Abusers Hide In Churches – Equally Yoked Does Not Help Single Christian Women Who’d Like to Marry

Abusers Hide In Churches – Equally Yoked Does Not Help Single Christian Women Who’d Like to Marry

The “equally yoked” rule really makes no sense for single adult Christians, especially Christian women who’d like to marry, since (Link): so many self professing Christian men – even ones who read their Bibles daily or attend church weekly or work as pastors – are sexual deviants, wife abusers, or adulterers.

My parents taught me to seek out good mate material at local churches, because they felt the quality of people would be better at a church, as opposed to going to a bar to get dates with men.

However, I’ve seen far too many news stories of self professed Christian men who beat their wives, molest kids, or have been arrested for soliciting sex with animals, to think that Christian men are any more quality or safer than Non-Christian men. I also fail to see how churches are any safer to meet dates than a bar.

The whole post by Deborah Brunt is very good, but I only wanted to quote from part of it in my post:

(Link): Be wary of churches breaking the silence by Deborah Brunt

Excerpts:

[How churches and typical Christian preachers deal with sexual abuse in their churches]

Pastor-Man offers simple solutions for sexual abuse.

He calls men to be pure. He makes no distinction between the temptation to sexual sin, which both genders face, and the lifestyle of strong deception, sexual domination and violence that male abusers deliberately adopt.

Continue reading “Abusers Hide In Churches – Equally Yoked Does Not Help Single Christian Women Who’d Like to Marry”

Horrible Sexist Blog Post from John Piper’s Desiring God Site: ‘Husbands Get Her Ready for Jesus’

Horrible Sexist Blog Post from John Piper’s Desiring God Site: ‘Husbands Get Her Ready for Jesus’

My Twitter acquaintance Teresa R. first sent me a Tweet of this stupid complementarian based essay which is on Desiring God’s site and was written by one Bryan Stroudt, who should feel so embarrassed by this that he should stop blogging for six months or more.

Soon after Teresa sent me a tweet of this, I started seeing references to it pop up all over the internet, by Christians who felt it was terrible.

Here it is with reflections of how awful it is below, by me and by others:

(Link): Husbands, Get Her Ready for Jesus  by Bryan Stoudt

Here are a few excerpts from Stoudt’s work, before we get to the corrections of it:

(In which Stoudt discusses how Christian husbands – being the “male head” – should correct their wives and prepare their wives to meet Jesus):

A Call to Correction

It’s crystal clear: God calls husbands to be instruments of his sanctifying work in the lives of our wives.

…Just as Jesus set his church apart from sin through his sacrificial, loving death on the cross, husbands are to do everything in their power to promote their wives’ holiness.

This can take many forms. We can pray for our wives, read the Bible with them, and make space for them to pursue meaningful spiritual friendships with other women.

Continue reading “Horrible Sexist Blog Post from John Piper’s Desiring God Site: ‘Husbands Get Her Ready for Jesus’”

‘She Was A Sex Slave’: Wife of Preacher Reveals Horrific Torture At Hands Of Her Husband by L. Little

‘She Was A Sex Slave’: Wife of Preacher Reveals Horrific Torture At Hands Of Her Husband by L. Little

For the billionth time on this blog: marriage does not instill godliness, maturity, kindness, or altruism in a person, as so many conservative Christians and my fellow secular conservatives keep maintaining in their editorials.

If marriage was all that was necessary to instill great character in a person and so on, Jesus Christ would not have needed to die on the cross.

Because Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 7 that remaining single is of more benefit to society (the kingdom of God, specifically) than marriage, in that, supposedly, a Christian single’s energy and attention is not divided between pleasing a spouse and pleasing God, it also makes no sense for Christians to argue that marriage is somehow necessary to fix culture, as they so frequently do.

I no longer agree with the Christian teaching of “be equally yoked” in marriage, because I see no advantage in a woman marrying a Christian man, because (Link): so many of them are abusive or are perverts.

Here is yet another example of that (I have a small number of comments below the long excerpt here):

(Link): ‘She Was A Sex Slave’: Wife of Preacher Reveals Horrific Torture At Hands Of Her Husband | (Tweet)

by L. Little, July 2017

The wife of a radical Australian preacher has broken her silence for the first time on the horrific abuse she suffered for years at the hands of her cruel husband.

But Joy Harris, 63, revealed the most devastating aspect of her ordeal was being shunned by her own son – an Independent Baptist pastor like his Dad – because he blamed her for his father’s evil actions.

“I’m totally heartbroken. He hasn’t even let me see his children, because I have to repent first.”

Speaking in a 60 Minutes exclusive, the Cairns grandmother said she had been raped up to seven time a day by her husband, Pastor Larry Harris.

“He thought the more times a day he could have it, the more of a man he was. He would get up to 6, 7 times a day and he didn’t care if it caused me pain,” she told reporter Liam Bartlett.

Continue reading “‘She Was A Sex Slave’: Wife of Preacher Reveals Horrific Torture At Hands Of Her Husband by L. Little”

Stuff that Stuff Christian Culture Likes Facebook Group Likes

Stuff that Stuff Christian Culture Likes Facebook Group Likes

Stephanie Drury, owner of SCCL Facebook group, doesn’t care about victims.

Drury may thinks she cares about victims, and she may even want you to think she cares about victims, and you may even mistakenly think she cares about victims or other wounded people, but-

From what I’ve witnessed on her Facebook group and Twitter behavior, what Drury really cares about is pushing a liberal agenda. (I will discuss this a little more below the list.)

In the past, owner of SCCL Facebook group, Stephanie Drury, linked to a few of my posts on this blog, with the motive of having her group of Flying Monkeys mock and ridicule my posts or me.

I used to be a regular visitor to Drury’s SCCL group, for a period spanning approximately four years. I always lurked, never posted, because I spotted several red flags with her group.

Over the last 2 or 3 years, I at times tweeted Drury with stories I thought she would find interesting, and sure enough, she would share some of those links on her SCCL Facebook group.

I tried to be on friendly terms with her on Twitter, but I guess that doesn’t matter to her.

Around the first week of June 2017, Drury once again shared a link to one of my blog posts with her SCCL Facebook group. In the past, I said nothing when she did this with other posts of mine.

This time, however, I tweeted her to let her know I saw her post a link to my blog post on her group.

After that, she tweeted me a few times, but so too did some of her fans on Twitter, and none of it was nice.

Continue reading “Stuff that Stuff Christian Culture Likes Facebook Group Likes”

A Response To J D Hall’s Vomit-tastic Post about Village Church’s Handling of Certain Members, Covenants, and Marriages

A Response To J D Hall’s Vomit-tastic Post about Village Church’s Handling of Certain Members, Covenants, and Marriages 

Before we get to the post by J D Hall:

Background:

  • The Village Church (TVC) of Texas has placed Karen, who was once a member of theirs, under church discipline because she did not, according to them, abide by the church covenant she signed.
  • Instead of conferring with the church on what to do, Karen, on her own, sought an annulment from the state of Texas, once she discovered her then-spouse, Jordan, was a pedophile.
  • Karen said she spent about 50 days conferring with other Christians (not from the TVC), and in prayer, mulling over what to do, before seeking the annulment.
  • This action of hers has ticked off TVC leadership, because Karen did not get their permission to get the annulment.
  • Matt Chandler is the lead preacher of TVC.

You can read additional reporting of this situation here (additional material is at the bottom of this post):

Here is the page I am responding to:

(Link, off site): A Rational Response to the Criticism of Village Church  by  J D Hall, Pulpit and Pen blog

The covenant that Hall is so rigorously defending – TVC’s membership covenant – here does not even mention annulments.

As Karen explains (off site Link, Source):

  • …it is worth noting here that although The Village Church claims [in their e-mail] that “We see an annulment as a subcategory of what Scripture defines as a divorce in Mark 10:9” …, this cannot be found anywhere in their Membership Covenant or Bylaws.
  • In signing their Membership Covenant shortly after my 24th birthday, I had agreed to nothing in regards to the possibility of annulment should I come to realize that my marriage had been a complete sham from the beginning.
  • There is a vast difference between a divorce and a marriage that is voided on the grounds of fraud, and I had no way of knowing that the leadership of The Village Church would respond to it in this fashion.

Continue reading “A Response To J D Hall’s Vomit-tastic Post about Village Church’s Handling of Certain Members, Covenants, and Marriages”

Spiritual leader allegedly manipulated 400 men into removing testicles to be ‘closer to God’

Spiritual leader allegedly manipulated 400 men into removing testicles to be ‘closer to God’

I almost did not blog at all today, until I saw this…

There are times I am glad to be a lady. And somewhat agnostic. And not the member of any church. This is one of those times.

