The Gospel Coalition’s Joe Carter, Publicly Attacks Sarah Palin for her Use of the Word, “Baptism”


Joe Carter of The Gospel Coalition publicly attacks Sarah Palin for her use of the word “baptism” in the context of a NRA political rally.




“Well, if I were in charge, they would know that waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists.” ~Sarah Palin


Joe Carter, an editor at The Gospel Coalition seems to be a bit miffed about the above phrase used by former Alaskan governor, Sarah Palin.  Let me give you the background scoop. Palin, the former 2008 vice presidential nominee, was at a National Rifle Association rally discussing politics, NOT religion. She talked about leftist liberals and Democrats. She talked about violence and terrorism and enemies of America.  

And then this comment came out of her mouth:


“Well, if I were in charge, they would know that waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists.”


No biggie. Where was she again? Oh yea, a packed-out NRA rally. The venue was not a church or religious conference. It was a political NRA rally. The topic was not Christianity and making a public profession of faith. It was clearly a political statement meant to rile up her political supporters (read: political, not Christian commentary).

Now I’m not going to be discussing whether I like Sarah Palin’s political agenda or not, whether it’s appropriate to use water boarding on terrorists or not, or whether it’s cool to own guns or not. I have my opinions, but that’s not the point.

However, some people don’t pay attention to the obvious: context, people, C.O.N.T.E.X.T!!! Joe Carter got all bent out of shape over Palin’s words.  

Let’s get to the heart of Joe’s article, Is Waterboarding How We “Baptize Terrorists”? – Sarah Palin, Enemies, and Christian Anthropology.  Mr. Carter writes:


Why It Matters:  For anyone to confess Christ as their savior and to compare one of the means of God’s grace to an act of torture is reprehensible. I hope members of Gov. Palin’s local church will explain to her why her remarks denigrate the Christian faith. Such remarks bring shame on the Body of Christ and to our witness in the world.


Joe Carter thinks he’s going all “protect Christ” and “protect the Gospel” by his words. Again, look at the context and look at the venue. Was there a gospel choir singing there?



No, I didn’t think so. Was there an altar call? Did people bring their Bibles? Perhaps on their cell phones. No, this was a NRA rally. So, let’s take a closer look at that “baptism” word. I checked four sources:

The 3rd entry of “baptism” definition reads:  

a person’s initiation into a particular activity or role, typically one perceived as difficult.

Within the 1st entry at Merriam-Webster:

b :  a non-Christian rite using water for ritual purification

The 2nd entry:   

an act, experience, or ordeal by which one is purified, sanctified, initiated, or named

  • any similar ceremony or action of initiation, dedication, etc.
  • a trying or purifying experience or initiation.
  • Christian Science. purification of thought and character. – (please note the use of the word baptism in the sample phrase)

A person’s initiation into a particular activity or role, typically one perceived as difficult:

this event constituted his baptism as a politician


Aside from the fact that Mr. Carter seems to make much ado of nothing regarding Palin’s little itty bitty baptism quote, his silence on other matters speaks volume to me – silence about real issues where the Gospel and Christ should be defended and has not by him, nor his friends at The Gospel Coalition – where children have been sexually violated, emotionally and spiritually abused while C.J. Mahaney was at the helm of Sovereign Grace Ministries.

Mr. Carter doesn’t want to touch that subject. Well, let me remind you about the little Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM) fiasco:

The court documents (****strong trigger warning for sexual content***):

Original Complaint and Second Amended Complaint 


Putting aside the sex abuse and lawsuit, there has been enough turmoil going on at SGM that 20+ churches left the fold under Mahaney’s leadership:

Up to 20 churches have decided to no longer be under the direction of Sovereign Grace Ministries because of disputes over the leadership capabilities of the group’s president, Pastor C.J. Mahaney, and its executive board, say former and present associates.  (Source:  The Christian Post article)


One of the churches that left the fold was the SGM flagship church, Covenant Life Church (CLC). Pastor Josh Harris was mentored for several years by C.J. Mahaney.  Why would Harris, also a Gospel Coalition council member, leave CJ Mahaney’s family of churches?  Yet, prominent church leaders (Gospel Coalition council members) still don’t have a problem with associating with this man, or even sitting next to him in front row seats at the recent Together for the Gospel conference.

So while Sarah Palin got raked over the coals publicly by Joe Carter claiming, “Sarah Palin made the sacrilegious remark about how she would treat terrorists,” he remains silent about other matters that are much more important when it comes to defending the Gospel and shaming the name of Christ.

I am not the first person to notice Carter’s silence on the SGM scandal.  Christian radio personality, Janet Mefferd, in her article, Why speaking the truth in love isn’t ‘slandering Christ’s Bride’, touched on this same topic:

But why is this significant? As I previously mentioned, The Gospel Coalition kept silent for many months about the Sovereign Grace Ministries sexual abuse lawsuit, in which 11 plaintiffs claim to have suffered heartbreaking sexual abuse and also allege conspiracy and cover-up. TGC has an association and stated friendship with lawsuit defendant C.J. Mahaney, and that means — even if Carter didn’t intend it — when he says, “don’t slander Christ’s bride,” a whole lot of people, rightly or wrongly, are reading that statement through the Sovereign Grace Ministries lawsuit lens. And they’re remembering The Gospel Coalition’s silence.

Here’s a little reminder from Pam Palmer, mother of a SGM lawsuit plaintiff who was sexually abused as a toddler while their family attended a Sovereign Grace Ministries church. A little background info – Pam was told by church leaders to NOT call the police after she discovered that her daughter had been sexually abused. Instead, she was told to bring her toddler in to reconcile with the perpetrator with church leaders. When the toddler saw her perpetrator, she hid under a desk. That visual has never left me.

Earlier, I asked Pam Palmer if she had any comments regarding C.J. Mahaney sitting in front-row seats with prominent church leaders at the recent Together for the Gospel Conference:

Sometimes I am at a loss for words on what to say at the insensitivity and callousness of C. J. Mahaney and the men who support him. What other conclusion can observant people come to when they see a disgraced (yet undisciplined) leader sitting in the front row at such a prominent event other than the men sitting with him approve of his 30+ year record of covering up child sex abuse.  ~Pam Palmer, mother of plaintiff in Sovereign Grace Ministries abuse lawsuit.


Baptism, schmaptism, Joe Carter.  Let’s see:


The word “baptism” taken out of context


20+ churches leaving one of your council member’s family of churches, or maybe just a little sex abuse oversight – ahem – 67 combined pages of legal complaints of alleged conspiracy and cover up of sexual and spiritual abuse while Mahaney was captain of the ship.  hmm.


Mr. Carter, you seemed to be confused about:  “bring[ing] shame on the Body of Christ and to our witness in the world.”

Just sayin’



239 comments on “The Gospel Coalition’s Joe Carter, Publicly Attacks Sarah Palin for her Use of the Word, “Baptism”

  1. “In Victorian English, a “Resurrectionist” was a body-snatcher, stealing bodies from their graves and selling them to medical schools as specimens.”

    Gee thanks, HUG. That will help my dreams tonight. You are a veritable walking encyclopedia of fun facts. :o)

    ……back to the brainstorming board….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sorry for being off topic again, but I have an update on my mom’s cancer. She had her first oncology visit today and he scheduled her for surgery for the 12th at 7 am. It will be a total hysterectomy. We’ll see what happens after that. My younger brother will be picking me up around 5 so that IS can be there with her.

    Now back to your regularly scheduled program.


  3. Here is something to consider: Carter and his fellow travelers in TGC often use the word “persecution” to describe those who bring up negative truths about them or their buddies. They accuse people of “persecuting” them all the time.

    Why is it ok when they do it? Is it not the same thing they are accusing Palin of doing at the NRA?

    Yup, right there, Lydia.


  4. Wendell G,
    What you went through was truly awful. I would certainly classify that kind of harassment as persecution. Given how cruel people in our culture can sometimes be, I don’t doubt that this happens.

