Matt Chandler and The Village Church: More About Their Attempts to Disorient Us

The Phantom Galaxy, or M74, shines at its brightest in this combined optical/mid-infrared image, featuring data from both Hubble and Webb. NASA

“Any fool can tell a lie, and any fool can believe it, but the right method is, to tell the truth in such a way that the intelligent reader is seduced into telling the lie for himself.”― Dorothy L. Sayers.


Chandler dated his wife when she was 17, and he was 23. Looks like things were bad, really bad, for a very long time.

He married her when she was 19. I have been told that he was her youth camp counselor. Chandler and his wife discuss dating compatibility in this post at The Gospel Coalition, Dating and Gospel Compatibility. Perhaps times have changed, but it is a bit problematic to see a man in his position pursuing a teenager who was underage at the time. But the theodudes seem to have no problem with that.

Lauren Chandler was just 17 years old when she met her future husband, Matt, who is older by six years. She was engaged at 18 and married at 19, when he was 25. Now they’ve been married for 17 years and have three kids, the oldest of whom just became a teenager. The dating worries and anxieties they’ve long since left behind in their own relationship have now hit home for them as parents.

Let me get this straight. The Chandlers could be advising individuals, who may be in a position of authority,  to pursue underage kids due to “gospel compatibility? My dear friend, Jules Woodson, was pursued by Andy Savage when she was 17 and he was 22 and her youth pastor. Most thinking individuals expressed concern about the age difference as well as her molestation.

Now, let me cut Chandler a small break. Remember, I have been following this crowd since before I began blogging. How many of you remember the “early marriages” craze that Al Mohler and the gospeldudes were pushing? Here is Mohler’s 2009 article: The Case for (Early) Marriage.

If you search the usual suspects, you will find they all started writing articles extolling this newest gospel “thing.”

Mohler and the gang thought this was a delightful idea to stop young people from having sex. It was so prevalent that one assistant pastor at my former Reformed Baptist Church told me it was his dream to see more married students dorms on college campuses and almost no single persons’ dorms! It was a peculiar church. Even Christianity Today jumped on the bandwagon, as Mohler suggests here:

At the end of the day, the most important fact about this article is that it appears as a cover story for Christianity Today. In that sense, the cover has been blown when it comes to the crisis of evangelical young people and the delay of marriage. It’s about time.

This was well before the #churchtoo movement. I wonder how Mohler and the rest of the SBC leadership feel about pushing this sort of thing today. I have heard Mohler wants all seminary students to get married before they graduate. I wonder if he brings them around to the local high schools.

Now, why am I picking on the embattled Matt Chandler? Because there appears to be another weird moment in Chandler’s marriage. I find this sermon incredibly uncomfortable. Note what he says about Lauren. This video clip is by the talented video clip maker Todd Wilhelm, who listens to all sorts of sermons and is quite resourceful.

The Gospel Coalition (TGC) led with Biblical Confidentiality: Hold Your Tongue. Preserve Your Integrity today. I wonder…

Sometimes, TGC  reminds me of Taylor Swift, who works out her dating life in her music. I am a fan, so I shouldn’t compare her to TGC, but the shoe fits at this juncture. There has been some speculation on Twitter that there could have been a breach of confidentiality in Chandler’s communications. I find that argument compelling.

Do you find yourself breaking confidentiality? Ask yourself why. What has led to your tendency to leak privileged information? When you hear private information and pass it on to others, does this puff you up? Does it make you feel like you’re “in the know”? Does the transfer of secrets make you feel important? As Brené Brown probes, do you gossip to create the illusion of immediate intimacy with others? Does disclosing what should be kept hidden make you appear important in others’ eyes? Repent of breaking confidences and confess your sin to those whom you’ve harmed.

The Village Church said they had an independent investigation of Chandler. That might not be precisely true.

Julie Roys posted the following tweet with evidence. This group does discreet internal and sensitive investigations. This sounds like my former church, which was really good at discreet internal investigations. I don’t trust one word that this church says about anything. This is one reason.

 

The infamous Chandler “not a confession” video has been silenced by the church but not on YouTube, thanks to Julie Roys. Suspicious, stupid actions on the part of TVC.

Who is advising these gospeldudes?

In other words, it comes up blank if you try to post it from that site. Here is Todd Wilhelm’s demonstration.

Here is your link to the YouTube Video posted by Julie Roys of Chandler’s “NOT a confession.”

Robin Thinks at substack wrote two great posts.

The first was The Dark Side of Matt Chandler’s “Confession.”

Is Chandler’s image in the pulpit the same as when speaking to “a friend?”

He could have just as easily said “I was DM’in a friend in a way that was crass and completely unbefitting a man in my position.” Chances are good everyone would have assumed the other person was male, and what difference does it make? This would have still communicated this exact same truth without throwing one more woman under the bus. But churches have a very long history of blaming women for men’s sins, so the fact that he refers to the person he was DM’ing as “this other woman” says a lot – and what it says is not good.

Several years ago I had one of these same “text relationships” with a former pastor of three megachurches, which went on for about 2 years. He was neither married nor a current pastor at the time. What I can tell you about this, however, was that who he revealed himself to be in those text messages was a far, far cry from the careful image he built for himself as a pastor and I strongly suspect this is the same with Chandler.

He contradicts himself.

He basically completely contradicts himself here in many way. First he says he doesn’t “ever want there to be secrets between us” while at the same time having a long history of covering things up. He then says they believing in having “brother-sister relationships” but then proceeds to say there was a “familiarity that played itself out in coarse and foolish joking.” I don’t know what most people’s experience of family is, but mine is that there is no one that you are raunchier or more real or honest with than your family. So that’s a complete contradiction.

Robin thinks his discussion with this woman was even more dangerous than a sexual relationship.

I 100% believe Chandler’s “DM relationship” was exactly what he said it was: not sexual in nature, but instead unguarded. Almost assuredly, Chandler revealed himself to her for who he really is and that is every bit as dangerous, if not far more so, than if he simply had sex with her. If he had sex with her, then they could paint her as being equally in the wrong. Instead, she is simply in possession his deepest, darkest, dirtiest secret, which is that he is not who he presents himself to be.

She believes that the problem is far worse than a sexual relationship.

Yet, one question gnawed at me. If the relationship between Chandler and this woman wasn’t romantic or sexual in nature, why even mention she was a woman at all? Why not simply say “I DM’d a friend in a way that was crass and unfit for a man in my position”?

Then I discovered that they had actually employed a law firm to review the DM’s and that made even less sense. I have since come to believe that Chandler specifically alluded to a woman as a red herring that would keep people thinking along the lines of an inappropriate male/female relationship, which – based on social media discussion – seems to be exactly what happened.

The second is Why Matt Chandler’s Behavior May Be Even More Disturbing Than We Think.

Why is a law firm looking into this? Why bring up that a woman was involved?

So, here’s the first problem; if the nature of the communications between Chandler and another party were not sexual or romantic in nature, why even reveal that the other person involved was a woman in the first place? Why not simply say “I sent a number of DM’s to a friend that were crass and inappropriate to a man in my position.” That communicates the exact same truth without throwing just one more woman under the bus. But he couldn’t do that because that would just raise more questions about what kind of messages a pastor could be sending that were that crass as to have to place him on a leave of absence.

The second thing we know now is that while he seems to be implying here that the elders looked into the conversation, what actually happened is that a law firm looked into them. Why exactly do you need a law from to look into “course and foolish joking”? What kind of jokes could you possibly be telling that might have legal implications?

Was confidential information shared and the mention of a “woman” a red herring?

Chandler is literally under no such oath nor does there seem to be any sort of formalized system in place to ensure that any information he becomes privy to is kept in trust.

I believe this is what he was sharing with his friend. As I mentioned earlier, it has actually been very well documented that gossip is a significant problem in A29 churches, and not just gossip between congregants but gossip between pastors, between pastors and members of staff and even between pastors and other church leaders.

…I 100% believe the reason Chandler was not only put on leave but also had his entire DM history looked at by a law firm is because he was sharing sensitive information about congregation members with his friend. It literally makes no difference that that individual was a woman, yet I believe they very specifically revealed that it was a woman for a very specific reason. They needed to at least give the impression that the problems with his conversations were in some way, shape or fashion related to her specifically being a woman as opposed to what the real problem was.

…I think those DM’s will never see the light of day if Chandler or the church has anything to do with it because I think they would absolutely blow the church up. What is even worse than a sex scandal? I would guess a scandal involving a pastor spewing personal details about his “flock” to a buddy of his.

Julie Roys reviews problems with Matt Chandler and TVC.

Julie wrote Matt Chandler Steps Aside After Admitting Inappropriate Online relationship in the post; she reviews a number of problems experienced by TVC. I believe that Chandler and his leaders demonstrate the Peter Principle.

The Peter Principle is an observation that the tendency in most organizational hierarchies, such as that of a corporation, is for every employee to rise in the hierarchy through promotion until they reach a level of respective incompetence.

….The Peter Principle is thus based on the paradoxical idea that competent employees will continue to be promoted, but at some point will be promoted into positions for which they are incompetent, and they will then remain in those positions because of the fact that they do not demonstrate any further competence that would get them recognized for additional promotion.

Here is a partial list from Julie’s post.

In 2020, Chandler again came under fire when Acts 29 removed its CEO Steve Timmis amid allegations of “abusive leadership.”

At that time, several former Acts 29 staff came forward and said they had approached Chandler in 2015 with concerns about Timmis’ bullying and misuse of power. The staff said that instead of honoring their concerns and investigating Timmis, Chandler fired the staff and made them sign non-disclosure agreements.

…Chandler and TVC also made headlines in 2015 when the church disciplined Karen Hinkley for annulling her marriage to her husband, who admitted to viewing images of child abuse. After a media storm and a period of “soul searching” by TVC leaders, Hinkley and TVC reconciled

Also, in 2019, The Roys Report exclusively reported that Chandler had rejected bloggers’ pleas in 2012 to hold now-disgraced pastor, James MacDonald, accountable for alleged spiritual and financial abuse.

I might add the disgraceful handling of the Anthony Moore saga. CT posted Beyond Cedarville: Why Do Pastors Keep Getting Rehired After Abuse?

Todd is quoted in this article!

In 2017, Cedarville welcomed Anthony Moore six months after he was fired from the lead pastor position of The Village Church’s Fort Worth campus. President Thomas White wrote that he offered to shepherd Moore through a five-year plan of restoration at the conservative Baptist school while he taught theology, helped coach basketball, and served as a special advisor on diversity.

CT spoke with four current and former Cedarville professors who said they knew Moore had made a “mistake” related to same-sex attraction and technology, based on White’s introduction and Moore’s own telling. Some assumed pornography or an online relationship. They had no idea that he had reportedly filmed a subordinate at his previous church in the shower. The revelation, detailed by multiple bloggers and journalists who focus on abuse in the church including Todd Wilhelm and Julie Roys, led to Moore’s firing on Thursday.

Finally, they want us to believe coarse joking got Chandler on LOAs at TVC and Acts 29!!!! Nope, nope nope!

Are they trying to tell me that Chandler is cooling his heels on a probably posh LOA from both his church and his position as the big cheese at Acts 29??? Christian Post wrote Acts 29 joins Village Church in suspending Matt Chandler over Instagram messages as Evangelicals react.

TVC reportedly wouldn’t tell CP if Chandler is being paid, which probably means he is being paid.

The church also declined to say whether or not Chandler was still being paid, noting to the publication that “Matt will spend time during his leave from the pulpit focusing on his development with the elders and guided by outside counselors. He will also continue to fulfill limited administrative leadership duties.”

It appears that Chandler is a hot potato at the moment. Acts 29 gave him the left boot of fellowship temporarily.

Global church planting network Acts 29 said it has “asked” the president and chairman of their board, Matt Chandler, “to step aside from Acts 29 speaking engagements” following a decision by The Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas, to suspend him over his inappropriate communication with a woman who is not his wife on Instagram.

“Acts 29 prioritizes personal integrity and holds our leaders to a high standard of conduct. Considering the findings of the TVC investigation and consistent with the leave of absence from preaching and teaching that the Village Church has placed Matt on, the Acts 29 Board has asked Matt to step aside from Acts 29 speaking engagements during this time,” officials at the church planting network said in a statement posted on the organization’s website Sunday. “We hope that Matt can use this time away from speaking to focus on the process that TVC elders have laid out for him.”

Here are some statements from folks in the article.

Evangelical blogger Sheila Wray Gregoire, who recently authored, The Great Sex Rescue: The Lies You’ve Been Taught and How to Recover What God Intended, raised concern about how Chandler has been allowed to “control the narrative” about the Instagram messages and agreed on Monday that if The Village Church wants to be transparent, they should be made public.

“One of the most salient points about Matt Chandler announcing his leave of absence yesterday (Sunday). Why was he allowed to control the narrative? I would have rather heard from the woman’s friend who confronted Chandler. And if he’s being transparent, then let’s see the texts,” she wrote on Twitter.

Attorney Boz Tchividjian, a grandson of the late evangelist Billy Graham, who has a longstanding record in defending victims of abuse, suggested that there is likely “much more to this story.”

“After listening to his (Chandler’s) statement to the congregation, my educated guess is that there is much more to this story…not in a good way,” he said in a statement on Twitter. “Time has a way of bringing forth the whole truth.”

Let me end this with two things. Here is an excellent comment from Hal in the CP comment section.

Questions

Is it about sex or about sharing confidential information, or something else? Is this about coarse joking?

Comments

Matt Chandler and The Village Church: More About Their Attempts to Disorient Us — 334 Comments


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    1?

    What is it about?

    It is about time these people start telling the truth.


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    Afterburne: What is it about?

    Even he won’t say it “Whatever this is.”


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    “Is it about sex or about sharing confidential information, or something else? Is this about coarse joking?”

    In any case, a pastor leader showed his true colors in his texts to his lady friend.

    The reveal (true colors) is that the texting pastor leader is not qualified to be a pastor leader. He’s a liability, not an asset.


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    dee: Even he won’t say it “Whatever this is.”

    3 examples:

    The manager of a sports dealer in our area walked by the breakroom one evening and said to a guy on break: “What’s for dinner, fried chicken and watermelon?” The guy on break contacted HR and the manager was fired that very night.

    A grocery manager made a comment to a cashier about her female fragility. Fired. That day. (He had been there for decades.)

    A Kinko’s manager left a porn screensaver on the company office laptop for his assistant manager. She was not amused and contacted corporate. Manager was fired.

    Self-control & speech control are kind of a big deal for people in charge. Lots of workplace lawyering deals with these gaffes. Loose lips leaders: take note.


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    Thanks for sharing that quote–I didn’t know I had been included in the CP article!

    I’ve been watching this situation since 2015 and the Karen Hinkley debacle. The fact that the elders’ board and Chandler stayed on after they treated her so abusively was terrible. They showed then that they didn’t understand the gravity of child sexual abuse materials, and didn’t understand abuse, but still felt themselves qualified to do this job.

    If things had been handled properly then, we would not be in this mess now–and Jane Doe 2 may not have been treated so badly; and Cedarville would have been warned; and so much more.


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    “Who is advising these gospeldudes?”

    Certainly not the Holy Spirit! It should be clear that the NeoCals are making things up as they go along. When one of their darling leaders, like Chandler, drops a new “revelation”, they all start preaching it. The gospeldudes’ gospel is another gospel which is not ‘the’ Gospel at all.


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    “Almost assuredly, Chandler revealed himself to her for who he really is … she is simply in possession his deepest, darkest, dirtiest secret, which is that he is not who he presents himself to be.” (Robin Thinks)

    I’ve been saying essentially that for years in regard to the New Calvinist movement and their band of elite leaders … that they are not real. IMO, they are imposters with a counterfeit gospel who have come into the church for such a time as this, to take captive a generation of seekers. They do it with cool dudebros on stages peddling messages which are not from God … messengers with a touch of charisma, a gift of gab, and a bag of gimmicks who have led many astray.


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    Back in the early 70s, I attended a singles group and church that pushed early marriage. Several nearby evangelical churches were doing the same. Many who got married were barely 19 or 20, the pastor believing it would reduce sexual problems. Boy, was he wrong. He had other issues related to sex going on as well, as I discovered later. I got married at 26, one of the “last” of the singles at that church who had refused to bow to pressure. The majority of these early marriages ended in divorce, while others had nervous breakdowns and health issues. Ours lasted several decades, until my husband passed away. So glad I waited.


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    Max, Unfortunately, you nailed it: “…messengers with a touch of charisma, a gift of gab, and a bag of gimmicks who have led many astray.”


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    “It appears that Chandler is a hot potato at the moment.”

    When a potato becomes too hot to handle … when its liabilities exceed its assets … when hanging out with a hot potato starts to affect your own reputation … you drop it! Eventually, the potato becomes “Driscoll who?” … “MacDonald who?” … “Mahaney who?” … “Chandler who?”


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    Amazing, the religious media and watchblogs are abuzz covering this, thousands of church folks are talking about this, theodudes are sitting in coffee shops across America mulling this over … and none of us know what “this” is!!


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    Max: “Chandler who?”

    From your lips to God’s ears.


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    Max: none of us know what “this” is!!

    A thought just occurred to me: perhaps “this” is not that. I mean, if I’m going to gossip about this or if I’m going to get devout enough to pray about this, I need to know what “this” is! It’s driving me crazy. I’m almost to the point of running outside and doing a standing ovation!


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    Afterburne:
    1?

    What is it about?

    It is about time these people start telling the truth.

    My friend, it is literally none or your business, or mine, if we are not members of that congregation. God is fully in charge of building HIS kingdom and details of local congregations are not the provenance of gossip-mongering brothers and sisters from other towns. We should not even know the names of pastors who live 100’s of miles and hours away from us to the degree that we now do, so let us proceed in the working out of our own salvation in the midst of those with whom we have direct contact, impact and accountability.

    Deb and Dee need to repent for the culture of gossip and self-righteousness they have created here and so do their husbands for not leading them to submission and silence. In their attempt mete justice, the promulgate shame and mockery from non-believers and apostates onto the Holy Name of God. They are case studies for why women are commanded to be silent in matters of theology and church authority/governance.


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    Grrr. It would appear that my fingers left out some of what my brain wanted to say. Just a silly play on words, but this was what I intended to say:

    What is it about? I’ll tell you
    what it is about
    it is about time these people start telling the truth.


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    Old Timer: The majority of these early marriages ended in divorce, while others had nervous breakdowns and health issues. Our

    This is so true. History is repeating itself with the courtship crowd. What many people forget about the “good old days of super young marriages” is that the only reason those marriages lasted is purely because divorces were so hard to obtain. It’s not because they were universally happy marriages.


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    The sharing of confidential information, or perhaps racist or otherwise egregious jokes are a good possible explanation.

    I’d also guess he really doesn’t get what the problem is. People who joke like that usually do it because they refuse to admit its harmful.


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    Did anyone else catch this?
    Dee said:
    “Mohler and the gang thought this was a delightful idea to stop young people from having sex.”

    I don’t know if it was intentional or not, but this statement makes it sound like Mohler and co. think that marriage will put an end to sex completely! Full stop!
    I think it’s hilarious!

    Dee, if the wording was in error, please don’t change it.


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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fq-ziiJN0w8

    Roughly at minute 22, it was found that his language didn’t violate the standards of an elder, but previously it was announced that he violated the standards for an elder in 1 Timothy 3. If the church’s social media standards were tied to the standards of 1 Timothy 3, and he violated these standards, then shouldn’t he have to step down permanently? I don’t think that’s going to happen, based upon him saying he plans to be their pastor for the next 20 years, and that was said after an investigation and board meeting.


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    Nancy2(aka Kevlar),

    The fundamentalists / resurgents (and their lookalikes across denominations) by their essentialism and dominionism have shown that they are and always have been totally antihumanistic.

    They never were pastors / theologians that were off kilter. Their religion always was effective about establishing devilish standards on earth and shutting heavens like brass.


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    TGC actually quoted Brené Brown? Brené Brown would be horrified if she knew TGC was using her quote to tell people not to report crimes and spiritual/institutional abuse of others. That is NOT what she was talking about. Holding people and institutions accountable for terrible actions is not gossip.

    I’ll say it again: reporting crimes and abuse at a church is NOT GOSSIP!


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    ishy: Holding people and institutions accountable for terrible actions is not gossip.

    What holding people and institutions accountable for terrible actions IS:

    – safety
    – responsibility
    – respect
    – community building
    – leadership
    – collaboration
    – boundaries
    – Common Good, Rule of Law
    – Love (as well as joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control
    – church – yes, CHURCH!
    – following Jesus
    – Spirit-filled
    – 1 Corinthians 5


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    Brian: If the church’s social media standards were tied to the standards of 1 Timothy 3, and he violated these standards, then shouldn’t he have to step down permanently?

    Divorce Minister: I suspect this is a case of intimacy interrupted.


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    Brian: Roughly at minute 22, it was found that his language didn’t violate the standards of an elder, but previously it was announced that he violated the standards for an elder in 1 Timothy 3. If the church’s social media standards were tied to the standards of 1 Timothy 3, and he violated these standards, then shouldn’t he have to step down permanently? I don’t think that’s going to happen, based upon him saying he plans to be their pastor for the next 20 years, and that was said after an investigation and board meeting.

    They can’t get their story straight.

    Divorce Minister: I suspect this is a case of intimacy interrupted. He got too close emotionally to this other woman. Then he got called on it.

    Grooming interrupted? Whatever he did, it didn’t pass the smell test. Now they are trying to cover up a stench in their “church”, so the stinking org + stench-creator (leader) can proceed, business as usual. Yuck.