(Link): Spiritual leader allegedly manipulated 400 men into removing testicles to be ‘closer to God’

  • March 1, 2015
  • The castrations allegedly started happening from 2000
  • A man has been accused of encouraging hundreds of followers to be castrated in a promise for them to become closer to God.

Continue reading “Spiritual leader allegedly manipulated 400 men into removing testicles to be ‘closer to God’”

Christian Personality Uses Lame, Unbiblical Excuse to Rationalize His Adultery – He Calls His Mistress His Spiritual Wife

Christian Personality Tony Jones Uses Lame, Unbiblical Excuse to Rationalize His Adultery – He Calls His Mistress His Spiritual Wife, According to Various Online Blogs and Sites

Sometime in the last few weeks especially, a story broke out on various liberal or Christian or ex Christian type groups and blogs about a guy in the emerging church by the name of Tony Jones.

I am uncertain if Jones works as a pastor or is simply an author or blogger. I’m not terribly interested in the myriad, minute details of this situation for the purposes of this post. His bio which popped up in a search on Google returns this:

  • Tony Jones is an American theologian, author, blogger, and speaker who is a leading figure in the emerging church movement and postmodern Christianity.

As you should be aware, if you’ve bothered to so much as glance over other content at my blog, I often discuss issues pertaining to singleness and marriage, and how Christians do a terrible job teaching about these things, or in supporting celibacy.

From the Christian blog The Wartburg Watch, (link to TWW Home Page), which usually specializes in reporting about spiritual abuse by Christians in churches, here is an excerpt from a post they did in January 19, 2015:

  • Tony Jones divorced his wife in 2009. Julie discovered the affair in 2008
  • His BFF, Doug Pagitt, knew Tony was having an affair and came up with a theological argument to justify Jones’ actions. Jones allegedly told Julie that he had a spiritual™ wife  which took precedence over their marriage because their marriage was simply a legal matter. (2009- one month before official divorce).
  • Julie claims she was assaulted by Jones.
  • Rumors circulated amongst their Emergent group that Julie was mentally ill. She claims that the leaders tried to get her committed to a mental institution.
  • Julie was awarded custody of the children and Jones was given visitation rights.
  • Tony Jones sacramentally (his term) married his new wife in 2011 and legally married her in 2013. They refused to get legally married until gays could get married.

The ex wife, Julie, claims that Tony physically abused her, including throwing her up against a wall, which dislocated her shoulder.

There is much bickering about this whole thing on other sites as to who to believe, Tony (who claims his ex wife is a trouble- making, crack- pot), or Julie (for the record, based on what I’ve seen so far, I tend to believe Julie’s side of things, and she says that Jones was diagnosed as having NPD – link about NPD on health site).

There are other aspects about this I don’t want to get into in my post, such as a conference involving Christian blogger Rachel Held Evans, and how, when, or if Christians in positions of authority use that influence to silence victims, etc etc.

You can go google the rest of the story if you’d like to read more about all this. There are other blogs, Facebook groups, and forums who are discussing this story from multiple angles.

The point most all accounts I’ve seen agree upon is that this Tony guy had an affair, and Tony refers to his mistress (who I believe he is now legally wed to?) as his “spiritual wife.”

This “spiritual wife” line was used to justify or rationalize his extra-marital affair and divorce.

The Bible teaches no such thing as a “spiritual wife.”

Jones is a piss-poor “theologian” if he thinks the Bible teaches the concept of spiritual wives.

That this Jones guy still gets speaking engagements or book deals, in spite of being widely known as an adulterer, speaks quite poorly to the state of affairs or discernment among Christians today.

Continue reading “Christian Personality Uses Lame, Unbiblical Excuse to Rationalize His Adultery – He Calls His Mistress His Spiritual Wife”

Christians Can Never Agree On Anything – even minute, trivial stuff

Christians Can Never Agree On Anything – even minute, trivial stuff

Christians can almost never agree on anything.

And no, the Roman Catholics aren’t right, either, they have some screwed up theology, too.

The typical Roman Catholic response to “Protestants disagree a lot” is to say, “Hey, yeah, tell me something I don’t already know, but gosh golly, the RC is in total unity on everything, so convert to Catholicism” (and no, Roman Catholics are not in unity on everything, either, despite their claim to the contrary).

But anyway. This is one of many, many reasons I don’t really want to stay a Christian anymore.

Christians cannot agree on anything, whether big, important topics, or smaller ones, or anything inbetween.

Such as:

(Link): Why Making a New Year’s Resolution Is a Good Idea

  • BY RICK MCDANIEL, CP GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
  • January 2, 2015|10:49 am
  • The start of a new year is always an opportunity. It is a fresh beginning, a new chapter, another chance to get it right. Why would anyone not take advantage of such a moment? Some will say it is not good to make resolutions because no one ever keeps resolutions. But that is not true.
  • …John Norcross, professor at the University of Scranton, has written on change and is an expert on new year’s resolutions. He says that at the six-month period of a resolution, 40 percent of people are still keeping their resolutions. Furthermore, other research shows if you make the same resolution three years in a row, there is a high probability it will actually happen.

So McDaniel believes it’s a good idea for people to make NYR (New Years Resolutions), or, at the very least, it’s not wrong to make NYRs.

Edit, Jan 3, 2014, here is a new link I just found (John Piper is a preacher and Christian book author):

(Link): John Piper: Christians Should Make New Year’s Resolutions; God Wants to Fulfill Them

  • Preacher and teacher John Piper asked, “Should we make resolutions? Should we do this?” in a recent video on the DesiringGod.org website.
  • “The answer is a resounding yes indeed we should,” he answered. Piper went on to explain that Christians should make 2015 resolutions because God has the power to fulfill them and wants to do so for His and our glorification.

Compare that to some other story I saw on Christian sites the day before warning Christians NOT to make New Year’s resolutions, such as….

(Link): Billy Graham’s grandson warns against New Year’s resolutions 

(Link):  Tullian Tchividjian on How New Year’s Resolutions Can Be Spiritually Damaging

(Link):  Tullian Tchividjian on How New Year’s Resolutions Can Be Spiritually Damaging

  • TT: When it’s up to you to go out and get the love you crave, create your own worth, or work at becoming acceptable to those you want to impress, life gets heavy.
  • New Year’s Resolutions are a burdening attempt to fix ourselves and make ourselves more lovable. But here’s the good news: God loves us as we are, not as we should be.

This Christian disagreement over New Years resolutions reminds me of all the food news over the years.

When I was in my 20s, I heard the news report that scientists and nutritionists tell the public NOT to eat apples, because apples have Alar on them.

Then they said Eggs are bad for  you, so don’t eat eggs.

They also said butter and fats are bad for your weight, so avoid those, but bread was OK.

Since that time, they have totally reversed course, and I now see news reports saying Eggs are good for you, low fat is BAD, bread is BAD, and apples are safe to eat.

It’s so bad – the contradictions about diet and food that come out every few years – that I now totally ignore what the scientists, nutritionists, and doctors say and eat whatever I want.

One minute, the scientists are saying, “Don’t eat X, X is bad for you” but then two years later, they say to the public, “We were wrong about X, we now believe X is safe to eat and even good for you.”

It’s the same thing in Christianity, or very similar.

If you ask ten different Christians for their opinion on topic “X,” especially if it’s a topic about morality or biblical interpretation or doctrine, you will get ten different answers.

If nobody who claims Christ can agree on much of the faith or the Bible, what is the point?

They all have their different interpretations. They each insist THEIR interpretation is the only RIGHT, CORRECT one.

Then you have the problem of evil and suffering caused by self professing Christians who use and twist the Bible, or pluck Bible verses out of context, to mistreat other people – and some of these people sincerely think they are doing the right thing, or are following God; they do not honestly believe they are hurting anyone else with their (mis)understanding of the Scriptures.

Even if the Bible is truly the Word of God, much abuse has been done from that same book by people who sincerely think they are doing as it says.

