Woman Feels Spiritually Trapped after Having Grown up in a Conservative Reformed Christian Homeschool Family

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Tedd Tripp and Tom Chantry: Shepherding a Child’s Heart … or Not

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Personal Story: What Did the Church Teach You about Yourself?

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An Abuse Survivor’s Response to Pastor Phil Johnson’s Insensitive Tweet on Domestic Violence

Phil Johnson, Grace Community Church, Sex Abuse, Domestic Violence, Twitter


Blog reader, Christina, left an important comment on yesterday’s post regarding an insensitive and callous tweet Pastor Phil Johnson sent out regarding domestic violence. His tweet created quite an uproar on Twitter. Because Christina’s comment is addressed to Phil Johnson, I didn’t want it to get lost in the shuffle. It is excellent. Thank you, Christina for sharing.  ~Julie Anne

Response to Phil Johnson

Dear Phil. I guess you are a teacher, not a pastor, maybe that accounts for your lack of compassion. Perhaps we expect too much of you since you work and speak for John MacArthur, and so many people hold you in high esteem I used to be one of those, even though I am not a Calvinist, I always respected your teaching. Lately however, I can’t bring myself to listen to you. Continue reading

So, We’re Collecting Money for a New Documentary to Promote a Specific Doctrine?


A blog reader alerted me to a kickstarter, or fundraising effort. Les Lanphere created the kickstarter to raise money for a new documentary on Calvinism called, Calvinist.

Les Lanphere describes himself as, “a film maker who has worked in a variety of areas in production and post production on films like Transformers 3, The Smurfs, Epic, and Rock of Ages. Les is also one of the hosts of a popular Christian podcast called the Reformed Pubcast.”

What is the purpose of the documentary? It is:

A film seeking to explain Calvinism, celebrate its recent resurgence, and to answer the question, “What’s next?”

I tried to embed the video summary, but was unable to. Here is the link.

Notice the big names in this documentary: Kevin DeYoung, Ligon Duncan, Michael Horton, Tim Challies, Carl Trueman, Voddie Baucham, James White, R. Scott Clark, and Joe Thorn.

A few quotes popped out at me as I read this. Those who have been reading the blog for a Calvinist documentarywhile know that I object to labels. I find they can be misleading. For that matter, I know many people who label themselves as “Calvinist,” or “complementarian,” etc, but do not know exactly what the word means. Another issue with labels is there seems to be a continuum for many of them.

For example, with Calvinism, one can be a 5-point Calvinist, but even a 2-point Calvinist will call themselves a Calvinist.  Um . . . hello . .  that’s less than half of TULIP’s primary beliefs. Some couples claim to be complementarian, yet to outsiders, they function like egalitarians. As I said . . . so much for labels. They may not fully represent someone and their beliefs, and can be quite confusing and complicate matters.

I digress.

Here are a few sentences that stuck out to me:

CALVINIST is a film about a powerful and interesting movement God has orchestrated over last generation that finds its roots in a rich and fascinating history.


Calvinist documentary1Powerful and interesting movement that God has orchestrated? How do we know that God orchestrated it? Did he send direct e-mails to key people in the movement? I’m not sure that all non-Calvinists would agree with this. If you are a Calvinist, I’m sure this sounds pretty special. To outsiders, not so much. To me, it sounds like a bunch of hype. And for the record, I do not like hype. I saw what it did in my former church. If I saw a documentary selling Arminianism, I’d be having a similar cow. Moooooo!

Rich and fascinating history? I don’t care about this kind of history and decalvinist documentaryad men. I know
a few people who would gasp at this. ::::shudder:::: I am a Believer. I am of the priesthood of Believers, as every Christian is, both men and women alike – as in e.q.u.a.l. Dead men did not have any more access to God than you or me, so it bothers me when people elevate dead men like this. Give me Jesus.



I’m a musician and my brain just traveled here. Please join me:

Give me Jesus
Give me Jesus
You can have all this world
Just give me Jesus
When I am alone
When I am alone
Oh, when I am alone
Give me Jesus


Amen! Now that’s what I’m talking about. No hyped up dead men, or alive men, or special doctrine, just Jesus and me (or you).
I digress, Part 2.
Oh, have you been noticing the screen-caps of the rewards for donors? Gotta love the Calvinist terms, like irresistible in this one:


Back to the bothersome, annoying quotes.


CALVINIST will be modern, youthful, and energetic. The tone will be encouraging while also challenging.

Say what? Because Calvinism (or any other doctrine, for that matter) has to be doctored up and sold to the masses, “modern, youthful, and energetic?”  Puh-lease.  Can we stop this madness? God is – He just is. He needs no modernization or fixing, period.

