Friday, October 3, 2008

It's not about Baptists vs. Baptists

Baptist minister Timothy Mann was sentenced to 7 years for child sex abuse.

Mann was a popular music minister who worked at prominent churches:
At the time of his arrest, he was at Shades Crest, a flagship church for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Before that, he was at First Baptist Church of St. Petersburg, which according to its website, is affiliated with both the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and the Southern Baptist Convention. And his prior church, First Baptist of Gaithersburg is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.

Mann was so well-respected that, in 2004, he was the worship leader for the entire general assembly of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. He also taught at Baptist-affiliated Samson University, and he was active in Youth Choirs, Inc., an interdenominational network promoting youth-choir ministries.

For those of you who don’t follow Baptist arcana (you lucky dogs), what all this means is that Mann worked both sides of the Baptist divide. He worked in both conservative and moderate Baptist churches. And he was a child molester.

The 30-old schism between Baptist conservatives and moderates -- commonly called the “fundamentalist take-over” -- was a civil war that so polarized Baptists that, to this day, they still tend to view almost all issues through that same old cloudy lens.

But when it comes to clergy sex abuse, Baptist conservatives and moderates share a tragic common ground. Both do far too little to protect against clergy abuse or to minister to the wounded. Both do far less than what other major faith groups are doing. Both are big on talk, but small on deeds.

So many people have told me that I should “ease up on the good guys.” Most of the time, it’s people who think “the good guys” are the guys at the Baptist General Convention of Texas. Why? Because they’re “moderates” -- or at least they carry that label.

I understand why people often try to peg the “good guys” based on little more than a label. It’s that age-old human desire to believe in the righteousness of the home-team. It’s a sort of tribalism.

But folks, I wasn’t part of the Baptist civil war, and when it comes to clergy sex abuse, I perceive the conservative/moderate labels as being meaningless. Neither side can claim high ground.

Thoughts about Baptists’ conservative/moderate schism came to mind recently when SNAP did a press event at the Baptist General Convention of Texas in Dallas. We were hand-delivering a letter to the BGCT’s new executive director, Dr. Randel Everett, calling on him to protect Baptist kids by releasing the names of ministers who have been reported by churches for sexual abuse.

SNAP’s media advisory went out all over the metroplex, and a reporter emailed his boss to tell him why he wasn’t inclined to cover the event. At least, he thought he was emailing his boss. In reality, he sent the email to a SNAP leader. Here’s what he wrote: “In my view, the Baptist General Convention of Texas has done more than any Baptist group to deal with clergy abuse.”

It’s a revealing message, and based on comments I get, it’s a view that a lot of people share. It’s a view that says, “Why go after the ‘good guys’?” It’s a view that expresses a misperception I continue to battle.

The misperception is that it’s about one Baptist group versus another Baptist group. It’s not.

Think about it this way: If the Catholic Diocese of Dallas kept a confidential file of priests who had been reported for child molestation, but didn’t take action to responsibly assess the reports, didn't remove the priests from ministry, and didn't even bother to warn people in the pews, would we praise the Dallas diocese on the ground that it was doing better than some other diocese, because at least the Dallas officials weren’t calling the victims ugly names?

Surely not. We would expect the Dallas diocese to do a lot better… AND we would expect other dioceses to do better as well.

Similarly with Baptists, the issue isn’t about whether the Baptist General Convention of Texas is doing more than other Baptist groups. The issue is about whether the Baptist General Convention of Texas is doing all that it should to protect kids in Baptist churches.

The answer is obvious: It’s not. The Baptist General Convention of Texas should do a lot better… AND other Baptist groups should do better as well.

The problem of Baptist clergy sex abuse cannot be effectively addressed by looking to the old conservative/moderate labels. This isn’t about Baptists vs. Baptists.

Regardless of what label they wear, the Baptist “good guys” will be the ones who finally step forward with courageous leadership and make kid protection more important than institutional protection.

The Baptist “good guys” will be the ones who finally bring Baptists up to speed with what other faith groups are doing by providing a safe place where victims can report clergy abuse with a reasonable expectation of being objectively heard.

So far, we haven’t seen these basic steps from either the “conservatives” or the “moderates.”

Until we do, I’m not going to pay heed to talk about how one Baptist group is doing more than another. I’m going to keep talking about how much more they ALL need to be doing.
_________________________
Correction: According to the Birmingham News, Timothy Mann was actually sentenced to 13 years, and will serve 7 years of prison time with the remaining 5 years to be served on probation. Thus, the Gazette headline is incorrect in stating that he was "sentenced to 7 years."

