Things I Think
1. “When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded? But you yourselves wrong and defraud—even your own brothers!”(1 Corinthians 6:1–8 ESV)
I am now going to simply teach the Bible simply.
In verse one of the text in front of us, Paul basically says “How dare you do such a thing”?
He reminds the church of their identity and position…that they are positionally righteous people who will be given eschatological authority to judge the world and angels, yet they are going into unrighteous courts to settle their disputes.
He says that this should be a cause for them to be ashamed.
He then asks the real question…is there no one among you wise enough to settle a family dispute?
I say a family dispute because that’s how Paul frames it…within the church we are adopted children of the same Father, spiritual family.
The unspoken implication is that there should be those in that body who are able to mediate such matters within the family, without the aid of worldly counsel.
The fact that there wasn’t anyone in Corinth who could or would speaks volumes about the spiritual state of that church.
Paul further says that the fact that they are taking such actions is already a defeat for them…that it’s better to lose whatever was at stake than to bring this before the public courts.
This statement was nothing more than an echo of Jesus;
““You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.”(Matthew 5:38–42 ESV)
Why was this such a big issue then and now?
Because when brother sues brother (or father sues sons) it is nothing less than a public denial of the Gospel.
We have been given the ministry of reconciliation through the Gospel… reconciliation of men with men and men with God.
If we cannot effect reconciliation in our own family through the Gospel without unrighteous judges, what do we really have to offer the world?
The actions of those choosing to use the secular courts to settle grievances and the inactions of those in the church that were unwilling or unable to settle these matters biblically both brought shame to the church and caused shame to be associated with the name of Christ.
So it was then, so it is today.
Make your own application.
2. Social media can bring change, but not reformation, to the church. True reformation requires a shared doctrine and practice. I’ll take change for now…
3. One of the interesting possibilities of the information age is that changes in institutions can be initiated from the bottom up instead of the top down.
4.The twin idols of the Western church…pastoral authority and ecclesiastical independence. The scriptures limit one and contradict the other…
5. If faith were anything but a supernatural gift from God I would be an agnostic at best.
6. The most fascinating thing about teaching through 1 Corinthians to me is that the root problem in all the messes that Paul addresses is that the people of God are not aware of or living in their new identity in Christ. We have the same problem today…and I think part of it is due to people not being taught who they are because it could possibly threaten existing authority structures.
7. The Gospel according to Spiderman is that “with great power comes great responsibility”. I’m sick and tired of organizations that want to wield one without embracing the other…
8. My joy meter is pretty low these days…forgive me if I’m not real edifying.
9. I thank God that my church is a consistent blessing to me…I pray the same for each of you.
10. Here’s the edification…despite all the Corinthian buffoonery, Paul still reminded them that they were “in Christ”. Despite ours, we are too.
I have to drive over and drop off the homework Trey forgot…back in a while.
“If we cannot effect reconciliation in our own family through the Gospel without unrighteous judges, what do we really have to offer the world?”
Agreed. Sobering thought.
While I would say that nothing can stop the Gospel and its power, we certainly can have yet another question to answer when sharing our faith – when the world sees Christian suing Christian. Reminds me of when I first came to Jesus in the early 80’s and the scandals during that time….mot much fun shairng your faith when you get a chorus of “what about that preacher…?”
And I am reminded of what made me rethink all that I learned from CC, when Chuck sued Kestler. It wasn’t the fact that Chuck knew Mike “has a problem with the ladies”, or the amount of money at stake between the two of them(millions of dollars), it was the fact that Chuck sued after teaching this passage for years and years. THAT was the one thing that made me say, “He’s no longer MY pastor.” I couldn’t care less if I were to see him out in public, except to maybe confront him.
So I guess I would say that lawsuits between Christians DOES affect our witness, but thank God that it doesn’t affect the Gospel.
Regarding the scripture on lawsuits I have a few quick observations. First, one who sues must consciously discount and disregard the importance of the Bible’s clear injunction. To do so as a pastor brings his entire teaching ministry into doubt. Third, the pastor’s leadership team is deemed unfit to rule without partisanship when suit is filed. Fourth, the larger fellowship or denomination is either incapable or unwilling to take leadership and therefore, by default, disregards scripture and loses credibility. It is like dominoes. Even in cases where the local or regional body settles a dispute, it requires the two sides to abide, perhaps “in faith”, to the decision rendered. It isn’t only a leadership issue, but a ‘followership’ issue.
Your #6 is a point well made and taken. We are not dumb sheep any more than the pastors are.
Fil, Papias…two excellent comments to start the discussions.
There’s an article on Internet Monk right now about church scandals and church abuse. In the article, there are links to several sites, below.. I found this to be quite encouraging. I know of at least two others that aren’t mentioned, too.
Mars Hill Refuge
Istoria Ministries (Wade Burleson)
Wenatchee the Hatchet
Blog on the Way
Calvary Chapel Abuse
Good word Michael. Maybe next week you can give us your take on 1 Tim 3 & 5 and tie those verses into today’s discussion. Because we are talking about a specific situation that includes specific leaders (Chuck & Bob), we do see a character profile given to us in 1 Tim. On second thought, if they completely ignore 1 Cor six then I guess we already have a character profile.
As Johnny Depp said in Pirates of the Caribbean, the rules about suing are “more of a guideline” really.
Michael, thank you. You’ve been so patient with me, warts and all. I need to grow up and learn to speak truth in love. It is hard for me to do that. There are so many triggers for me and I give in to temptation very easily in those areas.
Again, I apologize for not being mature enough and strong enough to moderate myself many times on your blog. In my zeal to address the abuses and corruption and in my zeal to be real and authentic and an honest heathen vs.a phony hypocrite, I have crossed lines here and I want to change in that area for your sake and the sake of the community here.
I don’t know if I’ll be able to resist the temptation to get snarky and dominating, so this will be my only comment on this thread. For some reason I’m able to participate at The Wartburg Watch w/o going completely nuclear. My opinion it is there are less triggers for me there, though I am still responsible for my responses.
The preliminary ruling has been moved to March 4 and the hearing is March 5. The judge moved the first dates for his own reasons. The second move was due to BG’s attorney’s request for another week due to some scheduling issues they claimed.
I’ll be on the Google News site podcast “God Discussion” this coming week. I’m just going to be myself and lay some stuff out there. Hopefully I will remember to balance it out with the good in church and the good I see in good Leaders as well.
Thanks to many of you still pray for our situation and want to see justice and some sort of accountability.
So much to say, not sure how to say it.
Unless a blog has a filter switch where only Christians can read what is written, broadcasting disputes on a blog is also a violation of this Scripture’s teaching. How many times has it been typed here “tell it unto the church” on this blog? If it is possible to tell it unto the church and only to the church on this blog, then fine. But unbelievers with no standing in the church read blogs as well.
Speaking directly to Alex’ situation, the complexity is exemplified by the fact that the verse could read as an indictment of Alex as much as of Bob. Alex’ public utterances have placed the matter before unbelievers. It doesn’t take much of an imagination to piece together what Paul would think of his situation and his handling of it. Giving an interview to the NY Times is a clear violation, unless you can show that only Christians read the NY Times.
Also, let’s not forget that old Papa Chuck saw what paperwork Alex presented to him, and decided that there was nothing actionable. In this sense, a judgment has been made within the church. You may disagree with a decision reached within a church, but to take that disagreement as fuel for a blog is a clear violation of Scripture.
Alex presented his case to Bob’s board, and they obviously disagreed with Alex, for they left Bob in place. Once again, a judgment has been reached within the church. To be unhappy with that decision and go to the blogs with it is a violation.
What a steaming pile of horse manure.
You must’ve been an educational bureaucrat in another life.
G nailed it — you win the Obfuscation Award.
We all grow in grace and in the roles that God places us in.
I am not the same person who started this blog many years ago…because wise saints came along side me and gave me the grace and space to grow into my role.
I hope that I have given back what was given to me…and you will pass it along as well.
You could respond to the points I’ve raised, or you could choose to insult me.
There is a legitimate concern of a general sort in your comment.
I do acknowledge that.
The question before the house is whether once all channels have been attempted and righteousness has not been done…how do we proceed?
For me, Alex’s situation is just another in a long series of scandals in one denomination under the leadership of one man.
It is worth considering if that man has allowed corruption to leaven the whole lump…and to ask what should be done if that is the case.
That is a horrendous misinterpretation. You imply something that the verse does not.
If we are to persuade those who disagree with us, we must be civil…even when we feel provoked.
And I want to thank Jim Jr for not responding to Lutheran the way I know he can. Good job.
“righteousness has not been done…how do we proceed?”
Directly with Alex’ situation, we cannot conclude that righteousness has not been done. If you only accept Alex’ words, then maybe you will conclude it hasn’t.
For those that accept things beyond Alex’ particular interpretation, they may conclude that righteousness has been done, and that to go over it in public is to scratch a scab needlessly before unbelievers.
The verse you quote is clear on how we should proceed. Isn’t it better to suffer wrong?
Truth is, your points are not worth being engaged with. It’s obvious you just want to blab on. Meanwhile, your mind is already made up.
Thank God there are many better options in the church world than the authoritarian, “my way or the highway” Calvary Chapels.
I am tired of the supposed logic that would tell us to keep our mouths closed due to what unbelievers would think. Once it gets to “tell it to the church”, its out in public – there’s no indication that Jesus wanted to keep this inside the church. A church is a mixed multitude at best. Once its “told to the church”, by definition its “out there”. So any attempt to then drag it back into the church so that only Christians can discuss is foolhardy at best, and could be construed by non-Christians as the church trying to hide its dirty laundry.
The church, in this case CC, had the chance to rectify this situation, but decided that its was no worth their time or attention. Chuck decided that it not in his best interest to pursue this matter, and thats a shame. Someone with the authority(yes, he does) turned his back on the powerless to cover one of his own.
And because of that, BG thinks its OK to sue. Did BG try to do a Matthew 18 with Alex? If not, then he’s in the wrong for not do what Scripture clearly teaches. And he should know better, being a pastor.
“your mind is already made up.”
I have read nearly everything there is to read about it, except for those papers that Alex will only disclose to the select few of his choosing. I have reached my conclusion after careful thought and consideration, and my conclusion CAN be changed with appropriate evidence.
I’m not a fan of lawsuits,
but if someone is going to regularly malign a whole host of God’s servants, and if that someone is going to interview with the NY Times, and if that person is going to ask the Richard Dawkins Foundation to allow him to testify before Congress on a whole host of abuses he is not party to, Paul does not say that you should let someone murder your brother and not take them to court over it.
Also, laws are on the books, and we as Christians are to live by them and apply them when necessary. That’s what laws are for.
I’m not a fan of lawsuits, but laws are laws.
Part of what I consider obfuscation both from you and from Calvary Chapel is that this matter has been made all about Alex.
