The (Alleged) Shame of Sovereign Grace Ministries

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714 Responses

  1. Pardon My Interruption says:

    Yep. Calvin would’ve burned ’em at the stake.

  2. Pardon My Interruption says:

    🙂

  3. Michael says:

    Calvin didn’t have that kind of authority…but the city council would have roasted them.

  4. I think the lawsuit has been taken down or the link is broken. Then again, it could just be me.

  5. Michael says:

    Fixed it…

  6. Xpat says:

    That was more than I could bear to read. Terrible, tragic stuff. I didn’t make it very far before I couldn’t take any more.
    We had a man in our church who tried to work with youth, until we found out he was a convicted child molester. Turns out he had been convicted of something he did while serving as a youth volunteer at a church in California. We told him to not have any contact with youth, but multiple times we found him meeting up with youth from our church at the mall or at his home (right next door to mine!) So we proceeded to quickly kick him out of the church. To the best of our knowledge nothing ever happened, but our estimation was that what he was doing was classic ‘grooming’ behavior.
    He accused us of being unforgiving and unwilling to believe that God had changed him and restored him, assuming he had impure motives and trying to dictate who he could talk to. He told everyone he could about how judgmental and unspiritual we were, not believing that he was now a new creation… And he did probably turn the hearts of some against us.
    But I can handle that kind of heat, if it means never having this kind of blood on my hands – for allowing a known sexual predator to have access to children.

  7. incogneto says:

    You know in my “experience” I have seen far worse, a young child raped so bad her back was broken and she was resigned to a wheel chair bed the rest of her life screaming at the demons that haunted her. I mean haunted her daily, the nights were worse, the long deep shrieks, the one left in the van by her mother who was a prostitute and this little three year old kid beat her head so bad it caused brain damage. Those are the “lite” cases, of course I actually cant speak to what my christian fellowshipped told me when I struggled with this. Being the God hater that I am it was awful. Nope no good news there.

    If any of these allegations are true, they should all suffer the worst fate an evangelical can suffer in this life, a loss of revenue. If you want to kill the alleged beast stab it in the heart, aim for the wallet. Trust me all this stuff listed in the law suit is forth or filth tier compared to the revenue stream. Because I am a coward I am posting under my fake name.

  8. Please!!!! If anyone ever, ever sees a previously convicted child molester having ANY contact with youth, or hanging out where they congregate, CALL THE POLICE!!! It is a violation of their parole and conditions of their release. As a registered sex offender they should NEVER be in close enough proximity to initaite ANY relationship or grooming activities.

  9. Xpat says:

    Our situation happened outside of the United States, where US parole laws do not apply, and where what qualifies as legal consensual relations are much more broad – not to mention whether or not laws are enforced…

  10. Julie Anne says:

    I’ve been covering this story for months on my blog. It is horrific. SGM is more than Calvinist – they are New Calvinist. I believe their doctrine is one of the biggest problems. If you look at the way in which they handle these situations, they care more about making sure there is reconciliation, even going to such lengths as having a toddler go to a meeting to reconcile with her sexual perpetrator. In this same story, church leaders told the parents that they should not have informed the police.

    CJ Mahaney has been speaking at conferences (Gospel Coalition) even as recently as a few weeks ago in S. Africa and his Gospel Coalition and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary friends give him a free pass. Why? Because CJ has the right doctrine in their eyes. When someone has the their perceived correct doctrine, all of the other stuff (even reporting sex abuse to civil authorities) takes a back seat. Doctrine is more important than anything else. It is their idol. http://goo.gl/3FtZL

  11. incogneto says:

    You know I live a celibate life, and am rather a prude personally though accepting of other people. I have never felt more dirty and disgusting then when I shared that fact in the faith community, basically I am not sleeping around and I had no children out of wedlock though I took care of those that were and that I dont even hug on a regular basis. That basically makes me a rapist, trust me it does. I dont date never had time to busy taking care of family, dealing with pain, and trying to keep my program open. I am sure that to makes me some type of sexual pervert but I dont feel that way. I mean I dont even sit close to women at church or even on the same pew, been rebuked for that a few times. Now I find this all stupid and utterly pathetic but it is my experience. What I do do is always show respect for women, acknowledged the suffering many of them have suffered. I have actually had women come to be in bible studies tell me they appreciate me not trying to score with them. Of course that makes me gay note I dont consider that an insult but I am just that, not gay.

    You know I longed for a time I could ask christian women what they found disgusting about me, I mean they made it clear that they did but I wound up with two vile sins. I did not have big muscles and my car was not real good. When they found out I was a special education teacher they went into full gag puke mode. Of course they were nice about it but I was damaged good. Actually I am glad I did not get involved with any of them. Look I believe one should wait until they are married, I have seen how folks suffer when they dont, another reviling weakness of mine. I struggle with images online and on tv so I am cancelling my direct tv and hbo to sign up for God tv, of course that makes me a prude and pharisee. My point you cant win, or even get ahead. I dont get it, is there any good news in all this mess, you do what people want and your a deceiver, you fall or struggle you are of the devil. Basically God gave me over, now I have no trouble what so ever believing that, in spades.

  12. Oh, Xpat – what a stressful situation to be in! The cases I investigated and victims I have worked with were all very young – ages 2 – 12 and here in the states. Way too often spouses and churches failed to keep the perp away from kids (even their initial victims) in the name of “grace” and forgiveness. Thus my highly emotional reaction.
    My reactions to this particular case may best be discussed on the Questioning the Faith page in a day or so when I have calmed down abit.

  13. Incog, I truly admire you.

  14. Like XPat, I could only read part of the document. What absolute and utter sickness and perversion! And the cover-ups. Do these people have no fear of God? I pray for physical and emotional healing for all the victims. Lord, have mercy!

  15. Xpat says:

    I was told by local authorities that the crime he had been convicted of in the US would not even have been considered a crime in their country…
    I’m so sorry to hear of churches like the ones you mention that don’t take these issues seriously enough.

  16. Lutheran says:

    Julie Anne,

    I’m glad you IDed SGM as “New Calvinist.” They are definitely NOT anything close to the more traditional Calvinist churches/denoms such as the PCA, CRC, UPC, etc.

    My guess is that their “paradigm” is similar to CCs, featuring a strong ruling personality and a lack of transparency (yes I know not all CCs are like that). But I’m just guessing, since all I know about SGM is what I read online.

  17. incogneto says:

    My take on the apparent sin of SMG they got caught, God hates that with a vengeance if one cant keep it out of the local paper, one should burn in hell for ever. There should be no room for weakness, if one committed sin they should be held accountable as long as it fulfills the apologetic. What is the apologetic, first and far above all God hates us, He loathes us from the very foundations of the world. God hates us, we start there, then we enter into the supposition God my actually forgive us, I mean He killed the Lord Jesus for our forgiveness, but that is rhetoric, no God hates us with malicious of forethought. God stayed up nights thinking what a horrid evil rhetoric we were.

    I will admit I have tried to hate God to fulfill my apologetic, but I cant. I count that a personal failing. I should hate God on an apologetic trigger. If I had a pair I would be praying myself and my eternal soul into eternal hell. I dont, granted that makes me hate God more. From the very cheap seats, this is not good news it just is not. Granted that means nothing and we are all heathen lost cases that God hates. I get the fact God hates, basically everything and even more. Personally I dont hate God but that just goes to show my apostasy. It really is a very strange religion. I can no longer follow it. I hope God does not kill me for this decision, even wen I understand he should.

  18. incogneto says:

    Captain Kevin I am not even a human being and that is on a good day please dont admire me, please pray God’s eternal wrath does not take me out. Now that is a prayer I might even agree with. Thanks.

  19. PMI,

    be careful how you speak of calvin here (not the counterpart to hobbes). michael has his own ‘Robert Frost’ version of Brother John and his activities at Geneva. if you push it too far he will probably emulate his hero and ‘flame’ you. (just watch how he responds to my comment.)
    so by all means, don’t mention ANY of the 68 humans put to death during Calvin’s tenture as leader of the Protestant Papacy in Geneva.
    (michael, i won’t argue with you on this. consider it dropped)
    -MIC

  20. “It really is a very strange religion. I can no longer follow it.”

    Incog – I can never tell when you are being sarcastic. Which religion are you going to stop following? The one where God hates everyone? That would be great.

  21. PP Vet says:

    I remember the excitement of going to hear CJ and Larry at the TAG meetings in Washington, DC in the 70s. What glorious times we had as young people!

    It was just a weekly teaching ministry. Finally one night as the crowd was filing out, the Lord spoke to CJ (I think it was CJ) and said something like, Are you sending them out to pasture or as sheep to the slaughter?

    So they knew they had to build something, and they did, and really it was quite wonderful in its time.

    Here’s a lesson, folks, and most of you have already learned it: Religion can make you weird.

  22. catherine says:

    Stunned and speachless after reading the complaint.. I went to my library, found C.J. Mahaney’s Humility, True Greatness and threw it in the dumpster.

  23. Believe says:

    Terrible. Reading it makes me very angry (all over again). I guess I haven’t gotten spiritual enough to be numb to it and not care.

    I have a stack of allegations still about Calvary Chapel, one allegation being that they shuffled a pedophile to south america (among many other bad things). I know that is highly against the rules here and highly unpopular due to the CC Pastor presence here, but it is a fact that former long-time CCCM insiders gave me that information.

    I wish Susan Burke the best of luck in her pursuit of justice on behalf of these victims. I hope she will turn her attention to the Calvary Chapel System of churches when she is done and give Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa and the CCOF/CC Association a huge test of their “we’re a group of churches with connections and affiliation contracts” vs. “we’re all 100% independent”

    I admit that I would love to see Calvary Chapel experience some justice for their ignoring abuse victims and helping support the abusers.. If God is real and that is sin, then I beg God for mercy on me a sinner.

  24. Believe says:

    9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

    13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

    14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

    I don’t yet know 100% for sure if God, Jesus and the bible are real, largely due to doubts caused by me experiences in the church (and specifically Calvary Chapel) and my experiences with “pastors” and Guru leaders and the hypocrisy, evil and injustice and lying and spin that is tolerated, facilitated and promoted. It has caused me to listen more closely to skeptics who criticize the church and religion.

    Yet, there is something innate that doesn’t allow me to disbelieve, just to doubt some things.

    One paradox (of many) in the bible is illustrated above. If the parable is true, then it seems I am more righteous than the smug pastors and flag-wavers of a bad brand who continue to support abusers in their Group. A denial of this principle is to deny the bible. I am honest about who I am and I express myself directly without the couched passive aggressive pastor-ease and Christian-ease. I know the hearts of many on here and in CC feel the same anger and same feelings about me and others. It slips out often, but none cop to being the Publican, because they can’t. Their Construct only allows and promotes and tolerates and encourages the Pharisee. The Publican is reviled and hated and cast into hell.

    This paradox makes me think G is right in another thread. I think if God is real, that there will be many “pastors” in hell…and many sinners in heaven.

  25. Anddddd…..another thread about Calvary Chapel.

    A side bar thread was created for # 24.

  26. Believe says:

    It’s not libelous, it’s my opinion and if you want to test it out, you can tangle with CASP.

  27. Nonnie says:

    Mike and Brandy, your number 19….I must disagree. Michael is extremely generous with allowing people from all backgrounds and opinions on this site. I would venture to say the the majority of us would not refer to ourselves as “Calvinists.” I think your comment was a gross exaggeration.

    And I am agreeing with Steve W. that was uncalled for. Believe, you burn your own bridges……..bridges that many would walk on with you….. but you beat us away with flames of anger. I say that, but you know I still continue to pray for the truth to come out in your situation and for healing.

  28. Josh, in a way you are a prophet. “….another thread about Calvary Chapel”. Because what has happened at SGM has happened, is happening in CC. And most likely SBC, and many other denominations. I know there are victims, survivors paying close attention to this case, hoping they might find courage and advocates to step forward and bring perps and those who have protected them to justice.

  29. Believe says:

    Nonnie, that’s horse manure. No one has walked on the bridge with me from this Group. Many others have, but none from here, other than a few platitudes and a ton of scorn.

  30. Believe says:

    Actually, I think there was one CC pastor who gave $50 and maybe one other person from this Group who gave $50. There are some who I would consider to be more CC Abuse people than PhxP who have given some practical help, but none of the PhxP-only regulars, mostly scolding and looking down their noses when I express real honest human expressions about the bad stuff that’s happened and gets defended by some in this very Group.

    “Atta boy” is not walking on the bridge. I give an “atta boy” to lots of stuff online like “atta boy Save Saeed, I hope they release you”…that is not waling on the bridge, that’s a pretty easy public sentence of support, but I haven’t sent money or donated time and I don’t claim to be “walking on the bridge” to save Saeed.

  31. @ 29 – Yes, awful stuff has happened in every denomination. I have recommended Christa Brown’s book about Baptist sex abuse to tons of people. Her blog is stopbaptistpredators.org . She used to have a quote from me featured on the side bar.

    However, this blog gets like Groundhog Day when the same crap is posted in every thread. I just want us to discuss the actual topic that Michael posts about.

  32. Believe says:

    On topic: SGM sucks. Mahaney sucks. I hope they lose a lot of money and support for their bad actions. May karma bite them in the ass-ets.

  33. Thank you for the blog link, Josh.

  34. Believe says:

    There is one former CC guy that has done way way way more than most. I’m very thankful to him. He spent countless hours being my friend and when push came to shove he ponied up a substantial amount of money, which helped cover costs. He’s not really a PhxP-ite, though he comments once in a blue moon. You know who you are and thank you again. You’re the only one who really stepped up in a practical way.

  35. Believe says:

    Back to the topic: SGM is a bunch of low down dirty bastards. Mahaney’s punishment should be to have to renounce his Calvinism and plant Calvary Chapel’s in Russia with George Bryson.

  36. Nonnie says:

    Believe, I disagree. None or very little scorn about your case, your charges of violent abuse. Many, many people believed you and your brothers and wanted to see the truth. Where we got burned was when you started viciously attacking folks because they didn’t respond the way you expected them to, and taking over the blog with your repetitive posts. That is apples and oranges.
    Many, many people here have prayed for you and are concerned about your well being and your legal case. You can believe that or not. I know what I believe.

  37. Geez, I’m supposed to send financial support to a guy who always brags about the several businesses he owns.

    Part 2 – I didn’t want to go off topic, but I can’t let Steve Wright get dragged through crap again. He is a great guy. He does not deserve the crap he has taken at this blog, for no other reason than being a pastor, and caring about others. Find a different punching bag.

  38. Believe says:

    Nonnie said, “Many, many people here have prayed for you and are concerned about your well being and your legal case. You can believe that or not. I know what I believe.”

    I don’t disagree with that. But, that and $5 will get me and my brothers a coffee at Starbucks. Another parable, since I’m on Jesus Parables today:

    25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

    26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

    27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]”

    28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

    29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

    30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

    36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

    37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

    Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

    You know who has had mercy on me the most? Atheists. Atheists followed by liberal Christians who many of you Fundamentalists would claim are unsaved.

    When push comes to shove, I have been severely disillusioned and disappointed by the vast majority of “Christians” in this whole saga. The biggest support has come from a fellow pastor abuse victim (Julie Anne), a former CC guy, some very liberal Christians and then a HUGE amount of help, encouragement, support, time, human-to-human counsel and “love” from Atheists (and some formerly religious).

  39. Poor, poor Alex. He doesn’t mean for every thread to be all about him. He just forces it to be that way.

  40. And by the way, Alex has never sent me a dime.

  41. Nonnie says:

    Can we not want the best for you, pray for you without bashing all things CC? I don’t agree with everything you do and I still hope the best for you. I feel that way about CC also. I love so many people and there is such good fruit coming out through many folks in the movement. I’m sorry if you cannot accept love and the best intentions from me If I won’t hate all things CC. It’s not who I am. I’ll walk away now..not angry at you and still hoping the best for you and still praying for you. I won’t argue with you. You can believe me or not.

  42. Crowned1 says:

    After reading some of the allegations, I have some questions for pastors:

    1) At what point do you cross the line from ‘admiration’ to ‘idolatry’ in regard to your particular ‘brand’ (corporate church)?
    2) If you do cross the line to idolatry, should you shut the corporation down as it is no longer a church but a business?

    I’ve often wondered where “Nothing worse than a snitch” originated from. I believe Satan invented it.

    I am also aware of several fraternities where you are under oath to not ‘rat out’ a fellow brother. This of course breeds corruption under the guise of “trust” and “having your back”.

    Where do “allegiances lie” in these situations?

  43. Believe says:

    Josh, I am a member of one business that is a multi-member LLC with other family. I used to make a lot of money back in the day, I have been clear that I don’t make a lot of money any longer. We make a living, but we’re not rich. My wife has been stressed out since day one of this ordeal and she has been shocked at how little support we’ve gotten from this Group that I have spent so much time with. She thinks I’m a total idiot for spending time on here and thinks very poorly of many of you. I think she’s right about the me being an idiot part. I got sucked into the “Crusade” over here (invited by Michael) and then left to take the arrows alone when the spit hit the fan.

    I don’t want your money Josh. That wasn’t the point. I don’t want anything that has to be schmoozed or politicked or ass-kissed into happening. That’s been a real truth-revealer for me. If “God” is still interactive with mankind today, I figured that me choosing to be brash and not an ass-kisser wouldn’t make a difference in “God’s People” and are supposedly “filled with the Spirit!” coming alongside and helping out.

    I see now that it’s a function of ass-kissing, PR’ing and everything the World knows to be true. “How to Win Friends and Influence People” rings much truer in practical terms than does the bible.

    When push comes to shove, most Fundamentalist Christians do no remotely resemble the Parables of Gahndi Jesus, they much more resemble the Parable of the Pharisee vs. the Publican.

    …but that’s assuming the bible is true, and maybe it isn’t.

  44. What is it that you call someone who holds others to a standard that he won’t live up to himself?

  45. Believe says:

    Back to the topic: I think I’ll send some real support to the SGM victims and not just “walk the bridge” with them by typing an atta boy on the internet. I think I’ll have mercy on them and try and help them in a practical way, even if one or two of them are assholes who are jaded from their experiences.

    Or, maybe that’s naive and stupid and should worry about me and my own first and foremost and not bother. Maybe I should just type an atta boy or two and then pray for them and then say how much I support them in their cause without really doing anything that costs me any time or money. Then I can tell them how they need to act a certain way and behave a certain way and how they need to be more righteous like I am.

  46. Where were you when my hundreds of thousands of dollars of medical bills came in? Oh yeah, you were making fun of me.

    Meanwhile, fundamentalists loved and supported me all the way through it.

  47. Michael says:

    My apologies, I was getting Trey ready for school.
    I have removed Steves name from the post in question.

  48. Frosted Flake says:

    Josh,
    Your #40 equals…..Histrionic Personality Disorder. Google it.

  49. Believe says:

    At the end of the day, most are full of shit and their shit is full of shit. I don’t know what good it does to bitch and moan about this sort of thing on a blog when it leads to none of you actually doing anything practical. Most of you are a bunch of fair-weather cheerleaders who take more time and effort in correcting blog etiquette than you do in actually putting a dent in the abuses and corruption you seem to be so opposed to.

    Give me a few fringe Christians who are really passionate and stick their actual necks out and a pile of Atheists over you blow-hard do-nothings any day.

    I don’t apologize for speaking the truth. If you don’t like it ban me or mod me or tell me to f**k off, makes no difference to me. I just won’t stay silent in the face of the total horse s**t which passes for “Christian”. If you’re going to claim the book is “infallible, inerrant, perfect!” and if you’re going to not tolerate any doubt and disbelief, then you sure as hell should put some of the stuff in practice.

    Again, to your shame, I have more Atheists “walking the bridge” with me than “Christians”…by far. Seems Jesus in the parable of the Good Samaritan defined who would “live” and who wouldn’t. Explain that paradox keyboard theologians.

  50. Frosted Flake says:

    Josh,
    It’s rare in males but considering his profile it is understandable.

  51. @ 49 – Where were you when I was in need?

    You are the blow hard. You keep condemning others but have done NOTHING yourself.

  52. Frosty – I did have to google it 🙂

  53. Crowned1 says:

    Believe @ 49

    I have no money. I’m still thousands of dollars in debt from all the money I gifted to a church (that I didn’t have) to help it expand years ago. The pastor assured me God would bless my donations and open floodgates of financial blessings on me.

    The only thing I have been blessed with so far is Bank interest on that debt. Tithe, the gift that keeps on giving.

    Now that you know that I am hurting, how may I help you aside from prayer?

  54. Pardon My Interruption says:

    Believe.

    Watching your rollercoaster ride from the grandstands, I can very much empathize with your sorting through various emotions. Even if it is done publically on a blog such as this. But, to allow that to interfere with your personal finances at the expense of your family is where you have dropped the ball, in my opinion.

    Hey. I get it man. Corruption, politics, power plays, and ego driven personas that lead lemmings over the cliff of reasonable faith are all too present in the Evangelical Church. The frustration is that everyone seems to either be in on it or seduced by it….like it’s some sort of Truman Show or something.

    But the key to going into the belly of the beast and fighting the spiritual disease is to know when to say when. In other words, in the words of U2, “don’t let the bastards drag you down”.

  55. Frosted Flake says:

    The rage and instability in #49 is classic and dangerous. I know he won’t like being “diagnosed” and that is not my purpose. We are dealing with very hurt person whose pain thrives on attention.

  56. Believe says:

    Josh, I’ve given $6,000 to one former PhxP couple.

    I’ve given Michael an $850 ipad and other monetary donations.

    I’ve sent hundreds of dollars to other PhxP and CC Abuse folks.

    I’ve stuck my neck out, spent countless hours hammering away at abuse stories on behalf of others and got sued for it.

    I’ve spent a ton of money flying to Costa Mesa, driving to Portland, flying to Visalia, hours spent sending reporters and attorneys information, etc etc all in an effort to do something practical to “have mercy” on abuse victims.

    So, basically, f**k you.

  57. Believe says:

    Crowned1 said, “I have no money. I’m still thousands of dollars in debt from all the money I gifted to a church (that I didn’t have) to help it expand years ago. The pastor assured me God would bless my donations and open floodgates of financial blessings on me.”

    That’s terrible. I’ve given far more than I should have to churches over the years as well. I often did it quietly because I bought into the “don’t let your right hand know what your left had is doing” b.s. so my step-dad didn’t see all the giving and often accused me of not doing enough. I stopped giving to him because I saw how the money was wasted, so I started helping folks directly and skipping the middle-man. But, I’m an evil unrighteous heathen and demon-possessed according to that Camp.

    Frosted Flake, I am dangerous, I speak my mind and tell the truth and I’m not afraid to go to war. Those are the most dangerous types of people.

  58. Michael says:

    At the end of the day a blog is interactive social media.
    It can publicize things that would otherwise be ignored and it can indeed raise awareness and create some amount of public pressure.
    I think we have done that well in this situation.
    What we can’t do is force anyone to do anything…either decision makers or readers.

  59. “I’ve stuck my neck out, spent countless hours hammering away at abuse stories on behalf of others and got sued for it.”

    You got sued by your step dad right? So the lawsuit wasn’t really on behalf of others, was it Mr Martyr?

    You’re judgmental and hypocritical. Two of the many things that make you an intolerable personality.

  60. Believe says:

    Frosted Flake, you have Bulls***t Coming out of Your Mouth Disorder. Due to the abuse, I’ve had to see qualified folks with the credentials to have an opinion about “disorders”. I do have a disorder, it’s called Asshole Disorder and a normal coping mechanism. Unfortunately for you and others who don’t like me, I was found to be dealing with the stuff in one of many normal ways for what I’ve experienced. I didn’t get labeled with any “disorders” other than human.

  61. Nonnie says:

    Well, I may be full of shit, but part of that continues to pray for you Alex.

  62. Believe says:

    Josh, I stuck up for my brother Paul who I believe. I stuck up for the many former staff, bookkeepers and long-time CC-ites who reported abuses to me. I got sued for speaking out on their behalf. Read the lawsuit or does the brain damage affect reading comprehension and memory?

  63. Believe says:

    Josh said, “You’re judgmental and hypocritical.”

    That’s the first thing you’ve gotten right today.

  64. Haha, good one.

    You got sued because you talked big and have acted like a baby ever since.

  65. Believe says:

    I’ll leave the SGM bitch-fest to you Bridge Walkers. I wish I could not get angry about this stuff. I wish I could say a prayer and type a platitude and ignore the abuses. I’ll try really hard to act like it’s not happening and that someone else will do something practical.

    I hope I can be as spiritual as some of you.

    Blessings. Praise Jesus!

  66. Part 2 – Read the lawsuit – HAHAHAHAHAHA!

    I remember when the Huge Win for free speech came out. I read it, and couldn’t understand why everyone was dancing in the streets. I assumed I just didn’t understand the legal
    language.

    Turns out I was the only one who understood.

  67. Pardon My Interruption says:

    Believe. Whiskey helps.

  68. Michael says:

    Make no mistake, there is a high personal cost to engaging in this kind of battle.
    I admit I failed to count that cost and have reaped the whirlwind myself.
    I still am…but I have chosen to do so.
    My hope, for Believe and myself is that we are in the middle of a process that God is engineering…and most processes don’t look good in the midst of them.
    The end result is often a completely different story.

  69. So Alex goes back to making fun of me because I had an aneurysm. I seem to remember him getting all bent out of shape when MLD said something like – he understood why Bob would beat him.

    Yeah, no hypocrisy there. None at all.

    I fully admit I’m not the best Christian in the world. I have huge trouble liking someone who is just so unkind.

