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The Ravi Zacharias Scandal and the Billy Graham Rule

jesus alone with a woman

Recently, William Thornton, a semi-retired Southern Baptist pastor, wrote a post about the Ravi Zacharias scandal and the Billy Graham Rule (BGR). Zacharias, a darling in the Evangelical apologetic community, has been exposed as a sexual predator.

Regarding Zacharias, the New York Times reported:

The influential evangelist Ravi Zacharias, who died last spring, engaged in “sexting, unwanted touching, spiritual abuse, and rape,” according to a report released on Thursday by the global evangelical organization he founded.

After initially denying accounts of his misconduct, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries announced that an investigation had found credible evidence of sexual misconduct spanning many years and multiple continents.

The announcement was the result of an investigation by a Southeastern law firm, Miller & Martin, which RZIM hired in October to investigate accounts of sexual misconduct by Mr. Zacharias.

“We believe not only the women who made their allegations public but also additional women who had not previously made public allegations against Ravi but whose identities and stories were uncovered during the investigation,” the ministry’s board of directors said in a statement accompanying the report. “We are devastated by what the investigation has shown and are filled with sorrow for the women who were hurt by this terrible abuse.”

When Mr. Zacharias died of cancer in May at age 74, he was one of the most revered evangelists in the United States. Former Vice President Mike Pence spoke at his memorial service in Atlanta, calling him “a man of faith who could rightly handle the word of truth like few others in our time” and comparing him to Billy Graham and C.S. Lewis.

Though the report adds shocking new details, accounts of Mr. Zacharias’s sexual misconduct had arisen in recent years. In 2017, he settled a lawsuit with a Canadian couple whom he had accused of attempting to extort him over intimate text messages he had exchanged with the wife.

Then last fall, several months after Mr. Zacharias’s death, the magazine Christianity Today reported on allegations that Mr. Zacharias had groped and masturbated in front of several women who worked at two day spas he co-owned near his ministry’s headquarters in Alpharetta, Ga. After initially denying those claims, RZIM acknowledged in December that an interim report from Miller & Martin confirmed that he had engaged in “sexual misconduct.”

The full report paints a stark portrait of that misconduct. The law firm interviewed more than a dozen massage therapists who treated Mr. Zacharias. Five of them reported that he had touched or rubbed them inappropriately, and four said he would touch his own genitals or ask them to touch him. Eight said he would either start the massage completely nude or remove the draping sheets during the treatment.

….

The law firm also found a pattern of intimate text and email-based relationships with women. In reviewing his electronic devices, they found the phone numbers of more than 200 massage therapists and more than 200 selfies, some of them nudes, from much younger women. Mr. Zacharias also used the nonprofit ministry to financially support some of his long-term therapists. The report also reveals that he owned two apartments in Bangkok, where he spent 256 days between 2010 and 2014. One of his massage therapists stayed in the other apartment.

Mr. Zacharias said in 2017 that in 45 years of marriage, “I have never engaged in any inappropriate behavior of any kind.”

….

In 2014, Mr. Zacharias met a Canadian couple, Brad and Lori Anne Thompson, at a fund-raising luncheon in Ontario. They stayed in touch, and eventually Mr. Zacharias invited Ms. Thompson to correspond privately on BlackBerry Messenger. The evangelist was 30 years older than Ms. Thompson, and she saw him as a “spiritual father,” she has said. After she confided in him about her history of abuse and trauma, she has said, Mr. Zacharias began soliciting sexually explicit messages.

When Ms. Thompson told Mr. Zacharias that she needed to tell her husband about their relationship, Mr. Zacharias threatened suicide, according to leaked emails first published by the blogger Julie Anne Smith.

….

After a lawyer for the Thompsons approached Mr. Zacharias privately in 2017, he sued the couple, portraying them publicly as serial extortionists and saying that Ms. Thompson had sent him the explicit messages against his will. The suit ended in private mediation, and all parties signed a nondisclosure agreement.

RZIM’s board expressed regret on Thursday for its response to Ms. Thompson’s allegations. “It is with profound grief that we recognize that because we did not believe the Thompsons and both privately and publicly perpetuated a false narrative, they were slandered for years and their suffering was greatly prolonged and intensified,” it said in the statement accompanying the report.