    What bugs me about DeYoung’s approach is that I’ve seen an authoritarian ministry toss out the P card when people began speaking about their abusive experiences with it. In many of the spiritual abuse situations that this blog analyzes we’ve seen the same thing. DeYoung cares nothing about the SGM victims that were truly persecuted, but he’ll consider himself persecuted if anyone tries to call him on that. This really is a situation of crying “wolf” too many times. People rightfully roll their eyes at DeYoung’s agenda. Those people then are skeptical when someone, such as yourself, has a genuine conflict. I wish TGC would knock it off.


  5. “The Founders knew full well it was just a question of time before it would be on the block to the highest bidder, so they did their best to minimize the potential damage and should be applauded for it. Glad you mentioned Clinton and Obama! ”

    Who both had George Soros (hardly anybody richer) who has done great harm to third world country’s currencies. There are tons of rich liberals.

    Well, the Founders lost because now Obama tells me who my doctor can be through the health plan I am forced into. (My state bought in) And what freedom! The IRS is now attached to my health care. That is minimizing damage? Perhaps to those who do not value their individual liberties and choices. Not to mention the Treasury dept says I owed them 400 bucks but won’t tell me anything about it. I had no idea. Wonder what it is? They just took it out of my refund. Have you ever tried to call the Treasury Dept? I feel like I am in the USSR.


  6. But she sells herself as a Christian; therefore her word usage is offensive.

    Ok, because I label myself as a Christian, I cannot say the word “baptism” in any other non-Christian context that the dictionary provides without it meaning something derogatory? Help me understand this.

    I’m trying to figure out if this is just a Sarah Palin thang or would you (collective you) treat me the same way and chew me out for sacrilege?

    I’m trying to think of another example and the only thing I can come up with is “holy cow” which is said a lot around these parts. I’m sure someone would get all miffed about that because only God is holy. Is it on the same lines as that? Oh, here’s another: I’ve heard people get upset when others use the word “awesome” in a flippant manner because only God is awesome.


  7. I think what what TGC might describe as persecution is different than mine. They talk about being persecuted by non-believers. I think many of us have been persecuted by “Christians” in our own churches. They might laugh that one off.


  8. “. If she was someone who did not trade on her faith and broadcast her faith continually, it wouldn’t have touched most people. But she sells herself as a Christian; therefore her word usage is offensive.”

    You remember the first Obama campaign? He tried to do the same with his “faith” until too many people started checking out Jeremiah Wright’s sermons where he went to church for 20 years. Then he dropped that real quick and poof! all of Wright’s “hating whitey” sermons disappeared from the internet. But I got to hear a couple of them before the election. Nasty stuff. Not Christian at all. The left is as bad as the right. Which is why I have no party.


  9. David:

    Her speech before the NRA crowd cannot be seen in isolation from the rest of her public persona.

    Thanks for your comment. I wonder if she wrote her speech or had a speech writer?


  10. Jackie C,

    You may be right. Perhaps it’s just the rough and tumble of public discourse. It’s just that it seems to me that when great umbrage is directed at a woman over what does not appear to me to be that big a deal, and when the umbrage emanates from quarters that are not exactly known for valuing women, it comes across as rather nefarious. Perhaps my perceptions a colored by the fact that there are so many who are so quick to characterize women, and not just Sarah Palin, as, for example, vamps.


  11. Muff, the whole point is Palin did NOT have the establishment behind her. The big money guys blew her off after the campaign. Why do you think she did not fight in Alaska? Money. She stood no chance. They despised her. But she was popular enough afterwards to make bank off of it. But I doubt seriously you will see the big money guys back her unless she wins a primary. She comes off as a loose cannon and is not easily beholden. that is what McCain campaign had a problem with. Not something they like. Their attitude is– we brought you here and you owe us.


  12. “! think what what TGC might describe as persecution is different than mine. They talk about being persecuted by non-believers. I think many of us have been persecuted by “Christians” in our own churches. They might laugh that one off.”

    Hmm. I have often wondered about this. Could we call the heavy burdens the Pharisees put on people “persecution”?

    Liked by 1 person

  13. “Ok, because I label myself as a Christian, I cannot say the word “baptism” in any other non-Christian context that the dictionary provides without it meaning something derogatory? Help me understand this.”

    I used to say “my babies baptized me” with regurgitated milk all the time. If anyone had a problem with that then they take themselves way too seriously. Back then I was too sleep-deprived to care.

    I think it’s in reference to waterboarding that makes it distasteful.


  14. BTDT said:

    I’ve never even heard of Diigo. Hope it works like you want it to. Google chrome allows me to create folders. I just name one that I hope is relevant enough to the topic that I’m bookmarking info in. My biggest issue is culling it occasionally to keep it cleaned up.

    Well, I need something bigger than the normal bookmarks program that goes with a browser. I mean, think of who I have listed under Patriarchy. Some of the things I bookmark fit more than one category so I like this that I can put it one category/file, but also tag it. So, for example, Doug Phillips’ article on repentance that he posted the month before he publicly announced he was leaving Vision Forum (and is now scrubbed), I can tag it: Patriarchy, Vision Forum, Repentance, Clergy Abuse, False Teacher, Captain who Sunk His Ship, yada yada

    This program also takes screen shots, and quotes, etc. There’s a short video here.


  15. “I’m trying to think of another example and the only thing I can come up with is “holy cow” which is said a lot around these parts.”

    LOL! (that might be offensive in a country where cows are sacred)

    Ok, what about the use of “Gospel” in literature. Such as “that is the Gospel truth”. For that matter what about love, grace, truth, etc.

    It could be because I don’t view sacraments the same way Joe does as a Calvinist. I do not see them as any sort of a means of grace, so to speak.. Only symbolism and remembering. I do not even view baptism as a criteria or anything like that. I do think it is best and a good thing for a believer. So, I don’t see it as insulting or degrading at all.

    I mean, can we give up the word “grace” so easily in our daily vocab? Think of the implications. No– “gracious!” as my mum used to say.


  16. “Thank you friends. I worry about her. She’s 78 now and has been through so much already.”

    Wow, that is major surgery for her age. I will pray for her strength, too.


  17. “The official reasons were made up, but it was after he saw me carrying a Bible into my office so I could read it on breaks.”

    Wendall, This happens all the time here. Teachers are never told NOT to bring one in to read during downtime but if they do, they can feel the pressure. Automatically it is assumed they are evangelizing in the classroom. And then they are watched closely. To one I suggested she put it on her ipad but the problem with that is you have to lock those things up. Everything in public school is stolen here. Even glasses sitting on a desk. No one wants to steal a bible. (I had my car broken into once while parked at a public school and they stole my bookbag probably thinking it was a purse. Had my favorite study bible in it. LOL! Hope it was read)

    But guess what? A Qur’an is ok. Even for students to have out!


  18. This is a total rabbit trail, but many kinds of Christians view the sacraments as more than simply memorials. As a Wesleyan I do view them as means of grace – and perhaps that DOES factor into the reaction I have to what Palin said, as one commenter suggested. But it’s definitely what she compared baptism TO that drew such strong reaction. So a baby “baptizing” his or mom with breast milk? Not troubling to me. The nurturing bond between mother and child is practically sacramental in its own right.


  19. I did not think these folks “believed” in “Neanderthals” they are just people who have arthritis or some such utter nonsense. I cant believe I am siding with Sarah Palin either.


  20. Palin notwithstanding, I had to laugh at this part of VF’s diatribe: “Has our perspective on this world, the role of woman, politics, commentary, and all other issues been shaped by this world or by the Word of God?”

    I dunno, Doug. Can you provided the scripture reference making permissible your sexual abuse of your nanny? I can’t seem to find it in my Bible.


  21. Wendell G (30.1:46pm), thanks for answering re persecution.

    A few observations:

    First, jerks are jerks. Richard Dawkins is a jerk and would be whether he was an atheist or not. Doug Wilson is also a jerk, and would be whether he called himself a Christian or not. So I don’t count Richard Dawkin’s nastiness towards Christians as persecution by an atheist and I also don’t consider Wilson’s nastiness towards most US citizens as persecution by a Christian.

