Sound Off on Spiritual Sounding Board

 

Screen shot 2013-05-04 at 11.40.58 PM

 

 

I’ve got a lot of fires burning, so you get to call it.  Your turn to sound off whatever is on your heart.
Mark Driscoll made the Seattle news KOMO front page. How long can this last?
Ergun Caner’s 15-year old son committed suicide. I can’t help but remember a conversation I saw on Twitter at the beginning of July with JD Hall, Fred Butler and others as they were rudely going after him. I cannot get it out of my mind which might be part of my funk. This is deja vu for me and I’m so tired of “men of God” acting like bullies.

 

 

118 comments on “Sound Off on Spiritual Sounding Board

  1. Julie Anne, thanks for that link on Driscoll. I’m glad to see this is getting serious critical air time in the news.

    Like

  2. Both Peter Lumpkins and Hall have blog posts describing the twitter conversation. Hall blasted Caner and his son because Caner’s son’s twitter photo was of him kissing his girlfriend. That led to the conversation.

    JD Hall is, in short, a bully.

    Like

  3. I hope eventually that the Caner family can follow Rick and Kay Warren’s lead and handle their son’s suicide with transparency and openness so that others can come forward and get help.

    Like

  4. I probably need to write something up for myself therapeutically because this JD Hall/Fred Butler situation has really triggered stuff for me. I will be writing a post on this situation, but I need to let out some steam first. I could not stop thinking about that day I saw a teenager being challenged by “godly men” who were using him to get to his dad, whom they despise. Kids are off limits, period. Ok I have to stop now.

    Like

  5. Nicholas – Yes, It is/was cyber bullying. I know many states have cyber bullying laws, I wonder if the police are looking in to this? I certainly hope they are.

    Like

  6. About 5 years ago I got into a debate on FB with a younger man that I used to go to church with. The issue was about Driscoll and his misogynistic attitude. Of course, the young man had no issue with Driscoll then and thought I was reading too much into his words. You know, I was “that” emotional woman. I wonder if he has changed his tune on Driscoll now.

    Like

  7. I read this concerning the bullying tactics of J.D. Hall and Fred Butler concerning the horrific suicide of a 15 year old young man – http://dorightchristians.wordpress.com/2014/07/31/braxton-caner-tragedy-part-1/

    How horrible that men who CLAIM to be ‘of God’ are so void of compassion and humility! Regardless of Hall’s theological differences with Ergun Caner, there is NO excuse to go after Caner’s son and attack him. We are called to combat erroneous teachings, however, we are never called to go after people and attack them personally.

    It seems the only thing that closely resembles an ‘apology’ on Hall’s part is that he took down his post concerning Caner’s son…how generous of him. God help us if men like Hall, Butler, and others of the same ‘mold’ are what spiritual ‘leadership’ looks like. We already know John MacArthur will not deal with Butler, and now he has another menace to deal with….Tony Miano.

    There is a reason why Christ made it clear …. ‘follow Me’.

    Like

  8. I have a feeling he took down the post because of how it makes him look and not out of respect for the death of Braxton. That is just my opinion.

    Like

  9. Interesting… Today there was your post (and the link to that article – I never knew all the controversy and who Mark Driscoll was or any of that), and then an article over on World Magazine (http://www.worldmag.com/2014/07/business_as_usual) wondering if he’s changing course in his actions and attitudes.

    I guess I like our small little church with no famous pastors in it.

    Suicide is terrible. My mom attempted suicide (she was bipolar) on 9/11 (didn’t succeed – dr. said of all her meds she was on, the one that she tried with was the one least likely to do harm). But, I was badly shaken for weeks. Prayers for the young man’s family.

    Like

  10. Kathi,

    I think you may be right; men like Hall who have no compassion or love do things to protect ‘self’. He could care less that a young life is gone.

    Yes, prayers for that young man’s family indeed.

    Like

  11. I am appalled at some of the postings I see here. Once again, the timing is the worst, some consideration here would be good. Second, quoting just any blog like do right Christians, which is a most unreliable blog and laying blame on something so tragic is beyond my scope of decency. You guys need to pray for the Caner family that God would wrap his arms around them now, as we are all devastated for this child and quit laying blame. You have no idea what caused it and to write speculations is just tragic. I can’t stop every blog from writing such trash, as more will pop up I am sure. But I want to voice, having experienced the tragedy of suicide myself, that this is nothing but destructive, and it is a time for us all to pull together and pray instead of this senseless, mean, blame game.

    Like

  12. Debbie,

    Did you carefully read the comments that DO say we should pray?

    Are you familiar with the twitter exchange between Hall, Butler and Caner’s son? Perhaps you should familiarize yourself with that first before you attack others.

    Like

  13. Let me also add that my intention was NOT to lessen the devastation of suicide, nor did I state the blog I linked to was 100% reliable. I do think the post brings to light some very valid points- mainly, the hardheartedness of Calvinistic Christians.
    You are right, I have NO idea what caused this young man to take his life – all that I say is speculative in nature. No one will ever know what drives another human being to end their own life.

    Like

  14. Did you carefully read the comments that DO say we should pray?

    Yes Lynn I did, and that did not lesson the wrongness of the blame game. I am Calvinist and obviously not hard hearted. I could level the same charge against those who are trying to blame someone, which seems like using this tragedy to further an agenda. That is beyond wrong.

    I am one who broke the story of Ergun Caner 4 years ago along with the help of a 23 year old Muslim. I had Ergun attempt to contact me through another party 4 years ago. I spent 6 months on the story. I am devastated for the Caner family that Braxton took his own life. To lay blame at this point, where wounds are fresh is speculation and it is cruel to speculate right now. I said this before when people passed away and bloggers jumped on thing, so this has nothing to do with Calvinism. It has everything to do with being sensitive to the family right now. The funeral hasn’t even been and this is still fresh, yet people jump on this.

    No one knows why Braxton took his life, but he did. He was hurting so bad that death seemed better than this life. That is saddest of all. He is with Christ now I have no doubt due to his confession of faith, but he is a 15 year old who had his whole life to live and enjoy, but didn’t. I am grieving with the Caner family. And that is all I am doing along with prayer. To do anything else would be cruel.

    Like

  15. Lyn: The blog you linked to is a hate filled KJV only, written by someone who is not even SBC affiliated blog. I have been in the blog world for a long time. I have dealt with many people, the author of that blog being one. It is not reliable and certainly not a model to follow.

    Like

  16. I don’t know much about the extended Caner family or their history, not being from the southern baptist world. Assuming for the sake of argument that Ergun Caner is a complete scoundrel who has no business being the president of a Christian college, I am still not persuaded by the lamea** excuses of JD Hall and his sycophants for directly contacting Braxton Caner and asking him to private message him so he could inform this 15 year old kid about all of his father’s grievous sins…

    His claims of concern and acting out of love for Braxton are frankly, not credible. There is no shortage of immature teenagers posting immature things on social media; it’s just that this particular boy’s last name happened to be Caner.

    I don’t know if any of the online smack about Braxton or his father contributed to his suicide or if there were other things going on in his life. I’m sure it can’t have helped.

    I noticed that part of Hall’s rationale was that this 15 year old was showing off “adult” sinful behaviors, and therefore should be called out like one; furthermore it was implied that Biblically he would be considered an adult, regardless of what the modern State has to say about it. I know that if some Christian adult we didn’t know personally and was not part of our church tried contacting one of our kids at that age asking to PM without our knowledge because of their dad’s alleged sins, I would be LIVID and demanding that that person deal with us directly and leave our kids alone. (Sorry for the run-on sentence.) If I knew who that person’s pastor was I’d be contacting him as well. If somebody had that big of a problem with my husband, they’d better be a man about it and not try and go through his son to get to him.

    Like

  17. Best comment on that KOMO piece, from a “Giggles McGee”:

    “This dude is 3 months from growing sideburns, moving to an island and buying stock in Kool-Aid.”

    Like

  18. @Lyn:

    How horrible that men who CLAIM to be ‘of God’ are so void of compassion and humility! Regardless of Hall’s theological differences with Ergun Caner, there is NO excuse to go after Caner’s son and attack him.

    The accusations of Mike Warnke/George Psalmanazar-style fabricated past and credentials for personal gain (covered both here and in other watchblogs) all have to do with ERGUN Caner, not Braxton.

    So these guys got back at Ergun by Twitter-harassing his SON to suicide? Or at the very least added his son to the fray? Not even the Mafia goes after an enemy’s wife and kids!

    @NJ:

    I noticed that part of Hall’s rationale was that this 15 year old was showing off “adult” sinful behaviors, and therefore should be called out like one; furthermore it was implied that Biblically he would be considered an adult, regardless of what the modern State has to say about it.

    Ah, the arrogance of God’s Speshul Sin-Sniffing Mouthpiece.

    “Nothing’s worse than a monster who thinks he’s right with God.”
    — Capt Mal Reynolds, Free Trader Serenity

    Like

  19. Headless: You have no idea why Braxton did what he did. To speculate and call it fact is just cruel.

    I want to echo a comment on Watchdogs blog. Everybody just please shut up.

