A Cry For Justice

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

I’ve been tied up, but I am not giving up

The bank I used for my everyday banking closed my account. They did this without my permission and without giving me any warning. They did this while I was overseas visiting my daughter.

My utility and internet bills were all paid by direct debits from that account. Because the bank closed my account, I was not receiving the regular income I get from my book sales and my retirement/superannuation fund. Any money credited to my account was bouncing back to whoever sent it.

I have spent countless hours trying to hold the bank’s feet to the fire. The bank eventually  returned my money to me.  But I’m still battling to get them to adequately compensate me for the anxiety, inconvenience and fear they caused me.

I have complained about the bank to the Financial Services Ombudsman in Australia.

In the midst of this nightmare with my bank, I have published a twitter thread about Billy Graham.

I know that some readers of this site think Billy Graham was wonderful. I know many professing Christians think Billy Graham was a very godly man and a wonderful evangelist.

It can be disturbing to have your idols toppled.

If you feel led to do so by the Holy Spirit, you may like to read my thread about Billy Graham. I published it at Twitter. You do not have to have a Twitter account to read someone else’s tweets on Twitter. 

It will take you a while to read the thread. I have presented evidence for you to consider and I have cited my sources. You don’t have to agree with me. But I hope, if you feel led to do so, you will examine the evidence I have presented.

I am still here. I am reading all the comments that come in at this blog.

My ‘spiritual blindness’ post will (I hope) be published next week.

14 Comments

  1. New Life

    Maybe the info you share here is impacting your bank service?

    • Who knows? But I’m not jumping to any conclusions like that. It could have been just incompetency and bad management on the part of some people at the bank.

  2. Finding Answers

    From the original post “My ‘spiritual blindness’ post will (I hope) be published next week.”

    I am looking (pardon the pun) forward to ^That post. Perhaps the post on “spiritual blindness” might aid in the discernment of faulty lenses with which an individual may (unknowingly) be “blinded”.

    From the original post “It can be disturbing to have your idols toppled.”

    ^That, though not in reference to Billy Graham. (I’m not a fan of televangelism, so I was never a Billy Graham fan.) For me, the disruption caused by the toppling of false idols is liberating.

  3. Helovesme

    Oh, no Barb I’m so sorry for what you went through and are still going through with the bank! The stress must be through the roof. Will be praying.

    I saw your thread about Billy Graham. I wanted to read it yesterday but I got tied up in other things and had to leave it be. I’ve been having nightmares on a fairly consistent basis so I have to consider that before I dive in. So we’ll see how it goes.

    But as always, I appreciate the research you do and your attention to detail. I know you don’t “throw” anything out there frivolously.

    “But I’m still battling to get them to adequately compensate me for the anxiety, inconvenience and fear they caused me.”

    What’s interesting is that while you have EVERY right to pursue this (and I pray you see justice done), there is no amount of money that can and will compensate for what they carelessly put you through.

    The same applies to so many other situations. It is unfair (IMO) to quickly accuse victims of being “money hungry” if they file for monetary compensation for their trauma. There are likely cases that fit that bill, to be sure. But how quickly and easily we condemn those that legally have a right to ask for such compensation.

    Interesting how we say we are so worried about ruining the reputation of a “good person” when allegations come forth. So we should do nothing, and this will all go away?

    Interesting how we do NOT say that we are worried about ruining the reputation of a “good person” when the victim openly alleges what was done to her? So she should have said nothing, and we want her to go away?

    I’m in a bit of a unique position because I have no strong feelings about Billy Graham, one way or the other. I knew his name, knew of him—-but nothing more. I have fairly strong feelings about his son, but I do not equate the two persons in my mind. They are two separate and distinct persons.

    This narrative from my own life is NOT on par with the popularity of BG, but it has helped me get a glimpse of the ups and downs we are dealing with.

    I’ll explain it in the NEXT comment, so it’s easier to read, and I’ll work hard to condense it so it’s not tedious reading.

