When Spiritual Leaders Use Contempt to Control

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Contempt and Control by Christian Leaders (Mark Driscoll, etc)

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My friend, Brad Sargent, has been working tirelessly on behalf of spiritual abuse survivors for decades, documenting people/cases, analyzing outcomes, watching behavioral patterns, etc. He spent over 300 hours documenting and compiling the BGBC Lawsuit Archive which chronicles my defamation lawsuit brought on by my former pastor, Chuck O’Neal of Beaverton Grace Bible Church.

Since that time, and actually long before that time, Brad has been compiling notes on Mark Driscoll and now has over 50,000 words in the last 10 months for his Mars Hill Case Study. He’s been posting bits and pieces along the way and I happened to see his latest release, Capstone 2-7: Mark Driscoll’s Culture of Contempt. (I’ll keep you posted when he’s finished with the entire project.)

I’ve been on the receiving end when I didn’t comply with a leader and it wasn’t pretty (in fact, even yesterday with a certain street preacher on Twitter). What I have experienced and many of you have experienced is what Brad describes as contempt.

The following paragraph in particular is relevant to so many of us who are survivors. Brad has a way with words and I think his insight might help us to understand some of the dynamics going on with high-controlling spiritual leaders.  So many times I read his stuff and think, “that’s it!!!”  This is one of those times.  I have separated the sentences so you can really let them sink in as you reflect on your own spiritual abuse circumstance.

Contempt involves an arrogant attitude of superiority about one’s self, beliefs, abilities, opinions, etc.

This in turn leads to bullying actions like scornful comments and sarcasm, reviling and mocking, minimizing and invalidating, and other forms of put-downs and control.

You may be able to hide contempt for a while behind a veil of “charisma” or “edginess” or “relevance.”

But sooner or later, the core of contempt will ooze out of the depths of darkness in such ways that can no longer be disguised.

A pattern this deep is not accidental or inadvertent.

It is practiced and intentional.

Care to claim that it’s Christlike – even if there are likewise instances of appropriate attitudes and ministry? (Source)

Recall the interview Mark Driscoll had with Janet Mefferd when she challenged him on using Peter Jones’ intellectual property in his book. Now, it is commonly known now that there was a pattern of Mark Driscoll using intellectual property in other books he authored.

In the interview below, Driscoll wrongly accuses Mefferd, he belittles her integrity, calls her rude and unChristlike. He then attempts to put himself in an authority position over her as if he is her pastor. His behavior is contemptuous. Begin at around 15 minute mark to get the context.

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Think back on your church experience. Was your church leader showing contempt to you?  Did the blame shift to you when you questioned authority? Were you the subject of ridicule and put downs? Was your salvation in question when it previously was not?

I think the sentences that spoke out to me the loudest were these:

A pattern this deep is not accidental or inadvertent.

It is practiced and intentional.

Oh boy, have I experienced this. We need to understand that contempt is intentional.  Do not be deceived by some gesture of good words that sound Christianese – look at the whole of the behavior. We need to identify it and knock the abusive pastor/leader off their self-appointed pedestal and really identify them as they are: the abuser.

 

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photo credit: Panegyrics of Granovetter via photopin cc

84 comments on “When Spiritual Leaders Use Contempt to Control

  1. Often it is well hidden until there is some issue or situation that brings it out…usually in private. And it is a shocker. You had no idea it existed. Now why would that be? Because the setting is staged and we went along with it. They have a title you respect. They are on a stage speaking and you came to hear “them”. We tend to believe what we hear and see thinking that is the person. (I am thinking of pastors on stage who come off as great guys–they rarely are in person if you challenge them. Some are covert aggressive– and they are the worst. I would rather deal with a Driscoll than a covert aggressive)

    Look, most pastors resent people in the pews in some way or form. It is a natural sentiment considering the situation. They make a living as a pastor and that is all tied up in people giving. This causes all sorts of problems that are too involved for a blog. Are they an employee? A person you pay to lead you?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. In other venues, I gained a reputation–deserved I hope–for confronting participants (Christian and otherwise) for their use of contempt, and more generally the ad hominem (personal) attack/ genetic fallacy. I pointed out that the user of a personal attack only proves that he is unable or unwilling to make a real argument.

    Very sad that so many big time church leaders (and small time too, sigh) forget the most elementary principle of informal logic; the genetic fallacy is just that. So is guilt by association.

    And yes, personal attacks are a great way of identifying people who don’t play fair.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. @JudgeTim:

    Tony said the only reason he interacts with JA is because he has pledged to reach the unbeliever so she’s in his field of ministry. Yep, he judges salvation.

    Jesus is SO lucky to have Tony.
    What would He ever do without Tony at His right hand to tell Him who’s really Saved and who’s not?

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Sergius:

    Did you have another run-in with Tony Pro? What happened?

