A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

Translating Robert Morris’s manipulative introduction of Driscoll

Robert Morris, pastor of Gateway Church near Dallas, recently praised Mark Driscoll and invited him up to the platform at a large conference in Dallas and gave him the microphone (see video — but the latter portion showing Morris and Driscoll speaking on stage has been removed since it was first uploaded to YouTube.)

Morris offered Driscoll the microphone — and Driscoll took it — in direct contravention of the undertaking Driscoll had given on 24 August 2014 (article & transcript of Driscoll’s undertaking) (video). At that time Driscoll said:

Screen Shot 2014-10-26 at 6.34.29 PMRobert Morris should not have offered Mark Driscoll the microphone if he genuinely wants Driscoll to reform. It was immense foolishness on Morris’s part.

I will attempt to translate Morris here. I will not translate Driscoll because I think most people can see that he’s trying to use his kids to make a pity play. I also believe that Morris’s power play here is very dangerous. I feel it’s important to evaluate his manipulative technique.

Transcript of Robert Morris and Mark Driscoll from the Gateway Leadership + Worship Conference on the evening of Monday, October 20, 2014, as broadcast live via DayStar Television:

Robert Morris:

Tonight’s been phenomenal. Would you agree? So far uh, we’re just getting started (applause). Part of our heart is that you’re refreshed in the presence of God, when you come. And I hope you, you were refreshed in his presence, uh, tonight.

Uhm, I wanna before I uh introduce Steven, our our speaker tonight, I want to introduce you to a friend. A good friend of mine.

And I’ve been um speaking with him for several months now.

He’s going through uh a a difficulty that most of you’ve probably read about. Um, I know the behind the scenes story.

Uh, he was supposed to speak at our conference. Uh, it was publicized that we cancelled him; that’s not true, we did not cancel.

I’m speaking of Mark Driscoll. We did not cancel him. He and I decided together uh that he was going to step out of ministry for a season and get some healing.

Uh he asked me, “Could I come to the conference and just attend?” And I thought that was very big of him. To just come and be ministered to, and again I just want to say a couple things.

First of all, I want you to know that everything you read on the internet is not true (laughter, applause).

And there are some pastors, myself included, and some others that you would know, that we’re speaking into his life and he’s listening.

And uh, uh uh most of what you read is not true. Some of it is.

He did make some mistakes.

Uh here’s what I figure. We’ve got two choices.

One is we could crucify him (pause). But since someone’s already been crucified (hollering) for him (applause, hollering). The other choice is we could restore him with a spirit of gentleness considering ourselves, lest we are also tempted (applause).

It is very sad that in the church we’re the only army that shoots at our wounded.

And I want you to stop it. I really do.

Thank you. I’d like for you to show your love for him and for you to just welcome him. Mark would you stand up. This is Mark Driscoll. (Standing ovation, extended applause, hollering, whistling). (murmuring between MD and RM) (more applause, hollering, whistling)

Driscoll speaks.

Robert Morris (begins 6:34):

Thank you, thank you for your graciousness very much and um, um., we’re grateful. Debbie and I’ve been able to spend some time with Mark and Grace and talking with them and uuhh, we were talking the night before he resigned and talking about that and um talking through the situation and you know he uh resigned the church he founded and pastored for 18 years. (draws breath)

Uhm, he, he, you know, when I say he made some mistakes, he made some mistakes like he past — he preached ten to twelve years, 50 weeks a year. Sometimes six services a weekend. And uh it’s just not healthy and um, so I’m uh glad that uh he’s saying, “Help me.” “Hel-help me learn uh to do it differently and do it better.”

And so I love him very, very much and um I’m I’m glad that he’s here.

Uh you’re going to be blessed. Uhm, tonight I was thinking though that uh we invited uh Mark and Steven to be at, a part of our conference and they both got bad media this year.

Huh-huh-huh-uh-he, I uh-uh-huh-uhuh I just uh they’re buddies now. So huh-uh (laughter) Uh but uh but it is surprising how, how uh we believe so quickly something that we read, uh about a brother in Christ that we’ve never even met.

Translation in red. My thoughts in purple italics. Also, I would like you to make a mental note of every time Morris says “uh, um,” or the like. I think it’s his tell; the indicator that he’s mentally setting up a manipulative phrase. What do you think?

Morris:
I want to introduce you to a friend. He’s my friend. So he’s cool. He’s awesome by association. A good friend of mine. He’s my good friend and if you’re questioning him, you’re questioning me.

