Moral Attrocity at the Hands of the Group is ALWAYS a Function of Choice Via Belief, Not “Nature” nor “Aberration”: Divorcing doctrine from behavior, and Wartburg Watch’s new commenting policy

“At TWW (www.thewartburgwatch.com) only thing they are really discussing is the “degree” to which something is bad/evil. And they have not really defined the line and that is going to be hard since believers sin all the time as normal way of life and have mixed motives. Now the only thing they can do is define the degrees.”

Lydia (Unreforming Theology commenter extraordinaire)

This is exactly right.

TWW is just like any other version of pure reformed theology in action. They want their metaphysical cake and to eat it, too. They believe man is totally depraved and incapable of resisting his sin…at least twice in yesterday’s post/comments thread (here) Dee references her inability to stop sinning whilst acknowledging her desire to do so–a common misinterpretation of Romans 7–and yet she hosts a blog with the ostensible goal of holding neo-Calvinist leaders accountable for their licentiousness and abuses of power. It’s a rank contradiction in terms. You cannot have it both ways. Man cannot be unable to resist sin as a function of his root metaphysic and yet be “held accountable” as though he were.  Ever.  There is NO logical explanation of this scenario.

It is this kind of insanity which causes abuse in the first place, and why there is NO salve for atrocity in the Church today, almost without exception, nor is there any to be found in the vast majority of “discernment” blogs.

Dee and Deb are acting like the morally relative authority their peculiar version of Christianity demands, via a doctrine that is at its root an expose on moral equivalency. Since humanity is perfectly sinful to the point where all actions are merely an extension of its inherent sin nature–a nature which absolutely determines their every move as it is the source of their being–then there can be no such thing as good or evil. Man acts as he acts, period, and thus, to establish some kind of moral guideline for “God glorifying behavior” must be the sole purview of divinely appointed leaders possessing the special Gnosis  (knowledge from on high) who, via this special understanding from God and the de facto mandate of absolute force which always accompanies it, compel humanity by hook or crook (or stake or dunking chair or guillotine or firing squad or oven or labor camp) to do the “right thing”.  This is because, according to essentially all of Christian “orthodox” doctrine, man cannot himself ever do the right thing because he is unable to even recognize what the right thing is in the first place.

So, again, Lydia is exactly right. As John Immel might say, all the fuss at TWW is merely an argument over how much, and this is the tightrope every “good Christian” inevitably finds themselves walking as they attempt to defend their indefensible metaphysic. In the case of the Wartburg Watch Blog, the philosophical conundrum is: How much sin is to be excused…or rather, to what degree can can sin exist under the banner of man’s inability/total depravity before blog moderators Dee and Deb are cleared to assign blame to the totally depraved perpetrator? That is, when does it become “appropriate” for them step in and declare someone actually culpable for their behavior?

See the problem here?  Of course you do.  If man is TOTALLY depraved (and yes, they mean totally…don’t let them get away with any equivocation on this; they are either lying or ignorant) then by definition man can never be held culpable for his sin because his TOTAL depravity precludes him from having any say in the matter.  It cannot be a matter of moral failure except to say that man’s rank existence IS the failure, period.  Because as soon as we attempt to separate the sin of man from the man, himself, we have declared man  NOT totally depraved; and thus in order to sin he must choose to do so; and this means that each and every one of us (who is not either clinically insane or cognitively challenged in some way) must possess an efficacious epistemology which is the inherent ability to understand TRUTH…for only in this case can there be a right from wrong.  And if all people are able to possess the truth then there is no specially dispensed class of authority needed to compel them by force into right thinking; they by nature flourish on reason. And thus people can inherently make a decision for themselves as to who they will follow and listen to and who is a waste of their time.  The power of truth resides in the masses as individual human beings, not a special class of God’s proxies.  The absolute power of the world’s self-appointed god-men is crushed to dust under the infinite value of individual human life.

And that, my friends, is the real issue.  The real problem with the idea that truth is rooted in man’s ability to know it and define it as such is that truth then becomes a function of the individual, and literally nothing else.  It is no longer even ultimately a function of some other consciousness, not even God.  It is no longer a function of some otherworldly, metaphysically mutually exclusive Agent who, in order to claim a monopoly on truth must also assume an existential state that can have utterly nothing to do with the rest of Creation, because absolute truth is an infinite ideal, and it cannot be parsed into relative units.  Truth becomes a function of human LIFE (and this is Biblical…for without human life FIRST, all the truths of God and the Bible are literally irrelevant; for if they are not relevant TO man, then man cannot claim them relevant at all, obviously).  And this means that individuals have the right to pursue their own lives free from anyone’s interference of false standards of “good and evil”.  Good and evil become utterly defined by how one perceives and treats individual human life, and nothing else.  Period.  Full stop. And this means that the pursuit of power over others becomes objectively evil…and that is a HARD pill to swallow for those who are committed to altruism (the sacrifice of man) as the means to their own power under the guise, either believed or feigned, of universal utopia, and to determinism as the explanation for how the universe interacts and exists.  Confronting the notion that truth lay outside of man then becomes the human moral mandate, and there are woefully few souls willing to do this; willing to declare and defend the idea that truth is a function of the individual human SELF.  To believe that this is true upsets the apple cart of almost all of humanity’s metaphysical and epistemological assumptions.  And this is why, incidentally, I don’t plan on ever having many friends, even amongst those whom comprise the philosophical circles in which I run.  It simply requires to much intellectual change, and that’s a LOT of work.  And it’s exhausting.

Anyway…

So you can see how those in power over the unwashed masses stand everything to lose if they declare man capable of actually sinning by choice.  They lose their power, their money, and worst of all, their doctrine.  And yet the unsolvable enigma for them then is how to define sin, exactly, if people aren’t really choosing it?