    Oh, he was telling (via Twitter) Scotland police to repent and that set me off. Would he tell LA police department to repent? No way. He’s been on a roll recently defending law enforcement, especially with the Ferguson case; but because he thinks he was falsely arrested in Scotland, he gets to be Scotland police’s spiritual authority and tell them to repent.

    And Tim is right, he recently unblocked me so it will remind him to pray for my salvation – – so he says. I’ve told him to save his breath to no avail.

    And the woman in the following tweet was defending Tony’s stance yesterday on women not allowed to read the Bible in front of men. Today she posted the following tweet and I retweeted it. If you are going to be held in bondage to man’s teachings, at least identify it as man’s teachings and not God’s. Of course because she backs up Tony, he retweeted it (yet he has his wife out working bringing home the bacon so he can spend hours on Twitter debating going after people (contemptuously).

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is so rampant in the Charismatic and Word of Faith circles. How many times have you heard, “Touch not God’s anointed”? It is as if they have a pipeline to God, unavailable to the average pew sitter. Many of them probably wish that Luke had never chronicled the story of the Bereans in Acts!

    Cult of personality is rampant throughout our churches and seminaries continue to inculcate that cult.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I find the tweet from Ms Stansberry ironic (and hence, the retweet). I guess investing time on Twitter must clearly be part of the “biblical role of a wife and mother.” Apparently the Apostle Paul missed the mommo on that one …

    Liked by 1 person

  7. “How many times have you heard, “Touch not God’s anointed”?”

    Too many.

    I’m getting so bored with Miano stuck on “repent” for those who simply disagree with him. It takes the real meaning out of repentance. Only someone with a God complex thinks that disagreement with them is worthy of repentance.

    Put a sock in it, Tony.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. “Feminists who state women should have a role other that housework are clearly ignorant of the biblical role of a wife and mother.”

    People who think that every household can survive on one income are clearly ignorant of the current economic situation. They also haven’t figured out how to MYOB.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Julie Anne,
    “And the woman in the following tweet was defending Tony’s stance yesterday on women not allowed to read the Bible in front of men.”

    I saw what she said, in regards to the role of women is to do housework.

    What do bachelors do? Are their domiciles cluttered, because daddy never taught them to vacuum the carpet? Is their clothes dirty because daddy never taught them how to operate a washing machine? Are there pee stains all around the toilet because daddy never taught them to clean and disinfect a bathroom?

    Seems to me that the only reason that marriage is preached is because the men have no clue as how to keep a house clean.

    Ed

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Julie Anne

    I started at the 15 min mark of the Janet Mefferd Show video…

    Wow – She did a number on Pastor Driscoll.
    And she did NOT back down when he showed his contempt…
    His contempt for her – And his contempt for her questions..

    Yes – “he belittles her integrity, calls her rude and unChristlike.”

    I now have a lot of respect and admiration for Janet…
    Even when Pastor Driscoll became “authoritative”
    And tried to put “his accusations” on her…
    And tried to put her on the defensive…
    Her voice did NOT quiver…
    She did NOT stutter…
    And he left…

    Interview over… 😉

    Liked by 3 people

  11. “Touch not God’s anointed”? So who is anointed and who is not? Are we not all God’s anointed as believers? Does judging someone’s salvation equal whether or not they are anointed? I thought Jesus was the only one able to judge salvation. Maybe I should ask Tony? Maybe not…

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Lydia

    You write @ JANUARY 8, 2015 @ 10:02 AM…
    “They have a title you respect.”

    Hmmm? NOT anymore… 😉

    Let me not, I pray you, accept any man’s person,
    neither let me give “Flattering Titles” unto man.
    For I know not to give “Flattering Titles”;
    in so doing my maker would soon take me away.
    Job 32:21 KJV

    “They are on a stage speaking and you came to hear “them”.”

    Hmmm? In my antiquated KJV…
    I can NOT find one of His Disciples who had that “Title.” Or, was a…

    Paid, Professional, Pastor, in a Pulpit, Preaching, to People, in Pews…

    I NO longer have respect… err….
    Lets just say – I doubt I’ll be listening to many sermons in the future…

    I be sermoned out… 😉

    Pro 28:21 To have respect of persons is not good…

    Rom 2:11 For there is no respect of persons with God.

    What is popular is NOT always “Truth.”
    What is “Truth” is NOT always popular.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Speaking of “touch not God’s anointed”, I finally looked up the reference, and it comes from a Psalm of David’s in Psalm 105:15 and 1 Chronicles 16:22. The situation appears to have been when the Ark of the Covenant was placed back in the Tabernacle in Jerusalem.

    If someone uses that passage, then, I would have to ask “OK, pastor, are you willing to argue that you are specifically anointed by God in the same way as God’s Prophets?” It’s worth noting in that context that this verse does not seem to stop Jeremiah from rebuking false prophets, so how much more would we conclude it does not prevent us from acting against pastors who violate 1 Tim 3 and Titus 1 requirements for office?

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Excellent post Julie Anne. Contempt, yes. When challenged their true self is exposed.

