Founders Documentary on Critical Theory/Social Justice

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Susan777

Puritan Board Sophomore

gjensen

Puritan Board Freshman
Considering the controversy over the trailer, I was pleased with the video. It could have been better, but that is always the case. I am thankful that they rolled up their sleeves and did the necessary work.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Pastors, elders, and deacons should together take the time to watch this documentary on the infiltration of anti-gospel Critical Theory/ Social Justice into the church. To be forewarned is to be forearmed. Make no mistake- this is not just an SBC problem. It's making inroads into the PCA, OPC, and URC.


https://founders.org/cinedoc/?fbclid=IwAR0r_grN8xIcWZ10OuKsMJzbuEWPYH23Vr24sRK3-HFd8hD1TSSOH8vbsS8
The big problem is not what Whites have done, but what Adam did to all of us in His Fall, and we need the real Gospel and not their bogus one to fix that!
 

ZackF

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I’ve used two different and fast internet connections and this thing is buffering constantly. I’ll watch it after the fanfare dies down.
 

Kinghezy

Puritan Board Sophomore
Considering the controversy over the trailer, I was pleased with the video.
Agreed. I watched with concern that the tone would be similar. It really wasn't and I think the trailer doesn't represent the movie well.

I thought it was particularly effective in putting quotes by people at the SBC saying using CRT was okay against quotes by people (in one case, same person saying opposite things?) showing how dangerous it is.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
NOTES ON THE FOUNDERS DOCUMENTARY:

In General: I hated their trailer, but I loved the full documentary.

Beginning thoughts:

Because the trailer was so bad, I prepared myself NOT to like the video. In fact, I was predisposed against it due to the trailer.

Beginning to watch it I saw that it was like 2 hours long and I thought (man, I don’t want to watch this for 2 hours). It seemed too long…. Man, this is going to be boring.

…but I only felt that way at first. And probably because I broke my viewing up over 3 days.

I watched 30-45 minutes a day until finished and I thought (at the end) that the final doc could have probably been 3-4 hours when watching it this way, or broken up into episodes. Having a course broken up over 30-minute episodes could allow even a 5-hour documentary diving deeper into these issues. So I started out dreading even 2 hours, but now I wish there was MORE.


One early criticism:

At 1 minute into the film they identified Woke-ism as THE greatest danger in the church. What? really?

Naw. It is one of many dangers, but not the main danger. But anyway, YES, it is one of the dangers of the church today. And so, yes, this video is needed. We tend to think of the particular battle we are fighting as being THE main battle the church is facing. This is a necessary mindset to those fighting those battles, I suppose, to keep them motivated for the battle.


Sexual abuse is tied in with Wokeism:


Around the 6-minute mark we get into the sex abuse issue. I had serious reservations going into this subject, especially in how Rachel Denhollander was initially portrayed in the trailer before the trailer was edited due to overwhelming criticism.

I was very relieved to see how the documentary handled this issue, however. It seemed to be fair.

I believe the SBC has done a terrible job in addressing sexual abuse by clergy. Last year right after the bad Founders Trailer was released, Pastor Tom Ascol wrote an article saying that a BIGGER issue than sexual abuse in the church was an unregenerate membership. I thought this article was really dumb and ill-timed as well, since many of the abusers were not church members in need of discipline but rather clergy and pastors who were in charge of church discipline (and in some cases pastors have wrongly disciplined church members who divorced abusive spouses). Churches with tight church discipline also suffer from sexual abuse in those churches. And a huge problem in the church is authoritarianism and the misuse of church discipline. Yet Ascol wrote an article last year that even bigger than the problem of sex abuse in churches was unregenerate people on the church rolls. Come on!

So I prepared myself to be mad at the Founder Documentary on this issue. But I turned out fairly please.

The doc displayed the statements of unsound theologians like Dwight Mckissic (spelling?) trying to tie in abuse with the rejection of women preachers. If we hold to traditional gender roles and reject women preachers, then we are more prone to abuse in our churches, they claimed. That is a very questionable claim.

The full documentary did much better in addressing the sex abuse crisis in the SBC, whereas the trailer (rightfully) got a lot of flack.


Women Missionaries:

At 15 minutes women missionaries were addressed. At 16 minutes Tom Ascol answers these questions very well. The IMB allows for women to serve but says the role of pastor is still exclusively male. This was a very good part of the doc.

I have heard much over-reaction by many Reformed Baptist churches who will not send women missionaries to the field. They don't believe in women missionaries. So I am glad Ascol stated the IMB policy to allow women missionaries but to disallow them as pastors. The IMB position is the correct one.

Lottie Moon was mentioned WRONGLY as a woman missionary who became a preacher. But it should be noted that Lottie Moon tried very hard not to preach to men. Here is a good article on this topic: https://sbcvoices.com/women-preachers-is-lottie-moon-our-standard/


Minute 27 is very good, the interview with Dr Mohler:

Mohler says he grew up in a culture where any abuse towards women was not tolerated. This was good. Traditional American culture would beat these men senseless. I have still heard of traditional pockets of America, like the Ozarks where the church heard of a man beating his wife and so the deacons (who are like elders in most Baptist churches) took the man down to the creek and beat the offender up, and then delivered the wife-abuser to the local Sheriff, and the Sheriff thanked the men of the church and then prosecuted the man. We’ve lost something in America.

Minute 30 is good in explaining how to handle abuse. But then Ascol goes back to the issue of regenerate church membership. But I ask: how can we tell who is regenerate and who is a pretender? And what of the clergy abuse committed? These are all presumed regenerate.

Again, Ascol is mistaking the issues. Ascol mixes these problems into his long-held belief (his hobby horse) that unregenerate church membership is THE main problem in the SBC. He says, again, that regenerate church membership is a BIGGER issue. Again, Ascol even wrote that article last year that sexual abuse was not the biggest problem in the church, but unregenerate church membership was. But the problem is that many of the church abuse issues are done by CLERGY, who are assumed to be regenerate. These clergy are vetted, they are looked up to…and then they abuse members of their flock. Ascol gets his priorities wrong. Healthy church discipline would still miss many of these pastors who abuse. Don’t divert the topic from sexual abuse to membership and church discipline. It is not a cure-all. Many pastors abuse their flock and even children, and they are assumed to be regenerate. And then, sometimes elders try to silence folks who speak out or, in several cases (such as the Village Church) the woman divorcing her husband for abuse is then church-disciplined. These are all greater problems than unregenerate church members on the church rolls. Ascol should have remained silent about his ecclesiological hobby-horse and stayed focused on the sex abuse issue and this was one mistake of the documentary. A very small mistake, though.



