Spiritual Abuse, Spiritual Authority, The Gospel Coalition

Social Media is Presenting a Challenge to God-Given Authorities aka Pastors

Michael Kruger, The Gospel Coalition, Social Media, Spiritual Authority, Pastors, Criticism

pastors, authority, Michael J. Kruger, The Gospel Coalition, Spiritual Authority, Social Media

The Gospel Coalition published an article, 5 Warning Signs for the Church in a ‘Facebook Culture,’ by Michael J. Kruger, president of Reformed Theological Seminary’s Charlotte, North Carolina, campus. He is concerned about the influence of social media, specifically:

What effect does “social media” technology have on the way we view the church?

He covers 5 points in the article:

  • Short Attention Span/Limited Learning Style
  • Low View of Authority/Overfocus on Equality
  • ‘Surfacey’ Interactions/Artificial Relationships.
  • Lack of Physical Presence
  • Low Commitment/Accountability

The paragraphs under “Low View of Authority/Overfocus on Equality” caused me to read a little more closely:

One of the most often overlooked effects of social media is how we view authority figures. The internet is the great equalizer—everyone has a voice. We all have a platform to speak our mind, to say our piece. After any article or news story, anyone can offer an opinion. And certainly much of this is good.

But it can also lead to an “egalitarian” view of authority—that no one person’s opinion should be valued or weighted more than another’s. Needless to say, this presents problems for a biblical ecclesiology that understands the church and the pastors to have real God-given authority in the lives of its people.

His primary concern is: “we must be aware of the challenges it creates for ministry in our modern and postmodern world.”

Technology doesn’t necessarily create sin patterns; it exacerbates them. In response, we must do something we needed to do anyway: give our people a robust and vibrant picture of the church and their place in it. In other words, we need to give them a full-orbed biblical ecclesiology.

Evidently he believes social media has caused us to forget about biblical church structure. What he really means is hierarchy. Make no mistake about it.

Just this morning, I was preemptively blocked by a pastor I’ve never heard of. The guy is obviously afraid of negative publicity attached with his name. I’ve always been thankful for social media because it gives you and me an equal platform whereas in churches, we can be silenced. When I hear of abuse and see behavior on Twitter from pastors who are using their “position” in a way that harms people, I can directly and publicly ask them about it. If it seems they are like a loose cannon and nobody else in their church seems to be holding them accountable for their words, I figure that if they are posting publicly on Twitter, I have just as much leverage as anyone else to directly ask questions or share concerns publicly.

I seriously doubt that my tweets to a pastor on Twitter will cause any wayward pastor to change. But I do hope that in drawing attention to it,  others can see for themselves the public behavior and words so that they can be wise and discerning in whom they choose to follow.

I have some more thoughts referring to these two paragraphs. I’ll repeat them once again:

One of the most often overlooked effects of social media is how we view authority figures. The internet is the great equalizer—everyone has a voice. We all have a platform to speak our mind, to say our piece. After any article or news story, anyone can offer an opinion. And certainly much of this is good.

But it can also lead to an “egalitarian” view of authority—that no one person’s opinion should be valued or weighted more than another’s. Needless to say, this presents problems for a biblical ecclesiology that understands the church and the pastors to have real God-given authority in the lives of its people.

I’m probably doing exactly what he’s talking about, and right now I am going to challenge his words publicly using social media via this blog, Twitter (when I post the link to this article), and on the Spiritual Sounding Board Facebook page as I also post the link there. Here’s the deal. Michael Kruger is NOT my pastor. He is a pastor who has posted publicly via social media for all to read and for all to have the opportunity to critique. I am choosing to critique his words because I think he is crossing some lines of authority that are not his to cross.

God-given authority has nothing to do with others expressing opinions or criticisms of a pastor’s words. True God-given authority would expect to hear from all voices, both negative and positive feedback, especially if their words are posted/aired publicly. A godly shepherd would challenge themselves to see if there is any truth to the opinions/criticisms.

