Doug Phillips & Vision Forum, Doug Wilson, Failure to Report Crimes, Homeschool Movement, Ken Ham, Learn to Discern, Lourdes Torres vs Doug Phillips lawsuit, Patriarchal-Complementarian Movement, Reconstructionist-Dominion Movement, Scott Brown, Sexual Abuse/Assault and Churches, Vision Forum, Women and the Church

Queen Bees of Homeschooling Stacy McDonald and Kelly Crawford Don’t Like the “Victim” Word in the Lourdes Torres-Manteufel vs. Doug Phillips Lawsuit


Well-known homeschooling moms Kelly Crawford and Stacy McDonald comment regarding the “victim” word with regard to the Lourdes Torres-Manteufel vs. Doug Phillips lawsuit.


Doug Wilson comments as follows regarding Doug Phillips’s sexual sins against Lourdes Torres-Manteufel:

Doug Wilson, Doug Phillips lawsuit, Lourdes Torres-Manteufel Screen Shot 2014-04-21 at 9.20.41 PM


(Trigger warning for survivors of victimization by sexual abuse or assault, and/or spiritual abuse.) There has been a heated discussion at Doug Wilson’s blog on an article entitled Vice, Victims, and Vision Forum.

Wilson discusses why he thinks Lourdes Torres-Manteufel should not be called a “victim,” that it is prejudging the case to do so, especially because she was an adult when the sexual incidences occurred.

Here is this classic response from Wilson – someone who has no clue as to how sexual abuse victims respond:

But if his attentions were entirely unwelcome to her, and she was freaked out by the creepster, then we have to ask why she wasn’t down the road at the first opportunity — that night or the next morning — with Doug Phillips receiving notification of her opinion of what transpired via the sound of sirens. That’s not what happened, on anyone’s account, and so I don’t think we should identify her as a victim.

Presently there are 163 comments. I found the comments that affirmed Wilson’s stance repulsive – just as repulsive as this: The Real Doug Wilson Encouraged & Presided Over the Marriage of Serial Pedophile.

I think what was most infuriating to me were the comments from well-known women who are part of Christian Patriarchy Movement. Let’s start with Kelly Crawford. In a few days, she will be speaking fairly near me at a homeschooling conference. Look at the lineup of Patriarchs: Ken Ham, R.C. Sproul, Jr., Scott Brown, Israel Wayne, Marshall Foster. Doing a simple Google search of Doug Phillips’ name with any one of these men will yield multiple results and their connections together in “ministry” work.


Kelly Crawford, Scott Brown, Israel Wayne, Ken Ham


I couldn’t find much of a bio on Kelly. She is a homeschooling mom of 10. She is a speaker and blogger who once had Vision Forum affiliate ads on her blog’s sidebar. Let’s read what she has to say on Lourdes as “victim”:

Kelly Crawford, Lourdes Torres-Manteufel, Doug Phillips lawsuit Screen Shot 2014-04-21 at 9.13.31 PM

Kelly Crawford

April 18, 2014 at 2:58 pm

And finally, I breathe a big sigh of “amen” for the first, that I’ve read, of real discernment over the situation, and a wise call to hold adults responsible instead of perpetuating a “victim” culture. [Emphasis added.]

Since the first pieces started popping up on the scandal, I’m saying, “why is she a victim?” We are talking, by the way, about a confident, assertive young woman and *nothing* like the mousy allusions I’ve read. Don’t ask me how I know.

“We cannot accuse Vision Forum of treating all women like little girls, and then turn around and treat all women as little girls who can’t be expected to say no to a cad at Vision Forum.” [JA note: This sentence she quotes is from Doug Wilson’s article.]

I can’t thank you enough for saying this.


Here are two more comments on Doug Wilson’s article from another well-known woman in Christian Patriarchy Movement, Stacy McDonald. (Incidentally, this week her husband, Teaching Elder – another way of saying “pastor” in family-integrated churchesJames McDonald has jumped on the popular defend-the-Patriarchy bandwagon with his own article, The “P” Word.)


Stacy McDonald, Doug Phillips lawsuit, Lourdes Torres-Manteufel Screen Shot 2014-04-21 at 9.16.30 PM

Thank you, Pastor Wilson! You nailed it! I’ve tried to say the same thing and was accused of not having sympathy for the “victim,” which no one can prove she was at this point.

However, I absolutely DO have sympathy for the fact that she was used by a man in power – a man she had respected and revered. She was seduced into a sinful relationship by a “religious” man who represented godliness to her. I agree there is no excuse.

She said she was told that he would marry her. She said she was told that his wife would die soon and they could be together. Sickening. She said she was in love him. Why would these words have even been significant unless she felt deceived by his promises – deceived into going along with it in some way? And then realized it was never going to happen – she was being used.

Any time an insecure young woman is cajoled into a sexual relationship by a man – especially a married man, she is being used and taken advantage of. The impact is multiplied when “religion” is involved.

But, it happens all the time with men in the business world. If she was a 23-29-year old secretary for the CEO of some big corporation, it would be similar. Or perhaps an intern to the president…

That is part of the reason men are called to protect women, which makes this disgraceful thing all the more tragic.

I realize that the fact he was a Christian leader compounds the influence he had over her emotionally, but she still owns her own sin. And I still maintain that the truest victims here are his wife and children. [Emphasis added.]

And that says nothing of the public spectacle it’s become inside and outside the church or the smug satisfaction oozing from every anti-patriarchy blog out there.

Thank you again.

“By this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme.” (2 Samuel 12:14)


More from Stacy McDonald:

April 19, 2014 at 9:33 am

I guess I’m confused as to how asking for $10 million dollars from him and his victimized family is a cry for help. And, if she had not gone to the media, but instead sought Christian arbitration; and, if her family, her church, and the people in her community all wound up believing her, wouldn’t that be enough? Besides, “everyone” is not going to believe her anyway.

I’m not saying there shouldn’t be some sort of restitution if her claims are proven true. But the way it is being handled is causing God’s name to be slandered among the heathen (and the church).

I think if it were me, trying the case in the court of public opinion would hardly be satisfying anyway. Everything decently and in order. Isn’t that part of why we are Presbyterian? This is chaos.



Ok, a lot of people reading articles here at Spiritual Sounding Board are connected with the Torres-Manteufel versus Phillips lawsuit. This issue of how the public views Lourdes Torres-Manteufel is important.

These two ladies – Kelly Crawford and Stacy McDonald – are highly respected in Christian Homeschooling networks, so people who adhere to Patriarchy will be inclined to follow their voices.

  • What are your thoughts on their words?
  • What do you see in their comments?
  • Is Patriarchy a safe environment for women who’ve been sexually violated?

Try putting yourself in Lourdes’ shoes and consider taking a look at the entire Doug Wilson article for yourself – Vice, Victims, and Vision Forum – and the range of comments there. (Repeat: Trigger warning for survivors of abuse.) What words of support and encouragement would you have for Lourdes here, in response to the comments about her there?


442 thoughts on “Queen Bees of Homeschooling Stacy McDonald and Kelly Crawford Don’t Like the “Victim” Word in the Lourdes Torres-Manteufel vs. Doug Phillips Lawsuit”

  1. Can someone please copy James McDonald’s FB rant to here so we can see it?

    Oh, you probably missed it. I posted it further down, but here it is again:

    Warning – rant alert…
    When I went into ministry, I answered the call of God, gladly leaving behind a six-figure salary as a corporate executive, yearly bonuses, stock options, the best hotels, fine dining, travels to exotic countries, and first class seating.
    I happily embraced being home with my family, a greatly-reduced pastor’s salary, a 15-passenger van, and family road trips to homeschool conferences.
    But I also inherited critics who hate my guts, defame my name, twist my doctrinal positions, question my motives, attack my wife, and gossip about my children online. Because, after all, I’m in the ministry for personal, financial gain and glory.
    Yes, I’m self-serving like that.


  2. Well, the reason he posts there, instead of suffering in silence like he expects everyone else to do, is because they feed off of the sympathy votes they get. Again, the blind leading the blind, and the blind following! What can anyone say? Also, he again twists and they lie about what they have really said and done. Proof in the old blog posts by Stacy regarding the DP revelations and her post on “glee”. I will now tell my story and make the truth known to all. I believe that is what God wants done.


  3. “When I went into ministry, I answered the call of God, gladly leaving behind a six-figure salary as a corporate executive, yearly bonuses, stock options, the best hotels, fine dining, travels to exotic countries, and first class seating.”

    Is there anyone who goes far back enough with him to corroborate this nonsense and where he worked as a “corporate exec”?.

    Oh he gave up so much for Patriarchy! Puh- leeeese.


  4. Lydia, when I read that, it sounds like he’s not gladly giving it up at all. It sounds more like he’s wanting us to be playing our violins with him. My violin skills are a bit rusty, but I’ll have a go at it.

    Have you ever heard a rusty violin player? Or try this: have you ever played Suzuki violin with 3 beginning violin students in close quarters? LOL


  5. I grew up in a more mild version of patriarchy and I sure as hell didn’t have the ability to tell anyone what was happening.

    As to commenters who were wondering what these women would do if it were their own child…probably what my mother did, which was when I finally told her as an adult, she told me that it didn’t matter what he did, I had to forgive him; she questioned my faith (I’m no longer a Christian, but at the time, that hurt a lot) and finally gave me an ultimatum that if I refused to play nice, I wasn’t allowed to be in the house when he was there — which she mostly did because telling my brother that I was out doing other things saved face better than me relegated to my bedroom. (Even though, years earlier, when I asked her for protection from him, she told me to just hide in my room)

    I finally got out because I was lucky enough to a) have some money and b) my mother was so certain of my brokenness and utter obedience that she didn’t even suspect when I was lying so that I could go find a room for rent and then run away. I was 25 but I still had to run away, because there was no way I could leave voluntarily, she wouldn’t have allowed it.

    And as I said, I wasn’t even raised in this kind of patriarchy. I was raised in Foursquare — not too many people even know the denomination — but it’s Pentecostalism that says “we believe women can be pastors therefore we’re not like *those* fundies” even though I grew up on messages of wifely submission.

    The pastors at our church were the type to do “counseling” for my abuse father, give him second and third and 80 chances because he “repented” and no one ever once even suggested going to the police. For both my father and my brother, I never even realized going to the police was an *option* until long after the statute of limitations was up. Because I tried as hard as I could to convince myself “it was in the past and I need to forgive and I’m fine, really”

    And yeah, that was used against me when I finally told my mother because she basically told me in an accusatory tone that something that required going to the authorities should have been dealt with when it happened. So basically, I was supposed to have gone to the police as a child or else I have no right to be upset now.

    Abuse is this big, intricate structure that reinforces itself, and abusers know how to use everything to their advantage. The reason that abusers are drawn to patriarchy is because patriarchy says being in power over someone is justified and values forgiveness over genuine repentance. Patriarchy mirrors the structure of abuse. And parents caught up in patriarchy, really caught up in it, potentially mirror my mother, where the rules and the structure and The Men come before everyone else, and that’s why you can hate all women, especially women who come forward abuse even if it’s your own kid. Because their Jesus (i.e. patriarchy) comes first.

    The day before my birthday my mother emailed me and, not talking directly to me because she wrote it in the form of a prayer, she asked God that I still be grateful to God for my life in the midst of “all the icky.” That’s probably the first time she ever addressed them raping me and she called it “the icky” and only addressed it so she could basically tell me I should shut up and be grateful.

    Sorry for the long comment.


  6. I was going to come here and post the rant, but you guys beat me to it…….Does he need some cheese & crackers with his whine? good grief………

    We all see it and he’s missing the point………his wife went off at the mouth without an edit button and she’s being held accountable. What a thought! James is just barely one step below DP………not far though.


  7. I really keep meaning to NOT continue to follow this thread, but oh well. “When I went into ministry, I answered the call of God, gladly leaving behind a six-figure salary as a corporate executive, yearly bonuses, stock options, the best hotels, fine dining, travels to exotic countries, and first class seating.”
    You know what he **did** gain in leaving the private sector corporate environment and embracing a ministry espousing patriarchy? The ability to discriminate against women in hiring and promotion.


  8. James McDonald’s rant makes him sound like a narcissist. Me. Me. Me. It’s all about what “I” did and do.

    I don’t recall Jesus ever complaining about what he separated himself from for the love of humanity. He didn’t ever draw attention to himself by way of complaining about his lot in life, or that no one appreciated him for what he had done and was going to do.

    Please read the Gospels you men who call yourself patriarchs.


  9. i doubt mr wilson will approve my comment on his article, however, i will post the same thing here. these people cannot be reasoned with. they thought it was ok to marry off a convicted molester to an innocent young girl.reference the steven stitler case.


  10. Somaticstrength –

    I’m so sorry and sad for what you endured and are still dealing with from your childhood. So glad you found a way to get away from the physical abuse. Your parents seem to be warped and in need of jail and mental help. Thanks for sharing your story — though I wish it never happened. I hope it helps others to heal and be free from abuse. Most of all I hope you continue to heal!!

    I have heard of Four Square, but don’t know much about them.


  11. “And as I said, I wasn’t even raised in this kind of patriarchy. I was raised in Foursquare — not too many people even know the denomination — but it’s Pentecostalism that says “we believe women can be pastors therefore we’re not like *those* fundies” even though I grew up on messages of wifely submission.”


    No need to apologize for the length of your comment. I think Julie Anne commented one time that she was in a Foursquare church at one time. She’ll correct me if I’m wrong. If that’s correct, she’ll understand what that’s like.

    My former cult was also Pentecostal though not affiliated with any denomination.

    Thank you for sharing your story. I’m so sorry for what you went through. It makes me sick. I hope you’ll continue to contribute to these discussions.


  12. Actually, James may have given up his 6 figure salary, to have more power in his life, but he still makes a decent 5 figure one. His wife works from home, so she contributes as well. I hate to see someone claim to be a true shepherd (which I do not believe he is) and then complain about all he had to give up to be that. Doesnt sound like he did it at all for the right reasons. Also, he was stripped of his credentials by the RPCGA years ago, but still lists them on his “Truth Be Told” blog. Talbot confirmed that James’, along with the other men who got together and started this CPC denomination, were all in the same boat. They were causing problems in that denomination. They gave them a choice to transfer and they did not want to be under authority, so the RPCGA took their credentials away and let them leave.


  13. Jackie C said: “If you or anyone you know has any of these symptoms, talk to a professional. There is treatment that helps. My husband has PTSD and fortunately is much better now but the thing about it is that it doesn’t necessarily show up right away. It often creeps in slowly. So a person may be abused in their church but not have all the symptoms right away – maybe one or two and the family normalizes it, but then more symptoms show up and then they become barriers to a healthy life. The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) is a great resource for families supporting someone with PTSD. ”

    So Stacy may have spoken truer than she realized, when she was trying to marginalize and intimidate some of the voices here. She said something about a scary person, implying mental illness. Well, PTSD *is* a mental illness, from what I gather (and please, I’m not saying anyone *here* is “crazy” — sometimes I’ve thought/still think I’m crazy, but I imagine that could well be PTSD considering the abuse I grew up with) — the irony that’s hitting me is that PTSD can be a result of the patriarchal system the McDonalds, among others, are invested in so heavily.

    If you live in fear for long enough, you’re likely to develop paranoia.


  14. (sorry, not accusing anyone here of being paranoid — it’s something I struggle with myself, and makes it hard to look for help from real people, outside of reading books and websites)


  15. Yes, BTDT, you remembered correctly. I went to a Foursquare youth group and college group (on my own) at the same time going to Catholic church (with my parents). In fact, the Foursquare pastor did the sermon at our wedding in the Catholic Church (priest officiated). We spent the first year or so of our marriage at the Foursquare church until the Navy took us to far away places.

    My Foursquare experience: it was charismatic, but not wild. I had forgotten about it, but there was a woman who preached now and then, I didn’t call her a pastor, but now I’m wondering if they considered her a pastor.

    We’ve talked about counseling here before. One interesting thing I remember about this church is they believed you could have spiritual ties with sins of your past and relied heavily on “denouncing” these ties.

    Oh, and there was a lot of “binding Satan,” too.


  16. The reason that abusers are drawn to patriarchy is because patriarchy says being in power over someone is justified and values forgiveness over genuine repentance.


    Thanks for sharing your story here. The above quote is a good one. Basically, it says we just want to “look” like we have forgiven and have repentance. The appearance of godliness is supreme.

    You have a good understanding of this system. I”m sorry to hear what you had to go through – especially with your parents. Abuse by someone outside the family is bad enough, but when parents abuse, it really gets to the core of who you are and your identity and it takes incredible strength to leave and make a positive change. Keep talking!


  17. Here’s something I do not understand about our court system and all that we know today about abuse. If our court system has statutes of limitations regarding abuse and we can’t seem to have enough compassion for the abused to change that, why on earth can’t we see that lifting those limitations would prevent abuse since we know that so many abusers were victims themselves and usually they abuse because justice was never done for them. To me that is the extreme end of what happens when we minimize our own abuse. I still can hardly believe how having people validate the fact that I was a victim of abuse made me a way more compassionate, stable, loving person than I was before that validation.


  18. UPDATE from my discussion last night about the ex-con who had recently gotten out of prison for statutory rape of a 14 year old, who was now a youth leader at an SBC church. When my daughter went there last night to have her friend’s back and protect her from this guy (who’d been sexually harassing her and making terroristic threats against her boyfriend outside of the hearing of the church leadership), she found out that ex-con had disappeared. Just stopped showing up to lead youth group. I guess yesterday was his second straight no-call/no-show, they supposedly don’t know where he is.

    So I guess that problem, at least for that church and my daughter’s best friend, is solved (alas, likely not for other churches or other teenage girls). I don’t know what really happened, if the church found out about the stuff going on and quietly threw him out, but told a disappearance story as cover, or whether he genuinely just went off to parts unknown. No notion.

    Very sad that there was a problem in the first place, don’t churches check backgrounds? And if they did, don’t leaders have more sense than to put a convicted sex offender in charge of junior high and high school kids? Boggles the mind.


  19. Refugee –

    Living a whole childhood under legalism and the dangerous Patriarchy we describe here could definitely cause one to have PTSD. You better believe it. Just take a gander at the posts from young adults at Homeschoolers Anonymous. Many of these young adults are unable to afford mental health care, but numb the pain of their childhood by various methods. I’ve read of eating disorders, drugs use, using sex to numb, etc.

