Doug Phillips’ Vision Forum Revisionist (Art) History

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Did Vision Forum revise (“photochopped,” as opposed to Photoshopped) art history to promote their Patriarchal agenda?

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Note from Julie Anne: Cindy Kunsman and I were corresponding by e-mail about her upcoming series which will be hosted here at SSB and she sent me a link to an old post as a side comment.   Check out the date of the original post: ** Screen Shot 2014-04-27 at 6.22.34 PM ** Cindy’s article was from almost SIX YEARS ago! This was certainly during the time Phillips was using his position of authority inappropriately with then Lourdes Torres (who recently filed a lawsuit against Doug Phillips). Cindy Kunsman and other bloggers have been exposing Doug Phillips and Patriarchy for quite some time, yet the friends of Doug Phillips who promoted the Christian Patriarchy Movement remained silent and looked the other way. Thanks, Cindy, for sharing your article with us!! ~ja


 

By Cindy Kunsman, adapted from a post at UnderMuchGrace.com.

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Accolade for SSB

My elderly neighbors grew up in the Victorian period and had a house full of old, fascinating treasures. Some of the artwork was just beautiful, and as I grew up, those little pieces of the past became a way of celebrating my elderly loved ones who were no longer with me. I must not have been the only one with this interest, for Victoriana Magazine could be easily found — and I thought it was popular, anyway.

I loved the Pre-Raphaelite style which depicted women as beautiful, strong, and realistic, along with a spiritual quality and a creative liberty that promoted idealism. They loved to paint themes drawn from medieval history and moralistic myths.

When I lived in the Texas Hill Country a decade ago, I displayed framed posters of Edmund Blair Leighton’s two most famed paintings above my limestone fireplace.  One was entitled “The Accolade,” and I’m told that it depicted Guinevere knighting Sir Lancelot.  

The word accolade derives from a French phrase of vernacular — literally meaning to embrace someone’s neck.  It described the ritual of the touching of a sword to the shoulders of someone as they are knighted. Paired with Leighton’s work, God Speed!, both images kept me mindful of the Holy Spirit as our paraclete, the One who comes along side of us as our helper, particularly when we go off into battle, wrestling against principalities and powers in this life. 

There is a remarkable reverent quality about both paintings that spoke to me about the power and the holiness of God — and how blessed I was to be a recipient of His unmerited favor. I always thought of the spiritual authority that God bestows upon us, giving us His Name as Believers. We are the children of THE King.

Then one day…

I learned that Vision Forum (VF) products appeared right along side Saxon Math books in the Christian Book Distributors (CBD) catalogue. So I went to their website, just out of curiosity, to see just how many VF books they offered there.

I put Vision Forum into their search engine online and was immediately drawn to the disturbingly wrong but familiar picture in the sidebar.

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SSB Leighton Phillips

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(I no longer display either print in my home.)

It’s sad because many people have commented to me that it looks as though Arthur’s Queen is either doing something improper to this young Lancelot or is circumcising or castrating him. If you’re familiar with the original painting, consider that she’s holding a sword.  How ironic that they so fear women, yet they “created” this image with their revisionist (art) history!

It’s also disturbing imagery because the subjects in the painting look more as though they are the same age, and the book concerns fathers and daughters. So the mental images that this suggests become all the more disturbing.

And all because these men cannot bear the thought of a woman holding more authority than a man? How ridiculous! She was Arthur’s Queen! What does that say about medieval marriage? “Mutual Submission with Delegated Authority and Responsibility?” God Forbid!!!

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Late Entry Icon

Hester at Scarlett Letters has written a commentary about the Vision Forum “product” that featured the photochopped Leighton painting.

She reports that the product notes the source but fails to tell everyone that they substantially altered it.

Read more of Hester’s astute explication of Sleeping Beauty and the Five Questions and what it postulated HERE, as well as her comments about the altered painting HERE.

Only venture there if you think that you can stomach Vision Forum’s brand of Mormon-Flavored Koolaide.

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144 comments on “Doug Phillips’ Vision Forum Revisionist (Art) History

  1. Am I the only one who sees text on top of text? WordPress makes me nuts sometimes…

    Update… I think it’s fixed…

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  2. I read this blog post when you posted it all those years ago Cindy. I think we have even spoken about the liberty that was taken here but over the years I had forgotten all about this. I have forgotten so much…a defense mechanism I am sure. It’s hard to believe these people have gotten away with as much as they have.

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  3. Wonder why I get the distinct impression that this is all a metaphor for how they photochop Scripture:

    cutting and pasting Old to New,
    lifting and shifting and calling it true,
    demuralizing women,
    ascendalizing men,
    revisionforumist “Biblical” Barbie and Ken

    Like

  4. Steve Scott,

    That’s my husband’s favorite movie. Just can’t trust those watery tarts just because they throw a sword at you.

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  5. thanks Cindy and JA. I’ve seen this VF photochopping (what a great word!) exposed in a post on Facebook some time ago. Mabye they got it from your site, Cindy!

    The image doctored by VF is disgusting, for all the ways you’ve described. All the respect is gone, it’s been replaced by the creepy anaconda of porn.

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  6. Thank you for reposting this. I’ll add it to the long list of self-serving errors of this movement in an upcoming article. Gross errors such as: rewriting Christian education history, omitting key historical facts (in the NCFIC’s flagship book), bogus claims (like Noah Webster’s blue-back speller being Christian), “reinterpreting” homeschooling statistical studies, etc….which does not include the nascent legalism, patriarchialism, etc….and no one caught them because of a cult of personality mindset. Well, not no one. Just not the “people that matter”. (Cindy and others have been trying).

    Doug may be gone. But his movement live on. Let’s make sure nobody forgets what Doug taught and none of his friends disavowed.

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  7. Great, Shawn. If your blog doesn’t do ping backs, I’m sure many of my readers and I would be interested in your article. Feel free to post the link if you think about it. Thanks!

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  8. I covered this photoshop job on Scarlet Letters here (thanks again to Cindy for all the real legwork!). If you click on the first footnote, somebody at a university actually found this and wrote about it. It was in their Arthuriana journal, or something like that – the footnote is a link to that PDF. They talked about another element I had missed, which is that the bearded guy on the right is supposed to represent the girl’s father giving her away.

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  9. Also, FWIW I don’t refer to VF’s photoshop job as The Accolade. I’ve dubbed it The Castration of Lancelot instead. Makes referencing it easier. 🙂

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  10. FWIW, there’s no sword in the photochopped version, only a pretty woman reaching out to a man’s groin. Since the title is “Sleeping Beauty…” I can’t help but think of the hypocrisy of young women “keeping virginity” whereas a young man can stick his wick anywhere he pleases, including that cute little thang called “giving head”. And since the subtitle is “A parable about the Hearts of Fathers and Daughters”, it’s plain pedophilic.

    One doesn’t put that much work into such a revision without understanding what the image is becoming. Whoever did it knew what he was doing. The photochopper’s personal life should be examined.

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  11. Ah yes, I remember seeing this before. I notice that in the original, Lancelot’s hands are clasped together. In the revised version, it almost looks as though he is supposed to be holding her swordless hand in both of his, like he is claiming her for himself.

    The other thing that struck me is while she appears to be demurely gazing at the floor, he is looking down on her–rather symbolic for patriarchy, no?

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  12. It is sort of macabre the lengths they go to to propagate this ideology. Seriously? Photocropping a somewhat well known picture? That is brazen. Didn’t some of his followers pick up on this? I don’t get it. It even looks faked. What sort of person(s) think this is acceptable?

    The labor and mentality it takes to spread their position blows my mind in its intensity.

    BTW: I guess those daddy shaving parties are at an end?

    Cindy, thanks so much for putting this together a few years ago and shaing it now here. It is an illustration of the depths of the phoniness of what was Vision Forum.

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  13. Oops, sorry, I wrote Keeping instead of Sleeping. I won’t write anymore until I’m recovered from flare. mod note: typo fixed. you’re fine!

    I did read your posts on subject, Hester. Good job!

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  14. Are we now going to see mandatory Moscow Kirk Realism, analogous to Socialist Realism and National Socialist Realism?

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  15. @BarbaraRoberts:

    I wonder who was the person who actually photochopped the image. Wonder how they sleep at night?

    With Madam Rosy Palm?

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  16. @Patrice:

    I can’t help but think of the hypocrisy of young women “keeping virginity” whereas a young man can stick his wick anywhere he pleases, including that cute little thang called “giving head”.

    And since giving head never involves Tab A into THAT Slot B, it isn’t REALLY sex. Wipe mouth and announce “I have NOT sinned. SHE sinned!”
    “I did not have sex with that woman.”
    “It all depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is.”
    — William J Clinton, Esq

    Another route to the same destination is (Boontling) Keeboarping and Dreefing (end Boontling). Again, wipe mouth and announce “I have NOT sinned”:
    “I did not know her in the Biblical sense.”
    — Doug Phillips ESQUIRE

    And since the subtitle is “A parable about the Hearts of Fathers and Daughters”, it’s plain pedophilic.

    I think the VF guys have been watching too many hawt scenes from Game of Thrones.

