Vaccinating Children with Complementarian: Series Introduction – Review of “God’s Design” Gender Role Book for Children

Complementarian, Egalitarian, Teaching Children, Children Desiring God, John Piper


Series Introduction

Vaccinating Children with Complementarianism

by Kathi

Owen God's Design

The SSB Watch Dog  gives “4 Paws Down” for this book.

I spent many years reading books to my children. Homeschooling families know all too well the importance of reading. However, I can say that I never read a book like this to my kids.

God’s Design is a children’s books which teaches about the importance of  gender roles.

Oh, yes. You read that correctly.

About the Organization and Authors

God’s Design is written by Sally Michael and Gary Steward. It is published by P & R Publishing and sponsored through Children Desiring God. I purchased my copy through Amazon. Research and benefiting my charity of choice made this purchase a little bit easier to swallow. Here is some information about the authors from the back cover:

Sally Michaels is the cofounder, curriculum author, and publishing consultant of Children Desiring God. She is also an author, speaker, and former Minister for Children at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis.

Gary Steward is an assistant professor of history at Colorado Christian University. Previously he served as pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada.

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A couple of things stand out in these bios. First is the name, Children Desiring God. Does that sound familiar in any way? A simple Google search brought this up:

Screenshot 2016-08-05 at 9.30.02 PM

 

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Yes, Children Desiring God is linked to Desiring God website. Desiring God’s year end 2014 statement has them listed as a ministry partner (or is it an extension of Desiring God? Either way, they are linked together.). Children Desiring God offers Sunday School curriculum, homeschool curriculum, books, seminars and an annual conference. Sounds like Children Desiring God runs about the same as Desiring God, only it’s solely geared toward children.

This leads me to my second stand out in the bios….who do you immediately think of when you hear Desiring God? It is no wonder that Sally Michaels is writing for Children Desiring God when she served at Bethlehem Baptist along side John Piper for 10 years (Sally’s husband, Michael, served for 20 years). What I want to know is how Sally managed to earn and maintain the coveted Minister title while working under John Piper’s leadership. Gary Steward also spent three years under John Piper’s tutelage and has contributed curriculum for Children Desiring God.

About the Book

God’s Design is roughly 100 pages long and consists of 26 short story chapters. Follow-up questions and activities are provided to ensure that children grasp the concepts in the lessons. The main purpose of this book is to build a theological foundation for “biblical manhood and womanhood” in children.

The preface offers more:

Now more than ever parents need to talk with their children in age-appropriate ways about God’s good design for manhood and womanhood. Parents also need to talk with their children concerning how many ideas about manhood and womanhood – egalitarianism, feminism, homosexuality, gender blending/bending – go against the beautiful design of gender complementarity.

And…

Children need to understand, before their teenage years, how God created men and women to be equal in personhood, dignity, and worth, and yet different regarding the roles He designed them to have.

We find many of the familiar catch phrases here. First there is the idea that egalitarianism and feminism go against the Bible. This is a hill to die on and for the life of me, I really do not understand why. All I can determine is that the last great stand for men to retain total power is in the home and in the church. I can understand why some Christians struggle with accepting homosexuality, but the reality is that God loves all people, and we should too. I find it fascinating how the theology of complementarity can be so focused on homosexuality. We must remember, though, that it is the view of biblical marriage which homosexuality threatens.

The other familiar catch phrase that is found in this part of the preface is how God created “men and women to be equal in personhood, dignity, and worth, and yet different regarding the roles he Designed them to have.” Different but equal. When will these folks ever learn that those who are “different” will never feel “equal” as long as this mentality is in place?

Continuing in the preface:

Hopefully this book can serve as a springboard for further interaction between parents and children, not just about manhood and womanhood, but about God and the gospel . May the Lord bless you as you inoculate your children against the Devil’s lies by speaking truth from God’s Word, and may your children grow up to be godly men and women who spread the light of the gospel and live out God’s design for men and women in a dark and needy world.

This book is about God and the gospel. THEIR gospel. That’s the problem with where complementarianism is at this point and time. It has become a primary doctrine issue and has become their gospel. The gospel is merely proclaiming the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus and the eternal hope we have in Him alone. I often wonder if God looks down on these churches and leaders and is thinking that they have lost their first love.

But it’s this golden phrase that has me worried the most about this book: “May the Lord bless you as you inoculate your children against the Devil’s lies…” Oh, Lord, may we vaccinate our children against the evil lies of equality and women’s rights! This book may be damaged from being thrown across the room too many times.

About the Series

This series will consist of reviewing 2-3 chapters of God’s Design at a time. The goal is to post at least once a week. Given that summer is winding down quickly, we still have company coming to visit at some point within the next two months, and school will be starting back up, I may have to go a little longer in between. But, I will try to keep pauses short so that we don’t lose track in discussion.

Why am I doing this series? It’s not easy for me to hide my disdain for complementarity. I think that organizations such as Desiring God and CBMW have gone too far in convincing people that this is not one way of looking at marriage, gender roles, and roles in the church. It is the way. The gospel way. I think that their insistence on this issue is damaging and binds the freedom that we have in Christ. I hope you will find it informative to see what people embedded in the complementarian camp are using to vaccinate impressionable young minds.

426 comments on “Vaccinating Children with Complementarian: Series Introduction – Review of “God’s Design” Gender Role Book for Children

  1. Sorry Mark, I’d forgotten your question.

    I think the wife’s submission, her acknowledgement of her husband as ‘head’, is not something he can enforce. She has to do this as part of her following Christ (‘as to the Lord’).

    Precisely what this actually entails is a subject for legitimate discussion. It rarely is profitable if the premise of the discussion is actually ‘why this is not for today’ or the possible abuses of this by immature husbands takes centre stage. If its contemporary relevance has not been established first, there is nothing really to talk about.

    It’s about the same value as arguing about the nature of tongues speaking in Acts and 1 Cor with a cessationist. Academic.

    I believe submission starts in the heart, and many of the discussions of this I have seen go round in circles and get nowhere because a basic but unacknowledged unwillingness to want to practice it is present. Anyway, it should also be something the older women teach the young wives, not the men!

    I hope that is not avoiding it too much!

    And may I add that your post above on the presuppositions underlying discussions on science, creation and evolution was excellent and very helpful.

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  2. Carmen – you asserted that God endorses slavery, and sex slavery in particular. When I look at the passages you have in mind, not only is sex slavery absent, slavery is specifically prohibited. And then you say I am willfully blind, along with Mark!

    I don’t incidentally believe in a ‘loving God’, but rather one who is righteous, holy, hostlle to the evil men do to each other, one who has, on occasions, in judgment taken back the life from men that he gave them in the first place, and which is his right to do so as its owner, with them often having chosen to be irredeemiably evil.

    He is also loving, gracious, forgiving and merciful, but this is not relevant to men until they start to want to turn from their rebellion against him. Experiencing God’s love is conditional.

    I’m sorry if all you have ever had from Christians and churches is the truncated gospel of ‘God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life’.

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  3. Carmen, I don’t see it that way, and you are free to have your opinions, but obviously neither of us is going to convince the other.

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  4. KAS, I believe it’s a Biblical principle that God does not make someone “responsible” for something without giving the “authority” to make it happen.

    So, what you seem to be saying is that the husband has some responsibility to God to which the wife is supposed to submit, but then God doesn’t give the husband the authority to enforce that responsibility. That just doesn’t make sense.

    The state, for example, has the responsibility of rewarding good and punishing evil and protecting citizens from outside enemies. To carry out that responsibility, the state has the authority to use the sword – punish wrongdoers.

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  5. Pingback: “God’s Design” – Headship, Helper, and an Answer We Already Knew | Spiritual Sounding Board

  6. Mark – enforced submission is a contradiction in terms. This is enjoined upon the wife as part of her obedience to Christ. It mirrors up to a point the collective submission of the whole church to Christ.

    The counterpart with the husband is his role as ‘head’. I think this contains an element of authority in it, but it is not simply a synonym. If you say a wife ‘has to submit to her husband’s authority’, this will trigger two responses. One will be rejection based on the abuse of this notion by husbands who are anything but loving and considerate. The other will be a guilty conscience in a wife who in effect says in her heart ‘no, Lord’ to this idea, but knows in her heart that her attitude is displeasing to God. Nevertheless, regarding the latter, she may be reacting to the word ‘authority’ and misunderstand it as meaning she must be obedient to her husband’s every whim or otherwise be in some form of subjugation.

    The husband can and should be a source of blessing to his wife. To change the translation of ‘head’ to ‘source’ to get rid of any notion of authority, however, is unjustified from what I have read, and fraudulent scholarship and claims made by some of those who do inidcate another agenda at work. The scholar who originally suggested changing the translation to source actually still believed in the subordination of wives to husbands, incidentally!

    I’m increasingly coming to the conclusion that we cannot and should not try to ‘interpret’ or negotiate our way round this, neither for husbands nor wives, and that if we do so, we forfeit God’s blessing. Answered prayer being a specific example.

    Put it like this. Singles who want a spouse, but in the case of him are not really willing to lay down their life and wishes for someone else, or in the case of her state they would not submit or recognise him as head shouldn’t wonder that they can pray for years and God doesn’t hear them. And for those already married, the same will apply until they come round to thinking they may not like it but had better start trying to do it.

    But people have got to want to see this for themselves, it cannot be achieved by endless argument, which is part of my reason to play it all down a bit in my post above.

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  7. Singles who want a spouse, but in the case of him are not really willing to lay down their life and wishes for someone else, or in the case of her state they would not submit or recognise him as head shouldn’t wonder that they can pray for years and God doesn’t hear them.

    Wow.

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  8. Kas said,

    Mark – enforced submission is a contradiction in terms. This is enjoined upon the wife as part of her obedience to Christ. It mirrors up to a point the collective submission of the whole church to Christ.

    And should I ever marry, I choose not to submit to a husband in the way complementarians understand and teach submission.

    And there’s nothing men, preachers, the church can do about it.

    This is their only option if they wish to get women to submit the way they teach submission:
    _Control: The Reason The Gospel Coalition and CBMW Cannot Actually Condemn Spousal Abuse_

    But I find it funny how many Christians (usually men) sit around on blogs and forums and argue, debate, and bicker at women to try to convince them (and maybe the few men who disagree) that women should submit to husbands.

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  9. Lea quoted someone else as saying (have no idea who),

    Singles who want a spouse, but in the case of him are not really willing to lay down their life and wishes for someone else, or in the case of her state they would not submit or recognise him as head shouldn’t wonder that they can pray for years and God doesn’t hear them.

    Whomever wrote that quote……

    When you say “not recognize him as head…”
    – who is that “head” referring to there, Jesus Christ (who is a female Christian’s ONLY true “head”), or is that an erroneous reference to a male human husband as a woman’s “head” (as in authority figure)?

    Assuming whoever wrote that was referring to a human husband (not to Jesus of Nazareth)….

    !! The Bible does not teach that at all. !!

    The Bible does not teach that if you do “X,” God will, or must, send you a spouse.

    Also, the Bible says no-where that if a person refuses to do “Z,” God will not send that person a spouse.

    Further, to whomever wrote that (was it Kas?), not only is your comment cruel to people such as myself who wanted to be married but it never came to pass, your view does not work any way.

    For years, I believed in complementarianism (I used to be a complementarian) up until my mid- or late- 30s, but God never sent me a spouse….

    Not even when I believed in all the male headship malarky that complementarians teach.

    So, if your criteria there (if I am not misunderstanding) is that a single women must believe in male headship (as comps teach it) or God will not send them a husband, you are woefully in error.

    A woman can believe in that male headship trash and God still will not grant her a spouse.

