Not All Groups Are Like G.R.A.C.E. One Person Who Investigated Churches Was Biased Towards Those Paying the Bills Besides Being an Alleged Sexual Abuser

 

Moon viewed from the Space Station-NASA

“My position and the state will never allow me to become a dictator, but an authoritarian ruling style is characteristic of me.” Alexander Lukashenko


G.R.A.C.E was not influenced by those paying the bills

Years ago, I experienced a church that did an internal investigation. Of course, the pastors were let off the hook. Over the years, I followed the establishment of G.R.A.C.E. I was most impressed with their commitment to finding the truth, even when it went against what the hiring institution wanted. Here is what TWW reported back in 2014. (Sorry for the outdated links. I just can’t keep up with them.): Bob Jones University Fires GRACE & The New York Times Takes Notice

During the early days of the Sovereign Grace implosion, there were lots of “investigations” that usually turned out in favor of the leaders in Sovereign Grace. I consistently said that there was a money problem. It was quite simple. Church (and parachurch) leadership would hire an outside group to come in and investigate claims of abuse by church members. Church leaders were the ones to pay the bills. Do you see the conflict?

Church leaders pay the bills of a newish group investigating accusations of abuse. That new investigative group also wants to be hired by other churches whose leaders would also be paying the bills. The new group is possibly unduly influenced by their desire to become established. Therefore, they would tend, subconsciously or consciously, to feel kindly towards the leadership.

Over time, this was born out when it came to Sovereign Grace. When GRACE came on the scene, my fears were lessened since that group behaved honorably. Sadly, that did not mean other groups would have the same ethics as GRACE.

One Christian “peacemaker” was found to have abused her “authority.”

Christianity Today recently posted The Christian Peacemaker Who Left a Trail of Trauma It was subtitled: “Judy Dabler built a career helping reconcile the conflict within ministries including RZIM and Mars Hill. But a new investigation says she abused her authority to protect those with power.” Who is Judy Dabler? According to CT:

Judy Dabler founded two popular organizations for Christians needing a third party to help navigate conflict and broken relationships: Live at Peace Ministries (LAPM) and Creative Conciliation. She also taught more than 10,000 people how to do conciliation, which she described in presentations as the only biblical option for dealing with conflict.

I have been worried about something like this for years. My MBA course often discussed the potential for bias towards those who hold the purse strings. But it goes even deeper than that. For years, I was biased towards pastors over those in the pews. I believe that God slapped me upside the head and gave me a number of experiences that taught me that pastors and church leaders sin as frequently as I do. Recently, one of my pastors did a sermon in which he described himself as a sinner who struggles just like we do. It was well-received by those I spoke with after church.

Therefore, it would stand to reason that pastors and church leadership might, on occasion, use money to influence others. Vice Versa. It would stand to reason that even those who “investigate” might be swayed by money.

I was right and I give full credit to my MBA program and a bad experience with a church.

According to CT:

In her conciliation work, though, Dabler consistently favored the person paying the bills, siding with the leader or big-name institution. Again and again, interviews and documents obtained by CT show, it was the less powerful party—the victim of sexual harassment, the beleaguered employee, the hurt congregant—who was pressured to make confessions they weren’t comfortable with and settle for agreements they thought were unfair.

Judy Dabler was involved in the disturbing Sankey Orphanage case.

I wrote 6 posts on this matter. Here is a link to one that would be helpful to understand what happened: Justice for Sankey Launches a Comprehensive, Organized and Factual Website to Shine the Light on the Accusations of Child Abuse

According to Ministry Watch:

Christ Community Chapel’s elders say they have done all they can to reconcile with Chen and other Sankey justice advocates. But the church’s reconciliation process, which it describes on its Sankey Review web page, was flawed.

Here’s how the church described its efforts to reconcile with critics:

“The Elders engaged a third-party conciliator to aid us in the process of reconciliation. The conciliator (not CCC) required anyone engaging in the process of reconciliation to sign a nondisclosure agreement in an effort of creating an atmosphere of transparency and vulnerability. While the Leadership at CCC was willing to sign the NDA, the advocates were not interested in engaging in the process with the conciliator.”

