Do you believe that all of the Baptized posses the grace of justification, adoption, and the forgiveness of sins, and as such can *lose* that grace if they do not persist in faith and holiness (even if the elect won’t finally lose that grace)? As an Anglican I’d want to affirm that Baptism does in fact confer the Spirit in a saving way to all the baptized, and that one can lose their baptismal grace; would that differ from the kind of Reformed view you hold?
Sean, yes, I would differ with that. All the baptized have the grace of being united to the visible church, and united with a genuine covenant bond. But they do not have the root of the matter in them. That is only for the elect, and even for them it is not until the time of their conversion.
Our Educational Options
When it became clear that established educational options were not suitable for proudly sending a firstborn to be discipled, why was the selected step to start a five-day Christian school open to others instead of a home-school or fewer-day-co-op?
Thanks in advance for any historical insight and present-day wisdom.
Michael, it is hard to remember precisely forty years later, but I think that when we started Logos we hadn’t even heard of such a thing as home schooling. In retrospect, we are very happy with what we did do, but at the time it wasn’t even a decision.
In your book debate with Dr. White on the TR/NA28, you stated that the 1550 Stephanus is the penultimate text from which we would build upon to create the final TR. Why would it be this instead of the Scrivener edition which is far more proliferated and widely accepted?
Sam, great question, and let me answer it this way. The Scrivener is a little further downstream. If we went back to the Stephanus, with the additional knowledge we have now, we would be doing the work of Scrivener over again, only in better light. So if a committee of TR scholars were to be formed today to tackle this, it would seem to make better sense for them to start earlier in the process. But at the same time, I must hasten to add, I would in no way be qualified to serve on such a committee. I would be the guy saying, “Is this one in the middle voice?” For those who want to check into it further, this site should be helpful.
From a Jewish Friend
Shalom Pastor Doug, Just wanted to drop a thank you for your recent blog post and video addressing—as far as I could track with your argumentation—the anti-Semitism of our conservative colleagues and friends, and even brethren.
I’m a Presbyterian believer of Jewish blood myself, and depending on who you ask, that Jewish blood negates all the European flavors in their alongside it. So I found it both concerning and quite hilarious the kind of obviously anti-Semitic reactions your video and blog post have received.
My anti-Semitic-inclined brethren might want to consider rethinking if they want to spend eternity with a Jewish Messiah, let alone with Jewish Christians (or Messianic Jews, to use a term that exaggerates their plight).
We Jewish folks were persecuted terribly in the Nazi West just as in the Communist East. And our right-leaning friends seem to forget the former. And as far as I and other Messianic folks are concerned, they are exalting themselves over the other branches, as Paul warned against.
My concern is not first and foremost with them hurting a Jew, though of course that is no small deal, not least of all because some of us take “Never Again” seriously and they could get themselves in a nasty pickle, let’s say (a Kosher one, of course). But they are asking, it seems, to be cut off from the root as the proud and unbelieving Jews of old were.
Nothing says “Down with the Jews” like doing exactly the same thing the unbelieving Jews did. Brilliant. But, I do pray for them. I’d like to worship with them instead of wondering if I have to have a discussion in the parking lot with them. But there is a time for all things, as the Writings say. Pray for my heart to be loving and forgiving, Pastor. And may our Lord and Messiah bless and keep us all unto His return.
Jacob, thanks much.
Where to Start?
I’m a teacher who recently read your article in The American Conservative. I was curious what you thought teachers in our position should be doing, as well as if you know any resources I should be using.
Ryan, I think the best thing for you to do would be to contact the ACCS with your inquiry. They have a wealth of resources for people in just your position.
At Last! Somebody Asked!
I appreciate the free NQNQ material. Where can I find lyrics for some of the old songs, such as “Peace Peace Peace”?
Jonathan, thanks. Because of formatting issues, some of the chords might be slightly off kilter. So mess around with it.
I’m so tired of all this traveling,
I’m so tired, got blisters under my feet.
Looking for the time when my traveling days’ll be over.
There’ll be no reason then for paying my dues,
C G . . . F F# G
No reason then to keep on singing the blues
I saw a big, old church by the highway,
Great, big steeple pointing to the sky.
Made me think of something that I read in my Bible.
Thought they’d reach Heaven when they were done
C G . . . F F# G
Seems the Lord stepped in, gave them the gift of tongues.
Peace, peace, peace,
F C G
But there ain’t no peace.
F . . . D
Listen to false teachers preach.
It seems the people here,
F C G
Ain’t heard the truth for years
G F G
Someone here’s been tickling ears
Wisdom calls out in the market,
Come, take your fill of living wine.