Mr. Zacharias co-owned two day spas near RZIM headquarters between 2004 and 2015, an unusual venture for an evangelist but one he made no attempt to hide. At the grand opening of Jivan Wellness at a strip mall in 2009, speakers included the comedian Jeff Foxworthy; Sonny Perdue, then the governor of Georgia; and the pastor Johnny Hunt, who was the president of the Southern Baptist Convention at the time.

As they are wont to do, Evangelicals are busy removing Zacharias’ visage from the Mt. Apologetics Rushmore. Some self-righteous Evangelicals are even saying that Zacharias was never a True Christian® Which makes one wonder about the lack of discernment among Evangelical pastors. Thousands of pastors attended Zacharias’ apologetics conferences and read his books, yet not one of them “discerned” that he was a sexual predator. Even J.D. Hall, the editor of Protestia (Pulpit & Pen) — a site known for its muckraking reporting on Evangelical sexual peccadilloes and alleged heresy — failed to sniff out Zacharias’ perverse behavior.

ravi zacharias
Ravi Zacharias

As of today, only Zacharias’ son, Nathan, thinks he is innocent:

First, RZIM does not speak for me. They have formed their own opinion. But it does not dictate mine. I do not agree with them for legitimate reasons. I will not, however, debate those differences publicly.

…Regarding some specific individuals who were once my colleagues, how “brave” you are to aggressively take on a man who can’t even defend himself, as well as attack his grieving family who is far more blindsided and hurt by this situation than you can ever be. And how “righteous” you are to think that we must continually pile on our punishment AFTER he has already faced the ultimate judge.

…God chose to spare Dad from all this by calling him home when he did. But how “virtuous” of you to insist that you hand out the relentless punishment and humiliation that God saw no place for in dad’s lifetime.

Even *if* these allegations are true, there is no doubt that God actively blessed my dad and did so right up until he passed. His impact was only getting greater. So what these individuals are saying – along with any person or organization that wants to cancel my dad – is that God was wrong to do so, so we must now correct God’s blessing/mistake by erasing my dad and his voice. To that I say, “That’s a bold strategy, Cotton, let’s see if it pays off for him.”

Finally and most importantly, nothing could change how much I love my dad and miss him. I am still proud to be his son.

Now back to Thornton’s post. Thornton used the Zacharias scandal to talk about how male pastors should handle their interactions with women — especially privately. Thornton also discussed what is commonly called in Evangelical circles the Billy Graham Rule (BGR).

Here’s an excerpt from Thornton’s post:

One aspect of it that has arisen is that the BG Rule, the man of God (pastor, evangelist, or other male Christian figure) will not be alone with any woman not his wife, Billy Graham and his team establishing that practice early on in his evangelistic ministry.

The rule has been adopted by many of the brethren (it was recommended to me as a ministerial standard when I was ordained decades ago) and is held up as a shield against the wiles of the devil and all those devilish women who would “take a pastor down.” The phrase with quotes is the way I’ve often heard it described.

If a brother wants to pattern his relationships and interactions with females in this manner, he may do so. But he might be apprised that such is highly sexist, presumes all women to be potential steamy seductresses, and makes it appear that he, the pillar of male rectitude, is powerless to resist; thus, the hard and fast rule about ever being with any woman alone other than his beloved wife.

Zacharias, as you probably know, was a BGR follower, except when he needed those medical massages. One can see how that played out with numerous victims, accusations of rape in some cases, and a lifetime of ministry totally undermined by his own decisions and choices.

I’m curious if the rule which is in its seventh decade now, is still applicable, useful and practical. The changes since the 1940s are considerable: females in the workplace, including church staffs; the manner business is conducted; the ubiquitous use of social media for relationships and contacts.

I was a single staff guy most of my ministry. If my church had an administrative assistant, always a woman, it was impossible to always have a third person at the church at all times. It’s also a brazen and thoughtless insult to all women to be treated thus.

In 2018, I wrote a post titled, The Absurdity of the Billy Graham-Mike Pence Rule.

