Church Pastor, Wife Sentenced After Using Homeless for Forced Labor, Stealing Benefits – Christian Marriage Doesn’t Improve Society or Make People More Ethical

Church Pastor, Wife Sentenced After Using Homeless for Forced Labor, Stealing Benefits – Christian Marriage Doesn’t Improve Society or Make People More Ethical

It’s more and more difficult for me to want to stick with the Christian faith at all when I see so few people who claim to be Christians actually consistently live out a Christian lifestyle, or who commit such obviously anti-biblical actions.

Also let this serve as yet another example of how “hyper pro marriage, hyper pro Nuclear Family” views put out by Christians simply is not true: Christian marriage didn’t make this couple more godly, mature, loving, or ethical, nor did this marriage improve society.

Further, Gender Complementarian teaching (which includes “male headship” teaching) is clearly false, since so many self professing Christian men are unethical dirt balls.

(Link): Pastor Who Used Homeless as Forced Labor, Three Others Plead Guilty to Benefits Fraud 

(Link): California pastor gets jail time for using homeless in benefits fraud scheme: ‘Appalling abuse of power’

Victor Gonzalez and wife were part of church labor trafficking scheme, according to prosecutors

by Jon Brown

A California pastor and his wife were sentenced to prison time earlier this month after pleading guilty to a charge related to what federal prosecutors described as a church labor trafficking scheme that victimized the homeless.

Victor Gonzalez, the head pastor of California-based Imperial Valley Ministries (IVM), was sentenced to six months in prison and another six months of house confinement after pleading guilty in a San Diego federal court to conspiracy to commit benefits fraud, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

His wife, Susan Gonzalez, who pleaded guilty to the same charge, received a time-served sentence.

Continue reading “Church Pastor, Wife Sentenced After Using Homeless for Forced Labor, Stealing Benefits – Christian Marriage Doesn’t Improve Society or Make People More Ethical”

Pathologies of Victimhood by R. Gunderman – The Danger of Victimhood Mentality

Pathologies of Victimhood by R. Gunderman – The Dangers of Victimhood Mentality

I wanted to explain a few things before I paste in excerpts from the article about victimhood by Gunderman, so nobody will misunderstand my views upfront.

I do think there are actual victims out there in life, including in the Christian church context. I am not denying that.

I recognize that sometimes painful or unfair things happen to all of us in life, and sometimes those painful things are due to other people’s cruelty, incompetence, negligence, or sins against us, and not due to any personal moral failings or choices we make.

Sometimes bad things happen to good people through no fault of those people. One can be more sinned against than sinner.

A few years ago, there was a guy on Twitter with several accounts (he seemed to be a Christian), all of which were disgustingly used to mock victims of church abuse or of sexual abuse whose churches tried to cover up the abuse.

I think he later deleted these accounts, or his accounts received so many complaints from others that Twitter deleted them all.

One of his Twitter accounts used the name “Victim Princess,” as if to suggest that any and all women who spoke out against abuse they received by their churches or by Christians was nothing but entitled, petty whining with no merit. I was appalled by his account.

This guy would do things like actually tweet rude or nasty comments at Christian women on Twitter who discussed how their church covered up their abuse by other church members.

Politically, I am a conservative, and I do not agree with the vast majority of liberal or progressive “woke,” intersectional identity politics, which is largely based on victimhood mentality.

In progressive identity politics, different identity groups end up competing for “who is the most oppressed and biggest victim in life,” which creates (not solves) all sorts of problems.

However, while I do think that the “woke” go over-board with their grievance culture mentality, that does not mean that people who complain about having been hurt in life are always lying, exaggerating, or trying to get special accommodations.

Out of Knee Jerk Dislike of Wokeness, Among Other Factors, Sadly, Too Often, Too Many Conservatives Minimize Actual Abuse

While some progressives over-play the “victim card” to exploit and manipulate others, it is still wrong for conservatives to deny, minimize, or to reject altogether that churches do usually cover up sexual abuse in their midst or by their members.

It is wrong for conservatives to fail to acknowledge the reality that most pastors and churches do in fact fail domestic abuse victims and constantly enable abusers.

I do think that most churches are insensitive and incompetent at handling abuse among their members, and that should change.

There is such a thing as a victim. People can be exploited, hurt, and abused by other people – that is not something that “woke” liberals and progressives are making up.

I’m a conservative who has been taken advantage of and bullied through my life by school mates, my ex fiance, siblings, co-workers on jobs, etc., and this through no fault of my own.

Victims do actually exist.

