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Taylor’s Story

Here is a story submitted by Taylor.  Please note, Taylor originally included the names of the pastors involved, as well as of the church locations.  Because of her desire to protect her children’s identities, we agreed that names and locations would be edited out or replaced with pseudonyms.

——————————

I’m afraid my story is not unique.

My husband and I spent many years at our Sovereign Grace church, first as young adults and then later after we married and had kids. We homeschooled, we got involved in home group, and created a nice little bubble for ourselves. We looked the part and believed what we were told to believe and even though we never fit the mold, we kept trying.

The thing was, though, my husband had a porn addiction that was kept hidden (because a Godly wife doesn’t reveal her husband’s sins to the world, or even to close friends). He would get caught, he would “repent” and humble himself, and I was to forgive him. A vicious pattern that would repeat itself over and over, and would set the stage for what was to come.

As I said, we did homeschool our children.  However, it always felt like we were marginalized, as we weren’t able to participate in the classes and co-ops and support groups within the church.  Still we kept on homeschooling.

It all came to a head when I discovered that my husband had been sexually abusing our 10-year-old daughter. I had felt something was not quite right for a couple months, but could not figure out what was going on, and kept telling myself that I was imagining things, that it was Satan putting evil thoughts in my head, that it couldn’t possibly be anything like I thought. My  husband had always expressed such disgust at this sort of thing that I was sure he wasn’t capable of it. And yet the thoughts and feelings continued. I would catch them alone in a room, with my daughter sitting on his lap, or he would call her down to the basement to do some chore with him alone. He started spending a long time putting her to bed each night, but only a few minutes with our other children, while I was busy with the toddler.

One night, I am not sure why I did this, but I went into my daughter’s room to kiss her goodnight after her father had gone downstairs to get on the computer, and I said to her, “You know, honey, NO one, not even me or Daddy, has the right to touch you in your private areas”. And she started crying and said that Daddy had been doing just that every day for a long time, and making her touch him as well.

I fainted right there across her bed. Then quickly came to, and comforted her. I told her that it would NEVER happen again, and she would be safe from then on.

Then I went downstairs and confronted him. He fell to his knees and begged me not to tell anyone. I said I had to protect our daughter, so I called our associate pastor, whom I’ll call Pastor Bill.  As I told Pastor Bill what had happened, my husband ran out of the house and got in the car. I ran after him and told him not to leave and he said he didn’t have any choice because now he was going to jail and he just couldn’t face it and indicated he would rather die than go to jail, then drove off.

We spent three days in agony not knowing where he was or if he was still alive. He turned off his cell phone. Pastor Bill came over to our house and talked with my daughter and made her tell him everything that my husband had done to her and for how long. After the first 24 hours, Pastor Bill gave the situation over to another pastor, “Pastor Fred,” to handle.

I was praised up and down for not calling the police but for contacting them first, for being a “Godly example” of a Christian wife, etc. When we went to church the first Sunday after the crisis, I was with two of my close woman friends, and they asked me what was going on, and I told them what had happened, feeling the need for support and help.

When I told Pastor Fred I had told them, he was quite upset with me for telling anyone, and reprimanded me for gossiping, and then had to meet with them and our care group to do damage control, to make sure no one would know what was really happening or had happened.

Finally my husband answered his phone on the fourth day, and the pastors convinced him to come back. But not to our house. They sent us to stay with my husband’s relatives (another family from our SG church) for several days and let my husband come get his things and move in with his mother.

We were all brought in for counseling with the pastors, first me and my daughter separately, where she had to again tell what had happened, and where she was told she needed to forgive her father, that she was a sinner too, and didn’t she feel that she had sinned by not telling me sooner, and we were made to feel that she had somehow sinned by allowing it to continue, even insinuating that maybe she had even wanted that attention a bit. She was TEN YEARS OLD.

I should also add that I was told by Pastor Fred that I should not get outside counseling for my daughter at all. He said it would expose her to ungodly counsel and do more harm than good, that God was the only healing she needed. So we never got any outside professional help, but my husband got counseling for about 4 months from the pastors. It is the “trickle down” theory of taking care of the “head” and it will trickle down to the wife and kids.

