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41 Responses

  1. Adam Julians says:

    It’s true that there are principalities and powers at work with the intention of silencing, stealing dignity and destroying souls.

    However to a person that keeps their dignity and instead of being crushed becomes stronger when encountering adversity, not giving up on love, such powers offer no ultimate threat.

    Faith is like an immune system. It needs exposure to bugs in order to keep it strong.

  2. Ren says:

    This is certainly not true. Myself and others… we have had loved ones “love” us by harming and abusing us, and none of us are any stronger for it. If we became stronger it was because we got away from them. Not because we didn’t give up on love for them. If anything it was best not to give up on love for ourselves, because what we learned was that we were not worthy of love, and that we were rightfully hated and despised.

  3. Ren says:

    (My last comment was to Adam Julians)

  4. Ya I appreciate that response Ren. It articulated a feeling I was having. Thanks for that.

  5. Blue says:

    I’m with you Ren, Abuse is abuse, unlike anti bodies that teach your body to heal. Abuse is abuse and it does permanent damage. Just because you survived it doesn’t mean that it was worth the pain and scars that it left behind. I am talking mentally and physically.

  6. Adam Julians says:

    So Ren, you kept your dignity by loving yourselves enough to get away from those that abused you, possibly becoming stronger in the process. And by loving yourself you didn’t give up on love. Instead you negated principalities and powers that had the intention of silencing you, stealing your dignity and destroying your soul by wanting you to believe that you we not worthy of love and were rightfully hated and despised.

    Therefore by way of engagement with your comment to me about what I say not being true my answer is to the contrary. You have in fact proven what I have said to be true by being an example of someone who has exercised faith (whether that be faith in yourself, God, support of others or something / someone else) to do the very ting I talked of with not giving up on love, dignity for yourself, and in you action of getting away from your abusers, leaving them powerless to abuse you.

    I don’t know why you saw my comment as “certainly not true”.

    David – that is the second time in a couple of days there has been a negative bias towards a comment I have made from you. With all due respect, it’s getting a little irritating. I hear what you were feeling. I validate your feeling but feelings are not facts.

    Caryn was right about respectful dialogue. I don’t think assuming the negative about what someone does communicates respect. I think when someone does something good it either negates the good that is done or has such influence.

    A while ago you kindly counseled that in online conversations I should have a thick skin and not let myself be derailed by anyone.

    Am I to ignore that advice now?

    please tell me what you want me to do. As you say this is your home and you have control over it.

  7. Just allow yourself to be challenged when you say something challengeable.

  8. Adam Julians says:

    OK David,

    I’m going to be on the level with you. I’m not confident that the way things have gone between us can be resolved at this time. As mentioned in your recent cartoon about raped women not being believed, this is not what I want.

    I hear your feeling that continues in the same manner as you thought at that time for my approach to be “highly inappropriate”. My view is that there are three times recently where you have stuck out with me.

    1. On the women who have be raped not being believed. I shared of an experience which might help understand (for me at least) what might be a contributor to the problem. TLH said something similar. Listening to her as a women I think in a post about women being believed was important. I would be an advocate of that. This seems to have been met with objection or no comment from you here.

    2. Recently there was a discussion about a neglect in church to address the issue of child abuse. I mentioned that this doesn’t happen here. You asked when have you ever done as was discussed about church, making my comment out to have been a criticism of NP. If anything it was a compliment.

    3. Above, I think what I said was good. With no reasoning you affirmed an assertion that what I said was not true. For reasons explained the contrary is evident.

    Have you any idea how easy it is for me to comment in ways that are conducive to healing e.g. from abuse that Ren has talked of in the good that I have done above and what it is like to have that trampled on and or marginalised be accused of supporting abuse / being abusive etc?

    I have not wish to continue like this. Therefore I am going to take a sabbatical. I’ll remain as a patron for now but I shall take some time to reflect and may possibly be moving on.

    I affirm what you stand for here at NP, with spiritual independence, startirising the pretentious and confronting evil, fostering healing and healthy comminity with dignified dialogue.

    I have not hard feelings towards you and whatever happens I wish you well both with NP and TLS.

    I may pop in from time to time but this will be my last commenting here in any kind of depth for a while. This shall also be my last comment on this thread.

    Kind Regards,


  9. Kristin says:

    Adam I am sorry to hear you are withdrawing from NP. I often enjoy and even agree with your comments. But not always.

