Wednesday, December 28, 2011
I just want to let everyone know how proud I am of my wife. I love her more each day and appreciate her in more ways and that just keeps growing every day of our lives. I can't and don't want to imagine living my life without her or the children that she has borne for me.
She has always been an inspiration to me. She's helped me be a better man. She's helped me develop compassion and be more sensitive to others. I am a better person because she is my wife.
There is so much more that I could say but we are off to the see the Zoo Lights at our local zoo. I'm looking forward to holding her hand and being with her. (We're leaving the kids at home with the grandparents.)
I LOVE YOU, SWEETHEART!!!
Sunday, December 11, 2011
"I can no longer find the reference on Pastor Phelps website saying Tina was lying or in a consensual, dating relationship with Willis. Do you think they changed it? Or maybe I'm just missing it. Thanks."After a quick look at the website Chuck Phelps set up (drchuckphelps - DOT - com), I realized there were at least two documents missing -- both pertaining directly to the ABC 20/20 broadcast eventually aired on April 8, 2011 titled, "Shattered Faith." I have a pdf file of the documents on my computer, and there are images of the two documents saved on other websites. One document is a letter is dated July 22, 2010 and is addressed to Alan Goldberg at 20/20. The other document is a statement released on October 14, 2010 that Chuck Phelps put on his website.
Because I am glad Chuck Phelps no longer has those documents visible on his website, and I recently wrote that Phelps should remove documents stating Tina lied from his website, I do not wish to post them here. However, even though he removed them, there are a few problems, in my opinion:
- He removed them from the website without a mention or an apology.
- He kept other information on his website that STILL refers to Tina as dishonest, so the problem is still not fully resolved.
Reporter: In 1997, did you report that Tina Anderson had been raped?
Phelps: Absolutely. Yes I did.
Reporter: You called it a “dating relationship.”
Phelps: No, I did not. I did not call it that.
Reporter: Why wasn’t it rape?
Phelps: I called it...
Reporter: In your statement to us you did call it a “dating relationship.”
Phelps: Yes, I did call it that in my statement to you because it was an on-going relationship but I did not call it that to the police department at the time.
Phelps: First, I didn’t know he had impregnated a 15 year-old girl…remember it was an accusation made. An accusation is not a conviction. …it’s not the responsibility of the church to close the doors to people who have real problems and issues no matter how heinous. And so I think you’ll find the community historically has always allowed heinous people under careful guidelines to be part of churches.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
This video is an interview of Brian Scoles, a spokesperson of Bob Jones University, and a local Greenville, SC psychologist regarding Chuck Phelps' resignation from the board at BJU.
I've been discouraged and disappointed with every public response I've seen from BJU and local press. First there was a not-so-subtle reference by Dr. Bob Jones III from the chapel platform to the public expression of disappointment and disagreement with Chuck Phelps being placed on the board at Bob Jones University. Then there was the statement read by BJU Executive Vice President for Operations, Marshall Franklin from the chapel platform on November 21, 2011--a statement posted and then removed from the BJU newsfeed (as of 9:52 p.m. 12/06/2011). For the purpose of clarity, a pdf screenshot of the original statement is included below.
BJU Statement Re Chuck Phelps on Board
Does it even matter to BJU or Chuck Phelps that the jury delivered a verdict? Ernie Willis was found to be GUILTY of forcible rape--felonious sexual assault. Yet Chuck Phelps still has documents on his website calling Tina Anderson a liar -- a website that Bob Jones University PROMOTED and ENDORSED both on its website in the written statement and from the chapel platform when Marshall Franklin spoke on Nov. 21.
A jury of his peers found Willis GUILTY of FORCIBLE RAPE and Chuck Phelps and by extension BJU are calling Tina a liar. And if the board of BJU has a problem with this they sure aren't saying anything. What is wrong with them??? How much does Tina have to continue to suffer at the hands of these people? Chuck Phelps gets a pass for calling her a liar STILL. BJU gets a pass for agreeing with him. Where is Tina left in all of this? She is STILL being shamed and shunned by the people that should care for her more than anyone else -- they claim to be Christ followers! This is not representative of the Jesus that suffered and gave up everything to suffer and die for our sins. NOT grace. NOT love. NOT compassion. NOT Jesus. I am so broken and hurt by the way my alma mater and former pastor and boss is treating this whole thing.
Why should one single rape victim ever ask for help from anyone in the Bob Jones University circle of pastors, grads or churches? Why? Why should any rape or molestation victim ever trust any of them? Bob Jones University appears to care more about STEVE GREEN and his music (preached against in chapel March 1992) than it cares about a young girl who was abused over and over and over again.
