Sexual abuse, spiritual abuse, wife spanking, Bill Gothard, Doug Wilson, Josh Duggar, Matt Chandler, Steve Wingfield, David McGee, marital rape
Here are my yearly top 10 blog posts. There were a few observations I have which will follow the top 10.
Note: these are the top 10 blog posts that were written in 2015. I actually had other blog posts with view counts that surpassed these top 10, and I will mention them shortly.
#10 Will Anna Duggar be offered as the next live sacrifice to save the Duggar Family Brand? Scapegoating, “Spread Your Legs Theology” and the Modern Molech
This has been such a tragic story to watch unfold. Josh Duggar is still at his “counseling” facility, which many believe is solely “Biblical counseling,” not specialized counseling with trained and licensed mental health professionals who can help treat someone with a history of sex abuse and sex addictions. His wife, Anna, is currently living at Michelle and JimBob Duggar’s home and sharing a bedroom with her children. I’ve watched the recent show on TLC. She says she loves Josh and it sounds like she’s willing to stand by her man. The Duggar’s hold to Bill Gothard’s teachings. Marriage is permanent, regardless of sex abuse, infidelity.
#9 Ex-Wife of Pedophile Speaks out about The Village Church and Josh Duggar Sex Scandals
Brenda shares what it’s like for the wife of a pedophile. Wives of pedophiles are often lost and forgotten. Many times they are abandoned by their church, family, and friends. I’m thankful for Brenda’s voice because we continue to receive e-mails averaging probably once every few weeks from a wife who discovers they are married to a pedophile. Because of Brenda and Anon3, I am able to refer women in the midst of crises to two women who have walked this difficult path. This is a very unique ministry work behind the scenes at SSB.
#8 Former Youth Pastor Responds to Open Letter from Church Leaders Who Mishandled and Failed to Report Child Sex Abuse
This was a big case in a large church at First Christian Church of Florissant near St. Louis. Pastor Steve Wingfield filed a lawsuit against those who outed Wingfield for failing to report sex abuse. He later withdrew the lawsuit and took a leave of absence. I’ve kept in touch with church members. The church is not in a healthy state. While some members and church leaders have left, a core remains in support of Pastor Steve Wingfield. Wingfield’s leave of absence concludes in January [updated]. Not much has changed as far as leadership goes. However, church attendance and financial giving has taken a real toll.
JA’s prediction: Steve Wingfield will come back to the pulpit and continue to have a following, but a much smaller following. They will likely have to find a new place to meet because they won’t be able to keep up with expenses. The leaders have not learned their lesson and people have been hurt and are trying to recover. It’s a sad story of abuse, bad shepherding, and a leader who should not be a leader.
#7 Update on Lourdes Torres-Manteufel vs Doug Phillips Lawsuit
This story continues to have a large following because Doug Phillips was such a public face in the homeschooling community. We’ve heard nothing from Doug Phillips except that he and three family members joined a traditional mega-church in the area (which goes against Doug Phillips teachings on family-integrated churches).
Lourdes Torres-Manteufel divorced Nolan in the Spring. She is currently going to college. I believe her marriage to Nolan was an escape from where she was living. Nolan appears to have abandoned his faith and is having difficulty with the divorce.
#6 Victim of Bill Gothard’s Teachings Speaks out about Josh Duggar Scandal, Mike Huckabee: Bill Gothard’s Dangerous Agenda and Influence in Political Arena and Society at Large
I’ve posted several articles and let Dash tell us how Bill Gothard affected his life, his parents’ method of discipline, his political influence. Bill Gothard is still being discussed frequently as the organization he founded, Institutes in Basic Life Principles, is in the middle of a civil lawsuit with a growing number of plaintiffs (originally 5, now 9) who claim they were sexually abused/groomed by Gothard, and the Board failed to respond appropriately. I’m grateful for Dash’s personal account because his story represents many others that have been hidden.
#5 Pastor David McGee Publicly Names and Excommunicates Four Church Members via His Facebook Page
This is the story of the pastor who acts more like a rock star, David McGee of The Bridge Church, who excommunicated four church members via his public Facebook page. Nothing has changed here. He is still pastoring, still has a following, and nothing has been done to make amends with the people who were harmed.