    I just experienced it again when I personally confronted the “lead pastor” of the merry group of three man boy pastors who took control of my marriage and family. I would like to add that as your friend expressed so well, the bully mentality. Just as I noticed in the commenter yesterday.

    A bully is the same no matter what arena. They wait for the right time. In my case it was right after heart surgery in 2012. Despite my health issues I am doing much better cognitively now. Their tactics don’t work anymore. Unfortunately they have stolen the minds of my wife and children. They are happy that divorce is now going to happen. Despicable from so called men of God. This well spoken, charismatic, 6’10” 300 pound man 10 years younger than me sat across the table (I would only meet in a public place) a week ago and while I was wearing a chemo pump accused me of being abusive because I brought up that he was accountable to God. A pastor, angry because I dare say God was in this situation. I then recieved a series of nasty texts as I asked simple questions, all starting with what does the Bible say about (insert any number of their actions)?

    Bullies are scared cowards, but dangerous. Please pray for me that I let God lead me as to what to do or not do. As a man who loves my children so much and loved my wife so much for so long it is hard to just ” let ” this happen. I have a character flaw in that I love to fight injustice no matter what the odds and the last two weeks they have stepped up their taunting since I confronted him face to face, calmly, using Gods word. I mean I am struggling with myself. There’s another part of me that is very unsettled despite being so sick. Thank you for sharing this, very insightful.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. If someone uses that passage, then, I would have to ask “OK, pastor, are you willing to argue that you are specifically anointed by God in the same way as God’s Prophets?”

    I can’t look it up right now, but I did a blog post on James MacDonald of Harvest Bible Church in which he said he and the elders heard directly from God (and then went on to explain why they were getting rid of some elders and wanted people to shun them). Fast forward a year or so later, MacDonald was on Driscoll/Mars Hill Board and he removed himself. I think he saw what was going to be going down Driscoll’s pike and his financial church empire was likely to tumble, too, if people really looked more deeply at his bully behavior (as they had Driscoll’s). So, MacDonald publicly repented about how he and his elders treated the booted elders. And they all lived happily ever after. Amen. (Well, we’ll see about that.) What was noticeably missing from his public apology was the part about how he heard directly from God. Did he previously hear from God or not? Well, we all know the answer to that. But what a bully to say that he is so special that he gets special messages from God about how to deal with elders (and if the rest of the congregation didn’t get the memo, well, you’re not too special).

    Oh, she’s snarky today. Off to school where JA will be humbled quickly 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  16. True. I also know at least one person who is a devotee of Mike Bickle and the Kansas City Prophets who not only feel that there are modern day prophets, but that they also have the same authority as Old Testament prophets. My response is that that if they want that mantle, they need to accept the same punishment for even one wrong prophecy….stoning.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Oh, yes, Brad’s definition fits my impression of our old church in the early days perfectly! I was too naive to recognize it (and had probably drunk too much of the koolade), but I remember being disquieted at the self-satisfied attitude exhibited by our pastor and elders and such august visiting lecturers as Doug Wilson and Steve Wilkins, among others. We subscribed to Credenda Agenda for awhile, but I didn’t read more than a few issues. The smug tone was off-putting.

    Like

  18. Sergius asked: “Then why haven’t I been unblocked?”

    Because, Sergius, clearly you are already saved and Tony doesn’t need to remember to pray for your salvation. You should be happy about your clear salvation.

    Julie Anne on the other hand…..

    Liked by 3 people

  19. Often it is well hidden until there is some issue or situation that brings it out…usually in private. And it is a shocker. You had no idea it existed.

    When some families left our church a few years ago, we called them and talked to them, to let them know we valued them. We heard, over and over, of the contemptuous treatment of a particular elder, which caused them to make the painful decision to leave. A larger percentage of the time, it involved a strong, thoughtful, articulate woman. We never saw that side of him until our last day — that particular elder was always soft-spoken, polite, even considerate. Even asked my opinion on something, and seemed to value my input at that time. But then, I never really was one to rock the boat. I was more likely to blame myself for my shortcomings, than to question the teachings we were getting. Until that last day.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. “My response is that that if they want that mantle, they need to accept the same punishment for even one wrong prophecy….stoning.”

    I didn’t know about that! 🙂 I could compile a whole long list of failed prophecies from my former cult. Since they are so serious about taking the Bible literally (many times ripping scriptures right out of context) they shouldn’t have a problem with the stoning. I mean, if God’s word says . . .

    Of course, you know as well as I do that the prophecies are just another means of manipulating and controlling the sheep.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Wow, Cheryl Stansbury’s tweet sounds like satire to me. Evidently her bible doesn’t contain the 31st chapter of Proverbs, or maybe she just hasn’t gotten around to reading it yet.

