Point of Contact

Since my first post on Dr. Gilbert Bilezikian on August 10, 2018 at least three additional women (primary witnesses) have spoken up claiming first-hand experiences with sexual misconduct and harassment from DrB. Many other individuals have also spoke up with second-hand knowledge (secondary witnesses) of events regarding DrB’s sexual misconduct and harassment toward women.

Currently, all four women who are primary witnesses are claiming anonymity. I don’t blame them. The environment in which they speak up has proven itself hostile toward [some of] these women.

Patterns are revealing themselves. Both primary and secondary witness accounts detail similar sexual misconduct from DrB and Bill Hybels. Accounts also point to some overlap in time. Meaning, similar sexual misconduct from both men occurred around the same time. Coincidence? Only Bill and DrB can answer that.

A third pattern has revealed itself: the pattern of the cover-ups that have enabled these men to continue their sexual misconduct with immunity. Bill is linked to one major Christian institution, Willow Creek Community Church (WCCC). Since March 2018, the public has become aware of how WCCC has for years covered up for Bill. DrB is linked to not one but three major Christian institutions. Primary and secondary witness accounts detail how all three of these institutions have for years covered up for DrB’s sexual misconduct toward women.

One institution dismissed DrB’s female accuser as a temptress. Another gave DrB a slap on the hand by dismissing him of his responsibilities for a short period time, for about 5 months. The third institution dismissed his actions with, “Oh, DrB is just being DrB. He’s just being himself. He’s just being French.” When those excuses were not used, references to his age and senility were used instead.

Women, both primary (women/people who directly received sexual misconduct or other type of abuse) and secondary (people who heard about DrB’s behavior from others) witnesses, have been met with verbally hostile attacks for speaking up against DrB. It is difficult to discern who is a safe person to speak to. Recent events reveal that there are some individuals who are seeking accountability for Bill but because of their affection for and personal friendship with DrB are either silent or are verbally hostile toward women who speak up against DrB. The double standard is shameful for the movement that seeks accountability for abusive leaders and abusive structures at WCCC.

I’ve been asked if Willow Creek has reached out to me, ESMartin, if WCCC has asked for my help to connect them with the two primary witnesses linked to my blog. No. No one from Willow Creek has reached out to me. Willow claims to be reaching out to the victims of Bill. Even though Willow is aware of my blog posts regarding DrB, they have not reached out to me.

Sarah Carter has co-founded a group to assist women who have been abused by clergy. She has not reached out to me. Steve Carter, who has an idolatrous following of individuals who recently referred to him, while he was still on staff at Willow, as “savior” and “redeemer”, has not reached out to me. Even though Steve is no longer on staff at Willow, his idolatrous following continues. And still, this super “hero” has not reached out to me. Steve did contact me two years ago to demand—in his typical passive-aggressive, bully, manipulative, and tantrum-throwing ways—that I remove my posts about him. Sound familiar? This is typical character of Willow Creek leaders. No, I did not remove my posts about him; they are still available on my blog.

I did receive an email from Wheaton College regarding my posts about DrB. Wheaton College stated to me that they take allegations seriously and have asked for my assistance in connecting them to primary witnesses—specifically, women who have experienced sexual misconduct from DrB.

When Wheaton College contacted me, I took the opportunity to ask Wheaton College to verify if and when did Wheaton remove DrB from his teaching responsibilities for one semester as a form of reprimand for his sexual misconduct toward women—as my intel (secondary witness) informs me. I also asked Wheaton College if they intend to hold DrB accountable for his actions. Wheaton did not respond to my inquiry. I didn’t expect Wheaton College to respond to my inquiry; but, I still had to ask. For now, I consider Wheaton College’s lack of response as a confirmation of the “time out” from teaching they imposed on DrB—until I hear otherwise from Wheaton College.

Also, during DrB’s tenure at Wheaton College, his sexual misconduct toward female students was common knowledge among the female and male student body—as my intel (secondary witness) informs me.

Wheaton College responded to my inquiry by re-iterating to me that they want to “hear” the allegations against the “retired” professor, DrB. I greatly appreciate Wheaton College opening up an inquiry to “hear” the allegations against “retired” DrB. Only time will tell how Wheaton College will respond to the current inquiry. I hope they do more than “hear” from the primary witnesses. Unfortunately, precedence does not allow me to have much hope.

I have sent the contact information of Wheaton College to the two primary witnesses linked to my blog, as Wheaton asked of me. With this post, I invite primary witnesses, or their representatives, to email me if they wish for me to provide to them the contact information of the person leading the inquiry on behalf of Wheaton College.

DrB is aware of the public allegations now circulating on the internet and on Facebook via my blog, ESMartin. As his way of reaching out to bring this “turmoil to an honorable end”, he is making a few requests: 1) That ESMartin “pull down the personally offensive blogs and FB page”, 2) that “ESMartin retract the allegations as fictive material”, and that 3) “ESMartin express a general apology for whoever suffered harm”. DrB stated that members of his family are very upset, not because of any sexual misconduct on his part, but because of the public allegations of the woman/women. Meaning, it’s the fault of the whistle blower[s], not the fault of DrB, that his family is upset. Also, DrB is accusing the woman/women of speaking out of resentment and retaliation against him for loss of [her] ministry opportunities at WCCC. Does all of this sound familiar? Bill/Willow Creek responded with the same and practically identical accusations and attacks against Bill’s accusers. Another pattern reveals itself.

My intel (secondary witness who heard it directly from DrB) informs me that DrB has advised Bill to own up to whatever he needs to own up to. Based on the preliminary response from DrB, DrB does not intend to follow his own advice.

Instead of succumbing to DrB’s requests, I am going to do something else…and I need your help.

Seeking accountability for DrB’s actions is proving itself to be a much more daunting task than seeking accountability for Bill. DrB is linked to not one but to three major Christian institutions which have covered up for him for decades. Additionally, some, not all, individuals who are seeking accountability for Bill and WCCC have a close friendship with DrB; so, they are either silent about DrB or extremely hostile toward the women raising allegations against DrB. Also, the women can’t go to DrB. DrB has already revealed his defense which is to deny and attack and try to invalidate his accuser(s). Where may the women go to raise allegations against DrB and seek accountability for his actions?

I extend my gratitude to those of you who have contributed with your comments on my blog posts to the effort of exposing DrB and seeking accountability for his actions. With this post, and as my response to DrB’s requests, I am expanding the purpose of my blog.

  1. I am inviting primary and secondary witnesses to email me with your accounts for the purpose of exposing DrB and seeking accountability via safe and appropriate and, of course, government-protected venues. Your identity will be kept confidential and shared only with your prior permission
  2. I am inviting primary and secondary witnesses to email me with your accounts for the purpose of exposing and seeking accountability for the three major Christian institutions who have covered up for DrB and covered up for themselves regarding DrB’s sexual misconduct, and who have done so for decades.Your identity will be kept confidential and shared only with your prior permission.
  3. And third, I am inviting primary and secondary witnesses to email me with your accounts regarding pertinent abusive behavior from DrB against women. Accounts are starting to surface from primary witnesses indicating that coupled with sexual misconduct, DrB directed abusive behavior toward women in the form of emotional, intellectual, psychological, moral, and spiritual abuse.Your identity will be kept confidential and shared only with your prior permission.

I look forward to hearing from you and to connect you with the group of individuals who are currently in the process of gathering data in order to expose DrB and seek accountability for his actions and the actions of his enablers.

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The First Time…

After posting my article this past Friday, I was notified that on this past Saturday morning, yesterday, another woman spoke up with practically an identical experience. Exposing this particular founding elder will be difficult for many to comprehend and even more difficult to accept and extremely difficult to deal with the after-math. I respectfully extend my gratitude to those who have left comments of support for the voices now speaking up.

To continue on this very difficult task, below is a follow-up account from Anonymous Woman–the same woman from my previous post. I publish the following with her permission.

The first time he did something perverted to me was in-front of a storefront. I picked him up at his home and drove out for lunch. He took me to a restaurant he recommended in his neighborhood of Wheaton. I am not from Wheaton and am not familiar with the area. It is however, his neighborhood. I drove but he navigated. He directed me where to park and as a way to introduce me to his neighborhood, he gave me a round-about tour of the block on our way to the restaurant.

As we were approaching the restaurant and had gone around the block, we were walking on the sidewalk approaching the storefront in reference. He tenderly took my arm and we walked with locked arms. I was surprised and a bit uncomfortable. I didn’t make a big deal of it, and interpreted his action only as he extending friendly affection.

Up ahead I could see a poster displayed behind the glass of the storefront. It was a naked man, wearing only a Speedo with his legs wide open for everyone to see his frontal package tightly packed-in by the Speedo. I was mortified! I was also very embarrassed that he and we had to see this thing.

As we approached the poster, the idea quickly popped into my head to cross the street in order to avoid the poster. Instead, I hurried up my step and I looked away toward the street as I talked trying to recalibrate myself and re-focus on the conversation. When we were about one step past the poster, I began to feel relief that it was all over. That’s when it happened.

While our arms were locked, he stops us and starts to walk backwards telling me, “Look, look! I want you to see this.” My heart was pounding in horror. I was hoping he was referring to something else, not the poster. I didn’t know what to do. I did know I didn’t want to go back there no matter what it was he wanted me to see. I pressed forward and told him, “Come on. Let’s keep walking.”