  70. catherine says:

    Please…can we stop this? The only one who is really enjoying this is the evil one. There is hurt and pain enough in this life, without us devouring one another. I feel for Believe and pray and there is not more than that that I can do. Our Lord’s heart bleeds for us all.
    Can we not have peace with one another?

  71. Believe says:

    I got sued because I spoke out and kept the pressure on and wouldn’t let up, like a pit bull on a bone.

    I’ll survive it because I’m a survivor. It’s a war of attrition and it will cost my opponents a lot more men than it will cost me and I’ll do it all again if necessary.

    My greater disillusion is in God not acting and in the responses of so-called “good” Calvary Chapel pastors and even many on here.

    I’ve learned a lot about people and the mythology that Atheists and other non-Fundamentalists can’t be like Jesus. I’ve become a more empirical sort of truth standard type. I tend to cut through the b.s. with a sharper knife now and see things for what they are. I don’t know a whole lot for certain, but I can quantify situations and how human beings respond and I can compare that to the essence of the Parables of Jesus and the stuff adds up differently than Fundamentalists sell.

  72. God has spoken loud and clear, Alex. You’re not listening.

  73. Believe says:

    JTB (Josh The Brain), sounds like you read one of the “rulings”, which is not the “lawsuit”. Read the lawsuit. Read the Complaint and then read the Responses to the Complaint. That’s the “lawsuit”, not the “ruling” you seem to be calling the lawsuit.

  74. Believe says:

    JTB said, “God has spoken loud and clear, Alex. You’re not listening.”

    Well, God is currently in the Court of Appeals in California.

  75. Read my 66 again, I never called it the lawsuit. I just pointed out that your track record for understanding what you read isn’t so good.

  76. Believe says:

    But, yes, I think something has spoken…I’ve learned a ton and much of what I’ve learned has shattered the mythology of Christian Fundamentalism for me (thank God, in whatever form).

  77. Frosted Flake says:

    B,
    What is there to like Dude? Like I said “dangerous and unstable.” There is nothing normal about how you are coping with your pain. I have never seen more expletives unmoderated since I have been here. Your wife is correct, this blog is a bad place for you to process your considerable challenges. Out!

  78. Believe says:

    ” I just pointed out that your track record for understanding what you read isn’t so good.”

    I think you were referring to the article Michael wrote with that headline you cited? Are you accusing Michael of being an idiot?

  79. Believe says:

    F.Flake said, “There is nothing normal about how you are coping with your pain.”

    Others with credentials in the field who counsel abuse victims all the time disagree.

  80. Michael says:

    Joseph was sold by his family into slavery.
    He was rising up the slave ranks when a woman falsely accused him of attempted rape and he was thrown into prison for two years.
    After twenty years of hell, Joseph found that God had been in it all along.
    It had to be an incredibly painful, doubt ridden twenty years…but God redeemed the time.
    May it be so for all who read here…

  81. @ 78 – I said that day the post was unwarranted. You were leading the cheers, though, and the ruling was linked. It didn’t say what you thought it said. Period.

    I didn’t realize the existence of God was tied to how long Alex the Internet tough Guy could post crap about his dad and not get sued.

  82. Pardon My Interruption says:

    Michael. Truly, it’s a leap of faith these past ten years. You’ve paid a price and the full ramifications are probably not yet seen. I don’t know how it’ll all turn out but I do know you’ve got your finger on the pulse of our Christian circles.

  83. Pardon My Interruption says:

    Again, Believe, you should never let your Crusade affect your family. Always keep a line between business and religion.

  84. Pardon My Interruption says:

    Believe. It seems your going all “Franky Schaeffer” on us. LOL.

  85. Nonnie says:

    Michael’s 80, amen. Trusting that God does work all things together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purposes.

    Believe, I’m sorry you perceive that I have somehow hurt you or am against you. I am not. I have been offended by you, but I’m an adult, I’ve had teenagers sling stuff at me and can understand and deal it.. I have tried to speak to you, encourage you, teach, and gently correct you at times, but all along, I have wished the best for you. I am sorry you can’t see that. I’ll continue to pray for you, and I am adding your wife and children to that. I do hope that you treat them much, much better than the way you treat folks here.
    Please don’t take your anger and vitriol home with you.

  86. Michael says:

    Josh,

    I had an interesting conversation the other day with a friend whose family was done very badly wrong in another denominational group.
    She was working through some theological material about the providence of God and wondered aloud why He seems to allow such things to go on and go unaddressed.
    Sometimes I wonder that myself.
    This situation has been very hard on all of us.
    It has at times decimated the community and caused me unending stress on many levels…I’ve caught it from both sides and catch it from both to this very day.
    At the end of the day, I come back to the beginning.
    I tried to mediate resolution for this before anyone ever heard of any of the people involved.
    I was stonewalled.
    So, we went public, hoping that pressure would shame those who had authority into a real investigation and appropriate action.
    That didn’t work either.
    Now we have allegations of both physical and sexual abuse that have gone without proper investigation and disclosure and we have a pastor suing his step son.
    As Christians we owe it to the name of Christ to have done better…to have tried to resolve this within the church transparently and completely.
    It didn’t happen and it won’t happen.
    What we see here today…what we’ve seen here so often over the last couple of years…is the result of our failure to act biblically and in truth and in love for either those accused or the accusers.
    The SGM case this thread was originally about shouts the exact same message.
    This is high tragedy…indeed, a tragedy of biblical proportions.

  87. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    “Yep. Calvin would’ve burned ‘em at the stake.”

    LMAO!!

  88. Nonnie says:

    MIchael, I believe that most here agree completely with you. If what Believe has said is true, and I think many here do believe him, then it is a travesty that the church did not respond to these charges. it sickens me how this has been handled.

    However, the way he has treated people who meant him nothing but good will is inexcusable.

    Do his action prevent me from wanting the best for him and healing for him, NO! But that does not mean that the way he has treated people in this community is excusable. Again, I say, “Apples and oranges.”

  89. MIchael, I don’t know exactly why that was addressed to me. You know I am against abuse, and understand the price you’ve paid over the years.

    Alex, on the other hand is an internet bully, and I have a knee-jerk reaction to those types.

    As for SGM – it seems they had bad organization. I do hesitate to throw CJ under the bus, because so many people I respect think highly of him.

    That being said, we have to do better about reporting sexual abuse. I think many times the pastors think of it as an isolated incident, and they don’t want to ruin a friends life by accusing him publicly. These cases have shown again and again that strategy will not work. We have to do the right thing, even when it hurts.

  90. Xenia says:

    I was stonewalled<<<

    Michael, I am going to be perfectly honest with you and say straight up: Was it at all reasonable for you to expect the pastor of a church you never attended (as far as I know) to respond to you, a complete stranger with a blog with a reputation for being anti-CC, about personal details of his family life? Am I missing something here? You yourself have gotten enraged (yes, enraged) when people asked you personal questions about your family. Why on earth did you ever expect BG to respond to you? I surely would not have. Yet you have always used this perfectly understandable reluctance on BG's part to talk to you as the reason you went full-bore (for a while) with the Alex story.

  91. Dude says:

    This whole scandle is a foul stench in our Lord nostrals.He is being misrepresented and mocked by church leaders who claim to be Servants.This whole thing leaves me distressed.I can see the lampstands getting dimmer and dimmer.

  92. London says:

    Michael,
    At what point does it stop being “our” responsibility that someone we’ve never heard of before did something horrible x number of years ago and start becoming the responsibility of the people involved, all now adults, to accept the fact that the past isn’t going to change and deal with things in a way that they get healing for themselves.
    There’s many, many, many people in the church that have been victims and perpetrators of all kinds of “sins”.
    I think we are each responsible for working on our healing without causing harm to others as much as possible, and for admitting to others when we hurt them (that part sucks the most for me cause I like to play the “victim role” more than i like admitting I sometimes play the perpetrator role)

    I’m NOT responsible for anyone else’s sin or healing. To keep saying that we are, is almost a form of co-dependency that isn’t healthy for anyone…

    What do you think?

  93. Michael says:

    Josh,

    I know that you are completely opposed to abuse and would never question your heart on this matter.
    My point is that the system can create this kind of behavior when it provides no other options.

  94. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    Others have made that point as well.
    I went about it respectfully and hopefully and it was perhaps a fools errand.

  95. @ 93 – I agree. Unfortunately, we have seen abusers in every system. I’m not sure where else to go with it. Bad guys abound.

  96. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Church scandals are becoming passe now. People need to read the word for themselves so that they can Identify unbiblical leadership and then run for the hills!

  97. Xenia says:

    Yet when he declined to share his personal life with you, you use the pejorative term “stonewall.”

  98. Nonnie says:

    “My point is that the system can create this kind of behavior when it provides no other options.”

    Michael, I respect you so much, but I disagree. That is like saying, “The devil made me do it.”

  99. Michael says:

    London,

    Good questions.
    We are all individually responsible for our actions and responses to the actions of others.
    I am not defending or excusing anyones behaviors.
    Having said that, the Bible speaks of us as a Body, an interconnected assemblage of individual parts responsible to each other by the the law of love.
    When one hurts, we all hurt, when one rejoices, we all rejoice.
    We are biblically bound to hold each other up, both in exhortation and rebuke.
    My hope for the last ten years has been that we would begin to strive toward those ideals and that maybe we could play a tiny part in facilitating that.

  100. Michael says:

    Nonnie,

    Maybe so…but the lack of a mechanism to address these issues exacerbates the problems.

  101. Frosted Flake says:

    As I see it we have two plates on the same table. Justice and Recovery. The victim desperately needs healing and the perpetrator needs to be accountable. One requires reporting and law enforcement and other the court system. The church cannot arrest, detain, file charges, pass judgement or pronounce sentencing. The church can do what the church can do which isn’t much IMO. Having been in the ministry for a while now we have uncovered over a hundred cases of sexual abuse and ALL of them have been reported to the authorities. We haved helped several “Christian” men and women go to jail. So I don’t readily buy into the “pastor’s suck” language used so often around here. As far as the victim? We pray, we confront, we tough love and hopefully counsel them to a better place. As far as Believe is concerned this thread is a flame and it is understandable that “Mighy Moth” would show up with hurt in hand.

  102. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    Yes, I did.
    No one will ever know how much I didn’t want to see what we have seen happen in this situation.
    I am very frustrated that it happened anyway.

  103. Xenia says:

    Lack of mechanism<<<

    Well, that's what most of you want, isn't it? Freedom to do whatever you like without interference from some kind of medieval hierarchy of bishops? All you fans of independent churches…. what do you expect? You can't eschew all authority on one hand but scream that there's no one to come to your assistance on the other hand when your free-range pastor goes off the rails.

  104. PP Vet says:

    Could we please please please talk about something less controversial, like, say, abortion clinic bombing or something?

  105. Nonnie says:

    I believe Xenia has a point. My husband and I “walked away” very quietly from a church many years ago because of what was being taught. We were confronted and rebuked for not making a statement about why we left, and told we should have informed the leadership. We didn’t really feel we owed explanation seeing we were not “members” of the church and we did not want to cause any trouble. We just wanted to leave.

  106. London says:

    Michael,
    I understand we’re called a body, but at some level, if we don’t take care of ourselves by doing what we gotta do to get healed and quit perpetrating (in whatever form that takes) then we are just causing more injury to the body.

    I’m not going to accept that I am responsible for some guy I’ve never heard of before behaving in a way that is disgraceful.

    If we all shared our stories of how we’ve been severely wounded by the church, our parents, our friends, our lovers, our employers all day long, what would we gain? We’ve all got HUGE scars and open wounds.

    It’s my responsibility to do what I gotta do to heal from as many of those as possible so I don’t continue to wound others. Sometimes that takes a lifetime of hard work.

    I’m only responsible for myself and those in my family and circle of friends. I am NOT responsible for all the idiots that are in the global church.

    I think we’re mistaking connection with co-dependency here.

  107. mike says:

    Wow! I last checked in before starting work at 7a and now I come back to at 11a to find someone has opened the cage with all the poo throwing monkeys…

    What happened? How did we get to several ‘brothers in christ’ telling eachother to F off and openly attacking eachother’s person?

    Someone’s been Moderating in Moderation and not cleaning up after the well being of the Rest of the World who might be looking in to see how Christians treat eachother.

    Do what you want, it’s your blog ‘community’ but… Wow!
    -MIC

  108. Michael says:

    London,

    You might be right.
    Looking at this discussion and the rest of my life I probably need to step back and try to hear what God is saying in the carnage.

  109. “How did we get to several ‘brothers in christ’ telling each other ”

    For the record, I only saw one say that. Several people involved in the convo, but only one saying stuff like that.

    Now, i think since around # 86 or so some real good conversation has started to take place. London brings up some good questions about the limits of our irresponsibility, and Xenia hits the nail on the head. SGM by definition cannot have some governing body. It, like CC and SBC, is a network of independent churches.

    Unfortunately, in more organized denominations, these types of scandals happen all the time. I don’t see a clear answer.

  110. Michael says:

    mike,

    I don’t have any moderators available and I chose not to remove the comments.
    It’s ugly and painful and sometimes this is what the church looks like.
    I didn’t even bother with your flame.

  111. PP Vet says:

    “It’s ugly and painful and sometimes this is what the church looks like.”

    You always know what to say ….

  112. I think Michael’s #80 needs to be stated again and again.

    “Joseph was sold by his family into slavery.
    He was rising up the slave ranks when a woman falsely accused him of attempted rape and he was thrown into prison for two years.
    After twenty years of hell, Joseph found that God had been in it all along.
    It had to be an incredibly painful, doubt ridden twenty years…but God redeemed the time.
    May it be so for all who read here…”

  113. “After twenty years of hell, Joseph found that God had been in it all along.”

    Exactly.

  114. Wait, let me see if I’ve got this straight. Believe wouldn’t be so flaming mad at God and us if we had just paid a financial toll to walk on the bridge. I don’t know how I missed that all along. Damn, am I stupid or what?

  115. Catherine, just wanted to say that your #70 did not go unnoticed.

  116. Believe says:

    London said, “I understand we’re called a body, but at some level, if we don’t take care of ourselves by doing what we gotta do to get healed and quit perpetrating (in whatever form that takes) then we are just causing more injury to the body.”

    London said, “It’s my responsibility to do what I gotta do to heal from as many of those as possible so I don’t continue to wound others. Sometimes that takes a lifetime of hard work. I’m only responsible for myself and those in my family and circle of friends. I am NOT responsible for all the idiots that are in the global church.”

    Yes, that is my current conclusion and something I expressed to Michael offline when I got a similar talk from him about how he has to take care of himself and his family.

    I didn’t follow that advice, I stuck my neck out for others thinking it was the “Christian” thing to do. I have learned by lesson and expressed what is in essence exactly what London says above, only I expressed it more crassly.

    Don’t give money, don’t stick your neck out, don’t risk your well-being for others. Take care of you and yours. That is the true belief and true doctrine expressed above…and I feel like a sucker (as Crowned1 does) for buying into the b.s. and costing me and my family so much time and money.

  117. Xenia says:

    Whenever I go to confession Father G. always starts out with the following questions: Do you consider yourself to be a sinner? Have you forgiven everyone? See, forgiving everyone is a requirement for me to receive communion. There’s one person in my life, a relative, who has caused me a great deal of emotional distress. I always say to Father G, ” I am not sure I have completely forgiven this person, I keep remembering things that happened.” He responds, “God forgive you, keep trying, that’s what counts.” I think I might have really forgiven this person because despite all that has happened I wish this person only the best and I have made no effort to spread all the bad things I know about this person all over the Internet.. In fact, except for immediate family and a few close friends, I don’t talk about this person at all because deep down inside, I do love them and it hurts me to say bad things about a person I love. It is hard to love this person. Love and forgiveness is a choice. It is a hard choice, sometimes, but it is what our Lord requires of us. He says if we don’t forgive others, He won’t forgive us. <— That is rather terrifying, don't you all think? And forgiveness is more than saying, "Oh yes, I forgive this person"BUT and then going about trying to destroy their life.

    There is no healing without forgiveness. God knows what He's talking about. We will reap what we sow and we ourselves. will fall into the pit that we dig.

    There is no healing w/o forgiveness. <— Can't be said enough.

  118. London says:

    The funny thing is…I think it’s a balance (I’m mostly writing today to myself btw)…

    I DO feel responsible (maybe a different way of using the word than I did above) for other people in the world who are suffering.
    I highly value social justice initiatives and try in my small way to do what I can to help others that I have chosen to help.

    I think it’s important to inform others of issues, and to allow them to join in the fight or movement as they see fit. What I resist and will not condone is anyone trying to guilt, force or blame me into doing what they want done.

    Nor, will I accept that somehow, by claiming the name of Jesus, I am automatically responsible for anyone else’s actions but my own.

  119. Believe says:

    CK, it’s the heart and the attitude and the lack of practical help. I don’t care if it was $1, it’s the fact very very few did anything practical and it speaks volumes and taught me a lesson about truth and how things are. I am a sucker, Crowned1 was a sucker. I won’t be the “church’s” fool any longer.

    Take care of #1 and your own family. Provide for them, protect them and make sure to pick your battles wisely and don’t listen to the manipulative religious b.s. especially when they need money or help with something.

  120. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    “I think I might have really forgiven this person because despite all that has happened I wish this person only the best and I have made no effort to spread all the bad things I know about this person all over the Internet.. In fact, except for immediate family and a few close friends, I don’t talk about this person at all because deep down inside, I do love them and it hurts me to say bad things about a person I love. It is hard to love this person. Love and forgiveness is a choice. It is a hard choice, sometimes, but it is what our Lord requires of us. He says if we don’t forgive others, He won’t forgive us. <— That is rather terrifying, don't you all think? And forgiveness is more than saying, "Oh yes, I forgive this person"BUT and then going about trying to destroy their life.

    There is no healing without forgiveness. God knows what He's talking about. We will reap what we sow and we ourselves. will fall into the pit that we dig.

    There is no healing w/o forgiveness. <— Can't be said enough."'

    Word is Bond!!

  121. Pardon My Interruption says:

    “I feel like a sucker for buying into the B.S. and costing me and my family so much money”.

    With all due respect, your feeling is accurate.

    Rarely does one regret the things they don’t say in comparison to the things they do.

  122. London says:

    Believe,
    Perhaps not intentionally, you are twisting my words to Michael and saying that you did “exactly” what I suggested above, but that’s not really the case. My words weren’t about you. They were about me.

    You did whatever it is you did (don’t know, don’t care to know) and you made the choices.
    You and only you are responsible for those actions, just like I and everyone else here who is an adult, is responsible for their own actions.

    Only children are not 100% responsible for their actions at some level.

    As adults, we all are.

    Please don’t use my words in a way I did not mean them.

    Thanks

  123. Believe says:

    Make your own miracles. If you are out of work and have a brain in your head (and Michael does, he’s very smart)…then retrain in healthcare, become a nurse or an x-ray tech or a cardiology tech or something in very high demand that you can find work anywhere. The tech programs are usually 2 years and then you have a good job with benefits. There are many jobs that are currently unfilled because the unemployed aren’t training specifically for those jobs. Use your brain. Pick a field that has a future and is underserved.

    If you see someone who has suffered abuse, tell them life sucks and to avoid churches that abuse. If it was sexual or physical abuse as a child by a pastor or loved one, tell them it’s not their fault and the pain and anger are normal and then stfu and let them vent and if the statute of limitations hasn’t run out, point them to a good attorney.

    If you are pointing the finger of judgment as a pastor or holier-than-though Fundy Pharisee at another human being who isn’t living up to your selective pick-and-choose view of the bible, then chances are those other fingers pointing back at you are condemning you to hell, just like the Parable from Jesus.

    Expect human beings to be dirt-bags sometimes. When they cross a criminal line, report. When they cross a civil line, sue the hell out of them (if it’s that important to you).

    If someone needs money or food, give them the number to a church and the government. If they can’t get help through those two avenues, they aren’t trying hard enough. There will always be suckers who give their time and money to some churches and there will always be some churches that will give money and food away. There are a TON of government options at the national, state and local levels.

    Any time or money you spend not directly benefitting you and your immediate family is stupid. Don’t buy into the sales pitch of “church”. When push comes to shove, the real belief and the real doctrine expressed (in general) is every man for himself.

    Go and do likewise.

  124. Xenia @ 117 – Once again speaking with so much wisdom. I have never met a better ambassador for the Orthodox Church.

  125. Believe says:

    London, I wasn’t asserting that your words were about me, I was noting that you made a public expression in your words that was extremely similar/same to a conclusion I made to Michael off-blog after he told me essentially what you stated, focus on you and those in your close family and close circle and there is no obligation as a “Christian” to step out and risk your resources, time, legal trouble etc for someone else. You are under no obligation. Look out for #1 and those you deem as close to you and important to you, and you are under no obligation to help others who you don’t know in the ‘church’ or wherever, as you expressed in that post.

  126. Incognito, you said, “Captain Kevin I am not even a human being and that is on a good day please don’t admire me, please pray God’s eternal wrath does not take me out. Now that is a prayer I might even agree with.”

    With much love and respect, I rebuke your line of thinking. You are a compassionate, caring, walk-a-mile-in-their-shoes kind of man. I choose to admire you because you admit your shortcomings. I choose to admire you because, even though you have been treated like scum by purveyors of religion, you continue to trust Jesus. I choose to admire you for the self-sacrificing way you have cared for your family and your students. I choose to admire you because you have a heart for those who hurt.

    God’s eternal wrath was poured out upon Jesus. You are not destined for wrath. You are dearly loved by God, by me, and by many in the PhxP community.

    Can I get a witness?

  127. Nonnie says:

    Aye, aye, Capt. K!!!

  128. TEstifyin’ on #126!

  129. London says:

    Believe,
    Still not what I meant by the post, but that’s ok. People filter and perceive things differently than they were intended and that’s fine today.
    Not going to spend time trying to correct the translation.

    Like I said, writing mostly for myself today anyway.

  130. Believe says:

    Again, another Paradox in the bible and in the church.

    Out of one side of the mouth: Be the Good Samaritan!

    Out of the other side of the mouth: We are under NO OBLIGATION to help others, I don’t even know this guy! He’s an asshole! (But, err, I thought this was a ‘community’? And why was I so stupid to help others I don’t know? I guess I’m a total sucker idiot)

  131. Michael says:

    CK,

    I affirm that as well.

  132. Crowned1 says:

    Believe @ 116

    You are correct, I indeed felt suckered. I will never again tithe to man’s church. This is the legacy man’s church has left me with. Missionaries & charities only in the future.

    As far as sticking your neck out…you are in a spiritual battle with evil. satan has zero interest in scandals being exposed and ruining his plans for man’s church structures.

    It is his desire for man’s churches to remain cesspools of evil. he will do everything he can (money & power) to stop you.

    You are not assured fiscal victory over evil, but you are assured spiritual victory. Do you not know that we will judge angels? Last time I checked, satan is an angel.

  133. Believe says:

    London, no worries, and I agree with your assessment about communication. I often am doing exactly what you stated, writing for myself (though others perceive it as for them).

  134. Xenia, I love your #117 and agree with Josh’s response at #124.

  135. Michael says:

    Believe,

    The context of our conversation was the amount of conflict and attention that these situations demand of me…and my reality that I can’t pay the price to do so anymore.
    Whether you believe it or not, I have worked hard on your behalf and loved you through this whole mess.
    I regret that it hasn’t been enough, but you got all I had.

  136. London says:

    Again, not sure if you know you’re doing it…but please stop attaching yourself to my words and my feelings. You have NEVER before expressed that you are writing for yourself (that’s what your blog is for btw) until I just did.
    Now, I anticipate that whenever you go on one of your rants, you’ll pull that line out and say it’s ok…”I’m just writing for myself just like London does”.

    It’s so predictible that it’s just plain lame.

    Don’t do it.

  137. London says:

    Bri…what KK said. 😉

  138. Believe says:

    I’ve given all I can as well for the “cause” to the point it has taken a toll spiritually, emotionally and financially, but I will survive it and I will fight harder and more ferociously if I’m forced to. I’d rather die than give in to the injustice and real bullies.

    I won’t make the mistake again of allowing my emotions and sympathies and anger to get the better of me to the point of spending so much time and money and personal emotional capital.

  139. “I will fight harder and more ferociously if I’m forced to. I’d rather die than give in to the injustice and real bullies.

    I won’t make the mistake again of allowing my emotions and sympathies and anger to get the better of me to the point of spending so much time and money and personal emotional capital.”

    These seem like 2 completely contradictory statements. Pray tell, how will your wife and children fair if you fight harder and more ferociously, even to the point of death? I’m not trying to bait you, I honestly don’t see how these things can possibly coincide.

  140. Believe says:

    London, I’m going to choose intentionally to extend some grace to you. You’re not my enemy. And, yes, there’s a high probability I would point that out a few times 🙂

  141. Steve Wright says:

    Now that the Corinthians study is about over, Michael could do a Proverbs blog study.

    I know as we are going through it at our place, there is so much application to the internet age of communication.

    Which is truly amazing when one thinks how old the Proverbs happen to be.

    God’s word is timeless.

  142. Agreed Steve, in fact His Word is alive and still speaking!

  143. London says:

    Thanks for the grace.

    I’m learning to own my own feelings, words and actions so appreciate that you are not going to try to claim them as your your own or manipulate them to mean what you want them to mean instead of what I want them to mean.

  144. Believe says:

    CK, there comes a point in a war that the two sides look to end the conflict that is resulting in mutual attrition. I have come to the realization that my fighting for others has not resulted in God doing anything in an active manner (I think God, if real, is much more passive in His creation than the Fundamentalist version of god). I have significant doubts now in the god of Christian Fundamentalism (and the god of Calvary Chapel which is what gave me the conviction to stick my neck out in the first place).

