Hipster Megachurch in Shambles Over Pastor’s Alleged Affair by Emily Shugerman

Hipster Megachurch in Shambles Over Pastor’s Alleged Affair by Emily Shugerman

I actually blogged about this before, (Link): here.

If I am understanding the reportage correctly, this news story involves a married man who had an affair with a married woman. It’s so important to mention this, because a lot of people – I’d say maybe both in and out of the Christian culture – assume that SINLGE (un-married) adults “hit on” married people and entice them into affairs.

I’m an unmarried adult who is tired of that odious trope.

I periodically see news items about married people who have affairs with other married people, or married people who “hit on” single adults.

Also, if you’re a single Christian, and if you’re exposed to Christian teaching about dating and marriage which suggests that you have to achieve some kind of perfection, level of godliness, or whatever, before God will allow you to get married (I saw this sort of teaching from Christians in the 1980s and 1990s), news stories like this one demonstrates that no, God does not with-hold spouses from imperfect, flawed people.

If God permitted this clown to get married – this church pastor who committed adultery – he won’t withhold a spouse from you.

Also, marriage, contrary to what the “marriage pushers” in Christianity promote, does not always, or necessarily, make a person more ethical, loving, or responsible. If it did, this pastor douche would not have strayed from his wife, and the douche-ette he slept with would not have slept around on her spouse. But they both did. Which means, marriage did not magically conform them to some higher standard.

(Link): Hipster Megachurch in Shambles Over Pastor’s Alleged Affair

The drama has unfolded like a soap opera, with rumors, a parade of employee exits, and a suggestive videotape.

by Emily Shugerman

When volunteers at Venue Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee, arrived at their pastor’s house last November, they were hoping to raise his spirits with a surprise visit.

Instead they got a shock: Pastor Tavner Smith was alone with a female church employee—she in a towel, he in his boxers.

The charismatic 41-year-old hurriedly explained that the two of them had been making chili and hot dogs and gotten food on their clothes, according to one volunteer who was present.

But, as the volunteer put it, “I don’t think none of us was that dumb.”

“If she dropped chili on her clothes, why are you in your boxers?” she recalled thinking. “Was y’all like, throwing chili at each other?”

For the volunteer, the scene confirmed something she had long suspected—that Smith, then married with three children, was secretly carrying on an affair with the employee, who was married to another church staffer.

Continue reading “Hipster Megachurch in Shambles Over Pastor’s Alleged Affair by Emily Shugerman”

Women in Perry Stone’s Ministry Allege Sexual Misconduct, Say FBI is Investigating Televangelist

Women in Perry Stone’s Ministry Allege Sexual Misconduct, Say FBI is Investigating Televangelist

This is so weird. I used to watch Stone’s show on a regular basis from around the early 2000s.

It seems like most every figure I used to watch regularly on TBN later went on to be accused of child molesting or adultery.

Is there anyone out there who professes Christ who actually LIVES OUT a Christian lifestyle, ie., if you’re a married Christian guy, you are NOT molesting children, viewing porn, or sexually harassing women or having affairs?

(Link): Women in Perry Stone’s ministry allege sexual misconduct, say FBI is investigating televangelist – behind a pay wall or you must register to continue reading

I have more comments below this long excerpt:

(Link):  Televangelist Perry Stone slams secular media after report alleges sexual misconduct

by Leonardo Blair

Longtime Tennessee-based televangelist and Bible teacher Perry Stone warned his followers against trusting secular media Monday, days after a local publication accused him of sexual misconduct.

“Over 32 years I have been involved with television. … I’m involved with media, I know how media works,” Stone said in a YouTube video titled “The Truth Behind Today’s Media.”

“It’s not always about what’s true or not, it’s about the advertising dollars,” he continued, explaining the relationship between the media and advertising and the need to make money.

….Citing multiple sources connected to Stone and his Perry Stone Ministries, a report published in the Chattanooga Times Free Press on Christmas Day said the Federal Bureau of Investigation began looking into sexual misconduct claims against the minister last month, but the agency has not confirmed this.

