May 11, 2014

-image-oh, stuff about mother’s day and the church

Last year during Mother’s Day week, I found a blog post about Mother’s Day and the church and what the church should do about this day. There were over 1,000 comments and there’s no way I could read them all, but as a childless woman who finds this day hard and who avoids church every year on this day, I was struck by a recurring theme in a fair portion of the comments:

The childless women’s comments were frequently countered with “Well, yeah, you’re sad on this day but you’re supposed to rejoice with those who rejoice, the Bible says.”

You know, I love it when people use only half a verse to make their point or take a verse out of context entirely because, yes, we are supposed to rejoice with those who rejoice BUT – as the verse goes on to say – we are to mourn with those who mourn.

As it relates to the childless, when does the church do that, publicly? When does it mourn with other mourners – publicly? If the church is going to publicly rejoice with moms, then by extension, if it’s going to live out this verse, it should publicly mourn with the non-moms, but it doesn’t, or at least I’ve never seen a church that does. To be fair, I think it doesn’t because it just doesn’t know how. (I have some ideas, actually, because I know this road intimately.)

The church acknowledges moms a lot. They’re not forgotten. It’s not hard to find support and friends with that common bond, is it? Mothers are everywhere in the church, so they can’t possibly feel ignored, generally, in the church. There are lots of programs, lots of women walking a similar road, lots of moms with whom to commiserate, so to my eyes, there’s no lack of company. I’m not saying that moms can’t feel alone sometimes; I’m saying the state of motherhood is certainly not ignored in the church at large.

But, frankly, I don’t think it’s the church’s job to celebrate moms. It’s the job of the individual families to celebrate their own moms. I think the church should leave this manmade Hallmark holiday to the culture at large and keep it out of the church entirely. Enough with the mom sermons on Mother’s Day (and enough with the dad sermons on Father’s Day). Enough with the flowers it gives to moms one year and enough with the flowers it gives to all women the next year so no one feels left out. (I’m not stupid. I know I’m not a mom. A flower doesn’t fix it and it’s just awkward and pandering. In the past I said “no, thank you” to those flowers.)

But back to the post I mentioned at the beginning of my tirade. You know, I was also struck by just how many Christian moms commented that they want to be asked to stand in church on Mother’s Day and that they want to be acknowledged and applauded by the entire church. Why? Why are moms entitled to acknowledgement from the entire church? Several women gave the rationale that it’s no different from Veteran’s Day when veterans are asked to stand.

And … then I had to comment. First calm down and then comment.

Because, no, it’s not like Veteran’s Day at all. When veterans are asked to stand on their day, they have served EVERYONE in that church in their service to our country. Moms don’t serve the entire church. They serve on a much smaller but no less vital front: their own home. Expecting honor from people you don’t serve in your capacity as mom is expecting honor that you’re not entitled to. If I were a mom, I’d care much more about things like a scribbled homemade card that says “I love you, mommy,” burnt toast and runny eggs, a sloppy mani-pedi, or a bouquet of random flowers from my yard than any polite applause from people in church who don’t even know what kind of mom I am. Who cares about that? And if a person does care about that, I think they have to ask themselves why.

Maybe moms want to feel like heroes for a little while. I can understand that, but, again, they’re heroes to the family they serve, not the church at large. No, it’s not on the same scale size-wise, but isn’t it much more meaningful?

And about that standing acknowledgement, can I be blunt – or more blunt? The only thing that separates a mom from a non-mom is that all the male-female parts worked correctly and in a timely fashion. The “standing mom” acknowledgement that some churches employ is for the physical fact of being a mom. It isn’t a judgment nor is it an endorsement. It’s not saying “these women are all great moms”; it’s saying “these women are all moms.”

At its core, it’s really a physiological difference that separates a mom from a non-mom, but the church doesn’t do other such acknowledgements and celebrations based on physiological differences, does it? You don’t hear “Stand up if you don’t have diabetes.” “Stand up if you can see.” “Stand up if you don’t have ED.” “Stand up if you can stand up.”