    However, if the opponents continue the fight, I will do whatever I can within my power, energies and resources to win the war or die trying (metaphorically). When you go to war, you have to be prepared to go the distance and fight to the death (metaphorically). As a General, you also have to make assessments, survey the damage, survey the benefits of war etc and make a good decision.

    While I believe in my right to free speech, while I believe my brother, while I know of my own direct personal experiences, while I believe in the real pain and the things reported by many others, I no longer believe in the Fundamentalist Christian “Cause” of fighting the abuse and corruption in the church and following 1 Timothy 3, Titus 1, Matthew 18, Ephesians 5:11, 1 Timothy 5:19-22 etc etc. Others can swing at those windmills and risk their necks.

  145. Believe says:

    multiple verse stuck in mod

  146. Q says:

    Alex, people not giving may not be for the reasons you have stated; for some giving money is a great sacrifice, people have given money in blind faith before and then seen how it was mismanaged in many different ways.

    Maybe I missed something but I never knew what the bills were or if enough had been collected, my understanding was you were going to win and then the plaintiff would have to pay legal fees, etc.,what was going to happen to the money then, was it going to be returned…maybe start a ministry for the abused, who was responsible to see the money was not mismanaged, or does a person just trust the main guy again.

    So more information and accountability measures may have different results.

    Also the case changed into a freedom of speech case; how would that bring some final solution, or just allow more blogging without bringing the facts to light, I would prefer the plaintiff answering under deposition.

  147. Believe says:

    The Appeal’s Process will play out. If we win in Appeals then that should be the end of the conflict. If we lose, we simply continue the War in a traditional defamation lawsuit context if the adversary chooses to continue the fight…and we fight on and keep on fighting at the expense of mutual attrition to the death (metaphorically) until someone wins or gives up.

    I’ll hope for the best and have a couple of years to prepare for the worst.

  148. Steve Wright says:

    Believe @148 – Or….you could take my suggestions from a few weeks ago, for the good of your family, your finances, and your soul.

  149. Believe says:

    Q, I got a ton of advice from pastors, CC pastors, family and lawyer friends etc. At one time I wanted to fight the lawsuit Pro Per/Pro Se to fight the good fight and expect a “miracle” from God for stepping out doing what I believed was right.

    I was a fool.

    I was told so by pretty much everyone, including Michael.

    The only option was the Anti-SLAPP option and thank God (in whatever form) that the Atheists and Free Speech attorneys has mercy on me and Tim and decided to help us.

  150. Believe says:

    Steve Wright, the smear on the toilet paper after I take a #2 and your “advice” are equivalent in my world. Save your “advice” for one of your CCool-aid drinkers at your franchise.

    I’m getting good advice from some very smart men who have credentials a mile long and have spoken more truth to me than any of you pastors.

  151. “I’m getting good advice from some very smart men who have credentials a mile long and have spoken more truth to me than any of you pastors.”

    And where has that gotten ya?

  152. Believe says:

    And, Steve, if BG somehow wins, you and other CC pastors who gave me advice to focus on BG exclusively may get some accountability as the message to lay off Chuck and CC as a whole and to focus on BG is one of the biggest angles in BG’s lawsuit against us. Seems like you and the other CC guys like Rolph and even Chuck may have been setting me up to give BG an advantage in his suit. That’s my opinion.

  153. Cause spreading the bullcrap is a much better strategy!

  154. Xenia says:

    that should be the end of the conflict. <<<

    You can end the conflict right now by repenting and apologizing to your step father.

    Counter-intuitive, I know, but such is the Kingdom of Heaven.

  155. Steve Wright says:

    I know my 20 years working in the field of liability insurance means nothing, but speaking for myself, it has been my experience that no reputable attorney promises victory – at best maybe they will hope for a 80% chance (and thus why so often things are settled beforehand).

    Hard to see how an attorney lets his client prematurely spike the football on just a preliminary ruling that ultimately is not indicative of much.

    Hard to see how an attorney is so ‘shocked’ at a denial of a motion to throw out the case.

    Certainly no reputable attorney urges continued appeals despite terrible odds. I believe the civil appeal victory rate in CA is 20-25% – hard to imagine it being much higher when the appeal is asking to deny someone their day in court and the first judge is on record as saying the plaintiff has a high degree of meeting his burden.

    But every attorney knows how to cash a check. They are PAID to represent their clients. But PAID nonetheless.

    Maybe you can get some of these assurances in writing. At least to build your professional liability lawsuit against them for later, if their promises to you are as you report. Will the attorneys waive their additional fees if the appeal process is a failure?

    Or you could scrub the blog of the Bob references, (go ahead and keep it up for all the other CC stuff. Just drop the Bob stuff) – then ask Bob to drop his case and proceed to enjoy your family and life.

  156. Believe says:

    “And where has that gotten ya?”

    Well, the advice from Michael, Steve, Rolph, Chuck and many others and my belief in the Fundamentalist take on the bible to speak out against sin etc has gotten me sued for what BG says was a “hate campaign” specifically against him (which isn’t true, but that’s the angle he’s arguing and that’s the advice I got from the CC guys and others many times).

    The advice I have gotten from attorneys once I was sued was that I am within my first amendment rights to speak out, and they point out the fact that I have spoken broadly to issues of public interest and many other pastors and abuses etc as I often went against the advice of Michael, Steve, Shaun, Rolph, Ron Arbaugh and many other pastors who railed against me every time I spoke about Chuck and CC in general.

    The advice I’ve gotten from atheists and attorneys since is to appeal the lower court ruling and to stick to my guns and to re-evaluate Christian Fundamentalism. Their advice is that the law is on my side and that I have the right to believe my brother and the others and to speak out publicly if that is my conviction.

    While I believe what happened is wrong and while I believe my brother and the others, and while I believe I have the right to speak out…I no longer feel the “spiritual” conviction or obligation to do so and I’ve learned that Christian Fundamentalism is not true in the form I once believed.

    BG says he’s good to go with his Board, with Calvary Chapel and with law enforcement in his area. So be it. If CC wants to rubber stamp him, if people want to sit under him and give him their money and trust him, then so be it. My brother can press charges if he wants to pursue justice. I believe him, I feel terrible for him, but I can’t fight that battle for him any longer.

    I felt a deep conviction and thought I was doing the Fundamentalists “God’s work!” at one time…I now feel like a total idiot for sticking my neck out and expecting God to miracle something.

    I’ll finish the legal fight, but I won’t beat the drum any longer. CC can do their thing, BG can do his thing. If God is real in some capacity, if the stuff is true in some capacity, then I imagine it’ll get taken care of someday, if not in this existence, in the next…but doubtful. I don’t think BG or CC really believes the stuff deep down. The actions don’t seem to express a true belief.

  157. Pardon My Interruption says:

    The lack of any pro bono work, a sympathetic lawyer taking up the cause, seems to say something about the strength of Believe’s case.

  158. “I felt a deep conviction and thought I was doing the Fundamentalists “God’s work!” at one time.”

    You are hilarious. Let’s say you were doing the Lord’s work…what did you expect? Have you ever read the Bible? Guys who do the Lord’s work end up dead all the time in the Bible. It’s not a good paying job in this life.

  159. Believe says:

    “You can end the conflict right now by repenting and apologizing to your step father.”

    If there’s a real devil, that came from him. I rebuke you in the name of Jeebus.

  160. Crowned1 says:

    Steve @ 148

    Unless we’re speaking solely about John 3:16…”Submit…or else”…should never be in a pastor’s vocabulary…ever

    Know what the motto of a pastor should be?

    1 Corinthians 6:7-8

    Why is it that the laymen understand this but so many pastors cannot figure it out? With your ‘calling’ and all, I’d think something like this in black and white would make sense.

    Not pointing fingers at you Steve, would just love a “pastor’s perspective” on this. Err umm, Trademark KWVE 2013, please don’t sue me 🙂

  161. “I’ve learned that Christian Fundamentalism is not true in the form I once believed.”

    Apparently, what you believed was – If I do something right, God gives me a cookie.
    Yes, you were highly misinformed.

    Xenia speaks much wisdom. Don’t be too quick to dismiss her while listening to Atheists and lawyers.

  162. Believe says:

    “The lack of any pro bono work, a sympathetic lawyer taking up the cause, seems to say something about the strength of Believe’s case.”

    You have bad intel and bad info and don’t understand the situation. The leading Free Speech firm in the state of California took on the case and is fighting it through Appeals. The bulk of the expenses are pro bono, but there’s still costs involved and there are still tons of time and misc. expenses etc. Fortunately, the couple of hundred thousand dollars for our attorney’s bills will be BG’s if he loses in Appeals.

  163. Why not just go to court, if the truth is on your side?

  164. Believe says:

    “Apparently, what you believed was – If I do something right, God gives me a cookie”

    I was intentional about stepping out in extreme faith. God was silent. I believed to the extreme and was intentional to the extreme and stepped out in faith in the extreme, like I had read in the OT and NT. God was silent. The church was silent.

    The main Group that stepped up to help were Atheists and Humanists, while the “church” has BG’s back.

    Sorry, not buying Christian Fundamentalism any longer. I’m a fool, but I’m no longer a sucker.

  165. Believe says:

    “Why not just go to court, if the truth is on your side?”

    We are in court dumbass.

  166. Pardon My Interruption says:

    “….if he loses in Appeals.”

    He won’t. You’re stuck in a pipe dream.

  167. Q says:

    If what people have stated about the abuse they have suffered and there is no repentance,
    how would it be wise to apologize?

    Seems more like selling your soul than wisdom.

  168. Believe says:

    “He won’t. You’re stuck in a pipe dream.”

    Maybe, maybe not. If he wins in Appeals and if he wants to keep fighting after that, we’ll be ready, thank God for Atheist lawyers who are more sympathetic to victims than the church.

  169. Xenia says:

    Seems more like selling your soul than wisdom.<<<

    It is more about saving your soul.

  170. Pardon My Interruption says:

    You’ll keep fighting? Even if it comes at the expense of your kids? If so, you’re no better a dad to your kids than yours was to you.

  171. ““Why not just go to court, if the truth is on your side?”

    We are in court”

    You knew what I meant. I just remember a post of you thumping you big, manly chest about how you WLECOMED a lawsuit, and couldn’t wait to get the truth out in court. I’m asking, why has that changed?

  172. Q says:

    Not exposing darkness saves souls?

    With that wisdom the lawsuit with SGM should be repented of and apologies should be made immediately.

  173. Xenia says:

    What might be gained by repenting and apologizing?

    1. A possible reconciliation with your entire family.
    2. Your step-dad might just apologize to YOU and ask your forgiveness.
    3. A clean conscience.

    What might happen if you continue?

    1. No reconciliation, ever. I would not want to approach the gates of heaven with this one on my ticket.
    2. Continual corrosion of your soul and your faith.
    3. Leading your family into apostasy. (might as well get fitted for the millstone now.)
    4. Possible loss of your businesses
    5. Years wasted by dragging this through the courts

    The choice seems obvious to me.

  174. Crowned1 says:

    Pardon @ 170

    So because his family might suffer monetary consequences for standing up for morality/truth and the exposure of sin, he is a bad father? What color is the sky in your world?

    Self preservation > The Gospel? No thank you.

  175. Xenia says:

    I am not saying the CURRENT cases of abuse should not be pursued in the courts. If you see someone being physically abused, call the cops and be willing to be a witness at court.

  176. “Self preservation > The Gospel? No thank you.”

    Which side of the Greneir case is representing the Gospel?!?!?

  177. Q says:

    Is not the alleged in a “CURRENT” position of trust?

  178. Believe says:

    X, you don’t know BG very well.

    “What might be gained by repenting and apologizing?

    1. A possible reconciliation with your entire family.
    2. Your step-dad might just apologize to YOU and ask your forgiveness.
    3. A clean conscience.”

    1. Wouldn’t happen, you don’t know BG. My bro Geoff made peace with BG (even though it was BG who hurt him and was in the wrong) and my bro still got shunned for not lying for BG any longer.
    2. Wouldn’t happen, not a chance in hell (if there is such a place).
    3. I have a clean conscience, I had an unclean conscience lying for him all those years.

  179. Steve Wright says:

    Well, the advice from Michael, Steve, Rolph, Chuck and many others and my belief in the Fundamentalist take on the bible to speak out against sin etc has gotten me sued
    ——————————————————————–
    Since Believe already has a track record and made it clear a couple years ago that he was collecting all our words here for a possible lawsuit that he was going to instigate against the brethren, I must say this sounds like more of the same.

    Our advice got him sued?

    As I’ve said over and over, the more times Believe interprets things in such an odd way, the less likely people are to believe anything he claims.

  180. Believe says:

    X said, “It is more about saving your soul.”

    You believe “I” can save my soul? How can I do that specifically?

  181. Pardon My Interruption says:

    Crowned. Re:173. Yep. Kids are more important than exposing Gramps.

    …. The sky is my world is the following color: You’re a dork.

  182. Believe says:

    Steve W, your advice, often, was to focus on BG and leave CC and Chuck alone. Seems a bit coincidental to me that a fellow CC pastor would use that advice as an opportunity to sue, no?

  183. @ 179 – She spelled that out for ya @ 154.

  184. Believe says:

    Steve W, I don’t believe anything you claim, other than that you sold insurance at one time. That I believe.

  185. Michael says:

    Folks, I think we’ve exhausted this.
    There is nothing happening here that is helpful to any of us.
    Wrap it up.

  186. Believe says:

    Josh, I can save myself by lying and agreeing with BG? That sounds like an odd salvation. I think I’ll pass.

  187. Believe, I’ve noticed you are distancing yourself from your blog. You now state that you got sued fro believing your brother, and standing up for others. Wasn’t there tons of things that YOU alleged Bob did?

    Or has that been scrubbed from history now?

  188. Q says:

    “As I’ve said over and over, the more times Believe interprets things in such an odd way, the less likely people are to believe anything he claims.”

    Regardless, shouldn’t these claims be properly investigated by the Affiliation?

  189. The Affiliation claims they did investigate them, and there was not enough for them to move on.

  190. Xenia says:

    Josh, I can save myself by lying and agreeing with BG? That sounds like an odd salvation. I think I’ll pass.<<<

    How you twist words. I never said you had to agree with BG or lie. I apologized to my former CC pastor for some of the things I said about him here years ago. The things I said were all true but I should not have said them here.

  191. Xenia says:

    And it wasn’t too easy to write that letter, either.

  192. Believe says:

    Josh, read the lawsuit, you are speaking from ignorance. BG is not suing for my personal abuse allegations, he is suing for reporting my belief in Paul’s allegations and the allegations of the many others who gave sworn testimony in the lawsuit.

  193. Believe says:

    OK X, here goes:

    Since BG reads every word I write: BG, I’m sorry I called you an asshole and a dick. I still believe Paul and you and the others and you and I both know what happened in that home with you, me and Geoff.

  194. Believe, re: your #159, you are rebuking Xenia because what she said is of the devil???

    NO SIR!!! NO!!! As she stated, “Counter-intuitive, I know, but such is the Kingdom of Heaven.” While I honestly do believe that what you, your siblings and others have experienced is tragic and that BG is an a-hole of the highest order, that does not change what is the right-thing-to-do. YOU do the right thing because it is right, and if BG never repents, rest assured God will deal with him. The forgiveness and apology is as much, if not more, for yourself than anyone else.

  195. Believe says:

    Should be: “I still believe Paul and the others” above.

  196. Steve Wright says:

    Steve W, your advice, often, was to focus on BG and leave CC and Chuck alone
    ———————————————————–
    Michael, before you shut the thread down, allow me to go on record that Believe is not just inaccurate in this summary, but outrageously so. (Need to prepare my legal defense for when you blog gets subpoenaed if Believe is playing around with the ideas he hints at here)

    Believe, I do notice your #182 response did not exactly deny my conclusion that your words here in several posts sound like a man looking to sue others for the troubles you brought on yourself.

    So tell us here – once and for all. No, I would never sue you guys around here.

    Or tell us you are considering doing just that.

  197. Believe says:

    Sorry CK, not buying it any longer. I don’t think the “counter-intuitive” sales pitch does anything other than allow you to be taken advantage of and suckered. The church certainly doesn’t practice the “counter-intuitive”, they are shrewd and business-like. The “counter-intuitive” stuff is for sucker sheep who get fleeced and abused.

  198. Crowned1 says:

    Pardon @ 181

    Of course the children are more important than anything in this life, but you are using them as a scapegoat.

    Jesus didn’t say “stop standing up for Me when your kids are in trouble”.

  199. Believe says:

    I would never sue Michael, ever. Steve, you are an f’ing a-hole and while I have no plans to sue you, I can’t use the word “never” especially since it seems like lawsuits are a-ok with Calvary Chapel and their affiliates as a means of dealing with issues.

    I do know for a fact you have told me many times (as documented) to focus on BG exclusively and to leave CC and Chuck out of it, etc. I am not a conspiracy theory type, but some think that is rather interesting advice since BG used that angle in his lawsuit (who just so happens to be a fellow CC affiliate of yours).

  200. Michael, I had not read your last comment before I commented again. My apologies. Moving on.

  201. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    All these abusive churches make my stomach turn

  202. Believe says:

    Yes, back on topic, thanks SRod.

    SGM sucks, Mahaney is a total jerk. What are you going to do about it?

  203. ( |o )====::: says:

    Believe,
    Am sad for you and your old family, continuing to pray, think about you and those who love you and those you love.

    Cling to your wife, kids, your brothers who will just love you
    Nothing is worth impacting your kids, just a word from one dad to another.

    Hoping you can step away from the computer, no to silence you, rather that you just enjoy your life and the goodness of it all without the distractions of sparring with anyone.

  204. “The “counter-intuitive” stuff is for sucker sheep who get fleeced and abused.”

    You are probably correct, but I guess that’s just a chance I’ll have to take. “He knows the way that I take, and when He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold” – Job 23:10

  205. Believe says:

    I hear you G. Stepping away. I will protect my wife and kids and have good experienced people in my corner to do so if needed.

  206. RowdyRoddyPiper says:

    I like this moniker.

  207. RowdyRoddyPiper says:

    I was PTI.

  208. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    “Yes, back on topic, thanks SRod.

    SGM sucks, Mahaney is a total jerk. What are you going to do about it?”

    Just warn people to stay away from these sinking Rat Ships! And encourage people not to make flesh their strength and trust in the Lord above all. There are too many Kool Aid drinkers in Christendom who Hate to see their heroes questioned. Thtat’s why poeple need to read their Word and not just go by what so called pastors say.

  209. Q says:

    “The Affiliation claims they did investigate them, and there was not enough for them to move on.

    What method and rules did they use to Properly investigate?

    Same as the SGM allegedly uses?

  210. Xenia says:

    If you want investigation methods with binding rules, you are going to have to be part of a church that belongs to an actual denomination. Otherwise, it’s make-it-all-up as you go. Otherwise, unless you are talking about a crime that you can call the cops on, there’s nothing you can do about it. But this is the type of church most of you seem to prefer,

    Q- what kind of church do you attend?.

  211. London says:

    “The “counter-intuitive” stuff is for sucker sheep who get fleeced and abused.”

    Yeah…like that Jesus guy. I’m guessing it was pretty counter-intuitive to do some of the stuff he did…like not tell Pilate to sod off, not calling down angels to smote (cool word) everyone and allowing himself to be nailed on a cross for things he did not do.

  212. Xenia says:

    When we realize how much God has forgiven us, it should be relatively easy to forgive others. Christ was willing to die for my sins. All I ever have to do is kill my pride and forgive others, as He has forgiven us. Doesn’t mean my brain is washed clean of memories. Doesn’t mean I become a Pollyanna. Doesn’t mean I don’t use common sense. Just means I am obeying the Lord. There is something supernatural that occurs in our hearts when we forgive.

  213. Steve Wright says:

    Xenia, serious question here. Let’s say one of your priests faced an accusation from his children like this case. Would the Orthodox church seek to determine the truth of what happened those many years ago? Would it be a matter of simply hearing both parties, or would it be a long, complex trial with other witnesses and so forth? Then, would they defrock a priest who still claimed his innocence? Would the priest be allowed to sue the church (or is there an agreement somewhere that even if defrocked he gives up his rights to do so)

  214. Jeff Sheckstein says:

    It never ceases to amaze me all the dumbass Christians who profer their uneducated, inexperiencnced opinions on this website about Believer’s case or any matter of a legal nature. Kind of insults me as it should as I committed three years to a law school (law review)and many years to the practice. Good enough to direct the mothership. Why don’t you idiots just shut your yaps as you make me puke. Speak when you might have a crumb of knowledge re: the law, else you render yourselves fools. One of the reason I rarely enage in higher forms of critical thinking re: theoplogy since I do not hace the education or expereince so many have here.

    As to your “comittment” to various causes such a deterring child abuse, in the church and otherwise, let me leave you at this as it perfectly illustrates your pontification:

    “After all is said and done, far more is said than done.”

    In all my years, including 25 as a Christian and 11 in ministry, I have found that the great divide is maybe not correctly set forth in Scripture. Maybe it is not just…”In Christ or not”…or “in grace or not,” but what will you do, what are your convictions when your choice of using your funds is on the line. To those who compleltely are disabled to to constraint, this is NOT directed toyou. It’s the vast balance who sip their lattes and only fund to their personal benefit. My old man was right. “Morals and integrity go down the toilet when it comes to committting your money to correct a wrong.” Sadly, Christians fall right in line with that analysis..just like everyone else.

  215. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    “If you want investigation methods with binding rules, you are going to have to be part of a church that belongs to an actual denomination. Otherwise, it’s make-it-all-up as you go. Otherwise, unless you are talking about a crime that you can call the cops on, there’s nothing you can do about it. But this is the type of church most of you seem to prefer,

    Q- what kind of church do you attend?.”

    This really worked out for Catholic Church didn’t it?

  216. London says:

    X,
    I don’t find it easy to forgive people at all. Find it harder to forgive myself, but, it’s not an easy thing to do by any means for me.
    Maybe I just haven’t gotten that far in the process yet.
    For me, what’s been sort of liberating if you will, is to ask for forgiveness a couple times. That is hard as all get out because I’m a “bit” arrogant and stubborn sometimes 😉 but the couple times I’ve actually said the words, not just “oh, sorry” but admitted what I’d done to harm or offend them, and then said sorry, it’s been something I thought I would die from, but lived.

    For me, it wasn’t enough to know God loved and forgave me. (He has to…it’s his “job” and his nature so it’s not that tough a thing to do for Him). What has made a bigger difference in the last 3 months or so was going to some people I love and respect greatly and admitting what I did to them was wrong and asking forgiveness.

    Not arguing, just thinking….(well, that and avoiding working)

  217. Xenia says:

    Steve, I don’t know of a case exactly like the one you present but I know of some cases that are similar:

    1. A priest was accused by some young men of molestation.
    2. The archdiocese told the priest that he could not function as a priest until the boys’ stories were investigated.
    3. He continued to serve liturgy
    4. He was defrocked.

    Another story:

    1. There were allegations of sexual perversion at a monastery in Texas.
    2. The victims were questioned, they were believed, the monastery was de-commisioned.
    3. The priests went to trial, one committed suicide.

    Another story in another state:

    1. Novices at a monastery alleged sexual abuse
    2. Monastery was decommissioned. However, nothing was proven in court and the monastery still continues as a schismatic group.

    Another story:

    1. A mid-western bishop writes flirtatious text messages to a young woman.
    2. Woman reports this
    3. Bishop suspended.
    4. Bishop resigns.

    Some of these priest claimed they were innocent but the victims were believed. Some confessed. I am sure there are cases that were not resolved as well as these cases were. I know there are ecclesiastical courts, if things get to that state.

  218. London says:

    “Jeff”
    Grow up!

  219. Xenia says:

    This really worked out for Catholic Church didn’t it?<<<

    It did not work well in the RCC, you are right. A good old boys' club can subvert anything, it seems.

  220. Xenia says:

    Christians who profer their uneducated, inexperiencnced opinions on this website about Believer’s case <<<

    We would not be talking about him at all except that he has brought it here.

  221. Xenia says:

    Is this blog really going to allow posts like #220?

  222. Steve Wright says:

    Xenia, anything though about a priest’s personal family issues of years gone by – trying to determine guilt or innocence when there is no current allegations in his role as priest, but past allegations of many years prior involving just the family?

  223. Michael says:

    I removed it…sorry, I have a bunch of stuff going on.

  224. Xenia says:

    Steve, I don’t know of anything like this happening so I can’t speculate. It depends on the bishop, I guess. I have never heard of a case of someone in a priest’s family bringing up decades-old stories. I imagine it has happened, I don’t know.

  225. Michael says:

    Jeff,

    It would be a larger contribution here if you shed light on the places where you have seen ignorance.
    I have no legal experience or knowledge so you could help us understand what it is that has been spoken in error.

  226. Jeff Sheckstein says:

    Michael:

    Through the years I have respced you from afar…from our first call when I first left Calvary. I have enjoyed you forum and maybe it is just the nature of blogging that anyone can say anything, no matter the basis on knowledge associated with it..or lack thereof.

    I candidly do not have the time nor the inclination to respond point by point to some of the assinine comments made here about and to Alex about his legal issues. It is all in the mindset of contention because it is Alex…seemingly never adressing the greater issues in child abuse, churches wielding the lawsuit club, etc.

    Therefore, I wish you my best, His blessings and shall remove myself from the conversation. Apparently insults are allowed…profanity not. Yet it is the insuters who are profane.My request foregiveness for getting in the flesh is given.