Then comes the most dramatic and compelling part of the whole documentary, a recap of the last SBC Convention. It is alarming, to say the least.

SBC Politicking (a look into the machinery of the Convention):

This was the most dramatic part of the documentary.

Minute 33 give us a glimpse into the politics of the SBC. There is definitely politicking involved and political maneuvering. Minute 35 was very telling. The political maneuvering within the SBC is disgusting. There seems an intentional effort to push these views in a way that minimizes debate. They tried to pack many resolutions together and pass them all at once to minimize scrutiny. It really shows how untrustworthy JD Grear is as a president. Next to Russ Moore, the documentary really proves Grear to be a terrible leader.

Again... I hated the Founders trailer, but minute 33-37 is what convinced me that this documentary was needed.

Minutes 49 and 50 are astounding. I am glad the Founders Doc put this in there.


Crazy James Cone:

At 58 minutes we see a shocking admission by James Cone, the founder of Black Liberation Theology that he has syncretized the gospel by bringing in the teachings of Malcolm X. He is trying to combine the Christian teaching of Martin Luther King with the teachings of Malcolm X. This shows that many blacks do the very thing that they accuse white Christians of doing, i.e., they value their skin color over their bibles.

At 1:02 Matt Chandler says some idiotic things, such as expressing a willingness to choose lesser qualified blacks over higher qualified whites just because they were black. This is not a good thing for truly qualified blacks because it casts their competence into doubt (“Did I get this position because of my skill or because they needed a token black guy?”). When Affirmative Action reigns, we start to wonder if our black surgeon or pilot is really as qualified as the others guys or if he is going to fly your family at 40,000 feet or slice you open merely because the school had to fill a token slot for a black. Chandler's comments at 1:02 are well-intentioned, but applied to all disciplines and jobs, merely makes one assume the lesser qualification of black employees or candidates in those jobs. We must maintain a pure meritocracy

At 1:17 Voddie Baucham knocks it out of the park in his assessment.


Too much Ascol:

Overall, I think the filmed focused on Pastor Tom Ascol too much, as if he is the only one against these issues. For instance, one long section shows Ascol setting up his laptop, sitting in his study. This doc is not about him, but it makes it appear he is the main champion of this cause. At 11 minutes he is just sitting there while a janitor pushes chairs and sets up, the lone never-resting warrior. The documentary featured him too much.


Whispering about sexual sin?:

At Minute 1:32 we see J.D. Grear saying more stupid things. He contends that God “whispers” about sexual sin. This stupid statement by JD. Grear really shows how unfit he is to be a leader. Dr Gagnon at 1:33-34 calls him out on it and really replies profoundly (as he always does).

Around minute 138 of course Voddie Baucham (as he always does) hits it out of the ballpark (again) in his interview with Pastor Ascol.


Final thoughts:

This was a needed documentary and I hope as many people see it as possible. The doc dealt with these issues very in-depth and fairly.

This leads me to question what went wrong with the trailer? The trailer did not seem to reflect the thoughtfulness and irenic tone of the full documentary. I hated the trailer, but loved this documentary. I know Marcus Pittman was involved somehow and sometimes has a snarky polemical tone. Maybe he was over-involved in the trailer and ruined it?

Were they trying to shock people with the trailer or to grab people’s attention? I don’t know; but it did not work. Perhaps they began with these mis-steps and the many criticisms prompted them to produce a better product? Several board members even left the board of the Founders, right? I wonder if they will reconsider now that the documentary has been shown to be high-quality and not like the trailer.

Perhaps they were needlessly confrontational in the trailer to build an interest? But not all attention is good attention, after all. We learned that as kids, didn't we? I am glad, however, to see the final product was so well-made.


Conclusion:

I do think it is time to leave the SBC. The Downgrade is happening. Kudos to the Founders for staying and fighting these errors from the inside.

My biggest takeaway from the video is that I should stay in a jungle setting and away from all the controversies in America. Every week there is a new Twitter war. Meanwhile, the world burns. But that does not mean these battles should not be fought, and I am glad for those folks called to fight these battles.

I do think these issues play out on the mission field. We have true justice issues in Papua. This is not social justice, but basic injustice as the proverbs tell us to speak against.

How do these issues tie into missions?

(1) Reactionary Americans have sent me emails because we use many godly women to teach children. Nope, I don’t believe in women pastors. But if one of my godly women co-workers is teaching the tribal youth and an adult man walks out of the jungle and sits and listen, so much the better.

(2) In the focus on social justice, I think many reformed types are becoming reactionary to true issues of justice on the mission field. Fighting child marriage does not mean you are an SJW. Some westerners are drawing false dichotomies and condemning valid fights on the mission field because they are seeing it through American lenses. The tribal folks have never heard of intersectionality, they just don’t want their land stolen, cut down in search of illegal gold, and then mercury dumped in their rivers. They are not SJWs for wanting this. They just want basic justice.

(3) There are missionary efforts focused on these justice issues, such as fighting human trafficking, etc. I would hate for these efforts to be labeled SJW or to lack support. They are doing good things. Prioritizing the Gospel does not mean we ignore human need. The Church is the answer to all of these problems.
 
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ZackF

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
@Pergamum thanks for the analysis. I try watching it again this week. I got sick of the buffering and gave up for awhile.
 

yeutter

Puritan Board Senior
Sadly this is not just an SBC problem. It is also a problem for the PCA, whether they know it or not.
After an Urbana Conference a few years ago, I said that Critical Race Theory seemed to have infected InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.
Ratio Christi does not seem to be similarly infected. I wonder if that is why Ratio Christi is growing on so many University campuses. https://ratiochristi.org
 

Bill The Baptist

Puritan Board Graduate
I believe the SBC has done a terrible job in addressing sexual abuse by clergy.