Absurd, right?

I stay away from church on Mother’s Day. I have for years and I don’t see that ever changing – for the rest of my life. I won’t go. In my house, it’s called “Tracey Day” and I get spoiled rotten. That’s how I cope and how I will always cope with this manufactured, exclusionary day.

But would Mother’s Day really be diminished for Christian moms if the church didn’t acknowledge it? Would the Christian mom feel gypped if there weren’t flowers passed out, sermons preached, applause offered? There are plenty of non-Christian moms who don’t get applauded by a roomful of people on that day, so are their Mother’s Days qualitatively worse for the lack of it? I rather doubt it.

I just looked this up: Mother’s Day was established as a holiday 100 years ago – in 1914.

So I’m just wondering.

If this were 1913, what would Christian moms do?

April 23, 2014

-image-i can’t look away from the duggars

Oh, those Duggars. (You know, “19 Kids and Counting Until Michelle’s Uterus Falls Out or Jim Bob’s Penis Falls Off.”)

On last night’s episode, the first Duggar daughter-in-law said this to her toddler son:

DIL: Today at the store, we’re going to practice self-control, okay?
KID: Mmm ……….
DIL: Do you know what that is?
KID: Mmmm ………
DIL (said like a mantra): Instant obedience to do what is right.

Well, yes, that’s the definition of “self-control” in a patriarchal fundamentalist context. Self-control to them is actually total parental control which isn’t actually “self”-control at all, now is it? And this control applies to their kids of all ages, not just the littlest ones. I just find it fascinating that obedience = self-control.

If they’re following the discipline system advocated by those cray-cray Pearls — which they are — then “instant obedience” is required at all times and they’re punished whenever they don’t display instant obedience. You don’t see that part on the TV show, though, because it’s all about being “good witnesses” as opposed to being authentic.

April 8, 2014

-image-get off the roller coaster

Over the last month or so, I’ve been reading the online Christian commentary/reviews surrounding the movies “God is Not Dead” and “Noah” and I’ve come to a conclusion: Christians need to jump off the validation-persecution roller coaster they allow themselves to ride when “Christian-themed” movies are released. “God is Not Dead” comes out and Christians everywhere applaud that “The Christian guy wins the movie! Hurrah!” The high of validation. Then “Noah” comes out and Christians everywhere boo and hiss that “The movie is gnostic and pagan! How dare they mess with a biblical story! The depths of persecution.

And I don’t get it. I really don’t. I don’t understand the intense emotional investment here, the endless cycle of “good movie/bad movie” hysteria that does nothing, ultimately, to move anyone closer to Jesus in any genuine way. Some Christians seem to need to praise or condemn a movie as a requirement of their faith, which I find bizarre: “Look at me going to a movie where the Christian guy wins everything! I’m a good Christian!” Or “Look at me lambasting a movie that messes with our biblical traditions! I’m a good Christian!” (Well, maybe, but not because of this, okay?)

It’s a movie. It’s not Jesus. It’s not the gospel. It’s not salvific. It’s a movie made for the purpose of making boatloads of money. The movie industry isn’t a 501c3. It’s a multibillion-dollar moneymaking business and its money-making goal has nothing to do with you and your beliefs. They don’t really care about your beliefs, okay? They care about stroking your religious ego with this “good” Christian-themed movie – if it makes them money — or stoking your religious hysteria with that “bad” Christian-themed movie – if it makes them money. And that’s all it is. It’s a business for them but we seem to need it to be The Church. It’s not. It’s entertainment.

Hollywood doesn’t care about this self-made roller coaster Christians are on, but they’ll ride along if there’s money in it. Christians, however, ride the roller coaster because they choose to get on. So get off. Get off the roller coaster and see it for what it is: our own self-made misery regarding our perceived rights and/or perceived persecution. Hollywood is under no obligation to make Christians happy. We need to stop being so emotionally invested in “good movie vs bad movie.” We need to stop expecting miracles from “Christian-themed” movies when most of them are — aesthetically — crap. We need to stop bitching about them when they fall short of our personal expectations or agenda and we need to stop praising them when they do our job of offering an apologetic for the faith. We need to stop being so insecure in our faith that a 90-minute movie can soar us to heights of validation or depths of persecution.

