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Ravi Zacharias: Sexual grooming and misconduct lawsuit

This is a public service announcement for those of you who listen to Ravi on the radio or on podcasts. This is not the first problem to arise for Ravi Zacharias. There have been multiple people through the years question Ravi’s reported inflated credentials; followed by a lack of response, verification, or proof from Ravi’s ministry or leadership board.

spiritual sounding board

This news is being reported by Spiritual Sounding Board. I have followed Spiritual Sounding Board since I began blogging in 2013 and I have complete confidence in the accuracy of any issue or person they bring to light.

We are not smearing Jesus’ reputation since Christ is secure in who He is and nothing we do or say can change His perfection or His purpose. Christ does not expect us to cover for these types of people, but rather to hope and pray for conviction in their heart, soul, mind and strength. The purpose is restoration of relationship with God and with the church family.

Click the below link for the article and letters of correspondence…

via Ravi Zacharias Must Explain: Lawsuit, Narratives, and Emails

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Who Is Killing American Women? Their Husbands And Boyfriends, CDC Confirms.

A new report finds that most female homicides involve domestic violence.

 

Most murders of American women involve domestic violence, according to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday.

 

The CDC analyzed data from 18 states, finding 10,018 female homicides between 2003 and 2014. Over half ― 55 percent ― of cases where circumstances were known involved domestic violence. In 93 percent of those cases, victims were killed by current or former intimate partners: boyfriends, husbands, and lovers. The other 7 percent of victims were female friends, family members, first responders and bystanders who were killed during a domestic incident.

While the facts seem shocking at face value, they’re not surprising or new.

It is already well-established that women in the U.S. are far more likely to be killed by an intimate partner than by any other group of people. As HuffPost previously reported: It’s not strangers, friends or acquaintances who pose the biggest threat to women’s lives. It’s the men they date and marry.

According to the report, one in 10 victims of homicides involving domestic abuse had experienced some form of violence in the month before their death, suggesting an opportunity for intervention.

 

“These assessments might be used to facilitate immediate safety planning and to connect women with other services, such as crisis intervention and counseling, housing, medical and legal advocacy, and access to other community resources,” the CDC report read.

 

Click her to read the entire article: 

Who Is Killing American Women? Their Husbands And Boyfriends, CDC Confirms.

 

If you believe you or another person is in danger right now,
contact police immediately.

If you question if you are in danger or not; take the Mosaic Threat AssessmentMOSAIC is an error avoidance method, a computer-assisted method for conducting comprehensive assessments – in the same way that diagnosis is a method used by a doctor. An effective medical diagnosis results when a doctor knows which questions to ask, knows which tests will produce the most accurate answers, and then knows how to draw relevant conclusions from all the answers combined together.

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A High View of Marriage Includes Divorce

So many women and children have been sacrificed on the altar of “The High View of Marriage” where divorce is looked down upon in the church. Women and children who are suffering through abuse need understanding; not condemnation for formalizing an already broken covenant by their abuser.

This article is a healing balm for the many women I personally know who have been shunned by their churches, or scolded by friends and family for finally walking away to once again claim their strength, health, and sanity.

The following article is a guest post by Rebecca VanDoodewaard, author of Uprooted: A Guide for Homesick Christians and Your Future ‘Other Half’: It Matters Whom You MarryShe is married to William VanDoodewaard, Professor of Church History at Puritan Theological Seminary. They have four children.

I am thankful for her willingness to express her thoughts so clearly and powerfully in this article.   

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God hates divorce, doesn’t He? Absolutely. Isn’t the gospel about forgiveness and love? Yes, it is. And pastors and elders can use these two truths in isolation from the rest of Scripture and biblical principles to deny people divorce for biblical grounds. “But marriage is a precious thing,” one pastor told a woman whose husband was in prison for pedophilia. “It would be a wonderful picture of God’s grace to move on from this and focus on your marriage,” another one told the husband of an adulteress. “We’re working with him; he’s really struggling, and so you need to forgive him,” a session tells a woman whose husband has been using pornography for years.

