2. Tracking Our Church Planting Progress

April 12, 2016

Dr. Rick Patrick | Senior Pastor
First Baptist Church, Sylacauga, AL

According to the NAMB website, the North American Mission Board currently pulls its church planting data from the Annual Church Profile. Unfortunately, this results in untimely and incomplete information. For example, in March of 2015, the most recent data available was from 2013—an unacceptable lag of two full years. Additionally, the notion that our church plants should merely report the same basic information that our established churches report is simply false. These plants do not have church status yet as they are being financially supported by the Southern Baptist Convention. As we examine our investment, we have the right to expect a greater amount of information.

In 2010, 943 churches were planted. Three years later, 80% were still functioning. While that is not a bad rate of survival, we should not have had to wait until 2015 to obtain this data. Right now, we should be able to compare 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. We should be able to track data in an ongoing manner with mandatory annual reporting by church plants to NAMB. If a church plant fails to report, they should lose their funding.

Not only is timely reporting an issue, but we need to know more about each individual church plant in order to make meaningful observations about the types of churches we are planting. Specifically, this Church Planting Report should include the following data fields: name of church, active / closed / constituted status, location, pastor’s name, baptisms, attendance, budget, co-sponsoring groups (including individuals and/or churches affiliated with such groups, especially non-SBC groups) and any denominations with which the plant is dually aligned. Church plants should comply with NAMB reporting requirements by January 15th or experience the suspension of their funding. Below is an example.

2017 REPORT OF NAMB CHURCH PLANTS

Number and Name 1. The Journey
Status  Active
Location  Boston, Massachusetts
Pastor  Rev. Todd Smith
Baptisms 7
Attendance  55
Budget  $61,000
Co-Sponsoring Groups  Sovereignty Network
Dual Denomination  National Baptist Convention

 

Transparency Agenda Survey Results
In a recent poll of SBC Today readers, we asked Southern Baptists to indicate if they “approved” or “disapproved” of the idea that we “Report fully our church planting progress and partnerships.” With 154 respondents, 85.71% approved of such complete reporting. Why not give Southern Baptists the information necessary to perform a thorough evaluation of the church planting strategy we are financially supporting?

Q2

This article addresses Item Two of the Ten Item Transparency Agenda. You may READ the Transparency Agenda or COMPLETE the survey yourself. To read the articles reporting results from the other survey items, see the links below: 

ITEM ONE 

ITEM THREE

ITEM FOUR

ITEM FIVE

ITEM SIX

ITEM SEVEN

ITEM EIGHT

ITEM NINE

ITEM TEN

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Mary

Maybe the SBC should get a handle on the average age of “church planters” The word “elder” used to have a meaning – and it was not just someone who had the “correct” doctrine that the elites agreed with. With the fall of another “star” is it really that hard to figure out that you cannot just plop boys out of seminary with zero life experience and expect them to “rule” their churches well. You cannot give power to these young boys and expect it to end well and yet the SBC is pouring millions of dollars into these church plants with the foundation of the young and the restless.

Lydia

Too much power too young. Entitled and arrogant.

Acts 29 VP, Darrin Patrick, author of “Dudes Guide to Marriage” has been let go from the Journey in St. Louis for “a pattern of sin” and impropriety.

Are we still funding Acts 29 after all that has taken place with Driscoll, Chandler, etc.?

It seems SBC pew sitter money has been used for a big ego entitlement party for boys to be paid to have authority.

Tom

Lydia:
These young pastors with little to no life experience have no place being the Pastor of a church.

BTW most SBC pew sitters have little to no knowledge of their monies going to these Calvinistic churches.

Lydia

Tom, the SBC NAMB church planting strategy has been a disaster all around. These little boys were set up with power and authority (inherent in their doctrine) in their little kingdoms. They told us their preaching (copy paste Piper sermons)was the most important event of the week. More important than actual people. One of their role models, church planting expert, Setzer, says he does not do visiting the sick, etc. he only does star of the show sermons on stage. The SBC has institutionalized narcissism as a fruit of the spirit.

If you aren’t convinced, you should read some of the tweets out of T4G. Did you know it was testosterone that went to the cross? Did you know there is such a thing as “sanctified” testosterone?

Lydia

One young mind of mush from T4G
tweeted this at #CBMW:

#CBMW16 men in churches r “corks of testosterone bobbing in sea of estrogen.”

I hope this church did not pay his way.

Andy

Sad and mis-placed generational finger pointing here.
Whatever issues are at play here, young men becoming pastors in their 20’s is NOT the problem. That has been going on for generations:

-Billy Graham was the pastor of a church DURING COLLEGE.
-W.A. Cristwell was licensed to preach at age 17, became a Senior Pastor of a church at age 28.
-Steve Gaines was in his mid-20’s when he first took on the pastorate of a church.
-Not to mention Timothy, Titus, etc…

I hope some of these comments are considered more carefully and compared with history. I also hope that, when young men rise up in your own churches who feel called to pastoral ministry, who take 7-10 years preparing, through undergraduate and seminary training, through numerous volunteer ministry outlets, through marriage and having children, through working night shifts and multiple jobs….I HOPE, after all that, as they are reaching their upper 20’s, you do not tell them, “You have no place being the Pastor of a church,” solely because of their age.

I also doubt that Rick Patrick had this generation bashing in mind when he wrote this blog-post. I don’t know for sure, but I would guess that both he, and the majority of the pastors who write here, and the majority of the pastors who you respect, began ministry in their 20’s, many even becoming senior or sole pastors at that age.

    Rick Patrick

    I was a Music and Youth Minister from ages 21-25 and accepted my first pastorate at age 26.

    My concern here is not with the age of the church planters, but with NAMB’s transparency in reporting both their progress and their partnerships.

    Lydia

    Andy,

    25 is the new 15 both emotionally and even in terms of personal responsibility when you compare to past generations. It really is something our society needs to take into consideration. You can play it down but the effects of delayed maturityis a problem outside the church, too. I don’t expect you to see it. it is amazing what can become our normal in a generation or two. Scary
    .

      Andy

      1. I do see the problem all too clearly (I’m a youth & music minister myself at the moment…have been for 9 years).

      2. Why don’t you expect me to see it? that seems an odd thing to say.

      3. Are you saying the solution to delayed maturity is to delay giving young people responsibility until they are 35-40 years old? Seems that would only feed the problem.

        Lydia

        Andy, There is wisdom in working for someone else older and wiser in ministry before given a church. That is in general. There are examples of that being a disaster, too. But seriously, we see what happens when those who have little wisdom and experience are given way too much power too soon inside and outside the church. They don’t even have the benefit of older generations who had to work hard as teens. The baby boomers were almost as bad. They were really the first generation that actually had what we now call the “teen” years experience. And delayed maturity and personal responsibility has only gotten worse.

        If you think the SBC is in good shape then there is really nothing to discuss.

          Jon Estes

          “There is wisdom in working for someone else older and wiser in ministry before given a church.”

          Regardless of age, where is the principle of God’s call upon a mans life to preach / teach / pastor? Do you think God would agree with your premise? Even when scripture uses the term “novice” it is not speaking of an age directly but rather a spiritually young convert.

          Every generation or so the shift in the way things are done in a church find there way to the critics (we never did it that way…). With all the church decline in our society do you really think the decline is due to young pastors (restless or not)? To many in the pew want the new people to be like them insterad of like Christ and too often they define Christlike as being like them.

          To the article context… I thought we selected Trustees to oversee and keep an eye on the workings and not have to respond to any and all questions from the massive SBC family. There is a way to change things… Learn from the CR. Find men to elect as Presidents who will select the CoC, who will do their job and nominate people to be Trustees who want what you want.

          It could be interesting to see if the call and support for transparency is as great as the call for inerrancy.

            Tom

            Jon:

            You say–“Learn from the Cr” The CR was a disaster–nothing to replicate as far as I see it.

              Jon Estes

              “The CR was a disaster–nothing to replicate as far as I see it.”

              Tom – I stated clearly what could be learned from the CR to bring about the wanted change. Whethe ryou like whatthe CR did or not, it brought about the change that those who led it wantred.

                Tom

                Jon:
                I totally disagree with you that the CR brought about the change it wanted. I am not sure to this day other than taking over the SBC what was the intention of the CR.

            Lydia

            “Regardless of age, where is the principle of God’s call upon a mans life to preach / teach / pastor? Do you think God would agree with your premise? Even when scripture uses the term “novice” it is not speaking of an age directly but rather a spiritually young convert.,”

            Mark Driscoll said he was “called “to preach. Would God agree? Anyone can “say” they are “called”. I don’t see that as a reason to check our brains at the door. That is cultic. Seriously, Jim Jones claimed he was called by God.

            .

              Lydia

              “Every generation or so the shift in the way things are done in a church find there way to the critics (we never did it that way…). ”

              That is almost verbatim what Rick Warren and Billy Hybels said to build the consumer church model.

              Jon Estes

              “Mark Driscoll said he was “called “to preach. Would God agree? Anyone can “say” they are “called”. I don’t see that as a reason to check our brains at the door. That is cultic. Seriously, Jim Jones claimed he was called by God.”

              So do you believe God calls people to preach? My question stands. Regardless of age, where is the principle of God’s call upon a mans life to preach / teach / pastor?

              Would you want a pastor who will not say they have been called to preach?

              JLE – “Every generation or so the shift in the way things are done in a church find there way to the critics (we never did it that way…). ”

              L – “That is almost verbatim what Rick Warren and Billy Hybels said to build the consumer church model.”

              So what? Does that make it not true?

                Andy

                Jon & Lydia, My perspective on this “Calling to preach” might be different from either of yours.

                1. On the one hand, I believe different men experience the call to Pastoral ministry differently than others. One may know it clearly that at a certain point it was almost as if God were calling them out audibly…others may over time grow in their desire to teach, preach, counsel, shepherd, and feel like they should pursue using their gift to serve the church, never feeling a specific “call from God” as their peers might describe it.

                2. I also don’t believe that for every person, their calling will remain the same throughout their life. Edward Mote was a godly cabinet maker for years before becoming a pastor in his 50’s. I believe it can work the opposite way as well. A man may feel called to pastoral ministry early in life and then feel called to some secular vocation later in life. I don’t believe that ALL such cases represent a failure. Some make that transition for very godly and self-sacrificial reasons.

                3. Further, I do not put myself in a position to say that a man was or wasn’t called to preach. (though, if it were a young man in my specific church, I would say that church’s older leaders have a role in helping that young man determine his call and gifting.). I will even go so far as to say that, in cases of moral or ethical disqualification from ministry…that such is NOT evidence of never having been called to preach in the first place. Even the apostle Paul was concerned that those who started well might not finish well. The most I could say with certain, were I in a specific situation and observed patterns of sin, would be something tot he effect of: “I don’t know if this person was truly called by God to preach in the past, or if they have been a charlaton the whole time, or have only recently fallen to this temptation…but based on their actions, they are not qualified to be a pastor NOW. That previous calling, while true, could be revoked due to sin. (example: King Saul)

                So, to be totally clear, I have no way of knowing whether Darin Patrick, CJ Mahaney, Mark Driscoll Tullian T…., or others had a true call from God to minsitry or not. Perhaps they all started out with godly intentions, and some went off that path earlier than others. I have no way to know.

                AND, to support my intial thesis…there were many other men who started ministry at the same age as those men who are continuing faithfully.

          Andy

          “Andy, There is wisdom in working for someone else older and wiser in ministry before given a church. That is in general. There are examples of that being a disaster, too. But seriously, we see what happens when those who have little wisdom and experience are given way too much power too soon inside and outside the church. They don’t even have the benefit of older generations who had to work hard as teens. The baby boomers were almost as bad. They were really the first generation that actually had what we now call the “teen” years experience. And delayed maturity and personal responsibility has only gotten worse.”

          –> Nothing much to disagree with here. BUT, Also no reason for all-inclusive bans on young pastors. So there is a need to connect young leaders to older ones for guidance. Nobody would disagree with that. I would also agree that a young man starting a chuch from scratch should have some older saints on his team advising him.

          “If you think the SBC is in good shape then there is really nothing to discuss.”

          –> (1) I did not say I think the SBC is good shape, so I’m not sure who you’re talking to here. (2) I did not actually address the SBC at all, merely the unwarranted attacks on young people being being pastors.

Mary

The #1 issue we have to consider is what exactly does the Bible mean when it says “elder” – does it mean seminary grad? or sure there are older ministers in the area I want to plant a church but they have the wrong soteriology so that makes me a young seminary grad superior to their years? Was Paul sending Timothy and Titus out to minister in places where there were already Christians telling them – look they may be “christian” but they’re just not the right kind of christian and what’s important is that we plant Acts 29 style churches by taking members from those not up to our standard churches and killing the ministries of those christians who are less than us because they aren’t Calvinists. Yes historically there are young men who went into ministry young and didn’t screw it up, but are those the exceptions and not the rule. It’s a society wide problem of an entitlement mentality. Used to be people got out of school and then knew they had to work their way up a ladder in whatever profession – in ministry young men went into youth/children, music, maybe an associate position a few years then maybe they would be considered for a position at a small church somewhere, but now no on the job training needed – right out of seminaries these youths think they are ready to “rule” over a congregation and don’t dare suggest that maybe they don’t know as much about life as someone 50 on up. The people I’ve known in ministries through my 40+ years did not start right out of the bat in “senior pastor” position but worked their way into it. And after a lifetime of ministry had enough humility to know that what you thought you knew in your 20’s was like a grain of sand compared to what you know going into your 50’s -60’s and even at that age life is still filled with suprises.

But ultimately the question really amounts to – what does the Bible mean by the word elder and why is that all these 20 somethings think they qualify for a position of “elder”

    Lydia

    Mary, Add to that Timothy had been in the trenches with Paul. The use of “elder” must include wisdom and some real life experience. The way it is used today in the SBC is akin to the Mormon “Elder”.

      Andrew Barker

      Eldership is all about function isn’t it? If you can function as an ‘elder’ then you are one. Rarely there are people in their 20s who can and there are some in their 50s who can’t and shouldn’t be considered as an elder in name or position!

        Andy

        While i agree that there are likely much less qualified 20 something elder material men than there was 30,50, or 100 years ago…I also cannot escape the fact that many of the men we consider seasoned and respected pastors today began their pastorates in their 20’s.

        Agree on the rest.

      Scott Shaver

      Not “akin” Lydia. Exactly alike IMO.

      Only difference would be bicycles and name tags :0

    Andy

    1. Again, if I had to guess, I’d guess in most of those cases the people you’ve known in ministry did work their way up, but even then, many became senior pastors before age 30. Very few were youth/associat pastors for 15-20 years (some were).

    2. Everyone gains perspective with age. However, it is biblically and historically unwarranted to make all inclusive dismissive & derogotory statements toward those young men who feel that God wants them to be a pastor.

    3. Regarding Timothy, Titus, and the biblical word “elder.” Timothy and titus are called young men. they are undoubtedly in church leadership. They undoubtedly had experience with Paul…but many a young man reaching their mid-late 20s has several years experience under older pastors, it has been this way for 2,000 years. I don’t actually recall if Timothy & Titus were refered to as elders or not, but Titus was told to appoint elders.

    4. The simple fact is, that every age has it’s own pitfalls. Young men can be arrogant and naive, but older leaders who are used to being in charge for 40+ years can also develop a “My way or the high-way” attitude. All ages need humility, all ages nead to learn from other ages and invest in other ages. A church that doesn’t recognize this is headed for big conflict.

      Lydia

      “They undoubtedly had experience with Paul…but many a young man reaching their mid-late 20s has several years experience under older pastors, it has been this way for 2,000 years.”

      I don’t think we are talking about the same thing. The YRR movement and church planting efforts were focused on first time pastorate for seminary graduation types. The SBC funded a lot of it. It is unprecedented in history as a large movement. The SBC oew sitter deserves to see numbers including experience of planters.

      Mary

      Andy this is snarky but don’t take it the wrong way cuz you’re a decent guy and I appreciate the way you’ve “carried” yourself on these blogs. I don’t know what world you’re living in where you think historically that in any field anywhere people get out of school and are immediately given the corner office. This is a new thing all across society. No one thinks they have to pay their dues and actually learn out in the real world any more. They’re just entitled by simply “being” to what used to take work and years to accomplish.

        Andy

        I will agree that in the world at large, No one expects to be a boss right out of school except for entrepreneurs. They work their way up. But there are some good and successful entrepreneurs.

        I agree that there is an entitlement mentality at play among people my age and younger. My generation graduated high school in suburban mega-homes, and expects to purchase the same kind of home right out of college…forgetting that their own parents started out in a trailer and saved for years to buy a nice home.

        I disagree that young men in their 20’s becoming the senior pastors of churches is anything new. The examples I gave in my first post here have not been shot down or disproven yet, and Rick has added his own. Googling the names of most respected pastors form recent and not-so-recent history would no doubt reveal that many of them took on their first church in their 20’s. It’s not new.

        I know a godly young man who is 5 years into faithfully pastoring a small rural church that he took on in his 20’s. I also know a man who was a faithful youth pastor for 30! years at the same church before taking over as Senior Pastor. I have no good reason to suspect the Godliness of one over the other based on their age.

        In fact, One could make your argument about youth and children’s ministry as well: If these 20-somethings are so immature, so unwise, there’s no way we should put them in charge of teens or children either! (and you may say “amen” to that!), but the fact is, what these young men are training for (which includes both education AND experience, btw), is a LEADERSHIP POSITION.

        With that in mind, Perhaps a better thing to compare it to would be Military Academies: Upon graduation from West Point, a newly commissioned officer has the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. He will legally outrank even an enlisted Sergeant Major with way more years experience. So, in formal occasions, the Sergeant Major is supposed to salute the much younger 2nd Lieutenant. However, in practice, any wise young 2nd lieutenant would not actually try to give orders to a Sergeant Major, but rather would defer to his vast experience and age. So any wise young pastor will not flaunt his authority, even though much older men will respect him with the title “pastor” “elder” or “reverend”.

          Lydia

          “…/but the fact is, what these young men are training for (which includes both education AND experience, btw), is a LEADERSHIP POSITION.”

          No. A servant. At the most a role model.

          That is the problem in a nutshell. Leader in Scripture means ‘one who has gone before’. It does not mean M.Div from the seminary..

            Andy

            1. I know we disagree on this, but I don’t see how one can read the New Testament and not see that there were some people in real leadership positions, not just role models, but taking the lead in directing things within the church. This is in no way contradictory to role modeling or servant-hood, but another side of it.

            2. Also, I think this actually hurts your argument. If a pastor is not a leader IN ANY WAY, then why does it matter if he is young an inexperienced. Despite you’re emphatic “No.” to leadership, you must actually think pastors have real leadership…because there’s absolutely no reason a young man couldn’t just be a “servant.” :-)

              Lydia

              Andy, there is a problem with our Western definition of leadership the church adopted early on. They adopted the very leadership model our Lord warned us about which brought us the state church: The Greco-Roman chain of being. It is what our culture values. The visionary leader who focuses on success in whatever undertaking. Sounds good, huh? But there is no way to go that route and make sure every part of the Body is essential. That only happens in mutual submission and service to others. You can’t be both in the body. I know that is hard to understand because we have been immersed in the Greco Roman leadership model.

              I trained under some of the biggies like Blanchard, Bennis, etc. There is simply no mapping of our cultural Greco Roman approach to leadership and the body of Christ– no matter what gurus say different. This hurts, I know. It is not glamorous. Blanchard coined ‘servant leadership’ and was in the forefront of selling the concept for mega church pastors. Guys like him, Drucker, etc were big part of the culture change in many churches: visionary leader pastorpreuer tyoes.

              I know you don’t agree but this idea that adults need other adults to lead them, tell them how to think or what to do is killing our culture…again. The church should be different where all adults strive to the self government, Christians in the fruits of the spirit. An elder would be the one staying behind and creating a diversion so the others could escape. They would be the model of compassion, truth, honesty. We have had 2000 years to get this right, pass down the truths of our Lord in our fruit BUT we allowed the Greco-Roman style leaders to take people by force then by cult of personality.

    Max

    “… plant a church but they have the wrong soteriology …”

    I suppose it would be impossible to determine the exact theological persuasion of NAMB church planters … that would not be on the application check-list. As long as everyone adheres to the BFM2000, theological leaning (non-Calvinist vs. Calvinist) doesn’t seem to matter these days … but I sometimes wonder if planting theology supersedes planting churches in the minds of some church planters. SBC church planters in my area seem to be in a hurry to indoctrinate, rather than engage believers in the Great Commission.

Scott Shaver

For what it’s worth, I’ll avoid the generational arguments on this issue of “NAMB Transparency” for a reason.

The problem may have a “generational” aspect to it now, but over the last 20 years supposedly wise and seasoned leaders have sold off/mortgaged farms to a new paradigm which comes off kinda like denominational Grape Nuts.

Grape Nuts ain’t grapes nor nuts and the SBC appears no longer “Southern” or “Baptist”.

Lydia

Scott, Keep in mind the baby boomer, Al Mohler was given his big position at age 33. Evidently it was not old enough to have the wisdom to steer clear of Driscoll’s and Mahaneys in the SBC. But old enough to fire the 64 year old Paul Debusman for daring to disagree.

I do believe most of the SBC has become a Calvinist Shepherding cult.

    Scott Shaver

    Have to agree Lydia.

    The SBC as a “Calvinist Shepherding cult” seems to be the consensus of friends my age both inside and outside vocational ministry.

    They used to speak of SBC denominational efforts and programming with conviction and excitement. Now all I hear are derision and jokes.

    Mohler was, is, always has been pretty self-absorbed.

      Andy

      I suppose we can be thankful, that unlike other earlier shepherding movements, the SBC heirarchy has no say in what our individual church does. I am glad for that remaining aspect of Baptist Polity.

        Lydia

        “I suppose we can be thankful, that unlike other earlier shepherding movements, the SBC heirarchy has no say in what our individual church does. I am glad for that remaining aspect of Baptist Polity.”

        If only so many had not been influenced by stealth. Acts 29 has a specific elder rule polity and were given SBC money. How does that not count?

      Lydia

      Scott, his introduction of Mahaney at T$G was sad. He took a swipe at victims with a” googling Mahaney ” joke. Protecting child molesters is not a joke.

Lydia

Les, where are you? Another Presbyterian pastor weighed in. The Presbyterians are cleaning the SBC’s clock when it comes to right and wrong. Kudos!