    Like

  22. Interesting. In his research work on marriage stability/divorce, Dr. John Gottman (my ex-employer) found that contempt is the most harmful behavior in a marriage and the primary reason couples head toward divorce. It is absolutely toxic and almost impossible to recover from in a relationship. No surprise that the same goes for a relationship with an abusive pastor.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. On the radio, a while back, I heard a pastor that was only joking when he said:

    “God Spoke to Me”. He was making a point of a larger context, for which I can’t remember at the moment, but he went like this:

    He said that he asked God what that thorn was in the side of Apostle Paul in 2 Cor 12, and that God spoke to him the answer. His audience gets very quiet, because they want to know, too. The pastor asks the audience, “Do you want to know what God told me?” Audience states a loud, “YES”.

    The pastor paused for a moment, and finally said:
    “God told me that it was none of my business!!”, for which the audience laughed for a while.

    Ed

    Liked by 1 person

  24. kathrinegluvna

    JANUARY 8, 2015 @ 11:21 AM
    “Touch not God’s anointed”?

    So who is anointed and who is not?
    Are we not all God’s anointed as believers?”

    Yup – We, His Sheep His Disciples, His Ekklesia, His Church…
    Are anointed, and have the anointed one living in us – Cool…

    And WE, His Kings and Priests, His Servants, His sons…
    Need NO man to teach His Called Out Ones, His Ambassadors…
    WE, His kids, can go directly to Jesus – NO middle Man…
    ———–

    1 John 2:26-27 KJV
    These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.
    (Yup – I had been seduced listening to these guys with the “Titles.”)
    But “The Anointing” which ye have received of him “Abideth In You,”
    and **ye need not that any man teach you:**
    but as the same anointing teacheth you of ALL things,
    and is truth, and is no lie…

    Col 1:27 KJV
    To whom God would make known
    what is the riches of the glory
    of **this mystery** among the Gentiles;
    which is **Christ in you,** the hope of glory:

    Christ – Greek – Christos = Anointed – Anointed One…

    Yup – “The Anointing” “Abideth In WE, His Sheep,”

    And Christ, the Anointed One, is in WE, His Ekklesia, His Church, His kids…
    ———-

    John 6:45
    It is written in the prophets, And they shall be ALL taught of God.

    Deuteronomy 4:36
    Out of heaven he made thee to “Hear His Voice,”
    that “He might instruct thee:”

    Psalms 32:8
    I will *instruct thee and *teach thee in the way which thou shalt go:
    I will *guide thee with mine eye.

    Liked by 3 people

  25. @John

    “Please pray for me that I let God lead me as to what to do or not do. As a man who loves my children so much and loved my wife so much for so long it is hard to just ” let ” this happen. I have a character flaw in that I love to fight injustice no matter what the odds”

    I don’t think it’s a character flaw. When my former cult starts making a move on my kids I get very protective. I don’t blame you for feeling the need to do something. It’s hard, because your wife has chosen to be with these spiritually manipulative people. I do feel for you.

    Julie Anne has a post about a situation similar to yours. Have you seen this one, yet? https://spiritualsoundingboard.com/2012/08/07/can-spiritual-abuse-destroy-a-marriage-pauls-story/

    You are not alone.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Mark has a odd way of loving Janet in this interview. He said:
    “I love you, you are my sister” a few breaths later, “Mark Driscoll loves you”
    then he adds, “you are giving me orders in front of a audience” to conclude, he has the nerve to tell her, Out of love for you, because I want you to grow” Gee- I hope nobody ever loves me like Mark does Janet. Wow.

    Liked by 3 people

  27. One other thing that comes to mind; many here have suggested that a pastor will often wait to start using intimidation/insults/and the like. My take is to modify that somewhat; the abusive pastor will wait to apply those tactics to you. You will likely, however, be able to see that tactic elsewhere.

    For example, I saw a video once where the teacher (names redacted to protect the guilty) railed on how “it was not a right to be one of ‘his’ elders”. It perplexed me why one would be so vehement about something that is so obvious until I learned some more of the person’s character. Then it made sense; it wasn’t simply screaming “the sky is blue”, but rather a declaration of “my way or the highway.”

    Liked by 2 people

  28. Gail, that’s fake love, kind of like how Miano makes a whole podcast about me and trashing me and then says he’s praying for me. Uh-huh.

    If he believed I was unsaved then wouldn’t he show kindness in his talk about me and with me? He doesnt care about my soul. His actions and words are proof.

    Liked by 3 people

  29. Brad’s article, Capstone 2-7: Mark Driscoll’s Culture of Contempt, is very enlightening. Especially that story about Driscoll guest speaking at a church in TX and being warned to bring the cussing down a notch. He told the congregation what he’d been warned, and then dropped the F-bomb. I can only imagine how that went over down here. I question why a church would invite a guest speaker that they would have to make such a request of in the first place.

    Liked by 3 people

  30. Julie Anne, please don’t get dragged down by trite bickering among fellow Christians. Petty, argumentative, holier-than-thou Christians might want to pick you apart because you don’t comply with who THEY think you should be (though they’ll cloak that in calling it what God wants you to be), but to many, many of us out there, you are all that’s GOOD and right about Christianity.

