Why do our leaders want us to be silent?

"Solidarity with the Silenced" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

“Solidarity with the Silenced” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

Like this cartoon? Get a print of it HERE in my art gallery.

From the very beginning of this whole #TonyGate ordeal, there has been a lot of pressure on those commenting as well as on me to take down the original post that started all this and remove or edit some comments.

In other words, the pressure to be silent has been enormous and hasn’t let up. Actually, for me, the pressure has been to stop providing places for the silenced to speak.

My hope was that some of our so-called leaders would really take the lead in showing solidarity with the silenced. In fact, I expressed this very thing in a letter to them at the beginning of January, 2015. I’ll share it with you here because I’m not betraying any confidences:

“I would like to give you, if you don’t mind, my perspective as it stands now. I think Julie’s story is going to become more and more published. More and more people are talking about it. If I may assume you are my friend, the following is what I would say to a friend of mine:

  1. If Tony did physically assault Julie…
  2. If Tony did have an affair and justified it with the “spiritual wife” idea…
  3. If there was a coverup to protect the emergent movement and individuals’ careers
  4. and if there was a “she’s bat-shit crazy” campaign to silence Julie…

… then eventually it’s going to come out. It seems to me that if these are true (I don’t know if they are, but that’s Julie’s story and she seems to have evidence for some and proof for others)… then it is definitely going to come to light.

If I were you (speaking as if to a friend)… I would come clean as soon as you can with any involvement you might have had with this scenario… either wittingly or unwittingly. I would explain with as much clarity and compassion as possible what your understanding and role was. My guess is that as this comes more and more public, people will start distancing themselves from the problem and those who created it. But for those who were there, they’ll need to explain what happened from their perspective.

I would also encourage anyone who was involved to take the lead in advocating for the revelation of the truth, no matter how painful or difficult or embarrassing. I think this is where the real rubber is going to meet the real road: if an emergent leader could advocate for the weak, abused, and silenced, and symbolically say, “I’m putting the welfare of the abused ahead of my career!”, then that would speak volumes for that leader and maybe the movement they’re associated with.”

Soon after, I saw this thread where these very same leaders posted their support for Tony Jones and even threatening with lawsuits. I was saddened. But not surprised.

Here’s the issue for me: For me, the core issue isn’t who’s guilty or not guilty. For me, the only thing I am determined to do is to keep that post up with all the comments in spite of the surmounting pressure to take it down and silence myself and those who commented. It’s not about “trial by twitter”, as Rachel Held Evans suggested, but about simply giving space for someone to share their experiences, to be heard and even to be believed. That’s their right just like it is a leader’s right.

For instance, what if Tony did cheat on his wife, had an affair, and justified it with his There Are Two Marriages: A Manifesto on Marriage theology and covered it up by deleting posts, pictures, and persuading friends of his side of the story, and then convinced people that Julie is bat-shit crazy? I’m not saying this happened, but let’s just say it did. His story was the popular, official, and publicly known and acknowledged one. There were speaking events, blogs, other leaders, books published… you name it… that substantiated his story. I didn’t even know Tony or Julie, but in 2010 one of these leaders told me face to face that Julie was bat-shit crazy, and like everyone else probably did, I just nodded my head and continued listening to the official account of events. But then Julie who has none of these platforms visits a little blog and makes a little comment, essentially saying, “Um… it didn’t happen that way!” and they move all of heaven and earth to shut her down and anyone who let’s her speak and calls it “unethical”, “inappropriate”, “hysterical”, “unbiblical”, “abusive”, etcetera, then threaten to retaliate with lethal legal force.

So for me it is about the privilege and abuse of power, plain and simple, and how it marshals all of its fathomless resources to silence all those who question or criticize it.

Oh the letters I have received! Just because an alleged victim shares her experiences that don’t align with the official account.

I have served many strong, authoritative, influential, powerful, charismatic leaders, and many of them have threatened me with defamation lawsuits just because I criticized them. This is what they do.

