how’s that prophet, priest,and king thing workin’ out for ya?

 

buddy

This morning’s evangelical buzz is all about C.J. Mahaney and the lawsuit that has been filed against Sovereign Grace Ministries. Today, after saying nothing for 6 months, some leaders are coming forward in support of him. (Their original post was removed after an incredible outcry on their FB page but a reader saved it.) Their silence has already shown that they sided with the churches who ignored abuse and “kept it in house” but today they feel empowered to offer real support to Mahaney and others for one reason: the statute of limitations ran out for filing a civil suit against these men for 9 of 11 plaintiffs. Did you catch that? None were found innocent, there was just a loophole and they all are jumping through it! (My friend, Sallie, has an excellent article praising those who have taken a stand. Kudos to them and to her!)

One thing that intrigues me about this whole situation and one reason why I think it should give homeschoolers pause is this:

Some of the same players at HSLDA who have not taken stands against child abuse AND who are pushing the parental rights amendment AND who have participated in drafting a manifesto that desires abolishing DCFS, are/have been members (in one case, an elder, as I understand it) of these same churches named in this lawsuit during the same time that this was going on! Now I have no proof that they were legal counsel in any of this madness. In fact, I am not saying that anyone was. But I know that in churches I have been part of, church members who are attorneys are often called on in these situations, just as bankers sit on finance committees, electricians help repair electrical problems in the church building etc. If you read the actual lawsuit, be warned, it is horrifying stuff. It will make you hug your little ones a while longer today.

As I posted links to some of this madness this morning on Facebook, someone asked me why so many pedophiles were attracted to this one denomination. Here is my response as to why I think we are hearing so many of these sorts of stories lately. I am convinced that sexual abuse is so widespread it would make heads spin if we knew the truth. I remember as though it was yesterday when World Magazine wrote a cover story on the whole child abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. Here we are nearly a decade and a half later and what has actually changed? The stories keep coming forward. Now we are seeing the very same thing in evangelicalism and why? I think there are several reasons:

1. The internet is a powerful tool for accountability and information. It can be abused, too, I know, but victims no longer have to be alone in shame and ignorance of what was done to them. Most victims of sexual abuse have been warned that they or someone they love will be killed or harmed if they ever tell. So they don’t. Children also cannot possibly begin to process what happened to them until they are much older. Sometimes their first understanding is triggered by something they read online. Also, those who have been harmed by certain organizations or individuals can quickly find out that they were not the only ones, empowering them to take a stand.

2. Some of the attitudes about women and children in these groups perpetuate this sort of environment. Look at how so many of these victims were counseled to deal with pedophiles. Keep it in-house. Wives side with husbands, etc. What one thinks he owns he also thinks he can do with whatever he likes. How’s that prophet, priest, and king thing workin’ out for ya?

3. Evil, truly evil, people can play the part of good holy people and fly under the radar for a long time if they are clever. Peck’s book People of the Lie quotes several people who committed heinous crimes and who describe how they were able to get access to innocent victims by pretending to be godly church members. Chilling.

4. Modern Christians are being trained to not be Bereans. In fact, how often are they told NOT to be Bereans, just to obey their leaders, elders, etc. A few weeks ago I posted a quote from Mark Driscoll where he said rebels are those who “do word studies.” This mindset is crazy.

5. The celebrity status both within homeschooling circles and evangelicalism in general invites this sort of behavior. People are far too trusting of the “who’s who” crowd. And those who are part of it become much lest circumspect.

6. A false theology of “blanket forgiveness” is being taught in church after church. This article is one of the best discussions on what true and righteous forgiveness looks like I have ever read. Is this what you have been taught? It sure hasn’t been my experience and, in fact, I have been admonished more than once to simply “forgive” false teachers rather than examine and expose false teachings! Ludicrous!!!

7. The nutty makes it way into the mainstream of the church and becomes acceptable first and then embraced. There are so many of these examples but here is one I ran across yesterday. Scott Brown from the Family Integrated Church network, you know, they guy who claims that Sunday School is unbiblical and the end of Western Civilization as we know it fame is a guest speaker at, of all things, a DISCERNMENT conference! This gives credibility to so many of the things we all know have been so dangerous and destructive to homeschooling families. The mind reels!!!

 

So, any thoughts?

 

 

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Comments

  1. says

    There were definitely times in my 8 years as an SGM member that I felt like I was being silenced because I was a woman with opinions. All the while being told over and over how “well taught” we were. Sigh.

  2. says

    THIS: ” I am convinced that sexual abuse is so widespread it would make heads spin if we knew the truth.”

    The whole idea of retreating from the world and holding your children captive in a family compound weirds me out. I don’t see how it can stay a healthy, nurturing environment. As children grow it takes more and more force or fear to compel compliance and obedience. When Church raise false teachers to the pulpit, when people stop thinking, when they are memorizing the words of men and not the Word of God, what hope is there for stopping such abuse? When women are degraded and devalued by the men who are to love them as “Christ loved the Church.” and, frankly, when MEN are devalued and seen only as protector and provider–as well as Family Priest & blessing bestower, there is nothing healthy going on!

    Great post–I will go off and read the links soon.

  3. Judith Martinez says

    How do I not know about this stuff? Is it because I’m not reformed? I’m often surprised by things you post that are “being talked about all over”. I must travel in totally different circles then you do.

  4. Granddad says

    Karen, would you explain how the title of the post fits into the substance of the comments?

  5. says

    Thanks for the link, Karen.

    To rift off what Lisa wrote… Where is it safe to allow my child to go? I don’t feel safe letting her go to AWANA or VBS at any church. Truly. I don’t want to be paranoid, but good grief. The stuff going on is crazy. And the cover ups. And the teachings about women and children. Honestly, I don’t want to let her out of my site. And it’s frustrating. I’d love to be able to drop her off at a neighborhood church for VBS and know she’ll have fun and be safe. But I honestly don’t feel that way. About ANY church.

    If you had asked the SGM people if they thought their church was safe, they would have been incredulous at the question. Of course their church was safe! They were the only ones in America doing church right! They had the corner on every aspect of doing it the Biblical/Gospel/Right way. And look what happened.

  6. says

    Judith, your post makes me envious in many ways. I used to never know about any of these things but once I began to see the pain these teachings caused and started seeing how they they are so interrelated and have caused so much damage in homeschooling circles, my radar was up.

  7. says

    Grandad, in these circles husband/father is seen as the prophet, priest and king of the family. His word is law. Women and children have little recourse if he refuses their appeal. In the church, the pastor assumes these roles. The set up is ripe for abuse in church and family, double jeopardy for those who are in both since the man can abuse and the church backs him up.

  8. says

    Granddad, anyone who is so arrogant as to believe they are a prophet, priest, or king over other believers—wives, children, other believers—-needs to realize this is what can, and did,happen. The very fact that these men who are regarded as leaders by so many would spin the facts of the lawsuit, banking on the fact that so few will read it, speaks volumes about who they think they are. I am a bit taken aback that your first comment wasn’t about the atrocities committed but rather the title. What am I missing?