    Like

  31. John, you are in my prayers. I feel very strongly that your job right now is to focus on yourself, on getting better and stronger, on working with your doctors and finding some ways in which to be kind to yourself. Drink your favorite tea, read a favorite book, enjoy a DVD or show, play a lively encouraging hymn. Do some things that you like. Find moments of happiness.

    I don’t think that there is anything you can do to change your wife’s mind at this time. She will have to learn to think for herself and over time your children will begin to weigh and consider some of the things they have heard. And almost certainly her exciting new life will not be what she expects. I would stop actively fighting her decision and the so called pastors and ask God to work on their hearts.

    I think that as you take care of yourself, good things will happen. I would never want you or anyone to be so sick but since you are, take the time to get to know yourself and Jesus all over again and I think you will be happily surprised with both of you!

    Glad you have joined the posters here at SSB.

    Liked by 3 people

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  33. Interesting. In his research work on marriage stability/divorce, Dr. John Gottman (my ex-employer) found that contempt is the most harmful behavior in a marriage and the primary reason couples head toward divorce. It is absolutely toxic and almost impossible to recover from in a relationship. No surprise that the same goes for a relationship with an abusive pastor.

    Carol, that is very interesting about Gottman. I’ve really grown to respect John and his wife and their work. And you are right – the same kind of relational dynamics of contempt are very revealing – – it’s very difficult to fix a relationship in which there is contempt.

    Liked by 2 people

  34. I think some of the holier-than-though Christians are simply not Christians. I am not the ultimate judge of anyone, however, so I cannot be sure, but I can look at fruits and understand that Jesus really meant it when He said that our words say a great deal about where our heart is and are the things that defile us.

    Look at the fruits of Miano, the fact that the only things he seems to be missing are the main things that are evidence of Christianity: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”

    Anyone can learn a set of generally orthodox doctrines and memorize them, master debating them, become a vigorous advocate for them. But that makes you nothing more than a passionate fan of a doctrine. Words are cheap, even true words are not enough. Caiaphas and Saul prophesied, a demon-possessed slave correctly identified Paul and Silas as servants of God who were preaching salvation.

    Miano may need prayer for his own salvation.

    Liked by 2 people

  35. BeenThereDoneThat, thank you for the comment and support. I get what you are saying. They don’t get that I am not playing, this is not a joke.

    Marsha, thank you for your prayers and advice, especially reading Julie Ann’s question to you, that you took the time to write such a thoughtful comment while being sick. I hope you feel better. I know you are right. I know. I’m just having a real hard time with it. Thank you again Marsha.

    Liked by 2 people

  36. Julie Anne said,

    If he believed I was unsaved then wouldn’t he show kindness in his talk about me and with me? He doesnt care about my soul. His actions and words are proof.

    I get the impression he doesn’t really care about the souls or welfare of women, but in making sure they carry out what is, in his opinion, their “Godly” or “biblical” roles.

    He may sincerely care about his wife and daughter(s) (I think he has daughters?) but with other women, it’s more about him pitching a fit if women read from Bibles in public. And even if he sincerely loves his wife and kids, he probably also is a little to obsessive in indoctrinating them to follow his interpretation that all women should be June Cleaver housewives.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Well, they aren’t all June Cleaver housewives. All of his daughters work at real jobs. Miano is the only one telling us he’s short $X,XXX.00 living expenses each month. (And yes, it’s usually over a thousand.)

    I’m serious, I’d be a Walmart greeter before begging on Twitter/FB/blog- especially if I spent a bulk of time each day debating on Twitter.

    Liked by 3 people

  38. “I’m serious, I’d be a Walmart greeter before begging on Twitter/FB/blog- especially if I spent a bulk of time each day debating on Twitter.” Julie Anne now you cant be part of the cadre of “Truly Reformed” (TM) preachers. Just think of what you will miss, weekends standing on a box yelling at people and being heckled which you can film and say you are being persecuted.

    Liked by 2 people

  39. “Look at the fruits of Miano, the fact that the only things he seems to be missing are the main things that are evidence of Christianity: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”

    Those traits are also evidence of most atheists, agnostics, Buddhists, Jews, and Hindus I know. They are traits of good, kind, caring people – of any — or of NO — religion.

    Mod note: edited comment per request. -ja

    Like

  40. I know I haven’t commented here in a long time and for that I do apologize. Money has been extremely tight for me and my husband for a long time. I started working part time at Thanksgiving and just got promoted to full-time this week. But that isn’t soon enough to help us avoid homelessness. We have until saturday afternoon to somehow find too much money that doesn’t exist to pay rent or we will be evicted with just 72 hours to move out and be homeless. I don’t know what to. Please pray.