Hollywood isn’t in the business of making Christians happy, nor should it be.

So next time the roller coaster stops, get off.

October 22, 2012

-image-well, the day has come

Finally. The day I hoped and prayed for, the day I thought would have to come soon, has finally come. Hallelujah!

A class-action lawsuit has been filed against leaders of the FOC for coverups of sexual molestations.

Three young women and their families have come forward to file this lawsuit against ol’ Baldy and other pastors. I know the mother of one of these young women through our own FOC blog. I’m so heartened to see this courage and this willingness to say “No more.”

My story is nothing, nothing compared to what’s happened to others. I’m well aware of that. Nevertheless, I do take it all a bit personally. My disgust about this place continues on slow simmer — although at this moment, it’s boiling. I know for a fact there are more victims out there than just these three, so it will be interesting to see how big this story gets.

It’s the evangelical version of the Catholic Church scandal.

I’m praying for justice. And frankly hoping that justice means this abusive and corrupt organization will be totally destroyed. (I know I sound all Old Testament-y, but damn, they piss me off, pippa.)

Here are several links to the story. And yes, these links will reveal the real names. I kind of don’t care on that score anymore.

Huffington Post

Christianity Today

Radio interview with plaintiffs’ lawyer, Susan Burke.

Those are some starting points for anyone interested.

September 21, 2012

-image-“trusting god”

I’ve been recently perusing some of the emails we received when we had our FOC blog up last summer. Many people poured their hearts out to me which I found really touching, but even the ones who no longer attended a FOC church still spoke the “special language” of a FOCer and were still in the process of deprogramming themselves. Some of them were sweetly manipulative in asking me for access to this blog. One lady — who actually goes to Maybe Church — wrote me quite often and at one point said, “I’d really love access to your ‘real’ blog but I don’t want to ask. I’m just trusting God with that.”

She had been quite complimentary to me in the email and then followed it with that non-request request. It’s classic FOC. Butter ’em up to get what you want and for extra emphasis, throw God into the mix.

Uhm, peaches, here’s the thing: You were actually asking for access to this blog, there just wasn’t a question mark in your request. I’m all for trusting God, I am, but unless God appears to you in a burning bush to give you this blog’s URL, he’s not the one in charge of giving you that. I am. (Or, alternatively, I suppose you could ask Joe, since goes to your church and seemingly has this blog’s URL memorized.)

Assuming you wouldn’t do that, then yes, I’m the only one who could give that information to you. So why are you trusting God with that since I’m sure we can both agree he’s got more important things to do than to appear to you in a Starbucks cup announcing this blog’s URL?

Ohhh, wait a minute.

Could it really be that you’re trusting God to move my hard heart to give you the URL? That can’t be what you really mean, could it? But giving you this URL would totally defeat the purpose for having published a whole different blog elsewhere. It would make that decision seem irrational and, while I can be quite irrational, I’d rather not appear to be so if it can be easily avoided.

But that’s what you’re really doing: You’re trusting God to move my hard heart to give you the URL.

Well, it’s been over a year now, so good luck with that, Crackie.

I kind of hope God moves my hard heart to give you the URL in, oh, 23 years so you’ll look in your inbox and say, “What the hell is this?”

That would amuse me.

July 23, 2012

-image-oh, hey, this just in: if you masturbate, you’re gay

Oh, sweet fancy Moses.

Celebrity pastor Mark Driscoll (Mars Hill Church, Seattle WA) strikes again. I seriously wanna thunk that guy so bad.

Brace yourselves, pippa. Here we go:

“First, masturbation can be a form of homosexuality because it is a sexual act that does not involve a woman. If a man were to masturbate while engaged in other forms of sexual intimacy with his wife then he would not be doing so in a homosexual way. However, any man who does so without his wife in the room is bordering on homosexual activity.”