And I’ve been um speaking with him for several months now. I am SuperPastor. My Super advice will fix him.

He’s going through uh a a difficulty He’s a victim. that most of you’ve probably read about. Um, I know the behind the scenes story. I know more than you. Trust ME.

Uh, he was supposed to speak at our conference. Uh, it was publicized that we cancelled him; that’s not true, we did not cancel. I see you’re using the passive voice there. Who publicized that? Zombies? Why are you just now correcting the zombies’ falsehood?

I’m speaking of Mark Driscoll. We did not cancel him. He and I decided together uh that he was going to step out of ministry for a season and get some healing. It was our decision and it’s a good one. I advised him. He listens to me. That’s good. You should listen to me too.

Uh he asked me, “Could I come to the conference and just attend?” And I thought that was very big of him. See how humble he is? To just come and be ministered to, and again I just want to say a couple things.

First of all, I want you to know that everything you read on the internet is not true (laughter, applause). Don’t believe the internet. Believe ME. Even if you’re reading this on the internet. I know the answers. No need to look elsewhere or think for yourself. Just let me tell you what to do. Are Mark’s own words true? Can we look at his own words and observe the blame-shifting and lack of remorse for the damage he’s caused? Or do we only trust in you?

And there are some pastors, myself included, and some others that you would know, that we’re speaking into his life and he’s listening. But not to Dr. Paul Tripp or the pastors who begged him to repentAnd not to his elders. And not to his victims.

And uh, uh uh most of what you read is not true. If you believe anyone other than ME approved news sources, you are gullible. Some of it is. But you’re not clever enough to sort that out. So just turn your brains off and trust me.

He did make some mistakes. MISTAKES? That’s almost as bad as the ridiculous term “moral failure! It’s SIN. Call it “sin.” Stop minimizing. Just STOP IT.

Uh here’s what I figure. We’ve got two choices. False dichotomy fallacy

One is we could crucify him (pause). But since someone’s already been crucified (hollering) for him (applause, hollering). The other choice is we could restore him with a spirit of gentleness considering ourselves, lest we are also tempted (applause). No. There are more choices. You are choosing to harm him by pretending he’s fine. You could choose to love him and call him to repentance and not let up until he does.

It is very sad that in the church we’re the only army that shoots at our wounded. If you continue to point out sin among my friends, you are a bad Christian. Mark Driscoll is a wounded man, so don’t believe anything you hear about how he’s bullied and wounded others! Just focus on how wounded he is and give him some slack!  I am so very done with this dumb cliche. What if we don’t shoot the wounded Christians, but we do announce the presence of WOLVES among the sheep? What if we point out sin and call sinners to repentance and they are delivered from Hell?

And I want you to stop it. I really do. Because if we stop it, that’s what makes things ok. Not if Mark repents, but if we stop pointing out that he hasn’t.

Thank you. I’d like for you to show your love for him and for you to just welcome him. Mark would you stand up. This is Mark Driscoll.

Driscoll uses his kids as human shields.

Morris (begins 6:34):
Thank you, thank you for your graciousness very much and um, um., we’re grateful. He’s so humble. BELIEVE THAT HE’S HUMBLE.

Debbie and I’ve been able to spend some time with Mark and Grace and talking with them and uuhh, we were talking the night before he resigned and talking about that and um talking through the situation It’s a situation, not sin. and you know he uh resigned the church he founded and pastored for 18 years. (draws breath)

Uhm, he, he, you know, when I say he made some mistakes, he made some mistakes like he past — he preached ten to twelve years, 50 weeks a year. Sometimes six services a weekend. And uh it’s just not healthy His “mistake” was working too hard and being too devoted. Anyone ever had their abuser tell them that he just luuvs you so much and that’s why he’s jealous and stalks you and scares off your friends?

and um, so I’m uh glad that uh he’s saying, “help me.” Gaslighting. Driscoll is not saying “help me.” He’s saying I quit rather than submit to my elders help. GASLIGHTING!  “Hel-help me learn uh to do it differently and do it better.” Does he want a list?

And so I love him very, very much and um I’m I’m glad that he’s here. I love him. So he’s fine. Fine I tell you.

Uh you’re going to be blessed. Uhm, tonight I was thinking though that uh we invited uh Mark and Steven to be at, a part of our conference and they both got bad media this year. They are victims of the media. Not of their own pride and arrogance. The media got them.