Conservatives can and have been abused and mistreated on an individual and group level, whether by liberal and progressive persons and policies, or by their spouses or bosses on jobs.

At one time or another, we’ve all been bullied, abused, harassed, exploited, or on the receiving end of rude or cutting comments, regardless of our identity or political beliefs.

It is therefore unrealistic and cruel for conservatives to act like any and every person who claims victim status is a sensitive snowflake or is lying about it.

Flip Side of Coin: People Who Choose to Stay in Victimhood Status (yes, it’s ultimately a choice), Refuse to Move Forward

However, I have seen people, and groups of people, who – whether they are actual victims or not – wallow in victimhood status and victimhood mentality, and this is not acceptable, either.

Some of those still participating in the “exvangelical” (ex-evangelical) tag over on Twitter in 2022, which has been going on for several years now, are one example of this.

I’ve seen so many people, under that “exvangelical” tag,  as well as non-ex-evangelical people I once befriended online,
or people (including family members I’ve had, real life friends and co-workers) who may have been honestly victimized and wounded in childhood or adulthood, but they remain “stuck” in their rage, anger, and hurt – they still think of themselves as victims, and they want to be viewed as victims.

They want to be endlessly coddled and validated.

These are people who are very resistant to, or who refuse to take, the only avenue out of the pain, regret, anger, and disappointment and into joy, peace, and happiness – which includes, after a period of grieving and anger (that comes to an end and does not go on indefinitely),

  • accepting, once for all, what happened to them,
    realizing that remaining focused on external causes and other people (ie, their abuser or abusive church) is keeping them “stuck,”
  • to make a deliberate decision at some point to move forward, whether they “feel like it” or not
    (i.e., to no longer stew in anger, to ruminate, stew in past wrongs done against them, to dwell on how life is unfair, to dwell upon the idea they are a good person who didn’t deserve the abuse, etc),
  • to realize in order to change their life for the better, they will have to look inwards,
    which will allow them to get to the next healing point…
  • take personal responsibility for their life, healing,
    and realize if you want your life to change,
    you will have to get active and make changes yourself
    – sitting around all day doing things like watching TV or complaining to people on social media about how life, your former church, God, or your abuser, treated you so unfairly
    (even if any and all those things are in fact true, ie, you WERE treated horribly and unfairly)
    – won’t ultimately help you in the long run, it won’t make the necessary changes;
    complaining frequently, and receiving validation that, yes, what happened to you was horrible and wrong, and yes, you were a victim who didn’t deserve abuse, will only offer temporary emotional relief but will not produce long lasting inner peace and happiness

Stewing in anger, hurt, and regret and enjoying or wanting to receive validation that one did not deserve to be abused, is all but a step in the overall journey of healing.
It is the first step… but too many victims want to stay in Step One forever and ever, rather than moving through the rest of the steps.

Yes, there should be time limits on how long you are angry, ruminating, and upset and wanting to receive validation – a lot of therapists and victims (and former victims) get upset when this view point is stated, but it’s true.

Maybe that time limit is different for each victim and should not be rushed – which is fine.

HOWEVER, I do not support any person staying mired in “victimhood land” perpetually.

Staying in step one – never getting over or past the anger and hurt, refusing to let go or from even considering to do so, being addicted to external validation like it’s a drug one craves and needs – is one huge component of what keeps people trapped in depression, anger, pain, and from enjoying the rest of their life.

If you feel perpetually wounded, hurt, or angry, as long as you keep shifting blame towards those outside you (even if yes, those others deserve that blame), as long as you continue to dwell on being angry at your abuser, at God, life circumstances, or former churches that treated you like trash, you’ll never be able to move on and enjoy life again.

You have to look inwards in order to move forward, and that is a choice one has to make, because it won’t instantaneously happen.

Furthermore, your emotions will never magically change on their own; you will never “feel” like getting up, making changes, and moving forward. It’s a matter or choice and self discipline.

So if your mindset is, “I will make changes and move on when I feel like it, when my emotions change,” that is never going to happen.

Moving on is more a matter of will.

While I do think there are actual victims out there (and anti-woke conservatives need to be sensitive to these persons),
I’m also aware of legitimate victims who cannot or who refuse to move on,

-and there are persons with Covert or Vulnerable Narcissism (a personality disorder – more about that on this blog (Link): here and (Link): here), a hallmark of which is holding a life-long self-pitying, victimhood mentality – these people, of their own accord, are mired in depression and misery of their own making, because they refuse to look inwards and take personal responsibility.