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

What is interesting to me is that Shades Crest is part of the Alabama CBF, the same denomination who recently passed a policy on clergy sex abuse. Meanwhile, Brent McDougal, who is the coordinator for the AL CBF and spokesperson for the new abuse policy (according to an EthicsDaily.com article), not only works closely with Tim Mann, but I believe they are (or were) friends. Talk about a prominent, well respected minister walking around as a wolf in sheep's clothing! No one would have guessed...no one.
Churches must be protected from these men...somehow.

Christa Brown said...

Yes, this case is a perfect example of why people cannot presume that they're going to be able to magically "know" who is a predator and who isn't. They are wolves in sheep's clothing, and they can hide even in prominent churches and even among very well-educated ministerial staffs.

I also thought Mann's attorney was off-the-mark in arguing that Mann should have a lighter sentence because he got therapy for himself and was "trying to get better." Given that Mann was continuing to work in a position of trust as a minister, and given that he was continuing to work with young people through Youth Choirs, Inc. and through teaching at a university, his therapy had obviously not brought him to the point of understanding the full seriousness of what he did. If he really understood, he himself would not have chosen to continue as a minister. Fortunately, it doesn't appear that the judge thought much of the attorney's argument either.

The Victim's Father said...

My daughter is the victim of Tim Mann's sexual abuse, and I am concerned that several statements and published articles, especially one from the Gaithersburg Gazette, linked from the SBP site, are in error and minimize the severity of Tim Mann's sentence. The reporter contacted the defense attorney instead of the prosecutor. Mann was sentenced to 13 years in state prison, with all but 7 suspended, and 5 years probation after that, during which time he must undergo a 3 year program of court-approved psychological counseling. He must also be forever registered in the national sex offender database, and must inform authorities of his status at any destination that he travels to after his release from prison. He will be prevented from ever holding a ministry position, or any position that involves working with youth. The Gazette article also stated that he informed his family and underwent three years of therapy before his arrest. In fact, he admitted the abuse to his wife only after my daughter contacted her, a former mentor, seeking help. The three years of therapy were for marital counseling, not for sexual abuse counseling. The message that the sentence sends is that sexual abuse of a minor is a serious offense and deserves serious punishment. This information can be verified with the Montgomery County Md. State's Attorney office.

Christa Brown said...

Victim's Father: Thank you for the clarification on Mann's sentence.

Kudos to your daughter for her great courage and for bringing this man to justice! I hope she realizes what a strong young woman she actually is. I also hope that she has received some professional counseling. Just curious... has First Baptist Church of Gaithersburg offered to pay for her therapy? Obviously, they should.

I'm not surprised by what you say about how Mann's 3 years of prior counseling was actually marital counseling. One of the most well-known "experts" on clergy sex abuse among Baptists - a guy who regularly speaks on the subject at Baptist conferences - talks about protecting against clergy sex abuse by protecting the minister's marriage. He talks about how ministers should have a regularly scheduled "date night" with their wife. I think it is profoundly naive to imagine that you can protect against a predator by encouraging ministers to have scheduled "date nights" with their wives. Yet this is the kind of "expert" advice that Baptist leaders get. It's also a view that greatly minimizes the crime by viewing it as an "affair" or as "unfaithfulness" instead of for what it actually is: child molestation and/or the rape of a minor.

john said...

All of this talk about the "treatment" he receives is nothing more than saying that the wolf has learned to take more caution before destroying another victim! So what if he must report. Who does the victim report to for help and encouragement? So what if he is on probation for a few years. The victim is hurt for a lifetime. So what if he has to register. The victim still needs some help from a registered doctor and should not have to pay for the cost herself.
I hear preachers cry all the time about how the courts seem to stand up for rights of the offender while ignoring the rights and needs of the victim. Where is the action to back up their concerns when it comes to a person becoming a victim as a result of the sinful activity of one of their own?
This perp got off too easy and even he knows it.
Since some of the leaders think you can stop these perps by helping them have a better marriage, why not offer them help to loose weight, if the are overweight, since be ing overweight can lower self esteem and thereby contribute to their perp ways?
Enough already! He is guilty so he should pay for it. The churches involved told the people to trust their decision to make him a leader so they should cover the cost of the damage he has done.
His "friends" need to shut up and the churches need to pay up!