Continue reading “Women in Perry Stone’s Ministry Allege Sexual Misconduct, Say FBI is Investigating Televangelist”

Staffers Quit Venue Church After Confronting Pastor With Allegations of Affair, Misconduct by L. Blair

Staffers Quit Venue Church After Confronting Pastor With Allegations of Affair, Misconduct

(Link): Staffers Quit Venue Church After Confronting Pastor With Allegations of Affair, Misconduct

Dec 23, 2021
by Leonardo Blair

At least eight employees of Venue Church, a fast-growing congregation based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, have reportedly quit their jobs over alleged misconduct by Pastor Tavner Smith, who is allegedly shown kissing a woman who is not his wife in a video that recently surfaced online.

Last Friday afternoon, staff and volunteers confronted Smith about the video recorded in North Georgia, The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported.

Two former employees and four volunteers or members previously connected to the church told the newspaper that the eight employees quit after confronting the pastor about a rumored affair with a church employee.

Continue reading “Staffers Quit Venue Church After Confronting Pastor With Allegations of Affair, Misconduct by L. Blair”

Fewer Americans See Their Romantic Partners As a Source of Life’s Meaning

Fewer Americans See Their Romantic Partners As a Source of Life’s Meaning

This doesn’t bother me, and it is as it should be.

There’s nothing wrong with marriage or wanting to be married, but, too often times, secular culture, many religions, and in particular, Christian gender complementarians, have made far too much out of marriage, to the degree all these groups make women who never marry, or who marry only past their mid-30s, or who are divorced, feel like they are big, worthless losers.

Some secular conservatives and Christians even run around on their podcasts, tweets, and blogs saying as such – that single or childless adults are selfish or losers.

Complementarians especially are pretty bad about this, because they tend to define “womanhood” as, and to tie a woman’s worth and purpose, to if she marries and has children .

While I am not a supporter of the far left’s anti-nuclear family views, I also don’t agree with how so many Christians have gone the opposite and equally damaging route by advising women that their value or identity resides only in being a wife and a mother – something the Bible does not teach, by the way, but actually says that being single is better than being married (see 1 Cor. 7).

Christians often seem to forget that Jesus of Nazareth never married and never had children – yet Christians shame or exclude adults today who don’t marry and/or who do not have children.

(Link):  Fewer Americans See Their Romantic Partners As a Source of Life’s Meaning

  • Pew research found 9% of Americans saw their partner as a source of meaning, down from 20% in 2017.
  • Dating during a pandemic is hard, and couples had to confront unhappy relationships in quarantine.
  • Paired with the declining birth rate, it seems Americans are finding fulfillment on their own terms.

Some people spend a lifetime looking for their soul mate. But more Americans are finding life’s meaning in other things.

A new report from Pew Research Center that surveyed more than 2,500 Americans found that 9% of respondents cited their spouse or romantic partner as a source of meaning in life.

That’s quite a drop from 2017, when 20% said the same.

Continue reading “Fewer Americans See Their Romantic Partners As a Source of Life’s Meaning”

Carl Lentz’s Wife Says She Suffered from Depression, PTSD After Cheating Scandal

Carl Lentz’s Wife Says She Suffered from Depression, PTSD After Cheating Scandal

I hope this lady improves soon. This is yet another news item dispelling a lot of the Christian mythos built up around marriage.

So many Christian books, sermons, etc, create this view of marriage that once married, a person will be complete and the married sex will be great and regular.

But then we sometimes see these stories where the wife of a well known pastor admit that her spouse was committing adultery.

I think it goes to show that marriage and married sex are not all that a lot of marriage-promoters in the faith make it out to be (not that I am opposed to marriage, only the very unrealistic depictions of it in the church).

(Link): Carl Lentz’s Wife Says She Suffered from Depression, PTSD After Cheating Scandal

Excerpts:

By Anugrah Kumar, Christian Post Contributor

Laura Lentz, the wife of former Hillsong NYC Pastor Carl Lentz, has opened up about how she suffered from worsening depression and PTSD after her husband was fired from the global megachurch due to alleged moral failures and infidelity last November.