Covert Narcissists, for one, prefer to point the finger of blame for their misery at their family of origin, God, and / or their former church, ex-spouses, and so on. They never want to look at how their attitudes or actions keep them in a limited, unhappy situation.

Sorry for that very long intro, but I didn’t want anyone to get to the following link and excerpts and think by posting it that I am in denial that yes, at times in life, sometimes people have legitimate pain and grievances and can be honest to goodness victims.

I do believe there are honest- to- goodness victims out there and that these victims deserve compassion, empathy, and justice,
but – however –
I am also aware that, unfortunately, some people, whether legitimate victim or not, will milk and exploit a “victim” label to lash out at others, to demand special treatment (at the expense of others), and that  clinging to a “victim” identity and view of themselves will cause them to remain stuck in unhappiness.

I have more commentary below this link with excerpts:

Pathologies of Victimhood – the Essay

(Link): Pathologies of Victimhood by R. Gunderman – Victimhood Mentality

Excerpts:

by Richard Gunderman
November 13, 2022

[Piece opens by discussing the late Sacheen Littlefeather, who claimed to be a Native American but who was actually of Mexican descent. She wanted to be viewed as a Native American to depict herself as an undertrodden member of a victim class.
As someone who actually is part Native American, I don’t view myself as a victim, so I find her ploy strange]

…Everyone has experienced genuine victimization at some point in their lives. Some have been the victims of political persecution and violent assault, while others have suffered lesser slights, such as bullying, verbal insults, and interruptions when speaking.

Most of us have also experienced situations where presumed victimhood stemmed from a mistaken assumption—for example, a driver who “cut off” a fellow motorist by abruptly changing lanes might appear to harbor malicious intent, but it might turn out that he was merely attempting to get to the hospital as quickly as possible to be with an ailing loved one.

Some among us, however, have a habit of adopting a posture of victimhood too easily and too often, a tendency that can damage communities, interpersonal relationships, and supposed victims themselves.

Continue reading “Pathologies of Victimhood by R. Gunderman – The Danger of Victimhood Mentality”

Pastor Appears To Berate Congregation For Not Buying Him A High-Priced Watch In Viral Clip

Pastor Appears To Berate Congregation For Not Buying Him A High-Priced Watch In Viral Clip

It didn’t become clearly apparent to me until after my mother died when I was in my late 30s just how incredibly selfish, self absorbed, and narcissistic people are, including Christ-professing Christians who may even attend church regularly.

Yes, I had brief flashes and intuitions in my youth and 20s and 30s prior to my mother dying that people could be jerks or selfish and so on, but I did not realize HOW COMMON it was among so many people, including Christians, until after my Mom died.

Until Mom died, I had assumed that most people (Christians in particular) were empathetic people I could turn to if I was ever hurting, in a bind, and in need of emotional support (and my Mom kind of led me to believe I could count on other people, especially family, for support) – boy wow was that expectation ever shattered.

The Christians I went to in my grieving process time (whether extended family of mine or people I met at churches I attended) were insensitive, callous,  unempathetic, or selfish (some acted like sparing 30 to 60 minutes of their time every several months for me to to talk to them about me missing my Mom would be a huge, huge burden to them).

I know better now. I really had my eyes opened to the fact that most people, including Christians, are selfish, unempathetic tools.

In light of all that, I can’t say as though I am shocked by the selfishness and entitled attitude of this church preacher:

(Link): ‘False prophet’ pastor berates congregation for not buying him pricey new watch 

August 17, 2022
By Natalie O’Neill

Time for a new preacher!

A Missouri pastor was caught on camera berating his “broke” congregation for failing to buy him an expensive Movado watch — sparking criticism that he wants to make a profit, not be a prophet.

Pastor Carlton Funderburke of the Church at the Well in Kansas City was giving a fiery sermon about “honoring God’s shepherds” when he scolded his followers for being too poor to give him the pricey timepiece he’d requested, according to now-viral TikTok footage.

(Link): Missouri pastor says congregation is ‘poor, broke, busted’ for not buying him a luxury Movado watch

Carlton Funderburke, the senior pastor at Church at the Well, issued an apology video Tuesday for his “inexcusable” remarks in an Aug. 7 sermon.

August 17, 2022

A Kansas City, Missouri, pastor who said his congregation was “poor, broke busted and disgusted” for not buying him the luxury watch he wanted has issued an apology after his remarks caused a stir on social media.

Carlton Funderburke, the senior pastor at Church at the Well, issued an apology video Tuesday for the “inexcusable” remarks he made in an Aug. 7 sermon.