Thy Peace said...

To me, the most helpful thing in all this is not just punishing an offender after the act ... but if the churches and organization did some preventative work. They should educate both the staff and members of a church, especially women and children who might be put in an environment where they have to trust the staff.

I am sure churches are doing this some extent.

oc said...

I'm sorry. I'm really sick of hearing about educating any of us about this sick, sinful, and disgusting crap. Just punish the perps like hell, put them in a cell and let Bubba molest him for the rest of their lives, and maybe that will send a firm enough message. And castration is not beyond my sensibilities. Why should the be impetous always be on the innocent?

You know what? Maybe "education" is not the answer. Maybe punishment is.
Fed up.
Just sayin'.
oc.

oc said...

I'm really tired of the PC education/indoctrination nonsense aimed at the innocent.

Here is what's real. It's like dealing with a dog. If he pees on the carpet, pain is the only thing that will stop him from doing it the next time. NOT education or psychology or any social excuse of why he may be pissing on my carpet. He pissed on my carpet none the less. Who cares WHY he's doing it, it's just wrong, and I want him to stop it. I have seen by experience that coddling him does no good. Coaxing him and giving him a biscuit and trying to convince him, talking sweet, etc.
does not work. I've seen it tried.
... And when the head is turned, he again pisses on the carpet. He will not stop peeing on the carpet until it becomes too painful to do otherwise, and when that finally happens, he will then find a different way to relieve himself.

I'm tired of this "educational" approach that is aimed to educate the possible victims. Do we really need to learn why someone might victimize us? Let's put the responsibility back on the perps instead. Let's hurt them bad enough that his possible victims don't have to be "educated" in this kind of crap anymore.
Hurt them bad enough so the other dogs won't piss on the carpet.


Not sure I have, but I hope I've made some kind of sense here.



Just sayin'.
oc.

oc said...

And I'm sorry for the language, but I thought it warranted within the context.
oc.

Thy Peace said...

What I meant by education is, to prepare: think in terms of self defense, how to spot possible offenders taking advantage of you, what your rights are, who to go to when stuff might possibly taking place, how to discern ...

After the fact, punishing the offenders, sending a message to possible offenders are good ... except, it still will not stop future offenders.

I am not condoning them.

All I am saying, the church members are to be little bit more prepared in the knowledge of how to spot such an offender or activity that could become really bad, as it has happened here.

Thy Peace said...

I understand, in churches, it is very hard for members to do ... because they think they are in a trusting environment, they are in God's house ... and that the staff is vetted and checked ... so this stuff is much harder to deal with than when it happens in the world outside.

oc said...

Thypeace.
My post was in no way in deference to you. I admire you and respect your opinions. You have given evidence of being Holy Spirit grounded.

No, my posts were not in any way a retaliation against yours. In fact, you gave me inspiration to go on ahead and speak what He's already given me.

Peace, my friend. In Him.
oc.

Phyllis Gregory said...

OC,
Apologize for nothing -- you only spoke the truth in a way that should make people think and listen.

I agree with all you said. Keep those honest thoughts coming. I do beleieve that in time the truth will set us free.

john said...

Sadly there is not a way know as of yet to be able to "spot" a pervert. The leadership of the church has to take steps to try to prevent situations from occuring which make it easier for the perverts to do their dirty work. Now, since so many of the perverts who are being caught are "leaders" it is easier to see why the efforts of groups like SNAP ar3e so important and the need for an independent watchcare group are essential.
Anger and frustration are a natural outgrowth of being violated. To expect those who have never been violated or never trained to deal with those who have been violated to understand the depth of the pain, anger, sence of being violated and betrayed is asking almost the impossible.
All we ask them to do is give the system of oversight a chance. Also, please understand that almost as much as we want justice we want the non-victims to maintain that status.
Yes Phyllis, I agree with you that the right will pervail. My concern is how many more must suffer before the average pew sitter decides to demand the oversight action.

Thy Peace said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
gmommy said...

I think the SBC and the good ol boy network needs to be shut down. However that has to happen.

It's one thing for some of us to decide never to be a part of an SBC or Baptist church again....but that still leaves them to carry on and hundreds of victims to be left bleeding along their power trail.

There has to be a way to expose them and shut them down.
Why should the Paige Patterson followers draw their huge salaries, go on all their church and mission paid trips, continue to influence (to the point of dictate) what twisted theology is taught at the seminaries that will further the ignorance and abuse...and continue to encourage sexual predators in the pulpits??