During this time that they were separately meeting with my husband, they counseled him and they met with his boss (another church member) to inform him of what had happened and why he was absent from work. It turned out that all of his late night work at the office had really been opportunities for viewing porn, including child porn, on the office computers, and he was fired from his job.

The pastors knew that so many people knew about what had happened that they were required by law to report it, so they told my husband that he needed to turn himself in instead of their doing it. That was how they got out of their legal responsibility to report it. My husband’s relative who is a lawyer told him not to do it himself, but to use a certain lawyer he knew. The lawyer he had suggested met with my husband and I together, and he said that no, my husband shouldn’t turn himself in because if he did then he would go to jail and we would be without any income, instead since he was now obligated by law to report the crime, he would talk to the state’s attorney and let us know what to do. We didn’t hear anything from him for weeks and weeks, and were left to constantly wonder why.

After about two months of this kind of counseling by the pastors, I was told that in order to truly be a Godly wife, I had to forgive my husband because my sins as a less than Godly wife had also contributed to my daughter’s abuse. I was told that had I better met my husband’s needs physically, he wouldn’t have been tempted elsewhere. A meeting was held at Pastor Fred’s house, where my husband could apologize to my daughter for hurting her and ask her to forgive him. Again she was reminded by Pastor Fred that she was a sinner too, and that Jesus had forgiven her, so she must forgive her father to be a good Christian.

So I was told to allow him to move back home, and to make sure I had physical relations with him regularly, and books were offered telling me how to have a Godly sexual relationship with him, like Intended for Pleasure: Sex Technique and Sexual Fulfillment in Christian Marriage, and The Five Love Languages.

I was told to put a lock on my daughter’s door, on the inside, and every night after I had kissed her goodnight, she had to lock her door to keep her father out.

And he moved back into our house on Christmas Eve that year. We resumed looking like a “normal” SGM family, my husband was greatly praised for repenting and we were praised for reconciling, and every time we had sex I got sick to my stomach afterwards. Every time he moved or got up in the night, I sat bolt upright in bed. If he went out of our room, I lay there listening to make sure he didn’t go near any of the children’s bedrooms.

The only “counseling” I myself received during this time was when Pastor Fred would ask me to join him and my husband in their sessions, and he would ask how it was going, having sex with my husband, and would want specifics, and right in front of him so I couldn’t really be honest but would just say it was ok.

(As an aside, it seems to me personally that the pastors at SGM have a weird and unhealthy fascination with details of sexual encounters. I know a teen girl who was having relations with her boyfriend, and when she was caught and brought in for counselling, the SGM pastor made her “confess” each and every detail of every sexual encounter the two of them had had, before he could say that she was repentant. I just find it sick. They made my daughter do the same thing, giving every detail of her father’s molestations, but not so they could report it.)

I kept calling the lawyer asking if he had heard anything, and he kept saying no, not yet. Then in February I finally got some specific answers from him. No, he hadn’t actually turned in a deposition. He had simply written a hypothetical report up and put it on the attorney’s desk. Unless I wanted to go in and file charges against my husband, nothing would happen. I called the pastors and told them all of this, and they said that it was obviously a gift of grace from God, and that as a Christian I was not to bring civil authorities into it, and that I was to let it drop and not press charges because my husband was repentant and had agreed to their counseling, and they felt like everything had been discharged properly and what wonderful examples of God’s grace and mercy we were.

A little over a year later, there was a new church plant, and we were told to be a part of that. How convenient for them…

We were part of it, but soon after the church plant happened, I caught my husband looking in the bathroom window from outside when my daughter went in there to use the toilet. I told her to get out of the bathroom quickly, that he was out there looking in at her and not to use that bathroom any more.

I called “Pastor Kevin,” the pastor of the newly planted SGM church, and told him what had happened. He said that sin was insidious and that I should expect my husband to have moments of weakness, and that I was wrong to warn my daughter because I was further damaging her relationship with her father and preventing it from being reconciled. And that was the end of it.

At that moment I knew that not only was I and my children without protection from the church, but that I was truly alone and would just have to make the best of it. I could not rely on any more help from the pastors and it was up to me to protect my children as best I could.