What many people fail to understand is that the SBC is not a denomination. The SBC has zero oversight over the churches, and so what precisely do people think they should have done? It is up to the individual SBC churches to deal with these kinds of issues.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
What many people fail to understand is that the SBC is not a denomination. The SBC has zero oversight over the churches, and so what precisely do people think they should have done? It is up to the individual SBC churches to deal with these kinds of issues.

Sounds like a poor excuse.

They can expel churches from the SBC who fail to adopt solid child protection policies. They can create a registry of churches where abuse has not been handled well, a referral service for when pastors change churches within the SBC. A red flag system for offender pastors and they can not recognize their ordination. They can implement policies within the IMB and NAMB. There is tremendous "soft power" of persuasion. They can provide free training for SBC pastors on how to safeguard their churches.


In Reformed Baptist churches several ARBCA pastors also pulled that excuse as well last year. It just doesn't fly. A few years ago ARBCA dis-associated with many churches who could not sign an additional confession-level document outlining their approved version of divine impassibility. And so many churches were forced to act or no longer be in ARBCA, and yet a child abuse happens a few years later, and I heard two ARBCA pastors saying, "Well, we are not a denomination, so we couldn't really do anything...etc"

There's plenty that can be done.
 

Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
What many people fail to understand is that the SBC is not a denomination. The SBC has zero oversight over the churches, and so what precisely do people think they should have done? It is up to the individual SBC churches to deal with these kinds of issues.

It sure looks like people are trying to change that. (Plus, SBC leaders and others have referred to it as a denomination for years.)

This credentials committee that is being formed to deal with churches that have mishandled sexual abuse cases is also going to field inquiries about doctrinal deviation. Some are looking to kick out churches with bad doctrine. What the basis for that would be is anybody’s guess since no church has to affirm any version of the Baptist Faith and Message to be in cooperation with the SBC.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
It sure looks like people are trying to change that. (Plus, SBC leaders and others have referred to it as a denomination for years.)

This credentials committee that is being formed to deal with churches that have mishandled sexual abuse cases is also going to field inquiries about doctrinal deviation. Some are looking to kick out churches with bad doctrine. What the basis for that would be is anybody’s guess since no church has to affirm any version of the Baptist Faith and Message to be in cooperation with the SBC.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
They are tearing apart on dispute on Calvinism, yet promoted social justice Gospel and have a self proclamed prophet as new President of SBC.
 
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Bill The Baptist

Puritan Board Graduate
Sounds like a poor excuse.

They can expel churches from the SBC who fail to adopt solid child protection policies. They can create a registry of churches where abuse has not been handled well, a referral service for when pastors change churches within the SBC. A red flag system for offender pastors and they can not recognize their ordination. They can implement policies within the IMB and NAMB. There is tremendous "soft power" of persuasion. They can provide free training for SBC pastors on how to safeguard their churches.


In Reformed Baptist churches several ARBCA pastors also pulled that excuse as well last year. It just doesn't fly. A few years ago ARBCA dis-associated with many churches who could not sign an additional confession-level document outlining their approved version of divine impassibility. And so many churches were forced to act or no longer be in ARBCA, and yet a child abuse happens a few years later, and I heard two ARBCA pastors saying, "Well, we are not a denomination, so we couldn't really do anything...etc"

There's plenty that can be done.

I'm not saying there is nothing that can be done, I'm simply pointing out that it is not analogous to the situation in the RC church because the same power structure is just not in place.
 

Bill The Baptist

Puritan Board Graduate
It sure looks like people are trying to change that. (Plus, SBC leaders and others have referred to it as a denomination for years.)

This credentials committee that is being formed to deal with churches that have mishandled sexual abuse cases is also going to field inquiries about doctrinal deviation. Some are looking to kick out churches with bad doctrine. What the basis for that would be is anybody’s guess since no church has to affirm any version of the Baptist Faith and Message to be in cooperation with the SBC.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

The SBC has always had the power to kick any church out, but this is simply a reactionary measure and not a preventative one.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
The SBC has always had the power to kick any church out, but this is simply a reactionary measure and not a preventative one.

As preventative measures, the SBC could require all SBC churches to have a solid child safety policy governing the church to be admitted to the SBC. To have background checks of everyone who deals with children. There are measures that could be taken.
 

Bill The Baptist

Puritan Board Graduate
As preventative measures, the SBC could require all SBC churches to have a solid child safety policy governing the church to be admitted to the SBC. To have background checks of everyone who deals with children. There are measures that could be taken.

Certainly, but who precisely would enforce this and ensure compliance? There simply isn’t anyone who could or would because the SBC is not a regulatory agency. It is simply a cooperation of independent churches who pool resources for missions and education. I’m certainly not disagreeing with you that churches should implement these things, but it still has to ultimately be up to the individual church in Baptist polity. The SBC can only make suggestions and then simply remove churches from membership if they ignore those suggestions, but they have no authority to compel anything and that is quite by design.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Certainly, but who precisely would enforce this and ensure compliance? There simply isn’t anyone who could or would because the SBC is not a regulatory agency. It is simply a cooperation of independent churches who pool resources for missions and education. I’m certainly not disagreeing with you that churches should implement these things, but it still has to ultimately be up to the individual church in Baptist polity. The SBC can only make suggestions and then simply remove churches from membership if they ignore those suggestions, but they have no authority to compel anything and that is quite by design.

It is soft power.

For that matter, how can a pastor really "regulate" people away from the Lord's Supper if they try to partake by force? Call the cops? No, you bar the table by announcement. I suppose we could wrestle the wafer out of somebody's hands, too, but most "regulation" is verbal and through common agreement.

We have at our disposal the powerful measure of transparency and public recognition and shame. If despised discernment bloggers can levy that power sometimes for good and expose evils within the church, then certainly a Convention-level public announcement or list is a powerful tool to enforce a certain measure of conformity on child safety issues. Would you want your church called out for mishandling or covering up child sexual abuse, after all?

And of course, when it comes to abuse issues, the law needs to get involved. In many cases the local churches attempt to handle it in-house and do a church-led investigation, which often just exonerates the church and does not serve the victim. In those cases, if the SBC is made aware of them, they can utilize lawyers and the law, to enforce the mandatory reporting laws that are already on the books. It is a crime NOT to report, after all.