Continue reading “Pastor Appears To Berate Congregation For Not Buying Him A High-Priced Watch In Viral Clip”

Lifeway Research: Pastors Encourage Single Adults, Some Provide Targeted Ministries

Lifeway Research: Pastors Encourage Single Adults, Some Provide Targeted Ministries

I’m afraid this is too little too late, and it also still sounds like a lot of pastors and Christians are apathetic about meeting the needs of single (especially never married) adults who are over the age of 30.

If you’re a church, or a secular or religious conservative, you need to meet people where they are and meet their needs where they are currently, rather than lambasting people for not being married, shaming them, or lecturing them about being single and the so-called importance of the Nuclear Family.

And stop putting the onus on single adults to meet their own needs and the needs of other single adults.

If your church has staff and devotes funds to minister to married with young children, drug addicts, divorced adults, or people in the grieving process,
you need to also set aside church staff and funds to set up programs and services to cater to single adults over the age of 30,
rather than making this hypocritical exception where you put the burden on single adults to set up single adults ministries and fund raise for single adult ministries.

To put this another way, many churches expect that older single adults who want more attention and effort poured into older single adults at the church will be told to take the matter into their own hands and to create and maintain singles classes and singles activities, rather than the church making it happen.

Most of you churches these days behave like international secular corporations, like a McDonald’s, where you cater to various special interest groups  (such as married couples, divorced adults, people in addiction recovery, or millennials or gen Z), but you’re telling me, you hypocrites, you cannot be bothered to view older single adults as another interest group you would be willing to market to and serve? That makes no sense.

I’m sorry, but no. That is complete hypocrisy.

If your church (like many churches) has classes, social functions, pot luck meals, and sermons devoted regularly to ‘married- with- children couples’ and THEIR particular needs and concerns,
and you don’t demand that married members set up these classes and provide elbow grease to other married couples (and you don’t), it’s totally hypocritical and infuriating to demand that single adults do the heavy lifting for single adult ministries.

If your church is willing to pick up the slack and provide services to married couples (and all of you do this, because you WORSHIP parenthood, natalism, marriage and the Nuclear Family), you can damn well also cater to the needs and interests of older single (and childless) adults as well, and stop asking the single adults to sponsor, create, manage or maintain the programs in place for older single adults.

Another news flash for churches and preachers:

You’re not going to diminish the phenomenon of delayed marriage or the increasing number of single adults by doing any of the following
(which you’ve tried before for over a decade now, these approaches do not work, and actually drive singles away from churches AND from the faith itself, in some cases):

  • shaming or criticizing single adults for being single and assuming they are still single because they are failures, losers, ugly, fat, too picky, selfish, or man-hating, career-obsessed feminists,
  • by yelling at them to run out and marry right away
    (that is not how marriage actually happens);
  • wrongly thinking dating sites are an instant solution to finding a mate, so advising all the Christian singles you know to “just try dating sites like e-Harmony!”,
  • lecturing adult singles over the age of 30 on the so-called wonders of The Nuclear Family and marriage
    (as though the reason they’re not married yet is that they dislike, or don’t value, marriage or The Nuclear Family – eye roll),
  • telling single adults bogus how- to- get- married advice that does not work
    (such as, ‘Just trust in the Lord, pray, wait, have faith, and in due time, He will send you a spouse!,’
    ‘Once you’re content in your singleness is when God will send you a spouse,’ etc)
  • refusing to help marriage-minded single adults who’d like to get married opportunities at church to meet other marriage-minded singles for the express purpose of dating leading to marriage
    (i.e., saying that doing so would make church a “meat market,” that church’s only purpose is to “worship the Lord”),
    or
  • patronizingly instructing older single adults that their only or main purpose so long as single is to act as free labor to the church or to society in general (eg., to act as free babysitters to the married- couples- with- children, to act as free maid service to mop the church’s kitchen floor, etc).

(Link): Lifeway Research: Pastors Encourage Single Adults, Some Provide Targeted Ministries

August 16, 2022
By Marissa Postell

As the number of single adults in the United States continues to grow, so does the need for ministry to single adults in churches.

According to a 2020 profile of single Americans by Pew Research Center, nearly 1 in 4 (23%) U.S. adults ages 30-49 are single—not married, living with a partner or in a committed romantic relationship.

And the 2021 U.S. Census Bureau data on America’s Families and Living Arrangements reveals many of these have never been married.

