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103 Responses

  1. Old Dustin needs to brush up on views of the Lord’s Supper. As a Moody grad, perhaps that’s all you get.

    “Whether your theology of communion leans toward the Calvinistic “spiritual presence” or Zwingli’s memorial view, or you find yourself floating back and forth between the two,”

    Between the 2 – what happened to the Lutheran view? The Real Presence.

  2. A good read from Michael Sewell. But i pick up this line from his testimony – “By the time I was twenty-two, I was a bitter and disillusioned young man. I was angry at the hypocrisy and hatred I had found in the church and two different Christian colleges. I thought of the church as a place where legalists, thieves, liars, fornicators, mind-controllers, and self-serving hypocrites abounded.”

    I would just like to ask Michael this question – so after all of these years in the church, have you now reconciled yourself to the fact – “yes that is who & what makes up the church?”

  3. Michael says:

    MLD,

    That’s too simplistic.
    The church has all of the above in it…but they are supposed to be desirous of being better.

  4. Nonnie says:

    I thought I’d heard everything until I read about the wife spanking. That is sick.

  5. Rob Murphy says:

    How would you . . . like to be . . . Atheist for a year?!?!
    Don’t most folks in churches practice ‘practical atheism’, or God at a distance?
    Wouldn’t a better challenge be to do nothing apart from God for a year? If not completely convinced that each decision can be affirmed in the Bible text, then defer those decisions for a year? Just practically, how many better decisions would we make if we simply said “If the answer has to be now, it has to be “No”? No theology there, just maybe delayed gratification.
    Living for a year as an atheist is not edgy. All that is cursed in the world is because Adam and Eve made just One decision apart from the presence of God. If all ‘this’ happens from just “one” decision, I know exactly what a year of decisions apart from God will look like.
    Sensationalism is often dull as a cardboard sword.

  6. Nonnie says:

    The “a year without God” guy……I’m really sad for him.

  7. Nonnie says:

    “Living for a year as an atheist is not edgy. All that is cursed in the world is because Adam and Eve made just One decision apart from the presence of God. If all ‘this’ happens from just “one” decision, I know exactly what a year of decisions apart from God will look like.”

    Thank you Rob.

    I’m wondering if there is a book in the works. And I am still sad for him….and his wife and children. (he mentioned “his family suffering.”)

  8. Ian Elsasser says:

    Love that Wright guy! We written statements on justification and very clear so that it is accessible to all.

  9. Re the Year without God guy.

    I would be more inclined to be interested if it were someone who was not already pissed at God and his church.

  10. Michael Sewell says:

    MLD, good question. I would say apart from the Gospel in most things I’m reconciled to gray. Yes a gray background on which one hope to place a little color from time to time. That’s the best answer I can give today. Oh but there’s hope. There’s always that.

  11. Michael Sewell,
    Spoken as the artist you are!
    Neutral gray is a great background, and an excellent starting point to illustrate any image.

    Glad you’re blogging =)

  12. Bob says:

    The “14” things article is one of the best linked.

    Notice it is not written by some radial young punk church leader wannabe.

    Thanks for the link.

  13. Steve Wright says:

    All Christians (i.e. believers) are disciples. I would argue the mistake is to express as if one can be a believer in Jesus Christ and not yet be a disciple. The Bible knows of no such distinction.

  14. “Wife spanking”?!?!?

    WHAT.THE.BLOODY.HELL???

    :: FACEPALM ::

  15. Dude says:

    Micheal
    I tried to leave the faith after I vacated Calvary Chapel. Didnt work ……took. a year off .In my disilution he was right there with me showing me what a awesome Gracefull loving God He is.When I returned to the organised church my faith was on a different footing and even stronger.

  16. Michael Sewell,

    Your first post was very well written and showed that you are taking the higher road in the attitude towards gays. Just tonight I was also impressed by my old high school friend Greg Laurie live on KWVE 107.9. He answered a call on air from a man who refused to go to a family gathering with his wife and three kids because his sister had married a woman and would be present. Greg’s position was that perhaps the man should have gone to the family gathering with his family. Who can say if our dialog and our demeanor can have a positive influence or not. But at least give it a chance.

    This you have done and I applaud you for it. Having visited Lonnie Frisbee a few days before his death from aids was not a pleasant experience for me. I asked if I could lay hands on him and pray over him in tongues. He said, “You can do it but it won’t do any good.” Who knows if it did or didn’t, but i was there and I did what i could as a Christian man.

    I have a few gay friends that I care for who are amazed that I, a Christian, and am not hating them or mistreating them.

    One day I pray that they will come to me with sincere questions about Christ and faith etc. Until then my wife and i will continue to love them and be there for them and they know it…

    Dave knew he just had to call you because you have been a very special man of God in his life. I know that your presence in his life has made a strong impact on him in his last moments of this life. You are a gentle man and very humble. I have only talked with you a few times over the last 25 years or so, but as time goes by I am coming to see you through new eyes so to speak.

    May you continue to blog and share from your own heart to the benefit of others. As I read your first post I was deeply touched by it. Thanks for taking Michaels advice, he is a wise Christian for encouraging you to write. You did well!