Well, again, you can blame man’s root existence, but then you end up ipso facto blaming the Creator for being the “uncaused” first cause of SIN, and that spells trouble in their book, for obvious reason. So, again, back on the fucking tightrope they go.  Man can sin, but he can’t help it; he is culpable, but there’s no way to explain why which doesn’t ultimately resort to a punting of the entire thing into the cosmic abyss of “God’s mystery”, as John Immel might say.  Dee over at Wartburg Watch admits she sins all the time against her will and then turns around and in a perfect display of rank hypocrisy dresses down C.J. Mahaney and the rest of the Gospel Coalition guys for their heartlessness with respect to church abuse victims. Again, it is merely a tightrope of “how much”, and only certain people are allowed in the epistemological sanctuary. These certain people are those whom God has arbitrarily called to be the standard bearers for His “truth”, which is hidden from those whom He has not called. Somewhere along the line I believe, someone told Dee and Deb (perhaps Wade Burleson, their resident Reformed pastor/guru, but it could have been their own idea) that they are now “called” to “lead”.  Consequently, they are now endowed with the divine ability to draw the relative line of morality in the infinite desert of moral equivalency. THEY alone are the ones who are responsible for deciding when someone is actually culpable for their sin and when it’s simply a matter of being another little ol’ “sinner saved by grace”; which is merely code for: they’re not actually on the hook morally because they couldn’t help it. It’s just the way God made them…or the Devil made them…or their sin nature made them…or Adam’s choice to disobey in the garden made them.

This last one is a rank display of the rational madness which passes for truth in Christianity today. As though the ability to freely choose can give birth to the inability to choose. Ability and inability, choice and determinism qua depravity (no choice) are entirely mutually exclusive ideas. There is no way Adam could have freely chosen to not freely choose. This is an entirely contradictory and senseless premise.

But regardless, Dee and Deb have decided that it is their job to say how much of any action is actually “sinful”; meaning, though ALL of man’s actions are morally reprehensible according to their professed Reformed metaphysic, they are the ones who will decide when it actually matters (i.e. warrants their invective), and then green light their commenters to criticize it. But only with the understanding that even the criticisms must be micromanaged because only THEY are gifted to know when someone’s comments are “over the line” morally speaking; meaning, they will determine how much of someone’s sin should be ascribed moral culpability and then how much criticism is warranted and and then how that criticism shall be appropriately leveled.

Now, let’s take a look at  Wartburg Watch’s updated moderation strategy:

New Policy: No sexual innuendos out of respect to those who have been abused. No references to Nazism. No name calling to one another or even to those with whom you disagree. We need to take it up a notch so pls understand that moderation slows things down since we are not chained to the computer.

You can read the disclaimer as well as the relevant discussion on the comments thread here.

First on the docket, side note:

How does this moderation strategy get a pass from anyone over at the Wartburg Watch?! It boggles the mind, truly. How is this madness not seen…how does anyone look in the mirror each morning convinced that they are proclaiming truth via an impossible philosophy of moral equivalency? Reformation theology destroys any moral actions or outcomes entirely…it is nihilist determinism. Nothing has any meaning because nothing has any relevance. Everything is a direct function of mutually exclusive determinist absolutes: God’s sovereign will and man’s total depravity. It is the epitome of the zero sum game. There are no winners. There are no losers, because everything is actually, at its root, nothing at all.

Now back to our discussion.

Aside from how reasonable this moderation update reads on its face, I have had some experience with TWW and their heavy-handed and capricious editing and, though I admit that I am a natural cynic, I don’t believe that this disclaimer is anything other than an attempt to control content in service to maintaining Reformed doctrinal purity.  Period.  I don’t think it has anything to do with guarding the delicate sensibilities of abuse victims or preventing the comments thread from becoming an homage to Eddie Murphy.  Dee and Deb have made it very clear in the past that ideas  (a.k.a. doctrine) are off limits; only behavior is to be criticized.  Thus, there has been, I submit, a longstanding endeavor at that site to utterly divorce behavior from doctrine.  This new moderation policy is a perfect example of this.

Since only behavior is to be criticized, not the ideas which drive that behavior, it seems only natural for Dee and Deb to want to control what behavior is discussed in the comments; and to that end, to decide how that behavior is described.  This is the root I believe behind the “no sexual innuendos” policy.  In the minds of TWW’s moderators, overt descriptions of the heinous sexual acts of Reformed perpetrators amounts to a commenter taking it upon themselves to declare specific behavior morally reprehensible.  But this is purely the prerogative of Dee and Deb, and never that of an “uncalled” layperson.  And yes, I said “layperson”.  The Wartburg Watch is now, since the inauguration of Wade Burleson as ePastor, a virtual church, and to label the regular commenters there “members” is not, to me, any kind of stretch.  They are members of a virtual body of Reformed believers, a “local church” if you will (for what is more local than your home computer?), and as such they are expected to tow the doctrinal line.  Do not doubt me on this.

Commenters have no business expressing their moral outrage by giving examples of morally offensive behavior…what Dee and Deb refer to as “sexual innuendos”.  And by the way, for the record, I’m not entirely sure those two really know what that means.  Reading through the comments thread, specifically the input from long-time Wartburg pal, commenter “Eagle”, who is the most notable victim of the latest propaganda edit, it seems that making reference to direct quotes from Reformed pastors concerning their idea of “wifely duties”, which include all manner of debased and degrading sexual acts as a function of her moral obligation to “biblical” submission (sex during menstruation, as one example), is “sexual innuendo”.  Which, er…no, Dee.  It is sexual slavery, if you want to get technical about it.  And I would define sexual innuendo for my readers, but I assume they are smart enough to know what it means and already understand that it would be incongruous and ludicrous to make one on a blog like this, or a blog like Wartburg Watch. Don’t really need a separate disclaimer.

It also should be said that to his credit Eagle immediately and rightly called bullshit on the censorship, and was then predictably and perfunctorily savaged by intellectual lightweight “Numo”, who tows the Wartburg partly line like nobody’s business, and who appealed to all manner of non-specifics and ad hominem as a defense for the egregious comments purge.  Now, I must admit that Eagle was at a distinct disadvantage as his comments were, obviously, never posted, so we don’t really know what actually comprised them.  I suspect that if we did, however, and knowing Eagle from reading his comments over the past couple of years, and knowing Numo from the same, we’d see the fuss Numo makes is at best hyperbole.

But getting back to my point.  The main idea is to buffer doctrine from action.  This is more easily done if the actions are less, not more, egregious.  For when we see a whole bunch of people engaging in immoral behavior that can be spun so as to not appear to be “so bad”, then we can better make the argument that the doctrine is pure and the behavior of humanity, though it tries and tries its little heart out, still leaves perfect morality to be desired.  With a pensive sigh they explain that nobody’s perfect, after all.  However, when we see a whole bunch of people engaging in outright shocking debauchery and evil (like forcing a wife to have anal sex, or sex during menstruation, or sex on demand, or the systemic enabling and cover up of child abuse in Sovereign Grace Ministries) and a whole bunch of other people affirming and confirming this behavior, people ostensibly just like you and me…well, then it gets a little harder to divorce the doctrine from the practical outcomes.  All of a sudden, in the face of the rank horror of this kind of moral death, people want to examine everything, and not even the fucking doctrine gets a pass.  Everyone not totally insane, Reformed or not, wants the proverbial microscope focused in on every facet of the issue, and they are vigilantly interested in the major malfunction of the lives and minds of the perpetrators.

