Monday, April 11, 2011

April 11, 2011

I need to say a big THANK YOU to all the people that have sent me the encouraging and uplifting emails/phone calls! Your words of encouragement are more than welcome.

I believe that the Bible commands us to rebuke another brother or sister in Christ.
If my telling my story in blog form is the means by which God wants to use me,then so be it.

Luke 17:3-4 (King James Version)

 3Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.
 4And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.

I don't want people to think that I hate my father, even though he has done and is doing hurtful things to so many individuals and families.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that I want to see him again.
Forgiveness doesn't mean that we have to turn around and be all 'buddy-buddy' with someone.
Although with God ALL things are possible, and I would like to say that it may happen one day with my father and I.

Jesus Himself fellowshipped with unbelievers, he was even called a drunkard because he drank and broke bread with the publicans and sinners.

Luke 7:34 (King James Version)

 34The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!

Now, I'm not encouraging any discussion on whether or not we are 'allowed' to drink alcohol, but I am using this as a way to get through to those of you that do not look at the Bible and listen to the Holy Spirit for yourselves.

I believe in church discipline!

BUT, I do not believe that the PVBC(under the direction of Mike Sullivant) has done one single public act of church discipline according to the Bible.
I urge you, to ask out of the many that have been 'church disciplined' in that church, who has been returned into fellowship with the church?

Is that not the sole purpose of church discipline?

Back in 1998, there was a man that was 'church disciplined' for something I THOUGHT was legitimate at the time.
Now that I have spoken to that mans' wife, I found out otherwise.
This man was given an unrealistic ultimatum regarding his job, and was not given the chance to explain himself to the church members.

I was unwise in how I believed things were at that time...Now I know different.
Taking one man's word over the accused and not questioning any of it was wrong!
Something that people need to understand, is that questioning a decision made in the church you are a member is your prerogative.
It doesn't mean you are questioning your pastor's authority,it just means that you are making sure you have made an INFORMED decision.

Many people have said, "Why don't you just go to your parent's home? I'm sure they would welcome you with open arms!"

You have no idea what my home life was like.

I have NEVER felt welcome to go 'home'!
No matter how well you THINK you know your 'pastor Mike', I am NOT WELCOME!


Over the last couple of days, there have been some comments that have included foul language, inappropriate youtube videos,as well as immature name calling.
As I've said before, I welcome any and all feedback but that does NOT mean I will publish all the comments that come in.
I will not be removing comments for anyone from here on, as I have allowed things (good and bad) to be said about various individuals including myself and my husband Jason.

I reserve the right to edit/not publish certain comments that contain foul and un-Christian language.


  1. You asked how many people that were church disciplined returned. Answer: many. Here's the thing with biblical church discipline. First the one in question is approached with one or two and this is not made public for the sole reason of the chance the one is question will make things right. If they do, then they are restored to fellowship and 99% of the church did not know they were ever church disciplined. It is only when the one in question refuses to make things right that things are made public, just as scripture tells us. So though there are some who have not returned, the number of those that do is much higher.

  2. Rebecca "Elias" HarderApril 11, 2011 at 7:49 PM

    So true Laura, until recently I also believed the lies that PMS spread about the man that was church disciplined, I`m thankful that I never treated them unfair or shunned them... God is Good.

  3. If intimidation causes someone to back down from questioning the pastor, does that count as successful church discipline?

  4. Please Laura, don't wait until you get a phone call telling you that one of your parents may not live because they've been diagnosed with an illness that may kill them. I'm not saying you should pretend like your hurts don't exist. My parents/siblings have put me through the ringer. Made me feel lower than low. Treated me like a child as an adult. Ridiculed me and sure won't stand up for me when I'm humiliated by a sibling. But, it's devastating when you get that call that a parent may not make it.I love them. They are my family. Yes, they've hurt me. I pray for them and hope to see them again before time is up. So, don't let it ever get to that point. Pray for healing in your family despite your hurts. It's going to hurt a lot more if you ever get that devastating news. I've been there.

  5. Hi Laura. I am so glad that you finally have the courage to share your side of the story. I just wonder does your mom feel and act just like your dad towards, or do you think that she is deeply hurt and missing you but isn't allowed to show or verbalize her feeelings because she is controlled by your dad? According to the Bible, your dad will have a LOT of explaining to do on judgement day. I hope your siblings and the people at pvbc will open their eyes before it's too late. May the Holy Spirit lead and guide you every day.

  6. Keep blowing smoke Laura.

  7. Thanks, Laura! Yes, this is your blog and your story. We need to be more respectful of that, and everyone needs to realize that it isn't our job to try to nullify Laura's story or to try to shut her down. She has just as much right to speak as anyone else out there.

    Continue to draw your strength and wisdom from the Lord, Laura, as you raise your family for Him! ~me

  8. I don't think anyone can truly know how unwelcome people can make other people feel unless they've been there. For instance, I'm most definitely unwelcome in my parents' home, that was made VERY CLEAR. (Well, there ARE a few conditions my dad placed that would allow me to go back...such as, my husband being dead. That constitutes "unwelcome" to me.) The point being, unwelcome may not always be in the words "you are not welcome here". It may be actions and roundabout words, but just as crystal-clear.

