A friend of mine, in the course of doing some research, solicited my opinion as to why Christianity lends itself so easily (and automatically, I would add) to tyranny, as even a cursory glance at history will reveal. The following post was my response.
What I wrote wasn’t what he was looking for as far as the objective of his research is concerned; but for my part, I submit that it sums up precisely the very core problem with Christianity, and why it not only historically has been a bulwark for the worst kind of violent and despotic societies and governments, but has also been a routine and systematically applied defense of so many vile and destructive institutions and practices within those societies and governments: chattel slavery, organized genocide (e.g. the Holocaust), organized torture (e.g. the Inquisition), public execution (e.g. Salem Witch Trials, John Calvin’s stake burnings in Geneva), economic and political discrimination (e.g. Jim Crow laws, resistance to women’s suffrage), routine open and violent condemnation of categorically innocent and law abiding persons (e.g. the blistering denunciations of gay and lesbian citizens). Yes, these, to name a few. And there are many more examples.
So, in short, why does Christianity lend itself so perfectly to tyranny, abuse, violence, torture, murder, and the wholesale enslavement, both literally and figuratively speaking, of the masses? As I reveal in my post, the answer is simple, and it is the same answer which is fitting for ALL evil and oppressive philosophies: It does not know “What is man?”.
Period. Full stop.
When you have no reasonable defense for the existence of the individual human, then humanity in general becomes, by definition a false idea. An illusion. A lie. Or, at best, a thing. Lifeless. Soulless. Meaningless.
…it can be forced (and it MUST be forced…for humanity, in the despotic construct, is fundamentally unable to THINK) into either sacrificing itself of its own volition (which doesn’t actually exist in the despotic philosophies; man has no volition), or is forcefully sacrificed on its own behalf by the Priests/Elders/Kings/Officials of the Collective and the Primary Consciousness (which can be and usually is one and the same, and is defined as that which is assumed to be absolute TRUTH: God, the Government, the State, the Party, the Tribe, the Race, the King, the Dictator, the Leadership, the People, the Workers, the Poor, the Company) in service to the absolute “truth” and “good” of the Primary Consciousness and the Collective, which gives all meaning and all moral value to the individual, right up to the point where there is no existential/metaphysical distinction. You are either a member of the collective, wholly subordinate and enslaved to the Authority of the Collective (and the Primary Consciousness), or you don’t exist. You have no rational metaphysic. There stands no definition, no qualification or quantification to the substance which you observe to comprise yourSELF.
“SELF” has no translatable concept or construct within the Christian metaphysical component of its belief system. And in Christianity, the reason why it can almost always be found on the side of the oppressor, and willingly so, is because it flagrantly assumes, as a perfunctory part of its foundational philosophical concessions, that there is no such thing as individual human beings. If you are not part of the group, admitted and affirmed by the proxies of God, your life is literally meaningless.
This is the fundamental assumption behind all tyrannies, and also Christianity (which is inherently tyrannical in its orthodox forms), as we have seen it practiced for almost its entire existence upon this earth.
And now, with no more ado, here is my reply to the issue in question, posited in the title of this post:
Here is what I have come up with.
It has been rightly said that the question of tyranny boils down to this particular question: Who owns man?
But the question which still remains to be asked is: Why is this a question in the first place? Meaning, what are the presumptions which allow man to think that this question is somehow legitimate?
The answer is found in the root ideas about man’s existential nature, which is why I focus so heavily on metaphysics. The implicit assumption behind the question “who owns man?” is that man somehow can be owned. But the only way this can be assumed is if it is believed that man, as a matter of his existential being, is not in fact absolute. On the other hand, if we concede that man IS, and that he EXISTS, then we must also concede that he is absolute. For man cannot both be IS and IS NOT; existing and not existing at the same time.
At the root of man is an absolute existence, period. Which means that man’s ability to be conscious of his existence is likewise absolute. Absolute means infinite, which means that there are no boundaries to the metaphysical essence of individual man which includes his consciousness. If this is true, then no “other” can claim to own him because no other can exist in such a way as to make such ownership ultimately efficacious and reasonable. Man acts in service to his own existence because he MUST, because everything he thinks and does is a direct function of his inherently absolute and infinite being. This makes man’s interactions with God, other people, and the environment inexorably relative to HIMSELF.
Therefore, I would not even argue that man can own himself because in the case of an absolute, infinite SELF, ownership is besides the point. “Ownership” is merely a concept man uses to qualify a particular form of relationship he observes in his environment. It is a tool he uses in service to the standard of SELF, which, as I have said before, is the only objective and legitimate standard of morality and truth which can be claimed.
