• The End of Empathy by Hanna Rosin

The End of Empathy

This issues discussed in this article remind me of this Bible verse:

Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold…

The End Of Empathy by Hanna Rosin

Snippets:

…Americans these days seem to be losing their appetite for empathy, especially the walk-a-mile-in-someone’s-shoes Easter Sunday morning kind.

…Konrath [associate professor and researcher at Indiana University] collected decades of studies and noticed a very obvious pattern.

Starting around 2000, the line starts to slide.

Continue reading

• These pastors were busted taking the ‘Prosperity Gospel’ to the extreme and bilking their followers out of millions by S. K. Burris

These pastors were busted taking the ‘Prosperity Gospel’ to the extreme and bilking their followers out of millions

Snippets:

by S. K. Burris

The worship of the almighty dollar is never more evident than with religious leaders who manage to work the system and avoid paying their taxes. For some pastors, faith in the prosperity gospel is stronger than the biblical gospels.

According to the Washington Post, fraud is thriving in U.S. churches, but it goes largely unreported either to church leaders or to the authorities.

…The late Rev. Dr. David B. Barrett partnered with the Center for the Study of Global Christianity to chart a statistical understanding of Christian churches around the world. Barrett “was a pioneer in collecting data on churches and noticed a significant increase in embezzlement fraud during the 1980’s,” Pavlo wrote.

Continue reading

• Christianity Did Not Help Me, It Did Not Work For Me

I was a very devout Christian from childhood up to my early, maybe mid, forties.

These days, I don’t know what I am (religiously speaking).

As I look back over my life, I can see that not only did the Christian faith not help me much, but as some of its teachings were taught to me, it created obstacles in my life, and kept me stuck in harmful patterns or ways of thinking.

Supposing there is an afterlife with a Heaven and a Hell, and acceptance of Christ means a ticket into Heaven upon death, that works out just fine. I can sure see how that is beneficial later on.

Christianity, though, did not really help me with very much in the present life.

Any pain, problems, or stress I’ve had so far were not relieved by the Christian faith.

Prayer, Bible reading, believing in Jesus, volunteering at charities, attending church – none of that alleviated my problems.

Continue reading

• Godly Men, Be Quiet By S. Krehbiel

Godly Men, Be Quiet By S. Krehbiel

Godly Men, Be Quiet By S. Krehbiel

Snippets:

….Patriarchal Christian masculinity is a powerful drug. It makes many church men believe that the world desperately needs their perspective on everything.

It makes their followers believe that asking such men to step aside from leadership is somehow tantamount to cruelty. 

God is always calling these men to lead someone or something, even when what they know about that thing may be approximately two cents less than nothing

Particularly in the evangelical world, the spiritual quality that seems to most define men like this is their ability to imagine that they hear God in the voice of their own ambition.

And then, inevitably, they start talking about healing, and positioning themselves as experts on how survivors should heal and need to heal. They cultivate suspiciously in-house quasi-professionals. They host high-profile healing services.

Continue reading

• Insensitive, Clueless, or Off-Base Responses by Christians to Pedophile Preacher Article on Christian Site

Insensitive, Clueless, or Off-Base Responses by Christians to Pedophile Preacher Article on Christian Site

I wanted to discuss some of the comments I saw below the last article I just blogged about, which comes from the CBN Site. I blogged about it here:

The Pedophile in the Pulpit: How a Respected Pastor Abused Hundreds of Children for 40 Years, and No One Knew by Heather Sell

Article Comments

I skimmed some of the comments under that article (edit: link now fixed) on the CBN site.

Alex is an adult who says when she was a child that her preacher father sexually molested her. Later in life, she and her brother reported their father to the police, where the police discovered he had raped and molested other children, too. He was arrested.

Alex said she walked away from the Christian faith as a result of the abuse.

Here is what she said, and this is what some of the self-professing Christians in the CBN comment box were reacting to:

Alex has traveled a road that’s not uncommon for abuse victims of spiritual leaders. She stopped attending church and has no desire to go back. “I don’t like the idea of God as a fatherly thing,” she said. “If that’s who He is He wasn’t there for me. If my dad was supposed to be someone who was spreading His word – that’s not the case at all,” she said.

/////

Unfortunately, some of the Christians reacted to Alex’s rejection of the Christian faith inappropriately – rather than just express their condolences towards her that she was harmed by her father, they chose to defend the Church or God.

Continue reading

• The Pedophile in the Pulpit: How a Respected Pastor Abused Hundreds of Children for 40 Years, and No One Knew by Heather Sells

The Pedophile in the Pulpit: How a Respected Pastor Abused Hundreds of Children for 40 Years, and No One Knew by Heather Sell

Some of the following story was shown on the Christian television program The 700 Club a few days ago, and I watched most of it.

This pastor was molesting at least one of his own kids, a daughter.

If I recall the interview with her correctly, I think she said that his molestation of her caused her to leave the Christian faith. I am not sure how she identifies herself today, if she would say she is an atheist or agnostic or what not.

This goes to show that yes, the behavior of self-professing believers of whatever world view (Christian, Islam, atheism, what have you) can negatively impact someone to the point they want nothing to do with the respective world view / faith.

I also related to the poor wife who said she was expecting people (I would gather especially Christian friends) to gather round her in her time of need (after her ex- husband was arrested) but nobody stepped forward.

I know that feeling of abandonment all too well, though in my case, it happened in the context of the death of my mother – Christian friends and family either avoided me during my time of grief or lectured and scolded me.

Here is the report?

The Pedophile in the Pulpit: How a Respected Pastor Abused Hundreds of Children for 40 Years, and No One Knew by Heather Sells

Snippets:

SOMERSET, Pa. – John and Clara Hinton arrived in Somerset, Pennsylvania in 1972. Just two years into their marriage and with a young daughter, the young couple was eager to start their ministry at the Somerset Church of Christ, a small congregation in the rural community.

John had completed a Bible degree at Oklahoma Christian University and served as a youth pastor when he stepped into the pulpit.

‘I wish my husband was like yours’: The Respected Dad

The two would go on to have eleven children and Clara considered John to be a model husband and father. She described him as soft-spoken and thoughtful, fixing her breakfast every morning.

Continue reading

• Family of Pedophile Pastor Now Spreads the Word on How To Prevent Abuse by Heather Sells

 Family of Pedophile Pastor Now Spreads the Word on How To Prevent Abuse by Heather Sells

The following article also addresses CSA (Clergy Sex Abuse) and how Celebrity Pastorhood contributes to sex abuse cover ups in and by churches. I also comment towards the bottom, briefly, on how Christian Gender Complementarianism, plays a role in those things as well.

Family of Pedophile Pastor Now Spreads the Word on How To Prevent Abuse by Heather Sells

February 2019

SOMERSET, Pa. – Jimmy and Clara Hinton don’t want others to miss what they didn’t see for years: their father and husband, a respected pastor for years in his rural community, was keeping his flock in the dark while he molested young children.

Today, the elders at Somerset Church of Christ have moved intentionally to protect children. Empty classrooms are locked.

Adults working with children operate in teams of two or more. On Sundays, monitors conduct random building sweeps and each Sunday School room has a walkie-talkie in case of an emergency.

Church policy also protects children from potentially unwanted physical touch like a hug. “None of us can walk up to a kid, pull a kid in and initiate that physical contact,” says Pastor Jimmy, who has served as the pastor at Church of Christ since his father left in 2009.

He thinks that’s important because abusers often groom children to become used to them initiating.

Continue reading