I’m sad, not because so-called leaders aren’t believing Julie, but because they refuse to let her to be heard in the first place. And none of them are taking the lead in advocating for the silenced like the one they claim to follow did. In a lot of the phone calls and correspondence I’ve received, these two words keep coming up: reputation and revenue. I realized I have neither of those, and maybe that’s why I rejoice when the silenced speak.

This should make us raise at least one eye-brow.

COMMUNITY       BOOKS       ART       TEES

You may also like...

32 Responses

  1. thanks david. yes i’ve seen that. good resource.

  2. Bill Kinnon says:

    Mine was one of those little blogs back in 2010. Julie’s comments are still there. The comments disparaging me are there and elsewhere on the interwebs. One might almost think emergents bought the “do not touch the Lord’s anointed” crap spewed by too many charismatics.

  3. I despise that verse “do not touch…” with all my heart because it was ALWAYS used to silence criticism. Always!

  4. Eric Booth says:

    Thanks for standing firm on this fiasco. Your one gutsy cartoonist. 😉

    It’s confusing that fresh off the public disclosure of abuse allegations at mars hill, it has now become “unethical”, “inappropriate”, “hysterical”, “unbiblical”, “abusive”, etcetera to publicly disclose abuse allegations. I guess some in this (so-called leaders) group have a better understanding of the protective/negative backlash from friends of mars hill leadership. I’ve been through this with friends/family of abusers very close to me, so I know the dynamic all too well.

  5. David, I applaud your determination to allow a space for the silenced to be heard. ~Tim

  6. Joy says:

    thank you…for so many reasons thank you for what you’re doing.

  7. Danica says:

    It seems to me that your letter to the leaders was prophetic. As much as I am on team #IBelieveJulie, there is still a side of me that reserves judgement … what if I’m wrong? What if Julie’s lying? What if Tony et al are speaking the absolute truth? What I land on every time these questions surface in my mind, is fact that Tony has privilege. Julie does not. Tony has a platform. Julie does not. So even if I am on the wrong “side” of the dispute, I feel that I am on the right side of the larger issue, which is that everybody deserves to have equal voice and an equal place at the table.

  8. Danica,

    While I’m inherently cautious, it’s pretty clear at this point that Tony is not speaking anything close to the “absolute truth”. His lengthy public statement contained numerous half-truths and even outright lies when compared to the public record.

    With that said, while I do not believe Julie is lying, it’s very likely that there are inaccuracies and distortions at places in things she’s reported. Memory is a funny thing and the experience of living in a crazy-making environment followed by years of ongoing court cases and other abuses will play tricks with it. Inaccuracy and inconsistency, though, actually lends credence to her account. I would be much more suspicious of someone able to present a clear, linear, and consistent accounting of events that remained unchanging in every particular over time.

    But yes, the efforts to silence her and those who allow her voice to be heard are particularly despicable even if she were lying and trying to manipulate people. It’s also counter-productive. They can’t sue the entire Internet, after all. And once something is on the Internet, you can’t make it go away. You can ignore it or you can face it and try to respond. But you can’t sweep it back under the rug.

    I’m an early Gen-X’er. (I was amused by an AARP issue discussing the fact that those of us in the vanguard of Gen-X turn 50 this year.) As such, and given my life experience, cynicism comes easily. As such, the responses of many don’t surprise me at all. I was surprised and encouraged by Andrew Jones. People like him give me hope in humanity. I was surprised and discouraged by Rachel and Nadia. Otherwise, I can’t say I’ve been surprised much at all. Saddened? Sure. But not surprised.

  9. Margaret says:

    The first thing I thought of when I saw your drawing was what Jesus said about the wide and narrow road. The narrow road is the “solidarity with the silenced”. That’s the road Jesus would take.
    Those leaders you are talking about really don’t know Jesus. They’re blinded by their own deceit and their lust for power.
    Jesus always reached out to the little guy…the abused, the powerless, the ones without a voice. He publicly criticized the religious leaders for the way they treated the people and the incredible burden they placed on them. He called them out on their hypocrisy. Jesus didn’t care about reputation or revenue. He cared about the silenced.