Evangelical and confessional churches are striving to maintain a high view of marriage in a culture that is ripping the institution to shreds. So extra-biblical barriers to divorce can be well-meant. They try to protect marriage by doing everything possible to avoid divorce. In doing so, they not only fail to keep a high view of marriage. They also spread lies about the gospel, divorce, the value of people, the character of God and the nature of sexual sin.

The first lie is that forgiveness means that the offended party is bound to continue living with the guilty party once there’s an apology. Wives in particular are told that God requires that they forgive a repentant spouse, which is true, and that this means that they need to stay in the marriage, which is not true. It’s like saying to parents who discover that the babysitter molested their children: “Oh, but the sitter said sorry. It would be unloving to not ask them to watch the kids again. You need to demonstrate your forgiveness.” The argument is that Jesus forgave you and took you in: Why can’t you do the same for a spouse? Because I am not God: I am human, too, and can’t atone for my spouse’s sin in a way that can restore an earthly marriage.

Sacrificing a person to save a relationship is not the gospel. The gospel is that Someone was sacrificed to free us from sin and bring us to God. We cannot always bear the relational punishment for someone else’s sin. We can forgive them, and will if we are a Christian, but that doesn’t mean we have to live with them. You can forgive someone and divorce them. Scripture commands forgiveness where there is repentance, but it never requires that a relationship be continued in the way that it was before covenant was shattered. This lie of “forgiveness” places the burden on the innocent party. The sinner gets counsel, support, help and prayer, while the sinned-against gets pressure, guilt and a crushing future. Acceptance is often labelled the “Christian” thing to do. Since Christ gave divorce as an option in some circumstances, divorce can be the Christian thing to do, too. Forgiveness is always the Christian thing to do, and it simply means that the guilty party is forgiven, not absolved from all earthly consequences.

The second lie is implied: God hates divorce more than He hates abuse and sexual sin. To put the lie a different way, God loves marriage more than He loves the women in it. While God created marriage, loves marriage and says that it is a picture of Christ’s relationship with the church, Jesus didn’t die to save marriage. He died to save people. He sacrificed His life to protect His sons and daughters, and hates when they are abused, violated and humiliated, particularly in a relationship that is supposed to picture Christ and the church.

This fact is especially true for women, who suffer at the hands of men whose actions mock servant leadership and so blaspheme the name of the Christ whom they are called to represent. Denying a woman legitimate divorce allows an unrepentant man to continue in this abuse and blasphemy. If we want to value and treat marriage rightly, we need to think about Jesus! His care for His church is not an abstract idea. We see it lived out in the gospels every day in purity, tender care for widows and intolerance of the Pharisees who thought they could be right with God while checking out beautiful women at the market. Christ’s love for His church found very concrete expression on the cross—willingness to die to save His beloved people. Yes, God hates divorce. And there are some things that He hates even more.

The third lie is that divorce is an unclean thing, often the fault of the innocent party. This is a misunderstanding of divorce. Divorce is not the innocent party ending a marriage. Divorce is the innocent party obtaining legal recognition that the guilty party has destroyed the marriage. So often, we see the divorcing person as the one who ends the marriage—they are not! Where there has been sexual unfaithfulness, abuse or abandonment, it is the guilty party who ended it by breaking covenant. While legitimate divorce is not mandatory, it is a biblical option, on moral par with maintaining the marriage. The 1992 report by the PCA study committee on divorce and remarriage comments:

It is also interesting to recall in this connection Jeremiah 3:8, where Yahweh is said to divorce Israel for her spiritual adultery (idolatry):―“I gave faithless Israel her certificate of divorce and sent her away because of all her adulteries.” If God himself can properly divorce his bride because of adultery, then, given Christ’s unqualified adherence to the authority of the Old Testament, it seems difficult to conclude that Jesus would not have had similar words on his own lips. (218)

The church needs to be clear about this: Legitimate divorce is holy and biblical if God Himself can speak of initiating it. And it is initiated to publicly recognize the destruction already there. Divorce does not end a covenant. It protects the spouse whose covenant has been violated—a picture of covenant protection in the face of human unfaithfulness. Always discouraging divorce, always making it a last, desperate option that really fails to show gospel power, implies that we know more about marriage than God does and value it more highly. If there are legitimate reasons for divorce, then making divorce look like a lesser option is wrong. God allows it: Who are we to discourage people from choosing a biblical option?

