Sep 162014

Fellow Christian parents, do not use the Old Testament to justify abusing your children. We are NOT the Taliban or ISIS. Adrian Peterson’s recently exposed Child Abuse demonstrates a huge disconnect in the US and Christian Church at large. “Spare the rod, spoil the child” is not a license to injure and abuse your children. It is evil and wrong. Stop doing it.

Jesus does not want you to beat your kids in his name.

Jun 082014
Group dynamics, in all groups, require conformity most of all.

Group dynamics, in all groups, require conformity most of all.

Spiritual abuse or proper church discipline? Obedience and submission or rebellious spirit and trouble-making?

One thing many have in common on church abuse blogs is that most have been at odds with a particular church group and church leader/pastor…and were summarily shown the door, shunned, banned, moderated from participating with the church they once called home. This can be devastating for most. You lose friendships, family relationships, you’re called names like “troublemaker” and “instrument of the devil” and “not submissive” and “rebellious” etc. It hurts.

Pastors/leaders often feel justified in the particular banning as a proper form of church discipline….they are just “protecting the rest of the flock” as they say. Behind the scenes, often, it is the majority rules of that particular flock that is pressuring the particular pastor/leadership to deal with the dissenter or “troublemaker” and to deal with this individual or family once and for all.

From the perspective of the person being dealt with in such a manner…they feel they have done nothing wrong. They are simply trying to hold the particular pastor and/or leadership and/or church accountable for some perceived (real or imagined) wrong or injustice or inconsistency with a bible doctrine that needs to be remedied. The person takes their beef up the chain of command and when the pastor and/or leadership disagree…some sort of final judgment is finally made…often resulting in the particular person either “submitting” to the rules of the particular church group or facing expulsion.

“Spiritual abuse!”….or “church discipline for the good of the rest of the flock!”…depends (in general) on which side of that particular line you’re on.

Of course, there are many examples of clear wrongdoing by pastors and church leadership and there are clear cut structural wrongs within many church organizations. Let me be very clear that I am not questioning the reality and truth of “spiritual abuse” nor am I questioning the reality and truth of legitimate church abuses that need to be confronted and reformed. There are many many legit examples that are not mere “differences of opinion”….many of the stories and personalities who comment on this blog have very serious examples where churches and pastors crossed major lines. I’m referring to issues that are lower down the ladder….issues that also become “spiritual abuse” but from the other perspective are viewed as “protecting the rest of the flock” from a “troublemaker”. The line can sometimes be a fine line…sometimes it’s clear cut.

This issue is one that has peaked my curiosity for some time. I’ve observed the Group Dynamics of blog communities very much resembles that of a local church group.

Anytime a group of humans forms….there is a general dynamic that always occurs…this “Group Dynamic” is the sociological science that observes how those dynamics occur and how they generally play out in a group setting. It’s a fascinating area of study…one of my areas of interest since I was introduced to that science as part of my collegiate studies.

Blogs, like churches, take on a hierarchy over time. You have a central leader….the blog host…who becomes akin to the pastor. You have a “core group” of blog voices that participate regularly and contribute to the overall success of the blog as measured in comments and even sometimes in donating money or support…akin to regular church members who give regularly, volunteer to serve and serve as deacons or elders. The regulars in both groups support the pastor or blog host. They protect the pastor or blog host when outsiders come into the group and start “trouble”. The “good” church members and good core bloggers are generally very agreeable to the pastor’s rules and the blog host’s rules and they assume their particular roles within the group in protecting the group and the group leader…the group leader then protects the core group. It’s a very symbiotic and mutually beneficial relationship.

Then comes the outsider…the “troublemaker”…who doesn’t conform to the group’s written and unwritten rules. The person may have a particular beef with the pastor, a beef with how the church or blog does things, a beef with a key member of the core group, a beef with a particular doctrinal or philosophical position….and then there’s conflict and trouble.

The core group generally rallies around the particular irritant like white blood cells around an invading virus. Conflict ensues. The rules are asserted and then broken again…and the core group appeals to the pastor or blog host to deal with the “troublemaker” once and for all….usually after some sort of disciplinary efforts of confrontation, moderation, sanctions etc. When all else fails, the core group calls for the “troublemaker’s” head in the equivalent of the group dynamic’s death penalty: Banishment from the group!

The leader exacts the penalty. The “troublemaker” is eliminated. All is well again within the group.

I’ve been the “troublemaker”, I’ve been a member of the core group, I’ve been the leader. I’ve experienced legitimate church abuse, seen the real thing many times. I’ve been the legitimate target of group discipline when I didn’t follow the rules.  I’ve seen real “spiritual abuse” and fake. The distinctions can become blurred. Where is the line?

In the battles with Calvary Chapel, there are some clear-cut examples and many that may just be typical group dynamics in play where a person just doesn’t conform to the group consensus and bucks the norms there.