    (This even assumes God “sends” people spouses. The older I get, the more I get the gut feeling God does not “send” people spouses, but leaves it up to us if we want to marry, and, if we do, for us to get a husband ourselves by joining dating sites and so on).

    In my own case, I’ve dropped the equally yoked teaching and have changed my dating site profiles to accept matches from agnostics and atheists (though I’m not dating right now, but for when I do in the future, whenever that may be).

    As a matter of face, a lot of Christian single women end up marrying outside the faith because of the demographics issue: the single women out-number the single men, even in other religious groups, such as conservative Jews and Mormons. There have been articles and books published about this phenomenon this last year. These women are marrying outside the faith because there are no matches for them within their respective faith.

    Many women do not find comp male head teachings appealing but restrictive, unloving, sexist, etc, so they are not going to marry single Christian complementarian men.

    I have seen gender egalitarian Christian single women on other sites copy and paste dating site profiles of comp single men who flirt with them to egalitarian groups (crossing out the men’s names to keep them anonymous) to criticize, mock and laugh at their complementarian goobledy-gook, oppressive, sexist comments and dating preferences, such as, the men who state ridiculous stuff on their profiles about how they want to be a godly manly man he-man male head to a properly submissive doormat godly Christian passive gal.

    Complementarian male headship is not a winning sales feature to many single Christian women these days.

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  10. Carmen said,

    I believe what you are doing is called being willfully blind. Or perhaps you have a problem with comprehension.

    Both you and Mark are doing the dance around the fact that the god you worship is anything but a loving god. In fact, I’d suggest that both of you are more moral than than the war god, Yahweh, you worship. I know WHY you do it, of course, but it doesn’t make it any more acceptable.

    There is some difficult stuff in the Old Testament.

    In my view, a lot of that – the violence and stuff – was due to God making concessions to the ANE cultures in which the OT took place.

    As most Christians understand things, God consists of three eternal persons – Father, Son (Jesus of Nazareth), and the Holy Spirit.

    The Son was incarnated as a human being, and I think one reason of several he came in human form was to give us a better idea of who God is.

    Jesus was mostly a loving person. He normally reserved any of his hostility for the religious leaders of his time, who put a lot of burdens on the people.

    I’m personally not opposed to the death penalty. I definitely think people like child rapists should get fried in the electric chair.

    In the OT, some of the people God ordered the ancient Jews to destroy did stuff like sacrifice live infants (in fire) to pagan deities.

    In those types of situations, I personally have a very hard time feeling pity or sorrow for those pagan people who God ordered to be wiped out.

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  11. Whomever wrote that quote……

    It was KAS.

    I’m not going to bother getting into the many, many ways it is absolute nonsense, but I wrote somewhere about this ‘headship/submission’ thing…if a husband is truly loving his wife in the way he is instructed too, the submission part will not be necessary in the way they tend to think of it (ie, OBEY ME WOMAN). Because he loves and respects his wife, he will value her opinions and judgement, he will not be self seeking, which means he won’t stand over her demanding she bring him coffee or wash the soap bubbles off. So whatever it is they think they should be getting out of this submission deal, they will not be getting if they obey their part of it. So basically they should all stuff it.

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  12. Quote: When you say “not recognize him as head…”
    – who is that “head” referring to there, Jesus Christ (who is a female Christian’s ONLY true “head”), or is that an erroneous reference to a male human husband as a woman’s “head” (as in authority figure)?
    Assuming whoever wrote that was referring to a human husband (not to Jesus of Nazareth)….
    !! The Bible does not teach that at all. !! Unquote.

    But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a woman is her husband (or and the man is the head of a woman), and the head of Christ is God.

    Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord.
    For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.

    Here is a list of verses that explicitly or implicitly teach Christ is directly the head of a woman or a wife, or that a wife is also head of her husband:

    On the other hand, your point that we don’t have to pray for a spouse (although you would have to agree it’s very common) is well made. This is a freewill choice providing the other half is a fellow believer. I’d stand by my comment though that if we entertain sin in our hearts, unrighteousness, God will close his ears to us. Wrong attitudes in marriage, specifically for husbands but I don’t think limited to them, is an example of this kind of unrighteousness.

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  13. KAS said: “Mark – enforced submission is a contradiction in terms.”

    How can you argue that? The covenant of works was enforced submission. Man obeyed God or was punished. The covenant pattern is that of a conquering king – the king stipulates the terms and the punishments for violating those terms. That is the pattern of authority. The state enforces submission to the law. Parents enforce submission.

    The fact that you cannot shove marriage into a mold of enforced submission should be a warning flag to you that marriage is NOT an authority relationship.

    It’s very tempting to read too much into analogies. Yes, Christ is my authority, but the analogy of Christ sacrificing himself for his bride is not an analogy of authority. Shoving authority into that analogy would be the equivalent of saying, Christ died for my sins, therefore, I must die for my wife’s sins. Or, Christ is my God, therefore I am my wife’s God.

    Just because we’ve been taught to shove authority into every relationship doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the truth. The Bible is sometimes difficult to interpret correctly, because it is God’s dealing with specific people in a specific culture. Throughout the Bible, God deals incrementally. He doesn’t give Adam and Eve a twelve volume discourse on natural law and the plan of salvation. He gives them a core of truth that the can use to approach him. As the Old Testament unfolds, God reveals more of himself and more of his heart towards his people.

    In the New Testament, the writings are more and more clear, but still, the people in the 1st century culture, who are okay with slavery, misogynistic and racist, need to be guided towards the correct relationship. So, Paul pushes them way out of their comfort zone (e.g. submit to one another, instead of women are property) just as Joel did in the Old Testament (your daughters will prophesy).

    We need to get over misogyny like we had to get over slavery. Just because Paul gave instructions to slaves does not mean that God approves of slavery. It wasn’t some prooftext that abolitionists looked to for proof, but rather they asked the question, what is God’s heart here? Does God really want one man to own another like a man owns a cow or horse?

    Yes, the Bible has practical instructions for women and men in a misogynist culture, just like the Bible has practical instructions for slaves and owners in a slave culture. But we can’t look to the instructions as proof that God is in favor of misogyny and slavery.

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  14. KAS, “I’d stand by my comment though that if we entertain sin in our hearts, unrighteousness, God will close his ears to us.”

    I grew up with this same horrible view of God. This is legalism. You’re saying that God would send his son to die for us, send his Spirit to live in our hearts, adopt us into his family, and then when we fall into some sin push us away and not listen to our cries?

    Just like with where I was, I think this legalistic perspective of God becomes a lens through which all scripture is interpreted. Instead of love and grace and desire for our happiness, our view of this life is one of self-flagellation – asceticism and stoicism. We think that somehow God wants us to be miserable, or that our misery is a just consequence of some hidden sin that God is pushing us away for.

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  15. Kas said,

    ” I’d stand by my comment though that if we entertain sin in our hearts, unrighteousness, God will close his ears to us. Wrong attitudes in marriage, specifically for husbands but I don’t think limited to them, is an example of this kind of unrighteousness.”

    The Bible does not speak to how to get a spouse. There is no directive where God says: “And thus, these are the steps by which a Christian must get a spouse.”

    There is nothing in there that says if a person does not share your view about prayer, theology, or male headship God’s response is, “Welp, no spouse for her!”

    You said:

    “Here is a list of verses that explicitly or implicitly teach Christ is directly the head of a woman or a wife, or that a wife is also head of her husband:”

    And there were no verses cited, so I’m not sure what you are driving at.

    The Bible does not teach male headship of wives or women in general as taught by complementarians.

    There are plenty of essays and articles by Christian gender egalitarians that offer the correct interpretation of such verses, which show that God was not implementing male authority over women (Jesus expressly taught his followers not to lord authority over one another, too).

    Link: _Five Myths of Male Headship_

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  16. KAS, how do you deal with Ephesians 5:21: “be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.”

    If the word “subject” means what you claim, then the Bible is contradictory. That is, if subjection means subordinating, then you can’t have two people subordinating themselves. One has to be the master and one the slave.

    You are applying your patriarchal presupposition of hierarchy on the Bible, but it doesn’t make sense. What does it mean that I have authority over my wife’s body and she over mine? What does it mean to submit to one another? How can prophets be subject to prophets?

    If the use of those words ALWAYS forces hierarchy, then it’s contradictory. Two people cannot share hierarchy. If it does not always force hierarchy, then the meaning of the text can be something other than a master/slave relationship.

    And, yes, it’s confusing when we’ve been taught all our lives what those verses mean. But… is it God telling us that, or is it people who want to create a pattern of control? My elders who beat “obey your elders” into me were also the ones who refused to listen. The elders who listen to me are not the ones beating the obedience drum, and they tend to be the ones I “submit” to as well.

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  17. Mark – my claim God will not listen to prayers is not based on legalism, saying people are not really Christians or denying them the grace and love of God, but scripture I only really ‘noticed’ recently.

    Likewise you husbands, live considerately with your wives, bestowing honour on the woman as the weaker sex, since you are joint heirs of the grace of life, in order that your prayers may not be hindered. (From 1 Peter 3, but best to read most of chapters 2 and 3 for context.)

    It was the last phrase that struck me. It can only either mean someone mistreating his wife is unlikely to be able to pray, or more likely God will no longer listen. I think the latter is confirmed by reading further on, where Peter is addressing all believers and quoting the OT:

    Do not return evil for evil or reviling for reviling; but on the contrary bless, for to this you have been called, that you may obtain a blessing. … “For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those that do evil.”

    Mistreating a spouse will break fellowship with God until put right. It may well be a reason amongst others other why God no longer listens to prayer. It’s only a confirmation of the psalmist’s If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.

    You don’t have to go very far in the religious blog scene not to encounter reviling going on, in particular amongst some comment sections. Examples of this abound, and I reckon explains the lack of evidence of God’s blessing on them that is sometimes very obvious. No-one can do this and expect to be blessed.

    Now I know Peter specifically addresses husbands on this issue, and I don’t like it when egalitarians apply instructions specific to wives or husbands or parents or children etc. as though they apply equally to everyone, but … on the same principle, a rejection of the submission aspect could lead to unanswered prayer for wives until this is put right. I could think of a couple of examples known to me where this is almost certainly the case. When put right, blessing was immediately restored. When not, a drift towards agnosticism ‘God doesn’t seem to be there any more’.

    I do not doubt this is true of abusive elders and pastors, and I would suggest, not to put it too strongly, that the absence of fellowship with God their abusive actions and words must surely lead to is a reason that celebrity, ‘ministry’ and conferences, fame, wealth and an obsession with doctrinal correctness kicks in as a substitute to fill the vacuum. I’m sure you could think of some names! But it is also true of those who in turn revile them.

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  18. Now I know Peter specifically addresses husbands on this issue, and I don’t like it when egalitarians apply instructions specific to wives or husbands or parents or children etc. as though they apply equally to everyone, but …

    I’m going to do it anyway? Because it fits what I want to believe? And I’m going to go fifteen steps further and apply it to people who haven’t been married at all?

    convincing.

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  19. No, I’m not going to dogmatically apply something specifically addressed to husbands to wives as well. I do think this is reasonable in view of what follows, namely that unanswered prayer will follow in the wake of sinful/unrighteous behaviour for all believers, as Peter expressly says so.

    It is instructive that marriage is a particular example. The principle is not nullified just because not everyone gets married.

    Now you may be right that I should limit the specific application to the prayers of husbands, which I certainly would regarding their duty to live considerately and bestow honour. I understand your objection. I hope if you do insist on this, you will likewise insist that the duty of ‘submission’ enjoined on wives in the preceding verses applies only to them.

