“Sometimes being old is used as an insult, which is bizarre because, if you’re lucky, that’s literally going to happen to you. It’s a strange thing to gloat about: being born recently”.— Ricky Gervais
You are free to obey, so you must obey, and if you don’t obey, something is wrong with you.
I have been reading TGC articles since I started blogging. I check them regularly. I am not a Calvinist, but my frustration with their posts often concerns a similar topic. Obedience is demanded and expected. Before anyone accuses me of believing in unholy activity, let me quote from Paul in Romans 6:1-2. I use the NIV because the ESV misrepresents, IMO, Genesis 3:16, but that is a topic for another day.
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?
A few years back, Jen Wilkin, part of Matt Chandle’s Village Church and beloved of The Gospel Coalition and Acts 29 since he runs it when he is not out on leave for something or another, wrote Failure Is Not a Virtue.
This post worried me because her treatise was way too simple. I agree that Jesus deepened his follower’s understanding of sin (If you look at a woman with lust, you have committed adultery). Still, I’m afraid I have to disagree with her conclusion on the matter. She said that Jesus went to the Cross so that good Christians who really believed it could actually begin to obey the Law. Not only following it in word and deed but also down to one’s motives.
Jesus battled legalism in a different way than the celebratory failurist does. Rather than tossing out the Law or devaluing obedience to it, he called his followers to a deeper obedience (Matthew 5:17-48) than the behavior modification the Pharisees prized. He called for obedience in motive as well as in deed, the kind of godly obedience that is impossible for someone whose heart has not been transformed by the gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit. Rather than abolish the Law, Jesus deepened his followers’ understanding of what it required, and then went to the cross to ensure they could actually begin to obey it.
I once had a pastor who said the following:
Even on my best days, my motives are mixed.
According to Wilkin’s thinking, he’s an utter failure. According to my way of thinking, he is correct. This same pastor said that Jesus, during his ministry, was constantly convicting the Jews regarding the depth of their sin. Think about it. Which man hasn’t been troubled by thoughts about a woman who is not his wife? Go further and see that Jesus commanded everyone to be perfect as he is perfect: Matthew 5:48 NIV
Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Then Jesus tells them what is involved in that perfection. Matthew 19:21 NIV
Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
I don’t know about you, but if this is what I must do, I will not make it to heaven. I like Netflix and vacations with my family too much. I wonder if Jen Wilkin has sold her possessions and given them to the poor. Probably not. She may have given some money to the poor, but I bet she is holding on to a possession or two.
The Law and the Gospel: another way to view Grace and obedience.
I contend that Jesus came to show us how broad and deep the Law is. In so doing, He graciously showed us that we couldn’t do it. The entirety of His ministry was pointing us to the Cross. Think of it this way.
- “Hey Bob, you think you’re good because you didn’t have an affair. How about those side glances at cute Mary Lou at the office?”
- “Hey Dee, you claim you care about the poor, but how much time do you spend doing something about it?”
- “Hey Fred, you don’t go to adult stores, but late at night, on your computer; what are you looking at?”
- “Hey Sally, how about you laughing at the mentally ill mom in your son’s grade?”
OK, you get the picture. We have the Cross. The Law is there to guide us (Yes, adultery is still wrong), but Grace is there to forgive us.
Motives are hardly controllable or fully perceivable.
Wilkin claims that if we try hard enough, which she claims is actually “freedom to obey,” we can fully understand and control our motives. I contend, along with my former pastor, that I am so mixed up inside that I cannot clearly perceive my motives, let alone control them. Wilkin is saying that Jesus cleared that all up for us, which is why He went to the Cross. I assert he went to the Cross because we cannot fully understand our motives and actions because we are flawed.
The good news is that Jesus loves us anyway, so He went to the Cross. But, unfortunately, given what I have seen of the leadership at The Village Church, it appears they have not fully discovered the “freedom to obey.”
TGC now wants everyone to stop gloating!
This is the best example that I could find of not understanding actions or motives. Recently, TGC posted Why We Shouldn’t Gloat When Leaders Fall. There is little question in my mind that TGC and their friends in the SBC and Acts 29 have had a rough few years. When I, along with others, first started blogging, various folks were shocked, claiming that we would be sued for slander and defamation as we revealed the shocking depth of abuse in the evangelical world: sexual, domestic violence, physical, psychological, and spiritual. Some of these folks are slowly beginning to recognize just how widespread this abuse is. Some are beginning to understand they should call the police when sexual abuse is discovered or mentioned. Sadly, some others still act like it is a shock that their internal investigation is no longer acceptable. Some of those people are in positions of power and should know better.
Let me give one good example. Paul Pressler…a lion in the conservative resurgence. He allegedly had a penchant for young men for many years. Paul Pressler was friends with the leaders in the SBC, and many others most likely knew about the rumors through the years and did nothing. Pressler. a prestigious lawyer, was supposed to head Bush’s Office of Ethics, which was derailed. Read this letter from First Baptist Houston from 2004.
One of the hardest things I could not do was write about this when I was contacted in 2010. I had no information, now a person who would come forward, and Pressler was powerful. I was afraid. Thank God it appears the tide is changing.
In the “Stop gloating” post, the author says:
Our calling is never to gloat over enemies, even when the Lord brings about his right judgment.