    Now, the Patriarchs would say that these young adults are acting out, rebellious, and in sin by their behavior. I don’t see it that way. I see their response as a reaction to their difficult and/or abusive childhoods. What they need is someone to listen to their stories, to love them unconditionally, to allow them to feel, to grow, to make independent decisions, to be who God created them to be.

    So, you really have a good point, Refugee. The lifestyle that James and Stacy McDonald promote in their minds is perfect because a true father would lay down his life for his family and a true church would never allow abuse, but the reality is that fathers and churches are not perfect. And the Patriarchal system they espouse to is a breeding ground for abusers who have a need to be in control. Thus, we see a breaking down of huge systems right now (Gothard, Vision Forum, SGM). What is the common denominator: elevating men to a Patriarchal position OVER women.


  20. As for Mcdonald’s “rant”. James Mcdonald, based on all that I have read of the man, is an ugly, vicious abusive human being. He is doing exactly what you would expect such people to do. Sharks bite, wolves attack sheep. No kidding. His new found “victimhood” status is part of the playbook, I have seen it before from other “superapostles”.


  21. I still can hardly believe how having people validate the fact that I was a victim of abuse made me a way more compassionate, stable, loving person than I was before that validation.

    Very powerful statement here, Patti, and that is why this place is such a special one in that you do have compassion and reach out to survivors and validate them. When you don’t have validation, a typical response is self-blame and then that can lead to a whole downward cycle of self-destruction. However, when someone listens and says, “I believe you,” it is pivotal and can help the process of healing to begin. That’s why all of us here communicating with survivors in our own words is so important. This is Jesus in action.


  22. A lot of churches do background checks. They should. Their insurance providers should require it especially with the onslaught of sexual abuse lawsuits. But background checks are not fool-proof. I’m sure the site can provide helpful material for churches. But no doubt, to have a safe environment, churches do need to be proactive and educated.


  23. “But background checks are not fool-proof.”

    Only a small percentage of sexual offenders will ever be convicted. The lawyer I listened to who is involved in this field said it used to be 10% He said current studies now put it around 4%. Churches MUST do background checks. Even then, around 96% of offenders will not turn up on a background check. There has to be other screening procedures and training programs in effect to protect kids and people.


  24. Yes churches should do background checks. But since they encourage victims NOT to go to authorities how do you expect the information to show up in a check?. Unless the men making the hiring decisions look suspiciously at the work history of an abuser, the background may be clean.


  25. Churches need to have common sense in protecting children. When my daughter was a teen, she attended a youth group outing. We asked the volunteer leader when and where we should pick her up. The leader, a woman I had known for twenty years, said she would bring her home. I was shocked and angry when instead she was dropped off by a strange man. It turned out that a new attendee at church had volunteered to help chaperone the outing and later offered to bring my daughter and another boy home on the grounds that they lived close to him. Fortunately nothing bad happened but I could not make this woman see how risky it was to let a strange man be alone in a car with a thirteen year old girl. “But he’s a born again Christian!” We changed churches.


  26. The madness about this particular case is that the guy was open about being a sex offender in his “Christian testimony” to the youth group. Seems like extremely bizarre behavior, even for an extremely bizarre young man.

    So since he was talking about this openly, I’m stunned the church leadership let him stay in place, even though just for a few months. Maybe given the culture there, and just guessing, possibly teens running scared, just biding time til they can get clear of it when they finally leave home, adults not wishing to make waves and be branded “Jezebels” by questioning the wisdom of the elders taking on this particular youth leader–I’m just trying to take a stab at what was going on there, I really don’t know, maybe that'[s at the bottom of it. Maybe in light of all that it took a little while for the truth of what he was saying to the youth group to work its way back to the pastor and elders, maybe that’s the story behind the sudden disappearance. Maybe they were patting each other on the back for putting great trust in this fine young man and giving him a godly second chance. No clue. Just glad he’s gone so my daughter’s best friend doesn’t have to suppress anxiety attacks when sent to youth group twice a week.


  27. Truth detector, I was relieved to read your update! There is an alarming number of Christians who think that ‘judge not’ means trust every Christian no matter their history or whether we know them well or not, and that all sins are equally bad and since we are all sinners we have no reason to supervise one person more than another. Given that and since predators know that churches offer opportunities for more predation, the question isn’t why there is so much abuse going on, it is why there isn’t even more.


  28. Very heartbreaking to hear so many stories of abuse that were not dealt with as Jesus would, and I have no doubt that the “total institution” of patriarchy will continue to produce more stories as long as it continues. Kelly’s and Stacy’s comments here and at Doug Wilson’s blog only reinforce my impressions of their lack of compassion for Lourdes and others victims of abuse, and their desire to maintain the status quo as long as possible.

    This thread has taken off quickly. When it started, I meant to comment about the Christian Heritage homeschool conference this weekend in Redmond, WA, where Kelly Crawford will be speaking. It seems that they have been pushing registration for a long time with various promos and discounts from Ken Ham and Samaritan Ministries. For over a week, CH has been posting about the new, cheaper live streaming option, for those who “can’t attend” in person. I am hoping that this might signal a big drop in attendance, and that people really don’t want to hear Scott Brown, Kelly Crawford and the like? Here’s hoping…


  29. Hi,
    Just recently found this site. The posts and comments are a tremendous blessing.
    So true that “God works everything to good for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes.” Out of our deepest wounds and nightmares come strength and hope and validation and support for each other. Most impotantly, through the anguish of shared experiences, we see the TRUTH that God CARES and LOVES us and tenderly “bears us up” even when we cannot do that for ourselves Every lie exposed, every truth shared counts immeasurably in our “cosmic” spiritual battle against “the forces of this present darkness. (Ephesians 6). Thank you all for your love in the midst of the pain. Love never fails.

    My personal opinion/conclusion about the statutes of limitations on sexual crimes is that the national pedophile networks include/control judges/justices, legislators, media moguls, and other people in high places..The resistance to increased protection for children as well as to appropriate punishment for offenders is more highly funded and organized than we perceive.

    The efforts to help abuse sufferers have been tremendous, but people in key positions continue to block those efforts. Why? A case in point from last year:

    Obviously, the focus is NOT the welfare and protection of victimized children. Obviously, to me, at least, the focus is the protection of the pedophiles’ in-place systems to access children with impunity.

    “In this world, we have tribulation, but, be of good cheer, JESUS has overcome the world.”

    Thank you all so much.


  30. Also, he was stripped of his credentials by the RPCGA years ago, but still lists them on his “Truth Be Told” blog. Talbot confirmed that James’, along with the other men who got together and started this CPC denomination, were all in the same boat. They were causing problems in that denomination. They gave them a choice to transfer and they did not want to be under authority, so the RPCGA took their credentials away and let them leave.

    So……..James was Defrocked……….RC Sproul Jr was defrocked……..Scott Brown was defrocked……….Doug Phillips all but was defrocked………sense a pattern here guys??????????


  31. So why are all these defrocked dudes given so much respect, air time, money?
    What is wrong with people that they flock to the defrocked?


  32. Mara, I sit here trying to figure out the same thing. If these guys have been defrocked, doesn’t anybody ever stop & think that maybe, just maybe, there was a really good reason for that? I mean, churches don’t go around defrocking clergy left, right & center for the fun of it. There has to be BIG problems to go to all that trouble…..


  33. “So why are all these defrocked dudes given so much respect, air time, money?
    What is wrong with people that they flock to the defrocked?”

    I think it might be part of the rugged individualist mindset. They are rebels, going against the flow of corrupt mainstream religion, discoverers of the True Interpretation, the True Worship. It’s an appeal to dissatisfaction — so the people who flock to them are dissatisfied for whatever reason with the other choices out there, not realizing that they may well be jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

    It’s an appeal to elitism: “We’ve got the Truth, and all those other schmucks are wrong. Come join us in our smugness.”

    It’s an appeal to fear and the desire for safety: “We’ve got the Truth, and all those who don’t have the Truth (including you, if you don’t join us and do things the way we say they ought to be done because it’s in the Bible) are condemned to mediocrity, sin, danger, predators, and worse.” And the carrot that goes along with the stick: “And your children will turn out to be warriors for Christ, and they shall rise up and call you blessed, and they will suffer none of the defeats and disgrace that you suffered as you grew into adulthood.”

    They’re gnostics, is that the term? They have the secret knowledge, and you can have it too, if only you will follow in unquestioning obedience.


  34. (oh, just one more thing, as Columbo used to say. It was the “carrot” that made it all start to unravel for me. I swallowed the poison in good faith, for the sake of our children and their future, even ignoring the feeling that things were not working out right — if I only tried harder, it ought to work. Those other perfect-looking families were doing it, why couldn’t we?

    And then along came HA, and I started reading stories of homeschooled adults from perfect-looking families… that weren’t so perfect as they looked. And I realized that my fears about our kids being cheated were real, and not just sinful thoughts on my part, leftover taint from the feminism I’d followed in college and early adult years. And I stopped swallowing the poison whole. But there’s still a lot of damage and fallout left to deal with.)


  35. Refugee: “We’ve got the Truth, and all those who don’t have the Truth … are condemned to mediocrity, sin, danger, predators, and worse.”

    So funny you said that.
    Guess we are finding out who the real predators are.


