Things I Think

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85 Responses

  1. Babylon's Dread says:

    Measured, sober and compassionate.

  2. Nonnie says:

    Grace, truth and hope. Well said, Michael.

    I’m shocked that a man is allowed to remain on staff, as pastor at a church, after a domestic violence conviction.

  3. Michael says:

    Nothing shocks me anymore…and that is sad.

    Thank you, BD.

  4. filbertz says:

    The more I watch the Church lurch through these days, the more I marvel at the love of Christ.

  5. Disillusioned says:

    #2!!!
    You must submit even though your husband has disqualified himself as a pastor (some would say as a husband). After all, he’s specially anointed, dontcha know.

  6. dswoager says:

    There are those out there that claim the name of Christ who codify beating their wives into submission. As Michael said, there is not a lot out there that shocks me anymore.

  7. Josh the Baptist says:

    I pretty much agree with all of this. I only want to speak on #8.

    They are all guilty of lying to get Saeed out of prison. They misled us in many ways, and used us to get his freedom.

    I don’t blame them. I would hate to be put in that ethical dilemma. Do you lie, or do you let your spouse rot overseas?
    The only odd thing is that after all the work she put in, she realised she didn’t want to be in a relationship with Saeed any more. She has that right, no matter whether he abused her, she found a new boyfriend…or she just decided to cut it off for no reason at all. She can do that, and doesn’t owe us a thing.
    Of course, we don’t owe her anything either.

    It just makes you more leery of getting involved in any causes that aren’t related to your own immediate family. Shame.

  8. Sher says:

    Brilliant! Thank you again for your insight. This one really got me :

    When we read the Bible, all the heroes have deep character flaws and sins. We pretend those don’t exist even though God recorded them for us. When we see sinners in real life we pretend that there is no evidence of redemption in them. We are so very twisted and lack so much understanding of what the Gospel really means.

    Lord forgive me……

    Thanks, Michael!

    Sher

  9. Steve Wright says:

    I thought I read somewhere (multiple times in fact) that Saeed was not on staff at CC Boise when he went to Iran….I would not begin to know where to try and look that up so just putting it out there…for confirmation or rebuttal either way.

    I went to India as a CC Costa Mesa ordained pastor in 1998, who was serving in a couple ministries of CCCM at the time but A) was not on staff and B) was going to India “solo” to work with the Indian people with zero connections to any American missionary groups, Calvary or otherwise….

    I assumed his trip to Iran was basically the same sort of freelance….especially given his connections within the country

  10. Michael says:

    Thank you, Sher. 🙂

    Steve,

    We do not know if he was officially on staff at CC Boise.
    Saeed was ordained by something called the American Evangelistic Association.
    I do not know if CC Boise ever credentialed him.

    I do know that for a time he was on the payroll there and he was working through there for Iranian missions.

    I do know that Bob Caldwell exercised authority over him in the matter of his pornography issues.

    I find this a moot issue as in any case he was allowed to use CC Boise as a base.

  11. Michael says:

    Josh,

    I have no problem at all if the lies were to facilitate his release.
    Rehab is pretty well thought of by most these days.

  12. Josh the Baptist says:

    Now, fundraising with false stories could be criminal. But that’s somebody else’s dog to chase.

  13. Steve Wright says:

    We know from sources that Caldwell briefly put Abedini under discipline for this, a time our sources put at 31/2 to 4 months.
    —————————————–
    Do you know what this even means?? In a Calvary context especially…Maybe communion ban?

    I ask while wholeheartedly agreeing with your #2 on the list. The idea “I am better now” after just a couple of months is ludicrous. I know in drug/alcohol addictions anything less than 2 years sobriety is practically nothing in terms of the long road of recovery…

    As to the ACLJ, I don’t see why they would be involved anymore – their work is done. Frankly, I hope that makes them more willing to answer some direct questions about Naghmeh’s claims….

