Ken Alexander – How Not to Disagree With Your Pastor

Ken Alexander – How Not to Disagree With Your Pastor February 20, 2020

Last week in Lori Alexander’s private chat room for her site The Transformed Wife she kept mentioning a recent sermon by the pastor of their church she and husband Ken disagreed with. She said Ken got up and walked out. That Ken would soon be sounding off on this sermon, writing a take down response.

What was the subject? The role of women in the church and life as far as I could tell. It looks like the pastor and church that Ken is objecting to is Ryan Rosenbaum of Seacoast Community Church in Encinitas, California.

Here’s a small part of Ken’s copious word salad whining about Pastor Rosenbaum:

I guess the bigger question, Pastor, is why are you going against what the church universal and what your own church has taught from the beginning? Your own church still may still hold to having no women preachers, although you allow every other type of speaking in the church by women from leading singing, prayer, announcements, to the little mini-sermonettes that often happens when a woman has the mike. I think most of us are okay with allowing women to speak in church with the 1 Timothy 2 understanding that it applies exclusively to: “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man” (1 Timothy 2:12). But the verse is followed by “rather, she is to remain quiet.” So maybe we shouldn’t be so modern thinking as we are.

I am guessing that Ken considers any word by a woman in church, even a simple “Let us bow our heads and thank God” to be in violation of his own personal ideas here. A sermonette actually instead of what it genuinely is, the lead into a prayer.

Why should we believe you, our elder teacher

I cannot inflict upon you much of Ken’s own vile sermonette, which is all if you are not telling women to submit, submit hard and always submit you are sinning. You have to read all of it a Lori’s site. It’s ranty word salad in Ken’s too lengthy wandering style he usually reserves for inflicting on the many women he spends hours talking to online.

Here’s where this makes me despair. What does the Bible say about disagreeing with someone in the church? You are told to go directly to that person and speak to them about it, not gossip to the entire world. This is just a tiny inch away from gossiping. If Ken had written this in such a way that was aimed at all pastors instead of clearly being aimed at one particular pastor it would be one thing.

I don’t agree 100% with everything spilling from my pastor’s lips either. But, I figure, he’s a man, a human, a flawed individual like the rest of us. I go to him privately to discuss my concerns instead of putting him immediately on internet blast like Ken has done.

Ken is defying his own spiritual head, running counter to his own stated beliefs. But we always knew that Lori and Ken consider themselves above the law of the scriptures, cherry picking what they will believe in and what they will ignore instead of attempting to keep to the whole of scripture. They are typical practitioners  Evangelical legalism.

Better ways to deal with disagreeing with a pastor’s words? Quick note: I am not talking about toxic situations, sexual abuse, or gaslighting here. I’m speaking of the simple scriptural differences  between people.

  1. Go to the pastor and express your concerns, not to other people.
  2. Do not share with anyone but your spouse what you’re upset about.
  3. Listen. Listen first to what the pastor has to say, and decide to accept or reject his thoughts. Give him at least a little respect by paying attention.
  4. Realize that there are some adults in this world you will not agree with, and it’s not the end of the world. Heck, it shouldn’t even be the end of the friendship.
  5. Try to end the discussion on a positive note. You don’t know that your words might give him something to think about and modify his stance eventually.
  6. Don’t gossip about it afterward.

This is exactly the kind of stupid behavior that drives church splits and turns relatively safe and healthy churches into toxic environments created by angry people with control issues.

Sometimes the upshot is that you realize that the pastor isn’t what you need and you end up leaving that church.

In this same vein I recommend a book titled “Crucial Conversations” for those difficult conversations. It’s a good read for anyone interested in de-escalating difficult communications and coming to a common understanding.

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NLQ Recommended Reading …

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement by Kathryn Joyce

I Fired God by Jocelyn Zichtermann

13:24 A Dark Thriller by M Dolon Hickmon

About Suzanne Titkemeyer
Suzanne Titkemeyer went from a childhood in Louisiana to a life lived in the shadow of Washington D.C. For many years she worked in the field of social work, from national licensure to working hands on in a children's residential treatment center. Suzanne has been involved with helping the plights of women and children' in religious bondage. She is a ordained Stephen's Minister with many years of counseling experience. Now she's retired to be a full time beach bum in Tamarindo, Costa Rica with the monkeys and iguanas. She is also a thalassophile. She also left behind years in a Quiverfull church and loves to chronicle the worst abuses of that particular theology. She has been happily married to her best friend for the last 33 years. You can read more about the author here.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Tawreos

    This is exactly the kind of stupid behavior that drives church splits and turns relatively safe and healthy churches into toxic environments created by angry people with control issues.

    Haven’t Ken and Lori shown, repeatedly, that this is the kind of environment they are most likely to flourish in?

  • persephone

    I knew it! I commented previously that Lori probably doesn’t get along with her church. If Ken were smarter than a doorknob, he would know that the best thing he could do is get Lori to chill out, maybe by ordering her to do so, like a good patriarch, and have her get involved in church volunteering. He’s now guaranteed that the two of them will be haunting each other for eternity. He’s never going to have any peace at home.

