"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Spiritual Abuse Masked as Spiritual Authority

Today is part one of a seven part series on identifying the characteristics of spiritually abusive systems of religion. Future posts on the subject will be linked with this one to form a complete series when finished over the next several weeks. This subject is an important one in our day.

Spiritual abuse can be found in churches, non-profits, and denominational organizations. It is not limited to fundamentalists or liberals, Christians or cults, but may run the spectrum of theological ideologies. My friend, Jeff VanVonderen, has come up with a definition of spiritual abuse in his bestselling book, co-authored by David Johnson, entitled The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse. Using the book as a guide, the following is a descriptive definition of spiritual abuse.

Spiritual abuse is when a leader uses his or her religious position of authority to control, intimidate or dominate another person. It also occurs when a person in need of answers, help or support is denigrated for either questioning the "Lord's anointed" or not being "spiritual" enough to submit to the decisions of the religious authority.

The First Characteristic of a Spiritually Abusive Religious System:

There is a preoccupation with the leader's authority and the constant need to remind others of that authority.

Leaders will spend a great deal of time talking about their "authority" and reminding others of it. This posturing appears most frequently in ridiculing or shaming remarks toward those in the congregation, including demanding total attention and allegience to the leaders' words.

The difference between real spiritual authority and abusive spiritual authority is that the former actually possesses it, the latter only postures it. When Jesus taught he possessed spiritual authority because his life and his character backed up what he was saying.

One of the best ways to identify abusive authority is to pay attention to how much time and effort is expended by the religious leader in reminding others of his authority and how everyone else is supposed to submit to it. Abusive leaders are eager to place people under them - under their word, under their "authority" - and it is the clearest indication that they are operating under their own authority and not the Spirit of God's authority.


becca said...

Sure wish some of the people I know read your blog!

Thy Peace said...

What To Do If You Find Yourself In a Spiritually Abusive Religious System [MARCH 11, 2006]

First, VanVonderen says you can take flight and leave. For many people trying to decide whether to leave or stay in an abusive religious system is a question just too close to home. Dr. VanVonderen gives several objective questions that you need to ask yourself before choosing to flee the system:

(1). Can you stay and stay healthy both at the same time?
(2). Does grace really have a chance in this system?
(3). Is it possible the system might need to die?
(4). Are you trying to help the system, even though you are exhausted?
(5). Are you able to listen to the voice of reason?
(6). Do you really know where to sow?
(7). If you came today for the first time, knowing what you now know about the system, would you stay?

Lin said...

Thanks for mentioning this book. It is a must read. Jeff also makes the point of how damaging this is for the leaders who abuse their positions.

Chris Ryan said...

Good word, and a good beginning point.

I sat with a mentor the other day who showed me a diagram. It was pyramid shaped and consisted of three layers: pastors (at the pointy end), layministers, and those in need of ministry (at the flat end). Each layer contained two hands directing themselves towards the next layer. When he showed me the diagram, it was easy enough to see that the hands were there to hold up those in the next layer (pastors held up layministers who held the world). But then he flipped it over. And at that point, each layer pushed the other down. I thought to myself, "That is how so many pastors operate. They expect the layministers to be there supporting them in their ministry. And consequently, they oppress those who need to be reaching out. When they do that, the pyramid makes much more sense: the largest amount of people (the world) is on the bottom making the structure more stable. But when the words are meant to be read the other way, nothing is truly recongizable about the diagram/ministry except a pattern of oppression."

True ministers of the Gospel are ready and willing to take a risk of putting the pointy end of a pyramid on the ground and trusting God to hold it up.

Thy Peace said...

This is one of the best blogs that covers Spiritual Abuse, amongst other topics:

Cindy Kunsman: Under Much Grace blog

Thy Peace said...

One more:

The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse [MARCH 09, 2006]

(1). Leaders in spiritually abusive systems spend a great deal of time power-posturing by focusing on their "authority" and reminding others of it.

(2). In abusive religious systems there is a preoccupation with performance.

(3). In spiritually abusive systems people's lives are controlled from the outside by rules, spoken and unspoken.

(4). In spiritually abusive religious systems the mundane becomes the essential, the vital becomes trivial, and the real needs of real people are neglected for the sake of "agendas."

(5). In an abusive religious system those in charge believe that "others will not understand what we're all about, so let's not let them know, or else we will be falsely ridiculed or attacked."

(6). In a spiritually abusive religious system there is a demand that loyalty be to the organization and not necessarily the Kingdom of God.

(7). In abusive religious systems secrecy is prevalent and openness and transparency are rarely seen.

Anonymous said...

What about all the abuse Wade does to the SBC with his nonsense?

I certainly feel abused!

Anonymous said...


Your words remind me of a woman I counseled one time who really was in an abusive marriage. I asked why she stayed in it. Her answer was "I feel loved." I must confess that her words didn't make any more sense to me then than do yours now.

Rex Ray said...

You feel abused? Your words reflect what Wade’s post is about, and as been said, “It’s the bit dog that yelps”, or was it “hollers”?

Anonymous said...

I don't like posting anonymously but I don't want to cost someone their job... I first learned about spiritual abuse on the mission field serving with the IMB. The change from allowing each missionary to be equal with his or her peers under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, to the current, multi-tiered system of leadership; ie... missionary, team leader, strategy coordinator, strategy associate, regional associate, regional leader, Richmond associate, etc. led to more weirdness than I had ever seen before in the church or in seminary. It seems to be getting better in some places, but godliness is no longer valued as much as submission to the man... I pray by talking about these things the organization treats its people better.

With love and prayers for a better missions organization...

WatchingHISstory said...

Thy Peace

your seven steps are good. I have been there done that.
Hindsight showed me that the Holy Spirit was working providentially on my behalf to remove me Himself but I was resisting his will. Finally the Holy Spirit moved in close and had me removed in a way I could not resist.

So I would add a last and most important 8.) The Holy Spirit despises abusive relationships more than you! He wants to move you and you have to not put up resistance.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Mar 07 8:49,

Been there and had that done to us. It sounds like you have been in an abusive situation on the mission field. We could tell you horror stories about what has happened to us and many of the very best missionaries in our part of the world. Many are no longer with the IMB.

Wish there was some way we could “talk”. We are not on the field right now, but would like to return, but only if many changes are made.


I believe in heart these posts about spiritual abuse are going to be your very best contribution to missionaries, church members and others who have been or are being abused by a spiritual leader. I can never thank you enough for this post and the one to come. I truly believe God will use you and your post to help some struggling missionary or church member. Thank you for your courage and you servant heart.


WatchingHISstory said...

I worked overseas with an abusive and corrupt Church organization for over 13 years so I know abuse and the problems of working with heirarchial abuse. I know the feeling of abandonment and isolation and the upper heads saying you just have to live by "faith." While they toured with rich stateside tourist in plush surroundings, souvinor shopping!

Don't even get me started on that!!!

Thy Peace said...

Breakfastwith Fred > Daily Fenelon > Depend on God

The best place to be is where God puts you. Any other place is undesirable because you chose it for yourself. Do not think too much about the future. Worrying about things that haven't happened yet is unhealthy for you. God Himself will help you, day by day. There is no need to store things up for the future. Don't you believe that God will take care of you?

A life of faith does two things: Faith helps you see God behind everything that He uses. And faith also keeps you in a place where you are not sure what will happen next. To have faith you cannot always want to know what is happening or going to happen. God wants you to trust Him alone from minute to minute. The strength He gives you in one minute is not intended to carry you through the next. Let God take care of His business. Just be faithful to what God asks of you. To depend on God from moment to moment�especially when all is dark and uncertain�is a true dying to your old self. This process is so slow and inward that it is often hidden from you as well as others.

When God takes something away from you, you can be sure He knows how to replace it. There is a story that when Paul was alone in the desert, a raven brought him half a loaf of bread every day. If Paul's faith wavered and he wanted to be sure to have enough, he might have prayed that the raven would bring enough for two days. Do you think the raven would have come back at all? Eat in peace what God gives you. "Tomorrow will take care of itself." (Matthew 6:34) The One who feeds you today will surely feed you tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

I have 43 years of experience as a Southern Baptist pastor so I would say I have seen it all--and its not all good, but there is some good out there folks. I get very weary of people jumping on the bandwagon and pummeling pastors for every sin they have experienced or think they have experienced.

I am posting anonymously because I don't want what I say to become a debate about me and whether or not I am a good Southern Baptist.

The pastor has a very specific position in a church and is responsible to the Lord for how he does it. Not everyone is "equal" in their positions in the body of Christ--they are just unique.

I agree with all of what you posted but I have also found that the pastor who has to keep reminding you of his authority--has none.

Bob Cleveland said...

It might just be my age speaking, or it might be my Father's "no-nonsense" persona which I seem to have inherited, but I wouldn't say I have ever been "spiritually abused". Sure, some have tried nonsense .. like a pastor rigging a committee vote to force me to teach ungodly Sunday School material, but I just took that as a sign of where God didn't want me. And it proved to be an outstanding example of God's leadership.

Other times, folks in leadership tried some out-of-line stuff and I just wouldn't stand for it. Kind of like Wade and the IMB BoT.

Isn't that one of the things the "priesthood of the believer" means? That those around us may or may not be in tune with the Holy Spirit, but we're to be, regardless?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Wade, I think this is a great topic for a series.

Your statement:

"Leaders will spend a great deal of time talking about their "authority" and reminding others of it. This posturing appears most frequently in ridiculing or shaming remarks toward those in the congregation, including demanding total attention and allegience to the leaders' words."

I have watched this at my former church. A pastor who regularly speaks in condescending terms to the audience, ridiculing them for not amening, or not staying up with them, or not having their bibles open, or not having their bibles at all, or having to reprimand the congregation because a few people had to leave just before the invitation to begin. Or even telling them to "sit up, listen up"...even once declaring to the congregation "Praise Jesus you didn't get a raise, because you would have used that to go deeper into debt". When these things are done continually, it is to me a man trying to exert himself as being spiritually superior - to cram down our throats that he is worthy of reverence and respect. And I'm not talking about a preacher trying to make a joke - I'm talking about a continual stream of ridicule and condesension - commenting that they people don't know when to amen, having to step back and amen himself when he doesn't get the desired response, using the term "YOU" and not "WE" when talking about sin, or the need to change, etc. It is subtle, until one becomes conscious of it and then you realize - this guy is beating me down to exalt himself.

Anonymous said...

"but godliness is no longer valued as much as submission to the man.."

And there is the whole problem. They view submission to them as godliness. Little gods.

"Not everyone is "equal" in their positions in the body of Christ--they are just unique."

Dear Pastor, The eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of you. Yes, every function in the Body is EQUAL to all the others. It is this kind of thinking that causes the problems. Of course, there were no ex cathedra's in scripture. Just depraved sinners saved by grace in the Body functioning in the Body. It is us humans who elevate other humans over each other.


ezekiel said...

A couple of thoughts come to mind here.

1)How can any preacher, or any person that calls himself a Christian become puffed up and vain about his job with scripture like this available at most anytime? 1 Cor 1:17-31.

1Co 1:17 For Christ (the Messiah) sent me out not to baptize but [to evangelize by] preaching the glad tidings (the Gospel), and that not with verbal eloquence, lest the cross of Christ should be deprived of force and emptied of its power and rendered vain (fruitless, void of value, and of no effect).

1Co 1:20 Where is the wise man (the philosopher)? Where is the scribe (the scholar)? Where is the investigator (the logician, the debater) of this present time and age? Has not God shown up the nonsense and the folly of this world's wisdom?

1Co 1:24 But to those who are called, whether Jew or Greek (Gentile), Christ [is] the Power of God and the Wisdom of God.
1Co 1:25 [This is] because the foolish thing [that has its source in] God is wiser than men, and the weak thing [that springs] from God is stronger than men.
1Co 1:26 For [simply] consider your own call, brethren; not many [of you were considered to be] wise according to human estimates and standards, not many influential and powerful, not many of high and noble birth.
1Co 1:27 [No] for God selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is foolish to put the wise to shame, and what the world calls weak to put the strong to shame.
1Co 1:28 And God also selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is lowborn and insignificant and branded and treated with contempt, even the things that are nothing, that He might depose and bring to nothing the things that are,
1Co 1:29 So that no mortal man should [have pretense for glorying and] boast in the presence of God.

2)It never fails when somone posts this sort of post to have preachers lining up to tell us how they suffer at the hands of their church. The question I have is what leads anyone to believe that it would be any other way?

2Ti 1:8 Do not blush or be ashamed then, to testify to and for our Lord, nor of me, a prisoner for His sake, but [with me] take your share of the suffering [to which the preaching] of the Gospel [may expose you, and do it] in the power of God.

3)Then sombody always steps up to tell us that all are not equal in the Body of Christ.

What do we do with 1 Cor 12? These verses suggest we are all one body.