    • Finding Answers

      Helovesme commented (19TH SEPTEMBER 2019 – 10:57 AM) “…..I know you don’t “throw” anything out there frivolously.”

      ^That applies to my attempts to resolve my own battles with the bank. Attempting to “battle” an individual who owes me a SIGNIFICANT amount of money is a lost cause.

      Barb commented (19TH SEPTEMBER 2019 – 12:47 PM) “……It could have been just incompetency and bad management on the part of some people at the bank.”

      ^That applies to SOME of my own experience(s) with the bank.

      From the original post …..“But I’m still battling to get them to adequately compensate me for the anxiety, inconvenience and fear they caused me.”

      ^That is something I would like to have been able to do with the bank when they gave me a legal run around (for MANY years) on more than one occasion. (Omitting details for my protection.)

      In the same comment, Helovesme wrote “…….legally have a right to ask for such compensation.”

      ^That applies to an individual who owes me a SIGNIFICANT amount of money. (Omitting details for my protection.)

      In my case(s), I felt / feel like I was / am having MY feet held to the fire.

      After MANY years, ONE of my battles with the bank was FINALLY won. (Omitting details for my protection.)

      The “battle” with the individual who owes me a SIGNIFICANT amount of money will NEVER be won in this lifetime.

      ^That battle belongs to God.

  4. Helovesme

    In 2004, Mel Gibson’s “Passion of the Christ” movie came out. It was extremely popular in America, especially within the church community. It was viewed in churches (kind of a movie night event). It got a lot of press because of who made the movie and how well it was made.

    Apparently it was quite realistic and fairly accurate—-so you can see how professing Christians would get caught up in the hype AND contribute to it.

    I still recall one testimony where Mr. Gibson was thanked in prayer for making it. Also, the actor’s faith was lauded and applauded. He had always claimed to be Catholic and a strong family man through his career, I believe, but this movie seemed to demonstrate how serious he was about his faith. Which is rare in Hollywood! Religion doesn’t necessarily equal big money, but this movie made a LOT of money. There was even a jewelry line that reflected the movie, I believe?

    I never saw the movie. A former friend of mine asked if I was going to see it and I said no and she just stared at me. It was as if I was missing out on an amazing spiritual “experience” if I didn’t see it. I didn’t go see it because I did not feel compelled to. I didn’t care if others did, but I wasn’t going to be pushed into it—-as if I am not serious about my faith if I don’t go see it?

    I am unsure if it was encouraged to take unbelievers to the movie, but I would not be surprised if it was. Perhaps the Lord would speak to them as they watched a realistic showing of what His Son did for them.

    I would NOT go so far as to say Mr. Gibson was idolized, but I DO think it’s fair to say that he was elevated on some sort of pedestal because of this movie.

    All of that aside, I was STILL shocked when I heard the news: He had been pulled over for drunk driving, and he was caught on tape saying awful things about Jewish people. I don’t know how the majority of professing Christians dealt with it.

    But there it was: on tape and indisputably the voice of Mel Gibson as he poured out hateful words about a group of people that includes Christ Himself (born as a Jewish man) and that God personally gave precious promises to. He was obviously intoxicated, but I don’t think anyone knew how much toxicity was lurking within him—-until it came pouring out.

    Gibson and Graham are on two different tiers, make no mistake! But since I lived through the former and saw certain things for myself, I can get a glimpse of the confusion and clashing over Graham.

    It comes down to this:

    Never idolize any human being. Ever. If they are in the public eye because they preach Him, produce a movie about Him—–they have no special “status” before the Lord. Before Him we all stand on one firm foundation—-Christ Himself.

    Look for the Holy Spirit working in and through people, whoever they are. They are vessels through whom He works. Stop looking at THEM as if they ARE Him. They cannot do anything apart from Him, and apart from Him they cannot do anything.

    Being in the public eye does NOT give you any free passes. Actually, they desperately need to be held accountable instead of feeding a false sense of entitlement. The traps and temptations of fame are real, and no one is immune.