Hm. You know, I didn’t know homosexuality was defined by who is watching your various sexual activities. This is news to me. Then again, it’s fashionable these days to change the common understanding of words and terms to something newer and better, I guess, so maybe I’m just not up on the latest definition of homosexuality because I’m not as cool or hip as Driscoll and I don’t wear my t-shirts with a vest or my Converse with a suit.

I just wear ’em with jeans. I’m a goober.

So following Driscoll’s logic here, if two men are having sex but a woman is watching them, that means they’re both straight then, right?

Or if one of the men is married to the woman, then he’s straight, but the other dude is gay?

Or, wait, if both of them are married and both of their wives are watching – something all women love to do, of course — then both of the men are straight. Do I have that right?

If Driscoll’s comment is true, then every man since the dawn of time is gay and every woman who is with a man is with a gay man and no one is paying attention to the t-shirt.

Bummer.

July 19, 2012

-image-christians don’t masturbate

Today I offer for your perusal, this:

x3t117-zoom-tm.jpg

Now I could go on and on about the basic oogeyness of anyone actually wearing this t-shirt, but I won’t because I really think that’s less interesting than my niggling punctuation issue here which calls into question the intended meaning of the whole image, so I’m curious:

Does the t-shirt imply a comma, as in “Christians, don’t masturbate”? Or does the t-shirt imply the even more emphatic colon, as in “Christians: Don’t Masturbate”? Either way then, is the t-shirt offering an unsolicited rebuke? Is it being a sartorial scold?

OR

Does the t-shirt really intend no punctuation, thereby making a declarative: “Christians don’t masturbate”?

It’s unclear, isn’t it? There’s no punctuation here. What does this mean, pippa? The larger red “CHRISTIANS” set above and apart from the words “don’t masturbate” seems to imply some kind of punctuation should follow CHRISTIANS. Then again, maybe not. I honestly don’t know and that’s part of why it’s so stupid: The true meaning/intent isn’t clear.

Perhaps the t-shirt means “Christians don’t masturbate, but all the hellbound heathens do”? Is that it then?

Let’s look at the possibilities:

If the t-shirt means “Christians, don’t masturbate,” well, who doesn’t love to be minding their own business, waiting in line to order their skinny chai latte, only to be confronted by a nagging, all-up-in-your-grill t-shirt worn by some Christian who thinks he’s helping you via the always life-changing venue of casual wear? If you’re wearing this, Slappy, do you really think some 16-year-old Christian kid who sees the t-shirt stops himself in his bed that night, thinking, “But …. well …… that t-shirt earlier today said ……”? No. I’m sorry, but the only t-shirt-related thought that kid thinks in the heat of the moment is how he wishes he had it handy to help him clean up.

You know, I’m actually offended by how stupid this shirt is, how stupid someone would have to be to wear it, how stupid it makes all Christians look, and how stupid it thinks its intended audience is. You’re not helping anyone by wearing this. You’re not even helping yourself because you look like a total wanker.

If the t-shirt means “Christians don’t masturbate” as a statement of fact, well, that’s just a flat-out lie. Christians do masturbate. Whether or not they should is something for eternal debate, I suppose, but Christians do masturbate. No one can make this statement as if it’s empirical truth unless they assembled all the Christians since the dawn of time, gave them polygraph tests regarding their, er, handiwork, analyzed the data, and then concluded that, yes, it’s absolutely unequivocally true that no Christian ever at any time since the invention of hands and fancy places has ever masturbated, world without end, amen. So did the creators of this t-shirt do this? Did they? Because if they did, they definitely missed our house.

So if you wear this shirt you’re either a) nagging, b) lying or c) a bit of both.

And that’s why Christians annoy people. Because we act like wankers but never ever engage in wanking.

Of course.

Lastly, if the t-shirt means “Christians don’t masturbate,” well, that’s a nice guilt-inducing sentiment, isn’t it? If you’re a real Christian, you don’t masturbate like all the blind hairy-palmed pagans we see staggering about us every day. If you do masturbate or ever have, you’re not a real Christian because, to repeat, Christians don’t masturbate.