The problem with Christianity, as always, lies in the assumption that man’s conceptual abstractions are causal (beginning to end, cause to effect, first to last, up to down, past/present/future, etc.). Man “observes” that he comes from “nothing”, or “unconsciousness”, or non-existence into existence, and then, when he dies, he reverts back to his unconscious non-existence (or, if you believe in an afterlife, man goes there in “spirit”, whatever that means). But the point is that almost as soon as man’s brain develops into a full blown and efficacious awareness of SELF, he concedes that he is directly a function of nothingness (non-existence, un-consciousness). And of course what this thinking ultimately leads to is the idea that man is not, in fact, metaphysically absolute. His root being is foundationally a contradiction in terms. He is an IS operating as a direct function of an IS NOT. This is of course impossible and logically indefensible. And man should really know better, but after thousands of years of Greek philosophy, his thinking has evolved to assume that truth is somehow rooted in illusions and mystery; which means that man’s very consciousness cannot be trusted.
What this inevitably leads to is the idea that man’s metaphysical essence–his existential IS–can be parsed, and in fact IS parsed. Man metaphysic is no longer absolute. The assumptions which necessarily follow this idea are one of two:
A. There is no absolute, really, so the man with the biggest gun and the willingness to liberally apply it gets to make one up (usually himself).
B. There IS an absolute, but man is not it…so whoever claims (again, by force, fiat, lies, deception…it always goes back to force, which is why Christianity worships at the altar of “AUTHORITY” above all else)…yes, whoever claims to “know it” and to “serve it” as its earthbound proxy is “divinely” mandated to rule.
The explicit assumption regarding absolutes (that are not man, and thus, unknowable by man…and this is key) is that that which is absolute, in order to in fact be absolute, MUST demand the sacrifice of everything else in favor of its infinite morality and truth. If man is allowed to be “free” then he presents a necessary limitation to the absolute truth, by definition. Therefore, man must either become a direct function/extension of the absolute, or he must be murdered in order to eliminate his “natural” affront to its perfect absolute-ness. Christians call this man’s “sin nature”. Or his “original sin”. These words are merely euphemisms for man’s existence.
And this where Christianity neatly fits in. Notice how in practically EVERY “orthodox” version of the faith man is morally and metaphysically subservient to God. Even Paul D. (whom I adore) believes in his “slave to unrighteousness/slave to righteousness” paradigm that it is man’s root metaphysical SELF which is ultimately changed, as if the infinite absolute of man’s existence can be parsed. But the fact is that the same belief which leads to man’s justification also continues into sanctification…that is, it leads to man’s sanctification because the metaphysical nature of man cannot be changed. To say that man can somehow be altered at the root of his singular, metaphysical IS is an impossible contradiction (wholly enslaved to sin versus wholly enslaved to righteousness to the point where no matter what man does or thinks, his position as a slave in either construct must remain unchanged).
But the truth is that the individual, basal SELF of man does not change. Rather, his foundational BELIEFS change, and THAT is both why he is saved and why he is sanctified. Which is why I submit that he can indeed lose his salvation; because if man no longer believes that he absolutely IS, his reality no longer can be reconciled to his own existence. There is NO MAN, rationally and practically speaking, to be saved unless man BELIEVES that his existence is in fact efficacious and absolute. Because belief drives action, and belief combined with action defines just how the metaphysical essence of man will be efficaciously manifest (measured by the observable affirmation of the SELF and all SELVES) in his environment; it will wholly inform his interactions with God, the world, and his fellow man.
According to all interpretations of Christianity, man cannot truly own himself because man cannot truly BE himself. He is always and forever a walking contradiction, a breathing and blinking mystery. An impossible dichotomy of determinism and free will, good and evil, truth and lie, etc., etc. This of course affects his epistemology, making man utterly incapable of apprehending truth, because he always sees it from a broken, contradictory metaphysic. And since that is the case; since man is not absolute and therefore must be unaware, and is not the absolute standard of truth and morality, on existential par with God, man MUST be ruled; compelled to service or to death. Otherwise, as I said, he is an offense to the “real” truth.
So why does Christianity lend itself so well to tyranny? For the same reason as every other despotic notion does: it cannot define man in a way to make him reconcilable to his own actual existence.
In Christianity, man is farce. So what happens to him is ultimately irrelevant.