    Like

  20. Let’s all please be careful what we say about the Caner situation. This is horrific. I wouldn’t wish suicide on my worst enemy and I cannot imagine the kind of pain the family is feeling of losing a precious son. We will discuss certain aspects of the situation in depth eventually – after some time has past. After I cool down. Thanks much for your sensitivity.

    Like

  21. On the other concern you mentioned — the KOMO article — here’s a cut-and-paste of a summary on the situation that I posted on a friend’s Facebook thread this morning. She lives in the Seattle area and is highly aware of the difficulties that Mars Hill has created there. She linked to the same article from KOMO.

    * * * * * * *

    FWIW, here’s my summation of the situation. I have been doing extensive research writing about spiritually abusive leaders and toxic organizations since 2008. It’s my opinion that there is more than sufficient evidence — through both documentation and witness verification — to conclude that Mark Driscoll and his executive elders at Mars Hill Church are DISqualified by actions and character issues from positions of church leadership. These men who should not be considered role models. They should not be overseeing the lives of other people.

    Regardless of any good they may have done or be doing, they continue to inflict severe harm on others and have consistently deflected responsibility for these severe failings for years. And this is despite a steady stream of those victimized by them seeking to use the scriptural processes of Matthew 18 to confront them with how their teachings, behaviors, and organization have caused emotional-relational-spiritual damage.

    Also, the strategies and structures they’ve institutionalized at Mars Hill show some significant signs of toxicity — if not actually fulfilling the eight criteria for being labeled a “sociological cult.” (A church or ministry can be a “cult” in that sense, regardless of the doctrine espoused and whether they’d be considered unorthodox and therefore a “theological cult.”) The link below shares the classic eight criteria of a controlling organization, first published over 50 years ago and long considered the standard for evaluating such claims.

    http://futuristguy.wordpress.com/2012/05/16/the-hunger-games-trilogy-5a/

    Meanwhile, some significant organizations in the larger Christian community have continued to prop up Mr. Driscoll, despite significant and long-standing evidence of the spiritual abuse he perpetrates. Their silence on his highly documented offenses — or their outright continued endorsement — or their apparent refusals to investigate serious claims about Mr. Driscoll and/or Mars Hill Church — all serve to “commend” him to the general Christian populace and the world as someone worthy to be heard. But Mr. Driscoll’s long-standing record surely does not commend him as representing Christlike maturity. So, these Christian institutions are thus corroding their own credibility in the eyes of Mars Hill abuse survivors and others in the general Christian community. They are making their own discernment and decision-making processes suspect. They likewise will eventually be answerable for their actions and inactions.

    We may not think a peaceful protest is a great thing, that it parades the church’s dirty laundry in front of a watching world. My take on that situation is that many of the organizers of this protest have sought **for years** to bring truth to light and reconciliation, to no avail. This is a public appeal, yet another invitation, for Mr. Driscoll and other leaders at Mars Hill to take responsibility for their doctrinal teachings and personal actions and organizational control that have all inflicted harm on those they were supposedly commissioned to serve and oversee. The survivors of spiritual abuse from Mars Hill have suffered deeply, and many have also been long-suffering toward these disqualified leaders and the church. Some of their motive is as a witness to others to help prevent them from getting sucked into a whirlpool of abuse. I feel they are justified in these actions.

    What’s also disturbing is that the situation with Mr. Driscoll and Mars Hill Church is only one of at least half a dozen truly major situations of various types of abuse in the North American church with documentation that has been developing in the past five years especially. Similar patterns of confrontation, documentation, etc., have hoped to bring repentance to such individuals and their organizations as: C.J. Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Ministries. Bill Gothard and Institute in Basic Life Principles. Doug Phillips; Vision Forum Ministries; and Vision Forum, Inc.

    While this sickens the heart, as Christians surely we must hold out some hope for transformation. But the reality is that it will be very difficult for those who show low evidence of a conscience about right/wrong, empathy toward those who are suffering, and integrity of doctrinal beliefs AND personal character. Almost every New Testament author has something to say about immature and/or abusive leaders — even John, the Apostle of Love, calls out Diotrephes as “one who loves to have pre-eminence.” If there is that kind of consistent emphasis across the entire New Testament, how can we ignore such leaders in our midst — especially in an era when the virtual world allows unvirtuous people to portray themselves as other than they are?

    Like

  22. I see what you mean, JA. There’s a tension between his responsibility and needing to respect the Caner family. Tough to choose between them.

    Like

  23. “You do not get to tell people to shut up here. Please do not do that.”

    JA,

    Thank you.

    Considering the history of the entire situation and those involved, I am furious.

    Like

  24. “I could level the same charge against those who are trying to blame someone, which seems like using this tragedy to further an agenda. That is beyond wrong.”

    what has taken place the last 4 years did not help the situation.

    “I am one who broke the story of Ergun Caner 4 years ago along with the help of a 23 year old Muslim. ”

    You did not “break” the story. That is ridiculous grandstanding.

    I find your comments despicable in trying to tell everyone else what they can say. In fact, I would say you are using the situation yourself. The wisest course for you guys would be to say nothing. Your words ring hollow.

    I will not be engaging you

    Like

  25. Julie Anne
    I have been in touch with those who know the Caner family. They have no problem with the public discussion regarding the events surrounding this tragedy. It is already being discussed in the UK.

    http://freethinker.co.uk/2014/07/31/the-suicide-of-a-preachers-kid/

    Thank you for allowing the discussion to continue here. I look forward to discussing this in depth along with you next week. I think some people should be having trouble sleeping these days.

    Like

  26. Lydia,

    Several months back you used a term like rebuke marm, or reproach marm, but neither one seems quite it to me. Do you recall?

    Like

  27. Does anyone know who ordained Mark Driscoll? And whether they would still consider themselves in support of him? Without a hierarchical structure that manages ‘defrocking’, withdrawal of ordination is as close as many denominations can come to a censure.

    Like

  28. For an adult to bully a child because he has a beef with the dad is immoral and I would hope illegal. We don’t know why Braxton killed himself, but Hall’s bullying behavior certainly contributed to Braxton’s actions. No one has the right to drag a child into an adult argument. No man has the right to try and turn the child against his father. Hall has his own kids. They say karma’s a bitch. I wonder how he would deal with “well intentioned adults” telling his kids, “Your daddy made a poor kid kill himself”? Only time will tell, but he will have a lot of explaining to do when his children are able to comprehend the recklessness of his actions.

    Like

  29. Hey Gary, I don’t remember but it seems Brad found one reference. Thanks, Brad.

    You know, I am not trusting myself today in commenting. I am not grieved, I am furious. I know, wrong emotion. If you read my link above about cyber bullies you will understand where I am coming from.

    I have never been a Caner supporter and not real fond of his style. But I do not believe the level of vitriol that dogged him where ever he went for 4 years was warranted.

    The same people dogging him were not dogging Mahaney like that for protecting child molesters. I always found that curious. Nor were they dogging Driscoll for his porno divinations and other nefarious behaviors. I still find their focus on Caner to the degree it was very curious. I have my theories.

    But targeting his son? Trying to turn a son against his father? That blew me away and I came to realize what we are dealing with more clearly in many circles of Christendom. Especially the SBC.

    Who are some of these guys?

    Jason Smathers.

    “According to the criminal complaint, Jason Smathers of Harpers Ferry, W. Va., used his inside knowledge of AOL’s computer system to steal a list of 92 million AOL customer account “screen names,” and then sold them to Sean Dunaway, who is not an AOL employee”—from CNN Money
    •“A former America Online employee was sentenced Wednesday to 15 months in prison for his role in one of the USA’s most audacious cybercrimes: stealing 92 million AOL e-mail addresses and selling them to spammers”—USAToday Money
    •“Authorities yesterday arrested 24-year-old AOL software engineer Jason Smathers, who is accused of lifting 92 million AOL subscribers’ e-mail addresses and selling them to 21-year-old Internet gambling entrepreneur Sean Dunaway for $100,000…. Both men were charged with conspiracy and, if convicted, could spend up to five years in prison and be forced to pay a $250,000 fine. That punishment, however, might not even come close to making up for the potential damage to customer confidence in AOL’s internal security” –Washington Post

    Now he is a pastor. Which makes sense if you think about Christendom today. Where else could he get a money- making gig. But the thing that bothers me is, he of all people, should have some compassion and mind his own business considering what he did. But he made this his cause celebre.

    Another one? James White. Have you read his sisters blog?

    http://abbaslittlegirl.blogspot.com/p/out-of-darkness-rough-draft.html

    James White claims she is lying about her molestation as a young girl and shunned her. She became a heretic in his eyes, too. A Catholic.

    I don’t even need to get into JD Hall and his followers, do I?

    I would be ashamed to be affiliated with these guys. And right now many of their followers and hangers on are on twitter trying to call out anyone who mentions the bullying that took place with Caner’s 15 year old son not long before this. Just like Debbie did here.