Here’s what I had to say on the matter:

Embedded deep into the thinking of Evangelical pastors is the notion that women to whom they are not married are dangerous creatures who must be kept at a distance, lest they tempt men of God to commit sexual sin. As a young ministerial student, I was taught that there were Jezebels in every church, and that I must never, ever allow myself to be alone with any woman who was not my wife. According to my professors and chapel speakers, there would always be women lurking in the shadows of the steeple, ready and willing to “steal” my sexual purity. Men, including pastors, were, by nature, weak-kneed, visually stimulated horn dogs. Allow the doors of your office or study to be shut with you and a woman alone, and, why, anything could happen! This kind of thinking, of course, teaches men a warped view of women and human sexuality. While I agree that humans are sexual beings — a trait necessary for our species’ propagation — it does not follow that every time two people of the opposite sex are alone with each other, sexual intercourse is a real and distinct possibility. Common sense tells us otherwise.

This view of women and human sexuality found its nexus with Fundamentalist Baptist evangelist Billy Graham. Graham had three rules he lived by when it came to women who were not his wife. Graham would not travel alone with a woman, meet alone with a woman, or eat alone with a woman. These rules, over time, were called “The Billy Graham Rules.” While Graham was viewed as a liberal by Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) preachers, his three rules were taught and preached in IFB churches and colleges alike. Simply put, stay away from women who aren’t your wife. Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!  Abstain from the very appearance of evil, the Bible says. Eating a meal with a woman who is not your wife, offering her a ride in your car, or counseling her alone with the door closed, all give forth the appearance of evil. I knew of some pastors who wouldn’t even counsel female church members out of fear that their ministry could be compromised.

Most non-Evangelicals had never heard of the “Billy Graham Rule” until Vice President Mike Pence let it be known that he, too, avoided being alone with any woman who was not his wife. Moderns were astounded by the Vice President’s Puritanical view of women, but to my ears his words were what I had heard over and over again as an Evangelical pastor.

….

According to Ellis [Can Men and Women be Friends], all men should live according to “Billy Graham-Mike Pence Rule.” I say all, and not just married men, because Ellis, who describes himself as a conservative Christian, likely believes that it is a sin for unmarrieds to have sex. Thus, not only should married men abstain from being alone with women who are not their wives, so should unmarried men. Women, for married and unmarried men alike, are the problem. If married men want to keep themselves morally pure, then they must never, ever put themselves in positions where they are alone with women. For married men, the wife of their youth awaits, legs spread wide, ready and willing to satisfy their sexual needs. Unmarried men have no such fire extinguisher awaiting them — the Apostle Paul said it is better to marry than to burn — yet they, too, are implored to avoid being alone with the opposite sex. So what are these young men to do? Many of them, if they marry at all, do not marry until their late twenties. This means that they must wrestle with unsatisfied raging hormones for twelve to fifteen years. And remember, masturbation — lustful self-gratification that leads to homosexuality — is verboten too. (Please read Good Baptist Boys Don’t Masturbate, Oh Yes, They Do!)

This kind of thinking breeds immature, juvenile men; men who are weak; men who are not in control of their sexuality; men who see women primarily as objects of sexual gratification. Ellis, Graham, and Pence would likely object to my characterization of their beliefs, but it seems clear, at least to me, that women are treated as dangerous, seductive beings who must be avoided lest being alone with them leads to intercourse on office and study floors. This kind of thinking objectifies women, turning them into chattel used for male sexual gratification. Since the inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God condemns all sexual behavior except married heterosexual vaginal intercourse, (preferably in the missionary position, and primarily for human propagation), any relationship or circumstance that could, even remotely, lead to moral compromise must be resolutely avoided. (A separate discussion is whether consensual adult sex with someone other than your wife or sex between unmarrieds is necessarily “wrong.”)

As I have stated time and again on this blog, Evangelical men need to grow up and own their sexuality. If they can’t control themselves when around physically and sexually attract women, the fault is theirs. Plenty of men are around women publicly and privately, yet they, somehow, keep themselves from having sex with them. These men have learned how to control their thoughts and behaviors. I have viewed countless women whom I have found attractive. My wife and I, now that we no longer concern ourselves with thoughts of God, judgment, and hell, are free to say to the other, that’s an attractive man/woman. Both of us have found it interesting the type of people the other is attracted to. Men I thought Polly would consider hot often elicit a meh from her — she really likes gay guys. Similarly, the kind of woman Polly thinks I would be attracted to often elicits a shrug from me. It’s liberating to be able to express my thoughts, interests, and desires without worrying that it could lead to adultery — a sin, according to the B-i-b-l-e, that lands offenders in the Lake of Fire.

