To Diane Sellner of CARM

March 27, 2008 — 126 Comments

**October 2008 addition Note: A public statement regarding Diane Sellner’s role in the public attacks against me is at http://strivetoenter.com/wim/2008/09/06/public-statement-regarding-matt-slick**

To Diane Sellner,

I have invited you to my blog and provided a safe place for you to dialog with me. I thought this was thoughtful, kind and generous. What you have done is accuse me of teaching error and then you put posts up on CARM that say I haven’t answered the accusations yet you have blocked me from posting as you have my posts on moderation and they are not showing up.

Clearly we have two different standards.

Here is the new discussion board that Diane has delegated both for general discussions and the issue of women in ministry http://www.christiandiscussionforums.org/v/forumdisplay.php?f=91

If any visitor to my blog would like to see the side of hierarchy that regularly bans egalitarians who post in a respectful manner, and dominates and controls those who don’t agree with them, please do visit CARM’s discussion board and pay close attention to the attitude displayed there. The really old posts on “feminism” are downright scary when you consider the leadership at CARM are supposed to be fellow Christians.

Now I would like to ask a question to the visitors on my blog: why do you think that there is such a double standard with hierarchists? What might be some of the reasons that causes them to treat this secondary issue in the body of Christ as if it is a matter of salvation, thus causing them to be divisive towards their fellow brothers and sisters in the faith?

Also I would like to ask for wisdom from the posters here. What has helped you to keep a respectful attitude when you are being attacked? Are there points of wisdom that you can share with all of us that will keep our eyes focused on our Lord Jesus and less on the attacks coming from this hierarchical camp?

I would also like to bring attention to my previous post where I have answered some of the challenges posed to me but which to this point have not been allowed to appear on the CARM board to this point.

Apparently my wisdom in deciding that my own blog is the appropriate place to answer the challenges to my egalitarian argument by Matt Slick has been a good decision. It is the only place I can do this in a respectful manner without having my answers held back. I really appreciate the ability to be able to post here and to find such a respectful community of believers who take the challenge to heart about representing Jesus with a truly Christ-like attitude!

Also a quite note that I am still working hard on the Trinity DVD so my periods of absence here are for a good reason!

Blessings,

Cheryl

Cheryl

Posts

126 responses to To Diane Sellner of CARM

  1. In addition I’ve heard through the grapevine (and what a long vine it is) that CARM administration has actually forbidden some posters from mentioning Cheryl’s name. If they mention your name or discuss this blog or your posts, they are in jeapardy of being banned. In all my years online I’ve never heard of such a thing. Sounds like the taliban!

  2. “What has helped you to keep a respectful attitude when you are being attacked?”

    I compose all my posts in my Word program. Before I copy it into a post I delete any harsh words, criticisms not necessary for the discussion. If I’ve been blasted, I make it a point not to respond to the attack if at all possible (other than perhaps responding, “not true” or some such). I try to start from a positive point of Scripture interpretation and discuss only what pertains to the topic.

    What I do not want to do is feed the flames of dissension. Even the smallest food for the flames will keep it burning on. Best to douse it with cold water or non attention.

  3. tiro3,
    EXCELLENT points and suggestions for us to work on. Often I don’t work on my thoughts in word and this is a good reminder. What my husband often tells me too, is to write my response and then sleep on it. The next day when the emotions have subsided, it is amazing at the things I change before finally sending it.

  4. As to what happened about mentioning your name, I asked Exegetist or Don Johnson to post some sources for me after following some links. Exegetist suggested I google women in ministry and go to the 6th one on the list :). That really set Diane off and she said no one was allowed to advertise for web sites which promote false teaching. I obviously came over here anyway. :) The post that was left for me by Ex was deleted.

    Tiro3, I agree. It is best to carefully reread and edit out any harsh words, etc. The writing medium seems much harder to me to convey the nuances of our language and so precision and extra care is called for should we desire to be godly and gracious in our conversations.

  5. tiro3,
    I too had heard that my name was not to be mentioned on CARM. This just shows that what they speak is not the truth. They say that they do not have a view to “rule over” others, yet when the actions are seen not just the words heard, this is exactly what they are doing. I do want to give credit to other groups who believe in hierarchy but do not live out an abusive rule. CARM unfortunately is not like these others . They say that they are doing this for good reasons i.e. they have been attacked first (gotta love this one – it was the reason given for why Matt went on the attack against me – Matt Slick and Diane Sellner say that I attacked first! My Pastor says I couldn’t have been nicer to Matt on his radio programs so if someone with a gentle spirit could be said to have “attacked” Matt, can you imagine what they would do to someone who actually said something less than kind?), they have been threatened with lawsuits so they need to be tough (actually it has been CARM’s practice to be the ones who threaten, just ask me) and so on…

    So how do we make any of this make sense? They say that I don’t answer the challenges even when I am not made aware that there has been a challenge. I have also made them aware that I have very little time to try to page through hundreds of comments from dozens of posts. Yet when I do try to answer a challenge, I am blocked from posting. Make sense? Well I guess it does make sense to those who just HAVE to have control over people. When one kicks out people who speak respectfully but their only “sin” is to disagree with the CARM party line, then I wonder how is this any different than the way that cults keep their groups “pure”? The JW’s know it very well. They are either forced into silence or they are booted out. What a sad state of affairs when an organization thinks that these tactics are the right way. It seems to me that these tactics ARE required when the Holy Spirit is not welcomed to bring peace and bring people together. Honestly, I think He was kicked out a long time ago because HE didn’t follow their rules. I think He spoke up about one of the moderators :)

  6. Sandy,
    You are so right in that we need to watch how we word things especially in writing. Often my son asks me to read what he has written and he asks if it sounds at all harsh. I am just like everyone else. I can have blind spots. It is good to have others read and give us advice on what we have written especially if we think we might be misunderstood.

    Oh Lord, help us to LOVE your body so much that our words will be gracious even in the midst of an attack.

  7. Sandy,
    One other thing, do you sense the childishness of not allowing people to read and decide for themselves if something is truth or error? It is an interesting lesson in “double-think” when one can wield this kind of control over others, but then deny that you are doing such a thing.

  8. Cheryl,
    I understand your desire to try to bring these people at CARM to truth but they dont want it and are even blocking the mention of your name!?!?!

    Shake the dust off your feet and focus on mroe fertile soil. Just my two cents.

  9. Cheryl,
    Yes, I agree with you that it is very childish. I also agree with you that it is double-speak. Funny you should use that word as many times while reading posts at CARM, I thought of 1984 and how the language wasn’t really communicating anything real or truthful. It seemed designed to hide the truth and anytime anyone came close to speaking truth, it was shut down.

    I’m not afraid of God’s Word nor am I afraid of other’s understandings of God’s Word. It is in the midst of many counselors that wisdom is found. That doesn’t necessarily mean counselors of likemindedness but just ones who cause you to think things through all the way. Coming out of patriarchalism, I’m exceedingly distrustful when told I must accept this or that teaching without any references etc.

    I have really appreciated the way in which the people at this site and at equality central have treated me even though I’ve been up front about being a comp. Everyone has been patient and willing to explain how they reasoned to get to their understandings. Sources and references have been freely posted for me, most of the time in easy to follow links. What a blessing and what a wonderful example of Christian discussion!

  10. davidbmc,
    Yup, I know what you mean. There is a time to decide on whether one is being fruitful of not. I find CARM very unfruitful, yet I am very welcoming of those who post on CARM to come here. I guess it is that “support group” person inside me. I led a support group for ex-JW’s for 16 years and I was so happy to teach them how to think for themselves and how to test doctrine by scripture and unravel all the false doctrine they had been taught as witnesses. When I am given the opportunity to help some who considers themselves to be a complementarian, to be open enough to test all things by scripture and to hold fast to what is good, I am very happy to be of service to them as well!

    As far as Matt Slick and Diane Sellner go, I pretty much have known for a long time that they are unreachable. They are doing a service to the body of Christ in one valuable way. The treatment of Christians on their discussion board is very helpful to get some to consider the opposition just because of the oppressive attitude that is encouraged in that place. I remember years ago a young man told me that he left that hierarchal “camp” when he could no longer stand the vitriolic attacks that were gaining in momentum.

    So here I am while dusting my feet off 😉 I am still ready and willing to be a help to those who need to hear what I have to say. I guess that God has given me a love for women’s gifts in the body of Christ in the same way that he gave me a love for Jehovah’s Witnesses in the late 1980’s. Many said that JW’s were unreachable but I sincerely believed that Jesus could reach anyone. What a joy it was to spent my time reaching out to so many people who were ignored by the Church. And…I proved it to myself that they can be reached with the truth of the gospel. It just takes patience and love. I have a lot of patience :) and I really desire to love.

  11. I have a lot of patience…

    That’s for sure!!!! God bless!

  12. I think the reason CARM responded as they did as they saw that their non-egal position on women was losing and they did not want to change their position so they up’ed the ante.

  13. Don,
    This is the way that I see it – when someone takes a secondary issue in the church, such as the women’s issue, and they make it a “hill to die on” so that they are divisive and abusive towards those who do not agree with them, they simply cannot afford to lose. If it appears they are losing, they will manipulate the stats, control the conversation and force out any who are dismayed at their double standard. Without checks and balances, all they will do is spin out of control and go deeper and deeper into bitterness. If there are no checks and balances, I believe that God will eventually give them over to their ungodly ways. I just hope that they do not take too many with them because bitterness and anger are not only spiritually destructive but they can contaminate many others and the enemy uses these things to destroy us if we let him.

  14. CHERYL, CHERYL, CHERYL
    I am very happy to mention your name :-) !!!

  15. Jael,
    You are so funny! :) Some, you know, see my name as a swear word. That just blows me away!

  16. Hi Cheryl,
    This thread is a timely one. Thanx for posting it.
    Diane and Matt are insecure and very much afraid and have become paranoid. That happens when we set ourselves up to minister without the benefits of godly accountibility. They failed to realize from the outset that the Devil would use their own human natures against them. Though they started out as a worthwhile ministry years ago, CARM has degenerated into a schitzophrenic monster because they were not wise. I know they have no peace as is evidenced by their words and conduct on carm. They should have implemented public rules for themselves to adhere to. They should have provided a way to appeal decisions to a board or other believers that have encouraged Matt in his ministry. Instead, they are a law unto themselves and reign like dictators. That is why hierachy is so very dangerous. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    If it were just about them, they would have my compassion and prayers. But as it is, I know the heart of God enough to know that his anger burns against what they are doing to his children. As a bit of a mother hen myself, my anger is also stewing.