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  17. I wanted to be first to compare revisionforumists with Nazis, but see Headless Unicorn Guy beat me to it. The knight honoring the queen in the original artwork reminded me of my favorite passage from “The Hiding Place”. The Nazi “Kapteyn” is demanding to know where they’ve hidden the Jews:
    ‘Kapteyn whirled, his white face even paler. “Prisoners will remain silent!” he shrieked. Two men were clumping down the stairs and into the dining room carrying something between them. They had discovered the old radio beneath the stairs.
    “Law-abiding citizens, are you?” Kapteyn went on. “You! The old man there. I see you believe in the Bible.” He jerked his thumb at the well-worn book on its shelf. “Tell me, what does it say in there about obeying the government?”
    “‘Fear God,’” Father quoted, and on his lips in that room the words came as blessing and reassurance. “‘Fear God and honor the queen.’”
    Kapteyn stared at him. “It doesn’t say that. The Bible doesn’t say that.”
    “No.” Father admitted. “It says, ‘Fear God, honor the king.’ But in our case, that is the queen.”
    “It’s not king or queen!” roared Kapteyn. “We’re the legal government now, and you’re all lawbreakers!”’

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  18. This is even more gross because Guinevere and Lancelot committed adultery. Also, since she was already married to Arthur her father could not give her to Lancelot. Were they really flaunting there secret sick thoughts?

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  19. “Wonder why I get the distinct impression that this is all a metaphor for how they photochop Scripture:

    cutting and pasting Old to New,
    lifting and shifting and calling it true,
    demuralizing women,
    ascendalizing men,
    revisionforumist “Biblical” Barbie and Ken”

    Ha! That is so true.

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  20. CINDY K. -You never cease to amaze me with your detective and research skills. The fact that this was from 6 years ago shows that you were Well aware of issues while the rest of us were asleep. Good job:)

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  21. As beautiful as the original picture is, I’m sure it’s not the most beautiful or precious thing that Vision Forum has managed to butcher. Male-female relationships, anyone?

    brad/futuristguy is right. It just might be a sick metaphor.

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  22. The original is hanging in my bedroom. For all their intelligence, those Vision Forum ‘revisionist artists’ sure are pretty stupid! I noticed the way they changed the art before, but just rolled my eyes. Good grief. Does EVERYthing have to be a statement of male dominance? (that’s rhetorical, of course.)

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  23. @Joyelle:

    The original is hanging in my bedroom. For all their intelligence, those Vision Forum ‘revisionist artists’ sure are pretty stupid! I noticed the way they changed the art before, but just rolled my eyes.

    Especially the latest photoshop crop & rearrangement, where it looks like Guinevere’s giving Lancelot a hand job. (And you don’t need that dirty a mind to see that.)

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  24. @Wisdomchaser:

    This is even more gross because Guinevere and Lancelot committed adultery. Also, since she was already married to Arthur her father could not give her to Lancelot. Were they really flaunting there secret sick thoughts?

    Some years ago, one Christian group (I think it was Focus on the Family) announced some program or educational materials track or something for Christian boys that had to do with Lancelot as role model. (I think it was called “Lancelot Listens” or something similar; I remember the title was very alliterative.)

    My first response to that was “They never read the FULL King Arthur Cycle, have they? Or even saw the movie Excalibur?

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  25. I am not familiar with the original but it is the worst ad ever for Vision Forum. Do they think people are idiots? I never looked at their curriculum but if I had seen this, I would definitely have run the other way.

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  26. My eyes are whirling in my head! This is crazy! It reminds me of an American 40’s movie that was exported to Spain. Your basic boy meets girl WWII movie. Well there is one scene where the two lovebirds are seen entering a tent together. This allusion to potential sex was too much for the Catholic censors in Spain. So when they dubbed the movie in Spanish, they made the characters into brother and sister. The amusing result of this change actually made it worse, as the characters had many scenes where they kiss passionately! So I guess incestuous kissing was less troubling than an unmarried couple going into a tent! What is wrong with people? Shawn, I love Cult of Personality-It hits the nail on the head!

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  27. And meanwhile, Patriarchy proponents looked the other way at this. Why? Because Phillips had “the right doctrinal message.” Don’t want to step on someone’s toes who is teaching the right stuff, do we? I mean if his overall message matches with ours then this was just a slight oversight, right?

    It’s funny to see all the distancing now! This reminds me so much of CJ Mahaney/SGM and how TGC and T4G have continuously supported him.

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  28. Cindy, your background on this makes the whole thing laughable. Truly, my first reaction is to laugh at the desperate attempts of Phillips and Company to teach their weirdness.

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  29. Lydia, you ask “What sort of person(s) think this is acceptable?” The many people who think as long as they’re “Lyin’ for the Lord” it’s ok. I’m no biblical scholar but i think the 10 suggestions were pretty clear that lying was wrong. This behavior is why I am not a christian any more.

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  30. “The photochopper’s personal life should be examined.” Makes me wonder if this were a cruel – but totally humorous – practical joke by a closet anti-patriarchal type. 😉

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  31. Steve: ” What’s the symbolism of that?”

    Dirty old man trying to live vicariously through control and ‘overseeing’ the young ‘ens?

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  32. @ Steve Scott:

    I just noticed a bearded old man in the background watching. What’s the symbolism of that?

    He’s supposed to be the girl’s father giving her away. It’s more amusing, however, if you imagine that the look on his face is alarm and/or shock at whatever he’s witnessing. 😉

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  33. For the record, I wasn’t familiar with the original painting so when I first saw this CD at a homeschool convention, I didn’t know anything was wrong with it. Once you find out, though, you can’t unsee it. And for me, at least, it just gets funnier and funnier how amazingly NOT subtle it is.

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  34. Hester, I don’t typically say this word, but whomever did this pisses me off. Misrepresenting art history to promote and support a false teaching and ideology that oppresses women is evil, especially knowing that so many young women are held captive emotionally and spiritually by this crap.

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  35. There are several versions of the Arthurian legends, and some of them portray Guinevere as a faithful woman.

    I don’t remember all of the specifics anymore, save that the more popular and sensational stories jump right in there to blame the evil woman. This makes for better fodder in the Hollywood/Broadway retellings. In one version, Guinevere commits adultery with Mordred. The saga is not so much a romanticized story of idyllic goodness but rather that people are people — and this was a royal fellowship of complicated relationships where women were often commodities that men used. Some women were objects of service to their men (dare I say “personal sex object” of the privileged leader with the divine right of kings), and some were their objectified bird in the gilded cage.

    There is another rendition wherein an illegitimate sister passes herself off as a false Guinevere with whom Arthur engages, but Lancelot and King Galehault protect the true Guinevere until the truth is revealed to Arthur — and there is no adultery on her part. She doesn’t engage with Lancelot anymore than a grateful woman does with a fireman friend who happens to be the one who responds to her house fire and carries her to safety. (I don’t recall about the specifics of the Lancelot/Guinevere relationship in that story, save that she was never an adulteress. It wasn’t the focus of the story.)

    And in one of these renditions, Arthur is unfaithful, producing an illegitimate heir named Borre (which I found curious as a name and still remember) whom he eventually installs as a Knight of the Round Table.

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  36. Aw, Tim,

    I wish that I had found this to be funny. In my new home in Florida, I indulged in a new photo on a huge canvas of an ocean wave. Every time I look at it, I think of “Deep calleth unto deep” or “He plunged me to victory beneath the cleansing flood” or “He drew me out of many waters” or “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.” I don’t know if I end up subconsciously choosing art and things that seem to have some deeper meaning, but I know that it is something that I experience.

    Because of my great fondness for the original work and the spiritual conviction that I drew from it (“Don’t forget today that you are an emissary of the Lord who loves you and goes with you which you do in His Name”), I actually felt violated because it does look inappropriate. What woman, young or old, kneels in public before a man and puts her hand anywhere near that region of his body under any circumstances. (Zoot or one of the others at the Castle Anthrax might — and if you don’t know the sardonic/obsene/irreverent humor reference, I’m not going to tell you. I will say that it is not fare for a children’s book or anything that has anything to do with a father and a daughter. Bringeth thou me a puke bucket.)

    I felt robbed on top of what felt like violation with some wicked imagery. I never noticed the grizzled man there in the background (but I noticed that they chopped out the squire who was holding Lancelot’s shield which displayed his Coat of Arms). It perverted everything good, and you would think that Doug would have loved the idea of squires since he had so many of them in his service on his obsequious Boy-Staff — truly a sick thing to me to see in action.

    That said, I don’t know how anyone can accuse me of glee over anything that has transpired with Phillips as some are want to say. I’m sad that the group disbanded instead of the higher hope of group would have figured out that their ideology was flawed, then laboring to make things right.

    God does work miracles, and I prayed that key people within Vision Forum would have a Road to Damascus encounter which would lead them to teach and clarify all of the things that they got wrong.

    Being able to vilify one man for failure means that he was just a bad apple, and that the barrel was actually good. We see this in how everyone’s cutting loose from Phillips but carrying on with their holy grail cause. But what I’ve tried to do has been to talk about the bad barrel makes and fosters corruption, exploiting the good apples that find their way into it’s barrel clutches. (And thanks to Dr. Philip Zimbardo for that imagery. It is his analogy for bad systems that trap people — from the Stanford Prison Experiment to Abu Ghraib — in societies of silence that punish the good and kill the conscience.

    There is no humor in any of that, and there is certainly no glee.

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  37. Hester,

    Again as I said in a discussion a couple of months ago, I am so grateful for you and your work at exposing this stuff. We all bring our experience and our gifts to this process of working through the chaos that this hurricane of patriarchy has created, and you are doing some vital work. I have so little patience for so much of this material, and you’ve taken it on.

    I tried to follow that link in the first footnote in your great post on this crazy picture, but they must have moved it. Do you have a copy of it or do you recall the name of the author? I’d love to read the whole thing.

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  38. I guess that proper Christians (TM) per VF would have no idea that such a painting by Edmund Blair Leighton existed. Everyone else is just a dumb flunky, and if they did see anything improper in the photochop job, it just proves that they are perverted. VF is all modesty so none of their following would ever even imagine such a thing. Kelly Crawford set us straight on that. What Phillips did was sinful and spiritual abuse is sinful, and people in the true and proper church to get patriarchy right (TM) don’t sin.