And some of those perps and affirmers of the perps are themselves, they realize, as card carrying members and long time, abundant tithers.  And then they start to wonder if they have been duped, and that’s when it becomes personal and that’s when people really start asking questions.

A convenient way to nip this kind of critical eye in the bud is simply content control.  This happens all time.  A cursory glance at the history of Nazi Germany (the NAZIS, DEE…yes the NAAAAAAAZIS) reveals this.  If we don’t talk about the really bad stuff, then the really hard questions aren’t as likely to arise.  It’s easy to couch bad stuff as a function not of doctrine but of “sin nature” when the stuff isn’t something one normally sees in horror movies.  It is much harder ascribe mere perfunctory sin nature to an action when it’s so bad and so prevalent and is engaged in by so many seemingly “normal” people that it is impossible not to attribute to it some kind of root philosophical assumption; some manner of group think.  But content control is the mother of thought control, and that’s what Reformed theology is all about.

Perhaps Dee and Deb are just intimidated.  Perhaps they have no confidence–and they shouldn’t–in their ability to defend their beliefs.  It is MUCH easier to condemn behavior, waggling a disapproving finger and telling C.J. he should have known better, than to actually argue WHY he should have known better, especially since he believes the same things about God and Jesus as Dee and Deb do.

But I don’t think so.  I think they are fully committed to the idea that in order to be truly “Christian” any real and efficacious judgement of behavior should be reserved for God.  And since real judgement is going to be a function of a knowledge that humanity cannot possibly posses, because only God really understands, there is no point in debating doctrine.  And a great way to steer the comments away from doctrine is to steer them away from any truly controversial examples or comparisons.  Dee and Deb make a great show of expressing their moral outrage over church sex abuse scandals and the predictable Gospel Coalition wagon-circling, but these ladies I submit understand that they cannot make any substantial argument for the doctrinal legitimacy of their disapproval.  And that’s why they never allow their blog to go down the path of doctrinal discourse.  And anything which they decide offers a vehicle for any disagreement with the Reformed theology they have conceded is declared blog heresy and is summarily purged.  It is as simple as that; and not even Eagle is spared.  Yes, for aaaaaall the melodrama and emotional slobbering Dee and Deb lavished upon this guy–a guy who, frankly, needs to be a hell of a lot smarter when it comes to the kinds of religious folk he chooses to roll with–they shoved him aside with all the grace and finesse of a runaway truck.  Hitler himself couldn’t have been dealt with with more disdain for his ideas.  HITLER, DEE!  Yes, HIIIIIIITLER!

And speaking of Hitler.

You see, “inappropriate” comparisons are the ostensible root of the moratorium on discussing similarities between Reformed ecclesiastical leadership and the National Socialists.  Again, this is a function of Dee and Deb’s moral equivalency qua moral relativism.  Remember, when behavior is summarily divorced from ideas then the ethical outcome of such a belief WILL be moral equivalency…and this is precisely why a discussion of National Socialism is a perfect and natural and necessary segue into Reformation theology, and vice versa.  Because this is the root of how the Third Reich could go on to commit one of the most egregious crimes against humanity the world as ever seen.  Any “evil” done on behalf of National Socialism was never a reflection of, nor did it impugn, the integrity and purity of the state and its ideals.  In fact, “evil” and “good” were redefined to utterly support the mission of the Reich, and to act as a functional propaganda tool for the perpetuation of its doctrine.  The ability of the leadership to summarily dismiss general INDIVIDUAL human existential nature from the purity of its collectivist philosophy, leading to the concession of the doctrine’s absolute causal and determinative power over the universe, led, in part, to the wholesale slaughter of over six million defenseless human beings.  And this kind of tyranny is always the practical outcome of moral equivalency wielded as moral relativism in the hands of a select group of herrenvolk.  The doctrine becomes a life force, itself, and thus those who act as extensions of it–the officials of the party, or the tribe, or the church, or the king, and those who are fully and formally integrated into the group–can never be held accountable for any “evil” action…because there is no such thing.  And the more the overt horror is scrubbed from the eyes of the general masses, like Auschwitz was hidden from the citizens of mother Deutschland, the less likely people are to start questioning the primary consciousness’s “absolute truth”.

Yes…such is the capricious yardstick of relative morality in the hands of a divinely ordained “authority” who acts as the proxy for the absolute and all determining Primary Consciousness, e.g., the National Socialist State officials, terminating with the fuhrer in Fascist Germany, and the senior eldership of the “local church” in neo-Calvinist theology.  They alone get to decide when and how to make moral comparisons; what is bad and what is worse; and what is good and what is better, and what is neither.  Period.  Full stop.

So please, no comparisons to Hitler or “sexual innuendos” (as we understand them to mean), Dee and Deb will sagely advise.  We must draw the moral lines in the sand on this blog.  You will nod your heads and write a lot about our justice and our compassion and how adept we are at bearing the massive and humbling burden of being a part of the elite group of chosen keepers of God’s “sound doctrine”.

And that, my friends, is the message of the Wartburg Watch’s new comments policy.  And it speaks volumes about what is really going on over there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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43 thoughts on “Moral Attrocity at the Hands of the Group is ALWAYS a Function of Choice Via Belief, Not “Nature” nor “Aberration”: Divorcing doctrine from behavior, and Wartburg Watch’s new commenting policy

  1. A friend made an interesting observation out of Proverbs 1:10-19 as commentary that people (leaders) should not choose to join violent gangs. Akin to cartels that collude to run businesses and criminal gangs (and churches. Is a church not a business after all?) Okay, that is my cynical insertion, but the point is quite valid. Churches end up being run by gangs with gang dynamics that are ultimately destructive. Manipulative cartels are set up to handle conflict within a church. Other “gang leaders” are co-opted and it becomes a killing field with hit squads using the usual tactics of ambush, cut throat people management, assassination, blood-letting etc.

  2. I know that many churches have tucked away in the fine print a nod to “the priesthood of the believer”. I know this blog is not about the doctrinal two steps of pinhead angels but really! people need to know what they are getting themselves into.

  3. Argo, so many things to touch on here. But I want to start with why focus on TWW? Because when we only talk in the abstract about this stuff, people usually fail to connect dots. That is from my old training days. You gotta have illustrations.

