Sunday, December 01, 2013

The Fall of Doug Phillips and Vision Forums

0 comments Posted by Hannah at 2:16 PM

I have to admit my mind just swims when I look at the different responses from different groups to ‘scandals’ within their circles.  Being human I think we all realize coming clean at times isn’t the easiest thing in the world to do.

I don’t know about most, but I value people that can fall – even big time – and then pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and keep going.  It can’t be easy to totally own something, and yet you notice at times some individuals don’t seem to have an issue with this at all.  While, others – especially some leaders – struggle with even admitting the smallest of issues.

Doug Phillips, of Vision Forums has resigned over an affair that he claims hasn’t gone into the ‘biblically intimate” realms…if you catch my drift.  Their ministry seems to be falling apart at the seams that this point, and now you are getting the impression that despite his ‘repentance’ letter he placed online?  He truly isn’t all that sorry.  Here is a partial quote from Spiritual Sounding board from a another ‘leader’ that was groomed in this movement since the cradle.

He then wrote about the intention of a group of men who were “bosom brothers,” close friends, to lovingly confront Phillips to plea for true repentance and restoration.
What for us was a tender, emotional, mission of mercy and plea for true repentance was met with something, and by someone I never could have imagined. Instead of being received as the “wounds of a friend” (Proverbs 27:6), I was formally disowned and declared to be a “destroyer” to my face.

You could feel the disillusion in Peter Bradrick’s words, and if you see some of his sermons?  He was raised in a very insular homeschooling movement that is packaged into a ‘true way to live’ type of ministry.  Sadly, for him Doug Phillips isn’t following the rules he presented for everyone else to live by. 

It reminds me of one of my daughter's favorite shows: Law and Order, SUV.  When I listen to Doug Phillip’s group at times it reminds me of one of the episodes about a Homeschooling mother.  Don’t get me wrong there is nothing WRONG with home schooling, but like everything else in life there can be a dark side.   The Characters were not in a religious homeschooling group, but the fear of the outside world was very similar.

The show starts by a little boy (Jacob) being caught eating garbage, and that triggers an investigation because he clearly wasn’t homeless.  The boy was trying to escape a paranoid mother that refuses to have anything to do with the outside world.  She did this partly by controlling their food.

After Marilyn's husband was shot in a holdup, she kept her sons very close. According to Marilyn, processed food causes cancer, school is a place where children are shot and bullied, the city streets harbor killers around every corner, and foster homes lead children into lives of abuse and misery.

When the mother was called in, and questions were asked?  They were targeting her NOT because her son was found in a garbage can eating the food, but because she homeschools.  The world ‘targets’ them due to this, and she keeps them very close.  Since they really have nothing legally to hold them on a ‘home check’ is ordered, and of course everything checks out there.

Problem is her paranoia decides that the ‘world’ is going to come and get them after that.   Now her younger child Jacob – the one caught eating the food – has brought the evil world to them.  She talked her older son (Adam) into doing the youngest a big favor by killing him, and then he was to kill himself.  That way they were safe, and no one could harm them.  She would leave her gun at home, and she would go shopping.  Adam would do this while she was gone, so she wouldn’t get into trouble.

Adam did kill his brother Jacob, but the gun jammed after that.  He couldn’t kill himself, and of course you have an investigation into murder.  Adam was brainwashed at this point, and his excuse for killing his brother was to save him from a life of misery at the hands of the ‘world’. 

The show ends when they find another brother – Daniel - that was the oldest, and the now Adam was dealing with the fact his mother lied to him.  He was told his older brother Daniel was taken away by foster care, and was killed.  Something his mother told him he was saving his brother Jacob and himself from now.  The reality was he was taken away due to abuse from his mother, and abandoned.  Daniel was used as a tool of terror for other two, and was told this is what happens when you don’t listen to mother.

Marilyn (mother) is arrested off-screen and is shown in Novak's office with her attorney. Adam arrives and angrily berates Marilyn for lying to him about Daniel and for making him shoot Jacob. Daniel enters the office and sarcastically greets Marilyn much to her shock. Realizing that she has lost control of her son, Marilyn accuses the police of destroying her family. Stabler and Benson begin dragging Marilyn out of the office, and she begs Adam for help, saying that she's the only one he can trust, but Adam doesn't even look at her.

You can imagine bewilderment Adam felt when he realized how the world was much different than what he had been taught.  Now he has to begin a new life with his brother Daniel ‘in the world’.  He was so sheltered he didn’t know any different.  He honestly felt he did his younger brother a favor by killing him, and was left with the reality of the true circumstance.

To many groups start with a good intention, and go into these controlling ‘la la’ lands.  The leaders are good at telling everyone what is wrong with everyone else, but when they get caught with their hands in the cookie jar?  That seems completely different.  What is even more strange to me is the group no doubt would have accepted his full repentance if he had stepped up, and lived out what he preached to others.  Instead, Phillips seems to be handing over a crash in their reality like Adam had in our story above.  It will cause a ton of heartbreak.

When this type of thing happens?  All types of other ‘ugly’ business comes out shortly afterwards.  It really does shake people to the core.  I do not have the same belief systems as this group, but my heart breaks for them.  Now I will pray for their journey forward.

Other Articles of interest:

Vision Forum Ministries President Doug Phillips Resigns Due to Infidelity

Revisiting Vision Forum

Vision Forum: Peter Bradrick Speaks

Under Much Grace – plenty of articles on the aspects of the group think

How Doug Phillips Wreaked Havoc On My Family

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

He's my friend! The rinse and repeat excuse used by Celebrity Pastors.

2 comments Posted by Hannah at 11:55 AM

Boy oh BOY is there a huge BREW ha ha over Mark Driscoll, and Janet Mefferd recently.

It reminds me of the gaslighting that victims get when they approach the church about the abuse in their homes.  You know what I mean…it never really happened.  It was all in your mind.  You just want to be mad, etc.  We see nothing, and you are making a big deal out of nothing.  NOTHING here to see!

He is my friend!

Mark was to be interviewed about his new book, and he was called on some publishing errors that Janet saw.  He first attempted the pollyanna response (He is my friend, and I love him, etc.) that is common with celebrity pastors, and then Janet Mefferd pushed harder.  He answered again with a hint that maybe she needs to hush with a snark about how he should have taken notes during dinnertime with the author…and footnoted it for Janet Mefferd.  She was firm, but nice and drove the point home again -  he wasn’t having it.  He did the ‘biblical’ drill, and she is just being nasty by continuing the conversation.

Mark to me is trying to be the ‘cool’ pastor on the block, and he seems to have quite a following.  He is more what I was term a Celebrity Pastor, and he seems to feel at times his opinion is best presented with the LOUD factor.

Yet, in this interview with Janet Mefferd?  I’m sorry it reminded me of the old Southern Belle approach of how he just doesn’t understand what she wants from him today….we suppose to talk about my BOOK after all.  I told you he is my friend, and I love him…and if I had small error in my footnote – I say to my friend ‘sorry’.  Driscoll is no Southern Belle, and he got called out on it – drop the platitudes and answer the question.  Mark objected and got nasty because she didn’t go with the ‘biblical’ game that celebrity pastors use when they get busted.

Today if you have a pastor that is popular in some circles, and he is complementarian?  They seem to include him in their little ‘inner’ circle.  They promote themselves in the other’s conferences, promote each other’s books, and generally parrot the old ‘he is a Godly man’ deal.  You have to admit their marketing is working.

