Friday, March 30, 2012

Calvinism, Useful Tool for Making Jerks?

Hey, I didn't say it. Kevin DeYoung did. He actually makes some good points and I don't have it out for him. Just let me quote something from his post linked here:

"Calvinism is a way of thinking. It's a worldview. It's a doctrinal system. It demands thought and intellectual rigor. It must be learned. It is a minority position in America and in the American church. None of this make the Calvinist a nasty person. But if you have a predilection toward nastiness, then developing an intellectually sophisticated set of beliefs that you understand and most people do not will help you immensely in your feelings of superiority and expressions of condescension."

Whether or not traditional Calvinism makes people jerks or not is not for me to say. Anyone pushing a complicated set of doctrines thinking that what they have is the truth and what all others have is a lie even if all those others profess Jesus, well it makes me very wary.

As Paul point out in his New Calvinism For Dummies pt 6, when major leaders like Tim Challies claim that what New Calvinist have it wheat while all others have chaff, well, that's pretty arrogant. It is easy to see why some New Calvinists fall into elitism which flows nicely into Phariseeism. I'm not saying that is happening to all New Calvinist. But I am saying that I've seen some really jerky, Pharisaical New Calvinists roaming the blogsphere. Just saying.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sex, Drugs, and Mark Driscoll, pt. 4

In order to understand this one, it is better to have read part 3 where I tell the story of Fred (not his real name) the Conservative Christian Blogger, his blog post on Rock Star, Steven Tyler, and the comments of the men in that thread.

Briefly, Fred was using Tyler's story to lament the lack of father's rights in abortion situations. The other men were agreeing and commenting on how terrible feminism was and abortion and the disregard for human life of the average American woman. The maddening part about it was how they glossed over the fact that Tyler, in his thirties at the time, had gotten his fourteen year old girlfriend pregnant.

A couple of women, myself included, pointed out the fact that what Tyler did was wrong and that Tyler was the instigator of the series of events that led to a fourteen year old coming up pregnant. We pointed out that Tyler used his Rock Star status to get away with something the average Joe could not get away with. Statutory rape. And where we agreed that we didn't like the fact that an abortion was involved, the abortion was not the beginning of the problem, it was the final, violent solution chosen by a girl's family to deal with the wrongs and excesses of a man living out the Rock Star dream.

To Fred's credit and the credit of his male commentors, they heard us and accepted our wisdom and insight into the situation. You see, Fred and I, even though we disagree on several things, we had a mutual respect for each other. When he made a good point I accepted it as such. And when I made a good point, even if he didn't like it, even if it messed with his male fantasy of how he thought things should be, he accepted my points and my wisdom. He didn't look at my gender and decide that I was a gullible female who didn't know what was going on.

This is not the case at Mars Hill. At Mars Hill women are only allowed to be groupies to their husbands, and Rock Star Preacher worshipers, and obedient stage hands. They are not allowed their own godly voice, wisdom, or opinion. If a Mars Hill woman is not parroting the Party Line and supporting the male Rock Star fantasy, then that woman is considered a threat and silenced.

Here are two examples, one among the elders' wives and the other among the rank and file.

First among the elders. The quote below is taken from here:

"The next morning I heard from the elder’s wife, the one Karen and I had so enjoyed - that she
had shared our conversation with her husband and he felt that it showed “disloyalty” on Karen’s
part, was gossip, and that it needed to be brought to Mark, which he did. Karen was fired. The
gist of what she shared that was branded “disloyal” was a heart of thankfulness that my husband, Paul, was being made an elder because Mark needed strong men around him who could handle and stand up to push-back. When I found out what this elder and his wife had done, I called Mark immediately in tears and asked him to forgive me for my part in that conversation.
Looking back, I’m not sure that Karen or I really did anything wrong, but I was sure afraid."

Jonna's illustrates well how the wisdom of an older woman is despised if it does not prop up the Rock Star Preacher. Mark absolutely needs for strong leadership to push back against his excesses. All men in leadership need this. But Mark didn't want this. He didn't want anyone pushing back. But as we have seen, this is not good. Steven Tyler had no one pushing him back, telling him that he shouldn't be with a fourteen year old. And you see where this got him.

But the wisdom of a woman got in the way of Mark's inflated opinion of himself. How dare anyone, particularly a woman, think that Mark needed any kind of pushing back.

The next example is from the rank and file, and even entry level:

"I wish that was the end of my story, but unfortunately it is not. At that time my husband's best friend and his wife were becoming more and more involved in the church. They were becoming members but we were still hanging out with them and everything seemed fine. Fast forward a month or so and this friend of my husband asks him out to coffee. My husband goes and comes back visibly upset. We go out for dinner where he tells me that his best friend had said that my husband loved me too much, was idolizing me, that I had gone off the deep end, and then started bad-mouthing everything Jeffrey had learned from a previous mentor in our old church. This was very hard for me to believe. I told my husband I thought his friend was just confused and even though his words were incorrect they were most likely spoken out of love. I told my husband he should listen to his own heart and tell his friend that he disagreed but not to let it ruin their friendship. They both loved and respected each other very much, I believed they could both move past this.
Unfortunately that wasn't what happened..."