  14. That Guy Over There says:

    Michael,

    i’m with Steve. CC grabbed onto Saeed for it’s own reasons or misunderstandings but my understanding is that he is or was AOG.

    Can you clarify?

  15. Michael says:

    Steve,

    In this case the discipline was that for the time period given, Abedini was not allowed to do the training sessions with Iranian pastors that was happening from CC Boise.

    He was restored to that work after the time period, according to my sources.

  16. Steve Wright says:

    Now, fundraising with false stories could be criminal.
    ———————————————
    Yep. Not to mention from the spiritual side to manipulate people to prayer for things that are lies. We all only have so much time for prayer, probably wish we prayed for more people than we do so if people were being asked to pray for someone’s life to be spared when in fact he was watching movies online is spiritually criminal

    Remember when Naghmeh released her abuse claims, the ACLJ had a 3 point reply of what they know “for sure” – the first 2 were obvious (He is an American being held for his faith) the third they continued to say was “his life is in danger”…that they knew this “for sure”

  17. Michael says:

    TGOT,

    I clarified that earlier as to his ordination
    I do not know if he has other credentials since then.
    George Wood of the AoG was evidently involved in this as well.

    The fact is that he was working from CC Boise and submitted to the pastor of CC Boise.
    You can make your own application from there.

  18. Josh the Baptist says:

    Oh, Steve, lying to a whole bunch of people like that is awful…but it got the guy home. Like I said, they got me. They duped me. All good. BUt, don’t bother asking for anything else.

  19. Michael says:

    If someone I loved was in a similar situation there is nothing that I wouldn’t do to get them home.

    If this were my wife or child I would sin boldly if need be and repent later.
    Granted, we all know I lack sanctification…

  20. Steve Wright says:

    Josh, I am separating the public effort from the prayer effort. Yes, the public effort helped I am sure in some way to get him home. Whether truth or lies at the base of it all…

    But the prayer effort…I’ve seen that before…people praying for someone they think is in great need when that need was not at all accurate.

    God has a reckoning for stuff like that if you ask me…

  21. Josh the Baptist says:

    No, I’m with you Michael. I’d lie to you in heartbeat to get my wife hom from Iran. However, I’d no better than to start asking you for prayer or understanding, or anything. I’d lie with the knowledge that when it was over, my relationship with you was done, and I’d have to just be satisfied that my wife is home.

  22. Michael says:

    Josh,

    If you felt the need (or were instructed) to lie to me to save a loved one I would not think twice about forgiving you and extending you all the mercy needed.

    Frankly, it wouldn’t bother me a bit.

  23. Josh the Baptist says:

    Steve, I’m sure God is not happy with the lies and manipulation. They’ll have to live with that.

  24. Steve Wright says:

    I guess what I am saying is this…even though I am a Christian, I don’t need the lies.

    Tell me to yell at Obama and Kerry and my local Senators and Congressman not to negotiate with Iran until our people are home and I will. Encourage me to sign a petition and ask friends to sign it then I will. That’s what got #freesaeed going in the first place.

    Weekly prayer updates that are all lies, meant to rip our guts out, shared with the rest of the Body of Christ….that makes my blood boil.

  25. Josh the Baptist says:

    Michael…good point. And you are right. I’m no longer bitter that we were lied to.

    Again, the fundraising part is not my problem, or concern. Just ethically, yes, I forgive. “saeed is being tortured” got a lot more people active than “Saeed is uncomfortable.”.

    Don’t blame them a bit.

  26. Michael says:

    Josh,

    The fundraising issue is another kettle of fish that I don’t have a clue as how to start tracking.

    That issue could prove problematic for both of them and a lot of other people.

  27. Josh the Baptist says:

    Steve, I do understand. I will say for my part, that I didn’t get active until the lies got thicker. I’m afraid I’m more indicative of the average Christian.

  28. Steve Wright says:

    We’re also assuming the ACLJ was not just as shocked as we are….one question I have is what access THEY had (as his lawyers) to him in prison.