Continue reading “Lifeway Research: Pastors Encourage Single Adults, Some Provide Targeted Ministries”

Evangelical Adoptions: Churches Are AWOL in Helping Parents of Special Needs Kids by Julia Duin – Churches Are Useless (and Not Just Re: Adoptive Families)

Evangelical Adoptions: Churches Are AWOL in Helping Parents of Special Needs Kids by Julia Duin – Churches Are Useless (and Not Just Re: Adoptive Families)

By Julia Duin, who has also written and has been interviewed about how churches have let down single adults over the age of 30, and who wrote a wonderful book called “Quitting Church.”

This article discusses how so many evangelical churches encouraged Christian couples to adopt babies (usually from foreign nations), but once those adopted babies grew up to have all sort of developmental or personality disorders, churches would not help these parents.

This is like so much of American, evangelical, Baptist and Protestant Christianity:
Sell a certain deed, or a type of life style (or whatever it may be – let’s call it “X,” whether it’s adopting a baby, or whatever it is) as being so “godly” and “pure,” but once you live X out, and X either does not work out, or it creates a whole new batch of problems, those same Christians, or ones like them who promote X, refuse to help you.

I went through something similar in regards to adult singlehood. I wrote about that (Link): here.

I followed all the Christian dating advice I was taught as a teen and 20- something, Christian advice that taught me if I wanted to get married I would, if I just followed “biblical” wisdom, and the Christian persons, books, and magazine articles spelled it out for me.

However, when I remained single into my mid-30s, in spite of having followed the Christian teaching I had been given by other Christians when younger, and when I began asking Christians online (on various blogs and discussion forums) who dish out this swill to singles, why I didn’t have the husband I had been promised according to their teaching, interpretations, and worldview, I was yelled at, judged, and criticized by these Christians.

I was told God didn’t owe me anything, etc, and how dare I expect God to “reward” me with a spouse just because I did Z, Q, and R (i.e., just because I had followed Christian teaching and advice on the topic).

Christians will do this to you – they will sell you and market you on doing X, and so you carry out X, but five, ten years later, X did not work out and maybe even left you with a set of problems you need help with, the same Christians that sold you X in the first place are now not willing to help you, and may even insult you when you go to them telling them that X did not work, and you could use their help.

You end up getting punished for taking the very life-style advice, for buying the marketing, these Christians sold you, guilt tripped you, or conned you into taking in the first place. 😤🤬😡😣😫

It’s demonic and perverse, I swear.

It is crazy-making and despicable how Christians set people up in these no-win or stressful or miserable situations, then fault those people when they try the Christian advice, and admit to defeat, stress, and they ask for help.

Christians set people up for failure with their stupid advice, then have the audacity to victim-blame those people (who earnestly took and followed the advice) for failing. 😡😤🤬

After having read through the testimonies of the parents on this page (see below, link with excerpts), it sounds like exhausting, hellish work to raise these adoptive children who turn out to have medical and behavioral problems.

I cannot, in good conscience, condemn any adult who realizes after so many months or years, they don’t have the mental or physical strength to keep parenting such children and so decide to return these children back to the adoption agency.

I appreciate the work Dee of Wartburg Watch has done against abuse, but I recall years ago, she ripped into famous Christian speaker Beth Moore, because Moore returned one of her adoptive children back to his mother.

I wrote about that situation (Link): here, towards the end of the post, under the sub-heading “Beth Moore / Judgementalism.” (You can scroll down that page to find the Beth Moore section, which is buried under a long discussion about YEC.)

It’s very easy to sit in judgment of someone else when or if your life is more or less going okay at the time and the person you’re criticizing has a life that is falling apart, or they’re in the middle of a calamity, or you may have a different temperament or inner strength the person you’re criticizing lacks.

I personally do not think I’d have the fortitude, endurance, or patience to put up with an adoptive kid who acts out constantly, even into their late teens. I’d want a break from that, too.

I have way, way more comments below this long excerpt, so please keep scrolling to read everything; thank you:

(Link): Evangelical adoptions: Churches are AWOL in helping parents of special needs kids

Excerpts:

by Julia Duin
June 2022

For years, evangelical Christians were enthusiastic supporters of adoption by sponsoring conferences, targeting adoption-friendly Sundays and staging adoption fairs in parish halls.

… Parents now say that the churches that encouraged them to adopt in the first place aren’t there for them now.

…Few statistics exist on the number of adoptions gone wrong, other than a 10-year-old study by the US Department of Health and Human Services reporting “adoption disruptions” ranging from 10-25 percent. This little-known statistic points to a meltdown in the industry and a sign that adoption and foster care have become a landmine for many families who believed God had called them to help these children.

No one told them there could be an aftermath. Here are some of their stories.

