Clergy Sex Abuse, Tullian Tchividjian

Is This Tullian Tchividjian’s Spiritual Comeback Tour?

Tullian Tchividjian,Clergy Sex Abuse, Expastors.com, Greg Atkinson, Jonathan Merritt


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ExPastors.com Opens the Gate

My last post was about the new article written by former pastor, Tullian Tchividjian – The Freedom in Losing It All – published at the site, ExPastors.com. (It isn’t clear yet from a preliminary ExPastors.com article or otherwise whether this publication came about at their invitation or at Tullian Tchividjian’s request to post.) As the day went on, I watched the comments and noted a familiar pattern: The blog moderators were not comfortable with comments questioning Tullian Tchividjian’s character or their integrity. They started removing comments, and posted an explanation that the comments were not meeting the blog’s intended purpose.

When they started implementing that, the comment total was at 121. As of this morning (September 30th), it appears that a total of 4 comments were outright deleted, and 2 comments are still “awaiting moderation,” so the comment count total is 117.

What is the purpose of ExPastors.com?

Our Mission:

We seek to be a place of help, healing and hope for expastors, pastors, and church leaders. We do this by hearing their stories, connecting them with people and resources, and focusing on spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional health. (Link.)

Now, obviously my blog has an intended purpose. The purpose of my blog is to expose abuse within Christian churches/organizations, and to supply a safe place for survivors of those hurt by abuse. I also have posting guidelines and will remove comments if someone is defending an abuser or if their comments make this place feel unsafe for survivors to participate.

The Victim

So, that leads me to the obvious conclusion that ExPastors.com is doing the same, but the difference here is that Tullian Tchividjian has now become the victim.

Excuse me?!?!?!!!!!!!!

Tullian Tchividjian was the perpetrator and the liar who left a trail of destruction in his wake. This celebrity pastor whose ministry collapsed because of lies and sexual sins, and now … he has reportedly turned his life around? Really????

In contributing to ExPastors.com, Tullian Tchividjian has been graced with a platform on a silver platter to share the depths of his despair, even to the point of contemplating suicide, to his large and ever-faithful following and to the regular audience there.

The Poster Boy

Tullian is a perfect poster boy for this site. What more could they want than a high-profile celebrity pastor whose tragic collapse has now been beautifully restored?

But wait … has it really? How are we to know? Are we to believe the man who publicly confessed that he had an affair only after finding out about his wife’s affair? How convenient of him to leave out that he had previously had sex with another woman who was not his wife. And how hateful for Tullian Tchividjian to blame his wife for his more recent sexual immorality. And then when Pastor Kevin Labby took him under his wing at Willow Creek Presbyterian Church in Winter Springs, Florida, Tullian Tchividjian also failed to disclose the full extent of his sexual immorality. This is not a man who has a history of telling the truth. Are we to assume that a claim of spiritual restoration means he is now telling the truth? Because he claims God has done this work, does that mean we are exempt from fact checking?

I think not.

If you aren’t convinced of the opinion that he lies, see it for yourself by reading the extensive chronology, posts, and initial analysis in this Resource Bibliography. (That resource page is due for expansion and updating soon.) Patterns of deceit, failure to be forthcoming with the truth, blame-shifting, etc., seem clear enough.

Meanwhile, it’s important to note that the goal of ExPastors.com is apparently primarily to deal with ex-pastors, not any residual fallout caused by them (i.e., any people they may have victimized), nor to verify first if ex-pastors who contribute material on their site are being truthful.

So, on Twitter, I challenged the Executive Director, Greg Atkinson, during his conversation thread with my long-time Twitter friend, Andrew, who rightly is concerned about victims. Here are screenshots of that thread:

 

gregatkinson2

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Greg Atkinson, Tullian Tchividjian

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gregatkinson3

 

gregatkinson4

 

And then I, too, was blocked.

Our exchange was … interesting, yet it aligns with their statement of What We Believe:

We believe in God. We believe in the corporate church. We believe that we all have issues. But more importantly, we believe in grace. We believe in restoration. We believe in renewed individuals fulfilling the call of God on their lives. Whether it’s serving in a pastoral or lay leadership role or as the janitor mopping floors, we believe the expastor should, once again, become reintegrated back into ministry, into a place where they are fulfilling their call.

Why do we believe this? Because we’re confident that God is not done with you yet.

Notice this important part: “[W]e believe the expastor should, once again, become reintegrated back into ministry, into a place where they are fulfilling their call.” Yikes. Imagine those harmed by Mr. Tchividjian who are now reading this.

Religion News Service/Jonathan Merritt Widens the Path

Sadly, what often happens when news of a fallen celebrity pastor makes a comeback, they are given more media attention. Sure enough, Jonathan Merritt at Religion News Service (RNS) got hold of the story and decided to extend Tchvidjian’s platform to even a larger audience. RNS posted Billy Graham’s grandson on his near suicide and whether he’s planning a comeback on September 29th.

As a sidenote, I found out later that this was not Jonathan Merritt’s first time writing about Tullian Tchividjian. He has done at least two other personal interview-type articles:

Billy Graham’s grandson takes Christians to task: An interview with Tullian Tchividjian, Religion News Service, October 2, 2013.

Billy Graham’s grandson warns of New Year’s resolutions, JonathanMerritt.com, January 2, 2015.

Back to the article posted yesterday about Billy Graham’s grandson … Good grief, my blood pressure rose as I considered the implications of this – – – scores and scores of people getting to read about their hero making a wonderful spiritual comeback – – – based on what? Just Tullian Tchividjian’s word?

So, I responded to the tweet announcing this interview article, and here’s that thread:

Yes, that’s right. It took me all of seconds to contact key people directly harmed by Tullian Tchividjian to see if he had changed, to see if he has made things right with them.

  • I contacted Pastor Kevin Labby, his former pastor and boss, and he hasn’t heard from Tullian. No one from ExPastors.com has contacted him.
  • I contacted Kim Tchividjian, his ex-wife. She also said no one from ExPastors.com has contacted her.
  • I contacted one of the women whom Tullian Tchividjian groomed sexually and then committed clergy sexual abuse with. She said that ExPastors.com did not contact her, nor has Tullian Tchividjian made any effort yet to make things right with her. She has seen no evidence from him of repentance or sorrow for the pain he caused in her family.

So, what we have going on here is a masterful show of supposed spiritual renewal by ex-pastor Tullian Tchividjian, with no fruit evidenced toward the above people he harmed, or by other I also contacted.

This how you fact check – – – you go to the people he harmed, and you do not take just a chronic liar’s word for it. It’s called “due diligence” – – – duh!!

So, sadly, now the Tullian Tchividjian fans are coming out in droves to read their hero’s words. But ExPastors.com and Jonathan Merritt failed to do due diligence when they allowed Tullian Tchividjian to uncritically report his own narrative. Someone who is truly repentant wouldn’t be taking center stage again without making sure all of his victims were okay with it. Tullian Tchividjian’s victims don’t matter to him. They are just excess baggage that gets in his way.

Wasn’t Tchividjian masterful?  He appealed to an audience who wanted to hear his side, and what a perfect setup to gain back trust from his fan base to purchase his possible upcoming book.

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Edited 09-30-2016 to clarify that it is not yet known whether the ExPastors.com article came about at the invitation of ExPastors.com or from initiation by Tullian Tchividjian.

231 thoughts on “Is This Tullian Tchividjian’s Spiritual Comeback Tour?”

  1. Katy – KAS, for your reading pleasure, here are a few, no quite a few, wolves in sheep’s clothing that I was to support in order to fit in with the status quo at that church business: Wolf list: Kenneth Copeland, Joyce Meyer, Joseph Prince, Beth Moore, Benny Hinn, Joel Osteen, Mark Batterson, Larry Huck, Mike Murdock, Todd Bentley, Andrew Womack, Paula White, Mark Driscol, Mike Bickle (IHOP fame), Ron Luce (Teen Mania fame), and many, many others.

    I know most of these names, and agree absolutely that they are at best false teachers and at worst wolves in sheep’s clothing.

    I would never attend a church where these were thought of as sound teachers. What some of them are into is powerfully demonic. If you follow them, they will lead you straight into the same deception they are in themselves.

    Their ministries are, however, ‘biblical’. Read Acts 8 : 5 to 24 and you will see what I mean!

    Like

  2. KAS

    You write @ OCTOBER 4, 2016 @ 12:27 AM…
    “I think there is no such thing as a ‘celebrity pastor’.”

    “A pastor shepherds, tends the needs of a local congregation.”

    Why would anyone want “to be known” (celibrity) as pastor? Or shepherd?
    xxxxxxxxxx

    In the Bible,
    “I think there is no such thing as a ‘pastor’”
    That WE, His Sheep, His Church, His Body, sees “Today.”
    xxxxxxxxxx

    Was wondering…

    In the Bible, did any of His Disciples “call” them self pastor? Or shepherd?
    In the Bible, did any of His Disciples have the “Title” pastor? Or shepherd?

    In the Bible, did any of His Disciples become like “today’s pastors?
    Paid, Professional, Pastors, in Pulpits, Preaching, to People in Pews?

