Aimee Byrd

Inside the word. Outside the box.

 “The usefulness of an elder will depend in the long run more on his character than on his gifts and knowledge.”

David Dickson said in The Elder and His Work

Yesterday, a website went live with an overwhelming number of screenshots from a Facebook group named Genevan Commons. Sadly, I know there are more. I am very aware of this group, as they have been harassing me for years now. I was made aware of a number of these screenshots last fall. There will always be jerks on the internet, but the more concerning factor is the number of church officers participating in this group, some are the administrators leading it. I have a lot of commentary I could say about the behavior in this group. But I just want to try and restrain myself from that and stick to the biblical qualifications for an elder and let you look for yourselves.

1 Timothy 3:2-3: An overseer, therefore, must be above reproachnot a bully but gentle, not quarrelsome…”

“I wish her husband loved her enough to tell her to shut up.” —Joseph Spurgeon

Above reproach: Douglas Milne writes, “The elder must mirror the best fruits of the gospel in his life, both as an example to the membership and as a public defense against outside critics.”

“Why can’t we be naked?” —Blake Blount, June 11, 2018

Bully: “A bully has a track record within an organization that follows a particular and repeated pattern.  This includes gas-lighting, shaming, reframing narratives, isolating individuals, misuse of Scripture to excuse themselves or blame the victim, and then covering their tracks through half-truths or lies.  This is exacerbated by a compliant, willfully blind, or cowardly management structure within which that person is working, that, instead of reprimanding or sacking the bully, allows them to continue their work at the expense of the victim.” Steven MacAlpine, Bully Vol. 2 https://stephenmcalpine.com/bully-vol-2/

“I don’t have to act like a woman — I am a woman in whatever I do.” —Blake Blount, June 21, 2019
“satanic and anti-biblical reality” —Shane Anderson

“prone to or characterized by overbearing mistreatment and domination of others”; “abuse and mistreatment of someone vulnerable by someone stronger, more powerful”; “ a person who habitually seeks to harm, intimidate, or coerce someone perceived as vulnerable.”

“Guard your families and churches.” —Shane Anderson, August 15, 2019

Quarrelsome: belligerent, bellicose, pugnacious, contentious having an aggressive or fighting attitude.

“I’d love to see people crafting focused complaints and charges.” —Shane Anderson
“We prefer attractive women. Virgins are a plus.” —Joseph Bartlett

Titus 1:7-9: “As an overseer of God’s household, he must be blameless: not arrogantnot a bully…loving what is good, sensible, righteous, holy, self-controlled, holding to the faithful message as taught, so that he will be able both to encourage with sound teaching and to refute those who contradict it.”

“I ignore what you have to say.” —Brandon Craig, January 10, 2019
"College education for women tends to make them a bit too headstrong" Joseph Bartlett_Riley Fraas

1 Peter 5:2-3: “Shepherd God’s flock among you…being examples to the flock.”

“I’m thinking of writing a book titled, Beyond the Living Room and into the Kitchen: The Theology and Art of Sammich-Making.” —Steven Carr

Arrogant: “unpleasantly proud and behaving as if you are more important than, or know more than, other people”; “overbearingly assuming”

“Easy: Give out free money.”—Dave Maurmann

“First, an elder must not be arrogant (aujqa¿dhß). An arrogant man always insists on his own way without any regard for the opinion of others. An arrogant man is not a team player, which is essential to eldership since oversight of the church consists of a plurality of godly leaders…An arrogant man not only disregards other people but also disregards God’s will and replaces it with his own. He is the opposite of a man who is upright (1:8).” (John Fonville, dissertation)

Sensible (also in 1 Tim. 3:2): safe in mind, of sound mind

This is not a verse about elder qualifications, but a pertinent one for all Christians. Verbal abusers/revilers are right up there with the sexually immoral. We are not to associate with those who say they are Christians, and continue in verbal abuse:

1 Cor. 5:11: “But actually, I wrote you not to associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister and is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or verbally abusive, a drunkard or a swindler. Do not even eat with such a person.”

Verbally abusive/Reviler: “to use abusive or contemptuous language in speaking to or about; call bad names. To humiliate.”

“A Quarrelsome and Fretful Woman” —Michael Spangler

“A reviler is a person who uses words to damage, control, or insult someone’s character or reputation. Today we would call a reviler a verbal abuser.”

“I personally think she has a number of similarities to Jezebel.” —Shane Anderson

This is a very small sampling of what these people are okay saying in a group that had around 1,100 members last fall. They did a big purge when they realized some of the screenshots were being shared and got rid of around 400 members.

Do you think this disqualifying behavior?

Should anyone participating in this have spiritual authority over God’s people?

This is also a serious violation of the 9th commandment according to our confessions. But the church officers in my denomination do not stop there. Shane Anderson, an elder in the OPC, and Michael Spangler, a teaching elder in the OPC, have spread false witness about me, calling me and others dishonest, against truth, lame, lacking virtue, sinning against nature, against Scripture, and call upon me and anyone who has been in spiritual authority over me or hosted or published me to repent. They propose things that I never write or suggest, like encouraging men to drive “alone with [with a woman] in a car driving her to her hotel late at night” and talk about how “stupid,” “foolish,” and “ungodly” my work is. I am labeled a feminist with Marxist-like teaching. OPC elder Bennie Castle writes that I teach a “radical feminist oppression narrative.” There is a “call to arms” to discipline me and for any parachurch organizations I work for, any conference organizers or churches who have hosted me to speak, and anyone who has published my writing to repent, as I am a false prophetess like Jezebel. I have not responded to these articles, as I didn’t want to give attention to them. It’s beneath my own dignity to have to address this. But I am now, as something needs to be done. This is very different than critique, which I should welcome.
http://www.thedailygenevan.com/blog/2020/4/22/AimeeSilencingOPCCritics

http://www.thedailygenevan.com/blog/2020/5/12/Feminism_In_The_Reformed_Churches_1_The_Leaders

http://www.thedailygenevan.com/blog/2020/5/12/Feminism_In_The_Reformed_Churches_2_The_Online_Tactics

http://www.thedailygenevan.com/blog/2020/5/16/Feminism_In_The_Reformed_Churches_3_The_Book_Tactics

http://www.thedailygenevan.com/blog/2020/5/21/Feminism_In_The_Reformed_Churches_4_Tactics_In_Church

http://www.thedailygenevan.com/blog/2020/5/25/Feminism_In_The_Churches_5_Call_To_Arms

John Fonville, in his dissertation on qualification for elders writes, “The elder who fails to rebuke wolves and protect the sheep is not “above reproach.” He is not fit to oversee God’s church. He is an unfaithful steward. He gives evidence that he does not love God’s sheep. But the goal of rebuking is a positive outcome, namely to make one sound in the faith (Titus 1:13).”