    Being in the public eye is like living in a fishbowl. They are often put under a very powerful microscope, which analyzes every detail and decision they make. At the same time, they tend to be catered to, surrounded by “yes” people who are too afraid to stand up to them.

    For believers, stop doing one or the other. Stop looking at how much money they make, the many possessions they own, how popular and pandered to they are. Look at Scripture. Test their words. Test their works. Are they standing the heat of His refiner’s fire, or are they being proved as counterfeit words and works—-superficially speaking His name but lacking in His substance?

    Last point: think and decide for yourself how you feel about public figures, especially religious ones. If a large amount of persons are touting them, don’t get carried away, and don’t jump onto the ride—–consider where that ride is headed before joining them.

    And NO, they are necessarily wiser than you are. Everyone has access to His wisdom simply by asking. Solomon was NOT wise until he asked for wisdom, and He gladly and graciously gave it to him, as He does with anyone who simply asks.

    Majority rules does not mean the majority is right.

    • Finding Answers

      Helovesme commented (19TH SEPTEMBER 2019 – 11:38 AM) “Look for the Holy Spirit working in and through people, whoever they are. They are vessels through whom He works. Stop looking at THEM as if they ARE Him. They cannot do anything apart from Him, and apart from Him they cannot do anything.”

      ^That.

      In the same comment, Helovesme also commented “…..Look at Scripture. Test their words. Test their works. Are they standing the heat of His refiner’s fire, or are they being proved as counterfeit words and works—-superficially speaking His name but lacking in His substance?”

      ^That.

      In the same comment, Helovesme also commented “Last point: think and decide for yourself how you feel about public figures, especially religious ones. If a large amount of persons are touting them, don’t get carried away, and don’t jump onto the ride—–consider where that ride is headed before joining them.”

      ^That.

      In the same comment, Helovesme also commented “…….It was as if I was missing out on an amazing spiritual “experience”……”

      ^That was the reaction I received if I did not attend a bricks-and-mortar “church”.

      In the same comment, Helovesme also commented “…….Before Him we all stand on one firm foundation—-Christ Himself.”

      ^That.

      Christ rules.

  5. Kind of Anonymous

    Regarding HeLovesMe and Finding Answers comments, your comments point out that the problem of idolatry and failure to discern the flesh in action is a real problem in the church today. Once again I am reminded of an AW Tozer quote, which is a long one but a good one: Sorry I could not resist 🙂 and I beg your indulgence.

    The Tozer quote is in italics.
    To be specific, the self-sins are self-righteousness, self-pity, self-confidence, self-sufficiency, self-admiration, self-love and a host of others like them. They dwell too deep within us and are too much a part of our natures to come to our attention till the light of God is focused upon them. The grosser manifestations of these sins – egotism, exhibitionism, self-promotion – are strangely tolerated in Christian leaders, even in circles of impeccable orthodoxy. They are so much in evidence as actually, for many people, to become identified with the gospel. I trust it is not a cynical observation to say that they appear these days to be a requisite for popularity in some sections of the church visible. Promoting self under the guise of promoting Christ is currently so common as to excite little notice….

    Self is the opaque veil that hides the face of God from us. It can be removed only in spiritual experience, never by mere instruction. We may as well try to instruct leprosy out of our system. There must be a work of God in destruction before we are free. We must invite the cross to do its deadly work within us. We must bring our self-sins to the cross for judgment.

    While Tozer is referring to the self oriented version of this, I daresay they are part and parcel of the same root system. Championing and flattering self, whether my own self or someone else’s self, means I am either setting a snare for myself or for them. Praise can be like a little shot of fertilizer to a wilting plant given in the right and truth oriented balance, but it can also be wicked gasoline poured on an already troublesome fire. I hope I am not giving you all a pain in the rear with quotes but if no one objects I’d like to share one more from the late Keith Green; he said this in his article “So you wanna be a rock star”. Here is the quote where Keith talks about how the church idolizes musicians and points out how worldly that is and dangerous:

    “Can’t you see that you are hurting these ministers? They try desperately to tell you that they don’t deserve to be praised, and because of this you squeal with delight and praise them all the more. You’re smothering them, making it almost impossible for them to see that it’s really Jesus. They keep telling themselves that, but you keep telling them it’s really them, crushing their humility and grieving the Spirit that is trying to keep their eyes on Jesus.