But, we were in locked arms and he pulled me back saying, “Look, look!” I turned to look at him. He had that gloating grin, the same one I described in my previous post. He was pointing at the poster with his other hand but his eyes were fixed on my eyes. Again and again, I pressed forward telling him, “Come on let’s go!” But he would not let me go. By this time, we were no longer locked in arms, but he had his hand firmly on my elbow, holding me back and pulling me back, preventing me from walking forward, and forcing me to look at the poster.

As he was looking at me and searching for my eyes, I was looking away, looking at the sky, the sidewalk, the street, everywhere but that darn poster or his eyes. He wouldn’t let go of me. I finally looked and said, “There, I looked, now let’s go!”

He burst out laughing and forced me to look at his eyes after I looked at the poster. Finally, he loosened his grip on my elbow and we were able to keep walking.

I have many disturbing accounts that I need to share to hold this man and Willow Creek accountable. I have chosen to share this particular account at this time because of what I have been reading lately regarding the pattern of obsession over nudity and [neo-] pornography and indecent exposure among sexual predators and among Willow Creek senior leaders. And this account fits the pattern.

I didn’t make the connection then. Now, after the scandal broke, so many pieces are falling into place. Then, I had too much respect for him. Now, I am repulsed at the mere thought of him or mention of his name.

I thank you all in advance for your patience and for your support as I navigate this very difficult situation. Speaking up about a man I have looked up to, a man so many of us have looked up to, carries a heavy burden…a burden I have chosen to carry and have chosen to carry alone. I stand on my own integrity. I stand on my own word.

I will continue to share my experiences and will continue to seek accountability over this man. This man needs to be stopped and many more, not one or two or three more, but many more current senior leaders, staffers, and volunteers need to resign if Willow Creek is to have a real chance of a redemptive fresh start.

The founding elder I am speaking up about is Dr. Gilbert Bilezikian, a.k.a. Dr. B, founding elder and co-founder of Willow Creek, and mentor and advisor to Bill Hybels and many other past and current senior leaders, staffers, volunteers and members at Willow Creek.

For any woman out there who has experienced any form of sexual perversion from Dr. B or any man out there who has witnessed or been influenced by his sexual perversion, please seek a safe place to communicate your story and to make it public. Since multiple private efforts to hold him accountable have not worked, it is time to go public as Scripture demands, Matthew 18:17.

There are many more stories out there that need to be heard. For exposing Dr. B, the negative ramifications on various Christian institutions are great. But the church can no longer afford to protect him in order to protect all the good he has done. We as Christians should never have to make the decision to protect a sexual predator in order to protect the good he has done. And women should never ever have to pay the price for that decision.

Please feel free to leave a comment. I moderate the comments, so if you would like to make a private comment, simply state so and I will not make your comment public.

Systemic Sexual Perversion in the Foundation of Willow Creek Commmunity Church

On March 23, 2018, along with the rest of the world, I found out about the allegations against Bill Hybels regarding sexual misconduct and abuse of power. Like so many others—and because of my gratitude and respect for Bill and Lynne and their family—I also hoped it was all one big misunderstanding and that it wasn’t true. However, I quickly stepped into my egalitarian responsibilities, which includes—among many other egalitarian responsibilities—“listen to the witness of the women.” Jesus did. The New Testament church did. So must we.

I was shocked and saddened at the allegations against Bill. However, I was not surprised at how Willow Creek has mishandled the situation before and since March 2018. Nor was I surprised at the systemic problem of abuse of power and of sexual perversion.

Others have written on the abuse of power and on how the elders and senior leaders have mishandled the allegations before and since March 2018. Scott McKnight has written a comprehensive and well detailed summary, which I highly recommend reading, click here for his article. However, no one has tackled the systemic and prevalent problem of sexual perversion that goes back to the foundation of Willow Creek.

The women who have raised allegations against Bill have requested for Bill’s misconduct to be investigated and for the investigation to go back to Bill’s college years. To make such a request, these women must certainly know something that the rest of us don’t know. Additionally, during these last few months since the scandal made news, more and more stories are surfacing regarding the sexual misconduct and mishandling of inappropriate sexual behavior of several senior leaders dating back years.

Today, five months after the scandal broke, I still hear Willow Creek defenders dismiss the experiences of women. They accuse the women of exaggerating and making a big deal out of nothing. “There is nothing wrong with a hug.” “There is nothing wrong in a compliment for having toned fore-arms.” Here’s one that many of us recognize, “These women are a bunch of flirts!” Translation: they are “temptresses”, which is the typical and default patriarchal attack against women. These attacks come out of the lips of professed ‘egalitarians’ at Willow Creek.

Very few people are aware of the kind of “extended” or “awkward hug” women at Willow have survived. Such details have not been made public by the media—not that I’m aware of. Below is a detailed and highly graphic and very disturbing account of one such “awkward hug” from a founding elder at Willow Creek—not Bill Hybels. The witness chooses to remain anonymous and asks for privacy. I am publishing her personal account with her permission as detailed below.

I arrived at his home around lunch-time for one of our typical meetings. His wife was upstairs resting in her bedroom. When I entered the living room to greet him and give him a hug, he puts his left hand behind my back. I tried to give him my typical side hug which keeps my breasts from touching the person I hug. But that didn’t happen.

He instead pulls me firmly against him and my breasts are pressed up against his chest. I was taken by surprise and hurriedly tried to pull away. I did so briefly, but then he pulls me back in firmly. Again, I tried to pull away. Again, he pulls me back in. It happened at least three times and very quickly. He was bouncing my breasts up against his chest as if he was dribbling a basketball quickly and in short intervals. All the while, he had a gloating grin on his face, enjoying the bouncing of my breasts up against his chest. I finally was able to put both my hands between our chests and pry myself away from him. My elbows and forearms hurt due to the pressure I had to exert in order to finally be able to pry away.

I was furious! And when he saw my furious facial expression, his gloating grin changed to ‘concern’. He asked me, “What’s wrong? Are you in pain? Are your breasts tender from your period?”

I was not in pain, I was furious! After fondling my breasts up against his chest, he tried to divert the “awkward” moment and the conversation to his ‘concern’ for my tender breasts and my period.

Throughout the years I interacted with him, he said and did several sexually perverted things to me before and after the “awkward hug” incident. I would tell him and clearly communicate to him that I did not feel comfortable having intimate conversations with him about my sexuality. Yet, he would repeatedly try to engage me in such conversations and other sexually “awkward” incidents.

Since the beginning of that year, the year of the “awkward hug”, I had been growing weary of our friendship. His attitude toward me that year had been growing extremely hostile and I didn’t know why. Later that year, I made the decision to end our friendship after he exposed himself to me in his underwear (incontinence diapers). That was “the last straw” that led me to end our friendship. I have had little interaction with him since. The “awkward hug” incident took place in early/mid 2014.

What I didn’t know then, and I know this now from reading up on the current scandal, is that in early/mid 2014, the first investigation of Bill’s sexual misconduct was wrapping up. The accusers of Bill Hybels contacted this founding elder prior to the start of the first investigation to ask him for his advice. He advised the women to seek “two or three witnesses”, 1 Timothy 5:19, as Scripture requires in order to bring forth an allegation against a senior leader. From the investigation, the elders made the decision that Bill had not done anything inappropriate. Around the time the elders were acquitting Bill, this founding elder gave me the fondling “awkward hug.” Only recently did I put together these pieces of the perversion puzzle.

This founding elder did not mention to the women accusers, as far as I know, that the Old Testament accepts a woman’s account of sexual abuse as a stand-alone account and without the requirement of “two or three witnesses”. This scriptural passage, Deuteronomy 22:25-27, is a counterbalance to and a more pertinent passage to address sexual abuse than his advice to seek “two or three witnesses”. The founding elder would have been aware of the Old Testament passage and should have shared it with the women who approached him—considering he is a biblical scholar and a ‘friend’ to the women who approached him about Bill’s misconduct.

Things get worse. As founding elder, this man has served as mentor to Bill and other senior leaders at Willow throughout the years since the founding of Willow Creek.

Things get even worse. I recently found out that this founding elder and biblical scholar is currently mentoring and/or advising Heather Larson, Steve Carter and other senior leaders at Willow and is helping Willow navigate thru the current scandal of sexual misconduct surrounding Bill Hybels. I have been informed that he was very upset at Steve, Heather, and the elders for issuing apologies a few weeks ago. [Update: Steve, Heather, and the elders resigned earlier this week.]

I have never spoken publicly about the sexual perversion this founding elder has directed at me. However, I have shared privately my experiences with a few individuals. I have made attempts to share my experiences beyond my close friends. The difficulty I find when trying to expose this founding elder is that when I attempt to speak to someone who might be in a position to do something about this man—there seems to be none—and who is or might be also aware of his perverted side, I am met with excuses. “Oh, he is just being himself.” “That’s just how he is.” “He’s old and forgetful.”

I’m aghast at how easily others dismiss his perversion as no big deal and with disconnected excuses as “old and forgetful”. No one seems to be willing to expose him. No one. Which means, he will keep doing what he’s been doing for decades and he will keep enabling sexual perversion in other senior leaders as he has been doing for decades and by that make impossible any attempts to “clean up” Willow Creek.

Given the account of Anonymous Woman above, clearly, there is more to an extended or “awkward hug” than simply a woman feeling “uncomfortable”. Clearly, there is much more sexual perversion beyond Bill Hybels. The depth and extent of that sexual perversion will continue to be re-outlined by the personal accounts of women as their stores surface. And, their stories will continue to surface as long as Willow Creek continues to deny and prolong enacting real change to address their structural problems and moral deficiencies.