So the SBC does have a lot of power for being such a powerless institution that "has no authority." First, there is a moral authority they yield and other Christians will recognize it. And then there is also the authority of public opinion and the SBC's stamp of approval. Finally, there are some financial and legal pressures they can place on offending churches.

Of course, if the SBC fell into apostasy and, say, embraced homosexuality or CRT fully, they could also leverage that power against US (refuse to admit conservative students to SBC institutions, enforce affirmative action admissions and refuse white students due to lack of diversity, take back properties bought by the SBC, kick out professors and teachers and students who did not comply). The Left is willing to use all the force they can for evil. But when it comes to child abuse, we on the right side cannot leverage any power to protect kids?

There is also the question of donations and property ownership. Here is a story: I was with an evangelical missions org for 8 years. Donors gave to ME, but routed it through the org (the check being made out to the org, and then they designated those funds to me). So when I left the org, they claimed that the jungle house I built with donor funds belonged to the org and not me, because the checks were made out to the org and not me (even though written on the checks or along with the checks were notes saying it was for my house). So the org essentially tried to confiscate my house when I left the org. Of course, I would have burned it down and then peed on the charred remains before I would ever give it to them ("here, take your house now"), but they tried to make a legal case that, due to IRS rules, they could take a missionary's house due to the way that funds flow. In the end, the indigenous church pointed out a loophole in the MOU with the mission stating that if a missionary leaves an area controlled by that church, then all the properties reverted to the indigenous church. So on a Monday the mission confiscated my house; on a Tuesday the Papuan church confiscated that same house from the mission...and then gave it back to me. That is how I escaped the confiscation of my properties on the mission field (the local people saved me from the western mission org).

During the Liberal-Fundamentalist split in the last century, there were many battles over properties and institutional control. The same could happen in the future. So YES, even groups like the SBC have TREMENDOUS power.
 
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Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
UPDATE:

Several months ago when the Founders Trailer was released, it (rightfully) received a lot of negative backlash.

In the trailer was featured interviews with folks saying that we are fighting against principalities and powers (i.e. demonic influences), at the same time as there appeared a blurred-out image of Rachel Denhollander speaking about sexual abuse advocacy.

This caught a lot of flack and several Founders defenders said that this flack was silly and reactionary. The Founders board of six, I think, ended up with only 3 left after 3 board members resigned (if I remember correctly).

This week, the following tweeted transcript from an interview with the producer Chocolate Knox tells more of the story here: https://twitter.com/SolaSisters/status/1208864578332954626

Several people have claimed that the blurred image was just coincidental, but in this interview "Chocolate Knox" plainly says it was intentional and that after the backlash he "lost" his film and had to alter the original intent of the film due to the backlash.

This means that in his original vision, he clearly intended to paint Denhollander as an agent of Satanic principles and a demonic and unbiblical worldview.

So, this reply is directed to those who were saying, "Don't critique the trailer...just wait for the full film to come out before you criticize" - this is evidence that these criticisms helped to alter the film and make it into the good production that it is today. The backlash altered the trajectory of the film. Without the backlash, the film would have turned out very different.

Instead of realizing his error, the interviewee expressed regret that his original vision (that God "spoke to him" with) was not fully realized.

At 1:07 to about 1:14 this controversy is discussed:

Meanwhile others such as James White (who seems increasingly to attack other Christians instead of focusing on unbelievers) said this about the trailer:

https://twitter.com/DrOakley1689/status/1154030998687928326

(I don't know what the 11th commandment mentioned in the tweet is, exactly. But I know what the 9th Commandment is). And of course, this is the same James White who just interviewed Douglas Wilson and seemed to exonerate him (and to my knowledge he did not attack the subject of the two-stage justification process that Federal Visionists hold to).

I believe there does seem to be efforts to:

(1) First, by one side (Chocolate Knox clearly) to put the two issues together of female clergy and sexual abuse in church, such that the trailer blurred Rachel Denhollander's image at the same time as the trailer spoke of a struggles against Satanic powers.

Some seem to hint that folks are using the sexual abuse issue as a Trojan Horse to push for women pastors. If only women were at the helm, the problems of abuse would be addressed better.

I've even heard the criticism from several that whenever Denhollander is visiting churches to consult with them on sexual abuse in churches that she is "usurping" authority. But she is both a trained lawyer, as well as a Christian, and a Reformed Baptist who has also suffered abuse. Consultation on a narrow subject does not entail that she is acting in the role of a pastor or "usurping" authority.

At 1 hour 11 minutes, 20 seconds, Chocolate Knox states that Denhollander slandered Matt Chandler. The Village Church does seem to have messed up severely in their handling of sexual abuse at their church. The Village Church really did not handle their case very well at all, and Denhollander critiqued them. The critique was fair.

The folks who backed out of support for the film after the trailer was released were wise.

But (2) Second, there are truly some in the SBC who are using sexual abuse as a reason for a more "egalitarian role in the churches. The final Founders Documentary does a good job of proving this.


--

At 1:18 of the interview, "Chocolate Knox" says that it "hurt" to watch the preview and seemed to call the opposition to the trailer to be "slanderous" (while he seems oblivious to his own slander).

A minute later he calls Tom Ascol "the federal head" of the movement against Critical Race Theory in the SBC. This language choice seemed strange, but I appreciate the fact that Chocolate Knox respects Pastor Ascol so much. Ascol is doing a lot to fight this battle.

I believe Tom Ascol would be wise to make sure who represents the Founders. They are on the right side. But it is important that they fight well and do a good job. But the original trailer was NOT a good job.

In a November 20th Tweet from Tom Ascol he links to Douglas Wilson to help prove his point. This is NOT the way to make your point. Please distance yourself, brother! You've got a hard fight ahead of you. Don't choose men such as Doug Wilson to fight beside you.


Conclusion:

Like I said above, I hated the trailer and I loved the final product.

It is now evident that the hatred of the trailer and the criticisms helped to make this final product what it is today and NOT what was originally imagined by Chocolate Knox.

It is distressing that "our" side (Calvinistic Conservatives) are not fighting these battles in a better fashion. "Our" side should also be vigorously addressing clergy abuse.