    Michael: Thanks for the many things I have learned here and opening my mind to reformed theology.

  227. Another independent church ministry in a heap of trouble:
    http://www.timesdispatch.com/news/local/crime/article_0fe72bc4-4818-5e82-8b08-19d80c0ff9cd.html
    Even in the midst of troubling allegations this shepherd makes sure leadership and control of assets continues as he dictates, framing this as an “assurance” to his faithful followers.

  228. Michael says:

    Jeff,

    Thank you for the kind words.
    You have a perspective no one else has because of your training and experience.
    I value your opinions greatly, as you know.
    It’s easy to get in the flesh here for most of us.
    This hasn’t been a great day by any of our standards and you are always welcome here.

  229. Steve Wright says:

    Jeff S.

    I trust you can tell when someone is speaking tongue in cheek…

  230. London says:

    Just because a person is educated does not entitle them to call everyone else idiots and it sure as hell doesn’t mean that they automatically deserve any more respect than anyone else.
    Get a grip

  231. Believe says:

    “Just because a person is educated does not entitle them to call everyone else idiots ”

    Actually, it kind of does in most contexts when insurance salesmen are doling out legal opinions.

  232. Xenia says:

    … and when pawnbrokers dole out theology.

  233. Believe says:

    Sheck, I love you man. I really do. I would walk across a desert or climb over a mountain and go to the mat for you if you ever needed it. I mean that.

  234. Crowned1 says:

    London @ 230 “Just because a person is educated does not entitle them to call everyone else idiots”

    He didn’t say that. He spoke only on matters of law. I, for one, agree with him…my expertise is in computers, not law.

    So am I a dumb donkey when it comes to being a lawyer? Yup.

  235. Believe says:

    Theology is a different animal altogether, and I did go to college…a college that was heavy on theology. CC pastors prove how low the theology bar is…just sayin’.

  236. Jeff Sheckstein says:

    Michael…thanks

    London…proverbs 13:16

  237. Steve Wright says:

    Michael, to be clear for you….my post @230 was not a comment referencing your @229.

    I was writing about many of my pseudo-legal comments earlier (i.e. getting promises of victory in writing, waiving fees etc.)

  238. Xenia says:

    Believe, I know you went to college and studied theology. I couldn’t resist making the comment.

  239. Steve Wright says:

    Believe, I’m sure you contacted your homeowners insurance company once you got sued, and asked them to defend you under the personal injury endorsement that I’m sure your agent endorsed onto your policy.

    Duty to defend is a pretty high bar for an insurance company to overcome (not that they don’t try all the time). I trust you have a well documented case so that if you do get stuck with these legal bills you can consider bad faith litigation against your homeowners insurance company for not defending you under the personal injury endorsement that your agent certainly must have endorsed.

    I’m sure your insurance agent told you to submit the lawsuit to your company, as is required when you told him you got sued, and you did so and received formal declination from that company.

    But what do I know…..

  240. Steve Wright says:

    The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.
    Prov 18:17

    3000 year-old words, still worth living by. Especially on the internet.

    (and the verses speak for themselves, little “teaching” required…so off to share them with the people of God)

  241. mrtundraman says:

    Xenia wrote – “When we realize how much God has forgiven us, it should be relatively easy to forgive others. Christ was willing to die for my sins. All I ever have to do is kill my pride and forgive others, as He has forgiven us. Doesn’t mean my brain is washed clean of memories. Doesn’t mean I become a Pollyanna. Doesn’t mean I don’t use common sense. Just means I am obeying the Lord. There is something supernatural that occurs in our hearts when we forgive.”

    I don’t feel you are giving theologically or psychologically sound advice.

    Unilateral forgiveness isn’t found in Scripture. Christ died for and forgives the ungodly, but he still requires repentance. If your priest and the Orthodox Church really believed in unilateral forgiveness then why do they require confession and repentance? Why not just pronounce everyone forgiven and not ask them to repent?

    Psychologically, unilateral forgiveness may be popular in pop psychology circles but it’s not accepted as psychologically sound in professional circles. Professional books on PTSD explore the subject of unilateral forgiveness and demonstrate it is a false forgiveness.

  242. mrtundraman says:

    Here’s a Psychology Today article on forgiveness:

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/199907/must-you-forgive

    There is a term Psychologists use – “False Forgiveness” which describes much of what Christians call forgiveness.

  243. Believe says:

    X said, “Believe, I know you went to college and studied theology. I couldn’t resist making the comment.”

    LOL, it was a good one, touche. I thought it was sharp and funny and a valid point.

  244. Believe says:

    I agree with Tundra. I don’t see the unilateral forgiveness thing exampled by God when it comes to eternal judgment…though I hope He unilaterally forgives, if He’s real…that would be great, no hell for anyone…much better than the alternative and something I hope for for the sake of so many.

    The counsel I’ve gotten from some folks with credentials in psychology mirrors what Tundra asserted from that perspective as well (though one of my psychology friends might disagree with that one, I think. She is politically liberal, but theologically very conservative and a credentialed therapist. I’m guessing she might be “for” unilateral forgiveness from a psychological perspective, dunno for sure. Maybe not, as she has been abused quite a bit and has real empathy).

  245. mrtundraman says:

    “David Augsburger, a Professor of Pastoral Care at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, discusses forgiveness in this interesting interview at the National Association for Christian Recovery blog.”

    “Mr. Augsburger talks about whether we should offer unconditional forgiveness to people who are unrepentant, and whether Christ did this. He acknowledges that this concept causes much disagreement among Christians. He says “My own view is that forgiveness in the absence of repentance is almost meaningless. It may sound gracious and loving but usually the person who forgives prematurely, preemptively or unconditionally is trying to avoid the hard work of the forgiveness process. It’s saying “I don’t want to struggle. I can’t carry this any longer. I can’t face the burden.”

    http://childrenofsim.wordpress.com/2012/09/24/an-interview-with-david-augsburger-about-forgiveness/

    So we have “false forgiveness” discussed from a Psychological source and a Christian one.

  246. Believe says:

    I think there’s a lot of truth here and I’m not a freak Frosted Flake, far from it.

    “I have found that there are three types of healthy unforgivers. For moral unforgivers, refusing means telling the truth, asserting fundamental rights and opposing injustice. Psychologically detached unforgivers accept the painful reality that they cannot experience the positive internal connection with a betrayer–usually a parent–which forgiving would require. Reformed forgivers have faced conflicts between feelings, religious principles, ethics or social responsibilities, and reject the conventional attitudes they once accepted. None of these three types is vindictive or against forgiveness in principle; they share the capacity to forgive but do not exercise it indiscriminately.”

  247. Pardon My Interruption @121,

    “Rarely does one regret the things they don’t say in comparison to the things they do.”

    This^^^^^^^^

  248. mrtundraman says:

    Alex has privately and publicly offered to be reconciled to Bob and to forgive Bob but Bob has shown ZERO sign of repentance in return. Bob thinks he has done nothing wrong. How can Alex forgive someone who thinks they have done nothing wrong? Where is the exchange that makes up Biblical repentance/forgiveness?

    I’ve heard this advice for years and at one point even believed this myself. It set me up for continuing abuse. I finally decided to break the cycle of that abuse and step away.

  249. Believe says:

    “Rarely does one regret the things they don’t say in comparison to the things they do.”

    Depends on the context. My biggest regret to this day is not saying something in real time in our home. When I was old enough to confront it, the statute of limitations had expired and that was used as a smoke-screen to question the legitimacy of our claims.

  250. Believe says:

    But, back to SGM and Mahaney: Susan Burke is a hero for taking that Group on. The folks who have put their lives on hold to try and hold SGM and Mahaney accountable have my deepest respect and empathy. I will try to do something practical to help them.

  251. mrtundraman says:

    I have to take this up a step. I believe it is abusive to tell someone they need to forgive.

    If the perpetrator is repentant then we are required to forgive. That’s what God has done for us. We were guilty, we repented and God forgave. That is the Biblical pattern.

    Would you tell God that He needs to just forgive someone who rejects Him? What sort of person could dictate those terms to God? If we can’t say it to God, how can we say it to our fellow man?

    God set the terms for forgiveness for Himself and the terms for us are no different.

  252. Believe @ 119 said, I won’t be the “church’s” fool any longer.

    In my opinion, it should read, “I won’t be the ‘Self proclaimed church’s’ fool any longer.”

  253. mrtundraman says:

    “There are situations where it is appropriate to forgive even if there has been no process. If an injury happens as the result of an accident, where there is no intention to hurt or where there was limited ability or capacity to prevent the injury, then we are to forgive freely and generously. And, we are able to do so even if no forgiveness is requested and no repentance is demonstrated. When you recognize that the person who injured you is not really responsible for what happened, then you can give forgiveness freely. But this same kind free and generous forgiveness is not appropriate in cases where the injury was intentional. Here’s where I differ from a lot of folks about Christ’s words from the cross. The absolute freedom of that forgiveness has always stood in contradiction to his teaching in Matt. 18 and Luke 17 – where he clearly calls for repentance as a condition of forgiveness. I think he said ‘for they know not what they do’ because he recognized that they were not responsible for their actions. He confronts them with their blindness and expresses his willingness, but that does not mean that everyone at the foot of the cross was automatically forgiven for eternity independent of their commitment to repentance. One thief was forgiven, one wasn’t. ”

    http://childrenofsim.wordpress.com/2012/09/24/an-interview-with-david-augsburger-about-forgiveness/

  254. mrtundraman says:

    My last post got put into moderation…

  255. London says:

    That ain’t right.

    We don’t have to wait for someone else to decide they screwed up and admit it before we forgive them. Our action of forgiveness has nothing to do with what they do or don’t do.

    Also, it’s not abusive for someone to recommend to an adult peer (ie anyone on this blog) forgive someone else.
    What is abusive, however, is those b*st*rds in SGM who told those children they had to for forgive the people who molested or raped them. Especially the ones that did it while the creep was in the room.
    That was abusive in so many levels!

  256. mrtundraman says:

    “We don’t have to wait for someone else to decide they screwed up and admit it before we forgive them. Our action of forgiveness has nothing to do with what they do or don’t do.”

    That is unsound theologically and psychologically.

  257. mrtundraman,

    Your #253 is in kin to Believe’s #249 and both are a very valid points. Both are well stated.

  258. mrtundraman says:

    I fought this view of forgiveness very hard when I first heard it in seminary. I went home that night, stayed up late into the night and searched the Scriptures about forgiveness. I set aside what I had heard in pop psychology and other sources and just went to the Word. I found out that I was wrong. I went to the professor of the class the next week and asked her for five minutes to address the class. She gave me the time to explain that I was wrong the previous week, that I had searched the Scriptures and that she was right. I didn’t come to this view easily and it has definitely cost me in the Christian world when people just dismiss it out of hand without taking the time to really search the Scriptures.

  259. mrtundraman says:

    “Our action of forgiveness has nothing to do with what they do or don’t do.”

    Biblical forgiveness is always an exchange between two persons. It is never unilateral.

  260. London says:

    You made that term “Biblical forgiveness” up and then defined it the way you want to, so no one can argue with you about it. I’ll let you have your own new term and just stand by what I said.

    No one has to wait for the other person to act before they can forgive them.

  261. I am like Believe – I have many doubts. I mean, is there really a Bob Grenier. 99.99% of the world’s population have no evidence that a Bob Grenier even exists.

    To many outside of the church, there is no more evidence for Bob Grenier than there is for Donald Duck.

    Why does Believe keep talking about this non existent character.?

  262. London @260 says, You made that term “Biblical forgiveness” up….

    How can Biblical forgiveness be a “term” made up?

  263. London @260 also said, “No one has to wait for the other person to act before they can forgive them.”

    Does this mean that we should forgive people before they do wrong and allow them a free pass, because that’s what Jesus did?

  264. London says:

    Drop,
    That is not what I said at all.

  265. London,

    Sorry, I missunderstood.

  266. Linnea says:

    Couldn’t read the lawsuit. I expect corruption in the world. I expect something different of God’s people. Just like I experienced at CCABQ, it makes me question the moniker, “God’s people”. And I say that with fear and trepidation, knowing the God we serve.

  267. RowdyRoddyPiper says:

    Nope. “Father, forgive them , they know not what they do” required no action of repentance or being contrite on the part of te Roman soldiers, Sanhedrin, et el.

  268. London says:

    No worries Drop.

    What I meant was that the offended party has the right to choose whether or not they want to forgive the offender. They do not have to wait for the offender to repent.
    It seems more abusive to me to tell someone that they have to wait for the person to repent before forgiving the offender. That would be such a burden to have to carry.

    I understand what MTM is saying, that in the Bible, forgiveness takes two. I think the term I’m used to hearing for that circumstance is “reconciliation”. That takes two people in agreement, but forgiveness does not.

    Hope that makes more sense.

  269. Believe says:

    “Nope. “Father, forgive them , they know not what they do” required no action of repentance or being contrite on the part of te Roman soldiers, Sanhedrin, et el.”

    But, God didn’t forgive them, it is assumed by Fundamentalists. God sent them to hell, no? (and Jesus is God, right?)

  270. Believe says:

    …that’s the dirty little secret above. Fundies like to quote the “Father forgive them…” narrative, but the fact is that Fundies assert that those same Roman soldiers, those same “them” that Jesus (as God) refers to…are in hell and weren’t forgiven.

  271. Believe says:

    …I don’t understand how seemingly intelligent folks miss that fact above (based on the Fundamentalist assumption of hell).

  272. Believe says:

    Answer me this:

    Why should “I”…a human being…be held to a higher Standard than God Himself?

  273. Believe says:

    There comes a point where you are forced into a corner and must accept one of two things as true:

    1. You don’t understand the principle of forgiveness correctly when you assume unilateral forgiveness.

    2. God forgives unilaterally and all get a big old Grace Sandwich, no matter what.

  274. PP Vet says:

    “Biblical forgiveness is always an exchange between two persons. It is never unilateral.”

    Fascinating.

    So when we ask people to forgive unilaterally, should we really be saying, Overcome your resentment? Or, be ready to forgive if the other party is ready? Or?

  275. Believe says:

    I can tell you this, most pastors don’t exercise unilateral forgiveness…that’s for sucker sheep who will fall for it nearly every time.

  276. Julie Anne says:

    Believe:

    Thanks for your kind words earlier in the thread. I’ve been gone all day.

    You said: Back to the topic: I think I’ll send some real support to the SGM victims and not just “walk the bridge” with them by typing an atta boy on the internet. I think I’ll have mercy on them and try and help them in a practical way, even if one or two of them are assholes who are jaded from their experiences.

    Send them to me and I’ll be sure that victims get them.

  277. Julie Anne says:

    Xenia said: You can end the conflict right now by repenting and apologizing to your step father.

    Do you see the red in my hair getting redder? Are you freaking kidding? For what? For telling the truth? I tell you what – as someone who suffered child abuse from birth until the age of 19, “repenting and apologizing” to my abuser would have sent my brain in a frenzy most likely resulting in suicide. That is crazy-a$$ stuff right there and I am deeply bothered that you would suggest Alex do that. Done with rant.

  278. ( |o )====::: says:

    Believe,
    Your 273 is why I’ve settled as a Universalist.
    Thing is, that’s where the freedom and compulsion to love and spread The Gospel begin for me. This is why I believe The Good News is entirely about communion with God, and The Bad News is missing out on that reality of God Consiousness through Jesus.

    Our host and most others won’t agree but that is ok, as long as the fruit is graciousness

  279. Julie Anne says:

    #189 The Affiliation claims they did investigate them, and there was not enough for them to move on.

    It’s like SGM and CC are sharing notes. Crazy.

  280. Believe says:

    G, I SO HOPE your position is correct, I really do. That would be Good News indeed. Sounds too good to be true, but I sure hope to God it is.

    Why would anyone wish that the Christian Fundamentalist position is true? If it’s true, it’s terrible for the vast majority of humans in history.

  281. ( |o )====::: says:

    Believe,
    Your 272 is a very cogent realization with myriad implications best dialogued on the special thread, out of respect for Michael.

    I’ll have to find the quote from the Holocaust survivor about “if G-d exists”

  282. Believe says:

    JA, will do. Thank you again for all your help, you are one of the very few who has really sacrificed a lot in these areas for folks you don’t know.

  283. Believe says:

    G, OK, will do.

  284. “are in hell and weren’t forgiven.”

    You obviously (and it is obvious) don’t read the Bible.

    The scriptures are clear that ALLsin has been forgiven 2 Cor 5:18-21 and God has reconciled himself to man through the work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Read it for yourself and see if it is not true.

    Hell will be populated with forgiven sinners.

  285. Believe says:

    MLD, your position still requires something and is not unilateral.

  286. Q says:

    Steve Wright quotes proverbs about how one side sounds right until the other side is heard…then the truth can come out.

    Isn’t that the point , his affiliation won’t investigate properly.

    Then makes a snide remark about going to teach God’s people.

    Same as always preach but don’t do.

    Stonewall instead.

    Better gig than selling insurance, for now.

  287. Yes, it requires only one thing – rejection by the person.

    But you said that people were in hell because they were not forgiven – I showed you that was a wrong statement on your part.

    But you will now spin it around and deny the Bible.

  288. incogneto says:

    I do take that correction because I do go over the top. Often after reading Romans, Galatians Ephesians Gen 1-11, Exodus, Ray Comfort, Paul Washer, anything written on Triayou know who or team pyro. Most likely because I have an entire trainload of issues that I bring to the Text. Just like every single human being since we hobbled out of the caves and started to form communities.

    First of all I understand we all have presuppositions and hold to some type of authority claim. One cannot remain sane and not. But not all presuppositions are equal, not all authority claims are as valid. We live in a world of color where almost everything we do, I would venture everything we do on a practical day to day level is measured in probabilities and risk assessment, even if we dont know we are doing it. We may and most do filter those assessments through some vision or view of absolutes but we do not function as a human being weighing absolutes, one cant do that if one is not eternal.

    We build models, the thing you are typing or reading on was modeled, tested and vetted using theories that also support the age of the earth. That is a very simplistic rendition but it is basic, the medical care each of us uses is vetted using tools and tests that are a direct link to common decent, that is why we test medicines on certain types of animals. So it strikes me as somewhat frustrating when we accept some tools and ideas as valid as long as they dont touch our theological underpinnings. My frustration is also, when a prominent bible teacher says ToE or Age of the Earth is Science so called. That is silly, just step back and think on this, basically we are told that we have God’s eternal word and I think it is as well and because He was there at the creation of the world He gave us what we need to know and we should stop looking. We just accept it on faith. OK but all of the modern advances good and bad have come by way of questioning, skepticism, and trial and error. But those are considered sins and rebellious when we aim at theological constructs.

    Im not a biologist, not an expert, could be wrong, would gladly repent if I did, I am fallible and weak. The other side cant do that for the most part, because after you accept Jesus and the basic tenets of the faith comes the view of Genesis, Revelations, Women Pastors, spiritual gifts, church polity, and so on. It was discussed earlier about experts and reliable discussions I agree we are not experts on everything unless you run a large conservative evangelical seminary and talk on the radio all the time, then you are. As for believe, I came from a similar past though not as extreme in some ways but way more extreme in others. But my family was screwed up and we knew it, but never did we abandon each other, when death came we, well I was there. My father hated me at times and he loathed my evangelical religion it made him sick, but he would have never sued me, no matter what I said about him. He would not of even kicked me out of the house. You dont do that to blood.

  289. Believe says:

    You say the person has to be baptized, take the sacraments, repent etc. All stuff that isn’t unilateral forgiveness, but requirements to get the forgiveness.

  290. Believe says:

    brian said, ” but he would have never sued me, no matter what I said about him. He would not of even kicked me out of the house. You dont do that to blood.”

    EXACTLY. BG did the ultimate betrayal. He was in the wrong and wouldn’t do his part of the bible bargain. He wouldn’t cop to his sin. He then BETRAYED three of his supposed children and did what the bible said is worse than a heathen.

    He is the Judas and the betrayer and he is no dad and father. You don’t do that to your blood and he has proven himself to be a man of no character, a man of political/religious expedience and selfish and of the devil (if such an entity exists).

  291. Believe says:

    Q, amen.

  292. Steve Wright says:

    Q, I’ll let the personal insults slide, but your thinking that ministry to me is “a better gig” than what I used to do speaks solely about you, about your judgmental spirit even without full knowledge of anything. Which is sort of relevant to the Proverbs verse quoted.

    As to my Proverbs verse, the better application speaks to the fact that nobody (certainly nobody here) has seen ALL the evidence that the judge saw when he made his ruling. The same judge that was hailed for his justice and wisdom by the blogosphere at first, and then declared an ignorant rube with no understanding of the law at the last. Now I’m no lawyer, but I can read that thing that has been posted on the other site for the last few weeks….But it was said around here that losing the motion and filing the appeal was actually “the best result possible” if of course we only knew the inner dynamics.

    As for the forgiveness discussion, I think there is a difference between restoration/reconciliation – which certainly takes two, and unconditional forgiveness, which is always for our benefit and healing (and yes, is commanded in Scripture)

    Unconditional forgiveness is “bad theology” Wow.

    By that measure, I guess if the person who hurt you is dead, then you really are destined for a life of wretched bitterness.

  293. Believe says:

    Steve Wright said, “As to my Proverbs verse, the better application speaks to the fact that nobody (certainly nobody here) has seen ALL the evidence that the judge saw when he made his ruling.”

    You can review the full lawsuit, it’s public record. You can see what the judge saw.

    Steve Wright said, “The same judge that was hailed for his justice and wisdom by the blogosphere at first, and then declared an ignorant rube with no understanding of the law at the last. ”

    He is known as a good judge. No one I know of made such a statement of him being an “ignorant rube”…my attorneys just were shocked at his ruling as they are experts in this area of law and haven’t seen such a ruling as this in light of the evidence presented in their entire careers.

  294. brian says:

    “By that measure, I guess if the person who hurt you is dead, then you really are destined for a life of wretched bitterness.”

    It can to be honest, if one just reads my posts and late night rants there is a great deal of bitterness in it. Some directed at God, much directed towards my past communions, some slid in against my family and some heaped on me in sort of a self deprecation which is used to actually insult others. It would be dishonest of me to say that I think many of my personal reflections are filtered through a great deal of scares, some inflicted by others many by myself. If it was not for the sheer day to day joy I see in people who really do have a right to be bitter and angry I shake my head at my own self importance. So ya it can.

  295. Believe says:

    Steve Wright said, “Unconditional forgiveness is “bad theology” Wow.”

    Does God forgive everyone unilaterally? Do all go to heaven? If not, then you seem to disagree with the reality of God’s theology on the matter of unilateral forgiveness (assuming the bible is true and logical, which I’m not convinced it is).

    If God sends folks to hell without forgiving them unilaterally, why are humans held to a higher standard?

  296. Believe says:

    Steve Wright, here’s a softball for you: I have a million dollars in term life insurance, do you think that’s enough? Should I get more?

  297. Julie Anne says:

    Steve Wright said: As to my Proverbs verse, the better application speaks to the fact that nobody (certainly nobody here) has seen ALL the evidence that the judge saw when he made his ruling.

    I’m pretty sure the judge only saw what was filed, nothing more. Do you know more than that, Steve? The filings are public. I have seen quite a bit of the documentation. I still maintain it is a very poorly written complaint (compared to other complaints I’ve read, including my lawsuit).

    Believe said: He is known as a good judge.

    He may be known as a good judge, but I wonder how many anti-SLAPPs he’s seen? My atty said the cases are few compared to other kinds of cases. BG’s attys apparently made a compelling case, but I do not believe the judge gets it. Another thought is BG’s influence in the town, but that will not like favorably on him if it goes to a higher court.

  298. Q says:

    Steve, why did it go to a judge?

    Isn’t the church suppose to judge these matters?

    A better application of the Proverbs verse is your affiliation (partners) are suppose to investigate these matters hear both sides and make a sound judgment, and keep them out of court if by any means possible.

    Your posts seem to protect you and your “partners” (affiliates) positions.

    A “little” teaching a few hours a week and travel could be considered a good gig.

    And whenever someone exposes one of you and your partners inconsistencies, it’s always labeled a judgmental spirit, divisive, lacking a servants heart…you fill in the rest.

  299. Gary says:

    Reading this is like being in the middle of a dark room where everyone is throwing things at each other.

  300. brian says:

    Funny you mention that, there was more then one time on the units when the lights were out that a throwing match would take place. Life is often like that

  301. “You say the person has to be baptized, take the sacraments, repent etc. All stuff that isn’t unilateral forgiveness, but requirements to get the forgiveness.”

    Uh…no…either you don’t understand or you spin. They are not requirements to “get the forgiveness.” The forgiveness is granted, and you GET to be baptized, take the sacraments, repent, etc. if that’s your desire. (Not trying to answer for MLD. Just my view of it.)

  302. Steve Wright says:

    Steve Wright, here’s a softball for you: I have a million dollars in term life insurance, do you think that’s enough? Should I get more?
    ——————————————————-
    Believe, insurance is a complicated and diverse industry – sort of like the legal profession. And just as an attorney who specializes in corporate contracts or hiring practices wouldn’t pretend to know more about civil litigation (beyond the textbooks) so too with insurance agents.

    As I said, my specialty for over 20 years was insuring people and businesses (and their assets) from civil litigation. Protecting people from the lawyers.

    I was not a life specialist, though of course I’ve got a surface knowledge of the topic.

    My suggestion is to look for a CLU. (Chartered Life Underwriter). Someone who actually works in the field of discussion, an expert, who can spend the time needed to speak with you and your wife, talk about your goals, plans in the event of untimely death.