    Seems, in the Bible, His Disciples, His Servants, His Ekklesia…
    Had NO Desire, or Need, to be called pastor, or shepherd…
    Had NO Desire, or Need, to have the “Title” pastor, or shepherd…
    Had NO Desire, or Need, “to be known” (celibrity) as pastor, or shepherd…

    What did His Disciples know 2000 years ago?
    That those who desire “to be known” (celibrity) as pastor Miss Today?

    Like

  3. Q said,

    Carmen said,

    “I wonder if Ed’s feelings on that subject have anything to do with the fact that his wife cheated on him? Methinks he’s letting his bitterness get the better of his good sense. :(”
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    And Daisy repeated it in support.

    I did not “repeat it in support.”

    I was not aware of Ed’s personal situation that Carmen mentioned was all I was getting at.

    Q said,

    I wonder if Carmen and Daisy’s “feelings” (not facts or beliefs but “feelings”) on the subject have anything to do with the fact of their frustration with their marital status? Methinks they are letting their bitterness get the better of their good sense.😦

    Your analogy fails, because I’m not a married preacher who is having affairs, nor am I a married woman who is having affairs.

    But thank you for mentioning my marital status, because it goes to show that Tullian is without excuse: I’m a 40 something year old single virgin (and I was engaged at one time, and had opportunity to sleep with my ex, though I did not).

    I have abided by the Bible’s teachings on sexual morality, Tullian has not.

    Yes, meanwhile, Tullian was married and according to the Bible, able to have “legal” sex with his wife but chose to “get some on the side” by exploiting vulnerable female church members, under his job title of preacher.

    I’m having a difficult time wrapping my head around the motive as to why Ed is so gung-ho on defending sexually abusive and sexually exploitative pastors.

    I cannot understand why or how someone refuses to see that there are dishonest pastors out there, some who are not true Christians, who do use their job to lure vulnerable women victims into their lairs.

    Like

  4. Post Script.
    Q said,

    I wonder if Carmen and Daisy’s “feelings” (not facts or beliefs but “feelings”) on the subject have anything to do with the fact of their frustration with their marital status? Methinks they are letting their bitterness get the better of their good sense.

    It is a fact that Tullian had at least two affairs and that he did so under auspices of being a pastor.
    Which of those facts are in dispute, buddy?

    Like

  5. Lydia said,

    (Carmen quote)
    “wonder if Ed’s feelings on that subject have anything to do with the fact that his wife cheated on him? Methinks he’s letting his bitterness get the better of his good sense.”

    I would think twice before going down this road. People do this to all sorts of victims all the time. It is unnecessary and cruel. Victims are often accused of being irrational and bitter and their views dismissed. Please don’t play into this stereotype. Just disagree with Ed and make your argument as to why.”

    I am sorry if Ed’s wife (or ex wife) cheated on him, but with all due respect, I have honestly wondered what motivates him to victim-blame women in these sexual abuse stories, where we see a male pastor who used his position of trust to prey on women.

    I cannot figure out what drives someone to be so stubbornly obtuse and unwilling to see, understand, or concede that there are bad, selfish men out there who do in fact use their job titles or overtures of friendship to take advantage of women and children, especially ones who may be under stress, hurting, or emotionally wounded.

    It doesn’t just happen in pastoral jobs, but also with men who work as school teachers, Boy Scouts, and psychologists – does Ed also blame the women and children victim of men of those occupations too?

    Like

  6. Thanks, Daisy, for that explanation.
    Just for anyone’s information, I have been married for almost 40 years and still love my hubby (most of the time 😉 )

    Perhaps that was a harsh observation to make about Ed. But I can’t help but be incensed with his attitude (on the other thread) about women in spiritually abusive situations. Surely he would know how vigorously Julie Anne campions for women – after all, her efforts are concentrated on this aspect of religion. I am appalled that he would ignore everything he’s ever read about the insidiousness of power relationships involving clergy and parishioners.

    The other thing that bothers me is this: Ed was in the military. He MUST have been briefed on the dynamics involving superior officers and junior officers — surely he must also have been given specific instructions about dealing with the opposite sex in this regard, and about the inherent power one holds in a power position.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lydia,

    A great example can be compared to you and I. We have been here since pretty much the beginning. Yes, I disagree with you on some issues, but I agree with you on way much more issues and I think that our disagreements and agreements are held to a standard that is respectable. I have seen your comments on other blogs quite frequently, and I cannot argue against what you say most of the time.

    Daisy,

    I don’t know what happened between you and I, but please do not think that I am victim blaming. It’s not true. I am advocating justice for victims. How are we doing in getting justice for victims? Not so good, are we? What are we doing in getting justice for victims? What does Jesus want us to do in moving our feet in getting justice for victims? How did they become victims in the first place? What church by-laws were set in place to create victims? What can we do with our feet to change the status quo so that there will not be victims in the future?

    If we are afraid to call the police to put the perp behind bars, then the abuse continues, creating new victims, and in the case of Lourdes, she sought a civil action instead of a criminal action. That is what I was questioning. I was not questioning her claims. She was a victim indeed of sexual “assault”. Even if you were to take the “pastor” element out of the equation, she was still a victim of sexual assault, and that is still a felony crime no matter how you slice it. Phillips needed to be placed in a jail cell, convicted, sent to prison, and required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. But that didn’t happen. Instead, he was sued. In other words, he got off scott free for his felony crimes because people were afraid to call the cops, or to tell someone that would do it in her stead.

    In the Lourdes case, I did not victim blame.

    Respectfully,

    Ed

    Like

  8. Katy, “KAS, for your reading pleasure, here are a few, no quite a few, wolves in sheep’s clothing that I was to support in order to fit in with the status quo at that church business: Wolf list: Kenneth Copeland, Joyce Meyer, Joseph Prince, Beth Moore, Benny Hinn, Joel Osteen, Mark Batterson, Larry Huck, Mike Murdock, Todd Bentley, Andrew Womack, Paula White, Mark Driscol, Mike Bickle (IHOP fame), Ron Luce (Teen Mania fame), and many, many others.”

    Ah, this is so true. And in my seeking for a true church to attend, I found the same attitude is pervasive, just exchange the list of celebrities above for a different one. Take your pick from Greg Laurie to John Piper to Joel Osteen to Mike Bickle, every Christian these days seems to need some big name to follow and there are big names in every flavor. Jesus and the Bible are not enough.

    Like

  9. Christianity Today (Sept 2012)
    Navigating a Moral Crisis

    When one of our leaders fell, it required a balanced, biblical response.

    By Tullian Tchividjian

    Our church was recently hit with a high-ranking moral tragedy. It was discovered that a staff member (and close friend) was engaging in marital infidelity.

    I was crushed. I didn’t see it coming. None of us did. Of all the crises I’ve faced and had to deal with over the last 17 years of pastoral ministry, this was a first for me. I have dealt on numerous occasions with husbands and wives in the throes of extramarital affairs, but never a staff member. Never someone this close to me. It’ll take me a long time to get over this one.

    On top of having to deal with this on a very personal level, I had the responsibility of leading our church through this crisis. How do you handle something like this? What do you tell people? I reached out to a handful of older, wiser, more seasoned friends of mine who are pastors that have lived and led through situations like this. Their help and counsel and encouragement and insight were indispensable for me. What would I do without these men in my life?

    One week after we discovered the affair, I had to stand up on my first Sunday back from vacation and tell our church what happened. I, of course, did not share much. I steered clear of details. I simply told our church that this man had been engaged in marital infidelity and the situation was such that it required him to be removed from his position. I shared with our church the detailed ways that we were caring for the families involved and communicated our long-term commitment to continue caring for the families involved. It was a tough morning for me. It was a tough morning for everybody. The hurt, the anger, the sadness, the confusion.

    I preached from Galatians 5:13, and among the things I emphasized and explained to our church was that we are not a one-word community (law or gospel) but a two word community (law then gospel). A law-only community responds to a situation like this by calling for the guy’s head (sadly, many churches are guilty of this). These churches lick their chops at the opportunity to excommunicate. A gospel-only community responds by saying, “We’re no better than he is, so why does he have to lose his job? After all, don’t we believe in grace and forgiveness?” A one word community simply doesn’t possess the biblical wisdom or theological resources to know how to deal with sinners in an honest, loving, and appropriate way.

    Explaining that we are a law-gospel community, I showed how pastorally this means we believe God uses his law to crush hard hearts and his gospel to cure broken hearts. The law is God’s first word; the gospel is God’s final word. And when we rush past God’s first word to get to God’s final word and the law has not yet had a chance to do its deep wrecking work, the gospel is not given a chance to do its deep restorative work. Sinners never experience the freedom that comes from crying “Abba” (gospel) until they first cry “Uncle” (law).

    I illustrated this point by reminding our church that the father of the prodigal son did not fall to his knees and wrap his arms around his sons legs as the son was leaving, but as he was returning. He had been waiting, looking to the horizon in hope. When he saw his son coming home, crushed and humbled, he ran to him. But he didn’t stop him from leaving. He didn’t rescue his son from the pigsty. If we really love people and want to see them truly set free, we have to get out of God’s way and let the law do its crushing work so that the gospel can do its curing work.