I believe we ought to be leading the charge against sexual abuse in the church. Many churches have done a bad job in addressing this issue. The Village Church has done a terrible job. ARBCA did a terrible job. Many SBC churches have done a terrible job. Many of these churches doing such a terrible job are also calvinistic and baptistic in doctrine. The doctrine in these churches is solid. And yet they are failing to protect people. This issue has been a blindspot, for which now God seems to be judging the church. The world has done a better job sometimes than the church in addressing these issues. We ought to be ashamed.

People like Rachel Denhollander have done a good job of addressing the many ways in which churches fail their members. Usually she is attacked for peripheral issues or for minor errors, such as when she called King David a rapist (although in Voddie Baucham's sermon I heard last year, he seemed to indicate that David was guilty of abuse as well...and I also believe that their relationship was coerced). It seems many folks are choosing not to hear the good she is saying, while nit-picking the minor bad points she makes. Meanwhile, folks are overlooking Douglas Wilson's decisions regarding sexual abuse at his own church and exonerating his doctrine in interviews.

Just because somebody is on the same side of the "Culture War" as us, does not mean they are good men.

--
And just because a group mostly gets things right, does not mean they are above all correction or criticism

(i.e. the Founders are great, but the Founders Trailer stunk. James White does some things well, but he does not do other things well, eg. he handles many Christian brothers who differ with him just as he would treat heretics. And his new church just released recorded phone conversations with its members, an action illegal in most States, really?!? Who are the good guys, again?).

We have got to get right the issue of sexual abuse in churches. And at the same time we must fight Critical Race Theory. Both can be done. But perhaps we must reform from the inside, first, and put our own house in order.
 
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Cheryl Watson

Puritan Board Freshman
UPDATE:

Several months ago when the Founders Trailer was released, it (rightfully) received a lot of negative backlash.

In the trailer was featured interviews with folks saying that we are fighting against principalities and powers (i.e. demonic influences), at the same time as there appeared a blurred-out image of Rachel Denhollander speaking about sexual abuse advocacy.

This caught a lot of flack and several Founders defenders said that this flack was silly and reactionary. The Founders board of six, I think, ended up with only 3 left after 3 board members resigned (if I remember correctly).

This week, the following tweeted transcript from an interview with the producer Chocolate Knox tells more of the story here: https://twitter.com/SolaSisters/status/1208864578332954626

Several people have claimed that the blurred image was just coincidental, but in this interview "Chocolate Knox" plainly says it was intentional and that after the backlash he "lost" his film and had to alter the original intent of the film due to the backlash.

This means that in his original vision, he clearly intended to paint Denhollander as an agent of Satanic principles and a demonic and unbiblical worldview.

So, this reply is directed to those who were saying, "Don't critique the trailer...just wait for the full film to come out before you criticize" - this is evidence that these criticisms helped to alter the film and make it into the good production that it is today. The backlash altered the trajectory of the film. Without the backlash, the film would have turned out very different.

Instead of realizing his error, the interviewee expressed regret that his original vision (that God "spoke to him" with) was not fully realized.

At 1:07 to about 1:14 this controversy is discussed:

Meanwhile others such as James White (who seems increasingly to attack other Christians instead of focusing on unbelievers) said this about the trailer:

https://twitter.com/DrOakley1689/status/1154030998687928326

(I don't know what the 11th commandment mentioned in the tweet is, exactly. But I know what the 9th Commandment is). And of course, this is the same James White who just interviewed Douglas Wilson and seemed to exonerate him (and to my knowledge he did not attack the subject of the two-stage justification process that Federal Visionists hold to).

I believe there does seem to be efforts to:

(1) First, by one side (Chocolate Knox clearly) to put the two issues together of female clergy and sexual abuse in church, such that the trailer blurred Rachel Denhollander's image at the same time as the trailer spoke of a struggles against Satanic powers.

Some seem to hint that folks are using the sexual abuse issue as a Trojan Horse to push for women pastors. If only women were at the helm, the problems of abuse would be addressed better.

I've even heard the criticism from several that whenever Denhollander is visiting churches to consult with them on sexual abuse in churches that she is "usurping" authority. But she is both a trained lawyer, as well as a Christian, and a Reformed Baptist who has also suffered abuse. Consultation on a narrow subject does not entail that she is acting in the role of a pastor or "usurping" authority.

At 1 hour 11 minutes, 20 seconds, Chocolate Knox states that Denhollander slandered Matt Chandler. The Village Church does seem to have messed up severely in their handling of sexual abuse at their church. The Village Church really did not handle their case very well at all, and Denhollander critiqued them. The critique was fair.

The folks who backed out of support for the film after the trailer was released were wise.

But (2) Second, there are truly some in the SBC who are using sexual abuse as a reason for a more "egalitarian role in the churches. The final Founders Documentary does a good job of proving this.


--

At 1:18 of the interview, "Chocolate Knox" says that it "hurt" to watch the preview and seemed to call the opposition to the trailer to be "slanderous" (while he seems oblivious to his own slander).

A minute later he calls Tom Ascol "the federal head" of the movement against Critical Race Theory in the SBC. This language choice seemed strange, but I appreciate the fact that Chocolate Knox respects Pastor Ascol so much. Ascol is doing a lot to fight this battle.

I believe Tom Ascol would be wise to make sure who represents the Founders. They are on the right side. But it is important that they fight well and do a good job. But the original trailer was NOT a good job.

In a November 20th Tweet from Tom Ascol he links to Douglas Wilson to help prove his point. This is NOT the way to make your point. Please distance yourself, brother! You've got a hard fight ahead of you. Don't choose men such as Doug Wilson to fight beside you.


Conclusion:

Like I said above, I hated the trailer and I loved the final product.

It is now evident that the hatred of the trailer and the criticisms helped to make this final product what it is today and NOT what was originally imagined by Chocolate Knox.

It is distressing that "our" side (Calvinistic Conservatives) are not fighting these battles in a better fashion. "Our" side should also be vigorously addressing clergy abuse.

I believe we ought to be leading the charge against sexual abuse in the church. Many churches have done a bad job in addressing this issue. The Village Church has done a terrible job. ARBCA did a terrible job. Many SBC churches have done a terrible job. Many of these churches doing such a terrible job are also calvinistic and baptistic in doctrine. The doctrine in these churches is solid. And yet they are failing to protect people. This issue has been a blindspot, for which now God seems to be judging the church. The world has done a better job sometimes than the church in addressing these issues. We ought to be ashamed.

