This is a Repent- and Rebuke-Free Zone

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This is a repent- and rebuke-free zone.

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repent free zone***

Tonight, I banned these words from the Spiritual Sounding Board Facebook page after someone rebuked another commenter and also told the same commenter to repent. The repent word was used in the middle of a debate on homosexuality. While the person saying it may have been legitimately concerned with someone’s soul, it’s hard for me not to suspect the intention when seeing how it is used in a conversation.

The way it came across to me in the FB conversation was, “I’m right about my interpretation of homosexuality and you are off spiritually, and you better get your spiritual act together.”  Either side could have told the other to “repent,” but I can usually tell who will say it. It’s someone who is demanding their interpretation is the only correct one, they are usually unkind, gets more and more angry as the conversation ensues.

So, here was the comment I posted (along with the red sign):

Tonight there was a “lively” discussion on the topic of how Christians respond to gays. With the recent Supreme Court ruling, this subject is a hot button.

The homosexual debate, just like complementarian/egalitarian, or Calvinism/Arminianism debates, can get very heated and these issues will not be resolved on this Facebook page, but I do enjoy and welcome a good healthy debate.

This site is unique. It must always remain a safe place for those who have been harmed by pastors, church leaders, church groups, etc. Many of us have had the Bible thrown at us like a weapon, or verses twisted so that church leaders could control us and interfere with our personal lives. Some of us were trampled spiritually by pastors who used their “authority” to condemn us, belittle us, and tell us that we need to constantly check our salvation. Some of our pastors did not preach the whole counsel of God because they forgot about Jesus and His saving grace.

While it may seem normal for you to tell someone to “repent” or to “rebuke” someone because you don’t agree with their understanding/interpretation of spiritual matters, that cannot happen here. Those words can be triggering words for survivors. Not only that, those words are not conducive to good debating.

Good debating should not get personal with ad hominems. When rebuking someone or telling someone to repent, you are essentially getting on your high horse and putting yourself in a position of spiritual authority over them, judging them to be sinners, not saved, etc. That’s what some of our abusing pastors did, too. There are far better ways to discuss these issues reasonably and respectfully.

Thank you for your participation here and for respecting the ground rules.

grace & peace,
Julie Anne

I did get some private and public push back (and I’m absolutely fine with that):

  • . . . My sense is that Jesus would still call people to repent, go and sin no more, etc. My further concern, to be very frank, is that Jesus would be in danger of getting his comments deleted because he was “triggering.” What do you think? Does the gospel itself kind of challenge or stretch you in this regard?
  • I’ve benefited from SSB coverage of a variety of issues. There is real spiritual abuse, especially in IFB and various reformed circles. But don’t you think that there’s a point at which Jesus would rebuke sin or tell people to stop sinning? If he did that, on this forum for instance, how would you respond as a moderator? Also, isn’t there a sense in which spiritual abuse itself is wrong and is being rebuked here?
  • Are we not to calls those in unbelief or error to repentance ?

So, help me out. Is there an appropriate place for rebuking people? Or telling them to repent? Are those words just triggering to me because of people who have acted like spiritual bullies to me? Do you feel safe here if those words are used?

94 comments on “This is a Repent- and Rebuke-Free Zone

  1. Jesus never rebuked sinners. He only rebuked Pharisees, those who claimed spiritual authority and dominion over others. It’s always entertaining to me to watch some self-serving “Christian” idiot rebuking sinners to repentance while being completely oblivious to their own Pharisee status. “I never knew ye; Depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

    Liked by 6 people

  2. The quote above: ‘Jesus would rebuke sin or tell people to stop sinning?’ This is the Son of God saying this. We have to be very careful not to point the finger at others. Matthew 7:5 says: ‘You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye’. Notice whose sin is greater, it is ours, because we are judging this other person’s actions. We are called to love our neighbour, not judge, or condemn.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Leonard Sweet stated: “Jesus was killed for the stories he told and the people he ate with”.

    He was killed by the religious establishment of it’s time.

    Dash is (mostly) right…. Jesus rarely rebuked sinners. When he left them, they were changed as he told them to “Sin no more”.

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  4. If an appropriate place exists, I’m pretty confident it isn’t on the internet, in a public forum, with people one doesn’t know outside of that public forum.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.””
    We can start there. Does the other claim to be a believer? If not, be gracious. If they do claim to be a believer, that passage is in the context of judging and interacting with openly and disruptively sinning believers, not judging “bad doctrine” or “faulty thinking” in another.

    Personally, from what I’ve seen, it does little good except to make us feel better when we judge someone and call them to repentance where there’s no real relationship, or even common ground found on which to debate. Social media is a great way to jump into other’s lives and thought processes and critique without first walking alongside them.

    Would Jesus have been “triggering”? Don’t think so. He knew the right words to say. What we have recorded is often harsh words for pharisees and rulers, plain (sometimes with rebukes, yes) words for his friends the disciples, and grace (in word and action) for the “lifestyle sinners”. I think we miss the mark a little when we justify ungracious behavior because “Jesus did it.” Sure he appeared that way, but he also knew hearts. His assessment was always accurate, his harsh names were adequate descriptors of character. We can do little more than educated guesses, and as such should be cautious and gracious in rebuking.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. The Pharisees were sinners. Self-righteous sinners. We probably all act in a Pharisaical manner in some way at some time in our lives. We just hate to admit it.