Kaelee could feel that something was wrong. She had discernment that things just didn't add up. Her husband agreed and respected her discernment and from what I gathered, had discernment of his own. But Kaelee's discernment was despised and her husband criticized for listening to her. You see, in the Rock Star Preacher fantasy and thinking, any devotion that undermines worship of the Rock Star Preacher must be squashed and called an idol. Because there will only be one idol, and that's the Rock Star Preacher Mentality. All other must bow to this.

Since men seem to be more gullible to the Rock Star Gospel than women, the Rock Star Gospel must preach that it is women who are the gullible ones, not men. This will help ensure that the Rock Star Gospel fantasy will stay intact and stroke the egos of certain men so that they can be controlled and manipulated by the Christian Rock Star Fantasy. Because secretly, all these men defending the Rock Star Preacher wish that they could be Rock Star Preachers, or Elders, or Deacons, or whatever so thet must defend the fantasy against the women who see through it.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Sex, Drugs, and Mark Driscoll, pt 3

Rock and roll, by nature, is misogynistic. Anyone is free to disagree with me on this one but it is my overview observation of many years.

The rock and roll mentality or attitude has creeped in among Christians and is also misogynistic. I'll start by telling a true story.

I used to frequent another blog and the blog owner, we'll call him Fred (not his real name) was a Christian, religious-right kind of guy. He had just read Steven Tyler's biography. (Steven Tyler fans, just relax. My story is more about the blog reaction than Tyler himself.)

Steve Tyler, for those who don't know (which is about three of you, right? The rest have seen him on American Idol), is a Rock Star. He was/is part of the band, Aerosmith.

Apparently, according Fred, Tyler had a 14 year old girlfriend. He took over guardianship from her parents. This girl ended up pregnant and her parents determined that she was too young to carry, birth, and care for this baby so they took her in, against Tyler's wishes, and she had an abortion. This really upset Tyler and bothers him to this day.

Fred used this story to wax on concerning how horrible abortions were, and how horrible it is for fathers who have no rights concerning abortion, which, invariably led to how horrible feminists were and on a lesser level, how horrible modern American women were.

Fred and his male commenters felt so sorry for Tyler and the terrible pain he went through as a father with no rights over the child he sired. They blamed feminism, abortion, and Fred also blamed girls for being smitten with celebrity figures and her parents for not training her better.

Now, people, understand. I'm just as pro-life as your average conservative Christian (I no longer associate with the Religious Right. They are just plain crazy. But I am conservative in many ways.)
Anyway, I'm just as pro-life as the next conservative you might meet on the street. But I'm not stupid. That fourteen year old girl did not get pregnant because she or feminists are evil or because her parents did a thing of two wrong in parenting her.

That girl got pregnant because of the "Rock Star" mentality. If 30 something Joe Schmo down the street had started wooing the fourteen year old, you can bet the parents would have laid down the law. Why? Because there was nothing in it for them. It was the parents that were smitten by Tyler's Rock Star status. Otherwise why would they have ever signed over guardianship to him?

And what the heck was Tyler doing with a fourteen year old girlfriend, anyway? My guess is that she was a model and that's how they met. But that's my guess. Anyway, Fact: Tyler getting a fourteen year old pregnant was statutory rape. If Joe Schmo had done it, he most likely would have gone to jail and would be on the sex offenders list to this day. But not Steven Tyler. Why? Because he's a Rock Star, and Rock Stars can get away with things your average Joe cannot.

This leads me to a question.

Why were the men on that blog so unconcerned with the fact that Tyler had a 14 year old girlfriend yet were ready to tear down feminism and make comments concerning gullible girls and poor parenting? Why did it not bother them that Tyler could get away with something they, most likely, could not?

Well, I have one guess. I think it's because the male fantasy of being a Rock Star is alive and well in the world and the church. Those men on that blog might have said in passing that it was wrong for Tyler to have such a young girlfriend. In truth, the hideousness of the wrong of statutory rape was completely lost on them. All they could see was a man, a celebrity, facing losing his child because of unfair laws concerning the rights of father of the unborn. They couldn't see that Tyler was using his Rock Star status to get away with breaking the law and that the parents were using their daughter and Tyler's Rock Star status to make gains of their own.

Bringing this back to Driscoll, he also has gotten away with stuff the average Joe could not. This has not been a good thing for Driscoll or the people around him. Rock Stars getting away with stuff is not good for them. Tyler suffered greatly due to the consequences of his action. He lost a child over it and from what I gather, he still mourns over it. And as we are seeing, many people around Driscoll have also suffered greatly and many have mourned over Driscoll and the time they spent in his church.

It's time for the male fantasy of being a Rock Star Preacher to be recognized for what it is. Destructive, unchristian, and unbiblical.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sex, Drugs, and Mark Driscoll, pt. 2

Mark Driscoll is addicted to adrenaline. I hope that wasn't a big let down for some of you. It really is far more serious than what some might think.

I get my info from here:

Here is the part I'm most interested in:

A naturopath said I had overextended myself and worn out my adrenal glands (which regulate my sympathetic nervous system).

I’ve read it carefully a couple of times and I have one word for this pace and level of expectation and disjointed assistance to someone crying out for help. Insane.