  10. Thank you David. Excellent work. Really great drawing as well.

    There seems to be a recurring theme in how the powerful try to control situations:

    1) Straw man arguments – the number of times we have seen people suggest that this is about the break down of a marriage. I am sure that for most of us it is about the abuse of power and the silencing of the voiceless.

    2) Antithetical Argument – best summed up by Brian McLaren in suggesting that you can either have freedom of speech or the reputation of ‘religious leaders’.

    3) Worst example as norm – this is done for groups and individuals alike. In this situation they have suggested that Julie is effectively ‘one thing’. To be measured by our most stressful moments will never be enough to explain what went on. This is true in all directions of course but some have a platform from which to address these examples of ‘single story ‘.

    4) This end of the wedge – it is not difficult to see from the comment on blogs, the behaviour of leaders, and David’s post here, that they are worried about where it will lead.

    Thank you for taking a stand. Al

  11. Chris says:

    So there is a good reason to want to shut down conversation in certain cases. Case in point, I have an uncle whose ex is (or was) an alcoholic, and she continually tried to damage him after their divorce. I didn’t know much about this, so when she sent me a friend request on Facebook, I initially accepted. Then, however, I found out that this was largely an attempt to gain favor with the rest of my uncle’s family. I quietly deleted her from my friends. She isn’t supposed to contact any of us.

    I don’t know the details of the situation between Tony and Julie, but the motivation to “silence” her could be very much the same: to communicate that she is not welcome to intrude on Tony’s life any further. In fact, it could very well be that publishing her story *is* a kind of reputation-seeking from a very different crowd.

    But these are not details I know for certain. What I do know is that these seem like they are private affairs that neither Tony nor Julie has any business sharing with the public. If I had my way, if delete every post on the subject, whether pro-Tony or pro-Julie. If they still have things to settle, they should do it between themselves.

  12. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    Naked Pastor gets leaned on by the Tonybots.
    Naked Pastor responds with both barrels.
    Naked Pastor does not take crap from anybody.

    Sure you’re not a Honey Badger?

  13. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    “2) Antithetical Argument – best summed up by Brian McLaren in suggesting that you can either have freedom of speech or the reputation of ‘religious leaders’. ”

    Didn’t this one Rabbi from Nazareth have something to say about “the reputation of ‘religious leaders’?”

  14. haha YAY for the Honey Badger!

  15. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    “Oh the letters I have received! Just because an alleged victim shares her experiences that don’t align with the official account.”

    I saw similar reactions here in the States during the late Cold War (Reagan era). As in refugee from Castro’s Cuba sharing experiences with young on-fire Marxist-fanboy types. Her shared experiences sure didn’t align with Pravda & TASS’s official accounts, and they dogpiled her for it.

  16. kris799 says:

    It’s funny how people say many of the details are private. Aren’t court documents public record?

  17. Michaela says:

    @Chris,

    A personal choice not to friend someone who has an addictive addiction (or for any other reason you’d like to exclude them from your life) is TOTALLY different than telling people (journalists/bloggers/writers/cartoonists and individuals) that they have ZERO Free Speech rights because some powerful person (i.e. nationally known US pastor Brian McLaren, a friend of Tony Jones’, ‘said so’).
    So this arrogant set of bullies from the US, who are by the way nationally-known pastors/authors/writers/bloggers/speakers and enjoy their First Amendment rights, are public figures under the First Amendment and they are not private figures, are fair game for us to discuss anything about their lives.

    David Hayward received ‘the you’ve been warned’ threat from the US Emergent (“Christian”) group.
    If that group had any legal standing, they would have already filed a lawsuit and had it served. But they have ZERO constitutional arguments for their position.

    They are a bunch of whiners. Would they like some cheese with their ‘whine’?