1Co 12:4 Now there are distinctive varieties and distributions of endowments (gifts, extraordinary powers distinguishing certain Christians, due to the power of divine grace operating in their souls by the Holy Spirit) and they vary, but the [Holy] Spirit remains the same.
1Co 12:5 And there are distinctive varieties of service and ministration, but it is the same Lord [Who is served].
1Co 12:6 And there are distinctive varieties of operation [of working to accomplish things], but it is the same God Who inspires and energizes them all in all.
1Co 12:7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the [Holy] Spirit [the evidence, the spiritual illumination of the Spirit] for good and profit.
1Co 12:8 To one is given in and through the [Holy] Spirit [the power to speak] a message of wisdom, and to another [the power to express] a word of knowledge and understanding according to the same [Holy] Spirit;

1Co 12:24 Which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so adjusted (mingled, harmonized, and subtly proportioned the parts of) the whole body, giving the greater honor and richer endowment to the inferior parts which lack [apparent importance],
1Co 12:25 So that there should be no division or discord or lack of adaptation [of the parts of the body to each other], but the members all alike should have a mutual interest in and care for one another.

I think we would all be better off if we think of ourselves as dead. "No longer I that live but Christ in me". If we did that, then the members of the body would have no need to be trying to judge who is not equal within the body and start to realize that it is all Christ and the Holy Spirit.

Otherwise it is prideful man subjecting other members to his will.

Jon L. Estes said...

For every pastor who is bent on taking over and living the role of King, there is the group of church members who are doing the same thing.

All believers are equal in the eyes of God and are on equal standing when it comes to our being saved. We are not all equal when it comes to the roles we have been called to fill.

Scripture is very clear that teachers of His word will be held to a higher account. if this is so and we consider the number of lay teachers in our churches, each one better understand they don't answer to a class membership role for what happens but to the One true God.

As for preachers, Hebrews is clear they will give an account for every member they lead (or refuse too) which God places them over.

Can a preacher be abusive? Absolutely. Can church members abuse their preacher? Absolutely... and they can make it more difficult, simply due to outnumbering the pastor.

I heard someone once say, it takes .49 cents to move a church member but 4900.00 to move a pastor.

Please make sure what is being called abuse is, abuse. Hurt feelings don't count, IMPO.

Thy Peace said...

A great sermon that is very apt for the series of posts in this blog, is #16 of The Long Reach of Your Speech series, Judicial Speech (Proverbs 31:8-9). If you watch the video, it's titled: "Apples of Gold: Judicial Speech", October 26, 2008 - Part 16 of series. The sermon is from 28:30 to 58:25.

Excellent Sermon.

"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and the needy" (Proverbs 31:8-9)

To speak in a judicial manner is to speak up on behalf of the oppressed.

To speak in a judicial manner is to speak up on behalf of righteousness.

To speak in a judicial manner is to speak up about others who have done so.

Benji Ramsaur said...


I hope you will talk about the idea of whether or not an "office/position" can be found in the New Testament.

I know you have already dealt with that on a technical level of talking about how the term "office" is not in the Greek text but in the King James Version.

However, someone might say "Well, the term 'Trinity' is not in the Bible either but Christians believe that doctrine".

So, I hope you will speak on whether or not the "concept" of "office/position" is a New Testament concept since I believe that issue is mixed in with your topic series.

I think some will say "It's not that we should do away with the idea of 'office' but that pastors should not 'abuse' the office they have"

I think others will say "There is no such thing as 'office' communicated in the New Testament in the first place".

God Bless,


Anonymous said...

"We are not all equal when it comes to the roles we have been called to fill."

Absolutely false. And is the cause of all the problems in the church. A 'role' is something you pretend to be. Playing a part. We do not have 'roles' as Christians. We have spiritual giftings that come from the Holy Spirit. They are not doled out as 'roles' by mere humans.

"Scripture is very clear that teachers of His word will be held to a higher account. if this is so and we consider the number of lay teachers in our churches, each one better understand they don't answer to a class membership role for what happens but to the One true God."

That is why what you said above about equality should chill you to the bone. You are mishandling scripture. EVERY single believer answers to the ONE true God. Teachers/Preachers will be held accountable for how they handle the Word. We are all ministers in the New Covenant.

"As for preachers, Hebrews is clear they will give an account for every member they lead (or refuse too) which God places them over."

God does not place YOU OVER anyone. That is YOUR misunderstanding of bad translations but it serves you well to believe that. Pays the bills, too.

You are responsible as an overseer to see that the Word is rightly divided. So far, you are not doing so well on that account. Your only authority is the Word. NOT YOU.

You are to be a slave to Christ. And a servant to others. We no longer have priests. We are all priests now. Jesus said the greatest among you will be the servant of all. Not a lot of lording it over in that verse.

Jon, Aren't you the guy that used David as an example of why the BBC blog should not say anything critical about Gaines. I believe you even said they should 'not touch God's anointed'. Is that how you think of yourself?


Anonymous said...


"No apostle ever said they were anointed, they did not speak in this manner; “don’t touch me I’m God’s anointed.” If someone is truly anointed, they would want to encourage the people to discern what is true and what is not. They would encourage people to pursue truth no matter where it would lead. They would love the sheep enough to protect them from falsehood and want to see them grow. They would allow the sheep to learn and think for themselves. The anointing, who is the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth and someone who has the Spirit of Truth will never run from seeing error but will confront it when necessary. He will give someone the truth from the Word, subsequently leading us away from error.

We also need to ask the question who is anointed? The Bible tells us the whole body of Christ is, not just some certain people in the body. 2 Cor. 1:20-22 “Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee”

Let me ask those who use the phrase “touch not God’s anointed”, do you believe that only a certain teacher is anointed or can you admit that the whole body is anointed? If so, stop using this Scripture from the Old Testament as if there are only certain people anointed, like prophets or kings. Are there only a certain few leaders who are the anointed of God? Use it correctly.

The New Testament view identifies the anointed as all those who have received Jesus into their hearts and baptized into the body (1 Corinthians 12:13). It is not a certain church or group of people who are supposed leaders over the Church like the kings or prophets in the Old Testament; the whole body of Christ is anointed. When someone insists for people not to say anything when they see something wrong, it is THEY that are coming against the anointed. For everyone shares the same anointing. Before one gives the standard cliché to protect a favorite teacher with “don’t touch my anointed” to someone who is searching what the Scripture actually says, you should think this through. It just may be that it is you who are touching the anointed Jesus, the author of truth, His Word.'

Anonymous said...

THY PEACE quotes from 'Apples of Gold' "

""Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and the needy" (Proverbs 31:8-9)

To speak in a judicial manner is to speak up on behalf of the oppressed.

To speak in a judicial manner is to speak up on behalf of righteousness.

To speak in a judicial manner is to speak up about others who have done so."

Apparently here we see a very strong connection between God's sense of what is JUST and what is MERCIFUL.

For those who always see God's justice as punitive, this quote should be an eye-opener.
The word "judicial" implies a fair, just, judgment. And to what end? In the above quote, God's justice is a merciful one that seeks the protection of the weak and powerless.

New BBC Open Forum said...

"We are not all equal when it comes to the roles we have been called to fill."

I'm glad I wasn't the only one who experienced chills when I read this statement!

oc said...

Thank you VERY much! I was writing a response to Jon, and yours said exactly what I wanted to say. I could not find a way to do it with as much kindness as you have exhibited. So thank you once again!

Sometimes we need to forget what we think we know, and get back to the basics of the Gospel.

You got things really twisted.


Anonymous said...

Yes. Our roles are different, like different organs in a body.
So is the Body of Christ made up of those with different gifts with Christ as the Soul of the Body, its Head.

But then we must remember this: that even the smallest, most insignificant part of the Body is needed and indispensable. Each member is valued for its necessary contribution to the Body of Christ.
To say that one member is 'more important' than another member then dismisses the mutual dependence of both. In this way, no one is taken for granted, no one is not valued, no one is not needed, all have purpose and meaning to build up the whole Body of Christ. All serve one another's needs and all are connected. When one suffers, all suffer. And the union in Christ is permanent.

Jon said...


Way back when on the BBC forum I mentioned the book The Tale of Three Kings and made some comments. I don't know if I said what you recall. I will state clearly that not all men serving as pastors are called by God for such a role but those who are we need to trust God to handle when they are out of control.

I know I stated clearly that if you have problems with Gaines, you need to go to him. Advice ignored, obviously.

Jon said...


I'd be glad to have you show me where I erred.

If you can I'll gladly apologize, if you can't I'll let you for your twisted words towards me.

Robert said...

Hey Lydia,
Why the alliance with the big three liberals?
It must be your dislike of anything that touches complimentarians!

Robert I Masters
From the Southern Baptist Geneva

O.C I would be interested in your response to anon on the previous post.

Anonymous said...

The Hymn of Body of Christ

Love flows from God into man,

Like a bird
Who rivers the air
Without moving her wings.

Thus we move in His world
One in body and soul,
Though outwardly separate in form.

As the Source strikes the note,
Humanity sings –

The Holy Spirit is our harpist,
And all strings
Which are touched in Love
Must sound.

Alan Paul said...

Should a church have a leader? I am genuinely wondering because from what I am reading from you Lydia, all of us are leaders (priests) and only answerable to God (who is quite capable by the way of leading us, but chooses more often than not to use people in our lives to lead us).

I understand the priesthood of the believer concept, but I have seen and heard of churches and organizations flounder and die for lack of leadership. For lack of someone(s) casting clear vision for the flock.

Humans have a tendency to swing the pendulum back and forth to the extremes on both sides of any issue, rarely pausing to consider that the middle ground might be a good place to stop.

oc said...

It's fundamental to Christianity.
It was addressed by Lydia, and you side-stepped. You could not confront the substance of her comment. So no. I'm not playing your game.

You did not respond to Lydia nor myself on the previous thread. You seem to do that often too. So for you to make the request of me to do what you are not willing to do is...well..absurd. Stick that in your ditty bag.


Jon said...


God's word says not to touch His anointed.
1 Chron. 16
Ps. 105

If you have a disagreement with this I think it best you take it up with God.

Do I think of myself as what? "God's anointed"?

I know I am called to preach and for now God has this calling fulfilled through the local church.

Jon said...


I didn't think you could or would.

oc said...

I didn't think with your attitude you could even understand it. That's why I'm not even going to waste my time explaining it to you. You've heard the Gospel.

Robert said...

I did too respond to both you and lydia.
Could you please tell what specific point you want me to address.
Genuine question on my part?

Robert I Masters
From the Southern Baptist Geneva

Anonymous said...

The Anointed One. Messiah. Christ.

jon said...


In the words of Stephen Olford

“Obey those who rule over you . . .” (Hebrews 13:17). We are not speaking here of dictators, or bosses, but rather of Christian leaders, raised up by the Holy Spirit, who manifest by their word, call and life God’s authority upon them. Such leadership is not self- appointed but God-appointed and recognized by the spiritual membership of the church.
Such people are to be known and loved in the church (see 1 Thes. 5:12). They cannot be rebuked, except for serious sin (see 1 Tim. 5:1), nor can they be accused of any wrongdoing in the church, except it be before two or three witnesses (see 1 Tim. 5:19).This is a hard truth to appreciate or appropriate in these days of lowering standards and rebelliousness, but the text is clear: “Obey those who rule over you . . .” (Hebrews 13:17).

and also on the same verse he states...

“. . . for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you . . .” (Hebrews 13:17). The total activity of Christian leadership is summed up in that one word “watch.” The thought is that of sleepless vigil. It conjures up the picture of the shepherd who guards his sheep throughout the night, who seeks for the straying, ministers to the sick, and leads the rest into pastures of tender grass.
What is even more solemn and important is that leaders have to do all this in the light of the judgment seat of Christ, where they must give an account of every sheep they have had in their care. If the report spells out the story of wandering, ill-fed and unhealthy sheep, then the day of reckoning will be no joy to the shepherds, but will cause them to groan with sorrow; and what is even more sad, it will be without any profit for the sheep themselves. That is the meaning of the words, “. . . Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you” (Hebrews 13:17).

He then closes out with the following words...

Have you ever stopped to think what it costs a spiritual and sensitive pastor, or elder, to lead and to feed the flock of God? Do you know anything of the tears, the anguish and travail in prayer to bring to birth the purposes of God in a local church, and to labor until Christ is formed in each member of the fellowship? Have you ever tried to imagine what goes on behind the locked doors of a study, as hours are spent in waiting upon God over the needs of the church? When you understand something of the costliness of Christian leadership, then you appreciate why obedience and submission are commanded by the Word of God and demanded by the servants of God. Here, then, is the divine rulership which we must respect.

Did the late Dr. Olford had it wrong? I don't think so.

Online discussion leaves a lot of room to put people into a stereotype that could be unfair. Just because I disagree with you does not mean I am against you or wish less than the best for you.

Other than the little, from my blog entries, the church web site and my two personal blogs, no one here really knows me, my heart or my passion for God. Few know my heart for the lost and for missions... but it seems because we disagree on something a belittling begins.

If I have done so towards anyone, I apologize, that is not where I want my heart to be. I will stand firm on what i believe to be true but do not want to belittle you in doing so.

Anonymous said...

Hate Mongers: "haters, and hate-mongers do more than the devil
himself to turn people away from the cause of Christ!

Indeed, if I were the devil, I'd put these people up front and center stage to define Christianity to Christians and non-Christians alike.

That would assure that some professing Christians
would become legalistic, judgmental haters and hate-mongers, and that non-Christians would look upon Christianity as
foolishness and a source of spiritual suffocation.

Moreover, many people who as children were exposed to this perverted version of "Christianity" have left the Church
and many have even turned their backs on God because of these phonies. What they may not as yet realize is that God has not turned His back on them!