——————————

Related posts:

(Link): Christians Who Take the Bible Literally Cannot Agree On Much of Anything 

(Link): More Musings about Applicability of the Old Testament, Via One Man’s Testimony About Jeremiah 29:11

(Link): Christians Once Again Trying to Explain Who The Bible’s Promises Are For – TGC Article

(Link):  Christians Who Can’t Agree on Who The Old Testament Is For and When or If It Applies

(Link):   Does God’s Plan to Do You No Harm, Prosper You, And Give You Hope and A Future Involve You Dying In a Fiery Plane Crash? Regarding Jeremiah 29:11 and Its Application

(Link): Blaming the Christian for His or Her Own Problem or Unanswered Prayer / Christian Codependency

Ohio Preacher Asked Men if they Performed Oral Sex on Spouses, Asked Males if they Had Large Penises, Asked to Look at their Penises, Asked One Actor if He Shaved His Pubic Hair, Encouraged Women Congregants to Get Abortions, Males to Get Vasectomies / Another Blow to “Be Equally Yoked” Christian Teachings

Ohio Preacher Asked Men if they Performed Oral Sex on Spouses, Asked Males if they Had Large Penises, Asked to Look at their Penises, Asked One Actor if He Shaved His Pubic Hair, Encouraged Women Congregants to Get Abortions, Males to Get Vasectomies / Another Blow to “Be Equally Yoked” Christian Teachings

(Link):  Ohio televangelist ‘forced members to have vasectomies and abortions, told women to treat pregnancies as tumors and allowed children to be sexually abused’

  • Vasectomies and abortions encouraged to save offspring from today’s evils 
  • A pregnant woman was told to treat her fetus as if it was a tumor
  • Abuse victims claim Ernest Angley told them to keep their allegations secret

Before I paste in a bunch more links to this news story, here are some of my thoughts about it:

Yet another shining example of why Christian women should not even bother with “being equally yoked,” as some church-going, self professing Christian men, some of whom work as elders or preachers, are perverts who molest people or overstep their bounds.

I am surprised at how many Christians went along with this perverted preacher and for how long. Some of them went to this guy’s church for months or years before working up the courage or disgust to walk out.

Christians are some of the biggest, passive wimps I have ever met.

Many Christians are severely codependent – they routinely take Bible verses about “being meek” and “turning the cheek” and “loving your enemy” to wrongly assume the Bible is teaching them to be doormats and to tolerate evil and idiots – but it’s not teaching you to put up with any of that, or to be a doormat.

What I am trying to say is that if you are a grown man (or woman) attending a church where the pastor tells you to get an abortion, or asked you to drop your drawers to look at your penis, or he asks if you perform oral sex on your wife, or whatever inappropriate action or remark he makes, you should respond in one of several ways to these scenarios:

  • 1. Punch him in his disgusting face
  • 2. Tell him none of his damn business, and that he is a pervert
  • 3. Extend your middle finger to his face and tell him to F*CK OFF
  • 4. Stop attending his church the first time such a situation occurs

What is not an option: complying with his disgusting wish. This dude is just some old perverted coot. He has no authority over you, NONE.

Assuming you work at a secular job (not at the same church where the abuse is going down):

Just like your boss at your job has no right to threaten your ass with firing if you don’t sleep with him or show him your nude penis, and just as your boss at your job has no right to ask about your sexual habits, you are under no obligation to go along with bat sh*t insane requests like, “so, tell me, do you have a big penis,” or, “hey, drop your pants and underwear so I can check out your genitals” from your preacher.

Christians of the world, being a “good, biblical Christian” has nothing to do with being a doormat.

Stop allowing people to exploit you.

Never participate in something that makes you feel uncomfortable, such as telling your pastor how big your penis is, or what your sex life is like. Those subjects and ones like them are NONE OF YOUR PREACHER’S BUSINESS, not even in the guise of “men’s accountability” meetings or groups.

Seriously, go out and get a copy of the books,

  • Boundaries” by Christian psychiatrists Cloud and Townsend,
  • No More Christian Nice Guy” by Paul Coughlin,
  • The Disease to Please” by Dr. H. Braiker

-and read them, read those books! If money is an issue, perhaps your local library has copies you can check out.

The first two books will explain to you why being a Christian does NOT MEAN having to take sh-t off other people (God does not expect, command, or demand that you permit yourself to be abused or used by other people), the third is a general book not necessarily written from a “Christian” view but it is invaluable to Christians who are too terrified to say “no” to people and who believe that having limits is selfish, mean, or unbiblical.

Christians: You have a right to say “no” to gross or weird questions or requests, even from your church preacher.

Also: as much as I cannot stand the extreme emphasis most churches put on marriage, natalism, and parenting, which alienates singles, widowers, and the infertile – I do NOT condone the extreme opposite: a church where the pastor and/or other members pressure people to NOT marry or NOT have children.

Whether you marry or not or have a kid or not is YOUR CHOICE, and your church should shut their pie holes about it.

The Bible defends all situations: having a kid, not having a kid (whether by choice or by circumstance); being single OR being married.

There is nothing sinful or shameful about getting married OR being single, or with having children or NOT having children.

(Link):  Ohio televangelist ‘forced members to have vasectomies and abortions, told women to treat pregnancies as tumors and allowed children to be sexually abused’

  • Vasectomies and abortions encouraged to save offspring from today’s evils 
  • A pregnant woman was told to treat her fetus as if it was a tumor
  • Abuse victims claim Ernest Angley told them to keep their allegations secret

(Link):  Televangelist pastor accused of forcing vasectomies and abortions on church members

Former members of Grace Cathedral in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio have accused church leader and televangelist Ernest Angley of demanding they have abortions or vasectomies, and that he would both engage in and turn a blind eye to sexual abuse in the church.

Continue reading “Ohio Preacher Asked Men if they Performed Oral Sex on Spouses, Asked Males if they Had Large Penises, Asked to Look at their Penises, Asked One Actor if He Shaved His Pubic Hair, Encouraged Women Congregants to Get Abortions, Males to Get Vasectomies / Another Blow to “Be Equally Yoked” Christian Teachings”

Married Father and Baptist Preacher J D Hall – Another Example of How Marriage and Parenthood Does Not Make a Person More Godly or Mature

Married Father and Baptist Preacher J D Hall – Another Example of How Marriage and Parenthood Does Not Make a Person More Godly or Mature

(There is an update at the bottom of this post).

This involves a lot of back story I don’t want to get into because this blog post would be ten pages long.

I am blogging this primarily for adult singles who have felt marginalized or hurt by Christian denominations or churches that treat adult singles as though they have cooties.

I have a somewhat different motivation for blogging about this than other blogs do. There were a few other blogs who addressed the child abuse aspect of the story, that we have an adult (Hall) badgering a teen kid (Braxton Caner) on the internet.

J D Hall is a Calvinist preacher with a blog called “Pulpit and Pen,” a Twitter account, and a group of fan boys who follow him around online who actually refer to themselves as “Pulpiteers.”

At one time, Hall’s groupies were using the #pulpiteer (or “pulpiteers”) hash to follow each other around Twitter. I’m not sure if they still use the “Pulpiteer” label or not. I will continue to refer to them as such.

This group, and a few other people, have a long standing hatred of another guy named Ergun Caner.

Continue reading “Married Father and Baptist Preacher J D Hall – Another Example of How Marriage and Parenthood Does Not Make a Person More Godly or Mature”

General Observations Or Concerns About Stuff Christian Culture Likes Group and Blog

This is kind of a follow up to my previous post about SCCL (link at bottom – the group was recently mocking the T. Burpo book).

I found at least one blog post chronicling some of the abusive tendencies within the SCCL group (see link below) – this is so odd.

The SCCL like group members depict themselves as champions of the hurt and abused, but they sometimes bully and abuse other people themselves.

In addition, Drury (who is the owner and maintainer of the SCCL like groups, Twitter account, and blog), who tries to present herself as a feminist, and who also tries to come off as sensitive to homosexuals and more recently, transgendered people and their concerns, has made comments some of them have found offensive on several occasions on Twitter and/or Facebook, but she was reluctant to apologize.

You can read examples here:

(Link): For Surivivors of Christian Fundamentalism seeking refuge in Stuff Christian Culture Likes (group / blog)

A person (Shelly) on that blog left this comment (excerpt from her comment):

Another couple of people [at SCCL] were triggery for me, as they did shit that reminded me of the abuse I received when I was younger, and I no longer felt safe staying there, knowing that

she was perfectly fine to call out the abuse within the church system but wouldn’t call it out within the page that was supposed to be a safe place for the abused.

So I unliked the page, unfollowed her SCCL Twitter (I had unfollowed her personal one after t-gate), and stopped following the blog.

(end excerpts)

I’ve noticed the same thing.

It’s a group that scolds churches or Christian culture for perpetuating certain damaging views, or for allowing or committing abuse, but pretty much allows the regular members to bash the new-comers to the group who may speak up and disagree with whatever topic is under discussion.