Mark Driscoll is accused of plagiarism. His inner circle is more upset over her being ‘rude’ to him.  Oh boy!

Prior to my edits here on 12/7/13 - Janet Mefferd has taken down some of the material about this case.
Ingrid Schlueter Resigns From Janet Mefferd Show Over Mark Driscoll Plagiarism Controversy

Fallout From Radio Show Host's Allegations That Pastor Mark Driscoll Plagiarized Includes Deletion, Apology and Producer's Resignation

Although it is not clear why Mefferd removed her content regarding the accusations against Driscoll or whether she was pressured, the Christian Post learned that Tyndale House has some sort of media partnership with Salem Radio Network and Mefferd's radio show is a member of Salem National, a subsidiary of Salem Communications Corporation.

So some of the links below have been removed by the author.

Other Examples of, “He is my friend”

Problem is when one of the celebrity pastors fall?  They tend to circle the wagons, and go in for the kill towards the accuser.  I have to tell you I caught the business when I posted John Piper on Youtube when he spoke on Desiring God, “Does a woman submit to abuse.”  Now keep in mind the website stated you could copy the material to share, and that is what I did on youtube along with my opinion’s of his viewpoint on my blog.  Well that video took on a life of its own, and to this day he still refuses to admit that what he said was awful and dangerous.  I no doubt didn’t take the junk that Janet Mefferd is taking from the Mark Driscroll crowd, but I can sure empathize with her position.

They did the same thing when it came to CJ Mahaney, and the sexual abuse circus that went on within his network of churches.  They all love him, and don’t believe a word of it – since they are ‘friends’ and all that don’t you know.  Throw in a couple of  “Godly” this, and “Biblical” that and everything is all better now.  I mean when some of the cases were thrown out because of the statue of limitations (took to long to come to trial) that means the cases had no merit – according to the celebrity pastors.  Your suppose to believe that now!  Yet, that isn’t entirely true is it?!

Celebrity Pastors seem to get a couple of passes they certainly shouldn’t be getting.   I guess they seem to feel if one falls the rest will fall like a house of cards?

Anyway, here is the start of the timeline:

She is a journalist, and she did need to ask about the lack of ‘piety’ he showed at John MacArthur’s Strange Fire by crashing it to give out his ‘newest’ book.  When he was asked to leave?  He tweets that they confiscated his books, and yet they have video of him offering them UP as a gift to the church.  Creating that type of ‘buzz’ isn’t generally considered proper, or above board.  He attempts to skate past all that.  Its an inner circle deal, and your suppose to overlook it.

Mark got a pass on the Strange Fire behavior in the interview as far as I’m concerned. No doubt he was a bit embarrassed by his childish behavior, especially when he was there to speak at a ‘Act Like Men’ conference on the other part of town. (giggles) Think about that for a moment huh?

Janet Mefferd Interviews Mark Driscoll

The interview was going nicely until the alleged plagiarism came up.  As I said the pollyanna approach was attempted, and he snaps back by telling her she is being grumpy, accusatory, and not Christlike when the approach was rejected.  I realize it was uncomfortable for him, but he does preach how you are to be humble in response to error.  He blew that.

I mean how dare her hold his feet the to fire like that?  I had to roll my eyes at the “I love you as a sister in Christ’ speech as well.  Please.  Seriously?  He was to busy telling her he dines with the gentleman that his material sounds like, and how he is a good friend of his.  That doesn’t answer the questions, but I guess it should. 

Then it happened…. The end of the interview to ME at least sounded like a call drop.  You know how cell phones are.  I didn’t take it as a hangup myself.  .

Well – insert drama here – did he hang up or didn’t he?  A second audio of the interview surfaced to show that he didn’t.  The second audio to me seemed a bit fishy, because the audio quality is different.  The seconds that pass of silence was different as well.   His publishing house (Tyndale) came back with a rebuke of Mefferd after listening to a recording supplied by Mark Driscoll of the interview.  They apparently didn’t like her tone (which others didn’t either), and stated that the book correctly footnoted Mark’s source.  Janet supplied screenshots of the material in question. It certainly doesn’t look like he footnoted by the lawful standardized practice, but I’m no lawyer.

Notice!  Janet is clear as a bell as she is in the studio on the first version (video above), but on the second version of the interview ending she sounds like she is also on the cell phone.  It clearly isn’t the same recording at all.  Did Mark hit his mute button by mistake while he was also recording the interview?  Who knows, and quite frankly who cares. 

It wasn’t the big issue anyway.  Yet, you wouldn’t think so by the buzz all over the place.  I saw it as a diversion from the bigger issues.  It was all about how Mark was treated rudely, and accused of hanging up on the interview when he didn’t.  WELL at least from his ‘circle the wagons’ friends.  I still don’t really know what happened there, but something did.  If you look at the comment section of Spiritual Sounding Board you will see ‘tweets’ from the inner circle telling others not to do interviews anymore with Janet Mefferd.

Own it, Correct it, and Move ON!  Friendship doesn’t cut it!

I have had to deal with my share of media in the past due to a business officer position I held once upon a time.  We had the media hounding us over a personnel issue, and we couldn’t discuss it contractually.  The person was charismatic, and we got loads of phone calls about it.  Yet, we had to handle it some how.  We had some drama as well, and you need to stay calm, direct and to the point. In our circumstance everything was above board, and we would have LOVED to include the parts that we legally couldn’t. 

If you are asked questions again – like Driscoll was?  You rinse and repeat your response.  I guess my point here is if a everyday person can do this on occasion?  Driscoll in his position he really has no excuse.  He just doesn’t.  The Pollyanna approach isn’t what was needed here, and it sounds like the alleged actions may not be so above board.  Is that why he relied on friendship in this case?  I don’t know.

If the alleged plagiarism was indeed an error, and it was overlooked?  You shut the interview down right away by admitting it.  You rinse and repeat your response as needed.  You can do it in a way without having your pants sued off, and he knows it.  You should have heard repentance (if he felt there was a possibility of error)…and you heard defensiveness and he is my friend (which has nothing to do with it). 

You sound sincere and firm, because mistakes happen.  The last thing you do is get defensive, and give this impression on how dare you attempt to take authority over ME.  For goodness sakes you sound fishy, and up to something when you do that.  You try to act all ‘street wise’ preacher guy the rest of the time!  Legally? They should care less if the man is your friend, and you had dinner with him…and all that jazz.  It wouldn’t hold up!

Janet did a follow up, because of the backlash. 

Janet Talks about what happened with Mark Driscoll

Honestly?  If Mark Driscoll was a man of integrity he would stop the wagons that circled him, and say, “Your right!  I acted like a Jerk.  I’m sorry.”  Then you finish it up like you should.  Being called on a alleged crime – 14 pages of material after all – is pretty serious.  If it was dumb mistake why not admit it?  Is there a lack of faith in forgiveness? 

Quite frankly, admitting the error to me it would go far.  He acted like he was above all that, and no one is…not even a celebrity pastor.  Friendship doesn’t apply in their circumstances.  He did attempt to admit it, but also ended it by making excuses for himself.  That is why he got additional questions from her.  He tried to wiggle out of it. 

He has an out here he could use – blame the FLU!  We all get grumpy when we don’t feel good.  Save face and use it for goodness sakes!

