Valerie Swope: I Thought He Needed a Babysitter but Former SBC Youth Pastor, Christian Watts, Had Other Ideas. A Survivor’s Story of Sexual Abuse.

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Woman With Red Hair, Crying link.

“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.” Martin Luther King, Jr.


The following information in this post comes from several sources.

Since Christian Watts appears litigious-minded, I wanted to get this out of the way so we can spend our time on Valerie Swope’s story of sexual abuse. Watts claimed that her allegations were, according to the Tennessean, a “slanderous defamation attempt.” I do not feel that Valerie’s well-documented story meets the definition of defamation. I believe it to be true.

From the Bethany Baptist statement:

A few years later, a church in Owensboro, Kentucky, contacted Bethany as a reference in consideration of calling Mr. Watts to their staff.  Bethany’s pastor at that time, Chuck Fuller, informed that church of what had taken place.  When the Owensboro church declined to call Mr. Watts, he reacted by threatening to file a lawsuit against Bethany’s pastor.

Mr. Watts seems to believe that since the law allows 16-year-old teens to have sex, his actions were just an immoral yet consensual relationship with a student in his ministry. I beg to differ. I believe that any pastor who has sex with any congregation member, let alone a high school student, should be barred from ever functioning as a pastor again.

I believe Valerie’s story entirely and expect that the well-educated readers of TWW will as well.

Valerie met with the former pastor and current leaders of the church in 2002 when she was 19.

Valerie asked for a meeting with Todd Robertson, the former pastor of (SBC) Bethany Baptist Church of Louisville (BBC.) She told him that Watts started having sex with her when she was 16. This was a difficult discussion for Valerie, and she did not fully disclose what had happened.

For some time afterward, she thought she was equally responsible for this “relationship.” According to the Tennessean:

 that would change with time, especially as she served as an SBC missionary to India.

Two other BBC pastors joined that meeting along with Christian Watts. Watts claimed that the sexual relationship was covered under Kentucky law. The issue of clerical abuse was not raised. According to the Tennessean, Robertson now says:

Knowing what I know now, then in that moment, I would have called the police.

They allowed him to resign, but that was fraught with problems. They attempted to implement a discipline program for him, but he wouldn’t play ball.

Bethany Baptist had Watts resign and notified Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville where he was a part-time student.

But Watts didn’t abide by a disciplinary agreement

He was allowed to read his resignation statement in which he claimed he had a simple, immoral relationship.

Watts also was allowed to read a resignation letter to the congregation that described his actions as “an immoral relationship with a person of the opposite sex,(!)

Bethany Baptist began to alert other churches that were considering hiring Watts. 

He threatened to sue BBC. According to The Tennessean:

Bethany Baptist leaders notified the first church he went to in Pennsylvania when he left Louisville.

But a few years later, Watts applied to a church in Owensboro, Kentucky that was initially unaware of Watts’ history until leaders followed up with Bethany Baptist, according to Chuck Fuller, Bethany Baptist’s head pastor from 2005-2010.

Fuller said he briefed leaders at the Owensboro church about Watts, causing the church to reject Watts’ job application. Shortly after, Watts personally called Fuller and said he would sue the Bethany Baptist pastor if the same thing happened again, according to Fuller.

This resulted in “institutional trauma.”

“To attempt to do the labor to heal, to clean up the mess that someone else caused and then to have him confront you…that was perhaps one of the most offensive things I have ever experienced in pastoral ministry,” Fuller said.

Fuller said he spent most of his years at Bethany Baptist helping the congregation heal from “institutional trauma” following Watts’ ouster.

The whole story: Watts had begun grooming Valerie when she was 1only 3.

Valerie is no longer associated with the SBC and is married and living in India. She followed the Houston Chronicle articles on the SBC and began interacting with sex abuse survivors and advocates online. She eventually admitted that Watts started grooming her when she was only 13! Watts, married with children, arranged for her to be a babysitter. He would arrange for her to babysit when his wife wasn’t present. He would hold her hands and eventually would engage in petting and kissing her.