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  7. The Holy Spirit does a good enough job of convicting me when there is sin in my life.
    I also think if “rebuke” is ever in need it would completely be done in a loving spirit, not one that demands or is coercive.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Mathew 23:13
    But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Paul rebuked Peter, and did so publicly. If there was a Matthew 18 process, we aren’t told about it.

    Paul said “The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one.” (1 Corinthians 2:15 ESV). He also said, “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. (Galatians 6:1b ESV)

    I recall that Jesus began His ministry by calling people to repentance.

    Per the verse govpappy references (1 Cor. 12), we are to distinguish between those who are in the faith and those who are not. Where the church is concerned, we are to judge, and we are to expel the wicked person.

    We may exercise coercive authority to protect from harm (though all else, I believe, must be founded on love). The wolf does not get to claim that s/he is abused when s/he is driven away from the flock. If to protect the innocent from abusers is to practice abuse, then I hope that I will come to be known for abusing the abusers–though I must be careful to leave actual vengeance to God.

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  10. I’m glad you spoke up in that FB exchange. Yes, those are triggering words to me.
    The main question you asked about what our response would be to a child telling us they’re homosexual is a good question and worth thought, but it got hijacked by the usual religious noise.
    And the Repent and Rebuke crowd just proves the articles point.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I can promise you that gay people have heard all of the “spiritual” jargon you can spit at them.

    You want to get their attention? Start taking sexual abuse and domestic abuse that is so prevalent amongst “Christians” seriously, deal with the perps, and support the victims. Start caring about the lonely and isolated people in the church’s midst. Stop acting like the church’s excrement doesn’t stink. Deal with the financial shenanigans and excess of those who make tithing a salvation issue. Start doing a little repenting yourself before you start bashing other people with your arrogance instead of loving them.

    Do you really thing gay people are blind to the hypocrisy? “Repent” and “rebuking” are so shallow when the church is full of whitewashed tombs.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. I am not sure if repent / rebuke are triggering to me, they do remind me about how much God literally loathes our humanity. Any aspect of our humanity because we are so corrupted with sin and controlled of Satan every aspect of us is contaminated. At least this is what I use to think and had thrust into every fiber of my being back in my early Christian days. Some of the things I remember being rebuked for, way at the top was asking for help, of any kind for any reason, right next to that was showing grief, of any kind for any reason. Crying, repenting, asking for forgiveness, forgiving people etc. Because I did all these things because I wanted attention. Well I will admit there were times I did want attention.

    For example how to witness to my father before he died, how to take care of my nephew when I became an instadad and had about 1/2 hour to decide to be responsible for him as he was so young when his mother left. That really did tick off the faith community, all I wanted was attention, looking for sympathy etc. I never once did not keep my commitment to my nephew for the sixteen years I helped. The same with all my other family members as they got sick. But the guilt and horror when the thought of them going directly to hell and their blood being on my head because I did not witness to them perfectly at all opportunities all the time always.

    Now I self rebuke in my head all the time and repenting, its impossible no matter what you do there is still some small part of you that has not done it perfectly and maybe just a nano second you slip up. Right at that moment God gots you. Now I know in my head all this is wrong, but in my heart it just tears me up inside at times. Though it is better, yes the words trigger and I am thankful for a place to share. Posted under a semi psudoname because I am still a coward at times.

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  13. Just in case it is not clear from my 7:25 AM comment, it is the Repent and Rebuke crowd that most needs to hear their own message. They are the very ones who need to be rebuked, and they need to repent. They need to hear this message:

    Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. (Romans 2:1 ESV)

    Liked by 1 person

  14. “This site is unique. It must always remain a safe place for those who have been harmed by pastors, church leaders, church groups, etc. Many of us have had the Bible thrown at us like a weapon, or verses twisted so that church leaders could control us and interfere with our personal lives. Some of us were trampled spiritually by pastors who used their “authority” to condemn us, belittle us, and tell us that we need to constantly check our salvation. Some of our pastors did not preach the whole counsel of God because they forgot about Jesus and His saving grace.”

    Completely agree with all of this.

    Yes, Jesus did rebuke *some* people. They were usually the self-righteous religious people. But, Jesus was not one-dimensional. He also laid down His life. He healed and served. He connected with people. Why were so many “sinners’ receptive to Him and not the other religious bureaucrats of the day? What made the difference?

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  15. Yes those do seem to be just “trigger” (is that a biblically warranted response to certain words?). I believe repentance and the call to it is all over the scripture. A healthy Christian experience will include calls to repentance to the unbeliever and even to the believer lapsing in sin.

    I can’t remember who said this but a man once said that he prayed at least once a week that God would bring someone to him to rebuke him for any sin in his life. That’s maturity!!

    That said, I think FB is probably one of the worst mediums for heated conversations. So much is missed due to its limitations, and quite frankly, I’ve virtually resisted all temptations now, on social media, to engage anymore in a discussion once it gets heated. I have these conversations all the time with others around me, even calling the fornicator at work to repent and turn to Christ or suffer the eternal consequences. BUT! He sees and hears me say this with a fervent love for him. My eyes convey a deep love for him as I share God’s truths with him, and he sees a genuine love for him that I have even when telling him to flee from sin.