The third-party conciliator CCC chose was Judy Dabler, who has reliably defendedministries against legitimate complaints. Dabler was an ombudsman for Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, where she successfully deflected valid complaints about Zacharias’s long-concealed sexual activities in the years before the scandal imploded and brought down RZIM.

Her insistence that critics of Christ Community Chapel sign nondisclosure agreements is another bad sign.MinistryWatch reported last year on how ministries use NDAs to “silence victims and conceal sin.”

She has been accused of sexually abusing her staff as well as being a bully.

According to CT:

(according to interviews and documents) She bullied, belittled, and shamed her staff, and she sexually abused two seminarians she taught, supervised, and employed from 2007 to 2011.

Dabler got caught in her own trap.

Dabler apparently requested an independent group to review some of the complaints against her. It did not go well. According to CT:

An independent investigation by an ad hoc panel of three Christian conciliators—originally requested by Dabler in response to allegations of misconduct—concluded in July that she is disqualified for all further conciliation work. The panel found she was unethical, and her approach traumatized the very people she was supposed to help.

She should not mediate or train others “until she has completed an independently supervised process of therapy and conciliation that leads to a clear demonstration of authentic repentance,” the panel said.

Except, I disagree with the panel’s conclusion on one point.

She should never, ever, ever (ever, ever) mediate or train others again. She is not to be trusted. As for sexual abuse-keep her away from overseeing staff.

Dabler’s response:

Dabler refused to speak to CT and said she would post her response on  Creative Conciliation. At the time of the CT article, she had not done so.  However, her response was posted at Creative Conciliation on 11/16/21.

After allegations of mismanaging a 2018 conciliation process arose earlier this year, I requested that Ken Sande lead a professional performance review of my services. He expanded his review into an investigation, and his report has been given to Christianity Today and has been made public. I do not agree with Ken’s conclusions about me, nor do I affirm the process he utilized. I also do not agree with much of the information reported by Christianity Today.

There are people that I have both hurt and harmed. I am truly sorry for the pain and damage that I have caused. I am and have been sincerely desiring to hear the stories of anyone who has been negatively impacted by me so that I can take responsibility for my failures. A possible process to pursue healing and resolution might be for any injured parties to contact Peacemaker Ministries at 1-800-711-7118 for assistance.

I am no longer serving in vocational ministry, nor am I looking for an avenue to be restored. I am sincerely seeking God’s guidance as I strive to live in a way that reflects my gratitude for all that he has done for me through Jesus Christ.

Assessment?

She disagrees! I think she’s not done yet. Think Tullian Tchividjian, Andy Savage, James MacDonald, etc. Is a comeback in the works?

Living at Peace posted their own “Statement of Acknowledgment and Public Confession.”

The organization that she founded, Living at Peace, posted a Statement of Acknowledgment and Public Confession It is far more humble. It’s long so I’ll post the beginning and you can read more if you wish.

In February 2021, a journalist, David French, wrote an article regarding the conciliation services of the LAPM founder, Judy Dabler, while she was working for Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) in 2018 and 2019. The story highlighted how Dabler’s conciliation process was utilized by powerful senior leaders as a larger effort to conceal Ravi Zacharias’ abusive behavior.  The release of this article, and resulting negative public attention, led to Judy Dabler requesting a professional performance review of the RZIM mediations pursuant to an established Conciliator Grievance Policy. This policy is designed to address complaints that a Christian conciliator may have violated the Standard Conduct for Christian Conciliation.

Judy Dabler asked Ken Sande, the founder of Peacemaker Ministries and RW360, to review the RZIM cases to identify any possible deficiencies in her conciliation methods and to recommend ways to make amends with anyone who may have been harmed by her services. The review was to be conducted by an independent Panel comprised of three attorneys who had also qualified as Certified Christian Conciliators.