Make no mistake!
There is an eternal judgment and reckoning with God!
It may well be that these phonies, these hypocrites,
these fascists who cloak their hatred of people under the mantle of "Christianity," will reap the harshest eternal judgment from God.

Anonymous said...

ooooh Robert, look out.

oc said...

Please. Your retort when disagreeing is to accuse that someone of being a "liberal" or that the person has man-centered theology. You make fun of me because I think that "character" is a basic identifying trait of a Christian. Even though I get that kind of understanding from Matthew 5-7 and many other Scriptures, not to the whole tenor of the Bible.

You call that "man-centered religion". That's fine, you are allowed your opinion. No matter how uninformed it is. But before you say it again, I suggest you read a little more, and if you've read, take it to heart.

Now you asked a question of me, and I'll answer. The response you gave me on the previous post was not an answer but instead an accusation that I follow a "man centered religion" as a result of my comment on Mar. 6 11:57 PM. The one from Lydia which you did not respond to is her Mar.7 12:08 AM comment. You did not honestly address either one. I didn't need to point this out to you, you knew full well what I was talking about. Now I'm done playing your little game. That's my answer to you.


Anonymous said...

GOD'S LAW, not man's
Theonomy: The Way of the Future

If they gained control of the US or Canadian federal government, there would be many changes:

The use of the death penalty would be greatly expanded, when the Hebrew Scriptures' laws are reapplied. People will be executed for adultery, blasphemy, heresy, homosexual behavior, idolatry, prostitution, evil sorcery (some translations say Witchcraft), etc. The Bible requires those found guilty of these "crimes" to be either stoned to death or burned alive. Reconstructionists are divided on the execution method to be used.
A church or congregation which does not accept the Mosaic Law has another god before them, and is thus guilty of idolatry. That would be punishable by death. That would include all non-Christian religious organizations. At the present time, non-Christians total two-thirds of the human race.
The status of women would be reduced to almost that of a slave as described in the Hebrew Scriptures. A woman would initially be considered the property of her father; after marriage, she would be considered the property of her husband.
It would be logical to assume that the institution of slavery would be reintroduced, and regulated according to Biblical laws. Fathers could sell their daughters into slavery. Female slaves would retain that status for life. Slave owners would be allowed to physically abuse them, as long as the slaves lived for at least a day before dying of the beating. 9
Polygyny and the keeping of concubines were permitted in the Old Testament. However, Reconstructionists generally believe in marriage between one man and one woman only. Any other sexual expression would be a capital crime. Those found guilty of engaging in same-sex, pre-marital or extra-marital sex would be executed.
The Old Testament "Jubilee Year" system would be celebrated once more. Every 50 years, the control of all land reverted to its original owners. In theory, this would require every part of North American land to be returned to the original Aboriginal owners (or perhaps to those persons of Aboriginal descent who are now Christians). Hawaii would be given back to the native Hawaiians.
Governments would all have balanced budgets.
Income taxes would be eliminated.
The prison system would be eliminated. A system of just restitution would be established for some crimes. The death penalty would be practiced for many other crimes. There would be little need for warehousing of convicted criminals.
Legal abortions would be banished; those found to be responsible for abortions would be charged with murder and executed.

The reinstitution of slavery appears to be a hot button item among Reconstructionists. We have received a few negative E-mails which complained that the movement does not recommend the resumption of human slavery. But we have received many more Emails from Reconstructionists claiming that legalizing slavery would be good for North America.

Anonymous said...

"Why the alliance with the big three liberals?
It must be your dislike of anything that touches complimentarians!"

What three liberals?

I AM a complimentarian. You aren't. You are a hierarchalist.

ezekiel said...

Galatians 5 anyone?

Lydia said...

"Should a church have a leader? I am genuinely wondering because from what I am reading from you Lydia, all of us are leaders (priests) and only answerable to God (who is quite capable by the way of leading us, but chooses more often than not to use people in our lives to lead us)."

Alan, who was the 'leader' or 'leaders' of the Corinthian church? And why wasn't the letter addressed to him to make sure all things were done in the letter? Perhaps the leader was Chloe. :o)

"I understand the priesthood of the believer concept, but I have seen and heard of churches and organizations flounder and die for lack of leadership. For lack of someone(s) casting clear vision for the flock."

God has already 'cast the vision'. There is no professional clergy class. All believers are clergy. Some more mature in the faith than others. 1 John says that all believers have anointing. We also know that all true believers are gifted by the Holy Spirit and all gifts are needed.

Leadership is not in scripture. That is a worldly concept to fit the worldly organizations we have created.

Service and being a servant is what is in store for us if we are true believers. If an elder (who should look like Matt 5) you are even more of a servant.

"Humans have a tendency to swing the pendulum back and forth to the extremes on both sides of any issue, rarely pausing to consider that the middle ground might be a good place to stop."

Interesting. You think Lydia was a leader in the church that met in her home?

oc said...

Jon said:

God's word says not to touch His anointed.
1 Chron. 16
Ps. 105

If you have a disagreement with this I think it best you take it up with God."

That says it all. Thank you Jon for displaying the very attitude which leads to spiritual abuse.
Get back to the basics, Jon. You, just like me, were the whore and extortianist. And you, and I, still practice a little of it daily. No, you are not the "untouchable One".


Lydia said...

"Did the late Dr. Olford had it wrong? I don't think so."

Most of it. Hebrews 13:17 is a horrible translation of the Greek.

Not only that, but you must ignore a lot of other scripture that makes you out to be a lowly servant.

Is it not strange that the main text to which those who advocate "Elders Rule," does not even mention "elders"? It is assumed beyond a shadow of a doubt that verse 17 is talking about elders. Then, it is welded into a law of God that this verse gives elders the authority to rule over the congregation.

Two other verses in Hebrews 13, verses 7 and 24, are very similar to verse 17. It is unclear who the Hebrew writer had in mind. Verse 7 reads: "Remember them that had the rule over you, men that spake unto you the word of God; and considering the issue of their life, imitate their faith." Notice the past tense treatment of "had the rule." Verse 24 states: "Salute all them that have the rule over you, and all the saints...." It is very possible that those "that spake unto you the word of God" were the first to preach the gospel to them, including the apostles themselves.


According to W.E. Vine, the Greek word peitho means "to persuade, to win over, in the Passive and Middle Voices, to be persuaded, to listen to, to obey, is so used with this meaning, in the Middle Voice. THE OBEDIENCE SUGGESTED IS NOT BY SUBMISSION TO AUTHORITY, BUT RESULTING FROM PERSUASION" ( An Expository Dic-tionary of New Testament Words, Vol. 3, p. 124).

The thrust of the word peitho is not one of submission to authority; it is one of listening to someone out of respect and taking their advice. A better translation of peitho in verse 17 is "Listen to," not "Obey them."

Peitho is sometimes translated "trust" in the King James Version of the New Testament and would have been an ideal translation in verse 17: ‘Trust them....’ This leaves the reader with a different flavor entirely than does the translation "Obey them..."

"Have The Rule Over You"

This is the part of verse 17 that really shows the bias and intent of the translators. "Have the rule over you" (KJV) was given as the meaning of hegeomai. It is used 28 times in the New Testament and translated variously as "count," "think," "esteem," "be governor," and other miscellaneous words such as "chief' and "leader."

It is significant to me that the King James translators used the strongest possible English words to translate hegeomai. Out of the 28 times the word appears, they elected to translate it "rule over you" three times: Hebrews 13:7, 17, and 24, thus, strengthening the concept that the Church officer had unquestionable rule and authority and must be obeyed.

****If the Holy Spirit wanted to convey the idea that Elders (Bishops) had the authority that they now claim, He would have used the Greek word arche, which translates into "rule" or "power." One who had the authority to rule was archon, "a ruler" or "a magistrate.'****

By choosing hegeomai the Holy Spirit indicated that these men who "watch(ed) in behalf of your souls", were the servants of Christ among them.

Robert said...

I still dont see any questions from Lydia.

Also I was not the one who posted anon concerning Mother Theresa. I never post anon and my handle is my real name.

I do believe character is important as you correctly state. It is not the sole defining mark of a christian.
Honestly I was simply trying to differentiate between the primary purpose of the Gospel in Arminianism and Calvinism. All I was really saying that a person can have right behaviour (orthopraxis) for the wrong reason(no orthodoxy).It still leads to hell.

BTW....My character encompasses more then this blog!

Robert I Masters
From the Southern Baptist Geneva

Lydia said...

"God's word says not to touch His anointed.
1 Chron. 16
Ps. 105"


All true believers have anointing. 1 John 2: 20. That would include your church janitor if he is truly saved.

I am also in a New Covenant where we do not have a Theocracy. We are now a Body of Christ where there is no Greek or Jew, slave or free...

Lydia said...

"Why the alliance with the big three liberals?
It must be your dislike of anything that touches complimentarians!"

What three big liberals?

I AM a complimentarian. You aren't. You are a hierarchalist.

oc said...

"BTW....My character encompasses more then this blog!"

And mine too. And I imagine that is true for Lydia and L's and everyone else too. So knock off the "liberal" and "man-centered theology" incendiary language.


Robert said...

Call yourself what you want but most complimentarians wont own your understanding of it. Just take a look at
your comments on Denny Burks blog.

Big three liberals lately on Wades blog.

You , OC,, New BBC Open Forum

Robert I Masters

oc said...

That's fine Robert. I notice that with all the names you vomit, you didn't call me "brother".
That's sad.


Robert said...

Liberal is a definition of position not a character trait. Apples and Oranges.
I was attacking your position not your character.
You were attacking my character not my position

Ex ...Rick Warren holds to a man-centered position in his purpose driven life.


....Rick Warren is a unregenerate pagan because he wrote the purpose driven life.

not acceptable attacks his character

Robert I Masters
from the Southern Baptist Geneva

oc said...

News flash. You know nothing about my theological bent. Describe my "position". I would be very interested in what you believe that is. Hint:I am not Rick Warren and do not subscribe to his philosophies.

Brother, stop being so emotional and acting like your salvation depends on others agreeing with you. Take a deep breath, and get a hold of thyself.


Robert said...

I dont call anyone brother even my blood brother!
Thats more of a cultural thing being from Iowa and the jungles of West Papua.

Robert I Masters
From the Southern Baptist Geneva

New BBC Open Forum said...

Big three liberals lately on Wades blog.

You , OC,, New BBC Open Forum

Thank you, Robert. Coming from you I'll take that as a compliment. I know it wasn't meant to be, but compared to you everyone is a "liberal." (You left out Wade.)

oc said...

I guess I like being called a brother. Not so much because it's a cultural thing being from Texas and living next door to the jungle of Memphis, but more about being of the family of Christ.

Your brother. Whether you like it or not. :)

Robert said...

New BBC Open Forum,
Yes sometimes Wade is a liberal.
Thats why I continue to post on his blog.

Robert I Masters
From the Southern Baptist Geneva

Anonymous said...

Robert is just such a lovely christian boy.

Thy Peace said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

some people have that snippy personality that one associates with effeminate hair-stylists.
they 'deign' to accept people only if they think that person is
'acceptable' to them.

Lydia said...

Robert, I don't even know what liberal and conservative mean to most anymore. I have always voted republican but found that most were too liberal for my taste. I have always equated more freedoms with being conservative and "big brother" ala 1984 with the liberals.

In my book, you are liberal because you lean toward more toward the big brother hierarchical stance and less toward our freedom in Christ and freedom from big brother.

Other than that, I am not really interested in further interaction with you because you only flame. You rarely discuss.

Besides that, I have no interest in a new Geneva with state church and magistrates ala Doug Wilson and his 'kirk'.

Thy Peace said...

Robert called Pastor Wade a liberal here. And then he ended up in Pastor Wade's sermon, as an example.

If you watch the video, it's titled "Apples of Gold: Controlled Speech", October 19, 2008 - Part 15 of series. This segment is at 38:55 to 42:40.

Anonymous said...

Robert got made at wade cause Wade said Robert might have had bird pooop in his cereal.

Robert couldn't take it.
So he called Wade a liberal.

Robert is very persnickety about his image.

Chris Ryan said...


First, I want to say that I agree with you, for the most part.

However, you said that we live in a New Covenant in which there is no theocracy. I must disagree with you on that.

Now, I don't believe in the typical conservative theocracy where we need Jesus' face plastered on our dollar bills and the 10 Commandments (as opposed to the Beautitudes) in our court houses. That will not make a nation more godly. But the church is through and through a theocracy. Christ is it's head and each part of the body is responsible for how it responds to the directives of the head.

No pastor is in charge. No layminister is in charge. God is.

I remember a conversation with a good fried who asked me if I thought that the church was a theocracy. I responded, "Of course, doesn't everybody?" He gave me a funny look and it took two seconds for me to realize my error. "Oh, right," I said, "we want the church to be a democracy so that we can all get our way."

Anonymous said...

It dont take much to get Robert to holler liberal.

gmommy said...

LOL!!! OC,Lydia,and Nass are the big liberals??
On this blog, liberal changes meaning depending on who uses it. Maybe another word would more clearly define what you REALLY mean.

I was taught IN THE BAPTIST church before the CR that we are not to obey even our parents IF they tell us to do anything against God's Word or example.
I was taught there was only ONE shepherd and One head of the church....and it wasn't the pastor.