    The entire narrative was that Naghmeh only got updates when his dad visited once a week and if he could not visit they had no updates….That made sense to me as I could not imagine the Iranian government letting ACLJ lawyers talk to Saeed on a regular basis…so I assumed Naghmeh gave the ACLJ updates on Saeed’s health and status as she got them from the Dad…that the ACLJ’s work was being done here – by her side before Congress, the UN and so forth.

  29. Josh the Baptist says:

    No, I haven’t made any claims against ACLJ. When I say “they”, I just mean that more than Nagmeh knew about the lies. AT least her and Saeed were in on it.

  30. Kevin H says:

    Michael, good measured article today.

    You guys already know my thoughts in regards to the lying and dishonesty from my writings the past week. I certainly understand the desire to do and say whatever you think you have to, to get him home. If I was in the same situation, I’m not sure what I would end up doing. And despite the fact that Saeed ended up getting released, I just believe that God is going to more greatly honor honesty and full reliance on Him rather than us resorting to whatever manner we think is needed to try to get the results we want.

    In the end, I think all the dishonesty has taken the already mess of a situation and made it even worse.

  31. Josh the Baptist says:

    Kevin H, I think you are right, but I typically think even the smallest of things into my own hands.

  32. Steve Wright says:

    I’m open to input on this as I am crafting a polite, respectful, but inquisitive letter to ACLJ

    1) Did he have access to a phone/computer and if so, how often.
    2) If so, did he have access to internet sites normally censored in Iran. Like social media.
    3) As her lawyer, did the ACLJ have any part in the email updates (i.e. approve them, help write them) and were they aware when and what she wrote when she did write.

    Those are my key questions so far. I am staying completely clear about marital issues as I know the ACLJ will not comment there anyway.

    If anyone has a question for the ACLJ please note it here…

  33. Kevin H says:

    Steve,

    As an addendum to your first question, if Saeed did have access to a phone/computer, was ACLJ aware of this during his imprisonment and when did they first become aware?

  34. Xenia says:

    Here’s a thought. All those lies made the Iranians out to be much worse than they were. How many people will now have a less than honest view of Iran? I understand that Iran is an oppressive, anti Christian country but why whip up false hatred? Isn’t this what we accuse the Muslim countries of doing against America?

  35. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    That’s a painfully good question…

  36. Cash says:

    Michael,

    “When we read the Bible, all the heroes have deep character flaws and sins. We pretend those don’t exist even though God recorded them for us. When we see sinners in real life we pretend that there is no evidence of redemption in them. We are so very twisted and lack so much understanding of what the Gospel really means.”

    This is so beautiful to me. God’s grace and mercy are wide and deep, just like the oceans. Thank you for writing this.

  37. Josh the Baptist says:

    Xenia brings the wisdom. Ouch.

  38. Michael says:

    Cash,

    Thank you for being aboard, my friend.

  39. Eric says:

    Are there people in equivalent situations to where Saeed was? ie imprisoned for the faith by a government that can be negotiated with? If so, Maybe Our advocacy should be for all of them en bloc, rather than just one getting all the attention.

  40. Josh the Baptist says:

    Eric, for me personally, having a name and a face with wife and kids is what made it personal enough to get involved. I see the videos of 100’s being beheaded and feel powerless, but when I see one real individual, I felt like I could make a difference.

  41. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    So if Saeed quits calling himself a Pastor is it still ok for churches to have him come stand in their pulpit tell his story and walk away with money?

  42. Josh the Baptist says:

    He won’t be the worst scoundrel making the church speaking circuit.

  43. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh, would you be disappointed in your church if they invited him for a spaking fee?

  44. Michael says:

    It’s only a matter of time before someone invites him to speak and the floodgates open.

  45. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I have a hunch the Lutherans won’t buy in. But I doubt any Lutherans would invite him if he was clean as his story has no value in the preaching of the gospel.