[I will not be pasting in ALL stories. These are just a few from the page]

Evangelicals adopted at a higher rate than others
“Joy” was a social worker in Tacoma, Washington, who adopted a 9-year-old boy in 2000, hoping for the best. She had 32 years of experience working for the state and a Christian agency where she’d helped more than 600 people adopt foster children.

The divorced mother of two was prepared for challenging behavior, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and developmental delays and PTSD from the child’s six years with mentally ill biological parents.
What stunned her was that by age 15, her son was a registered sex offender. Bad relationships, drug abuse and a child out of wedlock followed. Now 30, he cannot hold down a job.

Continue reading “Evangelical Adoptions: Churches Are AWOL in Helping Parents of Special Needs Kids by Julia Duin – Churches Are Useless (and Not Just Re: Adoptive Families)”

Chicago Church ‘Fasting from Whiteness’ During Lent by Ditching Hymns Written by White People

Chicago Church ‘Fasting from Whiteness’ During Lent by Ditching Hymns Written by White People

The following news story is an example in how far left liberals, Democrats, progressives (Christian and non) have ramped up the Culture Wars in the last few years.

It’s not just mainstream evangelicals, conservative Christians, or Republicans who are fighting the Culture Wars now – those groups, the conservatives, evangelicals, Republicans, etc, are now reacting to the Culture War issues STARTED BY, and maintained by, liberals and progressives.

Nothing says love and tolerance like shaming White people for being White – which is what progressives do constantly. (I’m being sarcastic. It’s odious and gross to shame White people for being White.)

If you want to build up Black people or (Link): Black culture by incorporating more Black-written hymns at your church, that is fine by me, but do not so so at the expense of other groups, such as Whites.

That anti-Racism garbage, where CRT promoters believe that being “anti-racism” (Link): means discriminating against White people (and doing so indefinitely!), is wrong.

Progressives keep wanting to shame White people for being White, until they then veer into their weird habit of depicting Black people as being White.

I refer to the progressive tendency to skip back and forth between defining “White” to mean “light skinned person” to defining “White” or “Whiteness” as being “Western culture and ideals,” or “disagreeing with Marxism and other far left views and far left hobby horses.”

This means, if a person with dark skin disagrees with far left politics, the far left deems that person “White adjacent.”

This is how we end up with some (Link): very bizarre news headlines where Black conservative or Black libertarian men and women are referred to by far left liberals as being “White.”

The following is shameful and antithetical to the Christian faith – but this is a relatively small to moderate problem of a much-larger problem with far left views about racism:

(Link): Chicago church ‘fasting from whiteness’ during Lent by ditching hymns written by White people

The church also reportedly erected a sign promoting the fast

by Andrew Mark Miller
April 2022

A church in suburban Chicago has told parishioners it will abstain from performing any music that is associated with White people during the season of Lent.

“In our worship services throughout Lent, we will not be using any music or liturgy written or composed by white people,” the website for the First United Church of Oak Park reads. “Our music will be drawn from the African American spirituals tradition, from South African freedom songs, from Native American traditions, and many, many more.”

The statement continues, “For Lent, it is our prayer that in our spiritual disciplines we may grow as Christians, united in the body of Christ with people of all ages, nations, races, and origins.”

Continue reading “Chicago Church ‘Fasting from Whiteness’ During Lent by Ditching Hymns Written by White People”

Southern Baptist Executive Committee Agrees to a Resolution with Jennifer Lyell

Southern Baptist Executive Committee Agrees to a Resolution with Jennifer Lyell By Bob Smietana (via Roys Report)

So long as SBC members continue to conflate being pro-sexual-abuse victim and anti-complementarianism with being “woke,” far left, and secular feminist, they will never eradicate, or make much of a dent into, their problems with sex abuse cover ups.

An individual can be in support of sexual abuse victims, reject complementarianism, and yet, also be opposed to progressive positions, politics, and secular feminism. (I for one, remain a conservative, though I rejected complementarianism years ago. I am not liberal, leftist, or “woke.”)

(Link): SBC leaders apologize for mishandling Jennifer Lyell’s sex abuse case

(Link): Southern Baptist Executive Committee Agrees to a Resolution with Jennifer Lyell by Bob Smietana (via Roys Report)

February 22, 2022

Southern Baptist leaders announced Tuesday that they had reached a resolution with a sexual abuse survivor whose story was mishandled when she came forward in 2019.

Jennifer Lyell, a former publishing executive for Lifeway Christian Resources, told Baptist Press in 2019 that she had experienced abuse for years at the hands of a former Southern Baptist seminary professor. She made her story public out of concerns her abuser was still in ministry outside the Southern Baptist Convention.