    David Sloane

  17. brian says:

    http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/4-surrender-social-security-scam-article-1.1568664

    You know I applied for Workman’s Comp one time when I blew out three discs at work. I was treated like I was a thief from day one and will never apply for benefits unless I am dying even then I will be reluctant. You have to admire their brazenness and lack of concern for other people, if they are guilty of what they say they did. I even sent back much of the money and refuse to cash the checks because I felt so guilty. I know that is stupid on my part. My students are constantly being accused of faking it, manipulating the system etc they get about six hundred a month or less. Many of them live at or below the poverty line and they are, and always will be the first cut.

  18. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    Well … at least Driscoll’s officially letting us know he’s recycling his own material now.

  19. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    btw, apropos of nothing Barry Webb’s commentary on the book of Judges from the NICOT series is a worthy read. Finished it a little bit before Christmas.

  20. Bob says:

    “Wouldn’t a better challenge be to do nothing apart from God for a year?”

    Agreed, it can’t be done. As one preacher I know says, “Do you want to be used by God or walk with Him?”

    On the spanking wife church. At first I was wondering if that was some new kinky religious cult thing. While my mind was in the gutter it is about spousal abuse and those who allow, if not approve, it.

    Every person should read Genesis 4:22-24 and the evil Lamech who is the first mention of more than one wife and how he threatens them with abuse. Good parsing of the scriptures for those who say God “allows” such things.

  21. Why would people reject non believers who live a homosexual lifestyle? Does anyone here do that?

    I have several non believing friends / associates who live adulteress lifestyles … I don;t reject them..

  22. JTK says:

    The Christian wife-spanking thing leaves me shocked and scratching my head; I see and hear some crazy stuff but that takes the cake.

    HOWEVER, why is that lady throwing the “homeschool movement” in with domestic violence? Quite a leap.

    I’ve met my share of independent and rebellious homeschooling Christians who mistrust authority, remain on their owns but I’ve just as many (or more) that are normal, have a good reputation in their communities outside their church and raise well-adjusted kids.

  23. Julie Anne says:

    HOWEVER, why is that lady throwing the “homeschool movement” in with domestic violence? Quite a leap.

    JTK – would “that lady” be me? LOL I’m Julie Anne of SpiritualSoundingBoard.com

    Thanks, Michael for posting the link here. This abuse needs exposure.

    JTK, it’s important to look at the whole picture. I observe patterns of abuse and dissect them. I am a long-time homeschool mom and know the homeschool culture. Since blogging about abuse in churches over the last 3 years, I connect with others who also cover abuse stories. We compare notes, noting doctrinal and church patterns and practices. The common denominator I’ve seen is the homeschool movement. Does it mean that homeschooling is bad? No. But for some reason, wife spanking has been occurring within the homeschool movement. When I get e-mails of stories or phone calls, I take more notes. Wife spanking is coming from homeschool circles connected with RC Sproul, Jr. – OPC, CREC churches, family-integrated churches, etc. If I hadn’t received e-mails and phone calls from various sources, I would not have reported it, but the same names and stories kept popping up.

    I’ve been sitting on this info for a while waiting for more people to report it and they have. It was time. I hope and pray that the wives who are being abused will read the post and know that what they are experiencing is not Biblical discipline, but domestic violence.

  24. Steve Wright says:

    Julie Anne – I think homeschooling is way too broad and diverse to speak of a “homeschool culture”. I too was troubled with the linkage to the abuse of women your report is really about.

    Homeschooling, in and of itself, is most definitely a net good. As you said, you yourself are a homeschooling Mom.

    If you know of a certain subset of homeschoolers, like those who follow a certain curriculum or are part of a certain homeschool organization, or listen to some specific homeschool guru, and you have found a connection to spousal abuse then by all means…report on it.

    But the world and our government already gives Christian homeschoolers a lot of grief just for the fact of being Christian homeschoolers – so those within the Body of Christ need to be careful of insinuating there is something untoward with a Christian family that seeks to homeschool.

  25. brian says:

    jtk it is a very very thin slice of the pie and a very small part of the iceberg. From what I have read and some of what was expressed in comments and testimonies. I have heard pastors tell women to go back to a husband that did not spank but he would beat the living hell out of them, choke them cutting off their air, get knocked out, cut, head slammed through the door, pushed through glass windows etc. Of course some of this could be exaggerated but this stuff goes on.

  26. brian says:

    I should qualify I only heard preachers tell women not to leave only in the being smacked upside the head or punched, the other issues were written about or discussed in chat channels. So they could all be exaggerations but this stuff goes on in the non christian world no reason to think it does not go on in the Christian world.

  27. erunner says:

    I let Michael know yesterday I would be doing an article based on a book that has just been released telling the story of a veteran suffering with PTSD who paid $299 to have a christian couple perform an exorcism on him to eliminate his PTSD. I imagine this story will start popping up a bit more as word gets out. Needless to say this troubles me greatly as the potential for all kinds of pain and abuse has probably already taken place as the couple who does this stuff claim to have conducted 5,000 exorcisms. I ran an article on this which you can read by following the link below. The book is titled “Demon Camp” and is getting some rave reviews.

    http://morethancoping.wordpress.com/2014/01/07/can-exorcisms-help-soldiers-with-ptsd/

  28. JTK says:

    “I’ve been sitting on this info for a while waiting for more people to report it and they have. It was time. I hope and pray that the wives who are being abused will read the post and know that what they are experiencing is not Biblical discipline, but domestic violence.”

    Absolutely–may you expose evil and abuse wherever you find it.

