Things I Think

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132 Responses

  1. Babylon's Dread says:

    Looked forward to this offering. I just want to thank you for being steadfast to remind everyone to pray weekly for Saeed. We all agree that the abuse must be confronted, dealt with and remedied before this has a proper conclusion.

    As a Peyton Manning fan I agree. Tom Brady has a superior winning percentage, a superior TD to interception ratio, and far superior head to head and post season records. My heart is always with the Manning family legacy but the facts favor Brady. He is machinelike .

  2. Michael says:

    BD,

    I think we were called to the advocacy that we were both a part of.
    You carried the ball tirelessly and well.
    I think we’re now called to support Naghmeh with the same determination.

  3. Babylon's Dread says:

    The Trump reference is unmistakeable. It is literally imaginable that we will have a Trump vs Sanders presidential campaign. Let me make an observation that is preeminent in my mind on that. The two candidates that represent a departure from politics as usual just might rise to become the choice. The critique of campaign financing is overlooked. Networks have their own obvious engagement in that dichotomy. They are part of the system that is being critiqued.

    As for the antichrist comment, it reveals much about an eschatology that still believes a singular figure is the great threat to our faith. Antichrist religion, government, culture and economy plagues us persistently while we muse over an antichrist. The antichrist may indeed embody in a singular figure but our bout with the antichrist spirit is unrelenting and frankly it goes unaddressed.

    I watch with more interest than I planned. The political season is fascinating precisely because a socialist and a venture capitalist may square off with each claiming to remain impervious to special interests. Of course both appeal to special interest constituencies that expect to benefit from their elections.

    The American experiment is under incredible pressure. Let it be thus.

  4. Babylon's Dread says:

    @#2 100% agreement and thanks.

  5. Michael says:

    BD,

    I amen your comments about the anti-Christ systems.
    You would do us all a service by writing about the matter in a way that we can understand.

  6. Xenia says:

    I am not assuming anything about the alleged abuse. There is a person in my circle who is mentally unwell and is telling anyone who will listen that she has an abusive husband, which is not true at all. So as I always say here, I don’t believe these stories until I’ve heard both sides.

    In another situation, I recently heard from an eyewitness that a story someone has been telling us for years has a Part Two which completely changes everything.

    Wait and see what the accused has to say.

  7. Babylon's Dread says:

    @5 … yes I must accept this call

  8. Jtk says:

    Conflicted today…
    Very conflicted on these issues.

    1. After having spread concern over Saeed’s imprisonment, I feel I HAD TO share the good news. Despite how bad the situation may be. Ughhhhh.

    3. Just watched “Selma” this morning. Wow.

    We’ve got it good.

    I am concerned about race issues, but I wonder about our President’s actions–has he made race relations better or worse?

    If worse, not because a black President brought these issues to the surface (which they have to some degree), brought racists out of the woods (without a doubt), but could he have handled them differently? A either above my pay grade or that my white privilege won’t allow me to answer.

    Just wondering if he truly listens to godly advice, that’s sometimes contrary to his own musings. Clearly Dubya stopped listening.
    And I doubt Trump truly listens to anyone.

    4. What church or model does it best?

    10. This stinks.
    We clearly can acknowledge that a pastor or leader is a redeemed sinner, the Bible calls all believers “saints” and expect a husband is such positions to keep his genitals to himself (or within his marriage).

    That is not complicated.

    Now if you’re qualifying it as a pastor or leader not having problems or not being perfect, I understand…

  9. Babylon's Dread says:

    If president Obama spoke like MLK he could do more to heal the racial divide in just his last year than anyone has done since King. He won’t. Still I give him respect for keeping his word to the Abedini family.

  10. Michael says:

    JTK,

    I’m hesitant to engage much on the racial issues.
    The late, great, Charles Bowden spoke and wrote often many years ago about where he thought things were headed in this country.
    He’s been dead on so far…and he believed we would have race wars as a result of the other factors he spoke of.
    I believe he will be proven prophetic again.

  11. Michael says:

    As to #10… there is a Christian mythology that pastors have less sin than their congregants.

    That is pure mythology, but it has served the ruling class well.

  12. Michael says:

    I will say that I’ve become quite the fan of Russell Moore.
    I have little confidence that he will have much longevity in his position, however…

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/18/politics/moore-tweets-trump/index.html

  13. UnCCed@UnCCed.com says:

    Thankfully (after) I was mentored by a guy who cared deeply for those who would follow him in the ministry, to the extent I heard “no” from him more than anything.
    His rationale was that he already experienced (and this was 20 years ago) guys rushed into power who weren’t ready, then destroyed.
    As I’ve known and watched others follow the same pattern, now I understand.
    I remember hating his “no”s at the time, but now am very thankful I wasn’t put into something for which my maturity hadn’t yet caught-up. Also, now I’m sad for the guys whose hearts I loved with walks now destroyed because nobody cared for them.
    I’m first my wife’s pastor, always have been, always will be. And that responsibility is enough.

  14. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “I’m first my wife’s pastor, always have been, always will be. And that responsibility is enough.”

    Nope – now with women being pastors, now you wife can first be your pastor. 😉

  15. UnCCed@UnCCed.com says:

    Ah, I walked right into that one!
    MLD, I’ve been here long enough to know not to spare with you.
    Besides, though I’m a combat vet, I’ve finally accepted free speech is allowed for other people, not me, especially in “the church.” Since I’ve drastically reduced sharing my thoughts, my drama diet is going quite well. Also, I’ve had extra time to watch the same who would jihad on me, now jihad on others. Hmmm.

  16. UnCCed@UnCCed.com says:

    MLD, sorry, forgot to insert smileys. Love you bro.