“Another Presbyterian pastor, James Kessler, has weighed in via Facebook. I have updated the post by including this powerful commentary:
Look no one really wants to hear this, certainly not the 10,000 dutifully nodding through CJ Mahaney’s sermon or singing along with Bob Kauflin, one of CJ’s most steadfast supporters, not the men standing on the stage with CJ, who have chosen an unconscionable loyalty to a friend and encouraged him to take the horns of the pulpit to preach and to rip apart the wounds of so many abused under his watch. No one wants to hear this, not the men of my own denomination, who, make no mistake, will yet hear from their brothers over this awful sadness.
No one wants to hear about it, and I suppose that is their luxury because they are not the wounded, they are not the abused who were told to forgive and not to call the police. They are not plagued by nightmares, they are more fully functional if not more fully human. That hardness of hearing is their luxury, but it is privilege taxed from the bent backs of the humiliated, it is an arrogance woven from bruised reeds.
This is, of course, nothing new. The abuse began decades ago, but the new thing is the whitewash. The new thing is the happy embrace from supporters who know the record but have chosen to forsake the sheep who are harassed and helpless. New is the audacity of building a conference on the back of an abuser, inviting 10,000 Christians, many of whom teach the Scriptures on Sundays, and claiming the side of the King who loves the bruised reed, who loves the one caught among thorns, who hates the suffering of his little ones. This audacity is new. They know, but they do not care. It must stop. The men and women who believe they are graced by the aroma of heaven this week cannot smell, they cannot see, they cannot hear.
The church has had to wrestle with unity since the beginning, since Judas, since James and John. Since African Americans were treated to the gospel at the crack of a whip, the glory hidden by the shawl of Jim Crow. The church has always sought unity but finds it elusive. Today, this week, is no different. There is no togetherness for the gospel when the victim stands alone.
?#?T4G2016?”

    Les

    Lydia, not well connected right now. But I’m happy some PCA pastors are calling it out.

Scott Shaver

Lydia:

Here’s how the SBC takes “action” on this particular matter. We’ll get another SBC resolution on the issue to go with the ignored resolution recently adopted. The authors will congratulate each other on their fine crafting of words. The resolutions themselves will continue to be ignored by “leaders” and their sycophants.

A majority of a handful of “messengers” will adopt the newest resolution and then adjourn quickly to the bookstore to line the pockets of the very guys they’re resolution was crafted to address.

Kinda like confederate flags and Broadus and Boyce at Southern. Hypocrisy on display as “reform” and “gospel-centered faithfulness”.

Scott Shaver

PRAVDA has just posted the most bizarre and disjointed opinion on sexual predation and abuse I’ve ever read.

Miller’s premise seems to be that sexual abuse misconduct should not be overlooked/excused….UNLESS COMMITTED BY THE PASTOR?

Please tell me I’m misreading this.

    Andy

    Yes, Scott, I beleive you are mis-reading it, unless you can produce some quotes that show your point. I didn’t see anything singling out pastors. In fact he specifically says pastors who have committed sexual of abusive offences should be brought to account. Here’s a few quotes that I believe get to the gist of what Dave is saying:

    “1. The perpetrators of sexual offenses or pastoral abuse should not be excused…If a pastor hurt a child, whether it was a year ago, ten years ago, or 50 years ago, that should come into the light and he should be brought to account for his sin. If a pastor or church leaders create an atmosphere of unrestrained authoritarianism in which abuse can occur without consequence, these leaders ought to be held to account and disqualified.”

    “2. Pastors who mishandled such offenses should be repentant but not disqualified….They were not evil men wanting to hurt women and children. But often when they did what everything thought was best, women and children suffered…Going back now and humiliating such men, seeking to disqualify them, besmirch their memories, or nullify their ministries because 25 years ago they didn’t follow the 2016 playbook – it’s just not fair.”

    I suppose the rub here comes from what is mean by “mishandled…” If it means they didn’t report it to the police, but they did make efforts to remove the perpetrator from his access to children, that is a very different animal than mishandling by keeping the offender as a children’s leader and telling the victims to keep quiet.
    Dave admits that there are instances between these two, in which Pastors did try to keep things quiet, but possibly with the best intentions, simply believing it was best for everyone…in some case even being asked by the victims to keep it quiet.

    I believe Dave is trying to allow for such individual differences, and not simply assume the following without any other information:
    A. It was discovered that Person Z was abused by person Y at church X 30 years ago.
    B. 30 years ago, Pastor “P” was the pastor of church X.
    C. There was no report to police at that time.
    D. THEREFORE, we may be sure that Pastor P is a scoundrel who surely knew about the abuse, and intentionally sided with the offender and told the victims to shut up. Pastor P should be disqualified from ministry, and anyone who still holds a high view of Pastor P should be suspect of hating children.

    (the above is flawed, because based ONLY on evidence “A, B, & C,” There is no way to know for sure that “D” is therefore true. simply not enough information. )

    In summary, while I personally think that Dave’s overall article may be a bit too much on the lenient side, He is NOT saying offences by non pastors should be prosecuted and offenses by pastors should be excused. I do believe Dave’s point at the end is correct: that if we think that every other sin may be forgiven except this type of sin, we have made a mistake.

      Scott Shaver

      Andy:

      I wish I were as optimistic about clerical ethics in the SBC as you. Experience proves otherwise.

      IMO, Miller is attempting to soften the back-lash of opinion against Mahaney while spit-shining Mohler’s …………shoes.

        Andy

        I don’t know if I’m optimistic, but I like it when the interaction is based on. What people actually say, rather than what we think they might mean.

        I am a perplexed by Mahaney’s continued presence on major platforms as you. I am not an expert on the situation at all, but regardless of what he knew or did and when, IMHO T4G would be a better preaching conference without the mahaney distraction. I have been in the past, but mahaney is one reason I had no real desire to go this year.

      Tom

      Andy: You said:”In summary, while I personally think that Dave’s overall article may be a bit too much on the lenient side, He is NOT saying offences by non pastors should be prosecuted and offenses by pastors should be excused. I do believe Dave’s point at the end is correct: that if we think that every other sin may be forgiven except this type of sin, we have made a mistake.”

      All sins are forgiven in the SBC except for being considered liberal by folks such as Miller! I have no confidence in him or the other SBC leaders.

        Scott Shaver

        Miller an SBC “leader”.

        Learn something new every day.

        Andy

        Fortunately, Miller, nor any other SBC mouthpiece has any authority over me or my church.

        My point in commenting on Scott’s comment was only this: (1) Miller did NOT say pastors get a pass…non-pastor’s don’t. (2) Miller, did make a good point about forgiving all sins, even these kinds.

        Now, some may think Miller is being disingenuous when he says that, or when he says, “If a pastor or church leaders create an atmosphere of unrestrained authoritarianism in which abuse can occur without consequence, these leaders ought to be held to account and disqualified.” If so, just say that. No need to say that he said something when in fact that’s not what he said.

          Scott Shaver

          Point well taken Andy.

          However, if you’ll go over to Pravda and read Millers exhaustive church policy on “sexual abuse”, you’ll find that with all the borrowed insurance and legal verbage, the bottom of line test of whether or not sexual abuse has occurred rests solely in the judement of Miller as the church’s pastor.

          He could have truncated the whole verbose document with one sentence: “In all reported cases of alleged sexual misconduct, the pastor will make the final decision of whether or not an offense has occurred.”

          IMO, he begs for leniency should pastor’s excercise poor judgement or cover-up transgressions. He and Mahaney seem to adopt a similar approach at this point.

      Lydia

      “suppose the rub here comes from what is mean by “mishandled…” If it means they didn’t report it to the police, but they did make efforts to remove the perpetrator from his access to children, that is a very different animal than mishandling by keeping the offender as a children’s leader and telling the victims to keep quiet.”

      Andy, please go get educated on how perps operate. And not from other pastors. There is plenty of free material to read out there by professionaks. You really have no idea. What you say sounds reasonable to you and the cons know that. Dave is literally downplaying the horror and torture of innocent children by using the word “,mishandled”. One does not need a legal process for basic human decency and compassion. Unless, it is all about protecting themselves and their institution.

      Lydia

      “In summary, while I personally think that Dave’s overall article may be a bit too much on the lenient side, He is NOT saying offences by non pastors should be prosecuted and offenses by pastors should be excused. I do believe Dave’s point at the end is correct: that if we think that every other sin may be forgiven except this type of sin, we have made a mistake.”

      The question is what does that forgiveness look like to Dave in Praxis? The magic words were spoken? And if the pervert claimed Christ while molesting children what should that tell us? Nate Morales went off to molest more children after SGM. The leaders knew about his perversion at SGM. Are you not familiar with Mahaney’s brother in law’s testimony under oath? Is that Dave’s idea of “mishandling”?

      Notice how all of the focus is on the perpetrators and those who dealt with them . Very little on the actual innocent victims who were tortured. You really can’t see what this communicates, can you?

      Lydia

      “2. Pastors who mishandled such offenses should be repentant but not disqualified….They were not evil men wanting to hurt women and children. But often when they did what everything thought was best, women and children suffered…Going back now and humiliating such men, seeking to disqualify them, besmirch their memories, or nullify their ministries because 25 years ago they didn’t follow the 2016 playbook – it’s just not fair.”

      It was the same Holy Spirit 25 years ago. What is fair about a victim not being believed 25 years ago? Think about it. the pastor did not have to suffer for his conclusions but the victim did. FOR YEARS. Do you have any idea what it does to victims to not be believed? Spend some time with them, Andy.

        Tom

        Miller said:”because 25 years ago they didn’t follow the 2016 playbook – it’s just not fair.”
        I also find his words playbook highly offensive for the victims.

        Since when did Miller concern himself about fairness. What a HYPOCRITE!!

          Mary

          Miller’s hatred is just oozing out now. He is so intent on protecting Mahaney that he’s accusing those pointing out that Mahaney is a current ongoing problem as just being “anti Calvinist.” See it can’t possibley be that Mahaney is disgusting and Mohler’s recent mocking of those pointing Mahaney’s offense and thus mocking victims of those offense. Oh no in Miller’s hatred for certain factions of the SBC he’s accusing others of using the scandel because of “antiCalvinism” How much lower can you get.

            Tom

            Miller’s critical thinking skills are just not very good. He will do anything to protect those of his ilk.

              Mary

              He just deleted those comments. I meant to copy them because I knew somebody would get to him and tell how hatefull he was being accusing Rick of only caring about the calvinism war and not really caring about sexual abuse in churches. Just goes to show who is the one filled with vitriol and hatred and only cares about the calvinism wars – it’s called projection.

                Tom

                Mary: IMO he enjoys the power of being able to delete comments. He is nothing but a religious bully.

                  Mary

                  Bully is right. It’s his fiefdom and he lords it over everyone with his “dudebros” patting him on the back. But people who watch will see that he is filled with a hatred for those who don’t tow his party line.

                    Mary

                    Oh, there is no doubt in my mind Miller has destroyed the lives of many “moderates” and would be very proud of it.

                Scott Shaver

                I read the comment he removed Mary. Still laughing.

                Either melted down or verge of nervous break-down based on the content I read before it disappeared.

                  Mary

                  As soon as I told myself I need to copy that because this will be one of those someone will have told he went too far and he’d delete it – he deleted it. I’m not really amazed at how contemptible it was because he will inadvertly show his heart.