Our sympathetic and parasympatetic nervous system is designed to warn us that our lifestyle is out of whack. And when we don’t pay attention, we pay the price. I’m sure Driscoll will get hundreds of tut-tut emails, and people letting him know they are praying for him.

He needs help, good medical help. He serious, mature people stepping into his life and into their responsibilities at his church to provide him with what he and his family needs, not what he thinks he wants.

The smaller print is Driscoll's words. The larger words come from Bene Diction Blogs via Wenachee the Hatchet's blog.

Now for a few of my own words on it.

I get being addicted to adrenaline. I get the adrenaline rush that you get from speaking in front of a small congregation. I can only imagine the rush that Driscoll gets from speaking to thousands by satellite or millions on The View.

If you are unfamiliar with this, let me explain a little bit. I like public speaking. I like expounding on points and seeing a reaction on the faces of those listening to me. I like the adrenaline rush that you get before and during a time of public speaking. And I like the afterglow let down that you bask in for an hour to several hours after a speaking engagement.

Adrenaline is a drug that the body produces. It is a natural drug that helps us deal with stressful situation. Public speaking is a stressful situation. In fact, I've heard that many people would rather face death than to speak in front of an audience. Adrenaline helps us with public speaking and other situations that seem dangerous.

One of the things adrenaline does is that it reduces or eliminates pain. I used to suffer from chronic back pain back when my husband still pastored. But when I got up to speak to the church, that adrenaline would rush in and I didn't feel back pain all the time I was speaking and for several hours after I spoke. This also happened when I had headaches.

I used to mistake that rush and elimination of pain for "The Anointing". The anointing is that thing that pastors and other Christians get when they are exercising their Spiritual gifts. Now I know it was adrenaline.

Don't get me wrong. In many cases, adrenaline is good and useful. For a public speaker or Christian teacher alike. But everything in moderation.

Also, Christian teachers need to realize that adrenaline is not necessarily anointing. I believe that Driscoll makes this mistake. One time he has said that everything he said, while preaching, was from the Holy Spirit. Seeing what those things were, I can tell you. They were not from the Holy Spirit. Messages concerning what wives need to do sexually for their husbands and breaking elders' noses... this isn't the Holy Spirit talking. It is pure adrenaline.

Anyway, the fact that Driscoll has overextended his adrenal glands is evidence that he's addicted to the drug, adrenaline. And, as the blogger I quoted above says, "He needs help...mature people stepping into his provide him with what he and his family needs, not what he thinks he wants."

In other words (and I say this with sympathy, not judgement)...

Mark Driscoll needs an intervention.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Sex, Drugs, and Mark Driscoll, pt. 1

Okay, just relax. I'm not accusing Driscoll of taking illicit drugs. Just hold tight until I can explain what I mean.

In my previous post I talk about Mark Driscoll being a rock star preacher. No great revelation there. That point has already been elsewhere way before now.

But let's look at this a bit more closely. What is the Rock Star lifestyle? Well that's easy. Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll, baby.

We've already seen the sex part. Mark's obsession with sex and getting lots of it in pretty much every variety possible is well documented. Rock stars go from town to town where they can find eager fans and have groupies along besides. Rock stars get plenty of sex in their sex, drugs, rock and roll living.

Well, what's a Christian preacher to do? He's only allowed one woman, his wife. How can he get from her all the sex his little rock and roll heart desires and still believe that he is pleasing God?
Easy. Just preach about sex a lot, all kinds of sex, about how wives owe their husbands unlimited amounts of sex and back it up with some major scripture twisting. Then his wife has no choice but to obey what he has declared to be God's word. And she has to live under the oppression of his bottomless pit need for rock star style sex, all by herself with no groupies or fans to help (that we know of).

You know what's funny. I used to work in a residential treatment facility for troubled youth. One of the coping mechanism that some of these young people used was sex. They were sex addicts. And when they acted out, one of the ways they acted out was sexually. And we call it, obviously, "Sexually Acting Out" or SAO. When they sexually acted out, then we had to bring that to their attention and help them find other coping methods.

Well, for a person who has worked with sexually addicted teens, it was obvious to me from the start that Driscoll was a sexually addicted adult. And some of his teachings on sex and the Song of Solomon was nothing short of Sexually Acting Out.

The best example of Driscoll's sexually acting out, of course, is his famous Scotland sermon of which I have a link to the transcript right here (Thanks WTH for having that so readily available):

So Driscoll has been addicted to sex, at least in the past if not still today.
But that's old news. I have recently been made aware of another addiction that he has that I will address later. Relax. I'm not going to tear into him like a pit bull on a killing spree. I actually understand the addiction that we will address next time. I'm not excusing it, mind you. I'm just analyzing it in light of some new information.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Mark Driscoll -- Rock Star Preacher

As much as I rant and rave about Mark Driscoll, you all might think that I hate the man.

I don't.

His mishandling of the Song of Solomon really ticks me off.

His mishandling of his position as pastor that has left so many walking wounded wondering aimlessly really ticks me off.

His misogyny really ticks me off.