  17. Jean says:

    Michael,
    There is palpable irritation (to say the least) in your list of thoughts today. Not that I take issue with any of them, but just wondering if anything more than the day-to-day grind is burdening you. 🙂

  18. Michael says:

    Jean,

    You are getting way too perceptive… 🙂

    Because of the history of the blog I get to hear stories that upset me greatly and I’m chewing on one of those stories this morning.

  19. Summer says:

    I look at the Abedini situation a little differently. While I think what Nagmeh said about her husband may very well be true….I’m disturbed that she outed him to the world the way she did. Could she not have shared this with a trusted friend/counselor? She said the email was only for her prayer partners? Did she really think they would be the only ones to read this? I’m very uncomfortable with the whole situation. I don’t want to judge her either, but to advocate for him the way she did and then stop and say what she said. IDK…….Personally, and I know this probably won’t be popular, I think it was terrible what she did. How can you have hope of restoring a marriage when you just told the whole world HIS problems. I don’t defend him whatsoever, either. But what are her definitions of the things she has accused him of? And why is everyone practically worshipping her on FB? Something just doesn’t seem right about the whole thing. Again, I think he is most likely guilty of not treating her well and abusively……But from everything I’ve read in her communications something just doesn’t seem right. He’s over there being tortured and she decides to tell everyone what he did to her. It should have been kept somewhat private. Just me thinking, I really don’t know.

  20. Anne says:

    Lots of stuff to chew on Michael. Regarding your #11 comment, the other enduring myth regarding pastors/priests is that they have a more direct and clearer connection to God and his will. This has also served the ruling classes, whether of nations by kings, dictators or founders of denominations/movements well for centuries. Anyone saying “God told me” or “God revealed to me” is the quickest way to make sure I run in the opposite direction 😉

  21. JoelG says:

    Thank you Michael. You’re a shepherd through the insanity. I’ve got a lot of animosity and resentment towards my evangelical brothers and sisters. I’m afraid I come off as more of a clanging symbol than anything else. I don’t know how you do this blog without exploding. Actually, I do know. The Holy Spirit. I’m going to go get counseling. lol.

  22. Miss ODM says:

    Yes – racial tension is at an all-time high. It is not politically correct to point out black on white crime which is pandemic. Media won’t even show black suspects when white victims are in view for fear of pouring fuel on the fire. Yet listen to the lyrics of today’s hip-hop songs and you’ll hear hatred for cops and crackers and disrespect of women and authority spewing out. Look up Colin Flaherty on Youtube for documentation on all of this. The inner cities are more dangerous than ever. Knock-out games on the rise. But to say so – to speak the truth- gets you painted as a racist – and I’m as far from that as one can get. We sure need another Martin Luther King — Al Sharpton just won’t due.

  23. Nonnie says:

    I didn’t care for Obama’s politics, but I hoped he would be president, in order to be a healing force for race tensions in the world and to prove that any American, regardless of race, could achieve the highest office. It seemed like such wonderful opportunity for healing. Sadly, it appears to have been the opposite. I think Dread has commented a few times over the years how Pres. Obama had opportunities to speak like MLK for healing and reconciliation, but instead he seemed to fan the flames of racial tensions. Very sad.

  24. Nonnie says:

    I forgot to say how thankful I am for President Obama’s work in getting the hostages released.

  25. Josh the Baptist says:

    We all forget that MLK (whom I love), was the ultimate inflamer of racial tension. There is a reason that he was assassinated. We look back on him as a grandfatherly figure that we all love…but when he was here, most did not love him.

    I don’t put the weight of racial relations on Obama, but had he spoken like MLK, he would have been assassinated, too.

  26. Jean says:

    I find myself in complete agreement with Josh’s #25.

  27. Michael says:

    JoelG,

    I understand and I hope I help alleviate some of the anger.
    Sometimes it does help to let it out in measured doses…

  28. JoelG says:

    Yes you do help. No one has helped me more. So thank you. I will try to let it out in measure. I feel I have to because certain people don’t return emails. #4 is so right. For more than just me. You know, of all people. So much for the most “undesirable” parts of the Body. So much for the “least” of the Body, the weakest. It’s disheartening. Thank you brother for saying it so well.

  29. Cash says:

    I applaud you Michael for your support of Mrs. Abedeni, as you are correct that she has not recanted her accusations and therefore has the potential of being a victim of domestic abuse. Too often, victims are shamed into silence. This happens regularly in the secular world and in the church. Of course, Pastor Abedeni will have an answer to these accusations. It is only right to hear both sides.
    I disagree with everyone who thinks President Obama had a chance to be a race healer. He was hated from day one by racist elements in our society and was not ever going to be given a chance to heal anything. They fanned the flames of hate from the beginning and are still doing so and will continue to do so because they hate him because he is black. Period.

  30. Michael says:

    Summer,

    There are myriad questions around the Abedini situation.
    I don’t think it wrong to start asking them when things get settled down…

  31. SJ says:

    Think there is any connection to the UN confirming Iran has met its obligations in the nuke deal and the release of the prisoners? I do, w/o any proofing documentation whatsoever. Anybody else got a tin foil hat on 😉 The truth is always somewhere in the middle.

  32. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    For the conspiracy folks I am sure you are glad to see the upcoming return of Mulder & Scully

  33. Eric says:

    #2 – My question is have there been other people like Saeed – Christian workers unfairly imprisoned by foreign governments. I wondered why one particular man got to be the face of it.

  34. Reuben says:

    Summer,

    It is known to be the case that Naghmeh sent that E-mails to a select few trusted people, one of which published it without her consent.

    What rubs me wrong is how the vast majority of Christianity immediately held her statements with suspicion, and I think that speaks to a much broader problem. She is allowed to say she is abused. In no context but Christianity would that even be questioned.

    It is easy to look at Saeed as being the very definition in our modern culture of what it is to be a persecuted Christian, and make him a saint as a result, but vilify Naghmeh for asking her friends to pray for change in her husband?

