real encouragement for real homeschool moms

While we all know that spiritual abuse has been a plague in the church as long as the Church has existed, it is no less disconcerting when we see it in action. It is even more so when we see that those who should know better continue to harbor and even revere spiritual abusers. At one time this was known as the palliation of sin and is condemned in Romans 1. No longer is that the case and the unmerciful are welcomed with open arms and even given a place of honor in the church.

Sadly, this is what happened in my neck of the woods over the weekend.

R. C. Sproul Jr., the unrepentant and defrocked pastor from Bristol, Tennessee, was the guest preacher at the annual presbytery meeting for the CPC being held in Peoria, Illinois. Sproul was found guilty of spiritual abuse by the RPCGA and was defrocked and stripped of his credentials before the other serious charges of illegally using another church’s tax ID number and serving alcohol to children could be addressed. Welcoming Sproul to his pulpit was James McDonald, himself a former member of the RPCGA who was deposed from the same denomination. Sadly, both of these men are leaders and conference speakers in the homeschooling community where training our children in honesty, integrity, self-control, and godly living is a priority.

Traditionally, the marks of a true church have been considered to be the preaching of the Word, the administering of the sacraments, and church discipline, a view, I am certain is upheld by both Sproul and McDonald, at least in word if not in deed. But Jesus named the real mark of the true church: “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 17:21) It brings to mind this poem I read years ago and speaks to the very real fruits of spiritual abuse.

Lament

Weep, weep for those
Who do the work of the Lord
with a high look
and a proud heart.
Their voice is lifted up
In the streets, and their cry is heard.
The bruised reed they break
By their great strength, and the smoking flax
They trample.

Weep not for the quenched
(For their God will hear their cry
And the Lord will come to save them)
But weep, weep for the quenchers.

For when the Day of the Lord
Is come, and the vales sing
And the hills clap their hands
And the light shines
Then their eyes shall be opened
On a waste place,
Smouldering,
The smoke of the flax bitter
In their nostrils,
Their feet pierced
By broken reed-stems…
Wood, hay, and stubble,
And no grass springing,
And all the birds flown.

Weep, weep for those
Who have made a desert
In the name of the Lord.

Evangeline Paterson

63 Responses to Weeping for the quenchers: R. C. Sproul Jr., James McDonald, and spiritual abuse

  • Julie says:

    Weird stuff. I’ve been really blessed by a lot of RC Sproul’s stuff, esp. Tabletalk. Has he made any public statement about any of this with his son?

    RC Sproul Jr has often left a bad taste in my mouth, particularly after I read his book When You Rise Up. Anyone who arrogantly brags about how many large conversion vans are in his parking lot strikes me as insensitive and strange. Is the barren woman less of a Christian because she has no children in that church? Or the woman who only has two?

  • Lynn says:

    I have been blessed by Sproul Jr.’s father, and by some of the things RC Jr. has said, although I have some disagreements.

    Regarding Table Talk. I stopped considering it when a few years back they started calling folks who go to churches with theologies such as the one my church teaches, “antinomians.”

    It’s a high-sounding word, but it is a false accusation and an insult of great magnitude to those who adhere to dispensational, progressive dispensational, or new covenant theology.

  • HS says:

    Karen,

    Proof. We need proof of the claims you make. You are dead wrong on your accusations about Sproul and McDonald.

    Prove it, Karen! Documentation from the source itself — the former denominations, the moderators, the whole deal. We want proof in print. You are spreading falsehood and obviously enjoying it. Shame on you.

    And while I’m here…let me admonish you to get a life and a cause that matters. You and your friends obviously spend HOURS in front of the screen — going from house to house and spreading your ugly thoughts. You ought to feel great shame for dividing rather than giving the grace that you want others to give you.

  • thatmom says:

    HS, by placing your cursor over the green hyper-linked phrases, you can find all the documentation you are asking for. Also, I would recommend that you contact the RPCGA if you are wanting further “proof.”

  • thatmom says:

    Julie, you have mentioned one of my greatest concerns within the patriocentrist movement, that of single or childless women being “non-normative.” Such a sad position to take when both Scripture and history are full of women who were used mightily of the Lord to do His Kingdom work. In fact, I just read a cool quote from one of my favorite missionary heroes, Gladys Alyward:

    “I wasn’t God’s first choice for what I’ve done for China. There was somebody else. I don’t know who it was, God’s first choice. It must have been a man, a wonderful man. A well-educated man. I don’t know what happened. Perhaps he died. Perhaps he wasn’t willing and God looked down and saw Gladys Alyward.”

    Of course, I believe that there is no plan B, only a plan A, but perhaps God did raise up Gladys because others wouldn’t heed the call.

  • Julie says:

    Boy, that post lit it up fast, Karen. You might also remember Amy Carmichael. I loved the biography Elisabeth Elliot wrote about her. I do not believe she was living in sin, rescuing temple prostitutes in India and raising them in the fear and admonition of the Lord. In fact, one of my favorite quotations ever comes from her and it’s written in the back of my Bible:

    “The spiritual training of children must be selfless service. You work for the years you do not see. But you work for the Invisible all the time so it is worth it.”

  • HS says:

    No, Karen. YOU provide the proof. The burden is on YOU. Don’t throw your stones and then have everyone head off to do their own research. You provide it in black and white. Copy and paste. And make sure you give us more than one person’s judgment – we need plurality here. One person alone can say anything he wants — give us documented proof.

  • thatmom says:

    HS, I don’t know what you are asking from me. I stated that a denomination made a ruling and provided a link to their official statement on their denominational letterhead along with the signature of the moderator. That is as official as it can get. Unless, of course, you do as I suggest and have done myself and actually correspond with or speak with the moderator himself.

  • Cindy K says:

    We live in a world where image is everything and ethics have come to mean little. We once supported JC, Jr and my husband loved to read his clever writings. We also supported JC, Sr. We no longer support either one… Some of RC, Sr’s books are still among my top ten favorite Christian books and this all breaks my heart. I have also felt, when Gary DeMar started featuring so much Vision Forum nonsense in their magazine and when I met their new VP (Who seems to think that Phillips hung the moon), I eventually would feel like I lost a dearly loved and close friend. I don’t know what we gleened from RC, Jr’s ministry other then amusement, but I have been edified tremendously by RC, Sr’s zillion tapes of the month and books. I have all sorts of wonderful books from Gary DeMar on my shelf as well — all that have been a great blessing. In an email this morning, I referenced something that Gary wrote. And I grieved, wondering if I will grieve like this for the rest of my life?

    Gary DeMar is a good example of someone who, through his excellent scholarship, knows and can articulate well the history and significance of situational ethics in our culture. I’m sure he knows, cold and from memory with painstaking accuracy, direct quotes from all sorts of original sources and adding his own wise insight the devistating effects of situational ethics and relative morality in the church. But why, then, is there a reference to Doug Phillips or his film festival or some VF product for sale on every other page in his magazine? Why is there an ad for New Saint Andrews College (Doug Wilson — anyone seen the Dougsplotch website?) in his magazine now? And “Answers in Genesis”? (American Vision’s new VP of a few years now used to work for Ken Ham.)

    I’m told that if you go up to Ken Ham personally and ask him about the Allosaur mess, or those involved in all of that mess, that AiG will tell you informally that the VisionForum Allosaur video that used to be sold by Phillips is a myth. (Well, perhaps not anymore, when the people at VF who do nothing but crawl the web for references to VF read this.) Then, amazingly like trying to talk to Dr. Talbot of the RPCGA, the damage control police will convince AiG staff to no longer mention that video. Ah, just like all the kinist sites started to disappear and Chad Degenhart’s blog suddenly became password protected? I’ve been told by more than a handfull of people that “Patriarch’s Path” went away because the owners never even so much as paid for the domain name, let alone the rest of their enterprise bills. Is that why he pops up as having a legal alias on online identity searches.

