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God’s Arrived

When one of his clients showed up on my BJU Hall of Shame, local counselor Jonathan Hagan mansplained me with, “I get it. Roar.”


No. No, you don’t get it. You don’t.

Because it’s not about me or my speaking up. At all. It’s about the hypocrisy of powerful evangelical “leaders” holding themselves to a “lower” standard that those under them.

If there’s anything we’ve seen in the last month, it’s that the Great and Powerful Evangelical Oz is just a con artist. Josh Duggar and the latest local scandal with Southern Baptist college (former) President Jimmy Epting prove that.

A friend pointed this out to me a couple days ago — Josh Duggar didn’t use a condom with the woman he paid for sex because … Duggar. You know what that means? The Quiverfull movement has nothing to do with God designing families or filling the earth with God’s army. That’s a con. The Quiverfull movement is about nothing but the uninhibited satisfaction of a powerful man’s pleasure.

I can’t work up the sympathy and faux-piety that fundagelicalism tells us rank-and-file we should have in the the Duggar and Epting situations. They tell us that to shut us up, you know that, right? They tell us that to create fear-uncertainty-and-dread. It’s a cosmic Damocles Sword hanging over our heads that makes us peons say, “Oh, I feel so sad. I must pray.”

Yes. Pray. Sad is okay. But don’t distract from what’s going on here — we got duped.

When Hagan said “I get it. Roar.” he was sarcastically attempting to put me in my place. He was trying to silence me. To shame me by claiming my autonomous action was the problem. He was trying to put the “agon” — the conflict — as between little me and a big and powerful god.

That’s the con. It’s not true.

It’s not little ol’ me vs. big ol’ god of thunder.

When Jesus saw that the Temple had been perverted into a den of thieves, He didn’t go around to each of the people trying to just buy a pigeon and mansplain them into silence. He did NOT say “I get it. You got cheated. Just pray.” He didn’t say, “Yeah, well, you sin too, you know!” He didn’t tell them, “Hush.”

No, He turned over tables. He got out whips. And they weren’t directed at the rank-and-file just trying to do worship.

They were directed at the con men.

God’s arrived, folks. But He’s got our back.


7 thoughts on “God’s Arrived

  1. Fundagelical leaders holding themselves to lower standards? Where have I seen that before? Oh yeah… my Christian school and the church connected to it, BJU, pretty much every IFB church I’ve been to, the SBC, etc.

    As a Fundamentalist, I was repeatedly told that “to whom much is given, much is required”. In practice, Fundamentalism works more along the lines of “to whom much is given, little is required” and vice versa. The children were forced to live up to the highest standards and suffered the most for even a minor misstep. The women had to live under far more rules and restrictions than the men, and again paid dearly for even small errors. The men, meanwhile, had all of the power and pretty much no responsibility. They cheated on their wives, sexually harassed minor girls, went to prostitutes, and it was no big deal. Boys will be boys, you know. The more money he had, or the higher the position in his church or the community, the more he got away with.

    You are right. Fundagelicalism is a giant con job, meant for the pleasures of a select few at the expense of others. I’m out.

    1. Fundamentalism never saved anybody. Jesus saves. Your cynicism is fair and justified, but don’t let it cause you to lose sight of what’s really important. Nobody will be asked on judgment day, “what did Bob Jones do?”

  2. More important than ever to distinguish between the true Gospel and what fundagelicalism (great coinage!) says.

  3. So many thoughts running through my head on this one. The part about the “temple court overthrow” really hits me. In his book “Epic”, John Eldridge really amplifies what was going on.

    In short, you first have to understand physically how big that courtyard was … and believe me, it was HUGE! Then you need to understand it was the place where God intended the entire world to come and meet him … it was supposed to be brimming with Grace of the highest magnitude. And yet, with full approval of the religious establishment, it has been made into a flea market.

    So imagine Jesus wandering through that mess and observing what was going on. See his anger (yes, that’s what it was) start rising. He finds enough cords to fashion a whip and begins to weave it while walking around (oh … did you think he already had one with him?). It finally comes to “that point” and he starts overturning tables, knocking over cages and temporary corrals. Hoofed animals are trying to run on that massive tiled courtyard. Coins are flying everywhere. It’s mayhem and in the middle of it he starts shouting, “Get out of here you money-grubbing opportunists! This place is holy and you are turning it into a profiteering racket!”

    Remember this is an event that cemented in the minds of the “elite” that they had to kill him. His counter-cultural approach was digging into their followers and now their pockets. That couldn’t be tolerated any longer.