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    Chandler’s speaking so disrespectfully of his wife would be an automatic disqualifier from church leadership for me. If he can speak so regarding her, as a church member, I would certainly wonder how he would speak of me. Very sad.

    Side note: Is it just me or do others find his hand and arm motions very distracting?


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    Proverbs 28:13-15: 13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

    14 Happy is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief.

    15 As a roaring lion, and a ranging bear; so is a wicked ruler over the poor people.

    James 4.17: Therefore to him who knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

    Call it what it is, sin.


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    Brian: violate the standards of an elder

    It should be clear by now that the Acts 29 bunch have set the bar lower for their leaders … Driscoll, Chandler, etc. etc.


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    ishy: reporting crimes and abuse at a church is NOT GOSSIP!

    Worth repeating. Too many church leaders shame the pew into silence when they ought to be rising up and shouting “You are the man!” (not in a dudebro sense, but in the convicting power of the Holy Spirit to draw attention to sin in the camp)


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    Cousin of Eutychus: Chandler’s speaking so disrespectfully of his wife would be an automatic disqualifier from church leadership for me.

    You’ve got to remember that this is the bunch who enslave women with “the beauty of complementarity”, exercise a heavy-hand of patriarchal control over believers, and even subordinate Jesus in their teachings. Speaking disrespectfully to women is in their toolkit. Chandler calls women at TVC “our girls” and has said “I preach to men.” Qualifications for leadership in New Calvinism allows a lot of wiggle room.


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    Thomas Hill: James 4.17: Therefore to him who knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

    Failing to do good is sin, not just doing bad.

    I think we, as Christians, can easily think we are doing pretty good on the whole sin front because we aren’t being abusive, lying, stealing, coveting, etc. But if we are living “neutrally,” that could still be sinful if we are failing to do the good we are called to do. Doing good is not “extra credit” so to speak. It’s an interesting thought that I haven’t pondered in a while.

    Thank you. I apparently needed to read that today.


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    Miles Long,

    Thank you for making me laugh this morning. Of course we have a right to question Chandler. He, along with TVC, pushes his books to the public, asks people to come to the church, and speaks at conferences in which people are invited to come. He is a public figure, and his reach extends far beyond his adoring masses at TVC.
    I have a meme. “Play in public, pay in public.” And that is exactly what is happening. You have a bizarre view of the local church which goes out of their way to “preach Jesus to the world.” Well, the world is responding.
    PS Deb hasn’t written here for years. Todd Wilhelm is now on board!


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    ES: we are living “neutrally”

    Revival to the church and spiritual awakening in America will only happen when the people of God stop living neutrally … when they humble themselves, pray, repent and seek God’s face. In the meantime, the gear is stuck in neutral.


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    Miles Long: In their attempt mete justice, the promulgate shame and mockery from non-believers and apostates onto the Holy Name of God.

    I hate to break it to you, but it is people like you who refuse to admit the church’s sin that cause non-believers to mock us. It is also people like you that drive our youth from the church. I cannot tell you the number of people I know who believe in the God of the Bible but who refuse to have anything to do with the institutional church because of the absolutely devastating sin they have seen there that was swept under the rug.

    As to calling out churches that are located 100s of miles away from you – that is exactly what a decent percentage of the Epistles are doing. Revelations warns that entire church bodies will struggle with systemic sin. The Bible tells us that we are to confront fellow Christians’ sin and call them to account in more than one place. We are especially responsible to evaluate the fitness of someone who has a national platform within the wider church.


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    Miles Long: case studies for why women are commanded to be silent in matters of theology and church authority/governance

    Whew! Spoken like a good New Calvinist. Mr. Chandler would be proud of you for reminding us about “the beauty of complementarity”.

    Miles Long: God is fully in charge of building HIS kingdom and details of local congregations are not the provenance of gossip-mongering brothers and sisters from other towns.

    The Body of Christ (the ‘real’ Church) has no geographic boundaries. What happens in one congregation called by the name of Christ affects us all. Mr. Chandler has ventured out into the greater church through conferences, books, and social media. He has attempted to teach us all. Thus, the greater Church has every right to call him into account, as his behavior has caused the world around us to mock the Body of Christ with “See, there’s nothing to it.”


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    dee,

    I completely agree with Dee…. If one wants a “public stage”, then they are accountable on that stage….


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    Chandler dated his wife when she was 17, and he was 23. Looks like things were bad, really bad, for a very long time.

    Like Islamic Purity Culture, CHristian Purity Culture is very into marrying as young as possible, with the husband noticeably older than the wife. This was also common in the 19th Century, where a woman’s status was entirely that of her husband’s; “marrying up” to an established prestigious man who would have taken years to reach that higher status.

    Plus the requirement that the wife must be a Virgin. That would also argue for her marrying as young as possible. (Why am I thinking of that Duck Dynasty guy?)

    He married her when she was 19. I have been told that he was her youth camp counselor. … Perhaps times have changed, but it is a bit problematic to see a man in his position pursuing a teenager who was underage at the time.

    I saw and experienced this same pattern at Arroyo High School in the early Seventies. (Worst four years of my life.) Senior football jock would stake out a freshman girl and they would immediately become an item four the next four years (with him driving off all comers/rivals), marrying as soon as she graduated. Like Youth Camp Counselor/Future Lead Pastor Chandler, said Football Stars were of high status and four years older than their consorts.

    I do not know what happened to these marriages afterwards; I broke contact with anyone to do with high school once I got out. But this all does resemble the backstory of the Bundys from Married With Children.


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    Miles Long,

    And the ManaGAWD’s Propaganda Machine swings into action.
    Concerned Christian(TM) comment handle nobody’s seen before, check.
    Concerned Compassionate Pious Facade, check.
    Christian Credential Virtue-Signalling, check…


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    Max: You’ve got to remember that this is the bunch who enslave women with “the beauty of complementarity”

    You mean “BOYZ RULE, GURLZ DROOL! ME MAN! RAWR!!! WOMAN, SUBMIT!!!!!”?


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    Miles Long: We should not even know the names of pastors who live 100’s of miles and hours away from us to the degree that we now do, so let us proceed in the working out of our own salvation in the midst of those with whom we have direct contact, impact and accountability.

    Since you are a TVC member, perhaps you could fill in details we need to know. Or are you just an uninformed drive-by?


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    Miles Long,

    This sounds like a parody, but it probably isn’t. Oy.


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    ES,

    Informant to chief pastor in foyer: You told my friend (whatever)

    Chief pastor to congregation: The informant and her friend are gaslighting just like prominent elder is gaslighting you all now

    Prominent elder to congregation, not pacing for clarity: All you I-knew-its, you’ll get called gaslighters as well. You are hereby cautioned about your “season” and we do happen to have hired some lawyers. The gaslighting gaslighter gets (momentarily) let off the hook for giving us our excuse

    (The informants now need an even better lawyer)

    Prominent elder to chief pastor: It’s us that’s “The Family” – not your lawful wedded & offspring

    Chief pastor’s family (in their hearts) (and this is such a sad one): Why does he think we wouldn’t accept him when his health can’t stand the racket? Does he think we’re as “brother and sisterly” towards him as prominent elder is?

    Me: why doesn’t chief pastor tell his family what he (justifiably) thinks of prominent elder? Why tell another woman instead and not even another man? Doesn’t he think men are worthwhile (including himself)? Are his family going to tell him to ship out of that cr*p outfit?

    I dropped out of a slightly toned down version of this three years ago, perceiving it was about to blow up (which it did), and out of another hardly toned down version of this five years ago, a cool six months after that one had blown up. Half a lifetime ago, I dropped out of one, ten years before it blew up (for the exact reason)


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    Max: ou’ve got to remember that this is the bunch who enslave women with “the beauty of complementarity”,

    Ah, Biblical Manhood(TM) and Biblical Womanhood(TM).
    AKA “The Man PENETRATES! COLONIZES! CONQUERS! PLANTS! The Woman lies back and Accepts.”

    Recently I came across two examples of Biblical Manhood(TM) without the God-Talk. Both of these are YouTube videos and are EXTREMELY NSFW – partially due to cussing, mostly due to the gory details of these examples of Alpha-Male Manly Manliness.

    From Illuminaughti:
    Andrew Tate, the Incel King:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TwMWv7HG-M
    This guy has apparently been deified by the Incel movement, alongside the Santa Barbara Shooter. That should tell you something.

    From Count Dankula:
    Absolute Mad Lads – War Machine:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bj3SoTTP6uE
    Remember this guy? MMA Cage Fighter? Last heard from he was on the lam for attempted murder? Dog the Bounty Hunter on the case?
    It was worse. Much worse.

    THIS is Biblical Manhood(TM), full-strength on the rocks without the coat of Christianese paint. Strip away the Christianese, and THIS is the extreme end state “the beauty of complementarity” is preaching.

    When you hear twelve-syllable theobabble about Complementerianism(TM) and Biblical Manhood(TM), think “Incel King/War Machine, Except CHRISTIAN(TM)!” This is what Chuckles Mahaney and Deep Throat Driscoll are playing with, All Grown Up.


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    Cynthia W.:
    Miles Long,

    This sounds like a parody, but it probably isn’t. Oy.

    In an Age of Extremes like today, no matter how crazy and over-the-top you go for parody, there will be True Believers out there twice as crazy, twice as over-the-top, and DEAD SERIOUS.


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    Max: Eventually, the potato becomes “Driscoll who?” … “MacDonald who?” … “Mahaney who?” … “Chandler who?”

    doubleplusungood doubleplusunpersons.


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    Miles Long: why women are commanded to be silent in matters of theology and church authority/governance

    That explains why Matt doesn’t talk to men about the church troubles.


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    Nancy2(aka Kevlar): I don’t know if it was intentional or not, but this statement makes it sound like Mohler and co. think that marriage will put an end to sex completely! Full stop!

    This puts Mohler and his Little Playgroup in complete agreement with all the Free Love types.
    Anyone remember the Eighties song “Our Love’s in Jeopardy”?
    According to the music video, what puts their love in jeoopardy is marriage. As long as you stay unmarried and boinking away, your love will last.


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    Headless Unicorn Guy,

    “this statement makes it sound like Mohler and co. think that marriage will put an end to sex completely!”

    P.S. There’s probably a lot of Christian Courtship Marriages that prove this theory.


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    Six months ago Mr Chandler was here

    https://kingdomadvisors.com/2022

    Nice to see too that he’s still friends with Shane of Waiting Room Ministries


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    Ava Aaronson: The manager of a sports dealer in our area walked by the breakroom one evening and said to a guy on break: “What’s for dinner, fried chicken and watermelon?”

    OK, that sounds like the manager was channelling Cartman from South Park.
    Three guesses what color the manager and guy on break were (and I’m sure they were different).

    A Kinko’s manager left a porn screensaver on the company office laptop for his assistant manager.

    OK… That was just DUMB.
    DUMB in a “See How Clever I Am?” way.

    But that was the Secular world of/in The Flesh(T), not Chandler’s Church world of/in The Spirit(TM).


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    Cousin of Eutychus,

    The vagueness of “my marriage was awful” is so unhelpful. Was it awful because of mutual immaturity and poor communication, which can both be overcome given time and the learning of new skills? Or was it awful because of abuse and addiction, which require a whole different and much more intense kind of intervention?

    And was the awfulness coming from both of them, or mostly one? While I’d agree that it takes two people to make a “successful” marriage, it only takes one to ruin it. And the one doing the ruining shouldn’t be able to blame-shift to the other simply by vaguely saying “it was awful” without saying “I made it awful by doing this, that, and the other specific thing.” Whether that is being a workaholic, getting drunk, being harsh, flirting with someone not your spouse, treating your spouse like a maid, wasteful spending, etc.

    By being vague, Matt Chandler gets to be lazy. He gets to say to those with struggling marriages in the congregation, “just be committed, and it will all magically work itself out.” And then the onus is back on the victims of spousal abuse or neglect to simply “be more committed to the covenant.”

    If Matt Chandler said, “I was a workaholic” or “I was harsh with my wife” or “I treated her like a maid and nanny instead of my ezer [which is more appropriately translated as “ally” instead of “helpmeet”],” this would have set the bar higher for other husbands (because Matt Chandler has said he only preaches to the men). And it would have enabled wives to set the bar higher for their husbands.

    And this would have meant more work for the men in the congregation and, by extension, for the pastors and staff, when more couples start turning to the church for help. Whether because they realize they have awful communication skills and want to get better, or because they’ve realized they’re in an abusive relationship.

    To be clear, I’m not saying Matt Chandler was a workaholic/harsh/etc. Just that his vagueness makes it impossible to glean anything actually productive in working toward a stronger marriage.


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    From the main article up-top:
    “Chandler dated his wife when she was 17, and he was 23. Looks like things were bad, really bad, for a very long time.”

    I hope y’all can forgive me for being obtuse, but what’s so bad about 17 and 23?
    I see it as just a cultural constraint for those whose circles see it that way, but not a universal moral precept that all can agree upon.


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    Miles Long,

    So Miles, should I not listen to anything these “leaders” tell us?? They sure like to be “experts” on everything “Christain”. Just above, Lowlander lists that Mr Chandler was part of some “Kingdom Advisors conference”. They sure liked to show Mr. Chandler’s name.. they seem to imply that Mr. Chandler is adding “something” to this conference, and it was just NOT for his church….


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    Miles Long,

    “There’s only one way to find out if a man is honest, ask him, if he says yes, you know he’s crooked.”

    “There is no sweeter sound than the crumbling of one’s fellow man.”

    “The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing, if you can fake that you’ve got it made.”
    Groucho Marx


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    Ken F (aka Tweed): Since you are a TVC member, perhaps you could fill in details we need to know. Or are you just an uninformed drive-by?

    Miles may not be a TVC member, but no doubt in the NeoCal tribe. They defend their own until the potato becomes too hot to handle.


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    Muff Potter,

    She was underage.

    There’s a world of difference between mid-late teens and early-mid 20s in life experience and (hopefully) emotional maturity as well.

    If she’d been 18 (of legal age), 19, 20 it might have been a whole different story.

    Our society has not only permitted but lionized men for having sexual relationships with underage girls. The Richard Dreyfuss film, “Mr. Holland’s Opus” (from the 90s) takes a very sympathetic approach to the sexual relationship that Dreyfuss’s character, in his late 40s-early 50s, has with one of the *very* underage girls in his music class.

    There’s also the fact that MC was staff and she was just a kid at the camp.

    During my teen years, i saw school staffers groom and have sexual relationships with some of my peers, who were 15-17 at the time. Some people were having hookups with several kids at the same time. (The predators were straight, bi and gay.) This was in the early 70s, and these relationships weren’t hidden. But nobody did anything to either stop or fire the people responsible. Some of us knew some pretty damning things that weren’t quite public knowledge, but we were just kids, so who was going to believe us? We’d have been accused of making up malicious accusations against teachers and other staff.

    Fwiw, there was a *lot* of this kind of behavior occurring at many school, all over the country. Not long ago i found out that one of the magazine editors i knew and wrote for in the mid-late 90s had been fired from a Brooklyn public school for having sex with 12 and 13 y.o. girls who were in his classes. Not only that: he had sex with some of them in the tent where he and his wife slept on school,camping trips and *his wife was in the tent.* i never could figure out why this guy fled to a remote part of the Adirondacks, close to the Quebec border.

    Well… now i know, and wish i didn’t. His excuse was that “[i] lost my moral compass.” I don’t think he ever had one.


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    Jeffrey Chalmers: If one wants a “public stage”, then they are accountable on that stage….

    I would venture to say that Chandler spends as much or more time on other stages than the one at TVC. He’s out and about quite a bit speaking at conferences, writing books, managing the Acts 29 network, cattle business, etc. He promotes himself to a greater audience than TVC members. If he’s going to go public, then the public have every right to express their concerns.


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    Muff Potter,

    There’s also the issue of who has power over the whom.

    He was a staff member. She wasn’t.

    That by itself is a HUGE red flag. They didn’t meet in a social situation where they were on an equal footing.

    And, as previously stated, she was underage.

    Our society is *extremely* permissive whennit comes to this. Did you know that there are only *seven US states* and *two* US territories where child marriage is illegal? I know that sounds unbelievable, but it’s true, and the relevant info. is very easy to find. Just Google it and you’ll get way more than you bargained for.

    Our entire society still has a double standard when it comes to older, almost always male, sexual predators. (Flagrant and sickening example: R. Kelly.)


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    Miles Long: They are case studies for why women are commanded to be silent in matters of theology and church authority/governance.

    LOLOLOLOL I have never been silent, and it is due to men like you who make a mockery of the role of women.


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    Max: Miles may not be a TVC member,

    I was just taking him at his word: “it is literally none or your business, or mine, if we are not members of that congregation.” He is a hypocrite if he is making this his business without being a member of TVC. But not to worry, he is a weak man who won’t be back to have a real conversation. It was the typical drive-by.


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    Headless Unicorn Guy: Three guesses what color the manager and guy on break were (and I’m sure they were different).

    Up until a couple weeks ago I had no idea that watermelon has a racist connotation. I certainly don’t think of fried chicken that way. So I had to google that one to figure out what was wrong. Of course it would never cross my mind to say anything of the sort, but it does make me wonder what other hurtful stereotypes are out there that I don’t know about.


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    Darrin Patrick, Chandler’s right-hand man in Acts29, got fired for similar inappropriate communications with women over 6 years ago. His elders added in a whole smorgasbord of other sins as well, which never sat right with me. In fact, it’s hard to imagine someone becoming a mega pastor except by committing those. Patrick’s reaction?
    “ I am utterly horrified by the depth of my sin and devastated by the terrible effects of it on myself, my family and so many others, including all of you,” Patrick wrote. “I am so deeply and terribly sorry for the pain that my sin is causing you, as well as the broken trust that my sin has clearly produced. In short, I am a completely devastated man, utterly broken by my sin and in need of deep healing.”
    A little different from his former boss. Patrick never got over the betrayal he felt from his former friends at “The Journey”, which he talked about in the last podcast before he died.
    Our friend Eagle wrote this prophetic article about Patrick and Chandler:
    https://wonderingeagle.wordpress.com/2016/04/21/darrin-patrick-is-removed-from-the-journey-in-st-louis-amidst-questions-my-main-question-will-one-of-the-key-charges-also-be-applied-to-matt-chandler/


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    I couldn’t have said it better, Max.

    Max:
    “Almost assuredly, Chandler revealed himself to her for who he really is … she is simply in possession his deepest, darkest, dirtiest secret, which is that he is not who he presents himself to be.” (Robin Thinks)

    I’ve been saying essentially that for years in regard to the New Calvinist movement and their band of elite leaders … that they are not real.IMO, they are imposters with a counterfeit gospel who have come into the church for such a time as this, to take captive a generation of seekers.They do it with cool dudebros on stages peddling messages which are not from God … messengers with a touch of charisma, a gift of gab, and a bag of gimmicks who have led many astray.


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    I don’t know who the dudebro is who did the intro, but it should be included in the MasterClass on Spiritual Abuse. VERY accomplished at DARVO. Very ceertainly, more will come out, it will be accompanied by more deception, Matt will be out and resurface as a new and improved version in a new location, after a lengthy vacation (sorry, “Rehabilitation”)


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    Dee Parsons: LOLOLOLOL I have never been silent, and it is due to men like you who make a mockery of the role of women.

    And a mockery of the role of men.


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    I must disagree. His video series have enjoyed widespread dissemination. We attended a 9Marks Acts29 church for a time after fleeing an abusive patriarchal cult masquerading as a church that has the oversight of a major denomination.

    At that church, which felt at first like a refuge (but was probably more like having jumped from the fire into the frying pan), we joined (were assigned to? were highly encouraged to join?) a community group. The group started out by discussing and expanding upon the sermon from the previous week. There were some bible study series written by the likes of Piper and Keller, as I recall. However, I have a vivid recollection of when the group decided to go through a Matt Chandler video series. (Philippians, maybe?) everyone enthused about his energy and insight and relatability. Frankly, I found him very triggering. I didn’t leave that church for another 6 months, just stayed quiet for the sake of my family members who had been ripped from (what we thought was) our community and we’re trying to build a new community.

    The dysfunction and culture of subtle abuse disguised as “biblical masculinity and femininity” that led to my leaving that church on Mother’s Day, of all days, definitely had roots in the influence of Chandler, his video teachings and writings, and Acts29.

    Because his teachings are so widely spread and have been so influential, it is absolutely critical to spread the news of his disqualifying actions equally widely, that no one will continue to be deceived by his false gospel.

    Miles Long: My friend, it is literally none or your business, or mine, if we are not members of that congregation. God is fully in charge of building HIS kingdom and details of local congregations are not the provenance of gossip-mongering brothers and sisters from other towns. We should not even know the names of pastors who live 100’s of miles and hours away from us to the degree that we now do, so let us proceed in the working out of our own salvation in the midst of those with whom we have direct contact, impact and accountability.

    Deb and Dee need to repent for the culture of gossip and self-righteousness they have created here and so do their husbands for not leading them to submission and silence. In their attempt mete justice, the promulgate shame and mockery from non-believers and apostates onto the Holy Name of God. They are case studies for why women are commanded to be silent in matters of theology and church authority/governance.


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    Muff Potter: I hope y’all can forgive me for being obtuse, but what’s so bad about 17 and 23?
    I see it as just a cultural constraint for those whose circles see it that way, but not a universal moral precept that all can agree upon.

