Bruce Ashford’s Spectacular Fall From Grace

“As the Provost of a SBC seminary [SEBTS] and pastor at a SBC church [The Summit Church], let me be clear: a physically abused woman should separate from her husband and have him put in jail.”

Bruce Ashford, Twitter, April 28, 2018.


Editorial note: For further information, please see two emails at the end of this post. One is to Dr. Akin from Todd, and one is to Dr. Ashford from Dee.


Bruce Ashford first appeared on the radar of The Wartburg Watch in the summer of 2021. As I recall, one of our “field agents” notified us of Ashford’s somewhat discrete resignation from his Provost position at SEBTS in July 2020. The email circulated through employees of SEBTS stated that Ashford would remain with the seminary, “returning full-time to the classroom.”

Dee and I began researching the matter, and within a few weeks, we obtained a significant amount of information, only some of which Dee used to write our first article on Bruce Ashford, titled “Where’s Bruce Ashford? Did They Give Him a Cake?”

In her article, Dee noted that on the bio section of his blog, Bruce Ashford continued to claim that he was Provost at SEBTS. This was 13 months after he had resigned from the position.

Dee went on to say that Ashford’s claim to be a Professor of Theology and Culture also appeared inaccurate as we had determined he was terminated from that position in the middle of the Fall term – October 2020.

As you can see from the screenshot I made on March 12, 2023, Bruce Ashford has yet to update his blog information. It has been nearly two years since he resigned from his Provost position! At this point, I think I am justified in saying he is intentionally misleading people.

Further proof that Bruce Ashford has intentionally chosen not to remove the false claims of currently being Provost and Professor at SEBTS can be seen in the screenshots below. Note that on July 27, 2021, there was a paragraph in his bio beginning with “My family is the great joy of my life.” That entire paragraph has been removed, which you can see in the screenshot taken on March 5, 2023.

Why wouldn’t Ashford remove the incorrect information regarding his employment at SEBTS while removing the paragraph about his now ex-wife? (More on that later.)

Strangely, Bruce Ashford’s CV is accurate concerning the dates he was employed as Provost and Professor at SEBTS. In my opinion, this is likely because Ashford would have trouble explaining the inaccuracies to a potential employer, and a thorough check of the facts would generally be conducted.

Dee summed up our thoughts on the Bruce Ashford affair best in this comment she made in her blog post:

On April 21, 2022, I published The Wartburg Watch’s second article on the Bruce Ashford affair. The article is titled “Bruce Ashford Finds it Hard to Move on From SEBTS” and can be found here.

The main thrust of the article was to point out that Bruce Ashford was continuing to claim that “Eighteen months later [after being terminated from SEBTS] his blog continues to state he “serves as Provost and Professor of Theology and Culture at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.” 

Here is an email exchange I had with Bruce Ashford on the subject:

Obviously, from what I have documented above, Ashford had not changed all the language on his blog, and it took him several weeks to actually change the little blurb he put at the bottom of each article published on his blog.

A key component of my article was a video published by Bruce Ashford on May 6, 2020. This video confirms that Bruce Ashford was an elder at The Summit Church when the video was recorded. Ashford also informed us that he and J.D. Greear were college roommates and good friends.

Also, in the video J.D. Greear becomes a bit unhinged on “discernment bloggers.” You may recall that J.D. Greear hired the controversial Bryan Loritts as a “Teaching Pastor” at The Summit Church in May. Loritts would begin his employment at The Summit Church on June 1, 2020. I suspect Greear had already been made aware of the negative kickback concerning his hiring of Loritts during his video interview with Ashford, but a firestorm erupted shortly after, led by some excellent work by Julie Roys, among others.

Here are some screenshots showing that the college roommate of J.D. Greear was an elder at The Summit Church. I have never seen any announcement of Ashford’s departure from the elder ranks nor any evidence that Greear and his elder team ever took any disciplinary action against Ashford. Apparently, whatever got Ashford terminated from SEBTS didn’t warrant any action from The Summit Church, but then we all know church discipline is only for the little people.

Dee and I continued to sit on a significant amount of information we had on Bruce Ashford. Based on some screenshots found on Lauren Ashford’s social media accounts, we were of the opinion that in the summer of 2020, Lauren Ashford may have been physically abused by her husband, Bruce Ashford. I emailed Lauren Ashford twice, asking her to confirm what we believed to be true, but I received no response. Therefore, I chose not to press the issue any further with her.

Earlier this week, I received information that Jon Harris, a SEBTS seminary graduate that publishes insightful video commentary on his YouTube channel titled “Conversations That Matter,” had published a video that contained a lengthy section on the possible abuse of Lauren Ashford by Bruce Ashford.

I will include a few clips from Harris’ video, but I encourage you to go to the source and watch the entire 20-minute section on Ashford. It begins around the 15:30 mark.

This is a fair statement by Harris. Of course, many articles were initially written in the Baptist world about Ashford’s resignation from his Provost position at SEBTS, but none of them, to my knowledge, did any digging in an attempt to understand why Ashford would resign his Provost position to accept what is, in my opinion, a demotion.

Perhaps the reason for the success of numerous “discernment blogs” is that we don’t take a religious leader or organization’s public statement at face value but actually conduct research into a story to see if there is more to the story than what the religious leaders would like us to believe. Frequently there is.

Dee and I did dig deeper and obtained significant information. Perhaps we were slow to publish all of our findings, but with Harris bringing the story of Ashford’s alleged abuse to light (utilizing some of my own screenshots) along with another bizarre story allegedly involving Bruce Ashford (which you will read about shortly) we figured it was time to share what we know.

“Do all victims matter or just some?” An excellent question by Harris! I think I can safely speak for all “discernment bloggers” when I say all victims matter. The problem we bloggers have is covering all the stories that are presented to us. The volume is overwhelming. Many of us are working full-time jobs. Supporting victims is a labor of love for us; we do not receive nor desire any money for our efforts. But the offshoot of this is we accomplish our blog research and writing on our own time, which is unfortunately limited by the fact that there are only 24 hours each day.

Harris stated, “This sounds to me like a woman crying out for help.” I agree with Harris. It’s hard to draw any other conclusion from Lauren Ashford’s posts.

The day after Lauren’s two Tweets pleading for help from Rachael Denhollander and Beth Moore, she gives her husband Bruce the big thumbs down on his latest book! Keep in mind this is a mere 9 days after Bruce had “resigned” from his Provost position.

Two things I disagree with Harris on in the clip above. First, I don’t blame an alleged victim of abuse for raising her hand and saying, “me too.” I wouldn’t say “her hands are dirty.” Second, I don’t discount the expert opinion of many who say alcoholism is a disease. I assume Harris is a fan of Biblically Based Counseling, where every issue is a sin issue. Dee can speak to this more knowledgeably than I. (Dee says: Please see my letter to Dr. Ashford at the end of this post in which I deal with the alcohol issue.)