It’s not, though he certainly has become the lightning rod for the matter.
There are two other brothers testifying in court to the same (and in Paul’s case) even worse charges.
There is other testimony as well from from former employees and others.
At the very least, for the sake of the name of Christ, a complete independent investigation should have been done and the fact finding published…for the sake of the church, the accused, and the accusers.
To have the matter come to this sort of head is the height of ecclesiastical arrogance and abuse of position.
” but decided that its was no worth their time or attention. Chuck decided that it not in his best interest to pursue this matter, ”
That is your interpretation, and I believe you are mistaken. Why not be open to the possibility that Chuck disagrees with Alex’ statements, he doesn’t believe that what Alex says is true, and he made a decision based upon that?
You may disagree with his disagreement with Alex, but that’s just another way of saying you agree with Alex, and around and around we go.
And if defamation laws are being broken, the merry-go-round has gotta stop sometime.
I hope that we can all show self control as this could turn south quickly. Michael, you have a gift of showing self control and giving grace in a way that blesses me…
Thank you…the gift was given after many beatings. 🙂
Seriously, this subject is far too important to let it go south…we must speak in such a way that people can hear us.
“There are two other brothers testifying in court to the same (and in Paul’s case) even worse charges. There is other testimony as well from from former employees and others.”
A poster with experience in court investigations said it best at wartburg watch. That investigator has seen many depositions that, with their level of detail, seem absolutely believable, but upon further inspection are found to be unbelievable.
Just because someone alleges something doesn’t mean the something is true.
“a complete independent investigation should have been done and the fact finding published”
There have been investigations. There is a paper trail that runs through a number of agencies,, and some of those investigations have been instigated by Alex. Should he or anyone be allowed to just instigate investigations until 2025? No. It is nonsense. It is a personal attack. This has been going on for years, and it looks that this lawsuit is the last option available.
Who are you aware of besides leaders within Calvary Chapel that have investigated this?
My position is that the church and those in affiliation with the church were and are responsible for taking the actions I presented.
Again, that would have been the loving, gracious, biblical thing to do for the sake of the church, the accused, and the accuser.
Because I am a CC pastor I have been accused of protecting my own. While that may be true of some CC pastors, any one who knows me knows that is an incorrect assessment of me. I am not angry at the charactization, I understand the intense emption attached to the issue. Been there myself. While it is indeed sad that it came to a law suit, at the very least, there is at least the possibility that the truth will come out at the trial. When /if it does, my desire is like every one elses; that justice be served.
As long as we can agree that this is not a matter that needs to be discussed, and not only to be kept at the “adults table” – ie, amongst believers.
“Why not be open to the possibility that Chuck disagrees with Alex’ statements, he doesn’t believe that what Alex says is true, and he made a decision based upon that?”
Would love to discuss this possiblity, except that Chuck already maligned Alex from his pulpit, basically telling him to “get a life”. Nice job pastor….NOT. Like Fil mentioned above, once you see the dominos fall…….
Defend the way CC handles conflict all you want… just open the finances to those who ask and have some true accountability….then we can talk about specfics.
When we speak of law there is a greater law at stake here, the law of love.
This should have been handled responsibly by men in the church because they love the Gospel and the name of Christ.
It should have been handled responsibly out of a love for those who claim they have suffered unrighteously as children…at the hand of a pastor.
It should have been handled responsibly out of love for the one accused…these are devastating accusations.
It should have been handled responsibly out of a love for the movement and it’s churches by those who claim to love it.
Now, no one is choosing to act in love according to the greater law…and we all bear the shame.
I am not intending to paint with a broad brush all the men in the movement.
I call one of them my own pastor and many others friends.
What I am saying is that there is a cultural standard in general that I believe was set by Chuck Smith that makes uniform accountability impossible and casts a shadow on all who fly the dove whether they deserve it or not…and there are many who do not.
I had a brief conversation with Bob Grenier in which he threatened to get information about me from other sources, as I would not give him my home address. He refused to tell me what he wanted to send me repeatedly. It turns out the stuff he wanted to send me was more threats, signed by his lawyers.
My first hand experience with ‘pastor’ Bob was that he had no interest in pursuing a Biblical reconciliation with me, explaining his side of the story, no, he was simply looking for a fight.
I post that to say that in my 5 minutes of Bob experience, he is the one out for vengeance. I would trust just about anyone over Bob.
You rock. Thanks for your 11:38 post.
skipped the responses to #9 – perhaps i should read them before commenting, but i see Jim Jr. as putting the Lord first and that’s good and right – but the truth is that this is way beyond a **dispute** – if my husband beat or abused me or our children and i went to our church and they said that, to be fair, they’d listen to both sides – if they then concluded that i was without a genuine need and that my husband and i simply needed to learn how to get along better, would it be correct then, for me to concede and simply wait for the wounds to heal and carry on “in the Lord?” NO – emphatically NO!!!
i would go straight to the police with my broken arm (which, frankly i, myself, would have done immediately the attack occurred) or straight to an attorney with my broken spirit and use the civil system to rescue me – any other conclusion smells strongly of cultism; of imprisonment – a dangerous position for the Family of God to place themselves
i pray and pray and pray that God, Himself, wakes us up from our encapsulated stupor
Just for clarification, I never felt you improperly characterized me. I was referring to others. For better or worse CC as a whole is what it is. For the record, largely for the reasons you mentioned in # 30, there has been a lot of discussion in recent months among many a responsible CC pastor. Though not widely reported Iam happy to say many have or are in process of building into their by laws better safeguards.
Hey thanks Grendal. Love to see you next time I am on the O.C.
If there is a positive to these messes it is that they do lead to a lot of soul searching and many take action.
For that, we can all be grateful.
Michael, you are making a point that also changed my life as I learned these things a couple of years ago. I was also helped along by some of the great discussions everyone has had on your blog.
I studied through the Corinthian letters back in the early 90’s and was set free of the legalism I grew up in and had my later over-charismania rectified. I then started attending a CC to try and stay free of those problems.
I taught through the Corinthian letters a couple of years ago as a CC pastor and this time was set free again from CC style moralism. My journey really began with John 6 but ended with a bang after teaching through 1st Corinthians.
I thought, if these people were in our churches today, they would have been kicked-out of the church and considered unholy and probably unsaved. But, as you point out Michael, Paul continually identifies these people, in-spite of their sin, as a people “in Christ”. I think that means they are still a part of the church body, sins and all.
I experienced joy for the first time as I was finally able to stop fretting over the salvation of less than perfect Christians including myself. Anyone who is in Christ, including a weak and troubled, sinning Christian is nothing less than…in Christ.
At that point I finally dumped the last bit of Armenian/Wesleyan theology that CC still had me hanging on too and for the first time truly enjoy my Christian life as I grow and live in reformed and Lutheran theology.
It can be a confusing letter at times and many teachers don’t teach it well, teaching more law instead of Gospel, but the sovereignty of God and theology of the Cross is all over 1st Corinthians.
Here’s the thing for me, I still hold out hope for Bob Grenier that he can stop long enough to take stock in what he can do to turn around this situation with his family, not as a public figure so much as simply a man who is a father, a stepfather, who is a husband, who can choose any time to reflect, own his mistakes and shortcomings, and seek to reconcile his family using all resources possible to do so.
I simply cannot relate how an ecclesiastical position could possibly be more important than a relationship with ones’ family, but then, I guess I’m a simpleton who would rather love than be “right”.
Good discussion, all. I’m honored to be able to participate, offer my opinions and call you all colleagues.
Thank you for the kind words.
I am really having a time with this book…it seems that the real message of it is not so much Paul correcting behavioral problems as it is informing these folks of their true identity…and how to embrace and walk in it.
Luckily, my church knows they have a weak, troubled, sinning pastor and they are enjoying the ride with me. 😉
Excellent words…thank you for being here.
I was advised just yesterday that someone in our leadership sent our accountability guidelines to a CC in another state and they took them and incorporated them into their own bylaws.
(to amen Steve Hopkins @35)
I just want to complement Alex on his recent postings. I don’t have any dog in this fight. I’ve never attended a CC church and I have no experience with any church or pastor abuse. My reason for visiting Phoenix Preacher was other issues entirely, but I have followed this problem for quite some time.
Although I’ve always supported Alex and his quest, I was sometimes concerned about his tactics. Some times it was torched earth and he gave a hard time to friend and foe alike.
I must say I’m very impressed with his comments of late, both the discussion in the Open Blogging and his discussion on this topic. Way to go Alex. I think your current stance will be better both for you and your family and for those that love and support you here on Phxp.
Just want you to know, Alex, you have my support and prayers and I think the prayers and support of many on this blog and elsewhere. It is a pleasure to see how the Lord has helped you center and deal with these things. God bless you and the best to you as these issues are played out.
Michael, I hope this will encourage you in your number 8:
This weekend we visited a church of about 20 people, most of whom are from very disfunctional backgrounds. (drug and/or sexual abuse) After the church service we went out to lunch with the pastor and his wife and another couple, as well as a single mother. As we sat and chatted at lunch, the single mother began to cry. She excused herself and went to the bathroom and the pastor’s wife went to her. A few minutes later they returned and the single mother told us how she was carrying a terrible secret and basically was fearful that if anyone knew it, no one would have anything to do with her and that people would leave the church. She shared how she had already told the pastor and his wife about it and they had fully accepted her, but she was afraid that others would find out. (this is a small town where everyone knows everyone and with doctor appts., dentist appts. everyone related to everyone else, etc,…. it is eventually going to get out) She opened up and shared that she is HIV positive and bordering on full blown AIDS. Sadly, I think she thought we would gasp and withdraw from her…… What a privilege it was to be able to hold her hand,hug her, and speak words of comfort, love, and acceptance to her.
I share this to encourage you that there are wonderful things going on in the body of Christ. The pastor and his wife are loving, teaching and leading these broken and hurting people to hope in Christ. We were so blessed to be able to be a very, very small part of that precious work….there was truly glory and grace in that place..
I am writing this as anonymous today for this woman’s confidentiality.
That was beautiful…that is the true church in action.
Thank you for reminding us who we can be…
“Who are you aware of besides leaders within Calvary Chapel that have investigated this”
According to Alex, there was at least one if not two police reports filed, which were then kicked over to the DA, so there are two agencies there.
There were people raising a ruckus in the 1990s about some items on the expense account, which was looked at in an independent audit by an accountant.
The common thread is that when a party only has communication with Alex, they leave said communication calling for Bob’s head. Whenever the parties look to information beyond what Alex claims, the finding is that what Alex has claimed cannot be established as true.
And it seems from the cheap seats that when an agency is not willing to crucify someone based upon incomplete information, the agency is accused of malfeasance, when instead it seems the accuser should be the one accused of malfeasance.
Thanks very much for what you shared. What an encouragement!
“as I would not give him my home address”
So you publicly malign him by parroting Alex’ conclusions, but don’t ante up your home digits for further communication?