But I don't hate him. So when I heard that he had some health problems it didn't make me happy and hope for his soon demise or at the very least the he would, "learn his lesson". No, those thoughts didn't jump into my head. I don't get any pleasure from anyone's suffering.

According to my source, Driscoll's health problems have to do with going on adrenaline and not taking breaks like he should. And upon hearing this, all I could think was, I hope that he will slow down and take care of himself. He, like all of us, is only human. You can only live the "Rock Star" life style for so long before it will kill you.

My husband heard Alice Cooper tell people that the reason he's still alive is that when he's not performing, he leaves his "Rock Star" persona back on the stage or at the studio. He says that anyone he has ever know who lived like a rock star all the time, they are all dead.

So I'm going to dedicate a song to Mark Driscoll. It's the song I think about when I think of how he is running himself too hard and needs to take a break. I want him to stop being a rock star because I don't want him to end up like Johnny in the song I'm dedicating to him.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Interesting Converstaion on NC at NLQ

I'll repeat the title without the abbreviations. There is an interesting conversation concering New Calvinism over at the No Longer Quivering forum. Those who are following along with me as I crack the NC code might be interested in it.

NLQ, Paul's intro

New Calvinism and the Permitted Tattoo, er Taboo

Back to New Calvinism for a bit.

Wanatchee the Hatchet made a post some time back on the allure of NC to young men that I think was very good. And when WTH talks about NC I perk up because I know that he spent time in NC shoes in Mark Driscoll's church. His post helps me understand "why" which is just about as important as "what".

So there you have it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

And Yet Another Blogs on Driscoll

Sorry if I'm giving you all information overload. I'm doing this to let those who are interested know what's going on. I'm also corralling all this info in one place for me to refer back to when I need it. I have another post on New Calvinism scheduled for in the morning. But until then, here is what Sallie has to say concerning Driscoll and his Macho Man crap:

Yeah, whatever.
[Again, for those who missed it. I like men, I think men are important. But I don't buy into focus almost exclusively on the men and give them all sorts of authority when they aren't ready for it and everything will be okay.]

Another Blogger Has Had Enough of Driscoll

Virginia Knowles wrote her post yesterday (turn your volume down or other music off because she has a playlist, just fyi. It made me jump because I wasn't expecting it):

Voddie Baucham is Sexist

And I bring this up now for a reason far more personal than urinating men who can't seem to hit the inside of a toilet in the women's bathroom during a conference listening to Voddie Baucham vilify feminists and pretty much all women. (Whew, what a long sentence. I hope you can make heads and tails of it. If not, perhaps this blog post can help you Complementarian Men Symbolically Urinate on Women)

It is far more personal to me than even the story at the above link, and I will explain why.
Voddie Baucham is speaking at the Iron Sharpens Iron men's conference in Springfield, Illinois. And guess what? Men in my church are going to that conference on March 24th. My desire to leave my church just keeps increasing.
Anyway, as proof of Voddie's blatant sexism and Bible twisting to control women I will link the transcript to a CNN 2008 interview. Voddie was concerned with Sarah Palin running for Vice president and thought that if she, or any other woman, ended up leading this country, this is a bad thing, and in fact, judgement from God against our Nation.
Link, here:

Portion of transcript in question:
PHILLIPS: Well wait a minute. What about the Old Testament and the prophet Deborah? She was a political leader, she was a wife, she was a mother. She was one of the biggest forces in the book of Genesis, so that is the gospel right there.

BAUCHAM: She certainly was, and the fact that something happened doesn't mean that it's normative for the church. In Isaiah Chapter 3, for example, one of the signs that a culture is under judgment is that women are in leadership in their nations. So Deborah was actually a sign that things were very bad in Israel. Not a norm for the church.

PHILLIPS: Margaret, I am curious to see what you think about this and what the reverend is saying.

FEINBERG: I think that that is a fair perspective, Voddie, but I think we also need to look at Ephesians 5, which describes -- it is saying that husbands are to lay down their lives for their wives, just as Jesus Christ laid down his life for the church. And in the same way, I think Todd has done an incredible job opening up the opportunity for Palin to use the gifts and the
talents and passions that she has been given in order to make a difference in her community and possibly in our nation and world on a significant political landscape and affect. PHILLIPS: Margaret, does the reverend sounding a little sexist, or is it just me?

FEINBERG: I would have to say the reverend is sounding a little questionable there. But in the sense that I believe that everyone, despite gender, has an opportunity to serve, to give and
to play a role in making a difference in their communities, in their churches and around the world.

PHILLIPS: Reverend, this could be an exciting time. This could break through. We are becoming progressive in so many ways. We're seeing a black man possibly winning the presidency, we're seeing a woman here that -- on the Republican ticket -- that's rousing up evangelicals, possibly to think twice about the woman's role in the church. This is fascinating times.

BAUCHAM: They are fascinating times. And they are also frightening times. When you see Margaret Feinberg use Ephesians Chapter 5, which clearly says that a husband is head of the wife, in order to justify somehow with this slight of hand that Palin's husband is laying down his life by allowing her to do that, No. 1 she is playing fast and loose with the text. And secondly, she is also ignoring the fact that Palin's responsibility as a wife and mother is governed by scripture, not by whether we feel it is progressive about our culture.