    I’ve seen way too many lives ruined because parents, pastors, families, and friends have cushioned the fall of someone they love-robbing that person from ever experiencing true deliverance because they never experience true desperation. As John Zahl has said, “God’s office is at the end of our rope.” Grace always runs downhill-meeting us at the bottom, not the top.

    I long for the day when I can look out on the horizon and see my crushed friend walking toward me. On that day I’ll know that God’s law has done its work. And when that happens, I will run to meet him, fall on my knees, wrap my arms around his legs, and throw a party. No questions asked. Just a party.

    I’m waiting for you, my brother!

    Like

  10. @ Carmen

    You’re welcome.

    There are a number of disagreeable (some kind of downright snippy and mean) people posting on this same topic over at the T-W-W thread, kind of like our charming “Q” friend up above.

    I refer to this thread:
    It’s Clergy Sex Abuse; Not an Affair!

    I remain amazed that several of the commentators over there keep defending the sexist “Billy Graham Rule” (which they have done on older threads over the last year, as well).

    They allow their paranoia of possible, hypo-thetical, extra-marital affairs dictate how churches and Christians treat women.

    They are pretty much OK with churches treating adult, single women as though they all have cooties and should be shunted aside, for the protection and safety of married men.
    This is sabotaging women to continue to grant privilege to men, and men already have a ton of privilege in churches.

    I’ve tried explaining several times over at the other blog to the ‘Billy Graham Rule Defenders’ that this is not as much an issue in the secular working world, or not as much as it is among Christians.

    I’ve held secular office jobs where I met (sometimes alone, gasp!!) male co-workers in their offices after hours, or for lunch, to discuss projects, and NO SEX took place, can you believe it?
    Never even crossed my mind, and my male co-workers did not “hit on me.”

    Then you have a few sour apples at the other blog who are wanting to hold women equally to blame as the male preachers who prey on them.

    And note, some of them over there are engaging in straw man argumentation: they assume I think all women every where are innocent little lambs who never sexually sin.
    No, I’m quite aware that some women do prey on men and try to entice them, including hitting on the occasional preacher. I never stated otherwise.

    But I think by and large the reverse is true, that men usually prey on women more than the other way around (our culture teaches men to feel entitled to sex and attention from all women, for one thing),
    And their view of “equal blame” is ignorant of the imbalance of power and influence a male pastor has over a woman congregant.

    Some of the people on that thread remain stubbornly impervious to recognizing this.

    They want to hold women equally accountable and think of all women as being hussies who are just drooling at the chops to steal married men away from their wives.

    Like

  11. Daisy, it would be the same if I dismissed your views because of something bad that happened to you. I am not defending Ed. Just that tactic to shut people down. Now, if they are a 9 Marks church elder supporting Al Mohler and they post anonymously on a blog playing brain games…then yes. I will call them out, if allowed.

    In my city in the last few years two women teachers have been caught in sexual relations with a student. They were put on paid administrative leave until they were finally fired. One student was 18. The other 17. She went to trial but no conviction.

    Women do it, too. But men ARE overwhelmingly the predators.

    Like

  12. Lydia,
    I’m not entirely “dismissing his views” but sincerely wondering WHY he believes what he does, what is his motive?

    I have been taking his views seriously and arguing against them.

    For the vast majority of my posts, I have only dealt with views and facts about pastor-women victim dynamics, and he doesn’t really deal with that per se. He just wants to chalk up any and all sexual acts as being the same as full-on, consensual sex.

    Ed does not seemingly realize, or does not want to see, that adult males in positions of influence and trust (such as pastors) can finagle sex from a hurting or emotionally confused, woman the way a pedo can finagle sex out of a hurting, lonely child.

    There are a few others in that thread at T-W-W who are just as bad. It’s disheartening, alarming, etc, because it creates room for these predatory pastors to keep on exploiting women.

    Like

  13. P.S.
    Lydia said,

    In my city in the last few years two women teachers have been caught in sexual relations with a student. They were put on paid administrative leave until they were finally fired. One student was 18. The other 17. She went to trial but no conviction.

    Women do it, too. But men ARE overwhelmingly the predators.

    Yes, women do it too.

    For the love of Hank, I get it. I really do. I was getting beat up on the other blog for this – the posters there seem to think I think all women are sweet little angels who never, ever sexually sin or molest other people.

    Yes, I realize that some women are sexual predators.

    In the case where the genders are swapped, I have the same views.

    If a woman pastor takes sexual advantage of a wounded, vulnerable, confused man who comes to see her for advice or guidance, I think she is also a huge dirt ball, immoral, and should be kicked out of the church.

    Just to be clear, I do NOT have one set of standards for women predators and another for male predators.

    I would not say that the male victim of a female teacher or preacher is equally culpable, either, if the situation is one where the female is grooming the male, setting him up for abuse, she is in a position of trust or power, and/or the male is in emotional or mental turmoil.

    Like

  14. “I’ve tried explaining several times over at the other blog to the ‘Billy Graham Rule Defenders’ that this is not as much an issue in the secular working world, or not as much as it is among Christians.

    I’ve held secular office jobs where I met (sometimes alone, gasp!!) male co-workers in their offices after hours, or for lunch, to discuss projects, and NO SEX took place, can you believe it?
    Never even crossed my mind, and my male co-workers did not “hit on me.””

    I traveled with men in my career. Same Hotel, the works. I have never understood this idea that we are all animals that must mate. It is real simple. Be professional. Both men and women are well aware who to never to hit on or even be suggestive with. And, like you, it never crossed my mind. It’s just not done if one has any integrity and self value.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. The other thing, Daisy is this: that attitude reinforces the portrayal of women as temptress. . . it’s a patriarchal concept which highlights a misogynistic viewpoint of women in general.

    It’s just wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Carmen,

    As I have explained earlier, I know the UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice). When people get in trouble, it usually affects pay, and I was a payroll clerk, and therefore I saw a lot of disciplinary paperwork.

    In regards to supervisor/subordinate, both are guilty of fraternization. Not just the supervisor. Each person is accountable for their own behaviors.

    However, we do have laws against sexual harassment, and sexual assault that applies to all personnel, not just a supervisor/subordinate. Those are not the same as fraternization.

    People in the military are not ignorant of any of this, as we have yearly training on the subject, and that training became mandatory after the Tailhook situation in Nevada where women were indeed being sexually harassed.

    Ed

    Like

  17. PPS.
    in regards to my post of
    OCTOBER 4, 2016 @ 11:20 AM

    I just wanted to add that while I do agree that females can sexually sin or be sexual predators, I do not always agree with posters on various blogs I visit in regards to how they think things should be handled. I don’t always agree with the solutions proposed by others about this topic.

    For example, I’m having a difficult time being convinced that the ‘Billy Graham Rule’ is good or helpful in regards to adult- to- adult relations, because the BGR can and does hurt and alienate adult, single women (and sometimes married ones) in the church context, or when women have to deal with Christian men in the secular world.

    Like

  18. woman the way a pedo can finagle sex out of a hurting, lonely child

    Although grooming can take on some similar aspects, I am uncomfortable with drawing these direct parallels between women and children. Women are adults. At the same time, they can be vulnerable and a power differential can still exist. That is why this topic is so complicated sometimes.

    that attitude reinforces the portrayal of women as temptress.

    I am also unhappy with this as the default position. It seems much more likely to be the other way around, it’s just that married men tend to be sneakier about their temptations.

    Like

  19. Daisy, you didn’t write it. I would just hate to see that tactic used on any victim whether it is infidelity or abuse. I don’t know why Ed does not take the psychological dynamic into consideration. Or that pastors (teachers) are judged more strictly.

    I do think it is fair to warn people that if they are adults and it was consensual at the time, despite the power differential when it comes to “pastors”, they have no legal leg to stand on even though it is a form of spiritual abuse. So, I don’t know why Ed kept insisting they call the police

    Like

  20. I have never understood this idea that we are all animals that must mate. It is real simple. Be professional.

    I agree. I think the insidious thing about the billy graham rule is that a lot of it is more about PR, or about protecting the pastor in case someone jumps him or lies about him. So then it becomes more than ‘just be professional’ it becomes ‘some women are liars so I will treat you all like liars and not even get in an elevator or stop to help someone with a flat tire’. Which is both crazy too far and downright unchristian way to treat anyone.

    Like

  21. I am going through some of the old links on this case and came across this point by ‘phoenix pastor’ that I thought was excellent:

    What often happens in these situations is that the more mainstream media have access to the celebrities, but bloggers have access to the victims.

    Just a reminder when people start talking about those who are ‘too harsh’. They are listening to the ones who have been hurt, not the polite spin and minimizing but the real and raw consequences.

    Like

  22. Lea said,
    Women are adults

    As I was saying on the other blog, adults can be conned by other adults, especially if the adult in question is under emotional duress or undergoing a traumatic life event.

    Con artists love to target senior citizens, perhaps more so than 30 year old adults. There’s a reason for that.

    I am in my 40s now, but was raised by my parents to be passive and willingly naive, to lack boundaries (to be like a child, to think like a child) – all of which left me very easy to be bullied, abused, and exploited by other adults. I’m having to un-learn these things in my 40s.

    So a person can be chronologically adult but be child-like, naive, or immature an un-savvy in life experience or mentally, which leaves them wide open to being easy prey.

