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Oct 08, 2013

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Scott Shaver

Know what the really comic irony is in all this?

The clarion call of the Conservative Resurgence/Neo Calvinist alliance was "Speaking the Truth in Love."

CR guerrillas in the State of Louisiana during the apex of SBC infighting chartered under the leadership of Leon Hyatt, Jim Richards and others as L.I.F.E. "The Louisiana Inerrancy Fellowship."

Their cherished motto and the name of their newsletter was
"Speaking the Truth in Love". Yellow journalism by any accepted definition published quarterly.

Ground rules have obviously changed since CR. "Speaking the truth in love" is now "slanderous," "unchristian"...."an attack on the bride of Christ". Real La La land stuff huh?

I'm reminded of the scene from "Little Shop of Horrors" as Seymour walked into the florist shop asking for "Dorothy". To which the man-eating plant replied:

"I ain't Dorothy and this ain't Kansas neither!"

Max

Thank you Peter for alerting your readers to this issue. It's a crying shame that Southern Baptists have to put up with this sort of rhetoric from a wanna-be leader, make-my-mark-out-of-the-chute sort of guy. The SBC is quickly becoming a byword and reproach with such noise coming from our entities.

Ms. Mefferd sends two powerful reminders to those who have an ear to hear:

"I do also wonder how many readers stopped to consider whether or not Carter even has the standing or biblical authority to lecture us in this way! He has no authority over any of us."

"It’s not slander and it’s not sin to speak the truth in love. Not because I say so — but because the Bible does. So speak up; the Bride needs you!"

I'm beginning to wonder if the SBC will ever get back on track. That which ails us has moved from a debate about teachings and traditions of men to a spiritual dimension that I'm not sure we fully realize. The Bride of Christ should not agree to disagree, get along to go along, unify under divergent theologies (this is not the unity in diversity the Bible talks about), nor roll over and shut up. We must contend for the faith, while attempting to not be contentious; to always speak the truth in love. Love prevails ... arrogance fails.

peter lumpkins

Thanks Max. How embarrassing from my perspective. Joe comes across like a judgmental hothead in his response to Janet, not cool for a SBC employee, especially an employee representing Southern Baptists' perspective on ethics and religious liberty...

Lydia

From the link on Mefferd's response:

"Here’s the point: When you are intent upon turning every English phrase and word into the linguistic equivalent of the Pythagorean theorem — accompanied by the emotional sternness and rigidity that is more appropriate for, say, the trial of Servetus — you skew reality and get it wrong. To say “no one in the church is talking about something” is to convey frustration that more people aren’t talking about something. That’s all it is. It’s not a “sin.” It’s not “slander.” It doesn’t necessitate any scolding. Most importantly, it’s not even close to a DEAD. SERIOUS. ISSUE. WORTHY. OF. GOSPEL. REBUKE! People who think that way probably need to go buy a puppy or maybe take a ride on a roller coaster. You know, lighten up, already."

Exactly. That is why I think this movement continues to prove itself too immature to have any responsibility of leadership in the SBC. (We must marginalize people?)

This sort of thinking from Joe is just more evidence most of us have experienced many times over. For example, They will demand "proof" of something when mac trucks full of evidence available to the public will not suffice for them. It is simply a tactic to deflect but I am not even sure they know that as it was taught as their normal.

The hard part of this is there is a strain of arrogant "bullying" in their communications. We have seen it all over the internet, in churches, etc for quite a few years now. And heaven help you if you disagree. It is hard to communicate in "love" with an arrogant "Christian" bully. They are always right but then attack you for being "unloving".

So they frame every convo, every debate and you must dialogue within their framework. This is indoctrination and insular thinking. Heaven help us for sending this sort of thinking to DC concerning "Religious Ethics" and "Liberty".

But it seems to be the new normal for the SBC. Not sure it can change unless the money dries up and they have to go look for jobs in the real world. Talk about a wake up call for them!

Max

" ... not cool for a SBC employee ..."

Not cool at all, Peter. Although, if you raise your window in Georgia and listen closely, you might just hear "Cool! Way to go Joe!" coming from SBC's YRR corner. There's a limit to standing by your man ... The Gospel Coalition and Together for the Gospel have crossed that line a time or two in my humble (but accurate) opinion. Not slanderin' ... just sayin'.

Soooo ... what can be done about this dilemma the SBC majority faces? Lydia answers that question: "Not sure it can change unless the money dries up and they have to go look for jobs in the real world."

Scott Shaver

Cha Ching.

Where's the ethics? Where's the liberty?

Louis

It has taken me a while to dissect this one, and I admit that I have not read every comment posted.

I don't know Carter. I read his piece. I understand what he is saying in the broad sense. I have been in churches since the 1970s and have heard many in the pulpit and out of the pulpit (especially young pastors and youth pastors) claim to be addressing something that is going unaddressed, and wanting to have almost prophetic status around the topic.

It is a worn and tired tactic or personality that does this. I agree with Carter.

The last time I heard it involved Promise Keepers. If I heard one guy I heard a thousand exclaim that the church just wasn't getting the job done when it came to discipling men, and that this Promise Keepers group had really found the way and was going to turn the Church upside down.

I never attended a Promise Keepers event. I don't know if they still have them. I was not against them. Just all the hype and the claims that Promise Keepers had unlocked to the door to the true NT way of adult male discipleship.

Carter admits to having this tendency himself. I think that we all do. When God does a work in our hearts, we often think that we have something unusual going on that until now has been ignored.

We had a young person in our church recently meet with some teachers and elders to share what God showed him from the Old Testament - that no one else had heard or understood before. Basically, he is uneducated and started reading on the internet about prophecy and such, for the first time in his life. He thinks Obama may be the Anti-Christ.

Carter basically asks all of us with those tendencies to step back and realize the limitations of our knowledge.

That's what I got out of the article.

As to what Carter was referencing specficially, he mentions says "e.g. abortion, sex trafficking, global persecution, the gospel).

I actually think that Carter's article was good for the YRR crowd. How many of them have gone off to seminary to return as "Reformed" to their home churches to set their former pastors straight about the Gospel? That crowd could use Carter's advice, so I am glad the article appeared on the Gospel Coalition.

I read the "slandering the church" line at the end of the article as saying that misguided efforts to claim prophetic status on an issue thought to have been ignored previously basically is slandering the church and nothing more. That's probably not the best description. Pride and unwarranted accusations might be better.

I did not read Carter's article as addressing SGM, child molestation in the Church etc.

But I suppose some people could read that article and wonder what it applied to - beyond the examples that Carter mentioned. So I suppose it's fine for some to get upset by the article as much as I was not bothered.

It's not the greatest article I ever read, and the fact that it caused many to believe Carter was addressing SGM or other related issues in a subtle way is proof of why communications directors need to be careful communicating.

Medford is right to point out the Reformation. But I have yet to meet a Martin Luther in the last 50 years. Maybe some wannabees, but not really any.

Louis

Hannah Thomas

All of this over a figure of speech?

He uses a figure of speech that most grasp the meaning of - or at least should by his age - and then decides to redefine it by taking it literally. That way he can write an article about it.

(scratches head) Okay then. I don't see the point.

Even if he explained to his audience how he changed the figure of speech to literal? That would mean he is applying motive to those that didn't mean it literally.

(shakes head)

I guess I'm glad someone can follow that logic, because I'm lost.

(giggles) I mean did he go up to each and everyone one of those individuals to confirm their use of this term was 'literal', and not figure of speech?

I mean that is what he suggests other's do right?

If not he needs to rebuke himself....

peter lumpkins

Louis,

If what you say is *all* Carter was suggesting I'd say to you what I said to him--basically I agree. But that's certainly not what Carter was doing and for you to implicate him a literary hero, if not basically pronounce him one, is strange, strange, strange. If people do offer leaps in logic then correct them. Carter, however, didn't correct or exhort. Instead he morally condemned. Why would you let him by with no more than "probably not the best description"? For heavens sake.

Carter then comes over here popping off about Janet Mefferd making her out to be a slanderer as well. I suppose his condemnation of her in slander was "probably not the best description" either.

Nor can we take seriously Carter's self-confession as I explain above. If I came to the conclusion that I had been regularly slandering God's church by what I write then I hope I'd have the moral sense to make some type of restitution about it.

Sorry Louis. Your sugary assessment makes little sense.

Lydia

Louis,

You never disappoint but thanks for using "specific" examples to explain what our highly SBC ELRC communications person and editor of TGC, did not. :o)

Please tell me these sorts of backwards explanations don't fly in our civil justice system since you are a lawyer.

I still think "slandering the Bride of Christ" after a vague rebuke was OTT and a more of the shock jock hyperbole rebukes that seem to be very popular with the YRR movement. (My running fav is the accusation of "bearing false witness" when there is disagreement)

Would you consider those Promise keepers "slandering the Bride of Christ"? Surely not?

" actually think that Carter's article was good for the YRR crowd. How many of them have gone off to seminary to return as "Reformed" to their home churches to set their former pastors straight about the Gospel? That crowd could use Carter's advice, so I am glad the article appeared on the Gospel Coalition."

Since Carter did not make anything like that clear in his article, what makes you think that is the message they got out of it? What if the message they got from it is to start accusing people of "slandering the Bride of Christ" over a figure of speech?

Scott Shaver

Louis:

I don't have a problem at all with any of your conclusions about Carter's article. I think from your own perspective you've pretty much picked up on the salient points of discussion and debate the rest of us have picked up on.

Guess the bottom line for me is this, Gospel Project materials and GC leadership like that exhibited here by Joe Carter, along with some of his inferences about, shall we say, the disfigured spirituality and "postmodernism" of his detractors, if useful, should be labeled for young adults (i.e. millenials) only.

Babies can't eat it and it's not good sustenance for adults.

What a silly rabbit I am. What was I thinking?...Trix are for kids!

Some grow out of eating them. Some never do.

Scott Shaver

Louis, I doubt very seriously you'd recognize Martin Luther ... even if the man walked up and handed you a beer.

Andrew Barker

Peter, the interest in Joe Carter's 'contribution' from the SBC perspective is obviously his position as ERLC's Director of Communications. His comments however were made on a TGC blog and as such he was addressing a wider audience. One gets the distinct impression that some softening up is going on here. Maybe he has inside information on news which will soon come to light?

I've looked through his original piece a few times and it really is quite incoherent. It is not a good piece of work from any perspective regardless of how many people gave him the thumbs up. Subsequently, he has quite literally gone out of his way to discredit, certainly annoy and possibly intimidate Janet Mefferd (I don't think that will work!) who is in a position to scrutinise every bit of work he comes out with and publicise any shortcomings. How clever is that!?

He may have had some good points to make, but I think he has over-egged things, which I appreciate is a metaphorical expression, but I am rather wary about using hyperbole!

peter lumpkins

Andrew,

Thanks. And I agree. While Carter may have written some fairly well informed pieces (I actually have his book), this was *not* one of them which makes me even more suspicious in why he penned it and for what purpose. The 'thumbs up' by guys like Louis who normally offers a thoughtful assessment is hard to explain.

And you're certainly right: to try to one-up Mefferd is not the wisest thing to do.

BDW

Best I can tell from reviewing his Twitter posts, Joe was referring to Boz Tchividijian's recent claim that the sex abuse record of evangelicals is "worse" than Catholics.

Here's the relevant Twitter status from Carter:

https://twitter.com/joecarter/status/387274164895105024

He wrote to Boz and Mefferd:

"By slandering innocent Christians you're not exposing abuse, only discrediting yourselves and the cause"

So, that appears to be the specific context that Carter was responding to. And to that point, the oft-snarky Carter comes across as rather uninformed. It's hard to say who is "worse" - but there have been reports in the last few years that have examined insurance claim statistics, whether the number of claims filed by Protestant churches has slightly exceeded that of Catholic churches. ABP did a summary story on these reports some time back.

There are those who wish for their churches and faith-based organizations to be transparent and live up to shared moral standards, even when that means holding high-profile leaders accountable for their actions.

And then there are those who are more concerned about critics of institutions and institutional leaders than seriously, honestly, and thoughtfully considering the criticism...

Mary

I wonder if Carter has no clue what Boz' resume looks like. If anyone has the credentials to speak about sex abuse in the church it would be Boz. I suspect the problem is that Boz as "Billy Graham's grandson" can command an audience - his article was literally all over the internet and now Russell Moore's silence about Boz' article is glaring. Wouldn't you think ERLC would have some comment about Boz' claims that everyone is talking about? Of course what can Moore say? Some mealy mouth "sex abuse" is wrong statement while ignoring the elephant of SGM and CJ's connection to the SBC? Yeah Boz is someone the SBC elite cannot shut up or intimidate and they just don't know what to do when they can't just name call and "marginalize" someone like Boz or Mefford for that matter.