  9. Granddad says

    @thatmom
    ” I am a bit taken aback that your first comment wasn’t about the atrocities committed but rather the title. What am I missing?”

    Before I craft a comment I wanted to confirm what I already suspected was the point of the title. Now I want to think carefully before I say anything — not about SGM, but Dever, Mohler, et. al. I think I may have previously commented on the abuses/atrocities within SGM and some patriocentric churches.

  10. Anthea says

    Hello Karen et al

    What a mess! Thanks for the links and info — I had wondered what was happening lately re SGM.

    To Judith, this is happening all over the place. Paedophiles go where children can be found. I read a book called ‘What Cops Know, and they said that child molesters will get a job or volunteer in schools or churches or anywhere where there are lots of children. I live in the UK, and we have had paedophile scandals, including horrid cover-ups, in many instutions during the last ten years or so, including: the Catholic church, Orthodox Jewish synogogues, the Yehudi Menuhin Music School, a major Catholic private boarding school, the Anglican church, a cluster of state-run children’s homes in London and Wales — and the kicker — a big, ongoing scandal in the BBC involving abuse going back 40 YEARS. This last one brought down the CEO when it emerged that a news story was suppressed to make way for a tribute to the deceased abuser.

    To Sallie, you don’t have to do Holiday Clubs/VBS if you don’t want to — I think that we should be cautious about things, now that we know what can be the risks. I don’t go for fear, but caution is appropriate, I think. I can be the mum who can’t be relied on to not be around. Yes, that’s a double negative. What I mean is, turn up early to collect your child. Be one of the helpers so that you are in the background. Be known as a person who speaks up and won’t be bullied or cowed. A mum who doesn’t drop your kid off and run off to Costa Coffee to chat with the girls. As for sleep overs, I told my children, “You’ve got a house to sleep in, you can go somewhere else when you grow up and move out!” Don’t get me started on sleep overs!!

  11. Anthea says

    I meant ‘institutions’. Man, I hate this tablet keyboard.

    PS There,s a blog post I found by following a link. It’s on a website called G.R.A.C.E. and is just excellent. The author is a lawyer,grandson of Billy Graham, who specialises in combatting child abuse within churches.

  12. says

    I think the root theological errors that are producing these abuses come from the subject of “authority” – who has it & who doesn’t. Scripturally speaking, every true believer is a prophet, priest, and king.

    1 Pet 2:9 ““But you are a chosen race, a ROYAL PRIESTHOOD, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that YOU MAY PROCLAIM THE EXCELLENCIES OF HIM who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;”

    But those who think they are on top, “little christs” instead of sheep leading sheep under the authority of the Chief Shepherd, become corrupted by the power and wealth that comes from lording over others. Corruption develops when those who have tasted this power try to keep it at all costs, including misapplying Scripture, thuggery, and coverups. For those eager to condemn Calvinism, you need to look at the log in your own eye. This is a human problem that only confirms the truth of deceitful hearts unrestrained by Christ and His Word.

  13. says

    Anthea, your list of perpetrators is appalling! You are correct, you have to be that mom who is paying attention.

  14. says

    I think it is so difficult to make choices about our children in light of these sorts of stories. On one hand, as Lisa says, we don’t want to cloister ourselves away. On the other hand, we also need to be wise. There are so many things I didn’t “get” growing up that now, looking back, I can just see God’s hand of protection of me as a naive kid. One of my friends and I were talking the other day about how when we were kids we could ride bikes all over town, leaving early in the morning and not coming home until dark without a care in the world. When I really started to see a different world was when I was a senior in high school and two of my friends were sexually assaulted one day on their way home from school. It was kept quiet and most people knew nothing about it but my dad had been called in as a witness because he had seen the perpetrator as he was talking to the girls. After that I started to be much more cautious.

    Sleepovers: I vote NO!!!!! Unless you are staying at Grandma’s house!

  15. says

    Dear “mom”,

    Thank you so much for your pingback to our discernment conference on July 20th. While we are somewhat disturbed by your apparent contempt towards pastor Brown over an orthopraxic issue/question such as whether sunday school is Biblical; we do appreciate your letting people know that this conference is taking place. The question of whether sunday school is Biblical or not, regardless of where a believer stands on the issue, is a secondary one (although it is important). Surely it is not an orthodox issue which should cause one to treat a brother with contempt. But regardless, with the flippany and lack of theological training which occurs in sunday school, and the lack of it being an historical institution in the church; should cause all believers to question how these training programs (that is what sunday school is after all) should be conducted or whether they should be done at all. The question sister is this, who should be discipling children, and what means of grace has God given to train them. Clearly the Scriptures point towards parents, in particularly the father in this role. Not a youth pastor and not sunday school “teachers.” Sadly the teacher very rarely if ever meet the Biblical qualifications to teach or have that responsibility or authority in the church mandated by the Apostle Paul in 1 Tim and Titus. Usually they are simply the willing and nice, without any aptitude for teaching and with superficial theology at best, if not heresy. Who should teach according to the Scriptures? Only a few, and only those who meet very strict moral and character qualifications. That’s not me saying that, that’s the Apostle Paul. And what of James “be not many masters for we will suffer greater condemnation” and yet what do we see in sunday school? Young couples, and the elderly and Biblically disqualified teaching children theology, supposedly. The result dear sister has been chaos. Now you say, rather strawman-dishly (there is a new word for you) that Mr. Brown teaches that sunday school is the end of western civilization. That is not what the brother says. Western civilization has already fallen, it has already fell under the wrath of God. Do you not see the news dear lady? Do you not see God’s common grace pulling back from the world as it is given over to a reprobate mind and vile affections. No the issue is, how ought the church to teach children theology, in particular the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And this is, “fathers teach your children…” Again not Mr. Brown saying that, not me; but the Apostle Paul. That is the authority that is in question on this issue. And pragmatism like “youth group” or “sunday school” is not a Biblical argument, because only God can truly judge the eternal fruit of such ministries since our hearts can deceive us and spiritual fruit can easily be counterfeited with what appears to be religious and pious but which is, in reality, “wood hay and stubble”. So the church must go back to what the Scriptures say about these ministries. That is all Mr. Brown is saying; sola scriptural is wisdom. The man was a youth pastor for decades before he was brought, by the scriptures, to his convictions on this issue. Not his opinion, but his conviction on what the Bible teaches about this issue. Now in regards to the conference, Mr. Brown will be teaching on Biblical fatherhood. What does the Scriptures command of Christian fathers. Because, you can have all the ministerial bells and whistles in the world, but without true evangelism and the Gospel preached and lived within the home; children are in a seriously dangerous situation. So sister, who has true discernment on this issue? You, a “mom” who teaches theology supposedly, but where the Scriptures are clear that women are not to usurp authority over the man in the church. Or even further, where the Scriptures limit the role of the woman to teaching the younger women, or a pastor who, after years of struggling with the fruitless and carnal effort of modern youth groups went back the Scriptures and realized that it has much to say on this issue? Who should be listen to on discernment; you, some woman, or Phil Johnson, the executive director of Master’s Seminary who will be teaching alongside pastor Brown as a brother in Christ and co-laborer for the Gospel? Who has discernment ma’am? on this issue could it possibly be that, wise in your own conceits you are the one quite possibly who is standing against the clear teaching of Scripture? Should we listen to you, the non-descript “homeschool mom” or should we listen to the Apostle Paul. Sister, let me say this clearly, we would be seriously in error to put your teachings above the word of God. I pray that the Lord would open your eyes to this truth; much of what pretends to be Biblical teaching in the modern American church is not spiritual at all and strongly stands in direct contrast to the Word of God. And how many youth are being raised in complete contrast to saving faith and have no concept of Biblical assurance? What some .5% can even affirm basic orthodoxy from college age; have we not reason to question these practices sister? I would encourage you to come to the conference, listen to what is being said before you pass judgment. I would encourage you to study the scriptures on who should teach and who should teach children theology. Is it the unqualified Mrs. Bean the sunday school teacher, who knows nothing and is a pelagian? or the fathers of these children, supported by their Godly wives, and loving pastors and deacons who know the word of God and who meet the qualifications laid out by the Apostle Paul? Sola Scriptura sister, God is specific about His will on these things. Read Numbers, have you not seen the detail of the tent, the tent?! How much more specific do you suppose the Lord is in regards to the next generation. I urge you to reconsider yourself ma’am. and may God help His church. Sincerely in Christ, Mike M.