    This happened because Naghmeh is a woman, in a religious construct that has obviously taught us to immediately hold the abused woman as suspect.

    In my not so humble opinion, persecuted pastor or not, he should be locked up in another prison the second he steps off the airplane home. Sexual assault is sexual assault.

  35. Em says:

    being a little older, my memory of MLK is not one of an inflamer, but, rather, the man of the hour
    we were on the verge of a real national crisis – the justified resentment of their maltreatment was about to boil over into quite an uncontrollable revolt until MLK stepped up and said, “I have a dream…” and an incredible thing happened… the black folk of the day and the majority of the white folk, too, caught the dream… but stay vigilant as we’ll always have the haters with us – the “us and them” crowd is not color dependent, either

    it struck me today, BTW, that the God of the Christian is the only beautiful and majestic and worthy of worship of all the gods that are worshipped on the planet today…

  36. Julie Anne says:

    Summer, please read my post on Naghmeh from Friday: http://spiritualsoundingboard.com/2016/01/16/saeed-and-naghmeh-abedini-two-kinds-of-violence-both-still-a-prison/

    We must use the same fervor to pray for those who have been imprisoned by domestic violence.

  37. Josh the Baptist says:

    She did not claim sexual assault, other than claiming he was a porn addict.

    We had these conversations on this blog. The majority believed her, but there was confusion of how the abuse had continued while he was in prison, which was her claim.

    I made it known that I could no longer support the man, and I was far from alone.

  38. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I don’t think that “the vast majority” of Christians are even aware of Naghmeh’s accusations and as such have had no comment or opinion of them..

    “the vast majority” of Christians do not read blogs let alone Christianity Today

    But it does show how evangelicals think the world circulates around them. I am sure at my church hardly anyone would recognize his name anymore so than the other released. We pray for and try to support the cause of all persecuted and imprisoned for religious cause.

    Did she actually say he raped her?

  39. Josh the Baptist says:

    No – she claimed he looked at porn and to her, that is sexual abuse.

    Now, no need to take another shot evangelicals, MLD.

    Just go a step further, most Christians (including evangelicals) never heard of either of them. Most that I know who heard her claims believed them.

  40. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Tonight on GetTV, they are playing the 1967 MLK interview on the Merv Griffin Show. 7pm pacific time.

    I don’t have cable tv so I don’t know any other location. It is 46-2 on regular antenna tv.

  41. j2theperson says:

    ***No – she claimed he looked at porn and to her, that is sexual abuse.***

    No matter what she may subjectively feel, looking at porn was not sexual abuse of her. That doesn’t mean it was right. That doesn’t mean she shouldn’t set boundaries. But, I don’t think you can seriously argue that a man merely looking at porn himself–not asking his wife to look with him or participate in anything as a result of porn viewing–is sexually abusing his wife.

  42. Babylon's Dread says:

    @ Josh

    As a kid who grew up in Jackson, MS I have no illusions about MLK. He was an agitator because he wanted change. He wanted to bring down the Jim Crow laws of the southern states. He wanted the civil rights act to have teeth and be enacted. I have no illusions about some grandfatherly image. He died at 39. However, he was AS prophetic to his own people in his insistence of nonviolence as he was to the racial bigotry that filled white America.

    As for the notion that Obama would be in the same danger today if he spoke like King, I believe that to be pure nonsense. First, because he is secured in ways King could not have been. Second, because Obama has spoken with tacit permission to those who rioted and did to urge them to restraint and nonviolence. Obama has been a sham recipient of the Nobel Prize.

    I do not think Obama to be an evil man as some do. He is no more evil than any previous presidents in my opinion. I do however think of him as a moral lightweight when it comes to influencing change by moral persuasion or nonviolent action. I remain ready to change my opinion.

  43. Babylon's Dread says:

    As for Naghmeh and Saeed I plan on minding my own business now that they are being reunited. I plan on letting others fill the roles appropriate to navigating their allegations and their ongoing relationship.

    Neither do I plan on promoting Saeed publicly as a spokesperson until others in their roles promote them appropriately.

  44. Steve Wright says:

    It is known to be the case that Naghmeh sent that E-mails to a select few trusted people
    ——————————————————-
    This is not accurate. It was sent to no doubt hundreds or even thousands of people that were on her mailing list – including me. I got on that mailing list for hosting a prayer vigil at our church over a year prior – and she sent emails just about weekly and sometimes daily for a stretch….there was no personal interaction. Just a “signing up” process for the prayer vigil which took place all over the country.

    I go both emails in question.

    Let’s keep what we do know for certain as the facts…the facts.

  45. Steve Wright says:

    Amen to Dread’s #43

  46. Steve Wright says:

    I will only add that because I did receive both emails, I know exactly what she claimed, how she claimed it, and therefore what she did not claim…..as does anyone else who got both emails.

    To my knowledge she has not added or clarified anything since…only the briefest acknowledgement when Christianity Today leaked them.

  47. Cash says:

    C’mon MLD, it was a long long time ago… 😉

  48. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I found the channel listings for GetTV if anyone want s to watch MLK on Merv Griffin

    http://www.get.tv/get-the-channel

  49. Sister christian says:

    Amen to number 9!

  50. gomergirl says:

    Not to keep fanning the flames, but why do we assume that all accusers are right and anyone accused is wrong, before any information or fact finding? I would hate to have you as friends if I were wrongly accused of abuse. We are not her intimate friends, and may never know the real truth. As in may of these scandal in high visibility churches, we parse and judge and take sides, not waiting to see what facts actually come to light, if they ever do publicly at all. I would be slow to reach any conclusion in a situation like this (or infidelity or any other “big” sin) It is easy to wait and see what the truth is, much harder to change minds that are already made up…..

