Dave Ramsey

Opinion: Dave Ramsey, the Good Ole Boy Network & the Evangelical Industrial Complex

By Julie Roys

Dave Ramsey is a good ole boy. And if you’re going to work for him, he wants you to be one too. Specifically, he wants you to have his “six.”

In military language, your “six”—short for 6 o’clock—refers to your back; 12—short for 12 o’clock—refers to your front.  So, when someone says, they’ve got your six, it means they’ve got your back.

And as Ramsey explains in leaked audio of a May 2019 staff meeting, having someone’s six is a supreme virtue of “hillbilly culture” (i.e. the good ole boy network).

“By my upbringing, we stand with our friends. We got your six,” Ramsey stated. “We stand with our family. We got your six. We stand with our church, and don’t run them down. I got your six, pastor. I got your six.”

Certainly, loyalty, when directed toward someone who deserves it, is a virtue. Yet as even Ramsey admits, it can be a vice.

“We are so prone to this level of loyalty, we carry it to a toxic extreme—all the way over into stupid,” Ramsey said. “Like when the family is wrong and completely misbehaving, we still stand with them because we’re just stupid.

“You shouldn’t do that at that point. But this is seared into me and into this place from our upbringing. See, we don’t—in my brain—we don’t do Switzerland. There is no neutral.”

“We are so prone to this level of loyalty, we carry it to a toxic extreme . . . Like when the family is wrong and completely misbehaving, we still stand with them because we’re just stupid.”

Ramsey’s right: showing unquestioning loyalty is stupid. But it’s more than stupid: it’s integral to every abusive church, ministry, or Christian organization on which I’ve reported.

This notion that one should be loyal first, and ask questions second, if at all, was integral to Harvest Bible Chapel under its former pastor James MacDonald.

Just days after I published my initial exposé revealing MacDonald’s rampant bullying, deception, and financial misconduct, this toxic loyalty compelled Harvest’s sycophant elders to publicly pledge “unconditional support” for their ungodly leader.

Similarly, Christianity Today, where MacDonald had good friends, published an article disputing my investigation, which included Harvest’s complete deceptive press release.

Sadly, the good ole boy network doesn’t just exist among “hillbillies”; it’s rife in evangelicalism. And this is perhaps what’s most stunning about Ramsey’s full-throated defense of having someone’s “six.” He proudly explains how he applies it, not just within Ramsey Solutions, but within what I’ve often referred to as the evangelical industrial complex or celebrity machine.

This is the symbiotic network of Christian celebrities, publishers, ministries, radio networks, etc . . . that rely on each other for profit and protection. And in the machine, friends protect friends whether they’re deserving of it or not – and whistleblowers get crushed.

For example, Ramsey talks about his support for Perry Noble after Noble was “drop kicked to the curb and fired” from his multi-site megachurch in South Carolina.

Later Ramsey admits that Noble told him he had a drinking problem and was “belligerent as crud as a leader.”

Yet, Ramsey said that when he first heard of Noble’s firing, “The first thing I did was contact him (and) say, ‘Dude, I got your back—your six. Until I have information that is different than given to me by a purple egg on Twitter, I got your back.’”

I agree it’s virtuous to be loyal to our friends when they deserve it. But to say to a powerful man, who’s accused of hurting the sheep he’s supposed to protect, “I’ve got your back,” is irresponsible and wrong.

In these moments, powerful friends need to think about potential victims. Who are the powerful people supporting them? Usually, none.

Plus, the biblical ethic is not loyalty to man, but loyalty to God and to His mission. This means when our friends sin, we call them to account. We don’t “got” their “six.”

The biblical ethic is not loyalty to man, but loyalty to God and to His mission. This means when our friends sin, we call them to account.

This is why the apostle Paul, when he saw Peter refusing to eat with the Gentiles, called him out publicly. He didn’t have Peter’s six; he had the church’s six.

It’s also why 1 Timothy 5:20 says that when, on the testimony of two or more witnesses, an elder is found to be sinning, that elder is to be called out publicly.

