The SBC’s NAMB hires a PCA Pastor; What Do Readers Think of Alistair Begg’s Latest Controversy; and the Abuse of Students at Christian Boarding Schools

@NASAHubble catches a cosmic reef 163,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Dorado. These nebulae are part of a vast star-forming region, the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way full of massive stars.⁣ The stars near the center of the image are around 10 to 20 times the size of our Sun. NASA

‘”[Mrs. Loraine’s] sweet lips folded themselves into a straight line, and Stella thought briefly how odd it was that thinking differently about God tended to make even the nicest people not very sympathetic towards each other.” ― Elizabeth Goudge, Gentian Hill.


This has been a busy week for me. My husband took the week off, and we have been going through my mom’s furniture, clothes, etc. I hope you don’t mind if I post a few articles that I found interesting to read and discuss. There have been further developments at Park Street Church, and I’m afraid the reports are concerning. I will follow up with a post once I have the correct information. I want to be quite cautious with all that I share since the dreaded “lawyers” are involved at this point. Blessings to all.


The Alistair Begg controversy: Please be kind to one another with this one.

I almost didn’t post this since it involves LGBTQ+ issues. Alistair Begg is a well-known, New Calvinist influencer of some magnitude. He takes a traditional, expected, conservative evangelical stand on the issues involved except for one. This piece of advice has drawn the ire of fellow Calvinists. The usual suspects are quoted in this article and others. Do not be confused. Begg still stands solidly against gay marriage, as you will read in the post.

The accusations being leveled against Begg are that he has caved to the LGBTQ movement after encouraging a grandmother he didn’t know to attend her grandson’s wedding to a transgender person.

To be transparent, I gave similar advice to the mother of a gay man who was about to be married. The added complication was that her other son, a pastor, opposed his mom’s final choice. She loved both sons. She went to the wedding. Her son knew of her conservative view of the matter. She brought gifts and lots of love. She is now friends with her son and his spouse and is grateful. Her other son stands appalled and separated. You can critique my advice as well.

Baptist News Global’s Rick Pidcock posted, ” Who is Alistair Begg, and why are American fundamentalists so upset with him? ” The following side story is even more compelling and worth the time to contemplate.

In perhaps Begg’s most widely shared presentation of the gospel, he humorously reflects on the idea of the thief on the cross walking up to the gates of heaven following his crucifixion when suddenly he’s met by an angel.

“I can’t wait to find that fellow one day to ask him, ‘How did that shake out for you?’” Begg envisions.

He imagines the angel asking the thief, “What are you doing here?”

Then the thief replies, “Well, I don’t know.”

So the angel asks, “What do you mean you don’t know?”

“Because I don’t know,” says the thief.

At this point, Begg impersonating the angel begins to stutter and goes to get his angel supervisor.

When the angel supervisor arrives, he asks the thief, “Are you clear on the doctrine of justification by faith?” At this point, the congregation is roaring with laughter.

Then the thief replies, “I never heard of it in my life.”

Confused, the angel continues: “And what about, let’s just go to the doctrine of Scripture immediately.”

The thief is just staring.

Then Begg gets to the crux of the matter. “And eventually in frustration (the angel) says, ‘On what basis are you here?’”

“Begg’s gospel presentation seems to pit compassion against condemnation, while siding with compassion.”

With the room so quiet you could hear a pin drop, Begg imagines the thief answering, “The man on the middle cross said I can come.”


What is the difference between PCA and SBC polity, and does it matter?

Baptist News Global’s David Bumgardner and Maina Mwaura wrote NAMB hires a Presbyterian Calvinist to lead urban church planting. The NAMB is not talking. They do what they want and pay what they want, and you, the tither, have no input whatsoever.

In a Facebook post dated Jan. 10, pastor and author Doug Logan Jr. announced his new role as director of urban church planter development for the Southern Baptist Convention North American Mission Board’s church planting initiative, the Send Network.

BNG reached out to NAMB spokesman Mike Ebert to confirm the hire and details about Logan and did not receive a response. Ebert and NAMB have a long history of not responding to media inquiries NAMB’s full staff list is not published anywhere and he does not show on theleadership web page for the Send Network. However, multiple other NAMB insiders confirmed the hire to BNG privately.

…In a break with tradition for the nation’s largest Protestant denomination, however, Logan does not appear to be a Baptist — or at least not until recently, maybe.

He is an ordained elder in the Presbyterian Church in America

And to make it more interesting to our readers, he is part of  Acts 29, the Gospel Coalition, and the ever-so-unknown Grimke Seminary, for which females may not apply.

Logan once served in a church planting residency program at 10th Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. That church’s longtime pastor, Liam Goligher, resigned in December after it was revealed he was arrested in 2014 for “lewd or sexual behavior” in a public park with another church leader

…He is currently listed as a church planting pastor of the SBC-affiliated Remnant Church of Richmond, Va. Remnant is part of the Acts 29 Network, a coalition of conservative and Calvinistic evangelicals of varying denominational affiliations.

According to his Twitter biography, Logan serves as vice president of advancement for the Acts 29 network. However, BNG was unable to locate his listing on the Acts 29 leadership page.

Logan also serves as president of Grimké Seminary, an unaccredited institution affiliated with Acts 29. Grimké Seminary does not admit any female students, claiming on its FAQ page that it “exists specifically and exclusively to train qualified men who are current or aspiring pastors and church planters for the local church.”