… Paul tells us not to seek our own vengeance, for God alone avenges. He then doubles down by telling us to do good to our enemies, so that we might heap further judgment upon the wicked
… The world wants nothing more than for the church to be found false. So when God’s people look no different than leaders in the world, the enemies of the cross mock.
…We should be sorrowful when leaders choose the wrong path
…Though we may continue to hear news of how the mighty have fallen, let’s not rejoice in their undoing.
…Let’s examine our own hearts and walk in personal repentance and humble reliance upon the Lord Jesus.
Why we should rejoice in the undoing of those who abuse or cover-up of abuse.
Gloating is the desire for vengeance and does not rejoice over justice. Gloating is a self-interested form of bragging. The author does not appear to understand the mission of the people involved in the undoing of a leader who is doing something bad. It is not the “bad guy” and the ones observing his downfall. A third party is involved who appears to have been forgotten by Evans.
- The fallen leader
- The ones who wanted to stop the fallen leader from abusing.
- Those who were abused.
Here is the flaw of the author. The rejoicing of the conviction of a sex abuser means that the victims have found justice and the abuser goes to prison, which prevents more from being abused. Take this recent article from Religion New Services: Mark Rivera, a former Anglican lay pastor, sentenced to 15 years in prison. When I saw this story, I jumped out of my chair and said, “Finally.” I was thrilled. Is that evil gloating, as viewed by TGC’s article? Of course not. Here’s why.
- She continues to be impacted every single day by this man’s abuse,’ said the mother of the child abuse survivor who first reported Rivera.
- The judge earlier found Rivera guilty of two counts of predatory sexual assault of a victim under 13 years old (a Class X felony) and three counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a victim under 13 (a Class 2 felony).
- “When my daughter bravely spoke up about her abuse, our church and community of friends, under this man’s influence, turned their backs on her and chose to support her sexual abuser,” she said.
- Her daughter is one of at least 10 victims who have made abuse allegations against Rivera since
- It also names several other Anglican entities as respondents in discovery, including the Diocese of the Upper Midwest, Church of the Resurrection (the diocesan headquarters where Rivera previously attended and volunteered), the Greenhouse Movement (the church-planting organization that oversaw Christ Our Light Anglican) and the denomination itself.
There was discussion that the church covered up the abuse. How horrific is that?
And now, Keight Evans, the author of this “holier than thou” post, wants us not to rejoice over the just decision? Evans overlooked the pain and suffering of the children of this molester. It appears he wants us to shut our mouths about the abuser and forget about those who were abused.
There is one more fact to consider. The church is supposed to be a light on the hill. We don’t get to tell others what they can see when that light shines. They see our abuse. They know the victims. It is not those who rejoice in the fall of an abusive leader that is the problem. The problem is the molester and all those who would cover up his despicable behavior. People don’t leave the church because we rejoice in the capture of a molester. They don’t come to church because so many abusers have been found in our churches. Let’s put the blame where it belongs.
How articles like this put TGC in a bad light.
Whenever I read posts at TGC, I brace myself for the latest “sin that good Christians like the author don’t do.” My former pastor called it “cooking the books.” In other words, Evans is a good man who never, ever gloats over the fall of one of his chosen leaders. However, in a closer look, Evans shows little heart or even acknowledgment for the victims in some of these fallen leader situations.
For those of us who are so grateful that one more molester is off the streets, it is a time to rejoice. That is a good thing. And if sometimes it crosses over to gloating, there is Grace. But, sadly, I view TGC as the Pharisees who were great at pointing out deviations from the Law yet chastised Jesus for healing on a Sunday.
So join me in rejoicing that molesters like Rivera and those 300 SBC pastors in Texas were caught and convicted. Evans needs to think longer about his views on what constitutes gloating.
As a PS, this is an interesting article at the NIH: The green-eyed monster and malicious joy: the neuroanatomical bases of envy and gloating (schadenfreude).
“Though we may continue to hear news of how the mighty have fallen, let’s not rejoice in their undoing.”
How many people who are in position to do so are willing to tell “the mighty“ that they’re going the wrong way and can do harm to others, including to the standing of the faith before others? How many of the same might still be eager to quick to pounce on comments from anyone grateful and relieved that someone “mighty“ — at least in power, influence, wealth aggregation, etc. — may have met a level of check, justice, what have you? What does that say?
“Wilkin claims that if we try hard enough, which she claims is actually “freedom to obey,” we can fully understand and control our motives.”
I’ll bet she’s a blast at parties.
“Though we may continue to hear news of how the mighty have fallen, let’s not rejoice in their undoing.”
When Mr. Evans says “the mighty” have fallen, who does he mean? There aren’t supposed to be “mighty” people – dictators, generalissimos, warlords – in our churches.
“Let’s examine our own hearts and walk in personal repentance and humble reliance upon the Lord Jesus. And in the meantime, tell it not in Gath.“
The last sentence appears to reference David’s reaction to the death of Saul and Jonathan:
2 Samuel 1:17-20
“Then David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son, 18and he told them to teach the children of Judah the Song of the Bow; indeed it is written in the Book of Jasher:
““The beauty of Israel is slain on your high places!