If Bruce Ashford was abusing his wife, and in my opinion, he was, then he should hold himself to his own words at the top of this article – “a physically abused woman should separate from her husband and have him put in jail.” Instead, Bruce should have been consistent with his own convictions, turned himself in to local law enforcement, and admitted his crimes.

But let’s read what else was going on in Bruce Ashford’s life at this time. This is from an article he published on August 25, 2022, titled “On Not Wanting to Live but Not Wanting to Die.”


During my forty-eight years, I have experienced approximately eight years total of deep depression. The first episode lasted for about six years and stretched from my twenties into my early thirties. The second episode lasted for about two years during my mid-forties.

During those years, I felt trapped and didn’t see a way out. In Dante’s Inferno—the book in which he depicts the inner bowels of hell—he portrays sinners trapped in an icy lake, freezing instead of burning. In my experience, depression feels like that.

During the first period of depression, there was nothing in life that could induce happy feelings, nothing that I truly enjoyed. I experienced life with a catatonic sense of utter tedium. Very briefly, I pondered suicide. For years, I threw myself into my studies—first a PhD program, later my lecture notes. My studies were just about the only thing that could help me squeeze the hours and days forward.

During the more recent depression, I never contemplated suicide. I have three beautiful children who are worth more to me than anything in this world. Thus, I never wanted to die. Yet, although I didn’t want to die, I also didn’t want to be awake. I began medicating periodically with alcohol. Binge drinking so that I could be unconscious for days at a time. But the drinking didn’t help. It made things worse.

During both periods, I felt like I had only enough mental, physical, and emotional bandwidth to stay alive and take care of each day’s most basic responsibilities. I lacked interest in nearly everything but my children. I didn’t have hope and eventually became unmotivated to even seek hope.

The first period was triggered by a traumatic event that I hid, never revealing it fully to any one person. I covered my wound. As a result, I never received the help that I could have received. Had I opened up to a therapist or doctor, I would have been diagnosed with PTSD and counseled to undergo EMDR therapy. Had I opened up to a pastor and counselor, I would have been given spiritual and practical tools that would have aided significantly.

Eventually, I loosened the grip of the black dog. This loosening, or partial escape, was catalyzed by my engagement to a lovely young lady. Her love, calming presence, and faithful companionship soothed my frayed nerves, gave me a previously unimaginable hope, and fostered the type of happy feelings I had not experienced in years.

Yet, I had not treated the deeper causes. Thus, more recently, when I experienced another series of traumatic events, the Black Dog was able to regain his grip and dig his teeth more deeply and decisively into the exposed wound. At first, I tried to take the spiritual and therapeutic counsel available to me. Yet, initially I ignored the possibility of a physical cause (later I was diagnosed with the onslaught of a reinvigorated and inflated case of PTSD); thus, when the spiritual and therapeutic measures couldn’t tame my racing mind, my heightened nerves, and the onset of despair, I turned to alcohol.

I turned to alcohol because I knew exactly what it would give me. A small amount periodically during the day would calm my nerves and soothe my mind enough that I didn’t feel crazy. A significant amount at night would slow the racing mind and dull the nerves enough that I could sleep. Yet soon alcohol gave me more than I asked for. It drove me deeper into depression and exacerbated my problems.

Thankfully, friends intervened. I was diagnosed with PTSD and underwent intensive treatment in the form of EMDR therapy (which reconnected my “left brain” and “right brain,” reducing significantly the effect of any “triggers”), cranio-sacral massage (which released the enormous amounts of cortisol my body had stored), therapeutic counsel, and biblically-based Christian counsel. Together, these treatments restored my mind and body. For a year now, I have experienced a recovery that I previously could not imagine.


To recap, Bruce Ashford stated on August 25, 2022, “For a year now, I have experienced a recovery that I previously could not imagine.”

But had he recovered?

Five weeks later, this story broke:

 

Below is a screenshot I took that was utilized in the above video. It shows that Bruce Ashford was indeed driving for Lyft.

I did write to Eziya Bowden in an attempt to get further information on this story, but I did not receive a response. Additionally, I wrote to the Raleigh Police Department. I requested the Police Report on the incident, but the information they could legally provide me did not prove helpful other than the fact that it established there was a report filed.


Now I need to backtrack and provide some information that may raise further questions about Ashford’s termination from SEBTS.

Below is a screenshot of an email address that has been registered to Bruce Ashford since 2017. It also shows the location of the email. I have no hesitation in saying that address was the home address of Bruce and Lauren Ashford up until November 2021. I don’t know the date Bruce and Lauren divorced, but it’s safe to assume it was before November 2021 as the home was sold that month.

Here is a document that shows the current owner of Ashford’s home. Note that the previous owners were Joseph and Dana Sanders. Sanders was Lauren’s maiden name and Joseph is her father.

Be advised that the “Elitemate” website discussed below contains graphic content which is sexual in nature. I would not recommend viewing the site.


Did Bruce allegedly use brucejashford@hotmail.com to establish an account on Elitemate – a dating/hookup site? Why is the “j” in the address when Bruce’s middle name is Riley? I am uncertain. Perhaps to throw off sleuths such as me.

Here is Bruce Ashford’s alleged profile name on the Elitemate site:

Here is Bruce Ashford’s alleged profile page on the Elitemate site. Please note that his location is listed as Wake Forest which is the town north of Raleigh where SEBTS is located.

In 2019 Bruce Ashford was granted a 1-year sabbatical from SEBTS. Earlier in this post, it was mentioned that Keith Whitfield filled in for Bruce Ashford as Provost in his absence. I assume Ashford resumed his duties as Provost after his sabbatical ended. That would have been for approximately six months. In July 2020 Ashford resigned and Whitfield again stepped into the role of Provost.

Information I received was that SEBTS President Danny Akin allegedly forced Ashford to resign his Provost position but he allowed him to continue drawing a paycheck as a Professor. Based on the fact that Ashford conducted an interview with his longtime friend, J.D. Greear in early May 2020 and in that interview Ashford said that Greear was his pastor, I would speculate Greear had no knowledge at that time of what was about to happen to Ashford.

The Southeastern Seminary Board of Trustees met on October 12-13, 2020. I was told by an anonymous source that the BOT allegedly did not agree with Akin’s decision to retain Ashford as a Professor. They insisted Ashford be terminated immediately. Thus, Ashford found himself out of a job in the middle of the Fall Semester – October 2020, and Keith Whitfield was voted in as the permanent Provost.

