Abusive church leadership was addressed back in 2004, and it appears little has changed in 2016. Perhaps it is getting worse!
GRACE director answers the question:
How Safe Is Your Church?
“If the church can actually begin leading on this issue and the world look at the church and say ‘Wow thats an example we want to follow’ I think we would see some amazing results in the lives of precious souls.” A MUST watch.
by Velour/MtnShepherdess ©
My comment to Roger Olson: Thank you for the education about classical Calvinism which I did not know. When I saw the t-shirt I roared with laughter and promptly ordered one. I had a “tour-of-duty” of a NeoCalvinist church (eight years), complete with excommunication and shunnings for any reason, the most threatening was being a Berean and using critical thinking skills. (A woman in finance, a doctor, and then me.) The pastors/elders told church members that dissenters weren’t “one of us” and were “destined for Hell” and were to be excommunicated and shunned (“keyed out”). NeoCalvinist churches seem very authoritarian, brutal, and frankly vicious. I believe they are practicing the 1970’s heavy-Shepherding Movement’s tactics, whose founders repented. I will wear my t-shirt with pride, opposing un-Christian authoritarianism.
Roger Olson’s [theologian/professor/author] response to me: Fortunately, not all Calvinist churches are like that. That sounds almost like a cult. My Calvinist friends would not condone such behavior (even if they would probably restrict leadership to Calvinists).
[Note: I wearied at my former church Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley of senior pastor Cliff McManis, with his two fake diploma mill advanced “degrees” including a “Ph.D.” that the U.S. Department of Education says is a fake and not from a bona fide, accredited, university that takes eight years of hard work to earn, telling us that the earth is 6,000 years old. My grandmother, a graduate of U.C. Berkeley in the 1920’s with a degree in science, the first woman dean of a California public college, was a Prebyterian who worked in science. She and her friends, including Nobel Prize-winning researchers, were Christians and scientists and knew the earth was old. Very old. GBFSV is anti-science and anti-real-education.]
“I recently led a seminar on faith and science at a large Christian music festival (of all places) in rural Illinois. While the reception was gracious (befitting Midwestern hospitality), there were those for whom any allowance of evolutionary thinking amounted to theological heresy of the highest order. One pugilistic gentleman bulldogged me all week, insisting that geologists and biologists were misguided and mistaken. And yet as I listened to his harangue, it struck me that the real issue was not that humans and monkeys are close cousins, or that the will of God looks willy-nilly when it comes to genetic mutation, or that organic life requires an enormous amount of death and decay to occur. No, his real concern was Biblical authority. If the world was not created by God in six days (like the Bible says) and people were not made in God’s image (like the Bible says) according to divine purpose (like the Bible says), then why should he believe that Jesus rose from the dead for his sins (like the Bible says)? If evolution is right, then the Bible is wrong about everything.
But what if, instead of the Bible, it is our reading of the Bible that is incorrect? What if the realities of nature mean we need to rethink the way we understand Scripture? Now I know that just because a particular theory makes sense of the way something could have happened doesn’t necessarily mean that it actually happened that way. But if evolution provides an accurate description of life on earth, how might we rethink what the Bible says? To rethink what we think about the Bible is not to rewrite Scripture, nor is it to capitulate to Christianity’s detractors. Instead, rethinking and reworking our theology in light of accurate scientific data results in a more dependable and resilient theology. To be a serious Christian is to seek truth and find it as revealed by God both in Scripture and in nature. If God is the maker of heaven and earth, as we believe, then the heavens and earth, as science describes them, have something to say about God. Natural selection need not imply godless selection. To be reliable witnesses of creation can’t help but make us more reliable witnesses to the Creator. – See more at: