Phil Johnson, Tony Miano, Grace Community Church, and Public Rebuking for Public Behavior

 Phil Johnson, Tony Miano, Grace Community Church and Public Rebuking for Bad Public Behavior

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Last week, I posted this article, Open Air Preacher Tony Miano’s Insensitive Tweets after Nepal Earthquake Disaster, after Tony Miano sent out this tweet:

tony miano nepal earthquake

There was an enormous negative response on Twitter directed towards Miano from Christians and non-Christians alike.

Tony Miano has let it be known many places that he is under Grace Community’s authority. Miano mentions it here on his blog:

“As my family and I seek membership at Grace Community Church, I will also seek to bring myself and my ministry as an evangelist/open-air preacher under the authority and accountability of my pastors/elders. How long this will take, what processes will be involved, and exactly what all of this will look like will be determined by the elders of Grace Community Church. (Source)”

If Tony Miano is under the authority of Grace Community, does Tony Miano’s words and behavior represent Grace Community? Do the leaders at Grace Community Church endorse his behavior?

A response eventually came from Grace Community’s Phil Johnson on his personal Facebook page:

A couple of recent incidents compel me to say this:

Romans 12:15 says, “Weep with those who weep.” The immediate context is about how we should treat unbelievers, including overtly hostile unbelievers. Natural disasters, funerals, memorial services, and other times of grief are not appropriate times for strangers to stand on the sidelines with a megaphone and broadcast a message of damnation. That’s the spirit of Westboro, not the Spirit of God.

I was grateful for the response and tweeted about it here. The tweet includes my words on top and the screenshot of Phil Johnson’s Facebook comment below:

Phil Johnson, Tony Miano, Westboro, Nepal Earthquake, Grace Community Church

When looking through the comments on Phil Johnson’s Facebook wall, however, I saw someone asking a very legitimate question and comment:

“Am I correct that at one point, Tony Miano was, if he is not still, a member at Grace Community Church? At least he advertises that he is accountable to the elders at GCC. This is not the first incident with him. Is there some sort of church discipline for this kind of stuff? And if he is no longer a member, then maybe there needs to be a public distancing between the two parties, in the same manner that he publicized going there. “

This is something that we have been wondering here for some time as we have observed Tony Miano’s public behavior.  I tweeted the comment (using a screenshot taken from my cell phone):

phil johnson, tony miano

(It’s important to note that the above comment was removed from Johnson’s Facebook page.)

But it is the response to that tweet from Phil Johnson that gave me pause. I’ve included the entire Twittter conversation. I’ve heard Phil Johnson is John MacArthur’s right-hand man. I have seen him use his position to speak publicly for Grace Community and/or John MacArthur.

That’s the spirit of Westboro, not the Spirit of God. ~Phil Johnson

I’ve seen Johnson publicly call out Mark Driscoll, Joel Osteen, etc. But  . . . crickets . . . . when it comes to naming one in his own flock who behaves like Westboro?  What gives?!

To say that someone is behaving in “the spirit of Westboro, not the Spirit of God” is a very serious conclusion to make about someone who is a member of your congregation – – and you are a shepherd.

But take a look at how Johnson feels free to publicly rebuke me, not a member of his church:

phil johnson, tony miano, nepal earthquake, grace community church

phil johnson, tony miano, nepal earthquake, grace community church

Interesting.  Phil Johnson is not my pastor and he publicly rebuked me. Tony Miano insists that he is under the authority of Grace Community, but even after Johnson’s Facebook note appeared on April 27, Miano apparently did not get the memo from Johnson (notice the dates):

118 comments on “Phil Johnson, Tony Miano, Grace Community Church, and Public Rebuking for Public Behavior

  1. Can’t imagine the victims of a natural disaster will feel warm and fuzzy about rich Westerners using their situation to convert them when they have an immediate need for food, water, medical care, shelter…it’s one thing if the gospel message is conveyed *in addition* to providing these things, but it angers me to no end when eternal life is held at a higher priority than the life we have right now, when we have the ability to do something. Blame it on my Jewish upbringing – tikkun olam is a priority for everyone.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I rarely see anything that resembles grace coming from Johnson and the like. Miano gets a pass because he is one of them. Johnson will stoop to low levels when it comes to insulting Beth Moore and anyone that doesn’t tow the Calvinistic line…and do so publicly.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I think Miano (and possibly Johnson) are forgetting who the real enemy is. It is NOT those who worship in a different faith than we do. I suppose that the teaching that we are to explain our faith with gentleness and respect, along with God’s kindness leading us to repentance are not in his bible.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Since Johnson is a friend of Miano (or a pastor to him?), he may feel he has to walk a thin line in defending him. Sounds like he doesn’t agree with Miano’s ideas and methods, but is willing to jump in and criticize those who publically call Miano out. JA, I think you are correct, if Milano is going to publically make contraversial and hateful comments, then he needs to face the consequences of his public
    cruel statements.
    Johnson is not helping him correct this behavior by calling Miano’s critics names and projecting unfounded motives onto them. If Miano is a big boy, then he doesn’t need Johnson to taunt others. I don’t understand this need to demonize someone for challenging poorly formed ideas and opinions. Once Johnson felt the need to criticize you personally, he lost the argument!!!!!

    Like

  5. Since Johnson is a friend of Milano (or a pastor to him?), he may feel he has to walk a thin line in defending him.

    Where have we seen this pattern before of protecting friends(CJ Mahaney)? These high-profile church leaders are going to have to answer to God about whether they compromised the reputation of Christ to defend their friend’s bad behavior. There is no biblical precedent to defend someone who behaves like a bully (Westboro). There are more spiritual lives at stake than Tony’s. Let’s look at the whole picture. To not appropriately deal with this is negligent – especially as a church leader.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. My daughter is serving in south Asia and felt the earthquake. She and her neighbors gathered outside their homes while assessing the situation. One of the national newspapers ran an article highlighting Miano’s tweet, and not favorably. That tweet does nothing to help my daughter build relationships with people in her area. Miano takes cheap shots from a distance and gets in the way of people who are truly doing the work on the ground.

    If his church thinks it’s more important to stand up for him than for the work people like my daughter are doing, they are mistaken.

    Liked by 8 people

  7. That tweet does nothing to help my daughter build relationships with people in her area. Miano takes cheap shots from a distance and gets in the way of people who are truly doing the work on the ground.

    Tim, that is a unique perspective that should be taken seriously. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I emailed the same information to Phil earlier today, JA. It will be interesting to see how he responds (although I am not going to criticize if he doesn’t because frankly he’s got a lot on his plate).

    Liked by 2 people

  9. “At the same time, it should not be the open-air preacher who alone determines if he possesses the biblical qualities of a man of God. This is why it is critically important for all open-air preachers to be members of a local church and under the authority and accountability of pastors/elders who know them, can examine them, teach them, affirm their calling and giftedness, and keep watch over them.”
    http://gospelspam.com/a-man-of-god-before-a-man-on-a-box-part-2/

    Has GCC done this-he’s been at that church for over a year, right?

    I realized that Miano’s previous church, Faith Comm. Church, told him they disagreed with his philosophy of ministry (and that he might be better off finding a church that agreed with that philosophy) and transferred his giftedness/calling to OA preach over to GCC, but has GCC itself ever examined Miano, affirmed his calling and giftedness and kept watch over Miano, as Miano states above is “critically important for the LOCAL (as in presently attending) church to do?”

    Instead, I remember a big disclaimer that Miano placed on the banner ad for his pre/post evangelism effort at The Shepherds Conference. The disclaimer said this was not affiliated nor promoted by GCC/The Shepherds Conference. Why was that necessary…and in all caps, as I recall.

    Instead, I see a tweet from executive, superfine pastor/elder Phil Johnson saying he doesn’t endorse his (Miano’s) strategy. Well, shouldn’t Johnson and the other elders be keeping watch over Miano and teaching him? Miano should be demanding this.