  • Tawreos

    Listen. Listen first to what the pastor has to say, and decide to accept or reject his thoughts. Give him at least a little respect by paying attention.

    So many people have a problem with this step. Listening is only done to get something to use against you otherwise it is just waiting for a pause so they can speak again. I wish this was a problem that was limited to the religious. =(

  • Thanks for this book suggestion. I’d not heard of it before, but it looks really good. We need more “crucial conversations” and can never be good enough at them IMO

  • Mimc

    I’m sure if it was an abuse case they’d insist on doing the whole confronting in private steps outlined in the Bible. Even though that would be extremely unsafe and possibly criminal (in some states everyone is a mandatory reporter). But apparently it’s super important that the whole world know they disagree with their pastor.

  • Sarah

    I’m surprised they still have Crista Curtis on their web site. She’s been raging about the homeless parking lot on a private FB group and even on NextDoor for months now.

  • Ruthie Welles

    That’s not at all the type of church I expected Lori and Ken to be involved in. Poking through their website and facebook page, I can see SO many things that Lori would disapprove of. I also couldn’t help but notice that they don’t appear involved. I guess I figured they would be more visible in whatever church they go to.

  • Aloha

    “…what the church universal … has taught from the beginning.”

    Anyone know what that is? What exactly is the “church universal” and what has it consistently taught since the beginning.?

    Granted, misogyny has come down the centuries pretty faithfully, but there have never been universally accepted rules for a woman’s role.

  • Aloha

    Encinitas, CA probably doesn’t have many options. Cali in general is a desert of churches. Yeah, the far South might be a little more churchy (Encinitas is near San Diego), but still not many super-fundy churches.

  • Desperate Ambrose

    Am I the only one who has noticed that St. Paul’s words are “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man”? How did his opinion become the Word of Almighty God?

  • Emersonian

    Yeah, methinks someone here is ignorant of the history of Christianity overall, and even the history of evangelical protestantism in the US, if he thinks there’s been anything “consistently taught since the beginning.”

  • AFo

    I would think Lori would be happy about this, since it gives her the chance to be all holier-than-thou and explain how the pastor is wrong about women and she’s right

  • thatotherjean

    That happened when an awful lot of churches started paying more attention to Paul’s words than Christ’s. They haven’t yet come to grips with the research that says that Paul didn’t write everything that has his name on it, either.

  • Jennifer

    Holy cow, I bet you anything that’s sadly very true.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    You’re not the only one. The “I” is significant, because it generally is a sign that Paul is indeed giving his opinion rather than quoting or laying down doctrine, and is dealing with a specific problem he’s been asked advice on. A lot of theologians / Bible interpreters take this as meaning Paul isn’t laying down a general rule, particularly as women actually did teach and have leadership positions in the early church.
    (Since this crops up a lot I’ve posted this before.) It’s also not at all clear that Paul (or whoever – the authorship is disputed) is saying what the “shut your mouths, women” crowd would have him.
    In the immediately preceding verse Paul instructs that a woman is to be allowed to receive religious instruction with the men (itself unusual for the time, and possibly answering the original question Paul is responding to). The quoted verse starts with “but” and is Paul clarifying how far the permission he has just given in the previous verse extends. The situation is therefore specifically a woman seeking religious instruction. What is translated as “exercising authority” appears to mean in the Greek actually something more akin to “take over”: it may even mean “usurp”. What Paul is in fact saying is that while a woman should be permitted to join in and learn with the men, that doesn’t mean she should be allowed to come in and take over the class.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    Paul’s letters were written decades before the Gospels, so the words of Jesus we say written there are written down to a large extent by people already familiar with Paul.
    One of the problems with Paul’s (or pseudo-Paul’s) writings is that they are written as practical guidance for early Christians trying to navigate being Christian in 1st Century Rome, a very oppressive and highly stratified society entirely unlike our own, and patriarchal in a way even Lori’s little band of fundangelicals could only fantasise about. Passages where Paul tells people how they can go along with social and legal conventions of the time whilst still following Jesus are read as Paul telling 21st Century Christians they have to follow the very un-Christian practices of the ancient Romans.

  • Jennny

    Church volunteering? Lori’s far too important than that…she can’t dirty her hands making coffee, sweeping the floor or getting too near the hoi poloi, the great unwashed, like the homeless who come there. I took Ken’s comments as sheer arrogance, no one knows the bible better than him, no one has the same purity of doctrine as he does…he is the authority. Unfortunately I know an elderly x-tian like him, there’s an arrogance to some, both male and female older x-tians. They’ve ‘walked closely with the lord’ for so long, and some of the preachers they have to listen to, are young enough to be their g/sons, so naturally they know far more than such a young whippersnapper. My elderly x-tian would also like to be asked to preach his ‘wisdom’ more oftern…but he rambles boringly…I’m only surprised he and L&K are still going to church, they don’t seem to approve of much that happens there.
    I used to attend a Brethren chapel where an elder and his wife freely invited any single/lonely folk home for lunch after the service. Someone once whispered, wickedly to me, that she wouldn’t go, because though the lunch was delicious, you got dissected pastor along with it around the table! I always remembered that, and tried never to do it, criticise the preacher on the way home with our 3 young daughters in the car, or over our Sunday lunch.