While I will not speak on the specific indiscretions that got Ashford terminated, this post has documented possible spousal abuse, possible sexual indiscretions, and possible alcohol abuse. It is interesting that he was allowed to go on a sabbatical for one year and when he returned, his employment status at SEBTS rapidly deteriorated and ended.

Finally, when we at The Wartburg Watch started investigating this story The Summit Church had already done a thorough job of scrubbing their website of all references to Bruce Ashford.

I did manage to find a few items, including this:


Todd emails Dr. Akin and Dr. Akin’s response.

On May 3, 2022, at 6:46 PM, Todd Wilhelm  wrote:

Hello Dr. Akin,

My name is Todd Wilhelm and I write for the Wartburg Watch. I have been conducting some research for an upcoming article I am writing on Bruce Ashford. It has come to my attention that Dr. Ashford is claiming in his biography on his personal blog “bruceashford.net” that he is the Provost and a professor at SEBTS. My research indicates he resigned his job as Provost in July 2020 and was terminated from his job as professor in October 2020.
I brought this issue to the attention of Dr. Ashford two weeks ago. He confirmed he was no longer employed by SEBTS, thanked me for bringing the inaccuracy to his attention, and said he would fix it that morning. As of today he has not corrected the inaccuracy.
I thought Dr. Ashford continuing to claim he is Provost and a professor at SEBTS could prove embarrassing to you. You may wish to contact him and ask him to correct the information. I have also found his biography on Amazon contains the same errors, as does his biography on The Gospel Coalition website.
I have one favor to ask of you. Could you tell me why Dr. Ashford resigned from his job as Provost and was terminated from his job as professor three months later?
Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter.
Kind Regards,
Todd Wilhelm

——- Original Message ——-On Tuesday, May 3rd, 2022 at 3:57 PM, Akin, Daniel <dakin@sebts.edu> wrote:

Todd, thank you bringing this to my attention. As for why Dr. Ashford resigned, that is a question for him to address if he wishes to do so.
God bless.
Danny Akin

Dee emailed Dr. Ashford with her questions and does not receive a response.

Hi Dr. Ashford,

I write for The Wartburg Watch along with Todd Wilhelm, who has been in touch with you. You are a well-known and admired Christian leader, given your positions at SEBTS and your service at The Summit Church.

About a year ago, we began receiving correspondence about your leaving the seminary as well as Summit Church. These individuals provided some information that we were unable to corroborate.  We recently obtained further information from a new source outlining additional concerns.

We take this somewhat seriously, given the practice of church discipline in today’s Reformed churches. Some of this discipline, we believe, has been unbiblical in its approach, and we have written extensively on the matter. That is why it is frustrating to many church members when leaders are seemingly able to fade into the sunset, leaving behind questions.

Because of these contacts, I wanted to let you know that I decided to write to you so you might confirm or deny the information we are receiving. At some point, we may be forced to deal with them in a post.

This contact claims the following personal and family difficulties.

  Dr. Ashford stepped down from SEBTS in 2020 following his wife’s accident in which she fell off of a ladder at their home. Unfortunately, she developed attachment to pain medications that were prescribed, leaving Bruce as Provost and single dad while she recovered and sought help. During this time he developed an addiction to alcohol, which ultimately led to his resignation from Southeastern. Since then, his children have not lived with him or his wife. He and Lauren are either separated or divorced, and he’s been working as a communications consultant for various clients including state Republican legislators and candidates. He’s mentioned on Facebookthat he’s needed to drive for Lyft to make ends meet, and he has been doing so.” (Editor Dee says that link is no onger avaiable for public view.)

If this accusation about alcoholism is true, I am sorry. I worked in an alcohol and substance abuse facility where my father served as Chief of Staff. Alcoholism is a complex disease, and both Todd and I have experienced it in our own families.

Can you confirm or deny the information in the above italicized paragraph?

The troubling Lyft incident

 A bizarre incident occurred in Raleigh, NC, on November 2nd, possibly involving Bruce Ashford, former Provost and Professor of SEBTS and current Kirby Laing Centre senior research fellow. This doesn’t seem to be getting much coverage in evangelical circles.

ABC11, a local news station, reported on the event here, not naming the driver: https://abc11.com/raleigh-jumped-from-lyft-ride-teenager-creepy-driver/12417656/

Daily Mail also covered the story, naming the driver as Bruce: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11409361/North-Carolina-teen-forced-jump-moving-Lyft-ride-suggestive-remarks-driver.html.

 The girl involved posted her account on Instagram, showing her Lyft driver’s name and profile photo here (be sure to read the comments on this post as other Raleigh locals mention further strange encounters with Dr. Ashford): 

https://www.instagram.com/p/Cke_5vAj2rW/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

.Other social media outlets have carried these details with some coverage, but none have proximity or background knowledge of Dr. Ashford’s recent years from being within the SBC/evangelical community.

This YouTube video does some research to match the photo with old photos of Dr. Ashford: https://youtu.be/FOeLSzhFN74)

 We do not know the person who did the YouTube video, nor do we personally know the person who contacted us. They do not seem to be the same person.

 Can you confirm or deny that the driver in the italicized account is you? Would you happen to have any statement on this Lyft incident? We have received information that your Lyft license has been suspended-either temporarily or permanently. Do you know if this is true?

I am sorry that I have had to contact you about these troubles. It appears that a number of people are interested since they continue sending questions our way. That is the downside to being a public figure.

Dee Parsons


Comments

Bruce Ashford’s Spectacular Fall From Grace — 96 Comments

  1. “Information I received was that SEBTS President Danny Akin allegedly forced Ashford to resign his Provost position but he allowed him to continue drawing a paycheck as a Professor.”

    And last I checked, doesn’t a healthy chunk of SBC cooperative program funding, with which countless SBC churches participate, go to SBC-affiliated seminaries?

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  2. dee,

    So The Skip Tracer youtuber says he googled the name of the professor and found “something called The Wartburg Watch”, which he had never heard of. He read TWW articles about the professor, combined the TWW Intel with his own work, and voilà, a picture emerges.

    The Internet. God’s pipeline of Intel. Our God created the technology for the little people to know what really goes on, share, and take measures.

    Praying the young woman can find safe transportation to get to school and work. God bless her. God heal her. God provide for her. Thank God He cares about the little people, working, studying, thriving.

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  3. JDV: drawing a paycheck as a Professor.

    And teaching?

    Teaching as a professor is a real and legitimate job. But that’s not enough for a person to live with joy in career and family?

    So the good professor sells his soul to the power, profits, pillaging trifecta.

    1. Empowered, he beats his wife.
    2. Using resources, he pickles his brain and body with alcohol.
    3. Finally, he allegedly drugs an innocent young woman, with allegedly the intent to violate her.

    Jesus died, rose, and sent us His Holy Spirit to clean out our souls and 180 turn our lives around.