    He would never catch that on FB. 🙂

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  16. One commenter tried to pull that on me at my blog, posting “Think we could put some BIBLE into this somewhere? What does any of this have to do with GOD?
    I rebuke within all authority of Titus 2.”

    I responded that she/he had “absolutely no authority – from Titus 2 or otherwise – to rebuke me. I am a beloved child of the King. You cannot judge me, because it is God himself who decides whether I stand or fall, and he has decided I stand. (Romans 14:4.)”

    Then the real accusations started coming at me in the comments. And all I’d done was write a post that saidBiblical Womanhood Is Nothing (And Neither Is Biblical Manhood). Oh well.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. “Dash is (mostly) right…. Jesus rarely rebuked sinners. When he left them, they were changed as he told them to “Sin no more”.””

    I want to interject something here. Jesus only ever said “go and sin no more” to one person (the woman caught in adultery). Most of the time there never was a demand from Jesus that someone “go and sin no more” before He healed them, ate with them, etc.

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  18. Tim,
    Interesting post and comment section over at your blog. Thank-you from my heart for referencing this to us for I stand in agreement with you. For all of us to resemble Christlikeness would be more fitting for the LORD’s sheep than all of the muck and mire we see exhibited within the organized 501c.3 church.

    When our family first joined a ‘conservative, Republican church,’ one of the first ‘suggestions’ to me as a wife from the pushy women leadership (deaconesses and Bible study leaders) was to talk my husband into attending the big Promise Keepers event coming to the large city near us, with their husbands. The charismatic church I belonged to liked to call it “coming along side” the newer attendees for they were “witnessing” to us as if none in my family were saved. At that time in my life, I had never even heard of Promise Keepers movement nor read any of the books or watched any of the television ministries these women overlords shoved or kindly suggested with syrupy speech that I engage in. So in asking what this Promise Keepers was all about, the response was to give our husbands a godly perspective on Biblical manhood in being the best husband and parent they could be.

    At the end of the day, I never did suggest that my husband attend Promise Keepers, in fact, never mentioned the movement at all. Since then, having researched the movement, I am so thankful I listened to that gut feeling, that still small voice of warning which I believe was the Holy Spirit protecting me, my husband, and our family from following the Promise Keepers false doctrines. The only promise keeper that we truly have in this world, is the Hope of Christ Jesus and His very Word. It seems like in this neck of the woods concerning the church, we are always settling for something less.

    Thanks Tim for speaking truth in humility. The Body of Christ is so need of more of this. God be with you.

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  19. “So in asking what this Promise Keepers was all about, the response was to give our husbands a godly perspective on Biblical manhood in being the best husband and parent they could be.”

    Katy, there’s a CNN article (which I won’t link to) that talks about members from a Promise Keepers convention that visited a strip club in Tampa. “When the Christian group Promise Keepers held a convention in Tampa a couple of years ago, attendees flooded the 2001 Odyssey, co-owner Jim Kleinhans recalls. They had such a good time that “they kept their promise to come back the next night.”” It’s probably a good thing you didn’t suggest your husband attend. That’s not likely the kind of “Biblical manhood” he’d be interested in.

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  20. The way we respond should depend if it’s an unbeliever or believer. Using Bible quotes and “christianese” talk on an unbeliever usually doesn’t work and can really turn them off completely.

    I think a better way is to point them to Jesus by showing them unconditional love which they already have from God but probably have rarely experienced from those inside the body of Christ. Show them the kind of God that God is. That’s Jesus. We need to find our identity in Him and go from there.

    I like what govpappy had to say:

    “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.””
    We can start there. Does the other claim to be a believer? If not, be gracious. If they do claim to be a believer, that passage is in the context of judging and interacting with openly and disruptively sinning believers, not judging “bad doctrine” or “faulty thinking” in another.”

    Liked by 1 person

  21. It is so easy to anonymously rebuke someone you don’t even know! First you dehumanize the person, because it is just words sent into space. Then you depersonalize the person, because ” I’ve never met you anyway”. Then you can walk away, pat yourself on the back and go back to you own life.
    I would suggest to anyone who engages in this behavior to stop and think. How much good Jesus would have you do if you took the time to serve those in need in your own neighborhood. Political issues pale in comparison to real authentic needs in each of our communities. Imagine if more people were called to volunteer as a GAL or CASA (people who help children who have been removed from abusive homes). Jesus called the children to him. How much more we could serve Christ by caring for the “least of these”.
    We all need to repent of something. Instead of calling out others to repent, just look in the mirror and work on yourself!!!

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  22. Having recently told someone in Twitter to repent for misrepresenting me as a hater of Christ in the Pulpit Bunker, I can state here in this space that I do not think that is usually appropriate. I do think some people need to hear what their own style of interaction sounds like on occasion though. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  23. While I was in my psych class, these comments came in. I think this person has now left the FB page.