    And as for #6….. I thought it was about Obama, not Trump…. Just goes to show how little difference there is on either side.

  51. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    This is something I always wondered and it is not specific to this case. When a woman makes a false accusation, they never end up in jail. Why is that and shouldn’t they?

    There was a case a couple of years back about a high school football player who was accused of rape, spent 10 years in jail and the woman came out and said she made it up. She was never charged of anything.

  52. Cash says:

    This is the kind of talk that makes women so reticent to come out and name their rapists and prosecute them. Because everyone has some anecdote about “some guy” who was falsely accused. Well, I guarantee you the statistics show that false accusations of sexual assault are very rare.That’s why 68% of rapes are not reported to the police and 98% of rapists will never spend a day in jail. These are the true stats people should know about.
    https://www.rainn.org/statistics

  53. Cash – that is irrelevant to what I just said.
    If what I said is true don’t you agree the woman should be in jail?

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/05/ex-football-player-accused-rape-brian-banks.html

  54. Now I do know that we need to raise our girls to be tougher. I raised my daughter that if anyone ever beat on her or raped to make sure that I am the first one she calls and we will go rent a wood chipper.

    For the 12 yrs I have had granddaughters, I own a wood chipper.

  55. Erunner says:

    In light of the words Saeed’s wife shared it might be best if he stepped away from the pastorate or be removed. That would speak volumes if what his wife shared is true. I do hope and pray their marriage can be a testimony to our God as time unfolds.

    #2 I felt bad that as so much attention was focused on Saeed there was much silence concerning the others who were held hostage.

    On a personal note we have found a new church and it happens to be a small CC close to home which means I shouldn’t have any problems attending. I met with the SP for 90 minutes and all he showed was grace and humility as I went through my list of questions and concerns. As all of you I desire to grow in my personal relationship with God in a safe and healthy environment. I hope and pray that would be so.

  56. Cash says:

    MLD-It is most certainly not irrelevant when you bring up a case of false accusation to point out that that is very rare.

  57. I didn’t point out that it was rare – I pointed out that the false accusers go unpunished.

    You said it was rare. In the end, shouldn’t the false accuser face the same loss as the one falsely accused.

  58. Erunner says:

    #3….. I hope I don’t get smashed for this but here goes. I would have thought race relations would have proved since the death of MLK. Sadly it isn’t so as I know too many who still hold racist views. It’s also pretty plain to anyone who keeps tabs on the news.

    If I was to base my views based on commercials and television shows I would think blacks and whites were all best buddies as they hang out with their other minority friends. I know this is true in many cases but I don’t think nearly as pervasive as presented to us in the media.

    I would hope the day would come when we are a color blind nation but sadly I don’t think we will achieve that ideal.

  59. Erunner says:

    On second thought I don’t care if I get smashed. I’ve always been a people pleaser and I shouldn’t have to apologize ahead of time for stating an opinion.

    And it was cool to see Sister Christian pot here today. She’s a very nice woman who I had the privilege of meeting in person some years ago. I pray she and hers are doing well.

  60. Cash says:

    Good for you E-Runner. Way to stand up for yourself.

  61. Cash says:

    MLD,

    The prosecutors had a reason they thought it would be difficult to prove. Apparently she recanted then recanted again. Whatever the case, if they could prove it to a jury, yes she should be held accountable.

  62. Linnea says:

    Sister Christian….great to see you!

  63. j2theperson says:

    Maybe women are prosecuted for making false accusations at such a low rate for the same reason that men are so rarely prosecuted much less convicted for rape–it’s a he said/she said situation that it difficult to prove.

  64. Xenia says:

    Hello Sister Christian! Great to see you!

  65. gomergirl says:

    Cash, I personally know of two people who have been accused of abuse and in both cases (one at trial, one in court) were proved to have been false accusations. In both cases, lives were tragically altered and it was devastating, but neither liar was ever prosecuted.

    So we should convict the accused before the facts are in? I don’t believe that anyone should stay in a truly abusive situation, but we also really need to understand what abuse really is. Some people call disagreement abuse. Some people who can’t deal with conflict of any type will make accusations of abuse instead of acting like an adult and dealing with whatever disagreement they have.
    I don’t make light of real abuse, but it is another term that is being watered down by over use and changing the definition to fit the narrative.

  66. Ellen G. White Disciple says:

    MLK was a gutsy hero, spoke out not only about racism in America but also many of the so called churches and spoke out against Vietnam War.

  67. Ellen G. White Disciple says:

    My utmost hope is the Saeed situation is safety for wife and kids. I believe her story. Many churches in that circle promote a male dominated family model. At best it leaves the wife without much of a voice at worst it leads to abuse as there are men who can’t handle that type of teaching responsibly.

  68. Julie Anne says:

    Not to keep fanning the flames, but why do we assume that all accusers are right and anyone accused is wrong, before any information or fact finding?

    Sometimes the only facts are found after it’s too late and the victim needs to be buried. Remember, abusers are usually narcissists and masterful at concealing their true personalities. Nobody believed my dad was an abuser because he was so nice and friendly to everyone. However, they weren’t in my home. Oh, it used to get me so angry how he could flip a switch and answer the door or the phone and act like nothing just happened 2 minutes earlier; meanwhile, I was on my bedroom floor curled in the fetal position with my mind trying to shut out what had just happened to me.

    I will always default to believing a victim first. I know how many years it took for me to speak out (and no one believed me or did anything). I even question the poster above who says she knew 2 people who lied. We don’t really know anyone, period.

  69. To be clear when I brought up the subject of the false accuser going to jail – I was not talking about the loser in the he said / she said. or the abuser is acquitted and that makes the accuser a false accuser.

    No, I am talking only of the accuser who does the damage and then recants.

