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Feline Faith, or Kitties and the Ordo Salutis

By Tim Butler | Posted at 7:48 PM

While I find Anthony Hoekema's “facet” approach to the “order of salvation” more helpful in understanding God's saving work than the traditional Ordo, knowing the traditional linear order still has its merit. (And, I needed to know it for an exam.)

I came up with a little mnemonic to help myself memorize it and thought I'd post it here in case anyone else might have a need to keep the events in order.

CatsCalling
ReallyRegeneration
FavorFaith
RaspberryRepentance
JamsJustification
AndAdoption
SavorySanctification
Pork(Perseverance)
GraviesGlorification

Or, so my cat told me.

The Wrong Message

By Tim Butler | Posted at 10:26 PM

So people went ahead and burnt the Qur'an today. What do they expect this will accomplish? Today ought to be a day in which we mourn a very real tragedy in our nation, not sow hate and discord.

I posted a piece about the whole Qur'an burning situation on OFB yesterday. Those interested in the topic may also want to check out an excellent letter Covenant Seminary sent to Terry Jones earlier this week.

What's Your Church Personality

By Tim Butler | Posted at 1:47 AM

For one of my classes, Ministry Leadership, we had to take a “church personality” test. It is a diagnostic rather like the Myers-Briggs, but not entirely so. In the test, which I linked to on Facebook a few days ago, apparently I came out as an ICF (“Relational Church”) personality.

If you'd like to give the diagnostic a spin, you can get to it here. Dr. Douglass hired me to write the little program that works with his formulas a few years back. Needless to say, it was rather fun to then have need of taking the very same diagnostic!

In any case, apparently, Dr. Douglass developed the test to help make people aware of differing ministry styles with the goal of minimizing the potential for church conflict. Consider me intrigued.

Unfolding My Story: Real, Live Examples of What I've Been Saying

By Tim Butler | Posted at 3:30 PM

Simply put, neither my mother nor I had a good reason to make up the claims we have made, so they have resorted to personal attacks to distract from the wrongs being done. They are attacking her because while it is easy enough to try to discredit a young seminarian like myself with unfair stereotypes, it is much harder to explain away why a life long member as well liked, caring and gentle as my mother would assert the things she has over the past year.

If they fail to poison the well, people might actually openly read the evidence I offered that demonstrates the things I claimed. Because they know I have evidence of the great wrongs occurring at that church, they have done everything they can to discredit us — and continue to do so even a year later.

My reliable sources throughout the church continue to alert me to the pastor's ongoing campaign of slander against my mother and I can imagine someone heard one of his remarks and decided to set me straight by informing me of how I could become an authentic man by recovering from my alleged “overly bonded with mother wound.” Apparently, if one's mother defends her son when people are slanderously attacking him, that means she is overly bonded with her son.

Ironically, this person trying to show me how I am not manly enough was not manly enough to post with a name, while I have put my name on everything I have written. That was the problem all along: I was willing to put my name to my claims and the pastor and leadership were not willing to do the same without non-disclosure agreements.

So, why are they attacking now? I believe they have again ratcheted up their attacks in recent weeks — for example, talking about the “the Butlers” in the context of “Satan attacking the church” at an administrative meeting last Monday — in an attempt to distract from more ominous allegations coming forth towards the church.

They have to demonize us and then associate everyone who dares challenge the pastor with us or people might start to question the mounting evidence that something is terribly wrong. Not only have numerous long time members now left the church over the pastor's abusive actions to them, now a young woman has come forward publicly alleging that when she was sexually assaulted as a minor by another one of the youth at that church, the pastor covered it up and ignored state reporting laws requiring him to contact authorities in such a case.

Rather than investigate this serious allegation, numerous people in the church have worried about whether “the Butlers” put her up to writing that. We did not — we were not even aware of her plight before she posted the review on the church's Google Maps page — but, what if we had? Would her alleged experience be less troubling if someone else injured by the church had nudged her to speak out about it?

They need to focus on me and my family because that allegation is so thoroughly disturbing. So, they put out new slanders, try to blame my family for pretty much everything going wrong and post anonymous links to self-help styled booklets on how I should become a real man.

Would they be willing to write “their side” of the story publicly, signed with their names? I doubt it, because they know I have evidence backing my writing, even if I have withheld publishing it in an attempt to avoid publicly exposing the identities of those who attacked me. They know I even offered to submit to a polygraph test to authenticate my story. They know I continue to write and feel passionately about this because they know others are being hurt and that I have a burden to speak out for those being hurt.

No matter how much they may deny it, they know the truth. For the good of the Church, I pray it will burst forth before anyone else is harmed.

Previous Posts on this Subject:

A Year

By Tim Butler | Posted at 12:46 AM

Amazing grace,

Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

So true.

Unfolding My Story: Why Christians Must Act

By Tim Butler | Posted at 5:20 PM

A year ago today, I spent most of the day on the phone. Fear knotted up my stomach as I looked towards the meeting scheduled the next day with my old pastor before one of the deans at my school. One of the mediators at the company the old pastor sits on the board of was trying to pressure me into signing a dangerously vague legal agreement and suggesting I would get myself in trouble with the school if I did not (which wasn't true, but was still unnerving to hear suggested). By this point I had watched as the pastor and those helping him mercilessly attacked not just me, but twice as cruelly had begun to try to undermine my mom.

Every time another person's story comes to light and I hear the fear, the pain, the brokenness that I experienced come to surface in another person — another victim — I know more than ever two things. First, if only Christians would take action against churches gone wrong, this would not happen. Second, as a Christian, I am amongst those who bears responsibility to act, as I will explain below.

Thomas Tweets

By Tim Butler | Posted at 5:14 PM

Somebody has decided to tweet an abridged Summa Theologica. Maybe Twitter will prove worthwhile yet.

Unfolding My Story: The Aftermath of Abuse

By Tim Butler | Posted at 2:14 PM

It began one year ago today. A simple plea that some questionable activities be stopped on the computers I administered at my old church turned into an all out war aimed at silencing me legally, vilifying me to my friends and destroying my work towards ministry. Eventually, the war grew so that it also took aim against my family and friends. I have discussed each one of those matters in the past and if I wanted to, I could document them meticulously. That's not my point today. Today, I am writing about the aftermath that makes it hard to even remember what life was like before.

The Orthodox Church

By Tim Butler | Posted at 12:35 AM

I am doing an independent study on Eastern Orthodoxy this semester. Right now, I am finishing up Timothy Ware's book the Orthodox Church for that study.

Less than a hundred pages from the end, I really think this book is worth commending. While as a Reformed Christian I have some obvious differences with Ware's positions, I think the book as a whole is very irenic in spirit and compellingly written. The account of Orthodoxy history is especially engaging and has helped me to appreciate further the rich tradition of the Eastern Church. Reviewing the ramp up to the Great Schism of 1054 and the sack of Constantinople in 1204 reminded me all the more about the tragedy of the divided church.

It seems too me that most of us, as Western Christians, have spent too little time examining how some of the distinctives of Orthodoxy might enrich our own theological traditions. I will likely comment more on the book at some point, but, for now, it suffices to say the book is worth your time if you would like to become better aware of the Orthodox Church and its traditions.

He is Risen

By Tim Butler | Posted at 12:58 AM

In the end, the plans of men can never overpower the truth of the Christ.

Happy Easter, everyone!

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