    Please (eventually?) learn to be more specific in your writing; there are “separatist” types who homeschool: they know better than everyone else, think THEY and THEY ALONE have all the answers, and mistrust outsiders. Their kids are some of the most intolerant and rebellious people I’ve ever met. And I can imagine that if there is any abuse in their ranks, that those INSIDE such families are in a horrible situation.

    There are many Bible believing Christians that are noble Bereans who are not afraid of the world we live in but try to navigate it wisely. Many of us take our kids out into the marketplace of ideas and are motivated by Jesus’ love to homeschool our kids—NOT because we hate authority, societal institutions or anyone telling us what to do.

    Both often call themselves “Christian” but I have seen a bigger gap in those two types of Christians (who homeschool) than any other within Christianity.

    Julie Anne, as someone who endured abuse, I must warn you: the bitterness that CAN come from experiencing or witnessing abuse can make us hard-hearted to increasingly larger and larger groups of people “like” those who did the abusing. It is a HORRIBLE path.

    Please expose evil where you find it, but *I would appreciate it* if you were more specific and left those of us who are nothing like that who homeschool out of the blanket accusations. Many of us are simply trying to be more effective in our child-rearing, NOT hide things; many of us even expose abuse where we find it.

  29. JTK says:

    brian says:
    January 7, 2014 at 11:27 pm
    “jtk it is a very very thin slice of the pie and a very small part of the iceberg. From what I have read and some of what was expressed in comments and testimonies. I have heard pastors tell women to go back to a husband that did not spank but he would beat the living hell out of them, choke them cutting off their air, get knocked out, cut, head slammed through the door, pushed through glass windows etc”

    If anyone is reading this today and that kind of stuff is happening to you,
    FLEE. As quickly as you can.

    Call 911.

    Do not endure abuse alone–that is NOT God’s will for your life.

    Everyone on PP will affirm that.

  30. In reference to #28

    PTSD is something that is very real. When a young person is stripped down in bootcamp by a GI and then rebuilt in the military model there is always the potential for PTSD down the road.

    These young people have seen things in combat situations that no young person should ever be experiencing. Bullets screaming and ricocheting with angry whines all around and fellow combatants falling with wounds or death. Being aware of the overwhelming fear as one’s own heart is beating so hard and fast in the heat of battle that one’s chest is heaving unbelievably as adrenalin surges through the body.

    Becoming aware of the impossible task given and the futility of the task. Then eventually returning home to the states where no one seems to care or even want to hear about what they had just been through. Returning to a world oblivious to the violent world that they had just experienced. A world etched in their memories that keeps tormenting after the fact.

    Symptoms of PTSD can vary from person to person. Often times showing up in forms of depression, anxiety, alcohol problems and more.

    For this couple to diagnosis PTSD as a case of needing ‘exorcism’ is an over simplification of a complex mental health issue. I wonder if they are charging a fee for their exorcism services?

    There could quite possibly be demon influences or in the worst case scenario possession. Not all sicknesses come from Satan. But in most cases of PTSD it is a matter of the trauma suffered in battle and the coping mechanisms related to the trauma. Memories that will last a life time, unless the Lord intervene through His great mercy and grace. There is always the hope of that God will intervene and end the torment.

    We certainly have this hope as we search the scriptures and find gems like this one…
    2 Timothy 1:7
    For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

    Getting prayer and the laying on of hands of the presbytery can go a long way in the healing process no doubt.

    James 5:14
    Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:

    Young valiant survivor do you have PTSD?

    https://www.militarymentalhealth.org/screening/default.aspx

    Then quick, get you to the elders of your local church and have them pray over you and anoint you with oil in the name of the Lord. If they won’t do it then go elsewhere where they will. May God’s blessings be upon you and overtake you, bringing you relief and healing in Jesus name.

    Jeremiah 8:22
    Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there?

    Jesus Christ is the great physican.

    Isaiah 53:5
    But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

    There is healing at the cross of Christ.

    Christ is a wonderful physician; he heals by taking the sicknesses of his people upon himself, by bearing their sins, and being wounded and bruised for them, and by his enduring blows, and suffering death itself for them. The Targum is,

    “when we obey his words, our sins will be forgiven us;”

    but forgiveness is not through our obedience, but the blood of Christ.

    In Luke 4:18 Jesus came “to heal the brokenhearted” referring to the alleviating of heartaches. Also In Mt.13:15, the healing is in reference to salvation (Jn.12:40; Acts28:27)

    The second part of the verse of Isaiah 53:5 reads, “But He was wounded (pierced) for our transgressions (Breaking the law), he was bruised (crushed, punished) for our iniquities (sins); the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.”

    This is in reference to our transgressions and sins being removed at the cross. The Bible states that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin, not healing for sickness.

    Revelation 1:5 “To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood.” “…the life of the flesh is in the blood…it is the blood that maketh atonement for the soul (Lev. 17:11)

    1 Peter 2:24 “who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness– by whose stripes you were healed.”

    Jesus while He was physically on earth healed people physically. Because of His death His healing is applied to our sins for those who accept His sacrifice.

    Today Jesus heals through His death, (the atonement) and through His present ministry of intercession.

    Bringing those with PTSD to Christ will bring healing and the alleviation of the torment of PTSD.