  70. j2theperson says:

    ***No, I am talking only of the accuser who does the damage and then recants.***

    There again it’s still only based on what they said, and it’s easy enough to explain away why you recanted. “The situation was stressful and I just wanted to be left alone.” “The police/prosecutor/the community bullied me and I felt this was my only way out.” “I’m suffering PTSD.” Whatever.

  71. We can pick them apart and we can also apply your excuses to a man making a man’s false claim that his wife is an abusive mother mother to her children etc, has the children taken away, mom is in jail and then dad comes out and says “what the heck, I was just pissed at her for burning the toast – but in the end I lied.”

    Any consequence to dad?

  72. j2theperson says:

    There rarely are consequences to these sorts of things, MLD. It’s not right, but it’s just the way it is. I don’t really see the need to whine about one unrelated injustice when people are expressing concern that a man may be abusive and that his wife and children may be in danger.

  73. j2theperson says:

    Plus, you asked why women aren’t prosecuted for false rape claims. I gave you an answer. Arguing with me about it won’t change anything. Go argue with politicians and prosecutors instead. They’re the one with control over this,

  74. I agree – in fact I think the Pastor Saeed thing is irrelevant to the whole conversation – right now it is a private family affair as she has made no claims to the police.

  75. Steve Wright says:

    MLD – saw one of those dateline type programs where a high school girl broke up with the boyfriend but could not let go as he was moving on with life – she had him over, they had consensual sex, then she told her parents he raped her, the dad arranged for him to be killed and she was prosecuted along with the dad and the guy who pulled the trigger.

    If it is about reputation, that is what civil court is all about. If one is truly innocent and falsely accused, go to court and clear your name. Back in the day I could even sell you insurance to protect you from such lawsuits.

    I think gomergirl is questioning how someone with the backing and support of the entire Christian community could be abused by a man in a prison cell half a world away – using the normal sense of the word. I think it is reasonable (and Biblical) to withhold judgement until hearing both sides and I think that even if we tend to believe the accuser/victim, there is the implication that the other side will be heard as well.

    I hope nobody posting would agree that the accuser is to be believed and there is zero reason to hear from the other side. We’ve all seen that happen in the past somewhere I am sure, and in my role I have seen it multiple times – and been a “victim” of it myself. Total lies eagerly believed by friends of the liar. Even the Bible references how the one who speaks first is believed until another gives their side.

  76. In the end, I don’t think that Pastor Saeed has anything to answer for until she makes a formal charge either to authorities or to the church. in the meantime, she is just jacking her jaws to the wind – my intent is not to be insensitive, but it seems that many here have set the agenda to be, 1st order of business after a time of R&R is clear your name.

  77. Surfer51 says:

    There seems to be a hopelessness in most of the realities that you have brought up.

    Not that you are hopeless about the issues yourself personally.

    It is just that there is the Sisyphus aspect overall to the bulk of the issues you high light here.

    When one speaks out prophetically, as you often do Michael, it is on seemingly unmovable issues.

    Not sure if you are fully aware of your own prophetic calling as one of the callings you have under your roof.

    I think some of the finest Christian based journalist have that as a calling.

    It certainly draws many to think about issues that they would have glossed over otherwise.

    I value what I am presented with when I come to this refuge because of my perception of your prophetic function within the Body of Christ at large.

    It is an awesome task that you have been called to so long ago.

    The fruit here over the years speaks for what I am obviously pointing out.

    You are much loved and appreciated by many you have never met nor will ever meet on this side of eternity.

    But they are your loyal readers who are being fed spiritually in ways the bulk of Christian leaders could nor ever would be capable of doing.

    Your stat counter only reveals a microscopic insight into the actual numbers of your readers who have been gently assigned to come to this place by the Holy Spirit’s drawing. .

    Much that you reveal gets re-posted and shared through other media that stat counters can’t expose.

    In other words you electronically are indeed a pastor over a very large flock that would astound you if God should ever decide to pull back the curtain.

    God in His infinite ways knows how to groom us and get the best out of us inspite of ourselves getting in the way.

    You He has presented, warts and all, as one of His favored servants who blesses His Body of Believers with reality that is not glossed and hidden over as others are want to do.

    Keep up the great work brother!

  78. Em says:

    amen to MLD’s wise words on the Abedini family… we don’t know who is abusing who or is manipulating who or even if… time to stand aside, but watch and pray IMNSHO 🙂

    still every time that abuse is discussed here, there are affirmations and wise words that must be a comfort and a benefit to some who read

    just sayin – again

  79. Michael says:

    Surfer51,

    Thank you for the kind words.
    I’m encouraged and terrified when I think of how many might read what I post…my prayer is that I’m more in step with the Holy Spirit than not.
    I’m out for a bit…doctors appointment this morning.

  80. Ellen G. White Disciple says:

    Some of the comments here regarding Saeed’s especially concerning “Jacking her jaws to the wind” shine a light on all that’s wrong with Christendom’s response to abuse in their congregations. I’ll have you know that some of the responses here remind me of how the WatchTower Bible and Tract Society deals with abuse allegations. I have family that are Jehovah Witnesses and they always require two or three witnesses in absue cases which is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. Domestic violence is often behind closed doors. Comments like MLD’s just revicitmize the woman. I see people’s point about withholding judgment but to then make insensitive comments about the wife is not Christlike.

  81. Josh the Baptist says:

    What do 6 words from MLD have to do with “Christendom”?

  82. gomergirl says:

    Julie Anne, I in no way am trying to diminish what happened to you. I am so sorry that you had to endure that pain and abuse. It is evil and wrong for anyone, especially a child to be treated that way. People like that should…. well, this is not the place for my flesh to miter out punishment…..