“My first hand experience with ‘pastor’ Bob was that he had no interest in pursuing a Biblical reconciliation with me”
You are not party to the conflict beyond your public commenting on a matter about which it is impossible for you to have first-hand experience. Bob is under no Scriptural mandate to reconcile with you, since you live in a different state and have probably never met him face-to-face. That you think he is required to reconcile with you shows how muddy the waters can get when everyone’s opinion, informed or not, are insisted on being counted as equal.
“explaining his side of the story, no, he was simply looking for a fight.”
A pastor cannot spend their time answering every person that demands an answer. In this matter, Bob would do nothing but provide answers to people in phone calls all day long and there would be no time left in the day for anything else.
Also, not everyone deserves an explanation. With all due respect to Michael, when I learned that Bob refused to discuss the matter with Michael, I agreed with Bob’s position. Michael has no business in a private family squabble.
Now, if you listen only to the accuser, it seems that rank corruption is going to explode the church tomorrow.
But tomorrow keeps coming, the church has not blown up yet, and those that listen to more than just Alex’ rants reach different conclusions than Alex does.
I’ll get back here as soon as I can.
“You are not party to the conflict beyond your public commenting on a matter about which it is impossible for you to have first-hand experience.”
So JJ, are you saying you have that first hand experience? If so, how? You sound like you know BG. What is your interest in all this besides the need to shield the church? It almost sounds like you have some kind of personal stake.
For the interest of the readers here I would like to know more of your backstory, ’cause this sounds more personal than anything. If that backstory has already been told, then could you please repeat it.
I have my contentions with the way Alex has acted on this online forum before, but I think I will stick to believing that his version is the truth.
I agree that just because someone alleges something does not mean it is true. Bob alleges he did not do any of the things he is accused of and he goes on to address those accusations in his lawsuit. Bob filed this lawsuit against Alex, not the other way around. It would be reasonable for one to assume that both the plaintiff (Bob) and the defendant (Alex) are going to set forth their arguments. This is a defamation lawsuit and whether Alex’s speech is constitutionally protected. It is not a trial of Bob’s innocence or guilt.
In my opinion, there seems to be a “Moving the Goal Post” fallacy regarding a lot of the dialogue about this lawsuit. Bob keeps moving the criteria for “proof” further out of range of whatever evidence currently exists. Even when new evidence comes forward, meeting the prior criteria, the goalpost is pushed back even further.
Thank you for stopping by…you are, in my eyes, honest and courageous.
Jim Jr. Do you know anyone involved in this case? Have you ever met any of the people you are talking about? There are many others involved in this case. Do you know any of them?
Good article and some good dialogue today.
Alex and Paul: I continue to pray for you guys in your plight.
Alex: It is encouraging to see the self control you have been showing of late, especially today. I think you will find, at least at this site, that there are those who are willing to defend you and fight your battles, at least to some degree, when you are not dominating things yourself. God bless.
Paul, I also applaud you for your courageousness. I can’t imagine the difficulty of being in your position. God bless.
To go back to this Scripture and its application (with no reference to the Grenier litigation)…
I write this as someone who spent over 20 years in part protecting people from lawsuits. I DESPISE almost all litigation that I see throughout our country today….so with that said…
Michael, let’s say a prominent preacher with a TV platform took ‘Make Your Own Application’ and changed the boy to a girl, skateboarding to softball, Oregon to Ohio and a few other cosmetic differences and then stole the rest as his own.
Thanks in large part to the celebrity and platform, he sold many copies. In fact, somehow it caught fire and sold like ‘The Prayer of Jabez’ in stores nationwide.
Sure you try to contact him first, but you are ignored.
Do you believe this Scripture commands you to suffer wrong and not exercise your legal rights of ownership against the crime (and sin) of theft of your intellectual property?
Along these same lines, if I am wronged and have grounds for litigation, is my filing suit dependent on whether the person who wronged me is a member of a local church somewhere?
You see, without diminishing the significance of the passage, again, I do think a cultural and immediate relevance to what was going on in Corinth needs to be discussed first. Are US courts, with all their faults, really equivalent to the pagan Roman courts. Aren’t a lot of judges and jury members in America Christians? Aren’t oaths to the Lord made before testimony in American courts (with or without the hand on the Bible).
And isn’t there a huge difference in Paul discussing members of the same local church suing each other, as opposed to our day when the vast majority of Americans claim to be Christians (whether truly born again or not is not relevant if the issue is the witness before the unbelievers).
Is it then perfectly OK to sue an atheist, and not rather suffer wrong? How about a Muslim? How about a Mormon? How about someone from a “Christian” church that actually denies the deity of Christ and resurrection?
I offer the above as impetus for further discussion from the community.
#50 I agree with Michael re: your courage & honesty. Thank you for reminding folks who is suing who.
#52 Yes, curious & suspicious minds would like to know. I have a suspicion niggling at my brain that would account for your rationale of the circling of the wagons and focusing on the making the plaintiff seem like the victim/defendant.
We wrestled with some of these questions at church last night.
If we start down the slippery slope of “cultural relevance” in regard to Scripture (except where it is obviously warranted) we can pretty much rewrite most of the book to suit current social imperatives.
After studying this along with the unfortunately clear words of Christ in Matthew…I know what I should do in the scenario you described.
Whether I would be that holy is up for discussion…
Understanding who made use of the civil courts in the ancient world may shed more light on the matter and explain Paul’s indignation. Persons of high status were prone to settle disputes through litigation. They had the upper hand in the courts because they could capitalize on their influence and wealth and could enhance their own reputation by injuring their opponent’s or increase their wealth with legal conquests. The lower classes were restricted from doing so since they were unlikely to win against stacked odds. The law, for example, favored creditors over debtors and landlords over tenants (Garnsey 1974: 142). Such a suit against someone of higher rank would also show an unwelcome lack of respect for one’s “betters” (Winter 1991a: 561). This fact of life is reflected in Scripture: “But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who oppress you? Is it not they who drag you into court?” (James 2:6; cf. Eccles. 6:10).
In deciding to sue, one first had to calculate the cost and the chances of winning, not on the basis of the merits of the case but on the defendant’s social status and powerful connections. Garnsey (1970: 217–18) maintains that suits brought by those of humble origin against men of rank were unlikely to have been frequent because a person of lower rank would assume from previous experience or that of acquaintances that the decision would inevitably go against him. He would be unlikely to retain effective counsel and could be certain that the defendant would retaliate. If he did go to court, the praetor might dismiss the suit out of hand if it threatened the defendant’s status. Occasionally, a patron might decide to take up a client’s cause and take another to court on the client’s behalf. The client would then bank on the weight of the patron’s persona to win the case.
This background argues for the likelihood that the plaintiff enjoyed high status (A. Mitchell 1993: 565). Either he has taken on one of his social peers or has sought to grind down a weaker member of the church who was lower in rank. People in the ancient world contended for honor in the law courts, and one gained honor by beating a rival down. The pursuit of litigation often had little to do with the pursuit of justice. Kinman (1997: 347) avers, “Lawsuits were typically initiated not merely to resolve legitimate social grievances but also to further the social status of the litigants, and this ‘progress’ was made only at the expense of one’s opponent.” The legal skirmishes usually became pitched assaults on the defendant’s character. Winter (1991a: 567) comments, “Defendants could be subject to muck-raking and fabrication and this lack of legal restraint helps to explain why prosecutor and defendant could so rarely avoid inimicitiae.” Epstein (1987: 90–100) shows how litigation was undertaken as a manifestation of enmity and that lawsuits “were perhaps the most single generator of private hostility in Rome.” Such public confrontations would naturally generate factionalism in the church (see M. Mitchell 1993: 231) as the clients of these litigants would be forced to choose sides. To have members set at each other’s throats would also undermine the public reputation of the church.
If the lawsuit was directed against a weaker member of the church, who would be victimized by the inequality of the court system, Paul’s outrage becomes even more understandable. The Christian plaintiff has become party to inflicting injustice and fraud on a fellow Christian (6:8) who does not have equal access to justice.
Paul rejects altogether the idea of Christians initiating lawsuits against fellow Christians (6:7), but first he plays up the outrage that they have resorted to pagan courts instead of bringing their disputes “before the saints.” Many Greek confraternities possessed their own jurisdiction and courts to judge disputes and crimes that took place among members (Delcor 1968: 72). Jews also were given the autonomy to settle disputes between themselves in their own courts so that they could live and be judged according to their ancestral laws (Tcherikover 1961: 301, 307; Schürer 1986: 119–20). Josephus (Ant. 14.10.17 §235) mentions in an aside that the Jews of Sardis had their own courts to decide controversies with one another. According to a ruling preserved in b. Giṭ. 88b (a tractate on divorce settlements), a distinction is made between a divorce bill (get) enforced by “a heathen court” and one enforced by an Israelite court. It records that one rabbi objected to another compelling other men to give a bill of divorce: “Surely we are only laymen.” Rabbi Tarfon is cited as responding, “In any place where you find heathen law courts, even though their law is the same as Israelite law, you must not resort to them since it says, ‘These are the judgments which you shall bring before them,’ that is to say, ‘before them’ and not before heathens [Exod. 21:1].”
These attitudes may also have prevailed in the time of Paul, though we see the leaders of the synagogue in Corinth handing Paul over to the governor Gallio (Acts 18:12–17). When it came to disputes that could be settled according to their own law, Jews believed that they should be resolved between themselves. For this purpose to be successful, tight discipline had to be maintained in their group. According to G. Harris (1991: 7–9), it requires (1) cohesiveness of the group, (2) authoritative leadership, (3) tension with the world or outside forces, and (4) a clear sense of the group’s mission. The failure of the Corinthians to carry out such internal discipline suggests that they lacked these attributes. Some Corinthians may have resorted to these courts out of habit. They had not yet been converted from their old mentality of asserting hostility toward others and their old ways of doing things. The church was also riven by factions and appeared to lack a sense of its mission to be a witness to its world as an alternative society constrained by God’s love to seek the welfare and salvation of others. Paul seeks to provide the authoritative leadership that will help them see the error of their ways. Theoretically, a church tribunal would be unbiased and never configured so as to favor the powerful, as the Roman legal system was. In fact, as baptized believers, the litigants and the judge would stand together as equals with a common destiny (L. Lewis 1990: 97).
Garland, D. E. (2003). 1 Corinthians. Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (199–201). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.
Re: your #46. It is my understanding that Bob was a Chaplain for the same police dept that filed the report. It is also my understanding from a recent article or post by Paul that the report was “watered down” compared to what was actually reported. It appears as though for the first time since Alex & Paul made their allegations that the accusations are not falling on deaf or biased ears. If after all that was said by the Grenier brothers if it is discovered that Alex and Paul lied, the consequences for them would be unbearable. I speak to Alex on the phone, we exchange personal messages, I have heard him being interviewed on the radio, I have read every article he has ever written and never once was there a reason to doubt or question his allegations.