    I ran across this sort of “decision” all the time (my experience is in corporate world which is different because there is a pay check attached) in my career. They bring us in to do some sort of leadership, strategic planning, etc, but first you have to discern the culture of organization. You want to know the biggest problem? Vague rules. How many mass memos were sent out with vague rules? Tons and they did nothing but paralyze the productive people who were innocent and give the guilty ones cover because the memo essentially made everyone potentially guilty. (Smoking in the bathrooms will not be allowed. We have zero tolerance for sexual innuendos) Well, obviously someone is guilty so why not talk to them? (For some companies they have a legal reason which is still not a good reason to offend your innocent people)

    But if we dug deep enough we might find a backchannel where there were some or one who was really trying to change the culture of the organization into what they thought it should be using some covert style tactics. They wanted it to be a comfortable place for themselves and if they had enough influence they often won because they were good at covert. (I despise covert. And I despise vague reasoning)

    And what is worse, over time, you do not lose the guilty ones, you lose the productive ones. The vague rules over time have the opposite effect you were looking for. And you are left with the people who go along and the folks who will continue to find “things” to crack down on. Your innovators and hill to die on folks leave for greener pastures.

    I have seen this happen with too many disernment blogs to even keep count since about 2006. And I saw the same in many corporate cultures where the bureaucrats became drones. And political correctness becomes the vague standared we all must live by so everything becomes seeking approval of the group.

    What was missing in all of this? The WHY. When we fail to connect our behavior with what we believe then what is the point?

    If you notice almost everyone over there is applauding the new vague rules because some unnamed people were offended. Welcome to the typical YRR church. (You cannot know and we cannot point to specific problems but just trust us)

    Look, it is all volunteer over there. People choose to be a part of the group and that is fine. But discussing symptoms every day without any focus on what CAUSES the evil and/or any responsibility for change gets old. Since we are all sinners all the time, what is the point? Since we cannot help sinning even though we don’t want to what is the point of pointing it all out anyway? We should expect tons of sinning when we fellowship and worship with other “believers”.

    We should not expect honest forthright believers who can be trusted. We should not expect truth to be a priority no matter what. We should expect covert tactics to keep folks in line and tithing. We should expect authoritarianism. We should expect very convoluted explanations about doctrine that are really contradictions. We should expect Jesus Christ to be a big mystery.

    All I can say is no thanks.

    You know, we know when we do wrong to others and it is our responsibility to fix it. I know when I left the mega industrial complex I spent months tracking down people I thought my going along with things most likely hurt them. It was a wierd experience. Some of them I barely knew at all. Most were not happy to hear from me. But all I could think was how in the world could I have gone along with this. I have to try and make it right if I can.

    That is not to brag but to be real. We do sin but saying, sinners sin and its all grace is a big cop out. We gotta DO. I sinned because I was an idiot who went along. I was not thinking for myself even though I thought I was. And I deserved the hell I went through because of it.

    You know, a big thing I see as a problem is people do not discern between what is sin and what is evil. I would love to see some thoughts from folks here on that subject.

  4. As far as the Hitler/National Socialism references, soemthing to keep in mind is what came out of the Eichmann trial. It really upset the apple cart so to speak. Who were these monsters that sent 6 million Jews to their deaths?

    Those “monsters” were boring nerdy bureaucrats who would have been chicken farmers or government drone workers. They went home, loved their kids, had family dinner and a nice Christmas. After inspecting the gas chambers.

    Group think has serious and many times evil implications. I highly recommend Zimbardo’s Lucifer Effect. He has some Ted Talks and other vids online i I highly recommend. Here is part one of one of his talks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYre8SlOO_k

    You know, the same people who will complain about Nazi references will have no problem with someone bringing up Abu Ghraib. Not even understanding it was the effect of the exact same foundational group think as how National Socialism started. But since 6 million Jews were not gassed, no one can point it out?

    After the Eichmann Trial we started to see the thinking change on the WHY and HOW.

  5. “What was the point of the reformation anyway if not to consciously empower individuals to read the bible and not rely on leaders to make choices for them.”

    Well, this was my question for a long time as I was studying the Reformation. Here is my take on it besides the obvious power politics of it becasue they wanted ROME out of their nation/territory:

    They replaced the sacraments center stage with a preachers “message”. This follows closely to the Greek Temple “orators” who were center stage.

    This helped make a lone preacher an influential political force to be rekonded with. Now they are basically commercial pastorpreneurs.

    You could read the bible if you read and afford one. But the center stage orator interpreted it for you because he was part of the force. The Reformation did nothing to extinguish political force in the Name of God. They adapted it from Rome. Because the Reformation was about power.

    What you might find interesting are the Radical Reformers. Those who did not buy into the church/state paradigm. Here is a good book to learn about them as they did exist throughout church history. But they were killed off pretty quick by the Catholics and Reformers

    :http://www.amazon.com/Reformers-Their-Stepchildren-Dissent-Nonconformity/dp/1579789358/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1401472564&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Reformers+and+their+step+children

  6. From TWW. The comment police in Action:

    An Attorney writes:

    Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    “call a spade a spade”

    BTW, as one who grew up with that phrase, and still occasionally messes up and uses it, it has acquired unhappy racial connotations in much of this country. So the usage gurus are suggesting that we should no longer use it, lest some become offended. Much like “the pot calling the kettle black”. I am not personally offended but it is possible that some may and we should find other expressions to teach our children and grandchildren.

    (See how this works once you get the culture police going?)

  7. BTW: My understanding of that phrase was that it came from farming. Don’t call a hoe a spade sort of thing. Or a shovel is not a spade. Others say it comes from card games.

    As an idiom the dictionary has this:

    Idioms
    5.
    call a spade a spade, to call something by its real name; be candidly explicit; speak plainly or bluntly: To call a spade a spade, he’s a crook.

    6.
    in spades, Informal.
    a.
    in the extreme; positively: He’s a hypocrite, in spades.

    b.
    without restraint; outspokenly: I told him what I thought, in spades.

    This is what I mean about it becoming ridiculous and people end up on pins and needles trying not to offend the smallest things. It makes it not worth it. An attorney turned it into a potential insult when it was simply a descriptor by a long time commenter. My guess? An attorney is part of the TWW SAVAK. (friends who will be watching out for nefarious offending comments)

    Seriously, It is amazing how this stuff progresses if you know what to look for. It takes no time at all to take effect. Amazing.