 

 

 

Wealthy, White, Male Domination…at Willow Creek Community Church

Christian Egalitarians are keen to recognize classism, racism, and sexism and keen to recognize how scripture is distorted on behalf of the powerful. Christian Egalitarians who are familiar with the internal workings at Willow are familiar with the classism, racism, and sexism prevalent at Willow, not only among many of the members, but also among many of the staff, including the arts and production teams and also senior leaders. We are also keen in how scripture is distorted at Willow to benefit the powerful, specifically, the wealthy, white, male.

One historical example of what happens when biblical interpretation is in the hands of the powerful: during the days of slavery in the South, Christian Patriarchalists distorted scripture and taught and practiced slavery as ‘biblical’. Other historical examples of what happens when biblical interpretation is in the hands of the powerful: Christians implemented The Inquisition, Witch Hunts, and Indulgences—all with ‘biblical’ support.

When scriptural interpretation is in the hands of the powerful and scripture is distorted to benefit and defend the evils of the powerful, the obvious results are evil practices justified as ‘biblical’. This essay is about the biblical distortions from Steve Carter, Teaching Pastor at Willow, that benefit the powerful, specifically the wealthy, white, male. First, a few items to put the subject in context.

Respect and Domination are Mutually Exclusive

Bill Hybels, Senior Pastor of Willow, began a new sermon series titled, “Love Everyone, Always.” The first sermon is title, “Respect Everyone, Always,” October 23, 2016. In the sermon, Bill outlined 10 points defining “respect”. As point number four, Bill instructed “don’t interrupt or dominate” in the context of having a conversation with someone. This is the only context Bill used on the subject of “dominate”; Bill only scratched the surface on the subject. At least, he brought up the subject. No doubt, Bill tapped into his egalitarian background by bringing up the subject of domination and presenting it as incongruous with respect.

Egalitarians are clearly aware that respect and domination are mutually exclusive. That’s because domination is the root, the core, of Patriarchy. God instructs us to respect everyone, always. But domination entered the human scene only after the Fall and only as a consequence of the Fall. Before the Fall, God gave dominion to both man and woman over the earth, but not over each other. When Jesus walked the earth, he practiced dominion over nature and over unclean spirits, but never over a human. If God does not practice dominion over humans, God certainly is not going to instruct or command humans to dominate each other. Dominion, or control, of one human(s) over another human(s) is contrary to God’s nature and contrary to his instructions to us. Dominion over humans is part of the fallen nature of humans.

Dominion and Patriarchy are synonymous. The three common forms of domination practiced by patriarchalists are based on 1) gender, 2) race, and 3) class: 1) men over women; 2) in our country, USA, white and white supremacy over ethnic minorities; 3) the rich and influential over the poor and vulnerable. The ethnic component varies from culture to culture; but in patriarchal societies, these are the three common forms of dominion that make up Patriarchy.

Dominion Theology

In recent years, in the USA, Christian Patriarchalists have been popularizing Dominion Theology in politics. Dominion Theology seeks to establish our nation governed—ruled, dominated, that is—by Christians based on understanding and interpretation of scripture and biblical law. Dominion Theology is based on the belief, by Christian Patriarchalists, that God gave the New World, America, to the European Christian conquerors—an idea similar to Judaic Zionism of God giving the Promised Land to the Israelites. In general, Christian Patriarchalists who adhere to Dominion Theology are supportive of Judaic Zionism in the Middle East. Dominion Theology is highly controversial within Christianity and has many flaws—one of which is ingrained racism. In general, Egalitarians do not adhere to Dominion Theology since it falls under the bigger umbrella of Patriarchy. However, I have come across subgroups among Egalitarians who lean toward Dominion Theology and who are also supportive of Judaic Zionism.

I am not going to critique Dominion Theology here. I mention it to point out its connection to Patriarchy and Christian Patriarchalists as an example of the “domination” that Christian Patriarchalists seek to practice.

Steve Carter and Domination

As I have written numerous times before, Steve Carter teaches and models Patriarchal principles. Even though Willow has been making great effort to instruct Steve in Egalitarian theology, Steve continues to practice and model Patriarchy, on and off-stage. Steve’s form of Patriarchy is common among Christian Patriarchalists, and is it very deceitful and dangerous.

Immediately following Bill’s sermon on “Respect Everyone, Always,” Steve followed up with a post on social media summarizing Bill’s 10 points. Steve makes a notable omission on his summary of the 10 points: Steve omits “dominate” under point number four.

Unintentional omission or a difference of opinion? Steve’s summary is identical to Bill’s summary, except for the obvious omission. Viewed in light of Steve’s other Patriarchal tendencies, Steve’s omission may well have been intentional.

respect-steve respect-bill

Wealthy, White, Male Domination

During the October 9, 2016 message titled, “Turning Disruption into Reconciliation,” Steve made a compelling case for ‘reconciliation’ under the model of ‘benevolent’ Patriarchy from his interpretation of the story of Jacob and Esau. In short, ‘reconciliation’ between someone who has experienced hurt and loss, such as “racism” or “sexism”, and the perpetrator rests on prayer for the turning of the hearts. Steve compared the examples of “cultural disruptions” of “racism” and “sexism” to the loss that Esau experienced from Jacob’s trickery, and placed “practical” [financial] ‘restitution’ solely on the hands of the perpetrator in the form of “gifts.”

Steve neglected to mention that Jacob and Esau never saw each other again after their beautiful encounter of ‘reconciliation.’ What kind of reconciliation is that if the two never saw each other again? Steve reduced people who have experienced “racism” and “sexism” to people who lash out of anger and bitterness. In past sermons and also off stage, Steve has dismissed people who seek “justice” [for racism and sexism] as people who lash out of “bitterness” and “revenge”. Additionally, Steve undermined the severity of racism and sexism by de-classifying them as injustices and re-classifying them as “cultural disruptions”. The word “injustice” is difficult for Christian Patriarchalists to hear since they view seeking justice as a “political agenda”.

In the message, Steve emphasized prayer as the way to turn the hearts so that ‘reconciliation’ can take place. Steve also mentioned the “gifts” that Jacob gave to Esau during their ‘reconciliatory’ meeting. However, the gifts—given by either generosity or by guilt—were in no way equivalent to restitution. By the way, “financial restitution” was not even mentioned in the message. Something else that Steve neglected to state is that in this country, USA, people who experience racism or sexism have the legal “right” to seek full financial restitution and they don’t have to wait for the turning of the heart of the perpetrator to obtain it, nor is full financial restitution dependent on whatever “gifts” —if any—the perpetrator decides to give. Jesus taught and modeled a gospel of full reconciliation and full [financial] restitution for the lesser party. The Old Testament has examples of full financial restitution as well. For examples, see the concept of Jubilee in the Old Testament, and the story of Philemon and Onesimus and also the Parable of Jesus about the Persistent Widow in the New Testament.

In Steve’s model, the only one who received full restitution was Jacob, the Patriarch who Steve presented as the deceiver and thief who thru trickery obtained the first born rights and blessing and who also received the favor and approval of God. This is not the first time Steve has used a weekend message to elevate the Old Testament model of the system of the Patriarchs. In this message however, Steve presented a ‘biblical’ model of how a deceiver and thief ended up receiving the favor and approval of God. A timely and pertinent message in light of the current presidential election where the Patriarchal Evangelical community is very supportive of a presidential candidate who has faulty character but is supported under the pretext that his is, or can be, someone who has been chosen by God to be president of the United States. Steve with his patriarchal interpretation on Jacob, has given Patriarchal Evangelicals ‘biblical’ support for endorsing a presidential candidate well known as a racist, sexist, and sexual predator. Immediately following Steve’s message, support for the un-mentionable presidential candidate surged rapidly—maybe a coincidence, maybe not. If the degenerate candidate wins the presidency, Steve Carter, via Willow, may have some credit for the win. Unfortunately, Bill Hybels has not spoken up specifically against the degenerate presidential candidate. Thereby, Bill’s silence passively allows Steve’s subversive message to have more power in support of the degenerate presidential candidate.

Steve may have had good intentions to address racism and sexism and reconciliation in the message. But, the way in which Steve structured the subject promoted the ‘benevolent’ model of patriarchy. Comparing racism and sexism to Esau’s state of loss was Steve’s first endorsement of patriarchy, and the comparisons spiraled downward as Steve presented the ‘benevolent’ Patriarchal model where the perpetrator gets to solely decide the ‘reconciliatory’ “gifts.” Putting the ‘reconciliatory’ “gifts” in the hands of the perpetrator is an insult to those experiencing racism and sexism and it undermines the gospel that Jesus modeled which is based on full reconciliation/restitution. Putting the ‘reconciliatory’ “gifts” in the hands of the perpetrator also undermines the laws of our land for full [financial] restitution. In many ways, the laws of our land are closer to scripture’s model of full restitution than are Steve’s model of ‘benevolent’ Patriarchy.

Steve presented the typical ‘benevolent’ Patriarchal model that elevates ‘unity’ or ‘reconciliation’ over justice and full restitution for those who have experienced “racism” or “sexism”. Such distortion of scripture is similar to when Christian Patriarchalists elevate ‘forgiveness’ or ‘unity’ over justice and restitution for rape or domestic violence survivors. Christian reconciliation has no room for racism or sexism. But, instead of addressing injustice, Steve undermines it with his call for a “change of heart”. Such mentality is typical for patriarchalists who enable abuse and impunity and normalize wealthy, white, male dominance. Steve’s exhortation to the powerful to have a “change of heart” and to be ‘benevolent’ is deceptive since it ultimately endorses the wealthy, white, male domination model. Benevolent is obviously better then cruel, but the core problem is domination. Steve does not tackle domination, he upholds it.