    As to how to handle the forums. The Holy Spirit uses all the activities and people in our lives to help us become more like Him. So it goes for our internet relationships. I too am learning to go over my posts, in light of the Holy Spirit’s witness, before posting. Even though they may be gracious and non-accusatory, Diane has deleted many of them. The Lord impressed upon me several things at that point….one, Diane herself had to of read it…she will be accountable on that day for their words. Two, God read it. And He knows the matter fully. He is not hiding. I’ve realized over these past weeks of experiencing Diane’s wrath that this life is so short compared to eternity, yet is so very, very serious. Her terrible conduct towards myself and countless others has made me very somber in my own conduct towards others…including toward’s Diane and Matt. It gives me great peace to know that He is in charge and we all must give an account to Him.

    I’ve asked God why does He allow this abuse of his precious Bride to continue? He said that he is compassionate and long-suffering. He gives believers that have fallen into sin time to repent. He’s giving Matt and Diane time to repent. Only He knows if and when that will be.

    In the meantime, we all know what is going on there. No matter how hard Diane tries to repress the concerns and views of other brothers and sisters, the Truth, Jesus Christ Himself always prevails. And God does amazing things through persecution by dictators. One of them is she’s made martyrs out of the persecuted and exalted the cause she’s so vehemently against. This is a historical pattern. If it hadn’t been for her sinful tactics, I would never have found WIM and other discussion boards where I’ve met gracious and precious saints…and I’m a comp!

    Being a dictator is a lonely, insane life. They have no peace as they strive to control people and maintain their little kingdoms.

    I have noticed that as I’ve seriously prayed about this situation and have shared my concerns with my family, that God is moving. I suggest that we all continue to pray for this situation as the Holy Spirit leads us. I’m asking for a burden from on high that will plunge me into deep intercessory prayer. Matt and Diane have been on a collision course for years now. They are now against the Kingdom of God. Many people have been ravaged by their abusive conduct. My heart goes out to those saints. Let us pray a prayer of protection and peace for them. There are believers in my life that I would never tell them about carm as they are sensitive and tender souls. Many such ones have been so wounded by these people. That’s why I appreciate places where we can openly share our pain and sorrow without allowing the Devil to tempt us to be bitter. What the devil meant for evil, God turns for the good.

    Again, thank you Cheryl,
    May we continue to strive to serve the Master with humility, grace and love.
    robin

  17. mrsflib (Robin)
    I edited one little part of your post to make a “name” for a ministry not personal. I hope you don’t mind.

    What you have said is very sobering and I agree with you. I have so often wondered why God doesn’t do something about the abuse and he has reminded me that he is way more long-suffering than I am. He is giving them every opportunity and every avenue to change and to repent. He loves them both very much even though we see them as contentious. But God does call people to account and he will take away their “lampstand” of influence if they do not turn away from ripping at God’s flock.

    Accountability is so very important. Your suggestion about how they could have done that is very, very wise!

    Robin, I am so glad that you found us! I have said much the same thing to my husband, that what Matt Slick and Diane Sellner have done is actually drive people away and drive them to find the truth for themselves. When one shuts down dialog and stops people from even having an opportunity of hearing the opposition, one has to wonder if fear is not the foundation of the strict control of information that is going on over at CARM. Pretty much all cults restrict access to information that might damage them. They refuse to allow you to read opposing material or to watch shows that might expose them. Matt Slick and Diane Sellner should know this. They have studied the cults. See what the fact.net says about coercive mind-control tactics:

    Tactic #3:

    Prohibit disconfirming information and non supporting opinions in group communication. Rules exist about permissible topics to discuss with outsiders. Communication is highly controlled.

    Is communication highly controlled on CARM’s discussion boards? Absolutely! Do they say they allow non supporting opinions, but have rules that apply to egalitarians that don’t apply to complementarians? Absolutely!

    What about Tactic #7:

    “Intimidate the person with the force of group-sanctioned secular psychological threats. For example, it may be suggested or implied that failure to adopt the approved attitude, belief or consequent behavior will lead to severe punishment or dire consequences such as physical or mental illness, the reappearance of a prior physical illness, drug dependence, economic collapse, social failure, divorce, disintegration, failure to find a mate, etc.”

    Has CARM Slick/Sellner ever spoken about the “evils” of a church allowing women to minister? Have they suggested that churches will be punished by God for allowing women to use their God-given gifts for the common good? Absolutely, they have. Why is it that a group that exposes cults would stood to use the same tactics as these cults they expose? One must wonder.

    Anyways, Robin, I am so happy to have you here. I hope you feel welcome and loved as a sister in Christ. We do not let the secondary issue of women in ministry divide us here. We may be passionate in ministry, but we are also passionately love the entire body of Christ and that goes equally for complementarians. It is Jesus who desires this and we are very happy to follow his command.

  18. Jas 3:17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.

  19. Thank-you so much Cheryl for your kind words :-) God is so good.

    If Exegetist has found his way to this board, I want him to know that he has been sorely missed. As it is impossible to contact people privately at carm, I am asking him to contact me via email. I have something important to tell him from several of us.

    Exegetist, I am giving Cheryl permission to give you my address if that’s okay with you. Please, please email me.

    Blessings to WIM and a special blessing to Exegetist.
    Robin

  20. Thanks mrsflib,
    Exegetist is welcome to post here or get your email from me. Blessings back!

  21. Question and advise for people who are still able to post on CARM,
    Please use a different name on my blog and do not make any reference to who you are on CARM or you will be shut down on Matt’s discussion board. It appears that Diane Sellner may have gotten a lot of flack by people who saw the ungodly double standard where she was kicking people off the discussion board left and right. Now it appears that she is “ghosting” people allowing them to read the posts but with no ability to have their posts appear. I am wondering if this is being done to make it look like they are not dumping people off the boards while doing the work rather under handed? It appears to me that CARM is spinning out of control. Oh and I would like the CARM puppet that visits here to let Diane Sellner know I said that. Yes please do copy this as you copy everything that is posted here. CARM is spinning out of control. This is what happens to those who use ungodly control tactics. Such a shame Diane that you have to go to this level to do thought-stopping practices and information-stopping practices. You will not prosper this way. God sees everything you do in your “ministry” at CARM.

  22. I just don’t understand why and how these groups and individuals that claim to be reformed and reportedly embrace the concept of providence as a result work so hard to squelch criticism. I wonder if Slick is related to the Baylys? Is this behaviour in a Presby catechism somewhere? But then there is the whole “I’m elect and you’re not, so I can treat you however I want” response that some have.

    What is so sad is that these folks don’t politely say that we agree to disagree or that their presuppostitions are just too different to have productive dialogue. It amazes me that they’d rather display this infantile pride driven response rather than simple kindness and respect. They will know us by our love for one another?

    I was just on Wade Burleson’s blog, and he had nearly 65 responses in less than a day to a blog post that touches on the whole comp/egal subject. People are accusing him of hatred of Paige Patterson and rebellion and angst and liberalism. It’s amazing to me, and I just don’t get it. I continue to be amazed at how central this issue has become for so many Evangelicals in just ten years or so. I can’t believe how emotional everyone is and as Wade said how they take non-essentials and make mountains out of them.

    Again, I think of how “You only intimidate the weak.”

  23. We have seen how this issue has been treated by many. Wade Burleson has a series going on at his blog about women in ministry that is bringing out the worst in people. It absolutely floors me to know that this attitude is so strong in the SBC that historically believed so strongly in the Holy Priesthood.

    http://kerussocharis.blogspot.com/

  24. I don’t want to be unkind here but I really think there are some very pertinent reasons why people are reacting so vitriolic to this issue and are making it a primary doctrinal hill to die on.

    It sells.

    Bear with me. At my age, I can look back and see the progression of this issue since I was a teen. There were no terms for it such as egal and comp. People in the church did what had to be done and did not give it a second thought. My mom witnessed and taught men all the time. It was NEVER an issue.

    There was a backlash to the culture in the 70’s in some churches and this issue eventually became the whipping girl (blame) for liberalism in doctrinal issues because of feminists and women flocking to seminaries in the 70’s. This was also a time of horrible economics as more and more women were graduating from college and taking white collar jobs. It started with a womans ‘role’ in marriage and spread out from there…encroaching more and more into legalism

    Another element is that as it became a focus in the church with more sermons preached on it, books written, seminars, etc. It has become a checklist doctrine of roles and rules. People LOVE this. It is so much easier to follow laws than it is to have faith and an intimate relationship with our Savior. Everyone was looking for the magic bullet for the perfect marriage and these checklists fit the bill. If only I submit more….Don’t appear to be smarter than the men in doctrinal matters, etc. (Some are now even teaching that it is a sin for a woman to work outside the home)

    Then, something even more sinister was happening. This issue is a HUGE money maker. Books, CD’s, literature, seminars, etc. on this topic of ‘women roles and/or marriage relationship’ are huge money makers. I know because I was involved in marketing a lot of this stuff. Speaking fees of some of the big name preachers on this issue can be up to 20,000 for an hour! I am serious.

    Then you have the whole problem of book blurbs and cross pollenation of an issue. It is a club of sorts. You blurb my book and I will sell your book at my conference sort of thing. I hire you to guest speak at my church and you hire me for your conference. It goes on all the time. These sorts of relationships mean that RARELY is anyone going to admit they may not have gotten a docrtinal point wrong. Even when CBMW is wrong on a technical point, it quietly disappears from their site. These people all are invited to speak all over the place. They have followers.

    We cannot dismiss this aspect of it. It has become big business. You would not believe the dollars I saw flowing in and out of it for years. And Cheryl wonders why they refuse to critique her work fairly. Or, even discuss it. They have too much to lose personally.

    I know I sound cynical but I worked with and around big names in Christendom and I know that it has become big business. I saw it everyday until I got out. It made me ill. Stil. does.

  25. Lin,

    No, you are not one bit cynical, this is the way the world is. How is it cynical to see what really is and not what we’d like to pretend it is?

    Remember what Hey-Soos did when his Father’s house was made a den of investors and currency speculators?

  26. I think this is a good point, many people want to be told what to do and how to interpret the Bible. Doing the work of deciding for yourself what you believe can be hard!

    I think there is also an aspect of fear, so the world keeps changing and there are some real concerns with some of the changes. I think this is why we see slippery slope arguments from the non-egals.

