“It might be the reason there’s a problem with excessive pastoral authority is a lack of interest in praying for one’s pastor. 🙂 Maybe?”
-Wade Burleson, Pastor, eChurch, Wartburg Watch (www.wartburgwatch.com), 10/14/2013, 8:26 am
I would again like to remind you, dear readers, that neither Dee nor Deb of the Wartburg Watch offered a single, solitary challenged to this comment by Wade. These two run a “discernment blog”, ostensibly in the interest of pointing out abuse and abusive trends in today’s church. And yet this? Went utterly ignored by the self-proclaimed “blogging queens”. And now, of course, where before we thought we knew the answer to this question, it seems we are left in an information lurch. Just what, pray tell, are they the queens of? Because for this comment to go unchallenged by either one of them leaves me a lot confused as to just what in the hell the point of their blog is anymore. They rail against Steven Furtick in North Carolina for having a big house and, heaven-forbid, a “mega-church”, and yet allow Wade Burleson to walk away from his metaphysical/epistemological smoking car-wreck of tyranny while running blocker for him against the doctrine police.
And again, my comment? Derided as mean-spirited, deceptive drivel. My comment gets both barrels. My comment, which calls Wade out on a categorically indefensible statement, utterly un-proveable, with no ties to reason or rationality…a product of a mindset completely bereft of any grasp of the physical world in which Wade operates and draws his living wages—at least philosophically and judiciously–and rooted in the rank acceptance of the Primacy of Consciousness model, which puts all VALUE (TRUTH and MORALITY) utterly outside of the human frame of reference.
Yeah, that’s Dee’s target these days. Can we all pronounce “Master” correctly? It’s “massa”, in case you readers over there at Wartburg forgot you were still a slave to he who is in the stead who owns you on God’s behalf.
I have said it before and I will say it again: Wartburg Watch jumped the shark the day they decided that Wade should be the resident eChurch pastor for that site. And once the thieves enter in and bind up the strong man…well, we know what happens to the house. It needs a really good maid, PDQ. And what was that Jesus said about making people twice as much the sons of hell as they were before? Yeah…that’s pretty much where my thoughts are headed concerning any abused ex-Calvinist punching bag/drone (like I used to be) who enters into the majority of “discernment blogs” these days.
Dee’s response to my comment was knee-jerk, hyper-emotional, and completely predictable, as I have already mentioned. Part of it implied that I had accused Wade of advocating domestic violence (“And if the wife had gotten her husband’s dinner on time she could have avoided that crack across her jaw. Just look what she made him do.”), which of course, I did not do at all. I did, however, liken his accusation that a “lack of interest in prayer”–which must imply a lack of prayer, itself, by logical extension–as the source of pastoral authoritarianism to the idea that a wife can be, by Wade’s crooked “logic”, accused of being the root cause of her own spousal beatings if we decide this: to link violence against a victim with that victim’s own refusal (or obviously limited ability) to claim ownership of his/her tormenter’s sadistic personality disorder. And of this, you can be sure. I stand by my argument in this matter. And further I declare that any Pastor, who is supposed to be in charge of compassionately leading God’s sheep into the safety and love and peace of their Heavenly Father, who engages in abuse and authoritarianism does not need prayer or an “interest” in prayer; he needs to have his ass fired, be publicly stripped of all his pastoral “privileges” and sent to a fucking psychiatrist. Preferably one who is liberal with his criteria for admission, forced, into a state mental hospital. Because anyone with that kind of ostensible trust and that kind of command over peoples lives and property who would abuse people’s trust like that is not a healthy man. He is an evil man. He is a man who needs a new personality, and/or to be put as far away from other human beings as the law allows.
That’s what he needs.
ANYONE who hears this kind of argument in their church…the one that Wade makes, should grab their kids and sprint to the nearest exit, like air to the vacuum of space. And I mean STAT.
““It might be the reason there’s a problem with excessive pastoral authority is a lack of interest in praying for one’s pastor. 🙂 Maybe?”
Oh…for fuck’s sake!
This is how a Calvinist responds to ABUSE!!!! And let me tell you something…it’s the same attitude I saw in SGM for years, and we all know how that church went down. But do you think anyone in that church accepts responsibility for their evil actions? Do you think anyone blames the “divine” doctrine. I have not talked to all, but I’ve talked to several of my old SGM cohorts who are still in that mind-prison and I can assure you that they have absolutely zero appreciation for the level of manipulation and psychopathic teachings that led to the demise of that group’s credibility with anyone who looks to sanity and reason for their world-view. In short, they just don’t see what the fuck the big deal is. Seriously.
Folks, that is the kind of lightness with which Wade, I submit, himself takes these kinds of issues. Issues like Pastoral abuse, which can take many, many forms…from physical, to psychological, to lying or being deceptive about church finances, to using people, to intimidation, to stalking people, to spying on people, to extort, and–as we who have a working knowledge of CJ Mahaney’s soiled history as President of SGM understand well–to blackmail.