  46. Steve Wright says:

    his story has no value in the preaching of the gospel.
    ———————————————
    That’s ludicrous. If the truth is this guy was beaten, tortured, and repeatedly pressured to deny Christ and refused…then there is tremendous value. Might as well rip out a chunk of your New Testament if you think that.

    Especially for all you Lutherans who think someone can deny the Lord and walk away from salvation….

  47. Steve Wright says:

    That’s not to say though that he should be on the speaking circuit while his marriage is in shambles……

  48. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    First off he was not arrested for his faith. He was arrested for breaking Iranian law in his work with his schools and or orphan places.
    He was not arrested for being a Christian.

    Perhaps you misread Naghmed’s emails also since I have not once said a Christian can lose their salvation – so you must have misread me.

    Btw, the gospel is Jesus lived and died the perfect life for you.

  49. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I take back the 2nd paragraph _ I was reading while driving across the desert.

    But if he told his story, can he end by saying “and this is this is the gospel of Jesus Christ for you.”??

  50. Judy says:

    I am greatly encouraged by the fact that many great men of faith were horribly flawed. I love David. Don’t forget, though, that as a result of his sin there were consequences that affected his family. When his son raped his daughter, the other son told her not to take it to heart. Isn’t this what the church says to the wives of their fallen men? Don’t be hard on him, it’s not that big of a deal? And yet consequences come. And they will come in this situation, and although Saeed may deny abuse, his sins will find him out for years to come. There is a price to pay. God forgives but we do have consequences. On another issue, sex addicts don’t get well inn four months. That is purely laughable.

  51. Steve Wright says:

    Xenia @34 – the flip side of your coin is that Iran is every bit as oppressive as we imagine and Saeed got special treatment because the Iranians were being bribed to let him have the phone and internet access…

    then the question becomes, where did THAT money come from.

    I know all this starts sounding hyper-conspiratorial but one of these hyper-conspiratorial scenarios unfortunately happens to be the truth….

    (If the Iranians treat their prisoners well, then why on earth would it be so important to let the rest of the world not know about the phone so they don’t take it away????)

  52. Ryan A. says:

    The ACLJ has a lot of questions they need to answer, beginning with: 1) Why did you tell Naghmeh to keep the cell phone’s existence a secret? 2) How much of this fundraising and petitioning and prayers based on exaggerations and lies? 3) Why dump Naghmeh so quickly when it seems pretty clear the situation has not been resolved?

    Just listened to Calvin’s Corner. Great thoughts.

    Michael, I hope you have enough information to make progress on this case and help this family get the help they desperately need.

    I am not at all sure we should be incensed that there are conflicting narratives from Naghmeh. She no longer wanted to “live a lie.” Why not support her attempts to clear things up as much as possible?

    Seems her handlers have as much to answer for as many assume she herself does.

  53. Steve Wright says:

    I’ll admit my thought here…

    if true that Saeed had unlimited daily internet and phone access for the last 3 years as is being reported, if it came with the full blessing of the Iranian government, I think the Iranians would have been broadcasting that fact far and wide as to how good they treat their prisoners compared to the Great Satan’s Gitmo for example….there is no advantage for them to keep it secret as they were trying to convince the rest of the world to end the sanctions and finalize this nuclear deal.

    No…that one is a bridge too far for me. Now, greasing the palms of the guards and keeping THAT quiet…I can believe. I can also believe the whole truth is nothing like the report, even with bribery.

  54. sinner and saint says:

    I attended a small lead pastor’s conference (maybe 25 guys) in ’07-’08 (can’t remember) hosted by CC Boise…during that conference Bob C introduced Saeed and Naghmeh and had us pray for Saeed’s endeavors in Iran…it was certainly my impression that Saeed was being supported and sanctioned by CC Boise.

  55. Josh the Baptist says:

    MLD – My church would not hire him. I’d have a problem if they did. Personally, I’d love to sit down and talk to him, and never even mention his wife or any of that. Any way you cut it, he’s gone through a fascinating ordeal.

