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Thursday, 12 May 2016

My encounter with Donn Ketcham

I say, what a week. About a thousand people have accessed this blog in the past two days following the publication of a Christianity Today article on Donn Ketcham. For only the second time, albinism is the second most popular topic here. So it's only appropriate that I write a little further on the topic, including an account of my own encounter with the good doctor.

But first, an examination of the recently released  ABWE and Donn Ketcham Investigations Final Report. My comments will be interspersed, in italics.

Analysis indicates that there existed, and in some cases exist today, typically unspoken beliefs and attitudes within ABWE that were revealed through the investigation by way of documents and interviews – beliefs and attitudes that contributed to missionary family and ABWE administrative lack of awareness, lack of responsiveness, and poor decision-making regarding policy violations and abuse behaviors and events. The root causes of significant impact include:

1. There existed a prevailing attitude toward authority in evangelical circles, primarily that there was a "spirituality" standard that required unquestioning compliance with authority. This attitude prevented the development of a healthy system of checks and balances and openness to corrective actions. Critical thinking skills were suspended.

This is a prevalent problem in evangelical circles that have been influenced by Bill Gothard or the Patriarchy movement. But, on the mission field, it goes back way further than that--it probably originated in a military mindset.

2. There existed a focus on ministry as being the top priority. Individual needs and voices tended to be dismissed in the service of the "greater good", i.e. ministry and the spread of the Gospel.

There is also a warped sense of priorities: the work must go on, even if the worker is tainted by sin. Yet, nationals are held to a higher standard, and can be summarily dismissed if under suspicion of moral failure.

3. There existed a prevailing attitude about the status of women in the work place. Especially in the historical time period under investigation women were considered "support" personnel. As such, their opinions and observations carried less weight and were easier to dismiss and ignore. Because women were considered of lesser value, it was easier to "send them home" and/or remove them from the mission, i.e. Donn Ketcham’s lovers over the decades.

 This is a good point; it is almost always MEN who are kept on in spite of moral failure; single women are much more expendable.

4. There existed a prevailing attitude toward children relative to the ministry and to adults. Ministry activities were more important than child needs. Children were not to interfere with or block the "ministry". In fact, children were "sacrificed" so that the ministry would not be "discredited." This, in part, led to blaming a child for what was, in truth, the responsibility of an adult. This also led to children not speaking up about what was happening to them. The children saw much that the adults missed.

5. There existed a prevailing belief that missionaries are "more spiritual" than the average Christian, and because of their "sacrifices" are "entitled." This creates a vulnerability to and blindness about wrongful (and even criminal) behaviors, i.e. a tolerance of Donn Ketcham using inappropriate sexual joking and bragging about his sexual exploits with National women.

Missionaries are thought of as more spiritual, due to their biblical training and being in "Full-time Christian Service." There is also the Baptist focus on right theology over right living.

6. There existed a class system of value and importance on the field. A doctor was considered more important than others, which led to a sense of subservience and obedience on the part of the victims and observers who might have otherwise spoken out regarding Donn Ketcham’s abusive behaviors. This class system impacted the Donn Ketcham family as well.

7. There existed an idealization of Donn Ketcham, a doctor, whose charisma garnered many dollars for ABWE and blinded many people to his true character, i.e."How could such a wonderful man who did so much for the Ministry be that bad? was an oft reported sentiment." For example:

a. He became a demigod in the mission. Donn Ketcham contributed to his persona by presenting himself as a strong spiritual leader, preaching, speaking, and leading Bible studies. He often instructed and condemned others on the very sins he was and had been committing for decades.

b. A result of the idealization is that other decision-makers set aside their own opinions and capacities and deferred to Donn Ketcham, including ABWE administrators who were in positions of authority over Donn Ketcham.

8. There existed a customization of ABWE Principles and Practices and consequences for violation of those Principles and Practices for Donn Ketcham while the organization strictly enforced the Principles and Practices and violation consequences for other mission personnel. For example:

a. Donn Ketcham’s paramours were removed from the field in spite of their pleas to return, while Donn Ketcham was allowed to return.

b. One missionary family was sent home and required to attend 2 years of counseling followed by a period of observation for issues related to parenting a high-needs child. Donn Ketcham, on the other hand, was sent to Chittagong (a discipline that was not strictly enforced) and required to complete a recommended possible 30 sessions of counseling, of which he
only completed 17, for outright violation of ABWE’s code of behavior. Of note, the missionary family’s requirements for counseling were at Donn Ketcham’s insistence.

c. Counselors selected in the Donn Ketcham matter failed due to inadequate training and experience, a lack of professional certification and licensure, conflict of interest, accepting assignments outside of scope of expertise, and ethics violations as to working with the perpetrator and his victim/survivor.