As a society, we must understand how “talented” abusers use grooming behavior to break down the victim’s defenses slowly. The saddest part of this story is that Valerie believed she was “equally responsible” for these interactions. That tells me just how adept Watts was in his interactions. I have to wonder if he has ever done this sort of thing with others in the past or more recently.

The police report was filed in 2019

In 2019, she filed a police report. She learned that such actions on the part of pastors are now a felony in Kentucky. but were not when she was 16. The police couldn’t charge him for his actions. This is precisely what happened with Woodson in Texas. Like Woodson, Valerie persisted in trying to get justice for her situation.

For victims, filing a police report is essential, even if the crime falls outside the statute of limitations. One never knows if that report will be helpful if the perpetrator continues to abuse. So many do.

Christian Watts resigned from the now defunct Life Change Church, which had suddenly left the SBC.

Watts planted the SBC-affiliated Life Change Church in Tullahoma, Tennessee, in 2017. When Valerie told her story to The Tennessean on 9/11/22, Watts resigned from his start-up church on 9/14/22.

Even more interesting is that Watts had the church leave the SBC several days after Guidepost published its findings. Watts told the Tennessean:

(the) decision to leave the SBC was unrelated to the timing of the report.

(And readers, far and wide, are saying, “Yeah, right.”)

The Tennessean also reported that prior to Watt’s resignation, many in Life Change Church were reportedly OK with his history. During that time, Watts claimed:

I have welcomed accountability and am a better man for it. I am a man of openness and authenticity.” (TWW editor comment: Good night!!!)

Valerie persisted.

According to The Tennessean:

Wanting to remind Southern Baptists in Watts’ orbit of these developments, Swope emailed her story to the Southern Baptist officials in Tennessee and churches where Watts worked.

“I am sharing this story with you…to ensure Christian is not in a position of power and authority,” Swope wrote in her email.

She wasn’t the only one to say this. Robertson was among those who wroteletters corroborating Swope’s account, which she included in her emails.

“Hasn’t Christian forfeited his right to serve in vocational ministry? And should Life Change be allowed to continue affiliation with the SBC, TBC, or the local association if he continues to serve as their pastor?” wrote Robertson, who currently works for the Louisville Regional Baptist Association.

Watts had no choice but to resign.

Life Change Church closes.

According to Ministry Watch:

A Tennessee church whose lead pastor resigned in September for sexual misconduct has now closed its doors for good.

…Experience Community Church has already taken residency at the former church, celebrating its new opening October 17—just a month after Watts’ resignation.

The property is the third campus of Experience Community and will be absorbing many of Life Church’s former members. The first official service was held November 6.

Watts had more to say, but I am tired of quoting him. He’s not worth it. However, Valerie and I both agree. We bet Watts joins the fallen pastors’ conga line and starts a new church. I hope we are proved wrong. I am so sorry for what Valerie suffered as a student in the BBC ministry. I admire her persistence in continuing the good fight. She is my hero.


Bethany Baptist Church of Louisville posts: A Painful Part of our History:

The following post is taken from their website. It is worth the read. As I read it, I discovered that Valerie had given her statement to the SBC’s Victims’ Hotline.

“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8”

“Our obedience to God’s Word certainly involves diligence in the work of bringing healing to those who have been abused by people who were supposed to be in position to guide and protect. Far too many have suffered such abuse at the hands of a spouse, parent, teacher, or minister. Indeed, one is too many. It is altogether good and right to see that abusers are held accountable for their actions and that the survivors of abuse find strength through the love and support of the church.

We wish we could say that Bethany’s history was clear of this matter. But sadly, that is not the case. In 2002, Bethany’s leadership was informed that Christian Watts, a married youth and music minister at Bethany, had engaged in sexual actions with a young woman not his wife. With the information that was then known, the language used was that of an inappropriate relationship. Christian Watts was immediately removed from his position, and the name of the young woman—who was 19 at the time of it being reported—was not made public for her sake. She had been attending Bethany’s youth ministry when the sexual actions took place. The church responded with grief and with prayer for her healing as well as prayer for full repentance on the part of Mr. Watts.