  27. Cindy & Lin you have given me so many things to think about that I feel a bit overwhelmed this morning. Thank you both for pushing the edges for me.

    Cindy,
    You said:

    Again, I think of how “You only intimidate the weak.”

    Wow, that was so profound. That really gets me thinking!

    Lin,
    You said so much for me to contemplate and think deeply on. You also said this that really summarized it well:

    “It is so much easier to follow laws than it is to have faith and an intimate relationship with our Savior.”

    I think you have really nailed this one. Thank you both for really challenging me with your thoughts today!

  28. Don,
    You said:

    “I think there is also an aspect of fear, so the world keeps changing and there are some real concerns with some of the changes.”

    This is another profound thought! There is amazing wisdom coming from you folks today. I believe, Don, that you have spoken the truth. I have long sensed that there are fear-based reactions coming from people and your point is well taken that the fear is based on changes that are perceived to be threatening thus the slippery slope argument. Great thoughts!

  29. What I find worrying about CARM isn’t just the attacks on Christians, but the negative attitude that non-Christians will certainly pick up on. There are a lot of athiests, agnostics, Buddists, whatever that go there and visit, and that they may get a wrong view of Christianity. They will undoubtedly be able to sense the hostility. And that may drive them farther away from Christianity or make them reject it for good.

    If any of the higher-ups from CARM see this post, I must declare this:
    Being hostile to us when we disagree with you on the woman issue does not make us receptive to what you view as the truth. It only serves to alienate us, and will come across to others viewing the negative posting and responses as decidedly unChristian. This will not lend creedance to your views, but only serves to detract. We may disagree on the woman issues, but we are still bretheran. Also you must consider how your responses will be viewed by any non-Christians. You should ask yourself, is this edifying to others, am I reflecting Christ? Am I loving in my responses? You are still a witness to Christ even in Cyberspace, even if others can’t see you.

  30. Well said, Metalwolf. We are told in Scriptures that we will know each other by our love. This doesn’t mean by our likemindedness in all things but by the way in which we lovingly handle even the disagreements between siblings.

  31. MetalWolf,
    Amen! You are also one brave soul. I pray for many more like yourself who will openly call CARM “higher ups” to task for their un-Christlike attitude. When we call people like this to account in a large group of voices, I hope that Matt Slick and Diane Sellner will hear the call to repentance and heed that call.

  32. Thankyou Sandy and Cheryl! :)
    Even if they were never to change their views on women’s issues, to me what is the important thing is that they reflect Christ. Cyberspace may be the only place some people really end up meeting people who represent Him. We Christians may disagree on women’s roles and whatever, but in eternity it is a minor issue that is not critical in salvation. Whatever our stance on women’s things, we are still saved. But the non-believer doesn’t have that. So it is important that we represent Him well. Otherwise the un-believer may choose to reject Christ, and we will be answering to God. I just want CARM to remember that, so they will not forget the most important thing.

  33. Metalwolf,
    Absolutely, Amen!!! Our secondary issues of disagreement cannot and must not over shadow our love for Jesus and our love for each other so that we work together in reaching the lost. Those who separate because of these minor differences are abandoning the command of Jesus to love one another.

    I know that Matt will never change his mind about the women’s issue because he has made it a hill to die on even if he is the only person in the world to hold this view, according to him, however if he would change his attitude towards the rest of us and embrace us as true brothers and sisters in Christ without charging us with sin or stopping fellowship or attacking our character, I would be grateful for at least that. Titus 3:10 says that we are to reject a divisive person after two warnings:

    Tit 3:10 Reject a factious man after a first and second warning,

    The word for divisive or “factious” is literally in the Greek a heretic. How ironic isn’t it that Matt calls all kinds of Christians as heretics if they don’t agree with him. The unity of the body is so important that we are not to tolerate those who separate and divide the body.

  34. Off topic.

    I read recently some pastors saying that the word Deacon in Romans 16 for Phoebe is different than the word in 1 Tim 3. I looked it up and found the same defnintion for both. Can anyone enlighten me here?

  35. Lin,
    I’m just beginning to study this but read just yesterday that a feminine form of the word was used for Phoebe – that’s the only difference. I could be wrong but, if not, then it would be equivalent to saying “waiter” or “waitress.” The same job, just different gender. Cheryl, correct me if I’m wrong in my understanding, please.

  36. Lin,
    The word for Deacon used in Romans 16:1 is the same as 1 Timothy 3:8 except that the Romans word is singular feminine and 1 Timothy 3:8 word is plural masculine. Otherwise they are the exact same word. The reference in 1 Timothy 3 is masculine as the plural form of Deacons that would include both men and women would be masculine. All of the salvation passages are also in the masculine as that is the “default” language but does not exclude women.

    Strong’s says Deacon is “specifically a Christian teacher and pastor (technically a deacon or deaconess): – deacon, minister, servant.”

    Phoebe is the only one as far as I remember who comes “attached” to a church. She is said to be a Deacon of the church at Cenchrea. As a Deacon of a specific church, Paul writes the church in Rome to receive her, welcome her and give her whatever help she needs in going about her business for the Church at Cenchrea. She is also called a patroness which means leader, ruler, or director. Because Phoebe was a minister and a leader/ruler/director and came as a Deacon of a specific church, she appears to be a very important leader in the church who was trustworthy to do business for the Church and the Romans were to serve her in whatever she needed. Those who put down Phoebe as “only” a servant while describing male Deacons in 1 Timothy 3 as having an office of Deacon are imposing their own prejudice into the text. The early church had women Deacons up until I believe the 300’s. Phoebe was one of these early leaders but of course in the early church.

  37. Diakonos in Rom 16:1 is singular masculine.

  38. Don,
    I find that interesting I also head that it was singular masculine, but when I checked the parsing it says singular feminine. See here http://scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/NTpdf/rom16.pdf

    I am wondering if there is a different Greek text where it came out singular masculine??

  39. I think I know what is happening with the word “Deacon”. The word “deaconess” apparently didn’t come into use until much after the New Testament time, therefore the word “Deacon” that was used in both Romans 16:11 and 1 Timothy 3:8 is the term that was used for men (and at least one woman) and no strictly feminine word “deaconess” was used in scripture.

  40. Some people reading here may wish to post their experiences with CARM at this blog: http://abadgeofhonor.blogspot.com/ . The blog’s purpose is to expose un-Christlike behavior of professing Christian discussion board administrators. By exposing this behavior for the sin that it is, it is hoped that the perpetrators will reflect and repent of their sin.

  41. There’s a handy Greek parallel Bible at This Link. It appears that it is the feminine form in all major Greek texts. However, this in no way indicates some kind of secondary or inferior “office”, but simply a minister who happened to be female.

    Also, prostatis means much more than the weak “helper” of many translations; it typically referred to “one who stands before”, a leader, protector, and possibly also benefactor.

    That this woman would be trusted with delivering Paul’s scriptures to the Romans, and that she is to be respected and supplied with whatever she would need, is a very significant commendation from Paul. Were this a man, people would not hesitate to give that person great honor today as an outstanding “minister”. (Of course, “minister” didn’t mean any kind of spiritual CEO then, and was never intended to be such. It meant “servant”, and “ministers” today would do well to remember that.)

    Light,

    Funny you should mention “badge of honor”. I posted there years ago after being reamed by “Christians” because– are you sitting down?– I wondered if they’d consider a more modern message board format! I kid you not. And they had such a good apologetics ministry. Must be some kind of disease.

  42. Light,
    Great idea. I think it is good to have a place to make known this kind of un-Christlike behavior of professing Christian discussion board administrators. I also agree that this would be a way to get them to understand their sin and to repent. Thanks for posting this link!

  43. Scripture4all is wrong in this case, as least based on other things I have read. Perhaps they could not believe what it says. There is at least one other case where a gender switch happens in the Bible (Noah), and most Bible translations just fudge it. In that case, I think it reveals something, as in this one.

  44. Don, can you give us some references? I know full well about their gender-bender on Junia, but so far I haven’t found anything on which form of “deacon” is the original.

  45. I noticed that the word used in Rom. 16:1, diakonon, is also used of Christ in Rom. 15:8. diakonos would be the “lexical” or dictionary form which is always the nom. masculine. We should also note that the feminine (acc. sing. fem.) form diakonian is used of Paul himself in 1 Tim. 1:12.

    Mounce’s Analytical Lexicon shows diakonon as both masc. and fem.; that is, the form itself does not indicate grammatical gender.

    Which is another important point: grammatical gender has no bearing whatsoever on biological gender. Only English does that.

  46. diakonos is masculine. Phoebe is clearly female. It is an apparent gender mismatch, but this is why I think it is not right to translate it as servant (ala ESV); the gender mismatch indicates it is a ministry to me.

  47. One of the things that I see prevalent in abusive forums and organizations is that :
    1. They “rip at the sheep” who disagree with their pet doctrines, rather than seeking to facilitate respectful dialogue.
    2. Their informational websites post numerous articles but restrict comments. This makes them appear strong and in the right.
    3. Disagreement is all too often rewarded with major slander and false accusations aimed at invalidating the person who disagreed and thus their opinions.
    4. Sometimes, the angst is so great that forum moderators set up posters to make a rule violation and if that doesn’t work they’ll just suspend, ban or delete them for no real reason just to silence their differing opinions. By doing this they can then claim the person was rebellious because they were given so many “violations”.

    One of the things I’ve often appreciated about Jewish Rabbi’s is that among themselves they respectfully allow disagreement. Often footnotes in Hebrew “Bibles” give two different interpretations, leaving it up to the reader to choose. The Mishna’s are filled with Gamaliel said thus and Hillel said thus! Thankfully, we don’t need to accept their oral traditions, but nevertheless the respect they gave amongst themselves in that way was a good example.

    Instead, what we have are Christian factions that treat each other like they are ready to start a religious war.

  48. I looked up “deacon/servant/minister” in Rom. 16:1 in the Complete Biblical Library. It is shown as sing. masculine, diakonon. Same thing in my Concordant Greek Text. To my knowledge it was a word that was not used with masc. or fem. endings.

  49. tiro3,
    Your observations were very good! All in all what I see in abusive forums is that there is no toleration for or love for the brethren who disagree. Good point about the Jewish Rabbis. I hadn’t thought much about that, but you are right. In the Talmud there is a lot of Rabbi one said this and Rabbi two said this. The rules and interpretations were very different between the two and they are stated as facts assuming that people will make a decision for themselves. However abusive moderators most often do not allow people to make decisions for themselves. They want to control the conversation to the point that a link to a Christian web site that disagrees on a secondary point or even mention that such a site exists is taken as a threat to their position. However, the way I see things is that if you have the truth why fear the opposition? Your truth will expose the error and those who are truth lovers should be able to see this.