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  39. @ Cindy:

    Unfortunately it seems to be trapped behind a paywall now. The article was titled “‘His Princess’: An Arthurian Family Drama” and was by someone named Amy Kaufman in the journal Arthuriana. If you click on the author’s name at the paywall link below, it shows some more of her essays and she seems to only write for Arthurian-related publications.

    http://muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&type=summary&url=/journals/arthuriana/v022/22.3.kaufman.pdf

    Abstract from the paywall link:

    “Modesty movements in the United States have begun to rely on a fragmented and bowdlerized pastiche of Arthuriana to enforce the chastity of adolescent girls and elevate the status of fathers. The Purity Ball, which functions as the official public ceremony of modesty movements, inscribes the young girl’s body as a holy grail with the power to heal her father’s wounded manhood.”

    I didn’t read the whole article, just the first bit about the CD cover. I do find it interesting that academics are starting to seriously study patriarchy movements, though. The paywall link has the volume, issue and year number of the journal should you be really determined to dig it up.

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  40. Hester,

    I put an addendum in this post here at SSB so that people can link directly over to your website. But only if people think that they can stomach VF’s brand of Mormon Koolaide.

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  41. Hester,

    I get MANY inquiries from academics who seek to understand this movement and the ideology behind some of the more sensational elements of it — like “masturbation lawsuits” as Vice Magazine called this most recent scandal. It breaks my heart when I hear more compassion from a sociology professor or a journalist who specializes in extremist religious movements than I do from those within the counter cult apologetics movement in the Evangelical world.

    Secularists often grasp what is happening much better if not profoundly so than do most Evangelical Christians who allegedly specialize in aberrant religious movements. And I have yet to communicate with anyone who has come away from our discussion with disdain for Christians or some objectification of them. Everyone I’ve talked with has seen it as a cause for sadness and express empathy/pity for the fact that truly good people get led astray in extremism. While I’m encouraged to see this and believe that it is because I’ve effectively explained what happens in these movements….

    Well, lets just say that it just deepens my grief over the fact that Christian academics have failed miserably to not only pay attention to these types of movements, they are largely ignorant when it comes to responding to the casualties. There is more help for survivors of spiritual abuse through secular groups like ICSA than can be found among Christian resources.

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  42. @ Cindy:

    Thanks. There’s actually only seven Big Box lectures left. After that I have a few that I nabbed from the NCFIC before they took down all Doug’s lectures, some extra stuff that’s lying around my house (includ. a Botkin Homeschool Dropouts DVD), and all of So Much More and To Train Up a Child. So Scarlet Letters has material for a while yet. 🙂

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  43. @ Cindy:

    It breaks my heart when I hear more compassion from a sociology professor or a journalist who specializes in extremist religious movements than I do from those within the counter cult apologetics movement in the Evangelical world.

    Not just secularists – I also routinely find more sympathetic listeners in the “apostate liberal” churches that folks like VF decry. I recently got a chance to tell a lay Episcopalian about my blog and its contents and she was horrified, not by the blog but by the stuff I was writing against. The end of the conversation went something like this:

    E: “Are you safe?”

    H: “What?”

    E: “I mean, these people aren’t going to come after you, are they?”

    H: “No. They sold me their CDs and I paid for them so I can critique them as much as I want. Why?”

    E: “Well, they sound like they’re…not all there.”

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  44. Hester, did you keep the original links to the lectures that are now removed? If so, you might be able to get them on the Wayback Machine. Or if you have the titles, you can sometimes find them that way.

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  45. @ Julie Anne:

    I take it you mean the original link to the PDF essay? I do have the old link. I haven’t quite learned how to use the Wayback Machine yet. 🙂

    @ Cindy:

    Is your email listed on Under Much Grace?

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  46. Cindy K, I want to repeat this:
    “Secularists often grasp what is happening much better if not profoundly so than do most Evangelical Christians who allegedly specialize in aberrant religious movements. And I have yet to communicate with anyone who has come away from our discussion with disdain for Christians or some objectification of them. Everyone I’ve talked with has seen it as a cause for sadness and express empathy/pity for the fact that truly good people get led astray in extremism. While I’m encouraged to see this and believe that it is because I’ve effectively explained what happens in these movements….

    Well, lets just say that it just deepens my grief over the fact that Christian academics have failed miserably to not only pay attention to these types of movements, they are largely ignorant when it comes to responding to the casualties. There is more help for survivors of spiritual abuse through secular groups like ICSA than can be found among Christian resources.”
    …..
    I have found this to be true, too, precisely so. It is very important that we understand that there is something very wrong inside US evangelicalism; it even eats at our defenders.

    I’ve even found it impossible to get Richard Beck to respond to me about spiritual and sexual abuse in the church, and he’s over on the liberal end, stuffed full of his own “great” theology for psychology, yet skirting these issues like a dancer en pointe.

    The more they are written about, the more they are dismissed or sidelined or simply partly belittled, the more I’m convinced that these stories point to the center of the disease that afficts us.

    It’s disgusting.

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  47. I wrote to that agency at Hopkins to ask for a reprint (asking to buy one) or to put me in contact with the author (who generally has reprints that they’re given to send to people). We’ll see. I may try some other avenues, too, but I love having the reference you documented, too.

    Edit: Read my mind everyone. That is a reference to the Arthurian article that Hester referenced and footnoted in her second post on Sleeping Beauty and the Five Questions.

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  48. Patrice,

    Beck is a committed cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) guy, and they seem to be at odds with trauma researchers who are proving that CBT isn’t effective for trauma — particularly early on in the process. Somatic therapy and “thinking about how the body feels” stimulates the medial prefrontal cortex which soothes the basal ganglia. The basal ganglia is one of the epicenters responsible for PTSD and that “maladaptive processing of information.” PTSD dulls and suppresses the analytical part of the brain (you can’t think well when you’re stressed), and CBT focuses on examining and thinking about your behavior.

    The CBT folks are very threatened by the new research on trauma because you’re much better off taking up a new physical sport or getting a massage then you are going into talk therapy. By leaps and bounds better. And I have found that Evangelicals are threatened by this because they think it sounds like “experientialism.” In the general sense, we are half thinking creatures and half emotion/kinesthetic. But Christian academics would like to think that thought trumps all — perhaps feeling threatened by critics who say that religion is not logical at all. A lot of this goes back to the Cartesian error and that goes back into neoplatonism for some.

    The people in the gap need an advocate and they need care. Sadly, I only know of a small handful of Christian people who can attend to their needs holistically.

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  49. E: “Are you safe?”

    H: “What?”

    E: “I mean, these people aren’t going to come after you, are they?”

    Hester, I’m not surprised your friend reacted this way. Patrio-centrists wouldn’t be the first cultic thinkers to “go after” critics and whistleblowers. Especially if they have lots of money. One particularly vicious cult of greed and power has been doing just that for decades now, as I’ve learned in recent years.

    Your friend might be familiar with such tactics somehow. Or maybe she just knows crazy when she hears it, and understands that crazy people are typically scary rather than funny.

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  50. @ SKIJ:

    Hester, I’m not surprised your friend reacted this way. …maybe she just knows crazy when she hears it, and understands that crazy people are typically scary rather than funny.

    No, I’m not surprised either. And yeah, crazy people ARE scary rather than funny. I didn’t mean for the excerpt to be taken as making light of how potentially dangerous some of these people are. I just found it amusing in the moment that she went there so quickly. Maybe it was funnier in context.

    Thankfully I haven’t been threatened, etc. (so far – here’s hoping it never happens!).

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  51. Cindy K, yah, I know. That’s the very point you made so well, that even those Christians who also understand that there’s value “out there”, will pick the most simplistic therapy to upgrade into Christianity. Cognitive-behavioral mod is all about “getting it right”, which slides easily into the way they already think.

    Then Beck slaps a bunch of mimetic stuff on it and it gains a fringe of mystery and ohlala avant garde. Voila, kudos waft in like the aroma of hibiscus on a hot night in the Caribbean.

    That’s very telling.

    In actuality, a person who seriously believes Christ all the way to his toes, and who studies psychology, will come to understand that the human is complex and when wounded, needs oh my God, love and kindness. Of course, taking on a sport or getting a massage is more helpful than cognitive-behavior mod or psychoanalysis, although parts/pieces might be helpful at various times during healing.

    What helps most is physical activity in a safe place, supportive relationships with safe people, and someone with expertise to walk beside her as she hashes out what happened and what it means. Plus a lot of time. It’s how we are supposed to be to each other all the time, but more intense and with more space. It is not really rocket science, but given how few Christians understand it, one would think it so.

    I don’t see that Christians academics believe thought trumps all. Or perhaps they do, but they’re just bad at it. I do agree that there’s a deep disconnect between actual reality, “what is”, and what they “believe should be”. But that isn’t academic thought so much as it is insistent idealism. It is very stifling.

    ISTM, it’s the same problem as the separatism that beleaguers the US church, that sin is “out there” and not “in here”. They merely transfer that into airy pin-headedness on the same few themes, around and around they go.

    Academic thought that has integrity is always grounded in reality, not ideology. Even the most esoteric has that at base. No ideology has integrity if it doesn’t base itself in “what is”.

    And the center of the reality-based ideology that is Christianity is the meaning of suffering. I tried to explain that to Beck, but to no avail. Really, there’s no way to debate with ideologues. Blech!