                  Mary

                  Countdown to an apology of “this is an emotional issue, blah, blah” But it was not the sexual abuse issue that ticked him off – it was his contempt for a certain gentlemen that he can’t ban for any reason without looking like the hater he is and his contempt for those who won’t let him protect Mahaney. He wants to look like a big man addressing the issue of sexual abuse in the SBC but he wants to be allowed to ignore the herd of elephants in the room because the Party Bosses have made it very clear that they will not look kindly on those who don’t tow the Party line.

                    Tom

                    Oh, he would love to ban Rick, but it would show his true colors.

                    Scott Shaver

                    Methinks the “party bosses” are pampered little schnauzers……without teeth.

                    Bark is much worse than any “bite”.

                  Tom Parker

                  Scott;

                  Miller is way in over his head. He sadly is willing to destroy his health instead of admitting he is wrong.

                    Mary

                    Tom, is this your comment? Somehow it got my name it:

                    Oh, there is no doubt in my mind Miller has destroyed the lives of many “moderates” and would be very proud of it.

          Scott Shaver

          Wanna see hypocrisy. Russell Moore received from the SBTS Trustees 3 years ago the prized oil painting of John Broadus (champion of Confederate cause). That oil painting adorns his office in Washington.

          I don’t want to hear another word from this guy about the “Confederate Flag”. Gonna have one done in oil and hang it in my office in Moore’s honor, along with a confederate artillery line water color.

            Lydia

            Scott, I thought racism was his big issue now at the ERLC? Will he take it down when he meets with black leaders or for photo ops?

              Scott Shaver

              Lydia, I guess the psychotic rationale employed by Moore et al would be that the ignorant masses need to have historical icons removed from their possession. However, since a few of us fully understand the evils of history past, we’ll hold onto and be the curators of forbidden icons for posterity’s sake.

              These guys need some serious counseling.

            Mary

            Pssst Scott, over at Pravda they are now talking about the Confederate Flag but Dave Miller has already gone off on Rick Patrick for bringing up Southern because Miller is all about the SBC apologizing for slavery but you need to totally ignore his dudebros and all their hypocrisy because Miller says so. Miller logic – leave in the past all the sexual abuse scandals including the big sexual abuse scandal going on currently and ignore the past of Southern Seminary but don’t ignore the past of the South in re slavery. Who’s the man obsessed with protecting his tribe?

              Scott Shaver

              I’m not at all surprised, Mary, by the continuing downgrade of intelligent open conversation on a number of issues at PRAVDA. Didn’t pick up the nickname for nothing.

              I tend to view the content of “TODAY” and “PRAVDA” as a comparison of the diametrically opposed thinking in the shell of the former SBC. Along with the removal of Christ as the “criterion for biblical interpretation” in the 2000 BFM, the “resurgence” and the subsequent leadership “culture” of the SBC has been based far more on the cult of personality and media than substance, experience, theology or “Scripture”.

              No other explanation for the nature of the quicksand now enveloping what’s left of the corpse.

              Scott Shaver

              Not to mention the oil painting of Broadus hanging in Russell Moore’s ELRC OFFICE, a three-year-old gift from SBTS TRUSTEES.

              Why not also hang a copy of autographs of the sermons and lectures by BROADUS defending the heart of the CONFEDERATE CAUSE?

              This is a real well-Moored lot that can tolerate Mohlers but not “moles”.

              Sexual scandals speak for themselves.

                Scott Shaver

                Just checked the thread Mary. They want to make the promoters of the confederate cause and subsequently displayed icons of the struggle “apples and oranges”.

                My first question would be, how can you trust anybody with this sort of hyper-utilitarian judgement to be in charge of your education, your guidance or your “soul”?

                Patrick introduced a glaring and valid question about their exercise of both logic and ethics, not to mention the “book-burning” mind-set toward revealed and completed HISTORY.

                Looks like the wheels are coming off Miller’s choo-choo train.

                  Scott Shaver

                  Would add also that I don’t for the life of me, apart from grandstanding, understand the motive of Dwight McKissic on this issue. When is enough enough?

                    Mary

                    Come on Scott, you’re old enough to know that there will never be “enough” for somebody like McKissic.

                    Mary

                    Just look at what Mckissic just did to Bumbrelow. Mckissic uses the words compare/CONTRAST and then declares that David made an offensive comparison when what David did was made a CONTRAST but since McKissic has a history of being a person who will find offense everywhere he ignores the words he McKIssic actually uses and now acts as if David has made and offensive comment.

                    Lydia

                    Scott, Photo op? Media attention? It is one of those issues you risk absolutely nothing standing for but it attracts a lot of media attention . And you can also always try out the False dichotomy that if you don’t agree it means you support slavery. Well I wasn’t dumb enough to name a college after a pro chattel slaver in 1990’s. Moore didn’t seem to have a problem with that and I don’t think I’ve ever heard McKissic bring it up. Why not throw that in?

                    Now here is an issue where one can risk a lot : How about an entity president partnering with a child molester protector? Seems much more important to me.

                  Mary

                  I’m just laughing watching the verbal gymnastics being displayed. Look we want to get rid of the flag because it’s a symbolism of slavery and is offensive but we are NOT, I repeat NOT going to talk about the offensiveness of the slave holders honored at Southern because we really like those guys. The SBC should speak here but not there because, because, because – those are our dudebros that’s why.

                    Scott Shaver

                    Pretty bizarre and comical rationales being employed over there to both make and live outside the rules of ethics. Moore should have never unleashed this tiger from its cage among Southern Baptists.

                    They appear completely devoid of understanding on either the reality or cyclical nature of history! Educators even…..as SnagglePuss would say.

                    Scott Shaver

                    The really big hole in McKissic’s thinking is speculation.

                    He claims the “confederate flag represents/encourages the racist tendencies of man”.

                    Who exactly are the “many” and are they “many” compared to the general population of the United States?

                    Mary

                    Society is filled with this sorta faux intellectialism where every issue can be narrowed down to absolutes. People/life is a lot more complicated. It’s just lazy thinking to so easily dismiss everyone’s history, life experiences, thoughts, feelings in this rush to be seen as the most politically correct on any given day

                    Tom

                    One thing about SBC resolutions. They are not binding on SBC churches and are IMO a waste of time.

                  Lydia

                  “My first question would be, how can you trust anybody with this sort of hyper-utilitarian judgement to be in charge of your education, your guidance or your “soul”?”

                  Well, you can’t. The scarier question is how come so many people fall for it ? One reason is because that movement or group or whatever you want to call it does a lot of censoring of other opinions . You have to be very careful to comment over there . They specialize in kill the messenger . Not very Baptist if you asked me . I think they would fit in well in Geneva Of the 1500’s.

                  When this issue has come up before I’ve often wondered why Dwight stays totally away from SBTS roots and promoting them today. The whole founders thing? Either he doesn’t know history or is not connecting the dots or does not think it’s a big deal or it is too risky compared to the Confederate flag .

                  I am wondering how many reading here go to church every Sunday and see a lot of cars or trucks in the parking lot with confederate flags on them . Is this even a thing? I thought those types would be down at Bubbas pool hall waiting for beer to go on sale on Sundays . Maybe they are IFB. (Wink wink)

                  I don’t know. Maybe this is a looming problem in the SBC I am not aware of?

                    Scott Shaver

                    Tom reminds us that SBC resolutions aren’t binding on SBC churches.

                    Newsflash: Neither are they binding or applicable to SBC agency and entity heads.

                    If Mohler and Moore don’t respect these worthless “resolutions” then why should any “Southern Baptist” or outside spectator read or give them a second thought.

                    It’s indeed a throw-back to antiquity, a meaningless excercise that has brought more scorn and derision than respect to the SBC for decades now.

                    It’s all very Mickey Mouse.

                Lydia

                “Not to mention the oil painting of Broadus hanging in Russell Moore’s ELRC OFFICE, a three-year-old gift from SBTS TRUSTEES.”

                Just curious, did the trustees purchase it from SBTS/SBC, first, out of their own pocket? Or are they giving away property to favorites using pew sitter money?

    Andrew Barker

    Scott: That and a bit of advice as to how you (pastor) should protect your backside from being sued! Oh, and of course that nobody is permitted to point out that the current crop of sexual offenders, adulterers and ‘pastors’ who have failed to deal correctly when abuse has taken place are largely all well known and Reformed/Calvinist in their theology. That would never do. Neither is he probably too keen to be reminded that Al Mohler has just been singing the praises of CJ Mahaney at #T4G2016 who fits into the above category all too well.

    I’m sure you noticed Dave Miller’s wingman ;-) “good words Dave”. Says it all really!

    Mary

    Hey it ain’t called Pravda for nothing! The Pope of Louisville has been very clear in his message that Mahaney will be protected at all costs and so Miller being a good party member is only doing what the Party Leaders dictate. Remember Miller is the guy who thanked God for Mark Driscoll back in the day when everybody else knew he was trouble. Miller can’t come out now and admit that he doesn’t have the discernment skills God gave a turnip and admit he’s been wrong and maybe he’s not exactly the best judge of character. So of course he wants to pretend that the Mahaney thing isn’t very recent and ongoing – let’s pretend it’s just ancient history and move along. It’s become acceptable to voice platitudes about sexual assaults in the church now but let’s not get to serious about it because then Party Members might actually have to held accountable.

      Scott Shaver

      That’s an unfair comparison, Mary……..Up against a turnip, Miller is out-smarted and out-gunned.

    Robert Vaughn

    Church policies that guide people in what to do seem like a good idea, but policies that are written with “expert input from insurance companies” tend to protect the church more than the victim (since the church is the insurance company’s client, after all). I was troubled about 3 years ago (when the other resolution came up) to read so much advice on child abuse to “report it because you’ll get in trouble if you don’t” or “report it because it’s the law.” If we do something because it is the law rather than because it is the biblical thing/right thing to do, we are setting ourselves up for future failure. We should report child sexual abuse because it is the right thing to do. We would not keep a murder private (I hope!). Both murder and child abuse are immoral and criminal activities, but for some reason people seem almost “trained” to overlook one and not the other. Many times it is self-interest.

    I would say, though, that Bart Barber (the author of the new resolution) is an honorable man who has fought this problem head on and not only through talk and resolutions. He also is not in the Calvinist camp and so is not motivated by that regard.

    Tom Parker

    Scott: Folks like Dave Miller are just showing their true colors. I honestly do not know the Jesus or Bible they are following.

    These pastors should be ashamed of themselves, but they would have to have a conscience.

      Chris

      “I honestly do not know the Jesus or Bible they are following.”

      Another thought I have when reading the comments on this blog. How can someone love Jesus and hate his brother? But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.

        Lydia

        Chris, would victims as children be considered a “brother”?

          Tom

          Lydia: Chris sure is making a stretch is he not?

            Chris

            Tom,

            How is it a stretch? How it is a stretch to think that professing Christians should not devour one another on blogs? How is it a stretch to think that Christians should not slander one another? And basically despise one another? How is that a stretch of the meaning of that passage in Galatians 5?