    Yes, I am furious. Sick at heart. Done. I want out of fundy evangelicalism. It is a very sick place.

    JA, Delete this if you think it is too provocative. I will understand.

    Like

  30. Please, people. It’s all well and good to discuss and criticize the disgusting behavior of people harassing Caner’s son because of problems they have with Caner himself. But I think Debbie is right to say that speculation regarding a connection between that harassment and the son’s suicide is completely inappropriate, especially so soon after the event.

    It’s bad when someone who is expressing their frustrations and concerns over abusive behavior gets falsely accused of gossip. But we ought not let false accusations of gossip give us excuse to actually gossip — which is exactly what such unfounded speculation is.

    I am not a fan of people coming on someone else’s blog and telling others what they can and can’t say, but perhaps there are times a rebuke against unseemly behavior is in order.

    Julie Anne is demonstrating wisdom in showing restraint in her comments for the moment because she realizes the strength of her emotional reaction. I think we’d all do well to emulate her example.

    Like

  31. I remember as a ten year old when some mean Independent Fundamental Baptist woman told me I was full of the devil for being Pentecostal. I kept saying, “But we’re born again!” What was I supposed to do? Wrap my clothing up in a handkerchief on a stick, run away from home, and live under a bridge somewhere?

    I’m sure that in that woman’s head, she thought she was being helpful in doing God’s work. That was the best that she had to offer. But don’t mess with people’s kids, for heaven’s sake. They likely have enough trouble to navigate as it is. You wouldn’t want them bugging your children, and you’d want people to respect your choices and authority as a parent. It’s a horrible place for a kid to be and a horrible burden to put on a child. Thank God that I had a strong concept of a benevolent, loving, forgiving God. I feel terrible for kids who never get that.

    Like

  32. Lord have mercy!!!! That poor little kid. And his poor grieving family.

    May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.

    May the angels lead him into paradise. May the martyrs greet him on his way. May he see the New Jerusalem this day. Alleluia, alleluia.

    Lord Jesus, please console his grieving family. Blessed Mother Mary, please wrap them in your maternal mantle. All angels and saints, pray for them, especially their guardian angels and patron saints.

    Loss of a child is the wound that never heals, until we are reunited in Heaven, where Jesus will wipe every tear from our eyes.

    Lord, please comfort and strengthen bereaved parents everywhere. We put aside all differences when we are united in love and grief.

    Like

  33. This stuff hits close to home for anyone who has children who have been mistreated by adults, particularly adults who have harassed or persecuted your kids because of a conflict among adults. We’re watching this play out in our political arena, too.

    I think that it’s fair to say that, given what we’ve learned about bullying in our culture, the question is a fair one to ask. And at the very least, I think that it’s fair to say that getting harassed by an adult and a person of some renown and position because of how they feel about your father had to be stressful.

    I cannot help but think about bad outcomes with patients who were in my care as a nurse. It is painful to lose someone, especially when we fight so hard to help them. I always step back and ask myself whether I could have done more or whether I failed to do something that would have changed the outcome. I also think of the miscarriages I had and the frantic questioning about whether I’d done something that hurt my baby and caused the pregnancy to fail. What could we have done differently to see a better or the best outcome?

    I think about why Michael Pearl wasn’t on the first plane to California to sit with the Schatz family when their family fell into tragedy. I don’t know what he did in private or what his attorneys may have constrained him from doing, but I can only imagine that if I had in any way contributed to the outcome that this family realized, I would be sick and heartbroken. I would be begging the police to arrest me. I would try to share and bear their burden if I understood that I encouraged the tragedy.

    What troubles me is the lack of such responses from Christian ministers when terrible things like this happen. We see CYA behavior. The pastors call the attorney first. And when this plays out over and over in this realm and among this cadre, we would be remiss if we didn’t wonder whether the disdain of adults contributed in any way to this sad story. And I don’t think that anyone takes any pleasure in thinking these things, either.

    Like

  34. Tom and Lydia,

    I pended that which seemed personal while Julie Anne is detained.

    You know that I love you both! Cindy

    Like

  35. Cindy, it’s one thing to wonder about a possible connection (although I still think such musings are best kept to oneself in the immediate wake of these circumstances); it is another to speculate in a way that assume or implies a likely connection. I think some folks are letting their theological differences override their sense of propriety and compassion. (But what else is new, I guess.)

    Like

  36. Thanks, Cindy for moderating while I was out. I think I will concur with Cindy and leave a couple of those comments unposted for the time being. There’s something that seems appropriate about a thoughtful silence amidst tragedy and I want to be mindful of that.

    Like

  37. No matter how you approach it, I think that this is just one of those loaded topics. I don’t know that it will be any easier to think about or discuss it after time has passed, either. And tiptoeing around proverbial elephants in the room is never easy.

    Our world of immediate, public communication has changed things so much. It’s a blessing and a curse.

    May we ask questions with grace and receive them with mercy — understanding that legitimate questions aren’t necessarily accusations. It seems pretty clear that all involved in this discussion hope that such a thing never happens again. Now, we have to go about the messy business of figuring out what each of us can do to change so that we can hopefully prevent this kind of thing.

    Like

  38. “I think some folks are letting their theological differences override their sense of propriety and compassion.”

    I totally agree.

    We will never know the specific reason but we do know what things do not help a situation and bullying is one of them.

    Like

  39. Debbie,

    You said “Lyn: The blog you linked to is a hate filled KJV only, written by someone who is not even SBC affiliated blog. I have been in the blog world for a long time. I have dealt with many people, the author of that blog being one. It is not reliable and certainly not a model to follow”. Did you even bother reading my prior comment? Let me state again what I already stated – ” nor did I state the blog I linked to was 100% reliable. I do think the post brings to light some very valid points- mainly, the hardheartedness of Calvinistic Christians”.

    Why do you boast on being a Calvinist? Where does the Bible call us to claim allegiance to John Calvin? I am amazed how we throw our loyalty behind mortal, fallible men. Yes, I adhere to the doctrines of grace, but NOT because of Calvin. I believe in these doctrines because they originated with God and are found throughout Scripture. Enough on that topic.

    May we all agree to come together as followers of Christ and pray for the Caner family during this most difficult time.

    Like

  40. Lydia: I broke the story. That is not grandstanding, that is the truth. You may not like it, and I know you don’t. But it is the truth. I am the first person to have fully written on it and asked for accountability. AP among other media picked up on my posts. Calling me for further questions. It’s not grandstanding Lydia, it’s the truth.

    Lyn: I am not boasting about being Calvinist, I was being open and honest about it as I made my comments. It’s not anything I hide.

    Mod note: Let’s hang tight until Monday so we can freely discuss this stuff, please. ~ja

    Like

  41. Debbie,

    This brings back memories of when I cross-posted Alex Grenier’s thoughts on the passing of Chuck Smith. Please let me remind you – this is no ordinary blog. It is a blog dealing with spiritual abuse. Alex’s article and the discussion of this situation really is appropriate as it relates to spiritual abuse or abusive behavior. I’ve asked that we remain sensitive, but please don’t tell me how to run this place. Good grief, I’ve had enough people in my life try to control me. And if you don’t like the way things are run (and you have already addressed the issue), just leave. No biggie. You can come back when you feel comfortable. No need to try to lay a guilt trip on people.

    Like

  42. LOL, Cindy – I feel like the little lady with the wand in Sleeping Beauty changing the colors of the dresses. Make it Pink, no blue!
    publish – unpublish – publish.

    Like

  43. Dianeski, this United Methodist would like to say a hearty “amen” to your beautiful prayers.
    May this troubled young soul rest in the peace of our loving God, & may his family be comforted with the knowledge that he in his eternal home.

    Like

  44. As was the case when she was so aptly labeled a rebuke matron, Debbie Kaufman (yesterday, 10:29 AM) comes a blamin’ and a shamin’. She comes a “shoulding” all over us. She comes oozing with contempt, with, as it were, venom running down her chin. In my opinion she exhibits not just priggish cant but full blown emotional spiritual abuse. Yet she serves a useful purpose. She gives us an opportunity to contemplate how best to respond to “pastors,” spouses, bosses and others who would attempt to manipulate us by coercive means.

    I submit that it is best not to attempt to rationally engage abusers with regard to the rightness or wrongness of the objective of their abusive behavior. Using Debbie as an example, it will be a wasting of cyber ink and a casting of pearls to attempt to discuss with her whether, when and to what extent it is appropriate to discuss a given topic. If an abuser is to be engaged at all, the only appropriate matter for discussion is the inappropriateness of their behavior. Even that is likely to be a casting of pearls before swine, which is why I address this comment to everyone except Debbie. My own thought is that it would be best, where possible, to simply avoid such people. It might be difficult to quit a “church,” job or even marriage where irremediable abuse is the order of the day, but it must simply be done.

    Like

  45. Debbie,

    You and I obviously have different defintions for what “breaking a story” means. If you had not deleted it, people could see that I supported your position for about the first year before it turned very ugly and frankly, bizarre.