JA prediction: David McGee will continue to harm, silence, and run a 3-ring circus putting on the facade of a pastor at The Bridge. I heard several personal accounts of people who had meetings set up with him, yet he kept them waiting while he jammed on his guitar. He is another man whose charisma attracts a following, but the substance and fruit from his life show otherwise.
#4 Insidious Behavior at The Village Church Regarding a Pedophile and His Former Wife
This story was spread widely, first by bloggers Amy Smith and The Wartburg Watch, then by others, before mainstream media jumped on board. It was only after this media attention that Pastor Matt Chandler apologized to Karen Hinkley for the way in which he and other pastors and elders handled her case.
In summary, Karen Hinkley was put in church discipline because she filed for annulment from her husband who was caught using child porn and covered it up. They said she should have gone to them for counsel. The church leaders did NOT put her husband in church discipline, but said he was repentant. They abandoned this woman at her greatest time of need and defended a sexual perpetrator (I believe anyone who views child porn to be a perpetrator because those children in the images are victims).
Would Matt Chandler have acted responsibly without the media attention? We don’t know. There have been other abuse stories I’ve heard coming from Chandler’s church, especially from women. It remains to be seen if things will change at The Village Church, and if women will be treated respectfully.
#3 Marital Rape: Is it Even a Possibility in Christian Marriage?
We continue to encounter ideologies that harm women from the Patriarchal camp. Men, who believe in “headship,” and rule over their wives sometimes believe they own their spouse’s body sexually and she has no right to decline sex. Our civil laws say there is such a thing as rape in marriage. These bully men think otherwise. I will continue to raise awareness of this issue that affects so many women.
#2 A Wife’s Personal Story: So, Let’s Actually Talk about What “Extramarital Affairs” Really Look Like
This personal story was so raw and gut-wrenching. Finally, we saw what it is really like for victims of infidelity. This is the kind of story that needs to be spread. So many women who have experienced this related to it:
Here’s an excerpt:
So, let’s actually talk about what “extramarital affairs” really look like:
- It’s me saving my virginity for a “good Christian husband” who ends up sleeping with everyone he can get his hands on.
- It’s me running screaming out of my bedroom at my parents’ house, hitting and kicking the walls, and having to be restrained by my dad while I lose control of my bladder and pee all over myself because I’m so devastated by what my husband just confessed.
- It’s me bursting blood vessels in my eyes and face from crying so hard after lying on the floor of my bedroom, curled in the fetal position, wishing more than anything in the world that I had a gun in my hand, and knowing exactly what I would do with it if I did.
- It’s me desperately wishing I wasn’t pregnant with my second baby when he confesses to visiting strip clubs and having “feelings” for a co-worker.
#1 Pastor Doug Wilson, A Serial Pedophile, and the Real Victims
Where do we start here? This is systemic abuse at its finest. We have a system of a leader who shows narcissistic behavior, hand selects his leaders, and seemingly has his hands in everything from church, businesses, and his community. He and his elders show a pattern of cover-ups, defending pedophiles, failing to disclose sexual offenses, Patriarchy, and spiritual abuse.
Probably one of the most insidious actions I’ve seen by Doug Wilson is his public discussions about sex abuse cases in which he betrays pastoral confidence. Along with all of this, we also see typical patterns of spiritual abuse, bullying to silence voices who speak out, covering up sins of leaders and/or their children to save face.
Also, this is a man who created his own denominational empire with no way to be outed unless there is 100% vote against him. That won’t happen because he has yes-men he personally chose. This is a very dangerous cult-like environment and we are finally seeing people speak out. I suspect the following year we will see more people leave and sharing their story.
Because Mr. Wilson has attracted such a large audience outside his small town of Moscow, Idaho, I am thrilled that this is the number one story of 2015. It means that his empire is getting shaken. Good! Let’s keep talking, people!
Okay, I found it interesting that 9 of the 10 top blog posts had to do with sexual abuse or infidelity. 8 of the 9 posts on sexual abuse/infidelity referred to female victims and one post dealt with a male victim (see #8).
Aside from the top posts written in 2015, the top two viewed posts in 2015 (all years combined) had the common denominator of wife spanking:
Christian Domestic Discipline (Wife Spanking): A Personal Story, and a Closer Look at Patterns Connected with this Abusive Practice : This article had more views than 3-1/2 times the number of views as the #1 top post written in 2015. That is un-freakin’-believable!