    P.S. I spent an entire weekend, plus days this week, contacting the top US attorneys, top law schools that deal with the First Amendment, top First Amendment legal advocacy groups, top journalism groups and top journalism think tanks and I contacted the counterpart organizations in Canada about this.

    A federal court judge would knock Brian McLaren right out of court because McLaren’s claims have no legal merit in the US because McLaren is a public figure (just like Mark Driscoll, Joel Osteen, and lots of other people).

    From the Digital Media Law Center

    explanation/chart of differences between public and private figures for purposes of libel/defamation

    http://www.dmlp.org/legal-guide/examples-public-and-private-figures

    legal standards needed to prove:
    http://www.dmlp.org/legal-guide/proving-fault-actual-malice-and-negligence

  18. Michaela says:

    ^
    correction (autocorrect was on) and it should have read “active addiction”

  19. Michaela says:

    @Kris,

    And it’s not just court records. Tony Jones, Brian McLaren and the rest of them in that group are nationally known pastors/authors/writers/bloggers/speakers and they are public figures under the First Amendment.
    What does that mean? It means that we can discuss anything about them. Literally anything. They are NOT private citizens.

    They’re all bluff and no action (i.e. threatening David Hayward in Canada that he ‘has been warned’).

    So these Emergent (“Christian”) leaders have freely enjoyed their First Amendment rights and practiced them but they don’t want anyone else to have them. Tooooooooo baaaaaaaaaaadddddddd!!!!

    Now they are also trying to strip Canadians of their free speech rights (like David Hayward).

    It’s outrageous. So outrageous that I have contacted top legal free speech experts in the US and Canada about this story, top law schools who do same, top free speech legal groups in both countries, top journalism groups, top journalistic think tanks, and the media about this story.

    If they don’t like Free Speech, then maybe they should move to countries that have no free speech rights, including for this group of Emergent Christians. (Are they “emerging” from being underneath a rock? They act like it.)

  20. Shazza tha dazzla says:

    Ah David. It’s murky isn’t it? After reading the effusive compliments made about Tony Jones by his mates on the “support for Tony Jones” thread, I have a question. Why would such a great guy and his equally fabulous friends need to stoop to threatening YOU behind the scenes for giving his ex wife time on your post??? I guess you are a very influential bloke with a very influential blogg! Way to go, David!!!

    Leaves me wondering what they’d do to a poor defenseless woman with little children.

    My other reaction was to smile as I read Tony’s second wife’s referral. I’ve worked in pastoral care for many years now, and if I had a dollar for every second wife who ever told me about her “perfect” husband’s crazy ex, I’d be set up for life by now! I’ve watched far too many times as second wives have become the second crazy ex – after literally believing they’re going mad as their perfect husband becomes their perfect nightmare. I hate to be cynical, but that ‘crazy’ bomb is too often thrown by arrogant, untouchable types who are more interested in their own popularity than in their personal integrity.

    Things do have a way of working out in time……..

    I’m left hoping Julie is going OK. Is she being threatened with court hearings and the loss of her children? I hope not. Does she have as much support as Tony has? She should have – to be fair. Your post I hope helped to provide that.

    Surely a paragon like the Tony Jones I read about today would be secure enough in his relationship with God and the love and support of his church and high profile friends to extend grace to his ex wife? To be generous enough to see his ex wife and children secure into their futures? For the sake of the marriage promises they made to each other, and broke?

    Good on you David for not caving in. It’s good that we watch this story unfold. There needs to be accountability here.

  21. lilydawn says:

    Two words: THANK YOU

  22. Three words: YOU ARE WELCOME!

  23. Shalom Mark-Williams says:

    I agree that proper caution should be exercised, and the impulse to pre-emptively extend a voice to the voiceless is a good one.