While I generally agree with Thornton’s sentiments, many of the Southern Baptist pastors who commented on his post didn’t.

One commenter wrote:

The BGR isn’t just useful because there might be certain unholy women after the man of God. It also helps the man of God [pastor, elder, brother] avoid his own internal temptations to act unbecomingly with a younger woman.

More often than not, at least lately, I hear of the minister grooming the younger lady.

The BGR helps him by helping him “flee” from lusts and sexual immorality.

Ah yes, Baptist preachers need to watch out for those younger women who are out to seduce and fuck them. These “men of God” must battle their “internal temptation” to give in to these temptations or take sexual advantage of young women who come to them for help. (For the record, I only had one woman try to seduce me in the twenty-five years I spent pastoring Evangelical churches.)

If you can stomach it, take a gander at the rest of the comments. My conclusion? If you are a young woman, I advise you not to be in the same zip code as a Southern Baptist pastor. These horn dogs can’t be trusted around women.

Thornton, to his credit, took issue with such comments:

Makes all the females in your church to be latent seductresses. Care to find out which is the greater problem? pastors preying on women on their church or women who seduce or falsely accuse their pastor? When men, especially clergy, discuss this, why does it end up being so degrading and demeaning to women in general and women in the church specifically?

We don’t have a huge scandal in the SBC of women falsely accusing their humble and selfless pastors but of pastors abusing women and children.

The absurdity and lack of awareness of some of these comments is astonishing.

And to that, this atheist preacher says, AMEN!

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

You can contact Bruce via email, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.

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39 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Bruce Gerencser

    Here is what one clueless Southern Baptist pastor had to say:

    “Do the rules of two adults in the room working with children make all children’s workers potential pedophiles? Does it demean our workers when we require this?”

  2. Avatar
    Dave

    Ravi is met at the gates of heaven where his name is written in the Book of Life. Despite being a serial sexual predator he accepted Jesus as his personal savior so his sins are not held against him and he will enjoy eternal paradise. Years later Jane is met at the gates of heaven and is told her name is not written in the Book of Life. She explains her experience of sexual abuse at the hands of Ravi and other church leaders and how this led her to believe that the claims of Christianity could not be true. She rejected Christianity and spent her life supporting other victims of sexual abuse. “No excuse “ she is told and she is sentenced to eternal torture. This is God’s justice. Hallelujah

  3. Avatar
    ObstacleChick

    So, Evangelical men, how does it feel to believe that your God designed you to be turned on by every female leg or outline of a mammary gland or a buttock that you see, to the extent that left to your own devices you are a ticking time bomb rapist ready to force yourself on every attractive female you see? So of course every female in your purview is responsible for adequately covering herself and providing herself with her own chaperone to prevent you, the divinely designed would-be sexual abuser, from doing what your deity designed you to do. It sure ain’t your fault, am I right?

  4. Avatar
    apostatedaughter

    Excellent post. Oh yes, the dirty little secret behind evangelicalism — it is a system obsessed with sex. Its hyper-masculine MOG (man of god) thing is the centerpiece of this drama. Women in churches are seen as predators–they just can’t get enough of top male leaders and are lurking in every corner to take them down. ugh. In my family it played out in my mother’s use of this system to control my father by accusing him of all sorts of imagined improprieties.

    Mom spent her entire 50 years as a depressed pastor’s wife obsessed with toxic jealousy and constant control of my pastor father. Even my sister and I were seen as rivals for his attention. I have only recently realized that her insistence of him following the BGR led her to monitor him everywhere, even to leaving us (their two daughters, 11 and 13) alone at a remote mission station while she went along when he was part of the crew moving a single missionary woman into a mobile home at a new missions station on another island in Southeast Alaska. A storm delayed their return and with no phone service and no word of their status we girls kept things together for over a week during which we cooked our own Thanksgiving dinner for the holiday, lit kerosene lamps each night when the electricity routinely went off, kept going to school at the other end of the village and checked the attached creaky church building for the noises we heard in the night.

    Ever the obedient and dutiful daughters we filled the posts needed at churches while keeping an arm’s distance from our dad all the years of our growing up (except for an occasional ironing board hug) while saying nothing about the tirades we heard through the walls every Sunday night. We now realize she monitored all of his conversations and interactions and accused him of affairs for decades.