    I agree with Ren here. Some of what you say is true – we can grow (eventually) into stronger people as a result of abuse. However it tends to be deeply debilitating in the short and longer term – I say this myself as a survivor of too many Adverse Childhood Events (ACEs), and multiple traumas in adulthood. I am in my 50s, I have been actively working on recovery for over 20 years. I can see that when I have worked on these things (and even when I haven’t) God works with me on transforming this into gifts. They are painful gifts but healing. Whilst what happened to me is now part of who I am I would never suggest that it would be a good thing for anyone else to experience so they can have an activated “immune” system.

    To be honest part of what is painful in your comment above is it suggests that maybe abuse is a good thing. “However to a person that keeps their dignity and instead of being crushed becomes stronger when encountering adversity, not giving up on love, such powers offer no ultimate threat.” It also does not recognise that there are many people who don’t keep their dignity, but are crushed and even die.

    This has been one of my personal struggles with pentecostal teaching and practice of faith – I attended a pentecostal church for about two years. In some ways it was deeply helpful, and even healing. They were able to recognise and affirm my spiritual gifts. However when the insight, integrity and truth telling highlighted issues within the church itself then, however gently I explained it, they were highly defensive. There did not seem to be any framework, nor much tolerance for, long-term engagement with grieving and healing. It had to be instantaneous.

    In the end I had to leave, though I cared deeply about many people there. I missed hearing the gospels at every service (most readings and teaching was from Paul’s letters or the OT) so I came to see that following lection is a wise discipline, and I especially missed Lent. I see Lent as vital to our spiritual and physical health. It is a space to engage with all that is damaged and broken within ourselves and our world. Things which will not be fixed in a minute or by a word, not even the name Jesus. Things which are only able to be healed by longer-term transformation through journeying with Christ in the broken spaces of our world (and to be honest I don’t even believe that one must know the name of Jesus to be able to make these journeys, but I do believe that Christ is a companion on the journey anyway). When I attended a Good Friday service at this pentecostal church I was stunned that by the end of the service it was already Easter Sunday, that the level of resolution to the grief and pain had to be before we walked out the door. I find Lent and the journey from Great Friday to Easter Sunday morning deeply engages with my own journey, and gives me hope that transformation and new life will arise – even (and especially) when it is not instantaneous, and I am struggling to find so much as a spidersilk of hope.


    As dawn breaches
    night’s depths
    I take up
    this spidersilk
    I am given
    to weave creatively
    through my day

    At times robust and sure
    others fragile and tenuous
    daily I spin a web
    from birth, through life,
    unto death
    oft in tatters by dark’s fall
    tomorrow I begin anew

    This spidersilk
    of hope,
    like a mustard-seed of faith,
    is sufficient
    keeping me anchored
    to the One
    who gives me life

    Never can I comprehend
    such appalling squander –
    He poured out
    his precious life
    in the hope
    of saving me
    and thee

    Kristin Gillespie © June 2014

    So Adam I ask you to please consider not withdrawing, but instead perhaps sitting with your feelings when the cartoons stir something in you which you long to resolve immediately. It is this which may be driving the comments you make which others respond to as being dismissive, minimising or untrue. There is a deeper truth that you may be missing here. Sometimes healing only comes when you sit in the midst of the painful journey and search for God. I have found that, surprisingly, in time the darkest places can turn out to be infused with the light of grace, something we miss when we rush through out of fear.

    Kindest regards,

  10. Adam Julians says:

    OK Kristin that was another beautiful poem – you have a gift!

    Seeing as it’s you, I will make one more comment.

    I hear that you have experienced pain on reading my comment. I hear that some people are crushed and I agree. This is tragic when it happens. What I hoped would be taken from my comment was an acknowledgement of the points made by the cartoon and an offer of some words of hope to anyone facing such discouragement as the Dog”. The meaning of the “however” was not a challenge to the cartoon but a compliment to it. I can’t be held responsible for any mis-interpretation of the comment or of any twisting of it to appear mean something it doesn’t i.e. that I am somehow in league with the devil as being “highly inappropriate”. A common reaction from David in his comments.

    I come from a Royal Air Force background with the motto “Through Adversity to the Stars” therefore for me there is ingrained an idea of the stars being reachable and facing adversity being inevitable on that path just as an immune system is strengthened with exposure to bugs. Relevant scripture “Endure hardship… God is treating you as his children… [it] seems [un]pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.‘Make level paths for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.

    So pain, being a path to strengthening healing, peace. The ego doesn’t like pain.