How the mighty have fallen!
Tell it not in Gath,
Proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon—
Lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice,
Lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph.”
Of course, the details of Saul’s demise recorded in Scripture that has been shared for countless generations. This brings to mind 1 Corinthians 10:11:
“Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.”
The issue with many of these cases is that the conduct does not get checked or turned over to the proper authorities. Rather, the way it gets in the public eye is because news finally gets out one way or another, which may have happened after more damage is done and after those who could’ve acted to stop it or expose it possibly turned a blind eye or covered it up because of their own interests.
Might “tell it not in Gath“ been one of the things weaponized in many of the cases where exposing the issue was called for, but proof-texting was used as part of a bag of tricks to blunt exposure and accountability? Where are the articles about the danger of that and the corresponding sins?
I think Jesus’ and Paul’s point when they talked about the law vs grace is that grace does not lower the standard for the call to personal holiness. In many ways, grace is a higher standard. God desired a relationship with us through Christ, and called us to love on another. The relationship cost Christ a lot.
Also, the whole “gloat” statement is a joke. As if to say that any call for accountability or exposing of hypocrisy is “gloating”. It is similar to how they screw up the word “slander”.
Dee…. They continue to serve up softballs to you with their bizarre behavior and they expect to never be called out for it.
Exodus 15:1 on gloating:
Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the Lord, saying, “I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea.
Dee, you mentioned Romans 6:1, “Shall we sin that grace may abound? By no means!”
Romans 6 is an encouragement not to sin.
However, in reading Romans 7 Paul anguishes about his own sin and the difficulty or impossibility in avoiding it. So there is an admission that we will continue to sin.
But Romans 8, one of the most elegant literary works in the bible, tells of our deliverance from sin by Christ: There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
This “failure is not an option” idea is unbiblical as hell.
Well, come to think of it, hell IS biblical, but you get the idea.
Yes, Dee, so often the church as a whole puts its focus in the wrong place and in doing so, gets it wrong both for the victims and for the offender.
When the church centers the perceived needs of the abuser, neither the victim nor the abuser benefit. The abuser is likely to get a hurried and superficial process of going through the motions without true repentance. That falls short of the healing that Christ offers. Instead of shining a light, the Church often circles the wagons around the abuser, becoming a shield from the light, allowing the abuser to stay in darkness. And when the abuser is centered, the victim’s needs for healing go unrecognized and instead the victim tends to be pressured to do something for the sake of the abuser (forgive, reconcile, remain silent to protect the abuser’s reputation, etc.) Churches often name this process things like “Protecting the reputation of the church” or “demonstrating God’ grace.”
But what happens if the church does the rare thing and centers the victim? It will get it right for both the victim and the offender. Both will be offered the best chance of healing, as will the community itself.
The victims get the support, compassion, inclusion in the community, and prayer they need to heal, but the abuser would also get what he (or she) needs to heal.
Looking through the eyes of a victim, the Church would want to do whatever was in her power so that there would be no more victims. A sense of safety would be restored to victims in knowing that their abuser is no longer in a position to harm them or others. That is the peace that true justice brings to the victim and the community.
And this turns out to be the very best thing for an abuser as well. To get caught and face consequences which deprive them of access to the very thing that is corrupting their souls is mercy to the abuser. It gives them the chance to stand naked in the light before God and find the depths of the mercy and grace of Christ for even such a one as they have been revealed to be. They may refuse that mercy and turn to hiding in the darkness for their comfort, but the Church will have given them that chance instead of aiding and abetting their desire to hide in the darkness. Anything less strengthens the chains that bind them.
In reality, the reputation of the Church is protected and the grace of God demonstrated when the Church centers the victim.
So Christians can experience relief and rejoice for all when justice is done.
That is the opposite of gloating.
Mr. Evans opens his article thus: “John Owen, an English Puritan of the 1600s, had the opportunity to preach before Parliament the day after King Charles I was executed for treason. Owen was a minister who’d sided with Parliament over and against the King. You’d think when he had opportunity to address his fellow partisans the day after a major “victory” such as this, he’d raise the party line and rejoice, right?
Not only did Owen hold his peace about the events of the day before, he didn’t even mention them—not one reference. Instead, Owen preached repentance and humility.”
Owen’s sermon can be read online. He did not fail to mention the execution of the king. He said that event – “the recent transaction” – was the starting point for his remarks. He did not “preach repentance,” at least not repentance for having murdered the King. Instead, he warned the Parliamentarians not to be afraid of the consequences of their deed, not to question their own righteousness in having done it, not to “backslide” into any tolerance of any beliefs but their own.
His remarks were, in summary, solidly political.
Thank you for that laugh.
I’ve been to a few churches that had one or two of these.
I don’t know what I’d do if they got serious.
That’s perfect. Thank you!
The Bible talks about righteous anger. Lord knows I’ve had a touch of that ever since New Calvinism hit the scene with its band of arrogant leaders and army of rebellious young reformers.
Perhaps righteous gloating is OK, too?
I’m not sure if this will make sense, but here it goes.
The Gospel Coalition is EXTREMELY pastor-centric. I think they call it “gloating” when there is joy over a fallen leader being brought to justice because the victims/survivors aren’t even on their radars.