    Merge the toxicity and emotional weirdness of evangelical sexual obsession with the knowledge of being the one true way to live and to get to heaven and you have cognitive dissonance off the charts. That it took me so long to see it still astounds.

  5. Avatar
    Brian Vanderlip

    Evangelical Christianity is designed to harm… I believe this horrid fact because I am fallen, a terrible sinner in need of but rejecting Jesus. 😉 (See where I am going with this?) As has been witnessed countless times, hell is created by Ravi and his lot and it is here and now on earth, not awaiting us when we stop breathing.
    Another knockout punch post, Almighty!

  6. Avatar
    Brocken

    When it comes to the Ravi Zacharias scandal, some information was emerging before his death. There was a story about Ravi Zacharias pressuring some teenage girl to have an abortion that came out in December of 2019. There were reports of inappropriate text messages to women by Ravi Zacharias that came out in February of 2018. The first was on a Facebook post of Pulpit and Pen on December 10, 2019. The second was on the Pulpit and Pen website News Division section on February 15, 2018. The problem was not Ravi Zacharias not following the Billy Graham rule of not being alone with any other woman besides his wife. The problem was that Ravi Zacharias was corrupt. There are men who could be trusted being alone with women they were not married to but Ravi Zacharias was not one of those characters.

    • Avatar
      Bruce Gerencser

      If I listen to the Southern Baptist preachers on the site I mentioned, no man can be trusted around a woman who is not his wife. This is an infantile view of the world, a view that objectifies women. Zacharias wasn’t a “weak” man. He was a sexual predator who preyed on vulnerable women.

  7. Avatar
    Yulya Sevelova

    The name, Ravi Zacharias sounds familiar to me from my old Christian radio days. That’s all I know about him, can’t even remember a sermon by him. Now that this account has come to light, I’m going to look into it. Bruce that Southern (Gothic)Baptist minister who wonders about the value of a background check on all childcare workers in churches because of being ” potential pedos”, well that clown has geraniums in his cranium !! Children’s safety and well-being should be friggin’ front and center- duh !

  8. Avatar
    Troy

    Interesting the urge to merge is so much more intense than the urge to church. Revival services are never required to get people interested in procreation, yet theists claim we were created by God almighty himself. Certainly, if we were meant to put church first, we’d be biologically inclined to do so. I’m not saying there aren’t people who don’t love church as a social club, but for me the best part was when it was over.

  9. Avatar
    Yulya Sevelova

    Good to see you up and at it again, Bruce. Yeah, that Ravi thing is something else ! I always wonder about what goes through the minds of these people. So depressing and crazy, these day day spas,etc. I’m mostly out of the loop when it comes to these screwy preachers and their churches. Oh that I’d known then what I know now !!

  10. Avatar
    Astreja

    I found this gem at your site: “Since those groups of people [non-believers] do not acknowledge evil…”

    Great own goal, Theologyarchaeology! What happens if you die without apologizing for and repenting for that blatant slander and false witness against non-believers? Guess we’ll see you in {nonexistent} hell.

    (And if you’re wondering why we don’t take your beliefs seriously and don’t want to be anything like you, take a long, hard look in the closest mirror.)

  11. Avatar
    Brian Vanderlip

    THEOLOGYARCHAEOLOGY blogs “…for the glory of God.” I do not understand why some clever code-writer has not put together an algorithm to produce this parrotry of shallow patriarchal preaching. It really could be and is parroted by so so many who come around this blog for a minute or three and clear out their astounding insights all over us…