    I have some personal reasons why I could share my experience has either been of hurt, ignoring, blaming, shaming threatening and blaming by David or with his support with examples which would illustrate the kind of conduct the dog is on the receiving end of. When I have spoken this way on previous occasions words like “cry baby” “compattant” “patriarcail” “mysoganistic” “clearly supporting abuse” “highly inappropriate” have been used. I am as I say accustomed to adversity with my RAF experience and I could endure further pain but what would be the point? It only ends up in circular quarrells. So for my sake and David’s sake I am taking a break and possibly will be moving on.

    Nevertheless I am touched with your comment and would happy to have you as a friend on facebook Kristin. If it would be to your liking then send me a freind request and we can chat further there.

    David, one final word from me for now.

    Of particular concern to me was your comment about me being “highly inappropriate” in your view with regard to how I commented on the cartoon on the issue of a woman being raped not being believed.

    Obviously, I reject your accusation.

    Can I ask for something for your consideration? You wrote:

    “Control doesn’t always appear like a dictator. It can also appear like a lover…
    … a lover who feels its his right to never have his feelings hurt or to experience disappointment.”


    Nakedpastor David Hayward July 11, 2015 at 2:37 pm “I have control over my own house”

    I am on your team David. I agree that control can appear as a lover who feels a right not to experience hurt or disappointment. I affirm your control over your own house and honour the culture of nakedpastor.

    Previously we have agreed:

    Adam Julians
    January 19, 2013 at 10:56 am
    While this cartoon focussed on a lady, the same is true for gentlemen… I hope it can be accepted that it works both ways.
    January 19, 2013 at 11:18 am
    absolutely adam.

    It follows therefore that to avoid becoming controlling as men it’s important for us to listen to and be attentive towards women. One of the key influential figures in feminism has been Germaine Greer. It’s important therefore that her words be considered.

    “I find that those men who are personally most polite to women, who call them angels and all that, cherish in secret the greatest contempt for them.”
    ― Germaine Greer, The Female Eunuch

    If I return to comment on NP, I want this to be considered please and I want any false accusations of abuse to be confronted by you.

    Thank you for your consideration and understanding.

  11. Caryn LeMur says:

    Adam: What do you mean by ‘principalities and powers’? Is that a spiritual definition of adversity?

    Your RAF example would most likely define ‘adversity’ in non-spiritual terms.

    So, please offer a definition.

  12. Gary says:

    Some people simply cannot tolerate having their views or comments challenged without reams and reams of melodrama. sigh

  13. Adam Julians says:

    Caryn – nice try – I’m not going to give you ammunition for you to make it appear that I am being “calloused and self centered” or likewise to affirm the “not true” feeling groupthink.

    Free thinkers spiritual or otherwise have always been a threat to the system. The most convincing lies of the system can be that you are not pat of a system but free when you are being controlled and your freedoms limited to groupspeak. The evil principalities and powers that try to steal your freedom can manifest in an obvious human system or a system of conformity to the “spirit of the age” a particular phlosphy,idelogy. etc.

    You have patriarchy down as evil Caryn. We know there is good and evil in everyone. May I suggest the next time you are tempted to ask a loaded question that you self examine to the same extent that you “observe” what happens with others.

    It’s better to have self control than control a large numner of cities.

    Against my better judgement I engaged with your comment Caryn.

    That’s it I’m done now.

    It’s my choice to take a sabbtical. I respectfully request that you respect and affirm that choice in keeping with your advocacy for respectful dialogue. I defend your freedom to chose whether to do that or not.

    To anyone who doesn’t respect that and/or wishes to make out that the way I have commented here has been inappropriate with not justification, reason or evidence other than conformity to groupthink then first, they have my pity for their lack of freedom. Second they can take a ticket, get in line and with the greatest respect, kiss my arse.

    Krisitin thanks again for your comment, I hear what you say about being sorry to hear of my decision. I am sorry that the decision was necessary.

    I have not hard feelings towards anyone and I wish you all the best.

  14. Adam Julians says:

    And there we are Gary predictably popping up – yawn. Not like we haven’t heard similar before. Of course you will ackowledge a difference between “challenge” done with respect and the kind of conduct show in the cartoon.

    May I remind you that what I expressed hope for healing (meaning healing in relationship) between us you said no and that we are not “brotherhood” as in holding to being born with equality and dignity capable of reason and conscience in article 1 of UDHR. I held out an olive branch and you refused it. .

    At the same time you will remember your comment about things not needing to be combative between us (which I agree with) and your want for me to leave you alone. While I wanted respectful dialogue having alluded to article 1 of the UDHR.

    You don’t want to “challenge” (at least not with me). You like going in for the kill and delight in it.