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  41. Mandy, so sorry you are in this heartbreaking situation. I pray that someone with the means steps forward and helps you. It’s times like these I want so much to do more than pray. Is it very cold where you are? I’ve been helped by an angel recently completely unexpected. I pray right now for a life changing act for you. My heart breaks for you. Keep looking up Mandy.

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  42. @JulieAnne:

    I’m serious, I’d be a Walmart greeter before begging on Twitter/FB/blog- especially if I spent a bulk of time each day debating on Twitter.

    Why do you think they call them “Twits”?

    Like

  43. @Truthdetector:

    Anyone can learn a set of generally orthodox doctrines and memorize them, master debating them, become a vigorous advocate for them.

    My type example for this combination wasn’t a street preacher per se, but someone I encountered in the Seventies. His “memorized orthodox doctrine” was Marxism-Leninism.

    Like

  44. We actually had a pastor predict our marriage wouldn’t last ten years because we didn’t agree with their church on what I consider non-doctrinal issues.

    He also implied we were in sin and when I told him to cite chapter and verse to support his claim that I might repent and change if I was actually sinning, i was accused of being combative.

    Our marriage actually improved quite a bit as soon as we were out of the shadow of their oppressive complementarian teaching.

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  45. “We actually had a pastor predict our marriage wouldn’t last ten years”

    Ours told my husband our marriage wouldn’t last two weeks if we left the “church.”

    “Our marriage actually improved quite a bit as soon as we were out of the shadow of their oppressive complementarian teaching.”

    Same here. I guess this would qualify as another wrong prophecy that is punishable by stoning.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. Mandy, I hope that your situation can be resolved quickly. I know it is very scary to feel like there is no safety net. John, you are sounding stronger emotionally! I know it will be up and down, but it is good to hear your strength! JA, I don’t know where you get the emotional resilience to deal with these bulling attacks. A great example to all women!! ( especially ones like me, who can easily crushed).

    Liked by 1 person

  47. I don’t know where you get the emotional resilience to deal with these bulling attacks.

    I have a great support network, and I also “make like a duck,” but the reality is that I consider the source.

    I do bring on some of my attacks when I confront the bully behavior (like Tony on Twitter when he told the Scotland police department to repent – give me a break). Just as he has a voice on Twitter to make ridiculous tweets and act like a bully, I have a voice as well. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  48. “I have a great support network, and I also “make like a duck,” but the reality is that I consider the source. ”

    Bingo. Once they hold no power over you as influencers or wanting their approval, it all changes. You see them for what they are. As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

    Liked by 1 person

  49. Mandy, praying for you, and make sure (if you haven’t already) that you talk to the landlord–showing him your promotion letter might give him a reason to work with you. It is almost always more expensive to evict than to keep a renter, at least if the renter shows signs of being serious about paying his rent.

    One other hint; make sure you under-promise and over-deliver in terms of what you can pay. That will engender a lot of good will.

    Liked by 2 people

  50. This week, Tony Miano came off sounding not unlike Anjem Choudary in his reaction to JA daring to challenge a man. I had a moment where I realized, yes, he really IS convinced he is right and thinks she is unsaved because she resists him- WOW. Serious god-complex! Fact is, I see few men in his circle with the testicular fortitude (thanks Captain Janeway-let the twitter reader understand- for lending the phrase) to stand up to him and rebuke him publicly.

    His actions towards JA (and a Scotland PD) disgust me, and she is dead right that we have the right to challenge bullying behavior, but we can expect bullying back. That is why I never engage him or people like him anymore: I know my limits, and my weaknesses. To assume or accuse someone of being unregenerate as Tony Miano, that Biblically defined fool “Rhology”, and certain others of that crowd do on a regular basis is evidence of what is in their hearts. There is no real sorrow over those they assume are “lost” or “apostate” revealed by that behavior, only love of appearing to be right.

    What triggers me the most, and yes, I make no apology for being “triggered”, is that Tony Miano, as Mark Driscoll, has absolutely no problem behaving in one way towards people in the UK and in another towards people in the US.

    I mean by this that Tony Miano supports law enforcement in the US and commands (yes, that is the correct word choice) other Christians to do so; I see no tweets calling any US Police Dept. to repentance for supporting homosexuality or abortion or whatever, yet he feels justified tweeting a call to repentance at a PD in the UK. What rank defiant arrogance! What hypocrisy.

    Having grown up in the UK, my gut reaction is “shades of Westboro”. I know a few humble evangelists in the UK, and Miano is not, in my personal opinion, culturally aware, emotionally intelligent, nor especially, qualified for ministry. I am concerned for his followers. Everything he does looks to me to be about control, not the love of Christ.

    Having been yelled at myself while going about my business in three different countries by such “evangelists” about my need to repent, having actually known or been known by Christ since childhood, I think there does need to be a conversation about this method of evangelism, and certainly about how people “evangelize” on twitter and elsewhere. If that makes me apostate in Miano’s eyes, I do not care one bit, I know whom I have believed, etc.