    LOL

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I’d say regarding his point 3 tweet and his April 27 tweet, he is doing that because he knows you are right and you have gotten under his skin. He can’t win the argument so he is kicking the cat.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Phil Johnson’s extremely disrespectful response to you demonstrates no grace whatsoever. What an awful human being he seems to be. Utterly unChrist-like.

    But for that matter, I never saw any grace in anything John MacArthur did or said. Naturally Johnson thinks what you’re doing is worse. All Miano does is act like a bad little boy, GCC can smack him down rhetorically while winking at the pew sitters. What you do is expose theological thuggery. Far more dangerous to Mr. Johnson.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. The tweet “since you can’t seem to get enough of my opinion” I found to be so odd. Does he really think I spend my time looking him up and wanting his opinion?

    It’s interesting how instead of looking at the issue, I became his target? I’m sure he wishes I would brush up on my culinary skills instead of tweeting/blogging.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. “The tweet “since you can’t seem to get enough of my opinion” I found to be so odd. Does he really think I spend my time looking him up and wanting his opinion?”

    No he doesn’t, but the fangs come out when accountability is requested and you are unsweeping that dirt that he keeps sweeping under the carpet.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Julie Ann: These guys are nothing but religious bullies in my book–shame on them and power to you and other women who will not tolerate it.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Diane,
    “No he doesn’t, but the fangs come out when accountability is requested and you are unsweeping that dirt that he keeps sweeping under the carpet.”

    I don’t think he even knows how to use a broom. He’d have to ask his wife.

    However:

    Paul Uses His Freedom to Share the Good News

    1 Corinthians 9:19-22
    19 I am free and don’t belong to anyone. But I have made myself a slave to everyone. I do it to win as many as I can to Christ. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew. That was to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one who was under the law. I did this even though I myself am not under the law. That was to win those under the law. 21 To those who don’t have the law I became like one who doesn’t have the law. I did this even though I am not free from God’s law. I am under Christ’s law. Now I can win those who don’t have the law. 22 To those who are weak I became weak. That was to win the weak. I have become all things to all people. I have done this so that in all possible ways I might save some.

    In other words, Paul became a pagan, to win the pagans. Paul became a slave to the pagans. Paul wanted to “win” the pagans over. He became ALL things to ALL people…to win them. By the way, Paul considered “God’s Law” as Christ’s Law, not the law of Moses (Law vs. Faith, Flesh vs. Spirit, Bondage vs. Free, etc.).

    Miano would not stoop to the level of the Apostle Paul. It’s beneath him.

    Ed

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Oy vay! Now I’m really shaking my head after that recent picture Julie Anne! Battle lines have been drawn and we see who has claimed defender. Now anything said digs a deeper hole.

    Like

  17. From Grace Community’s “about” page:

    http://www.gracechurch.org/About

    “As a light in our community, we’re a place of peace for those in chaos, a place of forgiveness for the guilty, and a place of hope for the hopeless.”

    Yes, that’s exactly what Miano’s tweet did….provided peace in chaos.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. @ JA~
    Yes…probably why. Phil and a Masters Seminary professor have endorsements for him there… yet Tony begs on the internet almost every month for living expenses. You would think that would embarrass GCC, but I wonder if it does. GCC: We luv ya Tony, think you’re just super, but we won’t officially promote your ministry nor support you financially by being a supporting church. Just beg, ok?

    Per Johnson’s FB post:
    “Phil Johnson Steve-Christine Bauer: I purposely didn’t say anything about Tony. As I mentioned, this is a response to more than one recent incident, involving different individuals. What concerns me here is a matter of principle. There is no possible biblical justification for the increasingly common strategy of capturing public attention by doing or saying things that taunt or purposely provoke people who are in mourning.

    There is “a time to keep silence, and a time to speak” (Ecclesiastes 3:7).

    Let’s discuss that principle, and for the time being, leave personalities out of it. This is my FaceBook post, and that’s my rule, starting now.”

    Reading Johnson’s comments about not specifically mentioning Miano’s name just screams to me — I do mean Miano!…I do mean Miano! Don’t make me say it!

    Then he resorts to…my FB playground…my toys…my rules…because the peasants might just get a bit too riled up for him to have to deal with. (Phil was probably remembering all of Miano’s Ferguson tweets O_O.)

    Like

  19. Beth Caplin wrote:

    “but it angers me to no end when eternal life is held at a higher priority than the life we have right now, when we have the ability to do something. Blame it on my Jewish upbringing – tikkun olam is a priority for everyone.

    It pisses me off too Beth. Their religion is not concerned with making the world a better place in the here and now. Theirs is a religion which is only concerned with ‘saving souls from the fires of hell’. I left their tribe many years ago and haven’t looked back.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Philly Jack is speaking out of both sides of his mouth. He should just let his “yes be yes, and his no, no.” It’s easy to see his defenses are up by how quickly he attacked those who asked questions. He should’ve just kept his mouth shut, but then, now we get to see plainly how two-sided he is.

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Oh for goodness sakes it’s not rocket science when someone messes up another person who they respect says something, they change and it’s over with. I mean that is how adults do it every day. For example with CJ if Pastor JM got on the phone and spoke up about the situation concerning SGM. I dont think I am wrong on this JM carries a great deal of weight in that part of the industry. I mean that is all JA is asking for some accountability. I mean the tweet Tony Miano put out there was silly at best and well click bait at worse and when the backlash came out the persecution card was dropped. (If as some said Mr. Miano received threats that is a different matter and should be taken seriously.)I am sure JA has better things to write about and as I understood this she started this blog like the authors of WW and other blogs because there was no voice for those being run over by the system.

    For example their collective rebuke of Mr. Driscoll was not because he was abusive or power hungry, they went after Driscoll because he had a potty mouth. Talk about strange priorities.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. “I think Miano (and possibly Johnson) are forgetting who the real enemy is. It is NOT those who worship in a different faith than we do. I suppose that the teaching that we are to explain our faith with gentleness and respect, along with God’s kindness leading us to repentance are not in his bible”.
    Those Readers’ Digest Condensed Bibles don’t include anything that TM doesn’t like, don’t yaknow……

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Tim said: “My daughter is serving in south Asia and felt the earthquake. She and her neighbors gathered outside their homes while assessing the situation. One of the national newspapers ran an article highlighting Miano’s tweet, and not favorably. That tweet does nothing to help my daughter build relationships with people in her area”.
    I keep thinking of the wonderful young missionary couple that my church supports. They are raising their young family in Nepal. Time & again, the people ask them, “But why are you here? We love you, we want you to stay, but why?” And they continue to serve Christ over there, running a small hospital for the folks of Nepal, who keep asking again & again, & they both say, “Because our Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ wants us to be here”.
    Your daughter is going in my prayers for this family, & their ministry in a land that (unlike–ahem, cough, cough–Scotland) has firm laws in place to prevent overt missionary efforts among their citizens. But they LOVE folks to come & care for their needs, & they always tell them about the One Who sent them there…..

    Liked by 4 people

  24. “I don’t think he even knows how to use a broom. He’d have to ask his wife”. ROTFLOL!! Ed, my brother, I think I love you!!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. @me
    “(Phil was probably remembering all of Miano’s Ferguson tweets O_O.)”

    This particular exchange being one that is particularly bizarre. Tony Miano trying to “discipline” Thabiti Anyabwile on twitter.

    Oh wait—I thought Phil tweeted above to JA that it was all spectator sporty and not defending people to discipline someone publically on FB (which she did not want to occur anyway)? But I guess twitter is an acceptable venue?

    Like

  26. I have never seen Phil Johnson or any of JMac’s crowd, or any rock star pastor or wannabe, for that matter, ever admit when they were wrong. Its always someone else who is wrong. It why I really have no trust to ministers who are in the spotlight.

    PJ, Pyromaniacs, Tony Miano, and Pulpit and Pen are some of the worst in this regards. Always publicly beholding the mote in others’ eyes but never their own in the same manner.