    Like

  23. Lydia said,

    Daisy, you didn’t write it. I would just hate to see that tactic used on any victim whether it is infidelity or abuse. I don’t know why Ed does not take the psychological dynamic into consideration. Or that pastors (teachers) are judged more strictly.

    It was someone else who first wrote it, I was unaware that this was Ed’s background.

    I was not mentioning it as a “cheap shot.”

    My intent was not to run down Ed over it, or use it to silence him.

    I do admit to being genuinely curious and bewildered at his motive for why he posts what he does on these topics, was the only thing I had in mind.

    I’m not generally a big jerk – I have several family members who are like that.

    It’s not within my nature to make cruel jabs at people, to use their painful pasts against them, and be emotionally abusive – I get enough of that from a sibling of mine, I know how awful it feels, so I don’t go around doing it to other people.

    I will add that I’ve wondered about why some of the folks on the other blog have taken the same victim-blaming tendency on this topic, like some woman over there who was screaming at me that if I don’t realize women can be cheaters I’m a naive fool.

    I never said women cannot or do not cheat, but I thought to myself,
    “My gosh, where is this much anger from this woman coming from? Maybe her husband divorced her because he had an affair with a lady from their church?? Maybe this is a personal thing with her, wow.”

    I do admit to thinking that to myself, but I did not use it as a “weapon” to shut her down.

    I suppose it’s okay if people have an emotional reaction to a topic, but it can add another layer of complexity to a discussion.

    I’ve come across others with so much emotional undercurrent invested in a topic that you cannot have a rational, even-handed conversation with them (they get too angry or worked up and are not hearing your points, but just scream at you),
    and I find it better to walk away from that particular person on that blog or site, and go look at photos of “LOL cats” instead.

    Like

  24. As I was saying on the other blog, adults can be conned by other adults

    Certainly they can and I have some painful experience in this area. However, I still mislike too many ties between women and children. I may have made errors but my brain is fully formed and I am not dependent on adults in the same way as a child. There may be some commonalities, but these situations are not the same.

    Like

  25. “Daisy, you didn’t write it.”
    I think that was a jab at me, Daisy. 🙂
    Not a problem, as it doesn’t bother me what Lydia – or anyone else – thinks of my tactics. When it comes to defending women who have been wronged, I will come out swinging every time. I am under no obligations to apologize, either.

    Like

  26. Shy1,

    Ah yes! Growing up in a very small rural assembly which would be labeled as “poor” by today’s standards, was actually quite encouraging and edifying in my faith in Jesus. This was before the “Celebrity” preacher man and “Celebrity” preacher woman, or “Celebrity” teacher man and “Celebrity” teacher woman entered the gates/courts of the Body of Christ through their penned books, cd’s, dvd’s, big screen telecast conferences, etc., etc., etc. The only celebrity we heard of back in those days was a man by the name of Billy Graham, who was puffed up as this great tele-evangelist that held his ‘crusades’ on Monday evening television once in a great while…..but he was never promoted by the Body as someone we should listen too or follow. It was the television ads that boasted and bragged of how great a man was he.

    We did have a group of ‘evangelists’ visit our assembly one time, putting on a singing and preaching show one Sunday morning, I remember as a child. They were dressed up so fancy and fine, sang some great religious music, conducted that proverbial ‘alter call’ at the end of their presentation, then packed everything up into their expensive cars and vans (the congregation didn’t have such as those), after they collected a very generous offering from my folks, grandparents, friends, and the rest of the assembly.

    A year or so later, two of those ‘famous in our area evangelists’ arrived at our place as my Dad was commissioned to do some work for them…..they were avid hunters. My parents were shocked when these ‘fine’ men were a cursing and a swearing, telling dirty stories, and acting like they didn’t know Christ at all! So much for their pseudo gospel performance back on that Sunday morn, when they were a shouting the name and praise of a jesus like figure all the while the adults around me were a puttin’ their mammon in the offering…….for their greedy pockets!

    The Apostle Paul (a true Apostle is one that actually saw the living Jesus, unlike the fake apostles we see today within the apostate church), actually had a job to support himself so as to not be a burden amongst those he shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ with. People back in that day were for the most part, poor, very, very poor and Paul considered this while sharing the Good News with those who were hungry for the truth of eternity in the Kingdom of God.

    In today’s religious industrial complex that claims to know the truth Jesus of our Scriptures, vast amounts of money are made from religious junk using the Name of our King, our LORD and Savior, as a caveat for accumulating vast amounts of wealth…..would that not be equated with “using the LORD’S Name in vain?”

    Did Jesus ever desire for Christianity to become “big business?” Did He actually lay down His life on that tree for us, so that we could turn around and make big bucks and have fancy titles attributed to our names using His Name?

    Don’t believe so. And oh, I miss those days when the simplicity of Christ was held in high esteem over the business of trying to appear Christian in days such as these.

    Like

  27. Lea said,

    Certainly they can and I have some painful experience in this area. However, I still mislike too many ties between women and children. I may have made errors but my brain is fully formed and I am not dependent on adults in the same way as a child. There may be some commonalities, but these situations are not the same.

    They are the same.

    Adult women who are emotionally wounded can be taken advantage of and conned into a sexual relationship the same way adult pedo’s con children into a sexual relationship.

    The predators choose their victims in the same way, they select naive, vulnerable, or hurting people. The predator becomes a friend and ally to the victim to gain his or her trust and gradually introduces inappropriate sexual contact into the relationship.

    If I understand your view, you’re still seemingly sort of wanting to hold adult women more responsible than a child victim – all due to their age.

    Age of the victim is irrelevant, because the techniques and selection of target are very similar.

    Some adult women are child-like in attitude, thinking processes, outlook, mentality, or don’t have much life experience with the “real world”, etc, as I sort of was. I was like that at one time.

    Like

  28. If I understand your view, you’re still seemingly sort of wanting to hold adult women more responsible than a child victim – all due to their age.

    Daisy, I don’t just ‘sort of’ hold adults more responsible than a child. I absolutely do. Unless you are talking about an adult who has mental issues that make them like a child, which might be an exception to that.

    Children do not have the same options adults do. They are far more vulnerable.

    That is not to say adults can’t be vulnerable, they can. But it isn’t the SAME. It’s a matter of degree.

    Like

  29. Lea, as I think I explained up-thread, though I do not have any biological brain problems, I was socialized and encouraged to be “child like” by my parents and was in fact fairly child like, in some ways, up until my late 30s or so.

    I was socialized to be child-like even into adulthood due to various reasons, some of which include, but is not limited to…

    My parents believe in traditional gender roles (complementarianism), a belief set which encourages female children to defer to parents for all decision-making, to be overly dependent on their parents rather than learn to make choices for themselves, to marry one day and wait for a husband to lead and make choices for her.
    (I could go on with other reasons.)

    It’s quite possible for an adult woman to be child-like in some ways, even though the women in question is otherwise very educated, intelligent, and does not have mental retardation or some physical health problem.

    (Note none of this is to say I think churches should treat grown women like children. They should not. But it’s a fact some women arrive at adult-hood who adhere to a child-like mentality.)

    About not having the same options.

    Those options don’t matter much if the adult woman does not recognize she is being abused or exploited (yes, it’s possible to be abused and exploited and not realize it).

    There are many Christian women who have been trapped in abusive marriages for decades.

    These women think it’s God’s design and will for them to stay married to an abuser, because their church’s interpretation of the Bible keeps saying telling them this is so.

    And their abuser keeps telling them a husband abusing his wife is normal, and it’s her job to submit, and she “deserves” it.

    It can take such women years before they realize that no, they do not “deserve” to be abused, and it’s okay to leave their husband.

    These women are not stupid or mentally retarded.

    They have been raised a certain way to think the abuse they are taking is not “abuse”.

    My big sister was verbally abusive of me my whole life, but I didn’t fully realize it, or I did not regard it as being abuse.

    Several years ago, I described my sister’s behavior to some online friends of mine, and they said to me in horror, “Your sister is emotionally abusing you!! Stay away from her!”

    But to me, at that time, my sister’s behavior was “normal,” and I was in denial and did not want to view her behavior as “abuse.”

    It took me several years later for the blinders to come off and realize, yes, my big sister is a verbally abusive bully to me – I also got that eye opening realization when I read a book by verbal abusers.

    Adults can be naive, or hurting so bad, and so lonely, they will hold on to anyone who holds out even a crumb of love, affection, etc….

    It’s how adults prey on other adults for sex, or how cult-like churches operate – they “love bomb” the hurting and vulnerable to sucker them into the cult.

    A person does not have to be a literal child, aged five, to fall for this stuff.

    I still see warnings on occasion by police departments warning ADULTS to beware of phone and internet scams.

    The police tell people (who are ADULTS), don’t give out your credit card number on Facebook, or in phone calls, and don’t send cashier checks to men in Nigeria, or dudes you just met on “Dating Site .com.”

    Like

  30. Correction. Where I wrote:
    “I also got that eye opening realization when I read a book by verbal abusers.”

    I meant, a book ABOUT verbal abusers.

    I don’t think the author who wrote it is an abuser herself 🙂

    Like

  31. Lea said,
    “Children’s brains are not fully formed yet, though. They are not adults.”

    Psychologically, an adult woman can be similar in thinking, though.

