ABUSE & VIOLENCE IN THE CHURCH, C.J. Mahaney, Failure to Report Crimes, It's All About the Image, Joe Carter, Mandatory Reporting, Sexual Abuse/Assault and Churches, Sovereign Grace Ministries, Sovereign Grace Ministries Lawsuit, Spiritual Abuse, Spiritual Bullies, Statute of Limitations, The Gospel Coalition, Together for the Gospel

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

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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.

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

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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:

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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.

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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?

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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

Dictionary.com:

  • any similar ceremony or action of initiation, dedication, etc.
  • a trying or purifying experience or initiation.
  • Christian Science. purification of thought and character.

Oxforddictionaries.com – (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

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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 

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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.

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

 

The word “baptism” taken out of context

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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.

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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’

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

  1. 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

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  2. 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.

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  3. 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.

    Ed

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  4. 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.

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  5. “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?

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  6. 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 🙂

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  7. 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?

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  8. 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 ) .

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  9. 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.”

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  10. Julie Anne,

    Exactly.

    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)

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  11. “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?

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  12. 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.

    Ed

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  13. 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.

    Ed

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  14. 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.

    Ed

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  15. 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.

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  16. 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

    Ed

    Ed

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  17. 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.

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  18. 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.

    Ed

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  19. 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.

    .

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  20. 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.

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  21. 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!

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  22. 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.?

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  23. 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.)

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  24. 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.

    Pffft.

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  25. 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.

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

    Definition of persecution from Merriam Webster:

    per·se·cute
    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:

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2014/04/24/student-claims-community-college-rejected-application-because-christian-faith/

    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.

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  27. 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. 😉

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  28. 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.

    Ed

    ________________________________

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  29. 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.

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  30. 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???!!!

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  31. 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.

    Respectfully,

    Ed

    ________________________________

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  32. 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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