In blogging in many online communities…Christian, Atheist, Political, Economic, etc…I’ve noticed clear group dynamics in play…very consistent patterns, rules, core groups, leaders…and every group responds to “troublemakers” in a similar way. Is the “troublemaker” always the victim of “abuse” when they are shunned and banned even though they think they were right to buck the norm of a particular group and challenge its rules, its sacred cows and its leaders etc? Probably not.

Sometimes conformity is a requirement to be part of a group. Those who are non-conformists often have a difficult time remaining part of a group…whether it is a church, a blog, a club…whether it be Christian, Atheist, Liberal, Conservative, Libertarian, you name it. My observations from testing a broad range of groups is that they all tick the same, essentially. Conformity is the primary aspect of being a good and healthy group member.

My practical advice if you want to remain part of any group is this: Learn what the written and unwritten rules are. Learn who the core group members are and don’t challenge their authority within the group. Know the leader’s sacred cows and pet peeves and steer clear of pushing those buttons. Conform quickly and demonstrate submission to the core group members and leader….and slowly build trust with them. Over time, if you play by their rules…and if you pay your dues…you can become part of the core group…and then you can incrementally challenge some things in very small steps and progressions…and affect some small changes over time without arousing suspicion and getting kicked out.

Personally, I am largely a non-conformist and I have a rebellious streak…more due to my abusive high-control upbringing, out of principle and due to my ability to see beyond the surface that blinds most folks with regards to systems of Control. Most have no clue as to the dynamics in play and are rather confused when they find themselves at odds with another professing group of Christians (or insert your particular group here). Much of the time it is not anything spiritual at all….it is simply group dynamics. The folks violated the dynamic and most don’t even know what happened until they’re kicked out. The easiest explanation, often, is “abuse!”…when in fact, it’s simple non-conformity and part of what you’ll face in any group if you don’t notice the rules and don’t get in line.

I know when I’m bucking the group and when I’m going along. I’m rarely surprised. You have to make the personal choice: Do you want to fit in and be a part of this group?

Some don’t want to fit into a group…there are legitimate troublemakers…the internet era has identified them as “trolls”….these are serial non-conformists who like conflict and controversy and exhibit the “dark tetrad” from a psychological perspective…they are akin to sadists who enjoy hurting people through their words. You see these sorts of folks in online forums as well as in physical church groups. There are also folks who like to test their disagreement within a group they disagree with…you see this with atheists participating in Christian forums…and Christians participating in atheist forums….liberals and conservatives in political forums, etc. Sometimes there are folks who are just socially unaware and can’t gauge the dynamics and step in it seemingly every time they try to become part of a group. I once thought there was some sort of “right” and righteous Christian ideal in play…an ideal that trumped the humanness….an ideal that grace was to be given to the worst of the offenders.

There is no pure ideal in play. There is no truly free grace, not within any group. Conformity is the price one must pay.

I’ve conducted some social experiments to see if there was some sort of truly free grace ideal that truly existed…if there truly was some sort of spiritual ideal that trumped human group dynamics. I can confidently report to you: No, there is no spiritual ideal that trumps human group dynamics. There is no Christian “grace” for troublemakers who don’t go with the flow. I even tried to hold a principled line on this blog…wow, I was proven wrong in spades. Matthew Perri shows up and disrupts the group here…everyone reacts adversely to Matthew’s behavior and calls for his moderation or banning….that this isn’t a safe place, I’m not doing my job as a leader to protect the fold, I’m not being just, etc.

Groups like their status quo, they like their rules, they like conformity. Groups want a King to enforce it. There is no spiritual ideal that turns the other cheek and administers blind grace even to the most irritating non-conformist. There are rules. There is a hierarchy. There are sacred cows. There is a symbiotic relationship between the core group and the leader. There is a control structure that expects conformity. Get on board, or get out.

The consensus Christian gospel message is the same: Conform…or go to hell. Grace is earned through conformity. Conformity is required to be in the group.

That’s the truth as I currently know it with regards to this issue after much testing and hashing out.

 Posted by at 2:14 pm
Apr 072014

Smiling Bob.

Comments are back on now that things have calmed down and traffic is more manageable….here is a link to the blog comment left on that started the firestorm:

If you have information concerning Bob Coy and Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale or another Calvary Chapel franchise and pastor: agrenier7 at gmail dot com.

 Posted by at 9:31 pm
Apr 042014

A person claiming to have been employed at Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale made a public blog comment concerning Bob Coy.

The blog comment stated that Bob Coy had resigned and that the resignation will be announced after this Sunday’s services in a closed meeting for CCFL attendees.

Can anyone in Fort Lauderdale or from Calvary Chapel with knowledge of Bob Coy’s situation and CCFL please confirm or deny whether Coy has resigned?

Email me at agrenier7 at gmail dot com. If you are more comfortable speaking on the phone, email me your number and I will contact you by phone.

