Elitist Racism

Elitism and racism in the Body of Christ are very ugly things. Lately, they’ve reared their ugly heads in some very nasty ways that hit close to home.

Over the last several months, we’ve been promoting Crossroad Junction through some very limited, non-targeted ads by Facebook on Facebook.

stop_racismDuring the same period, we also have received a high percentage of new followers from the Philippines and other overseas places. Whether it’s due to those ads or not, we don’t know.

Regardless, this heightened overseas interest is not due to any directed or targeted effort on our part, and Marianne and I are thrilled to connect with other believers from across the globe.

Now, however, our increasing readership is provoking a very elitist and racist series of attacks – directed against us, our fellowships, and our new Filipino followers.

Some of our Filipino brothers and sisters have seen those attacks, and have been deeply offended.

In the face of those attacks, I want welcome to you to our blog – and offer my apologies for the ugly efforts by some of my countrymen to discredit you by questioning your motives and capacity to follow the somewhat intellectual and substantive articles found here.

What’s the Issue?

Ads or not, we suspect our blog resonates with God’s tremendous move within the Philippines and elsewhere – as the kind of simple, indigenous fellowships we are part of here in U.S. also are spreading like wildfire in your towns and villages.

In fact, we often have posted in the past that the “simple/organic” church community here in the U.S. has lots to learn from you.

We are common allies in the faith, as we jointly commit to a vibrant relationship with the Living Word, while also submitting to the discipline and authority of His written Word.

Lately, some within the “simple/organic” church community here in the U.S. – who deny that scripture is the written Word of God – have launched a vicious, behind-the-scenes attack on Crossroad Junction and our growing influence.

Specifically, this has been happening over the last three weeks in blogs, letters and emails by author Frank Viola’s fellow “apostolic workers” Jon Zens, Milt Rodriquez and Jamal Jivajee, and their new-found ally Bart Breen.

Interestingly, most of those men have not, themselves, had any consistent history of being able to start or be part of an actual, healthy, local fellowship – yet they persist in trying to tell the “simple/organic” church community how to do so.

Lately, they have been alarmed at the exploding popularity of this blog and our resolute stand, within the “simple/organic” community here in the U.S., for the historic truths and authority of scripture as a vital foundation for local fellowships.

They also are alarmed that we have been willing to expose some of their crazy doctrines and practices, which have derailed the more existential wing of “simple/organic” community they relate to here in the U.S.

Finally, they are frantic in now trying to silence those, like us, who have dared expose and warn others about the sexual abuse, predation, exploitation and coverup that’s occurred among their ranks against God’s people. See Jon Zens and Frank Viola – A Public Response.

Moral Bankruptcy

The fact that Crossroad Junction has emerged as one of the most widely-read voices in the “simple/organic” church community here in the U.S. – and that we also have directly taken on the history of sexual exploitation and moral corruption among them – has them now desperately looking for ways to discredit us.

They can’t attack the substance of what we say, so now they are resorting to ad hominen personal attacks and raw racism. Doing so illustrates their own moral bankruptcy.

One of those lines of attack – in their blogs, letters and behind-the-scenes emails – is that we are using illegal “scripts” to attract and pay Filipinos to follow Crossroad Junction and thus inflate the statistics on the number of people who follow our blog.

Although I have directly stated to them that this is not the case, they persist in de-legitimizing our Filipino brothers and sisters by saying the only reason Filipinos could possibly want to connect with others – through blogs like Crossroad Junction – is if they are paid to do so.

This is pure racism. Filipinos, they imply, lack the ability and capacity to follow more intelligent, substantive blogs like Crossroad Junction, and therefore can’t have any legitimate reason to subscribe or “like” it. Thus, they claim, we must be paying Filipinos – who they seem to think can’t possibly be as sophisticated and discerning as them – to do so in order to inflate our readership statistics.

To our Filipino and other overseas followers, we reject the ugly racism of those who arrogantly attack your capacity and interest in walking together with us – as we explore and discuss our common, wonderful journey of faith.

It is the same elitism that also has caused them to attack the legitimacy of our fellowships, some of which don’t conform to their insular post-modern sensibilities because they exist on the fringes of society – among inmates, the homeless, ex-addicts, marginalized ethnic communities, and the like.

According to them, those can’t be real churches because they just can’t seem to figure them out or get their arms around them – and what God is doing among us. See Discombobulating Fellowship.

In addition, Zens, Rodriquez, Jamal and Breen have viciously attacked women who have been victims of church sexual abuse and who our fellowships have helped, by saying their stories have no legitimacy unless they actually filed lawsuits against their abusers.

We find that to be very arrogant also – because it says those women must conform to their male-dominated, elitist dictates and denies survivors the right to decide on their own terms how to best deal with their abuse.