Louis

BDW:

Thanks for doing the good background work to find the Twitters to Boz and Mefferd.

That moves the conversation for me from the only specifics Carter mentioned in the parenthetical in his article to another topic.

Of course Boz and Mefferd have done no such thing.

If Carter thinks they have, he should lay out that case.

The timing of this is interesting inasmuch as we will be addressing child molestation at church tomorrow night. The pastor will reiterate the church's policies, and I will speak briefly on the legal obligations and why our church would not do as SGM churches and others have done.

Scott Shaver

Mary:

BDW suggests "And then there are those who are more concerned about critics of institutions and institutional leaders than seriously, honestly, thoughtfully considering the criticism..."

There's a flip side to Mohler's "marginalization" coin. Carter would no doubt call this "slander", I'm calling it opinion based on observation and record.

The great revelation of the "conservative resurgence" behind the iconic leadership of Mohler, Patterson and newer post "resurgence" entity leaders is that they're all paper tigers.

I find it particularly appropriate in light of the SBC's last 20 years that both male and female Christians, pastors and laypersons are taking a few keystrokes to set the tails of these ornamental baptist pontifs afire.

They've encouraged the lock-down of New Testament Christian spirituality within the SBC through their doctrines, confessional statements and committee reports for so long there's no power left in their words.

How does pseudo piety, a flair for the rhetorical and using scripture like a deck of cards at a poker game, ever adequately hide what could be closer to the problem? Namely, an innate fear of what God might do should they no longer occupy the roles of doctrinal police, guardians of "the gospel" and judges of scriptural infidelity in the eyes of the general public.

These brothers are fully incapable of marginalizing ANYBODY.

Max

" ... I happen to think Joe Carter has embarrassed Southern Baptists and one of Southern Baptists' entities supported by the Cooperative Program ..."

Peter, I doubt that you will convince his boss of that:

“I first encountered Joe Carter’s writings years ago, and immediately sensed a kindred spirit ... I am so thrilled by his joining our team as communications director that I can hardly contain my excitement.” (Russell Moore) http://erlc.com/article/erlc-hires-five-new-staff-members-during-trustee-meeting

Justin

"a judgmental hothead"

To hear Peter Lumpkins refer to someone else as "a judgmental hothead" is the perfect example of the pot calling the kettle black. In fact, you're probably thinking of some condescending way to reply to this. In your mind, you're thinking how Mohler, Carter, and all the other evil people in Christianity have brainwashed me and others who cannot attain to your level of expertise on every single theological issue known to man.

Do you know the definition of hypocrisy, Peter? It is when you cast judgment upon someone else (whether they are in the wrong or not) while doing the same thing yourself. That, my friend, is where you are.

With that,
I am Justin
(Yes, the one you blocked and said you wouldn't let me post again. But I know you will read this before deciding to discard it)

eric

Right or wrong,
Peter does seem to let those strongly opposing him get thru to comment.

Scott Shaver

Max:

My question would be whether or not "his boss" really has final say over who the ERLC hires or not.

What is the process? I have no idea.

Scott Shaver

Justin:

Now that we know where Peter is, where are you?

Scott Shaver

Justin the mind reader:

If Peter blocked you from posting in the past, he's obviously left the gate open for you now.

Some of us would be interested to hear your beefs in greater detail. This thread is rapidly becoming a checklist of case studies.

Mark

Peter,

I read what I define as a complex statement refuting Total Depravity. I'm seeking a little more understanding and thought you may give a little input in "lay terms".

"All one needs to know about TULIP is that "Total Depravity" also applies to the saints which means they are still under the law and not under grace according to the Romans. Hence, Calvinists are still under the law and unregenerate by biblical definition based on what they believe in the law."

Then the auther rebuked the Calvinist contributor:
"Instead of coming here testing people that is based on the gospel you believe, your time is better spent looking after the status of your own soul."

Max

"My question would be whether or not "his boss" really has final say over who the ERLC hires or not."

Scott, I suspect that ERLC trustees have some say in the hiring/firing process. Unfortunately, much has been said in the blogosphere about the failed SBC trustee system holding (or not holding) entity leaders accountable.

peter lumpkins

Hi Mark,

Not sure what you're asking. I've heard before that for strict Calvinists, "T" is applicable for and identical in both sinner and saint; that is, before rebirth and after. Personally I don't think that's so, at least for the mainstream Calvinists I've read. Some argue that "preach the gospel to yourself everyday" language is a dead giveaway for this. But again, I'm not sure. Sorry I couldn't assist more...

Mark

Peter,

I don't completely understand the author's paragraph and I thought you may.

peter lumpkins

Justin

Yes, I guess I did “block” you--at least in some round about way. But it obviously was only a temporary block now wasn’t it? And, the fact that a copy of your comment was sent to my inbox via typepad demonstrates you were not “blocked” from commenting all this time for if you were, your comment would have went directly to the spam bucket.

Now, as for “blocking” you per se, let’s put all the cards on the table, Justin. To my recall I never actually blocked you but only threatened not to post another comment until you conceded you butchered my words in a comment you posted. Here’s my comment to you on the thread where you decided to show up and pop your six guns in my face. Below is the relevant portion for those not interested enough in this issue to go back and read the entire exchange:

‘Now, before you [Justin] log on again, I’m uninterested in exchange with you further about anything else until you deal with what I’ve just pointed out; namely, your complete botching of what I wrote. Either concede my point, or demonstrate where I’ve unfairly interpreted your words. No other comment from you will be posted until you deal with your obvious blunder concerning my clear words.

‘P.S. Please take the last assertion literally.’ (embolden original)


What’s interesting is, I actually discarded my own assertion about no other comment being posted from you, Justin, until you either show I unfairly interpreted your words or concede your butchering of my clear words. Been waiting since June for that, but alas…

Oh, and concerning twitter, yes I’ve blocked folk from twitter before. But unlike here, there’s no way I know to “unblock” them unless you know who they are and can go directly to their timeline. Unfortunately, I don’t know who you are or even if your real name is ‘Justin’

Hope that helps with that.