Yesterday Janet Mefferd spoke for the last time for now about this issue, and also posted online screenshots of the material in question.  She also added to the list where he alleged plagiarized in another book.  The publishing houses will not return her calls or emails.  You can listen to how she has been treated since this time, and how she has uncovered the possible reasons WHY the publishing houses are refusing to talk to her.  Big surprise…Money!

I know my readers have felt ‘gaslighted’ when they have approached their churches about the abuse that is going on in their homes.  If anything this circumstance should validate your life experiences in a way.  Mark was trying to pussy foot around this interview, and she was strong enough to not let him.  Most in you in your circumstance – at the time anyway – were NOT strong enough to do what Janet did.  Your too beaten down by life, and sadly that is what they count on.  Well in my opinion anyway.  The bigger issue?  We shouldn’t have play those games. 

Does ‘He is my friend’ work?

Will this circumstance blow over?  In my experience due to their status – it will.  I hope Janet Mefferd doesn’t let go of this, and she shouldn’t. When you look close enough it all comes down to cash.  The cash they make from these celebrity pastors, and how they are investing in publishing the cash cows in the future. The alleged source material he plagiarized?  He took it from the inner circle, and they won’t push it legally.  That’s the reality of it.  Remember they cover for each other, and this practice may magically stop or disappear in future printing of the books in question.  They will not go as far as admitting any wrong doing.  The publishing houses will cover their behinds as well.

No.  Its not us – its them.  It’s the lofty and haughty attitudes that know so much better without even giving the consideration of a true listening ear.  The muscle of the machine will make the circumstances disappear, and the diversions will belittle the reality of it.  They are ‘friends’ after all.

They seem truly afraid to be held accountable, and sadly tend to stick together like some high school clic.  Sigh.

Other points of view:

Janet Mefferd  She speaks again about this after the Scott Walker interview – about the 19 minute mark.
Mark Driscoll and Janet Mefferd: Plagiarism, Tribalism and Paganism
Plagiarism? Examine for Yourself
If the Top Men take over, who will ask the hard questions?
Janet Mefferd presents documentation of Mark Driscoll's work to work by Peter Jones and Don Carson

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Stumbling Blocks of the Church

4 comments Posted by Hannah at 1:58 PM

stumbling blocks
The concept of the stumbling block has been on my heart lately.  The scandals we read about are indeed stumbling blocks to people.  Yet I see so many approaches to Christians that are HUGE stumbling blocks as well.

I think it truly dawned on me when I had been reading more and more about the New Pope Francis.  You know me!  I love history, and he is part of history now.  He is so opposite of what we are used too.  He really draws you in by his love of others.

Compare that to some Christian leaders get so busy pontificating on how people need to view things, and how they live their lifes.  Yet, you wonder if they realize how much they turn OFF people with their approach.  Yes, they are told about this.  They pretty much blow off their critics, and let everyone know they NEED to be told the truth. 

Notice, you were not addressing ‘the truth’.  You were addressing their delivery of the ‘truth’.  They have answers for that as well.  They go onto this speech from Matthew 7 about how most people will take the WIDE path in life, and others that ‘get it’ will take the smaller one. 

Notice that still doesn’t address their delivery.

I guess they don’t wish to face that there is a REAL possibly that their delivery is a real stumbling block for their brother – along with their actions.  Then you compare that to the delivery system of the new Pope?  It startling in differences.

I’m not Catholic, but I have say Pope Francis is extremely refreshing to me.  His humility and care for everyone – not just Catholics – shows me he does indeed have Jesus in his heart.  He has that ‘delivery’ down pretty well, although I can see why he rubs ‘conservatives’ the wrong way.  (giggles) He isn’t stuffy enough for them!

I want to compare approaches, and not so much to get into ‘denominations’, etc.  Lets view the delivery system, and the stumbling block we present to others at times. 

I firmly believe even if you disagree with someone their delivery and attitude can still leave with you a sense of respect for the person.  One approach can be very attractive, an other repels.  The repelling nature of a pastor can be a stumbling block to others when you can’t feel the presence of God within them.


Doug Phillip’s is very popular in certain circles, but the man is clearly ‘out there’ with a lot of his beliefs.  Its always left a bad taste in my mouth how churches can attack certain aspects of the ‘world’, and yet leave cultish figures alone and unchecked.   Doug Phillips is a great example of them ignoring.

Doug Phillips, an outspoken proponent of male “dominion” over women and a leading home-schooling activist, has stepped down as president of his Texas-based Vision Forum Ministries after admitting to an inappropriate relationship with a woman

I guess its easier for them to poke at generalities in society than it is for them to point out groups that preach a dark gospel.  The bible clearly – to me anyway – states we are to speak out against false teachings.  Yet, sadly if you pay close attention?  There are many ‘church’ circles that tend to intertwine themselves, and that could be why they won’t speak against the other.

Doug Phillips told the world he was stepping down from some of his responsibilities due to a long, ongoing emotional affair with someone besides his wife.  You will notice a pattern of how they step down for a short period of time, and then their ‘elders’ announce to the world they are all better now – and come back.  They go on with life as if it never happened, and go back to that same nasty, ugly attitude towards anyone that doesn’t agree with them.

One sentence from an article I read about Doug Phillip’s recent fall that seemed to sum it up quite nicely.

His fellow patriarchs will help him in this “restoration” because they have to defend the system they’ve built.

Notice they will remind everyone that we are fallen humans, and are prone to sin.  Sure, there is truth to that statement.  The big difference is how certain fallen humans are treated, compared to the ones in leadership.  You can pretty much guarantee the power ‘pastor’ will be redeemed, but the individual in most cases is still considered stunned and revolting.

Remember the world to them seems to be the real enemy.  The world doesn’t agree with how they view things that they call ‘biblical’, and they are quick to call them names and tear them down.  Then you have the statements about how ‘those’ people don’t appreciate marriage, children, nor God’s word.  A difference of opinion places you automatically in that camp.  Unless you bow down to their way of thinking you will always be ‘one of those’.  Its always this ‘us against them’ game.

Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. - 1 Corinthians 8:9

You hear them say they LOVE everyone, and yet their words and actions do not line up!  No accountability for that either.

Yet, they don’t view that as a stumbling block.

pope francis
I suppose that is why I have been watching this new Pope.  I have to tell you his approach towards the world is refreshing to me. 

You can almost feel his concern, humility, and care for everyone – not just Catholics.  Again this week he was in the news showing his concern for the lest of these and captivated the world.

He also is calling out its hierarchy to move away from their TONS of small minded rules, and get back to serving as Christ has asked them too.

RULES are very important to some churches, and there is a lot of them – written and unwritten.  Those are the upmost importance to ‘show’ the world their sense biblical ….whatever – fill in the blank.

This is a stumbling block.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Crime Versus Sin–Does Paige Patterson know the difference?

2 comments Posted by Hannah at 4:15 PM

Paige Patterson Photo
There's no room in the church for whistleblowers – Paige Patterson

Paige Patterson started his sermon with 1 Corinthians 6.  His main message was that you and I do not bring sin of the church out into the open so the media – or law enforcement – might judge it. 

His message is called, So You Believe in the inerrancy of God’s word…well Bully for YOU!

Inerrancy, simplistically is basically the bible is accurate and completely free from error.  I linked to a urban dictionary so you can see what is meant by Bully for YOU.  I think in this case it’s basically saying GOOD for you with sarcasm.

Paige then goes into a lesson about why you should bring matters to the church, and not the media and as he also stated….law enforcement. 