The second paragraph above is the most disturbing to me. Mr. Kruger appears to be getting on his spiritual authority high horse saying, if you offer an opinion, you are treading too closely to an “egalitarian view of authority” which is threatening his God-given authority.  He seems to be pulling the God card by saying that you are messing with God and the authority He placed in your life when you criticize “spiritual authority” on social media.

He’s trying to silence people on social media, while he and others want to maintain a level of spiritual authority, even on social media.  Give me a break!

I guess he forgot this about ALL Believers:

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9

Article was originally published here.

photo credit: A Word from the Cross via photopin (license)

143 thoughts on “Social Media is Presenting a Challenge to God-Given Authorities aka Pastors”

  1. I think you are being unfair to Dr. Kruger. Just because TGC linked to one of his articles doesn’t make him an abusive pastor. I don’t post here very often but I do come here to read. At times many of you are just as guilty as those you accuse. Be careful that you do not become like those you are criticizing. Dr. Michael J Kruger is a respected scholar and published author. If you want to take him on, be prepared to do it like scholars.

    Like

  2. @Bystander,

    Kruger’s intellect is not the issue. The issue is his heart. Kruger’s words, by which he would elevate himself over the mere laity, are all we need to conclude that his heart is dark, that he is an abusive “pastor.”

    You are no doubt correct to say that Kruger is respected by many. The trouble is that he appears to demand to be respected. I would go so far as to argue that this is evidence that he is outside the faith. “How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another. . .” (John 5:44 ESV)

    Liked by 3 people

  3. And you think you know his heart?

    I quote this paragraph from the article:

    “The second paragraph above is the most disturbing to me. Mr. Kruger appears to be getting on his spiritual authority high horse saying, if you offer an opinion, you are treading too closely to an “egalitarian view of authority” which is threatening his God-given authority. He seems to be pulling the God card by saying that you are messing with God and the authority He placed in your life when you criticize “spiritual authority” on social media.”

    Actually, no. This is as assumption – putting words in Kruger’s mouth, so to speak. As someone who has been reading Kruger’s work for quite some time, I think I have to agree with some of his concerns (by the way, his article was published over three years ago). Have you not noticed that there are people on the internet who make comments about subjects they are clearly not qualified to comment on? Would you really enjoy belonging to an organization of any kind (not just a church) where the opinion of the least skilled person was as valuable as that of the most skilled? In this scenario, would you have a well-functioning group?

    You will never get people to take you seriously as long as you lump professors with earned PhDs in with every jackleg street shrieker and call them abusers.

    Like

  4. Bystander,
    Like Opinemine, I too am a published author. In fact several of my books are higher ranked on Amazon today than Michael Kruger’s. (Yes, in Bible categories.)
    So…as one who has authority over you and Kruger (based on your criterion), I will command both of you to imitate Christ and say what Jesus said.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Yes, Bystander, I can discern Kruger’s heart by his words. “You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Matthew 12:34 ESV). ” You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”(Matthew 12:34 ESV).

    While those with earned PhD’s are deserving of recognition for their accomplishments, I am not willing to recognize that being learned is a guaranty of good character, or of wisdom. A cousin of mine who is a PhD, a tenured professor of physical chemistry, a chairman of his department (now retired), and a believer, once lamented to me that, based on his experience, there are a great many highly educated fools.

    While knowledge puffs up, love builds up. What I discern in Kruger’s statements is a puffed up attempt to occupy an elevated position. He does so by a manipulative, even coercive, appeal to authority. He would be more effective were he to attempt to win by acts of love.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. “based on his experience, there are a great many highly educated fools.” – Gary W

    A man I dated who had a Ph.D. from an Ivy league school said to me,
    “Ph.D. stands for Permanent Head Damage”. LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Okay you published authors – let’s see links to your books. Would they be acceptable as references for academic papers? Kruger’s are. Go ahead and mock higher education all you want to; like the trash talkers on ‘The View” that badmouthed the nurse, we all have a right to our opinions.

    I have been wondering for some time if this is a serious blog or just a group of people playing some kind of internet parlor game. I notice that there are never very many responses to the Sunday gathering place posts, but the fingers fly to the keyboard when there is a post about someone who is apparently a Calvinist.