It also disingenuously ignores the fact that sometimes a victim can’t file suit due to legal barriers like statutes of limitations.

We Welcome You!

Marianne and I truly don’t know why Crossroad Junction has become so popular with our brothers and sisters in the Philippines and in other overseas locales – along with others here in the United states who refuse to be marginalized by such ugly elitism and racism.

But we welcome you nonetheless and are thrilled to connect with you.

Let’s reject such elitist racism by a few, and continue moving forward together as the wonderful, morally upright and diverse – yet very improbable – Body of Christ!

~ Jim Wright

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25 responses

  1. Wow. I had no idea. Keep up the good work and may those in countries other than the US know that most of us here believe racism is wrong and has no place in the church.

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  2. Well, I, for my part, have often said: “Can there come any good from America” twisting a bit of scripture, but here i have found a blog I feel I can read and feed from. The rest of the bickering I can’t take sides in – and American churches I don’t care much about. I don’t know who’s who and what church is what. My advise – forget the bickering and keep up the good work. I liked the blog about why and how make abusers responsible. Ignore those who will drag you into uneccesary bickering and just do your thing. A good tree bears good fruit. By the way – I’m Norwegian!

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  3. Racist? You have an amazing mind, I don’t think there was any other refuge you could go from this revelation. 18-24 year-old Phillipino women consider you Elvis right now. And there really is only one explanation. That is just a fact, no racism there at all.

    Nice try.

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  4. Jim,
    Have you had any communication with any of these new fans? Other than facebook likes. It doesn’t appear that any of them comment. Perhaps you could share how you were informed of their offense. “Some of our Filipino brothers and sisters have seen those attacks, and have been deeply offended.”

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      • Don’t you think it’s suspicious that your most popular group of people don’t comment on your posts. Or if they do its unintelligible. I’ve seen articles that say others who bought ads immediately had a huge growth in likes from foreign countries just like your experiencing. You might want to look into yourself, because if they are fraudulent and later get removed this post will not reflect well of you.

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        • Jason, over the four years this blog has existed, my logs show that the country with the most reads – outside North America – has consistently been the Philippines. Yet over that lengthy period of time I have had hardly any comments from that part of the world. This has been true well before the latest, very racists comments about the more recent increase in “likes” on Facebook – and imputing all kinds of nefarious motives to that increase. Thus, I don’t think the lack of comments from the Philippines indicates anything, one way or another.

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          • If you have had consistent logs from the Philippines but only a recent increase in likes what do you attribute the recent increase in likes to?

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          • Also, don’t you think it’s pretty severe to accuse someone of being racist for questioning this recent increase. Not sure if that’s very Christ like what about turning the other cheek. What about praying for your enemy?

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  5. It is disappointing to me that human beings seem incapable of dwelling together in harmony. A corrupt preference for control, influence, and power typically undergirds actions that attempt to appear as charitable and protective.

    You will be judged, and for your heart intentions, not simply the appearances that humans can see.

    Jim, I know you only from this blog, but my interpretation of your communication here is universally in line with the heart of God. I am grateful for the insights you’ve catalyzed for me, and wish those who attack you the truth of Grace. It seems to me that they miss the point.

    Blessings!

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  6. Jim,
    Not sure why you deleted my posts. Just trying to understand why such vitriol and what you attribute the recent growth to.

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  7. Jason: As I said, we have on occasion run nontargeted, very low-budget ads by Facebook on Facebook to promote the blog. Whether that’s the source of the increase is hard to know. The blog has always enjoyed a constant, steady increase in followers even without that.

    Regarding your other followup, the racism is not in questioning why there’s been an increase in overseas followers, but the false, accusatory claim that it was through illegal means and the reasoning used to justify those accusations – as Zens, Rodriguez, Jamal and Breen then targeted Filipinos with very nasty stereotyping and derogatory assumptions about them.

    Finally, I did not delete your posts. I’m simply moderating them for this blog, because there have been too many folks who have sought to trash the sex abuse victims we’ve been helping as they post hateful stuff which continues to de-legitimatize the victims and those who have helped them – even though every case I’ve been involved with had multiple confirming witnesses from the church where it happened and the victims’ stories all checked out 100%. Short of those kind of comments, I’m allowing all civil and on-topic responses.

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    • Jim,
      Out of curiosity have you sought to confirm if these people intentionally liked your page or comments. I’m reaching out to some of the people who liked your post yesterday and the first response I received says that they don’t know about your blog and denies liking your post. Even after I showed a screen capture with her name next to the like. Thought you would like to know that at least one person out there has a hacked Facebook account that is artificially liking your posts. I’ll let you know when I here more.

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      • Let’s see… Facebook is creating bogus “likes” in response to some ads they have run for me? Seriously???

        James, if some troll contacted me to say he was checking on my Facebook likes, and demanding that I justify them, I likely would not confirm or cooperate either.