The professional grievance process eventually expanded into a formal investigation beyond the scope of the RZIM mediations due to a number of Judy Dabler’s past clients, colleagues, and students coming forward to provide further testimony. Many of them had read the David French article and shared similar concerns about Dabler’s methods and practice of conciliation.  Consequently, these witnesses felt compelled to come forward and volunteer to be interviewed by the Panel in hopes of protecting others from further harm. The Panel reviewed Judy Dabler’s records and interviewed 39 individuals, including Judy Dabler’s testimony and subsequent response.  Numerous emails, photographs, and documents were presented to corroborate past clients,’ colleagues,’ and students’ responses.

On July 22, 2021, after receiving the final results and recommendations of the Panel, Judy Dabler officially withdrew from the grievance process she originally requested. She declined to accept and submit to the findings and recommendations of the Panel.

continued at this link

Wade Mullen: The conciliation model is too simplistic if it assumes that both parties bear responsibility for the problem.

Conciliation is sometimes described as the “Matthew 18 model” for dealing with conflict. Dabler, in a presentation she gave to the Missouri Baptist Convention in 2017, described the process of peacemaking as the “heart of the gospel.”

According to Mullen, however, the conciliation model is too simplistic to apply to all conflicts. It assumes, for example, that both parties bear some responsibility for the problem and are roughly equal. It does not account for the fact that one person may have the power to decide if the conciliator gets future business while the other will lose their job if they don’t participate.

Conciliations also almost always involve confidentiality agreements or non-disclosure clauses that prohibit anyone from seeking appeal. Defenders say this is necessary to allow people to be vulnerable and honest. In some cases, however, individuals are not even allowed to tell other pastors or their pastor’s spiritual authority if the process did not go well.

The problem: It’s all about the market and the pretty bow.

While there is no complete record available of all the conciliation work Dabler did, she held herself out as the go-to person for major conflict inside evangelical churches.

“There’s a market for what she provides, and she’s supplying what the market wants,” said Kyle Hackmann, a pastor in Canada who was training to be a conciliator and worked with Dabler doing conciliation.

“Conflict is really messy. We want it fixed,” Hackmann said. “I wanted a nice bow to wrap up the problem and make it go away. And that’s what Judy did.”

No, it’s not about the market. It is about people and the pain they experience in churches or parachurch organizations. And conflict is not always tied up in a pretty bow. Sometimes, it’s messy and we need to be able to support the people who are often being run over by the Evangelical steamroller.

Christianity Today wrote a superb article, giving many examples of how Dabler failed. It is well worth the read in its entirety. However, I am feeling a bit discouraged. Once again, the evangelical world jumped on a bandwagon and accepted a woman who seemed smart. She was smart and deeply flawed and many people overlooked what was going on because there was a “market” for this. There was never a market for what happened and it worries me that few people see this. There is a need for groups like GRACE and wonderful people like Wade Mullen. But we must remember what Martin Luther said: “Simul justus et peccator.” We are all simultaneously saints and sinners. And when someone looks too good, it’s time to explore their other side.


Comments

Not All Groups Are Like G.R.A.C.E. One Person Who Investigated Churches Was Biased Towards Those Paying the Bills Besides Being an Alleged Sexual Abuser — 60 Comments

  1. Creepy: the Judy Dabler Village, her combo wedding venue, amusement park, brewery?

    https://www.phelpscountyfocus.com/the_focus_insider/article_e9611426-3986-11eb-9ec2-9bd6bbe828dd.html

    “Just outside of Rolla, there lies The Village at the Dabler Place…originally built as a mining-town movie set…A yellow Victorian cottage is one of the first buildings you see as you approach The Village. This cottage was originally built for The Beverly Hillbillies star Donna Douglas, who played Elly May Clampett…[It] serves as the Honeymoon cottage for couples being married on the property.”

    “Judy and Jim Dabler are the current owners of the property, and they established The Village in 2016…Judy works as both a mediator and a marriage counselor. Jim has a couple more years before retirement…The decision to establish The Village was an easy one for this power couple. ‘We’ve always wanted to live in the country,’ Judy says, ‘We enjoy hospitality’…the Dablers are eager for people to see what they have to offer.”