    We are not to be children in the body of Christ. It takes work and effort to search the scriptures for ourselves and to make a careful decision looking at the evidence. In the history of the church there has been much passionate debate but the church has not been held back seeing that debate.

    What these abusive forums do is hold back the evidence because if a person sees all the evidence and sees it without the ridicule that the forum puts on the opposing view, then their “followers” may make a choice that is against the viewpoint of the forum and they cannot afford to lose followers.

    Cults do the same thing. They hold back information so that one chooses the established view not because they have researched both sides and made a careful decision on which side meshes with scripture. Their decision has been made for them and they are not allowed to be mature and to weigh both sides carefully. Forums like CARM operate on fear and intimidation to keep the party line. This is unacceptable for a Christian organization whose goal it is, is to make mature believers who practice being Bereans not mindless zombies who hold to a position because they like CARM.

    When anyone takes their pet “doctrine” that is a secondary issue into the church, and they add it to the essentials of the gospel, they have stepped off of the solid foundation and into error. It is time that we encourage those who hold to a position with a closed fist that faith is strengthened by testing all things. Only error needs fear tactics and intimidation to keep the masses believing.

  50. tiro3,
    It looks like the majority of the references say that DIAKONOS can be male or female. However diakonos is considered a male word even though it can be used with the feminine ending for women.

    From this site: http://www.bfchistory.org/Studywomendeacons2005.htm It says:

    “(re Romans 16:1) Here diakonos is clearly applied to a woman. The form is masculine. As noted above, the lexicons say diakonos can be either masculine or feminine. Paul did not use a distinctively feminine word despite Phoebe being “our sister.””

    The feminine term “deaconess” was a third office in the term not the same as deacon.

    “these women are not to be regarded as constituting a third office in the church, the office of ‘deaconess’ ….” Deacon is the term to be used. This is congruent with the Greek usage of diakonos as both a male and female noun: the word diakonos is one of fifteen nouns used in the New Testament that can be either masculine or feminine gender” (see the list in Trenchard, 296). A separate feminine word for “deaconess” (diakonissa) does not arise until the fourth century (Cross, 377).”

    So it appears that the word deacon is considered a male term yet having both masculine and feminine grammar. Phoebe was not called a “deaconess” but a “deacon” and the name is the same as the name for the men. Whatever they were, she too would be.

  51. So it appears that the word deacon is considered a male term yet having both masculine and feminine grammar. Phoebe was not called a “deaconess” but a “deacon” and the name is the same as the name for the men. Whatever they were, she too would be.

    OK that makes sense. I thought it was simply a term for an activity that had a male ending, but could be used for both men and women.

  52. In my (limited) understanding, grammatical gender is used to match pronouns to nouns, or nouns to nouns, etc. One thing tho is that Greek is like 1950’s English, sometimes a male plural form is used for a group that includes females or it could be all males. Therefore a MEMBER of that maxed group could be a female that matches up with the singular masculine term.

    In English, a waitress could be in a group of men and therefore is an example of a man (but man in this case needs to be understood as generic, as in human). So a waitress can be a man (generic), but a man (masculine now assumed to be understood) cannot be a waitress.

    However, if Phoebe were simply a servant-girl, she could be called a diakonissa, since Paul did NOT do this, the translation should steer away from this choice, which is exactly what some do NOT do, like the ESV.

  53. Hi everyone, I ran across this comment on Burleson’s blog. They had been discussing the word deacon in 1 Tm 3 but also other other verses that proved Paul was ONLY talking about male elders. I hope you can decipher what he is saying:

    Quote: Deaconess doesn’t really matter for our purposes, but you guys need to understand that in many other languages, that is exactly what they do. In French specifically, since I live in a Francophone country, a female (insert occupation) would feel insulted if you didn’t use the (occupation)-ess form of the word.

    (the point was made for him that ’tis’ is used in verses 1 and 5 hile aner was used in the verse about husband of one wife)

    About tis: in 5, the rest is tou idiou meaning his own (both in the masculine). Thus ‘if one, his own house rules not’

    (Now he is trying to prove by verse 12 it is really ONLY men as elders saying this is not about polygamy at all and does exclude single men…)

    In 12 it specifically says ‘be one (the number) woman (singular feminine) men (plural masculine).’ You cannot change that to say he was talking about polygamy. The only option apart from be the husbands of one wife is polyandry.

    Since you say that polyandry was illegal, the only option left is it saying ‘be the husbands of one wife.’

    I am not trying to be a ‘knucklehead’ nor am I trying to deny the gifts of the Spirit to women. It is not about prohibition, it is about seeking to understand the ‘better way’ that Paul has written to us about in the inspiration of the Spirit.

    I just want us all to live out God’s best intention for us and not try to live ‘close to the line’ where we don’t have clear biblical prohibitions.

    By the way, this does matter in my context. In a country where the Church is very new, we need to be able to deal with these issues scripturally; not seeking God’s prohibitions, but seeking God’s best.”

    Any thoughts on tou idiou and verse 12?

  54. Hi Lin, I’ll see what I can do.

    What the French prefer is completely irrelevant to what the apostles wrote in Greek. Two completely different cultures and languages. And tis can be either masc. or fem.

    Single men do not preside (prostenai) over any household; that’s like saying they preside over themselves, so I agree it must refer to a married man at the very least. And this word is from the same root used for Phoebe in Rom. 16, meaning not “helper” but one who “stands before”, a protector, representative, advocate. This simply cannot refer to any individual presiding over themselves. But it certainly does speak against polygamy; what else can “a one-woman man” mean? Verse 12 is on the topic of deacons, not guardians (episkopes), so his trying to drag the plural grammar of vs. 12 over to this singular grammar is very poor exegesis.

    Of course this is not to say there should only be one guardian per assembly; we have clear scriptures to the contrary. However, we also cannot ignore the use of the singular here. Just as in the passage in 1 Tim. 2 about “a woman” and “a man”, we have Paul using “anyone” and “a [one-woman] man”, yet elsewhere (ref. deacons) using the plural. So there is no reason that this cannot be another instance of Paul specifically addressing a particular man. Yes, he said “anyone”, but he also said “a man”. I propose that Paul is answering a question about a particular man’s aspiration to the position of Guardian. Paul does not know the man but gives guidelines for Timothy to go by.

    This view takes care of both the grammar and the alleged basis for male-only Guardians. Paul can say “a one-woman man” to an individual without jumping to the conclusion that he would only ever address a man for that position.

    Now to vs. 12.

    The topic is plural and refers to diakonoi, meaning ministers or servants. Paul gave a rule about a particular man needing to be “a one-woman man”, and he extends this rule to all servants. Regarding polygamy, as before, it surely does rule against it. And what would be the point of Paul having to tell the women to only have one husband? Did they have a choice? No, so there was no need for Paul to say that. But for men, it was almost presumed, and he needed to expressly state that this would not be acceptable in the church.

    If anyone wants to talk about who is to “rule the home”, it’s women: 1 Tim. 5 expressly states, “I intend then that younger ones marry, bear children, rule the house [Gk. oikodespotein or “house despot”)…”. Since women are given this responsibility and authority, such an injunction to Guardians or Servants cannot be taken as a male-only indicator.

    If we truly “seek God’s best” we will not try to mix scripture passages on a whim or ignore grammar. And truth be known, it is culture that has always favored patriarchialism, so that if anyone is bowing to culture it is male supremacists. Paul was being very counter-cultural in many respects, not the least of which was his prominent mention of women and their honored service and gifting. Lists of spiritual gifts do not come in “pink” and “blue”, and there is nothing in scripture to limit the only to things that can remotely be considered “offices” to males.

    Dr. Bushnell, who was a medical doctor and missionary to China, was appalled to read the Chinese translation of the Bible due to its blatant changing of scripture to bow to the male-centric culture. When confronted about this, the translators said “We had to be sensitive to the culture.”

  55. For those looking for what is happening on CARM and with Diane Sellner make sure to read the comments on the last post at http://strivetoenter.com/wim/2008/03/26/dr-randall-buth-refutes-accusation-against-me-on-carm/ especially comment #16

  56. There are some interesting points that most people miss in 1 Tim. 3. It starts off with pistos ho logos – faithful is the Word. Paul continues with tis episkopE oregO kabos ergon epithumeO – ANYone craving on-noting/supervision/bishop is desiring an ideal work. And then typical to Hebrew thinking his very first requirement is that the person must be a “of-one woman man”. This is a Hebrew colloquialism that means faithful. This information is detailed out in Bruce Flemings book “Familiar Leadership Heresies”. Paul is hammering in that the Word is faithful and there must be faithful people who serve it. And then he continues on to bring up more character qualities of a faithful type person: sober, sane, hospitable, of good behavior, apt to teach, no wine bibbler, etc. These are not qualities that only males can achieve.

    Also, the way I read verse 4 is that one is to manage their own household, not themselves. That very generally says to keep your own household orderly. Just like a woman is to manage her household, organize and order it to make daily life easier. Proistemai tinos. Can also be translated “care for, give aid”. See also in Rom. 12:8, 1 Tim. 3:5, 1 Tim. 5:17; 1 Thess. 5:12; Titus 3:8,14. Has been used as one who is a leader, patron, supervisor and director. Some have translated it as “rule” after the bad King James who wanted his authority and rule validated. But really that is stretching it and perverting the true spiritual intent of caring management.

  57. It is not just a Hebrew idiom, it is a Greek one, as is found at Ephesus on pagan and Jewish tombstones of both husbands and wives.

  58. Paula, thank you for tackling that. Much to think about. The more I read, the more I see people are really stuck on ‘one woman man’ thinking that proves it is for men only.

    Cheryl, Paul Burleson has a nice compliment for you in the comments of this excellent post:

    http://vtmbottomline.blogspot.com/

    Also, Wade has a great post on authority in the church today.

  59. “It is not just a Hebrew idiom, it is a Greek one, as is found at Ephesus on pagan and Jewish tombstones of both husbands and wives.”

    You know, in thinking about this, I have to wonder if it was not considered an honor to be the only wife of a husband back then? Why put it on a tombstone?