  8. Oh…yeah, probably. I’ll take care of that. I watched that vid you sent. Interesting. I have a few thoughts.

  9. LOL,

    Yeah…took less than 24 hours for WW’s true believers to start enforcing the sound doctrine. I’m telling you, WW is a fascinating study on the evolution of group think.

    Did you read the post today? And the comments which followed. The outpouring unfettered devotion and praise. My goodness. Creepy.

    Dee IS CJ!! I’m serious. I was there. That’s what we sounded like in the good old SGM days.

  10. The comment police feel emboldened after the new PC vague rules.

    Look at how Dr.fundystan responded to Attorney’s policing on calling a spade a spade:

    An Attorney wrote:

    “BTW, as one who grew up with that phrase, and still occasionally messes up and uses it, it has acquired unhappy racial connotations in much of this country”.

    Really? Really? I had never even heard that before. And I’ve made residence in 11 US states! Thanks for the heads-up.

    (good comeback. I agree I had never heard the racial overtones either)

    But numo could not take that; Look at her comment later:

    Numo wrote:

    @ Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist: err, yeah. Big time. (Of course, you might be jesting, but somehow I doubt it.)

    Oh dear.

    So, according to the new thought police, poor Dr Fundystan is either ignorant of PC speak and must be schooled by those more enlightened OR he is a racist. Take your pick

    I am telling you ARgo, you cannot make this stuff up. People are too predictable. These are people who are constantly talking about the right wing ghetto and how they need to get out in the world but they are just as bad. They are just as micromanaging thought police (over silliness) as the right wing when they feel emboldened. And Dee opened the door for it. Now what? What else can they find to be offended about?

  11. I have another obvious question. Just a few threads ago one of the blog owners said “God is in control” in comment about something or other. If she honestly believes that then why police the comments and have a new policy? God is in control.

    And this is why that doctrine will never make sense in real life. Obviously God in NOT in control and that is why they have a new commenting policy with comment police.

  12. Lydia,

    The madness is rooted in the flawed metaphysic, period. Man cannot be defined because he is ultimately the amalgamation of a bunch of mutually exclusive determinist absolutes. In such as case, the very root of man, not merely wrt to epistemology, but wrt even existence is INABILITY. And the fundamental inability is: man is utterly unable to be SELF; to be what he is.

    This is the root of all evil philosophy; and, incidentally, the same presumption of that psychologist speaking on the Lucifer Effect. That’s what’s so fucking funny! If you listen closely, he is an abject altruist. Which proceeds from the very same root metaphysic as the “evil” he has spent years studying!

    It’s madness, I tell you!

    About Wartburgs new PC police:

    It doesn’t MATTER that “spade” in the old saying has positively NO racial connotations to it; because man never gets to decide what is innocent and what is sinful anyway. He must rely on the priests of the primary consciousness(es) to tell him. His own rational mind cannot possibly decide what HE actually means when he uses a concept, word, or idea. Because in the determinist philosophies the concepts themselves (words, ideas, beliefs, etc) have all the absolute causal power, and man must somehow integrate himself into their absolute “reality” instead of the other way around. And since concepts, being wholly abstract, must exist on an entirely different metaphysical plane from man, there needs to be a “bridge” between us and them. Enter the tyrant, who possesses the special revelation, and with it, the right to FORCE people into proper thinking and behavior.

    Intellectual lightweight Numo Is merely passing her divinely dispensed “truth” to Dr. Fundystan. He/she will either accept it and show themselves worthy, or reject it and reveal their “unelected” status.

    I’m telling you, the only solution is to re-write western philosophy, with a well-reasoned defense of the metaphysical SELF. That has not been done. Ever. And every time you get close today, someone quotes Rand and makes it a primacy of consciousness vs primacy of existence argument. It isn’t.

    Rand was an atheist. She had NO MORE rational metaphysic than Kant because what’s left for the atheist to fall back on? Science! Which is steeped, basted, and served well done with Platonism, which is determinist! What else do they have? “I don’t know. It’s a mystery.” And so what the fuck are they really offering? Jack shit. There’s no truth in science; and any philosophy rooted in scientific explanations for existence combusts onto a cloud of nonsense before it gets out the front door.

    Unless we come up with something better, we are all fucked sooner or later.

    And judging by WW, it’s going to be sooner.

  13. Apropos of the sexual slavery/sexual obligation doctrines being advocated I’ll say this.

    I’ve never understood the attraction of the “Doctrines” of sex that “compel” women to have sex. As a man I find it profoundly insulting that I should need the force of divine command to get a woman to have sex with me. What kind of pathetic creature do I have to be to need that kind of “aphrodisiac?”

    Nothing kills sexual attraction faster than duty. I can’t imagine wanting to pull a doctrinal trump card let alone needing it to inspire desire.

    I mean damn… I’m worth the effort even if she does have a headache. And if the woman I’m with doesn’t think that too then maybe we have other much more severe problems.

  14. “I’ve never understood the attraction of the “Doctrines” of sex that “compel” women to have sex. As a man I find it profoundly insulting that I should need the force of divine command to get a woman to have sex with me. What kind of pathetic creature do I have to be to need that kind of “aphrodisiac?”

    Is that “sexual innuendo”, Argo? :o)

    Well John, that is because you are an actual thinking grown up man and not a pathetic creature like cj or mark driscoll who both teach this in the extreme. And both are frankly, very creepy.

  15. “This is the root of all evil philosophy; and, incidentally, the same presumption of that psychologist speaking on the Lucifer Effect. That’s what’s so fucking funny! If you listen closely, he is an abject altruist. Which proceeds from the very same root metaphysic as the “evil” he has spent years studying!”

    Perhaps so. But I was more focused on the results of groupthink from the Lucifer Effect. And I don’t think wanting fairness and/or justice for someone else is altruistic. It is self preservation in the long run.

    this vid explains it better from another perspective. It is titled self sacrifice vs self honor.

    http://thepolygamistsdaughter.com/2014/05/30/self-sacrifice-vs-self-honor/

  16. “I’ve never understood the attraction of the “Doctrines” of sex that “compel” women to have sex. As a man I find it profoundly insulting that I should need the force of divine command to get a woman to have sex with me. What kind of pathetic creature do I have to be to need that kind of “aphrodisiac?””

    LOL! Best critique of this doctrine ever!

  17. Lydia,

    No, no. I understand that loving our neighbor is NECESSARY to our own rational understanding of our SELF.

    But the problem is that he defines good as the usual–not killing people, torturing, manipulating, psychological abuse–but he never explains how he arrives at that definition. His assumption is that good is being, well, nice to others, but he never gets to the root of why we should assume that other people are a rational object of our niceness.

