The Guru Effect

One of the most common features of heresies, cults and spiritually abusive groups down through the ages has been their claims to possess some kind of “special knowledge.” False teachers come along with messages that go something like, “Yes, the Bible teaches [such-and-such], but there’s something the Bible leaves out [or something hidden in Scripture that no one else has found in the past 2,000 years] that you need to know …” Or, “Unfortunately, your Bible teachers don’t have the spiritual insight [or maturity, or integrity, or whatever] needed to find the ‘deeper truths’ of Scripture and the Christian life.” Or, “We’re the only ones who take a biblical stand on [such-and-such an] issue.”

Even before you ever see these teachers you may encounter those who speak highly of their “message,” their “insight,” their “spiritual power,” or any one (or more) of a number of things that would put them on a higher plane than the average Christian. The praises these disciples heap on their leaders begin to give them a kind of automatic aura in your mind that the leaders now don’t have to actually do anything to earn. The followers carefully cultivate your curiosity, developing it into an eager anticipation.

When you finally meet the false teacher it’s in a setting that enhances his (or her) mystique. He may be up on a stage before a large audience, among a small, modest band of disciples, or alone with you. Either way, the setting and agenda is carefully controlled to gradually draw you into the leader’s fold, and thus into a position subordinate to him. He (or she) is somehow “up there” while you are merely “down here.” He is the “expert,” and although you may not have realized it up until now, you are the one in need of his expertise, his “special knowledge.”

The pattern I’ve just described is not universal, but it is typical. The claim of special knowledge, however, is an essential part of the elitist character of all these groups, and so universal that it’s sometimes difficult to select those cults that best exemplify it. They’re all so adept at this game.

This “guru effect,” as it’s called, operates in many settings. As Inc. magazine in their article “Beware the Guru Effect” a few years ago,

Even sophisticated businesspeople with strong negotiating skills can get burned by expensive computer consultants who —- because their auras demand awe and respect — are never questioned about their systems or implementation.

Not long ago, the partners of a Los Angeles law firm met a consultant who promised to bring them “up to speed” on computers. […]

The “guru” put a $200,000 price tag on the project. Some of the senior managers found his ideas so innovative that they decided to make the firm a proving ground for a complete package, which they and the consultant would market to other firms. […] It looked so promising that the firm invested tens of thousands of dollars in the consultant’s small company.

In the end, for unknown reasons, the consultant never delivered the goods. And, adding insult to injury, the lawyers soon learned that everything in the promised package was available off-the-shelf for half the price. “This happens all the time,” says the former associate.

The guru effect is so notorious in the stock market that a computer game based on stock trading includes it as a strategic option for winning the game. Tom Chown in his review of the game Wall Street Trader 2000 catches this point:

The most powerful weapon is your press agent who can use your “guru effect”, swinging the market the way you want it to go based on your score and reputation.

The parallels between how the guru effect works in the world and in the church are striking. The guru has an “aura” that demands “awe and respect.” Sometimes the guru might supplement that aura with overt intimidation to discourage questions (especially if he or she has an abrasive personality). Thus the guru’s prospective dupes don’t do the kind of “due diligence” research they normally would — and should. They don’t look for a second opinion. They don’t seriously entertain nagging doubts. They move on to the next step on the guru’s agenda.

When that happens, the guru’s victims have been officially conned. Everything from that point on is but a series of footnotes to the moment when they suppressed all qualms of conscience and decided to trust him. As long as they keep trusting him, he will continue to manipulate them.

If the results of being duped this way are lamentable in the business world, they can be downright tragic in the spiritual world. This is because the guru’s purpose is not to teach anyone anything. The guru’s purpose is to make himself indispensable by making you more and more dependent on him.

The biblical book of Proverbs repeatedly warns God’s people to seek advice from multiple sources (Proverbs 11:14; 15:22; 20:18; 24:6). He has not simply given His church one teacher, but has given us many teachers (Ephesians 4:11-13). Don’t let any one person set himself or herself up in your life with some kind of unique authority. Such authority does not exist; it’s bogus.

The problem is that the Christian life is difficult, and we want someone who can put us on the inside track, show us the ropes, or take us to a higher plane where the difficulties aren’t so severe. We see others around us who seem so much more successful at living the Christian life than we are, and figure they must have some secret. If only we could find out what it was.

But this kind of misguided thinking will only set you up to be fooled. The fact that you’re sometimes desperate to improve your spiritual life makes you a normal Christian. The fact that you might be willing to pin all your hopes for this on one person will make you an easy mark for a false teacher. Sadly, lots of Christians are in that category. To paraphrase P.T. Barnum, “There’s a sucker born-again every minute.” I know because I was one once, and I’ve met many others who either were or still are.

Do you want the unvarnished truth? The truth is: that person who doesn’t seem to have as many problems in his or her Christian life as you do is at best someone who’s good at protecting his or her privacy, or at worst a hypocrite.

The job of the teacher is not to provide you with some “hidden truth” that the average Christian can’t find in Scripture. There is no such “hidden truth.” Nor does Scripture require some special spiritual gift for believers to understand it.

The Bible is God’s complete revelation to us. Any sequel (e.g.: the Book of Mormon) or supplement (e.g.: the writings of Ellen White, the Watchtower magazine, or your favorite teacher) or “final revelation” (e.g.: the Qur’an) inevitably and invariably serves to warp the Bible’s true meaning.

True biblical teaching focuses on Jesus Christ. Instead of trying to impress you with special “insights” or esoteric “truth,” good Bible teachers will consistently point you to the same Jesus Who is available to everyone in Scripture (1 Corinthians 15:3-8; Luke 24:25-27). Anyone emphasizing anything or anyone else above Him is peddling defective merchandize.


Comments

The Guru Effect — 64 Comments

  1. “The problem is that the Christian life is difficult, and we want someone who can put us on the inside track, show us the ropes, or take us to a higher plane where the difficulties aren’t so severe.”

    Don, this rings true! Recently I read this link, where the author discussed legalism, but he also went on to discuss some of what you just said:

    http://www.andrewsandlin.net/?p=355

    “There are controlling personalities in this world. Some are adept and manipulating people. And a few of these have great intrinsic leadership capacities. If they become leaders, and they often do, beware! They have a lust to control, and they use their own man-made rules to exert that control.

    But that’s not the worst part. There are sincere Christians who are flailing about. They don’t know the Bible very well, so they’re looking to some human authority to show them how to live, all the do’s and don’ts about life and child-rearing and marriage and much else. The worst thing in the world is when these weak but sincere souls team up with the control-freak leaders. That is a lethal combination.”

  2. Good points, as usual, Don.

    I am wondering, though, how do we avoid a “Just give me Jesus” mentality which pretends to put Jesus first, all the while denying Scriptural teachings?

    http://www.annegrahamlotz.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=19&Itemid=111

    Of course, you are not yet ready to look into the heresies being promoted by the Christian feminists among us. :-) Maybe someday…

    Some of the Christian gurus reside in female bodies, and they have a lot of influence.

  3. How do you know what the author is or is not ready for? Do you have some special insight that the rest of us are in need of?

    Are you a guru, perhaps?

  4. Huh? Don or Ron isn’t ready to look at the feminist heresies? LOL!

    Is this true Don or Ron? Is there something I don’t know that others know?

    I would say that they both are ready to take on any heresy that comes down the pike. Look at Gwen Shamblin’s organization!

    What is the heresy in Lotz’s writings? I am unaware of anything more important than Jesus. So, “Just Give Me Jesus”, read in context, is not heretical. If I have Jesus, what more do I need? Won’t He do the rest? Isn’t He faithful to complete the good work He started in me?

    Great article, Ron. Yes, we have to be careful we don’t get carried away with our gurus, don’t we?

    Don, I hope you are well. I think of you often. Next time I am in Chicago, we would love to do Ed Debeveks with you again! :-)

  5. Yes! It was written by Ron Henzel. Sorry for the mistake.

    Carol, I’m not sure if you were talking to me or not. I am going to assume that you were addressing my comment.

    I have asked Don Veinot about the heresies being promoted by the Christian feminists, but he told me that he feels the problems with patrairchalists are much greater.

    He may be right. I just think that it is possible for a lot of heresy to come in the back door while one is guarding the front – or something.

    No, I am not a guru.

    I understand that not everyone has time to keep up with all the false teachings out there. Don does what he is able to do, which is quite a bit, actually.

    At least in his last email newsletter he addressed the problems with Oprah’s spiritual teachings. That’s a start.