  60. Lin,
    Hey thanks for posting that link! http://vtmbottomline.blogspot.com/2008/03/incredulous.html It was very encouraging to me and I sure appreciate you taking the time to pass it on to me, especially this week when I really needed encouragement. Pastor Paul has been a great encouragement to me. I also appreciate his son Wade a whole lot. The wonderful words that Pastor Paul gave me sure helped a lot to counteract all the attacks I have been fielding recently!

    I will be commenting on the thought-provoking comments on this post hopefully by tomorrow. I have been so engrossed in my work on the Trinity DVD it has been hard to get me away from the script. I will post again later when I can take a break.

  61. In my understanding, to be a one-man woman was considered an honor, but the reverse was not expected. However, there were cases where both spuses were such and this was held in esteem.

  62. Hello Don (or anyone else who can help!)

    Can you possibly help me with any firm references regarding the tombstone references to ‘one woman man’. many egal folk refer to this info (seen it on many blogsites now) but i haven’t yet had a ‘formal’ provable reference and would LOVE one if you have it!

    My lovely hubby (who is a comp) is really ‘stuck’ on this one phrase and it has meant that i have been limited in serving in our church in certain areas when i have been asked by the pastor (ie – what hubby considers to be ‘eldership’). If you (or anyone else) can offer me any help on this I’d really appreciate it!

    Regards
    Kerryn

  63. Personally, I believe Paul is answering a question about a particular man’s aspiration to eldership. But as for the inscription, so far it seems everyone quotes the same single source: C. Keever, And Marries Another, (Massachussetts: Hendrickson, 1991), pp. 91-92. Dr. Instone Brewer states, “in NT times those phrases meant … someone who is faithful.” in Divorce and Remarriange in the Church: Biblical Solutions for Pastoral Realities, (Pasternoster: Great Britain, 2003, p. 177). I also found this online article that takes a slightly different angle: Divorce and Remarriage, under “I Tim. 3 in detail”.

  64. Here is the ref.

    The second qualification: “Faithful spouse” (3:2)
    The second qualification in the list deals with the
    overseer’s married life. Careful research has shown that
    this qualification means that whether one is a husband or
    a wife it is important to be a “faithful spouse.” It requires
    that an overseer, if married, be faithful and be “a one-spouse
    kind of person.”

    According to Lucien Deiss (notes to the French
    Bible, the TOB, Edition Intégrale, p. 646, note a), this
    Greek phrase was used in Asia Minor, on both Jewish
    and pagan gravestone inscriptions, to designate a woman
    or a man, who was faithful to his or her spouse in a way
    characterized by “a particularly fervent conjugal love.”

    When I read Deiss’ comment about how this phrase
    was used on ancient grave inscriptions in Turkey, where
    Paul and Timothy ministered, I confirmed it with him
    myself, reaching him by telephone in Vaucresson, France.
    Some might find this insight into 1 Timothy 3:2
    surprising because modern versions of the Bible
    translate this Greek phrase as – “husband of one wife” –
    making this qualification appear to be restricted to men
    only! Instead, rightly understood, this qualification is
    about faithfulness in marriage by a Christian spouse. It is
    not saying that oversight is “for men only.”

    Pages 87-88
    Think Again about Church Leaders by Bruce C. E. Fleming http://www.ThinkAgainBooks.com

    This is also in his book “Familiar “Leadership” Heresies Uncovered” which is very insightful, altho the title is a mouthful.
    —————
    The Keever citation is a typo, it is Craig Keener, but when I look there I cannot find it. So I would use the above ref.

  65. Don,

    I typed the Keener ref. from the footnotes of Nyland’s The Source, and the typo is in her notes. However, I trusted her since I do not have that book (I have his Paul, Women, and Wives though and will see if it’s in there too).

  66. Yes, I know the typo is in Ann Nyland’s The Source. While I use this as a ref. as she is a Greek scholar, it might be best NOT to use it as that translation with some added notes is now being sold as the Gay Bible. This makes it too easy for some to reject it.

  67. Yes, the GWTW site announced that a while back. It was most disappointing. But the problem is that Nyland has access to sources I don’t have. I’d really like to find links or references that anyone could check, without the baggage of gay theology. We need a list of sources that are authoritative and acknowledged as such by everyone.

    That’s why lately I’ve been trying to argue this verse from the angle of the fact that women had no option to be unfaithful. It would make little sense for Paul to specify that a female elder must be faithful to one spouse if it was a rarity even among the pagans. So his expressing this in what appears to be male terms is simply because it was only an issue for men.

  68. Any gender can commit adultery and that is being unfaithful. I also see this as flirting, etc. An elder is not to do this. It is true that a woman could only be married to one man at a time, the Jews had an exception to Roman law that allowed a man to have more than one wife.

  69. thanks Don and Paula for your responses.

    i will check out the references when i can next get up to the library.

    if you find further helpful references on this can you pls let me know – either via this blog, or email it to cheryl and she can pass it onto me or give you my email etc.

    i want to be as thorough as i can in my search for truth. i do my best to avoid arguments ‘from silence’ to make ‘my’ case… but it’s a constant challenge to not end up falling back on such techniques.

    let’s continue share our reliable resources as we find them.

    God bless!

    Kerryn

  70. The original ref is in French, and is available at amazon.fr, but it is expensive. The other 2 that I know are in English and refer to the French one. I wish there were pics, as there is really only 1 witness, so no one is required to accept it.

  71. Don

    thanks for being so specific.
    i appreciate your work on my behalf.
    unless i can establish a ‘stronger’ case i agree with you no one would have to accept it as fact with just one witness.

    i get frustrated when either side (egal or comp) make their arguments without doing thorough research or make arguments from silence.

    keep up the great work! i appreciate your regular comments here.

    (-:
    kerryn

  72. How is your DVD on the Trinity doing Cheryl?

  73. Tiro3,
    Thanks for asking! I am done my writing and working at putting it into script form. My time line is the end of this month to get that job done. I really have been overwhelmed and had to step back from almost everything else in my life. It has also been an extremely emotional experience for me as I have documented the hierarchical belief that teaches that Jesus possesses less authority than the Father in the Trinity. The sound bytes that I have been collecting have really done a number on me as hearing my Lord Jesus downgraded to an eternally submissive being who does not answer prayer, who does not use ever use his own will in his actions and who must be commanded to obey the Father from eternity past to eternity future has been extremely hard for me to bear. For those who get the finished DVD on the Trinity and hear the amazing audio clips, will only get a glimpse at what emotional abuse I have had to endure listening to our Savior downgraded and dishonored. Honestly at times this past week I didn’t know how I could go on. It has been devastating to me. But God is granting me grace day by day to keep at it so that this aberration will be exposed. If I am missing in action until the end of April this is why.

    If any of you reading this could also remember me in prayer, I would be very grateful. This is been as devastating to me personally as much if not more so than my research project on women in ministry. The words spoken against the Lord Jesus have cut me deep to the very foundation of my soul. It has made me hurt and angry and depressed. I pray that the Lord himself will help me to make it past this very painful time so that I can get the message out. Jesus needs to be honored and lifted high because this is how we honor the Father. Those who do not give equal honor to Jesus are not giving full honor to the Father. There is great saddness in my heart over this matter.

  74. #54 Lin,
    Regarding 1 Timothy 3:12, the quote you gave from the person who said this could not be about polygamy is not following what has been an historical interpretation. Polygamy was an acceptable thing in that culture and while the unmarried were allowed to be Apostles and leaders in the church, polygamists were not allowed to be examples to the congregation. Paul himself was unmarried and it would seem out of place for him to encourage others to remain unmarried as he was, so that they could give more of their time to Christian work and then turn around and deny those who followed his advice from being leaders in the church. That would be a contradiction in Paul’s practice with a prohibition on single men’s service.

    Now regarding the masculine language of 1 Timothy 3, the “default” language is masculine even when it includes males and females. For example every one of the salvation passages is in the singular masculine. For example:

    Mat 16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.
    Mat 16:25 “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.

    The “whoever” and the “anyone” is in the singular masculine. Are only males allowed to take up their cross and follow Jesus? Are only males who lose their life for Jesus told they will find their lives? No, this passage along with all of the salvation passages are in the masculine because that is the default way of expressing men and women. We cannot take away women from having leadership places in the congregation because of the masculine language of 1 Timothy 3 any more than we can take away women’s ability to follow Jesus and receive salvation because these passages are also in the masculine grammar.

    If Paul wanted us to know that women were forbidden from having any leadership places in the congregation he would have told us this directly. He also would have explained why God went outside this prohibition by using women in leadership positions in the Old Testament. Paul does not have to explain away women leaders in the Old Testament because his language is not one of direct prohibition. It is also never listed as a “sin” for a woman to give of herself to shepherd the flock. Rather Paul says that if “anyone” (not the male term “aner”) desires to be an overseer that person desires a good thing. What did Paul recommend for women who desired to be an overseer? Should they be put into jail? Should they be kicked out of the congregation? Should they be shunned? Paul gives no such punishment for women. There is no penalty given for the “crime” of a woman desiring to use her God-given gifts for the benefit of the entire body of Christ. Why do we punish godly women who desire to use their gifts to benefit their dear brothers in Christ? What biblical precedent do we have to mete out this judgment? There is nothing in scripture that lists these women as practicing sin nor does scripture tell us how to punish them. I respectfully suggest that those who hold to patriarchy have gone above and beyond the clear teaching of scripture by holding back and punishing women when scripture never tells us to do this. There is not even one example in either the OT or the NT that gives an example of a woman punished by God or by the congregation for using her God-given gifts in public.

  75. Dear Cheryl,
    You are in my thoughts and prayers!!!
    Psalm 121.

  76. Dear Cheryl,

    It is my prayer for you today that, according to the exceeding riches of His Glory that you be strengthened WITH MIGHT by His Spirit in your inner man (or your “inner woman). 😉 Through your profession of faith and through the evidence that we see on this blog that you are rooted and grounded IN HIS LOVE, we know that Christ dwells in your heart through faith. May you realize in a new and profound way just how deeply and richly Jesus does dwell in your heart as He strengthens you with might in the deepest part of your spirit. Not even the foulest false teachings about our Savior can separate you from the Love of God in Christ Jesus, the love in which you are rooted and grounded.

    I pray that you would not grow weary in well doing, but that you would persevere through this process of bringing a much needed truth about the most precious element of the Christian faith to light for all to see. As you sow unto the Spirit through this labor of love for the wounded and scattered sheep, I pray that you also be encouraged that the Word reminds us (Gal 6:8-10) that we will reap not temporal rewards but eternal blessing for our labors for Him. I pray that God would begin to pour out some of those blessings, even before the project is completed.

    Your ears are anointed to hear the guidance of the Holy Spirit as you prepare the dialogue for the video, but I pray that this anointing will increase even more as you complete these preparations. May your ears be anointed with the oil of gladness above thy fellows and even in the “presence” of these teachings because you have loved righteousness and hated iniquity. Be a flame of fire that will not burn out.

    Amen, amen, and amen.

  77. Jael,
    Thank you for your encouragement and your prayers!

    Prayerful,
    Your words were comfort to me and brought tears to my eyes. It is so good to know that there are others out there who are willing to hold me up in prayer as I struggle through some of the toughest days under a black cloud fighting back against aberrations within the Christian church itself.

    Those who have also taken the time to email me privately, I would also like to publicly acknowledge and say thank you. With the foundations around us falling down because of the persecution in ministry that we have experienced from the Canadian government, it has been especially tough to keep our concentration on the task at hand. Yet the task at hand is hearing and answering the attacks on the person and work of Jesus which has been so very difficult to document without feeling personally offended and attacked. On top of that the slow down in the housing market has stopped our house from being sold for almost one year now so this ties our hands financially. Any one of these things taken alone would be hard to bare, but all together it is overwhelming. Yet our eyes are fixed on Jesus expecting his strength to carry us through these very difficult times. When the work is finally done, it will not be a testament to our weakness but to the Lord’s strength in the midst of a storm. Thank you again for standing with us in prayer. It is VERY MUCH appreciated!

  78. “Jesus needs to be honored and lifted high because this is how we honor the Father. Those who do not give equal honor to Jesus are not giving full honor to the Father.”

    Cheryl, The things I have read and heard over the course of the last few years on this issue have devestated me (angered me, too!) as well so I can only imagine what it would be like to immerse yourself in it. This teaching about Christ is growing and becoming more mainstream.

    But we need your DVD. And you have been gifted as a teacher because you love the Word, are clear and make complex issues easy to understand. That is so important…and should never discounted. That is one reason I think this teaching has prevailed to the point it has…certain scholars make it complicated as if only a PhD could really understand it.

    Oh yes, I will pray even more for this project. I pray His Name be Lifted up and exhalted because of your efforts. I will also pray about the many burdens you face as you work on this.

  79. http://vtmbottomline.blogspot.com/

    thought I would let you guys know that Pastor Paul Burleson is writing on how culture has influenced scripture interepretation concerning women. His last couple of posts have been great.

  80. Lin,
    Thank you so much for your precious words of encourage and your prayers! I do agree with you that the teaching on the Trinity needs to go from a PhD level to the level that we all can understand what God has revealed. God is certainly greater than we can ever know, but there are things that he has revealed that we need to talk about and learn about. The teaching that removes our intimate relationship with Jesus just makes my blood run cold. I am mystified at how the shepherds of the flock could let this come into the church without saying something.

    Thanks also for letting us know about Pastor Paul Burleson’s writing. I have appreciated this pastor for a long time and his writings have been with such humility that he has inspired me. I will have a look at what he has written that you linked to and I would recommend others to read his writing as well. Pastor Paul has a lot of years on me and his wisdom shows it.

  81. Lin, thanks for introducing me to Paul Burleson’s site. Those were great posts!!!! I read them all plus the comments. Somewhere else on this site I suggested that a resource link could be very helpful. I think a link suggesting other great websites/blog sites might be helpful, too, for newcomers as I am. I have to stop myself from spending HOURS a day reading everything and searching out all I am coming across. This is all like water to a dry and weary traveller! Last night, I spent quite a bit of time in the car reading material I had printed off this site and Fether’s while I waited outside our church for my husband to finish a meeting-only men are allowed to do the top administrative work here so I couldn’t be in the meeting anyway.

  82. Truthseeker,
    What a great idea. I think I will start a post to address this things.

  83. How utterly sad and pathetic that CARM cannot think of a title to use for their ‘new’ section but have to ‘borrow’ yours.
    Why use the title ‘Women in Ministry’ then spend endless pages coming up with excuses why women should not be in ministry?
    I suppose it is a measure of the desperation now felt over there due to the marked lack of support given to their ideas and the total lack of respect they have engendered by constantly attacking Cheryl.
    We have an expression in the UK which just about sums it up:
    “They are flogging a dead horse”.

  84. Elizabeth,
    Your comments made me smile.  Yes, I do think that Diane Sellner and Matt Slick wished I was a “dead horse” however no such luck.  I am very much alive and I am not going away neither is this topic going away.  I also believe that when our new DVD is released on the Trinity that we are now working on, a lot of people’s eyes will be opened to the faulty tradition that complementarian scholars have forced on to the doctrine of the Trinity and onto the women’s issue.  No longer will those scholars who see hierarchy in the Trinity have such an easy time with the “man” in the pew because they will be called to account for their misguided teaching.

  85. Is it any coincidence that shortly after I posted the above message I was banned not once but twice on carm and not by a mod but by Diane? LOL
    Not content with banning her pet ‘hates’ from the General Christian Theology  board – she now uses ‘inside information’ gleaned from her carm data base to search the internet looking for ‘offenders’ posts on other web sites.
    PS. one of the ‘offending’ posts that got me banned was telling  of a poster named shelli that he/she was not reading my post for comprehension. Regular carm posters who are familiar with shelli’s posts will realise how desperate Diane must be to ban someone for questioning his/her posts.

  86. Hello Elizabeth, I’m sorry to see that you’ve been banned from CARM. But you are in good company. Many others have also.

    You might want to check out http://www.equalitycentral.com/forums for another good place to dialogue. Many from here also dialogue there.

    blessings,
    TL

  87. This is also a good reminder that if you are going to post here, it would be a good idea not to post with the same name as on CARM or give information that would identify you with your identity on CARM.  Diane Sellner has her spies who read and watch especially this blog.

    It is amazing that a group that exposes cults and aberrant movements would resort to milieu control.  This tactic conforms to Lifton’s identification of brainwashing and mind control groups.  Milieu control is identified as all communication with the outside world is limited, either being strictly filtered or completely cut off.  This milieu control also extends outside of CARM as their spies search the internet for any negative word regarding Matt Slick, Diane Sellner or CARM and they report back. Those who dare to challenge any of the strict rules will find themselves cut off from their friends on the discussion board, threatened or censured.

    Do a search for Diane Sellner on the internet and see how she has threatened people. People who have stood firm have not bowed to her threats. Look below at the censorship she tried on wikipedia. Diane Sellner is the Diane S referenced on the pages below and her sock puppets and meat puppets are discussed. This is wikipedia’s record of their dealing with Diane Sellner and Diane’s complaints cannot have it removed from the record. Reading through all of this lengthy material gives one a very clear picture of what goes on behind the scenes and why Diane Sellner has the reputation that she has. This is evidence of her “ministry” as she is released by her boss to go after anyone who they perceive as an enemy, even if that enemy is a fellow Christian whose “sin” is to believe differently than they do on women in ministry, which is a secondary issue of faith and not an essential issue of salvation.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Christian_Apologetics_and_Research_Ministry

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Christian_Apologetics_and_Research_Ministry/Archive_1

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Christian_Apologetics_and_Research_Ministry/Archive_2

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Christian_Apologetics_and_Research_Ministry/Archive_3

  88. Of course that works on the assumption that it matters whether or not one is ‘banned’ from carm.
    Is carm really so important to anybody or anything (except its owners and their groupies) that we would bother to go to any lengths to disguise our identities?
    About 4 days ago I started a thread asking if churches that accept ordained women are cults and apostate – I then went away for a few days but a brief check has revealed not a single assertion that agrees with the carm position on the question. I had to put the thread on Apologetics as I’m not allowed on the General Christian Theology board, maybe my posts have got just a little too near the truth for someone’s comfort zone.

  89. looks like the thread is gone now Elizabeth.  I couldn’t find it.  ??

  90. Its on page 2 of the Apologetics board and the thread is titled “Equal in the eyes of God?”

  91. Here is an update to all those who are following the CARM / Matt Slick / Diane Sellner issue where egalitarians have been mistreated badly as if they weren’t even Christians. I have a Matthew 18 meeting with Matt Slick scheduled for August 22, 2008 at 9 am in the Boise, Idaho area.  My pastor will be traveling there with my husband and I to bring the last witness to Matt Slick regarding his public sin against me.  Would you please be in prayer?

    Please pray first of all for Matt Slick and CARM that God will be glorified in what happens and that there will be a change of heart in Matt Slick from his position of attacking brothers and sisters in Christ to one of love and compassion for the entire body of Christ.  I know that it sounds impossible from what has carried on over the past about 11 months, but we have a great God who is not willing to put out a smoking reed.  If Matt can be helped and encouraged to change his ways that includes attacks against the brethren, this is the first concern and the goal of our meeting.

    Secondly pray for us as we travel a long distance to confront Matt.  Pray for our safety as we travel a long distance on August 21 and prepare for the meeting the next day.  Pray also that Jesus will keep our hearts tender to show Matt love even though he has shown nothing to me but contempt.  Perhaps he can be reached with love when all else fails.

    Pray also for the inevitable attacks against my person.  Matt has made it clear to me that he plans to continue his attacks at this Matthew 18 meeting.  He has already publicly twisted my words and I have been accused of being an enemy via his discussion board and accused of all kinds of things that have no basis at all in the truth.  Pray that I “count it all joy” when I encounter this trial.

    James 1:2  Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,
    James 1:3  knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.

    Most of all, please pray that Matt Slick will be willing to repent of his ways and seek reconciliation and peace in the body of Christ.  Matt is not coming to me for reconciliation.  I am coming to him.  I am coming at my own expense and I am making the effort to reach out to him. The bottom line in these kinds of disputes should be peace and brotherly kindness considering that we show Jesus love by showing love to one another.  Yet in all of this there must be accountability and I am holding Matt Slick accountable.  I grieve at the way CARM has treated so many godly Christians and I grieve that apparently Matt has not had enough Matthew 18 meetings to bring an erring brother to an account for his sin.  Pray for Matt that he will be brought back into proper relationship with the entire body of Christ and he will no longer attack his own “flesh and blood” family.

  92. Cheryl,

    You have my prayers!

  93. Cheryl,

    You have my prayers too through this whole debacle !

  94. my prayers are with you.