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  52. Actually, Hester and Serving, crazy people are not nearly as scary as these people are. When I first collapsed from severe PTSD, I was in/out of the psychiatric floors of hospitals, 9 times over 8 years. (They didn’t know that I had complex PTSD, it wasn’t an acceptable diagnosis then, and I just went back and back and back because I kept falling into suicidal depression but I knew I couldn’t kill myself and also knew that if I didn’t go somewhere safe, I would slide beyond my self-discipline.)

    I met a lot of genuinely crazy people in my travels and only two of them scared me. The rest were just confused about reality and in terrible pain. Yes, irrational but irrationality isn’t the road to violence. We westerners think it is, but it isn’t.

    I met some of the best hearts on those psychiatric floors. Having a good heart is a separate thing from having a sane brain.

    I like what that lay person said, “…not all there.” Because what these people are missing is the hearts that God gave them. They are become soulless in a strange way, and it is apparent to non-believers in a way that it isn’t to most of US evangelicalism.

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  53. @ Hester:

    Would you like a copy of the “Housewives Desperate for God” book, or “Raising Maidens of Virtue”? I don’t think I’ve recycled those yet. I remember seeing them around here somewhere.

    Maybe you already covered those. I haven’t read your whole website, but I have gotten through several articles and found them profitable and informative.

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  54. Cindy,

    You had said: “God does work miracles…”

    My response:

    I don’t think they believe that miracles are for today, do they?

    Ed

    ________________________________

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  55. Ok, as much as I dislike Doug Phillips right now I’m wondering if we are getting carried away here? Is it possible that photo was edited purely for copyright reasons? That maybe there was no hidden agenda it was just a picture they wanted to use? Don’t get me wrong, I know with Doug anything is possible, however in this instance there is no proof of any intent of wrong doing or any secret agenda that was being pushed. I just don’t want to be reading into things that might not be there. It makes us look as desperate as Doug.

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  56. Julie Anne,

    “Oh, please, Ed. 64 minutes? LOL”

    I know, huh?  Well, this morning I listened to it…well, not really intently…it was playing as I was preoccupied with other things…but it really is as bad as it is being said here.  I also noticed…very well, I might add…that it was very noticeable that he was misquoting verses out of the Bible, as he was “teaching” this “daddy”/daughter thing…oh, ya…it wasn’t father/daughter…it was daddy/daughter.  The whole thing just seemed incestuous. 

    Ed

    ________________________________

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  57. The painting is over a century old. Paintings created before 1978 have a maximum copyright period of 95 years. Currently copyright protection extends to 70 years past the artist’s death. Either way it would be out of copyright. If it was not, rearranging the elements of the painting wouldn’t make a difference any more than taking someone’s writing and rearranging a sentence here and using a synonym there would mean it is wasn’t plagiarism.

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  58. @wantingthetruth..
    If it was a copyright issue, they could have done a photoshoot and created their own example or had an artist draw them a picture rather than do what they did with that photo.. I’m very unimpressed with it.

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  59. I never accused Phillips of plagiarism but of perverting the meaning of a well-known painting by taking it out of context. (Isn’t he all about modesty?) Hester notes that it didn’t seem all that bad to her because she was unfamiliar with the work. I’ve loved this image since childhood and made this particular painting a part of my daily devotions as an adult, in a way, because of it’s prominent display in my home.

    When I saw this chop job, I took the two prints off my wall in Michigan and hung up a huge rendition of the artist looking down on the campus of Virginia Tech, nestled in a valley, surrounded by the mountains of Blacksburg. (I needed a big item to put in a big space, and it was all that I had.) Though it was a different point of grief for us, particularly for my alumnus husband who was in the engineering program as an undergrad there.

    But the Virginian Tech print wasn’t a sick sexual convolution of the context of something I knew well and loved for so long. (Doug offended us in his response to that tragedy, too. I don’t remember that particular screed he spewed about the event anymore because it was a painful thing for my husband and me.)

    The images suggested by Phillips just further drove home how they castrate the Christian with the traditions of men using their folk religion. It twisted the powerful ritual of the accolade into yet another chance to spiritualize everything that has any remote reference to gender. And if it doesn’t have to do with gender, they’ll force it into becoming a matter of gender.

    I joked about the day that they would market holy toilet paper replacements, trying to spiritualize that banal act. (Many of the homesteaders in homeschooling use modesty cloths or some such thing that they rewash instead of using the disposable stuff on a roll. It’s just another way of suffering for God in some of these circles and gives more work to the women to keep them busy and off the internet.)

    In upcoming posts here, I’ve used preRaphaelite works to illustrate the plight of young women, but I cropped them to show particular elements of the scenes. I left The Accolade intact here because I found it to be majestic. My problem was never an issue of taking a public domain work to illustrate a point. My disgust involves involves his use of a very well-known preRaphaelite work, and within the context of its meaning, perverted that meaning to do God-only-knows-what with it.

    Honestly, this looks more like an ideal wedding scene according to someone like Mark Driscoll, given his penchant for Rated R and Rated X sermons.

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  60. I guess by now, people are getting the idea about just how offensive I found this chop job to be. I happen to love sarcasm, even irreverent humor when it illustrates how religious people, particularly Christians, miss the mark. That is not what was going on with this painting for me.

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  61. Patti, my husband and a friend of mine can’t get this to display in several browsers via iPad. I’ll have to check with him about the browser that does make for easily viewing using an iPad. I don’t know about these things. I don’t even have a phone that lets you text.

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  62. Julie Anne and everyone were insightful enough to cover how VF did to “The Accolade” what they do to history, to male/ female relations, and to the Bible.
    But did you observe that in their effort to literally push down a woman, they really did no favors to the man either? In “The Accolade” he is being honored. You get the impression that this knight is brave, did a great service, and deserves respect.
    In The Photochop, he is just a guy who wants his privates stroked. (I really don’t think my mind is that dirty for seeing it that way.)
    Vision Forum, in their effort to push women down, push down men too. It is a general truth: You can’t soar yourself while pushing down someone else. You are still attached to the foot or hand that is keeping someone down…

    The more I think about it, the stranger I find The Photochop: If this is a father/ daughter message, it is probably about courtship, and father is the old guy looking on with unhappy feelings in the background. Perhaps this is supposed to be a scary picture of what happens when girls date instead of court? They brazenly perform all kinds of se*ual acts and don’t even care about the opinion of the unhappy dad in the background?

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  63. @ Cindy:

    I don’t remember Doug’s response to the Virginia Tech shooting but I remember his response to the murder of abortion doctor George Tiller, at least the name of the post: “Tiller the Killer is Dead – Who Should We Mourn?” If you remember, Tiller was shot in his church on Sunday morning. I remember because it was a Lutheran church (ELCA I presume) and I’ve been Lutheran for most of my life. Other then the name, I seem to recall Doug encouraged people to not feel bad for Tiller’s family because of all the babies he had aborted.

    Looking at this in retrospect, it’s supremely ironic because Phillips is now the one seeking sympathy for himself and his family, and his reaction to Tiller came pretty close to good old-fashioned schadenfreude (which is what a lot folks IRL assume I feel toward Phillips any time I point out facts of the current situation, no matter how dispassionately I do it).

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  64. @ Cindy:

    [McGalliard has] been so understanding and truly grasped that people who get lost in these movements are really the best kind of people who get hooked because of their virtue.

    Thanks for pointing this out in your UMG post. I was challenged once in a comments thread by a homeschool mom, in response to my claim that there are harmful forms of homeschooling. (Funny because I’m a homeschool grad, so it’s not like I’m not just as familiar with the community as she is.) She claimed, basically, that there’s no such thing as harmful homeschooling, only “bad parents.” I pointed out to her that lots of these parents would have been just fine if they hadn’t bought into whatever thing was sold to them (TTUAC, VF, etc.). And frankly, in many of the mild cases, they aren’t “bad parents” at all and they truly believe that they are helping their children. In other words, we both know, I’m sure, that there’s lots of very mild abuse, almost-abuse, or generalized unhealthy behavior that goes on in some homeschool families that’s completely unwitting and maybe even accidental. For instance:

    • Libby Anne’s extremely telling story here, in which her parents ended up refusing food to their 18mo daughter for 48 hours because they were following the Pearls’ advice. Thankfully common sense kicked in and they let her eat.

    • Parents are so focused on church, schoolwork, correction and discipline, etc. that they quite literally forget to let their kids leave the house to socialize. They also don’t clue into their children’s social anxiety (and in this case, gender dysphoria too). Consequently the eldest daughter makes her first real friend outside her own family when she’s 20. (This happened to a friend of mine. I’m the first real friend.) This was basically accidental on the parents’ part, at least from what I’m hearing.

    • In the opposite situation, parents are so busy with life crises and focused on the children’s socialization/extracurriculars that they forget to teach them, and their son graduates without having ever finished Algebra I and their 10yo daughter can barely read. Another true story of one of my friends (the son this time), and again, accidental on the parents’ part. And actually this was a very “liberal” family who didn’t use the Pearls, VF, or anything.

    It is true, of course, that some homeschool parents would have abused their children anyway. But contra what this mother insisted to me, I don’t think we can chalk every single case of a bad outcome up to that.

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  65. Cindy K wrote: “(Many of the homesteaders in homeschooling use modesty cloths or some such thing that they rewash instead of using the disposable stuff on a roll. It’s just another way of suffering for God in some of these circles and gives more work to the women to keep them busy and off the internet.)”

    Really? Some of them do that? Why wouldn’t they just put in bidets? They are sooooooo weird!

