ‘Potiphar’s wife’ and other spurious biblical analogies. The conversations in these closed door meetings were far worse than anything Southern Baptists knew—or the outside world could report. And, as you know, this comes on the heels of a track-record of the Executive Committee staff and others referring to victims as ‘crazy’ and, at least in one case, as worse than the sexual predators themselves,”

Some of the leaders expressed undiluted rage towards Moore, Greear, and others.

“Behind all of this was the undiluted rage that you and I faced from Executive Committee officers—including the then-chairman. This included but was hardly limited to the tense meeting that you, Todd Unzicker, and Phillip Bethancourt from my team had with Mike Stone and Ronnie Floyd in Atlanta in May of 2019. There Stone vigorously insisted on delaying the formation of a credentials committee to assess churches reported to be mishandling sexual abuse,

Let’s look at that last sentence. No wonder Jules Woodson never received help from the Credentials Committee.

 Stone vigorously insisted on delaying the formation of a credentials committee to assess churches reported to be mishandling sexual abuse,

Ronnie *Armani* Floyd, president of the SBC’s Executive Committee and possessor of skillful hands responds from both sides of his mouth.

I have received a copy of the letter from former ERLC president Russell Moore to our current SBC president J.D. Greear. Some of the matters referenced occurred prior to my coming here in this role. For those matters of which I was present, I do not have the same recollection of these occurrences as stated,”

… I have been very committed to always operate with the highest integrity and skillful hands

In case you are wondering about the Armani part, Floyd is well known for his sartorial skill and that is his nickname by some. This was a precursor to “Pastors and Sneakers.”


Next subject.

It appears that I, along with other advocates, are part of a Satanic scheme to derail evangelicalism according to one SBC leader.

I, along with others, have always been known as “Daughters of Stan* which does have a male auxiliary. It now appears that we have an evil game plan to take down evangelicalism. First of all, evangelicalism has done that all on its own. In fact, I contend we now live in the post-evangelical wilderness (Thank you-Internet Monk.) Let’s see what’s going on.

The Roys Report posted Former SBC Leader Says Abuse Survivor Advocates Are Part of ‘Satanic Scheme’ to Derail Evangelism Apparently, Augie Boto, who was a former executive vice president of the SBC’s executive committee and its general counsel sent an email (the recipient is redacted) in 2019. The Baptist Blogger received a copy of that email.

it was not because I don’t think sexual abuse is a bad thing. I do. But I think Southern Baptists should not react by changing the denominational structure in ways that really will not change the frequency of occurrence. Our “record”, taken as a whole, does not justify that sort of priority, and the lack of efficacy of many of the things being “insisted upon” not only does not justify their use, the insistence is for something useless in the first place – a mirage that will not slake thirst. If “we” are going to address sex abuse, it has to be done church by church and person by person rather than from central non-authoritative and far-distant body.

…This whole thing should be seen for what it is. It is a satanic scheme to completely distract us from evangelism. It is not the gospel. It is not even a part of the gospel. It is a misdirection play. Yes, Christa Brown and Rachael Denhollander have succumbed to an availability heuristic because of their victimizations. They have gone to the SBC looking for sexual abuse, and of course, they found it. Their outcries have certainly caused an availability cascade (just like Lois Gibbs did in the Love Canal example). But they are not to blame. This is the devil being temporarily successful.

Christa? Rachel? Partakers in a Satanic scheme? This is codswallop. One could do the same thing with Augie. He has been looking for a reason not to be concerned about sexual abuse in the SBC and he found it. He may be part of a Satanic scheme that takes down many, many churches. If we ignore the reality of sexual abuse in the SBC, we will make the same mistake that the RCC made. RCC leaders thought the claims of abuse were overblown. They refused to deal with priests who were abusing an unknowable number of boys. The more they ignored it, the worse the problem became.

Is Augie feeling a bit guilty about something? Maybe so.

The Roys Report reported that Rachel Denhollander had some disturbing information about Augie supporting a known pedophile.

In response to Boto’s leaked email, Denhollander published a series of tweets, revealing that Boto protected a pedophilic coach in 2018.

According to Denhollander, Boto testified on behalf of Mark A. Schiefelbein, a former gymnastics coach who was convicted of multiple counts of severe sexual assault against former gymnast Becca Seaborn.

…Denhollander notes that Boto’s son was friends with Schiefelbein. She also notes that Boto decided to attend Schiefelbein’s trial in 2003 because Boto took an “interest” in it.

“I won’t go into what Becca’s testimony at trial had to entail, and the evidence that was submitted by the child victims, but it was horribly graphic,” Denhollander tweeted. “Augie attended the trial and sat through all that testimony because he was ‘interested’ in it.

Denhollander also notes that Boto used his position with the SBC to qualify as an “expert” witness and argue that there were errors in Schiefelbein’s trial.

“(T)wo years after Becca’s story started a tidal wave and we knew that USAG (USA Gymnastics) had a file on her abuser that was inches thick, of prior warnings, Augie came to court with his SBC credentials, and did his best to get this man released.”

In other words, Augie apparently used his SBC credentials in an attempt to defend a pedophile.

Years later, in a 2018 hearing where Schiefelbein sought a new trial, Boto testified on Schiefelbein’s behalf as an expert knowledgeable about jury trial proceedings. He cited his position as general trial counsel for the Executive Committee of the SBC as one of his qualifications.

“Armani” Ronnie Floyd praised Augie. What a surprise…

“I have known Augie for many years and appreciate his close walk with the Lord, his deep commitment to his family, his active involvement in his local church, and his love for the Southern Baptist Convention,” Floyd told Baptist Press at the time. “He is a Christian gentleman and a godly layman of the highest order.”

However, Floyd now claims he didn’t know about the Satanic scheme comment.

Floyd said in an email today that when he praised Boto two years ago, he was “absolutely not” aware of Boto’s email calling advocates part of “a satanic scheme” or his testimony on behalf of the former gymnastics coach.

Would it surprise you that Boto has been involved in a sketchy financial matter?

I’m sure it wouldn’t. Something about being involved in diverting funds…

Boto agreed not to hold any leadership positions within SBC entities as part of a settlement between a charitable foundation Boto helped direct and two SBC schools—Baylor University and Southwestern Seminary.

The schools had sued the foundation for organizing a “secret coup” to divert gifts away from the schools and instead to the foundation.

Can you imagine the discussions at the SBC annual meeting?