    “‘When we book weddings, they get a high level of hospitality. They get all kinds of free amenities they don’t get charged for’…Judy says”

    “By 2022, the Dablers hope to make The Village more family friendly with additions of a playground, trolley, and even a petting zoo. By that time, the Dablers also plan to have more tiny houses on the property to be used as lodging….The Dablers’ primary objective, though, is the brewery. ‘My husband has always wanted to make beer,’ Judy says.”

    https://thevillage-rolla.com/

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  2. For 17 years back in the 80s and 90s, I flew back and forth from Grand Rapids to Chicago to teach for 2 days a week at TEDS. I can’t believe how the seminary has changed—that the school would hire someone like Dabler in the first place. Normally they would only bring on adjunct professors if they met the test of legitimacy. I suppose the department was impressed with her popularity. That first question she asks about the plank vs the sliver is simply insane. And to think that 2 seminary students were abused by her. Yes, allegedly. But I can’t believe they made up their shocking accounts. I’m truly stunned by the story.

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  3. Nice summary of the “situation”.
    I completely agree that money and power corrupt “investigations”. There really needs to be INDEPENDENT “Christian investigative orgs” that are finically supported by INDEPENDENT donors ( no $$ from any church/parachurch), and be COMPLETELY accountable to laws and Biblical principles. I would also suggest that this accountable needs some form of public transparency…

    Years ago, people that know me well would say that I am cynical and assume bad intension to often in situations. While that assesment is probably true, I never thought I would see “American Christianity” in such a bad state, and I never thought American Culture and American Politics would get as badas it is now…

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  4. Jeffrey Chalmers: I never thought I would see

    What is seen is key. So are tolerance, gaslighting, silencing, intimidation, denial, mythmaking, social networks. and polite society.

    Was it known that Christa Brown and Jules Woodson were being criminally violated by their clergy in their youth, decades ago? Some knew. They knew. Their clergy knew. Church leaderships knew. Perhaps friends and relatives knew.

    Once journalism moved beyond polite society and the internet opened up information for all, it’s public record for all to see.

    Stacy Schiff, in her researched book about Salem and witches, notes the common knowledge of clergy indiscretions in the 1600s in the colonies. Public records. Centuries ago.

    The problem is not so much what people know, but what actions they’re willing to take and the social networks (with their myth making) they are willing to support.

    Truth is costly. Examples: Jesus, Elijah, John the Baptist, Dieterich Bonhoeffer, Watchman Nee, the Casper ten Boom family, etc. They knew the hill to die on, which they did.

    Dateline notes that the truth about Drew Peterson was known but there was nowhere to go. Peterson was a cop. Even divorce couldn’t save wives #3 and #4.

    When foxes run the chicken coop, the only way a chicken can survive is to flee the coop. For Christians, it’s called Done. Right now that works, for the most part, in most places. Should Dominionism prevail in places like Moscow, maybe Done won’t be enough. Done wasn’t enough for Drew Peterson’s last 2 wives.

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  5. Ruth Tucker: I suppose the department was impressed with her popularity. That first question she asks about the plank vs the sliver is simply insane. And to think that 2 seminary students were abused by her.

    Are seminaries falling prey to celebrity as well?
    As for the sex abuse, it was mentioned in the CT article so I bet it is pretty well accepted…allegedly…

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  6. “ According to Mullen, however, the conciliation model is too simplistic to apply to all conflicts. It assumes, for example, that both parties bear some responsibility for the problem and are roughly equal.”

    This statement cuts to the chase.
    We are not talking about mere disagreements here. We are talking about blatant, horrific crimes being perpetrated upon individuals – – acts that destroy peoples lives and wreak havoc on the spirits and souls ohh victims. Prosecution is what is needed, not reconciliation.
    Dabbler is nothing more than a criminal who has used her expertise to protect other criminals for her own financial gain.