Fools walk by it seems that they don’t hear her.
They don’t want to know that God is good,
C G . . . F F# G
They don’t want to die and start living like they should.
Paranoia as Mixed Blessing
Re: “The Fact That You Are Paranoid”
a) Even paranoids have actual enemies.
b) I’m certain that if you put your glasses on, you’ll see that what you thought were oozing sores . . . is actually the remnants of partisan termites who have bored through the core of the institution. Once the hallowed halls of justice . . . now a collapsing structure of wood dust, termite excrement, and spongy rot. Hillary Clinton, the Perkins Coie law firm, Danshenko, lying Andrew McCabe, the prolific Agent Strzok (texting over 50,000 texts on taxpayer time to his illicit lover at the DOJ). And, who can forget the unforgettable James Comey?! In his testimony before the U.S. Senate on the question of the Russians and Chicoms accessing Top Secret information from among the 33,000 emails on Hillary’s unsecured personal email server: Senate “Did the Russians and Chicoms access any Top Secret information?” Comey: “I’m not going to say they didn’t.” Seriously. And, it was this exact answer followed by “I don’t believe Hillary intended to do it” which resulted in non-prosecution. Any of the rest of us schmucks would be counting our toes in a Federal solitary cell by now . . . for a very long time.
c) Congress should raze the FBI, brick by brick and including the foundation. Build a new agency that has ironclad protections to prevent weaponization against innocent Americans, and relief valves for those moments when any agency employee starts veering from “fidelity” and “integrity”—to the extent those words even mean something. This should be done for America.
d) Stay frosty!
John, thanks much. Next time try to let us know how you really feel.
Where the Fence Goes
You’ve probably already answered this somewhere, and I’ve simply missed it. If so, I’d be grateful for a link to where I can read your thoughts on this matter.
I’m a member of what’s normally considered a theologically conservative Reformed denomination, and the preaching of the Word we receive each week is good food. We love our pastor and our church family. Our church is active not only in protesting abortion, but in supporting Christian-based crisis pregnancy facilities, and there’s no flinching from calling abortion a great evil from the pulpit.
We live in an area of the country that is primarily “blue” politically, and there are, no doubt, a number of members of our church, who voted “blue” not only in the Sleepy Joe election but in the ones that elected Obama, that president who did more to protect and promote abortion than any president in the history of this country.
When it comes time for Communion each Lord’s Day, the Table is fenced, allowing only for those who are baptized members in good standing of some Gospel-preaching church, who are not living in any known and unrepentant sin. Visitors, even if those of whom these two things are true, if they’ve not spoken to one of the elders of our church, are asked to refrain from the Sacrament until they do get opportunity to speak with the elders. And again, for those who are thusly pre-qualified, communicant members of our church or another, are admonished to refrain from partaking if they have been sinned against and are withholding forgiveness.
Concerning members of our own church, and their participation in the Lord’s Supper, do you believe that the pastor and other shepherding elders should be making sure that members who indeed vote for pro-abortion politicians are themselves refraining from partaking of the Table, unless and until they repent of their sinful voting act(s) and endeavor henceforth to obey Christ and not vote in such a sinful manner?
If a member in good standing, who is truly the victim, not of some mere petty annoyance, but of heinously wicked acts, crimes in fact (think rape, and/or murder of a family member, or thievery or embezzlement of sums of money large enough to devastate lives), and in either case, the offending party has neither asked for forgiveness, nor do they act like they have any remorse . . . Should the victim(s) be obligated to refrain from partaking of the Sacrament because they’ve not yet forgiven the offending party, nor do they believe that handing out carte blanch forgiveness is biblical, even though such carte blanche forgiveness is a prerequisite from the pulpit for partaking of the Sacrament?
Thanks for any help and advice you can provide.
SK, thank you. On the first issue, I do believe it to be an issue, but it is the kind of thing I that believe should be addressed by teaching first. If fencing the Table in this way is something your church already does, then it would be good to periodically have some messages on it, and in those messages include some hypothetical scenarios. On the second issue, the victim of the crime should not be kept from the Table unless they have given themselves over to hatred and animosity. If they are prepared to forgive the offender if he were to come and seek it, then they should be partaking of the elements.
You recently wrote about forgiveness: “Forgiveness is to be extended before it is requested, but it cannot be transacted until it is requested,” and “Forgiveness of this sort is a transaction, and you cannot conduct a transaction with only one party participating.”