            For example, Lydia has brought up many times her objections to C J Mahaney, Driscoll and others. Why does she continue to bring them up? We understand her objection. Are they real objections or have they become a stick to beat Calvinists with? I mean I don’t agree with protecting people who hurt children or with autocratic church leaders (who would?), but you cite a couple of leaders who may have failed in these areas, and then pretend like it’s a basic tenent of the belief system. First, that is untrue. Then it’s basically a form of slander. You treat all Calvinists as if they agree with a few bad apples. If I could find examples of the same in your group (and we know they exist), should I bring them up every week as a stick to beat you with? Do those people in your group represent your beliefs? Obviously, that’s foolishness. But it happens on this blog every week. Why? It seems that you (probably subconsciously) believe it’s okay to be unkind and misrepresent Calvinists because they are wrong. It’s like you have told yourself it’s okay to be mean to these people because they are evil. That’s a basic presupposition of many fundamentalists. “Because those people are wrong about something, we can be mean to them.” The problem with it is that it goes against Jesus’ teaching either to love your brothers or (if you don’t think we are brothers) to love your enemies. In short, you are the ones acting like you don’t know Jesus or follow his teaching. (I don’t mean this about everyone who comments on this blog. But some people speak with a tone of derision and as if they despise Calvinists. How can you hate your brother and love Jesus?)

              Scott Shaver

              “Despising Calvinists” Chris writes.

              I personally don’t have a problem with despising those who disparage and destroy others in the name of God.

              It’s a good work.

                Chris

                Despise is a synonym for hate. If you can hate others and call it a good work, then I don’t know know that the Scriptures teaching on loving/hating can mean much to you.

            Les

            Chris,

            “The problem with it is that it goes against Jesus’ teaching either to love your brothers or (if you don’t think we are brothers) to love your enemies. In short, you are the ones acting like you don’t know Jesus or follow his teaching. (I don’t mean this about everyone who comments on this blog. But some people speak with a tone of derision and as if they despise Calvinists. How can you hate your brother and love Jesus?)”

            Brother I appreciate the way you continue to press these points. Apparently you will be ignored or ridiculed yourself Like with this “I think you have forgotten that I don’t allow others to frame issues or questions for me. You only get to do that at church with your lemmings.”). May God use you to bring repentance not only within the Calvinists circles where repentance is needed, but also on here and a few other sites where repentance is needed but thus far is waved off as not needed.

              Scott Shaver

              Les:

              I repent of not having used stronger and more derisive language toward neo-Calvinists years earlier.

              Not a mistake I intend to repeat in the present.

          Chris

          Lydia,

          Your comment is an attempt to avoid my point. No one is saying that victims of abuse should not be protected or considered brothers in Christ. However, it is an failure in logic and kindness to attribute the failures of a few to the whole of a group.

            Lydia

            Chris, The “whole” does not have to invite the “few” to teach on a national stage. Nor promote and partner with them. And the “whole” remaining silent– actually communicates tons.

            I think you have forgotten that I don’t allow others to frame issues or questions for me. You only get to do that at church with your lemmings.

            Is an innocent child victim a “brother”, too, or not ? At this point, the question becomes which “brother” should we be concerned about the most ?

            Where on earth did you learn logic? SBTS?

              Chris

              Lydia,

              I read the expose by the Washingtonian on C J Mahaney and the scandal. The expose accuses several pastors of failure to report, encouraging women to stay with abusers, and the like. However, C J is never mentioned as one of these pastors. He was over an organization that made many horrible mistakes. But it is not clear that he encouraged these pastors to make those stupid decisions. Because he was standing so close to them, you are speaking as though he is definitely one of them. However, you nor I know that.

              I am not standing with anyone against the victims. I am not against the victims or CJ. I hope the victims find peace and healing. However, there is not enough evidence to say that CJ is in the wrong. You are claiming to have knowledge that you don’t really have.

              Even if CJ is your enemy, the Bible calls you to love him. This is not an either/or decision but a both/and. You can say that you get to frame it however you want. However, you have to trample the Scriptures to act as though Christ does not call you to love your enemies.

                Scott Shaver

                Chris:

                Your chicken or egg coming first comment to Lydia overlooks the fact that she and others are resisting error and upholding “Scripture” with their positions AGAINST an historical theological scourge.

                In case you or anyone else hasn’t noticed, You don’t speak FOR the “Scriptures”, Chris….they should be speaking TO you.

                  Chris

                  “historical theological scourge” I enjoy your use of language. If you get to heaven, and find out you are wrong…that’s going to be awkward.

                  I think it’s great for Lydia and you to resist error as you see it. I don’t object to that. I object to how you are doing it. I think if you met some Calvinists (like me) and gave us a chance, you’d still disagree with us. But you wouldn’t see us as enemies even if we still advocated for different ways forward for the SBC.

                  Actually, I do think we are to speak FOR the Scriptures (isn’t that what most preaching is) to others when we share the Gospel or any truth from Scripture. Now the Scriptures should first speak TO me, before I speak of them to anyone else. However, whenever we rebuke anyone, we are speaking FOR the Scriptures in a sense. Now by that I don’t mean that I have authority over the Scriptures. On the contrary, they have authority over me.

                    Scott Shaver

                    Chris writes: “I object to how you are doing it”.

                    I’m sorry Chris, that changes everything……….NOT!

                    If you’re concerns with me are your personal preferences for methodology over substance, we have absolutely nothing to discuss. Tis a waste of time.

                    Lydia

                    Chris, I know quite a few Calvinists who are delightful wonderful people. They are not associated with the New Calvinists Movement. And some of them even admit that they left the determinism behind and embraced a more Social Gospel. And of course I disagree with certain variations of that social gospel.

                    But that is okay because they do not insist that I don’t know the true gospel. And they don’t accuse me of trampling on scripture when we discuss our differences.

                    For many years people kept telling me that if I only met Driscoll in person I would really like him. As if he was someone totally different than the words/positions he communicated to the public. I really don’t get that kind of thinking. It lends itself to Cult of Personality over substance. I fear too much of our culture does that and it is especially prevalent in the New calvinist Movement.

                    Chris

                    “If you’re concerns with me are your personal preferences for methodology over substance, we have absolutely nothing to discuss. Tis a waste of time.”

                    My concerns are that your tone, word-twisting, and assigning of evil motives are all not in keeping with the love a Christian ought to display in their speech/writing.

                    Chris

                    Lydia,

                    My point is that you act as though most Calvinists are every one a big bad wolf. But if you actually knew a few in person at any depth, you’d see that many of them are sincere Christians following Christ (though imperfectly) and not the monsters you make them out to be.

                    The only Calvinists you seem to hold with are those who have followed a social gospel.

                Lydia

                “However, you have to trample the Scriptures to act as though Christ does not call you to love your enemies.”

                Please define “love” in this context from which we are speaking. In order to follow your definition of ‘love” it would mean I would have to “hate” the innocent children victims as defined by you.

                Perhaps you’ve misunderstood Jesus Christ. Do you really think that Jesus Christ was advocating that the Jews go around treating each other horrible, sweeping child molestations under the rug and protecting evil that they were doing to one another? Surely you do not think that is what our Lord was about?

                You don’t think He had higher standards for His People?

                I think you’ve missed the point of that message. He was speaking to the Jews of their Roman pagan occupiers for whom they despised.

                Jesus Christ was not suggesting it was perfectly okay for his people to go around slapping each other all the time as a normal course of events.

                What is it with you people that you want to institutionalize the evils that you think are acceptable and pull out the love your enemies card? I thought the men we are discussing were professing Believers in Jesus Christ ?
                You end up misusing our Lord words for your own ends.

                He made it clear in other places that those Jew, with positions and titles, who go around oppressing people and using them are whitewashedJews….and worse.

                Love does not excuse or coddle evil that harms others. You have positioned CJ mahaney, a professing Believer, minister, as an “enemy’. Did you really mean to do that?Your religion is something I cannot accept.

                  Chris

                  “Enemy” could mean someone who you are at war with. But for us the application is often anyone we strongly disagree with. Spouses, children, church members, pastors, and a host of other people can become our “enemies” in a sense.
                  Jesus calls us to love our enemies. He calls us to love our brothers and sisters in Christ. I believe CJ is a brother in Christ. It seems like you don’t. You seem to be treating him like an “enemy.” My point is that either way you are to love him.
                  The verses in the Bible about loving others do not end with “except for these people.” So Jesus is calling you to love the victims, the perpretrators, the pastors who were foolish and sinful, and CJ. Now how you express love in each of these situations is different. However, a hateful attitude is not one of the expressions of love that Jesus is calling you to. I also don’t think you should attribute evil motives and actions to CJ unless there is actual proof (definitely more than “he had to know or be involved” assumptions based on nothing).

                    Lydia

                    Chris, I disagree with your interpretation and playing fast and loose with the scripture you tried to use against me. You don’t get to interpret for me whatever you want to fit the situation.

                    This all goes back to the worm theology and sin leveling that brothers and sisters continuously perpetuate evil and wrongdoing on each other. In that structure and scenario I still cannot figure out the point of the Resurrection. If a professing Believer is coddling evil and protecting it in the name of their institutionalized Jesus Christ, there is something seriously wrong. And when it comes to children, I give No Quarter.

                    In effect SGM attracted, coddled and even provided legal representation for some of their predator perverts. Some staff, some members. But for the most part the position was never to call the authorities but to handle it in house. Mahaney was at the top of the shepherding cult as an apostle. I do realize that much of the shepherding cult thought reform method has now been normalized in the New calvinist Movement. So I don’t expect that to be a shocking or worrisome revelation to you. Based on your comments, I would say you agree with much of it. I certainly would not recommend any victims of such “Christian” predators go to you for understanding.
                    What I find more than curious is the only way to for the Neo Cal movement to defend Mahaney is to make those supporting the victims the REAL sinners- doing wrong or make fun of victims pain and suffering.

                    The fact that we are even allowed to talk about it here is something good because the topic is usually censored on most Neo Cal Baptist blogs.

                    Chris

                    “Chris, I disagree with your interpretation and playing fast and loose with the scripture you tried to use against me. You don’t get to interpret for me whatever you want to fit the situation.”

                    Go ahead then. Explain what Jesus meant by loving your enemies and cite where he made exceptions for people you don’t like or who are evil. Don’t just say I am playing fast and loose. Show it. Easy to make such assertions, much harder to prove in this case.

                    “That brothers and sisters continuously perpetuate evil and wrongdoing on each other.”

                    Are you saying that Christians don’t sin against one another?

                    “I do realize that much of the shepherding cult thought reform method has now been normalized in the New calvinist Movement.”

                    What is this supposed to mean? What would you cite to support such a statement?

                    “What I find more than curious is the only way to for the Neo Cal movement to defend Mahaney is to make those supporting the victims the REAL sinners”

                    I defended Mahaney by saying there was no direct evidence against him. But do you think you have a pass to say and do whatever you want as long as it is in the name of supporting the victims?

                Scott Shaver

                Chris:

                Ever heard the old phrase “the buck stops here”.

                If Mahaney didn’t know (hard to swallow) what his subordinates were teaching and doing, that’s where the buck stops. The system of authority he constructed obviously was operating without a head of chain. Mea Culpa.

                They were under his charge.

                  Chris

                  Scott,

                  I agree with what you are saying here. I think CJ did not train the pastors in his church and sister churches how to handle these situations. Some of that was ignorance/blindness. However, that error/sin is very different than CJ himself assisting abusers or attacking the victims.

                  I think CJ may be willing to apologize for that if he were not being sued. And if anything he said like that would not be used against him in court.

                  In reading the expose from the Washingtonian, I appreciated how the leader of the other Sovereign Grace church publicly apologized in tears for mishandling the situations. I think all of the pastors involved should do the same.

                    Scott Shaver

                    So legalities take precedent over Christian principle, Chris?

                    The “preferred” authoritarian ecclesiology of Calvinists places as great or greater burden on the “head” and it’s satellites than a local autonomous church operating under congregational polity.