Christa, would you give us a templet type letter for many of us to personalize and use to send to the Oprah show in mass????

It may sound silly but that's the kind of coverage and support it would take to really get things changed.
Then once this got the attention of Oprah, we couldn't leave all this to Christa.
We would have to make whatever sacrifices to be the support she needed....raise money,make calls,pray, be present in mass support from all over.

Christa has fought this fight and taken the blows for a very long time. We need to help more.
No matter what some think of Oprahs politics or "spirituality" she has done more to open eyes about sexual abuse then any other personality or celebrity.

I'm grateful to the newspaper writers and others who have supported our cause but if we really rallied together ....
we could feasibly get Christa and this well documented crime on the Oprah show.
That could shut down the SBC (and the other Baptist organization)and all those powerful little men who have sacrificed so many innocent men, women, and children for their own agenda.
We could do this....if we rally together and become as relentless as Christa Brown.

Anonymous said...

Thy Peace said:
I would like to thank Christa Brown for this well written post. The writing is very clear and lucid. (I am learning to write better :-))

To OC: Peace, Brother. There is so much pain and anguish involved with sexual abuse, I understand.

I am expressing my thoughts here. They may not be coherent, but I aim to be.

I have been thinking about this issue for the past month. I agree with Christa in everything she has written. Currently, Christa is advocating some form oversight body to keep a record of past sexual offenders and their activities. This would be used by churches or organizations, hiring new employees who would check against this record. I understand in SBC, technically, the organization is bottom-up type. But I have seen where there were lot of mandates and dictates given by SBC and IMB, that were top-down (Please see Pastor Wade Burleson blog articles). My guess why the SBC does not want to do this oversight body, is for insurance purposes and negligence claims against SBC and or the local churches.

I do not know all the logic involved here.

My take is, if a church is truly Holy Spirit led, the leaders are truly Servant Leaders, then they will and must hear and agree with Christa Brown here. What Christa is advocating is not anything "new", but it calls for leadership to be courageous in admitting mistakes and take action on how to correct them. The only way the leadership in churches will do this is if they are Holy Spirit led and they invoke their Servant nature of their leadership. Otherwise, it's all ego's, tyranny and dictatorial management styles running the churches. And they will never want to admit that they made mistakes and they try to cover up their mistakes (which makes these cases all the more difficult and sad).

The one reason I clearly agree with Christa about oversight body keeping records of possible offenders is this: When one commits sexual offense, it's not done in a vacuum. There is ALWAYS a trail of actions that led up to this. This trail is the clue for suspecting possible future offenders. Clearly the records that might be maintained by any body will be challenged for privacy reasons, and any records in any database will have to have official reasons for that entry with supporting documentation and details. This is lot of work. But it has to be done. There is no other way.

About the role of education: Educating general public on how to reason properly, how to determine when one is being coerced in to thinking or doing another's bidding, how to spot possible sexual offenses taking place, before they get serious, who to go to or contact when stuff happens ... ALL this is good.

But it will not help lot of the victims who are very young (or old) who can not discern properly. The sad thing is, lot of the sexual abuse cases are for these victims.

Example: Darrell Gilyard and [*********].

The only defense from the victim's perspective (besides churches not hiring these offenders in the first place) is for them to have a support group (family, friends, church members) who are Holy Spirit led and are caring to check on these members (young and old). This is very hard to do.

Example: FBC JAX Watchdog had posted an article last year on Darrell Gilyard. There were SO MANY negative comments coming from the members of the church where Gilyard was pastoring against this article. I could not believe it. It looks like lot of the church members want to believe the best of their pastor and will refuse to hear accusations or complaints against them.

The only way out of all this is, for the church leadership to be truly led by the Holy Spirit and the leadership become servants in a church.

[This is a reposting of the last prior comment of Thy Peace. The only change I made was to delete a name in the comment because I wasn't sure how the person would feel about being named. Christa]

Thy Peace said...

Sorry Christa. That name was mentioned in Pastor Wade Burleson blog article on Darrell Gilyard. My apologies.

Phyllis Gregory said...

John,
Concerning your statement: "My concern is how many more must suffer before the average pew sitter decides to demand the oversight action." We need the support of the "pew sitters" and that we don't have.