P.S. I'll deal with the rest of your comment below...

peter lumpkins

Justin,

Now that the so-called "blocking" issue is answered, allow me to answer the other portion of your comment. Your words are embolden and my response follows:

To hear Peter Lumpkins refer to someone else as "a judgmental hothead" is the perfect example of the pot calling the kettle black. Perhaps. There’s been times when I’ve lost my cool. But I’m afraid you’re at a disadvantage, Justin, unless you can show where I’ve a) lost my cool; and b) lost it so much I morally impugned a person’s integrity in the same sense that Carter impugned Mefferd’s integrity, which, by the way, is the way I was using "judgmental hothead.".

In fact, you're probably thinking of some condescending way to reply to this. In your mind, you're thinking how Mohler, Carter, and all the other evil people in Christianity have brainwashed me and others who cannot attain to your level of expertise on every single theological issue known to man. That’s a perfect example of what I meant by judgmentalsim, Justin. Thank you. That is, presuming to know what’s going on in a person’s mind and/or heart. You know, like Carter did to Mefferd.

Do you know the definition of hypocrisy, Peter? Yes, I think so.

It is when you cast judgment upon someone else (whether they are in the wrong or not) while doing the same thing yourself. I see. You mean like you just did to me above?

That, my friend, is where you are. Perhaps, you see it like that Justin. But I have to differ. And apparently, there are lots of people who’d see it my way not to mention several who’d agree with you. So be it. I’m cool with that for the simple reason I’m not here to please everybody. My posts do not appease an ‘amen corner’ nor are they designed to. As best I can I cite and, if possible, link my sources from which I infer my thoughts and let people make their own conclusions.

Hence, at my day’s end, there is really only ONE WHO matters to me if I’ve lived pleasingly to HIM.

With that, I am…

Peter

Robert I Masters

Peter,
As someone living in the "Southern Baptist Geneva" aka Nashville. I can with tell you with absolute certainty that the attitude from Lifeway is not one that is from the people to the corporation;but from the corporation to the people. This is not a slander of individual members that work at Lifeway but rather a corporate culture issue.
Secondly I disagree with my friend and elder Louis because I think Boz did slander fellow evangelical christians with his statement. I have not seen any factual evidence that shows that all evangelical churches are as bad as Roman Catholic churches.Richard Land was right on this issue. The whole celibrate priesthood is totally unbiblical and contributes to the immorality of the Roman Catholic church.
Also there is ample evidence from primary sources in New Tribes Mission and ABWE Mission that Boz has dealt with them in a manner that was not Just. I do not blame them for cutting him off. He appears to have act more like a Prosecutor than a Peacemaker.

peter lumpkins

Robert,

Thanks. As for the comment about Lifeway, I don't follow. Second, since you concede you "have not seen any factual evidence that shows that all evangelical churches are as bad as Roman Catholic churches," it's difficult to take your conclusion seriously that "Boz did slander fellow evangelical christians with his statement." The latter does not follow from the former, Robert, no matter how you slice it.

Third, your opinion that Boz did not handle a situation with some mission organizations "in a manner that was not Just" is just that, Robert--an opinion. And, an irrelevant opinion at that on this particular thread.

Thanks again...

Lydia

"Also there is ample evidence from primary sources in New Tribes Mission and ABWE Mission that Boz has dealt with them in a manner that was not Just. I do not blame them for cutting him off. He appears to have act more like a Prosecutor than a Peacemaker."

This is so strange I know not what to make of it. Those organizations hired GRACE for what? Do you know what GRACE does in the organizations that hire them?

Personally, I wish HE WAS PROSECUTNG them, instead.

As to the comment about evangelicals being worse than Catholics: I am not sure any amount of EVIDENCE would suffice as "proof" for many in the YRR/NC wing.

There was no tangible "proof" in the Catholic situations, either. Not like you had DNA 30 years later. Sheesh! It was a matter of collaborating witnesses, admissions, etc. An old colleague of mine was a SNAP volunteer so I heard about it quite a bit. It was collecting data, cooperating witnesses, documenting the moves of priests, etc. Many priests actually had guilt and confessed.

I am always a bit concerned at how some (especially the YRR trying to protect their brand) view these things in such a school yard way. They seem to think there is always a blue dress somewhere as "proof". There isn't. That is rarely how it works in the case of child molestation. That is one reason predators LOVE preying on children.

So not sure what would be "proof" for folks. About all one has to do is google pastor+molestation+sex or something similar and the outcome is unbelievable in the evangelical/protestant world. If one person put up a site listing every single CONVICTION (Note I did not say accusation) it would be jam packed. Christa Brown tracks Baptists so you might want to start there whether you like her or not.

Some of it is systemic like we saw come out concerning PDI/SGM and in the IFB with Hyles, etc. If this Bob Jones thing ever sees the light of day in detail, I suspect lots of folks are going to not believe it, either. It seems the more bizarre it is, the less folks believe it.

BTW, If you want to get a bit of insight into Hyles, his daughter, who ran away, has a talk on TEDS which is excellent. Her name is Linda Murphrey.

It is just harder to out in the evangelical world because we don't have Bishops and Popes. I am glad of that just wish we had more men and women of integrity who did not try and play it down or hide it so well.

I am very sad the SBC is now seen as promoting and protecting Mahaney PDI/SGM. That will be our historical claim to fame, I fear because of the high position of those who helped to protect Mahaney.

I hope you know that one is far from over. It will be going on 5 years from now. Nate Morales' trial starts in November.

Robert, If you read SGM wikileaks, you might get a feel for what happens when Christian leaders with a bit of fame and power have way too much time and money on their hands. Perhaps that is what is happening at Lifeway? Perhaps we pay too well and are attracting those types?

Scott Shaver

Good point Robert:

LifeWay is a corporation first.

All the more reason for churches and individual Christians to hold its writings, leader's remarks, and bible teaching materials to the highest levels of biblical, scriptural and personal scrutiny under The Spirit's guidance.

Joe Carter reasons that questioning and opinionated believers in Christ are "not prophets or the sons of prophets."

By like reasoning: Lifeway, TGC, etc are not The Church, nor sons of The Church, They live, move and have their beings as corporations for the business first of catering to a "Christan" marketplace.

There was a time when LifeWay was ancilary to the SBC but that is no longer the case.