9. There existed a conflict between administering ABWE as a faith-based entity (grace, mercy, compassion, forgiveness, etc.) versus a corporate/business entity (with protective policies and procedures in place, governance checks and balances, etc.). For example:

a. This confusion allowed compassion and forgiveness to block appropriate legal and administrative actions. Equally, it allowed organizational concerns (i.e. financial, the need for doctors) to repeatedly block appropriate responses to victim/survivors.

b. This confusion resulted in ABWE not reporting to authorities Donn Ketcham’s pedophilia as it became known to the organization over decades.

c. This confusion and lack of following corporate principles and practices in place, resulted in multiple affairs and the sexual and emotional abuse of both adult women and children.

d. This confusion allowed "forgiveness" (a faith-based concept) to be used in the service of corporate avoidance of tough issues, i.e. Donn Ketcham’s preferential treatment, a child being blamed for the sexual abuse perpetrated by Donn Ketcham in order to protect Donn Ketcham’s wife, Donn Ketcham continuing in a leadership role even while home for discipline, and a misleading confession avoiding the truth of child sexual abuse being presented with no supervision by ABWE.

e. This confusion contributed to ABWE’s failure to seek out or use appropriate professional and legal counsel for Donn Ketcham when the organization was aware of and had worked with such professionals in matters affecting other ABWE missionaries.

10. There existed a difficulty with logistics in that time period which resulted in a lack of timely communication between Bangladesh and the U.S. headquarters and vice versa.

a. This isolation tends to make people cling tighter to what is familiar, hence the development of "we’re all family" (aunts and uncles). Such a family sense makes it more difficult for people to have perspective, to ask for
information, to critique inappropriate actions, and to see reality, i.e. many still refer to the 13-14 year old missionary kid (MK) victim/survivor as a "consenting (implied) adult".

b. Such an isolated community also creates a "tribal knowledge" where facts are assumed, truth is unintentionally distorted (i.e. time frames, ages) – all of which lead to difficulty "connecting the dots" when abuse happens.

11. There existed a culture of naiveté, due in large part to the underlying mistaken belief that "abuse doesn’t happen in Christian circles."

a. This created an environment in which behavior that would activate a censorship response in most circles was dismissed or ignored.

b. Children’s fears (and in some cases terror) of physical exams with Donn Ketcham was ignored.

c. This attitude also prevented acquisition and dissemination of information about abuse, abuse behaviors, grooming behaviors, and symptoms displayed by abused victims. With no one educated about abuse, or aware that it is a possibility in ANY environment, the mission compound became a fertile field for a manipulator and abuser.

d. Naiveté also made it easy for Donn Ketcham to find, prey on, and intimidate victims and potential witnesses.

A final comment: I wonder if one reason why ABWE leadership was so willing to overlook Donn's sin was that they were blinded by their own guilt in the same areas. An example of this which has come to light is that of  R. C. Sproul Jr.

Okay, now for my encounter with Dr. Ketcham.

It is interesting now to think back to October 1987 and realize that at the time Donn Ketcham spoke in a missions conference I attended, he was already under counseling from ABWE for the very sort of behaviour for which he was not long  afterward expelled. Yet, there he was preaching as an official representative of ABWE. And I must say, he was a very good preacher--I still remember that his subject was Gideon. There was nothing in his persona as a preacher to indicate the darkness that was even then consuming his soul. Nor, I expect, was any big announcement made from that same pulpit 2 years later announcing the fall of that famous preacher. No, such smug announcements were always reserved for the guy from the other theological camp.

Monday, 2 May 2016

What is a transgender? An linguistic answer

Chances are you are arriving at this blog as the result of an internet search. This isn't surprising, as the concept of transgender has exploded upon the public consciousness of the western world rather recently, and many people are confused as to just what transgender means or is. As a scholar who has been following this topic for several decades, it is incumbent upon me to make things as plain as possible--as I did for my series of posts on albinism, which continue to enlighten thousands every year.

Let's start with a contemporary definition, taken from the first hit on a Google search:

Transgender: denoting or relating to a person whose self-identity does not conform unambiguously to conventional notions of male or female gender.

