Off-Topic Discussion

This place is for any conversation that goes off-topic on current blog posts.  Have at it!

Note:  I may not be able to moderate this thread as well as other threads, so if you see personal attacks or things are getting heated, feel free to shoot me an e-mail:  spiritualsb@gmail.com

Thanks!

121 thoughts on “Off-Topic Discussion”

  1. I personally liked PuritanGirl’s comment in the thread about Grace /Boz Tchividjian (sp?) rebuking TT. Really, which direction the abuse goes tends to have a lot to do with where the power structure in the church really lies. Sometimes it’s with a charismatic pastor, sometimes it’s the old timers on the deacon board, and sometimes it’s members of a family which is influential for whatever reason. Old time pastors will tell you that one of the biggest keys to success is to figure out where that power structure really is. Leadership guide John Maxwell does, too.

    And of course, when that power structure goes bad, then you see some nasty results. Prayers for PuritanGirl.

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  2. Yes, BB, I liked her comment, too, and I agree that there is sometimes abuse coming from congregants against pastors or church leaders. We connected via e-mail and hopefully everything is resolved. I told her I’d like to do an article on this topic. In reading her blog, it sounds like her father sure went through a lot.

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  3. I had a pastor who was abused by his congregants. I was pretty young. It was his first congregation after seminary in a denomination where “sacrificial service” was the name of the game. I should say that the denomination tried to preach sacrificial service, and at the same time taught submission to spiritual authority. So, this guy was in a really difficult congregation. The power was in the elders and deacon board who had very strong views on how much a pastor ought to get paid, what amenities the church-provided parsonage ought to have, and things like that. He had some health issues due to the stress, but finally left when he realized nothing would happen. I know another pastor who almost burned out trying to start a church in the same denomination. Same story, but this time it was the denominational board that controlled the purse strings.

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  4. Hello! I read @ free jinger, that Peter Bradrick has filed for divorce from his wife, the daughter of the Family Integrated Church guy Scott Brown. You know anything about this?

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  5. Hi Donna,

    I know just what you know from reading FJ. I haven’t had any other information passed my way. I had hoped that the move away from Brown and being in a new environment would be good for their family. I’m sad to see that their family is breaking up, but not completely surprised. The foundational beliefs they established their marriage on are toxic.

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  6. I quit the soccer team at my college as a freshman due to a pre-season injury. Two days before the biggest game of the season, each freshman was invited to the coach’s house for an individual meeting. After the meeting, upperclass soccer players grabbed each one, did the pillow case thing, threw him in a trunk and drove them all to a cemetery about two miles off campus. At that point, they just left them to find their way back to campus. I think the next day they held them down and shaved patterns in their hair.

    There was supposedly a point to that, where the freshmen were ‘marked’ players in the game and they had to work together to get back to campus, but there were a couple of high-strung players that completely freaked out. But DEFINITELY nothing like the Wheaton players did.

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  7. I have a question, and I’m hoping someone reading this might be able to help or can point me to a person/organization that can help. If there is abuse cover-up in a non-denominational church and its leadership, meaning no synod or denominational board to answer to, what is the best way for Christians in that community (who are not part of said church but are privy to facts) to shed light on the cover-up? Is there any type of ecclesiastical assembly model for the Church at large? No internal investigation has taken place because no one in leadership in the church is admitting wrong doing, so thus they will not call for this needed investigation. Any thoughts? The church, by the way, has deep pockets, powerful men, and much influence in the community. (Of course!) :Any help/advice would be appreciated. I can provide more specific details, including links to articles if that would be helpful. Thank you!

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  8. I doubt their needed investigation would turn up anything except more silencing of victims. The investigation would more likely be figuring out which people to turn the church against so that they lose credibility and support – the victims, most likely, will get re-victimized.

    If it’s a legal matter, I’d recommend talking to an attorney about best steps. It may be to contact the police, it might be contacting the local news station, it might be contacting child services if children are involved.

    Awareness-wise, there was a conference here in town and the speaker was a known accomplice to a church institution covering up harm against victims. There was a protest organized and there was a significant amount of new coverage about the protest and the church response, which was pretty negative. I will say that the church was one I would have considered checking out when I left my former church, but the person they invited and their response told me that is was another abusive church. So, that does have an effect – when people research possible churches on the internet, that news article will always come up in relation to that church.

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  9. The New Testament (and Old) are full of descriptions of the varying levels
    of Christian maturity.

     For those who need someone ( a human ), to lead them, they go to "church"
    

    and sit under a ‘pastor’.
    Deception comes when the attendee does not, or will not, read The Bible
    for his/her self to see what Jesus qualifies as a “pastor”.

     For those who no longer need to be under a schoolmaster, The Holy Spirit
    

    leads, guides, and teaches. 1 John 2: 27

     Error steps in, when:
    

    1. Unqualified person taking on the role of “pastor”.
    This gives the ‘enemy’ legal ground to enter in, deceive, and cause all kinds
    of chaos.