    Please take care,
    Donna L. Carlaw

  6. Was that Oprah’s latest “postitive thoughts” stuff? SNL did a spoof on that. It seems even the secular public isn’t buying that. But, this is nothing new. Heresies abound and they will continue to do so until the return of Christ.

    I think we need to ask ourselves “why are there feminists to begin with?” People REACT to false teaching. People REACT to being dominated because they are physically weaker or poor. I look at feminism as a REACTion and a symptom of a much larger problem. Years and years of teachings concerning women that do not line up with the Bible and a bunch of man-made rules will eventually lead to something. Yes, there are extreme feminists but they need Jesus. I am praying for them. They are lost. They don’t need our scorn and our hateful rhetoric. They need someone to love them and show them a better way.

  7. Ron,

    This is exactly what I saw when I was in ATI. Whenever someone asked a question about scripture, they would say “Mr. Gothard says so and so”. It was so foreign to me since I was used to going to my Bible and not the big, red book.

  8. Ann Graham Lotz is a false teacher? Is she saying that women can be elders in churches?

    I haven’t seen that. I have heard her say that it is perfectly OK for women to preach Jesus and the Resurrection to everybody, and I’ve not seen much Scripture against that. In fact, there is Scripture that supports her position — Anna, the women at the Tomb, etc..

    Since you are so concerned about women who are out there in the marketplace, who presume to instruct both men and women from the Bible, why don’t you put Jennie Chancey, of Ladies against Feminism on your list?

    On Vision Forum’s site, Jennie totally skewered up Rev. Andrew Sandlin’s comments about not declaring sin things God hasn’t said are sin, and then she proceeded to tell both the men and women who read Vision Forum what the Bible really says about wives who work outside the home for pay — and that is that Titus 2 teaches that they are all in sin.

    Jennie Chancey did exactly what you are accusing Ann Graham Lotz of doing (I think), but in Jennie’s case it is obvious where the Scripture twisting is, and when I hear Ann Graham Lotz speak, it is all about Jesus and the centrality of the cross and the resurrection.

    *I* don’t have a problem with Jennie Chancey voicing her views on Vision Forum, publicly teaching in a mixed group against another minister’s teaching. Neither do I have a problem with Ann proclaiming the gospel message. I do have a problem with Jennie’s misuse of Scripture, though.

    Can you give us an example of Ann’s teachings where Scripture is severely twisted as Jennie Chancey twisted Scripture on the Vision Forum site?

    If you can’t, then you might have your answer as to why Don and Ron are concentrating on Patriarchy and not Ann Graham Lotz.

    It is because they are concentrating on the message first and foremost. They may not approve of every instance of Ann’s methodology on Scriptural grounds, but Ann doesn’t teach that women can be elders in the church and preside over the teaching in the church. Or did I miss something?

    Even though she may have spoken in churches and we might differ with her on that being allowed, but Ann’s message of the gospel is about as rock solid as you can get.

    Unlike the *public* teaching to *mixed audiences* of Jennie Chancey, of Ladies Against Feminism.

  9. Well, hello Lynn and Corrie,
    How are you doing?

    I think that I know why Don does not address the feminist issue. He told me why. I also think that he has enough integrity to do so in the future. He has a lot on his plate right now, I know, and what he does is very important.

    I have a different view of patriarchy, feminism and female victimhood as you ladies. On that we disagree almost totally. I don’t see women by definition as innocent victims of male domination as you seem to. I see individual women being mistreated by individual men or even other women. I see individual men being mistreated by other men or by women.

    I guess I really am an egalitarian after all. I don’t buy the feminist view of humanity. I do see wealthy, upper class women taking advantage of poor women. I see wealthy women gaining benefit from the oppression of poor males – including from their slave labor.

    That is what is so frustrating. You don’t see any of that, only patriarchy’s oppression of women, and most women talk about slavery in the past tense.

    I don’t believe that you can get to the conclusion that women are victims of male oppression from the Bible itself. You have to ignore God’s pronouncement of judgment against all of mankind to get to that conclusion – as well as Isaiah’s description of wealthy females in Israel and the book of Proverbs descriptions of the immoral wife.

    Of course, talking about women’s total depravity, or even just plain old sinful tendencies, can get one in a lot of hot water – or saying that women are responsible for their own actions and cannot hide behind a male, or that women are often in a position of power and do oppress those under their authority. Is that a message you wish to hear?

    Besides, I think that you know there are some really, really bad female false teachers out there who do twist Scripture and lead the weakwilled astray. Are you ready to call God your mother? That patriarchal Father-God is just too much for some women to bear, after all.

    You at least see the evil effects of feminist doctrine in the liberal churches, don’t you? You have to at least be concerned about that, right? Aren’t you concerned about how a lot of those liberal teachings are seeping into the church through the Evangelical feminists?

    OTOH, I guess there are bigger fist to fry.

    God bless, and please take care,
    Donna L. Carlaw

    PS
    I think that you need to take a very close look at just what Gospel Anne is preaching, but that’s up to you, of course. After all, Bill Gothard leads people to the Lord, but what is the nature of his complete theology?

  10. Corrie asked:
    “What is the heresy in Lotz’s writings?”

    I asked:
    “Can you give us an example of Ann’s teachings where Scripture is severely twisted as Jennie Chancey twisted Scripture on the Vision Forum site?”

    This is the “answer”:
    “I think that you need to take a very close look at just what Gospel Anne is preaching, but that’s up to you, of course. After all, Bill Gothard leads people to the Lord, but what is the nature of his complete theology?”

    Well . . . I can’t say, thanks for setting me straight and answering questions here, because you haven’t.

    All I can see is that you called Ann a false teacher in that she denies Scriptural teachings, lumped her in with teachers of heresies promoted by feminists, and twice you have been asked to tell where the gross error in her teaching is. What you have given is an evasive non-answer.

    I’ll say it again — Ann says that just as the women at the tomb brought good news of the Resurrection to the men, so she feels free to preach the gospel.

    She also speaks to women’s conventions (her primary ministry), but also mixed conventions, and I have seen her speak in a church setting.

    This last one we may differ on the propriety of, but I have never seen Ann teaching that women can be elders in the church, or that the marriage relationship is strictly egalitarian.

    She may teach these things. If so, where? Tell us. I’m prepared to say I disagree with her. Where does she teach feminist heretical doctrine? Can you give the quotes?

  11. Lynn, I don’t feel like getting drug into some long debate with you. No offense. I have done that a lot, and you end up tattling on me for mistreating you. I can’t win. I am supposed to respond to your responses, but then I get beaten up for pressuring you.

    For me it is a no win situation. Besides, my question was addressed to Don. …and now, here’s Lynn in my face again! How does that happen?

    Am I ever confused, or what? I mean, I meant to talk to Don. You know. Put a little bug in his ear about stealth feminism in the church. He didn’t even write this article!

    If you really are interested in the feminist tendencies of Mrs. Lotz, you may read this information.

    http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/guestvoices/2007/01/biblical_record_is_clear_god_c.html

    Of course, maybe you are in agreement with her on this?

    I could have refered to Pat Gundry’s false teachings, but that’s too easy. Mrs. Lotz is more subtle.

  12. “Am I ever confused, or what? I mean, I meant to talk to Don. You know.”

    OK, we’ll let you talk to Don. Or Ron. From now on.

    Yes, you are badly, badly confused. This is a public forum, last I checked, and the understanding is that the article, and the comments both are up for discussion, at the discretion of the blog owner.

    Next time when you want to have a private conversation with Don, send an e-mail to MCO.

    “. . . in my face again. How does that happen?”

    I think it happened because you must have seen that I’ve been commenting on this blog from the beginning, and in fact, wrote the first two comments in this thread, and you decided you needed to punish yourself again by getting involved????? ;-)

    About Ann Graham Lotz and that article —

    I got a hold of a copy of one of her books, My Heart’s Cry, and here is a quote:

    “But before putting the matter behind me once and for all, I asked Him for help in understanding I Timothy 2:12, where Paul forbids ‘a woman to teach or have authority over a man.’ . . .

    Therefore, I believe He has forbidden me to teach or preach from a position of authority over a man. Practically speaking, this means He has closed the door to me for ordination in ministry, or for the senior pastorate. So when I speak, I speak as a woman who is not in authority.

    . . .

    And I speak with the authority that comes, not from any position I hold, but from the Person I know.”

    I’d also recommend her book, Just Give Me Jesus, which I also got a hold of, and read her chapter on how she didn’t go to college, married before age 20, became a busy wife, mother, and Bible study teacher to women, and her bold honesty at how the Lord helped her when she realized her initial love for her husband was gone.