    The crazy thing, is that for many years, I was buying into the JMac crowd, hook, line, and sinker. I read blogs, went to conferences, followed tweets, and gave a hearty amen to many things. Then one day, I realized that I was constantly reading mean spirited criticism and it was making me an unpleasant Christian because I was doing the same…always pointing out the wrong way my church and fellow Christians were doing this or that. And then furthermore, I started to occasionally leave a respectful comment disagreeing with one of these guys’ points and would be met with the same harshness.

    I’m sorry, but that garbage is not of God, if for no other reason than a simple little thing called “the fruit of the spirit.” Where is it in these gentlemen? I can’t see it. All I see is guys who insist on making the extent of their Christianity a twitter ministry of being a jackass to John Piper, Beth Moore, Nepal, the black community, or the flavor of the week.

    And under what planet does a church member have a private ministry for which he is not accountable to his local church…at least in this type of church? He is either accountable to the elders or not.

    Liked by 6 people

  27. For the record, before I say anything. I’m not affiliated with this church, have never listened to JM, Phil Johnson, or TM. Couldn’t pick a single one out of a line-up.

    You are MUCH, MUCH worse than anything TM did. You and many of your followers are akin to Jezebel. You are a bully. A liar. A twister of scripture. You openly mock, question and condemn believers you know almost nothing about. You take people’s word who believe as you do as the gospel truth, without ever realizing their motives or questioning their charachter.

    Are some of the folks you speak about bad men who twist scripture and abuse folks, yes, of this I am sure. But the fact remains that many, probably most are not- they just happen to not agree with with your modern progessive feminist watered down version of Jesus and scripture. And because most of those whom you write about you either purposefully or ignorantly lie, deceive and condemn (all the while not following scriptural mandates on how to treat other believers), while twisting scripture to do so (again either willfully or ignorantly) sets you firmly in the same seat as the actual bad men you happen to be right about once in a while.

    If you actually believed that Jesus was the Savior, the difference between life and death, heaven and hell- if you had actually read the Bible, Old Testament or New you would see that the very language TM used is used hundreds of times in scripture. What he said could not be more scripturally sound.

    But because your gospel is the gospel of “nice” and not the gospel of Jesus Christ. Because your truth is what you hold as true and not what scripture states as Truth you come to these evil worldly and ultimately conclusions that will lead to death. Your mind has not been renewed.

    Like

  28. @Truth Detector – Has anyone noticed that both the name of the church and JMac’s program are misnomers? Grace Community Church and Grace to You? From what I have seen, there isn’t much grace involved unless they were naming both after someone’s mother, Grace!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. I have had some experience with open air street preachers, and I have to admit, I have met very few that I can respect. Usually, they come across as caustic, brash and arrogant. I even knew one in El Paso who would stand up in front of a crowd in a downtown park and cuss the paint off the city buses!

    Any preaching of the Gospel CAN be effective, if done correctly and in the spirit of humility and grace, but telling the world (especially the Western world) that they are all going to hell because of this or that sin, tends to fall on deaf ears. In the US, so many people have heard it so many times, that they are pretty much immune to it and thus don’t really care. Most of these street preachers are simply clanging gongs, raising a cacophony of noise that lacks any true love for those they claim to want to reach.

    Like

  30. If Godwin’s law is distastefully invoking Hitler’s name or the Holocaust in any given situation to induce fear and illustrate a point, then Miano’s law must be when one self-proclaimed Christian pronounces another self-proclaimed Christian as unsaved when they are angry with them.

    Sage, you are a textbook example. (Yawn.) Yep, just like many popes in history who have done the same, your silly pronouncements mean nothing, and Julie Anne and many others who follow and participate in this forum can put their regenerate Christian credentials up against yours any day.

    Now either cite examples, which you can’t, or scurry along. Julie Anne has never proclaimed to be a theologian, and she doesn’t toss around Scripture left and right, but I have never seen gross abuses of Scripture here, at least none that stand out.

    Phil Johnson actually had this one right, Sage. Weep with those that weep. Every moment is not the moment to preach fire and brimstone. Tweeting that garbage while people are digging out of rubble was distasteful and very much unloving. There is another time to proclaim Christ to them…perhaps when you are away from your twitter account and on a plane to go help them??

    As one who has followed Julie Anne for years, I can say that I have not always agreed with every point, but the points she makes are not completely unfounded and she does back them up with thorough documentation. So in other words, she doesn’t talk about people that she knows nothing about.

    The problem with people like you is that you feel like you can make the same pronouncements that Christ made. The problem with that is that He is God, and you are not. He can look on the heart, but you cannot. And when you try to do so, you will only end up looking foolish.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Larry,
    It’s funny you aren’t Christ/God either and yet you seem to be able to speak for Him…the lack of integrity and critical thinking in that comment is astounding- but the hypocrisy of it is even more astounding. Yes, you and Julie Ann are allowed to speak for Christ- but no one else that doesn’t see things as you do.

    As far as my credentials- you further prove your lack of critical thinking. You do not know me. You don’t know how many hours of service I have given in the name of Christ to those who are hurting, hungry or sick. You do not know the amount of money I have given. You don’t know my schooling in theology. You don’t know a single thing about how I treat others and those around me who actually know me view me. But because I don’t agree with you I must be a bad man (yawn!). You speak in ignorance as does Julie Ann. She is not wise. She is an attention whore. She does not speak for the abused. She is an abuser. Unless you believe as she does- which she claims to be a christian belief, but in fact does not line up with most christians around the world or throughout history- you are not christian.

    I can’t cite examples all day long but they will do you no good. You don’t accept the bible as it is written. You have made up your own scriptures, your own truth. We can’t agree on the result because we cannot agree on what the equation of how truth is reached. You will ignore anything, which is much of scripture and in the case of Julie Anne and her followers real life facts, which does not line up with your made up, bastardized faith- which you call christian but does not resemble anything of the christian faith and theology since Christ.

    Like

  32. Sage, your choice of phrase “attention whore” is very telling. Try as hard as you like, it’s indefensible. And no, I will not spend time asserting my standing in Christ to you. Jesus knows I’m his and his take on me is all that matters.

    Blessings on you,
    Tim

    Liked by 2 people

  33. @MuffPotter:

    It pisses me off too Beth. Their religion is not concerned with making the world a better place in the here and now. Theirs is a religion which is only concerned with ‘saving souls from the fires of hell’.

    Which is what you get when you crossbreed a Gospel of Personal Salvation and ONLY Personal Salvation with It’s All Gonna Burn.

    “So what if I rack him ’til he die? For I shall have Saved His Soul.”
    — “The Inquisitor”, Mark Twain’s Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court

    Liked by 1 person

  34. @Larry:

    Phil Johnson actually had this one right, Sage. Weep with those that weep. Every moment is not the moment to preach fire and brimstone. Tweeting that garbage while people are digging out of rubble was distasteful and very much unloving.

    The only mitigating circumstance for such “Turn or Burn through the bullhorn” behavior is Wretched Urgency — where if you don’t, God WILL Punish You. So like kapos in a KZ, you stay out of the ovens yourself by being Enforcers for the SS.

    And that’s the CLEANEST reason for the Turn-or-Burn bullhorn, where the guy behind the bullhorn is a victim himself, driven by stark raving fear. The other reasons are dirtier — from tunnel-vision obsession to actual sadism.

    Like

  35. @JulieAnne:

    My former suing church: Beaverton “Grace” Bible Church. Perhaps they use the name “grace” to project an image that sounds good in theory.

    Or it’s the Christianese version of TV Tropes’ “People’s Republic of Tyranny”, where the more adjectives about Democracy there are in a country’s official name, the nastier a dictatorship it is.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. @TruthDetector:

    Naturally Johnson thinks what you’re doing is worse. All Miano does is act like a bad little boy, GCC can smack him down rhetorically while winking at the pew sitters. What you do is expose theological thuggery.