    Anyone who claims to be able to discern someone else’s heart by reading a blog post is no different than a Tarot card reader.

    Like

  8. Bystander,

    Are you the same person who posts over at The Wartburg Watch demanding to know why they criticize Calvinists? It sounds the same.

    If that’s you…why not start your own blog with your own views? This has been discussed over at TWW.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Bystander,

    Ha, ha. No this is not a serious blog. This is a fun and entertaining blog. We are having fun showing you that anyone who is arrogant and demands authority over others just on the basis of having passed a few years of school, is acting contrary to the teaching of Jesus Christ (who by the way, never published anything nor did he earn a Ph.D.).

    Liked by 5 people

  10. Jesus Christ (who by the way, never published anything nor did he earn a Ph.D.)

    Who did that Jesus think he was? He was conceived out of wedlock, born in a barn, and laid in an animal feeding trough. How dare he think he knew better than the educated scribes and pharisees. The nerve of that man! Those educated men showed him, didn’t they? They had him crucified. Yeah. Take that, Jesus. We’ll follow the published Ph.D.s, thankyouverymuch.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. So, Bystander starts out by expressing his disagreement with a certain amount of civility, but quickly descends into the cesspool of ad hominem invective. I find it interesting that so many trolls who make their appearances here are Calvinists. What’s with that?

    Liked by 2 people

  12. “Those educated men showed him, didn’t they? They had him crucified.”

    Hear, hear! And the highly educated and admittedly brilliant John Calvin arranged for and participated in the judicial murder of Miguel Servetus. By slow roasting on a stake, which may well be an even more horrendous manner of death than even crucifixion. Is it even possible to imagine what it must be like to be slowly cooked from the feet up, all the while suffocating from smoke-filled lungs?

    “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. (Matthew 12:33 ESV)

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Gary, thanks for mentioning Miguel Serveries. I’ve never really researched John Calvin before, but the fact that he arranged to have a man executed for disagreeing with his theology tells me all I care to know. Piss on Calvinism.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Dammit. Miguel Servetus. Stupid autocorrect.

    Mod note: Most of the time JA fixes oopsies. This time, the response to the oopsy is too funny to remove 🙂 Thanks for the laugh, Dash 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Bystander

    Yeah, you go for it, promote those edjumacated…
    authures, and prefeesors, and pastures…

    Grat question @ OCTOBER 12, 2015 @ 5:32 PM…
    “Would you really enjoy belonging to an organization
    of any kind (not just a church)
    where the opinion of the least skilled person
    was as valuable as that of the most skilled?”
    ———-

    Seems you and the Religious Leaders 2000 years ago are in agreement. 😉 Even though Peter and John went about healing folks, Acts 3:1-9. and preaching salvation in the name of Jesus. The Religious Leaders thought they were **unlearned and ignorant men.**

    Acts 4:1-15 KJV
    13 Now when they (rulers, and elders, and scribes, the high priest, V5)
    saw the boldness of Peter and John, and
    perceived that they were **unlearned and ignorant men,**
    they marvelled;
    and they took knowledge of them,
    **that they had been with Jesus.**

    Yeah, us’en edjumacated priests be reel smrt…
    But we can’t do what His Disciples be doin…
    Lets stop em and puts them in jail.
    Maybe dat wil stop em. Oh yeah, N’ we’ll “Treaten dem. Silence dem.

    Acts 4:17
    “let us straitly threaten them,
    that they speak henceforth to no man in this name.’
    ——–

    Yup – Nothing has changed much in 2000 years. 😉

    The pastors today, like Michael J. Kruger, who think they have Power. Who think they “have real God-given authority in the lives of its people,” (They do NOT.) can not stand an “egalitarian” view of authority.” They do NOT like the idea, “The internet is the great equalizer—everyone has a voice.” And want to silence those who dis-agree.