    Ultimately, what we idolize we ourselves desire to become, sometimes with our whole heart. So a lot of people who want to become just like their favorite Gospel singer or minister, seek after it with the same fervor that the Lord demands we seek after Him! And again, we insult the Spirit of Grace and try to make a place for ourselves, rather than a place for Jesus”

    Link to article by Keith Green:
    https://www.lastdaysministries.org/Articles/1000008609/Last_Days_Ministries/LDM/Discipleship_Teachings/Keith_Green/So_You_Wanna.aspx

    Please note that I am not endorsing Last Day’s Ministries per se although I respected Keith Green and his fervent devotion to Jesus. Keith hated, absolutely hated the way the church seemed to love the world and want to imitate it and he deplored Jesus being made into merchandise by people who just wanted to make a buck and cared not a whit for the gospel. If the link can’t be included, no offense taken dear blog admins 🙂

    • Hi Kind of Anonymous, thank you so much for your helpful comment. 🙂 I read it with interest. I really like the quote from Keith Green, and (like you) I don’t want readers to think that I necessarily approve of everything at the lastdaysministries site. I have not had time to examine that site in depth.

      The Tozer quote is good, but I felt a bit of discomfort when he talked about “the self-sins are self-righteousness, self-pity, self-confidence, self-sufficiency, self-admiration, self-love and a host of others like them. They dwell too deep within us and are too much a part of our natures to come to our attention till the light of God is focused upon them.”

      My discomfort stems from what I perceive to be his lack of nuance and his apparent lack of understanding of the dilemmas of the oppressed.

      When a person has been oppressed by evildoers, the person’s self-confidence is often in their boots or out the window. The same goes for the person’s self-admiration (aka self-respect). In addition, the oppressor has often undermined the oppressed person’s ability to be self-sufficient (earn a decent wage, put bread on the table, put a roof over their head, etc.).

      It is wrong to tell oppressed people that they are “in sin” for wanting and striving to develop their self-confidence and their capacity to be self-sufficient and self-respecting.

  6. Kind of Anonymous

    Yes, I would concur wholeheartedly that in the light of what we discuss here, some right division is needed. Modern day western teachers often fail to consider who might be listening to them and fail to address what they do NOT mean or who they do not mean. Perhaps I might take a shot at it here 🙂 I believe when Tozer speaks of self sufficiency or self confidence, he is not thinking of the sort of confidence that might say:

    “I think I will apply for this job as a school secretary; I believe God has given me the gifts needed for this position; I am friendly, willing to help and patiently listen, I have empathy for families with young children, having raised a family myself and I can type fifty words a minute. I think I will enjoy greeting the parents and children as they come in to school in the morning. Principal Stevens is very busy and relied a lot on Judy, the secretary who is leaving after ten years of being the main support for the school administrators. I think I too could make a difference here. I will apply, and trust the Lord that if this is His will, He will grant me an interview and help me get the job and succeed at it.”

    I believe he more aiming at the kind of self sin that might say instead “Well, I ought to be able to land this job; it’s an important position in the school and I have what it takes. I should be able to do a better job than that frumpy Judy. Man, the stuff that woman would wear to work. They will be lucky to have me and I bet none of the other applicants has the experience I do. Of course, I am a bit overqualified to be trying to run an office with a bunch of snot nosed brats running around and having to put up with the parents; THAT is going to represent a lot of interruption in my work, but hey, the pay is good and it’s a job and right now I need money. Besides, this job will give me influence in the community and may lead to useful contacts that could lead to a better job if I play my cards right.”