People like Rachel Denhollander have done a good job of addressing the many ways in which churches fail their members. Usually she is attacked for peripheral issues or for minor errors, such as when she called King David a rapist (although in Voddie Baucham's sermon I heard last year, he seemed to indicate that David was guilty of abuse as well...and I also believe that their relationship was coerced). It seems many folks are choosing not to hear the good she is saying, while nit-picking the minor bad points she makes. Meanwhile, folks are overlooking Douglas Wilson's decisions regarding sexual abuse at his own church and exonerating his doctrine in interviews.

Just because somebody is on the same side of the "Culture War" as us, does not mean they are good men.

--
And just because a group mostly gets things right, does not mean they are above all correction or criticism

(i.e. the Founders are great, but the Founders Trailer stunk. James White does some things well, but he does not do other things well, eg. he handles many Christian brothers who differ with him just as he would treat heretics. And his new church just released recorded phone conversations with its members, an action illegal in most States, really?!? Who are the good guys, again?).

We have got to get right the issue of sexual abuse in churches. And at the same time we must fight Critical Race Theory. Both can be done. But perhaps we must reform from the inside, first, and put our own house in order.

Thank you for your detailed review!
 

Santos

Puritan Board Freshman
UPDATE:

Several months ago when the Founders Trailer was released, it (rightfully) received a lot of negative backlash.

In the trailer was featured interviews with folks saying that we are fighting against principalities and powers (i.e. demonic influences), at the same time as there appeared a blurred-out image of Rachel Denhollander speaking about sexual abuse advocacy.

This caught a lot of flack and several Founders defenders said that this flack was silly and reactionary. The Founders board of six, I think, ended up with only 3 left after 3 board members resigned (if I remember correctly).

This week, the following tweeted transcript from an interview with the producer Chocolate Knox tells more of the story here: https://twitter.com/SolaSisters/status/1208864578332954626

Several people have claimed that the blurred image was just coincidental, but in this interview "Chocolate Knox" plainly says it was intentional and that after the backlash he "lost" his film and had to alter the original intent of the film due to the backlash.

This means that in his original vision, he clearly intended to paint Denhollander as an agent of Satanic principles and a demonic and unbiblical worldview.

So, this reply is directed to those who were saying, "Don't critique the trailer...just wait for the full film to come out before you criticize" - this is evidence that these criticisms helped to alter the film and make it into the good production that it is today. The backlash altered the trajectory of the film. Without the backlash, the film would have turned out very different.

Instead of realizing his error, the interviewee expressed regret that his original vision (that God "spoke to him" with) was not fully realized.

At 1:07 to about 1:14 this controversy is discussed:

Meanwhile others such as James White (who seems increasingly to attack other Christians instead of focusing on unbelievers) said this about the trailer:

https://twitter.com/DrOakley1689/status/1154030998687928326

(I don't know what the 11th commandment mentioned in the tweet is, exactly. But I know what the 9th Commandment is). And of course, this is the same James White who just interviewed Douglas Wilson and seemed to exonerate him (and to my knowledge he did not attack the subject of the two-stage justification process that Federal Visionists hold to).

I believe there does seem to be efforts to:

(1) First, by one side (Chocolate Knox clearly) to put the two issues together of female clergy and sexual abuse in church, such that the trailer blurred Rachel Denhollander's image at the same time as the trailer spoke of a struggles against Satanic powers.

Some seem to hint that folks are using the sexual abuse issue as a Trojan Horse to push for women pastors. If only women were at the helm, the problems of abuse would be addressed better.

I've even heard the criticism from several that whenever Denhollander is visiting churches to consult with them on sexual abuse in churches that she is "usurping" authority. But she is both a trained lawyer, as well as a Christian, and a Reformed Baptist who has also suffered abuse. Consultation on a narrow subject does not entail that she is acting in the role of a pastor or "usurping" authority.

At 1 hour 11 minutes, 20 seconds, Chocolate Knox states that Denhollander slandered Matt Chandler. The Village Church does seem to have messed up severely in their handling of sexual abuse at their church. The Village Church really did not handle their case very well at all, and Denhollander critiqued them. The critique was fair.

The folks who backed out of support for the film after the trailer was released were wise.

But (2) Second, there are truly some in the SBC who are using sexual abuse as a reason for a more "egalitarian role in the churches. The final Founders Documentary does a good job of proving this.


--

At 1:18 of the interview, "Chocolate Knox" says that it "hurt" to watch the preview and seemed to call the opposition to the trailer to be "slanderous" (while he seems oblivious to his own slander).

A minute later he calls Tom Ascol "the federal head" of the movement against Critical Race Theory in the SBC. This language choice seemed strange, but I appreciate the fact that Chocolate Knox respects Pastor Ascol so much. Ascol is doing a lot to fight this battle.

I believe Tom Ascol would be wise to make sure who represents the Founders. They are on the right side. But it is important that they fight well and do a good job. But the original trailer was NOT a good job.

In a November 20th Tweet from Tom Ascol he links to Douglas Wilson to help prove his point. This is NOT the way to make your point. Please distance yourself, brother! You've got a hard fight ahead of you. Don't choose men such as Doug Wilson to fight beside you.


Conclusion:

Like I said above, I hated the trailer and I loved the final product.

It is now evident that the hatred of the trailer and the criticisms helped to make this final product what it is today and NOT what was originally imagined by Chocolate Knox.

It is distressing that "our" side (Calvinistic Conservatives) are not fighting these battles in a better fashion. "Our" side should also be vigorously addressing clergy abuse.

I believe we ought to be leading the charge against sexual abuse in the church. Many churches have done a bad job in addressing this issue. The Village Church has done a terrible job. ARBCA did a terrible job. Many SBC churches have done a terrible job. Many of these churches doing such a terrible job are also calvinistic and baptistic in doctrine. The doctrine in these churches is solid. And yet they are failing to protect people. This issue has been a blindspot, for which now God seems to be judging the church. The world has done a better job sometimes than the church in addressing these issues. We ought to be ashamed.

