Bill Gothard, Homeschool Movement, IBLP and ATI, Kevin Swanson, Modesty and Purity Teachings, Patriarchal-Complementarian Movement, Sexual Abuse/Assault and Churches, Women and the Church

Kevin Swanson Defends Bill Gothard’s Sexual Harassment Charges While Publicly Trash Talks Blogs

*     *     *

Kevin Swanson defends his friend, Bill Gothard against accusations of sexual harassment, while accusing Spiritual Sounding Board and Patheos.com blogs of dancing on the grave of Christian fundamentalism and Biblical Christianity.

*     *     *

Last week, I was notified by a Twitter friend/follower that Kevin Swanson had referred to my blog in a recent podcast:

**

Kevin Swanon, Generations Radio, Bill Gothard, ATI, Screen Shot 2014-02-22 at 12.05.16 PM
Source

**

Really?  I promote pro-gay, pro-evolution on my blog?  Where?  He was naming my blog, SpiritualSoundingBoard.com?

Here was Kevin Swanson’s tweet that Chris had seen:

**

Kevin Swanson, ATI, Generations Radio, Bill Gothard, Sex Abuse Screen Shot 2014-02-22 at 12.09.47 PM
Source

**

If you haven’t heard the latest on Bill Gothard, this article should catch you up to speed:   Bill Gothard, Family Planning and Homeschooling Advocate, Accused of Sexually Harassing Young Women and Teen Girls

My assistant, Kathi, who helps me at the Spiritual Sounding Board Facebook page was coerced, manipulated,  volunteered to spend 6 – I mean SIX hours of time transcribing Mr. Swanson’s flapdoodle.  Earlier, I had transcribed only a couple of paragraphs and the verbosity with which Swanson was able to fit within 2 seconds of airtime was staggering.  Give that woman a raise already!

It is peculiar that Mr. Swanson publicly named two sites:  SpiritualSoundingBoard.com and Patheo.com in his ranting.  Those who are familiar with Patheos.com know it is a large network of blogs beneath the umbrella of Patheos.com.  At Patheos.com, you will find an assortment religious bloggers:  Christian, Jewish, Catholic, Mormon and even atheist bloggers.  But interestingly, Mr. Swanson does not identify a specific blogger at Patheos.com.  But what does he say about my blog and this mysterious non-named Patheos blog?

Note:  Unless specifically noted, Kevin Swanson is talking. Notation is made when Steve Vaughn enters the conversation.  “KB,” who transcribed the document, contributed her commentary in pink.  Seriously, if you’re going to transcribe for 6 hours, you need an outlet.  As I was reading it, I obviously couldn’t keep quiet, so my editorial comments are in green.  I’ve only included the comments referring to the blog, but be sure to read the transcript or listen to the podcast as Swanson defends Gothard and blasts Spiritual Sounding Board and Patheos.com.  The transcription begins below:

*****

 Starting at the 6:00 mark:

You have this kind of thing happening a lot when people are ultimately ignoring the laws of God but taking on their own rules and regulations. Well, all that said, we’re gonna to talk about what is happening right now with fundamentalism, what is happening right now with the homeschooling movement, and precisely what is happening right now with Bill Gothard.

Okay. There’s [sic] some stories right now on Patheos.com, SpritualSoundingBoard.com, which by the way are the apostatizing websites that are dancing on the grave of the old Christian west and certainly anything related to fundamentalism or anything relating to Biblical Christianity. They love it. They love it when they begin to see cracks in fundamentalism.

**

What is the Christian west, anyway?  Are we talking cowboys or what?  Sure, you can send me the Finding-Cracks-in-Fundamentalism t-shirt.   The fundamentalism that I’ve seen does not match up with the Christian conduct and character exemplified by Christ in Scripture.  

Now, friends, right now Patheos and Spiritual Sounding Board are the apostatizing websites working hard to drive another 10% out of the organized historical, Biblical churches to a pro-homosexual, pro-socialist, pro-evolution, pro-atheist agenda. I mean, they’re just so excited if they can…they’re sort of like the aprostalites <Made up word #4> of the left you know.

**

Actually, I consider Spiritual Sounding Board to be like the pooper scooper of Fundamentalist Pharisee-like crap of religious tyrants, but whatever, Mr. Swanson.

**

Can we get more to apostatize from the Biblical, spiritual faith, and they’re somewhat successful

-10:00-

mainly because whatever is out there that cloaks itself as a fundamentalist faith often times isn’t that strong anyway. So, anyway. Patheos and Spiritual Sounding Board are dancing on the grave of Bill Gothard and the whole A.T.I. thing right now. This is what’s happened. And the rumors on the street is that there was more sexual abuse of some sort. But here is the deal. As Christians we ought to be very careful when we see these things on public websites, new sites, presenting this information.

**

Yea, Mr. Swanson, because when 34 women come forward with their personal testimonies telling us that this “man of God” and Christian leader who has led countless families to have “character first,” we need to be careful about “rumors.”  To heck with the idea that Gothard is the head honcho of his organization and so there is no place for young women to climb the hierarchical ladder to complain.  

But let’s back up a bit.  He claims I’ve been (SSB) dancing on the grave of Bill Gothard and ATI, of Biblical Christianity, etc.  Did he even realize that I have not posted ONE story on Gothard until this one?  And this article is really not so much about Gothard as much as it is about Mr. Swanson and his foolishness.  I’ll get to Gothard on my blog soon enough.  There are already quite a few articles currently published in the blogosphere.  But right now, I’m calling out Mr. Swanson for his behavior as a Christian homeschool leader AND pastor in siding with another Christian patriarchal leader rather than dismissing the personal testimonies of nearly three dozen women.  

-10:30-

We ought to demand two or three witnesses in a proper church court or a proper civil court. That ought to be important to us. And, uh. You know. But Patheos and Sounding Board doesn’t really care that much about it. They just get very excited about the fact that there may be some problem, some compromise, in the life of a spiritual leader. And if they can find that, they kind find the compromise, the moral compromise in the life of a leader, they get very excited because now they know that they can toss out everything that guy ever said about God,

 

-11:00-

Jesus, honoring mothers and fathers, you know, etc., etc. First of all, how do you get a man who is running a parachurch organization to a proper church court?  What church court?  Who overseas the man?  Do you think Mr. Gothard would sit beneath a church court when they are not “over” him?   So, if that be the case, you know, they can throw all that out and they can do whatever they want. And how fun that can be, you know. I mean, you know. We don’t have to worry about this adultery thing anymore, don’t have to worry about homosexuality, don’t have to worry about incest, don’t have to worry about pedophilia, we can just celebrate. <Yes. ALL of the writers on Patheos and of course, SSB, is excited about pedophilia, incest and adultery!> You know, I mean we’re free from anything that this Christian leader ever said because there may be some moral compromise in his life. And that’s why

-11:30-

they get so excited, Steve, I think.

**

Yea, every morning I am excited to share yet another story of Christian leader’s moral failure.  I think NOT.   No, how about this – – if Church leaders would appropriately deal with sin among other church leaders,  blogs like mine wouldn’t need to call them out.  But when church leaders remain SILENT about abusive leaders like Gothard, Phillips, etc, that is when it causes mass confusion.  

**

“Silence in response to abuse declares victims to be worthless & builds walls of protection around perpetrators.”  ~Boz Tchividjian

**

SV: <Clearly the village idiot. Sure boss, whatever you say!> Yeah, and that’s. They want to be free from God. That’s why they’re worshiping themselves, or the whole humanist religion. Because they’ve been seeking to be free from God all their lives. And they can’t get free of Him. And it just, it’s like a cockroach trying to get away from the light to get into darkness. And they’ve found that they can’t get away from the light. And anytime that they can find any kind of darkness within the fundamentalist movement

-12:00-

SV (cont.): then they want to go hide there.

If you’d like to read more of the same drivel and appreciate KB’s hard work, click here.  KB nor I are responsible for the amount of time that will be wasted by reading this stuff.  Do so at your own risk.  Or . . . .you can tune in here.  It might make good background noise while vacuuming.

**

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:5

**

By the way, if you do happen to read/listen to enough of the podcast, after hearing the word apostasy and the many odd variations of the word, I think you might agree with Kathi and me that Kevin Swanson thinks  . . . . .

this is the dawning of the age of Apostasy, age of Apostasy . . . . . . . . APOSTASY!!!!

****

****

463 thoughts on “Kevin Swanson Defends Bill Gothard’s Sexual Harassment Charges While Publicly Trash Talks Blogs”

  1. He hasn’t responded. This leaves many more questions in my mind. If he hadn’t taught about wife spanking, he would have said, absolutely not, I do not teach nor endorse wife spanking. He would want to set the record straight.

    Like

  2. That was some fancy deflection on Selbrede’s part– inserting himself in a situation that did not involve him, and trying to put Julie Anne on the defensive about an “issue” she was not even made aware of. Nice try. Wonder why he doesn’t go after the “good ol’ boys” in the same manner?

    Like

  3. “It might have made the first part of my plan easier if you had mentioned to me that you’re in the middle of a toxic standoff with R. C. Sproul, Jr. concerning the anonymous allegations of wife-beating he says were posted here against him. I was completely blindsided by this issue when I approached him (I assume you know of it, but if not, say so). I do not believe two wrongs make a right, and I hope you two are able to ultimately resolve this. However, that standoff (and that is the exact best word for it) means that I need to now press forward without important information. ”

    Martin is really cracking me up. Note how he is framing this whole thing. Why would he need to arbitrate between JA and Sproul Jr to deal with Swanson? What is there for HIM arbitrate?

    I used to read some of Sproul Jr’s bizarre posts on his Highlands gig and know his view of women. He certainly trashed “wives” about gaining weight and being too stupid to blog without being influenced by internet Lothario. The only thing I could come up with is this thinking made him feel “manly”. Anyone read his book Ligoneir tales before it was taken off the internet? Oh my.

    These guys are so full of themselves. All hat and no cattle.

    Like

  4. Julie Anne

    WOW…. Just WOW…
    Well – At least you’re NOT wordy like this other character…

    “Have you taught men that they could spank their wives?
    Did you spank your wife?”

    Hard to mis-understand those questions.

    Toto – We’re NOT in Kansas anymore… 😉

    Like

  5. BTDT,

    “That was some fancy deflection on Selbrede’s part– inserting himself in a situation that did not involve him, and trying to put Julie Anne on the defensive about an “issue” she was not even made aware of. Nice try. Wonder why he doesn’t go after the “good ol’ boys” in the same manner?”

    That’s what I was thinking, too.  I’ve very confused at this guys motive, his perceived knowledge, and his lack of involevment, tho he states he is involved in some fashion.  He is trying to be an intermediary rather than to denounce Swanson, face to face.  He thinks that these things must be done “delicately”, and with “caution”, over a long period of time, rather than a “speedy trial”, which is what we are entitled to in a court of law. 

    Ed

    ________________________________

    Like

  6. “That was some fancy deflection on Selbrede’s part– inserting himself in a situation that did not involve him, and trying to put Julie Anne on the defensive about an “issue” she was not even made aware of. Nice try. Wonder why he doesn’t go after the “good ol’ boys” in the same manner?”

    It is called Triangulation. Clinton perfected it.

    . So…. JA’s comments concerning SproulJR blindsided Martin to keep him from dealing with Swanson…..work that one out. I am telling you all that world is very bizarre. This sort of thing is their normal, though.

    Like

  7. There’s no arbitration. All it told me was that Selbrede has been talking to Sproul. Whey didn’t he tell Sproul to contact me? If Sproul was festering resentment about me, why didn’t HE come to me?

    I went straight to Sproul as soon as Selbrede mentioned it. Sproul gave his one tweet response and has not answered the other 2 questions. I wonder why?

    Like

  8. Martin,

    I don’t have time to fully address things now, but I will say this much in regard to your response for people to chew on in the interim. You defend the term antinomianism, but does that mean you also deny what it connotes and how many immature folks use it. Does ignorance of how others use it relinquish you from the implications of what it connotes? I would argue that it does not.

    I believe that the term “antinomian” (against law) is essential here because Swanson uses it divisively, whether you intend to do so or not — and it relates directly to both your article about how the church handles clergy sexual abuse. 

You may faithfully use “antinomian” with a particular, limited intent, but know that it is a term that folks like Swanson use to demean and demonize others and to divide the Body.

    I GUARANTY that Swanson hears “antinomian” as “us v. them” in a way that not only promotes the sense of elitism in those who are “doin’ it right” — but for him, it also demoralizes, demonizes, and scapegoats “them.”

    
If you use the term, you have to take responsibility for the implications of what that term connotes, particularly when talking with a fringe character like Swanson as well as when relating to those who reject theonomy. In your position at Chalcedon, I would say that you have a higher duty. We’re talking about doctrinal differences, not disregard for the whole Word of God by people who do not stand in awe before a Holy God, undone and mortified by their sinfulness. That’s what non-theonomists understand about what you’re saying when they understand the terms and how they are used.