    Jerks have picked on me for being Christian, but I was also picked for being female and for my stance on art. For these people, it wasn’t faith, sex or art stance that annoyed them but my existence; somehow I got in their way just by breathing. So it goes.

    Second, the secular world is more rough&tumble than the Christian circles. There’s a chaos of ideas and beliefs floating around, and thus there’s a lot more loudness, crudeness and all around push/pull. For the most part, they don’t take themselves nearly as seriously as do those inside religious circles, and on the other hand, they just let “whatever” hang out and if you don’t like it, too bad for you. The rules of engagement are different.

    Third, I have been in the secular world for most of my adult life, and there were only two not-jerk people who treated me with contempt simply because I believed in an “imaginary god”. I was taken aback by them. One of them I was able to corner, and found out that he’d been brought up in a very abusive Catholic home and couldn’t get over his rage. So I told him about my abuse and how I still kept my beliefs because I understood that God had nothing to do with it, etc, and after that, although he still thought I was an idiot, the venom drained away. It is useful to know where the hate comes from, because here in the US, it is most often not about Christ.

    Fourth, Evangelicals need to understand that when they decided to engage in culture wars, they made enemies by declaring them so. People are not going to be told that they are enemies, fought against as enemies, and just sit there and take it. So when a group declares war and then gets warred upon, they cannot then claim persecution. That’s not how war works.

    So it’s important that we sort out these elements before we make claims of persecution. It’s important because the claim itself creates fear and also because there are people in this world who are being treated horribly purely for claiming Christ and I don’t want to demean the definition for their sake.


  22. “Fourth, Evangelicals need to understand that when they decided to engage in culture wars, they made enemies by declaring them so.”

    Very true. And it is the total opposite of what I Corin 5 teaches us.

    I have been in the secular world my entire career. I love the rough and tumble, exchange of ideas, etc. I felt oppressed when doing training projects for mega churches. (I did not really understand the dynamics of that until later). There was no free exchange of ideas or disagreements that were fun like we had in my other world.

    Most of the folks I worked with in the secular world were soft agnostics, a few pure athiests but we made a great team. Very few were Christians or even church goers. it was just the nature of the industry. And that is sad.

    I was ribbed a bit but we were all equals and professionals. But I was never an “in your face” Christian. I believed that people could know and see me as fair, honest, just, etc. I remember some very funny convos about the origins of humans.

    I say all this to make the point that those guys standing up there in pulpits who have made ministry a career know very little about being a believer in the real world. If we are honest, what can they teach us week after week since we have access to all the resources they have now. They have very little experience as believers in the real world of work.

    An amusing thought: If Doug Wilson or John Piper had to get real jobs in the real world, would it not be hilarious if they had to report to a feminist Lesbian boss? I would buy tickets.


  23. I will say that since I have been doing projects in different public schools (had not been in one since I graduated high school!) so I don’t have to travel anymore, I have been blown away by the ingrained group think. There is very little free exchange of ideas and it is very oppressive and even young new teachers who are full of fire look beat up after the first year. It reminds me of the mega churches quite a bit where the people seem like stepford workers. it is very sad. Education should be a place of ideas, analyzing ideas, critical thinking, etc. But it is not in my neck of the woods.


  24. Lydia,

    Aside from Joe Carter going bottom feeding in trying to critique Sarah Palin. Some contributors here were discussing Sacraments. I grew up Catholic and the Catholics have 7 Sacraments.

    My wife grew up Baptist and the term Sacraments was not used or referenced. (and she went to Bible College).We did celebrate communion the 1st Sunday of each month here in the church she grew up in.

    Calvinist apparently recognize 2 Sacraments Baptism and Communion.

    The only time our former Hyper-Reformed Pastor celebrated Communion in our church was on Easter Sunday.
    I was kind of hoping you may share if you are aware if there is a certain Reformed Sect that isolates Communion only on Easter Sunday and if the so-called Patriarch movement does the same thing.


  25. “I was kind of hoping you may share if you are aware if there is a certain Reformed Sect that isolates Communion only on Easter Sunday and if the so-called Patriarch movement does the same thing.”

    I don’t really know about the implementation part of communion with certain Reformed/Patriarchal churches. I was thinking only of how they view them. I grew up SBC so, like your wife, I never heard the word used, either. We “remembered” the Cross with communion.

    But within the last 8 years or so I have been paying close attention to what is going on, I have noticed a lot of SBC Reformed leaders writing about Baptism/Communion quite a bit. Why would Al Mohler need to write an article on infant baptism? That has never been an issue in the SBC before this past decade. Well, there is good reason. Mohler is basically a Presbyterian, IMO. When you consistently point your followers/students to Calvin, The Puritans, Edwards, etc as heros of the faith and the people to emulate, young guys are going to start seeing these things in a different way than is the traditional Baptist understanding. It causes chaos.

    Here is an example: Barnabas Piper wrote an article a few years back on his blog about why he left the Baptist church. It was over infant baptism! That was a big enough issue for him to become a Presbyterian where they baptize babies.

    Now, guess where he works now? For the SBC/Lifeway. That has offended some people because many Baptists identify with the Ana Baptists that gave their lives for adult believers baptism. And many were ” baptized a third time” by the Reformers that are being promoted as hero’s of the faith. So, did Barnabas change his views to land the cushy job at Lifeway? That is quite a nice salary he has and an important title about message content. So what is he going to teach? Who knows.

    Another example. Most (MOST!) SBC churches have traditionally practiced open communion. That is changing rapidly thanks to the Reformed resurgence and it is discussed with vitriol on SBC pastor blogs all the time quite. Seriously? I find it straining at gnats and swallowing camels but it is how things are playing out.

    Joe Carter works for the SBC/ELRC.


  26. Lydia, the minute we drop the political rhetoric I think we’d find much commonality between our world views. Let me begin by dropping mine and apologizing for getting too close to over the line. Wanting others to see from our point of view is a very human trait. Truth be told? I like Sarah Palin and I’m bettin’ that both of us could agree on marinades and charcoal grilled meats and fish. So much better to unite on the things that bind us together as humans rather than the stuff that divides no?


  27. Lydia,

    A lot to grasp for sure. Infant baptism is also considered a Catholic Sacrament, then they celebrate Confirmation when Catholics reach an age old enough to accept and embrace Catholicism.


  28. Someone asked for another word like “baptism” that might be used secularly and religiously at the same time. Well, here’s one that has come up in our homeschool: calling a book that is NOT The Bible, a bible. For example, before kids, I worked as a software engineer. We had a “C++ bible” and a “Java bible”, etc. (C++ and Java are programming languages, just FYI.) We meant that it was the “go-to” book to learn about that language. I can’t remember what I was referring to at the time, but I called some other book (probably some reference book) a “bible,” something like, “Oh, that’s a good book about that. It’s considered the bible of blah.” You should have seen the looks on my kids’ faces. They were slightly offended until I explained the non-religious use of it.


  29. WRNS,

    A software engineer here as well. I and my coworkers discussed being in the “holy war” between vi and emacs. That is just one of many holy wars that software engineers fight in amongst themselves.

    But as to your example, the word “baptism” is in the Bible, but “bible” really is not. Scripture, yes, but Bible, no. I have never heard of “C++ Scripture.” But your point is still valid. We soft engineers do not use the term to discuss torture. We use our “bibles” to make this world a better place with well written code 🙂


  30. Have any of you seen The Railway Man, starring Colin Firth? It shows a British POW being tortured by water-boarding by his Japanese captors during WW2. It’s a very harrowing scene. Water-boarding is torture, period.


  31. Jackie C.

    @12:20 April 30 you said:
    “I give more weight to the UN Commission on Human Rights than to your opinion”

    Really? Iran is part of the UN Commission on Human Rights. I give no credence to the UN.

    The reason that I mention that I was in the military, is because there are Christians and patriots in the military that think the way that I do, for the most part. I served under Ronald Reagan, who invoked God more than any president since him.