    Your lack of discernment is staggering, Julie Anne. You only made it a safe place for those who refute the Bible and it’s Truths.
    3 hrs

    Lannie Damon You say that this is a safe place of refuge for those of us who have been on the receiving end of unspeakable spiritual abuse, yet in my short experience it is more like a place that singles someone out and judges them. All of my comments were very much on topic and my comments were Biblical and in the interest of contending for and defending my faith I will not listen while someone twists the Truth of God’s Word to defend the sin of homosexuality or otherwise, and that is exactly what was going on. You say that as a moderator Julie Anne it requires discernment. I pray that you will get some. The man on the debate indeed is a follower of the Hebrew Roots Cult and was using your forum to spread heresy. Also, nothing was mentioned about the fact that those of us who were biblically correct in our answers were called homophobic, hateful, intolerant, judgemental, and trolls. I have commented on several of your posts in the past weeks and find that largely my comments are overlooked or not responded to by this forum.

    Julie Anne, Your accusations that I was trying gain spiritual superiority are false and indeed it is you that has judged me. Jesus said to judge right judgement and we are commanded to have discernment. And so those of us who are Christians can rightly judge that homosexuality is a sin and that it cannot be defended by using the Bible out of context to make those who support homosexuality comfortable. Tolerating. excusing and supporting sin is evil and we are called to expose the evil works of darkness and, in fact to call those in error to repentance.

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  24. I have never been rebuked or told to repent, but have had that attitude directed toward me. So, whenever I hear these words directed toward someone, it is automatically taken as negative. I get the sense of an air of superiority of one person over another. And, as Ann said, I have a hard time with it being done online when one person doesn’t know other. Just because someone disagrees with another person’s view does not mean that the former person is sinning and in the wrong.

    The other side of that, however, is that I do not have a problem with confronting someone about destructive or abusive behavior. If someone is behaving in a way that is harming themselves or someone else, then by all means, speak up.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. I notice that the person in question quotes no Scripture to back up their position, because there isn’t any. Oh well. I feel sorry for them- you can feel their waves of hate and self-loathing simply boiling from the computer screen.

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  26. Keith- I would say anyone who lays claim to a position of “Christian authority” and then abuses that authority is equivalent to a Pharisee. This includes any would-be evangelical who uses their faith to abuse others with shame and fear.

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  27. From my own experiences I avoid sites that have people who feel it is their mission to judge what is or is not a sin. Some people who have experienced extreme religious abuse often look to groups and churches for guidance and understanding.They have doubts about God and life in general. How would you feel if you told a person to repent and they were trying to find their way back to God? If your words drove that person away from God completely. That was what happened to me after I escaped a very destructive church and family.

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  28. Lannie Damon should go back and read the FB convo again. At no point did the person she debated attack her personally, yet, she responds like this:

    “Lannie Damon You didn’t read my comment above, you don’t want to know the Truth because you believe the lies of Satan. End of conversation.”

    Comments like this remind me of the abusive tactics at my former cult.

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  29. As far as I can tell, there is no such thing as an infallible interpreter of Scripture, given this, it is not surprising that there are many different understandings on the best way to interpret Scripture which result in many different conclusions on various things.

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  30. This is my first time commenting. I’m pretty excited & nervous as I have never really been active in blogs or forums.

    Jesus was a radical character. Nearly anywhere He went, He caused some drama. He did it, though, in person – in front of people’s presence. Social media complicates things because although it’s convenient for us, it doesn’t communicate to us what the other people on the other side of the screen is trying to say or feel.

    Having said all of that, I believe the ideal place to rebuke someone or tell someone to repent is in front of the person (in private). For as long as I can remember – and I still feel this way today – I have had a difficult time letting my voice be heard. So to hear any rebuke, or to hear from someone I need to repent, could take a toll on my self-esteem. But if it’s done in private (preferably in person) there’s a less chance for misunderstandings.

    I’ll end this with an interesting statement regarding Matt 5:9. “Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the absence of anxiety in the midst of inevitable conflict – and when others encounter it, they want it too.”

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  31. Thank you for this, Julie Ann. I was one of the people who commented on this Facebook question. Last night, I almost unfollowed/unliked the page because I didn’t think I could handle being attacked again. So I am posting here today under a different name so the attackers can’t link my comments here with my real name on Facebook.

    There will always be a certain group of people who feel it is their “duty” to call out others they believe are “wrong.” Even worse are the “Christians” who think their arguments are perfectly “Biblical.” There is no reasoning with these people — they are very black-and-white and not open to discussion. I do not spend time on Facebook or blogs so I can start arguing with people! But their rigidness is VERY effective in getting people like me who are wounded, tired and hurt, to give up and walk away.

    In the end, you, Kathy and the others here on this blog and on your Facebook have proven yourselves to be kind, nurturing and healing — and TRUSTWORTHY. You have helped a great deal with my recovery. So I decided not to let the trolls run me off. I will confess, however, that after last night I am still reluctant to comment for fear that one of them will try to start an argument. Like one of them did this morning.

    Thank for for providing this safe place for us, and for continuing to keep it safe.

    Liked by 4 people

  32. Attacked and Recovering – I’m so glad you let me know. These people refuse to look at their behavior when they respond like that. And another thing I’ve noticed is they believe they are entitled to do so (just like our abusers). If you ever feel threatened, please send me a note. Because there are 4 people who are admins, sometimes I don’t see the notifications on Facebook, but I sure do want to know if someone is not feeling safe.

    Thanks again!

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  33. It is truly arrogant for a twenty-first century person to pick up an English language Bible, knowing nothing of the difficulties of translation and very little about the place and time and assume that every passage is clearly written for people of our time and culture. Bible study requires work.

