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Outcome of Geneva Commons scandal?

Discussion in 'Confessional, Covenantal, Creedal - Presbyterian' started by Endeavourer, Jul 21, 2020.

  1. Endeavourer

    Endeavourer Well-Known Member

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    I'm curious whether there have been any consequences to the pastors and elders who engaged in demeaning language that devalued and belittled women in the 1,000+ member Geneva Commons facebook group? I understand that the participants in this group were primarily OPC and PCA pastors and elders, although there were a pastors from a few other Reformed organizations as well.

    Clearly those men are not safe elders and pastors for women in their congregations. Has there been any organizational measures taken to protect women from them and review the marriage counseling they had provided to ensure their advice valued the wife as much as the husband?

    Judging by their derision and mockery of women, I'd expect they may have caused harm to those women who were in their care during the course of marriage counseling and/or spiritual guidance.

    This post from Bernie Castle, and responded to by Jim Stevenson shows the general tone of the posts:

    ...in a discussion about a book written by a woman:
    Bernie Castle, Pastor of Grace Presbyterian church in Lynchburg, VA (OPC):
    Why can't these women just take their shoes off and make us sandwiches!?! :/

    Jim Stevenson, (professes to be an OPC pastor. There is an OPC pastor of this name located in the midwest, but due to the fact that this is not a very unique name, I won't post the church and location without further confirmation.)
    Mmmm, sammiches...mmmmmmm

    In the discussion thread as well, and not rebuking the comments was also group founder and frequent contributor and mocker of women:
    Shane Anderson, ruling elder in Providence OPC, in Greensborogh, NC

    Genevan Commons Screenshots

    As someone who attended the OPC for about 20 years, I'm gravely concerned for my sisters in these and the other congregations who are also led by the other ruling elders and pastors who engaged in this behavior, so just wanted to reach out to find out if anyone knows whatever happened to this group of men.
     
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  2. Tra Phull

    Tra Phull Ecumenical Loose Canon

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    Geneva, huh?

    I would not know anything about it, but wimmin-muzzling from Geneva would not surprise me
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2020
  3. JM

    JM Particular Baptist Supporter

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    https://puritanboard.com/threads/geneva-commons-byrd-controversy.102991/

    Yours in the Lord,

    jm
     
  4. Endeavourer

    Endeavourer Well-Known Member

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  5. Tra Phull

    Tra Phull Ecumenical Loose Canon

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    I couldn't get in either
     
  6. JM

    JM Particular Baptist Supporter

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    Sorry, I didn't realize it was for Puritan Board members only. The link had information about doxing and added context. That's all.

    jm
     
  7. Endeavourer

    Endeavourer Well-Known Member

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    Hi JM,

    I am surprised that anyone is allowing the idea that these men were doxed to interfere with addressing the problem. They were participating in a facebook group with approx 1,000 members under their own names, with many members of their organizations also members. This was very public behavior.

    Would the OPC or PCA accept the idea that an affair is private behavior and that exposing it is doxing? I don't see a difference between these men being exposed for privately breaking the seventh commandment (hypothetically, of course) verses their publicly breaking of the ninth. Their behavior was far more public than any affair behavior would be.
     
  8. JM

    JM Particular Baptist Supporter

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    No one is 'allowing the idea' of anything get in the way of addressing the problem. There are two issues that need to be address.

    jm
     
  9. Endeavourer

    Endeavourer Well-Known Member

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    It seems from your comment that you might have some knowledge that the problem is being addressed. Are you able to share any specifics on how?
     
  10. JM

    JM Particular Baptist Supporter

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    It's not my place to say. I'm not an Elder, it's not my church and I'm not willing to break the 9th commandment by gossiping.

    Q. 143. Which is the ninth commandment?
    A. The ninth commandment is, Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

    Q. 144. What are the duties required in the ninth commandment?
    A. The duties required in the ninth commandment are, the preserving and promoting of truth between man and man, and the good name of our neighbor, as well as our own; appearing and standing for the truth; and from the heart, sincerely, freely, clearly, and fully, speaking the truth, and only the truth, in matters of judgment and justice, and in all other things whatsoever; a charitable esteem of our neighbors; loving, desiring, and rejoicing in their good name; sorrowing for and covering of their infirmities; freely acknowledging of their gifts and graces, defending their innocency; a ready receiving of a good report, and unwillingness to admit of an evil report, concerning them; discouraging talebearers, flatterers, and slanderers; love and care of our own good name, and defending it when need requireth; keeping of lawful promises; studying and practicing of whatsoever things are true, honest, lovely, and of good report.

