An important announcement related to the spais, permission granted to share elsewhere:
As we all know, and have always known, the things said here in Genevan Commons are monitored by Aimee Byrd, Rachel Green Miller, people connected to R. Scott Clark’s twitter gang/sect/group, and others who believe we ought not be allowed a private discussion group in which their public “ministries” are critiqued. A number of us have been subject to false accusations, and it’s been said over and over on twitter that there are screenshots that prove me and others here: “nasty” “vile” “jerk” “slanderers” “dirty-mind” etc.
Against this backdrop, Mrs. Byrd has been laboring in her own session and in the OPC to develop some way to bring charges against me and others for opposing her. To do this, they have assembled (dissembled?) snippets of this and that for years. And now, she has accomplished the removal of one of her own elders without proper discipline procedures for not adequately supporting her.
On Good Friday, members of Mrs. Byrd’s church began receiving a mailed document in which the session presented its written case against Genevan Commons to its congregation as part of its work to divest the elder who displeased Mrs. Byrd by his membership in Genevan Commons. I was unaware of any of this when it was happening, but now that they have made their intentions public, I would like to ask you all to please pray for our brother and his family and his church. He has filed a complaint against this action and more complaints are likely.
As part of the accusations, all their factual errors and embarrassing details of Mrs. Byrd’s influence over them notwithstanding, they have announced that they are in fact pursuing ecclesiastical actions against me and others in Genevan Commons. They have been being advised on these matters by OPC insiders who serve on denominational committees. Mrs. Byrd, Todd Pruitt, and others have publicly called for discipline against us.
Despite Pruitt, Byrd, Green Miller and others accusing me publicly and privately, for years, of slander, perversion, being a jerk, having a dirty mind, saying horrible things, etc, their evidence of this is nothing. You know, as they are fond of noting about Mrs. Byrd, I also am “a member in good standing.” I hold to the Westminster Standards of the OPC without exception. And I am actually an elder in Christ’s church. None of this sort of thing matters in a victim culture: as long as Byrd and Green Miller can present themselves as aggrieved minorities, victims of an oppressive system, they are allowed to say anything they want about anyone they want, demonizing all opposition. They have in fact been rewarded for it.
Despite personal, multiple requests for evidence of the things they have accused me of, they would never provide it to me so I could respond or others could examine the claimed evidence. They have not allowed me the decency of explaining, defending, or repenting of things I’ve supposedly said. They instead have continued these public and private attacks on me while formulating an ecclesiastical attack plan in the background, monitoring my posts and comments, threatening me that they are doing such, publicly hoping I will fall into disrepute, and coordinating with various people throughout the OPC. The only things I’ve ever been provided are “concerns” that I said her agenda is evil, ungodly, feminstic, etc. Yes, I have. And, yes, I will. If I will be brought up on charges for that, so be it. #ReformedDowngrade anyone? #RememberTheCRCNA anyone?
It has not been enough for Mrs. Byrd to publicly attack CBMW, John Piper, John Macarthur, Doug Wilson, and many others with her public “ministry” of criticizing the church of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is not enough that no one in the history of our Bible-believing Reformed churches ever advocated for her teachings without leaving for churches consumed by rank liberalism. It is not enough that she is supported by the biggest institutions and names in the Reformed world. She apparently will not allow people to oppose her. And men are lining up to support her.
It only takes a casual acquaintance with her writing to understand why men do this: her agenda is deeply rooted in feeling offended at how men treat her.
She admits over and over in writing and interview that her impetus for writing has often been situations in which she feels offended as a woman, slighted, or personally neglected. When I think about that, I’m sorry that she has felt that way, as those sorts of feelings are uncomfortable and unpleasant and when they arise from some real situation and are fueled by self-pity often lead to false judgements and sinful actions. And I am even more sorry that her husband, elders, the ministers and elders who lead the publishers who publish her and the ones who lead ACE, Trueman, Pruitt, and others have not realized that rather than helping her, they have extended her ego into the arena of public conflict. And I am even more sorry for the churches of our Lord Jesus who must now be disturbed further by her feelings and teachings. (For some critiques: )
She has promoted herself as a public critic of mainstream conservative Christian teachings and practices, she has frequently mocked her critics on MOS and Twitter, she has at times attacked the most steadfast ministers of our current age, and she has openly said she is presenting a new way of thinking through gender issues, one that has benefited greatly from egalitarian exegesis. It is because of that, and her unwillingness to change course, that I became a public critic of her work and those who promote it.
I will confess that I, at times, lack a temperance in speech.