PHILLIPS: Margaret, final thought there?

FEINBERG: Well, Voddie, I believe that is a narrow interpretation and a boxy interpretation of the text, as well as the role of women who in today's working families -- many families in the United States need both the man and the wife in order to work outside of the home in order to support the family. And to put that kind of burden on the family, whereby a woman must stay at home, I just don't think that translates into many working class families today.

BAUCHAM: Well, my job is not to translate into working class families, my job is to be honest with the text. And the text says, in Titus Chapter 2, verse 5, the woman is to be to the keeper of her home. Now I will not violate the teaching of the text in order to somehow sound more appropriate for the culture. I am a herald of the truth of the gospel and my job is to teach the gospel according to what the authors have said, not according to what I think the culture wants to hear.


Yep, there is no denying. Voddie is the one playing fast and loose with the scriptrue. He is also sexist boardering on misogynist. Sexist and misogynist men love to go listen to him and urinte their displeasure concerning women in women's bathrooms all over the floor and where ever else they want to show their displeasure like puppies who need a newspaper taken to their backsides. Unfortunately, men who don't lean in the direction of sexism can pick this up. And I fear that is what will happen to the men in my church. All I want to do right now is run for the hills and become a hermit, far away from men and their hatred of women and teaching other men to do likewise.

Jeremiah 9:2 Oh that I had in the desert
A wayfarers’ lodging place;
That I might leave my people
And go from them!
For all of them are adulterers,
An assembly of treacherous men.

[Voddie pulling out an obscure verse in Isaiah 3 and making it God's will for all time is nothing short of treacherous. It is no better than for me to pull a verse out of Psalm 116 that says that all men are liars and making that a case against all men for all time. We do not need such treachery in our pulpits, men who adulterate the word of God, making it line up with their own prejudices rather than rightly dividing it. People are bringing the arrogant Mark Driscoll down. They need to do the same with Voddie Baucham.]

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Wade Says It So Much Nicer Than I Can

I've said variations of this for some time. You don't heal men by reducing women. You don't raise up men by put down women, etc. But in case anyone needs to hear another variation of this I'll link Wade version, because it is much nicer than mine. (Wade's post is actually a memo to Mars Hill.)

Mark Driscoll's "Results"

For those who want to relive the entirety of the interview between Mark Driscoll and Justin Brierley you can go to it here:
For those who just aren't in the mood for it, that's fine. I just wanted to make it available for the sake of back-up and proof of Mark Driscoll's words to Brierley concerning Driscoll's smack down of Brierley's wife, a woman pastor. Actually, it was a smack down of all women pastors and women in general. As in, SMACK "What makes you think you can pastor, you stupid woman. Get back in the kitchen!" or some variation there of.

Mark told Brierley that, basically, the reason his wife's church was small was because she was a woman and since it was pastored by a woman there must be no strong men.

Driscoll said, "You look at your results and you look at my results and at the variable that is most obvious."

All I can think, these days, concerning Driscoll's results is how many stories of abuse are coming out concerning him and his church.
Here's another one:
I'm pretty sure Mark doesn't want you to see these results. It's all about body count, how many warm, submissive bodies he can get into the pews. He's willing to do anything to get the numbers. It doesn't matter to him how many get trampled and thrown away in the process.

I wonder how many walking wounded and refuge blogs there are concerning Brierley's wife's church?

Mars Hill Investigation Update

Before I continue on with my exploration of New Calvinism, I have to draw people's attention to WTH's investigative jounalism style of getting down to the truth.

I have a tendency to rant. Ever notice? But ranting doesn't get to the truth. It only points out that there may be a problem. It has its place, but it solves little to nothing. It just gets attention and hopefully helps people to look a little closer at what is going on.

What WTH is doing on his blog if far more important in getting to the truth. WTH doesn't rant, nor does he make explosive claim and false accusations. It's just the facts, ma'am, just the facts.
So in the interest of pursuing the truth, I'd like to link the first post (out of 8, so far) of WTH's investigation into the Mars Hill mess:

Monday, March 19, 2012

Mark Driscoll Is in Trouble Now

The man who threatens to break the noses of those who question him is going to have trouble breaking so many noses now. More and more, he is becoming outnumbered. The great host of walking wounded that he has left in his wake, they are breaking their silence in greater numbers all the time.
Here is the most recent couple to do so:

Mark, are you listening. You cannot keep bullying your way to success. Eventually you are going to have to face the music. Eventually you will have to reap what you have sown. You can run and deny. But you cannot stop the day of reckoning from over taking you forever.
Honestly, I hope, for your sake, that you face the music in this life rather than in the hereafter.