    Like

  32. Sorry, folks, I’ve been silent. Our whole area is having an internet outage. I’m now in another part of town and checking in on my phone.

    Please pray for Grace. We are at the courthouse and her pedophile soon-to-be-ex-husband is going to be sentenced today. It’s a challenging day for her, no doubt.

    Like

  33. “What often happens in these situations is that the more mainstream media have access to the celebrities, but bloggers have access to the victims.”

    And in this case, I have maintained files for over a year, respecting the victims’ desire to remain anonymous and private. If they never agree to go public, that is their choice. But the reality is that the public only gets what the media finds out, so if they do not have access to victims, the story will be one-sided. I’ve had several mainstream media asking me to get the victims to talk. Their motivation is the story. Of course I would like the truth to exposed, but the call to go public must be when the victims feel comfortable. They do not need to be pressured to tell it.

    Like

  34. I just released 6 or 7 comments stuck in moderation, so they are now displayed in order of time sent, not published. Sorry for the inconvenience.

    Like

  35. ““Daisy, you didn’t write it.”
    I think that was a jab at me, Daisy. 
    Not a problem, as it doesn’t bother me what Lydia – or anyone else – thinks of my tactics. When it comes to defending women who have been wronged, I will come out swinging every time. I am under no obligations to apologize, either.”

    Just stating a fact. I don’t view that sort of tactic as a defense. It is often used on rape victims and even molested children. SGM used it on victims all the time.

    Like

  36. “Please pray for Grace. We are at the courthouse and her pedophile soon-to-be-ex-husband is going to be sentenced today. It’s a challenging day for her, no doubt.”

    Oh wow. Count me in.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. “It’s not within my nature to make cruel jabs at people, to use their painful pasts against them, and be emotionally abusive – I get enough of that from a sibling of mine, I know how awful it feels, so I don’t go around doing it to other people.”

    I didn’t think so. Been reading you long enough to know that. You know when people share painful experiences on survivor blogs then see others who have done so have it thrown back at them during a disagreeable convo, it can work as a deterrent to others telling their story.

    Like

  38. “Please pray for Grace.”

    Standing with Grace for her well being; kneeling in prayer for her with lydia00.

    Like

  39. Thank you. The court is running late. She has 8 people supporting her along with 3 BACA representatives. (These are the biker group who “adopts” sexually abused children and supports them until they are 18 yrs. in this case, they are here to read the victims’ impact statements so that the children do not have to be in court and see their father.) I previously did a post on this case.

    Like

  40. Please pray for Grace. We are at the courthouse and her pedophile soon-to-be-ex-husband is going to be sentenced today. It’s a challenging day for her, no doubt.

    Thinking of Grace. Hope she is holding up under all the stress of this.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Ed
    Re: your post of OCTOBER 4, 2016 @ 10:20 AM

    I’m not opposed to guys who sexually abuse people being tossed into jail (I really support that!), but I’m not sure if there are laws against preachers preying on vulnerable or naive people, not in any and all states.

    In the meantime (if it’s not possible for the police to intervene), I think some of the victims coming forward on blogs to tell their stories can be cathartic and healing for them (if they are believed and treated with compassion), and perhaps other people can learn from their stories and not be as susceptible to falling for the tricks these guys use.

    As I said on the other blog, the Bible tells Christians how to handle these cases on a church-wide level: kick the offender out of the church, and do not associate with him or her any longer. Maybe churches can at least do that much.

    Like

  42. The “Under Much Grace” blogger sometimes does blog posts about how girls who grow up in very strict, cultic, or fundamentlist – type Christian churches or environments are stunted into adulthood from the teaching and socialization they receive as kids and teens, which leaves them child-like in thinking into adulthood, and unpreparded to face adulthood.

    Here is at least one post on her blog about it:

    _Bounded Choice as Another Component of Thought Reform: The Appearance of Choice with No Truly Viable Options_

    I think the blogger places most of those posts pertaining to that subject under the “bounded choice” tag or topic, but I think I’ve seen her address the subject from other angles, as well.

    Like

  43. Sorry, I just thought of something else I wanted to add.

    Above, I said:

    The “Under Much Grace” blogger sometimes does blog posts about how girls who grow up in very strict, cultic, or fundamentlist – type Christian churches or environments are stunted into adulthood from the teaching and socialization they receive as kids and teens, which leaves them child-like in thinking into adulthood, and unpreparded to face adulthood.

    I believe the same blogger also discusses a related topic.
    I cannot remember the exact term for the related topic, but it’s something about ‘second generation’ cult members(?)

    Under that topic, she talks about how if “normal” adult parents join a super strict Christian church (or a cult), the kids they have and raise while in that cult turn out to be stunted into adulthood, incapable of navigating their adult years as adults (even though their mom and dad may have had “normal” up-bringings).

    So, the kids brought up in such a church may arrive at adulthood with child-like ways of viewing the world and relationships, which leaves them as vulnerable to being abused and exploited as an actual, literal child would be.

    She has a page or two on her site under the heading of,
    “Why Good People Make Dangerous Choices”
    that probably also speaks to some of these issues as well.

    Excerpt from one of her “Bounded Choice” pages:

    <

    blockquote>Once an individual becomes a part of a closed, totalistic system, several factors work to keep them entrenched in that system, powerfully tethered to the predictable radius that is acceptable to the group.

    Members appear to have a wealth of options, but often, the group dynamics and the withholding of information and knowledge drastically limit rational choice.

    Because of distorted and absent boundaries, personal choice actually become organizational choice which constrains the member to a predetermined set of “givens.”

    Though it is true that all people do not possess an unlimited number of possibilities, the structure of totalistic groups confines them even further.

    <

    blockquote> Remember, she is writing about adults in that commentary, not children.

    I wanted to link y’all to her pages on second generational whatever that term was, but I am unable to find those pages.

    She has other pages with sub-headings such as,
    “Understanding How Dysfunctional Families Prime Children for the Experience of Shame (Leading to Victimization)”

    That was on a page called,
    _Understanding How Emotional Development in Childhood Affects Adults: Fostering Spiritual Abuse via the “Roots of Victimization”_

    As she outlines on her blog, some people arrive in adulthood child-like in some regards and / or primed to be targeted by predators, because their parents and/or church did not adequately prepare them for adulthood.

    Like

  44. Daisy,

    Bingo! I agree with you there! Especially that last sentence. I’ve been saying that for years. But no one wants to touch that one for the sake of what they call a “reconciliation process”, otherwise known, by the Calvinists as, “The Matthew 18 process”, making reconciliation a mandatory thing, thereby making the victim a perp because she refuses to forgive. It’s all twisted.

    But, I think we need to do more than to just wish that things would change, and find ways to “make it happen”, and the first thing we can do is to start a campaign that states that pastors do not have any power, therefore, do not fall for their statements that demand obedience to them.

    I hope that we have made peace with each other.

    Ed

    Like

  45. I am still without internet connection at home. My signal on my phone is sketchy. I’m posting this from church where I dropped a kid off at youth group.

    Grace’s husband was sentenced to life in prison with parole opportunity after 13 yrs, 4 mos. Grace’s impact statement was powerful. The BACA advocates read statements from the children. So many tears in that courtroom. I’m so proud of Grace. Thanks all for praying.

    Liked by 3 people

  46. Ed,
    I’m not sure to which post of mine you were referring to.

    I’m not so sure we’ve made peace.

    Over at the other blog, in one breath, you say you support victims, at least Lourdes, but then turn around in another post or two there and depict women who have been seduced by pastors as being guilty of adultery or fornication.

    You seem to think that sexual abuse is not a real thing unless a state has a particular law saying so.

    I’m sorry, but no. That is not supporting victims, it is victim-blaming.

    Contrary to the cranks beating me up at that blog (that Missy M lady is truly a horrible person, and contra Ken F, I am not an “anti male bigot,” jeeze louse, where do people get this stuff from), I realize that some women may prey on pastors.

    However, in cases where a woman is going to a clergy man’s church, he has sway over her, in the same way a football coach has sway over a 15 year old kid(*), so the imbalance of power (legally recognized or not), makes the clergy or coach guilty of taking sexual advantage of a person – it is not a simple case of two people deciding to boink – it’s not a clear cut case of adultery or fornication, as you keep framing it at the other site and on this one.

    *(Yes, it’s the same dynamics, as I’ve spent the last half of this thread explaining, and with links to UMG’s site that explains it).
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    As to this comment I just made:
    Ed, you seem to think that sexual abuse, or specific types of sex abuse, is not a real thing unless a state has a particular law on the books saying so.

    Did you know that some states do NOT have laws against crush videos, Ed? That does not make crush videos okay, moral, or acceptable, and yes, the animals in those disgusting videos are victims.

    If memory serves me correctly, some nations do NOT have laws against animal-human sexual acts. Would you therefore argue that when a man has sex with a dog in that nation, that magically makes it “okay” or that it’s NOT a case of animal abuse? I would hope not.
    If your answer is no, I don’t know why you would hold a different set of criteria for pastoral abuse of women church members.

    Like

  47. Daisy,

    The Lourdes case was quite some time ago, and I haven’t blogged for quite some time until recently. If people would go back to my comments from a long time ago, you will see how I treated this case. I never once ever sided with Phillips. I always concluded that Lourdes was the victim.