  56. Is listening to his story any different than listening to the story of the other guys who were imprisoned and released? You know, those secular job holders who didn’t beat their wife?

  57. Jim Suehr says:

    I rejoice he has been delivered and is home . As far as his personal life with his wife I pray as a divorced and remarried guy, that had small children at the time, that they do make it back to one another . That the Lord deliver him from this bondage in his flesh and that the Lord give his wife the grace/forgiveness in her heart again and again while the Lord does a work in him . God says he hates divorcee and I can tell you the scars that it leaves on those involved including the children is life long . I pray Mrs. can have the strength and Mr. to be whole and their family whole .

  58. jlo says:

    God doesn’t hate divorcee, he hates the reasons for it.

  59. Andrew says:

    The only reason I can see for the Iranians giving Saaed a phone is so they could monitor all his phone calls. Why would they do that? Only reason I can think is so they can manipulate him and use his personal life against him somehow. Strange as it is, I think in a way this is what most on this blog are doing now. As I said before give this man a break. He is still recovering from being in prison. Stop bringing up things from 9 or 10 years ago in his life. I’m not even so sure how accurate all the supposed facts are. Folks jump from looking at pornography to sexual addiction to spousal abuse to church discipline to divorce faster than the jack rabbit on a date. I see no value in this other than smearing Saaed’s name in the mud. Now I agree that probably some are using Saaed for their own agenda and marketing and making him a hero but that is another serious issue but for now leave Saaed alone.

  60. jlo says:

    This whole sordid story has me a bit dumbfounded. There are things that simply don’t add up; I can spend my time speculating and guessing, what is truth and what is not, too little profit.

    I feel used and manipulated, but also called to continue to pray for both of them and especially the children. Honestly, I don’t feel like praying for the adults, it’s easy to pray for the children. This is not the first time I’ve been called to pray for someone I didn’t want to. Obedience is its own reward, even if done reluctantly.

  61. Steve Wright says:

    Is listening to his story any different than listening to the story of the other guys who were imprisoned and released? You know, those secular job holders who didn’t beat their wife?
    ——————————————-
    Not one person has said Saeed should be on the speaking circuit MLD with all these issues. Not one solitary person.

    Your hypothetical in the generic was that staying true to Christ in the face of persecution is unrelated to the gospel. Ludicrous. (Now of course you will return saying that is not what you meant and blame us for bad reading skills)

    Now your next comparison, if the guys with secular jobs stayed true to Christ, then yeah, no difference whatsoever. If they did like the Fox News guy a few years ago who “converted” to Islam in order to get along with his captors and eventually gain freedom (without of course sincerity in this “conversion”)….well, even YOU can tell the difference. Not that I blame a secularist for doing and saying anything it takes to stay alive. This life is all they have. But no, they should not speak at any churches.

    I don’t care what a guy does for a living or even why he was arrested – if Muslim captors beat and pressure him to forsake Christ, and he (or she) stays true to Christ, yeah, would love to hear his story.

    Question. Do you personally know anyone who has ever been beaten for Jesus’ sake? Not know ABOUT them through your Lutheran newsletters. But a personal friend you have eaten with, prayed with, who was beaten, or raped solely for faith in Christ.

    If you do, I don’t know how you can write what you do and if you have no clue – then maybe silence would be wise.

    Good night all.

  62. jlo says:

    On a side note, Matthew Trevithick, has given an interview to CNN about his 41 days in Evin prison, it is rather informative.

    The interview I am most interested in is the one that Jason Rezaian will give, especially after seeing the episode he did with Anthony Bourdain in Iran, shortly before Jason was imprisoned. Jason’s wife was also arrested at the same time, but released shortly after her arrest, while Jason was not.

  63. It’s funny Steve, I did not mention these other guys being Christian nor being beaten for their faith or lack of it. How about if they were unjustly arrested, held captive and beaten just for being an American or westerner.

    Back to why Saeed was arrested – was it for his faith, that he was simply a Christian in Iran – or was it because he did what he had been told he could not do when setting up a school / orphanage?