  16. Aly k says

    Does anyone know what the comment by “Michael Miller” has to do with this specific post?

    I will say it is a great example of how women in the church are completely disregarded and disdained by some men. And I know this may be viewed as somewhat petty, but the writing style in the comment is extremely condescending which detracts greatly from the content. The voice of the comment put me, as a woman, completely on the defensive from the get go. I’m sure this will lead the commenter to disregard me as an emotional woman who needs to stay in her place.

    And in case Mr. Miller sees this comment, I would like to give some context as to my background. I was raised by a PCA minister and attended an OPC church for most of my childhood and young adulthood and currently attend a PCA church with my family. All of these churches have a very high view of biblical theology and orthodoxy. All of these churches have Sunday School and some form of “youth group.” All of these churches are exclusively led by males but cherish, value and welcome the input of women. I have never felt the condescending disdain from any of my elders in these reformed churches that I felt while reading Mr. Millers’ comment.

    And Mr. Miller, would you suggest that I disregard the teachings of the elders whose authority I am under at the church I am a member of and replace it with the teachings you brought forth in your comment?

  17. David says

    Wow.
    Kindness at first… and then a descent into digs and condescension … “Who should be listen to on discernment; you, some woman, or Phil Johnson, the executive director of Master’s Seminary who will be teaching alongside pastor Brown as a brother in Christ and co-laborer for the Gospel?” as if some title automatically makes someone an expert and the paragon of truth. Soberly, we know that one can be so “studied” and still miss the whole point. “You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me” (John 5:39) …. Mike, your condescending attitude is beneath the Gospel and I urge you to “man up” and be more like our Lord and never demean a woman this way. I ask you directly, since you strongly advise the use of scripture: where do you find this manner of condescension in the Word?. WHY DO YOU THINK THAT ANYTHING THINKING OR DISCERNING WOMAN WOULD EVER WANT TO ENTRUST HERSELF TO YOU OR ANY OTHER LEADER IN YOUR GROUP IF THAT’S THE WAY YOU TREAT WOMEN WHO DISAGREE WITH YOU.

  18. Granddad says

    Karen,
    Did you let this post through just to get me worked up?

    I do not know Mr. Miller, so I don’t want to appear too critical. That being said, I would suggest he proof-reads his posts more carefully and that he learns what a paragraph is. Also, when to capitalize words (i.e. it’s Pelagian)

    I am really sick and tired of fellows like Rev. Brown and Mr. Miller making such categorical denouncements of Sunday School teachers. Yes, in some instances they are not trained well, but in my present church (PCA) and my previous church (Calvinistic Baptist) the teachers were thoroughly vetted by the elders. I would suggest this is the way it is in far more conservative churches than either gentleman wishes to acknowledge.

    Mr. Miller should also be careful when he starts citing OT texts. That can have a way of coming back and biting him on the backside.

    May I remind Mr. Miller that the entire world is under God’s wrath, not just Western society (Eph 2:3).

    I think I will cool-off before posting again.

  19. David says

    “Who should be listen to on discernment; you, some woman, or Phil Johnson, the executive director of Master’s Seminary who will be teaching alongside pastor Brown as a brother in Christ and co-laborer for the Gospel?”

    It has the same tone as “To this they replied, ‘You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!’ And they threw him out.” John 9:34

  20. says

    Dear Mike,
    I am so glad that you stopped by to chat about Scott Brown and the National Center for Family Integrated Churches, of which I see your church is one. In browsing through the sermons listed on your church website, I see that you are one of the elders who preaches and that you eschew having one pastor on staff in lieu of laymen. Did I understand that correctly? Just out of curiosity, since you are quite concerned about the qualifications of teaching in the church, what are yours? This is not because I am necessarily concerned about ordinations, “official” training, and what not, but I see that you are. Just so I can understand you a bit better, maybe you could share your credentials with me.
    I would like to point you to a few things, though I am not sure if you are interested since you do not believe there is anything to learn from a woman. You seem to assume that I know nothing about the FIC movement, the state of Sunday School, the state of youth in America, the state of church, what the Bible says about a woman’s “role,” etc. In fact, it seems that this dumb old homeschooling mom couldn’t possibly know much about anything, especially theology and really, really especially anything Phil Johnson might know about anything. If it makes you feel better, though, I do make a mean peach pie.
    If you look to the right of your computer screen in the sidebar and scroll toward the top, you will see links to both articles and podcasts that I have done as recently as last year on the Family Integrated Church movement. The first guest I interviewed, Pastor Shawn Mathis, an OPC pastor from Colorado, has spent significant hours researching the topic and has engaged with folks from the NCFIC. You are absolutely mistaken when you say that Scott Brown sees family integration as a secondary issue and Pastor Mathis explains this quite well. (In fact, you, sir, also see it as a primary issue when you describe it as “the Biblical approach.”)
    You will also find in that series an interview with another pastor who had similar experiences as Scott Brown did and came out in a different place. I also interviewed Jon Zens, a well-known author and encourager in the home church movement, someone you might be familiar with since your FIC is also a home church. I would also like to point you to the articles I link to about the pros and cons of the family integrated church. My guess is that you and I have much more I common than we don’t have.
    Now, as far as your thoughts on the “means of grace” for teaching theology to children, I really had to laugh. I would encourage you to check out Paul’s praise for Lois and Eunice, the mother and grandmother of Timothy. And how about King Lemuel’s mom whose wise admonition to her son made its way into Proverbs 31? I would encourage you to do your own study and see all the many examples of women instructing without trying to hold authority over anyone! Means of grace to children for instruction in theology? Moms ABSOLUTELY are one of those means!!!!!!! So are your sisters in Christ whether you like it or not!!!
    As far as Mr. Brown himself being an appropriate “discernment” instructor, other than the absolutely ridiculous presentations he has made on film and in print regarding the evils of Sunday school and youth groups, he is closely associated with Vision Forum ministries. Please use the search button in the top right hand corner for more information on this group. Also, this blog has documented the story of Mr. Brown’s daughter’s near death experience from following militant fecundity teachings and as a parent I would never stand by and watch my daughter or daughter-in-law go through what his poor girl did. Tell me if this shows discernment!

    http://ingridgraceandaudrey.blogspot.com/2012/06/portrait-of-lady.html

    I agree with the last comment as well. Your condescension and lack of care or compassion for those described in the original article combined with your unbelievable attitude toward women is appalling. After reading your comment, someone sent me a private note that asked “Is it no wonder so many people are turned off by Christianity?” I agree.