Comments

Another Letter From Russell Moore on Sex Abuse and SBC Leaders and an SBC Leader Claims Sex Abuse Advocates Are Satanic Dupes — 134 Comments

  1. I’m not familiar with all these characters, but I did watch the beginning of Mike Stone’s video. Two observations:

    1) After apologizing for interrupting, he says, “I’m here on my back porch, unscripted and unprompted, just me…” Maybe he’s on his back porch, but are we really supposed to believe this isn’t scripted and wasn’t prompted? After watching a few more minutes of video and paying close attention to his eyes, it is apparent that he is reading from a script. Even if he’s not actually reading from a script, then he clearly has thought about and prepared these remarks. Why would you lie about being unscripted? Who would care if this was scripted or prompted? What’s the point of making that up?

    2) Is Moore’s letter slanderous if it was written word? I always thought something written was libelous and that spoken word was slanderous.

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  2. Danny: 2) Is Moore’s letter slanderous if it was written word? I always thought something written was libelous and that spoken word was slanderous.

    It’s libel if written. BUT, it has to be false. None of this Together For The Gospel nonsense that true but damaging statements are “slander.”

    What.A.Mess.

    Oh, btw, it’s SUPER sketchy for a guy who is picking up a paycheck from the Southern Baptist Convention to put himself forward as an expert witness in a case that has nothing to do with the SBC. Or maybe it does? Inquiring minds and all that…

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  3. “Behind all of this was the undiluted rage that you and I faced from Executive Committee officers—including the then-chairman. This included but was hardly limited to the tense meeting that you, Todd Unzicker, and Phillip Bethancourt from my team had with Mike Stone and Ronnie Floyd in Atlanta in May of 2019.”
    ++++++++++++++++++

    this may go without saying for some, but i just checked:

    the then-chairman of the Executive Committee in May of 2019 was Mike Stone

    https://www.sbc.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/2019SBCAnnual.pdf

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  4. When you think you are the “righteous one”, or in this case “the righteous org”, and the more the criticisms hit home, the more they must be attacks from the “evil one”. This is standard far for self deluded “righteous ones”….
    But of course, the RCC had it coming, and they deserve the “righteous accountability” that it has gone through… and that is the “hand of G$d” judging them…

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  5. “ …This whole thing should be seen for what it is. It is a satanic scheme to completely distract us from evangelism. It is not the gospel. It is not even a part of the gospel.” – Augie Boto
    Come on: What would Jesus say in response to Boto’s email?

    If this is “evangelism” ……. if this is the “gospel” that the SBC represents and practices (and I believe it is), then someone or something needs to derail it.

    We know that Southern Baptists broke away in support of slavery — that’s where it all began.
    IMO, the very heart of the SBC, to this day, is based on racism, misogyny, and the unalienable right of certain people to do whatever they please to whomever they please…… and walk away unscathed and unrepentant. That is becoming more and more evident.

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  6. “Boto agreed not to hold any leadership positions within SBC entities as part of a settlement between a charitable foundation Boto helped direct and two SBC schools—Baylor University and Southwestern Seminary.

    The schools had sued the foundation for organizing a “secret coup” to divert gifts away from the schools and instead to the foundation.”
    +++++++++++++++++++

    i wonder what are the other terms of the settlement. are the 2 schools (Southwestern Theological Seminary, and Baylor Univ) still the sole beneficiaries of the foundation?

    criminy, so many shysters-for-the-glory-of-God in high places.

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  7. elastigirl: i wonder what are the other terms of the settlement. are the 2 schools (Southwestern Theological Seminary, and Baylor Univ) still the sole beneficiaries of the foundation?
    criminy, so many shysters-for-the-glory-of-God in high places.

    That “charitable foundation” that Boto was redirecting the funds to was none other than Paige Patterson’s own charity – The Sandy Creek Foundation.
    They’re not just birds of a feather – they are vultures.

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  8. christiane,

    “wherein the ancient hatred for ‘the woman-as-temptress’ may be practiced still by the men who would throw stones?”
    ++++++++++++

    when visiting churches some years ago, my husband was always heartily greeted with huge smile, handshake, and pat on the back by the pastor and other leaders while i was ignored 100% — i didn’t warrant a handshake, let alone eye contact. Even after my husband finally remembered to introduce me i still remained invisible. it was as if i wasn’t even there.

    well, i’m sure the pastor knew if he had thrown stones there was a risk that someone might have called the police — so that wasn’t really an option.

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  9. the President of the SBC Executive Committee oversees the $$$ and day-to-day operations of the Convention. Tenure has run into decades: just a handful of men have held the position since it was created in the 1920s (the President of the SBC Executive Committee is also the Convention’s Treasurer). During over a year between when Frank Page “resigned” and RonnieFloyd took the reins, it was this Augie Boto (longtime General Counsel and Exec. VP) who was in charge as Interim President of the SBC Executive Committee (2018-2019, during height of #ChurchToo pressure on the SBC)

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  10. Jerome,

    “the President of the SBC Executive Committee oversees the $$$ and day-to-day operations of the Convention. Tenure has run into decades: just a handful of men have held the position since it was created in the 1920s ….Frank Page…..Ronny Floyd….Augie Boto…”
    +++++++++++++

    well, if anyone can find the rest of the shenanigans (and sasquatch), you can.

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  11. More on that settlement issue:

    ‘Patterson Allies Capitulate in HERF Lawsuit with SWBTS‘

    https://sbcvoices.com/patterson-allies-capitulate-in-herf-lawsuit-with-swbts/

    “Under the settlement, the rights of Southwestern and Baylor to name trustees to the HERF board are restored, and Mike C. Hughes, Charles Hott, and David August “Augie” Boto are required to resign from the board and all paid positions of the foundation, effective immediately upon request of Southwestern and Baylor. Hughes was the HERF president and previously served as Southwestern’s vice president for institutional advancement from 2006-2017. Boto is the former executive vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee and served as its interim president from 2018-2019. Hott, HERF’s former chief investment officer, was a Southwestern trustee from June 2017 until Jan. 26, 2021, when he was notified by board chairman Philip Levant that in light of Hott’s disclosure of material conflicts of interest on his annual report to the seminary he was considered as having resigned from the board under longstanding board conflict of interest policy. As part of the settlement, Hott represents and agrees that he is no longer a seminary board member.