    There is disagreement on this because social mores are in the process of changing. In a society that prioritizes wifely obedience, a wife being younger than her husband is a plus, especially if she is young in general when they get married. In the case of a teenager with someone 5-6 years older it creates a power imbalance between an adult and a child. This same age gap may not even have a power imbalance if the individuals are, say 27 and 32. Its iffy if the individuals are, say 22 and 27 (had a friend and her husband with this age gap and the power imbalance was readily apparent to me, I have no idea if it has changed with time). In more patriarchal societies, it not uncommon for men to be advised to marry teenagers, who are younger than them, specifically in order to achieve this power imbalance.

    But the reality is that this has been standard practice for a very long time and it is only in the last 20 or so years that it really been questioned.

    Then there is the whole “he was her youth/camp counselor” thing. He says they dated, then courted for two years prior to getting married. He married her at 19. Which means he started pursuing her immediately after camp if not at camp.

    There are ways this can end up appropriate, but it doesn’t involve him dating her when she was still in High School and getting engaged to her right after she turned 18. I know of a case where a woman married her former Young Life Leader. But they didn’t start dating until she was a senior in college. In fact, she talked about how she’d had a crush on him, like all the other girls, but he never showed any interest until she was over 20 years old. I know of another case where a man married his high school English teacher. She had been fresh out of college when he was a senior. They did not keep in contact, and ran into each other after he graduated college, and then one thing led to another. That works. But a Youth Leader dating a Youth does not.


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    Miles Long:

    . . . the[y] promulgate shame and mockery from non-believers and apostates onto the Holy Name of God.

    I know you are not likely reading these because you have long gone, but just in case your are still here.

    The ones promulgating shame and mockery are the leaders who are behaving in shameful and easily mocked ways due to their extreme hypocrisy. They are the ones causing God’s name to be mocked. OK, the ones who support them and the ones who provide cover for them (you being one of them) are also part of the promulgation.

    The reason God’s name is mocked is because they behave worse than apostates and they are not called to account and publically disciplined as they are so fond of doing to others for far less onerous sins.

    Whether they are found 5 miles away or 5000 miles away (it is a global ministry he is overseeing after all) the body of Christ should be calling them to account.

    Also, don’t you realize that Dee (and others here and elsewhere) are being directed by God? I mean, they certainly aren’t acting of their own free will now are they?


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    Thank you! I have found a lot of food for thought in Brown’s books and TED talk.

    I think my parents groomed me to get sucked into fundamentalism and the American evangelical cult by raising me in a culture of shame.

    I am doing better now, some years after leaving organized religion. What a difference qualified and competent therapists can make.

    While churchianity was a huge part of my life for decades, it also inoculated me against crossing the threshold of a church ever again. Even the thought makes it hard to breathe. That makes me sad, because after escaping patriarchy and then complementarianism (truly “patriarchy-lite”), I at last attended a loving, affirming church that truly lived the love of Christ and demonstrated it in many ways to “the least of these” in the surrounding community.

    But hearing the Word read aloud, even in that safe place, kept triggering panic attacks related to spiritual abuse at the previous churches.

    I can pray with our daughter. I can discuss scripture with her and encourage her in her walk. But I don’t know if I will ever be able to listen to a sermon or hear scripture read aloud again. So ironic, considering that “back in the day” I had a Bible on audio (first cassettes, then CDs, then MP3 files, so yes, over a long stretch of time) that was read by a master reader. (Max McClane, perhaps? Somebody famous for his rich voice and evocative reading, anyhow.)

    At least I stored a lot of good words in my heart. I can still quote whole passages to myself from memory. I just cannot bear to hear them spoken aloud.

    ishy:
    TGC actually quoted Brené Brown? Brené Brown would be horrified if she knew TGC was using her quote to tell people not to report crimes and spiritual/institutional abuse of others. That is NOT what she was talking about. Holding people and institutions accountable for terrible actions is not gossip.

    I’ll say it again: reporting crimes and abuse at a church is NOT GOSSIP!


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    Muff Potter: but what’s so bad about 17 and 23?

    Quite a few years ago my kids told me about the calculation for creep factor: divide your age by two and add 7. Anything younger is creepy. 23/2 + 7 is 18.5 years, which makes 17 creepy for a 23 year old. Even though it is non-scientific, it’s not too bad as a sanity check, and it makes age difference less of a factor the older one gets.


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    Headless Unicorn Guy: OK

    Three guesses what color the manager and guy on break were (and I’m sure they were different).

    Three guesses and the 1st one doesn’t count.


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    Dee Parsons: LOLOLOLOL I have never been silent, and it is due to men like you who make a mockery of the role of women.

    You know, every single person I know who preaches that women should sit down and shut up always explains away Deborah by explaining that she was special because no men were available. And God will raise up a woman when things are especially bad. And it’s a judgment on the men. Now, I don’t think this is Biblical. But, lets pretend it is for a minute. How does a man know if a woman is the special judgement of God if the Bible specifically says the whole reason He raises up women is the men are too corrupt to recognize His voice or will? How did Barack recognize Deborah?


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    Muff Potter: I hope y’all can forgive me for being obtuse, but what’s so bad about 17 and 23?

    Under 18 is below the age of consent in many states. Where I grew up, young adult men shared a warning: “Seventeen’ll get you twenty.”

    Think of the gap in life experience between a high school junior and a college graduate one year into a career. Or a high school junior and somebody who has worked for five years.

    In this case, the guy was also a camp pastor, and she was a teenage camper. Personally, I don’t want the youth pastor, geometry teacher, etc., eyeing up the girls they are supposed to be instructing.


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    Muff Potter,

    I am only speaking for myself, here, but while I think a lot of age difference concerns can be cultural, if she were my daughter in this situation, I’d have some concerns.

    And, for context, I was in a rather serious relationship with someone 14 years older than me. While it didn’t work out between the two of us, the age difference was never as issue. He was a man of good character, and I wouldn’t have qualms if he decided to date my best friend.

    But back to Matt Chandler. First, the difference in life stage. If my 17yo was mutually interested in someone who was old enough to have finished college, I’d want them to at least wait until she (or he, for that matter, if we’re talking about a son) had graduated high school and figured out what they were doing for college (or a career or vocational school) before dating someone that much older.

    And I know some teens/women just want to get married and raise a family for a career. But (again, just my opinion), that doesn’t cut it. Because infertility may strike, or the death or disability of a husband, and there needs to be a backup plan in place. Also not knocking on SAHMs, happen to be one.

    Second, as someone else has already pointed out, the power imbalance. I’d feel uncomfortable if my kid’s boss wanted to date them; I’d feel the same way about a pastor. I do know of a couple of couples where a supervisor at work wanted to date them. In one case, the supervisor transferred to another location before they started dating. They are now happily married. In the other situation, it was a year-long temp position, so they waited until the contract was up. By then, the attraction had fizzled. It happens, sometimes.

    I was only 20 when I met the aforementioned guy. But we didn’t actually start dating until two years later, after I’d graduated college, and I think that helped me become more established in who I was and what I wanted from life before dating someone who’d already gone through that.

    I don’t know the specifics of the Chandlers’ courtship beyond what’s mentioned here. And I don’t want to presume anything, given that Lauren Chandler and her children are deserving of dignity, whatever the situation may have been. But if it were my 17yo, I’d want them to wait until she’d at least have graduated high school. And I would hope that the guy would not have started to express interest or pursue a relationship until AFTER he was no longer in a position of direct authority over her.


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    ES: As to calling out churches that are located 100s of miles away from you – that is exactly what a decent percentage of the Epistles are doing.

    Thank you. As a mere woman, I was about to take the manly word of “Miles Long” (good gravy, where did that moniker come from?) and stop reading anything and everything in the Bible that refers to geographic locales outside my county. 😉


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    Believer: I don’t know who the dudebro is who did the intro, but it should be included in the MasterClass on Spiritual Abuse.

    Yeah, I was pretty creeped out by “It has to be a safe place for all of us INCLUDING the leaders.” At about the 2:15 mark.

    There is a part of that, that is true. It is possible for congregations to be abusive of their pastors. But that isn’t an appropriate thing to be telling the congregation when the problem is it apparently hasn’t been a safe place for one of the members. And one of the leaders has been behaving inappropriately.

    It is definitely DARVO.


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    This treads on the border of speculation, but the talk of interrupted intimacy, grooming interrupted, and way too many news stories over the years of pastors and youth pastors preying on teens. Wasn’t Andy Savage one of them? I think I remembered his name right. I have been away from the watch blogs for some years and had found a measure of peace while working through my own issues, but this news brought me back.

    Reading of the possibility that he met his wife as a 20-something camp counselor when she was 17 and married her when she was 18 made me physically I’ll. There’s a name for adults who are sexually attracted to teens, separate from CSA, but I don’t remember what it is. A pattern of grown men preying on teens has grown ever clearer in our culture, not just in churchianity but in Hollywood and society. For some reason, an older man with a young “chick” on his arm is admired, while an older woman with a teenaged male companion is ridiculed. (Both are abuse, but why is it upheld as a great accomplishment for men?)

    So now I’m wondering if the secrecy and cover-up vibes come from the woman who confronted Chandler finding out that “the other woman” was a teenager that he was grooming.

    And yes, that borders on gossip. I can’t help my brain going there because of Epstein, Prince Andrew, Ghislane, etc. So it would be something of a relief if they decided to go with transparency and it turned out not to be an abuser grooming a teenager but something like sharing private information, which is bad enough, to be sure. As long as the cover-up continues, so will the damage to Chandler’s (and TVC’s) reputation.

    Ava Aaronson: They can’t get their story straight.

    Divorce Minister: I suspect this is a case of intimacy interrupted. He got too close emotionally to this other woman. Then he got called on it.

    Grooming interrupted? Whatever he did, it didn’t pass the smell test. Now they are trying to cover up a stench in their “church”, so the stinking org + stench-creator (leader) can proceed, business as usual. Yuck.


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    Darned autocorrect. “physically ill”


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    Friend,

    Yeah, there is literal Biblical precedent for telling an entire church that they are not handling a situation the way they should. There is also Biblical precedence (Paul and Barnabas) for calling out a church leader for sinning against you.


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    refugee: There’s a name for adults who are sexually attracted to teens, separate from CSA, but I don’t remember what it is

    Hebephile

    That is the word you are looking for. Personally, I’m not sure a 23 year old interested in a 17 year old qualifies as long as he doesn’t become a 18 year old interested in a new 17 year old, and then a 48 year old interested in a newer 17 year old. So, in my opinion, I’d lean away from that particular speculation without further evidence. But I see where you are coming from.


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    ES,

    * 18 was supposed to be 28 year old.


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    That was the beginning of the end for me at the Acts29 9Marks church we attended after leaving a patriarchal cult masquerading as a PCA church. The pastor at the church we fled to and thought of as a refuge would diss his wife in sermons while pretending that he was describing how God was dealing with his own sinful attitudes and words and actions.

    To anyone familiar with abuse, it came off as very passive-aggressive and veiled hostility in the guise of gratitude and godliness.

    He got increasingly rigid in how he presented complementarianism. It was like Max has described it. When we first attended that church, the women had freedom in Christ, but by the time I left, you could see the bondage on their faces.

    Cousin of Eutychus:
    Chandler’s speaking so disrespectfully of his wife would be an automatic disqualifier from church leadership for me. If he can speak so regarding her, as a church member, I would certainly wonder how he would speak of me. Very sad.

    Side note: Is it just me or do others find his hand and arm motions very distracting?


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    ES: women should sit down and shut up

    Eons ago, when I was a young Christian, my wife and I attended a rural SBC church. Occasionally, the wise old pastor allowed a godly female saint to teach (preach?) on Sunday evenings. I say “wise” because he saw in her that God had given her a tremendous gift of dividing the Word of Truth, so he gave her the pulpit to exercise that spiritual ability to instruct the congregation. I can honestly say, in the decades that have ensued and having experienced multiple preachers, she was the best Bible teacher we ever sat under. I still remember vividly her exegesis of Scripture – she was gifted. IMO, to tell her to sit down and shut up would have been a sin!


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    ES: Hebephile

    That is the word you are looking for. Personally,I’m not sure a 23 year old interested in a 17 year old qualifies as long as he doesn’t become a 18 year old interested in a new 17 year old, and then a 48 year old interested in a newer 17 year old. So, in my opinion, I’d lean away from that particular speculation without further evidence. But I see where you are coming from.

    I understand your viewpoint as well. When our teens grew into their 20s, they told me how creepy they found it when 20-somethings pursued teens. Some teen girls are persuaded to be flattered by such attentions, I think. Such an age difference doesn’t seem to matter when an adult in their 40s is dating a late-30s adult. But the difference in age between 17 and 23 is creepy!!! I don’t have the words to explain, but the explanation that I have heard makes sense and has something to do with brain development, agency, and the ability to consent.

    So while I said I really hope that isn’t the case here, I am physically sickened that it might even be a possibility. And not even a remote possibility, considering all of the garbage that masquerades as godliness and “godly” men (and the women who are their enablers).


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    refugee: When we first attended that church, the women had freedom in Christ, but by the time I left, you could see the bondage on their faces.

    Several years ago, when New Calvinism invaded our area, I attended a few SBC-YRR church plants to see what made the new reformers tick. The pastors, elders, and congregations were mostly in their 20s-30s. Attendees were attracted by the cool band, free coffee/pastries in the foyer, and shallow sermonettes that seldom mentioned Jesus.

    The “beauty of complementarity” in those places was an ugly thing to behold! Young women and their children followed their dudebros into church. The men were greeted with high-fives by the cool pastors, while their families were ignored. I almost wept as I witnessed the countenance on the faces of female believers. Free in Christ, but enslaved and oppressed by men and their aberrant theology. The Church of the Living God needs to rise up enmasse and rejoice when the New Calvinist movement ends (it will, after it has done its damage).


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    Excellent point, ES. Thank you for bringing this point up.

    ES: As to calling out churches that are located 100s of miles away from you – that is exactly what a decent percentage of the Epistles are doing. Revelations warns that entire church bodies will struggle with systemic sin. The Bible tells us that we are to confront fellow Christians’ sin and call them to account in more than one place. We are especially responsible to evaluate the fitness of someone who has a national platform within the wider church.


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    ES: As to calling out churches that are located 100s of miles away from you – that is exactly what a decent percentage of the Epistles are doing.

    And don’t forget Revelations … Jesus had a lot to say to seven churches and their leadership!

    And as Paul instructed: “For what business is it of mine to judge outsiders (non-believers)? Do you not judge those who are within the church [to protect the church as the situation requires]?” (1 Corinthians 5:12 AMP)


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    refugee: When our teens grew into their 20s, they told me how creepy they found it when 20-somethings pursued teens.

    And I felt exactly the same way your teens felt at that age about anyone more than 3 years my elder. So I know what you are talking about. I just think that there is a certain age gap, that while creepy and inappropriate, it is a result of immaturity on the part of the elder individual that they may hopefully grow out of, rather than a pathological interest in a specific age.

    Years ago I remember reading a Dear Abby where someone wrote in to whine about the fact that he was in his thirties and only attracted to 14/15/16 year olds and why was it so wrong for him to have relationships with the girls he was attracted to. He made a comment that once the girls turned 17 or 18 he’d find them unattractive. This guy was incredibly whiny that he couldn’t engage in the behavior he wanted to without risking jail time. It was apparently very unfair.

    That was gross. But it also revealed a great deal about him and his expectations of a romantic relationship. Relationships to him were purely about his gratification. He had no interest or capability to engage in a healthy long term relationship. And he really didn’t care one iota about his partner, they were simply an object to be used and then discarded when they got too old. I suspect that this fellow is on the far end of the creepy spectrum, so I’m not trying to say that he is the description.


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    Headless Unicorn Guy: Like Islamic Purity Culture, CHristian Purity Culture is very into marrying as young as possible, with the husband noticeably older than the wife. This was also common in the 19th Century, where a woman’s status was entirely that of her husband’s; “marrying up” to an established prestigious man who would have taken years to reach that higher status.

    Bingo! We participated in volunteer training at a local historical site. I helped in the school for 10-18yo girls who were training to reenact life at the Fort for visitors to the site.

    They were your typically light-hearted, mischievous, giggly bunch, especially on the day when the lecture topic was marriage in the 1840s in the area. When the lecturer pointed to some of the 12yos in the class and told them that they would have been married or preparing for marriage if they had lived there in the 1840s. Their eyes got wide (I could swear I saw a discreet high-5 here and there; they were constantly crushing on the 10-18yo boys in the boys’ classes) and the giggling started—until the lecturers said, “Now let me describe your husband or husband to be. He’s a trapper, probably in his 40s. He’s worked his way up and learned the trapping trade, has staked out his territory and achieved success in his occupation, enough to support a family. You may be his first wife, or you could be his second or third wife because his previous wife (or wives) died in childbirth. By next year, you’ll have a baby of your own…”

    They got real quiet real fast. The idea of marrying a 40yo horrified them.

    And yet the patriarchal crowd has long been pushing marrying off young girls (as young as 13) to older men so the men can shape them properly. They took over the Christian homeschooling movement, as a matter of fact, and some groups have even gone so far as to have meet-and-greets for mature men and potential child brides. Unfortunately, child marriage is legal in (am I remembering right? Sadly, I think I might be) at least half the states in the US. Maybe more than half. All it requires is the parents’ consent—and parents who are brainwashed and gaslighted into this toxic thinking embrace the idea without questioning.

    In fact, when you think about it, it seems like a recipe for trapping a woman in marriage. Marry her young, before she can gain an education or job skills, before she can learn to think for herself. Saddle her with half a dozen children by her mid-20s. It takes courage and gumption and sheer luck to escape an abuser when you have no education, no job experience, are responsible (and love) 6 innocent, helpless children, and are totally dependent on the abuser for the roof over all your heads, the clothes you wear, and the good on your table.

    And this is not a hypothetical situation. It happens and has happened over and over in the US, I’m very sorry to say. We fellowshipped with some of these “marry ‘em young” people while we were still drinking the koolade.


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    (“Food on your table”, among other typos. Sorry. I hope the rest is readable. It’s always interesting what emerges from typing on a phone.)


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    Max: The “beauty of complementarity” in those places was an ugly thing to behold! Young women and their children followed their dudebros into church.

    You know, it is interesting to me that this flies directly opposite of Jesus instructions:

    Matthew 23:10 Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ.

    Source: https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/Matthew/23/10

    Luke 10:38-42
    38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

    41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[f] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

    Matt 19:14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

    It was the first verse about Leaders that led me to believe that all the verses about marriage needed to be interpreted through Christ’s very clear teachings on who is to be the Leader. I started asking why all these verses that had no assigned gender to them were annulled by one or two verses about men and women. It just stopped making sense that I was bound to obey a sinful man and put all my trust in him instead of in my savior. And the only part that involved trusting my Savior was the part where I relied on Him to manipulate my spouse into doing what was right, which was only possible if I was good enough.


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    refugee: When the lecturer pointed to some of the 12yos in the class and told them that they would have been married or preparing for marriage if they had lived there in the 1840s… You may be his first wife, or you could be his second or third wife because his previous wife (or wives) died in childbirth. By next year, you’ll have a baby of your own…”

    My dad was abused horribly by his 13 year old sister who had to step up and be his “mother” when his father ended up in an extended stay at a mental health facility and his un-educated mother had to put food on the table. If a 14 year old girl was the 2nd or 3rd wife to a 40 year old, she would also likely be the stepmother to his children. I wonder if immaturity is to blame for the evil stepmother trope.


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    It has something to do with brain development, developmental stages in growing from childhood to adulthood, agency, power differential, and the ability to consent.

    Therefore, an age difference of 6 years is “eh” (shrug) between two mature adults with some life experience under their belts and who have been out in the world, living independently, and have some perspective that allows them to engage in critical thinking, see red flags, etc.

    It’s quite another for a guy who is a couple years past college graduation to fixate on a high school junior.

    A juvenile who seduces someone more than 4 years younger commits a criminal act, according to the laws in our state and likely other states as well.

    It’s called “statutory r***” for an adult to be intimate with someone under 18, and there are developmental and psychological reasons for that.

    To me, the idea of a 23yo going after a 17yo says a lot. I’d hazard to guess he’s a loser who can’t hold his own with women his own age, so he goes after an impressionable, less-experienced, more gullible teenager who will believe his bull-malarkey.

    It doesn’t speak well for Chandler, in that light.

    Muff Potter:
    From the main article up-top:
    “Chandler dated his wife when she was 17, and he was 23. Looks like things were bad, really bad, for a very long time.”

    I hope y’all can forgive me for being obtuse, but what’s so bad about 17 and 23?
    I see it as just a cultural constraint for those whose circles see it that way, but not a universal moral precept that all can agree upon.


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    ES:

    How does a man know if a woman is the special judgement of God if the Bible specifically says the whole reason He raises up women is the men are too corrupt to recognize His voice or will?

    Taking the complimentarians perspective for a moment to answer the question, by the fact that women are raised up of course.

    And given how many women are being raised up, how bad must all the male leaders in places of leadership be right now?

    They should be horrified that not a one of them is apparently Godly enough in their manliness of leadership. I mean, look at how so dang many women God has had to raise up to call them to account! Not a one of them should be able to even look at themselves in the mirror!

    Seriously though, they *should* be deeply ashamed at their utter lack of leadership and apparent inability to protect their congregations. But we know that greed has no shame and that they put money, their organization, and their reputation before the safety of their congregation. They deceive themselves and their teachings should be highly suspect since their judgement is obviously so thoroughly impaired.


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    I’m so sorry to hear this.

    This is an interesting speculation! I’ll have to ask my historian offspring about her take on this idea. She recounted to me the fascinating history behind the invention of the horse collar and the spinning wheel the other day.

    ES: My dad was abused horribly by his 13 year old sister who had to step up and be his “mother” when his father ended up in an extended stay at a mental health facility and his un-educated mother had to put food on the table. If a 14 year old girl was the 2nd or 3rd wife to a 40 year old, she would also likely be the stepmother to his children. I wonder if immaturity is to blame for the evil stepmother trope.