                    Are you condemning or condoning either elder led or congregational rule?

                    Chris

                    Scott,

                    I think wisdom takes precedent over not-wisdom.

                    I am actually for local autonomous churches operating under congregational polity though I can see the value of those churches cooperating together. I have been in elder-ruled (congregation does not vote) churches and seen that done well (godly faithful elders) but that is not my preference. I think there are great examples of elder-led churches (congregation still votes on many things) and that would be my preference. The normal SBC one elder (pastor) model where the congregation votes on almost everything is not my preference.

                    I think all of these models could be/have been done well and all have been abused. It really comes down to what you believe the Scriptures teach. For too many, it comes down to their tradition.

                Les

                This is a good short piece on forgiveness. http://www.aholyexperience.com/2016/04/how-to-love-the-people-who-have-hurt-you/

                  Lydia

                  http://www.nacr.org/wordpress/160/the-f-word-forgiveness-and-its-imitations

                  Here is one.

                  Forgiveness never coddles evil or sweeps it under the rug. Christians have every right to protect themselves from charlatans and those who are known to use Jesus for their own personal gain. Christians do not seek revenge but they DO tell the truth of their experience with wolves disguised as sheep. That is often described as not forgiving . Nothing could be further from the truth . If they had done this at SGM early on the predators would be in prison and not free to harm other children .

                  Jesus Christ did not hang on the cross and resurrect so that we could protect pervert who pray on children and call it grace . The predators and those who have caudal damn need to make amends .

                    Lydia

                    Ok, I simply have to stop using voice recognition because it is cussing for me . It is supposed to read ’caused harm’. My sincerest apologies.

                    Chris

                    Lydia,

                    It seems like we may be talking past one another. I don’t think abusers should be protected either. I believe CJ does not wants abusers to be protected.

                    I think those involved should try to make amends as appropriate. It’s not clear that CJ was involved. This is where loving him by believing the best comes in. Sure, it would agree with the narrative that you prefer that all Calvinists are evil if CJ were guilty of something in this situation. The problem is that there is no direct evidence showing that.

        Scott Shaver

        “Brother”?

        Prove by their actions they fit the description.

          Chris

          Scott,

          Many Calvinists are proving that by preaching the gospel, becoming missionaries, evangelizing their community, serving in their church, and living the Christian life.

          But if none of that were good enough for you, then Jesus says to love your enemies. And a lot of people would treat their enemies better than you treat Calvinists. You don’t have an out to not love Calvinists. And you do not have an excuse for your tone and words against Calvinists on this blog.

          It’s not that you can’t/shouldn’t disagree. It’s that you go beyond that to despise and misrepresent and attribute evil motives to brothers in Christ.

            Lydia

            Chris, many SBC Calvinists are proving, by closing ranks around Mahaney or ignoring the problem, they have absolutely no conscience at all. Their pope even made a joke of victims of child rape.

            At some point your Calvinist correct doctrine needs to translate into good fruit. There are some PCA pastors you need to meet who get it.

              Chris

              Lydia,

              This is the only issue you see. However, most Calvinists are not affiliated with CJ. They are serving in their local churches and doing their best to follow Jesus faithfully. Their doctrine is producing good fruit in their lives. However, you only want to focus on two or three Calvinists, and then paint the rest like the two or three.

              Mohler was making a joke about everything you read on the internet not being true. He was saying that the accusations against CJ are untrue. That is different then his making a joke directly about victims. However, if Mohler were asking me, I’d have told him not to make that joke because of how you and people like you would take it.

              Mohler and Dever believe Mahaney to be innocent of wrongdoing. They have consciences. It just that they don’t believe Mahaney is guilty.

                Andrew Barker

                Chris: If you are really convinced that “Mohler was making a joke about everything you read on the internet not being true” then try doing exactly as he said he had done and google CJ Mahaney. I can assure you, that the information he gleaned is there, it’s on the SBC website. But you have to dig down deep to find it. In truth, you really have to already know it’s there to go and ‘find’ it. It’s certainly not the main thing you’ll find out about CJ Mahaney from the Internet.

                Mohler has styled himself as the ‘thinking man’. In fact he has openly suggested (implied) that if you’ve half a brain as a christian and you think about it for long enough, you will come to the inevitable conclusion that ‘the Reformed’ is the only position to adopt. I would suggest to him, that a man of his intellect cannot look at all the evidence surrounding CJ Mahaney and come to any other conclusion than that Mahaney has many, many questions to which he has not provided adequate answers. A thinker like Mohler could not honestly come to any other conclusion. It’s up to a court to decide whether CJ Mahaney is guilty and time alone will tell.

                  Scott shaver

                  Andrew:

                  Albert Mohler and Russell Moore are all over the internet.

                  Maybe Chris is onto something about it all being “untrue”……LOL.

                Lydia

                “Mohler was making a joke about everything you read on the internet not being true. He was saying that the accusations against CJ are untrue”

                Then Mohler decided to believe Mahaney over several victims. The parents of victim Noel can even provide documentation to the myth that Mahaney knew nothing and did not attempt to protect the molesters.

                ” That is different then his making a joke directly about victims. However, if Mohler were asking me, I’d have told him not to make that joke because of how you and people like you would take it.”

                But not for the sake of the victims? Just because of how people like me would take it? Did you read PCA pastor, Kessler, response above? There is absolutely not one funny thing about protecting child molesters. In fact, I will go as far to say it was audience manipulation. And it will work because the audience follows Mohler.

                Your religion is making you hard hearted toward the least of these. Spend more time with them and less time toward the celebrity gurus.

            Scott Shaver

            Chris:
            Respectfully, I could care less what “Calvinists” are doing hither and yon. I primarily concerned with the way they’ve destroyed the SBC under the guise of “brotherhood”. My suggestion, Chris would be that you sell it to those abused sexually under the flagship in question. Beyond that, your opinion means no more to me than sounding brass or clinking cymbals

              Chris

              Scott:

              How have the Calvinists destroyed the SBC?

              “Beyond that, your opinion means no more to me than sounding brass or clinking cymbals.”

              I always appreciate your kind words. And wonder if you’d like everyone to treat you the same way.

                Scott Shaver

                Not interested in sharing my opinion on Calvinism destroying the SBC Chris as it would rehash the CR argument and we’ve been off-topic on this thread for a while now.

                I’m not sure you’re as interested in hearing my opinion as you are offering a party-line rebuttal.

                Glad you approve my choice of words, and in answer to your question about “likes”…..I prefer to receive as equally as I give. Keeps a little kick and challenge going.

                  Chris

                  Scott,

                  I really am interested in hearing your opinion. Even though we disagree, I have a favorable opinion toward you. I get your not wanting to rehash old arguments. Do you have an article to refer me to on how Calvinists are destroying the SBC?

                  Honestly, I think the Calvinists are great for the SBC (of course I would).

                    Scott Shaver

                    Right now Chris, I’m more interested in reading the race-card opinion of Dwight McKissic ongoing at PRAVDA.

                    McKissic’s rationale and grievance with those who won’t support his motion: “I understand emotional ties to my heritage but have to loose heritage when in conflict with Christian values”.

                    So “Christian Values” are automatically synonymous with a flag-banning resolution by one Dwight McKissic? On the contrary, one like McKissic has long since demonstrated his preference for “heritage/culture” over “Christian Values” via his demeaning of others who disagree with his grand-standing.

                    Chris

                    Scott,

                    I think that issue becomes very simple…Has this flag became a symbol of racism to others especially my brothers and sisters in Christ? If so, then it should be easy to drop it under the teaching of Romans 14 (do not put a stumbling block in front of your brother).

            Scott Shaver

            Why am I responsible, Chris, for the burden of proof generated by Calvinist’s self-generated public perception?
            My response is, prove that the intent, both past and present of those in question IS NOT EVIL.7

              Chris

              Scott,

              “Calvinist’s self-generated public perception”? Many of the well-known Calvinists are clearly Christians who love the Lord. For example, John Piper, Al Mohler, much of the faculty of Southern. Maybe, you wouldn’t agree with their doctrine and may dislike some of the things that they have said. But any honest, fair look at their lives shows that they love the Lord.

              This is an interesting part of this debate to me. Calvinists would say that Traditionalists are wrong on their doctrine. Maybe, some would say you hold to heretical doctrines (but they don’t mean you are not Christians). However, you really do believe Calvinists are not Christians. It seems sort of funny that you would be offended by their calling you heretics when you think they are not Christians anyways. How is what they are saying worse than what you are saying?

              Again, any fair look at the great majority of Calvinist pastors, theologians, and professors would show that they love the Lord and are following Him. I think the same could be said of the great majority of Traditionalist pastors, theologians, and professors.

              But even if we were all not Christians…in spite of all of the evidence to the contrary…you’d still have to love us because Jesus calls you to love everyone. It’s interesting that the people, who are arguing vigorously that God loves everyone equally, feel as if they do not need to love certain people. This might be my favorite irony from this blog. You are the guys faulting Calvinists for not believing God loves everyone the same but you are doing it in the most unloving way. It’s like you subconsciously believe that loving everybody thing is something only God should be doing but not you too.

                Scott Shaver

                “Loving” and wanting to hang out and talk with are two entirely different things Chris.

                Sometimes love dictates a parting of ways. You can even proof-text that one if you like.

                  Chris

                  I agree. It may not be necessary here either on a personal level or as a denomination.

                    Scott Shaver

                    On the other hand…..could be LONG overdue.

                Lydia

                Chrism you still have not defined “love” for me . You are using that word in a similar way that movie did back in the 70s, Love Story. “Love means never having to say you’re sorry”.

                Does love really mean that you ignore deception, cruelty and coddling of evil done to others by those who call themselves your Christian brothers and sisters. And make a living off of representing Jesus Christ?

                Should we not be concerned for their very souls and perhaps they don’t quite understand Jesus Christ but find Him quite profitable?I suppose in Calvinism we don’t have to worry about that. There is a category called the evil elect? It seems Calvin was in it , too .

                Forgiveness not worked for and through can actually add to the pathology that brings us more and more evil. It is often used as a get out of jail free card .

                I do understand your motivation because if you can make the supporters of victims out to be bitter and unforgiving then you can make them into the real sinners and we can all just forget about Mahaneys empire that protected and coddled predators of children .

                  Chris

                  First off, I don’t have to make you out as anything. You do that by what you say in your posts.

                  I am not saying that we should “ignore deception, cruelty and coddling of evil done to others.” We agree that should be dealt with. The issue here is that you accuse CJ of these things based on association, not evidence. Then you act as though anyone who disagrees with your baseless conjecture (spoken of like proven fact ) is obviously heartless and evil because they don’t agree with your conjecture. Because I diagram with you, you automatically attribute evil motives to me.

                  Love should mean for you and me “representing people accurately (according to facts, not conjecture) with true motive” and “not assuming evil motives because someone disagrees with me”

                    Chris

                    “Disagree” not diagram. Thanks autocorrect.

              Scott Shaver

              Chris:

              Roman 14 is not subject to your interpretation but that of the Holy Spirit.

              “Should be easy to drop (FORCED MANDATE) under the teachings of Romans 14”.

              How do we know the “stumbling blocks” are not such idiotic and personally-motivated resolutions as the one in question?

              Does the “Stars and Bars” represent a clinging to racial hatred for a few nut-cases here and there across the country…sure. Do the icons of other hate groups exist for similar nut-cases? Yes.

