Paige Patterson got terminated, Roseanne got cancelled.
Just when the drama from all that began to recede, a new article came out saying horrible things about a popular Christian comedian.
We barely had time to congratulate ourselves on our moral excellence in the first two cases before a third fell into our pious laps.
Now we must quickly frame incendiary tweets to make sure that the new meat is publicly shamed beyond redemption and he is unable to make a living and hopefully, unable to buy groceries without a disguise.
It’s not enough to publicly call people to repentance anymore…they must be destroyed.
We’ll go back however many decades is necessary to find reasons to do so.
Redemption is not our problem.
We have our standards.
If someone offends you, ruin them thoroughly.
Now, Patterson needed to resign and that culture needs to change.
Any place abuse is enabled, a light must be shined upon it.
Roseanne needed called out for her mouth, but the last time I checked TV’s enabled you to change the channel.
The “Christian” comedian is accused of being a bad guy, but his crimes have not been fully disclosed.
It won’t matter…accusations are enough these days.
When I called out people here, the objective was to call people to repentance and hope for reconciliation with God and man.
Systems needed to be changed…attitudes needed to be changed.
They still do.
However, advocating for change is different from wanting to destroy people and wipe the memory of their existence from the earth.
Mob rule is great as long as you’re part of the mob…but when the mob runs out of targets they look among themselves for one.
It could be me…it could be you.
Maybe you have lived a pristine life free of conflict and sin, but I barely get through each day without shipwreck.
The only standard I meet is that I’m a pretty good repenter…because I’ve had a ton of practice.
When I claim the moral high ground it’s with fear and trembling and the knowledge that high ground induces vertigo in me.
Social media enables to us to ruin people more quickly than we can stack their scorned carcasses.
Scorn is the end of that process.
It supposed to be the beginning of the process for the church.
If you see me on that stack remind me of Jesus…and I’ll do the same for you.
Redemption is His specialty.
I’ve heard He’s not on Twitter…
Make your own application…
I was on twitter for all of two weeks and decided/got honest with myself that I was on twitter so that I could “pile on” Trump and his supporters and get “followers” so I could feel better about myself. Neither motivations proved successful and enlightening, except to reveal my vanity. I’ll be honest that I still troll twitter sites and some blogs in order to read others attempts to pile on the rage-du-jour, but recently have decided to no longer go to one particular Christian blog (one that deals with church abuse issues) because all I read is piling on and negativity and speculation. I need help and repentance.
There are real situations and people that need called out.
I’ve done it many times.
The hope is always for repentance, reconciliation and some sort of restoration…and in some cases the need to protect people.
The new attitude (that I have been guilty of as well) is just to ruin people.
It may serve a purpose in the short term , but in the long run, we’ll all get burned.
True Michael, and in today’s climate, every single time I look at the news, someone new is getting burned, and their supporters cry foul every time, and their opponents and drooling over fresh meat.
I agree that abuses need to be called out like you said, and for me personally I am trying to retreat my involvement in some forums (not here, but I am committing to no longer piling on Trump without praying for him) for my soul’s health sake, and the fact that it get’s tiring following the latest online rage.
In general, I don’t like online mobs. In Paige’s situation – live by the mob, die by the mob.
This definitely can be a fine line sometimes that’s hard to discern when and where and how we call out people or wrongful situations. One of the big keys would seem to be our attitude and intent.
I have done my fair share of calling out wrongs here at this blog, on Facebook, and in personal conversation. Being that I am right in the middle of evangelicalism, I do perceive some blindness to and/or acceptance of wrongs that occur with some regularity within the evangelical culture. I try to bring a light to these things to hopefully help people realize that they aren’t good and that things need to change. I don’t know if I’m often very successful.
But I must be careful that I’m not calling out wrongs just for the purposes of condemnation or to join in on the piling on. I think that most times I am able to avoid this mindset, but I do sometimes fail.
I think you do very well…just should do so more often… 🙂
Trying to increase my troubles again, now are ya? 🙂
More and more these days, I’m learning to live a lifestyle of repentance. There, but for the grace of God…
Who knew that Twitter and Facebook and video tape would be the way every idle word would be judged?
The defense of Patterson…
For the record, that is from the stolen files that were taken from Southeastern after Paige left. Even with the publishing od a rape victim’s private letters, there is still nothing that refutes her account. Only more attempt to smear the victim.
I wondered idk that’s where they came from…thank you.
I wondered if that’s where they came from…thank you.