So interesting to read some of the Presbyterian pastor blogs.
They seem to talk less "anointed" and more like mere men....in comparison with SOME of the all knowing on this blog.
Somehow their focus seems to be less on them and what THEY know. and more on who Christ is...some even seem to be humbled by that.
Just an observation.
...go ahead and spit something back Mr Geneva or Jon...I'm sure you can think of something better than just liberal.
And yes...CP is right...some of us are friends with non Christians AND Catholics :)

oc said...

Man, I've been called a lot of names in my time. During my pastorate times in Tejas, I was called a goose-steppin' fundy by many. And still, to this day, anyone who knows me would laugh straight in your face, and would wonder who you were talking about, Robert. You seem to see yourself in some kind of position of privilege; a position which the Bible has not afforded nor condoned for any human being.

Now that should give enough hint in order for you to lable me further. You said you were attacking my position, which you label as "man centered theology" and "liberal". I asked you to describe my position. You didn't. Now I'll ask that for a second time.
Describe my position.


Robert said...

Thy Peace,
Actually that "Robert " was not me.
You do IT....do you have the logs.

Have a good day!

Robert I Masters
From the Southern Baptist Geneva

Robert said...

The direction of that particular post was concerning L,s or Christiane.
You proceeded to tell me how she was more like Jesus and how you and I were the Whores.
All I was saying is that in all her writings on here she admits her "Catholic faith".
Your position seemed to be that her character as demonstrated by her writings on Wades blog overrides her stated belief in the official doctrines of the Roman catholic Church.
The only people I know who hold to that belief are liberals!

Robert I Masters
from The Southern Baptist Geneva

Anon gave a good answer after I asked you on the previous blog....a non-liberal or a Biblical answer.

Anonymous said...

All Catholics Go to HELL... It's just a fact

gmommy said...

yes, anon...that's what I was told by the same people who used the "N" word when I was growing up...and thought that women didn't need an education to "birth babies".
Hopefully you are trying to be funny.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Just curious about something, Robert. Are you a pastor?

Lydia said...

"Call yourself what you want but most complimentarians wont own your understanding of it. Just take a look at
your comments on Denny Burks blog."

LOL! You mean the thread with 1700 comments responding to Bruce Ware's teaching that unsubmissive wives trigger abuse? Sure, we all know they 'ask' for it by not obeying their husbands in all things. As someone who volunteered in a spouse abuse shelter, I happen to know that Ware is full of something and it is not Christ. Perhaps something Napoleonic?

It always made me angry that the secular world understood abuse but the church did not. So I did something about that by going there myself. The biggest problem we had were the ministers who came and told the women they were in sin for leaving. Better some broken ribs than not submitting. that was the real sin in their eyes.

Robert said...

BBC Open Forum,
No sir/maam. I own my own computer company that specializes in Open Source solutions. Need a new computer in Memphis?

Robert I Masters
From the Southern Baptist Geneva

Lydia said...

"But the church is through and through a theocracy. Christ is it's head and each part of the body is responsible for how it responds to the directives of the head."

Chris, I agree with this.

But our civil government is separate from the Body. Not like Israel at all. That was my point with Jon's OT scripture references about being 'anointed' above others in the NC. He was using OT scriptures to apply to himself in this day and time. He was comparing his position to King David's.

oc said...

That's ok Robert.
I just have a really hard time when someone believes in Total Depravity and yet has recieved the unmerited Grace of God through Jesus Christ, that they would forget they were destined for Hell without any hope to save themselves, without the unmerited intervention of Almighty God. You would think that that alone in itself would humble us. But you seem to forget that you and I were the whores that needed saving. And we whore from time to time still. Because we are not fully sanctified yet. We still have the whore warring within us. We aren't true to God every minute. So we have no reason to be haughty.

So then when a person like us turns around and pees on brothers and sisters in Christ, sticking labels on them and can't even bring ourselves to call them siblings, _(as if they are not good enough to be in the family,)well yeah, something is wrong.

Don't ya think, brother?

Robert said...

Can you direct me to that quote...I thought that was Dr Patterson.
I was refering to a post he made just before he moved to Kentucky.
You seemed to disagree a lot with him.
Denny Burk that is!

Robert I Masters
From The Southern Baptist Geneva

Lydia said...

"Can you direct me to that quote...I thought that was Dr Patterson."

They both teach the same thing. Big surprise. Ware taught this at the Denton Bible church. It has been amusing seeing the fallout and the articles from CBMW contributers since then. Donations must be dropping off.

"You seemed to disagree a lot with him.
Denny Burk that is!"

Is he one of your icons?

New BBC Open Forum said...

Thank you, Robert. I'm relieved to hear that.

Wendy J. Duncan said...

Thank you so much for posting this information on spiritual abuse. My husband and I facilitate a support group for former members of cultic and spiritually abusive groups. Many have difficulty finding their way back to church after such an experience. Unfortunately, most folks in churches don't understand anything about Christian cults or religious abuse.
Wendy J. Duncan
Author: I Can't Hear God Anymore: Life in a Dallas Cult

Thy Peace said...

Cindy Kunsman: Under Much Grace blog: Defining Spiritual Abuse

After almost two years of blogging on this topic, this blog now displays a tremendous amount of information about spiritual abuse, but it does not necessarily flow in a logical progression. I’ve prepared this index to help the reader to more easily navigate through the number of posts that appear here on this blog.

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic:

Economy related: Npr: Fresh Air interviews with Terry Gross.

Simon Johnson On Bank Bailout Plan [March 3, 2009]

These are already dated, because of the fast moving economic mess, but Elizabeth Warren is one of the few people who can clearly explain in simple terms ...

What Does $700 Billion Buy Taxpayers? [December 11, 2008]

Your Credit Report: Know Its Perils, Keep It Clean [July 1, 2008]

Elizabeth Warren On The Rising Cost Of Credit Debt [July 2, 2008]

Christiane said...

Hi Robert,

It's me, L's

Rather pensive after the funeral of my ninety-three year old Aunt Yvonne. Wonderful woman, so much love.

Oh Robert, maybe in some better world than this, I wouldn't need to be so hopeful. and sound so lame; and you wouldn't need to be so angry, and we might have been friends.
I'm afraid I'm not a very good adversary, Robert, I don't have much heart for it. Sorry.

Something about being hopeful: my Aunt, with no formal university training, became world-famous for something special. And she didn't set out to be famous at all.

One year, she noticed among her salvia plants, a rogue much-taller than usual, salvia plant. Intrigued by this, she kept the seeds and planted them next spring. And again, there grew in her garden taller salvia plants. And so it continued, year after year (for Aunt Yvonne was very patient. being a gardener, you know) and the salvia plants grew taller each year until they finally reached over her head in height.

She had developed a new strain of salvia, now known all over the world as Yvonne's Giant Salvia Splendids (I think that's right :).

She knew that the Lord works slowly and the Lord knew she was the right gardener for the job, and so they made a good team together, and something wonderful came that made people happy.

Oh, and she tried to give her special seeds to a horticultural institute, but they didn't want them. So her daughter put the seeds on the internet and they were given away for free. Aunt Yvonne wanted no money. Just happy people.

Requests came from all over the world. The new strain was named after my dear Aunt.

So now she is where flowers bloom in endless splendor, in the radiance of the Holy One.

I know she's happy. :) Love, L's

P.S. If you 'google' in
Yvonne's Salvia, you can click on some of the entries and one has a picture of my beautiful Aunt, in her garden, whilst she still lived.

Plant some flowers, Robert: wonderful things can happen.

Anonymous said...

L's Aunt's Flower Seeds:

"Yvonne also had many nieces, nephews and friends whom she loved dearly. An avid gardener, needle worker and cook, Yvonne is perhaps best known outside of her family for the thousands of colorful, crocheted hats that she made and gave away to newborn babies and children stricken with cancer and as the creator of a new breed of the flower, Salvia splendens, commonly known as Red Salvia. "Yvonne's Salvia," as it is now known throughout the world, grows over 3 feet taller than common Red Salvia and produces magnificent, bright red flowers. Seeds are available for free through the garden web seed exchange. See http://mamakane.com/yvonnesalvia.ht

Wanda said...

I agree with Thy Peace (3/7, 9:19 pm). I have read articles on Cindy Kunsman's blog, and she has done very thorough research on spiritual abuse. It's definitely worth checking out.

We must be on guard against false prophets (all of whom spiritually abuse their flock), as the Bible warns. They seem to be increasing with each passing year, and I'm extremely concerned about our brothers and sisters in Christ who are being misled.

Anonymous said...

A warning from Acts 20: 29-31
in which Paul states,

"For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears."

Chris Ryan said...


Okay. I follow you now. I just hate letting comments like that go unqualified.

Now, keep up the good fight.

CB Scott said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert said...

Not angry at all.

Robert I Masters

CB Scott said...

Would any of you consider antagonists to be spiritual abusers?

Antagonists defined:

"Antagonists are individuals who on the basis of nonsubstantive evidence, go out of their way to make insatiable demands, usually attacking the person or performance of others. These attacks are selfish in nature, tearing down rather than building up, and are frequently directed against those in a leadership capacity."


Anonymous said...

One of the commenters on Wade’s blog wrote:

Anyway, accurate or not, here’s something that any pastor can count on:
1 Peter 5:1-3, in pieces [NASB]:”Therefore I exhort the elders among you…shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion…nor yet as lording it over those alloted to your charge but proving to be examples to the flock.” Guess what pastors? You have no right to tell a member to leave just because you don’t get along. God has alloted them to YOU. You have to suck it up and be a good example. And you better get along with fellow elders, too.

Then Titus 1:7: “For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fornd of sordid gain, but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled.” Emphasis is mine. NO, you can’t break his nose. You’re sinning against the flock, not just the one. No, you can’t do something just because you think it’s a good idea, especially if other elders think it’s not…that’s what self-willed people do. And you are a steward, not an owner. You protect and keep, not divide and conquer.

The prophet Jeremiah makes it clear that the shepherds are not to divide the sheep:

Jeremiah 23:1 “Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of My pasture!” declares the LORD.

Anonymous said...


"The bashful cannot learn
nor the hot-tempered teach" Hillel

Chris Ryan said...


You say that OC is wrong for believing that L's is a Christian because he bases that belief on what he knows of her character. You call that liberal.

Yet, the truth is that she is one of the most consistently godly persons on this blog. I have seen her post an angry word... never. If indeed Christ still imparts fruits of the Spirit (assuming that those haven't ceased like you believe tongues and prophecy have), one who has had more of those fruits blooming in their life than L's does would be very hard to find here.

If you are a Christian because you have all the right doctrines, then L's may not be a Christian, I may not be, and you may not be. None of us will know until we get to Heaven and God explains it all.

But if we are Christians because of a relationship we have with Christ, and if evidence of that relationship is found in the way we revere God and respect our neighbor, then L's is the real deal.

I would kindly ask that you refrain from ever suggesting what you did, again. And I'm sure that if Kevin were here, he would ask the same thing.

You have now met two conservative, evangelical Christians (OC and myself) who believe there is at least one Catholic who is going to spend eternity with Christ. We believe in a God who is big enough to save whomever He will: so sue us.

Robert said...

Chris Ryan,
I dont understand.....

I would kindly ask that you refrain from ever suggesting what you did, again. And I'm sure that if Kevin were here, he would ask the same thing.

What did I suggest?

I think what we have here is soterialogical inclusive-ism.
I dont hold to that at all....its unbiblical. It is different then universalism however!

Who is Kevin....I thought this was Wades blog.

Do you have me confused with Anon...I am the same although I do agree with 99% of what he has stated!

Robert I Masters
From the Southern Baptist Geneva

Robert said...

Chris Ryan,
Should be I am NOT the same person as anon.

Robert I Masters
From the Southern Baptist Geneva

Robert said...

Chris Ryan,
Are you a Southern Baptist?

Reading...Stanley Hauwerhaus,Greg Boyd good solid evangelicals there!

BTW---I am not an Evangelical.I am Reformed Baptist.

Robert I Masters
From the Southern Baptist Geneva

Jesse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert said...

Chris Ryan,
So you agree with OC here?

The direction of that particular post was concerning L,s or Christiane.
You proceeded to tell me how she was more like Jesus and how you and I were the Whores.
All I was saying is that in all her writings on here she admits her "Catholic faith".
Your position seemed to be that her character as demonstrated by her writings on Wades blog overrides her stated belief in the official doctrines of the Roman catholic Church.
The only people I know who hold to that belief are liberals!

Iam sorry but the reformers even the radical reformers would not agree with you here.
Must be Sola Fide

Robert I Masters
From the Southern Baptist Geneva

Jesse said...

Lydia, peitho, when used with hegeomai in the dative, does have the meaning of obey. Hegeomai, then, in the dative means leaders. Why else submit to them as it also states in verse 17? The reason? They "stay awake" on behalf of your souls.

It seems the purpose of this passage is not so much of who rules who, but who should be listening and paying attention to whom. These leaders that the writer of Hebrews is focusing on are spiritual leaders who are watching out for your spiritual best interests, not trying to fleece the flock which is why some people have problems with the whole "submit" issue which seems to be the context of this entire thread.

Just because there are those who abuse their position, doesn't mean their should not be people in positions of leadership; just not abusive people in positions of leadership.

Anonymous said...

EVANGELICAL: 'the Good News'

The term originates in the Greek word evangelion, meaning "the good news," or, more commonly, the "gospel."

Anonymous said...