    “The now former HERF board members are also prohibited from engaging in any efforts “designed to or will … discourage third parties” from financially supporting the schools or would “divert” gifts from the schools to third parties. Additionally, Hughes, Hott, and Boto agree “not to seek or accept any position or employment from or appointment in any fiduciary capacity, whether as an officer, director, or trustee at any Texas public and/or private nonprofit charitable organization,” as well as all Southern Baptist Convention entities.“

    “According to this press release, this settlement does not end the story. Ken Paxton, Texas Attorney General, is exploring the possibility that Hughes and Hott, (and perhaps others involved in the scheme?) diverted money from a charitable foundation. It is clear that the possibility of criminal charges against them still exists.”

    From the SWBTS statement (linked near the start of the article): “In his December motion to intervene in the lawsuit, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton alleged Hughes and Hott “began to develop a scheme … to receive substantial salaries and benefits from this charitable Foundation and find a way to change the structure of the Foundation to the detriment of its sole charitable beneficiaries, Baylor and Southwestern.” While the settlement resolves the civil claims in this matter, seminary leaders have pledged full cooperation with state and federal officials as they look into this and related matters.”

    An interesting summation from the article: “Legal settlements usually involve each side getting a little bit of what they wanted and giving up some of what they asked for, but there seems to be no compromise here. The Patterson loyalists gave up and SWBTS and Baylor got everything they had asked for in the lawsuit. They were “vindicated.” The prospect of Patterson and the others being put on the stand under oath and being forced to testify seems to be the primary motivation for the settlement.“

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  12. When I saw the article on Boto yesterday at Roy’s site I knew you would be writing your next article on it. It is just so over the top evil, what Boto both said and did. This is why I keep saying that these men are worse than dictators and serial killers. Those men are what they are and the dictators are right out there in the open being what they are. But guys like Boto take evil to a whole new level. It is like giving a kid a cute teddy bear toy with a poisonous viper hidden inside. Drug lords are evil but they do not pretend to be Jesus’ right hand man. I fully expect men like Boto to get the most severe punishment possible at the Bema Seat.

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  13. Does Russell Moore want Al Mohler to be president? He hasn’t said anything negative about him. As if Al didn’t get on stage and mock raped children.

    Russell Moore is trying to save himself. I don’t believe for one minute he gives a tiny flea’s bottom about rape victims or black people.

    All of these men are repulsive and head over heels in love with themselves.

    The Southern Baptist Convention is pure evil.

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  14. Bridget,

    I actually think men in the mafia treat women, children, and animals better than SBC preachers do.

    My grandfather stopped being a sweet nice man and started beating his sons when he became a southern Baptist preacher. His sister and mother lived next door to his church and wouldn’t step foot in it because they knew it made him an evil man.

    My grandmother told my mother the other day that when her father became a southern Baptist he started treating her sister, mother, and her like dirt.

    My father should have gone to prison for the evil things he did to my mother.

    These men think it is manly to make wife and kids wish for death.

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  15. Bridget: A big barf!

    SBC is more like the mafia than anything else.

    And has been for lots of years. FUNDAMENTALIST SBC leaders have effectively killed many fellow Christians without ever pulling a trigger. If you do not go along with them it can be the end of you in the SBC. But mention the name Paige Patterson and the Conservative Resurgence and many people will tell you how wonderful is has been. SMH

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  16. It is so interesting to look back at history. As a former SBC “Moderate” in the days before and during the “Conservative Resurgence”, Moderates were accused of being liberal, not believing in the Bible, etc., etc., etc.

    The current leadership has allowed the SBC to drift far away from the Scripture that it so forcefully defended to the negation of other persons of faith.

    Thus, the issue was never God, or Scripture, or “reaching the lost.” The issue was the attainment of, attachment to, and the continual growth of power held in the hands of a few to the negation of the many.

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  17. Luckyforward: It is so interesting to look back at history. As a former SBC “Moderate” in the days before and during the “Conservative Resurgence”, Moderates were accused of being liberal, not believing in the Bible, etc., etc., etc.

    The current leadership has allowed the SBC to drift far away from the Scripture that it so forcefully defended to the negation of other persons of faith.

    Thus, the issue was never God, or Scripture, or “reaching the lost.” The issue was the attainment of, attachment to, and the continual growth of power held in the hands of a few to the negation of the many.

    And yet two men Paige Patterson and Paul Pressler led the conservative resurgence. I was Southern Baptist until 3 years ago and I am now a done.

    Also I would have been labeled a Moderate.

    The people in the pews continue to send there money and until the money stops nothing will change.

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  18. Danny,

    “The terms libel, slander, and defamation are frequently confused with each other. They are all similar in that they all fall into the same general area of law that concerns false statements which harm a person’s reputation. This general area of law is called defamation law.

    Libel and slander are types of defamatory statements. Libel is a defamatory statement that is written. Slander is a defamatory statement that is oral.”

    https://www.thebusinesslitigators.com/libel-vs-slander-vs-defamation-what-are-the-differences.html

    You can be darn sure the lawyers for the conservative faction of the SBC are looking for any possible defamation. You can also be darn sure that Moore didn’t write anything that wasn’t true. “Truth is the absolute defense against defamation” as a wonderful lawyer I know wrote.

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  19. Jeffrey J Chalmers: When you think you are the “righteous one”, or in this case “the righteous org”, and the more the criticisms hit home, the more they must be attacks from the “evil one”. This is standard far for self deluded “righteous ones”….

    The SBC folks used to say that the RCC priests molested kids because they couldn’t marry. Totally stupid, of course. Any decent priest who ignored his views would do so by finding a consenting adult. They don’t wake up one day and say “I want to have sex with a 5 year old kid.”

    The SBC is now under the gun for thinking that getting married prevents sex abuse. They have plenty of it going on with their married pastors.

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  20. Nancy2(aka Kevlar):
    Dee, good to have you back!I hope your trip went well, and the visit was full of joy.

    It was wonderful! I got to know Chris’s parents a bit. They are coming here next week to see the area and look at their rehearsal dinner venue. They are very nice and Chris is close to them which is great.

    One of my daughter’s friends follows this blog!! I didn’t know. that.So I had a bit of fun discussing my not-so-secret habit of blogging. I love all of her friends. They are a diverse bunch.

    As for the other thing, I am speaking my mind quite clearly and strongly. This will be interesting to discuss unless something happens and happens quickly. I have been quite disturbed and I think everyone will understand why when I can speak about it. I have had a bunch of sleepless nights trying to integrate how this thing could happen.