    Jer 50:6
    “My people” hath been “lost sheep:”
    **THEIR shepherds** have caused them to *go astray,*

    1 Pet 2:25
    For ye were as *sheep going astray;*
    BUT are now returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Hey Bystander,

    I’m a professor, been in academia for well over a decade. And I can say that neither Kruger nor any prof is immune from being lumped in with “jackleg street shriekers”. Some are, some couldn’t veritably slap their butts with both hands in the dark, some are outright frauds and scams, some may have managed to tally up multiple academic degrees but are full blooded fools. Dr. Kruger apparently is teetering close to this standing based on what I read in the referenced article. Is he an abusive pastor? I cannot specifically know, but I do know that what he claims, the authority he apparently thinks he and other pastors (whatever a “pastor” is, the NT is silent as to the definition, but it is most definitively not a CEO-type leader with authority over a congregation, because such does not exist in the Kingdom of God) have, is a full invitation to abuse, a license to abuse.

    I would be glad to take him on as a scholar, and yes I do have published academic articles, and yes I have served on the editorial staff of a respected academic journal as well as reviewing articles for a number of others, and yes I have contributed to a text.

    I am a scholar, and I can say conclusively that having read Kruger, he is an ignoramus with regard to the scriptures that cover the issues he brings up in the article cited above; the article is intellectually and spiritually bankrupt. That is my opinion as a scholar.

    I am a scholar, are you?

    Liked by 2 people

  17. truthdetector142

    Well said @ OCTOBER 13, 2015 @ 4:21 PM…

    “ (whatever a “pastor” is, the NT is silent as to the definition,
    but it is most definitively not a CEO-type leader
    with authority over a congregation, because
    such does not exist in the Kingdom of God)”

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Bystander

    You write @ OCTOBER 12, 2015 @ 3:04 PM…
    “Dr. Michael J Kruger is a respected scholar and published author.”

    Well, he might be respected, in reformed circles.
    But, I have some questions for you.

    On the RTS website, in Kruger’s letter to potential new students it says…
    “RTS Charlotte is committed to **the absolute authority of Scripture**…”

    And, on the page for understanding, “The Reformed Tradition” it says…

    https://www.rts.edu/site/about/reformed_tradition/reformed_tradition.aspx

    “… our primary goal is to develop *leaders*
    for service in the body of Christ.
    RTS has helped to prepare thousands of *pastors,*
    counselors, missionaries, evangelists, teachers, youth ministers,
    and other *church leaders* in a variety of Christian denominations.”
    ———–

    1 – Where, in the Bible, is **the absolute authority of Scripture**
    “to prepare thousands of *pastors?*” To prepare Any pastors?

    2 – Where, in the Bible, is **the absolute authority of Scripture**
    “to develop leaders?” To prepare “church leaders?”
    ———

    Do you believe Dr. Michael J Kruger and RTS Charlotte…
    “Are really committed to **the absolute authority of Scripture?**”

    It doesn’t look like it – does it?

    Like

  19. Bystander

    A few more questions…

    3 – Did you know, in **the absolute authority of Scripture**
    NOT one of His Disciples called them self pastor? Or leader?
    NOT one of His Disciples called another Disciple pastor? Or leader?
    NOT one of His Disciples took the “Title/Position” of pastor? Or leader?
    NOT one of His Disciples was “Hired or Fired” as a pastor? Or leader?

    4 – Did you know, in **the absolute authority of Scripture** Mat 23:10 NASB
    Jesus taught His Disciples NOT to be called leaders?
    For “ONE” is your Leader, that is, Christ?
    But the greatest among you shall be your “Servant?”
    Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled?
    and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted?

    And Humble means…
    “having a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance.”

    5 – Do you know many Reformed, or any, pastors/leaders/reverends…
    “having a modest or low estimate of their own importance?” Humble?

    6 – Did you know, in **the absolute authority of Scripture**
    The only one with the Title, or called Himself, or is referred to as…
    Shepherd – Leader – Reverend… IS…

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}
    ———

    Do you believe Dr. Michael J Kruger and RTS Charlotte…
    “Are really committed to **the absolute authority of Scripture?**”

    It doesn’t look like it – does it?