So true all of this is. I’m with Dan from Georgia in that I do look for places to want to pile on. I found this blog in the desire to do just that with what I encountered with CC mob bosses. However, I am also with Josh that if you live by the mob die by the mob. This is so true with the CC elite big time bosses of CCA but I won’t mention names but everybody knows them. I am tempted to want to pile on till the day I die because once you are ousted from their loving “family” you are toast with no jelly. I just want them to taste their own medicine. But I know they could never last a second eating their own medicine so I do my best to educate those being sucked into this darkness.
@10 I appreciate that link. Getting a rounded story is helpful. We are determined to shame everyone to the grave these days.
I am in a strange position. I totally reject the treatment Patterson is receiving because I know that the mob rule has changed our culture and our public conversation so radically that the truth is lost in the need to shape the truth for public consumption. However, I am no fan of Paige Patterson because he stands at the point of the sword that ruined a thousand denominational servants lives in the SBC conflicts. He is a man with blood on his sword and he is suffering the same kind of unfair humiliation that he gladly dealt to his theological and philosophical opponents in the 20 year SBC wars.
Nevertheless, I have stated elsewhere we are not ennobled by succumbing to public pressure to do the apparently politically correct thing.
If every person was judged on advice given to parishioners in years past by present standards we would all suffer some humiliation I think.
We are in a godawful mess gotcha politics rule for now. No end in sight.
No to open old wounds, but I remember when the so-called documentary film on Larry Norman came out, everyone piled on… Then we heard the interviews were heavily edited. Some of those interviewed said other exculpatory material was not included. After a few years and using primary source material a book then appears that tells a very different story about Larry’s life.
I’m not saying that either is wholly right or wholly wrong, but to quote the song, “you better watch what you’re doing”…
I’m not sure the Church can afford a mob mentality these days.
The church has always had a mob mentality, and like every thing else, it has grown exponentially with the Internet. The problem is a mob mentality doesn’t produce the fruit of the Spirit.
I have very mixed feelings about all this.
Perhaps this is a case where one is reaping what he has sown. If you live by the sword, you’ll die by the sword. That’s one way of looking at this, which really isn’t gracious. But this applies to the individual and to the church as a whole. And we really wonder why the “nones” are growing and our churches are shrinking? Are we entering into yet an even darker age, or is this the emergence of a nouveau renaissance? By the measure that we judge, we will be judged.
There are some just causes out there that need to be championed, but such a revolution needs to be carefully navigated to insure that we don’t end up with our own version of France’s Reign of Terror.
#17 and all the comments before have me thinking…
Is it a pastor’s job to break his people free from group think, from the mob mentality? … Has God tasked us with storming the bastille or the gates of hell?
It only takes one God fearing man (generic) to do the latter….
I don’t know that our internet pile-on mobs are any worse than the back stabbing, hard to pin down, let alone source, gossips of the old days….
Maybe the difference is, if we look, we can spot the wolves by their fangs now? If so, what do we do next?
For me, twitter is just a great alt-news feed. FB is for pics of my grandkids. I have nothing to say on the internet, except for the occasional comment here (lucky you), although I read here every day. Googleing your name and finding nothing interesting is a beautiful thing, as is having no idea who the Christian comedian is.
When we say “mob” mentality and we say “everyone piled on” we need to realize that we are talking about maybe .0001% of just the American church who comment on any single topic. So if 50 tweet something, big deal.
Ask at church this week “who knows this Christian comedian?” or “who knows or remembers the Larry Norman issues?” No one knows and no one cares except the “insiders.”
One last thing – when we say the church has a mob mentality, are you speaking of your specific local church body to be included?
Duane @ 16, many of the old wounds have never healed properly and a large part is because of the corrupt systems in place and the men that perpetuate them. The wounds fester simply because the cowards in leadership who won’t dare stoop down from their lofty nest out of fear of losing power. So it ends of like Patterson. If only the CC CCA mob bosses would take notice and humble themselves but I’m not holding my breath. The best thing anyone can do is run from this kind of leadership and never look back.
The SWBTS Trustees put out the other side to Patterson’s other side: https://swbts.edu/news/releases/statement-kevin-ueckert-chairman-board-trustees/#.WxHYwT8_xo4.facebook
Clarification to my post #1…the website I referred to that covers church abuse issues…I have the utmost respect for the blog hosts and think they are doing a good work. I just had to pull away from the comments…wasn’t helpful to me.
Am I wrong or does the statement make you think there is more to come?
Duane, yes, there is more.
Patterson has sown the wind and now he’s reaping the whirlwind.
There’s no smarmy theological nice way to say it.
Karma and her sister Comeuppance are relentless that way and they do what they do until Themis’ balances are reset.
Isn’t the Patterson issue just an employment issue? I see no religious, church or Christian violation.