And as for him having a PhD? Go figure…

Another biography listed with The Gospel Coalition, a popular conservative Reformed website, claims Logan does, in fact, have an earned doctorate from Newburgh Theological Seminary in Newburgh, Ind. The seminary’s website, however, reveals it does not have either national or regional accreditation.

I am not planning on referring to him as Dr. Logan.


Christian boarding schools’ allegations of torture and abuse

The Lord’s Ranch allegations;

Baptist News Global’s Mallory Challis wrote In the name of the Lord’s Ranch: The exposure of an Arkansas residential facility’s elaborate ruse of child abuse.

Prior to its closure in 2016, the Lord’s Ranch was known for decades as a place where children ages 7 to 17 would receive “unparalleled” treatment in a “uniquely beautiful, peaceful and safe environment.”

Except:

Under the guise of expected treatment, the company was able to facilitate the transportation and housing of children across the United States who soon would be under the direct authority and control of child predators.

That sounds more like the story being told in a recent lawsuit filed by eight victims of child sexual abuse against the Lord’s Ranch and multiple members of its leadership who are alleged to have been directly involved in or complicit with abuses that happened there.

Thanks to a recent change in the law, victims can sue.

Although the statute of limitations for these victims would have otherwise expired, this lawsuit is being filed under the Justice for Vulnerable Victims of Sexual Abuse Act, which changes the statute of limitations for Arkansas victims of sexual abuse if they meet the criteria of being a “vulnerable victim” at the time of the crime.

Presley was abused, and Jiles did nothing.

…Emmett Presley was a counselor at the Lord’s Ranch and served as a senior director of the Lord’s Ranch entities and facilities and as the director of social services. Presley is alleged to have committed repeated and vulgar acts of sexual and psychological abuse during his employment at the Lord’s Ranch, using his position as a counselor and director to do so without reprimand.

…Alonza Jiles also served as a senior director of the Lord’s Ranch entities and facilities. The lawsuit alleges he and other staff members were made aware of Presley’s abuses on a multitude of occasions but did nothing to stop them and at times actively perpetuated further abuse.

And the money kept rolling in.

From 2009 to 2014, the Lord’s Ranch received even more money — more than $135 million in Medicaid funds for inpatient and outpatient psychiatric services.

This continued support allowed the Lord’s Ranch to promote its services to even more children, some from outside Arkansas. Aside from children residing in Arkansas, the company formed bonds with states such as Alaska, Indiana, Illinois and Texas and facilitated the transportation of children from these states to their residential facilities in Arkansas.

Despite the 2007 study’s doubtful outlook on the efficacy of residential medical care programs, the Lord’s Ranch continued to advertise itself as a place where children would receive “the best possible treatment.”

And the abuse was horrible.

Although some victims only experienced sexual abuse at the hands of one staff member, the staff at large allegedly worked together to hide what was happening and ensure it continued. Despite repeated attempts to alert staff members of the abuse, residents’ allegations were, at best, ignored. However, these eight survivors allege they were consistently met with ridicule, punishment and various forms of further abuse by the adults they confided in.

The lawsuit explains, “Children at the Lord’s Ranch lived in constant fear, knowing that they were alone in a remote, unfamiliar environment far from home and at the complete mercy of a sadistic staff. For many children, survival meant compliance with the physical and sexual abuse.”

One example of the horrific abuse.

John Doe 1’s residential stay at the Lord’s Ranch lasted from 1997 to 2000, during which he was “sexually molested and raped by Emmett Presley dozens of times, at nearly every weekly counseling session, over an approximately two-year period.” Presley’s alleged abuses included oral rape, genital molestation and child pornography.

When he told staff member Gary Jackson about what Presley had done to him, John Doe 1 was asked to re-tell his story in front of staff member Philander Kirk and senior administrator Alonso Jiles. However, the men called him a “liar” and threatened him with severe consequences should he “ever utter another word about the abuse.”

One week later, he says he was subjected to “violent physical restraint, causing him to break his collar bone,” as an alleged “warning” from the Suhl family to stay quiet.

According to Challis, this was all done “in the name of the Lord. ” Residential facilities for children are increasingly under scrutiny, and questions are being raised about whether such facilities are effective.

Agape Boarding School sued for the wrongful death of a student.

Steve Rabey of BNG wrote: Wrongful death suit is latest challenge for former Agape Boarding School.

Jason Britt’s parents hoped Agape Boarding School could help their troubled son Jason, but the abuse he suffered there led to his death, according to the latest of two dozen lawsuits filed against the now-closed school, also known as Agape Baptist Academy.

The suit calls Agape “a concentration camp or torture colony cloaked in the guise of religion” and names six defendants, including two local sheriffs who worked at Agape. Local law enforcement routinely rounded up kids who had run away after suffering abuse but allegedly did nothing to investigate or stop the brutal practices.

The suit, filed in October, says workers at the Academy confined Jason Britt in a padded room, forced him to strip naked for strip searches in front of others, repeatedly beat him, causing injuries requiring stitches, forced him to stand up against a wall for hours at a time while reciting Bible passages, and gang raped him.

His parents rescued him from the school, but not before he experienced mental health issues. He wrote a suicide note at one point and ultimately died of heart and kidney failure last year.

SNAP says two dozen suits have been filed against Agape, which housed more than 6,000 boys over three decades, and 16 suits already have been settled. One Agape staff member was convicted for first-degree statutory sodomy involving a student.

Agape is the fourth and final unlicensed Christian boarding school to close in Cedar County, Mo. The state’s lax oversight led to a growing troubled teen industry there before claims of abuse and mismanagement led to the closure of all four schools.