    I gave my synopsis, which I really hope that you had read clearly.

    I believe that sexual abusers are to be placed in a jail cell. I believe that there are sufficient laws on the books for ALL sexual abuse cases to make that happen. So yes, I do believe that if anyone is going to accuse sexual abuse, then call the cops and get them in prison.

    Why do you not want them in prison?

    Do you want TT in behind bars, or don’t you?

    What CONCLUSION do you use to state that pastors have power differential over congregants? What are you basing that on?

    You all are diffinitively stating that if pastors have sex with a congregant, that is sexual abuse.

    What are you basing that on?

    Is it not possible that the women are not victims, and made a choice of their own free will, no different than a congregant that commits adultery with another congregant?

    Please tell me how you come to the basis of the belief that pastors have a power differential. There is no basis, or concrete evidence that there is such a thing, UNLESS that clergy is in the ROLE of a COUNSELOR.

    No, I do not buy into the belief that rules change for a church outside of the law of the land.

    Ed

    Like

  48. Ed

    Do you not even read the posts I write to you? Because I sure as heck have read most of yours (even though they make little sense and you flip flop).

    I have told you already on the other blog, I totally want TT in jail, and all other pastor abusers in jail, but some states do not have laws in place to throw them in jail.

    However, the fact that the US govt. or individual states do not regard pastor abuse of women as a crime does not make the women’s victimization adultery or fornication as you keep arguing on the other blog.

    These women are basically rape victims. Why do you keep depicting rape victims as being adulterers or fornicators? Doing so is depraved.

    Ed said, “You all are diffinitively stating that if pastors have sex with a congregant, that is sexual abuse.”

    I’ve said it depends on the context.

    You said,

    “Please tell me how you come to the basis of the belief that pastors have a power differential. There is no basis, or concrete evidence that there is such a thing, UNLESS that clergy is in the ROLE of a COUNSELOR.”

    Because women go to these idiots trusting them for help, and instead, the pastor preys on them in a time of weakness, the way secular psychiatrists may do a women client who comes to see them.

    In other cases, the clergy man may target the woman to sleep with her, and slowly groom her over time, as Kim explained in the video on the other blog, did you listen to her testimony?

    (In Kim’s case, she mentioned she had a lot of bad things going on in her life, job stress, health problems, and left over problems from childhood she shared with the pastor. The pastor used her vulnerability to start grooming her.)

    These women feel the preacher would surely never do anything wrong to them, he is a shepherd of God who is there to help them – the grooming is a slow process, sometimes weeks or months. It escalates.

    Pedos also target children in this manner, they choose kid targets who come from broken homes and are looking for love and attention.

    A person does not have to be working in official capacity in a counselor role to have influence over another person, (but certainly, some of these pastors do choose to hit on women who come to them for pastoral care). Why do you not grasp this?

    Why do you keep making excuses for pastors who violate and exploit hurting, confused, or depressed women????

    Like

  49. I feel it’s important to share these posts from the other blog, because it shows your reasoning:
    ~ ~~~ ~~ ~~
    Ed Chapman wrote:
    Does the bible not tell us to not commit fornication and adultery or not? Does the bible state that adulterers and fornicators do not inherit the kingdom of God or not?
    ~ ~~~ ~~ ~~
    My reply to Ed:
    A woman who has been seduced by a pastor, especially if she’s gone to him for guidance or advice, is a sex abuse victim – she was not engaging in fornication or adultery, as you are defining it or depicting it. You continue to blur the lines.
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~
    You keep portraying victimization of women by their skeevy pastors as adultery or fornication, which I think is demented.

    Like

  50. Daisy,

    You have now declared these women to be rape victims.

    What is your basis for that belief? Just because a pastor had sex with them? That just does not cut the mustard, Daisy.

    Are there not laws on the books outside of the church against rape? You allege rape.

    If so, call the cops. Rape is a criminal act, against the law, prosecutable, and the word, “Pastor” has nothing to do with it.

    Ed

    Like

  51. I know, huh. I can’t believe that I am even awake. Way past my bedtime. My batteries are running low, and I can’t keep up with all the Ed bashing. It’s overwhelming.

    Like

  52. Ed, you are just not getting it – not connecting the dots or something, even after Daisy’s well-articulated explanation. 😦 Willfull blindness or what?

    Like

  53. “Grace’s husband was sentenced to life in prison with parole opportunity after 13 yrs, 4 mos. Grace’s impact statement was powerful. The BACA advocates read statements from the children. So many tears in that courtroom. I’m so proud of Grace. Thanks all for prayi”

    Now praying for speedy divorce! And gratitude for BACA.

    Liked by 1 person

  54. “Ed, you are just not getting it – not connecting the dots or something, even after Daisy’s well-articulated explanation.  Willfull blindness or what?”

    From a purely legal POV in the ‘Tullian the snake’ situation, not clear on what you think can be done?

    Like

  55. FWIW,

    I thoroughly enjoy reading the ping pong match between Daisy and Ed.

    And would pay good money to watch a debate in real life.

    (With popcorn)

    Liked by 1 person

  56. chapmaned24 said,

    Daisy,
    You have now declared these women to be rape victims.

    What is your basis for that belief? Just because a pastor had sex with them? That just does not cut the mustard, Daisy.

    Are there not laws on the books outside of the church against rape? You allege rape.

    If so, call the cops. Rape is a criminal act, against the law, prosecutable, and the word, “Pastor” has nothing to do with it.

    Ed

    Yes, it’s not consensual sex in the way a “normal affair” is, Ed.

    It’s the same as a Pedo having sexual relations with a child – it’s not consensual sex.

    Yes, women should call the police in regards to this.

    But there are reason even non-clergy rape vics don’t call cops, such as feelings of shame, fear of not being believed, too emotionally traumatized to reach out, etc.

    So, you are now admitting that what these clergy do to women is wrong and sexual abuse, only you think they should call cops (me too!) – so stop calling it consensual, stop saying, “it’s adultery / fornication” etc. It’s not.

    Like

  57. My comment above to Ed is sitting in moderation.

    In the meantime…..

    CSA = “Clergy Sexual Abuse”
    (Note, Ed: it’s called “Sexual Abuse” and considered to be sexual abuse, not “Consensual Sex” or “Adultery” or “Fornication”)
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    Predatory Pastors (Resource Links page)
    http://www.predatorypastors.com/resources.html

    I’ve found all kinds of web pages discussing CSA (Clergy Sexual Abuse) of adult women.

    It’s A Crime Not An Affair
    Via the site “Adults Abused by Clergy”
    http://www.adultsabusedbyclergy.org/statelaws.html

    Snippet:
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    Caregivers are prohibited by state criminal statutes, fiduciary duty laws and by codes of ethics from exploiting their clients or patients to meet their own emotional and psychological needs.

    … Only thirteen states and the District of Columbia have penal statutes that, in at least some circumstances, support the criminal prosecution of clergypersons engaged in sexual misconduct with congregants or parishioners.

    These statutes, enacted by Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Dakota, Texas, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia turn on various linguistic formulations, including, most commonly, the specification that the misconduct occur within the confines of the counseling relationship.
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    I don’t think I have much time to be on the internet this morning of afternoon, because I might have to run out on some errands – if I can. If it storms, I might have to stay put.

    I don’t think I have the time now to read or respond to all posts left since I was left here.

    Like

  58. Blaming Women for the Sexually Abusive Male Pastor
    http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=959

    The term “adultery” does not adequately define male ministers’ sexual involvement with female parishioners.

    Marie Fortune, executive director of the Center for the Prevention of Sexual and Domestic Violence in Seattle, suggests that a male pastor’s sexual advances toward a woman that occur while he performs his professional duties are better understood as “sexual abuse.”

    Whereas the term “adultery” implies that both participants are consenting equals, the term “sexual abuse” assumes that a person has used personal, social or physical power to coerce sexual intimacy.

    Like

  59. Sex with a pastor: An affair or abuse?
    http://www.ourstoriesuntold.com/sex-pastor-affair-abuse/

    Snippet:
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    A woman went to her pastor for advice.

    Not for sex.

    She never imagined her pastor would do something so egregious as to manipulate her into having sex with him.

    The worst part was that because they were both adults, the woman blamed herself for having an “affair” with her pastor and then hid silently in her shame.

    But it was not an affair.

    It was an abuse of power.

    Sex between two parties where there is a power differential is not and can never be labeled “an affair.”

    Sex between persons with unequal power is not even about sex. It’s about power and control over someone with less power.

    If approached by a stranger at a party, the sexual advances would have been obvious to the woman. But when her pastor became amorous, the woman was caught completely off guard. She thought she was making more out of the situation than her pastor intended.

    She ignored her screaming intuition, warning her that something was terribly wrong. It was not easy to rebuff her pastor, whom she held in the high esteem afforded by his position.

    She didn’t want to offend her pastor by refusing his pastoral hug the first time and it became increasingly awkward to refuse to hug him each time after that.

    Like

  60. Soul Stealing: Power Relations in Pastoral Sexual Abuse
    http://www.snapnetwork.org/psych_effects/soul_stealing_1.htm

    Snippets:
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    As with rape, a pastor’s sexual or romantic involvement with a parishioner is not primarily a matter of sex or sexuality but of power and control.