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  20. I hope if you do insist on this

    I am merely insisting that YOU be logically consistent.

    I do not believe the bible says anywhere that any sin will result in unanswered prayers. It specifically points to one thing.

    But I do not believe ‘lack of submission’ is a sin and I further do not believe that submission even means what you think it means. So no, I will not agree with you.

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  21. Lea, you beat me to it.

    As I said, your God is legalistic. The question is… why would the husband’s prayers be hindered?

    James says: “With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way.”

    You want to apply this to your caricature of a legalistic, unloving God – a God who deafens himself to the prayers of his people who don’t check all the boxes, but I think what James (and Peter) are saying is that God responds to the TRUE heart, not the facade we put up. So, the husband whose heart is twisted so as to dishonor his wife prays from the same heart.

    This is true Pharisaism – it’s what is in the heart that counts, not the external actions. Peter isn’t saying, here’s another box to check. Did I submit today? Because if you don’t check that box, God is going to uncheck his box. Will I listen to your prayers today?

    God wants his blessing to flow through us into the world. The husband who has dammed up the stream so as to prevent the honor shown him from God from flowing to those around is also the one who God is going to remove blessing. I have to be careful of that in my own life – I love to receive praise from others, but I am pretty stingy in giving praise. I love to have great gifts from God that I’m reluctant to bless others with.

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  22. I’m having difficulty reconciling your views with the 1 Peter quotation of the Psalm:

    “He that would love life
    and see good days,
    let him keep his tongue from evil
    and his lips from speaking guile;
    let him turn away from evil and do right;
    let him seek peace and pursue it.
    For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous,
    and his ears are open to their prayer.
    But the face of the Lord is against those that do evil.”

    You can be more positive if you like and see this as an assurance that God is very willing to answer prayer when we make being righteous in word and action our priority. But it can hardly be coincidence this follows on from the ‘hindered prayers’ phrase, which is the negative implication.

    My thinking on this was triggered in the first place not by reading this passage, but asking the question as to why in a particular and fairly large segment of Christian bloggers and commentators there was so little evidence of God at work in their lives, to the extent it is possible to see this. I’ve certainly known this in my own life with dry periods when it all seems unreal, and it pays to consider if sin is the blockage. On reading 1 Peter not so very long ago, it suddenly clicked. The reviling going on so often – calling other believers ‘sewer rats’ or worse. The insincerity and plain bad language. Some of it you could only describe as evil, and the face of the Lord is against those that do evil. Sooner rather than later, if we go down that road, this blockage between us and God will be the result until we put it right.

    I’ve also found a not entirely dissimilar variation of this in James.

    Why do we, as Christians, think we can do this kind of thing and get away with it? God is not a grandfather figure who ‘loves us unconditionally’ – a phrase never found in the bible!

    Enough said.

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  23. So then, when are crops are hailed out, a disaster in agricultural terms, and our income is greatly reduced; it is due to the fact that we are in sin and our prayers for a bountiful harvest, have been hindered.

    It’s like the Baptist man, who preaches occasionally when the pastor is absent, said to my face when he heard the news of my upcoming surgery (similar circumstances to Julie Anne here), and possibility of me having cancer, and I quote, “Well, you know, you’re going through all of this because of YOUR SIN.”

    I will never sit under this man’s teaching even again for he is so deceived and believing a lie. And my prayer is he never ministers to those who are weak, dying, and desperately seeking Hope in Christ.

    I better quit for today, my two cents has multiplied!

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  24. why in a particular and fairly large segment of Christian bloggers and commentators there was so little evidence of God at work in their lives, to the extent it is possible to see this.

    That’s quite a remarkable super power you’ve got there. My BS meter just went off the charts.

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  25. KAS, I lived in your mindset for a long time. When things went well, it was because I had everything together and God was smiling on me. When something went wrong it was because I screwed up and God was upset.

    I’ve struggled with this for years. I’m convinced that there is somewhat of a spectrum of legalism within Christian circles:
    1) People who use religion and legalism as a form of control over others – who don’t care about God.
    2) People who use religion and legalism as a form of control, but they are convinced that God wants them to do it.
    3) People who want to obey God and serve Him, but aren’t trapped into a legalistic mindset.
    4) People who think God loves unconditionally, and it doesn’t matter what they do (antinomians)
    5) People who don’t care what God thinks and do whatever they want.

    I was solidly within the (2) camp – not as a controller, but as a controllee. Those people who wanted fame and recognition for their superiority used their visible works and all that went well for them as proof that they were living within God’s will. Yet, they were unloving and ungracious.

    I left my church because I recognized that the leaders acted like they were completely superior to everyone else. They preached about elders being “God’s gift” to the church, and how we needed to believe what they told us as if it came directly from God. And, of course all the ways we were utterly worthless and they had value.

    The new church I attend still calls people to obey God, but not out of worthlessness and duty, but out of our desire to love God and be part of God’s work (not the church’s work) in the broken world.

    I think that, perhaps, Peter is talking to the (2) people. Those who believe in Jesus and God, but are caught up in a man-made works righteousness system trying to please their religious leaders. Those are the people like the Pharisees who come to God saying, “listen to me. I’ve checked all the boxes today, and I’m not like that other guy over there.” Where the one with the true heart, who hasn’t checked all those boxes is the one who Jesus says has his prayers answered. Isn’t that the opposite of what you’re saying?

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  26. “My thinking on this was triggered in the first place not by reading this passage, but asking the question as to why in a particular and fairly large segment of Christian bloggers and commentators there was so little evidence of God at work in their lives, to the extent it is possible to see this.” -KAS

    Actually this is spot on not for bloggers and commentators, but for many of today’s authoritarian church leaders. They (clergy) frequently project their own sins on to others, unwilling to own up to the ‘little evidence of God at work in their lives’, which is clearly seen by many around them.

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  27. “Likewise you husbands, live considerately with your wives, bestowing honour on the woman as the weaker sex, since you are joint heirs of the grace of life, in order that your prayers may not be hindered. (From 1 Peter 3, but best to read most of chapters 2 and 3 for context.)”

    Yes, context is king. What is the theme Peter lays out for the context? Believers living among unbelievers in differing capacities.

    Sheesh. Your agenda is becoming too obvious.

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  28. “You can be more positive if you like and see this as an assurance that God is very willing to answer prayer when we make being righteous in word and action our priority. But it can hardly be coincidence this follows on from the ‘hindered prayers’ phrase, which is the negative implication.”

    There is a huge difference between righteousness (which includes justice and helping the oppressed) than “self righteous”. Better watch that for hindered prayers. :o)

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  29. Hello all.
    Sorry I have not had the time today to go back and read every post on this blog since I was last here, but I skimmed over a few and saw this in a post by Kas (I only skimmed parts of it.)

    You can be more positive if you like and see this as an assurance that God is very willing to answer prayer when we make being righteous in word and action our priority. But it can hardly be coincidence this follows on from the ‘hindered prayers’ phrase, which is the negative implication.

    God “being willing” does not translate to “God will absolutely answer your prayer when and / or how you want if you just follow Kas’ biblical interpretations which may include but not be limited to “being righteous in word / action” etc.

    I’m a 40 something year old virgin. I wanted to be married years ago and having sex.

    I was the godly, kind-hearted, pious, little June Cleaver Christian gal you complementarians teach women to be, from the time I was a girl.

    (I stopped being a complementarian somewhere by the time I got to my mid or late 30s.)

    Despite years of “having faith in the Lord,” “being righteous in word and deed,” etc and so on and following the rest of the Christian recipe to get Prayers Answered (did I mention the part about being a 40 YO virgin?), God never did send me a husband.

    The fault is not mine.

    Following a recipe – being “righteous,” “trusting God,” (or whatever other steps you want to insert), are not guarantees for getting a prayer answered.

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  30. I saw Velour quote this,
    it’s attributed to Kas:

    “My thinking on this was triggered in the first place not by reading this passage, but asking the question as to why in a particular and fairly large segment of Christian bloggers and commentators there was so little evidence of God at work in their lives, to the extent it is possible to see this.”
    -KAS

    I’ve been on the internet for a very long time, 15 or more years.

    That has to be one of the most obnoxious, presumptuous, and condescending comments / attitudes I’ve ever witnessed.

    Which is saying something, because I’ve even lurked at forums many a time over the years where extremely smug anti-theist Atheists debate condescending Christians, and forums where Neo-Calvinists talk down about Arminians.

    I hope I am just totally misunderstanding this person’s intent or comment. If it is saying what I think it is saying, ¡Ay, caramba!, to quote Bart Simpson.

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  31. My thinking on this was triggered in the first place not by reading this passage, but asking the question as to why in a particular and fairly large segment of Christian bloggers and commentators there was so little evidence of God at work in their lives, to the extent it is possible to see this.

    KAS, are you saying you do see evidence of God at work in the lives of Piper and others called out by Julie Anne et al? If you do, then you and I simply part company on the subject, because I do not. They show no evidence whatsoever of being concerned for the least of these, or of showing mercy to the most vulnerable.

    On the other hand, if you agree that the lives of Piper and his comp buddies show no evidence of God’s work, then why is it so wrong for us to say so? Or do you think that our words and actions are somehow worse than theirs?

    The reviling going on so often – calling other believers ‘sewer rats’ or worse. The insincerity and plain bad language. Some of it you could only describe as evil, and the face of the Lord is against those that do evil.

    Oh, “reviling”. You mean like when Jesus called his opponents “broods of vipers” and “whitewashed tombs”, right? Was He guilty of evil when He did that?

    And what exactly do you mean by “insincerity”? Are you accusing Julie Anne, or Karen Hinckley, Ruth Tucker or anyone on this board of lying? Or are you referring to our use of sarcasm and irony? You do know, I assume, that these are rhetorical devices which Jesus, Paul and the prophets were not above using, so why is it “insincere” for us to do so?

    So according to you, we’re all evil for name-calling and “insincerity”. But the coddling of abusers and child molesters, and the setting up of a whole sexist system that promotes such behaviour… that’s not what you think of when you read that passage in the Psalms? Just what are your priorities, KAS?

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  32. But the coddling of abusers and child molesters, and the setting up of a whole sexist system that promotes such behaviou

    It’s very interesting what some people think is a very bad and evil thing (not submitting properly/being supposedly mean on the Internet) versus that other stuff like abuse which is just sort of the egg breaking that naturally comes with the omlet making of super Christian comp promotion.

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  33. Mark – 4) People who think God loves unconditionally, and it doesn’t matter what they do (antinomians)

    These are the kind of people I have in mind. I’m not into legalism at all, evangelical or otherwise. But I think the apostle is clear we cannot indulge sin and expect answered prayer, husbands who mistreat their wives specifically, but everyone in general.

    It is not a believer’s standing with God that is the issue, they are still reckoned righteous, it is their fellowship with God, experiencing God in their lives if you like that unrepentant sin will affect.

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  34. Velour – Actually this is spot on not for bloggers and commentators, but for many of today’s authoritarian church leaders.

    Yes and no.

    Talking in generalities, kind of blogs I have read, sometimes for years now, include Team Pyro, Al Mohler, Piper’s material to a lesser extent, and a few other well-known names on occasion. The comments sections on some of these are also very revealing. A condescending attitude towards women also comes to mind.

    At some point I noticed how rarely any of these talked about answered prayer, or gave testimony to something God had done in their own lives, or in the churches they attend. I recall Phil Johnson doing this only once, for example.

    I noticed the attitude problem MacArthurites display towards charismatics, not so much the blatant fakes, as normal Christians wanting to have spiritual gifts.