              But the even bigger nut-cases are guys like Moore and McKissic who would rather set race-relations back 60 years than move foward from an achieved and demonstrated point of progress at the great big HERE AND NOW.

              Wonder how many new converts toward “racism” their work is accomplishing?

                Tom

                How many people of color are in leadership positions in the SBC? Let’s see the one African-American president who ran unopposed–who are the others in the upper levels of the SBC?

                  Chris

                  Tom,

                  That’s a great point. I glad to hear that at least 2 out of 3 of the candidates running for SBC president have said that they will work for greater diversity if elected. That is something that should change if we are serious about racial reconcilation. This year the KY state convention elected their first black president Kevin Smith which is a great thing.

                    Tom

                    Chris:

                    It is 2016 and all of this talk about racial reconciliation in the SBC is that just talk.

                    Chris

                    Tom,

                    You have your opinion. But I believe you are wrong. I hope only greater diversity will exist in the pews, pulpits and leadership of the SBC in the coming days.

                  Scott Shaver

                  Tom:

                  I doubt our repeated appeals to “glaring hypocrisy” are appreciated, much less ingested :)

                Chris

                “Roman 14 is not subject to your interpretation but that of the Holy Spirit.”

                Right. But you and I have to do the best we can in seeking to understand Scripture. The Spirit does help us interpret. However, sometimes Christians disagree about what Scripture means and both think they are being led by the Spirit.

                “Should be easy to drop (FORCED MANDATE) under the teachings of Romans 14”.

                My point is not mainly about the resolution. I am talking about individual Christians seeing that the Confederate flag offends their brothers and sisters in Christ, and then personally choosing not to be associated with a symbol of hate/oppression. That should be an easy decision.

                I don’t understand how removing symbols of racism would set back race relations 60 years. Unless you are saying that southern white men would get so upset about a flag that they would begin to hate black people. At that point, there does not seem to be a lot of hope for such foolish people…except for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But the flag has been removed from Georgia’s state flag and from the SC state house and they seem to be doing fine.

                Again, it should be easy for Christians to choose loving Jesus and brothers/sisters in Christ over a flag.

                  Scott Shaver

                  Chris:

                  If Russell Moore can hang a painting of Broadus in the ERLC Washington office, I can hang an oil painting of the confederate flag and and a water color of a confederate artillery line in mine.

                  Not in the habit of making concessions to the “weakest links” in Christianity. If they haven’t grown up by now…..they never will. Book and icon burning/outlawing is positively mideval.

                    Chris

                    Do you think all of our African-American brothers/sisters in Christ are the weakest links?

                    Are you saying that you don’t understand how the Confederate flag is offensive to many African-Americans?

                    And I am not advocating book burning/outlawing. But I am pointing to something earlier than mideval…the Bible. It’s ancient but because I am a Christian, it has a hold on my life. And I want to live by what the Bible says abouing stumbling blocks, loving others and putting others before myself.

                  Scott Shaver

                  Chris:

                  There’s obviously a whole lot you don’t “understand”. Forced removal is how Jesus would have dealt with the various miltary flags flying during his days on earth?…..assuming Jesus would have wasted time on such idiotic social and media posturing?

                  It should be “easy” for Christians to act stupidly is your opinion Chris?

                  Sounds about right based on your contributions so far to this topic.

                    Chris

                    “Wasted time on such idiotic social and media posturing?”

                    “It should be “easy” for Christians to act stupidly is your opinion Chris?”

                    “Sounds about right based on your contributions so far to this topic.”

                    You twisted my words. Insulted me. At what point does Jesus influence the way you interact with others?

                    Scott Shaver

                    That’s exactly what disgusts me the most about your ilk of “Christians”, Chris.

                    You guys are quicker to twist words than the serpent in the garden.

                    By “weakest links” in Christianity I meant people like you, Russell Moore, Dave Miller, Dwight McKissic etc (regardless of color) who think others ought to be mandated into the mix of their own personal issues, quirks and preferences or God will fall from his throne.

                    Disgusting.

                    Chris

                    Scott,

                    “It should be “easy” for Christians to act stupidly is your opinion Chris?”

                    “That’s exactly what disgusts me the most about your ilk of “Christians”, Chris.
                    You guys are quicker to twist words than the serpent in the garden.”

                    The irony here is amazing. You condemn me and my ilk of “Christians” for twisting words right after you just twisted my words. Maybe, you are a “Christian” in the way you think I am. But I was not twisting your words. I was asking who they referred to because it was unclear.

                    Please, explain to me what you think Romans 14 means by stumbling blocks that offend brothers if not also things like symbols of racism? Will you answer the question, “Does the Confederate flag offend some African-Americans?”

          Lydia

          “It seems like we may be talking past one another. I don’t think abusers should be protected either. I believe CJ does not wants abusers to be protected.”

          Then why did he flee? How come he refused to meet with the victims? that request was made long before the lawsuit. His refusal to give them the time of day back when he was still the head Apostle of the SGM Empire probably has a lot to do with the lawsuit. Instead, he paid AoR to listen to them. Ironically paying AoR with pew sitter money. Now, he goes onstage at T4 G and positions himself as a Job . Can he really compare his “suffering” with a three-year road being molested? It is sick and perverted way to to present the sacred way of our Lord.

          I don’t think we are actually talking past each other as much as we practice two very different belief systems.

            Chris

            I agree with you that meeting with the victims seems like it would have been the right thing to do. I don’t know why CJ did not. But that does not make him guilty of something. Also, CJ never made a comparison between his suffering and a three year old. If anything, he compared himself to Job and he compared our suffering to Job’s as well. I think Job is in the Bible to teach us about suffering and so It is normal for people to understand their suffering in light of Job’s.

            What is your belief system?

              Lydia

              “Also, CJ never made a comparison between his suffering and a three year old. ”

              Well duh.

              The sermon he preached that next Sunday after T$G is vintage CJ.

              I cant link right now but check out Baptist news global article, ‘CJ Mahaney says churches should defend their pastors’. His favorite sermon on his favorite proof texts Hebrew 13:17.

              Chris, put down the Kool-Aid and switch to clean water.

                Chris

                Lydia said: “Can he really compare his “suffering” with a three-year road being molested? It is sick and perverted way to to present the sacred way of our Lord.”

                Chris said: “Also, CJ never made a comparison between his suffering and a three year old. ”

                Lyida said: “Well duh”

                Chris said: “It’s like you don’t even read your own posts.”

                  Lydia

                  “Chris said: “It’s like you don’t even read your own posts.”

                  As I said earlier in the thread, we have different belief systems and how that plays out in real life. I get it. You want me to go down the black hole with you of technicalities, redefinitions of word meanings and such to put Mahaney in a vague category of persecuted godly anointed leader who made” mistakes.”. And I am sinning by focusing on the victims of SGM.

                  I get it. I am quite familiar with how you guys think. You trot out grace for evil and apply your variation of law for victims and their supporters. Just not interested in playing by your rules. Spend time with victims. You need to, desperately.

                    Tom

                    Lydia:

                    It is beyond incredible that these guys such as Chris support evil like Maheney and yet appear feeling less to the victims. What a frightening religious system!

    Mary

    Hey it ain’t called Pravda for nothing! The Pope of Louisville has been very clear in his message that Mahaney will be protected at all costs and so Miller being a good party member is only doing what the Party Leaders dictate. Remember Miller is the guy who thanked God for Mark Driscoll back in the day when everybody else knew he was trouble. Miller can’t come out now and admit that he doesn’t have the discernment skills God gave a turnip and admit he’s been wrong and maybe he’s not exactly the best judge of character. So of course he wants to pretend that the Mahaney thing isn’t very recent and ongoing – let’s pretend it’s just ancient history and move along. It’s become acceptable to voice platitudes about sexual assaults in the church now but let’s not get to serious about it because then Party Members might actually have to held accountable.

      Tom

      Mary: But Miller had no problem ruining the lives of “liberals.” But now he and others protect and support law breaking ministers. What type of personality allows one to do this?

        Scott Shaver

        You look at some of the bizarre causes and statements from Miller and you begin to realize…….

        He has some LIBERAL tendencies that would have got him tossed right along with the so-called moderates were history repeating itself today. Prime example of a “Southern Baptist” who’s never really understood what they are and how they came about.

        Sad and funny at the same time.

          Mary

          Miller’s a follower. He was that kid in high school who hung at the edge of the cool kids – they all made fun of him and used him at times but he was never quite a cool kid himself. Now the cool kids in the SBC are going liberal so Miller goes liberal all while pretending he’s not really liberal.

            Tom

            Mary:

            Miller is a Chameleon. He goes with the prevailing tide.

Lydia

No Scott, you aren’t. Evidently, It took lawyers and insurance companies to enlighten pastors, spiritually. He uses the same argument they use for Calvin: man of his time so gets a pass. The Holy Spirit was AWOL, evidently. One does not need a legal process to have compassion for innocents.

Their focus is on technicalities. Not the millstone therapy our Lord warned about. In essence the new resolution kills two birds with one stone. It presents a public compassionate face to the media while, ironically, protecting Mahaneys new “SBC” church. There was not one instance at SGM but a systemic problem that great pains were taken to cover up to this day with the help of some of our leaders — who think it is a joke. It is the largest child molestation scandal in evangelicalism to date. If one is interested in the system approach to protecting molesters see the movie, Spotlight. I took my teens. They needed to see it. And recognize how too many in clergy approach the issue. (Most predators have 75-100 victims before they are convicted)

Let us never turn away from what takes place in grooming, molesting and what it does to an innocent child for the rest of their lives. And, in a culture of church where they are taught to respect and trust adults. It is heinous evil to cover it up. Mohler finds it amusing. The hard heartedness in the SBC is chilling.

Tom

Mary:

Yes, this is my comment–“Oh, there is no doubt in my mind Miller has destroyed the lives of many “moderates” and would be very proud of it.”

Lydia

FYI,

The Presbyterians adopted a serious child protection resolution that was passed in 2014 and irony of ironies, Ligon Duncan of T4G fame affirmed it. Will he be held accountable?

http://vintage73.com/2016/04/pca-pastors-celebrity-christian-conferences-and-child-protection/

Some Presbyterian pastors are not happy about their association with Mahaney.

Les

Lydia,

I’m one of those who is not happy about it at all!!

Les

I also think that the personal attacks on Dave Miller are out of line and UNChristian and therefore sinful. And I fully expect to see some sort of defense of the attacks that compares child abuse to saying something about someone as if to put the attacks as no big deal compared to child abuse.

    Tom

    Aw, Les, we are all sinful.

    Scott Shaver

    Les:

    How come whenever you and Miller engage in personal attacks it’s called contending for “truth”……for others “unchristian”?

    “Unchristian” or not……….Miller and Les don’t like being served up doses of their own “medicine”.

    Both of you might need a spoonful of sugar to make the medicine go down. :)

      Tom

      Scott;

      I think Les is a Miller groupie and therefore biased in his favor.

      Les

      Classic reply Scott and purely predictable. Besides you not being able to produce personal attacks by me, you try to justify your personal attacks with the old dose of your own medicine response.

        Scott Shaver

        Les:

        I’m not in the habit of running anything I do or say by you for “justification”. Double-mindedness is too unstable to rely upon for either commendation or condemnation.

        Tom has it about right in my opinion.

        Scott Shaver

        Les:

        Why do I need to produce something that you churn out for public inspection almost on a daily basis?