I would hope Ramsey, a powerful man in the Christian community, would not just communicate love and concern to a Christian brother accused of sin. I would hope Ramsey would also inform the brother that Ramsey’s first commitment is to the truth. And I would hope Ramsey would urge the brother to repent if he’s guilty of sin.

Yet, that’s not the pattern Ramsey describes.

About disgraced Pastor Mark Driscoll, Ramsey says: “Mark had a mouth on him, rough and tumble in your face, said stuff he shouldn’t say, did things you shouldn’t do. But didn’t really do anything wrong, except just melt a whole bunch of little liberal snowflakes right there in Seattle, they couldn’t take it.”

This statement is unconscionable. Mark Driscoll left Mars Hill Church in Seattle because he was an abusive bully, who had also allegedly plagiarized and used church funds to promote his book. Then, when confronted by his elders and offered a plan of restoration, Driscoll resigned, moved several states away, and planted another church.

I’ve talked to Driscoll’s former executive elders . They say that to this day, Driscoll has never gone to the dozens of former staff and elders he abused and owned his sin.

But once again, Ramsey defends his good ole boy.

Ramsey says that on the night Driscoll resigned, Ramsey called Driscoll to offer support.

“I called him at four o’clock in the afternoon,” Ramsey recounts. “I got him on the phone I said, ‘Hey dude. I’m sorry man.’”

Ramsey proceeds to paint Driscoll as a victim of the liberal media and then reiterates the phrase, “I got your six.”

This characterization is breathtaking, given the severity and consequences of Driscoll’s sin.

Ramsey then describes yet another abusive pastor he’s supported—Bill Hybels.

As he did with Driscoll, Ramsey gets the facts wrong and minimizes Hybels’ sin. For example, he says Hybels invited a woman to his hotel room, but “nothing physical happened.”

Something physical did happen. As Vonda Dyer describes on her blog, Hybels “put his hands on my waist, moved one hand to caress my stomach and kissed me on the lips.” Dyer stopped Hybels and abruptly left his hotel room.

Similarly, other women say that Hybels pulled them into extended hugs. And Hybels’ former assistant told the New York Times that Hybels repeatedly sexually harassed and assaulted her in the 1980s, including fondling her breasts and obtaining oral sex.

But Ramsey tells none of this. He admits that eventually it was discovered that Hybels participated in a “bunch of misbehavior, no actual full sexual affairs,” which is a very euphemistic way of putting it.

But shockingly, Ramsey goes on to disparage Hybels’ victims and their allies who went to the press after Willow Creek’s pathetic, initial investigation exonerated Hybels.

“(H)is former pastor, co-pastor, (John) Ortberg’s wife, and a couple of others were on the warpath to get Bill Hybels,” Ramsey says. “And they went to the elders at Willow. Willow did an investigation. The quality of the investigation did not suit the people outside the organization.”

Then sarcastically, Ramsey adds, “And so they did what all good Christians do: they turn their files over to the Chicago Tribune. And so, all hell breaks loose in Bill’s life.”

Had the victims not gone to the press, Hybels never would have been held to account. And Ramsey describing these women, who courageously stood up to power and corruption, as on a “warpath” is beyond the pale.

Had the victims not gone to the press, Hybels never would have been held to account. And Ramsey describing these women, who courageously stood up to power and corruption, as on a “warpath” is beyond the pale.

But apparently, even now, after all these abuses have come to light, Ramsey still has the six of Bill Hybels, a repeat sexual predator. While it’s true, Ramsey eventually cancelled Hybels from speaking at EntreLeadership, Ramsey’s perverse retelling of makes me suspect the cancelation was more about expediency than righteousness.

At one point in the recording, Ramsey asserts that “toxic loyalty is not called for. That’s a cult trait.”

Yet clearly, Ramsey applies loyalty in a very toxic way.

At the end of the recording, Ramsey even wades into a messy divorce involving one of his star employees, Chris Hogan. And not surprisingly, Ramsey defends his money man, Chris Hogan, against the man’s wife, Melissa.

Yet at least Ramsey is honest about his motivations.

“We expect reciprocation,” he says. “It’s mandatory.”