    In addition, the Guatemalan army is not the US Military, and therefore, there is no comparison.



  32. Wendell,

    @12:47 pm April 30 you said:
    “The name, Palin, invokes a great deal of hatred. Some people cannot avoid the ad hominem.”

    My response:
    John 15:18
    If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.

    Yep, they hated Palin long before the word baptism was used. That’s why all this talk and anger about her using the word is nothing but a side show. I love Christians with balls…especially the females. She’s got ’em. She is not afraid of what people think of her.



  33. lydiasellerofpurple,

    You had said:
    “Hmm. I have often wondered about this. Could we call the heavy burdens the Pharisees put on people “persecution”?”

    No, because it is only persecution at the name of Jesus. Once the gospel of Jesus began being preached, that is when persecution began. It began because Jews were converting to Jesus.

    Proclaim Jesus=persecution. Proclaim ideology=false sense of persecution



  34. “Really? Iran is part of the UN Commission on Human Rights. I give no credence to the UN.”

    I know, Ed. This is what I will never understand. As bad as we get things here in the US at least we have made some strides in the human rights areas of race, religion and women. But trusting country’s like Iran over the US for human rights–equality and justice? I don’t get it. It makes no sense to me.

    But this is the thinking in many liberal circles these days. It is why I do not trust them when it comes to protecting innocents. It goes like this: Our Waterboarding terrorists bad. Subjugation of women, promoting terrorism and hating Jews– understandable? That is how the whole UN situation plays out.

    We have a better chance of real justice with the UN? I think not. As a woman I am offended by that thought.


  35. David C

    You had said:
    “But as to your example, the word “baptism” is in the Bible, but “bible” really is not. ”

    My response:
    Actually yes, the word Bible is in the Bible.

    It comes from the Greek word “Biblos”, and that is Strongs Concordance Greek ref #976. Associated with that reference is #975, and #974.

    It’s primary meaning is “A sheet, or scroll of writing”. The English word in the Bible (KJV) is simply, “book”.

    We get the word Bible from the Greek word biblos, book.



  36. “Water-boarding is torture, period.”

    What would you call attacks on innocent people? We are talking about people who strap on bombs to kill innocent people and fly airplanes into buildings killing 3000. How quickly we forget they have not given up.

    It is a horrible tightrope we must walk to protect innocents. There is always the danger we become like our enemy which is what happened at Abu Gharib. But, unlike those who want to kill innocents, we punished them when it became public.

    At the very least the person gets to live which the innocents did not. So who has better ideas of how to get information to prevent more innocent people from being killed?

    This thinking is the same foundational thinking of the evangelicals who pack the courtroom begging the judge to be lenient in sentencing the child molester from their church. The victims are right there watching the whole thing. They think they are being pious and look loving. They are insulting the victims and helping to set the perp free sooner to victimize more children.

    I just do not get it. Why is so few people care about the innocents? You konw, they don’t have to be waterboarded. They could TALK.


  37. lydiasellerofpurple,

    “Our Waterboarding terrorists bad. Subjugation of women, promoting terrorism and hating Jews– understandable? That is how the whole UN situation plays out.”

    My response:

    Yep, and all the problems in the world is the fault of the United States, too? So, since Obama went on an apology tour, what changed? Red lines not meaning anything at all. I think the UN is satisfied with that.



  38. “No, because it is only persecution at the name of Jesus. Once the gospel of Jesus began being preached, that is when persecution began. It began because Jews were converting to Jesus.”

    I understand where you are coming from. I was looking at the word in a different way based upon Wendall’s view.

    I do think that Christians CAN be “persecuted” (defined in the broad sense as Wendall was using it) by Christian leaders who claim the name of Jesus but use His name for doing wrong to people. It all depends on how we view that word…and it is an English word with a broad definition but there are disagreements when it is used in a Christian context. That is what I am musing about.

    A drastic example would be Jim Jones and what led up to the koolaid. Another example would be telling a 3 year old to face her molester and forgive him because she is just as big of sinner as he is. The SGM way of persecuting innocents in the Name of Jesus. I also see this as a form of blaspheming. Attributing to God what is NOT from God. It is one of the commandments about Not taking His Name in Vain.


  39. lydiasellerofpurple,

    “What would you call attacks on innocent people? We are talking about people who strap on bombs to kill innocent people and fly airplanes into buildings killing 3000. How quickly we forget they have not given up. ”

    Some have suggested that we forgive them and love those who are not even sorry for what they have done…without justice. Love our enemies, right? All the while another plot in the making. We are just going to have to take it…because we love them, right? The wisdom of some never ceases to amuse me.



  40. lydiasellerofpurple,

    Since I’ve gotten into the christendom debates, at least here in the United States, I see so much more Christian persecuting Christian than I do unbelievers persecuting Christians. They (the Christians) really have no problem with the pagans, etc., but will name call other believers as heretics, etc., who, by the way, would get burned at the stake. I’m sure that the pagans who lived amongst them laughed at Christians for their barbaric thought processes of spreading the good news. The pagans probably said, “Well, if that is good news, I don’t want it.”



  41. Patrice, I have read your response several times re: persecution and honestly it strikes me as a bit condescending and minimizing of the problem. Persecution is an all encompassing term as forms of persecution vary widely in intensity. It often starts with the small stuff like making fun of a person because of their faith or making a hiring/firing decision based upon that. When it becomes more organized and state sponsored, it becomes more widespread and serious.

    You seem to imply (forgive me if I am wrong) that I have been insulated from the “real” world. Yes, I have been a pastor, but I have always been bi-vocational. I have worked in the secular world for over 40 years and have experienced all kinds of jerks. I have also witnessed harassment of Christians disguised as mocking and joking and as I mentioned before, have almost lost my job because a higher up happened to see my Bible. For the last 17 or so years, I have worked in libraries (hardly friendly to anyone conservative). I have a Master of Science in Information Science and I have worked with many fine people, both Christian and non. I don’t know how much you know about the library world, but it is dominated by liberal secularists who claim neutrality, but in reality are not neutral when it comes to religion. Sometimes it shows overtly, but at other times, it is more covert as in deciding not to acquire a book because it is Christian, yet books on Islam or atheism are just fine. Rather than have a balance, they intentionally denigrate one religion over another. So, I understand the rough and tumble world. I have and continue to live in it.

    Yes, in most cases, building a relationship and showing people that you aren’t the bogey man often disarms them and opens the door to dialogue. That is my preferred method; however, I reject the idea that a large number of Christians are bringing persecution on to themselves by engaging the world or “making enemies” of the world. That is blame shifting at its finest. It is like telling an abused woman that she must have brought on the abuse! I am sure that this is not your intent, but that is how it comes across.

    So, let me ask you this. What of the 6 year old who was recently told she could not read her Bible at lunch? What part of the culture war was she engaged in? How did she make an enemy of the public school worker? Is that persecution? I would say yes, but not of the most extreme form (though it is reprehensible to do this to a 6 year old). Apparently, you would say no.

    What about students who have been told that they cannot write essays about Jesus being the most important person in their lives? Were they actively making enemies by being believers?

    Just last week, it was revealed that a young man was trying to get into a specialized program in a community college. During his interview, he was asked what was most important in his life and he answered “God”. He was rejected and the second major reason for his rejection was that he dared mention that in his interview. While the first reason given was that there were some others with higher grades, this college official used 3 times as many lines to state that his expression of faith made him lose points. In other words, he was told that if he was a Christian and was willing to admit it, he was not welcome. Is that persecution? Most definitely, but I am not sure you would see it that way.

    In the early 90’s, a Roman Catholic mass in New York was interrupted by members of a homosexual activist group (ACT-UP). They invaded the church and started to harass the parishioners. They destroyed property, spit on people, and threw used condoms into the congregation. All of this was done with no evidence that anyone in the congregation, nor the priests had engaged in any culture wars. They were attacked because of their faith and the teachings of the RC church. I hope that you would at least find that as persecution!