    The answer wasn’t to find self-fulfillment in a career, or that she was equal in authority to her husband or any of that kind of thing.

    The answer was found in Jesus Christ with her. He always seems to be her answer for every problem!

  13. Yes, of course, Lynn.

    Far be it for me to tear you away from your devotion to any teacher you wish to be blessed by.

    Are there any female gurus out there who are promoting a feminist agenda in our Evangelical churches? Is there such a thing as stealth feminism?

    I know that stealth Gothardism exists. I suppose that a lot of false teachings infiltrate our ranks stealthily.

    What about feminism and feminist interpretations? Do you think that a woman like Mrs. Lotz is innocently accepting and promoting the feminist interpretaions relative to the creation of mankind?

    It’s possible. You do recognize the feminist influence in what she said in the article I provided, don’t you?

    But why am I talking to you about it all? That’s what I still can’t figure out, but I guess you’re just always there, like the air. :-) …and I’m always here, like bad breath, or something. There goes my self-loathing again. :-)

    Let me ask you this, then, Lynn, since you have been so kind as to respond to my querrys. What about Pat Gundry? You would certainly agree that she has had a fair amount of influence over some Evangelicals and that she is certainly a false teacher, right? You do agree with that, don’t you?

    I mean, that should be a no-brainer. It is possible the Mrs. Lotz picked up a virus somewhere, but Pat? How do you explain her?

    Oh, yes, she’s reacting to mistreatment from male leaders, right?

    What a convenient excuse to give every Christian feminist a pass on the false things they say about God and His Word – if that is the route one wishes to go.

    Think of this parallel. Bill Gothard teaches what he teaches because he’s over-reacting to the evils he sees in society. Therefore, we should just try to understand where he is coming from and not be so hard on him, right?

    I mean, if the Christian feminists can freely promote their false teachings about Jesus and every other Biblical doctrine, excusing it by saying, “we were so mistreated”, why can’t BG continue to promote his false teahings and use the excuse “our culture is so corrupt, we need these teachings?”

    You do know that the Christian feminists use the subject of abuse as a means of promoting their aberrant docrtines, don’t you? It’s a smoke screen, IMO. What’s hiding in the smoke?

    Thank you for giving me that last word, Lynn, or whoever I am speaking to. God hears. God sees. God knows.

  14. “I have asked Don Veinot about the heresies being promoted by the Christian feminists, but he told me that he feels the problems with patrairchalists are much greater.”

    Don, after reading this wild exchange . . .

    after hearing Ann Graham Lotz being called a heretical feminist who denies Scripture . . .

    and after reading Ann saying she firmly believes that having the top leadership position in a church, or being ordained as a minister, is not something for her as a woman, according to I Timothy 2 . . .

    and knowing that Donna is involved with some very patriarchal boards . . .

    I can very well understand why you would think problems with patriarchalists are much greater. ;-)

  15. Donna, obviously Lynn started this conversation and then you came in after her. You knew she was here, so it is not fair for you to accuse her of coming in just to pick on you.

    First, you pointed us to this link about Anne Graham Lotz, stating: “I am wondering, though, how do we avoid a “Just give me Jesus” mentality which pretends to put Jesus first, all the while denying Scriptural teachings?” This link did NOT correspond with your accusations against Anne.

    And then you made a very unfair accusation against (presumably) both Don and Ron: “Of course, you are not yet ready to look into the heresies being promoted by the Christian feminists among us. :-) Maybe someday…”

    Donna, if you have something specific to say about someone, male or female, it is your responsibility to spell it out. The burden of proof is on your shoulders. After Lynn asked you nicely to show us where Anne was heretical, you came back with this link, which also didn’t give us any proof of Anne being heretical.

    Donna, you also said, “I think that I know why Don does not address the feminist issue. He told me why.” Then why did you accuse him of not being willing to take it on in the first place? That was an unfair attack. It is also unfair for you to bring it up here and not address the issue. If he told you why, I am very sure he would not mind you sharing that with the rest of us.

    You know, I have found both Don and Ron to be willing to listen when credible evidence is presented. I don’t think they are nearly so concerned about where it comes from, but that cults that have the potential to harm Christians are exposed. It does not matter whether it is a male or a female guru to them. I just don’t see that. But you do have a responsibility to present them, and us, with credible evidence.

    Now why do you go on to attack Lynn and Corrie? Your arguments don’t even make any sense. First you talk about individuals: “I see individual women being mistreated by individual men or even other women. I see individual men being mistreated by other men or by women.”

    And then you lump them all together into one group anyway: “I do see wealthy, upper class women taking advantage of poor women. I see wealthy women gaining benefit from the oppression of poor males – including from their slave labor.”

    You can’t have it both ways, Donna. And what in the world does this have to do with Anne Graham Lotz?

    This is what you accuse Lynn and Corrie of believing: “I don’t see women by definition as innocent victims of male domination as you seem to. You don’t see any of that, only patriarchy’s oppression of women, and most women talk about slavery in the past tense. I don’t believe that you can get to the conclusion that women are victims of male oppression from the Bible itself. You have to ignore God’s pronouncement of judgment against all of mankind to get to that conclusion – as well as Isaiah’s description of wealthy females in Israel and the book of Proverbs descriptions of the immoral wife.”

    Have you ever heard Lynn or Corrie take these wild positions? I think you owe everyone here proof that this is what these two ladies think! I have been conversing with them for a while now, and this is so totally foreign to everything I have seen from them. You either owe them an apology or proof. Take your pick.

    Donna, you may not like the “feminist tendencies” of some women teachers, but does that give you the right to put them in a cult status? That is the nature of Don’s and Ron’s work – exposing cults. They are not here to nit-pick little details about the fine lines drawn in Scripture for the role of women. There are other boards where you can go to discuss that if that is your pet issue.

    In the meantime, your behavior here has been totally unChristlike. You have personally attacked Christian sisters who have simply asked you basic questions and you have unfairly attacked Don and Ron and intimated that you know something about them that the rest of us don’t. I would suggest that you check your motives before commenting on blogs.

  16. PS
    Actually, I think it’s pretty clear why Don doesn’t want to touch this particular subject with a ten-foot pole. I don’t blame him at all, actually.

    Besides, as far as “patriarchalist boards” go, you participated much longer on the CCC list than I did, and mostly said that you agreed with the moderators. So, what gives with that?

    You got into a fight with Michael McMillan. He is pretty strong in his ideas. I didn’t see you conflicting with anyone else there, though.

    Then, you said that you were in agreement with a lot of what the Bayly’s say on their blog.

    So, what are the “very patriarchal” boards that I am involved in that you are in such strong disagreement with?

    Well, I’ll wait for the ax to fall, and it will. Please, no hate mail to my inbox, or on my own blog. and NO phone calls, please. :-)

    I guess I get the last last word?

  17. At this point I need to make say a few things. First, MCOI encourages debate. Part of the debate should include evidence of points being made not mere assertions. Although assertions can be fun they do little to actually prove one’s position. Second, Moving arguments from other boards to this one is not appreciated. Whatever may or may not have happened in someone else’s house so so speak has no bearing here. Third, Ron’s blog had to do with guru’s and the magic solutions they offer to cure all of life’s ills provided we blindly obey them. Is this what Anne Graham Lotz is doing? If yes, provide the evidence. If not it is a Red Herring.

    There are lots of issues MCOI doesn’t get involved with or take official stands on. We don’t take an official stand on the timing of the rapture, or Calvinism vs. Arminianism vs. the Mediate View of Salvation. We don’t take an official position on church government (Elder led, vs. Congressionaly led), or the perpetuity of the sign gifts. It isn’t that we don’t have personal positions on these issues, everyone in MCOI has positions on most of them. But as important as these are to the local church they are not part of the essential doctrines of the faith nor do they generally lead to spiritual abuse.

    If you all want to debate particular guru leaders (as defined in Ron’s piece) of particilar false teachings of a particular teacher, have at it. But the house rules are as follows:

    1) You can believe whatever you choose to believe but be willing to be challenged on it.

    2) Disagree agreeably. No name calling or demeaning accusations.

    House Manager Don

  18. I did not put Mrs. Lotz in the cult category, yet. My condern was specifically about her understanding of equality and what Christ came to do for women.

    I also think that the “Just Give Me Jesus” phrase can be very misleading. It makes me wonder. Who is Jesus? What did He come to do?