    Let’s see if I can slight you like you try to do me. So, is that something you got out of your Calvary Chapel newsletter?

    You should note that I never toss things back at you because of your denominational affiliation – but you do so to me in almost every post. Why is that?

  64. Andrew says:

    MLD, at least Steve’s moniker isn’t Chuck Smith Disciple. This might be why he attacks you since you wear your denomination with every post.

  65. Andrew, and???

    Are Lutherans the only folks who like Luther stuff?

  66. I think we need to lighten this up a little. These 2 people are just low life knuckle draggers (I know the line – but they are loved by Jesus) who have had their 15 min of fame.

    Watch this – this is funny, but only myself, Bob Sweat and Em (perhaps a few others) are old enough to remember and appreciate.

    http://www.chonday.com/Videos/funny-mexican-guy-with-groucho-marx#.UfVbmBN44

  67. “Your hypothetical in the generic was that staying true to Christ in the face of persecution is unrelated to the gospel. ”

    If he couldn’t even stay true to his wife, what makes you think he was staying true to Jesus? Perhaps he was staying true to a made up Jesus — because the real Jesus would have made him contrite and repentant in prison. Perhaps the reason he could still send deadly chills to his wife while in prison is he had no faith in the real Jesus.

    So, is that the gospel you preach – stay true to Jesus? The gospel I hear in church is how Jesus stays true to me. – a little lesson from me to you on the proper distinction between law and gospel — amen.

  68. MLD, I like your post. If Saeed ever shows up as a speaking guest at Calvary Chapel it will further damage Calvary’s reputation. I also was touched by Michael’s post which reminds us that all of us deserve grace and forgiveness. I wish Saeed well, but I hope I never see him speaking at any church anywhere, unless he is sharing his struggles with pornography and domestic abuse, and helping other men to overcome these issues. When I went to Calvary for 35 years those of us who sat in the pews were taught that your first ministry should be to minister to your spouse and your own family. I was baptized as a baby in the Lutheran Church that my Swedish grandparents in Iowa attended. My family stopped going to the Lutheran church when I was 8. I never set foot in another church again until I walked through the doors of Calvary Chapel. I am looking for a new church so perhaps I will try visiting a Lutheran church.

  69. Em says:

    amen to Michael’s prayer at point 9

  70. Em says:

    i don’t know about this prisoner, Abedini, but according to Amnesty Intl. Iran isn’t very nice to their prisoners
    https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2015/07/irans-staggering-execution-spree/

  71. Jtk says:

    While I can say I agree with you that nothing can shock me–a recent conclusion–I reserve the right to be shocked in 2016.

    2015 was so much more shocking than the previous decades…

  72. Jtk says:

    2 Corinthians walk into an Iowa meeting room…

  73. steven says:

    Bride of Christ,

    I hope you do check out a Lutheran church in your community.

    I can only share my experience — My wife and myself were locked into a toxic CC for several years. A big part of what got us out was my wife’s Scandanavian Lutheran background. We’ve been Lutherans now for several years and love it for what they stand for and what they preach.

    My recommendation is to find a church affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA). The one we go to is just great.

    Most importantly, I belive, look for a church where God’s grace in Christ is the centr of the worship. Churches that came out of the Reformation seem to be the best at that. But as its said, YMMV.

  74. Steven, Thanks so much for sharing how you have been blessed at a Lutheran church. I will definitely look for an Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. It’s been almost a year since I’ve been to church and I miss the fellowship. God Bless

  75. JonnyB says:

    Pastor’s wives often suffer behind the scenes “for the ministry.”

    “As a woman, you worry about bread.

    You worry about meals.

    I’d see all these people eating when Calvary’s coffers were full.

    And we were poor. [Calvary founder] Chuck Smith never paid Lonnie.

    One day, Lonnie came home and said, “You’ll never believe it: they hired somebody full-time to help pastor Chuck.”

    That blew him away.