    In my own dealings, I’ve been clobbered by a religious group, not by any kind of repsectful exchange or formal contact that one would expect from a fellow Christian, but with tactics that seem more like the response of a totalitarian regime or something out of a Kafka or Dostoevski novel. Where is Jesus? Where is Christian love? Where is common respect for the brethren? It seems that I’ve been deemed unworthy of respect as part of the Body because I don’t grovel and proverbially kiss the rings of these would-be popes? I’ve heard of distain for Martin Luther’s old adage of “the priesthood of the believer” arising from within three different Protestant denominations over this past year and with only limited contact with the Body. What is going on? When did we scrap the preisthood and resort to the authority structure of the Catholic Church? I must have missed the memo.

    Why would we want to take up an authority structure that is authoritarian wherein leaders are above all criticism and scrutiny (contrary to the Word where Paul and James both state that leaders and teachers are held to a higher standard and not a lower one)? Having been in a host of different church governments over the years, I see the abuses of the Pharisees at work in all of them. As Zimbardo would say (see my blog), a better barrel will help keep the bad apples in better check and a good apple from going bad. He maintains that a bad barrel disposes good fruit to spoilage. But bad fruit is bad fruit.

    So in a world that wouldn’t know good ethics from a hole in the ground, isn’t it vitally important for our Christian leaders to be transparent (as the Word admonishes) and critically aware of their witness before a culture whose ethics are unravelling? If we can’t be ethical and moral and good, how on earth can we be salt and light? (Maybe that’s why that Swanson character includes yeast in that list of small, life-changing analogies for the Christian in the world — because it is used more as an analogy for sin in the Bible than as an agent of positive change. More often, they have become leaven that ruins the lump and not the vital growing power of God in a culture void of ethics.)

    There was an old song medley that was on some gospel quartet album from my childhoood, and it included a bridge that was written to join a couple of songs together. “Kings wear robes of gold and velvet, but soon their glory shall fade away. But the King of Kings in heaven wore a homespun robe that day.” Does greatness or renown ruin everyone? Is it the illusion of the temporary power of kings that gets them, or is it the robes of gold and velvet that pulls them off-course? Is it the power of the king that corrupts him? And why have they forgotten the terrible Sacrifice and ultimate price that the Lord of Glory paid for them. We all deserve the homespun robe and the thorns and the stripes and the death of a criminal — that which Jesus bore for us.

    Has the gold and the velvet caused them to forget that apart from that homespun robe that Christ wore for them, they are as unworthy as the vilest sinner? That it is in the grace of God they stand? I’ve heard it preached that Jesus was wrapped in swaddling clothes on the day of his birth and placed in a manger. This was likened to the strips of cloth that were wrapped around a corpse — signifying that Jesus was born to die for us. Whether this is a fair interpretation of swadling clothes, we can certainly say that Jesus was not wrapped in velvet at His birth. Certainly not in His earthly burial, either. The prophets are our foundations — and they are put in the base of a building — not borne up by followers. They bear up the congregation and are often trampled underfoot in the process.

    And transparency does not mean that we are to be perfect people. The Christian — unlike those of other faiths — has forgiveness so that our shortcomings show forth God’s glory and not shame. If these leaders have made mistakes and faltered, they can repent and their sins can be cast from them as far as the east is from the west. They are remembered no more and are completely washed away in the Blood of the Lamb. Our weaknesses and failures, when we are forgiven and healed and even as they are being healed, show forth God’s glory like a window of stained glass. They magnify the glory of God — our failures and sins no longer serve as shame and that which obscures God’s glory. Is that not why Paul says that we should be open books to be known and read of all men? We are to be honest and transparent.

    So it makes one wonder why we don’t see that in our leaders today.

    In an email to my husband, James McDonald said that he believed that he himself was a victim of spiritual abuse. I am certain of it. The abused become the abusers. He has become a fine example of what happens to those who are abused and who never deal with the core of their own sinfulness that gave the abuse such a great foothold so that they couldn’t ever really abandon the patterns and dynamics of the process. They repeat it because it is all they know. The costs of really recognizing spiritual abuse are are terribly high and great and painful and earthshattering for the Christian who loves God but did not realize that they were serving men. It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the Living God this way. It’s been beyond awful for me.

    I am counting on the fact that it is better to fall upon the rock and become very broken and fractured in a million pieces than it is to have the rock fall upon me before the Lord of Glory in all His holiness. Lest the seed fall into the ground and is crushed, it cannot bring forth fruit. Imagine the bounty of good fruit that could burgeon from the lives of these who abuse the sheep? They are clearly gifted with so much that could bless the Body, but it is wasted on robes of gold and velvet. They are far more trapped and far more to be pittied and prayed for than those whom they have trampled upon for sure.

    God have mercy on us all and send true men of ethics and honor and principle and Your statutes to shepherd your people in love. Send us good and godly men to wash away these pathetic examples of role models. Despite the Pharisees, Lord, please build us up into men and women of such good character and ethics that the world would again desire to know what makes us different. It’s going to have to be by Your Spirit and not of any work of our own. We clearly do no better than the heathen with only the law.

  • HS says:

    Karen, I’m asking YOU to provide the proof. If you got it from Talbot (or someone else), then we’d like to see — on your blog — the copy and paste of it. Don’t link me here or there — it needs to come from you.

    You’re a coward, but you do love to stir up trouble. I am so tired of you couching your pathetic website under “love,” “concern,” “enlightening others,” etc. There’s a word for that…

  • Marta says:

    HS, your only problem is that you don’t believe the ‘proof’ because you don’t want to. Are you saying he was NOT defrocked? Where is YOUR proof?

    His dad had him speaking on a conference stage right after the defrocking. AFter that, it became well known that RC’s church was not PCUSA even though he was ordained through them. So, he does not ever have to worry about discipline from superiors as he teaches others. Oh, and he did sue a professing Christian blogger even though his study bible says that believers should not sue other believers.

    If anyone wants to know the roots of all this, I suggest they search for and read Ligoneir Tales. It is RC, Jr’s memoirs he put online and then took off suddenly after all the defrocking. It is quite enlightening.

    It only proves that knowing correct doctrine does not necessarily mean fruit.

  • Cynthia Gee says:

    HS, links are a better type of proof than are “copy and paste” paragraphs. You can copy anything and paste it on a webpage, but by using a link you allow your readers to get information straight from the horses’ mouth.

    Too, by reading the original article, you might learn more about the subject than you otherwise would have.
    Never be afraid to READ.

  • Cindy K says:

    Boy, when I started this post, there were no comments. I hit submit and what a surprise!

    HS, the documentation is there if you can find it. Ask McDonald (if you are not McDonald) to tell us all the details about his supposed SBC ordination. Did it never happen or was it revoked because of a scandal? Is this the “proof” you would like to see or is it proof concerning RC Sproul, Jr’s affairs that you are requesting? Should we also ask about the affairs of Mrs. McDonald? She proved by her own statements that she talks out of two sides of her mouth and conveniently does not remember things that cast her in a bad light. Why do you think that people doubt and question? People who demonstrate candor about their works and their fruit and their pasts don’t have these issues. No one believes them because they are unbelieveable. But after years of threatening sheep with lawsuits and heavy-handed authoritarian tactics, abusive leaders till the soil for people to doubt.

    And it’s not gossip to doubt and question the integrity of one’s spiritual leader. Scripture admonishes us to do so. If you want to cry “Gossip, ” then you will have to throw out your New Testament.

    If McDonald and RC, Jr. had no rotten fruit or rotten fruit that they accounted for and were transparent about, there would be no cause for this post. But they have not. Maybe not with everyone, but with those who threaten them, they behave like Pharisees. If Karen and Corrie and Cynthia Gee and I were tried in your courts, I have no doubt in my mind that there are many who would pleasurably hurl rocks at us until we died. And why would I think that? Oh, maybe because McDonald linked to articles from the New Statemen about the virtues of stoning wayward teens. The Doctrines of Grace have been turned into karma and cause and effect and sacriments of works by many of these men. If they had a history of responding with love, compassion and honesty to those who dare question anything or those whom they have climbed upon and trodden upon to create their “ministries,” then no one would entertain any of this. We would never have any of this occur to us. But it does not go away because there is no ethical character or very little of it to build upon. If it were unbelieveable, then it would not even register as a blip on anyone’s radar.