    His definition of good (and evil) lacks a standard by which it can be objectively/rationally verified. It’s a glaring omission.

    Therefore, he is only able to define good as: the sacrifice of oneself for others. Man HIMSELF isn’t good. On the contrary, the death of man (sacrifice) is good. And he says this very thing at the end of his talk as he is discussing his move into the study of heroism:

    Good=self sacrifice

    Where have we heard that before?

    Only in every despotic autocracy in the history of the world.

  18. Thanks, I get your point. I do have some problem with totally dismissing that when it comes to saving lives. the soldier who distracts the enemy so the others can escape. He might live but chances are good he won’t and he knows it. Yes, it is his job and he volunteered for it. But I cannot help but respect it and see it as good.

    There is also the problem of what we are seeing right now with the VA deaths. (Which is a glaring example of government run health care. Makes one feel very secure, doesn’t it, trusting your life to government bureaucrats who get a bonus for NOT treating you and you die. And those who think it won’t come to that are very naïve. On purpose often)

    Those who did sacrifice part of themselves for our country are now being treated as throw away. expendable. As if their duty was for nothing. There is no respect at all for them by so many in our country.

    I realize this is a different context but we have to make distinctions.

  19. Lydia,

    Again…I’m not being clear. I’m not saying that self sacrifice is a bad thing. I’m not saying that at all. Indeed, it would be hard to consider myself a Christian, for obvious reasons, if there was no morality in the sacrifice of self for others. Likewise, I too hold in high honor those who willingly put themselves in harms way for others. If by observation of others we can make a distinction of self, then others are to be cherished and their lives held sacred. That often is manifest in the sacrifice of the self for other people.

    But this can only be RATIONALLY good, and thus not lead to the worship of death (death of man being good as opposed to simply MAN being good) if the philosophy behind WHY others are to be considered worthy of sacrifice acknowledges that their preservation directly affirms MY worth and MY infinite standard of TRUTH as a legitimate, extant SELF.

    In other words, self-sacrifice is an AFFIRMATION of the perfect morality and worth of MY SELF, not a DENIAL of the perfect worth of myself, which is altruism.

    The question is: what is the underlying metaphysic which drives the behavior? (e.g. self sacrifice). THAT is what makes the choice to sacrifice self either a good choice or an evil one. Is it because I am worthy of life, and by others I can observe ME, and ME is GOOD and so the preservation of others is GOOD because they affirm the reality of ME, via my direct observation of them (by which I can also verify rationally their existential and moral equality to me)? Or is it because I am NOT good and thus it is my moral obligation to kill myself in service to others, and solely because death is my only good, and not because there is any inherent worth in the people I am sacrificing my self for.

    The difference is massive. One way, you get to be you and the pursuit of you is as good as any sacrifice of self on the behalf of others. Further, my sacrifice can be a value exchange where I can, via it, affirm the utter goodness of myself. The other way, you never get to be you, and so you never get to say when or why or how you will sacrifice yourself for others, and if you see it as an exchange of value–the affirmation of YOU–then it becomes selfish sin and so even the sacrifice of self becomes, paradoxically, an act of pure selfish evil.

    One way self sacrifice is rational and is consistent with my life, the standard of truth; the other it is pointless, irrational, and denies the existence of any truth or standard of truth at all.

    One way it affirms the value of both parties (sacrificed and sacrifi-ee), the other it ascribes no value to either but becomes nothing but the death of self for death’s sake. Period.

  20. Ok, good. I needed to hear you make the distinction. My way of seeing it is in the Calvinist/protestant construct the masses of followers are really expendable. These expendable people should ‘take abuse for a season”, submit themselves because they have a vagina, protect child molesters to save our image, your suffering evil at the hands of some perp is good and glorifies God and so on and on. And it is all about degrees and the foundation of it starts with what we are willing to put up with to be a part of the group.

    Yep. that is the culture of death. And they will say God is in control and will take care of you. Meaning if He doesn’t then you weren’t worthy anyway. All the while they take great pains to protect themselves.

    And there is plenty of grace for the perps, too. Because, well sinners sin. And if you happen to suffer because of the perp then God is glorified.

    On the other hand, a hero is valued for his sacrifice because he/she is valued and worthy of life.

    I will have to listen to Zimbardo with that in mind. It might be omission or something he automatically believes but did not make it clear. I was linking to him solely on the theme of group think. Did you ever see that training video on what led up to the Challenger disaster? Or the Milgram experiment?

    http://www.simplypsychology.org/milgram.html

  21. I enjoyed reading your assessment of us. It is certainly thought provoking. Just two thoughts.

    1. As far as I know, no one has ever told me I am a leader and I know that I don’t think that I am. However, my three pugs treat me like I am in charge on rare occasions.

    2. Eagle just spent a nice weekend at our home and attended church with my husband and me today. So, he certainly did not appear to be rolled over by the TWW truck. We even treated him to schnitzel at Guglehupf.

    Blessings to all of you.

  22. Dee,

    No one told CJ he was the leader. He went out of his way to describe himself as just another “sinner saved by grace.” And, again, no one ever pledged allegiance to him, but there was an undeniable power there, and as CJ moved, ALL followed. Those who didn’t were shown the door. He never had to be told he was in charge; shoot, I submit he never even had to be conscious of it. (He most certainly would deny it even now.)He just was. Period. The actions and attitudes of the whole church were unmistakable.

    You are not CJ I realize (though I referred to you as such tongue in cheek; that was wrong) but my point is that when you shut down doctrinal discourse (like SGM did) you run the risk of creating a cult of personality whether you realize it/want to or not…particularly when one is as exceedingly charismatic and eloquent as you are. When people are not allowed to challenge root ideas and doctrinal causes of behavior and yet stay involved in the “institution”, it is likely that they are obtaining something…hmm, not as rational and possibly dangerous from the affiliation. This is usually self worth and affirmation derived via the succor of the collective. This erodes and eventually eliminates the sense of the individual and replaces it with a group mentality; and as the individual goes, so goes reason; so goes the value of life. Not saying that TWW will end up like the Heavens Gate going away party, but my opinion is that there is a a palpable trend of groupthink on your blog, and it started when you put a moratorium on discussing doctrine as the cause of abuse in the church.

    WRT Eagle. Well…I don’t think Eagle needs to exhibit an overt grudge in order for me to argue he was run over by the moderation truck. I submit he was. Judging from the comments thread, his point is utterly valid, whether it effects his relationship with you or not.