    And no, I am not one of those who feels that we should be immune from it. Jesus promised that His followers would be persecuted. Peter told us to rejoice in the various trials that we would face for our faith. In fact, I think one of the worst things that happened to the church was when Constantine made Christianity the official religion and ended Roman persecution of the church. Under the persecutions of Diocletian, Caligula, Nero and others, the wheat was certainly separated from the chaff!

    I have read much of persecution in Asia, the former USSR, Europe, South America and other places. Much of what I have read about the early days of persecution in those places are being mirrored here.

    I have a personal friend who is a first generation Chinese immigrant. She grew up under the early days of persecution just after the communist revolution. Her mother was imprisoned and she and her sister were homeless in China. She has told me over and over again that the early stages of persecution there are happening here. She has lived it and knows it intimately. It is just not recognized as such yet because it has not had widespread state sponsorship, but according to her, it will soon follow if things don’t change.

    On the other hand, I don’t believe that Christians should be denigrated for standing up against the culture for sincerely held beliefs. Yes, some use less than ideal methods, but they should not be expected to just sit in the pews and mind their own business. We are to engage the culture, not in a hateful manner, but as Paul did with the philosophers at Mars Hill, by showing them a better way.

    I think most evangelicals (who seem to be the favorite whipping boy) are of the same mind. It is a few high profile, very vocal personalities that seem to elevate the rhetoric and cause people to assume that the average Joe, evangelical pew sitter, is the same way. They aren’t. Most just want to live quiet lives, support their families and worship God in peace.


  42. Ed said:

    Since I’ve gotten into the christendom debates, at least here in the United States, I see so much more Christian persecuting Christian than I do unbelievers persecuting Christians. They (the Christians) really have no problem with the pagans, etc., but will name call other believers as heretics, etc., who, by the way, would get burned at the stake.

    Like this little gem I got this morning, Ed?

    The first tweet that started the whole thing is here. It’s a tweet from Dee of The Wartburg Watch blog:


  43. “It is a few high profile, very vocal personalities that seem to elevate the rhetoric and cause people to assume that the average Joe, evangelical pew sitter, is the same way. They aren’t.”

    Wendall, We give the secular world too much ammunition. Just look at the celebrity evangelicals who have rallied around CJ Mahaney which is about child molestations. So why do these guys have any credibility or followers after that? That is the big question that leads us to “what are we claiming to the secular world IS Christianity”. We must tell their followers: We don’t believe in your guru’s Jesus. They do not define Jesus for us. And then we shout it to the world and LIVE as the Kingdom now.

    And then we have the issue of free speech. I am absolutely appalled at what is censored and how we censor politically incorrect speech that is demeaning and hateful. Are people thinking this through instead of having knee jerk reactions? From my reading around Christian blogs, the answer is no.

    Allowing politically incorrect free speech allows us to analyze the issue in the public square. Without free speech, more group think and indoctrination goes on. It is already politically incorrect and racist to disagree with the leaders of this country. We are on the slope sliding head first.

    I really think people are very short sighted on this issue in the name of some sort of totalitarian niceness. There will always be jerks, sadsacks and racist pigs. What scares me is how we start narrowing what is “correct” speech and what isn’t. I am chilled by how many people are willing to forgo liberty for what they perceive is being nice.


  44. JA, Isn’t Dustin a devotee of JD Hall? I think that explains it. He does not even make sense. “Molest”? They are such children. Please tell me he is not a pastor. Please.


  45. I think he is, Lydia. I scrolled through his tweets this morning to get a feel for who he is and what he stands for and he definitely was retweeting JD Hall. He does follow a mixed bag (Rachel Held Evans) and me, so I think he’s just trying to keep an eye on the “other” side.


  46. lydiasellerofpurple:

    “This thinking is the same foundational thinking of the evangelicals who pack the courtroom begging the judge to be lenient in sentencing the child molester from their church. The victims are right there watching the whole thing. They think they are being pious and look loving. They are insulting the victims and helping to set the perp free sooner to victimize more children.”

    Right, because calling water-boarding torture is THE EXACT SAME THING as excusing abusers! You are conflating two completely different issues. I have no wish to see leniency for terrorists, I’m British and we fought IRA terrorism for decades. I still wouldn’t ever find it acceptable for my government to use torture. I want terrorists tried and convicted under due process.

    And none of this has anything to do with child abuse.


  47. JA,

    Wow.  According to there are three definitions to molest.  The last two are related to sex.  The first one is:  to bother, interfere or annoy.

    I don’t think anyone can do either of those things to a book.  If I was making a guess, I would say that he really thinks that you are interfering with his bondage belief system, and it bothers him.  He feels threatened of the truth being exposed, but is OK with genitals being exposed? 

    This is an example of a word (molest) being used incorrectly, and yet, they, the religious self righteous experts, cry blasphemy if Sarah Palin uses the word baptize.  I always thought that the south believed in the “God and Guns” stuff, so I find it amazing that they are angry that she said this at an NRA rally.  They should be cheering, not jeering.  God and Guns!




  48. Philippa,

    I want terrorists killed. 

    1. Romans 13:4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.Ed



  49. Fine. I’m not a pacifist either. That still won’t make me believe that torture is ever right or acceptable.

    And, again – this has nothing to do with justice for abuse victims.


  50. Philippa,

    Equate abusers with terrorists.  Equate this to if the victim was YOU.  Equate this if the victim is someone that you love more than anything in the world.  Your wife, daughter, son, mother, father, etc. 

    Don’t tell me that you wouldn’t think of torture.  You would.  You would do ANYTHING to find them if they were kidnapped, and if you thought that they had information to lead you to them.  You would not be nice to them.  You would not offer them a pizza for information. 

    There is no legal definition that waterboarding is torture.  There is only conjecture, and opinions. 

    When you are placed in that scenario, you will clearly disobey your current belief about torture.  I am sure of it.  You would punch him, kick him, and you would do anything to get information from him.

    Anyone who does not fight to save others are indeed pacifists.  Fighting includes what some might term as torture. 

    I’d baptize the terrorists with waterboarding.  It worked. And they are still alive to tell about it.  They want to die for the cause of Allah anyway.  So, lets torture them with life, while baptizing them.




  51. And if In your rage and desperation, you inflict so much pain on them to render them incapable of talking, they won’t be able to give you the information that would save your loved ones anyway. By torturing them, you might only succeed in hardening their resolve not to crack. Torture does not guarantee reliable info-gathering.

    From the Gospel Coalition thread, here’s the opinion of a military man:

    “I was stationed at Camp Bucca, Iraq 2008. Many faithful, Jesus proclaiming surgeons, anesthetists, nurses, medics, and doctors; members of one half of the 31st Combat Support Hospital provided medical and surgical care to literally tens of thousands of prisoners of war. Many where caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. Others came to Iraq to wreak devastation on Americans, NATO allies, and the Iraqi tribes. As a first hand witness; I faithfully attest to the professionalism of American military intelligence personnel in the humane treatment of those interned men, the indescribable horror that torture works on the human mind and body (we treated literally hundreds of Sunni and Shia who were tortured by rival sects, tribes, or villages), and the absolute contradiction acts of torture and shaming represent to the words and life of Jesus, our Christ. If you want to fully understand how completely acts of torture oppose the Gospel, find the Somali, the Kurd, the Rawandan, the Palestinian, the Egyptian Copt, the Kosovian, the Croatian, or any member of the too many people groups in this time and world who have seen torture first hand. Spend a month’s worth of conversations over coffee with them and come back to this discussion and tell us how valuable acts of shame and torture are to the Gospel.”

    No bleeding-heart liberal, but a Christian soldier who knows what he’s talking about.


  52. “Right, because calling water-boarding torture is THE EXACT SAME THING as excusing abusers! You are conflating two completely different issues.”

    It is the same “foundational” thinking whether you can see it or not. That sort of thinking does not put the protection of future INNOCENT victims first. Always think of innocent victims first. Always. And what does it take to prevent atrocities? It takes a tightrope. How would YOU get vital information that might lead to saving lives?