I never joined the SCCL Facebook group. I may have left one post at one SCCL blog page once a long time ago (I don’t recall), but something never sat quite right with me about the types of people who post at either the group or blog, so I didn’t join.

The majority of SCCL members can seem kind-hearted and supportive most of the time, but then turn like sharks the next instant on an individual who isn’t keeping with the group think.

I once read a blog post about how even blogs / groups intended for survivors (survivors of church abuse or whatever) can turn out to be just as abusive as the church or cult the person has left. (That post may have also been on Blog on the Way, I can’t remember where I saw it).

If you have been hurt by a Christian, a denomination, or a church, be very, very careful which other groups you choose to align yourself with in the aftermath, or for support or healing.

The group you choose to make your “new home” or support system just may turn on you in the future.

I have seen some people post perfectly polite, fine questions or comments on SCCL Facebook page and get rudely ripped to shreds, ganged up on, by several SCCL members at once over it.

It’s not pretty, and some of the SCCL members, at times, act just as horribly as the fundamentalists, evangelicals, sexists and “homophobes” (what a stupid, inaccurate word, by the way) they complain about.

There are also some hard-core atheists who sporadically show up to SCCL to bitterly complain about theism, the Bible and Christians, and they are some of the most condescending, obnoxious jerks I’ve come across. They usually get shouted down by other SCCL members, but they do post there on occasion.

There is a Christian guy, an older gentlemen (his personal profile photo shows a white-haired guy) named “Warren” who participates at SCCL.

I’d say the guy makes good sense about 95% of the time, but he still gets shouted down and treated rudely by the SCCL regulars – because, in knee jerk reaction, they recoil at anything that smacks of Christian or traditional values.

Continue reading “General Observations Or Concerns About Stuff Christian Culture Likes Group and Blog”

Placing One’s Marriage Ahead of The Church – Preacher Used Prioritizing and Rebuilding His Marriage as Rationale for Bullying His Church Members (Re: Driscoll and Mars Hill Church)

Placing One’s Marriage Ahead of The Church – Preacher Used Prioritizing and Rebuilding His Marriage as Rationale for Bullying His Church Members

(Link): The Storm at Mars Hill Church: Mark Driscoll Explains It All

In that page, there is a description of how Driscoll claims the reason he came down hard on his church members was to save his marriage. He says he and his wife Grace were going through a tough time in their marriage.

Here is an excerpt:

    “For me [Mark Driscoll] to recover, for you [Grace Driscoll] to recover, for us to build our friendship, I feel like we’re kind of at that watershed moment where our marriage is gonna get better or it’s gonna get colder,…

  • I told Grace, I said “I’m going to give it one year, and if it doesn’t get fixed, I’m going to quit, because you’re more important to me than ministry, and I feel like if I quit right now, the church will probably die, and there’s all these thousands of people that met Jesus.” I said “So we’re either going to change it or I’m going to quit, but we’re not going to do this forever and you’re my priority,” and that led to everything that I feared, quite frankly.
  • It was really brutal, and I couldn’t tell the story at the time of and here’s why- because Grace is really hurting, and I love her….

This is an example of what secular researchers call a “greedy marriage.” See this post:

(Link): Do Married Couples Slight Their Family Members as Well as Their Friends? / “Greedy Marriages”

Also:
(Link): Do You Rate Your Family Too High? (Christians Who Idolize the Family) (article)

(Link): If the Family Is Central, Christ Isn’t

As Throckmorton surmises,

    What is striking about this narrative [by Mark Driscoll explaining why he abused people at his church] is the self-focus.

  • Instead of “men stepping up” perhaps this video should be named “men stepping on” others. The implication is that the damage to others (culture of fear, lay-offs, firings, shunnings, the pile of dead bodies under the Mars Hill bus) was necessary because Mark and Grace Driscoll needed time to repair themselves and their marriage.

So, part of Driscoll’s rationalization of why it was acceptable for him to bulldoze over people at his church was to save his marriage.

Even if Driscoll is lying, and his marital troubles are being used as an excuse only to cover his misbehavior, that doesn’t change the thrust of my criticisms.

And yet many conservative Christians think un-married men and women should not serve as preachers?

Let me tell you something, if you had a single (as in, un-marrred) man or woman serve as pastor of your church, there would be no on-going marital stress and strife that would cause them to terrorize and abuse the people of your church.

You would not have an unmarried person stressing out over his or her marriage (because their is no marriage), and abusing church members to work on his or her relationship with his or her spouse – because there would be no spouse.

Evangelical Christians, Southern Baptists, fundamentalists, and some Neo Calvinists, often believe or teach that marriage and parenthood mature or sanctify a person (though the Bible does not teach either concept), and they often portray the never married or childless or childfree as being selfish, but here we have an example of a married preacher who selfishly put his marriage and children above people at his church.

Being married and a parent sure as hell did not mature Mark Driscoll, nor did it make him more loving, godly, or considerate. Far from it.
————————–
Related posts:

(Link): Preacher Mark Driscoll Basically Says No, Single Christian Males Cannot or Should Not Serve as Preachers / in Leadership Positions – Attempts to Justify Unbiblical, Anti Singleness Christian Bias

(Link): How Christians Have Failed on Teaching Maturity and Morality Vis A Vis Marriage / Parenthood – Used as Markers of Maturity Or Assumed to be Sanctifiers – Also: More Hypocrisy – Christians Teach You Need A Spouse to Be Purified, But Also Teach God Won’t Send You a Spouse Until You Become Purified

(Link): Male Preacher Marries For First Time At Age 44

(Link): Adult Singleness and Virginity Ridiculed by Preacher Mark Driscoll from 2000 – and anti Homosexual and Sexist Rhetoric ( Re Driscoll Rant known as Pussified Nation )

(Link): Pervy Preacher from Seattle who teaches men “to objectify women, by his over emphasis of sexualization of women and subservience” (Re Driscoll)

Theologian Says ‘Love’ Is the New Cultural Apologetic Affirming Immoral Activities – Theology of Hurt Feelings – Why Christians Are Reluctant To Call Out Sexual Sin

Theologian Says ‘Love’ Is the New Cultural Apologetic Affirming Immoral Activities – Theology of Hurt Feelings – Why Christians Are Reluctant To Call Out Sexual Sin

(Before I get to the link proper, here is a long introduction by me.)

I agree with this guy’s editorial (linked to farther below). I’ve written of this phenomenon before on my own blog, going back a year or maybe as long as three years ago (see links at the bottom of this post under the “Related Posts” section).

I do not like legalistic jerks. I don’t think Christians should be rude, mean, hateful jerks to other people, even when condemning certain behaviors as being sinful.

However. HOWEVER.

I can’t say as though I’m a whole-scale supporter of legalism’s opposite characteristics, either – which amounts to extreme leniency and “watering down of standards” in the name of Love and Tolerance.

I have seen some Christians so very afraid of hurting the feelings of Non-Christians (or even that of fellow Christians) who are in sin, or in confronting Christians who are openly supportive of behaviors the Bible condemns, they tip toe around the sin in question to an absurd degree – where they end up practically supporting, condoning, or excusing said sin (whatever it may be).

These Christians are hyper-sensitive to other people’s feelings, and it is a huge annoyance to me.

This tendency to treat other people’s feelings with kid gloves has gotten so bad in Christendom (particularly in regards to sexual sin), that some preachers have admitted they are afraid to speak out against sin in public, in their blogs, TV shows, books, or from the pulpit.

It’s also very common among Christian lay persons, or by ex-Christians or liberal Christians, who confuse God’s propensity to love and forgive with the notion that God (and Jesus Christ) are hunky-dory with behavior the Bible thoroughly condemns, such as hetero pre-marital sex or homosexual sex acts, for example.

(Transgenderism is a sexual state which has become the new liberal Christian, moderate Christian, Theology of Hurt Feelings Christian, ex-Christian, and left wing secular Sacred Cow that you may not criticize at all.)

It’s also intriguing to me that on the spiritual abuse blogs I have visited, whose owners and members champion the downtrodden (i.e., adults who have been mistreated by churches, or victims of sexual abuse whose abuse was swept under the rug by their fellow church members), have forum or blog participants, who will, on one hand, quite understandably call for the heads of such abusive church members on a platter, rightly call out Christians as being naive fools about abuse in churches, but – many of these same people are also very dismissive of, or blind to, abuses by Muslim militants and homosexual militants.

They are very naive of abuses by Muslims and homosexuals. They seem to have a huge blind spot in those areas.

How they can so easily spot and repudiate Christian and church bungling of spiritual and child sexual abuse, or of preachers who exploit their church members, but fail to recognize the dangers of Muslim and homosexual militancy in American society and other regions of the world, I will never understand.