    Like a lot of things in life, we can work with experienced, educated, licensed professionals, or slap something together from info found over the internet.

  303. Steve Wright says:

    One’s views on forgiveness between people are often formed by one’s view on God’s forgiveness of us – specifically how that happens, what does ‘repent’ mean, and the whole eternal security question on top of it.

    Once we all agree on “Biblical” salvation, then I’m sure we will all agree on what “Biblical” forgiveness is. 🙂

    (But until then, I think we need to forgive for our benefit, trusting God’s Spirit to work His work in our life in response to that obedience – while recognizing that reconciliation/restoration may take a long time, and only after serious repentance by the offender, and in some cases, not even after that)

  304. brian says:

    Trigger warning for self injurious issues.

    Believe take this for what its worth, the very few times I shared this in faith communities I got the, no I wont ruin it with one of those rants. Along time ago I worked on this unit, about 10-12 folks dont remember the exact numbers. It was thanksgiving so I volunteered to work the day shift. This group of folks did things to themselves that went beyond regular biting and beating themselves senseless. I wanted them to have a good time so I brought a little tv and a vcr with some Thanksgiving movies and some snacks. During that shift we just fellowshipped, they watched that little 14 inch tv enjoyed the dinner they had (I wound up working swing as well) and were just people. I spoke to them about how special they were and each of them had a gift to offer this world and to each other. There were some responses it was subtle and very nuanced because none of them could talk, point at a picture card, or even give a facial expression but if one paid attention to the underpinnings and listed with all of ones senses one could understand.

    Not bragging and at times I have even been ashamed of this but I have been able to do that, connect on a level so obscure and removed as to just see the turn of the head or the difference in a body position to know something is wrong. On several occasions that ability helped me save a life. Its not simple, not clear cut, very blurred, colored in huge swaths of color and there are no clearly defined lines. Its messy and very human. I learned much of this from the students, coworkers (a great many whom were / are gay), and from prayer and believing the best about people I cant stand. Im lousy at being a human being but this seems to be one of those areas I excel at. I have tried to give it up because it just drains me to the point of physical exhaustion.

    Anyways I patterned my life after this, living deep in this community to the point of exiting most other communities like my own “peer” group. My few dates usually end with me blabbering on about the people I work with or how this or that can be done to preserve programs, teach this or that. My peer group discusses other topics, in my little experience it usually centers around family I E kids and person success. There is nothing wrong with that, if I might offer something there are CC pastors who really do try, they are no less burdened by the train load of presups and baggage all the rest of us have. I dont say stop or even slow down but give yourself one of those Thanksgiving moments.

    There was one event, a new person started and was assigned to work with me with this same group discussed above. I walked into the unit a few minutes early for evening shift as the day group was leaving, she pulled me aside. What did you do? Being a state employee I went into defense mode, thinking if I spoke, walked, breathed, turned my head wrong. I asked what happened? She said you walked in the door and the very second the clients heard my voice the tension level went down a great deal, she could not understand the change. They relaxed, a few smiled and the rest of the night went by with a great deal of fun and humor. I remember that, it spoke to me that maybe just maybe I was actually able to dispense some grace. Remember believe God is really the God of the gaps, He fills in the blanks and builds up on our human weakness and recreates it. As to your question, of course you have higher insurance to help with your family because that is the right thing to do. God honors right doing and it is not works salvation, you do not care for your family to be saved or any other such nonsense, you do right because it is right. Just like about 98.999% of humanity has done from the dawn of our species, if not we would have gone extinct long ago.

  305. brian says:

    Believe one more thing, you have overcome alot some of which you have shared here and on other sites. My story above was to illustrate one thing. Sew what you have learned back into humanity, be it with in or outside the boundaries of american evangelicalism. In my rather twisted screwed up wonderings in this life I have come to understand a few things. First I dont want nor care to even consider atheism (so just dont) take that from someone who has looked into that abyss. That is not to demean atheist, I, like you have been helped by this tribe, and as strange as it might be it was this very same tribe that said dont be an atheist because they saw the pain it caused me.

    I wandered into this blog looking for ammo to support my rage against the Church. I stayed because I found a group of fellow travelers just as confused and messed up as I was. Now some would say that makes us compromisors etc. I envy those that have all the bases covered, all their theological ducks in a row but the world I live in that does not happen.

    My friend seek that peace that is near to you, it is in the family, friends, and the kind acts we do every day. This is played down in our community because it might be works salvation yada yada, I have never seen a more powerful force then that when people do good, when they live good, and hunger after doing good. Offered for what it is worth.

  306. RowdyRoddyPiper says:

    Re: Universalism and forgiveness. I can forgive someone and they cannot or will not receive it ( for whatever reason). To not accept God’s grace is hell, whatever that might be.

  307. RowdyRoddyPiper says:

    ….but God has still forgiven all people. That’s why Jesus said to the disciples just before He left, “Whoever’s sins you forgive are forgiven, whosever’s sins you do not forgive will not be forgiven”. He was giving them the keys of the kingdom, the Good News….everyone is forgiven. Seeing sin as a noun rather than a set of verbs and actions helps me never stand the importance of this. And thus, Jesus forgave without needing a response or sign of repentance from His haters. We must do the same.

  308. RowdyRoddyPiper says:

    Understand. Not never stand.

  309. RowdyRoddyPiper says:

    I’m changing my moniker from PTI to RowdyPiper to Neo. Chalk it up to identity crises or something. 🙂

  310. Neo. says:

    Neo…. As in a tip of the hat to Karl and Soren….and Keanu Reeves.

  311. Believe,

    “You say the person has to be baptized, take the sacraments, repent etc. All stuff that isn’t unilateral forgiveness, but requirements to get the forgiveness.”

    This just shows that you are too busy with your talking points and have never listened when someone gives you an answer. All of what you listed are not to obtain forgiveness – they are God’s means of delivering his free gift of forgiveness.

    God always uses physical means to do his work.

  312. “I’m changing my moniker from PTI to RowdyPiper to Neo. Chalk it up to identity crises or something. ”

    …still great to have you around 😉

  313. Believe,
    I am reading down your comments and and see the evidence how you like to just steamroll over everyone to make your point.

    After I showed you the scripture where God unilaterally forgave everyone of the sin, you then move over to Steve W to ask the same question

    “If God sends folks to hell without forgiving them unilaterally, why are humans held to a higher standard?”

    I pointed out to you that hell is populated with forgiven sinners – God unilaterally forgave everyone already.

    Now that I have shown you that humans are NOT held to a higher standard, does that change your thinking? Of course not.

  314. Julie Anne says:

    Brian – Your comment to Believe #306/307 was beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  315. Here’s the deal, Jeff is right. Very few of us know much about legalities. That was made apparent with the “Huge Victory” thread, and continues every time a lawsuit or court case comes up.

    I come here to talk to others, wrangle with issues of faith and scripture, and basically to enjoy myself. I don’t enjoy talking to Alex. He is not a nice person. I tried to care about his situation years ago, but he has beaten me away from it. I couldn’t possibly claim to know what happened in his house 20-30 years ago, and the only testimony I have is Alex’s. His words have proven to not be trust worthy in every other area I have dealt with him. It’s not that I think he’s lying, it’s just that I can’t suffer through his horrid personality to figure it out.

    So that’s that. I’m done with Alex. I will not be sending him money. I will not be giving him atta-boys. I will not engage with him in any way. If I can not be here without engagin Alex, I’ll just leave. For now, I’ll do my best to ignore him.

  316. Like I said yesterday – just as Believe accuses us of believing in an imaginary, unprovable God – I say the same of him. he has wrapped his whole life’s story around this imaginary evil guy named Bob Grenier. He has told the story so often that this imaginary character has become real to Believe.

    Believe, grow up – the Bob Grenier character is just in your head.

  317. This is the cruelest thing I have ever read here on Phoenix Preacher…


    “Like I said yesterday – just as Believe accuses us of believing in an imaginary, unprovable God – I say the same of him. he has wrapped his whole life’s story around this imaginary evil guy named Bob Grenier. He has told the story so often that this imaginary character has become real to Believe.

    Believe, grow up – the Bob Grenier character is just in your head.”

  318. How would you rank that in terms of cruelty versus, say, making fun of a guy because he had an aneurysm?

  319. G,
    Not as cruel as denying God’s existence altogether and accusing believers of being irrational.

    Besides, you have no evidence Bob Grenier exists. Before Believe started passing around his illusionary story, none of us had ever head of a Bob Grenier.

    Come on G – don’t tell me you believe the fairly tale also.

    (tongue in cheek – I just want to give Believe a little does of his own “does blank exist.)

  320. About as classy as an enema, with the same results.

  321. Here MLD, http://calvarychapelvisalia.com/about-pastor-bob/

    Jesus, 4 Gospels.

    The effect of each life?

  322. “denying God’s existence altogether and accusing believers of being irrational.”
    If that’s the worst thing you encounter today? “First World Problem”

    You poor baby, what a whiny little boy you’ve become.

    If the best you can do to answer someone’s honest struggles with their faith is mock them about their abusive stepfather then you have exhausted your compassion and wisdom and have invalidated your presence and voice and lessened yourself below all you claim to represent.

    I’m ashamed of what you’ve allowed yourself to become

  323. Josh,
    Alex needs to make that right, and I believe in him enough to count on him to do so.
    I didn’t know you suffered that. I’m so glad you made a recovery. Wow, every day is a gift.

  324. Yeah, the first time he did so, I made it clear that it was very hurtful. He sort of apologized, but then brought it out several times yesterday.

    I’m fine with it. I just won’t allow people like that any influence in my life. Can’t afford to. Real things that I have to deal with.

  325. G,
    Crazed fanatics made up a web site for their imaginary Bob Grenier – so what?

    I will stick with my version. What EVIDENCE do you have that anything Believe (I protect his privacy, while you show no respect for him and call him by his real name) has said is actually true? Let me list them for you — NONE

    You have none – he only offers first hand testimony – the same thing that he denies with the writers of the NT. So, I deny him.

  326. Again, sorry, Josh.
    Have a great day

  327. “I’m ashamed of what you’ve allowed yourself to become”

    Who are you to think that you are allowed to have any input into my life?

  328. @ 329 – No need to be sorry, G. You’ve always been very kind to me.

  329. MLD,
    I stand by what I say about your behavior.
    It’s truly beneath anyone who would dare to claim a spirituality based on Jesus Christ.

  330. “who would dare to claim a spirituality based on Jesus Christ.”

    What does that mean? – is that some kind of emergent gibberish?

    I do not claim any kind of spirituality at all, let alone spirituality based on Jesus Christ. I claim the promises of Jesus Christ in their entirety.

    Good luck with that spirituality stuff.

  331. “Who are you to think that you are allowed to have any input into my life?”

    I am “allowed” by Michael, as this is his blog.
    Once you’ve read this you can’t unsee it.
    You can try to dismiss my reasonable observations of your boorish behavior but the observation remains for the readers to decide.

    Sort of like getting a negative response survey from a client after you’ve pissed on their leg…

  332. Believe says:

    brian and G, you both give me hope and are reasons why I stick around.

    MLD, I’m going to be intentional and extend grace to you and not enter into that BG discussion with you. I understand your frustration with me and I understand why you’d want take those shots.

  333. Believe says:

    I’ve vented enough. I am ready to, as Chuck Smith said, “just let it go”…including Fundamentalism.

  334. Long Time Lurker says:

    I am sorry, I have to speak.

    Seeing the vitriol, arguing, the attempt to get participation by posting “what is your favorite album” and seeing a Pink Floyd cover, (A reminder of my good ‘ol sinful life, and it’s celebration) the “F” bombs hurled at people, GRIEVES THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD.

    This blog is a very deep, hot, steamy cesspool of bile and dung. God is grieved. This is not a place of edification and the contents of this blog defies Scripture.

    The person who is ultimately responsible is Michael Newnham.

    Any non-believer reading this would say: “Why the need for Christ with all of these things being said?” “I have no need of Jesus.”

    Jesus said: “The WORLD shall know you are my disciples if you have LOVE for one another.”

    Jesus condemns the man who stumbles another, and causes them to question the gospel because of a contrary witness, to the bottom of the sea.

    May you be ashamed for your allowance of this thread and many of these threads to be publicly posted.

    Signed,
    A Fellow (but non participating) Brother in Christ.

  335. Believe says:

    brian and G, thank you btw. I appreciate your words and input and example.

  336. Believe says:

    “This blog is a very deep, hot, steamy cesspool of bile and dung. God is grieved. This is not a place of edification and the contents of this blog defies Scripture.

    The person who is ultimately responsible is Michael Newnham.

    Any non-believer reading this would say: “Why the need for Christ with all of these things being said?” “I have no need of Jesus.””

    OM(little g)! 😆

    This is hilarious stuff. Mental Fundy Alert! Mental Fundy Alert! yikes!!!! 🙂

    This is called real life and raw and true and not the False Piety false gospel (if it’s all in fact real).

    I have atheist and non-believer friends who read here, and they actually ask questions and can relate much more to the realness of these discussions than any of the Tighty (or Tidy?) Whitey Fake Piety Christian sites that talk in a foreign Christianeze language and end everything with “blessings” this and “blessings” that.

    I know the truth about Fundamentalism because I was one and I had a front row seat to it. It’s largely a function of lying and pretending. It isn’t real. Give me the truth over the false Pharisetical garbage any day. Jesus came to save sinners.

    The Parable of the Publican vs. the Pharisee and the Parable of the Good Samaritan would do you well to read, but like the nature of Parables…the truth is probably hidden from you if your eyes are closed spiritually.

  337. Believe,
    Please understand that my BG comments were not at all about your personal life situation. I made it pretty clear a couple of times that I was combating your “no evidence for God” comments or defense of those who hold those comments.

    I just used a personal example.

  338. Believe says:

    I understand that MLD and I get what you were trying to do. You’re not my enemy and I’m done with the BG stuff. I’m also done with the skeptical stuff, as much as possible. I love God, I love Jesus, even though I can’t prove their existence. It’s something innate. there are many reasons to disbelieve, but I just can’t, not all the way.

    I do reject Christian Fundamentalism, though. I will never return to that vomit.

  339. Long Time Lurker,
    You are obviously steeped in a mindset which is uncomfortable with debate, discussion and the marketplace of ideas. Here we try to deal with ideas and spirituality, and the fact is it is sometimes not pretty. I would try to use christianese but I’m not too concerned about you and I communicating as you probably need a translator but I stopped using that hyper spiritual language awhile back so I could engage a greater majority of individuals who are truly struggling with faith. Time to put on your big boy panties and work through the very real objections to our faith which all of your neighbors secretly hold and sometimes dare to speak. Most of us here were derided when we raised objections to the things within our faith, like how a good God could allow The Shoah or The Universal Flood, and how does that jive with Jesus as we understand Him in the 4 Gospels. Still we persevere. You can object or you can join.

    …and don’t ever go there about music. That is a non essential and if you are going to whine about Pink Floyd then you are making issue with the silliness of how a table is set or what colour the curtains might be and missing the intent of the community building discussions about movies, books and music.

  340. Believe,
    “I love God, I love Jesus, even though I can’t prove their existence. It’s something innate. there are many reasons to disbelieve, but I just can’t, not all the way.”

    I’m smiling. =)

  341. PP Vet says:

    “This blog is a very deep, hot, steamy cesspool of bile and dung.” Priceless.

    Just hurt myself laughing so I might be offline for a while. 🙂

  342. PP Vet says:

    Although I do agree with the “very deep” part. 🙂

  343. Q says:

    So MLD you believe everyone is forgiven (pardoned, debt cancelled) but these forgiven are going to hell?

    Does Lutheran theology teach everyone is forgiven (through Christ) but some go to hell because they reject that forgiveness? How is the debt cancelled and a person still goes to hell?

    Compared to Evangelical theology that God has provided salvation for everyone (through Christ) but must be received to be forgiven .

  344. PP Vet says:

    You know, it was just a week ago that I warned everyone here that the way things were heading, there was a risk that “… this place is going to turn into just another forum for balanced, in-depth discussion of serious issues of theology, the church, and Christian living.”

    I think we dodged that bullet, people. Awesome work.

  345. Nonnie says:

    Believe said, ” I love God, I love Jesus, even though I can’t prove their existence. It’s something innate. there are many reasons to disbelieve, but I just can’t, not all the way.”

    I am thrilled to hear that! He will be faithful to meet you right where you are. Still praying for you. I hope you can believe that. I am hoping for a miracle of healing in your family.

  346. “I envy those that have all the bases covered, all their theological ducks in a row but the world I live in that does not happen.”

    Perhaps you were speaking (typing) tongue in cheek, but I do not envy those people. What will they do when their ducks begin to topple over like dominoes. I have some very strong beliefs and convictions that I believe are biblical, but all my ducks in a row? No. I want to be open to growth and change. The older I get, the less I realize I know.

    “My friend seek that peace that is near to you, it is in the family, friends, and the kind acts we do every day. This is played down in our community because it might be works salvation yada yada, I have never seen a more powerful force then that when people do good, when they live good, and hunger after doing good. Offered for what it is worth.”

    Believe, both Brian and G-Man have shared some gracious counsel with you on this thread. I, on the other hand, have not. I repent of that, and ask your forgiveness for my unkind words. I will probably still get irritated with some of your postings, but that doesn’t mean that my responses have to be accompanied with barbed wire. I pray for peace and joy for you and your familly.

  347. Long Time Lurker says:

    G ~ You are plain wrong my friend. A “marketplace of ideas” can lead you to an eternal marketplace you don’t want to spend eternity in. “I am not ashamed of the Gospel. for it is the power of God unto salvation.” That wisdom does not necessarily come from God my friend.

    Believe ~ You said it right: “the real life – real world.” Satan would have you believe that. He is the god of this world. And it is the platform where you as a professing believer are fighting all your battles. We don’t war at this level. We war against Satan, in the realm of principalities, powers and darkness in high places.” When you tell Josh to “F” off then you are warring against your own. Murder is in your heart.

    Jesus wants to heal your wounds. The just shall live by their faith-not their bitter hearts and words -You can label people who claim scripture as their guide as “fundamentalists” – but your opinion does not trump the Word of God.

    You scare me as one who is unstable. Your wife is right. I would also believe Michael is beholden to you in some way, to allow you to infect and sicken this blog with your foul language and narcissistic personality.

    Respectfully, in my opinion, you are not a truth fighter. You are a revenger. Let God be God. Let it go, it is poison to your soul.

    So many times, I have just wanted to call you and chat, but if I do that, you’ll use me to your advantage and if I disagree, you’ll vilify me. You are not a safe person. Period. (Notice al all the “You, you. yous.” – whenever I say those words, I have three pointing back at me. Forgive me, but I am trying to give you some eyesight. I am praying for your peace.)

    BTW- I HAVE fought hard behind the scenes for you and stuck my neck way out there, to my own hurt and reputation, so be careful in what you say as you accuse this community of it’s supposed non-support.

  348. Xenia says:

    Believe, God bless you. Stick with Jesus and you’ll come out alright in the end.

    Love,
    Xenia

  349. Believe said, ” I love God, I love Jesus, even though I can’t prove their existence. It’s something innate. there are many reasons to disbelieve, but I just can’t, not all the way.”

    Atta boy! Can’t argue with that (although someone probably will).

  350. Lurker, I don’t doubt your sincerity, but as your moniker says, you have been a long-time lurker. You have a lot of “stuff” built up that you probably need or want to say. So to you, I say, Welcome to the blog.” But please, try not to dump it all out at one time.

  351. Long Time Lurker says:

    I said my piece. Try not to tear my words apart and argue. I’m not going there. ( I am done in other words) Pray about my words. Argue with the weapons God has equipped you (eph.6) with and NOT your tongue. That is the most hurtful weapon.

    This blog is deteriorating and hurting because so many tongues have been loosened.

    Michael, I see all of your attempts to consistently bring it back to civility. Today, those lines were allowed to be crossed and I for one am grieved. Michael, I love and respect you. Grace and peace to you my friend.

  352. Michael says:

    Long Time Lurker,

    Yesterday was not our finest hour.
    By the time I went to bed I was very depressed and I woke up this morning feeling the way I imagine a ground out cigarette must.
    I take my responsibilities here too seriously.
    You say that you are a long time lurker yet of the thousands of articles I’ve written, this is the one you choose to comment on.
    Did I not edify you or encourage you in something I wrote or do you just read to feel better about your own spirituality?
    This morning as I’ve gone about my duties I’ve seen people repent of anger and offer love to each other in the face of offenses.
    Yes, I’m beholden to Believe…to try and extend as much grace and patience as I can to him and everyone else here in the name of Christ.
    Sometimes, I’d rather assault him with something heavy and preferably sharp.
    That’s when Jesus shows up…and we try anyway.
    Yesterday, I saw people swear that I didn’t think even knew those words.
    My guess is that they have repented and will do better today.
    There are times when this life and this blog are brutal…but for ten very long years Jesus has shown up when the dust clears.

  353. Neo. says:

    Yep. That’s why it’s called a “leap of faith”.

  354. Long Time Lurker says:

    Kevin,
    I HAVE been involved and I am not letting it “all out”, but so what if I do? I have been here as long or longer than you. (Before the Sabolick incident)

    I am hiding my identity for good reasons. Trust me, I care about everyone here.

    I am not a ‘newbie” or drive by guy.

    Today, the blog took a new (dangerous) low.

    That troubles my heart…I am praying for the success and growth of this forum. I don’t want to see Michael fail in his calling here and his mission. He is a good man with a sincere and bleeding heart. I consider him a friend and I respect him highly. He is fighting the good fight and I know he pays a high toll personally, emotionally, financially and spiritually because of it. God is keeping track and will reward him for his work one day.

  355. “There are times when this life and this blog are brutal…but for ten very long years Jesus has shown up when the dust clears.”

    Thank you, Michael. With very few exceptions, I’ve enjoyed every moment of it.

  356. Nonnie says:

    Lurker, I’m glad you have an understanding of this blog. From some of your earlier comments, that was not clear. Thank you for your clarification.

  357. Neo. says:

    Lurker. What’s your favorite libation? You know, to relax….

  358. “I HAVE been involved and I am not letting it “all out”, but so what if I do? I have been here as long or longer than you. (Before the Sabolick incident)

    I am hiding my identity for good reasons. Trust me, I care about everyone here.

    I am not a ‘newbie” or drive by guy.”

    My bad. As you probably know then, we have had some people lurk for a very long time, then when they finally jump in, they want to get everything off their chests and call down fire. Please forgive me for lumping you in with those. I appreciate your kind words for Michael.

  359. Long Time Lurker says:

    Michael,

    You all know who I am…

    I was not watching the post times, I am not savvy in the world of blogosphere. I open it up this morning and see the bile and then I commented.

    I will say that I was deeply disappointed in that you did not moderate the profanity and ungodly, ugly words used here yesterday. I think Believe should run his own blog and be heavily moderated or blocked from this blog. The “immune system” of this blog needs “antibiotics” in my opinion.

    Sorry-it just proves my point as to why I don’t open up and blog here regularly. Reason is because this is not a safe place to dialogue. But I watch, pray and listen to you and you Michael HAVE edified me hundreds of times, so thank you brother.

    God bless you all….

  360. Xenia says:

    This blog drives me crazy sometimes and I’ve stomped off in “righteous indignation” more than once. Like Lurker, I don’t “get” the Rock and Roll threads, either. Like Lurker, that form of music takes me straight back to really bad times in my career as a sinner. I don’t find 90 percent of the lyrics to be sympathetic to my current Christian world view. So I agree with you there.

    But, this is the only pan-Christian place on the internet that I know of where I, the only non-Protestant, is not continually called a pagan, God-denying, Mary-worshipping idolizing tool of anti-Christ, as I am in other Protestant venues and in real life. Despite all the yelling and occasional foul language, there does appear to be some genuine respect for each other, most of the time. And I give Michael Newnham the credit for that.

  361. PP Vet says:

    ” … pagan, God-denying, Mary-worshipping idolizing tool of anti-Christ ….”

    I never said it, but I was thinking it. 🙂

  362. Long Time Lurker says:

    I would suggest some of you “regulars” step up and help Michael out with moderating and in keeping this a clean, safe place. Michael is one man and cannot do everything himself. He DOES live with it, sleep with it and agonize over it and everyone here.

    It’s his passion.

    I hope it will become yours- and you will enter into partnership with him. I cannot, I am not called. But there are many here if you are spiritually mature enough, should pray about contacting him and labor alongside of him. He can’t do this forever on his own. He needs support. Just “food for thought…”

  363. Believe says:

    Long Time Lurker, I think if your vision of this blog becomes reality, it will lose it’s uniqueness and effectiveness and authenticity and will no longer be a work of God.

  364. Long Time Lurker says:

    Xenia,
    I agree with you fully.

  365. Believe says:

    there are plenty of Fundamentalists Prisons online. I don’t think we need another one.

  366. Xenia says:

    Lurker, unfortunately, partnering with Michael implies partnering with Believe.

    In the past, that would have been impossible for most of us. Let’s see what the future holds.

  367. Neo. says:

    Believe….Re: 367 and 369. True dat!

  368. Believe says:

    If it is truly a “community” and truly a “hospital” and truly a “safe place” for sinners, those hurt by churches, those who have doubts etc, then I think Lurker’s vision is a bad idea. It will go against the things Michael has said is this blogs identity.

    I get the “no more CC bashing” and the no more BG stuff and the no posting a zillion times. I even get that it shouldn’t be the norm to cuss like a sailor. However, sometimes in the heat of the authentic moments of humanness, it is real. Peter cursed three times in denying Christ, it’s in the bible, it’s real, it’s authentic. it’s life.