A few years later, a church in Owensboro, Kentucky, contacted Bethany as a reference in consideration of calling Mr. Watts to their staff. Bethany’s pastor at that time, Chuck Fuller, informed that church of what had taken place. When the Owensboro church declined to call Mr. Watts, he reacted by threatening to file a lawsuit against Bethany’s pastor.

Bethany’s pastor today, Ken Vickery, was contacted by the young woman in 2019. Her name is Valerie Swope. Over the previous years, she had been in regular contact with Todd Robertson, who had been Bethany’s pastor during her time of attendance. Todd had been a steadfast help for her as she continued to deal with what had happened. Bethany’s leadership met with Valerie and Todd in 2019 to hear more about the matter. After being given more details about what had occurred in the years prior to 2002, we came to believe that this had been not only an inappropriate relationship, but a case of abuse by a minister of the church. At the age of 28 and while holding his position at Bethany, Mr. Watts had sexual relations with Valerie when she was a 16-year-old attender of Bethany’s youth ministry. That fact alone warrants defining his actions as ministerial abuse and a disqualification from pastoral ministry—regardless of the fact that 16 was the legal age of consent at the time. Furthermore, Valerie’s account of interactions that took place before her 16th birthday only deepened our conviction that this was a case of abuse.

We grieved with Valerie, prayed with her, and expressed our support as she sought to make the matter known. Local legal authorities opened an investigation in 2019, but with the laws that were in place in the late 1990s and early 2000s, no criminal charges could be filed. At the time of that 2019 investigation, Christian Watts was serving as pastor of a church in Tennessee.

We were again in contact with Valerie in the Spring of 2022. She reported to the newly implemented Southern Baptist Convention hotline, and she contacted a reporter at The Tennessean newspaper. For the protection of others, with a desire for authentic confession and repentance, and for the sake of her own healing, she sought to tell her story. We continued to give her our full support and encouragement. Within a few days of the article being published, Christian Watts resigned from his position as pastor at the Tennessee church.

We grieve this sin that took place in our church’s history. We grieve the pain that this sin has brought upon Valerie and her family. We want her to know that we love her and will strive to be a support for her in every way we can. Above all, we commit to pray for her to flourish in the years to come and that the all-sufficiency of our Lord Jesus Christ will define her and not the pain of past abuse. We pray that she will know that God is with her and that He is the God of comfort, the God of hope, the God of forgiveness, and the God of justice.

We grieve the pain this sin has brought upon the Watts family, and we pray for their healing. We pray that Mr. Watts would recognize and acknowledge that this was a sin of abuse. We pray for the reconciliation and healing that come only through full confession and repentance.

We express our deep apologies to our community that this abuse took place in the history of our church. Twenty years passing and only recently learning all the details do not weaken our resolve to confess and deal with this sin. Any such abuse goes directly against who Jesus has made us to be, and we pledge that we will do everything possible to ensure that no such abuse takes place in this church again.

As for our present members, we can trust that God is with us at Bethany, and that this painful part of our history can, by His grace, result in the power of the gospel to be on display—the power that brings about confession, godly grief over sin, full repentance, restoration, and righteousness.”

 


Comments

Valerie Swope: I Thought He Needed a Babysitter but Former SBC Youth Pastor, Christian Watts, Had Other Ideas. A Survivor’s Story of Sexual Abuse. — 62 Comments

  1. “I believe that any pastor who has sex with any congregation member, let alone a high school student, should be barred from ever functioning as a pastor again.” (Dee)

    He wasn’t functioning as a pastor when he committed that transgression and should not have attempted to move on in ministry. You will find no example in the New Testament of a pastor failing morally who was restored to the ministry. Forgive him if he genuinely repents? Certainly. Restore him to ministry? NO!