…Lentz and her husband were the focus of many headlines following his cheating confession last November and termination by the Australia-based international church network.

Continue reading “Carl Lentz’s Wife Says She Suffered from Depression, PTSD After Cheating Scandal”

Christlike or Pornlike?  A Christian Woman’s Role in Marriage

Christlike or Pornlike?  A Christian Woman’s Role in Marriage by Andrew J. Bauman and Taylor May

(Link): Christlike or Pornlike?  A Christian Woman’s Role in Marriage

Excerpts:

by Andrew J. Bauman

I am proud to be writing this article in partnership with Taylor May, a survivor of emotional and spiritual abuse. She has boldly shared her own story about what it was like to be married to someone who had a Pornographic Style of Relating, (PSR) and what it felt like to be used by him with her Church’s consent.

*Trigger warning for those who have suffered this type of betrayal trauma.


I’ve written about the pornographic style of relating here (PSR), but today we will hear from the perspective of a woman who has lived on the other side of this dynamic.

Many people have been talking about this with the release of this new book [Married Sex: A Christian Couple’s Guide to Reimagining Your Love Life by Gary Thomas] and some of its disturbing implications.

How can we talk about what these women are experiencing, and what can we learn from them?

Taylor May has offered her story and her experience below. My hope is that this can begin to clear up the muddy waters of what it means to live a Christlike marriage in a deeply pornified world.


by Taylor May

I didn’t realize how a pornographic style of relating was so deeply embedded into my first marriage until I was firmly planted into my second marriage.

That’s when I began to see the impact my first husband’s issue with lust had on my new, much healthier relationship.

Let me tell you my story, and how I and countless other women feel when our significant others lust for other women, on-screen or off.

Those of us who grew up in the evangelical Church have been told that we are responsible for men’s lust issues. This lie has been perpetrated by the church for far too long.

Many men are leading our church conversations with 90% of pastors being men, and considering that nearly 50% of those pastors self-report having used pornography, it would make sense that they would try to gaslight women by minimizing the destructive nature of porn use.

One way they do this is by framing it as a women’s issue or a sex issue, rather than the objectification of women/sin issue–one that stems from the person doing the objectifying.

Continue reading “Christlike or Pornlike?  A Christian Woman’s Role in Marriage”

Russian ‘Sex Coach’ Was Repeatedly Stabbed in the Head by Her ‘Jealous’ Husband

Russian ‘Sex Coach’ Was Repeatedly Stabbed in the Head by Her ‘Jealous’ Husband

As I was saying on Twitter, the older I get, and I continue to see such news stories as the one in this post, the happier I feel to be single and celibate.

I cannot believe as I grew up that the evangelical / Baptist / Protestant culture brainwashed everyone to think that being single is “second best” and being chaste over the age of 25 was “impossible” or somehow “not worth it.”

I see so many people who, as teens or adults, are not happy from having sex outside of marriage, or they get married, and they have a sexless marriage, or their spouse abuses them.

You’re ultimately not going to find healing and hope in another person (i.e., a spouse).

This news story should be another sign to Christians who keep peddling false notions about singleness, dating, sex, and marriage that sexual purity is not for singles only.

You have married people out there who think it’s acceptable to work as “sex coaches,” or open their own “only fans” accounts, or to “wife swap” (see links under “Related” below for examples).

Churches need to remind MARRIED people that sexual purity is for them as well. It’s not single adults that are falling into sexual temptations left and right, it’s married couples who are.

I don’t approve of this married woman’s “sex coach” occupation, but no, I sure don’t defend the husband stabbing her to death over it, or for whatever reasons he had.

Note that these are two married people who had a couple of children together. The pro-marriage and pro-have-children Christians and conservatives are wrong to teach (as they do) that getting married and having children will always (or even usually) make people more godly, loving, mature and ethical.

I have many more examples on my blog here that demonstrate that marriage and/or parenthood do NOT make people more ethical, responsible, godly, loving, mature, etc.