For five years I struggled to be that protection for them. My daughter continued to lock her bedroom door every night. I continued to not sleep deeply and to always be alert to his prowling at night, and we maintained our facade as a healed and reconciled family. I forced myself to allow him to have sex with me, even though it made me physically ill. The toll on my self-esteem, my self-respect, and my family was huge. My marriage relationship was dead, but I was trapped inside it trying to be that “Godly Wife”.

However, we were kept at arm’s length from the rest of the church. Other parents did not include my daughter in birthday parties or other activities because they were afraid she might tell their children what had happened. She was damaged in their eyes. Other parents pulled away from me as well, except for one friend.

Finally, I just burned out. I just couldn’t do it any longer. I couldn’t pretend to love a man who had sexually assaulted my child every day for months. But I didn’t know how to get out. So I started sleeping in my son’s room on a cot, pretending that I had just accidently fallen asleep while putting him to bed. Not coming out unless my husband actually came to get me.

It was only with the strength and support of my one remaining friend that I was able to finally get the courage to divorce him and leave the church, when my daughter was 16. It was a long two-year process, in which I was shunned and ostracized by the church body under instructions by the pastors for “abandoning my family” and breaking my marriage vows. I was told I couldn’t leave the church because as long as my husband was a member, I was a member also. But I finally got my divorce and broke free, and maintained custody of my children.

My ex-husband still attends that same SGM church, even though several of the founding families and the pastors all know that he is a child molester. I would venture to say that none of the rest of the church has any idea, though. He is remarried, and when he has visitation with our younger children, he still takes them to church events.

My older children are now grown and don’t have much to do with my ex-husband at all.  They are also very bitter towards SGM and want nothing to do with them. Their relationship with God has been destroyed, and it will take the work of the Holy Spirit alone to restore it, in His time. But otherwise, they are happy and doing well.

I have found a wonderful church that has helped me realize that the world, and God, are so much bigger than SGM ever taught. I have learned that there is room in God’s house for all different types of people, and theologies and doctrines. And although it took several years, I have begun to trust God again, and read his word with new eyes. God IS good, and even SGM can’t destroy that.

274 comments to Taylor’s Story

Pages: « 1 2 3 4 5 [6] Show All

  1. Fried Fish
    September 1st, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    @Concerned #223 -

    A problem I have with the doctrine of total human depravity, is that it seems to ignore the account in Genesis where God says “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness”… I can’t seem to find anywhere an account of that image of God being withdrawn from mankind, even after the advent of sin. How else would one explain the fact that so many unbelievers (who our doctrine declares have no indwelling Holy Spirit), have a sense of right, wrong, justice, and compassion toward those who have been minimized and abused that not only rivals but puts to shame that of many believers?

  2. Joe 3
    September 1st, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    #251– Fried Fish:

    Total depravity doesn’t mean that the Imago Dei is withdrawn from man. It just means that man is dead in his sin (Eph 2:1-5ff., Romans 8:7-8) and therefore incapable of reaching out to God on his own (John 6:44). By the logic of Genesis 9:6, the Imago Dei is primarily that which makes murder wrong. And this is after The Fall.

    Total depravity =/= Utter Depravity (Utter Depravity, meaning “as bad as we can possibly be”). To analogize, a drop of poison in a clean glass of water makes the whole glass poisonous. It doesn’t mean that the whole glass is pure, undiluted poison. The will, the mind, the emotions–all are affected by sin to a degree. That doesn’t mean that unbelievers have no “civic righteousness” in them, however.

    Hope that helps.

  3. Unassimilated
    September 1st, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    Kris,

    Reposting some old info here, but with a different thought. So the SGM pastors are more than willing to share your dirty deeds with other churches if you leave, but if you stay and seem repentant, you are afforded a type of protection of your secrets.

    This gives one two choices, Stay with SGM or leave Christianity all together if you do not wish to be tracked down. When one stays, they become a testimony as to the validity of the SGM system. If one leaves SGM & Christianity, once again the SGM system has worked by releasing one of the un-destined people back into the world in which they belong…nice.