    “The Devil would gladly cure us of chilblains if he could give us Cancer.”
    — C.S.Lewis

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Sage, I love our country’s First Amendment and value freedom of expression, but I have a blog policy against personal attacks. I don’t care whether you agree with me or others here, but you can express yourself without resorting to personal attacks. Please stop or you’ll be in the SSB doghouse (moderation). Thanks!

    Liked by 2 people

  38. Sage,

    Your angry tirade is very sad. Not sure why you feel comfortable calling JA out, but you are clearly not comfortable with her calling other public figures out. Not getting that….

    We are to stand up against abuse and for those who have no voice. JA’s blog has been an enormous comfort to many (myself included) who have witnessed abuses of power in our churches…and the go to response of church leaders is often rebuke of the abused…

    This is JA’s primary purpose…standing up for the sheep…not espousing specific theologies…it seems you have missed the point.

    I would encourage you to read Jesus’ interaction with the Pharisees of his day…you know what strikes me…He has a high regard for hurting folk and a low regard for folks bombarding him with theological minutiae…

    Keep going JA…you are loved from afar…

    Liked by 3 people

  39. Julie Anne,
    Surprisingly you don’t apply the same standards to yourself, because that is what your blog consists of- personal attacks three times a week. Moderate me if you must but it further proves you are the abuser, not the one who protects abusers. You don’t apply the same rules to yourself as you do unto others.

    Like

  40. Sage, I haven’t always agreed with Julie Anne on every point, but both on this blog and on another team where we contributed together, she has always been respectful of those who post and comment. That does NOT mean that she is milk toast. Her passion is to expose spiritual abuse and that is not a subject that necessarily lends itself to the most gentle of approaches.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with calling a spade, a spade. Nor, was it wrong for Paul to call out judaizers and state that he wished they would emasculate themselves. And it wasn’t wrong for Christ to call pharisees, whitewashed sepulchres. You just don’t like it, and that is fine, but you really are burying yourself by your comments and vitriol.

    Like

  41. If we look at the gospels as a picture of what is going on now.. we see that there is a repeat happening, in which all the drama, players, action and history that is recorded for us in scripture, is operating in our time; same story, different century.

    Who are the players? Jesus, empowered by the Holy Spirit, who defends the sheep, and the sheep (multitudes) who may or may not realize they are being lied to, manipulated and oppressed by the Religious Establishment System, and the Pharisees, ie the Leaders of the Religious Establishment, who try to keep the sheep in bondage. The religious Pharisees have a good game going; they do not want Jesus to set the people free from bondage, abuse and lies. They think, “God forbid” that Jesus should ever set the captives free. The Pharisees will do anything to prevent the people from leaving them, and following The Way of Jesus, embracing the glorious gospel of The Kingdom, and the leading of the Spirit. Conflict is inevitable. Jesus’ major issue is with the religious leaders who should know better, but they lead the sheep astray and hurt the sheep. This makes Jesus righteously indignant and He is willing to defend these sheep who have the precious faith of children.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Yea, I’m a real abuser. I call out people who are supposed to be protecting sheep and instead who use their position of authority inappropriately, use scripture like a weapon, and use bad behavior and call it “ministry.” Whatever, Sage. I’m on to you. I suspect I know what is going on and will be doing a post today. You might want to warn your friends.

    Liked by 5 people

  43. Those of you who are defending this lady do not realize how little you know of these people you comment on. Julie Ann is not always respectful, in fact, I know for a fact there are outright lies told here. Whether she is so blinded by her hatred for the standard christian faith and it’s teaching, especially on male & female teaching, or because she does not do due dilegence- either way she is at fault for speaking evil of men and women of the christian faith who she says she shares faith with but does not follow the scriptures in how she treats them or handles disputes. She is at fault for the outright lies told time and time again. Nor does she apply the do not attack policy to people who side with her nor does she correct bad theology (although that is her main purpose supposedly here to steer folks toward correct thinking and teaching) presented by those who side with her- some of it off the wall crazy.

    As far as this idea that this blog is for victims of abuse and to comfort them-hogwash. It’s for people who feel they have been bullied (many of whom just simply do not agree on theology) and instead of settling things between those who they feel they have wronged them (when sometimes it is probably those here who wronged the “abusers”), to instead bully. Sometimes people have sinned against you and abused- of this I admit but many times you just lacked influence or power due to gender, intelligence, wealth or you name it- instead of accepting that certain things are not only God ordained or unfortunate in a world full of sin- and work within scriptural bounds- you bind together to become a pack of bullies and attack people you know minuscule amounts of information about and attack them because they do not believe as you do- even though they usually have a much stronger case to being in a biblical position than you do.

    If someone has wronged you- you deal with that person. You do not go around making up lies, distorting the truth, calling folks names and charging them with crimes and abuses.

    You who think you have been bullied and abused, have become the bullies and abusers as you gather in pack here. If you’ve been wronged, I am sorry but you are doing just as much wrong. You’ve become what you say you hate. If you do not agree with someone’s theology debate the theology on what the book says and be honest enough to say when you depart from the book to your own personal beliefs. This site is evil and hateful.

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  44. “I know for a fact there are outright lies told here.”

    For your own sake, Sage, please pony up with the goods., If you cannot, or will not give examples-why should anyone reading your comment give you any credibility?.

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Sage: Don’t associate JA with the commenters necessarily. I just got verbally abused by a commenter on another thread, but I don’t think JA supports what was said by him ( a guy fixated on stature).

    Since you have made an allegation of lies, why don’t you specify a couple of them? It should be easy enough to present a couple of instances.

    BTW, I am a YEC, male-only ordination, homeschooling Lutheran, so there is a variety on here. Some of the theological views expressed here are unconventional, and some are orthodox.

    In any event, present the evidence of falsehood. You risk nothing by doing so.

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  46. I did not know that about you, Keith (YEC, Lutheran, etc). We have a wide range of readers here. I hope we can all treat each other respectfully regardless of some of our theological differences. The love of Chist should remain foundational across the lines of denominations. 🙂

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  47. Sage,

    I too would appreciate the evidence where J.A. and others have made up lies, distorted the truth, called folks names & charged others with crimes & abuses. Who are you to call our lovely hostess a attention whore? Might be time for you to dwell on the the facts of the good book that without love we are nothing. Please don’t try to convince me that your rant was full of love, and as someone said above that they hope you are just having a bad day, I hope so also.

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  48. We also have a former SBC, non-denom/Pentecostal, tounge-speaking, Oneness, homeschooling, former holiness-dressing holy roller {raises hand} who enjoys the diverse interaction here.

    Thank God JA doesn’t do a theological sniff test before she lets us comment here.

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  49. In another venue, Sage would be called a troll as he apparently is here to simply stir up trouble. I won’t call him names, but perhaps it is time to stop enabling him. If he is unwilling to cite specifics so that we can discuss those and only wants to use the ad hominem, he is not contributing anything to the discussion.

    Liked by 3 people

  50. Wendell G: Now I have REM in my head. I am sure you hear that all the time. I hope it does not bother you.

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  51. Hi Sage,
    Regarding your comment that “As far as this idea that this blog is for victims of abuse and to comfort them-hogwash.”

    I’m a victim of abuse and I feel comforted by this blog. And thankful for it. Thought you might want to know.

    Liked by 3 people

  52. Sage, let me pull apart your response to me.

    1. You have yet to cite an example.

    2. Where did I speak for Christ? I didn’t say you weren’t regenerate.

    3. What you do or don’t do is irrelevant. The point is that unless you are God Himself, I would put many testimonies as Christians found here up against yours, and like it or not, they would still pass the test of being a regenerate Christian. As much as the thought might make you happy, we’re not going to Hell, so, in the words of my 4 year old, “Nanna Nanna Boo Boo.”

    4. I cannot remember a single time that Julie Anne ever declared these professing Christians to not be a real Christians. If she were to do so that would surprise me because of the similar slander that she has endured from her enemies.