Robert, time to leave L's alone.
She is grieving her aunt's death.

Lydia said...

"Would any of you consider antagonists to be spiritual abusers?"

Only if they have power and influence over others. Positional authority.

I cannot "harm" Robert in any way shape or form and he is not scared of me. He will not lose his job or business because he disagrees with me or calls me a liberal. I cannot shame him, excommunicate him or even discipline him.

But you, CB, have some of that power to do so yourself as a pastor...

Lydia said...

Jesse, Are you a pastor?

Anonymous said...

"Where Life and Faith Meet':

"Identifying Spiritual Abuse"

The Abuse Setup

"The abuse trap is set when the need for spiritual leaders (mediators) and the need for followers
becomes greater than the desire to seek a person-to-person intimacy with God.

The outworking of this is clearly seen when a spiritual leader is idealised and their words assume the very words of God.
Peoples' spiritual hunger today is easily transferred to finding fulfilment in a man's teaching or leadership.

Working the other way, a spiritual leader can feed upon this and come to expect or demand loyalty.
If it is not forthcoming, it can be seen as equal to disobedience with God."

Robert said...

Unfortunately the term has come to mean much more then that in this post-modern age.
Is Joel Osteen an evangelical?
Is Robert Schuller an evangelical?
Is Benny Hinn an evangelical?

Rather then define it everytime I speak I just use the more specific definition:Reformed Baptist.

As an aside I am not aware of any nationally known Reformed Baptist who holds to an egalitarian understanding of Scripture...with one exception;Roger Nicole. My prime reason for using the more narrow term
Reformed Baptist.

Robert said...



Honestly I am getting tired of people throwing stones then blaming me for the damage they cause.
Notice Chris Ryan was the last one to throw a stone.

Robert I Masters
From the Southern Baptist Geneva

CB Scott said...

Lydia or anyone else,

Please look again at the definition of "Antagonists."

"Antagonists are individuals who on the basis of nonsubstantive evidence, go out of their way to make insatiable demands, usually attacking the person or performance of others. These attacks are selfish in nature, tearing down rather than building up, and are frequently directed against those in a leadership capacity."

With the definition of an antagonist in mind please reconsider the question:

Would any of you consider antagonists to be spiritual abusers?


Chris Ryan said...


Unfortunately, I feel that it is important to answer this accusation first before you would hear anything else I say. Yes. I am a Southern Baptist, through and through. That does not mean that I am afraid of what those beyond that little corner of the faith have to say. Much can be gleaned from reading those you don't always agree with. It stretches the mind, trains it. By retreating into strict denominationalsim, we limit our minds, our ability to read scriptures, and thus (imho) the ability to have our minds transformed to pure Christ-likeness. I have read many Southern Baptists with great profit. But they are the only people who have valuable insights.

Now, to the real matter at hand. You say soteriological inclusivism is unbiblical. My question is this: does your understanding of soteriology, or mine, actually determine how or who God saves?

I am not saying that God saves by different means. I am saying that God doesn't save us based on what doctrines we profess. Salvation is not doctrine, and to say it is is the truly unbiblical position. I believe that would transgress both sole fide (in that faith is innocent and child-like), sola gracia (in that grace is a reality, not a principles based upon that reality), and sola biblica (in that doctrine is derived from the Bible, not the Bible from doctrine).

The Reformers clamored for sole fide. I believe they are correct. That does not mean that God is limited to saving those who may believe differently. As a reformed Baptist, I'm sure you understand that God will save whom He will and not necessarily for their correct understandings. God can save whether I read the Bible as a Calvinist, Arminian, or Catholic. If salvation has nothing to do with me, that means it doesn't matter what I think about it, either.

To more tertiary matters: I believe that you suggested that because L's was a Catholic she could not possibly be Christian. It is that which I ask you to refrain from ever saying again. The Kevin to whom I referred was Kevin Crowder who has come to L's defense on many occassion.

Security word: grace

gmommy said...

So sorry for the loss of your aunt. She sounds like a really special lady. She's probably growing her flowers in heaven now!!
Thank you for all your kind and insightful posts. I'm always blessed by what you share.

ezekiel said...

CB Scott,

"Would any of you consider antagonists to be spiritual abusers?"

Not really. But I can see where you and others may want to. Mostly though, spiritual abuse is generally accepted as being something accomplished by a leader or an organization acting upon the desires of a leader, do to an individual or group of people.

From Wikipedia

"The term Spiritual abuse was coined in the late twentieth century to refer to alleged misuse of authority by church leaders."

Characteristics of Spiritual Abuse

Researchers conceptualize a set of discernible characteristics of spiritual abuse.
Dr. Ronald Enroth in Churches That Abuse identifies five categories:

Authority and Power - abusive groups misuse and distort the concept of spiritual authority. Abuse arises when leaders of a group arrogate to themselves power and authority that lacks the dynamics of open accountability and the capacity to question or challenge decisions made by leaders. The shift entails moving from general respect for an office bearer to one where members loyally submit without any right to dissent.

Manipulation and Control - abusive groups are characterized by social dynamics where fear, guilt, and threats are routinely used to produce unquestioning obedience, group conformity, and stringent tests of loyalty to the leaders are demonstrated before the group. Biblical concepts of the leader-disciple relationship tend to develop into a hierarchy where the leader's decisions control and usurp the disciple's right or capacity to make choices on spiritual matters or even in daily routines of what form of employment, form of diet and clothing are permitted.

Elitism and Persecution - abusive groups depict themselves as unique and have a strong organizational tendency to be separate from other bodies and institutions. The social dynamism of the group involves being independent or separate, with diminishing possibilities for internal correction and reflection. Outside criticism and evaluation is dismissed as the disruptive efforts of evil people seeking to hinder or thwart.

Life-style and Experience - abusive groups foster rigidity in behavior and in belief that requires unswerving conformity to the group's ideals and social mores.

Dissent and Discipline - abusive groups tend to suppress any kind of internal challenges and dissent concerning decisions made by leaders. Acts of discipline may involve emotional and physical humiliation, physical violence or deprivation, acute and intense acts of punishment for dissent and disobedience.

If you want to look at it your way, I suggest you look back at Moses and the prophets and think of your antagonist as a hard hearted stiff necked people. In that case there are plenty around and nothing new. One would think that Christ laid out a pretty clear way to deal with them. Does "love your neighbor" or "love your enemies" sound like anything you have heard before?

What about....

16 Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. 17 Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor. 18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. 19 For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. 21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

But then let's just do it your way and kick them out of the church.......How dare they revile you, refuse to honor you after all, you are the anointed one right?

Robert said...

Chris Ryan,
Thanks for that reply.
Actually I did not say that if she was Catholic she could not be a Christian.
The first post was my question to L,s as to why she continues to post here being a Catholic.
Second OC basically says that based on her character exhibited on this blog she was a better Christian then me/him/us.
Thirdly I said that based on her statements in previous posts on this blog she has has never recanted or rejected the core doctrines of the Catholic church. That puts you outside the Reformed understanding of the Five Solas. That my friend is not Gospel Saving Faith.
Therefore: No matter how "nice" L,s appears to be be on this blog. Nice is not the standard God uses at all.

I dont know if you have ever done EE(Evangelism Explosion) but I know Tom Stebbins who was for many years the president under Dr Kennedy.One of the things that they insist in the presentation of the Gospel is that you clarify that they(the convert,prospect , believer) gives a clear faith based answer to the questions. In all the times I have read L,s responses to many questions on this blog she always gives a faith plus works answer!
Again that is pretty typical Catholic theology.

Finally I want to remind that I was not the one who posted..All Catholics go to Hell.
To recap what I am saying is that if you are a Catholic who believes in Catholic doctrine to save you then you dont have Saving faith...faith maybe but not Saving faith.
Inversely there is nothing in Reformed Baptist Doctrine(usually the 1689 London Confession) that is contrary to believing in Saving faith.You may not be a Christian but belief in your doctrine is not stopping that Saving faith.

Frankly Chris I dont think your defense of L.s faith is very loving at all. It is not loving to let people trust in something other than Saving faith for their salvation.

Have a Blessed Lords Day.
Robert I Masters

Anonymous said...




1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, Mt. 17.20 ; 21.21 · Mk. 11.23 and have not charity, I am nothing.

3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

4 ¶ Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

5 doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

6 rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

7 beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

8 ¶ Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

12 For now we see through a glass, darkly, but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

Bibliophile said...

Man alive, it's hot in here!
I side with the anti-abuse crowd. The ones who lord it over the flock will provoke you to anger, though. Then they will point at your anger as sin. Don't let them do it.

Anonymous said...


"Between heaven and earth,

Like a lamb just shorn.

Dear Lord, I lay my head to rest

Upon the altar of thy Sacred Breast.

In times of suffering and pain,

Feign there, would I e’er remain."

Anonymous said...

Please look again at the definition of "Antagonists."

"Antagonists are individuals who on the basis of nonsubstantive evidence, go out of their way to make insatiable demands, usually attacking the person or performance of others. These attacks are selfish in nature, tearing down rather than building up, and are frequently directed against those in a leadership capacity."

With the definition of an antagonist in mind please reconsider the question:

Would any of you consider antagonists to be spiritual abusers?


Sun Mar 08, 01:12:00 AM 2009

I answered you, CB. You just did not like the answer. Patterson spiritually abused Dr. Klouda. Could Dr. Klouda have spiritually abused Patterson? No. But, She DID antagonize him just by being a woman who taught Hebrew.


Anonymous said...


"May God bless you with discomfort… at easy answers, hard hearts, half-truths ,and superficial relationships.

May God bless you so that you may live from deep within your heart where God’s Spirit dwells.

May God bless you with anger… at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people.

May God bless you so that you may work for justice, freedom, and peace.

May God bless you with tears… to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war.

May God bless you so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and turn their pain into joy."

CB Scott said...

"Would any of you consider antagonists to be spiritual abusers?"

The answer to the question is simply; Yes.

Those who would answer the question any other way are, by their nature and predisposition, people who have a rebellious relationship to any authority in their lives. This usually is a symptom of a systemic problem in their personality.

Antagonists cause more trouble in churches than any other person or group of persons.

An antagonist can be a leader in a church or any other person in the fellowship. The position of a person within the body is not relevant to their being an antagonist.

What is relevant to being an antagonist is that one would:

"on the basis of nonsubstantive evidence, go out of their way to make insatiable demands, usually attacking the person or performance of others. These attacks are selfish in nature, tearing down rather than building up."

The answer to the question:

"Would any of you consider antagonists to be spiritual abusers?" is simply, yes.

There is no other answer unless, of course, one is by nature an antagonist. In that case, the person who is an antagonist due to an unhealthy relationship to any authority (primarily God's authority in their lives) would give an alternative answer.

Those people are normally hurting people who suffer from unresolved issues in their lives. Antagonists can get help, but most refuse, because they will not submit to the fact they have a problem. Therefore, they perpetrate their own suffering upon others because that is the only way they can build themselves up enough to give comfort to their own self-inflicted pain.


Wade Burleson said...


Not many have probably read your various comments on other blogs where you have called people who disagree with you antagonists. Ironically, CB, in your comment above, you do the very thing you accuse your antagonists of doing.



Chris Ryan said...


I don't know how many catholics you have spent time with discussing spiritual matters over the years. I have spoken with several, and I have *never* heard one of them say faith plus works. Nor have I ever heard that in L's responses. I *have* heard that saving faith produces works.

I think that we do Paul and James an injustice when we assume that they are operating off of the same definition when they use the word "works." I think that what James refers to as "works" is what Paul would refer to as "faith, hope, and love" or "fruits of the Spirit."

That is what I have understood from L's. I guess she can correct me if I have misread her. If I am correct, then I think it is you and your anonymous friend who owe at least some Catholics an apology for never hearing what they were saying.

I defend her in good conscious because I have seen the grace of God in her spirit. That is a supernatural grace, not one achieved by any human agent. Not many could read our biting and squabbling and sarcasm and still respond with such a naive grace by apologizing when she misunderstood that we were trying to be mean! That is the attitude of Christ on the cross. Perhaps we should spend more time with Catholics like L's who understand that attitude. God knows that Southern Baptists could use a little more of it.

CB Scott said...

No, Wade, I have not done that. I have simply described an antagonist along with "some" of the reasons one might be one.

But, I will call you an antagonist, Wade, because you are one.

And, it is because I know you, Wade, that I call you an antagonist. You are no activist. All the activists have left your side, sickened by your antagonism toward so many things SBC.

You are the very definition of an antagonist just as I described above in the definition. You have presented some valid points from time to time, but your goal is not the repair of anything. You are never really constructive in your criticism toward SBC entities or personalities.

Your ambition is to control something that is bigger than yourself.

Your need for attention drives you no matter the cost to others. You are self-serving. You will pick some side of a valid issue and pretend it is what you are fighting for, but it is not.

You present arguments based on some little or grossly misrepresented evidence. Some people call what you do "pettifogging." You tend to provide "strong evidence" for irrelevant points. You tend to exaggerate your chosen "oppositions" positions on things to make your case. And you are really good at making assertions that cannot be disproved and then claiming that the inability to disprove what you say make your claims true.

I can give examples Wade, but I figure you already know them and so does everybody else who really knows what is going on in the SBC.

Wade, it did not take me long to see this about you. And if you look around; so did several others. They are not around anymore either are they?