Another horrific biblical distortion in Steve’s message is on the subject of contentment. Steve presented Esau as grateful and humble for whatever “gifts” Jacob bestowed upon him and used him as a model to exhort the inferior to do the same. Since Steve compared victims of racism and sexism to Esau, then the victim of racism or sexism should also be thankful and grateful for whatever “gifts” their perpetrators choose to bestow upon them. This is typical patriarchal mentality that tells the inferior to be thankful for whatever scraps the superior choose to bestow upon them and another way in which justice is undermined. Example, “You are complaining about your hourly wage? You should be content that you have a job at all!”

Yet, another horrific biblical distortion in Steve’s message is victim blaming. Steve clearly points out Esau’s role in giving up his own birth rights, thereby Steve blames the victim for his loss. Following up on the comparison between Esau and those who have experienced racism or sexism, the victims themselves are to blame for the racism and sexism they have experienced.

This is not the first time Steve has elevated the wealthy, white, male domination model. In the past, Steve has distorted scripture to condemn the poor who criticize the rich and powerful and has distorted scripture in order to defend the rich and powerful. Steve has condemned ethnic minorities, such as when he condemned the young African-American teen of not being capable of having “convictions of steel” due to his fear of his grave circumstances. Steve has condemned women as faulty and inferior such as his portrayals of Eve and Miriam, portrayals which he later had to correct on stage. Steve does not promote reconciliation between the rich and poor, between men and women, between white and colored. Instead, Steve’s tribalistic and condemning character reinforces hierarchical divisions and elevates the wealthy, white, male domination model. Ironically, Steve promoted such domination model in his message on ‘reconciliation’—misleading and deceptive message, indeed.

Steve Off-Stage

There is no point in me approaching Steve on his biblical distortions and promotion of Patriarchal principles. I have tried in the past and only received denials and personal attacks. His most recent responses have been via email. Steve has emailed me and invited me to meet with him as a pretext to get me to stop writing about him. I said no to his invitation to meet and Steve’s true character revealed itself, character in him I had already seen in the past. His passive-aggressive, bullying, dismissive, controlling, arrogant and domineering character quickly surfaced to demand that I stop writing about him and demand that I remove all my posts about him. Steve threw a tantrum via email—as much as a person can throw a tantrum via email. Steve has thrown himself into tantrums against my critiques before; so, I wasn’t surprised to see it via email. I don’t plan to publish his emails, but I do plan to write a post on his email responses and to quote him as a way to point out his immature and bullying character. I would gladly forward Steve’s emails to an Elder or senior leader who has oversight of Steve if he or she makes a request for those emails.

Elders and Senior Leaders

But, I don’t expect such a request, since I have already tried to communicate with the Elders and senior leaders regarding Steve’s faulty character and biblical distortions. In the past attempts, I have received from them excuses and personal attacks as well. When an Elder is nominated at Willow, the church members are invited to present objections. I don’t know how well those who object are received, but when it comes to objecting to Steve Carter, the critics are met with personal attacks. I know. I have been a recipient of those personal attacks.

The Elders at Mark Driscoll’s church defended Mark Driscoll and they did not consider Mark’s arrogant and immature character as a disqualifier for senior leadership, nor did they consider Mark’s biblical distortions as a disqualifier.

On multiple occasions, I have presented the various ways in which Steve has revealed immature and arrogant character and how he has distorted scripture. On some occasions, Willow senior leadership has concurred with my assessments. Yet, Willow has promoted Steve to Teaching Pastor and has him currently in line to be the next Senior Pastor at Willow. Willow has made it clear to me that faulty character and biblical distortions are not disqualifiers for a male Patriarchalist in senior leadership…at Willow Creek Community Church.

 

 

Neo-Egalitarianism…Trickle-Down Authority

“Men, we are an egalitarian church. Which means, that we as men have the responsibility to share our God-given authority with the women in the church. The authority that has been given to us by God, we in turn are to give it to the women and our wives and empower them.” —an excerpt paraphrased from a Sunday sermon given by a male senior pastor at a self-proclaimed egalitarian church in the West Coast of the U.S.A.

A dangerous phenomenon occurring in evangelical churches today is the confusion between Egalitarianism and Benevolent Patriarchy, a.k.a. Hierarchical-Complementarianism, which is most commonly referred to as Complementarianism.

I have written about the confusion in the past. In the near future, I plan to publish various short essays describing how authentic egalitarianism has been and continues to be hijacked by Hierarchical-Complementarianism.

The trickle-down authority model is not a biblical model for the empowering of believers in the church or in the home. This model is based on the patriarchal pyramid of leadership borrowed from the Roman form of government prevalent during New Testament times. This form of government became the dominant form of government in the church when the church became institutionalized; that is, when the church became the dominant and accepted religion of the Roman Empire.

The trickle-down authority model is what put in place the Papal leadership structure of the church which is still practiced today in the Roman Catholic Church and practiced by some evangelical churches. This form of authority structure is what put in place the division between the clergy and the congregation; that is, the male clergy have authority and the congregation does not. For the male clergy who have authority, that authority is given based on the trickle-down effect. The trickle-down authority pyramid model is perceived as Christ giving authority to the Pope, the Pope in turn gives authority to the cardinals, the cardinals give authority to their subordinates, and so on.

Hierarchical-Complementarians perceive a similar model: God gives authority to the husband, the husband gives authority to the wife. God gives authority to the men in the church, the men give authority to the women. God gives authority to the senior pastor, the senior pastor gives authority to the other leaders.

In Hierarchical-Complementarian churches that practice the patriarchal trickle-down authority model, the women do not have any authority in the church nor in the home unless that authority is given to them by a man. In extreme patriarchal churches, women and wives have no authority what so ever. In benevolent patriarchal churches women and wives have some authority. But, that authority is given to the women at the discretion of the men. Even though in hierarchical-complementarian churches women have some authority, they are still practicing a patriarchal model of authority since a woman’s authority is dependent on the discretion and decision of a man.

The trickle-down authority model is based on a misapplication of Matthew 28:18-20.

Egalitarian Leadership

Paul describes a community of leaders based on the calling, giftedness, and character of each believer. The calling and giftedness is solely based on God; based on the commandments and instructions given by Christ/God and the spiritual gifts imparted by the Holy Spirit…to each individual. (Ephesians 4:11-13, 1 Corinthians 12, 1 Corinthians 13, 1 Corinthians 1:1, Romans 1:1, Galatians 1:11-12, 1 Timothy 5)

The five-fold ministries in Ephesians 4:11 do reflect a hierarchy, but the hierarchy is not based on the trickle-down effect. It is based solely on God. First the apostle, the apostle is the one sent by God to preach the gospel. The apostle is also the church planter. He or she as the one sent by God and as the one founding a church has the highest authority in the church. Second is the prophet, who speaks to the people on behalf of God. Third is the evangelist, who preaches the gospel. Fourth is the pastor, who provides guidance and spiritual care. And fifth is the teacher, who provides instruction and scriptural understanding.

Authority in the New Testament church resided primarily on the apostles and prophets, and both men and women together served as apostles and prophets. (Romans 16:7, 1 Corinthians 11:5, 1 Corinthians 14:3, Acts 21:9) Each man and woman who served as an apostle or prophet was called and gifted to serve in that capacity directly by God.

Selection of Leaders

A Hierarchical-Complementarian senior pastor once gave an excellent explanation on the selection of leaders. He said that God establishes the leaders and that we as a church are responsible to recognize who those leaders are and what gifs they have been given. We, the church, have the responsibility to recognize those leaders before the church with appropriate and pertinent titles and positions. Keeping in mind their state of character, of course.

Unfortunately, that senior pastor is a Hierarchical-Complementarian, so his selection process of leadership applies only to men. As soon as gender or ethnic or socio-economic exclusions are applied to the selection of leaders elitism is introduced. With elitism, leadership becomes not a source of equipping and building up of the church (Ephesians 4:12) but a structure of power and control. That is the deceptive element of ‘benevolent’ patriarchy. Outwardly, ‘benevolent’ patriarchy is used to explain the empowering of women. But, in actuality, it keeps women down and under the control of men.

Paul’s model of leadership is egalitarian, no elitism. It’s a leadership model of both men and women, of all races and ethnicities, of all socio-economic status.

The Problem of Donald Miller…at Willow Creek

The Storyline Conference of 2014 was held at Willow Creek Community Church. I attended the conference for one reason only: to see how Donald Miller relates to an audience of his tribe compared to a critical audience. I was disappointed, and surprised, to observe Don reflect arrogance toward and among his own tribal fans.

I had heard Don speak before, read some of his articles, and knew enough about him to know what a problem he is for the church and for the countless Millennials who follow him as their model for success from a story of rags to riches and fame.

I am deeply disappointed that he returns to Willow this week (November 5-7, 2015) for a second Storyline Conference and also that Millennials continue to flock to him all the while the problem of Donald Miller continues to grow.

The Voice – Arrogance, Scripture Distortion, Subordinationism & Idolatry

Arrogance is not only the behavior of someone acting or believing he is smarter than he really is, or believing he is better than others. Christians have been desensitized to these reduced definitions of arrogance and easily brush them aside, as when they ignored the arrogance of Mark Driscoll. John Ortberg said it best, “When did arrogance cease to be immoral?”