Huh-huh-huh-uh-he, I uh-uh-huh-uhuh I just uh they’re buddies now. So huh-uh (laughter) Uh but uh but it is surprising how, how uh we believe so quickly something that we read, uh about a brother in Christ that we’ve never even met. You’re being conned if you believe anything but what I say. I know more than you. You aren’t qualified to read Mark’s own words or Mars Hill’s own words and judge for yourself. Just let me tell you what to think. And he IS a brother in Christ, that is not open to question. It’s  so much taken for granted that I shall call him a brother in Christ without justifying or explaining that term. I don’t want to even allow you to think that he may not be a brother in Christ, so I just slip that in at the end to numb your minds. 

Ellie is now offering a private translation service. For more info email her at EllieCriesForJustice@gmail.com.

30 Comments

  1. Brenda R

    Ellie,
    Good translation. Driscoll should not have been given the microphone or even acknowledged as being at this event. He said he would not be speaking–lie. The pastor where I attend recently said that we hold them to a higher standard and they are people just like everyone else. That may be true–BUT, they should be held to a higher standard. They are teachers. If you go against Christ’s teachings, you no longer qualify.

  2. Isaiah40:31

    Great analysis!!

    All the uh’s and um’s were so annoying! But I believe you’re right about the manipulative setup there.

    I don’t think he wanted to “just attend” the conference. He knew he’d get on stage. This was a setup to rally the people behind the “victim.” And then they talk about shooting the wounded in church, which is exactly what happens to the real victims!

    • Ellie

      I think Morris should not play poker. That tell of his is just too glaring.

  3. Still Reforming

    Excellent translation. Have you noticed, as I have, how many times liars pause with the uhs and ums and other time-delaying utterances while they think mentally what will work best? I’ve noticed this with my own abuser. He pauses and ofttimes clears his throat as well. And I really hadn’t given it too much thought until it dawned on me that when someone speaks from his heart, there’s no need for those kinds of crutches. It just flows because it’s real. But in this case, when someone’s lying and manipulating, it’s all made up on the fly and therefore those utterances emerge. I find it to be quite unsettling.

    • Still Reforming, exactly! I had noticed that myself, and this just brings it much more into the light. If you are telling the truth, there isn’t anything to remember about what you have said previously!

      Some things my abuser also says, “to be perfectly honest with you” or “to tell you the truth” or “if you want my honest opinion” whatever! All blatant lies, excuses or in such denial that the truth isn’t even a thought! It’s whatever sounds good and makes him look good. Honesty is so refreshing when you do hear it, but, sadly gets more rare everyday.

      • Ellie

        When I hear someone say, “The fact of the matter is…” I go to DEFCON 1. I mentioned several other manipulative set up phrases in my Jedi Mind Tricks post. You might like that one.

    • Ellie

      I agree but with the caveat that targets of abuse often have trouble coming up with the right words, especially if they are still with their abusers. I knew that I had to phrase things very carefully so that I didn’t set him off or get some part of my efforts to communicate picked apart. So I was always looking for just the right words, just the right phrasing, and at just the right time.

      Morris isn’t doing that. I believe he is using the pause to manipulate and to find the words that will heap the most guilt upon those who disagree with him while inflating the egos of those who agree. Very dangerous talk. I don’t like it at all.

  4. LorenHaas

    The celebrity megachurch pastors are all about one thing, Can you guess?
    MONEY!
    They follow an entreprenerial model for churches. They use a form of the gospel message for “leverage”. They use it for control. not salvation. When they lose control of the lever they move on to the next victim(s).
    Substitute “abusive spouse” for “celebrity megachurch pastor” and you have your application.

  5. cindyrapstad

    Love the shoot the wounded comment. Driscoll had no problem shooting the wounded or shooting anyone that did not agree with him but now we are to be accused of shooting Driscoll and he is the victim, he is the wounded party all of a sudden. Bleah, sounds like the abusive husband.

  6. Suzanne

    The old adage about birds of a feather comes to mind.