Chris Leaf, Tina Anderson's biological mother, allowed her husband Daniel Leaf, (the convicted child abusing, sex offender stepfather) to abuse Tina and her brother, Tom. It's a matter of court record that while those children were under the shepherding care of Chuck Phelps the stepfather was imprisoned for a second time for physical assault of Tom. Court records indicate the vicious bruising results of the beating Tom took from a BELT WITH METAL RIVETS IN IT at the hands of Daniel Leaf (who still to this day is married and living with Chris Leaf). Tina and Tom both still have scars from the buckle end of a belt at the hands of Daniel Leaf on their backs and legs. As an aside, the first prison sentence Daniel Leaf served for assault of the children was in Arizona. While he was in prison Chris Leaf moved to NH to be closer to her family. When Daniel was released from prison Chris allowed him to come back into her home.
Why does Chris Leaf and her indefensible choices as a mother even matter in a discussion of the responses of Bob Jones University and Chuck Phelps to Tina Anderson? Well, it is Chris Leaf to whom Chuck Phelps refers to defend his choices in response to Tina Anderson's rape in 1997.
In conclusion what we have here is two sides:
1. A poor excuse for a mother that exposes her two biological children over and over again to a convicted child beater and molester, the giant of fundamentalist Christian universities--Bob Jones University, and one of their graduates--Chuck Phelps saying Tina lied. Oh... and Ernie Willis who claimed on the witness stand under oath that he asked a 15 year old girl if she would like to engage in sexual intercourse with him and she said yes (yes--that is what he said). Chris Leaf and Chuck Phelps are saying Tina lied -- the jury got it all wrong when they found Ernie Willis guilty of forcible rape. And Bob Jones University, via statements by Bob Jones III and Marshall Franklin, supports Chris and Chuck.
2. A woman that never had anyone speak up for and protect her as a child--molested, physically assaulted and raped. Validated by a week long court case that SHE DID NOT CONSENT to Ernie Willis' criminal act. That SHE SAID NO. That she was RAPED FORCIBLY. A woman that did NOT seek any of this--the police CAME TO HER and asked her to cooperate in the prosecution of Ernie Willis.
I just want to make it clear to current students and graduates of Bob Jones University. You may not like those clear facts. They aren't trifling minutia such as has become the focus in other debates (like: did Chuck Phelps call the police -- YES, was Ernie Willis a deacon -- NO). This isn't about little errors others have gotten wrong. Before you feel sorry for Chuck Phelps, remember he still is calling a rape victim a liar. Not an alleged rape victim. Willis is CONVICTED of forcible and statutory rape. And Bob Jones University is standing behind Chuck Phelps as he calls Tina a liar.
Are YOU standing behind Chuck Phelps too? Grads and current students, you have a choice to make. You have incontrovertible facts. Chuck Phelps AT THE VERY LEAST should remove the statements accusing Tina of lying from his website. AT THE VERY LEAST he owes her an apology for keeping them up over six months past the conviction of Ernie Willis. The court found that Tina did not lie--that Willis forcibly raped her. She did not consent--was not in a long term dating relationship. She was raped.
Bob Jones University AT THE VERY LEAST owes a public statement of apology for agreeing with Phelps that Tina lied. Marshall Franklin read that statement without even calling Tina like he did Chuck Phelps! Marshall Franklin violated the very biblical principles he was advocating in the statement he read.
I'm not saying that current students and alumni need to rage and rampage. But if you have the information, you are responsible for it. It's that simple. Two sides: those proclaiming to be Christian ministers calling a rape victim a liar -- and the woman that endured in her faith because of the grace of God that was vindicated by a court of law. Choose one.
Sunday, December 4, 2011
When I was growing up, Bob Jones University (BJU) was the primary college of choice. Our pastor was a BJU grad and we had BJU ensembles and speakers come through our church all the time. I’ve heard Bob Jones, Jr. and Bob Jones III speak in our church and have had pictures taken of them and with them. I was one of those kids that would go to the preacher after the service and have them sign my Bible. I know I had their signatures and many, many others but unfortunately I lost that Bible at a hay ride youth activity at South Mountain when I was in high school.
While I was in high school, it seemed to me that if you were to go to college, you were supposed to go to a Christian college and the ones who did mostly went to BJU but a few went to Maranatha Baptist Bible College (MBBC) and even less went to Pensacola Christian College (PCC). These were the colleges that we grew up hearing about. Any other college that we may have heard of was considered too liberal or headed in that direction.
I would have followed everyone else’s footsteps but in my junior year of high school our church started its own college, International Baptist College (IBC). I decided to stay home and I did my first two years of college at IBC but joined the Marine Corps Reserves during my last semester and that summer disappeared into the military for about six months. When I came back, for a number of reasons, I did not go back to school at IBC.
Over the years, my siblings and I have gone to and graduated from four different Bible colleges. One sibling has a degree from MBBC and BJU. The other went to PCC but graduated from BJU. I went to PCC for two years but graduated from IBC and almost finished a master’s degree. A couple years later I went to MBBC and earned a second bachelor’s degree. Although I never took classes at BJU, I’ve been on their campus several times over the years.
My point is that my siblings and I grew up in a church that was and still is independent, fundamental, Baptist and the Christian school that was associated with it and we have been a part of four major colleges that heavily influence the IFB world as we know it.