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  53. I encountered this blog a couple of months ago and have been coming by ever since to be informed. I support Julie Anne’s desire to expose serious abuse among those who call themselves Christians and have influence within the church – whether it be as clergy, own and operate popular blogs, or minister in any meaningful way. Perhaps I am empathetic because I am one of those who came out of a very toxic, *Christian* sect whose modus operandi was abusing the sheep. The diverse backgrounds of those who comment here is a plus. Abuse is no respecter of persons and folks from varied backgrounds have been victims. By the way, I am an Eastern Orthodox Christian, so I suppose that adds more heterogeneity to this blog! 😉

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  54. I’m trying to figure out how Sage knows Julie Anne is lying but Sage also states that he/she knows none of the people that are being discussed in this article. He/she also has not listened to any of their teaching. So how exactly would Sage be able to know if Julie Anne was lying?

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  55. Wendell G asks:

    “@Truth Detector – Has anyone noticed that both the name of the church and JMac’s program are misnomers? Grace Community Church and Grace to You? From what I have seen, there isn’t much grace involved unless they were naming both after someone’s mother, Grace!”

    Wendell, many Calvinist churches with the word “grace” in their name do not use the word “grace” that means a character trait that reflects mercy toward others, deserved or not. The word “grace” that they use is shorthand for the Calvinist belief in “the doctrines of grace,” or, the five points of Calvinism, which are often called “the doctrines of grace.” In other words, the word “grace” is not used to describe what kind of people they are, but rather in what system of doctrines they believe.

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  56. I’m trying to figure out how Sage knows Julie Anne is lying but Sage also states that he/she knows none of the people that are being discussed in this article. He/she also has not listened to any of their teaching. So how exactly would Sage be able to know if Julie Anne was lying?

    I was wondering the same thing, Bridget.

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  57. The word “grace” that they use is shorthand for the Calvinist belief in “the doctrines of grace,” or, the five points of Calvinism, which are often called “the doctrines of grace.” In other words, the word “grace” is not used to describe what kind of people they are, but rather in what system of doctrines they believe.

    I think you’re exactly right, Steve.

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  58. Pingback: Pastor Chuck O’Neal and Open Air Preacher Tony Miano to Speak at Jeremiah Cry Conference Hosted at Beaverton Grace Bible Church | Spiritual Sounding Board

  59. “but it angers me to no end when eternal life is held at a higher priority than the life we have right now, when we have the ability to do something. Blame it on my Jewish upbringing – tikkun olam is a priority for everyone.
    __________________________________________________________________

    I hold eternal life at a much higher priority that the here and now, at least in theory (though I don’t always live it out), but the point of Jesus’ ministry seemed to be equal parts taking care of the here and now, equal parts telling people about eternity–and He had as Jewish an upbringing as you can get.

    He understood that you don’t treat people like crap in the here and now and forget their very worldly needs for food and clothing and shelter and basic dignity and respect, or you will you lose them when you start taking about eternity. And caring for the needs of others here and now is not just a tool to shove eternity down their throats, it’s valuable in and of itself. He was always doing something for the here and now: food, healing sick servants and little girls and blind beggars. It wasn’t just a means to an end, it was loving people.

    The Lord doesn’t need Miano or anyone else to justify the space they take up by screaming about eternity and treating people like salvation units. He can make the rocks praise His name. The essential problem is I think people like Miano and his tacit supporters like Phil Johnson is that they appear to understand neither the here and now nor eternity.

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  60. Sage,

    My jaw just dropped at your comment”many times you just lacked influence or power due to gender, intelligence or you name it-instead of accepting that certain things are not only God ordained or unfortunate in a worldwide full of sin “. Ad nauseum. Etc. That statement just blows my mind, and screams Pharisee. You are so blind you cannot see.

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  61. Sage appears to consider himself quite the expert on bullies and bullying. I wonder how he acquired such expertise? He seems to think himself skilled at dishing out judgment and condemnation.

    Just where (and maybe more importantly, who) does condemnation come from anyhow?

    I’m not certain I can point out any instances of JA pronouncing condemnation on these people, though she does try to sound the alarm against “shepherds” whose actions show them to be hirelings rather than shepherds who would lay their lives down for the sheep.

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  62. Is Sage really saying that one’s gender,lack of influence and power or intelligence gives others carte blanche to abuse them?

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  63. I always wonder why it is that people like Sage almost invariably possess something short of a commanding grasp of the English language. Snarky, but an accurate observation.

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  64. Dear Sage you wrote ‘You speak in ignorance as does Julie Ann. She is not wise. She is an attention whore. She does not speak for the abused’. I was spiritually abused by the Presbyterian Church of Australia. Julie Anne is not ignorant, she is extremely wise, as her wisdom comes from experience which is the greatest teacher. If drawing attention to abusers in the church makes her an ‘attention whore’ (your words) then I am one too. She speaks out against abuse so she speaks for me.

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  65. Sage: It is generally considered rude to poop in someone else’s yard. Take it back home, laddie, & don’t forget to come back with a plastic bag & shovel to clean up & carry this particular mess home with you before I call the dog warden out on you.
    Zooey

    Liked by 4 people

  66. treating people like salvation units.

    Oh wow, TD. That’s a great way to put it. Wish I’da thought of it.

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  67. @Steve Scott,

    “Wendell, many Calvinist churches with the word “grace” in their name do not use the word “grace” that means a character trait that reflects mercy toward others, deserved or not. The word “grace” that they use is shorthand for the Calvinist belief in “the doctrines of grace,” or, the five points of Calvinism, which are often called “the doctrines of grace.” In other words, the word “grace” is not used to describe what kind of people they are, but rather in what system of doctrines they believe.”

    All very true, which makes the names of their churches and programs all the more disconcerting. How many average church goers, much less the general population would get that nuance of the word? Unless you are steeped in the reformed tradition, the common use of grace has a completely different meaning and thus, some will visit the venue, expecting some type of comfort and often getting legalism couched in theological terms. They may be wanting to use the term grace in a correct theological sense (according to Calvinism), but all the while forget that they are dealing with and speaking to broken people who expected much different.

    But the disconnect with the name was more of an attempt to be jovial and to point out the legalistic nature of those churches and especially JMac., unless, of course, he has changed his tune. I used to listen to his radio program regularly, but haven’t in years because I could not take him any longer.

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  68. @ Beth Caplin :

    Let me tell you something about the worst of these guys with the caveat that there also many kind and good men among them:

    They would have no qualms whatsoever about herding your people aboard Eastbound cattle cars to the gas chambers and crematoriums.

    Liked by 1 person

  69. 1. Helping Unbelievers In Times Of Disaster

    I think respectfully (and fondly) of Rev. Billy Graham’s family, such as son Franklin and his work with Samaritan’s Purse, in helping folks (many non-Christians) all over the world during times of great loss and natural disasters. Actions speak louder than words. And their actions are a testament to the God we serve. (Tony Miano could learn a thing or two from them. But obviously he’s got a lot of rage in him, and perhaps hasn’t resolved a troubled childhood with a nasty parent.)

    2. Julie Anne’s Blog: I Referred One of Pastor John MacArthur’s Close Friends Who Was Excommunicated And Shunned

    I part company with Sage as well. Julie Anne has a great ministry, as do Dee and Deb at The Wartburg Watch, helping folks who have been deeply wounded by churches.

    At my former church the first person I saw who got excommunicated and ordered to be shunned was a godly doctor, married to his wife for 40+ years, loving marriage, loving father to grown children. The doctor’s ‘crime’? He spoke to the pastors/elders about their Biblical errors in leading the church.

    The doctor is a long-time close personal friend of Pastor John MacArthur’s of Grace Community Church. I referred the doctor and his lovely wife to Julie Anne’s blog.

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  70. @Wendell G,

    “But the disconnect with the name was more of an attempt to be jovial and to point out the legalistic nature of those churches and especially JMac., unless, of course, he has changed his tune. I used to listen to his radio program regularly, but haven’t in years because I could not take him any longer.”