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  7. Jeffrey Chalmers: Years ago, people that know me well would say that I am cynical and assume bad intension to often in situations. While that assesment is probably true, I never thought I would see “American Christianity” in such a bad state, and I never thought American Culture and American Politics would get as badas it is now…

    I would imagine that Todd, you and I have all been thought to be cynical. I had a pastor come up to me when I was protesting with a group of women outside the SBC convention. One pastor came up to me and said he thought I was nuts when I began “badmouthing” Sovereign Grace Ministries and Mark Driscoll. And then it all fell apart and he admitted that he was wrong and I was right.

    Some people were not amused when I began to question Ravi’s bio in 2015. So many people loved the guy. Yet, look at what happened.

    Sometimes I wonder if there is such a thing as “godly cynicism?” Even Thomas asked to see Christ’s wounds before he confessed “My Lord and God.” It is thought that he went and evangelized India where he is still the patron saint.

    There’s a place for us cynics. I found my concerns and cynicism useful when I began to see the extent of abuse in the church. God has a place for us.

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  8. Nancy2(aka Kevlar): Prosecution is what is needed, not reconciliation.

    Snap.

    When did Jesus reconcile with evil?

    Where does John the Baptist (Luke 3.8) or Peter (Acts 3.8) or Zacchaeus call for reconciliation with or healing from one’s evil, for the offender?

    Whenever the words RECONCILIATION and/or HEALING are used with regard to criminals and their criminal offenses, THIS TOO IS CRIMINAL. EVIL.

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  9. Judy Dabler’s Village here described as a “retreat” in the Ozarks where she can provide individuals and couples “intensive conciliation services”:

    http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/authors/judy-dabler/2957

    “Judy and Jim, her husband of nearly forty years, have recently opened their retreat center with a guest home available for hurting individuals and couples to receive intensive conciliation services in the beautiful Ozark highlands of Missouri.”

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  10. dee: Sometimes I wonder if there is such a thing as “godly cynicism?”

    Regarding leaders who, with hubris, set themselves up on Earth, God sits in the Heavens, observing, and laughs. Psalm 2.

    Psalm 2 about God mocking the vain pompous leaders, follows RIGHT AFTER Psalm 1 where we are advised to NOT sit in the seat of mockers.

    3 things God does but we are advised against. God reserves these full throttle for Himself:
    1. Vengeance
    2. Wrath (extreme anger)
    3. Mockery

    (Regarding vengeance, years ago as a professional, I testified against a serial criminal pedophile and wondered when he’d get his due since he got a handslap without incarceration. His church & clergy supported him. In time, they all got their due justice FAR beyond what the Courts or any one person could endow. Vengeance at the hands of God is unimaginable. So is blessing at the hand of God. “No eye has seen nor ear has heard what God has in store…” we have a God of unimaginable extremes when called for.)

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  11. Yes, come to the Village in the Ozarks and get your free covid now! Really people, don’t recreate anywhere people refuse any measures that might slow the spread!

    Ava Aaranson–here in the Missouri Ozarks some of us are VERY worried about the growing dominionism. Truly it is terrifying!

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  12. Meanwhile here in the Ozarks, communion service this morning was superb! I sat on the front porch with my hubby. I slowly sipped chocolate hazelnut coffee as the choir of juncos and purple finches warmed up. Soon the cardinals and blue jays gave quite a sermon as the misty rain slowly fell. The potluck of suet block and black oil sunflower seeds was well attended.

    All this peace and beauty, and someday heaven also. Truly, the Good News WAS good good news indeed!

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  13. dee: I would imagine that Todd, you [Jeffrey Chalmers] and I have all been thought to be cynical….Sometimes I wonder if there is such a thing as “godly cynicism?”….There’s a place for us cynics. I found my concerns and cynicism useful when I began to see the extent of abuse in the church. God has a place for us.

    I’d say you’re being realistic, not cynical.

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  14. Ken F (aka Tweed): I saw this in the news today:
    https://denver.cbslocal.com/2021/11/19/sex-offender-negative-label/
    ….Newspeak appears to be getting more traction than it should.