    I suspect Phillips’ bunch liked the Pre-Raphaelites because the latter were romantics. They ignored the rough&tough dirt&dust aspects of the world. What Phillips completely missed is that they dealt with brokenness through an underlying sorrow that embues every one of their art works, something that Phillips rejected because he was sure his correct theology and proper structure could conquer brokenness. IMO

    Does Phillips et al think they can bring the Kingdom of God (its full expression) here on earth?

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  66. “This site keeps crashing on my IPAD. Has anyone else had this trouble?”

    I have an old iPad– the first to come out. Mine crashes when the comment section gets a certain length. I can still open the home page, but not any particular post with a certain number of comments. I don’t know why. I figured it was because my iPad is already a dinosaur as far as this technology goes, but maybe that’s not the reason.

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  67. “Cindy K wrote: “(Many of the homesteaders in homeschooling use modesty cloths or some such thing that they rewash instead of using the disposable stuff on a roll. It’s just another way of suffering for God in some of these circles and gives more work to the women to keep them busy and off the internet.)” ”

    Cindy is not kidding. Dontcha know the economy is going to collapse, and all you folks dependent on convenience stuff are going to suffer with shock? (sarcasm)

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  68. So since collapse is a-comin’ ‘round the bend, we should start suffering right now. Uhuh. So why aren’t they using leaves? After all, where’s all that water for scrubbing going to come from? Yah think it’s just going to keep pouring out of that faucet, ya ignorant decadent Amerkins? Roflol

    “Modesty cloths”—what a hoot!!

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  69. Patrice,
    In my experience with Homestead Heritage, the instilled fear was a very effective method to control people. You’d think after 40 years that church would be totally self-sufficient, but they’re not. So much money has run through that place, so it isn’t for lack of funds. The fear keeps people hopping, though. Two years ago I still reacted strongly to any news report that predicted food shortage, oil shortage (Peak oil, anyone), or economic trouble. It doesn’t bother me as much now. I’ve got plenty enough real problems to deal with instead of chasing shadows.

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  70. In regards to the collapses, I cannot respond to that, as I don’t have an ipad.  However, you can subscribe to Julie Anne’s blog and have it set up to send emails to your regular email account for all new comments, and all new posts.

    I have folders set up that will automatically send New Posts to a folder, and new comments to another folder.

    And the great thing about that is that you can respond directly to the email, rather than logging onto the wordpress site of Julie Anne’s Blog.

    Ed

    ________________________________

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  71. BTDT, Home Heritage, and leaving it, must have been wretched experiences. I remember when I came out of my abusive closed home, reality slipped and I no longer knew what I was seeing. Even though everything I saw was less awful, it was terrifying because I didn’t know what was what. And since I’d been taught to fear everything and also that my own perceptions were not trustworthy, it was downright terrible for a long while. I imagine it was even worse for you.

    Both my father and ex’s father predicted depression in the 70’s and kept predicting til they died. Rejecting that deliberate hypervigilance mentality and yet being clear about the crises that our kids will face takes a great deal of wisdom. You are remarkably sane. Much respect!

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  72. “I met a lot of genuinely crazy people in my travels and only two of them scared me. The rest were just confused about reality and in terrible pain.”

    Thank you for your insight, Patrice. I hope I didn’t offend anyone with that offhand remark of mine. Mostly, I had in mind an article written by and for modern fantasy goobers (such as moi), advising players about the right way to role-play insane characters. The basic advice was, “Think Hannibal Lecter, not Daffy Duck.”

    I was also thinking about the difference between various impressions of characters like the Joker. Heath Ledger’s performance was overwhelmingly frightening, and I thought it was a very convincing depiction of someone utterly psychopathic and devoid of empathy. Jack Nicholson’s rendition, while fun, is almost cartoonish by comparison.

    Back on topic, though… What characters like Lecter and the Joker have in common seems to be the lack of empathy. I wonder if Hester’s friend sensed a similar trait in the “Christianese” cults that she described — a tendency to see some people, especially those outside their circle, as less human or less deserving of compassion. I think that mindset exists in groups like VF, and maybe that’s what alarmed Hester’s friend.

    Just my thoughts.

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  73. Ed,
    “I have folders set up that will automatically send New Posts to a folder, and new comments to another folder.”

    That is brilliant. I stopped having emails sent to me because it overwhelmed my inbox. How do you get it to send to a particular folder?

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  74. @JulieAnne:

    And meanwhile, Patriarchy proponents looked the other way at this. Why? Because Phillips had “the right doctrinal message.” Don’t want to step on someone’s toes who is teaching the right stuff, do we?

    Purity of Ideology, Comrade.
    Purity of Ideology.

    (edited by Cindy to fix formatting)

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  75. This is peripheral to the topic at hand, but I am in contact with a secular journalist who is looking for people who had a bad experience with Biblical (non-clinical/nouthetic) counseling. If you feel comfortable sharing your experience, could contact me via the tab at the top of my blog?

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  76. Oh, Serving, I know you didn’t mean to offend. It’s a common misunderstanding and a cultural truism, something that I just happen to know something about, so I used your comment as an excuse to bring it up.

    We all tend to ally violence with mental illness, but that assumption causes us to be vulnerable to the violence done by the sane people among us.

    Also people with PTSD are put into that bunch, and some of them (as me, too), found that their brains did break down under the distress, even if for limited times, and even though due to damage rather than disease (whatever that is—we still know little about the source of much mental illness.)

    Many professionals tend to view violence as mental sickness and there is some value to that construct, but I tend to the idea that it’s florid forms are from soul sickness rather than mental sickness. (Even though the word “psyche” means soul/spirit, it is not understood that way in psychology.) My opinion isn’t common, of course, and no one really cares lol, but it helps me make sense of people on the borderline, narcissism, socio/psychopath spectrum. They have mental problems, no doubt, but the rampant destruction to others comes through their inability for empathy, as you correctly assess.

    Yah, so the reason to try to dramatize insanity via Hannibal Lector rather than Daffy Duck is that Daffy Duck is about the chaos of silliness not the chaos of insanity. Hannibal Lector presents as a man without qualms, which is chaos too, but of his own initiation rather than as a recipient of a freaked-out brain. So he doesn’t make a good model, either, but better than Daffy.

    None of the people I met in-hospital were like Hannibal Lector. He is the caricature of the soulless man, no rules but those he chooses, and driven by a need to avoid boredom. Boredom is a terrible thing for him because he cannot find relationship with anything in reality. Thus all is empty except that which he initiates. This is textbook socio/psychopathy.

    Heath Ledger’s Joker was amazing and he presented a person who was both sociopathic and schizophrenic—a very rare combo. What made his Joker impossible was that he was not only schizophrenic and sociopathic, but was also socially functional until he blew apart with everything around him. But super-heroes need super-villains.

    Yes, lack of empathy is what Hester’s friend was sensing. The lack exists on a continuum—we all struggle with it sometimes, but when it becomes that extreme, short of Hannibal but on the same end of the spectrum, people do indeed become frightening. To recognize it is good reality testing, really. I’m glad Hester’s friend brought it up, but for caution not fear.

    It is either love or fear that constrains us. Love casts out fear. I think this is why Jesus said all law hangs on love.

    Thanks for giving me the excuse to pontificate, Serving. 🙂

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  77. Patrice,

    I didn’t clarify what I meant well enough in the use of the term “academics” within the Christian set.

    I should have specified that I meant those who are involved with the counter-cult effort who designate themselves as the go to folks for Christians after they get out of a high demand/aberrant/cultic Christian group.

    Unless you are a minister and are in the club, the group of Christian apologists will not really accept you. If you are one of those who is involved with the secular response to these groups, you’re held at arm’s length. (On the other hand, as a non-minister, at the first sign of conflict, they ran me out on a rail). Men also fare better than women.

    Before I gave my last presentation with such a group, I gave the president of that group a run down on items that might be potentially inflammatory. I told him that I was going to talk about Lifton’s thought reform criteria (among a list of other things that they now deny that I ever discussed with them). This man’s first response was “Well, we love Paul Martin.” The now late Martin was a clinical psychologist who opened the first accredited inpatient program for people in recovery from cultic groups and abusive relationships.

    I saw that Don Veinot made a favorable reference to Bob and Judy Pardon at Meadowhaven (with whom I’m working on a big project for ICSA) in his recent newsletter. But Bob is an Anglican minister who runs a residential recovery facility. If you read the reference in Veinot’s email, he sounds uncomfortable, but mentions Meadowhaven anyway — as if he’s not yet quite comfortable with them.

    The bottom line is that the apologists feel like if they admit that sound doctrine is not a perfect and impervious guard against getting sucked into a high demand group, it’s like admitting the Bible is inadequate and godless (secular) psychology is better. Yet 90% of the Scriptures in the canon that speak to spiritual abuse say nothing about doctrine. But these guys are only really comfortable with that 10% zone. They seem to miss the fact that Jesus was the most astute psychologist that ever lived and spoke about human behavior very often.

    So it’s the academics on the front lines as first responders to the trauma of bad religion are the ones that I meant when I made that comment.

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  78. An importatnt aspect of the adaptation of the Leighton painting is whether or not Vision Forum secured the rights to adapt and use the image for commercial purposes from the copyright holders. I would be very surprised if the owners of the image would allow this crude adaptation. Did anyone look into this?

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  79. In the US: Under the rule in Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corporation, a mere ‘record’ photograph of a 2D work of art (i.e. a photograph which is an as-accurate-as-possible copy of the original) acquires no copyright protection. This applies to “faithful reproductions” of the work, however.