If you can see the victims/survivors in the picture, then clearly the joy is on their behalf, rejoicing in the freedom of knowing that neither they nor anyone else will be harmed by the perpetrators again.
But if the only person in the picture is the perpetrator, then any joy expressed at their “downfall” (which is just the act of them being caught in these narratives, not the actual sin itself), is of course gloating because the perpetrator is the only one around to be the recipient of the emotion.
I think most normal people’s reactions to the actual sin being committed by a perpetrator would be either disgust or pity, depending. I think maybe TGC is telling on themselves when they call it “gloating.”
Regarding the Jen Wilkins post, there’s this literary element called “hyperbole” that, while I could be wrong, I don’t think is unique to the English language.
If she keeps that in mind while reading certain of Jesus words, she may come to a whole new understanding of both “Come to me, all who are weary, for my burden is light” and “It is finished.”
Indeed! Anyone called “Pastor” should be Christocentric, but the TGC bunch are “pastors” who don’t preach ‘the’ Gospel. They focus on doctrines of grace rather than a direct experience of Grace, an encounter with the living Christ.
Hear, hear. Once again, all about them, the leaders, their leaders.
Creationist Park Pedo:
From your post: “I have been reading TGC articles since I started blogging. I check them regularly. I am not a Calvinist, but my frustration with their posts often concerns a similar topic.”
God bless you, Dee, for keeping track of, and sorting out this stuff that appears online, “in the name of Jesus”. Not everyone could handle that (myself included).
Tim Fall also used to read stuff from writers that he vehemently disagreed with, but then he would unpack the whole deal online with a good message to correct the heresy.
We need y’all, and appreciate your work. Again, God bless.
This guy is making up morality as he goes. I can think of no scripture that states what he claims. The closest in my mind is this: “Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?: Ezek. 18:23
The idea is that when a wicked sinner goes to hell, God does not rejoice at that. If we want to be like God then we should not rejoice either. But that is different then having a religious hypocrite man that Jesus is still saying “Woe to you” to gets caught. Usually no death involved. Getting caught is actually a chance for them to repent and to live, which is a good thing. The rest is to add something new to morality which God has not said.
Jen Wilkins….. People who are not Christians are incapable of obeying the “Law”? Ooooh, and how about that Matt Chandler??? Has Jen given him a good talking to yet? Does she think he’s even fit to pastor a church?
TGC……. I went to the article and read it twice. I get the strong feeling that what Evans really means is “just keep your mouths shut and move on along!” … “If a church leader has been exposed as actually being an evil predator, keep quiet about it. Don’t make the church look bad by speaking the truth!”
IMHO, abusers should be publicly exposed regardless of their position or profession. And yes, we should rejoice in the fact that he (or she) has been stopped; will, hopefully, pay for their crimes; that the predator will not be able to abuse more victims; and last but certainly not least, the victims may be able find at least some small relief, release, and comfort.
Eyewitness, this is a great comment.
I’m not gloating. I’m just tired, very tired, and I wish it would stop.
Keep quiet about it?
I would contend that the so-called “usaved-heathen-world” would accord the “Christian” world a measure of respect, if the Church world didn’t try to cover up the crimes of miscreants in their own ranks.
““Rejoice over her, you heavens! Rejoice, you people of God! Rejoice, apostles and prophets! For God has judged her with the judgment she imposed on you.””
Revelation 18:20 NIV
TGC just can’t control their need to dominate the lives, emotions, motives, and thoughts of their readers – even if their articles directly contradict Scripture and human experience.
From Dee’s post: “I view TGC as the Pharisees who were great at pointing out deviations from the Law yet chastised Jesus for healing on a Sunday.”
Jesus talked it being better to hang a millstone around your neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea for any who causes a child to stumble. Yet, how often do these people side with the pastor-perps? The words of these modern day pharisees embolden and provide justification for others to harm children.
What a wicked and evil perspective these neo-pharisees have.
so, Keith Evans is either lacking in proper reading comprehension, or not completely honest with us, or hasn’t read all of the sermon.
In other words, why should anyone listen to what he has to say?
People who talk about King David a lot often seem to have a “warlord” self-image.
High Puritan sermons, and early modern English in general, are quite a slog. I think it’s likely that Mr. Evans was retailing someone else’s opinion of Owen’s sermon. Perhaps he imagines it was as if St. Francis of Assisi had wandered in and announced, “Sell all you have and give to the poor, literally!”
Reading with knowledge of the situation and the people involved – the “Revolutions” podcast does a great job with the English Civil War – one can see that Owen is attempting to ease the consciences of Parliamentarians who had resisted the regicide, affirm the justification of those who had pushed it through, and warn them all of the danger of wavering or reconsidering.
Sarah (aka Wild Honey),
I respectfully disagree. The Gospel Coalition is anti-pastor. They try to influence pastors to their false values. As Dee has illustrated over and over, predominately these people associated with the Gospel Coalition are terrible pastors. They prove over and over they care very little about the flock of God.
At which point, in the spirit of early modern English, one can “chum the waters”*.
*See the “chum the waters” thread on TWW twitter.
Be it the Dalai Llama, priest, pope, or pastor. A pedo is a pedo is a criminal. No more, no less.