Off-Topic and FYI for Writers

And now for something completely different.
I know many of my blogging friends like to write. If they didn't, they wouldn't have blogs.
I also know some of my followers have first hand knowledge of domestic violence.
This little off topic venture is for you:
Friends, Family, and Foes:
Learning How to Recognize and Stop the Cycle of Domestic Violence
By Edie Melson
Call for Submissions
In 2001 my best friend and her daughter were her husband. I had spent hours in close proximity with this family and never knew they were victims of domestic violence. That
tragedy, along with the things that followed, dramatically shaped my life. I’ve
made it one of my life’s missions to warn others about the signs of domestic
violence I missed and help them put an end to the cycle of domestic violence so
common in our world today.
This book is under contract with
Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas.
We are now accepting submissions of
your either your true-life experience with domestic violence or how you dealt
with a friend’s experience of domestic violence. The writer will receive full
credit for his or her story. We are looking for a variety of experiences, such
as and not limited to those of a wife, husband, parent, grandparent, child,
sibling, aunt, uncle, boyfriend, fiancé, or close friend.
Stories will ONLY be accepted until May 31, 2012.
Only email submissions will be accepted.
Attach your document to an email in an MS WORD.doc file.
Label the subject line of the email:
Friends, Family, and Foes, submission.
Submission Guidelines
Stories must be a true life experience.
Word count should not exceed 1500 words and we prefer the word count to be under 1000.
These stories can encompass a real life experience and are not limited to recent events.
Editors reserve the right to edit content for clarity and purpose.
Anonymous/Confidential Submissions
For those who do not wish to have their name included in the finished work they may choose any of the following options:
1. Publish story under a pseudonym.
2. Publish the story anonymously.
3. And/or change the story sufficiently to make it unrecognizable.
We will consider stories “as told by” for those who do not consider themselves to be writers. Please contact Ms.
Edie Melson for further instructions.

Upon Acceptance Author will receive a byline credit (if they wish).
Author will receive one free copy of the book, Friends, Family and Foes.
Topics covered in this book will include, but not be limited to:
Verbal Abuse.
Physical Abuse.
How to Recognize the Signs of Abuse in Your Friend.
How to Recognize the Signs of Abuse in Your Boyfriend/Husband.
Things You Can and Should do When You Suspect Abuse.
Things You Can’t Do When You Suspect Abuse.
How to Ask the Hard Questions.
Places to Get Help.
Places to Go for More Information.
Statistics on Domestic Violence.

Send your submissions to:
Ms. Edie Melson
Please direct all questions and queries to:
Ms. Edie Melson

About Edie Melson
Edie Melson is a freelance writer and editor with years of experience in the publishing industry. She’s a prolific writer and has a popular writing blog, The Write Conversation. In keeping up
with the leading edge of all things digital Edie has become known as one of the
go-to experts on Twitter, Facebook, and social media for writers wanting to
learn how to plug in. Her bestselling eBook on this subject, Social Media Marketing for
, is available on Kindle and Nook.
As a sought after writing instructor, her heart to help others define and reach their dreams has connected her with writers all over the country. She’s the co-director of the Blue Ridge
Mountains Christian Writers Conference, as well as a popular faculty member at
numerous others. Edie is also the Assistant Acquisitions Editor for
Fighting Fear, Winning the War at Home, was Edie’s second project with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. This devotional book for those with family members in
the military debuted on Veterans Day, 2011.
She’s a member of numerous professional writing organizations, including the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, The Christian Pen, The Christian Writer’s
View I and American Christian Fiction Writers. She’s also an assistant copy editor for the Voices Ezine, a publication of My Book Therapy and a part of the My Book Therapy Special Teams Blog and The Social Media Coach for the My Book Therapy Core Team .
Married 30 years to her high school sweetheart, Kirk, they have raised three sons.

Friday, March 16, 2012

"There is a darkness to Calvinism"?

Lin left a comment under one of my posts and I'm wishing she has said more.

Lin: " There is a darkness to Calvinism that is inexplicable. I saw it in reading about Calvin and others. I could discuss what I saw for days on end. It is chilling. Now, I am running into people who were totally immersed in it a few years back that are now athiests! "

I really think she means New Calvinists, because of these statements:
"I highly recommend George Marsden's bio of Edwards"
"Marsden records the suicides that occured with Edward's Awakening and they are bizarre."

But I'd really like for her to clarify things herself.

I only ask because I see New Calvinism as a very troubling force in Christianity. And I see New Calvinism creeping into my own church. If there really is a darkness about it, I want to understand it and combat it, somehow.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Is John Piper Preaching a Different Gospel?

First, it is misogynistic. He doesn't think so. But it really is and this is intuitively obvious to the most casual observer. I could go on and on about it. But it is well documented, and anyone late to the, "John Piper has decided that God made Christianity masculine" party can be thoroughly updated here:

Also, Paul is continuing to scrutinized Piper and his New Calvinist Tendencies in these extras to the Calvinism for Dummies series:

May John Piper get a wake up call, quickly. Men who claim to speak for God but are really talking out of their own heads, those men have no clue the judgement they heap upon themselves.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The New Calvinist & Neo Patriarch on Divorce

Paul pointed out a post he had on New Calvinism and Divorce:

So I thought I'd put up a link to a comment thread concerning Neo Patriarchs' view on how to get rid of a rebellious wife. (This is old news to my long time readers since I have linked this here before.)

This thread has had over 4 thousand hits and is still getting them even though discussion ended in August of 2010.

Yep, both Patriarchy and New Calvinism are bad for marriage and men and women. Patriarchy is especially bad for women.

WTH on Suffering and New Calvinism

I wanted to add this into the mix before I move on to my own thoughts on suffering.