The source of arrogance is very serious, it is found in idolatry. And that source is visible in Don’s theology. Below I present the details.

Most of us are familiar with the words in Matthew 28:18-20. These are the words of Jesus where he tells us of his authority and from that authority he proceeds to give the Great Commission to his followers.

18 … “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (NIV)

Donald Miller is a contributor of the New Testament translation The Voice. Notice the difference in this translation.

18…”I am here speaking with all the authority of God, who has commanded Me to give you this commission19 Go out and make disciples in all the nations. Ceremonially wash them through baptism in the name of the triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 20 Then disciple them. Form them in the practices and postures that I have taught you, and show them how to follow the commands I have laid down for you. And I will be with you, day after day, to the end of the age.” (The Voice)

The Voice‘s Preface page defines the italic type as:

“words not directly tied to the dynamic translation of the original language. These words bring out the nuance of the original, assist in completing ideas, and often provide readers with information that would have been obvious to the original audience. These additions are meant to help the modern reader better understand the text without having to stop and read footnotes or a study guide.”

The Voice manipulates scripture and injects interpretation into its translation, which is a strict prohibition in the practice of faithful bible translation. Faithful bible translators avoid interjecting interpretation into the translation in order to provide the readers the opportunity to make the interpretations themselves. The excuse provided by The Voice for such biblical distortion is for the reader to “better understand the text.”

In addition to Donald Miller, other contributors to the voice include, Tremper Longman, Brian McLaren, Chuck Smith, Jr., Phyllis Tickle, among others. McLaren and Tickle are part of the Emergent movement. Smith is the son of Church Smith, Sr. who founded Calvary Chapel, which is a patriarchal denomination. Tremper Longman is professor of Biblical Studies at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California. Longman at times partners with Dan Allender on writing and teaching projects, including co-teach the Intimate Mystery seminar, which is a patriarchal and gender-essentialist marriage seminar. When Allender taught this seminar at Willow Creek in January of 2012, one of many patriarchalists statement that Allender made was that “a man reveals more of the strength and righteousness of the heart of God than a woman.” Allender’s marriage resources are promoted at Willow Creek.

What is the biblical and theological distortion The Voice makes?

The Voice completely changes who Jesus is. In The Voice, Jesus is no longer one who has authority and who commands his disciples. Instead, God is the one who commandeers Jesus, and Jesus only teaches and shows his disciples. This distortion reflects the heresy of Subordinationism, which makes Jesus subordinate to the Father in eternity. The Voice also presents Jesus as one who holds no authority at all and is only a non-authoritative messenger from God.

To summarize, The Voice purposely makes a distorted translation and deviates from the original text in order to debase Jesus from his position of having all authority and turn him into someone who has no authority and is commandeered by the Father.

One need not be a biblical scholar to recognize the mistranslation that The Voice makes. Below is the text from Green’s The Interlinear Bible (2nd edition, 1986). The Greek text is omitted, only the English words are written for the pertinent section:

18…”was given me all authority in Heaven and upon earth…”

The original Greek and the NIV translation reflect Jesus having all authority in Heaven and on earth. An area of debate and misinterpretation from Subordinationists is in regards to the word “given”. I won’t address that subject in this article. The focus in this article is to show how The Voice demotes Jesus and strips him of all authority in Heaven and on earth by how it distorts the original scriptural text.

Humans have been in the practice of trying to demote Jesus from his position of having all authority since the days of Jesus. The chief priests and religious leaders of his day denied Jesus and his authority. Today, Subordinationists continue those efforts to demote Jesus. Additionally, there is a movement among the young-er generation (Millennials, Postmodern-ists, emerging, Emergent, etc. In an effort to not offend any particular group I will use the term “young-er”. No offence intended to the young-er generation, either.) to demote Jesus from all his authority. Don and The Voice are part of this young-er generation that deny the authority of Jesus.

The Voice is influenced by patriarchalists and gender-essentialists, which provides an explanation to the biblical distortion and injection of Subordinationism in its translation, they have manipulated scripture before. Subordinationism is birthed out of patriarchalism, but not all patriarchalists are subordinationists. I have written before about the [possible] infiltration of Subordinationism into Willow Creek. In that article I list the originators, promoters, and adherents of the heresy of Subordinationism including John Piper, Wayne Grudem, The Gospel Coalition, Southern Baptists and others. Many are affiliated with New Calvinism. New Calvinists do not embrace Donald Miller and his tribe (emerging/Emergent/Postmodern-ist/etc.) However, Subordinationism has managed to infiltrate into this tribe. The link is patriarchy. Patriarchy and Subordinationism exist in both tribes.

What do they do with this authority that they have stripped off from Jesus?

Don and his tribal members don’t necessarily give it to God, they take it for themselves. (New Calvinist do the same but we’re back to addressing Don and his tribe.) That’s what the chief priests and religious leaders did to Jesus. They wanted to keep authority to themselves and not have to submit to Jesus, that is why they denied him and set out to kill him. Similarly today with Subordinationists and some groups from the young-er generation.

Don gave a talk at The Justice Conference 2014. During the talk he said that “God” has given him “agency”, “the authority to do incredible things.” (time 17:40). Don, as a contributor to The Voice, denies Jesus having all authority—actually, having no authority, at all—and at the same time sees himself as the recipient of God’s authority. A few words and ideas come to mind: Chief priests, heresy, blasphemy, arrogance, denial of Jesus, Lucifer falling from grace…idolatry.

The context in which Don made the statement was that in knowing that he has God’s authority Don saw value in himself. So, he strips Jesus of his authority so he may feel better about himself. Also, so that men may feel better about themselves, since patriarchalists deny authority to women. Centralizing power on the men now has a psychotherapy excuse: to make men feel better about themselves. This is consistent with the patriarchalist viewpoints that men lead and women are the supportive assistants, that women step down so that men may step up, that women incessantly praise their men, privately and publicly…so the men may feel better about themselves.

The type of Subordinationism that Don ascribes to, based on the details presented above, is structured different than Papal authority. Roman Catholics are not Subordinationists, they recognize the full, “all”, authority of Jesus. Their error is to take the full authority of Jesus, which belongs to Jesus and only to Jesus, and place it upon the Pope and then have that authority trickle down the pyramid of patriarchal [male] leadership structure in the Roman Catholic Church. In contrast, Don and his Subordinationist comrades deny Jesus having full authority and at the same time they take on for themselves that authority.

Don has had ties to patriarchalists and Subordinationists, such as Focus on the Family, John Eldredge, and Dan Allender…to name a few aside from his colleagues from The Voice. Don met John Eldredge while they both worked for Focus on the Family. Don grew up without a father and made John his mentor and father-figure. John is the author of the book Wild at Heart, a patriarchal and gender-essentialist portrayal of the sexes that is degrading to women and girls. The patriarchal and Subordinationist elements in Don’s articles and speeches reflect his influencers, more on that further below.

Don has stated he is not an auditory learner, that he is not the type to sit down and listed to a sermon, that he is the type who learns by doing. That was his excuse for not attending a [traditional] church service.

Additionally, Don shows disdain toward academia and [biblical] scholars. In the article, Who Should Lead the Church? , published by Relevant Magazine, Don reduces scholars as the culprits for divisions in the church.

Don has set himself up to create a Christian faith as he goes. His main influencers are patriarchalists and Subordinationists. And, he has a list of excuses—which keeps getting longer—as to why he can’t listen or learn from others, including preachers and biblical scholars.

Patriarchy, Gender-Essentialism & The Defenders

In August of 2011, Don wrote two articles, one for the “girls” and one for the “guys” in typical Wild at Heart philosophy he learned from his mentor and father-figure, John Eldredge. The gender-essentialism degrading to women brought heat to Don, even from his friend Rachel Held Evans (RHE). Don offered a non-apology, which included excuses, and he took down the posts from his blog. Below are the links to the articles located on a different website:

How to live a Great Love Story, Vol 1 (For the Girls)

How to Live a Great Love Story Vol. II (For the Guys)

The Defenders

One of Don’s defenses was that he doesn’t believe that women should not lead. Yet, that is exactly what his posts reflect, that women [should] not lead. That teaching is consistent with the gender-essentialist philosophy of his patriarchal and Subordinationist influencers: that men lead and women respond (Eldredge). Patriarchalists believe women may lead other women and children, but not other men. When Don states that he doesn’t believe that women should not lead, that doesn’t mean that he believes that a woman may lead men—that is staunchly prohibited among patriarchalists, specifically in the spiritual sense, however they define spiritual sense, which varies among patriarchalists. From other sources, the way Don relates to his female and male colleagues and to his wife, based on the stories he tells, reflect the philosophy that men lead and women respond to the leadership of men, never the other way around. Unfortunately, his defenders prefer to believe his defenses and excuses above what Don is actually saying and reflecting.

RHE got Don off the hook too easily. Earlier this year, Tony Jones, another member of their tribe, made the news for spousal abuse and adultery. RHE remained silent about the matter and supported Tony. She received criticism as a hypocrite for not addressing patriarchy in Tony Jones’ case. RHE has removed her post supporting Tony but the post is still available on the internet. Twice already RHE has shown that she is lenient or prefers to look the other way when it comes to holding someone accountable in her own tribe.

