Monday, January 1, 2007

Open Comment

This is a space to comment on any topic at all. Feel free to use this as an offtopic forum, to start new conversations or to leave feedback

15 comments:

Jodie McCay said...

Hello CD-Host,
I apologize that I am making a post on your blog, I do not have your email. Please feel free to delete this post. I am responding to your "post" that noone had replied to your comment in the Uprising Blog. The posts actually go to an admin email (which is me) and then I need to forward the replies to the main contributors. I see you posted on Sunday morning and seemed surprised that there was no response by the evening - I apologize, as I typically do not work on the weekends. A reply has been posted, and I have deleted your second comment. We appreciate your opinions and posts, however please keep them relevant to the article content (your second post was not relevant - and so that is why I deleted it). Thanks so much! :) ~Jodie

Anonymous said...

I guess you don't have an email address that you post on this site where someone can send you an email?

CD-Host said...

Its under the profile: CD.HOST@gmail.com

Elisabeth said...

CD-Host:

I don't hate you. I got angry because of your attack against Jane, who is one of the sweetest people I know.

Spiritual abuse is one of the worst things that a person can go through. Church discipline is often practiced by legalistic, controlling churches that are weak on the Grace of Christ. Many, many people on the Christian Recovery website have been through some kind of excommunication experience. I myself have not, but I was abused terribly, and the pastor said bad things about me in order to discredit me among the church members when I left. And I did leave by the "front door." :-)

When a person is spiritually abused, there is no "right" way to leave the church, to try to keep the pastor from getting angry, period. To say there is, is like saying there is a "right" way for an abused wife to get out of the marriage without getting her husband angry. The only way to get out is by getting out NOW, getting to a place of safety, and don't look back. If you want some insight to spiritual abuse, look to "The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse" by Jeff VonDerVeen (I think that's how to spell his name); www.TakeCourage.org, or www.stopBaptistPredators.org. These will give you insight to how much spiritual abuse hurts.

These will also give you insight to the fact that what people who have been spiritually abused, whether excommunication is involved or not, need the most is a place of safety, and a place where the church acts like the church. When a church or church leader acts as judge and jury, like in an excommunication, or they just plain abuse, they are not reflecting Christ. For God did not send His son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. (Jn 3:17) When a church kicks someone out because of whatever, they lose the opportunity to show that person Christ.

Blessings!

Elisabeth said...

This is kind of an add-on to my last comment; just some food for thought.

Most ministers are good people who are true. Some, however, are not. Some want mini-kingdoms. Some want to sleep with any woman who comes their way. And if a minister like that encounters a person who they consider a threat - look out!

If a minister wants absolute control over their church, they will over react to a person who is just trying to be themselves. They will start with trying to make that person into someone they can control. They will belittle or whatever. And if they can not control that person, they will kick them out.

And a lustful minister, if a woman is naive and vulnerable enough, he can take advantage of her because of his authority and her trust of him very easily. And this shatters a woman to the core. Two of the websites i mentioned in my last comment deals with this extensively. And if he ever feels like she will try to go public, get him out of the pulpit, he will do anything to discredit her. Or if a woman is strong enough and wise enough to resist his advances, he will go into overdrive to discredit her and anything she would say. And this is all to keep his little kingdom.

In all of the examples I used here, the only choice a person has is to get out, as quick as possible, through any means possible, and cut all ties. Never mind about trying to prove the excommunication was unjust. Most denominations will allow a person to join another church even without a letter of transfer; just join on a statement of faith.

CD-Host said...

Elisabeth --

Thank you for the change in tone. It makes conversation possible. I think your analogy with an abused wife is a good one:

When a person is spiritually abused, there is no "right" way to leave the church, to try to keep the pastor from getting angry, period. To say there is, is like saying there is a "right" way for an abused wife to get out of the marriage without getting her husband angry. The only way to get out is by getting out NOW, getting to a place of safety, and don't look back.

And here is where I think you are conflating two things.

1) Creating a physical separation between the wife and the husband

2) Ending the marriage (usually divorce)

I certainly agree in the case of spousal abuse doing (1) as quickly as possible is the best course of action. That doesn't mean (2) should be done as quickly as possible. For example suicide and murder are both faster then divorce but in general we would recommend an abused wife still go through the legal divorce process and not do things as quickly as possible.

And that's the same distinction I would make in the case of the church. That is stopping the pastoral relationship is not the same as termination of membership.

Now moving away from the analogy, we do disagree a bit, I think preparation can be more useful. And the analogy here might be a wife who is being verbally abused, might stick in the marriage another month or two so she's fleeing to an apartment she bought with her children rather than a shelter.

(more to come)

CD-Host said...

Most ministers are good people who are true. Some, however, are not. Some want mini-kingdoms. Some want to sleep with any woman who comes their way. And if a minister like that encounters a person who they consider a threat - look out!

If a minister wants absolute control over their church, they will over react to a person who is just trying to be themselves. They will start with trying to make that person into someone they can control. They will belittle or whatever. And if they can not control that person, they will kick them out.


I agree with everything you say here. Which is the reason I push for the creation of structural barriers which prevent abuse. You'll see many many articles addressing that topic. For example you seem to have seen the Sovereign Grace thread. Well if you look at the first article, the focus is on how via. a subtle shift in the discipline process they had essentially removed virtually all due process. That is they had created a system designed to convict the innocent. My article was about pointing that out. The article was mainly being used by X-members showing them how the deck was stacked against them during their own discipline process. But also some current members became aware of it and hopefully it will start being cited during discipline processes.