But wait! Do my eyes deceive me or is there an implied loophole in this t-shirt’s design? A subliminal message? The image is a hand print of a right hand. So is this lie/scold/guilt trip of a t-shirt directed solely at right-handed Christians? Or the right hand itself? Does that mean use of the left hand in all self-completion activities would be acceptable then? I ask only for clarity’s sake, of course.

I have to wonder: Why the focus on masturbation? Is it guilt trip? The shock value? The superiority complex? I mean, why not a t-shirt that says “Christians don’t lie” or “Christians don’t steal”? or “Christians don’t commit adultery”? Those are taken directly from the ten commandments where, surprisingly, masturbation isn’t mentioned even once. So why not make t-shirts that say those things? Oh, wait. Those aren’t true either, plus they’re nowhere near as titillating as the whole master of your domain issue.

I shouldn’t underestimate this t-shirt’s value, though, because I’m now inspired to design my own similar t-shirts. For instance, how about a “Christians don’t lie” t-shirt featuring Pinocchio in silhouette with his nose wrapping all the way ’round the t-shirt. That would be cool, no? And, oh, how about a “Christians don’t commit adultery” t-shirt with two people really going at it in silhouette, doggy-style? I mean, why not?

Let’s cover all the things we Christians “don’t” do and put them on t-shirts.

You know, there’s only so much eye rolling my eyes can do before they’re stuck on “roll” forever.

Come on. Christians are humans first. They become Christians later. And later still, some become idiots.

But idiots or not, we struggle with all the same things everyone else does. Don’t let some random stupid t-shirt tell you otherwise.

(Also, I’m open to your t-shirt suggestions. Let’s start a business so we can fund our Sudden Yurt Commune.)

July 9, 2012

-image-the mindset of the foc male

I occasionally visit the FB page of a dude from Maybe Church who was one of the worship leaders when we were there. Actually, he was the one I wrote about who literally could not sing — he was tone deaf, I’m pretty sure of it — and it fascinated me that he was given that position simply because of the penis in his pants when there were women singing behind him who were clearly better singers.

As a bit of a background here, I’ve seen him around the various FOC “survivor” blogs — using his full name because FOCers think a screen name is a form of dishonesty — and he’s generally been mocking and condescending towards the people abused or traumatized by the FOC who are still deeply hurting. At one point, after my patience with him had completely frayed, I gave him a well-deserved (but fairly controlled) smackdown because I have zero tolerance for people who are cruel and dismissive about other’s pain just because it hasn’t happened to them. It is the essence of ungrace to me and the antithesis of Christian compassion.

His FB page is open to anyone, it seems, or at least many of the posts are public, so I check in on him about once a month. He’s a curiosity to me because, well, most FOCers are curiosities to me at this point and because he’s in a leadership position at his church that I don’t think he’s mature enough or sensitive enough to manage. My opinion.

I visited him this morning and found this thread. I believe most of the commenters here are also FOC men from his church.

I’m putting it up with no commentary from me — which is an act of extreme will power on my part, let me tell you. I think this exchange gives an interesting glimpse into the mindset of the FOC male. Worship leader starts the thread, so he’s “Poster” here:

POSTER: Just watched a girl at the gym, who was basically wearing nothing, go to the locker room and put on sweats and a shirt. Why? Because she noticed how many guys were constantly staring at her. I think this is a first…

MAN 2: One of them being you.

MAN 3: What?! No pic?!

POSTER: I looked at her with the look of, “Where is her dad at?” 😉

MAN 3: I would’ve given her a dollar. 😉

POSTER: And please no one jump to any sinful conclusions here. During the few minutes I was stretching I saw this girl and noticed the guys, and within a few minutes this girl changed. It wasn’t a workout long obsession…plus my wife is hotter anyways!

‎RANDOM CHICK: “Mission accomplished.” –that girl.