By supporting this project you are helping to explain to the world the wonderful doctrines of grace and allowing a generation to tell their story. As more people hear what Calvinism is really about, who knows what God may do…

To this, I say, there is nothing new under the sun. Take that money and be the hands and feet of Christ in your churches and community. Help a domestic violence survivor with childcare expenses so she can go to school. Shoot, pay for her tuition. Buy someone a car who has no transportation to stay gainfully employed.  Help fill someone’s fridge. There are life/death situations all around us and money is being raised to sell a doctrine?  Lord, help us all.
End rant.


Doug Wilson Series: Introduction, Christ Church Celebrates 40 years and Background

Doug Wilson, Christ Church, CREC, Greyfriars Hall, Association of Classical & Christian Schools, Canon Press, New Saint Andrews, Steven Sitler, Jamin Wight

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Abuse Survivors Question the Idea That Nothing Happens in Your Life – Even Abuse – That God Does Not Permit

 There is nothing that happens in your life that God does not permit – – even abuse?

We got in a heated discussion in the comments on the last post regarding the determinist belief that nothing happens in our lives that God does not permit. For people who have been abused, that is a tough pill to swallow. For abuse survivors, please be careful. This discussion could be triggering.

determinist teachings 6834815688_4686d663db

This determinist belief seems to contradict the idea of a kind and loving Father who protects His children. Gail asked Pastor Wade Burleson specific questions and I thought it would be best to put them in a new blog post to keep this topic together.

Here is Gail’s comment to Wade which I also sent to him in an e-mail:


I just listened to one of the sermons that Oasis linked on the other thread. I have a few questions & observations. I will be quoting some of what you said to clear up any confusion to those who didn’t listen.
“Every affliction in your life is of the Lord, all of it is.”

I was molested at five years old by my father, by another again at seven the list doesn’t stop there, for time sake I will be brief. Do you believe child rape is a affliction?

I do not understand what you meant when you said “affliction is of the Lord” but “not from the Lord.” What does that even mean?

“Nothing happens in your life that God either permits, promotes or prohibits”
Okay, so God could have prohibited my abuse? Or He permitted it? Wow, that sounds like God was implicit in what tore me to shreds as a girl.

Can you understand why your words cause turmoil inside of me?

I trust that you meant what you said in your sermon, that you are learning, growing from this interaction also with Oasis.
Would you consider that perhaps you miscommunicated with her? You keep insisting that you are not in the wrong at all, that she has her perception which makes it her reality, which implies at least to me that she is not telling the truth.
I will be out the rest of the afternoon, if I don’t respond I am not ignoring you, just have a full day.

Wade responded back to my e-mail and gave me permission to post his response to Gail’s questions:

I can sure understand that there are triggers for anyone who has undergone abuse. I would like to answer Gail’s questions, and feel free if you would like to use them.

(1). “Every affliction in your life is of the Lord, all of it is”

God says “I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things.” (Isaiah 45:7). The word disaster is better translated (in my opinion) “affliction.”

However, there must be some caveats and qualifications with any understanding of this Isaiah passage of scripture. The Bible never contradicts itself – ever. We also read “For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone (to do evil); But each one is tempted (to do evil) when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust (James 1:13-14). So when I (or anyone) says God “affliction is of the Lord” it NEVER means He causes, designs, authors, or creates EVIL.” Not at all.

“Every good and perfect gift comes from the Father of lights” (James 1:17). God only creates good. Man and fallen angels create evil. When I say “Affliction is of God” I mean God is able to take what man creates (evil) and orchestrate good from it. Evil is not good, nor is good evil – rather, God is able to turn what man meant for evil into good. God is never responsible for evil. He is only and always the author of good.

(2). “I was molested at five years old by my father, by another again at seven the list doesn’t stop there, for time sake I will be brief. Do you believe child rape is an affliction?”

Rape is evil. Rape is a crime. The rapist alone is responsible for the unspeakable horror. What I believe is that somehow, someway, God will produce good from evil. For example, the punishment of the rapist at the Judgment will be a good thing. The ultimate healing of the victim of rape through the love, mercy and kindness of God will be a good thing. The question that you seem to be asking is simple: “DID GOD CAUSE THE RAPE?” My answer: “GOOD GOD NO.”

I do believe that God allows evil to occur (that He doesn’t cause) because He will ultimately bring about an eternal greater good.

My example would be the beheading of the Coptic Christians in Lebanon. Did God cause this to happen? No. Will ultimate good come from it? Yes.

“For we know that God works all things together for good to them who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

(3). “I do not understand what you meant when you said ‘affliction is of the Lord’ but ‘not from the Lord. What does that even mean?”

It simple means that God does not create, cause or author evil (‘from the Lord’), but God will allow and permit evil because of an ultimate greater good that is coming, including the display of His holiness and justice in the punishment of the sinner and His mercy, goodness and kindness in the redemption of the victim.