    I don’t think people really understand what is meant by theonomy and what it intends. Am I right in saying that at the point at which Christianity has reached its pinnacle in society and people embrace Jesus, it is then appropriate to reinstitute civil laws from the Old Testament to govern society, with the rationale that God’s Law is perfect and the best source of law? It is sufficient for all of life, and when society has become Christian through grass roots evangelism and widespread revival, we as a society should go to the Old Testament to revive the civil laws it details? Or do I have that wrong?

    If I don’t agree with that, I argue that this does not put me in a general and sweeping straw man category that says that I think the Old Testament doesn’t apply to Believers in Christ.

    This stereotypes all people outside of your camp and puts them into unrealistic categories, and then it demoralizes them. If I am so antinomian for rejecting many of the ideas of theonomy, why do I tithe? Why do I think that the term “antinomian” relates strongly to idolatry, and why do I believe that the term connotes one of the gravest sins of all? Because I deny that the Old Testament is without weight and application.

    “Antinomian,” whether you want to admit it or not, is used as a moniker and it is very pejorative — whether the textbook definition fits or not. If you do aspire to extend liberty to non-theonomists, non-Calvinists, and people who reject Covenant Theology but are well within the pale of orthodoxy, I don’t think that you would use it to describe so many people outside of your camp. You sound offensive and elitist when you use it because it so narrowly and inaccurately defines so many people. It makes theonomy sound like the only proper way and acceptable way for people to understand the whole of Scripture. It is one thing to defend that thesis and yet another to use loaded words.

    Like

  9. Dang it, Amos, I’m just so tired of these men playing these games and expecting people to be gullible and follow them blindly. I am fired up. I’m tired of reading these stories that are sent to me behind the scenes of wives who are stuck in their abusive homes with a passel full of kids, no job skills, no support to get out and if they complain, THEY get in trouble for not being submissive. It’s ridiculous.

    Like

  10. “I don’t think they have time to be jealous. They get in defense mode and label me as a Jezebel and the likes. ~Jezzie Belle”

    I know, Julie Anne. How well I know. I was having fun, but this is SO not funny. This is exactly the same kind of spin that abuse victims have to put up with all. the. time. I’m almost glad Martin pulled this right here, in black and white, for all to see. You may be the “front man” on this blog, but many of us have lived this and continue to live this.

    Not cool, Martin. Not cool.

    Like

  11. Julie Anne

    Yup – These guys are creeps…

    That’s why your “Creepo Meter” red- lines when you speak to them… 😉

    Like

  12. This happens all of the time here, doesn’t it? I love it, actually, because we get to see it on display and then other people can identify it. It’s a learning process for all.

    I found Martin’s comment so odd. It almost sounded like: “oh, I’m going to have a hard time helping you with the Swanson thing because you 2 have a personal thing against each other on another issue – you know, the wife spanking issue.”

    This is utter nonsense, Martin. These are two separate issues, both involving abuse.

    The reality is that someone from the Reconstructionist camp should have tried to clean up Sproul, Jr.’s mess about wife spanking. Did they not come to his rescue because ::::gasp:::::: it’s true? Because perhaps they condone it? I mean, even my own pastor, Chuck O’Neal told my husband to “get control of your wife,” I laughed at that, but what in the world did he mean? How is he going to get control of me? What does that look like? And what about wayward husbands? Who takes care of them? Yea, just what I thought. No one. So husbands get to rule/control the wives, but no one will call to account unruly/abusive husbands. It must be a perfect world for Patriarchs. No wonder they love it so much and defend it so much.

    Like

  13. Julie Anne

    You write…
    “I’m just so tired of these men playing these games and expecting people to be gullible and follow them blindly. I am fired up.”

    And you are in good company – Jesus…

    John 2:14-17
    And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves,
    and the changers of money sitting:
    And when he had made a scourge of small cords,
    he drove them all out of the temple,
    and the sheep, and the oxen;
    and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables;
    And said unto them that sold doves,
    Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house
    an house of merchandise.
    And his disciples remembered that it was written,
    The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.

    These guys are “Clouds without Water.” And they ain’t goin away…
    So it has always been, So shall it always be…

    Jude 12
    These are spots in your feasts of charity,
    when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear:
    clouds they are without water,
    carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth,
    without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;

    And – Be encouraged…

    Jesus loves us this I know…

    Like

  14. If there’s a running list about things to approach Sproul and Swanson with, I have something that I want on the list.

    Remember that Jesus is the Logos, and that in the discussions of these matters, there were absolutely no mentions of learning disabilities or the like. And keep in mind that the law of the land requires us to educate children.

    What about Swanson saying that it’s okay that a 13 year old boy cannot read? Though it’s called homeschooling, so long as kids have good character, the only textbook you need to educate your kids is the Book of Psalms. Swanson also said publicly that he teaches his son algebra when they are driving in the car between his speaking gigs. That’s good homeschooling because it’s more important to preach, and one’s world view is more important that the essentials of a primary education.

    What about RC, Jr writing in one of his books that it’s okay that a twelve year old girl cannot read if she can follow her kingdom mandate of getting her younger siblings out of bed in the morning, supervising them through their morning routine of dressing, etc, making breakfast and cleaning up.

    Jesus is the logos. The law requires us to give children a primary education. And as a Christian, I find this admonishment to be irresponsible and an affront to Christians and Christ. None of this has anything to do with denominationalism or differences in theology.

    Like

  15. Julie Anne

    And these “Clouds without Water: are known, recognised, by their
    “Great Swelling Words.” 😉

    2 Pet 2:18
    For when they speak “Great Swelling Words” of vanity,
    they allure through the lusts of the flesh,
    through much wantonness,
    those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.

    Jude 16
    These are murmurers, complainers,
    walking after their own lusts;
    and their mouth speaketh “Great Swelling Words,”
    having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.

    Yup – “Great Swelling Words.” – and they say NOTHING… 😉

    Like

  16. A Amos Love,

    I think Martin would have wanted to have sent a twitter to the money changers, first, letting them know that some dude claiming to be God isn’t happy at what they are doing. 

    What do you think the twitter response of the money changers would have been?  “Tell that dude to go take a hike, how else will these people make their sacrifices to God?”

    Ya see, these money changers thought that they were doing God a favor by being there, a convenience for the Temple.

    Ed

    ________________________________

    Like

  17. Julie Anne

    Agreed…
    “This happens all of the time here, doesn’t it? I love it, actually, because we get to see it on display and then other people can identify it. It’s a learning process for all.”

    Yes – Just let them “keep-ona-talkin”

    Mat 12:34
    O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things?
    for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

    Mat 12:37
    For by thy words thou shalt be justified,
    and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

    Like

  18. Julie Anne to Martin:

    “Ok, you said this to me, Julie Anne, – but why is it not said to Swanson? Swanson’s words were public – on a podcast for all to hear. I asked R.C. Sproul, Jr. about Swanson’s embedded fetuses comment. He said he would discuss it with him where he would be meeting him at a conference. Sproul never got back to me. Nothing ever happened.”

    Martin had studied the Wartburg Watch site to understand the issues, which were new to him, finding Julie Anne’s parallel comments about reaching out to Sproul. He then wrote to Julie Anne:

    “I’ve just sent R. C. Sproul Jr. a message to follow up on that February 7, 2013 conference where he was intending to discuss the embedded fetus podcast matter with Pastor Swanson. Once I know the disposition of that discussion (Did it or did it not take place? What was the upshot of it if it did? Etc.), I will then move forward.

    “If no reply is forthcoming from Rev. Sproul in a reasonable time frame (e.g. a week), I will simply move forward with the information in hand (after all, this matter has already festered for over a year with no resolution in sight).

    “I will also deal with the disconcerting characterization of SSB at that same time and will contact Pastor Swanson directly on both matters. I hope and pray for a God-honoring outcome. Either way, however, I intend to disclose that outcome publicly given the public nature of the original assertions.”

    Then Martin started to carry through with his plan and discovered something unexpected:

    “Julie Anne,

    “You know that I have committed to pursuing two specific matters with Pastor Swanson. I explained here exactly how I was going to go about this process, and what I would do based on what resulted. That is, and remains, the plan.

    “It might have made the first part of my plan easier if you had mentioned to me that you’re in the middle of a toxic standoff with R. C. Sproul, Jr. concerning the anonymous allegations of wife-beating he says were posted here against him. I was completely blindsided by this issue when I approached him (I assume you know of it, but if not, say so). I do not believe two wrongs make a right, and I hope you two are able to ultimately resolve this. However, that standoff (and that is the exact best word for it) means that I need to now press forward without important information.

    “I will step into the minefields I said I’d step into (where I can prepare for what’s ahead), but I’m not interested in stepping into minefields that weren’t disclosed and kept under wraps. Again, if you were truly unaware of this grievance, let me know and (more importantly) get with R.C.”

    So, let’s review what Martin actually said: “You know that I have committed to pursuing two specific matters with Pastor Swanson. … That is, and remains the plan.” “…that standoff (with Sproul) means that I need to press forward without important information.” “I will step into the minefields I said I’d step into” (see above about “the plan” which equals “the minefields I said I’d step into,” into which “I need to press forward.”). Martin is committed, the plan hasn’t changed, he is pressing forward, and he is stepping into the next minefield. End of newsflash.

    The feeding frenzy here makes no sense to me. Will this also happen if I just post the word “The”?

    I wasn’t expecting to be blindsided, and if the circumstances were reversed, not a single person here would say different. If Julie Anne had no idea that would happen, then this discovery was destined to occur when I opened up that can of worms, and it was good and right that it happened when it did. But if Julie Anne knew this would happen, I would have thought it appropriate to warn me (something like “R.C. may not give you the time of day after what was posted here about him and his wife. There’s a reason he hasn’t told me anything over the last fifty-two weeks.”) But this minor glitch never changed the plan to approach Pastor Swanson, as stated clearly and repeatedly.

    I will change the plan in one way, however. CIndy K asked for me to add some matters of concern to the list, and having read them, I absolutely agree they need to be on the list. Thank you, Cindy, for your thoughtful input. I will reply later to your earlier (longer) note as time permits (and, again, your points are well taken).

    Martin

    Like

  19. Hmmm?

    “So, let’s review what Martin actually said:”

    No, No, Please, NOT that, anything but that…

    My Brain hurts – I give up I surrender – A fate worse then death…

    Like

  20. I wasn’t expecting to be blindsided, and if the circumstances were reversed, not a single person here would say different. If Julie Anne had no idea that would happen, then this discovery was destined to occur when I opened up that can of worms, and it was good and right that it happened when it did. But if Julie Anne knew this would happen, I would have thought it appropriate to warn me (something like “R.C. may not give you the time of day after what was posted here about him and his wife. There’s a reason he hasn’t told me anything over the last fifty-two weeks.”) But this minor glitch never changed the plan to approach Pastor Swanson, as stated clearly and repeatedly.

    What in the world does Sproul’s wife spanking article have to do with Swanson’s embedded fetuses nonsense? Regardless if I did a post on Sproul, many months earlier, Sproul had said to me he would check into Swanson’s comment. I fail to see what the wife spanking issue has to do with Swanson. There’s no glitch. They are 2 separate topics and the common denominator appears to be bad behavior by two church leaders. You complaining about this issue is a diversion, Martin. Please get over it. It’s just wasting your time and mine.

    Like

  21. “So, let’s review what Martin actually said:”

    No, No, Please, NOT that, anything but that…

    My Brain hurts – I give up I surrender – A fate worse then death…

    That was good, Amos 🙂

    Like

  22. Julie Anne

    “They are 2 separate topics and the common denominator appears to be bad behavior by two church leaders.”

    Seems – “Church Leaders” become “Deception Breeders.”

    Like

  23. Okay, a few questions…

    If Swanson/Sproul/etc. are really guilty of defamation or criminal abuse, why doesn’t somebody just go ahead and sue them? I understand why a number of people see Martin Selbrede as dragging his feet and not taking action. But why is the solution dependent on him anyway? Can justice not be done unless he does what everyone here is telling him he must do? If he’s really part of the problem, as many seem to be making him out to be, then why are you seeking his help in the first place? Could it be that you’re not sure exactly where he stands and are hopeful that he might, in fact, be willing and able to help?

    I understand that Martin has a position that perhaps makes him more influential with people like Swanson and Sproul. I think that’s part of the reason for seeking his assistance in this matter. But some of the comments seem to promote the very kinds of power structures/control/abuse that you are denouncing. You seem to be saying that unless Martin does exactly what you think he should do, RIGHT NOW, he’s as bad as Swanson and Sproul. From my limited understanding, those seem to be tactics more suited to an abuser. I get that you want Swanson, Sproul, etc. dealt with, but attacking someone who offers to help doesn’t seem to be a wise way to go about it.