31 thoughts on “Why “Orthodox” Christianity is Inherently Oppressive”
“So, in short, why does Christianity lend itself so perfectly to tyranny, abuse, violence, torture, murder, and the wholesale enslavement, both literally and figuratively speaking, of the masses? As I reveal in my post, the answer is simple, and it is the same answer which is fitting for ALL evil and oppressive philosophies: It does not know “What is man?”.”
This is it. This question John asked long ago started me on a journey. A bit different than yours because our brains work differently. I have to read your posts several times. You are like reading Lewis! LOL.
It also prompted me to ask: Why did God become a human? Then it made me think of what it means that God created us in HIS IMAGE.
What was my conclusion? People are very valuable. And people CHOOSE their own earthly value. Those who perpetuate evil against others have chosen their value. I often think of Lamech. :o)
One of the biggest precursors in my mind to devaluing the real message of Jesus Christ were the early councils/creeds. Their outcomes are what we can call the Syllabus Jesus. The focus remains to this day on the Syllabus Jesus…His birth, death, resurrection, Hardly a thing about how he lived as a human here. Wjhich is a very important part!!!
This focus on the Syllabus Jesus has been the precursor to all sorts of evils done in His Name. For the common good, of course. (sigh) Because it took the focus off how we live as the kingdom NOW.
So that part has basically been ignored in real terms and the focus is on what a distant spy in the sky thinks using very bad interpretations of scripture.
Humans must be very valuable or Jesus would not have become one. And ALL humans must be valuable or Jesus would not have come as a lowly one. Because so many Christians do not think the historical Jesus is important, they miss the fact that Jesus was not the first or last “Messiah” of Israel. Quite a few claimed that title before and after him to free Isreal from the clutches of Roman Empire and create a theocracy. But that was never God’s intention from the start. By misunderstanding Isreal’s function in the OT, most miss the bigger picture.
BTW: When someone trots out the phrase, “orthodox Christianity” I cannot help but envision torture, imprisonment, War as God shield, burnings at the stake, stocks, drownings, state church, corrupt priests and pastors, power mad people wanting control over the masses.
That is their idea Christianity? Scary. Perhaps they are ignorant of history?
“But the truth is that the individual, basal SELF of man does not change. Rather, his foundational BELIEFS change, and THAT is both why he is saved and why he is sanctified. Which is why I submit that he can indeed lose his salvation; because if man no longer believes that he absolutely IS, his reality no longer can be reconciled to his own existence. ”
Oh, I totally agree although I come at it from a different angle. It boils down to man thinking and man doing. .
Jesus made salvation possible for all. It is a choice to believe Him just as living out the kingdom here and now is our choice. There is no magic pixie dust for once saved always saved.
One of the reasons people believe in once saved always saved or the P in TULIP which is different but from the same genre, is because they apply kingdom living now verses to the cross and not to ;living out what we believe. Some would call it applying Justification verses to sanctification verses.
The problem is always taking man out of the equation. When that is done, it is all mystery and silliness. And man cannot know himself. He cannot know his own motives, he cannot know when he sins, etc, etc. Excuses, excuses.
“Jesus made salvation possible for all. It is a choice to believe Him just as living out the kingdom here and now is our choice. There is no magic pixie dust for once saved always saved.”
Amen and exactly; and exactly and amen! 🙂
Argo, this is totally off topic but since we have discussed the wacky world of discernment blogs and what can happen with group think, I think you will enjoy this. I found out about it from John who mentioned it to me on his blog. And it concerns accusations of being unorthodox.
Seems a few comments I had back and forth with a certain PDI5years over at survivors has stood the test of “heretic” time. I have gotten emails over the course of a year or so (maybe 2) telling me she is still referring to our convo in other threads and calling me unorthodox and a heretic. I found it all very amusing that I made such an impression. What was the topic? ESS. She agrees with ESS and I was trying to make the case against it. That made me a heretic. And of course, she wanted to frame all questions that start with a faulty premise. Kris shut me down but now it is said I “cut and ran”.
John said the last thread had her grilling TWW about me commenting at their site. Well, like a train wreck I had to look and it is even more interesting than I bargained for. Seems TWW sold me out and was not completely honest about me. I had NO idea they agreed with ESS and had many Lydia’s commenting there. What a surpise. I will start with PDI5years and her SNL “church lady” act:
Dee and Deb-
I appreciate your clarification.