    I can relate to what you are saying because I remember sitting in church once and they were talking about pride, wrong motives, and how the big deal in the world is basing everything on how it contributes to self esteem. I had a sudden visual of a sidewalk; some people were way above the sidewalk and thought it all about them; they were full of themselves. Others were standing on level ground and had reasonable confidence that was healthy and not prideful. I was standing below the sidewalk in the subterranean sewer system; my confidence and sense of value were so far below the sidewalk that I needed help just to get up onto the sidewalk level. As I often experienced, the things they were saying were right as far as scriptural principle, but they were assuming that everyone came from a solid Christian background and had the same rate of biblical literacy and the same understanding which of course is not true. Jesus didn’t speak to every person the exact same words and way and neither did Paul.

    I had the opposite problem in some respects. I had none of the reasonable confidence we ought to have where we might say ‘I am okay, God doesn’t make junk”. I used to have a sweatshirt with that slogan on it but I didn’t really believe it. Without some degree of confidence we won’t do anything. My talents and gifting come from God, so even if I have confidence in God, at some point I still have to own those talents – these abilities to write, draw and sing, and having a way with people are an important part of who God made me to be – and act on them. I am still involved. I don’t think true humility is acting as if I don’t exist and only Jesus does, any more than acting as if I exist and Jesus does not.

    In Isaiah 51 :23 God is talking about Israel’s oppressors and mentions how they said to them “Lie down that we may walk on you”. It’s interesting that God is not speaking of this as a good thing or a right thing for Israel to have complied with. Though the context in this portion seems to be that Israel had drunk the cup of God’s fury, He refers to how they were treated by their oppressors and says He is going to put that cup in the oppressor’s hands. Clearly God doesn’t approve of His people being treated as if are worthless and the ones doing it will be punished. In Galatians 6:4, Paul said that each should test their own work and then they would have reason to boast in themselves alone and not in another. Clearly a sense of accomplishment and even a right sort of pride in our abilities and work is permissible.

    Does that help provide some balance?

    • Finding Answers

      Kind Of Anonymous commented (25TH SEPTEMBER 2019 – 9:10 AM) “…..Modern day western teachers often fail to consider who might be listening to them…..”

      ^That.

      In the same comment, Kind of Anonymous commented “….I was standing below the sidewalk in the subterranean sewer system; my confidence and sense of value were so far below the sidewalk that I needed help just to get up onto the sidewalk level…..”

      ^That.

      In the same comment, Kind of Anonymous commented “….Jesus didn’t speak to every person the exact same words and way and neither did Paul.”

      ^That.

      In the same comment, Kind of Anonymous commented “….I had none of the reasonable confidence we ought to have where we might say ‘I am okay, God doesn’t make junk”…..”

      ^That.

      In the same comment, Kind of Anonymous commented “……My talents and gifting come from God, so even if I have confidence in God, at some point I still have to own those talents……”

      ^That.

      In the same comment, Kind of Anonymous commented “…..I don’t think true humility is acting as if I don’t exist and only Jesus does, any more than acting as if I exist and Jesus does not.”

      Balance is needed with ^That.

      In the same comment, Kind of Anonymous commented “…..God doesn’t approve of His people being treated as if are worthless…….”

      ^That.

      In the same comment, Kind of Anonymous commented “…..a sense of accomplishment and even a right sort of pride in our abilities and work is permissible.”

      ^That.

    • Thanks Kind of Anonymous. Yes your comment provides good balance.

      I LOVE the image you gave of the sidewalk – the people way above the sidewalk, the people on the sidewalk, and the people like yourself who were down in the sewer way below the sidewalk. The image sums it up perfectly. Thank you God, and thank you KoA for passing it on to the rest of us. 🙂

      • Kind of Anonymous

        Yahoo, that is good to hear Barb 🙂 Thanks for letting me try it out.

  7. Kind of Anonymous

    Thanks Finding Answers! The way oppression and darkness causes everything to be all mushed together so that it creates the work of having to disentangle the right stuff from the wrong stuff is frustrating and the iron sharpening iron effect of all of us sharing our thoughts here definitely helps as far as isolating what is solid truth and what just sounds good goes 🙂

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