Officers in my and other denominations in NAPARC have reached out to me. I know there is major concern. But they are going to need encouragement and support, as the bullying, projecting, and turning on any who confront this will be severe.

I’ve mainly shared what those participating in Genevan Commons have said against me, but they aim at many others as well.

This darkness must be brought to light. Jesus Christ loves his church and this is the opposite of love.

“What hurts the victim most is not the cruelty of the oppressor, but the silence of the bystander.”

Elie Wiesel

UPDATE:

I have received a couple emails from people in Genevan Commons who were added to the group before it got belligerent, muted the group as the posts were frequent, and later were either purged when the group became more suspicious or removed themselves after the membership list you see on the screenshot website. It makes sense that not everyone on the membership list actually participated in the group or even paid attention to it. I was even added to the group originally (before Facebook updated the policy to require invitations that you need to accept) and paid no attention until I was tagged in a post where they were talking about me. After trying to reason with them and calling out their behavior, Shane Anderson kicked me out.

There are different levels to think about here, those like the above who aren’t really culpable, lurkers, and participants. Lurkers are guilty of breaking the nineth commandment as well. And of course, if anyone saw the behavior, it should have been rebuked before leaving.

93 thoughts on “Genevan Commons and the Qualifications for Church Office

  1. Saddened by this. But bringing it to light will help others. At least some cannot say they “didn’t know.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. David Drury says:

    Titus 1 says: Bruh!

    Like

  3. Aimee—

    I wish you were willing to allow people to oppose you. That’s part of working to make a difference for Christ. But it seems your “ministry” hasn’t really been about that. Instead you’ve focused on criticizing the church and ministers, fussing when you’re offended or people disagree with you, and asking the world to take up your cause as a victim-yet-leader.

    Now to further this selfish mission, you participate in doxing 500+ people (some minors) all to get back at the few of us who actually publicly criticize you. If I lose my reputation in a worldly age for having opposed you, it’s no big deal, I live for the Lord Jesus, not the mob. But there are many people who your bus is running over as you call them jerks, misogynists, etc. who don’t deserve your ire.

    I hope you find peace and joy and I remain willing to talk with you or your session despite your behavior.

    Praying for you,
    Shane

    Liked by 6 people

    1. PigsForPearlsPearlsForPigs says:

      How’s calling someone Jezebel a criticism?

      Liked by 4 people

    2. JD says:

      Mr. Anderson,

      The fact that you believe this amounts to doxing is a particularly laughable notion, if for no other reason than it belies your assertion that you’ve done nothing for which you should be ashamed.

      The emperor truly has no clothes.

      Liked by 6 people

    3. lantarlassi says:

      To be fair and accurate, your reputation isn’t at stake because you’ve opposed Mrs. Byrd’s ideas. It’s because of the vile way you’ve expressed yourself online. I don’t believe for a minute that you didn’t know what “thirsty” meant when you applied it to Todd Pruitt and Perry Noble as a supposed excuse for their defenses of women. You’ve used the phrase a lot in the “privacy” of that group.

      Liked by 6 people

    4. Tyler Parker says:

      Shane,
      You should be ashamed. She has precisely opposed you according to the scriptures. You have acted the bully and arrogantly participated in a shameful displays of trashing a sister in Christ. Putting quotes around “ministry”, describing her writing as “fussing”, and your salutation of “I hope you find peace and joy” and “praying for you” all show your singular devotion in even commenting here. Rather than being “willing to talk” as you say, you remain on your course of mocking and belittling and condescending.
      Many people have shown better examples of engaging critically with her writing. I think that the spirit of First Corinthians Chapter 6 cries out against you. You and your group have shown so little wisdom in exercising opposition. Praise God for people who take seriously the word of God, and so much so that they might be willing to argue. Say you are right in your critiques, your behavior feels rather shameful, and the Pauline question in First Corinthians Chapter 6 “Why not suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded?” I would ask of you. You have not sought the good of your sister or the church. You have mocked her, and used sexualized and grotesque language to disparage her and women in general.
      It’s possible you feel embarrassed that your online behavior is getting broadcast. Let it cast you into the dirt. You may have a righteous desire for the glory of Jesus and the good of his church. I do not question your motives, but desire that you be above reproach before a world that is watching. As they say in the south, “you have shown your ass”.

      Liked by 5 people

    5. timsarmywifey says:

      1) this isn’t doxxing
      2) there is disagreeing with someone and then there is bullying – these comments are bullying and slanderous

      Saying you disagree is one thing, asking someone (male or female) to accept bullying from those who are supposed to be in positions of authority in the church is another. God never ever says it’s ok to harrass women or belittle them just because they are female. Jesus certainly didn’t do so.

      Liked by 7 people

    6. mattbainton says:

      @Shane Doxxing? I don’t think you know what that means. Showing screenshots of people’s reprehensible and sexist, as well as disqualifying behavior isn’t doxxing. That’s “bringing the receipts”. Doxxing is providing personal contact info for the express purpose of harassment.

      If I were you I’d be very ashamed to have been in the company of those men behaving like this. I feel sorry for that group’s wives and daughters, and wonder what they feel their value and worth is being ascribed to. I feel angry on behalf of the women in your congregations who are being led by men making jokes about belonging in the kitchen making sandwiches, commenting on the physical appearances of other women. It’s just trash garbage, and before you jump back to defend yourself, as (hopefully) a brother in Christ, I wish you would go spend some heavy quarantine time in the presence of the Lord asking him to search your heart and bring conviction.

      Surely you can’t object to that, right?