    Like

  20. Bystander – You asked if this was some kind of “internet parlor game.”

    I wasn’t quite sure what that meant, so I went on the internet, that one place called “Google,” and searched parlor games. The images that came up were very interesting. But, sir, (I assume you are a “he” – I hope you question men in this way as well) I am not that kind of lady to play those parlor games that the internet images show me. Unless we are talking about Victorian internet parlor games. I hear they can be saucy.

    Like

  21. @Amos

    When these people attach the adjective “biblical” to their doctrines of men, they do so for the purpose of stopping the conversation. When they appeal to the absolute authority of the the Scripture their doctrines allegedly reflect, they do so for the purpose of stopping thought itself.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Bystander,
    I am a common person. I don’t claim any acronyms behind my name. I am not a Bible scholar by any means. I do feel that people here are my teachers and one or 2 who at first I had my own doubts about and later I have come to respect as I have been humbled by my lack of knowledge. I do know one thing, the Spirit within me will teach me and lead me.

    My Savior did not have a PhD or have any seminary degree. PRAISE GOD!! He didn’t need one. He had the Father to guide Him. Paul, who was highly educated in the Jewish Law counted it all worthless having met the Living God. I have had the pleasure of hearing people teach about Jesus who had no education other than possibly high school that I’d rather listen to than a preacher who has a Master’s or Dr. in their title. I often talk to an 89 year old man who has spent his entire life speaking to anyone and everyone about how good Jesus is. He is a humble man who loves the Savior. He doesn’t even claim to be a teacher, but he knows his Bible inside and out. He looks forward to seeing Him in person and throwing any crowns he MIGHT get at Jesus feet. How many have you heard with a PhD even speak of such things?

    Some very good questions and comments have been put out there for you to consider and I hope you do.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Hi Brenda R

    Ab.soul.lutly…. Great thinkin when you say… 😉
    “I do know one thing, the Spirit within me will teach me and lead me.”
    ———–
    I wonder if President, Dr. Michael J Kruger, and RTS Charlotte?
    Who are “committed to **the absolute authority of Scripture**…”
    Will teach their Reformed Students? What Jesus teaches His Disciples?

    Jesus, in the Gospels, teaches His Disciples who will, teach, and lead them…
    God – God the Father – God the Son – God the Holy Spirit…

    Jesus, in the Gospels, taught His Disciples, Mat 23:8-10 NASB…
    1 – But do NOT be called Rabbi (Rabbi, a Title Jews give to their teachers.)
    For ”ONE” is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are ALL brothers.”

    2 – And do NOT be called leaders; for “ONE” is your Leader, that is, Christ.
    ———–

    Does anyone believe, President, Dr. Michael J Kruger, and RTS Charlotte?
    Who are “committed to **the absolute authority of Scripture**…”
    Are teaching their Reformed Students? What Jesus teaches His Disciples?

    NOT likely… 😉

    Like

  24. Brenda R

    Here are a few more verses confirming what you wrote…
    “I do know one thing, the Spirit within me will teach me and lead me.”

    Jesus, in the Gospels, taught His Disciples…
    3 – And they will ALL be taught by God. John 6:45 ESV
    His Disciple John, an apostle, taught, in 1 John 2:20-27 KJV
    “the anointing… abides in you” “you need NOT any man teach you.”
    ———-
    Jesus, in the Gospels, taught His Disciples…
    4 – The Holy Spirit… will teach you ALL things… John 14:26 HCSB
    His Disciple Paul, an apostle, taught, in Gal 1:10-12 NKJV
    The Gospel he preached was NOT from man…
    ———-
    Jesus, in the Gospels, taught His Disciples…
    5 – ALL truth will come as the Spirit of truth guides and leads. Jn 16:13 KJV

    His Disciple Paul, an apostle, taught, in Rom 8:14 KJV
    Those “Led” by the Spirit of God, are the sons of God.
    ———-
    Jesus, in the Gospels, taught His Disciples…
    6 – Jesus as man, does nothing of himself, and is taught of God. Jn 8:28 KJV

    In Mat 16:15-17, Peter is taught by God, and knows, Jesus is the Christ.
    Jesus, tells Peter, he is “blessed,” for two reasons
    1 – flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee,
    2 – but my Father which is in heaven.