    But a very dear friend, a church family member and my boss is one of the people I cited. His daughter, as an adult, accused him of molesting her. At trial, it came out that she was fed information, while under some heavy pharmaceuticals, by her therapist, and in court was practically reciting paragraphs from published works. Her whole family, including the sister with whom she shared a room, and was supposed to have also been abused, categorically denied all the allegations. The daughter finally admitted that she really did not remember these things and that the therapist had coached and fed her the false memories. This is all public record, as it was followed in the local and national media at the time. The other situation I really have no leave to give details of, as it is a private matter, and not any public record has been maid.
    As a person who was taken advantage of (I refrain from the word abuse) at a young age, I understand the hesitance to come forward, and say anything. But I also know that as a 14 year old girl, I was trying to look and act older and I was to a degree, to blame for my experience. I say this not as a manipulated cowering woman being manipulated and held down, but as a realist and a person willing to take responsibility for my life and past experiences, and not looking to lay blame going forward.
    Again, this is no judgement or commentary on you or your situation, just me trying to urge you to look at the truth and reality of situations as they are, not as we assume them to be.

  83. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Sol Rod – first this is not a religious issue let alone a Christian issue. It’s a family issue and should stay such until there is something formal to discuss. I mean if he worked at a grocery store would it be a retail issue?

    As for our discussion, you a couple of days ago accused him of rape, a charge the wife has not made and you wanted him handcuffed when he got off the plane.

    We need to sit and wait – it’s a family issue.

  84. Babylon's Dread says:

    Other people not us have a role in Saeed and Naghmeh’s restoration as a family. We chose to advocate his release not adjudicate his life. That is not our place. We should shut up. Let their restoration be in the hands of others. Let their healing be in the hands of others.

    Enough already about their personal life we should stop.

  85. Ellen G. White Disciple says:

    MLD,

    You got the wrong guy, I never accused him of rape. I saw that comment and it wasn’t mine.

  86. Ellen G. White Disciple says:

    Josh,

    MLD’s attitude about this is prevalent in much of Christendom. I saw this during my Calvary days, an suspicious attitude towards women who accused their husbands of abuse. It’s also prevalent in the WatchTower Kingdom Halls. I see this attitude among some other denominations and have heard it from Christian talk radio here in the City of Angels. The men of this world have been wiser than the children of Jehovah concerning domestic abuse.

  87. Josh the Baptist says:

    You can go back to the first time it was announced here. MLD’s view has not been the prevalent one.

  88. Ellen G. White Disciple says:

    First thing a wife should do if her alleged Christian husband is abusing her is out his ass in jail and let the court system deal with him. She could them tell her pastor after the fact. Too many Christians do it the opposite way by telling the Pastor first and then sometimes getting unwise counsel. A husband who has a pattern of abuse against is family is a false brother showing no fruit of the Holy Spirit.

  89. Josh the Baptist says:

    But we aren’t sure that is even the case. The original claim was very confusing, being that he had been locked up for three years, with no physical contact whatsoever. It was an odd accusation, and like I said, we talked about it from all different angles.

    That being said, he is coming home and everyone knows about the claims. She should have plenty of avenues to pursue if she chooses to do so.

  90. Cash says:

    Being one who has commented on this thread regarding the Abedini’s personal lives, I do agree with BD that we should stop and let them have their space.

  91. Josh the Baptist says:

    While I agree, it should also be stated the Abedini’s brought their personal lives into public. If they are to have any kind of public personna going forward, (and I’m fine if they don’t), this will HAVE to be addressed openly and publicly.

  92. Babylon's Dread says:

    I find #2 to be an ‘odd’ assertion that seems to assume…

    1- that we didn’t pray for them because they were not our direct focus
    2- that others didn’t pray for them and thus have their prayers answered
    3- that there is some necessary or relevant correlation of our actions to their outcomes
    4- that when one prays for a matter we expect it to have a narrowly discernible outcome matching 1 for 1 expectations
    5- that who have the scriptures should be surprised that one person’s favor only affects their life. Joseph’s deliverance saved a nation. It is no surprise that Saeed’s deliverance might affect other lives and nations. We prayed for a kingdom outcome not merely a personal release.

    I am not sure what you were suggesting our wanting us to see.

  93. Babylon's Dread says:

    The Abedini’s personal life need be no more public than the Clinton’s. There is no necessity of public knowledge or assent in their ongoing relationship.

  94. Josh the Baptist says:

    Had the same thoughts, Dread.

  95. Josh the Baptist says:

    “The Abedini’s personal life need be no more public than the Clinton’s.”

    What?!?!

    IS there a more public couple than the Clintons? I’m not sure they have a private life.

  96. Reuben says:

    Pastor Steve is calling Naghmeh a liar. Nothing has changed here…

    Dude, she said it herself.

  97. Xenia says:

    #2 Some of us did pray.

  98. Steve Wright says:

    Pastor Steve is calling Naghmeh a liar. Nothing has changed here…
    Dude, she said it herself.
    —————————————————–
    I had a lengthy reply but I deleted it. Anyone who cares or knows me in connection to the Abedini release effort recognizes this crack (and the author) for what it is…

    I don’t keep pictures of people I call liars as my personal facebook profile picture to honor them….which I have done for more than two years until two days ago when it finally came down.

  99. Michael says:

    These are the charges she made:
    “In two emails to supporters, Abedini revealed details of her troubled marriage to Saeed Abedini, an American citizen and pastor imprisoned in Iran since September 2012.

    Those troubles include “physical, emotional, psychological, and sexual abuse (through Saeed’s addiction to pornography),” she wrote. The abuse started early in their marriage and has worsened during Saeed’s imprisonment, she said. The two are able to speak by phone and Skype.”

    You can call the combo what you want…what it boils down to is evil.
    I hope she has professional counseling outside that church…

  100. Josh the Baptist says:

    Nothing has changed here, for sure. People still pop in occasionally to assert their moral superiority over the rest of us, all the while misinterpreting simple statements, getting facts wrong, and attributing evil motives to people they don’t even know.