    A qualified person may be sitting in the role of “pastor”, but preaches false
    theology.
    This gives the ‘enemy’ legal ground to enter in, deceive, and cause all kinds
    of chaos.
    “Church” attendees go to place of worship out of duty, habit, or tradition.
    God seeks those who will worship Him in Spirit and in Truth,
    not vain tradition.
    Many novices sit in the role of “pastor”, and are puffed up with pride:
    thus being taken captive of the enemy, and preach false doctrine.
    The movement of 2000-2018 has been for mega-churches to AMWAY:
    These ‘evangelical’ churches let other groups use their name, with
    the stipulation that the “new church” must pay the first, older church,
    a certain financial recurring stipulation in order to be associated with
    the first church.
    Many humans that have called theirself “pastor” have set up their ‘Churches”
    as businesses; and DO NOT follow the rules and stipulations of a 501-C:

    Meaning, there MUST NOT BE a controlling majority of the organization
    by family members (and relatives)…

    And, if a “church” says it has elders, it must be in the filing charter of the
    organization that calls itself a church.

    Too many blind sheep lose their fleece due to the wolves who are using
    God’s name to set up oversea’s bank accounts, limited liability corporations (LLC), and channel donations into relatives’ bank accounts in foreign countries.

    One particular way they accomplish this is by separating the people who
    take collections. They are put into separate rooms to count the money, and
    not allowed to communicate with any of the other collection people.

    To Grieved in Akron:
    There are Biblical mandates for dealing with grievances among “brethren.”
    [Which I am sure you can locate for yourself.]

     However, that only works if the 'brethren' are going to play by the same rules.
    

    There are other ways.
    By LAW, all non-profit groups must have an identifying IRS Number [ EIN ].
    Often this can be located by searching charity information groups, such as
    Charity Navigator, etc.

     Under LAW, the non-profit group must file a financial statement every year,
    

    which is available from the IRS.
    One can write to the IRS, asking for information on the specific entity to which
    you are referring. It may take some time, but they will provide the information.

     One can search the public records of the county in which the entity operates.
    

    Caution: This only works if the public entity has filed in that county. Many shysters
    now spread their paperwork throughout several states, to hide a paper trail. Delaware is famous for records of businesses that are masquerading as a non-profit.

    WHY is any of this beneficial?? When you peruse and search these records, you
    will find names, dates, and addresses. MAKE COPIES OF EVERYTHING.

    Often, one finds that a corporation that has filed as a “church”, and masquerades
    to its attendees, and the public, that it is a church; actually IS NOT. It becomes
    a business when the majority of directors are family related.

    Once you have the beginning network of interconnected research, let your other
    concerned parties have copies of all information you have gathered.

    Research your legislators: decide amongst yourselves which avenue your group
    feels would be the most appropriate to expose the corruption.

    If nothing else, find good alternative media web-sites, and send the information to
    them. AND KEEP AT IT. Sooner or later, there will be fall-out.

    The fact that this issue, whatever it may be, is of enough concern to you that you
    have posted publically about it, may be a sign that God has called you to be a
    Watcher over His people, and help set them free.

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  10. I hope this is appropriate to post here. I see a lot of “memes” and comments on twitter recent regarding the ongoing story at HBC. What I find to be very disturbing is people making the statement that “anyone” who fails to confront the bully or the abuser is “a part of the problem.”

    Many people caught up in these situations either a) can’t see what is toxic because they are a part of the cult or b) may not have the fortitude to confront the bully.

    I am a female working in a toxic work environment. I should be an equal to my male peers, but I am not, mainly because the leader is a bully, and the other male has benefitted from this set up so is blind to what happens to me. I was always taught to “not make waves” and even though I am now in my 50’s, to stand up to my bully (which I rarely do) leaves me eating away at my ulcer for weeks afterwards. I do have abuse in my childhood (which I work on through years of therapy) and acquired a stalker in my 20’s with no help from people “in power” to d something. I struggle to be in the world at times. Am I part of the problem? Yes. Yet, I continue to work in this environment because I do believe that I help people, and for the most part, the toxicity falls on my shoulders. (I work in the healthcare field).

    I think part of the “if you are in it and didn’t confront you are part of the problem” meme comes from people angry at the elders of this church, but I think we need to sometimes temper that criticism or make certain it is directed only at the people that we know to have power and didn’t speak up. Perhaps, this is my meekness, but….from my perspective, I do understand why people do not always speak up.

    I am currently leaving a church plant that has a lot of “red flags” with respect to becoming a place of abuse. Should I be speaking up? I don’t have any authority in this church as a single woman. I don’t have enough evidence, I just know that for me, it will not be a place where I will grow so having come to understand that, I am leaving.

