Naghmeh Says ACLJ Told Her To Lie, Says Saeed is Under Church Discipline

You may also like...

282 Responses

  1. Josh the Baptist says:

    Thanks for compiling these Michael. This one just gets more bizarre by the day.

  2. Michael says:

    Thank you for keeping us informed, Josh…I haven’t paid enough attention lately.

  3. Jean says:

    A smuggled smart phone? On the phone 6-8 hours a day? How was he charging the phone every day? What plan was he on? Come on…that would make the Iranian prison guards and officials the most incompetent one could imagine. Does anyone believe this?

  4. Kevin H says:

    Copying my comments over from the other thread:

    This story really has become so surreal. Never in a million years back when we were advocating for Saeed would I have imagined a scenario like this playing out.

    So if Naghmeh is now telling the truth (and I am inclined to believe her for the most part), she was regularly being abused for hours each day. And this went on for a significant portion of Saeed’s imprisonment. And then she was instructed to lie about the phone and her contact with Saeed. So she had to take the abuse via the phone, and then she had to lie about the phone in order to protect her abuser. Unbelievable!

    And yes, Michael, I too would be very interested to know who was financing the phone so that Saeed could have it and regularly use and charge it.

  5. Michael says:

    Jean,

    It’s been affirmed elsewhere that this was the case.

  6. Kevin H says:

    Additionally, in Saeed’s interview on Fox News the other day, it sounded like he was arrested and imprisoned for working with churches in Iran. We long had been told when he was arrested this last time that he was only working with children’s orphanages homes and not churches. That he was previously warned about working with churches and he was abiding by his agreement to not do so. Now in his Fox News interview, it sounds like the story is different. So while it was still an unrighteous arrest and imprisonment, this would seem to be one more significant detail that we were lied to about.

  7. Kevin H says:

    And now this is only third or fourth hand information, but there are those on Naghmeh’s Facebook page who are making the charge that Saeed wouldn’t even listen to the leaders in those Iranian churches. That they wanted him to leave because his presence was endangering them but he wouldn’t listen to them. I have no idea if this is true or not. But with the complete mess this story has become, I wouldn’t be surprised if it were true. This whole story has become so saddening and utterly flabbergasting.

  8. Michael says:

    “During his imprisonment and torture in an Iranian jail, Pastor Saeed Abedini continued to evangelize, helping to convert 10 inmates from Islam to Christianity during his first year in captivity, he said.”

    He must have really been busy those last two and a half years to get to a thousand…

    Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/saeed-abedini-10-prisoners-came-to-christ-in-first-year-of-imprisonment-158775/#CcsJW1rDjF4sH8MX.99

  9. Kevin H says:

    Jean,

    It would seem that money talks.

    And I want to know who’s money was doing the talking.

  10. Jean says:

    So, he was surfing the net in between beatings?

    My B.S. Detector is at a 10.

  11. Michael says:

    “Abedini’s sister Zeebandeh, who lives in Virginia, and his parents, who split time between Idaho and Iran, joined him for the reception. Abedini credited his father with being his only connection to the outside world during his imprisonment. His father paid Iranian prison guards to give his son a cell phone, allowing him to communicate from behind bars.

    “It was illegal, so we were very careful that no one found out, because if they did they would hurt us,” Abedini said.

    The phone was very expensive, but he had no other choice, he said. Once he paid off the guards, Abedini’s father came by periodically to charge the phone’s battery.”

    http://www.worldmag.com/2016/02/saeed_abedini_please_pray_for_my_marriage

  12. Kevin H says:

    We need the ACLJ or others who supposedly knew about the phone to step up and speak the truth. Publicly admit that it is true or call out Naghmeh for her lies. But, again, I am inclined to believe her.

    The ACLJ and others played out this story very publicly. Now there is much in question to the truthfulness of the story we were being told. They need to speak to the truth now. They cannot pretend like this isn’t happening.

  13. Kevin H says:

    Well, there we go. Saeed himself admitting to the phone.

  14. Jean says:

    Well I guess it’s RIP for the guards now that the cat’s out of the bag. How many guards is that? Multiple shifts; weekends and holidays; vacations; etc. That’s a lot of secret-keeping.

    Michael, don’t take my scepticism personal. I simply don’t believe the narrative.

  15. Michael says:

    I’m trying to find another article where he said the guards didn’t care as long as they were paid off.

  16. Michael says:

    Jean,

    All the parties involved have copped to the fact that he had a phone and could communicate.
    That’s no longer in dispute.

  17. Jean says:

    I could buy that. But that’s not smuggling; it’s paying for your amenities.

  18. Paige says:

    Thank you Michael, for your continued reporting on this situation.
    It is baffling to say the least.
    And now, Bob Caldwell resigning…. is there some weird connection?
    God knows…
    Utterly bizarre.
    To think the Church all over the planet was begging God for Saeed’s release.
    Who ever dreamed we were all being lied to?

    Luke 8:17 For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light.

  19. Bryan Frei says:

    Well, it’s a good thing that there is not a one CC Pastor that needs a good Matthew 18 whoopin’!

  20. JTK says:

    Never built a Lego mosaic for a public cause before…..took apart my Saeed one.

    Uggggghhh.

    Got lots o my FB friends on board. Which I rarely use FB for that purpose. And I will be VERY slow to do so again.

  21. This is a no brainer – they are both lying and they are both playing the “christian public.” They are playing out their divorce porn to our addiction for “reality”. Look at us, a slow trump day so we scrounge around for our daily fix.

    What will satisfy that – I know, the Kardashians!! — ooops, I mean the Abedinis.

    They are trash and we have shown once again, we are able to stoop that low also.

    Forget this crap – go read a book.

  22. Sepideh says:

    I wanted to address my comment in particular to those who were wondering how saeed could get away with having a phone in jail without being caught. He did indeed have a phone as he admitted (he also mentioned that his father visited to make sure it stayed charged), and as someone who is familiar with how things work in Iranian jails, I can vouch for the fact that the Iranian regime knew and were more than happy to listen in on saeed’s conversations. In fact it was confirmed to me by someone on the inside of this case that the regime was listening in on the couple’s conversations as the interrogators later referenced private things which had been communicated between them on Skype.

    It is a long story, but I was familiar with saeed’s true character years before naghmeh’s email was leaked. Many Iranian Christian leaders were aware of various disturbing aspects of his character. But it would be neither safe nor wise for them to speak out on this issue publicly. While few knew of his pornography and abuse until it was leaked by someone to whom naghmeh had sent a confidential email, many were aware of his arrogant and glory seeking endeavors in Iran while behaving in an indiscreet manner. He was urged by church leaders to leave Iran during his last visit as he was endangering the church and his behavior was indiscreet (especially for a married man) and the government had called the church leaders to warn them that they would arrest saeed if he did not leave. He was warned but refused to leave. Saeed’s concerning behavior existed years before he even met naghmeh. In the Tehran church he had the reputation of a new and reckless believer who was trying to seek glory and a name for himself and position of leadership. He was never a pastor in Iran. If you go on the American Evangelistic Association website you can find where they state when saeed became involved with them. They have an association through which you can receive a pastor’s license by mailing them a fee and filling out a background check. Either saeed did not include his domestic assault conviction in the section where they require crimes to be listed, or the organization did not care. There is public police record of his 2007 arrest for domestic violence and 90 day jail sentence. While unfortunately I must remain anonymous on a public post, I am open to sharing further details with the author of this article. Enough is enough and I will no longer sit silent as this poor woman is slandered while her abuser runs around parading himself all over Capitol Hill and TV. Especially as he was the one to threaten naghmeh with divorce if she did not continue spresding his false image to the media. He was counting on being a celebrity upon return and was livid with naghmeh when he heard she’d sent an email which was leaked. He’s desperately scrambling now to discredit her and regain his image. I pray the truth of this situation becomes more widely known soon.

  23. Michael says:

    Sepideh,

    phoenixpreacher@gmail.com if you want to correspond.

  24. Andrew says:

    Sorry but I am inclined to be of the opinion of MLD @ 21 but a little kinder. When Naghmeh goes on record and says Saaed is under church disicpline via the Matt 18 process and the main pastor just puts in his resignation, I know both sides are playing the public. Good for Caldwell for riding out in the sunset. This isn’t Caldwell’s problem and I would have done the same. Its just a joke.

  25. Josh the Baptist says:

    Of course, MLD is right, and this has a very TMZ / tabloid pulp to it. No doubt about that.

    The other side to it, though, is that ACLJ purposefully inflated the harsh conditions of Saeed’s imprisonment, while raising funds based on those details.

    Number three – her final quote up there about reconciliation proves that she is either a liar, or completely delusional. Reconciliation will NEVER be achieved by broadcasting your spouses deepest, darkest sins to hundreds of thousands of people. Now, I’m not saying she is wrong for doing so, I’m saying that she is not seeking reconciliation by doing so. She either needs to stop lying to herself or drastically change her tactics.

  26. Andrew says:

    Yes, I agree Josh. The spouse of the one being putting under church discipline should not be the one broadcasting it all over the public especially if you ever want reconciliation. Now don’t get me wrong, I believe Naghmeh, but It makes me wonder if Naghmeh may herself be under church discipline for her inappropriate tactics in using the public this way. But my guess is we will never hear from the pastors in this saga especially when the senior guy is jumping ship.

  27. dswoager says:

    There is an argument that could be made that the final step of the Matthew 18 process is to uncover the sin that the person has thus far been so unrepentant of, and that the shame of making it public would finally lead to repentance. Given that this hasn’t happened, and seems unlikely to, how do we go about treating him like a pagan or tax collector?

  28. Kevin H says:

    I so very much this story could go away and that Saeed and Naghmeh could get things resolved in private, completely out of the public eye.

    However, I believe it is unfortunately necessary that this story stay public for at least one reason and possibly a second.

    As Josh said, the ACLJ was raising awareness and funds based on the story we were being told about Saeed. It now appears we were being lied to about at least some of the details surrounding Saeed’s imprisonment which made it sound worse than it really was. And so the ACLJ seemingly purposely used this deception to pull on the heart-strings of good-hearted Christians (and possibly even some non-Christians) to increase their visibility and funding. This scenario is wracked with all kinds of legal and ethical and moral questions. Since the case was made so public, the possible malfeasance of it cannot now be ignored.

    Secondly, Saeed has expressed in at least one interview (if not more) his desire to write a book and go around the country speaking in churches. If Naghmeh is being truthful in her allegations of abuse and that Saeed has rebuked church discipline that was to be applied to him, then the Church needs to know this if Saeed tries to prop himself up as a writer and preacher to the Church. The Church would need to know that this is a man they should have nothing to do with (from a leadership or platform standpoint) until if and when Saeed would repent and demonstrate for a significant period of time that he is truly a changed man.

  29. Andrew says:

    dswoager, I think we need to love them both and treat them both as unbelievers until they both repent.

  30. Josh the Baptist says:

    I’ll treat them like people I don’t know on the internet. Like the Kardashians.

  31. Kevin H says:

    I so very much *wish*

  32. dswoager says:

    Kevin H, your last paragraph on Saeed is more or less what I was getting at.

  33. Steve Wright says:

    Nobody has ever said that his beatings and torture were lies. Not her. Not ACLJ. And he certainly has detailed them since he got out. Question One. Point blank – Naghmeh, are you saying he was not beaten and tortured by the Iranians during this imprisonment?

    Now, do I believe (much) of her story – yes. The phone’s presence is not debatable. However, what on earth is wrong with ACLJ telling her not to mention the phone or personal contacts? Saeed’s family made the phone happen and knew who to bribe (again if we are to believe – I have yet to find the internet smart phone that only needs to be charged every couple of weeks after being used all day, every day). What are the alternatives? Him having no contact with the outside world? Him being killed if the higher ups found out about it? Is that what she was willing to risk when she did tell the truth? How is she strong enough to risk her husband’s life but never strong enough to just not answer the phone when he calls?

    It is clear these years have warped her theology (or she never had it) and that both these two were far too immature to ever be serving the Lord as they were. The Sapphira comparison is bizarre (does she really think she will be struck dead from God), and it is OK to avoid the truth to save human life (hiding Jews in Germany, Rahab hiding the spies, the Egyptian midwives). The whole “fear man instead of God” does not really apply when your lawyer is saying don’t share this publicly because the father of your children might die if you do.

    But not telling people the whole truth to protect her husband in an Iranian jail is far, FAR different than proactively writing the emails she wrote us all – starting this personal movement of her own by email, sharing her anniversary love letters etc. Question two, did the ACLJ force you to write these emails too? Tell those audiences all those stories around the country?

    I certainly do not see a lot of confession on her end either. “I am guilty of letting the ACLJ manipulate me” is not really a confession. And as I said above, the manipulation was to save her husband’s life and/or help him avoid further beatings.