Sounds a lot like:
WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH
TWO PLUS TWO EQUALS FIVE
Totally agree! I spent seven years in a young, restless, Reformed-type church and the resources and culture groom people into thinking pastors are “the best of us” with, in my experience, an absolutely deceived anthropology which effectively removes pastors from any sort of critique or accountability. It’s very dangerous because pastors operate with impunity. To be fair, I’ve seen the exact same dynamic in charismatic and run-of-the-mill evangelical churches too. There’s no capacity in these systems to address normal human limitations not to mention abuse.
JESUS: A millstone makes a poor flotation device.
— Coffee With Jesus (clipart webcomic)
Note the word “again”.
Is Pedophilia the new Litmus Test of Salvation and Anointing?
Mighty MenaGAWD like Himself, of course.
“TOUCH NOT MINE ANOINTED!”
The Pastor Myth. Pastor Cult. Joining such churches is joining a cult.
He steps into power and positions all roads to lead to him. He’s the hub of the wheel with all spokes extending from him.
The Pastor Myth is idolatry. He has taken the place of Jesus, of God.
I don’t use Twitter.
Sarah (aka Wild Honey),
That is a great point.
I miss Tim Fall. I know he couldn’t talk about why he left, but I understand it had to do with work complaining about his online presence. I sure hope he is doing well.
I have found TGC an excellent source for what the Calvinist crowd thinks. I’m surprised that the editors let some of this stuff through. The “editor” position is merely an honorary “I’m a great Calvinist” position.
“Walk in the Light.” 1 John 1. In the Light is the only way to fellowship with God and our fellow pilgrims, faithful to Jesus. It’s really the only hope, the only chance we have.
All this covert stuff with shady church leaders, then shaming blaming and gaslighting the whistleblowers is uber lame, IMHO. It’s the Dark Side, which is not church at all.
When a church leader goes to the Dark Side, it’s wise not to follow, right from the jump. Step away from. Run away from. Ghost. Cancel. That leader just cancelled himself from the Light.
Headless Unicorn Guy,
The extent to which we humans have free will or independent agency is a big question that has been answered in a lot of different ways over the millennia. Even Ms. Wilkin’s “obedience in motive as well as in deed” could be understood in a reasonable way.
For example, the idea that people would obey civil law for reasons other than fear of punishment is a kind of “obedience in motive.” Maybe you don’t commit assault because you don’t want to hurt other people. That’s a better motive than just not wanting to be arrested. Maybe you stop at stop signs because you care about other people’s safety, not just to avoid a ticket.
Love the verse.
Muslin, fka Dee Holmes,
So glad you are here.
That, or like his bosses.
… honorary dupe? Dope? Whatever. If they lack for content, … well, at least TWW never lacks for content and comments. Plenty happening here, with lots of POVs in play.
Active thinking theology with style happens every week at TWW.
I’m one of, if not the only one here at TWW who rejects Evolution.
Does this also mean that I am a pedophile?
An obvious attempt to shame the pew into silence when bad-boy church leaders are exposed. And Lord knows there have been enough bad-boys in TGC ranks! Calling them out is not gloating.
Yet, Jesus says “If men call the master of the household the ‘Prince of Evil’, what sort of names will they give to his Servants? But never let them frighten you, for there is nothing covered up which is not going to be exposed nor anything private which will not be made public. The things I tell you in the dark you must say in the daylight, and the things you hear in your private ear you must proclaim from the house-tops.” (Matthew 10:25-27 Phillips)
“You must proclaim!” Truth-telling is not gossip, nor gloating. Inform and warn others – shout it from the rooftops (or blogosphere) if necessary.
This verse just recently caught my attention and I’ve been reflecting on it – for me and some current situations.
Pro 24:17-18 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; (18) Or the LORD will see it and be displeased, And turn His anger away from him.
Key words are “your enemy.”
> Wilkin claims that if we try hard enough, which she claims is actually “freedom to obey,” we can fully understand and control our motives.
While this seems overly ambitious to me, I do think that it is possible to gain a measure of insight into the “why” that underlies the “what” of what we do. Self-observation can lead to a measure of self-understanding. Proverbs 20:5 comes to mind — the purposes of the heart are like subsurface water — it’s there and it has effects on the surface but is not itself visible. It goes on to say that these purposes can be “drawn out” by those who have “understanding.” There’s a valid role for counseling in church contexts, leaving aside the question of how competently and with what leadership motives this is done at present.
Regarding neo-legalism, if that is the right thing to call it, Paul goes on to say in Romans 6 that Jesus-followers are no longer in bondage to sin but rather are in bondage to righteousness. I’ll leave it to the exegetes to explain this, but clearly it doesn’t mean that visible righteousness is as unavoidable as visible sin previously was. My private sense is that “deep down”, righteousness has become as appealing as sin previously was (and perhaps at times still is).
Regarding “gloating”, I wonder what the author would do with a text like Pv 11:10, “when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy.” Not that I’m advocating rejoicing at the downfall of enemies — OT also says that YHWH has no pleasure in the death of the wicked.
Surely satisfaction at a just outcome and a partial righting of wrongs is not improper.
Enemies are supposed to act like enemies. “Brothers” in church are not enemies … when they betray you and the congregation, it is a deeper hurt. You’ve not been done until you’ve been done by a brother.