How can one put Eph. 4:31 into practice having extended forgiveness, but the other party remains hardened, and thus the transaction of forgiveness remains unfulfilled?
grh, it depends on how much interaction you have with the person. If it is a cousin you see annually at a family reunion, it is one thing. If it is someone you see daily (e.g. a spouse, or a co-worker), it is different. For the former, you can be all prayed up, and manage those two days fairly well. If you deal with the person constantly, and they won’t seek forgiveness, and the thing they did is not ambiguous, then God has assigned you to the deep end. But swimming in that deep end requires that you treat the other person as you pray that God will treat you.
I’ve Been Called Worse . . .
I noticed you were called a “dweeb.”
My understanding is that it is short form for Doug Wilson Enrages Effeminate Boys, or Doug Wilson Entertains Even Baptists. Wear that banner proudly.
Blair, thanks. But that’s two banners.
Hey brother. Silly question: Do you think it’s wrong/sinful to rent an AirBnB from a gay couple? Is it a matter of conscience? It’s a really nice AirBnB (as it should be)and fits exactly what my wife and I are looking for but I feel like I’m contributing financially to their lifestyle by renting their place. I think I just answered my own question…
Jacob, actually it is a very practical question, and not a silly one at all. It is a matter of comfort, not conscience. Scripture does not require us to detach ourselves from the economy because we might be contributing to someone’s sinful lifestyle. Perhaps this will help.
Kind of Like the Early Christian Fish Sign
A brief remark on NQN: sometime in the last year you mailed me a NQN sticker along with a book I’d ordered. I affixed said sticker to my pickup where it has been proudly displayed and sadly unnoticed. Until September. I hired a kid of sixteen to help me with a side business. The third question he asked me was, “what do you think of Doug Wilson?” Now there’s a litmus test.
I’m happy to report the resulting friendship to be based rather than acidic.
Ian, what a fine young man!
In regards to the office of pastor, there seems to be many complementarians who would rightfully argue from Scripture that not only is the term woman pastor an oxymoron but also unbiblical. While this is my position (1 Cor. 14:34-35; 1 Tim. 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9), I don’t believe that I’ve ever heard anyone bluntly say if this is a sin or not. There seems to be a bit of tiptoeing around this issue by refraining from calling it a sin.
So my question(s): churches that appoint women to the office of pastor, are they operating in sin? Are the women in that role living in sin?
An example of this in my context is that the moral revolution became apparent to some with the introduction of the “domestic partnership” legislation (enforced by the Governor because it was voted down in the legislative assembly). And more recently, the Law Reform Commission released a discussion paper which includes a recommendation of reviewing the abortion legislation (which remains illegal).
Meanwhile, there is a local Ministers’ Association who has been vocal in opposing the legislation. However, the group consists of at least one female pastor and some other pastors who have women pastors in their churches.
But here is my issue: how are we Christians allowed to disregard the authority of Scripture in order to appoint so-called women pastors; but on the other hand, we become enraged when the unbelieving world uses the same approach to justify sin?
I understand that church governance and murder (abortion) may be different categories, but I believe the underlying principle is the same: Has God Said?
Thank you for considering my questions. You have been of tremendous help to me with thinking through these and other issues.
Grace and Peace,
Shimar, you are exactly right. We cannot be upset when the world disobeys the Scripture when we are the ones who led the way in disobeying the Scriptures. There were women in pulpits before there were women flying combat missions. And so yes, churches with women pastors are in sin, and women who occupy the position of pastor are also sinning. God said not to do it, and if you are doing it, then that is what a sin is.
In your recent post, you write:
“Instead of being ASHAMED of this made-up reality, they became PROUD of this made-up reality. And that’s how we got a collection of Proud Boys going down to heckle folks at an Antifa rally”, implying that the Proud Boys are a reactionary white supremacist group. I was surprised that you wrote that. My understanding of the Proud Boys is that they are a reactionary group that opposes Antifa and other left wing extremists. Of course I’ve heard them described as racists by the left, but that term no longer means anything coming from the left. When you imply racism, it still means something to me. What have they done/said that makes them white supremacists in your view, or am I wrong to assume that you are labeling them white supremacists?
P.S., I do not support the Proud Boys violent actions, I just doubt that that those actions are motivated by racism
Joel, you are exactly right. That was a rhetorical blunder on my part. I did not intend to imply that they were an ethnically-motivated group, but that would be a reasonable interpretation of my words. I stand corrected.
A Longer Version?
I noticed when listening to the audio version of How To Exasperate Your Wife that included was a longer version to the following article. Could you please update this written article to include the fuller version so I can share it with my friends? Thank you for your good work.