    That said, amid the chorus of amens I’m seeing on this thread from the #IBelieveJulie supporters…

    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AG7LjVCj50Y&w=560&h=315%5D

    When you react with incredulity that those targeted might want statements taken down, you only see ‘coverup’ and ‘privilege.’ Is it not equally possible that,

    1.) A woman with DSM Axis I & II diagnoses is in a difficult marriage
    2.) After years of counseling, she decides she wants a divorce,
    3.) In the midst of said divorce, as-of-yet-undisclosed mental illnesses take an ugly turn
    4.) Feeling suicidal ideations, she calls for help from a group of leaders she trusts
    5.) Not liking what they have to say, she claims this group that she’s called together is in a ‘conspiracy’ to ruin her life and bail out her husband
    6.) Not liking the turn of events, lashes out at everyone, tries to recruit new people to listen, becomes more untethered from reality, calls in false child abuse claims on her now-ex husband, accuses him of being gay, accuses him of having affairs, accuses him of being a cult leader, accuses him of avoiding paying child support, accuses him of physically harming her, accuses him of propagating a term ‘spiritual marriage’ that *she* invented; accuses him of more and more bizarre things
    7.) People, organically and on their own, come to conclusions about her mental health (not always framing them in the kindest of ways), distancing themselves from them
    8.) Organizational leadership, panicking and wanting to eliminate any ambiguity on the most egregious of her lies, ill-adisedly remove certain items from their website
    9.) Half a decade later, after repeatedly legally harassing her ex for years, she returns to the blogosphere, finding a community of warm-hearted victim advocates who, rather than believing her mentally ill for her escalating claims and accusations, instead takes them as prima facie proof of her veracity
    10.) Leaders who were originally called by her intervention, who actually know her, disturbed by her continued spread of demonstrably false information – and taunted by “Truthers” to make public statements – decide to publicly speak up in defense of her ex, one intending to embark on legal action (not a lawsuit, as is cynically assumed) to make certain that the public record is clear

    To paraphrase David, “I’m not saying this happened, but let’s just say it did. Her story was the increasingly-popular, salacious, sock-one-to-‘the man’ one.”

    And you wonder if, this being the experience of those leaders intimately involved in proceedings 5+ years ago (and this is their experience, sincerely held and believed – because they were there), that they wouldn’t seek to have defamatory, false accusations taken down?

    You say “reputation” like it’s a bad thing. In a global, online world, it’s all teachers have. Reputations are everything – the gold standard of character. So to have this character publicly, falsely besmirched – or to be smeared secondarily in guilt-by-association – that’s a serious offense, that ought to have relational recourse first, and – barring that – legal recourse.

    We want to hear people’s stories, yes. But if people’s stories are weighed and found wanting, that’s bearing false witness. Which is not only ethically wrong, but legally wrong. First Amendment Freedom of Speech has its limits.

    You can’t yell “Fire” in a crowded theater.

    In many contexts, it’s illegal to deny the Holocaust.

    Legal or not, speech has consequences. Those who care about character and relationships – not just legality – would take such a matter to mediation once names are names and serious charges leveled. Not to the Twitter lynch mob. At least one leader accused has offered third-party mediation – repeatedly. The instigator of these charges has repeatedly declined it.

    I wonder why that is?

    And more importantly – what does she want?

    At first it was “an apology.” People apologized. But then that didn’t seem to be enough.

    It doesn’t seem to be truth & reconciliation, or private attempts to contact her and seek mediation would have been answered.

    An observer can only conclude – whether they’re a supporter or a detractor – that she wants the complete and utter annihilation of another’s reputation and livelihood. And to take down the movement he’s associated with while she’s at it.

    I have no doubt that the leader in question bears some culpability in this sad state of affairs; no marriage crumbles through the action of one alone. But true care, and not Jerry Springer style spleen-venting, would seem to call for the dignity of private, third-party mediation. Boz Tchividjian’s GRACE, perhaps.

    But please, God – no more of this opportunistic cartooning.

  24. Shalom Mark-Williams, please check your publicly-available facts before posting!

    As far as I am aware:

    Julie has alleged that Tony Jones physically assaulted, emotionally abused, and spiritually abused her. I have not seen any allegations of child abuse – have you?