The Christian Patriarchy Movement’s Dark Secret of Wife Spanking: This article had over 4,000 more views than the #1 top post written in 2015.
Every single day, many find my blog using search terms such as: wife spanking, Christian Domestic Discipline, stories of Christians spanking wives, disobedient wives, wives submit to spanking, etc. I wish I knew who these people are. I know that some are wives who are searching to find if what they are going through is “normal.” Some of them reach out to me privately, and so I am so grateful that they land here where they can learn that it is not okay, wife spanking when used as a method of “discipline” is abuse.
Whatever brings people here, the amount of hits shows me that wife spanking is an ongoing problem in the church and we must continue to speak out against it.
18 thoughts on “Spiritual Sounding Board’s Top 10 Blog posts of 2015”
The “Christian Domestic Discipline” article is at the top of the “Top Posts & Pages” in the sidebar right now. In fact, those wife spanking articles seem to always stay in that sidebar.
When I first learned about this topic in 2012 or 2013 I googled it, because I’d never heard of it. I was repulsed. I’d like to think some of those searches SSB is getting are people like myself a few years ago. I hope it’s not because more people are practicing assault.
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I sure hope so, BTDT.
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“As believers in Jesus Christ, we who are the bride of Christ wait with great anticipation for the day when we will be united with our Bridegroom. Until then, we remain faithful to Him and say with all the redeemed of the Lord, “Come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20).” http://www.gotquestions.org/bride-of-Christ.html
I don’t see the bride of Christ in those headlines … except for the victims who fearfully come forward to defend righteousness.
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Julie Anne, Thank you for your passion towards those who have experienced spiritual and sexual abuse. The victims need a strong voice to help them be heard.
One area I would be interested in learning about is how frequently church staff are mistreated by the church leaders. I have attended two churches in NC where staff have been bullied or fired for non-specific reasons. It seems secular corperations handle staff issues better than churches.
Now that church is big business, the main goal seems to be CYA!
Happy New Year to you and all of the SSB community!
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That’s a great question, Ann. I will tuck that away.
Ann, I’ll tuck that away too. I have many college friends who are pastors and that would be interesting to know.
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Been there done that: I’m overjoyed to hear that I’m NOT the only one that had to go to google to discover what “Christian ” domestic discipline was upon hearing of it.
When I first heard the term, I was expecting a bunch of articles on the merits of smacking toddlers with wood spoons & fly swatters. Since that day I have met divorced women at Christian Mingle events that were in such ” marriages” , read profiles of people on Christian dating sites seeking this lifestyle, met a woman that killed her husband because he regularly beat, raped and sodomized her in porn fueled outbursts and to my shock read accounts of RC Sproul Jr spanking his wife. Needless to say, there is a huge problem within what many call fundamentalism. Assault is assault and rape is rape regardless of the marital status of the perpetrator or victim. It is time for the church to clean -up it’s act and walk worthy of a savior that suffered on Calvary so we wouldn’t have to. We have a responsibility to force that transactional change within the church and must be bold and courageous for the sake of the vulnerable . I look back at my situation and think about victims of fundamentalism that didn’t have the chance to grow up and deal with the past as an adult. I think about how everything could have been different if one adult, with enough fortitude would have stood up and said No more. One call to social services or the police would have ended it. Instead we have a past to deal with as adults that includes two suicides out of eight in my class. That horrible public school we hear about doesn’t have those stats.
I have learned much from all you folks that post here. I’m so thankful for this site and what it has done for me personallly and what it has done for others. When God takes a lawsuit over Google reviews, births this site and smacks down more than a few dis functional churches and abusers in the process I KNOW THERE is hope and justice from a God that I believe is really pissed at the modern church.
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I’m so glad i found this site, it has become an encouragement and comfort to me. I pray for your health and welfare daily, Julie Anne. God bless you for the excellent work you do here!
I had never heard of Christian wife spanking before a few weeks ago, myself. The thought that this even happens makes me feel like I’ve fallen out of reality into some sort of crazy world.
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Thanks for posting this, Julie Anne. It gives a window into trends in the survivor community. I think it’s important — but not surprising — to see that so many of these stories tie together money, sex, and power … the toxic trilogy of malignant ministry.
Also intriguing to see that at least some situations of abuse start getting dealt with when the personal accounts and other evidence gets posted online. It’s certainly not the same relatively safe world for spiritual abusers as it was even a few years ago. Feels like survivor blogs and other investigative reports are making a difference!