  21. David says

    Karen,

    Maybe you could now change the name of your site to “somewoman.com”. LOL

  22. says

    Aly, I referenced Mike Miller’s discernment conference in the last point of the article re: how the obscure groups and teachings are becoming mainstream in evangelicalism.

  23. says

    Wow. I was interested how you respond, Karen. Very condescending.

    I commented yesterday but don’t see my comment…was it removed or did it get lost in cyber space?

  24. Granddad says

    I just went to the link Karen posted about about Scott Brown’s daughter. Made me a bit sick to my stomach.
    I’m ashamed that he and his followers live in North Carolina! No, I’m ashamed they live in the U.S.!!!

  25. says

    Ha, Michelle. I was thinking maybe the peach pie comment was too much! :0

    I went back through the spam and didn’t find it. Can you repost?

  26. says

    Wow.

    You know, Karen, all these years you and I have spent pointing out all the problems with the attitudes of men in leadership toward women… At least for me, it has often felt like banging my head against a wall. People just didn’t see it or explained it away.

    In the span of 72 hours we’ve had the unbelievable statements from TGC and T4G regarding the SGM situation and now Michael. I have to admit I feel slightly vindicated this weekend.

    This comment by Michael was truly THE most condescending comment I’ve ever read anywhere on the internet.

    Why would ANYONE put themselves under his authority if this is his view of women? Can you imagine what he says to his wife or other women in his church. My heart breaks for them.

    The pattern I see over and over again is people sweep in with no knowledge of the person they are addressing, assume the person knows nothing, condescendingly instruct them as to why they are wrong and then leave in a cloud of dust. I can’t tell you how many times people have left a comment or written me an email to tell me the most basic facts about complementarianism as though I’ve never heard of John Piper or CBMW or whatever. They just assume if you don’t agree with them you must be stupid or uninformed.

    Every day I think nothing new can surprise me and then boom! I should just get up every day looking forward to whoever is going to make my head spin that day! LOL!

  27. says

    Karen – My jaw dropped when reading the response from Mr. Miller. And then I stood waving my white hanky reading your wonderful response. The arrogance is unbelievable. It’s funny, they try to put themselves in a lofty position, but it screams “weak man” to me.
    ~JA

    PS You will be getting a pingback shortly :)

  28. Anthea says

    Well, Karen, guess what I am going to bring to the table? A consideration of Mr Miller’s list of those who should not teach the young and the restless:

    Young couples shouldn’t be teaching children — Priscilla and Aquila, anyone?

    The Biblically unqualified — That was not defined, but I suspect is about Bible college. Where, sometimes, the least-read book is the Bible. And of course, in the NT Paul tell us how his great Jewish credentials counted for little.

    The elderly are not equipped — such as the apostle John, or John Wesley, who was preaching into his 80s, I think. Or Bunyan, who died after catching a cold on his way back from counselling a family.

    Finally, and most egregiously : “the unqualified Mrs. Bean the sunday school teacher”. I simply will not have a word said againt Mr Bean’s mother!

  29. Anthea says

    Nondescript homeschool mum: Like Queen Osburh– she’s proper obscure. One of her boys did well, though **

    From Anthea, still upset at the attack on the good name of Mr Bean. And I thought we had a “special relationship” with you fellows!

    Footnote:
    ** Alfred the Great. The only English king called “the Great’.

  30. Shannon H. says

    A true story that I was told: A young man from a non-Christian home met up with a man he had known years before. “Do you remember me, Mr. ____?” The man replied that sorry, no, he didn’t. The young man went on to tell the man that he was one of the kids he picked up and drove every Sunday to Sunday School. And that he, the young man, was now in the ministry.

    I wish Mr. Mike M. would read that and hear other testimonies like it.

  31. says

    Julie Anne, thanks for passing this along. People need to see the heart of the gender wars. David is correct, is it any wonder women are frustrated?

  32. says

    Anthea, I was also going to compose a list of the women in Scripture and in the early church who were called to teach. If anyone reading here wants to explore the “women teaching men” arguments, I highly recommend listening to that first series of podcasts with Jon Zens.

    http://www.thatmom.com/podcasts/patriarchypatriocentricity-series-two-2010/

    Also, I have been reading a book called Sacred Friendships ~ Celebrating the Legacy of Women Heroes of the Faith. We have an amazing heritage as women and I tend to write more on this in the future.

  33. says

    You know, there are two key “doctrines” within the patriarchy/heavy comp movement that keep resurfacing and what we witnessed with Mike Miller is simply those in action.

    The first is the idea that “women are more easily deceived.” Mike’s conclusions are the natural out growth of this false idea.

    The second is the way that Genesis 3:16 has been interpreted to mean that women wants to control men. Again, when an adversarial relationship between men and women is assumed rather than the one another commands, the result is attitudes and actions like Mike’s. He is living his theology.

  34. says

    Shannon, I appreciate your comment. My aunt who taught 1st grade for several decades also hosted Good News Clubs in her home for nearly as long. It was not unusual for an adult to stop her on the street and tell her how they had come to Christ in her basement!

    One thing that is so ironic about Mike’s notion that children need to be taught by “theologians” is that he also thinks the need to be taught only by their fathers. Does he really mean that fathers are the theologians that are appropriately trained? I think what he is really saying is that they are qualified by their designation as prophet, priest, and king, just as a church elder is. Smoke and mirrors.

  35. Elvera says

    Very brazen remarks by Mike. Yet not surprising considering their “doctrines”.
    Regarding the Genesis narrative, I watched the talk on “Men and Women”given by Paul Young at Emmanuel Enid which is on Paul’s site. It is a point of view that for me seems to fit with God’s character and love for all his children.

    https://www.facebook.com/wmpaulyoung

  36. Brindusa says

    Mr. Miller, are you a Protestant? You sound like a Catholic. Actually, in saying that I mean no offense to anyone who’s Catholic – I’m sure many of them are very nice people; at least, I have some very good friends who are. But in Catholicism there is a pope, who is said to be infallible when speaking in his official capacity. Now, as far as I know, Protestants do not subscribe to this… I know I don’t believe in any infallible popes or gurus, by whatever name they may go in the Evangelical world. So Phil Johnson holds no corner on truth as far as I’m concerned. In fact, both Scripture and history show that God is not impressed with titles either, and has lots of times used the very people who were deemed unworthy by others… weak men, sometimes not even with a proper grasp of correct grammar, ‘some’ women, even children… God can use anyone and often chooses to do so. You have a ‘funny’ kind of worldview (not amusing though) for someone claiming to adhere to Sola Scriptura…

  37. Headless Unicorn Guy says

    Evil, truly evil, people can play the part of good holy people and fly under the radar for a long time if they are clever.