The blindness and naive nature by folks on those sorts of forums and blogs also extends to Roman Catholicism.

I have had a few Roman Catholic friends in the past, and they are fine people, but their church? No.

The Roman Catholic Church used to burn people at the stake, but one Roman Catholic individual recently thanked a (Protestant) blogger for bringing to everyone’s attention the anti-Roman Catholic commentary expressed by yet another blog (a Protestant one which was critical of perceived sinful RC behavior).

I mean, really? Some Protestant writing a critical comment about Roman Catholic behavior in general on a blog is thought somehow worse than the Roman Catholic Church in years past doing things such as:

-Covering up priest sexual abuse of children, or….

-Burning people to death for refusing to convert to Roman Catholicism, or for (Link to Wiki page): translating the Bible into English, or….

-The same Roman Catholic Church that historically has held the position that the Gospel (which includes sola fide) is anathema (to be damned)?

        (Off site link for more on that:

      Roman Catholic Church condemns the Gospel itself

          )

        Seriously?

        But you can’t easily point these issues of the Roman Catholic Church out at some forums or blogs – the ones who are into The Theology of Hurt Feelings – as it might offend a Roman Catholic somewhere.

        The Roman Catholic Church historically persecuted a lot of people (see again: burning people to death at the stake for things like not converting to Catholicism), but criticism on the internet of their church is considered by some of them to be the height of persecution against Roman Catholics.

        At any rate, I agree with the gentlemen quoted below.

        There is most certainly a Theology of Hurt Feelings, where-in some Christians are so incredibly concerned with not offending various classes of sinners (e.g., hetero fornicators or active homosexuals), they think Christians speaking out publicly (on blogs, radio shows, in church services, etc) is “unloving” and therefore Christ would object to it.

        The mind boggles at this. Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay for hetero fornication and homosexual sex acts, among other sins of humanity. But these “lovey dovey” types want other Christians to pipe down about all this and act as though God is totaly fine with, and accepting of, all manner of sin.

        The Bible presents a God who is not only loving, forgiving, and gracious, but also one who is Holy, just, and who does not tolerate sin, he does not like sin, and he won’t put up with sin indefinitely. God is not fine and dandy with sin. And the Bible does in fact call out hetero pre-marital sex, and all homosexual sex acts, as sin.

        I suspect that this well-meaning, yet wrong-headed, tendency to want to be Very Loving, Very Accepting, and To Spare People’s Feelings, is partially responsible for what gave rise several years ago to the ridiculous, non-sensical, un-Biblical habit of referring to fornicators as “Born Again Virgins,” “Spiritual Virgins,” and similar monikers (see links below, this post, for more about that).

        (Link): Theologian Says ‘Love’ Is the New Cultural Apologetic Affirming Immoral Activities

        Excerpts.

            BY ALEX MURASHKO , CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER 
            July 25, 2014|8:33 am

          Advocates for behavior considered immoral by Christians who believe the Bible is God’s inerrant word, have successfully used the idea of “love” to affirm homoerotic behavior, to redefine marriage and family, to justify pedophilia, and as theologian and pastor James Emery White recently pointed out, to justify assisted suicide.

          The problem, White writes in his blog, Church & Culture, is that the “love” described to normalize these behaviors is “not the biblical idea of love.”

          Continue reading “Theologian Says ‘Love’ Is the New Cultural Apologetic Affirming Immoral Activities – Theology of Hurt Feelings – Why Christians Are Reluctant To Call Out Sexual Sin”

          Gary Habermas joins Janet Mefferd to discuss dealing with doubt in the Christian life (Re: Unanswered Prayer – other issues)

          Gary Habermas joins Janet to discuss dealing with doubt in the Christian life (Re: Unanswered Prayer)

          Audio / podcast.

          I have found that Janet Mefferd’s show does not work in Google Chrome (browser), sometimes does not work in FireFox, but DOES work in IE (Microsoft Internet Explorer browser). I loathe IE, but it’s the only browser that will play her show.

          Habermas has recently written a book about faith and doubt or something, and he is interviewed by Janet Mefferd about it, as well as related questions, such as unanswered prayer, Christians who walk away from church because they have been hurt by other Christias, or they lost a loved one (to death), or they don’t feel Christianity is meeting their needs, etc.

          You can listen to the interview here:
          (I think this is hour 3 – there appears to be an hour 1 and hour 2):
          (Fixed the link)

          (Link): Podcast: Gary Habermas joins Janet to discuss dealing with doubt in the Christian life. (mentions unanswered prayer, other topics)

          ———————————
          Related posts, this blog:

          (Link): Blaming the Christian for His or Her Own Problem or Unanswered Prayer / Christian Codependency

          (Link):  Unanswered Prayer and Diversity of Doctrine and Interpretation (podcasts)

          (Link):  How to Deal with Unanswered Prayers via Pastor Bil Cornelius 

          (Link):   When All We Hear from God is Silence by Diane Markins

          (Link): On Prayer and Christ’s Comment to Grant You Anything You Ask in His Name

          (Link): Church Is Not Important, 51 Percent of US Adults Say

          (Link): Guilt Tripping or Shaming the Hurt Sheep to Return to Church

          (Link): Quitting Church – why single Christians aren’t going to church – church has failed Christian singles

          (Link): Christians Who Can’t Agree on Who The Old Testament Is For and When or If It Applies

          (Link): Why People Don’t Go To Church (various links and testimonies March 2014)

          Christian Confusion on Sexual Ethics – Sexual Purity is For All Ages and All Marital Statuses, and Sexual Sin is Not Just Limited to Adultery – Rape is Not An Extra Marital Affair

          Christian Confusion on Sexual Ethics – Sexual Purity is For All Ages and All Marital Statuses, and Sexual Sin is Not Just Limited to Adultery – Rape is Not An Affair

          Conservative Christians keeps presenting some very skewed views about sex and sexual sin.

          While a lot of Christians have watered down the biblical teaching of “virginity- until- marriage,” the ones who still do bother to give it lip service seem to think that sexual sin only befalls unmarried people who are younger than age 25.

          There is an ignorant assumption by most Christians that married couples will never commit sexual sin, because they are supposedly getting their sexual desires satiated on a regular basis with their spouse (which is false, see these links: Link 1, Link 2, Link 3, Link 4, for just a few examples).

          In some recent news stories about rape, some Christians have been characterizing the reported rapes as being “extra marital affairs,” and one young lady, who was raped several times at age 19 by a co-worker, told her Christian college (B.J.U., Bob Jones University) about the rapes, and was told by college staff that she needed to repent of her sin of being a rape victim.

          I wrote about the first story here:
          (Link): Married Youth Pastor Jailed for Sexually Assaulting Teen Girl Writes Editorial About Said Abuse for Christianity Today, Uproar Ensues On Christian Blogs

          One rape victim also made the comment in an interview that she thought in terms of sexual sin as being ‘adultery’ and did not have a concept of rape.

          As one commentator over at SCCL Facebook group pointed out in regards to this news story about BJU’s mishandling of response to sexual assault victims (source),

            The lack of a working, moral vocabulary for sexual violation is a huge blindspot for faith communities. The Christianity Today article last week was also couched in “adultery” terms. The discussion of sexual morality has to grow outside the marriage/adultery frame. Also, that moral vocabulary has to do a better job in connecting to broader social justice. Less hush-up. More call-out.

          It is true that often, in their stereotypes about sex and sexual sin, the Christians who do bother to preach against sexual sin any more (many do not preach against it), still often neglect to teach that celibacy applies to married couples (e.g., when one partner cannot perform, or the couple are apart for whatever reason), as well as to unmarried people, and that sexual purity applies to people of all ages, not just to teen-aged kids.

          (Link): Rape victims say Bob Jones University told them to repent

          Excerpts:

            June 18, 2014 1:00PM ET
            by Claire Gordo

            Raised in a conservative Mennonite home in rural Ohio, Katie Landry was a sheltered kid. She hadn’t even held hands with a boy when, at age 19, she says her supervisor at her summer job raped her. Two years later, and desperate for help, she reported the abuse to the dean of students at her college.

            He goes, ‘Well, there’s always a sin under other sin. There’s a root sin,’” Landry remembers. “And he said, ‘We have to find the sin in your life that caused your rape.’ And I just ran.”

            …But most damaging was how, through the language of Scripture, victims say they were told that their sins had brought on their rapes, that their trauma meant they were fighting God and that healing came from forgiving their rapists.