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Shy1 and Scott, thank you for your encouragement. I greatly appreciate it.
Brad, you are absolutely right. It is when a brave person comes forward to speak out that things are exposed. Sometimes we do not see positive results (in my case, my ex-pastor is still behind the pulpit leading a much smaller church). Actually, I can’t think of a case where someone step has stepped out of ministry entirely. Driscoll spent time away, but he’s back pastoring. CJ. Mahaney stepped down from his role as President of Sovereign Grace Ministries and then assumed a pastoral role after an absence. Bill Gothard is no longer part of IBLP, the organization he founded, but he still maintains a following and is publishing books and materials. Oh, I just thought of one, Doug Phillips so far has not gotten back in the public spotlight . . . yet.
I think the most positive aspect about coming forward is that others are validated. And it doesn’t even have to be from the same church, either.
I was following SGM Survivor blog and it felt like I was reading my own spiritual abuse story. I connected with their stories of abuse even though I was not at the same church! Reading that site gave me the courage to go public.
Another very important factor we can see among Evangelicals is the devaluing of women. When I first started blogging, this was not so much a concern of mine. I did not realize I was being squelched until reading the stories of others here. This has been a real journey for me, too, as I learn from others.
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I’m sitting here with my husband and baby girl…
I said to hubba, “as a believer in God would you ever think it’s OK to physically discipline me?”.
I then said, “if you asked me to do something and I say no, would you think it’s okay to spank my bum as punishment”.
“Why on earth are you asking me this?”, was his response.
We have been married five years and my husband has never physically threatened me nor spoken to me in a mean way. (Maybe once! haha)
The fact that this concept of wife spanking puzzles him simply confirms in my mind how warped it is.
That said, if I was a wife in the “CDD” circles…
I would be very happy to reciprocate a little CDD back to my abuser.
Eye for an eye style.
Side note: I spent time the other day with a Lordship Salvationist. We got onto the topic of “fallen heroes” ie: dirty Bill G and Madison Ashley RC S’junior.
Amazing how all of us lay people need to maintain an immeasurable amount of good works to be really, truly saved…
Yet these guys are allowed massive morals failings and are still considered genuine brothers.
New Year’s Eve here… Best wishes for 2016 to you all 😊
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Thanks for the reality check from your husband about wife spanking. It’s difficult to imagine that some of us who were in Patriarchy can even allow our brains to question whether this is okay or not. I have to admit that I was once at that place. Thank God I am free from that emotional/spiritual chain that held me captive.
Yup!! I hear you!
First of all, I have to say that every time I see your name pop up I smile! I love your play on words!
And, I second the notion that most leaders are not held to the same standard as the lowly church attender. It’s even mentioned in James 3 that a teacher will be “judged more strictly,” that is, held more accountable. Yet many teachers are not held to high accountability and are able to do as they please. I would venture to guess that at one time someone tried to hold one of these teachers accountable but were met with repercussion, which caused others to not attempt further accountability.
Do you notice any pattern in the frequency of these searches?
Like peaking late Sunday and into Monday or something similar?
Make an Example of one and a hundred will fall right into line.
Glad my happy porpoise face makes you smile Kathi 😊
Was reading Titus yesterday and noticed those naughty teachers who teach lies do so for ‘filthy lucre’s sake.
can I make that joke here?!
Haha. O wretched wo.man that I am.
Got me thinking about Who our teacher is.
I recall the moment I realised I too was guilty of heaping up the teachers.
Jesus was my little token key chain hero to get me to heaven.
Pulled him out of my pocket and gave Him back the place he deserves.
The dirty Bills and RCs are not worth listening to (imho).
Better to be quiet and let the good Lord lead us.
We trust men way too much.
For those interested, I just posted an article on “Spiritual Abuse Survivor Communities ~ 10 Trend Projections and Predictions for 2016-2020.” This is the first trends post I’ve done in a few years. (I’ve been writing about spiritual abuse since 2008, and have done trend posts since 2012.)
If you follow Spiritual Sounding Board, The Wartburg Watch, and Warren Throckmorton, there probably won’t be many surprises in my post. But I think it gives a different perspective, with rounding up where we’ve been in recent years, and applying strategic foresight speculation into where we may be going given how past trends intersect with current events.