The celibate priesthood of RCs may be unbiblical from the perspective of some Christians, Robert. But to say the practice of celibacy among Roman Catholic priests contributes to the immorality of the Roman Catholic church is like saying the hair-gel of Baptist preachers contributes to the cases of rape, immorality, and child abuse in SBC congregations.

SIN contributes to immorality whether the individual is celibate or married.

Robert I Masters

Peter,
My point about Lifeway is that it would be helpful for you to understand that the Corporate culture does not lend itself to itself to listening to your compliants, or mine. I think you and I are in agreement this issue. That Southern Baptists should be the ones empowered to be pulling the strings on denominational matters.
Well here is the relevant facts concerning Boz and his modus operandi.
http://www.abwe.org/news/abwe-replaces-g.r.a.c.e.-and-hires-new-investigative-firm#.UlXAKS5hJ8I

Scott Shaver

Robert:

Would you personally be prepared to go on record as saying that God's Holy Spirit has entirely abdicated the Roman Catholic Church?

Lydia

http://netgrace.org/wp-content/uploads/GRACE-Response-February-10-2013.pdf

Robert, This is GRACE' response to that. Not sure your link gives us conclusive evidence of Boz' modus operendi. I am always a bit suspicious of organizations who hire and pay someone to investigate them, anyway. I think folks misunderstand what GRACE does.

Seriously, I am not well versed on this scandal but even I knew the "witnesses" had been talking to each other for YEARS before GRACE housed them at the same hotel during interviews. How do you think all of this came about? Some of ABWE' accusations were ridiculous. And yes, they did protect Ketchum for a long time even after knowing full well what was going on. How did they do that? The same way SGM did, by telling victim families they were not allowed to mention it.

You will want to read Grace' response for a well rounded view.

Robert I Masters

Scott,
I am not comfortable with your phrase. I believe that the Holy Spirit indwells individuals but I would say the Roman Catholic Church has long been an apostate church.Are there saved individuals in the Roman Catholic..sure but they are a minority.Roman Catholic doctrine is not true Reformational doctrine.
On this point I strongly disagree with you and agree with Richard Land.
"
The celibate priesthood of RCs may be unbiblical from the perspective of some Christians, Robert. But to say the practice of celibacy among Roman Catholic priests contributes to the immorality of the Roman Catholic church is like saying the hair-gel of Baptist preachers contributes to the cases of rape, immorality, and child abuse in SBC congregations."

Nonsense.God generally calls most people to marriage and few to celibacy. If you are not called by God to celibacy then you will live out your sexuality in immoral ways. When you are expected to do that by your false doctrine then you are less moral. Whether it results in a crime or not!

Robert I Masters

Lydia,
Let me very clear...I do not Like you!
My tribe and loyalties are with the YRR.
Your tribe is with the Apostates.

Lydia

Peter, I may have a comment in your spam folder. It is a link to Grace' response to AbWE for Robert to consider both sides.

peter lumpkins

Lydia,

Thank you. Sorry I was at church and just walked in the door. Your comment is posted. I actually got hold of the link you provided but had to leave before posting. I'm glad you already posted it. In addition, here is an additional link which gives yet another layer to the ABWE scandal, and offers a third perspective on G.R.A.C.E. as well as the new investigative team they chose: 

2013 UPDATE: On Feb. 7, 2013, ABWE summarily dismissed GRACEas the investigative team and hired Pii, a private firm that specializes–according to their own electronic brochure–in confidentiality with their client (read: their job is to protect ABWE). On Feb. 11, 2013, GRACE gave a detailed and thorough response to every allegation slung by ABWE.

“At this date, Feb. 13, 2013, ABWE refuses to guarantee us the original terms of the GRACE investigation. A devastating blow to any chance of justice for the abused MKs who–as a result–are no longer guaranteed:


  • Public access to the final report
  • Equal footing on a committee to determine final outcomes of the report
  • And any sense that ABWE’s claims of wanting to experience “truth and reconciliation” are genuine…

The GRACE report was just a few weeks from completion (embolden original).


The entire piece can be read at ABWE Mission Doctor abuses children in Bangladesh.

Thus, Robert’s link which, according to him, apparently seals the coffin shut on G.R.A.C.E. and Boz Tchividjian as a viable investigation organization does not sound so conclusive after all. Half-cooked beans aren’t fit to eat. But Robert serves them up to us anyway by pointing us to a single source.

peter lumpkins

So Robert. You haven't shown for a few months. And when you do, you come back with a vengeance: "Let me very clear...I do not Like you! My tribe and loyalties are with the YRR. Your tribe is with the Apostates."

Now allow me to be just as clear: If you want to comment fine. But the juvenile spit-wads you can shoot in Nashville.

Was I clear enough?

Eric

Robert,
You didn't really mean to suggest that those who don't want to be single, don't think they are
"Called" to be single....yet for any number of reasons don't get married, will live out sexually in immoral ways.......do you?

Robert I Masters

Eric,
I was primarily thinking about men here. Men being the initiator in courtship. But I do think that women also struggle with this issue. Often times it results in settling from a man that they are not equally yoked with in the end.

Scott Shaver

Robert:

Thanks, sincerely for your post.

I'm going to risk off the bat that you were a real hit with the ladies in high school?

On to the subject:

I asked you if you would be willing to go on record as supporting the idea that The Holy Spirit of God has abdicated the Roman Catholic Church. My reason for asking is the number of fiery comments leveled at the RCC in Dr. Moores blog section at "Moore to the Point".

You answered:

"Scott, I am not comfortable with your phrase. I believe that the Holy Spirit indwells individuals but I would say the Roman Catholic Church has long been an apostate church."

My understanding of an APOSTATE Christian church would be one that had fallen from THE GOSPEL of salvation by faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ, crucified, resurrected, coming again.

I am not surprised that you are uncomfortable with my question, Robert, even though you answered it with the very next sentence (i.e. RCCs long apostate). Which is it?

You "believe that the Holy Spirit indwells individuals" and that "there are saved individuals in the RCC but they are a MINORITY (emphasis mine in all cases)ROMAN CATHOLIC DOCTRINE and is not TRUE REFORMATIONAL DOCTRINE."

Believe it till the cows come home brother but your issue is not with whether or not our RCC brothers and sisters in Christ have apostasized. Your issue that they do not adhere to TRUE REFORMATIONAL DOCTRINE. I would add that your issue seems here to apply to many SBCrs and fellow baptists as well ... if you are Baptist. I honestly don't know.