    There is more to it though –

    With this type of heavy handedness, I would find most “repentance” suspect within the walls of SGM. There is a big difference between feeling mortaly embarrased at the prospect of having secrets out, and that of being genuinely repentant before God and those you hurt. These are two different things, yet in the world of SGM, the former is just as accepted as the latter.

    That being said, we all know that there is no real confidentiality in SGM other than the pastors discretion. I am told that they have tried to argue the point of Clergy privilege existing for the sake of the Pastor on numerous occasions in various courtrooms.

    Self preservation is a big part if you ask me. There is no excuse for the secrecy and deceptions if these men truly love and fear God.

    From Apendix G in Starting Point –

    As the disciplinary process progresses, our pastors may impose a variety of sanctions to encourage repentance, including but not limited to private and public admonition, withholding of the Lord’s Supper, removal from office, withdrawal of normal fellowship, and, as a last resort, removal from membership (Matt. 5:23-24; 2 Thess. 3:6-15; Matt. 18:17).

    If the straying individual does not repent in response to private appeals from our pastors, they may inform others in the church who may be able to influence that individual or be willing to pray for him or her, or people who might be harmed or affected by that person’s behavior.

    This step may include close friends, a small group, a Sunday school class, or the entire congregation if our pastors deem it to be appropriate (Matt. 18:17, 1 Tim. 5:20).

    If an individual leaves the church while discipline is in effect or is being considered, and our pastors learn that he or she is attending another church, they may inform that church of the situation and ask its pastors to encourage the individual to repent and be reconciled to the Lord and to any people he or she has offended. This action is intended both to help the individual find freedom from his sin and to warn the other church about the harm that he or she might do to their members
    (see Matt. 18:12-14; Rom. 16:17; 1 Cor. 5:1-13; 3 John 1:9-10).

    More semi related info here-

    http://www.sovereigngraceministries.org/Reference/PastorsConference/The%20Pastor%20and%20Pastoral%20Counseling.pdf

  4. Fried Fish
    September 1st, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    @Joe the third #252 -

    Dang it Joe, I was really trying to avoid throwing Latin around, and there you go… :)

    Thanks for the clarification though.

    So, does this total depravity continue even for a believer until the day he/she dies? Is that what makes it logical in the SGM system for a pastor to confront the victim of horrendous abuse with their own sinfulness instead of extending compassion and comfort?

  5. Phoenix
    September 1st, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:11,12 NIV

    I want to invite those who have been accused of slander on this blog, called liars on this blog, called fools on this blog,as I have; to join with me in considering that an honor. I mean it. See above. It puts us in very good company. And among those that Jesus called blessed.

  6. Fried Fish
    September 1st, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    Sorry, I realized that my #254 could be taken to mean that I think the SGM application of the concept of Total Depravity could be in some way a normal Reformed understanding of the concept. That’s not the case, I just think SGM has been whacked in their understanding (of a lot of things).

  7. Argo
    September 1st, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    SGM doesn’t TELL the other side of the story. We don’t ever hear what goes on behind the scenes…that’s why I had to read Brent’s documents before I had the first clue that all this was going on. So stop with the Proverbs quote. Golly day! It only makes sense if the “other side of the story” gets told. It doesn’t. SGM doesn’t want it’s members to know. They thrive on ignorance!

    And by the way, it’s not one “side” of the story, it’s SIDES of the story. As in one, two, three, four stories like this, plus one that I know of personally, not dealing with abuse, but with another family tragedy that was not cared for “as well as it could have been”. And they all sound eerily familiar.

    Really, how obvious does it need to get? How obvious? I feel like I could say, black is black, and SGM people would be like, “Well, you know Proverbs…that’s only one side of the story. Black could be something else, you never know. Our pastors will tell you what black is later, in the meantime, stop gossiping, you slanderer.”