The fourth lie usually involved in this discussion is about pornography. It is often classified as not technically adultery, so spouses are denied the biblical right to divorce. This is mind boggling. Someone who seeks out sexually explicit material and has a physical response to it is in the same mental, physical and spiritual condition as someone in bed with a coworker. The difference is that the relationship with the coworker is at least private and limited, while porn use accepts and subsidizes an entire industry of sexual sin that is maintained by abuse and slavery, involves hundreds of people, and is tracked by the producing companies and Internet servers. Deliberate and repeated porn use is at least adultery, regardless of whether there is repentance at some point. Denying this makes people ask why some pastors are so committed to denying what porn really is. Our pre-technology definition of adultery allows souls and marriages to be ravaged from the inside out because we fail to admit what a porn habit really is. We look away from the institutionalized rape that it subsidizes. Countenancing sexual sin for any reason reveals a poor understanding of sexual sin as well as the gospel.

Do you see how these lies, sometimes borne out of a desire to protect marriage, actually bring about a low view of marriage? By granting, supporting and even facilitating a biblical divorce, we take a stand to say that we can forgive without being forced to live with people who have shattered us. This protects marriage by allowing the innocent party to leave a relationship that has been broken. By backing biblical divorce, we protect women whom God loves, showing Christ’s love when spouses have not. This protects marriage by refusing to allow sinners to abuse the institution with impunity. By publicly stating that sexual sin and abuse, not wounded spouses, ends marriages, we hold the marriage bed in honor. This protects marriage by creating a holy fear of violating it. By offering biblical divorce, the church affirms that pornography is depravity, and will not be countenanced by Christ’s church. Naming and disciplining sexual sin as the evil it is and offering divorce to the innocent party makes the value of marriage clear as we refuse to see it damaged, abused or treated lightly.

Developing and maintaining a high view of marriage does a lot. It protects women and children, often the people most hurt by sexual sin. It keeps us from falling into sin ourselves: The higher our view of marriage, the less likely we will be to dabble in something so devastating. And a high view of marriage honors the One who created it for our good and His glory—the One who promises to judge the adulterer and the sexually immoral.

This article originally appeared here.

 

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Assaulted mom needs help.

Will you help?

A Facebook friend posted a plea for financial aid and prayer help for a local mom with whom she goes to church and she has known for many years. Michelle and the children fled their home the evening of the assault and spent the next three weeks in a domestic violence shelter. During that time, an order for protection was filed against her husband. She is now back home with the children.

Of course, I began private messaging information that I thought might be useful and important during this time of financial and legal need for her friend.

Mid-week brought an opportunity for me to talk with and pray for this abused mom, Michelle. I’m overwhelmed for her! Michelle has multiple sclerosis so she obviously battles health issues. Michelle has nine children and is in a high risk pregnancy with number ten on the way. Put that combination together and imagine how a woman who has been a stay-at-home mom the last nine years is going to find a job to support her family when she isn’t capable of working during this pregnancy; plus not many employers will be thrilled to find out a new employee will need time off for MS health issues, and/or time off for taking care of sick kids when they come home from school with the latest virus.

There is a common thread woven through Michelle’s abuse that I often refer to on my blog under Toxic Tuesday posts. It’s a common factor (term/diagnosis) I hear of over and over by abused women.

I’m not able to go into details about the attack against Michelle for legal reasons, or about what is taking place in the courts. I can tell you that she is optimistic, hopeful, joyful, and is living day by day trusting in God…and praying…and keeping scriptures printed out and in front of her to help through difficult daily moments.