      Liked by 5 people

      1. The site contains names of minors and where they live. Names of people and their employers and they are called misogynistic and racists. That’s doxing.

        Plus, why not reread what I wrote in those screenshots (among the other 33,000 comments per 60 days in GC) and really are if there is abuse, misogyny, harassment, etc. There isn’t.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Julia says:

        Shane, this is past the point of whether or not to argue about whether or not the person who revealed this information is doxxing. What matters now, for better or for worse, are the things that have been said that have been revealed that are degrading to people made in the image of God.

        Liked by 4 people

    7. Concerned Brother says:

      Shane, this is gaslighting to the extreme. After years of trolling and mocking Aimee and other women in the church (under your own name and your Twitter alter ego, @TheGospelCorp), you dare to frame what you’ve been doing as “opposing” her? Opposition is fine. What you’ve done is verbal and spiritual abuse. That’s incontestable. Your own words expose you.

      Aimee has hardly added any of her own commentary. The most damning aspects of this thread are the screenshots. In other words, she’s only bring out into the light your abhorrent private behavior. If you truly stand by your words and behavior, then you should have no problem with the world seeing it. After all, God sees it.

      Should the bird (pun intended) not use her beak to peck back at the dog who tries to eat her? And when she does, is it not in self-defense? When the dog is pecked, should he blame the bird and say, “Bird, I’m willing to talk to you despite your behavior.”

      No. That’s the response of a predator who wants to trick the bird into letting her guard down. That’s the response of a dog who’s humiliated and wants to blame something other than himself. The bird would be a fool to talk to the dog unless he proves he’s no longer a predator.

      Do you want genuinely want to talk to Aimee? Do you genuinely want her to find peace and joy? Then stop being a dog. Own up to your abhorrent behavior. Let your repentance be as public as your offenses have been. Be tamed by the Holy Spirit.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Brian says:

        How does Mr Anderson still have a job? He is sick. It’s shocking he is more worried about the minors names being exposed than those same minors being exposed to the sick and sinful attacks of him and his junior high. It’s who masquerade as elders and officers. It is a shame there is no accountability. They need a season to step back from ministry, grow from boys to men. Having and addressing real issues or even rebuking I can at least appreciate, but what they ve done shows they are unfit at this time for oversight. I am not a fan of cancel culture, this though is different. It’s sick.

        Like

    8. Julia says:

      Shane,

      Hello there. I don’t know much about you, other than what I’ve seen from various things you’ve posted on Twitter, on some other reformed sites, and of course from these screenshots. You very much could be someone who I could enjoy sitting down and chatting with. And as a minister of the church, I have respect for you. I’m not a member of the OPC, but I am a member of the PCA. I’ve enjoyed sweet fellowship with my fellow OPC brothers and sisters in Christ. Please do not read any of this as being written in a spirit of hate and as wanting to stir of discord, and I pray you would be gracious to me, as I am just a laywoman and member of the church.

      I confess, it really saddens me, brother. There is opposition and disagreement, and then there is mockery and harassment. Calling people “whores”, making fun of their hair, talking about their appearance, and using other such things to degrade and demean are not just disagreements. That is mocking and tearing down just for sport. How is making fun of someone for sport at all a good witness to Christ, brother? How does any of this display a love for Christ and his Bride, the Church? Is not Aimee our sister in Christ? Do we not all share in truth of the gospel?

      I expect those who are patriarchal or complementarian to disagree with me on certain points, but I still expect that at the end of the day that we are united in Christ. Jesus is the church’s foundation. The gospel is the core of what we believe. The Apostolic creed and the Nicene creed are both wonderful creeds which lay out the truths of the gospel. And as Reformed Christians in particular, it’s wonderful knowing that it is not ourselves and our words or our work or anything we do, but rather God’s grace that saves us. This enables us to be extremely gracious and humble when we interact with those around us (though I admit I am often not either of those things). It would be amazing and ridiculous if it turned out I was right on all the things I believed and did. That should give me pause and humble me, though it often does not. I have dear brothers and sisters in so many denominations, some of whom are not reformed. There are some secondary points of doctrine on which we differ. But we are all part of the body of Christ.

      It is God’s grace which saves us, brother. There’s not many things that are essential to the faith. Of course we strive to repent of our sins, and as the Bride of Christ God continues to work in us and sanctify us, but ultimately it is God’s grace that saves us. Complementarian theology or however you would categorize your views on the matter are not one of those essential things. We must be gracious towards one another when we engage on these matters.

      So yes. Disagreement is fine. But the behavior we see here in these screenshots is not.

      There are plenty of people on Geneva Commons, I am sure, who do not participate in the bullying. But there are some who clearly have. It is so sad to see. It is grievous, and it is wrong.

      You clearly want to live for Jesus and you have passion for his church. That is a good thing. But the actions and words that have now been laid bare for the world to see are not reflective of the truths of the gospel or the faith we have as people who follow Christ. They are reflective of the broken world we live in, and all I can see is destruction and the ugliness of sin.

      Brother, I wish you could see it. Remember that even and especially as a minister of the church, you are held doubly responsible. The office you hold is one of immense weight and responsibility. You have authority, but it is an authority that only comes from God. Ultimately, he is the one we all must answer to.

      – Julia

      Liked by 4 people

    9. jayjohnson313 says:

      Mr. Anderson,

      Please stop cloaking your misogyny in Christian language. If you lose your reputation, it’s not because of Aimee Byrd or your opposition to her ideas; it’s because of your own despicable words and deeds. If you’d conducted yourself with a modicum of dignity or grace, there would be no evidence to collect and display. As it is, your own tongue has set your own world on fire. “Man up” and take some responsibility. Your hidden sins have caught up with you. You brought this upon yourself.

      Praying for justice,
      Jay D. Johnson

      Liked by 4 people

    10. Christine Pack says:

      “I wish you were willing to allow people to oppose you. That’s part of working to make a difference for Christ.”

      That’s a pretty nervy comment to make, given that you kicked Aimee out of the Genevan Commons specifically because she defended her positions. I guess you just wanted to tell her how she was supposed to think about things, and for her to then say only “Yes, sir” in return.

      And *now* you say you want to talk? I’m sure you’ll understand if no-one takes your comment seriously.