    Q. 145. What are the sins forbidden in the ninth commandment?
    A. The sins forbidden in the ninth commandment are, all prejudicing the truth, and the good name of our neighbors, as well as our own, especially in public judicature; giving false evidence, suborning false witnesses, wittingly appearing and pleading for an evil cause, outfacing and overbearing the truth; passing unjust sentence, calling evil good, and good evil; rewarding the wicked according to the work of the righteous, and the righteous according to the work of the wicked; forgery, concealing the truth, undue silence in a just cause, and holding our peace when iniquity calleth for either a reproof from ourselves, or complaint to others; speaking the truth unseasonably, or maliciously to a wrong end, or perverting it to a wrong meaning, or in doubtful or equivocal expressions, to the prejudice of the truth or justice; speaking untruth, lying, slandering, backbiting, detracting, talebearing, whispering, scoffing, reviling, rash, harsh, and partial censuring; misconstructing intentions, words, and actions; flattering, vainglorious boasting, thinking or speaking too highly or too meanly of ourselves or others; denying the gifts and graces of God; aggravating smaller faults; hiding, excusing, or extenuating of sins, when called to a free confession; unnecessary discovering of infirmities; raising false rumors, receiving and countenancing evil reports, and stopping our ears against just defense; evil suspicion; envying or grieving at the deserved credit of any; endeavoring or desiring to impair it, rejoicing in their disgrace and infamy; scornful contempt, fond admiration; breach of lawful promises; neglecting such things as are of good report, and practicing, or not avoiding ourselves, or not hindering what we can in others, such things as procure an ill name.

    If you have a problem I would contact your Elders and explain the situation so they can look into it and take the proper steps.

    Yours in the Lord,

    jm
     
  11. Endeavourer

    Endeavourer Well-Known Member

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    Dear JM,

    If only someone would have had the courage to take up for me when behavior against me was brought to light, I might be still able to dare to attend a church today. It was in regards to this very issue.

    There is one Reformed church where I have experienced safety due to a wonderful, humble and serving pastor. He puts himself in the lowest seat and we are all happy to join him there. He would never speak of a sister like those other men did. However, that church is in another state so I attend it online from my home. It's a church full of broken people, just like me, and has provided so much healing.

    My other denomination, which I'm sure you are very familiar with, was just for the "pretty" people. As soon as any scars from brokenness were visible they wanted me to move along. (Just for clarification, this was not the OPC; I attended a church in a different denomination in the mornings as a member, and the OPC in the evenings as a visitor.)

    I know exactly what women being pastored and 'husbanded" under such derisive attitudes suffer in their lives. I'm saddened you feel raising the issue and pressing your brothers in Christ to be accountable is gossiping. Men within the faith community will need to start speaking up that this behavior, but more importantly, that those attitudes are not OK, otherwise it will continue harming our precious sisters. Holding brothers accountable to documentable behavior is not a 9th commandment issue. It takes men like you to speak up to say that attitude is not OK, and that women are not to be derided for the gender the Lord gave them.

    You may not be aware of how many women have had to flee church for their emotional and spiritual safety over this issue. We are not designed by our Creator to hold up under such behavior. I persevered under it until my health broke down, and humanly speaking, my natural life has been shortened due to my captivation under men with attitudes such as those displayed by the men in the Geneva Commons. If you check out a few blogs ministering to female survivors of this behavior it may provide additional light, if you are interested.

    You seem like a man whose heart strives after the Lord. I've appreciated our several interactions.

    In Christ,
    -E.

    Edited to add: PS: I have appreciated the three pastors that I know of in the US whose churches distribute the Gospel Standard. I have had the opportunity to witness their respect and care for women, particularly abused women.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2020
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