    When you do not put innocents first we have moral chaos. It is the same moral chaos that thinks Iran can represent innocent victims targeted by terrorists on the UN Human Rights committee. Where is common sense?


  53. JA has her mod hat on. uh-oh

    I’m a bit uncomfortable with the tone a few of the comments have taken. We have some strong opinions and I like that, EXCEPT when it comes across as black/white, my-way-or-the highway or condescension. When that happens, this place is no longer safe for others to express their thoughts and opinions.

    I think we need to move on from the topic of whether water boarding is torture or not, whether Palin is cool or not. Those do not fit within the general focus of the blog as it pertains to spiritual abuse. Thanks 🙂


  54. NIce try, Phillipa. Those who hang around the TGC are almost always made up of determinists. They believe in a determinist god and that changes their outlook on everything. They do not believe in free will at all except for the one with tons of mental gymnastics that is not really free will/choice. You see, their god controls every molecule 24/7 which has to include terrorist attacks, innocents dying (innocents suffering is good in their paradigm) and so on.

    Did it occur to you that Muslim terrorists also have a “determinist” Allah?

    Again. Moral chaos.

    Waterboarding is grueling– horrible. I would talk to and tell what I know…any insignificant detail….. to save innocents. Wouldn’t you? They do not want to help save innocent victims? How come?


  55. Ed,and Julie Anne,

    Joe Carter went bottom feeding looking for a reason to criticize or critique Palin’s words and it really wasn’t about what she said it was about his dislike of Palin’s ideology..

    Dustin Germain’s tweets is an example what I’m talking about. He is involved involved in one of the most toxic blogs that use a poor choice of words on a regular basis . If you dare question their school yard sophomoric Methodology they will retaliate rather than apologize for using a poor choice of words.

    What makes me doubt Joe Carter being authentic in criticizing Palin is inability to criticize JD Hall or James White’s toxic choice of words that is far worse than what Palin said. Palin words were intended to defend Christianity against terrorism.

    I like Palins courage and her views. (Ed, I choose the word “courage” in describing her strength in taking on the Liberal establishment, I think “balls” is a little vulgar for whatever gender, especially in a Christian Blog ) .


  56. Very good points, Mark. I decided to deal directly with Dustin Germain’s tweet to me about molesting scripture and being an abuser by referring him back to his own blog on a great Calvin quote:

    I consider looseness with words no less of a defect than looseness of the bowels.”


  57. Julie Anne,


    One can stay strong in their views while having a difference of opinion or embrace countering Doctrines without getting personal and Un-Christ like or being abusive while retaliating against a brother or sister..

    This little Joe Carter thing kind of exposed the lop-sided views and behavior of toxic verbal abusers who are cherry-picking their way through life expressing their views based on personal Ideologies while waving their Doctrinal Flag in the air, so other abusers know which camp they are in..

    Joe Carter should be critiquing JD Hall and James White not Sarah Palin.

    (I hope Ed, gets a chance to respond to my 8:55 a.m. statement)


  58. “Molest Scripture”?!?!?!

    What an interesting word choice.

    Molest : to harm (someone) through sexual contact : to touch (someone) in a sexual and improper way.

    Is he insinuating that you are worse than a child molester since you molest scripture, and therefore you have no right to call out child molesters?


  59. Plilippa,

    In regards to your post this morning, in regards to the medics in Iraq…Apples and oranges, dude.

    I am discussing the masterminds of the 9/11 attacks, you know, the prisoners at Gitmo?  People who have knowledge of planned attacks.  Not Iraq. 

    Apples and oranges.




  60. Mark,

    You had said: “I like Palins courage and her views. (Ed, I choose the word “courage” in describing her strength in taking on the Liberal establishment, I think “balls” is a little vulgar for whatever gender, especially in a Christian Blog”

    My response: Just keepin it real, bud, just keepin it real.  Maybe I could have said testicles instead?  Courage is fine.




  61. In regards to your 8:55 am comment, I totally agree. I come off a bit strong myself towards people here, as you may have noticed. But I have good reason. I’m like a dog protecting his master. I hate spiritual abuse, and when anyone wishes to defend it their doctrinal aspects that lead to abuse, I bite back, usually with scripture. I’ve been called all sorts of nasty names on other people’s blogs, of the Calvin persuasion. Most of us here on this blog are learning about Spiritual Abuse, some are studying it, and others know what scripture to use to counter it. As for me, I don’t mind the critique of me, or even to be told to settle down. But for the blogs that you talk about, I go after the juggler, big time.



  62. Ed,

    I try to keep it real and avoid bringing body parts into the equation and focus strictly on abuse and their hateful rhetoric. And avoid using the same tactics these Hyper Abusers practice.

    I have seen you challenge these guys for awhile, (most of them embracing Hyper Calvinistic Methodologies) and I find myself on the same page as you. But we don’t have to stoop down to their level, we simply need to hold up the mirror in their faces.

    Today I challenged Joe Carter on his blog, asked if he has ever called out JD Hall and James White for their poor choice of words, not to sure if he will respond back.

    I think the only way any of us can make a dent is to keep chipping away exposing their spiritual and verbal recklessness which I myself believe is endorsed by Hyper Theologians. As blogs like SSB continue to expand their audience, more people will become aware and avoid toxic movements like YRR and the Hyper Reformed.

    We know there was more to Joe Carter calling out Palin for her choice of words, because Hyper Theologians use far more toxic rhetoric.


  63. Mark,

    I couldn’t agree with you more!!  However, I don’t mind stooping down to their level.  Sometimes it is the only language that they know. 

    And…you know as well as I do that Christians are not immune to slang words/terms, and there is no law against it, or for it. 

    Take this for example:  Doug Phillips said that he did not “KNOW” her in the biblical sense.

    Oh, come on Doug…just say pork!!  LOL!!

    But that’s the whole point of this post, in my opinion only, of course.  Words.  Baptize by waterboarding, and some cry foul. 

    Why did Joe Carter not just keep his big mouth shut?  She did not come to his office, and he was not at an NRA rally.  He should stick to his profession, which is to spread the gospel and not spout off on political matters when it doesn’t concern him.  His religious views do not shape my political views.  And that is what he is trying to do.  He wants his follows to believe a certain way politically.  I don’t, and wont conform to his religious or political beliefs.

    That is my point.  If he wants to send an intra-office memo to his people, fine.  But, he does not speak for Christians.  Christians speak for themselves.  They form their own opinions.  And that is the way it ought to be.

    And that includes the Dr. James Dobson, Dr. James White, etc.  As a matter of fact, the only opinion of a Dr. that I want is from one that wears a stethoscope around his neck.  Ed





  64. Ed,

    Like I suggested Joe Carter should be critiquing JD Hall and James White not Sarah Palin.

    Yeah I’ve practiced “speaking the only language they understand”. It typically works as an initial shock treatment but then it becomes habit forming and becomes ineffective, speaking from personal experience.

    These guys usually embrace their Ministries around a “Sin Centered” rather than “Christ Centered” and they zero in on secular weaknesses that exist within their own congregations holding them captive and vulnerable to abuse, that is “works based”.constantly proving their worthiness, to the preacher..

    In the mean time they are blowing up all over cyber space with abusive and hateful words making it easy to pluck them down, Truthfully if any of these guys referred to body parts, I’d be all over them.


  65. Mark,

    Now here is a question for you.  If Joe Carter is of the same ideology as J.D. Hall and James White, how do you expect Joe Carter to critique them down?  He can’t, and won’t.  It’s not gonna happen.  He is complicit. 

    Before I began to study Calvinism, I had never heard of Calvinism before, first of all, but I had considered myself a “conservative” Christian.

    But then, I began to discover the “origin” of what religious organization was front and center of that term (Calvinism).  I am certainly not liberal, but I do not consider myself as a conservative Christian as defined by the Christian Coalition.  I do not believe what they believe.  So, I must stress that Joe Carter and his like do not shape my opinions on anything.  Therefore, their ideology must be attacked, i.e. patriarchy, the victim is not a victim, but is just as much in sin as the perp, sweep abuse under the rug, etc., and then claim that God ordained it all, for the greater good. 