            [Katie Landry discusses having been raped by a co-worker]

            Landry didn’t know the word rape; she only knew adultery, and liked the man’s wife, she said. Afraid of her attacker and deeply ashamed, she said she failed most her classes first semester, and kept her assaults a secret until her junior year.

          I do think there is something very amiss with any so-called Christian group, church, or denomination, that speaks of sexual sin only in terms of adultery, so that when a young, unmarried woman is sexually assaulted, she does not even have the terminology to describe it, or is not even familiar with the word “rape.”

          I also wonder if the church Ms. Landry attended did not read aloud from the Scriptures, where episodes such as the rape of Tamar are discussed (see (Link): 2 Samuel 13:32).

          Christians have idolized marriage to the point that it’s given them faulty views about sexual sin, where some of them think only un-married adults are capable of sexual sin, or others think that the only sexual sin married people are capable of is “adultery” (never mind all the married men who view porn, use prostitutes or who sexually fondle children, aside from men raping 19 year old women).

          I see a lot of outrage over this B.J.U. story from left wingers, ex Christians, etc, and rightly so – but – these are the same groups who criticize sexual purity teachings, which I find a tad hypocritical.

          If Christians supported and taught sexual purity across the board rather than only emphasizing virginity for females ages teen to 25, but also taught and upheld the biblical views that males are to remain virgins until marriage as well, and that any sexual activity outside of marriage (rape, consensual affairs, porn use, etc), was wrong, maybe some of these problems could be lowered.
          ————————-
          Related posts:

          (Link): Marriage Does Not Make People More Loving Mature Godly Ethical Caring or Responsible (One Stop Thread)

          (Link): Perverted Christian Married Couple Wants to “Wife Swap” (For Sex) With Other Christian Couple – Why Christians Need to Uphold Chastity / Celibacy For All People Even Married Couples Not Just Teens

          (Link): No Christians and Churches Do Not Idolize Virginity and Sexual Purity – Christians Attack and Criticize Virginity Sexual Purity Celibacy / Virginity Sexual Purity Not An Idol

          (Link): Males and Females Raped at Christian College, College Doesn’t Care – Equally Yoked is a Joke

          (Link): How Feminists Are Making Women Easier Rape Targets

          (Link): The ol’ Christian myth that married couples are impervious to sexual sin but singles have lots of sexual sin

          (Link): New ‘Christian Swingers’ Dating Site Offers Faithful Couples Chance to ‘Hookup’

          (Link): Marriage does not guarantee sexual purity: Married guy discovers his wife is having sex chats with online buddy

          (Link): Why Christians Need to Uphold Lifelong Celibacy as an Option for All Instead of Merely Pressuring All to Marry – vis a vis Sexless Marriages, Counselors Who Tell Marrieds that Having Affairs Can Help their Marriages

          (Link): Jason the Christian’s Sexless Marriage – Christians promise hot regular steamy married sex but it isn’t true

          (Link): AARP post: How to Handle a Sexless Married Life – But Christians Promise You Great Hot Regular Married Sex

          (Link): More Married Couples Admit to Sexless Marriages (various articles) / Christians promise you great frequent sex if you wait until marriage, but the propaganda is not true

          Married Youth Pastor Jailed for Sexually Assaulting Teen Girl Writes Editorial About Said Abuse for Christianity Today, Uproar Ensues On Christian Blogs

          Married Youth Pastor Jailed for Sexually Assaulting Teen Girl Writes Editorial About Said Abuse for Christianity Today, Uproar Ensues On Christian Blogs
          —————————————–
          Don’t forget, I may not be blogging as much or as often in the future, if at all.
          See this link (Link): [Blog Break] for more info.

          —————————————–
          There has been an uproar the last day or so, ever since Christianity Today published a long page by a jailed sex offender who preyed on a teen girl.

          I don’t know the man’s name because the piece was published anonymously. I shall here after refer to the author, the convicted sex offender, as “Mr. Perverted Youth Pastor,” or “Mr. PYP” for short.

          The author of the piece, Mr. PYP, is in his 30s, and he worked as a youth pastor. He was jailed for statutory rape of one of his female church students under his charge, a young lady he began to groom for exploitation when she was around 11 or 12 years old.

          Mr. PYP said in his piece published by Christianity Today that he found the attention from the young lady flattering and intoxicating, and felt his wife was not paying him enough attention, and IIRC, I think he mentioned that the wife was not putting out enough (sexually), or whatever. (I only skimmed the guy’s story, I did not read all of it closely.)

          The thing is, a grown man of age 30 should not be seeking validation from an 11 or 16 year old girl – that is not only morally wrong, perverted, and gross, but absolutely pathetic.

          I think the editors at Christianity Today intended for this pervert’s essay to be a helpful warning to Christian men not to get too close to women (or something along those lines), and which unfortunately also plays into false stereotypes about the genders, but the guy who wrote the page, Mr. PYP, never fully and unambiguously owns his sin, moral failing, and crime, so it comes across as though he’s excusing and justifying his behavior.

          There’s a bit of “victim blaming” in the piece on Mr. PYP’s part, where he uses terminology such as,
          “When WE [he and the young lady he was victimizing] decided to end the affair, I felt that…”

          I don’t feel like summarizing the guy’s entire story and situation on my blog, so click here to read his page (“My Easy Trip from Youth Minister to Felon”) and read it for yourself.

          The aspect of this story I am interested in for the purpose of this blog is that here he is, he is a married adult (with, IIRC, a kid of his own), he worked as a pastor, and yet he also sexually exploited a young lady, and I will explain further below why this interests me.

          Another aspect I am interested in regarding this story is that Mr. PYP does not take full responsibility for his actions in the piece, and he classifies his sexual exploitation of the young lady as an “extra martial affair.”

          Now, I, to a point, do regard his actions towards her as an “extra marital affair” because he was a MARRIED man who was sleeping with this girl – he was in fact sleeping around on his wife, but of course, his actions are more than just a standard extra-martial affair, because he was taking advantage of a young lady.

          In my opinion, his actions contain traits of both situations, sexual abuse as well as an extra-marital affair.

          There are a few other writers online who disagree with my view on this; they think his actions were 100% sexual abuse and that the phrase “extra marital affair” should not even be used when discussing this case, but I never- the- less see a tinge of extra-marital affair in the situation as well (but on the man’s part only; I am not blaming the girl at all).

          I am simply saying that yes, while Mr. PYP did sexually abuse a teen girl, that in doing so, he also violated his marital vows to his wife to remain faithful to the wife – which to me can categorize his actions as being an affair as well as being sexual abuse.

          Why I am interested in this story:

          As I have pointed out time and time again on the blog, Christians have several falsehoods and fairy tales and stereotypes about marriage, sex, dating, gender relations, and whom they feel a Christian should marry.

          Many conservative Christians believe that married people are immune from sexual sin. Christians falsely believe if a man is married, he must be getting steady, regular, hot sexy sex from his wife, and he therefore will not use porn, fondle kids, or have mistresses. This is of course naive and incorrect, because even men married to sexy wives, who get regular, great sex from the wife, still use porn and have affairs.

          Continue reading “Married Youth Pastor Jailed for Sexually Assaulting Teen Girl Writes Editorial About Said Abuse for Christianity Today, Uproar Ensues On Christian Blogs”

          No Man’s Land – Part 3 – Liberal Christians, Post Evangelicals, and Ex-Christians Mocking Biblical Literalism, Inerrancy / Also: Christians Worshipping Hurting People’s Feelings

          No Man’s Land – Part 3 – Liberal Christians, Post Evangelicals, and Ex-Christians Mocking Biblical Literalism, Inerrancy / Also: Christians Worshipping Hurting People’s Feelings

          BIBLICAL LITERALISM AND INERRANCY

          Another common thread I see on forums for spiritual recovery sites (or ones by ex Christians, liberal Christians, etc), is a rejection of

          1. Biblical literalism
          2. Biblical inerrancy

          This is all so much intellectual dishonesty in another form it makes me want to throw up.

          I spent years studying about the history of the Bible, Bible translation, and so forth.

          I came away realizing that the Bible is inerrant and yes, we can trust the copies we have today; the Bible is not filled with historic blunders and mistakes, and all the other tripe atheists like to claim.

          It is not entirely accurate for critics to paint the Bible as a purely man-made document, that contains mistakes because it was copied and re-copied numerous times over the centuries.

          While there is an aspect of truth to that description, the end conclusion, or how that description, impacts the NIV or NASB Bible version you have sitting on your coffee table right now, is not how critics of the Bible paint it.