To me, Ramsey sounds a lot more like a mob boss than a Christian business leader. And according to Bob Smietana’s investigative report last week, that’s how Ramsey feels to a lot of his employees, as well.

That’s because loyalty is righteous only when it serves our God. It is wholly unrighteous when it protects sinning leaders.

It’s about time Christian leaders reject having each other’s “six,” and instead get in each other’s “twelve,” and start practicing some accountability.

Clip of Ramsey discussing Noble, Driscoll, and Hybels:

SHARE THIS:
  •   
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

GET EMAIL UPDATES!

Keep in touch with Julie and get updates in your inbox!

Don’t worry we won’t spam you.

More to explore
discussion

51 thoughts on “Opinion: Dave Ramsey, the Good Ole Boy Network & the Evangelical Industrial Complex”

  1. David French (The Dispatch) had an article on Sunday 17 January about shame / honor culture in the Christianity of the US southern states. His thoughts seem relevant here.

    1. Julie you forgot to mention how Moody didn’t have your 6. Another example of “the good ole boys club”. I should know it happened to me too.

  2. True loyalty would be to bring an erring brother or sister in Christ back into a right relationship with God because I love them and want the best for them. “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently” (Galatians 6:1). “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him” Luke 17:3 ESV).

    1. On the one hand, if an employee violates a company rule, he/she should accept the consequences. But if an unmarried woman became pregnant and chose to give that baby life, in any church of the 21st century, wouldn’t the members support her in that, especially if she repented of her wrongdoing? Don’t Christians believe in repentance, forgiveness, and redemption? Let’s give up using shame to manipulate people’s behavior, instead of offering them the Gospel. I call on Dave Ramsey to stop claiming to run a Christian business while ignoring central tenets of Christianity.

  3. To defend a wolf without regard to the safety of the sheep is reprehensible. Ramsey seems VERY concerned that the $$ keep flowing in, with no regard for the biblical standards regarding the behavior of elders.

    “Get thee behind Me, Satan” is not the sort of thing one says to convey the message “No matter what you say or do, I’ll stick up for you.”

  4. Julie, I listened to Dave’s talk and feel that you misrepresented him in your article. Repeatedly Dave said he would stay loyal until all the facts came out. When they did, his attitude changed towards them – esp. Bill Hybells. I think you cherry picked some statements. Additionally, why do you feel the need to go after someone whose doing so much good for people?

    1. Douglas, I was sexually abused by a Pastor
      “who was doing a lot of good for people…”
      In addition – Narcissists are obsessed with “unconditional loyalty or suffer my wrath.”

    2. Douglas, doing good for a lot of people is never an excuse for sin. King David did a lot of good for the kingdom of Israel, but Nathan did not ignore his sin on account of that; neither would our Lord, who demands love and holiness from all of His people, and especially those in power.

    3. I think you need to read the article more carefully. I didn’t cherry pick. In fact, I reported the caveats Dave mentioned. I simply showed how Dave was speaking out of both sides of his mouth. Plus, I took on this idea of loyalty until proven false. This is so unfair to vulnerable victims. Our standard should be impartiality until the truth is known beyond reasonable doubt.

    4. On the recording, Ramsey still espouses support for Driscoll, while repeatedly mocking, belittling, and blaming those who helped bring the sin of the 3 leaders mentioned to light, including Hybels, whose sexual abuse he sickly minimizes. Here, as in the Jan. 15th article, Ramsey comes across as an abusive, condescending bully who favors himself and his powerful, connected buddies over those they all steamroll over as they climb the totem pole of worldly success with a mask of spirituality, but not the Holy Spirit.

    5. Hey, Douglas. The facts had come out and Dave still misrepresented them in this speech. He said that Driscoll had done nothing to be fired for. He downplayed what Hybels did. He maligned those that bravely spoke up. It takes a lot of courage to speak the truth about a man that many revere. I know because I went on the record for the RNS article that Julie mentioned. In the same recording mentioned in this article, Dave mentions people who left the company that didn’t agree with how he handled the Hogan situation. He said they were believing lies and didn’t have a backbone. That was my husband that he was talking about. My husband never believed lies. A board member told him that Chris Hogan had an affair and Nathan was dismayed that they downplayed it and decided he couldn’t trust them anymore. The truth is, I believe my husband believes in the stated core values of that company more than they did. I’m so proud to be married to a man of character and I know he would do it all over again even though it cost of income and relationships. Has there been good that has come from the Ramsey organization? Yes. Have there also been many people hurt by the abusive behavior of this organization? Absolutely.