Instead, the abuse was characterized in a news story as a “morally inappropriate relationship.” As a result of the backlash from that news story — for which Baptist Press, the official SBC news service, later (Link): apologized —Lyell (Link): lost her reputation, her job and her health.

Continue reading “Southern Baptist Executive Committee Agrees to a Resolution with Jennifer Lyell”

Carl Lentz’s Alleged Mistress Speaks Out in Hillsong: A Megachurch Exposed Trailer: ‘Toxic’

Carl Lentz’s Alleged Mistress Speaks Out in Hillsong: A Megachurch Exposed Trailer: ‘Toxic’

Update Below

(Link): Carl Lentz’s Alleged Mistress Speaks Out in Hillsong: A Megachurch Exposed Trailer: ‘Toxic’

February 16, 2022

The Discovery+ docuseries premieres on March 24

Hillsong Church was a star-studded house of worship, but scandal has overshadowed its charismatic brand of Christianity in recent years. Now a Discovery+ docuseries, Hillsong: A Megachurch Exposed, delves deep into the headlines — including former pastor Carl Lentz.

Once a spiritual confidant of Justin Bieber, Lentz was ousted from Hillsong in November 2020, ending a 10-year tenure because of what the church described as “moral failures.”

Soon he publicly admitted to being unfaithful to his wife Laura, whom he married in 2003 and with whom he shares three children.

Amid the fallout, Ranin Karim, a New York woman who said she met Lentz at a Brooklyn park in May 2020, alleged she was his mistress.
“It was the most toxic thing I’ve ever had to deal with,” Karim says in the newly released trailer for Hillsong: A Megachurch Exposed, which Discovery+ will stream in three parts.

Continue reading “Carl Lentz’s Alleged Mistress Speaks Out in Hillsong: A Megachurch Exposed Trailer: ‘Toxic’”

God’s Big Message at Christmas: You Are Not Alone, by Chris Field (Churches Need To Reach Out More to the Singles In Their Communities)

God’s Big Message at Christmas: You Are Not Alone, by Chris Field (Churches Need To Reach Out More to the Singles In Their Communities)

I have mixed feelings about posting a link to this (way below).

I know if you are literally alone – if you are a never married, divorced, or widowed adult, and you either don’t have children, or you are not on good terms with your biological family (or many of them are deceased or out of state), that it may be hard to feel positive about the message below.

Snowman
Snowman

I  know it can be difficult to hear Christians writing “you’re not alone, God is with you” if you are, as I said, literally, physically alone in your apartment or home.

It would be nice to have an actual, breathing human sitting across from you, rather than have to rest in the idea that there’s this God in Heaven who cares about you, and have to take that on faith.

I do think Christians (churches especially) need to step up to the plate more and make more of an effort to include those adults who live alone, who aren’t married, who don’t have a nuclear family of their own…

Rather than doing things like over-focusing on nuclear families, and closing churches down on Christmas Day (yes, some churches have been known to (Link):  withhold services on Christmas Day, because they assume every one is at home watching their biological child and spouse opening presents under the tree).

Never mind that some sites say that (Link): half or over half of the American population is now single – singles out-number married couples, and that stat won’t be changing any time soon, all the focus on Nuclear Families is excluding about half the American population.

So, what are you members of churches out there doing to reach out to the lonely and single in your areas?

Churches, you can stop it any time now with slobbering all over the married- with- children couples already. The “Nuclear Family” has received the “lion’s share” of affection and attention from churches and Christian culture for far too long now.

Time to start acknowledging the single and childless among you.

Churches have been losing in attendance in the last so many years – if they want to increase attendance, it might help if they start focusing on single adults.

(Link):  God’s Big Message at Christmas: You Are Not Alone, by Chris Field

Dec 25, 2021

Loneliness a terrible thing.

And as is often pointed out, at no time is loneliness more poignantly felt by scores of people than at Christmas.

If there’s an upside to the whole COVID fiasco, it’s that many of us had the opportunity last Christmas to experience a little bit of what that’s like. Millions of people had to stay separated from family — and we quickly realized that it’s not so great.

And it should have served as a wake-up call for those who call themselves followers of Jesus.

