They Put Their Faith in a God-Fearing Man Selling Them Tiny Homes. Now They’re Suing Him For Fraud – Christians: Please Learn the Red Flags, Research Cluster B Personality Disorders

They Put Their Faith in a God-Fearing Man Selling Them Tiny Homes. Now They’re Suing Him For Fraud – Christians: Please Learn the Red Flags, Research Cluster B Personality Disorders

Before I get to the links way below about a self-professing, devout Christian man who was allegedly swindling customers out of their very expensive purchases:

For any of you super trusting people out there – especially if you consider yourself kind, decent, empathetic and/or a Christian (though what I say below is also applicable to kind-hearted Non-Christians as well):

Please, please educate yourselves and accept reality.

There ARE people out there with what are called “Cluster B” personality disorders (such as NPD, malignant narcissism, or, they’re on the narcissism spectrum, or they are sociopathic or psychopathic) who cannot, or will not, have empathy (and on top of an empathy-deficit, sociopaths lack a conscience, too).

Not all of these Cluster B personality disordered persons are serial killers, as is often assumed(*) – but they all lack remorse and empathy and will use and abuse those in their paths, even their own spouses and family members! (*Some Cluster B personality disordered persons love to financially scam other people or financially exploit them, for instance.)

The primary drivers and motivations of Cluster B persons are control and dominance of other people.

These people can be your neighbor, sibling, parent, spouse, a friend, your boss, or a co-worker.

These dangerous persons can work as church pastors, doctors, school teachers, veterinarians, psychologists, therapists, plumbers, IT professionals, UPS delivery persons, mailmen, hair stylists – any and every occupation, even “care based,” charity based, or church ministry related ones!

These people have learned to “pass” as normal. They will pretend to be normal. Many will act as though they have compassion and empathy for others, but they do not.

Just because someone is working in a care-based occupation doesn’t mean they have empathy and are warm, nurturing, and have your best interest at heart.

Some narcissistic or sociopathic persons who work as therapists or as social workers INTENTIONALLY undermine their patients or others in their care. That’s one reason you must be careful when shopping around for a mental health professional, should you want to see one for treatment.

Some of these personality disordered persons will do things like say they are a “Jesus-follower,” a Christian, they will even volunteer for charity work, attend church regularly, and “play act the part” of loving, devoted Christ follower while simultaneously committing financial fraud (or other sins and crimes) against you or others.

And they do NOT CARE AT ALL how much it hurts your feelings or hurts you financially.

They are not sorry, and they never will be. They do not experience remorse or sorrow for how they hurt others.

Even the non-personality disordered abusive persons out there have very large entitlement attitudes, so their view on relationships is that being mean, lying, nasty, and controlling of or to you is getting THEIR needs met for them, their abusive behavior of you is working well for them, so why bother to care about you and your needs and how YOU are being hurt by them in the process?

They feel they have no reason to change for the better (this is from their perspective).

There is nothing you can do to fix, change, save, or help such persons (even most therapists agree such persons are beyond help or fixing), nor is it your responsibility to fix or change them.

Avoid them as much as possible. No amount of compassion, love, attention, pity, or empathy from you or someone else will change or fix such persons.

No amount of church attendance, Bible reading, or exposure to the Gospel or the teachings of Jesus will heal, change, or fix them.

This includes the marriage context: a wife being “more submissive” or “loving” towards a narcissistic or sociopathic husband will not “heal,” change, or fix the husband and cause him to stop hurting his wife.

Please do some research, and stop allowing people to take advantage of you! Look for the red flags.

Perhaps start out by reading books such as “The Sociopath Next Door” by Stout

(though, caution: in an otherwise very good and educational work, I think she sugar coats her descriptions of narcissism in her book too much – narcissists, especially at the moderate to high end of the spectrum, are essentially watered-down sociopaths, so far as I am concerned,
but, in her book, Stout makes narcissists sound more lovable, redeemable, reachable, and friendly than they actually are,
which contrasts what I’ve read in a lot of research by other mental health professionals and accounts by narcissistic abuse survivors who all specialize in the topic of narcissism),

or “Husband, Liar, Sociopath – How He Lied, Why I Fell for It & the Painful Lessons Learned” by O. N. Ward,
or “Becoming the Narcissist’s Nightmare: How to Devalue and Discard the Narcissist While Supplying Yourself” by Shahida Arabi.