  5. I appreciate how you try to expose abuse in the Church. It is greatly needed. I also like the description “the Evangelical Industrial Complex,” which has been used by others for several years. It aptly describes the power which certain people and groups wield over much of the Church. However, your focus seems limited toward certain people, while giving others a complete pass. Not only that, the problems with these people far outweighs the harm that comes from abusive people, as heinous as that is.

    So, at this time in history, when much of society has descended in the chaos and evil, when darkness and evil is rapidly increasing, you go after Dave Ramsey (and rightfully so, if this is accurate), but you give wokeness and all the woke leaders a pass.

    If I had an adversarial view of Scripture, and if I abhored conservative bible believing Christians, I would not only be thrilled by all that you write, I would rarely if ever read here of the corruption of God’s Word, the world-embracing/left-embracing actions and teachings of woke leaders who claim Christ. This includes Russel Moore, Beth Moore, the Gospel Coalition, the SBC (e.g. Al Mohler), Tim Keller (who literally gives himself authority to change Scripture AND write in “social justice” into God’s written Word), etc. What does that tell you?

    Please consider that if your loyalty was to the truth then you would be exposing the error, the ever-escalating false accusations, the false teachings, etc of the woke Evangelical Industrial Complex. Yet I can’t find anything here (at least in the past several months). As evil as abuse is, leading people away from the true Jesus, the true gospel, truth-based love, etc is the most evil thing ever. A lover of the truth would certainly expose this superlative evil (Eph 5:11ff; Jas 5:19-20).

    1. Dewey,

      I am a journalist, not a discernment blogger. So, if Mohler or Russell or any of the others you mention, are exposed as bullies, thieves or sexual predators, I’ll report it. But I’m not going to debate the merits of “woke” politics, etc… There are plenty of other Christians out there doing that and I’ll leave that work to them.

      Also, I don’t write for the world’s benefit. My main audience are believers who care about the purity of the church. It seems many Christians today have forgotten that judgment begins with the house of God. They also seem more concerned with our public image than who we truly are.

      The evangelical machine is corrupt. And if you don’t like reading about it, then please, do something to change it. But let’s stop this business of attacking the messenger. It’s tiresome and unhelpful.

      1. Yes, you are a journalist, and a good one. But are you a one-issue journalist, or do you deal with all or most problems in the Church? To be clear, this is not about politics, and “woke” is hardly limited to politics, it is leaven that has taken over much of the Church, and is leading people astray … in the Church, and preventing them from hearing the true gospel. So please don’t say this is about politics, that is false. This IS about the Church (as you put it), so why are you not more curious about this, and expose this?

        I applaud your efforts in addressing abuse, no matter who it might be, but are you saying you will not expose greater problems within the body of Christ, especially in the highly destructive EIC? We can find bullies everywhere, and we could call (some of) the Pharisees bullies, but their most deadly and harmful problem was their false teaching, their made up rules, their exchanging God’s Word for their own constructs, their efforts that led others astray … even to hell (due to their false teachings). I would just hope that you, and literally every single Christian, would ardently be against that, and would use their platform for that (e.g. to “save a soul from death”).

        So, if you are saying that is not your desire or goal here, then well, I don’t know what to say … If you are saying you are okay with anti-Christians loving what you write (not “the world,” anti-Christians and those who are anti-Scripture), then well … I would also doubt that this is your main audience (i.e. those who care about the purity of the Church), if it were, then they would be clamoring for more on what is the most pressing issue now (e.g. the collapse of the Church; the attacks on God’s Word, and God’s people; etc).