    I also find it arrogant when people assume that I have some nefarious agenda when my interpretation of the Bible differs from theirs. “You are just twisting the Bible so you can sin.” Clearly that is not the case in the current discussion since I am not gay and have no gay family members. They can’t even think I am mistaken iny interpretation of the Bible. No, I have to be evil.

    I also find it unfortunate when Christians are so quick to dismiss Jesus’s promises and believe that all kinds of missteps will keep believers out of heaven. Theological errors, specific sins, and even inadvertent things. For example, I have actually heard Christians worrying that if their phone number, address, or Social Security numbers contains three sixes in a row, they will be sent to Hell.

    However complicated the Bible can be, Jesus was clear and I am standing on the promise of John 3:16.

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  34. Julie Anne, you asked if there is an appropriate place for rebuking people and telling them to repent. I think there is, but I say it with caution. First, I must say that I didn’t see the conversation on FB that you referenced, but I don’t think I need to in order to answer your question/s. There are so many things to take into consideration when addressing this topic.

    For example, the *appropriate place* to address serious sin. I would say that for the most part, the Internet is not the best place to rebuke people, especially when we don’t know them personally. Further, telling a person to repent takes the matter a step further, because not only does the one rebuking think they know the spiritual condition of the other person, they also are insinuating that the manner in which they are living is such that if they don’t *repent* their salvation is in jeopardy. This is a serious matter and taking into account the limited nature of online discourse, I doubt many folks have that ability to discern into a person’s heart and motives. Furthermore, on Facebook we have the private message option. If a person is seriously concerned about someone, why not pm them? I’m not saying this is necessarily the way to go, but it is a better option than publicly rebuking. I have serious reservations about folks who rebuke and demand repentance on the Internet. Having been the recipient of being told to “Repent,” I know what it’s like to feel the sting, even if it’s only online. So I would say that it depends on the situation, but the rule of thumb should be: Don’t rebuke others on the Internet and if you have a serious concern for them, private message or email them. Even then, examine your heart and consider beforehand what you are going to say. And ask for guidance from the Holy Spirit.

    Secondly, I would posit that the preferable place for rebuke is within the church. And what I mean by that is among Christians who know and understand a situation thoroughly, and the person in question is committing serious sin that is not only harming themselves, but others as well. For example, if a spouse is abusing their spouse, be it verbally or physically, such a situation needs to be addressed and it would seem to be that rebukes and admonition to turn away from sin are in order. But such serious rebukes should be left to egregious sin. This takes wisdom and discernment on the part of those involved, and hence, should be undertaken with much prayer and I would even suggest fasting.

    Thirdly, I think disagreement on the Internet is fine, as long as it’s done charitably and without being perceived as patronizing. One of the biggest pitfalls, I think, is to take *personal* offense when someone disagrees with you. I have fallen into this trap more than once. So it is best to keep in mind that when disagreeing, it is with certain *positions* or stances, if you will, rather than the person themselves. After all, in learning other people’s views, I have often arrived at a better understanding of a particular subject than I had previously.

    Well….a longer response than what I had planned.

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  35. Without reading other responses first, my first thought is that people on these sites don’t know each other well enough to be calling for repentance from each other. I do think there might be a place for reminding a loved one to repent, but it certainly isn’t on these discussion boards with people we don’t even know. And I think it’s also healthy to have that “safe place” that you are trying to create.

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  36. Attacked and Recovering – Thank you for commenting here. I’m sorry that you had a bad experience on the FB page. As Julie Anne said, please leave a message if something happens again that needs to be addressed. Unfortunately, life sometimes get busy and we can’t watch the page all the time. I do appreciate you being here and being honest.

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  37. I believe the dandelion is an undesirable weed that we pluck out of our yards, gardens and fields for those nasty stinkers take over and choke out the good plants. It is interesting to watch just how they suck the water and nutrients away from the beneficial plants making it impossible for good to thrive.

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  38. Sister Mary Dandelion, on the other hand, KAay, is a fun and encouraging interwebz friend who knows how to firmly implant tongue in cheek when commenting. She’s a hoot!

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  39. Oh great, Tim. Before you informed us that Sister Mary prohibits the use of comma splices, I did not know what what one was. Paul said he was unable to avoid covetousness once he knew it was prohibited. In like manner, I will now be unable to avoid the use of comma splices, I cannot help myself. And, now that I have taken the time to look at the post on which Sister Mary commented, I see that I am not the only one to have fallen prey to the irresistible urge to comma splice, it is quite uncanny.

    Still, I have learned my lesson, I will not rebuke you.

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  40. Alright, confession time here, I am left standing in the barnyard without a shovel once again. I should have done my homework and clicked onto your links before commenting Tim. Still laughing at your posts and the comments of Sister Dandelion, thanks for the laugh. I will fondly look upon my yard and garden dandelions with a new, and renewed humor!

    Thanks for the laughs for they were needed to brighten up the day!

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Katy said: “I have never been rebuked or told to repent, but have had that attitude directed toward me.”

    Oh, I’ve been rebuked. Quite directly. I had the temerity to post links on my facebook, to articles about Acts29, 9Marks, criticisms of requiring church membership, and spiritual abuse. A well-meaning person at the church we’re attending felt it was their place to rebuke me for being divisive.