    And did Bob Caldwell tell her point blank “I was taken off guard by Saaed’s presence at church”…or is that a woman pissed off to see the hero’s welcome he got when apparently he simply was allowed to thank the church that fought for his freedom, and thus her interpretive spin on his reaction to make it sound like Saaed is persona non grata at Boise even as he is allowed to address the church. Maybe Bob Caldwell can speak for himself and maybe if he chooses not to, there is a reason for that too (because maybe he has something to say about BOTH of them)

    Likewise, after two weeks of silence, is her sudden flurry on FB a couple days ago have any connection with the fact that Saeed is making the rounds meeting and thanking the politicians and Christians who fought for his freedom? The pictures and hand shakes she was having for 3 years?

    This is a classic divorce story. Both sides are very much in the wrong. Both sides spin the facts to their own best advantage. Both sides leave out a LOT of “the whole truth, nothing but the truth” and it is both very sad and looks like it is not changing anytime soon. SO let’s bag on his ordination papers as if that is relevant.

    Her “liking” some comment that compared the Iranian prison with a hotel speaks volumes to me.

  34. Babylon's Dread says:

    It is so seldom in my life that I put energies into a cause instead of focusing upon the daily work of ministry.

    This will likely keep me on the normal path.

    I would not want to be in the shoes of anyone in this story. So I am still inclined to give these guys a break to some degree.

    Pressure does all kinds of things to us.

  35. Steve Wright says:

    Agree Dread @34. Which is why it is a shame to see the taking sides in this. You do what you need to do to survive and not deny Christ in an Iranian jail. You never abuse your wife even in an Iranian jail. They are not contradictory.

    Saeed posted a picture of a woman who worked hard for his release – thanking her. And was bombarded by people saying “How come you thank this woman and don’t thank your wife who stood by you all this time!” Just trashing the guy. He stayed silent in response. (A couple others did speak up)

    Of course the very first person he publicly thanked was Naghmeh – these people in the Naghmeh fan club are ignorant and the passions that are based on their ignorance has them sinning by posting false witnesses. But of course you don’t see Naghmeh setting them straight either on this fact……

    I’m glad he is home. I think he has every right to make the rounds and thank people for his release. After that though..they both need to go away and heal.

    And Dread, I also agree about the focus on the daily work of ministry. I have had enough heartbreak when the truth is known about people in the church that are living lies…people one KNOWS, eats with, prays with etc.

    Reading about the Coys, the Tchividjians, the Abedinis…too much….it’s just too much.

  36. Ryan Ashton says:

    The idea that we need to treat Naghmeh as an unbeliever until she repents, or that she is at all wrong in this, is completely laughable to me. Completely, utterly laughable.

    That right there is the reason why women don’t go forward to report abuse.

    She has very good reason to expose Saeed publicly and do what she is doing. The ACLJ use lies to market and operate with impunity. Franklin Graham wants to publicly shame her into a cabin with her abuser for couple’s counseling. The wider church world thinks his is now a private matter and that she should shut up.

    Frankly, I’m glad she is speaking up and causing all the chauvinists to squirm. It reveals the conditions under which domestic abuse is not only allowed, but where women are told they are in sin when they do what needs to be done for their own safety.

  37. Josh the Baptist says:

    Ryan – She lied and manipulated people for money for two years.

  38. Kevin H says:

    The not wanting to tell about the phone while Saeed was in prison is certainly understandable in order to protect Saeed’s life. I would not have expected them to say anything about it during that time period.

    However, there is a difference between not saying anything about the phone and regularly trumping up the narrative about having no contact with Saeed and having all this concern because you don’t know what is going on with him and what kind of condition he was in. Naghmeh was regularly pushing this narrative in her Facebook postings, speaking appearances, and apparently in her emails, too. It was not right for her to do so. If memory serves me right, the ACLJ was also pushing this storyline, and that is where I see an even bigger problem because they were using Saeed’s story to raise funds. If they were purposely pushing deceptions in telling the story of Saeed while raising funds for his cause, then this is a major problem.

    Another saddening aspect to the phone is that Naghmeh had to lie about the very phone that was being used to allegedly abuse her. A phone that was not critical to Saeed’s well-being or his chances of gaining release from prison. But yet, since he had it, it had to be lied about to keep him safe.

  39. Sepideh says:

    Considering that nobody on this thread is Iranian, nor knows Saeed or Naghmeh personally, nor are familiar with how the Iranian jails function, nor are familiar with the tendencies for glory seeking recklessness, pornography addiction and a “preserve image at all costs” mentality among some new “believers” in Iran such as Saeed (though the same could likely be said for some people associated with Christianity at any stage of their walk and in any country), I would hope that you give consideration to some of the things I shared in my comment above. I personally know his parents and siblings, his attorney, and several people at the church (closed in April 2014) in Tehran, Iran that he attended. Saeed’s character was corrupt long before he met Naghmeh or ever stepped foot in the U.S. And again, he was never a pastor. As I can not share my identity I can not fault you for questioning the validity of my statements, but you should at least consider that there is a whole other world filled with a host of presuppositions of which you are unfamiliar. Listening to people try to make sense of this story based off of the few fb comments or posts they happen to see is like listening to a 95 year old try to explain how to use an ipad. I am not blaming anyone for being confused or wanting answers, but one should tread with caution before further victimizing victims of domestic violence and other abuse. This is why victims are so terrified to speak. If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask.

  40. Steve Wright says:

    The idea that we need to treat Naghmeh as an unbeliever until she repents, or that she is at all wrong in this,
    —————————————————————
    Ryan..those are two very different statements.

    The first is one I have yet to see anyone say (I sure was not saying so – maybe I missed a comment here)

    The second is without dispute.

  41. Steve Wright says:

    If memory serves me right, the ACLJ was also pushing this storyline
    ————————————-
    Kevin, I am not so sure on that. Her lawyers usually focused on the torture and the need to get him out.

    Sepideh,

    For the record I believe you and thank you for your contribution. Just so you know though, speaking for myself, I had a few personal emails with Naghmeh, spoke to her once in person, followed her for 2 1/2 years as she sent me emails including the ones where she confessed everything in November…..I live in southern california where I have pastored for many years and while I would never say I am an expert in any culture other than mine own, I have certainly met those from other cultures and gotten a little education including in fact, Iran with a dear sister who has shared and counseled with me for years and has shared her own battles with her Iranian family.

    Would I say I “know” Naghmeh? No, that would be an exagerration. But some of us are not “trying to make sense of this story from a few FB comments” either my friend. We have been deeply, personally involved for years.

  42. Sepideh says:

    Steve,

    Thank you … and yes, some on this thread (at least in your case) have some connection with her or with the country and have done further research than just observing the comments. Good clarification! And I am very grateful for the fact that you’re genuinely trying to discover the truth.

  43. Josh the Baptist says:

    Another question that must be answered is was he really beaten – were they actually afraid for his life on the several different occasions that it was reported as such.

    Because if that is the case, I give him a full pass for being verbally abusive over the phone.

    Not for the abuse that may have happened prior to his imprisonment, but yeah, if I’m being tortured, thinking I’m the next to die…I may not be so polite over the phone.

  44. Kevin H says:

    Steve,

    I don’t have the time or will to do a thorough search, but here are a couple examples where the ACLJ was putting forth the narrative, using Naghmeh’s own writings, of having little or no contact with Saeed and how hard that was on her and the family.

    http://aclj.org/persecuted-church/a-family-divided-another-year-behind-prison-bars-for-pastor-saeed-abedini

    http://aclj.org/persecuted-church/pastor-saeeds-latest-heartbreaking-visit-with-his-parents-in-prison

  45. Michael says:

    We will all come at this story from different angles based on personal opinion and past experience.

    My deep inclination here is to believe Naghmeh based on prior experience with spousal abuse in the church and how the church deals with those in leadership who are abusive.

    If my inclination is accurate, she will be hung out to dry for not going with the program.

    I will go wherever the truth leads…but I will be completely honest as to how I currently see this mess.

  46. Steve Wright says:

    Kevin (and Josh) you will note the repeated emphasis on his beatings and torture. With Naghmeh denying so much, the fact she has not denied that (yet) does say something but I would like to see her go on record on it.

    I too give a whole lot of “quarter” to anyone being tortured and refusing to deny Christ (which I might add does speak to a level of Christian maturity even if he should not have been in leadership)

  47. covered says:

    Sepideh, are you aware if there was a sending church or organization that partnered with Saeed in sending him to Iran?

  48. Sepideh says:

    I am not aware of any church officially sending him to Iran. He and his wife attended the Calvary Chapel in Boise at that time, but I don’t believe he was ever officially on staff. He received his pastor’s certificate through the American Evangelistic Association which will mail you a certificate if you send a fee and fill out a form. You can go on their website and see their president’s statement regarding Saeed’s release and when he first became involved with their organization.

    Saeed’s family lived in Iran and he had many friends there. I will offer some further background below:

  49. Kevin H says:

    Steve,

    I agree the ACLJ’s greatest emphasis was on the torture and beatings. And, no, that aspect has not been questioned by any involved party. But the ACLJ did in fact further the narrative of very limited contact with Saeed and how much of a toll that was on Naghmeh and Saeed and their family. This is where I believe is a problem.

  50. Steve Wright says:

    Sepideh,

    Can you explain for us the internet access in Iran, especially what is available in an Iranian jail.

    Way before the Abedini’s the narrative has always been Iran censored the internet when it comes especially to social media sites and also pornographic sites – from wikipedia through the state department we hear these things

    I ask with genuine curiosity. A phone is one thing, even access to Skype…but there is wifi in the jail? And there is access to twitter, facebook and porn sites in Iran? Is there ANY censorship of the internet or is it sort of hit and miss or what?

    Thanks in advance.

  51. Andrew says:

    And did Bob Caldwell tell her point blank “I was taken off guard by Saaed’s presence at church”…or is that a woman pissed off to see the hero’s welcome he got when apparently he simply was allowed to thank the church that fought for his freedom, and thus her interpretive spin on his reaction to make it sound like Saaed is persona non grata at Boise even as he is allowed to address the church. Maybe Bob Caldwell can speak for himself and maybe if he chooses not to, there is a reason for that too (because maybe he has something to say about BOTH of them.

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Yes, Steve, We may not agree on some things but you are spot on here.

  52. Xenia says:

    Meanwhile, many thousands of Christians of are still being imprisioned, threatened, and killed in the Middle East. N & S are home safe and sound, enjoying the freedoms and riches of life in America. I know where my concerns and prayers currently lay.

  53. Sepideh says:

    There is a lot else that could be said with regards to conditions in Iranian prisons, availability (by bribe) to a host of items including phones which normally wouldn’t happen in U.S. jails, the authorities turning a blind eye for the benefit of listening in on these phone conversations, PR firms in the west exaggerating abuse and torture and/or frequency to keep the story trending.

    Sadly many in the U.S. turn a blind eye to persecution cases unless they’re highly celebritized, politicized and exaggerated. Some organizations have come to accept this and exaggerate in order to keep the cause going.

    Saeed was a widely publicized situation as he was a U.S. citizen and the Iranian regime knew they could not get away with treating him as badly as they would a regular Iranian.

    While there is a tremendous amount of abuse and torture which can take place in Iranian jails, it is usually directed at political dissidents. There are indeed some Iranian Christians (definitely not U.S. citizens) who have suffered abuse and torture in the jails, but the prison conditions are often not as bad as people in the west imagine. Let’s just say, anything can happen and the govt is unpredictable with when it will administer abuse in prison.

  54. Sepideh says:

    Steve, there are internet filter disablers which almost all Iranians use to get around the filters. Pornography is just as big a problem in Iran as it is in the U.S. and just as big a problem with Iranian Christians as it is with American Christians.

    Many of my friends and loved ones have spent time in Iranian jails. I don’t know what kind of phone or internet connection Saeed had. But I know there are technology methods for portable hotspots and portable chargers that wouldn’t need to be charged as frequently as a lone phone. I don’t know how often his father visited, but Saeed explained himself to World Magazine that his father came often to make sure the phone was charged.

    Based off of my experiences, nothing Naghmeh has said with regards to what went on with Saeed in prison is unbelievable.

    The Iranian government wouldn’t have minded Saeed having a phone in jail as they could listen in on his conversations. Bribes are very frequent in Iranian jails. Access to all sorts of normally contraband items is common. In fact, long before Naghmeh mentioned any of this, someone on Saeed’s legal team mentioned to me about Saeed and Naghmeh skyping together and how the govt mentioned later some of the things they’d discussed privately, so they clearly knew he was communicating via skype. Saeed wasn’t a big threat to the regime, but they kept him to make a statement, make a show of strength, embarrass Obama, and as collateral for their nuclear deal with the U.S.