I hate to sound so negative, but that is how I feel. The people in the pews that make up the numbers in the SBC DO NOT BELIEVE all this sexual abuse stuff is going on. I have gone to church with these people. I still know a few -- they used to be close friends. These are the people who ignore what Steve Gaines allowed at Bellevue and continue to believe that he is a great preacher.

I believe that most of the people who read this blog are FORMER SBC members. Please let me know if I am wrong. We can write letters and tell the press or Oprah or anyone else all the horrors that have gone on at the hands of ordained ministers, deacons, or Sunday School teachers. BUT,until the people in the pews believe NOTHING WILL CHANGE.

john said...

Phyllis you are absolutely correct. Not only do the members not believe it but most pastors do not believe. When I was pastoring in Michigan I was confronted with sex perverts who used to be members of the church where I was pastoring. When I began working with the victims one of them commented that she could not beleive I was trying to do anything about this sin. She went on to say that the former pastors refused to get involved. I replied that they might have not known about it. She said fr me to call one who was still in the area. With her sitting there I did. When I asked him if he had known about this when he was there he said, "Yes, but I was not going to stir that mess up!" I told him that I thought he was a coward and now I was having to deal with a lot of delayed anger and pain. He went on to say that he would have lost his position if he got involved. i told him that it is always better to loose one's position than to loose one's character and integrity.
This is why wec must all do our part to raise the voice of outrage and raise the flag of warning. In time more will believe as they have more knowledge and the curse continues to hit at the very soul of baptist life.
Phyllis, you and many other brave souls are doing a work that only eternity will be able to measure. God bless all of you.

Elisabeth said...

I am involved with an SBC church. My pastor is aware and believes all the sex abuse crap that's going on. So has some other friends and pastors of mine. And they do not hesitate to talk to me and support me in my healing. The problem is there are just too few that are totally aware, and with the set up of the denomination, individual pastors of small to medium size churches can not do much. Individual members can do even less. But as pastors and members touch lives, we can bring about the change, and the change will happen.

Christa Brown said...

Education: For many victims, the reason they wind up becoming prey has more to do with an excess of faith than a lack of education. The person's own faith is what preacher-perps twist into a weapon. Should we educate young people NOT to have faith? NOT to believe in things unseen and inexplicable? NOT to live by faith? NOT to trust that God will make all work together for good even if it doesn't seem to make sense? I'm not at all opposed to educational efforts, but what's really needed most desperately are courageous leaders.

Responsibility and accountability must be placed on the perpetrators AND on other leaders who turn a blind eye. In about 75 percent of the cases I hear about, there was someone else in the church, often another church leader, who knew or who had enough information that they should have acted on it.

Write to Oprah! Great suggestion gmommy! I believe that what will ultimately bring about reform is massive media pressure. That's what it took for Catholics, and it looks as though Southern Baptist leaders are determined to be even more recalcitrant than the bishops. Here's the page on oprah.com where you can email your suggestion for a show on Baptist clergy sex abuse.

Possible points to make: (1) Southern Baptist are the largest Protestant denomination in the land and, unlike most other major faith groups in the country, they have no oversight system for their ministers. (2) They have no procedures for removing a man from ministry, no matter how substantiated and credible the child-molestation allegation may be, and they don't even warn people in the pews. (3) No one is even keeping records on abuse reports made by victims. There's no way to know whether a minister may have had a prior report of child molestation... or a dozen prior reports. (4) Insurance company data indicates that clergy child molestation is just as big a problem among Baptists as among Catholics - but the difference is that Baptists are still staying under the radar... and they haven't yet even begun to address it. (5) Look at StopBaptistPredators.org -- this problem is huge! (6) Perpetrators move from church to church, and no one stops them. Cover-ups are common. (7) Victims are told that they must go to the church of the perpetrator to report him. It's like telling them to go to the den of the wolf - it doesn't work and it re-injures the victims.

I could go on and on and on and on... as I suspect most of you realize about me by now... but please don't feel like you need to use my words. Tell Oprah in your words why you think this is a show she should run and why the American public needs to know about this and why her voice could be so important for getting the needed attention to this and for making kids in Baptist churches a lot safer.

Christa Brown said...

Thy Peace: Thanks - don't worry about it. I just tend to pretty fanatical about erring on the side of caution.

John said...

Great idea! I sent Ophra my request. This may open a whole new approach to addressing this problem

Anonymous said...

They will just call you sinners for aligning yourselves with the new age Oprah. It will not move them UNLESS going on Oprah dries up the money.