      Liked by 1 person

    11. Laura says:

      Shane, your behaviour has been puerile and offensive. It has brought shame to the name of Christ.

      Liked by 5 people

    12. skrizo says:

      Mr. Anderson wrote, “I’m willing to talk to you despite your behavior.” (Key word: “behavior”; men have always obsessed about women’s behavior, declaring themselves the great arbitrators of women’s behavior both in public and in private)

      Really, are you? You said in one of the above posts, “I have zero obligation to listen to Aimee’s whining.” So you don’t want to listen to her, but you want to talk to her? In other words, you want to lecture her. Especially now that your inherently sexist views have been shown for what they are and you’re mad, really, really mad. I bet it hurt to type those words. I kind of got the vibe from your attempt to hide behind children, like Bulldog did in Frasier. If there are minors on that site, you should be doubly ashamed for teaching them to behave in this horrendous manner. And yes, it’s your behavior that is horrifying. So before you go to church next time, you may want to give that old penance a chance. Your soul is screaming for it, your ego just isn’t listening.

      Liked by 3 people

    13. Graham Veale says:

      My goodness, this gets worse by the minute. Mr Anderson’s testimony is that minors joined in these discussions! I have to ask – why would any adult knowingly include young people in such spiteful and vulgar discussions? No efforts were made to identify the minors by GC…, compounding the error! What measures were taken to protect young people from making public statements which could impact on their futures?
      No teen should be in a million miles of that message board! Good grief! Witless doesn’t begin to describe such behaviour! I’m afraid “frat boy” doesn’t cover this imbecility! I’m rarely – never – this harsh online. But teens should be kept one thousand miles away from this sort of puerile, reckless, chaos! The sheer idiocy of involving minors…then having the cowardice to hide behind them,…staggers me.

      Someone in the churches needs to get involved NOW, find out which kids said what and get them to apologise! Fast!

      For pities sakes!

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Graham Veale says:

        I mean…just wow! How irresponsible!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. T.L.S.E says:

        It is truly shocking to see him confess that minors were allowed and that he now hides behind children in defence. So much for the ‘Biblical Manhood’ farce!

        Liked by 4 people

    14. It’s almost like Shane has no idea we can read his own words.

      Liked by 3 people

    15. Judy says:

      Yes, commenting on her looks the way you did makes you look like a jerk because that’s what you’re being.

      Also, saying eisegesis is distinctly feminine is misogyny.

      This goes beyond simply opposing someone.

      Liked by 2 people

    16. Wow – so impressed with the godly, constructive feedback in those posts Aimee shared.

      Like

    17. Ashley Ariail says:

      You’re actually defending the horrific things said in these series of posts??

      Like

    18. You don’t lose your reputation for having opposed Aimee, but for the ungodly trash talk coming out of your mouth which, as we know, proves what is in the heart. Praying for you? The cant of such a comment!

      Liked by 1 person

    19. maidmarcia says:

      If you live for the Lord Jesus as you claim, you should know that speaking all the truths in the world and having knowledge of all mysteries is nothing without love. You have no Christian brotherly love and compassion for Aimee Byrd… At least, none exhibited in your posts. I would be ashamed to have my friends and family members reading posts I had written like that, but it seems to be some strange game to you and the other misogynist members of this group. Frankly, for myself as someone who has worked in healthcare for over a decade, I’m surprised you exhibit such a lack of an even keel for someone who works in healthcare as well. No nice way to tell a woman how masculine you think they look? However do you deal with your masculine looking female patients? (Yes, I looked at your profile, no it isn’t doxxing, you should probably go read UD and learn what doxxing is.)
      There were people who wrote worse things in that group, but you participated and idly stood by on other occasions. It’s sickening that all of the members participated in this weird behaviour and for what reason? If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it. Please ACTUALLY do better and reassess the cavalier and hurtful way you have behaved. Leaving trite statements like “praying for you” is ridiculous. Pray for yourself.

      Liked by 1 person

    20. skrizo says:

      One more thought…..

      Shane wrote: “The site contains names of minors and where they live. Names of people and their employers and they are called misogynistic and racists. That’s doxing.

      Plus, why not reread what I wrote in those screenshots (among the other 33,000 comments per 60 days in GC) and really are if there is abuse, misogyny, harassment, etc. There isn’t.”

      Ok, so which one is it? Either the people on this site are guilty of misogyny and racism, or they aren’t. When you accused Aimee of doxxing, you said people were guilty or sexist and racist remarks, which were going to get them in trouble with their employers (which is why the group was private in the first place). When you defended yourself, you said there weren’t any such statements on the site. Both can’t be true at the same time. So, it seem to me you’re mad you got caught and the only thing you’re interested in now is defending yourself, and you do it be being the bully we all can see you are in the posts above. I mean, you kick Aimee out of the group and then you say, “Let’s talk” when your behavior is exposed, while you accuse her of doxxing! There isn’t a sincere bone in your body! So take some time to reflect. Habits aren’t created overnight, nor are they reversed in one day.

      Like

    21. Michael S. says:

      “Ephraim is cake not turned ” – Hosea 7:8

      A cake not turned is soon burnt on the side nearest the fire, and although no man can have too much religion, there are some who seem burnt black with bigoted zeal for that part of truth which they have received, or are charred to a cinder with a vainglorious Pharisaic ostentation of those religious performances which suit their humour. The assumed appearance of superior sanctity frequently accompanies a total absence of all vital godliness. The saint in public is a devil in private. He deals in flour by day and in soot by night. The cake which is burned on one side is dough on the other.

      If it be so with me, O Lord, turn me! Turn my unsanctified nature to the fire of Thy love and let it feel the sacred glow, and let my burnt side cool a little while I learn my own weakness and want of heat when I am removed from Thy heavenly flame. Let me not be found a double-minded man, but one entirely under the powerful influence of reigning grace; for well I know if I am left a cake unturned, and am not on both sides the subject of Thy grace, I must be consumed for ever amid everlasting burnings.