    It’s one thing to have a blog, and such.  People come and go.  But it’s another thing to persuade your political/religious “world view” upon others, as they all do, when I don’t believe anything in regards to their biblical views.  And that is their objective.  They will not critique a fellow colleague. 

    So, I say that we need to be on the attack, and do not surrender, take no prisoners, etc.  He attacks Sarah Palin because she is a woman, not because she used a “biblical word”.  Let’s be truthful about the matter.  He does not want a woman in charge of his life.




  66. Ed,

    I think you know that I understood his intentions in how he “attempted” critique Palin’s words. He acted like a stereotypical Calvinist that has no boundaries in defending his methodology, while placing limitation and rebuking those outside the “Club”. .

    I guess we have different approaches in how we challenge toxic and sometimes sinful rhetoric.(which has been my focus, they need to stop saying and doing mean things)

    I have mixed it up several times with Hyper Calvinist bloggers and they immediately tone down the rhetoric, but their pride will never allow themselves to apologize for their improper use of words or saying sinful mean things about others. They simply attempt to qualify their rhetoric, before the dialogue ends..

    I don’t tolerate personal insults toward me or anybody else, which in turn I have to return the same courtesy. And when they forecast the eternal destination of a Non-Calvinist Preacher simply because they have opposing Doctrines I challenge them by explaining the Pharisees did the same thing to the Sinner, Tax Collector and even on Christ for ministering to them.



  67. I had to jump in here on this one- lol!
    Its a word for goodness sakes! JC is getting hung up on a word- whatever!
    Political Correctness gone amok! He needs to deal with his own circumference and what is happening to the Christian church with sexual and spiritual abuse. Clean up house first!
    I am sick and tired of how Americans get so hung up on verbiage – we have the wherewithal to refuse to be affected by it as adults. I could care less if someone called me a “white trash cracker”. We only get wound up if we allow it to.
    We use words like “baptism, etc.” to convey points that will get someones attention.
    This is not wrong and has been a way of communicating since time began.
    You can’t tell me that Joe Carter (or someone else in his camp) has not used a “play on words” consisting of “Bible lingo”. Maybe Joe needs to start chastising Christian comedians like Tim Hawkins.


  68. Political Correctness gone amok! He needs to deal with his own circumference and what is happening to the Christian church with sexual and spiritual abuse. Clean up house first!

    Amen – that’s what I’m talkin’ about!


  69. JA, we are like children….no, no, no …….worse. Children don’t even get into these semantics about verbiage. Why? because they don’t freakin’ care most of the time.
    But we do; for some stupid reason we get hung up on the word “baptism” or “dark chocolate” (insinuating race) or whatever word “someone” would like to use as a way to get noticed or garnish more power for himself/herself. I am tired of it.
    Just the other day at the YMCA, our basketball team was “winning too many points”, soooo….. to be politically correct or FAIR they stop our points from being counted to allow the other team to catch up- WHAT?? Our team ended up feeling demoralized when they saw that their points were eliminated. Thankfully, we pulled through and won, but that other team came pretty close to the original score. Now what would have happened if they “won” and we had to battle it out between the score we should have been counted for and their score that they so “fairly” achieved?
    Why I brought up this is because this is the same premise-
    We have people who want to be “fair” or “equal” and you end up with a big mess of unfairness. All Joe Carter is doing is collective, politically correct garbage in “Christianese”.

    Why can we not get the same national attention when the word used is “sexual abuse”, “groping”, beating, spousal abuse, pedophile, etc.?


  70. Wendell (1.6:28am), I was involved on the other thread, and didn’t see your comment. Sorry.

    I wasn’t assuming you are insulated but I do wonder about the way you interpret what you’ve experienced, which might be based on social procedures/assumptions inside the church community.

    I have spent quite a bit of time thinking about this issue because there has been a lot of complaint of persecution by Christians, and it has bewildered me. I wondered whether my bewilderment was caused by something in myself, other Christians, the US culture, or just different parts of the country.

    I wanted to explain to you why I came to the conclusion that we aren’t all that persecuted here in the US (not that it never happens) and the bases I used towards that conclusion.

    I don’t disagree with your Chinese friend, at least not in a broad sense. China was a communist nation once, which is an impossible ideology that inevitably reverts to oligarchy. We are a nation that has been slowly coming apart due to economic pressures/failures, and a long decline among citizens away from civil responsibility and cooperation. I believe we are experiencing a transformation into oligarchy much like China did quite a while back, because we allowed gov’t to be taken over by leaders who care less for citizens than they do their own power and wealth. (BTW, this scenario is also happening in miniature throughout the church community, as the continual stories on SSB and TWW make clear.)

    But the conclusion I draw from your friend’s observations is that when a nation falls to corrupt leadership, citizens suffer and some among them become cruel. This I found to be true in my experience. Some people become jerks and there are more of them as the pressures/suffering increase. Christians may indeed end up being persecuted at some point, but it’s not happening at nearly the rate that is insisted, as far as I can see. The difference between us and China is that in their formation, they rejected all religion and their oligarchs maintain that to this day. Thus, Buddhists get as much crap as Christians.

    We will just have to disagree on the source of the “culture wars”. You think (if I’m understanding you correctly) that those wars were started because everyone turned against Christians. I think those wars were started because Christians didn’t like what those who weren’t Christians were wanting for themselves.

    As to gays, yes, I do not condone violence and ACT-UP has been a militant extreme. Every group has these extremes and they’re wrong across the board. We have Christian militant groups practicing in the forests of the mid-west, and the Oklahoma City bombing was a terrible result of that.

    I must also point out that it is Christians who have gone around the nation declaring gays bound for eternal suffering because of their sexuality. This has nothing to do with approval for violence and also nothing to do with my reading of the Bible. It is simply true that citizens can’t go around decrying eternal pain on other citizens and not expect push back.

    You write: “What of the 6 year old who was recently told she could not read her Bible at lunch? What part of the culture war was she engaged in? How did she make an enemy of the public school worker? Is that persecution? I would say yes, but not of the most extreme form (though it is reprehensible to do this to a 6 year old). Apparently, you would say no.”

    Here you exhibit a part of what I was trying to explain in my first comment. You produce a contextless declaration of persecution against a young child, and then infer I’m an antagonist of such tykes simply because I don’t think there’s all that much persecution in the US. This isn’t a workable approach!

    You also use the example of an earnest young man trying to get into a community college but again, you provide no context nor sense of evaluation (your own version of those I developed when I came to my conclusions), just a blanket assertion of persecution. And look, Wendell, you might be correct, but I have no way to decide whether you are or not. I must simply rely on your declaration and well, I’m too Berean for that.

    We need to be Bereans.

    (My apologies for the length. I’m supposed to be in my garden but find I’m in too much pain, so I have some time on my hands.)


  71. Preacherman Germain sez to Julie Anne, “the fact that you molest scripture to do it is just another reflection of your character and abusive nature.”

    Maybe he’s just come over from an alternate universe? Maybe there’s a cranky alien lizard inside him, who hasn’t yet learned the rules of human engagement? Maybe he’s caught in the middle of a perpetual nightmare? Is he old enough for male menopause?

    I hope one of those reasons are germane because the other possibilities make him look bad.



  72. Well, Ed, if you want terrorists killed, it would be useful to define first this word terrorist whom you want to kill. The US DoD and the US State Dept both define terrorism essentially as waging war against civilians for the purpose of forcing a change in policy.

    So the 9/11/2001 attacks would qualify. So would the 9/11/1973 coup with the massacre and torture of many thousands, orchestrated by the United States of America. So would the genocide carried out against the Maya people in Guatemala for several decades with the hearty support of several US presidents, especially under Ronald Reagan, and especially by that great pentecostal Christian, Efrain Rios Montt. So would the genocidal war against little kids in Iraq through bombing of water treatment plants and sanctions, accounting as Madeleine Albright acknowledged with aqpproval on 60 Minutes, for over 500,000 of them.