    Again, I’m very new to this whole “world.” I have just finished reading “A Matter of Basic Principles” regarding Gothard, and was planning on getting “The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse” based on Cindy’s recommendation. Does anyone have any other suggestions for someone new to the realm of abuse?

    Like

  24. TIA,

    I would recommend Jeff Crippen’s “A Cry for Justice.” The abuse victim that I collaborated with thought it had the best data on the sociopathic nature of abusive clergymen, which makes it invaluable. If you want to dig a lot deeper, Gary Schoener’s clinical study can be had on Amazon used for $60 — he is one of the key figures in the study of the pathology of abuse.

    Like

  25. Hi TIA

    Thanks for the reply @ FEBRUARY 24, 2014 @ 12:01 PM…

    AND – We are “Almost” in agreement – WE, His Sheep, His Disciples,
    Just need to hash out a few “words/terms” and sharpen a little Iron…
    Yes, I think WE are very close.

    Just let me nit-pick for the moment – When you write…
    “but “pastor/shepherd” is a valid biblical term
    which is applied to certain disciples in the NT (eg. Eph. 4:11).”

    Agree – “pastor/shepherd” is a valid biblical term” like you say – BUT…
    Shepherds in the Bible – Are NOTHING like The Pastors we see today.
    Shepherds in the Bible – Were Anonymous – NOT known or revealed.

    Dis-agree – “pastor/shepherd” “…is applied to certain disciples in the NT.”

    Can you name one of His Disicples who called themself – shepherd?
    Can you name one of His Disicples who called another Disciple – shepherd?
    Can you name one of His Disicples who had the “Title” – shepherd?
    Can you name one of His Disicples who was Hired or Fired, as a – shepherd?

    If, in the Bible, NOT one of His Disicples called another Disciple – pastor?
    Why do WE?

    Why do WE, His Sheep, His Ekklesia, His Disciples, His Body,
    Call a Mere Fallible Human – My shepherd? Our shepherd? The shepherd?
    When Jesus calls Himself “The ONE” Shepherd? And says to His Disicples.
    My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: Jn 10:27.

    Hmmm? What did His Disciples know 2000 years ago?
    That those who take the Name of the Lord thy God in Vain – Miss Today?

    Ex 20:7
    Thou shalt not take the NAME of the LORD thy God in VAIN;
    for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

    Seems, the only one, in the Bible, who called themself shepherd/leader…
    The only one, in the Bible, who has the “Title/Position” Shepherd/Leader…

    Is – {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}} – Who called Himself – The “ONE” Shepherd….

    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:
    them also I must bring, and they shall “hear My voice; “
    and there shall be “ONE” fold, and “ONE” shepherd.
    John 10:16

    One Voice – One Fold – One Shepherd – One Leader

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    Like

  26. TIA

    Yes – WE, are very close…

    Much agreement when you ask…
    “What about Julie Anne and others who seek to care for the flock?
    I know she wouldn’t claim that title, but isn’t she a pastor/shepherd?”

    Yup – Julie Anne, and lots of saints here on SSB, yourself, TIA, included…
    ARE – Tending His Flock, Feeding His Flock, Caring for His Flock…
    shepherding His Flock…

    Just depends on which Bible version you use… 😉

    1 Pet 5:1-2 – The elders which are among you I exhort…

    RSV – Tend the flock of God…

    KJV – Feed the flock of God……

    NLT – Care for the flock that God….

    NASB – shepherd the flock of God among you…

    Like

  27. TIA,

    It’s on the list, but another excellent book that you can download for free (with the option of giving a donation) — or you can get it in paperback on Amazon — is Steven Martin’s “The Heresy of Mind Control.” He is now the director at the inpatient treatment center that his brother Paul set up when he came out of the same aberrant evangelical pseudoChristian group that Geoff Botkin was in.

    http://recognizeheresy.com/default.aspx

    Some books click with individuals more than others do. If you’re up for a secular read, there are few that are as good as “Take Back Your Life” by Lalich and Tobias. If you come to an Inter. Cultic Studies Assoc meeting, you can meet most all of these authors and talk with them about the issues and problems that people face and what they’ve done to affect positive change.

    Like

  28. Martin,

    More later, but I just put that comment about the inability to read as an example of how strange Swanson and Sproul can be on some of these subjects. But I do find the reading issue very troubling. Sproul’s passage is in his book “When You Rise Up” (covenantal homeschooling or something). Swanson made these and more bizarre statements at the 2009 CHEC summit. In addition to the mp3s, if you wanted another opinion about it, I would contact John Holtzmann of Sonlight Curriculum who published extensive blog pieces about his response to the conference. I’d have to search for the links to that if you wanted them, but the quickest means of documentation might come through him or through talking directly to Swanson.

    Expecially with Swanson, I can’t even dream up half of the crazy stuff like this that he has said. But this bothers me greatly. RJR would be steaming, I would think.

    Like

  29. TIA

    And much agreement when you write…
    “And maybe your dispute is simply with **the title.** (Yup)
    I can agree with that. The word “pastor” has been much abused, (Yup)
    much like “church” has. The reality is that
    most people associate “pastor” with a teacher/leader (Yup – NOT)
    of a church, and most people associate “church”
    with a building, even though those aren’t biblically correct.” (Yup)

    In my experience…
    With – “Titles/Positions”…
    With – “Pastor/Leader/Reverends”…
    With – Having been ordained – A “Leader”… Oy Vey! 😦

    “Titles” become “Idols” ………….. “Idols” of the heart – Ezek14:1-11 KJV
    “Pastors” become “Masters”……..A big No, No. Mat 23:10 KJV, Mat 6:24 KJV
    “Leaders” become “Deceivers”….Isa 3:12 KJV, Isa 9:16 KJV, Mat 15:14 KJV

    And, if a pastor/leader says his “Title” is NOT an “Idol?”
    Just ask them to “Lay that “Title” down – Lay that Burden down…
    And walk away from the Power, Profit, Prestige, Honor, Glory…

    Can you imagine, a Senior Pastor today hearing that…
    Hey – why do you call yourself Senior Pastor?
    When there are NO Senior Pastors in the Bible?
    Maybe you should “Lay that “Title” down? – Lay that Burden down?

    And the stats for burned out pastors today are horrific…
    That “Title” is an “Idol,” an addiction, hard to walk away from…
    Pastors and their families pay a horrible price- for a ‘Title” NOT in the Bible…

    Let me NOT, I pray you, accept any man’s person,
    neither let me give “Flattering Titles” unto man.
    For I know not to give “Flattering Titles”
    in so doing my maker would soon take me away.
    Job 32:21-22 KJV

    Like

  30. TIA

    You write…
    “Would you like it better if “pastor” were replaced with “elder/overseer”, which are more biblically accurate terms that don’t carry the same baggage?”

    NOPE…

    How about if WE, His Sheep, His Disicples, replace “pastor” with…

    TIA, Julie Anne, Cindy K, Ed, Tim?
    Or – The name of the person doing the Tending, Feeding, Careing for?

    And – Elder/Overseer has it’s own baggage.
    Dems be some tuff, tuff, Qualifications Paul gives in 1 Tim and Titus.

    I’ve noticed, most who desire to be, or think they are, an elder/overseer “Ignore” or “Twist” the “Qualifications” in 1 Tim 3:1-6, and Titus 1:5-9, for apointing elder/overseers, so they could obtain for themselves this “Title/Position” of – pastor/leader/reverend – that comes with – Power – Profit – Prestige – Honor – glory – Reputation – Recognition etc…

    What’s up wit dat? Ignoring and Twisting the qualifications – the scriptures. 😉

    Anyway, it was after I left “The Corrupt Religious System” of today, tore up my papers, and walked away from being a “Church Leader” that I realized Isaiah, had prophesied about my “Skills as a Leader.” And the “Leadership skills” of the rest of todays “Church Leaders.” No really… 😉

    Seems WE, His Sheep, His Ekklesia, His Disicples, His Ammbassordors…
    Were warned about – “Church Leaders” becoming “Deception Breeders.”

    Isa 3:12 KJV
    …O my people, *they which lead thee* cause thee to err,
    and destroy the way of thy paths.

    Isa 9:16 KJV
    For *the leaders* of this people cause them to err;
    and they that are led of them are destroyed.

    BUT, If, WE, His Sheep, His Kings and Priest, His Diciples…
    Are ‘Led” of the Spirit? WE, His Sheep, are the sons of God. Rom 8:14
    NOT those who are “Led” by a mere fallible human…

    Some legacy todays “Church Leaders” are creating for themselves…

    I’m in agreement with King David…

    The Lord is my Shepherd. 🙂

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    Like

  31. TIA,

    I had to respond to this quickly, as the answer is simple. You wrote:

    If Swanson/Sproul/etc. are really guilty of defamation or criminal abuse, why doesn’t somebody just go ahead and sue them?

    First, there is the issue of suing another Christian in light of 1 Cor 6 and how this is interpreted. The other reason is far more basic: money. To mount a good defamation suit like this, you’d have to start out with $10K to hire the attorney to start proceedings, and it will cost much more to pursue the case. The fact that they are between people who are not in the same state makes things more complicated and expensive in many ways. The other issue involves the aggravation and stress of it all and most people don’t have that kind of capital.

    Like

  32. A. Amos Love,

    Thanks for your replies. Some of them (not the two you just wrote to me, but others) come across to me as harsh, but I think what I perceive as harshness may simply be passion on your part.

    Like

  33. TIA

    Thanks for the grace and mercy shown my harshness…

    And your willingness to give me “the benefit of the doubt.”

    You have my permission to point out any harshness.

    Like

  34. A. Amos Love,
    Thanks again. You wrote a couple more comments while I was writing mine.

    I get what you’re saying about titles and leaders, but what do you think 1 Tim 3. and Titus 1 are talking about? I know many pastors/elders are appointed who don’t meet the qualifications, but obviously Paul believed that some people did, thus his instructions. How do those passages apply to us today?

    Like

  35. Cindy,

    I get what you’re saying about the expense and stress of litigation, but obviously many people here are quite vocal about wanting Swanson, Sproul, etc. taken down. How can they be so vehement about that but then say, “It’s not worth it,” about a lawsuit? Something just doesn’t add up.

    I guess if there are other means to resolving this, that’s better. But I keep reading recommendations about turning abusers over to the civil authorities instead of trying to deal with them through the church. Why not do that in these cases unless people really don’t think Swanson, Sproul, etc. haven’t done anything criminal?

    Like

  36. TIA, there are various types of abuse which are discussed on this blog, some behaviors are crimes (such as assault and sexual molestation), some are actionable in civil courts (such as sexual harassment of adult staff or slander) and some are things that are said or advice given that are morally wrong or just plain stupid and are not actionable in criminal or civil courts.

    Even where behavioral is criminal, the statute of limitations may have run out. We have certainly seen a number of indictments and convictions in church related abuse cases but we have also seen cases that can’t be brought because pastors told families not to call the police and ignored their own responsibilities as mandated reporters and now too much time has passed.

    It is possible to bring a civil suit against someone for slander but one must have standing and money. Julie Anne would seem to have a case for slander but why should she have to go through another lawsuit? I am sure one in a lifetime is more than enough for anyone! And she may feel – and rightly so IMO – that her reputation among anyone who researches issues for themselves speaks for itself! Some of us may be indignant on her behalf but we couldn’t sue because we have no standing. (More in next post; cellphone screen periodically refreshes and I have to start over).

    Like

  37. In the case of Swanson using his position and platform as a pastor to tell parents that it doesn’t matter whether their children can read because character is more important (as if this is an either/or situation), we are dealing with stupidity and children may well suffer for it if their parents trust him, but it’s neither criminally or civilly actionable.

    There are lots of things that pastors might do which are immoral and not actionable. A pastor who tells a child that it is her fault for tempting a molester is a despicable human being but his opinion is not a crime.

    When we find abuse being discussed on the Internet it is often because the person would not listen when they were spoken to privately and criminal or civil remedies are unavailable. It cannot hurt for Martin or anyone to try again to get the person to change their behavior or apologize or make restitution or whatever is appropriate.

    Like

  38. Marsha,

    Thanks for the explanation. It just didn’t make sense why so many people here keep saying “go to the authorities”, but then don’t do that themselves.

    Would it be safe to say that Swanson’s behavior is wrong but not criminal?

    Like

  39. Marsha,

    Thanks, your second comment came while I was making mine. That makes sense.

    I think I may have asked this before, but what is a good way to warn people? How do we prevent people like Doug Phillips, Kevin Swanson, etc. from getting such a large audience in the first place? I understand the allure of their message because we were drawn into it ourselves (although we always knew that some of their stuff was really weird/over the top). I’m not even sure if I’m asking the right questions or not. It seems that a big problem is that people aren’t even aware of abusive situations unless they have gone through it themselves. Since I’m rambling on here, I guess part of the solution is increasing awareness and another part is helping victims.

    Thanks again to everyone here for helping me along my journey.