There are many other books – and free online articles and videos – that describe all these issues.

Just because someone claims to be a Christian and acts really sweet, caring, and nice does NOT mean they will NOT abuse you financially, or will not abuse you physically, verbally, or sexually in private.

Because such people do exist, and they will abuse or exploit you.

Stop thinking the best of people, stop being so trusting, stop assuming that because someone talks favorably of Jesus that this must mean they are trust-worthy, and stop giving people third, fourth, and more chances if they’ve already hurt or lied to you twice!

Stop rationalizing their behavior, stop excusing it on the basis they told you they are having a bad day, they’re under stress, or they were abused as a child (whether they were or not still does not excuse their abusive or dishonest behavior).

Such attitudes and behaviors on your part, where you keep forgiving, pitying, trusting, and grant repeated chances and do-overs, is what enables alleged frauds like the guy in the article below to scam you in the first place.

I am not victim blaming anyone who has been abused or targeted by any of these abusers or scammers.

Here is where I am coming from:
I just want to pull my hair out in frustration in particular at how Christians, in their sermons, books, social media, blogs, and their attitudes, frequently encourage or pressure behaviors or attitudes in believers that encourage them to be very susceptible to attracting abusive people or con artists, or from eliminating them from their lives once they encounter them.

Christians are setting other Christians up to be attractive and easy targets and prey for sociopaths, narcissists, and other troubled and dangerous people.

Misguided Christian teachings about grace, forgiveness, compassion, helping one’s neighbor, turning the cheek, the “no divorce for any reason” teachings, and giving second chances, and Christian complementarians especially are really bad about this.

Christian gender complementarians promote “gender complementarianism,” where they strongly condition girls and women to adopt beliefs and actions that are indistinguishable from Codependency (ie, which includes things like lacking boundaries, being passive, etc), which makes girls and women reluctant to engage in perfectly healthy and normal actions, such as standing up to abusers or bullying behavior, and leaves them vulnerable from recognizing abusive behavior as being abusive in the first place.

Secular culture of course also re-enforces such harmful beliefs and behaviors in girls and women as well, via traditional gender stereotypes (see the book The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker for some examples; research by others has also been done in this area going back years with the same results being shown).

(Link): They Put Their Faith in a God-Fearing Man Selling Them Tiny Homes. Now They’re Suing Him For Fraud

People around the country who have paid Matt Sowash thousands of dollars for the small dwellings after seeing him on TikTok say he never delivered on his promises.

by Sept 20, 2022

By Deon J. Hampton

DENVER — A man who had been convicted of bilking investors out of thousands of dollars and who professed his love for God while selling tiny homes online swindled homebuyers out of their life savings for dwellings that were never delivered, three alleged victims said in lawsuits filed in federal and state courts.

Developer Matt Sowash, founder of the Colorado-based nonprofit Holy Ground Tiny Homes, promoted the small residences on social media, including to his 80,000 TikTok followers, with short videos portraying an upbeat, God-fearing man selling the American Dream — affordable homes with financing and no credit checks.

“For people that can’t pay for a house all at once, we can finance you. Holy Ground Tiny Homes. Get yours today,” Sowash said in one TikTok video.

“Great house, available now, around $45,000 is what this goes for. Come in and take it away,” he said in another video, wearing a T-shirt adorned with “Faith Over Fear.”

Sowash said in an interview that he never set out to take advantage of homebuyers, but he’s not sure he’ll be able to build the 250 homes already paid for, in full or in part.

…A plaintiff in one of three lawsuits filed against Sowash said in an interview that the builder’s persuasiveness and Jesus-loving persona convinced her to part with her hard-earned cash.

“That’s part of what sold me. He’s charming, convincing and I believe in God,” said Clara Virginia Davis, 24, an elementary schoolteacher in upstate New York.