    I’m glad it didn’t; but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t right.

  23. Lydia, thanks. I am aware of the Anabaptist tradition. The quiet revolution or isolationism of some of the anabaptists proving to be quite useless to the rest of society.

    The problem I have with the modern charismatic movement is that much of it is founded on or incorporates Christian mysticism including Boehme and Jane Leade and other mystics. I don’t dismiss the mystics out of hand as not all they teach is “mysticism”, but one has to understand that instead of empowering the believer they have instead done a diddle and incorporated something far more insidious instead.
    The infallible popes of medieval times have become the super-magical apostles of this age. St. Paul is transformed from a man of flesh and blood who was whipped and chained for his audacity, and are I say boringness, into some supposedly super-humble Übermensch. (whoops – this is where DEE steps in with her whistle (only yanking your chain, DEE) clink clink.

    Nietzsche has has crystallized it well. Dare I suggest that the hopes of humanity are not set in some type of millenarian tipping-point that Christians somehow achieve by virtue of Pietism. – another of the more useless practices of the religious.

  24. “….but my point is that when you shut down doctrinal discourse (like SGM did) you run the risk of creating a cult of personality whether you realize it/want to or not…particularly when one is as exceedingly charismatic and eloquent as you are. When people are not allowed to challenge root ideas and doctrinal causes”

    DEE, I challenge you to remove some of those more useless and irrelevant links on the WW (some are old and of little benefit) and link this Blog instead.) I found the WW very helpful in understand what may have happened at SGM and is happening now in the SBC etc. but it very shallow. Headless Unicorn Guy is about the only person who ever makes sense. Poor dude.

  25. Dee, There is difference between just “niceness” and truth. The first is often totalitarian niceness that comes from groupthink. It is a peer pressure sort of thing where we don’t point out political correctness or doctrinal problems or whatever because we want to be accepted or liked by the group. Anyone who does, however, is “mean” or put in their place real fast by the resident savak aka numo and an attorney. And it is strange they are never called out on it.

    I have been down this road so many times with “discernment” blogs, I give up. They often turn into group think and peer pressure to conform to what they deem as nice.

    You wanted to be liked and accepted by sgmsurvivors so you threw me under the bus over there with PDI5years. That is ok. I can live with it but it gave me some insight. That is the sort of thing I am talking about. Unless of course, you really do agree with her that I am a heretic. :o) (I am considered a heretic by her because of a convo we had a few years back on ESS. She agrees with it. So I was a bit surprised you actually claimed there was another Lydia besides the one you have as Lydia’s corner)

    With those you want to like you, it will never be enough. Trust me. And no, I don’t think God is in control. I think He, for the most part, expects His people to do the right things. Yes, I said “do”. GASP.

  26. “WRT Eagle. Well…I don’t think Eagle needs to exhibit an overt grudge in order for me to argue he was run over by the moderation truck. I submit he was. Judging from the comments thread, his point is utterly valid, whether it effects his relationship with you or not.”

    Yes, this is the old argument that if the person was not offended then there is no point to make in what transpired. His being friends with you and accepting the new rules (whatever they mean, I am still a bit fuzzy on exactly what you are talking about) even though he disagrees does not mean he did not have a point. Peer pressure and feeling one owes a duty to another is very strong.

    He was once chided by numo for mentioning Clinton, Lewinsky and a cigar. There was no detail like one would find in a Driscoll sermon. He was making a point. But Numo was all offended and called him on it. (strange she rarely has problems when it is a conservative being mentioned in a negative light)

    ONce you open the flood gates to political correctness it was not long before one was corrected by An attorney (Arce?) for using “call a spade a spade” as offensive to African Americans. It is obvious by the thread that surprised quite a few people.

    It has boiled down to who is liked and who isn’t over there. Who is protected and who isn’t. And those who want to be in the group pile on. It is fast becoming group think instead of a free exchange of idea and positions. The left is just as bad as the right when it comes to being the thought police.

  27. It always boils down to wanting to be included (liked) instead of wanting to be just. I have noticed that once the allure of collective affiliation is established (there is now a bonafide “membership” of true believers who are encouraged by the charismatic leadership) the influence of groupthink and groupact just snowballs.

    The political or spiritually disenfranchised are particularly vulnerable. They are the ones prone to seek security and acceptance in the collective. Denying the individual SELF is a necessary way of life. It is a preservation of their psyche. They need the group to reassure them that they aren’t crazy. Thus, they never learn to think for themselves. And as the individual self goes, so does the the individual OTHER. Life gets less and less important as the “group” gains more absolute causal power philosophically. The worship of death soon follows and…Peoples Temple, Heaven’s Gate, Branch Davidians, Sovereign Grace Ministries. All those cults had predictable endings. Once the life of the self becomes THE cosmic metaphysical problem and the root of all “pride” and ” sin”, there is nowhere else for the belief system to go. Sooner or later suicide and homocide, child and spousal abuse must inevitably follow.

    This may sound like an exaggeration, but ALL those cults are steeped in orthodox Christian philosophy. Just like all the discernment blogs are. Sooner or later we are bound to have groups of “doctrinally pure” Christians–true believers–that are solely blog based.

    I’m just saying. We are already seeing the evil and intimidation used by the leadership of so many “benign”, “gospel centered” orgs. And the PC bludgeoning by “Numo” and “An Attorney” had a cultish creep factor to it that unsettled me because, a. No one dared to challenge them; b. It seemed to so naturally fit with the Wartburg vibe.

  28. “The political or spiritually disenfranchised are particularly vulnerable. They are the ones prone to seek security and acceptance in the collective. z”

    I really hate to bring this up but it fits here so well. Often, people see safety and acceptance in numbers. If the majority are agreeing then it must be right? Not. And this is where it is so illustrative to bring in the rise of the Third Reich. It did not just happen overnight. People tend to gloss over what was going on there in the 1920’s.

    A few years ago I came across this obscure book when I was trolling the Library archives. It was written by a German man who was just starting his career in the mid to late 1920’s after university . He kept a diary and started writing a book about his experience in that world before he emigrated to England around 1938 put the diary/book in a drawer and forgot about it. HIs kids found it after his death and published it.

    He got out of Germany ALONE because he could not go along with the group and all his friends who were pledging allegiance to the Riech even though they could not stand Hitler. They were taking the easy road to be accepted. It was literally massive group think even with those who did not agree. Easier to say nothing.