  369. ( |o )====::: says:

    LTL,
    You’re about fear.
    Been there, done that, it’s about control.
    Better to be real, honest, stop putting on the mask.
    Hope you can find a way to do love with a minimum of bible verses and a maximum of transparency, you’ll find no greater group of cheerleaders

  370. Michael says:

    LTL,

    Thank you for the kind words and it sounds like you do know me.
    I do regret how things went…and I regret that we never got into a serious discussion of the real topic.
    Blessings on you…thank you for caring…very much.

  371. Xenia says:

    Believe, you are probably right. Years ago, I was asked to take over ownership of a discussion forum that was deteriorating. I instituted draconian “purity rules,” I guess you could call it. All these people who previously hated each other with a burning passion suddenly united in their hatred of me. I never saw a group of disparate people come together so quickly.

  372. Believe says:

    “Yesterday was not our finest hour.”

    Actually, ironically, it was.

  373. My faith is smaller than a mustard seed, yet #356 is exactly why PP is the only Xtian community I maintain any contact with at this time.

    “Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.” ~Ambrose Bierce
    And the above is why most of my posts/rants are self-deleted before I hit send :mrgreen:

  374. Believe says:

    Michael, if your goal was to help me heal, yesterday was a good day. If your goal is to present a sanitized version of life and reality, then it was a bad day.

  375. Michael said “and I regret that we never got into a serious discussion of the real topic.” As I noticed that yesterday, I thought it was because it is so painful a subject, so heinous, that it it is so hard to think about, let alone to discuss. So, IMO, instead pain and anger came out sideways -unfortunately towards each other. Glad to see peace and reconciliation today.

  376. Already breaking my #318, because all the love here is making me feel all gooey 🙂

    Believe @ 378 – With all sincerity, if blasting me on a blog helps you heal, then I’m all for it. Blessings to you and your immediate family.

  377. Nonnie says:

    “Glad to see peace and reconciliation today.” Me too!

  378. Believe says:

    Michael, there is no way you don’t care about me, most anyone else would’ve sent me packing a long time ago. You absorbed all I had and yesterday was the climactic moment for me. I learned something yesterday and it’s real to me. Thanks.

  379. Believe says:

    Thank you Josh.

  380. If I might ask, and I will not argue, what did you learn?

  381. Long Time Lurker says:

    Believe,

    Respectfully, I don’t now how to say this – I don’t mean to dis you – it’s unavoidable – but if the blog loses you, then it will be a safer place to dialogue, and we all would not have to watch out for stepping in vomit all the time.

    You have your own blog. Please consider growing and creating an atmosphere and culture on your own site. If people are interested in you and your issues, then they will go there. My gut tells me you are here because your blog lacks the culture/community that attracts people and godly dialogue. You are here, because no one has followed you there, or you do not offer them anything except lawsuit news and hate filled comments abut your step-dad.

    I cannot ever imagine Xenia, Nonnie, brian, and others telling another brother to “F” off, or engage them in a “peeing contest” and a constant war of witty, pithy words and arguments.

    I feel “force fed” by you.

    It’s always about you and now it’s about your struggle with the Bible, yet you have, for years quoted it with the greatest authority when it suited you and your agenda. Who are you really? (please don’t respond to that- I really have read every single word you have ever written.)

    I know (now “knew) your dad and he is despicable in my eyes. I have lost respect for him.

    I say this knowing I am a sinner, but I have lost respect for your opinions and writings.

    Why you may ask? You are your step-father’s son. Your talk and walk are in conflict.

    God knows my heart, I don’t condemn you, it’s not my place.

    I am sorry. I pray for you. But, health would return to the PP if you just left and did your own thing. Please forgive me If I have offended you. I just needed to say what I think and probably others are afraid to say. You are loved and God is the only one who truly know who you are, even beyond yourself and what you think yourself to be. Fall on His cross. Fall on His grace. There is healing in His name.

    I am out for the day. I don’t even know if my words to this community mean anything, I am probably just wasting my time…..but God knows.

  382. Steve Wright says:

    With all sincerity, if blasting me on a blog helps you heal, then I’m all for it.
    ——————————————-
    I second the motion.

    Signed, the F’n idiot

  383. Believe says:

    Lurker, you don’t get it. I don’t have my own blog. I am done with it. I dont’ want a following nor do I feel the conviction any longer from the Fundamentalist perspective to right the wrongs of CC. I want to be anonymous (as much as possible) and be freed from the chains of Fundamentalism and the law dynamic. I want the Gahndi Jesus of the New Testament, I think He is the Truth, not what has been constructed by Fundamentalism.

  384. Believe says:

    Steve, just a minor correction, it was f’ing a-hole, not idiot 🙂

    I even feel peace and love toward you today. I’m going to choose to “let it go”.

  385. Xenia says:

    . I want the Gahndi Jesus of the New Testament, <<<

    You could do a lot worse. This is a good healing point, IMO. I don't think it's the fullness of the Gospel, but it's a good place to default to and take stock.

  386. Believe says:

    X, for me, when I focus on that Jesus, I feel the “fruit of the Spirit” and want to have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and self-control.

    Any flavor of Fundamentalism and I want to be judge and I want justice and I want equal scales etc. The dynamic is way different.

  387. Long Time Lurker says:

    G ~ Your opinion is yours, but I disagree. I have taken off my mask here and got peed on. You do sound ‘enlightened’ though.

  388. Lurker, I appreciate what you’ve said here today, glad you spoke up!

  389. Long Time Lurker says:

    Believe,
    I don’t think you know what a ‘fundamentalist” is. (Princess Bride- “I don’t think that means what you think that means.” )

    Jesus said it very plainly: “Those who love me obey my commands.” “Come Follow Me.” “You must be born again”, “Take my yoke upon you for I am gentle and lowly in heart…you will find rest for your souls.” ” I have loved you with an everlasting love…” ” If God be for us who can be against us- who can separate us from the love of God through Jesus Christ our Lord?”

    Then JESUS IS A FUNDAMENTALIST. Again, who are you? Are you His follower?

    Slap a label on it (“Fundy Alert” – “Fundamentalist”) and put it down. Your opinion always must be higher than someone else’s.

    Enter into His life of self death and you will find life. Life is in Jesus. Jesus is peace. He is joy. He is Love. He is light. He is eternal. He is the same today, yesterday and forever. He loves you. Let it go and allow him to soften your heart man.

  390. Believe says:

    I think SGM should be held accountable as an organization that is given special tax exempt status and is in essence a Government sanctioned entity. I think that the evidence presented in the lawsuit is compelling and that there seems to have been attempts to sweep stuff under the rug and to be opaque and not be transparent, which is dangerous and leads to more abuse.

    I’m glad Michael is helping get the word out.

    I do think the individual sinners, while being held accountable if they crossed criminal lines, should be considered as lost sheep who need Jesus.

    I think the greater sin is that of the Institution that would sacrifice the safety of kids for the financial security of the Institutional church.

  391. Believe says:

    LTL, I’m not interested in continuing that discussion. We’ve beaten that horse to death.

  392. Nonnie says:

    “I do think the individual sinners, while being held accountable if they crossed criminal lines, should be considered as lost sheep who need Jesus.

    I think the greater sin is that of the Institution that would sacrifice the safety of kids for the financial security of the Institutional church.”

    I can’t imagine anyone would disagree with that.

  393. London says:

    LTL-
    Thanks for having the courage to say what you think. I agree with most of it, and am hesitant to trust this “new and improved” version of Believe because there’s just been too many times, that he’s changed since being here.

    Time will tell I suppose…

    I think though that yesterday, at least for me, even though there was loads of very vile things said, it needed to happen. People have been cut off from saying what they really thought too often in the heat of battle.

    For sure the F word was over the top and to say to “F off” to someone on here is way over the line, and should have been called as a foul, but, the general talking through issues like what is forgiveness really, helped me clarify my own thoughts.

  394. Sarah says:

    I love this place. I so deeply wish I had more time to engage. Every time I sit down to try to write and engage either the sink overflows because I forgot I was filling it to wash dishes, or the cat throws up, or the dog bites the cat, or the 2 year old throws the cat, or the 11 year old and the 9 year old begin a shouting match….

    Kinda hard to concentrate. 😉 And yes, all those things have actually happened.

    Still…I love this place. I love the fact that honesty was shown last night, and it reminds me of some of the discussions in my childhood. We argued loudly and vigorously and as a result we have this great dynamic in my family of laughing hard and being real. I think my husband married me more for my family than for me!

    I’m thankful that the morning has brought that reconciliation and ease that comes after the air is cleared. Doesn’t mean we all agree…but there is grace here.

    Praying for each today. Praying for God to meet us each in our needs and to be present.

  395. Long Time Lurker says:

    G- When you ask people to stop using Bible verses and start “being transparent” that is like asking me to shut off my flashlight in a cave full of rattlesnakes. You don’t want to really know what is in my heart man. It’s just plain inane and shows me your low regard for scripture. Do you treasure His words? Are they the rejoicing of your heart? Honest questions.

  396. Believe says:

    I think at the heart of the Institutional churches issues with opacity and cover up is money. When push comes to shove, it is largely a business and bad abuse stories aren’t good for business. The knee-jerk reaction is to cover up, shuffle the priest or pastor or youth worker off to another location and hush things up, or to smear the victims and deny etc.

    “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

    I think the underlying issue is a love of money and keeping up appearances more than loving God and having mercy on the victims (like the Good Samaritan).

    I think, then, God sometimes intervenes and takes a chunk of the particular church’s precious money (see RCC, now SGM etc).

  397. Yeah, I agree with that as well, though I would make clear that child molestation goes beyond your average sin. There’s a sickness there, and forgiveness, restoration, whatever…that person can never be allowed children again.

  398. Sarah: “Doesn’t mean we all agree…but there is grace here.”

    This ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    With that, I bid you all a’dieu for the day.

  399. I’ve had a little bit of issues posting here this morning. I think its my server. Anyhow, I tried to post this a few minutes ago in reference to Believe’s #400.

    I am sure in some of the cover up cases money and reputation play a great part. I have personally witnessed a few cases and I don’t think that was the issue. You had a staff who all loved each other and trusted each other. When the first accusations came out, and were refuted, of course the other staff members got his back. When it turned out he really did do these awful things, they assumed it was a one time bad decision. While they wanted to help the victims, they didn’t want their friend’s life to be ruined for one bad decision.

    AGAIN!!! This is NOT the right way to handle these things. However, in a few cases I’ve witnessed, this was the dynamic behind the cover-up, not money.

  400. Why did everybody stop posting all at once? Did I break wind?

  401. Long Time Lurker
    “G- When you ask people to stop using Bible verses and start “being transparent” that is like asking me to shut off my flashlight in a cave full of rattlesnakes. You don’t want to really know what is in my heart man. It’s just plain inane and shows me your low regard for scripture. Do you treasure His words? Are they the rejoicing of your heart? Honest questions”

    Just want to let you know, I’m glad you de-lurked and stepped into the dialog.

    “Do you treasure His Words? Are they rejoicing in your heart?”
    Hmmmm. Like I said, I don’t speak christianese anymore, but I’ll try to work with you here.
    I treasure The Living God more than His words. You need to understand that I am a recovering Bible-Idolator, so I no longer place words in a book above the God Who transcends them, or above the humans He created. Words don’t “rejoice in my heart”. I bring any real meaning to what I read, in context, observing who spoke them and who the intended hearer was. I really try to apply only what can be directly applied, and then I remain free to think, feel and imagine like any other person.

    Your poetic image is sweet and all but if we’re going to make up imagery then I prefer simple 50 billion year old carbon with God as the prime mover and creator and source of all energy and consciousness, each of us united with Him, united in creation, pulsing with creativity and wonder.

    I really DO want to know what’s in your heart, so that I can dialog with YOU, not your ability to string together bible verses to somehow anoint what you really think and feel. The only rattlesnakes are the ones in your imagination. Like I said before, you’re coming off like you’re all about fear right now. If you are free because you are a follower of Jesus than you need to relax, be a child of the kingdom and lighten up and dance with God, maybe even listen to some non-religious music and sip a dry Syrah. Let me suggest Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” or Sting’s “Dead Man’s Rope” for starters.

  402. Josh,
    Only you know for sure 😉

  403. And Lurker, so that we’re clear, most of us disagree with G’s take on Scripture. ( No disrespect G. Not everyone understands the years of conversations that have taken place here)

    And #406 – Smeller’s the feller. 🙂

  404. Sarah says:

    I thought it was because I said the 2 year old threw the cat 😉

  405. @ 408 – Ahhh, blame it on the cat! I forgot!

  406. Long Time Lurker says:

    ( |o )====::: – Then please consider when God said in the OT that He regards His Word above His own name. How does this jive with your avoidance of “Christianese”? I’m a ‘fundamentalist’ or have a platform of ‘fear’ (What the heck are trying to say? Makes no sense to me) because I believe the Bible, would die on it’s behalf and seek to live out it’s commands? Because I quote the Bible? The Bible is not a book of ‘suggestions’ or ‘keys to a better life” or “bitchin’ words from the man upstairs.” They are holy. They are all powerful and cut deeper than any knife. They are upright, and not crooked. They are straight. The are light. They are pure. They secure our salvation and they point us in a right path and direction and reveal who God is. They comfort us and they convict us all at once.

    But we don’t want to sound religious now do we? We need to stay relevant, lest we lose our ability to reach the world? or reputation. I am not about an ethereal Jesus, a baby lamb who is docile and emasculated. A flowery Jesus who wears bell bottoms and simultaneously loves the Beatles. Jesus is also a man of war and will one day will wage war again. He is God and as God He asks us to revere and to “sings psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, making melody in our hearts to the Lord.” He asks us to meditate day and night on His Word. To post it on the doors of our homes and to teach it to our kids. To hide it in our hearts so we will not sin against Him. He tells us to be perfect as His Father is perfect. he says “walk in it.”

    This ‘celestial salad bar’ stuff is a lie from the pit of hell my friend. BTW- I do listen to those songs, but I do not allow them to dilute my love for Jesus. “All good gifts come from God.” But I refuse to smoke a joint with you to prove I’m ‘cool.”

    God bless you ( |o )====::: , but you make absolutely no sense to me.

  407. Long Time Lurker,
    We have a modicum, to respect each other’s screen name. I ask that you do the same.


    Moderator, please remove the name in 410 and replace it with ( |o )====:::

  408. Neo. says:

    Lurker. We all love the Bible, here. It’s incomparable in it’s mystery, poetry, and the Holy.

    But remember, when I say we all love the Bible what I really mean is we all love our own personal reading and interpretation of the Bible.

    Your statements imply your reading of it is superior to G’s but you don’t know this for sure.

  409. Neo. says:

    …or rather, you CAN’T know this for sure.

  410. And I’d also disagree with that. I believe in absolutes. Absolute right, absolute wrong. So, I do think it would possible for one person’s understanding of Scripture to be better than another person’s.

  411. Moderator, please remove the name in 410 and replace it with ( |o )====:::

  412. Neo. says:

    The absolute is an Absolute, Josh. He’s a person. Very few people read the Bible through Jesus, in my opinion.

  413. Long Time Lurker says:

    One reason I am using scripture because there is so little of it shared in many/most posts.

    “Feelings” and anger are replacing what is really needed…eternal perspective. God’s viewpoint, His opinion. Come let us reason together. I don’t remember that verse that says tell them to go “F” themselves or “Forgive your enemies but never forget their names.”
    The Bible says “A fool vents all of their feelings.”

    Isn’t this what this blog is about? Dealing with the hurts and pains of life that have been inflicted upon us? Our questions about God? The way He wants to be worshipped? Diversity and the different gifts and callings in the Body of Christ? Honest questions about ethics, relationships and the like? Who better to answer these than God Himself? How many here enjoy His Word, desire it and seek after it? How many read it regularly for just the cause of wanting to draw near to Him? How many crave it like a good meal? How many love it? I wish I were what I preached. I want to be that person. I believe the Lord wants us to be that person. He paid a dear price so we COULD BE that person.

    Oh that we would fall in love with Him again and allow Him to wash away the filth and stains of the world from our consciences. I think Jesus would be well pleased to see us impart scripture into each discussion and edify and build up each other in His Word. I think the blog would take off, grow and become what it was meant to be and would please Him.

    “That’s all fine and nice, but we need to call out CC, Sovereign Grace, Mars Hill and their sins before we can move on…..” Okay, whatever.

  414. Sarah says:

    Done, ( |o )====::: 😉

  415. Long Time Lurker,

    I don’t smoke weed, it’s a smell that I find nauseating, and I don’t get high at all, never have needed to to be able to socially interact. I’ve always found that stuff gets in the way.

    Glad you like those songs and artists.

    Would you die for a person if it meant that a bible would be burnt instead of the person being shot?

    Would you let someone rip a bible up into small pieces if it meant that a kid would avoid being abused?

  416. Sarah says:

    I’ll add…I’m sure Michael is getting ready to get Trey, and I think I’m the only moderator around at the moment. I just happened to log on for a moment. These days it usually takes us a bit to get to ‘moderating’. If we don’t respond immediately it just means we’re in the midst of other stuff…

  417. Michael says:

    Thank you, Sarah!
    I was indeed picking up Trey.
    Now for haircuts…

  418. LTL says:

    Neo.
    Sorry- no my comments are not to make me superior. I am a man with many faults and live with many regrets. I have to force myself to look ahead instead of behind where many failures lay.

    My point is this – why not try to bring Christ into the equasion/discussion more often than not?

  419. Believe says:

    LTL said, “The Bible says “A fool vents all of their feelings.””

    The bible also says you have to become a fool to be wise.

    Paradox.

  420. LTL says:

    Please delete my 423 Michael. Thank you.

    Guitar Man – I don’t know how to make a guitar with symbols-another reason I don’t usually post- sorry for the indiscretion. I meant no harm or offense.

  421. Believe says:

    “why not try to bring Christ into the equasion/discussion more often than not?”

    I think we can agree on that. The example of Jesus in the Gospels is amazing and any focus on that Jesus, I’m with you.

  422. LTL,
    Ok, then I will simply assume that you would prefer preserving a bible over the life of a person or the physical well being of a child.

    It’s a pretty simple couple of questions, and that you tap dance around and dodge them and bail with such a weak answer while calling me “Pharisaical” is rather amusing, I mean, how can someone be both “Pharisaical” and “Emergent”? 😉

    That you deem me unworthy of receiving your answers. it tells me a lot about who you are, your lack of having thought through what you spout, a fearful person who is enslaved to a view of the bible that places a book above living persons.

    To help you with my screen name, it’s pretty simple, you just copy & paste the following to address me

    ( |o )====:::

    Or you can call me “G” if you are having a hard time copying and pasting.

  423. Believe says:

    “a fearful person who is enslaved to a view of the bible that places a book above living persons.”

    Agreed, that is the dynamic that particular World View and philosophical belief system creates.

  424. Believe says:

    It’s a deeply ingrained fear. It has taken me many years and much struggling and hashing out to get past. Once I became brutally honest about things, I was able to finally get over that fear and those cult-like chains.

    We do not admire anything about the Taliban or Fundamentalism in Islam today…yet we seem to tolerate a little bit of that mindset in today’s Christian Fundamentalism, especially when it comes to women and children in many circles.

  425. Xenia says:

    Lurker doesn’t strike me as a person who is afraid of anything. He’s not afraid of being politically incorrect, at least.

  426. Believe says:

    X, I think the use of fear is in the context of fear of expressing doubt about the bible when the bible presents a flaw or something that just isn’t right.

    There is a fear of calling a spade a spade because it’s in the bible and Salvation is often equated with agreement with a Fundamentalist Position regarding the bible’s infallibility and inerrancy and deity vs. what Salvation probably really is.

    Jesus only seems to have affirmed the Law and the Prophets in the context of Love Your Neighbor and Love God…not necessarily the hacking of King Agag to pieces with a sword or stoning unruly children to death or stoning women to death etc.

  427. Xenia,
    I’m fascinated by Long Time Lurker’s views, having been a more fanatical version a few years ago. It’s like returning to the scene of a beating that I perpetuated on myself.

  428. Believe says:

    I don’t know if Lurker is afraid of exploring outside the Fundamentalist interpretation of the bible or not, I just know I once believed Salvation and avoiding hell for eternity was partly contingent on a particular Fundamentalist interpretation of the bible regarding a long list of issues…and I just don’t think that is true or healthy as it didn’t seem to bear much “Fruit” of the Spirit that wasn’t built upon a false piety.

  429. Believe says:

    “The absolute is an Absolute, Josh. He’s a person. Very few people read the Bible through Jesus, in my opinion.”

    Very much agree. I think you’ve hit the crux of the issue and expressed it well. Jesus is “the” Absolute. He is perfection. He is the Truth. He is the personification of God’s Truth. Not the bible, not His followers, etc. all of those are tainted and fallible and not necessarily Jesus…though sometimes His followers in the OT and NT exampled Jesus and expressed some truth, often they didn’t.

  430. Believe says:

    Jesus never intended children to be stoned to death in such a barbaric manner for being unruly or rebellious. That is a lie from the devil. It has never been true or right that such a terrible punishment (that the Taliban practice to this day) was right and righteous. It’s always been wrong in every context. The Israelites were wrong then, the Taliban is wrong now. We must view the truth through the eyes of Jesus of the Gospels.

  431. Xenia says:

    Lurker came here and said some highly critical and unpopular things. That sounds like someone willing to call a spade a spade.

    If you want to say that people who are confirmed in their beliefs to be spreading fear, or under the thumb of fear… well, I would not agree. You may not agree with what Lurker believes but it is not fear-based.

    But that’s popular today. People (not necessary you) like to say that people they disagree with are fearful, thus, we have words like homophobe, islamophobe, etc. I think that is unfair.

  432. Believe,

    Agree completely. It’s a little hard to reconcile Jesus saying, “Suffer the little ones to come unto me…” and then seeing Jesus bean little Shlomo with a well placed agate.

  433. LTL says:

    ( |o )====::- I would die for a human stranger quite easily than an actual physical Bible. I have already made that choice in real life and lived through it. An act of love is worth more than quoting/spouting Bible verses – I feel you missing my whole point.

    You’re not unworthy of my comments ( |o )====::, (I don’t want you to feel that way) but you are quite liberal to me and I often disagree with your viewpoints in reading them.

    BTW- I have been calling you G. (Did I slip earlier?)

    Xenia, I am not afraid of anything because I feel like a walking dead man as it is is. A lot of life has passed by and now there is no time to lose, and frankly, the only sense of identity I have is only through Jesus. I know what it’s like to have a gun to my head (attempted suicide), to be bankrupt, to have suffered great loss, to have made great gain, a great family of 6, lied about, lied to, betrayed and to suffer chronic debilitating illness. Most of my childhood was living in abandonment and fear and poverty. I stand up for the underdog and the voiceless whenever I can. I don’t know what else to say…

    Except – Jesus took away my pain, guilt, fear and the ugly sense of ego that used to dominate my life. What is ‘politically correct’ anyway? I am sick of the same things you are all sick of…but Jesus bids me to be focused on Him. Just because I voice my displeasure over ungodly things I see and hear , well, that does not diminish you or anyone else. We are all one under the Cross and His love. I certainly feel that oneness here at times but lately……

  434. Believe says:

    X, then I’ll speak for myself and my own experience and how Fundamentalism was taught to me in the church system I grew up in: It was fear-based and I was very afraid, but not the good kind of fear.

  435. Believe says:

    ” Jesus took away my pain, guilt, fear and the ugly sense of ego”

    Yes, I am experiencing that now, but through a rejection of the typical Fundamentalist position and world view. But, I am glad that Fundamentalism seems to have worked for you and your sense of well-being and if you are truly able to be at peace with that view and not hurt other folks and exhibit the fruits of the spirit, then I think it’s the right fit for you. I find many Fundamentalists don’t experience or example the same dynamic.

  436. Xenia,
    Read Lurker’s initial comments again, about being amongst rattlesnakes, that’s far from confident imagery. Most swaggering religious types are overcompensating for their lack of having worked through the tough and legitimate objections to faith that they suppress and deny instead of grappling with and finding peace with their position.

    The fact that Long Time Lurker was unwilling to answer a simple couple of questions about what he/she would do faced with a bible being destroyed or a person’s life being taken or a child being forever hurt is a huge tell to how much their faith is bluster and slogans instead of proven by compassion.

  437. mrtundraman says:

    Steve w wrote “But until then, I think we need to forgive for our benefit,”

    Steve, that is psychologically unsound advice. Clearly you posted without even reading the Psychology Today article I linked above.

    Let me give you a challenge. Put aside your preconceptions and opinions which you so quickly pull out and actually take the time to study forgiveness. All you need is a concordance and your Bible. Study and come back when you are done. I fully expect and hope you will see the answer in God’s Word. Not in one or two passages taken out of context, but in the full counsel of God.

    I don’t believe it’s possible to seriously study the Bible passages on forgiveness and teach what you teach. And if that is what you teach from the pulpit I feel sympathy for those you further victimize.

  438. Believe says:

    “…instead of proven by compassion.”

    Yes. The parable of the Good Samaritan.

  439. Xenia says:

    Sorry G, I do not agree. Won’t be the first time.

  440. Believe says:

    “I do not agree. ”

    You often do by your actions as I’ve found you to be very much like the Jesus of the Gospels, often.

  441. mrtundraman says:

    Here is the key passage on repentance in the Gospels:

    Luke 17:3-4 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.

    Or did Jesus have it wrong? Should He instead have said (as some claim He must have really meant):

    If your brother trespass against thee, don’t rebuke him, whether or not he repents your must forgive him for your own sake.