    I’m not saying all these are ungodly men, I don’t know them personally. They mainly like to talk about doctrine rather than experience, or exercise discernment on the evangelical scene, some of their critique I would agree with. So I don’t expect dozens of testimonies from them every week. But they certainly do give the impression doctrine is more important than experiencing God, experience being a word they are frightened of.

    Authoritarian leaders who bully and revile church members who don’t agree with them are imo prime candidates for the discipline that Peter outlines. It’s something outsiders cannot know, but scripture does show God will not ‘bless’ such attitudes, and his ears are closed to their prayer until and unless they mend their ways.

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  35. There is a second grouping of blogs who criticize the big name ministries and their apparent object failure to guard against wolves, or who in themselves actually fierce wolves who don’t spare the flock. These need to be exposed.

    Within these, however, and covering a broad spectrum, are far too many who indulge in reviling – utterly inappropriate comparisons with Nazis etc. Verbal abusers. It is, all too sadly, not difficult to find multiple examples of this of the most appalling kind, although in general I’ve less experience of this side.

    I’ve noticed in some cases such commenting is in contravention of the blog rules forbidding insulting language. It is part of a tendency to expose sin in leaders but cover it up in members who have suffered at their hand.

    To the extent it is possible to tell, there also appears to be deficit of God’s grace and blessing among some of these internet writers, much on the same basis as what I noticed amongst the ‘big name conference’ organizing evangelicals.

    He that would love life
    and see good days,
    let him keep his tongue from evil
    and his lips from speaking guile;
    let him turn away from evil and do right;
    let him seek peace and pursue it.

    This applies indiscriminately to everyone (including yours truly), whether pastors and elders, or blog writers and commenters of whatever stripe.

    Not cursing, but actually wanting blessing for others who mistreat us – something Jesus himself told us to do. Who said the Christian life is easy!

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  36. “Not cursing, but actually wanting blessing for others who mistreat us – something Jesus himself told us to do. Who said the Christian life is easy!”

    What is really interesting in the NT is Jesus’ laser like focus on the Religious leaders of His tribe. He did not mince words. And the focus was constant. Seems to me if he had been Shoring up the religious leaders he would not have started with John the Baptist who was an outlier and despised the temple crew. (You might want to read some 2nd Temple historical context)

    OTOH, he rarely mentioned the pagan oppressors except to encourage the angry Jews to turn the other cheek and such to them.

    Surely you do not think he was advocating that the Jews could harm one another or treat each other with disdain?

    I think we get it all backwards. People are taught to put up with wolves in sheep clothing and call it love. If they don’t, they are accused of sin.

    I don’t think you understand Jesus Christ at all.

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  37. Within these, however, and covering a broad spectrum, are far too many who indulge in reviling – utterly inappropriate comparisons with Nazis etc. Verbal abusers.

    How are the comparisons with Nazis inappropriate? You haven’t explained that, KAS.

    I say, if the shoe fits, wear it. If the Calvinistas or other spiritual abusers act like Nazis or Communists or L. Ron Hubbard, then it’s hardly “verbal abuse” to say so.

    There’s something you haven’t addressed, KAS — the fact that Jesus, Paul and others spoke in ways very similar to what you have called “reviling”. Jesus referred to his opponents as “snakes” and “whitewashed tombs”, and Paul compared false teachers to Jannes and Jambres (who opposed Moses).

    So what makes that OK for them, but so evil and inappropriate for us? I would really appreciate an answer, because I honestly can’t see the difference.

    I’ve noticed in some cases such commenting is in contravention of the blog rules forbidding insulting language. It is part of a tendency to expose sin in leaders but cover it up in members who have suffered at their hand.

    If you’re referring to SBB or The Wartburg Watch (it’s hard to tell since you insist on being vague), their primary rule, as far as I can tell, is to provide safe spaces for victims of spiritual abuse. Some of them have suffered in silence for years on end, and need the opportunity to tell their stories and put their pain into words. If Julie Anne deems that a victim’s choice of words is acceptable, then I’m fine with that. She makes the rules here, not you or me.

    Also, please keep in mind: Some of those who engage in what you call “reviling” or “insulting language” might not be Christians. Are you insisting that JA and the rest of us force such people to adhere to Christian behaviour (or what you consider to be such) by harping on their “sin”?

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  38. There’s the big name bloggers and their fans, the discernment bloggers who criticize the big names or their church practices, and a third set who put both groups under the spot light. This latter group I’ve found helpful in exposing both the big names – an article on Messrs. Phillips and Turk comes to mind, for example, where it was a relief to know I wasn’t the only one to have problems with their attitude – and providing good stuff analyzing the discernment type blog.

    Regarding the latter, despite initial skepticism of those warning these too have their dangers, if you take a reasonable representative example from across the board I think the problems are often worse than with the big names.

    I could give specific examples of comments from a variety of places that illustrate what I mean by ‘reviling’, mostly unwarranted personal, sometimes bitter attacks. Happens to John Piper a lot. Also occasional comments about Nazis and similar that could only be described as vile.

    I don’t see why this kind of talk should be exempt from those NT places that tell us all as believers to keep control of our tongue. I can’t imagine you would really want to read any of it, it’s not edifying. It goes beyond anything Jesus or Paul would say in telling the truth to evil people, the line has to be drawn somewhere.

    I don’t wish to say any more than that, because after the instruction to let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking guile; comes let him seek peace and pursue it, and so often this descends into rancor, arguing and attempts at self-justification rather than ‘peace’. Peace is nicer!

    Everyone needs to separate the wheat from the chaff in all the mixture that is out there, and to be honest I’ve been very slow to see just how much chaff there can be, and having seen it, I believe God has told me to leave it alone.

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  39. Hi KAS,

     Perhaps I should tell a bit of my story. I was brought up as a strict Calvinist. My church had its sacred doctrinal cows, and those who left our particular denomination, unless it was a job in an area where there was no true church were thought of as backsliders or unfaithful.
    
     There was a confusing tone. We were superior to all other denominations because we were the most thorough and Biblical in our interpretation of scriptures, yet we were taught of our absolute worthlessness before God - both before and after being saved. The leaders, though had a special gifting, and that special gifting, once properly recognized put them on a higher plane where they deserved to be honored and respected, and they had value to God. The pastors even more so.
    
     I was brought up to be codependent. It was not okay to call out a leader on some fault, but if you could change the leader's behavior by extreme self-sacrifice, that was okay, and perhaps even praised. That message was reinforced by all authority. My church leaders taught me to obey and submit to my parents - that I had no rights other than what they gave me. My parents taught me to obey and submit to my church leaders. Yet, both my parents and church leaders were too important and working on such important things that small potatoes, like my need for reassurance, were not worthy of bothering them. My father came home and did his work or read a book and was not to be disturbed by my life. We were taught that our superiors would recognize our gifts and give us worthy jobs.
    
     So, as a brilliant student with a desire to understand theology, I expected to have my path paved before me. Instead, I was completely ignored. Worse than that, I moved to a church where I wasn't ignored - people recognized that brilliance and sought my wisdom. Then, I moved away to a church where one of my positions was considered liberal, so I was ignored and also reviled.
    
     All through this, I thought that I was going to be like Joseph. God was enslaving me for a time, perhaps working out some issue, but then people would recognize my gifts. That never came. Instead I was becoming more and more distant from God. I had no joy. My job was just like church - I slaved away hoping to be recognized, but the recognition never came. I never really considered that the church and church culture were toxic. That is, until I heard a sermon about how the church was our "mother". I had this thought. If my mother was abusive, then I would show signs of that abuse. I looked at the signs of abuse, and sure enough, many of them fit.
    
     What transpired from that was a progression of realizing that God was entirely different than I had learned from my church and my parents, and what was modeled to me as godly behavior (e.g. my mom submitting to verbal abuse)
    
     So, I challenge you to ask yourself whether your God is really loving. I still struggle with utter joylessness because the God modeled for me was one who had a constant frown. My best was never good enough. God would never smile at me - only his son, and I was allowed into his presence only by hiding myself behind Jesus.
    

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  40. ” I can’t imagine you would really want to read any of it, it’s not edifying. ”

    Then how would you know?

    “Everyone needs to separate the wheat from the chaff in all the mixture that is out there, and to be honest I’ve been very slow to see just how much chaff there can be, and having seen it, I believe God has told me to leave it alone.”

    So why are you here? To lecture us on your self righteousness?

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  41. You talk about Piper, and I say, why shouldn’t people call Piper out? The theology he is pushing is driving a wedge between people and God. Promoting a disconnected God who is angry with us all the time.

    Think about Jesus. The people who hated him were the people who created that detachment. God cares more about Sabbath-keeping than hunger, and God cares more about Sabbath-keeping than freeing his people from diseases and bondage. That’s the God of Piper. He cares more that the marriage isn’t broken than the bondage and suffering of those in a loveless and abusive marriage.

    Would Jesus have kind words for Piper, or would he call him a hypocrite and a viper?

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  42. So why are you here? To lecture us on your self righteousness?

    Hee.

    So, according to KAS, you have the ‘big names’ who teach a giant chunk of these new, dumb young pastors all about how to treat the men but also most especially the women in their congregation, after which they mess up big time. Then you have people who point out the ones who messed up big time. Those people are SO MUCH WORSE than the ones actually messed up. The third category…I don’t know who these people actually are but apparently they gripe about the bad teachers and pastors AND the ones who point them out! So they are obviously the most virtuous. Or something.

    Did I get that right? OH! Also, you should call out evil, like Jesus and Paul, but you know, don’t take it too far. Don’t cast them to Satan, or turn over the tables or get out your bullwhip or…Um..

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  43. “God has told me to leave it alone”, KAS says.
    Seeing how God ‘told’ Scott Walker, Ben Carson, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, John Kasich, and Ted Cruz to run for POTUS, one must conclude that God loves playing practical jokes on politicians and maybe even KAS . . . 🙂

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  44. Mark, I sincerely hope Jesus would tell Piper to stop it already with the very creepy sexual innuendo tweets and articles at DG where he even edits his proof texts…….at the very least!

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  45. I could give specific examples of comments from a variety of places that illustrate what I mean by ‘reviling’, mostly unwarranted personal, sometimes bitter attacks.

    Then please do.

    I can’t imagine you would really want to read any of it, it’s not edifying. It goes beyond anything Jesus or Paul would say in telling the truth to evil people, the line has to be drawn somewhere.

    Actually, I do want to read it, even if you don’t find it “edifying”. I might not wind up liking it, but I’m trying to understand exactly what you’ve found that’s so vile and where, and I simply can’t do that without specific examples. How exactly does it go beyond Jesus characterizing people as “vipers” or “whitewashed tombs”?

    Whatever it is, I can’t imagine it’s as bad as what I’ve seen on the “manosphere”. Now that was so vile I couldn’t take more than a few minutes of it. shudder

    Peace is nicer!

    That doesn’t mean ambiguity is helpful.

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  46. “Actually, I do want to read it, even if you don’t find it “edifying”.”

    One of the things victims of abuse hear from some Christians is that they don’t want to know anything about their bad or harrowing experiences because it is is not edifying. That is more typical than we can imagine. They will literally categorize a person’s telling of their bad experiences as “,sin” or “gossip”, etc. It is downright Orwellian.

    They will literally prop up wolves and feel pious doing do.

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  47. Lea – The Big Names and counterpart discernment critics are often mutually critical of each other. They both have an axe to grind. The third group, much harder to find, is more even-handed in its treatment of both groups, and less likely to let subjective feelings influence its judgment. This is helpful in appraising both groups and both the good and harm they may being doing – both to yourself, and others in general.