May I ask, back when Lydia refused to answer this question (is Jesus God in the flesh, right now) and picked up and ran when Kris confronted her as well, why did you continue to keep her as a editorial staff member and (allegedly, I didn’t read it but was informed by very credible sources) allow me to be greatly trashed and condemned? Why, if the bible refers to such persons as false teachers and antichrists, why did you not defend this doctrine clearly, correct Lydia, and defend me about this doctrine (no matter what you think about me personally).
In my opinion, so long as Lydia remains a writer in good standing, until she is able to post that Jesus is the incarnate God now and forever, your site does not represent orthodox Christianity. And until you apologize HERE AND AT WW for not defending this basic truth, and allowing me and my doctrinal stance on it to be ripped to shreds by your posters, you have no more integrity than the many sites and celebrities you expose as faulty.
I understand that this is probably partly backlash from ESS using Phil 2 as an example for only women which is rediculous theology. I get it. I get how mixed up the people on your site are. I’ve had plenty of mix ups in my own life so I can understand. But it is time to clarify this, and clarify it completely and clearly, and insist Lydia subscribe to it or be dismissed from her position. Sorry, but gnosticism or UPC or whatever she is is not Christianity.
Thanks again, I appreciate you replying here.
Now for the Deebs response selling out Lydia…for what? To shore up their sgmsurvivors reading base?
Deb and Dee
March 4th, 2014 at 2:47 pm
“Why did you continue to keep her as a editorial staff member? ” ” Why did you continue to keep her as a editorial staff member. ” These statements came as a great surprise to the both of us! We thought that it was just the two of us, with Wade Burleson (who, by the way, is Reformed in his theology) presenting sermons on our E Church.
We are so overwhelmed with comments and emails, etc., that we could use a staff. If you know where they are, could you please contact them and tell them to call us? Do we ever have work for them! Seriously, we tried to get a couple of long time Christian friends involved to help us answer emails. We average hundreds of emails each month. But, as they read the correspondence, they were overwhelmed with the emotions and pain expressed therein. Plus we could only offer then the same salary that we receive-$0.
We are dead serious about this. TWW is ONLY the two of us. Thankfully, our kids are grown and our husbands are supportive since we often spend 5-8 hours a day researching. We do not accept advertising since it allows us the opportunity to speak more freely as private citizens.
As for one commenter known as Lydia, she got mad at us, as well, and left awhile back. Now, if you are referring to Lydia’s Corner, we (Dee and Deb-there is no one else), decided that many people do not read their Bible in such way that it would help them to spot bad doctrine which can lead to abuse. So, we decided to start a “read through the Bible” program. If a reader keeps up with the verses, it will get her through the Bible in about 1 1/2 years. We get these verses through The One Year Bible which is available online.
This section was named for another commenter also known as Lydia who, early on in our blog life, kept telling people to be Bereans and study their Bible. She used to say it in every comment. So, in honor of that other Lydia, we named the Bible reading program for her. She has not been back for a long time. From behind the curtain, we see the emails, IPs, etc. of those who comment. Do not assume that one Lydia is another Lydia. We recently had a plethora of Kens commenting and we asked them to use different names, to no avail.
May God continue to bless all of you. We admire the tenacity of Kris and Guy and we often pray for those of you who have struggled.
Just to clarify, I did not get “mad” at them. Animals get “mad”. It just became frustrating to always be called out for responding to liberal comments. They say they don’t want politics but never stop the liberal commenters like Arce, An Atty (the same person) and the passive agressive numo, etc. The libertarian responding is told to stop. It got to be ridiculous. And it is becoming groupthink over there. A place that loves government mandates. But they would have very few readers anymore if they did not promote the liberal party line of government tyranny and micromanaging your life.
Now how is that for discernment blog drama?
BTW: Do you even understand PDI5yrs comment? What is up with Phil 2 and women? What is up with me denying Jesus is God in the flesh? I think you have read me long enough to know that is impossible stance for me. In effect, she is the one who believes in ESS and nto realizing she is making Jesus into a “lessor god”. She kept getting so confused it was impossible to talk with her.
Methinks she got embarassed by the convo and her influence at the blog was at stake so she had to continue attacking me making her and anyone else beleive I am a heretic. And of course, Kris piled on telling me to stop commenting on ESS. And keep in mind this originally happend quite a while ago. But she is STILL talking about it! And the DEEBS piled on. (Even trying to claim Lydia’s corner is another Lydia. Not kosher guys….you know better)
SGM is a sad place, is it not? Some folks never grow past the tactics of the place. They are ingrained. And some discernment blogs turn into celebrity fests themselves. Like me! Like me!