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  2. Dee, there is no Tullahoma, Kentucky……… I think you meant Tullahoma, Tennessee.

    Okay….. Watts…….( I am not questioning Valarie or doubting her story. )
    What if Watts had had a consensual, lengthy affair with…. say a 32 year-old woman instead of a young girl?
    Would Watts really expect his church, the SBC, and SBTS all to just say “Okey-dokey. That’s fine. You’re still good to go, if you want to still be a pastor.” ??????
    And to top it all, he has the audacity to threaten to file suit against people for committing the crime of telling the truth???? Poor baby.

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  3. Max: “I believe that any pastor who has sex with any congregation member, let alone a high school student, should be barred from ever functioning as a pastor again.” (Dee)

    He wasn’t functioning as a pastor when he committed that transgression and should not have attempted to move on in ministry. You will find no example in the New Testament of a pastor failing morally who was restored to the ministry. Forgive him if he genuinely repents? Certainly. Restore him to ministry? NO!

    Worth repeating.

    Agree with both Dee and Max. Well stated.

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  4. Old Timer: Why, oh why, do we restore these slimeballs back into ministry to harm others?

    Slither. They slither around. And we who restore them are WRONG to do so.

    Sunday night, Dateline had an episode about “The Perfect Guy” that slithered his way into peoples’ lives and businesses to the tune of millions of dollars of theft. He finally got put away. Derek Alldred. The story brings to mind the scammers running (some) churches that are scoundrels violating trusting people.

    Trust God, but never blindly trust even one person, should be practiced and taught among Christians.

    Bob Goff tweeted: “God doesn’t give us anything to join – except Him.”

    Think about that. NOTHING in the NT says to join anything. EVER. The NT says, do not neglect to meet together, but NEVER says to join nor to trust any person blindly.

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  5. christiane,

    I agree with MAX’s statement.

    The ethics and the law aside,
    the lapse of judgment on the part of someone who calls himself a ‘pastor’ and who as acted otherwise stands.

    what is that saying: ‘when someone shows you who (or what) they are, believe them the first time’

    litigious? really?

    my goodness, how can the Church protect its young from them what preys instead of prays?????

    Guard our young first. Above all.
    All else will work itself out in the courts and the prisons, but the Church CANNOT afford to let wolves back into the sheepfold, no way

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  6. christiane: my goodness, how can the Church protect its young from them what preys instead of prays?????

    Once again, church is a danger zone for young people as older men church leaders misuse authority and use church as their hunting ground. Where is the outcry from their colleagues? Why didn’t the year 2000 summit of leaders go after church predators instead of targeting women?

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  7. Max: Forgive him if he genuinely repents? Certainly.

    I think only the victim has the right to forgive. And if they don’t want to, that’s fine to.

    To often it’s “they” repent and we’re supposed to “forgive”.

    It’s all about the perpetrators.

    To stand with the victim, it has to be all about the victim and their right not to forgive.

    There’s always a desire for everything to just sort things out.

    That only happens in sitcoms & Hallmark movies.

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  8. I do appreciate BBC’s willingness to be open and stick with the victim here. Even though they did not do all the right things initially. For instance, they should have reported this to the police in 2002, not mater the technicalities of the law. However, they did continue to pass the information along to future pastors so this guy would not receive a reference from them. It saved at least one church family from potentially having a wolf in their congregation. Additionally, I’m not sure of the size and resources of this church, but I would have welcomed a lawsuit. I would love to see Mr. Watts try and explain away his actions to a judge. I’m certain he was bluffing. Although this church did make mistakes, you can see that their actions more resemble what you would expect Christians to do in the wake of something like this occurring. They genuinely seemed upset and concerned that this occurred. They reached out to multiple churches and the seminary to let them know this occurred. In most of the other examples covered here on this site, its as if the leaders of the church could care less about what transgressions occurred. They just wash their hands of the problem by giving the perp a reference and moving them on down to the next unsuspecting congregation.