    From the article (in the link, State Board Drops ‘Sex Offender’ Term Calling It A Negative Label): Meanwhile, a task force charged with sentencing reform is considering asking the legislature to change terms like “defendant,” “convict,” and “felon” to “justice-involved people.”

    Seriously?????

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  15. My former pastor called me “edgy.” I feel that was because I asked him questions that made him uncomfortable. I wrote this on my old blog:

    My former senior pastor labeled me “edgy.” It wasn’t meant as a compliment, but I took it as one. I like what Roger E. Olson, in his book “How To Be Evangelical Without Being Conservative” said about being edgy: “Evangelicalism should be an “edgy” religious and spiritual attitude and habit of the heart.”

    Edgy, cynical, it doesn’t matter what you label me, I just “calls ’em like I sees ’em.”

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  16. linda,

    Meanwhile, since Jesus left us with God’s Holy Spirit, the 18 gifts given by this same Holy Spirit are given freely to the church for the benefit of the church (no money, nothing can be done to merit particular gifts), and dispersed among each faithful Jesus follower who walks by the Holy Spirit, not the flesh.

    Listed: Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4.

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  17. Max: We went to the same “church” this morning, Linda!

    Well, I tried to do that. But, it looks like that Ozark rain got a hankerin’ for some Bluegrass and moved on across the Mississippi. Rain’s been coming down just a little too heavy at my house for any birds to be out and about much.

    Still had a nice service though ….. looking through our living room windows, from the hill we live on ….. across the wooded hollows to the ridges on the other side…….. late autumn colors….. deciduous trees in their last gasps of autumn glory ……with the evergreen thickets of pines and cedars sprinkled here and there……..with the rainfall casting a light, misty haze.
    I made a double-batch of chocolate chip cookies last night, and with a fresh pot of coffee this morning……. hmmmm, bread and wine?
    The flavors, the aromas, the visuals…… all just a very faint hint of God’s glory.
    Yeah, it was a nice communion.

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  18. Nancy2(aka Kevlar),

    Thx for sharing. Lovely. You and Linda take us to wonderful places on this Day of Our Lord. And you don’t pass the plate or a signup. No give ’til it hurts coercion to build a dynasty. Just blessed rest and the pleasure of God’s creation, His presence, and our loved ones.

    “O taste and see that the Lord is good.”

    “My yoke is easy and the burden is light,” Jesus.

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  19. Ava Aaronson: blessed rest and the pleasure of God’s creation, His presence, and our loved ones

    Being a “Done” ain’t all that bad (done with organized religion, but not done with Jesus). Sure, I miss what was good about church, but charlatans and aberrant theology have been busy killing the good to replace it with the bad, while they do church without God.

    In the sanctuary of God’s creation, we can get closer to Him. But, as I look at the critters around me, I am reminded that they are groaning for us to get it right: “The whole creation is on tiptoe to see the wonderful sight of the sons of God coming into their own” (Romans 8:19-23 Phillips). In the last chapter of my life, I hope to see to see the children of God where they need to be, but I don’t see much movement in that direction.

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  20. Ava Aaronson,

    We are still enjoying our Church, but our younger associate pastor likes to put quotes of Piper now and then, and today he used a quote, in the middle of his sermon, from Matt Chandler…. sigh.. I talked to him afterwords that when he quotes these guys, I find it distracting, because I know “negative things” about them…. He acted surprised, and then tried to say the classic, well we all say thing that aren’t good, but this quote was very godly… etc… I said yea, and stuff Martin Luther said about Jews is terrible also.. ( trying not to offend, you Dee), later today I sent him an article summarizing the Karen Hinkley story from Baptist Press
    I really wish preacher would stop quoting there favorite person like this…..