Now, I can go on with this if you like Wade. But the truth is simple. You need to stop doing mean and antagonistic things to people veiled as concern for the needs of others and feeding it to the uninformed in what has been called that "irenic" spirit of nurture and love.

You can fool many people who do not understand what you are doing and why, but you cannot fool those who know the truth. And you haven't.

BTW, I have talked to the staff member you referenced in the post, "Lessons in Dealing with a Disgruntled Member" and it is funny, but he does not remember the story happening exactly like you tell it. But, of course you might say the story is not about him.

But, of course a person suffering from a Narcissistic personality such as you could only write that story by making yourself the hero. And again, only those who know you know the truth. And it does not take long to see through you. Just a few encounters will do.


ezekiel said...

Eze 34:1 AND THE word of the Lord came to me, saying,
Eze 34:2 Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them, even to the [spiritual] shepherds, Thus says the Lord God: Woe to the [spiritual] shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the sheep?
Eze 34:3 You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you kill the fatlings, but you do not feed the sheep.
Eze 34:4 The diseased and weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the hurt and crippled you have not bandaged, those gone astray you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought to find, but with force and hardhearted harshness you have ruled them.

ezekiel said...

Careful now with all that pushing and thrusting CB.

Eze 34:16 I will seek that which was lost and bring back that which has strayed, and I will bandage the hurt and the crippled and will strengthen the weak and the sick, but I will destroy the fat and the strong [who have become hardhearted and perverse]; I will feed them with judgment and punishment. [Luke 19:10.]
Eze 34:17 And as for you, O My flock, thus says the Lord God: Behold, I judge between sheep and sheep, between the rams and the great he-goats [the malicious and the tyrants of the pasture].
Eze 34:18 Is it too little for you that you feed on the best pasture, but you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pasture? And to have drunk of the waters clarified by subsiding, but you must foul the rest of the water with your feet?
Eze 34:19 And My flock, must they feed on what your feet have trodden and drink what your feet have fouled?
Eze 34:20 Therefore thus says the Lord God to them: Behold, I, I Myself, will judge between fat sheep and impoverished sheep, or fat goats and lean goats.
Eze 34:21 Because you push with side and with shoulder and thrust with your horns all those that have become weak and diseased, till you have scattered them abroad,

Anonymous said...

Wow, CB, the irony is that Wade allows that antagonistic comment of yours about HIM on HIS blog.

I guess calling folks cowards all the time is not antagonistic? I guess that is right and you are entitled.

You cannot see how hypocritical you are. When CB does it, it is ok. And everyone else has the 'wrong' answer. Only CB has the right answer. This goes on all the time with you on blogs.

You are really good at baiting a hook. Not so good at reeling them in. Not here. But you learned from the master himself: Patterson.

You do not even see yourself. You and your BI buddies are the most antagonistic folks I know. And they have the power to hurt others because of their position. A very dangerous combination, indeed.

I am also reminded of Ben's last post where he told us that you asked him to speak out about Patterson's evil doings. Oh, he did and you scurried for shelter. Because no one does it like CB wants it done. At least that is what you come back and say when the rubber meets the road. You turned on him and you know it.

Nothing scares me more when reading this blog that you guys are pastors.

You may not even realize it but you are simply jealous. You need to get out of the ministry. You are not qualified.


Anonymous said...

CB is talking 'about Wade'
but he is describing himself.

And he doesn't know it.

Anonymous said...

Many people have the 'power' to help others or hurt others.

The choice of how to use that power reveals whether Satan or God rules that person's life.

But, when the powerful, controlled by Satan, harm others and say they do it 'for the Lord';
then they need to be very fearful
of God's judgment on them, which they cannot escape.

oc said...

Good fishin' by an antagonist. I'm certain I'm not the only one to see what was coming. It was pretty obvious.

11:38 pm. He dangled the "antogonist" lure.
Got Lydia to bite. But that wasn't the fish he wanted.

1:12 am. He dangled it again. Got Ezekial. That also wasn't the fish he wanted.

8:46 am. He dangled it a third time. Since he hasn't been getting much action previously, he chums the water this time by answering his own question. It worked.
The big fish he wanted finally bit.

Dang it Wade, it was obvious what he was doing. You should have ignored the bait.


Wade Burleson said...


It makes the most sense for me to deal with issues, to continue to speak the truth to people who have a vision of demanding conformity from everyone in the SBC. I believe we must have more Christian cooperation in the SBC and I will and not let attempts, like CB's comment above, to dissuade me.

So far, this approach has been pretty successful. :) What he can't admit is that there are hundreds of thousands of Southern Baptists who agree with my vision for the SBC, and a diminishing handful who agree with his.

In His Grace,


Anonymous said...


A personal confession. I used to be sympathetic to the wishes and aims of Baptist Identity. I no longer am. You have helped me see why I no longer can be.

Jim said...

I agree with Lydia.

oc said...

Well, God bless you Wade. But if you think he was here fishing for truth, you may need a little help yourself. I don't mean that disrespectfully. I think you know.


Rachelle Burleson said...


The man whom you describe in your comment is foreign to me, the person who actually does know the one of whom you write.


Rachelle Burleson

Anonymous said...

"BTW, I have talked to the staff member you referenced in the post, "Lessons in Dealing with a Disgruntled Member" and it is funny, but he does not remember the story happening exactly like you tell it. But, of course you might say the story is not about him. "

So why not use the name? You are always beating others up about this.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Breaking news... this is a SB church. Pastor Fred Winters was fatally shot in the pulpit this morning.

FBC Maryville staff

CB Scott said...


If you ever see Ben; ask him who it was that "turned on him." I can assure you he will not say it was me.

What he will say might surprise you.

BTW, the answer to the question was; Yes, anyone can be an antagonist, leader or not, and anyone can be guilty of spiritual abuse. Anyone.

And the truth is all of us have been at one time or another.

I have been guilty of it. Wade has been guilty of it. OC has been guilty. Paige has been guilty of it. I don't know, but you may have been guilty of it also.

But one thing is for sure; you have been spiritually abused by someone and you have yet to get over it. I pray you one day will.


Hundreds of thousands? You are yet delusional. Bill Wagner would have gotten at least a few more votes for president of the SBC had it not been you who nominated him.

The more you say the less influence you have. Wade, look at the comments made in your comment streams. Do you think this is representative of the SBC?

A person who was once close to you was speaking to me of this very thing just recently. His opinion is as mine; you have no influence in the SBC. That ended just shortly after San Antonio.

You just haven't realized it is time to move on. He did. Others have. The one real well has dried up, Wade and the cisterns you are now digging are broken. Now, you have become an antagonist and nothing more.


Robert said...

Chris Ryan,
I guess we will have to disagree.
I have spoken to Catholics hundreds of times over the years. And the majority of times they do give a works based answer.
Discernment is the key. I understand she would not SAY she believes in works.
Truth always comes to us as a objective set of propositionals. a confession.
One must agree to those facts to possess truth.
What you and OC seem to be arguing is what Al Mohler talks about here.


Seems to me you have discarded propositions!

I think some of that may be due to the fact that you have joined the discussion recently...willing to be corrected here.
Also if Kevin can point to a time and place when metanoi happened I will gladly cease my point.

Chris Here is another snippett fom Al Mohler that was directed at Southern Seminary but like he says applicable to Church vitality and evngelism here.

The Abstract represents a clarion call to start with conviction rather than mere action. It cries out, "Don't just do something, stand there!" This reverses the conventional wisdom of the world, but it puts the emphasis rightly. Southern Baptists are now much more feverishly concerned with doing than with believing — and thus our denominational soul is in jeopardy. This people of God must reclaim a theological tradition which understands all of our denominational activity to be founded upon prior doctrinal commitments. This is true for the denomination at every level — and of the local churches as well.


Robert I Masters
From The Southern Baptist Geneva

Anonymous said...

"But one thing is for sure; you have been spiritually abused by someone and you have yet to get over it. I pray you one day will."

Exhibit A: Example of a variation of spiritual abuse. You usually see this one used against women who speak up for treatment of other abused women in the church. If they say anything, then their real problem is that they have not 'moved on' or 'forgiven' their abuser. Then they are told they are rebellious and to submit more.

In the USSR they just put you in the psych ward for daring to question or dissent from the party line.

That won't work here so we just plant seeds of poison about anyone who dares disagree.

Note how the messenger is attacked. Not the message: What is spiritual abuse?

What CB does not know is that if I had never heard of Wade, I STILL know what I have seen over the last 30 years and know the corruption abuse of power in the SBC is quite real. I saw tons of your type over the years and the seminaries are still churing out little arrogant boys who demand to be followed and not questioned. You guys are the fruit of the CR.

Some folks just do not like corruption and spiritual abuse and dare to question. Get used to it. As the money dries up, you will see more questioning and dissent as folks wake up.

BTW: Why not get Ben to come over here and back you up?


New BBC Open Forum said...


In the infamous words attributed to Abraham Lincoln, "Sometimes it's better to remain silent and be though a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt."

Anonymous said...

CB, Are you back to hanging out with pastors who tweak comments and time stamps? Are those the ones to believe?

Chris Ryan said...


By discernment you mean assuming. You are assuming that because you want Catholics to believe in faith plus works, you can read works into everything that they say.

You are also barking up the wrong tree if you think there is any way that you will convince me that truth ALWAYS comes in propositional statments. Last time I checked, it was a person who claimed to be the truth. Truth is found in that person and in the story that He is weaving. We can derive propositions from those points, but the Bible is not primarily proverbial because it is fundamentally about the story of God interacting with humanity and with us. One must not agree with doctrine, they must agree with Christ. Doctrine is more of the story outline than the story itself.

I have discarded no positions. I am only not going to debate with you on each point every time. I am far to verbose for that. I always key in on what I think is central to the other persons position and push back there. Why get bogged down in the minor premises if the major ones don't fly?

I have met very few who ever said that believing didn't matter. I have met many who have understood that none of us would have 100% correct beliefs when we got to Heaven. It is in that shade of gray where cooperation can be reached. The reason that Mohler, Patterson, Pressler, et all have been so successful is because they rallied so many people to think that everything was black and white. And it is their own hypocricy that has had them poetically eulogizing the "liberal, fatcats" who were in Nashville at the time of the CR as now being the best kind of conservatives and great denominational leaders. They made black and white out of gray, not because black and white existed but because black and white is the simplist means of attaining power. That said, don't quote Mohler as authoritative to me. I only read him with several grains of salt (most of which have lost their saltiness for their uselessness as they insist on believing before doing).

Robert said...

As I sit here in Nashville I think CB is 100% correct. You have zilch impact on SBC life.
I think that is why even people who should be your friends distance themselves from you ie Tom Ascol and Founders. They dont want your promotion of the Doctrines of Grace because it weighs them down with your other baggage.

I realize you dont see it that way but it is true.
The Titanic ship that was Wade Burleson is sinking.

A personal plea: Come back to the center of SBC life. Together all True Southern Baptist can do awesome work for the Kingdom of God. I could even envision you as leading the convention like the great Oklahoma football teams.
But that will only happen with a Gospel-centric Wade Burleson. Like John Calvins return to Geneva.I look forward to Wade Burlesons return to SBC life.

Praying for you Wade.

Robert I Masters

Wade Burleson said...

Robert Masters,

Your love for Doug Wilson, Christian Reconstructionism, Patriarchy, racial segregation and white superiority, and other radical ideologies (if I am reading your most recent comments correctly), ideologies that are even right of the current Baptist Identity adherents, makes me extremely glad you consider me detrimental to the SBC. You are at least aware that life-long Southern Baptists, Baptists who have served in various capacities of leadership, disagree with you.

If I am saving the SBC from anything, it is from the thinking that the radical ideologies and philosophies to which you adhere cannot be rebutted by conservative Christians.

The problem is not that you associate with the SBC. The problem would be if the people in the SBC ever begin to believe that what you believe is normative in order to be considered a Southern Baptist.

God forbid.

I will bear whatever cross you wish to hang on my back with gladness to prevent such thinking.

debbiekaufman said...

I am glad that Wade will continue to speak out regardless of intimidation practices. In a paraphrase of Martin Luther, when they can't attack your theology they will attack your character.

I am speaking for me personally, but I hope that you guys voices are what the majority of the SBC believe and think. If not, there are worse problems in the SBC than power plays, and the cost will be greater than they realize in the long one. Paul says not to fear those who would harm the body, but those who would harm the soul.

Robert said...

Chris Ryan,
Fair enough but in honesty I refuse to cooperate with people like you because you appear on the surface not to be orthodox in your theology.Farther more I will Contend for the Faith which on a practical level means not allowing your vision for the SBC to gain ascension.
Notice this is not the same thing as saying you do not have Saving Faith.Just that I want no part of your liberal christianity.Funny how we have come full circle on this discussion!

BTW---you are exhibit A in my plea to Wade.Distance yourself from folks who believe like Chris Ryan.

Robert I Masters
From the Southern Baptist Geneva

debbiekaufman said...

I want to add that I read the news stories concerning the Baptist church that BBC alluded to in their comment. My heart is so saddened by this, and my prayers for the church family, and the slain minister's family. This is an unbelievably horrible crime.

New BBC Open Forum said...


If you're representative of the "center of SBC life," I'll go down with the Titanic, thank you.

Christiane said...