    What makes me so sick to observe is the inverted enabling of spiritual abuse and the perpetuation of it by certain men who basically see women as second-class despite what they claim and regardless of what the Bible actually teaches. They are blind guides, and it is sad to see.

    Liked by 3 people

  51. I mean by this that Tony Miano supports law enforcement in the US and commands (yes, that is the correct word choice) other Christians to do so; I see no tweets calling any US Police Dept. to repentance for supporting homosexuality or abortion or whatever, yet he feels justified tweeting a call to repentance at a PD in the UK. What rank defiant arrogance! What hypocrisy.

    Thank you, Melody! You completely get why I could not hold back from saying something. He has been going after well-known and respected pastors who question the excessive use of force in some of the recent cases in the US. He hounded them just like P&P and JD Hall hounded Ergun Caner. He cannot allow other people to come to their conclusions that are different from his. So he expects people to respect US civil authority at all costs, but he whines and complains about Scotland’s law enforcement. He knew what he was getting into months earlier (he stayed with his pastor friend who also got arrested for using homophobic language in Scotland). He deliberately used homophobic language in his “gospel presentation.”

    Here’s the truth: If he truly cared about the souls in Scotland, he’d tread lightly on sensitive topics and stick with the Gospel message which can be given so many more ways than by mentioning sexual sin. Gimme a break. Oh, and let’s not forget that he was a guest in that country. Notice the entitlement he feels to say whatever he wants in a foreign country.

    Liked by 2 people

  52. Power and control. Entitlement. Disrespect of a culture because it is different from his own. These are my observations and yes, I am angry about his behavior and concerned for him. I do not believe based on the evidence that he would be able to face my concerns without twisting them back on me as he has done with you/JA.

    I will say this, I would never assume he or anyone else is not saved simply because we disagree.

    I have a slightly precarious viewpoint on so many things because I’ve seen so many perspectives as a third culture kid. My husband works with law enforcement and teaches use of force. I myself worked for a short while with a community project in the UK to raise academic achievement among predominantly black young men. I understand many issues from many perspectives, and I have appreciated that you, JA, do too.

    Unfortunately, there is no room in Miano’s gospel for difference of opinion: that automatically makes one unsaved. We do not know who is saved or not based simply on alleged professions of faith. Jesus said “by their fruits you will know them”, and the word for “fruits” is the same as used for fruits of the Spirit (I know you all know that, but it bears repeating to myself!) I’ve heard people preach that sound doctrine is the fruit Jesus meant, but even demons are orthodox in their understanding of the gospel.

    Love understands that whatever your beliefs on homosexuality, creationism, abortion, or whatever, they will not change in an instant of salvation to be orthodox. Love understands that people need the Lord right where they are in their brokenness, and that He alone can (and will) change His people in His time and way. Love accepts individuality and promotes unity not uniformity.

    I am concerned for the church in the US because it is being divided by people who cannot accept people outside their worldview though they believe Jesus accepted them in their mess at the point of salvation. It is heartbreaking.

    Liked by 3 people

  53. On reflection, was thinking the term “orthodox” might be a bit triggering for some readers- apologies if so- I am not saying there is some sort of perfect state of orthodoxy we must all attain; I think as we grow like Christ (in love) what we believe falls into place a bit, but we still retain our individuality. Maybe that clarifies or confuses. 😉 Done now. Good post, great timing.

    Liked by 2 people

  54. Can someone please define the term “unsaved” for me? Sorry for the naive question, but I see it often here and I notice that it is usually used with an “us vs them,” even an “us better than them” tone. This is not a term used by anyone but Christians, yet it seems to be a way to describe any non-Christian in a derogatory way. It feels liked cloaked unkindness to me (an “unsaved” person). Why not just call them “non-Christians” and leave it at that?

    Liked by 1 person

  55. Carol – I’ve been in Christiandom for so long that I never thought how that word might sound to someone who is not a Christian. You’re right – it does sound condescending. I don’t think that’s a term I usually use, but now I will be especially careful about it. Thanks for bringing it up.

    Disclaimer: I am fully aware that my former pastor and others will have a heyday with my above comment. I do not communicate with my non-Christian friends to please you and your rude practices. I let love be my guide: love is patient and kind . . .

    Liked by 4 people

  56. @Carol,

    From Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary is this definition of “unsaved”:
    not saved; especially : not absolved from eternal punishment : not regenerate

    *************************************************************
    Although this term was repeatedly applied to me (and other Christians) at my former spiritually abusive/authoritarian/legalistic church here in Northern California. I was recently excommunicated and shunned on the orders of the four pastors/elders. I was repeatedly threatened by them, and threatened with being unsaved/divisive/destined for hell/and “deceived” because I had discovered (while doing a project for a former prosecutor) that their friend at church was a convicted sex offender on Megan’s List whom they ardently defend (unbeknownst to all adults and parents).