…Steve Robert Wukmer, a former children’s minister who worked at Agape and three other now-closed boarding schools, was indicted in March for 215 counts of possessing child pornography.

There are many more lawsuits out there for different schools. Just google “abuse at Christian boarding schools” and prepare to be sickened.

All in the name of our Lord.


Comments

The SBC’s NAMB hires a PCA Pastor; What Do Readers Think of Alistair Begg’s Latest Controversy; and the Abuse of Students at Christian Boarding Schools — 94 Comments

  1. I think I know why Doug Logan was picked by NAMB. I watched one of his videos where he was on a panel and apparently Matt Chandler used to say, “Doug Logan just runs around the country picking people’s pockets with Holy Ghost power”
    That seems to be the base requirement to being a VP at NAMB.

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  2. I think it would be best if pastors and church leaders stopped telling people what to do in any and every situation. How about we just let people wrestle with the Scriptural principles and make up their own minds? Lots of situations in life are not clear cut. I would probably come down on the side of Alastair Begg, but I’m sure there are lots of factors to consider, and in the end, each of us must stand before the judgment seat of Christ. The Lord gives us wisdom and his Spirit to guide us. Pastors, preach the Word and then let your people wrestle with it in their own situations. If someone asks a pastor’s advice, the pastor should feel free to give it. But I’m kind of annoyed with this whole “pit people against each other and wipe Begg off the radio and cancel him” nonsense. For Pete’s sake, stop bossing everyone around, church.

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  3. Grimké Seminary named for, from their website, “Francis J. Grimké, the son of a slave and a slaveholder. By the providence of God, he was freed from slavery to become a faithful pastor and leading advocate of civil rights. After his birth, Grimké was eventually sold to a Confederate officer. Following the Civil War, he was discovered by his abolitionist half-sisters, who opened their home to him and supported his education at Princeton Theological Seminary.”

    Well a few things omitted. First of all they weren’t his half-sisters but his aunts, Sarah and Angelina Grimké. The sisters were born into a wealthy and prominent South Carolina family that owned hundreds of slaves. Despite their privileged lives, they turned their backs on it, moved north to Philadelphia, became Quakers, and became prominent abolitionist speakers. This at a time when well brought up women did not give speeches in public. Second Francis and his two brothers were born into slavery by a relationship between the sisters’ brother, Henry, and one of his slaves, Nancy Weston. Henry does seem to have semi-recognized them; however, he died in 1852 while the two eldest were under 5 (the third wasn’t born until after his death). He left them to his eldest legitimate son with instructions to treat them as family. He didn’t though what exactly happened isn’t clear beyond that in 1860 he demanded the boys become his house servants though before they and their mother had effectively been treated as free (though not legally free). All three boys and their mother were freed when slavery was abolished in the US. The talents of the two oldest were recognized and they were sent for higher education at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania though with limited funding. Their abolitionist aunts became aware of their existence in 1868 and recognized them as their nephews and helped pay for higher education for the two eldest (the youngest opted to stay to take care of their mother). Archibald, the eldest, they sent to Harvard Law School; he went on to become a major advocate for African-Americans including vice-president of the NAACP. Francis, the second, went to Princeton Theological Seminary, became a Presbyterian minister and was also involved in the NAACP. He was long time minister of Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC (currently a PC(USA) affiliated church). https://www.history.pcusa.org/blog/2016/07/earnest-protest-francis-grimk%C3%A9

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  4. I’ve struggled for a while with the question of whether or not I would attend a same-sex wedding. Ultimately I think I would, mostly for the same reason I would attend the wedding of someone who was not a believer and who had been living with their partner for years.

    If our relationship has been open and truthful and honest, they should already know my stance on their behavior. It ought not to be a mystery. My attending a ceremony that “formalizes” their relationship doesn’t legitimize the practice or weaken my stance, but my refusal to attend is highly likely to damage a relationship in which I may be the only consistent Christian voice they have. I would politely decline to give a speech, but I think that conversation can be navigated a lot better than “I am not showing up.”

    Definitely see how people can disagree, but that’s where I came down on it personally at least.

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  5. ** When the angel supervisor arrives, he asks the thief, “Are you clear on the doctrine of justification by faith?” At this point, the congregation is roaring with laughter.

    Then the thief replies, “I never heard of it in my life.”

    Confused, the angel continues: “And what about, let’s just go to the doctrine of Scripture immediately.” **

    I have often found it interesting that this concept developed, of the particular judgment as a theology final exam administered by angels or by St. Peter. None of this is in the Bible, and yet, it seems to be a common belief of people who say they “believe in the Bible” or “preach the Bible.”

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  6. Cynthia W.: I have often found it interesting that this concept developed, of the particular judgment as a theology final exam administered by angels or by St. Peter. None of this is in the Bible, and yet, it seems to be a common belief of people who say they “believe in the Bible” or “preach the Bible.”

    Folk religions accrete over time, and this is a Theologian’s folk belief.
    Ending up like the Mormons’ secret handshakes and passwords at “the particular judgment”.

    Or the ancient Egyptians “Book of Coming Forth by Day” (commonly called the “Book of the Dead”) which contains all the passwords and spells necessary to navigate the Underworld and get a favorable result when weighed against the Feather of Ma’at.

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  7. Fergus McLane: I’ve struggled for a while with the question of whether or not I would attend a same-sex wedding. Ultimately I think I would, mostly for the same reason I would attend the wedding of someone who was not a believer and who had been living with their partner for years.