Continue reading “They Put Their Faith in a God-Fearing Man Selling Them Tiny Homes. Now They’re Suing Him For Fraud – Christians: Please Learn the Red Flags, Research Cluster B Personality Disorders”

Victim Blaming Codependents, or Victim Blaming People Who Exhibit Codependent Behaviors

Victim Blaming Codependents or Victim Blaming People Who Exhibit Codependent Behaviors

The concept of Codependency is not victim-blaming.

The concept of Codependency does not pathologize domestic abuse survivors,  targets of narcissistic abuse, or other victims of other types of abuse, contrary to a lot of online rhetoric I have seen, and I don’t care what psychiatrist with what degree behind his name has stated things like, “Codependency is victim blaming and pathologizing!” – that psychiatrist, despite his eight years in medical school, is wrong.

He is wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong.

I disagree with him entirely. And I do not have to have a medical degree to see where he’s wrong, and to know that he’s wrong.

I am a recovered codependent, and I remain astounded at people, especially therapists, psychologists, and abuse survivor advocates, who should know better, who never-the-less keep peddling this trope that the concept of Codependency is victim blaming, or it’s too broad in scope to be of much use.

(There are actually other mental health professionals out there who do not believe that Codependency is useless, too broad, or that it pathologizes anyone.)

A few months ago, when news stories about Anna Duggar were more prominent – she’s married to convicted child pornography user Josh Duggar, former reality television show star
– and then, a little later, when so-called abuse survivor advocates, such as Ashley Easter started commenting on that and victim blaming Anna Dugggar, and Amy Smith of Watchkeep began attacking journalist Julie Roys, I kept seeing these people, and others who follow them, showcase a very stunning misunderstanding of, or in some cases, a lack of awareness of, Codependency.

I may in the future do more posts – ones specific to Ashley Easter, Anna Duggar, and the Amy Smith – Julie Roys fiasco from months back – but for this post, I wanted to address this topic via at least two videos I saw on Dr. Ramani’s You Tube Channel.

Dr. Ramani is a psychologist who specializes in treating victims of narcissistic abuse.

I actually like Dr. Ramani quite a bit, and I’ve seen and listened to many of her videos. I like her on a personal level, and I think she’s quite astute.

I do  not feel comfortable being critical of someone who I usually agree with often, and who I find to be personable, but Dr. Ramani made a few comments in some of her videos here and there, pertaining to codependency, which I didn’t entirely agree with.

And no, I myself do not have to be a psychologist or have a mental health degree to form opinions or conclusions based upon what I hear and see!

While I do not have a mental health degree, I am college educated, and I did spend the past several years researching mental health topics. I did take psychology courses in college, but that is not what I earned my degree in.

So, I may not be an “expert” on mental health topics (in a degreed sense), but I am not an entirely uninformed person.

Continue reading “Victim Blaming Codependents, or Victim Blaming People Who Exhibit Codependent Behaviors”

Mischaracterizing or Misunderstanding Codependency (Re: Sexual Betrayal, and Julie Roys Book) – Christian Abuse Survivor Community On A Witch Hunt – Introduction

Mischaracterizing or Misunderstanding Codependency (Re: Sexual Betrayal, and Julie Roys Book) – Christian Abuse Survivor Community On A Witch Hunt – Introduction


Work on this post first began in April 2022, or maybe early May 2022. As I wrap this up, today’s date is May 24, 2022.


Introduction

Ever since Christian journalist Julie Roys began publishing reportage of domestic abuse cover ups, or child sex abuse cover ups, by John MacArthur and his church (such as this one), various JMac (John MacArthur) defenders have come out of the wood-work to dig up any dirt on Julie Roys that they can (these people are supposed to be Christians but behave as though they’re in a JMac cult, where JMac is their cult leader).

As for me, JMac is one of those Christian guys whose opinions I occasionally agree with, but I sometimes disagree with him, depending on the topic.

Based on a few of the tweets I’ve seen by Roys over the past couple of years, I don’t think she and I share the same political views – well, I suspect that is so, at least. I’m not 100% sure.

When I politely tweeted minor disagreements with Roys in the past on political related topics, Roys did not block or mute me.