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  80. “The bottom line is that the apologists feel like if they admit that sound doctrine is not a perfect and impervious guard against getting sucked into a high demand group, it’s like admitting the Bible is inadequate and godless (secular) psychology is better. Yet 90% of the Scriptures in the canon that speak to spiritual abuse say nothing about doctrine. But these guys are only really comfortable with that 10% zone. They seem to miss the fact that Jesus was the most astute psychologist that ever lived and spoke about human behavior very often.”

    Cindy, This is it. I remember when I first saw that on your site years ago and clicked through to what Paul Martin was communicating. I did my own homework and boy did scripture read differently after that.

    Lets face it, if they had been treating each other right, there would have never been a need for the Law. The Law was for Lawbreakers.

    And we can see it in real time. CJ gets a pass because he is Reformed now. Paige Patterson gets a pass because “he preaches Jesus” and so on and on. They are so deluded…all the people out there who give evil and wrong treatment of others a pass because of “correct doctrine”

    I often wonder if they have ever read that demons believe “right” doctrine, too. The “right” doctrine is communicated by who we are now.

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  81. Loveoneanother,

    I use yahoo mail, so after I log on, then I go to “settings” and then “filters”.  From there, you click add, then create a folder name.  After that, you need to set criteria, such as mine is “Sender Contains” Spiritual Sounding Board, and “Subject contains” New Post.  Then save that, then make another one, where sender contains Spiritual Sounding Board, and subject contains New Comment.

    Sometimes…not often, but sometimes…Yahoo will not transfer it to the appropriate folder, so it winds up in regular inbox.  But again, that doesn’t happen often.  I just transfer it there manually, when that happens.

    I did that due to my inbox becoming overloaded.  I am not always able to comment, due to work, and before you know it, one new post creates several hundred comments in a day or two.  Then I get so far behind.

    Anyway, it’s very convenient.

    Ed

    ________________________________

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  82. I really need to spend some time looking up what the issue is with Word Press and iPads. Someone told me it made a difference when I changed to comments so all of them are not on one page (on a post with many comments). A friend of mine also mentioned the issue with me recently, so maybe that isn’t the fix. Hmm.

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  83. Huh, that’s fascinating, Cindy K. Thanks. I have not run inside these circles, am only a reader/watcher from the (former) edges of trad Calvinism. You have to squish into a box in order to address it. I am sorry about that; your mind is much bigger than the box and it would be lovely to be able to use it freely. I do not envy you your task, dear lady.

    How do they view Boz, then? How carefully he continually quotes scripture!

    So as I see it, evangelical ideologues violate the Bible, turning it into what they want it to be, “the complete and whole truth on God&universe as we see it”, meaning just big enough for them to understand and control, and then slap it with the label “God His very own self”. Hone in on that 10% and then extrapolate extrapolate extrapolate.

    Then, as you write: “….the apologists feel like if they admit that sound doctrine is not a perfect and impervious guard against getting sucked into a high demand group, it’s like admitting the Bible is inadequate and godless (secular) psychology is better.”

    Who trashes the apologists if they dare to admit that the Bible isn’t the whole&complete truth on the psychology of humans? Or if they suggest that scripture is 90% bigger than agreed upon? Is it self-perpetuating de-selection? How did they do it to you? (If you don’t feel like explaining, I don’t mind.)

    The sad truth is that ideologues cannot dismantle the cults that will always form at the extreme ends of their ideology, because they’ve chopped the world down to controllable size and solutions inevitably rest on the other side of that line. That’s the nature of such ridiculousness, whether in the godless USSR, as HUG continually points out, or in US evangelicalism. Ach!

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  84. “How do they view Boz, then? How carefully he continually quotes scripture!”

    I have wondered about that myself. I have a theory. Boz keeps it “in house” with investigations and trying to “reorganize” the institution so to speak and they walk away with a seal of approval they have “cleaned up”. (Not seen any make it to that point?). I think that is uncomfortable but not unacceptable to them and he is easily ignored.

    Personally, I wish he was prosecuting them instead. I am not sold on “inhouse investigations” at this point.

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  85. JA wrote, “I really need to spend some time looking up what the issue is with Word Press and iPads.”
    I’ve found that if I tap the X in the address bar, immediately when a full screen pops up and before it changes to a refresh arrow. I can load comments above 50 or so. If I’m a second slow, it’s gone– sometimes along with any other tabs.

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  86. “So none have actually made it to the endpoint with his group?”

    I went to the site a while ago looking and could find none. No far, 2 orgs discharged them (ABWE and BJU) but then with publicity, BJU backed down.

    I have a hard time understanding how an organization would pay someone to be investigated and it be totally open and transparent. And if part of the investigation is some agreement to restructure but also silence not sure that is nothing but sweeping it under the rug with a plastic fish on top.

    I have no reason to believe Boz has anything but good intentions.

    Let’s just say I am cautious and uneasy about how it is structured and implemented. What is the endgame?

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  87. I found the email from my better half addressing the iPad WordPress issue, and this worked for him. (He was a brand new iPad user at the time, and though he never reads blogs, he set out to help a friend of mine who couldn’t follow here on her iPad. He’s such a good guy that way.) This doesn’t address why wordpress and iPads don’t interface well, but it seems to provide a way around the problem.

    At the risk of being wrong, I think that I have found a way to read WordPress blogs on an iPad.

    From the App Store install Opera Mini Web Browser (free)
    In settings change image quality to Medium (default is High).
    Wordpress blogs should now be readable.

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  88. “From the App Store install Opera Mini Web Browser (free)
    In settings change image quality to Medium (default is High).
    Wordpress blogs should now be readable.”

    Thank you!! I was able to open that “Queen Bees” post w/o any problems. Normally it would have crashed on me.

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  89. Here is my take on GRACE and my impression of the apologetics world. They both seem to be on different missions, and I don’t think that they see yet how their missions overlap. I’ve tried to engage GRACE regarding participation with ICSA (the secular approach to how to help people post-damaging religion/politics/extremism through education and research). GRACE will not even acknowledge that they’ve received my inquiries. My husband says that it is attorney run, and this sounds just like the response of an attorney. The other issue that I suspect is true with them is that they are overworked. Everyone there has a day job, and this ministry takes up all of their expendable time. I don’t know that I’d want to be married to one of these volunteers. It’s demanding work, especially when they’re in the thick of the interviews and the verification work that they do to validate the truthfulness of the testimonies.

    I get the impression that the counter cult movement sees themselves as the academic experts in how to relate to aberrant religion, but they really do only want to look at doctrine. Not all but certainly the people who are in charge of the system seem to be a bit proprietary about it. And take with a grain of salt that my perspective is skewed somewhat because of how I was blackballed because I was falsely accused of calling Bruce Ware a heretic, so the SBC made sure that I would never again have a voice in this genre of apologetics.

    They may end up teaming up with GRACE at some point or may start making referrals to GRACE, but I believe that they see their missions as very different. Until counter cult apologetics faces the fact that most high demand religion’s power comes through socialization and deception and crafty twisting of how people think over time, they’re not going to be too interested in GRACE. And I would love to see unfolding history prove me wrong.

    Another consideration: The counter cult apologetics biz is largely supported by the SBC (drawing most of their money and free facility space for meetings from them), and GRACE has dealt with groups outside of the SBC at this point in they short history. I don’t wish to offend any Baptists here, but there is a mindset that Baptists are the true blue Christians, and those outside of that are seen as not quite as good. And the SBC tends to avoid discussing the IFB because of that bad history and not wanting to seem like they’re attacking them. And the Christian and Missionary Alliance group– well, they’re pentecostal, so there’s another strike against the appeal that GRACE might have for apologetics.

    Again, consider that I’m looking at this from a position of having been largely ostracized from the discussions within apologetics at this point, though much of what I’ve said here has come out of the mouths of important people of note who are still in these groups. They’d never corroborate, however.

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  90. Patrice,

    Who trashes the apologists if they dare to admit that the Bible isn’t the whole & complete truth on the psychology of humans? Or if they suggest that scripture is 90% bigger than agreed upon? Is it self-perpetuating de-selection? How did they do it to you? (If you don’t feel like explaining, I don’t mind.)

    Big topic. First, there is this:
    http://ethicsdaily.com/speaker-chastised-over-criticism-of-biblical-patriarchy-at-sbc-seminary-cms-12555

    They denied me the opportunity to prove every jot and tittle of what I said and my bibliography was something like four pages long which I handed out to everyone and is still on the internet. Well in advance of the conference, I offered to drop the names of the SBC men (not VF people) who made some of the worst statements, but I made this offer over the phone. The Pres said that if I could defend it, keep it in.

    The SBC got so angry that they had the group insult my scholarship, they disavowed me and my work, and then they said that they “didn’t have time” to review my evidence because they had other demands on their time concerning the emergent church. All the things that were said to me on the phone and all of the things I offered to drop were denied. Then, they sent personal communications of mine to all sorts of people to make me out to be some kind of witch because I’ve studied hypnosis for pain management (as a nurse who deals with pain management) and also investigated it’s applicability as an aid to people in PTSD.

    I will never communicate with these Christian folks apart from email now. No telephone unless it’s being taped. Never again.

    Patrice, the other stuff touches on epistemology along the lines of why Gordon Clark got into it with Cornelius Van Til. There are too many foundationalists who are afraid of psychology and can only see it as sinful atheism. I’m a coherentist who is more like Van Til who believes that the material world and the spiritual world or the abstract world of principle are not in competition with each other. Truth is truth in any realm, though I may not have the ability to quantify or qualify it, but I can gather data about it and put those truths to the test. As “Another Tom” who comments here puts it, “All truth is God’s truth.” But because of the anti-psychology bias among Evangelicals, the lot of them seem to get really threatened. I don’t know why they don’t see Jesus as the wisest psychologist ever, preceded by folks like Solomon and many other sage prophets who understanded the corruption of the human heart. I think that Calvin did, too.