  95. Thanks Don, Truthseeker, Greg and tiro.  I appreciate all thoughts and your prayers.  I am believing that what I am doing by going the full way with Matthew 18 will be an encouragement to others who have also been mistreated merely because they believe that women are allowed to teach the body of Christ with the authority of 1 Peter 4:11.  If we do not confront those who separate from us because of a secondary issue of faith, then they are going to keep doing the same thing to others.  I believe that it is a loving thing to challenge this kind of sin.

  96. I pray that the outcome of this meeting will be for the ‘greater good’. A difference of opinion between believers is OK but when some try to force their opinion on others by fear and intimidation and even lies, that is not good. It is divisive and division plays straight into the hands of ‘you know who’. But we should never forget that God sees and hears all and He will deal with everything in His own way and in His own time – I often forget this myself and get frustrated when the ‘baddies’ appear to win.

  97. Dear Cheryl,
    You will be in my prayers regarding your meeting with Matt Slick.  I am very blessed to know you and I believe you always speak the truth in love.  I pray that Matt embraces the truth.

  98. Cheryl,

    I’ve been praying and praying for you as you prepare the video on the Trinity, but I will also pray specifically about this disappointing situation with Matt Slick, too.

    I downloaded this old sermon of Walter Martin’s from the late ’70s when he spoke at Lee College (where about half of my Spiritual fathers came from).  http://spiritwatch.org/cultrise79.ram

    As I listened to this wonderful sermon, not quite 40 minutes into the download, Dr. Martin talks about how he met and spoke with Rocky Marciano, the heavyweight champion of years gone by.  I was overwhelmed and started to cry as he talked about what Rocky had to say to him and I could think about nothing but you as he told this story.

    Rocky apparently had very short arms.  If he swung at someone, they had to be close enough for him to get in one good punch, and he could knock them out.  But he had to take a lot of hits in the process, because he had to wait to get close enough to be able to make that one solid punch.  Dr. Martin said that this was an excellent analogy for the Christian life.  We have the goods.  All we need is that one, good shot, and we can win.

    Matt is certainly not the enemy.  We all belong to Christ and we are on the same side of the battle, so it is the deception that holds him that you fight against.  And I don’t even see this all as a disagreement over gender at the root of this but the fact that Matt (as many like him) choose to deal harshly and cruelly with their brethren who disagree over intramural doctrine.   We should afford one another liberty under the bonds of the Holy Spirit and of love, not ridicule, strife and insult.

    As I listened to this today, I was just overwhelmed with how I identified you with Rocky.  You have what it takes to pierce through this deception and all the miserable cruelty with God’s love, power, Spirit and truth.  There’s no doubt in my heart that you have the Living God, sound doctrine and a spirit of love behind your punch, whatever it is that you’re doing.  And you’ve been given an opportunity to face the same type of petty behavior and attitude that has taken over the very groups that I used to support.  In that sense, you’re in there fighting for me and for all of us who have watched this cruel arrogance invade the Church that is supposed to be known by our love for one another, not all of this adversarial stuff that has become commonplace among those who hold to Slick’s belief system.

    So I hope that this encourages you today — maybe there’s something else in that message for you to hear as well.  But I’m just going to focus on you making one stand for truth and love in Christ Jesus against this commonplace cruelty for which so many areas of the Church are now known.  I don’t think you have to “throw a lot of punches” but you need only make one good stand to pierce through all of this junk.  Like Rocky Marciano, you’re getting close enough to take your appointed stand against this principality or power or whatever this happens to be — a light piercing through the darkness.  You only need one good shot.  And I have confidience now but will pray that you will have it when you go to pierce through this.  You’re not goint to miss.

    Know you’re loved and be encouraged.  I don’t know what to expect for an outcome from this encounter with Matt, but you’re definitely going to hit the mark.  I believe and feel strong and sure of it.   Just like Walter Martin said we will do as Christians.

  99. Cindy,

    What an awesome, wonderful comment that you gave that very much encouraged me!!  I have let it sink into my heart all day.

    I really loved Dr. Martin as he was the driving force that got me into apologetics.  I took to heart his challenge to the church and decided that I would do whatever I could to win the lost in the cults for Christ.  So to have you mention an example from Dr. Martin where the Christian is taking a beating and much abuse, really hit home for me today.  I want to thank you for taking the time to write this out and encourage me.  The Lord knows I need encouragement when the situation looks bleak.

    You said:

    And I don’t even see this all as a disagreement over gender at the root of this but the fact that Matt (as many like him) choose to deal harshly and cruelly with their brethren who disagree over intramural doctrine.   We should afford one another liberty under the bonds of the Holy Spirit and of love, not ridicule, strife and insult.

    This is exactly my purpose in calling Matt Slick to account.  I want to do my part to stop all these ungodly attacks against fellow Christians.  When we allow brothers in Christ to get away with treating Christians with cruelty and harshness we do not do them a favor by ignoring their bad behavior.  We must call them to account so that others will learn from their sin and not follow along the same pathway.  We must not remain silent if we love the body of Christ.

    Thanks for your sweet words.  I have taken them to heart!

  100. Elizabeth,

    I missed commenting on your post yesterday.

    I pray that the outcome of this meeting will be for the ‘greater good’. A difference of opinion between believers is OK but when some try to force their opinion on others by fear and intimidation and even lies, that is not good.

    This is so true.  Thank you for your prayers!  We are allowed differences of opinions and we can even passionately argue these opinions, but we are not allowed to disrespect, or force our opinions by fear and intimidation onto others.  If what we have is truth, it will stand on its own with the evidence from scripture.

    It is also not easy to love those who attack you.  But God hasn’t called us to what is easy.  Loving those who consider us as enemies is what Jesus calls us to.  When he changes our heart to realize they are not our enemies but they have been deceived by the tradition of men, then we can have compassion on those who do not have compassion on us.  While we may not be loved here in this life, we will have much to lay at the feet of Jesus in eternity.

  101. Jael,

    You have been a real encourager to me always believing the best and knowing my heart!

    Thanks!

  102. Cheryl, You have no idea how much I respect the fact that you are going to the trouble and expense to do this. This is a very big deal and I pray that it would happen more in the Body of Christ to deal with this sort of thing. you are blessed to have a pastor who is willing to stand with you on the truth.

    I pray that Matt will understand that we can disagree on a secondary doctrine and be brethern in Christ. There is no need to call someone a heretic. How about we all search the scriptures for truth. Taking this biblical step to deal with a brother is the right thing to do.

    I am just floored at how vitriolic the disagreement on this issue has become from the comp position. Tommy Nelson at Denton Bible church described the egal position as Satan making his way into the church. Imagine describing brothers and sisters in Christ that way! People who love and live for Jesus Christ? It makes me weep.

    It makes my heart heavy but at the same time discovering biblical truth about women is the single most freeing thing that has ever happened to me. Studying scripture in depth, knowing the Holy Spirit gifts me and guides me alone, knowing that I am not a second class Christian anymore but made in His Image and designed to proclaim the Good News to anyone, regardless of gender, has been exhilerating.

    I, for one, can never thank you enough for all the time and energy you have put into searching the scriptures and teaching us. I think the part that bothers some of our comp brothers is that you are not liberal in essential doctrines so it makes it harder to dismiss you. That was the ONE thing I kept looking for on your site and in your teaching.  I have yet to find it. Praise God!

    My prayers go with you.

  103. Lin,
    Thank you for expressing your thoughts so clearly and by doing so you have encouraged me too!  I too feel the same way as you do.  These are our brothers in Christ who deserve to be encouraged by us and nourished by the gifts that God has given through us.  If we simply ignore the divisive behavior and never seek reconciliation we are acting as if they are the cancer in the church.  I for one am not willing to do that without giving everything I can to be a peacemaker.  Whether I can be that peacemaker or not remains to be seen.  I know that we are to reject a divisive man after a couple of warnings, but I think the warnings should be an all-out loving confrontation.  This is exactly what I would want someone to do for me if I was in error.  If they really loved me as a sister in Christ, then I should be pursued and lovingly taught the truth as if I was deceived, not that I was a deliberate deceiver. 

    The fact that strong hierarchists want nothing to do with me says more about their relationship with Christ than it does about me.  If one really, truly loves Christ, that one is to love the brethren in Christ.  How can one say that he loves God when he hates his brother?  I have not been loved by any of them and my objections have not been answered.  Rather I have been hated and rejected, lied about and forbidden to speak.  This is not the “Way of the Master” and when I have pointed this out, I have been accused of being judgmental. 

    Well I am willing to put my money where my mouth is.  I am persuing peace and standing up for what is right.  I do this in order that the one who has been extremely against women’s ability to teach the bible with authority as 1 Peter 4:11 encourages us to speak, will know that there are those who love him enough to say the truth in love and hold him accountable.

    I have been told that I am an enemy and hurting the church.  If I am such an influence in the church, then why would they not take the time to personally influence me and do it in a loving and kind way?  I believe it is because the “fruit” of hierarchical teaching is not one of love and respect but power, control and a fight against any who would challenge the “right” to be the only spokesmen for God to the church.  There is simply no love lost towards their egalitarians brothers and sisters in Christ and it is such a shame.  This should never be.

    I will be posting a response to an article by Randy Stinson on my blog where he talks about the necessity of complementarianism.  I have a special interest in this article especially since Randy is the one who threw my DVD set in the garbage after watching only a short bit of it.  Apparently he couldn’t stomach a woman teaching him even one-on-one on DVD.  My communication was with Chris Cowan from CBMW and he let me know that Randy Stinson was not even interested in trying to refute my exegesis.  Since they had originally agreed to do a review of the DVD series, they were obligated to send me a check for the DVDs that they deposited in the garbage.  In that way CBMW has unwittingly supported my work without any kind of refutation.  It is sad but typical.

  104. Randy Stinson was one of the founders of CBMW.  I’ve had my run ins with him in those years.  I often found it confusing that he both enjoyed his harsh words toward non comp women, and also enjoyed complementing them for “taking it like a man”.  There was a dark side to it all.  

  105. tiro,

    I too have seen the “dark” side.  When a respected Christian theologian who is a hierarchist writes me that God should have mercy on my soul, merely for exposing the differences between hierarchists and egalitarians regarding the doctrine of the Trinity, the dark side is clearly shown to me.

  106. They’ve made gender hierarchies one of the most important aspect of being a Christian. What that says to me is that special privileges given to some may be equally important in their thinking with the honor we are to give to God.