    However, the addition of the two words “Same Sex” ramps everything up to Cosmic Importance and Crazy wavelengths.
    Disconnecting every neuron above the Christianese brainstem and waving the Bright Red Murder Flag in front of what remains.

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  8. > She is now friends with her son and his spouse and is grateful. Her other son stands appalled and separated.

    I think the basic principle is to try, inasmuch as possible, to be at peace with everyone (Rom 12:18); sometimes (or often) this is not possible and one is obliged to retreat from an unattainable ideal of “do no harm” to a more pragmatic “do the least harm.” I think the described choice does that.

    (But this is open to debate; I intuit that a predictor or correlate of where a person’s stance on the subject may lie would be his/her beliefs about the nature and consequences of future Judgment — if one thinks there are dire future consequences to specific present acts, one would be more likely to avoid appearing in any way to approve them, for fear of encouraging people down what one reckons to be a dangerous path. So it’s easy to understand the dismay of the other son.)

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  9. Cynthia W.: I have often found it interesting that this concept developed, of the particular judgment as a theology final exam administered by angels or by St. Peter

    I think the question of “who administers the theology exam?” may be less important than the underlying premise that “there is a theology exam.”

    The concept of a soteriology exam has been around at least since the heydey of Evangelism Explosion’s “Two Questions”, which was a pre-mortem exam.

    https://evangelismexplosion.org/the-two-question/

    I think it was a useful tool in its day, and I suspect that for many people, the way they became a believer looms large in their thinking. It might be a case of practice back-reacting onto “man-in-the-pew” theology as opposed to theology informing and controlling practice.

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  10. Re Alistair Begg: all I can say is “it depends.” And actually it depends more on how I am approached with any wedding invitation of any kind. I never feel an obligation to attend. If I choose to attend, that is my free choice. Same if I don’t. Now, yes I have attended some where folks were divorced and remarrying in spite of their church saying that was a no go. Or of cohabiting couples marrying. I did not attend when an open adulterer was tossed by his wife and then he remarried. I would assume that trans folks and any other form of LBGTQ+ would know my beliefs. If they know they are doing something they believe is ok but that violates my own ethics and beliefs, and invite me anyway, it gets sticky. If they approach me with “Now Linda we don’t want to offend you in asking you to come, but we love you and don’t want to offend you by leaving you out” I will know we really have a real relationship to consider. Of course, in that case friends and family will not dump you if you hug them and tell them you so appreciate being invited but don’t feel you can come. On the other hand, if they approach me with an attitude of “We know you think this is a terrible thing we are doing and all wrong, based on your faith. But lady, either you 100% celebrate our lifestyle by attending and putting us over your faith or we are quitsville with you” there isn’t anything there to worry about losing even if it is a kid or grandkid saying it.

    Respect is a two way street. Invite anyone you want to your wedding, but cutting them out of your life if they don’t attend and celebrate your wedding is beyond cruel.

    If the relationship is truly all that close and loving the LBGTQ+ crowd will respect the conservative Christian, Muslim, or Jew who does not attend. Its ok to let the potential guest know the invite is a courtesy, not a command performance. On that basis the conservative is far more likely to attend:)

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  11. John Kaleo: picking people’s pockets with Holy Ghost power”

    In Luther’s time, circa 1500’s, illustrious church leaders were at times transported by 4 men carrying a platform (via poles on the 4 men’s shoulders) with a chair on which the leader was seated and supported.

    How many men (and women) today are required to support each church leader today? Do Protestant and Evangelical church leaders take a vow of poverty?

    Do Protestant and Evangelical leaders take a vow of, not of chastity obviously, but of faithfulness to their marriage vows?

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  12. Ava Aaronson: Do Protestant and Evangelical leaders take a vow of, not of chastity obviously

    “Chastity” means the right use of our sexual faculties according to our station in life. Married people, therefore, practice chastity in marriage by being faithful and not sexually exploitative or abusive toward their spouse.

    “Continence” is the word for not having sex. “Celibacy” means remaining unmarried, which implies continence if one believes unmarried people should not have sex.

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  13. Re the Alister Begg drama: I agree with the conclusion (yes, go to your grandson’s wedding) but not the logic (go, because “maintaining the relationship” might afford opportunities to evangelize your grandson). I find it kind of silly when conservative Christians talk as though meeting bare minimum expectations in relationships with LGBTQ family members is somehow going to “win them to the Lord.” Grandma, your version of “getting saved” would require your grandson to ditch the person he has decided to marry. Give him some credit and assume he has thought this through and is taking his upcoming marriage seriously.

    Speaking as someone who used to believe similarly to Begg and the grandma who wrote in, I would encourage a person of faith who is conflicted about how to relate to an LGBTQ family member not to think they’re going to change that person. Instead perhaps approach the relationship with some humility. Consider that instead of them needing you to show them the error of their ways, perhaps you might learn something from them?

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  14. Attending a same sex marriage is no issue to me.

    I know what the bible says about it and the bible is wrong. The old testament missives about what god thinks and the associated punishment are the barbaric laws of a patriarchal bronze/iron age culture.

    These same people who make a big deal about it probably eat porkchop sandwiches and have intact foreskins.

    My cousin and his husband are coming to visit us this summer from Germany. My Christian wife is rolling out the welcome carpet.

    Jesus didn’t mention it once in his ministry, ok there was that little bit about not changing jots and tittles of the law but really one would think the master of the universe (not He-man) would make a stink if it was such a big deal.

    I mean Christians accept Pete’s dream so they can enjoy a night out at Red lobster and Paul said men don’t have to mutilate themselves to please god.