        Yes, there is much corruption, but in many ways you are straining at a gnat while swallowing a camel. I am not “attacking the messenger” (please show me evidence regarding this accusation), but I am exhorting you, for your sake, and for the Church’s sake. It may be tiresome, but it is only unhelpful if you refuse to see and/or admit what I have laid out. I am not your enemy, I am not against you, I am not attacking you, believe it or not, I am for you, and trying to help you, and the Church. And, for what it is worth, I am putting forth a lot of effort in trying to “do something about it.”

        I do appreciate your response.

        1. Pamela Shafer (please post as pam)

          In a fallen world with us finite creatures, in order to do good things there will be other good things you don’t do. Julie has identified her primary ministry for this season. Perhaps dealing with the “woke” issues you see in the church is your ministry. We aren’t all feet nor hands-God gifts us all differently and gives us passion and vision for the good we are to do in His church. While we all need to take care not to be blind to personal relationship living we are all to do, I think we all must define we’re we serve to accomplish anything-then trust God both for our ministry and for the vision and gifts for others in His Body for the ministry they serve in.

        2. I had the same impression for a long time now, that the real predators of the Church, the false teachers occupying the seat of Moses are getting a pass. A sexual predator makes some victims, a money grabber makes some victims, but a false teacher that is not exposed is a much more danger to the body of Christ than the others. They should be exposed and the Churches should be protected from their venom by every genuine Christian.
          The Church is raped by these Marxist teachers, with their intolerance and socialistic ideology, the Christian Colleges are victimized by the feminists infiltrating them and expelling the conservative teachers with ridiculous accusations not even a child will believe (Page Patterson case), the LGBT activists are penetrating the Christian institutions promoting their lifestyle and here we are, criticizing a company for its style of conducting business! Indeed, swallowing the camel!

          1. I think the author here has given evidence that Ramsey is a false teacher. He says one thing and does another. He bullies in the name of God. He willfully leaves out truth and justifies the abusive practices of his powerful male friends because he is also an abusive, powerful man. It’s the empire, and not the Church, that he is protecting. It is broadly practiced in churches large and small to dismiss the concerns of victims, usually women, and give powerful men the benefit of the doubt. At this point the abuses of Hybels, Driscoll, and the many, many others can only be doubted if we continue the church’s legacy of refusing to see them. Ramsey and these other high profile evangelical leaders have influence. Regardless of what “gospel” you believe they ally with, they have abused their power and we should be paying attention to their actual witness, not the so-called “genuine” Christianity they espouse. I do not believe in a God with a conservative agenda. I believe in the God of the Bible. Believing that white supremacy exists is not anti-gospel. Believing that women should have respect and dignity is not anti-gospel — it’s a big part of Jesus’ ministry. All of the “isms” you and Dewey are attributing to “false prophets” have valid Biblical support. Being “woke” does not have to come at the expense of being a “true” follower of God. It’s interesting that you use the word “intolerance” as you make clearer your political beliefs than your theology by blaming marxists, feminists, etc. The white evangelical church has itself to blame for losing credibility and influence.

            And as a survivor of sexual assault, I’d ask you to reconsider using the word “rape” to describe what is actually happening: people learning that Christian Nationalism and following Jesus are not the same thing. Are feminists “infiltrating” Christian colleges, or are young men and women studying the word of God for themselves, realizing that many things conservative pastors and public figures taught them were more grounded in political fear than in the Gospel? I’m wondering where your disdain for socialism, feminism, and the LGBTQ community can be supported in the life and teaching of Jesus. Dismissing “some victims” misses the point: the millions of people Dave Ramsey has power and influence over are learning that belittling women, defending abusers, and mocking anyone who demands accountability for sinful behavior are all acceptable to God. Letting men abuse their power impacts way, way more people than the first-hand victims. It enables current and future abusers, and it silences current and future victims. There is an integrity problem in the evangelical church that has created and continues to create generational harm. Calling anyone who doesn’t uphold an America-centric, conservative interpretation of the Bible a false teacher IS false teaching. White evangelicals do not have a monopoly on genuine faith.