  7. Jeff Crippen

    It is true that the church shoots its wounded. Abuse victims, victims of the bullying of guys like Driscoll, get shot all the time. But as we all know, Driscoll is NOT one of the “wounded.” A wounded person is someone who has been hurt and victimized. We put them in hospitals. We care for them until they can get well. But Driscoll is the wound-ER. This Morris guy is out to lunch and in his ignorance and arrogance he is enabling evil. By the way, I have never heard of Morris before now. I ceased quite some time ago to listen to radio and mega preachers. I accidentally tuned in the other day to a “Christian” station and heard some silver-tongued guy whipping off the “you must forgive, forgive, forgive” message and it sickened me. I checked him out. It was one James MacDonald, who I guess used to be a Driscoll board member or something like that. Then MacDonald hit the headlines recently with his “repentance” for being a bully himself against some of his own elders who he wrongly gave the boot to. These kind all stick together. They don’t change for all their talk of how they “made some bad choices.” And if this Morris guy keeps hanging with bad company, he will become like them, if he isn’t already.

    • Ivan L

      Hello, first time commenting here. I’ve only recently came across this blog, but it (along with TWW) has really opened my eyes to the abuse that has been taking place in the church. It has also become apparent to me that many of the New Calvinist churches are quite cultish in their behavior, although ironically enough it has driven me to study what Reformed theology is really all about. BTW, a guy who promotes FIC and homeschooling actually came to our church twice to speak on marriage and family discipleship, and recommended that we read one of Voddie Baucham’s books on family discipleship in Sunday School (we did). For a while, it seemed that implementing the FIC model is on our church’s mind, although I don’t know about the current situation. He doesn’t seem to be a patriarchalist though.

      I was recently listening to an exposition on the story of Zacchaeus, and it reminded me of the abusers in our church today. When Zacchaeus repented, he then offered to return to everyone double the amount he stole from them. This seems to be a far cry from Mark Driscoll’s attitude on the stage at Gateway Church.

      I was just wondering, the Bible calls us to pursue justice, but at the same time it calls us to forgive those who have hurt us. God himself forgives us while we are still sinners. So I was wondering how do we forgive those who hurt us while at the same time pursuing justice.

      • Ivan, I don’t have time to answer your question in this thread. I suggest you search the posts in our Forgiveness tag and also if you like go to our Resources tab and look in the subsection “What does the Bible really Say?” — there are a number of links about forgiveness there.

    • Still Reforming

      Jeff,

      Since you mentioned, “forgive, forgive, forgive” from that radio message you heard and clicked off, I want to bring up that topic of forgiveness, because it’s niggling at me. I was asked by my pastor to forgive (not my abusive husband, but another church leader for the latter’s refusal to read my prayer request). What troubles me about it is that when I was asked by my pastor to reconcile with this man, I told them both the history of what had happened with this request and why the lack of response was troublesome to me. The church leader in question at the meeting said he wouldn’t discuss it until I told him that I forgive him. I was flabbergasted. I asked for his thoughts on everything I had just labored to explain, and he flat-out refused to give them to me. So I asked “Then what are you asking forgiveness for?” and his reply was “Whatever you think I’ve done.” So I told him that my response is “I don’t know.” Because of this, I was counseled by my pastor to “seek the Lord about forgiveness,” while the other church leader was sent away with a pat on the back. In hindsight, I wish I had brought up the topic of how inextricably linked true repentance is with forgiveness.

      The reason I’m writing you is because as a pastor surely you must see this across our country as well – that the topic of forgiveness seems to be heavy on the love, love, love with zero judgment, judgment, judgment. Like the scales of justice are imbalanced on the side of sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows with dancing unicorns afoot. How has this come to be? Is our church in America so brain dead by the entertainment culture? Is it because there is little interest in serious Bible study and theological matters? Why are American Christians so ignorant about true Biblical forgiveness and its relationship to judgment and repentance?

      I think one of the answers to my questions came in an earlier post of yours in 2013: “Why are Christians insisting that abuse victims must forgive without justice? Why? Could it be that they have a very low and skewed view of the work of Christ on the cross?”

      And truly – that does hit one nail squarely on the head. If we don’t really appreciate how grievous is our sin then we really don’t properly view Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. And perhaps that itself bleeds over into the areas of proper understanding and application of Biblical judgment, repentance, and ultimately forgiveness (and in that order too).

      Still pondering Biblical forgiveness and lamenting its widespread lack of understanding in the American church….

      [Eds– we remover a link this commenter gave to another article — simply because we are all so stretched we dont have time to check it out.]

      • Ellie

        A friend’s associate pastor was recently very disrespectful in a conversation I had with him. I learned a great deal from that interaction and I am composing a post about how to apply what I learned to how I parent. The pastor read a draft of that post and saw that I did not approve of his behavior and he called to apologize.