    I think that from the reactions I got, there may be a problem with her. There is a lot of junk being thrown at me personally for just brining her up.

    I think that it is legitimate to question the teachings of anyone and everyone. I thought that’s what you guys believed, too. I “feel” as though I am being accused of touching the Lord’s annointed. If I am wrong, then I will enlighten myself. My motives are my own, and my own business – as are yours.

    The subject was that of the dangers of following a guru. If we can’t stand to have our favorite teachers even questioned, then maybe we do have a guru effect developing, here?

    I suppose that I will have to buy her books so that I can really pick her teachings apart – which is my right to do as a believer, after all. It is not unChristlike to question public teachings. In fact, it is dangerous not to.

    Jen:
    Have you ever heard Lynn or Corrie take these wild positions?>>>>

    I’ll say that neither Corrie nor Lynn challenged these teachings when they were being promoted on a group where Corrie was moderator. They can tell you whether or not they hold these positions personally. There are women who do. Is their silence complicity? It’s a judgment call.

    Sorry to respond to this since it happened elsewhere. I think it’s important.

    What I think is important to me, if to no one else.

  19. To the readers of this forum:
    Donna accused Anne Graham Lotz of these sins:

    Anne pretends to put Jesus first.
    Anne denies Scriptural teachings.
    Anne is a Christian feminist who promotes heresies
    Anne is a guru in a female body.

    This is on account of Anne believing that the subordination of women in marriage and in the church are a result of the fall, not creation.

    Anne’s belief that she can share the Word to mixed audiences was compared (by me) to Jennie Chancey, of Ladies Against Feminism, who had an article posted on Doug Phillips’ Vision Forum site. In that article, Jennie publicly challanged Rev. Andrew Sandlin’s comments (which she botched up, thus creating a straw man), and taught from Scripture on the Vision Forum site, which is read by a mixed audience. Jennie said Titus 2 teaches it is a sin for a wife to work outside the home for pay.

    Then, information was provided to Donna, saying Mrs. Lotz unequivocally states she is not to assume the role of elder in the church, nor is she to be ordained as a minister, according to her understanding of I Timothy 2.

    Now Donna says this:
    “I did not put Mrs. Lotz in the cult category, yet. My [concern] was specifically about her understanding of equality and what Christ came to do for women.”

    On the cult accusation, Donna didn’t say Anne was cultic, but she did call her a “guru.” I have yet to see evidence of Anne saying she has “special knowledge,” or she has reached a “higher spiritual level” than the rest of us, which was the point of Ron’s article.

    On the equality issue, Donna’s statement immediately above this is false. Her accusation against Anne is about a dispute of whether a male/female heirarchy existed before the Fall, not about what Christ came to do for women, because Anne believes that what Christ came to do for women *doesn’t* include them being elders in the church, or being ordained to formal ministry in the church. Anne said she does not speak as one having a position of authority in the church.

    What Anne believes happened before the Fall, is of no practical consequence, because Anne believes the Bible teaches women are not to have positions of authority in the church *today*. And it is the gender roles Donna is taking issue with.

    Thus, the accusations of “guru,” “heretic,” and “pretending to put Jesus first” are way over the top, considering Anne’s practical teaching that women should not be elders or ordained to ministry in the church.

    Another comment:
    “I think that from the reactions I got, there may be a problem with her. There is a lot of junk being thrown at me personally for just brining her up.”

    The only thing that has been brought up, besides some good natured jousting about Don dealing with Patriarchal teachings as a matter of first priority, is solid evidence that Anne Graham Lotz is not what Donna says she is.

    Instead of retracting, Donna says “junk” is being “thrown” at her for “just bringing up” that Anne is a phoney heretic.

    What Donna did is spelled f-a-l-s-e–a-c-c-u-s-a-t-i-o-n, to wit:

    Anne pretends to put Jesus first.
    Anne denies Scriptural teachings.
    Anne is a Christian feminist who promotes heresies.
    Anne is a guru in a female body.

    I am not going to defend myself against anything said about me in this forum. I saw a false accusation against another member of the Body of Christ, and I knew the information was untrue, and that is all I want to discuss. I would hope that Donna eventually sees that “truth” was being “thrown in her face” on account of her making such a false accusation.

  20. I don’t know Donna, and I don’t know a whole lot about Anne’s teachings either, but I do see a pattern here. Whenever a woman teaches people about Jesus, Patriarchal types are quick to denounce her as a “feminist” and a “false teacher”, on the grounds that since “women can’t teach”, whatever a woman teaches must somehow be false, because the person teaching it is a woman.

    I have noticed that Patriarchal women are even quicker than their menfolk to denounce women who tell folks about Jesus, perhaps because they are stung by the fact that they would like to be doing the very same thing, but have been led to believe that they cannot, since they have the wrong sort of plumbing.

    I wonder what such a woman would have said to the angel at the Tomb, if she had been with the two Marys when the angel told them to “go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.”

  21. Thank you, Lynn, for clarifying what I think about Mrs. Lotz.

    I did order a couple of her books. Her understanding of women, creation, and the fall concern me, but you have eased some of my cautions.

    BTW, I had NO idea that you liked her, or I probably would not have picked on her in front of you.

    Cynthia, is it bad to be a “patriarchal type”? God seems to be a patriarchal type, after all. Have you never heard of Our Father who art in Heaven? “Patriarchy” means “father rule.”

    The Bible presents a form of patriarchy, where the husband is called on to lay down his life for his wife, as Christ laid down His life for His bride. He is to lead her and his family in ways that are not harsh and that do not provoke wrath – but he is to lead.

    The fact that there are patriarchal jerks out there does not change what Scripture clearly teaches about how a husband is the head/authority over his wife and a wife lovingly and willingly submits to his leadership.

    You don’t have a problem with any of that, do you, Cynthia?

    It’s not a matter of “plumbing.” It is a matter of Biblical authority, the only one that really counts. All human authority derives from God’s rule, and God will hold all of us accountable for how we use it, right? Even women have certain areas where they exercise authority, such as over our children. We will also be held accountable, right?

    There are some female jerks out there too.

    So, I will continue to look at the female “gurus” and examine to see where they are in violation of Scriptural authority and whether or not they engage in relational aggression themselves in order to keep other women in line.

    If anyone minds that I do that, then I have entirely misunderstood the mission of the MCO.

  22. “Cynthia, is it bad to be a “patriarchal type”? God seems to be a patriarchal type, after all. Have you never heard of Our Father who art in Heaven? “Patriarchy” means “father rule.”…..You don’t have a problem with any of that, do you, Cynthia? ”

    In the sense that God our Father intended it, and in the sense that Jesus and Paul taught it, no, not at all.
    But in the sense that it is being taught nowadays, by the likes of Doug Phillips, Jennie Chancey, et al, yes, I do, and how!

  23. Cynthia:
    In the sense that God our Father intended it, and in the sense that Jesus and Paul taught it, no, not at all.
    But in the sense that it is being taught nowadays, by the likes of Doug Phillips, Jennie Chancey, et al, yes, I do, and how! >>>>

    Thank you for your clarification, Cynthia. I don’t know much about Phillips and I have never heard of Chancey. I don’t know who “et al” is. Maybe that’s me. :-)

    I’ll take a look at those guys. In fact, I had heard about Phillips, so I was googling him recently and found Jen’s blog. I was nice to her. I was concerned about her recent problems. I expressed that. I’ll try not to make that mistake again.

    Now I’ll take a look at Chancey.

    I like Mark Driscoll. Do you? His church has great praise music, too. Good bands and good words.

    Some women think that he is one of those evil guys, too. Hey, he even used the word “patriarchy” in a sermon I heard him preach. I thought that was pretty nervy of him in a place like Seattle. :-)

    He’s probably okay, though, since he is emergent Reformed, and is concerned about women’s issues. He relates well to the younger generation. He even used the word “c***” in his sermon. His baby boy did that to Driscoll’s foot. He compared it to how we treat our Heavenly Father at times. He takes us up to bless us and love us, and we “c***” on Him. Yet He deals with us in grace.

    So, maybe we don’t need to lump all traditionalists into the same category?

    Lynn:
    On the equality issue, Donna’s statement immediately above this is false.>>>

    Why, Lynn. Our relationship is improving. ;-)

    I’ll get back to you on Anne, maybe. Last night I was reading an excerpt from one of her books and it sounded a lot like BG’s rhema teachings. Maybe she’s really a Gothard follower!