    So you got what you wanted. With me taking a sabbatical i will indeed be leaving you alone while I am away. I guess that will make you happy.

    Well, at least one of is then I suppose.

  15. Gary says:

    You are too predictable Adam. We both know you are not leaving. This is what the 4th or 5th time you have made such a grand declaration? I’m actually hoping you mean it this time. Your nonsense every time one of your comments is challenged is exhausting. (Among other things like childish) Your continuing to have to keep responding to everyone following your repeated claims otherwise is clear evidence that this “sabbatical” is no different than before. Simply a grandstanding effort to garner attention and some sort of pity or sympathy. If you really are going to stop your nonsense then stop already. The melodramatics are not fooling anyone. And you certainly have no desire for respectful dialogue with me so you can drop that line of bullshit. Your idea of respectful dialogue always ends the moment someone disagrees with you.


  16. Adam Julians says:

    “too predicable”

    Gary you have to copy the word “predictably”.
    Do you have any original thought or is all you do plagiarise others and pass them off as your own? You did the same with David’s comment about challenge.

    It wouldn’t be dignfying to me or to you to even read the rest of you comment let alone engage with what inevitably will be another diatribe, going in for the kill.

    What do you get out of it? A chance to embarrass me and impress David, Caryn and others?

    You know the sad thing about this? You are going to wake up in a few weeks, months, or years time realising that all the energy you have put into this kind of thing with people could have been used for having great times of mutual edification and building, healing instead of tearing down and harming relationship.

    But hey if you have a problem with that I refer you to the take the ticket comment above and say your “leave me alone” request was nothing but a whine, having no meaning, serving no purpose and having no right to be respected as a request.

    I’m taking this sabbatical out of my own choice not because of what you may want.

    I have no hard feelings towards you and I wish you well.

    Take care.

  17. Gary says:

    You’re still here….LOL. And yet another long melodramatic response.


  18. Adam Julians says:

    Derisory laughter as I have said before where you you were proud of yourself and should be ashamed about what you were doing with that instead of being attentive to the needs after women that have been raped being believed. It’s the same conduct.

    Also much of what is depicted in the cartoon being played out shaming etc. For the sake of your dignity, I will stop here with my last comment to you. Say whatever you like, you do realise that in shaming, if you act in a way that you accuse, you lose dignity by bringing shame on yourself.

    You have had a cavalier attitude to abuse at these times. None of this honours the brave sharing of Ren above or did so with the before.

    As mentioned before, someone once said, if you wrestle with a pig, you both get dirty and the pig enjoys it.

    Circular arguments affiming what I mentioned in giving reason for taking a sabbatical and my decision to go ahead with it.

    I don’t know why you do it. All that happens is I get stronger, my skin gets thicker an I am less likely to let you derail me.

  19. Caryn LeMur says:

    Adam: Thank you for the definition. I lean a bit the other way.

    Concerning ‘principalities and powers’, I actually tend to not believe in Satan or evil spirits as being very active.

    I have seen the vast majority of bullying come from human beings (believers or non-believers) that crave power/status/control, and cannot share power/status/control.

    The adversity that makes a more profound character, in my mind, is the self-accepted and self-paced adversity.

    For example, in your RAF career, they were encouraging you to accept adversity as normal (par) for the course. In my military career, that sort of adversity did help make a person stronger. It built character. But… in my military career I was also being trained to study adversity, understand a plan of action, and execute my plan in small steps.

    So, adversity that is self-accepted and self-paced is much more like a ‘challenge’ that makes me (and perhaps others) much stronger.

    However, the bullying adversity (as depicted in the cartoon) does not make me stronger. I find that it makes me angry or, causes me to become centered, and simply deal with them via a type of Aikido philosophy.

    Bullying adversity does not build me up, and (because I handle it fairly well), it does not tear me down. It is an interruption that gives insight into the bully.

    And, unfortunately, the majority of people I have met are not trained in staying centered by their family, or careers, or even counselors. Bullying adversity truly harms them. It damages their faith.

    So, I offer that we should distinguish between the two types of adversity: the self-accepted and self-paced ‘adversity’, which becomes a challenge to be handled and builds confidence; and the second type of adversity that is designed to do harm to us, no matter our response.

  20. Gary says:

    Oh look…still here…LOL

    behaving or occurring in a way that is expected.

  21. Gary says:

    BTW – You define the cartoon EVERY time someone disagrees with you. That is what makes it so funny.