    Theo (I will call him Theo because the handsful of syllables in his moniker makes me burp every time I rattle through it) has so much delusionary flavour: “…they like to dismiss the truth because it does not fit their narrative or their hatred of all things Christian. ..”
    Theo, this is just stupid. I don’t know how to help you understand how shallow a statement you make but let me try, ha! If you had accomplished any depth of reading regarding nonbelievers, reading that people like Bruce Gerencser offer you freely, you would never say that these folk have a hatred of all things Christian. Now, I might add a caveat there and suggest that some of us might ‘hate’ the kind of ignorance you offer at your buffet table of garble but you, sir, do not speak for Christianity itself. You speak for Theo, yourself and the other clones of patriarchal preachery that appear here and elsewhere all the time. What hurts, Theo, is that you are a clone and cannot even dance and sing a bit for us for entertainment’s sake, (for goodness sake) and you insist on merely trudging around in your shallow puddle of harm. Now I know you are saying to yourself, ‘Whatever could this evil person ever mean by such a statement?’ And of course your deep vision will come up with ‘Well, he’s probably an atheist and hates Christians so what do you expect!’ Trudge, trudge, Theo.
    Theo says: “We like the Billy Graham rule and even though we are not in a professional ministry capacity, we avoid being alone with women, not our wives. Not only does it save on marital problems, but it also helps keep our wives from being led to sin– jealousy, hatred, the wrong anger, suspicion, and so on.”

    First, Theo, you are not a ‘we’ unless you wish to include the myriad clones who have stopped by here. Understand that I do not want you to be a clone and wish to speak with you, not ‘we’. I am not sure at all that this is possible but nevertheless… What you do in the statement quoted above, is demean yourself and to throw in some icing, you include women in your little mud puddle hike. You hate your wicked self enough to state that merely being alone with a woman other than your wife causes marital problems! Poor fellow, you are not that bad, are you? Ha! Think of the woman we are speaking of here, Theo. See? You are ALREADY in a room alone with her and you have already sinned, right? And well, of course you can blame me because I said ‘pink elephant’ and you are a wicked, wicked fellow and so forth. Your fallen nature mans you cannot win this ‘argument’ at all because you have already given in and helplessly flail about waiting for Jesus to forgive you (again). And your disrespect for humanity goes far and wide, doesn’t it… It’s up to the patriarchal Jesus spouse to save his wife from sin! She might feel something! What an unkind person you choose to be…
    I could go on, Theo, and often do, ad-nauseam among my often patient friends here but I fear it is again a fruitless gesture of honest response.
    So I leave you alone Theo, alone in a room with you-know-who and she wants to ruin your life, to ravage you because she is weak and cannot help it. (Surely you see the absurdity? No? Oh well, we’re used to that here.)

  12. Avatar
    ... Zoe ~

    Brian quoting Theo: “Theo says: “We like the Billy Graham rule and even though we are not in a professional ministry capacity, we avoid being alone with women, not our wives. Not only does it save on marital problems, but it also helps keep our wives from being led to sin– jealousy, hatred, the wrong anger, suspicion, and so on.”

    Zoe: Notice that it is all about the women. Because the only time a man could possibly fall into sin is only when he is alone with another woman . . . doesn’t the Bible implicate the man before he’s even in the room with her? It seems to me that promoting the BGR tells us everything we need to know about the man who needs it.

    But of course, those dog-on wives of ours. Dang Eve’s all of them.

    • Avatar
      Bruce Gerencser

      For a number of years, I picked up a near-blind woman and brought her to church. She was 20 years older than me. She was a delightful women who was busily involved in every aspect of church life. For five years, she watched our three youngest children at our home so we could teach at our church’s Christian school. This woman, now dead, was a Christian in every way. I loved her, as did everyone in the church. Years later, I’m still close friends with two of her grandsons.

      Across the road from where she lived lived a mean, nasty, vicious couple who used to attend our church. You know the type: “loved” Jesus, but hated people. They loved to gossip, spreading more lies about me than I could count. One such lie was that I was having an affair with the woman I picked up for church. You see, sometimes this woman and I were alone in my car, violating the Billy Graham Rule. This was “proof” to them that I was having an affair. So silly, and we had a good laugh over it.

      I am not ignorant of biology and temptation. However, I am responsible for my own behavior — especially sexually. Even as a Christian, I believed in owning my behavior. Theo, thanks to religious indoctrination, fears self. This breeds weakness, not strength. Affairs and other sexual peccadilloes by Evangelical preachers are common. Some of their behavior is criminal. Instead of blaming “sin,” weakness, stress, or women in general, I just wish these men of God would own their behavior. An old IFB preacher told a class of young preacher boys, “just remember men, a stiff prick has no conscience.” 😂 Sage advice.