MAN 4: Do push ups at home.

MAN 5: I agree with Man 4. :) Home is much safer for the mans inherited wandering eyes.

POSTER: The point of this thread is that a girl who I would think that desires men’s attention like a whore, strangely changed her clothes in order to reject men’s attention. I thought that it was awesome. Secondly, I don’t think that God created females for us to make an effort to not be around them, except for one. Finding women attractive is not a bad thing. The sin is coveting someone else. Thoughts?

POSTER: Again, the point of this thread is to say that I thought that a girl changing her clothes instead of desiring men’s attention was awesome. I’d be a proud dad of that girl!

POSTER: We as men need to not be afraid of attraction. We need to flee the thought that we wished that our wives WERE these other women. Thoughts?

MAN 6: (ed.: He leaves a link to this video by celebrity pastor Mark Driscoll.)

MAN 4: There are some women we should make efforts not to be around. Especially if we don’t have to be around them. We might have to be around scantily clad females in our neighborhoods or at work. A gym is an elective.

MAN 7: It’s not easy being in the world but not of the world. When I see a beautiful woman I remind myself that (A) She is a co/Image bearer of God, (B) She is someone’s daughter, (C) she could be someone’s wife, (D) She doesn’t belong to me. Plus frankly often they are not so beautiful after they open their mouths…

MAN 8: Hey Man 7, one thing you said that always stuck with me. You said every time you see a beautiful woman you would think to yourself, “wow, good job God”. That always put things in perspective for me.

So I throw it back to you, pippa. Does anything in particular stick out to you?

As “Poster” said, “Thoughts?”

(Okay. I can’t hold it in. I can’t. I have to say it: I notice they’re using emoticons in their manly communications. Wasn’t this labeled “verboten” by ol’ Baldy, head of the FOC?)

May 4, 2012

-image-bitter town

I love it when I write something, read it again much later, and still agree with myself. On the other hand — not to be too one-sided — it could very well mean that I haven’t grown one iota on a personal level since writing that particular something, which would then be kind of no bueno.

But for the purposes of this post, let’s assume that continuing to agree with oneself is muy bueno, otherwise this all falls apart, ‘kay?

I found a post from our FOC blog that I never posted here. It’s actually a comment I posted on one of the big FOC blogs during the FOC implosion last summer in response to all the pro-FOC people who liked to come on these blogs and denounce the wounded as bitter people who just needed to “get over it already.” (I reposted it on our FOC blog because, well, I liked it.) It’s gotten to the point where you can always spot a FOCker by the regular recitation of the “you’re all bitter and need to get over it” mantra. It’s a dead give-away. A dead dismissive giveaway. So one day, my slow burn on this topic finally erupted and I responded to these chronic invalidators.

Here’s the comment and, yes, I still agree with myself:

Can I say something in a general way to the steady stream of people who traipse onto the blog suggesting we’re all on a slow train to Bitter Town or already living there in our giant scowling mansions, building more rooms every day?

It’s always fascinating to me how these people presume to know the invisible condition of strangers’ hearts. Since one assumes, based on how massively irritating it all is, that these people aren’t Jesus, they can’t possibly know if we’re “bitter” or “unable to let it go” or whatever dismissive lingo they choose to use. Still, they presume to know what they cannot know, all the while dismissing what’s empirically in front of them, especially now: years and years of the FOC’s abuse and dysfunction and unrepentance.

Here’s the thing, though: We “bitter” souls wounded by the FOC are closer to finding freedom and healing than the unrepentant souls who wounded us. We can – and do – find those things in Christ even if/when our wounders never say “boo” to us. We can work through forgiveness apart from any healing actions or redemptive words from them. That’s just how good God is.

We don’t necessarily need them in order to be free. We ultimately need only him.