  31. Sarah says:

    I enjoyed reading JJS’s post on wordsmithery just after reading the post about, er, reading. I am a book nerd. I consider the authors more my friends than half of my real-life friends. When I am in pain, I often turn to familiar books and find comfort and guidance…and friendship.

    I can remember when I first read Chaim Potok, and the realization that I had read something powerful.

    I can remember when I first read Madeleine L’Engle’s non-fiction, and then devoured her Crosswick’s Journal.

    I can remember reading C.S. Lewis and being far more drawn to his letters than anything.

    I can remember when I first read Bonhoeffer and I had to take my time because the whole of his story was so overwhelming…and I began to want to know more of the “small” stories of the Holocaust.

    I could go on and on…with Buechner and Merton and Wendell Berry, with Charles Williams and Tolkien and Kierkegaard and many more.

    The point is (sorry, I’m rambling…not enough coffee this morning to make me concise). I have learned to love to read, and in that reading I have grown and been enlarged spiritually and emotionally and intellectually.

    Now…now I sit and homeschool my boys and soon Maddie. And I read the connections of abuse and home school. Julie Anne is not alone in her concerns about the strains of the Home School Movement where abuse is fertile…and yet.

    The kids down the street deal with bullies at the bus stop. I’ve read several stories in our area in the last year of students who have been in sexual relationships with teachers. Abuse? Yes. There have been a multitude of stories of the failures of the educational system, and of course we could throw in the stories of school shootings just for good measure…because the school situation is ripe for abuse.

    I’m not trying to be snotty. What I am trying to say is that sitting in my home and teaching my children from my situation of love of reading they are immersed in a situation of love and of awareness of the value of the written word. They are immersed in a situation of challenge of being guided by parents who do not simply want to educate them, but who want to introduce them to a love of learning…a situation that is, I would argue, the opposite of abuse.

    And I have many friends who home school in the same way.

    To Julie Anne’s credit, I know several families who make me cringe. I know some who simply are making bad choices and isolating themselves in the midst of those bad choices. Home school provides them the opportunity for that isolation and the children pay…and those of us in that “community” do the best we can to draw them out and to speak to them. Others I know who would fall more soundly in the abuse category.

    Kinda like the churches we talk about. Kinda like businesses where sexual harassment happens. Kinda like schools. Homes.

    My point after this long rambling post? I have had the benefit of being immersed in the world of words from people who speak with elegance and grace and tell of what it is to be human. From Buechner who grew up in the wake of a father who committed suicide, to L’Engle who endured boarding schools and isolation, to Bonhoeffer who suffered more than we can imagine….they understood pain and suffering, and yet they witnessed God in the midst of that and they spoke of it. And I was changed by their words in the midst of the minimal suffering of my life.

    Every life, every situation, is open to abuse or to beauty. That is the wonder and the horror of our broken, and yet hope-filled world. Every leader we admire is filled with the frailties of the leader we despise…they have made different choices and we rejoice with the one and we call to account the other.

    We can lump all in the Home School Movement together, as we can all in the CC Movement, or all the Catholic priests, or the coaches or the frat houses, or my home and yours.

    Or we can look at each moment of abuse and weep and be righteously enraged and call it to account. We can bind up the victims and we can call out the abuser and not only call them out…but we can cry out for their healing as well. We can stop lumping the groups together and writing them off and we can realize that every situation that contains a sinful human is ripe for abuse.

  32. Josh Hamrick says:

    Wonderful, Sarah. Not a wasted word.

  33. erunner says:

    Davidsurfer51, This couple charges $299 for their services. The tragedy of PTSD is there are scores of veterans who are taking their lives as a result of what they can’t endure. Their actions can bring chaos to a family as they struggle along many times not seeking help because of the stigma attached to their illness.

    I believe God can heal anyone of anything but I don’t see the miraculous that often. When He doesn’t heal then we have various means to attempt to help these men and women. Medication and therapy are part of that as well as prayer, spiritual counsel/discipleship, etc.

    “Bringing those with PTSD to Christ will bring healing and the alleviation of the torment of PTSD.”

    I have to disagree here David. Although I believe there is healing available for those who come to Christ the reality is many are not healed and their illness very well may run its course or healing is found with the passage of time and the help of others who rally around them.

    Again, it’s a dangerous thing to put the idea out there that PTSD can be cured by exorcism. The damage of such antics can make things much worse. Imagine the damage when one in desperation undergoes an exorcism and nothing happens. Imagine the idea that a Christian needs exorcism can do when believers can’t be inhabited by demons. The potential for further damage is high and cause someone to completely lose hope. Thanks for your thoughtful response.

  34. Erunner,

    As you yourself know, when my son and i came over to your own home and anointed you personally with oil and prayed over you one Sunday, there came a peace of soul to you at the least. This peace that only Jesus Christ can give is a healing balm in and of its self even if the disorder remaines.

    We never do exorcism nor are we called to do as such or suggest such to anyone. We leave that to others who may be called to that ministry. We only apply James 5:14 in simplicity and enjoy the peace that always comes when we do.

    You are certainly right, it is a very dangerous thing to think that PTSD can be cured by exorcism. But no damage has ever been done by anointing with oil and praying over anyone…ever…

    As Jesus Christ has said:
    Luke 18:1
    And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;

    I and my son will continue to anoint those who are suffering with oil and pray over them. All without charge or any shenanigans of any sort as you know. We can always have hope that perhaps Jesus will heal, but in our own experience every single person that we have ever prayed over gets the peace of Jesus that the world can not give and the world can not take away. Always! (Said with joy and confidence)

    I applaud you for your strength and fortitude, as one who has suffered, in helping others. You are an incredible man of God and it was such a pleasure to meet you!