    By their works ye shall know them. By their fruit ye shall know them. By your love for one another ye shall know them. Well, these men are known for abusing the sheep and for lies. The most telling factor is the fact that these folks get by on postmodern advertising and techniques that manipulators use, and by shame and fear mongering. If they did not have these reputations in their own right, then no one would be listening.

    Why cry for proof and for documentation? There’s tons of it on true womanhood. Karen has provided links to other sources. She’s confirmed it. I’ve confirmed it through my own verifications and am convicted by the truth to attest to it, putting myself in the way of aggravation and false accusation. Most people who know have been so terrorized by these spiritual abusers and with threats of legal action that they are unwilling to talk. And who is to say that you would not say the cut and paste evidence you cry for would not be deemed to be fabricated?

    If there was no cause to beleive, people would not consider it. But there is cause. Plenty of it and it is well-known.

  • sarah says:

    How cute that an anonymous poster would come on here and call Karen names such as “coward.” I know a coward when I see one, and in this case it’s hardly Karen.

  • Cynthia Gee says:

    “Julie, you have mentioned one of my greatest concerns within the patriocentrist movement, that of single or childless women being “non-normative.” Such a sad position to take when both Scripture and history are full of women who were used mightily of the Lord to do His Kingdom work. ”

    That’s true. And childlessness is no longer non-normative, anyway. The childless are blessed even more than those with children:

    Isa 56:3 …. neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I [am] a dry tree. Isa 56:4 For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose [the things] that please me, and take hold of my covenant; Isa 56:5 Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.

    Isa 54:1 ¶ Sing, O barren, thou [that] didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou [that] didst not travail with child: for more [are] the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD.

    1Cr 7:34 There is difference [also] between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please [her] husband.

  • Lynn says:

    HS, it’s funny that you’re calling Karen a “coward” when we don’t know what your real name is and we know hers.

    What you are doing is accusing her of libel, to be perfectly blunt.

    Here are your words:

    “You are dead wrong on your accusations about Sproul and McDonald.”

    And we know the burden of proof lies on you to show that she is lying. So quit telling her to pony up with proof, since that was your accusation. If you accuse someone of printing serious falsehoods about someone else, the burden is on YOU to prove that they are lying.

  • Cynthia Gee says:

    “Most people who know have been so terrorized by these spiritual abusers and with threats of legal action that they are unwilling to talk. ”

    That’s why it’s a joy to be poor. But, if someone WERE to sue me, they might get some spiffy third-hand furniture or even an antique car.
    In fact, they could choose from an 1989 Escort, an 1989 F150 pickup with a door missing, or our top-of-the-line, one-owner luxury vehicle, a 1986 Econoline “Conversion van” LOL!!!!

  • HS says:

    Why cry for proof?

    Because if you assert something, YOU need to back it up and not by referral.

    Maybe Karen should be defrocked from being “thatmom” or from her TW site. Is she without blame? Can anyone find fault with her? She initiates a lot of slander and puts thoughts in minds where she should leave things alone. It is completely shameful what this woman does.

    Karen, where is your bravery? If the issues you write about truly strike at your heart and grieve you to the core, why don’t you go to Stacy’s house, knock on the door, and have a face-to-face. Disregard any presuppositions such as: “They won’t let me in,” “I need a witness,” etc. Just go. And while you’re going, head to R.C.’s place and discuss this with him and Denise. Get to the bottom of it, for goodness’ sake. If you’re truly this upset, how can you sleep at night?

    End this tireless rhetoric — deal with it and move on. Karen, the burden is on YOU. You are the accuser and sustainer of this ungodly platform. Be brave — show yourself to be a person of real integrity. Close your blogs. End them with decency and godliness.

    Finally, if you must ask a question like:

    “HS, I don’t know what you are asking from me.”

    do you really have the skills to monitor a blog? A specific, direct question was put to you. You can’t figure it out? This is the old red herring, isn’t it?

  • thatmom says:

    So, HS, are you saying that if I were to post the documentation from the RPCGA on this blog that you would accept it as fact?

  • HS says:

    I’ll accept it as the RPCGA’s side of the story. Additionally, you’ll need documentation from RC and McDonald in order to hear their facts. Then you’ll be working from an unbiased and “fair” angle.

    What would make you completely trusting of the RPCGA? I mean, aren’t you the person who really knows her stuff, checks things out, thinks critically, and sees straight through baloney? If so, you ought to know that we cannot possibly put all of our faith in one side of the story. In order to make objective and informed decisions, we must hear the whole side of the story.

    If McDonald or RC won’t give their side of the story, then you’re obligated to drop it because you can’t state a case with only one side.

    Karen, you tire me! Leave it alone! Talk about laundry, back porches, or recipes, but get off of slander.

    FYI…I’m out for the rest of the day. Maybe you can take a lunch break.

  • Cindy K says:

    Cynthia Gee,

    Don’t you know that “those who are more equal than others” don’t have to offer proof? They only have to call names or sling mud. They are above the law.

    In the New Church Order, spiritual leaders all get a free pass. It’s no different than a Roman Catholic denying the Pope — it makes you no longer Catholic and worthy of excommunication. And that’s okay if you’re Roman Catholic and want to be Roman Catholic, but we are talking about Protestants and those who specifically claim to be Reformed to boot. As underlings, we are just required to bear whatever pejorative they throw out at us, even if there is a staggering amount of evidence that demonstrates that the underlings are right. You can’t question the SACRED SCIENCE and DOCTRINE OVER PERSON requires that the facts be rewritten.

    So CG, your asking for this anonymous “HS” to “pony up with proof” isn’t valid because they are above such things. They are speaking on behalf of the Holy Fathers of Patriocentricity. They don’t have to pony up with anything but name calling, the clarion call of the patrocentrist. They don’t play fair. They don’t debate. If they can’t squelch criticism or eliminate it, they hurl mud to contain the bad press. They can try to poison the well. Basically, all they have in their corner is propaganda techiniques and logical fallacy.

    Frankly, with the weight of information online that documents the dirty deeds of so many patriocentrists (and notice how they flock together, close ranks and circle wagons), anyone who listens to them is a fool. So whoever HS is (if it’s not McDonald or an agent thereof), they need to look at the host of documentation. Read that Prairie Muffin thread. Read the Visionary Daughters thread. Google, google, google away. If people want to go to churches with leadership that trains followers in militia skylls, has members that hate race mixing, loves slavery and male hegemony, then more power to them! If they start to have doubts and wonder why RC, Jr’s church seems more Roman Catholic than the Roman Catholic church, then they know where they can go to read to ask questions and find answers.

    And if a few cries of “gossip” (oh, how old and tired) scare them off, then God help them. And I believe that He will.

  • thatmom says:

    HS, if you were to read that documentation, which is appears you have not, R.C. Sproul Jr. admitted to the charges handed down by the RPCGA. So essentially, their defrocking of him was based on his own testimony.

    HS, if I tire you, I suggest you find another place to spend your time online. There are lots of places where you will find your views confirmed. The beauty of the internet is that there is a place for each of us!

    Peace, sister.

  • thatmom says:

    Cindy, thanks to you, we are all so much better able to identify these things as they come our direction!

    God bless you as your very important ministry to the Body continues!

  • Lynn says:

    So CG, your asking for this anonymous “HS” to “pony up with proof” isn’t valid because they are above such things.

    It’s I who said that, and it’s perfectly valid, because they are the only ones who think they are above such things, and in truth they are not above such requirements. ;-)

    But I get your drift. This conversation is going to become a humdinger because they think they are above what is usual, customary, and reasonable behavior.

    I’ve been unable to hear the podcasts, btw, because this computer can’t play the mp3 files for some reason.

  • Lynn says:

    Yeah, Karen, I was upset at first to read when Sproul Jr or someone first posted somewehre that the actions against him too place “without a trial” and (gasp) without even a “conversation.”

    But there had to have been some kind of conversation., because he admitted to guilt of the charges brought against him. And when that happens, as has been pointed out, there isn’t need of a trial. Because by your own witness against yourself you declare yourself guilty.

  • Lynn says:

    There is a larger issue here which has been hinted at in some of the comments above.