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    refugee: I’d hazard to guess he’s a loser who can’t hold his own with women his own age, so he goes after an impressionable, less-experienced, more gullible teenager who will believe his bull-malarkey.

    When I was a teen, Young Life and Youth Group were really unappealing. It was just a really bad match for my personality. I recently mentioned to one of my brothers that I felt one of the Young Life leaders had taken my refusal to go to Young Life personally. I’d only met him once as a teen when he clearly encouraged one of my peers to invite me and I had rather bluntly turned him down (the bluntness was because I had learned a long time ago that rudeness would get people leave me alone, being sweet meant I would have to deal with badgering on the issue). I met this man again more than 7 years later as I was getting established in my career, and he seemed to have a chip on his shoulder towards me. My brother informed me, that as an adult, looking back on the people who had run Young Life in particular, he felt they were typically the 20 somethings that were the least mature of their age group. He basically told me that as an adult, they were the kind of people that he felt were kind of losers when it came to succeeding with their own age group. But they appealed to their ministry group for almost the same reason.


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    ES,

    I should have stated: I remarked to my brother that it was weird to me that an adult would take a moody teenager’s mood personally and then hold it against them 7 years later. That lead to my brother commenting on this individual’s maturity and the general maturity level of the youth leaders he had as a teen.


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    Afterburne: They should be horrified that not a one of them is apparently Godly enough in their manliness of leadership. I mean, look at how so dang many women God has had to raise up to call them to account! Not a one of them should be able to even look at themselves in the mirror!

    The conundrum of the whole thing is that if the men are so deceived that a woman has to be raised up, then they are too deceived to spot when she is… and are likely to try to shoot God’s messenger… and by the very system they have set in place, none of us will ever be able to discern between the women leaders who are God’s messengers of judgement and the ones who are deceived and simply living out the supposed curse that they would always be trying to overthrow men’s rule. So basically, regardless of whether or not a woman is Satan’s or God’s messenger, men are doomed to oppose her even to their own detriment… which now is beginning to sound a whole lot like Calvinist Predestination.

    It doesn’t work logically. Or maybe that is as HUG says, a feature not a bug?


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    refugee: I’m so sorry to hear this.

    There is a whole lot of generational trauma in my family. My Aunt was pretty badly abused herself by their father and deeply traumatized by the ways his mental illness harmed the family. But my dad is so traumatized himself that he cannot see the 13 year old girl for who she was, instead he sees the “adult” who abused him. Their relationship is permanently damaged.

    The idea of a 14 or 15 year old girl suddenly becoming a step parent to a passel of kids with a trapper husband who might leave his wife to go out in the wilderness for extended stretches is a situation ripe for abuse. Taking into consideration that a 40+ year old could easily have a 14 or 15 year old child too, and I just don’t know how that could ever be a good situation for anyone.

    One of my great great grandfathers had 22 children and went through 3 wives in the process of getting them. My Great Grandma was the youngest of the 1st wife’s 10 kids. Her mother had not survived her birth. At least her father had the sense to marry Spinsters. His 3rd wife was in her late 30s. I’d say she was far better prepared to deal with my then 16 year-old great grandmother and the 10 kids of the 2nd wife, than a 14 year old would have been.


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    ES: this flies directly opposite of Jesus instructions

    The underlying problem in New Calvinism is that the dudebros don’t read the Gospels much, so they wouldn’t know much about what Jesus said about anything. The young reformers like to camp out in Paul’s epistles, where they proceed to twist what he says to make it fit their aberrant theology. I’ve told some of the SBC-YRR “pastors” in my area: If you read Paul first, you might miss Jesus. But if you read Jesus first, the writings of Paul come into perspective. Most of them just smiled and walked away … they are an arrogant bunch, preferring to listen to Piper instead of ole Max.


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    Max:

    … they are an arrogant bunch, preferring to listen to Piper instead of ole Max.

    Or apparently listen to Jesus either.


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    ES: When I was a teen, Young Life and Youth Group were really unappealing … My brother informed me, that as an adult, looking back on the people who had run Young Life in particular, he felt they were typically the 20 somethings that were the least mature of their age group.

    The American church seriously needs to revisit its youth ministry model. Putting young, inexperienced, spiritually immature youth “pastors” over a bunch of teenagers is an accident waiting to happen. You want find the title “Youth Pastor” in the New Testament … but you will find clear instruction for older saints to teach young folks.


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    Afterburne: Or apparently listen to Jesus either.

    Jesus?! Nah, they have eternally subordinated Jesus in favor of the Calvinist God. They don’t talk about the Lord of Lords much, nor the Holy Spirit … and they sure the heck don’t position their lives to listen to either.


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    Max: they are an arrogant bunch, preferring to listen to Piper instead of ole Max.

    The first time I read Piper’s contribution to Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, knowing nothing about him other than people I knew seemed think highly of him, I thought… this guy is really short. He’s scared of tall women. As a woman of 5′-8″ (which doesn’t seem that tall, but the google tells me is in the 95th percentile for height in women) I’m pretty experienced with a certain variety of short men wearing their insecurities on their shirts.* Piper has marinated his gender theology in his short man syndrome. I should not be able to determine that he is shorter than me from his writings (unless he decides to say something like: “See David was short and God used him to slay the giant! If you are short like me, its great to know that God doesn’t care what the world thinks of your stature!”)

    *Plenty of short men are not insecure. I probably know more who are not than who are. This is not a blanket statement. But man, when a man is insecure, it can be quite threatening to a woman who knows very well that he is still stronger, and now he thinks he needs to make sure I know it.


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    Max: The American church seriously needs to revisit its youth ministry model.

    The church I’m going to now has a woman in her 40s running that ministry. The kid’s love her. And she is hardly what I would call immature. It is very, very different than what I am used to seeing.


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    ES: this guy is really short. He’s scared of tall women … Piper has marinated his gender theology in his short man syndrome.

    He’s really, really scared of muscular women! I guess he hasn’t figured out yet that his wife Noel has been building muscles climbing three flights of stairs when he rings his little bell for him to bring tea to his study. Someday …


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    It is very concerning that MC has the video about his relationship with Lauren up; it shows that he clearly doesn’t understand the power differential between a “camp pastor” and a “camper”. I very much hope that this is an area that the elders have identified for his development.

    Of course, A29 and the SBC don’t have a good history of understanding such issues either.

    Gossip is very common among some pastors. I was a church leader for a while and heard some of the things that the pastor said.


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    Max: he rings his little bell for him to bring tea

    meant to say “her to bring tea”


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    Max: He’s really, really scared of muscular women!

    Ha! That was exactly what I was thinking about. Tangent coming…

    There is something else going on there too. His whole (I’m paraphrasing) “masculine musculature may inspire passionate feelings, it won’t inspire long walks on the beach and tenderness…” has had me wondering for a while if the issue isn’t so much women as men. Plenty of women work out and build muscle without looking “butch.” And notice, he doesn’t say that it isn’t attractive to him, he says is isn’t… How do I say this… Long walks on the beach are not necessarily romantic. I’ve enjoyed quite a few with platonic friends and biological family. I enjoy long walks on the beach with my husband, but the thing that is unique to my husband is the passion part.

    So why exactly is he claiming that “masculine musculature” inspires passionate feelings in him? Where is that coming from?


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    ES,

    She was underage. He was a camp admin, and she was just a kid.

    Yes, mores are in the process of changing, but imo, there’s no excuse for this.


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    refugee,

    I hear you. I find it extremely difficult to both read the Bible or hear it being read sloud. It’s also very difficult for me to pray. Or, at least. to pray with words. There are many reasons for that. What i do is kind of “think at” God with visual imagery whenever possible. I am finding that i need workarounds for a lot of things, even 20 years down the pike.

    Being in a church service makes me anxious, too. If there was some way i could be invisible, I’d go. Maybe. I miss the liturgy, and I’ma revert to my Lutheran background, but…


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    Max: He’s really, really scared of muscular women! I

    Ah, Pious Piper and Muscular Women “begetting unnatural arousal in a Man”.

    Time to dust off my standard Josie Cotton link for that:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=457N1m4oUZw


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    ES,

    This is normal in Luthewan churches! And quite healthy, i think.


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    ES: I thought… this guy is really short.

    I think he’s 5’3″-5’4″.
    And built like a wet noodle.
    And with Drama Queen mannerisms.
    Any “muscular woman” could fold him up and stuff him in a dumpster.
    No wonder he has to keep them under his heel. It’s the only way he can convince himself he’s a Man.

    He’s scared of tall women. As a woman of 5′-8″ (which doesn’t seem that tall, but the google tells me is in the 95th percentile for height in women)

    My only girlfriend was 6’1″. I’ve always had a soft spot for “cuddly amazons”.


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    Max: You want find the title “Youth Pastor” in the New Testament … but you will find clear instruction for older saints to teach young folks.

    Basically a mentor/apprentice arrangement.

    But who cares about us Old Farts these days, other than to “hurry up and die!”?


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    Afterburne: Or apparently listen to Jesus either.

    Apparently that Rabbi from Nazareth is useful only as the Ultimate Celebrity Endorsement.


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    ES,

    When you think about the NeoCal dudebro movement, Piper just doesn’t fit. Yet, he is called the Father of New Calvinism. The whole new reformation is a strange thing … creepy theo-elite in suits commanding an army of young rebels in flannel shirts. I guess they were made for each other for such a time as this, even if they don’t look and act like each other.


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    ES: and by the very system they have set in place, none of us will ever be able to discern between the women leaders who are God’s messengers of judgement and the ones who are deceived and simply living out the supposed curse that they would always be trying to overthrow men’s rule.

    “…Idi Amin and the Shah
    And al-Fatah is quite bizarre;
    I never could get the hang of I-de-o-lo-gy,
    I do the Rock…”
    — Tim Curry

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPflzUtfejg


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    numo: there’s no excuse for this.

    I think you are misunderstanding my point. I am not making excuses about this. It’s wrong. Always has been. I was explaining to another poster why it was once very common and is now frowned upon – which is a worthwhile exercise when some of us age-wise have grandparents, parents or even peers who married this way, and nobody blinked an eye.

    My argument that he was likely immature and therefore attracted to his maturity level, doesn’t make it right, or acceptable. Immaturity for ones age should not ever be an excuse for taking advantage of someone less powerful. When you are immature, you have to grow up before you get to be in a romantic relationship. It’s indicative that he wasn’t mature enough to be in that position in the first place. It is sad that her parents and his leaders didn’t step in and say “nope” way back then. But it is a direct result of our ignorance on the issue 20 odd years ago.

    But it also doesn’t make him a hebephile, which is a whole other level. Not every man who is attracted to teens when he is 23 continues to be attracted to them as he ages. Some do.


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    Headless Unicorn Guy,

    HUG, when you and I are gone, the world will fall apart.


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    Max: When you think about the NeoCal dudebro movement,

    I was technically never part of that. My parents converted to Calvinism in the early 80’s before I was born. I was raised in it. But the “church fathers” quoted were the Puritans, Calvin and Knox. It wasn’t until I was exposed to Sovereign Grace Ministries in college that I ever heard of Piper or Mahaney. And it was confusing because Calvinism without infant Baptism does not make sense to me. It is not a far stretch to Baptize the kids when you believe in predestination and you believe God’s promises are for you and your children. It wasn’t until after college that I heard Piper’s name in the context of the churches I grew up in. And for some reason, that I cannot pin down, I was leery of him, without having read a thing of his. I was pretty leery of all the “new” guys in Calvinism.

    But that might have been because by then I had already been a little burned by Josh Harris, so I was leery in general.


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    ES: burned by Josh Harris

    Whew! Forgot about him. And we wonder why we see strange things coming out of that movement, considering those who played key roles in launching it.


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    refugee: I’d hazard to guess he’s a loser who can’t hold his own with women his own age, so he goes after an impressionable, less-experienced, more gullible teenager who will believe his bull-malarkey.

    Isn’t that about what the Duck Dynasty guy said?
    Something about marry them young before they can develop bad attitudes”?
    I remember when he caught flak for that and all the Christians Rallied Round the Beard.


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    ES: My argument that he was likely immature and therefore attracted to his maturity level,

    I heard somewhere that you’re attracted to someone whose chronological age equals your internal emotional/personality development age.

    And a quote from Autobiography of Malcolm X that when marrying, the ideal age for a wife at time of marriage is “half the man’s age, plus seven”. I think this was a folk belief, because I’ve heard it from one or two other sources.


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    ES: There are ways this can end up appropriate, but it doesn’t involve him dating her when she was still in High School and getting engaged to her right after she turned 18.

    i.e. the pattern I observed between football jocks and their squeezes in high school.

    The only time I had a girlfriend, she was 20 and I was 25-26 when we first met, some 40 years ago. At the time i thought that mid-to-late 20s (“Young adult”) was the ideal age to marry.


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    Max,

    That ship has sailed, unfortunately. But grateful you all are still here.


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    Max,

    I feel somewhat defensive of Josh Harris. He was a pawn who was groomed since he teens for the position he took. First by his father, then by Mahaney. He did not start that movement, he was the handsome young propaganda for it. It was never lost on me that my fellow teen girls drooled over his photo on the back of the first book. Doug Wilson never had that kind of appeal. He was the celebrity you could have a smidgen of a crush on but not get in trouble for it because he was a role model.

    Yes, I was burned. Not nearly as badly as others were burned. Yes, his behavior has been deeply problematic, and he hasn’t grasped the full depth of it and might never.

    He was also used, eaten up, and then spit out. And he made his initial choice to join as a teen around the same age as these impressionable young girls get scooped up by youth pastors or older pastors. There are a huge number of us who spent our twenties into our thirties trying to make that broken system work for us. We all harmed others in the process. He hurt way more people because of his platform. But he had that national platform purely because he was useful propaganda.

    If that isn’t objectification, I don’t know what is.


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    Headless Unicorn Guy: I heard somewhere that you’re attracted to someone whose chronological age equals your internal emotional/personality development age.

    I personally think we tend to be attracted to those whose internal maturity matches our own internal maturity.

    It’s important to point out that people who have been parentified or in other ways abused can appear more emotionally mature than they are. This is because they will take responsibility for things they should not have to. But that doesn’t mean they are emotionally mature.

    A teen woman who is attracted to the immature man giving her attention does not have the maturity level of his chronological age. But she could easily be flattered into believing that. And she might even be told that by the other adults around her who watch her act responsibly. But that does not mean her emotional or psychological development is ahead of schedule. If that makes sense.


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    Michael in UK,

    Oh my word, that’s hilarious. Almost as funny as Mr Miles (if that really is his name) Long’s original post.


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    Wild Honey:
    Cousin of Eutychus,

    By being vague, Matt Chandler gets to be lazy. He gets to say to those with struggling marriages in the congregation, “just be committed, and it will all magically work itself out.”

    When he said “just be committed”, maybe he means be committed to “the beauty of complementary”. If women would just do that, it would solve just about all marriage problems……. meh, at least from the point of view of certain types of men.


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    Miles Long: My friend, it is literally none or your business, or mine, if we are not members of that congregation. God is fully in charge of building HIS kingdom and details of local congregations are not the provenance of gossip-mongering brothers and sisters from other towns. We should not even know the names of pastors who live 100’s of miles and hours away from us to the degree that we now do, so let us proceed in the working out of our own salvation in the midst of those with whom we have direct contact, impact and accountability.

    I’m sorry, I don’t buy that, not for a minute. I’m a taxpayer, and I pay more property taxes than the three megachurches within two miles of my house. So yeah, as a taxpayer, if something hinky is going on, and I’m indirectly supporting it, I think I should know what’s going on.

    Also, if it wasn’t already clear, the churches generally do a TERRIBLE job reporting child sexual abuse. It’s the rare church body that actually goes to law enforcement when child abuse is reported. Far too often, child sexual abuse is swept under a lumpy and growing rug. And Matt Chandler’s TVC falls into that class. Why, last month when TVC settled out of court with a girl who had been sexually abused, TVC said they did nothing wrong. That’s just disgusting. Y’all basically need *supervision*.

    And no, the churches are not above the law, either. I’m still doing a slow burn about a terrifying child abuse case here in Arizona, where local church leaders of the dominant religion of the Intermountain West knew a girl was being sexually abused for seven years, but did nothing. It took the country of New Zealand arresting a guy, finding the videos and then going to US Homeland Security before the perp was caught. But not before he started sexually assaulting the girl’s baby sister.

    So no, I don’t trust you all to do right. I just don’t.


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    Lowlandseer: Six months ago Mr Chandler was here

    *snip*

    Nice to see too that he’s still friends with Shane of Waiting Room Ministries

    Any idea where he’s been over the last six months? Or whether he has any engagements between now and the end of the year?

    And the link to “Kingdom Advisors” is a targeted attempt to get people to invest with their “Certified Kingdom Advisors” (CKA®), which is basically a designation on top of being certified as a financial planner, accountant, investment/insurance professional or attorney. To get that, you have to take some courses and then pay $199 for a proctored exam, and then $495 a year for CKA® after your name. What a grift!

    For the record, my employer wants us to get certified in either Microsoft or Google Cloud but I don’t use either in my day-to-day work activities. At least they’re paying for the training and exam.


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    It should be obvious by now that these “Christian Celebrity” speakers are no more than point men for their corporation, gifted orators on par with a Hollywood actor. Therefore can anyone doubt that in the case of Chandler, “there is no such thing as bad publicity.”

    And what an occupation! Make a complete fool of yourself and mockery of God and you get a (likely) 6 month paid vacation. Of course this will be interspersed with a weekly meeting or two at the local coffee shop where your underlings will purchase you an expensive latte and tell you what great progress you are making on the road to recovery. Is there any doubt that he will be reinstalled as the senior performer? The clowns in charge of his rehab program are dependent on him to keep their bloated paychecks coming in.


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    ES: My dad was abused horribly by his 13 year old sister who had to step up and be his “mother” when his father ended up in an extended stay at a mental health facility and his un-educated mother had to put food on the table. If a 14 year old girl was the 2nd or 3rd wife to a 40 year old, she would also likely be the stepmother to his children. I wonder if immaturity is to blame for the evil stepmother trope.

    Well, to be fair (horrifying, but accurate), she would only be stepmother to the under 12yo children, if 12 and up was considered marriageable for girls in that time and place. He would have married off his young daughters, of course, to men his age or older, from what I remember of the lesson.

    And now I’m wondering what happened with the men who were not successful enough to marry. Did they just… not? Another thing I remember from that lecture was that the men who were sent from England to work as clerks and supervisors often engaged in “country marriage” with a native or half-native woman. I guess it might be like common-law marriage today? The supervisor of the Fort wrote in his journal about the troubling issue of men in country marriages who went back to England and left wife and children behind. His journals and letters are one source of our knowledge today of the customs in this part of the world in the 1840s, when the Hudson’s Bay Company laid claim to wide swaths of the Northwest.


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    TGC’s best offering (from around the web section) – “ I’m alarmed at how we seem to react to the sins of others.
    On one hand, we see mobs of people online ready to judge and sentence the person. It’s easy to assume the worst before knowing many of the facts. It’s easy to rush to judgment with no hope of redemption.
    On the other hand, others seem quick to gloss over sin, minimize the damage, and restore the person before repentance has taken place. Many seem to confuse forgiveness with restoration. If some rush to judgment, others rush to exoneration.
    Before scandal takes place, we need biblical categories. What sins disqualify someone from ministry? How does the church respond to these issues in a biblical way? When is restoration possible? What does the process look like? We must think through these issues in advance rather than responding in the moment based on our emotions.
    Not thinking through these issues leads to gross mismanagement of abuse and sin when it happens.“

    https://www.dashhouse.com/when-you-hear-of-a-scandal/


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    ES,

    I applaud him for turning agnostic an excellent example also given by one of the Piper sons if I remember correctly.

    We agnostics have got all the options and we have them in complete privacy (where they always should have been) without any claimed “authority” breathing down our necks.

    Thomas of the spectacularly bad timing, and the centurion also fly the flag for their own creedence (not being toyed with) (not credulity).

    Aaron Long and some of the younger Ortbergs due to their young age, have struggled to attain this. I remained trapped until late middle age.

    We are called to bear one another’s burdens and not carry institutional baggage (which we carried a mile already) (neocolonial religion).


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    “Chandler dated his wife when she was 17, and he was 23. Looks like things were bad, really bad, for a very long time.”

    Looks like church leaders really like teen girls. And not in a good way.

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/amanda-householder-explains-how-she-got-her-parents-arrested-for-abusing-teen-girls

    Church leaders + teen girls: it’s a thing.


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    This is intended to be sarcasm, right?


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    Todd Wilhelm: It should be obvious by now that these “Christian Celebrity” speakers are no more than point men for their corporation, gifted orators on par with a Hollywood actor … Is there any doubt that he will be reinstalled as the senior performer? The clowns in charge of his rehab program are dependent on him to keep their bloated paychecks coming in.

    The Christian Industrial Complex depends on a network of the users and the used to be successful. Pulpit generals and their lieutenants are working the American church with a battlefield strategy to conquer and control religious kingdoms. Nowhere has this been more successful than within New Calvinism … “Christian” celebrities abound within their movement … a deceived pew keeps financing this rebellion. Chandler will be back … he must return … he is the only general who can hold the line he has been assigned, while others work other corners of the NeoCal battlefield. When will this war end?


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    ES: I feel somewhat defensive of Josh Harris. He was a pawn who was groomed since his teens for the position he took … He was also used, eaten up, and then spit out … he had that national platform purely because he was useful propaganda.