    Is that what Jesus SHOULD have said? It is what he would have had to have said to fit the paradigm presented by many…

  442. I find it hardest to reconcile Jesus inviting the little children to come unto him, children at extremely young ages being told that if they invite Jesus into their hearts, they will not only avoid hell, but he will always be near them, protecting and guiding them. Then experiencing the travesties detailed in the above amended lawsuit. I read a supposed encouragement such as “He asks me to trust Him because He is in charge…bigger, greater, more powerful & able/willing/ready to save!” And I weep.

  443. Steve Wright says:

    Tundra, why is that the “Key” passage – because it is the one that most fits with your POV?

    I already referenced the conflation you are doing here. Forgiveness and reconciliation are two different things. And there are verses that apply to both. As a result you have people that think you can’t forgive and prosecute at the same time.

    I know this will shock you given your command for me to go study my Bible, but I actually have studied the Bible on this issue (and many others) and even used a concordance on occasion. I’ve also put it into practice in my own life and in 18 years of pastoral ministry with countless others that have confided, cried, and prayed with me. People that today do not show nearly the bitterness I see for example in you as you speak of your past church days.

    I skimmed that article and when I saw no mention of the Holy Spirit, I got disinterested. So if you want to live like a humanist who denies the power of God in these things, then let that article be your guide. But don’t then tell us to read our Bible because there we are introduced to Someone we know as our Lord Who is to be obeyed, and Someone we know as The Holy Spirit Who is to comfort, and edify.

    Forgiveness, like praying a blessing on your enemy (or does Psychology Today call that unhealthy as well?) is something done as an act of obedience to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He will bless that act of obedience and by means of the Holy Spirit working a Supernatural work in our hearts, honor that obedience with the fruit of the Spirit. An unregenerate man can’t possibly understand the miraculous working of God. It is foolishness to such a one, especially in our age of seeking the pound of flesh

    Yes, I’m being snarky, but YOUR advice if followed, is what is dangerous. Keeping someone in prison to the bondage of their hate and bitterness, often towards someone who likely hasn’t spent five minutes thinking of them in ten years. This is not “theory” this is practicing ministry in the trenches of real life. And to be clear NO it does not involve sitting in the room with the one who molested you, or whatever other non sequitur that would involve the different act of restoration.

    So if you are right I am actually doing damage instead of offering the power of God through the Lord Jesus Christ to help someone in bondage, then I’ll wait until God corrects me on it, and not Psychology Today.

  444. Believe says:

    I think like the parable of the Good Samaritan, that actions and compassion trump “correct doctrine” and theology.

    It seems Jesus exampled this and taught this time and again during His incarnate time on this planet.

    The Gospel didn’t seem to change to a more doctrine-centered Gospel until fallible men took over after Jesus left, IMO.

  445. mrtundraman says:

    MLD opined “The scriptures are clear that ALL sin has been forgiven”

    Not so much “clear” as MLD thinks. Or at least that’s what Jesus said:

    Mat 12:31-32 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

    Oops…

  446. Fundy Drive-By says:

    “Jesus of the Gospels” You mean the one who spoke more about Hell and the consequences of sin than any other topic?

  447. mrtundraman says:

    “Tundra, why is that the “Key” passage – because it is the one that most fits with your POV?”

    Because the other passages fit into it.

    If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.

    Secondly, because it directly contradicts your opinion. Jesus states a paradigm which is in direct contradiction to your position.

  448. mrtundraman says:

    “I skimmed that article and when I saw no mention of the Holy Spirit, I got disinterested.”

    Yet you offered an opinion about the psychological benefits of forgiveness which was contrary to the best psychological resources.

  449. LTL says:

    I am NOT a fundamentalist. I am not a Democrat/Republican/Tea Partier. I am not a homophobe. I am not racist but rather abhor it. I was not referring to anyone here as a “rattlesnake.” ( I was using an analogy to paint a picture that the Word keeps me safe in a world of “trouble all around.”- so please do not play psychologist over this remark. You don’t know what you are talking about.) (I feel like a contestant on “What’s My Line) I am a follower of Jesus, I take Him at His Word – His word is absolute truth. You can criticize me for “believing as a little child”, but Jesus will take you aside and spank your little bottom for it one day 🙂 I am not a Calvinist. I am not an Armenian. I am both. I’m down the middle. I can fellowship with both persuasions no matter their opinion. I sympathize with Alex and believe his story, but I also believe he has discredited his platform with his rants and verbal abuse toward others. I have seen Michael expose himself to the point of sheer nakedness to reconcile everyone here and be transparent. I love his courage and moxie. I admire his vulnerability. I like dogs and cats. I play a 1972 Martin D-28 and a Fender Tele pretty well and have recorded music. I believe that Christians should stick out as lights in this world and I easily heap guilt on myself for not consistently living that way. I am a “dyed in the wool” Dodger fan and I am excited we signed Chis Kluwe on the Raiders today, much to Michael’s chagrin.

  450. Lurker,
    Sorry our posts crossed. Thanks for answering my questions and clarifying.

    “G” is fine. We wouldn’t want to turn my guitar into a mandolin. Now a uke…

  451. Steve Wright says:

    As an aside, I mentioned on facebook a couple months ago (and I think on here as well), of the recent funeral for the man I was honored to pastor the last few years of his life.

    A man who was tortured in the most cruel ways by the Nazis in a concentration camp, when he was captured in helping the Jewish people hide from the Nazis. A man who escaped from the train that was to take him to his death at Auschwitz. A man who gave Jesus ALL the glory for everything he did – including not breaking under the torture.

    A man whose last years in life was spent telling people his story of torture, telling them about Jesus and His forgiveness at the cross, even to young school children, and showing all people he shared with that he had no hate for anyone, and had forgiven his torturers – because God had taken it all away. A man whose life exuded the love of Christ.

    And you know what….those Nazis never did apologize and repent to him.

    I guess I should have mentioned somewhere along the way before he died how bad his “forgiveness theology” was….After all, the only thing he had was a Bible and God. What did he know…..

  452. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    This is the way I look at it from the cheap seats;

    If you do not forgive, you only hurt yourself simple point blank period. Most people have gone through some sort of travail. For me it was forgiveness that free’d me from the bondage of being obsssessed with my past. I forgave people that never once admitted they were wrong and this is family members. Now there may not be a solid relatiuonship with them now because they do the same things that made me have to forgive in the first palce but I can rest at night knowing that no bitterness is in my heart for them. I still have to work on forgiving people that are current in my life which is a daily process but if practiced it gives the forgiver true freedom. Alex owes no apology to his step father because he seems to be telling the truth. On the other hand, it would serve him well to start moving on emotionally from what happened. This can only be done through prayer and being obedient to the word. Alex may never get the earhtly victory he is looking for. Bob Grenier may prosper finacially and materially until the day he dies and it doesn’t mean for one second that God approves of him. For his kids and wifes sake Alex should work on putting this past him once the lawsuit is over win or lose. One thing that helps me is knowing that the father forgave me for Fornication, Lying, Sorcery, Drunkenness, Adultery, Unbiblical Divorce, Stealing, being a lover of myself, etc. the list goes on and on

  453. mrtundraman says:

    “I know this will shock you given your command for me to go study my Bible”

    I think that God gives the command to study, but it you want to blame it on me…

    “but I actually have studied the Bible on this issue (and many others) and even used a concordance on occasion”

    Pardon me if I don’t believe you have ever studied this issue. Or maybe you just brought your presumptions to all the passages and missed what they say, I know I missed them until I took the time to understand the passages.

    “Yes, I’m being snarky…”

    I don’t see your words as snarky. I see them as ignorant.

  454. Steve Wright says:

    Yet you offered an opinion about the psychological benefits of forgiveness which was contrary to the best psychological resources.
    —————————————
    Sorry you were confused. When I used the term “our benefit” (which is all I used as you note in your quote – I did not say “psychological”)….I was talking about our Spiritual well-being, health, and benefit. A quality of life unknown and unappreciated and not understood by the unregenerate man.

    I thought this being a Christian blog, that would be understood.

  455. LTL says:

    Respecfully ( |o )====::
    Your comment: ” Most swaggering religious types are overcompensating for their lack of having worked through the tough and legitimate objections to faith that they suppress and deny instead of grappling with and finding peace with their position.”

    This is a pile of poo. I choose to believe God and I really don’t grapple with Him. Without faith it’s impossible to please Him. Why would I doubt Him or grapple with Him? Because some pastor injured me? (Which has happened countless times) It doesn’t change His character, His immutability or attributes. He doesn’t need to prove Himself to me. He had me when I found out that He died in my place.

  456. mrtundraman says:

    I can be convinced that I am wrong.

    1 – Show me a passage which shows me I need to forgive someone who refuses to repent. I’m confident you can’t find a passage which says such a thing.
    2 – Show me a passage which says “forgiveness is for me”. That’s psychological pablum.

    Either of those should be easy to produce if that’s the correct paradigm. Or maybe it’s just as simple as the words of Jesus:

    Jesus said “If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.”

  457. Steve Wright says:

    Solomon @457 – I stand and applaud you. I agree 100% with every word you wrote. Thanks for sharing. Maybe you will be heard.

    (And Solomon and I disagree on many things…but I certainly have no doubt he is a brother in the Lord)

  458. LTL,
    Yep, more in common than we thought, nice to discover.

    Xenia,
    Won’t be the last, I’m sure. Why break a predictable track record?

    Believe,
    Settling into Jesus in the gospels, I could wish no greater joy for you, other than your wife and kids tackling you at the door with a massive group hug. Why am I thinking that’s gonna happen tonight 😉

  459. mrtundraman says:

    Steve wrote “Sorry you were confused. When I used the term “our benefit” (which is all I used as you note in your quote – I did not say “psychological”)….I was talking about our Spiritual well-being, health, and benefit. A quality of life unknown and unappreciated and not understood by the unregenerate man. I thought this being a Christian blog, that would be understood.”

    How can a person have well being without their psyche being well? Wikipedia explains it well:

    In psychology, the psyche (pron.: /ˈsaɪkiː/) is the totality of the human mind, conscious, and unconscious. Psychology is the scientific or objective study of the psyche.

  460. Steve Wright says:

    I can be convinced that I am wrong.
    ————————————–
    Few probably believe that. I know I don’t. I’ve never seen it evidenced in any of your posts here or at the other blog in the years I’ve read you, so I’m not looking to spin my wheels. There are plenty of verses that command us to forgive without the conditional “if he repents” but you use the restoration passage to ignore those.

    I’ll leave you something to live by though:

    Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Eph 4:31-32

    If the Christian testimony of a concentration camp survivor won’t do it…..I doubt anything else I might say will. I just hope you aren’t in a position of ministry that influences too many people with that advice – there sure are a lot of people in this world that would never be allowed to forgive, eaten up by bitterness, hurt, and hate…I would shudder to think they think that’s how God wants it by listening to you.

    Maybe you’ll hear Solomon. .

  461. mrtundraman says:

    Jesus said “If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.”

    Let’s work on this passage:

    “If thy brother trespass against thee”

    (English) tresspass = (greek) hamartia = (English)sin.

    So it’s possible that someone can sin against me, not just God.

    “rebuke him”

    Should I just unilaterally forgive him? Why would I rebuke him? If I rebuke him it shows that I haven’t forgiven him, right? Perfect chance for Jesus to tell us we need to just always forgive.

    Instead, Jesus calls for more conflict. Why would Jesus do that? Could it be that He wants true reconcilation? Is that His goal rather than some “feel good” forgiveness which does nothing?

    “and if he repent”

    Why would Jesus bring up repentance if it is totally unnecessary (as many here have claimed)?

    “forgive him.”

    I am obliged to forgive someone under the above conditions:
    1 – They sinned against me…
    2 – I rebuked them…
    3 – They repented.

    It’s “on me” if I don’t forgive someone at this point…

    Yes, I am to always forgive… If the other person has repented, I am obliged to forgive,

  462. LTL says:

    ( |o )====:: You don’t know it, but we have FAR more in common than you realize. In the words of Anigo Montoya: “I know something you don’t know…”- Don’t ask and please respect my privacy for now. I probably will not be commenting again for quite a while- I am a fish out of water and time is the main problem. This blog can consume your life. It has eaten much of my day. I do not envy Michael. I would be great to meet you personally one day and I know we will be playing music together in front of Jesus in our new bodies. I am living for that day.

  463. Steve Wright says:

    If you do not forgive, you only hurt yourself simple point blank period. Most people have gone through some sort of travail. For me it was forgiveness that free’d me from the bondage of being obsssessed with my past. I forgave people that never once admitted they were wrong and this is family members. Now there may not be a solid relatiuonship with them now because they do the same things that made me have to forgive in the first palce but I can rest at night knowing that no bitterness is in my heart for them. I still have to work on forgiving people that are current in my life which is a daily process but if practiced it gives the forgiver true freedom. Alex owes no apology to his step father because he seems to be telling the truth. On the other hand, it would serve him well to start moving on emotionally from what happened. This can only be done through prayer and being obedient to the word. Alex may never get the earhtly victory he is looking for. Bob Grenier may prosper finacially and materially until the day he dies and it doesn’t mean for one second that God approves of him. For his kids and wifes sake Alex should work on putting this past him once the lawsuit is over win or lose. One thing that helps me is knowing that the father forgave me for Fornication, Lying, Sorcery, Drunkenness, Adultery, Unbiblical Divorce, Stealing, being a lover of myself, etc. the list goes on and on

    This ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    (in honor of Solomon’s style as well as his words here…best post I have read all day here…and I’ve read them all)

  464. Steve Wright says:

    I am obliged to forgive someone….
    —————————————–
    Tundra….how come you change our Lord’s words about “thy brother” to just the generic “someone” in your application?

  465. mrtundraman says:

    Steve wrote – “Few probably believe that.”

    Why do you always take the low road and turn to personal insults?

    “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Eph 4:31-32”

    We repented, Jesus forgave… That passage doesn’t fit your paradigm at all. It fits mine perfectly. Still looking for either test cases. Should be easy to produce a passage which says either:

    1 – I need to forgive someone who refuses to repent.
    2 – Show me a passage which says “forgiveness is for me”.

    I’ll add a third.

    3 – Show me a passage where forgiveness isn’t done between two parties. This unilateral forgiveness is nonsense.

  466. mrtundraman says:

    “If you do not forgive, you only hurt yourself simple point blank period.”

    Bad psychology and Bad Bible.

    You can keep repeating it, but I gave the simple challenge. Should be easy to prove from the Bible if your view is correct…

    ” I forgave people that never once admitted they were wrong and this is family members. ”

    Why not follow the words of Jesus and rebuke? Don’t you want to see people repent of their evil deeds? Or are you too afraid of the consequences? I am sure you do this in your church when someone goes off the path…

  467. mrtundraman says:

    Steve commented on my comment – “I am obliged to forgive someone….
    —————————————–
    Tundra….how come you change our Lord’s words about “thy brother” to just the generic “someone” in your application?”

    Steve, who is my brother?

    Regardless of that question, even if an unbeliever repents of sinning against me I am to forgive him or her. I will take the command of Jesus seriously and even forgive someone who I personally question their salvation – if they repent…

  468. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    “If you do not forgive, you only hurt yourself simple point blank period. Most people have gone through some sort of travail. For me it was forgiveness that free’d me from the bondage of being obsssessed with my past. I forgave people that never once admitted they were wrong and this is family members. Now there may not be a solid relatiuonship with them now because they do the same things that made me have to forgive in the first palce but I can rest at night knowing that no bitterness is in my heart for them. I still have to work on forgiving people that are current in my life which is a daily process but if practiced it gives the forgiver true freedom. Alex owes no apology to his step father because he seems to be telling the truth. On the other hand, it would serve him well to start moving on emotionally from what happened. This can only be done through prayer and being obedient to the word. Alex may never get the earhtly victory he is looking for. Bob Grenier may prosper finacially and materially until the day he dies and it doesn’t mean for one second that God approves of him. For his kids and wifes sake Alex should work on putting this past him once the lawsuit is over win or lose. One thing that helps me is knowing that the father forgave me for Fornication, Lying, Sorcery, Drunkenness, Adultery, Unbiblical Divorce, Stealing, being a lover of myself, etc. the list goes on and on

    This ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    (in honor of Solomon’s style as well as his words here…best post I have read all day here…and I’ve read them all)”

    Thank you Steve

  469. mrtundraman says:

    “Alex owes no apology to his step father because he seems to be telling the truth. On the other hand, it would serve him well to start moving on emotionally from what happened.”

    Is that psychological advise? I can’t read “moving on emotionally” in any other way than psychological advice. And it’s REALLY BAD advise. Take the time to try and understand how you repeatedly continue to abuse the sinned against with this advice.

    Seriously, Steve. If you care at all about the souls in your care, take the time to read the Augsburger (theological side) and Psychology Today (pyschology side) articles. You are doing more damage with your bad psychology than you are helping. And I am sure that God has put people in your care that really need it.

    When I was a pastor for some reason the church attracted a far disproportionate number of people with mental health issues. I took the time to study and understand them and that’s why they were attracted. It freaked out the church who had people who didn’t understand and didn’t want “those people” (as the Church Chairman put it) in THEIR church. I would NEVER marginalize the sinned against by telling them that they need to forgive for their own sakes. That’s psychological garbage.

  470. mrtundraman says:

    Steve wrote “Alex owes no apology to his step father because he seems to be telling the truth. On the other hand, it would serve him well to start moving on emotionally from what happened.”

    And how should someone who has been seriously abused “move on emotionally”?

    How could they do better than to follow the words of their Lord who said to rebuke someone who sinned against us. Alex is doing this rebuking in a very public way, but he is rebuking nevertheless. He is calling for Bob to repent. As well he should. As well Jesus would encourage him to do.

    If Bob repents then Alex is obliged to forgive. But I’m pretty sure we’ll all know if that happens.

    The evidence is Bob isn’t repenting, he’s digging in his heels.

  471. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    “Is that psychological advise? I can’t read “moving on emotionally” in any other way than psychological advice. And it’s REALLY BAD advise. Take the time to try and understand how you repeatedly continue to abuse the sinned against with this advice.”

    No it’s just practical advise. I don’t do Psychology. Listen many have been hurt and absued by the ones they love and I’m not saying Alex has to go and reconcile with Bob due to the latters unrepentance but he should still forgive from his heart. I as many others have been thru our own pain but nevertheless carrying unforgiveness is a weight that become heavy.

  472. Steve Wright says:

    Why do you always take the low road and turn to personal insults?
    ————————————————-
    Well, if your opinion is that I am unstudied and ignorant as you posted (and apparently somehow not be making a personal insult), my opinion is that few here believe you will change your mind on this topic. Selective outrage much?

    Care to have a poll on those two questions. How many agree with you that I am unstudied and ignorant on the topic of forgiveness (and thus giving hurtful pastoral counsel all these years as you also wrote)

    And how many agree with me that you won’t change your mind in this thread. We already saw you explain away Jesus’ words “Father forgive them, they know not what they do” – You wrote ” I think he said ‘for they know not what they do’ because he recognized that they were not responsible for their actions.” – So I doubt there is a verse that you can’t twist to fit your view.

    So I’ll just agree with you here that just as those Romans crucifying the Lord, everyone else who hurts us is really not responsible for their actions. They’re the product of something else and that leads to their ignorance/accidental hurting us.

    And so let’s make THAT why we have to forgive them. As long as we get to the same place and we forgive, like Jesus did.

    The only reason I possibly care to engage you to this extent is because this topic far too important in the lives of people and the advice you are giving, though finding agreement with Psychology Today, denies the power of God to work His work in obedience to His commands.

    And I would hate for someone to stumble upon this thread and read you, unopposed, and think God wants them to swim in their bitterness and bile, being destroyed a little more each day.

    But I’m done now. Our theology should affect our behavior. I have watched the fruit of your teaching show itself in out-and-out hatred of brothers and sisters in Christ you’ve never met, because of your bad experiences in prior churches.

    Or I can remember my friend the concentration camp survivor, and the fruit of his life from his understanding of forgiveness

    Maybe Michael will have a special article one day where we all can vote as to what we think the Bible teaches on forgiveness…not reconciliation/restoration…but forgiveness.

  473. London says:

    MTM.
    Do you see any difference between forgiveness and reconciliation?
    On a plane, can’t read through all the posts. Hope you didn’t already post about that.

  474. mrtundraman says:

    Mat. ch 18 takes this whole thing up a notch. It lays out the process which should be followed if we are sinned against. It prescribes the steps:

    Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

    Same as the Luk. ch 17 passage. Go privately. What if that fails?

    But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

    So take a couple of witnesses along with you. What if that fails?

    And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

    So we are to take it to the church and if the person still doesn’t repent we are to treat the other person as an outcast (1 Cor has an example of Paul doing this).

    What is missing from that whole section of Scripture? The command to forgive someone who refuses to repent. In fact, we are to treat the person (after the process is completed) as a pariah and cast them out…

  475. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    “How could they do better than to follow the words of their Lord who said to rebuke someone who sinned against us. Alex is doing this rebuking in a very public way, but he is rebuking nevertheless. He is calling for Bob to repent. As well he should. As well Jesus would encourage him to do.

    If Bob repents then Alex is obliged to forgive. But I’m pretty sure we’ll all know if that happens.

    The evidence is Bob isn’t repenting, he’s digging in his heels.”

    Okay so the rebuke has been made and now the case is in court, So what’s next? What happens win or lose? At some point, moving on is best for the victim. We all have been victims at some point in our lives and you either live in that past and let it consume you or you practice Philippians 3:12-15 “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.

  476. mrtundraman says:

    Steve, Hilarious… I bet you’d win on a vote, but do you believe that is how truth is determined? If so, your issues are much deeper than what I’ve seen so far.

    “So I’ll just agree with you here that just as those Romans crucifying the Lord, everyone else who hurts us is really not responsible for their actions. They’re the product of something else and that leads to their ignorance/accidental hurting us.”

    So when Jesus said to rebuke those who sin against us, he’s not talking about anyone since everyone is a victim of their circumstances? Even Hitler (I hate pulling that card, but you said everyone) was a victim of his background and there’s no such thing as actual evil? Sorry, I don’t buy it and neither does Scripture.

    But I presented three really simple test cases to validate your view and refute mine. Since you can’t meet any of those I can see how you’d need to step away now…

  477. Steve Wright says:

    An addendum to those reading:

    When talking to someone who is abused, before ever getting to the point of even talking about forgiving their abuser, much less actually doing so, is a PROCESS. Not some blunt hammer wielded in the first three minutes.

    And by all means we should know as much about the human mind and body as possible, and not be opposed to medication as appropriate, and not just simply offer the “Jesus cure” as some sort of magic formula. For example, I have studied addictions and addictive behavior for longer than I have studied the Bible, and am married to a professional expert in the field, and so I am grieved at some of the stuff I hear from pulpits aimed at addicts.

    But the world always must stop short of the power of God in its advice. The world is doing the best it can while leaving out the Most Important “Factor” for recovery and healing there is.

    As Christians, we can’t make that mistake…the mistake of leaving God out.

    (Offered because stereotyping is common around here, usually at the expense of actual discussion with the individual)

  478. mrtundraman says:

    “We all have been victims at some point in our lives and you either live in that past and let it consume you or you practice Phil. ch 3:12-15 “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.”

    Has nothing to do with the question at hand…

    What are the things which were behind for Paul? He explained it clearly earlier in the chapter:

    Phl 3:4-
    Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.

    Nothing to do with forgiveness, but what Paul formerly trusted in for his “salvation” (HIs Jewish faith).

  479. mrtundraman says:

    By the way, Steve, with regards to the poll (a technique I’ve seen you use previously on this BLOG)…

    Do you realize that an appeal to popular opinion is a well known fallacy? Ad populum:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argumentum_ad_populum

    ‘In argumentation theory, an argumentum ad populum (Latin for “appeal to the people”) is a fallacious argument that concludes a proposition to be true because many or most people believe it. In other words, the basic idea of the argument is: “If many believe so, it is so.”‘

    Not that I think pointing out to you that your argument style is riddled with logical fallacies would do anything, but I thought I’d give it a try anyway…

  480. mrtundraman says:

    “(Offered because stereotyping is common around here, usually at the expense of actual discussion with the individual)”

    Ironically, that’s an actual example of a stereotype….

  481. mrtundraman says:

    If Paul’s advice was to unilaterally forgive regardless of whether a person repents, then why did he write this???

    1Cr 5:2-5
    And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,
    In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

    Shouldn’t he have just told them to unilaterally forgive this poor person? Rather he tells them to deliver the person over to Satan…

    When the person repented (presumably the same person) then Paul tells the church in 2Cor. to take the person back in…

    Seems like he missed a great chance to tell people just to forgive…

  482. mrtundraman says:

    London asked – “Do you see any difference between forgiveness and reconciliation?”

    The goal of the process is always reconciliation. That’s why forgiveness isn’t unilateral. It’s can’t be. It is intended as an exchange between two parties. It is only one part of reconciliation. We can’t be really reconciled without dealing with the issues between us.

    God’s forgiveness results in our salvation. His salvation is always offered as a free gift but only to “as many as received Him to them gave He the power to become children of God:.

  483. mrtundraman says:

    I wonder if Steve didn’t drop the discussion because it’s 5 PM and his work shift is over at the church. I do remember how boring it was sitting in the church office alone for hours…

  484. mrtundraman says:

    I think that the 70 times 7 passage fits well here. We have a hard time forgiving a person who repeatedly does the same thing. Jesus tells us that it’s hard to change and that a person who comes back repenting is to be forgiven. We are tempted to say how many times do I have to be repeatedly hurt? Jesus puts a limit on it, either 77 times or 490 times depending upon your math. It’s a bigger number either way than I am prepared to deal with. But think about us and God. We repeatedly come to Him asking for Him to forgive us the same sins. We need to deal with others in the same manner. We need to forgive as God forgives…

  485. Neo. says:

    Believe.