  24. I don’t know much about Mark Driscoll, but I’ll have to read up on him. Not everybody who mentions patriarchy is talking about the same thing, after all. Its more negative connotations are fairly recent.
    I assume “c” word you refer to, is the “c” word that pigeons do….:)

  25. Donna, I don’t have anything against you personally. In fact, I’d like to be friends. I was just taken aback by your pattern of comments here and needed to express my concern to you.

    I think there is a huge difference between exposing cults and expressing doctrinal differences. We will all have doctrinal differences and they are fine to discuss. We just shouldn’t ever accuse someone of being in a cult (guru, etc.) if it is merely a matter of doctrinal differences. If you think that Anne’s specific Bible teachings are wrong, you should expose them. But that is best done by carefully laying out your case. Show us clearly what Anne teaches. Then show us what the Bible says. Convince us. We’re all reasonable here. We’ll listen.

    In fact, I can just about guarantee you that you will be able to find some Scriptural teaching by Anne that we would all agree is contradictory to what we think God’s Word teaches.

    Donna, I really liked what you said about patriarchy. You summarized God’s Word well. What some of us here have either experienced or witnessed, though, is nothing at all like what you are describing. If both men and women fulfilled their biblical roles, I’ll bet this would never even be an issue! Unfortunately, real life doesn’t work that way. It sounds like you must have a very loving husband. I am genuinely pleased for you.

  26. Cynthia:
    Not everybody who mentions patriarchy is talking about the same thing, after all. Its more negative connotations are fairly recent.>>>

    Hey, I agree.

    I have learned, too, that not all egalitarians are created equal.
    In fact, I have learned that I am more for equality than many who call themselves egalitarian. IMO, of course. Many egals are too into their feminism, which is inherently promoting inequality – which is why Dorothy L Sayers did not like to identify with what feminism was becomming. Besides, she was a conservative and loved Winston Churchill and disliked socialism.

    See. You learn a lot by talking to people and reading a bit. I learned all that from an egalitarian over at the CCC, ultra-partirachal discussion group. Plus, I have read DLS’s biography and am reading some of her other books, slowly.

    I wonder what the egalitarians think of this statement from Dorothy L. Sayers about the image of God.:

    “Christian doctrine and tradition, indeed, by language and picture, set its face against all sexual symbolism for the divine fertility. Its Trinity is wholly masculine, as all language relating to man as a species is masculine.”

    Letters to a Diminished Church
    Passionate Arguments for the relevance of Christian Doctrine

    p. 23, 24

    Weird, huh, for an egalitarian to support the idea of a masculine God. :-) I’m not sure that I agree with DLS, but my point is that she is not like many who call themselves egalitarians.

    C.S. Lewis also defended God’s masculinity. It is a Catholic idea, and a very ancient one at that. Probably invented by those Medieval scholastics who mucked up Christianity so much and ruined Bible translations, according to some.

    The idea of an androgynous god is a new invention – or a very old heresy, whichever way you wish to look at it.

    Cynthia:
    I assume “c” word you refer to, is the “c” word that pigeons do….:)>>>>

    Yes, “c” is what pigeons do-do.

    I looked up Mrs. Chancey. I don’t agree that women working out of the home is automatically sin. It could be, but not by definition. There are a number of factors to take into account, the most important being whether or not there are children in the home and what age they are.

    That caught my eye.

    Sorry about my ramblings. It’s been nice talking with you, Cynthia. One has to look into things for oneself, and be very cautious.

    It is hard to avoid the group think mentality, since we are such social beings.

    At least I am still allowed to post here. :-)

  27. Just so everyone knows, I have vociferously tried to correct Donna’s false accusations concerning what I believe. It does no good. So, she may continue to stuff her own strawmen and beat them to the ground. It doesn’t bother me. BTW, Donna, I agree with you. I look at men and women as individuals, too. “. I don’t see women by definition as innocent victims of male domination as you seem to. ” I challenge anyone to find anything I have written that even comes close to saying this. I don’t believe it and I have never said such a thing. I don’t think men are the bad guys and I personally know there are many evil women who oppress those around them.

    As for “gurus”, just try and disagree with something Mark Driscoll says and you will find out what his loyal followers defend and are willing to put up with. Yes, he may teach a lot of good things but he also says a lot of stupid things. He has been made accountable for those things and I am hoping that his style of ridiculous assertions and shooting from the hip are over.

    I suppose if I said “Just Give Me Patriarchy” I would be considered a prophet. After all, isn’t that what Jesus came to do? Establish patriarchy on this earth? That was His main mission. Don’t we all remember all those sayings of Jesus concerning patriarchy? {crickets}

    Thanks, Jen, for cutting right to the chase. I am glad others see the things I see.

    “Have you ever heard Lynn or Corrie take these wild positions? I think you owe everyone here proof that this is what these two ladies think! I have been conversing with them for a while now, and this is so totally foreign to everything I have seen from them. You either owe them an apology or proof. Take your pick.”

    Yes, I would like to see this proof and I will gladly accept an apology. Jen, these accusations are so foreign to me because they are certainly not things I have ever said or thought.

    Donna, Lotz is not Lynn’s guru. That is poisoning the well. Just because she challenged you to make good on your accusations doesn’t mean that Lynn worships Anne Graham Lotz. That is just plain silly.

    I think I see the effects of following after gurus in your own posts. It has clouded your judgment; you can’t see clearly.

    CJ, we also see this acting out amongst women in the Muslim culture. Many times it is the zealous mother who coerces her husband or son into an honor killing or the mother does it herself. It is demonic.

  28. Corrie, you said:

    “I think I see the effects of following after gurus in your own posts. It has clouded your judgment; you can’t see clearly.”

    The condemnation of Anne Graham Lotz happened a couple of months ago at the Bayly brothers’ “Out of Our Minds, Too” blog. It generated some comment there, which will show a trail to how, if not why, it got addressed months later here. That is, unfortunately, an aggressive pattern. Those who’ve dared to speak against the Baylys, Driscoll, or anyone who advocates authoritarian patriarchal hierarchy in church and/or marriage, is a target to be followed around. They get grilled on completely different blogs, sometimes many months later, on whether or not they agree with some “heretic” or other (whom these respected patriarchalist leaders have denounced), and no answer will be acceptable. They get ridiculed and lied about no matter what they say.

    That’s just the way it happens. (Sound like relational aggression to you?) You nailed it about judgment being clouded. Meanwhile, the actual topic of conversation has yet again been derailed.

  29. I have sent a comment or two to the Bayly blog a long time ago, using another e-mail address, but I won’t comment there any more.

    I don’t think you’ve derailed the conversation. One thing about gurus is also abusive, domineering behavior, and on my blog, according to Corrie’s testimony to me, e-mail exchanges which she shared with me, about the on-line and off-line behavior of the Baylys, I think they well qualify as “gurus” by this standard — that *they* have all the answers, and I have seen time and time again if someone has a differing view, say of “submit to each other” than the Baylys do, these people are accused of being a mouthpiece of the devil. I am not making this up. Even if the Baylys are right and the commenter is wrong, their responses are extreme overreactions.

    I’ve seen so many bulverisms, out and outright ad hominem abusive tactics, all the while evading giving their best answers to some challenges, that the Bayly blog isn’t worth it to me. I just read it when I am in a masochistic mood. :) My only concern is that it is manned by two pastors in the PCA denomination, and I think they are tarnishing the good name of the PCA.

    Someone on my blog noted how the Baylys treat Elisabeth Elliot respectfully, and she speaks to large mixed audiences about the God and the Word and service to God, and counsels both men and women, and has done so for years. Is this a double standard for real, or is there something I don’t know about?

  30. The Baylys and their ilk (Doug Wilson, Doug Phillips, et al) pretty much want women to be seen and not heard. Women are baby-breeding machines who exist only to serve their men, and woe to those females who dare to have a brain, a well-supported opinion that differs from theirs, and a voice to use it. Woe to those women who dare to suggest that women have a calling beyond wife and mother, or that wife and mother is not a woman’s “highest calling.” (Funny, they can never support that one with scripture when asked.) I’ve been called “An Agent of the Evil One” on the Bayly blog because … gasp … my husband and I both practice mutual submission and mutual sacrificial love in our marriage. I’ve been told on other blogs and discussion boards that for this egregious sin, I’m going to hell, and that I can’t possibly be a Christian, much less believe in the inerrancy of the Bible.

    I am so sick of these bullying individuals (some of whom are women) who are arrogant enough to think that they can’t possibly make a mistake ever in scriptural interpretation, and ascribe motives of rebellion to those who differ with them. Interestingly, they never engage with the real issue or real topic at hand, but instead resort to name calling, sarcasm, and ad hominum attacks.