 Posted by at 9:57 pm
Apr 032014
Jesus loves kids. Jesus does not want you to hurt them in his name. Church, Calvary Chapel, everyone: Stop child abuse.

Jesus loves kids. Jesus does not want you to hurt them in his name. Church, Calvary Chapel, everyone: Stop child abuse.

I love my kids. I love them completely, unconditionally. There is no other love to compare it to in this present existence.

Romantic love, brotherly love…no comparison.

If God truly exists in some sort of paternal relationship with mankind that is beyond a human anthropomorphic rhetorical device, then I imagine my love for my kids…and their love for me…is about as close to an earthly glimpse of the Divine as we’ll get.

I appeal to your Conscience as a Christian parent…especially if you’ve been taught by a conservative fundamentalist evangelical church that beating your kids with rods “for Jesus!” and breaking their “spirit” is right and righteous. Let me be extremely clear: It is evil and you are wrong. You have bought into a lie.

Don’t hurt your kids. Don’t teach it, don’t rationalize it, don’t justify it. If you are hurting your kids now, stop. If you are a pastor who is teaching child discipline and you appeal to the Old Testament and verses that tell you to beat your kids with rods and leave stripes and scours (bruises and wounds)…and you teach that a parent must beat the “rebellious spirit” or “will” out of your children…you are teaching evil and you are sinning. Jesus does not want you to beat your kids into submission and Jesus does not force people into submission. You imposing your power physically and mentally and spiritually over your children to “break” them so they conform to whatever whim you have in your home is being a bully and is being an abuser and is an incredibly destructive misuse of the power and responsibility God has given you, toward the children he has also given you.

God does not want you to beat your children to “break” their will. That is what enemy military and the mafia does to extract information or to force compliance with a particular agenda…or to just be plain evil bastards who like to hurt and scare people.

Corporal Punishment Parent: “But, it is abuse to let my kids run wild without discipline! God says I’m to keep them in full submission! I would be a bad ungodly parent if I don’t ‘spank’ my children and make them conform!”

First, let’s define “spanking” and legal discipline…then let’s discuss the goal of discipline and the responsibility in discipline…and the child’s psyche and what science and statistics show are the results of corporal punishment that often opens the door from mere legal “spanking” to much more violent abuse.

All States (and Romans 13:1 applies here, read it) have Child Abuse laws on the books that define what is and isn’t “abuse”.

In the vast majority of States, the legal definition of abuse is hitting a child with an object or your hand and leaving bruises or marks or some sort of physical marker that the child was struck hard enough to leave a mark. Abuse also includes threatening a child (psychological and mental abuse) and scaring a child to death, as well as neglect (not providing basic necessities). Other “abuse” is defined as imprisonment, like locking a child in a small coat closet (my brother Geoff was imprisoned by my step-dad in a small coat closet as a form of discipline). Hitting and striking your child in the face or head with your hands is abuse. Punching or kicking your child is abuse. Grabbing your child violently and throwing them against a wall is abuse.

“Spanking” is not abuse when it leaves no mark, is done to a degree and in a manner that does not psychologically or physically harm the child. This is usually defined as using your hand on a clothed rear-end and not in an inordinate amount of blows and not a blow that would harm the child physically.

Do not “spank” your kids with belts, paddles, rods etc. Do not “spank” your kids while they are naked, that is a form of sexual abuse, you are forcing them to be naked in front of you in a very humiliating and vulnerable and dominated position. That is wrong.

All of the things I’ve described above have happened to me and my brothers (and more). I lived it. I witnessed it first hand. I will never be able to escape the memories of the abuse and while the physical scars have long healed, the spiritual and emotional and psychological scars are a part of who I am in both good and bad ways.

Parents, if you really truly “love” your children and want what’s best for them…do not hurt them. Do not have as your goal to “break their will” and to force conformity to your particular whim or agenda or view of a particular situation. You do not want God forcing you into compliance. You would press charges against me if I walked into your home, grabbed you by the collar and beat you into submission if I wanted you to stop doing something.

Your children are sentient human beings. I am a sentient human being. My brothers are sentient human beings. Your children have the same rights you do, they are just as important to God as you are.

There is nothing more dehumanizing than crushing the spirit of another human being using fear, force, violence and humiliation.

Let me repeat that and let it sink in: There is nothing more dehumanizing than crushing the spirit of another human being using fear, force, violence and humiliation.

Grown soldiers face years of issues after being tortured in prison camps, dominated, humiliated, hurt physically in an effort to “break” them. Men who go to prison and are beaten violently or dominated by other inmates face similar humiliation and have psychological and emotional scars that haunt them for life. How much more a child. How much more a child at the hands of the very people that are supposed to love them and protect them. How much more your pastor who represents “God” and “Jesus” to you and your family.

Child abuse is a prevalent problem despite public efforts of victims and advocates to raise awareness.