    Why, when undergoing discipline of any kind, do these men who preach submission submission submission to us women not model it themselves?

  • Lynn says:

    Karen, you tire me! Leave it alone! Talk about laundry, back porches, or recipes, but get off of slander.

    Ah, the second accusation that Karen is spreading falsehoods, saying because you don’t believe the evidence she has provided, therefore she IS slandering. Which IS an accusation.

    . . . . . . It’s LIBEL, number one, NOT slander, and you are illogical, number two, with your version of the argument from ignorance.

    You would have been fine if you had simply said you don’t believe what she has posted, despite linking to sites where there are pdf files right from the church’s moderator explaining why the four men were deposed. That you need more evidence before you believe it. But to claim she is committing libel because you don’t think she has provided proof is fallacious.

  • sarah says:

    I wonder how much of HS’s response to Karen is a gender bias. “Go back to laundry” “bitter housewives,” etc. God forbid, a Christian woman who thinks and evaluates using the scripture as a guide. I can imagine these lovely anonymous patriarchs even question our salvation, since we’re all so clearly outside our proper place as ladies.

    I am surprised by the absence of men in the home school movement standing up to confront the patriocentric cancer that I believe will result in widespread regulation of the home school movement. Mark my words: Patriocentricity is a malignant disease that will destroy home schooling as we know it. Not to mention the individual lives it has already ravaged.

  • Cindy K says:

    About what evidence is believable:

    From John 12, after a voice spoke from heaven for all to hear saying that Jesus had been glorified and that it would be done again:

    41These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.

    42Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:

    43For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

    From Matthew 28 when the Risen Savior appears to the disciples:

    16Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.

    17And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.

    Mark 16:

    9Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.

    10And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept.

    11And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.

    12After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.

    13And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them.

    14Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.

    Luke 24:51, describing this same scene, says that they watched Jesus get taken up into heaven.

    If these who knew Jesus and were there and saw with Him with their own eyes would not believe, does anyone really expect that this “HS” will choose to believe anything that is posted here on this site? That’s a huge problem for the Patriarchy movement — the followers are trained to only consider “approved sources” and fear that they will sully themselves with information from sources that they deem as unpure. We could have the Lord of Glory Himself write a blog post with His own finger and it would be called falsified. People did the same thing with Jesus Himself, watching Him ascend up into heaven and hearing the voice of God speak from heaven, yet disbelieving him out of the hardness of their hearts.

    If a person has predetermined in their heart that RC Sproul, Jr. is a godly man and above reproach, then they will find a way to discredit and rationalize any information to the contrary away through discrediting either the information or the source. They will try to remove it from view. If they cant remove it, they will try to make it off limits through fear mongering. If they are very threatened, they will discredit the source by using the propaganda technique of “poisoning the well” so that people who do not do their research will not trust the information that comes from the well. It is ridiculous then for “HS” to say that if something is “Cut and pasted” from elsewhere that it will be more believable. It is a game. It is a tactic that hopes that they can cast enough doubt in the minds of some who will read this so that the information looks tainted.

    The people who watched Jesus ascend into heaven and doubted or those who saw Him risen from the dead and doubted had scales on their eyes so that they could not see what was in front of them. They denied that Jesus was risen from the dead in their hearts. We are the same way when we hold to some idol in our hearts as we will find a way to deny the truth, clapping our hands over our eyes and our ears in some way. The amazing power and talent of the mind is not our ability to realize things but the remarkable ability that we have to deceive ourselves and sheild ourselves from that which disturbs us. If our favorite Bible teacher is above reproach in our hearts and has become an idol, then without the intervention of the Holy Spirit, then our evil hearts and corrupt minds will find a way to preserve them in that place of idolatry. In what is well meant as love and faithfulness for our friends and leaders, we can find a million ways to deny the truth in order to honor them. But we are all men.

    Lord God, please move on us by the Holy Spirit to open the eyes and the ears of our understanding to see the truth, more and more. Lead us and guide us into all truth. Give us the spiritual discernment, that which the natural man lacks, so that we can discern what you reveal to us. This comes not through the efforts of man or his wisdom but through the wisdom of the Holy Spirit alone. Let us recognize Your appearing in our daily lives, and bless us with profound wisdom to recognize when you have not appeared. Quicken us to readily recognize bad fruit and bad behavior in leadership. Give us the courage to declare the truth and do what we need to do to honor you according to your Word and not according to the wisdom and dictates of spiritual abusers. Amen, Amen and Amen~

  • Julie says:

    If I remember from my collegiate debate days, what we have going on here is an ad hominem attack: you attack the character of the person rather than her arguments or proofs because you don’t want to admit that you’ve lost the debate.

    I’m thinking if HS, who apparently LOVES this attention, is going to resort to these kinds of attacks, all the while denying the primary source Karen has provided with the click of a mouse, then perhaps no one should respond to her/him,/whoever this is.

  • Cindy K says:

    Sorry Lynn. I guess I quoted Cynthia Gee quoting you in an earlier post. I launched off the most recent post…

    The sacred science stuff and the doctrine over person is listed on my blog and my website, both. You can read each one of Lifton’s techinques alone from the tag, or you can read it all in the updated “Is My Church Abusive” under the Spiritual Abuse section at UnderMuchGrace.com.

    The sacred science is one of the eight characteristics/ techniques that Robert Lifton identified as hallmark signs of ideological totalism (or spiritual abuse or cultic manipulation). The doctrine and the leadership are far above reproach and cannot be questioned. Even asking simple, honest questions results in punishment or some other type of negative consequence, and one is labeled “unsubmissive” or a troublemaker. One of the paramount unwritten rules is that you can never question, doubt or criticize the leader or the doctrine. It’s just as true in cults as it is in churches as it is in fascist regimes.

    The Doctrine Over Person essentially requires that everything conform to the group and the Sacred Science. People will even re-write their lives and their histories to fit the group or the immediate expectation. It is accomplished by taking advantage of our human nature, our desire to conform to both authority and groups and our willingness to believe and our created nature to worship. One of the examples that I offered in the podcast was that of everyone saying that they were feminists and repenting of being one. Without the framing and the redefining of this ambiguous concept of “Christian feminism” that they then say does not exist, I don’t think that it would occur to people that they were ever actually feminists to start with. They may have been in sin or negectful of their homes, or wearers of blue jeans or not submissive to their husbands, but they were not Betty Friedan, NOW and NARAL members and abortion activists that hate men. They likely never wanted to be church elders or thought they should be. They likely never wanted to teach men or be preachers. They just didn’t buy into the Prairie Muffin kitsch. But not buying into the Prairie Muffin kitsch is tantamount to being a feminist, so they repent.

  • Lin says:

    HS,

    We would love to hear their side of the story. Why not start with McDonalds ordination in the SBC. Where? When?

    And then progress onto why Sproul admitted guilt when he wasn’t (according to you).

    Someone hit the nail on the head when they said how they preach submission to everyone else UNDER them but it does NOT apply to themselves.

    Everything we have discussed is public information. None of it is private. They are public teachers who promote themselves as such. You must have thought Paul was in sin when he rebuked Peter publicly for eating with the Jews. Or, perhaps John was in sin for publicly rebuking Diotrephes in a letter for all to read for 2000 years. Neither one was approached privately first. So, I guess, according to you, that was gossip.

  • Irene says:

    Karen, I had to comment to say that I appreciate how you responded to the comments by HS.

    You responded with GREAT grace; your answers were patient, sensible, unemotional, not hysterical, and kept pointing back to the facts. This despite the onslaught of accusations (and insults?).

    I think anyone reading here would be quick to see the difference in TONE of the two voices.

  • Irene says:

    ‘If McDonald or RC won’t give their side of the story, then you’re obligated to drop it because you can’t state a case with only one side.’

    I’m sorry, but I have to ask:
    Says who?

    Is there a Biblical principle I’m not aware of?

    Or some universal principle of justice that’s at play here?

    I think the statement quoted above is similar to saying:

    Hypothetical scenario
    A man was accused of a crime in the light of certain evidence, he refuses to respond to the accusation, and so we’re obligated to drop the issue altogether.