  36. Refugee: “I think it might be part of the rugged individualist mindset.”

    I am of the rugged individualist mindset. But my mindset doesn’t look anything like theirs. Because I think women should be strong and independent too.

    I’ve been known to say that I’d be libertarian except for all the wackos in that camp.
    So many of them are men who want all sorts of freedoms for themselves while they rule over their lowly subjects (wife and kids) with and iron rod.

    In my mind, a true libertarian is not a prophet-priest-king wanna be. Rather he should be someone who values freedom, not only for himself, but for the wife and kids. And that libertarian should be teaching his brood how to be strong, responsible, and free. NOT weak, dependent, and doormatly.


  37. Refugee – We’ve homeschooled for many years. We were fortunate enough to encounter some of these homeschool types such as you describe early on and see their fruits very personally: the patriarchy, long-sleeves-only, sending your children to public school is a sin, FIC-only, Growing Kids God’s Way, look at my perfect spotless family crowd.

    We discovered that many of these people were probably real deal Christians and fundamentally decent, but deeply insecure and immature, so you’d repeatedly feel the sting of their judgmentalism, and after a time, fellowship with them became more burden than benefit. So we pulled back and got away from them entirely, but certainly wish them well and hope they get out of that deception themselves.

    But some of them were downright vicious and the only word I can use for them is evil, or at least given over to it. They will slander you in a moment, stab you right between the shoulder blades, malign your children, they live to attack the Church, and that’s probably why they’re drawn to Christians in the first place: they hate them and can abuse them more efficiently that way.

    My spouse and I have reached the point where we say “Give us a good straight forward atheist friend any day.” You’ll probably be better treated than being a friend of an ultra insecure patriarchy-loving homeschool Christian, and you will definitely be better treated than befriending one of the many fake-Christians who are sadistic and controlling abusers in this movement. And while you might be able to reach an atheist for Christ, I have to wonder if the phony back-stabbing crowd is even reachable.


  38. Julie Anne,

    After reviewing the above names you mentioned involved in the “Christian Patriarch Movement”, I checked out the Doctrines of Ken Ham, R.C. Sproul Jr., Scott Brown, Israel Wayne, Marshall Foster.

    The Doctrine of the names you mentioned together that are controlling the “Christian Patriarchy” movement embrace Calvinianism.

    The movements your thread continues to challenge have more Hyper Cavinianism Doctrines connected, who in reality are practicing nothing more than secular Chauvinism.

    In this instance I think Doctrine and the “Christian Patriarchy” movement feed off of each other.


  39. ‘My spouse and I have reached the point where we say “Give us a good straight forward atheist friend any day.”

    I have developed a standard line for people who defend or excuse the spiritual abusers. I tell them to explain what was done in the Name of Jesus to an atheist or a 10 year old.

    They get it.


  40. Marsha,
    A lot of churches have a “two-deep” policy. Camps should too if you send your kids to one (ask). That means no one adult is ever alone with any one child. There has to be two adults there and more than one child. Many churches have gone through renovations to put windows in Sunday school classroom doors and the doors in the ministers’ offices. The ideal is anyone should be able to see in at any time if you can’t have two adults in during Sunday school. I teach a junior high Sunday school class and am often the only teacher. Since I teach in an upstairs youth room, if there’s only one youth at the beginning, we sit out in the balcony until more come. It’s about education and making these things normal. There is a Safe Sanctuaries program that many denominations use to certify volunteers. Some have the policy you can’t do anything with children in the church until you’ve passed it.


  41. Mark,

    The movements your thread continues to challenge have more Hyper Cavinianism Doctrines connected, who in reality are practicing nothing more than secular Chauvinism.

    I think that James Sire described it quite well as Christian Existentialism. Man is the measure of what is significant. Quoting Calvin is just a disclaimer to allow them to delve into what is really their own freewillism.


  42. I read James’ story of his credentials. He was ordained in his old denomination based on acquiring a master’s of divinity degree. But he still hasn’t done that. He says he’s on a “lifelong” quest. Great. No one at that church has a divinity degree. But his little church approved him – put him to the test and he’s in the pulpit preaching his own brand of Christianity. I checked out the seminary where he is so actively pursing his degree. It’s basically a bunch of classes where you read a bunch of books and write some papers. It’s not accredited either. No wonder it’s free. Thanks, James, but I’ll take a minister who’s practiced preaching in front of others who will criticize openly and who’s learned at the feet of proven theologians who will definitely be willing to call you into question!

    Sorry. That’s my rant. Get’s on my nerves when ministers brag how special they are.


  43. I should clarify that – a lot of ministers are special. And sacrificial. But when they are, they don’t brag about it or use it to say “poor me.”


  44. Cindy K,

    I’m not that smart so I really don’t quite understand your response to me.

    I know that I have expressed (to the annoyance to some) that the so-called “Christian Patriarchy” movement is heavily being led by those that authenticate their Hyper behaviors because they embrace certain “Reformed” or “Calvinian” Doctrines.

    I think this Doctrinal connection is real and embraced by both genders. Much to the dismay of secular feminist and secular chauvinist, that these and other types of movements need both genders, in order for harmony to exist.


  45. Mark,

    I don’t think that it’s a matter of being smart but rather me being obtuse/obscure.

    The alleged Calvinism which I don’t see as true Calvinism (nor is New Calvinism) isn’t as significant to me as the man-centeredness which comes from the fact that these systems are all about salvation through works and piety. That inevitably makes it about man’s efforts to save himself and improve himself and ends up as Arminian as Word of Faith. Bob McGreggor Wright talked about it in his book, “No Place for Sovereignty.”

    On a more general level, I see all of these things as falling apart when they subordinate God to what man ought to be doing. And I love how James Sire points that out in “The Universe Next Door.”


  46. Hey, Mamacita JA.

    My last comment to Mark is stuck in moderation. Could you free it? Mark isn’t thick. I’m being obtuse. 😉 I explained why with an amazon book reference.


  47. Mark, the opposite of chauvinist is not feminist. The definition of chauvinist is someone who believes that his or her own gender is superior. The definition of feminist is someone who advocates that women should have social, legal, political, and economic rights equal to men. Everyone should be a feminist.


  48. Mark, In my opinion, which is not worth much, they use the determinism in Calvinism to practice what is actually their own free will. They are basically acting the same as Plato’s Philosopher kings. The ones with special knowledge who must lead the rest of us ignorant peasants. The determinist god who foreordains all things– including evil– is a perfect backdrop for stepford pew sitters.

    The question is why are people drawn to them in the first place? Why do they think they have “truth” they cannot have on their own?

    I like how Sire implies that intelligence is the search for truth. Which is why I don’t think Wilson is intelligent. I think he is clever.


  49. Marsha,

    Thanks for clarification, It is unclear to me the differences of how movements are viewed as many of them view themselves differently even among each other. (and Spiritually you are not going to get a Doctrinal consensus among the Calvinist School as there are many different Calvinist dialects that collide with each other).

    To me feminism is more complicated as I’ve been taught by those who proclaim to be feminists that it has more to do with unlimited abortion rights than anything else. I’ve also seen the same kind of gender swagger from secular feminist as from secular chauvinist,.one being superior over the other, all of which is sin being practiced by both genders.

    From what you are suggesting and what I’ve been taught from self-proclaimed secular feminist may differ from your personal views to what a feminist is. I mean no disrespect to you.

    Sadly, in Patriarch Movements where the practice of sinful gender superiority occurs it ignites the kind of strife that honors Satan.

    For Men, Women or those of different Race who advocate social, legal, political and economic rights for all, turns into a battle between gender or race (especially among Christians) it simply should be described as sin and dealt with.


  50. Mark, I agree that there is a stream of doctrines which proponents call “Calvinism” running underneath these movements. It is not traditional Calvinism, but a mismatched blend of this/that.

    Cindy K makes the point that Calvinism is not the real problem, but a kind of legalistic piety and works-salvation that shows up somewhere in all religious denominations.

    FWIW, there are male chauvinists and female chauvinists, people who think that their own sex is tops and the other has little value. Patriarchy is male chauvinist-based Feminists believe that both genders are important and work to bring them into peer relationship. There is a small radical wing of feminism that is female chauvinist, but just as patriarchy doesn’t define Christianity, neither does this wing define feminism.


  51. Lydia,

    Thank You!

    Why are people drawn to them in the first place? That is what I’m trying to figure out myself for the last couple of years.
    (ever since a deceiving Stealth Hyper-Calvinian entered our congregation practicing life like he was involved in the described so-called Patriarch Movement)

    Several of my opinions include is a reckless interpretation of scriptures in order gain and fulfill certain sinful lust which could include greed, power and control, lust of the flesh or have un-forgiveness and own unresolved issues. Then there are those with less ambition that simply missed a biblical off-ramp who were indoctrinated to believe doctrine they embrace, is correct.


  52. Mark, do you think it is possible that some people find the idea that we are saved by grace and that all we have to do is repent from our sins and accept Jesus as too good to be true? That maybe we have to do more? And when they encounter a charismatic leader who has more rules to follow, especially if they are difficult, they feel reassured that now they have a blueprint?


  53. Marsha, Patrice and Cindy K,

    Spiritual abuse doesn’t discriminate genders. I admit, in my opinion women have been victimized more than men.