I do too, based on scientific and logical reasons. So we actually agree on something. There are three kinds of Evolution. Micro-evolution is a fact. The other two you have to distort the logic to a great extreme in order to get rid of God as a possibility. They are Stupidity Incarnate. They create the most stupid god ever imagined by man=>the God of Infinity. They ignore all of the facts. There is nothing simple about the simplest form of life. There is evidence of design everywhere, from biology, to Quantum Mechanics, to Astrophysics. Those who swallow this have to deny all reason, all logic and all evidence. Macro-evolution is a religion, not a science.
Amen. Praising God is not gloating.
Intentionally tolerating abuse in church to maintain a public image and protect the church coffers just doesn’t seem very Christ-like, does it?
Didn’t Jesus overturn some tables and clear a temple over some far less egregious and grotesque sins than than those that have been made public in the past few years?
You are not the only one hete who rejects evolution. There are solid, scientific reasons to do so, not just biblical ones. I encourage those on both sides to look into it.
I know the no-gloating article is about political leaders- specifically wicked political leaders- who get killed by their enemies. Why do I get the idea he wants us to apply this to wicked church leaders who get “restored” by their friends? Probably a “me” problem.
“… The world wants nothing more than for the church to be found false. So when God’s people look no different than leaders in the world, the enemies of the cross mock.”
I have revolutionary news for the author…’God’s people’ ARE no different from the world. Just forgiven because they’ve recognized their need. A more obvious statement couldn’t be made of why the ascendant Calvinistas are leading the church off a cliff. The world isn’t the enemy of the Cross. Take careful note that the religious leaders were the persecutors of Jesus. The world is looking for the love of God, not a “leader” who’s got everything figured out!
Alas, they won’t find the love of God in a Calvinista church.
I rejoice for the harm that they were not able to continue doing after they were caught out. I rejoice for the children that were spared a lifetime of therapy and emotional suffering from the abuse the ‘leaders’ might have done to them if they had not been stopped. I can freely rejoice that there are people who work day and night to bring to light the perpetrators of abuse of the innocent, for they do that which we call works of Christian mercy.
Does anyone ‘rejoice’ that someone becomes perverted and acts out on the innocent? I don’t think that is what happens. Many perverted people were themselves once badly abused as children. But that does not excuse the continued destruction of innocents at their hands, no.
‘Gloat’? No. We don’t have time for anything so shallow, not while there is work to be done to protect the ones with no voice or power upon whom the evil and sick-minded among us prey. But for every ‘intervention’ where a monster is identified and held-accountable, we can rejoice for all the evil he/she can no longer act out on the innocent.
People who work to ‘spot light’ the perpetrators of abuse ought to be celebrated, not accused of ‘gloating’, no. One wonders what kind of folks attack those who try to protect the innocent from the predatory monsters who come in the daytime.
I found out just yesterday that my former church, where the Rhema Bible College educated pastor (on Father’s Day) told the fathers in the congregation, in all seriousness, “…if you’re thinking about committing adultery, go ahead and do it, you’ll get forgiveness later,” is a member of The Gospel Coalition.
Apparently, failure is an option.
Three years ago when I was still attending that church, I hadn’t even heard of The Gospel Coalition. After leaving and then months of searching online to figure out what the H-E-Double Hockey Sticks did I just experience, I find out yesterday that they’re members of TGC.
Ah, now it makes sense. I thought the pastor had simply lost his mind; unfortunately, it’s just now dawning on me that this is a whole movement.
As for not gloating, another quote comes to mind:
If they wanted people to speak warmly of them, they should’ve behaved better.
(Anne Lamott paraphrase)
I have never heard anyone accuse a New Calvinist “pastor” of being loving. Arrogant is the primary descriptor.
Because it is a subliminal message embedded in the piece. They want you to rejoice in the restoration of NeoCal bad-boys, not gloat over their fall (Driscoll, MacDonald, Mahaney, Chandler, etc. etc.).
Birds of a feather. BFFs.
I agree. And the most natural thing for any decent person is to be happy and relieved when a person who has been hurting others is is prevented from doing further damage.
Sarah (aka Wild Honey),
Wilkins doesn’t believe in Ascension which was the only reason Jesus came and the reason why Paul writes like that in Romans.
I guess it is sinful to feel this way … but I will probably gloat when the New Calvinist movement fades into obscurity (and it will). The whole mess, with its arrogant leaders, aberrant theology, and Calvinista army taking over churches by stealth and deception reminds me of Paul’s warning to the church “Beware of Alexander the coppersmith, he has done us much harm.”
They destroy men by poisoning boys.
1 – “creation” isn’t scary – it only means “what turned up”, we won’t ever find out “how”. BTW it isn’t described in gen ch 1.
2 – If they were to sell fluffy ones would these cost a terrible amount of pocket money? P.s the real ones probably had feathers, or hair.
Your and my view is good for agnostics, too.
I concede the point.
Though, in my defense, I said pastor “centric” and not “pro” pastor. I think I still maintain that the site is very focused on pastors to the exclusion of others, even if what they are feeding pastors is (in my opinion, too) false.