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  9. dee: I agree. Christa Brown is out there reminding people that nothing has been accomplished except for a secretive “hotline,” which is, according to Barber, “expensive’. But he won’t say how expensive—too many questions.

    I have nothing but contempt for Bart Barber and the other good old boys at the helm of the SBC. It will have soon been a year since the last SBC convention and all I hear are crickets addressing sexual abuse in the SBC . I can almost guarantee you if any church other than Saddleback called a woman as a pastor in the sbc Bart Barber and the other SBC leaders would make sure that church was disfellowshipped in record time.

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  10. I’m assuming that most churches are doing background checks and other due diligence when hiring staff today. However, one thing that I would like to know is whether any church is just up front with pastoral/staff candidates by asking them point blank and in person whether they Have had any or been accused of any inappropriate conduct of any kind with a child, teen or adult. Additionally, I would ask them what their definition of inappropriate conduct is along with follow-up questions for things that they leave out. It’s like with Bill Clinton, often what you leave out is were the sin lies. I think these type of questions would weed out many predators.

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  11. Ava, you are so right.”Trust God, but never blindly trust even one person, should be practiced and taught among Christians.” I was extraordinarily fortunate to learn as a new, young believer never to blindly trust any earthly pastor or leader. “Trust, but verify” has always been my motto. A tough, loving and cynical dad taught me this also, and I’ve been incredibly grateful for years.
    Afterburne,I had several other (unprintable) descriptors, but didn’t want Dee to block this post due to my language. And, how can you convey how slick, and well, slimy these folks are? Words fail me.

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  12. Ava Aaronson: Trust God, but never blindly trust even one person, should be practiced and taught among Christians.

    Indeed! Keep your eyes and ears open folks, take your time to evaluate the pulpiteer and his message, don’t send your children to classes with leaders you don’t know, don’t walk into ANY church with blinders on thinking that if you can’t trust church leaders, who can you trust? ” Be vigilant always, for your enemy the devil is always about, prowling like a lion seeking for its prey” (1 Peter 5:8).

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  13. Tom Parker: I have nothing but contempt for Bart Barber and the other good old boys at the helm of the SBC.

    Barber has publicly defended SBC’s Complementarian theology and polity. Barber has said, “The Baptist Faith & Message articulates a complementarian view of the home……. I affirm these truths …..”
    He said, “ “our problem is not with our theology or our polity; indeed these things are among our strengths …”
    Barber insist that comp theology has not contributed to abuse in SBC churches ….evil men have just learned how to take advantage of the system.
    IMO, Barber needs to take a long, hard look at the list of predators…… and especially a list of the men who protected the predators and allowed the predations to happen…… beginning with Paige Patterson, Augie Boto……

    Side note: Al Mohler and Tom Nettles have made comments supporting the SBC founders right to own slaves. Their remarks are eerily similar to part of the BF&M statement on husbands and wives.

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  14. Complementarian theology…..
    I just want to point out the timeline of the grooming and abuse Valerie suffered through an SBC church, at the hands of an SBC youth pastor:
    It just happened to coincide with the fundamentalist take over of the SBC and rise of “True Love Waits”-blame the woman-purity culture.

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  15. Eric Bonetti: You know the clergy definition of defamation: Anything about me I don’t like. Unless you are an Episcopal priest, in which case it’s domestic terrorism.

    Like that old Mad Magazine defintion of Fascism:
    “ANYONE WHO TELLS ME I CAN’T DO ANYTHING I WANT IS A FASCIST!”

    This is also called “The Beavis & Butthead Definition of Freedom” – I Get To Do Anything I Wanna. Anything!

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  16. Nancy2(aka Kevlar): Side note: Al Mohler and Tom Nettles have made comments supporting the SBC founders right to own slaves. Their remarks are eerily similar to part of the BF&M statement on husbands and wives.