    After I was vilified on one blog, I got several emails from people who had attended those pastor’s churches. Their stories made my hair stand on end. These two pastors did serious damage to people’s marriages with their bullying, unscriptural teachings on marriage.

    What is to be gained by all these “alpha male” power plays? It certainly doesn’t help the kingdom one bit. You look at the early church, and the way people worked together cooperatively for the gospel was breathtaking. But today, it’s all about who’s in charge. Sad. Very sad.

  31. I said:
    “One thing about gurus is also abusive, domineering behavior, and on my blog, according to Corrie’s testimony to me, e-mail exchanges, (blah, blah, blah) . . . ”

    “I’ve seen so many bulverisms, out and outright ad hominem abusive tactics, . . .”

    I wasn’t clear about the reference to Corrie, and want to clarify.

    An egalitarian woman on the Bayly blog said she believed Ephesians teaches mutual submission. She was pretty much blasted for that. A man came on and said to the Baylys, in essence, to just stick to the argument and please lay off the verbal assault (he said it in a much more diplomatic fashion than that).

    Corrie also responded to this and said she is complementarian, but that some of what the egalitarian said made sense, in that husband’s often submit to the wishes of their wives, and wives often sacrifice their time to do what the husband wishes.

    Even though in the big picture, the husband is to lead and have the authority in the marriage, and to show sacrificial love, and the wife is to submit, when it comes to the day in day out interactions it is much more of an organic mutuality and consideration for each other that you see.

    Corrie also suggested that it might be good to show kindness toward people with differing views.

    (I hope I’m getting this right. Correct me, Corrie, if that isn’t what you said. It’s been months since I read that exchange.)

    For that, the basic answer was, paraphrased, “You are only saying that because you are a dishonest feminist.” And he gave Corrie the boot off the blog. And I saw his private e-mail to her.

    Meanwhile, online, they prattled away about how, when making a “judgment” against someone who writes on their blog, they go to great lengths, even phone calls to the person they are making a “judgment” about. They also view the blog as an extension of their pastoral responsibilities.

    So . . . I called Corrie and asked her if they did that with her.

    Nope.

    In fact, Corrie’s husband, who (by the Providence of God, I believe) *knew* both Bayly brothers from high school years, was trying to contact them. By e-mail and phone, for five days, and no response.

    So I decided at that point to blog about the phoney baloney plastic banana hypocrisy.

    Finally, one of them called Corrie’s husband back, and they did apologize to Corrie on-line, but decided to keep her moderated “for her own protection.”

    I know I’ve told this so many times people are probably getting sick of me saying it, but only to say that I well think the Baylys qualify as “gurus” in some respects.

    Even though I do agree with them on abortion and many other issues.

  32. Light M., whose comment appears before my previous one, is the woman I referred to above, the woman whose post Corrie commented on. That wasn’t the only instance. If it were, I wouldn’t have mentioned this subject. I have seen it multiple times on the Baylys’ blog.

  33. Thank you, girls, for all your kind, loving, helpful words directed towards me on this blog. It is really overwhelming, actually. I also wish to thank you for all your postings to my blog last summer and all your loving emails and comments made to me.

    They have edified me in ways you can’t even imagine!

    So, bless you dear sisters, and continue on.

  34. Thank you, girls, for all your kind, loving, helpful words directed towards me on this blog. It is really overwhelming, actually. I also wish to thank you for all your postings to my blog last summer and all your loving emails and comments made to me.

    They have edified me in ways you can’t even imagine!

    So, bless you dear sisters, and continue on.

  35. Rick Ross, an expert on cults, publishes this list of signs of a cult. I’ve listed in parentheses after each one “gurus” who exhibit these signs. (Their names are not in any particular order.)

    Ten warning signs of a potentially unsafe group/leader.

    1. Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability. (Doug Phillips, Doug Wilson, Jim Jones, Gwen Shamblin, David Koresh, Tim Bayly, RC Sproul Jr.)

    2. No tolerance for questions or critical inquiry. (Tim Bayly, Doug Phillips, Jim Jones, David Koresh, Doug Wilson, Gwen Shamblin, RC Sproul Jr)

    3. No meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget, expenses such as an independently audited financial statement. (Phillips, Wilson, Shamblin, Sproul Jr, Jones, Koresh)

    4. Unreasonable fear about the outside world, such as impending catastrophe, evil conspiracies and persecutions. (Koresh, Jones, Phillips, Wilson, Shamblin)

    5. There is no legitimate reason to leave, former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil. (Shamblin, Wilson, Jones, maybe Phillips)

    6. Former members often relate the same stories of abuse and reflect a similar pattern of grievances. (Bayly, Shamblin, Wilson, Phillips, Sproul Jr, Koresh)

    7. There are records, books, news articles, or television programs that document the abuses of the group/leader. (Shamblin, Sproul Jr., Wilson, Koresh, Jones, Phillips. If we added blogs to this, we could add Bayly)

    8. Followers feel they can never be “good enough”. (Shamblin, Wilson, Phillips)

    9. The group/leader is always right. (Bayly, Jones, Koresh, Phillips, Sproul Jr, Wilson, Shamblin)

    10. The group/leader is the exclusive means of knowing “truth” or receiving validation, no other process of discovery is really acceptable or credible. (Shamblin, Koresh, Jones, and to some extent Bayly, Wilson, Phillips, Sproul Jr – in that they arrogantly believe only they can properly exegete scripture and anyone who concludes otherwise is deceived or rebellious)

  36. Oh, Light, I am just itching to expound on this list regarding Doug Phillips! One point:

    “5. There is no legitimate reason to leave, former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil. (Shamblin, Wilson, Jones, maybe Phillips)”

    Maybe Phillips? Absolutely Phillips! There are really only two legitimate reasons to leave his covenant. You are excommunicated or you die. He will allow you out if you move, but I think you have to provide a legitimate new church first.

    I wish some of the former BCA members would have the guts to speak up about their leaving, but so far Doug has silenced everyone. But I know stories!

  37. 1. Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability. (Doug Phillips, Doug Wilson, Jim Jones, Gwen Shamblin, David Koresh, Tim Bayly, RC Sproul Jr.)>>>

    Pat Gundry. :-)

    2. No tolerance for questions or critical inquiry. (Tim Bayly, Doug Phillips, Jim Jones, David Koresh, Doug Wilson, Gwen Shamblin, RC Sproul Jr)>>>

    The CBE?

    3. No meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget, expenses such as an independently audited financial statement. (Phillips, Wilson, Shamblin, Sproul Jr, Jones, Koresh)>>>>

    I wonder about that. Every organization has to have an auditor, and that auditor has to conform to certain government requirements. I don’t believe you in what you say, here. These organizations would be closed down by the IRS if they were not doing their books right. The Patriot Act would not allow it if they are sending any funds overseas. The government itself can be the independent audit. :-) If you think that they are mishandling funds, call the IRS.

    4. Unreasonable fear about the outside world, such as impending catastrophe, evil conspiracies and persecutions. (Koresh, Jones, Phillips, Wilson, Shamblin)>>>>

    You mean men’s war on women?

    5. There is no legitimate reason to leave, former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil. (Shamblin, Wilson, Jones, maybe Phillips)>>>>

    You mean like former members get critical emails and intimidating phone calls from strangers if they dare to oppose their former leaders and friends?

    6. Former members often relate the same stories of abuse and reflect a similar pattern of grievances. (Bayly, Shamblin, Wilson, Phillips, Sproul Jr, Koresh)>>>>

    You mean like those who leave the CBE fold?

    7. There are records, books, news articles, or television programs that document the abuses of the group/leader. (Shamblin, Sproul Jr., Wilson, Koresh, Jones, Phillips. If we added blogs to this, we could add Bayly)>>>>>

    I have some blogs that I would add. Hey, even my own at times when I get visitors.

    8. Followers feel they can never be “good enough”. (Shamblin, Wilson, Phillips)>>>>

    Or logical enough? Or a good enough missionary?

    9. The group/leader is always right. (Bayly, Jones, Koresh, Phillips, Sproul Jr, Wilson, Shamblin)>>>>

    Now you are baiting me.

    10…anyone who concludes otherwise is deceived or rebellious) >>>>

    …or an evil patriarchalist?

    Hey, these are good guidelines, I would just fill in other names and examples, but it is pretty much the same no matter who the Borg is, right? The Borg had a queen, after all.

    I am wondering, too, if Lynn has seen, besides the ad hominum and bulverism, any baiting on these blogs in question?

  38. Light:
    5. There is no legitimate reason to leave, former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil.>>>>

    I forgot to add sick, in need of help, needing to repent, needing to just “suck it up” because others are suffering a lot more than you, you are someone who should know better, a hypocrite, a trouble-maker, you are just defending yourself when you have caused so much trouble, your apologies are phoney, etc.

    Actually, sometimes a person is kicked out, banned, shunned, and then stalked.

    Is that the kind of thing you mean?

  39. Donna:
    “3. No meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget, expenses such as an independently audited financial statement. (Phillips, Wilson, Shamblin, Sproul Jr, Jones, Koresh)>>>>

    “I wonder about that. Every organization has to have an auditor, and that auditor has to conform to certain government requirements. I don’t believe you in what you say, here. These organizations would be closed down by the IRS if they were not doing their books right. The Patriot Act would not allow it if they are sending any funds overseas. The government itself can be the independent audit. :-) If you think that they are mishandling funds, call the IRS.”

    Donna, do you really believe that the IRS keeps taxpayers honest? I think this particular trait could take many forms, and many of which the IRS may never know about. I’m not going to tell what I know, but I do know about some not-quite-right financial issues with some of those listed.

    If I remember correctly, the IRS is only interested in knowing about tax fraud by ministries when the amount of fraud exceeds $100,000. That leaves a lot of room for “fudging.”

    But if we look at that trait again, I think the key word there is “meaningful.” How can we, as donors, for instance, know how our gifts are being used? Don’t you think these people should have a responsibility to be upfront and honest about how they are using the money with which we are entrusting them?

  40. Jen:
    But if we look at that trait again, I think the key word there is “meaningful.” How can we, as donors, for instance, know how our gifts are being used? Don’t you think these people should have a responsibility to be upfront and honest about how they are using the money with which we are entrusting them? >>>>

    Jen, if you have evidence that these ministries are making illegal use of the funds sent to them, then you should report them to the IRS.

    What more do you want me to say?

    What happened to you was in no way caused by me. It could not have been prevented by me. It has nothing to do with me.

    If you have evidence of fraud, then you need to present it to the proper servants of God, the IRS. Of course, you can also warn others of what could happen to them if they are not careful.

  41. PS, Jen,
    Are you really trying to say that if you follow Phillips, you will end up drinking Kool-Aid in some South American jungle like the followers of Jones did?

    That’s pretty over the top, isn’t it? Are you saying that Phillips is a murderer of small children? Do you have evidence for that?

  42. Jen, just one more thing. Like I told you on your blog, I am very sorry about what happened to you.

    I don’t doubt that you and your family got really beaten up in your situation. I don’t think it incorrect to make that public or to ask why it was done to you.

    I do pray for God’s healing and wisdom as you proceed. I commend you for at least trying to reconcile. That is the Christian way, after all.

    Also, I can understand how you can know that something is true, yet not be able to present the cold, hard facts.

    So, my intention is not to pick on you. I do think that one has to be careful with overstatement.

  43. And the pattern continues to unfold.

    Without, of course, any substantiation of any of the off-topic accusations. That is because there can be no substantiation of any of the accusations Donna has made here.

    If it’s so unfair to say that Phillips fits the pattern of a potentially unsafe group leader, why is it OK to say it of Pat Gundry? Oh, yes…because it’s OK to hate Pat Gundry and CBE because they’re odious Christian egalitarians who some religious patriarchal gurus have declared heretics.

    Double-standard, indeed…

  44. From:
    http://midwestoutreach.org/blogs/?p=2

    “The Local Church’s complaint depends on readers’ reasoning thus:

    [The book says that] some cults commit illegal acts.

    [The book says that] the Local Church is a cult.

    Therefore [the book says that] the Local Church commits illegal acts.

    …the argument commits the fallacy of undistributed middle and therefore is not reasonable, i.e., no reasonable person would draw that conclusion from the book. The court recognized this and ruled accordingly. I cannot but agree, …”

    Fast forward to:
    Jen:
    “‘5. There is no legitimate reason to leave, former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil. (Shamblin, Wilson, Jones, maybe Phillips)’

    Maybe Phillips? Absolutely Phillips!”

    Now this:
    “That’s pretty over the top, isn’t it? Are you saying that Phillips is a murderer of small children? Do you have evidence for that?”

    Here is the syllogism:

    A mass murderer gives people abuse for leaving.

    Phillips gives people abuse for leaving.

    Therefore, Phillips is a mass murderer.

    This is an AAA, figure 2 syllogism, which is not valid, because like the IAA, figure 2 syllogism above, neither the major nor the minor premise have the middle term distributed.

    So, it is illogical (and I mean very, very illogical) to ask someone if that is what they are suggesting.

  45. Maggie:

    Double-standard, indeed…

    DL:
    Yes, indeed…

    DL:
    Pat bullied me and then slandered me on a discussion group. I complained to the moderators, and they told me basically to die to myself and “suck it up.” They didn’t see anything that I should complain about. I got a couple of phone calls, even telling me that I should just settle down.

    DL:
    I also got emails from one of the moderators telling me that I was sick and needed help.

    DL:
    Now, all that may not matter to anyone else, but it matters to me. What are you going to do to me for exposing this publically and for crying “foul”?

    DL:
    After all, I was the one being obnoxious and I deserved what I got. THAT my dear, is a double standard when at the same time, women are being told to not put up with abuse from males. So, we are supposed to put up with abuse from females? I think NOT!

    DL:
    Up until that time I was on the side of those who opposed abusive male leadership. After that, I saw that there was something else going on as well.

    DL:
    So, string me up. Sue me. Slander me and engage in character assination, but do not call me on the phone or write me hate emails.

    Lynn:
    So, it is illogical (and I mean very, very illogical) to ask someone if that is what they are suggesting. >>>

    Thank you, Lynn. So, you do not think that the comparison of Phillips to Jones is over the top?

    So, it’s okay to put him in that class?

    He may be in a class that is not a good one, but to mention his name along with Jones is way out of line. Isn’t it?

    I’m not the one who compared Phillips to Jones. You think that’s okay? I disagree, as illogical as that may seem.

    You know what I think? I think that Jen has been hurt, and she may even feel that Phillips is that evil. I think it would be good for her to put things in a different perspective. In time she probably will.

    Well, it’s been nice, girls. Myopia can be dangerous.

  46. Mistake, it’s IAA-1, not IAA-2 in the first example.

    Either way, to suggest Jen is calling Phillips a murderer and demand evidence of the supposed accusation, in this case, would be funny if it weren’t so pathetic.

  47. I’m not going to do anything to you, Donna. Including any of the harrassment you describe. How ridiculous!

    What I have seen is ad hominem and character assassination FROM you, here. Do you really mean to imply that you’re entitled to engage in such behavior, because you’re holding onto the things you say Pat Gundry and the moderators did/said to/about you? Can you really not see that it’s not OK for you to do the very things you rail against others for supposedly doing? And this ongoing “Borg Queen” grudge is simply inexcusable.

    Abuse is abuse, no matter the source or object of it. One’s own experience of abuse really isn’t an excuse, not if one claims to be following Jesus Christ.

    I think this “don’t call me, don’t write me e-mails,” along with the references to stringing you up and slandering you and “character assignation” (sic) is just plain strange. I’ve done nothing to you except comment on your ad hominem here. And if you say it in public, as a Christian, you ought to be prepared to accept responsibility for it without twisting it into others’ “slandering” you.

  48. Maggie:
    I think this “don’t call me, don’t write me e-mails,” along with the references to stringing you up and slandering you and “character assignation” (sic) is just plain strange.>>>>

    Hmmm. I was asked for substantiation and I gave it as best I could.

    Actually, your responses confirm what I believe. You have developed a cultlike mentality among yourselves.

    Carry on.

  49. Yes, the pattern is predictable.

    Accuse everyone else of things like “cultlike mentality” and vague “confirmation” of whatever it is you choose to believe–the worst, apparently–about those who have dared to say your accusations are false and your logic flawed.

    It’s a common human tendency to point fingers at others when one is in the wrong. But not a commendable practice, especially for Christians.

    Despite that, you’ve offered nothing to indicate you’re basing your public denouncement of Pat Gundry and the whole of CBE on anything more than the personal offense you took to her and the unnamed moderators’ behavior toward you.

    Please do show why going around to various blogs assassinating the character of people like Anne Graham Lotz and Pat Gundry is what a Christian is supposed to do. I am reasonably sure you’ve never spoken to AGL, nor she to you. And even if Pat did exactly what you said she did, and you yourself said or did nothing even remotely questionable in those exchanges, how is keeping the grudge alive serving the cause of Jesus Christ (or your own)?

    As for the actual topic, I think it’s worth noting that Anne Graham Lotz has in no way set herself up to be a “guru” or spiritual authority over anyone or any group. The same cannot be said of her accusers at the Bayly blog. (Really, claiming spiritual authority over commenters on their blog is absurd!)

  50. Maggie:
    Without, of course, any substantiation of any of the off-topic accusations. That is because there can be no substantiation of any of the accusations Donna has made here.>>>>

    Maggie, here is where you asked me for substantiation. I gave it. You then said that what I said was strange and commented on my spelling.

    If you don’t want the answers, then don’t ask the questions.

    I am entitled to tell my story, especially when asked, and especially since the topic is the behaviour of spiritual gurus.

    You are also free to disagree with me.

    You know, this is what seems really crazy to me. We are told to expect being challenged. I am challenged and respond as best I can. What I say is then called strange. Now THAT is strange.

    Actually, the whole thing is pretty weird when you think of it.

    Now, pour on the love, girls.

  51. Maggie, Lynn, Corrie, Jen —

    I am begging you. Please. Please stop trying. It does no good. It has never done any good. This has been going on for over three years now. IT WILL NEVER CHANGE.

    This person needs help. Please stop. She won’t. Ever.

  52. This person needs help. Please stop. She won’t. Ever. >>>>

    Good one. What more could be said than that.

    “This person” has a name. You people feel free to slander whoever you wish, yet you dare to demand that I change. Oh, well. That’s the beauty of hypocrisy.

  53. Sounds to me like just about everybody here has been hurt, by churches, by one other, and sometimes by our own selves. In following a Google search a couple of days ago, I ran into a blog owned by a lady who has been hurt so badly by this sort of religious stuff that she lost her faith and became a lesbian.

    What would Jesus think of all of this?
    We’ve been talking about Phillips, Wilson, Jones, Koresh, the Bayley brothers, et al. What do they all have in common, other than the fact that they each claim(ed) to be spreading the Gospel? Their churches have spread misery and discord among Christian brethen; two of them spread death. In no case has their fruit been good on anything but a temporary basis; and here we sit, wrangling over which false teacher is worse than another. Some are worse that others– I doubt that Phillips is going to ever kill anybody (though I can’t say the same for the neo-Confederate types with whom he associates) — but NONE of these “teachers” are acting much like Jesus. We’d be better off worshipping in traditional denominations, or even in our own homes, than entangling ourselves with groups such as these.
    The more liberal denominations have allowed sin to creep into their churches, it’s true, but these guys appear to have lost Love altogether. They are nasty.

  54. I would just like to go on the record to say that while I definitely would put Doug Phillips in the “guru” category, there are many different definitions of “cult” floating. Based on one definition, he might fit, but based on most, he is not a cult leader, nor do I consider him to be such. That is a serious charge and, as Christians, we should be very careful who we put that label on.

    There seems to be at least two different types of cults in religion today: sociological cults and those that are outright heretical. While I don’t agree with much of Doug’s theology, I would never label him heretical, which is the more serious of the two types. There are some aspects of the sociological cult that he tends toward, but I do want to say that this extreme behavior is relatively recent. Maybe there’s still hope for him.

    Doug is pro-life, in every sense of the word. To put him in same category as those who promote death is slander and I will defend him vigorously from false accusations.

  55. Jen wrote:
    “Doug is pro-life, in every sense of the word. To put him in same category as those who promote death is slander and I will defend him vigorously from false accusations.”

    Jen, I agree, and that is why I did that dorky logic exercise last night. I needed to review syllogisms and moods and figures, anyway, and tests for validity.

    The purpose of doing that excercise, which I am quite sure was not understood by very many reading it, was that just because you say Doug Phillips has this characteristic, and this cult leader who committed mass murder has this same characteristic, that you, Jen are then saying Doug promotes murder.

    Any reasonable person can see that you weren’t doing that. It is perfectly OK to say that giving people a hard time for exiting a group is a charateristic of a cult leader, and that Doug Phillips and Jim Jones both displayed that trait, if you can show that this is true.

    But there’s no logical way to go from saying they have one thing in common to then accuse you of saying that Doug Phillips is like Jim Jones in every respect.

  56. Donna, you didn’t substantiate, you merely accused. And that is the problem, it’s always the problem. When asked to give actual substantiation, you falsely accuse others of slander and call them hypocrites.

    No one is fooled.

    Lynn, I think I followed you pretty well on that. The game is quite obvious and the logic is badly flawed. Again, I don’t think anyone else is fooled by it.

  57. Don, I am going to post this, and apologize for not just letting it end. Here is my response.

    Why not just ask for clarification?

    Why not just ask for clarification?

    or, “sometimes understanding is more than just a lesson in logic”

    Here is a clarification to anyone who is interested.

    Here is my original statement at the Crux blog.:
    I am wondering, though, how do we avoid a “Just give me Jesus” mentality which pretends to put Jesus first, all the while denying Scriptural teachings?>>>>

    I’m going to give a little clarification, now that I have calmed down a bit. I dont’ have a huge problem with the phrase “Just Give Me Jesus”, though I did buy a couple of Mrs. Lotz books to take a look for myself at what she is teaching. They are not terrible books. They have the typical Evangelical problem, though, of preaching mostly testimonials interrupted occasionally by Scripture, but there’s nothing really heretical in there – unless one wants to get into the whole “what’s wrong with Arminianism” debate. That is not where I take issue at this time – though I do take issue, but I also know that people get saved and blessed in her ministry.

    Where she has denied Scriptural teachings is in the post she wrote recently, Jan. 17, 2007.

    http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/guestvoices/2007/01/biblical_record_is_clear_god_c.html

    Another area of concern is the fact that she leads communion. See p. 13 of her book I Saw the Lord.

    She seems to be influenced by the religious feminists in these two things.

    Number one, her statement on the equality of the sexes, without the clarification that the Bible does assign roles to men and women according to their sex, is a red flag.

    “God created men and women equal. Period.”

    – Mrs. Lotz

    Christians have always believed in the equality of men and women ontologically, but within that equality there are distinct roles assigned to men and to women, specifically in the home and in the church. The roles within marriage were established before the fall, since Eve was made to be Adam’s help, not Adam Eve’s help. Paul went back to pre-fall creation order when he said that woman was made for man, not man for woman. Mrs. Lotz is in her statement denying what Christians have always believed and what the Bible clearly teaches. The key word is “period.” The Bible does not teach that men and women are equal “period”. Even a quick read of Genesis 1 and 2 will show that, as well as 1 Cor. 11.

    Genesis 2
    18 The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

    1 Cor. 11
    8For man did not come from woman, but woman from man;

    Another evidence of Adam’s pre-fall authority over his wife was the fact that he is the one who named her. He recognized who she was and correctly labeled her as such.

    Genesis 2
    23 The man said,
    “This is now bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
    she shall be called ‘woman,’
    for she was taken out of man.”

    Mrs. Lotz is denying the clear Scriptural teaching with the little word “period.”

    The second bit of evidence is that she leads communion. She is taking on pastoral duties in doing that, even if communion is being served to women only.

    My second “wild” statement:
    Of course, you are not yet ready to look into the heresies being promoted by the Christian feminists among us. Maybe someday…>>>>

    DL:
    There were religious feminists operating freely on the Crux blog during the discussion in question, with no clarification of the errors the feminists are promoting. What more evidence do I need to present that these people at Crux are not ready to look into those heresies. Besides, the blog owner made it clear why, which is what he told me when I asked him in private.

    DL:
    They may see the errors, but are not addressing them, at least in public. Until it is public, it is not happening, and the heresies just get more outlandish as time goes on.

    DL:
    Some of the Christian gurus reside in female bodies, and they have a lot of influence. >>>>

    This is obviously true, but what good does it do to name names, when people love to follow women who are teaching an admixture of truth and the falsehood of religious feminism – or outright falsehood. No problem. Even so, I named one teacher – Mrs. Lotz – who seems to be influenced by religious feminism, but is not a false teacher herself, and I never said she was. If I did, I take it back – but I don’t see where I did that. I named another who is definitely a false teacher. No big deal.

    As far as all the personal “junk” thrown at me, what I just need to say is “typical.”

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