(4). “Can you understand your words cause turmoil inside me?”

Yes. Absolutely. There’s wisdom in simply being there for someone whose been abused in the beginning, showing love. However, if I didn’t believe that ultimately the only hope of real recovery from deep, intense scars of past abuse is the knowledge that good IS COMING (the abuse is NOT GOOD), but good is coming, then I would remain silent about these things forever. I only speak of what I see Romans 8:28 to teach when asked. I never offer it until asked.

(5). “Would you consider that perhaps you miscommunicated with her (Oasis)?”

Of course. I also have no hesitation in apologizing. I just need to be shown (because she said it was in writing), and in my opinion, I have never – ever – said “God designs sexual abuse.” I have only and always said “God designs good” and I do not believe in any form or fashion sexual abuse is good.

Wade also added the following:

I am out for the rest of the week. This is all I can offer. I would suggest that those who would like to read further what I believe to go to the link “The Prince of Evil Overcome by the King of Good.” http://www.wadeburleson.org/2013/10/the-prince-of-evil-overruled-by-king-of.html

photo credit: [As seen on my run.] via photopin (license)

Who is @Rhology? What are #pulpiteers? How Do They Function?


Alan Maricle aka @Rhology defends and imitates J.D. Hall’s (aka @pulpitandpen) bad behavior on Twitter.

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The Gospel Coalition Shake-Up – Tullian Tchividjian and Too Much Grace for The Gospel Coalition?


Tullian Tchividjian is booted from The Gospel Coalition (TGC) website while C.J. Mahaney and Josh Harris quietly leave TGC council amidst ongoing sex abuse lawsuits in which a former Sovereign Grace Ministries volunteer is found guilty of sex abuse charges.

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It’s Calvinism Free-For-All: Off the Top of Your Head, Part 2

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One of the most popular debates on this blog is the Calvinism vs Arminianism debate that spontaneously shows up in threads.  I have set up this blog post so the Calvinism/Arminian discussion can continue here, but not “overtake” other important articles.  Part 1 had so many comments, over 1,000, the page was taking a long time to load, hence, Part 2.

I’ll use Ed’s  post to start it off.  Feel free to join in:


I hope you came over here:

You had said:
Hmmmm….well if there is no one there to preach the Word says they are without excuse… Romans 1 says he will reveal Himself to them…

My response:
Romans 10:13-15

King James Version (KJV)

13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!


Doug Phillips: His Power and Control Using “Godly” Patriarchy

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Doug Phillips was a powerful man.  He used “godly” power and control to silence, to man the ship of his business, ministry, church, home, women, employees, and everything around him.

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Why Does Calvin’s God Feel Abusive to Me? I Didn’t Choose This!

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The Lord works righteousness and

justice for all who are oppressed.  

Psalm 103:6

I have never, ever connected so deeply with someone else’s spiritual experience as I have recently with reader, Oasis.  The tears . . . . oh, the tears.  This deep, gut-wrenching, sobbing pain is so real for some of us.  I cannot believe I am doing this, but I’m feeling that right now I need to try to clearly articulate my feelings about Father God and how He relates with the abuse some of us have incurred. Continue reading

It’s Calvinism Free-For-All: Off the Top of Your Head, Part 1

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ADMIN NOTE:  The comments are closed on this thread and a new one has opened here:

It’s Calvinism Free-For-All:  Off the Top of Your Head, Part 2 

The other record-breaking thread is getting really long with comments and so I thought it might be good to let Brian’s new comment have its own thread since it’s on one topic. I’m doing something I’ve never done before. We’re going to let this post be an open post on Calvinism. Many of the people I cover in abuse stories come from either Calvinist or Neo-Calvinist background. That’s not to say there are not abuse issues within Arminian churches (i.e., Calvary Chapel). I’ve mentioned before that I have friends who are Calvinist who certainly are not abusive. In fact, they  defend the oppressed/abused. We have to be careful about those kinds of blanket statements. But there may be some truth to the idea that some doctrines may be a better “breeding” ground for abusive-type leaders.

So, in light of Brian’s comment below, let’s go for it. And okay, I give up . . . go ahead and spell out that “C” word if you want – LOL  🙂

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Ed said: “Don’t call yourself a Calvinist if you don’t support everything about John Calvin.”

Ed, Calvinism and John Calvin are not synonymous, regardless of what you say.

Holding to the tenets of what is commonly called Calvinism does NOT equate to agreeing with everything Calvin did or taught.

I am curious…does anyone on here even know what they are talking about when they use the term “Calvinism”? I’d be interested to see some responses. What is Calvinism? You’ve all been railing against it, so I expect you can describe it without having to look it up. If you have to look it up, then why are you so against something about which you actually do not know the details?

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