    Reading the Bible through Jesus. This is my “Road to Emmaus” (Luke 24). It has greatly helped me work through tough Biblical passages such as Abraham’s sacrifice and Canannite genocide. For example, Joshua is greeted by the Angel of The Lord just prior to the conquest of Jericho. Joshua asks the Angel,”Are you for us or our enemies?”. To that the Angel replies, “No”. I love it! As far as the Angel was concerned, the issue wasnt about race, land, and nationality. The Angel is Christology at it’s finest. A symbol of Jesus, God’s redemptive centerpiece, walking with us amongst all the rubble, grime, sweat, and odor of the OT. The overtone of his grace whispered, shouted, and sung in even the most horrific Mosaic and nationalistic texts of old.

    Here’s how I see it: I don’t give a rip one way or another if I’m to take Genesis 1-3 literally. If it was good enough for Jesus, scientifically and/or poetically, it’s good for me. I can’t explain the commands of Yahweh to destroy entire civilizations in airtight arguments that shut down all doubts and question. Nor can I claim to never scratch my head to the seeming scribal errors and diverse translations of the Septuagint. But if they were good enough for His first century, fairly well educated, middle class, steeped in Monotheistic mindset, then, well, it is going to have to be good enough for me.

    Absolutes? Absolutely! I just see Absolute Truth as a Person and not just a presupposition.

  486. Neo. says:

    SOS. Stuck in moderation! Thanks in advance….

  487. mrtundraman says:

    Sol wrote “Okay so the rebuke has been made and now the case is in court, So what’s next?”

    Do you think that Bob’s lawsuit against Alex is just another step of continuing Bob’s abuse of Alex?

    Clearly, Bob doesn’t care if his continuing abuse destroys Alex’s faith in Christ. This lawsuit may turn out to be the millstone around Bob’s neck…

  488. Xenia says:

    What if we don’t forgive unilaterally? Do we continue to hate or resent someone all the days of our lives? Hold a grudge forever? Launch a vendetta? Simmer? Seethe? I don’t like these options, personally. Or just forget about the person in lieu of actively holding a grudge? Yet we are to pray for our enemies, so we can’t just forget about them. I think if we do pray for an enemy we might naturally (or supernaturally) find ourselves forgiving them.

  489. mrtundraman says:

    X great questions. We are told to not seek vengeance ourselves but to leave that to God. Matt 18 presents the idea process for dealing with these things. In the end we may have to just walk away and leave it to God to deal with the other person.

  490. Neo. says:

    Hey Fundie Drive By. Jesus talked about a garbage dump that was once used for child sacrifices to heathen gods. Like, a literal place. And the New Testament talks about the condition of sin (noun) ten times more than an action (verb). So yeah, that Jesus.

  491. Steve Wright says:

    Do you pray FOR your enemies. Blessings, goodness, prosperity and health? Not just walk away. Jesus commands us to be proactive, even as we leave vengeance to Him.

    For example relevant to our community here, I can’t tell you how many times I have prayed for Alex. And I don’t consider him even an enemy (and I don’t think he does me – adversary, maybe 😉 )

    I’m praying for you too Tundra…make your own application 🙂

  492. Neo. says:

    I don’t pray for my enemies. That falls under Law.

  493. Linnea says:

    Sorry to interrupt the threat, but I just posted an urgent prayer request on the prayer thread:
    Please pray for Dave, whose 21 year old son shot himself last night. The son had a fatal illness which he’s survived since 15 years old after many experimental treatments at universities across the world.
    The family suffered another great loss 6 years ago when the mother/wife left the family. Please pray that God would sustain and send His angels to comfort Dave, his younger daughter and his older daughter and the mother. The family are believers.

  494. LTL says:

    I am praying…so sad.

  495. London says:

    I think peoe are not operating with the same definitions of words here.
    Having said that, if course I can choose not to harbor ill will or vengeance or speak ill against someone that hasn’t repented.
    I can let them go their own way, pray sincerely for the best for them, take action towards them that helps them etc. all that stuff I, and I’d venture to guess 90+ % of people on here call forgiveness.

    If we both agree to meet up or otherwise communicate they repent and ask forgiveness (or we do) then we can have a mutual agreement to let bygones be bygones. That is what I use as an ecame of reconciliation. At least two parties in mutual honest agreement to try.

    Neither is abusive.
    It’s only abusive is someone tries to force another party to agree to one of those things against their will

  496. mrtundraman says:

    “I think people are not operating with the same definitions of words here.”

    Agreed some have a strange idea of what constitutes forgiveness. They have taken their understanding from pop psychology rather than the Bible…

  497. Q says:

    Q @ 299

    “Your posts seem to protect you and your “partners” (affiliates) positions.”

    Steve Wright @ 304

    “As I said, my specialty for over 20 years was insuring people and businesses (and their assets) from civil litigation. Protecting people from the lawyers.”

  498. mrtundraman says:

    Steve does have a certain skill set.

  499. London says:

    Ah Tundra, the king of word twisters.

  500. Steve Wright says:

    “Your posts seem to protect you and your “partners” (affiliates) positions.”
    ———————————————
    Ask Michael how many CC pastors post on here by name, and then how many post criticisms when called for….

    It’s not exactly the path to getting a speaking engagement at the SPC.

  501. erunner says:

    mrtundraman, You are speaking much regarding forgiveness. As you lambasted Michael so many times on a blog that used to be linked from believe’s site which seems to no longer be available I have a few questions that I’ve posted before. As you are now integrating into this community maybe you can now answer.

    1. The things you said about Michael….. do you think they were fair?

    2. If they weren’t fair (which is my position) explain how you and Michael reconciled. Did he just allow you back on this blog with no strings attached or did you offer up an apology or ask forgiveness?

    3. As you save everything are you willing to post what you had posted and let others read it so they can see what I’m speaking of?

  502. Michael says:

    erunner,

    I’d really prefer not to revisit that stuff.
    I made a decision to lift the moderation on everybody and I’ll deal with the consequences of that, be they good or not so good.

  503. If I waited for everyone who ever offended or sinned against me to repent, I’d never forgive anyone.

  504. Passing by says:

    Mark 11:25

  505. Neo. says:

    Passing By. Like I said, that’s under the Law. Grace now says forgive because you are forgiven.

  506. brian says:

    Someone asked me the other day what my paradigm was worth, I said about twenty cents.

    Sorry

  507. Jim says:

    Although I would have liked to see the SGM atrocity gain more traction here, this thread has been fascinating.

    When I was a new Christian, I read a Glen Kaiser quote that changed me forever. “We judge the “success” of our ministry by the number of puke stains on our carpet.”

    Make your own application, Michael…

  508. brian says:

    From OUaT website
    “Say something and discontinue the invites.”

    This seems reasonable, and it would really help for healing repentance, restoration and all that God nonsense, but I am a hell bound apostate that hates God and Jesus and worships Satan, so what do I know. What a strange religion it really is. I mean that.

  509. brian says:

    that was somewhat tongue and cheek but I have been told that on many occasions.

  510. Nonnie says:

    Steve W., Solomon, Xenia and some others. THANK YOU! You are expressing truth in this conversation about forgiveness.

    I can’t add anything to other than the testimony of knowing without forgiveness, from God and me forgiving others, AND myself, I would be eaten alive with guilt, bitterness and wrath. I shudder sometimes to think of what mean, angry, and bitter old woman I would have become.

    Forgiveness does not mean trust and forget and be reconciled to an unrepentant perpetrator. Forgiveness brings freedom and does not allow the perpetrator’s sin to continue to bind up the victim in what is in the past.

    Steve, the story of man who forgave the Nazis is such a beautiful example! Thank you.

  511. mike says:

    On this issue of unconditional, unilateral forgiveness (for your own benefit) I think someones’s been reading too much Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul.

    Three options as I see it:
    1. Either you are all Universalists…
    2. Or you are holding mankind to a Higher standard of forgiving others without their repentance that God hold’s to…
    3. Or you are Wrong in your interpretation of scripture on our responsibility to forgive regardless of the other persons honest, heart felt and ‘not to be repented of’ repentance.

    I think it’s number three myself, but who am I?
    -MIC

  512. “And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”

    “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

    “Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”

    It is my job to forgive. That is all I can control.

    It is the other person’s job to repent. That is totally up to them. I will not be slave to their lack of obedience to God.

  513. Nonnie says:

    Josh, your 518. Absolutely! Excellent word. Jesus sets us free and doesn’t want us to be enslaved by another’s sin and lack of repentance.

  514. Gary says:

    Oh dear, oh dear; what shall I doo?
    I stepped into a pile of poo.
    With doctrines, creeds, and verses too.
    I’m slogging through opinion slough.
    (I write this as I sip my brew.)

  515. “(I write this as I sip my brew.)”

    Pretty obvious. 🙂

  516. Gary says:

    Josh,
    what do you sip while you’re posting?

  517. Gary says:

    Excommunication is an extreme command for an extreme offense. The scriptural example has to be taken in context.

  518. Gary says:

    Oops,
    right discussion, wrong thread.

  519. Believe says:

    Neo. Your #490, thanks. It makes sense to me.

  520. “But if they were good enough for His first century, fairly well educated, middle class, steeped in Monotheistic mindset, then, well, it is going to have to be good enough for me.”

    Thank you, Neo! That is the best laugh I’ve had in a long time! That it struck my funny bone so hard probably not a good sign. Best twist on “the bible says it, I believe it, that settles it” mantra I have ever heard in my entire life. Wholely moley!

  521. “Josh,
    what do you sip while you’re posting?”

    Mostly Hater-aide. 🙂

  522. Way to almost make coffee come out my nose, Josh :mrgreen: Too much mirth all at once for me :mrgreen:

  523. Gary says:

    That was cute Josh but I don’t believe it.

  524. mrtundraman says:

    Mike wrote “Three options as I see it:
    1. Either you are all Universalists…”

    MLD has even stated that everyone is forgiven of all sins, but I think he forgot about the words of Jesus with respect to the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit which isn’t forgiven in this life or the life to come…

    “2. Or you are holding mankind to a Higher standard of forgiving others without their repentance that God hold’s to…”

    Yes. God forgives people who repent. The unrepentant go to Hell. So clearly God doesn’t stand up to their ideals.

    “3. Or you are Wrong in your interpretation of scripture on our responsibility to forgive regardless of the other persons honest, heart felt and ‘not to be repented of’ repentance. ”

    Yep, that’s the case.

  525. mrtundraman says:

    Someone quoted some Scriptures as if they make a case for unilateral forgiveness…

    ““And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”

    Does not speak to the question of unilateral or bilateral directly… But it does give the contrast to God. Our Heavenly father forgives us when we repent. So are we to forgive others who repent.

    “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

    God in Christ forgave us when we repented. So are we to forgive others who repent. We are to follow the example of Christ.

    “Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”

    The Lord forgave us when we repented. So are we to forgive others who repent. We are to follow the example of the Lord.

    They all fit into the context of:

    “If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.”

  526. London says:

    Ah, but see..it doesn’t say

    “…..but if he doesn’t, then hold on to that anger, hatred and desire for revenge for the rest of your life”

    That’s the part that’s missing in your equation. The way those things, anger, hatred, revenge, slander, gossip etc…all grow out of lack of forgiveness and how they can do just as much, if not more, damage to a person’s soul (psyche, spirit, attitude whatever term you choose) as the original offense did.

  527. Julie Anne says:

    I hadn’t checked this article in a couple of days – wow! I wanted to send an update on the SGM case. http://goo.gl/tsdN1 Sad news for the plaintiffs 🙁

  528. mrtundraman says:

    “The way those things, anger, hatred, revenge, slander, gossip etc…all grow out of lack of forgiveness”

    Not necessarily, Often not forgiving is the healthiest thing to do. Read the Psychology Today article I linked. It explains why your position isn’t psychologically sound.

  529. mrtundraman says:

    How can you forgive someone who thinks they’ve done nothing wrong? Try it. Go to someone who hurt you and tell them you forgive them. They will laugh in your face. So you have to do it in your imagination. Who are you doing the forgiving with? Only your imagination in that case.

  530. mrtundraman says:

    “desire for revenge”

    Again, that has nothing to do with the subject of forgiveness.

    Don’t take vengeance yourself. Leave room for God. He’s much better at doing it.

    “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”

    The substitute for vengeance isn’t forgiveness, it’s handing the situation over to God. He’s the God of Justice!

    God does the best job at vengeance:

    “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:”

  531. PP Vet says:

    “Forgiveness” as commonly used means the release of any negative intent toward the person based on a perceived wrong.

    Perhaps you could come up with another word for that, if you have concluded the word “forgiveness” does not apply.

  532. mrtundraman says:

    Telling victims of abuse that they just need to forgive and forget is telling them that God isn’t the God of Justice and that He doesn’t care about how they were hurt. That is a misrepresentation of the God of the Bible who stands up for victim. No wonder they reject a God like that. One that tells them to take their lumps and just sit down and shut up.

    I reject that as well. It’s unsound.

  533. PP Vet says:

    Well you have certainly succeeded in irritating all of us by harping on this. Can you summarize your point concisely and we can go on?

  534. mrtundraman says:

    PPV with that sort of an invitation, no thanks.

  535. Neo. says:

    Here’s the deal. We are all broken. We need to generously (even promiscuously) extend grace and mercy to all who have offended us, whether intentionally or not and whether there is remorse or there is not.

  536. mrtundraman says:

    Neo – and be like Jesus in the process. Jesus offers reconciliation to all persons even the ungrateful and the profane. And who, in the end saves those who believe in Him and sends to Hell for eternal torment those who reject Him.

    “And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.”

    Or don’t be reconciled to God. Our choice…

  537. Passing by says:

    Oh no Neo. You just don’t get it. Hang around a couple more hrs and MrTundraMan will prove to you why.

  538. mrtundraman says:

    Passing By – why the snarky?

  539. mrtundraman says:

    We have to always be willing to forgive but we should NEVER short circuit the cry for justice in the human heart. We were made in the Image of God and that’s why we call out for justice.

  540. Steve Wright says:

    Telling victims of abuse that they just need to forgive and forget is telling them that God isn’t the God of Justice and that He doesn’t care about how they were hurt
    ——————————————————-
    We could burn all the straw found in this strawman and light a small town tomorrow evening.

    Then we could harness the backpedaling seen in posts like @546 and light that same town through Sunday.

  541. mrtundraman says:

    Steve do you ever give a substantive response to anything?

  542. mrtundraman says:

    Steve, I am pretty sure you don’t know what a strawman argument is. I don’t mean that you don’t make strawman arguments yourself, but clearly you can’t recognize them in someone else’s arguments.

    As to backpedaling. Not, Being willing to forgive as a response to repentance is how we should always be. That’s how God is and we need to be the same. Being willing to forgive isn’t the same as being promiscuous in our forgiveness. Clearly you don’t believe in or practice unilateral forgiveness in your dealings with others.

  543. Kid Dynomite says:

    There seems to be a semantics issue going on here. What most are calling “forgiveness”, mtm is calling “being willing to forgive”. So if everyone will just admit that their examples of “forgiveness” are really just examples of being “willing to forgive” when there is repentance, we may have unity. I think mtm has made a good scriptural case for his assertion.

  544. victorious says:

    Following the flow of mtm and agreeing.
    A forgiving person is ready to forgive and desires that the scenario for forgiveness to take place will develop in time.
    One who has been wronged can learn to still be considerate and compassionate ( that is the fruit of love) when true repentance has not taken place .

    However, we need to affirm to the one wronged that they were wronged and seek to help them communicate to the wrongdoer that repentance is the only acceptable response when it comes to the specifics of what took place.

    Repentance and forgiveness takes place before God and openly between the human parties.

    Without such a process we demean the righteousness of Christ and undermine the redemption He has effected and open the gates wide open for narcissism to prevail within the company of saints.

  545. Thanks for the update re: the SGM lawsuit, JA. It is discouraging. However, I don’t think it will take the decades it took for victims abused in the RCC, before the tide turns against all those who have perpetrated and covered up abuse in all denominations. I am grateful for the attorney in this case, those working on the Grenier case, and so many that are popping up almost daily. I am grateful for your work in keeping these cases on everyone’s efforts through blogs, twitter etc. It is appreciated!

  546. Steve Wright says:

    I still think you guys are mixing restoration/reconciliation with forgiveness as an act of Christlike obedience.

    I repeat, by the standard held here, there is no forgiveness possible if the person is already dead. How can someone be “willing to forgive” a person who already died in their sins. Which is very often the case when older people are still dealing with childhood issues.

    And this ‘willing to forgive’ also runs into trouble when both parties share some blame – What you are establishing above is a “you go first” mentality. Two people, both hurt to some degree, waiting for the other guy to repent first?

    And I also do not think there is any Biblical requirement to “desire” restoration with a horrible abuser – like the SGM examples detailed here.

  547. victorious says:

    When a person has been wronged to the point of abuse we often may an embattled person who is embittered or struggling to not fall into bitterness. In our endeavors,to help them escape bitterness we encourage them or lead them towards forgiveness.

    We could deal with and help remedy their bitterness by persuading them to,remember that God agrees they have been wronged and that God will indeed bring forth justice appropriately as the situation merits and in the right time.

    We can help them recover a thankful disposition and practice when we remind them that justice has been committed to the Lord and that God does desire the conditions for real repentance, forgiveness and reconciliation to take place without denying justice in Himself or among those who bear His image.

    We can help them grow in love often encouraging them to look to the Holy Spirit to produce, the loving fruit of long suffering especially when repentance or even recognition of wrong has not taken place.

    All this spiritual development and conformity to the image of Christ without forcing someone to forgive according to our man made traditions and cheapening the real deal.

  548. London says:

    PP Vet…
    Yeah, that’s what I said at the beginning. He’s using his own deviation of the word then using “nope, that’s not right” whenever someone offers up their opinion.
    It’s like playing guess what number I’m thinking over between 1 and infinity with a kid. Can never win.

  549. erunner says:

    I have been deeply wronged along the path of my life. People typically just moved on while I was left to process what happened and how I as a believer should respond.

    I can’t forgive someone in the technical sense if they don’t recognize their sin and never seek any type of reconciliation.

    What has happened to me in these instances is a seed was planted. The seed of being unfairly treated. Through my thought life I’ve watered the seed until it grew into anger, bitterness, wanting revenge, etc.

    As a result I found myself in sin. What I did is sought out each person and told them I had sinned against them in my heart. I didn’t mention anything about their actions. This led to honest conversation and the restoration of at least three relationships.

    One person went ballistic and did some ugly stuff when I sought reconciliation. This person despises me to the nth degree and wants nothing to do with me. Their actions have impacted my wife and children in a negative way. In this case this person is out of my life for good and I ask God to give me a desire to pray for this person. There are times when it’s best to cut ties until the other person shows something positive otherwise you risk them further being out of control.

    There comes a time when you become tired from the drama and the pain. You desire to live a peaceful life. Yet how often have we (ME) said things off the cuff to others to make points about others faults with the intent of building ourselves up? Being wronged is no treat and making good decisions and drawing lines doesn’t come easily in seeking to resolve things. Being a doormat is not what God has in mind for us. It’s at these times when we need one another for examples and encouragement.

  550. victorious says:

    When we do not force the issue of forgiveness we set the stage to help someone grow into a truly forgiving person. I am not talking about dealing with a vengeful person who sidesteps forgiveness completely and ignores the cross as a regular practice,and pattern.

  551. London says:

    But, your 538 isn’t correct.
    I’m not irritated by the conversation.

  552. Steve Wright says:

    When I sin as a Christian, I am immediately forgiven. Unconditionally. The blood of Jesus is a cleansing flow 24/7. What I mean is that If I get hit by a truck, I will not end up in hell because of some random unconfessed sin. If I have a heart attack typing angry words in the flesh on this blog, I’m not damned to hell.

    That does not mean sin is no big deal, or grace is a license

    However, to restore the fullness of the fellowship I enjoy with God, walking with Him on a daily basis, I must confess my sin to Him in repentance and receive the forgiveness which brings that restoration. Part of that confession of course involves seeking out others I have harmed too. That’s all part of living the Christian life. And if I refuse to repent, God will discipline me as His child, but that does not mean He will damn me!

    Now, I guess there are those who disagree with the above, and see our salvation as not secure, and our walk in this world in a different manner. Well, if one sees the Bible in that fashion, one will obviously see our relationship with Christ on this whole forgiveness issue in a different manner.

    But grace somehow needs to enter the picture. Giving someone what they don’t deserve just as Christ does.

  553. Steve Wright says:

    Victorious, your post 554, that is a longer detailed version of what I wrote last night way back there somewhere to counter Tundra’s strawmen.

  554. Steve Wright says:

    Telling victims of abuse that they just need to forgive and forget is telling them that God isn’t the God of Justice and that He doesn’t care about how they were hurt.
    —————————————
    Tundra, not only do I understand ‘strawman’ arguments the specific example I posted is textbook of one.

    1) Adding the word “just” – I didn’t say that .
    2) using the phrase “forgive and forget” – I didn’t say that.
    3) Concluding by using words that I did not say to then argue God does not care about justice or how they were hurt.

    Hope that is specific and substantive enough for you.

    I made it very clear that this is a process, not a hammer – and you refuse to deal with what I actually wrote…and after 2 days of it, one tends to tire.

  555. Kid Dynomite says:

    @552

    I was addressing forgiveness not reconciliation/restoration. Specifically the bible verses that mtm referenced to make his point.

  556. Gary says:

    This one post I copied and pasted below helped me more than all the others, especially more than the one guy who is so bogged down in his own details that he doesn’t get it when others react to him. Thanks erunner. I have gone to people and confessed my part in their sin without impugning them and I got mixed reactions.

    erunner says:

    May 17, 2013 at 8:42 pm
    .
    I have been deeply wronged along the path of my life. People typically just moved on while I was left to process what happened and how I as a believer should respond.

    I can’t forgive someone in the technical sense if they don’t recognize their sin and never seek any type of reconciliation.

    What has happened to me in these instances is a seed was planted. The seed of being unfairly treated. Through my thought life I’ve watered the seed until it grew into anger, bitterness, wanting revenge, etc.

    As a result I found myself in sin. What I did is sought out each person and told them I had sinned against them in my heart. I didn’t mention anything about their actions. This led to honest conversation and the restoration of at least three relationships.

    One person went ballistic and did some ugly stuff when I sought reconciliation. This person despises me to the nth degree and wants nothing to do with me. Their actions have impacted my wife and children in a negative way. In this case this person is out of my life for good and I ask God to give me a desire to pray for this person. There are times when it’s best to cut ties until the other person shows something positive otherwise you risk them further being out of control.

    There comes a time when you become tired from the drama and the pain. You desire to live a peaceful life. Yet how often have we (ME) said things off the cuff to others to make points about others faults with the intent of building ourselves up? Being wronged is no treat and making good decisions and drawing lines doesn’t come easily in seeking to resolve things. Being a doormat is not what God has in mind for us. It’s at these times when we need one another for examples and encouragement.

  557. mrtundraman says:

    “I still think you guys are mixing restoration/reconciliation with forgiveness as an act of Christlike obedience.”

    I think you are making up “forgiveness as an act of Christlike obedience”. At least in the way you are using “forgiveness”.

    “I repeat, by the standard held here, there is no forgiveness possible if the person is already dead.”

    That is correct. Now you are getting it. You can have imaginary forgiveness just like you can talk with your imaginary friend, but you can’t actually have the exchange of forgiveness without another actual entity in the deal.

    “How can someone be “willing to forgive” a person who already died in their sins.”

    Totally true and there no Scripture which tells us anything about that other than we are not to talk to the dead. That’s necromancy.

    “Which is very often the case when older people are still dealing with childhood issues.
    And this ‘willing to forgive’ also runs into trouble when both parties share some blame – ”

    That’s the truth. That is why we need to be quick to repent ourselves of our part in the wrong.

    If the sin happens, it’s one person sinning against another. Praying to God or doing some other act other than dealing directly with that person isn’t forgiveness.

    If someone is dead all you can do is trust the justice of God to take care of the situation. That is what your survivor friend had to do. That’s not forgiveness, but it is leaving the situation up to God.

    “What you are establishing above is a “you go first” mentality. Two people, both hurt to some degree, waiting for the other guy to repent first?”

    We should confess our part in any division, and shouldn’t hold stupid minor things against other people. I know people who think they have to forgive someone because they bought brown carpet instead of the green carpet they wanted. That’s just ridiculous.

    Take a look at the subject of this thread. It’s about some pretty abusive stuff where there weren’t “two people, both hurt to some degree…”

    “And I also do not think there is any Biblical requirement to “desire” restoration with a horrible abuser – like the SGM examples detailed here.”

    And the award for the least Christian response from a pastor goes to….

    Even the worst abuser deserves forgiveness if they really repent. And if they repent there can be reconciliation. Not the sort of reconciliation which equates to close friendship or anything of the sort, but no more emnity between the two.

    That’s the radical sort of forgiveness which Jesus teaches. If someone repents and comes to you over and over repenting you are still to forgive them – remember the 70 times 7? If you don’t forgive them then your Heavenly Father won’t forgive you.

    What if they really, really hurt me? That’s the essence of the response of the disciples to the 70 times 7 comment Christ made.

    My view is much more difficult on the abused but it actually brings closure whereas imaginary forgiveness doesn’t.