    Thanks, Wendell, for pointing this out. Sarcasm-meters often find the internet not user friendly. 😉 I used to listen regularly as well. Same thing. Can’t take him any longer. I think the MacArthurites at several of my churches helped out with that one. I’m pretty sure there were some folks who called Grace To You and said, “Here’s my zip code. Where’s the nearest pulpit with a Master’s grad in it?” Another church I attended was a JMac clone church. Yikes.

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  71. I haven’t been on here very long, but I don’t understand what the SAge person is talking about. Why would Sage be on a site looking for help and comfort when it is obvious that Sage has no understanding of how this type of abuse takes place on a regular basis in many, many churches. Sage does not seem to understand that it does not matter which ‘name’ or ‘denomination’ a church has, this practice of spiritual abuse and sinful leadership attacking the sheep is prevalent in today’s society. This issue brings true Christians together for the comfort and protection and healing that they need. But, just because a sheep is wounded is no reason for the sheep to be silenced.

    The Bible is clear that the reason for leadership to be publically rebuked is for WARNING to the other sinful leadership- it is the only way to give the leadership a reason for staying true and Godly— if the sheep do not speak out so the sin can be exposed it is only strengthening and enforcing the Abuse of others in the future. And what Sage seems to completely miss (which is why it is difficult to even believe that Sage has experienced any of this) is that most times the hurt person has attempted for a LONG time to do the Biblical processes, go in private (not allowed) bring others (others won’t come) etc. There is no way as the sinful leaders have corrupted the Word so much they have exempted themselves from all possible interaction as an equal sinful human with another human– they have put them selves next to God in these issues and they instruct their congregations and other leaders to support this Unbiblical behavior . If their congregations actually were able to view the evidence and judge for themselves the judgment would be against them.

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  72. Somewhere above Sage says of Julie Anne, “You are MUCH, MUCH worse than anything TM did. You and many of your followers are akin to Jezebel. You are a bully. A liar. A twister of scripture. You openly mock, question and condemn believers you know almost nothing about. You take people’s word who believe as you do as the gospel truth, without ever realizing their motives or questioning their charachter (sic).)

    It may be that Sage’s words reveal the nature of his own heart. We tend to assume that others are as ourselves. The sad thing is, people who engage in projection don’t recognize that the evil they think they see in others actually resides within themselves. I expect this is the phenomenon Paul was addressing when he said, “Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.” Romans 2:1, NASB.

    Regardless, Sage’s words are gratuitously hurtful. Some might say that I should pray for Sage, though I don’t expect I will. My heart is for people who are hurt by people who hurt people.

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  73. Tim, I expect you are right. Still, there seems to be this phenomenon in much of Christianity where the priest and Levite don’t simply ignore the man left beaten, stripped and robbed. Rather, they follow hard after the robbers in order to minister healing to their assumed woundedness.

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  74. Regardless, Sage’s words are gratuitously hurtful. Some might say that I should pray for Sage, though I don’t expect I will. My heart is for people who are hurt by people who hurt people.

    I have a hunch I know who Sage is. If my hunch is right, she is a member of BGBC. You can be sure anyone who still remains at BGBC is in a difficult situation.

    Sage, I just want to let you know that if you ever decide to leave BGBC, your former friends from BGBC who left before you would welcome you with open arms. They would hold no grudges against you. We all understand how difficult it is to leave. You don’t have to be held captive by this man. You can be free emotionally and spiritually. You don’t have to walk this alone.

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  75. Julie Anne,

    Between you and Tim I am almost persuaded to extend some compassion to Sage. Yet Sage’s words here are, to put it mildly, lacking in grace. There may be truth in the saying that hurt people hurt people, but we must be careful not to minimize the seriousness of offense committed by the one who causes hurt. It may be that, in an extreme situation, bad potty training explains the rage of one who as an adult commits cold blooded murder–but we do not, and should not, for that reason let the murderer go free.

    Still, it appears that if s/he is who you suspect, Sage is your friend, or that you would have her as a friend. That counts for a lot. Mercy is good, though so, also, is justice. Confusing.

    Liked by 1 person

  76. On showing grace, Gary, here’s a quick thought I posted yesterday: Sufficient Grace for a Sunday. I think it is not only about God’s grace for us but is the way we are called to extend grace to others.

    Sage is as much in need of grace as I am, and I need it a lot.

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  77. Well yes Tim, we are to extend grace, but I also note that God’s grace is not extended to the exclusion of His call to repentance. E.g., “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2May it never be!” (Rom 6:1-2b, NIV). Our very salvation is conditioned on our repentance.

    By way of illustration, there is is a big problem with churches extending grace to abusive spouses (usually the husband) without a concomitant expectation of repentance and restitution. This results in great harm and injustice to spouses (usually the wife). A similar dynamic is in play where spiritual abusers are concerned.

    It may be that there is a place to extend grace to the metaphorical murderous highway robbers lurking on Jericho Road, but only on condition of repentance and restitution, and only with the expectation that we are first to play the part of the Good Samaritan to the one who has been beaten, robbed, stripped naked and left for dead. It’s just that the robbers likely will not find the way of repentance until the demands of justice have placed them behind bars.

    There will be exceptions, but in the ordinary situation with abusers justice must precede grace. Otherwise, we risk becoming accomplices in the perpetration of ever-increasing evil.

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  78. “justice must precede grace”

    That presumes justice and grace are mutually exclusive. I think grace is required in justice and mercy and forgiveness and repentance. It all comes with grace.

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  79. “There will be exceptions, but in the ordinary situation with abusers justice must precede grace. Otherwise, we risk becoming accomplices in the perpetration of ever-increasing evil.”

    Truer words are rarely spoken. Because if cheap grace and the idea that humans are totally depraved and ‘unable’ some cannot simply differentiate between basic right and wrong and end up abusing the abused more with their shaming cheap grace. As if the Cross/Resurrection did away with the consequences of behavior.

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  80. I like Tim, I do, and to a degree, I agree with what he’s saying or get where he’s coming from, but I think I’m a little bit more on Team Gary W on this one!

    In my own experience, and reading the experiences of other people (people who have been in abusive marriages, or who have been spiritually abused, how many churches treat child sexual abuse victims, and treat other wounded people), there seems to be this tendency by some Christians to blame and shame victims but also to rally around and support abusers.

    This means the abusers are not held accountable. And it’s usually done in the name of love, forgiveness, and extending grace to the abuser. I usually read comments such as “We are all sinnners” or “Nobody’s perfect.”

    It’s true nobody is perfect, but we each choose how we react to pain in life, and to anger.

    I have two siblings, and when they get angry at their boss or their S.O., instead of dealing constructively with it, they will phone me (or our mother, when mother was alive) and cuss me out (my sister especially is really bad about this).

    Yes, I get screamed at and called names because they are angry at their boss. Not at me over something I’ve done, but because they had a bad day at the job.

    Back when I got angry at my boss, I’d come home and go on a jog or a bicycle ride, and exercise my anger out.
    What I would NOT do is take my anger out on other people over it.

    I chose to deal with my anger constructively, not by taking it out on someone else.

    (I read a book a few weeks ago about verbal abuse, and I read a book about domestic abuse months ago. They both mention that being mean, rude, hitting, screaming, and other forms of abuse are choices abusers make. Abusers do not “lose control” and just “snap.” They choose to handle their anger or need to dominate by smacking people around or using other means.)

    I know in my own life, perpetually extending grace and forgiveness to those who repeatedly hurt me (such as a verbally abusive sibling I have, and a boss I had) only enables them to keep doing it.

    All my years of swallowing my anger, turning the other cheek, and trying to be ‘understanding’ and loving towards these people did nothing to stop the abuse. (The abuse actually escalated in some cases.)

    I really think this is an area where if you are trying to implement certain biblical concepts or passages, you need to be very careful in how you go about it and when you apply it.

    I don’t see extending grace to people who do wrong to be a “one size fits all, apply it in every case in the same way” situation. I think viewing it like that can create more problems than it solves.