I think if you'll check, the Apostle Paul has some favorable things to say about celibacy but it's ultimately up to you make the calls of division on such scriptural matters ...I understand.

I'll let my comparison of hair gel and celibacy leading to excessive sexual abuse in the RCC stand or fall on its own without bringing up the names of any personalities in question. How's that for slander-free blogging?

Without going into excessive detail about the final paragraph of your post, Robert, was outstanding. The only thing I would point out is one error in punctuation,perhaps a colon, between "NONSENSE" and your example which follows.

Viva la Revolution there Robert my brother.

Next time show a little guts (if not integrity) by answering a straight yes or no about whether or not RCCs are part of God's ekklesia. Your posturing on the question is IMO SPINELESS.

At least some of your other YRR buddies have the steel to consign them to hell in print.


Robert I Masters

Peter,
Why do you feel the need to defend Lydia,s comments. My beef is not primarily with you although lately you seem to be going "Dave Miller" on me.

Frankly I think that notion that evangelicals are as bad as Roman Catholics on this issue is nonsense! You appear to support that thesis by your support of Lydia and others like Snap and BDW.

Secondly I am getting tired of hearing the cause the Great Comission being slandered. Sin is evil but thousands and thousands of missionaries have sacrificed for the name and fame of Jesus Christ and untold thousands have remained steadfast in their faith. Far,far more than those who slandered the name of Christ with abuse they perpetrated.
I will paste this letter from Steve Strong because it accurately reflects my attitude especially regarding mk schools. BTW I know every person mentioned from Dalat school. It all rings true with my experience.
For my Southern Baptist friends the C and MA is the evangelical Missions organization. Peter you probably know about Toccoa Falls College which is a CMA college in Georgia.
Dear C&MA Board of Directors,

We are C&MA adult MKs. Carol’s siblings and she all attended Dalat School from first through 12th grade (time span of 1955-1980). Steve and his siblings all attended Dalat School and his two brothers and one sister graduated from Dalat. Our children, Josh, Jordan, and Justin all began attending Dalat School when they entered first grade. They are now in grades 7, 9, and 10. Steve’s parents, Gordon and Jean Strong, were dorm parents at Dalat School. The total years our families have had members at Dalat School is around fifty years. Steve is presently serving on the Dalat International School Board as a representative for the C&MA USA. We appreciate your letter to us apologizing for the abuse and trauma suffered by some. We understand your intent behind the letter and genuine “heart” in expressing your sorrow and asking for forgiveness for the hurt and harm that was inflicted on some individuals. We know your letter was to address the abusive situations that did occur, necessitating the apology. However, we want to acknowledge the positive affect boarding school had in our lives and to thank the Alliance for providing excellent educational opportunities for us and now our children.

We are not sorry that we attended boarding school for most of our schooling years. We are not angry with our parents. We are not angry with God or the church or the C&MA. We were privileged to live in a Christian community and to be a part of a wider family. We are not sorry that our three sons are currently attending Dalat School. The dorm parents, teachers, and staff have enriched our lives. Yes, there were some who should never have been at a school or in a dorm, but the majority loved us, taught us, and showed Christ to us. There should be a hall of fame for many of the teachers and dorm parents who have served through the years, even as there should be a hall of shame for those who abused the children entrusted to them. Midge and Chuck Fowler, Char and Woody Stemple, Ed and Claire Miner, Dr. Debbie Jenkins (formerly Bainer), Mr. John Sellen, Miss Forbes, Miss Kathy Urban, Mr. and Mrs. Baxter, and Ed and Kathy Tulloch are just a few of the names that immediately come to mind as people who impacted our lives and loved us above and beyond the call of duty. At our wedding my father thanked the teachers and dorm parents at Dalat for the part they had in raising me. We are grateful for the teachers and dorm parents who are helping to raise our sons. Our children are the better for it.

We want to thank you for the quality of the education you provided for us. You sent us trained and dedicated teachers. Our experience is with Dalat, but I am sure it is the same with the other boarding schools run by the C&MA. The education we received was excellent and prepared us well for our future. We and our peers were able to go to top schools throughout the world. We and our peers were sought after by colleges and given scholarships because of the well-rounded education we received in C&MA schools. If you were to track the lives of all the children who attended C&MA boarding schools you would find them in every field and expertise. You will find them on every mission field in the world. Many are teaching and dorm parenting and involved in the administration of boarding schools today. And, instead of being bitter and angry because of their experiences in boarding school, the majority of them would have fond memories of boarding school.
While we need to acknowledge the wrong that was done we also need to acknowledge that boarding schools were a necessity for educating missionary children. While the need for boarding schools has lessened in our current global reality (there are options for schooling when in the past there were none), they are still needed. We are still trying to reach the unreached peoples of the world. The missionary force cannot all live near international schools. Home schooling is not an option for some. So even if we would like to wipe boarding schools off the face of the earth as “evil” institutions it would be wrong to do so. One of our biggest issues as missionaries is still the education of our children. We have learned from the past that forcing everyone to go to boarding school was a mistake. It would also be a mistake to force everyone to home school or to find a local schooling option. Boarding schools are still needed— especially if we are still sending people to the places in the world that are the hardest to reach.

Through the years we have learned from our mistakes. There have also been positive changes that have occurred as a result of evaluating and investigating how we “do” boarding schools. Gone are the dorms of 40 children to one dorm parent couple. There are all sorts of organizations and associations that train and evaluate boarding programs. But in the end there are no perfect institutions just as there are no perfect people.

We live in an age where everyone wants to guarantee their safety and the safety of their children. If things go wrong someone must be to blame and someone needs to pay. The reality is that we can take precautions, we can do everything right, and yet bad things will still happen. I do not know of anyone, whether they attended boarding schools or not, who has grown up without scars. When our parents sent us and when we sent our own sons to boarding school, we were not placing our trust in the school, the dorm parents, the staff, or the C&MA. We put our trust in God and in His love and care for our children. Their lives were and are in God’s hands and we know that whatever happens, good or bad, God redeems our lives and there is beauty in ashes.

Thank you for your letter and for the spirit behind the words. And thank you for the excellent education you provide for our children. We are truly grateful and we are so sorry we haven’t thanked you before now.