I assure you that everyone who is part of the PP family wants truth, restoration and reconciliation for all involved.
I met Bob and I personally along with 3 other elders heard him defend a CC Pastor who was blatantly in sin.
I have never felt the need to defend Rueben but re-read his post @ #32. It sure looks like Bob was the aggressor.
Sounds like a 2 Kingdoms discussion, Michael. Our laws in America are largely founded in the Judeo-Christian tradition. They are to protect us from the sinfulness of mankind. God ordains human government.
My concern is taking this passage and forbidding a Christian from ever being plaintiff in a suit. That to me treads dangerously close to how some would interpret ‘wives submit to your husbands’ in an absolutest sense not intended by God.
As a Christian, would you oppose my legal right to use deadly force to protect my wife and children from a dangerous intruder, in our personal residence, intending to do them harm? Yet, a simple read of the Bible would seem to say a Christian should never take the life of another.
So if we allow for such force, not in the name of cultural relevance but in the name of context and seeking what God is truly communicating in His Word, then is there a whole lot of difference when someone violates the law in an attempt to take the food, housing and support my family needs to survive?
I will repeat that it is not cultural relevance to point out Paul was addressing members of the same local congregation suing each other, and repeat what was said elsewhere that Paul did not simply turn the other cheek at all times, but rather did exercise his legal rights as a Roman citizen as he was led by the Lord to do so.
I will agree with you though that often ‘cultural relevance’ is used to rewrite Scripture according to one’s wishes, and thus must be approached with caution.
These are difficult and debatable questions.
What is not debatable is that these matters should first be litigated within the church, among the family…and it is shameful when that is not attempted.
That is Paul’s primary concern and mine as well.
1. Dare any of you. This is the first statement—that, if any one has a controversy with a brother, it ought to be decided before godly judges, and that it ought not to be before those that are ungodly. If the reason is asked, I have already said, that it is because disgrace is brought upon the gospel, and the name of Christ is held up as it were to the scoffings of the ungodly. For the ungodly, at the instigation of Satan, are always eagerly on the watch for opportunities of finding occasion of calumny against the doctrine of godliness. Now believers, when they make them parties in their disputes, seem as though they did on set purpose furnish them with a handle for reviling. A second reason may be added—that we treat our brethren disdainfully, when we of our own accord subject them to the decisions of unbelievers.
But here it may be objected: “As it belongs to the office of the magistrate, and as it is peculiarly his province to administer justice to all, and to decide upon matters in dispute, why should not even unbelievers, who are in the office of magistrate, have this authority, and, if they have it, why are we prevented from maintaining our rights before their tribunals?” I answer, that Paul does not here condemn those who from necessity have a cause before unbelieving judges, as when a person is summoned to a court; but those who, of their own accord, bring their brethren into this situation, and harass them, as it were, through means of unbelievers, while it is in their power to employ another remedy. It is wrong, therefore, to institute of one’s own accord a law-suit against brethren before unbelieving judges. If, on the other hand, you are summoned to a court, there is no harm in appearing there and maintaining your cause.
Calvin, J., & Pringle, J. (2010). Commentaries on the Epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians (1 Co 6:1). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
Bob was asked to permanently step down from the chaplain core. They are paying attention now. Probably to cover their backsides.
@32. I’ve read most everything you’ve written on the subject. I don’t understand why Bob would want to Slapp you. I guess to close all the doors that were open to sharing the story. That has surely backfired lately. The Streisand Effect is in motion.
In this way, however, he seems to discard entirely judgments as to the affairs of individuals. “Those are altogether in the wrong who go to law. Hence it will not be allowable in any one to maintain his rights by having recourse to a magistrate.” There are some that answer this objection in this way—that the Apostle declares that where there are law-suits there is utterly a fault, because, of necessity, the one or the other has a bad cause. They do not, however, escape by this sophistry, because he says that they are in fault, not merely when they inflict injury, but also when they do not patiently endure it. For my own part, my answer is simply this—having a little before given permission to have recourse to arbiters, he has in this shown, with sufficient clearness, that Christians are not prohibited from prosecuting their rights moderately, and without any breach of love.
Let us therefore bear in mind, that Paul does not condemn law-suits on the ground of its being a wrong thing in itself to maintain a good cause by having recourse to a magistrate, but because it is almost invariably accompanied with corrupt dispositions; as, for example, violence, desire of revenge, enmities, obstinacy, and the like.
Calvin, J., & Pringle, J. (2010). Commentaries on the Epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians (1 Co 6:7). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
If, therefore, a Christian man wishes to prosecute his rights at law, so as not to offend God, he must, above all things, take heed that he does not bring into court any desire of revenge, any corrupt affection of the mind, or anger, or, in fine, any other poison. In this matter love will be the best regulator.
If it is objected, that it very rarely happens that any one carries on a law-suit entirely free and exempt from every corrupt affection, I acknowledge that it is so, and I say farther, that it is rare to find a single instance of an upright litigant; but it is useful for many reasons to show that the thing is not evil in itself, but is rendered corrupt by abuse: First, that it may not seem as if God had to no purpose appointed courts of justice; Secondly, that the pious may know how far their liberties extend, that they may not take anything in hand against the dictates of conscience. For it is owing to this that many rush on to open contempt of God, when they have once begun to transgress those limits; Thirdly, that they may be admonished, that they must always keep within bounds, so as not to pollute by their own misconduct the remedy which the Lord has permitted them to employ; Lastly, that the audacity of the wicked may be repressed by a pure and uncorrupted zeal, which could not be effected, if we were not allowed to subject them to legal punishments.
Calvin, J., & Pringle, J. (2010). Commentaries on the Epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians (1 Co 6:7). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
There’s some background and some always delicious Calvin…and yes, I know that the one who posted it all is the only one who will read it. 🙂
Michael, they are difficult and debatable questions if you allow for the line of thinking I am proposing. If we follow your ‘public denial of the gospel’ argument, coupled with the Sermon on the Mount quote, it would seem there is nothing difficult or debatable at all. Like I said, ‘Wives..submit’…what’s there to discuss?
That’s what concerned me and why I bothered to chime in.
Jurisdiction. Pretty obvious in Paul’s context to the local gathering of believers in Corinth.
Not so much in most cases in our world today…
I think Calvin agrees with me. 🙂
Here’s what I think:
1. I am inclined, after reading the information available on the Internet, to believe the Grenier brothers.
2. As much as Alex has irritated me in the past here on the PhxP, he DID try to follow the scriptures by keeping it “in house,” that is, he went to Chuck Smith with his story. He has consistently tried to keep it within the church family.
3. What should have happened next is that all parties, including Bob Grenier, all four brothers, Chuck Smith, wives, and anyone else involved, should have all met together in the same room with some kind of neutral mediator. This would still be “in the church.”
4. This did not happen, although it is what Alex wanted to see happen. Because it did not happen, Calvary Chapel will suffer the consequences and deservedly so. All excuses about “we have no authority over individual fellowships” is a crock of horse patooky and they darn well know it. CC wants to have their cake and eat it, too.
5. That Bob Grenier is suing makes psychological sense to me. He sounds like an aggressive man; he needs to come out swinging or else he will lose everything. *I,* of course, have no personal knowledge of any of this. I am not a “member” of CC (as if that were possible); I am not even a Protestant. Frankly, none of this is any of my business. (And probably none of most of yours, either.) I don’t actually know why I am writing this but there you have it.
Jim Jr was banned for quite some time from PhxP. He is not a fan of Alex by a damn sight. If he spewed the vitriol here now, that he used to spew then, I would gladly ban him again. He does not need to disclose who he is, or who he knows. We know he defends Bob, and that is enough. It is also fair to have a defender here now and then.
My involvement here as a author/moderator, and commentary at Alex’s blog led Bob to seek me out. I would not allow Bob to know my address without defining what he intended to send me. He refused to tell me what he had to send me, beyond, “correspondence”, therefore, I refused my address. Now that I know what he wanted to send me, I am glad I did not give him my address, as I would have posted that trash all over the internet just as soon as I could scan and upload the pages.
Xenia, as usual very well said.
Rueben, how did you find out what Bob wanted to send you?
Because it was what he sent anyones address he could get.
Please lend a voice, your perspective is really valued. Your journey has been an interesting one and the fact that you have been welcomed into Orthodoxy and found it a home and can speak from your unique perspective is really refreshing.
…and you live in one of the coolest towns in California =)
So glad to see Xenia here…
So you’ve probably heard the one about the sweet young Orthodox girl who was graduating from her Orthodox high school. When the priest asked her what she was going to do next with her life she said, “Become a prostitute.”:
The priest gasped and grabbed his chest.
“What? A –what? Prostitute? A prostitute?”
“Yes,” the girl replied.
“Whew!” The priest, looking relieved, wiped his brow.
“For a second,” the priest said, “I thought you said ‘Protestant.”
There should be a rush to love, a rush to listen, a rush to understand and a rush to resolve.
There’s no excuse for Bob Grenier to have not met with Alex, when Alex asked. There’s no excuse for Bob to leave this issue up to his elders (who tried to silence Alex,) or up to his board (who tried to silence Alex,) or up to CCOF (who ignored Alex,) or up to Chuck Smith (who said he believed Alex, said he’d try to do something, then he did nothing … except when he publicly endorsed Bob after that by doing a photo op with him.) Bob Grenier still has a responsibility to love, listen, understand and resolve. He does not have the freedom, spiritually, to sue his step-son (along with others,) to silence them.
To spend time trying to find out the exceptions to the rule, i.e. “When can one sue?” seems out of place in a discussion brought up about the specific Bob Grenier abuse/lawsuit issue. It’s like taking the subject and changing the direction by 2 degrees … which leads to 4 degrees, etc… Whether purposeful or not, it comes across as a distraction from the real issue.
So good to see Xenia grace our pages again…
So often Bob Grenier’s lawsuit is talked about in terms of Alex and his allegations, yet he sued posters 1-50, Tim, Tina and a few others originally. The suing is to silence the public voice, who are saying Bob abused in several ways: spiritually, mentally, physically, and sexually … plus financial improprieties.
Of those who have their own accusations, or are corroborating that of the 3 Grenier brothers, are former bookkeepers of CCVisalia, assistant pastors, a janitor (I think?), a young girl who came for help because her step-father was sexually abusing her (Bob told her to remain quiet, btw,) a long time volunteer, a woman employee, an aunt, a neighbor, I believe more than one board member, I think elder/s? were also in that list. That’s all I can remember at the moment. So this lawsuit was designed to silence the accusations coming from all directions but meeting in one place: CalveryChapelAbuse.com
In light of the overwhelming number of witnesses to Bob’s abuse, it would be sin for us not to rush to see this not only investigated in a legitimate way, but also dealt with properly in light of the fact that an accusation against an elder/pastor can be received when there are 2 or 3 witnesses.