    Why would we do that? Does his silence compel us to believe he’s innocent? Or does his silence in some way forbid people from presenting the evidence that points to his crime?

    If the quoted statement were true, all wrongdoers would be able to escape the consequences of their wrongdoing by simply refusing to respond.

    I’m REALLY glad that most legal systems do not function in this way.

  • Cynthia Gee says:

    “Sorry Lynn. I guess I quoted Cynthia Gee quoting you in an earlier post. I launched off the most recent post…”

    It was Lynn who asked HS to “pony up with the proof”; I only asked him/her, “HS, who are you? It’s OK to use your real name here, we don’t sue people over differences of opinion.”

    But so far, HS has offered us neither proof nor identity.
    I think that we scared him away.

  • Cindy K says:

    Hey Karen,

    I don’t know what you’re talking about with me having a ministry.

    I’m just a chick with a computer and a brain.

  • thatmom says:

    Sarah, I had assumed that HS was a woman but you are probably correct that HS is a man. I can’t imagine a woman mocking laundry! :)

  • Corrie says:

    Hey, Karen.

    What if I defrock you and you depose me? Then we could start our own Presbytery.

    It even rhymes! ;-)

    Truly, I think the HS’s suggestion to defrock you is a great one. These same people ignore the very church discipline they claim to love. Really, it is a cleverly diabolical system. They claim to have power, they take on the mantle of pastor and then they ignore their own discipline. It sounds rather corrupt, if you ask me.

    Being defrocked is nothing and as we can see by our Kool-Aid drinking friend, HS, it is really a non-issue and even documents from the church body that did the defrocking don’t even count as proof.

    HS, who are you? Are you calling the RPCGA liars? Are you saying that those documents are fabricated? Where is the proof of what you are saying?

    What is the flavor this week, HS?

  • Corrie says:

    Lynn,

    I have an answer for you on why these men who don’t practice submission and obedience preach submission, submission, submission to females. This is a very good question and one that H.S. would do well to ponder in between her baskets of laundry.

    Matthew 23

    Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2″The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4They tie up heavy loads and put them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.
    5″Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries[a] wide and the tassels on their garments long; 6they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them ‘Rabbi.’

    8″But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. 9And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ.[b] 11The greatest among you will be your servant. 12For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

    13″Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.[c]

    15″Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.

    16″Woe to you, blind guides! You say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’ 17You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred? 18You also say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gift on it, he is bound by his oath.’ 19You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? 20Therefore, he who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. 21And he who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells in it. 22And he who swears by heaven swears by God’s throne and by the one who sits on it.

    23″Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.

    25″Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.

    27″Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. 28In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.

    29″Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. 30And you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our forefathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. 32Fill up, then, the measure of the sin of your forefathers!

    33″You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? 34Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. 35And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36I tell you the truth, all this will come upon this generation.

    37″O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. 38Look, your house is left to you desolate. 39For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’[d]“

  • Corrie says:

    “If McDonald or RC won’t give their side of the story, then you’re obligated to drop it because you can’t state a case with only one side.”

    LOL! H.S., thanks for making me laugh today!

    When one person doesn’t give their side of the story and does not answer some pretty basic questions, I consider them to be full of it.

    Where do YOU get your logic from? Basically, your “logic” nullifies any attempt at holding any false teacher, wolf or sheister accountable.

    We might as well just get rid of the door to the sheepfold if we are going to see things your way.

    Karen,

    Think back….

    Who called you a coward not too long ago? Who does H.S. sound like?

    Same old stuff.

    Hopefully H.S. will come back here and reason logically and actually add something to the discussion. It seems he/she thinks she knows something about the whole defrocking/deposing/ordination business. Why not enlighten us dullards?

  • Cindy K says:

    Karen, I forgot to comment on this but will do so today…

    From HS

    “Maybe Karen should be defrocked from being “thatmom” or from her TW site. Is she without blame? Can anyone find fault with her? She initiates a lot of slander and puts thoughts in minds where she should leave things alone. It is completely shameful what this woman does.

    Karen, where is your bravery? “

    I wanted to offer this as an excellent example of one of Cialdini’s “Weapons of Influence,” specifically that of consistency.

    As a function of how we are put together as human beings, we like to behave in a way that causes others to agree with our own opinions about ourselves. I like to think of myself as a loving Christian who out of love for Jesus who gave Himself for me seeks to honor Him and His name, and part of that is obeying God’s law. So here, “HS” (not to be confused with the Holy Spirit) accuses Karen of being pious herself because she has drawn rightful attention to how RC Sproul and how James McDonald have failed to live up to Paul’s and James’ mandates for Christian leaders and teachers and elders in the Church. Knowing that Karen likes to think of herself as a loving Christian who is, in fact, not pious at all, HS is hoping that she can bait Karen into a pointless argument so that Karen will try to demonstrate that she is who she is, as well as the person she hopes to present to the world in the name of Christ. So this is an attempt to manipulate Karen through the weapon of consistency. Those who are insecure about themselves are easily drawn into these kind of pointless “red herring” debates (as then the focus gets drawn away from the main issue that RC, Jr and JMcD are spiritual abusers like a hunting dog getting thrown off the scent trail with a smelly fish). But Karen knows exactly who she is in Christ because this esteem comes from the Holy Spirit and from her knowledge and faith in the Word of God, not from the esteem of “HS,” RC, Jr or the McD’s.

    So Karen can easily resist this technique, because she’s familiar with how this kind of manipulation works. She knows how to resist the bait.

    The rest of the comments here work in the very same way. A good Christian wants to be brave. If someone tells them that they are not, they might be baited into proving that they are brave by doing what the manipulator wants. Accusations of slander do the very same thing. Karen hasn’t slandered anyone, but if the manipulator can bait Karen into getting into a peripheral argument wherein Karen tries to disprove the claims, the main issue goes unaddressed. But Karen knows that she’s not guilty of libel or slander or gossip because she knows that she’s being obedient to the Word by exposing these false teachers and men whose unrighteous deeds disqualify them from the position of authority that they claim.

    It amounts to a child crying “Na, na, na, na, na, na!” (Or “Nanny, nanny, boo, boo!” as they say in Baltimore.)

    Resisting the Weapon of Consistency from Philip Zimbardo’s website (his summary from Cialdini’s book):

    - To resist this principle, learn to recognize and resist undue influence of consistency pressures on compliance decisions

    - Do not be pressured into accepting requests that you do not want to perform and disregard unjust or falsely obtained initial commitments, however small they seem initially

    - Be sensitive to situational variables operating on your decision, separate them from personal variables, external forces on the compliance from internal forces to justify it.

  • Cindy K says:

    Forgot to give credit where credit is due:

    Thank you, HS, for providing such an excellent example of Cialdini’s weapon of Consistency as an object lesson in spiritual abuse.

    Did you get your pointers from James McDonald? His college degree is in marketing (something I learned from the RPCGA). So James is a trained salesmen and salesmen are trained in how to use “Weapons of Influence” to make a sale. It also works in the selling of ideas.

    For great info on this, go to my website or blog. Go to UnderMuchGrace.com, select “Resisting Manipulation” from the bottom of the menu and then click on Cialdini. It will route you to Zimbardo’s summary of Cialdini’s sales techniques and will give you an idea of what he has to say in his book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.”

    This is all about sales. The sale of books, magazines, image, and an ideology that keeps you in need of the high priesthood of patriocentricity to tell you which items will get you and keep you in that gnostic, higher way to glory. Don’t be like those filthy, pragmatic big tent homeschoolers — be like us — we’re a cut above.

    I would advise that everyone buy the truth and sell it not!

  • Jack Brooks says:

    Ignore HS. It’s just a Gothard-esque trick to bully people into shutting up. Someone who refers to a public report, a report that is readily available on the Internet as well as available upon request from sources such as a state AG office, or the RPCUSA headquarters, isn’t ethically obligated to completely re-create the paper trail. It would take forever to do if you tried to (so you would give up, which is what these guys want), and if you don’t they crow about how victimized they are. Your readers are adults. We can decide for ourselves if we agree with your agreements or disagreements.