    Time to move on and stick a fork in it. It’s toxic pathological patriarchy by men who likely have some deep issues of their own to deal with.

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  15. Cynthia W.: They are traditionally called “the evangelical counsels” and are guidance for all believers.

    Well, good luck finding any vestige of Evangelicalism that even approaches vows of, or lifestyles of, or any display of: poverty, chastity, and obedience.

    Evangelicals swell with pride in their material wealth, flexible relationships, and self-directedness (new-found “truth”).

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  16. What I don’t get is how attending or not attending the wedding got to be such a big deal.

    And how the person who will not attend is assumed to be judgmental or having a holier than thou attitude.

    It reminds me of the time when an extended family member had a bottle problem and had not admitted it to himself yet. So you could go on a simple family picnic with him and his family, where the coolers had both beer and soda pops. If an adult chose a soda instead of beer, we could count on him making loud rude comments about us being self righteous, or being holier than thou, or all judgmental. He has since backed off the bottle, but does have the occasional drink. And no longer judges those who do drink more, OR those that drink less.

    It seems at times that those having or supporting the gay wedding get to judge those that do not want to attend one for whatever reason. The irony comes when the non attenders are accused of being judgmental.

    A conservative Christian, Muslim, or Jew DOES find gay sex offensive and gay marriage offensive. And it WOULD be rude for them to follow a gay person around harping at them constantly. But it is NOT rude to simply rsvp that you cannot attend, thank you for inviting me.

    If grandma feels she should attend in the hopes of someday converting the gay couple to her point of view, that is her business. Agree she is unlikely to change them. Disagree that she has no right to hope to change them.

    I say that because here is the deal: your (generic you, applies to all) conversion or lack thereof is not her responsibility. No one will stand before the Almighty and be able to skate at judgment on the grounds that some other person did not do things in such a way as to lead to their conversion.

    To be more blunt: grandma’s jobs are to love you AND to speak the truth as best she understands it. It is NOT her job not to offend you by doing so.

    You do have free will. You may disagree with her. (And may be correct or incorrect if you do.) You may want nothing to do with her. You may feel you have to choose between her and the person you want to marry. You are free to cut her out of your life.

    But heads up: she may feel it is worth the risk of losing you from her life NOW in order to be with you for eternity. She may feel your actions and choices mean she has to cut you from her life.

    So I would say to those planning the gay wedding, again, invite who you want. But accept the idea that for a variety of reasons some will not attend. And if you want them, should they strongly disapprove of the wedding, to still love you for you, then love them for them. Anyway.

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  17. Okay, I’ve caught up on the TWW comments.
    This LGBTQ issue…….
    We are all wired a little differently, mentally… psychologically. I believe there are some things that cannot be changed. There have been some studies that strongly suggest biological/genetic factors that contribute to homosexuality. I don’t believe homosexuals can just up and decide to change their orientation, and succeed at it.

    In comparison (a poor comparison, but I use it to make a point), pedophilia is a psychiatric disorder.
    Many people who have sexually abused children have been allowed, not only to come back to/remain in churches, but to serve the churches in certain positions/jobs. These people have truly harmed children and destroyed lives in some cases……. and some of these criminals have received support and praise from the pulpits and have been welcomed back into the flocks.
    So, how are we justified in turnings our backs to and on condemning LGBTQs??? What percentage of homosexuals violently harm others? Sure, the ones who marry or who are sexually active are living in sin, but who among us has the right to cast the first stone? (My use of the words “we” and “us” are for lack of a better words…. not directed towards me and you(TWW folks) so much as evangelical leaders and churches in general.)

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  18. Jack,

    There’s more to it than you suggest. Alistair Begg has written and preached on this many times and you can find his thoughts here –
    https://blog.truthforlife.org/gods-wrath-and-human-sexuality-in-a-romans-1-culture

    And Jesus did mention it as you can see here –
    “ Matthew 19:1–12 (KJV 1900): 19 And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judaea beyond Jordan; 2 And great multitudes followed him; and he healed them there. 3 The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? 4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. 7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? 8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. 9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. 10 His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry. 11 But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. 12 For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.”

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  19. Consider also the late Warren Wiersbe when he says “ 1 Corinthians 6:9–20 (The Bible Exposition Commentary): onsider the Lord (1 Cor. 6:9–20)
    There was a great deal of sexual laxness in the city of Corinth. It was a permissive society with a philosophy similar to that which the world has today: Sex is a normal physical function, so why not use it as you please? Paul pointed out that God created sex when He made the first man and woman, and therefore He has the right to tell us how to use it. The Bible is the “owner’s manual” and it must be obeyed.
    God condemns sexual sins; Paul named some of them in 1 Corinthians 6:9. In that day, idolatry and sensuality went together. “Effeminate” and “abusers” describe the passive and active partners in a homosexual relationship. (Paul dealt with this and with lesbianism in Rom. 1:26–27.) In 1 Corinthians 6:10, Paul pointed his finger at the members guilty of sins of the spirit, those suing each other because of their covetous attitude.
    But God can also cleanse sexual sins and make sinners into new creatures in Christ. “Ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified” (1 Cor. 6:11). The tenses of these verbs indicate a completed transaction. Now, because of all that God had done for them, they had an obligation to God to use their bodies for His service and His glory”
    ( from his Bible Exposition Commentary)

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  20. Nancy2(aka Kevlar): Okay, I’ve caught up on the TWW comments.
    This LGBTQ issue…….