There was a line drawn when the B.I. people:
1. harmed missionaries
2. harmed Dr. Klouda

Some Southern Baptists silently 'went along' with the B.I. in their persecution of the innocent;
Some Southern Baptists cheered the B.I. group on ;
Some Southern Baptists wept for the shame of it, but did nothing.

And THEN, there were some Southern Baptists who took the part of the abused and stood against the powerful. They have paid a price.

And, as a result, they have been called many names.

These are the Southern Baptists who share a common heritage with those Christians who stood up for the victims of the Holocaust and offered sanctuary.
These are the Southern Baptists who refused to demote the words and actions of Jesus Christ.

Yes, they have been called many names:
but in truth,
they have answered honorably
to the name of "CHRISTIAN" .

Chuck said...

Robert and CB,

Thanks for coming to Wade's blog. Thanks for commenting.

Seriously, thanks for participating.

You both have convinced me that the SBC is in serious trouble.

From people the likes of you.

Thank God there are others.

Robert said...

No you are not reading me correctly. You can burn those strawmen all day long!
You took what people used to attack me and made it your imprimatur.
Let me ask you what LIN asked earlier concerning this discussion:

Is this one of those guilt by association charges? I have an atheist neighbor who is a republican. We both agree the stimulus package is socialism. Does that mean I am an atheist, too?

I am noticing more and more of this type of thinking in the Body of Christ. For example, if one links to an egalitarian author such as Rebecca Groothius, then one must be a bra burning radical feminist in rebellion.

He who defines, wins. But it certainly ruins any dialogue with actual content. Perhaps it is meant to stop conversation.

In a nutshell on Douglas Wilson I have not seen one iota of evidence that he believes what you say he believes..in fact in that link I gave he specifically refutes many of the charges you made.You didnt read that one did you Wade.
I notice you did not challenge anything Mark Potok said from the Southern Poverty Law Center. Do you hold to the values of the SPLC. It would appear you do or at least you seem to be using them as a source for information. That would make you to the Far left of most Southern Baptist ,to use your own method.

Well Wade I was sincere in saying I will pray for you.
If you continue this present course you will sink like the ship hitting the rocks on the shore of the lighthouse.

For a fair perspective on theonomomy please read this critic by a scholarly baptist


Robert I Masters
From the Southern Baptist Geneva

Wade Burleson said...


There is no request from me for men like you and CB to leave the SBC. Though I believe your spirit of hate, your vitrolic comments and your bullying tactics are the antithesis of real Christianity, I am trusting that God will one day break Southern Baptists like you of such attitudes. When that happens we can expect real revival.

And people like L might actually see the Convention of her grandmother.

In His Grace,


P.S. L, I will be writing a post about you that will go up next week. It is not personal, just a thank you for your comments.

The title of it will be "Two Roman Catholic Women Who Inspired Me This Past Week."

It will be a post about you and Anne Rice. I think you will like your company.

Robert said...

I have no Hate toward anyone...cant speak for CB but I dont see it in him either!

Let it be known that you didnt respond to my questions to you.

And you did accuse me of having a spirit of Hate.How is that not attacking me personally?

Robert I Masters
From the Southern Baptist Geneva

Anonymous said...

Pastor Wade keeps up these good posts and someday, should I live where the local SBC is not abusive, I just might be returning to the fold.


Lin said...

Robert, I responded to you because you implied that I was in agreement with a 'liberal' from the Southern Law Poverty Association or whatever it is.

Do you not see that you continually call folks liberals, put them down, etc? I guess you don't. Somewhere you were taught that you have a right...or a duty to accuse others and call them names when they disagree with you.

You were using guilt by association with me because I have serious problems with Douglass Wilson's doctrine. Not all of it but enough. I have read Blog and Mablog for quite a while including many articles he has written. He does hang out with some questionable characters.

But because I voiced reservations about his doctrine of reconstructionism and your promoting him here, I am automatically aligned with the Southern Poverty Law Assoc and card carrying liberal.

You connect dots that are not there. And it is this type of dogma that had folks burned at the stake upon a time ago.

Wade Burleson said...


All I can do is read what you write. If you wish not to display what seems to be a spirit of hate, then change the way you write. The same is true for CB.

In His Grace,


Chris Ryan said...


You have become the first person to ever call me liberal and mean it. Thanks, I guess... You are not the first to suggest a heretic, but I don't know that any of them meant it seriously either. My only questions is whether I am being a heretic to Fundamentalist Baptists or a heretic to the Bible. It is the usually the former.

Of course you don't want the vision of the SBC that is in my head and heart to gain ascention. It is not yours. Therefore, you and yours don't have the power any longer. That does not mean there wouldn't be room at the table for you in my vision. It is so sad that you would uninvite yourself because I wasn't the brand of narrow-minded fundamentalist you are.

And I have no idea why Wade would distance himself from people who believe that there is room for theological dialogue while cooperating for Christian ministry and Gospel proclamation. If he does, then I am gone. But I'll let him tell me that I'm unwelcome here, not you.

Thy Peace said...

Amazon: Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession by Anne Rice

From Publishers Weekly
When Anne Rice stopped crafting stories about vampires and began writing about Jesus, many of her fans were shocked. This autobiographical spiritual memoir provides an account of how the author rediscovered and fully embraced her Catholic faith after decades as a self-proclaimed atheist. Rice begins with her childhood in New Orleans, when she seriously considered entering a convent. As she grows into a young adult she delves into concerns about faith, God and the Catholic Church that lead her away from religion. The author finally reclaims her Catholic faith in the late 1990s, describing it as a movement toward total surrender to God. She writes beautifully about how through clouds of doubt and pain she finds clarity, realizing how much she loved God and desired to surrender her being, including her writing talent, to God. Covering such a large sequence of time and life events is not easy, and some of the author's transitions are a bit jarring. Fans of Rice's earlier works will enjoy discovering more about her life and fascinating journey of faith. (Oct. 7)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Series on I John: The Christian and Complete Joy > 9. Love Not the World (I John 2:15-17)

I John 2:15-17 (ESV)
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
For all that is in the world -- the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions -- is not from the Father but is from the world.
And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

Today's sermon by Pastor Wade titled: "Love not the World", March 8, 2008 - Part 9 of series (1 Jn. 2:15-17). Sermon is from 27:00 to 56:00. What it means to be a Christian, about Anne Rice and her conversion from Atheism to Faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ (from 43:45 to 50:10).

Thy Peace said...

Anne Rice: Official Site


gmommy said...

"And you did accuse me of having a spirit of Hate.How is that not attacking me personally?"

A spirit of narrow minded arrogance and hate spills/oozes and shines from the words you write yourself. Wade doesn't have to accuse you.
You SHOW what's in your heart by the way you treat people. Your own words about what you believe and how you think show your dark heart.
You and CB write words that make you appear down right mean and hateful.

Is that the example you want the the weaker brother to see??

IF you are concerned about L's relationship with Christ (I am not)...are your mean ugly words how you plan to share the good news with her?

How about the way you have treated Thy Peace??? He has described himself as learning...seeking...will your words incline his heart to find a church where he can worship next to people such as yourself?? Or will you cause people to stay away from churches and the Bible.
I know your words cause me to never want to be a part of another SBC church.
I feel sad for you.I'm sad your puffed up flesh does so much damage to the name of Christ.

What will humble you??? Certainly not me. You can write me off as whatever you want to.

Lots of people don't know Baptist doctrine or theology.
Most people know about the good Samaritan or maybe about Jesus and the woman at the well.
Many people know that God is love.

Aren't we ambassadors for Christ first?

Robert said...

Actually Lin my comments were not directed to you at all. Mostly to OC,Lydia,Big Daddy Weave.
Even this last comment was saying I agreed with you. The one to Wade!

The post was actually about one small writing of Douglass Wilsons: Black and Tan. Why did you bring up his theology.

So are the "bad characters" that Douglas Wilson hangs with; Christians? Are the "bad characters" that Wade was using as a source; Christians?
I dont know Mark Potok but I dont see him debating Christopher Hitchens.So why attack a fellow believer...just stick to the point. Explain why you think Black and Tan is bad history.

Why the dogmatic stance against labels...the Bible never opposes labels.

So bringing up Black and Tan is promoting reconstructionism...talk about guilt by association!

Again I will repeat what I said before
Douglas Wilson gets attacked a lot but nobody here has refuted one single point here on Wades Blog

Robert I Masters

Anonymous said...


I would never have thought that this post would have generated the comment stream that followed.

I liked Jesse's comment the best, which I summarize - Leadership - yes! Abusive leadership - No.!!!!!!

Other points that I would like to make, in no order of importance.

1. Be slow to play the "liberal" card.

2. We are not called to say who is saved and who is not. I am also not taken with declaring who is a "good" Christian and who is not.

3. Theological positions and whether they are consistent with a biblical doctrines of salvation are fair game for discussion, and in our history are really the best topic for discussion.

4. The SBC never was and never will be perfect. I don't want to return to the SBC of somebody's grandmother because for one, if favored segregation. I want the SBC to move forward, not backward.

5. There is spiritual abuse and arrogance, or the potential for that, in every church and every denomination in the the world. It is part of the natural order. Our challenge, which this post attempts to address in part 1, is to identify it and deal with it.

6. Abuse can be committed by one individual in a hierarchy, or by the majority in a democracy (i.e. mob rule). The founders of the U.S. saw this clearly, and structured a system as best they could to protect from both. Everyone knows that they didn't want a king, so we don't have that system. But few seem to ponder the things that keep democratic mob rule from controlling others (i.e. representative democracy vs. direct democracy; the US senate - 2 votes per state, regardless of population; the appointment of US senators (origianlly); the electoral college; term limits (made necessary after some particular President thought he should serve for life etc.; the Bill of Rights - freedom of Religion, Speech, the Press etc.) I am just wondering, do Baptists have safeguards against abuse that can arise from BOTH of those sources?

7. No one here has demonstrated that they are into white supremacy.

8. Who cares how much influence Wade has? We enjoy his blog. He makes good comments and he provides a place to dialogue. Whether 1 million, 400,000, or 400 follow him the SBC is irrelevant. If he ran for something, and lost - or won, it would still be irrelevant.

9. If you think the CR produced arrogance in the SBC, good for you. I am not going to try and talk or argue you out of that one. But remember, there were lots of concerns that produced the CR. I wonder if it is possible that arrogance in denominational leadership might have been one of those concerns?

10. I am glad that Catholics and other non-Baptists come to Baptist blogs to gain from the discussion. What a compliment to Baptists.

Just in case you think I am "all work" and "no play", let me recommend a great TV series on AMC that starts back up tonight for its second season. It's called "Breaking Bad." The plot involes a high school chemistry teacher who is diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Through various circumstances, he ends up deciding that he could make a lot of money "cooking" crysal meth and he partners-up with a former high school student of his who has drug world connections to sell the product.

Beware - the topics and language are a bit rough. But it is a well-done series that presents lots of life questions in an interesting format.

Take care.


Jesse said...

Lydia, yes I am a pastor. Why do you ask?

Anonymous said...


Sorry for all the typos!


Anonymous said...

Oh, last point:

11. When we are making points of translation or grammar from ancient languages (i.e. Greek or Hebrew), let's please reference the pros in that field.

I took 2 years of NT Greek in college. That, in my opinion, qualifies me for NOTHING.

Seminary Greek really is just enough training to get one conversant with the "helps", those books and treastises authored by true experts who spend decades studying languages at the top schools in the world.

Married life, in addition to academics, has impressed this issue on me.

I married a woman who was raised in South America, and speaks Spanish. Her Spanish (including all of the accent rules, etc.) is excellent. She translates books for various publishers, and she interprets professionally.

She has had decades of training in the Spanish language.

Having watched her over the years and having studied Greek (and 3 years of Latin in High School, and 7 years of French in elementary and high school), reminds me that I am NOT qualified to say anything at all about techincal points of Greek vocabulary, grammar and syntax or translation generally with my little 2 years of classroom study.

I think that when any of us makes technical arguments based on an ancient language like Koine (sp?) Greek would be good to refer to the helps we are referencing. That would make things easier and more authoritative, actually.

It might also help, in cases of disagreement, to state why other translators differ in their approach of various passages, than to simply pronounce "all those scholars over hundreds of years got it all wrong..."


Anonymous said...

Something I have wondered about as I turned forty is concerning the use of "elder." Could this term be used in the broader sense as in an elder of a tribe instead of an mere office?

Anonymous said...


"Lord, it is good for us to be here."

Matthew 17:1-9

The Transfiguration

Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves.

2 And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white.

3 Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him.

4 Then Peter said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I* will make three dwellings* here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’

5 While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved;* with him I am well pleased; listen to him!’

6 When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear.

7 But Jesus came and touched them, saying,
‘Get up and DO NOT BE AFRAID.’

8 And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone.

9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them,
‘Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.’

Christiane said...


Thank you for the condolences on the death of my dear Aunt Yvonne.
Yes, she was very much beloved among the Family and by all who knew her. Everyone loved her.
I am sad now that she has left us here. She was the very image of my French-Canadienne Memere (Grandmother), to whom I was devoted. My heart hurts.

Thank you for caring, GMOMMY.
Love, L's

Lin said...

"11. When we are making points of translation or grammar from ancient languages (i.e. Greek or Hebrew), let's please reference the pros in that field."

The REAL pro is the Holy Spirit. :o)

Lin said...