This whole situation with BJU, Chuck Phelps, and the rest of the IFB, really hurts me deeply. It’s a huge betrayal of all that I was taught. I grew up hearing quotes like: “Do right until the stars fall” and “The greatest ability is dependability” and "Don't sacrifice the permanent on the altar of the immediate" and many others. I grew up to admire these men, thinking they were men of God. What they said, we thought was “gospel” because they said it with authority and used Scripture to back up what they said.
In the classroom, I was taught Greek, Hebrew, Hermeneutics, Bible doctrine, Theology, Bible, and all the classes pertaining to becoming a preacher. I sat under preaching during chapel and church services that espoused everything that you would expect to hear while a college student at a Bible college. I learned a lot and took it to heart, especially when it talked about what it took to be a man of God, a good husband and father, and other sermons and lessons regarding the character a person of God should possess. When I prepared sermons, I did what they taught me and I looked at context, studied the Greek, and applied what I was taught in my various classes. It never occurred to me to take a verse and use it as a jumping off place to preach what I wanted it to mean. I didn’t realize how many preachers did this because I was moved by their stories and enthusiasm and I wished I had that talent.
I’m disappointed with Chuck Phelps because he is the opposite of what I’ve always been taught that a man of God should be. Confidence is one thing but pride and arrogance are another. Authority is one thing but abusing that authority is another. Honesty and integrity is one thing but twisting or rewording the truth to make yourself look better is another. Guidance and counsel is one thing but manipulation is another. If you made a mistake, own up to it. Ask for forgiveness. Do your part in righting a wrong instead of compounding it by trying to hide what you know to be the truth so that you can “save face” in front others.
I’m disappointed with Bob Jones University because, even though I didn’t go there, I thought they stood up for what was right. If someone was on their board or a teacher in their school that did not hold the values that they taught, I would have expected them to make some changes. Instead, they refused to listen to those with legitimate concerns and just blew them off with an attitude of pride and self-righteousness. This is not the first time this has happened but it’s the most current and maybe the most obvious example of the superiority mindset of the school. It makes me concerned that the students coming out of there are picking up the same mindset which influences the churches and schools where they minister.
What bothers me most is their extra-Biblical teaching. Their views have been modified based on the changing of the times, bad press from the media, social activism, and many other reasons. But, If racism is wrong, it’s always wrong. If mixed marriages are wrong, they’re always wrong. If accreditation is wrong, it’s always wrong. If it’s a preference or an opinion, say so and say why but don’t condemn others because they disagree with you.
They, and many others like them, have taught and preached about things using Scripture but they were misusing Scripture and then their students come out doing the same thing. When I look back on myself, I did the very same thing. I was taught certain things and thought it was based on Scripture, only to realize later that it’s really a preference or another man’s opinion. I accepted and adopted philosophies as my own because those I thought that those with more experience knew what they were talking about.
I’m disappointed in fundamentalist Baptists as a whole. There are exceptions but over the past year and a half my eyes have been opened by their lack of compassion, their lack of integrity, their lack of standing up for the abused. They’d rather protect their image than to protect their character. They’re afraid of how people will look at them on the outside and not how God looks at them on the inside. The things I’ve learned over the past year about the movement that I grew up in has made me realize that I never want to be an independent, fundamental, Baptist again. I believe in the fundamentals of the faith as taught through Scripture but I found out that Baptists do not have the market cornered on Bible truths.
I’m also disappointed in myself. I realized years ago that there are different churches for different kinds of people but I had it in my mind, due to my training and background, that if churches and people didn’t do things like I did then they were less spiritual and as they grew spiritually, they would look more like me and my church. It wasn’t until we made a decision that we couldn’t stay at our current church that I was forced to decide where to go, which also caused me to evaluate what I believed and what I had been taught. I realized that your music doesn’t indicate your level of spirituality. A church’s worship team was not an indication of apostasy. A person's appearance is not a manifestation of a person's heart towards God. The “world” is not the things you do, such as: clothes, food, drink, music, movies, tattoos, etc. but the mentality of your heart, such as: greed, lust, hate, pride, and many more.
When I looked at Scripture I thought I was the tax collector praying “be merciful to me a sinner” but I came to realize that I was the Pharisee saying “I am not like…(other sinners)..” Then I felt like I became like the Pharisee who came to Jesus at night and had to learn what Scripture really said and not what I thought and taught it was saying. Eventually, just like that Pharisee, I left. I had to leave. I lost a lot with that move but I gained so much more.
I’m not saying that all IFB church members and pastors are Pharisees but looking back on myself, I was and I didn’t even realize it. Maybe you are too. I’m far from perfect and I still wear a mask at times to others but in my new surroundings I can be more honest and open about who I am because I don’t have to worry about looking perfect. I can be more honest about my faults and learn from others who might have the same weaknesses and struggles that I have. It’s been very enlightening and encouraging.
This is my question, “Is it more important what people think about you by the way you act and dress OR what you really are on the inside, the person that God sees?”
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Tina Anderson Statement to Concord Police