    I don’t compartmentalize truth and am a coherentist (more like Van Til — and Rushdoony for that matter). I don’t always speak the same language as the foundationalists (those who are more like Clark). So there is some of this going on in this world, too.

    I can expound more upon that or can find some old blog posts that do, too, if you like.

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  91. Doug was one big fraud & still is. You can’t/couldn’t believe anything he said. He exaggerated, lied, manipulated and stretched truth in EVERY single thing. EVERY thing. So this is just one of hundreds of issues.

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  92. Cindy K,

    One thing we can always say for SBC leadership is that they are childish, and not in the way Christ meant. “Hypnosis = Witch”, the declaration of a 9 yr-old who’s watching the news after finishing a Hans Christian Anderson compendium.

    Perhaps childishness is a fundamental qualifier in their job descriptions; you know, just above the academic credentials listing and just below the “Are you a male” check box.

    But they way they ganged up to insult you and your scholarship, spreading gossip and using the phone (no traces!), well, that’s just girly tactics. Tsk tsk boys!

    I’m glad you have a loving mature husband.

    The Clark-van Til debate—that brought up faint memories from undergrad studies at Dordt College (the “not Calvin College” Christian Reformed institution of higher learning lol). I’ll refresh myself today on that one, although I remember rolling my eyes over it back then.

    I like the term “coherentist”. IMO, this is the main value offered by the Reformed tradition. It is not only van Til who is such, they all take coherency seriously. Their theologies and philosophies hang together while taking into account all that is known; and there are several iterations of them. It is why they are good at building colleges, such as Calvin and Hope, schools with influence much broader than the size of their denominations. I’m fairly certain it is what initially attracted the hyper-Cals, but never having learned the joys of logic, they simply grabbed the most florid (and weakest) parts and ran.

    It is also why the immature among them think they can get all snobbish about “how the rest of you believe”. (Looking at you, Kevin De Young, who have no excuse) It’s ridiculous, of course, but well, childishness is everywhere!

    FWIW, my best friend is a relative of van Til. The family is a hard and critical bunch. My friend has still not freed herself from the strange contortions of total depravity and workaholism-is-godly themes, more highly valued by them than in other Reformed circles. His theology causes damage.

    Also FWIW, I hang most with the coherency of Dooyeweerdian thought (a philosophy, not a theology), which comes out of Kuypers, as does van Til, but with some fundamental differences. Lol. How silly! I’m an artist not an academic, having merely spent some enjoyable evenings poking through the stuff. And it is “poking”—I never read completely because I get impatient, whereas I have immense patience for art making.

    Thanks for writing it out, Cindy. I know you are busy this week.

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  93. Cindy quote: “I believe that patriarchy is a disproportionate Christian response to cultural decline, and it sees family as central to the restoration of our culture,” she said. “In that sense it could be called a homeschooling special-purpose religion or an affinity group.”

    http://ethicsdaily.com/speaker-chastised-over-criticism-of-biblical-patriarchy-at-sbc-seminary-cms-12555#sthash.skN0R249.dpuf

    You are good at this.

    Also to the predictable attack of being misinformed (also, I suppose, “naive”, “shallow”, and “simplistic” becuz that’s feeemales for ya), you steam forward about “gross lack of academic scholarship and integrity…”

    You are very good indeed.

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  94. FWIW, since some advanced topics have popped up here and we’re talking intellectual infrastructures and systems, I’ll note that I did the van Til-Warfield-Dooyeweerd thing myself almost 40 years ago. So, I get it about the overall appeal, but see what can happen when one takes their results as primary instead of secondary, and then promote the form rather than the underlying thinking substance. Oddly, it’s own form of pre-gnostic idolatry, the worship of information and/or membership by intellect where only smart people count.

    Some of the “C” words I used for developing my own theory of paradigm systems include COMPREHENSIVE (encompassing all “semantic domains” and academic disciplines), CONNECTED (holds together as a system instead of being utterly dissected and the parts merely create a mosaic of pieces), COHERENT (it makes sense, even if it uses some logic approaches that are beyond the usual western analytical logic), and CONTEXTUAL (keeps the entity in its normal environmental setting rather than studied solely in isolation and thereby making the analysis into an artificial item).

    You need all four of those, integrated, to capture the fifth “C” – COMPLEXITY. That is, I think, where a lot of the wannabee theologies/philosophies fail epically. Their superficial hermeneutics and study techniques, lists of “best practices” tips, passing on of inerrant theology without any critical thinking/discernment skills … those kinds of things … mean all they really have is the contours. They maybe have the shape of what God intended to impart in His revelation, but have lost all the richness inside the shell. Empty. Vanity. Form of godliness but denying the power thereof.

    Bringing it back to the overall topic of Vision Forum and related approaches, I think all of us have a desire to explore and understand our surroundings and how things work – nature, personhood, community, the cosmos. It’s part of our spiritual DNA of being made by the Triune God in His image. But exploration involves a lot of hard work, so when someone like Doug Phillips or Bill Gothard comes along with an easy-squeezy formula that puts all of life into perspective for you, it’s tempting … this possibility for relief from the toil and task of creativity. So, how easily we can succumb to swallowing a set of someone else’s perfectly crafted answers than pursue our own creative engagement of questions we generate about the world God put us in … and then become hard and harsh when others fail to swallow the same system.

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  95. “Perhaps childishness is a fundamental qualifier in their job descriptions; you know, just above the academic credentials listing and just below the “Are you a male” check box. ”

    Patrice, I remember when Cindy went through this as we were communicating then. What some of the SBC seminary big names said about her is inconceivable from “Christian” men who make their living off Jesus. The goal was to totally marginalize her even with the secular media.

    You gotta have big boy britches and the full armor to go public disagreeing with them. That is why so few tell their stories. People are ruined enough and fear having reputations damaged for life. And in those circles, that is how it works.

    There was a former faculty person at SBTS who allowed another blogger to go public around 2007 about Al Mohler’s tirades and tyranny of staffers. I have a family friend who worked for him and already knew that. But no one DARED mention it or they were gone. It is a totally closed system. The former faculty person was anonymous but it was SO TRUE and everyone knew it that Mohler had to issue a public apology to staff at SBTS. And that is supposed to be all it takes. An apology. He does not have to grow up or change. His fans are satisfied. He can be their king again.

    My friend who worked there had NO idea it was that bad when he went there. He already had an MBA and had worked in corporate American for a long time before he decided to uproot his family and get a PhD there. He was shocked, stunned and felt like he had been mislead about all the praise for SBTS. He got the PhD and got out as quickly as possible. But his outside secular education got him a pretty high position while he was there. First thing he was asked by other staffers he worked with? Are you a Calvinist? Since he wasn’t and was honest, his time there was grueling and a horror.

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  96. Patrice, I saw this last night and thought of you. He describes the Kingdom on earth as working for Justice and Beauty. He talks about the place of art in the Kingdom. I think you will enjoy it.

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  97. “I remember when Cindy went through this as we were communicating then. What some of the SBC seminary big names said about her is inconceivable from “Christian” men who make their living off Jesus. The goal was to totally marginalize her even with the secular media.”

    This is all so awful. Though I’m not too surprised after hearing how the SBC has treated Amy Smith.

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  98. Brad/futuristguy wrote: “…see what can happen when one takes their results as primary instead of secondary, and then promote the form rather than the underlying thinking substance. Oddly, it’s own form of pre-gnostic idolatry, the worship of information and/or membership by intellect where only smart people count.”

    Yes, but it is not the doing itself that is the problem, but what we think of ourselves and of what we are doing while doing it.

    NT Wright says in Lydia’s vid:
    “God’s justice has already come to life in Jesus of Nazareth and if we are following him, we’ve got to do justice as best as we can in the present. We may not get it complete…part of the humility is recognizing that our justice and our mercy will, at best, ever only be signposts to God’s justice and mercy…but we have to be campaigners for justice…”

    Christians need to treat every human endeavor as he speaks of justice/mercy. Whether academics or individual reading of the Bible with prayer, whether painting canvasses or houses, whether self-employed computer programmer or a car mechanic, we don’t get things perfect but we keep at it because the good that is in it will be made complete by God (in His/Her time).

    What keeps us from idolatry: understanding that all we do is an offering to God, knowing it is also from Him/Her, as also are we ourselves. And too, that we understand our small work to be one note in a symphony, as NT Wright says about the stone masons at Durham Cathedral.

    Idolatry occurs in every area, wherever/whenever we think we’ve got it “just right” or that we’ve become essential to the endeavor or that our field is better than all the others. At the point we become willing to be deceitful “on behalf of the greater good”, we have begun to turn aside. When we entertain the idea that our “product” has reached the apex of truth, we have turned. Same thing happens when we stop openly listening to criticism (I don’t mean tearing-down but genuine evaluation which we will welcome when properly situated to our work).

    I say this because we need to be throwing ourselves into the work at hand, without reservation. And Christians have not done so for a long time. We need to be willing to be mistaken (because we will be and sometimes for the length of our lives, even against all effort). Christianity has been in extensive retreat and there’s a whole world of humans and fields and professions that are crying out for salt. (Being “salt” has nothing to do with culture wars.)

    You have thrown yourself into your work and I’m very glad of it, Brad. It’s valuable and solid.

    There’s an ongoing idea that we live in a post-Christian world, and in some ways, that’s correct. But in order to address it, we must first recognize that we let it happen because we simply retreated. And when, in the late 60’s-70’s we began to notice, in sudden fright, we aggressed into culture wars which pushed others away as far/fast as could be done. (Honestly, if someone declares, “You’re my enemy”, what else is there to say except, “Really? Ok.”)