According to Child Help USA that tracks national child abuse statistics and advocates on the behalf of  the abused, children are suffering from a hidden epidemic of child abuse and neglect. Every year more than 3 million reports of child abuse are made in the United States involving more than 6 million children (a report can include multiple children). The United States has one of the worst records among industrialized nations – losing on average between four and seven children every day to child abuse and neglect.

  • A report of child abuse is made every ten seconds
  • More than four children die every day as a result of child abuse.
  • It is estimated that between 50-60% of child fatalities due to maltreatment are not recorded as such on death certificates.
  • Approximately 70% of children that die from abuse are under the age of 4.
  • More than 90% of juvenile sexual abuse victims know their perpetrator in some way.
  • Child abuse occurs at every socioeconomic level, across ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions and at all levels of education.
  • About 30% of abused and neglected children will later abuse their own children, continuing the horrible cycle of abuse.
  • In at least one study, about 80% of 21 year olds that were abused as children met criteria for at least one psychological disorder.
  • The estimated annual cost of child abuse and neglect in the United States for 2008 is $124 billion.
  • 14% of all men in prison and 36% of women in prison in the USA were abused as children, about twice the frequency seen in the general population.
  • Children who experience child abuse & neglect are about 9 times more likely to become involved in criminal activity.
  • Abused children are 25% more likely to experience teen pregnancy.
  • Abused teens are more likely to engage in sexual risk taking, putting them at greater risk for STDs.
  • One-third to two-thirds of child maltreatment cases involve substance use to some degree.
  • In one study, children whose parents abuse alcohol and other drugs were three times more likely to be abused and more than four times more likely to be neglected than children from non-abusing families.
  • As many as two-thirds of the people in treatment for drug abuse reported being abused or neglected as children.
  • More than a third of adolescents with a report of abuse or neglect will have a substance use disorder before their 18th birthday, three times as likely as those without a report of abuse or neglect. –Statistics courtesy of Child Help USA, 2014 based on government data.

Fundamentalist conservative evangelical parent (and others)…if your true goal is to “help” your kids by providing loving boundaries so they have a chance at turning out to be good productive citizens as adults…the statistics overwhelmingly demonstrate that crossing lines into abuse is doing more to hurt your kids and more to ruin your kids than some nebulous “devil” and “enemy” you appeal to that is supposedly after their souls.

Parents, many of you are that “devil” that is ruining your kids. Many of you are the very evil you say you are against and guarding your kids from. If you want to screw your kids up big time, just do what my step-dad has done…hurt your kids, dominate them, force them into conformity, strip away their humanity and use fear and guilt and shame and beat any good they have right out of them. You cannot beat Jesus into your kids…but you sure as hell can beat Jesus out of them.

Personally, I refuse to spank my kids, even within the guidelines of legal spanking. I find it doesn’t work very well if the goal of discipline is to be rehabilitative and corrective rather than punitive and hurtful and retributive. I found most of the time the “spankings” we got growing up were more for my step-dad to release his rage and vent (akin to kicking the family dog) vs. the goal of loving corrective and a teaching moment. Even done responsibly, it just isn’t your best option and teaches your children that violence is a proper means of getting another human being to conform to your will. I don’t like that. You shouldn’t either. Violence should only be used in self-defense or the defense of others…never to force conformity onto another outside of a War context or a police action etc.

We employ a parenting philosophy we call Grace-based Parenting…and I lead that effort in our home. My wife came from a very healthy and loving Christian home that disciplined responsibly so she is not nearly as sensitive to the issue as I am…but she has seen the results of what happened to me and my brothers over the years and understands the dynamic and the cause-effect correlations that come with abuse.

My daughter is very obedient. Some kids are just born with a nature of compromise and wanting to get along. It is very easy to provide boundaries for her and we rarely have to discipline her…and when we do, it is after the rules were clear and there were chances to moderate the behavior (by verbal warning) before an actual punishment.

My son is not very obedient…he takes after his mother :-) (don’t tell her I said that LOL, actually she recognizes it and it has caused her to thank her mother for being so patient with her growing up).

I love my son so much (as well as my daughter) and I knew early on that my role as his father would be very important in his development as I knew we were going to have a challenge in the home in incorporating his will and spirit into the family unit. I know full well the wrong way to handle him…which I count as one of the few good things, but a very important thing, to have come out of my abusive upbringing.

There is rarely a day that goes by without some sort of conflict in the home, in varying degrees, related to something my son has done or said or not done (or all three).