  • Nea

    Does anyone else catch a strong whiff of misogyny from the line “little mini-sermonettes that often happens when a woman has the mike”?

    That screams “women just talk too much, they’re like little yappy dogs.” No wonder he encourages her to blog. She’s not talking to him, which means he doesn’t have to listen to a woman. Win-win!

  • Cynthia

    Ken:

    Don’t let the door hit ya where the Good Lord split ya.

    You and Lori can just continue with your own ministry cult.

  • Rann

    the “church universal” usually implies …..errrrrr…….. Catholic………

    …..as if the RCC needs any more problems!

  • Emadooze

    They drive me crazy. I somehow got a comment approved, Ken swooped in with his mansplaining, I offered a kind rebuttal FULL of Biblical passages, and lo and behold, my rebuttal was not posted. Always have to control the narrative that Ken’s answer is sooooooo awesome and perfect that there could not possibly be anything to question him further on.

  • Desperate Ambrose

    A rhetorical question. And, yes, referring to St. Paul as the author of a given epistle attributed to him is a shorthand.

    And thank you so much for some very thoughtful contributions!

  • Friend

    To me it screams “variety show.” Everybody has to say a few words before getting around to the actual worship content.

    More and more, I appreciate time-honored worship forms, whether they have a lot of different elements (hymns, readings, prayers, sermon, i.e., mainline Protestant, Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, etc.) or a couple of simple elements (silence and words, as in silent Quaker meetings).

  • thatotherjean

    I’m not enough of a Bible scholar to know the order in which the Gospels were written, relative to the writings of Paul (or pseudo-Paul), but I’ll agree with you that it was Paul who re-made Christianity into a religion acceptable to the Roman Empire

  • Iain Lovejoy

    “I’ll agree with you that it was Paul who re-made Christianity into a religion acceptable to the Roman Empire”
    That’s not what I said at all, and I don’t think Paul “re-made” Christianity either (nor was Christianity made acceptable to the Roman empire until centuries later, under Constantine). Paul’s teaching was perfectly compatible with Jesus and his disciples teaching and is the earliest example of Christian teaching we have. What he did do was to show how it was ppossible to be Christian but not Jewish, which is what made it “Christianity” in the first place, rather than Jewish sect.

  • Jennifer

    Good for you! That’s considerate behavior.

  • persephone

    It seems that Lori is the one who led Ken into this belief system. He wanted her to have a job. She didn’t. His posts to her blog tend to be echoes of what she has just said, or, as above, a mess of word salad because Ken really doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Ken seems to mostly be trying to keep the peace at home. Lori’s been harping on him since they got married. Without the kids to distract her, she’s gone full psycho9.

    Instead of taking advantage of minimal family obligations to do something with her time, she prefers to stay home and upbraid women who don’t copy her life.

  • persephone

    Anything to keep Lori busy and out of his hair and food. Every now and then, he’ll make a post or answer some comments, then he can go back to whatever he was doing, while Lori happily goes back to her posting.

  • persephone

    There was the Council of Nicaea set up by Emperor Constantine to establish the RCC. Part of that was choosing books to be included in a bible. They leaned heavily towards Paul, based on his more Roman writings. A nice ex-carpenter who wants to save the world isn’t the guy a warring emperor is going to want informing the masses.

    I’m not into it myself, but there are a few people, including Libby Anne Love, Joy, Feminism who are into studying the language and context of the Bible, especially the Epistles, and have posted some excellent information on questionable translations and editing, in a context of tradition and history.

  • persephone

    I did a quick search, and there are quite a few churches, none of them obviously fundy, but surprise: Shadow Mountain Community Church is one that believes in the inerrancy of the Bible and the pastor has the perfect silver-white toupee. That would be a better fit. Or the Ranch View Baptist Church. House of Praise Evangelical Church. All of them are within a couple miles of each other, so there’s no dearth of crazy available.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    My understanding is that there is some relationship between one of Lori’s relatives and Pastor Ryan

  • Meurig ap Gweirydd

    Yet earlier in the same letter he praises women for their work in spreading the word as deacons of the church. The entire tone of that “I do not permit…” passage is completely at odds with the rest of the letter, exactly as if someone added an extra sentence to force his own mysogynistic views on the church

  • Meurig ap Gweirydd

    They also haven’t come to terms with the fact that Timothy 1&2 and Peter 1&2 are proven forgeries.

  • Desperate Ambrose

    Interesting. Not nearly enough of a biblical scholar to know, but I suppose it’s possible.

  • thatotherjean

    Not forgeries, exactly. More like an advice-giver appropriating the name of an already-famous advice-giver, to lend his advice more weight and a wider readership. It seems to have worked, then and 2,000 years later.

  • Nea

    Lori uses an absolutely amazing amount of time, energy, and resources to avoid work, doesn’t she?