Continue reading “God’s Big Message at Christmas: You Are Not Alone, by Chris Field (Churches Need To Reach Out More to the Singles In Their Communities)”

Being Bitter and Blaming Others Can Ruin Your Health by Elizabeth Cohen

Being Bitter and Blaming Others Can Ruin Your Health by Elizabeth Cohen

(Link): Being Bitter and Blaming Others Can Ruin Your Health

Excerpts:

August 2011
By Elizabeth Cohen, Senior Medical Correspondent

…Feeling persistently resentful toward other people — the boss who fired you, the spouse who cheated on you — can indeed affect your physical health, according to a new book, “Embitterment: Societal, psychological, and clinical perspectives.”

In fact, the negative power of feeling bitter is so strong that the authors call for the creation of a new diagnosis called PTED, or post-traumatic embitterment disorder, to describe people who can’t forgive others’ transgressions against them.

“Bitterness is a nasty solvent that erodes every good thing,” says Dr. Charles Raison, associate professor of psychiatry at Emory University School of Medicine and CNNHealth’s Mental Health expert doctor.

What bitterness does to your body

Feeling bitter interferes with the body’s hormonal and immune systems, according to Carsten Wrosch, an associate professor of psychology at Concordia University in Montreal and an author of a chapter in the new book.

Studies have shown that bitter, angry people have higher blood pressure and heart rate and are more likely to die of heart disease and other illnesses.

Continue reading “Being Bitter and Blaming Others Can Ruin Your Health by Elizabeth Cohen”

Rampant Sexual Abuse of Women, and Its Cover Up, at Hope Community Church, Gives Single Christians Another Reason to Be Leery of the Be Equally Yoked Rule or Looking for a Spouse at a Church

Rampant Sexual Abuse of Women, and Its Cover Up, at Hope Community Church, Gives Single Christians Another Reason to Be Leery of the Be Equally Yoked Rule or Looking for a Spouse at a Church

The following article needs to be read in full, because, among other things, one learns that the church staff of the church discussed victim-blamed a teen-aged girl for wearing shorts as the reason as to why a male hired by the church sexually assaulted her.

What I wanted to focus on in this article, however, were the comments the single women made about this church.

Remember as you are reading this, that many Christians will advise you, if you are a single woman who’d like to marry, to try finding “husband material” at your local church.

Also remember as you read this, that a lot of Christians still push the spinster-making teaching of “be equally yoked” in regards to dating or marriage. (It’s a Christian view that holds that a Christian single should not date or marry any Non-Christians.)

(Link): Women Came to Hope Community Church Looking for Fellowship and Healing. Disrespectful Behavior from Church Leaders Drove Them to Leave.

Excerpts:

Feb 10, 2021
by Katie Jane Fernelius

…As members of Hope Community Church streamed in for services, the protesters held signs confronting Hope’s leadership on its record of handling sexual abuse and assault.

Over the last few months, the INDY has worked to vet these allegations and the church’s response to them.

Unfortunately, church leaders, including founder and lead pastor Mike Lee, have not responded to multiple inquiries, effectively stonewalling the INDY’s reporting around a fraught topic.

Sara Dye, who joined the megachurch looking for healing after she was raped by a stranger and went through a divorce, says she was assaulted by a member of the church’s worship team.

Continue reading “Rampant Sexual Abuse of Women, and Its Cover Up, at Hope Community Church, Gives Single Christians Another Reason to Be Leery of the Be Equally Yoked Rule or Looking for a Spouse at a Church”

The Dear Driscoll Site – Re: Mark Driscoll – Christians: Stop Supporting Driscoll, any church Driscoll runs, and Stop Supporting Guys Like Him!

The Dear Driscoll Site – Re: Mark Driscoll – Christians: Stop Supporting Driscoll, any church Driscoll runs, and Stop Supporting Guys Like Him!

Update below, July 2021. (Links to the Julie Roys July 2021 part 1 and 2 Mark Driscoll related podcasts below)


I recently became aware of this new site: (Link): “Dear Driscoll.”

Currently, at the top of that web page, is this remark, to give you some background on that site’s purpose:

This site was formed out of the need to centralize articles, videospodcasts, and other items regarding recent events at The Trinity Church in Scottsdale, AZ and historical events from Mars Hill Church in Seattle, WA.

…-The Dear Driscoll Team
—- end —

Currently on the main page of the site is a lengthy letter by a guy named Chad Freese who used to work at Driscoll’s church in Arizona.

Freese says he and his wife attended Driscoll’s church for awhile, and for a few weeks, Freese was even employed as the church’s director of security.

I’ve not even read through one fourth of the guy’s letter yet (I’ve only read the first few sections), and I already have some observations and concerns.

Continue reading “The Dear Driscoll Site – Re: Mark Driscoll – Christians: Stop Supporting Driscoll, any church Driscoll runs, and Stop Supporting Guys Like Him!”