    I don’t think letting an offense go, or showering the abuser with lots of niceness, fits every single situation. Doing so can actually perpetuate abuse, or cause it to increase.

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  81. Tim, yes, I think there is a sense in which grace and justice are mutually exclusive. Grace comes at a cost in terms of justice. One may assume that cost, but should never impose it on another. Even where ones agrees to forego a modicum of justice, that does not mean there cannot be preconditions. To grant grace without an expectation of repentance is to encourage the perpetuation of bad, even criminal, conduct.

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  82. About Tim’s remarks that Sage may be acting out because Sage is hurting.

    This is a sore spot for me. I should maybe go over to the ‘Crying’ blog to discuss this (?), but this has been going on in my personal life.

    I have this sibling who acts like a victim all the time. She wants me and others to feel sorry for her because she has life so hard.

    I do think her life is hard, but she feels that because she is in pain and hurting, this allows her, or makes it acceptable, for her to verbally abuse myself and one or two other people in her life.

    The books I’ve read about verbal abuse and other such subjects make it clear there is never, ever an excuse for one adult to verbally (or physically abuse) another one, even if the abuser is hurting, had a crummy childhood, had a bad day at work (whatever), or if the abuser uses any of those reasons to you as justifications as to why she or her is abusing you.

    My sister views herself as a victim and feels perfectly justified belittling me, screaming very hurtful things at me, all because she feels she has life so hard and she’s been in emotional pain for years now.

    As of last year, I started issuing limits with her, telling her I would no longer stand for the put downs, rudeness, insults, anger explosions, etc, and it just made her more angry. She has not apologized or changed her behavior towards me.

    Recently, after I posted what I considered an empowering quote about standing up for yourself on my social media (and though I did not mention her by name, and I had several people in mind with that quote, not just her), she left me a passive aggressive, rude reply below it telling me derisively that I think of myself as a victim when she thinks that wrong-doers should be prayed for, she feels I should feel sorry for people who do me wrong, etc.

    She was alluding to her and to me in that post.

    She thinks I am not a victim (though I was a victim of her abuse for years), but she thinks of herself as a wounded, pitiful, injured bird who should be coddled, even though she lashes out and abuses other when she is frustrated or hurting.

    So, she uses her “hurt” as an excuse as to why she’s been hurting me for over two decades. But in her universe, my feelings don’t matter. It’s okay for her to kick me around when she’s acting out due to being hurt or stressed.

    I have a hard time any more drumming up sympathy for people who terrorize or scream at other people, even if they say they are doing it from a place of pain.

    I mean, if it’s an occasional outburst, I could maybe overlook it, but if it’s repeated over days, weeks or years, no.

    I have been living this very subject out with this sibling of mine for many years (she’s gotten way worse over the past few years), and I can’t do it anymore. I can’t keep excusing or overlooking her verbal abuse because she’s hurting or frustrated with her life. I’ve had to really limit communication with her as a result.

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  83. Still, it appears that if s/he is who you suspect, Sage is your friend, or that you would have her as a friend. That counts for a lot. Mercy is good, though so, also, is justice. Confusing.

    Gary, it really is confusing. In this case, I believe Sage is under the “spell” of an abuser. She has lost herself and so she only responds the way CON would have her respond. At this stage in the game, Sage has been around long enough to respond as if freely in her own accord.

    It is very likely that CON did not initiate any of this, but that’s how it works with those who act narcissists. There is a band of supporters who come to his defense spontaneously when they see their beloved leader threatened. CON seeing his followers defend him of course continues to “feed” him. All people who act like narcissists must be fed, if they aren’t fed, then they are kicked out of the band of supporters and they become suspicious to him and there may be consequences. Sage has secured her spot in the band of supporters group for a time.

    Take a domestic violence situation in which the wife is spell-bound, even defending her abusive husband. She can lash out at her children emotionally because of the emotional pain she’s in. She’s going to continue with bad behavior until she is removed from her abuser and has a chance to discover who she really is.

    Sage has lost herself to her pastor. The real Sage probably has very little left of herself. When we deal with Sage, we are dealing with CON. So, I appeal to any part of the real Sage that is remaining.

    Sage, it’s time to take back your life, to own your thoughts and feelings. Don’t let CON control the rest of your life. All those who have left have been free to worship, free to fellowship as they see fit. They don’t have to feel guilty if they miss something at church because of a family gathering. They are able to get to know people in their community and be an example of Christ. The most important thing about the people who have left that you need to know is that they have JOY.

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  84. “Tim, yes, I think there is a sense in which grace and justice are mutually exclusive. Grace comes at a cost in terms of justice. One may assume that cost, but should never impose it on another. Even where ones agrees to forego a modicum of justice, that does not mean there cannot be preconditions. To grant grace without an expectation of repentance is to encourage the perpetuation of bad, even criminal, conduct.”

    there is another very confusing aspect to this issue. who are we talking about when we are talking about abusers? are we talking about long time professing Christians? are we talking about Christian wgo make a living teaching others about Jesus?

    when Jesus was teaching the Sermon on the Mount I honestly do not believe he meant that the Jews should stand there and take a constant beating from another Jew. I believe it was in reference to the Roman occupiers. He covers the Pharisees a bit later.

    I think it is perfectly okay for us to have a higher expectations of those who profess Christ when it comes to abusive behavior. I also think there has to be an expectation of grace for the one who is abused.

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  85. Regarding lydia00’s post of MAY 11, 2015 @ 10:57 AM

    And to add to my post from above, my sister, the always angry sibling, who has to chew me out when she’s upset over her life, has always claimed to be a Jesus follower.

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  86. I’ve had to learn about boundaries. My mom lacked boundaries, she thought it was “mean” to have them, so I was discouraged from having them or using them my entire life, too. I only learned about them a couple or three years ago.

    I’m now trying them on people, but they don’t seem to work with my sibling.

    She does not want to change. I don’t know if she ever will. In the meantime, I’ve cut off most communication, even on social media, because she screams at me on there too. I don’t know what else to do about her.

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  87. I am here saying what I have said because JA & the people who have been most vocal in this thread have spoken. Having never met, let alone being wronged by, horrible evil and lies were spoken. Simply because of disagreement in theology and because what you call abuse (but not ONE single follower or family member would agree, no one would not even come close to agreeing).

    The thing is what you call abuse is simply not in many cases. If you want to attack (mostly) men who have wronged you personally, who you have documented interactions with after you have gone through the protocols of scripture I really do not have a problem with it. But that is not what you do here. You attack anybody whom you disagree with and speak evil of them and make lies up out of thin air- you do not contain malicious accusations spoken out of thin air from your own scars and hurts and not from the reality of the people in the situation. You become bullies and abusers because you were either were bullied or abused & speak out in ignorance, labeling those who disagree with you or in hatred, fear and dishonesty.

    Furthermore you attach credence and truth to accusations of people with no first hand knowledge, people who are actively there and pursuing because they have an agenda to disagree and even hurt and destroy.

    I do not believe complementarianism is a gospel issue. I do believe it is very important that leads to a slippery slope for most folks, but I believe comps and egalitarians will share salvation. What I don’t believe is there is a good chance that people whose egalitarianism and progressive faith has become their god (just as there are those whose comps has become there god), and not Jesus Christ will be in heaven. And this place is full of those people, because you attack men (mostly) whose wives have no problem with them, whose kids have no problem with them, and whose followers have no problem with them (and I mean by have no problem with them that they are trying to live godly, loving, grace and truth filled lives filled with the fruit of the Spirit and it is acknowledged by family, friends and those in the faith). In fact, the only people who have a problem with them are people who went looking to have a problem, like yourselves.

    Most comps I know do not care if you drive a truck for a living or if you want to have an egalitarian marriage. We just want to be able to worship, run our churches, marriages and families and live before our God in a way that we believe is righteous & godly without being attacked and bullied by the likes of you who also call yourselves christians.