    Chuck and Kay Smith never came by to ask if I needed food.

    I went to the same grocery store she did; it’s just that she went through the front door, and I went to the dumpster in the back so that I could feed people.

    There was a disparity between what people believed to be happening and what was happening.

    I think Lonnie [*Frisbee] paid a huge price for that disparity.

    But it’s not like what happened to Jesus on the cross.

    It’s like we used to say: we haven’t bled yet.”

    “People would come from all over the world to sit in our living room and talk to us like we were some kind of gurus.

    Lonnie and I would look at each other and break out giggling.

    They would come all this way to hear us say love is the door you open to reach God.

    But how about feeding them?

    How about loving them? Churches lock their doors.

    My heart goes out to gay people. Lonnie would say he got saved from that, but when you walk out of the world of the spirit, you walk into what you were in before.

    But that’s no more of a sin than making the children of God live on the lowest rungs.

    This is the thing people have to be shaken up over…”

    “It’s not like I stayed the true course. Lonnie never left me; I walked away…”

    Quotes from Connie Frisbee wife of Lonnie Frisbee.

  76. See, if Lonnie worked for free then he was abusing his wife in only a different way by making her go dig in dumpsters for the family meal.

    Perhaps there is a pattern here with certain organizations.

  77. Babylon's Dread says:

    JonnyB

    Sources please… I would really like to see your source, not by doubt but by interest

  78. Josh the Baptist says:

    Hey Dread, I remember seeing those quotes a while back. Think they were from this article:

    http://www.ocweekly.com/film/ears-on-their-heads-but-they-dont-hear-6399415

  79. Anne says:

    Ah, the flashbacks… Remembering my days while the wife of a CCCM house pastor @ Mansion Messiah (post Shiloh) as a dumpster diving diva. Sigh. Grateful memories of a kind m-i-l who when she got wind of it, went to the supermarkets we did our diving at and got the produce managers to set stuff aside for her to pick up for us. Know that many of the musicians dumpster dove too. CS spoke of it at church as a good example of our love of the Lord, which filled our hearts with joy. Seems so pathetic now in retrospect.

  80. Bob says:

    There are a lot of things I don’t get…but let me hone in on one aspect. I, and other men have been hammered in some of the fundamentalist circles I have been for struggling with porn at times in our life. I’m a very flawed person, and I struggle with my faith regularly. Because of my flaws I would never want to be a missionary, or a person in a position of authority. I’ve known a couple of people who were honest about their failings and the system hammered them. So when I read of a guy who gets promoted AND was convicted of domestic abuse my blood goes through the ceiling. In some parts of Christianity if you are in, you are in…and you can get away with a lot. In other parts of the faith those who are honest, and try and live a faith filled life and open up…well they are hammered. In the end a lot of this is a game, and people know how to work the system.

    How sad… is that what faith is supposed to be about?

  81. Michael says:

    bob,

    I hear you.
    we’ve made confession and repentance more deadly than the sins in some circles…thank you for your transparency.

  82. charles says:

    “He who is without sin cast the first stone”

    No he should not be in such a position of ministry, he should focus on restoring his life that God gave him before he can start telling others how to live.

    He should not be teaching the word of God, he should be like the Hebrews believers, starting all over again on spiritual milk.

    Think I was the only one who didn’t clap and cheer at church when they announced he was on his way home.
    Should I feel bad about that?
    God’s grace abounds much, but we also should be policing ourselves.

  83. Jack Abeelen says:

    I know Naghmeh fairly well but would not assume to speak for her, though I greatly admire her. I do however want to thank you for your clear and concise assessments. It is nice to put into a few words what runs through the minds of many. Appreciate it Michael.

  84. Alan says:

    @ Xenia, comment #34:

    Amen, a thousand times amen. In my book, on the list of countries that are really our enemies, Iran is pretty far down the list.

  1. February 2, 2016

    […] Blogger Michael Newnham addresses what Pastor Caldwell knew in his recent article: […]

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