    Here is Jesus, NOT taking any credit for Peter knowing who Jesus is.
    ———-
    Jesus, in the Gospels, taught His Disciples…
    7 – Jesus is the Good Shepherd. Jesus is the “ONE” Shepherd. Jn 10:11-16 KJV

    And, In the Bible, it looks like His Disciples believed Jesus, Because…
    NOT one of His Disciples took the “Title,” shepherd. Or pastor. Or leader.
    ———-
    Jesus, in the Gospels, teaches His Disciples who will, teach, and lead them…
    God – God the Father – God the Son – God the Holy Spirit…
    ———-
    Does anyone believe, President, Dr. Michael J Kruger, and RTS Charlotte?
    Who are “committed to **the absolute authority of Scripture**…”
    Are teaching their Reformed Students? What Jesus teaches His Disciples?

    NOT likely… 😉

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

    Like

  25. Hi Gary

    These pastor guys, have trained the folks when they “say” “it’s biblical,”
    Sheeple, automatically go into a trance, mesmerized, and just believe them.
    I did. I was taught to “trust” these “Mans of Gaaawwwddd. 😦 Oy Vey!!!

    But, when you asks different questions, you gets different answers… 😉

    Now, RTS, is a seminary, which “sounds” important, and WE, His Sheep, just accept this is the way it’s supposed to work. After all, we dumb sheep need an edjumacated reverend to teach us. And, WE, His Disciples, never question these institutions or their “Titled” graduates. But, what is the record, the accomplishments, of these seminaries? (Or should I say “Cemetery’s?”) How well do these institutions really train these folks?

    If anyone was to check the record of any Seminary today training these young wanna-be’s – they would find their record is abysmal, shocking, a failure rate of the greatest magnitude.

    A Seminary should be required by “Law” to post the horrible statistics about their failures, and post the headlines about this dangerous profession, “Pastor/Leader/Reverned” in ALL literature sent to prospective students. 😉

    BUT – They will NOT. They need to keep the gud-ole-boys-club alive.
    ———-

    Now, maybe I’m exaggerating? Here’s just a couple of stats to look at.
    http://www.pastoralcareinc.com/statistics/
    ———–
    50% of the ministers starting out will NOT last 5 years.

    Of the remaing 50%…
    50% of pastors feel so discouraged that they would leave the ministry
    if they could, but have no other way of making a living.

    Wow – Only 25% kinda wind-up likeing what they do.
    ———–
    90% feel they are inadequately trained to cope with the ministry demands.
    Wow – nine out of ten feel the seminaries didn’t NOT train well.
    ———–
    80% of pastors’ spouses wish they would choose a different profession.
    Wow – Doesn’t sound good for marital bliss. 😉
    ———–
    33% confess having involved in sexual behavior with someone in the church.
    Wow – One out of three… Is that a lot?
    ——–
    And these are the guys runnin-the-show.

    Does this info give anyone confidence in today’s seminary trained pastors?

    Or should I say Cemetery trained pastors?

    And, NOT one of His Disciples was Hired by a church as a pastor/leader.

    Will these seminaries tell this to the young wanna-be’s?

    When you believe the lie you start to die…

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Hey everyone, thank you for the prayers. I truly appreciate it.

    Please keep it up. I’m still facing some of the same problems, but shortly after you guys started praying on my behalf, my anxiety and panic attacks (caused by some of the stuff that’s happened or may happen) was cut significantly.

    I really do appreciate the prayers. Thank you. It means a lot to know that people care.

    Liked by 6 people

  27. Bystander said, Okay you published authors – let’s see links to your books. Would they be acceptable as references for academic papers? Kruger’s are. Go ahead and mock higher education all you want to; like the trash talkers on ‘The View” that badmouthed the nurse, we all have a right to our opinions.

    I have been wondering for some time if this is a serious blog or just a group of people playing some kind of internet parlor game. I notice that there are never very many responses to the Sunday gathering place posts, but the fingers fly to the keyboard when there is a post about someone who is apparently a Calvinist. I usually skim over the Sunday gathering threads, though I may not post on them.