(Link): Russian ‘sex coach’ was repeatedly stabbed in the head by her ‘jealous’ husband

Excerpts:

by Will Stewart
Sept 22, 2021

A Russian ‘psychologist and sex coach’ was repeatedly stabbed in the head by her husband who then threw her body from a 130ft-high building.

Rustam Mursalov, 24, confessed to killing his wife Alexandra Mursalova, 25, out of ‘jealousy’, according to reports.

Mursalova, who had two children with personal trainer Mursalov, worked with wealthy clients in St Petersburg.

Continue reading “Russian ‘Sex Coach’ Was Repeatedly Stabbed in the Head by Her ‘Jealous’ Husband”

In San Diego, Porn Star Preaches Message ‘For Sinners By Sinners’ (Practicing Porn Star Active in Her Husband’s Church, Defends Porn)

In San Diego, Porn Star Preaches Message ‘For Sinners By Sinners’ (Practicing Porn Star Active in Her Husband’s Church, Defends Porn) – story via The Roys Report

I’ve been saying at this blog for a good, long while that most churches and Christians stopped teaching or defending the concept of sexual purity years ago.

The church of today does not support “purity culture,” (and has not supported it for many years), contrary to what all the progressive feminists, or ex-Christians who rant against it, on Twitter say.

Many churches want to appear cool, hip, and trendy, in part, I think, to attract people who normally may not want to attend church. One thing they do to appeal to the non-churched is to brazenly advertise “pro sex” type of sermon series.

Churches today, and even many marriage-promoting Christian and “nuclear family” groups, no longer defend celibacy or virginity-until-marriage.

Some churches even hire and utilize known pedophiles to lead their “sexual purity” classes at and during church.
Some Christian couples openly engage in “swinging,” in which they allow their spouse to have sex with the spouse of someone else.
Yet other self professing Christians have been saying for years now that the God of the Bible is supposedly accepting of sex outside of marriage (no, the God of the Bible is not okay with pre-marital, or extra-marital sex).
(Seriously. For examples of this insanity, please see the links at the bottom of this post under “Related Posts.”)

Also, let this following report go to show, that contrary to a lot of assumptions of Baptists and evangelical Christians, married people are not more godly or ethical than single adults.

There has been a long-standing assumption by many Christians that (Link): all single adults are fornicating horn dogs who can’t keep their pants zipped up, but that all married couples are above sexual sin. Not so.

This story also goes to put a huge dent in a lot of the Christian “dating advice” type literature I read when younger, which said if you don’t have a spouse by a certain age, it’s because God is actively with-holding marriage from you, because you’re not “clean” or “godly” enough.

That perverts like the people in the story below are married goes to blow a hole through that teaching. You obviously don’t have to be very godly, or mature, responsible, or a good person to “merit” a spouse.

So far has the contemporary church sunk regarding sexual ethics, we now apparently have a preacher’s wife (with his knowledge and blessing) still working in, on, or for pornographic sites or movies while also working at her husband’s church (if I am understanding the news story correctly) and declaring herself a Christian:

(Link):  In San Diego, Porn Star Preaches Message ‘For Sinners By Sinners’ by Sarah Einselen

Excerpts:

Angela Dela Cruz is a porn star, making a living from an industry widely considered evil and predatory. She’s also a pastor of Living Faith Church, a new church plant in downtown San Diego.

Angela and her husband, Stephen Dela Cruz, launched the church plant this summer, advertising it as “a church for sinners by sinners.” The church website further explains that the church’s leaders are “the biggest sinners, and this is the most non-judgmental church around!”

While the church website doesn’t identify its pastors, the couple has been open on social media about Angela’s involvement in adult entertainment and her role in the church.

Continue reading “In San Diego, Porn Star Preaches Message ‘For Sinners By Sinners’ (Practicing Porn Star Active in Her Husband’s Church, Defends Porn)”

Groom Allegedly Shoots Friend After Wedding Because He Suspected Affair With Wife

Groom Allegedly Shoots Friend After Wedding Because He Suspected Affair With Wife

But Al Mohler, Brad Wilcox, Institute for Family Studies, and other marriage-worshipping entities assure me that marriage makes people more godly, loving, mature, ethical and responsible.