  8. BrokenHearted
    September 1st, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    OFF TOPIC –

    I just remembered I never updated y’all on my “pastoral reconciliation” :)

    I have now met with 2 out of the 3 pastors I needed to meet with from Fairfax. LG and DH – both were VERY VERY apologetic for the things that were said and done to me, and both invited any and all thoughts I had for things they can do better. From our conversations it definitely sounds to me like a LOT has changed since I left there. They both admitted that there was a definite “elevation” of Fathers/Husbands. DH told me that back then the gut response was anything negatively said against a pastor/husband/father/caregroup leader was immediately given the gossip/slander card. And that there was no way for people to rightly bring a grievance or concern, and that this was detrimental and he was so so sorry for any part her played in that. We were able to talk for quite awhile and it was REALLY nice and…freeing for me. I know that for many on here it would be a nightmare to sit across from the pastor who betrayed them, and I am not advocating anyone who is unready do that. But, FOR ME – it was very liberating and I feel like a weight I have been carrying for years has been chipped away at.

    I learned that DH was aware of my family situation even back then and that he had tried to meet with my parents, but my mother kept refusing. That made sense to me – she was VERY not open to anyone outside of her family being involved in her life. It brought me to tears though to know that I had NOT been alone – that they had been trying to help and I just never knew. They were quick to say that they should have told ME they wanted to help and tried to see how *I* was doing, but that in their twisted thinking they thought if they rehabilitated my dad he would help my mom and us. They apologized profusely (DH and his wife)… there was something so sweet about hearing from them that they were wrong. Not at all in a vindictive way, but just to know I had been validated in my feelings I guess?

    I dunno, I just wanted to share with y’all the good stuff going on in my journey. :)

  9. Argo
    September 1st, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    “Pastoral Counseling is hard: There are no ‘typical’ counseling situations
    that we can replicate. Pastoral counseling doesn’t easily systematize. Even
    the most experienced pastor spends a great deal of his time in counseling
    wondering what he should do and say next – feeling like a ‘stone speaking
    to stones’.”

    Just read that from post 253, Unassimilated. Now, I ask you, is THIS what you want when your daughter has been molested?!

  10. 5yearsinPDI
    September 1st, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    Fried…..

    Total depravity is the same as original sin. It means that every single part of human nature has been affected by the fall and the curse. It means that every single person is born a slave to sin until redeemed by the Lord.(Yes, the image of God remains in mankind and even people w/o God still can love their kids and help others and do good things.)

    It is a contrast to the doctrine that we morally sin but our will and reason are not fallen, and free to choose God. Total depravity says we cannot choose God on our own and no one can come to Him unless the Father draws him.

    It also does teach, yes, that we will have an indwelling sin nature until death, as opposed to Wesleyan perfectionism in this life. We fight sin until we die. But those who believe it also believe that when we are born again we are regenerated, with a new heart and new spirit, the holy spirit comes to dwell within us, and we are made new creatures. The focus is on that, not sin sniffing. We grow in grace and we produce fruit. We are to show mercy and comfort, to encourage, to set our eyes on the author and perfector of our faith.

    And no, belief in T of TULIP or total depravity has nothing to do with SGMs twisted horrible blame the child victim crap. I have never in all my years of Reformed Christianity seen or heard of anything like them. It is truly disturbing.

    If the 2012 Gospel Coalition has Mahaney and Driscoll on the roster as usual, I am going to conclude that any speaker who shares a platform with them is guilty of putting stumbling blocks before young people and is not worth listening to ever again. I am so sickened by all this.

  11. Kris
    September 1st, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    I actually transcribed the entire 2-hour teaching on The Pastor And The Counseling Process (the teaching that goes with the handout linked to by Unassimilated). You can view the first part of the transcript here: http://www.sgmsurvivors.com/?p=755

    The other parts immediately follow. Parts II & III are interspersed with my commentary. (That’s a warning for those of you who hate my commentary…and an advertisement, for those of you who think it’s boring to just read a transcript with no editorializing. :D )

  12. Argo
    September 1st, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    I read the document that Unassimilated linked about SGM’s guidelines for pastoral counseling. It is quite revealing. I found many things disturbing in this document.

    But, alas, I also found a solution. Here it is. Quoted from the Pastor and Pastoral Counseling:

    “Is the person coming with a therapeutic understanding of counseling? ”

    If the answer to this question is “yes”, then you IMMEDIATELY refer the person to a PROFESSIONAL, LICENSED, counselor who deals specifically with the area in which they are struggling!