    Like

  46. We all have a response to this tragic situation. . Debbie has her own response that she deems appropriate and it seems she wants everyone to align with her emotional response. Anyone who doesn’t align seems to be out of line as if we are naughty.

    That’s just not right. God created emotions. What kind of emotions are appropriate with the suicide situation? Sadness, grief, anger We must be respectful of all who are responding to the tragedy in their own way. That is loving. It is unloving to try to herd people’s emotional responses like cattle.

    By the way, Debbie is now in moderation. I find the pattern of trying to control or put down people’s emotional responses inappropriate for a place like this.

    Like

  47. Debbie Kaufman has mentioned 3 times in this post her involvement in the malicious treatment of the Caners because Ergun would not condescend to neo-calvinistic demands for him to toe their churlish lines.

    Not hard to understand why she wants folks to “shut up”.

    Like

  48. I am familiar with Ergun Caner and the allegations that he embellished his history but I am completely out of touch with the continued controversy or the bullying of his son. Can someone point me to a source where I can catch up? Or will there be more later?

    Like

  49. Bystander, I won’t be covering the Ergun Caner story. The plan is to have a post up regarding bullying on Monday – if I can get all of my homework done. Wartburg Watch will be covering this story, too. We will be covering different angles.

    If anyone can offer up a summary of the ongoing Ergun Caner situation, that would be helpful.

    Like

  50. http://tinyurl.com/owv6u87

    Has info on the twitter bullying incident..

    As far as the process of going after Ergun Caner after he left Liberty that would be too vast to even attempt to provide links. But the main players are JD Hall, James White and Jason Smathers. All pastors or in paid ministry positions.

    What has bothered me are the folks from these camps telling people they should not bring up the bullying event on twitter. That attitude is prevalent in those circles..

    Like

  51. Julie Ann wrote
    “I will be writing a post on this situation, but I need to let out some steam first. I could not stop thinking about that day I saw a teenager being challenged by “godly men” who were using him to get to his dad, whom they despise. Kids are off limits, period. Ok I have to stop now.”

    Not in the American Religion its not, kids, wife, dog, cat, finances, medical insurance, physical intimidation, legal intimidation, voodoo curses from the pulpit and other such nonsense is totally ok. Just as long as it works, The one doctrine that succeeds all others, pragmatism.

    Like

  52. @BradFuturistGuy:

    Also, the strategies and structures they’ve institutionalized at Mars Hill show some significant signs of toxicity — if not actually fulfilling the eight criteria for being labeled a “sociological cult.” (A church or ministry can be a “cult” in that sense, regardless of the doctrine espoused and whether they’d be considered unorthodox and therefore a “theological cult.”)

    Helped along by the fact that many Christian Cult Watch groups used to define “Cult” ONLY by Theology, not by control-freak behavior towards their people. As a result, a LOT of “sociological cults” got a clean bill of health from these Cult Watch groups, which they used as another weapon to beat down their people into line.

    While the Cult Watchers were parsing theology letter-by-letter, these Not-a-Cults were stamping on their peoples’ faces like North Korea. (Helped that these Not-a-Cults had the exact same Fundagelical theology as the Cult Watchers.)

    Like

  53. @Lyn:

    Why do you boast on being a Calvinist? Where does the Bible call us to claim allegiance to John Calvin?

    Because “who needs Christ when we have CALVIN!”
    Or fanboys becoming “More Calvinist than Calvin”.

    Like

  54. Looks like Wartburg Watch will be doing their Caner piece on Tuesday and so I will try to do it on the same day as well. I’m glad for the extra day as I have limited time with my daughter before she goes back to college. SSB Gathering will continue as scheduled tomorrow.

    Like

  55. @Headless Unicorn Guy … I suspect there are a whole lot of leaders and their organizations in Christendom that would qualify as “cultish” by the criteria of thuggish and manipulative behaviors — praxology — regardless of their abstract truth statements in doctrinal theology. Maybe someday the doctrine-oriented cult watches will catch on. Meanwhile, many abuse survivor blogs and communities have worked on profiling the praxis of the perpetrators and those who perpetuate their reigns.

    Like

  56. Lydia said:
    “What has bothered me are the folks from these camps telling people they should not bring up the bullying event on twitter. That attitude is prevalent in those circles..”

    I’m finding that to be a manipulated way to sweep the bullying under the carpet and pretend that it didn’t happen. That’s why Debbie wants people to shut up. If this is in the hands of the police department, you can sure bet that they will be looking into everyone’s Twitter account.

    I don’t know if people are looking at JD Hall’s Twitter, but JD is a DAILY Tweeter. He posts things EVERYDAY, multiple things daily. In the month of July, he did not post over the 4th of July weekend. No big deal there, however, there has been NO TWEETS from JD Hall since July 29. Hmmmm. Interesting. Do ya think that he is laying low?

    Most of these neo-Cals that I come across seem to be border line anarchists, if not anarchists already. They don’t like to inform the POLICE department of ANYTHING criminal that goes on in their church’s. They would rather handle things IN-HOUSE, and punish the innocent with church discipline. Well, they went too far this time, and it cost the life of an INNOCENT child.

    YES, Debbie, INNOCENT. He is NOT a sinner from the womb. We are born IN sin, not WITH sin.

    And Debbie flaunts that she BROKE the story. I’ve been doing some looking. It looks as tho she BLOGGED the story, after OTHERS were breaking the story. I guess she just wants to make herself famous or something. Her name is all over the place, but she didn’t break the story.

    And, one last thing…

    JD Hall, and everyone LIKE HIM keep the Caner story alive, much like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton keep racism alive. The tactics used by the neo Cals is putred.

    Now they want people to shut up. I’m sure that the next thing is going to be to lie to the investigators, or don’t even talk to them “evil” government officials with no morality that are of the WORLD, the sinful world that is unable respond to God, blah blah blah. This is why I call them anarchists. Church discipline of the innocent instead of criminal prosecution of the guilty. That’s what they are all about. I’m pissed about the way that Debbie conducts herself.

    Ed

    Like

  57. Julie Ann if this is off topic or even hits of offensive please feel free to delete I trust your moderation.

    Dr. Caner padded his CV that is just a fact, but unimportant now because of the tragedy that his family has suffered. What Dr. Caner did was wrong but given the culture of the church and the American Evangelical faith, shock is good. The first time I heard Dr. Caner give his speech I knew it was off, well given but off. It would be good if he came forward but one must understand all he has is making a living within the industry, and it is an industry. One gets backed into a corner and one plays the cards they have. Lets talk about lying or misrepresentation, lets take the Grand Poobah of a lot of these people Dr. John MacArthur. Who goes on Larry King, writes books and gives sermons on debunking the commonly held concept that the Earth is 4.5 billion Years old and universe is approx 13.2-14 billion years old and his rantings concerning the validity of the evidence that supports the theory of evolution. He dismisses these many scientific disciplines with a voodoo chant of Romans one and a citing of AiG and Ken Ham. Is he any less “guilty” than Dr. Caner playing to the crowd. That goes for his Strange Fire conference and all the nonsense after it. One ten minute phone call from him to the Gospel Coalition or C. J. Mahaney and all that nonsense would have stopped. He carries that kind of power, and he knows he does.

    He used it on Mark Driscoll, not for plagiarism, not for misogynistic practices, tossing out elders who disagree, forcing members to leave … No, for saying naughty words from the pulpit, thats a no no. How stupid. Now when that young man was assailed on twitter because of some “questionable” picture and some naughty language and the interaction it was wrong. These are adult human beings, a private letter to Dr. Caner would have sufficed. There should have been no interaction, a private email do the father and prayer for the young man, or if there was an interaction it could have been a tweet such as young man you are loved of God, please share your twitter posts with your father, I am praying for you. Or something similar. The Holy Spirit would have convicted the young man if conviction was needed. But they loath Caner with a passion. I do not speculate as to why this young man took his life, I was in the house when one young man took his life, though I did not actually witness it I saw the after effects seconds after it happened. It was only a few months after my brother died in a horrible accident. I was 12-13 if I remember correctly. I saw another young man right in front of me as a 14 year old jam a broken bottle into his arm and drag it down in an attempt to kill himself. I understand such events should have no impact on a man of God, we move on we get over it and we shut up. I get that.

    In my life I have lost close to 23 close friends and acquaintances to suicide. I worked on a suicide and crisis like for a few months, could not take it. One memory comes to mind, a very dear friend of mine and my mother, who helped my mother with her medical needs went missing. She just disappeared. My mother was frantic and I drove for 100’s of miles up and down many streets looking for her, my mother knew she was dead, by her own hand or that of her kid. I had to agree given our experiences in the fields we work in. A year later they found her in a ravine near a creek of some out of the way road I had actually driven by several times. She had killed herself. The fact is the Evangelical Church does not deal well with mental illness, they think its sin, possession, the devil or other some such utterly contemptible and pathetic “logic”.