The reason for the syllabus Jesus has to with man’s utterly depraved nature. Since man cannot live right and thus must be forced into his “salvation”, what Jesus did and how He lived is irrelevant. All “sound doctrine” is rooted in the idea that in order for man to be made good, he must be removed from himself, because his very existence is evil.
It always boils down to the metaphysics.
And don’t feel bad about being in moderation at TWW. They have the respected cult awareness expert Cindy K from “undermuchgrace” in moderation, too. And that comes from Cindy daring to disagree with some of the TWW favs a while back. That way, her comments are rarely read because it is a long time after she comments they take her out.
Yeah, John and I were talking about that yesterday via text in the course of discussing the egregious final post of Kris’s over at SGMSurvivors, as well as the comments, which were even worse.
John is doing some prep for his talk at this year’s TANC conference and I pointed to this latest SGMSurvivors post as a wealth of information.
Apparently, Kris believes that the free flow of ideas with respect to discussing doctrine will invariably (due to human “nature” no doubt) lead to a rejection of Christ and the sin orgy which undoubtedly will follow. Never mind that this is exactly what SGM was claiming when they (esp. Mickey Connelly) were warning everyone to shut the fuck up about CJ or else.
So after all that bluster and blogging Kris bows out conceding the EXACT SAME doctrinal bullshit which lead to the abuse she spent years decrying in the first place.
“Ironic” doesn’t even to describe it.
And your “rejection” of Christ as God was exhibit A as to what was soooo grieving to Kris about people not towing the Reformed party line.
And then Dee shows up and is all like “We have Wade, and he’s reformed, so yes Kris, don’t be sad…it really ISNT the doctrine!”
I don’t even know where to start. It is all so fucked up. I mean…this is why I was warning people that those who left SGM, and the so called “discernment blogs”, who did not reject the doctrine were twice the hypocrites and would be twice as damaged as those who just bent over, bit their lip, took the what-for from the leadership and stayed.
No, no. You are not merely a heretic. The word she used REPEATEDLY to describe your views and anyone who disagrees with HER doctrinal assumptions was ANTI-CHRIST.
Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss. I saw this coming MILES away.
I guess I “cut and ran” too, when Kris made it plain that I was no longer welcome.
What a tissue of lies.
Respecting a moderator’s request that you take your opinions and fuck off is only “cutting and running” in the fantasy land that is orthodox Protestant thinking.
They categorize any who disagree with them as heretics and cowards. But it’s a lot easier (and more cowardly)to ban someone from their blogs than to actually defend their complete doctrinal nonsense. They know this, so lying becomes just another good deed in service to glorying God’s truth.
“No, no. You are not merely a heretic. The word she used REPEATEDLY to describe your views and anyone who disagrees with HER doctrinal assumptions was ANTI-CHRIST”
I forgot that one!!! LOL!! (Kind of scary for her though)
I was too busy being amazed that the Deebs from Wartburg Watch said it was not the same Lydia for Lydia’s Corner as the one PDI thinks is the anti Christ. My goodness are the Deebs afraid of offending PDI/Kris with truth?
Yep, you are right here:
“….this is why I was warning people that those who left SGM, and the so called “discernment blogs”, who did not reject the doctrine were twice the hypocrites and would be twice as damaged as those who just bent over, bit their lip, took the what-for from the leadership and stayed.”
And now the determinist doctrine in a more palatable non shepherding cult way is being promoted at TWW via Wade!
Of course the Deebs can always claim they don’t know what their motives were or that they were mixed motives. Fall back position: We don’t know why we do what we do–we just do bad things (badly interpreting Paul).
That is the “Christian” way. (big sigh)
“And your “rejection” of Christ as God was exhibit A as to what was soooo grieving to Kris about people not towing the Reformed party line.”
Just to clarify to new readers….I rejected PDI/Kris’ version of Christ as presented in ESS. (Eternal subordination of the Son) doctrine. I am in good company with many scholars.
What is confusing is I thought TWW rejected ESS, too. Even Wade rejects it.
Evidently, the reasons why PDI was calling me an anti Christ were of no concern to the Deebs even after me commeting over there for so long as Lydia and then as Anon 1 which they knew because they sent Anon 1 emails to the Lydia address (because numo and arce/an atty would go into palpatations over the libertarian Lydia commenting on freedom of thought)
They are fully aware Lydia does not deny or reject Christ. They are cowards, too. They can not like me all they want but to seemingly go along with the anti Christ accusation without one word is dangerous for them.