    Problem solved. This is not hard. My gosh. It’s just basic humility!

  13. Argo
    September 1st, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    Kris,
    Love your commentary. :-)

  14. Fried Fish
    September 1st, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    @5years #260 -

    Thanks for that. I may have mentioned this once before, but I spent ten years working in a nonprofit parachurch organization led by a man who claimed to have achieved entire sanctification. It’s not as lovely as it sounds :) I think a more moderate Arminian view would also agree with the fact that we fight the internal battle with sin until we die. I don’t think anyone with a lick of sense in either camp would buy into using sin as a club to beat the snot out of someone who’s already been hurt beyond measure.

  15. Fried Fish
    September 1st, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    Argo #262 –

    Does that mean if you can’t baffle them with bulls**t, turn them over to someone who might stand a chance of actually helping them?

  16. Kris
    September 1st, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    I haven’t re-read The Pastor And The Counseling Process in awhile. I’m looking at the comments that follow the first segment, and I was struck by this one:

    I had an additional thought about Mr. Farmer’s instructions to pastors to hide their true reactions to what someone is saying to them.

    I’ve taken quite a few psychology courses, including a course called “Methods of Christian Counseling.” I understand that part of a professional counselor’s role is to be a passive listener and keep his own opinions to himself.

    But what strikes me about SGM’s approach, at least as it is conveyed in Mr. Farmer’s teaching, is that the pastors want it both ways.

    Farmer went out of his way to show how pastors are not professional formal counselors. They are pastors. They are with their people for the long haul, and they are “in relationship” with them. The way he talks about these things, it is clear that he believes that this sort of long-term relationship context makes for counseling that is going to be of a better quality than what someone is going to get from a professional…because what SGM pastors provide is counseling within the context of the pastor-parishioner long-term relationship that is built on a different sort of honesty and trust and that has a much more personal element to it.

    It sure seems like he believes that this personal element makes pastoral counseling much better than outside counsel, which is something to be distrusted and dealt with as part of the “mess,” rather than to be supported wholeheartedly, without any disapproval.

    But if that’s the case – if pastoral counseling is this superior thing based upon a long-term personal pastoral relationship – then I think it’s quite deceptive for these guys to be receiving instruction in how to seem more like a professional and cover up something – their honest personal reactions – that is actually a crucial component of the personal relationship.

    They’re trying to have it both ways.

    They seem to be assuming that their counsel, because of its relational context, is superior to profesional counseling. But then in this teaching, they are being instructed on how to squelch one of the things that personal relationships depend upon, which is clear and honest communication, being able to read one another through body language and words.

  17. Kris
    September 1st, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    I know I keep repeating myself. But I’m really curious about something.

    When is SGM going to talk about their extreme bias against the mental health profession? When are they going to admit that they frequently counseled people like Taylor to NOT get professional help, even in the face of majorly traumatic situations?

    When are they going to acknowledge how many people they’ve hurt with this bias? When are they going to repent of how they’ve made parents of children with ADHD, for example, feel spiritually inferior for permitting their kids to take medication? When are they going to repent of the harm that they have done to people who were clinically depressed and could have benefitted from prescription drugs for this problem?

    They’ve talked about the elevation of practice over principle…they’ve talked about pastoral authority (Dave Harvey just gave a blanket denial…but at least he mentioned it)…they’ve semi-apologized for their “lack of care” for abuse victims.

    But when are they going to address this gigantic issue of their bias against the mental health profession?

    We know they are biased. Just two years ago, Andy Farmer gave this training to pastors. They can’t deny this by saying it was an aberration from the past. They can’t pretend that there aren’t hundreds of SGM members who can attest to the many sermons in which CJ railed against “psychology.”

    When are they going to address this issue, and the harm they have caused untold numbers of people?

  18. Kris
    September 1st, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    OK, once again, I am repeating myself. But here is a comment that I think makes a particularly important point, about SGM’s weird bias against the mental health profession:

    It’s my belief SGM’s stance on mental health issues presents a false dilemma brought about by a false understanding of what “Scriptural sufficiency” means. “Scriptural sufficiency” does NOT mean that we must limit our knowledge ONLY to what appears in the Bible. SGM pastors already know this on a practical level anyway, or they would be intellectually consistent and reject other categories of “extra-Biblical knowledge,” such as medical knowledge. (We know they certainly don’t reject medical advances, unless such medical knowledge has to do with brain chemistry, at which point many of them do reject it.)