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  21. Jeffrey Chalmers: our younger associate pastor likes to put quotes of Piper now and then, and today he used a quote, in the middle of his sermon, from Matt Chandler

    He’s signaling those of like-mind in the congregation that he is in the game with them. You can’t get much more New Calvinist than Piper and Chandler … the young pastor knows that. Pied Piper is capable of saying a few good things every once in a while that even a non-Calvinist can say Amen to … but it’s part of the overall deception of the new reformation to draw you in.

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  22. Max: It’s scary what goes on in those hills.

    I think the whole nation got a good look at the sub-culture up in those hills when the film ‘Winters’ Bone’ appeared some years ago. . . . but many already ‘knew’ from stories that go ‘way back’ in families of ‘customs’. Scots-Irish clan behaviors still persist in ways that are ‘fearful of outsiders’ and hold to finding clan ‘justice’ in ways not currently fully lawful, sure. But with the passage of time, either these clan ways get ‘diluted’ by the majority cultures OR the majority culture begins to see evidence of the fearfulness and defensiveness that has lain in those mountain hollers for generations and is now ‘infiltrating’ the wider culture of the surrounding areas in ways sometimes destructive of our ‘law and order’ society.

    My great-greatfather (maternal) had a ‘still’ that he kept in the back-woods of Virginia, I’m told. As his father had before him. It was illegal of course, but it was a ‘family thing’ and the ‘liquor’ produced was sometimes considered a type of medicine (go figure). Stills are gone now. Generations passed on. We hire ubers if there is a ‘celebration’ instead of breaking the law. But if I ‘judge’ the hill people of the Ozarks, I am looking at them what were of the same blood as my own in the back woods of Virginia, and I have no judgement to offer other than we cannot stop the passage of ‘time’. . . .

    My point? We are in this country, many of us only a few generations from those ‘hill people’ ourselves. They tell us a story of our past….. of ‘who we come from’ and maybe even of ‘who we will be in time going forward’. ‘The Story’ is written in the lives people live out from their ‘traditions’ and ‘beliefs’. Some of us come from fear and from something far worse: the crushing of human souls by oppression as seen in slave days, sure;
    but ALSO in the days when miners went into the mines and because the mine owners did NOT provide even basic safety precautions,
    families did not even know when or how they would lose husbands, fathers, brothers, sons . . . . there is a kind of depression in those hills that deeply generational.

    Are we really surprised when what goes on in those hills is ‘scary’, when the people suffer from the kind of oppression so evil that it tried to destroy their very spirits?

    But these ‘scary folk’ too, are our fellow Americans. We need to LISTEN TO ‘their Story’, you bet.

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  23. Jeffrey Chalmers,

    “our younger associate pastor likes to put quotes of Piper now and then, and today he used a quote, in the middle of his sermon, from Matt Chandler…. sigh”
    ++++++++++++++++++++

    yes, the pastor at my last church would quote piper, prefacing it with a description of him as “an all-round good guy”. i sat there, apape and all astonishment.

    how is it pastors are so unaware? especially unaware of the people at ground zero on the receiving end of the thoughtless and ruthless destructive things they say?

    his lack of awareness and utter cluelessness of how his chosen heroes and associated doctrine and theology cause all manner of trauma at ground zero. it’s is one of the reasons i’m no longer there. too much rarified air for me.

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  24. elastigirl: the pastor at my last church would quote piper, prefacing it with a description of him as “an all-round good guy”. i sat there, apape and all astonishment.

    how is it pastors are so unaware?

    IMO, many pastors know exactly what they are doing when they quote New Calvinist icons. Modus operandi of the new reformation is deception – much has been said about this on TWW and elsewhere. Piperites, Mohlerites, Driscolites in pulpits are elusive, they introduce their rotten doctrine subtly. Stealth and deception are OK for the good of the movement evidently.

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  25. researcher: From the article (in the link, State Board Drops ‘Sex Offender’ Term Calling It A Negative Label): Meanwhile, a task force charged with sentencing reform is considering asking the legislature to change terms like “defendant,” “convict,” and “felon” to “justice-involved people.”

    Seriously?????

    Get With The Program or Be Denounced as a Racist Sexist Homophobe Thought-Criminal.

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