    I'm really sorry about your family situation, Laura. Here's to healing and truth! *raises glass*

  9. Laura, I hope you keep on telling your story so that others may realize how controlling your dad is. I too have family at pvbc and it boggles my mind how they can be so blind and not see through their pastor who is really just a dictator. We too left a church some years ago where the deacons were merely there to cater to the pastor and his wife's every wish. I am so glad that God showed us the light. I cannot imagine how your parents can go through life not acknowledging you or you kids. Just continue to be lead by the Holy Spirit and you will have peace no matter what. May God open the eyes of the blinded through your blog. Signed "Someone who has been there."

  10. True leadership sets the example. You can not push a chain, you pull it. look whats happening in the middle east. There are a lot of dictators, they all rule by fear. faith lets the spirit of God lead.

  11. Laura, you are a courageous person to make this so public.

  12. By D. Cloud....

    The 20/20 report “Victim’s Forced Confession” pretends to be a fair and balanced report on abusive churches, but instead it was a hit piece against Bible-believing Baptists everywhere.

    The report a mixture of truth, slander, hypocrisy, and hatred of God and His Word.

    Let’s begin with the truth.

    The report covers the Independent Fundamental Baptist Cult Survivors, a loose Facebook network of those who claim to have been abused by Independent Baptist churches. It focuses on a couple of particular cases of sexual abuse that were allegedly covered up by churches. These cases involved married men who were members of IB churches who had sexual relationships with underage girls.

    I have no reason to disbelieve most of the allegations that are made in this context, because I have been warning for decades that some IB churches are cultish. A former IB church member is reported by 20/20 as saying, “The whole culture is you don’t question the pastor.” Another person says, “A man who is essentially unaccountable to anyone else you have a recipe for abuse.”

    That is exactly right. I have written many reports about IB pastors such as Jack Hyles of First Baptist Church in Hammond, Indiana, and his predecessor Jack Schaap who require unquestioning loyalty and who treat all forms of “criticism” as an attack on their spiritual authority. Sadly, this problem extends to many IB churches. First Baptist is one of the largest IB churches and its school, Hyles-Anderson College, has trained many preachers since its inception in 1972.

    As for the coverup of sexual abuse and immorality in general, there is no doubt that it has happened. Pastors have been “reinstated” at some other church after committing adultery and homosexuality. I think of Jack Hyles’ son, Dave, who after committing adultery with women at Hyles Anderson was recommended to a pastorate in Texas, where he committed adultery with multiple women. This type of thing brings great reproach upon the name of Christ, who requires high moral standards of pastors and deacons (1 Timothy 3; Titus 1). Every Christian is a mere sinner saved by grace, so it should not surprise us to learn that Christians sin, but God requires a lot of those who hold positions of spiritual authority. James said, “My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation” (James 3:1).

  13. Continued...
    Now let’s consider the slander.

    20/20’s accusation that Independent Baptists as a movement are a cult and are guilty of the type of abuse documented in the report is slanderous. They should have done a lot more research. The IB movement is very large and diverse. While First Baptist of Hammond and Hyles-Anderson College has a lot of influence, it is only one part of the IB movement. I have documented this in the report “What Is Independent Baptist?” Independent Baptist is not a denomination; it is simply a name that describes churches that are Baptist in doctrine and that are independent in polity.

    There are differences among Independent Baptists in such matters as music, dress standards, the Bible version-text issue, Calvinism, Baptist briderism, the practice of communion, alien immersion, repentance and evangelistic practices, pastoral authority, church growth practices, relationship with the Southern Baptist Convention and evangelicals, and other matters touching on ecclesiastical separation.

    The bottom line is that Independent Baptists are truly independent. I don’t doubt that there are “good old boys” networks that operate in some IB circles, but there are also large numbers of IB churches that are outside of the influence of these “networks.” Independent Baptists are not yoked together in any organizational sense with other Independent Baptists who might hold a different doctrine or practice. Some of the larger IB schools, such as Hyles-Anderson, West Coast, and Crown, wield influence, but only in their own circles. None of them have a reach that extends to a majority of IB churches. Large numbers of IB preachers are trained either in their own churches or in the countless medium to smaller IB schools that are not under the influence of the larger institutions. IB preachers are a very independent-minded group of men. Large numbers of IB preachers refuse to bow down toward any man-made institution and refuse to kow-tow to the “big” boys.

    To lump all IB churches together into one pot of cultic abuse is slanderous.

    I have personally preached in hundreds of IB churches whose pastors do not demand “unquestioning loyalty,” whose pastors are humble men who know that they are under discipline just like anyone else in the church, whose deacons and teachers are godly, compassionate men and women and are nothing like those exposed in the 20/20 report.

    20/20 interviewed and gave total credence to the criticisms of some people who were allegedly the subjects of abuse in IB churches, but they could have interviewed thousands of people who grew up in IB homes and churches and would testify that they were treated with Christian compassion and grace.