    I look at the picture of Braxton and I weep, what a loss, like all the other young people who commit suicide. People struggling with their gender identity, self esteem depression and other mental health issues. The preach the “Gospel” to your heart clap trap does not really work, its like lets pray the Ebola away or the polio or the measles or influenza or ….. away. It does not work, at all. Not an attack on Prayer and attack on ignorance and spiritual pride. Thanks Julie Ann

    Dr. Caner if you read this, I watch my father and mother bury one son only two years older than your child it gutted them. I watch my mother bury another daughter after 2 years of fighting cancer, I was there I saw the pain the hollow feeling. Then I buried my mother who also died of cancer. I cant know how you feel, I have no children though I did help raise a nephew (another story). To Caner supporters and detractors one thing both groups seem to share is that your manly men, well man up and just move on like all us heathen adults do on a daily basis, you are embarrassing your religion, which out of a good conscience I can no longer be a part of. I guess I will have to join the Julie Ann’s in their religion which seems much closer to the religion of the Son of Man than yours. Posted under a pseudonym but JA I think knows who I am.

    Like

  58. Incogneto,

    Wow, you raise some serious good points here, such as the examples with John MacArthur and others.

    OK, so, Caner lied. However, has he spiritually/physically/emotionally abused anyone who has actually followed him? Has he covered up any abuse? Does he have victims?

    The detractors of him are not his victims. The detractors of him are a specific religious sect of people. Caner is a Baptist. In the SBC, there is a major battle going on mixing two different belief systems, attempting to integrate Calvinism beliefs in Baptists that do not believe in Calvinism. Therein lies the problem. The Calvinists are keeping this issue alive and well in regards to Caner because Caner does not believe in Calvinism. He detests Calvinism. He hates Calvinism with a passion. So do I, by the way.

    So, the way that I see it, is that this really has nothing to do with Caner’s lies, his lies are just the icing on the cake to keep this issue alive. It’s that Caner does not adhere to Calvinism beliefs.

    But, since Caner has NO victims of spiritual/physical/emotional abuse, we must ask ourselves WHY the Calvinists are keeping this topic of Caner alive?

    I think that Jesus said of the Pharisees to LET the blind lead the blind. In other words, if the Calvinists think that Caner is a false teacher, then LEAVE Caner and his followers alone. Especially his children, who has nothing to do, nor is responsible for the sins of his father.

    Now, if Caner has victims, then that would suffice calling him out. It is right to call Caner out in regards to his lying, and that has already been done. But to keep on demanding that he “repent” is useless. They only want him to repent to them, not to God alone. But all of this is internal Calvinist politics, as I see it. And the politics got nasty, to the point that a child was brought into the picture.

    He who has hate in his heart to a person is guilty of murder of that person.

    Ed

    Like

  59. Interesting thoughts, Ed. It does seem like Calvinist politics. It becomes clear when you follow the tweets/blog posts and see the dividing lines between groups of people. I wish I could go back about 6 yrs when I was clueless about such things. I really despise labels and following specific doctrines. I want to follow Christ, period.

    Like

  60. I was disgusted to read about Ergun Caner’s fake background, annoyed as a taxpayer to have the Armed services use him as a consultant because of his supposedly personal experience with terrorists and outraged when he filed a lawsuit. When someone lies to advance a career in Christianity it would seem to me to disqualify that person from ministry or academic leadership. But the facts are now known and the lawsuit settled. It is over.

    His son had the right of it when he said on Twitter that JD Hall’s obsession with his father was creepy. It can’t just be because if Caner’s lies because they are known and the lawsuit settled against him. Your idea makes sense, Ed, that it must be doctrinal differences.

    The idea that Braxton needs to be called out because he posted a picture of himself kissing his girlfriend is ridiculous. I don’t believe in courtship and I think it is just fine for dating couples to kiss. Contrast this to the hatred displayed by Hall for his father and his bullying of the son; I know where I see sin. It is spiritual abuse of a child.

    As for Debbie, I have the emotional responses I have and I will say what I think, assuming I am staying within blog guidelines. She doesn’t get to dictate.

    I am just sick for the Caner family and so sad for Braxton. I want to do something to help, to stop what happened from happening and of course that is impossible. We will never know everything that went into his decision, but I do know that the teen years are very difficult and everything that goes wrong feels permanent and that bullying could not have helped matters.

    The love of Jesus should never lead to hatred and bullying. The consequences are profoundly damaging to all involved and there is often collateral damage. Julie Anne, you are right. Never again.

    Like

  61. Marsha,

    I was wondering there for a second if you were trying to link Ergun Caner with Lois Lerner!!!  LOL!!

    We all make typos, that’s for sure!

    I do remember back in the day when I used to watch TBN, when Ergun was on TBN discussing his jihad experience, blah, blah, blah.  Then the truth came out about the lies.

    I am perplexed that he is in a position that he is in, but since I don’t attend his church, or his denomination, nor have any interest in SBC, or Calvinism, or Baptists in general, it’s really none of my business.  I don’t have anger towards him.  That’s between him and God and those who follow him.  But it sounds like those who hate him want him to follow them, just because he is a Baptist.

    So, my anger is not directed to Ergun Caner for lying.  It’s towards those who kept badgering him, and made a career out of badgering him.  Those who just wouldn’t LET IT GO. 

    So, why wouldn’t they let it go?  Didn’t Peter lie three times?  Did Jesus badger Peter for lying?  Did Jesus demand that Peter repent?  And if so, how many times.  ZERO! 

    Peter lied, folks!  What did Jesus do about it?

    Ed

    Ed

    ________________________________

    Like

  62. The tenacity with which some attack Caner may be related to the Calvinism issue, but to imply that Calvinism is the only reason Caner stays in the blogs is way off base.

    He is a proven liar, charlatan, and bully (in his use of the U.S. court system). So, when a past SBC president like Johnny Hunt has him come speak at his mega church and introduces him as a wonderful man of God, it’s a big deal. It’s newsworthy how (like CJ Mahaney but for different reasons) the “big wigs” at the SBC stand behind Caner all along the way. Thanks to their support, Caner can unapologetically truck right along making a fine living off of the tithe payers of the SBC via love offerings and his pay from Brewton Parker College (sponsored by the Georgia Baptist convention).

    And the people on the outside look at the hypocrisy, the double-standard for leaders, and denial of truth and think, “I want no part of that.” That’s why it’s a big deal, and that has nothing to do with neo-Calvinism.

    It’s worth noting that Caner has his own crew of loyal defenders to combat J.D. Hall, etc. They’re Peter Lumpkins, C.B. Scott, and others, and they use many of the same absurd tactics via their blogs as well. Caner gave at least a few of them new jobs when he was hired at Brewton Parker…I guess as a reward for their loyalty.

    As a side note, I’m on my way to being Methodist these days (Goodbye SBC!) so I’m almost completely the opposite (in some sense) of a Calvinist.

    In my view, the issues with Caner presented on at least some of the blogs have merit because they get at the heart of several of the big issues in evangelical Christianity today: the “celebrity” mindset that gives rise to leaders who can draw a crowd but may not reflect Christian character, the double-standards for leaders and followers, the lack of accountability by those in a position to do so, the lack of due diligence (in Caner’s original story) and flat out denial of truth by many of the big players when the truth came out.

    Those issues have nothing to do with Calvinism.

    Like

  63. That being said, what J.D. Hall did in how he interacted with Ergun’s son is 100% wrong. I’m not sure anyone (other than apparently J.D.) can even think of how to justify it. His own justification of it was pretty pathetic.

    However, I do agree that we should be careful not to put the suicide at J.D. Hall’s feet. The interaction may have played some part in the suicide and it may have had nothing at all to do with it. J.D. Hall’s tactics, though, are certainly worthy of criticism.

    I do have a MAJOR concern though in the aftermath of all of this. I’m concerned that J.D. Hall’s actions will be used for years and years to come by spiritual leaders to discredit and stigmatize blogs in general including this one, the Wartburg Watch, and others which do carefully and legitimately call out important issues.

    In fact, I’m already seeing such posts over the past few days. If you’re someone being legitimately criticized on blogs (like Driscoll), then this provides a perfect “preacher story” to show the dangers of bloggers.

    It all just makes me sad.

    Like

  64. Debbie- I too, as well as many others, sadly, have had suicide happen in my family. Of course the blame can not completely be put on these pastors. What can be said, however, is that if they had not not shown such gross lack of wisdom and grace in taking a 15 year old on publicly, the question of what role their bullying played would not be be under discussion. I believe they should have known better than to start down that road int he first place, and then once challenged they kept defending it. It feels like a personal vendetta and it’s clear to me they lost perspective along the way.

    Like

  65. “Those issues have nothing to do with Calvinism.”

    I am afraid they do. Look at the SBC line up in defending and promoting Mahaney. He even fled to Louisville to “plant a church near the seminary”. He was using a local Christian school and we threw a fit and got him out of there because they have zero tolerance policy for child abuse.