Funny thing is if humans in history had followed this belief system that even if the church is wrong?  You need to ROLL with it?  No one would have broke off from the main church back in history, and we wouldn’t have different denominations today. 

All the theologians we like to read about, or love to death?  For example, Luther, Calvin, Wesley and many others?  They would be non existent, and we would still be under the rule of a cruel religious system.

church tortureRemember the history that when individuals tried to take things to the church the church ran right over them.  They tortured people, and killed them.  This was ‘church business’, and they shut you down with the threat of their power.

Sadly, it seems the church trying a different tactic.  They can’t use the torture method of the past, but they will use lies and propaganda instead.

History is repeating itself, and the means maybe different….yet the message is the same.

No matter what ….. keep it in the church!

Morality of Knowing the difference between Sin and Crime

To me it seems these church leaders with all their education, study, and knowledge still don’t seem to grasp the difference between CRIME and SIN.  I’m speaking more on a morality principal here.  Crime is sin of course, but not every sin is crime as in police involvement, etc.

People LOVE to use the sexual abuse cover-up of the Catholic church against them for a host of reasons, and that circumstance does show they also didn’t view crime and sin properly at that time. 

The Catholic hierarchy had the notion that child rape was a sin rather than a crime. Hence the emphasis on forgiveness, therapy, repentance - rather than removal, prosecution and investigation. Obviously, there's one reason for this: they were defending the reputation of the church by hiding its darkest secrets, and they were using the authority of religion to do so.

Faith organizations outside the Catholic Church do this as well, and they see it as somewhat different FOR THEM.  I guess they feel they can do it ‘better’ or something.  Yet, in most cases they do this for the same reasons:  hiding its darkest secrets, and they are using the authority of religion to do so.

Now, I think we all realize there are certain circumstances that can be dealt with in the church.  It’s the same with the personnel issues with the staff.  Not every single item needs to be out in the open.  Its better to handle gossip about members, or personnel issues like tardiness within the church.  When aspects grow beyond the garden variety sins?  They can be crimes, and no where in the bible will you find that we are NOT to take that to police. 

Paige Patterson missed one KEY word in scripture he presented.  That word ‘trivial’.  How he could have missed it?

Trivial Matter or Not so Trivial…that is the question!

What would take for YOU to sue this institution if you worked for it? Paige Patterson asked an attorney that was applying for a job there – around 3:20 mark.  The attorney stated it would have to be a circumstance in which his rights were seriously abused, and he was asked to give some examples. 

Patterson asked him if those circumstances were in the bible, and the attorney stated he did not believe so.  To which Paige Patterson giggled that he was NOT in the employment of this organization.  To Paige this is common, because we live in a world of accusations.

Now my first thought was an attorney working with Paige Patterson isn’t going to bring a lawsuit against the organization over ‘accusations’.  I mean lawyers realize you need more than that to do anything about it. 

We also need to remember that in the past the church had the power to take the law into their own hands, and hand down punishment, judgment, etc. The church today can’t send someone to the RACK, or cut out their tongue and all those torture techniques anymore.  WELL at least in most countries today.

You do find in most cases when an individual or groups of individuals bring the court or the media to the attention of the church?  Its habitual criminal or unethical behavior.

church torture sceneWe aren’t speaking of just plain sin here, but crime!

2 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? 3 Do you not know that we are to judge angels?

Now you notice in the above the scripture mentions ‘trivial’ cases.  Rape is not trivial, and child rape is certainly not either.  The habitual covering up abuse cases isn’t trivial.  Its not only sin, but a crime. 

Folks if you are going to judge angels, and if you are going to judge the world don’t you think you can handle the same problems that happen in the Church of God?  - Paige Patterson
5 I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, 6 but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? 7 To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded?

Next, Paige goes into hinting at circumstances are well beyond what you would consider ‘trivial’ cases.  This is where they attempt to melt the trivial with the not trivial issues. 

Its where the church gets themselves into trouble, because they do have a moral obligation to report crime!   See below:

1 Peter 2:13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, (14) or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.

Yet, they feel their reputation would be stained.  How little faith is my first thought.  Sure, you may struggle because of the crime for a period.  God will bless you for doing what is right, and his will – NOT OURS – be done!

I offer a different scripture that speaks to the spirit of the discussion:

1 Timothy 1:8 We know that the law is good if one uses it properly.
(9) We also know that the law is not made for the righteous but for the law breakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers,
(10) for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers - and for whatever is contrary to the sound doctrine
(11) that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.

Accept Injustices because God told you TOO!

Paige Patterson states that people just want to go to the law, because they feel that the church FAILED them in the judgment process.   They don’t feel justice has been served.

Why don’t you learn to just accept WRONG!  Learn to accept INjustice!  You say its no in my basic makeup to do that!  You know I’m an Irish Texan so lets FIGHT!   (giggles from audience)  But is what God’s word demands.  Why is that? Why would God say, “Why don’t you just accept wrong?”  Why would he ask you to do that?  WELL that all depends on your viewpoint of God!   If in your mind and heart God is a JUST GOD that settles the issue Folks!

What that means is God eventually sets everything right.  If you are wronged?  Somewhere down the line God sets it right!  Well you say, “Well he is to slow!” NOOO!  He is right on time.  When it needs to happen he will set it right.  Than you say, “ I’m dying and he still hasn’t set it right!”  No one said he will could set it right in this life! – Paige Patterson

What Paige needs to think about is if God feels there is sin in the church that needs to come into the light?  He also will use his means to do it, and yes today that could very well be the media and the police. 

No doubt the church may get it wrong from time to time on trivial matters.  Yet, when its not the trivial matters and God is using the media or police?  You also need to accept God’s decision. 

church sexual abuseSadly, Paige Patterson seems to feel you are sinning against the church instead.  The ‘crime’ against him is more important than the crime against society.  No human is that important.

Again there is a BIG difference between SIN and CRIME!  In the bible we read about punishments that people had to endure because of the crimes they committed, and the church sanctioned those punishments.    The bible is full of stories of how people were punished for crimes during that period of history (Exodus has plenty of examples), and how many struggled with their sin (David, for example).

We also have examples later on in church history where the church used its powers to commit injustices….because they had the power to do so.    That’s where the breaks from the church started, and the injustices of the church were the reason.

If what he states is true?  We would only have ONE church, and not all these different denominations.  Chances are Paige would NOT be in his position at the Seminary, because we may still be under rule of the Catholic Church.

Paige also feels people to just accept things as the people in leadership tell you to, and if its not right God will handle them.  You may not see justice, but God will handle that in his own time.  He may not show you his justice, because chances are you would ‘gloat’ about it anyway.  He seems to feel that justice – that you could see -  may damage your walk in faith. 

Yes, he lays it on THICK doesn’t he?

You don’t take matters to the PRESS!

Paige Patterson next decided he would play God, and mention he will ‘expand’ on this scripture of 1 Corinthians 6.   You don’t take matters to the media!

“If I had fifty dollars for every time that I have told somebody from the press: ‘I’m not going to comment on that because, frankly, it’s none of your business; it’s the church of God’ — if I had fifty dollars for every time I’ve done that, this would be a wealthy institution and you wouldn’t have to pay any tuition at all,” he said.
“I’m not going to talk to the press about things that are matters internal to the church of the Living God,” Patterson said. “It is none of their business. And they can’t possibly get it right, and they don’t get it right, so why do you take it to the world of unbelief? Whether that be the court, whether that be the press? ‘Well there’s just no other way to handle it.’ Yes there is. Commit it to the Lord God Almighty.”