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  48. I have no problem with anyone quoting and analyzing John Piper’s teaching, his opinions and possible effect on those who believe him. He is increasingly inviting such criticism.

    Inappropriate to this are lengthy diatribes speculating on him being mentally ill, on what illicit drugs he is on. That he is a deranged idiot, goofy, a fool, deluded, pompous, insufferable and unable to be a decent human being – and ISIS.

    Many church leaders deserve censure for the way they mistreat/abuse people. This does not mean they are like the turncoat Jewish prisoners staying alive and being useful by helping shove other prisoners into the ovens in World War 2.

    None of them is actually like Hitler or Stalin or Mao.

    It is right to subject Douglas Wilson to scrutiny. It is not right, in a spirit of bitterness, to accuse him unevidenced of being a pedophile himself, and wanting to protect pedophiles.

    The invasion of Nazi Germany by the Red Army in 1945 led to immense suffering, loss of life, and at a conservative estimate 800,000 women and girls being raped. It is not acceptable to attack someone who lived through this because she is not anti-complementarian enough. Neither is it right to speculate that the elements of the Red Army responsible for the rapes, thoroughly indoctrinated with atheism and seeking revenge for what had been done to their country were actually probably Russian Orthodox Christians exercising their right to patriarchy.

    That’s enough.

    The extreme sentiments may only be in a minority of cases, but for me render complaints about injustice encountered in churches incredible, which is a tragedy where people are really being hurt by authoritarian leaderships.

    This wisdom is not such as comes down from above, but is earthly, soulish, demonic.

    I think this is about as much as I want to think about this for several months, if ever.

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  49. What tragic irony. You are the embodiment of the indoctrinated, KAS.

    Oh, and by the way – atheists are not indoctrinated. For that, one needs religion. Which is why it’s so important to get children ‘hooked’ while they are young – to get them thoroughly brainwashed.

    Please do some research. Education is the key to wisdom.

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  50. Again, KAS, lots of vague references, but still no direct quotes. This is still too ambiguous to assess what you’re talking about. If you don’t want to type or copy/paste the comments yourself, I would appreciate a few links (that is, if Julie Anne doesn’t mind).

    I have more to say on the subject but it must wait for tomorrow. Past my bedtime now. Again.

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  51. Carmen –

    “Oh, and by the way – atheists are not indoctrinated. For that, one needs religion.” Carmen

    This is not true at all. One can be indoctrinated into anything. If parents teach children that there is no God, most will believe what they are taught by a their parents. This is why becoming a Christian is more than just about being taught.

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  52. I think that’s a misconception by believers, Bridget. I have eleven grandchildren who are growing up with atheist parents. The question of (a) god never comes up. It’s religious parents who constantly pepper their children with information about THEIR particular god. Oh, and take them to church, provide Biblical homeschooling materials, etc. (in other words, indoctrinate them)

    I don’t know any atheist parents who tell their children there is no god – atheist themselves don’t say that. After all, who knows the answer to that one?

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  53. Carmen, you mean Atheists like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens don’t/didn’t think they knew the answer?

    Everything is a spectrum. Just as there are Christians who feel they shouldn’t push Jesus on their children, there are Atheists who openly ridicule religion. I remember a PBS documentary on Intelligent Design in schools, and the science teacher in the middle of a controversy where her students were petitioning to be taught ID in the science classroom was saying, “I don’t understand why they would do this. I thought I taught them well.” What was she teaching well? Presumably that ID could not be true. But, that is not an appropriate science discussion. Evolution may be the best naturalistic explanation for the existence of the species, but that does not make it true unless naturalism is also true, and the truth of naturalism is not a topic for the philosophy class, not the science class.

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  54. Mark, I’d love to get into more of a discussion (specifically to refute most of what you just wrote) but I have great respect for Julie Anne and she has admonished me in the past about my forays into atheism. . . 🙂

    (Besides, I’ve just been on a quilting retreat for the weekend and want to get my quilt top done – MY teachers won’t be happy with me. . . )

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  55. Lea – The Big Names and counterpart discernment critics are often mutually critical of each other. They both have an axe to grind.

    The only ‘axe’ the big names are grinding with critics comes from a simple dislike of being criticized! Otherwise they would ignore them completely. That doesn’t make this magic third group better. What a silly argument you are making here.

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  56. KAS, I think your problem is control. You can’t really control HOW people communicate on blogs and that bothers you. You feel the need to be the arbiter of such things and your way is righteousness. You have provided no direct example so we are to agree with your self imposed vague “godly” opinions.

    You might think Pipers creepy sexual tweets are godly. Or that he just has a lot of bad hair days for a “godly” man. Who knows? All I know is that your lectures aren’t working. Most of the leaders discussed here….I believe …….are either down right evil or totally ignorant of Christ and make it up as they go for fame and profit reasons. I become like a mama bear toward protecting their many victims. And there are many.

    I find it strange you expect people to conform to your views when you can’t even provide specific examples of what you think are communication sins. With that in mind, historical illustrations are often informative because those events start as benign ideas. Best to catch them early and map them to their logical outcomes.

    Perhaps you not comfortable in such arenas? Why not avoid them?

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  57. The definition of religion is a belief system. Hindus have one, Buddhists have one and so do Athiests.

    From wiki: Religion is a cultural system of behaviors and practices, world views, sacred texts, holy places, ethics, and societal organisation that relate humanity to what an anthropologist has called “an order of existence”.

    Even a belief that there are no pagan gods or a monotheistic God ….is a religion. So, Carmen, you are religious. :o)

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  58. “It is not acceptable to attack someone who lived through this because she is not anti-complementarian enough. ”

    It is statements like this that are so ridiculous and strain your credibility or ability to use reason. You are twisting and projecting. You need to provide statements from commenters here that show this sort of thinking.

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  59. I can assure you I am not religious. But since so many Christians do so well at knowing other people’s minds – and thinking they know what’s best for so many others – you must be right in your assertion.
    I am guessing, however, that you don’t believe in Allah, Apollo, Artemis (or any of the other thousands of gods) so that must make you an atheist, too. 🙂 I believe in one less than you do.

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  60. Carmen, the Jews and early Christians were thought to be atheists by the pagans because they believed in one God instead of many. :o)

    We all have beliefs. For some, science is a religion. I happen to believe God and science go together well. God wants us to do the work to discover how His creation works and what it offers us.

    Your being an atheist does not offend me at all. I have dear friends who are and some of the most gracious and generous people I know. I often think they are actually doing what God intended which is care for others.

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  61. We have to be careful with definitions. The Supreme Court, for example, has described “religion” as Theism, so Christianity, Islam and Judaism are religions, but Hinduism, for example, is not.

    I like Roy Clouser’s definition. Religion is what set of things you consider to be preeminent. That is, the base set of axioms from which you define all else. Most Americans, Christians even more so, define religion as a set of practices – what “thing” you worship. So, Christians tend to picture Atheists as bowing down in front of an empty altar.

    From that definition, it’s easy to see that everyone has a set of preeminent views from which they understand everything, and not only are those views inherently unprovable, they also lead to wildly different definitions of things like good and evil.

    Just because one’s views are naturalistic does not make them inherently irreligious. It is simply that nature is preeminent. This view is intriguing because it is anti-science. Science says nature cannot be infinite (e.g. laws of thermodynamics) yet naturalists hold that nature must be infinite. Naturalists beg the question of “supernatural” – they claim that the laws of physics were created in the Big Bang, yet, they acknowledge that it is scientifically impossible to know whether the laws of physics were created in the Big Bang. In other words, those who claim that Creation cannot be scientific because it is not a falsifiable theory, claim that the laws of physics were created in the Big Bang, which is itself not a falsifiable theory. It’s the pot calling the kettle black.

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  62. “Inappropriate to this are lengthy diatribes speculating on him being mentally ill, on what illicit drugs he is on. That he is a deranged idiot, goofy, a fool, deluded, pompous, insufferable and unable to be a decent human being – and ISIS.” – KAS

    If you did not know John Piper by name, if he wasn’t a well-known figure in American conservative Christianity, and you heard him spout off, tweet off,
    saw his ramblings…you’d think something was seriously wrong with the guy.
    And yes deranged.

    Plenty of people who work in the medical profession have pointed that they believe John Piper is losing it mentally (not as a joke), that there is something wrong with his brain, and that he should undergo a full medical evaluation.

    If it was a relative who was ‘losing it’ or a neighbor would you…do anything?

    Would you hire a new employee who behaved the way John Piper does?
    Have you seen anything that he’s done? The interviews about Mars Hill and his defense of Mark Driscoll (and that the closing of Mars Hill was ‘a loss for the Gospel’?). The bizarre sex talk of Pipers? The bizarre talk that women can’t be police officers? Women can’t give directions to men if asked on the street, etc. etc.

    Have you seen any of this?

    Why are you defending his deplorable, indefensible conduct?

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  63. Velour,

    Why are you defending his deplorable, indefensible conduct?

    Out of fairness to KAS, I don’t think she(?) is trying to defend Piper, or his outrageous teachings and behaviour. After all, she does say this:

    I have no problem with anyone quoting and analyzing John Piper’s teaching, his opinions and possible effect on those who believe him. He is increasingly inviting such criticism.

    As far as I read her, KAS is simply offended that we aren’t being nice enough while criticizing Piper. As though niceness were somehow more important than truth. Or something like that.

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  64. Carmen

    You had said:
    “atheists are not indoctrinated”

    My response:
    My roommate is an atheist. He is constantly getting indoctrinated by other atheists. He seeks out atheist websites and youtube to learn what not to believe. He tells me that he is an atheist because he was raised Catholic.

    My philosophy to him:

    Atheists love to “reason”. But…
    Why reason why when there is no reason why? No reason!

    Ed

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  65. (I feel the need to break this up over several posts. JA and Kathi, please let me know if you think I’m dominating this thread.)

    KAS,

    Inappropriate to this are lengthy diatribes speculating on [Piper] being mentally ill, on what illicit drugs he is on. That he is a deranged idiot, goofy, a fool, deluded, pompous, insufferable and unable to be a decent human being –

    Why is that inappropriate? Given that he shows no hesitation in publishing word salad tweets and incomprehensible teachings (as Velour described above), I think he’s inviting that kind of talk, too. I’ve wondered aloud myself whether the man is going batty with old age, and I won’t apologize for it. It’s hard for me to more charitable towards him than that.

    – and ISIS.

    Now that comparison I’ve never seen anywhere. I’d really need to see that comment word for word, to get some idea of what the commenter had in mind.

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  66. Many church leaders deserve censure for the way they mistreat/abuse people. This does not mean they are like the turncoat Jewish prisoners staying alive and being useful by helping shove other prisoners into the ovens in World War 2.

    Are you sure? I recall one anecdote from Headless Unicorn Guy (which he might have told second-hand), in which a married church elder and his wife knew that one of their members was a pedophile, and would steer other parents into relationships with the pervert, so that he’d molest other people’s children instead of their own. Sounds an awful lot like what your description above.

    None of them is actually like Hitler or Stalin or Mao.

    In that the bigwigs in christendom haven’t murdered people by the thousands? I agree with that. But, also unlike these historical figures, they don’t have the power to do so. Yet. (Thank God for separation of church and state.) However, men like Mohler, Patterson and Driscoll have engaged in purging, denouncing and silencing those who oppose them, at least as far as they can in a free society (thank God for the Internet). And that definitely totalitarian behaviour. The only difference that I can see is one of scale and scope, not character.

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  67. It is right to subject Douglas Wilson to scrutiny. It is not right, in a spirit of bitterness, to accuse him unevidenced of being a pedophile himself, and wanting to protect pedophiles.