The fact is, the evidence is overwhelming. Bob does not have a good reputation in the community and that alone disqualifies him. What is in place to remove pastors in CC who fail on that point? No, don’t answer, I don’t want to get us off track from the point.
To spend time trying to find out the exceptions to the rule, i.e. “When can one sue?” seems out of place in a discussion brought up about the specific Bob Grenier abuse/lawsuit issue. It’s like taking the subject and changing the direction by 2 degrees … which leads to 4 degrees, etc… Whether purposeful or not, it comes across as a distraction from the real issue.
Michael, if you agree with Chile, then by all means, delete all of my earlier posts so I am not guilty of such transgressions. I wouldn’t want those whopping THREE posts of mine to be a distraction from the other 70+
Or….feel free to confirm Bible discussion of interpretation and application is still allowed here at PP. There might be a reader or two with a litigation issue of sorts outside of Visalia that struggles with this passage.
Your call. Your blog. I’m fine either way.
Xenia, I think it’s all our business because we are all brothers and sisters in Christ. Alex may be a virtual neighbor, but he’s a neighbor none-the-less. We love our neighbors. Clearly you do care.
There is a lot of info online now about a large group of former missionary kids who were sexually abused in a few boarding schools many years ago. Apparently, there were some horrific boarding school situations and specific names of the greatest most prolific offenders have risen to the public forum because the mission agencies refused to deal with the accusations appropriately. And as is the case normally, few were brave enough to even say anything at all till much later in their lives and ONLY after seeing others who boldly posted the info online.
Sadly, some of the mission agencies are controlling how the investigation by firing the investigators, after 10 years of work, just before they were to publish the report. I hear the report turned up many more unaccountable pedophile missionaries, who were protected by their mission agency, so much so that the agency is now burying the report.
Those violated missionary kids are now older adults. They are my neighbor. And as long as the violaters are not named, the others who were in the mission with them have to live with their names being tarnished and suspect. At least, that’s what they say.
The president of Compassion International was one of the many kids where violated at one of these boarding schools. His testimony can be found online. The same people who read them their Bible stories … after the generators were turned off … would molest the kids by night. They were told to remain silent or else Africans would go to hell because of them!
We are to judge inside the church. If we don’t deal with the inevitable evil that rises from within, then who will? Let’s not leave it to the court system, let’s just simply live what the Scripture simply teaches.
Steve, I’m just saying my opinion, as do you.
Thanks for looking out Chile. Seeing the forest through the trees. Almost everyone who doesn’t agree with Alex’s methods tries to single him out as the soul reason behind this suit filed by his father.
In reading he lawsuit what sticks out the most to me is how a mother and father so easily disown a son. Not just him, but his children, their grandchildren. Why do they say they cut them off? Because Alex wouldn’t accept Bobs apology in the way it was given, Alex asked for clarification and they refused. When Alex pushed the issue, they cut him off.
That’s it? That’s why BG cut 4 people out of his life? He decided he couldn’t be humbled with a better apology?
How about the other 2 boys. What did they do?
Good points, Tim!
The evidence is just overwhelming. I have to truly check my brain at the door to be hunting around for something else at this point.
What you posted is important to the dialog and needs to be discussed. Glad you are engaged in the dialog.
Steve isn’t speaking specifically to Bob’s lawsuit but is asking the tough questions. I think it’s important to get his take, no?
I really like what you said, “There should be a rush to love, a rush to listen, a rush to understand and a rush to resolve.”
I made myself watch his last sermon from Sunday and it is baffling how he can talk about being saved for 6 days and then entering full time ministry. He goes on to talk shout his 40 years of reading the Word daily, how it builds up to help you spiritually in times of trial. He hears the Holy Spirit daily.
If he reads daily, teaches the bible from front to back and hears the Spirit everyday, why does he disregard so many verses that warn about everything he has done at so new a Christian to the suing of a believer.
Are pastors above the biblical law?
I sure treasure the rare but wonderful Xenia sightings! Much love to you and yours!!
I sure treasure the rare and wonderful Xenia sightings!
wooops double post 🙂 maybe the result of double joy:-)
I think I responded to the fact that I have not seen Steve respond to the blatant issue first. I’ve not see him communicate love, or at a minimum stating agreement with Scriptures on who not to sue, especially in light of the context of the topic brought up. It just strikes me as continuing to look for the loophole, or any position to oppose this subject in general. He may not intend this at all, but it comes across as his protecting the CC brand over the obvious issue that Bob Grenier should not be suing anyone in his case, much less his own son who made efforts to work this out in-house.
To me this is not at all about this not being a place where good discussions from a variety of opposing points view can be brought to the table. It’s more about timing and context. This blog post is certainly one that has been a long time in the making and full of emotion for many. In this context, to immediately jump to the loopholes seems … to be missing some love and understanding and maybe even the point.
I may be wrong, but I think I see a pattern. Each time a legitimate CC situation is brought up, Steve comes across to me as slightly changing the subject, almost as if it’s a method of distraction under the guise of Bible study. Again, it’s not that discussions can’t happen, it’s the timing and the lack of conceding the obvious point first, that just stuck out to me as a pattern, and an odd one at that.
But that’s okay. He can give his thoughts and I can give mine. He doesn’t have to be bothered by mine. He can freely disagree with me, too. He can state how I come across to him, as well. He can decide that this is the appropriate time to discuss the exceptions to the rule and I can still think it’s out of place. It’s all good.
I’ll add my gladness to see Xenia post her. I always appreciate her insight and perspective.
I have just checked into my hotel room in Albuquerque, home of the Dreaded One amongst others whose presences grace these pages. Had to travel out here for work. First time here. And if I happen to bump into Skip, I will make sure to send him greetings from Michael. 🙂
I agree that Bob is entitled to share his version of things. I hear he most recently, as of last week, chose to do so from his pulpit. I have a question and have been curious about this since a newspaper article ran over a week ago.
Bob, Gayle and their attorney, absolutely deny the truthfulness of my Declaration.
However, they did not deny the truthfulness of the Declarations given by a long time former assistant Pastor, long time former Board Member, and two (2) long time former Elders (all relating to financial abuse and the Board Members Declaration corroborates that Bob did admit to physically assaulting one of my brothers). Even more interesting, Bob did not take the opportunity to try and discredit Alex’s Reply Declaration either.
Is Bob now only denying the statements made in my Declaration? Is he in agreement with the statements made in the other Declarations that were filed in Alex’s Reply? It seems odd to me to only deny one. This is exactly why I would welcome Bob to share his version/or side of things.
My second question, as I do not attend Church regularly, is this: Is it appropriate to use the pulpit to address such issues that so many claim are private, family matters? If that is the case, then didn’t Bob just waive that right to privacy by essentially doing the same thing he accuses Alex of doing? I’m hardly in agreement with my brother on everything he does, but the similarity of what Bob is accusing Alex of doing so is almost identical to Bob attacking Alex from the pulpit.
Just some thoughts and questions.
It’s appropriate to only preach the gospel, Jesus Christ crucified for you, from the pulpit – nothing else. Evangelicals abuse that weekly – they read a portion of scripture and then immediately place themselves or the congregation in the middle of the passage and rip the gospel out of it.
Just as an FYI, the Tim that posted earlier is not me…the Tim who has been here in the past. I’ve got no issue with the name, since I’m not here much any more. I just didn’t think he’d want to be confused for a CC pastor.
” then didn’t Bob just waive that right to privacy by essentially doing the same thing he accuses Alex of doing?”
The private issue was taken away the moment the internet behavior started.
I believe with regard to the Corinthian text, my 10:38 am comment sheds an important light, if I don’t say so myself.
What would the apostle say if, after a church has reached a decision, one of the parties that disagrees with the decision continues to pursue, not in the legal system, but in the media system?
If a person disagrees with the church’s decision, take him to court, have findings of fact, have a judge/jury reach a decision and all that jazz.
But to AVOID going into court while RUSHING TO a media blitz is the completely wrong way to go, in my opinion.
In honor of MLD, I will now look for transcripts of Martin Luther’s delivered sermons to discover if he took his beefs with the Catholic church to the pulpit. My suspicion is that he did. How could you not?
His beef with the Pope was that the Pope was doing just what the evangelicals do – hide the gospel from the people. So, if he spoke about it, it was to show how to preach the gospel – Christ crucified for you.
But, at least if you read Luther, your spiritual IQ will go up. Happy reading. 🙂
I think Steve Wright is on the right track about 1 Cor and the circumstances.
Here is my question to Michael – are you advising the Grenier boys to give up all claims to a civil suit (if all future criminal complaints fail) against Bob G if it were to come to that?
Good point, Paul. There is a double standard, at least based on the “private family matters” comments. If Bob can sue people for talking about him, then can people sue him for what he says about them from the public pulpit? If so, my last CC pastor is in big trouble.
I don’t understand exactly what you mean by “hiding the gospel”, but I do get the notion you are talking about the focus of evangelical sermons being on us, as opposed to how the Word revolves around Jesus Christ.
This has been a helpful notion to grasp. I appreciate this contribution from you.
I’m not advising anybody to do other than their conscience and best understanding of Scripture dictates.
My goal was to bring it to the table for the community to discuss and we’ve done a fine job of that in my opinion.
2 thoughts, as best as I can attempt a muddled post.
Our court system operates according to certain rules, which demand weighing evidence from both sides against a pre-determined set of procedures, in order to achieve a balanced and just decision. Churches, generally do not do that. They hear some evidence, and then decide how they want to respond. To a large degree, the churches are making up the process on the fly. Such a process is prone to severe flaws.
Secondly, taking a CC dispute to CC leadership, will not necessarily result in an unbiased and just outcome. The CC leadership, is of course, biased. Until churches can set up an unbiased system with established rules for evidence and decision making, there is an inherent weakness in taking complaints to a leadership group with a vested interest in the final decision.
You know looking at rob’s #102 makes me see how they way, at least the way CC’s operate, sounds more like Michael’s #58 description of how the ancient judicial system worked. Way out of whack when you could get better justice from the US judicial system than a church.
BTW, Michael I actually read those posts and they were really interesting.
@ Michael “At the very least, for the sake of the name of Christ, a complete independent investigation should have been done and the fact finding published…for the sake of the church, the accused, and the accusers.
To have the matter come to this sort of head is the height of ecclesiastical arrogance and abuse of position.”
This is excellent.I have maintained this view for the past 19 years.
To Jim Jr. You are very distant from the Grenier situation. I appreciate your concern about this getting into the outside world for debate. I was one of those “raising a ruckus in the 1990’s”, within the church.