      Charles Spurgeon

      Like

    22. Shane,

      Aimee Byrd does allow people to “oppose” her. But she no longer seems to be allowing men ordained as elders and ministers of the Word to mock and slander her. Byrd is not “getting back” at these ministers for criticizing her book; she is rather calling them to account for public violations of the ninth commandment. Even if you plausibly denied having responsibility as a moderator of that Geneva Commons group, you seem not to have answered Byrd’s accusation relating to WLC 145: specifically, “rash, harsh, and partial censuring,” “aggravating smaller faults,” “raising false rumors, receiving and countenancing evil reports, and stopping our ears against just defense”—and doing such things in a public forum. As a minister, you can tell your congregation not to agree with Byrd’s view when you make an argument from Scripture; but as a Christian, you cannot malign a sister this way, nor should you insinuate formal charges for someone who has good standing in the Church.

      With respect to “doxing,” I must have missed the part where Byrd reveals the personal information of 500+ people, including minors, with malicious intent. Now, if you are going to accuse someone publicly of committing a civil crime, you should probably cite some evidence and/or report it to the authorities. Otherwise, it’s more slander.

      Liked by 4 people

    23. deecline says:

      Shane, your behavior, shown in the preceding comments, is not that of a Bible believer, much less one who should be in a leadership position in any church.

      Like

  4. Donna says:

    And men claim they don’t gossip….smh

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Donna says:

      And I think they didn’t read your book. Too difficult and intellectual and theological for them.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. I think to offer advice would be to belittle what you’ve written and experienced over this. That they’ve purged group members to keep their comments secret displays a consciousness of guilt. Thanks for sharing Aimee.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Becky says:

    This is unacceptable. I’m so sorry, Aimee. Thanks for bringing to light the deeds of darkness. I’m praying for your peace and protection. I am really worried about the young woman, Caroline, whose courtship partner already thinks she is too headstrong and is trying to influence her beliefs. She is headed into an abusive relationship. Is anyone able to reach her and help her?

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Caroline says:

      This is that Caroline. I’m doing well, thank you. I’m glad you feel concern for your sisters in Christ, but the assumption that I need or want your help is a bit much. Whoever said I was unaware or disagree with anything Joseph has said? In fact, I’m more patriarchal than Joseph and have pushed him more that way. Thanks anyway! XXX

      Like

    2. Lea says:

      I found that discussion about trying to keep women away from education concerning.

      Like

      1. Caroline says:

        You don’t understand the situation, those screenshots are of a personal situation I’m going through that I don’t wish to and shouldn’t have to elaborate on. I’ve asked Aimee to remove them, I’m hoping she’ll be gracious enough to. Thank you anyway for your input.

        Like

  7. janetlynnem says:

    Aimee, good for you. Tell the truth. Those men who are such vile bullies should not be elders in a church that claims to follow Jesus Christ. Jesus is kind, compassionate, and He never acted in this ungodly way towards women. I shook my head reading some of the comments. It’s disgusting. I’m praying for you to be strong and courageous.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Graham Veale says:

    Hi Aimee,

    Putting aside the vices so obviously on display, there are a few aspects of the blog posts you quote which concern me.
    First, there is clear contempt for women. There is a bizarre, vulgar focus on appearance; there are frequent comments implying that most women lack the intellectual capacities to reason about ethics or theology; and many comments suggest that women are only suited to domestic labour. Then there are some unseemly comments that seem to take an odd view of sexual relationships: for example, https://gcscreenshots.wordpress.com/2020/05/15/as-they-age-they-become-man-haters/
    In other words, there is a norm that these gentlemen expect women to conform to: women exist for the convenience of men: and there is hatred for any woman who deviates from that norm. That’s the incel worldview, voiced by married Christian men.
    The Church would be culpable in this. Marriage has been sold as a consumer good that women are meant to deliver. When marriages don’t turn out to be as convenient or as passionate as those consumers expect, they become frustrated. I suspect 4chan and similar forums shape that frustration.

    Second, there are calls to subvert or resist Churches and para-Church ministries which do not conform to their worldview. The sort of hacktivism evidenced is typical of online radical movements, including incels.

    Third, there is a paranoid suspicion that left-Wing ideologies are infiltrating their ideologically pure, theologically conservative world. This is, again, typical of the radical right, especially online. Every thought they disagree with is the product of “cultural Marxism”. Thought-crimes must be sought out, denounced and cast out of the community. This is the gnostic and Manichaean world view of the conspiracy theorist.

    In other words, there is evidence that suggests that the world of the online radical right has infected their minds (Angela Nagle’s book “Kill All Normies” describes and predicts their behaviour perfectly). Nothing they do or say depends on Christian premises or presuppositions. They are thoroughly secularised in word and deed. This subculture is profoundly disturbing -perhaps even diabolical.

    Graham Veale

    Liked by 9 people

    1. Lea says:

      Incel talk by married adult men who purport to be christians is right. Shane was out there talking about ‘used up sexual capitol’ and then pretending this all just about ideas? I’ve never heard that stuff outside of reddit, incel, pickup artist or other misogynistic outfits. How gross. (and his comment has him making a lot of assumptions about his patients, it sounds like).

      Like

  9. hephzibahi says:

    Aimee, I am so very sorry to hear of these most recent events. For a couple reasons.

    One, because a sister in Christ, a co-heir to grace, is being degraded and demeaned and treated like trash. That in and of itself is tragic and wrong.

    But for another, because we are all a part of the body of Christ. We are to love one another and submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. We are all the Bride of Christ, dwelling together in unity with Christ as our head. If rebuke must happen, we have good and proper ways to go about such a thing. And I am so grieved and so saddened that I cannot see any zeal in these comments from GC for the Church. And I know you feel the weight of this too, Aimee, because in your most recent book, I know you too see how beautiful it is when brothers and sisters in Christ dwell together in unity, worshiping together, proclaiming the gospel together, abiding in our Lord Jesus Christ.

    I will be praying for you, my beloved sister in Christ.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. timsarmywifey says:

    This is unconscionable. It shows the level we have sunk to in society in that we can no longer disagree in a civil fashion.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Todd Pruitt says:

    Sad to see that even now with his sin exposed Shane Anderson continues to justify himself and remain on the attack. This is grievous. The pastors I know and fellowship with are aghast at this behavior from other pastors and elders. That’s one of the reasons so many left the GC group as it moved from discussion of Reformed Theology and practice into an unseemly frat party.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Yeah, but did they hold any of the frat boys accountable they would if it were people in their church talking like that about others? The church leaders sure seem quick to shut down “gossip about leadership”, for instance, but leave this stuff alone until it’s aired by others. I mean, even the group’s Facebook disclaimers made it pretty obvious what you were going to find, essentially advertising that they were going to act like fratboys and if you were there to spy on them or you were easily offended just move along.