Don has many defenders. When Don defended himself with excuses for not attending church, he stated, “most of the influential Christian leaders I know (who are not pastors) do not attend church.” A defender came to Don’s rescue via Scot McKnight with a blog on how difficult it is for famous people to attend church. Scot McKnight has in the past defended or remained silent in critiquing members of this tribe (Millennials, Postmodern-ists, emerging, Emergent, etc. …young-er generation). According to this defender via Scott, the difficulty of Don attending church is due to his celebrity status. Like I stated earlier, the list of excuses is getting longer and Don’s friends are helping add excuses to the list.

Bob Goff is another defender.

Don received heat for his uneven labeling between “girls” and “guys.” The term “girl” is a degrading term used against women and young adult females, sometimes it is used deceptively as a term of endearment. The men and young adult males are never referred to as “boys”. That would be too degrading, so they are referred to as “guys”. This uneven and degrading way to refer to women as “girls” was being practiced at Willow from the stage. Steve Carter, Willow’s Teaching Pastor, gave a highly disrespectful and degrading teaching on Miriam, portraying her as a dancing cheerleader and referred to her [dancing worship] accomplishments with, “and she was just a girl!”

Scripture refers to Miriam as “the prophet” and as one of the three leaders of Israel along with her brothers Aaron, “the priest”, and Moses. The name Miriam means “prophetess”, and if memory serves me, she is the first person in Israelite history and in the Old Testament to be referred to as “prophet”. Miriam is the predecessor for the tradition of prophets in the same way that Aaron is the predecessor for the tradition of priests in the newly formed nation of Israel (Old Testament history). Yet, Steve presented Miriam as a dancing cheerleader. Steve’s degradation and patronizing of Miriam’s leadership could not be more obvious. Eventually, Steve gave a corrective teaching on Miriam.

From that and other “girl” uses at Willow, a complaint was raised for the use of “girl” by the senior leaders at Willow. Subsequently, the term was prohibited from all of Willow’s public platforms. The patriarchal men at Willow responded to the prohibition of the use of the word “girl” for adult women by publicly referring to their wives as “girl”—within a term of endearment—on their social media pages. As if a gender degrading label is acceptable if used within a term of endearment.

Steve Carter, an elder, a few worship leaders, other senior leaders, and a few staff members took to social media to refer to their wives as “girl”. Their public and personal display against (a.k.a. rebellion) the “girl” prohibition at Willow r2 ojAigolftantrumeflects their level of immaturity and resistance to Willow’s efforts to rid Willow of patriarchal degradation of women. By the way, Steve Carter’s wife refers to him publicly as “guy”, while he refers to her as “girl”; that speaks volumes about their marital imbalance in stature. Such are many, not all, of our male leaders at Willow…the patriarchal ones.

1 - tantrum finger with roseCredit photo above: youoffendmeyouoffendmyfamily.com

Credit photo side: freerepublic.com

The child’s flipped middle finger has been covered up by a red rose.

When Bob Goff came to Willow (4.19.2015) and to The Justice Conference (June 2015) earlier this year, he took the opportunity to support his patriarchal friends. In solidarity with them, Bob referred to his wife as “girl” (something he does often on social media) and to scold the women in the audience publicly. He didn’t scold the men publicly, that would be disrespectful toward the men. Bob practiced a typical patriarchal double standard of respect: men are to be respected, women…not really. Bob has defended Don specifically in other forums. Bob’s message from 4.19.15 at Willow is no longer available, Willow took it down. Thank you, Willow.

Racism, Donald Trump & Lack of Integrity

Don has been trying to infiltrate Willow for some time; he has fans at Willow. He’s given one or two talks at Willow and the Storyline Conference is taking place at Willow for the second year in a row. A few years ago Don went to Israel to learn about the peacemaking process that Willow is in engaged in. Following that trip in the summer of 2012, Don wrote a piece on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The article redirects the conversation away from a religious conflict to a racial conflict. “I would not say religious differences are the problem as much as many from each side seeing the other as beneath them in human value.” Unfortunately, the lessons he learned about the damages resulting from racism have been forgotten.

Don recently tried to give an objective opinion on Donald Trump’s “clear message” for his campaign for U.S. President. The only unreasonable aspect in Trump’s message that Don pointed out was Trump’s desire to deport millions of undocumented residents. Even though Don mentioned that clarifying a complicated idea should be done with “integrity”, he never once addressed Trump’s reductionist, enemy-creating, goat-scaping of Mexican immigrants when calling them drug dealers and rapists. Don was perplexed as to why Trump showed leniency toward Russia and noted Trump’s harshness toward China. Don is clearly not using the racial lens when analyzing Trump’s positions, if he even has that lens in his critical-thinking tool-box. Maybe he used the racial lens only once when writing about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for the purpose of impressing Willow.

Not calling out crucial information in what seems to be an objective analysis not only lacks integrity but is also deceptive. At the end of the video Don states that he would vote for Trump. That statement clarifies the omission of crucial information and errors in Trump’s ‘clear message’ and confirms that Don’s analysis of Trump’s ‘clear message’ is not objective. I have no choice but to interpret Don’s silence as concurrence with Trump’s racist views toward undocumented residents. Don teaches storytelling with his own version of ‘integrity’ to others, and he does so at Willow Creek. That’s what the Storyline Conference is set up to do this week.

I have mentioned before that I have been impressed by [the founders of Willow Creek] Bill and Lynne Hybels’ position for a compassionate and just resolution regarding undocumented residents. Their position does not include reducing undocumented residents to drug dealers and rapists. Nor does it include pinning the country against a select group by making that select group the enemy of our nation’s success. Hitler did that, and we all know what happened to millions of Jews, disabled, and anybody else Hitler didn’t like. Don has already revealed himself as an enemy-making polarizer within the church, when he reduced scholars as the culprits for the divisions of the church.

Final Thoughts

With the abundance of defenders and excuses to keep Don as a leader in this camp, the young-er generation is communicating to us their desperation over the lack of role-models with integrity. Must we wait for Don to commit plagiarism for us to come to grips with the problem of Donald Miller? (Despite Mark Driscoll’s biblical distortions, character flaws and sexual perversions, plagiarism is what finally gave people the wake-up call for the problem of Mark Driscoll.)

I won’t be attending the Storyline conference this week at Willow. If you attend, feel free to let us know if anything in this article is addressed. Frankly, I’ve had enough of Don’s defenders and excuses.

Subordinationism at Willow Creek

This article addresses the connection between the heresy of Subordinationism and Willow Creek Community Church.

What is Subordinationism?

Subordinationism is a contemporary heresy against the Christian theology of the Trinity. It is similar to the fourth century heresy of Arianism.

Arianism denies that Jesus Christ is God, either that he is not deity at all but a created being or that he is a lesser god. In both, Jesus Christ’s lower status is based on his subordination to God, or Father.

Subordinationism recognizes the equal deity status of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in essence or being but allocates subordination in function or role. The deceptive and ambiguous aspect of such differentiation is that essence and function are directly related. That is, if a person is subordinate in being then that person is also subordinate in role.

Early Christians rejected any form of subordination within the Trinity and recorded their assertion in the Athanasian Creed.

Most of us in the USA are familiar with the Segregationists’ motto, “separate but equal” that was used to justify segregation of colored people from whites in the South. In fact, most of us are aware of the deception of that motto:

separate but equal Elliot Erwitt North Carolina 1950Photo by Elliot Erwitt, North Carolina, 1950

The motto from the Subordinationists is similar and just as deceptive and ambiguous as the motto from the Segregationists, which is, “equal but different”. Wayne Grudem calls it, “ontological equality but economic subordination,” or equal in being but subordinate in role” (Systematic Theology, Wayne Grudem, Zondervan, 1994, pg. 251).

The origin of the heresy of Subordinationism is traced to George W. Knight, III, “This chain of subordination [between Father and Son in the Trinity] with its implications is apparently given to help with the objection which some would bring to the headship of man in reference to woman.” (see page 6/86, second paragraph of the article from his book, New Testament Teaching on the Role Relationship of Male and Female with Special Reference to the Teaching/Ruling Functions in the Church.)

This statement from Knight also gives clarity as to the reason why the heresy was created, which was to give biblical support for the subordination of woman to man and husband. In order for Patriarchalists to strengthen their position to make women subordinate to men they infused subordination into the Godhead and unintentionally created a heresy. Subordinationists deny that they created a heresy. Egalitarians have been calling out the heresy and even some Patriarchalists oppose it as well. Not all Patriarchalists are Subordinationists, but all Subordinationists are Patriarchalists.

Scripture contains references of Jesus Christ’s equality with God and also references of his human humiliation and submission. His humiliation and submission is viewed as voluntary and temporal, meaning only while he was on earth. However, Subordinationists extrapolate Jesus Christ’s voluntary and temporal submission into the realm of eternity and simultaneously change the relationship into a relationship between Father, the ruler, master and decision-maker, and Jesus Christ, the obedient and sometimes ignorant subordinate—all within the realm of eternity. And here is where the heresy lies: subordination of Jesus Christ in eternity. A term Subordinationists use to describe their position is, “Eternal Son”. Meaning, Jesus Christ has always been subordinate as the Son, not just temporally but also eternally.