People like Rachel Denhollander have done a good job of addressing the many ways in which churches fail their members. Usually she is attacked for peripheral issues or for minor errors, such as when she called King David a rapist (although in Voddie Baucham's sermon I heard last year, he seemed to indicate that David was guilty of abuse as well...and I also believe that their relationship was coerced). It seems many folks are choosing not to hear the good she is saying, while nit-picking the minor bad points she makes. Meanwhile, folks are overlooking Douglas Wilson's decisions regarding sexual abuse at his own church and exonerating his doctrine in interviews.

Just because somebody is on the same side of the "Culture War" as us, does not mean they are good men.

--
And just because a group mostly gets things right, does not mean they are above all correction or criticism

(i.e. the Founders are great, but the Founders Trailer stunk. James White does some things well, but he does not do other things well, eg. he handles many Christian brothers who differ with him just as he would treat heretics. And his new church just released recorded phone conversations with its members, an action illegal in most States, really?!? Who are the good guys, again?).

We have got to get right the issue of sexual abuse in churches. And at the same time we must fight Critical Race Theory. Both can be done. But perhaps we must reform from the inside, first, and put our own house in order.
I'm not really sure what you meant by James White's new church releasing phone conversations with it's members. But if you mean that the church recorded a phone conversation with a church member then you are either not informed or you are violating the 9th that you mentioned. The phone conversation that was released was one with the "Bible Thumping Wingnut" after he admitted to slandering Apologia and Jeff Durbin out of envy and spite. And after promising not to do it again and to call Jeff personally if he disagreed with Jeff on something he went right back to slandering Apologia. I am no fan of Apologia or Jeff Durbin but you should at least have the facts and represent them correctly if you are going to use them to make your point.

And the 11th commandment is fairly well known amongst SBC folk it is "Thou shall not say anything against a fellow Southern Baptist."

Or if you follow Voddie, and I recall you liking him, he says that it is, "thou shalt be nice, and they don't know the other 10".
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
I'm not really sure what you meant by James White's new church releasing phone conversations with it's members. But if you mean that the church recorded a phone conversation with a church member then you are either not informed or you are violating the 9th that you mentioned. The phone conversation that was released was one with the "Bible Thumping Wingnut" after he admitted to slandering Apologia and Jeff Durbin out of envy and spite. And after promising not to do it again and to call Jeff personally if he disagreed with Jeff on something he went right back to slandering Apologia. I am no fan of Apologia or Jeff Durbin but you should at least have the facts and represent them correctly if you are going to use them to make your point.

And the 11th commandment is fairly well known amongst SBC folk it is "Thou shall not say anything against a fellow Southern Baptist."

Or if you follow Voddie, and I recall you liking him, he says that it is, "thou shalt be nice, and they don't know the other 10".

This is probably a side-issue. But releasing private phone calls is illegal is most of the USA. Not to mention unethical.

"Imagine you had a private conversation with ordained clergy, confessing your sins. Then imagine those clergy members secretly recorded that call and later chose to anonymously put that info online in order to punish you.

That’s what Apologia church leaders did when Tim Hurd called them to confess some ill-will in his heart and apologize for certain things he had said about them and why.

In most denominations, that breach of clergy-penitent privilege would be enough to revoke one’s ordination. Confidence between clergy and the sin-confessor has been considered ‘inviolable’ and has even been recognized by United States law (since at least 1813). It’s certainly expected that confessions of sin would not be made public unless it’s a matter of church discipline or criminal behavior when there is a victim in immediate danger.

The thought of the church intentionally recording that conversation as a club to beat him with later, should he ever find a need to criticize them in the future, is beyond the pale of clergy misconduct.

...unbeknownst to Hurd, the church was secretly recording his call, even though they knew that the discussion of sin would be the topic of conversation, an unconscionable thing for a church to do. Not knowing he was recorded, Hurd even eluded to the alleged sins of others, who did not agree to have their sins divulged to the elders, and certainly not to the world at large."

No matter if you are a fanboi of Apologia or not, this is terrible behavior. And illegal in many States. They posted it on YOUTUBE! There is really no way to defend such behavior.

Again,
Why would a pastor record a man confessing his sin and then post it on the internet for the whole world to see? Why is he recording people in the first place? It is unethical. Does he record all his conversations? Is this standard megachurch practice? If so, it is good reason to mark and avoid such men.
 
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Santos

Puritan Board Freshman
You're right, that is a side issue.....

I know that there was a recorded phone call that was posted on the internet. I know of the whole situation. I've listened to both sides tell their story and present their facts. What I specifically asked you was if you knew that Tim Hurd was not a member of Apologia when you falsely claimed that Apologia posted a phone conversation that was had with a church member on line. Because if you misrepresented out of ignorance it is a completely different offence than if you intentionally misrepresented the facts.

Tim Hurd is the proprietor of "Bible Thumping Wingnut". He called and admitted to intentionally slandering, bearing false witness and misrepresenting Jeff and other folks involved with Apologia out of jealousy and spite. This was not something that he did as an individual or in secret. This was something that was public and well documented because he did so publicly on his podcast. This was a many year affair/offence that he promised to stop and he did not.

Again I am not a fan of Apologia or Jeff Durbin. But I am a fan of the truth and not misrepresenting facts if it can be helped.

And are you really going to quote an article by J.D. Hall with Pulpit and Pen without siting your source as your proof?
 

Santos

Puritan Board Freshman
Also, I agree that the interview by Knox does seem to say that the Denhollander picture was intentional and that it was intentional to draw a line or paint a picture that there was something underhanded going on. But he also said that he was not saying that she was a demon. He also said that he wasn't saying that she hadn't done some good things with regards to victimised children.

Regardless you are correct in that it sounds bad.....

However you go on to say that meanwhile James White tweets.....As if this was James White doubling down after the Knox interview. However, the James White tweet was from July 24th I believe of last year and the Knox interview is from 3 days ago. Would it not be appropriate to ask James White his opinion in light of the interview?

Also, you mention again that 3 board members left founders "rightly?" to further make your point of wrong intentions but you fail to mention that two of the three are elders in a church from the ARBCA that are currently involved in what may be a mishandling of a sex abuse crime. Did you know about that? Because I'm pretty sure that the last time we had a back and forth on the trailer I mentioned this. And it seems that you would know anyway considering your previous dislike of the ARBCA.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
You're right, that is a side issue.....