      Like

    2. Graham Veale says:

      That’s good to hear Mr Pruitt. But I am sure you will agree that much more needs to be said, and that deeds need to follow words. “Unseemly frat party”, respectfully, seems to understate the case; however, if disciplinary measures are a realistic possibility I can understand the understatement. If church employees have been allowed to behave this way for some time – and your comment indicates that other pastors and elders knew about this blog – Aimee might legitimately ask why such harassment was not immediately quashed. It would not be tolerated by most secular employers.

      Graham

      Liked by 2 people

    3. Ghost of Machen’s Past says:

      This is what you call the “Double Down”grade! Congrats, Mr. Anderson!

      Like

  12. I’m sorry you’ve been targeted by these so-called leaders. They must feel like your work threatens their position and power. I am more and more disturbed by those who claim to follow Jesus, leaders in the church, people who say they pray to God, yet act like those in the Geneva Commons FB group. Unfortunately this kind of bullying is more and more prevalent in our churches. It’s not just bullying; it’s spiritual abuse.

    I’ll end with a quote by Chuck DeGroat, from his latest book, When Narcissism Comes to Church: Healing Your Community from Emotional and Spiritual Abuse. “The long, sordid history of the church testifies to our arrogant love of power, position, wealth, prestige, success, and privilege. As Henri Nouwen says, we long to be relevant, spectacular, and powerful, the toxic cocktail refused by Jesus in his wilderness temptation, but gladly embraced by many pastors today. But given changing ecclesial dynamics and a growing social movement that takes clergy narcissism and abuse seriously, the church and its servants may be in a season of needed humiliation and reckoning. My hope is that we will respond to it humbly.”

    May we take this seriously and respond to it humbly.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Some1 says:

    There is no possibility for unity. MGTOW.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. NotBuyingIt says:

    That’s a lot coming from someone who thinks “Jezebel” is a worthy comment toward a sister in Christ.

    Should we call you Ahab in response.

    Praying for your repentance and stepping down from the pulpit since you are that hateful toward women.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Remnant says:

    Where is Jesus in ANY of the snide, cruel, gossipy, evil comments?

    Where are ANY of the Fruit of the Holy Spirit?
    Love?
    Gentleness?
    Kindness?
    Goodness?
    Faithfulness?
    Self-control?
    Joy?

    Where is the discernment of the Holy Spirit?

    Where are the giftings befitting an elder of the Church?

    These men are void of Christikeness,

    One must wonder if they are saved and indwelt by the Holy Spirit.

    Vile and reprehensible behavior O thou “Men of God.”

    You are not worthy to be called Ministers of the Gospel.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. John Dender says:

      So, let me get this straight… Shane’s response is an admission that he has apparently sat silent while allowing minors to view what would be considered is no less than obcenity in many jurisdictions. He has displayed nothing less than a shocking lack of judgement, discretion and discernment. I am utterly astounded. I probably shouldn’t be, but I am.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Graham Veale says:

        John, I agree wholeheartedly. I tried to draw attention to this. I have 20 years teaching experience in the United Kingdom, so I am furious with Mr Anderson. My secular employers would not stand for this. There would be disciplinary action. The Church should have higher standards. (In fact, if I was caught bullying an adult online, I would face disciplinary action for setting a poor example!)
        At this stage, as a matter of urgency, someone within the denomination needs to take action. If this waits on a committee or a disciplinary process minors could suffer. How a denomination could allow this chaos to forment is beyond me. Is Mr Anderson a Church employee? Or have I misunderstood the situation?

        As it happens, this havoc illustrates why I have Pietist leanings. I have the highest respect for Confessionalism, but in all conscience, it clearly has the same disciplinary problems that independent Churches face.

        G Veale

        Liked by 2 people

  16. Pingback: DivDel.com
  17. T.L.S.E says:

    Dear Aimee,

    Reading this from Nairobi, I am shocked about all this. Mr. Anderson and his associate’s behaviour is on full display in this age of the internet to people like me here in Africa and others in the UK, Australia, Europe yet he remains unrepentant. It is not only OPC church members who are watching.

    There is something profoundly depraved and insidious about their extreme lack of self-awareness. Their conscience is on all accounts, seared. It is a fearful thing to know that they bypassed the ordination processes. This is proof that an MDiv and a high IQ are no markers whatsoever for godliness.
    My own thoughts are, do they not fear God? Do they really think that they will withstand the fury of Christ in his second coming? It is apparent that confessing with one’s mouth while rejecting the same confession with the heart is a reality and not a hypothesis.

    There are however a few things I can take from the Geneva Commons Screenshots website as positives:
    1. I gather that several Geneva Commons members joined assuming it was as a noble effort before its true colours were revealed. These reviling men have become living parables of the path that awaits church officers who idly stand by saying, “Not my problem,” when truth is revealed.
    2. The people who took these screenshots knowingly listed their names among the members list. If it meant that they would be considered complicit, then it was a risk to take to expose this deviance. For these anonymous people I am grateful because the sheep must be protected at all costs.
    3. As a church officer, my heart has become tender towards the sheep under my care because of this. The bravado with which many in the American ‘Big Eva’ sphere carry themselves is enticing to many in small churches and denominations near and far. I too was tempted towards emulating that type of false confidence. Yet scripture teaches us something else. It speaks of Moses as a meek man. And it speaks of how Paul treated his people tenderly like a nursing mother. Can any of these reviling men say that they aspire to these qualities of Moses and Paul that scripture bears witness to? Probably not. But by God’s help, I will.

    Thank you for your witness.

    In Christ,
    T.L.S.E

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Praying and caring for you, Aimee. Still have to get the book, but loved others of yours.