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  11. Mati, can’t see your comment anymore, but hopefully you get this reply. I think it’s a very tricky situation and making those sorts of accusations is, in a sense, trying to blame shift to undo the gravity of the matter. In a sense, we all celebrate those who stood up and were successful, but, how many more stood up at great personal cost and ended up getting ridiculed, kicked out of churches and treated like outsiders. I know a few of those personally from my former abusive church.

    I haven’t read “The Undoing Project”, but my second-hand understanding is that people try to soften the blow of abusive situations by creating a path through which the wrong could have been undone. For example, if I hadn’t taken that shortcut, I wouldn’t have gotten into that accident. In the same way, people might try to “undo” rapes by blaming clothing or actions or walking in the wrong area alone. So, I suspect that’s the same in the case of HBC. The people in this church were deceived into thinking the pastor was an exemplary Christian worthy of following. Certain people should have interceded, but in performance-based environments, those who get the power are generally the MOST deceived. So, the entire system was geared towards making the pastor look good and suppressing opposition. Now imagine a whistle-blower in that environment. Would that person be heard and the truth acknowledged, or would they simply be dismissed or ostracized?

    As far as work goes, you should definitely do research about toxic environments. Based on the mandatory training I’ve received, people who were sexually harassed at the workplace have won lawsuits, despite not having spoke up. It is considered to be the employer’s responsibility to maintain a safe environment. If you do speak up to HR and nothing is done, then it’s even worse for the employer, but you should talk with a lawyer if you’re considering this.

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  12. Hi Julie
    I have been reading your blog for a couple of years now but have never commented.
    This is something I was listening to today and was wondering how this subject would relate to Quiverfull women and especially households where the husband is the boss and rules with an iron fist. It is a very interesting and informative video – it would be interesting what some of these pastors who advocate complemtarianism would have to say.

    Kathleen

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  13. Let me just say this: WE are ALL sinners; And NONE of us are immune from the worldly temptations because the Devil is the Prince of this world. To hold a pastor, priest, nun, or even the pope to a higher standard than that which is “human” is in and of itself a sin. Bob Coy is still a gifted pastor and communicator of God’s Word. He slipped on the Devil’s Ice and at that instant the “self-righteous” of the World fell upon him as though they were without sin. Did not Jesus tell the people of the village, ” He who is without sin may cast the first stone.?”

    The real question and human laws that need revised are those that address WHY is our society so engrossed with sex and sexuality? Why do women who “participated” in lewd sexual encounters such as Ms. Stormy Jones come back years later to accuse the man of “wrong-doing”? How about the women who did in Bill Cosby? Are these women, women of God…..are or were they “saved”? No.! They wanted fame and money…..now as they did then. Think I am wrong? Then why has NOT one woman or even his former ex-wife ever gone against Mr. Hefner when he was alive. Just maybe he understood more about relationships than the “organized” church will ever be able to teach and devout “church-goers” will ever admit to.

    I may be the only person on this earth to say this: I forgive Bob Coy and I pray that God will once again enter his heart and guide him back to what Bob is good at: Preaching the WORD. Because Bob knows first-hand how evil, temptation, and the Devil work. I listen to every sermon that he has recorded and I hope that I can get copies….. I would welcome him as MY pastor before any of the ones who claim to be pastors from any “organized” church….the ones who go on vacation, have housing given to them, who are disconnected from regular days of trials; who lusty look forward to collecting social security and retiring…..Retiring FROM WHAT…?? Being a Shepard??? Give me a break.

    WE are ALL called to be pastors of the WORD of God; To love one another unconditionally. How many who threw stones at Bob Coy love Him unconditionally.

    Final thought, what did Jesus tell his disciples to do when he sent them out in pairs to spread the new word of God.? Look it up.

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  14. Pastor Bob Coy is unfit for ministry based on the scriptural qualifications for an elder. Unconditional love does not mean we keep an unfit pastor in ministry – it means we get them out of ministry because of the harm they do to the Body of Christ (and their harmful witness to the world).

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  15. “WE are ALL called to be pastors of the WORD of God” – I’m guessing WOMEN need not apply…

    Pastors are chosen from the flock (the saved) to do ministry within the church. The qualifications for elders/pastors are perhaps something that all should aspire to, but not all meet those qualifications.

    “if any man is above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion. For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled”

    From what I understand, “husband of one wife” means a “one-woman man” which faithful churches take to mean that a so-called pastor who commits adultery is not qualified for office. Tullian Tchividjian, for example, had his ministerial credentials removed for adultery.

    What did Coy do to cause his resignation?
    “Our former pastor was caught in sin,” Outreach Pastor Chet Lowe told a congregation in a 78-minute service earlier this month. “Our pastor, he committed adultery with more than one woman. Our pastor, he committed sexual immorality, habitually, through pornography.”

    I believe he can repent and be forgiven, but he should never have any ministerial capacity in a church again.

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  16. Have you heard about Michael Lake? He posts on his blogs that he has a doctorate in theology but never cites the source for his credentials. Additionally, he seems to have a cult following, which concerns me.

    Any thoughts?

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