        3. Dewey,

          “Wokeness” is lived out loud and true believers can spot it a mile away. The abuses Ms. Roys investigates and exposes are hidden and swept under the church carpet. May I suggest you start your own blog to expose those issues you find important and allow Ms. Roys to continue her desperately needed work!

          1. I do have a website that exposes those issues, as well as the church abuse Julie addresses (and other problems). It is not either/or. I would hope we would all want to address the what is the most harmful to the Church, and to believers AND non-believers.

            And if we are going to limit our focus to church abuse (and the EIC) then what is more abusive than the gaslighting, shaming, falsely accusing, etc that is being done by these Woke people?

            Wokeness is overt, at times, but it is often more subtle (Gen 3:1; Gal 5:9). Obviously people canNOT see it a mile away, otherwise so many would not have fallen for it.

            Leftism/Wokeness is at the epicenter of what is destroying our society and shipwrecking the faith of many. To not sound the alarm about this superlative threat is highly negligent. We need all hands on deck. And to the degree we do not expose this evil, people will be deceived and destroyed. In fact, if more people were sounding the alarm 5 or 10 years ago, especially about these, and ALL wolves in the church, then our world would be completely different today.

        4. Dear Dewey, I’d like to give you my perspective as someone not part of the Protestant evangelical kinds of churches. I was raised in a denomination that would fit that description, and later became an Episcopalian. I went in with my eyes wide open to the problems of the gaps between the stated theology of the historic Books of Common Prayer, and the wishy-washy practices or downright modernist or postmodern infiltrations into the seminaries, etc. I eventually had to leave, when the historic teachings were finally disavowed “in black words on white paper.” There had been many people, both clergy and laiety, who had been trying to expose and root out the “liberalism,” as it was called then, for years and even decades before I joined. (It was wokeness before that term was invented, really.) I assiduously read the newsletters and later on websites telling about what was going on, from sermons preached to resolutions put forth in committees, all within the Episcopal church, but not covered by the official news offices and media.
          But absent in all of this was measurably, objectively wrong behaviors of the kind that TRR focuses on. There wasn’t fraud, embezzlement, personal bullying, or sexual abuse. It was false teachings, based on poor hermeneutics and sloppy, wrongful interpretation of the Bible, with the time-tested helps of the Creeds, and the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion and BCP’s (unique to Anglicanism), cast aside. Now, how important to a Baptist or a Holiness-tradition church would those “helps” be? What does someone in a Pentecostal or Presbyterian tradition care about the failures of this or that Baptist speaker/author/etc. to hold to the Baptist Faith and Message statement of the SBC? I’m trying to draw a distinction here, and I hope it’s helpful.

          I’m saying that there can be many disagreements on how to interpret and apply Scripture. How we understand our faith will indeed determine how we live out our faith. But there are plenty of people commenting on the former, and that is a different type of work from what Julie Roys does.

          I don’t think she should sacrifice the standing she has gained to pursue something else. I have blogs or podcasts I follow that tell me what’s wrong with Critical Race Theory or radical feminism or whatever, and which do so from a thoroughly Anglican point of view, which is what I want. Someone doing that from a Baptist or Reformed or even Roman Catholic perspective, well, good for them, but time is limited, and I wouldn’t read their commentary. Julie Roys has the training and expertise of a reporter, not a theologian or sociologist or historian. We need her to stick with what she does so well.

      2. Thank you, Ms. Roys for your work. It is sad, yet important that this reporting is done for the sake of the Kingdom of God. We need Bereans who discern god’s truth when spoken as well as to call out those wolves in the church who seek to kill, steal, and destroy. I do pray for you and earnestly thank you for your work.

    2. I am a victim of pastoral abuse. It led me toward Jesus, not away from Him. But, I don’t think I can ever set foot in another church again. I look at all pastors with great distain and doubt about what their true motives are. I will never trust any of them again.

  6. Total truth about the “good ‘ole boys” club and when they place a scarlet letter or label you as a troublemaker to justify their actions NEVER forget the blood of Jesus trumps their personal judgement. The tentacles of this abusive behavior runs deep and wide.