So, right off we see that transgender is unconventional. From the same source, that word is defined:

Unconventional: not based on or conforming to what is generally done or believed.

So, transgender is something unusual, not ordinary. In fact, it doesn't even fit into a conventional belief system. To sum it up, transgender is a new way of looking at the world that conflicts with what has previously been done and believed. Let's go back a bit and see how earlier dictionaries defined it:

According to Google Ngram, the word was first coined at the dawn of the 20th century. But one will look in vain for even a mention of the word in any dictionary before the close of that century. It isn't found in my Funk & Wagnell's Unabridged Dictionary of 1929 (updated 1959), nor my Websters Collegiate Dictionary of 1983 (updated 1991; published citations of the word doubled in the following year). Popular usage of the word itself is younger than the majority of people claiming that it describes them. Instead, one will have to look elsewhere for a word that describes the actions and beliefs now codified in the word transgender: transvestite.

It first appears in Google Ingram in 1897, but the word, and the behaviour it connotes, were so new in 1929 that Funk & Wagnells didn't include it. It remained so obscure that even thirty years of updates failed to add it to the lexicon. By 1983, however, Websters includes the word, dating its origin to ca. 1922, and defines it as:

Transvestite: A person . . . who adopts the dress and often the behavior typical of the opposite sex esp. for purposes of emotional or sexual gratification.

This is exactly the definition of a transgender. Only the label has changed, and this transfer was not complete until the dawn of this century. 

Why the change in label? It certainly isn't because 'transvestite' is no longer a useful word. Look through photos of those claiming to be transvestite women (often abbreviated as 'trans woman') and you will see that virtually 100% have long hair. Why? Because although there is no longer any cultural expectation that a woman not shear her locks, long hair is still culturally associated with the female sex, and those desperate to present themselves as women universally subvert this cultural norm to their own purposes.

Likewise, dresses. "Trans women" are much more likely to appear in public wearing a dress then are women themselves. Again, it is all part of a desperate ploy to appear feminine using any cultural device available to them.

So far, we are only speaking of transvestites--a word composed of elements that refer to regulating one's public appearance to match that of the opposite sex. But transgender goes beyond that; it claims to have effected an actual transference from one sex to the other. In this, it co-ops another word that adequately describes what happens in nature when certain species make the transition from a phenotypical female to phenotypical male, or vice versa: transsexual, the usage of which, along with 'transvestite', began its decline at the dawn of this century. 'Transgender' has replaced them both, and thus suffers from an inbuilt ambiguity: is a transgender someone who has actually taken steps to transition from one sexual identity to another, or merely one who wishes to?

This inbuilt ambiguity is at the very heart of the controversy currently raging over whether or not transgenders should be able to use the public restroom of their choosing. The definition with which I began this post indicates that the wordsmiths desire it to be both: A person need nothing more than an inner desire to gain access to the toilets, locker rooms, and showers of either designation. Remember that: this is not about transsexuals, or even transvestites. Bathroom Bills which give transgenders access give access to anyone based on nothing more than his or her claim to be transgender. By definition, nothing more can be required of them.

Saturday, 30 April 2016

A review of The Demands of Christian Citizenship, a sermon by Adrian Rogers

I recently heard a sermon by the late Southern Baptist President Adrian Rogers, on The Demands of Christian Citizenship. Now, I like Adrian Rogers, and appreciate a lot about the man and his ministry. But some of what he teaches in this sermon concerns me, inasmuch as it calls into question my Christian credentials; there are demands in the sermon that I have no intention of meeting (although, as it happens, in an earlier life I actually did things to have met them fully). I've written elsewhere on how I would now differ from the Baptist view on such things (although there was a time in my life when I didn't), so in this post I'll only be briefly critiquing the main points of his sermon, which follow. I think there were six in the audio sermon, but no online source seems to list more than four--this is a compilation of the five I can remember (I think the sixth may have been Protect the Government, which see under my posts on warfare).

As Christian citizens, the Word of God directs us to these responsibilities to our country:

1. Pray for government 1 Timothy 2:1-3
Well, of course I can't dispute this, being a man, and given that Paul would that all men lift holy hands in prayer for those in authority, that we may live quiet and peaceable lives in all piety and integrity. I can only thank Dr. Rogers for encouraging me on to more frequent and fervent prayer.