    At the same time:
    1. The man’s wife and children need protection with a no contact order;
    2. An alcoholic needs to willingly relinquish substances and his community of fellow users; the public needs protection from his driving, etc.
    3. Although not charged, the Lyft incident indicates he may be a predator. Minors and vulnerables need protection from a predator. Barriers are required to protect others from a predator.

    God protect others near his path.
    God help him turn around his life, if he’s willing. God is no fool and never an arm-twister. God is available but never authoritarian.

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  4. Max: Reckon how many of Ashford’s dudebros knew about his history with the black dog and continued to advance him through SBC ranks?

    “Bad theology begets abuse. #ThisistheSBC #SBCtoo”

    -From a tweet by Christa Brown today.

    If there are Theobros circling the wagons with this Good Professor, it’s curious where in their theology their BFF’s behavior is OK.

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  5. think this is crazy? look into adam greenway- threatened a whistleblower and journalist who was also a student, tiffany eustice abused by her parents and when she told swbts, they sent her back home and her dad assaulted her, bobby lopez unjustly fired and chuck carpenter dean of Students who mishandled abuse and threatened students and resigned just this week because wife left him over physical abuse

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  6. f1atlux: think this is crazy? look into adam greenway- threatened a whistleblower and journalist who was also a student, tiffany eustice abused by her parents and when she told swbts, they sent her back home and her dad assaulted her, bobby lopez unjustly fired and chuck carpenter dean of Students who mishandled abuse and threatened students and resigned just this week because wife left him over physical abuse

    It’s an epidemic, and as Jon Harris said in the video I took clips from, we need to focus on the Seminaries.

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  7. Wow. This is all too much to take in.

    The victims – Lauren Ashford, their children, their parents, the Lyft passenger, the women and/or men deceived by the dating cite profile.

    The deceivers, liars, coverupers- Danny Akin, JD Greear, the SEBTS Seminary Board of Trustees, Keith Whitfield and the other profs at SEBTS who knew what was going on.

    And the perpetrator, Bruce. Also a victim of Satan and his own lust and weakness.

    The biggest hypocrisy are the guys like Akin, Greear and others at SEBTS who take it as a badge of honor and bravery to show how much better they are than guys like Paige Patterson by denouncing him, removing his name from any buildings and records they can get their hands on, and who ironically have their jobs and positions due to one time affiliation with Patterson.

    Now they show themselves to actually be worse than Patterson. They’ve covered up more wrongdoing, which may have led to the Lyft incident and more wrongdoing than Patterson ever thought of doing. All to make themselves look good.

    And as noted, all during a season of renewed emphasis regarding church discipline.

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  8. I’m beginning to think that these guys can’t be Christians. If they were, they should have been down on their knees praying for so long that they would have died of dehydration and starvation a while ago.
    But, it appears that the only corpses are their dry, empty souls.

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  9. Nancy2(aka Kevlar): But, it appears that the only corpses are their dry, empty souls.

    “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitened tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but inwardly are full of dead men’s bones and of all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.”

    Matthew 23:27-28
    World English Bible, Public Domain

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  10. I have been doing some discouraged reflection on a long-time relationship with an older person (parent of a close friend) whom I have come to believe has a significant personality disorder (can’t get a diagnosis as the person refuses therapy, but from observation I think a plausible guess is that the person has “borderline personality disorder”).

    The discouraged reflection is that “the Gospel does not seem to have had much effect on how this person treats other people”.

    I suspect that this problem may be widespread.

    I think it would be a useful research project, if it were possible to do, to perform repeated comprehensive personality assessments on people over long periods of time to determine whether “the Gospel” (or, observationally, “association with a church”) makes a measurable difference.

    When a seemingly reputable christian leader is discovered to have serious ethical or moral problems, there are two standard ‘defenses’ to the natural question of “why did Gospel transformation not prevent this” — a) the person is not really a believer and so you can’t infer a failure of efficacy of the Gospel in the person’s life and b) the Gospel was effective in the person’s life — that person would have been even worse if not for the Gospel.

    I’m getting a bit weary of the special pleading and would like to see this question studied carefully. I think it’s an important question.

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  11. Nancy2(aka Kevlar):
    I’m beginning to think that these guys can’t be Christians.If they were, they should have been down on their knees praying for so long that they would have died of dehydration and starvation a while ago.
    But, it appears that the only corpses are their dry, empty souls.

    Agreed; “prayer” is an expression of the heart’s desire. If they wanted to be different, they would be making earnest appeals to God to cause this transformation in their lives.

    But I think that “prayer” by itself is not enough. If they wanted to be different, they would also be seeking help from other people.

    There’s a lot of wisdom in the old motto “ora et labora“, and one can see this in narratives in the Scriptures, both OT and NT, such as in the account of Nehemiah’s formation of a plan to rebuild Jerusalem, and of course in Jesus’ public ministry.

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  12. Samuel Conner: I think it would be a useful research project, if it were possible to do, to perform repeated comprehensive personality assessments on people over long periods of time to determine whether “the Gospel” (or, observationally, “association with a church”) makes a measurable difference.

    That’s an interesting idea, Samuel. I would also find it interesting to administer personality tests to seminary students.

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  13. Samuel Conner,

    My twenty five years’ experience as a mental health nurse would suggest people with symptoms of personality disorder are drawn to religion, and particularly ministry, like flies to light.
    The difficulty with the useful research you suggest would be that if you have enough symptoms to meet a diagnostic threshold you will have difficulty committing to research and may even have difficulty discerning what is real at any particular time.
    Nonetheless it would be really good to see that research done for the reasons you say.
    Some church communities bend over backwards to create a home for these people, in ways which I really admire because I could never be an informal carer myself. Otoh the current understandable preoccupation with abuse and gaslighting, and the current social media prominence of narcissistic personality disorder mean they risk facing even more stigma in the church.
    In terms of practice of things like prayer, meditation, singing, ruminative bible reading, my feeling would be that they should help because they bear a resemblance to Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (leaving aside the religious reasons) so DBT could make an interesting control. The difficulty as I say would be getting a sample that can commit, and then if your personality disorder is stable enough to commit to research you may not be the target sample of the research!
    I think personality disorders are a major identifiable human experience that society and the churches really haven’t got to grips with. Here in the UK cuts to public services mean they really can’t get the help they need.

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  14. Todd Wilhelm: That’s an interesting idea, Samuel. I would also find it interesting to administer personality tests to seminary students.

    Most RC dioceses and religious orders have candidates undergo psychological assessment now. I have not heard of them administering an actual personality disorder inventory though.
    Like all psychological assessments they merely show the way you think and behave and won’t have any surprises for anyone with a modicum of self awareness.
    I think that if you were truly sociopathic enough, you could ace the test because you’d be expecting everyone to cheat and approaching it as a paper exercise anyway.