  7. This highlights a white-washed septic tank wanting to protect, not the least of these, but the ones promoting his big fat ego and Mammon runneth over wallet. Jesus already says to such, “How will you avoid hell?” The fox is guarding the hen house and the brood of vipers are all over the radio and Internet selling themselves. Their is absolutely zero that is Christian about any of this. The final judgment will be particularly harsh on such as these.

  8. Problem is people are put on platforms (pastors, people in authority, etc). You know the phrase, if you see something, say something. Sometimes people don’t say what they see because they fear, or they think they are the only ones “that know”. Once they do say something, you find others have seen the same thing. There’s so much going on within the Church…you almost don’t want to trust anyone for fear of being “burned”. Julie, I read your articles and I sometimes say, oh no, why do you post all this negativity. On the other hand, how are we going to know about what is really going on. Rather read your investigative information than from TV News, which doesn’t always get it right or no details. We all need to learn not to put people on pedestals. None is righteous no not one. But they need to repent and I don’t feel they should remain in the same position they are in.

  9. Like many such organizations, you have to vote with your wallet. If Believers stop financially supporting these ministry/businesses, they will lose their power. Will that happen? Probably not.

  10. Julie I am a Canadian and graduate of the same institution of the star of your #1 News Story of 2020, connected with many grads of the star of your #6 news story. A third Canadian, Moody Church’s Erwin Lutzer used to preach a sermon “We Reap What We Sow/ We Reap More Than We Sow/ We Reap In A Different Season Than We Sow… A good friend reminded me of that outline this week and when I compare it to what you have ( painfully) revealed (that most others looked the other way on) I find that outline both encouraging and frightening. It’s too bad that people are so quick to condemn you identifying the harvest of other people seeds.

  11. Thank you for your reporting and those who help you report. And I am in agreement with Pam that Dewey should do his own investigations and report facts on those he has concerns about. I am a Christian and you reporting facts, especially when many are unwilling too, has been very helpful. And yes, judgment starts at the house of God…with those claiming to know God and represent God. God was constantly calling to account leaders who are false shepherds/priests and misleading His children. Sad to say, so many followers are willing to follow false shepherds and wolves among the sheep. So thanks again for reporting and helping put a spotlight on facts, despite those who oppose you, because it is helping to make a difference for those seeing to be “wive virgins,” whose loyalty is to God instead of the system they either lead or support…

    1. Paul, you are actually supporting my point(s). We should all be “calling to account” false teachers, imposters (2 Tim 3:13), wolves in sheep’s clothing, etc. all of whom are abusive in one way or another. Yet she, and many defending her selective reporting, are missing this completely (some perhaps willing… because it is pretty darn obvious who many of these wolves are).

      Also, I hope you are not insinuating or accusing me of being opposed to her. I applaud the wrongdoing she reports on, but am grieved and alarmed by what she will not address (all the spiritually abusive people… those who shame and falsely accuse Christians for being white, for not cow towing to Wokeism, CRT, the politics of the left, etc.

  12. Are you absolutely kidding me?? This is Ramsey’s synopsis of what happened to Driscoll. Talk about fake news and spreading misinformation, everything he just said is not true. As a longtime member and staff member of Mars Hill Church, Ramsey is categorically wrong and Driscoll had more offenses than you can count that are fireable offenses for a pastor of the church. I wonder what Ramsey is hiding?

  13. Julie, thank you for your fine work, but I would like to hear your thoughts about the difference between a ministry and a business. Ramsey’s company is a business. That does not mean that they should not have ethical posture, but there is an inherent profit motive. I totally agree with you when ministries start acting like businesses that is a huge problem. But when businesses act like businesses? I think that is different.

    1. But Ramsey operates it like a church. He constantly says that his company is based on Christian principles that everyone must adhere to. He invokes the name of God is everything. Attendance at on site worship services is required. Oh, except that he just HAD to have a CHRISTmas party in the middle of a pandemic that included an open bar and gambling. And he announced his right to by saying he “wasn’t going to listen to some loser making $10 an hour” telling him to wear a mask.