    Julie has alleged that it is Tony who has initiated almost all of the court proceedings for the past 6 years – surely this is a matter of public record?
    (Also, one might question where Tony gets the money to file these actions and pay his lawyer(s), if he doesn’t have any for child support. But this is starting to stray into inference and matters that aren’t publicly verifiable, unless Tony were to release his tax returns, his wife’s tax returns, and the financial statements for The JoPa Group. So we are left wondering about apparent financial inconsistencies.)

  25. Linda says:

    Mark,
    I would agree that Julie has likely shared fault in past and current events. However, your accounting has failed to include a great deal of documented evidence:

    1. Tony’s clinical NPD diagnosis and its impact on past and current events with Julie.
    2. Tony’s clinical NPD diagnosis and its impact on other relationships.
    3. Tony’s affair and remarriage.
    4. Tony’s blog post and book about “spiritual marriage.”
    5. Tony’s documented ongoing legal harassment of Julie.
    6. Tony’s documented avoidance of child support.
    7. Lack of any evidence of real support or empathy toward Julie prior to, during, or after the divorce by emergent “leaders.”
    8. Lack of any evidence of real support or empathy toward Julie today.
    9. There have been no unqualified, sincere apologies to Julie by Doug Pagitt, Brian McLaren, Danielle Shroyer, Rachel Held Evans or Nadia Bolz Weber, and of course not by Tony Jones or Courtney Perry.
    10. The WhyTony page is a classic example of the problem. It is possible to care about Tony and to demonstrate empathy and regard for Julie. That is what should have happened now rather than threats of litigation.

    The reason that #IbelieveJulie is not based upon her behavior or her version of the story but rather upon the current actions and attitudes of Tony Jones, Doug Pagitt, Brian McLaren, Rachel Held Evans, Nadia Bolz Weber and others.

  26. @Mark-Williams

    I’ve always believed in Godwin’s Law. Now you’re selectively quoting one side of a debate and putting the other on the level of Holocaust-deniers. Ugh. See also: Ad Hominem.

    Let’s consider:

    Julie approached Brian McLaren for support and he declined to discuss. Now he asks her for mediation and she declines. That’s only natural after someone has breached trust.

    There are no accusations of child abuse – this is a red herring thrown into Tony’s statement as a means of falsely characterizing Julie’s allegations. “See, no child abuse! All claims false!” But in fact, this was never claimed… throwing it in now is another way of attempting to control the narrative, the same as getting all your high-profile friends and business colleagues who have a vested interest in maintaining your version of the facts to issue public statements that you can post online.

    I’ll tell you one thing that’s more than possible. There is verifiable public evidence in court documents and additional evidence in private documents. Some people who publicly say #IBelieveJulie have delved into enough of these documents, reviewed them, and reached a solid conclusion. People who have been in contact with both Tony and Julie. And note I’m not talking here about anyone who claims to have done a “diligent investigation” without speaking to both parties.

    Another thing that’s more than possible: someone suffering from anxiety and depression (DSM Axis I and/or II) alleging truthfully that they’ve been abused. If you want to write off someone’s words because they have a mental health diagnosis, you have to write off Tony’s as well. Tony has publicly acknowledged in his statement that he has a diagnosis of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (though he misstates which Axis it is – intentional?). Considering that one of the standard behaviors for NPD is pathological lying, why do Tony’s friends find it so easy to believe him and use their public platform to discredit his ex-wife? Quite likely because of another NPD trait: these people can come off as completely charming to those from whom they want something – in relationships where they gain something for themselves. Until you cross them.

    Go ahead, look up Narcissistic Personality Disorder – the Mayo Clinic site has some good info, or even try Wikipedia. Do some reading – we’ll wait.