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  15. John Berry: My twenty five years’ experience as a mental health nurse would suggest people with symptoms of personality disorder are drawn to religion, and particularly ministry, like flies to light … personality disorders are a major identifiable human experience that society and the churches really haven’t got to grips with

    Thanks for your perspective, John. That confirms what we have been seeing in multiple articles on TWW about failed church leaders.

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  16. Anything I know of Mr Ashford I know from this blog, so I don’t really know a lot about him. My take on the little I know:

    Whatever happened between the Ashfords, it’s between them and possibly the police. I feel very sorry for Bruce Ashford’s wife and children, and hope they have been getting the help they need, and have had a chance to heal – I know such things will never leave them completely. Beyond that, I feel it’s not really my place to speculate.

    What I find terrible is the reaction of his “friends”.

    If the seminary is rich enough to grant someone a paid sabbatical, they could also have furloughed him for health reasons and made undergoing therapy (real, not nouthetic) a condition of further employment. If you know that someone has major health problems, you normally try to help them, not cover those up to protect the “business”.

    Also, making someone who is going through a major crisis, and not for the first time, an elder in an “elder-led” church is not good for the person in crisis and completely unfair to the church and its members, especially and even more so if it’s a paid position.

    I get the feeling that if those around Mr Ashford had paid better attention to his problems and been more concerned for him and his family instead of the institutions, he could have received help a lot sooner and many of the later problems/situations might not have happened. As it is, the memory of and guilt over what he did will follow him for the rest of his life.

    The victims will also carry this burden for a long time.

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  17. Todd Wilhelm: I would also find it interesting to administer personality tests to seminary students.

    IMO, that report would be a scary thing to read. Just look at how many seminary graduates show up in TWW articles as subjects of abuse of one form or another. There definitely needs to some sort of mental/personality testing of these folks before they are released on the church! However, as John Berry commented upstream “I think that if you were truly sociopathic enough, you could ace the test because you’d be expecting everyone to cheat and approaching it as a paper exercise anyway.”

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  18. Todd Wilhelm: we need to focus on the Seminaries

    Lord knows that SBC seminaries have produced a crop of bad boys in recent years! How many hundreds/thousands of church congregations have been touched by NeoCal stealth and deception, how many narcissists and other personality disorders have been released on the Body of Christ, how many bad-boy icons (e.g., Driscoll) have been followed and imitated, how much pulpit abuse of one form or another has been wrought by the hands of seminary graduates?! Yes, indeed, we need to focus on the seminaries and theological aberrations that produces/nurtures such behavior.

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  19. When I attended a secular university years ago for my degrees in counseling, all applicants were required to take the MMPI, which was then evaluated by a clinical psychologist. Based upon the results and multiple interviews, some students were denied admission. I’m not sure that would fly today.

    Speaking as former addictions counselor, my experience has been that on rare occasions when addicts truly commit their lives to Jesus Christ and belong to a strong, Bible-believing church who are experienced in supporting addicts of any kind, long-term change does occur. Unfortunately, this is rare and relapses are frequent.
    As others have said, I pray that Ashford’s wife and children are protected from his actions, and that he receive the help he so desperately needs.

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  20. Gus: . If you know that someone has major health problems, you normally try to help them, not cover those up to protect the “business”.

    Well said Gus.

    “But when I stumbled, they gathered in glee”. Psalm 35:15 NIV.
    I read this at the weekend and thought of TWW which daily sinks to new lows as confirmed by this piece. Street corner Pharisees.

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  21. Lowlandseer: TWW, which daily sinks to new lows as confirmed by this piece

    Apparently, you have not been the subject of severe church discipline as many have here, including Todd. Yet, this crowd sets the parameters for that discipline and then has the nerve to tell us that they are the leaders who make sure it is just church discipline. Except, as some of us have noted, when it is one of their own. Such folks get to skate away. And the church just wipes their existence away.

    I think what bothers you is that the hypocrisy of a particular group of people should never be exposed. In this case, any of us lowlifes would have been disciplined, and it would have been more than public.

    Would it surprise you if it was those who surrounded this situation who contacted us?

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  22. John Berry: Most RC dioceses and religious orders have candidates undergo psychological assessment now. I have not heard of them administering an actual personality disorder inventory though.

    Good question. I used to know a psychologist who screened Roman Catholic candidates before they entered seminary. He was a very astute clinician, and I know he kept some men from pursuing ordination.

    I know a little bit about one (non-RC) seminary here. They do more than one evaluation of seminarians, and also of spouses—if only so that spouses know what kind of life to expect. Each seminarian also answers to a lay committee throughout the process, a minimum of five years. The seminary itself has a close-knit community. They train the seminarians to listen and serve in addition to working hard on academics.

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  23. If Bruce Ashford was abusing his wife, and in my opinion, he was, then he should hold himself to his own words at the top of this article – “a physically abused woman should separate from her husband and have him put in jail.”

    RANK HATH ITS PRIVILEGES, LOWBORN!”

    “I Thank Thee, LOOOOOOOOOOORD, That I am nothing like those Filthy Lowborns over there…”

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  24. John Berry: I think that if you were truly sociopathic enough, you could ace the test because you’d be expecting everyone to cheat and approaching it as a paper exercise anyway.

    Because it’s All Just A Game to get What I Want.
    And nobody will ever notice because successful socippaths know how to Play the Game, Ace the Test.

    Just iike the panic after the Columbine Massacre, when everybody was giving schoolkids psych tests to witch-sniff the Future Shooters among them. (At a MLP fan convention some years ago, I ran into a young guy whose life had been ruined by that; he was really into videogames and that was enough to target the Witch-sniffers; after an “interview” (stealth psych eval where he was asked a lot of non-incriminating questions) he got pulled out of school as a Danger to Others into what was effectively Juvy (what used to be called “Reform School”). For several years. He got sprung from it by some activists and was trying to put his life back together after being warehoused under survelliance as a Potential School Shooter.

    Thing is, the REAL Future School Shooters would have Aced the Psych Test, acting the part of Total Normalcy, Butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-their-mouth Sincerity, and probably casting suspicion on The Other (like the guy I ran into). Good Loyal Little Students. WTF DO YOU THINK THAT RABBI FROM TARSUS WAS SAYING WHEN HE WROTE “FOR SATAN HIMSELF CAN TRANSFORM HIMSELF TO APPEAR AS A ANGEL OF LIGHT”?