2. Pay for government. Romans 13:1-7
Again, this is something for which I needed encouragement. It does get a little complicated, though, given that the government's desire is to pay me. So his argument begins to break down when faced with modern reality. He says, "simply no loophole when it comes to paying taxes. Jesus did it, so must we."  But in paying his taxes, Jesus himself said that as sons of the king, we really didn't have to. Sounds like a major loophole to me! So, no net benefit to me from this point.

3. Praise government. 1 Peter 2:17
Well, he does have some biblical precedent for this: Paul respectfully addressed Agrippa, and Peter did tell us to honor the king. I would have to admit that this point still needs emphasis, in a digital age where it is so easy to post satirical criticism of one's president or legislator. Definitely, that's not honoring the king. And he does balance this point out with the next one, so I'll grade this point as being well worth hearing as often as is needed for it to sink in.

4. Preach to government. Ephesians 4:15
He gives the example of John the Baptist, who was respectful enough in delivery to gain Herod's hearing, but hardline enough to get executed for the message itself. So, another good point to go along with the previous one--rebuke when necessary, but still in a respectful way that doesn't detract from the message. So far, I'm finding a lot to appreciate and apply from this sermon.

5. Participate in government. 1 Peter 2:12
Here is where Dr. Rogers makes a gigantic leap, both in hermeneutic and logic. Nowhere in the Bible are Christians actually commanded, or even recommended, to participate in government--so he has to quote Daniel Webster rather than Scripture for this point. Jesus certainly never participated in government (he fled when they would make him king), nor did any of the apostles. Government figures in Christian Scripture are generally the bad guys, to be respected or rebuked, even rewarded, but never to be joined in their governance. Furthermore, he says nothing of the alien, the felon, even the citizen lacking a social security number or otherwise disenfranchised for exercising his religions beliefs--none of whom are able to participate in government even at the lowest level of voting. So while I vehemently part ways with Dr. Rogers on this point, I propose that by diligently carrying out the first four duties, a Christian has fully discharged his responsibility to participate in government, and no civic limits apply to any of these.

So, a good sermon overall--just ignore his final point, and strive to apply the first four. That should keep you busy enough

Friday, 11 March 2016

Ken Miller Update

Ken Miller has, like the dangerous criminal the US Government believes him to be, been ordered to a Medium Security federal prison (but in his home state rather than in the state he was tried). He begins his 2 year minimum terms on March 22nd, 2016. You can send him letters of encouragement at:
Pastor Ken Miller
FCI Petersburg Medium 
1060 River Rd. 
Hopewell, VA 23860

The good news is that at the last minute he was reassigned to minimum security. And, of course, no prisoner can receive mail by name, just by number. Here is the corrected contact information:

