The Elephant is in Me

Joseph Merrick (The Elephant Man) photographed...

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Dear Tom,

You are right.  Guilty as charged, and I am sorry for gossiping about you.  It is beyond ironic that “the finger comes back to point at me” as one writer put it on Challies.  And so pathetic, my response when you pointed  out my hypocrisy —  but I only shared it to get others to pray about it –did that really come from my mouth?

To my great shame, that classic justifier of gossip was indeed  mine.  Truly that continuum of self-deception was working in me yesterday –would that I had heeded the warning signs when I started to fixate on what I believed to be so wrong:
…. a ‘fixation’ upon what is wrong
…. leads to condemnation
…. which leads to legalism
…. which leads to self-righteousness and deceit.

(from a comment by Mark Finger)

I am beseeching God to grant me real repentance from this terrible sin that is such a blight on the church.   The Holy Spirit’s assurance that my sin is forgiven is my only great joy this morning.

I am going to apologize on Challies as well, if the comments aren’t closed. You  will be relieved to know  I will permanently retire from holding anyone to account.  I will take a break again from the blog, to the great relief of my husband.  And I will pray (until relieved of this burden) for all those involved in the Elephant Room.  I am earnestly praying for blessing on you as well.

Karen Butler

Explore posts in the same categories: Apologies and Retractions

2 Comments on “The Elephant is in Me”

  1. Tom Chantry Says:


    As I said the other day, I do not consider it gossip for you to challenge me on a matter of gospel kindness – regardless of whether or not I fully agree with your point. I am not offended by your doing so. There is no issue between us, and if you feel the need of it, you have my forgiveness.

    Tom Chantry

    • Karen Butler Says:

      Thank you so much Tom! Your response is such a relief to me.

      To be very clear, I feel fine about the previous post here: “Messing with Pyros.” I was still reserving judgement, and I was only seeking clarity about your comments on Phil’s post. I was genuinely concerned for the reputation of James MacDonald, but I was still in a place of trust.

      I was convicted Tom, in that that what I said on Challies was sin. I was outing you, and I needed instead to cover over what we said to each other in this obscure corner of the Internet. I was doing a little Detweiler, and that still causes my cheeks to burn with shame.

      I was not resting in God, trusting completely in his sovereignty in this whole debacle, and I was seeking to manipulate circumstances in my alarm and desperation to protect yet another Gospel hero who is biting some dust . And the list is a long one, beginning with the first pastor we sat under, who ran off with his secretary, who was also his secretary. He was the best Bible teacher I have ever heard –and back then, our church was coming under the SGM umbrella. Hence my deep concern for CJ Mahaney, and the Covenant Life Church mess.

      So this is not the first time I have had an idol toppled, and I am certain it will not be the last. But, “in repentance and rest is my salvation, in quietness and confidence my strength.” And I am going nowhere near those fast horses soon.

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