Actually, to date, I was part of the only investigative team that looked very closely into the accusations being raised about Mr.Grenier’s behavior nearly twenty years ago. A few of us followed the Matthew 18 teaching with merciful care. I won’t give all the details here but it was Mr.Grenier that shut down any effort to bring the accusations to a peaceful conclusion.I was very close to the ground on this, and can vouch for the truthfulness of Alex’s claims on his blog. I also will vouch for Paul Grenier’s soundness of mind, and his known character for speaking the clear truth. I have labored to maintain a moderate position in all this and avoid the rash character bashing I have seen happen to the three boys who many believe were in fact terribly mistreated by their father. I hold Mr.Grenier in spiritual contempt for allowing this to escalate as far as it has gone. I also hold Chuck Smith in equal contempt. Michael said it best, ” the height of ecclesiastical arrogance and abuse of power.” That in fact is the truth.
“I don’t understand exactly what you mean by “hiding the gospel”,
The gospel is Jesus Christ crucified for you. The “for you” is very important, because a message of “Jesus Christ was crucified” becomes historical and can leave people in doubt because they may ask “I know he dieed, but did he die for me?”
But that is another point. As soon as you take a passage and make it about me, or the pastor makes it about himself – then I ask, where is the gospel in that message?
“Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses.Those who sin are to be rebuked publicly, so that the others may take warning.”
Jim Jr. weren’t you the one being critical about picking and choosing what parts of the Bible to follow?
It just boggles me how Christians can defend Bob Grenier. There are THREE witnesses. Based on that fact alone, the situations merits attention. Secondly, these are his SONS, one is his biological son. Who would know him better?
Not only that, but look at Grenier’s actions…. would you look back at his actions and say that’s a godly man? Would you be proud to have a man like him leading a church? Let’s see what he did since Alex started his blog:
1. He LIED about Alex being his son ( the old internet site is gone, at one time, he stated he only had two sons).
2. He slanders Alex in public.
3. He doesn’t allow Gayle to have interaction with her grandchildren. (this one makes me sick to the stomach. He’s going to take it out on his innocent grandchildren).
3. He SUES him.
Even Alex will admit that the “ruckus in the 1990s” led to nothing other than people yacking behind each others’ backs. Were any significant rules broken? No. Was there any censure of Bob? No.
“I was part of the only investigative team that looked very closely into the accusations being raised about Mr.Grenier’s behavior nearly twenty years ago.”
And since he remained in ministry I’m left to assume it was nothing criminal and nothing beyond differing visions and expectations between adults.
That is not illegal, nor is it morally bad.
” I won’t give all the details here but it was Mr.Grenier that shut down any effort to bring the accusations”
Actually the details would be quite helpful and appreciated. As it stands now, your statements don’t paint Bob in the most positive light, and you’ve offered absolutely nothing to distinguish your statement from a smear.
“I was very close to the ground on this, and can vouch for the truthfulness of Alex’s claims on his blog.”
Okay. Good enough for me! Not. Isn’t character assassination in a public forum fun?! Not.
I’m trying to find a way to respond without using the term “Kool-Aid”, and it is absolutely impossible, so I’ll refrain from responding since I cannot respond to your points without mentioning Kool-Aid.
“It just boggles me how Christians can defend Bob Grenier.”
In all the years, I have never seen anyone on this blog defend Bob G.
I have a question – you said “He doesn’t allow Gayle to have interaction with her grandchildren. (this one makes me sick to the stomach.”
How do you know this to be true? Perhaps she has made this choice on her own.
Thanks for your insight, Bryan! Good to hear from first hand observers.
Rob, do you have any experience with the Presbyterian investigation process? I was wondering if they had a legitimate way of handling matters?
I have to step away for the evening.
This has been an excellent discussion…please continue to speak with civility and charity to each other.
“Good to hear from first hand observers.”
It is better to hear from them when they specifically mention what they witnessed first-hand.
The whole reason why Chuck Smith was dragged into this was his lack of concern. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depends who is reading) this became a HUGE sounding board for Calvary Chapel ABUSE. (Wow, if Papa Chuck was so in tune with the Holy Spirit, I wonder why he never saw this fallout coming?).
But for a church that has a reputation for testing spirits, testing everything against the Bible, they have failed miserably with their own. Honestly, as a human, I’m bit surprised that CS didn’t throw Grenier under the bus. The bad press he has/going to receive from this will be huge and it’s going to magnify all the other smaller abuses that go in the movement. (you can also see this as God’s will, just as he hardened Pharaoh’s heart, oh the irony). This is a man who distanced himself from Vineyard movement because they practiced charismatic gifts during service (which I agree with, another debate for another day). Yet he will not use any standard or any discipline to deal with his own.
Like someone said earlier, “people are more afraid of being a Calvinist than being a child abuser”
As for Alex taking it to his blog, I can’t see how Jim Jr. thinks it’s unbiblical? Chuck Smith was suppose to rebuke him in public. If he had done that, just distancing himself from Grenier, he wouldn’t be as mocked as he is now.
MLD: I guess you’re right. Jim Jr. is criticizing Alex while skirting around the BG issue. Good job Jr. You make Papa Smith proud.
In the spirit of discussion, might I ask a question?
There is a difference between arbitration and mediation, as I am sure you all know.
Both are seen in the legal world regularly and both are binding with consequences upon all parties. Arbitration leads to a winner/loser, while mediation leads to a compromise that typically leaves all parties somewhat dissatisfied except for the satisfaction that a resolution at least was reached and the issue over.
Can someone offer me their understanding of this successfully at work in a denomination in the area of establishing fact as to what would be criminal activity?
“How do you know this to be true? Perhaps she has made this choice on her own.”
Maybe Alex can clarify, I remember him saying that one of the lawyers (was it Chuck Smith’s lawyer?) had said if Alex’s kids wanted to spend time with grandma, Alex would have to play by the rules.
You’re right, I guess his mom could’ve orchestrated it. Did she call Smith’s lawyer and say that?
MLD, you seriously have never heard anyone defend Bob G on this blog? Do you not think JJ is doing just that right now?
As for Gail being told that she could not interact with her kids by Bob has been corroborated, though I’d have to look up those details to name names.
Well JJ, I guess if we can’t know your particulars then why should Bryan give you his?
Alex frequently tells his story and Paul has been on this thread. 2 witnesses right there. This does not apply to all CC people who post here, but the more I see of CC-at-large the more it looks like real “kool aid” tendencies there. Can I get an “OH YEAH!”
When I was in Iraq on my last deployment, my wife had already found a job here in SD. I went online and tried to find a church home for us and I considered the CC in Rapid City. I am glad God did not lead me in that direction now. It looks like an institution ripe for abuse of all kinds.
Because I am making no positive claims.
He was referencing and audit in the 1990s that revealed nothing but hot air.
“It looks like an institution ripe for abuse of all kinds.”
Welcome to the American church. I guess Lutherans have a good track record. Give them a shot.
If I remember correctly, Alex’s grandmother, who lived in the home told one, or some, of them some of the inside scoop. Paul, correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t you overhear your father telling your mother she could not communicate with Geoff at one point? So there’s an established precedent. And something was said to Alex’s wife … I’d have to dig through a lot to get this completely straight, but I believe it’s been established that Bob was the one who told Gail she could no longer have contact with her kids or grandkids.
But in the end it matters little to this discussion whether it was Bob’s or supposedly Gail’s decision, the fact is it was made and Bob has done nothing to correct it. It shows a huge failure on his part. It disqualifies him from the pastorate.
My last recollection of Gayle informing Alex, Amy and myself that she could not have a relationship with her granddaughter was about 3 or 4 days before my niece’s 1st birthday (almost 8 years ago). Gayle came to Alex and Amy’s home and began rather aggressively stating that she would not be forced to have a relationship with anyone she wished not to. Including her granddaughter.
Amy, rather puzzled at Gayle’s statements, told her that she was simply inviting her to her daughter’s 1st birthday party. Whether Gayle chooses to come or not is her decision. I do remember Gayle asking if Bob was invited to which there was a resounding NO. I’m not sure if Bob told Gayle she could not have a relationship with her grandchild or if she made that decision on her own. I was not privy to those conversations so that would be purely speculative on my part.
However, when my brother, Geoff, was kicked out of our home at 16, Gayle was not allowed to speak to him for almost 8 years. And since I was privy to those conversations I can attest that Bob demanded obedience from her that she not communicate with him.
Once again, these would be excellent questions to ask both Bob and Gayle since they now give interviews with the press and Bob speaks about the lawsuit from the pulpit. I don’t see why they would take issue with clarifying these questions.
On a side note, for many years, they steadfastly claimed that Alex, Amy, and myself cut them out of their lives and they were incredibly heartbroken over the matter. It was not until later when the child abuse became public (many knew about it privately) that they changed their story and the new dialogue was that we were evil, living in sin, and they could not have a relationship with us. So to be fair to Bob and Gayle, I am confused really as to what their reasons are. Hopefully they will take this opportunity to answer some of these questions.
No, what you do is obfuscate and change the discussion to points that are irrelevant.
Who gives a flying hoot about an audit in the 90’s?
I am sorry does that have something to do with abuse?
You love putting the quotes around someone’s words, but I haven’t seen any thing to support whatever it is you are trying to say. It is called muddying the waters.
the last was for JJ’s #119
My heart breaks for what you and Alex have gone through.
There are times, seasons, when relationships with parents are simply toxic. I lived that for many years. It took some mini-strokes to bring humility to one of my parents, and the loss of a spouse for the other. Those are things which I would wish on no one, yet I know that those things loom as possibilities for each of us fragile humans.
I hope that someday your parents will widen their world view to be able to love and embrace you and your brother.
Until that day I pray that you and Alex will continue to find love which is genuine and without agendas.
( |o )====:::
mediation: intervention in a dispute in order to resolve it;
arbitration: the parties have sought mediation and it has failed.
I’ve worked as a mediator. I’ve been through PeaceMakers training. We would mediate unresolved disputes such as, “Christian employer dropped Christian best friend, employee, from his health insurance after finding out the employee has a serious long term illness, without telling him.” You work to get the parties to basically reconcile and do the right thing with guided help.
If that fails, then both parties can agree to an arbitration where how they should handle it will be decided by an appointed arbiter, and the decision is binding based upon their agreement to enter into it.
Neither of these would apply to the Bob Grenier situation.
My grandmother, Ruth, told me and Amy separately, that she was not allowed to have a relationship with any of us because Bob forbid it. She lived with Bob and Gayle, and was completely dependent on them, in frail health, so I believe she kind of went with the program to keep the peace.
My other grandmother, Bob’s mother, whom I was extremely close with, passed away before all this became public. Which I am very glad she did because this probably would have killed her. I’m sure she’s turning in her grave by the way Bob is conducting himself. Bob’s own brother who is about 16 years older than him, is aware of everything that is going on. He and his wife have been very supportive of me during this time and while they are not fans of family matters being public recognize that Bob brought this lawsuit against Alex. In fact, Bob told his brother some years ago that the reason he did not have a relationship with me is because I’m gay to which my Uncle told me he “wanted to throttle him” for being so stupid. But once again, I’m not sure if that is an accurate version either?