It does look to me as though JMac (John MacArthur) and his church have grossly mishandled or covered up abuse in the church going back decades, which is wrong – his Fan Boys need to recognize that, own up to it, and stop defending JMac on these points and stop harassing Julie Roys, or whomever else, for merely reporting on these things.

At any rate, Julie Roys has a site where she sometimes publishes articles about church- or Christian- related topics. Some of them involve coverage of church sex abuse scandals and so forth, and I’ve followed her Twitter account for months to keep up with church related news stories.

Beyond that, I am not familiar with Roys, I’ve never met her in real life or spoken to her by DM or by phone.(*)

The fact that Roys reports on church scandals gets some Christians very upset and angry with her, and they harass her online.

It looks like Roys wrote a book, with another woman named Kay Arthur, entitled “Redeeming the Feminine Soul: God’s Surprising Vision for Womanhood,” and it was published in 2017. 

Digging Up Dirt

People who are upset with Roys for exposing JMac’s disgusting sexism and incompetence at dealing with abusers at his church caused these wacked-out, enraged, JMac Fan Boys (and maybe some James MacDonald fan boys) to dig up any perceived dirt on Roys that they could to try to demonize or discount her so the public will disregard anything she publishes about MacArthur.

(The JMac Fans are too dumb to realize pointing out any flaws with Roys still doesn’t invalidate her reports of JMac – her reporting on JMac can remain true even if one can discover something supposedly unsavory about her or her past behavior).

So the JMac Fan Club came across this “Redeeming the Feminine Soul”  book Roys wrote years ago, and they began sharing excerpts of it on Twitter about a month ago.

At the time, I read excepts from that Roys book that some of these Fan Boys had scanned and posted to Twitter.

How creepy is it, by the way, that these church boys are such ass-kissers of a pastor that they felt the urge to go combing through anything Julie Roys has ever said, published, or done, all so they could find something – anything – to pounce on her with – and the abuse survivor community ate it up, too. Also weird and disturbing.

(This is also what the woke left usually does, goes digging around for ten or twenty year old tweets or articles to use to harass someone today.)

So desperate are the fan boys of some of the churches or pastors that the Roys site has published exposes on, one of them seems to have fabricated some more accusations against Roys, posted it to You Tube, where it was then picked up and shared by Roys haters and over-zealous “abuse survivor advocates” (but then, I repeat myself) on Twitter.

Roys later released a rebuttal to the video, which you can read here:

(Link): Opinion: Former Harvest Volunteer Publishes Falsehoods; People Quick to Retweet

From that page:
(and this is the first time I’ve read past the first fourth of the page when I first glanced it over weeks ago, so… wow – Amy Smith’s, Ashley Easter’s, and their ‘abuse victim advocates’ pals’ obsession with, and vendetta against, Roys is worse than I first realized – I have more to say about this below):

Survivor advocates spread unsubstantiated rumors
(by Julie Roys – excerpts)

… But what’s most disheartening about Engleman’s video isn’t the video itself. Engleman has been producing angry, misleading videos for some time. Most people familiar with what happened at Harvest know to disregard them.

What’s disheartening is how a new audience is eagerly spreading Engleman’s rumors without verifying what he says. And people you’d expect to be wary of deceptive troll accounts are instead retweeting them.

For example, Amy Smith, an abuse survivor advocate, on Wednesday retweeted a tweet from an account titled “NOT Julie Roys.” The retweet advertised a “bombshell torching of Julie Roys” and linked to Engleman’s video.

[Roys includes screen shots on the page]

This is the same troll account that attacked me relentlessly for reporting child abuse coverup by John MacArthur and Grace Community Church.

 [More embedded tweets on the page by Roys haters]

The account also has labeled the survivor community “#VictimhoodCulture” and attacked Lori Anne Thompson with names I won’t repeat. This seems a strange bedfellow for an abuse survivor advocate.

Yet Smith has also been retweeting Protestia and David Morrill tweets, which is bizarre given those accounts’ track record for misogyny, sensationalism, and half-truths.
Morrill has similarly ridiculed the survivor community with the “VictimhoodCulture” hashtag, and does disgusting things like mock a racial trauma counselor for his lisp.