  55. Andrew says:

    Sepideh, Your insight is helpful. However, even if Saaed was in a 5 -star Trump Casino hotel with buffet everynight that served as the Iranian jail, the point that I hope is not lost on everyone is that he was not free to return to his home in United States for years. I think that would be hard on anyone. Now that he is back maybe he is realizing he doesn’t have as much home as he thought with his wife separating and the “so-called” Matt 18 church discipline being enforced on him that hasn’t been confirmed yet.

  56. Steve Wright says:

    “I was on the phone with Saeed 6-8 hours a day. Saeed admitted to having a phone in prison. I knew exactly how he was doing every single day
    —————————————————-
    The only thing I know…truly know…is that there is not a smart phone in the world that keeps its battery power for a week if it is used 6-8 hours a day. Sepideh reported (and it makes sense) that his father would have to recharge the phone.

    So either

    a) On this point Sepideh is in error (nothing person implied) and actually he could charge the phone in prison as needed because the conditions were such to allow it. Either in his cell, getting a guard to do it etc.

    b) His father was allowed to visit a couple times a day (rather than the once a week with sometimes a couple weeks at a time in between) and so could daily keep recharging the phone as needed.

    c) It is a gross exaggeration to say “6-8 hours a day…every single day”

    Those seem like the only 3 options because no phone stays charged if used throughout a day for phones, videos, internet access….

    More lies…from someone…whichever the answer.

  57. Michael says:

    For the record, I asked Saeed point blank for an interview and others asked him to interview with me as well.
    He chose not to respond.

    Evidently, the fact that we invested what we did in his release wasn’t worth his time.

  58. Steve Wright says:

    Thanks Sepideh @54 – do you have the link to the World magazine article?

    (Saeed explained himself to World Magazine that his father came often to make sure the phone was charged.)

    I wish to read that.

    (As an aside, I just read the CT article linked in this blog post and Saeed does not claim he led 1000 people to Christ in jail. Read it again, more carefully)

  59. Steve Wright says:

    Yes Michael @57. He doesn’t owe us a lot of info about his personal marriage issues but he most definitely could and should give an explanation on some of these imprisonment issues given the claims now being made.

  60. Sepideh says:

    Andrew,

    I don’t believe that you are aware that Naghmeh did not leak the information about Saeed’s abuse or addictions publicly. After he threatened her with divorce if she did not continue peddling the exaggerations he was insisting that she spread to the media about his situation (he was sure to remind her how painful a divorce would be for their children), she was under a lot of emotional duress, and e-mail some close contacts explaining why she needed to take a break from the spotlight. Someone leaked her email to the press.

    This was followed by a firestorm of hate and disbelief towards Naghmeh, only perpetrated by Saeed after he was released and has continued in bitterness towards her and unrepentance. Everyone here is seen demanding answers, and yet whenever she provides an answer to someone’s question on her fb post she’s blamed for dragging her husband’s name through the mud. The lady can’t win. Either suffer silently while he and others spread disbelief of what she had said in her private email and in follow-up posts after the resulting attacks on her credibility. Or, answer the demands for answers and provide clarification. Each time she’s done this, some have only further attacked her for what she has said. Saeed was livid with her for exposing his abuse and addictions and ruining his plans of returning to the U.S. a hero with book contacts, media interviews, etc. all lined up. Saeed was a selfish and arrogant glory seeker in Iran and despite his imprisonment, that has not changed. He has remained unrepentant for his abuse to Naghmeh, he was the first to threaten her with divorce, and he continues only livid and bitter against her for having exposed him.

    Additionally, I’m sure you are aware of the 2007 conviction and 90 day jail sentence in Boise for domestic violence. As I’ve heard some still referring to the abuse as a “rumor.”

  61. Sepideh says:

    Steve,

    Here is the link to the World Mag article you asked for:

    http://www.worldmag.com/2016/02/saeed_abedini_please_pray_for_my_marriage

  62. Michael says:

    http://www.worldmag.com/2016/02/saeed_abedini_please_pray_for_my_marriage

    Saeed is allowing his captors to make the claim for 1000 converts…I think it is still a backhanded way of puffing his numbers.

    The more I dig, the less I believe anything this guy has to say.

  63. Andrew says:

    Michael, he may respond eventually. If I were him I would want to get the conditions and the exact understanding of the Matt 18 process that supposedly is in affect before I take on this kind of interview. If Bob Caldwell isn’t saying anything and quite frankly allowed Saaed to address the congregation to thank them for praying for his release than why would I believe he is under the last stages of the Matt 18 process? It just doesn’t make sense to me.

  64. Michael says:

    It makes perfect sense to me.

    This guy has been presented as a modern day martyr and if Caldwell refused to let him speak, then all hell breaks loose.
    This isn’t difficult to fathom at all.

  65. Michael says:

    He won’t interview with me.

    He and his people have figured out that I would grill him like a bratwurst and I’m not interested in making him a hero.

    This is now all about politics and money.

  66. Josh the Baptist says:

    “Naghmeh did not leak the information about Saeed’s abuse or addictions publicly.”

    How many people would have to be on the list before an email is considered public?

  67. Steve Wright says:

    and e-mail some close contacts explaining why she needed to take a break from the spotlight. Someone leaked her email to the press.
    ————————————————
    Sepideh, there I must correct you. As those on this blog know, I and a mailing list of thousands were all sent that email. And the followup one.

  68. Michael says:

    Furthermore, if past experience is any indicator, he’s not under a formal edict of church discipline because most of these churches don’t have one.

    He’s been told to shape up or ship out and he’s choosing not to shape up.

  69. Steve Wright says:

    Michael, his captors made the claim. His claim specifically is to ten people I believe in the jail, and witnessing to others.

    And they did not make the claim in the context of his imprisonment (note he cites this was said to him through the first 6 months)…rather the claim seems to be in the context of his work in Iran which got him arrested.

    Which most definitely could be true (or not)…but again, I think there is enough here to not put the claims of the Muslim enemies as his boastings….in my opinion.

    Enough here other than that…

  70. Andrew says:

    Who told him to shape up or ship up and what has Saaed done recently other than thank the church for praying for his release? Seriously, Saaed may be a monster and maybe a lot of baggage in his past but lately I haven’t seen him saying much other than not responding to an interview request. Am I missing something here?

  71. Michael says:

    I’m aware his captors made the claim.
    The way we know this is that he told us so.
    Pure braggadocio in my opinion.

  72. Michael says:

    Andrew,

    His is (allegedly) an unrepentant abuser of his wife and a porn addict.

    At this point, I’m not sure how you missed that…

  73. Steve Wright says:

    Sepideh, thanks for the link. Looks like the recharging the phone by Dad rests on the word “periodically” but in any event, 6-8 hours of use a day every day sure seems like a stretch for any battery I have ever seen. He would have to be using the thing while it was plugged in for some of that time…maybe his cell was equipped for that too.

  74. Em says:

    i think we should be smart enough to know that whenever a person’s personal life is intentionally put on public display, we the public are being played
    doesn’t mean we can’t pray, but how much and how long should be guided by the Holy Spirit’s nudging, nothing else… but, not always black and white, i know

    just sayin

  75. Sepideh says:

    Andrew, the last step instructs that the church be told, and if they don’t listen to the church to be treated as an unbeliever. Saeed had been rebuked by several church leaders and still would not repent. Given that, do you have a problem with Naghmeh having confided to close contacts the history of physical abuse, ongoing verbal abuse and addiction … this, only after he threatened her with divorce if she wouldn’t continue peddling his self-glorifying lies?

    Just because the pastor allowed him to thank the church for their prayers does not indicate that he was dismissing his sins.

    In addition, pastors and churches are known to struggle and often fail in how they handle these situations. So even if the church did not handle it properly or not enact the last stage of Mat 18, it doesn’t mean that victims must remain forever silent.

    Dealing With Sin in the Church — Matt 18

    15 “If your brother or sister[b] sins,[c] go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’[d] 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

  76. Andrew says:

    Michael, like I said, everyone’s got a past. Is Saaed abusing his wife now? Is he using porn now? Really the only voice I hear currently are echos from Naghmeh’s facebook page. I just wonder how long that is going to go on. Apparently forever because the platform now has shifted from trying to get Saaed released to helping other women to stand up against abuse. None of this is about reconciliation though.

  77. Steve Wright says:

    My last post for awhile on this (unless there are comments)

    As a pastor, although not involved in deep marital counseling, I have spoken to and seen plenty of troubled marriages, sadly. My experience which I think most every pastor will agree with given that there are two people involved.

    1) Some involve both spouses wanting to make the marriage work and wrestling with how that can be possible given their present differences.

    2) One spouse wants to make it work but one is really just going along for a time because he or she already has one foot out the door and in the divorce attorney’s office. He/she has given up on the marriage every being restored because he/she does not have the desire or want to make the effort to change anything, no matter what the other person might do.

    3) Neither spouse really wants to make the marriage work anymore, but they sure want to get their licks in (in Jesus name of course) against the other to anyone who will listen – ESPECIALLY the pastor

    How the couple acts during those times makes it crystal clear to the pastor over a little bit of time which of the three categories that particular troubled marriage might reside. They almost always will, especially initially, SAY they are in category one – they both want to make it work. But time shows the truth

    But it’s like flipping a coin. Your results will be 2 heads, 2 tails, or 1 heads and 1 tails (and either coin can be either of the two).

  78. Steve Wright says:

    do you have a problem with Naghmeh having confided to close contacts the history of physical abuse, ongoing verbal abuse and addiction …
    ——————————————-
    I don’t have a problem with that at all.

    I do have a problem with what she actually did though…in an email blast to anyone who had ever bothered to sign up for it.

  79. Sepideh says:

    Or even emailing a large list of contacts … regardless .. do you have a problem with that considering the conditions I just listed?

  80. Michael says:

    There’s a fourth category that I have lived.

    The abuser wants to keep or gain position in the church while still abusing his wife and family.

    If they are gifted enough, the church will provide cover for them and assist in sliming the victims.

    My father was an abusive bastard…and his first sermon in my home town was about how evil his fifteen year old son was.
    Furthermore, in a a patriarchal church in a patriarchal society it’s always the womans fault for lack of submission and temptations she created in him to sin.

    Been there, done that, have the literal scars.

  81. Sepideh says:

    Steve,

    There is no way that Naghmeh can begin the process of marriage counseling until Saeed is repentant … which he remains to be highly bitter and unrepentant. Second, Saeed was the one threatening Naghmeh with divorce .. not the other way around.

    She has now (wisely) filed for separation … If they end up divorced I will not be surprised. As Saeed has remained from his beginning years with the church in Iran in early 2000s an arrogant, unrepentant glory seeker, and shows no signs of repentance.

    A woman can not “work things out” with an unrepentant abuser.

  82. Josh the Baptist says:

    ” this, only after he threatened her with divorce if she wouldn’t continue peddling his self-glorifying lies?”

    Which lies had she been peddling?

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

    And Jesus said to His disciples, “Go forth and become celebrities to your gatherings. Tell stories of your sacrifice, hardship, your dreams and visions while you are in captivity for breaking the law, as you abandon your wife and children…”

    …oh, wait,

  84. Andrew says:

    There is no way that Naghmeh can begin the process of marriage counseling until Saeed is repentant … which he remains to be highly bitter and unrepentant. Second, Saeed was the one threatening Naghmeh with divorce .. not the other way around.

    _______________________________________________________________________
    How do you know that Saaed is not repentant and how do you know he is highly bitter and unrepentant? Quite a statement to make. About the divorce thing, I have heard couples say that quite often but I usually just dismiss it because it was said inappropriately in a fit of rage and probably in Saaed’s case while he was in duress in an Iranian prison.

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

    …meanwhile, the non-celebrity driven churches are faithful to live the liturgical calendar, celebrate weekly services, teach of the glory of God, worship Him, serve their communities.

    …hmmm

  86. Sepideh says:

    John the baptist (interesting name btw) .. the narrative that he was a saint … the exaggerations surrounding his case … he was giving her talking points of what to spread on his behalf which were not accurate. In submission and dependence and desperation she did this for a long time, but she has publicly repented for these lies and for listening to man and doing this rather than listening to God and doing what was right.

  87. Josh the Baptist says:

    She claimed the ACLJ told her to say those things.

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

    Both Saeed and Naghmeh need to disappear off the evangelical/charismatic celebrity radar, get real jobs like the rest of us and work out their differences among family & friends, :: like the rest of us ::

  89. Sepideh says:

    Yes Andrew that is quite a statement to make … which is why I did not make it lightly.

    I know his parents and siblings personally .. not to mention many who attended church with him in Iran .. and a host of Iranians who have known him long before he ever met Naghmeh.

    I can assure you that he is unrepentant and bitter towards Naghmeh.

  90. Josh the Baptist says:

    G is absolutely correct with that last statement.

  91. Steve Wright says:

    Sepideh, To be clear, I am not taking Saeed’s side here and have said before they both ought to get a divorce.

    I am speaking about actions (which as we know speak louder than words). I have seen people who desperately want reconciliation with a spouse who has no desire to repent. And I have seen how those people act in public. They don’t act like Naghmeh has been acting, even to a much smaller audience than that which Naghmeh currently has.