    Why do you insist that these accusations are made out of bitterness? Wilson has most definitely shielded and coddled dangerous perverts, and abused their victims — we have evidence of that — and it’s perfectly reasonable to wonder why.

    The invasion of Nazi Germany by the Red Army in 1945 led to immense suffering, loss of life, and at a conservative estimate 800,000 women and girls being raped. It is not acceptable to attack someone who lived through this because she is not anti-complementarian enough.

    Are you just making up an example here, or are you referring to someone in particular? If the latter, a name would be helpful.

    The extreme sentiments may only be in a minority of cases, but for me render complaints about injustice encountered in churches incredible…

    Are you saying that, because some victims of abuse (and their allies) express their anger and outrage in terms that you find extreme, you refuse to believe what they say? KAS, that makes no sense at all, and I find it cold-hearted for anyone to insist that victims must learn to express their feelings in “acceptable” ways before giving them a hearing.

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  68. Serving Kids in Japan,

    You had said:
    “As far as I read her, KAS is simply offended that we aren’t being nice enough while criticizing Piper. As though niceness were somehow more important than truth. Or something like that.”

    My response:

    Kinda like:
    “Attorney General Loretta Lynch told Florida’s LGBT community that the “most effective” weapon at America’s disposal against Islamic terrorism is “love.”
    “our most effective response to terror is compassion, it’s unity and it’s love”.

    Love bomb them, huh? How’s that workin out for her?

    Ed

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  69. Ed, that always worked with bullies at recess, too, right? Sheesh! Bullies only understand one thing or they wouldn’t be bullies in the first place.

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  70. “As though niceness were somehow more important than truth”

    That is exactly the problem! Not to mention that “niceness” is a cultural construct and very different from kindness, fairness, justice, etc. It is a huge and uncomfortable subject but in my many years on this earth I will take the bombastic jerk over the “nice” deceiver any day because I know what I am dealing with. Satan masquerades as an angel of light. He doesn’t ply his trade with horns and a pitchfork. He is always “nice” but never kind or fair.

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  71. Velour: “Plenty of people who work in the medical profession have pointed that they believe John Piper is losing it mentally (not as a joke), that there is something wrong with his brain, and that he should undergo a full medical evaluation.

    Why are you defending his deplorable, indefensible conduct?”

    Piper had cancer not so very long ago I believe, and I think it possible this has affected his brain. If this is the case, is it normally acceptable to call someone suffering in this way a ‘deranged idiot’?

    I have in no way defended his conduct – on the contrary, I do think he invites criticism. If he really is ill, such criticism needs to be tempered with compassion, and recognition that his responsibility for what he says is diminished by this as he is not in full possession of his faculties.

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  72. Serving Kids in Japan:

    I haven’t made any of this up, you could put quotation marks around most of it. I don’t have lists of what others have posted on blogs, other people have done the donkey-work on this. But I have encountered what I alluded to, it is impossible to miss it, but I won’t miss not seeing it.

    You’ll have to forgive me not being any more specific, I don’t want to read any more of this kind of output.

    Even if people really have suffered in churches, this does not mean they are free to sin themselves. Some hangup about being ‘nice’ is not the point. Exposing evil is right, filthy or ungracious, contemptuous language is not, and the same apostle said both.

    Think of the effects this kind of lack of self-control can have:

    It affects the person indulging in it, being sinful. There is a very real problem of seeing the faults in others and being blind to them in ourselves. This is made worse by the granite resistance to considering this if anyone dares to try pointing it out.

    It can become contagious.

    It may be good if unbelievers stumble across blogs exposing the evangelical/industrial complex and it money-making or authoritarianism etc, but what must they think of the way over the top criticisms believers have of their fellow believers?

    Does rich westerners comparing their hassles in church with the suffering of WW2 require comment?

    Most importantly to me, if someone writes a balanced and objective piece exposing error or malpractice, those who most badly need to hear about it will not listen if it is followed by commenters venting anger or bitterness, or twisting the words of others. It is entirely counterproductive. They will notice this rather than brilliant and insightful comments in the mixture.

    If you visit atheist blogs and commenters, you will soon see contempt and hatred for religion and Christians from many, though not all. Is it really too difficult for us as believers not to maintain a higher standard than this?

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  73. “Piper had cancer not so very long ago I believe, and I think it possible this has affected his brain. If this is the case, is it normally acceptable to call someone suffering in this way a ‘deranged idiot’?”

    Nice try. Piper had one of the most treatable forms of cancer. He even made bank off it with a book. He was disingenuous concerning his “suffering” due to his treatable cancer but many a young head was turned by rhetoric.

    The wondering eagle has a story about “Don’t Waste your Cancer” that is instructive for us all.

    https://wonderingeagle.wordpress.com/2015/03/10/my-mothers-pancreatic-cancer-john-piper-and-me/

    Piper is full of ridiculous rhetoric. Remember when he had his DG film crew shoot him standing afar from a tower in Dubai claiming it should come down in the name of God? (That was was taken off the internet last time I checked) He and some other of his comrades like Platt also wanted us to believe they were risking their lives for the gospel in Dubai….at the Marriott. They are such frauds.

    We could list these sorts of Piper isms all day. My first experience with him was long ago when some young family members went to study with him after college. They came back total zombies who insisted none of us knew the true gospel. So, I started reading his books, articles and listening to him speak. If people would strip away the flowery verbosity, mesmerizing delivery, arm waving and truly analyzed what he says, they would start to see it. At least one would hope. The fact is Piper has always been a bit of a crank with no boundaries. He was raised in a Bob Jones environment. And that only multiplies when people get older.

    (The man excommunicated his son because he played guitar in a pub!)

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  74. We must still remember and be on guard with regards to the influence John Piper has and has had in the past regarding theology; much of it false theology. We must have empathy and compassion for his soul and pray that he seeks God, our Father’s wisdom above his own or lack thereof.

    In John’s past, we must also face the fact that he has made some bizarre statements, has taught some ‘where on earth is that taught in the Bible’ theology, and has had some questionable behavioral patterns long before illness set into his body.

    A statement made by John Piper regarding a woman should not give a man directions so as to not insult his manhood, is a bit much for this back woods theologian. For in my world, when the sewer man comes out to the country here, emptying our septic system of waste, it is my job to let “the man” know exactly where to empty his truck, another words, I have to give this man directions so he can continue to empty out our multiple tanks so we don’t have waste backing up into our buildings. I call this “what a waste theology!”

    In visible Christianity, we have given ourselves over to those who love to speak, be seen, and sell for profit, what belongs to Jesus in the first place. Praying for John Piper and his family, that he will go back to the One Who saves in the first place, Jesus, alone. (Typed, spoken in love, not with a tone of one-ups-manship….or should I say womanship.)

    And dare I say, the simplicity of Jesus, the Christ, sure has been run through mill, over and over again.

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  75. KAS you are still berating and lecturing without providing specific examples.

    As a “counselor”, you should know better. Or, is it Nouthetic counseling?

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  76. “You’ll have to forgive me not being any more specific, I don’t want to read any more of this kind of output.”

    Then why keep doing it?

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  77. Amen to your 5:53 comment lydia00. You are spot on.

    Piety combined with a false appearance of humility in Piper in not attractive whatsoever to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Young people from his alma mater flood back into our smaller communities with the same belief system as Piper has, and it grieves me to hear judgements, criticisms and condemnations of our faith in Christ and our lifestyles. While pointing out our wicked “worldiness,” I often remind these young know it all snappers, that “your bible(?) based private college tuition is five times the amount of our children’s non-private college tuition, and you call us worldly? Seriously?”

    Gnats and camels, camels and gnats, big money doesn’t produce disciples of Jesus.

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  78. I haven’t made any of this up, you could put quotation marks around most of it. I don’t have lists of what others have posted on blogs, other people have done the donkey-work on this. But I have encountered what I alluded to, it is impossible to miss it, but I won’t miss not seeing it.

    Pics or it didn’t happen.

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  79. “It affects the person indulging in it, being sinful. There is a very real problem of seeing the faults in others and being blind to them in ourselves. This is made worse by the granite resistance to considering this if anyone dares to try pointing it out.”

    This indicates you have the typical Protestant view of sin which means you also have faults which are classed as sin so why are you pointing to others? Are you blind to the fact you are doing what you claim is sin in others? This is the old sin leveling trick. Many call it moral equivalency (excepting yourself, of course). It is commonly used in authoritarian circles to control the message. As in “some animals are more equal than others”. :o)

    Let’s look at 1 Tim 1. Paul talks about those who decive others on purpose. And he names names in that letter. Hy and Al. He speaks of those deceived out of ignorance and puts himself in that category before he was saved. He has lots of mercy and compassion for those deceived out of ignorance and later says of one such person in the Ephesian church: Let her learn.

    So, are Piper, Mahaney, Mohler, Driscoll and all the others deceived out of ignorance? Or, do they know better? Do they deceive on purpose as well paid teachers and models of the Good News? Either way, as they promote themselves as keepers and teachers of the Gospel, it is not a good situation.

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  80. I find it cold-hearted for anyone to insist that victims must learn to express their feelings in “acceptable” ways before giving them a hearing.

    Serving Kids in Japan, this is a common silencing technique I believe. Stop being Angry. Stop being Bitter. It’s all meant to keep people who have been hurt silent.

    Liked by 1 person

  81. Katy, my young family members got sucked into the Piper thought reform cult about 17 years ago at Wheaton. They were downright cruel and arrogant about their “true Gospel” that the rest of their family did not have. Even to their own parents who paid for it! Not to mention their precious grandmother who spent 30 years laboring in the inner city ministry for free out of love for people. She did not have the “true Gospel” either.

    At the time I figured they were an anomaly and the typical college students who becomes a know-it-alls. I thought they would grow out of it. Grandma just smiled and said i will always love you all.

    But after following the man and meeting more and more young Piperettes, I saw a distinct pattern. And sadly, they became more immersed in that cultic thinking. They distance themselves from their family but not when it came to money for their new Ministry.

    That is the Piper brand of the love of Christ. Piper teaches an Angry God that damns those He did not choose before the foundation of the world. In Piper’s view human beings have no real volition. Everything is predetermined.

    Piper and Islam are not really that far apart in their determinism.

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  82. It may be good if unbelievers stumble across blogs exposing the evangelical/industrial complex and it money-making or authoritarianism etc, but what must they think of the way over the top criticisms believers have of their fellow believers?

    KAS, you have it exactly backwards. If you are worried about the Christian churches’ witness to the world, what hurts is people who DEFEND abuse and authoritarianism and money making on the backs of the poor.

    If the church wants to reach the world, it needs to toss out the abusers and the evil doing and the liars. It needs to toss out and condemn the money changers. If it wants to reach the world, it needs to become more like the watchbloggers than the industrial complex. Christianity does not benefit from keeping these things in the dark. Your solution is the opposite of affective. It leads to story after story of raping, adulterous abusive pastors who get a pass from their church because of God. That drives people away from religion. It’s not the people who point this out who are at fault. Every church in the land should point these things out, should support the victims, should tell those pastors to repent and yes they should do it in the forceful angry language you. Just like Paul did when he saw people doing wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

  83. Very keen observation, Lydia. After all, Je$u$ $ells.”

    They really don’t sell Jesus. They don’t even mention him that much and more so, the Holy Spirit. They sell an angry Sovereign God Who is a narcissist and must be constantly glorified. Humans are totally depraved and unable to respond to anything spiritual. They are dead. They are born guilty and sinning. Babies are vipers in diapers.

    Jesus is a Lesser God in the trinity in their View. The Sovereign Angry God had to punish the Lesser innocent god in order to appease his seething Wrath.