“In addition, as previously disclosed, a female student at SWBTS reported to Dr. Patterson that she had been raped in 2015. Police were notified of that report. But in connection with that allegation of rape, Dr. Patterson sent an email (the contents of which were shared with the Board on May 22) to the Chief of Campus Security in which Dr. Patterson discussed meeting with the student alone so that he could “break her down” and that he preferred no officials be present. ”
If that’s not a Christian violation, then I have no desire to be a “Christian”…
“But in connection with that allegation of rape, Dr. Patterson sent an email (the contents of which were shared with the Board on May 22) to the Chief of Campus Security in which Dr. Patterson discussed meeting with the student alone so that he could “break her down” and that he preferred no officials be present. The attitude expressed by Dr. Patterson in that email is antithetical to the core values of our faith and to SWBTS.”
I think it goes beyond an employment issue…
That’s a bit spooky…
I was just about to post that we aren’t in the same room… 🙂
So under the exact same conditions, this would be a less egregious situation if it happened at Harvard or Colorado State?
Even if both university Presidents were also named Paige Patterson (just to keep the scenario the same) you would see less violation because no Christian policy was broken in a secular setting?
The Presidents at Harvard and Colorado State are not representing Christ in any way.
So would you petition that his local home congregation should place him under discipline?
I have no way of knowing the state of his heart or whether he is repentant.
What he said and did was wicked ( and that’s just a part of his sin)…I sure as hell wouldn’t let him in a pulpit.
“What he said and did was wicked”
But if the Harvard or Colorado State guy did and said the exact same thing that is not ‘wicked’?
I see what his seminary did was correct – as an employment issue – they fired him. By the same token, I think his local church should look into putting him under discipline if this is indeed a church / Christian thing – which misrepresenting Christ is (as this would actually be a public denial of Jesus.)
At least that is how I see it.
“But if the Harvard or Colorado State guy did and said the exact same thing that is not ‘wicked’?”
I didn’t say that…and I resent the notion that I would.
That wasn’t a challenge. I want to know what Patterson did in the workplace that was different than the Harvard – Colorado State guys.
Like I said, if Patterson is out publicly denying Christ (misrepresenting him) – that is an issue for the church – not the employer.
Actually, much of what Patterson did could be considered criminal and he may be required to answer for that
The seminary is an avowedly Christian institution with a statement of faith and an expected code of conduct, both based upon biblical “core values”. Owing to this, while this is certainly an “employment issue” (as you put it), it is also an assault or betrayal of those core values which the institution claims to represent.
I think you are mixing apples and oranges…
One other thing,
It looks like the wife of Patterson’s chief of staff released some student information on her blog, and there are files missing from SEBTS from Patterson’s time there. This was mentioned in the earlier SWBTS press release.
If student information was released without their consent and unauthorized people had access to that information, etc then that is potentially a CRIMINAL federal violation of FEPRA, as well as other record-keeping, privacy, and ID theft issues.
Remember, one of things that got Chuck Colson sent to prison was misuse of 1 FBI file….
I am able to separate the issues. The seminary handled this strictly as an employment issue. I say bravo.
I am the one calling on his local church to investigate and see if he needs to be put under discipline for public anti Christian behavior – and hold open the option that this could turn into a criminal matter.
Personally I am no more offended by this because it took place at a Christian institution.
Any objections I had to his removal are banished by the statement about President PP wanting to “break her down” in a meeting by himself.
Every Idle Word Dread
Yes, I must have missed that particular class in pastoral counseling…
SWBTS is in need of a thorough house cleaning as i follow this thread… some people should never ever be given positions of power… this man looks as i read this thread to have been a grandstander of the worst sort… when will the Church get over thinking that we function best with flawed men in leadership? Give me a boring, plodding humble, God fearing, lover of the Word of God to lead and teach over this guy – any day.
i once attended an Inter-Varsity Camp in my college days – we studied the book of Nehemiah under a British surgeon – dry, no joking asides to keep our attention and make him look “with it.” We came away from that camp so full of the influence of the Holy Spirit… i truly grieve for the Church today as it seems to cater to those only mildly interested in the riches of the Faith. We live like lichen instead of oaks… errr something like that….
Em, was your speaker Martin Lloyd-Jones?
The thing with Paige Patterson is he wasn’t installed to be a humble preacher. He was hired to run a large SBC institution and to be the major fund raiser – and there is nothing wrong with that.
I am sure that his errors in judgment that led to all of this was to protect the institution.
Martyn Lloyd Jones? No, i think Inter Varsity Christian Fellowship leaned more toward John Stott
The surgeon who taught was a practicing physician in England…. The camp was on Catalina Island in about 1955….. Nothing like an early morning quiet time with a longhorn steer debating whether to go around you or thru you…. ?
Em, the reason I thought Lloyd Jones is he was a physician from England.