    The best thing of all? She has an easy bustle. When my other daughter got married, there were 20 steps to putting the train into a bustle,. We ended up flummoxed and her bustle looked fine after doing 6 steps. However, it held up the reception!!

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  21. Guest: Does Russell Moore want Al Mohler to be president? He hasn’t said anything negative about him. As if Al didn’t get on stage and mock raped children.

    Moore has left the SBC and probably doesn’t care. He is now in a church that is part of that *wonderful* organization known as Acts 29. I’m not sure which is worse.

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  22. dee,

    Glad your trip went well! When Chris’ parents come down, it you pull over off the information highway for a few days —— it’s all good! Have fun, but don’t forget to rest some!

    I clearly remember my daughter’s wedding. No problems with the bridal gown, but………..we did all of the set-up work ourselves …. night before, I helped do the decor …. candlestands, florals, fellowship hall ….. spent half the night making tulle bows for the pews.
    Day of, I took 2 carloads of my stuff to our church, including iron, ironing board, sewing machine, sewing kit, serving dishes and flatware, my pearl necklace, a hanky that my great-grandma tatted the lace on……….
    The tux rental place messed up. Two of the groomsmen’s pants were too long – I hemmed them. My niece, the junior bridesmaid, had lost weight over the summer and I had to take in the waist of her gown………
    My mom was a cook at a restaurant at that time (great country cook), so she had it just as bad as I did. She took care of the food…..Pulled pork bbq and the all the works!
    To top it off, the wedding was on a Saturday night, so we had to clean up and get all of our stuff out of the way as soon as the reception was over. We had stuff everywhere! I did have the church keys, so I was able to put some things in the church storage building and retrieve them on Sunday and Monday.
    Everybody had a blast, though —- guests included ……. a nighttime, candlelit formal ceremony paired with a very relaxed down-home reception went off well!

    I hope your daughter’s wedding is even more successful, friendly, and warm!
    Uhm, and not so much work for the mother of the bride.

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  23. Guest: Does Russell Moore want Al Mohler to be president? He hasn’t said anything negative about him. As if Al didn’t get on stage and mock raped children.

    Russell Moore is trying to save himself. I don’t believe for one minute he gives a tiny flea’s bottom about rape victims or black people.

    Yeah, I don’t believe Moore for one moment. He also supported heavy patriarchy for a long time, as if that doesn’t cause or hide abuse of women and children.

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  24. Tom Parker: And yet two men Paige Patterson and Paul Pressler led the conservative resurgence. I was Southern Baptist until 3 years ago and I am now a done.

    Not entirely true, because Mohler and friends were backing the resurgence quietly so they could perform their Calvinist takeover. But I knew Patterson personally, and it was clear to me he was always ever about himself and no one else. God didn’t figure into the picture. I don’t think Mohler is much different in terms of ego, just the theological path he uses to secure his world and control the masses.

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  25. dee: The best thing of all? She has an easy bustle. When my other daughter got married, there were 20 steps to putting the train into a bustle,. We ended up flummoxed and her bustle looked fine after doing 6 steps. However, it held up the reception!!

    I helped with a bustle at one wedding where I was a bridesmaid. It was worse than trying to follow IKEA directions in another language!

    I might be a little sparse around here. I had to put my best buddy cat to sleep yesterday and I’m feeling really out of sorts right now. She was 21 and in pain, so it was time. And the convention always brings up bad memories of some of the atrocities I’ve seen in the SBC.

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  26. dee,

    Reminds me of our wedding just a few years back. My wife had to get her dress hiked up a bit so it wouldn’t get stepped on (and I guess she ditched the veil/train), then we did 4 hours of Contra and English Country dancing at our reception. She was a trooper. I cheater and swapped out the dress shirt/jacket for a loose shirt. Fortunately we had people hired to do setup/takedown of decorations.

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  27. ishy: Yeah, I don’t believe Moore for one moment. He also supported heavy patriarchy for a long time, as if that doesn’t cause or hide abuse of women and children.

    His “letter” is suspicious: he writes it but holds on to it for 16 MONTHS, then “leaks” it to the secular media only a couple of weeks before the SBC Annual Meeting, which is shaping up to be the most contentious since the one in Dallas which still holds the record for highest attendance?

    Are there issues of sexual abuse and racism in the SBC? Given its size, absolutely. But the SBC wants to have it both ways: it wants to be able to claim “hierarchy” in dealing with former employees of a separate entity who have sued them for defamation (the McCarthy case) but then “congregationalism” when dealing with predator pastors.

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  28. Tom Parker: All of this nightmare has been going on for so long and I am not confident the SBC leaders will do much to address this major issue. I can not believe how far the SBC has fallen.

    Well, and that’s the thing. These issues are causing them to lose members in droves. They’re not going away if leaders just ignore them. They can’t handle these problems like they always have, but they continue to do so anyway. I even think they are taking the much more difficult road to push the issues down. If they cannot correct their course, the SBC will fall apart. And I for one will not be sad about it, after all I’ve seen…

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  29. Mark R: Are there issues of sexual abuse and racism in the SBC? Given its size, absolutely.

    I’ll agree that an organization of, say, a million people is more likely to have bad actors than an organization of ten. But let’s not ignore the rotten origins of the SBC, and its more recent unhinged and bullying “principles.” The SBC has designed its own problems, by heaping injustice on everyone but an enshrined leadership consisting almost entirely of white men with a specific pedigree and educational background.

    The hysterics about Critical Race Theory, for example, make the topic of racism completely radioactive. This is an old, old trick.

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  30. ishy,

    Ishy,

    So, so sorry about your kitty! Last year I had to put my 19-year old cat to sleep. It was very hard, but the best thing for her. About two weeks later (and I wasn’t at all sure I was ready), a friend approached me about taking in a foster. I said “yes” and in she came to live in my spare bathroom for three months as she was formerly feral. She is now my best lap buddy. I still really miss my former feline resident, but I was very thankful to have my new friend.