Not only is the whole “gloat” statement a joke, it is projection. They are the ones who gloat. That’s why they fear gloating and they project others as gloating. Projection.
Not so good for the pastors, either. The whole “pride goeth before a fall,” etc.
As a former lawyer, I tend to hedge answers more than I should, because I was taught to assess the strengths and weaknesses of both sides of a case. That said, there are few things that raise my hackles more than Young Earth Creationism. I have gone so far as to call it a lie straight from the pits of hell. I’m vehement about it because I got deceived by it when I was a teenager. As I learned more about science in university, it became abundantly clear to me that the specifics of Young Earth Creationism do not account for the immense age of the Universe as seen in earth-side geology and the stars and galaxies surrounding us.
I would be less dogmatic about calling it a lie straight from the pits of hell if the proponents of YEC didn’t say that those of us who think the universe is old and accept that evolution has happened are not Christians. It’s annoying.
Ava Aaronson: Thanks so much for posting about the Dinosaur Adventure Land pedophile. If you *knew* how many times Kent had been talked to about Chris Jones…this is completely a self-own. Kent know this guy had been convicted in California of crimes against children. He was personally told by people I know but he persisted in defending this guy. *waves hands* Kent Hovind *really* can’t say he wasn’t warned, because he was *warned*.
Muslin, fka Dee Holmes,
Sorry you got offended.
I’m a free-thinker who gets in trouble on the ‘Christian’ side of the aisle too, because of my less than ‘orthodox’ views on human sexuality and expression.
I’m just not convinced that evolution has unassailable rigor.
Did you know that Geocentrism once had unassailable math rigor?
I was too. As an adult I got turned off by the rudeness and arrogance of its proponents. Then I found Reasons to Believe (you will find the link on the side for Dee put it there.) It if full of scientific material concerning Old Earth Creationism. The people behind it are not arrogant. It is not YEC. Improbable Planet is a great book that I read and it points to the likeliness that there is only one M class planet in the universe. That is because of many reasons but the universe is such a deadly place that we should not be here. So just because someone does not believe in evolution is not a reason to jump down their throat.
This is a further verse to the one I posted. It is about enemies, not false teachers. It just shows, in this context, that when the Philistines were lying dead in the fields, that God did not gloat or celebrate. The context is, as others have said, about enemies. For us to be like God means that the death of any man is not to be celebrated. But Paul talked about false brothers and teachers. He warned us about them. That is not gloating. There are some men on this planet that are so very evil that the earth itself will likely sigh some relief when they are no more. But there is no joy for God’s people when they are gone. And in this narcissist world there are dozens waiting to take their place, so victories are so very short lived.
The earth is old; humanity is plausibly tens of thousands of years old. Sciences advance by logically prioritising and reprioritising ranges of workable hypotheses which have to be kept open, like a perpetual vote count on an infinitely big counting table. The lifeblood of scholarship is what Newman calls notions, and Peirce, abductions (in one of his meanings).
But don’t tell the establishment I said that! Muslin: Louis Menand paints Oliver Wendell Holmes (a William James associate) as deliberately slapdash; I suppose you’ve seen more than your share of attempted point scoring.
I think geology had alternating quicker and slower phases (which have been very extensively looked into); that means we could be docking a few dozen thousands of years off the age of the universe or even chopping an occasional 0 off the end.
It’s not true to say that the only false dichotomies are YEC (TM) versus the sclerosed and stilted stereotypes of the mid 19 th century. Jesus Himself was always dodging through the middle of things (lateral thinking; false exclusion of the middle). Civilised thinkers always abhorred the instrumentalist (dialectical materialist) Paley.
Math rigor is context free, so it works in the picture they limited themselves to. Real life comprises approximations to approximations (it is “beyond near”).
Max, you should see what is going on now among advocates of Christian Dominionism . . . I can agree the word ‘arrogant’ takes precedence among all descriptors of these self-righteous power-seekers. . .
It breaks my heart that some good people get drawn into the ‘Christian nation’ thing to the point where they take up talk of demonology among other QAnon creepy teachings!
Fundamentalist neo-Cal stuff is getting too close to the edge of ‘the crazy’, I fear.
I don’t know what you are trying to say with your comment.
New International Commentary on the OT (which deals with the exegetical analysis of the passages) cites this: “The Lord finds gloating so morally repulsive that he would rather turn away from his retributive justice than to look at abhorrent gloating.”
And then summarizing verse 17 “In sum, gloating over the disaster visited upon the wicked is more wicked than the disaster they inflict upon the righteous.”
Which is worse?
– Taking a person’s life viciously and without cause
– Yelling “YES!!!” when the correct person is found guilty and sentenced to life without parole
I’m trying to say that the phrase “your enemy” denotes a personal conflict between individuals, which is a different situation from the application of justice to a criminal offender or a corrupt leader.
As someone else pointed out, Pv 11:10, “when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy.”
It makes a difference, according to Proverbs, whether the abusive or thieving or adulterous “mighty” pastor (of the article from TGC) is classified as “your enemy” or “the wicked.”
Do you know the definition of gloat??? Gloating having a smug, malignant satisfaction in seeing someone fail or suffer harm with a selfish comparison to your own success or good fortune.