Gratefully,

Steve and Carol Strong

Posted by: Steve and Carol Strong | 24 February 2009 at 10:56pm

peter lumpkins

Robert,

If you don't see the complete lopsidedness of the link about which you declare "here is the relevant facts concerning Boz and his modus operandi" I have no intention of taking a lot of time explaining it to you. Lydia supplied a much needed corrective to the cockeyed perspective you left us with. The only "relevant facts" you cite come from one side. I suggest you learn a bit more about broadening your source-base before drawing conclusions.

Second, do you not even get the juvenile ignorance you displayed by logging "I do not Like you!...Your tribe is with the Apostates."?

Third, whatever you mean by "going Dave Miller" I'm sure it wasn't driven by warm and fuzzy feelings. Frankly, however, I remain unconcerned when guys like you show up lecturing me about hypocrisy on one hand or being "like" somebody on the other. I am who I am. Just stick to the subject matter, Robert, and you will be able to comment virtually all you want. But know this: you are a guest here. Commenting is a privilege not a right like you and some others come across when you surf blogs. Furthermore, I pay money to keep this site going. Thus, no one and I mean no one is going to hijack my thread. So if that's "like Dave Miller" so be it.

Finally, you have every right to think the "notion that evangelicals are as bad as Roman Catholics on this issue is nonsense!" But from the way you tipped your biased hand above on sources from which you come to what can only be a jaded conclusion, I think it's best back away from what you settle as factual or "nonsense."

As for "supporting" Lydia, SNAP, and/or Aaron Weaver, sure I do if I think what they say has merit. I'm not in the same theological camp as Aaron, for example, but I've found him, in the overwhelming majority of times I've read his contributions, to be thoughtful and engaging and thus worthy to be heard.

On the other hand, when guys like you show up and say ""Let me very clear...I do not Like you! My tribe and loyalties are with [x]. Your tribe is with the Apostates." I think they forfeit too much personal capital to be taken seriously. Hence, they self-marginalize their influence but nonetheless complain and whine because others are listened to but they are not.

Robert I Masters

Peter,
It was one link but there are others like this one concerning his work with NTM, He being BOZ.

New Tribes Mission (NTM) also ended its working relationship with GRACE after the completion of GRACE's 2010 investigation into alleged abuses at an NTM boarding school for missionary kids in Senegal in the 1980s. The report concluded that at least 50 children were physically or emotionally abused; NTM said it was "deeply saddened" and would make changes recommended by GRACE.
Now three new investigations span decades of allegations in Brazil, Panama, and Bolivia–but NTM did not retain GRACE to conduct these interviews. Instead, NTM selected Pat Hendrix, who previously served as sexual misconduct ombudsman for the Presbyterian Church (USA), to coordinate its Independent Historic Abuse Review Team (IHART). The group is scheduled to release a report in March, as well as another by year's end.

Here is the full article link.

http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2013/february/missionary-group-fires-sex-abuse-investigator.html

Scott Shaver

Robert:

Does the fact that you have "blocking" issues with both Dave Miller and Peter Lumpkins suggest anything to you?

Perhaps your inability to relate to virtually anything between two polar opposite extremes of the baptist spectrum within the SBC?

We already know how you feel about Catholic Christians.

Got any more good tidings of great joy for for the family of God here on earth tonight? ...as part of your ongoing emphasis on "the gospel",the credibility of YRR, Richard Land et al of course.

Andrew Barker

ABP news
C.J. Mahaney, pastor of Sovereign Grace Church in Louisville, Ky., is listed on the seminary website among plenary speakers for the 20/20 Collegiate Conference themed "Ekklesia: God's Perspective on the Church," scheduled Feb. 7-8, 2014.

Peter, I'm sure you'll see this before me, but is this part of the reason behind Joe Carter's 'offering'? Who knows!

Andrew

Patrice

Robert, “Apostate”? Are you aware that God hears when you trash one of His children? Whether you like it or not, Lydia is your adult sister. She’s not even an enemy whom you are called to love. What’s with you and Joe Carter re Lydia, anyway?

The letter by the Strongs has almost nothing to say on the matter of child abuse. It says there were also good teachers at the boarding school, good education was accomplished, the structure is improved, nothing is perfect, boarding schools are necessary, missionaries are important. Fine. I have no idea to whom this letter was written or for what reason. It might be an honest attempt to bring the new&improved school to better reputation, except that last pious bit of responsibility-avoidance about not trusting schools but rather in God. I would never send my child to a school that says that.

Plus, “beauty in ashes”? That is something that can be legitimately owned only by those who have dragged some good out of severe damage. When used in this context, it is condescending and dismissive.

At any rate, the Strongs’ letter has little to say about the child abuse that occurred there and to try to use it to prove something about GRACE’s investigation is nonsensical.

It would be wise to accept that you have very little understanding about child sexual abuse and the structures of silence/complicity that surround it. You cannot properly evaluate what happened in this situation. You can do no more than opine on whether it is more/less rampant in the RC until you understand what underlies this darkest of human actions. You are over your head until you decide to become knowledgeable.

Max

Heretofore unknown to me, I've been reading up on Joe Carter to determine his exact tribal bearings re: the current theological rift in SBC ranks.

A simple one-liner in one of his recent articles caught my attention: " ... we’ve forgotten the intellectual debt we owe to Calvin." Those words embedded in a post which essentially promoted Driscoll's ministry spoke volumes to me. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/joecarter/2012/12/calvinism-and-the-seeker-insensitive-church/

Patrice

Robert: At the Christianity Today article you posted, I clicked this link inside the paragraphs you quoted: http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2010/september/new-tribes-mission-confronts-80s-sex-abuse-allegations.html

It took two minutes to read and there are two obvious points:
1. “Some of the alleged abusers named in the GRACE report are still with New Tribes...”
2. “GRACE recommended that New Tribes establish a standing fund of $1 million for victims....New Tribes has no paid damages to any children.....but has paid for counseling and other expenses.”

You try to turn this incident into an additional smear on GRACE but New Tribe chose not to rehire them for obvious reasons, didn’t they?

Also notice this article has an update “(June 6, 2013): According to the Orlando Sentinel, New Tribes Mission (NTM) missionary Warren Kennel has been arrested for alleged sexual abuse of children. After being detained at an airport in Orlando, Kennell told agents he molested four children and photographed the incidents while working with NTM in Brazil.”