    It is right out of Greek Pagan mythology. But it’s what Piper teaches if you strip away all the flowery verbosity and arm waving.

    They tend to Map the Holy Spirit to themselves so that they can be your Holy Spirit for you. You see, they are specially anointed and you are not.

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  84. Oh, trust me – I’m on board with everything you just said. I am saddened, however, that there are people who are so desperate to feel superior to others that they resort to emulating such despicable human beings. 😦
    Give me a humanitarian any day . . .

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  85. They tend to Map the Holy Spirit to themselves so that they can be your Holy Spirit for you.

    And at the same time, they will tell you they are totally depraved! Same with men being servant leaders. They will not abuse power because…crickets. What sense is there in any of this?

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  86. “KAS, you have it exactly backwards. If you are worried about the Christian churches’ witness to the world, what hurts is people who DEFEND abuse and authoritarianism and money making on the backs of the poor.”

    Yes it is totally backwards. People not involved already know how hypocritical it all is. My athiest judge old college friend is proof of that. He could not understand why Christians would pack out a zoning hearing to put an adult bookstore out of business…….. and then show up in droves to give character witness for a pedophile and beg for leniency since he is now “sorry and realky redeemed….this time”. Yet the victim and family from the same church sit alone. Nice to the pedophile. Ignore the victim because they must move on from their sin of bitterness. (They always call it bitter). Your molester is one of us now. I think we are dealing with some of the most naive and gullible people around which is why charlatans and cons do so well there.

    As Katy put it: Gnats and Camel’s.

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  87. I’m hoping to have the top pieced by tomorrow and I’m going to be posting the pic to show my teachers (on Noseybook!) It is hoped that the picture will not be able to accentuate my points-that-aren’t-points. . . 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  88. I agree with Lea and Lydia, KAS. Your thinking on this issue is hopelessly backwards.

    Think of the effects this kind of lack of self-control can have:

    It affects the person indulging in it, being sinful.

    In your mind, perhaps. I’m not convinced.

    It can become contagious.

    I hope so. We need more people calling evil for what it is.

    It may be good if unbelievers stumble across blogs exposing the evangelical/industrial complex and it money-making or authoritarianism etc, but what must they think of the way over the top criticisms believers have of their fellow believers?

    Most likely they’ll think, “Finally. Here are some Christians who see the same money-grubbing and control-freakery that we’ve always seen in the organized church. Believers who see these frauds for what they are, and aren’t afraid to say so. It’s about time.”

    Does rich westerners comparing their hassles in church with the suffering of WW2 require comment?

    KAS, that’s a total misdirection. (And you talk about twisting other people’s words.) I’ve yet to see victims of spiritual abuse comparing themselves to victims of the concentration camps, or the persecutions of ISIS. They are comparing the attitudes, doctrines and actions of modern self-styled “church leaders” to those of totalitarians. And there are similarities, whether you choose to see them or not.

    And, “hassles”? Is that what you call the commission and cover-up of child molestation and fraud? And unlicensed practice of medicine? I wonder what these victims would think of your choice of words here. After all, this blog is for them, first and foremost.

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  89. A bit more for you to chew on, KAS:

    Most importantly to me, if someone writes a balanced and objective piece exposing error or malpractice, those who most badly need to hear about it…

    Who?

    …will not listen if it is followed by commenters venting anger or bitterness, or twisting the words of others… They will notice this rather than brilliant and insightful comments in the mixture.

    How do you know? Are you reading the minds of these hypothetical readers? Or just projecting your hangups onto them?

    If you visit atheist blogs and commenters, you will soon see contempt and hatred for religion and Christians from many, though not all.

    And where do you think that comes from, KAS? In my experience, it’s borne of frustration and anger at those who claim to represent God, but flaunt the law, wink at heinous crimes, and rush to defend frauds and criminals while leaving their victims in the cold. It doesn’t come from calling frauds, criminals and totalitarians what they are.

    One article that JA retweeted recently is case in point. It’s on Raw Story, and relates the grooming and rape of a 12-year-old girl by a church pastor. According to police documents, church leaders and members did nothing when they learned of this crime — even the girl’s adopted parents chose to shield the pervert rather than protect her. Only one member out of the entire congregation reacted with appropriate disgust and reported to the police.

    The comments by non-Christians following the article reflect their horror with this criminal and anti-social behaviour by those who claim to hold the moral high ground. Why should our disgust be less than theirs? In fact, why shouldn’t we be more disgusted than they are? And if our outrage exceeds theirs, why should we be shy about expressing it?

    In case you missed it: http://www.rawstory.com/2016/09/colorado-church-didnt-report-pastors-child-sex-abuse-because-biblical-counseling-would-suffice

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  90. I’ve never defended John Piper, nor said he is immune from criticism.

    Those who ‘discern’ the teachings, and appalling neglect of exposing wolves in evangelical circles are right to do so. The covering up of abusers and bullies needs exposing.

    Where evangelicalism has gone rotten, it would collapse if individual Christians would stop patronizing it with their presence and money.

    The question is how to persuade them of this. The way is by objective facts and cool analysis. Some people are very good at this.

    The way not to do it is ad hominum attacks and uncontrolled anger, allowing subjective emotions free rein. The kind of speech I alluded to earlier. An attitude of contempt, being as bigoted as the worst neo-Calvinist.

    When this happens, such bloggers and commenters should not close ranks when called out on this, or go into denial about it if they want to remain credible.

    When they do this, it makes me wonder whether they are simply malcontents. It looks like it to an outsider. It is, for example, almost impossible to tell to what extent Douglas Wilson made mistakes in his pastoral care due to the very obvious personal dislike of him by his critics. He probably did, but the selective quoting to the point of misrepresentation and believing the worst of him obscures this as far as I am concerned. It says more about the critic than Wilson. (Ultimately, of course, it is only the business of those directly involved. But it is good to be made aware of a possible other side to any famous blogger.)

    It doesn’t make claims of abuse by church leaders credible – quite the reverse – when those who do so quite blatantly wouldn’t submit or be persuaded by, yield in any way to any church leadership. Not even the apostle John himself! Is the problem authoritarian leadership, or ‘autonomous sheep’? Or both? Similarly with critics of complementarianism.

    To echo the apostle Paul:

    Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer everyone

    Neither should there be vulgar speech, foolish (moronic) talk, or coarse jesting

    He doesn’t list any exemptions from this. Neither “pastors”, nor those hurt by them. When this is ignored, far from helping expose abuse and shine light on it, it actually helps its continuation, even if that is not the intention. You cannot overcome evil with evil, I don’t understand why some people insist on trying.

    Well, when words are many transgression is not lacking, so I’ll leave my pontificating there.

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  91. It is, for example, almost impossible to tell to what extent Douglas Wilson made mistakes in his pastoral care due to the very obvious personal dislike of him by his critics.

    You can read for yourself what the man has said and done. He made ‘mistakes’ that have real consequences. That hurt real people.

    If you can not separate those facts, which are publically available, from your distress that somebody has ’emotions’ that is your problem.

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  92. It doesn’t make claims of abuse by church leaders credible – quite the reverse – when those who do so quite blatantly wouldn’t submit or be persuaded by, yield in any way to any church leadership.

    HA! Cart/horse here. Church leaders blatantly abuse leadership and abuse their parishioners, including way too often children, and you are surprised that people to do not want to be persuaded by them?

    These people are not my leaders.

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  93. I am picking up on a pattern here. KAS has some of the distinctives I picked up on when reading Doug Wilsons blog comments years ago.

    The same sort of reframing, blanket vague admonishment s, and most importantly the same faux vague agreement. They also try and present virulent patriarchy as benign.

    Wilson type followers fancy themselves as lofty academics. KAS mentioned being a counselor. Can you imagine the damage done to people who have been spiritually abused by this sort of person? The brain gaming, the twisting and reframing? Reminds me of Nouthetic counseling.

    Here is a perfect example from KAS:

    “He doesn’t list any exemptions from this. Neither “pastors”, nor those hurt by them. When this is ignored, far from helping expose abuse and shine light on it, it actually helps its continuation, even if that is not the intention. You cannot overcome evil with evil, I don’t understand why some people insist on trying”

    We know KAS believes in the caste pecking order. So we must ask who gets to arbitrate whether speech is gracious, foolish or vulgar? The pastor? Elders? Husband?

    Truths are often negative….to someone. The details of child grooming and molestation are vulgar to some.

    KAS has managed to now frame the vague blogs and bloggers s/he disagrees with as: EVIL. You all catch how cleverly that was done?

    There is very good reason why people like KAS want to be the arbiters of what they think is Christian communication. It protects their turf. So, call it sin, evil and then use appeals to Authority of their application for shaming. Problem is, throughout this interaction it has become I increasingly clear KAS does not understand Jesus Christ at all. KAS understands the importance of the caste.

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  94. Wilson type followers

    I’ve been thinking whenever someone randomly brings up Doug Wilson (of all people!) in the middle of a completely unrelated argument that its some kind of tell.

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  95. I am picking up on a pattern here. KAS has some of the distinctives I picked up on when reading Doug Wilsons blog comments years ago.

    Good catch, Lydia. KAS might have picked the right time to stop talking. I think you’re starting to figure him/her out.

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  96. KAS said: “It is, for example, almost impossible to tell to what extent Douglas Wilson made mistakes in his pastoral care due to the very obvious personal dislike of him by his critics.”

    With GOD watching us, who cares about critics? If Wilson is loving abusers and excommunicating the abused because he wants to silence the critics, isn’t he getting his reward?

    Wilson is just falling into the Pharisaical trap. Victims are messy and Abusers are not. The priest and levite walked by the injured Jew for that very reason. Abusers can fake repentance when it gets them what they want – restoration to ‘good boy’ status. Oops I made a mistake, show me grace. Nothing has really changed for the abuser, while the victim’s entire life has turned upside down.

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  97. I have skimmed over quite a number of posts, but I’m having a hard time following the conversation, especially the posts by Kas.

    (I’m not sure if Kas is a man or a woman, since I’ve seen other commentators refer to Kas as “he” and as “she”.)

    Kas’ posts contain much verbiage but don’t really seem to communicate anything, like a certain tele-evangelist I catch from time to time.

    The preacher guy to whom I allude has a 30 minute show daily on Christian TV but manages to do a lot of talking without conveying much of anything.

    After having read several of Kas’ posts, I’m not sure what he’s getting at, except maybe he wants people to talk more kindly about guys like Piper when they are critiquing Piper’s theology.

    This stood out to me:
    Kas said,

    The way not to do it is ad hominum attacks and uncontrolled anger, allowing subjective emotions free rein. The kind of speech I alluded to earlier

    Oh no no no no.

    I do not appreciate anyone dictating, lecturing me, or shaming me into repressing my emotions or insisting I must express my emotions in bounds of their whims and preferences (depending on the context).

    I spent my entire life with a family who even now shame and scold me into repressing my emotions.
    They get ticked off and verbally abusive if I go to talk to them about how I am feeling, or if they find out I’ve been doing so with other people.

    I was brought up being taught junk such as the following:
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    1. My feelings do not matter.
    (But other people’s feelings matter. So if others hurt MY feelings, it does not matter. My feelings are of no consequence, after all)

    I am not permitted to show anger
    (per my mother who thought it inappropriate for nice, ladylike Christian girls to get angry or show anger)
    I am not permitted, per my father and other family, to show or admit to feeling other negative emotions (such as fear, loneliness, doubt, sadness) because that is shameful.
    According to my father and certain other family, I am to act like a Robot, not a human being who has a heart and emotions.
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    Even now into my adulthood, a smattering of certain aunts / uncles of mine, as well as my father and older sister, shame me or scream at me not to go around sharing my personal dirty laundry with other people (e.g, getting vulnerable with others, going to them asking for emotional support, crying in front of others, admitting I am undergoing a stressful time, etc).