    The fact is that the American empire is a rapacious and cruel terrorist entity that has slaughtered millions of people, especially since 1945, and that’s something our Bibles tell us to expect. There are no clean and holy kingdoms of this world – just some that are at one time or another more demonized.

    And that varies. As it is with individuals, so with nations. Self-righteousness causes us to be given up to the sins we’re self-righteous about, no doubt a major cause of sexual sin being so prevalent among evangelical pastors. So we need not be surprised that when the US defeated the Nazis, promptly signed up its scientists, spies, and mass murderers – Walter Drnberger, Reinhold Gehlen, the Waffen SS division it spirited out of Italy and thence in many cases right here – it then took on Nazi thinking and behavior in significant ways. It is what God said about Babylon – the hammer of all the earth, having elected itself to punish all others for being bad; and the hold of every evil spirit and unclean bird. These two go together.

    So many “Christians” are so violent and bloodthirsty – very consistently since the massacre of the Pequots in 1637 – that it’s no marvel that Jesus isn’t much seen among us. And hating and walking away from certain ones like Joe Carter or Doug Phillips doesn’t suffice. It was a lot easier to get the people out of Egypt than to get Egypt out of the people, and that is written to us for our instruction.


  73. Patrice, I think the crux of the problem is that you and I define persecution differently.

    Definition of persecution from Merriam Webster:

    transitive verb \ˈpər-si-ˌkyüt\

    : to treat (someone) cruelly or unfairly especially because of race or religious or political beliefs

    : to constantly annoy or bother (someone)

    Look at what Jesus said in Mattew 5:10-11.

    10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.

    This leaves quite a bit of latitude in the definition of persecution.

    John 15:20 – Remember the word that I said to you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

    When Jesus said the above, he had already suffered persecution from his own people (pharisees and sadducees primarily). They had insulted him and harassed him as well as plotted against him.

    Paul in 1 Corinthians: 1 Corinthians 4:12 And labor, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it:

    Writer of Hebrews: Hebrews 10:33 Partly, whilst you were made a spectacle both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst you became companions of them that were so used.

    So while you are willing to write off such treatment to people being jerks, I see that there is ample definition and precedent to define the mistreatment of a person (any mistreatment) because of their faith as persecution. It does not have to be death or torture to be persecution. It does not even have to be the loss of a job. If you want to get down to it, even insulting someone because they are a Christian is enough to qualify under the broad umbrella of persecution.

    I did not accuse you of being an antagonist toward the 6 year old who was told he could not read his Bible at lunch. What I stated was that you seem to be loathe to call it persecution. As to the context, essentially, the child went through the lunch line and sat at a table to eat his lunch. Just after eating, a cafeteria worker saw him take out his Bible and approached him and told him that he could not read it there as it would offend other students. The child was understandably upset. Here is why I label it persecution. In essence, a person in authority told a child he could not read a particular book based upon the religious content of that book. He was telling the child he could not quietly practice his religion (by reading his bible). The effect was to put an emotional trauma (albeit not as serious as others) upon that child solely based upon his faith. The child was treated unfairly because of religion (see definition above).

    If you want some context about the college student, here is a link to the news story:

    While they cite other reasons for the rejection in addition to his faith, they elaborated on the religion issue enough to make it look like that was the primary reason and the others were just excuses.

    The fact that ACT-UP is a militant group and that there are other militant groups who claim to be Christian does not negate the fact that they persecuted a bunch of parishioners because of the religious beliefs of their church. It does not change the fact that persecution did occur that day.

    Now I agree that sometimes Christians can be too quick to call disagreement persecution, as is the case with SGM and others. That is a given; however, I also think that it is dangerous to simply state that it is not a problem in the US.

    Do you think that the victims above really care about how widespread it is in the US? It happened to them and it happens to others routinely. If you keep track of the various pro-bono law firms that specialize in free speech cases such as ACLJ, Thomas Moore, Alliance Defense Fund and others, you will get a sense of how the frequency and severity of persecution cases is increasing in this country. I just gave you a few examples.


  74. Wendell, yes, we will continue to differ. I am careful about what I call persecution because it is a loaded term in our society. I won’t take the softer definition because that is not how most people hear it.

    And that’s why I don’t attribute to persecution what can be attributed to jerks, who either use anything at hand to pay someone forward for their own bad feelings, or who want to exert illegitimate control over another by use of whatever is at hand.

    After all, every sincerely loving person out there, of every religious and non-religious stripe, occasionally gets trashed for being kind or generous and for standing up for justice. I prefer not to call all that persecution. I just call it the price for doing the right thing, which is paid occasionally by all who want more goodness in the world.

    Since you believe that the horrid actions of ACT-UP were persecutions of Christians for Christ, then you also believe that the horrid Oklahoma City bombings were persecution of secularists for their beliefs, yes?

    Anyway, I know there is some persecution-for-Christ in the States. I suspect that guy gave it me. I just don’t think it’s a quarter as bad as Christians claim, and I do not believe it is routine.

    In the end, this is the dealie for me. Over the years when I’ve heard this claim from people I know, it came along with a peculiar odor of satisfied self-righteousness that, when also accompanied by that little frisson of fear, I could see was not at all good for their souls. It gave me the “icks”, to put it technically, repeatedly so. So after thinking it over as previously delineated to you, I decided that every time I hear it, I am going to push back and people can take from it what they will.

    So consider yourself pushed back, Wendell, and thanks much for your response. 😉


  75. Peter Atwood,

    I was US Navy for many years, therefore, I am Department of Defense.  Or, at least, I was.  Forward Deployed from Yokosuka, Japan.  Did many deployments in the Persian Gulf, and Indian Ocean.

    Now, what did you want to teach me about the definition of terrorism?

    If you wish to bad mouth America, you can have a discussion with Jesse Ventura.  I won’t engage.

    I pledge Allegiance to the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, Under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

    I have love of country.  I will never bad mouth my country.  If you don’t like how the Americans treat people, there are plenty of countries out there for you to move to.




  76. On the flip side:

    I am constantly amazed looking over history how we started up by throwing off the chains of Puritan cruelty to engage in a grand experiment of Liberty for all. then we fought a civil war for various reasons that ended up emancipating a people who had been so cruelly used. Then we open our doors and invite in the weary, poor and downtrodden from all over the world. We still do. Over the last 20 years or so, my city took in over 10,000 Somalians and other Africans from warn torn country’s, a few thousand Croatians and hundreds of Jews from the Ukraine. We provided housing, clothes, food and helped them find jobs. And before that, it was the Koreans and Vietnamese. It is a glorious thing.

    Not bad for terrorists.


  77. I think we’ve moved on from the political discussion, gentlemen 🙂

    PS – – If I ever post another article that mentions someone in politics, would someone please spam my e-mail with: WHATCHA THINKIN’ GURRRRL???!!!


  78. JA,

    OK, GURRRRL…lol

    Just a final note from me on this.  The Declaration of Independence makes it hard to separate religious views from political views, as they are both intertwined.  And as I stated above, the Gospel Coalition has an agenda, BASED ON (caps for emphasis, not shouting) a particular religious belief about women.  In my humble opinion, none of Joe Carter’s rant was about the word Baptism, but it was that it came from a political woman, who one day could rule over a man.  God forbid that any woman rule over him!!

    That is why I went political (but I didn’t go postal!!). 

    As was mentioned here earlier, the word politically correct, right?  Well, Joe is trying to be “religiously correct”.  I don’t conform to either.





  79. Ed,

    I think it is about Doctrine and Ideology. There are women in the Gospel Coalition. If a women (or man) doesn’t fit the Doctrinal mold, then he goes after them

    I’m surprised some of the Hyper guys are taking on Sarah Palin, when they have women at their disposal with the same Ideology in their organization to do their “dirty work”.

    It was women that went after my wife (my wife is well versed from Bible College, but was rebuked anyway simply because she wasn’t Calvinist and was going to be a Doctrinal Challenge, to our former Covert Hyper Reformed Pastor.

    My wife has a gentle spirit so the shunning and spiritual abuse by three women was unbearable to her.


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