(Link): Louisiana Groom Still in Tuxedo Allegedly Shoots Man He Accused of Affair with Bride

New husband Devin Jones faces several charges, including attempted second-degree murder

A Louisiana man was arrested Saturday on his wedding night after allegedly shooting two people following an argument with his new bride and her male friend, PEOPLE confirms.

Continue reading “Groom Allegedly Shoots Friend After Wedding Because He Suspected Affair With Wife”

‘Fight Church’ Founding Pastor Pleads Guilty to Child Sex Abuse 3 Years After Son Owned Abuse Charge by L. Blair

‘Fight Church’ Founding Pastor Pleads Guilty to Child Sex Abuse 3 Years After Son Owned Abuse Charge by L. Blair

I am fairly sure I blogged about at least one of these guys a few years ago. Yep, I sure did.

(Link): ‘Fight Church’ Founding Pastor Pleads Guilty to Child Sex Abuse 3 Years After Son Owned Abuse Charge

Excerpts:

by L. Blair
July 2021

Joe Burress, the 71-year-old founding pastor of Victory Church in Rochester, New York, also known as the “Fight Church,” has pled guilty to one of two second-degree sexual abuse charges against him three years after his son Paul Burress pleaded guilty to third-degree sexual abuse.

Court documents cited in a recent WHAM report say two teenagers accused Joe Burress of sexually abusing them in separate incidents while they were under the age of 14.

…In March 2018, Paul Burress, who was previously charged with four counts of forcible touching after allegedly groping three women in his Henrietta, New York, home, pleaded guilty to third-degree sexual abuse, a misdemeanor.

Continue reading “‘Fight Church’ Founding Pastor Pleads Guilty to Child Sex Abuse 3 Years After Son Owned Abuse Charge by L. Blair”

Christian MLB Star Ben Zobrist Claims Wife Had an Affair With Their Pastor and Marriage Counselor

Christian MLB Star Ben Zobrist Claims Wife Had an Affair With Their Pastor and Marriage Counselor

Assuming this guy is telling the truth, this one, lone headline manages to summarize about three or four the usual ten or so topics I regularly blog about!

Where do I even start with this one?

Okay. Many Christians – the ones who are obsessed with promoting marriage, parenthood, and The Nuclear Family – often like to claim that marriage (or being a parent) makes a person more godly, mature, loving, responsible, or ethical.
Clearly, this is false, because I have a shit load of news stories on this blog of married people (and parents) who are law breakers, selfish, or perverts.

Let’s see, what other garbage do pro-family values Christians and secular conservatives frequently teach that this story shows to be false that I’ve been covering here for literally years now?

Let’s see, oh yes:
Marriage supposedly makes Christian adults impervious to sexual sin… if Christians just get married, they will have great, regular, hot sex (with their spouse) and never have an affair on their spouse, or molest children, or use porn. All of that is false.

Other falsehoods: single (unmarried) adult women are sexual harlots and temptresses, so married men should stay away from them per the “Billy Graham Rule” (or “Mike Pence Rule”).
Well, the woman in this story is MARRIED. She is not widowed, divorced, or never-married (single), but a married chick who allegedly screwed around on her husband.

The male headship rule – Christian complementarians, and some secular sexist men in our nation – like to assume that men are specially or uniquely qualified to lead women, to lead on the job, to lead in politics.
But yet gain, we see via this news story that men commit sexual sin, some men lack self control and mores, and there is nothing special about maleness that causes men to be more virtuous or better than women.

Complementarians teach that only men “need” or “want” sex, but obviously, unless the married lady in this story was having affairs to meet emotional needs, she clearly enjoys boning men.
Women do enjoy sex, too, not just men, but this flies in the face of the sexist assumptions of many people in American culture both inside and out of the church.

And there’s just something ironic about the fact that allegedly, one of the men she had an affair with was a marriage counselor!
This is like the news story about the (Link): marriage counselor who murdered the woman he was going to marry, because she asked him to sign a pre-nup agreement.