    Like

  19. Utopian Hero says:

    I cannot believe some of the things I have read on there, especially the attacks on appearance shock me personally. I see a lot of names I know because I have read their books or blogs, listened to their podcasts, and in the case of some of them, shared sweet intellectual fellowship through Davenant or Greystone reading groups. I know no one is perfect, and I have a pretty dark sense of humor myself, but this is a shameful thing to see. If any of you are reading this, please know, I see you, and it grieves me. Your actions are a stumbling block, and God forbid anyone should fall away from the truth for the sake of a locker-room joke. This behavior is substantially the same as unbelievers engage in. Same mode of discourse; same cruelty; same sensuality.

    And I cannot believe the nerve of some to come here and complain about it. Have a sense of shame. Take your lumps. There is forgiveness in Christ, but not without repentance and a contrite heart. Get off social media. The Lord doesn’t need you to fight his battles. He’s a good husband to his bride, and your at best just one of the groomsmen.

    Several years ago, I got in trouble with my employer for my biting sarcasm and cynical sense of humor, which had poisoned working relationships at the company and undercut the authority of my managers. I had been elevated to a new position, with a responsibility to train new hires. Prior to that, I had no significant responsibility to others, and consequently could clown around without consequence. But in my new role, that attitude proved destructive. My manager confronted me about it after someone tried to metaphorically burn the place down on the way out the door. I was acting like a boy, not a man (subtext: my manager was a woman). She taught me the important lesson understood in even the secular world that authority calls for dignity, sobriety, and humility. As Paul says, “Does not even nature teach you…” that it is an abomination for a leader to be a reviler and prankster?

    What sort of masculinity is this? What sort of headship is this? Some of you have brilliant minds, and I know you know better! Thank God I have not seen Brad Littlejohn in these things, but I know a lot of you agreed to the community code of the Davenant Commons: https://davenantinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Community-Code.pdf.

    You might want to re-read section III, and consider that if those noble ideals are good guidelines there, they are good guidelines in other places too.

    Sincerely,
    Craig Green
    Dallas, TX

    Like

    1. Graham Veale says:

      Well said Craig.
      Well argued.

      Like

  20. Reed DePace says:

    Heartbroken at the wickedness that has gone on, and now the defense of it.
    May God bring swift and certain judgment on these maligners.
    May He protect his sheep from men who by their own testimony are not qualified for office.
    May God grant them deep repentance – or cast them out!

    May God comfort and heal your heart Aimee.
    May he protect you from temptations to engage similiarly.
    May he strengthen your own repentance and faith.

    Like

  21. A White Male Protestant says:

    I’m sorry for this, Aimee. These jokes are unseemly and are a smear against your name and the Reformed name, but most importantly the name of God.
    I know some of these men. The internet is a bad place, and opening ones mouth often hurts both sides. I hope you will eventually forgive them some day, and perhaps then some good discussion can take place.
    I fear this type of joking is not out of place on the internet in general, and with the added pressure upon – and constant insulting and belittling of – white male Protestants, some are beginning to crack. But I hope Reformed men will act their age in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. skrizo says:

      AWMP wrte, “I fear this type of joking is not out of place on the internet in general, and with the added pressure upon – and constant insulting and belittling of – white male Protestants, some are beginning to crack. But I hope Reformed men will act their age in the future.”

      It seems to me this line of thinking follows the belief that if a man doesn’t get respect, he isn’t responsible for his behavior. We see this in abuse cases: the normative advice for women is, “If you’d only submit better, he wouldn’t beat/berate you.” And this is EXACTLY why I reject “Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.” It tells us women are weaker than men, and yet responsible for men’s behavior. It’s utter nonsense. Every grownup is able to act like an adult, there is no excuse. Besides, if white Protestant men think being insutled and belittled isn’t okay, why do they insult and belittle others?

      Like

  22. Aaron Hemphill says:

    Did not know Aimee Byrd or Shane Anderson or the Geneva Commons existed 4 hours ago. Thankful that Ed Stetzer is helping Aimee Byrd raise awareness about the sinful way many men in this Facebook group in particular and other spheres more generally have behaved.

    On a different note, here is one of Shane’s comments here on this page:

    [The site contains names of minors and where they live. Names of people and their employers and they are called misogynistic and racists. That’s doxing. Plus, why not reread what I wrote in those screenshots (among the other 33,000 comments per 60 days in GC) and really are if there is abuse, misogyny, harassment, etc. There isn’t.]

    Some thoughts:

    1) What kind of Facebook group are you running, Shane, where you include the names of minors and where they live?!? I’m wondering if what you are saying is actually true. If, on one hand, your Facebook group has things like “Michael Aaron Jones lives at 123 Main St. in Dallas, TX and loves Jesus and hates feminists”, that’s not an indictment of gcscreenshots, that’s an indictment of your group in violating both laws and common sense. If, on the other hand, your Facebook group has things like “Michael Johnson is from Dallas and attends Dallas Christian High School”, and that information is incidentally shared, that’s not doxxing. Doxxing targets specific individuals with the hope that they will be harassed. I don’t think it’s Aimee’s hope that you will be harassed. You certainly don’t know that to be true.

    2) You could be more clear, Shane. Which employers? Of the adults or the kids? Really, the kids? Like the fact that Michael works at Taco Bell? They actually name which Taco Bell Michael works at?!? You really think Aimee wants people to go find Michael at Taco Bell and start yelling at him?

    3) Let’s say you meant the employers of just the adults. It doesn’t take a lot of information (John Smith, pastor, OPC) to plug into Google and find someone. “Doxxing” is a stretch. It sounds to me like Aimee’s preference would have been dialogue between mature adults of differing opinions but you were too busy being manly and awesome in a silo.

    4) Which site is “the site”? The page we’re posting on (Aimee’s site)? Or this site: https://gcscreenshots.wordpress.com/screenshots/? Aimee didn’t release this info. That’s worth make explicitly clear.

    5) I don’t know what “and really are if there is abuse” means.

    6) Oh, yes, indeed, very high on all of our lists is to read 33,000 comments from your Facebook group. The small sampling here and from gscreenshots is not enough. (Sigh.) There is abuse, misogyny, harassment – and don’t forget racism – in the small sampling. That .. would … be … why … they … were … called … misogynistic … and … racist.