    I guess if church membership is being pushed from the pulpit, it’s sinful and divisive to discuss other perspectives.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Keith said, “Would anyone be so kind as to name those who are the modern-equivalent of Pharisees?”

    Dash said, “Keith- I would say anyone who lays claim to a position of “Christian authority” and then abuses that authority is equivalent to a Pharisee. This includes any would-be evangelical who uses their faith to abuse others with shame and fear.”

    It doesn’t even have to be someone who lays claim to “Christian authority.” It can be anyone who is confident that their interpretation of scripture is the only right one. It might be that they came up with this interpretation themself, or that they were taught by a self-proclaimed “authority.”

    Or maybe I misunderstood what you said, Dash, and we’re really saying the same thing.

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  43. (I had an old boyfriend who wanted to control me, and when I didn’t respond to “human reason” he began to search the scriptures to find ways to bind me to his will. Somehow I managed to stay free of scripture-according-to-his-personal-interpretation entanglement.

    Liked by 2 people

  44. I freely admit I consistently need to repent in my life. My sin blocks my relationship with God Who is Love. Repentance clears away sin, something I really do not want anyway.

    Jesus says, “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
    Bottom-line, I am a sinner, graciously salvaged from the cruelty of sin and death by Jesus, who loves me more than He loved His own life in this world.

    Sin destroys; God’s love gives life and peace and joy. Repentance is the way out of everything evil (as defined by God) and into everything good, that is, eternal life with Christ. I will thank Him forever.

    At the same time, I also detest the misuse of “repentance” as part of an abuser’s arsenal of control and destruction.

    The distortion and exploitation of God’s merciful gifts (which is not limited to “repentance” by any means) for the purpose of destroying the bodies, minds, wills, and souls of beloved humans for which Christ shed His own blood is inexcusable. A pejorative that is pejorative enough — does not even exist.

    I respect your efforts to respond with God’s compassion and truth to the dilemma now presented to you. Thank you for the opportunity to post my thoughts — for what they are worth.

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Dear refugee,

    I read your comment and see the name Katy as having said, “I have never been rebuked or told to repent, but have had that attitude directed toward me.” This is a wonderful admission by Kathi in the comments above and wish that I could honestly confess that same circumstance in life, but I too, have been on the receiving end of “you need to repent” and “having a jezebel spirit” and “not being obedient to the lord; now that’s a big one in the hyper-charismatic church with powerful overlords.” Being obedient to men and women in abusive leadership is paramount in being obedient to the lord in their minds.

    I understand the abuse, the pain, the hurt, and the long healing process involved and am still in the healing process for I have not arrived yet. Always seeking the love and guidance of Jesus through his Word and from those who offer a good word of encouragement.

    I hope and pray that I wasn’t too harsh here because I know how these work and the feelings that are left behind. In agreement with you refugee.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. Pingback: Bunker Junk: July 19-25 Intel Report | Pulpit & Pen

  47. In golf, a bunker is known as a sand trap. Jesus had a parable about that. I have a song for JD and friends. 🙂

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  48. I dont understand, doesnt the SSB exist as a rebuke to those you deem as spiritual abusers? Doesnt the SSB serve as a call to repent to abusive pastors, leaders, etc.?

    Also, repentence is a neccessary response to the gospel. If this is a repentence free zone then it must also, by necessity, be a gospel free zone. If there is no gospel then what lasting good can this “sounding board” accomplish?

    Now I wonder if there will be a rush of ppl to rebuke me but avoid using the word the word “rebuke”?

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  49. Katy – I wish I could have been only attitude and not words directed to you too. At least the attitude, while I know what they really mean, is not quite as harsh. At least that’s I view it. Religious superiority attitude seems to be more passive aggressive instead of outright saying it hurtful.

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  50. So JD Hall and his friends hide out in a bunker now and talk about Bunker Junk (whatever they deem fits the title I suppose). Such brave laddies they are 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  51. Oh, my! I missed that the Pulpit and Pen call it the “Intel Report.” I guess this is how grown men play war games then . . . (shaking head)

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  52. By saying this is a Gospel free zone, Eek, do you mean to question our salvation?

    Who is rebuked on this site? People in power within churches and other religious bodies who abuse others by excommunicating people who have questions and concerns or who want to see finances disclosed and calling for them to be shunned. Pastors who raise money for foreign missions and spent it for other purposes like buying multiple copies of their latest book to game the system and get on the best seller list. Church leaders who cover up child abuse for the “good of the church.” Religious leaders who counsel spouses to endure bearings because they consider divorce worse. Pastors who preach that sex should be reserved for marriage while molesting teens in their church.

    These are people who have the power to hurt others and lead them astray. These are people that hold themselves up as Christian experts, who speak at conferences and write books. We know them and their views and their behavior because they tell us about these things (or in the case of actual crimes, we learn about arrests and convictions).

    Who posts here? Certainly not the elite and powerful. We are people trying to do the right thing and get through each day. Many of us have been abused. Most of us are Christian; some are not; all are welcome. We know a bit about each other but certainly not enough to criticize each orher’s life’s even if that were appropriate.