    Yep. I’ve noticed that for a while now.

  101. Michael says:

    This is a hot button issue for a lot of people, including myself.

    At this point it would be prudent to wait and see what unfolds and let the Abedinis make their own decisions.
    I have very strong feelings about how this will turn out, but I might be surprised.

    It’s time to let this go until they have time and we have facts.

  102. Josh the Baptist says:

    Nobody is haggling over terms, or whether any type of abuse is evil. Here is the statement that brought the pushback:

    “In my not so humble opinion, persecuted pastor or not, he should be locked up in another prison the second he steps off the airplane home. Sexual assault is sexual assault.”

    Saeed has not been accused of the type of sexual assault that would see him locked in prison. And surely, any type of assault that he is accused of would still have him go to trial before being thrown in prison, straight off the plane.

  103. Michael says:

    Josh,

    The abuse has not been defined except to cover every category she could.

    That has a lot of gravity with a lot of people.

    He is entitled to be heard.
    He is entitled to fair treatment.

    Reuben and I have both seen women in similar situations buried by the people in power…we are both involved in a situation currently that beggars description with how wicked it is.

    You can only see so much of this until you break…and some of us have seen too much already.

    I will not say much more about this situation, but I will be looking for signs that she’s being silenced.

  104. Em says:

    i don’t know if hell has frozen over, but it’s beginning to feel like we live there and it is belly deep in snow – my daughter just came in said, “the snow blower is on fire!” it was, may still be, but we’ve shoveled so much snow on it trying to smother it that we can’t see anymore 🙂
    (it’s still snowing)

    praying that the doctors have exceptional wisdom and you find favor with the health-care system, Michael… and soon

  105. Michael says:

    Em,

    We got some good news this morning…I had a cancer scare that turned out to be benign.

    Had a minor, but painful procedure this morning… getting everything cleaned up.

    It’s all good, my friend.

  106. Surfer51 says:

    Check this out Michael…

    http://shekinahfellowship.blogspot.com/2015/12/health-insurance-to-expensive-for-your.html

    My son has saved hundreds of dollars a month by dumping his health insurance in favor of this route.

    He now gets his whole family covered for a fraction of what he was paying prior to switching to this.

  107. ( |o )====::: says:

    Yay for your good news Michael!

  108. Nonnie says:

    Glad for the good medical news, Michael! Get some rest and heal up.

  109. Sister Christian says:

    Hello Erunner! Linnea! And Xenia! So good to see your words!
    Miss you all!
    Michael, glad to hear you had a good outcome at the Drs!
    Nonnie- praying your joy is full and ever fuller!

  110. Sister Christian says:

    It would seem- as this couple has gone public with accusations
    That steps in resolution should be made public as well.

    Restoration is vital.
    Hearing both sides is a given
    Sound counsel and pastoral care is essential
    The support of their family friends and church body is needed

    Where blame lies? That should be sorted out with those who have the immediate responsibility to assess the matter and take the needful steps of confession- repentance- forgiveness and restoration.

    There is no doubt that this family should be seeking to resolve and heal their own issues before parading any other matter,

    Praying they will get wise and loving godly counsel – for the glory of God and the benefit of the kingdom… And not the empires of men

  111. Josh the Baptist says:

    “The abuse has not been defined except to cover every category she could.”

    No. She actually DID define what she called sexual abuse. She specifically said that his looking at porn was abusive to her. Now, that may be true, but it is not illegal in the sense that other forms of sexual abuse are illegal. To assume anything other than exactly what she said would be pure speculation of the worst kind.

    To go along with that, I don’t need reasons for why you and Reuben feel her pain more deeply than I do. Lets not forget that a few weeks ago I was the single loudest voice speaking in her defense, and was the first to say I could no longer support Saeed.

    One week ago you were castigating her for ruining the Free Saeed campaign.

    Now, you have a right to whatever opinion you wish, and you can change it any time you wish, but spare me the guilt trip. Particularly in the case of Reuben.

  112. Josh the Baptist says:

    1 week and 1 day ago, here is what you said:

    “She finds herself with a platform now and I’m waiting to see how long it takes for her to run out of things God “told” her.
    I’m not the slightest bit interested in her piety, I want some explanations about her accusations.
    I was frankly a bit disgusted…”

    I asked why anyone would have that reaction:

    “Her claim to fame was as the wife of an unjustly imprisoned missionary.
    She singlehandedly gutted that campaign.
    Now that that is no longer her agenda she has decided that her feet still fit the platform, but she won’t speak to the things people need to know to have some clarity on the matter.
    Instead, she’s going to share with us private messages from God that fit her pietistic theology.

    No, thank you.”

  113. Sister Christian says:

    On Ellen G Whites #89

    If a brother sins against you, go to your brother
    If he fails to repent, take 2-3 witnesses…
    If he fails to hear and repent- take it before the church

    If he fails to repent- if he refuses to hear; let him be to you like a heathen….

    I fear several elements have been overlooked in the body of Christ today
    Namely: this biblical principle hasn’t been properly emphasized, encouraged and enforced

    Often abuses begin early and mildly
    Mild abuses – when brought forward early -are often brushed aside by leadership and excused . This only serves to reinforce and Allows the abuse to magnify … When Abuse escalates … the abused party has little to no confidence in church leadership to properly implement biblical mandates
    The abused party is often simply told to pray – read their bible more….

    Unfortunately; in cases where the Matthew 18:15 mandate has been short circuited/neglected….
    The protection of local law enforcement agencies are the best recourse for the abused.

  114. Xenia says:

    The couple has not gone public with the accusations, only half the couple has.

  115. Tim - Doulos says:

    @107 – Glad for the good medical news, Michael!

    Sister Christian – good to see you here! I hope things are well.

