By the time you analyze, systematize and homogenize the move of God – well, He’s moved on…
Many would rather live a lie in peace, than live for truth.
God gives different gifts, callings and motivations to different people. It’s OK to be different!
The older I get, the more I realize that maturity is having the wisdom to understand there are consequences.
Too often folks anxiously try to fix the fix that God has fixed to fix some problem. Never works. Never has, never will.
If you’re in a fix, own it and let God do His perfect work.
If someone else is in a fix, let them own it so God can do His perfect work!
A good article that provides much needed perspective on sexually exploitive church leaders. In Marianne and my experience with Nathan’s Voice, a ministry of our fellowships which has helped literally hundreds of abuse survivors over the years, this is spot on. It describes the typical personality, motives and means of predation by those who use their emotional and spiritual position of trust to sexually exploit others.
It is always painful when we learn that a beloved church leader has used his position of trust to sexually exploit those under his care. The recent disclosures about Frank Viola are no exception. But when it’s confirmed by multiple witnesses, how should we react? Fortunately, the New Testament provides clear instructions.
Sexual Predation by Christian Author and “Apostle” Frank Viola, by Nathan’s Voice
After months of investigation, Nathan’s Voice has confirmed through multiple witnesses a history of abuse, sexual predation and cover up involving Christian author and self-proclaimed “apostolic worker” Frank Viola.
Nathan’s Voice is a ministry created two years ago by a network of fellowships in Virginia to help stop abuse by church leaders and to aid victims.
They have issued a public warning so other churches that might consider relating to Frank Viola – as they had been, thus prompting them to do some background checking – need to know about his history of leadership abuse, sexual predation, and misleading claims about his church involvement and church “planting” expertise.
Nathan’s Voice has worked with and helped hundreds of abuse victims over the years, and successfully taken on some high visibility church abuse cases. It has learned through experience that where a leader has violated his position of trust by willfully abusing those under his care, then absent open confession and repentance – which is at least as public as the influence and leadership he continues to seek – there is no assurance of adequate safeguards to protect against additional deception and victims.
- Jon Zens and Frank Viola – A Public Response (crossroadjunction.com)
- Leadership Abuses: Private and Public Sins (crossroadjunction.com)
As Nathan’s Voice states on its web site, it is a ministry run by a number of churches I am affiliated with here in Virginia. I – along with others – helped found Nathan’s Voice on behalf of those churches several years ago. Over the years I have worked with Nathan’s Voice to help many victims, and to deal with abusive church leaders, in various roles – including as an attorney, a pastoral counselor and an elder in the Body of Christ. ~ Jim Wright
Relational unity must be built on relational truth – and never on lies.
God’s not into pendulums. He’s into plumb lines. Big difference!
Historical Theology: An Introduction to Christian Doctrine. By Greg Allison
This is a GREAT book. I’ve often used it as a reference when researching some of the crazy claims you see on the Internet – like the doctrine of the plenary authority of scripture originated with the Constantine church or the Protestant reformers. Wrong! It goes back to the earliest writings of the church, including pre-Constantine.
I highly recommend this book for those interested in understanding that the essentials of the faith have been consistently affirmed throughout the entire history of the church. We need sound scholarship to refute popular but unsubstantiated claims to the contrary, which are frequently touted on the Internet.
For the next several days, it is on sale for only $5.99 (it’s normally many times that price, and worth it!).
Gregg Allison is Professor of Theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and is a recognized expert on historical theology.
You may be Calvinist or Arminian, pre-trib or post-trib, charismatic or cessationist, dispensational or covenantal, or whatever. But absent a vibrant relationship with the Living Word, in submission to the authority and discipline of His written Word, on what other foundation do you expect to build together?
We spend more money on short term mission trips than we do on actually supporting the work of bringing forth indigenous churches.