  • thatmom says:

    Pastor Brooks,

    Thanks for your encouraging words. And thanks for the reminder that we ARE adults. It really doesn’t take much effort to find all the documentation and I have found that the RPCGA has been very helpful and willing to answer any questions I have ever asked of them regarding Sproul Jr., James McDonald, etc.

    Oh, and welcome to my blog!

  • thatmom says:

    Dave,

    Welcome to my blog.

    I saw that tape a while back and it was too painful to watch. I have heard first hand testimony by those who have fellowshipped with Sproul Jr. and witnessed the intoxication. I have also watched men I had considered to, at one time, be Godly church leaders, follow Sproul Jr.s example and lead many others astray in their drunkenness. I once asked a church elder who had told us that abstaining from alcohol was far worse than drunkenness to define “merry.” I asked him where “merry” leaves off and “tipsy” begins and he couldn’t answer me. I have heard testimonies from moms whose young sons became addicted to alcohol through the influence of Sproul Jr. and others. Why are these men still elders? Scripture clearly teaches that an elder must not feel that he always must have his alcohol nearby, yet these men cannot seem to do that, as it is always a topic of discussion and they cannot eat a meal without alcohol being served.

    When my husband and I chose to abstain from alcohol so as not be a stumbling block to others, it was a personal decision and we have never tried to force it on anyone else. But we have been strong-armed, belittled, and even church disciplined for our stance. The truth is that these men are using the word “merry” to define getting a buzz. Just this weekend I saw a billboard warning drivers that getting a buzz before driving is, in fact, drunk driving. If the government can say this, why can’t the church also teach this?

    I look at that tape of Sproul Jr. and weep for the families who will see their fathers, mothers, and children follow his example and bring shame on the name of Jesus.

  • concerned says:

    “I am surprised by the absence of men in the home school movement standing up to confront the patriocentric cancer that I believe will result in widespread regulation of the home school movement. Mark my words: Patriocentricity is a malignant disease that will destroy home schooling as we know it. Not to mention the individual lives it has already ravaged.”

    I totally agree with this statement. Our local homeschool groups have been so influenced by this. I’ve given up and joined the liberal hippy homeschoolers. I would rather have my children around people who don’t mention Jesus than to be around people who tell them lies about Jesus.

  • thatmom says:

    Concerned, you are absolutely correct. I shudder at how the patriocentric teachings manifest themselves in the lives of children. I have witnessed some of this and am sorry my own children had to experience mistreatment at the hands of those who have been thus programmed.

  • Webfoot says:

    I thought it had some interesting information. I don’t think that the guy is supporting Sproul. It’s just another link.

    I’m not sure what to think. The whole thing looks like a mess.

    It may be a “big deal.” It may not be. You know that I don’t buy into the extreme anti-patriocentric rhetoric, but everyone is free to make up their own minds.

    I am not a Patriarchalist myself, but I like a lot of what I see. Even though I strongly disagree with the extreme anti-patrio position, your work does help people make informed decisions about their families.

    I think that you folks go overboard, but that is your right. You feel passionately about it, and there is nothing wrong with that.

    Take care, okay?

    God bless,
    Mrs. Webfoot

  • shadowspring says:

    concerned wrote:
    “I totally agree with this statement. Our local homeschool groups have been so influenced by this. I’ve given up and joined the liberal hippy homeschoolers. I would rather have my children around people who don’t mention Jesus than to be around people who tell them lies about Jesus.”

    I am so stunned to read these words that I could have written myself. =)

    I have been homeschooling for thirteen years. Five years ago I moved from one Southern state to another, and it seemed as if I had stepped back in time. I visited many home school support groups in my new state and it appeared to me that they were all trying to recreate some sort of antebellum lifestyle that was only available to wealthy slave-owners back in the day. It was all very strange!

    One church we visited was made up of only home school families, and only a certain type of home school family. And again, I thought I had just moved to a very strange, very unhealthy place.

    It appears now that I just moved about the same time as the patriocentric movement was taking root in the home school community.

    I love the way you put it, concerned! I am so with you on this. =)

  • thatmom says:

    “Even though I strongly disagree with the extreme anti-patrio position, your work does help people make informed decisions about their families.”

    Mrs. Webfoot,

    I wanted to comment on this statement.

    I do not hold to an “extreme anti-patrio position.” If you would listen to the series of podcasts I did on patriocentricity, you would most likely place me in a traditional complementarian camp, though I eschew that label because it is claimed by those who believe that only men/fathers have callings from the Lord, a position with which I strongly disagree.

    The patriocentrists have pulled everyone further to the right on the patriarchy continuum and point at those of us who aren’t on their end of the swinging pendulum, labeling us white washed feminists, feministas, Titus 2 lesbians, or whatever name they choose to call us this week. But in reality I am in the same place I was nearly 35 years ago, as I prepared to get married and sat through marriage counseling with our pastor. I am not the one who has moved. In our home, we all serve one another, encourage each other’s spiritual gifts, all of us together seeking to serve Christ with those gifts.

    All the discussion within the patriocentric camp about this role and that role clouds the issues immensely. Rather than each person growing in Christ and ministering to each other as led by the Holy Spirit, the over emphasis on each person doing their proper “role” becomes a stumbling block to ministry both within the home and the church. Since the patriocentrists continue to add new things to their ever growing lists of role playing requirements, instead of families working together and ministering through evangelism, they are expected to adjust what they do to “the list” for each role, none of which are so defined in Scripture.

    One of the most recent concerns I have is this emphasis on fathers quitting jobs and working at home so they can assume the “role” of teacher for their sons. I have already addressed this concern other places on this blog and present the true Biblical perspective and examples on this podcast:

    http://thatmom.wordpress.com/2007/07/21/july-20-podcast/

    The patriocentrists are forever updating their “list” and people are making life-changing and sometimes disastrous decisions because they are told these choices are “biblical” or “more wise.”

    It is shameful.

  • thatmom says:

    shadowspring,

    you have astutely identified one of the most insidious aspects of this movement. There most definitely IS a glorification of the antebellum south. In my articles on the Family Integrated Church movement, I share the influence this sort of thinking and teaching has had within the homeschooling community. The last straw for our family was hearing one of the church leaders say “The Klan has done some good things.” Reminds me of those who are now praising Dr. Tiller, the late-term abortionist who was wrongly killed over the weekend.

    Here are those articles:

    http://thatmom.com/articles/article-fic.htm

    If you haven’t yet looked into the worst aspects of this, I would encourage you to google “kinism” or “kinist movement.” Nearly all of those involved in this group are homeschoolers and, in fact, one of the founders was welcomed into the membership of a church pastored by homeschooling leaders without any public confession of these horrible teachings.

    There is a lot under the hood to this movement, as Voddie’s recent video proved.

  • thatmom says:

    shadowspring,

    Here is another link I came across that I had forgotten had been posted here a couple years ago when the visionary Daughters podcasts were aired.

    http://cicministry.org/scholarly/sch001.htm

    This is an analysis of the reconstructionist teachings that undergird the patriocentric movement and it includes some of the pro-slavery rhetoric.

  • shadowspring says:

    Two thirds of the way through this document it seems plain to me that the aims of the Reconstructionists are the same as the aims of the Islamists.

    One would use the Bible and its Old Testament laws as legally binding on nations and thus the nation would be “Christian”.

    Islamists would use the Koran and its set of Sharia laws to be legally binding on nations and thus the nation would be Muslim.

    Scary stuff!

    Actually, we came across an economics book at a home school convention that proposes this theory. We have kept the book in our library only to drag it out as an example of blatant propaganda, full of vilification of opposing viewpoints, name-calling and logical fallacies. It is written in comic book form to appeal to children.

    Who knew any thinking Christian would take this stuff seriously?

  • Keith says:

    “R. C. Sproul Jr., the unrepentant and defrocked pastor from Bristol, Tennessee”

    That’s a label that’s stuck to him like Superglue. Hasn’t it been over four years since he was defrocked? But even still that’s all anyone can remember about him. That and many other bad things. He could shake it though. All it would take is repentance. It’s tragic to see someone who professes Jesus as their Savior be so proud of himself (like he even has anything to be proud of) and hard hearted toward others. It could bring so much healing to so many if he were to ever repent, but we may never see it happen.