    Successful sociopaths are masters of camouflaging what they are. If not, they would have been exposed and caught long ago. Maybe this is what is meant by “For the Devil himself can transform himself into an Angel of Light.”

    Through most of Christian history, the Devil was characterized as a Deceiver and Evil associated with Deception.

    There were two archetypes of Antichrist, that sum of all human evil, based on the two meanings of “Anti-” in Greek:
    1) The Slick Deceiver, “Anti-” as “Imitation Of”, a False Imitation of Christ.
    2) The Fanatic Persecutor, “Anti-” as “Against”, the Other who directly attacks Christ.
    And the two work very well as a “Good Cop/Bad Cop” tag team; in fleeing the Fanatic Persecutor, you flee into the arms of (and take the Mark of) the Slick Deceiver.

    And in today’s Christian Apocalyptic mania, you NEVER hear of the Slick Deceiver, only the Fanatic Persecutor — Teh Fags, Teh Secular Humanists, Teh Obama, always The Other. Does the Slick Deceiver hit a little too close to home?

  38. says

    Children need to learn about God’s grace, Christ’s love, and the Holy Spirit’s humble guiding comfort, things these self-proclaimed “theologians” seem to know little about.

  39. says

    My friend/blog reader, Ed and I were talking about this today. Who told the disciples that Jesus was alive from the dead? Two women. I think Mike would have a problem with that. They would not be qualified to do such a thing. Most likely he doesn’t like Elizabeth Elliot either. And then what do we do about families in which there is no dad?

    Mike left a comment on my blog, too, but hasn’t been back since. He got quite a bit of push back. Could he be afraid of defending his own doctrine?

  40. Adam says

    Michael Miller,

    If you are concerned about qualifications, I am actually a graduate student in Biblical Hebrew and Ancient Near Eastern linguistics. I would say your comments betray a totally unfair attitude towards Karen, and to those of us who are concerned with the hermeneutics that give rise to the NCFIC.

    While we are somewhat disturbed by your apparent contempt towards pastor Brown over an orthopraxic issue/question such as whether sunday school is Biblical;

    “Biblical” is a catch term that needs to be defined. For example:

    Top 10 Biblical Ways to Acquire a Wife

    10. Find a prostitute and marry her. (Hosea 1:1-3)

    9. Purchase a piece of property, and get a woman as part of the deal. (Ruth
    4:5-10)

    8. Find an attractive prisoner of war, bring her home, shave her head, trim
    her nails, and give her new clothes. Then she’s yours. (Deuteronomy 21:11-13)

    7. Go to a party and hide. When the women come out to dance, grab one
    and carry her off to be your wife. (Judges 21:19-25)

    6. Cut 200 foreskins off of your future father-in-law’s enemies and get his
    daughter for a wife. (I Samuel 18:27)

    5. Become the emperor of a huge nation and hold a beauty contest. (Esther 2:3-4)

    4. Find a man with seven daughters, and impress him by watering his
    flock. (Exodus 2:16-21)

    3. When you see someone you like, go home and tell your parents, “I have
    seen a woman; now get her for me.” If your parents question your decision,
    simply say, “Get her for me. She’s the one for me.” (Judges 14:1-3)

    2. Agree to work seven years in exchange for a woman’s hand in marriage.
    Get tricked into marrying the wrong woman. Then work another seven years
    for the woman you wanted to marry in the first place. That’s right. Fourteen
    years of toil for a woman. (Genesis 29:15-30)

    1. Have God create a wife for you while you sleep. Note: this will cost you
    a rib. (Genesis 2:19-24)

    You see, that is one of the problems with the NCFIC. Their definition of what is “Biblical” based upon patterns and principles, which, I would argue, is utterly linguistically indefensible. That is my concern with Scott Brown. The man’s hermeneutics are grossly simplistic, and lead him to many fallacious conclusions-the NCFIC and quiverfull being just two of them.

    The question of whether sunday school is Biblical or not, regardless of where a believer stands on the issue, is a secondary one (although it is important). Surely it is not an orthodox issue which should cause one to treat a brother with contempt.

    In the sense that we are not kicking Scott Brown out of the kingdom for these things. We are, however, saying that his views are grossly unwise, and show a complete lack of understanding of the complexity of linguistic meaning, and that these oversimplifications have consequences when it comes to how they run their churches. That is true of almost everyone in the Christian Patriarchy Movement. When you start saying that other Christians are not holding to “the sufficiency of scripture” and are following “Darwinian” based ideas, you are going to get a response, and yes, if the person is being sloppy in their hermeneutics, someone like Karen or myself are going to point that out.

    But regardless, with the flippany and lack of theological training which occurs in sunday school, and the lack of it being an historical institution in the church; should cause all believers to question how these training programs (that is what sunday school is after all) should be conducted or whether they should be done at all.

    First of all, Mike, would you guys please stop this *lie* that age specific education has a “lack of it being an historical institution in the church.” Shawn Mathis has written this article wherein he proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is untrue, and Shawn has actually told me that he has ran into someone who is close to Scott Brown who said he would inform him of one of Shawn’s articles wherein he discusses these things. If you have to rely on this kind of sloppy history, what does it say about the truthfulness of your position?

    Secondly, yes, there are many bad Sunday School teachers, and many bad youth leaders. However, let me point out some of the really bad teachings in the Family Integrated Churches:

    -Patriarchy [in the Vision Forum sense]
    -The notion that women cannot run for public office
    -The notion that the Bible calls women to be homemakers
    -The Quiverfull Movement
    -The notion that any model other than the Family Integrated Church is based on “unbiblical, evolutionary, and secular thinking.”
    -The notion that you can’t vote for someone, unless they are a Christian
    -The notion that you must stone incorrigible children, not recognizing that the law provides *maximum* penalties, not penalties which must be enacted every time an offense is given
    -The Stay at Home Daughters movement of the Botkin’s
    -Kinism
    -Southern Confederate Idealism
    -The Interpretive Maximalism of James Jordan and Peter Leithart
    -The notion that delay of marriage is a sin
    -The notion that there is some sanctifying power in marriage
    -The assault on anything other than homeschooling [including Christian day school]

    Now, the absurdity of those comments rivals *anything* taught in Sunday Schools and Youth Groups. The real issue here is how we treat the Bible. The problem with both the Family Integrated Churches as well as the Sunday School and Youth Group teaches who don’t know what they are doing is their hermeneutics. When you fix the hermeneutics, and you train these teachers to actually teach how to *properly* handle the text of scripture, you fix the problem.

    The question sister is this, who should be discipling children, and what means of grace has God given to train them. Clearly the Scriptures point towards parents, in particularly the father in this role. Not a youth pastor and not sunday school “teachers.”