I’m asking my readers to go to the below  YOUCARING link and make a contribution to help Michelle purchase groceries and take care of immediate financial needs for her family.

Please pray for Michelle, and for her kids. Obviously, when abuse happens with children in the home the children are also traumatized.

Thank you in advance for your compassion.

Hebrews 13:16 “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”

Michelle Teeter

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4th Short Clip: Disappeared Lynn Messer

Disappeared Lynn Messer

 

Disappeared: American Gothic will air tomorrow, March 26, 2017 on  Investigation Discovery Channel at 9:00 p.m. central time.

In this clip Lynn’s son Abram brings up a perceptive and logical talking point about suicide victims. I agree with Abram. I’ve never heard of a person committing suicide and doing this either. I looked under dozens of Google search terms and came up with zero such instances.

Watch what Abram has to say here: I was not able to embed the video to my blog so you will have to click on the link. Disappeared Investigation Discovery Channel

Also, friends of Lynn’s have set up a new Facebook page; Find Lynn Messer II where Lynn’s life may be remembered and  honored in a loving, caring and loyal setting.

https://mobile.twitter.com/DiscoveryID/status/845668372884926464/video/1

 

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Remembering Lynn Messer observations & interview

Lynn Messer

 

From the Find Lynn Messer Facebook page, January 13, 2017, written by Kerry Messer:

(Most media is only interested in sensationalism rather than helping us to find any true answers. To sell advertising they create as much drummed up drama as they can. Thus it is getting harder and harder to discern which media may be willing to report on facts and truth, verses those looking for and creating false accusations just to hype their ‘so called’ ‘news reports’. This is why I have reinstituted our 33 year old policy of no longer allowing media onto our property or in our home.)

I haven’t found any media outlets sensationalizing information and drumming up drama to sell advertising. This remark sends up another red flag to me. It reminds me of how some people have the innate ability to detract from the problem at hand (usually something to do with them self) to keep people off-balance, or to hide the truth. I think the media have been unusually easy on Kerry Messer; possibly due to his political standing in the state. I haven’t heard, or read, of any tough questions proposed to Kerry.

A popular Facebook trend is to leave a one word status describing you or someone else, or a character trait you want to be known by. The word that comes to my mind for the above post is, ‘bizarre.’ As for accusations, Mr. Messer has left himself wide open due to the nature of his posts on his Find Lynn Messer Facebook page, coupled with his relationship with Spring Thomas and the fact that Ms. Thomas is never mentioned by him in the posts. He seems to long for Lynn as if Ms. Thomas doesn’t exist and doesn’t matter; or could it be he wants to hide his relationship with Spring Thomas from the modest loyal followers he has on his Find Lynn Messer page?

The below interview mentions a protective order separating the family at this time. I found it interesting the reporter didn’t mention who was granted the ex parte; order of protection. The judge heard credible testimony which allowed for the order to be granted.

As for Aarron and Abram; they remember what mattered most to their mom: God, love and family. They draw from the lessons their mom taught them about selfless love. They choose to, “honor her and carry on—not for her—but in her stead”¹  “together; by being there for each other,” and by using the lessons she taught them to help guide them.

I hope Lynn was allowed to gaze down from heaven during her memorial service to view her sons’ love in action. More so, to see all her grand children lined up in a church pew together; enjoying each other’s company. Affectionate smiles, giggles and heads leaning in to one another—cousins chatting while patiently waiting for the service to begin.

Witnessing loving relationships. Hearing about the goodness of the Lord in the midst of difficult circumstances. Holding on to hope. Serving others. Loving God. These are the lessons Lynn taught, and these are the lessons being lived out that she would have seen from heaven’s view.

 

Click below to read more and watch:

Remembering Lynn Messer, family reflects on disappearance

 

 

 

¹ http://www.kfvs12.com/story/34245902/remembering-lynn-messer-family-reflects-on-disappearance