    Dangerous thinking.  :(

  107. What is the link for Stinson’s post?

  108. tiro,

    One must repent of being an egalitarian in their minds or else….

    Don,

    The link is here https://www.cbmw.org/Blog/Posts/Is-Complementarianism-a-Merely-Personal-Conviction

  109. I see Stinson’s article as the way they actually view reality.  They are running scared.  They cannot admit there are exegetical challenges or they lose, they have to claim their way is the only way or very few would choose it today. 

    But when they discuss some puzzling verse or phrase, they produce pages and pages trying to show that something they claim is obvious is correct.  They want to have it both ways.  So they self-repudiate their own position with every paper they publish. 

    What they should be is honest and admit there are challenges, but then they know they will lose.

    So they use scare tactics and innuendo to con the gullible.

  110. Quote: Now I would like to ask a question to the visitors on my blog: why do you think that there is such a double standard with hierarchists? What might be some of the reasons that causes them to treat this secondary issue in the body of Christ as if it is a matter of salvation, thus causing them to be divisive towards their fellow brothers and sisters in the faith?

    The oldest motive in the world: power and the threat of losing it.  You saw exactly the same behavior in white supremacists when the civil rights era came.  If you think I’m being too harsh, read Philip Yancy’s book Soul Survivor.
    Quote: What has helped you to keep a respectful attitude when you are being attacked?

    I can’t, so that’s why I don’t bother engaging them anymore.  I used to spend hours crafting lengthy posts on this issue in internet forums.  I quickly learned, however, that comps prefer to stick their fingers in their ears and tune you out.  Why waste my time and breath?  I’ve got bigger issues to deal with, like witnessing to the lost.  As the old Chinese proverb says, “The dog may bark but the caravan will still pass by.”

  111. I use to be a CARM Super member. Techically I still am because I bought a 2 year super membership almost 2 years ago.
    If you were to log onto CARM’s discussion boards you would see by my membership name, “revdaneeidson”, suspended/banded. This action was at my request but CARM being less than truthful folks will not tell you this.
    I learned the difficult way CARM director Matt Slick appears to have this totataterian complex. Personally i believe it borders on some type of personality disorder. And a true man would not act the way he does.
    When i began to share my family’s pain of almost losing a son in Iraq, the loss of his friends in Iraq, my other son on multiple deployments, and expressing my displeasure of the President’s policies CARMites with the blessing of the rude Diane blasted me.
    I was often told not to speak harshly against the President and that when we elected a new President no matter who that person would be that the same rules would apply. But Diane Sellnar and Matt Slick, being the hypocrites they are, threw those rules out the window.
    Diane Sellnar exhibits in my opinion a cult like personality. I question the manhood of Matt Slick. 
    My suggestion is not to waste hard earned money supporting such a cultish type control freak site. The petty silliness that the CARM directors and most of the membership is quite bizzare. 
    We can pray for them to repent. We can pray Matt and Diane get back into proper relationship with God. We can pray Matt becomes a man and acts like it.
    Remember the old saying is true, “What goes around comes around.” I suspect if they keep up their attacks on the new President and our leaders the IRS will revoke their 501(c)3 status. 

  112. Dane, I didn’t know that Diane and Matt were speaking against the president elect.  Do you have a thread to point me to, to look at?

    It is interesting that they have not considered that as a Christian ministry it is preaching lawlessness to shred one’s government in a directive public fashion.

  113. Whilst nothing would draw me to support the now doomed Slick/Sellner partnership Dane, I do recall that many good people on carm found your attitudes towards homosexuality, particularly offensive. I hope I am not speaking out of turn in reminding you that this is a website for those who support the ordination of women. It is not a meeting point for those who object to the way they were treated by Slick and Sellner over unrelated issues. It is a site where we have respect for those who have different attitudes to our own and I for one would not consider remaining with this website if there are any repeats of the disrespectful comments about homosexuals that you used to make on carm.

  114. While I do not know what Dane’s views are in other areas and whether he would agree or not with Sellner’s views on those other areas, I do know that he has been badly hurt by a forum that claims to follow the Christian way of using “authority over” others.  I think that in this instance that we can focus on our areas of agreement.

    My heart goes out to those who have been hurt especially since I ran a support group for 16 years for former Jehovah’s Witnesses who were also very badly hurt by an organization that they thought was the one true faith.  I did not agree with many of their viewpoints as they worked their way through to healing nor did I agree with some of their lifestyles but I was able to show love to them while I gave them the truth from scripture.  It is the attitude of love that I want to exemplify here.

    Is there an opportunity to do something about a very unhealthy attitude that pervades a Christian organization?  Perhaps.  I myself cannot get involved because speaking out would of necessity involve taking a public stand against the founder and president of that particular organization. I have given my word that I would not publicly criticize this person in a mutual agreement that the president of that organization made with me, and even though he has not kept his word to me, I am compelled to see that keeping my word is not dependent on his faithfulness but mine.

    I have also been wrestling with how best to pass on the message to those who think that there is a way to call a Christian organization to account along with calling to account the perpetrators of abuse who refuse to be accountable for their actions.

    For those who feel that they would like to share their story of how they have been mistreated, Dane’s email address is available on his web site and his web site is available by clicking on his name.  Dane would be interested in hearing from you.  If you can set aside other areas of differences perhaps there is a way to work together.  I don’t know.  I am not privy to other disagreements nor do I want to be involved with other issues.  I already have too much on my plate.

    So if any of you reading this blog want to be heard by someone who desires to warn the public about what he/she feels are clear examples of abuse, then it will be up to you to contact Dane.

  115. Yes I admit I did say some horrible things against homosexuals. Vicious statements that were pretty bad. But if you took time to read all the threads and posts you would had read that much later I asked forgivness for this and gave my reasons, however unexcusable, for doing so. It’s a matter of public record, but I will repeat it here, even though it causes great pain. When i was a minor I was abused physically by a homosexual. I had to come to terms with my hate and I am glad i did. God has given me victory. The issue with CARM is their vengeful hatred toward those, even parents who have suffered through the Bush policies of war, in a very personal painful way, and attack those who do not follow the extreme lonney far right fringe of neo con conservative politics. The more serious issue is their lies, coverups of their lying and hypocrisy. In answering another member of this blog’s question of what thread to visit on CARM just log onto the social political forums. There are many many posts and threads by Diane Sellnar that call Obama the worst vilest names. She is quite a hypocrite. I can no longer log onto the CARM thread because the totaltarian nature of Slick and Sellnar will lie about those they disagree with, block them from their site and delete all posts and threads that prove the case of those they hate. I wish and pray they repent. My purpose is not to join an anti-carm forum. That would only give them their bloated need for attention all the more. My only purpose is to warn others to be careful because CARM members will turn on you and personally drag your name down with the most vilest of vicious attacks.

  116. Dane,

    I appreciate your willingness to admit the things that you did wrong as well as your willingness to share your personal pain that caused your anger.  I believe this was a brave thing to do.

    I wish that the same kind of humility would also be shown by Diane Sellner to admit where she has been wrong.   Somehow I doubt that anything that is done either inside or outside the organization will help her or her forum.  Humility must come from within and cannot be forced.

    I see your goal as a worthy one to warn people about the abusive forums and leaders.

  117. Thank you. I believe Diane is a good person at heart. I do admit I get upset once and awhile over her obvious hypocrisy.
    We can pray for them. That they will repent, get professional mental health counseling and one day all the venom will be expelled and replaced with Christian humility.

  118. I do not know where Diane’s heart is.  I can’t even say for certainty that she has a good heart because only God really sees her heart.  We are left judging by the actions that we do see.  Certainly a person’s bad actions does not tell us everything about that person either.  I think the only real hope of change is for someone who they respect to speak into their lives and give them godly counsel.

    I have been the brunt of her hatred so obviously I am not in a position to be treated with respect as someone who can speak into her life.  Yet I do not wish her harm.  I also wish for others to be warned.

  119. I am not a big international TV evangelist. Nowhere near and don’t want to be. But i do host a cable TV program and it is uploaded on YouTube and GodTube regularly.
    I will do what I can to warn others about this spiritual abuse. It will give advertisement to them but also inform many of their spewing venom.

  120. Just a reminder that I am not doing heavy moderation here so that unless there is direct name calling of a person, I let people speak for themselves and they are responsible for their own opinions.

    Thanks to all for allowing me to get a good level of respect on this forum.

  121. Hey folks! I thought I would update yall on what’s going on with Because of Calvary, Inc and with me and my family.
    We are most definitely in the process of putting a V Bulletin Board up. It will be the same software and type that CARM uses. This Bullentin Board will be put up and running by mid April 2009. You will find our bullentin board more friendly. We will not have super sensitive attack dogs as moderators banning those they just can’t stand it whem someone challenges them. I will announce the boards it is up and running. Women ministers are especially welcomed to share their experiences in pastoring, preaching, teaching and ministry. And we will do our best to warn others of spiritual abuses too!
    We are also in the process of building our own video recording, editing and production studio. We will still offer free video time to other Christian ministries and upload their own videos.
    My wife lost her mother last week. She was 91 years old. She died as she lived: A Christian.
    God bless yall!

  122. Dane,

    Thanks for the update.  It is wonderful to know that a loved one has finished the race and gone on to be with Jesus.

  123. im a suspended carm member because ive been bad yet once again.
    confessional lutherans like me have a rough time not being sinful
    and breaking carm rules . i would think the moderators would want to hear what we thought, when we broke a rule ,but by doing so i evidvidently broke another rule . what makes me up set is ive jamed a paper clip in my computer because its against carms rules to use all capitals to .. and some times my computer typing thing gets stuck on cap lock, and other times ,i dont realize, i forget to take cap locks off. carm mods listen up —im not complaning though that would break rule number # oh shoot ,, this old man forgot .
    the number hope that won’t break another rule .. any way i have written diane several time and honestly norwegian she hasnt been spitful or written any thing angry to me back .. she is a real good listener ..come to think about it she hasnt written me back —-

    but im not complaning she must be real busy with so many members..

  124. LOL Robert, there are good listeners and talkers here.

    Also, the Equality Central Forums have some ex Carm members as well.

  125. Wouldn’t it be lovely if CARM was no longer on the net so that Diane could have her outlet to attack people even there?
    Admin. sets their account so they can harass members but those members can’t PM back unless they’re upper crust year+ members. Not that a lot of people last that long.

    It’s pretty bad when Diane and Matt’s emotional issues are keyword searchable and make for thousands of hits in a Google search.

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