    Like

    1. Graham Veale says:

      It is fair to say that the majority of the comments on GC that I have read are not vulgar, misogynistic or racist. There is a sense that this community feels besieged. Tempers seem short at times, and many comments were too ill tempered or sarcastic for a public forum. And let’s be clear; no matter what your privacy settings are, once you have hundreds of people in a forum it is no longer private. You should write knowing that your comment could be made more widely available. But, while many comments are ill-advised, I would not say the majority are malicious or bigoted.

      However – and here’s the rub – some are. And that is inexcusable. If I use racist language on repeated occasions I am guilty of racism. If I use misogynistic language on repeated occasions I am guilty of misogyny. If I actively write, act and campaign to oppose a group’s viewpoint, I am an activist.

      A misogynist may be many other things. He may be a good father and husband, for few can consistently live out their worldview in private. A misogynist might be kind to many people. He may be learned or gregarious or courageous. He will have other views and interests and bugbears. Few can be reduced to their vices. And a misogynist might well be my brother in Christ.

      But here’s the thing. If a person’s “anti-feminist activism” becomes too crude, too vulgar, too biting and cruel and ruthless, it becomes misogyny. If this leads to a course of conduct which threatens to ruin another’s reputation, that is harassment. And that needs to be called out and stopped

      So Aaron is quite correct. Mr Anderson’s defence is too weak to be credible. Repentance – in the world of flesh and blood and words, not online – would be advisable.

      Graham

      Like

  23. CJPhillips says:

    I looked at the members list on the Geneva commons website. I recognized 13 people on the list 2 are elders in the CREC church I attended for 20 years and 1 laymember. The others are names I recognized by association in the CREC. I left that church 2 months ago, the rest of my family still attends.
    It is so disheartening. I will be working very hard to hold all 3 of the men I know personally accountable for the undeniable wickedness that was clearly displayed in those tweets. They have an obligation to speak up against this vileness even if they didn’t participate directly. If they don’t, I feel even more confident in my reasons for having left the CREC. I have had my eyes on the founder of the CREC for years now because of this kind of treatment of humanity in general but his treatment of women online over the years has been horrific. Totally unChristlike.

    I am so sorry Aimee for this awful treatment that you are having to endure. I can relate a bit, leaving the CREC as a lone woman with your family not in agreement has been horrible for me so I can feel your pain.

    Be strong! You are a courageous and very brave woman and your godly example of interaction with these men during this situation is a great source of hope and encouragement. Your post and how you went about bringing this stuff to light is amazing, very gracious and loving. Thank you so much for your godly example.

    I am praying for you.

    Like

  24. T.L.S.E says:

    I find it amusing that Mr. Anderson would ask that the 33,000 comments (if that’s how many they really are which is in doubt if you factor in his penchant for duplicitous behaviour) be read to see that the Geneva Commons isn’t as bad as it is.
    It’s a bit like inviting a friend over for a visit but before he enters the house, I say “And across the street we have Mrs. Smith the village cannibal. But she keeps her yard tidy and is active at the school’s PTA meetings,”
    I doubt that the tidy yard and the faithful meeting attendance is enough to either cover over her inclination towards cannibalism or prevent my friend from running for the hills.

    Like

  25. Cynthia W. says:

    It was interesting that none of the Geneva Commons post shown addressed the content of Mrs. Byrd’s books. A typical discussion of a book might include statements such as, “In Chapter 4, Mrs. Byrd asserts X. I disagree with X. My reason for this is Y, and support for my view is found in book Z.”

    “You are a woman” is not a book review or an argument over Biblical interpretation, ecclesiology, or anything else. It’s “Shut up, they explained.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. skrizo says:

      You know it’s so funny how these things go. I’m a writer too and I write about the same subject matter. Someone was asked to read one of my books and as a response she said “She doesn’t have a college degree, how could she possibly know what she’s writing about!” This after she had just said women shouldn’t go to college, that God was the best teacher. 🙂

      Like

      1. Cynthia W. says:

        Some will use any excuse to avoid engaging with the actual content, even excuses that immediately contradict one another. This indicates that they are all just excuses rather than genuine reasoning or good-faith argument. I expect many of the people represented in the screenshots have academic credentials, and yet, a very important authority said, “I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and learned, but hast revealed them to babes. Yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will.”

        Like

  26. ambercosette says:

    I am so sorry to hear about all this, but am praying for Aimee. Reading the screenshots just made my stomach turn. Not one of those modeled Jesus. Disgusting.

    I’m thankful to be married to an OPC pastor who loves his sisters-in-Christ, encourages them to be active church members and listens to them. (and by the way, encourages them to be as educated as they possibly can/want to be 😉 😉 Same for our Elders. Though our church is small, our Elders are wonderful, mature men. Safe to say I would never find their names on a site such as that.

    I’ve learned so much from Amiee and recommend her writing to all women who cross my path. Thankful for her faithful work and how the Holy Spirit has used her to minister to others.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Zrim says:

    As it happens, this havoc illustrates why I have Pietist leanings. I have the highest respect for Confessionalism, but in all conscience, it clearly has the same disciplinary problems that independent Churches face.

    Graham, I agree with most of what you say in this thread (and it’s good to see Shane being handed his you-know-what), but what does this statement mean? So we have the same problems in confessional churches as any other type of church. Did someone claim we don’t? It’s a little like saying, see, this is why I just have a common law marriage, because having a conventional marriage doesn’t solve the problems all humans have in relationships. Well, none of us said it does, only that the parameters a conventional arrangement provides are a better source of structure by which to manage those problems. Is it done perfectly? Hardly, but why toss out the tools merely because their users are imperfect?

    Like

  28. jlwaters87 says:

    “I wish you were willing to allow people to oppose you.” There it is! It’s not that he wants to oppose your ideas; he wants to oppose “you”, or at least, his skewed version of “you”. What is clear from the postings on Genevan Commons is that seemingly nobody there is seeking to engage in scholarly critique; rather, they are engaging in the darker side of post-post-modern non-arguments and seeking to cloak themselves in the guise of “Reformed”. This behavior is unbecoming an officer in God’s church; indeed, it is unbecoming a man. The OPC should take these lads behind the woodshed; this is certainly a disciplinary issue.

    Like

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