    Mohler tried to back-pedal on that one, but the damage was done.
    That, and the ongoing sex-abuse scandals, will pretty much ensure the decline of the SBC as a viable organization in American Protestantism.

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  17. Muff Potter,

    Muff Potter,
    I wish that was true, but independent congregations seem to have just as much scandal as SBC ones. I’ve been in a couple of churches where issues were never addressed and much harm was done. My current church does take things pretty seriously with background checks, fingerprinting, bathroom guidelines for younger children, and always more than one adult in the room (we have “spare” adults that step right in). All kids are also registered on an Ipad with a sign-out sticker, too. However, if you’ve never been caught abusing a child, none of those safeguards could prevent an unreported incident. I pray a lot and if I see something “iffy”, I report it.

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  18. Old Timer: I was extraordinarily fortunate to learn as a new, young believer never to blindly trust any earthly pastor or leader.

    Very fortunate. God bless. Thanks for sharing.

    Many of us learn by getting burnt at least once. We learn. Ever grateful to learn and benefit from experience.

    Also, we are ever grateful for TWW with posts and comments, full of life lessons, experiences, warnings and helpful tips. Remember “Testimony Time” at church or at youth group? Faith stories? Well, TWW is today’s Testimony Time, with warnings about the Fake, the Snake Oil, and encouragement to seek God for real.

    We’re listening to “Deep Dive” from the Library, an audio book. Full of names of “Christians” and “leaders”, name brand, that are completely off the rails. Highly recommend this book.

    “Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, we are free at last.”

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  19. Ava Aaronson: We’re listening to “Deep Dive” from the Library, an audio book. Full of names of “Christians” and “leaders”, name brand, that are completely off the rails. Highly recommend this book.

    Correction: “Off the Deep End” by Giancarlo Granda – a story of “Christians”, leadership, power, grooming, Liberty University, politics, and yes – sex. Highly recommend.

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  20. Gus: Purity culture: invented by dirty old men

    One of the “purity” kings, Bill Gothard, promoted male superiority and female obedience. Gothard stressed large families, but never married. He stepped down from his ministry after 34 women accused him of sexual harassment and molestation (their lawsuit dismissed after the statute of limitations got him off the hook). SBC pushed his “Institute in Basic Life Principles” … apparently, Gothard failed a few life principles.

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  21. Max: Gothard stressed large families, but never married. He stepped down from his ministry after 34 women accused him of sexual harassment and molestation (their lawsuit dismissed after the statute of limitations got him off the hook).

    They were not “women” at the time Got Hard got his jollies.
    Teenagers, in Denim Jumpers, with LOOOOOOOOOONG… WAAAAAAAVY… HAAAAAAAIR….
    Whose IBLP parents had sent them as interns to the Mighty ManaGAWD.
    (Just like L Ron Hubbard’s “Commodore’s Assistants”, except Elron put his in string bikinis.)

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  22. Ava Aaronson: The “Day of Purity” Chairperson at Liberty University, Chelsea, was raped by an LU prominent student. LU upheld the rapist and railroaded Chelsea.

    Being raped instantly transformed her from Virgin to Whore, and they acted in Righteous Purity.

    Just like Talibani gang-raping a woman because she let a centimeter of ankle show beneath her burqa, then cutting her throat in Godly Righteousness because she was such a Whore.

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  23. Tom Parker:

    yes paul definitely hated women

    I think you are making the same mistake that complimentarians make. Complimentarians conveniently leave out where Paul works with, commends, or recommends, women who are busy doing good work.

    In this case, instead of using those omissions to condemn women, the exact same omission of scriptures and faulty thinking is being used to condemn Paul.

    The truth is we don’t really know how Paul felt toward women. However, if Paul truly hated women, why did he mention so many of them in a favorable light?

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  24. Headless Unicorn Guy: Teenagers, in Denim Jumpers, with LOOOOOOOOOONG… WAAAAAAAVY… HAAAAAAAIR….