    Spiritual Abusers use scriptures to camouflage justification for their actions, why else would we call it “Spiritual Abuse”? (Which is why I focus on Doctrines more than anything else)

    The Abuse my wife and I endured was strictly administered by a Stealth Hyper-Calvinian who knowingly attempted to Covertly deceive the Congregation by indoctrinating TULIP in a heavy-handed Methodology. Another words if you didn’t agree or embrace his Geneva’s version of Calvin you got heavily rebuked.

    My wife endured far worse retaliation from his wife and 2 other ladies his wife befriended than I did. although I didn’t sleep for 3 solid months because of the abuse and trying investigate his words behind the pulpit which is how our Congregation finally figured out he was a Hyper-Calvinian.

    Most of the Spiritual Abuse experience by the abused described in Julie Anne’s threads were administered by those who are being Stealth or simply wrong about their Doctrine. Just about every single victim that has been abused was in unsuspecting situations not prepared or were unknowingly experiencing or enduring Spiritual Abuse while they were being indoctrinated.


  54. Honestly? I think that women are just more willing to talk about it and to seek help. Men suffer and give up when they can’t stand it anymore. Or they just start occupying the pew to keep the peace.


  55. Marsha,

    There are Theologians that can’t teach or embrace redemption through the blood of Jesus because they are so deeply indoctrinated into “Election Theology”.

    To those that are focused on a Works, Doubt and Sin Centered based Theology, the shedding of Jesus blood and receiving him as Lord and Savior for redemption of sins, may never be enough, as it will be impossible to meet the expectations of a Works centered Preacher, which then gives him justification of questioning a repentant Congregation..

    For Hyper Calvinians who’s ministry is Sin Centered rather than Christ Centered repentance of sin actually has greater importance than Christ dying for our sins. .


  56. Oh, Marsha,

    I think that the real miracle of accepting Jesus is the miracle of understanding that there’s nothing we can do to earn it. It is against everything we know in the natural, and it is foolishness to those who do not embrace it. The rule of the flesh is that you get what you pay for, and there are no real free lunches. Jesus is the opposite of this. And I find that to be truly miraculous — that we’re even able to see that and receive it at all.


  57. I’m sorry you and your wife went through that, Mark. The scenario you describe is not uncommon these days, and that’s sooo sad. Did your congregation manage to get rid of the guy?

    Yeah, both men and women can be terrible to each other. I find it particularly awful to see the women do it, because they are usually suffering the most in these systems. It’s something I’m still trying to understand.

    One of the most difficult things for me to resolve was that I was vulnerable when abused. It made my hypervigilant, preparing for every possible eventuality, staying four-five steps ahead of myself at all times. That’s no way to live and eventually I developed trust in my perceptions/experience/knowledge, that I will know what I see when it comes towards me. We are naïve only once, thank God.

    Doctrinal dishonesty by church leaders should result in immediate de-frocking, IMO.


  58. Mark,

    What you seem to be calling “election theology,” I call their view that unconditional election is really “survival of the spiritually fittest.” Or “spiritual eugenics.” Only the elite and enlightened need apply. Instead of being all about receiving that which we don’t deserve and can never merit, it becomes a matter of limiting grace as if God doesn’t have enough to go around. If that person gets grace, maybe it means that I’ll end up with less. I see quite a lot of that in Calvinism — yet I don’t think that has anything to do with what it’s all about.


  59. Patrice and Cindy K,

    I think all of us are vulnerable to abuse if we don’t understand the motive of the Abuser.

    How many times do trusting hearts consider that Stealth Hyper-Theologians or abusive Hyper-“Christian” Movements even exist until it’s too late?

    Understanding Doctrine in many cases is key to staying away from their churches or movements thereby avoiding abuse.

    Cindy K.. unless these Abusers are dealing with greed, power, control, fleshly lust, unresolved issues and un-forgiveness in their hearts, I think certain Hyper-Calvinians and so-called “Christian Patriarchs” doctrine is the only thing. If you don’t embrace their Hyper-Theology you will be severely rebuked and then abused if you don’t conform..


  60. Cindy K,

    Not sure how to respond to your 8:12 p.m. statement because I never walked in your shoes but I remember looking into the faces of our Congregation after every service and both men and women faces looked mentally beat up and lacking joy from the former Stealth Hyper-Calvinian that Preached in our church.

    I did give up after a year and my wife endured the garbage for about 4 months longer until she couldn’t take it any longer. After I left that church I researched words he spoke behind the pulpit and prayed and it was then that God revealed to me that he was purposely deceiving the Congregation trying to indoctrinate his Hyper Doctrine.

    Isn’t it key for trusting vulnerable people who stick around receiving and enduring abuse, is the Abusers ability to Indoctrinate their Doctrines through guilt, whatever the Doctrine the Abuser embraces?


  61. LOL — after reading through these comments I have been laughing and smh way too much. I appreciate the “Queen Bees” coming down from their lofty perches to deign to speak with the rabble rousers. It lets them be seen in the harsh light of day.

    Also, I think Stacy’s “scary person” comment was directed towards “IamMyBeloved’s” and it made me laugh so hard because I understood between the lines that it meant SHE was scared because someone was willing to tell the truth about her skeletons and she had no power to stop it.

    My missionary father also used his position of authority to have an affair with a native woman. She was a half-decade or so older than his oldest child. As one of the “victimized children” I did hate the other woman, but she used her special status to be the Queen Bee and often was demeaning and harsh towards me when I was not at home (home was my mom’s only territory, trapped as she was by constantly having her 5,6,7,8th child and homeschooling all of us and the 2-5 other people who lived with our family for lessons, etc).
    Looking at this situation has really opened my eyes to the fact that she was taken advantage of and abused by my father. I have always, however, placed most of the blame on him. I blamed him for the affair, for “ruining the family’s testimony,” and for causing us to be displaced from the country to return to my parent’s passport country. Her actions of domineering and abuse are her own fault, but I blame my father for the affair and I always have.

    In the Doug Phillips case (my family became BIG VF fans when we returned to my parent’s passport country) I dont think anyone is to blame but DP. Sure, his wife and children are suffering and did suffer and will suffer. But again, they are ALSO victims, not the only victims.
    I know the pain of a faked “sure, I forgive you daddy” and a mandatory kiss and hug, but didnt ever blame the other woman for my dad’s actions. I feel like a victim of my dad’s actions.

    I even blame my mom for her Stockholm Syndrome on bad days, for spending 3 years letting it eat at her and for all her “worldly” high school and college education that she was denying her daughters, teaching us to “submit” like she was…and still does to this day. I often hope that once her kids are all grown she will cut off sex, communal living, and leave his ass in the dust…. I guess we all dream.


  62. Back to my little parenthesis…Scott Brown, the NCFIC and Generation Cedar (Kelly Crawford) websites all advertised a $5 discount from the regularly $29.95 streaming pass for the Christian Heritage conference (promo code STREAMSCOTT or STREAMKELLY). I haven’t watched very closely, but don’t remember seeing such a push for people to come and/or pay $ before.

    Scott Brown is “doing exposition on these topics”:
    Psalm 78, Breaking Free of the Patterns of Your Fathers
    Job 1, The Sanctifying Fatherhood of Job
    Joshua 24, The Profile of a Courageous Father
    Malachi 4, Father’s Hearts Turning Towards Home
    Genesis 24, Father’s Who Help Their Children Get Married
    Genesis 19, Lot, the Worldly Father

    I’ll have to see what I can get my sources to divulge after the weekend about how it went. 😉


  63. Mark,
    You said “To me feminism is more complicated as I’ve been taught by those who proclaim to be feminists that it has more to do with unlimited abortion rights than anything else.”
    What you were taught sounds like no feminist I’ve ever heard of or known. Or what I or my friends who were brought up by those 60s and 70s feminists moms were taught. Or what I’ve taught my children. What is sounds like is what the conservative religious right says about feminists in an attempt to discredit them and stall equal rights for women. Abortion rights have often been part of the fight because of control over one’s own body, but certainly not all it was about.


  64. Marsha wrote: “Mark, do you think it is possible that some people find the idea that we are saved by grace and that all we have to do is repent from our sins and accept Jesus as too good to be true?”

    Do you think this is a problem for many? It was for me because I didn’t believe that God actually liked me (was told that He didn’t), but it hadn’t occurred to me that “too good to be true” would trap others. It makes sense, really. Sympathy wells up.


  65. Mark,

    I think that both sexes suffer, just in different ways — and it manifests differently, Men and women express grief differently as well. The harm may be more visible and perhaps violent/damaging for women, but men also suffer, too. It does a disservice to all. So sad.


  66. There were bunches of comments here to which I wanted to respond. I’m full of compassion for so many, but I’m worn out after cranking out posts for next week. And I think Brad is probably getting worn out in editing them. I’m hoping that I said enough encouraging stuff in those posts to come. 🙂 And thanks to all of you who have offered me encouragement and kind words. They are deeply encouraging to me and are a part of what God is doing in me, just through posting here on this thread. It’s really taken me by pleasant surprise.


  67. “Traditional Calvinism isn’t the problem”

    What if traditional Calvinism is the problem?