There is nothing about marriage that makes people more worthy, ethical, happier, more godly or whatever else, than people who are single, widowed, or divorced.

(Link): Former MLB Star Ben Zobrist Accuses Pastor of Affair With His Wife and Defrauding Charity

(Link):  Retired MLB Star Accuses Pastor of Extramarital Affair with His Wife and Defrauding His Charity: Lawsuit 

Retired baseball player Ben Zobrist – the 2016 World Series MVP who led the Chicago Cubs to the franchise’s first championship in 108 years – is accusing pastor Byron Yawn of having an extramarital affair with his wife Julianna and of defrauding his charity.

In a lawsuit filed in Tennessee on May 6, Zobrist, 40, claims Yawn “usurped the ministerial-counselor role, violated and betrayed the confidence entrusted to him by [Zobrist], breached his fiduciary duty owed to [Zobrist] and deceitfully used his access as counselor to engage in an inappropriate sexual relationship with [Zobrist]’s wife,” according to NBC News, the Peoria Journal Star, and the Chicago Tribune, which obtained the lawsuit documents.

(Link): Ex-Cubs star Ben Zobrist claims wife Julianna had affair with their pastor, lawsuit says

(Link): Christian MLB Star Ben Zobrist Claims Wife Had an Affair With Their Pastor and Marriage Counselor

Excerpts:

By Jeannie Ortega Law
June 22, 2021

A recent court filing on behalf of outspoken Christian and former MLB player Ben Zobrist alleges that his wife, pop singer Julianna Zobrist, had an affair with the couple’s former Tennessee pastor, who also served as their marriage counselor.

Zobrist, who played in the MLB from 2006 to 2019, is now suing the former minister for damages, claiming he defrauded his charitable foundation.

Continue reading “Christian MLB Star Ben Zobrist Claims Wife Had an Affair With Their Pastor and Marriage Counselor”

Mark Driscoll Paid for Honeymoon with Church Funds

Mark Driscoll Paid for Honeymoon with Church Funds

Dear Al Mohler and other marriage-obsessed weenies who keep insulting the state of singleness to promote marriage:

Here’s another example of how being a married person did not make that person more ethical, mature, giving, or godly than someone who is single.

Does doofus Mark Driscoll ever pay off rent or groceries or whatever for single adults, one wonders?

Not that it would be okay to mis-use church funds on that, either.

(Link): Mark Driscoll Paid for Honeymoon with Church Funds; Uses Gift Cards to Pay Interns, Former Members Say

by Julie Roys

….When Pastor Mark Driscoll told Joey Manuele and his fiancée at a staff Christmas party that he’d pay for their honeymoon, Joey Manuele was stunned.

…A couple weeks later, the Manueles received a check for the full amount. But to their surprise, the check wasn’t from Driscoll, but from The Trinity Church.

“I was like, ‘Wait! He never said it was coming from the church!’” Joey Manuele said. “(Driscoll) said ‘me, me,’ like ‘I’m going to give it to you. I want to do this for you.’ And then we get a check from the church . . . So that was a shock.”

…Joey Manuele added that the honeymoon stay wasn’t the only unsolicited gift Driscoll gave him and his wife.

…Manuele, whose entire family was recently kicked out of the church, said he now suspects the gifts were intended to buy his loyalty.
— end article —

In light of news stories like this, and other, similar ones I’ve posted before about married people, including self professing Christians, who behave as un-ethical weasels to out right scum buckets,
I never, ever want Al Mohler or Bradford or other marriage and nuclear family promoters pushing marriage or parenthood by arguing that parenthood and marriage makes people more mature, godly, responsible, ethical, etc, when clearly, that is NOT the case.


Related Posts:

(Link): Placing One’s Marriage Ahead of The Church – Preacher (i.e., Mark Driscoll) Used Prioritizing and Rebuilding His Marriage as Rationale for Bullying His Church Members

(Link): More Anti-Singleness Bias From Southern Baptist Al Mohler – Despite the Bible Says It Is Better Not To Marry

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

(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): 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)