    Duggars and counting.

    “And now, Amazon has announced plans to produce a documentary that will expose corruption within the organization that provided the Duggars’ with their bonkers belief system. If you’re a longtime follower of the family, then you’re probably familiar with the Institute for Basic Life Principles.”

    https://www.thehollywoodgossip.com/2023/01/duggar-familys-corrupt-church-to-be-exposed-in-new-amazon-documentary/

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  25. Ava Aaronson: “And now, Amazon has announced plans to produce a documentary that will expose corruption within the organization that provided the Duggars’ with their bonkers belief system. If you’re a longtime follower of the family, then you’re probably familiar with the Institute for Basic Life Principles.”

    Isn’t that what happened to Scientology after South Park pulled back the curtain of their Great and Powerful Oz? Everybody and their cousin started doing (unflattering) documentaries on them?

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  26. Muff Potter,

    That’s only because you have been reading the heretics’ bible commentaries. Personally, I recommend that you ditch their paradigm and use your own degrees of your own inference.

    There is a passage referring to some wives whom he had been asked about (the Greek contains a strongly demonstrative part of speech), whom their husands weren’t talking to at home (the usual Roman problem). He recommends their husbands talk to them so that they will be somewhat informed before arriving at the assembly.

    There is another passage where he tries to discourage Hollywood style over the top makeup and hair, in favour of a middle of the road style, not to manipulate the women but to cite a suggested example so that they can deduce a balanced attitude from it. This was a concrete style of speech making listeners and readers infer principle by their own brainwork. Paul was not literal minded at all, as Peter reminds us.

    The “reformed”, “new apostolic” and “restorationist” authorities you insist on looking up to won’t agree with me but don’t say you weren’t helped.

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  27. Max: Many of Paul’s co-workers were women … he commended them, he collaborated with them, he called them by name to honor their work and preserve their legacy in Scripture.

    Of the twenty-nine people mentioned in Romans 16, ten of them are women. Seven of the ten women are described in terms of their ministry (Phoebe, Prisca, Mary, Junia, Tryphena, Tryphosa, Persis).

    By comparison, only three of the 19 men are described in terms of their ministry (Aquila, Andronicus, Urbanus), and two of those men are mentioned alongside a female partner (Aquila with Prisca, Andronicus with Junia).

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  28. Nancy2(aka Kevlar): founders right to own slaves

    Like George Whit(e)field helping bring in this overt subversion of order in Georgia – at the time when Benjamin Lay, evading persecutors, achieved its abolition in Pennsylvania.

    Headless Unicorn Guy: “Complementarian(TM)” = MALE SUPREMACIST in Christianese.

    Literal literalism = Manifest Destiny materialist monism (Pol Pot) in Christianese.

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  29. Afterburne: women are described in terms of their ministry (Phoebe, Prisca, Mary, Junia, Tryphena, Tryphosa, Persis)

    Indeed! Paul recognized, received and respected women who were making a difference in the Gospel ministry. He preached “Gone is the distinction between Jew and Greek, slave and free man, male and female — you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).

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  30. Like I’ve commented here before, the first thing they should do is call the cops.
    Child sex-abuse IS A FELONY in all 50 states.
    If they continue to try and cover it up, sooner or late one (or more) of the big-whigs is gonna’ go down for complicity.
    It’s just a matter of time before a land-mark case blows this whole sordid shootin’ match wide open and it bankrupts the SBC.

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  31. Muff Potter: It’s just a matter of time before a land-mark case blows this whole sordid shootin’ match wide open and it bankrupts the SBC.

    That case may already be tucked away in a dark corner of SBC … some big-boy elite who failed morally, but was too big to fail the denomination, too important in the chain of command, a prominent kingpin in a movement, who knew too much dirt on other elites … so he was protected and covered. Judge Pressler comes to mind, but he appears to be largely off the hook at this point … so another “land-mark case” will have to be uncovered.

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