    Not only that but a deal was made for SGM pastor college students that SBTS students would not get. (Once that went public they backed off) Several Mahaney relatives work at SBTS along witih Mahaney colleagues who have partnerships like Bob Kauflin and his son. Then we can mosey on over to Driscoll and the Acts 29 partnership with the SBC which has its own slimy history. Are you not aware that Mohler had the nerve to say that Traditional SBC pastors and leaders should be marginalized? He all but called them heretics which he did in a backhanded way by saying they are semi Pelagian.

    The lines are drawn and it is now a “cold war”. So some are showing their allegiances in passive aggressive ways. Many have put up with Mohler’s power for a long time and are scared of publicly disagreeing with him.

    The difference is that Caner did not protect child molesters for many years over many churches. Nor did he teach pastors to tell 3 year old victims of child molestation they are just as big of sinners as their molester.

    It is now a “cold war”. Don’t forget that. The SBC is spiritually dead and has been for a long time.

    Like

  66. “I do have a MAJOR concern though in the aftermath of all of this. I’m concerned that J.D. Hall’s actions will be used for years and years to come by spiritual leaders to discredit and stigmatize blogs in general including this one, the Wartburg Watch, and others which do carefully and legitimately call out important issues. ”

    Nice try. I do believe there are too many “thinkers” here to buy into that sort of nonsense.

    Anyway, It is to these blogs “advantage” when “spiritual” leaders try to discredit them. (they are “spiritual”?) They actually see page hits go up! In fact, these “spiritual” leaders hardly ever mention blog names anymore as they have learned their lesson from that.. :o)

    Like

  67. @Lydia

    I feel like maybe a great deal was read into my post that wasn’t there. Or I might not have expressed myself well.

    To me, it seemed that Ed and Marsha were implying that there is no longer any reason to blog about Ergun Caner these days. Ed seemed to indicate that it was all in the past and that it’s a Calvinist vendetta that keeps putting it out there. That’s how it read to me, at least.

    Well, I’m not a Calvinist, but I do believe there are *still* good reasons to continue to bang the drum about Caner and hold him accountable for his actions and words–particularly when Georgia B.C. money is used to support him. My post was to try to state this.

    I’m not saying that Calvinism has no bearing on any of the situations highlighted on SSB and the other blogs. Clearly, the SGM and SBTS situation has Calvinism links all over it. I’m not saying Calvinism has *no* bearing on the Caner situation because for some, this is an important aspect of it. I also never stated that Caner’s situation and Mahaney’s situation were similar.

    I honestly feel like maybe the posts I’ve responded to had a lot more subtext that wasn’t obvious to me as I really didn’t think my observation regarding Caner was that controversial.

    Calvinist or not, it bothers me when someone who took advantage of 9/11 for personal gain, demonstrably and unrepentantly lied, used the court system to try to silence a person for trying to expose the hypocrisy, and so forth still maintains celebrity status in the SBC with pats on the back from a number of other “big names” in the SBC.

    Like

  68. @Lydia (1:14 post)

    Why did you say “nice try” to my statement? Just to be clear, I’m not advocating that position nor do I think the usual readers here would agree with or fall for that position.

    I’m stating that (thanks to J.D. Hall’s reckless and inexcusable behavior) the usual religious leaders who would like blogs to go away because they truly do expose their misdeeds might now appeal to this story from the pulpit to warn the congregants of the dangers of reading and believing those “evil” bloggers.

    It could be used as an attempt to discredit legitimate criticism from blogs like this one and the Wartburg Watch. I would hope that the average pew sitter wouldn’t fall for that sort of move, but I’ve been in churches long enough to know that many will simply believe what they’re told.

    I hope that maybe clarifies what I meant, in case there was any confusion.

    Like

  69. JPow,

    This blog is a spiritual abuse blog. Caner has no victims that I know of. OK, he lied. So what? Everyone has lied, and does lie.

    “Honey, does my butt look too big in these pants?”

    How many men have lied on that one?

    Peter lied. What did Jesus do about it? LET IT GO.

    JD Hall crossed an ethics boundary. Before the internet, NO adult would ever consider tracking down anyone’s minor child for any purpose of discrediting his dad. That is out of line. He communicated and harassed a minor child for HIS gain.

    And let me tell you something. I am getting sick and tired of people justifying it by saying crap like, “Well if people knew the lies that his father did,” blah, blah, blah.

    I see that over at FBC Jax. They really are justifying JD Halls actions. Just like the Calvinists who talk out of both sides of their mouths all the time, they minimize JD Hall’s actions by justifying his actions by stating the sins of the father.

    That makes me sick to my stomach. A kid is dead, and all they want to continue to talk about is the sins of the father. Ergun Caners lies killed no one. JD Hall’s badgering of a minor child killed someone.

    And, I might add, today is August 5. The last tweet on daily tweeter JD Hall was on July 29.

    People want us to shut up about this topic. And yet, Ergun Caners detractors don’t want to shut up about Ergun Caner’s lies. Such hypocrites.

    Ed

    Like

  70. “I’m stating that (thanks to J.D. Hall’s reckless and inexcusable behavior) the usual religious leaders who would like blogs to go away because they truly do expose their misdeeds might now appeal to this story from the pulpit to warn the congregants of the dangers of reading and believing those “evil” bloggers.”

    How would that go? Don’t read the blogs because they are upset a pastor stalked the 15 year old son of a Christian they hate? The pastor first rebuked and then made fun of the 15 year old then encouraged the 15 year old to contact him to find out the “truth about his dad”. A few weeks later the 15 year old committed suicide.

    Is this what the blogs should be worried pastors will tell their congregations?

    So how do you think these religious leaders will “appeal” to this story to turn people away from blogs?

    Like

  71. “Well, I’m not a Calvinist, but I do believe there are *still* good reasons to continue to bang the drum about Caner and hold him accountable for his actions and words–particularly when Georgia B.C. money is used to support him. My post was to try to state this. ”

    Caner’s son committed suicide. What more do you want?

    Like

  72. JA, I am just flabbergasted that Rhology would post that on that hashtag. Who are these people? Have they no decency? In the Name of Jesus they do these things? I want no part of it, either. They are unsafe and unhealthy.

    Like

  73. “Well, I’m not a Calvinist, but I do believe there are *still* good reasons to continue to bang the drum about Caner and hold him accountable for his actions and words–particularly when Georgia B.C. money is used to support him. My post was to try to state this. ”

    JPow, I am just curious. How much of a grieving period are you willing to give Caner before you guys start back up with your “good reasons to bang the drum” about him? What if he does not grieve in a way that is acceptable to you? Would that be your sign to start banging the drum?

    You do realize when you wrote the above the man just buried his 15 year old son? I do not understand you guys. I really don’t. I don’t think I want to, either.

    Like

  74. So let me see if I have this straight. According to the likes of Debbie Kauffman we’re to remain silent about a man who had bullied Caner’s son immediately before the son’s suicide, out of deference to the grieving Caner family, of course. But to continue hounding Caner himself? No no. That’s perfectly fine. Even laudable. Can anybody spell hypocrisy for us?

    Like

  75. “Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer.” 1 Jn 3:15. We cannot know if bullying was a/the proximate cause of a child’s suicide. The bully cannot know that it wasn’t.

    Like

  76. Ed, Rhology has said far worse on his blog. He claims that Braxton was not a real Christian. He also says that liberal Christians are actually faithless and going to hell. It doesn’t seem to matter what the point of disagreement is, if you disagree with Rhology on any point of doctrine, you are wrong and you are damned. It is really ugly.

    Right now he is responding to critics of the bullying by saying that no one can ‘prove’ a connection to the suicide.

    Does anyone know who this man is?

    Like

  77. JD Hall and his cronies engaged in cyberstalking — a crime. Whether or not anyone can “prove” a link to Braxton’s suicide, what those men did was criminal.

    Like

  78. Marsha informs us that “Right now he [JD Hall] is responding to critics of the bullying by saying that no one can ‘prove’ a connection to the suicide.” Well, sometimes a criminal goes free because the prosecutor cannot prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In such cases, the criminal is not, in fact, innocent. To be found not guilty for want of proof is not the same as to be absolved.

    In the case of JD Hall, not even he can know whether he did or did not provide the impetus that provoked a child to take his own life. If Hall has a conscience, the question must haunt him to the grave.

    Like

  79. @Ed

    I don’t feel you’re treating me fairly here. It seems that the assumption from you is that if I don’t agree with you that E. Caner’s past actions were no big deal, then I’m standing proudly with J.D. Hall and his defenders.

    That’s simply not true.

    I’ll state this for the third time:J.D. Hall’s tweets with Braxton Caner were 100% wrong, inappropriate, and despicable. There is absolutely no excuse for having done that, and it should be called out as wrong. Was it criminal? Perhaps. I don’t know the law well enough to make a determination. If it was, then he should be prosecuted.

    I have *never* told *anyone* to “shut up” about this topic. To say that in your response to me is puzzling. I’m not trying to keep anyone from commenting from either perspective. I’ve not tried to justify Hall’s actions in any way whatsoever. Again, you’re reading my responses in with others that are doing this and putting us all together in one group. I do not stand with those who are justifying Hall’s actions.