    Of course, the problem is that the scriptures also point to the *church* to teach all of those under their authority, which would include the children. While I don’t necessarily agree with designating one pastor to handle the youth, I do recognize that God has given teachers to the church, as James himself said, and I recognize that one of the functions of the authoritative position of elder is to teach. Hence, the problem you have is that both the church and the parents are commanded to teach. In fact, the NCFIC itself affirms this very fact. In the context of dealing with misconceptions of the NCFIC, they write:

    The NCFIC believes that that the church can only relate to family members through the father.

    False. We do not believe that the church must always work through or communicate through a father. We believe that the church has authority to discipline and instruct every individual believer in the family not just the head of the family, or through the head of the family.

    So, the Bible commands the church to teach and the Bible commands fathers to teach. There is no problem here, as the two statements are not self-contradictory. There is only a problem if you isolate the command for parents to teach their children from the command for the church to teach. In fact, a denial of the responsibility for both to teach is, I would argue, replacing sola scriptura with solus pater, because there is no way to correct the teaching of the father.

    Sadly the teacher very rarely if ever meet the Biblical qualifications to teach or have that responsibility or authority in the church mandated by the Apostle Paul in 1 Tim and Titus. Usually they are simply the willing and nice, without any aptitude for teaching and with superficial theology at best, if not heresy.

    And, of course, we could say the same thing about the NCFIC. Ever heard of something called “kinism?” Southern idealism? I am not saying that you hold to those things, but my point is that there are people in family integrated churches who hold to these things. Age integration, and getting rid of the authority of the church to teach children is not the answer. The answer is to train teachers how to accurately handle the scriptures. A father who teaches with bad hermeneutics is every bit as dangerous as a youth minister who has bad hermeneutics. The issue is how we handle the text of scripture to begin with, not whether discipleship is age integrated or age specific.

    Who should teach according to the Scriptures? Only a few, and only those who meet very strict moral and character qualifications. That’s not me saying that, that’s the Apostle Paul. And what of James “be not many masters for we will suffer greater condemnation” and yet what do we see in sunday school? Young couples, and the elderly and Biblically disqualified teaching children theology, supposedly. The result dear sister has been chaos.

    Let me put it this way, it is not just moral and character qualifications, but it is also competency. You can’t simply look at two passages, and assume that those are all the qualifications. For example, Peter says the following:

    2 Peter 3:15-16 and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.

    So, what is the solution? The solution is not “age integration,” but it is to be taught and stable. What does it say when the NCFIC completely rejects and entire field of linguistic meaning in their argumentation, namely the field of pragmatics? All of the absurdities I mentioned above are the result of rejecting this particular field of linguistic meaning. It sounds like you are no better taught than are the Sunday School teachers who don’t know what they are doing. Handling the text of scripture is a big responsibility, and a person who is in a position of teaching needs to know how language works, and be able to deal with it accordingly. And yes, I would say that Scott Brown is woefully incompetent in that area.

    Now you say, rather strawman-dishly (there is a new word for you) that Mr. Brown teaches that sunday school is the end of western civilization. That is not what the brother says. Western civilization has already fallen, it has already fell under the wrath of God. Do you not see the news dear lady? Do you not see God’s common grace pulling back from the world as it is given over to a reprobate mind and vile affections. No the issue is, how ought the church to teach children theology, in particular the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And this is, “fathers teach your children…” Again not Mr. Brown saying that, not me; but the Apostle Paul. That is the authority that is in question on this issue.

    And, the apostle Paul also says that he has given some to be teachers in the context of service to the church. Please, do not be reductionistic here. Yes, I agree, western society is in shambles. However, the solution is not “age integration,” and the solution is not patriarchy, as fathers themselves are sinners. The solution is the word of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ, and that message can only come forth if we have a hermeneutic that allows God to speak for himself rather than reading the text through the light of cultural problems. The apostle Paul’s authority *is* at issue here, and the question is whether or not you are going to allow *all* that Paul says to come through, or selectively leave out the texts that talk about the church being given teachers.

    And pragmatism like “youth group” or “sunday school” is not a Biblical argument, because only God can truly judge the eternal fruit of such ministries since our hearts can deceive us and spiritual fruit can easily be counterfeited with what appears to be religious and pious but which is, in reality, “wood hay and stubble”. So the church must go back to what the Scriptures say about these ministries. That is all Mr. Brown is saying; sola scriptural is wisdom.

    First of all, just because something is pragmatic does not mean it is wrong. Again, false dilemma. However, even worse, I *have* made a Biblical defense of age specific ministries based upon the field of pragmatics back when the movie Divided first came out. I have had only one person from the family integrated churches try to respond to it, and that person was fully refuted, given that they misrepresented the concept of speech acts, and given that they had to be arbitrary, and admit that they used a different hermeneutic for other issues than they used for these issues.

    The problem is not that, given my view, scripture is insufficient; the problem is, given my view, Scott Brown’s hermeneutics are insufficient. We dare not confuse the sufficiency of scripture with the sufficiency of our hermeneutics. If there is a pragmatic level of language, if there is such a thing as the illocutionary force of a speech act, then the “sufficiency of scripture” argument is doesn’t work, because one can show consistency between age specific ministry and the illocutionary force of the scriptures.

    The man was a youth pastor for decades before he was brought, by the scriptures, to his convictions on this issue. Not his opinion, but his conviction on what the Bible teaches about this issue.

    The problem is that this can be turned around on Scott as well. Do you not thing that being a youth pastor, and becoming angered and what is going on in many youth groups today might influence the way in which he reads the text? It would be naive to say otherwise. You see, being a former youth pastor doesn’t make Scott a disinterested observer. Quite the contrary, it means that there is a real danger that he is reading these things into the text, as can be demonstrated by simply looking at the texts he uses to get this alleged pattern. Understanding the Ancient Near Eastern background of all of those texts, rather than imposing the modern problems of the weak teaching in youth groups and fathers who do not teach back into the text, shows that the scriptures simply do not view age integration vs age specific discipleship as significant in any way. It is an issue that has been made up due to our cultural problems, and read back into the text.

    So sister, who has true discernment on this issue? You, a “mom” who teaches theology supposedly, but where the Scriptures are clear that women are not to usurp authority over the man in the church.

    The problem is, when the scriptures are being handled properly, it is not the woman who is speaking, but it is God himself who is speaking. So, when you do not listen to a woman who is accurately handling the word of God simply because she is a woman, *you* are usurping the authority of God himself, setting yourself up as if you do not have to listen to your own creator. That is why I have said that this movement is an attempt to replace sola scriptura with solus pater. If we are truly practicing Sola Scriptura, then anyone can stand up with a Bible and say “you’re wrong,” no matter what position of authority the person to whom they are speaking has. If they are accurately handling the word of God, it is God speaking, and to ignore God speaking is the height of idolatry.