    And that, ES, is a primary reason this old man comments on TWW. I am deeply disturbed by the New Calvinist movement and its band of Pied Pipers who have drawn away a generation. They target young folks, indoctrinate them with lies, suck all the spiritual life out of them, use and abuse them. When the NeoCal storm blows over (it will), multiple thousands will be left tossed on shore confused and disillusioned … they may never attempt church again.


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    Ava Aaronson: That ship has sailed

    But I have a lifeboat!


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    refugee: And now I’m wondering what happened with the men who were not successful enough to marry.

    I suspect that the mortality rate of men doing trapper work in the wilderness was relatively high. I know for a fact that the shipping industry had a high mortality rate. And they took very young boys on. I’ve also read somewhere that male children tend to have a higher mortality rate than female children as well. So if less boys than girls made it to puberty, and less young men made it to old, that might even out with the number of women lost to childbirth.

    And some just never got married.


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    Max: They target young folks, indoctrinate them with lies, suck all the spiritual life out of them, use and abuse them.

    Just like the Hitler Youth and Young Communist League.


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    Todd Wilhelm: It should be obvious by now that these “Christian Celebrity” speakers are no more than point men for their corporation, gifted orators on par with a Hollywood actor.

    And we all know the Koine Greek word for Actor, don’t we?
    (It’s nothing Spiritual at all.)


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    Muslin, fka Dee Holmes: And no, the churches are not above the law, either. I’m still doing a slow burn about a terrifying child abuse case here in Arizona, where local church leaders of the dominant religion of the Intermountain West knew a girl was being sexually abused for seven years, but did nothing.

    By “dominant religion of the Intermountain West”, do you mean not just Mormons but UTAH Mormons?
    I once had a contact among California Mormons and among them Utah Mormons have a reputation for legalistic strictness. Guess the rivalry still exists as when the Avenging Angels (Utah Mormon Danites) and the Dark Destroyers (California Mormon Danites) shot it out somewhere in Nevada back around the time of the Gold Rush.


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    ES: But that does not mean her emotional or psychological development is ahead of schedule. If that makes sense.

    I DO know from personal experience that if you start out as a Kid Genius (and/or Aspie), your emotional/psychological development will be as far behind schedule as you IQ is ahead of schedule. The term “Stable Genius” is BS; instability is part of the package, especially for creative types.


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    refugee: the lecturer pointed to some of the 12yos in the class and told them that they would have been married or preparing for marriage if they had lived there in the 1840s.

    I trust your research. However, one of my dreary pastimes is studying old marriage records, from the American colonial era forward. In much of the (current) US, say from New Jersey and Pennsylvania northward, men and women married in their early to mid twenties from the 1600s through early 1900s. They were usually a couple of years apart in age. Widowers often married widows, maybe for affection and propriety, maybe because widows had experience with housework and raising children.

    By no means am I trying to correct you. Rather, I’m concerned about church “authorities” who want us to believe that child marriage was the norm in places like Plymouth Colony. Child marriage was a horror, as you say—and it was also not practiced everywhere.


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    Nancy2(aka Kevlar): Did anyone else catch this?
    Dee said:
    “Mohler and the gang thought this was a delightful idea to stop young people from having sex.”

    I’d rather my daughter practice safe sex than marry a moron whose only aim is to control her via some misbegotten religious clap-trap.


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    Todd Wilhelm: “Christian Celebrity” speakers are no more than point men for their corporation

    Seeking power without obedience never lasts. Substituting your authority for Jesus’ authority always fails. Places like TVC require their point man to stay in place. When Driscoll failed, Mars Hill shut down … when MacDonald failed, Harvest Bible Chapel became a smaller blip on the radar … when Hybels failed, the Willow Creek empire vaporized … etc. etc. Celebrity Christianity depends on celebrities … Chandler has been one of the best. He ‘must’ make an unrepentant comeback or TVC will be no more.


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    “Attempts to Disorient Us”

    The New Calvinist movement has disoriented thousands of young folks from ever finding their way to ‘the’ Gospel … the wrong compass, the wrong map, the wrong way. But, praise God, I see glimpses of hope in my area with NeoCal church plants closing shop and some attendees venturing back into mainline churches.


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    ES,

    No, i wasn’t intending to imply that you were excusing him. Not at all!
    Further upthread from your reply to Muff Potter, you can, if you want, find my replies (2) to him. In ome of them, i wrote a paragraph about people on my HS’s faculty and staff who preyed on kids. It’s a horrifying scenario, and was likely much more widespread than i knew. And then i mentioned the 1st magazine editor i wrote for and finding out that he lost his sole teaching job decades ago for hsving sex with 12 and 13 y.o. girls.

    Which is why i was so emphatic about there never being an excuse. There never is.

    We cool now? 🙂


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    ES,

    Fwiw, i used to be a regular commenter here, prior to 2016 and the 4 years that came after. I’ve been yakking with Muff and other longtime commenters here since not long after Dee 1st started TWW.

    Anyway, some convos go on over months and years. However, i did notice that a whole lot of folks replied to his query and said basically the same things – even my verbose comments managed to do that, i think. 😉

    And then it got to be so many that … oh, i dunno what i was thinking, b/c i was very tired and kept zzzing out before i finally made myself get up and go to bed. I probably had a point as to why i responded to your comment rather than someone else’s, but it wasn’t to criticize or single you out.


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    Friend,

    And the frontier could be different. Sacagawea was “married” to a French-Canadian voyageur and pregnant with their 1st child when Lewis and Clark hired her. She had her baby during the winter of the expedition’s 1st year.

    Iirc, she was 13. And she might well not have been this guy’s 1st partner.

    After the expedition was over, William Clark married a girl who was just barely into her teens. I do think there’s aldo a divide over the age thing per urban, small town/village and frontier areas in our history. (I’m from a part of PA that was the 18th-early 19th c. Wild Frontier and now i want to go look at early marriage records for my county…)

    You might be surprised to know that child marriage is legal in all but 7 US states and 2 US territories as of right now. I know that seems scarcely credible, but it’s true. If you Google it, you’ll get tons of info., more than you could ever need, let alone want, to read. I looked it up last month and was stunned by the sheer number of states where it’s still legal.

    So if some kid isn’t at the legal age of consent for her state, it’s highly proobable that she is old enough to be married.


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    Further… famous French painter Paul Gauguin, who abandoned his wife and kids to live in Tahiti, was yet another person who liked to prety on girls as youbg as 12. He certainly did that in Tahiti. We know b/c he wrote about it in his letters and diaries.

    He never sent anything back to France per child support, either.


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    Sadly, some of our society’s heroes – also highly lionized by many Christians – were in relationship with kid/young women who were decades younger than themselves, when the girls were still in their teens.

    Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s fiancee is a case in point –

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maria_von_Wedemeyer_Weller

    Even in world-famous literature, there are striking and creepy age gaps. In War and Peace, Pierre (Tolstoy’s socially progressive alter ego and hero) falls in love with Natasha, whom he later marries, when she’s only 13. Pierre is close to 30.

    And although the linked info. says Natasha is 13 when she falls in love with Pierre, i think a case can easily be made for her having a huge crush on him and that’s all. It reflects some unhealthy dynamics in Tolstoy’s life, but i have never read any discussion of his novel where this age difference is actually discussed and called what it really is.

    Suffice it to say that the casting of Henry Fonda and Audrey Hepburn as Pierre and Natasha in the 50s movie is a bit of a whitewash…
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natasha_Rostova


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    Linn,

    That link was very helpful.


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    Beyond the youth pastor/student relationship, Chandler carries a lot of baggage through his association with New Calvinism where he quickly became a poster child for the new reformation. A darling of the movement, he has done a lot of damage with NeoCal theology dealing with subordinating women AND Jesus … the “beauty of complementarity” and Eternal Subordination of the Son are doctrines rotten to the core, not to mention “I preach only to men” nonsense. All of that swirling through his mind no doubt dulled his discernment to know right from wrong in DMing that poor woman. In a movement which has pushed boundaries of faith where they shouldn’t be, Chandler crossed into territory he shouldn’t have been. I’m certainly not defending him, just pointing out how dangerous NeoCal thinking can be. As I’ve said before, New Calvinism, if left unchecked, will eventually lead to antinomianism where the new reformers begin to believe they are freed by grace from the obligation of observing the moral law. After all, it’s a religion of grace-this and grace-that while Grace stands in the distance.
    Tullian Tchividjian is a good example of using “grace” to do whatever he pleases … IMO, there are many in New Calvinism close to crossing that line.


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    numo,

    Hi Numo. I remember you. I’ve been lurking and sometimes commenting since 2011ish, with some rather large gaps. Thank you for clarifying.

    Sometimes I am not all that convinced I have communicated clearly when I am trying to understand underlying reasons. I don’t think the underlying reasons ever excuse the behavior. We don’t get to hurt other people just because we are hurting. But if we can find the underlying reasons, we have a much higher chance of preventing it from happening again, or even seeing where we might have something akin going on in our lives, where we are failing to see how our underlying subconscious motivators are hurting others because we haven’t done the work we should to prevent that. It is motivation for me to be a better person.

    At the same time, sometimes, someone is so far gone, and they refuse to address the issue or they have just done too much harm, and they need to permanently step out of the spotlight. There are consequences even when there is forgiveness. Somebody is stuck living with the results.


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    numo,

    Natasha’s 1st husband marries her when she’s 16.


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    numo: now i want to go look at early marriage records for my county…)

    I have read that in more rural areas there often are not any marriage records because people were not getting officially married, because there wasn’t anyone to do the service. They were engaging in common law marriage, but taking it seriously.


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    ES,

    But i sincerely did not mean to accuse you.

    I am too blunt for anyone’s good sometimes, and it’s often easy for me to think that my intent is clear to others b/c that + my line of reasoning are clear to me.

    I understand what you were saying about social mores. I hope it’s clear why i personally feel revulsion for men who target teenage girls. I was fortunate to escape their notice, but what happened around me left scars.

    And on two different occasions, once when i was 15 and once when i was 17, men decades older than me tried to pick me up in public places. I looked much younger than i was, too.

    OK?

    I am sorry that you felt like i was targeting you and your post. I wasn’t.

    Pax


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    Muff Potter: I’d rather my daughter practice safe sex than marry a moron whose only aim is to control her via some misbegotten religious clap-trap.

    I remember feeling like some of the guys at church I interacted with were simply the other side of the coin of the players at school I interacted with. They both only had one use for me, and I was interchangeable with the next pretty girl. The difference was that the player just wanted a little fun, and the Church boy wanted to own me permanently. There was a distinct lack of effort in both types to get to know me as a person. The guy who wants a one night stand doesn’t need to know me because he isn’t going to be putting up with me for long, and the guy who wants a “Christian marriage” only needed to find out if I believed I had to obey him – from there it didn’t matter what I was like because he had the right to mold me into what he wanted and I had a Christian obligation to change for him.


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    ES,

    I’d think it depends on where. Sacagawea’s partner was a trapper and explorer, and would have spent most of the year in the wilderness.

    The county and town that I’m from saw their 1st settlers in the mid-1700s. Various local Lutheran and Methodist congregations were established very quickly, soon after both Germands and Irish Protestants got west of the Susquehanna River. I do think it’s likely that the surviving Lutheran congregations have records – registers of births, baptisms, marriages and deaths – from their beginnings, albeit in German.

    My county, as a county, wasn’t established until the very early 1800s. Iirc, we were part of another county for a while before that.

    West of here – say, out towards Pittsburgh – was still primarily wilderness at the time of the French and Indian War, and not fully settled for sone time thereafter. The mountains were a major barrier to settlement. No easy way over them, and there are a lot of them. This part of PA looks like a scrunched-up blanket in sarellite photos. It’s still rural and probably always will be, especially since our passenger rail system is barely functioning. (Has been true since the early 70s.)


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    ES,

    And yes, i very much agree that the fringes of early white settlement had a lot of unmartied, partnered couples.

    It’s interesting to see how this changed over time in Europe, too. The nobility and the wealthy were far more likely to be married by clergy than the poor. I doubt serfs were ever permitted to marry.

    Then, during and after the Renaissance, things began to change, albeit slowly. And it was still true that in isolated areas, couples might have been together for years and had kids before a priest or minister came through to catch up on marriages and baptisms. Church weddings weren’t standard, not so long ago.


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    Michael in UK: my friend

    You told my (any kind of relationship)?

    “You should see the size of Josh Patterson’s private jet!”

    (Financial allusion don’t you know. It must have been a serious issue he spilled the beans on, for it to take 6 months to work out what to say about it while he addresses all those ill-making conferences.)


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    numo: So if some kid isn’t at the legal age of consent for her state, it’s highly proobable that she is old enough to be married.

    Yes, unfortunately. In some places, a girl who is below the age of consent can be married (married off, that is), but cannot seek a divorce until she is 21, simply because marriage is a contract. Of course, her parents or that aging frontier trapper don’t care about that.


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    numo,

    We are good. 🙂


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    ES: So why exactly is he claiming that “masculine musculature” inspires passionate feelings in him? Where is that coming from?

    Oh My! (Chuckle) I suppose that depends on how you define “masculine”… you folks need a reprise of my sermon about masculine worship?


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    Ok here goes:
    “ If it is done right, this masculine feel creates a space. It is big, it’s roomy, it’s beautiful, it’s peaceful. It’s just full and radiates with all the good things of life and in it women, flourishing, will give it that feel. So that as you walk in on Sunday morning and strong singing, led primarily by men, and then a voice from God is heard, and women are loving this, they’re radiant, they’re intelligent, they’re understanding, they’re processing, they’re interacting. Then all the gifts that were just articulated will flourish in that space. And as you navigate that community there will be feminine feels all over the place.”
    https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/more-on-the-masculine-feel-of-christianity
    Have fun!


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    Pastor John,

    Are you trying to give me a bad weekend? 🙂


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    Pastor John: there will be feminine feels all over the place

    Perhaps the men should keep their hands to themselves…


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    Friend: Yes, unfortunately. In some places, a girl who is below the age of consent can be married (married off, that is), but cannot seek a divorce until she is 21, simply because marriage is a contract. Of course, her parents or that aging frontier trapper don’t care about that.

    This is just general commentary, not to Friend specifically.

    And I’m NOT saying this makes it right. Just providing a little context.

    I suspect a reason child marriage is still legal even where the age of consent is higher is so that teenagers who get pregnant out-of-wedlock can marry. With the assumption being that this will provide the best outcome/stability for the mother and child. Emphasis being “assumption,” I don’t know that there’s actually any research to back this up.

    And I wholly agree that it is very open to abuse. And that it doesn’t make sense that someone is considered mature enough to get married without parental consent at age 18 but not get divorced until age 21, even though divorce is on the same scale of important life decisions.

    But then, it’s also weird to me that a person can sign up for the armed services at the age of 18 and give their life to their country, but can’t (legally) drink alcohol for 3 more years.


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    Wild Honey: But then, it’s also weird to me that a person can sign up for the armed services at the age of 18 and give their life to their country, but can’t (legally) drink alcohol for 3 more years.

    Remember the Drys were uniquely American, and some of their DNA is still passed down.

    And remember the Boomers dropped the drinking age to 18 so THEY could drink, and then raised it so the next generations couldn’t.


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    Wild Honey: I suspect a reason child marriage is still legal even where the age of consent is higher is so that teenagers who get pregnant out-of-wedlock can marry. With the assumption being that this will provide the best outcome/stability for the mother and child.

    This used to be called “making an honest woman out of her”.
    There are also echoes of Deut 22:28-29.


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    numo:
    numo,

    Natasha’s 1st husband marries her when she’s 16.

    Which was probably the Age of Consent in that time and place.
    It’s 16 is a few states, and I heard once it’s 14 in Japan (a warning in Anime fandom about how shoujou hentai is legal in Japan but CP in America because the characters are of JAPANESE legal age, NOT American).


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    Max: Places like TVC require their point man to stay in place. When Driscoll failed, Mars Hill shut down … when MacDonald failed, Harvest Bible Chapel became a smaller blip on the radar … when Hybels failed, the Willow Creek empire vaporized … etc. etc.

    Full-honk Personality Cults almost NEVER survive after their Personality is gone. Very few Joseph Smiths are followed by a Brigham Young that can turn the One-Man Show into a self-sustaining system.

    This holds for non-religious cults as well; look how Communism (based around an economic philosophy) demonstrated more staying power than Naziism (based around the Person of The Fuehrer). Philosophical-based cults have the original philosophy to fall back on.


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    Actually, the Peter Principle is something taught to high school wrestlers about winning body orientation during a match. At least it was until girls started joining the teams.


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    Lowlandseer: Pile of poo!

    I agree. That direct quote from Piper really is a pile of poo. It’s amazing people pay attention to him.


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    ES,

    Cool! 🙂


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    Headless Unicorn Guy,

    I honestly don’t know. This is War and Peace that we’re talking about, so imperial Russia during the Napoleonic wars.

    The epilogue takes place in 1812. By that time, Natasha and Pierre, her 2nd husband, have been married for a while. They have a family. Her 1st husband died a good while before that.


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    Headless Unicorn Guy,

    I’d imagine it would be easy to find out the age of consent in Japan. Google is your friend!


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    Lowlandseer,

    “…that you not fritter your time away on soaps or ladies magazines or aimless hobbies, any more than men should fritter theirs away on excessive sports or aimless dawdling in the garage.”

    Something about “frittering away time in the garage” is making me mad. My husband is a tinkerer. He comes from a very long line of tinkerers. Some of whom have invented historically important machines. There was a lot of “frittering” before those machines were developed.

    Not everything that looks like a waste of time actually is. Plenty of absolutely brilliant people have made lasting contributions to the world, that John Piper takes for granted. But in the process of getting there, or laying the groundwork for those who followed to get there, there were a long line of accusations about wasting their time.

    Excessive sports? Led to my father and my brother both becoming Marines, and a second brother becoming a Fire-fighter. One brother had scholarship offers for college. My parents were criticized heavily for the amount of time they allowed my brothers to spend on sports. My father’s focus on physical activity for his kids ended up being very beneficial for us all. But my dad is built like a Lumber Jack (frankly, he is one), the exact opposite of Mr. Piper’s physique. I’m not impressed with a man who could not excel in that arena listing those things off as being “ungodly.” Me thinks he has confused his insecurities for godliness… again!

    Same thing with women’s hobbies. Mr. Piper needs to simmer down about how other people spend their time.


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    ES: Mr. Piper needs to simmer down about how other people spend their time.

    Not too many years ago my son was at an outdoor opera in Northern Italy – it was in an old Roman amphitheater. He texted me to let me know he sat right behind a guy who looked and acted like John Piper. He chose not to strike up a conversation with him, but he is pretty sure it was him. Not many days after that John Piper talked about his recent travels in Italy. If that really was Piper, why was he wasting his time at an opera?


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    Friend: “Miles Long” (good gravy, where did that moniker come from?)

    He was just a drive-by, miles away by now. He was not looking for actual dialogue.


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    Pastor John: Ok here goes:

    I’ll try…

    “ If it is done right, this masculine feel creates a space. It is big, it’s roomy, it’s beautiful, it’s peaceful.
    Okay, so theater. Or architecture. Sometimes they are the same thing. The Bible isn’t all that concerned about either of them.

    “It’s just full and radiates with all the good things of life…”
    Things that are full, are not roomy. That isn’t how that works. What radiates? The building?

    “…and in it women, flourishing, will give it that feel.”
    So women give things a masculine feel? But only flourishing ones, in radiant spaces? So we need to guild our churches?

    “So that as you walk in on Sunday morning and strong singing, led primarily by men, and then a voice from God is heard, and women are loving this, they’re radiant, they’re intelligent, they’re understanding, they’re processing, they’re interacting.”
    Men’s voices make women intelligent? What are the women processing? What are they interacting with? DO they not “interact” elsewhere? Is this a boy band concert? Sure sounds like a boy band concert.

    I get it. The women are radiating. Something. Not really sure what.

    “Then all the gifts that were just articulated will flourish in that space. And as you navigate that community there will be feminine feels all over the place.”
    So a masculine feel creates feminine “feels,” but women create the masculine feel? What gifts? None of the things he listed are the “gifts of the spirit”

    John Piper has always been really good at using a whole lot of words to say absolutely nothing whatsoever.

    He should have been a poet or a novelist… maybe not a novelist. His wordiness would drive editors crazy.


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    Ken F (aka Tweed): If that really was Piper, why was he wasting his time at an opera?

    He wasn’t wasting his time.
    He was frittering his time away.
    ……. prolly spying on sinning heathens for ideas on his next sermon???


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    Muff Potter: I hope y’all can forgive me for being obtuse, but what’s so bad about 17 and 23?
    I see it as just a cultural constraint for those whose circles see it that way, but not a universal moral precept that all can agree upon.

    I see it as being the fact that he was her camp counselor that’s disturbing. It’s a power gap


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    Ken F (aka Tweed): If that really was Piper, why was he wasting his time at an opera?

    I suspect that Mr Piper fancies himself a classy individual. He “wastes” a lot of time going to watch things he considers “high class.” He goes to the ballet – ignoring the fact that in order for those performers to make it in that field, they must engage in what could only be described as “excessive” physical training, which can include forms of weight lifting for women. So he goes to the opera. This fits with his “classy” persona. My limited exposure to his writings has me convinced that he knows very little about the world and thinks it is acceptable to just guess and then make a spiritual analogy based on his un-educated guess. The result is his writings are flat out contradictions.


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    Jack: he was her camp counselor that’s disturbing

    In the NeoCal world, that is viewed as no big deal at all. They are populated by immature flesh babies in both pulpit and pew … very little Spirit flowing through their ranks.