      He uses scripture to control but conventionally forgets so many Biblical principles. He swears, he mocks, he shames, he bully’s. He could not care any less about the lost. They are just the enemy to him. And no one needs to hear rumor to believe this. His own public actions and statements bear witness to it.

      He shames the name of Christ and gives aid to the true enemy of our souls by representing himself as a standard bearer for Christianity. He is the standard bearer for the Laodician church.

  14. Thanks for sharing this. I would consider this a legit reason to have churches stop using Ramsey’s “Financial Peace University” stuff. Gotta protect the sheep, yes?

    Thanks again.

  15. Every human has weakneses, you, I or Ramsey included. As long Ramsey is not bashing the victims and as long as he himself are not directly involved in sinful behavior, it is his choice to make friends, whether you agree or not.

    Additionally, he run a business which in a way is different than running a ministry.

  16. One of the saddest aspects of this situation of lack of accountability among leaders is that lack of accountability in churches among members and attendees is even worse. Church discipline in the vast majority of Evangelical churches is nearly nonexistent. Consumerism, the need to fill the pews, no fault culture, fears of lawsuits, therapized preaching, etc. have stymied church discipline. Most churches have a miniscule number of members among attendees, and don’t emphasize membership and the accountability that goes with it.

    So many churches cultivate spectators and audiences. They have constituents who meet less often every week than local political party steering committees. The result of these unbiblical, unsound congregations is leadership who surround themselves with yes-men and yes-women and who assume dictatorial powers. These churches and parachurch ministries (now so often designated as churches) function more like businesses, political groups, or clubs than churches. I think one assumption that needs challenging is that corruption and rot in the churches begins at the top. Unfortunately, I think it often begins at the bottom. Churches are this way because lightly involved attendees want them that way.

    Seeking money and approval from the government at every turn, we have traded off our birthright for a pot of porridge.

  17. I recognize this. I once had the sad task of informing an executive of a Christian organization that a fellow member had a problem with pornography. Prior to any real investigation as to the depth of the problem, that leader immediately said to their member, “I will go to the wall for you.” As things unfolded and there were revelations of things even deeper and more problematic than “a little pornography,” I often felt as though I was the one on trial for exposing things. I guess that the member indeed had the executive’s “six.” Definitely felt like the “good ‘ole boys club,” and that my “membership” was at risk. Thanks for putting words around this phenomenon.

  18. Some of the comments here remind me of this classic from Billy Madison:

    “At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”

    Keep up the good work, Julie.

  19. God tells us to love one another. Judgement belongs to Him. Mr. Ramsey probably wanted to support his friends until he learned more facts. Who knows?

    But I do have a question: Why did that woman ever even go to a hotel room alone with a man for any reason and give him the opportunity to put his hands on her? Avoiding the appearance of sin goes a long way toward avoiding sin. Jus’ sayin’…

    I live in a glass house so I don’t throw stones.

    1. Ignorant, ungodly victim blaming, Ruffslitch, while trying to justify abusers, i.e. Ramsey and Hybels, two behaviors with which they are also well-acquainted.

  20. Dave Ramsey comments towards the end that digging deeper into Hybels’ story, he found that there was behavior that was questionable and not fitting of a leader so he didn’t have Bill speak at his event. I’m kind of dumbfounded because I’ve not heard Bill’s cronies make any allusions to any of the accusations possibly being true. Clearly, he downplays it but I’m still shocked.

    I’m still mourning the loss of Willow Creek as my church and the loss of trust not only in church leaders but the systems surrounding them. I continued attending up until covid because of my student who still attends but covid did for me what I had a hard time doing which was leave. The recent scuttle about Ramsey is another nail in the coffin of my past church life. I feel stupid for buying into the entire package.

Leave a Reply

Donate

Hi. We see this is the third article this month you’ve found worth reading. Great! Would you consider making a tax-deductible donation to help our journalists continue to report the truth and restore the church?

Your tax-deductible gift helps our journalists report the truth and hold Christian leaders and organizations accountable. Give a gift of $50 or more (or $25/mo) in February and receive Steve McAlpine’s book, Being the Bad Guys: How to Live for Jesus in a World That Says You Shouldn’t.