    David Sloane

  35. erunner says:

    David, I have absolutely nothing against anointing with oil and prayer. In fact I believe it’s biblical to do so.

    I’ve experienced a believer trying to cast demons from me. I’ve been told my faith is weak. A former pastor told me I chose to be the way I am and then told me I was in sin. This was after he told me schizophrenia and bipolar disorder didn’t exist and were just excuses for bad behavior. He also communicated other things to me which I won’t go into here. Needless to say we left the church. I forwarded a message to Michael that he listened to that substantiates what I have shared.

    My goal is to offer hope and encouragement to those who suffer with mental illness as so many are without them. It’s an uncomfortable topic and sadly parts of the church are still ignorant concerning these things. So when I see a story as what I linked to I do so in hopes nobody will be damaged by this type of nonsense. People will do a lot of things when they are desperate, thus the Benny Hinn’s etc. of the world flourish.

    So please understand I was not trying to diminish anything you shared. God bless! Allan

  36. Jim says:

    I think the disgusting wife spanking crap is more fringe patriarchy than homeschool related. While fringe elements in both “movements” sometimes overlap, I found much more normalcy in HS groups I was involved in, compared to the patriarchy folks I’ve interacted with. Nut job homeschoolers are outliers in my area, while I’ve never met anyone normal in the patriarchy crowd.

  37. Nonnie says:

    “Nut job homeschoolers are outliers in my area, while I’ve never met anyone normal in the patriarchy crowd.” Agree! There are a LOT of excellent, balanced people who are homeschooling. The patriarchy crowd….yikes!

  38. Xenia says:

    Sarah’s post is so very true.

  39. I must admit that I know nothing about home schoolers or the patriarchy movement Perhaps I need to get out more. 🙂 I have a question based on something Steve said. He identified folks as Christian home schoolers and problems with the government etc.

    My question, are there other home schoolers or is that just a religious phenomenon?

  40. Jim says:

    MLD,

    A lot of people don’t trust the Govt to educate their kids. There are secular HS groups. It’s not necessarily an “evil govt” view, but rather, “there are better choices for my kids”.

  41. Jim – thanks.
    “There are secular HS groups.”
    Are these totally schooled outside of the public schools … it’s just the way you said ‘groups’ that confuses me

  42. Sarah says:

    MLD…there are a few Classical Home School groups around here. They try to follow what they call the Trivium in teaching…focus on classics and debate and Latin, etc. They are not religious, but there are tutorials or ‘groups’ where they get together and have some classes or field trips, etc.

    When we say ‘groups’ it tends to mean groups of families who are in co-ops or associations based either on religious thinking, teaching format or curriculum.

    Does that help? There are so many ways to home school now it is a bit staggering.

  43. Sarah says:

    Thanks, Josh and Xenia!

  44. Sarah says:

    Oh…and just for a little more info, every home schooler has to be under an umbrella school or some organization. This can be a private school, or you can keep records through the public school. Home school kids also have to do the state testing, so there is some check on where the kids are at with their education.

  45. Sarah thanks,
    I know that I have read of some charter schools that are classical.

    My kids went on and off to Christian schools depending on their wants – but we never considered home schooling … I had trouble enough teaching them to keep their rooms clean.

  46. j2theperson says:

    Is it only homeschoolers in your state that need to be under an umbrella school, Sarah? I don’t think that’s true in Wisconsin. We have very accommodating laws surrounding homeschooling. I was homeschooled during highschool and the state was never involved.

    I also know several people who are or are contemplating homeschooling their children not because of any religious conviction but because studies indicate children who are homeschooled tend to perform better than those in “traditional” schools. Homeschooling is not a uniquely christian thing by any means.

  47. Jim says:

    I don’t remember the law in Florida, but my kids had to be a part of an umbrella school for records needed for college. A sweet deal in FL at the time was dual enrollment during their junior/senior high school years. The kids took community college classes, and graduated high school with an AA.

  48. Sarah says:

    J2…I’m not sure, and I’m fairly new to the home school world as a participant although the vast majority of our friends here have had their kids at home from the start. I know most of my friends from other states also have to have an umbrella school or some type of organization for record keeping, as Jim said. The umbrella school can be private, and there are umbrella schools here that are actually “home school schools”…in other words, tutorials where the kids can take classes, but they are not schools in the traditional sense.

    We do have to have records available, however, through one of these sources for attendance grades and testing.

  49. Steve Wright says:

    I did not mean to imply that only Christians homeschool. In fact, it is becoming more and more popular amongst both other religions as well as for purely secular reasons. Which is why it is such a threat to the state.

  50. Julie Anne says:

    I’m pushed for time and can’t respond individually, but I got the gist of the conversation. While I understand people don’t want to be attached to such a broad label – – I get it – – I’m a homeschooling mom, I was identifying a common denominator that I have seen time and again. It is a pattern. Are there homeschooling dads who do not spank their wives? Of course. We could say the same thing about CC and SGM churches – not all CC churches have a Bob Grenier and not every SGM has pastors who overlooked blatant abuses.