    The real sin of Fred Phelps was saying it out loud instead of using the Proper Code Words.

    “Homosexuality” – Nothing else can detach every neuron above the Christian brainstem and wave the Bright Red Murder Flag in front of what’s left. The Ultimate “Them”, The Ultimate “Other”, The Ultimate “NOT US”.

    I figure it also has to do with Biblical Manhood Hypermasculinity, where anything & everything that might be Femoid must be burned out with a white-hot iron until all that’s left is Domination and Penetrate/Colonize/Conquer/Plant. Just like Andrew Tate, Except CHRISTIAN(TM).

    So, how are we justified in turnings our backs to and on condemning LGBTQs???

    Again, The Ultimate THEM, The Ultimate OTHER, The Ultimate NOT US.

    “WE THANK THEE, LOOOOOOOOOOOOORD, THAT WE ARE NOTHING LIKE THOSE FILTHY FAGS OVER THERE…”
    Lowlandseer,
    And Christians also rank Sexual Sin as the worst of all, the Most Unpardonable of Unpardonable Sins.
    (At least among the pewpeons. Rank Hath Its Privileges, you know. Paging Ted Haggard…)

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  21. Lowlandseer,

    So, open question, should the punishment described in Leviticus/Deuteronomy be enacted should everyone not get back into the closet (in the love of Jesus of course).

    Are all the Christians who enjoyed a shrimp cocktail last night or had bacon for breakfast needing to burn a fatted calf at the temple?

    Should all men get their nuts nipped? If you don’t does that mean you don’t have a covenant with god?

    How many concubines am I really allowed, is 900 the godly limit? Thank goodness that solves the whole divorce problem!

    If my wife gives me a slave girl, can I turn her down? See above as I’m assuming the 900 concubines are there by choice. This is Canada after all.

    Maybe Jesus just doesn’t love me anymore.

    Oh well, there’s always the theology of Hasbro. Go Joe!

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  22. Lowlandseer: There was a great deal of sexual laxness in the city of Corinth. It was a permissive society with a philosophy similar to that which the world has today

    I don’t know what godforsaken corner of the world you hail from, but where I live slavery, sex trafficking, domestic abuse, forced marriage, forced labor, and child abuse are all illegal. Not to mention roundly condemned by all reasonable people, of “the world” or otherwise. “Freely consenting adults only” isn’t a perfect sexual ethic, but it’s a hell of a lot better, imo, than anything the ancient world as a whole came up with.

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  23. Lowlandseer: And Jesus did mention it as you can see here –

    I’ve reflected on this and this from Matthew, per Jesus

    “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass away from the law, till all things be accomplished.”

    So … How come Christians can eat bacon?

    And men not take a knife to their unmentionables?

    Oh yeah, a dream and Paul (who is not Jesus)

    You can make the bible into anything.

    A hat, a broach, a pterodactyl.

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  24. Jack: So, open question, should the punishment described in Leviticus/Deuteronomy be enacted should everyone not get back into the closet (in the love of Jesus of course).

    “Mad at your neighbor?
    Don’t bother to nag —
    Pick up your phone
    And turn in a FAG!”
    — The Dead Kennedys (EIghties punk band), “Moral Majority”

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  25. Ted:
    This is a good article by Russell Moore about the Alistair Begg controversy:
    https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2024/february-web-only/alistair-begg-lgbtq-wedding-controversy-russell-moore.html

    I found him talking out of both sides of his mouth. Wouldn’t attend a “non-christian” wedding but would attend a funeral.

    To Moore, Begg is wrong with good intentions.

    Whatever. Begg wasn’t saying the grandmother was expected to officiate the wedding.

    It was a moralizing, meandering article. Like so much Christian sermonizing, a whole lot of feathers and not much chicken.

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  26. Muff Potter: So long as it doesn’t involve coercion and violence, I sincerely doubt that the Almighty cares about what goes on in private bedrooms.

    When I was Christian, my guiding principle was to read the Bible with my head and my heart. Reading the bible as a how to manual is going to lead you down a road of inane contradictions – Russell Moore spews the “one man, one woman” schtick while ignoring the fact that the patriarchs and kings had god-endorsed harems and slave girls.

    Leaving aside porkchop sandwiches, there are serious dark roads in biblical fundamentalism.

    US foreign policy has never officially sanctioned genocide and enslavement in the post civil war era (and I’m not talking about the atom, Mai Lai, or Abu Graib among others) – looking at how the people of God treated Jericho, is the US policy not biblical?

    This is where it can go.

    It’s up to Christians to decide if they belong to a life affirming,tolerant religion that advocates peace, redemption and forgiveness or a death cult.

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  27. Hi Ted,,

    I read the entire article, but I almost didn’t make it past the first paragraph. That paragraph was so full of political Christian rhetoric. It was so dismissive of people who might view things differently and, yes, definitely judgmental.

    An honest question. Do people just read something like that and not even see what is actually being said?

    In general, I agree with Jack about the content.

    Also, if one is going to be so literal and claim to be a literalist when it comes to scripture, then why aren’t they? They are lying to others and themselves. They are only literalist when it suits them.

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  28. Bridget, and Jack,

    Moore weighs in with “on the one hand… on the other hand…” and doesn’t condemn those who decide one way or another, although he does reveal his preference toward the end.

    He cites the parents of a lesbian daughter—the wife went to the daughter’s wedding and later felt guilt that she had “sold out” Jesus. The father refused to go, and later also regretted his decision, feeling that he had sold out his daughter. Moore isn’t saying that either was right or wrong.