The term “eternal Son” is meant to reflects the deity, unity, and equality of the Son to the Father, consistent with the Nicene and Athanasian creeds. Under this connotation, the Son is viewed as an equal extension, or begotten, of the Father, unlike and in contrast to a slave or hired help. However, Subordinationists take the implied secondary and subordinate connotation of sonship and apply it to the Son and carry that subordination into eternity. Simply put, the term “eternal Son” has been sabotaged by the Subordinationists. A term meant to reflect the deity, unity, and equality of Son to Father is being used by Subordinationists to make Son subordinate to Father in eternity. When Subordinationists infuse subordination into the term that acknowledges and provides understanding of the Son’s deity status then they are unknowingly undoing and attacking the deity status of the Son.

Proponents of Eternal Son in Eternal Subordination

Proponents of Subordinationism are distinguished by three common traits. One or more of these traits are usually found in their churches’ or organizations’ statements of faith. Sometimes Subordinationism is even found in their sermons, see example of Andy Stanley below. The combination of the three traits gives a clearer picture of Subordinationism. The three traits are not always found together, but the Subordinationists listed below are linked to all, or most, of the three traits.

The three traits of Subordinationism are:

Trait 1: Father is uniquely described with commandeering words such as “orders“, “disposes“, and/or “Ruler“, and his fatherhood is included within the Trinity, meaning he “Ruler“s and commands the other two persons of the Trinity. Correspondingly, Son’s obedience is described in eternity, not [just] temporally from eternity. Again, this term has been sabotaged by Subordinationists, a term meant to reflect the deity, unity, and equality of Son to Father is used by Subordinationists to apply subordination to Son in eternity. The term with the infused connotation of subordination becomes the venue thru which subordinationist traits 1 and 3 are applied to the Son in eternity. (John MacArthur, James MacDonald, The Gospel Coalition, Andy Stanley, Bryan Lorrits, Albert Tate)

Trait 2: Son is described as having been Son eternally, not [just] temporally. Subordinationists use the term “eternal Son” to reflect this claim. Subordinationists describe that Son was “begotten” within eternity. Again, this term has been sabotaged by Subordinationists, a term meant to reflect the deity, unity, and equality of Son to Father is used by Subordinationists to apply subordination to Son in eternity. The term with the infused connotation of subordination becomes the venue thru which subordinationist traits 1 and 3 are applied to the Son in eternity. (John Piper, John MacArthur, James MacDonald, The Gospel Coalition, Crawford Lorrits, Andy Stanley, Bryan Lorrits, Albert Tate)

Trait 3: Distinct” “office” or “function” is mentioned within the Trinity. This mention is in reference to the economic or functional difference or subordination in Grudem’s definition “ontological equality but economic subordination,” in other words, “equal in being but subordinate in role.” Note: Egalitarians subscribe to the distinction of the three “persons” of the Trinity consistent with traditional and orthodox Trinitarian theology. However, Subordinationists apply distinction to the “office” or “function” of the three persons of the Trinity for the purpose of ascribing subordination between the members of the Trinity. (John Piper’s former church Bethlehem Baptist Church, John MacArthur, James MacDonald, Crawford Lorrits, Andy Stanley, Bryan Lorrits, Albert Tate)

Trait 2, “eternal Son”, and trait 3, “distinct”, by themselves are not necessarily reflective of Subordinationism. However, the combination of all three traits are used to undergird Subordinationism. Combining all three traits among the members of the Trinity leads to the understanding that Father and Son are equal in being but different in function—specifically, that the Son is subordinate. That is, Father functions as ruler so he commands and directs the Son and the Son functions as the subordinate or helper and obeys and assists the Father in all eternity, not just in the temporal. The parallel between husband and wife, or man and woman, is that husband and wife are equal in being but different in function—specifically, that the wife is subordinate. That is, the husband functions as ruler so he commands and directs the wife and household and has ultimate decision-making authority and the wife functions as the subordinate or helper and obeys and assists the husband, perpetually. A similar relationship is applied to men and women in community.

The leading proponents of Subordinationism are listed below with links to references noting the subordinationist traits or defending or promoting their position of Subordinationism, Wayne Grudem and George W. Knight, III have already been mentioned above. Note that all, if not most, of these Subordinationists are linked to all three traits and the combination of the three traits gives the clearest picture of Subordinationism:

Wayne Grudem, Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood

George W. Knight, Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood

Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, “The Subordination of Christ and the Subordination of Women” (founders and council members include: Wayne Grudem, John Piper, C.J. Mahaney, George W. Knight, III, Mary Kassian, Albert Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, among others)

Southern Baptists, Albert Mohler, Mary Kassian: “gender equality with male headship”; SBC Voices: “The Eternal Subordination of the Son Is the Historic Doctrine of the Church.”

John MacArthur, Reexamining the Eternal Sonship of Christ (Trait 2, Trait 3)

John MacArthur’s church: Grace Church, What We Teach, (Trait 1)

John MacArthur’s college: The Master’s College, Doctrinal Statement, (Trait 1)

John Piper’s former church, Bethlehem Baptist Church: Congregational Affirmation of Faith (Trait 3)

John Piper’s ministry: Desiring God, Affirmation of Faith, (Trait 2)

John Piper’s college: Bethlehem College and Seminary, Affirmation of Faith, (Trait 2)

The Gospel Coalition: Confessional Statement, (Trait 1, Trait 2) (founders and council members include: John Piper, Timothy Keller, Don Carson from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, Crawford Lorrits, Albert Mohler, among others)

Crawford Lorrits, Speaker at The Gospel Coalition and father of Bryan Lorrits, Fellowship Bible Church, Doctrinal Statement, (Trait 2, Trait 3)

James MacDonald, Harvest Bible Chapel in Chicago, Illinois, Doctrinal Statement (Trait 1, Trait 2, Trait 3)

James MacDonald, Walk in the Word, Doctrinal Statement (Trait 1, Trait 2, Trait 3)

Many other Christian groups and denominations are adopting the eternal subordination of the Son, in the comment box below this article feel free to comment on groups you know who hold to Subordinationism. I look forward to your comments to find out who also is a proponent of the eternal subordination of the son.

Subordinationist Guest Speakers at Willow Creek

The following Subordinationists have spoken at Willow Creek Community church and/or Willow Creek Association’s Global Leadership Summit (GLS) in the last two years. The traits of Subordinationism are reflected in either their churches’ statements of faith or sermons.

Andy Stanley, North Point Church, What We Believe, (Trait 1, Trait 2)

Andy Stanley, 2013 GLS message, (Trait 1, Trait 2, Trait 3, from time 18:45 to 23:05)

Bryan Lorrits, Fellowship Memphis, What We Believe, (Trait 1, Trait 2, Trait 3, Bryan is son of Crawford Lorrits who is council member of The Gospel Coalition)

Albert Tate, Fellowship Monrovia, What We Believe, (Trait 1, Trait 2, Trait 3, statement of faith is identical to statement of faith of Bryan Lorrits’ church)

First Connection: Calling out Subordinationism

The first connection between Subordinationism and Willow Creek is Dr. Gilbert Bilezikian, Willow’s founding elder and an Egalitarian, who was the first person to recognize and oppose the heresy by writing against it. Bilezikian includes in his book, Beyond Sex Roles, the essay, “Hermeneutical Bungee-Jumping: Subordination in the Godhead.”

Bilezikian compares Subordinationism to the Arian Controversy, “an ontologically stratified, split-level Trinity leads him [Letham] straight into the trap of Arianism. In a vain attempt to rescue himself from this danger he gives lip service to the coequality of the members of the Trinity while, astoundingly, denying this equality in the same breath….The confusion is flagrant: “coequality” in the form of an “order of subsistence”—which means an ontologically structured hierarchy. It should be either equality and no hierarchy, or hierarchy and no equality.” (pg 8/64).

Additionally, Bilezikian states, “The Scriptures qualify his subjection in the following manner.

“Christ did not take upon himself the task of world redemption because he was number two in the Trinity and his boss told him to do so or because he was demoted to a subordinate rank so that he could accomplish a job that no one else wanted to touch. He volunteered his life out of sacrificial love. Being born in the likeness of man, he also took the form of a servant and as such became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Scripture describes this process in these words: “He humbled himself ” (Phil 2:8). He was not forced to become a servant; he was not compelled to be obedient; he was not dragged to his death against his will. The Bible puts it tersely: “He humbled himself.” Therefore it is much more appropriate, and theologically accurate, to speak of Christ’s self-humiliation rather than of his subordination. Nobody subordinated him, and he was originally subordinated to no one. He humbled himself

“A second qualification pertains to Christ’s humiliation. The Bible also teaches that the humiliation of the Son was an interim or temporary state. It was not, nor shall it be, an eternal condition. Christ’s humiliation was essentially a phase of ministry coincidental with the need of his creatures. From all eternity, and in the beginning, Christ was with God, and Christ was God, and he was in the form of God. He was equal with God, but the time came when he did not consider his equality with God a privilege to clutch as his own. Rather, he let go of it and took the form of a servant. It was something new for him. Being in the form of a servant was not an eternal condition. He took it up. He became obedient unto death. Prior to the incarnation there had been no need for him to be obedient since he was equal with God. But despite the fact that he had the dignity of sonship he learned obedience through what he suffered (Heb 5:8). Obedience was a new experience for him, something he had to learn. It was not an eternal state. When Christ came into the world he said, “Behold, I have come to do your will, O God” (10:5, 7).