Okay…moving away from my soap-box, whereupon I have appealed to my fellow-man/woman’s sense of moral decency to reject Wade and his teachings and his doctrine and his eChurch, I turn now to your sense of reason. To that large and powerful brain muscle of rational thought that most people have (but many sadly choose to ignore), and one which has been trained to Olympic proportions by those who have spent a few minutes here and there ferreting out the logical conclusions of the Reformed doctrinal iron maiden.
One more thing, however, before I go there…let me just say that I will no longer subject myself to the emotional abuse I get from Dee over there at Wartburg Watch. I have confronted her spiritual mentor, and as a consequence I have been privileged to taste several of Dee’s shit sandwiches, prepared a variety of ways. It is no longer worth it…because shit sandwiches, while at first are a novelty and piquing, just stopped being interesting a long time ago. And besides that, at this point, let’s be honest. My comments on her blog are just a red cape to Dee. She doesn’t bother to think much, she charges and hopes she connects a horn to some flesh…there’s simply nothing rational about how she responds to me anymore. And it isn’t kind of me to bait her by going there. So, I guess my point is that from now on I’ll be discussing things only as an outside observer to the car crash that has become the Wartburg Watch. I won’t actually be in the car.
Anyway…Wade’s comment. Yeah. I mean…further on down the comment thread you see Wade equivocate on what he “actually meant” (though, he never concedes, as far as I can tell, that what he said, that is, the words he used in that particular order, which beg a clear and rank interpretation by anyone with a grasp of the English language, are simply just plain wrong, which to me is the only meaningful response; a complete redaction). But, like, whatever, you know? I don’t particularly care to see Wade attempt to “correct” a statement that should be categorically rejected, full stop, and then stricken from the record; or held up for perpetual derision as an example of how a Pastor can lose all credibility in a single bound. Any clarification of a statement like that must be, by definition as far as I’m concerned, not nearly enough to make it either functionally justified, nor moral, nor meaningful, nor sane. Any attempt to clarify what I consider to be a psychologically abusive statement merely indicates that Wade doesn’t really get it at all, and thus is not in a position to understand either abuse nor authority and as such, is not in a position to comment on it ever (nor to be a Pastor). An attempt to “clarify” psychological abuse/spiritual tyranny is merely an indication that the person doing the clarification is, very likely, uninterested in actually stopping abuse. If the husband, after he cracks his wife across the jaw for his late dinner decides to “explain what he really meant”…well, this doesn’t make him all of a sudden a guy to be trusted to confront abuse. But this is precisely what Wade believes, I submit, in theory, even though he wouldn’t concede my example. It is, however, the exact same idea. And that’s Wade. And Wartburg. After all, why does any hyper-authoritarian Pastor need Wade to “explain” that the reason for his tyranny lands squarely in the lap of the laity? He is just as much an emissary of God as Wade is, according to the doctrine. Wade doesn’t need to play the middle man. The abusive Pastor in Wade’s example can excuse his own evil behavior just fine all by his lonesome, thank you very much.
That’s my opinion on the matter and yeah…I went there. Again.
What Doesn’t Logically Reconcile
So Wade draws this direct connection between the laity’s “interest” in praying (which means their actual praying…which means: you’re NOT PRAYING for PASTOR and that’s why he is such an asshole)…yes, between the laity’s interest in praying for their Pastor and the amount of ecclesiastical authoritarianism to which they are subjected. Now, even though Wade draws a direct connection between these two actions, the “real” connection can only ever be purely theoretical. Because anyone with even the minutest grasp of the real world can see that there is simply no objective nor empirical way to measure the correlation between the degree of one’s prayer and the degree to which his or her pastor is a psychopathic narcissist.
Allow me to explain how an attempted study might look and why it is doomed to fail…not that this makes any difference to a Calvinist. Remember, to them, TRUTH cannot be learned but must be, somehow, divinely bestowed, and so there isn’t any pastor who would or could be bothered with any kind of empirical study in the first place. By their own doctrinal definition, TRUTH happens to be whatever they say it is at any given moment, even if it directly contradicts a TRUTH declared just yesterday over morning coffee. That is the width and breadth of Calvinist epistemology. So, even if Wade understands that correlation is not causation it doesn’t mean that it applies to him as God’s proxy. Correlation, like anything else, is whatever God “gives him grace to perceive”. Which means simply, again, that whatever Wade declares is true is true, and any criteria anywhere in the world according to any measure of statistical consistency or objective reason or epistemological frames of reference or human context (metaphysics) is merely the devil, up to his old Garden variety tricks again, deceiving the depraved masses until God arbitrarily decides who He has already predestined to get saved again and again by “preaching the gospel to themselves every day”.
Get it? Yeah. Neither do I. But remember, it doesn’t matter. As long as it makes sense to Wade and any other neo-Calvinist authority standing in the stead of God, that’s all you need concern yourself with.
Okay…time’s run out for this morning’s edition of Reformed Fun and Hijinks, sponsored by http://www.wartburgwatch.com.
See you for part three. Oh, and I haven’t forgotten about Cal Thomas’s terrifying sermon on how to compel moral behavior in America’s blind, barbarian masses through a despotic theocracy. I have MUCH more to say about that in part three of the series. Ta ta.