    I don’t go for this any more.
    I am sick and tired of anyone telling me my feelings do not matter,
    that it’s “wrong” for me to express emotion X, Y, or Z (or if I do express X, Y, or Z, I must express said emotions in a manner they find acceptable).

    I don’t like it when people try to “Emotion Police” me.
    I was Emotion Policed my whole life by family and shamed for having or showing emotions, or to admitting to feeling sad, angry, scared, etc.

    I will feel what I want to feel or what I happen to feel, and within the bounds of blog rules (here or whatever other blog), express it accordingly.

    Like

  98. Mark quoted Kas as saying,

    KAS said: “It is, for example, almost impossible to tell to what extent Douglas Wilson made mistakes in his pastoral care due to the very obvious personal dislike of him by his critics.”

    Why does Kas assume this has to be mutually exclusive?

    A person can think Wilson is an obnoxious, “flaming- posterior- hole,” convey that sentiment in a post ~AND~ also (calmly and politely) critique the man’s horrid theology and sexism, too.

    Like

  99. “Piper had cancer not so very long ago I believe, and I think it possible this has affected his brain. If this is the case, is it normally acceptable to call someone suffering in this way a ‘deranged idiot’?

    I have in no way defended his conduct – on the contrary, I do think he invites criticism. If he really is ill, such criticism needs to be tempered with compassion, and recognition that his responsibility for what he says is diminished by this as he is not in full possession of his faculties.” – KAS

    John Piper had prostate cancer ten years ago, a common form of cancer in men. He has been fine for many years and he is not ill.

    He is a bizarre man, with bizarre beliefs and teachings, irrespective of any health problems. If is is not competent to pastor (and he’s not), he should have recused himself years ago.

    I didn’t call Piper a “deranged idiot”. And if someone else did…it’s pretty accurate.

    Like

  100. Daisy, I read your comment and just feel like giving you a big hug.

    I understand your upbringing. Been there and feel like smashing walls as my parents still gaslight about their abusive behaviour.

    You seem like a real gem.

    Like

  101. Velour, I just have to watch Piper pray before his ‘sermon’ and compare it with Jesus’ rebuke about praying lofty words up the front (Matt 23).

    Jesus clearly identifies Pharisee behaviour.

    “Do as I say, not as I do”

    Like

  102. John Piper, WHO IS HE? Guess I will have to look him up and so glad missed being disappointed by another leader gone astray from Bible? Do I need to know who he is or am I wasting my time (feel like been in a bubble on names)? I like that the author of the article threw the book across the room too many times, I’ve done that with teaching tapes/cd=stopped the hell out of them or thrown a book in a fireplace. I’m reading “How Evil Works” by David Kupelian sequel to The Marketing of Evil. My friend recommended “The Beautiful Side of Evil by J.M. (haven’t read). What caught my eye was vaccinating word because someone brought that up to me and I referred them to “Battle Hymn by John Scura/Dane Phillips agenda for curriculum in schools as well as vaccine agenda=SOBERING along with Plague by Judy Mikovits and Dr. James Wardner’s book-The Planned Destruction of America, Our Stolen Future by Theo Colburn. Matthew 7:13-14 comes to mind and a wow of a discussion. Has anyone seen film “Waiting for Superman” documentary film on schools (drop in the bucket). Contact Debbie Mendenhall and see if she will investigate and be an advocate once again on exposing corruption in school material! Forgot: Charles Skyes? wrote a book “Dumbing Down Our Kids” and John Gatto “Dumbing Down Us”. Enjoy my Thompson Chain Reference Study Bible section on Bible=Word section in this case.

    Daisy, REALLY APPRECIATE YOU AND YOUR BEING TRANSPARENT (would love to meet you and Brenda (previous blog article commenter) and Salty you also for affirming Daisy. Daisy (Susan Forward’s written works helped me crawl out of all that behavior you talk about, in fact Wikipedia gave her “emotional blackmail” as her’s along with Victoria Secunda’s books and Dr. Laura and Herb Goldberg for coping skills and how to deal with Toxic People/Parents). Told someone recently her family is pushing her buttons was to get herself healthy first and then see the difference on how she reacts. After this Blog going to read my Bible through again! Great Brother in the Lord was killed by a drunk driver and want to give the awesome Gospel message at his funeral (he would have wanted the drunk driver to come to the saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ)!

    Like

  103. P.S. Has anyone seen the Sir Ken Robinson synopsis of our schools in “Ted Talks”; his talk was #1 if he hasn’t been kicked out of #1 status? Excellent!

    Like

  104. Daisy,
    Yes! Yes! and another yes and AMEN! How can one counsel another without emotions and desiring God’s justice? And how can those who claim to be “counselors” not empathize, nor sympathize with victims of any form of wrongdoing or abuse? Do not born again Christians have compassion for one another, or has Christianity stooped to the level of “desiring God with money, power, control, and prestige?”

    Are those who profess to be ‘Christian counselors’ more concerned about the money per hour they are making so as to live a luxurious lifestyle, and boasting of the number of people they are ‘ministering too,” or do they genuinely care about the souls/life situations of Jesus’ sheep?

    Thank-you Daisy for the publication referrals you mentioned on another comment thread. Patricia Evans, Bancroft Lundy, Susan Forward (Toxic In-Laws), Jeff Crippen, Barbara Roberts, and others’, books are a part of my cubbyhole library as I needed help during a pivotal time in my life. I NEEDED love, compassion, empathy, kindness, gentleness, patience, another words, ALL of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, during a major stressful and miserable time in my life when I was trying to sort out exactly what was happening to me. And to the ‘churches’ shame, it was not congregational members that offered counsel and support to me, but instead, our LORD sent “UNCHURCHED” believers in Jesus, the Christ, to love and support me.

    And currently, because of all of the abuse and neglect from the former church I belonged too, doors have been opened to minister to several women from that ‘complementarian, patriarchal’, oppressive religious system, where women are taught NOT to display any kind of human-like qualities!

    “Thou must serve, serve, serve woman, without emotion nor personality”….the mantra of an abusive religious system, wouldn’t you say? As man has free reign with his emotions, his words and his ways.

    Also, when I hear the word ‘mistake,’ I have to wonder if the word ‘sin’ wouldn’t be a more appropriate word to describe Doug Wilson’s cover-ups/wicked ways. In our comfortable, emotion-less lives, it seems as though the world of false Christianity loves to replace the word ‘sin,’ with ‘mistake, error, unintentional, mishap, ignorant’ and the like, with regards to pastors/leadership/important wealthy people within congregations, or those strong personalities who love to lord it over others due to their strong self important influence, ie, ‘church lady syndrome.’ Are pastors/leadership above ‘sinning, or is that especially reserved for us lower laity dogs/Samaritans?

    Regarding Piper and his piperettes; these people have been given far too much influence within the visible Christian culture and the ‘people love it so.’ His teachings have replaced Jesus’ teachings, thus becoming a replacement theology of sorts. Christianity in this country seems to be replacing Jesus’ teachings in our Scriptures with man’s teachings, at every whim, to accommodate the lifestyles of a people who do not care to read and study their Bibles for truth, allowing the Holy Spirit, to illuminate Christ’s Words/Ways?

    In my former abusive church system, the ‘prayer chain’ leader gave me a book by Larry Huck, of Trinity Broadcasting Network fame, that I was supposed to read as she thought in her own narcissistic mind, that I was unsaved when I first began attending their entertainment services. Like THOT, that book went immediately into the garbage pile in the back forty, and burnt quite well amongst the debris, unread by this saint, I might add. Again, ‘replacement theology’ was at work here.

    And Salty, I love your compassion for the people/commenters who post here, let your light shine! Praising the LORD here today, for the ministries of Daisy, Velour, Salty, Serving, Lea, lydia00, Lydia, Amos, and others on Julie Anne’s site, for this is how the Body of Jesus Christ encourages and edifies one another. Blessed be His Name.

    Like

  105. And also, forgive me, precious Brenda here has offered so much love and ‘counseling’ in her comments, giving me much wisdom to live by, because she has empathy and compassions for those who are hurting.

    God Bless you Brenda.

    Like

  106. “What caught my eye was vaccinating word because someone brought that up to me and I referred them to “Battle Hymn by John Scura/Dane Phillips agenda for curriculum in schools as well as vaccine agenda=SOBERING along with Plague by Judy Mikovits and Dr. James Wardner’s book-The Planned Destruction of America, Our Stolen Future by Theo Colburn. Matthew 7:13-14 comes to mind and a wow of a discussion. Has anyone seen film “Waiting for Superman” documentary film on schools (drop in the bucket). Contact Debbie Mendenhall and see if she will investigate and be an advocate once again on exposing corruption in school material!”

    THOT,

    Not sure I am fully understanding your comment but a few things sprang to mind.

    Last year The Battle Hymn of the Republic was excoriated by a few more liberal people on TWW as a horror. Not long after, I attended a public school concert with over a 1000 people in attendance. A very diverse situation with every ethnicity you can imagine. The concert ended with the Battle Hymn. The only people in that audience who jumped up with ovation were the African Americans. Others followed their lead.

    It got me to thinking how much that hymn must mean to them. It really helped me see it in a different light.

    Waiting for Superman was an excellent attempt by some brave liberal educators to lay out the problems in public education. It was no surprise to many of us that public education actually serves the educators and mostly the government administrators. But it went no where. This is a top down (Federal>state) problem that is going to take a major revolution of voters to say: no more with our money. Any candidate that touches it is guaranteed to be vilified by lies and stealth sabotage. We have allowed big government to turn our children into experimental units by faceless bureaucrats far away.

    I think the establishment is thrilled to turn out uneducated worker drones that look to DC for jobs and security.

    Like

  107. Daisy: KAS’ posts contain much verbiage but don’t really seem to communicate anything

    Too much verbiage eh?

    I love it. 🙂 🙂

    Like

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  109. Lydia00: Going to make this quick: Majority DON’T think to ask the pushing of vaccines, first thing asked at the Dr.’s office (other than your email address-lol) is did you get a Flu Shot, now pushing Shingles and Pneumonia. Pushing at the Pharmacy (Table’s set up; right when enter any store. Poster’s on the Door as you walk in; or paying you $5.00 to get your Flu Shot). I’m going to make everyone do their homework and pull the ingredients in your flu shot (ask your Chemical Type Engineer, Pharmacist, Dr. if they know the ingredients in the list, same for all Shots listed). Battle Hymn by Scura/Phillips is the agenda for Vaccines and more and people aren’t upset at this genocide agenda? Mercola.com is one site! I’d give you the truth at what ingredients are in, but people do not want to know and or hear it which is really sad! Read it for yourselves. Friend ask Dr., recently if their were cancer cells in one vaccine and the Dr., said yes, but it won’t hurt you much! Battle Hymn lays out the agenda! Wait till you see what they’re doing with the children in schools without the parents consent! Brings to mind that test on a question at school to the kids “if you could murder your parents, which one would you murder first” and have a whole video of items like this (ask Focus on the Family, they know what DVD/Video)! Parents (some) didn’t want to know that curriculum with our taxpayers money running theme “told our children if couldn’t cope, kill yourself”., contact “Citizen’s Magazine” as they ran the articles, journalist was Debbie Mendenhall!
    Also, in regards to “Waiting for Superman”, yes but it did expose the inept system but you have to look at who did and funding. At least he did something, not enough.

    Like

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