Church history shows that the church doesn’t always get things right, and people have gone OUTSIDE the church….or tore off a piece to make a new church due to what Paige feel is ‘matters internal to the church of the living God’.

If we take this stern approach?  All other denominations have their foundation firmly planted in SIN!  How does he live with that reality?  He doesn’t, and no doubt would think that concept is a joke.  Yet, that would mean at times it is OKAY to go outside the church with matter beyond ‘trivial’.  Yes?

9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous[b] will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practise homosexuality,[c] 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

…and IF you suffer for it. and IF you were misused! And IF you were abused, and if you are not represented properly!  Its Okay.  You can trust it (pointing up) to God who judges justly.  May God grant that we do that. – Paige Patterson

Then he finishes with a prayer:
…That we won’t take our troubles to the press.  That we won’t take out troubles to the government. That we won’t take our troubles anywhere except to the people of God, and beyond that to the Lord Jesus.  And may we as a result present to the Lord Jesus upon his return  a beautifully adorned Bride – the bride of Christ – Holy and Pure upon him.  In Jesus name we pray.  Amen.

When Pastor’s manipulate scripture in this manner their integrity comes into question.   They pretend there is no difference between sin and crime.  They do this to protect themselves, and they feel the reputation of the church.  God doesn’t need their protection, because he is MORE than capable of taking care of it himself.

Let’s be honest with ourselves here!  Paige Patterson is more concerned with HIS reputation, and his post of power.  If he isn’t doing anything immoral or illegal?  He doesn’t need to tell the press that church business its none of their business when they come to him with questions about his conduct.  He should have nothing to hide.  If he is doing nothing wrong?  He should have enough faith to know that God will protect him, and hand out justice as he sees fit.

Cindy Kunsman today wrote an article about Hana Williams today.  The Christian parents that beat her, and starved her to death were sentenced in court this week for their punishment.  The father got 27 years, and the mother received 37 years.  Their actions were sin of course, but thankfully people knew their was also a crime that needed punishment for the good of society.

Yes, it was okay to take those troubles to the court.  There was nothing sinful about it.

When will we – the Body of Christ – demand our teachers of the church use discernment to know the difference between ‘trivial’ sins and crimes against society?  Paige Patterson’s lesson shows clearly how they don’t have a clue.

So You Believe in the inerrancy of God’s word …..Well Bully for YOU! just remember the word ‘trivial’ is there!

Exodus 23:1 Do not spread false reports. Do not help a wicked man by being a false witness.
(2) Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you give testimony in a lawsuit, do not pervert justice by siding with the crowd,
(3) and do not show favoritism to a poor man in his lawsuit.
(4) If you come across your enemy’s ox or donkey wandering off, be sure to take it back to him.
(5) If you see the donkey of someone who hates you fallen down under its load, do not leave it there; be sure you help him with it.
(6) Do not deny justice to your poor people in their lawsuits.
(7) Have nothing to do with a false charge and do not put an innocent or honest person to death, for I will not acquit the guilty.
(8) Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds those who see and twists the words of the righteous.
(9) Do not oppress an alien; you yourselves know how it feels to be aliens, because you where aliens in Egypt.

Additional Reading:

Why Paige Patterson's anti-outsider stance is wrong
And what about Patterson’s insistence that his anti-outsider stance is somehow biblical? If Patterson needs a biblical basis for doing what's right, then he should look to the first thing listed by the prophet Micah. “And what does God require of you? To act justly . . . .” (Micah 6:8)
Advocate says SBC leader gives bad advice
He said if law enforcement does not or cannot act to protect children “whistleblowers in churches should call journalists.”
“More wrongdoing in churches needs to be reported more often to more people who are more apt to stop it and prevent future wrongdoing,” Clohessy said.
“We hope every Baptist rejects this self-serving, unhealthy and often dangerous advice, especially when it comes to sexual and financial crimes, whether known or suspected,” he said.

Paige Patterson (SBC) Advice to Victims of Domestic Violence
Audio of Patterson telling the abuse victim to go home and pray for her spouse.
“I had a woman who was in a church that I served, and she was being subject to some abuse, and I told her, I said, “All right, what I want you to do is, every evening I want you to get down by your bed just as he goes to sleep, get down by the bed, and when you think he’s just about asleep, you just pray and ask God to intervene, not out loud, quietly,” but I said, “You just pray there.”  And I said, “Get ready because he may get a little more violent, you know, when he discovers this.”  And sure enough, he did.  She came to church one morning with both eyes black.  And she was angry at me and at God and the world, for that matter.  And she said, “I hope you’re happy.”  And I said, “Yes ma’am, I am.”  And I said, “I’m sorry about that, but I’m very happy."

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Act Like "Gentle" Men PLEASE!

0 comments Posted by Hannah at 3:16 PM

Matthew 7:15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

Join the Church and Get a Set of Knifes

Well it seems we had two popular ‘conferences’ to choose from in California this week. 


Pastor John MacArthur has his Strange Fire Conference.


Strange Fire is a conference that will set forth what the Bible really says about the Holy Spirit, and how that squares with the charismatic movement. We’re going to address in a biblical, straightforward manner what many today see as a peripheral issue. On the contrary, your view of the Holy Spirit influences your relationship with God, your personal holiness, and your commitment to the church and evangelism.


Then you have the Mark Driscoll and James MacDonald running their “Act Like Men” Conference.


Men who are loud and ruthless about their own sin, but patient and full of grace in leading others. Men who long to follow God without limits and meet the needs of those around them without hesitation.

To get there we need radical surgery. It's time to cut deep and get it all, and not be afraid of what that means. We challenge you to join thousands of men for a two-day conference this fall-to step up with us and Act Like Men.


What happened to acting like GENTLE men?


We have seen in the past when one pastor’s don’t like something another pastor believes, preaches, teaches, etc.  They can be either a gentleman about it, or sadly as we have what we have  seen this week – a petulant child.  Mark Driscoll gets the petulant child award this week!


No doubt neither of them agreed with the ‘others’ message this week, but holy mackerel you would think some could ‘act’ the role they get paid for.  You know – pastor, teacher, leader, etc?!


Mark Driscoll’s behavior to me doesn’t show other’s how to ‘Act Like Men’.  He tweets ahead of time that he planned to go to John MacArthur’s event to ‘hand out his newest book’ which doesn’t agree with the MacArthur’s main message for his conference.


Yes, we know that celebrities at times ‘tweet’ that they will be places where others can meet them.  Pastor’s tweeting that they plan to come to the opposing event to hand out his books ‘opposing’ message?  That’s not my vision of someone that wants others to ‘Act Like Men’.  Establishments normally welcome celebrities and ‘twitter’ followers because it helps their bottom line, and gives them promotion.


Some how I don’t think The Strange Fire Conference took it that way.  It doesn’t take ‘discernment’ to figure out WHY either!


As most of us know – or could understand if you didn’t – vendors are normally vetted at these events.  The approved vendors then can hand out their literature, and sell their wears, etc.  This is pretty common practice for a host of reasons.


I guess Mark Driscoll and James MacDonald decided to ‘Act Like Men’ and crash the event to hand out Mark’s latest book  - and of course ‘autograph’ them if need be.  They were approached, and asked to stop.  Security it seems offered to walk him and his books back to his car.  Yes, the vendor ‘vetting’ portion that no doubt Driscoll and MacDonald knew  about – as I’m sure they have the same process – was explained to them.