    However, I do disagree that E. Caner’s behavior, words, and action over the past years are no big deal or equivalent to a “white” lie. I feel like your reasoning there could be used for a lot of cases that are pointed out on blogs. (i.e. “So, Tony Miano exaggerates his accomplishments. Big Deal. Who hasn’t fibbed about their weight, for example? So, he yells at people out in public. Who hasn’t lost their temper?” etc.<—-Note: I don't agree with that line of thought. I'm just providing an example).

    Should E.Caner be covered on SSB? No, SSB focuses on abuse and its effects, so I certainly agree with that. However, this is the "sound off" topic where this was being discussed so I thought it was ok to comment on it.

    Again, I'm a long time reader and seldom poster here. I've been in agreement with many of your posts in the past, Ed. I feel as if we were in the same room talking about it we'd have some points of disagreement, but ultimately, we'd find a lot of common ground. I hope you'll look back at my posts and believe me when I say that I don't stand with those who are trying to justify Hall's actions or silence criticism of Hall. We just disagree on whether E. Caner should have ever been called out on blogs in the past.

    Like

  80. “We just disagree on whether E. Caner should have ever been called out on blogs in the past.”

    Now you are spinning. Let us go back to one of your earlier comments:

    “Well, I’m not a Calvinist, but I do believe there are *still* good reasons to continue to bang the drum about Caner and hold him accountable for his actions and words–particularly when Georgia B.C. money is used to support him. My post was to try to state this. ”

    You want to “continue”. This is no different than what JD Hall’s compatriots are promoting after the suicide . And I ask you, isn’t losing his son enough punishment?

    To be clear: I was one who was calling him out big time and loudly 4 years ago. It turned so nasty, hateful and frankly even bizarre over Islam that I started t see it was about something much bigger. It went a direction it did not need to go and 4 years later some were targeting his son on twitter.

    Does your heart have any compassion and mercy? You still see good reason to “bang the drum”?

    Like

  81. “In the case of JD Hall, not even he can know whether he did or did not provide the impetus that provoked a child to take his own life. If Hall has a conscience, the question must haunt him to the grave.”

    This is it, Gary. The anti Caner forces are not even considering the possibility. It is a hard heartedness that scares me. Their consciences seem to be seared.

    Like

  82. @Lydia

    You too have heavily read into what I’ve said here. I pointed out an area of disagreement with Ed and explained why I disagreed.

    From you I get:
    “Caner’s son committed suicide. What more do you want?”

    Your implication that this horrible tragedy should somehow please me is insulting. I’m not seeking a pound of flesh. I just disagreed with Ed on his post. I didn’t bring up E. Caner to this discussion. My comment was probably the 80th one on this post.

    Then you say:
    “You do realize when you wrote the above the man just buried his 15 year old son? I do not understand you guys. I really don’t. I don’t think I want to, either.”

    This is so dismissive and rude. Who are “you guys”? I”m not WITH anyone. I don’t write blogs about E.Caner, and including the comments on this story, I’ve probably written 5 comments about him in my entire life.

    I didn’t bring E. Caner into this discussion. He was already being discussed. I never justified Hall’s actions because they are unjustifiable. I balked at Ed’s implication that E. Caner never did anything worthy of being called out on the past. I disagree and stated my disagreement.

    For that, I’m lumped in with those who are currently trying to justify J.D. Hall. I don’t get it.

    For the record: The suicide of Braxton Caner is an absolute tragedy. No family should have to feel that pain no matter who they are. No family. I have no idea if Hall’s interactions with him contributed to it, but I can say that (a) Hall’s tweets were absolutely wrong and (b) they may have been a contributing factor. That they may have contributed makes it all the more tragic.

    I certainly agree that time should be given for the family to grieve and this includes a respite from blog entries. How long? I don’t know. Despite your inappropriate question, I’m not going to measure “how they grieve” or use that as some sort of measuring stick.

    My posts were not meant to be disrespectful in light of the situation. Really. That was not my intent.

    As with Ed, I’ve read and agreed with many of your posts through the years and enjoyed your contributions. I feel we’d agree on most topics and I feel like in this case that we got our wires crossed.

    Like

  83. @Lydia:

    I do not feel that “banging the drum” during this time is appropriate. I agree on that.

    So, the word “continue” in my statement was a poor choice of words.

    Like

  84. @Lydia

    One last comment: You stated “It went a direction it did not need to go…”

    I know what happened in this case with J.D. Hall, but I may be ignorant of what all else has gone on in the past here. Perhaps there’s part of the story that I do not know and that’s why we’re seeing things differently now. I’m certainly willing to be educated if you can point me in the right direction.

    Again, I’m not trying to fight against you or anyone here. I certainly have a heart and compassion. My comments have not meant to be hurtful to anyone.

    Braxton’s suicide is an absolutely terrible tragedy for that family that no one should have to deal with. There’s no doubt about that.

    Like

  85. “So, the word “continue” in my statement was a poor choice of words.”

    Glad to hear it. I have been quite outspoken concerning charlatans and gurus the last 10 years after what I experienced myself. That includes Rick Warren, Hybels, and others in the mega seeker movement to the charlatan hard hearted Calvinists protecting Driscoll, Mahaney, etc. There is some serious stuff out there like protecting child molesters, ripping people off, etc. It is just now, the Calvinists have the power and are the current evangelical fad. It will pass, too.

    But going after someone his teen on twitter takes the prize for evil. Those anti Caner forces really had no else where to go as esculation after esculation. In fact, I think their constant pushing and vitriol over the last few years has actually helped Caner in many ways. I think it has done the opposite of what you guys wanted. Never being a Caner fan concerning his method and teaching (we totally disagree on women) I started to feel for him long before the Braxton tweet situation. I can see why he responded in some of the ways he did to try and get some relief. I mean he lost his big job at Liberty but even that was not enough for you guys. Think of what Braxton has lived through during his tweens and onward. Yet he was targeted by the anti Caner forces. And you seem to be worried a suicide will cover over what you think it is so important people know about Caner. I just do not know what to do with that.

    He has not protected child molsters, called Esther a whore, has porno divinations, , driven a church into 70 mill in debt, or many of the nefarious things going on in evangelicalism. Frankly, when I compare him to what many of you have chosen to ignore I am flabbergasted. Why does he continue to be such a cause for folks?

    Like

  86. You know one of the big anti Caner forces was Jason Smathers. A convicted felon who served prison time for stealing people’s personal information from AOL and selling it. If you want Caner out of ministry then I want Smathers out of ministry. I mean where else could Smathers work in the real world?

    If we are going to clean it up then let’s start with Mohler protecting the child molester protector, Mahaney. Children were molested and abused and told they were just as big of sinners as their molester. Mohler says Mahaney is just disliked because of his strong leadership. It is a shepherding cult. The later this “strong leader” is suddenly ignorant of what he micromanaged for 30 years. Read SGM wikileaks and tell me that is a normal place.

    And Mohler agrees with that structure. He wants it for SBC churches and entities.

    Children were molested!. It has been proven they knew and did not call the authorities. Not only that but blackmail of Tomzack, etc. Why does MOhler protect and promote such a man?

    Does Mohler not care about children who were molested? Is his saving face over Mahaney more important?

    See I think you might have your priorities a bit twisted when discussing Georgia Baptists. Mohler is a much bigger threat concerning what he has broguht into the SBC and spent money on: Mahaney and Driscoll. Their DNA has been permeating SBTS and the larger SBC for many years now. And Piper, too, with his national disasters from God punishing us. And encouraging women to submit to abusers.

    Like

  87. “Frankly, when I compare him to what many of you have chosen to ignore I am flabbergasted.”

    I’m honestly confused by this. I haven’t chosen to ignore anything. You are putting me in a camp with people that I don’t live with. I mentioned Caner because this post related to Caner, but it doesn’t mean I give a pass to those other people.

    I read SSB, TWW, FBC Jax, Wade Burleson, Stuff Fundies Like, and others. I’m against abuse and I’m against people who twist the message of Christ for their own gain.

    I’m against Mohler, Mahaney, Chuck O’Neal, Tony Miano, Paige Patterson (and the fundamentalist resurgence), Mark Driscoll, SGM, child abuse, cover-ups, spiritual abuse, complementarian theology, indepdendent baptist church “Man o’ God” nonsense, etc. I could add many more to the list (unfortunately).

    I’m against those that twist and harm the name of Christ and I don’t care who they are or what “camp” they come from.

    Honestly, I don’t know how it was assumed that I didn’t care about those people.

    Like

  88. JPow, Lets just say I thought your very first comment was telling in its focus. I guess it has given me a perception that is hard to shake—because a teen— a precious human being….. was cyberbullied by an SBC pastor and later committed suicide. yet, folks seem scared to death we will forgot what his dad did and are quick to say the cyber bullying cannot be proven to be linked. How can it be proven it wasn’t? Why is that your all’s focus?

    I just find that inappropriate and reprehensible. HIs child just committed suicide and here is your first comment here. Just you were just sounding off but seriously? This was your focus?