WTH emailed me his thoughts and apologized that he couldn't do/say more since he's up to his ears in another project.
He said:
"Monergistic soteriology isn't a uniquely Calvinist view as Lutherans also hold to it. Even branches of Christianity with utterly synergistic ideas about soteriology embrace the idea that Christian life will inevitably involve suffering (such as ascetism in Eastern Orthodoxy, which teaches that it is possible to be completely sinless at least in short spurts).

Attempts to define New Calvinism with respect to suffering are missing the forest for a few trees. It still gets back to Edwardsian micromanaging sovereignty, which not all Calvinists affirm. Orthodox Presbyterians I've met have explained that more traditional Reformed thought insists on monergistic soteriology ONLY for salvation itself, not at every point of Christian experience. God can choose to fix certain things and not others. That's about all i'm up to describing at this point."

One of the reasons that I bring up what he says is that when Paul explained how New Calvinists weren't motivated to help an abused woman very quickly because suffering was good, I went to look up Hinduism, Calcutta, and Mother Teresa. I had heard that the Hindus just sort of allowed suffering because of the Karma thing (as I mentioned in a previous post) but that Mother Teresa, motivated by Christian charity and what not, went to Calcutta to minister to the sick and dying. Well, I learned something in my research. I learned that Mother Teresa is also a bit guilty of this monergistic soteriology, at least according to some critics. In her ministries, although she honored the suffering and dying, her ministry didn't go to great lengths to alleviate suffering because she also thought that suffering was a good thing.

So when WTH gave me this info the other day, I knew what he was talking about.


As Paul has noted and others have attested to, New Calvinism has a harsh, withdrawn (from the human condition) side that makes this human tendency... how should we say it? Meaner?

At least this is what I get from it.
Anyone else have anything thoughts?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Paul and Cindy Answer Rachel

Paul and Cindy gave Rachel a responses that wouldn't fit in a comment.


Thanks Paul and Cindy!
And look under Rachel's question to see Brad and Lynne's responses.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Question From Rachel

Rachel asked a question in the comment section, but I want to bring it to the forefront for our New Calvinist experts to answer.

Can someone answer this question for me? (I'm trying to fit some puzzle pieces together about NC)...

I see from the example in the post (that of a woman being abused "partaking in Christ's suffering") that NCs can come off as ambivalent about helping/stopping suffering when it rears its ugly head.

Do they take it a step further and actually emphasize suffering as a goal/way of life?

In other words, it's one thing to tell a suffering person that they shouldn't seek to change their situation. It's another thing to tell a happy person that they should actively aspire to be suffering.

I am starting to see this attitude in my church and it really bothers me. For one thing, I know very few well-adjusted people who actually aspire towards suffering as a way of life (plenty of people who give lip service to that, mind you, but I see them out having fun and smelling the roses just like everyone else). Also, as someone who has struggled with depression and anxiety, I've had to hold onto God's promise of mercy, joy and hope in order to get myself to a place of health and healing...and I see people in my church who have never struggled with these things decreeing quite confidently that trying to escape suffering is not what we want. (I wonder if any of them have ever found themselves truly unable to get out of bed in the morning, and how they justified that this was necessary for them to serve God....don't know about you all, but I always serve God better when I get up, go about my day, and interact with other humans).


Anybody want to address this for Rachel? I'd like to know, as well.

Another Funky Hit

No, I'm not talking about music. I'm talking about search hits coming to my blog.
Along with daily hits concerning info on Grace Driscoll I got this one recently:

"Dumped because I'm a Calvinist"

How about that one?

Sorry guy or gal that got dumped for being a Calvinist. I hope you get to feeling better soon. If it's any consolation to you, I really liked your search phrase. So I thought I'd try it, though no one could ever accuse me of being a Calvinist, new or otherwise.

Anyway, here's a couple links I got from searching this one out.

Now for those looking for whatever it is that I said about Grace Driscoll, here you go.

Interesting Search Hits

While the hits keep coming in concerning Grace Driscoll, her blog, her affair, her abuse, her whatever, I've noted another interesting hit. It went like this:

"tired of christianity calvinist"

So people are getting here through this search. More than once.

So I thought, "Okay, I'll bite," and I put that in my search engine and smoked it.

I ended up in two interesting places and thought I link them both here. Both are from guys angry with Calvinists. One is not a Calvinist, the other is. I'm linking them for myself, and also for anyone who would like to critique either link.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Note on Some Comments

As I pursue understanding of New Calvinism, I'm getting some great comments that I'd like to highlight for those who don't make it to my comment section.
(To those who have either btdt or who just don't care and wish I'd move onto juicier stuff, all I can say is that I will soon. But I have to do this now. I have to gain understanding of NC while I have this kind of help.)

All these comments appear under the "Piper Guilty of Christian Vulcanism?" thread.

Paul said concerning the video I featured in the previous post, John Piper: woman submit to abuse?:
"As in all of life--New Calvinists see everything through 'the gospel.'
So, being abused by your husband is a good thing because it enables the wife to partake in the sufferings of Christ. It's not about us, it's about making the cross bigger, and what better way to do that than to suffer?! It makes counseling as easy as 1,2,3. Everything is about making the cross bigger. Um, and these comments are based on data by the way."