    Like

  40. Tia,

    Dialing 911 is usually FREE.  Free is my favorite 4 letter word.  If a criminal act took place in a church setting, or by church authorities, that does not void criminal proceedings outside the church.  That is no different than an authority figure in sexual conduct with a student, even tho it was consensual…it’s still criminal.  Sexual harassment is a crime, not a church matter.  This is where the problem lies.  These leaders want to shut the women up, so that it NEVER GETS to the civil authorities, MAKING IT a church matter, and therefore, the leaders are not going to step down, and then they do everything in their POWER, which they have, to shut the women up, by all means.  It’s true, but WHY?  There is obstruction of justice going on.

    And yes, Martin has the ability to do something about it, and he basically states what?  Something like, “I’ll have a chat with him”, very non-chalant, as if going out for a cup of coffee at Starbucks for a few laughs.  Martin does not impress me as someone who even cares.  Oh, ya, he plays it off really well, with his soothing words that he supports victims.  Sweet words of deception.

    Civil cases that one brings costs money that most people don’t have.

    Ed

    ________________________________

    Like

  41. But some of the comments seem to promote the very kinds of power structures/control/abuse that you are denouncing. You seem to be saying that unless Martin does exactly what you think he should do, RIGHT NOW, he’s as bad as Swanson and Sproul. From my limited understanding, those seem to be tactics more suited to an abuser. I get that you want Swanson, Sproul, etc. dealt with, but attacking someone who offers to help doesn’t seem to be a wise way to go about it.

    When someone knows about crimes/abuses and remains silent, they are complicit. The reason I am on Selbrede’s case is because he very clearly understands abuse. He wrote a long article about it. He schmoozes with the guys we are talking about. I’m sorry, but how can he schmooze with people he knows has bad behavior as Christian leaders? A true friend is one who goes to his brother and says, “What in the world are you doing? Knock it off” And if the brother doesn’t knock it off, he grabs more people with him and does Matthew 18. This is serious business.

    Like

  42. If Swanson/Sproul/etc. are really guilty of defamation or criminal abuse, why doesn’t somebody just go ahead and sue them?

    My former pastor’s church paid nearly $60K to pay for our attorney fees for the defamation lawsuit he filed against me and 4 others. The church likely paid his attorney fees, too. It’s interesting that both the pastor and the church, Beaverton Grace Bible Church, were named on the suit – was that so the pastor wouldn’t have to cough up his own money? Anyway, it grieves me that because of that O’Neal’s foolish actions, the church likely paid for the attorney fees through the tithes and offerings. That’s God’s money.

    I was encouraged by many to countersue. I’m not a sue-happy person. I’d rather spend time exposing abuse where I see it. Lawsuits are not fun. It’s not an experience I’d recommend to anyone.

    Like

  43. “get what you’re saying about titles and leaders, but what do you think 1 Tim 3. and Titus 1 are talking about? I know many pastors/elders are appointed who don’t meet the qualifications, but obviously Paul believed that some people did, thus his instructions. How do those passages apply to us today?”

    TIA, It might help to understand that in the 1st Century being an “elder” meant you were fed to the lions first. When “church” became institutionalized that changed and the focus became “authority” over people instead of a servant.

    Like

  44. “If Swanson/Sproul/etc. are really guilty of defamation or criminal abuse, why doesn’t somebody just go ahead and sue them? I understand why a number of people see Martin Selbrede as dragging his feet and not taking action. But why is the solution dependent on him anyway? Can justice not be done unless he does what everyone here is telling him he must do? If he’s really part of the problem, as many seem to be making him out to be, then why are you seeking his help in the first place? Could it be that you’re not sure exactly where he stands and are hopeful that he might, in fact, be willing and able to help?”

    TIA, First of all, I don’t think any “solution” resides with Martin at all. It is a question of speaking one thing and doing another. Mohler does this with Mahaney. Mohler will speak out about abuse/child molestation and then promote and protect Mahaney to the nth degree. Mahaney whose shepherding cult taught victims they were as big of sinners as the molester and to forgive instantly and not talk about the molestation because that is gossip. Mohler is pretending there is nothing there. He thinks if he says the right things people won’t connect the dots. There is a lot of this type of thinking in Christendom.

    I could care less what Martin does or does not do because I don’t think his saying anything to Swanson will make one bit of difference. This is how Swanson makes his living. Sproul, too. I am amazed Martin thinks his words to them will make on bit of difference but perhaps talking about it here makes him feel better? I don’t get it at all. So his claiming to have been blindsided and now he cannot deal with the issues is a bit amusing to me.

    The only “solution” is for people to start analyzing all the teaching out there.Use the brains God gave us. Start to think everything through instead of always listening to the “authorities” one likes for whatever reason whether a pastor, evangelist or politician. Independent thinking is in short supply today. Many of us have been sucked by some charismatic leader, group or movement we think is the solution to something. It happens to many smart people. The question we must ask is why? Forget trying to rehab the charalatans. They will always find a stage somewhere. That is what they do.

    Like

  45. “I am amazed Martin thinks his words to them will make on bit of difference but perhaps talking about it here makes him feel better? I don’t get it at all. So his claiming to have been blindsided and now he cannot deal with the issues is a bit amusing to me. ”

    I honestly do not know if my words will make a difference. If they do, wonderful. If they do not, I will take action at Chalcedon. I am responsible for whatever circle of influence I might have, and that includes my work at Chalcedon. While Chalcedon could theoretically terminate me, I highly doubt that would be the case as the board is like-minded on matters of this type. A risk of termination wouldn’t stop me from proceeding, however, as I prefer to be able to look myself in the mirror in the morning.

    “…and now he cannot deal with the issues…”

    You must be reading distortions of my position at a website like, mm, this one. I never said I wasn’t going to deal with the issues, I repeatedly said I’m executing on my asserted plan regardless of what had happened. It’s okay if the rule here is “extend no common decency or courtesy to Martin, feel free to casually fabricate stories about him, or put words into his mouth he never said, he deserves nothing but the worst from us, we can congratulate one another for playing telephone with his words and IF he should happen to produce, we’ll take credit for goading him into it.” I think your collective cause is just, and I understand how defense mechanisms work, and that I’m stepping into this hot kitchen because it’s important to do it despite taking heat not only here from many of you, but from church leaders who don’t want me to even be here. And it’s that latter part that drives me to persist: to me, that is more a red flag than anything arising out of a community of people learning how to heal from spiritual abuse and help others who’ve suffered the same horrors.

    In other words, being slammed here by the members is the gnat, but being maligned by church leaders for being here is the camel. Being criticized here by the members is merely a personal attack motivated by mistrust that I can sympathize with. Criticism by church leaders for being here is motivated by something much much worse masquerading as something holy. Because of the latter, I accept the former as a necessary part of doing what’s right. Yes, each side demonizes the other, but one side is focusing on substance while the other is focusing on procedure (read: technicalities). One unfortunate thing about demonizing people: you collapse into a “two wrongs make a right” morality. Since we can’t wait for the effects of mistrust to go away first, we need to work within an atmosphere of mistrust to overcome that mistrust. So, while I strongly disagree with how my words and intentions are treated here, it’s not relevant to my purpose and not stopping me from going forward.

    So, I appreciate that (as Cindy K put it) the term “antinomian” is a loaded term that I shouldn’t use because it undercuts civility and respect. I also appreciate that loaded terms like “schmooze” can freely be applied to me without anyone objecting. Exactly: this playing field isn’t level, but it’s not level because of all the abuse rampant across Christendom that gave rises to websites like this, websites that try to reach out and help the victims of abuse while the church puts its fingers in its ears and goes la la la.

    But if you’re going to tell stories about me, at least get the basic facts right (light-hearted comment alert): I’ve never had a drink of coffee in my entire life. So, no sitting at Starbucks having coffee with Pastor Swanson: this is pure fiction. But at least it’s benign fiction.

    Like

  46. Cindy K,

    Apart from the obvious reason, I have an additional interest in pursuing the literacy question with Pastor Swanson. That is because the first time that I was on his program (talking about music), I made a fairly big deal about the crucial necessity of literacy. Since 1983, when my research on this matter was first being published, I was making the case that music literacy in children must be defined the same way it is for literacy in English. The child must be able to read and write music, just as he/she must be able to read and write cogent English. So, again I see a conflict between my persistent emphasis on how crucial literacy is (as promoted on his program) and quotes of his posted here that suggest an opposite orientation. Of course, I advocate for literacy quite apart from anything I said on his program, but what appeared on the program makes that contrast even starker.

    Like

  47. Regarding the Swanson/Sproul literacy comments…I understand wanting everyone to be literate, but I think this might be a case where we need to cut them some slack. Many public high school graduates aren’t literate. I think their comments address two issues: 1) homeschoolers shouldn’t be held to higher standards than public school students, and 2) godly character is more important than “academics”. Both of them make their living off of literate people and sell resources promoting literacy, so the notion that they don’t think literacy is important is ludicrous.

    If you asked them, “Do you think literacy is important?” do you think either of them would say “No.” I don’t think so. However, if you asked them, “Do you think there are things more important than literacy?”, I think both of them would say, “Yes” (and I would agree). Maybe they need a rebuke to tone down their rhetoric or explain more clearly what they’re trying to say in this regard, but I believe they deserve the benefit of the doubt (again, I understand people wanting to nail them for whatever they can, but I know how I would want to be treated, so I try, failingly, to treat others likewise).

    Like

  48. So, again I see a conflict between my persistent emphasis on how crucial literacy is (as promoted on his program) and quotes of his posted here that suggest an opposite orientation. Of course, I advocate for literacy quite apart from anything I said on his program, but what appeared on the program makes that contrast even starker.

    This has been interesting conversation between you two. I hadn’t read Swanson’s words on literacy that Cindy had mentioned before. Excellent points from both of you.

    Like

  49. TIA,

    I completely disagree with you, knowing the context of what was said. Swanson was speaking at a homeschooling conference to (men only) about how to properly homeschool their children. Sproul’s comment was in a book about how to properly approach homeschooling. These men make part of their livings by speaking in these venues to Christians who homeschool.

    Please clearly understand this: As I mentioned at the first, there was no commentary or admonishments to make sure that children have no organic health problems (such as vision or hearing deficits). There was no comment made nor distinctions made about children with learning disabilities or delays or how to address them. These were definitely not discussions encouraging parents to be patient with a child with learning problems to avoid condemning them and compounding the problem. These men were not encouraging parents of children with learning problems to be gracious with themselves as parents. These were general discussions, both of which indicated that it is okay and *not a problem of concern* if healthy, normal, intelligent children beyond elementary school age within their religious system cannot read.

    I believe that, to some extent, it was also an opportunity for these men to accentuate the idea of their alternate Christian society that has no need of Caesar which sometimes means the extreme of civil disobedience — just for the sake of it.

    It saddens me, especially thinking about it now in light of Bill Nye’s obsession with the idea that a belief in creation in terms of origins results in poorly educated adults who cannot compete in the world of science, and it will eventually painfully hurt our country as a whole. It seems to me that Swanson and Sproul prove his thesis well, just based on the things that they teach.

    Like

  50. There are at least three topics that I believe need exploring! I keep seeing other topics and haven’t made it back around to the initial ones.

    Martin,

    Perhaps the issue with reading highlights some of the question as to your motive for posting here. It is now clear that your assumption about Swanson was misinformed, and in the light of what many who post here already know about him, your advocacy of him was offensive. You seemed to assume that people participating here were sensationalizing things and exaggerating them, perhaps because the ideas are salacious. I think that you’re beginning to realize that perhaps some of these initial assumptions were wrong.

    I do not “follow” Swanson, and I’ve largely walked away from this topic to focus on the general problems associated with recovery from the tragedy of betrayal by a pastor (or the realization that a person bought into a spiritually abusive or aberrant religious system). In 2008, I did listen to podcasts wherein Swanson interviewed Geoffrey Botkin who only broke away from Jim McCotter’s abusive group in 2002 after decades of participation in his aberrant religious system. The only others I’ve listened to have been at the request of others who are confused. You would be brokenhearted, I know, if you knew how many people have told me that they’ve drawn the Christian faith into question because of the things that are said on his show. And this stuff is so hard to listen to because Swanson is so outrageous and hyperbolic that my husband has asked that I not listen to him (even with headphones) while he is home because of my reaction to it. He cannot stand to even listen to his voice/syntax because it is so overblown most of the time. My husband says that if it is absolutely necessary, I can certainly listen, but he’s happier when I don’t. Swanson is chronically that bad.

    I think that perhaps you have been duped into assuming a favorable opinion of Swanson, trusting the shortcuts of appearance (e.g., an OPC minister). Swanson, Einwecter, Morecraft, Botkin, Phillips, and others like them teach what I know that Rushdoony would strongly oppose and warned about. I used to believe that they just had some odd ideas that were Christian but were just misguided out of zeal. In late 2008, I dove into these teachings to study them (“multigenerational faithfulness” specifically) and I walked away with the opinion that these men, collectively, are teaching a different gospel. There are elements of theonomy with which I disagree, but I don’t believe that these men represent the basics of the Christian faith or theonomy properly — having nothing to do with doctrinal distinctions.