    So basically anyone with an iota of common sense (even Christians) can be labeled as “unsaved”. And before my excommunication/shunning, a godly doctor was treated to same (and he’s been married for 40+ years, strong marriage, loving; great relationships with adult children). He got labeled that by the pastors/elders for raising questions with them about how they were leading the church and Biblical error.

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  57. @Carol,
    The M-W dictionary said the term “unsaved” was first used in the 13th Century. I will have to investigate further…

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  58. “Carol – I’ve been in Christiandom for so long that I never thought how that word might sound to someone who is not a Christian. You’re right – it does sound condescending. I don’t think that’s a term I usually use, but now I will be especially careful about it. Thanks for bringing it up.

    Disclaimer: I am fully aware that my former pastor and others will have a heyday with my above comment. I do not communicate with my non-Christian friends to please you and your rude practices. I let love be my guide: love is patient and kind . . .”

    Thank you for your kind and compassionate reply, Julie Anne.

    Why would your pastor have a heyday with your comment? Is communication with the “unsaved” seen as in-Christian behavior? Seems to me, it’s the *epitome* of Christlike behavior!

    Like

  59. Carol:

    He despises friendship evangelism – which means essentially befriending someone for the purpose of evangelizing. For him, every time you engage with someone who is not Christian, you must be evangelizing and you do it by giving a “gospel presentation” by telling the person they are a sinner, they are on their way to hell, yada yada.

    I think they would also use the verse: you can’t be friends with the world and friends with God. I would be frowned upon for having you as a friend. (Let’s not tell anyone we’ve been friends for how long – let’s see – I think around 16 years now.)

    They say they are being loving by telling people the full truth and they really don’t care how they say it, or how it comes across because there’s a verse that says the gospel is foolish for those who are perishing – -and that essentially gives them a green light to be rude.

    Carol – I can’t buy their methods at all anymore. I am sickened by their behavior. I follow the pattern of Christ. The only time we see Christ show anger was towards the hypocritical spiritual leaders – the Pharisees. Go figure.

    Liked by 3 people

  60. Wow. So I guess friendship with Muslims and Hindus out of the question by that standard then? Btw, I dislike the term unsaved too. I think unregenerate is a popular term with some. Both are condescending or cult-speak to my ears these days. Either people know Christ or people don’t. The point is they are still people.

    Liked by 2 people

  61. Ps which just made me realize that these guys probably have also never been close to any homosexuals or athiests to know them as people. Explains a lot too.
    Ok. Shutting up now. Nite!

    Liked by 2 people

  62. Ann, thank you for your comments about me. I do not feel stronger. Anything you sense in me being stronger comes from God and through and by people here, people like you. People who I can tell, without a doubt love me and care about me. This completely blows my mind.

    I had given up on people until God had me stumble on an old post from Julie Anne at her old site. I wrote her to ask a question about how the comments work, at the time I was concerned about being “discovered”, and my children hating me even more. These pastors that helped destroy my family will stoop to anything. As I have seen others write, they will make further false claims about me. They are vicious, especially the one “interested” in my soon to be ex wife. Julie Anne was real to me, sincere and actually answered me! I’m not used to any of this.

    I have learned so much from all of you, and gained courage through your support and acceptance. So, I thank you, and others for that. For the first time in so long I feel like I belong to a wonderful group of people! I’m still struggling and night is much worse, but I don’t feel as alone. I thank God and everyone here for easing the burdens and giving me hope again. Thank you, Ann.

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  63. Julie Ann, Could you provide a footnote for your statement about Mark Driscoll in which you said, “Now, it is commonly known now that there was a pattern of Mark Driscoll using intellectual property in other books he authored.” I have only heard that accusation for this particular book. Thank you, Todd

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  64. Could you provide a footnote for your statement about Mark Driscoll in which you said, “Now, it is commonly known now that there was a pattern of Mark Driscoll using intellectual property in other books he authored.” I have only heard that accusation for this particular book. Thank you, Todd

    Hi Todd,

    Welcome to SSB! Warren Throckmorton has done a lot of research into this and provides the examples on his site. I’m giving you the link to his site with the search word “plagiarism” where you will find plenty of posts that will back up my statement. Another source is Janet Mefferd who might have been the first person to make the plagiarism concern first public.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/category/plagiarism/

    Liked by 1 person

  65. Todd – I believe it was 7 of Driscoll’s books that had significant examples of plagiarism. This is well-documented, it is not a matter of vicious gossip or whisper campaigns, it has been extensively documented by Dr. Throckmorton as well as others; hence, JA is able to rightly say that it is commonly known. One would not need to provide footnotes when referencing Jimmy Swaggart’s infidelity in the 80s and 90s, in the same manner footnotes are not necessary to reference Driscoll’s plagiarism.

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  66. Pingback: Objection Overruled! | the untangling

  67. Remember when Driscoll asked Janet if she was having a “grumpy day” (indicative of chauvenism because he was implying it was her time of the month) and then on the next show about his plagurism she laid out every instance of his plagury in every book he took it from without giving credit to the other publishers or authors.

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