Where I think I differ strongly from the Christian Recovery Forum membership is that I do not believe churches should not have the right to withdraw membership from people. That is I don't think you have the right to force yourself upon a church that doesn't want you, i.e. I don't disagree that excommunication should occur. Rather I want excommunication it to occur for the right reasons, in the right way via. the right mechanism.

As for your example of ministers using discipline for personal gain (i.e. sex). Yeah I agree. Again that's why structures should be put in place to make that more difficult. Things like a tradition of due process and rigorous thinking are vital. That's how that gets corrected.

(more to come)

CD-Host said...

Elisabeth --

Before addressing the Jane issue. Let me start with a general principle I hold to see if we agree on that. People do not have the right to act on their feelings. People who are unable to regulate and control their actions to come in line with decent behavior have terms applied to them like: menace to society or danger to themselves and others. They generally fall into 3 classes: infants and the severely retarded, mental patients and people in high security prisons.

I don't have any problem with treating people that don't control their actions this way. To pick the prison analogy, you'll see people who commit ghastly acts of physical violence complain about how they were provoked that is they were upset and they acted on it. By and large I don't doubt they were upset, I don't doubt they were often provoked into being upset. And I still don't have a problem with them serving many years in jail for acting on their feelings even though I happen to think their feelings are completely legitimate.

Do we agree up to this point?

Anonymous said...

CD-Host,

I think you are a complete asshole. You are not an extpert of church discipline. You are just some self-proclaimed wanna-be minister who doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground. Everyone needs to beware of this psychopath. He wants to discipline you and call you a bad, evil person. His motive is to separate the wheat from the chaff. He is a frigging psycho, and is worse than any cult leader or spiritual abuser. RUN!!!

Anonymous said...

CD-Host,

I'm new to your blog. Been doing some reading and checking out links that some of your commentors have.

I've been trying to discern what exactly your blog is all about. Yes, I do see your subtitle, but your profile has peeked my curiosity. From your profile I read:

"I've never been disciplined, I'm not active in a church and I'm not a Christian. I encountered a 19 year old boy who was virtually suicidal because he was being excommunicated (as part of a abuse of power in his church) and I was genuinely moved. I looked into how this could be happening at a relatively mainstream church and a few months later this blog was born."

I guess I'm wondering about your credentials and expertise in this field? My apologies if they are described here somewhere but to date, I haven't located them. If your credentials, education, experience in this field are available on this blog, may I inquire as to a link that will direct me to them?

Thank you,
Limelight

CD-Host said...

This after vandalizing 15 pages on the blog with the message above (or slight variants) and then trying to post a bunch of profane messages? Why would I want to justify myself to you? Do you think I'm stupid or that I desperately need your approval or what?

I do appreciate the change in tone which is the reason this message didn't get deleted. If you want to actually start a dialogue on a real topic related to the subject of this blog you are welcome to do so.

Elisabeth said...

CD-Host,

I'm not sure who you think anonymous is, but I'll tell you this.
I'm not the "anonymous" that posted the comment that called you a bad name. That's not my style. And since "Limelight" signed his name, and with the general tone of "Limelight's" post, I doubt it's his style, either.

CD-Host said...

Elisabeth --

Hi. I don't think you and limelight nor you the anonymous vandal are the same person. Your first post while I felt it was rude was not vandalism and you have different areas of concern, and particle choice is substantially different. So no, I think this is somebody else. Incidentally you plan to respond to the three messages directed at you or did you want to stop?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for speaking up on my behalf Elisabeth. Yes, the comment section indicated that I could post under an "anonymous" identiy and I chose that option, but made sure I signed my name here, as I understand others may post under the "anonymous" option as well. I just wanted to make a clear distinction from other such "anonymous" users.

Just for clarification CD-Host, was this comment of yours directed my way?

" CD-Host said...
This after vandalizing 15 pages on the blog with the message above (or slight variants) and then trying to post a bunch of profane messages? Why would I want to justify myself to you? Do you think I'm stupid or that I desperately need your approval or what?

I do appreciate the change in tone which is the reason this message didn't get deleted. If you want to actually start a dialogue on a real topic related to the subject of this blog you are welcome to do so.

April 25, 2008 1:42 PM"

I think I've entered into some kind of situation here and I'm at a loss for words.

CD-Host said...

Limelight --

Yes it was. It could be I'm mistaken that you are the same person who keeps trying to post obscene messages and psychotic rants and if so I apologize. But in over a year on this blog two people who are not regulars have been interested in discussing me.

Scott Brown and Mike Lawyer. Both of whom had multiple articles written about the organizations they are/were leaders in and both of whom conducted this discussion in private since after all this is anonymous blog. In the last week, I've encountered The Christian Recovery group and they seem obsessed with who I am:
am I an abuser, a minister, a psychopath, a wanna be cult leader.... Who cares who I am? This blog stands on its body of work, it always has. It always will. If I wanted my identify known I'd be using my real name, but I have never wanted the focus to be on me rather I've wanted the focus on the ideas and content. And that is where the focus should remain.

So lets assume for the purpose of argument I'm a homeless drunk, tossed out of divinity school, fleeing the police on a murder charge after my cult broke up. Now lets assume I'm a leading author of the CCL for Libreria Editrice Vaticana. In either case how is that relevant?