The first rule of Grace-based Parenting: Make up your mind early on and know that your goal is NOT to force absolute conformity and to have realistic goals and know and accept that your spirited child is…not might…but IS going to give you trouble. Don’t be shocked when he or she does. Know that the issue will be a recurring issue…just as there are things about you (parent) that you struggle with, sins that you struggle with all the time that you repeat and don’t conform to God all the way in some areas. Good parenting is a process…it’s not an event. You are not going to win every battle. Let me repeat that: YOU ARE NOT GOING TO WIN EVERY BATTLE. If you can accept that, if you are realistic about that, you will be doing yourself and your kids a great service. Strict 100% compliance on every issue is not the goal…no more so than you would respond to another adult in a more powerful position than you. Imagine if your boss at work treated you like you treat your kids…or if your spouse did (which happens often) or the cops did, or your pastor did or your doctor did etc.

The second rule of Grace-based Parenting: Don’t die on every hill. Pick your battles. Don’t make every last issue full-on nuclear war. Kids are human beings and they are full of energy, full of mischievousness and sometimes full of naughtiness. Remember, they take after you. Show some grace over petty issues. Give them the power to speak for themselves and the power to push back and explain themselves. Don’t silence your kids. Don’t take away their voice…that is very destructive. Have good boundaries…have rules…but not petty stupid stuff. We were often smacked in the head or face while our hands were forced to be kept at our side whenever our step-dad perceived a “bad attitude”. Don’t worry about a facial expression that expresses disappointment or discomfort or non-agreement. Your kids are human beings! Those are biological and physiological functions. They are not robots and they are not animals and they are not prisoner’s of war for God’s sake. We have Boundaries in our home and we do discipline. We choose to die on the big hills: Don’t hit your sister. Don’t hit your mom. Do your school work and chores. Make sure we know where you are. When big lines are crossed, we warn. After the warning, we enact a previously defined punishment (that is non-violent). This punishment usually results in the loss of a prized privilege (think video game use or playing or having to do additional chores). Lines are crossed often. Punishments are enacted, with and without an attitude. I don’t like being punished when I do something wrong…and I don’t expect another adult to force me to be happy about it for my “own good”. Let your kids be the human beings God created, don’t stifle all their emotions and personality and natural responses.

The third rule of Grace-based Parenting: Give your kids the power over their punishments. My son crosses the line…often. He does the crime…and he serves the time. But, he also has the keys to let himself out of punishment (metaphorically speaking, we DO NOT lock up our kids…I saw it happen to my brother growing up…he was forced to stay in a small coat closet in the dark and it was terrifying and evil, like solitary confinement in prison only done to a child). The punishment begins and we simply tell our kids…if you want to end your punishment then correct your behavior. When they correct that particular issue, then so ends the punishment (unless it’s hitting the other sibling, then the punishment stays in tact for its duration). Often times these punishments are over as soon as our kids finish their chores or complete their homework or correct whatever other behavior or task it is that mom requires. Our kids respond very well to this. It gives them some hope and tends to be much more corrective than punitive and retributive.

The fourth rule of Grace-based Parenting: Tell your kids how much you love them…often. Back it up with actions of love. Tell them you WILL NEVER hurt them in any way on purpose and that your goal for disciplining them is to correct a particular behavior or action…not because you are mad at them or because you say they are evil or bad or rebellious or whatever other verbal hurts abusive parents think of. Don’t tell your kids “God wants me to do this to you!” If you want to really screw up your kids…just tell them God told them to abuse you. We tell our kids that God does not want us to hurt them and that hurting them is wrong. When my son acts out toward me and screams at me…I ask him to stop and remind him that I don’t treat him that way and that I love him and respect him and I ask him why he thinks it’s OK for him to treat me in that manner. He usually responds very reasonably on these rare occasions and then I hug him and tell him I want to help him and ask him why he’s so upset. This empowers him. It makes him feel like he is truly loved and a human being, not an object, not a dog and not a prisoner in his own home. When you tell your kids you “love” them…and then you hurt them and yell at them all the time and crush their spirit and scare them and threaten them etc, they are not stupid. They know that you don’t love them…it’s just a word you use. Kids are very perceptive and they learn to not trust you very quickly when you cross lines and are abusive and mean towards them. When you lose your kids’ trust, you have failed miserably as a parent.

The fifth rule of Grace-based Parenting: Mom, dad….parents…I want to let you in on a little secret…you are a sinner, too…and you are wrong more often than you realize. Be honest with your kids, don’t have double standards and don’t be afraid to say, “I was wrong, please forgive me”. If your kids aren’t supposed to hit others and yell at others…how can you be a trusted and honest broker if you treat them much differently? If you lose your cool, repent quickly and let your children know you are sorry for your actions and that yelling was wrong…just as when they yell it is wrong. If you find yourself consistently losing your cool, you have a problem and you need to get help. It is not normal, both moms and dads, for you to fly off the handle all the time and to scream and yell and “lose your temper”. My step-dad was famous for his self-described “temper problem” which he used instead of his “child abuse problem”. If you cannot control yourself, if you cannot deal with another little human being not being perfect and not complying perfectly to your will and you freak out over this (my step-dad would blame his abusiveness on being “provoked” often by my brother Geoff…which is wrong, Bob is responsible for his own abusive behavior) then you have a major problem and you need professional help. Get it under control or you may end up in jail, you may end up on a blog someday and you will end up with grown kids who are damaged and who will never forget how you hurt them.