    “he tenacity with which some attack Caner may be related to the Calvinism issue, but to imply that Calvinism is the only reason Caner stays in the blogs is way off base.

    He is a proven liar, charlatan, and bully (in his use of the U.S. court system). So, when a past SBC president like Johnny Hunt has him come speak at his mega church and introduces him as a wonderful man of God, it’s a big deal. It’s newsworthy how (like CJ Mahaney but for different reasons) the “big wigs” at the SBC stand behind Caner all along the way. Thanks to their support, Caner can unapologetically truck right along making a fine living off of the tithe payers of the SBC via love offerings and his pay from Brewton Parker College (sponsored by the Georgia Baptist convention).

    And the people on the outside look at the hypocrisy, the double-standard for leaders, and denial of truth and think, “I want no part of that.” That’s why it’s a big deal, and that has nothing to do with neo-Calvinism.

    It’s worth noting that Caner has his own crew of loyal defenders to combat J.D. Hall, etc. They’re Peter Lumpkins, C.B. Scott, and others, and they use many of the same absurd tactics via their blogs as well. Caner gave at least a few of them new jobs when he was hired at Brewton Parker…I guess as a reward for their loyalty.

    As a side note, I’m on my way to being Methodist these days (Goodbye SBC!) so I’m almost completely the opposite (in some sense) of a Calvinist.

    In my view, the issues with Caner presented on at least some of the blogs have merit because they get at the heart of several of the big issues in evangelical Christianity today: the “celebrity” mindset that gives rise to leaders who can draw a crowd but may not reflect Christian character, the double-standards for leaders and followers, the lack of accountability by those in a position to do so, the lack of due diligence (in Caner’s original story) and flat out denial of truth by many of the big players when the truth came out.

    Those issues have nothing to do with Calvinism.

    His kid just committed suicide and your goal was to list his sins here. Sorry, I should have not engaged as long as I did. It hurts my heart.

    Like

  89. Fair enough, Lydia. I see what you’re saying about how my first comment might have left the wrong impression. My intent was not to be insensitive, but I can see that my original comment shoud’ve been more carefully and thoughtfully phrased in light of the events.

    I hope you know that the impression you got from that comment is not an accurate representation of my overall heart in the matter.

    I appreciate you taking the time to explain.

    Like

  90. J Pow, again, thanks for being the voice of reason. And for demonstrating kindness, patience, and humility in these discussions. Some people could learn a lot from you in how to interact with people they disagree with. There are those who are so consumed with hatred for certain theological perspectives that they will support anyone who shares their sentiments and will be hostile toward anyone who does not join them.

    Like

  91. a:hover { color: red; } a { text-decoration: none; color: #0088cc; }

    a.primaryactionlink:link, a.primaryactionlink:visited { background-color: #2585B2; color: #fff; } a.primaryactionlink:hover, a.primaryactionlink:active { background-color: #11729E !important; color: #fff !important; }

    /* @media only screen and (max-device-width: 480px) { .post { min-width: 700px !important; } } */ WordPress.com

    J Pow, what vested interest do the Calvinists have in this? He ends not want any thing to do with them. They are wasting their time and energy on badgering anyone not wanting to be a Calvinist. Caners lies is not the issue. He was called out long ago on that. Its common knowledge. What Caner does is between his congregation and him. Calvinists are wanting him to repent to them. He wont. Move on.– Original Message –From: comment-reply@wordpress.comSent: 08/06/2014 07:54 amTo: chapmaned24@yahoo.comSubject: [New comment] Sound Off on Spiritual Sounding Board J Pow commented: “@Ed

    I don’t feel you’re treating me fairly here. It seems that the assumption from you is that if I don’t agree with you that E. Caner’s past actions were no big deal, then I’m standing proudly with J.D. Hall and his defenders.

    That’s simply not ”

    Like

  92. Julie Anne commented:

    “Ed – Something’s funky with your last comment. Feel free to send me what you want it to look like and I’ll replace it.”

    JA, typing on my phone and phone picks words automatically some times. Dont know which one. Got to wait til i get home.

    JA note: Ed, I’m sending you a copy of what this comment looked like before I cleaned it up. Your phone does not like my blog. That’s all I’ve got to say. lol

    Like

  93. OK, so…what I was saying is directed to J Pow.

    What vested interest do the Calvinists have in this? Caner is a Baptist. He doesn’t want to be a Calvinist. Caner wants nothing to do with the Calvinists. Nothing.

    It’s the Calvinists that are badgering Caner. Why are THEY badgering Caner, when Caner wants nothing to do with them?

    Do you see my repeated question here? Calvinists want Caner to repent TO THEM. Well, he isn’t going to, so my advice is to move on.

    But they won’t. WHY? They are wasting their time and effort and energy on Caner. They focus on Caner like it’s an obsession. Everyone knows that Caner lied. But I am NOT convinced that is the REAL issue here.

    I think that the REAL issue is that Calvinism is being FORCED DOWN BAPTISTS THROATS, and many Baptists want nothing to do with Calvinism, and it JUST SO HAPPENS that Caner is a Baptist IN A POSITION that matters to the Calvinists, as he is a wedge in the Calvin takeover, and they are using his lies as a means to force an issue. Well, Ergun Caner is not biting. I do not for a moment think that Caners lies has anything to do with any of this. It’s Calvinism being a bully to Caner, and his family…no different than the MOB way of doing things…without the tommy gun.

    That’s my view. So, my advice…move on…everyone knows Caner lied. Big deal! MOVE ON. Who hasn’t lied? MOVE ON.

    Ed

    Like

  94. Sadly, there are many within the church who believe they are “god’s police force.” Yes, these men and women lurk around the church buildings pointing out other peoples “sins” yet ignoring their own specks trying to kill the faith of their victims, they travel around the countryside spying on their neighbors and friends looking for wrong doers, they are pretend confidants who slither like snakes into people’s homes destroying marriages, breaking up families, and killing friendships….yes, they are the religious of our day, those in church leadership who profess themselves to be “spiritually elite; more Christian than the rest of us lower pew people…….

    These types of people are so busy policing the affairs of others that their own homes are a mess….far easier to point out the “sins”, the “mistakes”, and the misgivings of others all the while the rot of sin plagues their own lives and households. I am so tired of the churches’ police force and long to see a day where I sit in church and hear the humility of man’s voices and see the repentant tears of our own sins.

    Never been in a church like that yet….all I hear is this “I am so proud of my daughter or son”; “I am so proud I did this or that”; “I am so proud of our community, our church, our country”; “I am so proud that I don’t do anything wrong”…..let’s face it…..we’re all so busy being proud, we don’t have time for the One who calls us to a life of repentance, self denial and love through Him. Is our pride really from God, our Father?

    One day, Jesus will come again, His Second Coming….will we then be in a position to be “so proud?” No, we won’t.

    Like

  95. Just another quick note…..no surprise here…..the pulpits in this country are filled with abusive, narcissistic pastors in leadership positions who desire to hear their own voices and follow their own ways rather than the One they are supposed to be following. I sat under an abusive pastor for years hearing his proud rhetoric until he was caught in his own sexual sin with other women! May Jesus forgive us for making His house out to be a whorehouse which is what much of the western church has become. If Jesus came back to His church today, I dare say, the religious would crucify Him all over again.

    I am just sick about what so called Christianity has become here in the west, just sick to my stomach.

    Like

  96. Welcome Katy!

    Admin note first – I added the 2 to your name because we have another Katy here. If you’d like a use something else, please let me know.

    I agree with you. Your second comment especially made me think of the happenings at Mars Hill/Mark Driscoll yesterday. How the narcissistic leader has brainwashed his elder board so well that they voted to keep him on despite unbelievable credible evidence to show he is unfit for ministry.

    Like

  97. Hi Julie Annel I appreciate your warm welcome and Katy2 is just fine with me. My second comment came from my experience in a small town church, not a mega church system where the pastor/leadership and many within the congregation support the false apostate religion of gnosticism, where experience and feeling trump the Word of God. So when a born again believer seeks to discover God’s truth through His Word rather than the throne room of man’s wicked hearts, then you will be abused from the pulpit, lied about from the pulpiteers, and all of that “love” and “acceptance” you were given when you first arrived, some may choose to call this “an academy award winning acting session”, will disingetrate before your very eyes and the teeth and tongues turn into sharp spears and arrows. You will be abused by this system if you question the dreams, the visions, and the lying signs and wonders…..this is the fruit of charismatic/pentecostalism combined with legalism…and it hurts. Perhaps it is time these “discernment” preachers GROW UP!

    Sorry to sound off. I am still in the healing process as Jesus heals me through His precious Words. Thanks for listening.

    Katy2

    Mod note: Katy, okay go ahead and use Katy2 as your user name and soon Word Press will “recognize” you and your posts won’t be moderated. Because I changed it manually, I’m not sure if Word Press will accept Katy2 yet, so it may take one more time 🙂 We’ll get it!

    Like

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

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s