    Once you’re up to speed, let’s come back to the fact that’s been stated repeatedly – this is not about a divorce. The response to Tony’s actions surrounding the divorce is the symptom of what was wrong in Emergent Village, and what people are continuing to try and protect today. Was an apology enough? From the people who apologized, from what I witnessed, I’d say that it was. Julie openly and fully forgave them and voiced that on these pages. Those who refused an apology and continued to toe the party line have just been continuing to add insult to injury. By and large, the people who apologized don’t have books and speaking tours to protect, while those who do have such things have instead written letters of support for an admitted narcissist.

    Ask yourself again what’s going on here.

  27. Bill Kinnon says:

    @Mark-Williams
    Your use of “Shalom” triggers Princess Bride memories, “You keep using that word…”

  28. Michaela says:

    The hired trollers have come here for Tony Jones and Brian McLaren and they are also doing the same over at The Wartburg Watch.

    Tony Jones was a married man who left his wife and children. He had an affair.

    If I’ve understood the reports correctly, the woman he was having an affair with was also married. I pity her ex-husband. He didn’t get a prize for a wife.

    So we have two incredibly selfish people who decided to destroy the lives of everybody around them. And when they are called on it they pout and throw temper tantrums. They are total losers.

    Brian McLaren had a Biblical responsibility to confront Tony Jones and tell him to go back to his wife and children when things started going downhill. McLaren didn’t. Ditto Doug Pagitt, Jones friend/business partner/fellow Emergent leader.

    McLaren had a responsibility to confront Jones and the other woman and tell both of them to step down from Christian ministry. McLaren didn’t.

    McLaren has come to Jones’ defense recently and then after the pounding he’s been taking for that, has now distanced himself and even claimed at The Wartburg Watch he doesn’t even know Tony Jones. Really?

    These guys are just in it for the $ and they could not care less about The Gospel or peoples’ lives. Hypocrites every last one of them. Absolute disgrace. Failures. Not real men. (And they’ve been threatening David Hayward up in Canada, they’re so disgraceful. Apologies from America, again, David….from a woman, me. Because those low-lifes who threatened you don’t have the backbone to do it. Too bad they weren’t raised in the community I was raised in: Your parents and grandparents would ‘deal with you’ for disgracing the family name and behaving so shamefully. If Brian McLaren’s parents are still alive, I’d like their address to tell them they need to rein in their ‘boy’.)

  29. Dana Ames says:

    Brother Maynard, that’s it in a nutshell – should be required reading.

    I’m years away from the Emergent thing (and even the missional thing – long story, I’m not involved in any expression of Western Christianity). I still care about the people. When I was in the thick of it, I always appreciated your writing on your blog, and the heart behind it. I thank God for the your voice, and those of Bill Kinnon and David here. I think y’all are living Matthew 5.10-11. (Of course, God loves those other folks too; they’re unable to comprehend it at the moment.) May you receive your reward from Jesus.

    Dana

  30. rhonda says:

    I have no idea who Tony and Julie are. (I’ve seen Brian McLaren’s and Rachel Held Evans’ blogs. Who knew they were that big of a deal?) Yet, I find myself caring about this story. I have read the articles in the links to catch up to speed. My observation, regardless of whose ‘facts’ are correct is that there is soul-crushing bullying is happening here. Typical in divorce. Typical to detractors in the church. How are we as humans to evolve while allowing this to happen? Let the less advantaged speak. Maybe it would be wise to shut the popular one down to force him to work things out with the less advantaged rather than giving him audience for his “bat-shit crazy” bullying campaign.

  31. Michaela says:

    Hey folks,
    How much money do you suppose they (The Emergent Crowd) paid Mark to come and post here in defense of Tony Jones and Company?
    It’s happening…everywhere this story is breaking. Attorneys, therapists, next door neighbors, supposed journalists, and on and on…springing to the defense to Tony Jones. And you can tell they are slick and paid.
    Ditto an attorney posting all of the time from Florida (Brian McLaren’s state) over at The Wartburg Watch.

Daily Cartoon & Reflection!

PLUS: Sign up & get my FREE eBook "Two Sizes Too Small"!