        Don’t expend effort where it’s not necessary would be my response to your request.

      Les

      Tom, groupie? Seriously?

        Tom

        Les:

        You pick the word. You are so blind to what is going on in the SBC world. But you stick with Miller he will take you places.

Lydia

Does anyone know if Mahaneys SBC church., SGL, will send messengers to the convention? That tiny hotel church has 5 pastors!

Does anyone know if SGL is receiving church plant funds from NAMB? Does anyone know the financial arrangement Bob Kauflin of SGM has with SBTS? Or about the perks SGM refugees received from SBTS in the way of jobs, internships, tuition breaks, academic credit for unaccredited SGM pastors college?

We do know that Mahaney gave 100,000 of SGM funds to SBTS a few years back before the scandal.

Lydia

Dave Miller wrote:

“It is unhealthy and counter-productive to make this about a person or organization. It’s about an issue. Bart dealt with an issue in a forthright way and reopening decade old wounds from past blog wars isn’t going to be productive.

Better that we move forward now and take necessary, positive steps.”

This is one of the most perplexing things Miller has ever written. Since when are truth and Justice for innocent children, counterproductive and unhealthy?

We all know that resolutions are simply suggestions. We also know a similar resolution was passed in 2013 concerning entities and Molhler totally ignored it. My guess is he will vote for this one with a straight face.

Basic human decency and compassion are not characteristics that come about because of a resolution. There is absolutely nothing unhealthy about pointing to systemic abuse over a course of years and saying, ” that is evil”. You don’t belong with us. We do not participate in institutional betrayal.

But for some reason Mohler has a sort of Svengali hold over these men. If they want to be pragmatic about saving the SBC, they may want to consider that they are on the wrong side of History when it comes to this issue.

They wanted position, control and authoritarianism in our churches and now woukd have us believe despite all the evidence, that Mahaney was really not the strong leader of his Shepherding cult Mohler once claimed, and the bloggers just don’t like it. That was said before mahaney had to flee to Louisville. Now the former Apostle of the People of Destiny had no idea. Victim testimonies say different. His own brother-in-law said different under oath.

Note: Another CLC perp was arrested recently. He had been there since 1994 and even wrote a book that he showed a pastor that he hope they never had a daughter because he would be tempted to molest her.

You cannot make this stuff up. There was something very sick in that system that attracted a lot of very sick predators. I have my theories but won’t go there.

Now is the time for the SBC to publicly state who they want to be. If the trustees at sbts had any sanctified testosterone, as they taught at the T4G Council on biblical manhood and Womanhood pre-conference seminars, Mohler would be sent out to pasture

They want the position and the power but not the responsibility that goes with it.

    Andrew Barker

    Lydia: The more I read and find out about the situation with Mahaney, the more I’m convinced that the solution will be found not in the so called ‘church’ but in the secular institutions such as the law, media and journalism. I’m aware that others having been pursuing this agenda for years now, but the things which have made an impact recently are the legal battle in the courts, the journalism which has started to expose the extent of the cover up and even films like Spotlight.

    There were only ever two churches in the UK affiliated to SGM. One, Christchurch in Newport Gwent severed all formal contact with SGM many years ago. To cut a long story short, the person who still runs that church Peter Greasley was given a great deal of support to help launch his church in the UK and was set to head up the operation in Europe. He walked away from that job. People don’t do that unless they know that there is something radically wrong. I believe he knew much more about what was going on and that it was not merely a question of Mahaney’s pride and domineering attitude. He may not have know the details regarding child abuse cover up, but there has to have been something more than a mere clash of personalities for him to sever such a lucrative and potentially productive opportunity.

    Mohler has tied himself to Mahaney in such a way that if and when Mahaney goes down Mohler will find it difficult to function in the world of the SBC. In fact he could find himself completely adrift. His recent comments at #T4G2016 were the equivalent of pressing the button for the nuclear option. He must either feel totally confident or he really hasn’t evaluated the situation carefully enough. At present, we see the close knit community of the Reformed working a treat but there will be no old boys club if the law gets to grips with Mahaney as it could well do. It is quite something when the only form of discipline comes in the form of the secular law courts rather than institutions of the church. I hesitate to say this is God at work in people like Susan Burke and Tiffany Stanley, but I can’t find another description for what I see going on. Can you?

      Lydia

      Andrew, more and more people are agreeing with you about where the solutions are going to come from. They are not coming from with in. Money is the oil of the evangelical machine. I was a bit amused to hear Mohler preach against the prosperity gospel at T 4G . On another blog a former southern student said he and a few other guys got together and put pen to paper on what Mohler’s lifestyle would cost in the real world if he had to pay for it . They figured at least 2 million maybe 4. We have a lot of mega-churches in the US that have a lot of property in prime locations that are tax exempt despite millions flowing through their coffers every month . How is that being a good neighbor ? People continue to view the lifestyles of pastors whose incomes are growing while the middle class has been stagnant for 10 years . And these mega church pastor get very generous housing allowance that is tax-free income . In fact, just get ordained and you can get the tax free housing allowance! I saw this happen all the time in the seeker mega world. . You know that perk came about because pastors made so little money in the past . But now many are making it look ridiculous .

      The Penn State scandal really put a focus on the institutionalized protection of child molesters. Ironically Mohler wrote an article about it shaming them. Sandusky get by with it for years because people liked him so much they wouldn’t believe it and besides Joe Paterno was a great man who would never put up with such a thing . Sound familiar? At SGM they were protected in the name of cheap grace. How anyone can read those stories of the victims or talk to them and your heart not break, I will never understand. If there is one thing that we can give these people it is our ears. There is a healing balm in just having someone listen and say, yes what was done to you was wrong it was evil. Instead they were told not to call the police and just forgive the predator right away . Oh and they were expected to continue to attend church with the predator .and be joyful about it. Because is CJ told them all the time it is the happiest place on earth!

      Have you ever heard of Terry Virgo? He seemed to be Mahaney’s partner in some ministry efforts in the UK years back . I have no idea what it was about but heard that they had severed ties not long ago . I had heard that there was an SGM church started in Bristol . I have no idea what became of that when the family of churches started falling apart.

      All I know is that I find it interesting that the most outspoken people about Mahaney right now are coming from Calvinist pastors in the Presbyterian denomination here! What is wrong with this picture ???

        Andrew Barker

        Lydia: There’s only one listed church in the UK which is SGC affiliated. They’re still SGM as listed on their web site, so it’s obviously out of date and whether that’s an oversight or not, I’ve no idea. I’ll keep you posted though.

        Andrew Barker

        Lydia: Update. There is only one church in the UK now affiliated to SGC. They still retain contacts with the other church which withdrew and say they are weathering out the storm and still maintain the same doctrines and values as before. No change there then! :-)

Lydia

You guys might want to check this out:

The T4G gospelly-centered celebrity club, in a brazenly “in-your-face” display, allowed two other top leaders from the Sovereign Grace denomination to hold out a break-out session, the purpose of which was to recruit other churches to join the Sovereign Grace Churches denomination!

2016-04-15 Sov Grace recruiting at T4G

https://thouarttheman.org/2016/04/16/mahaney-rejoins-fellow-celebrities-t4g-stage-no-acknowledgment-abuse-victims/#comments

Since SG is now headquartered in Louisville and part of the SBC does this mean that as they recruit for church planters they will be SBC churches, too? Will they receive NAMB monies?

I get the impression this was the plan all along when SGL was brought into the SBC. A way to receive NAMB money and build another kingdom for Mahaney. while Mohler has more numbers and followers in the SBC.

You know, some of you might remember the Clinton years. People started to suffer from scandal fatigue and stopped caring. Now, some who would never have ever thought of voting for Hillary are considering her a better choice than the other side. There is just so much to digest with what Mohler has done. It is overwhelming, secretive and deceptive. Even Floyd got in on the money train at T4G

Tom

Lydia:

I do not get Miller at all. He say let’s just ignore past transgressions. And he knows fully well a resolution at the SBC means nothing because of the Autonomy of the local church. A SBC church can do just about anything they want except call a woman as a pastor and that will get you kicked out of the SBC. It is a very selective application of the Autonomy of the local church.

Andy

LYDIA: “Andy, please go get educated on how perps operate. And not from other pastors. There is plenty of free material to read out there by professionaks. You really have no idea. What you say sounds reasonable to you and the cons know that. Dave is literally downplaying the horror and torture of innocent children by using the word “,mishandled”. One does not need a legal process for basic human decency and compassion. Unless, it is all about protecting themselves and their institution.”

Lydia, on the one hand you are correct that I am by no means an expert on this issue. I have, thus far, not been thrust into the middle of situation like this. (the only case in our church was a suspected physical abuse case which was reported, but it was conclusively shown to be a medical condition of the child. The parents of the child were extremely gracious, and understood why we had to report it, and held no ill will against the church leaders for reporting them, as some parents might do). I am seeking to learn what I can, and hopefully will be able to respond in a wise and godly way if or when I need to.

On the other hand, I want to be sensitive to the lives of pastors as well as victims, because…
-Not every single person who has been accused of sexual misconduct is guilty
-Not every pastor in a church where incidents happened knew about those events.
-Not every pastor that finds out about incidents of abuse who handles it poorly is doing so with sinful motives.
-There are different kinds and degrees of “mishandling.”
-Not ever person who defends an accused offender, or accused mis-handler of an offence, is doing so with sinful motives…some simply care about their accused friends and want to believe the best of them until proven otherwise.
–> If our approach to this issue cannot at least entertain the POSSIBILITY of these circumstances, I fear we will be too quick to pronounce guilt on a few good men.

–> Further, I am leary of repeating the mistakes of the extreme fundamentalists who made the issue of 2nd, 3rd, 4th degree separation one of first-degree importance. It went something like this:
-Pastor A allows for women pastors, so he’s a liberal, we’ll separate from him and speak against him…Pastor B rightly does not allow women to preach, but he invited Pastor A to his church, so he’s a scoundrel too…Pastor C invited Pastor B to his church…Pastor D invited Pastor C to his church…So Pastor D is now anathama to us because of his unwillingness to separate from pastor C…etc.
-I actually see a trend toward a new kind of calvinist fundamentalism within T4G & TGC groups…
-BUT…I also see something similar on this site, on several different issues…it is an exceedingly quick tendency to lump people together based on some shared belief, or similar circle of acquaintances. For example:
-Anyone who ever invited Mark Driscoll to preach should be publically shamed and removed from ministry.
-Anyone who agrees with Calvinism on any issue is an obvious deciever and trying to con people into false doctrine.
-Every one of the 10,000 T4G attendees are co-conspirators and supportors of Mahaney’s sins.
—> I’m simply not willing to make those kinds of statements.

guiseppe zimbromski

Just FYI. Namb knows exactly how many churches were planted last year. The article shows the tracking mechanism long term for the SBC is the ACP and when you look at the information it reveals some trends that are exciting like increased Baptism rates and significant CP giving. To assume Namb does not know exactly where church planting stands year over year would be a misunderstanding.

    Rick Patrick

    Then they need to publish the information in a format similar to the one I have described. At least one former state convention executive believes NAMB is planting up to 500 FEWER churches than previously. My point is we should ALL have access to that information…not just NAMB. We should also know WHERE the churches are being planted, by whom, and with which partnerships. I do agree with you that NAMB either (a) KNOWS the information, or (b) CAN GET the information. My concern is that they are not SHARING the information in the most transparent manner possible, and I believe they should start.

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