  68. CindyK, I can only give you a virtual {hug}. Go take a break and catch your breath.

    “The yoke of Jesus is easy and His burden is light. We find rest for our souls in Him. Patriarchy has venom, perfectionism, image consciousness, blame, shame, and salvation by works. It is condemnation, and there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ. ”

    If I had a blog, this would go on the front page. You nailed it.


  69. Many of those drawn to hyper calvinism and new calvinism are young men with lots of pride, a tendency to worship heroes, and bad backgrounds–abusive parents, alcoholic parents, psychotic parents. When they become Christians (or fake Christian movement-followers) they naturally gravitate to what is familiar and desired. The leaders of these movements appeal to followers’ pride, make themselves out to be heroes, and tend to be very abusive. Fits perfectly.


  70. Jackie C.

    I grew up hearing and seeing the teasing of “battle of the sexes” or a song that portrayed “anything you can do I can do better than you” I always felt that men and women should never have been in competition based on gender, but is still exist.

    Abortion is a hot button issue for the feminist movement. i asked my wife who’s opinion I respect more than anybody else and she suggested that feminism means a different thing to different people male and female. She has witnessed the gender swagger practiced by both chauvinist and feminist of one being superior over the other. Further more she herself endured the same swagger from both male and females alike.
    (Conservative Christians or Liberal Agnostics or Liberal Christians or Conservative Agnostics doesn’t matter)

    I grew up an illegitimate child in Liberal Nor Cal where movements were ridiculously high and in Eastern Wash where movements were virtually non-existent and then moved up to Alaska. I for one realize Gender/Race equality is suppose to work both ways and we know it still doesn’t to this day.

    I’m a white male, living in a Native Rural Alaska village of about 1500 people. I’m surrounded by people (male and female) that receive Gov’t subsidized wealth, jobs and provided free health care for life. (that will never be available to me based on my race and in some cases gender) I don;t have a college education.and not connected with any large families. So this “white boy” is on the bottom of the food chain experiencing first hand the meaning of race inequality and we are barely making it and so God and my wife are all I have which is a blessing by itself.

    Truthfully I pretty much believe natives are entitled, because the Gov’t ham-stringed Alaska natives for over a century that finally resulted in a Gov;t land swap with Alaska natives, that virtually forced natives to relinquish control of their lands in the 1970’s.


  71. Mark: “Abortion is a hot button issue for the feminist movement”. It is. And I get in trouble when I talk about it. I’m pro-life. But some of the ways I talk about it make me come across and pro-choice and one of them thar dastardly feminists.

    Certain men who rage against feminism make abortion into something that is solely a woman’s sin that came about because of feminism. They claim that men would never endorse such a thing.

    Since I don’t know how many links we are allowed to link here I’m going to start another comment (or two) to link more accurate info concerning this topic than the rantings of the father’s rights advocate linked above.


  72. This next link is from the blog of a pro-life, Christian, homeschooling mother.
    I LOVE this link and have probably shared it more places than any other link.

    It is the truth about the first wave of feminism and exposes who the real pushers of abortion were in history.

    Bottom-line, ins pite of all the spin and propaganda from both radical feminists and father’s rights advocates, Feminism does NOT equal pro-choice.
    Some feminists are pro-choice. That doesn’t make them all that way.
    (your wife is very wise, btw)


  73. Carmen S,

    Any system that human beings put together and use has flaws and pitfalls. Some have more than others, and each system will have it’s own unique problems, just because of the effects of our flesh. What I find so wonderful about the Gospel is that when we follow it, the effects of our flesh end up being limited. If you love your neighbor as yourself, and you love God with everything, you can’t really cause that much damage. It’s when the end is used to justify the means in compromise of those basic principles and people lose balance that the pitfalls manifest, that’s when they become ultra destructive.

    Hierarchies are not inherently evil in and of themselves, though they have their pitfalls. (How would we have militaries? How would we avoid anarchy?) Evangelism and proselytizing exist because of an assumption that there is a universal truth that we Christians are commissioned to share. Elitism is a pitfall of that which is rooted in our flesh, not in the distinction between truth and falsehood or darkness and light.

    I argue that some ideas and therefore theologies have unique pitfalls, and some of those pitfalls are more potentially destructive than others. But the beauty that I find in the various ways that God lets us approach Him and to best comprehend Him to be a function of His grace as opposed to one way being “the problem.” Traditional Calvinism that embodies doctrinal balance is bound to ethics and love and grace. For some, it helps them best know God. For others, it’s a bad fit because it magnifies and exploits their own weakness instead of countering them.

    Elder rule has it’s pitfalls, just like congregational government does. So does a modified Episcopal system, though it may also have local congregational government. Tis nothing about them that is either good nor bad. It’s our flesh that makes it so.


  74. This is my second favorite link that I share.
    It speaks in historical and anthropological (is that the right word) terms concerning who owns the womb. It’s a big issue that hasn’t gone away. But the worldly way of dealing with it (which ‘Christian’ patriarchs have adopted) is the wrong way.

    Sorry if this little linkfest of mine is a bit overwhelming.
    I only share it with you, Mark, because from what I can tell, you are reasonably intelligent and seem concerned with the truth and how things work.

    The term ‘Feminism’ to me is far more distracting than it should be. When you mention it, so many Christians turn off their brains and start ranting and raving.


  75. Mara,

    Thank You for not judging me, as I feel I’m sticking my neck out.

    My wife has suggested that feminism has different meanings to different women and men and I agree with her..

    Abuse, race, abortion, income, political, “battle of the sexes rivalries” and “anything you can do, I can do it better than you can” have been connected with the feminist movement.
    (like I suggested before you have many dialects within the Calvinian School, I guess the same could be said with Secular movements as well)

    From what I’m reading here, not all that self-proclaimed Feminist embrace unlimited Pro-Abortion Rights. We also know many Feminist embrace Abortion. Abortion is a paramount issue to many who proclaim to being a Feminist.
    (and those Feminist who embrace abortion know better than the rest of us that don’t and Feminist who embrace Pro-Life).

    In my discussions and guidance from my wife, we have concluded and prefer to call Spiritual or Gender Abuse or income unfairness, what it is “Sin” as we consider 99% abortions as sin.

    We also feel that we don’t need to be a “self-proclaimed anything” other than being a Christian or a Human being to combat Sin, Abuse or Gender and Race unfairness

    What I think is being explained here on this thread, confirms what my wife states about feminism having a different meaning to the contributors here, most of whom (including my wife and I) have endured Spiritual Abuse.

    To those Spiritual Abusers putting the Secular Feminist tag on the Abused is really a diversion of the sin, they are committing on their victims.


  76. No, Mark.
    I don’t judge you. But I would like for you to see the bigger picture. That is where I’m trying to point you to.
    Abortion, killing a child in the womb, is a violent act that should never have to happen.
    But looking at abortion in the vacuum, black and white, religious right, judgmental manner is not right either.
    The abortion ‘fight’ is lost on both sides as long as both sides will only look at the issue as a one dimensional, right or wrong problem. There are sooooooo many factors leading up to this issue that viewing it as a one dimensional issue makes it impossible to solve for anyone, ever, on either side.

    I’d really like for you to read at least ONE of my links. If you only have time for one, then please pick this one. I promise it’s not a feminist rant. She’s a pro-life, Christian, homeschool mom for pete’s sake. Her article is just stepping back and getting a better look at the bigger picture. And seeing the bigger picture is an important step on the road to understanding it and perhaps eventually solving it:

    Thank you for listening and considering.


  77. Mara,

    I will try to get to your this evening as I have to get to work.

    My wife Cathy and I, see that those that proclaim to being Feminist don’t always embrace the same Social Ideologies. (and in some cases Spiritual Ideologies) Thereby unable as a whole to come up with an absolute consensus to what they embrace.
    (like the one dimensional thing you expressed)

    After reading different testimonies on this thread we are puzzled with trying to understand the different dialects that exist within Feminism, we are finding that Feminist have different Ideologies that collide with each other. Just like some Chauvinist embrace abortion and others don’t.

    Calvinism as a whole aren’t one-dimensional either and even though they fail to come up with a consensus they seem to stick together as a whole. Many of them are passing judgement and applying Spiritual Abuse, on those of us that don’t embrace Calvinism or the so-called “Christian Patriarch” movement being led by Calvinist.


  78. Mark,

    It takes a lot of time and a great deal of energy to work through all of this stuff and to put it into a broader perspective. Along with understanding things comes the work of the feelings that accompany the understanding of those details. It think that all of us who have been chewing on this business have felt that stress of stretching and broadening of how this stuff fits into a wider perspective. That takes time and energy and willful work. I’m still learning, obviously, in both knowledge and in my skill at sitting with the discomfort that some of that still brings up at times.

    And there’s plenty to chew on. It helps to remember that when you’re trying to wrap your head around all of it. It doesn’t happen all at once for anyone. On average, just to feel equilibrium, it takes most people who were deep in a system 2-5 years (part of which has to do with the trauma response). For people who grew up in a very demanding group (specifically concerning this time frame, Scientology and FLDS), I’ve seen citations of a 10 to 12 year recovery, respectively. Give yourself lots of grace and time to put it together. I tell people not to expect to be able to have any closure about it for 2-5 years.