Do you also comment as just “Lydia” on other blogs? I thought you might be Anon1. I don’t think I was commenting at TWW when you commented as Lydia.
RE ESS – I had the same disagreement with 5years on Jim’s blog before he closed it. I got really tired of 5years being the self-appointed resident “authority” at Survivors. She did the same thing to a Paula at Survivors over the ESS issue.
I don’t understand the need for anyone to claim to have the “right and perfect” doctrine unless it is for the purpose of claiming superiority (authority) over someone else. That’s what I saw 5years doing.
You still at the church?
We left ours in the middle of two elders stepping down and leaving the church over the duplicity of two other elders. I confronted the two who didn’t leave over their deceit in communicating with me and several others. Those two have now stepped down, but I removed myself from the environment when neither of the two responded to my direct communications to them about their deceit. I’m not playing the game. They started sounding like CJ and started blaming the church members, who knew nothing about what had been going on until the first two elders left the church. What a mess. Now the church is trying to recover – minus all the elders. I just can’t be part of the orthodoxy they want to uphold, nor pretend I haven’t been lied to.
No, no. You mean SGM? No, we left them in 2011.
I am referring to SGM Survivors, their most recent post. I left the church, but I also reject the doctrine entirely. Which is why I am banned at TWW and why I was told about two years ago by Kris that I wasn’t welcome on her blog.
“Do you also comment as just “Lydia” on other blogs? I thought you might be Anon1. I don’t think I was commenting at TWW when you commented as Lydia.”
Yes, that was me. Lydia became a lightening rod for existing. As did Cindy and some others who dared to disagree with a few special ones. Seems I have been portrayed as a foaming at the mouth rabid dog for daring to disagree about government tyranny. Seems church tyranny bad. Gov tyranny good.
“RE ESS – I had the same disagreement with 5years on Jim’s blog before he closed it. I got really tired of 5years being the self-appointed resident “authority” at Survivors. She did the same thing to a Paula at Survivors over the ESS issue.”
PDI5years and Kris do not surprise me at all. I saw where that blog was heading, too and stopped reading there after the inquisition over ESS.
What shocked me were DEEBS comment concerning me in reply to PDI5years and seeming to want to court PDI5years to TWW despite her callling me an anti Christ. Why would they care what PDI5years thought of TWW after reading that comment? Strange.
I was not expecting that even as much as we have disagreed over the years. I can handle they want TWW to go in a different direction than discussing all tyranny. But, that was pretty low, I think. I have never even called Driscoll, Mahaney or any of those charlatans “anti Christs”. I think folks do well there if they don’t disagree with some of their favorites. Lets just say I was pretty surprised and leave it at that. But the discernment blog business that does NOT discuss “ideas” but only personalities can get a group think vibe over time. Much like how peer pressure works. I like it here because we can discuss the roots of tyranny and ideas. I think JA does a good job discussing the roots of tyranny, too.
I have always like them though we disagreed on discussing all forms of tyranny. But now I am pretty stunned. Had no idea……
My comment to you was concerning your current church which, I see from your most recent article, you have left.
Is it possible Dee didn’t know you were the same Lydia as the Berean Lydia? I suspected you were Anon1 at TWW and LydiaSOP elsewhere, but wasn’t positive until now.
She knew. But that hardly matters does it? I cannot prove it. Just like old times in the mega world. Same stuff goes on with discernment blogs. It is all about being liked by certain people.
I had commented/read there since early days and do not know of a consistent “other” Lydia commenting, too. There was no “Berean Lydia” moniker so not sure what you are referring to. In fact, they know my real name. I hope they will keep it confidential.
“Berean Lydia” was not a moniker but my way of saying “the Lydia that encouraged people to be like Bereans,” which is how Dee referred to the Lydia that inspired the Lydia’s Corner section of the blog.
Bridget, that was me.
I’m sorry. Like you, I don’t know what to say or think about the entire TWW/Survivors affair. I’ve learned much from you and thank you for your voice.
It’s been my observation, even in the small blog world that I read in, that every blog owner has shut down at least one commenter when they continued to go where the blog owner doesn’t want to go. It’s part of the free market (sorta kinda a free market) we live in. Well, maybe John Immel hasn’t shut anyone down. He can verify that if he wants. Groupthink and the accompanying pile on is another phenom in itself.