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    ES: John Piper has always been really good at using a whole lot of words to say absolutely nothing whatsoever.

    If he can’t find the right word, he makes one up.


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    Miles Long: In their attempt mete justice, the promulgate shame and mockery from non-believers and apostates onto the Holy Name of God

    I’m not to great at promulgating shame but I think I’m a fairly good promulgator of mockery…


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    Jack: non-believers and apostates

    What if you’re both, are you double promulgating. Theology vexes me so …


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    Ken F (aka Tweed),

    I wonder if he (Piper) knows that the biggest part of opera fandom, holders of season tickets, buyers of recordings, etc. are gay men?

    Not joking. It’s gay men. That’s not to say that there are no women or straight men who love opera – quite the contrary. But many gay men are passionate about it. They’re a subculture within a subculture.


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    ES: The result is his writings are flat out contradictions.

    That fits perfectly with so many other writings from his theological tribe. Here is the article he posted, not too many weeks after my son texted me, that makes me think it was really Piper:
    https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/god-has-a-people-for-his-name


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    Ken F (aka Tweed):
    Not many days after that John Piper talked about his recent travels in Italy. If that really was Piper, why was he wasting his time at an opera?

    Why was he wasting time traveling to Italy? Think of all the Gospel Good (TM) he could have done with the money spent on that trip instead!

    Maybe he was secretively looking for seashells? 😉


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    Wild Honey: I suspect a reason child marriage is still legal even where the age of consent is higher is so that teenagers who get pregnant out-of-wedlock can marry. With the assumption being that this will provide the best outcome/stability for the mother and child. Emphasis being “assumption,” I don’t know that there’s actually any research to back this up.

    I used to accept that assumption, but these days I just see disparate laws and nutty beliefs working against minors, especially girls.

    Guess I’ll be the first on TWW to recommend Teen Vogue as a source for theology, law, and statistics: “…between 2000 and 2015, there were at least 207,468 child marriages that occurred in 44 states, according to figures from PBS’s Frontline.” https://www.teenvogue.com/story/child-marriage-and-divorce-in-the-united-states

    Probably in most states an unhappily married teen can seek a divorce at 18 rather than 21. If she’s younger than the age of majority, she might ask for an annulment, or request a guardian ad litem at court.

    There’s a group called Unchained At Last, which works to end child marriage in the US, and has a map of miminum marriage age: https://www.unchainedatlast.org/laws-to-end-child-marriage/#age

    (And we’re fine. I think we’re all just adding to the shocking info, not disputing with each other.)


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    I am curious.

    Is there a reason that people feel like they need to keep rehashing the misguided and stupid things Piper says and does?

    B/c if i go back to, say, 2007 or so, the comments sections are full of the same content per him.

    While i realize he’s a mess and that he pushes a lot of weird, unhealthy (and just plain dumb) things, i actually *had to* move on from thinking about him a long time ago.

    i got thrown off the hamster wheel in 2002, although it took nearly a decade for my initial detox. I’ll probably never be out of detox as long as I’m on this planet, but at a certain point, i found that continuing to cover the same ground was bad for me personally. Yeah, there are still times when i get angry at the “leaders” who kicked me to the curb, but they weren’t Reformed and/or directly influenced by the people who keep messing up and are often the (understandable) subjects of posts on this blog.

    Then again, i don’t generally come here to comment on posts so much as to join in discussions about other stuff. This was also true for me at iMonk, past a certain point. A lot of posts and comment threads that were very helpful to me at one time (where i mostly just read comments for years) turned from that to something harmful. They reminded me too much of depressing experiences from my past when what i needed was to look ahead instead. Same here. I really needed this blog and the comments section for a good long while. But that changed over time.

    Hope that makes sense!


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    numo: I wonder if he (Piper) knows

    Mr. Piper jumps to conclusions about these things. He likes opera, ergo it must be good and good people (ie not gay) like it too. He considers himself old fashioned “classy.”

    He likes Ballet, therefore it is what he wants it to be.

    He doesn’t approve of sitting in a car and looking at a night sky with your loved one (or just driving down the mountain and being young apparently) so he assumes they are necking and accuses them of sexual sin. He could have assumed the same thing of me and my brother on many a night when on family camping trips. And the closest we ever got to what he would have assumed was happening was sticking out our tongues at each other simultaneously and narrowly avoiding contact. As teens. We never stuck our tongues out at each other again unless we were at least 3 feet apart. But hikes, in the dark, with my brother, to go look at the night sky? We still do that. Only now we bring his daughters and my husband along now.


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    Ken F (aka Tweed): That fits perfectly with so many other writings from his theological tribe

    So, in that article he ponders on about 2000 year old gigantic stones, lifted into place without cranes etc. Once again, he makes assumptions that are massively incorrect.
    1. The romans had cranes: https://www.scirp.org/journal/paperinformation.aspx?paperid=104668
    2. The Romans did not typically build with large stones. They built with hand sized brick and then veneered everything with Marble so it would resemble the large stone Architecture of the Classical Greek Architecture they were copying and expanding on. There are exceptions to this, but the Colosseum in Rome is not one of them. https://colosseumrometickets.com/building-materials-of-the-colosseum/
    3. Approximately 2/3rds of the Colosseum was plundered for building materials. If Piper had taken a tour of the Colosseum with one of their very well trained Docents (they are usually archeologists – bring your advanced questions, they know the answers and their faces light up when they get asked) and listened, he would know that much of what we have to admire in the Colosseum is a result of restoration that started around when Napoleon invaded Italy. I’ve taken that tour 3 times, and every single one of those docents referred to the Colosseum as partially reconstructed. Oddly, I cannot find a reference for that.


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    Friend: I used to accept that assumption, but these days I just see disparate laws and nutty beliefs working against minors, especially girls.

    Yup. And the reality is, many of the conservative religious groups who want child marriage do not want her to have access to divorce. And meanwhile, the vast majority of the population has absolutely no idea that these laws are used extensively to avoid statutory rape charges. They think its two kids about the same age. Not that it could possibly be a child and an adult. Or that the adult could have impregnated the child and is now looking to avoid prosecution.


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    “Matt will spend time during his leave from the pulpit focusing on his development with the elders”
    +++++++++++++++++

    i mean, is it ok to chuckle, here?

    first off, what is “development”?

    been a part of a number of churches. i’ve never observed a group of elders who had any skills or experience in ‘developing’ a person.


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    “…Considering the findings of the TVC investigation and consistent with the leave of absence from preaching and teaching that the Village Church has placed Matt on, the Acts 29 Board has asked Matt to step aside…”
    ++++++++++++++++

    So, the Acts 29 Board has been privy to the findings of the investigation, then?


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    numo: Is there a reason that people feel like they need to keep rehashing the misguided and stupid things Piper says and does?

    For whatever reason Piper keeps coming up, it’s clear that the movement he fathered has been doing lots of misguided and stupid things.


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    Max: it’s clear that the movement he fathered has been doing lots of misguided and stupid things.

    I think the reason this is happening is because none of these men were wise enough to see Piper’s foolishness. Which is why I think we keep coming back to Piper.


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    ES,

    exactly … not a lick of discernment in the whole bunch


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    Max,

    Yeah, i do know that, but what i was trying to ask is why do comments about JP seemingly have a life of their own? B/c that was true from the time i 1st began reading the comments here + posting my own comments til today. I wasn’t here for over 5 years, but am seeing the same kinds of comments, with basically the same content, that folks were making a decade ago.

    For me personally, there was a point when i needed to start focusing other things. Like many of us, I’ve got scars, and reading comments about JP and some other topics turned out to be a thing that retraumatized me. So i had to stop.

    I even feel uneasy about asking why these discussions keep going in the 1st place, b/c of having to think of JP in order to do it.

    Again, i hope that makes sense. Am sure that for some folks, the discussions are genuinely helpful and very relevant to where they are ATM. I suspect that will change, given time, if only b/c nothing in life is static.


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    ES,

    That makes a whole lot of sense!

    Thanks, ES.


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    numo,

    I deeply struggle with pastors I personally know, who are very well trained, and very smart, who cannot see Piper’s foolishness. I don’t understand why. It feels like being the kid who points out the emperor has no clothes. Except, they don’t see it at all.

    In the meantime, Piper’s directions to women are utterly non-sensical. He basically tells women that if they trespass on a man’s ego, they have sinned against him. And women are supposed to magically know what that means. But I really don’t know how to avoid insulting “gods image in man” while giving directions to the highway. Experience tells us its different for every man. I seriously think the reason he is so appealing is because he makes men feel like they can blame any insecurities they feel around women on the women. It makes sense to them because they know what threatens them. But it hasn’t occurred to them that what threatens them isn’t universal, or that perhaps they should lean on God when they feel threatened rather than squishing another human being.

    And Piper makes them feel good and godly about the whole situation.


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    ES,

    I should add that I’m even more perplexed because my dad, who is pretty misogynistic and Calvinist, would have no patience for Piper. My father hates long winded, flowery language. My father also likes his women thin and fit. He encourages the kind of exercise Piper finds unnatural. He wanted me to run track, suggested I apply to the Naval Academy, and set up a chin-up bar in our backyard for all his kids to use. When he notices my muscles grow, he nods in approval.

    My dad would see exactly what I see in Piper. And my dad is exactly the kind of “Christian leader of his home” that these men idolize. So there is something beyond misogyny that motivates this.


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    numo,

    You make perfect sense, numo. I think a lot of Warburgers suffer PTCD (post-traumatic church disorder) caused indirectly by Piper through the NeoCal mess he fathered. Still seeing the trauma touch others – for example TVC members now confused and disillusioned over Chandler’s transgression – results in a sidebar discussion about the ails of the NeoCal movement in general, eventually leading back to the misguided souls that started it all – Piper being at the top of the heap. Taking an axe to the root of the NeoCal tree could not bypass Piper – he greatly influenced Chandler and so many more like him. When the movement finally dies (it will), Piper and comments about him will fade into obscurity. Won’t that be refreshing!


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    To clarify, I was not generalizing but speaking specifically of the Northwest and accounts in the Hudson’s Bay Company records about local customs.

    Interesting to hear how customs differed on the East Coast. Maybe because it was more settled country? Or maybe it was the population mix. The local area had British, several local tribes, Metis, Voyagers who came West from French-speaking Canada, even some Pacific Islanders in the mix in the early 1840s, before the Oregon Trail brought an ever-increasing stream of people from eastern parts of the US.

    Friend: I trust your research. However, one of my dreary pastimes is studying old marriage records, from the American colonial era forward. In much of the (current) US, say from New Jersey and Pennsylvania northward, men and women married in their early to mid twenties from the 1600s through early 1900s. They were usually a couple of years apart in age. Widowers often married widows, maybe for affection and propriety, maybe because widows had experience with housework and raising children.

    By no means am I trying to correct you. Rather, I’m concerned about church “authorities” who want us to believe that child marriage was the norm in places like Plymouth Colony. Child marriage was a horror, as you say—and it was also not practiced everywhere.


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    refugee,

    Your part of the country was frontier, and in frontier areas, a lot of cistoms are bent to the point that they break, b/c there’s usually not anyone around to enforce laws. And slso b/c people might be struggling to just exist.

    Back in the mid-1700s, the part of PA that I’m from was the frontier. So i get it.


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    ES,

    I’ve been in abusive churches, but they didn’t hold to this sort of (extremely weird) theology. (They had their own weird stuff, though…)

    Something that you will probably start to sense as you spend more time in your Lutheran congregation is that Reformed theology isn’t part of the beliefs and practices of your church or people who grew up Lutheran.

    I struggle with understanding it, b/c the emphasis on election, irresistible grace and more are profoundly alien to me. And those 5-point Calvinists who believe in so-called “limited atonement” just… well. I can’t tell you how stunned i was when i 1st read about that. I told my mom about it, and she was aghast.

    To be honest, i cannot see what that in particular has to do with Christianity per se. I feel similarly about Reformed theology in general, but limited atonement seems to be contrary to everything in the Gospels. If Christ didn’t die for all, what’s the point?

    I also just cannot accept the idea of Christ dying in order to avert God’s wrath. Either the Father loves us, and loved us enough to send the second person of the trinity to redeem us, or he’s a cruel, vindictive not-god. I mean that to me, that view of God is simply not any God i could ever believe in. The whole notion of the incarnation and atonement are turned on their heads and i want absolutely nothing to do with those ideas/beliefs.


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    1. Max,

    Max, I agree about what they’ve been doing to Matt all along but also, the resurgents through their Billy Graham-based Holy Spirit-less spiritual dominionism, their essentialism (insisting that an incidental is the main thing) and ad hominem approach have (by reinforcing latent ambient William James style corner-cutting attitudes) imposed even on secular institutions their total materialsm and legalism. What’s wrong with “christianity” isn’t solely down to the ancient Jews or Augustine but also to what was going on in our early childhood; meantime the sort of (sometimes Lutheran based) life that Dee and others appreciate lacks an overt ideological overpinning.

    2. I hesitated to offer the following based on the video and accompanying comments but here goes:

    From the clip I am going to highlight the points that don’t usually get thought of.

    – the geezer with the blank face (in the black and white shirt) that began, says TVC 2.0, which we now have, doesn’t need Matt
    – “this other woman” means the (family OR non family relationship) on whose behalf the lady that stopped him in the foyer was speaking
    – “disorient” means both “catch unawares” and “gaslight”
    – he is, as usual, obsessed with his last seven years (his lifetime milieu has never fostered him in thinking for himself)
    – habitual flattering of elders’ role (whom he despises because they despise him, “brother-sister” style)
    – he finds his ill health an embarrassment to his family (as if he would never expect them to accept him; something Blankface never has done anyway)
    – the staff have torn a strip off him, as he is blemishing their all-important image by his continual signs that they have worn him out
    – he had to build this pitiless structure around himself, in order to punish himself
    – designer outlet evangelicalism (which is and always has been totally anti-Biblical) literally devours its own; everyone sets everyone up to fail, including by perpetually babying the congregation
    – time check 7:32 and counting
    – “would God (TM) administer to” the “I knew its” is, literally, a brutal threat
    – “this is the day that The Lord has made” from Blankface sanctifies their coup d etat
    – Blankface is far more pseudy than Matt which is why he made Matt appoint him
    – Blankface is now dumping the disaster on each of us personally (you too can be both babied, and dumped on at the same time)
    – He brutally cautions us regarding our “season to come”
    – VERY ARROGANT STANCE 10:29 EVEN CHECKING TO SEE IF ANYONE NOTICES!
    – has defined “clarity” and is a poser regarding his “pacing” which he incidentally wasn’t using when he mentioned the “I knew its”!
    – claims responsibility for our hearing
    – thanking the person that came forward for the opportunity to get back at them
    – “social media” is a risky aid to persons of Matt’s flighty makeup. (As for one-on-one, he should e-mail people)
    – it’s important to know Matt has been “wholeheartedly” under the thumb of Blankface and colleagues
    – they are “blessed” with a strong team who will “shoulder” a lot (sends us a “message”)

    As Robin (Thinks) points out in the first piece the false rapport and alignment by Blankface are highly abusive (creating false phenomenology), “reminding” us how “disoriented” even we are, helpfully offering the ideal remedy.

    Ah but what did we “I knew it” if there wasn’t anything to “I knew it”!

    Therefore, sinisterly, it is arranged for Matt to accuse the informant of gaslighting just like he is “admitting in plain hearing” Blankface is doing. This in preparation for “copycats”.

    Both women are further “othered” in Blankface’s and Matt’s language, a decoy manoeuvre (double bluff) precisely because it’s predictable.


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    Dave A A,

    Patrick was whitewashing his colleagues just as Chandler is whitewashing his now.

    The system makes the figureheads sin on purpose so as to send the message that it is good.


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    ES,

    But there definitely is plenty of misogyny in JP’s little world.

    The thing is, JP only has as much power as others allow him to have. He’s just some guy who says stuff. He’s not a paragon of anything; he’s just nothing special.

    I think sometimes it’s possible to continue allowing individuals to have power – emotionally, psychologically – long after we’ve walked away from them. And i sometimes get that sense from some of the comments about JP, though I’d have to go digging to find an example or two.

    If that’s the case for anyone and they become aware of it, well, i know what good therapists say about it. That is to pay no mind and just keep moving padt the individual and their attempts at power and control. I do realize that that’s very difficult a great deal of the time, but continuing to try can actually bring about big changes in us.


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    ES: I seriously think the reason he is so appealing is because he makes men feel like they can blame any insecurities they feel around women on the women.

    Perhaps Piper was thinking about his own securities around women when he tweeted this experience from his youth:

    “Down by the river the teenagers would go to make out. I watched them drive back. They never looked happy. Especially she.” (Aug. 6, 2014)

    “I watched them” still creeps me out! “Especially she” … whew!!

    What kind of “pastor” talks like this?! But the young Calvinists apparently love it … go figure.


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    numo: Is there a reason that people feel like they need to keep rehashing the misguided and stupid things Piper says and does?

    Piper continues to have way too much influence in the Christian Industrial Complex, and especially among churches with affinities with New-Calvinism. I left a SBC church a few years ago for a number of reasons, but the last straw for me was a sermon channeling Piper and the numerous Piper quotes. Additionally, he has fingerprints on just about every trainwreck within New-Calvinism through his past endorsements of nearly all the bad actors. He has become the Kevin Bacon of church abuse. Ignoring him doesn’t make the problem go away.


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    Max: What kind of “pastor” talks like this?!

    He is either a liar or a peeping Tom. Which is worse? Maybe those kids did not look happy because of the creepy old man spying on them.


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    Ken F (aka Tweed): creepy old man

    I think he was a creepy young man at that point, a budding theologian who would one day put those girls into complementarian bondage. And to put it into context with the subject of this post, influenced a generation of NeoCal preachers, including Chandler.


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    Ken F (aka Tweed): Piper … has fingerprints on just about every trainwreck within New-Calvinism through his past endorsements of nearly all the bad actors

    The exact point I was trying to make in upstream comments. Thus, the reason some of these posts about bad-boy New Calvinists circle back to Piper.


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    numo: I also just cannot accept the idea of Christ dying in order to avert God’s wrath. Either the Father loves us, and loved us enough to send the second person of the trinity to redeem us, or he’s a cruel, vindictive not-god.

    I really appreciate your comments. It is interesting that you cannot comprehend what I am struggling to shrug off. I’m in a church where they cannot comprehend either. So when I ask questions, they have no idea where to start in order to explain the theology. But I find myself in a church where nobody can comprehend what I’ve been taught. The people who can, all believe it, and think I am apostate for going to a church with a female pastor and openly gay members. I don’t even know what to think of it. I just know that after my faith was gutted, all I’m left with is Christ died for my sins. Everything else is up for discussion. But I cannot find what I need to discuss.

    And infant baptism. That is really important to me because my faith started prior to my memory, and I was denied membership in the church initially because I was too young and then I had to deal with decades of people questioning the legitimacy of my faith, not because I had no fruit, but rather because I didn’t have a satisfactory conversion story. I do not remember a time where I did not have the still small voice.


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    ES and Numo–you might really enjoy checking out Christus Victor instead of penal substitution.


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    numo: I mean that to me, that view of God is simply not any God i could ever believe in.

    A critical question to ask is whether or not God the Father is Christlike. Any theology that makes him not Christlike is probably wrong.


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    numo: I also just cannot accept the idea of Christ dying in order to avert God’s wrath. Either the Father loves us, and loved us enough to send the second person of the trinity to redeem us, or he’s a cruel, vindictive not-god. I mean that to me, that view of God is simply not any God i could ever believe in. The whole notion of the incarnation and atonement are turned on their heads and i want absolutely nothing to do with those ideas/beliefs.

    Thank you for this numo.
    It takes courage to go against long held dogma and rigid belief.
    I too no longer sign on to the doctrine of PSA (penal substitutionary atonement).
    I now take the Jewish view that your sins are your own and cannot be transferred onto somebody else.
    I think that there are many more of us out here who feel the same, but wouldn’t dare and say so publicly.


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    Muff Potter: I think that there are many more of us out here who feel the same, but wouldn’t dare and say so publicly.

    I’m too stupid to shut up, which contributed to my last church becoming untenable for me. I asked too many questions. Even very recently, I responded to a theological question asked by a friend (who still attends that church) on his FB page. My answer resulted in one of the pastors from that church picking a fight with me on the topic of original sin (he seems to have quit the discussion without answering my questions).

    On the topic of original sin, Augustine taught it as inherited guilt because he was not good in Greek and he used a bad translation of Rome 5:12 (Jerome’s Latin Vulgate). His view got traction in Western Christianity but not in Eastern Christianity. None of the early church fathers before him described it as inherited guilt.

    On the topic of PSA, no one before the reformation taught Jesus satisfied the wrath of God by receiving it as punishment in our place.

    There is a reason so many protestants ignore all the early church fathers except for Augustine. They act like he was the only notable figure between the death of the Apostles and the reformation. Actual church history tends to unravel protestant assumptions.


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    Max: “Down by the river the teenagers would go to make out. I watched them drive back. They never looked happy. Especially she.” (Aug. 6, 2014)

    Pious Piper, hiding in the bushes by the river with his binoculars…


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    Ken F (aka Tweed): A critical question to ask is whether or not God the Father is Christlike. Any theology that makes him not Christlike is probably wrong.

    In a time when Christians consistently mistake Donald Trump for Jesus Christ, that is not very reassuring.


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    Michael in UK: The system makes the figureheads sin on purpose so as to send the message that it is good.

    Which leads to Rule By Vice, where the Anointed One’s example gives permission from On High.
    “But He Got Away With It, So Can I!” — Prince Amnon ben David, just before Tamar


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    numo: Is there a reason that people feel like they need to keep rehashing the misguided and stupid things Piper says and does?