But ….. and here’s the problem for them …….. they need us in order to be free. They can go to God all they want saying, “Uh, sorry, God, sorry. Sorry about that thing with that person,” but that doesn’t truly free them because they haven’t sought forgiveness from the person they’ve wronged. I mean, I can extend forgiveness in my heart all the livelong day – and I do, I swear I do – but forgiveness isn’t received unless it’s sought. A gift that sits unwrapped isn’t a gift received. And that’s the job of the unrepentant where forgiveness is concerned: to seek it and receive it. Until they do, there’s no true freedom for them. We can find freedom without them. They can’t find freedom without us. They need us for their own healing.

I’d worry less about the people presumably living in bitterness and more about the people imprisoned by their own stubbornness. One group is much closer to true freedom than the other.

April 30, 2012

-image-everybody loves raymond, exhibit c

The final comment left on our FOC blog last summer by dear “Brother Raymond.”

There is really nothing to say except that he missed the point of the story — entirely — because he didn’t even finish it.

I read most of your journey through (FOC) and frankly I could not finish it. (And yet I still have tons of loving opinions about the kind of people you and your husband are.) Truly I think the dangerous people in that situation were you and your husband (Whoops — guess I shouldn’t have gone up and prayed for those two people. They may have caught my “dangerous” cooties.) and you both obviously have a lot of bitterness and need some healing. I find it incredible you both went through this big, demanding drama because you were writing mean things about people and God exposed you. (“God exposed us”? No, Joe did. He misses the whole “anonymous” angle of the thing entirely. I am literally hopeless about people with this rigid unthinking mindset.) What is spoken in darkness will be declared from the rooftops, have you read that saying from Jesus. (I wasn’t speaking in “darkness,” precious, but I was speaking, again, anonymously.) I was a little more sympathetic at firs (I myself don’t waste much sympathy on firs, but to each his own) because I have heard other..really horrible stories about (FOC) but yours was not one of them. (We never claimed it was a “horrible story.”) Actually you made me feel sorry for them having to endure your selfish, sneaky, backbiting behavior that eventually got them all demonized publicly by you. (NOT publicly! AHHHHHHH! It’s the willful ignorance I find so intolerable.) I can tell you this much…I don’t think its Christians that have the problem. I think you need to really…really..truly meet Jesus and get healed so you can love people and not be so mean and petty. I feel sorry for you. Mainly because by your writings you are apparently so blind to your own behaviors, and that you were mad at people who weren’t any worse than you two drama king and queen. I’m sorry people didn’t play patty cake with your fragile ego..but you gotta die to yourself so you can live for Christ. I really am sad for you. I am almost crying because your slander and selfishness is doing harm to others that may seek Jesus, but desire to stay away because of all your raging and bitterness. (Oh, for God’s sake. I hate this argument. So if I write about my own personal experience with Christians at a certain church and it’s not the best experience I’ve ever had, I’ve somehow ruined Jesus?? Churches are flawed. Christians are flawed. If we do nothing but hide the flaws to “protect Jesus” — who doesn’t actually need our protection — we just breed even more flaws, even deeper issues. If a husband and wife, for instance, never speak of any issues between them, the issues compound over time and become much worse. If people want to seek Jesus, they will find Jesus. And the church isn’t Jesus, actually.) I pray you repent and become a servant instead of a sulking, sneaky passive aggressive. (Yeah, it would be nice if that happened.) I am sorry if this is to harsh (Harsh? No! It’s lovely! I’m gonna have “Here lies Tracey, a sulking sneaky passive aggressive” put on my tombstone.) but your I am sorry if this is to harsh but your blog…its shameful. May the Lord forgive you and may you repent to these people.