    We try to look out for each other. We try to be respectful. We care about each other. I might think that someone’s interpretation of Scripture is incorrect and they mine and if we both are up for a debate one might occur. But I would not rebuke them or tell them to repent and I certainly would not suggest they be shunned (and Julie Anne wouldn’t allow it). I wouldn’t accuse them of having evil motives. I don’t want to hurt anyone. As an example, I don’t believe in the Calvinist doctrine of election but I would never question the salvation of someone who does and tell them to repent. I will never tell an abuse victim how fast his or her recovery should go and accuse them of bitterness or a lack of forgiveness.

    Now mind you, were someone to come here and post that they are abusing others of course we would call them on it. However, differences of opinion are another matter.

    There is a huge difference in rebuking powerful people who exploit and abuse others and rebuking people here whose beliefs might differ from my own. I believe we are called to do the former but the latter would be wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

  53. Marsha,

    I am.not questioning anyones salvation. Thats a strange assumption.

    I am questioning the ability to proclaim the good news on this site if this site bans calling for repentance. Therefore, if proclaiming the good news is banned then there is nothing “spiritual” about this “sounding board”.

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  54. Not strange at all. You concluded that this is a Gospel free zone and I thought that was an odd conclusion.

    There is a big difference between sharing and talking about the Gospel and my assuming that you personally need to be rebuked and called to repentance or you assuming the same about me. We don’t do that here.

    I really do not understand why you are not getting the distinction.

    Liked by 1 person

  55. I dont understand, doesnt the SSB exist as a rebuke to those you deem as spiritual abusers? Doesnt the SSB serve as a call to repent to abusive pastors, leaders, etc.?

    I do post articles about those I believe to be spiritual abusers, but if the intent were to rebuke them, I’d be calling them on the phone personally. I have actually called to challenge JD Hall, Bill Gothard and others, but when I do it, I don’t say that I’m rebuking them, nor do I tell them to repent. I will tell them I believe they are handling things wrong. I tell them to search scripture and seek godly counsel and God’s Word, but I highly doubt I would ever use the word repent when trying to tell someone they are abusive. I think most people who hear the word get defensive and would never repent anyway. Regardless, you can say the same thing in other ways.

    Also, repentence is a neccessary response to the gospel. If this is a repentence free zone then it must also, by necessity, be a gospel free zone. If there is no gospel then what lasting good can this “sounding board” accomplish?

    Of course repentance is a necessary response to the Gospel. A large majority of the people who post here are professing Christians. I don’t see the need to try to get people saved who are already saved. That seems weird to me.

    SSB is not evangelistic in nature. It’s a place for people to come who have been harmed by the church leaders, etc.

    Now I wonder if there will be a rush of ppl to rebuke me but avoid using the word the word “rebuke”?

    I don’t know what you’re talking about.

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  56. I am questioning the ability to proclaim the good news on this site if this site bans calling for repentance. Therefore, if proclaiming the good news is banned then there is nothing “spiritual” about this “sounding board”.

    Proclaiming the Good News is not banned here. I’ve banned using the word “repent.”

    Are you saying in order to follow Christ, one must use the specific word, “repent?” If so, I find that odd.

    Liked by 1 person

  57. Repentance and rebuking has a place in Christianity. But person A going to the blog of stranger B on the Internet to say he rebukes B, because A deems B to be in sin (while B is -rightly or wrongly- not convinced of sin), is Internet bullying.

    Liked by 2 people

  58. JA, if you’d like to delete my earlier comment please feel free, but I’m not going to tiptoe around religious bullies like JD Hall. People like him are only a few steps removed from jihadists, and I’m sick of him and his ilk. He is the farthest thing from a Christian that there is. He has no right or basis upon which to seize the moral high ground, and yet he runs amok on both the internet and in the real world pronouncing his pseudo-righteous judgments on people, and he needs to just shut his mouth.

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  59. Maybe the problem is with the tone, attitude, and specific words used. But is seems to me the essence of telling someone to repent is that they need to change their minds and the way they are acting. Which is pretty much what this post is doing — telling people to repent of telling people to repent. 🙂

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  60. I wonder if there has been anyone who has truly repented after being told forcefully or yelled at to repent. Who is really going to respond to that. Yet, I see it happening all the time on Twitter, interestingly, by the the same types of people who think they get to judge people’s salvation and doctrinal beliefs (because their doctrinal beliefs are the only right way to believe).

    Liked by 1 person

  61. Julie Anne,
    Jesus and the apostles forcefully proclaimed repentance as their primary message, so I’d say it was effective. But I do understand your point about what words we use, the proper venue for them, and the tone and attitude we take.

    My previous comment was made tongue-in-cheek. I’m saying that your original post demonstrates that there are ways to engage people with an intent to persuade them to change their minds and behaviors without harsh rebukes and authoritarian sounding demands.

    Like

  62. I don’t see Jesus approaching people and starting out telling them to repent, aside from the religious pharisees. He spends time with them, talking with them, making sure their needs are met. People walk away from an encounter with Jesus changed. I turned away from the church for a time decades ago. What made the difference in my coming back to the church wasn’t the multitudes telling me I needed to repent and get my life with God right, it was the very few who still hung out with me and simply loved me. Why, if we know the healing power of the Love of God do we insist on making our time with people a time of rebuking and telling them to repent. I;ve gotta believe it turns them off as much as it did me. It was the loving relationship I had with a couple of friends that made the difference.