    The article may seem to wander, but I think Moore is calling out those who condemn Allistair Begg, yet wink at the sexual abuses and cover-up surrounding Paul Pressler. In this article about Begg, he begins and ends with Pressler, yet neither is necessarily the topic: hypocrisy is the topic.

    I rather like Moore’s style of shining a light on both sides of opinion. It’s something the Apostle Paul did frequently, and said that everyone should be firmly convinced in his own mind. That’s from Romans 14, and I just noticed that Moore cites that as well, in reference to the “weaker” one, whichever that may be.

    And I don’t think Moore is necessarily a literalist. He has taken a lot of heat from the SBC, and according to them is a flaming liberal.

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  29. Bridget, and Jack,

    I wrote a pretty good answer to you, but now it’s gone missing. I was trying to juggle an insurance email at the same time, then “poof.”

    Briefly, without trying to reconstruct it, I think Moore is trying to show both sides of an opinion, and to encourage either side to be firmly convinced in his own mind (Romans 14) without condemning the other side. He cites the parents of a lesbian, the mother who went to the daughter’s wedding and regretting “selling out” Jesus; and the father who refused to go, later regretting selling out his daughter.

    Moore’s article may seem to wander: in an article about Allistair Begg he begins and ends with Paul Pressler. But I believe his topic is hypocrisy, not either of those two men, and he is calling out those who condemn Begg for advice about the gay wedding, while remaining silent about the child sexual abuse and cover-up surrounding Pressler. Is this “whataboutism?” Maybe.

    And I don’t think Moore is such a literalist. He has been cursed by the SBC, even literally, for being a flaming liberal.

    I rather like Moore’s style of weighing both sides of a matter, leaving each to be firmly convinced in his own mind. The Apostle Paul did that frequently, and doesn’t get enough credit for it.

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  30. Linn–agree with you! An invitation to an event is only that. Recipients of invitations should be able to rsvp they are attending or not attending.

    To assume and hate the non attender is just as hateful as anything Phelps said or did at Westboro Baptist.

    Haters are gonna hate, and right now most of the hate is disgorged towards those that still believe the Almighty has decreed sex to be in marriage, and that marriage is one man and one woman with only adultery or having been deserted allow for divorce and remarriage. (Many understand being abused as a form of desertion btw.)

    But those that find same sex action, fornication, or adultery to be things they will not celebrate are judged as judgmental haters.

    Go figure. Haters gonna hate.

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  31. Ted,

    Thanks for your response. I, apparently, read the article a bit different than you did. I also had to get past the first paragraph that was a definite turn off.

    We all come to different conclusions based on the information and understanding we have. In the end, I don’t base my decisions on what Begg or Moore have to say. I do agree that people who think they are right about theological issues come down hard on anyone outside their camp. It’s the main reason I’m in no Christian camp right now.

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  32. It’s in Corinthians that the one husband one wife concept is held up. Paul not Jesus.

    Jesus never mentioned it, except to say you could not divorce, but that did not forbid polygamy.

    The old testament is replete with polygamy from Abraham onwards. In most patriarchal cultures, it was your economic situation that dictated how many wives you could afford.

    Paul was a Roman citizen trying to sell his new religion. The Romans were the ones with an aversion to polygamy, in fact in Roman law, a man could not legally have a concubine and a wife though a man and woman could live unmarried in a state of concubinage – sort of common law cohabitation usually because of a difference in social standing ie the woman may be the man’s slave.
    In Roman law though if the concubine was a slave and the man went bankrupt she and her children could not be sold as assets.

    So in short, the whole “one man, one woman” missive came from pagan Rome.

    Judea was a Roman protectorate and later province so definitely a heavy influence and don’t the Hellenic influence of the Seleucids before the Romans.

    Per Wikipedia “The ancient Greeks and Romans were monogamous in the sense that men were not allowed to have more than one wife or to cohabit with concubines during marriage”

    So in summary the “Christian” marriage concept that we practice today had very pagan roots.

    This explains why god changed his mind in the new testament.

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  33. elastigirl:
    Americans are squeamish about sex and have conniptions about sexual content in film.

    Murder and on-screen violence, eh, not so much.

    what a weird set of values.

    My old Dungeonmaster once observed that you find anti-sex and pro-violence OR pro-sex and anti-violence among activists, NEVER pro-both or anti-both.

    (And KulturKampf Khristians are firmly in the Pro-Violence/Anti-Sex camp.)

    Or as he put it “I’m pro-Gun and pro-Abortion; I just tell them I’m Pro-Death and let them figure it out.”

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  34. Jack: It’s up to Christians to decide if they belong to a life affirming,tolerant religion that advocates peace, redemption and forgiveness or a death cult.

    Death Cult or Murder Cult?
    There is a difference.
    Death Cultists want death for themselves, Murder Cultists don’t.
    But both want Death for everyone outside their Cult.

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  35. I .