"I liked Jesse's comment the best, which I summarize - Leadership - yes! Abusive leadership - No.!!!!!!"

I wonder if folks thought of themselves as lowly servants, as Jesus taught, there would be so much spiritual abuse?

Anonymous said...

LIN wrote,

'I wonder if folks thought of themselves as lowly servants, as Jesus taught, there would be so much spiritual abuse?'


Jesse said...

Lin said...
=snipped= I wonder if folks thought of themselves as lowly servants, as Jesus taught, there would be so much spiritual abuse?

Like it or not, there are leaders in every group of people; some have it thrust upon them, others grudgingly accept it, while some seek it out. A person whose primary drive is to be a leader worries me.

Christiane said...


Do we all suffer when we WITNESS abuse? I think we must.

from a story by Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor, comes this excerpt:

"To hang a young boy in front of thousands of spectators was no light matter. The head of the camp read the verdict.

All eyes were on the child. (the little servant, the sad-eyed angel)

He was lividly pale, almost calm, biting his lips, The gallows threw its shadow over him.

The 3 victims mounted together onto the chairs. The 3 necks were placed at the same moment into the nooses.

"Long live Liberty!" cried the two adults.

But the child was silent.

"Where is God? Where is He?" someone behind me asked.

At a sign from the head of the camp, the three chairs tipped over.

Total Silence throughout the camp.
On the horizon, the sun was setting. We were weeping.

The two adults were no longer alive. Their tongues hung swollen, blue-tinged.

But the third rope was still moving.

Being so light, the child
was still alive.

For more than half an hour he stayed there, struggling between life and death, dying in slow agony under our eyes.
And we had to look him full in the face.

He was still alive when I passed in front of him. His tongue was still red, his eyes were not glazed.

Behind me, I heard the same man asking:
'Where is God now?"

And I heard a voice within me answer him:
"Where is He? Here He is - He is hanging here on this gallows. . "

That night the soup tasted
of corpses."

Elie Wiesel, author and witness
and survivor.

COMMENT: What SS guard kept Southern Baptists from helping the missionaries and Doctor Klouda as they underwent the torment of their abuse?
Who stopped everyone?
Was their suffering not great enough to warrant intervention?
Has our society grown so used to passively watching the suffering of others?

Do we all suffer when we witness abuse? I think we must.

It must be easier to do nothing to help the victims of abuse,
when we do not have to look them in the eyes.

Leland Bryant Ross said...

Just a suggestion to those who are seriously interested in participating in a discussion like this, but who for whatever reason feel like this poster:

Anonymous said...

I don't like posting anonymously but I don't want to cost someone their job...

Please seriously consider adopting a handle. Thy Peace, for example, has just as much anonymity as anybody who posts anonymously, but by using a consistent handle s/he avoids being mistaken for any and/or all of the others who post as Anonymous, as exemplified early on by this absurdist exchange:

Anonymous said...

What about all the abuse Wade does to the SBC with his nonsense?

I certainly feel abused!

Sat Mar 07, 01:57:00 AM 2009

Anonymous said...


Your words remind me of a woman I counseled one time who really was in an abusive marriage. I asked why she stayed in it. Her answer was "I feel loved." I must confess that her words didn't make any more sense to me then than do yours now.

Sat Mar 07, 07:34:00 AM 2009

Anonymous is so incoherent in his or her thoughts that soon one pretty much gives up on trying to figure out why s/he just contradicted hyrrh- or hymn-self so blatantly. Thy Peace and FBCJax Watchdog, on the other hand, have clear positions on things, regardless of how their positions coincide or conflict with one's own, so it's possible to read them with comprehension and engage them in meaningful dialogue. So go forth and grab a handle, siblungen!

Cheryl Schatz said...

Thank you Wade for your work in showing the godly way to deal with members of your congregation who disagree with you. Thank you also for exposing abusive spiritual authority.

debbiekaufman said:

"when they can't attack your theology they will attack your character."

This is so true. People who do not love the truth will often attack the messenger personally. The first time we are attacked it hurts. The more vocal we are the worse we will be attacked but the amazing thing happens when we finally realize that our ego and our "name" are not things that we need to protect. When God allows us to go through the mud with a full face plant in the dirt, we can finally understand that we must take a position of humility to give the most glory to God. The more one practices this position of "He must increase and I must decrease" the less the attacks on our character hurt. In the end God grows patience in our lives and this is this fruit is worth more than gold.

Lin said...

Like it or not, there are leaders in every group of people; some have it thrust upon them, others grudgingly accept it, while some seek it out. A person whose primary drive is to be a leader worries me.

Sun Mar 08, 11:18:00 PM 2009

Jesse, The whole point is that our concept of leadership should be different than the worlds. But sadly, in practice, it usually isn't. That is why the word 'leadership' is a problem. If we used 'servant' it would communicate what we really are and what Christ taught us to be.

New BBC Open Forum said...

5. “Look at me! I’m apologizing to you!” (Said to a deacon.)

Hey, I've heard this story before! After Steve Gaines came to Bellevue and longtime minister of music, Jim Whitmire, was unceremoniously forced out (i.e. told he'd have to be Jamie Parker's assistant and his life made so miserable he had little choice but to leave) he and his wife met with Gaines to talk about the way things had been handled. After a short discussion, Gaines was said to have angrily slammed his palms down on his desk, then raised both hands in an "I surrender" gesture and yelled, "Okay! I'm sorry!!!"

A year later, this was Gaines' calm, humble recollection of the event. Quietly and with a hint of a tear in his eye, he stated, "Donna and I sat down on the day that Dr. Rogers... was buried... back last November. We talked with Jim and Linda. I told them then that I was sorry for the way all of it happened. I took responsibility for that."

Jesse said...

Lin, I agree that our definition of leader is different than the world's definition but sadly is not often practiced different than the world. However, the Biblical word for servant is different than that for leader. I agree that a leader needs a servant's heart, but he is still a leader.


Lin said...

" However, the Biblical word for servant is different than that for leader. I agree that a leader needs a servant's heart, but he is still a leader."

But Jesus called them to him and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

Who was Jesus talking to here in Matthew 20?

How did Paul refer to himself in the letters to the churches?

Anonymous said...

ROBERT wrote "So are the "bad characters" that Douglas Wilson hangs with; Christians?"

Judge for yourself:

"Theonomists are uncharitable folks, even the women, many of whom end up acting far less than “feminine.” Theonomic attitudes towards education, the family, the church, the OT law, etc., are strident and harsh, and dissenters treated with disdain and often virulent hatred. Further, theonomists, especially the younger, third-generation ones, regularly show an air of spiritual superiority that galls mightily (Wilson and Co’s disdainful, sarcastic tone in C/A is an actually quite mild version of this, indeed). Theonomy also tends to split up churches. A wide variety of “home everything” nuts abound who piously bleat that they “have no fellowship” so cannot attend any church, when it is usually far more often the case that they are afflicted with a large case of obnoxious personality disorder, cannot submit to elders, and have failed at their strident attempts to proselytize all the churches they have attended into their particular version of theonomy. On the Northian, ecclesiocratic side, moreover, these people largely still have terminal OPD, still tend to split at issues so trivial as to make an Amishman blush, and to set up endless micro-sects and individual, self-anointed churches to serve as headquarters for personality cults, quirky doctrines, and institutionalised hatred of whomever was split off of."

Thomas Roche (quoted)

Wade Burleson said...

Folks, it is always my goal for Christians to communicate with one another. It seems that some communication is occurring between church members and pastoral staff at a sister church. It is not my usual custom to delete comments, but realizing this communication is occurring, and not believing we are part of the process to facilitate healing and restoration, the comments associated with the issue between church members are deleted.

Rex Ray said...

Just read your comment. Thanks very much.

Rex Ray said...

I’m saying a farewell for CB Scott.

He called this afternoon as I was running a chainsaw. I thought it was a joke from a friend doing an impersonation.

He wanted to say why he would not be answering my latest questions to him on Wade’s blog.

They had just had their 35th anniversary, and his wife who has multiple sclerosis asked a favor. She said his comments with Wade were not doing Wade’s wife or her any good, and asked him to stop commenting on Wade’s blog.

I don’t know the story between CB and Wade, but his phone call reminded me of a Jerry Clower tale.

A prize coon dog was killed by a train while fighting a coon. Uncle Versey said he wasn’t crying because the dog was dead but because he might have died thinking that coon killed him.

Being the ‘warhorse’ CB is, I think he didn’t want people thinking Wade had ‘run him off’.

You guys that CB was always going to buy a cup of coffee, eat your hearts out, because he offered me a dinner. :)

Suzie said...

CB's own words ran him off. He's hostile, a bully, and if he represents what it means to be Southern Baptist, then thank God he's gone.

Jesse said...

Lin said, Who was Jesus talking to here in Matthew 20?

How did Paul refer to himself in the letters to the churches?

First, in Matthew 20, Jesus is responding to a specific request from the mother of the sons of Zebedee to place them at Jesus' right and left in His kingdom, with the result that the other 10 were "indignant" with the two. Jesus is talking to the 12 and it seems to me to fit in with the context of this thread regarding Spiritual Abuse. They had the wrong attitude in that they were reflecting a worldly view of leadership.

Jesus said He did not come to be served, but to serve, and give His life a ransom to many. Was He still not their "leader" during that 3 years?

Paul did indeed refer to himself as a servant, but he also gave out commands in his writings that certain churches should follow. 2 Thess. 3:6, Paul commands them to keep away from unruly brothers, and then in verse 12 he commands lazy people to work and eat. Paul commanded Timothy in 1 Tim. 1:14 to fight the good fight.

Lin, I abhor abusive leaders, but this does not mean that I will refuse to accept the fact that we do have leaders within the body of Christ, nor will I reject the concept of leadership because of the abuse of that leadership by some.

We can swap verses forever and neither change the other's mind.


Anonymous said...

Watch out for the wolves, Jesse.
They're out there.

Anonymous said...

My Flock has become prey,
My Flock has become food for all the beasts.
The Shepherds fed themselves and did not feed my Flock.
Behold, I am against the Shepherds,
And I shall demand My Sheep from them.
I shall deliver My Flock from their mouth,
That they may not be food for them.”
(Ezekiel 34)

“Woe to the foolish Prophets
Who are following their own spirit and have seen nothing.”
(Ezekiel 13)

“You cannot serve God and Mammon.”
(Matthew 6:24)

“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
(Romans 3:18; from Psalm 36:1)

Jesse said...

Anonymous said...

Watch out for the wolves, Jesse.
They're out there.

That's why I like to think of myself as a sheepdog in that sense. :-)


Lin said...

"We can swap verses forever and neither change the other's mind."


When giving 'commands' as you call those references, Paul had first described himself as a servant.

Jesse said...

Come on, Lin. As I "call" those references?

Those are the words recorded in the Bible that Paul used. Paul may have described himself as a servant (as well as the chief of sinners) but he still used the word "command," not suggest, not consider, and certainly not think about.

Redefine it however you want, but it seems clear to me that you have a serious issue with the basic idea of leader/leadership. I hope it is not so serious that it interferes with your ability to serve when asked/selected to assume leadership responsibilities.


Anonymous said...

One site that zero's in on the abuse and destruction that "spiritual leaders" bring upon families in general, and marriages in particular is:


There are hundreds of sites connected with spiritual abuse in the church, but this site that I mentioned is the only site around with its' heavy emphasis on guarding your family and protecting your marriage from these "spiritual monsters" whose aim is to 'put asunder what God has joined together.'
There are many articles and personal testimonies too. My family and I were members of a church which engaged in these evils deeds for many years, and we escaped by the 'skin of our teeth.'

What they are saying at this website is ALL-TOO-TRUE !


Anonymous said...

I agree with Lydia and Wade. This spiritual authority stuff has gotten out of hand. And for some reason leaders try to use scripture to justify dealing with adults like they are children. We all are aware that there’s know perfect church or people, however there must be acknowledgement that abuse goes on in churches. There is only one church and JESUS is the head not the pastors. We were drawn to Christ with love and kindness-not embarrassment, control, intimidation or nasty bashing over the pulpit. The foundation of Christianity is LOVE. The Bible applies to all as a Christian not your title (pastor, bishop etc) of honor that man has put in place. People may call me Evangelist but its only representation of what I do in the body of Christ not a title of honor.

I don’t care if its SBC or Pentecostals etc., the abuse has to stop. Why in the world would anyone want to live someone else’s life? Is not your on life enough…it’s hard to work out your own soul salvation. Do you really want to take on a burden that God never gave you? God never took away our choice. You can choose Jesus or not it’s up to you. When anyone begins to take another’s choice away…they are stepping into a position that God doesn’t operates in.

How about let’s stop trying to destroy each other and listen to the voice of reason. And stop defending men or women that uses the word to lord over God’s people. We are all God’s anointed! The second greatest commandment is about treatment. Do you really think God cares about your organization and it’s rules-absolutely not! What He is concern about is how your organization treats people. If you desire to know where a person is spiritually-watch how they treat people. That goes for the organization as well, if they don’t treat people well their foundation is not of Christ. Period.

Pastors stay in your lane-you are not the body of Christ-only a part. And without people there wouldn’t be anyone one for you to pastor. Don’t invite yourselves in the affairs of people lives unless you are invited. Preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and take care of your own affairs. The Bible states that there is safety in a multitude of counsels. So your advice is not absolute.