Feeling a sense of joy in the relief or a thankfulness that an evil person has been stopped is not gloating.
And, what is “visited” on these abusers who pose as men of God is justice, not “disasters”: they are evil men paying the price for the disasters they created….. for harm they have intentionally done for their own gratification.
This “vengeance” thing is, AWWBA, greatly overused in cases of false/fake christian leaders being called out. We’re not looking for personal revenge, but for an end to the lying, embezzling, bullying, stealing, and other damage being done to the Church behind the façade of marketing success.
The enablers of toxic leaders are very big on calling for grace, forgiveness, unity and not-judging when said leaders are found out. But those same enablers were often surprisingly silent about forgiveness for “divisive” or “sinful” church members whom the leaders threw out as they built up their powerbases.
ION: I’ve finally published my first book! Yay. It’s called Rogue leaders, rogue church, it deals with the collective responsibility of the whole Church to stop putting ungodly men (they’re nearly always men, AWWBA) in positions of power, and because I’m nobody in particular I self-published it with a total print run of 42 copies. But hey – it’s a start!
This concludes the American leg of my promotional tour.
It’s really good, BTW – I couldn’t put it down!
I should go back to using my old email address – it’s linked to my WordPress avatar!
On an unrelated note, God looks a lot like me. Who’d have thought!?
‘ “…if you’re thinking about committing adultery, go ahead and do it, you’ll get forgiveness later,” ‘
My, my! I wonder if he said the same thing to the wives on Mothers’ day???
I believe is is quite safe to assume that he did not.
Hey Nick! ….good to see you back!
Thanks, Nancy! Been grappling with a new job (and 3 years’-worth of attempts to get it..!); but I’ll try and get back into Wartburging properly now.
I have missed your stupefying reports about cricket.
“I wonder if Jen Wilkin has sold her possessions and given them to the poor. Probably not. She may have given some money to the poor, but I bet she is holding on to a possession or two“
-Jen lives in my town in a 1.2 million dollar house. The median home value in my town is $359 K. You can find it online – public record.
Whoa! Like every good New Calvinist, “Pastor” is stretching grace beyond its Biblical boundaries!
He obviously has not read nor preaches Romans 6 as he ought, where he would find that believers are to be dead to sin and alive to God.
This guy is an accident waiting to happen. I suspect he will be the subject of an TWW article someday.
Do I gloat everytime one of these clowns falls?
These parasites rake in millions of tax free dollars so I take great pleasure in seeing them kicked in the keister, when it happens.
Thing is, like bed bugs, they take their blood meal and just breed somewhere else. Look at Mark Driscoll. Seriously, there he is, followers and all.
It would be comical if lives weren’t being ruined.
As for evolution, even as a Christian I didn’t believe the bible was literally true.
If you go completely binary on biblical literalism then you’re going to have some serious cognitive dissonance. And everyone knows what stories I’m talking about. Drunken naked patriarchs are the least of it…though kind of cool when you consider Noah was a half century old…boo yah!
Welcome back, God, you’ve been missed.
A pedophile by any other name (pastor, youth leader, priest, Dalai Lama, Dear Leader, etc.) is a pedophile and a criminal.
A little trick with Nick.
Nick, Nick, bo bick, banana fana fo fick, fee fie mo mick, Nick.
The name game
— By Shirley Ellis —
In addition, those same enablers pile it on the “sinners” chosen by the leaders for “church discipline”.
I agree that Owen was being political up to a point and his sermon has been debated for years. If you look at the Coggleshall website you’ll see that he got involved around the time of the siege of Colchester and that his sermons to the troops impressed Cromwell’s generals.
To preach a day after the regicide of Charles was difficult for him and it seems that he tried not to explicitly endorse the killing. I think he added an appendix on Tolerance to the printed version.
Having said that he accompanied Cromwell to Scotland a few months later and the only protests against Cromwell’s barbarity in Scotland and in Ireland came from Presbyterian ministers, Baillie, Durham and Binning, the latter particularly annoying him in another meeting.
But Owen did eventually plead for restraint in Ireland, although it was too late for the citizens of Drogheda and Wexford. (The Irish Times has done a very good piece on Owen).
The author Crawford Gribben has written a number of highly regarded books and articles on Owen and English Puritanism and generally on Christianity in Ireland which would be worth getting if you’re into that period.
With some hesitation, I’ll suggest that we haven’t understood the meaning of the Dalai Lama’s interaction with the youngster. Apparently the Tibetan culture has an expression “suck my tongue” that has nothing to do with pedophilia or even literal tongue sucking. Interested folks can search the phrase “tibetan expression suck my tongue” to read about this old traditional phrase.
The Dalai Lama was right to apologize. I don’t want to derail the discussion here, but we might not have the full picture in this case.
Thanks, that’s very informative. Historical figures are always too complicated to fit into a simplistic modern lecture.
“Growing hate and anger,
The Führer’s orders were precise:
Who was to be blamed and pay the price?”
— Sabaton, “Final Solution”
I knew it in my gut.
“The Gospel” can be a really good business.
Not gloating, not glaring, nor begrudging. But wondering if someone has a lot of extra empty time to be splitting hairs over a doctrine regarding “gloating”.
They don’t call it “The Jesus Racket” for nothing.