    It’s like Jim & Tammy in the Eighties.
    Every time you got tired of the whole PTL mess and wanted to move on to something else, they had another Major Public Development/Train Wreck and you HAD to cover them.


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    Max: If he can’t find the right word, he makes one up.

    As someone going on 50 years experience in various SF-related fandoms, I can assure you that English is the absolute best language if you want to coin new words.


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    ES: I suspect that Mr Piper fancies himself a classy individual. He “wastes” a lot of time going to watch things he considers “high class.” He goes to the ballet – ignoring the fact that in order for those performers to make it in that field, they must engage in what could only be described as “excessive” physical training, which can include forms of weight lifting for women. So he goes to the opera. This fits with his “classy” persona.

    In the language of my Football-dominated High School, isn’t ballet or opera “Faggy”?


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    Headless Unicorn Guy: As someone going on 50 years experience in various SF-related fandoms, I can assure you that English is the absolute best language if you want to coin new words.

    Like scrumpdillyicious


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    linda,

    I have never believed in penal substitution. I grew up in the LCA synod, which is one of the synods that merged to form the ELCA.

    This is not part of the equation for us.

    I’m saying what i think about Reformed and 5-Point Calvinism’s prevailing view. It’s something that i do not believe is right.

    Everyone else’s MMV, and I’m not trying to attack those who think differently than i do.

    Either love is the reason for it all, or it has no reason, imo.


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    ES,

    I believe you! The 2 perspectives are so radically different. And i have no doubt that people are kind of shocked by Reformed/Calvinist views. I had my own wake-up call while visiting Swiss L’Abri back in the late 70s. It’s located in a canton where much of the population is descended from Huguenots who fled France once violent persecution of Protestants began there.

    Equally amazing to me (and not in a good way) was how the Schaeffer family collectively wrote off the Reformation in Germsny (but also the Hussites [sp?] and people like the so-called “Lollards” in England) in favor of a kind of All Geneva, All the Time “history” of the Reformation.

    I doubt most people in Geneva who are familiar with their city’s history would undertake that kind of historical revisionism.

    But, y’know, Americans. J/k and not. We often tend to make multifaceted issues into either or, black hat/white hat. And that’s something that affected Swiss L’Abri and all of its satellites at that time, maybe still.


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    numo,

    * either/or


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    Muff Potter,

    Thanks, but, like you, I’ve spent a good deal of time reading about many different topics from differing perspectives within modern Judaism, and my views on a great many things have changed b/c of that. I’d consider converting if i could choose to leave Christ out of the equation, but i really can’t – and, as in sny other faith, things vary tremendously on a congregation by congregation bwsis, even among those who belong to, say, Reform or C9nservetive Judaism.

    Although i love the fact that Judaism allows for the kinds of discussion thet Christianity generally doesn’t. Being in a creedal religion hss its disadvantages.

    The congregation my family belonged to has had a Christ the Good Shepherd stained glass window in the area where Sunday school classes were held since… oh, i guess it was installed toward the end of the 19th c. When i was a child, my ss classes were usually in that part of the (very large) room.

    Things like that have a way of getting under our skins and sticking with us throughout our lives. The ssme is true for me per reciting the Apostles Creed (by listening to grownups, then memorizing it myself) from early grade school on. I think it’s in my bones by this point, you know?

    And the message was always that God loves us, although i didn’t really get that until many decades later. But it was there to fall back on, and eventually, i could.


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    ES,

    I think part of the divide here is that Lutherans, like other liturgical churches, are focused on the Eucharist. While most Protestants are focused on preaching.

    Have you ever read anything by the English poet George Herbert? He was a very gifted writer and lived during the same era as John Donne. Like Donne, Herbert was C of E clergy, but unlike Donne, he chose a posting far from London, in a pretty rural area.

    You might really like his poem titled “Love (iii)” (in other words, his 3d poem with the word “love” as its title). It’s a dialogue between Herbert and Christ, though the latter isn’t identified, except as Love. It revolves around taking communion, but it’s about so much more than that. And it’s brilliant – Herbert keeps asking questions and msking statements that Love basically sets aside. Love’s replies… they’re not what you or i or anyone might expect.

    Look it up – you should easily be able to find it via a simple internet search, on sites like Poetry Foundation [dot] org. It’s one of his clearest, most direct poems for those of us accustomed to contemporary English to understand without needing to look at footnotes. And it’s brief, too.


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    Friend,

    ““Miles Long” (good gravy, where did that moniker come from?)”
    ++++++++++++++++++++

    well, overcompensating for something, at least.

    i’m really good at stating the obvious.


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    Ken F (aka Tweed),

    “There is a reason so many protestants ignore all the early church fathers except for Augustine. They act like he was the only notable figure between the death of the Apostles and the reformation. Actual church history tends to unravel protestant assumptions.”
    ++++++++++++++++++

    well, the reason is that for ‘a good many’, the only context for ‘Augustine’ is a good name for a soap opera character.

    they act like what they’ve been told to act like.

    all they know is “because it’s biblical”.


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    Headless Unicorn Guy,

    This brought to mind the issue of the guy hiding in the bush on LaughIn.


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    ES,

    “I seriously think the reason he is so appealing is because he makes men feel like they can blame any insecurities they feel around women on the women. It makes sense to them because they know what threatens them. But it hasn’t occurred to them that what threatens them isn’t universal, or that perhaps they should lean on God when they feel threatened rather than squishing another human being.

    And Piper makes them feel good and godly about the whole situation.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++

    good grief –

    what’s the word for ‘unfortunate comedy’?

    even my husband can’t acknowledge when i’m right. it’s too threatening, i guess.

    it’s hilarious, really.

    (just one example among many:) he starts cooking something, i can see multiple fatal flaws. i address them. he pretends not to hear, and instead makes me his subordinate, assigning me a menial task.

    i doubt he’s even aware.

    i point it all out to him. he gets a spontaneous cold.


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    elastigirl: But it hasn’t occurred to them that what threatens them isn’t universal, or that perhaps they should lean on God when they feel threatened rather than squishing another human being.

    great comment, this


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    numo,

    Ken F (aka Tweed),

    “Like many of us, I’ve got scars, and reading comments about JP and some other topics turned out to be a thing that retraumatized me. So i had to stop.

    I even feel uneasy about asking why these discussions keep going in the 1st place, b/c of having to think of JP in order to do it.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++

    yeah, like Ken F said, he’s like kevin bacon-but-christian.

    i just say ‘what a d|psh||t’ and carry on with any of the varied activities in my out-of-ekklesia life.

    it’s quite nice.


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    Muff Potter: numo: I also just cannot accept the idea of Christ dying in order to avert God’s wrath.

    THIS !


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    Headless Unicorn Guy: Pious Piper, hiding in the bushes by the river with his binoculars…

    Made me laugh, HUG … but now I can’t get that image out of my mind!


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    Ken F (aka Tweed): He is either a liar or a peeping Tom. Which is worse?

    A lying peeping Tom?


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    “The fault often lies more with leadership than with congregants. These ‘confessions’ are often staged to put the fallen pastor in the best possible light. Facts are hidden. The full story isn’t told. The blame gets shifted to someone else. Excuses are made. All told, the pastor or church leaders control the story to cast the confession in a heroic light.” (Dave Miller)

    “After listening to his statement to the congregation, my educated guess is that there is much more to this story … not in a good way. Time has a way of bringing forth the whole truth.” (Boz Tchividjian)

    https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2022/september/evangelical-leaders-react-as-megachurch-pastor-matt-chandler-steps-down-over-unguarded-online-behavior


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    christiane: THIS !

    I don’t understand the protestent wrath fetish. Why is God’s wrath certain but his love conditional? Why must his wrath be upheld as unwaiverable? Why is God not free to forgive?


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    numo: Things like that have a way of getting under our skins and sticking with us throughout our lives. The ssme is true for me per reciting the Apostles Creed (by listening to grownups, then memorizing it myself) from early grade school on. I think it’s in my bones by this point, you know?

    Yes I do know.
    I attend a small Lutheran (ELCA) congregation in my town.
    The tenets of the Apostle’s Creed are what I hold to as non-negotiable parameters of my faith.
    The rest of the stuff?
    I pick and choose according to the dictates of my conscience.
    For example, I no longer sign onto the doctrine of PSA (penal substitutionary atonement).


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    Ken F (aka Tweed): Why is God not free to forgive?

    Good question.
    And why does he allegedly demand nothing short of perfection in order to ‘be right with Him’?
    And because you (generic you) cannot achieve ‘perfection’ in this life, he had to confer perfection on you (generic you) by taking his wrath out on his beautiful Son instead of you.
    I can no longer sign onto this, my conscience won’t let me.


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    Muff Potter: I can no longer sign onto this, my conscience won’t let me.

    We are in agreement. PSA is a mess. Matt Chandler teaches it…


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    Muff Potter,

    And, there isn’t a court in the land that will punish an innocent person for the misdeeds of another.
    It’s cruel, it’s unjust, and it gives God a bad name.


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    Muff Potter,

    I should have said knowingly punish, because sometimes innocent parties are wrongly convicted in the court system.


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    Linn:
    Headless Unicorn Guy,

    This brought to mind the issue of the guy hiding in the bush on LaughIn.

    Verry Interestink…


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    Michael in UK: Patrick was whitewashing his colleagues just as Chandler is whitewashing his now.

    Probably… but notice that he at least pretended to confess and repent, and he’d already been sacked and was never coming back (even though he submitted (or pretended) to a restoration plan. Chandler didn’t even acknowledge any sin at all, but his fans think he’s repented.


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    Ken F (aka Tweed): I’m too stupid to shut up, which contributed to my last church becoming untenable for me. I asked too many questions.Even very recently, I responded to a theological question asked by a friend (who still attends that church) on his FB page. My answer resulted in one of the pastors from that church picking a fight with me on the topic of original sin (he seems to have quit the discussion without answering my questions).

    On the topic of original sin, Augustine taught it as inherited guilt because he was not good in Greek and he used a bad translation of Rome 5:12 (Jerome’s Latin Vulgate). His view got traction in Western Christianity but not in Eastern Christianity. None of the early church fathers before him described it as inherited guilt.

    On the topic of PSA, no one before the reformation taught Jesus satisfied the wrath of God by receiving it as punishment in our place.

    There is a reason so many protestants ignore all the early church fathers except for Augustine. They act like he was the only notable figure between the death of the Apostles and the reformation. Actual church history tends to unravel protestant assumptions.

    I think there is a LOT of misunderstanding of Augustine’s view of Original Sin. I would suggest not uncritically accepting everything you hear from EO polemicists, few of whom are scholars. I’ll just leave it there.

    Meanwhile, the basic idea of Ancestral Guilt goes back to Romanides. Not to the Early Church. And Romanides had a few screws loose.


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    numo:
    Ken F (aka Tweed),

    I wonder if he (Piper) knows that the biggest part of opera fandom, holders of season tickets, buyers of recordings, etc. are gay men?

    Not joking. It’s gay men. That’s not to say that there are no women or straight men who love opera – quite the contrary. But many gay men are passionate about it. They’re a subculture within a subculture.

    When I was a hardcore opera fan (BC — Before Children), I liked hanging out with gay guys because they were the only men I could talk about opera with.

    Also, I hung out with a bunch of aspiring young opera *singers* in Boston. Virtually all the guys were gay.

    But it’s different in Europe. Or at least it was back then. Most of the famous European male singers in those days (’80s) were straight. Reportedly, anyway.


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    Dave A A: Chandler didn’t even acknowledge any sin at all, but his fans think he’s repented.

    Apologizing for an inappropriate online relationship is not repenting. Crying without tears is not a display of remorse or penitence. Receiving a standing ovation from his congregation, without falling to his knees, is not a demonstration of brokeness. Disappearing for a season to reappear on stage to another standing ovation, like so many other Christian celebrities before him, will be yet another unrepentant comeback that grieves the heart of God. So many examples of this burden the real Body of Christ which longs for all this to go away, for the precious name of Christ to stop being trampled in the street by those with a touch of charisma, a gift of gab, and a bag of gimmicks. When, Oh Lord, will this madness end?


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    Catholic Gate-Crasher: Ancestral Guilt

    I’ve seen it framed as original sin vs ancestral sin, but never in the context of ancestral guilt. Labels aside, it seems the difference is whether we are born guilty of Adam’s sin or if we become guilty through our own sin. I think both sides agree we are all born mortal, negatively impacted by the fall (opinions vary on details), slaves to sin, and in need of a Savior.


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    Ken F (aka Tweed): I think both sides agree we are all born mortal, negatively impacted by the fall (opinions vary on details), slaves to sin, and in need of a Savior.

    … except the new generation of SBCers who were saved before the foundation of the world, who seldom talk about Jesus, and never preach whosoever will may come (the message that was on the lips of Southern Baptists for 150 years before the New Calvinists showed up).


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    Ken F (aka Tweed): I think both sides agree we are all born mortal, negatively impacted by the fall (opinions vary on details), slaves

    Which brings up a fair question.
    What ‘sins’ are we talking about?
    ‘Jaywalking’ so to speak, just every day indescretions, or stuff like murder and theft?


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    Muff Potter,

    Ken F (aka Tweed): I think both sides agree we are all born mortal, negatively impacted by the fall (opinions vary on details), slaves

    Which brings up a fair question.
    What ‘sins’ are we talking about?
    ‘Jaywalking’ so to speak, just every day indescretions, or stuff like murder and theft?
    +++++++++++++++++++

    speaking to the air, here:

    is being human a sin? is being alive a sin?

    is everything we do, even selfless acts, laced with sin?

    do i need to apologize for being born? do i need to apologize for waking up, first thing every morning?
    .
    .
    in my longstanding prayer group, we loosely follow a format (the one from the organization we are very loosely, hanging-by-a-thread affiliated with).

    There’s a portion called “silent confession”. Most times i end up simply practicing deep breathing for loss of anything else to do.

    what am i supposed to do, apologize for being matter-of-fact instead of adopting a sweet-as-pie tone?

    [should my aunt from brooklyn apologize for being from brusque brooklyn instead of from sweet-hospitality-memphis?]

    should i apologize for getting frustrated while driving?

    apologize for hypothetical things i didn’t do but could have done?
    .
    .
    well, i refuse to do all of these things.


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    elastigirl,

    following on from this thought, i remember when my son was maybe 3. i was at my parents, sitting in the backyard with some relatives and cousins and other littln’s.

    i asked my son to do something (something having to do with good manners or being a good sport or being fair and kind). and he did it.

    someone made a positive remark in the good choice he made.

    i responded with some modest self-deprecation, “[sigh], well, that could have gone the other way.”

    my aunt then replied, with some conviction, “But he didn’t.”
    .
    .
    in that moment, i saw how senseless it was to have a negative mindset focussed on the bad things he (we, me, you) could have done.

    it is a totally misplaced, unnecessary, faulty, and stupid expression of modesty & humility.

    why not celebrate what “is” and all that is good?


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    elastigirl: why not celebrate what “is” and all that is good?

    Because it’s not good news unless it’s bad news? “We’re not happy ’til you’re not happy…”


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    elastigirl: is everything we do, even selfless acts, laced with sin?

    No. On the other hand, we appear to be the only species on the planet with a sense of failing to live as we think we ought to. Religious organizations use that feeling to abuse us. Jesus came to redeem us so that we can live as true humans.


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    Ken F (aka Tweed),

    “Jesus came to redeem us so that we can live as true humans.”
    ++++++++++++++++++

    thank you for the response.

    for my own sorting out, redeem us from what?

    and how?

    (i’m sure i’ve asked these things before…. it’s just so confusing being in the tension-middle of growing up christian and now saying f*ck it all) (except God, Jesus, and HS)


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    elastigirl: for my own sorting out, redeem us from what?

    With the possible exception of sociopaths, I don’t know anyone who feels like they have not been a failure in one or more areas. We were created for living gloriously, but we don’t attain it. Jesus said he came for the sick, not the healthy. So much more could be said, but it seems like he came not only as God, but also as the perfect human. He said we will be like him. That gives me hope.


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    Ken F (aka Tweed): he came not only as God, but also as the perfect human

    no perfect humans this side of glory, no perfect church, no perfect denomination, no perfect theology … but Jesus is the perfect Savior


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    Max,

    Saving us from what?


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    Elastigirl: Saving us from what?

    Well in my case, Jesus saved me from myself! He will save all those who cease trying to save themselves … by trusting in His sacrifice alone for the forgiveness of our sins, we move from eternal death to eternal life. (John 3:16)


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    elastigirl: well, i refuse to do all of these things.

    I refuse to do them too elastigirl.
    I refuse to beat myself up anymore for not being ‘perfect’.
    I’ll do the best I can with what God has given me, and learn to breathe again.
    And if that’s not ‘good enough’?
    Oh well as they say.


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    Ken F (aka Tweed),

    To live gloriously is to swap gifts with each other at 1.5 volt inbreathed and endowed Holy Ghost power invisibly assisted by good angels.

    That is why the Doxology says:

    Glory Be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost,
    As it was in the beginning (especially at repeated times of revelation), is now, and ever shall be, world without end (in some sense), Amen.


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    Catholic Gate-Crasher,

    According to a subset of the eastern Orthodox (though not all), Augustine’s view of christian initiation hinged on clericalism (he was wheeling and dealing post-Donatism), and like most people he reified (said that the word was the thing – lacked sound semiotics) and essentialised (saw on the surface the very way God doesn’t – lacked sound phenomenology).

    The real “falls” were historical episodes (rivalry for dwindling land *, invention of harder metal weapons) illustrating our natural capacity to not give each other our due when despairing. If St Paul says “if in Adam all sinned” he means it as a tectonic or rhetorical trope / visual aid / icon.

    { * Arphachshad = He Bestowed Land }

    HTH


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    Muff Potter: penal substitutionary atonement

    The actual scapegoating is done all the time (sadly) by lying oppressors and pharisees and their secular equivalents in every country and age. Scapegoating got into all countries’ myths and ceremonies since ancient times, so it occurs in the actual Hebrews’ ones in the sense of “speaking the general symbol language”. The laborious Abraham / Isaac story is supposed to teach that a subset of humanity learned not to re-enact those things literally but to tap into subversive and astonishing meanings. The point of the trope is to show that this is not how our God wants to treat human beings. The entire Bible is a diatribe against the very powers that misuse it, and was always intended in this sense. Hence PSA is a shorthand (part) “explanation” that doesn’t resonate any more. God’s wrath is against the oppressors not the oppressed. The picture also shows that Jesus can redeem even oppressors as well, if they want.


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    elastigirl,

    I hear you.

    And the way “sin” gets slung around – how it seemingly sticks to everything, like chewing gum stuck in one’s hair – just frustrates and stresses me out.

    We’re human, which means being vulnerable and often wrong, and being unkind to others. As someone who’s fought a lifelong battle with being unkind to myself, i cannot deal with the whole “woe is me, I’m a miserable sinner” shtick. Might as well have a bell or wooden clapper and go around calling out “Unclean! Unclean!” as lepers in medieval times were supposed to to.

    Well, that’s not something i can do anymore. And i don’t believe in “original sin” as preached by many churches.

    We are flawed, but so are diamonds (and other gemstones) in the rough. Or, as Paul said, “We have this treasue in earthen vessels.” There’s nothing wrong about being an earthen vessel.

    Imcan no longer “repent” for simply being human. For wrongs committed, yes. But for simply being – NO. Just NO.

    This will appear scandalous to some. It did to me at one time.

    Nevertheless.


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    Ken F (aka Tweed),

    Erm… “been a failure”?

    How about “I failed at X. But I’m going to try again.”

    Labeling oneself as a failure is toxic; ditto for using that same term for others. Nobody is “a failure.” That’s a negation of the worth and personhood that i believe God has given to every single human being who’s ever lived.

    Look at the Gospels and tell me where Jesus labels anyone – an individusl or a group of people – as “a failure”/”failures.”

    You won’t be able to come back with chapter and verse, b/c Jesus never said that to anyone. Not one person. Example: the Samaritan woman at thre well in the Gospel of John. The woman “taken in adultery,” also in John.

    In 1 John, the writer says that fear has to do with punishment, but perfect love casts out fear.

    Yes, we all fail at times. But to call oneself “a failure”? No. It’s something many of us believe, but where are the words to substantiate applying that labelto oneself or others?

    Answer: they’re nowhere to be found. They’re not there.

    They’re an *interpretation,* but, imo, an intrinsically false one.

    Just saying…


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    Muff Potter,

    Yep!

    I know that some of my recent comments are blunt – possibly too much so.

    But… all of us have a life to live, and we cannot really live when we’re overly focused on negative views of ourselves and others. I’m not blaming anyone, b/c i lived (well, more like existed) with a profoundly negative of myself. It had to do with many things, but religion reinforced it *so* much. That scarred me quite deeply.

    All the while, though, there was another, persistent call going on, sometimes 8n the foreground, sometimes in the background, but always, always there.

    C of E clergyman/poet George Herbert wrote about it in his poem, “Love (iii.)

    Here’s a link. Look carefully at what the poet says and the replies he gets (or, mostly, *doesn’t* get) from the One he’s speaking with. It’s a very brief poem,msnd one of the best answers to and suummations of the humsn condition I’ve ever seen. Authoritative, imo.

    https://poets.org/poem/love-iii


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    My apologies for all the typos! Kind of unavoidable with a small touchscreen keyboard. 🙂


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    numo,

    I chose my words poorly. I apologize for my comment.


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    Ken F (aka Tweed),

    Hey – you really don’t need to apologize! I wasn’t trying to attack you, either. That term (obviously) is a hard one for me.