      If a preacher truly can’t control himself when alone with a woman, he has no business being in the ministry. And I do wonder if the Billy Graham Rule applies to preachers being alone with a man? If it is all about sexual temptation, shouldn’t preachers avoid being alone with men too? Oh wait, there are no gay/bisexual people in Evangelical/Southern Baptist/IFB churches. 😂 It’s only women who are given special treatment. Why? Woman are, at heart, seductresses out to ruin God-fearing men. Generation after generation of men are taught that Jezebels are everywhere and men must avoid them at all costs. Yet, men continue to “fall” (run) into “sin.” Why is that? I blame centuries of indoctrination, not women. Men believe, thanks to preachers, that they are “weak,” just moments away from lust, fornication, and adultery every time they come in contact with a woman. The only way to stop this thinking is for men to grow up, own their sexuality, and treat women with dignity and respect. How hard can it be, right? Evidently, so hard that we need to make silly rules to protect men from women.

      Rant off 😂

  13. Avatar
    ... Zoe ~

    Brian quoting Theo: “…they like to dismiss the truth because it does not fit their narrative or their hatred of all things Christian. ..”

    Zoe: They like to dismiss the truth because it does not fit their narrative or their hatred of all things non-Christian.

  14. Avatar
    Yulya Sevelova

    Thank you, Zoe for the link to Steve’s Twitter feed regarding Raviwatch. Quite educating. It must have been when watching TBN a few decades ago that I’d caught a few minutes of Ravi. Can’t recall what he said, but the gist, as I remember it was very intense and guilt- inducing. Even then, I thought, ” nope”. Ain’t going there. Sadly, my instinct proved correct after all.

  15. Avatar
    Brian Vanderlip

    Theo does link to the post here but does not seem to realize that his highlight for the link does not really highlight it at all… nevertheless, I wanted you to know that there is a link… no mention of Almighty though….

    • Avatar
      Bruce Gerencser

      I was talking about the post on his site. I couldn’t find a link anywhere. Theo has been blogging for a long time, so I know he understands how to give proper attribution. Over the years, my writing has been used numerous times by Evangelicals without attribution. Why? They want to critique/attack my writing without driving traffic to this site. I always give attribution. Why? I want my readers to be able to read what I am quoting in context. I also give credit it to whom credit is due.

      Theo and I had a run-in years ago. Can’t remember the context, but it didn’t go well. 😂😂

      Update: Thanks to Brian for helping me to “see” the link. It’s the same color as the post text, so I didn’t see it (and I read Tee’s post three times).

  16. Avatar
    MJ Lisbeth

    Now I have all the more reason to be an atheist.

    I mean, if a middle-aged (for the past 20 years or so) woman like me has such power to lead men away from their God, how powerful is that God?

  17. Avatar
    Yulya Sevelova

    I was looking up “archeologytheology” last night, and it is of course, a run- of-the- mill site that defends abusive pastors, regardless of the what they do. No surprises there. I had to laugh when seeing them insist that Ravi’s victims not only keep to themselves what he did, but forgive him totally, because he’s Ravi, after all. Now, in his culture, women are despised and looked down on. He’d probably think, ” so. What’s the big deal.”. Ravi brought his culture into his Christian experience. He wasn’t willing to abandon those negatives. And it backfired. And then there’s this demand that complaintants keep things ” in house”, because God’s reputation will be harmed by the publicity( donations will tank). I’m so glad to know I won’t be putting up with these kinds of people anymore.

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    Yulya Sevelova

    Good morning, Bruce. I was just digging into the source of ” archaeologtheology ” and yes, ” Dr. Teed- off” is indeed David Thiessen, who is a pastor, speaker, archaeology sounds like a hobby for him. Hubpages is where I found him. Seeing his photo above, I could tell he’s a jerk. His comments blame me wonder if he had disputes with women in his church or some other place. H sounds so smug and full of himself. No doubt nouthethic counseling is one of his strong suits. I feel so sorry for his congregants. As well as his children. He gives terrible advice, that’s obvious. An all around kook.

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    Yulya Sevelova

    Oooops !! I realized it’s theologyarchaeology,but transposed the numbers. Getting pestered while on my phone typing. Sorry about that. Strangely, the wrong positioning led to the same site. D. T’s outlook reminds me of those comments over at Homeschoolers Anonymous, and you’d see the ones demanding silence from the victims of parental abuse, because recounting events ” harms God’s reputation.”

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Bruce Gerencser