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  25. dee,
    When “Christian leaders” have this serious of allegations against them, the system needs to be open and transparent about it. These leaders have been “teaching” the “next generation”, and when the allegations are this bad, the best that can done is the system come clean, and clearly state these “issues” are clearly WRONG.. not just for pew peons, which these “preachers” always like to lay on the “pew peons”…. Otherwise, as we repeatedly here on TWW, the victims are “thrown under the bus”… which is CLEARLY NOT what Christ taught.. we also need to validate the victims..

    Finally, there is a significant movement in the scientific community to begin to expose scientific misconduct in publications…. This is a major issue and has led to significant wasted research chasing idea that come out later to be frauds… transparency is the best way to fight this stuff..

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  26. Lowlandseer:

    “But when I stumbled, they gathered in glee”. Psalm 35:15 NIV.
    I read this at the weekend and thought of TWW which daily sinks to new lows as confirmed by this piece. Street corner Pharisees.

    If your children’s, or your grandchildren’s, school teachers behaved the same way and did the the same things in school that the church people Dee and Todd write about………
    would you say the same thing about the people who would dare expose them for what they are?

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  27. Gus: making someone who is going through a major crisis, and not for the first time, an elder in an “elder-led” church is not good for the person in crisis and completely unfair to the church and its members, especially and even more so if it’s a paid position.

    I get the feeling that if those around Mr Ashford had paid better attention to his problems and been more concerned for him and his family instead of the institutions, he could have received help a lot sooner and many of the later problems/situations might not have happened.

    Gus, I found your comment to be thought-provoking as you seem to recognize how, in a community supposedly rich in pastoral caring, people ‘backed away’ from one in their midst who was most assuredly ‘in crisis’ . . .

    they put him out on the curb, so to speak

    was he having some kind of psychotic episode, a break with ‘reality’ ?
    was he ‘too close’ to ‘the important ones’ NOT to be ‘put out on the curb’ as a most vivid form of rejection from the elites who may not have wished to acknowledge him as one of their own, though deeply wounded?

    I agree with you that an ‘intervention’ early-on might have prevented the worst that happened,
    and that calls for more than an investigation of this one man, as it seems a huge red-light in such an institution that this man was ‘distanced’ rather than shepherded intensely to re-direct him to some kind of real help in the midst of his crisis.

    People change. They have break-downs. Intense pressures high-light that which is weak in our natures. No excuse for violence domestically or for ‘weird behavior towards a Lyft client that causes her to jump out of a moving vehicle (thank God she survived) . . .

    Gus, good idea to examine the ‘theology’ of them what might have intervened to PREVENT the worst, if only they had responded as Christ-bearing shepherds of sick and wounded men.

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  28. Lowlandseer: “But when I stumbled, they gathered in glee”. Psalm 35:15 NIV.
    I read this at the weekend and thought of TWW which daily sinks to new lows as confirmed by this piece. Street corner Pharisees.

    This is an excellent example of taking scripture out of context. In verse 14 David does the right thing and prayed for his enemies, then he notes in verse 15 they were happy because he was in trouble. Lowland, no one is ganging up on these “leaders.” Use of this verse would’ve made sense if Ashford had led a notably good life, with a good reputation inside and outside the church, which is clearly not the case here. Exposing a man who causes a young woman to jump from a moving vehicle in fear for her life from creepy guy “leader” is not “hitting new lows.”

    Hitting new lows is using scripture to justify creepy spiritual “leader,” while any woman who unknowingly comes within 5 feet of him is left with physical and emotional wounds.

    A better verse to use would be:
    “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.”

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  29. Ariel,

    Much better verse, Ariel.

    And since I am watching a few snow flurries today . . . . . this came to mind:

    Isaiah 1:16-18
    New International Version
    16 Wash and make yourselves clean.
    Take your evil deeds out of my sight;
    stop doing wrong.
    17 Learn to do right; seek justice.
    Defend the oppressed.[a]
    Take up the cause of the fatherless;
    plead the case of the widow.

    18 “Come now, let us settle the matter,”
    says the Lord.
    “Though your sins are like scarlet,
    they shall be as white as snow;
    though they are red as crimson,
    they shall be like wool.

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  30. Lord, have mercy. That poor girl. I am with you Eziya.

    One thing that has really stood out to me is that people are always telling me what a reasonable guy Danny Akin is. That’s not been my experience, with the whole rigmerole I went through at SEBTS, but people are so convinced that he is fair and just and doesn’t play the same old games as other New Calvinists. He always gives these super reasonable statements that he doesn’t side with abuse or lying, etc. I’ve always thought this was balarky.

    But it looks to me like Akin covered this up and maybe even abused convention funds to keep paying Ashford even though he wasn’t doing the job anymore.

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  31. I guess he’s no longer trying to raise support so that he can work for the Kirby Lange Centre. I’m quite sad to read this but it fits in with the impressions I’ve gotten from him. I wasn’t a fan of his at SEBTS, and he was fast tracked to the upper echelons of administration in a way that looked suspicious, but I wouldn’t have guessed this particular chain of events.

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  32. ishy,

    Life Lessons:

    Keep elevating guys & their gal-pals in church, then keep seeing them Fail’n Fall. Pride goes before a fall, says God’s Good Book.

    Some people lie really well, eyeball-to-eyeball, and they do it really well – yes, typed twice. From the Murdaugh Trial videos. The prosecutor said that NO ONE knows the defendant, who he is. Not his wife and son (who paid for their trust with their lives). Not his law firm partners, who paid out millions to clients Murdaugh cheated. The defendant held a secret life known only to one person but affecting everyone he touched.

    Sometimes the difference between truth and lies is life and death.

    Everyone fudges on truth or exaggerates. OTOH, sometimes the difference between truth and lies is life and death. Example: the life of Jesus. Jesus told the truth about the religious elite and paid with his life. Jesus’ enemies were the powerful religious elite.

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  33. Headless Unicorn Guy: Thing is, the REAL Future School Shooters would have Aced the Psych Test, acting the part of Total Normalcy, Butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-their-mouth Sincerity, and probably casting suspicion on The Other (like the guy I ran into).

    Exactly. But there are signs that shootings are going to happen beforehand. And it’s the exact same type of signs that are frequently ignored in churches such as (not specific to the gentleman in this blog post)
    Seeking out reasons to be with children
    Befriending parents
    Ignoring boundaries
    Evidence of progressive problematic behaviour which worsens as they get away with it
    And so on.
    Predicting likely human behaviour isn’t difficult (and it’s not confined to health professionals, insurers and bookies do it all the time), the difficulty is getting humans to see what is in front of them.

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  34. dee,

    It Is worth spending some time really reflecting on why “systems” cover stuff up. It is prevalent in most/all human “systems”…. The irony is that there are plenty of examples of “people” forgiving the “system” when the “system” comes clean quickly and fully transparent….
    …. Simple answer is good old human pride… but there is probably more to it than that….
    It seems this should be lesson number 1 in seminaries and in the church in general…

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  35. John Berry: Predicting likely human behaviour isn’t difficult (and it’s not confined to health professionals, insurers and bookies do it all the time), the difficulty is getting humans to see what is in front of them.