FCC Petersburg Low
Kenneth L Miller 08464-082
P.O. Box 1000
Petersburg, VA 23804

Saturday, 27 February 2016


I have a couple of stories to tell this morning—one from the world of the Bible, which you already know well, so I won’t spend much time on it—and one from our own world, which you’ve probably never heard. Then I’ll tie them together with the song we just sang, and leave you with something you can take home with you.
In 1981 a baby girl was born to the Moceanu family. This couple had been gymnasts in Romania, a country famous in the 1970’s for its world-class female gymnasts. But the oppressive Communist government in Romania made the whole country like one big prison, and they wanted to make a life for themselves elsewhere. So they had left Romania and moved to America. Life was looking good for them when their first child turned out to be a daughter. They named her Dominique, and decided to give her every opportunity to excel as a gymnast.
As soon as Dominique was able to stand up, they started her training, putting her little hands around a clothesline to see how long she could hang from it. By the time she was four years old, she was already competing, and by the time she was six, she was winning gymnastic contests around the country. They knew she was great.
Then something terrible happened—at least they thought it was terrible. Mrs. Moceanu gave birth to a second child—another daughter—but something had gone wrong, and she was born with no legs. This child, surely, had no hope of following in her parents’ footsteps. This child had no place in a family of world-class gymnasts. Mr. Moceanu’s decision was firm, and it was irrevocable: without ever giving his wife a chance to hold her baby in her arms, he insisted on putting her up for adoption. They would try again, and sure enough, two years later they had another daughter. Little Dominique never realized that she had two sisters—the little cripple was never spoken of again.
Without the distraction of a disabled daughter, the Moceanus poured themselves into Dominique. She got the best gymnastic schools, the best coaches. They even moved to a different state to put her under the tutelage of a pair of Romanian coaches who took only the best as their pupils. Dominique won again and again, until at the age of 14 she reached the pinnacle of success as a gymnast—an Olympic medal. She was still young enough, there was no reason why she shouldn’t be able to continue completing all the way to the next Olympics, four years later, and maybe beyond, if her body held out that long.
But what about her disabled sister—the one she didn’t even know she had? Well, in fact, she didn’t have a disabled sister. The little girl with no legs had been adopted by the Brickers, a couple who already had three sons, and decided to give her a chance to be part of a normal family. They named her Jennifer, and determined to never tell her that she was disabled. They never allowed her to say “I can’t.” She learned to crawl at the normal age, and by the time others were toddling around on their legs, she was crawling circles around them using just her arms and hands. The Brickers got her a bicycle that she could pedal with her hands, and taught her that anything others did with their feet, she would just do with her hands. But what did she want to do, more than anything else? She wanted to be a gymnast, just like her hero, the famous medal-winning Dominque Moceanu.
Dominique, meanwhile, ran into some trouble. The intense schedule of training and competing had stressed her young body to the point of almost crippling her. Again and again she fell down during her performances, and the chance of winning another Olympic medal seemed more and more elusive. Still, she kept on, refusing to give up. But one thing she could not endure was the pressure from her father, who constantly demanded that she be perfect. Her best was never good enough for him, and finally, at the age of seventeen, she gave up trying. She sued for emancipation, testifying in court what a horrible man her father was. The court granted her independence, and Mr. Moceanu, the man who rejected a disabled daughter in secret, found himself publicly rejected by a daughter he had driven to the point of disability.
But his other daughter wasn’t crippled. Her loving parents never let her think of herself as disabled. Once she made the decision to become a gymnast, they supported her all the way. And, incredibly, she started to succeed—winning contests against other gymnasts who did have legs. She specialized in tumbling, and without any legs to get in her way, she was able to leap somersaults around the other gymnasts. One day, when she was the age at which her sister Dominique had rejected their parents, she decided she wanted to find out more about them. What sort of family had she come from, she wondered. So she decided to ask her mother.
I can tell you, Mrs. Bricker responded, but you’d better sit down first. “Mom, I’m always sitting down. You sit down.” So she sat down and gently told her adopted daughter, Your parents were the Moceanus. Dominique is your biological sister.” As the truth began to sink in that Dominique, her hero, was her sister, she realized that her parents must have rejected her because they thought she would never be able to be a gymnast like her sister. Then the irony hit her—Dominique, at the tender age of twenty-three, was already in decline as a professional gymnast. Repeated injuries to her legs had caused her to miss the previous Olympics—in fact, because of her the Olympic committee had decided not to allow any more gymnasts to compete at such a young age. The Moceanus had rejected the daughter who didn’t have any legs to get injured—didn’t have any legs to get in her way to success as a professional gymnast—and along the way had lost their golden girl, the one who showed so much promise—but rejected them. The daughter they didn’t want was happy, confident, and successful—while the daughter they wanted now didn’t want them.
Now, this is all about faith. The Book of Hebrews says that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. We just sang about faith being there in the place of the evidence—it’s even better than that. Faith IS the evidence. When little Jennifer was born, there was no evidence that she would become a professional gymnast. But faith could have seen that it didn’t matter. Faith could have seen that Jennifer could do anything she set her heart on—even if that was becoming the only professional gymnast in the world with no legs. The Moceanus didn’t have that faith—but the Brickers did.