    I don’t know if that helps, but I sense that you’re still struggling with making sense of it all. You don’t have to draw any tight or definitive conclusions of your own about what it all means as you think through things. (You never have to do that if you don’t want.) It’s more important to focus on feeling the feelings as opposed to what they mean with the understanding that this is the healthy response. It’s just miserable for a long time, but that’s a sign that you’re doing the work. It’s just unpleasant, to say the least.


  79. “After reading different testimonies on this thread we are puzzled with trying to understand the different dialects that exist within Feminism, we are finding that Feminist have different Ideologies that collide with each other. Just like some Chauvinist embrace abortion and others don’t.”

    Feminist is not a dirty word. Those women at Seneca Falls were considered rabid feminist who were haters of home and hearth because they wanted rights like voting, labor laws, better pay, etc. For the most part, they were Quakers. Even Frederick Douglas chimed in. Some supporters on the fringe were the abolitionists and even Finney who decided it was time to have women pray in worship aloud in front of men, even! the first meeting of Seneca Falls was held in a Wesleyan Methodist church.

    So there is an interesting nutshell about “feminist”. Sadly, a wacko fringe group in the 60’s and 70’s made the word notorious and fundys picked up on it to paint all women rabid feminists who did not agree with patriarchy when they really believed in mutuality. It really was a response to a fringe culture war.

    A lot of folks are not aware that even until the 70’s in some states, widows could not automatically access their husbands bank account when he died UNLESS he gave permission officially beforehand. That is how bad it still was. This used to make my dad FURIOUS. Treating wives like children. I cannot tell you how many widows in the church my mom would bring to him to help them navigate a crisis situation. They did not even know where husband kept the insurance policies!

    Why any woman would want to be infantilized as wife/child I will never understand. It is creepy.


  80. Lydia,

    Thank You Lydia for your graciousness, I find myself vulnerable to attack by recognizing the different diversities of what it means to being a Feminist. Not too many men are willing to stick their neck out and expose his spouse or his own thoughts.

    “Feminist is not a dirty word”. My wife and I understand this and we are simply trying to connect Spiritual Abuse and Christian Patriarchy and the role of Feminism.

    My wife and I are both in our 50’s and truly understand and are aware of social abuses and in churches, women have experienced throughout history. We refer to Spiritual and Social Abuses as “sin”..

    In this thread we’ve come to the realization that feminism can either represent secular Ideology and it can represent a more spiritual side and those differing ideologies do in fact collide with each other.

    We simply couldn’t pinpoint anything other than a recognition of diverse ideologies and with my wives input we have tried to express ourselves without trying minimizing the harm and abuse woman have endured..

    The Christian Feminist exposes and combats social, moral and spiritual injustice, believes in helping widows gain access to bank accounts or salary equality. It also has a more secular agnostic side lacking morality and spirituality that goes further than exposing and combating social injustice and in cases carrying the same superior gender swagger as a chauvinist who disrespects women.

    The abuse we endured, combined Spiritual and Gender Abuses. Our Pastor was stunned when my wife (who does not have a mean combative bone in her body) shared at the end of a Wednesday evening Bible Study 1 John 1:9 during a question or comment time we realize now that verse countered the direction away from his Election Theology.

    Our former Hyper Calvinian preacher felt slighted by the fact that a Non-Calvinian Woman of faith would share verses on redemption. At that time we had no idea he looked down on women or that he was Calvinist. He had the luxury of 3 women to retaliate and shun my wife.



  81. I hate to belabor the point but secular feminists are not evil. My own grandmother marched for the right to vote alongside women of all religious backgrounds including agnostics and atheists. Fifty years later, I was part of the women’s movement, advocating alongside of women of all backgrounds. We wanted to be considered for any job and given equal pay for equal work. In the early seventies, the want ads in my town were divided into male and female. The better paying jobs were all for men. In the eighties when I was teaching and chairing a department at a college, a salary printout was accidentally put in my box and I discovered that a colleague – whose work I was sometimes given because he couldn’t handle it – was paid fifty percent more than me. When I asked the provost why he told me that the man had alimony payments and needed more money and I didn’t.

    When husband farmers died, the IRS used to tax the wife as if she had inherited the full value of the property because HE was the farmer and she, working every day alongside him, was ‘just’ a wife.

    It is a question of fairness and it doesn’t matter what a woman believes, she should receive equal treatment. Secular feminists aren’t evil. Atheists and agnostics and non-Christians aren’t evil. If my fellow feminists are evil then so am I.


  82. Marsha,

    We never referred to Secular Feminism as evil.

    My wife and I don’t embrace the Spiritual views of an Agnostic Feminist who typically believes in the unlimited Pro-Abortion movements and those that go so far as carrying a superior gender swagger toward men that is similar to what a male chauvinist.practices on women.

    Being an illegitimate child myself, I watched my own mother endure social abuses that no women should go through including not receiving any support from my wealthy rogue father who died not being accountable even to my younger 1/2 siblings from his first wife that he divorced.

    Granted Agnostic and Christian Feminist find continuity in combating areas like wage and social injustices including Civil Rights violations against Christians and Non-Christians alike.

    My wife through this thread admittedly embraces any Spiritual Feminist views of combating Spiritual, Mental and Physical Abuse which also includes chauvinist and deceiving preachers who aren’t disclosing their Stealth Doctrines.
    She has supports any Feminist that combats social injustices toward the unborn that occurs within and outside of churches and does not support any Feminist views she interprets as immoral or contributes to the sinful decay of our society that is embraced by men and women alike or those that embrace gender superiority.

    My wife and I concluded that one doesn’t have to refer themselves part of any movement to embrace or combat spiritual or social fairness, especially if one follows Christ, when in truth both men and women should be rising up against abuse.

    We actually have a 35 year old female relative that embraces female gender superiority comparable to chauvinist embracing male superiority..

    My wife and I, have also heard the emotional frustrations by self-proclaimed Christians who support unlimited abortion rights toward Christians who oppose it. These kinds of views can trigger strife and cause parents to limit their kids access to opposing views. And it certainly has created deep strife among Feminist who oppose or support abortion…


  83. I just finished my posts for here next week, and I’m all goofy. I was thinking about my friends in Houston who are holding a marriage conference as I type, and they were on my mind.

    I was thinking about the worthlessness that I used to feel when I was a kid because of what happened to me, and I was sure that the best way (that I couldn’t opt for because it was sinful) was to figure out how to die so that no one would be ruined or inconvenienced about the fact that I’d been molested, and I would be free from it, too. Then I thought of Mark’s comments and my comments to him about total depravity.

    Then I wondered if Calvinists in Houston would say (as some Texans are want to say at times) that we all “deserve killin'” because of our total depravity. And then I thought, boy, am I glad I wasn’t going to a Calvinist church when I was in the throws of this stuff. And somehow this sad thing seemed funny for a moment… Just a fleeting moment, however.


  84. “Scott Brown is “doing exposition on these topics”:
    Psalm 78, Breaking Free of the Patterns of Your Fathers”

    Ironically, that may be exactly the topic a young man or woman who break free from his teachings need to work on. But he is not the right teacher for it.


  85. Cindy K,

    I don’t have the capacity to fully understand Calvinism and thanks to my former Hyper Calvinist Pastor I was able to absorb how true Calvinist view Non-Calvinist who they pre-determine as a “Doctrinal Challenge”.

    His abusive Methodology was enough for me to pursue (with God’s guidance) what cryptic Doctrine he embraced. He still refused to fully disclose his beliefs except in the end he revealed that he embraced TULIP…

    The real “tell” that you reminded me that he repetitively proclaimed 3 times every service the first 6 months of his 2 year tenure was we didn’t deserve God’s mercy. He quit saying that after I insinuated that a preacher offers guidance the same way a parent offers guidance to their children.
    (how many parents remind their kids 3 times a day they don’t deserve to eat every time they make a mess?)

    Still don’t understand Total Depravity.


  86. Doug Wilson say Lourdes should have let “the church”, not heathen authorities, have judged the case: “I continue to believe that this whole thing should be sorted through by Christians, with a view to our testimony before a watching world.”

    Stacy McDonald echoes it:

    “..if she had not gone to the media, but instead sought Christian arbitration; and, if her family, her church, and the people in her community all wound up believing her, wouldn’t that be enough? Besides, “everyone” is not going to believe her anyway.
    I’m not saying there shouldn’t be some sort of restitution if her claims are proven true. But the way it is being handled is causing God’s name to be slandered among the heathen (and the church).

    I think if it were me, trying the case in the court of public opinion would hardly be satisfying anyway…”

    But she did go to church authorities! They did not stop it. After years of going to them and them covering it up and choosing Doug – the most powerful man in her church – ‘s side for years, she tried something else.

    And even by the narrowest literal understanding of Matthew 18, it was Biblical.

    15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

    She told him “no”, which would mean she told him his fault when alone. Doug did not “hear” her. Her parents found out, that did not stop it. (Two or three more.) Doug did not “hear” them. The church found out and covered it up. He neglected to hear the church. At that stage she was right to treat him as a “heathen and a publician.” Since the narrow application of texts say you should not take Christians to court, he put himself in the “heathen and publician” spot where he could be taken to court.

    Even Vision Forum put themselves in the “heathen and publician” spot, by covering for him and ignoring multiple warnings and writings from the church at large that their teachings are unbiblical.


  87. “Still don’t understand Total Depravity.”