Smith’s embrace of these fringe and hateful voices is concerning.

Smith also published a blog Friday with Engleman’s video and leading questions.

Similarly, Ashley Easter, another victim advocate, retweeted Engleman’s allegations Wednesday night.

In response to Easter’s tweet, I tweeted information showing that Engleman’s allegations had been debunked by Rob Williams and Ryan Mahoney. I also offered to provide Easter with Williams’ email so she could talk to him herself.

Easter never asked for Williams’ email, but instead defended her right to “post opinions I think are interesting.”
— end excerpts from Roy’s page —

Some of the scanned material from Roy’s book that JMac fans posted involved Roys’ discussion of how, when she was in her early 30s and was a youth ministry leader at her church, she attempted to help a 17 or 18 year old troubled teen in her church class whom she calls “Sarah” in the book.

(I assume that “Sarah” is a fabricated name. Roys does not list a last name in the excerpts I saw. In other words, and I could be mistaken – but it looks like Roys kept “Sarah” anonymous,
so why some of Roys critics online said it was wrong for Roys to divulge some of Sarah’s personal details in this book was strange to me.
Nobody outside of Roys and Sarah herself, (if Sarah even reads the book), and possibly Sarah’s mother, will ever know who “Sarah” really is, so what huge difference does it make if Roys shared some personal details about Sarah in this book?
I personally have no idea who Sarah is, as the author did not give out Sarah’s last name, and I don’t think “Sarah” is even her true first name but is a pseudonym.)

So, this all begins with outraged Fan Boys of preacher JMac (John MacArthur) bringing this book up to attack Roys over, to attack Roys with, since they are angry with her for exposing JMac for the (Link): sexist, (Link): abuser-coddling hack he is.

And soon enough, if my understanding of events is correct and in proper chronological order, the usual “abuse survivor advocates” I have seen on Twitter for years (among these, I would include Ashley Easter and Amy Smith of the “Watchkeep” blog) – and others  – jumped in to the fray to essentially start hinting or depicting Roys as a groomer who (sexually, or spiritually) intentionally, maliciously, preys on 17 year old teen girls.

I think that is a very, very uncharitable and inaccurate way of filtering the whole thing.

Let me pause here to say that while I have generally supported and agreed with a lot of the work the abuse survivor advocates have done in years past, I at times, on occasion, do disagree with them on some topics.

Furthermore, I think they sometimes have over-reacted and have gone over-board – in regards to things and persons such as, but not limited to, Anna Duggar (married to pedophile Josh), ex-Christian Joshua Harris, and others – in how they react to or treat people they suspect of protecting or enabling abusers.

I’ve never been comfortable with their behavior in those areas, at times, and I think in regards to Julie Roys, they’re doing the same thing to Roys.

Continue reading “Mischaracterizing or Misunderstanding Codependency (Re: Sexual Betrayal, and Julie Roys Book) – Christian Abuse Survivor Community On A Witch Hunt – Introduction”

Christian Gender Complementarians and Far Left Woke Progressives and Transactivists – What They Have in Common

Christian Gender Complementarians and Far Left Woke Progressives and Transactivists – What They Have in Common

There are a few things Christian gender complementarians have in common with the following: the woke; progressives; social justice warriors; anti-Trumpers; exvangelicals (ex evangelicals); transactivists; critical theory advocates; BLM; Antifa, and anti-racists.

I don’t want to get into all the similarities I see among these seemingly- at- first- glance- totally- in- opposition groups, but one or two I did want to mention for now:

Both the Christian complementarians and the Progressives participate in “identity politics.” You’re not allowed to be an individual.

Complementarians divide people into the groups of “men” and “women,” and then ascribe gender stereotypes to both groups. They believe that all women are, or should be, passive, non-confrontational, and docile and enjoy crocheting tea cozies, for example.

If you’re a woman who is not passive, docile, or who does not enjoy knitting tea cozies and has no desire to do so, they either ignore you, or other types of complementarians may insult you or question your fealty to Jesus, the Bible, and the nuclear family.