Maybe Bob can offer some clarity and insight to that matter as well.
Paul and Alex,
I will be praying for y’all and for the lawsuit. Praying that you will get justice to some extent in this life. If it isn’t at least I don’t have to pray it will be given in the next, I already know that will happen. Just remember, that certain people need to remember that the God of the universe misses nothing and knows all of our motives.
May God bless you and bring justice swiftly!
Paul, thanks for the clarification.
I hate what you’ve had to go through. It’s just wrong on so many fronts.
Derek, I agree with you about the muddied waters.
Thank you, Chile. I appreciate that and all of the kind words from everyone at PP. And thank you to Michael as well who I think is an extremely fair-minded person. This is way more than I normally blog but I enjoyed reading the interesting and well written posts. Bonsoir.
Paul @ 126, yes, that was one of the stories I remember from your deposition, I think.
Ya know, you are right. If Bob is granting interviews to the press and speaking about this from his pulpit, then these issues could and should be addressed.
Note to Twitterers: Tell news people to ask questions to clarify
A. Why are Bob and Gail not in relationship with their kids?
1. Is it because the kids cut them out and they are heart broken as originally stated
2. Or is it because the kids are evil and in sin?
B. Clarify, asking if Bob agrees he made a statement to his own brother that the reason he won’t have a relationship with his blood son, Paul, is because Paul says he’s gay?
i appreciate your rare appearance, Paul!
Neither of these would apply to the Bob Grenier situation.
Chile. That was the foundation for my question above.
So my question remains on the table for anyone else to answer. Maybe one of the Lutherans or Xenia could chime in…
Steve, you might want to check out G.R.A.C.E. – Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment. I can’t speak for them personally, but from what others say it looks like a good place to start. They actually publish their results and I think they have outside accountability. I would think they would have very well defined spelled out process that needs to be able to stand up in court.
There’s another group, but they police themselves and don’t publish the results, so I would not consider a group like that at all.
Steve, you mentioned mediation and arbitration and then asked,
“Can someone offer me their understanding of this successfully at work in a denomination in the area of establishing fact as to what would be criminal activity?”
I was answering this question. Neither mediation nor arbitration establishes facts of criminal activity. But G.R.A.C.E. does.
For those wondering why we should not make public such issues, watch “All God’s Children” it gives you a reason that if there is not an internal / independent oversight you have to make it public. I cant think of one religious organization evangelical to the RCC that did not squeal like a stuck pig when confronted with such abuse issues. They played the God card, the Hurt Jesus card, the you are bitter card and all the other sidestepping. You want to get these peoples attention you have to hit them in the Soul, which is and always has been the wallet. Attack the revenue stream it will always get their attention always. You can play the Matthew go to them in private approach, which is a get out of jail free card for the higher ups in the corporation. Oh then there is the martyr card or the first amendment card which SGM seems to be looking into. When I read that I wanted to shove my finger down my throat and barf all over my keyboard. It is high time these people get their walking papers.
Oh and Paul I am very proud of you, you got more guts in your little finger then all those super hero types that blabber on about how great their “ministry” is or how special they are to God. Also you live your life the way you see fit. I am glad you and Alex are doing this, my dad was an sob to me on many occasions and could be really really nasty but he never kicked me to the curb. We reconciled near the time of his death and he reached out to me as much as I did him. He loathed the evangelical faith with a passion seeing how crazy it made his mother about some things. He knew more about God then most when it came to the important parts.
I’ve never been deep enough into the Lutheran church machinery to know how they handle disputes. My “gut” tells me that mediation is probably pursued in certain situations.
I’ve always admired the work of third party groups, not necessarily Lutheran at all, who act as peacemakers. Anyway, Jesus said they’re blessed!
I was answering this question. Neither mediation nor arbitration establishes facts of criminal activity. But G.R.A.C.E. does.
Yes, that was the question I intended to ask, and why I asked it. Because I do understand mediation and arbitration. I appreciate the interaction. Maybe I can be clearer on my end.
I do not know G.R.A.C.E. but if you say this is the sort of battle they would accept, then I’ll certainly take your word for it. In the end though, as you mentioned, “that needs to be able to stand up in court”
Could G.R.A.C.E. legally bind someone from future exercise of their Constitutional rights to their day in court? If one party was unhappy with their decision?
And can G.R.A.C.E. legally investigate child abuse allegations? I assume they certainly can’t if the abuse is ongoing – nor would any church be legally able to avoid the proper notification to the state of suspected child abuse.
That is something I believe everyone on THIS blog agrees to. Suspected child abuse is NOT something, ever, handled “in house” – or even through some Christian ministry.
As I said, Paul G. has a story so detailed, and so consistently told that it is almost criminal not to expect Bob Grenier to answer some serious questions. If you were to thoroughly question both Paul and Bob G. in the same room with many independent listeners, I don’t think you will find both stories credible. The rug is getting lifted, and Paul has much much more he could share. I cannot believe that good men would allow all the details to unravel as it is, unless those good men are not actually wise men.
Paul: may I also offer my prayers for healing, for you and your family. We speak about justice but I would think to you it’s a matter of the heart. I pray that I not speak out of turn but that I speak the truth in love. I know I fail miserably at times but that is the desire of my heart.
Thank you for clarifying the stories and thank you for your bravery.
I want to apologize beforehand if I misquote anyone. I’m not doing it on purpose.
Bryan: I can understand the need for privacy (yes, I can agree with Bryan but not Jr., it’s one of the blogs unwritten rules!) and I feel a smidgen of guilt knowing Paul reads this blog as we cry for justice.
But the way I work around it (and I may be completely wrong) is the Bible doesn’t keep silent the wrongs committed in the church. I think of David, a man after God’s own heart, and his adultery was made public. I think of Annais and Sapphira, probably staunch church-goers of their time, yet the writer of Acts discloses their motives.
But Paul, if you feel certain details should not be made public, I would hope the blogging community and Alex would take your request to heart.
If Bob G worked for IBM as some sort of division manager, would this be playing out the same? Would the Grenier boys be lobbying IBM to fire Bob with no preceding criminal legal action?
Let me see, does IBM claim to speak for God, do they pull the Hocus Pocus of hide the pedophilia in an international conspiracy while blabbering on about being the one true church. If people think I am just speaking about the RCC not really, they are just the best at it. Oh and IBM has accountability factors in place that would place a staff person on suspension with internal and external reporting procedures that protect both groups. Oh and they had these policies in place to some degree back in the sixties. Also IBM does not take care of kids, does not work with vast groups of people that volunteer for them to help them make their products free of charge. They do not get money from people unless they deliver a viable “real” product. I could go on.
Also a Division manager has a supervisor and is accountable to that supervisor. A division manager does not control the board, nor can they have access to the revenue stream and so on. Oh and if I forgot to mention it, IBM does not even hint that they speak for God almighty the creator of the universe and the only means of salvation of your eternal soul. They sell computers. There is a bit of a difference.
So true, Brian.
The do squeal. I was shocked when I learned of the coverups and refusal to deal with the rampant sexual abuse of kids at missionary boarding schools. Several well-respected mission agencies showed a true decay at their core when they did not help the victims, investigate and deal with the perpetrators. Other mission agencies blocked, subtly, any progress of investigations by not providing documentation in a timely manner, or any at all.
Their slowness to cooperate was their being complicit with the violators. Silence says the same thing.
Why does CC not take allegations of child sexual abuse seriously enough to require an investigation? Why does the church wait till the law is finally called in? So many of these assaults can never be proven in court and yet there needs to be an investigation that will determine if there are other disqualifying issues that can be found, because these types of sins don’t exist alone.
that was in response to 136
Steve, you can find G.R.A.C.E. here: http://netgrace.org/index.asp?str_string=Home~none~none
Looks like they deal with child sexual abuse.
What is GRACE?
GRACE is a non-profit organization made up of highly trained and experienced multi-disciplinary professionals who seek to educate and empower the Christian community to identify, confront and respond to the sin of child abuse. To this end, GRACE provides:
We assist congregations and other Christian organizations in developing effective child abuse prevention programs.
We offer guidance and instruction to churches and other Christian organizations seeking to develop a lawful and biblical response to the sin of child abuse.
We provide assistance to churches and Christian organizations that are confronting specific matters related to the sin of child abuse.
Our team of experts and former prosecutors have a combined experience of over 100 years in addressing child abuse. We are equipped to conduct a thorough and objective investigation of abuse allegations and provide necessary recommendations to your church or Christian organization.
We can connect you with websites, blogs and other resources that will educate and assist you in addressing the sin of child abuse.
oops, need to clarify @ 125, I was not an employee of Peacemakers.
Let me sort of change this as I have observed the evangelical response to such issues like climate change, evolution, and age of the earth it brings something to the forefront. Next to gay marriage and abortion these seem to be the big boogie men trotted out on many blogs, oh except maybe the egalitarian / complimentarian positions. I mean when Rachel Held Evens wrote her book “A Year of Biblical Womanhood”. I read the book and her series of posts on such matters, it made me want to sand paper my eyebrows off, but never did I wish Mrs. Evans ill will, did I think her uppity, or other vile comments I have read about her. I read her blog, some make me cringe others make me laugh. But I take her at her word and wish her well, even if we disagree, I always thought that is how adults behave.
I read other blogs because I really am trying to stay with in the Body, even though the Body has tried to push me out for the most part like some type of parasite from almost day one. I could add various aspects of church government, atonement, sanctification, sacraments, and this list could go on for ever. Science also has disagreements but any day of the week I would yield to the mechanism of science over theology any day of the week. On the other hand I loath scienctism and I see religion/ theology as the balance but we are to busy running around like chicken little to deal with real issues.I spent days if not weeks reading blogs on presuppositional apologetics, which is the a well out of respect I will not state my opinion.
I know I blabbered this before and someone wrote, I know because they cared, you dont know much about biology maybe you should stop posting. Well I said that on many occasions but there are epologists that know everything about biology, cosmology, epistemology, ecclesiology, physics, atomic theory, developmental psychology, and several other dozen disciplines and you needed to accept every single line they had to feed or you hate Jesus, will burn in hell, are an apostate, God hater, Romans 1 heretic and so on. Well I am now calling BS on this line. I dont hate God, it is ok to ask questions and even doubt. Oh and I am not looking for an excuse to go live a sinful life by the way. That is another lazy pathetic bs line this group spews out. Time to grow up on their part. Just my opinion.
…hits it out of the ballpark, decimating a false equivalency by showing IBM as a superior organization when it comes to someone injuring the brand!
I always felt it should not be a brand, I always felt we were representing the Eternal God of the universe, just goes to show what a heathen apostate I am. I tried to be an atheist, I even prayed God would make me an atheist, I have even begged God to kill me just to show me I was wrong. Of course I failed at all those hopes. I cant even get that right. From the cheap seats folks it really is a very strange religion it really is.