        Even if you found one “like” (which I want to point out was to a comment posted on Facebook and not for the Facebook page for this blog itself) that seems suspicious, I’m sure, out of the literally thousands of such likes, that there even may be some more. I have no control over that, nor the time to police it.

        Really, life is too short to be that obsessive over needing to track down all the “likes” on old comments about this blog on Facebook – don’t you think???

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      • The “James” in the comment above, I have since learned, is James Goen – who has been part of a small Frank Viola affiliated fellowship near us (although I’m not sure if it even still exists).

        According to some posts he’s made on Facebook, and some feedback from others, over the last two days he has been harassing Filipinos who “liked” a comment the Facebook page for this blog (but they are not “likes” for the blog itself) by contacting them and demanding that they verify – to him – that they really did “like” the comment .

        Think about it: If I was a Filipino and some official sounding troll from the U.S. contacted me to say he was investigating my online activity, and demanding that I justify an obscure “like” I made on Facebook in the past, wouldn’t I be worried that I’m being accused of wrongdoing? Would I even necessarily remember it? Would I then be likely to confirm doing so?

        Yet this is what James Goen has done – with targeted intimidation of Filipinos who “liked” one of many, many comments posted on Facebook about this blog.

        I reported his “troll” activity to Facebook, and provided FB with a screen shot of him admitting to doing this. Being a troll is a violation of FB’s terms of use.

        He has now tried to post an incessant number of comments here, making the same threats and claims. I have disapproved and blocked those comments.

        I know some – like Mr. Goen – are upset that our fellowships “outed” Frank Viola for sexually exploiting teenagers, as confirmed by numerous witness statements and also the public warnings issued against him by his own former church. Mr Goen has, in the past, strongly objected to me questioning some things about Mr. Viola.

        But harassing and intimidating folks on Facebook for simply liking a comment on this blog’s Facebook page is not the proper response. Open confession and repentance by Frank, and compassion for his victims, would be much more appropriate – don’t you think?

        When is the smear and intimidation going to end? Is there no shame?

        When are the Viola supporters like Mr. Goen going to actually address the real issue – which is Frank Viola’s sex abuse and exploitation in the church, his coverup, and how to now deal with it so his victims can find healing and others are protected?

        I will stand for the victims, and stand toe to toe against those who are party to this ongoing campaign of intimidation and coverup. It will not be permitted – here or elsewhere.

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        • “According to some posts he’s made on Facebook, over the last two days he has been harassing Filipinos who “liked” my blog on Facebook by contacting them and demanding that they verify – to him – that they really did like it. ” Actually, that doesn’t sound like what James described at all…he made an inquiry, didn’t demand anything. Why the exaggeration?

          The things you point out about Frank may carry some truth…and if so, he cannot be trusted. Dishonesty is a harbinger of future distrust. And thus, the “likes” on your blog are of interest on whether you yourself can be trusted.

          I’m sure if you dig there, you might find some racism. It’s not there.

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          • And so, if some folks clicked “like” several days ago on one of the many, many comments posted on my blog’s Facebook page, and they don’t remember doing so or want to answer some troll’s demand that they give an account of their Facebook activities, I am dishonest?

            Pray tell, Jim, how would I even manipulate Facebook to create such “likes” from someone else’s Facebook account?

            Really…

            The conspiracy paranoia and attacks are getting out of hand – and your comments here (including the one below) are just a continuation of your attacks over the last month or so on Facebook against anyone and everyone who has dared hold author and self proclaimed “apostolic worker” Frank Viola to account for his confirmed history of sexual predation and exploitation in the church.

            We – and others – believe the warnings of his prior church need to be heeded, for the healing of his victims and the protection of others. You responded by banning several folks from some Facebook groups you administer – and totally dismissed the many witnesses who came forward from his former church. You also have vocally attacked the idea that scripture is the written Word of God, and banned folks also who have held that view. This showed, as do your comments here, moral bankruptcy.

            Regardless, the original point of my blog stands uncontested: That the rationale previously given by your fellow Viola enforces – Jon Zens, Milt Rodriquez, Jamal Jivanjee and Bart Breen – were blatantly racist. On this point, I have yet to hear from anyone defending their derogatory assertions against Filipinos – by way of attacking this blog for daring to confront Frank Viola’s history of sex abuse – in their own blogs and private letters, emails and the like.

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  8. Just an update, four out four people who I’ve contacted that liked your post yesterday were unaware of it, and have never heard of your blog.

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  9. Jim you are a not dealing with reality, no one attacked any one but you and your specious ways. am de-friending you and I suggest that everyone else who are believers disconnect from you. This crap you are fomenting will stop and the best way, it seems, is to give you no voice. You have been exposed and with this final post I say good bye.

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  10. Pingback: Bart Breen – A Public Response « Crossroad Junction

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