The progressives, of course, put everybody into groups and then in sub-groups; the progressives will not only divide people up by biological sex, for instance, but if you are a “person of color” AND a woman, you’re now in a sub-group.

The progressives will then try to determine, via “intersectionality,” which group or sub-group is the “most” oppressed, and which ever group is deemed most victimized gets all the cookies (devotion, protection, attention, energy).

Members of these groups, who are declared to be most marginalized, are given carte blanche permission by woke liberals to treat other groups terribly, and to stomp all over other groups’ needs, rights, and concerns (one example of this on my blog).

Women Are Not Allowed to Have Their Own Opinions On Either Side, Christian Complementarian OR Progressive

Christian gender complementarians and woke, far left liberals (including transactivists, BLM supporters, and even a lot of progressive Exvangelical, anti-Trump persons, and some abuse survivor advocates) all have the distasteful, unfortunate habit of pressuring women to think a certain way.

All those groups also tend to guilt trip women or shame them when they won’t cave in to the pressure, and they also advise – more like command and dictate! – women to “let this group do your thinking for you. You are not allowed to question the group or its assumptions or opinions. You are not allowed to have or hold a dissenting view from that of the group.”

Women Who Disagree With Christian Gender Complementarianism

If you’re a woman who doesn’t agree with Christian gender complementarianism (or Christian patriarchy, which is essentially the same thing as complementarianism, but usually more severe),
complementarian men (and some of the women) in those belief sets will accuse you of being a liberal, a feminist, and/or a Democrat and will sometimes also accuse you of hating babies, men, meritocracy, due process, or the nuclear family.

The more crude, overtly sexist ones will also suggest on occasion you are “trying to be like a man,” you are “too old, past your expiration date,” you own 47 pet cats, and you never shave your legs.

Women Who Disagree With Progressives or Any Progressive View or Behavior

If you’re a woman who doesn’t agree with progressives on, well, any of their socio-political views (CRT, pro-choice, BLM, transactivism, etc), they will accuse you of being bigoted, racist, homophobic, transphobic, and/or of possessing “Internalized Misogyny,” and they’re rarely civil in how they express those views.
(This is, laughably and remarkably, after they stress repeatedly, especially in their online communities, how, unlike Trump voters and evangelical Christians, how tolerant and loving they are.)

Continue reading “Christian Gender Complementarians and Far Left Woke Progressives and Transactivists – What They Have in Common”

Lundy Bancroft on Narcissists vs Abusers for The Audacious Life podcast

Lundy Bancroft on Narcissists vs Abusers for The Audacious Life podcast

The first half to two thirds of this video of what the speakers describe, how they describe the typical views of abusive men, is reminiscent of some Christian Gender Complementarians and their views, and what some complementarian adherents believe.

Especially if you are a Christian single woman who’s wanting to marry AND in particular you were raised by Christian parents or in a church that taught traditional gender roles (perhaps under the phrase or label of “gender complementarianism“) please pay special attention to the video below.

Under “gender complementarian” teachings (and just mainstream, evangelical or Baptist and Christian dating advice), Christian women have been taught to accept all sorts of toxic teachings and to accept on-going mistreatment from a spouse (and from other people in their lives).

Chances are good that if you’re a single Christian woman who was brought up to believe in gender complementarian teachings that you were heavily encouraged to adopt people pleasing or codependent behaviors, beliefs, and attitudes, which will make you attractive to abusers and people with personality disorders (many of whom can be abusive).

Additionally, if you do marry an abusive person (whether he is emotionally, sexually, verbally, or physically abusive) the majority of Christian churches and denominations teach women that divorce is not an option, not even in cases of abuse.

You (if you’re an abused wife asking a Christian for advice or help in regards to your marriage) will usually be told just to “submit more,” give your spouse more sex, and to pray about it – but none of those methods will change your spouse or cause him to stop abusing you.

There is nothing you can say or do that will get your husband to stop abusing you – (Link): nor is it your responsibility to try to fix or change your spouse in the first place.

You have to go into a marriage to a self professing Christian man knowing before-hand  that if your spouse turns abusive, that you must eventually divorce the guy, and you most likely won’t get any help or encouragement in that area from your church, church group, church friends, or pastor.