    Now, Naghmeh may write that above all else she wants reconciliation and she may be right in explaining why she has not seen repentance…but her other actions on facebook do not speak to a person who really does. That is my 20 years of pastoral experience speaking…and is my opinion only.

    And yes, I do have a problem with her emailing thousands of people with that bombshell news, being as vague as she was in those emails, and given the 2 1/2 year history of her emails she had previously sent those same thousands of people, left unremarked upon (to this day).

    But I was correcting your narrative. You said more than once “a few close personal contacts and it was leaked”…I corrected with the facts…and now it is “so what”

  92. Sepideh says:

    John the B, she has said that both ACLJ and Saeed were giving her talking points and etc. to spread.

  93. Josh the Baptist says:

    “I know his parents and siblings personally”

    His sister is travelling with, and promoting him right now. Surely she is not your source on hi s lack of repentance?

  94. Steve Wright says:

    G is absolutely correct with that last statement.
    ————————————
    Amen

  95. Josh the Baptist says:

    It’s JOSH…JOSH the Baptist.

  96. Sepideh says:

    *sigh

    This thread so clearly delineates the dilapidated state of the American church with regards to abuse cover ups. Heartbreaking. No wonder so many victims stay silent.

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

    Thanks Josh & Steve.

    Peace

  98. Josh the Baptist says:

    “she has said that both ACLJ and Saeed were giving her talking points and etc. to spread.”

    Where? I have a link and a quote above where she blames the lies on ACLJ. All she ever said about Saeed was that he asked her to do things to get his freedom that she could not do. She was never specific as to what those were.

  99. Josh the Baptist says:

    Sepideh – this isn’t about abuse cover up and you know that.

    She was abused. She has separated from Saeed. That is great, and she has the right to do so. No one here has said otherwise.

  100. Steve Wright says:

    Sepideh, just a heads up. I think everyone joined me in appreciating your take and what you have shared but when corrections are met with “so whats” and when little digs at posters names start coming into discussion it is sounding more and more with each post that you have a dog in this hunt other than the dog of absolute truth.

    Your 96 solidifies it.

    Some of us have been here for YEARS.

  101. Judy says:

    Jesus wept.

  102. Michael says:

    I do believe that this is about covering abuse and not only covering it, but diminishing it’s impact on victims.

    Saeed has great political and economic value to a group of people who wish to use him to further their interests without any regard for the state of his soul or family.

    He has denied the allegations, Franklin Graham as much as denied the allegations, and all these questions are stalling the gravy train.

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

    Sepideh,

    Michael Newnham has not remained silent and has given voice to many who the church and individuals have sought to silence.

    Please connect with Michael privately. He has integrity and is faithful to do the right thing.

  104. j2theperson says:

    I don’t think it was inherently wrong for naghmeh to email the people she did about the abuse she was suffering. When you abuse your wife you don’t really have much claim to privacy or politeness in how you are responded to. If an abused woman wants to tell the entire world that she’s being abused then fine. Go to it.

  105. Michael says:

    Thanks, G.

    We’re corresponding and I think this person is a faithful witness.

  106. Andrew says:

    I’ll go out on a limb here and plainly state that I believe Naghmeh is a victim but I also believe Saaed is as well. They are not only victims of each other. They are also victims of their own sins but they are victims of the power brokers that represent each of their causes. Saaed’s support is obvious with Franklim Graham and the ACLJ. I’m not sure who is representing Naghmeh but I’m fairly confident someone with some serious clout is managing her media campaign as well.

  107. Michael says:

    I see no evidence that Naghmeh is being “managed ” by anyone…I see a lot of evidence to the contrary, actually.

  108. nathan priddis says:

    Sepideh,

    You have an interesting name. Fascinating really, when you consider how you have shown up. Like light appearing at dawn. Literally. 🙂

    You also both talk and think like an American. You communication ability is better than mine, but also have a low level of education.

    And female.

  109. Josh the Baptist says:

    Everyone here says Nagmeh was right to separate, and will right to divorce.

    I will agree with J2 that Nagmeh can tell the world that she was abused, and is well within her rights in doing so.

    I do not believe the path she has chosen will lead to reconciliation. (I also don’t care if there is no reconciliation.)

    I know for a fact that a ton of lies were told in this case and it hurt everyone’s credibility. This was all about , FOR ALL OF US, a Christian trapped in prison overseas. Not about an abused wife, abuse in the church, or the cover up of such. We were ALL involved because we thought we had a brother being persecuted in Iran.

    That script has been flipped. Much of what we believed was lies, most of which came out of the mouth of Nagmeh. Now, those of us who question particulars of that narrative and aren’t just willing to forget that tons of lies were told, are told that we are covering up abuse. That we are the reason women don’t come forward.

    Convenient.

  110. nathan priddis says:

    @108 Typo correction. “but I (nathan) have a low level of education”

  111. Andrew says:

    Michael, than thats great. It is one less source that Naghmeh is being abused and a victim by then.

  112. Sepideh says:

    Thank you lo 🙂 I’m grateful for others who are willing to search for truth and advocate for justice.

    j2theperson, yes exactly, someone who is abusive and unrepentant (especially for over 10 years), and who is intent on becoming famous as a church leader, ought to be exposed. It was naghmeh’s responsibility to expose him, and the only thing she did wrong was not exposing him soon enough and for going along with the talking points for so long.

    Steve mentioned something along the lines that I didn’t appear concerned that her email went out to a large number of contacts, and that is absolutely correct. It would have been better if the truth of this dangerous and selfish man who has duped churches nationwide were exposed far more widely. I also regret that I sat by silently for the most part over the past few years while people glorified him as a saint. I did not know of the addictions and abuse, but I knew of his true character from his behavior in Iran.

  113. Steve Wright says:

    j2 – I can agree with that. Tell the world. I always stand for abusers coming public with their abuse. Always.

    She didn’t tell “the world” though…she told her thousands who were strong supporters but mostly strangers, then said publicly she regretted it becoming public and blamed the leaker.

  114. Xenia says:

    Happy to agree with G.

  115. Josh the Baptist says:

    Sepideh – Let’s say someone heard Nagmeh speaking over the course of 3 years and led their church to give large sums of money based on the idea that Saeed was very near death, isolated, unable to contact anyone on the outside, sometimes for months at a time.

    Just imagine that happened. Was she in the wrong there, at all?

  116. Andrew says:

    Sepideh, So once Saaed’s reputation is fully discredited and the entire church knows the monster he is, will this put an end to the facebook posts? Seriously how much damage needs to be done to this man’s character before folks will move on? Will this be a lifelong pursuit of justice to encourage all women to come forward with abuse and constantly and continually use Saaed as an example? I’m just curious because there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight.

  117. Josh the Baptist says:

    “I can vouch for the fact that the Iranian regime knew and were more than happy to listen in on saeed’s conversations. In fact it was confirmed to me by someone on the inside of this case that the regime was listening in on the couple’s conversations as the interrogators later referenced private things which had been communicated between them on Skype.”

    This is the claim Sepideh made earlier. It flies in the face of the idea that Saeed would have been killed had they found out.

    Another wierd twist. Someone. ANYONE, just tell the truth already.

  118. Steve Wright says:

    Better yet…Josh. Tell me what phone he was using. I want to get one for the battery power!! 🙂

  119. Judy says:

    Andrew: Maybe something will come up that is more scandalous and the watching church will move away from this and onto the next thing. The way things have been going over the course of a few years, this seems to be the pattern, as the church has become fully invested in being a spectator.

    On the other hand, if both husband and wife got off social media and stopped posting, the fire would have to go out, wouldn’t it? They are feeding it. They are slugging it out in public and they would have to stop. Then people would move on.

    I doubt either will do that until he or she gets what they want or at least part of what they want so they can go away peacefully.

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

    Thanks Xenia

  121. Andrew says:

    Judy, I haven’t heard much from Saaed. Everything I am hearing is quoted from Naghmeh’s facebook feeds. But I agree they should stay off social media.

  122. Josh the Baptist says:

    Andrew – Saeed is making the talk show rounds, relating stories of the 1,000’s that were saved through his ministry in Iran.

  123. j2theperson says:

    Quite frankly Steve, I could not categorize the way you have responded to this situation as standing by an abused person going public about their abuse. You’ve come across as highly critical of Naghmeh for in some cases very superficial reasons. She told thousands of people she was being abused then expressed regret she’d done that and blamed the person who leaked it to an even wider audience? Yeah that’s absolutely dreadful. Yeah an abuse victim isn’t going to be highly conflicted when they start talking about it. Yeah an abuse victim must start talking about it in a completely put together and respectable way. Meanwhile Saeed plead guilty to domestic violence charges and served time. You lose much right to being given the benefit of the doubt when you do that.

  124. Judy says:

    Andrew: I have seen him throw her under the bus when the opportunity arises. He mixes it in his interviews. I recognize it as blame shifting having suffered from that in my own life, I know it when I see it. I’ve seen it several times now as I’ve read every article I come across. I think that in one he actually said nothing about Neghmeh, and I thought maybe he was getting wise to how bad it made him look.

  125. Andrew says:

    Josh, is that what the fuss is all about? I agree Saaed should get his house in order first before he goes on the talk shows but this is categorically different than bad mouthing your spouse in public. Just my two cents.

  126. Josh the Baptist says:

    J2 – That is true, but I don’t think Steve’s point was that what she did was bad, just that the narrative has been changed in the meantime to make her look better and Saeed look worse. Truth has been scant in this case and we asked to believe someone without question, when that person has changed the story multiple times. Which Nagmeh do we believe?

  127. London says:

    Does this thread feel like out and out gossip to anyone else but me?
    I’m pretty sure this isn’t the kind of discussion that is edifying to anyone.
    What’s the point of batting back and forth who said what to whom? What do you hope to gain? To prove that you were lied to or that you are somehow more “in the know” than anyone else so therefore your opinion is more valid than anyone elses?
    To what end?

    Stop it already. Get about doing what needs to be done….This world is in a freaking mess right now. Do something productive and helpful. Be the light you were called to be and quit arguing for position or validation of your wounds.

  128. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “Another weird twist. Someone. ANYONE, just tell the truth already.”

    There s no truth – if their lips are moving or if their fingers are tapping on a keyboard, it is all lies. The only truth is that both are outt for vengeance and nothing less will satisfy.

    If Saeed came out tomorrow and said he was sorry – does anyone believe that’s the end of it?

    LOL – I can just see it – all of these evangelical churches that are apparently lining up to schedule a Saeed talk would now bill it as “he overcame being a wife beater AND being an Iranian prisoner.”

  129. Josh the Baptist says:

    In fairness Andrew, Saeed has said she is not telling the truth, and claimed that he was willing to go to counseling, but she was not. It may be more subtle, but he has tossed her under the bus, for sure.

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

    I love London!

  131. Josh the Baptist says:

    “Do something productive and helpful.”

    Last time I did that I apparently led a lot of people to give money to a wife abuser and porn addict. Thanks for the reaming, but yes, I’d prefer the truth.

  132. Steve Wright says:

    j2 – less than 6 months ago I led the charge at our church to stand up to a wife abuser and have him excommunicated. A guy who had been there a whole lot longer than I and was beloved by all.

    You want a list of all the women I know who think Naghmeh has handled this poorly on her end, and continues to do so. Or are any such women also unsympathetic to spousal abuse too. Can I narrow that list to women I know who have experienced abuse themselves?

    Or do you want a list of the people who have exaggerated or flat out lied to others about “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth” while claiming to be a victim in some manner on the internet

    Heck, Michael will vouch that it is was you personally I expressed concern to him about being duped by one such person back in the day…

    I would think that after almost 8 years in this community I would at some point have earned not only a reputation for caring but also a reputation for a little discernment when I did seem to play “devil’s advocate” when we were hearing only side and it turned out that side was not wholly accurate when all the facts came out.

    But that’s OK…if I am superficial and unsympathetic to such concerns…fine. CC pastor after all, right?

  133. Kevin H says:

    In at least one of those interviews which I saw, Saeed expressed his desire to write a book and go around speaking in churches. If he at any point attempts to start doing these things, and if the allegations of abuse and refusal of church discipline are true and he remains unrepentant and unreformed, then the Church needs to be told. And the only way of effectively doing this is making it public because Saeed could try to get into any church across the country. The Church needs to know that they should have no part of letting a man like this into their pulpit.

    It is a very unfortunate situation. The hardest part right now is knowing exactly what all is true for sure because many lies have already been told.

  134. London says:

    You will NEVER know the truth in this situation.
    And if you did, so what? How will that change anything?

    Are you going to ask for all you time and money back? Good luck with that.

  135. Andrew says:

    MLD, I think you can add divorce into the mix. I can see it now. Saaed will go to a CC divorce recovery group and pick up a chick there and get re-married and start his life anew. Naghmeh may do the same thing and pursue a career in helping abused women all over the world including Iran.