  22. Adam Julians says:

    Gary – you conduct is that of a troll. My mistake has been to feed you. I do have a problem with that and addiction here. This is my problem. First part in solving a problem is knowing what the problem is. With addiction, there are way of dealing with it . I am going to try abstinence. Though I might have setbacks along the way to healing from it.

    Caryn – that is very interesting that you as someone who openly is a follower of Jesus (a brave thing to confess to in environments such as this) tend not believe Satan or evil spirits being very active. Of course you will be aware that this is not in keeping with the tenets of the Christian faith that many hold to of any battle being against dark forces in the world and spirits in the heavenly realms – principalities and powers. A family that is divided in battle cannot survive this.

    And here the rubber hits the road with the big “but” in your comment. In your military career – as if being trained to study adversity, understand a plan of action, and execute a plan in small steps applies to you experience but not that of the Royal Air Force. The “but” is a non-issue, it’s would be silly to think that what you talk of does not happen in the RAF.

    I am sorry to read of the bullying not making you stronger. When I was bullied growing up, my mother said I needed to go back and stand up to the bullies that I had responsibilities to my siblings to do that for them too as the eldest. And so I did and I took pride in myself for doing so. In the RAF I learned to use a minimum amount of force to achieve an objective and honour, strengthening of character in sacrificing, giving up personal rights for the greater purpose of defence of the country. As a street pastor I learned to walk away form a fight in order to preserve the hard earned good reputation of Street Pastors and ensure that as such there could be caring listening and helping for clubbers on a busy Friday and Saturday night and good relationships with police and local government so folks could be kept safe and be served.

    The acutaul bullying is not building up and if that is what you have taken me to mean from anything I have written then you have misunderstood. It what one does with it that determines the outcome, whether one is crushed by it or in the case of being a follower of Jesus one holds to “a bruised reed he will not break, a smoldering candle he will not snuff out”. To keep going, to be “strong in the Lord” and be resistant to “the enemy” (and the enemy not being people but what is behind the principalities and powers) and what others meant for harm God meaning for good. As Jesus said to his disciples if you are not welcomed in a town give a warning that an outcome awaits the town that is worse than it was for Sodom and Gamorrah and shake the dust off your sandals as a testimony against them.

    So there is not a disagreement as far as your conclusion stands re differentiating between bullying with the intention of silencing, stealing dignity and destroying souls, the kind that intends to harm us and that “adversity” that is a challenge to be handled to build us up. Whether the latter be about “self” as you put it or in healthily coming together interdependently to work as allies.

    As it it clear of our differences of views over “principalities and powers” it would seem that we would have a different perspective on how to go about this. This offers an explanation of where we differ in perception of where evil lies. You focus on patriarchy. I say that radical feminism say, has evil in it. I say we all have good and evil and to ignore all sorces of evil and focus on one place in which it eminates from is to allow evil to gain a foothold.

    One symptom of that in treating a fellow human as “the other” dehumanising name calling, labelling etc as in the cartoon. So it make it OK to treat them a certain way, an honourable task of eradicating them as it is an honourable but dirty job to eradicate a rat infestation, taking pride in the job when the job is neither honourable or deserving of pride but shameful and dehumansing to the one doing the dehumanising as well as to the one being dehumanised.

    It is a trick of powers to make it feel that right is being done and to the misguided powerful to feel that this is OK when it isn’t.

  23. Gary says:

    Oh…still here I see. LOL

    Of course you know I’m not a troll. My contributions on this blog have been extensive and substantive over the course of several years. But I do tire of your drama and nonsense every time someone hurts your little feelings by actually having the audacity to disagree with you..

    I do agree with you though in that you are an addict. 😉

  24. Caryn LeMur says:

    Adam: I think you are correct that I focus on changing people much more than defeating the ‘principalities and powers’ that are behind the people.

    I do not see equal amounts of evil in every person. I see people, either believers or non-believers, as basically good and beautiful people. Very complex. And, if they have chosen behaviors that ‘steal, kill, or destroy’, then I speak against those behaviors. My view here is very different from the view of some of my religious friends -who see people as intrinsically broken.

    I see people as able to change their destructive behaviors.

    When I examine the emphasis of Jesus, I see a minor emphasis on battling the ‘principalities and powers’. Rather, I think He defeated them at the cross and resurrection.

    I see a huge emphasis on changing behaviors. Indeed, the bulk of the Sermon on the Mount is about changing focus, behaviors, and priorities… in the person.

  25. Adam Julians says:

    Yes I confess to having been addicted and having an issue. Does that make me “an addict”.

    Possibly, hopefully not.