Most churches and pastors will shame, pressure, and guilt trip an abused wife to stay in the abusive marriage at all costs, because they value the institution of marriage above the safety and mental health of the abused wife.

If you’re a Christian woman in an abusive marriage, your church, church friends, and your preacher will never, ever give you permission to divorce – but you don’t need their permission or approval – you just need your own. It’s your life, not theirs.

(Link – to video on You Tube): Lundy Bancroft on Narcissists vs Abusers for The Audacious Life podcast

Excerpts, video description (from text below the video on the You Tube page):

I’m happy to interview Lundy Bancroft, author, and expert on male abuse behaviors and tactics.

Lundy has 30 years experience working in the field of abuse. His book “Why Does He Do That” is a one of the first I read and it helped tremendously.

Lundy is a lifelong advocate for the safety of women and children and it shines through in his books. You may be wondering whether you’re in a relationship with a Narcissist or an Abuser or someone who’s both.

Continue reading “Lundy Bancroft on Narcissists vs Abusers for The Audacious Life podcast”

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”

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”

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”

Man Stabs Wife in ‘Brutal Attack’ in Argument Over Attending Church on Mother’s Day by L. Blair

Man Stabs Wife in ‘Brutal Attack’ in Argument Over Attending Church on Mother’s Day by L. Blair

I don’t even know where to start with this story (see headline further below).

Too many Christians revere motherhood to the point they marginalize and shame any woman who has never had children (for whatever reason, whether from choice or by circumstance).

Additionally, a lot of hyper- pro- marriage conservatives, both secular and Christian, idolize marriage, and in the process, they sometimes shame singles for being single and say all sorts of insulting things about single and childless adults.

Both secular and conservative Christians who push marriage and natalism way too much often like to say that being married and being a parent are necessary states to make a person godly, more loving, ethical, and responsible.

They assume and like to spread the disinformation that all single adults are irresponsible, immature, immoral, or selfish.

So how funny it is to see news headlines below, which put a lie to those conservative stereotypes about marital or parental status.

(Not that I find it funny that the woman was stabbed; I sure don’t find that part of this amusing. I just mean to say that in light of the many news stories of (Link):  married people or (Link): parents who rape, kill, steal, or murder that one would think that Christians and secular conservative pro-family groups would stop promoting marriage and parenthood as “cures” for people or for the culture)

(Link): Man Stabs Wife in ‘Brutal Attack’ in Argument Over Attending Church on Mother’s Day by L. Blair

Excerpts:

May 2021

A Texas mother was repeatedly stabbed in a “brutal attack” by her husband during an argument over attending church on Mother’s Day and he is now on the lam, police say.

In a statement released Monday, the Nacogdoches County Sheriff’s Office said they are now seeking help from the public in apprehending the woman’s husband, 43-year-old Rodolfo Madera Gonzalez, for aggravated assault with a weapon–family violence, which is a first-degree felony.

Continue reading “Man Stabs Wife in ‘Brutal Attack’ in Argument Over Attending Church on Mother’s Day by L. Blair”

Dear Prudence, Help! I’m Glad My Awful Husband Is Dead.

Dear Prudence: Help! I’m Glad My Awful Husband Is Dead.

(Link): Dear Prudence: Help! I’m Glad My Awful Husband Is Dead.

August 19, 2019

Question.
Happy: I am a 38-year-old widow. The day my husband died was the happiest day of my life.

He was a miserable, vindictive man whose greatest joy was tearing me down.

He cheated on me constantly and would cheerfully recount all my inadequacies compared with his mistresses.

If I left, he would “pursue me to the ends of the earth.”

He never hit me, for what it is worth. At the end, I was isolated and alone; my only social outlet was my family. They all knew how horrible my marriage was, which is what makes their reaction now more hurtful.

I am going to travel. I am going to visit exotic places, drink wine, and learn a foreign language.

I have enough money to be quite comfortable for the rest of my life.

I would rather shoot myself than ever get married again.

Continue reading “Dear Prudence, Help! I’m Glad My Awful Husband Is Dead.”

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’”