  136. Josh the Baptist says:

    An honest person would give the money back. It was attained through lies. Personally, I don’t want any money back. Doesn’t matter to me. I would like my credibility back with those people that I helped to fraud out of their money.

  137. SJ says:

    Steve, you ever send that inquiry letter to the ACLJ?

  138. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Andrew – see, there is new ministry opportunity in this mess for both parties – praise God!!

  139. j2theperson says:

    Josh, narratives are narratives–they change all the time. I personally thought Saeed seemed kind of sketchy back before any of this came out. It was absolutely appalling the way he deliberately put himself in harm’s way when he had a family he should have been taking care of. I’m really glad I didn’t get sucked into advocating for him. Now it turns out that he’s a bigger sleazeball than anyone thought but we’re going to be outraged that “the narrative is being rewritten”? He put his wife in a terrible position. Abusing her and then deliberately running off to a dangerous situation. And she’s left to figure out how to be a good wife and mother through all of it. Advocate for his release it what. And now the way she advocated for him is being put under a microscope even though it worked. Isn’t that giid enough. Her lies and shortfalls got her husband out of prison. His shortfalls got him into prison and ruined his marriage. I see no reason to hold sympathy for him.

  140. Steve Wright says:

    SJ…no, not when the phone was confirmed. That was going to be the focus of the inquiry letter.

  141. j2theperson says:

    Sorry for the typos. I’m on my phone not my laptop.

  142. Josh the Baptist says:

    J2 – Not outrage, just recognizing that the truth isn’t being told.

    I have said before that I would tell any lie to get my wife out of an Iranian prison. I would have to deal later with the fact that my credibility was shot, but it would be worth it to get my wife out.

    Now Nagmeh’s credibility has taken a hit, and she doesn’t want her husband around either.

  143. Sepideh says:

    Kevin H. Exactly!! I have seen tremendous damage done to the body of Christ when characters such as Saeed are not publicly exposed. Especially when they’re seeking to make a name for themself, write a book, speak at churches, etc., Aside from the pain he’s already caused his family, imagine how much damage this kind of toxic person can cause when left unhindered and unexposed. Truly a devil in sheep’s clothing.

  144. SJ says:

    Mophie battery charger packs people. Size of small wallet. Mobile USB charging for business men. One is good for about three charges. Mail charged and discharged packs back and forth or pass them back and forth during the father visits.

  145. London says:

    Josh, you are not responsible for someone else’s lies. You advocated on behalf of someone you thought was being held in a foreign prison unjustly. That is what we are called to do. Seems like you did the right thing to me.

    If your friends can’t see that, then that’s on them, not you. All you can do is tell them that it turns out this guys was a fraud, I was fooled by him and I’m sorry I got you guys involved too.

    Then, move on, quit spending any more emotional energy on these two.

  146. Josh the Baptist says:

    Sepideh – could you answer my #115, please. Honest question.

  147. Steve Wright says:

    SJ…thought of those. Still not sufficient for the facts as being stated but who knows…maybe he brought a dozen of them each week….

  148. j2theperson says:

    For the record, I do not think she’s handling this well. If I had a friend going through this I would advise them to do basically everything differently. But at the sane time it seems ridiculous to be particularly critical of her and not be even more critical of her husband who seems to be unsavory across the board

  149. Steve Wright says:

    All you can do is tell them that it turns out this guys was a fraud, I was fooled by him and I’m sorry I got you guys involved too.
    ———————————————–
    London. I hear you and appreciate what you are saying.

    The problem is none of us were fooled by HIM. He was in jail. We were all fooled by her. She was the instrument.

    Now, the sides are forming as to the extent of her culpability if any at all…but before I could tell anyone ONLY that “he” fooled us, I would need to know for sure if I should also include “she fooled us too” because to falsely accuse her if innocent is a terrible thing but to ignore the guilty is a terrible thing too.

  150. Josh the Baptist says:

    I am totally cool with being critical of her husband as well. I think he was abusive, and I do think he has a lot of ambition. Kevin H is right. Churches need to know this before they bring him in.

  151. Judy says:

    I have a mophie and it doubles my battery life. I don’t get any more out of it. So, he would need about 4 or 5 of them.

  152. Michael says:

    “Churches need to know this before they bring him in.”

    That is the point here.

    If this is not exposed, he is going to go around the country on a book and speaking tour potentially worth millions.
    All of which will come from believers pockets.

    I will not be party to continuing fraud.

  153. Steve Wright says:

    and not be even more critical of her husband who seems to be unsavory across the board
    —————————————————
    Well, read my posts and I think I have had plenty to say about him.

    I did say I give a little slack for the words and mood of someone getting tortured in an Iranian jail, away from his children – even if he does get to watch reruns of Seinfeld during the day on his phone.

    And I have not unquestionably assumed the worst and believed every negative word…and I think it is worth noting that a whole lot of our new “understandings” have come from exactly one person in this thread who clearly has a side taken and is pretty quick to falsely condemn or mock others on this blog.

    But to say I have not been critical of him is just not accurate as a couple months of posts on this subject on this forum have shown.

  154. Steve Wright says:

    Are there really any churches out there today who have followed Saeed’s story to the extent they would want to ask him to speak at their church who are not aware of the charges Naghmeh has made. Seems like a lot of stories out there in major Christian media have reported this, as well as in the secular media.

    As usual, just as with “restoring” adulterous pastors, people will make their decision to support DESPITE the facts, for whatever their reasons might be….but not because of ignorance.

    In fact, any million dollar speaking tour I am sure will most definitely include some spin on the marriage issues too.

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

    “The problem is none of us were fooled by HIM. He was in jail. We were all fooled by her. She was the instrument. ”

    They are a pair, and as a pair they are both responsible for what they brought to people who wanted to help.

    Now that the truth is coming out its not pretty for either of them.

  156. Josh the Baptist says:

    Just to keep facts as…well, factual, it has been mentioned a couple of times in this thread that Saeed served 90 days. There was no jail time, right? Switched to probation or something?

    I’m not defending him, again, I just prefer the truth.

  157. Andrew says:

    This whole saga brings back the Ergun Caner mess. He was caught in his lies as well. CC fully embraced Ergun as part of the Veritas university even after he was discovered to be a complete fraud. Both of these stories are similar in many ways but maybe the tide is turning and CC will turn against Saaed. Time will tell. However, I find this hard to believe since the Billy Graham Evangelical Association is so tightly coupled with CC in many ways.

  158. Josh the Baptist says:

    Well said again, G.

  159. Xenia says:

    I’ve been fooled many times by people on the Internet. That’s why I don’t invest money or energy (well, not too much energy) on people I do not know in real life.

    Localism, folks. Look around you.

  160. Josh the Baptist says:

    Thanks, Xenia. A point I always make, but rarely follow.

  161. Lori says:

    The thing that sticks out to me is what is happening to those poor children? Talk about winning battles with who was in the right to say or do this or that (on either side) but, seriously losing the war. Praying for the children’s emotional and spiritual protection and well being.

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

    “I don’t know how someone controlled you,
    They bought and sold you…
    With every mistake we must surely be learning
    Still my guitar gently weeps”

  163. Steve Wright says:

    Yes, Josh. She tried to interrupt a skype with his parents because she did not like what he was saying (we don’t know what that was)…he pushed her away. She denied pushing him but he says she did when trying to rip the computer out of his hands. He denied pushing her but she said he did.

    Cops asked her what she wanted and she said I want him arrested for domestic violence. She had a mark on her neck so they arrested him.

    He pleaded not guilty, then changed his plea to a misdemeanor guilty in exchange for probation, a tiny fine ($61 bucks I think memory serves) and a few classes on anger management. We were also told he used a translator in court to explain this as apparently his english was not good enough to communicate. There has never been word of him violating his probation or of other incidents to my knowledge.

    That is the scene, 9 years ago, that is used by some to make this a res ipsa loquitor. I believe those are the totality of the facts to the extent they have been reported publicly.

    (And for the record, as I said many times before, this is totally inexcusable behavior – you never push your wife…ever. You also never plead guilty if you think you are innocent even if it means bankrupting your family with legal bills to fight it in court with a Farsi speaking attorney)

  164. Michael says:

    Having thought about this way too much…I don’t think that I would have done anything differently than she did while he was imprisoned.

    If my significant other, child, (or cat ) were in the hands of the enemy and I had very powerful authorities telling me the best thing for them was to lie like the devil… I would have lied like the devil.

    I would love to have full disclosure now from all the parties involved…including Graham and the ACLJ.

    I will keep pursuing that goal.

  165. Kevin H says:

    If Naghmeh’s charges never would have been made public, there would have been tons of churches and Christian conferences lining up to have Saeed as a speaker. Especially with Franklin Graham’s promotion There would be tons of Christians buying his book under the guise that he is a pastor in good standing and a great spiritual leader.

    One can question exactly what and how much and in what format Naghmeh should continue to talk about the situation. But it is probably still needed to at least some degree so that Saeed and his camp cannot give the impression that everything is smoothed out and he is good to go. Plus, there may be some churches who truly may not be up to speed with what is going on and could unknowingly take in Saeed. The mor that is brought to public light, the less chance of this happening.

    This is under the presumption of Saeed’s stated goals to write a book and speak in churches. And that the accusations of abuse are true. Not necessarily every single exact detail, but the truthfulness of real abuse having occurred. I am inclined to believe Naghmeh in this regard.

  166. Michael says:

    Lori,

    The children need prayer more than anyone else in this mess.

  167. j2theperson says:

    My perception Steve is that you have been markedly more critical of her than you have been of him. I would not dispute that she has made some stupid choices and is not necessarily conducting herself particularly well. But its ridiculous to extend understanding to him regarding his abusive behavior because he was possibly being tortured in an Iranian jail but not extend as much leeway and understanding to her as the one who was being abused by him and who had been abused by him for many years. It just seems like if you’re going to be calling people out and assigning blame the greater portion belongs to him. But you have come across as being much harder on and less sympathetic toward her than you have to him. And I flat out don’t think that’s warranted. His bad behavior really seems to dwarf hers.

  168. Josh the Beloved says:

    Sepideh,

    Do you believe that Naghmeh, was abused prior to Saeed leaving to Iran?

    Through the American lens we view physical and mental abuse much differently then the rest of the world. I’m curious since you know the situation between these two. What kind of abuse did she endure and to what degree can you speak about her abuse. Would her degree of abuse be acceptable within the Iranian Christian culture as the norm?

    I get the sense that Naghmeh has been healed to some degree through this process in her heart, giving her a new liberty and new reality of who she is in Christ. And doesn’t want to lose this new work in her life. My 2 cents…Romans 8:28 will be applied in there situation.

  169. j2theperson says:

    I’m on my phone right now so it’s hard to look up but…wasn’t something said about Naghmeh holding their 10 month ikd child when Saeed supposedly pushed her. I’ve been roughly pushed by men before. It doesn’t sound bad but it was very scary and if she was holding a baby when it happened then it was super dangerous.

  170. Steve Wright says:

    j2 – if that is your opinion then fine. I am sorry you hold it but can’t really talk you out of it.

    I think our differences can be shown by our definitions.

    I totally reject that a man can be described as sexually abusing his wife from a prison half a world away because he is watching pornography. I think that charge is “piling on” when what apparently we have these last three years is a lot of contact by phone and pressure on her to get him out of prison. (Maybe when he saw her speaking at political rallies and such).

    Since I have never been in an Iranian jail for 3 years, I do not know how I would sound to my wife over the phone. I know my wife’s view on this sordid tale and Naghmeh’s actions but won’t bring them up here.

    You have said you think that sexual abuser is a fair charge and have explained a hypothetical as why. I would add your explanation now seems to have been proven not relevant since apparently his father was wholly responsible for the phone and its charges – so I do not know if you still stand by her calling herself sexually abused because he is watching porn in prison (per her claim)

    I have yet to hear any details of the rest of the abuse, I know of no further physical abuse and she has never claimed any and really I am not looking for them but Naghmeh has certainly shown herself a strong woman, going back to 2007 when she said (and I supported) I want him arrested. Good for her.

    He threatened to divorce her. Terrible Shame on him. Get the guy out of ministry (How often do I have to say that). No man should ever do that.

    Question, in all the madness the last ten years, I wonder if she ever threatened to take the kids from him? Who knows. Do we really want Saeed to tell us all the fights they had from HIS perspective, and if he did, would we a) believe or b) have it change our opinion on it?

    I am often accused of “taking sides” – accused of taking Bob’s side against Alex, accused of taking Bryson’s side against his daughter and son-in-law. Now accused of taking Saeed’s side against Naghmeh. I’m used to it – but my words are on record and anyone else can read them and possibly come to their own conclusions. I seek truth and lots of time the whole truth remains an unknown….