Now, I’m ready to tie this in with a story we’re all familiar with: Joseph. Joseph had dreams that his brothers would all bow down to him, and when he told his brothers about it, they didn’t like it. Now, faith would have seen this as a sign from God—a sign that Joseph had been chosen for something very special. But his brothers didn’t have that faith. His father didn’t even have that faith. The Mideanites, who purchased him for a paltry twenty pieces of silver, didn’t have that faith. Potifar, who threw him in prison on false charges, didn’t have that faith. But Joseph did. All through those years of struggle and setback, he never gave up his faith. If God had said he was going to be raised to such prominence that even his older brothers would bow down before him, then it was going to happen. He didn’t see any evidence that it was going to happen, but he didn’t need evidence. Faith was there in the place of evidence. His faith was his evidence.
Who else had faith in Joseph? Well, Pharaoh did. With Joseph just one good shower and a haircut away from a filthy prison cell, Pharaoh looked at him with eyes of faith and said, Here, Joseph, take my ring. Go to my closet and pick out the best clothes. Take my extra chariot and go do the job that only you can do—don’t let anyone in the kingdom stop you. When Joseph’s own father didn’t think he was fit to rule a country, Pharaoh, who had just met him ten minutes earlier, did. Joseph’s brothers, who scoffed at his dreams, fell down at his feet and gave him the honor God had told him, all those years earlier, that he would receive from them. And God did use him to do great things, just as He had promised when no one else but Joseph had the faith to believe it.
I think we all need to be reminded from time to time how important faith is. I know I need to—this sermon was for me. And the writer of Hebrews must have thought so to--he devoted an entire chapter to the subject. You see, we live in a sight-centered world- a world based on evidence. A world that looks at a baby girl with no legs and comes to the logical conclusion that there’s no future for her as a gymnast. A world that can’t see the promises of God, and in its blindness, not only doesn’t gain the blessings that await them through faith, but loses out on what God has already given it. Joseph lived in such a world, but he didn’t have his eyes on what was around him—his focus was on what awaited him.
Now, none of us know what is ahead of us in this life. We may experience success, we may have failure—there will be some of both in everything we do. But our number one goal is find out what God’s promise is for us, and to achieve it—never saying ‘I can’t.’ The whole eleventh chapter of Hebrews is devoted to one example after another of people who didn’t have evidence of God’s promise, but did have faith. And yet listen to this: These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
These all DIED IN FAITH! The ultimate promise of God for each one of them was eternal life, and even with all the setbacks they faced in life, they never lost hope of that promise. They knew that even if they lost their homes, their liberties, even their lives—they would never lose God’s promise of eternal life. Their faith WAS the evidence of what was to come.
Many people in this world won’t believe in what they can’t see—and scoff at those who do. They don’t have faith in the promises of God—or in the judgments of God. And there’s a perfect example in the Bible of what happens to someone who doesn’t believe in the judgments of God’
1Ki 2:36-46 And the king sent and called for Shimei, and said unto him, Build thee an house in Jerusalem, and dwell there, and go not forth thence any whither. For it shall be, that on the day thou goest out, and passest over the brook Kidron, thou shalt know for certain that thou shalt surely die: thy blood shall be upon thine own head. And Shimei said unto the king, The saying is good: as my lord the king hath said, so will thy servant do. And Shimei dwelt in Jerusalem many days. And it came to pass at the end of three years, that two of the servants of Shimei ran away unto Achish son of Maachah king of Gath. And they told Shimei, saying, Behold, thy servants be in Gath. And Shimei arose, and saddled his ass, and went to Gath to Achish to seek his servants: and Shimei went, and brought his servants from Gath. And it was told Solomon that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath, and was come again. And the king sent and called for Shimei, and said unto him, Did I not make thee to swear by the LORD, and protested unto thee, saying, Know for a certain, on the day thou goest out, and walkest abroad any whither, that thou shalt surely die? and thou saidst unto me, The word that I have heard is good. Why then hast thou not kept the oath of the LORD, and the commandment that I have charged thee with? The king said moreover to Shimei, Thou knowest all the wickedness which thine heart is privy to, that thou didst to David my father: therefore the LORD shall return thy wickedness upon thine own head; And king Solomon shall be blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before the LORD for ever. So the king commanded Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; which went out, and fell upon him, that he died. And the kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon.

Turning to the New Testament, we see another case of a man unwilling to really believe the truth about the certainty of punishment. It's in the parable of the talents:

Mat 25:24 And the one who received the one talent also coming up, he said, Lord, I knew you, that you are a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter;
Mat 25:25 and being afraid, going away, I hid your talent in the earth. Behold, you have yours.
Mat 25:26 And answering, his lord said to him, Evil and slothful slave! You knew that I reap where I did not sow, and I gather where I did not scatter.
Mat 25:27 Then you ought to have put my silver to the bankers, and coming I would have received my own with interest.
Mat 25:28 Therefore, take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents.

You see my friends, it's vitally important that we have faith in God's promises, whether they be for good, or for evil. And God has promised judgment to those who follow a false prophet—or a false prophetess. So be on the alert for such, and steel yourself against falling for their wiles. Don't stick around to argue with them—flee for your lives! John the Apostle is said to have fled naked from a public bath when he saw there one whom he regarded as an enemy of God—lest he be so near as to fall under the punishment which as sure to fall.