I know that there was a recorded phone call that was posted on the internet. I know of the whole situation. I've listened to both sides tell their story and present their facts. What I specifically asked you was if you knew that Tim Hurd was not a member of Apologia when you falsely claimed that Apologia posted a phone conversation that was had with a church member on line. Because if you misrepresented out of ignorance it is a completely different offence than if you intentionally misrepresented the facts.

Tim Hurd is the proprietor of "Bible Thumping Wingnut". He called and admitted to intentionally slandering, bearing false witness and misrepresenting Jeff and other folks involved with Apologia out of jealousy and spite. This was not something that he did as an individual or in secret. This was something that was public and well documented because he did so publicly on his podcast. This was a many year affair/offence that he promised to stop and he did not.

Again I am not a fan of Apologia or Jeff Durbin. But I am a fan of the truth and not misrepresenting facts if it can be helped.

And are you really going to quote an article by J.D. Hall with Pulpit and Pen without siting your source as your proof?

I did put my quotation in quote marks but I did not want to cite J.D. Hall. While he is polemical and abrasive, he is correct much of the time and he has served to expose a number of bad people and bad practices. We should not discount what he is saying just because it is him who is saying it.

The facts remain:

Pastors at Apologia Church secretly recorded Tim Hurd’s confession, apology and repentance, is that true?

They then shared it with others and others listened to it without Tim Hurd's permission, is that correct?

They then posted it on YouTube. Is that correct, or not?

They have recorded past calls without the knowledge of the callers, is that true?

Are those things above true or not?

Fourth, isn't this illegal in many states?


P.s. Accusing others of slander is way over-used nowadays. Just say you disagree with me; no need to call me a slanderer.

Pastor Durbin admits to an illegal act.

"Under the federal Wiretap Act, it is illegal for any person to secretly record an oral, telephonic, or electronic communication that other parties to the communication reasonably expect to be private. (18 U.S.C. § 2511.)"

Many states have two-party consent laws as well, which prohibit taping a telephonic communication. Apologia did more than that, they shared it with others. Whether J.D. Hall is a good person or not, Jeff Durbin did an unethical and (in many states) an illegal action, in an effort to gain leverage over a theological opponent. His co-elder, James White, has similarly mistreated many of his own theological opponents who disagree with him on the textual issue by painting them all with the same "KVJ Only" brush. This whole manner of polemical maneuvering is very off-putting and gets old.

Also, does pastor-client confidentiality exist at all?

I am not only correct in that all of this "Sounds bad"...but it IS bad. These are unethical actions.
 
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Santos

Puritan Board Freshman
I believe that I have answered your question. Clearly. And you have yet to answer mine.

Did they record and post a conversation of a member of their church confessing sin? And did you know when you said that they did that was not infact a member of their church confessing sin when you said they did?
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Also, I agree that the interview by Knox does seem to say that the Denhollander picture was intentional and that it was intentional to draw a line or paint a picture that there was something underhanded going on. But he also said that he was not saying that she was a demon. He also said that he wasn't saying that she hadn't done some good things with regards to victimised children.

Regardless you are correct in that it sounds bad.....

However you go on to say that meanwhile James White tweets.....As if this was James White doubling down after the Knox interview. However, the James White tweet was from July 24th I believe of last year and the Knox interview is from 3 days ago. Would it not be appropriate to ask James White his opinion in light of the interview?

Also, you mention again that 3 board members left founders "rightly?" to further make your point of wrong intentions but you fail to mention that two of the three are elders in a church from the ARBCA that are currently involved in what may be a mishandling of a sex abuse crime. Did you know about that? Because I'm pretty sure that the last time we had a back and forth on the trailer I mentioned this. And it seems that you would know anyway considering your previous dislike of the ARBCA.

Regarding the Founders board members who left, they left Founders months prior to leaving ARBCA. They should have left ARBCA a lot sooner. And perhaps them leaving the Founders helped to persuade Founders to shift the focus of the finished documentary.

Pastor Fred Malone writes the following about his decision to leave the Founders:

“So, after I came to the knowledge of a confusing image which was Mrs. Rachel Denhollander (now removed from the trailer by Board agreement), I came to the conviction that I had sinned unintentionally in my approval and that the trailer itself committed a sin unintentionally of false witness against Mrs. Denhollander based upon the 6th and 9th commandments (see Westminster Larger Catechism; Lev. 4:2-27; Num. 15:24-29; 1 John 1:9). By associating her image closely with a confusing statement about powers of darkness, it appeared to many that we were somehow disapproving of her work against sexual abuse. No one on the Board intended this to be the message, yet it was confusing to many and especially to several sexual abuse victims with whom I have spoken. This confusing association brought into question our intentions and motives. I have been an advocate against sexual abuse, a counselor of numerous victims for almost 35 years in my pastoral work, and a reporter of several cases.”

Note that Pastor Malone contradicts Chocolate Knox's account in Chocolate Knox's recent interview admitting that Knox was, in fact, going after Rachel Denhollander. It was "intentional" he said in the interview that I linked in a previous post. So even in Malone's letter of disapproval, he says something different than what Chocolate Knox says in the interview where he regrets losing the original vision for his film.

Yes, I admit that it is very ironic that at least 2 of the men who resigned from the Founders board were also members of ARBCA for years before their church finally resigned over the mishandling of the Tom Chantry case. Perhaps they are awakening over the seriousness of all this? Perhaps they are following the winds of public favor? I don't know.

At 1 hour and 13 minutes of the interview with Chocolate Knox he outright admits that he intentionally paired the phrase about principalities and powers (demonic forces) with Denhollender's blurred image. It was a purposeful artistic decision. While he denies that Denhollender is a literal demon, he then affirms that she is perpetuating a demonic worldview that is antithetical to the gospel.
 
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Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
I believe that I have answered your question. Clearly. And you have yet to answer mine.

Did they record and post a conversation of a member of their church confessing sin? And did you know when you said that they did that was not infact a member of their church confessing sin when you said they did?
Recording and then sharing and releasing that phone call is still unethical and illegal in many States whether it is a member, an attender, or a stranger.
 
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