    It’s America and you can pray to a potted plant if you want. I really don’t care. But so much of what these men teach is destructive, and it harms many, particularly women. It goes far beyond wearing dresses or educational choice. I entered the discussion because I believe that one day, I will stand before Jesus, and I don’t want to hear him say that there were children that I could have helped and broken people who were wounded by ministers and deceived into error which fostered harm but did nothing.

    People need informed consent about these matters, and as Christians, we need to encourage other Christians (and hopefully the culture) about doing the right thing in the best way according to what God teaches in His Word. I don’t think that men like Swanson help that effort at all, and people actually need help and support getting liberated from his errors and the errors of those he supports.

    Like

  51. I entered the discussion because I believe that one day, I will stand before Jesus, and I don’t want to hear him say that there were children that I could have helped and broken people who were wounded by ministers and deceived into error which fostered harm but did nothing.

    Amen, sister! Preach it, no matter what Tony Miano says.

    People need informed consent about these matters, and as Christians, we need to encourage other Christians (and hopefully the culture) about doing the right thing in the best way according to what God teaches in His Word. I don’t think that men like Swanson help that effort at all, and people actually need help and support getting liberated from his errors and the errors of those he supports.

    “Informed consent” – interesting choice of words coming from someone with a medical background, but this is so true, Cindy. People do need spiritual informed consent. I love this concept. And so many times we walk into a situation without looking at the medical risks associated with taking the Swanson or Phillips or Wilson or Mahaney pills. Are we risking spiritual nausea, blood clots, heart failure, respiratory distress, or even DEATH? Yes, I believe so.

    Like

  52. Many of the comments put me in mind of that old Indian parable about an elephant. One person has their arms wrapped around the elephant’s food and says, “This is what the elephant is!” Another holds the ear of the elephant, and says, “No, this is what the elephant is — you’re wrong.” Etc, etc… We all have a unique perspective that differs from that of others, and that isn’t even accounting for the beliefs that shape how we perceive what we experience.

    I’m also reminded of how someone was sore that I criticized one of their favorite teachers, and they wrote to me to ask why I didn’t write at all about men like Joel Osteen.

    I make the most of what I’ve been given and what I believe that I will answer for one day. If the elephant’s foot is well within my realm, then that is what I will address, though it may not be the same as someone else’s perspective about a very large and often complicated topic. If I can affect change, it makes more sense to focus on the elephant’s foot than to put all my efforts towards the elephant’s ear, if the foot is well within my sphere of experience and influence. I’ve also found that timing is another part of things too. Sometimes people are not ready to hear about the elephant’s foot, and it takes time until those opportunities come.

    I put more of an effort towards helping survivors of spiritual abuse and into educating pastors about the needs of the abused by working with the Spiritual Save Haven Network as a part of their speakers bureau. Even that is new ground that I am helping to pioneer, and the opportunities are limited. I don’t have the authority, experience, training (and in many cases, the gender requirements) to teach pastors about how to respond to spiritual abuse within their churches or denominations, so I applaud the efforts of those who have those opportunities.

    The most surprising good feedback about what I’ve tried to do has come from atheists. (The chastisement and criticism has largely come from Christians who are upset about me rocking the cozy boat.) I’ve been able to develop relationships of respect with many atheists (whom I will call rabid at times) because I am willing to be honest and have tried to take responsibility for these problems in Christianity at large. Though many see my faith as a mental health problem, I have earned respect from them in terms of doing what I believe is right to help victims, particularly abused children.

    There are elements of Theonomy that I respect, though I reject others, and I respect the people who follow the belief system earnestly. I also respect and love honesty and accountabilty, especially among fellow Christians. If Martin can address a few of these problems and can be an agent of positive change, even in a small way, it helps Christianity. It then helps people — individuals and groups and even people outside of the faith, too. We are to be conformed to the image of Christ, but if we can’t even do that ourselves, no one helps us, and we take no responsibility for this as an ambassador for Christ, we’re not doing all that we need to do. Every step in the right direction is a good one. I pray that every step is a seed that will bring forth untold benefit that will bring nothing but glory and honor to God. The problem is that this is often messy, and we usually don’t see the fruit of it right away.

    Like

  53. Julie Anne,

    The issue of informed consent is paramount.

    I view the fringe of this Christian homeschooling stuff as a type of ideological totalism. The religious aspect of it is the ideology. The short hand definition of totalism is that the system requires compliance from followers in all areas of life all the time, and it must be internalized. The military is authoritarian, but when you’re on leave, you don’t have to follow the rules of conduct that you follow when you are on duty. What is required of people does not require conformity through total transformation of the person. We see that in the homeschooling movement, and if you don’t comply with all of the outward signs of compliance, the group will condemn you as a an apostate or a sinner who is alienated from God. You certainly do get alienated from the life of the religious group.

    These types of groups would not be able to recruit people if they gave them full informed consent up front about all of the rules and requirements they demand. There are so many and so many of them are social and focused on subtle behavioral conformity, they really can’t even write it all down. If they did, it would condemn them, most likely. Attitudes about women would definitely drive most away, so they can’t headline with that. They put the chubby cheeked, photoshopped happy kids in the forefront, along with a slice of wholesome, American pie. They don’t talk about how many of the people discussed here believe that some version of slavery is the only way to correct our nation’s current financial ills. I think that most people would decline the group if they knew the finer points.

    If you look at many of the histories of people who cycled through homeschooling, and if you talk to them, they will explain that the drastic stuff came after they were hooked in by the promises. The extremism came later, over time, and incrementally, but always with an ideological hook that this is what God needs, wants, and demands that you do, though this logic is often conveyed in a fuzzy way through implication and unstated assumption. They take you down a primrose path, then take you right to what they cast as the only possible “godly” choice. And people don’t even realize what has happened, over time and because of the undue influence imposed by religious authorities.

    The process disables your perspective as well as your moral engagement, because you just need to do what the authority says. These groups use fear like a choke chain. The eternal and the temporal fate of your children is at stake! Swanson is a fine example of one of these fearmongerers. Christians are supposed to have a spirit of love, power, and a sound mind, but they are habituated into vulnerability instead. They’re required to hand their critical thinking over to others in the name of submission in the process. Only the guru really has the answers through his special insight, his special knowledge, and his special connection to God.

    Most people would decline participation in such systems if they were given information about this up front in the beginning.

    Like

  54. Martin,

    Discussions via this type of media are limited, and it is hard to know what is going on sometimes. Many of the matters of discussion were unpleasant, and though one can often try to seem pleasant, quite often emotion shows through. I know that in that old thread, I drew attention to many of the most problematic issues concerning theonomy, and some of those were not addressed. I don’t know why and can only speculate.

    And sometimes communication can be complicated. I have several very detailed oriented friends, and depending on the subject at hand, I’ve explained to them that I often feel like I’m on a witness stand getting cross examined, both through questions and through comments. Sometimes they are long and confusing to me, partly due to their learning needs and how they need to order information that they communicate, and sometimes, it seems to me like too much information that strays from the germane subject at hand. Some of it is a mismatch of style, sometimes it’s the content. With one of these folks, I once said that they were litigious, because that’s how I felt — like I was a witness on the stand, and for whatever reason, this person that I love dearly felt like an attorney who was trying to trip me up. He and I negotiated about this, as he found the word “litigious” offensive, so we agreed that when this comes up from time to time, I should use the word “forensic.” When I use it, it tells him that we’re not communicating very well and why.

    In the event that a person feels offended or upset but doesn’t want to voice that, one way of venting their frustration can come through bloating or references to things that can be taken as offensive but with just enough wiggle room so that the person can claim that this is not what they meant. When this happens, the person is usually not inclined to admit what they’re doing and may not even recognize it.

    When this happens, I generally ask people what it is that they’re trying to convey. Particularly in a venue like this, it’s hard to tell, and it’s even harder to call people out on it. That’s why I ask. Sometimes it’s not worth bringing up, but when it affects how communication comes across, it’s worth negotiating, much like I did with my friend concerning the use of the word “forensic.”

I’ve pointed out in that older thread that Calvin was an attorney, so I think that his details tend to appeal to the same kinds of people with similar styles. I don’t share that style. If that’s where our disconnect is, then, that is fine. I just have seen it as a repeated problem in communication here, and I”m not sure of the source of it.

    I have another friend who seems to refuse to answer any question with a direct yes or no, and that’s frustrating as well. And I have another friend who loves to ask $10 questions but only wants 50 cent answers and gets frustrated. I have to negotiate with them, too, and communication is sometimes more work with them.

    We have a good opportunity here to address some things that have been longstanding problems, and I welcome that opportunity. I think that it’s worth the effort and I appreciate you taking the time to do it. I’m happy to chalk this up to style.

    Like

  55. ‘In other words, being slammed here by the members is the gnat, but being maligned by church leaders for being here is the camel. Being criticized here by the members is merely a personal attack motivated by mistrust that I can sympathize with. Criticism by church leaders for being here is motivated by something much much worse masquerading as something holy.”

    And this thinking is the problem. This is the Greek Pagan chain of being thinking that should have NOTHING to do with believers. We are servants and mutually submit to one another.

    You keep claiming you are being attacked but cannot explain why anything wrote here about Sproul should have any bearing on conversations you might have with Swanson on his bizarre teaching. Why would you care what Sproul thinks? What does one have to do with the other? And why would your talking to Swanson about his false teaching mean anything at all to us? Both are charlatans. They won’t do anything but perhaps say something publicly if their fame or income seems to be suffering. People need to get a grip on what they are.

    I understand why some here might be asking why you claim to be against Swanson’s teaching/beliefs then confused why you go on his program, etc. I can understand that.

    Like

  56. Cindy wrote:
    “These were general discussions, both of which indicated that it is okay and *not a problem of concern* if healthy, normal, intelligent children beyond elementary school age within their religious system cannot read.”

    I could be wrong, but I doubt that Swanson and Sproul would agree with that statement. I understand why you perceive it that way, and I think they definitely could explain more or clarify what exactly they are saying, but to take their statements that way would contradict much of their other teachings. I think this might be a case similar to the recent hubbub over Walter Block’s statement that “slavery wasn’t so bad.” On it’s face, it sounds reprehensible, but in context it is a perfectly acceptable statement, and his full body of work makes clear not only why he said that but why it is true (in context).

    I would liken these statements to some made by Jesus:
    Matthew 5:29-30
    “If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.”
    Matthew 19:24
    “Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
    Luke 14:26
    “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.”

    Was Jesus advocating that we tear out our eyes and cut off our hands? Was He saying that rich men cannot be saved? Are we really to hate our families? Or was He simply using those expressions to make a point?

    Do Swanson and Sproul really believe that it doesn’t matter if people are literate or not? Or are they simply trying to make a point about the relative importance of literacy? While Swanson and Sproul’s hyperbole and rhetoric are certainly over the top, I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. I also understand if you aren’t.

    Let me ask this. Do you believe literacy is more important than godly character? If you owned a business, would you rather hire a smart, lying thief, or an honest, trustworthy illiterate? Probably neither! In any case, I believe the Bible teaches that character comes before knowledge, and I think that’s all they were trying to emphasize. Not that literacy isn’t important, but that there are more important things. You do agree that there are things more important than literacy, right?

    Could they have done so in a better way? Undoubtedly. Could their remarks have horrific consequences by people taking them as you take them? No doubt.

    Sorry for rambling. I’ll stop for now.

    Like

  57. TIA,
    You can doubt it, but they said it. I did say in a blog post that I wrote about it several years ago that Spoul may have had learning disabilities in mind, as it does have a flavor that would fit a situation that discusses this problem perfectly. The problem is that he doesn’t make this distinction, but I am not as offended by that. And Sproul may say some stupid things sometimes, but he’s not hyperbolic. Swanson’s presentation was a whole different story. It was horrible.

    What they really believe? I have no clue.

    My issue with much of this concerns with making Christians a laughing stock and failure to educate children. Rushoony was a great advocate for both private Christian and homeschooling, and one of the reasons for it was the argument that these alternatives actually produce better, smarter students. We can and should be able to do it better than the world. It was not about hiding children away from “contamination with the world” in cloistered families. Rushdoony was concerned about preparing children to be able to go out and engage the world. He used to send out “armchair tapes,” and he talked about this at length in some of them. He warned against it.

    If the law requires us to give children a basic education, and we take that on as parents as our responsibility, then we have a duty to follow through with that. It is called home education, not home character training, not that they are mutually exclusive or anything. That’s an excellent benefit of homeschooling or private/parochial school. My point was that if these folks are the visionaries who are the people who tell other people how to homeschool, we’ve got some serious problems if this is the kind of advice that they give. Whether I or anyone else believes that godly character is more important than being able to read is not the point. That’s a whole other topic, as is the claim that there are kids in public school who cannot read. Both diminish and minimize the problem which I think is serious.