I have not ever claimed to be the best spokesman against this feminist cause—there are others who are clearer, less offensive, less uncouth. I completely understand that I do not appeal to people who don’t understand the issues yet, prefer genteel teas together, or have yet to become as zealous as they ought to have been in the first place to defend our churches. I don’t need nor am I requesting public affirmation of everything I have ever said. Those qualifications notwithstanding, in relation to her errors and its consequences in our lives my speech is not intemperate. I believe it is commensurate with the sadness it will bring to our congregations and the dishonor it brings on God’s Word. Yet those contemplating how they may silence me are particularly offended at certain things—things that I believe I ought to say more plainly and repeatedly as to encourage others to say the same, but with their own voices and styles.
Let me once again publicly state for the record:
1. I think her agenda, as expressed in her books and on social media, is actually stupid—not her, not her emotions or feelings, not anything like that. Her agenda is stupid. A bad, dumb plan. It lacks a reasonable natural and biblical foundation, a faithful method of theological reasoning, and a wise and wholesome practical end. How could I possibly justify calling it stupid? Well, I’ll say it a different way: I think it is actually really stupid to encourage men and women who aren’t married to each other to have “intimate spiritual friendships” and spend time alone together. Foolish. Really dumb. Lots of other hurt-words. How can I say this more winsomely—it’s crazy! Cookoo! Really, really stupid to go on long walks with your intimate spiritual friend of the opposite sex while your spouse is at home. Really stupid to be alone with her in a car driving her to her hotel late at night. Really stupid. Stupid in real life, not in the world of Twitter grievances, used to manipulate masses—stupid in the real world where sexual sin destroys lives and draws the soul from God.
2. I think her teaching is ungodly: it does not arise from unreserved faith in God’s Word, but from dissatisfaction with her experiences. It relies on exegesis that does not start with the principle “thus says the Lord” but with “has God really said?” So, yes, I’ve used the word ungodly to describe her teaching. I really do think all of the slippery egalitarian exegetes sound ungodly, just like the devil: instead of reading a verse and thinking “how can I fully and completely believe and obey this?” They say “how can I shave down all the edges, pull all the teeth, and transform a passage that says ‘be silent’ to mean ‘we need more women’s voices?’” That’s ungodly, and I think it’s only right to call it such.
3. I think her aims and methods are very similar to what we see among secular feminists and other Marxist-like aggrievement approaches. She has played the victim in her books, blogs, and social media interactions. She believes it to be real and actual suffering for people to say the things I’ve just said. This is a victim-culture technique, where the feelings of the aggrieved are used as justification for canceling the critics. #RememberTheCRCNA
4. I think her demand that no one have private groups in which they can talk about her public books and public teaching and public ecclesiastical support is ridiculous. Many people who are supporters of Aimee Byrd are members of private discussion groups. I am happy to be held accountable for what I say here in Genevan Commons or in other even less public settings. Surely, one should first ask if it is appropriate to share what I’ve said, if in private, giving me an opportunity to also engage, but however that goes, I am accountable and am fine being accountable. The idea that I’ve tried to create a place where we are unaccountable is foolish. Genevan Commons is a large transdenominational discussion group with many divergent opinions. We’ve sought to keep it an old, settled, happy Reformed group. In life many discussions are considered appropriately private, and yet the Christian ought to know he can be brought to account both by church discipline now and on the day of judgment before Christ. I have no problem with that, and they should stop pretending that I have some secret, hidden agenda or actions.
5. I think the idea that one cannot warn against public sin and error done by a member of an OPC church would disallow all Christian conversation about our church. No church is perfect, and we ought to be able to publicly discuss publicly promoted sins and errors, especially those sold for $$$, and being marketed by the largest and most well funded and protected parachurch ministries.
6. Commoners should all be aware that Aimee Byrd and those connected to her monitor people (particularly ministers) online to make sure that they don’t like the wrong tweets, use laugh emojis inappropriately, etc. Then they “advise” sessions and parachurch leaders to mark and oppose these opponents. This is a familiar and repeated reality. The National Partnership has done it for years in the PCA. Reformed parachurch organizations do it all the time. Numerous scandals prove it. It is a feature of the current Reformed world—the people on the inside use private means to control the public narrative.
You and I, if we don’t kiss the right rings, are not free to talk.
But the Word of God is not chained,
A link to the document from Mrs. Byrd’s session: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1U6BKavPEgdED53eQuDK2YFTO8ltxi290
A link to critiques of Mrs. Byrd’s writings (others have mysteriously disappeared from the internet.): Link removed.
An important announcement related to the spais, permission granted to share elsewhere: