Saturday, August 29, 2020

A Study of Galatians for Those Who Have Exited Cults


One of the wisest men I know finally finished his book on Galatians.  I've read sections of the Bible Study a few years ago, and it was brilliant.  I just downloaded the very affordably priced Kindle copy from, and I look forward to delving into it.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Seneca Falls II and the Demand for an Apology: Looking Back Ten Years

I look with a great deal of suspicion on such declarations now, but I've been called a pioneer many times in my life. When I first heard it 40 years ago, I had no understanding, though it would grow. Looking back on the hard stand that I took with the Freedom for Christian Women Coalition that was established ten years ago today, I understand the concept far better. 

Pioneers go into new territories with some wisdom, lots of preparation, and a great deal of faith to tread where no one from their tribe has ventured before. Splashes of appreciation come now and then, but in between, a pioneer pays a price that even they don't yet fully grasp as they do what many don't understand. Many people end up heaping criticism upon resistance, adding to it myths and lies and misconceptions and all sorts of levies out of their own fear. 

In 2008, I spoke out against the abuses of the Patriarchy Movement within Evangelical Christian Homeschooling circles. I can't even count the evils that have been spoken of me falsely because of that. I did more quoting of others' teachings, but I connected too many dots too cogently, and the Southern Baptist Convention rolled on me, proving my thesis. I suppose that I should thank them. People still believe that I've said things I never uttered or believed, and those things that I did do in humility are long forgotten. When Doug Phillips and Bill Gothard tumbled down from their places of power, and when the Eternal Subordination of the Son Doctrine was refuted and largely abanadoned, no one sent me any apologies.

Though history vindicated me, many still considered me a vulgar person who committed vulgar acts against greater men whose name I'm not seen as fit to utter. Yeah, well. I didn't do it for the accolades. I did it because it was the right thing to do, and no one else wanted to do it. So many times, I've told my Creator, "Here I am. Send me." I lent my voice to those who had none and many others who didn't yet know that they needed one. As a friend of this blog once stated things, I gave others the language that they needed to describe what was happening to them. (And I knew it because someone gave it to me. I'm just doing my good 2nd Corinthians 1 duty to comfort others with the comfort that I received.) 

In 2010, I joined with Shirley Taylor, Jocelyn Andersen, and Waneta Dawn to add my voice ot theirs to demand an apology from the zealots of the gender agenda. We were pioneers ahead of our time in that respect also. Not until the #MeToo Movement some eight years later would women feel the courage and liberty to do what we did that day. My husband always says that no good deed goes unpunished, but these momentarily difficulties are well worth the costs. I was born for many moments, but ten years ago today, I certainly stepped into exactly where I was supposed to be to do exactly what I was created to do. I don't always get things right, but on this day, I believe that I did. 

I'm not holding my breath for any serious apologies, but I can stand and know that I stood in faith with confidence towards God to do my duty before God and man. I fulfilled both my duty and kept my soul pure before God by doing what my conscience demanded of me. We needed to speak the truth and lend our voices to those who had yet to find their own. I would not have it any other way.  We look to God to work justice and bring liberty to His people with great anticipation as He brings those who love Him together in the knowledge of the truth.

If you missed all of this in days past, Shirley has written an excellent recap of the issues that led up to this demand for an apology. I've reproduced the bulk of the fifth installment here.
(Catch up on the full history HERE:  Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3 – Part 4 – Part 5, and watch the videos on either Vimeo or YouTube.)

At a time in our church history that the main focus should be on winning lost souls and spreading the gospel to a hurting world, we fear for the future because the Council on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood has placed a greater priority on women’s submissive role rather than on the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

It is with that thought in mind that we make these statements.

  1. We are concerned that men are being taught that they are god-like in their relationship to women within the church and home. As the mothers, wives, and daughters of these men, it is our concern that this doctrine is setting them up for failure as Christian fathers, husbands and sons;

  2. we are concerned about the sin that evangelical church leaders commit when they deny the love of Christ fully to women simply because they were born female;

  3. we are concerned about the damage this causes to families when husbands and fathers are told that they have Headship over their wives and daughters;

  4. we are concerned about wife abuse, girlfriend abuse, and abuse to female children that takes place in many homes where evangelical men are taught that they have earthly and spiritual authority over women;

  5. we are concerned that the children who attend churches that subscribe to the principles of The Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood will grow up not knowing the full redemptive power of the blood of Jesus for both men and women;

  6. we are concerned for the mental and emotional development of girls and boys who attend churches that teach males have superiority over females;

  7. we are concerned that men who are taught that they have Male Headship over a home and church do not feel that they are accountable for abusive attitudes and actions towards women;

  8. we are concerned about the mistranslation of the scriptures by complementarian translation committees and by the false teachings propagated by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood;

  9. we are concerned that pastors who teach and preach male domination/female subordination cannot relate in a loving, Christ-like manner to female members of their congregations because they have already judged them and found them lacking;

  10. we are concerned that the issue of wifely submission, promoted so heavily by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, is more about power and control than about love or obeying the Word of God.

It is because of these concerns that: 

  1. We demand that the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood acknowledge the harm that has been done to the church body by The Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood, confess it as sin, and denounce it;

  2. we demand that denominational leaders and all churches and seminaries which have adopted The Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood do the same;

  3. we demand a public apology from the Council on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood, and from all heads of seminaries and Bible colleges that have adopted The Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood, for the inestimable damage this statement has done to all Christians whose lives have been influenced by it;

  4. we demand that the Council on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood begin to promote the Biblical design of functional equality for all Christians, both men and women;

  5. we demand that the Council on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood begin to speak out against pastors who continue to demean women and oppress Christians by the use of The Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood;

  6. we demand that the Council on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood chastise pastors who claim that abuse of women is acceptable and justified because the wife is not submitting to the husband;

  7. we demand that the Council on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood make known to every boy and every girl who attend an evangelical church, that God is their head, and that authority over another human being can come only from God;

  8. we demand that the Council on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood teach men that they share equally in the burden of society’s ills, and that all that is wrong with society today cannot be blamed on women;

  9. we demand that the Council on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood do everything in their power to teach seminarians to show the love of Christ to both men and women;

  10. we demand that the Council on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood teach pastors to be loving towards those Christian men and women who disagree with The Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood;

  11. and, finally, for the sake of all Christians, men and women, we demand that the Council on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood, make a public apology for the misuse of Holy Scripture as it relates to women, and cease to publish or promote The Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood.

Shirley Taylor, bWe Baptist Women for Equality presented this document at the

Seneca Falls 2 Evangelical Women’s Rights Convention July 24, 2010 in Orlando, Florida.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Gothard's Game of Grace: An Exemplar of Externally-Pursued Sanctification

The discussion of the external works as a saving power presents an excellent opportunity to review
 Bill Gothard's redefinition of grace, as he ends up remerging justification and sanctification to turn the Christian life into salvation by works. 

We've already established that justification as an external and alien declaration defines Protestant belief, and sanctification that follows in a Believer comes about by God's work in them from the inside out. 

Luther resisted the idea of participation in sanctification altogether, and Calvin defined it as cultivating obedience. Both men stated emphatically that all holiness arises from union with Christ which begins in the inner spiritual life of a Believer which eventually results in good works. "Not of works lest any man should boast.”

Monday, June 29, 2020

Bill Gothard's Novel Redefinition of Grace

View the original video in its entirety HERE.

Luther and Calvin on the Three Uses of the Law

Luther and Calvin differed on little, but as previously stated, Luther's different experiences and circumstances gave him a different perspective. To avoid a return to the ideas of Rome's synergistic works and faith, he focused on the daily reckoning of the Law and Gospel. Finding union with Christ came through a full comprehension of justification, and he saw that union as the source of obedience and good works.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Hirelings and Their Deceptive Theology of Glory

Another way to understand Luther's view of the Law comes by considering what it is not. 

He sees the Law as nothing but the source of condemnation and death for the Christian, and it is not something that humans can harness for their use. Luther shares with Calvin the view of the total depravity of human beings who are unable to sanctify themselves (Gen 6:5, Jer 17:9, Rom 3:10)

The Cause of Luther's Sober View of the Law

Sanctification: from Luther's Cross to Calvin's Union

Luther's Theology of the Cross and Calvin's Union with Christ motifs are different exegetical or theological tools to use as a key to studying the Bible. For both Luther and Calvin, the Epistle to the Romans serves as the basis for understanding what salvation entails. Both men's concepts depend upon an intimate experience of reconciliation. They also emphasize the critical understanding of justification, sanctification's absolute dependence on it, and the Holy Spirit's sovereign work in our inner being to transform us in holiness as we grow in Christ.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

RC Sproul, Sr: A Brief Description of Justification

I think that RC had a firmly developed concept of Justification and Sanctification
long before the New Calvinists came around.  I've never heard him teach anything questionable on this subject.  ;)

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Luther on the Righteousness of Faith

Late Edit: [I don't know how well it conveys, but I chose the statue of Hamlet at Stratford on Avon to illustrate how I think of Luther's contemplation of the Law. Because our efforts to keep it prove futile, I had it drilled into me at a young age that “all we get from the law is sin and death.” My mind locked it into auditory memory so clearly because I spent so much time and effort thinking about the paradox of Paul's writing in Romans that we do nothing to merit or receive salvation that becomes an admonishment to go forward and walk into the future with our weapons of righteousness.

We are amazing creatures, and I think twice of Hamlet. First, comes the soliloquy of “what a piece of work is man!” How noble in reason; infinite in faculty; in form, in action, in apprehension, in beauty, the paragon of animals, yet a quintessence of dust. And in contemplating sin, death and dust do follow. And so I chose the image of Hamlet holding Yorick's skull as he realizes all too painfully that life is so short. I imagine that Luther held that same kind of expression as did so many thespians in their portrayal of the sweet prince.]

Monday, June 22, 2020

How Martin Luther Understood Justification

We noted that Martin Luther began to understand the writings of the Apostle Paul differently that he had in the past. He held a very pessimistic view about his own ability to grow in his faithfulness to keep the law, and while studying Romans 1:17 realizes that only faith could justify the believer in God's sight. But why did he find that distinction so significant?

I see my issue with the Young, Restless and Reformed as quite similar to how Martin Luther felt about how the Catholic Church relied upon good works and upon a mediator to obtain sanctification. (We hear the language of marriage as a sanctifying element in the life of the Christian in the Complementarian View of gender hierarchy where husbands claim that they can make their wives and children holy.) 

I pose the same question that Calvin did: If we are sinful, how can we go about making ourselves holy if it is something that we do not possess? How can sinful flesh cleanse and purify their own sinful flesh? Today, I question how a Christian who still strives to mortify their own sin daily has the ability to do it for someone else, too? Only a Holy God can purify an individual of their sin. Why is this even an issue for Protestants today, especially those who claim the name “Reformed” to describe their faith?

Friday, June 19, 2020

Understanding the History of the Priesthood in Justification and Sanctification

The terms of Justification (right-standing with God) and Sanctification (to be free from sin) emerge as primary themes in the Protestant Reformation from the Roman Catholic Church as separate components of forgiveness from sin. Today, we hear them used by Presbyterians, Reformed Baptists, and others who argue for Calvinism as the true way to comprehend how God confers forgiveness as an act which depends on God's sovereign act alone (monergism).

Thursday, June 18, 2020

My Chief Cause for the Pursuit of Social Justice

I believe that God gave me the most precious and powerful gifts of kindness, life, liberty, and love.  Because they were so freely given to me, I want to share that bounty and blessing with others.  We are fallible creatures in an unfair world, and I want to comfort others with the same comfort that God showed to me through so many people, Christian and otherwise.  There is plenty of God's great love to go around for all of us.
 ~ Cynthia Mullen Kunsman  June 18, 2020

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Might this Be How God Works Social Justice Through Us?

The Fasted Life

Is such the fast that I choose,
    a day for a person to humble himself?

Is it to bow down his head like a reed,
    and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him?

Will you call this a fast,
    and a day acceptable to the Lord?

Is this not the fast that I choose?

Towards Understanding New Calvinism's Other Gospel

I have pended this material concerning New Calvinism until I have time to further develop my thesis  I realized that I have failed to describe Calvin's core belief in Union with Christ which does a great disservice to what he believed and wrote.  And without a core understanding of Calvin's orthodox understanding of such matters, we cannot put any modern iterations of Sonship Theology (and any errors to which it disposes modern adherents) into proper perspective.  

Sunday, June 14, 2020

The Two Types of Fruit According to Walter Martin

(Originally Published 08Aug08)
I many years ago, I heard Dr. Paul Martin discuss spiritual abuse, making this distinction about exactly how we recognize false prophets, teachers and spiritual con-artists.

As I noted in this previous post, the Word of God does not focus on the evaluation of teachings or doctrine when identifying "wolves in sheep's clothing." We should identify them primarily through their works and their fruit:

Holiness at the Expense of Kindness?

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, 
To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction,
 and to keep … unspotted from the world.”
 (James 1:27)

Monday, June 8, 2020

On Social Justice

What satisfies our lust for justice that we often feel after we've been used and abused?

Monday, April 27, 2020

May Our Tears be Translated When the Bell Tolls for Us

I just poured my heart out in a post on No Longer Quivering -- about an expression of grief about the pain what is essentially cognitive bias which ends up leaving us with the feeling of cognitive dissonance when reality breaks through our fantasy.

We see what we want to see as we begin our journey in life.  In high demand groups, we must take the diversity of the world and transmute it into a scheme of black and white.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

COVID19 – How Anti-Intellectual Christians Ruin Things for the Rest of Us

Thank you to Suzanne at No Longer Quivering for posting this letter to government officials who may be in a good position to reach the Rodrigues Family with some information that may finally curtail their life-endangering recklessness as our communities and our nation respond to the COVID Pandemic.

The family hobnobs with Bill Gothard's inner circle of Advanced Training Institute homeschooling families including the Duggar Family (TLC Cable Reality TV Personalities). Good stewardship for Christians should begin with love for others and concern for them by first showing them that they have inherent worth. They have equal value to all others regardless of their beliefs and religion, and their physical bodies are just as important as their individual souls. They are precious, their phsycial bodies are precious, and their part in society has as much value to society as that of any Christian – right here 
in the here and now.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Lamenting Labors and Legacies

I always find great pleasure when speaking with Dr. John Weaver. As he waits for the upcoming release of his latest work, Technology, Management and the Evangelical Church, he's busy thinking about his next book – all of which became necessary for him to write after learning more about the complicated tapestry of abuses within the modern Evangelical Church in the US. I love how he sets me thinking about the language that I use, his rich sense of scholarship that drives questions about the origins of terminology, and how it affects us.