    The stories that continue coming out of Bristol of RC Sproul Jr’s abuses are terrible. He continues stumbling weaker brethren with his abuses of alcohol (read the comments below the article too).

    Since entering the CREC, RC Sproul Jr has only become even more of a spiritual bully with his excommunicating and shunning. “In fact since being refrocked by the CREC he’s ‘disciplined’ (excommunicated and shunned) even far more St. Peter Presbyterian Church members than he did even before his defrocking. At last count it was up to eight families ‘disciplined’ for ‘contumacy’.”

    By this point I can’t “weep for the quenchers.” I weep for all those whom RC Sproul Jr and his cadre of spiritual thugs continue to abuse.

  • Alice says:

    This is very interesting. One just wonders in this day of all of us having a voice why more people don’t use the internet to at least share their experiences with churches, or teachers. I noticed that Sovereign Grace has taken a beating online, and even if I read it and assume it’s “sour grapes” I appreciate the feedback (as long it’s completely truthful, which we can’t always be 100% sure of online). I believe it keeps a teacher accountable, and that’s something we didn’t always have. Sure it’s a pain for a pastor to see his teachings ripped apart, or his private sins publicly aired, but if they are sincere about the word of God they would view it as an opportunity to clean up their act, or for iron to sharpen iron. I smile thinking of Martin Luther with a keyboard and the internet. What a debate he would have had on his blog!

    I am just so grateful for the First Amendment that gives us the right to speak out. This is probably on my mind more lately because I fear my daughter was injured by a doctor and I often dwell on whether or not I want to go public. I hear I will regret it if I do, but then again I tend to think it’s a public service to share if you feel a doctor (or teacher) is negligent (realizing the warnings that the hospital he works for has lawyers who will make my life miserable). I think about this topic a lot, and tend to admire the courage it takes to speak the truth. And how to encourage others to keep speaking it without fear (that I, ironically, tend to bend to, and I then I am greatly bothered at my own hesitancy).

    The question that rolls around my brain is just how valuable the truth is, and whether or not to disregard any fear that screams louder than the love of the truth.

    God bless, Alice

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"In today's homeschooling world, you can find all sorts of formulas and prescriptions. If you just follow the correct method, your children will grow up to live godly lives, and they will always make family (including you) their priority. In this book, Karen Campbell gives you the real story. Homeschooling and parenting are not about formulas and prescriptions. They are about relationships. Weaving together Scripture, her own successes and failures, and her observations of the homeschooling world, Karen provides a wealth of wisdom for the homeschooling parent. If you want a formula, this book is not for you. If you want honest wisdom that will aid you in your homeschooling journey, this book is exactly what you are looking for!" – Dr. Jay Wile, PhD, speaker and author of the popular "Exploring Creation with" series of textbooks.
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truth from the Word
"Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Psalm 73: 25-26
more truth from the Word
"Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." ~ Ephesians 4:32
William Carey says:
"Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter."
Tim Keller says:
"God’s love and forgiveness can pardon and restore any and every kind of sin or wrongdoing. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done. It doesn’t matter if you’ve deliberately oppressed or even murdered people, or how much you’ve abused yourself… There is no evil that the Father’s love cannot pardon and cover, there is no sin that is a match for his grace." ~ Tim Keller
Tim Keller also says:
“The Christian gospel is that I am so flawed that Jesus had to die for me, yet I am so loved and valued that Jesus was glad to die for me. This leads to deep humility and deep confidence at the same time. It undermines both swaggering and sniveling. I cannot feel superior to anyone, and yet I have nothing to prove to anyone. I do not think more of myself nor less of myself. Instead, I think of myself less.” ! Tim Keller in The Reason for God.
Oswald Chambers says:
"If we simply preach the effects of redemption in the human life instead of the revealed, divine truth regarding Jesus Himself, the result is not new birth in those who listen. The result is a refined religious lifestyle, and the Spirit of God cannot witness to it because such preaching is in a realm other than His." ~ Oswald Chambers
Phillip E. Johnson says:
“When pressed in interviews to name my heroes, I have spontaneously responded that they are homeschooling mothers! To me, the heroic mothers who nurture the next generation of faithful Christians are among the leaders of the church.” ~ Phillip E. Johnson
John Stonestreet says:
“C.S. Lewis said that for every new book we read, we ought to read three old ones. But I think for every latest, greatest new homeschooling book you read, go find three old homeschooling moms and ask them what happened and what worked.” ~ John Stonestreet
Carolyn Custis James says:
“The power of our theology comes alive when we take the truth personally. Holding God at arm’s length—no matter how much theology we think we know—will never make us great theologians. We have to learn to write our own names into the plot. God will always be the subject of our theological sentences but our sentences are incomplete until we make ourselves the direct objects of his attributes…..Simply knowing a lot of theological ideas, no matter how orthodox and sound they are, will never turn us into great theologians. Theology isn’t really theology for us until we live it. Not until we learn to make explicit connections between what we know about God and the race we are running will we taste the transforming power of our theology. Fixing our eyes on Jesus means reminding ourselves of all that He is to us now. He brings meaning to our routines and energizes us to tackle the difficult tasks at hand. Fixing our eyes on Jesus gives us hope to offer disheartened husbands and hurting friends, and the wisdom we need to raise children who will fix their eyes on Him, too.” ~ from Carolyn Custis James in When Life and Beliefs Collide
Anne Ortlund says:
“So what do we do to encourage them to grow inwardly, to become resourceful and creative, to think, to meditate, to lay the foundation for growing up well? Don’t push, but affirm them! Give them the sense that all is well, that their rate of progress is acceptable to you, that you like them just the way they are…..Guide them but be delighted in them. Let them know that life is to be reached for and drunk of deeply…..Enthusiastic, that’s how you want them to grow up! The word comes from “en Theo,” or “in God.” Support them with words of faith, hope, and love, and in that framework “in God,” they’ll be ready to tackle everything. Fears and cautions are built in at an early age but so is courage! Tomorrow’s world will be different if your child has been released to experiment, to risk, to lead others, to pursue righteousness, to be an affecter for good in society, to go courageously after God.” ~ Anne Ortlund in Children Are Wet Cement
J.C Ryle says:
"Kindness, gentleness, long-suffering, forbearance, patience, sympathy, a willingness to enter into childish troubles, a readiness to take part in childish joys, these are the cords by which a child may be led most easily, these are the clues you must follow if you would find the way to his heart." ~ J. C. Ryle in The Upper Room
Clay Clarkson says:
“Many Christian parents, myself included, tend to speak to children as though they were Pharisees. We can speak harshly and with judgment, implying by our manner that their hearts are hard and resistant. But this attitude is not justified by Scripture. There is no record of Jesus ever speaking to a a child in a harsh tone. When the Gospels record Him speaking to a child, it is always with gentleness. Our children are not our adversaries. Though our children’s hearts are corrupted by sin, they are not hardened sinners who have made conscious choices to reject the Savior. Our children are simply immature and childish. That’s why children need love and compassion, not harshness and guilt.” ~ Clay Clarkson in Heartfelt Discipline
Tim Kimmel says:
“Grace can’t be some abstract concept that you talk about in your home. It has to be a real-time action that ultimately imprints itself in your children’s hearts. To talk about grace, sing about grace, and have our children memorize verses about grace – but not give them specific gifts of grace – is to undermine God’s words of grace in their hearts. Grace means that God not only loves them but that He loves them uniquely and specially. The primary way to give our children grace is to offer it in place of our selfish preferences.” ~ Tim Kimmel in Grace-Based Parenting
Chuck Swindoll says:
"You want to mess up the minds of your children? Here's how - guaranteed! Rear them in a legalistic, tight context of external religion, where performance is more important than reality. Fake your faith. Sneak around and pretend your spirituality. Train your children to do the same. Embrace a long list of do's and don'ts publicly but hypocritically practice them privately...yet never own up to the fact that its hypocrisy. Act one way but live another. And you can count on it - emotional and spiritual damage will occur. "
Kathy Thile says:
"I say this gently, as the parent of grown kids, knowing *insert parenting guru* is also the parent of grown kids: we have wonderful children — he does, I’m sure — and so do I. But without even knowing his children I can know this about them: they are not perfect. They hurt. They make mistakes. They struggle. They are prideful and overly simplistic at times; and crippled by shame and hesitancy at others. Yes — they are beautiful examples of human beings, his children (I assume), and mine (I know.) But they are not perfect. If they were, they would not be human. If it were possible to raise children to perfection, then God would have sent a parenting method, not Jesus. Our marching orders are not to raise our children by a method to be like *insert parenting guru* children. Our marching orders are to be Christians to and with our children." ~ Kathy Thile
Anna Quindlen says:
“The biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make while doing this. I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of the three of them sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4 and 1. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less." ~ Anna Quindlen
Winston Churchill says:
“My education was interrupted only by my schooling." ~ Winston Churchill
John Taylor Gatto says:
"The shocking possibility that dumb people don’t exist in sufficient numbers to warrant the millions of careers devoted to tending them will seem incredible to you. Yet that is my central proposition: the mass dumbness which justifies official schooling first had to be dreamed of; it isn’t real." ~ John Taylor Gatto
Fred Rogers say:
“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” ~ Fred Rogers
thatmom says
"The truth is that the way a marriage becomes truly heavenly is for each husband and each wife to pursue, really pursue, a relationship with Jesus Christ, to commit to obey the Word of God, to set aside each of their own agendas and paradigms, and then as they walk in the Holy Spirit, as they are sanctified, a little at a time each day, they will grow closer to one another. Godly wisdom will manifest itself in purity, peace, gentleness, mercy, a willingness to submit to one another, the fruits of the spirit, and no role-playing (the true meaning of hypocrisy). (James 3:17)" ~ thatmom
thatmom says:
"We need to approach our children not as character projects, but rather, we must see them with hearts of sympathy, with compassion and understanding, and with ears that listen. You see, homeschooling is not about lesson plans and research papers and standardized tests. Homeschooling is about building a relationship with our children, friendships that will last our entire lives on earth and clear into eternity. Homeschooling is merely the tool whereby we build those relationships." ~ thatmom
thatmom knows:
As a homeschooling mom, I have realized that everything, ultimately, is outside of my own control. I have learned that the unique circumstances that happen in my family have occurred because God’s plan is so much bigger than my own. It is knowing this truth about God and in experiencing that truth with those in my home that has enabled us to face past challenges and that will prepare us for all those difficulties that still lie before us.
thatmom realizes:
If I think about 37 years of marriage, times the number of loads of laundry I have done for 2 parents, 6 children and 1 grandma, I am amazed to know that I have washed, dried, folded, (sometimes ironed) and put away roughly 27,526 loads of laundry. That is over 215,000 socks! Or, in that same amount of time, provided 38,324 meals for a family and sometimes guests. Or that I have overseen nearly 21,500 hours of education of one sort or another during that time. Just thinking of these numbers takes my breath away. ~ thatmom
thatmom says:
"Real books from the library, a tub of art supplies, being read stories rich in vocabulary, a variety of good music, the daily discussion of God’s Word and how it relates to the world around him, and the attention of a loving parent who includes him in all the activities of real life are the secrets to a great learning experience for children." ~ thatmom
thatmom says:
"Being a mom is sort of like being all the people who crowd into a basketball arena all at once. Sometimes we are the players, the ones who are responsible for everything that is going on and our presence is front and center. Sometimes we are the coaches, giving comfort and encouragement, instructing with a clipboard in hand. Other times we are the referees, no striped shirts required but whistles are a must to break up the disputes when the game isn’t played as per the rules. Still other times we are the fans, cheering wildly from the stands, shouting from a distance but not from the floor. And then there are the days when we are the cheerleaders, the ones who scream 'Yeah, you can do it.' " ~ thatmom
thatmom says:
“The beauty of homeschooling is building relationships within our families and inspiring our children to become lifelong learners, gently leading them into the truth of Scripture and trusting that the work we have begun will be brought to completion by a sovereign God who has a plan for building His heavenly kingdom.” ~ thatmom
thatmom says:
"A family that embraces a paradigm becomes lazy and doesn’t study the Word of God for themselves. They take what others state as gospel. They have to check in with the “expert” blogs to see how so and so is doing it. It requires little effort and, truthfully, little leadership on the part of the parents. Dads who think they are turning the hearts of their children to themselves are really turning the hearts of their children to the dad’s gurus!" ~ thatmom
thatmom also says:
“After parenting for 36 years, I have come to realize that all paradigms are basically a list of do’s and don’ts that someone has created. Instead of embracing a list, I have discovered that it is best for me to run all ideas, philosophies, and paradigms through my “one-anothering hopper.” I ask myself if the suggestions or ideas I am hearing will serve to build my relationships or will serve to tear them down; will they reflect the one-anothering commands of Scripture? I ask if they are a picture of Christ and His relationship with me as His needy daughter. If not, I am not interested, no matter how much appeal they might have for any number of reasons.” ~ thatmom
thatmom says this, too:
“The word wisdom is used in Exodus to describe the knowledge that the Lord gave to the skilled artisans so they could make Aaron’s garments for worship. We are told that these workers “were given wisdom and understanding in knowledge and all manner of workmanship.” I have never had to sew any garments for a priest to wear for worship. I have not had to sew any draperies or build any walls or prepare any inner sanctuary as per the Lord’s instructions. But I have been called to give all I can toward the goal of building up children in the faith, preparing children for life outside my home, children whose bodies, we are told, are called the very temple of the Holy Spirit, children whose job it is to worship in spirit and in truth." ~ thatmom
what does thatmom believe?
" What is thy only comfort in life and death? "That I, with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Savior Jesus Christ; who, with His precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him." ~ Heidelberg Catechism
What does it mean to be a Christian?