The “fruit” of Grace-based Parenting? My kids aren’t sinless perfect angels…they are good kids in general and both are very smart and very confident and very secure. Most importantly, they KNOW and believe they are loved…and they trust me and my wife. They believe me when I tell them, “I love you…I will always love you…and I will never hurt you”. The “fruit” of Old Testament Law-based parenting? Read the statistics…and read this blog and many others who have been abused.

I don’t know if my kids will or will not turn out well. That is ultimately between them and God and I cannot control that outcome. What I can control is how I treat them as their father.

April is Child Abuse Awareness Month…Church, Christians, Calvary Chapel and others…don’t hurt your kids…be a Grace-based Parent as Jesus wants you to be…and spread the word.

 Posted by at 1:08 pm
Apr 012014

This is particularly amusing to me because I grew up in Calvary Chapel, am a product of Calvary Chapel…and went to Johnny Mac’s The Master’s College and attended MacArthur’s church over the course of a couple of years.

I don’t really agree with either side doctrinally/theologically…though MacArthur is right about Cessation…CC has no miracles, no real sign gifts, etc…all the stuff I witnessed was pure emotionalism and all fake…but I think this is quite an interesting dust up.

Grabbing my popcorn to watch this one. Doctrine Wars!!!! LOL.

 Posted by at 4:12 pm
Mar 282014
Calvary Chapel pastor Dave Watson feels the responsibility to lobby against Gay marriage and to pressure an outside organization...yet Calvary Chapel doesn't deal with an accusation one of its Association Calvary Chapel pastors molested his own son.

Calvary Chapel pastor Dave Watson feels the responsibility to lobby against Gay marriage and to pressure an outside organization…yet Calvary Chapel doesn’t deal with an accusation one of its Association Calvary Chapel pastors molested his own son.

Article from Staten Island Advance

By Maura Grunlund/Staten Island Advance 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. —  A major Christian humanitarian relief organization has reversed its support of gay marriage that initially sent shock waves through the evangelical community on Staten Island and throughout the United States.

Pastor Dave Watson of Calvary Chapel in Mariners Harbor and Pastor Tim McIntyre of Oasis Christian Center in Midland Beach were among the many evangelicals who were dismayed when Director Richard Stearns and World Vision announced on Monday that it would employ Christians who are in same-sex marriages. Both pastors were relieved when World Vision saw gay marriage in a different light on Wednesday.

“This reversal is incredibly positive and speaks volumes to the Christian community at large about our values,” Pastor Watson said. “These values are grounded in all of the teaching of Christ, not just ones that are presently in vogue.”

World Vision, its board and Stearns “have genuinely sought forgiveness from the evangelical community for a mistake they made,” Pastor Watson said. He regards the pro-gay statement as a “lapse of judgment” and the reversal as sincere — rather than, as some critics contend, a reaction to a potential loss of donations from disgruntled evangelicals.

“Going forward, we should look for the fruits of change at World Vision,” Pastor Watson said. “In light of this admission and reversal, there should be an on-going transparency in decision making and consultation with its local church partners.”

“I am thankful that the World Vision board decided to reverse its decision and reaffirm their commitment to biblical principles and the belief that marriage is an institution created by God, between a man and a woman,” Pastor McIntyre said.

“In supporting any Christian organization, I believe it is imperative they make it a priority to proclaim the Christian gospel. World Vision’s earlier decision would have compromised and complicated their ability to do so.”

Stearns told Christianity Today on Wednesday that his organization had reversed its decision because of the backlash from evangelical leaders.

Link to full article here: Commentary and Opinion:

Calvary Chapel pastors tell you, “We teach the bible simply! The bible is the absolute truth! The bible is God’s word!”

1 Corinthians 5:12 It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning.

I’ve been told by many Calvary Chapel pastors…including my friend Steve Wright of Calvary Chapel Lake Elsinore…that “it’s not my responsibility” to deal with the sins of other fellow Calvary Chapel pastor Franchise Associates accused by their sons of child abuse and in Paul Grenier’s case an accusation of molestation.

…yet it seems to be the “responsibility” of Calvary Chapel and Calvary Chapel pastors to speak out loudly against Transgender and Gay Marriage…which aren’t hurting anyone inside Calvary Chapel…and are issues largely outside of Calvary Chapel.

Calvary Chapel exerts a lot of time, energy, money, resources and pressure to right their perceived wrongs in our Culture…yet they spend about two seconds telling you why nothing is their responsibility inside their own Church Association and it’s none of their business.