    People may not like finding these kinds of patterns or essentially, profiling within their personal camps, but it can be helpful. So far, in the circles of people I have covered, I have not seen wife spanking outside of the homeschool movement, so it’s important to note that there is a concentration within both the Patriarchal AND homeschool arenas.

  51. Steve Wright says:

    I have not seen wife spanking outside of the homeschool movement, so it’s important to note that there is a concentration within both the Patriarchal AND homeschool arenas.
    ———————————

    So are all wife-spankers men with younger children of educational age?

    Does wife-spanking stop once the kids are old enough to no longer be schooled?

    “Concentration” is a pretty direct word that usually means more than a couple fringe outliers.

    Any wife spankers that don’t read the Bible? So is that also a legitimate connection to make? Why not report that every wife spanker has a connection to a reading of the Bible? Because of course there is no cause/effect connection whatsoever.

    My point, Julie Anne, is not to discourage your investigative reporting, but rather to ensure your reporting has greater credibility because if I did not know you, and was reading that blog article and you for the very first time, the moment you tried to make a connection to homeschooling is the moment I would have said “This lady does not have a clue and is probably making all this stuff up.”

    Homeschooling is very positive for this country and it is under attack from very powerful people in government and their lobbyists. We in the Body of Christ do not need to give any ammo to our enemies.

    And yeah, I have homeschooled for 11 years and probably have another 11 years ahead of me with my second child who just started. I know nothing of any “homeschool culture” because I am not involved in any groups, don’t read anything about how to homeschool or any such thing. I just do it. I am hardly an exception, and in fact know several people at our church very much like me – good families, teaching their children, and people that would never in a million years endorse the abuse your article is about.

    You either see this or you don’t.

  52. Xenia says:

    I have not seen wife spanking outside of the homeschool movement, <<<<

    Outside of the world of patriarchal homeschoolers there are people who enjoy spanking as a fetish. So that would be a 2nd group.

  53. Xenia says:

    Google “wife spanking” and you get the first group and Google “spanking fetish” and you get the 2nd group, not that I recommend it!

  54. Xenia says:

    I suspect the patriarchal types fit more into the 2nd group than they would like to admit….

  55. Michael says:

    Steve,

    I simply don’t understand this.
    If you read through her articles there isn’t an attack on homeschooling in totality, but real lines are drawn from organizations that are very influential in some parts of the country to aberrant and abusive practices that should be addressed.
    Just as in CC or SGM it would seem to me that the people that would most want abuses addressed would be the people most affected by such reports…not shooting at the messenger for reporting them.
    In my opinion, Julie Anne is the best at what she does…and there are some issues I don’t agree with her on, but I certainly support her efforts.
    I wish I could send Trey to Sarah’s house for school…

  56. Sarah says:

    Michael, I think Steve and I and others were just suggesting that home school is such a broad group, it would be better to emphasize the specific of homeschoolers AND this patriarchal movement.

    Homeschooling takes some significant hits, some justified, but as a whole something like this wife spanking would be seen as abuse. We’re just asking for a little tighter language; it did come across to me as well as a generalization against home schoolers at large.

    I’d love to have Trey!

  57. Michael says:

    Sarah,

    The more I thought about it the more I know that Trey and I both would learn stuff at your school… 🙂

  58. Steve Wright says:

    Outside of the world of patriarchal homeschoolers there are people who enjoy spanking as a fetish. So that would be a 2nd group.
    ——————————————————–
    Yes Xenia. And we had a link and discussion on that very topic here at this blog months ago. I think Scott (trucker-Scott) is the one that got the ball rolling on it one day. And I do recall that it was a weird hybrid of people talking about wife “discipline” but also about the sexual pleasures of it all as well.

    Michael – Line me up 100 homeschoolers and how many do you think spank the wives. Less than one percent, right? I would argue likely less than one-one hundreth of one percent. That’s a “concentration” worth mentioning? In a time when we have enough enemies from the world on this subject who want to make homeschoolers by simple definition guilty of some form of child abuse.

    There is a stronger concentration of wife spankers to blonde hair or green eyes, (or like I said, Bible reading) but clearly no cause and effect.

    How many wife spankers own guns? How many are part of the tax-revolt movement? How many grow their own food?

    These are obviously people with an issue about proper societal behavior and more importantly about the laws of the land. So sure, they yank their kids out of schools too.

    There is no “homeschool culture” anymore than there is a simplistic “Christian culture” as the diversity of people and practice is far too great to speak in such generalities.

  59. j2theperson says:

    ***Michael, I think Steve and I and others were just suggesting that home school is such a broad group, it would be better to emphasize the specific of homeschoolers AND this patriarchal movement.***

    I agree. I think that homeschooling is just too broad of a label because there are so many different types of people who homeschool–a large number of whom have nothing to do with the patriarchal movement and who are not even christian. There’s a big difference between saying “this problem is associated with homeschoolers who are part of the patriarchal movement,” as opposed to “this problem is associated with homeschoolers.”

  60. Xenia says:

    Frankly, if both spouses enjoy this type of thing, what business is it of ours?

  61. Michael says:

    j2,

    “There’s a big difference between saying “this problem is associated with homeschoolers who are part of the patriarchal movement,” as opposed to “this problem is associated with homeschoolers.”

    That is a good criticism.