Matter of fact I wonder if you went public with this stuff just to get attention for yourselves. I saw you created this a month ago..right in the middle of a public FOC meltdown. (Nope. The “FOC meltdown” last summer happened, oh, about 6-7 weeks AFTER our little story went online. But thanks for that unfounded accusation.) I hope that s not why you have done this and I pray it backfires in your face if that’s what you are doing. Crawling on the backs of others to get recognition for yourself is not an attribute of Jesus. (This sentence just strikes me as so funny. Like you’d put that on your dating profile: “I crawl on the backs of others to get recognition, much like Jesus Christ himself.”) If you have issues with what I have said you can freely print them and I will explain to anyone who disagrees with me why your blog is so infuriating and wrong, from a biblical perspective. I know many will accuse me of being a secret (FOC) agent but that’s why I gave you my website. I live in Colorado..married with six kids…and going to Seminary in Denver. (Oh, I have more to tell you about our Brother Raymond, pippa.) I go to a stranger church than (FOC) and work with addicts. I am saying these things not because I have any sympathy for (FOC) but because you call yourself Christians while you try to drag people who attempted to love you through the mud. (Again, it would be super duper helpful to your basic comprehension of events if you’d actually finished reading about said events.) I even have pictures on my website because I have no issues with walking in the light. (Yes, I did get a gander at those.) I do not fear men and I do not take potshots at Then right after, a post later, I saw you got busted and I literally laughed out loud. (This is what’s so interesting to me. I got “busted.” That’s how he sees it. I wrote anonymously about my own experience at a (still) unnamed church, someone outed that, and I deserved to be “busted.” I just can’t understand this mindset. I hope I never do, to be honest.) Yet still you made an insight about people whispering, and you marching over to confront them with their eyes bulging out, and how someone looks when they have been caught. Somehow you made no connection to yourself. You were mad because you got caught and were running around church with your own paranoid eyes bugging out thinking everyone was focused on you. (Hm. I didn’t think “everyone was focused on me” but clearly a few people were for a certain amount of time, based on the empirical evidence.) How arrogant is that, as if you are the center of everyone’s universe. (What? I’m NOT???) It never occurred to you that maybe they didn’t even care and felt sorry for you. You projected all these evil intentions from yourself dear woman. The wicked flee when no one pursues them. (I get it already. You think I’m wicked.) I knew you would deal with it in a petty and mean way by your previous postings. Its sad you cannot see that. (MB and I tried over and over and over to get Joe to talk to us — you know, like it says to do in the Bible. Again, reading the entire story before passing judgment might be a good idea.) I hope you at least have the courage and integrity to post my comments so we can dialog in the light. (Nope. We didn’t post his comments since MB and I decided our Brother Raymond was a tad …… unstable. Someone can disagree with me or take me to task, but if they can’t do it rationally or even coherently, well, I don’t want to engage that. It’s a waste of valuable mental resources.) So far, I feel you are a glory seeker and will not because you are afraid of confrontation (Hahahaha, you clearly do NOT know me) and like to bash people in private. But we’ll see. If you say you know God and hate your brother…your a liar. That’s what John said. (Yes, I know. Thank you. Perhaps you could think on that verse a bit? Just a thought. Not once did I say I hated anyone in this scenario. Not once did I bash anyone’s character in this scenario. I don’t hate anyone in this scenario. I had a huge problem with people’s actions/behaviors/institutional mindsets. I have a huge problem, too, with minds who can’t/won’t make those kinds of distinctions.) I pray you examine your own treatment of believers before you continue to bash them publicly. (Uh, ditto?) I actually thought it was awesome when God outed you. (So you’ve said.) I was so upset with your arrogance and belittling behavior I sent you a comment.

And Brother Raymond exits, pursued by a bear.

Here’s the thing about Ray:

Brother Raymond is, essentially, a street preacher. A few years ago, he believed he’d heard the call of God to walk across the country all the way to New York City, preaching the word of God along the way, standing on street corners, lovingly yelling at people to repent, come to Jesus, etc., because 911 was just God’s warning to us, a harbinger of worse to come. All of this is very effective stuff, modeled on how most churches and pastors share the gospel, of course, which is why the streets in New York City are always so crowded. Just too many street preachers reaching the lost.

His wife and 6 children did not accompany him on this task. No. He left them at home while he trudged across America, straightening out his priorities with every step. I mean, one assumes.

Brother Raymond and his friend Brother Elliott even made a series of fascinating videos about their quest and how 911 inspired all their work for the Lord.

You can start the viewing here.

Break out the popcorn, pippa.

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