To me, I can understand you being offended by the MacArthur’s conferences message.  People do that have right, and you can ‘agree’ with MacArthur’s view as well.  Different belief systems aren’t going away anytime SOON!  For me personally? I think they are both a bit screwy!


Crashing an event like this is not what a gentleman would do.  You don’t ‘tweet’ your maybe arrival if you have time, and act like WILL wonders ever cease  - when asked to leave due to actions you KNEW would push buttons. 


(giggles) I mean can you imagine what the response would be if a feminist group or gay pride group showed up at the ‘Act Like Men’ conference?  Yikers! 


James MacDonald didn’t like how some people showed up at his event – and they paid for the tickets and travel – only to be escorted out, and threatened with arrest.   Yet, Mature and Acting Like Men MacDonald and Driscoll didn’t see a problem crashing someone else’s event while NOT paying for the tickets and travel.  Okay then.  They can pick and choose who is at their event, and BE MEN while crashing someone else’s.  Sigh.


Yes, Driscoll acted as if he showed up to ‘bless them’ with his new book.  (Yeah right!) They were his GIFT to them, and he showed up with boxes FULL of them.  When he was finally escorted to his car?  Mark Driscoll to let everyone know that the books were a ‘gift’ to the church location where the event was taking place.


Next thing you know he wanted to show others how to ‘Act Like Men’ once again, and tweets that security at the event confiscated his books.  I guess he missed the part that plenty of others were around when he announced ‘his gift’, and they were rather upset when they were accused of ‘confiscation’ instead.  Check out the screen shot of responses on Twitter over that:  Driscoll Claims Confiscation of his Books


Yep, they know how to Act Like Men don’t they? NOT!


That Strange Fire he felt was NOT the symbol of Real Men.  Teenage boys going out to crash a party MAYBE …. but then most of those boys GROW UP! 


Comment I had to smile at: Sort of funny, really to watch this…. They both agree that the earth is flat, but can’t agree on whether it rests on the backs of seven elephants, or an endless stack of turtles. Utterly delusional. Both.


Mark Driscoll 'Crashes' John MacArthur's Strange Fire Conference? (PHOTOS)


Mike Riccardi, the local outreach pastor at Grace Community Church Speaks of what he saw

Friday, October 11, 2013

People need hope. Not an English Comprehension Lesson.

0 comments Posted by Hannah at 10:14 AM

It is these pearls that I encounter each time I dive below, into the dark and lonely cesspools of Christendom.  They’ve been left for dead by much of the Church, yet they are the first to expend of themselves in pursuing and loving other hurting souls.  Their own cries have been ignored, but they’re the first to listen to the cries of those around them.  Though the commitment of the Church to abuse survivors is often self-centered and short-lived, the commitment these survivors demonstrate to each other is usually selfless and lifelong.   - Boz Tchividjian

Joe Carter is one of the newer employee’s of the Gospel Coalition. He recently wrote an article that is leaving a bad taste in many mouths (Figure of speech Joe – Wink! Wink!).
It starts by:

For years it was merely an overused rhetorical trope, a hyperbolic claim that Taking languange Literally Cartoon
followed a predictable pattern:

Step 1: Take an issue of concern for Christians (e.g., abortion, sex trafficking, global persecution, the gospel).

Step 2: Claim that no one in our churches is talking about the issue.
Step 3: Assume the dual role of educator and Old Testament prophet by explaining why the issue matters and why the church must stand up and speak out about it.
I read Boz’s opinion of victims speaking out about injustices they see in the church, and then Joe Carter shows the clear attitude they tend to be faced with presently. There is no hope there – something they clearly need – and he wants people to have a comprehension lesson for English.
It breaks your heart. One wishes to try to reach people where they are, and the other feels it’s a fun game to mock them into silence.
His technique is familiar to me! We have seen such pettiness before.   Remember this article?

Should we be saying, “The Church Hurt Me
”?  Let’s review the logic they were attempting to ‘teach’ you with this article:

The person could mean the big-C Church has hurt them–all Christians everywhere. That sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? But think about it. When a person says “The church has hurt me” and they’re refusing to visit or join any local congregation of believers they have practically projected their hurt onto the entire universal body of Christ! They have assigned their offense to every possible Christian and Christian congregation imaginable. Practically, their distrust has reached universal proportions. In every case this is false. We might provide some of our best care by helping our friends recognize the practical universalism in some of their reactions. Hopefully we can get them to dial it down to the next possible level.
Can we say this is a TAD bit over the TOP? They may provide their best care recognizing a common form of speech isn’t to be taken so literally.   Talking down to a hurting person isn’t going to help your case.  You do want to reach them right?
This form of ‘emotional’ dribble maybe taken as mocking them, and you won’t get to far.
Let’s imagine a young person coming to them for counsel, because they were abused in the past in the church. Empathy, and a listening ear should come first.

Sadly, it seems being petty about the phrase they used would be given first. Do they really expect this person to trust them, or even truly finish what they have to say after that? Can we use a bit of common sense for goodness sakes!
Well it seems that Joe Carter decided to take the same route, and ignored the context – and then took it a tab bit over top once again.
Janet Mefferd Quoted the issue in a nutshell:
Carter thinks that if you say, “No one in the church is talking about (an issue).”you’re “slandering Christ’s bride” because you can’t know what every individual human in every church is saying. Fine, but that’s not the sense of the term “no one” when used in that context.
It reminds me of a time when my son was little and I said to him,
“Son! Its time to go we need to put our shoes on!”
Son says, “These aren’t shoes MOM their Sandals!”
Yes, my son ignored the context of my statement. At my son’s age when this statement was made? It made sense to him that it was TRULY was a hill worth dying on!
Yes, he was in that kind of mood. He was going to ‘show me’ that SANDALS was the more proper way of stating my request! The fact that sandals are in fact shoes? Made no difference to him. Yes, he could be a frustrating child at times. (giggles) Thankfully, he grew out of that!
Now I feel I’m back in my child’s toddler years, and I’m suppose to ‘acknowledge’ since you haven’t spoke to every human in every church you can’t know that ‘no one’ is talking about some subject. Is the man freaking serious? Grow UP already!
Why this is so important is beyond me, because not stating it HIS way truly isn’t ‘slandering the Bride of Christ’ by any stretch of the imagination.

I can’t believe he is that ignorant that he can’t grasp the intent of those words. What can I assume? The poor man isn’t going to get to far in ministry if he can’t reach people where they are – like Jesus did.

One aspect that came up between a twitter war between Joe Carter and Janet Mefferd was about a statement that Boz said.

While comparing evangelicals to Catholics on abuse response, ”I think we are worse,” he said at the Religion Newswriters Association conference, saying too many evangelicals had “sacrificed the souls” of young victims.
Child Sexual Abuse

My Friend – Danni Moss – Who’s blog her family left up after she passed away?  She has an article on there about the growing numbers of sexual abuse in churches.  Her source?  The churches insurance companies:

The Associated Press reported recently that three insurance companies receive upward of 260 reports each year of young people under 18 being sexually abused by Protestant clergy, challenging the assumption that clergy sexual abuse is an exclusively Catholic problem that does not take place in other churches.
That is a higher number than the annual average of 228 “credible accusations” brought against Catholic clerics in records reported by the Catholic Church in response to media scrutiny, a priest observed in a Fox News commentary questioning why the story isn’t garnering more attention.
While the report about abuse in Protestant churches doesn’t absolve guilty Catholic priests or those who enabled them, said Father Jonathan Morris, it offers a more complete picture. “The problem of sexual abuse has no denominational boundaries,” he wrote.
The AP obtained figures on sex-abuse claims from three companies that insure the majority of Protestant churches in America–Church Mutual Insurance Company,  GuideOne Insurance and Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company.
I suppose if Joe Carter was all that interested in ‘truth’ doing his own research like the AP reporter did – would happen.