    1 – Begg is just showing off about his private e-mail ministry. Begg hasn’t got a life so he ostentatiously lives out his media life through people more vulnerable than he.
    2 – Like linda is pointing out – Begg has contradicted linda – he shouldn’t have said they would interpret her not attending thus. The corollary is that if she attended but later disagreed with parts of what has been going on, she hasn’t painted herself into a corner vis a vis any frank yet tactful, kindly adjustments in their relations later.
    3 – Begg should have just told the lady that about mentioning her belief in Jesus she should use her own judgement and good enough conscience. The grandson & other half need to know whether she is a generally together person whether OR not she tells them she affiliates with some iteration of Jesus.
    4 – Whatever the distinctions between various iterations of gay and transgender – I think that since the fatal emergence of body theology the sort of obscurantists Begg both cited and provoked aren’t bright enough to cope with any of this – Begg whom this is about certainly isn’t intelligent enough to deserve any pulpit or media space.
    5 – Citing Stott, establishment through and through (and who may have known about the near-analogues of “Lords Ranch” over here in those days), brazenly in the same breath as MLJ, is another giveaway (MLJ told evangelicals to believe in – real – Holy Spirit gifts, while Stott didn’t, and I could tell 52 years ago from his books) (I haven’t looked up the other names Begg lists).
    6 – I hope that lady saw through Begg, stops listening to him and has done as she wishes. Why doesn’t she say “don’t draw any conclusions, am I one to miss a party?”
    7 – Both those families and all their friends are liable to be identified by those around them as the ones Begg has dragged into this to reinflate his punctured ego. (I’m thinking he is floating on one of those blow-up ducks toddlers use at the seaside or in their back gardens and he has run against some rough pebbles.) He never had to comment in public on hot button topics at all, no matter if asked to. Also himself as exemplar, like rev Booker was described a couple of days ago – not good sermon I found when my old pastors did so.
    8 – If Begg is a template of “moderate” religion who needs the extremists? If he is a sample of British religion who needs an “American version”? Jesus was sharp, tangential and humble, and not sloppy, diversionary and boastful like Macarthur, Johnson and Begg.

    II .

    – is Josh Patterson anything to do with Liam Goligher’s move to the States?
    – was Doug Logan at 10 th prior to 2014 or since?
    – was Rev Chandler’s mock-blasphemous and inadvertently whistle blowing, reported remark regarding Logan, before or after that?
    – Acts 29, whom certain people I know had a narrow escape from
    – “advancement” is coded language in New Frontiers (whom Goligher referred to in 2007)
    – more top down manoeuvring based on who knows what about who

    John Kaleo:
    I think I know why Doug Logan was picked by NAMB. I watched one of his videos where he was on a panel and apparently Matt Chandler used to say, “Doug Logan just runs around the country picking people’s pockets with Holy Ghost power”

    That seems to be the base requirement to being a VP at NAMB.

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  36. Michael in UK:
    Macarthur and Johnson realised there is something off about Begg’s “position” but haven’t noticed that it simply misses the point in exactly the same way as their own.

    It’s called “a Blind Spot” for a reason.

    Similar pattern to the Christian Cult Watch groups out here in the Seventies and Eighties. If you had the same One True Theology (every jot-and-tittle) as the Cultfinders General, you were home free. No matter your abusive cultic behavior towards your pew-possessions.

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  37. Headless Unicorn Guy,

    MLJ wasn’t taught by “muscular christianity” types like Stott’s teachers, and wasn’t very “establishment”. Those Americans and British who hype them both without understanding, conveniently ignore Holy Spirit and prayer.

    A wave of post-Stott Anglican refugees joined the new apostolics – or imported NA into the C of E – then attracting newcomers to whom they couldn’t teach the whole truth about the Holy Spirit and prayer. Then refugeees from this combined scene – without researching the issues – rebadged themselves “independents” and are now taking over or weakening the real, longer-standing independents.

    I have by chance specifically been wherever these people have been, at the very time it was happening, and the books of their fad leaders were sold on high streets, and it was a long time before I realised I understand (and already understood since my teens) the issues better than my elders / group leaders whom I looked up to at any time, did. Church personnel can appear “nice” in cancelling those with better gifts who DON’T want to climb the ladder or take over.

    Rigid wishy washiness rules the day and not only amongst protestants I might add. A strong gospel always keeps fresh in application. Moore and Pidcock haven’t even noticed.

    Headless Unicorn Guy: One True Theology (every jot-and-tittle)

    The up to date iteration is a TGC-style umbrella covering staged disagreements not shedding light on the real issue. Guaranteed Pure watered down brand named identicartel sloganising.

    Every jot and tittle out of the many jots and tittles which exclude the many jots and tittles. Sort of.

    Broaden the umbrella to exclude what’s relevant. Swear by Almighty God to speak nothing but NOT the whole truth.

    One tithes dill by chopping it. One tenth is how much they are offering the pew needy.

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  38. elastigirl,

    Nature gives humans something specific that’s binary. The whole point of the spirit including of agnostics, and of culture was to supplement that.

    JP II and Falwell Senior, who were materialist and reductionist, gave the world an overdose. The young are now trying to get away from sex.

    D Dennett denies that there is culture or agnosticism. This is why the contrived opponents of conservatives aren’t defending the true non-binary or the intersectional,

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  39. Jack,

    Good insights. Paul did have some pre-Christ precursors in that while Solomon authored truth he is shown by other writers to have unfitted his dynasty to defend it. Jesus came to teach us how to switch from the ceremonial law to the law of the heart. Paul gives random snapshots in conversational tropes. The real teachings of both were of bigger than N T Wright bulk. “Conservatives” claim to abolish our duty of inference.

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  40. Michael in UK: “Conservatives” claim to abolish our duty of inference.

    “You will have noticed that most dogs cannot understand pointing. You point to a bit of food on the floor: the dog, instead of looking at the floor, sniffs at your finger. A finger is a finger to him, and that is all. His world is all fact and no meaning. And in a period when factual realism is dominant we shall find people deliberately inducing upon themselves this dog-like mind.”
    — C.S.Lewis, “Transposition”, 1949

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