    For this reason I call it pastoral sexual abuse rather than “pastor-parishioner relations” or, worse, a matter of private activity between consenting adults (which is almost always how the perpetrator will describe it).

    Even when adultery is involved, unfaithfullness is not the primary issue. I have found that ministers enter into romantic or sexual relationships with parishioners primarily because there is an imbalance of power between them at the outset and because they need to reinforce and heighten the intensity of that power dynamic.

    This is need is driven by internal forces and Is reinforced by societaly conditioned expectations that women will function as a nurturing, sexual servant class.

    WHY SHOULD these relationships be considered abuse? If both the minister and the parishioner are single (usually not the case), what’s wrong with their having a relationship?

    As Fortune has outlined, there can be no authentic consent in a relationship involving unequal power.

    And no matter how egalitarian a pastor’s style of ministry, he carries an authority that cannot be ignored. I deliberately use the term “he” because, as in domestic violence, the vast preponderance of these cases involve male clergy.

    …The clergy role carries a great deal of power in and of itself, and one of the most insidious aspects of that power is the role of “man of God.”

    In some sense the minister carries ultimate spiritual authority, particularly in the eyes of a trusting parishioner who looks to him for spiritual guidance and support.

    But the male minister also possesses other forms of power: as a man, he carries the power society confers upon men and socializes them to hold over women, often in the guise of being their protectors. He is often physically stronger and more imposing.

    He may be an employer. He may also assume a teaching or mentoring role which encourages women to listen to his advice and correction. Often he also functions as a counselor, with all the transference inherent in such a relationship.

    Like

  61. Silent sufferers: Female clergy sexual abuse

    Click to access 145861.pdf

    This page discusses female clergy in training who are preyed upon by male clergy, but this can apply to non-clergy women who attend a church:

    Snippets:
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    Every clergy or minister is a symbol of religious authority. By virtue of the pastoral office, the minister interprets religious truth, the meaning of life, the way of faith, and even the reality of God (Chibnall, Wolf, & Duckro, 1998; Poling, 2005; Robinson, 2004).

    Add to that status the power of the pastor’s presence through ministry, and the special influence a minister holds among his or her congregation.

    In addition, female clergy supervised by senior male clergy may develop a special trust that can lead to openness and vulnerability.
    Feeling bonds of trust and affirmation, female clergy may bring the vulnerable, wounded, and intimate sides of themselves into the relationship, seeking acceptance, emotional support, and a role model.

    When the male clergy exploits his privileged position for personal sexual satisfaction, he violates a sacred trust that is contrary to Christian morals, doctrine, and canon laws.

    Because of the respect and even reverence the position carries, there is an imbalance of power and hence a vulnerability inherent in the ministerial
    relationship
    (Chibnall, Wolf, & Duckro, 1998; Poling, 2005; Robinson, 2004).

    In these circumstances, this imbalance of power makes it the responsibility of the church leader to maintain appropriate emotional and sexual boundaries with colleagues.

    Once violated, the female clergy may feel deep shame or self condemnation.

    She may be afraid others will not believe her or fear being blamed…

    Like

  62. Salty said,

    FWIW,

    I thoroughly enjoy reading the ping pong match between Daisy and Ed.

    And would pay good money to watch a debate in real life.

    (With popcorn)

    I’m not enjoying it at all.

    I’d be relieved if someone else steps up and takes Ed on.

    I don’t like getting into prolonged back and forth debates with people.

    I find it tedious, and his views on these topics are sickening to me.

    I am really skeeved and grossed out that he doesn’t see how pastors, who are regarded by many as being authoritative or influential, prey on weak, naive, or hurting women, which is sexual abuse, not an affair / adultery / fornication in the strictest sense of those words.

    Not all states have laws against pastors sexually preying on women (one site said there are currently only 13 states that have them), so it would appear that women calling the police for this may not come to anything.

    So, my understanding of Ed’s positions is that Ed is okay with letting these pervy, predatory pastors off the hook and regarding their sexual abuse of women as being simply “adultery” or “fornication,” and as though the women are always equally at fault.

    I don’t know how much I will be on the internet today, barring storms and all. I have errands I need to run. I really do not enjoy posting about this stuff and wish Ed would drop it or someone else would talk sense to him.

    Like

  63. Daisy, can you pls see if all your posts have cleared. I don’t have any in moderation, but if you are missing something, I’ll take a look in the spam box.

    Like

  64. Daisy,

    You had said:
    “Yes, it’s not consensual sex in the way a “normal affair” is, Ed.”

    My response:
    What does bible say about a “normal affair”?

    Ed

    Like

  65. Julie Anne, I think you got them all – I had one post in moderation, time stamp of
    OCTOBER 5, 2016 @ 7:49 AM
    and it is now appearing on the blog, thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  66. Hey, Ed
    You’re talking to a 40 year old virgin – saving myself until marriage to have sex, and I stuck to this behavior due in part to my former Christian beliefs.
    Therefore, Ed, what do you think I think the Bible teaches about sex and marriage, hmm?

    An adult willingly and knowingly choosing to have consensual sex with another adult is not the same thing as a woman who is coerced, duped, or pressured into having sex with a man who is in a position of trust, and/or perceived, legal, and/or assumed authority above her.

    What does the Bible say about those in authority taking advantage of those under them, or the strong opposing the weak, Ed?

    What does the Bible say about sexual assault and rape, Ed?

    You act as though verses such as these do not exist:

    2 Tim 3:5-6

    5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
    6 They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires….

    Like

  67. Daisy,

    Well then we can’t use the term, “normal affair”, then can we? The rules for Sex outside of marriage is exclusive, and the same for everyone, regardless of status.

    God is not a respecter of persons. How many times is that stated in the bible?

    Ed

    Like

  68. 2 Tim 3:5-6

    5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
    6 They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires….

    Is there a verse in the NT about women gaining control over gullible men, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires….?

    Like

  69. Ed said,

    chapmaned24 Daisy,

    Well then we can’t use the term, “normal affair”, then can we? The rules for Sex outside of marriage is exclusive, and the same for everyone, regardless of status.

    God is not a respecter of persons. How many times is that stated in the bible?

    Where there is a power imbalance in a relationship, it’s not consensual sex, so it does not fall neatly into the realms of “fornication” or “adultery.”

    Rape – sex w/o consent – can happen when a man has sex with a woman not his wife against her will – you would define that as being the same thing as “adultery” or “fornication” which it is not.

    You continue to victim-blame sex abuse victims, which is really disgusting.

    Like

  70. Hey, Q,
    I hold female sexual predators to the same standards as I do male sexual predators, which I have explained a few times on this blog, and/or on the other thread about this topic on the other blog (which I have linked to several times).

    I do not condone female sexual predatory behavior anymore than I do male sexual predatory behavior.

    If it’s a female clergy preying on male congregants, that would be just as wrong and bad – and it would be sexual abuse, not “fornication” or “adultery”

    BTW, Q, I consider your behavior to be obnoxious, jerky, and rude, so I’d rather not read your posts or reply to them. Feel free to ignore my posts and scroll past them without reading or commenting.

    Like

  71. One of my comments above to Ed is in moderation – time stamp of
    OCTOBER 5, 2016 @ 12:32 PM
    Just for Ed’s info. (I don’t know if Julie Anne needs to know that)

    Like

  72. Of course you do, no one likes to be corrected.

    So the answer to is no to –

    “Is there a verse in the NT about women gaining control over gullible men, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires….?

    Like

  73. Q said-

    Of course you do, no one likes to be corrected.

    So the answer to is no to –
    “Is there a verse in the NT about women gaining control over gullible men, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires….?”

    I don’t have a problem with being “corrected,”

    But I do take issue with your rude and condescending attitude, which was again on display in that very post.

    The Bible contains verses telling believers not to lord authority over each other, not to take advantage of one another, and the strong should not take advantage of the weak.

    I don’t think these instructions need to have gendered commands attached to them – to think they do shows a naive reading of the Bible, IMO.

    By the way, I don’t get the point you are hammering away on.

    I regard a situation of a clergy person (gender irrelevant) using his or her position to trick, coerce, or pressure a person (whether male or female) under their care into a sexual act, to be a sin, to be wrong, a form of sexual abuse (not a normal affair), and the Bible does not support it.

    Like

  74. The bible is gender specific because God wanted it that way.

    And no, I am not hammering, but you may be. I have only posted, what, 3 times, once pointing out a logical fallacy and twice I asked a simple question. And that has been labeled obnoxious, jerky, rude, condecending and hammering. I think that is called shaming tactic.

    Like

  75. “The bible is gender specific because God wanted it that way.” No, Q. MEN wrote the Bible and MEN wanted it that way. Men like you.

    Like

  76. God wrote the Bible by inspiring human men. And thanks for the compliment but I’m not sure you’re right about that.

    Like

  77. Here is where the arguments fail, no person should be in a position that TT was in. It is an exalted position that can’t be biblically supported, hence there should not have been some type of authority position and then it ‘would have’ been fornication or adultery. Because this church structure has been accepted for so long it is hard not to see church in this way. If people want to lift a person “pastor” to such an unbiblical exalted position they are making a mistake.