I shut down David Brainerd/James Jordan because he was being verbally abusive when challenged. Well…I put his comments in moderation. He is still free to comment. However, unlike TWW my moderation isn’t a life sentence. I put James/David in moderation once and then lifted it like two of his comments later. But David/James hasn’t posted here for a while since my most recent decision to moderate him, so I’ve not had a chance to re-evaluate his situation here. I actually like him, so I can’t imagine I’d bother moderating him for long.
Sometimes I think that instead of moderating someone out, it is more helpful to learn how to better interact with them. This is where John Immel is exceptional as a moderator. James/David doesn’t like to be directly challenged. That’s fine. Maybe I should approach how I disagree with him differently. I dunno. I mean, I hate to leave out any perspective because, really, no matter what the topic, the free flow of ideas should be what blogging is all about.
At the same time, if I strongly disagree with someone, I want to be free to express myself without fear that they are going to get abusive. There is to me a clear line between the exchange of ideas, and language as a vehicle to inflict violence upon others. And that I will not tolerate.
Having said all that, I have no problem with any blog owner shutting out anyone for ANY reason. Their blog, their right. But it is my right to heavily and enthusiastically criticize that blog owner when their reasons for doing so are deceptive or contrary to the very stated purpose of their blog in the first place (e.g. challenge abusive church practices).
I was booted from SGMS because I didn’t accept Kris’s “sound doctrine”. And from TWW because of my “tone”. Fine. Their prerogative. But both of those reasons are total bullshit, and I had and have no problem saying as much.
I understand, Argo. I like to hear what David/James has to say also. I don’t agree with all of it, but I don’t agree 100% with anyone. I don’t think anyone does. I pop over and read his blog on occassion.
“It’s been my observation, even in the small blog world that I read in, that every blog owner has shut down at least one commenter when they continued to go where the blog owner doesn’t want to go. It’s part of the free market (sorta kinda a free market) we live in”
Bridget, I totally agree with that. That is not an issue for me at all. Been doing this since the wild west days of forums. That has never been my concern.
My surprise was what the Deebs replied to PDI5years concerning me— much of which was not true at all and seemed to be for PDI5years’ approval of TWW. Do they often seek approval of those who go around calling a commenter on a blog the “anti Christ” for disagreeing about ESS?
Let’s just say I have lost a any respect I had for them.
The simple fact is that those who will not challenge doctrine which can be directly tied to the abuse are never going to be an effective challenge to that abuse. That is why SGMRefuge and SGMS have inevitably left the scene…they realized that they ultimately could offer nothing: either you accept the doctrine, live with the abuse, but rest comfortable in the knowledge that you are at least “saved” by the “sound doctrine”; or you reject the doctrine and become an apostate rejected by God.
WartburgWatch is no better. They will last longer because they have a Reformed hypocrite in Wade constantly affirming their contradictions. And they are much more willing to quickly and categorically ban those who challenge the doctrine than either Jim and Kris ever were.
When ideologues isolate themselves, they tend to become more persistent, more motivated. This is the TWW phenomenon. They have a spiritual “head”, and they surround themselves with only the people who affirm their ideas. They may keep a token critic among them, like “Seneca”, but if you read the comments carefully you will see that he is the exception which proves the rule. That is, he never challenges Dee and Deb’s root Calvinist assumptions. Rather, he CONFIRMS them. Which is why he is tolerated. You are right to lose respect, Lydia. For they do not deserve any.
Also, I have had experience with some of the “best” Reformed Christians I know being very quick to engage in socially deviant behavior, like lying for instance. I attribute this to their Calvinist assumptions. When man, at his metaphysics root, becomes the greatest affront to God, then it is not only acceptable but necessary to sacrifice him in service to the “truth”.
I am not at all surprised that Deebs would lie. If a lie at the expense of a human being furthers God’s “will” in spreading the message that humanity is responsible for sacrificing itself to the abstract and conceptual notions of their mysticism, then that is perfectly acceptable.
This is why I cannot and will not ultimately trust anyone who ascribes to any Protestant orthodoxy. At then end of the day my life is nothing but a vehicle for their philosophy. And any serious Calvinist will not hesitate, when push comes to shove, to have me murdered, literally or figuratively, if it is done “for God”.
Argo, I don’t want anyone to think that I am hurt or even angry. I am not. I have seen this play out so many times over the years in other venues but it still surprises me when done so blatently. I am used to it being done behind closed doors and you have no idea or even know why people turn on you or avoid you. What concerns me are people’s reactions to such things. We have a real hard time letting go or even allowing our brains to admit we could have been wrong about such “nice” people.