    Again, none of this had anything to do with hyperbole. It was what they taught about the Christian standard for homeschooling children. That standard seems to be that basic academic ability is not important. And that’s just wrong.

    Like

  58. Cindy,

    I agree that basic academic ability is important. I suspect both Swanson and Sproul would agree as well. I guess the real issue is the fact that what they said/wrote doesn’t reflect that, so you’re right that they need to be called out on it.

    Like

  59. “I could be wrong, but I doubt that Swanson and Sproul would agree with that statement. I understand why you perceive it that way, and I think they definitely could explain more or clarify what exactly they are saying, but to take their statements that way would contradict much of their other teachings. I think this might be a case similar to the recent hubbub over Walter Block’s statement that “slavery wasn’t so bad.” On it’s face, it sounds reprehensible, but in context it is a perfectly acceptable statement, and his full body of work makes clear not only why he said that but why it is true (in context).”

    TIA, History is replete with examples of horrors said by leaders that people simply did not believe it was what they really meant. Perhaps we should simply believe people? And with Swanson and Sproul. Why on earth not? Swanson believes there are dead fetuses in wombs of women who take birth control. Have you ever read Sproul’s Highland website? I read it years back and was appalled. Not good to be a woman in their movement. It would not surprise me a bit they don’t think it important for a young girl to be taught to read past a very low level. Recipes perhaps.

    It is not up to us to interpret for them. It is up to the ones who puts themselves out there as paid communicators to clear up any misunderstandings.

    Is it time to stop making excuses for wolves, hirlings and charalatans who make their living as public communicators?

    Like

  60. Swanson does mention ADHD here, but he also levels it and calls it “American Boy Disease.” That, to me, makes this apply to all boys and is a statement of repudiation of the problem of ADHD. They believe that it does not exist. Problems with ADHD are either bad parenting (failure to follow their paradigm) or sin.

    If you know this group of people, you know that they deny that there is any such thing as a mental health problem. They are only spiritual problems, and ADHD would be one of them. Part of that is because of the idea that the mind and the body are separate and the mind falls into the spirit realm. (This goes back to the dichotomous view that man is not spirit, soul/mind, and body which would be three parts, but that they are only two — only body and spirit/soul. That’s often espoused by Calvinists. They’re really reluctant to attribute any problem to an organic, functional brain problem or disease if it involves behavior because it is seen as behaviorism or naturalism or materialism or some other bad ism.)

    Any problem of behavior is considered spiritual and is never physical, according to the people who Swanson runs with, Voddie Baucham in particular. ADHD is an excuse to drug kids to make them zombies. They say that there is no such thing as a physical cause of a problem that concerns behavior. It’s all about sin.

    So let me further qualify my previous statement when I said that Swanson makes this statement and it’s not in dealing with learning disabilities. In context, it really wasn’t. It was all part of a rant about how the standards for reading are really imposed by an evil government system with which this group of people doesn’t believe that they need to comply. Nowhere in the Word of God does it say that a child must be able to read at 13. That makes illiteracy Biblical, I guess.

    Being free in Jesus is really about being free from government standards, and it’s okay to thumb your nose at the government. Many families in this movement do this. For example, many of them drive without licenses because they’ve arbitrarily decided that it’s none of the government’s business to say who can and can’t drive and when. I take that into consideration when discerning the meaning behind a lot of this. This was under the concept of Christian Liberty.

    For the record, ADHD is primarily a failure of the prefrontal cortex of the brain to profuse with blood to support function of that part of the brain. It is an empirical fact. The primary neurotransmitter that is active in this part of the brain is Dopamine which allows that part of the brain to work. Ritalin and drugs like it raise Dopamine in this part of the brain so that it can function — and it then does. (It’s the same principle behind why people take insulin if they have diabetes or thyroid hormone if their thyroid doesn’t work. If you have ADHD, Ritalin doesn’t make you high. It allows your body to function — a part of your body that just happens to be the brain.) How a person copes with the problems associated with the failure of the brain to work properly can certainly predispose a person to sin, but that is not what is behind the pathophysiology of ADHD.

    If you link to the webpage listed, Holtzmann designates Swanson’s statements and distinguishes them from his own using a different colored font.

    >>>>>

    http://johnscorner.blogspot.com/2009/05/chec-mens-leadership-summit_3596.html

    Having stressed the need for education to have practical implications, Swanson moved on to what he called the “Principle of Liberty” or “Principle of Individuality”:
    The Word of God says, “If the Son shall make you free, you will be free, indeed.” [John 8:36 –JAH] . . .

    Quote from Swanson:

    Guys, . . . [t]here is nowhere in the Word of God where we read a 12-year-old has got to be reading Aristotle. There is nowhere in the Word of God where it says a 13-year-old has got to be able to read.

    Parents that come to me and say, “Oh, Mr. Swanson, my little Joey is 9 years old, and he can’t read, and we have been bolting him to a desk, like the Department of Education tells us to, four compulsory hours, every single day, for 172 days out of every year, and he just sits there and he vibrates. He’s got ADD and ADHD and ABD – American Boy Disease – and everything else. What do I do?”

    I say, “Here’s what you do: when that little boy is young, you just let him go out and plow the fields with dad all day long. Let him fish for an hour in the afternoon. He can come home; you read to him a little bit and put him to bed. Do that until he’s 11-, 12-, 13-, 14-years old. And don’t give him any television, whatsoever. And don’t give him any of those drugs.

    “You come back to me when he’s 13-14 years old, and we’ll talk about whether he’s ready to learn how to read.”

    Okay, now. Is there anybody in this room, right now, that says, “Oh, that’s illegal! Oh, the Department of Education’s gonna come after us, now!”?

    No, brothers – if the Son will make you free, you will be free, indeed.

    You are the parent, here. You are the father and the mother. There’s nobody who knows that child and loves that child more than you do. So if you come to me and you say, “My little boy can’t read. He’s not ready to read until he’s 13. Yes, his little sister’s reading at 3.” –I say, “Great! Big deal about the little sister; that’s the way it is for her. She’s got gifts and talents and abilities that God has given her, and that’s just fine.”

    Like

  61. This is on my blog, but here’s what I stated in response to Sproul:

    >>>And I don’t know that this was not the case with the family that RC describes in his book, but he certainly made no effort to point out what the family did one way or the other. That could be an oversight (that RC did not make a point to explain that the family had worked hard and done all they could do to rule out an organic problem which explains why their nine year old can’t read), but one that I find a bit disturbing, setting a standard that this is acceptable (that a 9 year old homeschooled girl can’t read).<<<

    http://undermuchgrace.blogspot.com/2009/02/rc-sproul-jrs-take-on-multigenerational.html

    From Pages 110 – 112 of Sproul's "When You Rise Up"

    The mother made a confession to me. She told me, “You know, my nine-year-old daughter doesn’t know how to read.” Now here is a good test to see how much baggage you are carrying around. Does that make you uncomfortable? Are you thinking, “Mercy, what would the school superintendent say if he knew?” My response was a cautious, “Really?” But my friend went on to explain, “She doesn’t know how to read, but every morning she gets up and gets ready for the day. Then takes care of her three youngest siblings. She takes them to the potty, she cleans and dresses them, makes their breakfasts, brushes their teeth, clears their dishes, and makes their beds.” Now I saw her rightly, as an overachiever. If she didn’t know how to read, but did know all the Looney Tunes characters, that would be a problem. But here is a young girl being trained to be a keeper at home. Do I want her to read? Of course I do, as does her mother. I want her to read to equip her to learn the Three Gs. [From earlier in the book, he notes the "Three Gs": Who is God? What has God done? What does God require?] But this little girl was learning what God requires, to be a help in the family business, with a focus on tending the garden.

    I’m not suggesting that the goal is to have ignorant daughters. I am, however, arguing that we are to train them to be keepers at home. These two are not equivalent. Though we aren’t given many details we know that both Priscilla and Aquila had a part in the education of Apollos. I’m impressed with Priscilla, as I am with my own wife. She is rather theologically astute… My point is that that brilliance isn’t what validates her as a person. It’s a good thing, a glorious thing, and an appropriate thing. But it’s like the general principle we’ve already covered. Would I rather be married to a godly woman who was comparatively ignorant, or a wicked person who was terribly bright? Who would make a better wife and mother, someone who doesn’t know infra- from supralapsarianism, but does know which side is up on a diaper, or a woman about to defend her dissertation on the eschatology of John Gill at Cambridge but one who thinks children are unpleasant? It’s no contest, is it? Naturally we want everything. We want all the virtues to the highest degree. But virtues come in different shades and colors in different circumstances.

    Like

  62. TIA,

    This is also in light of the trend in homeschooling to take duties away from mothers (who are easily deceived and unable to really think all that much) and put them into the hands of the fathers under the idea of patriarchal ruling in the home and home discipleship. It’s the fathers who are now told that they must call the shots, and mothers are supposed to follow their superior and divine direction. (The Spirit ministers first to husbands, then he shares that with his wife, and she must follow his vision, even if she disagrees with it. It also implies that women are not lead by the Holy Spirit.) One of the big thrusts of this CHEC summit in 2009 was the taking of duties out of the hands of the wives and putting them into the hands of fathers where they always belonged. Mothers were actually usurping the authority of their husbands by doing so. These men, Swanson first among them, are leading the charge to make this right.

    It is so bad that some leaders in this group, Gregg Harris for one, teaches that men should find jobs that allow them to work from home so that they can be with their families to properly disciple their kids and to oversee their wives. It isn’t absolutely required, and they haven’t come out and said that it’s a sin to work away from home, however. There are also benefits: As a man and your own boss, you will not have to work for a woman. John Piper has said that if you are a man in a job that requires you to report to a woman supervisor, because of gender hierarchy, you should find another job that allows you to live a proper Biblical life.

    So in noting this stuff about what Swanson says about training sons, I also understand this as part of the “apprenticeship” mentality that says that everyone in their group should have jobs where they can take their kids and train them, and that other jobs aren’t really seen as Biblical. And these things are usually conveyed with fuzzy logic and unstated assumption, but if you really want to be seen as spiritual in these circles, these are the things that you should do.

    Like

  63. Lydia,

    “Perhaps we should simply believe people?”

    Okay, I’m at the Generations with Vision website. There’s Kevin Swanson, front and center, selling “Family Bible Study Series” and “Christian Curriculum Project” (among others). I suppose you could argue that the Bible Study Series is for adults (although there is a kid’s version of Proverbs for nine-year-olds), but the curriculum is clearly for children and it consists of heavy reading of Christian classics. Say what you want about Swanson, but he obviously doesn’t really believe that literacy isn’t important–it would destroy his whole business model!!!

    I think Swanson (who is big on rhetoric) simply made an over the top statement to make a point. If you want to say that what he said is wrong and needs to corrected, okay. But to suggest that he really doesn’t believe in the importance of literacy strains credulity.

    BTW, if anyone’s looking for some Vision Forum products, it looks like he’s got plenty of them for sale. Okay, bad joke. I just needed something to lighten up a little. Seriously, though, instead of discounting them, it looks like he marked them up even higher than what VF sold them for. Maybe they’re becoming collectibles? I thank the Lord that we’re too cheap to have ever bought much of that stuff.

    Like

  64. Okay, I think I’ve gone on long enough. Thanks for the responses. Maybe I’m too trusting or willing to give the benefit of the doubt. I know that I say things myself sometimes that could easily be misconstrued, so maybe that’s why I’m trying to cut them some slack. I guess one big difference is that I’m not a public figure teaching others, because teachers face stricter judgment (James 3:1).

    Like

  65. You know, if you’re a leader in homeschooling, and you’re speaking at a conference, and you’re going to broach this topic, whether you have a religious opinion about ADHD or not, learning disorders are considered problems to which parents need to attend. If you have a child with a medical problem and you fail to get them treatment, you’re guilty of medical neglect, you’re in trouble. If that medical issue (consider a vision problem, if that’s less controversial) prevents a child from learning how to read, that is serious. In some states, perhaps all of them, this is reportable and you could have CPS in your living room questioning how you care for your children and how you manage their medical and their learning needs.

    When talking to fathers, Swanson made no mention of health problems or showing the State a good example so that Christians can be above reproach. He showed no concern about the learning needs or problems that children often have. he said the opposite, in my estimation.

    And you know, if this were not a problem within this community, I wouldn’t care either. But there’s a trend within many families who bought into the “character first” concept. They made academics, required by law, last if they are even priorities at all for their children. Many families do well with their first few children, but after baby five or so, the kids end up fending for themselves. The kids who come later get barely any training, and it’s not for lack of ability or because of learning problems. Their parents are completely focused on cranking out babies and worrying about gender roles and how their older ones do courtship, because that’s the focus that is driven by these religious groups who promote homeschooling.