    That’s the extent that these charlatans will go to hide their own evil motives. And for their sheeple … they set up a system with a punitive god who keeps you constantly guessing. No Grace … no Love … no Mercy … and no Hope. Nothing left but works that can never succeed.

  4. I can’t thank you enough for the good work you do, exposing the truth. I heard a report this week about how attendance at Catholic churches had plumetted in the past decade due to the Catholic Churches failed efforts to cover up the sexual abuse of it’s priests. Sexual misconduct (along with financial misconduct) amongst evangelical Protestant leaders is becoming commonplace. Those who try to shed light on this, including the victims of the misconduct, are met with intimidation by the leadership of American Evangelicals because fear that if the conduct were to be made public it would result in a drop in donations to the pastors, preachers, evangelists, and their upper level management.

    Your analogy to Jesus and the money changers using the temple for their own gain is spot on.

    Years ago I gave up calling myself a Christian and instead refer to myself as a follower of Jesus of Nazareth.

    In addition to sexual abuse, Protestant leaders frequently abuse their power in other ways, accumulate massive wealth, and attempt to control others through intimidation and fear instead of Christian Love.

    I encountered this while employed at a small Christian college several years ago. Conservative Christians began a witch hunt to intimidate other Christian faculty, employees, and students. Many lives were shattered as long-term employees were forced out by intimidation.

    Too make matters worse, the President of the College, resigned suddenly after authorities arrested him when a 13 year old girl received sexually explicit emails from a computer in his home and from his email address.

    I grew up in Greenville County and was well aware of the many controversies surrounding Bob Jones University through the years. The BJU President’s outspoken call for Alexander Haig to be smitten with cancer was heartbreaking in that it demonstrated how far removed the BJU leaders were from the examples of Christ.

    I was dismayed by the recent news of the video of Jimmy Epting, of North Greenville University being alone at his lake house with a female vice president of the cottage who was shown hiding in the bathroom when Epting’s son surprised them during their secret encounter. My mom graduated from the college and has sent considerable money to them.

    I encourage you to keep up the good fight. Your efforts may just save Protestant Christianity from further decline. Hopefully they will make other Christian leaders think deeply about their actions and realize the damage they do to the cause of Christ and to individuals.

    Don Talley
    Black Mountain NC

    1. People in these positions must be held accountable. They ruin lives everyday they are allowed to get away with such horrible behavior.

  5. Greetings friend. My wife and I both graduated from BJU in ’79, but I chose not to join the BJU “aluminati” association. I had a personal chat with Jim Berg, ascending star, over that issue. Got the old ‘Tea Bag in Hot Water” session from Jim over that. Sorry for the boring details, but I had to build a connection.

    Now to make a comment relevant to the current topic. When looking at the temple cleansing, there is a natural tendency to focus on how “we”, the church of whatever stripe we be identified by, can cleanse “our” house. But, we are not good at cleaning up our own messes, as your research as a historian has shown. All we seem to be able to do, once our houses become detestable and corrupt, is to “throw the bums out” to the best of our ability, “according to the scripture”. We have relied on this method whether it be church, school or other christian organization. Just seems like this scary version never has a happy ending. (See “A History of Fundamentalism in America” by George W. Dollar, 1973 BJU Press). This was required reading for all BJU students in the 70’s. We fundamentalists fought to clean our house; we wore the right skirts, and had proper haircuts, while the real world around us had bigger issues. Ever heard of Roe vs. Wade, 1973? Well, we heard very little about abortion at BJ or at my BJ home church in Michigan, much less about how should we respond to the blatant godlessness of our U.S. government!

    Both at the beginning and the end of his earthly ministry, our Lord had a different approach. Christ scourged and purified the sons of Levi. He saw to the task personally. It was His doing, His timing, His cleansing of His house.
    In short time, He destroyed that temple made with hands, forever.

    Christ will have to do the work on His house of living stones wherein he dwells. His church, His bride will be clean and glorious, without spot or wrinkle. This work is in progress now. We can trust Him with this task.

    “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.
    Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts,
    we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
    Looking for that blessed hope,and glorious appearing
    of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ;
    Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity,
    and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”

    “For we ourselves were also sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived,
    serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy,
    hateful and hating one another.”

    “But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared,
    Not by works of righteousness which we have done,
    but according to his mercy he saved us,
    by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost;
    Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior;
    That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to
    the hope of eternal life.” (from Titus 2 & 3)

    Just some thoughts.

    Randy Miller
    Brimfield, Ohio

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