    This is simplistic but it comes from Augustine who brought in Greek Pagan Philosophy into Christianity. (Not the only one but it stuck because of Latin, his prolific writings and the spread of his ideas) Augustine probably did more to screw up Christianity than anyone else because of his influence. It was what influenced Luther and Calvin systematized into a big black hole of contradictions called the Institutes.

    It is a form of Platonic thinking where the belief goes that the material world is evil and only spiritual good. It totally cuts us from God unless you are one of the “special people” God appointed to teach the rest of us. (Philosopher king) It is pure Gnosticism in how it works out.

    And it is so common place for us to accept “original sin” as the construct. That comes from Augustine. You see, you were born guilty before you ever sinned. Babies are vipers in diapers. You inherited Adams sin. (It would be like me saying you were born guilty of your dad’s sin) Instead of us living in the consequences of Adam’s sin.

    I have had so many YRR men here try to make me admit “your heart is deceitful” that it is hilarious. I always say of course not, Christ dwells there”. They freak. In their world, it is a sin to dare say you are not depraved. There is nothing different from you than the ax murderer. It is MORAL CHAOS. Because we then cannot really call real evil, evil. Because we are all evil. I mean it is total moral chaos. I see it played out all the time because I live at ground zero. Youth get involved with this thinking in youth group and by the time they are in mid 20’s many are athiests. Because they have spent all their time making dates with satan as led by these guys. we are going to see a huge fall out from this resurgence taking place.

    But they take a proof text and totally twist it.

    We have enough to deal with when it comes to the consequences of ‘the fall” and evil entering the world. But to try and convince people they have no real image of God in them is a horror. And what is worse, God made up His mind about you before you were even born. Are you in God’s random lottery?

    When you get into the actual application it makes no sense. But they have a ton of answers for any of it that are a black hole of reason. The part that really bothers me is that reason is seen as sin. What a way to control people’s thoughts.


  88. “The abuse we endured, combined Spiritual and Gender Abuses. Our Pastor was stunned when my wife (who does not have a mean combative bone in her body) shared at the end of a Wednesday evening Bible Study 1 John 1:9 during a question or comment time we realize now that verse countered the direction away from his Election Theology.”

    I am starting to wonder if he attended SBTS . They are cranking guys like this out by the hundreds and they are wrecking churches everywhere. But it is in many seminaries now.

    They were indoctrinated and cannot handle interaction they don’t control. This came to light on so many of the blogs they were involved with over the last 8 years or so. They are sending out indoctrinated guys who cannot handle disagreement to pastor churches. That was only a disaster waiting to happen. Since they were indoctrinated they only know how to indoctrinate. And they were sent out to promote and defend Calvin/Reformed beliefs.

    They have been taught that the pew sitters are ignorant and know nothing. They are there to “enlighten” them to truth. The arrogance in that crowd is unbelievable. But then look at their hero. Calvin was very young when he took over Geneva (he was asked to!) and he became a total tyrant. You would be punished publicly for falling asleep during one of his sermons. When you read the historical behavior of these guys it is shocking. The Puritans were cruel. And they have made a huge comeback in popularity.

    They have very little clue concerning Jesus Christ. What should scare you is how many people are still there following him.


  89. ” was thinking about the worthlessness that I used to feel when I was a kid because of what happened to me, and I was sure that the best way (that I couldn’t opt for because it was sinful) was to figure out how to die so that no one would be ruined or inconvenienced about the fact that I’d been molested, and I would be free from it, too. Then I thought of Mark’s comments and my comments to him about total depravity.”

    Think of the damage you have endured already. I am seriously worried about youth who have been horribly damaged with that layer added to it. To be taught your molester is the same sinner you are. You are both evil and depraved. The whole thing is moral chaos. It goes back to making everyone guilty for something they did not do. We are responsible for the sins we commit and know we commit.

    And to be fair, this thinking has permeated much of Protestantism in some form or another. the seekers used it as cheap grace. Oh, we are all sinners saved by grace. Just forgive and move on as the consequences for doing evil to another is “I’m sorry”. . (As if the Cross means sin more because grace abounds. Actually Paul says it doesn’t)

    To me, it is criminal to lie about God that way. As if God bans justice for us on earth for us now. Not true.


  90. Mark, Just one more thing on Feminism. The comps who devised the Danvers Statement (Piper, etc) made “Feminism” the enemy.

    Let’s face it, every rogue movement gets lots of press. It is not unlike how my brother speaks of the Vietnam protests. He says you would think every young man in college was out protesting, sitting in, burning flags, etc because of how the media portrayed it. There were some serious protests but if you took everyone that age in college at the time vs the protesters there is no comparison. It is our paradigm concerning them because of the media shaping our views)

    The media widely covered the fringe in militant feminism (70’s) which was basically matriarchal in scope. Guys like Piper latched on to that when writing the Danvers statement and painted it as if all women were going that route. Then it became if you agree with this or that you are a “feminist”. The broad brush labeling took place. And it became more and more narrow to the point that women could read scripture aloud in worship at Piper’s church. Oh and you would think Betty Friedan some sort of Satanist according to these guys…like Tim LaHaye. She simply wrote about what so many women were thinking at the time! But they “framed” the issue for so many Christians who would use the militants on the news burning bras and tell people, this is coming to your family. It was nothing but fear mongering.

    In other words, they made the media fringe work for them. And back then you barely had cable tv! The media really decided what we knew or did not know. They shaped our understanding, too. We were spoon fed what we were to know. It is interesting to look back and see how much power the media had back then over what we knew or did not know.

    That is why nowadays with so many resources at our fingertips and interaction it is getting harder and harder for movements like patriarchy, YRR, etc to keep the peasants in line. The YRR used social media to grow their movement but the same social media is now analyzing everything they believe and what they do. Just like we are here. :o)


  91. Lydiasellerofpurple,

    I am not versed in Augustine and many of the older writings. Your thoughts are, well, exposing me to things I have kind of wondered about. You seem to have much to say. I wish I could get a brain transfer of your insights and knowledge. I will need to keep an eye on my daughter’s high school level texts and make sure we discuss what they are saying. (I’m pretty sure there is some Augustine readings in them.)

    The whole problem of Gnosticism at its basic level of material=bad, spiritual=good is destroyed in Genesis 1 – God declared all of creation Good! It is hard to think of yourself as good when evil has happened to you in the form of abuse, even after you have become a believer.

    This is also making me rethink what forgiveness really is. I have thought several times that I had forgiven my abuser. But if what I have been taught about forgiveness is wrong, then have I really? Much to process, and it takes time. It always takes a lot of time.


  92. Lydia, thank you for those informative posts! I absolutely agree with you about moral chaos!!! I know I have said this before, but you really need to write a book.

    Wouldrathernotsay raises the issue of forgiveness. I wonder about this one too. Christians are always being told that we must forgive people who sin against us. But is that really a Biblical requirement if the abuser is nonrepentent? Does that even help the abuser?

    I ask this because years ago I read a book written by a psychiatrist about the murder of Bonnie Garland. Bonnie, all of nineteen, had broken up with her college boyfriend, Richard. He didn’t take it well, drove to her parents’ home over a college break and was invited to stay the night. In the middle of the night, he beat her to death with a claw hammer. He then drove to a random parsonage and confessed all to the minister. While the pastor is ministering to the young man, Bonnie is not yet dead and not discovered by her parents, but no one is concerned with Bonnie. Then, after Bonnie dies and Richard is arrested, the Catholic campus ministry rallies around him as well as many others on campus. No one at the college thinks to minister to the grieving parents. After he is convicted, Richard writes a newsletter to his supporters whining about the length of his sentence and how unfair it is, sounding as if was he was a victim being unfairly persecuted.

    One of the points the author was making was that easy forgiveness did not serve Richard who maintained a ‘poor me I was driven to kill’ attitude throughout.

    Sin has consequences. If a victim chooses not to offer forgiveness, in the presence or absence of genuine repentence, then that is a consequence the offender has to accept. And I question whether forgiveness in the absence of true repentence isn’t damaging to the offender.

    What do you think, Lydia?


  93. “She told him “no”, which would mean she told him his fault when alone. Doug did not “hear” her. Her parents found out, that did not stop it. (Two or three more.) Doug did not “hear” them. The church found out and covered it up. He neglected to hear the church. At that stage she was right to treat him as a “heathen and a publician.” Since the narrow application of texts say you should not take Christians to court, he put himself in the “heathen and publician” spot where he could be taken to court. Even Vision Forum put themselves in the “heathen and publician” spot, by covering for him and ignoring multiple warnings and writings from the church at large that their teachings are unbiblical.”

    Totally right, not really even something one can reasonably argue with. But you have to realize who and what you are dealing with. These are not reasonable or rational people. They’re not decent. They don’t treat people well. They are not people whom one can assume care about Lourdes at all. They don’t–I can only guess based upon what they say and do–care about the Church at large. Is there anything in their actions that would lead anyone to think it? No, they care about Their System and Their Power and Their Spotlight. And there’s not enough room in all that to actually care one whit about victims.

    It’s probably safer to say they hate victims, it does not take any great insight to read between the lines of their statements to see it. It may well be that they are “heathens and publicans” just like those who abused or covered for the abuse of Lourdes.

    Ms McDonald is correct in one matter, more than she is capable of grasping: the wheat is separating from the tares. Undoubtedly. And by their fruits we are knowing them.


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