1.We must acknowledge that we are all sinners. “For we are all become as one that is unclean, and all our righteousnesses are as a polluted garment: and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. (Isaiah 64:6) and “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)

2.We are all accountable for our own sins before God. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” (2 Corinthians 5:10)

3.There is only one way to be forgiven of these sins and that is through the blood of Jesus Christ. “Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

4.If we confess our sin to the Lord and repent of it (not allow it to rule in our lives) we can be forgiven and be in right standing with God. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousenss.” (1 John 1:9)

5.Genuine salvation will result in living lives of good works but none of those works contribute in any way to our standing before God which is based solely and completely on the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. “But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, He sat down at the right hand of God. (Hebrews 10:12) and “Not by works of righteousness which we have done but according to His mercy He saved us by the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit. (Titus 3:5) and “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8)

6.We all, men and women, boys and girls, have direct access to the throne of grace because everyone who is a born-again believer in Jesus Christ is called a “priest and king” in God’s economy. “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (I Peter 2:9)

I believe that many of the false teachings within the patriocentric movement are in direct contrast to these Scriptures and I would encourage each of us to first examine what we believe about Jesus and His work on the cross, its implications and its marvelous power.

Secondly, I would challenge anyone reading here to examine your own heart and ask yourself whether you have been trusting in good works….baptism, homeschooling, church attendance, modest dress, the list goes on and on, or if you have placed ALL your faith and hope in Jesus’ blood and righteousness alone.

And finally, I would challenge you to examine the teachings within your own church system, whether it is Protestant, Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, etc. Ask yourself what your church teaches about ecclesiastical authority and family authority. Does it line up with the Word of God? It is a top down system that requires certain works in exchange for a relationship with Jesus Christ or do you have the assurance that you are saved for eternity by His death on the cross in your stead? Does it teach that the fruits of the spirit and obedience to all the one anothers is what our lives will demonstrate or is there a list of man made rules?

If you desire to talk with me about this, please send me a note to shesthatmom@gmail.com. My desire is that no one who visits this website will leave without knowing the glorious truth that we can have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and can enjoy a life filled with His goodness and grace!

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Adoration of the Home was painted by regional artist, Grant Wood. The original hangs in the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art. Ben Campbell and Lon Eldridge deserve extra cookies for writing, performing, recording, and mixing Mom’s Prairie Song for the podcast intro and outro. Great job, guys. Garrison Keillor would be proud.

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