  14. Continued...
    This brings us to the final point, which is 20/20’s hatred of God and His Word.

    Much of the report was devoted to their outrage at the fact that some people still take the Bible seriously.

    The sexual abuse was indiscriminately lumped together with the alleged mental abuse created by fundamentalist preaching.

    20/20 would have its viewers think that it is abusive to take the Bible seriously and to interpret it “literally.”

    20/20 would have its viewers think that it is abusive to believe what the Bible says about corporal punishment. While we reject the foolish statements that were quoted by 20/20, such as spanking two-week-old infants or laying 100 stripes upon children (I have no idea where they dug up that nonsense), we do not reject the Bible’s wise teaching on corporal punishment. It wasn’t that long ago that corporal punishment was used in public schools in America. When I was in junior high school in Florida, our principle had a fearful paddle made from the end of a water ski with holes drilled in it! Most people then didn’t consider that abusive. Corporal punishment can be exercised properly without moving into the realm of abuse, and the vast majority of IB churches believe in a wise, compassionate use of the rod and are opposed to any sort of abuse.

  15. continued...
    20/20 would have its viewers think that it is abusive to believe that the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church. But the Bible’s teaching on this has been believed by most Christians for 2,000 years, and it was believed by the Jews for thousands of years before Christ came. It is 20/20’s feministic views that are the new kids on the block of human society. The Bible exalts women. Nowhere does it teach them to follow their husbands blindly. Husbands are under divine authority just like women are. Husbands are commanded to love their wives as Christ loved the church, which is a very high standard of love. Any husband that abuses his wife and who treats her with anything other than compassion and respect is disobeying the Bible. Women played a large role in Christ’s earthly life and in the early churches. It was women who were the first to visit the empty tomb and the first to believe in Christ’s resurrection. The church at Philippi started with a woman’s prayer meeting. Phebe was one of the apostle Paul’s helpers (Romans 16:1-2). Priscilla is always mentioned in the context of Aquila’s church planting efforts (Acts 18:26; Romans 16:3; 1 Corinthians 16:19).

  16. continued...
    20/20 would have its viewers think that it is abusive to preach that there is only one narrow way of salvation through the blood of Christ and that those who reject God’s way will not be saved. But to think that this is abusive is to assume that the Bible is not true, because the Bible plainly teaches this doctrine and if it is true then it could not possibly be abusive to preach it and to warn men and women to be saved in the right way before it is too late. And it could not possibly be abusive to think that those who are not saved in the Bible way are lost. 20/20 painted those who believe this as self-righteous, and doubtless some are, but most Baptists who believe that there is only one way of salvation aren’t self-righteous. They know that they are sinners just like everybody else and they know that they don’t deserve salvation and could not possibly earn salvation through their good works. In fact, they know that their “good works” are filthy rags in the sigh of a holy God (Isaiah 64:6).

    20/20 would have its viewers think that it is abusive to preach the Bible’s commands to live in a way that is separated from the wickedness of this present world system. They mock churches that encourage women to dress modestly in a society that flaunts immodesty. They mock churches that seek to maintain music that is “spiritual” in quality and to avoid music that is “conformed” to the pop culture. But the Bible says that the grace of God teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts and to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world (Titus 2:11-12). God’s people are taught not to love the world (1 John 2:15-17), not to be conformed to the world (Romans 12:2), and are warned that to love the wicked world system is to commit spiritual adultery (James 4:4).

  17. I appreciate the latest comments from April 18 (7:27 - 7:30 a.m.). Anyone who follows church news, and tries to familiarize themselves with church knowledge from around the world and locally, will know that you can't lump all Baptist Churches and their practices together. The same holds true for any other denomination, as in Mennonite, which should be noted by many who are contributing to this blog.

  18. WOW!! I to have family associated with PVBC and am amazed at the control PMS has on his congregation. We too have lost them to the wrong teachings of PMS. They don't even value family anymore unless you go to their church. We are all second class now. They can be so errogant about how they are serving God. Yet they have so little victory in their lives.
    Have you people forgotten who Jesus is? The people at PVBC must view God as rough and harsh rather than loving, tender, kind, good and slow to anger, etc. Christianity is a relationship with our heavenly Father and Jesus His Son and Holy Spirit. Where is your love,I say to all the people who are knocking Laura? This is craziness!!! How can we say we love Christ when we hate our brother? 1 John 4:20 "If a man say, I love God and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?" They will know we are Christians by our love.... This sounds more like hatred then love. Love is not allowing sin but it doesn't yell and scream and belittle a person. I do believe in discipline and shunning when done as God intended it. People will end up in hell b/c of the wrong teaching at PVBC. We to have had a very wayward child who outrightly chose to sin but we continued to show her love and seek the Holy Spirit to fill us with love for her. She was born again and fell away from Christ. We showed her forgiveness just Christ has showed us. That's how Christ woo's us back to Him. Not by berating us.
    Laura I am so sorry about what you have had to go through. I pray that it has made you stronger in your character and brought you closer to Jesus. He is the only one that can heal our wounds. He is the Great I Am. All Praise and Glory be to God for bringing you back to Him and the you didn't turn away from Him b/c of what was done to you.