  62. Xenia says:

    I was the director of a largish home school support group for years and I insinuated myself into the lives of the weirder ones to make sure everything was ok and I never encountered any family that took the patriarchy thing very seriously and certainly no wife-spankers, unless they were keeping it secret.

  63. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    From what I remember reading on the patriarchy issue years ago the spanking was for discipline, not pleasure.
    That…is sick.

  64. Sarah says:

    Michael … That’s all we were saying. Not that Julie Ann should not criticize or challenge home school in general, but just to tighten the language to clarify it is the overlap of those who homeschool and are part of this patriarchal movement.

    Thanks J2 for making it clearer!

  65. Xenia says:

    #65 Well, that’s what they say.

  66. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    I actually have counseled with a woman in that sort of mess.
    She did not enjoy it.

  67. Steve Wright says:

    Yes. When that link to some lengthy manual about “how to discipline your wife” was brought out here on the blog – I remember it was almost exclusively about the discipline angle, but there were a couple places where the sexual fetish stuff was declared too. Frankly, I had never heard of such a thing from the angle of discipline, but sado-masichism is about as old as time I’m sure.

  68. Xenia says:

    Michael, the enjoyment might be one-sided in many cases.

    Well, like you, I think it’s creepy.

  69. Steve Wright says:

    Having watched every episode of I Love Lucy back in the day likely 100 times – they still are pretty etched on the brain and I remember one episode ending with Ricky pretending to spank Lucy as the laughtrack played and the credits rolled.

  70. Jim says:

    I’ve never met a wife spanker…at least one who would admit it. Was involved in multiple local HS groups for a long time, was in SGM, and know more patriarchy freaks than I’d like to. The P-freaks seem to wear their freakdom on their sleeves, and I’ve had to tell more than one that they were freaks.

    Maybe it’s a regional thing?

  71. no equal perpetrates violence upon an equal

  72. Who am I going to believe is right? G or superman? 🙂

  73. Steve Wright says:

    Wow. I went to Youtube to see if I could find what I thought was an isolated clip only to see that apparently multiple Lucy episodes had the spanking thing AND that Lucy used to beat on Ricky rather frequently too. Plenty of people I guess have the time and desire to put together a clip show on YouTube.

    I need a shower just reading the descriptions.

    This is the same wildly popular sitcom that required twin beds in their bedroom and never used the actual word, pregnant, even thought they wrote multiple episodes around her giving birth. Because that would have been scandalous.

  74. Superman, of course

  75. Jim says:

    Julie Anne,

    You know I respect you and appreciate your work. I haven’t been personally involved in home schooling in a decade or more, as my kids are older.

    I think your #52 missed the mark. SGM was/is a culture that allowed abuse to thrive based on the characteristics of that culture. Hyper authoritarian, legalistic, with a strong oral law, subject to change upon the whims of leadership. The same can be said of patriarchy.

    There is no home school culture. In my experience, the uniting feature is the fact that the families home school.

  76. Xenia says:

    The question to ask is not “why are there so many wife-spankers among the home schoolers” but “why are almost all patriarchal wife-spankers Calvinists?”

  77. “why are almost all patriarchal wife-spankers Calvinists?”

    Because it is pre ordained? 🙂

  78. Jim says:

    I’ll bet they’re all white republicans, too.

  79. Michael says:

    I wondered how long it would take someone to take a shot a Calvinists.
    Longer than I expected, so I guess I should be grateful.

  80. Xenia says:

    I’ll bet they’re all white republicans, too.<<<

    I bet they aren't. I bet quite a few of them are libertarians.

  81. Xenia says:

    Why is it ok to note that all these patriarchal types are homeschoolers but not ok to note that they are Calvinists?

  82. OK, the big question – do more wife spankers wear boxers or tighty whities? Inquiring minds what to know.

  83. Michael says:

    The better question is why am I the only one expected to show respect for traditions other than my own?
    Were there objections and corrections brought to bear on the previous statement?
    We established that the broad brush was wrong in one instance…but there seem to be no brushes too large to whack a Calvinist with.

    So… as I remember, this patriarchal crap came out of dominionism…which has about as much to do with classic Calvinism as I do with being tall.
    The difference is that evidently a very large and popular homeschooling movement was led by one of these dominionists…and abuses followed.

  84. Xenia says:

    Hold it- I didn’t broad brush. I didn’t say all Calvinists were all patriarchal types. I said that most patriarchal types were Calvinists. That is not broad-brushing, that is stating a fact.

  85. Xenia says:

    If you want to say they are not genuine Calvinists, I will accept that.

  86. Jim says:

    Michael,

    My sarcasm was obviously corrective. The slapback came quickly.

    The sad truth here is that the “we are the true church” folks here at PP show no respect for other traditions.

  87. Xenia says:

    Oh Jim, don’t be a boob. I am almost always respectful to everyone here.

    Look, we are talking about a small (small) group of people that almost all (all leaders, as far as I can tell) hold to a particular religious philosophy and I think it is disingenuous to get offended when this obvious fact is brought up.

  88. Michael says:

    Last time I checked I wasn’t in charge of deciding who was “genuine” or not.
    There are great theological differences between dominionism and Classic Calvinism as practiced historically.

  89. Michael says:

    I was corrected…many dominionists are not Calvinists at all.
    Evidently there are different strains there as well.

  90. Xenia says:

    A lot of Pentecostals hold to a type of dominionism.