          Atheists and ex-Christians who are critical of the Bible are disingenuous and duplicitous in how they paint some of their arguments against the Bible, and they should be ashamed for it, as some of them claim to be truth lovers.

          Not too long ago, an ex-Christian woman at another site was declaring that Christians cannot “trust” the Bible because the originals (called the Autographa) do not exist.

          Oh please! I pointed out to her that is not so: as far as the New Testament is concerned, scholars have many thousands of copies of the Autographa (some dating within decades of the originals), and by use of lower textual criticism, they can reconstruct the READINGS of the Autographa.

          It is not necessary to have “the biblical originals” themselves to know what they said, as she was dishonestly arguing (but she later accused me of being dishonest!).

          I pointed this FACT out to her (about it not being necessary to have the autographa to know what the autographa said), where upon she shot back the falsity that one cannot trust the translations anyway because they are done by “conservatives.”

          Oh, but she is willing to grant liberal scholars or liberal theologians the title of un-biased, as though they do not have an ax to grind against the Bible and dating its documents and so forth?

          Because the liberal scholars do in fact start out their examinations of the Bible from an anti- Christian bias.

          The woman with whom I was corresponding on this matter doesn’t seem to understand that the practice of lower textual criticism is a science – a liberal who uses that methodology would come to the same conclusion as the conservative who uses it.

          So here we have an example of one type of ex-Christian I am talking about:

          This woman claims she was a Christian at one time, now fancies herself atheist or agnostic (and some kind of expert on the Bible), but who now spews inaccurate or untrue things about the Bible, because she disdains all of Christianity in general.

          My view: Do not lie about the Bible’s history, accuracy, and textual evidence just because “Preacher Fred” at your old church was a big meanie to you X years ago (or insert whatever other emotional baggage you carry against Christians that now colors all your other views about the faith and Bible here) – please!

          Give me a freaking break.

          I am genuinely compassionate towards people who have been hurt by churches, but not to the point I cover for their dishonesty about how they discuss church history, the biblical documents, etc.

          Because some of these folks claim to have been hurt by Christians in general, or a particular denomination, or what have you, they feel fine now rejecting biblical literalism and inerrancy.

          Continue reading “No Man’s Land – Part 3 – Liberal Christians, Post Evangelicals, and Ex-Christians Mocking Biblical Literalism, Inerrancy / Also: Christians Worshipping Hurting People’s Feelings”

          No Man’s Land – Part 2 – On Post Evangelicals or Ex Christians or Liberal Christians Ignorantly Hopping Aboard Belief Sets They Once Rejected

          No Man’s Land – Part 2 – On Post Evangelicals or Ex Christians or Liberal Christians Ignorantly Hopping Aboard Belief Sets They Once Rejected

          ✹ What follows is actually the heart of my “No Man’s Land” view. This is what prompted me to write it: ✹

          ✹ TAKING THE OPPOSITE POSITION OF WHAT YOU USED TO BELIEVE BUT NOW HATE – DUE TO EMOTIONAL REASONS OR A KNEE JERK RESPONSE OR FROM SPITE – IS JUST AS WRONG AND MISTAKEN ✹

          As to the forums and blogs by ex Christians, liberal Christians, self identifying post-evangelicals, or those still Christian who expose spiritual abuse…

          I notice a number of the regular visitors to these sites – the ones who left an abusive or legalistic church or denomination – simply now operate in the reverse in their thinking, which is, IMO, just as bad or wrong as the thinking they are leaving.

          There are different types of ex-Christians one must take into consideration when discussing this topic, so I shall present some sketches of them first.

          IFBs (Independent Fundamentalist Baptists)

          For example, there are ex IFBs (Independent Fundamentalist Baptists).

          IFB preachers and churches are ridiculously legalistic. They make up rules that are not in the Bible, or twist or exaggerate the rules already there to the point those rules then become unbiblical.

          IFBs are the contemporary, American versions of the Bible’s Pharisees: nit picky, anal retentive, legalists who make up man-made rules but insist they are “biblical” and thus binding on all believers.

          IFBs concoct man-made traditions they expect all IFB members to adhere to, just like the Roman Catholic hierarchy does towards Roman Catholic members.

          For example, IFB churches are legalistic about secular entertainment and clothing and physical appearance.

          IFB churches teach their congregations that women should not wear pants but only skirts. And the skirts should be only so many inches above or below the knee.

          According to IFBs, men should not have hair that touches the back shirt collar – not a mullet to be found in IFB, which may be a good thing. Secular music and television is sinful and should always be avoided.

          IFBs have other legalistic rules for just about every aspect of life.

          IFBs are vehemently anti-Roman Catholicism as well as anti-Calvinism.

          Continue reading “No Man’s Land – Part 2 – On Post Evangelicals or Ex Christians or Liberal Christians Ignorantly Hopping Aboard Belief Sets They Once Rejected”

          No Man’s Land – Between Agnosticism and Christianity / Also: It’s Emotional Not Intellectual (Part 1)

          No Man’s Land – Between Agnosticism and Christianity / Also: It’s Emotional Not Intellectual (PART 1)

          This will be a series of posts where my thoughts wander in and out and all over, and it rambles, but there is a point or two behind it.

          Since I’ve been in a faith crisis the last couple of years, somewhere between being an agnostic and a Christian, I have noticed I don’t fit in anywhere. I reside in No Man’s Land.

          (Even before then, when I was a total, committed Christian, and politically, I was, and am, right wing, I still didn’t fit in at most blogs and forums, including political ones, and including ones for right wingers!

          I tend to be one of those personalities who annoys or angers everyone, even those on “my side” of an issue, except a small number of people, who are either on my side of a topic or not, who “get me” or who appreciate where I’m coming from – again, this is true for even the ones who disagree with me on whatever topic we are discussing.)

          I am in this really weird place now, where I am critical of some aspects of conservative Christianity, and see where conservative Christians get some doctrines and other things wrong, but, too, I am not fully on board with militant atheism (I find the New Atheists to be arrogant, vile, hateful and rude), and I don’t even care for lukewarm atheism.

          Nor am I in the camp of anything and all things liberal Christianity, except where I think they get the occasional point correct (such as their rejection of gender complementarianism).

          Since drifting away from the Christian faith more the last few years, I more often began frequenting forums or blogs for and by atheists, ones by liberal Christians, ones by ex Christians, or by Christians who were abused by a former church who remain Christian but who dropped out of Church, or who now are on a crusade to expose abuse by preachers or the absurdity and harm of current evangelical gimmicks.

          THE MILITANT ATHEISTS

          A clarification: when I say I have been visiting atheist forums and blogs more often, I am very picky about which ones I regularly visit.

          I do not like the frothing- at- the- mouth, extremely bitter, biased- against- Christians- type atheistic communities.

          The bitter atheist groups sound like a bunch of irrational, hate-filled loons who reject Christianity for emotional reasons, but who lie to others and themselves and say, “Oh no, it’s purely intellectual.”

          But their unrelenting, insane amount of hatred at any and all things God and Christian, is just a total turn-off to me, so I try to avoid such sites.

          These angry, always-ranting atheists are really nothing more than Fundamentalist Atheists or Taliban Atheists. They are just as dogmatic about their atheism as Muslims are in their Wasabi Islam or Baptists are in their Neo Fundamentalism.

          Really, those types of atheists are just as bad as the religious groups they claim they hate, but they don’t seem to spot that they are. It’s ironic – and it’s hard to stomach the day in, day out anger and hatred, so I try to avoid their sites.

          HYPOCRITICAL CHRISTIANS VS NON HYPOCRITICAL CHRISTIANS

          Also, you have to be honest with yourself, which I do not find militant atheists to be, by and large: not every single Christian is a hypocrite, jerk, idiot, dullard, or complete jackhole.

          I say this as someone who is very fed up with Christianity and Christian persons myself these days.

          But your average militant atheist will never admit that some Christians are in fact okay and not being hypocrites.

          I have known and met a few Christians who were sincerely trying to live the Christian faith out, such as my mother, who is now deceased, and her mother before her (my grandmother).

          I’ve met a few honest, sincere Christians online who do help people and show compassion to the wounded.

          So it’s not fair to completely dismiss the entirety of Christians and their faith or treat them all like jerks because some are liars, mean, or abusive.

          Which is not easy for me personally, because at the same time, I do keep noticing that a lot of self-professing believers do NOT live out what the Bible says.

          Many self professing Christians today, for example, do not protect victims, such as young church members who have been sexually molested by preachers.

          Nor do many church goers today hold accountable preachers who bilk their church goers out of millions to buy big mansions and jets.