    A last bit: we need to keep a sense of humor about ourselves. It helps us keep an accurate perspective: it’s God’s serious work done by our very small hands. The more serious the work, the lighter we should hold ourselves. It is the only way to get through intact.

    Blahblahblah. Sorry.

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  99. Lydia, Cindy K, I cannot imagine what it was like to have been through what you two have in confrontation. I really can’t, because I was too dissociated when inside the church, and since then have been gone from it.

    I hope very much that what these people (including all who JA and TWW write about) say privately in their future shenanigans, will be carefully recorded, recounted, and publicized. It is important to no longer stay silent about it. They count on the fact that what is hidden didn’t happen, as if God isn’t listening when it’s one on one.

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  100. @Patrice:

    They count on the fact that what is hidden didn’t happen, as if God isn’t listening when it’s one on one.

    The supreme rule of Russian Bureaucratic Tradition: Plausible Deniability — if it’s not written down (and there are no witnesses), It Never Happened And You Can’t Ever Prove It Did. (And Stalin added “…and Dead Men Tell No Tales” when it came to “no witnesses”.)

    Just the opposite of German Bureaucratic Tradition where you CYAed by Documenting Everything instead of Denying Everything. It’s the reason Hitler’s atrocities are so well-known while Stalin (who racked up two-three times the body count among his own people and whose dictatorship directly inspired Orwell’s 1984) got a free pass.

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  101. “Lydia, that vid was lovely, I cried. Thanks so much!”

    I know, me too. He has such a way of painting word pictures.

    I grew up with music, all sorts of music from every genre. We were a musical home. It was a beauty I miss very much. My mom was very artistic with a sort of Christian bohemian bent. Not with paintings but with writing music and lyrics. She was also into poetry. I do not have ONE artistic bone in my body but I love to bask in the beauty of other’s gifts. At least I can sing on key. :o)

    (Do paint by numbers kits count if you like the art? I saw that movie with Julia Roberts, Mona Lisa Smile, and decided it was good to have “art for everyone”. I have a friend who did a paint by numbers of an old Italian village house that turned out beautiful and serene)

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  102. And we can see it in real time. CJ gets a pass because he is Reformed now. Paige Patterson gets a pass because “he preaches Jesus” and so on and on. They are so deluded…all the people out there who give evil and wrong treatment of others a pass because of “correct doctrine”

    “Correct Doctrine” = “Purity of Ideology” in Marxspeak.
    Since the French Revolution is long out of living memory, ask any survivor of Cambodia’s Killing Fields about how far “Purity of Ideology” can go.

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  103. Patrice,

    The betrayal by the apologetics set is ancient history, and I feel like God did me a favor in a way. I learned quickly who I could trust, and it all continues to help me learn better boundaries and then to defend them.

    You would have loved it, though. They day they tried to talk me into taking the video of that 2008 workshop offline (“we have to be ‘pastoral’ and lose this battle so we can win the war”), my husband called their mouthpiece on the phone and called them all cowardly and him cowardly.

    I draw comfort from the truth and continue to relish this Winston Churchill quote:

    The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.

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  104. Lydia, any kind of art is a plain blessing. It’s a need/desire in us, gifted or not, to engage the world in open physical ways, whether dancing in the bedroom or tangoing with a partner, singing while showering or in choirs or as solos, playing sax in the woods, taking photos on a hike, acting a part on stage, creating a garden, carving out a piece of wood, taking pencil and paper to try to capture the sleeping face of a loved one. The options are wide enough to capture everyone somehow. I did coloring books first, followed by paint-by-number, and I adored them.

    It’s how we admire God’s art. How wonderful that You made the world so that paint could do this, that brushes could do this, that colors mix this/that way. The light shines and reflects and where it’s missing, there’s not a hole but more color dimly—what does that mean?! W00t

    It reminds us that we are also made of stuff and we are not our full selves unless we are also stuff; and one day, we will get new bodies, and we will always ever be able to glory in the materiality of the world.

    I wish it for everyone any way that works. We tend to think it’s only worth doing when it ends up good enough to be seen/heard, but fundamentally, the meaning of it lies in the doing. So please, dear Lydia, don’t let your mom’s abilities get in your way: sing and paint-by-number all you want. You and God are talking and that always makes a good conversation.

    🙂

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  105. The short version of this epistemology stuff.

    People tend to have styles of how they put truth into perspective — how they deem truth as true. Each style (like each personality) tends to have strong points and weaknesses. It all depends on what makes sense to you and how you grasp things. One is not better than the other. They are just different.

    The foundationalist prefers axiomatic truth, and they take basic concepts that they identify as incontrovertible and incorrigible truth, and they make those truths the basis of everything else that they understand. These ideas become like foundation stones in a house. This works well if people have a good process of vetting truths that they identify as foundational, but one of the weaknesses of this style is that it becomes hard to challenge those truths once they’ve been assigned. How do you repair or remove the foundation stone of a home or a skyscraper? People have little incentive to do it. What if their understanding of a basic concept was flawed, or they were deceived, or didn’t have all the facts? That’s the weakness in that style. Truth can be taken for granted.

    The coherentist tests truth, trusting that truth is true in both the realm of abstract axioms and in the material world. True that is tested will float like a log on the water. Rather than building a house, the coherentist builds their understanding of what is real like one would build a raft. Truth can take anything that you throw at it, as truth will always float. If an idea starts “taking on water” and is no longer buoyant (perhaps by false belief/deception/not enough info), it can be cut away. Truth is constantly being put to the test, or at least it should be.

    Clark was a foundationalist, but he was not very fair and balanced. He accused Van Til, the coherentist, of selling out truth (and Christianity) to facts from the material world. And neither man handled the natural tension of difference very well (neither right nor wrong if the person is balanced and honors Scripture). They handled the conflict even more poorly. It wasn’t an issue of error but an issue of style.

    My favorite example of an extreme foundationalist who is very much out of balance is the KJV only type who is afraid of everything and would rather let their toilet overflow than have an atheist plumber come to work on their septic system. Somehow, their atheism will interfere with their ability to understand plumbing….

    An out of balance coherentist gets driven around and becomes inconsistent. They tend to agree with everyone about everything, and truth loses meaning.

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  106. What keeps us from idolatry: understanding that all we do is an offering to God, knowing it is also from Him/Her, as also are we ourselves. And too, that we understand our small work to be one note in a symphony, as NT Wright says about the stone masons at Durham Cathedral.

    Your whole comment was so great, Patrice. I need to do a better job of telling you all how important your role collectively is here.There are many who have contacted me privately telling them how much they have learned from the conversations here and are making proactive changes in their life to get out of bad/abusive churches/religious environments. There are many more who read than contribute and God is doing a great work here through you. Thank you all for being an instrument in the larger symphony.

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  107. JA, oh I’m glad. I too find it helpful to be among the people here, every one of us contributing a bit, clarifying/expanding our understanding as we go. Even the cranky ones who come storming in from the outside are helpful. And when those who read these conversations find in them new tools/ideas/comfort for their own paths, that is a fat cherry on top.

    Which is what you intended when you set up your online living room. How lovely that it’s working!

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  108. “Lydia, I really, really like NT Write. That was excellent. Thanks for posting the video.”

    I know, it really touched me in a significant way. And with me these days, I can barely stand any ‘celebrity” Christians. I am so suspicious of them. So I cannot vouch for his personal character but the difference with him is that he understands what is going on in American Evangelicalism. If you listen to him enough he mentions it a lot.

    He is first and foremost an ancient scholar. But he is able to communicate historical context in an understandable way. He is more of a scholar/teacher type. And he did not really start publishing until 40’s. He was not some wanna be celeb. Truth be told, early on I had to get past the big cross on his chest. :o) I never in a million years thought I would be listening to an Anglican Bishop. But I got out of the evangelical ghetto.

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  109. “We tend to think it’s only worth doing when it ends up good enough to be seen/heard, but fundamentally, the meaning of it lies in the doing.”

    That is it. I may not frame it or hang it but what did I experience/learn in attempting to create beauty? I also was not gifted with a beautiful voice even though from a very musical family but could do harmony to sing at church and other places with my mom playing. My daughter was gifted with a beautiful soprano voice and she loves music/singing. I can see her experiencing beauty in another way when she is singing. I encourage it but don’t push hard with it. I want her to keep on “enjoying” it.

    She sang today in school chapel and I got to go hear her. She always tell me: Mom I was so nervous but I do it anyway and when I start singing I forget I am nervous. It seems to be a ritual to tell me that. As if it perplexes her. :o)

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  110. “She always tell me: Mom I was so nervous but I do it anyway and when I start singing I forget I am nervous. It seems to be a ritual to tell me that. As if it perplexes her. :o)”

    Yeah, generally before your start a performance, you only think of what you might do wrong, but when you finally get started, you fall into the music and that is where you stay. True also for most actors and dancers. And whether they are good or awful at it. For some odd reason, that transition is surprising every time.

    Lucky daughter to have a beautiful voice! Cool that you could hear her, too. Does there seem a continuity with your mother’s music?

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  111. ” Does there seem a continuity with your mother’s music?”

    I am blessed to have a daughter with my mom’s personality which is opposite of mine. She loves people, nature, art, music and is an extroverted bohemian in a simple headband and jeans way. The opposite of me as I am more introverted, corporate and task oriented. Such a blessing since my mom died 4 years after she was born. A beautiful reminder of a lovely woman. Blessings come in unexpected ways.

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  112. You’ve made clear how much you enjoyed your mother’s approach, so I’m glad it still weaves through your life.

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