    I wish I could remember the name of the book. But he traces the smallest of expectations even in an office environment of fitting into the culture of national socialism. Long before the Aryan laws were even in effect. The slow process of strangling free speech even before it was illegal. And it would never have worked if people had not gone along early on.

    I will never understand why we won’t learn from history. One does not have to murder 6 million Jews for us to learn HOW they got to that result. What had to happen with the masses for it to work? Many were unwittingly encouraging that environment early on with totalitarian niceness of not offending others instead of hard truths. Ignorance lies in thinking something like that will never happen again. It already has in other parts of the world. We just don’t think it could ever happen here. But look at how easy it was to convince parents of children not to call the police over molestation because the church would handle it.

  29. I don’t know if others are paying attention but the concept of “leadership” has actually morphed quite a bit over the last 20 years. Perhaps because I was in the training business I saw it a bit more clearly. I am speaking in generalities here.

    Leadership basically went from generally being about policy/goals to being popular or liked by many.

    That is how CJ became a “leader”. He presented himself as self effacing, humble, funny, etc, with tons of “love bombing”. (And love bombing can quickly morph into politically correct speech)

    It follows that once someone becomes one of those type of leaders they can affirm someone else as worthy and that person becomes a leader. That is why you see so many lacking in real substance who are now leaders coming out of TGC and T4G. Mohler affirmed them so thousands of young men now see them as leaders. Had Piper and others not affirmed Driscoll early on, he would have been more limited in influence.

    How did Mohler become a leader? It was handed to him on a silver platter when he was 33 because he pledged allegiance to the CR. He was given “position” which many tend to respect by default. Just like they do with the title: pastor.

  30. “Leadership basically went from generally being about policy/goals to being popular or liked by many.”

    Yes, the death of modernism and the rise of post-modernism has seen to that. Also Peter Drucker specifically mentored key mega church leaders with a seeker-sensitive strategy etc. What’s not to like?

  31. “Yes, the death of modernism and the rise of post-modernism has seen to that. Also Peter Drucker specifically mentored key mega church leaders with a seeker-sensitive strategy etc. What’s not to like?”

    Yes, personality over substance. Drucker was a mentor to Rick Warren. Ken Blanchard (One Minute Manager) made “servant leadership” the touchy feely nice way to view power in megas.

    So being a leader has nothing to do with accomplishment, competence, substance, policy or even goals. But personality characteristics and popularity.

  32. It is no wonder so many of the poor buggers commit suicide. I read a Charisma article citing all the stats for pulpit suicides etc. Sadly the author went on about pulling down strongholds and taking thoughts captive (another spiritual metaphor taken and beaten and shaken to death) but not a word about professional help. Sad. Drucker used Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” . Leadership must now be fluid and flexible. Sick stuff really. Like Rick Joyner’s vision of Christians running around vomiting on each other and trying to kill each other. Beserk.

  33. I was more than a little suprised at the ‘new’ comments policy at WW you discussed here banning the use of Nazi references. Headless Unicorn Guy, a favorite at WW, has continued to obsess with Hitler and contribute mind-bogglingly crass statements comparing authoritarian pastors and elders with those who forced victims into the gas chambers. Poor demented soul to think like that, probably deserving of more pity than anything else; allowing such a comment is arguably worse.

    And another favorite, Daisy, is allowed to use the banned word ‘bitter’, whereas others who do so are called out on it.

    So much for a new commenting policy two years later, which as it is is inconsistently applied depending on whether you are part of the Group or not.

  34. I admit I stopped following WW probably two years ago or more. But here is what I concluded:

    WW is a is a place for people to go who want their moral outrage affirmed and their despondency soothed but do not want the doctrinal assertions which are the source of the outrage and despondency challenged.

    The mistake some (well intentioned) commenters make is thinking that the outrage and grief is a means to an end–the end being doctrinal clarity–when the reality is that outrage and grief are the whole point.

    In other words, WW is a bunch of people who affirm the very ideas which lead to spiritual abuse but use their perpetual distress as an absolution. Dee and Deb provide the platform for absolution by encouraging perpetual grief without ever seeking to address the roots of that grief.

  35. Well thanks for the reply. I’ve spent too much time at TWW over the last couple of years (your successor perhaps?!!), which is my fault not theirs.

    I’ve also come to the conclusion having in effect been given the left heel of fellowship there that the forum is a spent force, and the comments largely neutralise any good the articles might have been doing.

    I’ve noticed in sites like this one where TWW is itself subject to discernment that the prevailing view is not to waste time there. That the bad outweighs the good, in particular the mass of messed-up commenters whose private lives are a public mess.

    My own exit was occasioned on complaining about the use of bad language, with reference to NT passages on the ‘tongue’. I’m no prude and have nothing against saying like it is, but calling out bad evangelical pastors for their disobedience rings hollow when those doing so themselves ignore the NT when it would affect them. ‘Patriarchy is evil’ (probably it often is) is countered with ‘we don’t need to submit to our husbands’ in any shape or form. Disobedience being countered by disobedience!

    Over time I realised the site attracts ‘eternal victims’, who go round in circles repeating their experiences (which I do not deny may have been bad, and I’ve had a couple myself). I fear that Daisy, for example, who goes on and on and on and on about how she ‘is a 40 year old who has never married …’ will end up saying she ‘is a 50, 62, 75 … year old who has never married’! She has plenty of support for her anti-‘comp’ stand, but no-one seems bothered that she is considering abandonning the faith, surely something much more serious.

    The post from Dee that finally made me decide to call it a day was more emoting than thought out, and makes me seriously doubt the objectivity of the articles she writes. Too many posters doth protest too much methinks, and the net result of the site is to make me more sceptical of claims of abuse. I know it happens and would not want to downplay it, but doesn’t endless repetition inevitably lead to exaggeration and embellishment over time? (Does this mean the ‘god’ of TWW has become the outrage and grief itself?) Perhaps the most telling thing is the banning of the word ‘bitter’.

    I used to think it really was a site that encompassed a broad range of opinion, but a moderate conservative evangelicalism that takes the bible seriously is not wanted if this challenges the behaviour of contributors. Parsons herself is utterly unable to consider reasonable and well-meant criticism, which she dismisses with a ‘bless your heart’ you don’t understand response.

    There are occasional very insightful posts, and I’ve noticed another brave soul is now manning the moderate evangelical post, but I wonder how long he will last with the more over-sensitive souls who frequent TWW.

    It may be necessary to wade through the sewers of evangelicalism from time to time, but there are betters things to spend your time on.

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