    Time will tell and whether I get withdrawal symptoms from NP or whether it ends up being a weigh off my shoulders for me I guess will tell the truth.

    You have called me a “cry baby”. Little “feelings” is consistent with that. So I guess that would be a “challenge” you are offering then, nothing to do with shaming acting like a troll? And my saying anything about that is not a challenge to you but a symptom of being a “cry baby”?

    Is that true?

    You say thing don’t have to be combative between us if I “leave you alone?” Well, if I did then there wouldn’t be combativeness between us, that’s true.

    So – there is elements of truth in what you say Gary.

    As for drama yup it is dramatical to experience events as depicted in the cartoon and to engage with anyone who’s conduct aggravates rather than helps when sharing of such events. But then for me to talk like this is to be more of a “cry baby”, right?


    On the other hand what could be happening is consistent with what Kristine has talked about and Shazza. i.e. being criticized, not believed etc.

    January 16, 2016 at 2:44 am
    Adam, what a load of rubbish those people told you! All of that was abuse, and just because the person doing the abuse is a woman does not make it ok. How does a child (M or F) have the power? It’s a terribly painful thing when you open up about abuse from the past, and it is used to abuse you again in the present.
    Please take care. Hope for a healing journey endures…
    Kindest regards, Kristin

    Shazza tha dazzla
    February 14, 2016 at 8:59 am
    I realize Adam we’re digressing from the original cartoon, but I was very moved by your story and I’m sorry you have had to suffer abuse. In my line of work, I’ve heard terrible stories from children who have had to endure unspeakable things at the hands of both women and men. The ones I see are mostly the result of serious drug addiction. Unbelievably cruel people..
    If you’ve been misunderstood or mistreated as a result of disclosing your abuse, I ‘m very sorry. The thing is, again in my experience, it’s rare for adult survivors NOT to be misunderstood, criticized, shut down or disbelieved. And that’s really unfair. Pain on top of pain. I hope you’re able to find more people who do validate your feelings. Like Kristin.

    I do’t care who is wrong and who is right. At the same time I don’t want these kind of conversations any more. I want conversations where there is respect.

    If and/or when I have ever failed to do so with you Gary, I apologise.

    What I think I will do is follow Shazza’s wishes and look for people who validate my feelings.

    Anyway, this has got off topic again as has our conversations previously. I appreciate David’s indulgence of that and I have no wish to dishonour his hospitality by taking up more time this way.

    Instead, I’ll quote what I hope will be an encouragement for anyone who has been or is facing treatment like the “dog” in the cartoon.

    “You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive… Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends” Martin Luther King 1963 Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.

  26. Gary says:

    Adam, Let me tell you again why I do not believe you when you say you want conversations where there is respect. And I’m dropping the mocking tone in the hopes you will actually listen.

    Respect requires engaging someone in a manner that allows them to question or even disagree with you. Perhaps even strongly object to your stated view. But every time someone does so with you it is taken as an offense. Then you typically respond with long examples of how you have been treated unfairly by one person or another. This type of response immediately kills the actual discussion of ideas and makes it about you and hurt feelings. No one wants to engage a person and their ideas when every challenge of those ideas is met with cries of being treated unfairly. When I say it is childish it is because I truly believe it is. The lack of ability to engage with those who disagree, even strongly, without resorting to the woe is me routine is representative of someone who lacks the maturity to engage in constructive discourse. You actually make some good points. But it does not matter when you choose to behave the way you do whenever your comment is challenged. I believe you seek to dominate this blog and have actually been a great detriment to healthy dialogue here because of this.

    You say you want respect? Then show enough respect to others to stop the whining when they refute you. Only then will you have the kind of dialogue you claim to seek.

  27. Adam Julians says:

    Caryn there are some things we are not dissimilar in the way we see things.

    I think human are or have been created good – the Genesis account talks of that. So people can be “good and beautiful”. The reality is that there are measures of good and evil to varying degrees in all of us. Your comment affirms that truth. Therefore to consider oneself either superiour to “the other” or inferiour to someone one looks up to is folly.

    Brokenness with you “religious” friends – I suspect you are picking up on the idea of all being sinners. Truth is we are part sinner, part righteous. Obviously no-one is all “good and beautiful”. Jesus himself said that no-one is good other than God.

    Your approach with principalities and powers worries me however. I don’t think what Jesus did with them was “minor” in the slightest. The beattitudes yes – encouragement to those suffering but also he confronted powers throughout his ministry – rude and shockingly at times. The “gentle Jesus meek and mild” is not the full picture of Jesus and it would be a mistake to miss out him being lion as well as lamb.