    Or even further, where the Scriptures limit the role of the woman to teaching the younger women,

    Sorry, not seeing where the scriptures *limit* their role to that. Again, if they are accurately handling the word of God, it is God speaking, and anyone who is unwilling to listen to God speaking is usurping God’s authority. I can certainly see where women cannot hold official *teaching offices* in the church, such as elder or pastor, but that has to do with the authoritative preaching of God’s word, and the leadership of the church, and not whether or not a woman can teach a man. That is made clear in the context of 1 Timothy 2, where Paul goes on to enumerate the qualifications for elder after he says that he does not permit a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, thus limiting what he is saying to the context of the eldership.

    or a pastor who, after years of struggling with the fruitless and carnal effort of modern youth groups went back the Scriptures and realized that it has much to say on this issue?

    Or, someone who went back to scriptures, and read into them the problems he was having in youth ministry? Again, it is naive to think that Scott Brown’s experience in youth ministry has nothing to do with how he is not handling the text of scripture. It seems to me that I should be very careful to believe someone who has shown himself to have this background, and to have very bad hermeneutics.

    Who should be listen to on discernment; you, some woman, or Phil Johnson, the executive director of Master’s Seminary who will be teaching alongside pastor Brown as a brother in Christ and co-laborer for the Gospel? Who has discernment ma’am? on this issue could it possibly be that, wise in your own conceits you are the one quite possibly who is standing against the clear teaching of Scripture?

    It depends. Who is handling the scriptures aright? Trust me, presidents of seminaries are not immune to bad interpretations of scripture, and I have caught several of them in errors. Doesn’t make them bad interpreters of scripture, but it does mean that they are not always right. BTW, as far as I know John MacArthur’s church where Phil Johnson is an elder, has age specific ministry, which is interesting that you would even bring Phil Johnson into this debate. Could it be that, given your lack of training in hermeneutics, that *you* are the one who is wise in *your* own conceits? That you are blindly following celebrities, rather than going back to scripture to test whether these things are so? Arrogance is a dangerous thing in hermeneutics. Trusting in celebrities is a dangerous thing in hermeneutics. So, the answer to who is right is to be found in the scriptures, and in order for the message of scripture to come through, you must have sound hermeneutics, which doesn’t bode well for the NCFIC.

    Should we listen to you, the non-descript “homeschool mom” or should we listen to the Apostle Paul. Sister, let me say this clearly, we would be seriously in error to put your teachings above the word of God. I pray that the Lord would open your eyes to this truth; much of what pretends to be Biblical teaching in the modern American church is not spiritual at all and strongly stands in direct contrast to the Word of God.

    We should listen to the apostle Paul, but not your interpretation of the apostle Paul, because it is wrong, and leaves out an entire level of human language that you had to use to write this post. Do not confuse your interpretation of Paul with what Paul said. Interpretations must be proven, and I don’t get the feeling that you or anyone in the patriarchy movement have any idea of the complexity of human language, and what it takes to adequately prove an interpretation as valid.

    And how many youth are being raised in complete contrast to saving faith and have no concept of Biblical assurance? What some .5% can even affirm basic orthodoxy from college age; have we not reason to question these practices sister?

    Isn’t it interesting that you have all of the absurdities listed above being taught in your own circles. Someone sent me a survey one time that 85% of homeschooling families believe that man is made right before God by his works, and not by faith alone. That is disturbing. Parents teaching their children is not the answer. The answer is to go back to the word of God and handle it competently. We are just not doing that as a church, and we are suffering the consequences. *That* is what we need to fix, and until it is fixed, nothing will change. “Age integration vs Age specific ministry” is nothing but a side show. The real problem is bad hermeneutics which do not allow the gospel to shine through.

    I would encourage you to come to the conference, listen to what is being said before you pass judgment.

    Michael, I have listened to Scott Brown speak many times, and I follow his blog. The man is incompetent in his handling of scripture. He mostly relies upon historical figures, even when their interpretations have been refuted by new evidence from the Ancient Near East, or discoveries in the field of linguistics. I don’t attribute malice to the man. There is a great quote from Napoleon Bonaparte that Shawn Mathis posted one time here: “Don’t attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by incompetence.” That is true in Scott Brown’s case. I have made up my mind on that from reading his comments, and listened to him speak on this topic, and from studying this field at the graduate level myself, and thus, knowing the literature. I consider the man to be simply incompetent in this field.

    I would encourage you to study the scriptures on who should teach and who should teach children theology.

    I would encourage you to rethink your interpretation on who should teach and who should not teach children theology. Interpretation is crucial here, and to blindly assume your interpretation is correct without justification is naive at best and dangerous at worst.

    Is it the unqualified Mrs. Bean the sunday school teacher, who knows nothing and is a pelagian? or the fathers of these children, supported by their Godly wives, and loving pastors and deacons who know the word of God and who meet the qualifications laid out by the Apostle Paul?

    What about the unqualified man who teaches absurd things about patriarchy on the basis of ignorance of the patriarchal system of the Ancient Near East? What about the man who reads things like Age Integration into a text that had no concern for the topic at all? What about men who have become elders on the basis of politics, and are grossly incompetent for the task? More than that, what if Mrs. Bean is able to refute them with scripture? Who do you listen to? I say, I listen to the scriptures through Mrs. Bean, and I reject what the others have to say, no matter what their position of authority is. *That* is what sola scriptura means.

    Sola Scriptura sister, God is specific about His will on these things. Read Numbers, have you not seen the detail of the tent, the tent?! How much more specific do you suppose the Lord is in regards to the next generation. I urge you to reconsider yourself ma’am. and may God help His church. Sincerely in Christ, Mike M.

    Again, I don’t believe you hold to Sola Scriptura. If you did, you would recognize the nature of God speaking, and would not treat those who seek to correct your errant understanding of scripture in the way you have in this post. Those who hold to sola scriptura care about what scripture says above all, and are willing to listen to God speak. From what I can see, you care more about position of authority than whether what that position of authority says is consistent with scripture. That is dangerous, and a complete abandonment of sola scriptura. Scripture is the ultimate authority, and anytime scripture is ignored, even if it is because a woman is saying what scripture says, you are overthrowing its authority.

    Secondly, when I was at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, I had a friend who studied under D.A. Carson. She told me something Carson said one time that has stuck with me. That is that evangelicals have a tendency to confuse the notion that the Bible was written *for* us with the notion that the Bible was written *to* us. Your statement about the temple detail is a perfect example of that confusion. The reason why God gave the Israelites such detail is because he was writing *to* them. We cannot demand that God write *to* us, and address the issues we want him to address. Worst of all, we cannot read the scriptures as if they were written to us because we want them to address the issues we want them to address. Such leads to a total abuse of scripture. Before we can decide what scripture says about a given issue, we first need to understand what it meant to the people to whom it was written. Only after we do that can we then understand its significance for today. To confuse those two things is very dangerous.

    Worse than that, when we seek to first understand what it meant to the original audience, something interesting happens. We begin to see the concerns of scripture in its own context, and some things we think are important [such as age integration] start to pale in importance. Problems such as not being able to understand the gospel, and having bad hermeneutics start coming to the forefront. Finding what it meant before we find what it means acts as a control, so that we don’t read what we want to be important back into the text. I fear that is the foundational error of the entire NCFIC hermeneutics, and it is very dangerous.

    So, I would call on you to rethink your entire hermeneutics. I would challenge you to read books on the topic, and to read books by professional linguists. I would recommend Yan Huang’s excellent textbook on pragmatics as a start. I would also recommend textbooks on Discourse Analysis as well. Also, I would recommend texts on Ancient Near Eastern background, as I would books on Hebrew law such as anything by Christopher J.H. Wright. Read, study, learn, and then apply what you have learned to these ideas. I have, and once you do, you find that there really is a real danger in taking authority over scripture. I pray that God would change your heart, and give you a desire for truth rather than authority. I leave you in God’s hands for that.

    God Bless,
    Adam

  41. says

    “Worse than that, when we seek to first understand what it meant to the original audience, something interesting happens. We begin to see the concerns of scripture in its own context, and some things we think are important [such as age integration] start to pale in importance. Problems such as not being able to understand the gospel, and having bad hermeneutics start coming to the forefront. Finding what it meant before we find what it means acts as a control, so that we don’t read what we want to be important back into the tex”

    Adam, this is so true. How often is the really important missed because an agenda is read into the text. And the most troubling in this situation is how children are being taught to practice this as well.

  42. says

    Julie Anne,

    Here is what Spurgeon had to say about the two Marys at the tomb!!!

    “They were the first to see their risen Lord, and we will try to learn something from them tonight. It should be an encouragement to those members of the church of Christ who are neither pastors nor teachers that, if they live very near to God, they may yet teach pastors and teachers. Get clear views of our Lord, as did these holy women, who had no office in the church and yet taught the officers, for they were sent to bear to the apostles the tidings that Jesus Christ had risen from the dead. Not first to them who were the heads of the church, as it were, but first of all to lowly women did the Lord appear, and the apostles themselves had to go to school, to Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to learn that great truth, “The Lord is risen indeed.”

  43. says

    @Adam, I enjoyed reading your comment above — and I want to mention, for the record, that reading it required most of the time it took to get my oil changed at Wal-Mart this morning (what can I say? Slow reader). I’d like to know more about the linguistics angle on all this. I just watched Bill Kinnon’s wife interview Chris Wright, so a lot of this is fresh on the brain. Would you mind sending me an e-mail @ smg2some@gmail.com, so I could get in touch?

    Thanks,

    SMG

  44. Monique says

    I’m still reading Adam’s response, but just wanted to say thanks to you Karen and Adam for your reasoned responses to Mr. Miller. I would like to see him come back and consider all that has been discussed here. I just don’t think he expected the push back. Are these groups so insulated??

  45. says

    How’s that prophet, priest, king working out for Mr. Miller?

    Well, with him believing that he holds Aaron’s rod that budded in one hand, David’s scepter in the other, and Ezekiel’s scroll digesting in his belly, it seems to be working out pretty well for him from his point of view. He really believes that he speaks with all this authority and we lowly women should be shaking in our shoes at his greatness.

    Oh that his eyes would open so that he could see what is really going on.

  46. Granddad says

    Adam,
    I wonder if you’ve read Susan T. Foh’s paper in The Westminster Theological Journal No. 37 (1974/1975) titled, “What Is The Woman’s Desire?” Since her thesis revolves around the translation of a couple of key Hebrew words in Gen 3:16 that should be right up your alley. I would enjoy reading your thoughts.

  47. Lois Brown Loar says

    Adam, thank you for that thoughtful response. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I actually didn’t read all of Mr. Miller’s lengthy post because I could see where it was going from the first paragraph. My husband, an elder in our church, was once asked to view a dvd of Mr. Brown’s and give his discernment on it. (I think the DVD may have been “Return of the Daughters”, but I’m not sure. I know the main young people in the section with Mr. Brown were his daughter and her husband.) The one overriding characteristic of Mr. Brown and others in the patriarchy movement on the disc was his lack of scriptural back up for what he was claiming was “the” biblical way to handle young people getting married. He didn’t even try to quote scripture, let alone have a correct interpretation of it.

    At any rate, thank you, Karen, for posting about the SGM scandal and getting the truth out there, and Adam for your excellent post.

  48. Red says

    Wow. The elderly shouldn’t be teaching children? Didn’t realize there was a Bible verse about that. But I”m sure there must be, because Mr. Miller would never want to espouse an unBiblical view.

  49. NotATroll says

    Wow. A lot to digest here.

    A—That Mom (or “Some Woman”…whichever you prefer). I am glad to have found you (coming from Spiritual Sounding Board website that linked to you). You are a homeschooler, critical of HSLDA? Kudos.

    B—The dude with the big long post. They’re called paragraphs. Learn ‘em. Love ‘em. Use ‘em.

    C—Adam who responded to big long post dude. You are my new favorite person.

  50. says

    Here is an excellent comment from the Sharper Iron blog…..

    As the pastor of a very small church (55 people) for the past 20 years our here on the edge of the world at the Oregon coast, I wonder just how long I would be allowed to continue in my position if I were 1) charged with coverup of sexual abuse, 2) the charges came from, let’s see, 11 people is it? 3) numbers of the abuse perpetrators were or had been in my church, 4) a lawsuit was filed against me alleging coverup of horrific and shocking abuse….??? Would it be good enough for my congregation to continue to trust me if the case was dismissed only because the statute of limitations had run out?
    So what is the difference? Why would I be packing up my books on a Monday morning and people like Mahaney not only continue in ministry but are even invited to come and speak at conferences, and to have their books published? Sorry, but I have to conclude that the reasons come down to money and power and hanging with cohorts who have money and power.
    Even if I had ever known people like Dever and Piper and company, does anyone really think that they would keep standing with me like they have with Mahaney? Why not? Why would they distance themselves right quick from me? It is because I would be no loss to them.
    It is long past time for genuine followers of Jesus Christ to heed His words about “it shall not be so with you” in regard to power and position in His kingdom. If the least are the greatest, then WHY do we keep oohing and aahing over the great ones of our day? There is only one best-selling Author we must look to, and in fact His Book is the all-time best seller in history anyway.
    I wonder if we can get His autograph when we see Him?

  51. David says

    “The problem is, when the scriptures are being handled properly, it is not the woman who is speaking, but it is God himself who is speaking. So, when you do not listen to a woman who is accurately handling the word of God simply because she is a woman, *you* are usurping the authority of God himself, setting yourself up as if you do not have to listen to your own creator. That is why I have said that this movement is an attempt to replace sola scriptura with solus pater. If we are truly practicing Sola Scriptura, then anyone can stand up with a Bible and say “you’re wrong,” no matter what position of authority the person to whom they are speaking has. If they are accurately handling the word of God, it is God speaking, and to ignore God speaking is the height of idolatry.”

    Adam, YES! I’m applauding this statement. VERY WELL SAID. AMEN!!!!

  52. says

    Karen, I posted that comment you mentioned above from Sharper Iron forum. Pastor Jeff Crippen is the author of that quote. He’s also a blogger at Cry for Justice blog which deals with victims of domestic violence.
    (The comment was originally posted on Wartburg Watch blog. )

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