Honestly?  The show of true care and compassion towards victims would be along the lines of what Father Jonathan Morris stated above.  There are no denominational boundaries.  Who has MORE sexual perp’s isn’t important – hope for victims IS!  Why are we missing the big picture here?

All you have to do is read some newspapers online, and sadly stories of Pastors – or church personnel – are in there almost everyday because they have been arrested.  Something is clearly wrong with how we approach this subject, and we want to NIT PICK on how to phrase something before we address it?
Sadly, it seems ‘context’ isn’t big on the radar of individuals at the Gospel Coalition – among others ‘offended’ by this statement.
When you read what Boz had to said in context? The Evangelical Church should be ashamed of its arrogant attitude towards the Catholic Church.
The fact that Evangelical churches don’t have the same type of organizational structure as Catholics? It’s a perfectly legitimate smoke screen to use their type of structure to minimize abuse within their own ranks.
When you use ‘independence’ of churches? Distances them even further.
They are free from some the systematic and vast numbers of victims under the same umbrella. I mean you can’t ‘tie’ all the different churches together – we are all SEPARATE – so our numbers aren’t even CLOSE!
These men would make awesome politicians wouldn’t they?

Twist some differences just enough to attempt to show how they are COMPLETELY different….yet they aren’t. Yes, at this point you are supposed to drink the Kool-Aid and feel better about yourself. “We don’t have a child sexual abuse PROBLEM!”   Talk about Slandering the Bride of CHRIST!
Lets move on to some aspects SOME actually can acknowledge – while others play their ‘Christian politician game’ shall we?
Mr. Tchividjian’s comment:
The greatest failure of the church/Christian organizations when it comes to responding to abuse is institutional self-protection.  Too often Christian institutions have been willing to sacrifice the individual human soul in exchange for the protection of their own reputation.
Is so true!
Here are some other comments from a separate interview I found that we see all to often.
Why do some churches and other Christian institutions struggle with reporting suspected abuse to the civil authorities?  Regardless of the stated reasons, the common thread running through this struggle is a “fear” that is rooted in self-centeredness.  It is a “fear” of losing the “good reputation” of a ministry, it is the “fear” of losing ministry donors, it is the “fear” of losing congregation members, it is the “fear” of losing a ministry altogether, and all such “fears” are usually wrapped in a fundamental falsehood that reporting such abuse within the Christian community willdamage the cause of Christ”.[ix]  Do you see the great tragedy of this self-centered fear?  Ultimately, fear?   Ultimately, it is an attempt to rob God of his sovereignty and glory by attempting to “protect” identities and possessions.  This is in direct contravention of the Gospel.

God doesn’t need our protection, and sadly they forget the roles in that aspect are reversed.

We need HIM! The lack of faith within these churches just blows my mind. We see Job in the bible, and he had everything taken from him…WELL just about he still had God. Yes, that was all he needed. He still loved and obeyed him. In return, God gave back to him.

Seems preachers can preach about Job, but they don’t have the faith that he did. They would rather twist some scripture around, and throw people under the bus…for their ministry! I guess they feel God wouldn’t restore it.

Don’t you get that is what people are trying to point out?  You aren’t suppose throw people under the bus, and FEAR for our ministry!  Those abused people are more important to God.

Talk about lack of backbone! Churches can survive such an ordeal, and yet some don’t want to be bothered with such details.

A fundamental point that must be understood early on in this discussion is that the crime of child sexual abuse is not merely a personal offense, but rather it is an urgent public concern.  Child sexual abuse does not even fit into the paradigm of which Jesus was speaking in Matthew 18.  Jesus never intended his statements in Matthew 18 to be twisted into the required method for handling murder, rape, torture, kidnapping, or genocide.  Child sexual abuse is not a private matter but rather a public and civic one, rightly under the sword of the civil authority.  All are endangered by this crime against a little one.
There is another teaching of Jesus that regulates how child sexual abuse is to be handled procedurally.  In Romans 13, Jesus tells us through the Apostle Paul that believers are to be subject to the civil authorities.  They swing the sword as God’s ministers, bringing wrath upon evil-doers (Romans 13:1-4).  Child sexual abuse has been deemed to be criminal by the civil authorities deserving of just punishment.
The scourge of child sexual abuse is not just a sin violating the 7th Commandment in Exodus 20:14 and Matthew 5:27-30, but it is also a criminal offense in all 50 States.  It is not a matter which can be handled quietly between two persons or between two families, as was misguidedly done in Genesis 34 and in many churches today.  It is a matter of public alarm, because of its pervasive, extensive, and expansive nature, causing a cascade of misery in countless lives.  Additionally, the God-ordained civil authorities in virtually every jurisdiction mandate in some fashion that suspected child abuse be immediately reported to law enforcement. 

When Christian organizations are to busy nit picking over silly things like figures of speech?  That’s a sad state of affairs.

It seems the Gospel Coalition, and Joe Carter had their feeling hurt over a aspect of Church life that they would rather give lip service to – than acknowledge.  When they would like to be handed stats, and proof – rather than see the more important aspect of helping the hurting? 

They have lost the discernment they claim they have, and others need to use in this area. 

You see the people you whined about Joe?  They need hope – not articles about their use of the English Language.  One is certainly more important to God than the other.  People don’t need your encouragement to correct their wording when they need help either – and yet that is what you are teaching.  You are teaching others, “Ignore them!  They used one of those phrases we all know is ridiculous!’  Is that seriously the message you want to send?

You really need to go back to the basics of our faith.

Why speaking truth in love is not ‘slandering Christ’s Bride’

Where are the Voices?  The Continued Culture of Silence and Protection in American Evangelicalism

Join Boz Tchividjian on Steve Brown Etc. for a discussion of what it takes to recognize, investigate and respond to child sexual abuse in religious institutions.

Janet Mefferd on Joe Carter: Round 2--'Carter's message to Christians is SHUT UP'

Language taken literally Cartoons

Monday, August 19, 2013

Flabby in Worship? Wow.

5 comments Posted by Hannah at 8:27 AM

I grew up in a household that you knew you would be going to church each and every Sunday.  Although compared to what seems to be popular today?  No doubt some would have felt my parents had their roles reversed.  My father was a hugely popular Sunday School teacher, and my mother was involved within the governing portions of the church and sang in choir.  Yes, back in the 1960’s and before ‘women’ were allowed governing positions in some churches.  They were both extremely good at what they did as well.

Are You a Part-Time Churchgoer? You May Be Surprised. Speaks about a fiction couple that serves their church by the husband being a deacon, and she helps the children’s ministry.  They have a small growing family, and the author lists out of 52 Sunday’s how many they miss.  The author also lists the reasons they miss church – including sickness.   Then ends by saying people need to be reminded WHY we are called to worship, but reminds the audience its not because he wants you to feel guilt.

I felt it was rather swallow myself.  People gather together all over this world inside and outside the church walls to do worship together.  Making sure the church people see them there each week lest they be called ‘flabby’ is for appearance only.