  91. j2theperson says:

    ***The better question is why am I the only one expected to show respect for traditions other than my own?
    Were there objections and corrections brought to bear on the previous statement?
    We established that the broad brush was wrong in one instance…but there seem to be no brushes too large to whack a Calvinist with.***

    I don’t have the ability to correct broad brushing against Calvinism. It’s a confusing belief system that still makes no sense to me eventhough my dad is a Calvinist and it’s been explained to me many times.

    I do, however, know something about homeschooling and have sufficient understanding to correct broadbrushing against that.

    It’s not a matter of not showing respect for different traditions. It’s a matter of not knowing enough.

  92. Julie Anne says:

    There’s a big difference between saying “this problem is associated with homeschoolers who are part of the patriarchal movement,” as opposed to “this problem is associated with homeschoolers.”

    Thank you, I like that wording and will take another look at my article. I am not and will not ever be perfect at communicating. But I hope in the zeal for defending the broad word of homeschooling, we have not lost sight of the real message: wives are getting physically abused by their husbands who claim this is a Biblical responsibility for husbands to spank/discipline them.

    Homeschooling in general is very broad, but the term “Homeschool Movement” (a commonly known term in the blogosphere) refers to a sub-culture of homeschoolers with ideologies such as Patriarchy, Courtship, Modesty teachings, Purity teachings, full-quiver, etc.

    Those ideologies are foreign to secular homeschoolers. So when I mention Homeschool Movement, it really is far more defined than “homeschooling” in general. I hope that makes sense.

    To be clear, the wife spanking I was discussing in my article was not about sexual pleasure (although maybe that is a side benefit for the husband – BLECH to any man who derives sexual pleasure in exerting his control and beats his wife). It is used as a method of discipline just as spanking is done for children who misbehave.

    In the cases that were told to me, a wife showed a bad attitude or talked back to her husband and the husband sent the wife to the bedroom to wait for him. The husband then went to the bedroom and the witnesses could hear the slaps of the belt, only assuming the wife was getting hit by a belt. My witness told me that when the wife finally came out of the bedroom, her face was all puffy from crying.

  93. Julie Anne says:

    Why is it ok to note that all these patriarchal types are homeschoolers but not ok to note that they are Calvinists?

    I’ll say it. 100% of the cases I am familiar with are happening in Reformed churches. Does that mean that wife spanking doesn’t happen in Arminian churches? Probably not. But there seems to be some prevalence in: Patrarchy, homeschooling, family-integrated Reformed churches.

  94. Erunner #36

    Dang! I had no idea you went through so much. I found you to be a man with a lot of faith. And I am amazed that anyone even thought that you could be having a demon. That is so off base and insensitive.

    We had a great time as guest in your home and left filled with the Holy Spirit and rejoicing that we had met a brother from in here who was Spirit filled.

    Seriously, my son and I got so much from our visit with you. I was blessed when i found your blog and saw more of who you are and what the lord does through you.

    My son and I drove away from your home rejoicing. We had just fellowshipped with a new brother in the Lord whom we had worshiped God with. And man did God fall upon all of us while in your home. I realized that all of us were in need of His presence and we thought that we were praying over you mainly but it turned out that all of us were equally ministered to by Him.

    It was indeed a divine appointment for all of us who were present. I love it when that happens!

    Often times it is best to leave a church if your not getting fed and or if you are getting abused.

    I was in a church for years where there was what I will call the “Holy Huddle.” A group of individuals who seemed to be dead set against me and my friends because we advocated the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. They were such a thorn.

    Every time I stepped out in faith and exercised my gifts in the Lord, there they were to quench me and spread dirt around about me. They required absolute perfection. Stepping out in faith and trying to operate in the gifts of the Holy Spirit is not something one does perfectionately initially. But over time we grow into our gifting in the Lord by reason of usage.

    Finally I left without ever looking back; best thing I ever did.

    I am glad your here and always enjoy reading your post, especially since I had such a great time in your home and know you better.

    You are much needed by those who suffer and are misunderstood. God does use you in ways you know of and also in ways you know not of yet. I was sent to your home to be ministered to and so was my son.

    Your family.

  95. Julie Anne says:

    Sarah: I’ve homeschooled in five states and none of those states required an umbrella school. I was on my own and submitted whatever necessary paperwork to the local school district. Each state has their own rules/laws.

  96. JTK says:

    Martin Luther’s Disciple says:
    January 8, 2014 at 9:10 am
    “I must admit that I know nothing about home schoolers or the patriarchy movement Perhaps I need to get out more. 🙂 I have a question based on something Steve said. He identified folks as Christian home schoolers and problems with the government etc.

    My question, are there other home schoolers or is that just a religious phenomenon?”

    I’ve read 75% of modern homeschoolers in the US are evangelical Christians.

    There are quite a few “unschoolers” and other “nuttier” varieties in the “liberal” camp.

    And A BUNCH of homeschoolers who’s kids “don’t fit” in schools, often because of their physical violence. And the parents don’t know what to do with them. These are the scary ones in my opinion. And increasingly, they wind up in private Christian schools.

  97. Wow, looks like a court has decided that leaving fake reviews on Yelp isn’t cool.
    Looks like now, that you might have to prove that you actually may have to prove a bad recommendation.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jan/8/court-rules-yelp-website-must-identify-seven-negat/?page=all#pagebreak

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