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  31. ishy: I had to put my best buddy cat to sleep yesterday and I’m feeling really out of sorts right now.

    ishy, I’m not really into cats (dog/horse person), but I hear ya and I’m with ya in spirit. Once upon a time, there was a very special big, stray, bob-tailed tomcat that God sent my way for a few years. We were good buddies. He is buried underneath the big oak tree beside the horse barn. He stayed at the barn most of the time, and I fed him in the hayloft every evening. That cat and I spent quite a bit of time sitting in the hayloft with the door open…… watching the rain or the snow fall ….. or looking at the moon and stars. When I fed the mules at the end of the hayloft floor, I had to bend over to put food in the trough, and that cat would jump down out of the hayloft and land on my shoulders…… every evening!……..never put a scratch on me! He was unique.
    I’ve has to say goodbye several special 4-legged friends over the years.

    Treasure the memories.

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  32. The SBC is attracting a LOT of attention from New York based magazines. Here’s an article about Russell Moore and the SBC from New York magazine:

    https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/06/southern-baptist-convention-is-going-to-hell-in-a-handbasket.html?utm_campaign=nym&utm_medium=s1&utm_source=tw

    The writer, Ed Kilgore, is sure to mention that Russell Moore is a supporter of complementarianism and some other culture war issues.

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  33. Not to be outdone, the New Yorker (a mag I’ve been subscribed to for a couple of decades even though I’ve never been to NYC), has its own article:

    https://www.newyorker.com/news/on-religion/the-fight-for-the-heart-of-the-southern-baptist-convention

    This article focuses on Rev. Dwight McKissic, a Black pastor barely hanging on to the SBC. It doesn’t mention the abuse issue at all and concentrates on race. I would note that the New Yorker has a longer lead time for articles and likely this article had been put to bed before Russell Moore’s first letter leaked.

    I’m partial to McKissic because he’s treated loudmouthed me with kindness on Twitter.

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  34. dee: Super dee dooper sketchy maybe?

    Yeah. How do you get permission from your employer to do that, since it’s something that could not just reflect badly on the SBC Executive Committee, but could actually be a legal conflict of interest?

    Seriously, there’s some dirt on this we don’t yet know about.

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  35. Jeffrey J Chalmers:
    When you think you are the “righteous one”, or in this case “the righteous org”, and the more the criticisms hit home, the more they must be attacks from the “evil one”.This is standard far for self deluded “righteous ones”….

    But of course, the RCC had it coming, and they deserve the “righteous accountability” that it has gone through… and that is the “hand of G$d” judging them…

    “I THANK THEE, LOOOOOOOOOORD, THAT *I* AM NOTHING LIKE THOSE FILTHY ROMISH PAPISTS OVER THERE…”

    (The more “O”s you pronounce in “LORD”, the more suspicious I get…)

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  36. “Floyd said in an email today that when he praised Boto two years ago, he was “absolutely not” aware of Boto’s email calling advocates part of “a satanic scheme” or his testimony on behalf of the former gymnastics coach.”

    When a potato gets too hot to handle, SBC leaders drop them … “Boto who?” rings the CYA cry.

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  37. RonnieFloyd scrambling, ANOTHER “Statement” today:

    https://twitter.com/SBCExecComm/status/1403064599860101125

    ends with:

    “since last weekend the Executive Committee staff leadership has been in the process of talking with and potentially securing a highly credible outside firm with the intent of conducting an independent third-party review of the accusations recently levied at the SSC Executive Committee.”

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  38. Bridget: SBC is more like the mafia than anything else.

    The top of the SBC pyramid is looking more like that every day. At the bottom of the pyramid, however, nameless thousands of SBC pastors labor for the cause of Christ. There is still of a thread of good in the SBC fabric, but I’m not sure the garment can be saved at this point.

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  39. Tom Parker: I am sure it is just men commenting there.

    Almost all men – I think three women have commented on the last 4 posts, combined. On the Boto-Moore-Patterson-Stone-Floyd posts, better than 75% are defending the goo-ole-boys, minus Moore. They are being superficially gracious towards McKissic on the Resolution 9 post.
    I haven’t commented because I’m just not the submissive type, and I don’t see much reason to be gracious there. I would like to ask them why the SBC want to change the name to Great Commission Baptists. I think just switching to the WSBC (White Southern Boys Club) would be both easier and more fitting.

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  40. Headless Unicorn Guy,

    When I was with New Frontiers (which Smyth appears to be influential enough to have got himself “inserted” into) a po-faced senior interloper told us about their moves to take over a lot of churches (frank enough about how “plant” translates). They are dominionists i.e don’t believe in Holy Spirit. They “allow” gifts informally yet ensure these don’t go anywhere. They take networking to extremes and the stranglehold is kept by underinformed men with an inferiority complex. I saw lots of prayer initiatives subtly sabotaged and genuine evangelising gifts and fruits not supported. They had a huge row and wouldn’t say what it was about. When I was told “the nasty people have left”, was when I left.

    Their rigid rule at bible studies was to overload the table with “rocky road” confectionery whilst I think the only rocky road should be the one under our feet. (This is similar to the New Wine bunch I moved on to who believe in “solus barbecue”.) It was too much for me in isolation to widen their outlook. It’s impossible to know when one has a role or not.

    Nancy2(aka Kevlar): … the SBC want to change the name …

    From Convention all the way to Grand Commotion – designer outlet religion believes in a “little commission” because it’s not telling the needy public (including you and me) what comes next in Holy Spirit strength so we can’t count the good cost.

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  41. Tom Parker,

    Reading about all these power corruption, and cover up at the heart of SBC and churches, my wishful thinking is want to see SBC to stop business as usual, put on sack cloth, and fast and mourn for a few days, then take decisive action to right the wrongs.

    I am a Done and left faith. I still felt “dirty, nasty, and shameful” as a SWBTS grad.

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  42. Nancy2(aka Kevlar): We know that Southern Baptists broke away in support of slavery — that’s where it all began.
    IMO, the very heart of the SBC*, to this day, is based on racism, misogyny, and the unalienable right of certain people to do whatever they please to whomever they please…… and walk away unscathed and unrepentant. That is becoming more and more evident.

    *Evangelicalism: god’s pet kids, doing whatever with theology, chapter, & verse to back it up.

    Ex: complementarianism or the god-put-men-in-charge-with-women-as-complementary-followers.

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  43. Nancy2(aka Kevlar): Almost all men – I think three women have commented on the last 4 posts, combined. On the Boto-Moore-Patterson-Stone-Floyd posts, better than 75% are defending the goo-ole-boys, minus Moore. They are being superficially gracious towards McKissic on the Resolution 9 post.
    I haven’t commented because I’m just not the submissive type, and I don’t see much reason to be gracious there. I would like to ask them why the SBC want to change the name to Great Commission Baptists. I think just switching to the WSBC (White Southern Boys Club) would be both easier and more fitting.