    Some families do an excellent job, and their kids read latin and ace the SAT, and they get right into college and even get scholarships. But there is a population of people who have children that only know how to wash the dishes and stack firewood, and that’s all that’s really important.

    I’m not upset about this because of a careless statement at a meeting. I’m upset because there are all kinds of kids out there who can’t read and eighteen year olds who don’t understand what fractions are, let alone what multiplication is. Their parents are the ones who listen to Swanson telling them that it’s okay that their kids can’t read at 13, and they feel validated. And if their educational needs and their health needs are being neglected, then that puts not only that child at risk but the liberties that too many people take for granted.

    And if this kind of thing that Swanson presented also included an admonishment to rule out health problems or to seek out assistance, then it would be different. But that’s not what he does. His whole philosophy is one of xeophobia and “liberty” which doesn’t seek to show unbelievers that Christians can educate their kids well. It’s more about thumbing one’s nose at the government because God’s law is better, and their group is a cut above the wicked heathen (which includes many Christians). In fact, I’m going to get labeled as the enemy of homeschoolers by many who read this, when my motivation is exactly the opposite. It’s this carelessness that puts the whole of homeschooling at risk.

    Like

  66. Thanks Cindy. You make very good points. I guess I’m just too responsible to take Swanson at face value, so maybe I have trouble seeing how others could. Our children learned to read at 4/5 years of age, but I know that many children don’t until they are older. I am much more prone to being legalistic so I think that’s another reason for why I’ve been responding how I have. Also, in the circles we’re in, the tendency is more toward Latin than illiteracy, so I’m probably a bit blind to the problems that are out there. We’re looked down on by some homeschooling friends because our children don’t know Latin–after all, it’s essential for any education that’s worth the name! 😉

    Thanks for bearing with me, and thanks for your concern for the children. Hopefully explaining a bit more of where I’m coming from helps you to understand.

    Let me part with a true story of which I was a witness in a public high school classroom (in an affluent city with good schools). Teacher asks student the answer to 4 x 2. Student punches 4 x 2 into calculator. Student doubtfully answers, “8?” You’re right that Christians need to “show unbelievers that Christians can educate their kids well.” The bar is so low that it shouldn’t be difficult.

    Like

  67. “think Swanson (who is big on rhetoric) simply made an over the top statement to make a point. If you want to say that what he said is wrong and needs to corrected, okay. But to suggest that he really doesn’t believe in the importance of literacy strains credulity.”

    Sorry but I have come across way too many women in their 20’s who escaped from that movement who cannot read past 6th grade level to not be concerned. Many of them had never been to an oy/gyn either. It is a sicko world. And most them had not been taught to drive either. Their lot was to stay home, serve their father until the approved man came to ask permission to court them. No serious education, no college, nothing. They have NO skills at all. They will be totally dependent on someone unless they escape and work hard.

    I personally think we should believe them when these charlatans speak whether it makes sense or not to you. Most of them make no sense once you really start digging in. CJ Mahaney kept telling us he was the biggest sinner he knew. Yet qualified by God to be the authority over all SGM churches. We should have believed him about the sin part long ago.

    The BEST cure for all this is to stop following gurus. Stop giving them money or even credibility by any defense. They are Pharisees who deserve your ire because they put heavy burdens on people in the Name of our Savior.

    Like

  68. “We’re looked down on by some homeschooling friends because our children don’t know Latin–after all, it’s essential for any education that’s worth the name! ”

    Oh, I run across this ALL the time. And not from fundy’s. But liberal rich Christians who have their kids in classical latin schools here. No poor fat kids need apply.

    Like

  69. Lydia – If it’s any consolation, my kids learn no Latin in the 10 years that I homeschooled. They’re just your typical “average” kid. And I can’t be any prouder of them!

    Like

  70. Lydia seller of purple said:”The BEST cure for all this is to stop following gurus. Stop giving them money or even credibility by any defense. They are Pharisees who deserve your ire because they put heavy burdens on people in the Name of our Savior”.
    Amen to that!!
    These people who run around giving themselves airs, & then they tell other folks to just follow after them….. As my beloved grandmother would have said, “Say!! I only follow after the Master, & there is only ONE Master, & you aren’t Him!”
    That is where the rub is. These men set themselves up as a law unto themselves. Well, they need to shut up, & get down on their knees and repent. Not be trying to run the lives of the rest of us. And not calling us names that are untrue, either. (Mind you, I have to laugh at the picture of Swanson, calling names that he can’t even pronounce, & thinking I would ever take his pathetic advice on how to educate children.

    Like

  71. Lydia/Cindy/others,

    I get what you’re saying about young men who can’t read, drive, etc. I haven’t experienced/witnessed any of that first hand, so I guess that’s why I’m not “getting it.” I do want to understand and support people in those situations. It’s just so far from my experience that I need people “telling it like it is” here so that I can grasp what goes on outside my own little world. There are plenty of problems in my world, but that isn’t one (that I’m aware of).

    Okay, so let me ask a question. Hopefully this doesn’t come across the wrong way. What is the difference between people who think everyone should know Latin and others who simply believe everyone should have basic reading, writing, etc.? I guess another way of putting it is: Who gets to decide what the “right” standards should be? What is the difference between someone setting minimum academic standards and someone setting standards for all of life ala Gothard? On the one hand, we shouldn’t follow “gurus/leaders”, but on the other hand, who can rightfully set standards for education (or anything else)? Okay, that was a few questions. I’m sure the answers are obvious, but I’m a bit ignorant and trying to figure it out. Thanks for your help.

    Like

  72. TIA,

    I think you’re missing the point on a couple of matters.

    The young men I mentioned can and do drive. Because contingents of this group are so anti-government, they don’t believe that they need to get licensed. That is why I said that they thumb their nose at the government instead of encouraging Christians to be model citizens. The theme of Swanson’s talk was Christian and individual liberty, claiming that when you are a Christian, you are subject to God’s superior law, and to them, that means that they don’t necessarily have to follow it.

    It is true, though, that some people within pockets in the larger movement do not permit their daughters to drive. Some say this is because of the gender stereotypes, and some claim that it is because you cannot leave an unmarried woman unattended, or she will get raped like Dinah in the Old Testament. I made the distinction between boys and girls because the movement treats them differently because of gender.

    And concerning the issue of the statements these men have made about basic primary education, I brought them up because I think that they are encouraging Christians to dismiss the importance of academics. They claim that they are ministers, and they are leaders in homeschooling who tell parents about the right ways to homeschool. Their movement harps and harps on the evils of child protective services, but rather than encouraging parents to be exemplary so that no one would have cause for complaint, they do the opposite. What these men teach, without further qualifying what they really mean, makes light if not condones neglect. Without any mention of learning disabilities or health problems, encouraging a parent to dismiss illiteracy as tolerable because any standard from the government is basically evil, then they’re potentially giving CPS cause to nail them on multiple counts of neglect.

    It’s worse in terms of religion because evangelical Christians (and the Bible) have traditionally taught daily Bible reading as an essential part of Christian growth — particularly Protestants who identify with the Reformation. Paul taught that if you are a slave and you have the opportunity to be free, you should do all that you can to free yourself. We are told to study to show ourselves approved. If they were arguing that a person need only to read well enough to read the Bible, that would make sense. That is anything but what they said. Particularly for girls, Sproul said that it was just as important (perhaps more basic and important?) if girls just have domestic work mastered.

    My interest is in the principles they’re teaching. The subject of what minimum standards should be is another matter. If I were to have an opinion, I’d first need to see the research pertaining to the issue, even if I’m just commenting on a blog because I think it is a very important matter but not within my expertise. (That said, I once read that newspapers were written at a fifth grade level, and adults are their primary audience. That seems to be as good of a general standard as any.)

    Like

  73. Cindy,

    I think we’re talking past each other. One problem was a typo on my part. I meant “young women who can’t read, drive, etc.” Let me try to rephrase my questions.

    How should we balance the fact that there are differences between and boys and girls and among all individuals with regard to intellectual abilities, learning styles, etc., with some sort of minimum standards? Obviously some people will never reach even the minimum standards due to physiological infirmities, but who should decide who needs to meet the standards and who doesn’t? Government standards/regulation are a one-size-fits-all approach with all kinds of inherent problems.

    I agree with you that Christians should be better educated than the general population as a general rule, but the problem is how to relate that to individual situations. Many public high school graduates are illiterate. Should those public schools be shut down? Should the teachers/parents be put in jail? Why should homeschool parents worry about facing a visit from the CPS when the public schools don’t? Again, maybe part of my problem is that I can’t even conceive of someone not wanting their children to have at least a basic education.

    I think another part of where I’m coming from is due to discussions I’ve had with atheists. They want all children to have a basic education too, but of course their “basic education” doesn’t include God. I believe that a basic education begins with God first, and then includes reading, writing, etc.

    I agree that a basic education is part of Christian growth. Both Swanson and Sproul encourage Bible reading/study, so obviously they do as well. I guess that’s even more of a reason for them to correct their teachings which seem to contradict that.

    Like

  74. TIA

    You write @ FEBRUARY 25, 2014 @ 1:17 PM…

    “I get what you’re saying about titles and leaders,”
    **Yup, NOT one Disciple called themself, or had the Title, pastor/leader. Or, Senior Pastor, Lead Pastor, Executive Pastor, Reverend, Right Reverend, Most Holy Right Reverend, Cardinal, Pope, His Holiness, And On, and On, and… Titles, Titles, everywhere, except for His Disciples… Except in the Bible… 😦

    “but what do you think 1 Tim 3. and Titus 1 are talking about?”
    **I have some ideas but nothing definite. I will admit that I did NOT meet those tuff Qualifications when I was ordained.

    “I know many pastors/elders… who don’t meet the qualifications,”
    **Me too. And when they do NOT meet them, they “Ignore” or “Twist.” But, If they do NOT meet these tuff qualifications? Shouldn’t they remove themselves and be a good example to His Flock? BUT – Will they? And walk away from the power, profit, prestige, honor, glory, recognition, reputation, that comes with being known as a pastor/elder/overseer? 😉

    “but obviously Paul believed that some people did, thus his instructions.”
    **Well, maybe? Maybe NOT?

    Seems God has always tested and proved His People. God tested Abraham… Gen 22:1. God proved the Israelites in the wilderness. Exodus 16:4, The Psalmist, was proved, tried. Psalm 66:10-12. What if these Qualifications are a Test, a Proving, of someone’s “Integrity?” Why would someone claim to be an elder/overseer if they do NOT qualify? Would they be lacking in “Integrity?’

    “How do those passages apply to us today?”
    **Today, These passages help us, WE, His Ekklesia, His Sheep, His Disciples, to know, discern, them who labour among us, who call themself pastor/leader/elder/overseer to see if they Qualify. It gives WE, His Sheep, a standard for these wanna-be elder/overseers, so WE, can know if they Qualify.

    1 Thess 5:12 KJV
    And we beseech you, brethren,
    to *know them (*know= perceive, notice, discern, discover.)
    which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;

    I also found, in the Bible, some additional tuff Qualifications…
    Most today, who want to hire a pastor/elder, or be a pastor/elder, “Ignore.”

    Like

  75. TIA

    Here are some other qualifications I found for pastor/elders…
    To protect me, and the other Sheep that have suffered with Abuse.

    I now recommend to wounded folks, ALL folks: Before trusting a “Mere Fallible Human” who claims “Special Authority from God.” And, if you must Go someplace, take your time, even years, these guys are crafty. Elders are to be “examples” to “His Flock.” 1 Pet 5:3. Observe the example of the pastors/elders/overseers, take your time, and ask yourself and ask them…

    Are these elder/overseers living examples to His Flock, of…
    1 – NOT lording it over “God’s heritage?” 1 Pet 5:3 KJV
    2 – Lowliness of mind? Phil 2:3 KJV
    3 – Esteeming others “better” than themselves? Phil 2:3 KJV
    4 – Submitting “One to Another?” Eph 5:21 KJV, 1 Pet 5:5 KJV
    5 – Prefering others before themselves? Rom 12:10 KJV
    6 – NOT “exercising authority” like the Gentiles?” Mark 10:42-43.
    7 – Being clothed with humility? 1 Pet 5:5 KJV
    7 – Humility – Dictionary – a modest or low view of ones own importance.

    In my experience, the number of pastor/elder/leader/reverends; Who actually teach, and practice these 7. Who practice “Submitting one to another. Who are “Clothed with humility” haveing “a modest, low view of ones own importance,” is very Small… Infinitesimal… 😉

    Maybe that’s why, the only “ONE” in the Bible,
    Who called Himself, or had the “Title/Position,” Shepherd/Leader – Is…

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    Like

  76. TIA,

    I think that we really are talking past one another.