    But you see what just happened here on this thread? I said I was upset, and several people said they were praying for me, which means a lot to me (and their prayers must have helped, because my anxiety has gone down quite a bit).

    I’m not quite sure what everyone’s beliefs are who said they are praying for me or wishing the best for me, but I would assume most (all?) are Christians (even if they are not, I am deeply appreciative still).

    What they were doing was practicing church – on a blog, in this thread. They saw someone who was in need, and they stepped up to do what they could. That cheers me up on another level.

    One reason of a few I’ve had a hard time holding on to the Christian faith is that I see so few Christians actually do what the Bible says they are to do for others, such as offer prayer, or be a source of emotional support. (This would include Christian family of mine.)

    You may be ticked off that some of the people on this blog or thread are critical of one of your favorite teachers / authors or your favorite brand of theology (Calvinism?) but their actions in this thread makes me pause and reconsider, and think, maybe there is something to this Christianity stuff after all.

    Every act of kindness I get shown from another Christian (and these are from folks I’ve never even met in real life on this blog!!) speaks very favorably of Christianity. (And to reiterate, I don’t take kindness from Non-Christians shown to me for granted either, that means a lot too.)

    Maybe take all that into consideration, Bystander?

    Liked by 3 people

  28. A correction. I guess I forgot to put the end tag on my blockquote.

    Bystander’s words end at –
    “…Sunday gathering place posts, but the fingers fly to the keyboard when there is a post about someone who is apparently a Calvinist. ”

    And my comments start after that statement.

    Like

  29. Daisy – Glad to hear you’re doing so much better! There are plenty of fine folks her who have got you covered!

    As far as Bystander’s issue with not as many comments on Sundays, all I can say is, “So what?” Why does that even matter? One of the reasons why I’m glad not to be in a church building on a Sunday morning is that I was tired of playing church. Sundays mornings grew to be exhausting and often times I dreaded Saturday night because of the thought of what was to come. I don’t comment much on the Sunday posts that I do because I work on Sundays. It’s a retail job, someone has to. But I’m always look forward to seeing what gets placed on there when I get home in the evening. The Sunday posts are meant to be a bit more casual and encouraging. I’m glad it’s the way it is.

    Liked by 3 people

  30. Conversely, Kathi, I have been blessed to find a good local church and I do watch/listen to the worship music and an occasional teaching and I appreciate/respect the sense of community here that has spawned e-church, but I am irritated by Bystander’s nitpicky attitude. Lets see…..my pat answer at my old Calvinistic legalistic bat guano nuttiistic church….yes, I will give your comments all the attention they deserve.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Wait! Wait!! Where’s Bystander? He comes in here and starts pushing people around, insinuating they’re stupid, and worse. Then when he starts experiencing push back, he takes off. Runs from a fight he provoked.

    On the playground, there’s a name for people like these. Well, actually several names.

    Liked by 2 people

  32. Gary W,

    I was waiting for Julie Anne to put him in the dog house if he kept it up. And then I would post the Tracy Chapman singing the “Hound Dog” song, at a Kennedy Center Honors Buddy Guy. (The Wartburg Watch has a song that they post when they ban someone…Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli singing (opera)
    “Time To Say Goodbye”. )

    Like

  33. Hi Amos,
    It is always good to hear from you. Ab.soul.lutly…..love that and all of the scripture back up. Thank you.

    When you stated the statistics the ones that stood out were 33% of ministers admit to having sexual relations with someone in the church…..I don’t think the % is that high for those outside of ministry. Pretty sad.

    The other thing was 80% of pastors wives would rather they be in another line of work. Both of the wives of the pastors, at the brick and mortar that I attend, say they did not want to be pastors wives. That was an after the ceremony decision.

    I’m fairly sure that Cemetery and Seminary are synonymous.

    There was a time, in the Baptist Church that I was raised in, no one was called pastor/leader. Everyone was Brother or Sister. All on the same playing field.

    By the way, Bystander does not get an A in sandbox.

    Liked by 1 person

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