    Your group is just as lacking in love, grace and truth as the people you speak about who actually do abuse people (which is the minority of the people you speak about).

    But the fact is, almost all men and women in comp churches and under comp teaching want to be there and believe that is what the Bible teaches. If you don’t want that for yourselves, don’t have it. But stop speaking evil against those who have never wronged you, whose spouses, families and faith group are in agreement with them. Stop your disobedience to how you are to treat other christians when they have not wronged you or others.

    Most of your problems are you think the worst of those who disagree with you (again whether many of you have been wronged and are speaking from hurt or maybe you can admit that there are some who are just full of sin with bad intentions in your midst). You call yourselves full of grace, but you have received but a small fraction of the venom you sent out that was felt by your group. You do not accurately weigh what your words mean.

    Nor do you accurately understand those on the other end. For example, you think it is fun to make fun of someones writing ability and yet you do not understand the credentials of the one who writes you. You might be shocked. You think more highly of yourself than you ought and more lowly of those you disagree with than you ought.

    You speak of my ranting and venom and yet no one from my group did you any wrong and nor did we come looking for you or for a fight. It was you who brought the venom, the lies, the ranting to us. The internet makes it easy to say things you ought naught to say because you do not understand the heart of the person saying it. The same words can mean the the exact opposite to two different people because of their hearts intention. You ought naught go around looking for a fight & sinning against brothers and sisters in Christ who have not wronged you. If you have direct personal contact with someone and you feel it necessary, I don’t think it is beneficial but if you think it necessary. But the truth is, you take the attack (the bully and venom) to Christians who have done nothing to you- who leave you alone to practice your niceness and egalitarianism in peace.

    So again I will say, you have become the bullies and the abusers. You have made your egalitarianism and your progressive christian faith your god and it makes you as ugly, as evil and as mean as the the folks you speak against that you occasionally get it right about.

    I know one man (him & his wife) very well whom you have spoken evil about and know of at least two others a little. I have been in their homes many, many times, prayed and shared the deepest thoughts, burdens and joys with the wife, have seen their children grow and play, have shared our lives with these people. Seen the love, sacrifice and Christlikeness this man/men tries to lead his family with. They love their wives and children very much. They do not abuse those who follow them. They simply have a different theology than you. One which their wives, children and followers are more than glad they have. They may speak boldly and be men of strength but they have done you no harm. They do you no harm, they do not require your attendance at their church or to show up under their teaching and yet you continue in a wicked crusade because your god is not Christ but yourself and your egalitarianism which is why your fruit shows such decay as you speak evilly against those who call Christ Lord and whom believe differently than you.

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  88. @ Sage said,
    “You speak of my ranting and venom and yet no one from my group did you any wrong and nor did we come looking for you or for a fight. It was you who brought the venom, the lies, the ranting to us.”

    From your group? I don’t know what you are talking about. I think I’ve only seen you post on here.

    Gender complementarianism beliefs did damage to me as a kid and as an adult, as it did to my mother. Gender comp limits girls and women, it’s unbiblical, and can and does lead to or enable physical, verbal, and emotional abuse.

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  89. Sage said,

    Nor do you accurately understand those on the other end. For example, you think it is fun to make fun of someones writing ability and yet you do not understand the credentials of the one who writes you. You might be shocked.

    To whom are you referring here, to gender complementarians? Or to whom?

    If you mean gender complementarians:

    I used to be a gender comp myself, as was my mother, but I realized later in life that gender comp is a man-made construct, not God’s will, not God’s intent, and it’s simply not supported in the Bible.

    Like

  90. Sage said:

    For example, you think it is fun to make fun of someones writing ability and yet you do not understand the credentials of the one who writes you.

    I did not make fun of someone’s writing ability. I simply determined that Sage was not Chuck O’Neal based on the spelling. Please read it again:

    After seeing the length of Sage’s last comment, I was thinking, hmm, could be Chuck? Well, I know that Sage is not Chuck O’Neal. He doesn’t usually misspell words and he doesn’t misspell my name.

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  91. You speak of my ranting and venom and yet no one from my group did you any wrong and nor did we come looking for you or for a fight. It was you who brought the venom, the lies, the ranting to us.

    I brought the truth to you, the truth that many of you also told me privately, yet when the rubber met the road, you decided to stay with CON most likely because of fear. And rightly so, you’ve seen how he and those closest to him go after people who leave (with recording devices, leaving “true BGBC Survivor” business cards on cars, residences, stalking former members on the internet, calling pastors where former members currently attend, etc).

    I pray one day that you will no longer live in fear and that you will be free to experience true godly fellowship.

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  92. Dear Sage,

    Many of the ekklesia, the Body of Christ here at SSB are still praying for you in the precious Name of Jesus, the Christ. Your soul is still precious to Christ and we will not repay evil for evil. We are called to holiness and desire the same for you, dear brother/sister. Many of us have come out of an abusive church system where those in leadership are what you have described in your posts and will not, in the Name of Jesus, heed your words as wise counsel.

    At the end of the day, we can still pray. In Christ’s love for you.

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  93. Dear Sage,

    So again I will say, you have become the bullies and the abusers.

    Really? Tell me, what colour is the sky in your world?

    I know one man (him & his wife) very well whom you have spoken evil about and know of at least two others a little.

    Well, that’s a little more detail than you’ve supplied till now. Still, you keep accusing Julie Anne of lying and speaking evil of people you know. But you won’t tell us how she’s lied or about whom. That makes it hard for me to take you seriously.

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  94. Julie Anne,

    You think that Sage is a woman? If you’re right, she must have the most serious case of Stockholm Syndrome that the world has ever seen.

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  95. Well, I can only admire those of you who are able to extend grace and love to Sage in the face of her ranting and reviling. Maybe I too could find it in my heart to be gracious toward her if only I knew her personally and had had first hand experience with the teacher and teaching she appears to be under. After all, I had great affection for my German Shepherds, and I dearly miss them now that are gone, but one had to be careful what the were fed. Otherwise, their flatulence could be unbearable.

    So, perhaps I can by an act of the will force myself to lift up a prayer for Sage the person (there, I just did it), but I will continue to find her reviling, ranting, cyber exudations offensive. That’s cyber exudation, as in Sage spelled backwards, with a hyphen inserted between the resulting first and second letters.

    Liked by 1 person

  96. Oh Sage, sweetie, the people here are wonderful. It is a real community of supportive men and women. There are no evil lies being told. We know abuse when we see it and we also know how hard it can be to think for yourself and recognize it when you have been taught ‘Scripture’ that is distorted, wrong, and filtered through an abusive agenda. You are trying so hard to dismiss everything you read by making judgments against us. What are you afraid of?

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  97. Maybe I too could find it in my heart to be gracious toward her if only I knew her personally and had had first hand experience with the teacher and teaching she appears to be under. After all, I had great affection for my German Shepherds, and I dearly miss them now that are gone, but one had to be careful what the were fed. Otherwise, their flatulence could be unbearable.

    LOL, Gary. Think of the family members who have left Westboro. They left the hatred of the group, but they still have love for their family, even though their family members treat them horribly.

    You’re right, when you have been part of a group, you are part of that family. We left that “family” thinking we’d still be cordial with one another, never thinking that we’d be shunned, stalked, and called all sorts of names (at each communion service, no less). That is not coming from them, it is coming directly from CON who told them to Mark and Avoid us, to have nothing to do with us, and even told them to abandon their own family if they weren’t Believers.

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  98. Sage: There have been some abusive posters on here, but not the regulars. I think people are simply asking you to specify what lies have been written.

    If you are happy as a gendercomp or a genderegal, or a neither, that is fine with me. But if something has been written which is false, it cannot be addressed without some specificity.

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  99. Marsha,

    You are trying so hard to dismiss everything you read by making judgments against us. What are you afraid of?

    My guess: She’s afraid of being cast into The Outer Darkness, weeping and gnashing her teeth, cut off from The Very Best Pastor in America. Or something to that effect.

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