    But we rarely are successful in changing one’s opinion once it is cemented – I still have people who believe what they want to believe, took a side, despite all truth and facts in evidence in a situation around here that was shown. Maybe people don’t want to consider they might have been duped – ESPECIALLY by someone they know and love and trust(ed). Maybe that is why people keep supporting the Driscolls and Coys and others…

    When I’ve been duped…and the facts are irrefutable and show it….I admit it pretty readily.

    And boy was I duped with the Abedini’s

  171. j2theperson says:

    Steve, I said that if she was paying for the phone then I could find her charge of sexual abuse creditable. Since it does not appear she was paying for the phone, then I’m back to not finding it creditable.

    The verbal abuse claims I find very believable, and I’ve seen with my own eyes the things he’s said and posted since his return and I’ve found them pretty demeaning toward his wife. You may extend him sympathy for whatever abuse he conducted while in jail, but that does not mean Naghmeh was under any obligation to extend that same sympathy toward him. Although it appears that for several years she did put up with it.

    The fact remains he plead guilty to domestic assault. You can dismiss that as much as you want, but it was his choice, he did it, and that lends a great deal of credibility to her claims of being abused by him.

    The very fact that he was locked up in an Iranian prison to begin with, after he had gotten away free and clear on an earlier occasion suggests to me that he didn’t respect his wife or children or he would never have gone back and put himself in that situation.

    Obviously, I’m not going to convince you of anything and you’re not going to convince me of anything, but whenever you post and seem too critical of Naghmeh I feel compelled to step up and offer my perspective that if she is worthy of criticism he is worthy of much more criticism.

  172. Steve Wright says:

    Yes j2 – I left out that she claimed to be holding the baby. Not deliberately. Yes. However, Baby or not, inexcusable to shove your wife. Period.

    Would you go after your volatile husband and try to rip the computer out of his hands when talking to his parents if you were holding your baby?

    Now, by even noting that fact, my condemnation of Saeed is ignored and someone will explain why sometimes a woman has to start a fight with her husband when holding their baby. I get it.

    Neither parent in this mess, going back to 2007 – seems to be putting the children first, do they?

    They sure aren’t now…which is very sad and ironic because so many of us were motivated largely by the children and their heartache to be as active as we were.

  173. Steve Wright says:

    The very fact that he was locked up in an Iranian prison to begin with, after he had gotten away free and clear on an earlier occasion suggests to me that he didn’t respect his wife or children or he would never have gone back and put himself in that situation.
    —————————————————————
    I have said that clearly. I think this was his 8th trip or so there too after the trip when both of them were detained and almost arrested. Inexcusable.

    Well…this was my day off…and I spent most of it here….so going to do something more productive now.

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

    Question, for the sake of clarification, prior to his most recent incarceration, didn’t the Iranian government release Saeed with a warning to stop preaching and never return?

  175. Jess says:

    He must have really been busy those last two and a half years to get to a thousand…”

    Thank you for bringing this up, Michael.

    The answer to any legitimate criticism of a person’s life or ministry, is to claim the 85 billion people that came to Jesus through you. Some people actually think that the unproveable claim automatically “invalidates” the criticism.

  176. j2theperson says:

    ***Would you go after your volatile husband and try to rip the computer out of his hands when talking to his parents if you were holding your baby?***

    I would not have done that. But if I had it would not have been illegal.

    ***Neither parent in this mess, going back to 2007 – seems to be putting the children first, do they?***

    She has been taking care of them while her husband ran off to Iran and ended up in jail. She has as far as I can tell not blocked his access to them when he returned. She worked very hard to secure the release of their father. And she has now taken steps to end the abuse that was taking place. Whether that is putting children first or not I don’t know.

    Basically, both of them have behaved badly in different ways, but it’s ridiculous to give him the benefit of the doubt or minimize his bad behavior while excoriating her for working in a very imperfect way to secure her husband’s release from prison and for very imperfectly taking steps to end whatever abuse she has been experiencing.

  177. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Well, I claim that 85 billion people have come to Christ in spite of me. 🙂

  178. covered says:

    I needed to see what you just wrote @ 178 MLD. Priceless!

  179. BrideofChrist says:

    Steve Wright, regarding your post #154: it’s funny that you can’t see it, but you yourself seem to the poster who is “falsely condemning and mocking” others and yet you claim that it is the new poster on this thread who has known this couple for many years is the one doing so. I am sure if we did a word-by-word evaluation of your posts on this subject, it would be very obvious that the vast majority of your criticisms have been directed at Nagmah, and not Saeed. You seem to be blind to your own bias. KevinH posted that “there may be some posters who truly may not be up to speed with what’s going on…” This is so VERY true. I attended a very large Calvary Chapel in Vista, California for over 20 years. I was completely astounded by how very little members knew about current events about news events and stories which were in the local newspapers and news stations. Often church members were completely unaware of major events involving Calvary Chapels in Southern California. I once asked a dear friend how she could be unaware of such major events within Calvary Chapel circles. She told me that she “didn’t like to know or think about things like that.” Some churches encourage their members to wear blinders. There is nothing biblical about his. Getting the word out about Saeed is very important and we need to keep doing so. We owe it to one another as Christians to protect our brothers and sisters in Christ from the wolves in their midst.

  180. BrideofChrist says:

    An earlier comment was made about Ergun Canter . This man had written books on American history that were eventually found to be fraudulent. Canter made up his sources and his American history books were discredited .Christian publishers refused to publish the books once his deception was uncovered. Some Calvary Chapel churches continued to allow him to speak at their churches. I taught public school for many, many years and I found this so disturbing that it became one of the many reasons that I stopped attending Calvary Chapel. I too thought of Ergun Canter when people expressed their fears that some churches might still have a desire to have Saeed speak at their churches. Churches must be beacons of light and truth. Saeed has now been discredited as a Christian leader he and should not be allowed to “cash in” on his experiences or build a ministry around them.

  181. Steve Wright says:

    I am sure if we did a word-by-word evaluation of your posts on this subject, it would be very obvious that the vast majority of your criticisms have been directed at Nagmah, and not Saeed. You seem to be blind to your own bias.
    ——————————————————————————
    Feel free to take your own challenge but just make sure you cover all the posts ever since this debacle has played out. Over the last two months please. I’ve approved of her calling the police, condemned him for pushing her, condemned him for going to Iran all those times with a wife and two kids at home, condemned him for being in ministry at all given the problems in 2007 and beyond…condemned him for everything in fact that we KNOW to be true that would be wrong. But I have dared, DARED, to also question the woman who has lied to build a platform of thousands of followers (many of whom are my church people who I sent to her) and uses that platform publicly in ways it seems most agree here she should not. I have dared to suggest that maybe, just maybe, this divorce is like every other I have encountered and both spouses are less than 100% honest and framing any conversations to their ultimate best look to outsiders.

    It is funny. I got an email today from someone who used to routinely bang heads with me on this blog – definitely no fan of CC…and this person reached out to me offblog for the first such contact ever – and said how much he/she appreciated my input as being a reasonable and balanced voice in this discussion today. One of the few such voices today.

    Considering the past with this poster, I consider this a very high compliment (told him/her so as well) and frankly the sort of assurance that is nice to receive in case I was in fact (how did you put it)…blind to my own bias. Quite a charge there. Not sure I would be indicted on it today though….

    I wish everyone had the same experiences I’ve had in ministry of just knowing something was a certain way about a certain person(s) only to find out…it was not. That’s why the Bible warns us and warns us about making judgements without all the facts, without knowledge…

    I know the guy spent 3 years away from his children in an Iranian jail. I don’t care if that jail was the Tehran Hyatt – it was still hell. That I also know. I’ll ask for my pound of flesh from him when I have walked in those shoes someday…but not before.

  182. Steve Wright says:

    One other point to BrideofChrist – make sure you also go back to November when the abuse charge first hit and see who it was publicly speculating she probably found another guy and who it was not saying that….Thanks.

  183. Andrew says:

    Bride of Christ @ 181, I’m the one that mentioned Ergun Caner. And you are right that CC allowed him to continue to have a platform while knowing he was lying. Regarding Steve Wright I think he has been pretty clear that Saaed shouldn’t be on the speaking tour and has his own house to clean up first. So I think we are all on agreement there. My point as well as Steve’s is that Naghmeh has some cleaning up to do as well. What you seem to be upset at is if anyone has anything to say about Naghmeh. I really think that if anybody is going to be on the speaking tour at CC it would probably be Naghmeh and not Saaed. And going back to my post of 158, I think one could probably make a crude comparison of Naghmeh with Ergun. They both have told lies and they both have expanded their influence because of the lies.

  184. Josh the Baptist says:

    Again, just to keep facts as….ummm, facts?

    Ergun Caner has never written a book on American History.

    His own personal story as a convert from Islam to Christianity was found to be exaggerated at best, completely made up in other parts.

    Is the truth not important at all on the internet?!?

  185. Kevin H says:

    Josh,

    Thanks for making the clarification about Caner. You are correct. There may have been some mix-up there with David Barton who has spoken in CC’s and who has had one of his books on American History pulled by its Christian publisher because of inaccuracies in the book.

    One more point of clarifying the facts since I was quoted (or mis-quoted) by BOC at # 180. I did not say there may be some “posters” who are not up to speed with what’s going on. I said there may not be some “churches” who are not up to speed with what’s going on. My concern was there may be churches out there where Saeed may try to get into to speak that don’t know much of the accusations of abuse and refusal to be disciplined. My concern was not with the “posters” here. I think the large majority, if not everyone who is posting here is pretty much up to speed with what has been happening with Saeed and Naghmeh.

  186. Andrew says:

    Josh, the sad truth is if your lies can increase your influence or market share all for the cause of Christ in the spirit of evangelism than all seems to be good. But back to your point, truth is very important and without it, we are not presenting the full gospel. I was accused of discrediting this blog last week with my own story. A personal story that doesn’t belong on the Internet. You were one of the few that defended me. My story is personal and I am not going to get into any longer here but I told the truth from my perspective. That is the best I can do. Others have called it lies. This accusation is not one I take lightly. But I am glad you said what you said because truth is important.

  187. Jess says:

    A hearty AMEN to BrideofChrist’s post at number 180. Sweeping things under the carpet and pretending like nobody saw it, doesn’t work on people that actually love finding out the truth on matters. There will always be people that “don’t like to know or think about such things”. But I’m not one of them, and I never will be. 🙂

  188. Josh the Baptist says:

    ” finding out the truth on matters. ”

    Jess, have you found out the truth on Ergun Caner’s American History book that you just gave a hearty amen too?

  189. Jess says:

    John, Ergun Caner can’t even figure out where he was born. There are videos of him saying one place, then another. He’s a fraud. My understanding is that BrideofChrist was exposing him as false, after all, that poster said:

    “This man had written books on American history that were eventually found to be fraudulent.”

    Ergun Caner being a fraud, is one of the things I was saying amen, to.

  190. Josh the Baptist says:

    Jess – My name is Josh.

    2 – Ergun Caner did not write any books on American History.

  191. Jess says:

    Josh, I apologize for getting your name wrong.

    I assume the poster meant David Barton writing a fraudulent “American history” book. It is possible to mis-speak. I just did it with your name. 🙂 If that is not who the poster meant, it doesn’t matter. Barton and Caner are both lying frauds, and both supported by many fellowships.

  192. Josh the Baptist says:

    Doesn’t matter?

    So if I think someone is a bad guy, I can just accuse him of whatever I want. Hey he’s a fraud right?

    I guess truth doesn’t matter, after all.

  193. Jess says:

    Josh, relax. People mis-speak all the time. But Barton did lie, and Caner did lie, and this thread also shows the mess with Saaed. There is this “competition” in Christianity to have the biggest spiritual discoveries, the biggest number of people coming to Jesus through you, and the biggest testimonies. And some of it is lies, as we’re seeing. That damages the Gospel to those that are watching from the outside. It seems to me that these people going for the “biggest” everything, well, a lot of them are seeing Christianity as a big money-making opportunity, and they’ll say anything to cash in.

  194. Judy says:

    Saeed has now been discredited as a Christian leader he and should not be allowed to “cash in” on his experiences or build a ministry around them.
    _______________________________________________________________________

    And today he’s speaking at Liberty University and from the comments on his FB, he seems to be received as a hero.

    I guess there is no stopping people.

  195. Andrew says:

    Liberty University? Where Ergun Caner was dean? Also, not too long ago they had Glenn Beck speaking there sharing his Mormon theology like it was compatible with Christianity. Liberty’s reputation is questionable to me at this point.. Not sure I really care anymore whether Saeed speaks there or not.

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

    Asking again, question, for the sake of clarification, prior to his most recent incarceration, didn’t the Iranian government release Saeed with a warning to stop preaching and never return?