    But the way we use words, even if only inside our heads, can be either helpful or harmful.


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    numo,

    You reacted pretty strongly to my word choice. What would be a better word choice? If Jesus did not come to save us from sin and/or failure to be truly human, from what did he come to save us?


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    Ken F (aka Tweed),

    “If Jesus did not come to save us from sin and/or failure to be truly human, from what did he come to save us?”
    +++++++++++++++++++++

    so, still sorting things out.

    Jesus saves us from sin and/or failure

    how?
    .
    .
    in my experience as a human being, there’s not been one moment of any day where i said to myself “i need a savior” “i need someone to save me”

    if i fail, it stings, but i learn from it and move on.

    when i have emotional pain, it sucks but i find things to help me through. (including God’s love, angels encamping in my midst, etc)

    if i have a chronic problem, i find solutions and try to make my way. (counting on God’s help in the process)

    if i do something wrong, i take the consequences and try to make amends, apologizing to the person if applicable. and i try to learn from it, to do better next time. I apologize to God, too.
    .
    .
    correction, actually – i was in accident long ago with severe injuries. my parents needed something ‘cosmic’ to help, something beyond the help that can be found on earth. i was not aware enough at the time.

    in the long, drawn-out healing process of years following, yes, i, too needed something beyond me and beyond the help that can be found on earth.

    i believe God helped me.
    .
    .
    while many people do have crises that are bigger than the help that can be found on earth, not everyone does.
    .
    .
    so, still trying to understand the significance of Jesus as ‘savior’ — beyond the mantras that happen in the heady atmosphere of church.

    more importantly, really trying to understand what his public execution has to do with it.

    sorry for the rambling…


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    Pastor John:
    Ok here goes:
    “ If it is done right, this masculine feel creates a space. It is big, it’s roomy, it’s beautiful, it’s peaceful. It’s just full and radiates with all the good things of life and in it women, flourishing, will give it that feel. So that as you walk in on Sunday morning and strong singing, led primarily by men, and then a voice from God is heard, and women are loving this, they’re radiant, they’re intelligent, they’re understanding, they’re processing, they’re interacting. Then all the gifts that were just articulated will flourish in that space. And as you navigate that community there will be feminine feels all over the place.”
    https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/more-on-the-masculine-feel-of-christianity
    Have fun!

    Now, I am definitely sure that this is not the pastor John that I know. He would have not tried to be funny, but more serious. I have to say that Miles Long was probably a joke, or someone who just posts and runs. I’ve been posting here for a long time, and I know you all disagree with my theology, but I think we agree in our assessment of the whole “celebrity pastor who really has nothing to say other than quotes from C.S. Lewis, Edwards, Luther and the occasional Lloyd Jones,” but has a great stage presence, makes people laugh a lot, but is a quarter inch deep and 5 miles wide in his involvement in anyone’s life in real time.

    To me, that is the defining characteristic. Does this person get into individual people’s lives and live out the things that he pronounces from the pulpit? Pastor John does. I know. I have been a recipient of it.

    The mockery of him was a little funny, but not much.


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    Bob M: The mockery of him was a little funny, but not much.

    You do realize, I hope, that this is an actual quote by John Piper. Your comment makes it sound like you think it was made up as satire. Truth is stranger than fiction (and can make for better satire).


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    Ken F (aka Tweed): You do realize, I hope, that this is an actual quote by John Piper. Your comment makes it sound like you think it was made up as satire. Truth is stranger than fiction (and can make for better satire).

    Yes, I know, but it was a joke nonetheless. I am not an idiot.


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    elastigirl: so, still trying to understand the significance of Jesus as ‘savior

    I’ll do my best to answer, but I think my answer will be woefully inadequate. It will be in two parts. Here is part 1 of 2 (the easier part).

    For me, one of the best answers to this question is in a short book by the 4th Century bishop Athanasius. “On the Incarnation” is available online and in book form. It’s not a very long book. Here is a pertinent quote:

    Man, who was created in God’s image and in his possession of reason reflected the very Word Himself, was disappearing, and the work of God was being undone. The law of death, which followed from the Transgression, prevailed upon us, and from it there was no escape. The thing that was happening was in truth both monstrous and unfitting. It would, of course, have been unthinkable that God should go back upon His word and that man, having transgressed, should not die; but it was equally monstrous that beings which once had shared the nature of the Word should perish and turn back again into non-existence through corruption. It was unworthy of the goodness of God that creatures made by Him should be brought to nothing through the deceit wrought upon man by the devil; and it was supremely unfitting that the work of God in mankind should disappear, either through their own negligence or through the deceit of evil spirits. As, then, the creatures whom He had created reasonable, like the Word, were in fact perishing, and such noble works were on the road to ruin, what then was God, being Good, to do? Was he to let corruption and death have their way with them? In that case, what was the use of having made them in the beginning? Surely it would have been better never to have been created at all than, having been created, to be neglected and perish; and, besides that, such indifference to the ruin of His own work before His very eyes would argue not goodness in God but limitation, and that far more than if He had never created men at all. It was impossible, therefore, that God should leave man to be carried off by corruption, because it would be unfitting and unworthy of Himself.

    I highly recommend reading all of it, along with some of the online commentary that is easy to find.


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    elastigirl: so, still trying to understand the significance of Jesus as ‘savior’

    This is part 2 of 2, the part that will be more difficult for me to explain. I was pretty blown away when I learned about Eastern Christianity’s view of heaven and hell because it is so different from the Western view. It’s not a singular dogmatic view, and there are differences here and there. But in a nutshell, they believe heaven and hell are not different locations where people are sent to spend eternity. Rather, they believe everyone is raised to eternal life in the unfiltered presence of God, but that experience will be either heaven or hell depending on how well one is prepared to be in the presence of pure love. One analogy I heard is it is somewhat like running against or with the wind. It’s the same wind, but we experience it either as punishment or aid depending on our direction. Eastern Orthodoxy (I don’t know if this is true of all EO) views the role of the church as preparing people for that experience.

    There are many articles about it on the web. This is one of the better and shorter versions I found:
    https://www.orthodoxroad.com/heaven-hell/

    This view of heaven and hell also solves some problems such as whether or not the atonement is limited – the atonement is unlimited in this view without necessitating universalism. I have not made up my mind, but I find this view more compelling that the Dante’s Inferno view that seems to dominate the West.


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    Bob M: but it was a joke nonethele

    How is it a joke to quote someone directly? Help me to understand what you meant by your statement here: “Now, I am definitely sure that this is not the pastor John that I know.” It actually is the real John Piper. Or are you thinking of a different John.


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    elastigirl: more importantly, really trying to understand what his public execution has to do with it.

    Part 3 of 2 (with apologies to Nick, if he is tuning in)

    I cannot remember where I heard it, but one of the early church fathers opined that Jesus let humans choose the means of his death, I think to prove that he had the power over it in any form. I’ve heard other’s quote Gregory of Nazianzus to say Jesus had to meet us at our worst in order to save us at our worst. The quote is in reference to whether or not Jesus had a human mind, so I don’t know if it can apply beyond that. Here is the quote:

    For that which He has not assumed He has not healed; but that which is united to His Godhead is also saved. If only half of Adam fell, then that which Christ assumes and saves may be half also; but if the whole of his nature fell, it must be united to the whole nature of Him that was begotten, an so be save as a whole. Let them not, then, begrudge us our complete salvation.

    In any case, the ancient liturgies say Jesus defeated death through his own death. This ancient sermon (note how short it is), describes what his death accomplished:
    https://www.oca.org/fs/sermons/the-paschal-sermon
    Here is a segment:

    Let no one fear death, for the Savior’s death has set us free. He that was held prisoner of it has annihilated it. By descending into Hell, He made Hell captive. He embittered it when it tasted of His flesh. And Isaiah, foretelling this, did cry: Hell, said he, was embittered, when it encountered Thee in the lower regions. It was embittered, for it was abolished. It was embittered, for it was mocked. It was embittered, for it was slain. It was embittered, for it was overthrown. It was embittered, for it was fettered in chains. It took a body, and met God face to face. It took earth, and encountered Heaven. It took that which was seen, and fell upon the unseen.


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    Ken F

    Pastor John: Oh My! (Chuckle) I suppose that depends on how you define “masculine”… you folks need a reprise of my sermon about masculine worship?

    The real Pastor John would not have preceded the quote from his sermon with this, clearly intended to be a joke. Nor would he have said “Have fun! There, does that satisfy you?

    Do you think that it was really Pastor John posting to get people to take his quot seriously?


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    Bob M: Do you think that it was really Pastor John posting to get people to take his quot seriously?

    Unlike some people here, I can quickly distinguish between satire and real John Piper quotes. I had seen that quote of his before, but I double-checked that it was really from him. That’s the thing with Piper, he slanders himself with statements that sound impossible for a pastor to make. One always has to check.


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    Ken F (aka Tweed): Unlike some people here, I can quickly distinguish between satire and real John Piper quotes. I had seen that quote of his before, but I double-checked that it was really from him. That’s the thing with Piper, he slanders himself with statements that sound impossible for a pastor to make. One always has to check.

    The question is, do you think it was really John Piper posting, or someone mocking him?


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    Bob M: The question is, do you think it was really John Piper posting, or someone mocking him?

    Which is worse, an obviously fake Piper presenting a verifiably real Piper quote as parody, or a real Piper fan thinking a real Piper quote seems too fake to be real?


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    Ken F (aka Tweed),

    You used the term “a failure” to describe a state of being and personal characteristic of people who have failed to accomplish something.

    That’s what i was reacting to. We all fail at times, but i see absolutely nothing to indicate that we *are* “failures” in any part of the Gospels or epistles.

    *Being* – a state of being – is what is described whenever anyone thinks of themselves or describes themselves to others as being “a failure.”

    No.

    We fail at times. We are ***not*** “failures” when we do so.

    I keep flashing on Peanuts comic strips from the 60s, when Charlie Brown’s team lost so many baseball games that he felt like he had “a failure face,” and that people could see that he was “a failure” just by looking at him.

    Do you see the difference that I’m trying to point out?

    It might be that you’re used to church people referring to the supposed state of being “a failure,” as opposed to trying to do a thing and failing at doing it.

    One is something you *are* (and that nobody is, not really), the other is something that we do – or rather, something we fail *at* doing.

    This is as clear as i can make it, and is what i was attempting to address in my 1st reply to you. The reason i was so emphatic is that i truly believed that i was “a failure” for much of my life, until circumstances put me in a position where i either had to actively stop believing that about myself or continue in a way of life that just wasn’t working. That way of life was full of self-loathing, and although i had always struggled with it (since kindergarten, if you can believe it), perfectionistic, abusive churches made it SO much worse.

    I was 50 before i could really start acting against that, choosing not to believe it anymore.

    Again, where in the NT do you believe that God calls us “failures”? I don’t see that anywhere.

    Perfectionism is toxic, and always sets us up for believing that we exist in a state of being where we are “a failure”/”failures.”

    Does that clarify things at least a bit?


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    Ken F (aka Tweed),

    I am a bit confused as to what you mean when you say “sin and/or failure to be truly human.” It’s the “failure to be truly human” part, specifically.

    Could you help me out here? B/c I’m not sure of what you mean.


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    numo: You used the term “a failure” to describe a state of being and personal characteristic of people who have failed to accomplish something.

    As I wrote in my earlier reply, my choice of words was poor. But I did not say we are failures or that the Bible says we are failures. I don’t mind being called to account for my words. But in this case I feel like I am being called to account for something I did not actually state. Here is what I wrote: “With the possible exception of sociopaths, I don’t know anyone who feels like they have not been a failure in one or more areas.” There is a huge difference between having felt like a failure in one or more areas and actually being a failure. You even stated you used to feel like a failure, which kind of supports my statemen. I should have used wording more like missing the mark, which is literally what sin means. Does anyone live in a way that they feel like they have never sinned against anyone ever? Does anyone never miss the mark? I certainly don’t. And I certainly missed the mark in my word choice.

    I truly did not mean to trigger anyone or cause any harm. I apologize if I did so. Would it have been better if I had remained quiet instead of attempting to answer a difficult question?


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    numo: I am a bit confused as to what you mean when you say “sin and/or failure to be truly human.” It’s the “failure to be truly human” part, specifically.

    At the risk of digging myself into an ever deepening hole, I will try to clarify. I was attempting, unsuccessfully, to express how the Bible says we were designed for a way of being that we humans failed to achieve. But the good news is God provided a rescue so that we will one day be who we were designed to be. Does that help or does it make it worse?


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    elastigirl,

    As someone who felt that i desperately needed to be saved from some extremely painful things occurring when i was young, yes – i did feel a great need for a rescuer/savior.

    Kind of like a person trapped in a rockfall, or similar physical circumstance, when there’s not much, if anything, that they can do to free themselves.

    It does seem as if human experiences vary somwidely, depending on the individual, that some people ferl great need of a savior (and not just b/c they’re listening to sermonizing on sin, hell and salvation), while others have never felt stringly about such a thing.

    Which i truly can’t explain. The only thing i can say is that imwas in great need, and i absolutely believe that i got the help i needed.

    While the reality is that the word “salvation” has different meanings for different groups of Xtians. That evangelical altar call version of “salvation” differs markedly from how I’ve heard it explained/described in liturgical churches. And that is that salvation is a process that’s lifelong. It never stops. While we might be able to point to a specific time when we were desperate, called out to God for help and he answered us, we might not ever have had such a specific experience.

    Neither kmeans that salvation isn’t occurring, real, needed. I don’t think we need to be “saved” from our humanity, so much as salvation frees us to become more and more compassionate, loving, etc. – thus, more human, not less.

    From what little i understand about this, the Eastern churches (Eastern Orthodox + those referred to as Oriental Orthodox) view us more as people suffering from an ongoing illness, who need to be healed. The Western part of the church started going in another direction with that, though.

    In EO and OO churches that have mosaics or wall paintings, there’s generally one of a scene referred to as “the harrowing of hell (actually, Hades),” where the risen Christ grasps Adam and Eve by their wrists, pulling them out of Hades… and the way that’s understood is that Christ set all of his people free from Hades on the day he rose from the dead.

    In the West, starting early in the medieval period and gaathering force as time went on, there’s art in churches that shows the beauty of heaven… and the damned being tormented inmhell.

    EO
    and OO churches don’t have depictions of hell.

    Just some things to think about. I’m not inclined toward becoming any sort of Orthodox Xtian, yet i very much agree with them on certain things.

    This is one of them.


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    Ken F (aka Tweed),

    Hey, i think it’s helpful, but ATM, I’m needing to take a break from thinking about it for the rest of the evening and go wind down before sleeping.

    Cool?

    Also, please see my reply to elastigirl, just above. Might help clarify where I’m coming from.


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    Ken F (aka Tweed),

    Wait – wasn’t it Max who said the thing about being “a failure”?

    Honestly, I’m puzzled. Will look again tomorrow. Hopefully, a good night’s sleep will allow me to see it afresh.


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    Ken F (aka Tweed),

    My apologies if I’ve been directing my replies to you when i actually was intending them for someone else.

    Gotta split for now!


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    numo: Also, please see my reply to elastigirl, just above. Might help clarify where I’m coming from.

    Sounds like we are coming from a very similar place. Did you see all replies and links to EO and ancient sources?


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    numo,

    Oh man. I wasn’t meaning to repky to you!

    Sorry, truly.


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    Ken F (aka Tweed),

    Oh never mind. Yeah, it was you, and i think i overdid it a bit.

    But it’s the whole state of being vs. thing i did/didn’t do that’s at the crux of it for me.


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    numo: Wait – wasn’t it Max who said the thing about being “a failure”?

    Nobody in this thread called people failures as a state of being. I think you misunderstood what I originally wrote. But I think we are on the same page now.


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    Ken F (aka Tweed),

    Yes, and i got a bit lost there, partly b/c i don’t always find the way the EO and OO frame things easy to follow; also b/c there’s no single EO or OO position on a great many things. I mean, I’ve read quotes from EO priests who truly do believe in the reality of hell, even though most of the folks who write about both EO and OO beliefs will emphatically stand against that.

    Semantics are at the root of so many disputes, especially where Greek and Latin and theology are concerned. Last winter i finally located a source that clearly explainec why the “filioque” clause in the Western version of the Nicene Creed caused the Great Schism. Basically, it has to do with the Greek-speaking half of the church using two different words that are crucial to the issue – something that literally didn’t translate into Latin, for the Western clerics.

    The Great Scism, in this writer’s view, happened due to the fact that the Latin clergy were ignorant of there being more than one word, describing more than one thing, per the HS proceeding from just the Father or from the Father and the Son.

    All that pain over semantics.


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    Ken F (aka Tweed),

    No, i took “a failure” to mean that the person themselves are failures, rather than that we individually and collectively fail *at* things.

    The two are not the same thing; they’re opposed, per Xtian theology, the words of Jesus, Paul et. al.


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    Persons themselves


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    Ken F (aka Tweed),

    For me, as an art historian (though i haven’t worn that hat for years), probably the easiest way to conceptualize and think about some of the difference between the Western churches v. the EO and OO churches is through the iconography they use, in art in churches especially, where the Big Events are generally pictured. It’s also,b/c icons themselves are so crucial to EO and OO beliefs and theology.

    This is the only thing per the various Orthodox churches that i get, to be honest. And only b/c i had to study Byzantine, as opposed to Western medieval art, in grad school. There are only a handful of schools in the US where Eastern Xtian art is taught. Most of them are in the DC area, b/c Dumbarton Oaks (museum and study center for early Xtian and Byzantine art) is there, in Georgetown. The folks who teach medieval art in those schools are Byzantinists.


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    Ken F (aka Tweed),

    Thank you so much, Ken F – I’ll read your responses for sure – I appreciate the time you took.

    Right-brain me is required to take a physics class at the moment (long story)…. I don’t know which is more bewildering – that, or the topic at hand.


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    numo,

    Thank you Numo- I appreciate the time you took with your comment.


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    Ken F (aka Tweed),

    That’s the thing about scammers, they don’t mind being thought crazy. The envelope of irrationality is the one they are pushing on purpose. They also have mesmerising manners.


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    Ken F (aka Tweed),

    From what’s going to happen (all Jesus’ words are eschatological). Laying down treasure in the kingdom of heaven as described by you at 6.17, by 1.5 volt powered exchanging of gifts with fellow orphans and agnostics of goodwill, bolsters a magnetic sort of integrity (to get us through) and begins to give us a different life already.


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    Elastigirl,

    I hear you!


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    Elastigirl,
    Well, i did my best, i think. It’s not an easy topic, not least b/c it’s very easy to fall back on repeating the same stock words and phrases, and that never gets to the heart of things.

    Then there are those who are mortified by the kinds of questions folks might ask.

    And there’s also the fact that (imo) the vast majority of us don’t really know how to articulate things.

    As for salvation being a process, it is akin to that part of Isaiah (not sure of *where* atm) where God is described as the One “who was, and is, and is to come.”
    So… we have been saved, we are being saved, we will be saved.


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    numo:
    Ken F (aka Tweed),

    No, i took “a failure” to mean that the person themselves are failures, rather than that we individually and collectively fail *at* things.

    The two are not the same thing; they’re opposed, per Xtian theology, the words of Jesus, Paul et. al.

    When you say no, does that mean you disagree that we are now on the same page? If so, what would I need to say differently to get us on the same page? I already clarified that having felt like a failure in one or more areas is completely different from actually being a failure. If I did not make that clear enough, what words do you need to hear from me? Where exactly do you think I remain in error?


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    There is no pastor, in this day and age that are truly above reproach. All have their secrets. There is coming a day when the pornographic searches of thousands in ministry will be made known by the rulers of those web-sites. It is coming. It will happen.


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    There is no minister in any denomination, in this day and age that is truly above reproach. All have their secrets. There is coming a day when the pornographic searches of thousands in ministry will be made known by the rulers of those web-sites. It is coming. It will happen.


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    JFG: pornographic searches of thousands in ministry

    I’m convinced that is a huge problem in the American church. Like Ted Haggard, they preach aggressively against sins of the flesh to cover their own. Many are just a click away from being discovered … what’s done in darkness will come to light.


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    Ken F (aka Tweed),

    It was a fake Piper. I’ve come across him here before


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    Lowlandseer: It was a fake Piper.

    Shocking…


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    Muff Potter,

    I’m with you on the Apostles Creed, but for myself, the Nicene Creed is just as important. There are some significant “blank spaces” in both that seem to allow for both freedom of conscience and a wide variety of differing beliefs on what’s not mentioned.

    I find that both comforting and very freeing.

    Also, as i got older, i can recall some Sunday school and VBS curricula that was actual education. It presupposed that we had brains, and that using them was and is a good thing. I suspect that a great many people of my generation (members of that congregation) went on to undergrad and possibly grad school after they graduated from HS. And our congregation was, at one time, a haven for music teachers who worked in the public school system here. There’s always been room for good music in this particular church, although i have to draw the line at handbells. It’s soley b/c the overtones of the higher-pitched bells cause me intense physical pain. Otherwise, it’s pretty cool, and i wish i could enjoy it.


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    numo: Perfectionism is toxic, and always sets us up for believing that we exist in a state of being where we are “a failure”/”failures.”

    It (perfectionism) sure is toxic.
    It gave rise to the dogma that because you (generic you) can’t be perfect, God had to kill his own Son by horrific torture, so that he could confer perfection on you (generic you).
    As a father and a grandfather, I know that my progeny can’t achieve perfection, so why demand it? So long as they do the best they can with what they’ve got, I’m happy. I can only hope that the Almighty feels the same about me.


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    Lowlandseer: It was a fake Piper.

    So is the real Piper.