    I never intended to take this subject off track into a discussion of how to establish educational standards. My point was that of irresponsible statements made by Swanson, a notable theme of this thread. I’m engaged here because of the subject of spiritual abuse, Theonomy and the confusing messages that Chalcedon sends regarding their stance on men like Swanson/Sproul.

    Some of these other subjects may be interesting, but they were never my focus. They are important, but the are outside of my interest (not something I would take time to comment on because there are far more interested people who are far better informed on the subject than me). There are tons of forums and such related to homeschooling who explore these very issues, especially the complicated, controversial, and ever changing relationship of homeschoolers with CPS. I’m only interested in the issue of the abuse/neglect of children.

    Like

  77. A. Amos Love,

    Thanks again for your comments. I’m part of a fellowship which does have volunteer elders, but no paid “pastor” or anything of the like. People will seek out counsel from wise, older believers, including, but definitely not limited to, the elders. Different men preach each Sunday (not just the elders). Generally, “the elders”, are not held in any greater regard than what they rightfully deserve for their labors. They have, on rare occasions, put someone out of the fellowship for false teaching, or temporarily put someone out for sexual immorality (that person repented and was restored).

    I would say that, in general, they do meet the qualifications. Not in the sense of being perfect, but as the qualifications themselves state, being “above reproach.” Of course, as you point out, Jesus is the only One who truly meets the qualifications, and ultimately our hope and trust is in Him. That’s not to say that we don’t appreciate the help we get along the way from various parts of His body. 🙂

    Like

  78. Cindy,

    I guess to sum up, yes, Swanson and Sproul do need to be held accountable for their statements. Sorry about dragging this on so long. The discussion has helped me in my own thinking, so I appreciate the interaction.

    Like

  79. TIA

    Seems like you are part of an interesting “Fellowship.”
    “I’m part of a fellowship which does have volunteer elders, but no paid “pastor” or anything of the like.”

    And I also try to use the word “Fellowship” and NOT “church,”
    In reference to where I gather with other believers.

    IMO – Today, the word “Church” is often mis-used and mis-understood.

    And, I do “appreciate the help we get along the way from various parts of His body. 😉

    Like

  80. Oh, and TIA…

    For someone who is in, or looking for, a “church.” Or, a pastor/leader…

    I’ll ask them to have the courage to ask these pastor/elder/leaders about those 7 qualifications,. And I recommend asking this pastor/elder, Face to Face. Because, if these Pastor/Elders do NOT like you asking these questions about “Submitting on to another” or being “clothed with humility” they already fail the “Submitting on to another” and “Being clothed with humilty” part. 😉

    So, Run. Run for your life. – and – If you’re afraid to ask about these simple qualifications face to face – Well – run for your life. 😉

    Just imagine mentioning these verses to any
    “Senior Pastor/Leader/Elder/Overseer” today?
    And saying to them….

    If it’s okay with you? I’d like to get to “Know You” a little better. As I’m asked to do in 1 Thess 5:12 KJV? Before I consider you to be a Qualified pastor/elder.

    If it’s okay with you? I’d like to see if you are actually “watching over my soul,” in good times and in bad times. As you’re supposed to be doing in Heb 13:17, when you promote yourself as the leader to be obeyed of Heb 13:17? That might take some time, I’m NOT sure how long. I want to see how you react if I ever dis-agree with you. Will you be clothed with humility? Having a low view of ones own importance? And Qualify to be a pastor/elder? 😉

    If it’s okay with you? I’ll also need some time to see if you match up with this list of 7 every-day Qualifications for WE, His Ekklesia, His Sheep, His Disciples, that I have for who Qualifies to be a pastor/elder/overseer.

    You see, God has asked me to “Follow Jesus” and to “Trust Him.” And I am warned in the Bible, again and again, NOT to “Trust” in man. Because the Bible says, if I trust in a “Mere Fallible Human” I will most likely be cursed.

    Jer 17:5
    Thus saith the LORD;
    Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm…

    Psalm 118:8-9
    It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.
    It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.

    2 Peter 2:3
    And through covetousness shall they with feigned words
    make merchandise of you:

    Yeah – Lots of guys with fancy words and “Titles,”NOT found in the Bible,
    makin merchandise of His Sheep. 😉

    Jer 50:6
    “My people” hath been “lost sheep:”
    **their shepherds** have caused them to *go astray,*

    1 Pet 2:25
    For ye were as *sheep going astray;*
    BUT are now returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

    I’m Blest… I’ve returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of my soul…

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    Like

  81. A. Amos Love,

    Thanks again. I still remember the first time someone asked me where I “fellowship”. It was like the more common question, “Where do you go to church?”, but the word “fellowship” really caught my attention. It was kind of jarring. Like, who is this weirdo? Why the bizarre language? I have come to understand and greatly appreciate “fellowship” instead of “church”.

    To take a page out of your stylebook:
    Fellowship => we’re in this together.
    Church => I’m in charge, listen to me.

    Great questions for a pastor/leader/elder/church. I’ll have to keep those in my pocket for appropriate occasions.

    Like

  82. “Yeah – Lots of guys with fancy words and “Titles,”NOT found in the Bible,
    makin merchandise of His Sheep. ;-)”

    On that note, I was recently at a large, conservative, evangelical church that has been around for 150 years (any guesses?). After the meeting, “the pastor” was signing his books in the bookstore in the church. I got a couple (that’s not a sin, right?), and even had him sign them (okay, maybe that was, but please don’t judge me 😉 ). Anyway, in the course of all that I was separated from the rest of my family and instead of being able to simply rejoin them in the bookstore, I was forced to exit and go all the way around again. When I got back into the bookstore, I looked over where the “pastor” was and noticed something that I had only heard about a month or two earlier. There was security all around him! Not obvious “security guards”, but there were 7 or more people forming a perimeter wall/barrier around the table where he was signing.

    This man has been the pastor there for 35 years and has written many good, helpful books in addition to his preaching. Anyway, what’s the right balance? I don’t know enough this particular individual to make a judgment, but obviously there are some people who dedicate their lives to serving the Lord and deserve our support, while others are just in it for the money (or worse). The same is true of foreign missionaries as well. Some are laying down their lives, both figuratively and literally, while others are enjoying a free ride at the expense of unaware believers.

    I think one thing that has helped us is that we’re cheap, so we almost never give to ministries or buy the latest books, etc. Now having said that we’re cheap, we’re also very generous with friends and people we know personally. And perhaps that’s a big part of the answer. We regularly give meals, clothes to local people that we know are in need. Maybe if everyone did more of that instead of supporting the “big ministry leaders”, everyone would be better off.

    Like

  83. TIA, and isn’t it interesting that there are good foreign missionaries in many unstable and dangerous places and they don’t have security guards. One might assume that in the US people are constantly being killed for God.

    The cost for just one guard is beyond what missionaries are allowed. And they wouldn’t have them, anyway, knowing it is counterproductive to the message of Christ.

    CEOs of transnat corps and banks use guards—with their bad behavior and all, they have some excuse. Political leaders for same reasons, plus there are always a few crazies drawn to that much power. So why for US Christian leaders? Looks to me like paranoia birthed from egocentrism. Looks to me like church members are paying for plain old cowardice.

    Pffft.

    Like

  84. “Do you wonder why people don’t just contact the authorities? See the following:
    http://www.lewrockwell.com/2014/02/william-norman-grigg/a-fascist-gulag/
    The “solution” is often worse than the “problem”.”

    TIA, I hope you have read me long enough to know that I am small goverment libertarian all the way because the more power they have over money, the more power they have to micromanage our daily choices in the most minute ways. I cannot stand the predator huge corporations NOR the predator huge government who is here to “serve” you by picking your pocket bare while inflations is eating us alive.

    With that in mind, just a few thoughts about the link above:

    From the article:

    “The original evaluation called for outpatient therapy through SANE Solutions,” David points out. “However, at the hearing [counselor] Larry Overholzer discouraged us from seeking outpatient treatment, insisting that what he called an`in-patient’ approach would be better.”

    So many people (including me) are so ignorant of our byzantine government system and how it works. We must educate ourselves in order to even begin to try and start fixing it from the inside. I have found talking to those who con the system, the police and even judges are excellent sources of education concerning how the system works.Nor talking to lawyers who have another agenda. I

    You will not learn this stuff reading statutes. I am astonished at what they know that never would have occured to me. Those who play by the rule and do not delve deep into definitions for state/federal positions are going to be run over. (Try to work out what “joint custody” means in practice other than the lawyers explanation because few judges award sole custody. It is a nightmare for so many single moms).

    it sort of reminds me of the Soviet Union and how people had to try to figure out what they could get by with and where they were in the pecking order to get by with anything! You go into any situation like your link without really becoming educated and you will be run over pronto. This is something I deal with when it comes to poor single moms and the court system. Oh my. It is horrible. And the courts don’t care. It is survival of the fittest and those who make the most noise and are most cantankerous usually, win. That is what big government brings us.

    With that said, NO ONE can guarantee the boy in that article would NEVER be a predator to his brothers and sisters. His MMD does not let him off the sexual pervert/ predator hook, either. What he did should be taken VERY seriously by the parents. In fact, they should never have left him alone with them because of the MMD. Why did they not know of it if he was already 14? That is negligence right there. And why leave him home to “babysit”?

    I think they did the right thing to have daughter examined. And not sure what they would expect…I am not from the wing of life that says “oh all kids experiment” and no big deal. That is SGM talk. That is how they deal with teen predators. That is how they deal with the VALUE of innocent children.

    I tell my kids that is so private/personal that if anyone ever suggests a thing or touches in any way to kick them , run, scream, etc. They are valuable and NOT to be “experimented” upon by other kids/teens/adults. It IS a big deal because THEY ARE VALUABLE and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.. Sorry.It is not like what happened to that 6 year old sister in the story being told by a “big brother” to take off her clothes is NO big deal. IT IS. It is sick.She deserves to know it is a big deal and horrible thing he did to her even if she loves and misses her brother. The bigger principle of HER and her brothers worth are at stake here.

    Like

  85. Lydia,

    Yes, I definitely appreciate another small government libertarian perspective here. Most people don’t realize how the system (government, big corporations (including retailers, healthcare, military, etc.), banks, etc.) is set up to favor the rich and well-connected over against “the little guy”.

    What I find particularly sad is that many of the people in “the system” (teachers, social workers, doctors/nurses, policemen, business managers, etc.) really have good and genuine motives. They don’t even realize how “the system” may be working against them. I remember reading once that every law passed by the government has the exact opposite effect of what the law’s title states (eg. Patriot Act, Affordable Care Act, etc.).

    Okay, back to the case at hand. Yes, I agree that what the young man did does need to be taken seriously. The parents obviously thought so too. The problem is that “the system” is designed to take what are indeed real problems and turn them into even bigger problems so that they can keep on “fixing” them.

    This is true in the “correctional” system, as in this case, but also in many other areas as well, such as “healthcare”. The big pharmaceutical companies don’t really want to cure cancer, diabetes, etc. because that would destroy their revenue streams. So instead they “manage” pain and get diabetes under “control”. Blah.

    And don’t even get me started on non-profits like the American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen, etc. The following about Breast Cancer Awareness Month is very enlightening: “NBCAM was founded in 1985 as a partnership between the American Cancer Society and the pharmaceutical division of Imperial Chemical Industries (now part of AstraZeneca, producer of several anti-breast cancer drugs).”

    Okay, enough about that. As you no doubt can see, I’m very cynical/skeptical about certain things. However, I’m also very positive/optimistic, because I know Jesus. Man will fail and disappoint, but He never will.

    Like

  86. I almost completely forgot about this one.

    Martin, you might find this interesting, too. I think that in addition to being elitist (not unlike the many statements that Bill Gothard made about his ATI homeschoolers), though Sproul writes the disclaimer that the lifestyle is secondary, I think that he’s arguing here that it’s the actual education aspects of homeschooling are secondary. Remember that this is the guy who once contributed with Doug Phillips to the writing of an statement that declared anything other than homeschooling to be a sin.

    Just makes you want to be a “movement homeschooler,” doesn’t it? If you’re not doing this as part of an overall lifestyle, you’re not really doing it the Biblical way.

    http://rcsprouljr.com/blog/the-kingdom-notes/resemble-remark-tale-homeschooling-groups/

    There is, in evangelical homeschooling circles, a growing divide. On the one side there are those of us who might be called movement homeschoolers. We homeschool because we believe it to be the Biblical choice, not because we merely prefer it. We tend to adopt many of the secondary lifestyle issues related to homeschooling, lots of children, modest dress, husbands as the heads of their homes, courtship, denim jumpers. On the other side are a different bunch of folks. These typically are homes where moms see homeschooling as a choice, an arena wherein they can excel by helping their children excel. The former are driven by issues of conviction, the latter by more practical matters. The former, as a rule, tend to be more prickly, the latter more care-free.

    Like

Thanks for participating in the SSB community. Please be sure to leave a name/pseudonym (not "Anonymous"). Thx :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s