  116. Michael says:

    Josh,

    I’m not trying to lay a guilt trip on anyone.
    My guess is that if you knew the things that I know and that Reuben has been through in the last couple of years you’d be a tad more understanding of his rage.
    Maybe not.
    I do understand it.
    I’m having a hard time containing my own rage on some matters that I’m not free to write about at this time.
    I don’t think there’s a whole lot left to say about the Abedini situation at this point.
    My guts tell me there will be a whole lot to say later.

  117. Josh the Baptist says:

    Michael, with all due respect, my guess is that you have no clue what I know and have been through for the last couple of years, right?

    Reuben hates Jesus. Says it in multiple public forums, using the vilest of language. As one who has experienced physical and sexual abuse as a child, been through the ringer with multiple churches over the last 20 years…I can honestly say, no, I do not understand why anyone would think and speak the way that he does.

  118. Michael says:

    Josh,

    That’s ok.
    I’m not criticizing you.
    I do understand him and I choose to love him in spite of our differences.
    That’s my choice and you are in no way bound by it.

  119. Josh the Baptist says:

    I just avoid him. It’s only when he comes here to make false statements that I interject.

  120. Steve Wright says:

    My repeated and final point, made all the more relevant as we are asked to understand all Reuben has gone through to justify his false slander and rage at the CC pastor here (while noting Josh’s point about most of us don’t know the extent of what some of us have gone through or experienced in our lives, recent or otherwise)…

    is that we might also try to pause and remember all that Naghmeh and Saeed have gone though the last few years too….even as it is publicly noted he is out and no new update yet, while predicting the future road for the family in print (and why).

    I was once one of Reuben’s biggest supporters on this blog. Publicly and regularly.

    Not sure if you all have noticed but there have been several news updates on the released prisoners – just saw the reporter shown outside, with family, media shouting a couple questions and taking pictures. Him releasing a written statement about wanting to catch some Golden State basketball and the new Star Wars movie.

    Nothing of the sort yet on Saeed. Not even a released picture to my knowledge. I can’t imagine what sort of mental and physical shape he must be in, nor Naghmeh for that matter.

    But I’m pretty sure he didn’t deny Christ….

    I continue to pray privately and publicly for Naghmeh, and given I think I am the only one posting here who kicked out a wife abuser from his church this past year, I take exception to a Christ-hater telling me I would call any woman a liar, and find zero justification for such a charge or its support on this blog.

    That is all.

  121. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    People have short memories. Reuben’s problems were all self generated beginning when he wanted to be a superstar pastor, uprooted his family and moved to the east coast to sit at the feet of his idol CC pastor Chad.

    It didn’t work out, no pot of pastor gold at the end of the rainbow, burned his bridges and returned home broken.

    Everyone supported Reuben, supported him to a fault – even, well into his trashing of everything here and with the church in general.

    And the beat goes on.

  122. Michael says:

    Peter denied Christ.
    Christ restored him at a later date.

    Now, everyone has had their say about Reuben…and that’s the end of it.

  123. Xenia says:

    Steve, on our local paper’s front page there was a photo of three of the released prisoners (which some of us DID pray for, btw) and Saeed was not one of them.

    Maybe he’s in a hospital, getting medical care.

    Lord have mercy.

  124. Michael says:

    I don’t know what photos of the former prisoners have to do with anything, but there was one with Abedini and a congressman taken in Germany, I believe.

    If there is a deeper meaning in this, I missed it.

  125. Xenia says:

    No deeper meaning. I am concerned about his health.

  126. Em says:

    read the link @ 128 and thot that is sounds like they know that there are things to be worked out in Saeed’s life now, but read the link @ 129 and just had to copy this quote: “He was arrested in September 2012 and sentenced to eight years in prison on charges of evangelizing, a crime, the Iranian judge ruled, that was “threatening the national security of Iran.” hmmm… threatening national security?

  127. Em says:

    along with pictures confirming the fact – this is sorrowful, not as bad as the killing and imprisoning of Christians, but sad…
    “St. Elijah’s joins a growing list of more than 100 religious and historic sites looted and destroyed, including mosques, tombs, shrines and churches. Ancient monuments in the cities of Nineveh, Palmyra and Hatra are in ruins. Museums and libraries have been pillaged, books burned, artwork crushed — or trafficked.

    U.S. troops and advisers had worked to protect and honor the monastery, a hopeful endeavor in a violent place and time.

    “I would imagine that many people are feeling like, ‘What were the last 10 years for if these guys can go in and destroy everything?'” said U.S. Army reserve Col. Mary Prophit, who was deployed there in 2004 and again in 2009.

    Built in 590, tragedy struck at St. Elijah’s in 1743, when as many as 150 monks who refused to convert to Islam were massacred by a Persian general. In 2003 St. Elijah’s shuddered again — this time a wall was smashed by a tank turret blown off in battle. Iraqi troops had already moved in, dumping garbage in the cistern. The U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division took control, painting over ancient murals and scrawling their division’s “Screaming Eagle,” on the walls. Then a U.S. military chaplain, recognizing its significance, began a preservation initiative.

    Roman Catholic Army chaplain Jeffrey Whorton, who celebrated Mass on the monastery’s altar, was grief-stricken at its loss.

    “Why we treat each other like this is beyond me,” he said. “Elijah the prophet must be weeping.”

    from an article on Fox news website

  128. Rachel says:

    I logged in to see what you had to say about Saeed’s release. I am very relieved that you are taking the spousal abuse issue seriously. Thank you so much. There are so many wives of men in “ministry” who have suffered in silence, because of the things they are taught about submission, and Christian marriage. I am happy that Saeed has been released, while at the same time, I am impressed by the courage of his wife to speak up about what has been going on. Thank you for believing and supporting a victim. Perhaps this will empower other women in the church to step forward and reveal what their lives are like, behind closed doors.

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