Egyptian Mourns Outside of Bombed Church
In some areas of the world – like Egypt right now  - Christians must worship in different ways because their church just burned down.  It dangerous to take their family outside their homes, because they maybe killed. The picture is  man worshipping in Egypt after his church was burned down.  Flabby is not the first word that comes to mind!

Then you have those families in which they are dealing with critically ill, or disabled individuals.  They worship at home with family, because its impossible at times to get to church.

Yes, you could EVEN decide to go out of town to have some family time alone.  I guess what the author doesn’t realize is the fictional family is capable of doing worship OUTSIDE the church walls, and gather together to do so many times…even on different days besides Sunday.  Its rather shallow to me to point out you must be in church to worship so we can see you lest we label you a part time church goer, and we need to write an article to remind you WHY you must worship.

We as a family did worship at home as well, and I remember in particular is the Advent Wreath.  We had other family worship traditions, but the Advent Wreath is something that sticks out on my mind during our family dinnertime.  Dinnertime was Worship time in our family.

When the year was starting to wind up to summer vacation?  Our church each and every year would remind us NOT to forget about the church.  The attendance normally dropped, because families were doing vacations and other things.

My family was no different.  We would go to church during the summer, but we also had ‘family’ things we did during this time as well.  We found creative ways of doing worship during those periods, and we gather together to do just that.

Why did we miss church?

Our family would normally go camping.  My brother and I got to see all kinds of places when we were growing up.  Camping was cheap, and neighbors shared their camping equipment.   If it wasn’t for camping we would have NOT been able to see Yellowstone National Park, and other awesome locations. 

West Thumb, Yellowstone Lake
We still laugh about the one night we had a major rain storm. My sleeping bag/air mattress was near the entrance of the tent , and it was running joke that I could sleep through a war.  So NO I don’t remember much about the storm.  In the morning, Dad got up to get out of the tent…stepped on my air mattress/sleeping bad, and all this water came RUSHING onto his socks.  That morning was slept at the camp site’s laundry room pumping quarters into the dryer to dry out the sleeping bags.

My father traveled a lot for his job, and during the summer months it was easier for mother to place us in the car to drive to where my father was working.  He would be gone for weeks at a time for these trips.  His employer put him up at a hotel, and he was given money for food.  We shared the room he got for work, and ate up some of his food allowance during these trips.

Since he was gone so much during the year it was a time we wouldn’t miss school, and we would have more time with him.  Mother always made sure it was an educational trip as well.  We learned the history of each location we went too.  One trip in particular I remember was the hometown of George Washington Carver’s.  He is known as the original ‘peanut’ guy, and he did much more than invent peanut butter!

Also during the summertime, my parents would send my brother and I to our relatives.  It normally started with my parents loading us UP in the car, and driving 1/2 way down to met up with the grandparents in some different location each year.  We would do some visiting there, and then the grandparents would take us the rest of the way to their homes.  The reverse would happen when it was time to go home.

I think my parents used this time to get to know each other again, and spend some quality ‘alone’ time without the kids around.  Can’t blame them THERE!  I honestly couldn’t tell you about their church attendance then, because I wasn’t there.  If I were guessing?  They went!

So during these 3 months during the year our Church Attendance was ‘light’, but we always returned to our regularly scheduled program during the Fall!  During these family times YES we did worship, but not for the world to see because we were sitting in our pews.

Times have changed, and so has the family.  There are different reasons or circumstances that families miss church. 

Recent statistics show that an increasing number of evangelicals who are firm in their faith are flabby in their practice of actually gathering with their brothers and sisters in worship. It’s the part-time syndrome, and it can sneak up on any of us.

Now, to be fair the author did attempt to let you know that people shouldn’t be ‘guilted’ into going to church, because that would miss the point of the purpose of being there.  So, you have to wonder what the purpose was of the above, and the list of missed Sunday’s.  It showed just the opposite, because he felt they needed to be reminded about the PURPOSE of worship.

As I mentioned above my parents would have us gather at home – on vacation or not – to do worship.  The four of us were a gathering of brothers and sisters.  Sure, we were not in the church building that our family dedicated more time to than just Sundays.  We were gathering in worship though, and people do this all the time OUTSIDE the church.  So, no offense but they seem a bit flabby in their grace and understanding of what this means.

Jesus didn’t have people ‘meet’ in a church building, and he preached his teachings in all kinds of different locations.  After his death, once again a gathering of believers did not take place in a church building. 

There are all kinds of people in the present day that have no church to go to, or have to meet in secret.  They are able to gather together as brother and sisters in worship as well.

The formal and the non formal are both acceptable.  They are both God honoring.  One is not more flabby than the other.  There are ALL kinds of ways to gather together.  I find the article has a bit of manipulative spin to it.

The best way to respond is not with guilt or with a false grace, but with the reminder of the purpose of worship. You aren’t there to fill up at the gas station (after all, you can get some sort of spiritual sustenance by reading or listening to your preacher’s podcasts apart from the body of Christ). This is a distorted view of the purpose of gathering.
The author of Hebrews clues us in. Being with your brothers and sisters is where you are able to stir one another up to love and good deeds. It’s the place where the confession of hope is celebrated and put before you and where you are urged to cling to it tightly.
It’s not just the content you receive every week that is so formative; it’s the act of being together and making the Lord’s family your priority. It’s similar to a family that gathers every evening for a meal. The value is not in the specifics of your conversation, but the very act of demonstrating your love for each other.
We don’t go to church because of guilt. We are the church because of grace.
That’s what Geoff and Christine, along with you and I, need to remember.

I’m sorry but this person as a ‘distorted’ view of a Church goer.  Formal gatherings seem to be counted more heavily in his view than other types of circumstances.  Formal gatherings at church isn’t the only TRUE way of showing that the Lord is your families' priority.   Missing church at times, or doing more informal ways – like it has to be done in SO many other parts of the world – doesn’t mean they do NOT cling to their faith tightly.

I would ask this author to acknowledge that people in his story demonstrate their love for the church, their family, and their dedication to the Lord by not only church attendance (part time or not).  They spend time on your ministries within the church, and no doubt they also have a form of family worship.  They GET the purpose of WORSHIP here!

Taking time as a family to do life a little different from time to time doesn’t mean their dedication has swayed.  It doesn’t show they can’t demonstrate their love for one another.  You are using GUILT when you list the number of Sunday’s they miss, and call them a Part Time Church goer in your presentation.  It is a checklist for you – be honest!

In my childhood our time together was a blessing that God granted us.  Our missed church attendance was filled with other things at times, but we still gathered together for worship in other ways.  Our dedication to our church was always present, and honored.  It didn’t disappear just because someone wants to keep a checklist over our missed Sundays, and our reasons for doing so. 

The best way to respond is not with guilt or with a false grace, but with the reminder of the purpose of worship.

Pleasssse!  Most dedicated Christians know what the purpose of worship is.  Do you seriously think that Geoff and Christine in your story do not understand this concept?  If so, why are they part of your Church board, or ministries that teach children?  They were asked to do those things because DO UNDERSTAND this!

When you hint that going to church is the most important :  act of being together and making the Lord’s family your priority?  You seem to be hinting that a family isn’t capable of doing so outside your walls.  How they have been brought down to PART SIDE believers, Dedicators, and Worshipers.  Not so.

So Yeah.  You pretty much laid on the guilt, and false grace.  There is a life of worship outside the church walls, and its been done for centuries.  Hardly Flabby.

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