    The New Calvinist’s et al., have attempted to own the gospel, push changing culture to their twisted view of scripture and have become cultural SJW for Christ Jesus and with that came Complementarianism (to fight feminism)…

    The mistake Egalitarians are making is wanting to be part of the same unbiblical structure. Believing they will be as “good” at it and less authoritarian. They are also SJW for Christ Jesus.

    Neither are what God intended for the church and both are working on their own projects not Christ’s!

    Maybe there should be more emphasis on looking at what the church should really look like and less on who gets to be in charge. I good way to start is to stop twisting scripture, both are doing it.

    Like

  78. Q said,

    The bible is gender specific because God wanted it that way.

    And no, I am not hammering, but you may be. I have only posted, what, 3 times, once pointing out a logical fallacy and twice I asked a simple question. And that has been labeled obnoxious, jerky, rude, condecending and hammering. I think that is called shaming tactic.

    Nope, not trying to” shame” you.

    Trying to paint yourself as a victim doesn’t work. I grew up in a family that was big into shaming, as you probably know since you likely lurk at this blog and have read my posts before. Not buying it.

    You really come across to me as being rude and condescending. That’s my honest impression of your posts and is not a “shaming” tactic.

    I did not commit any logical fallacies that I am aware of.

    I disagree with gender complementarianism, so I don’t agree that gender is as big a deal as comps do, if you are a comp.

    When the Bible tells believers things like help the poor, to love your neighbor as yourself and so on, those types of commands are not gender specific.

    Such directives are aimed at all believers, both male and female. They are not aimed at only one gender or the other, so in that sense, the Bible is not “gender specific.”

    I have no idea what your point is. You have us going down these other rabbit trails now.

    One of the original topics under discussion was CSA (clergy sex abuse). I maintain that when a person uses their position to entice sex from someone else, it’s a form of sexual abuse, and not cut and dried fornication or adultery.

    Like

  79. Q said,

    The mistake Egalitarians are making is wanting to be part of the same unbiblical structure. Believing they will be as “good” at it and less authoritarian. They are also SJW for Christ Jesus.

    Nope.

    You should be aware that not all Christian egalitarians are SJWs, liberals, or Democrats.

    There are many Christian gender egalitarians who are right of center, pro-life concerning abortion, vote Republican, etc.

    I don’t know what label I give myself, but I am not pro-gender complementarian, but I am not a S.J.W, I am not Democrat nor am I a left winger.

    Your view sounds very similar to ChapmenEd’s.

    Concerning the issue of CSA, Ed lives in the land of Idealism rather than Reality.

    The fact is, pastors are indeed perceived by many church members as having authority, and some dishonest men who work as pastors use that perceived authority to dupe women (and sometimes men) under their care.

    You can argue ’til the cows come how awful and un-biblical it is that this is the situation, that pastors have all this authority, but that’s missing the point in the context of CSA.

    Trying to make your theological nit-picky point about pastors not having this much power granted them via the Bible, while doing so at the expense of the women who are prey (sexual abuse victims) to these creeps is a huge, insensitive dis-service to them.

    Like

  80. One other thing I wanted to add:

    Q said,

    Here is where the arguments fail, no person should be in a position that TT was in. It is an exalted position that can’t be biblically supported, hence there should not have been some type of authority position..

    That horse has already left the barn.

    That ship has sailed.

    The genie cannot go back into the bottle.

    Your view on that subject is not going to help the women who have already been exploited by TT and guys such as him.

    Like

  81. Daisy,

    You had said:
    “Where there is a power imbalance in a relationship, it’s not consensual sex, so it does not fall neatly into the realms of “fornication” or “adultery.”

    Rape – sex w/o consent – can happen when a man has sex with a woman not his wife against her will – you would define that as being the same thing as “adultery” or “fornication” which it is not.”

    My response:
    First off, you have yet to convince me that any of the women were victims. Your only conclusion of them being victims is because a pastor had sex with them, and I don’t find any evidence that this is what classifies as a victim, unless that counselor hat was on.

    So, I do not victim blame. How can I victim blame when I see no evidence of a victim?

    I know you abhor me mentioning OT stuff, but please humor me for a moment.

    The penalty for rape in the OT was death.

    If Moses, a leader, raped someone, would his penalty be more than death?

    Death Plus? Or, just death?

    Is his punishment the same as someone who committed adultery?

    God is not a respecter of persons. Status means nothing to God, whether you are a leader or not.

    IF these women were raped, molested, then YES, they are victims. I don’t victim blame. But if your only evidence of sexual abuse is that a pastor had sex with them, that does not classify them as victims.

    I don’t victim blame. Never have on this blog.

    I will say no more to you Daisy.

    Ed

    Like

  82. The penalty for rape was death, Ed? Wasn’t it often just pay the bride price or marry the girl?

    The mistake Egalitarians are making is wanting to be part of the same unbiblical structure. Believing they will be as “good” at it and less authoritarian.

    I don’t see this at all. I’m not sure where you are getting that.

    Like

  83. Ed said,

    My response:
    First off, you have yet to convince me that any of the women were victims. Your only conclusion of them being victims is because a pastor had sex with them, and I don’t find any evidence that this is what classifies as a victim, unless that counselor hat was on.

    I gave you two examples on the other blog.
    It depends on the context.

    I’ll paste it here for you:
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    The “counselor hat” does not always have to be on for the pastor to entice a vulnerable women into diddling with him, Ed.

    Take me for instance.

    My mother dropped dead years ago.

    I was beside myself with grief at the time. Started a new church about a year later. Word got around the church my Mom was dead because I confided in several church women there.

    SCENARIO 1.
    Had the pastor of that church been skeevy with ulterior motives, he could’ve heard about my grief and tried to exploit what he knew about my vulnerability to get to know me better, cozy up to me, and “win me over,” present himself as a caring friend.
    All of which could’ve created a situation in which I would’ve been open and receptive to a tumble in the sheets, to receive care, attention, affection.

    SCENARIO 2.

    That is not the same thing as me now, years later, largely over much of the grief, walking into a church, seeing a pastor who I think is a cutie and going out of my way to flirt up a storm, and slipping him a hotel room key.

    Two very different sets of circumstances.
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    Scenario 1 is sexual abuse / exploitation. Not adultery or fornication.

    Scenario 2, falls more into the good old fashioned, consensual noogie category, hence, that one qualifies more for adultery / fornication.

    Like

  84. Lea,
    Deu 22:
    25 “But if in the open country a man meets a young woman who is betrothed, and the man seizes her and lies with her, then only the man who lay with her shall die.

    This is what I was referring to. There is death of the one who raped her, and she was seized, against her will. The woman does not die.

    Ed

    Like

  85. Daisy,

    You had said:
    “The “counselor hat” does not always have to be on for the pastor to entice a vulnerable women into diddling with him, Ed.”

    My response:
    The congregation does not get to entice vulnerable women into diddling with them, either, so that Pastor status has no bearing at all.

    Like

  86. No, not painting myself as a victim just pointing out what you have claimed about my comments (obnoxious, jerky, rude, condescending and hammering) which you call behavior. I think you are projecting.

    No, I haven’t read many of your comments and don’t wish to. I read a few comments and saw Ed attacked with ad hominem instead of good argument with no moderation and thought I would point it out. I didn’t think that was allowed.

    I did read somewhere that you are not a Christian? I hope one day you become a believer and become saved. It wouldn’t be wise to judge a religion by how some practice it but on who founded it. Jesus made claims no one else has e.g., “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me”, so logically if he is telling the truth no need to look elsewhere.

    Like

  87. My intentions are not to add more spit to the fire, however, I do see this as a legitimate question amongst those who profess complementarianism as absolutely Biblical. I believe this could be applied to Tullian’s situation.

    Visible Christianity often backs itself into a corner through the use of double standards. I have read so called conservative religious blogs written by men who blame the wife for the husband’s infidelity….it’s her fault because she’s not submitting to his needs/authority/desires/masculinity/dominionism/headship/his rights/his ownership…whatever the male chooses to call it.

    The wife is blamed for the husband’s adultery/his sexual sin because she is supposed to meet all of his needs/be his all in all.

    So then, if it is true that Tullian’s wife engaged in an adulterous relationship and the pastor man chose to make a public statement regarding his wife’s behavior……

    is it safe to say that the reason Tullian’s wife had an adulterous relationship, is because Tullian didn’t fulfill his godly role as a good husband? Should he not have met all of her needs as a human being/a woman?

    Should not the man, Tullian in this case, be BLAMED for his wife’s infidelity then?

    The double standards within the visible church are just boggling to the mind and as the enemy has used man to make a big issue out of gender/gender roles/gender competition to conquer and divide what our LORD has already established through Jesus Christ.

    Seems like that satan is prowling around like a roaring lion seeking to devour people who are taking their eyes/hearts/minds off of Christ.

    And Daisy may be on the mark more that we realize here folks.

    Like

  88. Ed said
    The congregation does not get to entice vulnerable women into diddling with them, either, so that Pastor status has no bearing at all.

    The congregations are a person’s peer, not above them in power or authority as is a pastor, Ed. Huge diff. Pastor status is at the heart of the matter.

    Like

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