    Random thought here: do we know of any SGM pastor who has a child with epilepsy? Does that child take anti-seizure medications? Is that child under a doctor’s care? Or does the pastor instead treat the problem of epilepsy as primarily an issue of demon possession, which was the way seizures were apparently regarded in the New Testament, even by Jesus Himself?

    Another random thought: what about diabetes? Do SGM pastors believe that many cases of Type II diabetes would be primarily “sin issues,” since there is a clear relationship between Type II diabetes and obesity, which, of course, for many people, has its roots in the sins of greed and gluttony?

    Do SGM pastors automatically react with “bugged out eyes” and suspicion if they hear that a parishioner is taking anti-seizure medication, or diabetes medication?

    If not, why not?

    By their definition of “Scriptural sufficiency,” it would seem like they ought to be counting these other disorders as “sin issues.”

  19. Donald Philip Veitch
    September 1st, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    @Taylor:

    Winston Churchhill sat in a bunker just before German bombs began to land in London. He broadcasted a radio message (the accent helps): “If the British Empire should last a 1000 years from now, may they look back and say of us, `This was Britain’s finest hour.’”

    Taylor, this is “your finest hour.” To tell the story thoughtfully, honestly and courageously.

    I have a width of reactions to your posts.

    A leading reaction is a serious “Thank you,” but that is far too inadequate.

  20. Oswald
    September 1st, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    BrokenHearted @#258–Thank you so much for the update. Good news is always so welcome and pleasant. God is at work as we can see.(Dare I say this is an “evidence of grace”)

  21. Stunned
    September 1st, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    Brokenhearted, very happy to hear such good news. I am so glad you got to hear from them that you were not crazy nor imaging things!

    Stunned

  22. Unassimilated
    September 2nd, 2011 at 1:58 am

    Argo,

    I am not clear as to what you mean by your question as your quoted section comes from the documents I linked to, rather than
    my thoughts. My kids had more than a few friends that were compromised at the hands of SGM members and SGM leaders.

    What was right and just vs how it played out is really beyond anything that has been discussed here on this blog in both the levels of inner circle involvement, and the scope of damage to families. Not to take away from anyone who has suffered at the hands of the SGM leaders
    or various perps. There is so much more that
    They need to come clean on.

    What I would want for my family is to have never darkened the doors of SGM. It is a place of pure evil and decay.

    Truth always reveals itself, and I’m
    Looking forward to a day when some have healed enough to share their experiences here.

    Posting via mobile, if there is a wonky word, I blame the autospell.

  23. JustAnOutsidersOpinion
    September 2nd, 2011 at 6:17 am

    I’ve read a few of the comments on counseling and thought I’d put in my two cents. I received an MDiv from an evangelical seminary within the past few years. We were given a pastoral counseling class as part of the degree requirements. In that class we spent most of the time discussing marital counseling and grief counseling.

    The biggest thing that stuck in my mind was this – we were, in no uncertain terms – told that one class does NOT make you a professional counselor. A pastor should expect to counsel someone for just a few sessions – anything that might take longer than that you are to refer. That’s right refer. That doesn’t mean the pastor drops out altogether, but it does mean that a pastor is not (generally speaking) equipped to do that sort of counseling.

    What I took away from that class was that I needed a good list of other professionals to whom I can refer individuals and still be part of the process.

    Just wanted to provide that perspective if it’s useful to someone.

  24. Argo
    September 2nd, 2011 at 6:33 am

    Hi Unassimilated,

    Sorry for the confusion; my apologies. Yes, I was referring to a quote from the document you linked to, not your personal thoughts in your post.

    I was attempting to indicated how even in their own document, albeit in an indirect way, they basically admit that they simply do not have the knowledge base or the experience to counsel people who have undergone suffering and tragedy in major ways, such as child molestation or the untimely death of a child/spouse, etc..

    Again, sorry if I confused you.

    Argo

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