  197. Josh the Baptist says:

    Jess, I know and agree with all that. But we can’t attribute bad deeds to someone we think is bad unless they actually did them. That goes for Ergun, Saeed, Barton, Nagmeh, whoever. I do think it is critical, CRUCIAL, that if we are going to tar and feather someone on the internet that we are accurate with our words. Call me crazy.

  198. j2theperson says:

    My understanding, G, was that he was arrested, told to stop preaching, and only allowed to return with the understanding that he would not be involved with the local churches. When he did return he was ostensibly working with orphanages and not churches.

  199. j2theperson says:

    This is off the Wikipedia page. ***Abedini’s first trip back to Iran was in 2009 to visit his family, when government authorities detained him. According to Abedini, he was threatened with death during his interrogation over his conversion to Christianity. Ultimately he was released after signing a pledge to cease all house-church activities in the country.[4] As part of this same agreement, Abedini was permitted to return to Iran freely to work on non-sectarian humanitarian efforts.***

  200. Kevin H says:

    j2,

    I believe you are correct in that this was the narrative that we were consistently told all during his imprisonment. However, in an interview Saeed did with Fox News a few days ago, Saeed and the interviewer made it sound like his most recent arrest which led to his 3 1/2 year imprisonment was because he was working with churches.

    The arrest and imprisonment were still completely wrong no matter what it was for, but this may be one more significant detail that we were lied to about all this time. It’s possible Saeed and the interviewer just weren’t clear in the manner they were speaking. But it sure sounded like his arrest and imprisonment had to do with him working with churches again.

  201. Kevin H says:

    Here is that interview. For those interested, you can listen and decide for yourself how it sounds to you.

    http://insider.foxnews.com/2016/02/29/pastor-saeed-abedini-speaks-out-fox-news-about-faith-after-iran-prison-release

  202. BrideofChrist says:

    My above post about author Ergun Caner was in error. I was confusing him with Christian author David Barton, who wrote books on American History that were discredited and who also had ties to Calvary Chapel. See ‘The Calvary Chapel David Barton Connection Why is This So Significant?’ http://www.understandingthetimes.org. I know nothing about Roger Oakland’s web site, but the David Barton story is well known and was covered by many news organizations. I was in error when I attributed Barton’s history books and subsequent scandal to Ergun Caner, who also was a speaker at Calvary Chapels. I should know better than to post so late at night. Also, I’d like to make it clear that I am not attacking Steve Wright personally. I do believe that you are very quick to cast blame on Nagmah and have posted most often about her. It is also a fact that it is Saeed who broke the law and was charged with domestic violence . Of course Saeed was under tremendous pressure while in prison; you are correct in reminding us all of this. What you seem to be unaware of, however, is the tremendous pressure and stress that an abused Christian woman with young children is under. No man could fully understand this so perhaps your bias is for this very reason. I attended four Calvary Chapels in Southern California over a period of 36 years. You are not he only poster here who has insights into the counseling processes at Calvary Chapels. I myself had marriage counseling with four different Calvary Chapel pastors and I know the circumstances of many other couples in marriage crisises and how they were counseled by Calvary Chapel pastors. I know of a Christian husband who forced his teenaged daughter to go to the bank and pretend to be his wife and forge her signature in order to steal his wife’s inheritance money, for example. That is an example of “financial abuse” and yet Calvary pastors told this couple that he was rightfully acting as the “head” in this marriage. My point is that there are many of us who also have the inside knowledge that you claim to have about Calvary Chapel marriage counseling. I was very familiar with Bob Hoekstra’s “Counseling God’s Way” – I still have a drawer full of his tapes. I am expressing an opinion based on a long history of involvement with Calvary Chapel churches. I attended my first Calvary Chapel in 1979 and I just left Calvary one year ago.

  203. Josh the Baptist says:

    Thank you for correcting that Bride 🙂

  204. Michael says:

    I’m just now seeing the responses from posting this story on the “Free Saeed” page.

    Thank you, Kevin H for helping some folks understand what they were reading… 🙂

  205. Andrew says:

    BOC,

    Not sure who exactly you are addressing your post to. But I thought I would respond and say that I believe you 100% and can confirm what you are saying about marriages that are in crisis in CC. Although my experience in CC was as a single person and was radically different than most on here, I was friends with others that can confirm every bit of what you are saying. Now with that said, this is one of the few things that I agree with Steve Wright on. He has tried to take a balanced view of the Abedinis and maybe its coming across that he is taking sides but from my perspective he is getting it right this time. He is looking at this situation as a marriage in crisis and what both of the Abedinis are doing is wrong. This will end in divorce if this doesn’t stop.

  206. Michael says:

    Yes, it’s a marriage in crisis… and if it mattered to Saeed he’d be in Boise, not at Liberty making some bucks.

    This guy is all about himself.

    Here’s the latest…

    http://www.christianpost.com/news/saeed-abedini-saw-christians-deny-christ-iran-prison-stop-beatings-torture-158925/

  207. Michael says:

    “Every people [sic] who became Christian with me, they start torturing them, separate me from them and the last two years they make me completely isolated,” Abedini said.

    That’s another contradiction.. as if we could keep up with all the contradictions in this mess.

  208. Josh the Baptist says:

    I posted some pretty harsh advice for Tullian back when he fell. I would give similar advice to Saeed.

    Go home. Disappear. Crawl on your hands and knees through hot coals if that is what it takes to keep your family together.

  209. Andrew says:

    What’s Saaed going to do in Boise? It didn’t sound like he was too welcome at home there since the separation. Would he even have a place to stay there or could he even find a job there?

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

    Thanks J2.
    =)

  211. Michael says:

    Andrew,

    It’s really simple.
    He humbles himself and tells his handlers that he’s not going anywhere until his wife and family are restored.

    I am not interested in hearing anything out of him until he repents and then they answer all these questions together.

  212. Josh the Baptist says:

    If his kids are in Boise, there is nowhere else in the world he should be.

  213. Andrew says:

    Josh, I couldn’t agree more. Hopefully there is someone merciful enough in Boise to open up their house to allow him to stay in town so he can work out his family affairs. That is easier said than done.

  214. Steve Wright says:

    On the arrest..going from memory but yes, Saeed and Naghmeh BOTH were detained in Iran doing ministry work This is the bulk of the story she shared when I met her and listened to her speak at CCCM.

    The agreement was that he could return for humanitarian purposes like building orphanages and so I believe he returned 8 times in the next 3 or so years with no problems and with the latent “blessing” of the Iranian government granting him free passage…until the trip #9 (give or take) when he was arrested

    As I have said before, this was a mistake common with young men who put ministry ahead of their family and even if the family did not have any problems at all (and 2007 tells us there certainly had been some) it STILL was a mistake to encourage this sort of effort.

    Maybe after you have been married 30 years, no kids in the home, with the full voiced support of your wife, then yeah, you can do something like this. But not with two little ones in a relatively young and rocky marriage. When a guy does this in the name of serving the Lord, what can a Christian wife do except feel guilty and “submit” – this is why it is also so dangerous to be a lone wolf and where a sending church, if any, should step in.

    Then again, if he was the monster that is being assumed, maybe Naghmeh was relieved when he left on each trip too. And really didn’t want him to stick around…

  215. Michael says:

    Andrew,

    My guess is that money is not an issue…people have shoveled millions at this cause and he’s paid for the speaking arrangements.

  216. Jess says:

    Josh, I am convinced of the things I said about Barton, Caner, and Saaed. I’m not interested in defending these people. I’m interested in defending the truth. The Bible shows people being exposed for what they really are, by name. Even Peter the apostle was rebuked when necessary, and that in public. That is what I believe. 🙂 And I have nothing to hear from any of those men, personally. If others want to hear them, great. But I would personally walk out of any place letting them speak. “Vote with your feet” is what those systems want anyway, right?

  217. Josh the Baptist says:

    I don’t care if he has to sleep under a bridge. If he’s not willing to approach the very gates of Hell to save his family, then I have no use for him at all.

  218. Josh the Baptist says:

    Jess, I agree with you, but if we are to have any credibility, we can’t slander people just because we think they are bad guys. Bride has already came back and corrected her mistake, which was a wonderful, humble thing to do. No need to dig in your heels.

  219. Andrew says:

    Josh you are a good man! And probably an aswome father.

  220. Michael says:

    Jess,

    I can’t stomach Caner or Barton either.

    However, Josh has a huge point…we have to be careful about what we say, lest we end up being like those we accuse.

  221. Steve Wright says:

    Agreeing with Josh. If something amicable could not be worked out with Naghmeh (and by all public reports she has repeatedly said Saeed is the best dad in the world and that their problems do not involve the children) then I would get a lawyer on my side and legally fight for the best possible visitation rights possible.

    As I have written, a lot of my sympathy is that while he was in Iran in jail, even if true he was on the phone with Naghmeh as often as she says, he still was separated from his children. If now that he is free he cares more about other things, then that vanishes in my book.

    Naghmeh left the children for a large portion of the time Saeed was in jail to tour the world in her speaking engagements (she said so)…..I assure you my wife in similar situations would find a way to bring the little kids or turn down the requests…no doubt about it.

    As has been said, the little kids are the innocents here and the ones suffering. That is always the case when parents are selfish…

  222. Jess says:

    Josh, I wasn’t really defending Bride’s statement. I was just commenting on the general situation myself. It was a mis-spoken statement from Bride. It didn’t slander anyone. And I’m not worried about being accused of “slander” anyway. I have one to answer to, and that is Jesus. All three of those men have lied on some very crucial things. There are buzz words like “slander” and “hate” that I’m not affected by. I’d rather tell the truth and be accused of “slander” and “hate”, than to sit and say nothing.

  223. Josh the Baptist says:

    Jess, I don’t know why you are digging in so deep. Accusing someone of something they did not do IS slander. It is actually the definition of it. Bride came back and cleared that up.

    Yes, you only answer to Jesus. I think he had some things to say about being careful with your words.

  224. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    My guess is that money is not an issue…people have shoveled millions at this cause and he’s paid for the speaking arrangements.

    The wife is probably the caretaker of that fund. Probably not much of a chance of him seeing nickel one.

  225. Jess says:

    Josh, I’m digging in, primarily because you are. I said that Barton, Caner, and Saaed are not fit for ministry, because they lied in some very big things. If you want to call that “slander”, that’s fine. I’m not worried about you choosing to speak for Jesus and what He would say to me. I have a personal relationship with Him, so I don’t need to find out from you what He has to say to me. 🙂 Even more important, there is precedent in the Word of God for exposing false teachers. That’s my standard. My standard is not the “Christian community”.

  226. Josh the Baptist says:

    “But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.”

    Jesus said that in Matthew 12:36

  227. Michael says:

    MLD,

    No bear poking… I’ve got enough problems.

  228. Steve Wright says:

    there is precedent in the Word of God for exposing false teachers
    ——————————————–
    LOL. Didn’t know Paul was thinking of guys with a revisionist take on the American Revolution….

    Good to know.

  229. Jess says:

    Great, Josh. And I’m not afraid of saying what I said when I stand before the Lord. I obeyed His Word and exposed false teachers. His Word cannot contradict itself. So you are misapplying His Word. You should take your own advice, and be careful what you say.

  230. Andrew says:

    Agreeing with Josh. If something amicable could not be worked out with Naghmeh (and by all public reports she has repeatedly said Saeed is the best dad in the world and that their problems do not involve the children) then I would get a lawyer on my side and legally fight for the best possible visitation rights possible.
    __________________________________________________________________________

    Steve, not sure I completely agree with you. Children being affected in a broken marriage is often used as leverage which hurts the children even more. Different cultures handle custody of the children differently than here in United States. I’m not sure what its like in Iranian ethnic culture of which they are both apart of. Typically in the USA, children are often split right down the middle. It kind of reminds me of the story of King Solomon with the two women fighting over the baby. Fighting this in court isn’t always the best idea. This is where wisdom is needed.

  231. Josh the Baptist says:

    Hmmm, Ok. You do realize you are going to great depths to defend a post that the author has already come back and apologized for. Enjoy yourself.

  232. Josh the Baptist says:

    Andrew, while I agree with you about ideal situations, Saeed must fight this in court. Nagmeh got restraining orders from the court before his plane landed in America. He has no other recourse. It is not ideal, by any means. But it is a far sight better than being in Virginia in a motel room, while your kids are being tucked in in Boise.

  233. Steve Wright says:

    Andrew, I agree with Josh. I did qualify by saying this was a last resort if they can’t work something out amicably. Court is always a last resort but a father has rights, and if the father cares about his children he will fight for his rights. Josh and I would and I am confident you will be able to relate to this passion in a few months! 🙂

  234. Jess says:

    It wasn’t ever my point, Josh. But at least you let it drop.

  235. Andrew says:

    Josh, Saaed doesn’t have to fight this in court. He could humble himself before God and let Naghmeh have full custody knowing that his children will be in good hands. It might be a price he has to pay for his selfish behavior but at least the children won’t be split in half.