“The frame of reference for every term that is found in Scripture to describe Christ’s humiliation pertains to his ministry and not to his eternal state.” (pages 3-4/59-60)

Subordinationism was birthed and is propagated among Patriarchalists and Egalitarians have been the leading opponents in order to preserve historical Trinitarian theology within evangelicalism. Kevin Giles is also an Egalitarian and currently the leading scholar debating and correcting Subordinationists’ claims. Even thought Subordinationists, such as Grudem, claim equality in essence in the Godhead, Giles points out in “The Eternal Subordination of the Son of God and the Permanent Subordination of Women” that, “The problem arises with the word “eternal.” If the Son is eternally subordinated to the Father, and cannot be otherwise, then he does not just function subordinately, he is the subordinated Son. His subordination defines his person or being. Eternal functional subordination implies by necessity ontological subordination. Blustering denials cannot avoid this fact.”

The eternal subordination of the Son is considered heretical in that it changes Christian understating of the Trinity and dismantles the Christian understanding of the process of reconciliation and redemption. In other words, the understanding and process of salvation thru the saving work of Christ is altered and dismantled by Subordinationists.

Grudem’s and Subordinationists’ claim of the eternal subordination of the Son is widely popular in the US and other parts of the world and has “taken over the more conservative side of evangelicalism” (Giles). However, many Christians around the world are baffled as to why a group of evangelicals in the USA are tampering with the Trinity.

According to Giles, “The issue is not really the Trinity at all. What has generated this novel and dangerous doctrine of the Trinity is “a great cause,” the permanent subordination of women. For some evangelicals “the woman question” is the apocalyptic battle of our age. They are convinced that the Bible gives “headship” (“leadership,” in plain speak) to men. If this principle were abandoned because of cultural change the authority of the Bible would be overthrown and the door would be opened to homosexual marriages, the ordination of practicing homosexuals, and believe it or not, the obliteration of sexual differentiation. To bolster support for this “great cause” the doctrine of the Trinity has been redefined and reworded to give the weightiest theological support possible to the permanent subordination of women. Every evangelical who has written in support of the eternal subordination of the Son is committed to the permanent subordination of women in the church and the home. This agenda is what drives them to advocate the eternal subordination of the Son.”

Second Connection: Subordinationists Speaking at Willow Creek

In the last few years several Subordinationists have spoken at Willow Creek Association’s (WCA) Global Leadership Summit (GLS) such as Andy Stanley, Bryan Lorrits, and Albert Tate who is scheduled to speak at the 2015 GLS. A Modalist spoke at the 2010 GLS, T. D. Jakes, The Potter’s House, Belief Statement. Modalism is also a heresy that denies the traditional and orthodox theology of the Trinity.

Technically, WCA is not a church but it is associated with Willow Creek Community Church and serves primarily Christian churches around the world. So its non-church status is not an acceptable explanation for its frequent invitation of heretical Christian preachers. Andy Stanley, at the 2013 GLS, gave a horrific portrayal of Subordinationism. In short, he portrayed Jesus Christ, in the realm of eternity after his Ascension, as an ignorant son who needed Father to correct his mistakes and shortfalls when selecting the “guys,” that is men, not women, to establish the church. (from time 18:45 to 23:05). Stanley’s subordinationist portrayal has been one of the most demeaning and degrading and heretical portrayals of Jesus Christ known in evangelicalism. And this heretical portrayal of Jesus Christ took place on the stage of Willow Creek Community Church where the GLS takes place.

Subordinationist guest preachers are moving from the GLS into Willow Creek Community Church. Albert Tate is scheduled to speak at the 2015 GLS and he recently spoke at the church, Willow Creek Midweek message, March 25, 2015. Tate gave a horrific portrayal of the Samaritan woman, describing and mocking her as a woman who had a “ministry for men” and as a “lady of the night.” Equally disturbing, the audience of Willow Creek Community Church laughed at his degrading jokes. Tate on a few occasions mentioned the importance of cultural context for understanding the passage, specifically regarding the relationship between Jews and Samaritans. Yet, he reflected ignorance on the cultural context of women in patriarchal communities and the effects of patriarchy on women and their livelihood. Tate portrayed the Samaritan woman from the typical patriarchal perspective as a “prostitute,” and completely ignored the cultural context that made her a subordinate and sexual subject in a patriarchal community. The Samaritan woman had one of the longest theological conversations with Jesus recorded in Scripture. She reflected theological knowledge and she was a witness and preacher of the gospel—which is the highest calling given to believers. But to Tate, she was just a prostitute to mock.

The Willow Creek audience showed lack of understating for the severity of Tate’s message and portrayal of the Samaritan woman. This observation points to the need for Willow’s leaders to take on the responsibility of discernment and prudence in whom they invite as guest speakers.

Steve Carter, Teaching Pastor, is the overseer of the Midweek bible study at Willow Creek South Barrington campus. Due to the recent history of Patriarchal and Subordinationist (heretical) guest speakers at Midweek, Steve is not aware of the problem of Subordinationism and its implications, doesn’t view Subordinationists as threats to sound doctrine and biblical community, and/or he agrees with Patriarchalists and Subordinationists (heretics). In the past I have written articles in this blog detailing Steve’s patriarchal tendencies, see “Steve Carter and Patriarchal Gender Essentialism at Willow Creek“, and also “The Great Compromise – Is Willow Creek Community Church Still Egalitarian?” Steve, in the recent past, has made degrading statements about women in the form of patronization. In the three years that he has been overseer of Midweek he has not invited any female preachers or teachers, neither female outside guests or female leaders and church members from within Willow Creek. If Willow Creek’s Teaching Pastor, Steve Carter, who is second only to Bill Hybels in theological oversight and the one who most likely will take on the senior pastorate when Bill retires, is a Patriarchalist and sympathetic to Subordinationists, then Willow Creek is not only compromising with Patriarchalists but is also compromising with Subordinationists.

Third Connection: Willow’s Statement of Faith

The third connection to consider between Subordinationism and Willow Creek is the church’s statement of faith, Willow Creek Community Church: What Willow Believes: Our Core Beliefs. The statement of faith contains one sentence that is similar to one of the traits of Subordinationism, which is the use of the term “eternal Son” (Trait 2). This is what Willow’s statement of faith contains:

God: “We believe there is one true, holy God, eternally existing in three equal persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit….”

Jesus Christ: “Jesus Christ, the eternal second person of the Trinity, was fully united with a human nature by a miraculous conception and virgin birth. He lived in perfect obedience to the Father, voluntarily paid the price for the sins of all people by dying on the cross as their substitute….”

The Christian Life (The Holy Spirit): “People in a saving relationship with Jesus Christ are to live in holiness and obedience as they submit to the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity….”

Instead of stating “eternal Son”, the term has been changed to “eternal second person.” An important distinction, maybe, but an unnecessary and redundant mention since the eternity of the three persons is already mentioned in an earlier paragraph. Why the redundancy? Under the paragraph of the Holy Spirit there is no redundancy of the Spirit’s eternal nature. So why the redundancy and similarity to the term “eternal Son” under the section of “Jesus Christ” which is a trait of Subordinationists? Again, the term has been sabotaged by Subordinationists, “eternal Son” is meant to reflect Son’s deity, unity, and equality with Father, but to Subordinationists this term contains the connotation of subordination of Son in eternity.

References to Father, Son and Holy Spirit as first, second, and third person have traditionally not contained a hierarchical connotation. In light of the redundancy of the term “eternal” applied to the “second person” in Willow’s statement of faith, does Willow Creek ascribe a hierarchy or secondary connotation or role, specifically in eternity, to Jesus Christ?

Is Willow Creek trying to appeal to and compromise with Subordinationists without completely giving in to the term and theology of “eternal Son”? Has Willow Creek given into Subordinationism and is including its own subordinationist language into their statement of faith with the term “eternal second person”?

Now What?

Willow has already made known to be willing to compromise with Patriarchalists by having a male-only core leadership to have doctrinal and theological oversight of the church, see my article, “The Great Compromise.” As mentioned above, Willow Creek is inviting Subordinationists to speak at both GLS and the church and seems to be willing to be open to Subordinationism with the redundant and unnecessary [and possibly hierarchical] term “eternal second person”. Maybe, Willow Creek has already given into Subordinationism?

Willow Creek has Patriarchalists among our church members, staff, and senior leadership. From those Patriarchalists, we have church members who clearly articulate Subordinationism by quoting Grudem’s “ontological equality but economic subordination” as part of their Trinitarian theology. Our senior leadership is sympathetic to Subordinationists as reflected by the consistent invitation of Subordinationists to the GLS and now also to the church. Who among the Patriarchalists at Willow who are in senior leadership are also Subordinationists?

To what extent is Willow Creek Community Church willing to appeal to and compromise with Subordinationists and how will that appeal and compromise affect Willow’s leadership, staff, community, evangelism, doctrine, and theology?

Recently, an egalitarian at Willow described the Son as “submissive” to the Father in eternity. Submission and obedience are not synonymous. But, they do overlap and Patriarchalists and Subordinationists do not distinguish between the two terms. I strongly advise fellow egalitarians to guard themselves from being dragged by the Subordinationists in conversation to describe or delineate the submission of Son in eternity. Discussion about the submission of the Son in eternity is dangerous talk because to Patriarchalists and Subordinationists submission is equivalent to obedience….and obedience of Son in eternity is the heresy of Subordinationism. Instead, I urge egalitarians to remain anchored to the heart and purpose found in the early Christian creeds (Nicene and Athanasian) which is to emphasize the deity, unity, and equality of the Tri-une God.

no dogs negros mexicans   no women 2

Update: August 10, 2015: Added clarifying statements on the term “eternal Son” and how it is used by Subordinationists to carry subordination of Son into eternally. Added examples of Subordinationism found at Willow Creek.