  28. Adam Julians says:


    I defend your right to freedom of expression whether how you comment is edifying or damaging to me personally.

    I apologised to you. I’ll leave it at that.

  29. Gary says:

    Clearly that was a waste of my time. sigh

  30. Adam Julians says:

    For once I am in agreement with you.

  31. Gary says:

    Then your “sabbatical” is clearly long overdue!!

  32. Adam Julians says:


    Sometimes I can do things are not helpful for me. For example I used to ride around on the world’s fastest motorcycle at silly speeds with a club that did similar. I had an epiphany about it only being a matter of time before losing my licence, hurting myself or hurting others. So, I sold my bike, got a much less powerful one and now have just as much fun with it and going slower. It even made a national newspaper with Scruff my Jack Russell on the back. Article here.

    It might have been better to take break before now after the epiphany that was afforded me by Kristin and be around people who can validate my feelings, let in some compassion and limit my involvement in environments that require me to have a thick skin and not let anyone derail me for a while.

    But hey I’m not perfect, just like you are not perfect ;).

    One thing I have learned is that I still have a lot to learn.

  33. Caryn LeMur says:

    Adam: thank you for the response.

    During your sabbatical, please consider what Gary wrote under “And I’m dropping the mocking tone in the hopes you will actually listen.”

    You may also wish to consider the PAC model of communication. Search the Internet with “Transactional Analysis”, originally by Berne.

    Blessings during your time away. Laugh and enjoy this crazy life, and when you return, enjoy again our exchange of opinions and thoughts.

    Cheers! Caryn

  34. Adam Julians says:

    Caryn – so you perceive Gary as not having been mocking and think that taking on board his comment and consideration about communication in keeping with your recommendation is what I would benefit from.

    Interesting that you have made the assumption that I will return in spite of what I said about possibly not. Re you asking me to consider Gary’s comment, with all due respect I’ll pass on the that.

    Of course you will realise that IF I do return I will be asking you for consideration of what you do. It works both ways.

    Thanks for your well wishes – it has been enjoyable some of the time to share. Whether I come back or not, I wish you well.

  35. Adam Julians says:


    I wanted to take some time before engaging with your thoughts. Than you for sharing.

    I hear that your perception is that I come across as immature in discussions and intend to dominate the NP site. I assure you that the latter is not my intention however I do appreciate that David has indulged my commenting here. David mentioned one time that he didn’t understand why I came across sometimes. I have attempted to explain, but this doesn’t appear to have been profitable.

    What I think you are seeing in my commenting is someone who is hurting. In a “combative” exchange we have had before I expressed hope for a healing balm to be applied. You said no. David mentioned that personal healing was a priority. And so part of what I am doing in taking a break is in taking on board what David is saying and respecting my own needs. I have learned that unless I either choose to be alone or I am around people who validate my feelings, who are compassionate to me and I let in compassion, I can’t then function to be compassionate to others.

    I do have views about how you come across but will keep them to myself. By your admission, what you have done has been mocking. Therefore whether or not what you say is true about my conduct, from what you say, you have not contributed in a respectful manner.

    It works both ways.

    Before when I have talked of hope for a “spirit of brotherhood” between us you have rejected that saying “we are not brotherhood”. You have also said that there doesn’t have to be “combativeness” between us (which I agree) and you have wanted this to cease by me leaving you alone.

    OK – thing have been like this between us for years. It’s not likely there is going to be an overnight change in this or if I come back that there will be any change in things between us. I don’t want any more of these kind of dialogues I don’t care who is wrong and who is right but I am not convinced that wherever there has been difficulty between it has been all down to how I am coming across and that you have nothing to consider.

    You have said that you don’t care. OK well I don’t care about your views about how I am coming across or about me unless i know that you care. I’m not convinced that your approach is challenging in a way that is edifying for me as you make it out to be and not harmful toward me.

    So, if I do return my intention will be to again defend your right to freedom of speech whether it is harmful or edifying to me and at the same time to avoid any “combativeness” between us by honouring your request to “leave you alone”. In order to do that endeavour to be silent where I would otherwise have spoken out.

  36. Gary says:

    Oh…you’re still here?

  37. Adam Julians says:

    And you are still mocking therefore being disrespectful while claiming I am not being respectful.


  38. Gary says:

    Well of course I’m mocking. Your grandstanding and long winded rants are full of goofy nonsense and trying to make demands and set rules. I don’t know when I have encountered someone as full of them self as you are.