          These idiots, these lemmings, actually defend their greedy pastors online, which I’ve written about here: (Link): Your Preacher Sucks – and People Have a Right To Say So And Explain Why.

          Then you have a conservative or evangelical culture, which claims to care deeply that people preserve sex until marriage, but if you actually find yourself 40 years of age and still single – and therefore still a virgin, such as myself – these same churches and Christians do not offer you any support.

          You either go ignored, or preachers and talking heads of such groups “run down” and insult celibacy as well as older, celibate adults. Churches treat single (and especially celibate) adults as though they are flawed, lepers, weirdos, or losers.

          Churches wrongly counsel abused wives to return to their spouses – this is particularly true, again, of churches or Christian groups who buy into “biblical womanhood” (aka “gender complementariansm”) or “patriarchy.”

          Churches and average Christians also remain ignorant or callous about matters pertaining to mental health issues, from P.T.S.D. to depression and anxiety attacks.

          Some Christians wrongly and insensitively teach that “real Christians” can never get depression or other mental health maladies.

          Or, some Christians believe and teach that prayer, faith, service to the poor, or Bible reading alone can cure one of mental illness.

          Still other Christians (or the same type) will shame and guilt suffering Christians for using anti-depressant medications, or for seeing secular or Christian psychiatrists and therapists (see this link for more, “Over 50 Percent of Christians Believe Prayer, Bible Reading Alone Can Cure Mental Illness (article) – In Other Words Half of Christians are Ignorant Idiots Regarding Mental Illness”).

          Yet other Christians are incompetent at, or unwilling, to provide more ordinary, “every day,” run- of- the- mill comfort to other Christians who are hurting, such as a Christian who is stressed out over a job loss, someone who is in mourning for a deceased loved one, etc.

          Christians are dropping the ball in numerous ways.

          And this failure, this huge failure, causes life long Christians like me to look long and hard at the faith and wonder if it’s true at all.

          It causes even someone such as myself to ask if the faith is true, because

          • it doesn’t appear to be working,
          • it doesn’t make a difference in people’s life who profess it,
          • most who claim to follow Christ don’t actually do what he taught,
          • and some Christians refuse to hold Christians caught in bald faced sin accountable but excuse them for the sin,

          ~ and it makes you wonder “what is the point, then.”

          I find this discrepancy between confessed belief and actual practice shocking, because I myself sincerely tried living out the faith since childhood.

          Also, my Christian mother was a role model for me, and she genuinely, consistently lived out and by biblical teachings, including getting up off her ass and actually HELPING people (giving them money if they were in a bind, cleaning their homes for them when they were sick, listening to them cry and rant about their problems for hours without judging them or interrupting them, etc).

          I am not seeing most other Christians do any of this. They say they believe in those things but then they do not do them.

          BLOGS AND FORUMS FOR SPIRITUALLY ABUSED OR THOSE HURT BY CHURCHES

          Before I actually get into this topic (which I discuss more in Posts 2 and 3), here is some background leading up to it.

          As far as the sites I have visited by liberal Christians, ex Christians, atheists, as well as sites by Christians for the spiritually abused:

          By and large, these have been wonderful, supportive sites and groups to visit (the ones run by Christians for hurting Christians).

          I have noticed, though, that there are problems even within these types of communities, and I don’t entirely fit in at them, either.

          Continue reading “No Man’s Land – Between Agnosticism and Christianity / Also: It’s Emotional Not Intellectual (Part 1)”

          Power Point, Boring Churches, It’s all about Jesus, Church Quitters, No Community, Selfish Preachers, Churches As Stalkers / (Re: Why Some Drop Out of Church)

          Power Point, Boring Churches, It’s all about Jesus, Church Quitters, No Community, Selfish Preachers, Churches As Stalkers / (Re: Why Some Drop Out of Church)

          (Link): How Power Point is Ruining Higher Ed

          That page has one slide with screen shots of various tweets by various college students complaining about their professor’s over use of Power Point, including:

            -Being a college professor would be easy. Read off a Power Point you made 10 years ago and give online quizzes with questions you googled.

            -College basically consist[s] of you spending thousands of dollars for a professor to point at a Power Point and read the bullets.

            -I hate when a professor makes class mandatory and reads straight from the Power Point instead of actually teaching… I can do that at home

          There are many reasons I no longer attend church and am not eager to ever go to another one ever again, and that is one of the reasons.

          Church is boring. (And it’s not personal; churches tend to be impersonal.)

          I feel that is a perfectly legitimate criticism of church: church is boring.

          I am not saying that from a bratty, entitled, immature, 10 year old kid mentality.

          Do not misunderstand. I am not arguing that the only thing a person should look for is entertainment at church.

          There are already too many churches today that try to draw in crowds by entertaining them with rock bands, coffee shops in the church building, and gimmicks, primarily the moronic “seeker friendly” churches. That is not what I am advocating.

          I’ve read criticisms of the present church model that argue church as we know it today is not how it was when Christianity first began. The first churches were groups of Christians sitting around in someone’s home discussing God, singing hymns, sharing each other’s problems … everyone was invited to participate in those meetings.

          A “church service” back at the start of the Christian faith did not consist of one guy at a podium reading verbatim from the Bible, or, in the case of seeker friendly churches, one guy at a podium spouting off personal anecdotes and funny one-liners and pep talk advice while the congregation (the captive audience) sat there in silence.

          By the way: the “worship” part of evangelical / Baptist church services don’t uplift me. They consist of people looking straight ahead at a big screen with text on it that is very repetitive. Some people (though this is rare at Baptist churches), put their hands up and wave them around.

          I have never felt moved during these music segments at church, and I abhor them. I wish churches would drop the music segments – at least the ones where the entire congregation is expected to participate.

          The music sections where some lady or guy stands at front and sings while I sit and listen don’t bother me as much. I don’t like the parts where myself and everyone else is commanded to get on their feet and sing along to words on a big screen.

          I am not against music in and of itself, I am saying it feels out of place during a church service. I’ve never felt closer to God during the music part. I don’t see how me mumbling a few simplistic lines from a song honors God.

          If anything, the music bits make me feel MORE hollow and empty, because there is this expectation by other Christians that you’re supposed to feel all warm and fuzzy and so, so close to God during the music, or you’re supposed to be basking in the greatness of God, or whatever.

          I look around in some churches I’ve been to during the music bits (including one large, non denominational, charismatic church) and see some people with eyes closed, arms uplifted, swaying back and forth. Those types look like they are really getting something from the music.

          I hate the music segments. I’m always waiting for them to end the moment they start.

          At any rate, church is boring and impersonal.

          I am not a supporter of shallow sermons and a rock band – the gee whiz environment that is prevalent in 90% of American churches today. I am not arguing that the antidote to “boring church” is to inject more excitement via rock bands and more coffee shops.

          At the same time, though, I have been to one or more earnest churches where the preacher basically reads straight from the Bible – and that is boring. I can do that at home.

          I can read the Bible myself and sometimes do, even in the midst of my agnosticism and trying to figure out if I want to remain a Christian at all anymore. (I should explain I don’t read the Bible nearly as much as I used to. I only read very small portions now, every so often.)

          I am literate. I am college educated. I can sit at home and read the Bible, I don’t need some guy at a podium on a Sunday morning reading 90% of the Bible to me.

          Even the churches that make entertainment a basis bore me. I’ve been to a few Baptist churches, large ones, that have gigantic video monitors and rock bands, with a preacher making jokes and pop culture references in his sermons, and I was still bored out of my mind.

          One of the reasons I get bored at church is that there is no “back and forth.” There is no room for me to participate. I am not able to enteract with the pastor or other people. (This is the opposite of my issue with music segments: I prefer to sit out of music performances at church. I hate participating in music at church – but I do want to participate in lessons.)

          For those of you who say that is what Sunday School is for – no, that has not been my experience.

          In most Sunday School classes I have visited, there is already a pre-planned curricula, a published workbook from “Lifeway” that the class’s Sun. Sch. teacher reads from, or uses as a guide.

          It’s not that I object to some pre-planning. I am not saying that use of a guide or workbook is necessarily wrong. If you are a Sun Sch teacher who wants to come up with a plan or topic for the class to discuss beforehand, I am fine with that to a point.

          What I don’t like is an hour-long Sunday School class that is 95% a teacher reading from a Life Way workbook, and not much more.

          Continue reading “Power Point, Boring Churches, It’s all about Jesus, Church Quitters, No Community, Selfish Preachers, Churches As Stalkers / (Re: Why Some Drop Out of Church)”