BTW: A Christian school in our city has advised parents that it is going to start teaching elementary children about sexual abuse and how to protect themselves. They sent out a notice and the presentation they are using is Bible centered and shows the evil of those who do such things even if they are church leaders. If one does not want their child to hear it, they can opt out.


Can you imagine how this would go over in the churches?

Lydia

Christa Brown said...

Given all the other ugly names I've been called, "sinner" would be mild. :-)

And if we were to get so lucky as to get Oprah's attention, here's what I would say to any Baptist leader who would speak ill of our alignment with "new age" Oprah: "How dare these blind-eyed, deaf-eared, do-nothing Baptist leaders speak ill of someone like Oprah who actively works and uses her voice to combat child sex abuse."

If we were to get so lucky... I would be grateful to Oprah beyond all measure, and so should every person who sits in a Baptist pew be grateful, because by bringing this into the light of day, it does the work of trying to protect Baptist kids. And it is the actual work that matters - ten thousand times more - than all the pontification and "anti-new-age" spewing of all the do-nothing Baptist leaders who have, so far, sat on the sidelines chanting "autonomy" as though it were a magic word to relieve moral obligation.

[Lydia: Please know that the tone of this comment is not at all directed at you. I too can just hear in my head the voices of those Baptist leaders who would likely rail against "new age" thought rather than ever rebuking a clergy child molester or cover-upper. And yeah, it makes me a little angry to even imagine it.]

Phyllis Gregory said...

Lydia, you are probably correct. Christa, what you said: "and so should every person who sits in a Baptist pew be grateful, because by bringing this into the light of day, it does the work of trying to protect Baptist kids." Many, most, of the Baptists who sit in the pews don't/won't even admit that there is or could be a problem with their annointed holy preachers.

gmommy said...

Long before Oprah got into new age on her program...she exposed her own trauma that stimulated discussion about the profound effects of sexual abuse.
No one had the courage before Oprah.
Since then she has covered topics I thought only haunted my mind. Just to have those scary things exposed somehow validated me and gave me courage. I will be grateful for the work she has done in this area forever!

I'm really just OVER the narrow thinking of the Baptists. I won't ever be their clone again.

The good that Oprah has accomplished cannot be erased because she doesn't fall in line with the SBC (twisted)theology.

She has more courage of conviction than Page Patterson and his followers all put together. She's not trying to control anyone for her gain. It's her show and she's free to share what she chooses.
Her goal is to enlighten and help people in the area of sexual abuse.

When the good ol boys twist the Trinity around to accomplish their goal of authority in the church and in the home....they help no one.

If Christa gets on the Oprah show, I'll be in the audience front and center.

Phyllis Gregory said...

Go gmommy!

I appreciate your honesty and strength. I applaud your comment, "I'm really just OVER the narrow thinking of the Baptists. I won't ever be their clone again."

Amen and Amen to that! I am right there with you.

Christa Brown said...

"If Christa gets on the Oprah show, I'll be in the audience front and center."

Gmommy: I hope I get the privilege of holding you to this promise. I want to see you front and center.

And Phyllis, you too. And the whole relentless, ragtag rebel crew.

No retreat! No surrender! All of us shining on together!

Though we know each other only through cyber-space, there are days like this when I feel so proud and so moved and so grateful for this simple connection to such courageous people as the two of you and many others who read this blog.

Always, always, always, my friends... shine on!

Elisabeth said...

Yeah, Christa! We have all felt the same pain, and the same shame. The people who have done this don't belong in pulpits. And the people who hide them don't belong in pulpits. And the people who don't see can be led to see. But, you know, it's frightening for them to see. It takes the shades of comfort off their eyes. So maybe there will be a time when we will show them the comfort that really comes from God, and not the comfort of an illusion.

gmommy said...

Christa, Please see Wade's blog and comment as you see fit:)

Make no mistake....I will be there with the RRR crew from Memphis... banner waving!!
No Surrender!!
No Retreat!!

john said...

Christa,
I do not think they will call you a "sinner". You see, the Bible says we are all sinners. Therefore, for them to call you a sinner would mean they would have to say the truth about you, something that they have not managed to do thus far.
See ya on the tube!!

Anonymous said...

Has anyone brough this matter up to other notable leaders? Billy Graham? Hank Hannagraaf? John MacArthur? Hannegraaf is usually good about addressing such things?