That’s quite an interesting interpretation of what Paul the Apostle states in the bible…so-much-so it begs the question as to whether these CC guys really do believe the bible…because their actions and examples tell a story of a much different belief…the bible is not to be taken seriously as they consistently model. Calvary Chapel picks and chooses its Fundamentalism and Literalism. It’s a very dishonest approach. I’d rather they were honest and just say the bible really doesn’t matter…do whatever you want. Instead they do the worst thing possible…they tell you that you have to live a certain way according to the bible….and then they ignore the parts they don’t like and don’t live by. Very wrong. Embrace the whole thing…or don’t embrace it at all.

True belief is measured in what pastors and Church Organizations/Associations do…not what they say. As such, Calvary Chapel shows us that they are dishonest and that the bible is not to be taken as absolute…you can do whatever you want…despite what it says in some or all areas….just as they practice.

 Posted by at 10:24 am
Mar 272014
Jack Hibbs of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills is fighting the Transgender laws in California.

Jack Hibbs of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills is fighting the Transgender laws in California.

Article from Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

By Beau Yarbrough,

A group seeking to overturn California’s law allowing transgender students access to programs and facilities based on the gender they identify as, rather than the sex they were born into, is continuing the fight by serving Secretary of State Debra Bowen and other officials, the group announced Tuesday.

“We have served the Secretary of State with another legal action asking her to qualify the referendum and we have served county officials across the state with a demand for the documents to prove the abuse of discretion in rejecting more than 131,000 signatures,” Gina Gleason, director of faith and public policy at Calvary Chapel Chino Hills, wrote in a press release issued Tuesday morning.

Gleason is one of the proponents listed on a proposed referendum that would repeal Assembly Bill 1266, which was signed into law last September by Gov. Jerry Brown, and took effect on Jan. 1.

Opponents say the law will allow curious teens to ogle members of the opposite sex while at their most vulnerable, and for male students to game the system by dominating female sports teams. But officials in school districts where such policies have already been in effect — including Los Angeles and San Francisco unified school districts — have said those issues haven’t emerged in practice.

Chino-based group Privacy For All Students, with Gleason and Calvary Chapel Pastor Jack Hibbs as its most proponent spokespersons, collected signatures during the fall to put the matter before voters as a referendum on the 2014 ballot. An initial random sampling of the signatures showed PFAS came up 22,178 signatures short of the 504,760 signatures required to qualify for the ballot. They did get close enough to force a mandatory manual recount of every signature collected. (The previous sampling effort just looks at 500 signatures or 3 percent of the signatures submitted in each county, whichever was greater.)

But the manual recount also came up short, with officials saying on Feb. 24 that PFAS came 17,276 shy of the mark.

Read the full article here: Commentary and Opinion:

This article and issue peaks my interest on many levels. I’ll preface my comments by recognizing and affirming that our Current System requires that the populace and the particular Groups who hold competing moral opinions engage in a battle to carve out both “law” and morality. That’s how it works. As such, the Evangelical Christian* has as much right to influence and push for the definition of laws and the definition of morality as any other competing philosophical Group who disagrees.

While “Transgender” proponents take a “civil rights” posture…from a critical thinking perspective it doesn’t appear to be the case. Removing your male anatomy and fashioning the female organ in its place or feeling you are a boy trapped in a girl’s body no more makes you biologically male or female than sharpening your teeth to a point, dying your hair black and wearing a cape makes you a vampire. Except in the case of the hermaphrodite, Science appears to demonstrate either male or female biology, despite the psychological disposition of the particular individual.

Conversely, Transgender should not be a taboo or some sort of lightening rod or target for abuse and bullying by those who disagree morally. While I am highly critical of Evangelicals with regards to other issues, I do not see the Evangelical as wanting to target and bully Transgenders…as is the propaganda coming out of uber-liberal voices like Rachel Maddow and MSDNC.

Both Groups have their right to a moral opinion. The “civil rights” of the Transgender should be protected just like the civil rights of anyone else…with regards to the Bill of Rights. If a Transgender person is threatened with physical violence, they should use their right to pack a gun and protect themselves. If the Transgender person wants to speak out and present their moral opinion…they should have the right to do so.

The reality is that the “law” will be dictated by which Group in the Moral Debate will be able to apply more pressure and influence to write the law. Right now in California, the Pro-Transgender Group is winning that battle. It is not wrong for a church and church leader with a contrary moral opinion to fight against the current law. That’s how the Current System works.

While I disagree with Evangelicals on many issues…and there are many criticisms of the Group that are valid…Evangelicals have the right and responsibility to vote their Conscience and they have only themselves to blame when the issues of Morality and Law are dictated for them by other Groups in their Municipality, State or Nation.