    I have banned from this site for a long time. Seems a very heavily responded to post there was about the Eternal Subordination of Jesus to support the subordination of women.

    They can use the Bible all they wish to support such nonsense, but the failing of the SBC can not be blamed on women in leadership, because there are none.

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  44. Sowre-Sweet Dayes: Reading about all these power corruption, and cover up at the heart of SBC and churches, my wishful thinking is want to see SBC to stop business as usual, put on sack cloth, and fast and mourn for a few days, then take decisive action to right the wrongs.

    I am a Done and left faith. I still felt “dirty, nasty, and shameful” as a SWBTS grad.

    I am truly sorry for what has happened to you. I am a done, and consider myself a done but a follower of Christ, but I have lots of questions.

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  45. Max: ishy: Mohler and friends were backing the resurgence quietly so they could perform their Calvinist takeover

    SBC’s Conservative Resurgence was a Calvinist Resurgence in disguise. Mohler duped Patterson et al.

    I misread “backing” as “hacking”….maybe “hacking” would be the more accurate term (including hacking up and twisting Scripture).

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  46. Max: but I’m not sure the garment can be saved at this point.

    The thought comes to mind of the prophet Ahijah, who tore his cloak into twelve pieces and recruited Jeroboam as king of the 10 breakaway tribes (1 Kings 11). But the splitting of the garment did not portend good for either the 10 tribes or the rump kingdom of Judah/Benjamin. Both were led by (mostly) bad kings until they went into their respective exiles.

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  47. christiane: do religious forms of ‘patriarchy’ still provide for a misogyny that has offered safe harbor wherein the ancient hatred for ‘the woman-as-temptress’ may be practiced still by the men who would throw stones?

    After the patriarchy sets up their “theology” to protect their misogyny, they also add that women are the weaker sex. LOL ridiculous. Patriarchy is never a position of moral power; however, it is a stance of bully power.

    The Dones have opted to vacate the bullies’ playground. Wise choice.

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  48. Ava Aaronson: Tom Parker: consider myself a done but a follower of Christ

    In this environment, done may be a good place.

    Ava, in some ways it is a shock to me that I do not miss the SBC. I spent at least 40 years in this environment and served in different positions in the church. I probably stayed longer than I should have. Being in leadership you get to see the underbelly and what I saw still messes with my mind and spiritual well being.

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  49. Tom Parker: Being in leadership you get to see the underbelly and what I saw still messes with my mind and spiritual well being.

    So wise choice. Be well. We can’t control the playground, but we can choose our path and go elsewhere. (Good luck to all the fixers.)

    By vacating and moving on, we may all find each other – the done-with-nonsense followers of Jesus. It just may happen. Remnant. God’s Holy Spirit is alive and well indwelling His people.

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  50. Tom Parker: I am a done, and consider myself a done but a follower of Christ, but I have lots of questions.

    One of the advantages of “wandering alone in the desert” is that you can break out of the socially-enforced group-think of the prior group. That can lead in fruitful directions.

    The time that one no longer spends reinforcing the old narrative can be used to read more widely and to think more deeply. I’ve found Tom Wright to be very helpful, and Andrew Perriman to be very thought-provoking (Perriman may for many be an “acquired taste” as his views may be quite disorienting at first). And there are others. Scot McKnight’s “Reading Romans Backwards” is an eye-opener for those who have been raised on “Romans Road” theology. He thinks the book is not about what we have been taught in our Sunday Schools that it is about.

    I think that the Creator is not offended by sincere pursuit of understanding.

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  51. Tom Parker: persons in the pews seem to care less

    potlucks, ladies’ book clubs, men’s game dinners, teen pizza parties, kids’ summer camps

    Those who have no voice, may settle for eating & drinking while tossing their hard-earned $$$ to the wind (collection): the purpose-driven pew of supporting the patriarchal hierarchy while chowing down & chatting. (Gluttony & blather are permitted by the patriarchal hierarchy.)

    Meanwhile … there’s a whole new way of life of following Jesus without a self-serving hierarchal patriarchy. Peter, James, & John, among others, found this out. At the outset, they met together in one room. Acts.

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  52. Ava Aaronson: Nancy2(aka Kevlar): SBC wants to change the name to Great Commission Baptists

    Didn’t they terminate their funding of field missionaries?

    For the New Calvinists to call themselves Great Commission Baptists is a poke in God’s eye! IMO, the name change is just smoke and mirrors to distract from their real mission … to plant reformed theology across the world using the hard-earned funds from SBC pew-sitters who are primarily non-Calvinist (but uninformed, misinformed or willingly ignorant about the mission of their new leaders).

    When the New Calvinists took over the SBC, David Platt (then President of SBC’s International Mission Board) recalled 1,000 career missionaries from foreign fields. He cited a lack of funding … but the same year, his reformed bud Kevin Ezell (President, North American Mission Board) found enough money to plant 1,000 New Calvinist churches in the U.S. and hasn’t missed a beat with that aggressive goal each year.

    Those recalled missionaries – many who had served decades – were primarily non-Calvinist whosoever-will-may-come Gospel-preaching servants of the Lord. What should have been SBC’s priority … proclaiming the Gospel (the real one) to every nation, tribe and tongue or planting reformed theology?! There have been new foreign missionaries commissioned during the ensuing years since Platt purged IMB, but reckon what theological flavor they are?

    The new mission of the SBC is to plant reformed theology throughout the world (you’ve got to be spiritually blind not to see that) … it is not the Great Commission. It’s another gospel which is not the Gospel. SBC’s denominational gifting of evangelism has been forfeited to the new reformation. A once-great evangelistic denomination is done – it just hasn’t quit yet.

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  53. Tom Parker: I spent at least 40 years in this environment and served in different positions in the church. I probably stayed longer than I should have.

    I spent 70 years in SBC ranks … the last half of that swimming against the current and trying to reverse the trend toward Calvinism in my own small way … until the reformed flood overwhelmed me. I was drowning and the pew-sitters went to their potluck dinners rather than sending out a rescue boat.

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  54. Tom Parker: Being in leadership you get to see the underbelly and what I saw still messes with my mind and spiritual well being.