    “Ignorance is Bliss and I WANT EUPHORIA!”?

    Or Reichsminister Speer “arranging his mind” to see nothing wrong with the Reich that he personally benefited from?

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  36. Todd Wilhelm: Lowlandseer: I read this at the weekend and thought of TWW which daily sinks to new lows as confirmed by this piece. Street corner Pharisees.

    Yet you keep coming back and commenting!

    Just like the Pathological Furry-Haterz I encountered in and around Furry Fandom. Attending every Furry Con, buying mountains of Furry Art, posting on Furry forums, constantly spouting Hatred of “those SkunkF’ers”. The one who pulled that email-harasssment campaign on me was even one of the early Fursuiters!

    As obsessively FURRY! as any 600-lb fanboy spurting pus in the pages of Shawn Keller’s hit-piece comic, but flipped one-eighty from Total Blind Adoration to Total Blind Hatred.

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  37. ishy: One thing that has really stood out to me is that people are always telling me what a reasonable guy Danny Akin is. That’s not been my experience, with the whole rigmerole I went through at SEBTS, but people are so convinced that he is fair and just and doesn’t play the same old games as other New Calvinists

    Reminds me of a doodle from a small-press cartoonist I used to be in contact with. In the format of what’s now called a “meme”:

    A portrait of Reichsfuehrer_SS Heinrich Himmler, with a thought balloon or meme text reading “It is hard to be so Good and Just.”

    (The same cartoonist who did another meme doodle “Blow Your Mind” with a grinning Frankenstein monster who’d just shot a brain in a jar with a huge horse pistol.)

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  38. Jeffrey Chalmers: It Is worth spending some time really reflecting on why “systems” cover stuff up. It is prevalent in most/all human “systems”…. The irony is that there are plenty of examples of “people” forgiving the “system” when the “system” comes clean quickly and fully transparent….
    …. Simple answer is good old human pride… but there is probably more to it than that….
    It seems this should be lesson number 1 in seminaries and in the church in general…

    GREAT comment, Jeffrey, about systems. The smaller the system the greater the transparency because it is easier to see all the moving parts. The larger a system becomes the goal of the system moves from openness and effectiveness to sustaining itself. Therefore, if anything happens in one part of the system that threatens the larger system, the need to cover up the issue becomes greater than the need to repair it.

    Richard Nixon is a great example. Many years after he left office he stated the smartest thing he could have done post-Watergate is to burn the tapes. Because he chose in the beginning to keep the tapes, a huge system was created that became the coverup.

    The SBC needs to sustain itself for the benefit of and paychecks for its leaders, but mostly, to maintain their sense of power.

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  39. Luckyforward: The larger a system becomes the goal of the system moves from openness and effectiveness to sustaining itself. Therefore, if anything happens in one part of the system that threatens the larger system, the need to cover up the issue becomes greater than the need to repair it.

    That’s how bureaucracies evolve from Lawful Neutral through Lawful Stupid into Lawful Evil.

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  40. Headless Unicorn Guy: “With a Ruler, you can lay the flattery on with a trowel.”
    — Benjamin Disraeli, Prime Minister of the British Empire

    The more prominent the leader, the bigger the trowel, so the thicker the layer and slathering of flattery poo. BS.

    Ps. 2: God in His heavens laughs at the prominence of men on planet Earth with no time for BS. Latest grand comedy? Murdaugh proceedings where the little people workerbees spoke truth (what they saw) to power, a powerful prominent family in their community.

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  41. Luckyforward: The smaller the system the greater the transparency because it is easier to see all the moving parts. The larger a system becomes the goal of the system moves from openness and effectiveness to sustaining itself. Therefore, if anything happens in one part of the system that threatens the larger system, the need to cover up the issue becomes greater than the need to repair it.

    There is a parable of Jesus that illustrates the largesse of the Kingdom as it extravagantly emerges from small beginnings:

    The Parable of the Mustard Seed appears in Matthew (13:31–32), Mark (4:30–32), and Luke (13:18–19). The Kingdom of Heaven grows from a small beginning of a tiny seed.

    This seems prescient: Evangelicals have megas. Catholics have an empire. Etc.

    The outgrowth of the seed has such largesse that birds nest in the tree.

    Some interpret the large plant sheltering birds as a big tent, safe haven that welcomes, shelters and protects. Positive. God’s Kingdom protects even little sparrows, even the small vulnerable creatures of God’s Kingdom. God’s eye is on the sparrow, so I know He watches over me.

    Others interpret the birds as pests and invaders, like the birds in the parable of the Sower dispersing seeds. The birds eat the seed on the path, devouring the Word of God before it can bring fruit in the hearts of men. From the tiny mustard seed came a large unwieldy plant that is so out of control that it becomes a shelter for enemies of God.

    The Mustard Seed parable appears in three Gospels.

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  42. Sarah (aka Wild Honey): Great leaders can be TERRIBLE judges of character. To be fair, I’ve seen this in both church and my secular workplace. Because some people are really good at masking the more troublesome parts of their personality until they’ve gotten whatever it is they want from said leader.

    “Great leaders” need a grand org to prop them up, to create “greatness”. With lots of enablers. The so-called “greatness” is a contrived thing.

    (God recommended Israel skip this contrived reality but they had to have their king.)

    The whole structure of a grand org, with a great Leader, and loyal enablers grasping for their great Leader’s gold dust then becomes their corporate raison d’être. Anything goes and everything is covered up, to maintain the codependencies in the hierarchy of the grand org.

    God cuts through the grand org. He sees the minor violated by a youth pastor. God has neither interest in, nor regard for, the org, the man made structure.

    The Body of Christ has no hierarchy except all Christians on level ground kneeling at the feet of Jesus. All 18 gifts of the Spirit, including pastor and pope, are on level ground and in lateral relationship. An administrator organizes without rule.

    The Body of Christ is the fellowship of those indwelt by the Holy Spirit, not a man made org. Not buildings nor coffeebars nor committees nor Sunday Schools. We can do those things but we should never serve them. All these things should serve Jesus.

    IMHO.

    The pastor has a thing with the secretary? Defund. Leave, if necessary. Dump the org, not Jesus.

    Was anyone concerned about the SBC2000 initiative? Piper’s approach to Domestic Violence? Wilson’s writings on slavery? Driscoll’s inflammatory take on women? Etc. Enabling anti Jesus autocrats with false teaching has consequences, has a price.

    Jesus. Not the org. For now and Eternity.