But there is a red flag we often ignore. And it is a hard one because it evolves around personality. Craving approval is probably one of the worst curses out there. That is why it is more productive to stay in the arena of ideas.
Let me explain this using an example and please understand that I come from the position that speaking negative I witnessed is not a sin.
Back around 2006-2007 when Wade was going through the IMB situation and making it public I was keeping up with it. It had such parallels to what I saw in the megas with closed door meetings, secrets on elder boards, power mongering, back scratching, etc. He wrote a book about it called Hardball but by that time I did not even read the book because I was starting to be put off with how he was handling it.
This is a nutshell and leaves out a lot of details but is what was presented publicly.
Wade blogs a lot about it, people are flocking to the scandal, other blogs spring up against him, etc. It was not evident at the time there was any Calvin/Non Calvin side to the issue to most of us lay people reading. But on hindsight Wade was much easier on the Calvinists. (A lot of that stuff has been deleted) But went after the so called Non Cals with a vengeance.
But even the Non Cals (they are still protestant thinkers) he wrote about in more damnnig terms he turned around and sought out for reconciliation after writing about them. One of them is Paige Patterson. There was a blogger very involved with bringing out lots of damning information on Patterson who was mentored by him at SEBTS, I think but the blogger was in Texas pastoring a church when Patterson was sent to SWBTS.
. This blogger eventually went to work for Wade and but did not stay long. He saw through it all there and left
Last I heard this blogger went to work for a senator in DC. Not sure where he is now. I did hear he converted to Catholicism. This all happened before TWW was even around. So much stuff has been deleted or passcode protected it would be impossible to even try to piece it all together.
What is the point? The point is that some of the stuff we are seeing outed is about being liked by certain groups but we do not realize that when it is going on. Example: Why would Wade care about reconciling with Patterson who did not repent or change his views on the things Wade wrote about? Patterson did some very vile things.
Why reconcile with a spiritual abuser concerning what you wrote about him? That is not “love”. That is injustice. But one can present it as “love” seemingly forgetting all the spiritual abuse and be “liked” by the very people.
I believe Wade has the curse of wanting to be liked. That to me makes one untrustworthy. Because as “nice” as those people are and you ,like their personality, I would not trust them to stand by me when abuse occurs. They are the first ones to write about it then go and reconcile with the abuser.
I think we can see this with some of his teaching he is questioned on. He is very confusing and convoluted in his answers. He wants to be liked. Ironically, I trust the mean spirited Calvinists more because I know where they stand. And I know for a fact they would stand against me. I don’t do fence sitting and wanting approval very well at all. it is not principled. And I saw that tactic all the time at megas because it sells well. People flock to the “personality” ignoring the contradictions.
I see some of the same traits at TWW and find it extremely sad.
“The simple fact is that those who will not challenge doctrine which can be directly tied to the abuse are never going to be an effective challenge to that abuse. That is why SGMRefuge and SGMS have inevitably left the scene…they realized that they ultimately could offer nothing: either you accept the doctrine, live with the abuse, but rest comfortable in the knowledge that you are at least “saved” by the “sound doctrine”; or you reject the doctrine and become an apostate rejected by God.”
This is why determinism is so vile and limiting! And determinism lives in most of what passes for Protestantism. Yes, it is all about doctrine. When people can convince themselves that there are expendable people and wrong doing to sweep under the rug for what they claim is the cause of Christ or even outing abuse, they have only proven they do not know Christ at all.
I had not been paying attention to sgmsurvivors until I was alerted to the comment stream over there concerning me in Kris’ last post. So I read the post, too. And you are right, it is a treasure trove of information on how wrong people get it.
When any doctrine teaches that we have very little responsibility for our behavior because we remain sinners who cannot even know our own motives, what do we expect? And it is all over protestantism…even in seeker megas. I have never understood why people who believe we remain consistent sinners after salvation would not apply that to outing abuse. Wouldn’t remaining a sinner make abuse the norm? How can people be held accountable when we believe that sinning is normal for long time believers? I just cannot wrap my head around it. It seems any idea of Christian virtue or ethics is out the window. We are expected to sin.
What ever happened to growing in Holiness? Wouldn’t believers be expected to sin less and less as they abide in Christ?
The only person I’ve ever shut down (forever) was FWIW, (real name) Dennis Collins after he threatened to be a “pain in my ass.” (among other things). Ideas are fair game, and I’ll even tolerate being called names but you don’t get to hold me hostage, and take advantage of my hospitality on my own property. That is going to be a bad day for everyone involved.