        Him: I just wanted to call and apologize that you got your feelings hurt and were offended when we talked the other day.
        Me: Dead air.
        Him: Not to make excuses but I was really tired and stressed and …
        Me: My feelings aren’t hurt and I am not offended.
        Him: Well I just wanted to call and apologize for everything I did…
        Me: What is it that you are apologizing for?
        Him: Well you didn’t like the way I said ___ and I wanted to call and ask you to forgive me.
        Me: Why was it wrong for you to say ____? Do you see how that is disparaging?

        We talked about his phrasing and what I learned from it and I used the opportunity to request that he and the rest of the staff get training from a Women’s Shelter on handling abuse. I forgave him and I pray that he and his staff do get the training I requested.

      • Brenda R

        Ellie,
        You handled that situation very well. I have yet to have anyone attempt to apologize over the things they say in those type of situations.

      • good stuff, Ellie!
        I need to memorize this script myself. If I memorize the fundamentals of it, I think I’ll be better at being able to adapt it to real situation.
        First, there was your dead air, which did not buy into his trying to sweet talk you.
        Then comes your key question, the fulcrum that turned the conversation from a polite superficial formality into something that really made him think: was “What is it that you are apologizing for?”
        That pulled him up. It was assertive but not rude.

        And when he answered the way he did, you were then ready with the not only one really incisive question (“Why was it wrong for you to say that?”) but another one on its heels (“Do you see how that is disparaging?”).

        I wish I was as sharp as that! I rarely am unless it’s by the written word, where I can craft my sentences more carefully than spoken language.

      • Ellie

        Thank you. I had prayed about this a great deal before I got the call and I believe the Holy Spirit put a guard on my mouth because I wasn’t sarcastic when I would’ve normally been. I didn’t expect an apology at all. I really did learn so much from the interaction and I had left the pastor in God’s hands. I offered the draft to a friend who I thought might be interested in the parenting concept and the pastor saw it from there and called me. I do hope the staff there gets good training and learns to help targets of abuse.

      • Suzanne

        I commend you for your handling of this. It must have taken a lot of courage. If pastors and others in church leadership hear this often enough they may eventually “get it”. God bless you.

  8. Valerie

    The part that truly troubles me (most of it does, but this in particular) is this section:
    One is we could crucify him (pause). But since someone’s already been crucified (hollering) for him (applause, hollering). The other choice is we could restore him with a spirit of gentleness considering ourselves, lest we are also tempted

    I read this and it gave me chill bumps. The bad ones. As I read this it seems like he is trying to create an association between Mark and Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. To chose that language to describe a human being is completely inappropriate and of an apostate nature IMO. Highly manipulative so if anyone would disagree and think Mark should be held accountable, they could be deemed with those who said “Crucify him!” It truly makes me sick. God is H O L Y. Nothing of ourselves should be compared to Holy God except what He does through us to make us like Him.

    It is very difficult for me not to hear these kinds of smooth words and not envision the hissing of a snake slithering in the grass. Smh.

    • Suzanne

      Valerie, I had the same reaction.

      • Me three! It sort of made me shiver and duck when I heard it. And he was so calculating when he said it, like it had been scripted to manipulate and practiced…..geez we have never heard anything like that before!

    • Still Reforming

      Valerie, I had the same thought when I read, “We could crucify him…” I have never heard such arrogance from a speaker before alluding to the death of our Lord and Savior as if any criticism of a human (and justly deserved criticism no less) would compare to Jesus’ death on the cross. It is the epitome of hubris. He’s flying dangerously close to the sun, and it’s a mighty long fall down from there.

      • Not Too Late

        Thanks, Valerie, I hadn’t really given much thought to that bit.

        Firstly, is he implying that Christians want to crucify Mark Driscoll? Wanting to hold a leader accountable is not the same as crucifying him. The Romans, in collaboration with the Jewish leaders, crucified an innocent man because they wanted to punish him for showing them up and threatening their position. Couldn’t be any more different.

        Next, surely most people agree on the Biblical principle of restoring a person in the spirit of gentleness. But that person must genuinely want that restoration. That’s what seems to be in dispute in this case. Pastor Driscoll’s words have not given a lot of confidence that he understands the impact of his behavior. There is some recognition, but there’s a lot of fudging and defensiveness.