    Liked by 1 person

  63. A jewish man tells a nazi to ‘repent.’ A former homosexual who is now single and ‘love’s jesus’ tells a homosexual who is cussing and practicing pedophile behaviours says, ‘repent.’ A christian in a ‘muslim’ country says, ‘repent’ as they are being burned at the stake. a native american who wishes to teach and homeschool so he can revive his culture for his children speaks to ignorant of boarding school era says, ‘repent’……

    the person who has been in the heart of the story, deserves to say, ‘repent’……..to the fools who continue to practice ‘religious wickedness’…. the word repent is like saying ‘stop, turn away from sin and stop loving it’…….

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  64. Telling people to “repent” is like saying “You’re too fat, stop eating cheesecake,” or “You’re lazy, get a job.” It’s odious, judgmental, mean-spirited, and ultimately pointless, because who in their right mind is going to listen to that sort of nastiness?

    Furthermore, it’s always the un-Christlike person who is in the wrong who is (errantly and incorrectly) telling other people to repent, and those people really need to shut up and contemplate their own failures.

    Let’s look at JD Hall for example: Here’s a man who has no business saying anything about anything to anyone. He’s not at all even remotely a Christian in my opinion, and yet he sets himself on a high pedestal in self-righteous judgment upon all who he sees before him, and he’s completely and utterly useless and detrimental to the cause of Christ. The world will never find salvation from JD Hall’s rantings and screechings and carryings-on; in fact, JD Hall is driving people *away* from Christ just as surely as if he was preaching the Q’ran. JD Hall is a liability and a detriment to the church. He should stop bloviating and trying to impress himself with his own rightfulness, and just stop damning the cause of Christ with his utter stupidity and egotism.

    I would never tell someone to repent, because repentance is none of my business. Repentance is personal. But I will definitely tell people flat out when I think they’re in the wrong, and I will definitely tell people when I think they need to shut up. JD Hall is in the wrong, in every possible way on every possible subject, and JD Hall needs to shut up.

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  65. First of all there are homosexuals and there are pedophiles. There are no homosexual or heterosexual pedophiles. Homosexuals and heterosexuals are oriented to adults. Pedophiles are attracted to children. Second, if someone is molesting children, the fact that he also cusses is the least of his problems. Because, third, I am not going to bother to tell him to repent, I am going to call police so they can arrest him.

    Of course victims have the right to tell perpetrators to repent. No one disputes that here.

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  66. There is a reason why the Bunker is private. Sometimes it is used a gossip fest with absolutely no fact checking. What I find interesting is there are respected church leaders who read there (Phil Johnson, etc). I don’t know how they can justify being a part of such a group.

    Because I differ in the method of helping someone see sin in their life and bringing the Gospel to them, I will be labeled as an unbeliever and then many jump on JD’s bandwagon and follow suit.

    There are two people connected with Pulpit and Pen I have conversed with privately and although we disagree on certain non-essential issues, they no longer follow JD Hall’s bandwagon. I appreciate that because they went directly to the source to find my true stance.

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  67. JA, while I agree that JD’s stance towards you is egregious and preposterous, I draw the line with him long before he has the temerity to start lambasting other people. The most offensive thing about the man is that he is, quite simply, an undiscerning hammer-headed moron. He can’t be corrected on any issue because he is simply too stupid and too fearful to comprehend that he might be wrong about something on occasion.

    I imagine JD Hall’s internal dialogue goes something like this: “Well perhaps I could be perceived as in error by the sinful man, but the truth of the discernity of spritualous blah blah…” Piffle. “Yes but the Truth of the masculinity of Scripturousness dictates that…” Tosh. “You may have a point but I am Still Right Because Manly Masculine Testosterone Biblicalness blabbity blabbity…” Nonsense. I mean, the guy is simply a nitwit and there’s no reasoning with him. He would be completely irrelevant if not for the fact that apparently he’s armed with an alarming number of guns. Maybe the ATF should take a look at his arsenal.

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  68. It’s your site. You have every right to set ground rules to serve the purpose. Anyone who tries to pull “JESUS COMPELS ME TO TRIGGER SPIRITUAL ABUSE SURVIVORS” is free to make their own site and do it there.

    It’s not as if Christianity is lacking in anti- LGBT rhetoric. Most of the LGBT or LGBT – affirming Christians I know are extremely aware of that opinion. To excuse it with “I have to call them to repentance!” assumes that they have not read the Bible or thought through their beliefs.

    It comes down to power. There is already a powerful structure in place for those who would reject LGBT people. LGBT people are likely to be victims of spiritual abuse. Keep this place safe for survivors and targeted towards a specific need.

    That’s my opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

  69. Someone calling a person to repentance might have taken God’s warning in Ezekiel 33:7,8 to heart.

    As mentioned above, God’s Ecclesia is about proclaiming the good news of repentance from dead works to life-giving faith in the Living God.* From God’s perspective, all are sinners and so, through His people, He offers the free gift of repentance to all.

    People want eternal life, but somehow don’t want to check out Jesus’ offer of life eternal. Worth the effort to debunk the claim, if nothing else, imo.

    *how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify your conscience from dead works to serve the living God. Hebrews 9:14

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  70. Not the point, though. The point is that there are a myriad of ways to bring people to an understanding of Christ, and bellowing “:REPENT YE SINNERS” at them is counter-productive.

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