We can only hope that IHART’s Pat Hendrix devotes as much diligence and care towards our abused children in Brazil as GRACE gave to those in Senegal. Part of IHART’s responsibility will be to recognize which of GRACE’s recommendations New Tribes did not follow in Senegal, and why. Do you think IHART is up to the task? God help them.

So why are you writing this stuff, Robert? Perhaps you can also speak for Joe Carter. I am genuinely curious because your values appear openly contrary to that which our faith teaches. Truth, transparency, justice, kindness, mercy.

Are you afraid to face facts? It is difficult to come to terms with the truth that sometimes people we know and have relied upon (who have said “Lord Lord” many times over in our faces) can be downright wicked. But it is the Truth that sets us free.

Scott Shaver

From what I've seen so far Max there's been no installment paid yet on the debt.

Robert I Masters

Patrice,
Can you show me one place that I have said anything on abuse.You not find one place.
Opposition to Lydia is because she is always attacking my family. Remember Reformed Baptist Rob in SBCOutpost days.
Second my opposition to Boz is because he has acted like the prosecutor he is and not because of any abuse he has brought to light.
Lastly the Letter from the Strongs was in the context of MK abuse in the CMA(remember Wes Stafford).
Here is the the link so you can drive out you ignorance.
http://www.alliancelife.org/article.php?id=379

Scott Shaver

Robert:

If you have any more irrelevant articles or comments for this thread please post them now as to get them out of the way.

You're taking up a lot of space with this gibberish. Did you miss nap time or something?

peter

Robert,

Look. You offered two links which offered unfavorable assessments of Boz Tchividjian and GRACE, the first of which you framed as the definitive word about all "the" facts. We countered with two links the contents of which balanced the one-sided interpretation you continue to posit about him.

It's time now to offer either definitive proof or move on. If you can offer definitive proof Boz Tchividjian and GRACE are bogus in their advocacy for abuse victims, then do so. If you can't drop it. Your perpetual dissing him and GRACE based entirely upon hostile witnesses is entirely unfair and frankly irritating.

With that, I am...
Peter

Robert I Masters

Patrice and Peter,
Actually if you remember past conversations concerning this subject You could reasonably these things.
1. Rob does not appreciate those who attack his tribe.aka the reformed baptist crowd
2.Rob has first and second hand knowledge about abuse that went on on the mission field...thinks it was absolute evil.
3. Rob is a hardcore cessationist so rarely interacts with Charismatic Calvinist or Charismatic anybody!
4. Rob believes that if you add all the Roman Catholic abuses and add up all the evangelical church abuses the scales would tip dramatically to the Roman Catholic side.
5. Rob believes Boz Tchividjian is not an independent investigator for faith based missions.
6.Rob believes Boz Tchividjians statement about the Evangelical Church vs the Roman Catholic church is asinine.
7. Rob has always marched to the beat of his own drum, even a New York Times bestselling has used Rob for the basis of book that tells this story.
8. Rob agrees with Peter Lumpkins regarding Al Mohlers statement re Homosexuality.
9.Rob agrees with Peter Lumpkins statement concerning Tim Keller and in fact has had little back and forth with the elders at his church concerning there promotion of Tim Keller and some of his positions especially the issues of women in leadership and homosexuality.
10. Rob actually appreciates much of the work that Boz Tchividjian has done concerning child abuse in the evangelical world.
11. Rob believes the organizations like Snap, and G.R.A.C.E
would better served if they would speak and act as if the wanted the perpetrators to be punished instead of all the perps friends.

peter lumpkins

Robert,

I'm past frustrated in trying to reasonably exchange with you. If I didn't know better, I'd swear that unlike the Pentecostal disciples in Acts 2, you really are filled with new wine. What are you even talking about in the last comment? What does it have to do with anything I asked you to supply? Why did you address me along with Patrice when, as far as I can tell, we didn't raise identical issues? You're making no sense at all toward the concerns I mentioned.

Now, I'm going you ask you straightforward once more and I want a direct answer. No more long, rambling irrelevant comments or posting irrelevant letters or offering useless links without explaining why the links are helpful (and just so everybody will know in advance, I won't post them if you do.)

Here's the question: What is the definitive evidence G.R.A.C.E. is not a respectable advocate and investigative organization for abused victims? Either supply it or drop it Robert. Those are the two options. I don't care about anything else at this juncture.

My guess is you have absolutely nothing to say apart from your conclusion based upon a few negative assessments you read. Boz answered in detail all the complaints the missions organization filed, answers I'd bet a week's worth of Starbucks you didn't even read much less assess.

For my part, you've demonstrated on this thread the same type of skewed approach in dealing with controversial issues you have logged here in the past. Namely, you employ a few polemical sources and polemical sources only. Nothing else counts. All is dismissed unless it supports your point. By the way, this is far too often a trait of your "tribe". Sources are either REFORMED sources or APOSTATE sources--you know kinda like you dissed Lydia.

So, there it is Robert. Either answer directly or sit quietly back and read but not comment.


Patrice

Robert:
“Can you show me...I...said anything on abuse.” You are attempting to smear the one formal support for abused children in this part of the Bride of Christ. And it is a vague sullying, of several different situations in an attempt to question motives and quality of work.

“Opposition to Lydia...attacking my family.” So she is your enemy then. Learn to love her, the, and if you can’t do it in your heart, do it in practice and the heart may follow.

“Letter from the Strongs...” My critique of the letter and its purpose in this thread are not altered by the particular case of Wes Stafford (which was yet another incident you dragged in sideways).

“Boz...acted like prosecutor”. You misunderstand the role of GRACE. They are open about standing on the side of abused children. They draw conclusions and make recommendations.

It is an insult upon insult that child sexual abuse in the church becomes embroiled in power and political plays. This happens again and again. Its not SNAP/GRACE that does this but the people who surround the culpable, pulling together like a herd to protect the guilty, leaving the victims out in the wilderness undefended.

This complicity is destructive to the very fabric of the church. It also makes the job of GRACE/SNAP much more difficult. In the work I’ve seen from them, the priority is to protect and bring justice for the children, and then to work to clear the church of this evil. Complicit people will be swept up.

Lastly, I do not see how a list of your qualities and agreements/disagreements is pertinent to the issues you raised here. You may be a very nice man, I don’t know. It is the conversation on this thread that concerns me.

Scott Shaver

Rob:

You are perhaps the purest "cessationist" I've ever read in my entire life.

You've pretty much ended everything including your faculties for intelligent Christian dialogue or common sense.

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