  9. Pathetic and yes, manipulative. A standing ovation! Shame on both of them—-

  10. Tim

    Great job, and the other comments have hit so many good points. All I’d add is that if Mr. Morris were really being pastoral to Mr. Driscoll he’d have told him, “Mark, you need to go back to Mars Hill, you need submit to the people there who are themselves submitting to the Holy Spirit to guide them, and you need to stay off stage there and everywhere else.”

  11. Lola

    You nailed it. I’ve listened to this guy for years. He is a smooth televangelist with a super polished stage act. However, when he lies or manipulates he reverts into the um um uh deal. He does this the most when he talks about how Gateway spends their money or when referring to his college credentials or experience. He has a lot to hide on both counts. But this is one of his worst um-uh stuttering/floundering speeches I’ve heard to date. Did anyone else catch that, according to the above, it was Robert Morris who made Driscoll step down from ministry on 8-24-14 “for a season” as well as Morris who advised Driscoll on his final resignation decision in October? That’s a big story there! What is MH paying DeMoss for? Sounds like Morris is the Driscoll puppet master pulling all the strings.

    • Justathought

      I don’t know any details & I’m not defending Morris but many of my family members who live in TX attend Gateway & I’ve listened to Robert Morris’s sermons online. He always says “uh” & “um” a bunch. Reading the transcript I could hear him in my mind & it sounded like he usually talks so I wouldn’t call it a “tell” when it’s part of his normal speech pattern. I don’t think it was wise to have Driscoll on stage but I’m not condemning Morris either. Abusers are often expert deceivers & if the men are friends I’m sure Morris wants to believe his friend has repented. My understanding of the crucifixion reference was that we need to allow him (Mark) to repent and be healed, we don’t need to tear him apart, but I agree that likening his friend’s public humiliation to Jesus’ death on the cross isnt the best thing he could have said and comes across as manipulative. Most of us reading this blog have first hand experience with manipulative people & abusers so we know what to look for, but not everyone sees thru that lens.

      It is my experience that the church as a whole fails miserably at rooting out abusers & holding them accountable, it’s not just large churches. And for those with psychological issues or narcissism, they may believe they’ve repented when in reality they’re upset they were caught and are trying to divert people away from their true self. I’m hoping Robert Morris is the great pastor everyone thinks he is and not another slick TV guy. I’ve heard him mention past sins & say he’s repented & I’ve always felt he was sincere but my struggle with my husband has taught me that no one truly knows a person but God!! We can make judgements but may not know the whole truth. Morris may be another snake, but he might just be deceived by a man who believes his own lies!!

  12. Still Reforming

    Ellie,
    I don’t see a reply button for your comment about that phone call, but I too had a recent similar situation with my pastor and another church leader. The church leader was the one who had ignored my request for both a play date and my handing his wife a prayer request related to abuse in our home. Both were ignored. When my pastor called a meeting to “reconcile,” I laid out what had happened and the leader asked me to forgive him. I replied, “For what? What specifically are you asking forgiveness for?” His answer was “Whatever it is you think I’ve done to you.” I just replied that my answer is “I don’t know.”
    To date there is no reconciliation, but I have to say – the relationship hasn’t degraded any because there apparently wasn’t any to begin with. It was all just smoke and mirrors. Meanwhile, I’ve been counseled by the pastor to seek the Lord about forgiveness. (I believe I have. I have no animus toward the leader, but I don’t trust him anymore and told him so. It never ceases to amaze me how he – not unlike my husband – have no problem with that statement. Whereas if someone said that to me, that I was unworthy of his/her trust, it would really bother me and I’d have to inquire as to why.) And now the pastor met with me to see how it’s going and said that I need to forgive him and love him. We talked back and forth about that for awhile, and I told him I’d chew on all he said. As I’m chewing, I’m pondering about elastic a word “love” is when bandied about in the church. I think more needs to be detailed and spelled out about what that means. It’s so loosey goosey. I don’t think I love the leader any less or any more than I did before he chose to ignore my plea for helping my daughter and me. I’ve just come to a realization about exactly how much he doesn’t love, but sure loves to preach about it.

  13. Still Reforming

    Oops – I should clarify. My answer “I don’t know” wasn’t in response to what I thought he had done wrong to me – but in response to whether or not I’d forgive him. That’s a big difference there. I know exactly what he did (or rather didn’t) do – and laid it out for him as well. He knows too. He just chooses to ignore the concerns – and me.

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