We’re talking about the same IBM that assisted Hitler in the Holocaust with their punchcard system, right?
Check out ‘IBM and the Holocaust’ by Lewis Black
This is not to play the Hitler card, but to show that IBM is a proven dangerous organization that has made every effort to cover up their involvement in one of the more terrible events in human history.
“Why does CC not take allegations of child sexual abuse seriously enough to require an investigation?”
Why do you assume they generally do not?
Speaking specifically to the Grenier situation, his board was notified, they investigated, decided that there was no law broken beyond the level of conjecture.
CCOF was notified, they investigated the allegations, they found nothing that would warrant any action.
Chuck was given all of Alex’ ‘evidence,’ he looked at it, decided there was no law broken that he could tell, thus no action taken.
You may disagree with Chuck’s disagreement with Alex, but that’s just a roundabout way of saying you agree with Alex.
MANY that have been through Alex’ dossier conclude in disagreement with Alex.
You are wrong JimWho. Chuck did agree with Alex. Even during the pulpit curse Chuck acknowledged the abuse. Then decided it was not his job to remove Bob, but to unleash God wrath on Alex.
But this point won’t matter. Now you will ignore this and go one to explain how it’s not their job to remove Bob. Circles into circles. Moving the goalposts.
” Chuck did agree with Alex. Even during the pulpit curse Chuck acknowledged the abuse”
If you listen to the recording you will discover that you are wrong.
Also, please refer to me as Jim Jr. Who is this ‘Who’ that people keep referring to?
Regarding mediation, arbitration, etc.:
This is what should have happened: After Alex and Co. did all they could on the Visalia level, they took it to the next level: Pastor Chuck. After hearing what he heard, he should have called a meeting of all the parties. He certainly has the authority to do this much at least. Alex and Paul could have looked Bob in the eye and made their accusations and Bob could have looked in their eyes and either denied everything or confessed. Or the accusers could have confessed, if they were making it all up. Either way, it is very possible that the truth would rise to the service. If child abuse was admitted, the next steps, possibly calling in the law, could take place.
As for lawsuits, let us not forget that Alex had some lawsuits of his own up his sleeve.
How’s my driving?
The Hitler card regarding IBM? Really?
You are the winner of today’s “Missing the Point Award”.
Perhaps it would help if you replaced “IBM” with “Chick-fil-a”?
…I would have said “Apple” but you would have sidestepped with “Foxconn”, so…
I tried to avoid the Hitler card, but that is very hard to do when IBM is mentioned. What’s that American expression? If the shoe fits you must wear it?
Okay, let’s get a few things straight. Chuck DID say he believed the boys. I know I read that. An investigation by CCV was never done. To do that you have to hear both sides. I’m not aware of that happening. There is no way you can read all of the testimonies, especially the one from the former elder, and not wonder what is going on. I hate to use this card and I normally don’t but it seems downright demonic. I’m tired of reading all the reasons why what Alex is doing is wrong and how all the evidence has been looked at and was deemed not enough to do anything about it. And, last but not least, you people have no idea of the manipulation that goes on at CCV, unless you actually experience it you wouldn’t believe it. I didn’t…..but I do now. JJ you can go mind f somebody else because I know better now. I say that in love…..
I believe the new version is, “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” 😉
So, back to the ACTUAL brilliant point that our ever observant and awesome brian was stating, regardless of the company, organization or institution, said entity, if it values the people it exists to serve, will always have a culture which acts according to its core values.
I see that lacking in the autocracy which is TheMosesModel which serves only the pastor with its lack of checks and balances
TheMosesModel views people as completely expendable, citing one of the Chuckisms about “blessed subtraction” when folks who question or seek reform ultimately leave. Yeah, that’s a great way to look at the people who sacrificially give then request transparency, with the notable gents who frequent this place who avoid such attitude and opacity
Just to be clear, and I think Alex will agree with me, there is no “you people” here at PhxP. Overwhelmingly, and I believe I speak for us, we support Alex with a few vocal exceptions and the newest personality to grace us, Jim Jr, so please be specific about whom you mean when broadbrushing with the “you people” thing, OK?
Speaking in love and as an ally.
My post should have read “with the notable EXCEPTION of the gents who frequent this place who avoid such attitude and opacity.”
Dang iPhone tiny screen!
Well, to be fair, G, every “system” or ideology treats people like they’re expendable. Capitalism, communism…. I do agree with you, though, that the Moses Model blows.
By virtue of the fact that any of us participate in spirituality, it is a free association in most civilized secular Western cultures, with the notable exceptions of the theocracies in heavily fundamentalist, evangelical or LDS regions. Thankfully the secular forces the spiritual to be pluralistic and allow for individuals to leave
JimWho, you are the same troll that has haunted us for years. Your points are the same as they have always been. Video evidence wouldn’t be enough for you.
First he comes on bloviating and generally acting like an opinionated jerk.
Then when you call him on it, he plays the “you’re not acting Christlike toward me, so I’ll act like a big baby” card.
Lute, your #169 is right on.
Lutheran, its very frustrating with such a serious issue. He ruined the forum we used at the beginning. Many families were chased away by this guy and his cyber filibustering. I’m glad he’s posting here. I’m glad that no one is buying what he’s selling. It only emboldens us to work harder. It’s the perfect example of what we are up against.
I agree with Xenia’s 157, this situation should have been looked into from the beginning by leadership.
The church must look at sexual abuse in-house to start with. They must see if there is an accusation and then immediate decisions and changes must be made. The one accused must step down from their position and be separated from children. Then the rest of the steps can be farmed out to a reputable source that is not just self-policed and one that publishes their findings. A conflict of interest must be removed.
From what I understand, G.R.A.C.E. would turn over to authorities actionable items. They are former prosecutors who do the investigating. But check their site for details in case I’m wrong.
Both the accused and the accuser are put under the microscope. If the accusation is proven to be false, then the accuser must be dealt with in a serious manner. In the OT, the accuser would then take the punishment that would have been for the accused, had they been guilty. Pretty stiff!
I agree Lute @169.
Tim, You’ve already had at least 2 big rounds with JimWho. He doesn’t play fair, have reasonable discussions, or bring real evidence to the table.
But while he’s a distraction, at worst,
he’s a real help, at best.
He’s a help be being and example of some of what BobCamp thinks. He displays a poor attitude and lack of love and twisted logic. No wonder all those who’ve been trying to deal the the abuse of Bob are so frustrated.
Sorry, G! It’s just that I get so exasperated!! Sometimes it’s so hard to read some of these posts. I guess I don’t mean ‘you people’ to everyone on here. Just ‘you people’ to whomever does not understand the situation and keeps coming up with these excuses of why nothing has been done in the CCV situation. I know! It sounds unbelievable that one man could manipulate a situation so completely, but that is exactly what has happened! No one will do anything!! That is why Alex has gone to such extreme lengths. They even say they believe Alex but won’t do anything. So….I’m sorry. I don’t mean to come off like that. I read here all the time and most of the time thoroughly enjoy it. There’s just a couple of ‘you people’ that irritate the heck out of me. But, I really DO mean that as sweetly as possible. I hope I’ve explained myself and thank you G, for pointing this out to me. 🙂
No problem. 🙂
For those interested, pastor Chuck has Rick Warren co-hosting with him on Pastor’s Perspective today- heard live on KWVE.
The PP may implode today…. 😉
Rick Warren, Don Stewart & Chuck Smith Sr in the same studio.
To quote George Takai, “Ohhhh, myyyyyy!” 😉
Jackie Alnor and the other “Discernment Ministries” will accuse Chuck & Don of consorting with an “Emergent”, though they really don’t get it that Rick Warren is anything but an “Emergent”!
Trust me, these Discernment Ministries really wouldn’t know an Emergent if one kicked ’em in the arse.
Gotta say, though, they do play well off each other. The laughter was refreshing.
They (the ODMs) are still talking about Chuck sitting with Rick at a Harvest crusade years ago.
This should keep them busy for decades!
-Swine flew Believer
From the cheap seats I want you to ponder, here is this frail old man, wracked with pain, laden with a myriad of archaic contradictory traditions and interpretations of scripture and of the church. Lets face it the RCC painted themselves into an apologetic corner and we all know its BS, even most of then knows its BS. But what does this old guy do, he resigns, steps aside, does not sue other Christians to protect the assets for the family business. He steps aside, leader of a nation state, boy I bet that some of the franchise tribes drool over that perk. I have often found that true believers that blast the rcc are jealous of its power and far far far far more important revenue stream.
read between the lines
this tired old man, wracked with pain, ran from being in the Hitler youth, succeeded what some call a “living saint” and called the vicar of Christ. He stepped aside with the full pack pack of bs he has to carry around and he also knows its BS but he lived it all his life. Lets fact forward to our protestant super heros who do the same crap only on a far less scale (something I think pisses them off daily). Do they step aside, do they retire, does an elderly person who seeks to finish well step aside, admit wrong and seek healing, hell no they hold on tight, cover the assets and bank on leaving the rest to their kids. And all of them are sucking at the oh never mind. I think people get my point.
I have no idea why anyone would be surprised or take offense at Rick Warren & Chuck Smith sharing the same pulpit or microphone. These guys have identical theologies – except perhaps the tongues thing (so really Warren is one up on Smith).
But both of them are theologians of glory – that you can tell what God thinks of you by the circumstances in your life. They preach it in almost mirrored statements.
Smith – The more you do for God, the more God will shower you with blessings.
Warren – The reason you don’t see blessings in your life, is because you are not doing enough for God.
Neither sees things as they really are, and neither looks to Jesus on the cross.
Go back through a couple of months of their sermons and see if you hear either mention directly, that Jesus died on the cross for you,,, you will not hear it.
I agree with MLD’s #180, hard to argue with that.
What a great opportunity to get your bible questions answered by two multi-millionaires and an alleged adulterer. I have so many questions for them. Somehow, I think my call would be screened 🙂
I knew that if Alex agreed with me that I had not stated my case clearly. My comments were not a shot at either – they were purely descriptive of their similar positions, for which I don’t know why the ODM pick at such.
Another similarity, they both wear the same Hawaiian shirts. 🙂
I don’t listen to Smith anymore, unsubscribed to his podcasts two years ago. I still have his through the Bible series somewhere. I went through it. Quite a bit of it with a Bible in a 5 ring binder with extra extra wide margins specifically dedicated to notes from his sermons. I listened to Warren for a little while.
Looking back, they are both Pelagian, even though they would never admit to it.
Long way of saying I agree with MLD’s #180 as well.
Hawaiian shirts are passé, the new Hipster thing is plaid
Wish I could agree but the cover-up of buggering kids invalidates the careers and legacies this current crop of popes and cardinals
This sums it up, brian