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  43. Luckyforward: The SBC needs to sustain itself for the benefit of and paychecks for its leaders

    SBC provides a good retirement program for its leaders. This may explain why so many have gone with the theological drift toward Calvinism in the largest non-Calvinist Protestant denomination in America. New Calvinists have assumed complete control of all SBC entities (seminaries, mission agencies, church planting program, etc.) while mainline non-Calvinist leaders stood on the sidelines in silence. Hope they enjoy their retirement.

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  44. Max: The trolls who visit TWW don’t like it when the unfruitful works of darkness are in their religious tribe, so they add to the darkness by ripping into the post author and comments who expose them.

    Happens every time.
    Touch Mine Anoined(TM) and the comment threads fill with drive-bys by Concerned ChrsitiansT(M) speaking for GOD (if not actually Possessed by GOD like Kat Kerr and her Magick Wizard’s Staff), all Denouncing the Heathens/Heretics/Satanists (who dare dull the shining halo of MegaPastor Superapostle) with the Holy Wrath of GOD.

    Never showed up in this blog before their drive-by, usually never show up again. (Except for the few those who stay to become the blog’s regular hostile trolls.)

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  45. Sarah (aka Wild Honey):
    Ava Aaronson,

    Great leaders can be TERRIBLE judges of character. To be fair, I’ve seen this in both church and my secular workplace. Because some people are really good at masking the more troublesome parts of their personality until they’ve gotten whatever it is they want from said leader.

    “And with a ruler, you can lay the flattery on with a trowel.”
    — Benjamin Disraeli, Prime Minister of the British Empire

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  46. Headless Unicorn Guy: Touch Mine Anoined(TM) and the comment threads fill with drive-bys by Concerned ChrsitiansT(M) speaking for GOD (if not actually Possessed by GOD like Kat Kerr and her Magick Wizard’s Staff), all Denouncing the Heathens/Heretics/Satanists (who dare dull the shining halo of MegaPastor Superapostle) with the Holy Wrath of GOD.

    And then wonder why I don’t want to go to church anymore…

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  47. The official story from Bruce himself was that his wife had fallen off of a ladder and had brain damage and after rehab she literally became a different person, cheated on him, and left him. That’s what Bruce told all his friends. To his friends he gave us the impression that the alcohol abuse was a result of losing her, not the cause. Bruce had such a strong reputation in the SBC and was so powerful that many trusted his explanation, and since nothing came out from SEBTS saying otherwise, many assumed it was a tragic failed marriage situation. If this is the actual true story then Bruce has been lying to all his friends and family about this for 3 years straight. I had looked up to Bruce for most of my life and seminary experience. If this is true, it is devastating for so many here in Southeastern NC and SEBTS alumni. Bruce was the heir apparently to Dr. Akin and had wailists to get into his classes back when I was there in the early 2000s.

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  48. Brent McGuirt: If this is true …

    The problem with deception is that you don’t know you are deceived because you are deceived. TWW has reported on several of these sad stories over the years, with an underlying stealth and deception that left many confused and disillusioned. Close friends, colleagues, church members have been deceived by the thousands by trusted religious leaders.

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  49. Brent McGuirt: he official story from Bruce himself was that his wife had fallen off of a ladder and had brain damage and after rehab she literally became a different person, cheated on him, and left him

    This is an example of gaslighting. We saw it in the Garden. It’s her fault! I’m just a victim of her stupidity! Yet Adam knew what he was doing when he ate the apple.

    Mrs. Ashford was crying out for help on Facebook. Yet this was all about poor Dr. Ashford. I sure hope someone helped her. Todd asked Dr.Aiken point-blank about what happened to Ashford, and he wasn’t talking. I asked Dr. Ashford directly about the Lyft incident and other things. You can see these letters. I got no reply. Todd also tried to contact Mrs. Asford twice with no response.

    Did anyone give a darn about this woman? We have heard the story about the ladder. But the story about her becoming a different person who ran around on him and cheated? Could it be that part of the story was true, but it was the story of the other person in this relationship?

    Here is how Dr. Aiken could have answered Todd if Ashford’s story was true. “Todd, leave this poor man alone. He’s been through enough. We are all trying to support him and his former wife. Show compassion!!” That was not the response. Instead, his name was wiped off the face of SEBTS and the Summit as surely as Patterson’s name was scraped off Patterson Hall.

    Why is he even driving Lyft? Todd and I know how hard it is to earn a stable living through this means. If Dr. Aiken and Dr. Greear knew this had nothing to do with him, why didn’t he have a job? He supposedly got treatment for his alcoholism. So wouldn’t the kind, compassionate and biblical thing be to return his career because “It was her fault?” Biblically, he was the innocent and wounded partner, right? Even the most ridiculously harsh complementarian would allow for this since his wife deserted him. He could have done a Piper thing, stayed single, and continued at the seminary.

    I worked in an alcohol treatment center. The government passed laws that allowed those accepting treatment for alcohol and substance abuse to keep their jobs if they stayed sober. https://www.congress.gov/bill/93rd-congress/house-bill/11387 Surely, SEBTS would have afforded Ashford this mercy. Something is wrong here.

    Sadly, we are holding on to a piece of explosive information that fits with one thing we pointed out in this post. However, we are staying silent for now because the person asked us not to use their name at this time.

    This is a sad story, and the seminary and church should give folks an idea of what happened here. He was an elder (akin to a pastor in these circles) and a leader at one of the best SBC seminaries. You looked up to him, as did others. If one of us were caught in a similar situation, you can be sure we would be publically disciplined. Ashford, Akin, Dever, and others wrote a book on this but more on this later.

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  50. dee: If one of us were caught in a similar situation, you can be sure we would be publicly disciplined.

    As I’ve noted before, the New Calvinist dudebros stick together until the potato becomes too hot to handle. Then they purge their files from any association with the potato to protect their own potato skins. Look how long they held onto Driscoll, MacDonald, Mahaney, etc. … long after TWW and others pointed out the obvious transgressions of these characters. I suppose they considered these bad-boys too important to the NeoCal movement at the time, so they chose to support rather than rebuke them. IMO, we will see more of the elite fall before New Calvinism fades into obscurity. There will be more darkness exposed.

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  51. Lowlandseer,

    I read this as saying:

    i – what is reaching new lows is the substance of the events mentioned;
    ii – the ones who gather in glee are Akin and Greear because their “brand” is unbesmirched, because congregations don’t see that “southern baptistry / -ism” doesn’t involve belief in Jesus’ ascension.

    I don’t think expecting Akin and Greear to hire a company to reject anyone with “disorders” is going to genuinely fix these problems.

    Greear, Akin and southern baptistery / -ism / most of the more modern manifestations of Calvin (And Him Crucified) are designed to attract traumatised, codependent types and make them more codependent / out and out evil.

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