  39. Adam Julians says:

    Yeah cause a couple of sentences is “grandstanding” and “ranting” etc and someone showing how “full of themselves they are”.

    If you are referring to my comment before last as an example of what you accuse then I’ll always be worse off than you are in any engagement we have. You see, I defend your freedom of speech whether what you express does harm or good and what I expressed is limited by reasoning. If I have anything to criticise you about then I often give a reason for it. By your admission you mock. What you say is your opinion. It may be true that I am Immature. I don’t think I am and I don’t hear anyone else saying that.

  40. Adam Julians says:

    Anyway this is going round in circles again and it’s not what I wanted.

    I will give you one thing Gary, I respect your tenacity. Most people would have given up by now. That’s a compliment, genuine.

    Anyway take care and I wish you all the best.

  41. Velour says:

    In the United States there is a frightening and calculated spread of NeoCalvinism. Its proponents planned in the 80’s and 90’s to take over the seminaries, banish women from being professors (including conservative women) and take over mainline denominations by stealth. They have been very successful in their strategy.

    They are abusive and authoritarian. The have brought back the heavy Shepherding Movement from the 1970’s, which is un-Biblical and founded in Florida. Its founders, at least four of them out of five of them, apologized and repented for its enormous abuses.

    Today, however, via 9Marks in Washington, D.C., the Acts 29 Network (ex-Mars Hill pastor/spiritual abuse Mark Driscoll was behind that group’s formation), John MacArthur (and his Master’s College and The Master’s Seminary in California), and a whole host of other highly authoritarian, high-demand groups they are exerting a frightening amount of control over Christians’ lives and destroying any dissenters. They use Membership Covenants, claiming that it’s a “return to Biblical basics that were lost” to use it as a crowbar to have pastors/elders foist themselves into adults lives’. …about anything.

    There is a ruling elite of pastors/elders, supposedly returning to “Biblical basics” because Christians as too stupid to run their own churches where they give their time and money.

    There are excommunications and shunnings, a Salem Witch Trials II, for wanting to leave these abusive churches, for having any independent thinking, for asking questions in the running of the church, for disagreeing.

    Upstanding Christians’ lives, reputations, marriages, jobs, and friendships are destroyed by these spiritually abusive un-Biblical practices.

    There are more and more cases of broken Christians ending up in psychiatric care, needing intensive therapy and medication for depression after these abusive experiences, feeling lost, hopeless, and despairing.

    The whole thing is cultic and is a form of mind-control.

    One police officer, so bereft when his NeoCal church excommunicated him on some trumped up charge, walked in to church on Sunday when the sermon was being given and he committed suicide with a gun before everyone. They had completely destroyed this man.

    This is an incredible amount of abuse that people are going through, and no they aren’t all coming out of it just fine.

    At my ex-NeoCal church a professional woman (middle-aged) wanted to leave this crazy, abusive church for a saner denomination. She was brought up on charges by the pastors/elders that she “wasn’t submitting to her husband” who wanted to stay at the church. A grown woman wants to leave a crazy church…and they ordered that she be harassed! She disconnected her cell phone and email and moved out of the family home.

    Next, a doctor (a friend of the conservative Pastor John MacArthur’s) in his 70s, married for 50 years, faithful husband, loving father to grown children, was ordered to be excommunicated and shunned before hundreds of Silicon Valley members (people who work for Google, Yahoo, Apple, etc.). His crime? He disagreed in private with the running of the church. And they made him pay.

    Countless other members – married couples, entire families, singles (all ages, many well-educated and professional) – fled. The pastors/elders instituted a new program: you had to meet with two pastors/elders for an “exit interview” if you wanted to leave.

    I was ordered to be excommunicated/shunned for opposing the pastors/elders bringing their friend a Megan’s List sex offender/child pornographer to church, giving him a position of leadership and trust (not even godly women with Ph.D.’s are permitted to serve), giving him access to all church events and to children, telling no one (I discovered him on Megan’s List while doing a different project), and access to all events and children (without telling all adults and parents). My ex-pastors have been criticized by sex crimes experts around the world who said this should never be done.

    My ex-pastors also invited the sex offender too volunteer at the church’s 5-day summer sports camp for children.

    And of course the NeoCalvinists we’re having Patriarchy heresies shoved down our throats like its the Gospel. It’s not. High divorce rates. High sexual abuse and incest rates with these teachings. High domestic violence rates.

    Even Jesus on the cross nearly gave up. Even He asked the Father why had he been forsaken. So true for so many wounded sheep. The destruction runs deep. The spiritual abuse. God help us all.