    Mine, too. We experienced a religious Godfather movie, with a star-cast of bad-boy actors: Patterson, Pressler, Mohler, Moore, Platt, Ezell, etc. Unfortunately, when the bad scenes came on screen, the SBC masses were in the lobby getting popcorn … and the movie became real-life.

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  55. Nancy2(aka Kevlar): Well, I do believe they are going off the rails about this stuff over at Pravda (SBCVoices).

    I don’t even bother to visit that blog these days. Every time I tried to comment there, the New Calvinists ganged up on me. Pravda in Russian means “Truth” … which of course is propaganda in Russia … SBCVoices provides the same for their targeted audience … any dissent is squelched.

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  56. Samuel Conner: (Perriman may for many be an “acquired taste” as his views may be quite disorienting at first)

    You’re not kidding, I’ve just had my first squint at him which has left me asking what his basic theological views are, i.e how are humans saved? Are they all invited to be saved? etc. Do you know? I’ve read Wright & McKnight etc & like them, but maybe Perriman is using theological frameworks & categories that I just understand yet.

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  57. Ava Aaronson: Didn’t they terminate their funding of field missionaries?

    They haven’t terminated it, but they have cut back a couple of times over the past 15 years or so. They claim “budget shortfalls”. Yet, the upper echelons live higher and higher on the hog, while restrictions on women get tighter and tighter.

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  58. Max: IMO, the name change is just smoke and mirrors to distract from their real mission … to plant reformed theology across the world using the hard-earned funds from SBC pew-sitters

    I think there’s more to it than that. Name change??? I believe part of that is to hide what the SBC has truly become over the past 40 years, because the truth just isn’t working for them any more, and yet stay the same…… to get the money, the numbers, and the power while hiding what they truly are. With the advancement of the internet, more and more truth has been exposed, more and more research is widely available …….

    The SBC is more of a pyramid scheme than it is a religious organization……… it’s based more on power, control, politics, money, fame, protection, and male superiority for a bunch of scared little boys with inferiority complexes than it is about spreading the gospel – the true gospel.

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  59. BeakerN,

    I had a similar sense of disorientation when first encountering AP.

    AP sees three eschatological horizons in view in the New Testament (this is in contrast to mainstream readings which see only one horizon, the final ultimate one)

    a) The judgment of rebellious Israel, warned of by John and later Jesus, which took place in the disastrous AD 67-73 war with Rome. This was an “under the sun” judgment and geographically limited.

    b) The judgment of pagan Greco-Roman religion and civilization, which occurred in subsequent centuries as the emptiness of pagan religion was exposed and that system was ultimately eclipsed and replaced by the rise of the Church. In the triumph of the Church over paganism, Christ was acknowledged as Lord (eclipsing even the confession that “Caesar is Lord”) throughout the Roman Empire.

    c) The final victory, when Christ has defeated all the Church’s enemies (Paul says that Christ is Lord over all “for the Church”), the last enemy — death — is defeated, Christ hands the Kingdom back to the Father (1 Cor 15) and the creation is renewed, and God is all in all. AP thinks that this is in view in Rev 20-21, but that the prior text of Revelation is actually related to the 2nd horizon — the defeat of pagan Rome.

    AP thinks that Jesus’ eschatological warnings relate primarily to the first horizon (the judgment of Israel), that Paul’s eschatological horizon (the judgment of the Gentiles — the Roman empire), while discernible in the letters, is less distinct (being fulfilled centuries later), and the 3rd, final horizon, is in view in some OT passages that speak of the renewal of Creation, in Rev 20-21, and in 1 Cor 15.

    A point that AP makes is that “history matters”. But what is history to us — the things that have happened subsequent to the composition of the last of the NT documents — was still future to the writers of the NT. This question of “are some events that are ‘future’ to the NT writers’ perspective actually ‘past’ when viewed from our later perspective? ” is one that is rarely asked, and in the absence of examination one naturally assumes that “everything that is future to the NT writers is also future to us”.

    It’s a bit like “preterism”, but AP — for obvious reasons — thinks the preterists are wrong to see Rev 20-22 as “already fulfilled.”

    Conventional eschatology tends to assume that everything that is future to the NT authors is also future to us, so that the downfall of Old Israel and the downfall of Old Rome don’t figure in to our interpretation of the NT’s understanding of “what is yet to come.” History, in conventional interpretive practice, stops mattering with the closure of the NT canon.

    This is really disorienting because the conventional eschatological paradigm is so familiar. But it might be mistaken.

    ———-

    He does think that people need to be saved, but the question is “saved from what?”

    Israel needed to be saved from impending national destruction at the hands of the Romans.

    Pagan Gentiles needed to be saved from the futility of the worship of idols.

    Both of these are “under the sun” saving, much as “salvation” in the OT is “under the sun” rescue from enemies.

    This is obviously very different from the “universalizing” hermeneutic, focused on post-mortem rescue, that has been standard fare at least since the time of Tertullian.

    I think Perriman’s approach is much closer to the “under the sun” outlook that one sees in the OT and in Paul’s discussion of “wrath” in Romans. But it’s very disorienting.

    He would say that the present day Church needs to be saved from the predicament it finds itself in, of increasing irrelevance in a rapidly secularizing world. He also sees the large-scale threat of climate disruption as a problem for all of humanity and a challenge to the church, which will share in the troubles that may lie ahead.

    He thinks that Jesus is still Lord over all, reigning at the right hand of the Father, “for the Church”. So Jesus is still at work on our behalf. (Though, personally, I think that it’s sometimes hard to discern that.)

    —-

    But “what about ME, what happens to ME after I die?”

    As I understand it, AP doesn’t see this as a central concern of the biblical texts until we get to Paul, who foresees that the dead in Christ shall be raised imperishable at Christ’s appearing. And here, more disorientation: he thinks that happened in the 1st Century when Old Israel was overthrown (the first eschatological horizon). Those resurrected believers, who suffered persecution at the hands of both pagans and unbelieving Jews, reign from heaven with Christ throughout the ages until (1 Cor 15) Christ hands the Kingdom back to the Father.

    The rest of us have to wait until the 3rd and final eschatological horizon to be raised imperishable.

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  60. BeakerN,

    I would say “yes” to both. What is radically different is that, as I understand it (and perhaps here I am projecting), he doesn’t see the human predicament in the same terms as the evangelical consensus sees it. He sees the problem in terms that are more … biblical. The problem is mortality in consequence of sin (the wages of sin is death); the solution is resurrection (the gift of God is the life of the age to come).

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  61. Nancy2(aka Kevlar): The SBC is more of a pyramid scheme than it is a religious organization……… it’s based more on power, control, politics, money, fame, protection, and male superiority for a bunch of scared little boys with inferiority complexes than it is about spreading the gospel – the true gospel.

    Sadly, that appears to be the case. The days are over when Southern Baptists could trust the leaders they appointed. The days are over when the hard-earned offerings by little churches all over America were combined to do the right things: evangelism and missions around the world. The days are over when Southern Baptists spread the Gospel (the Truth, the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth) that whosoever-will-may-come. Now it’s all about control, power and pet theology, where weak little men vie for the SBC throne. One of them will be crowned Lord of All next week in Nashville … Al Mohler will get a standing ovation for taking the SBC away from mainline (non-Calvinist) Southern Baptists who financed him to do that. It’s the darnedest thing I’ve ever seen!

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  62. Nancy2(aka Kevlar): They claim “budget shortfalls”

    … but found $60 million per year to plant thousands of New Calvinist churches. Southern Baptists weren’t asked if they would have preferred to keep career missionaries on foreign fields vs. planting reformed theology in North America. They trusted their leaders to make the right decisions; they simply can’t afford to do that any longer.

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  63. Sowre-Sweet Dayes: Don’t forget the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force (GCRTF) records are sealed for 15 yea

    Yeah, that’s right!!! Good catch!
    Four more years to go before they unlock that, brush the dust off the file, and expose it to the light of day. I do wonder, if the GCRTF is soooooooo important, why have they kept it locked away in secret for so long. (Were they waiting for certain people to die off…. gain power ….. or be brought under control/influence in that 15 year time period?)
    I also wonder what will happen when they go public with it, as well as how much of the SBC will still be in existence by then!

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  64. Sowre-Sweet Dayes: Don’t forget the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force (GCRTF) records are sealed for 15 years.

    Oh yeah … that would be 2025. I’ve always wondered what dark things are lurking in those records. But just think about all the sinister things which are hatched in backroom meetings of SBC elite that aren’t recorded!

    “Son of man, do you see what the elders of the house of Israel do in the dark … For they say, ‘The Lord does not see us'” (Ezekiel 8)

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  65. Nancy2(aka Kevlar),

    Mohler essentially wrote the BFM2000 revision (he was on the committee), which paved the way for New Calvinist belief and practice. Several churches in my area still affirm BFM1963 as their statement of faith when it was clear that the BFM2000 trended toward Calvinism and diminished long-standing Baptist doctrines of soul competency and priesthood of the believer. I suspect they will feel increasing pressure to adopt BFM2000 as the New Calvinists complete Calvinization of the denomination.

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  66. Max: I suspect they will feel increasing pressure to adopt BFM2000 as the New Calvinists complete Calvinization of the denomination.

    They will make it a creed, not just a confession any more……. maybe “sign on the dotted line” ……. just like missionaries and church planters are already required to do.

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  67. Nancy2(aka Kevlar): They will make it a creed, not just a confession any more……. maybe “sign on the dotted line” ……. just like missionaries and church planters are already required to do.

    Agreed. Russell Dilday warned that would happen when the BFM2000 was adopted:

    “Some Baptists believe these changes in BFM2000 signal a clear drift toward making the denominational statements of faith more creedal – contrary to a long history of Baptist aversions to creeds.”

    http://www.centerforbaptiststudies.org/hotissues/dildayfm2000.htm

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  68. I was raised Presbyterian (when that was just the only Presby church around) followed by Unitarian-Universalist. Haven’t felt a need for church for many years.

    Regarding abuse, I have served on a number of juries in my rural county, two petit juries hearing capital murder cases. But one session I was called to serve on the Grand Jury, which hears accusations by police/prosecutors and hands up indictments (or doesn’t) to the judge.

    To my surprise the rural Grand Jury was much more stressful and difficult that those murder trials.

    There were so many sexual abuse cases, two that stuck with me for lo these many years. A father who collected child pornography, including photos and video of his tiny daughter being raped. The state police officer had a folder of print out photos from dad’s computer, probably 75+ pages, which was passed from juror to juror. I could only stand the first couple of dozen pages — it was sickening.

    And a young man who figured out that he could take mentally deficient girls by the hand, and lead them into the bushes where he raped them, got up and left them in the woods. These girls didn’t actually even know or understand what was going on, which made it difficult for the town cop (yes, the only one, I said it was rural!) to investigate this creep.

    To know that church leaders are into these same horrific crimes makes my skin crawl~!!~ But that is obviously what is going on.

    On a different topic, Wife was raised American Baptist, the other, non-slave holding Baptist convention, and she explained the difference between the Southern Baptist and American Baptist organizations. Founded on a defense of slavery and rape, I don’t know how anyone in today’s America can defend the Southern Baptist Convention!!!

    On yet a third topic, so sorry for your loss of your kitty. We live on a farm, wooded hillside actually, and have had so many lovable cats and dogs over the years. The hardest time was when Wife was hospitalized with septic shock, in ICU on a vent nearly 10 years ago. One after another our two older tom cats had kidney failure, and I took first Rufus the red headed white tom and then Harvey the orange tom to our Vet clinic, then went on the the hospital to be with wife, who recovered and is still kicking out here as hermits avoiding the Covid plague.

    You all stay safe, take care, get vaccinated!

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  69. J R in WV: You all stay safe, take care, get vaccinated!

    Especially since WV is one of the lowest vaxx rates, well below 50%. Not as low as AL or MI, but still…

    Is it just inaccessibility in the Appalachians, distrust of outsiders, or just “NO I WON’T! YOU CAN’T MAKE ME! FREEDOM!” like the Anti-Vaxxers out here?

    The COVID Vaxx rates show the following pattern:
    * Highest in New England, then going down the Eastern Seabord except for WV.
    * Followed by the West Coast states in the order WA, OR, CA.
    * Followed by a loose arc from MN & WI arcing down to NM.
    * The lowest Vaxx rates remain in the Bible Belt, i.e. the Confederate States except for VA (which follows the Eastern Seabord).
    * The Intermountain West – well, they’re higher than the Bible Belt, with WY the lowest. WV is about the same Vaxx rate.
    This pattern has been holding for several months.

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