Another issue that piques my interest with this one: Pastors are public figures and Pastors do interject themselves into public moral debate all the time. In the current lawsuit I am in with Bob Grenier of Calvary Chapel Visalia…he is arguing he is not a public figure…and that he has not interjected himself into the public debate about morality and moral issues regarding child abuse or about financial corruption or other similar moral issues. Nothing could be further from the truth (and God hates “liars” and “liars” go to hell according to Bob’s bible).

Grenier fought against Gay Marriage publicly (quoted in the newspaper as well) and he also publicly railroaded Phil Aguilar of Set Free Ministries in a very aggressive campaign alleging child abuse, corruption etc. and was eventually successful in getting Aguilar booted from Visalia. Those are glaring examples of a Pastor interjecting himself into the public discussion of morality. Pastors do it all the time. When they take a stand publicly against a moral and legal issue like Transgender or Gay Marriage or any other similar issue…they are interjecting themselves into the public discussion about morality and holding themselves up as a public figure in that debate. Hibbs demonstrates this dynamic for us with the Transgender fight. I’m not saying it is right or wrong…I am saying it is the action of a Public Figure and not a private person. Regardless, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that private persons have to prove “actual malice” even if they aren’t considered public figures…if the matters under discussion are “in the public interest”…so I guess it’s a pretty moot point after that ruling. Pastors are clearly public figures in most cases…but if the issue is “in the public interest” then they must prove “actual malice” regardless.

A last comment about this one…a guy like Jack Hibbs will get up in arms about Transgender stuff in his State…something that is “outside the church”…yet not a peep from Hibbs about getting his Calvary Chapel Association to require mandatory Child Protection Policies and Financial Transparency in the by-laws of prospective Calvary Chapel affiliate/franchises to become an official Calvary Chapel.

Seems Paul the Apostle and the bible…which Hibbs and other Calvary Chapel guys say we are to interpret “simply”….says this:

1 Corinthians 5:12 It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning.

Just goes to show…there’s nothing “simple” about bible interpretation…always an asterisk and fine-print for why Calvary Chapel pastors have no responsibility and no duty to “judge” their own Church Organization/Association.

 Posted by at 12:00 pm
Mar 272014
Former Calvary Chapel youth pastor, Nicholas Henshaw, commits suicide after arrest for child molestation.

Former Calvary Chapel youth pastor, Nicholas Henshaw, commits suicide after arrest for child molestation.

Article appears in Dana Pointe Times

By Andrea Papagianis

A former Dana Point youth minister who was arrested in Colorado last month and charged with the sexual assault of a child committed suicide Monday, according to authorities.

Nicholas Henshaw, 35, of Fort Collins, Colo. was found dead in a Loveland, Colo. hotel Monday morning, confirmed Stephen Hanks, a deputy coroner investigator with the Larimer County coroner’s office, who worked the case. His death has been ruled a suicide.

Henshaw’s body was discovered in a Holiday Inn Express south of Fort Collins. Authorities have determined the cause of death was suffocation by way of asphyxiation with helium, Hanks said.

In February, the former youth minister at Capo Beach Calvary Church, now Capo Beach Church, was charged with one count of sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust, Larimer County court records show. Henshaw was accused of molesting an 8-year-old neighbor. The state of Colorado classifies the crime as a felony.

The accused was out of jail on bail. His next court appearance was set for April 4.

Over the last 18 months, Henshaw was the subject of multiple investigations in Larimer County, said criminal investigator Don Vagge with the Fort Collins Police Department. The most recent led to Henshaw’s arrest.

Henshaw was also the subject of an Orange County Sheriff’s Department investigation in the early 2000s.

Officials looked into suspicions that Henshaw committed lewd and lascivious acts with a child, according to OCSD spokesman Lt. Jeff Hallock. The case was presented to the District Attorney’s Office but no charges were filed due to a lack of evidence, Hallock said. No further details were provided.

Link to full news article here:

…and here: Commentary and Opinion:

Sad story. So many kids’ lives affected. I’m torn about the suicide. Part of me is glad Henshaw is dead and will no longer be able to hurt kids…and part of me wishes he’d have gone to prison and got some Prison Justice before he died.

What this story should illustrate is that pedophiles and child molesters seek out positions that put them with kids. Not all youth leaders and youth pastors and youth volunteers and youth helpers are molesters…but all molesters tend to seek out positions as youth workers.

It looks like Henshaw was a Youth Pastor at Calvary Chapel Capo Beach for a couple of years around 2000-2002. I am told by a friend familiar with that church and that situation that once that Calvary Chapel learned that he presented a danger to kids, they canned him….good for them.

Unfortunately, the guy simply moves to another area and molests more kids. There has to be a better way to mark these predators and give the communities they prey on a heads up in the Church System.

At minimum, Churches need to do a better job background checking their youth workers and leaders and not just checking their criminal records…sometimes these guys dodge the law for a long time…but actually calling their previous churches or organizations and asking if there have been any allegations or any investigations regarding child abuse…even if there has yet to be an arrest.


 Posted by at 10:15 am