  236. Josh the Baptist says:

    Last word.

  237. Jess says:

    “LOL. Didn’t know Paul was thinking of guys with a revisionist take on the American Revolution…”

    Yes, I believe Paul was referring to anyone misrepresenting themselves and the truth for some kind of gain, whatever that gain may be.

    Schooled. 😉

  238. Jess says:

    Josh, last word times infinity Plus one. 🙂

  239. Josh the Baptist says:

    Andrew, if he does that I have zero respect for him. Not that I have any for him anyway. If you produce children but don’t do everything in your power to be there for them and to raise them, you are not a man.

  240. Josh the Baptist says:

    Crap, Jess. You got me on that one.

  241. Andrew says:

    Josh, while I agree with you as an American, different ethnic cultures treat custody of children much differently than the typical American way of looking at it. I’m just not sure about Iranian culture. That’s my point. It may be that Saaed would have to almost give his child up for adoption since he is unfit to be a parent. Its not that Saaed doesn’t love his children or want the best for them but quite the contrary, he maybe unable to take care of them and has to relinquish them over to their mother.

  242. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Those last couple of comments about lat word is funny – as I teach through Matthew I think Jesus used the same language. In Matt 18 when Peter asks how many times he must forgive – 7 times? and Jesus replies – no I say 70 x 7 times.

    Jesus is doing the Josh / Jess dance. In my notes for my next class, I say that this is like the conversations we had in elementary school where 1 kid challenges with “I do this to infinity” and the 2nd kid responds “I do it to infinity times two!”

    When Jesus says 70×7 he doesn’t mean 490 times – he means forgive into infinity.

  243. Josh the Baptist says:

    They don’t live in Iranian culture, Andrew. They live in Idaho. Sure, it’s wierd out there, but it’s not Iran.

  244. Josh the Baptist says:

    What about infinity times infinity?

  245. Jess says:

    “When Jesus says 70×7 he doesn’t mean 490 times – he means forgive into infinity”

    Yes. Because of Jesus Christ and Him crucified, it is finished.

  246. Andrew says:

    Josh, they got Iranian blood in them. Saaed just spent the last 3 and half years there. They might be Americans but I’m sure their culture is still with them. Didn’t Saaed even need a translater 9 years ago during their first domestic dispute?

  247. Josh the Baptist says:

    Doesn’t matter Andrew. If he loves the kids has has to do everything in his power to be ther for them.

  248. Andrew says:

    Josh, he can be there for them but in their culture he may not be wanted. It may be expected for him to get lost. And get lost big time. This creates a huge conflict and puts the kids right in the middle. I’m not saying what he should or should not do but I would tread lightly in saying he definitely has to fight for visitation rights in court. This is definitely the American thing to do but as every one has stated here, the kids are the ones getting affected.

  249. Josh the Baptist says:

    I DO NOT CARE ABOUT HIS CULTURE!!! I am talking about being a Christian father. He needs to get his head out the clouds, stop trying to be a hero, and be a hero for his kids. Period. There is no other choice. If Nagmeh decides not to go any further with her legal proceedings, then maybe Saeed can keep it out of court, too. But as is, he has no choice. He has to do whatever is possible to be a dad.

  250. Andrew says:

    I care about their culture because its relevant. Very relevant. Wisdom is needed and one size doesn’t fit all when there are various degrees of sin involved.

  251. Josh the Baptist says:

    If ANY culture tells a father to abandon his children, then that culture is evil and needs to be renounced.

  252. Andrew says:

    Josh, relax. I was using the wisdom of King Solomon. The rightful mother of the child was willing to give him up to prevent the kid from being sawed in half. Metaphorically this is exactly what happens in our American court system when it comes to custody.

  253. Michael says:

    Josh has nailed this one down.
    Well done.

  254. Andrew says:

    I DO NOT CARE ABOUT HIS CULTURE!!!

    ___________________________________________________________________

    My sister spent over 8 years in a Muslim country as a Christian missionary and has many stories to tell. I think you really need to rethink this bold statement you made cause its very inappropriate.

  255. Josh the Baptist says:

    Obviously I meant in the context of my # 252.

    If his culture tells him to abandon his children, his culture is evil and needs to be renounced.

  256. Andrew says:

    Josh, I could say the same thing about American Culture. If American culture tells us to go to family court only to split our kids in half, I say that culture is evil and needs to be renounced. Every single culture has its good and bad. American culture truly is evil in many regards and should be renounced. But I’m not fighting with you about a father being being involved with his children. That is very noble. But from my Christian perspective, a spouse comes before kids. Divorce to me is just unfathomable. I know it happens but my theology says a spouse is more important than kids. Maybe I will take a lot of flack saying that. But I believe that with all my heart. I just don’t know the situation well enough and know exactly what Naghmeh has already filed in court to say what Saaed should do in court. According to Jesus not sure we should be going to court that often with our brethren.

  257. Michael says:

    “But from my Christian perspective, a spouse comes before kids. Divorce to me is just unfathomable. I know it happens but my theology says a spouse is more important than kids.”

    This is a gracious warning.

    You need to stop.

    That, to me, is one of the most despicable ideas ever propagated here and I will be merciless and vile in repudiating it.

    Just drop it…

  258. Josh the Baptist says:

    In this case, Andrew, Saeed will have two choices:

    1. Go to court, because it is the only legal option once his wife has taken it to court.

    2. Abandon his kids.

    Choice # 1 is awful, and I’d hate for any father or child to have to go though it.

    Choice # 2 is evil from the pit of Hell, and any man in any culture in the world should do absolutely anything to avoid it.

  259. Andrew says:

    Ok Michael. I’ll drop it. But before I go I would like to say, I hope I can be a good of a dad as you are some day to your kid. But I will also say, I hope I can be an even better husband to my wife.

  260. Steve Wright says:

    Pretty hard for a small child to reconcile that stranger kids in the Iranian orphanages were worth helping over several years, more than half a dozen visits, and at cost of over 3 years in prison and Dad is coming up short on effort to see me.

    NOW…having said that. We don’t know what he is or isn’t doing in regards to his children, how often he is seeing them etc. For all we know Naghmeh has them during the week and he will see them this weekend immediately after the speaking. For all we know he has had them in the green room in most of the places he has done interviews. Nobody knows.

    But the principle stands. You do what you have to, pay any cost, in order to fight for your children…especially if he feels Naghmeh’s legal filing was unwarranted.

  261. Josh the Baptist says:

    The whole family will need you Andrew. The kids will need you, your wife will need you, and your kids will you and your wife to be healthy together. I’m sure you’ll do great.

  262. Josh the Baptist says:

    Right Steve – I have been speaking in hypotheticals. My hope is that the kids are being cared for, even right now.

  263. Andrew says:

    Thanks for the vote of confidence Josh.

  264. Josh the Baptist says:

    Just another thought, sort of unrelated to the topic at hand, but in with the stream.

    My relationship with my wife and children is sort of inter-dependent. Their are times when the kids are OK, and my wife needs take greater priorities, times when the kids have a more immediate need and my wife takes a bit of a backseat…etc. It is a symbiotic relationship like that, and one that I have never had to rank from least to greatest importance.

    That said, in this thread and elsewhere I have been patted on the back for being a great dad. I’m not. I’m a better dad than i am a husband. I’m a better husband than I am a Christian.

    What I am is a very flawed guy that cares. I care. I think if you can get that far, you are ahead of the game.

  265. Andrew says:

    Me too Josh. I am very flawed. Kids are from God and truly are a blessing. After 5 miscarriages I just hope this time God is merciful to us. But what I have come to realize is that we don’t own our kids. They belong to God. We are just custodians of them temporarily. After they come of age, they usually leave the house and start a family of their own.

  266. Michael says:

    “What I am is a very flawed guy that cares. I care. I think if you can get that far, you are ahead of the game.”

    That is gold.

    Amen.

  267. BrideofChrist says:

    I would like to add my apology for confusing Ergun Caner and David Barton. I am horrified that I posted incorrect information, and I regret it. I don’t want to come across as a ‘hater’. I have conflicted feelings about Calvary Chapel and their counseling and I expect I will for the rest of my life. I was just 19 when I first found Calvary Chapel. I had come out from New England, alone,at just age 17 to attend SDSU and had I never even been to California before. My parents had sold our home and moved overseas with my younger brother. My father was a scientist who worked for the US government and he spent the next 20 years overseas. I saw my family only at Christmas. Calvary became an “instant” family for me and I realize now that in many ways I fit the profile of someone who falls into the trap of attending an over-controlling church. I really believed most everything Calvary taught, in spite of my having a Master degree. None of the counseling I received at Calvary was adequate for the seriousness of our marriage problems, and yet Calvary warned us away from seeking professional help . I dearly loved some of my pastors and leaving Calvary was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I still have close friends who attend Calvary. I have been reading this blog for a few years and I have never wanted top post before now – I’m just trying to make sense of my own experiences with this church I was so heavily involved in for almost four decades. The Aberdini story seems to pull all of the threads of my own story with Calvary into an awful knot that tangles up all of my worst experiences. The less-than-honest disclosures of events, attempted cover-ups, shaming of women, misguided teachings about headship and submission, discouraging people from seeking professional counseling ( even in cases of abuse), etc. There are many, many very wonderful people who attend Calvary Chapel but something is happening there that is not good. I don’t think it is the same church that I first attended in the seventies. Something has changed and lines have hardened. I see a much more rigid and controlling church than I once did.

  268. Michael says:

    BrideofChrist,

    I appreciate your humility and your insights.
    They will resonate with more than a few who read here.

  269. Em says:

    this whole thread is full of hypotheticals, is it not?
    theories spun off of stories – that’s all we have, ‘stories’ – may help each of us clarify our own thinking, our aspirations etc… but this saga has been over thought here … IMO

    we don’t really know either of the parents who are the subject here… as i read/skim this subject on the various threads where it has been the topic i see two parents who are flawed – the woman should not be hit by the husband – the children should not be farmed out by the woman to go on any kind of a speaking crusade… yet, we don’t know anyone’s backstory here and should not presume to accuse or excuse as if we did… that includes each other’s backstories as well as the celebrity Christians here

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

    “If ANY culture tells a father to abandon his children, then that culture is evil and needs to be renounced.”

    I agree with you Josh, completely.

    I want to add that any culture that diminishes a wife as less than a co-equal is also evil.

    This is why I struggle with this “missionary call” mantle that Saeed drapes himself with, or anyone else in “ministry” for that matter.

    I know of far too many who are comfortable in role of “leader’, “teacher’, “pastor”, who have treated their spouses and children as collateral damage.

    I seriously challenge anyone who thinks “God is calling them” to serve others BEFORE their spouse & children. That imbalance destroys a marriage and their next generation.

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

    nothing hypothetical here, just love the ones your with, who know you, good, bad, beautiful, ugly. The local and home ministry is where God calls us first & foremost.

  272. Josh the Baptist says:

    Right on, G. Agreed again.

  273. Josh the Baptist says:

    Bride – Thank you for what you wrote.

  274. Pastor Al says:

    Josh is a good dude.

    Typical Calvary Chapel stuff.

    Anyone figure out the Bob Caldwell scandal yet?

  275. Michael says:

    To my knowledge there is no scandal.
    It doesn’t help our credibility to suggest there is one with out any evidence.

    This has been an excellent thread….it needs to stay that way.

  276. Josh the Baptist says:

    Thanks Papa Al.

  277. Em says:

    “nothing hypothetical here, just love the ones your with, who know you, good, bad, beautiful, ugly. The local and home ministry is where God calls us first & foremost.”

    well, there’s nothing hypothetical about that statement, but every statement made about what lies behind the conduct of the Abedinis and their supporters IS hypothetical… and most of our declarations should be preceded by an “IF” ….. unless, you want to make yourself a judge of them

    theories may help clarify our own thoughts as in the quote above, but i stand by my # 270

  278. Michael says:

    Em,

    There’s a great new book out about the eruption of Mt. St.Helens called “Eruption”.

    You might find it interesting…I’m really enjoying it.

    I’m supposed to be working on a sermon, so I’ll have to work this in somehow… 🙂

  279. Em says:

    Michael, it was an interesting morning… my middle school son was down in Battleground and one of my college age daughters was on a marine biology field trip out on the coast… i stepped out of the shower and my husband said the mountain just blew… i didn’t hear it, but he knew right away what had happened… we lived on the Sound north of Seattle…
    i’d driven the kids down a week earlier and looking at the side of the mountain thru the binoculars from the highway you could see the bulge and rocks moving – for the life of me i could not see how those scientists could have sent that young man up there to read guages
    the book looks very interesting – thanks

    glad you’re lying low with a book or two – no heroics in Phoenix, eh?

  280. Michael says:

    No heroics for me…this is the only time it’s better that Trey is elsewhere so I don’t have any temptations to get hurt. 🙂

    I knocked the book out in a couple of hours…it’s really good.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.