I find this to be very interesting and it adds to my NC = Christian Vulcanism theory. I've heard that one of (or one part of) the Eastern Religions, either Buddhism or Hinduism, believes in reincarnation and Karma and has a similar attitude.
Because of Karma, if they see someone suffering, they are less likely to help because they see it as getting what they deserve or living out suffering to learn something. Even in death, when a person suffers, others are not inclined to help because they believe that the suffering one will be reincarnated into something(0ne) else and will either have a better or worse life depending on what they did in this life. Someone else messing with it, like trying to ease the pain, is messing with Karma and they are doing wrong. (understand I'm not saying this is true of all Buddhists or Hindus, it's just a way of thinking among some of them.)
So in this instance, NC is like Christian Hinduism (or Buddhism, wish I could remember which).

WTH said concerning Piper:
"As I've been discovering since becoming Presbyterian there are Reformed thinkers in America who considered Jonathan Edwards to introduce a lot of bad elements into Reformed thought, whether his endorsing revivalist techniques that have been assimilated into the emotional manipulation bag of tricks used by American preachers or by his front-loading sovereignty at the expense of other considerations about the character of God.

At least according to the now passed Internet Monk Piper stopped being the "Christian hedonist" he was famous for and took on an Edwardsian approach to super-sovereignty that not all Calvinists endorse but that, apparently, New Calvinists are happy with .."

Italics added by me.
This also opens up and clarifies Calvinism and NC. The phrases, "Front-loading sovereignty at the expense of other considerations about the character of God" and "Super-sovereignty" help me to define NC and distinguish it from traditional Calvinism.

Lynne said:
" I actually was stuck in healing from major abuse issues in my life until I said goodbye to Calvinism. It left me paralyzed in a paradigm that said that the horrible things that had been said and done were part of God's perfect will for me. It also left me with such a distorted and confused picture of what God's love and character were truly like that I felt totally abandoned in the universe, and nearly went under. it was only when I studied more deeply, and discovered that there were alternative ways of putting together one's theology that I was released to experience the God who truly loved me and mourned with me in my pain, and whose justice will ultimately triumph."

And this, my friends, has given me an understanding of the practical implications of what Calvinism does in real life. A sort of, "What does it really look like," as opposed to what a Calvinist wants it to look like.
Note: I've asked Lynne whether the Calvinists she's dealt with were traditional or NC. I suspect they were traditional but am not sure. I'm waiting for her response.

Edited to add that Lynne has responded and that actually the Calvinists she knows are embracing NC, hook, line, and sinker. She's noticed an increasing harshness to them among other things. To see her full comment look under "Piper Guilty of Christian Vulcanism?"

Friday, March 9, 2012

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Piper Guilty of Christian Vulcanism?

This video has already made the rounds. It has already started heated arguments between hardcore Piper defenders and people with more common sense than that. I'm not bringing it up to stir up a bunch of heated argument but rather to analyse it with this new information I have on how New Calvinists approach the gospel, the world, other people, and themselves.

I have had sort of a theory in dealing with decent men who don't understand abusive men. They don't 'get' the abusive mindset but they understand that women can really drive men crazy and that there are even scriptures talking about contentious women and constant drips. So these decent men make the mistake of thinking that, yes, it's never right to hit a woman, but that some women ask for it and if they would just obey the Bible and submit, then they wouldn't be abused. I put Dobson in this category. I also used to put Piper in this category.

I remember someone saying, concerning the clip that I link above, that Piper was being rather cold hearted and uncaring and used the little nervous laugh that Piper gave upon reading the question as evidence.

At that time I wasn't willing to go that far. And even now, I'm not willing to say that Piper, himself, is coldhearted. Rather, I'm coming to the conclusion that New Calvinism creates coldheartedness in people. It is New Calvinism that is clinical and coldhearted. Trying to be pure, New Calvinists have made themselves sterile and reclusive from the human condition.
One of the reasons I'm coming to this conclusion is that I could see that Piper might actually be a very sensitive man. So sensitive, in fact, that he needs a doctrine that helps to shield himself from the pain of walking this earth.

Now I'm guessing here, of course. But the reason I'm turning this direction in my reasoning and theorizing is that this is possibly happening to the young man in my church. He had a very hard blow. Very emotional. Something that made him cry. But men aren't supposed to cry... Right?
So how do we deal with this, since manhood in men doesn't look so manly when it is dealing with honest pain in the thick of turmoil? Well, Vulcanizing their Christianity by way of New Calvinism could be an option. Think of it. Rather than rolling around and getting messy in the pit of emotions we can take ourselves out of the pit, sterilize everything and become the distant scientist observer, a Vulcan type dude. It certainly could cut down on the immediate pain and make life a bit more bearable in the now. But the down side is that, as it causes us to withdraw from the pain, it also causes us to withdraw from that which is human, created in God's image. And ultimately it makes even God more distant. We become something less than human, cold blooded, perhaps even reptilian.

But we are not to be reptiles. We are to be human. We wrestle with emotions and many other things. We have highs and lows and, if we will let Him, God will stay near to use through all of it.
I'm going to leave you with a song here that expresses well our need for a God who is near.