I thank you for your content over these last few years, But more than that, thank you for your insistence on being a squeaky wheel. They have been greasing you and many other for some time and yet you all continue to squeak. I do fear that someone believes your squeak has grown too loud. The news has done its best to label Moscow as a train wreck and you as the conductor and with your last NQN and the horrific tragedy that recently occurred, I feel the grease gun closing in . . . Keeping you all in my prayers . . .
Kenneth, thank you very much for your prayers.
A Couple of Sexual Snarls
Do you have other “letters” or blogs that address tyranny in marriage as it relates to sex? The counsel from pastors to me has been to never say no to my husband in regards to sex. My husband also struggled with using sex to fulfill his emotional needs and so this was a recipe for disaster. I felt like a prostitute, only useful for sex, and that he only showed attention to me when he wanted sex. I have read many of your books and blog posts and find many great practical helps as to how love and respect in marriage should look. I also agree that there is order in creation and marriage and that wives should be submissive. However this doesn’t mean I can’t speak my thoughts or express my opinion. But that is the attitude I perceive from many Christians when it comes to sex. The wife has one job . . . to fulfill her husbands sexual needs whenever he wants and don’t express if you feel differently. I developed much bitterness and hardness of heart because of this and my husband had an affair because of his misguided thoughts on what sex should provide for him. His self worth was wrapped up in his sexual fulfillment. We have since healed, after many years of hard work in counseling, but I still would like solid biblical counsel on how to practically talk about sex and how to manage the frequency. Any blogs or books you could recommend would be appreciated. Oh, also, you are the first pastor that I know of to address these issues in truly practical ways that are VERY helpful. Typically the idea conveyed is just be nice and never be contrary and submit. I find this misses so much teaching in the Bible.
L, very sorry for the hard road you have had. It is very difficult to know how to address this from a distance—kind of like a correspondence course in dancing lessons, when only one of the dance partners does the lessons. What is needed here (and what you can pray for) is for someone who can instruct both of you—teaching your husband to court you, and teaching you how best to be responsive. When it all lands on you, the effect is that of a sexually demanding husband backed up by a demanding church.
My sister and her boyfriend recently came to me and informed me they had been sleeping together. The boyfriend is going to ask my father to marry my sister. As far as I’m aware my father doesn’t know that they’ve slept together. I’m struggling with what I should do I’m this scenario. Any advice would be much appreciated.
Need Help, it really kind of depends. Are they Christians? Why did they tell you? Are they struggling against the sin? Or are they treating it as acceptable? And is your father a Christian? When would they want to get married? Before you go off and do anything, I would suggest that you talk with your sister and just ask questions. Did they tell you in order to enlist your support? In other words, you first need to find out what is going on.
I have a couple of random questions about weddings and marriage.
In one recent post, you said the following:
“If covenant vows are taken, but there is no consummation, then it is not a marriage . . .”
What would you then say to the way we do weddings in the modern U.S.? At the end of the ceremony, the minister normally says something like “You are now husband and wife” and then introduces the couple as “Mr. and Mrs. X.” Is that appropriate and true language? Or is it misleading, as the marriage has not yet been consummated?
Also, does Christ Church have a wedding liturgy of some sort? I find myself very underwhelmed by the typical evangelical wedding ceremony, as it feels short and rather informal most of the time. I have searched (albeit not extensively) for wedding liturgies from a reformed, Protestant perspective, but I have not found any as of yet (aside from the BCP).
Aaron, I think our normal pattern is fine. Everyone knows that the couple is being sent off to an evening of sexual activity. All I am saying is that the private consummation is an essential part of what is happening. The pronouncement that they are husband and wife is what grants the right to enjoy themselves. The day before the wedding, it would be a sin for them to have sex because they are not yet husband and wife. After the wedding, they are husband and wife, which means they can have sex, and, after having had sex, they are husband and wife in the fullest sense.
As far as wedding liturgies go, I have pasted in below the template that I use.
SAMPLE WEDDING TEMPLATE
This is a template only. Feel free to adjust according to your circumstances.
Murgatroyd and Georgiana
Men come in at the end of the family music
Welcome, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Please be seated.
Declaration of Intent
Murgatroyd, will you have this woman to be your wife, and will you pledge your faithfulness to her, in all love and honor, in all duty and service, in all faith and tenderness, to live with her, and cherish her, according to the ordinance of God, in the holy bond of marriage? Will you? I will.
Georgiana, will you have this man to be your husband, and will you pledge your faithfulness to him, in all love and honor, in all duty and service, in all faith and tenderness, to live with him, and cherish him, according to the ordinance of God, in the holy bond of marriage? Will you? I will.
Who gives this woman to marry this man?
Her mother and I
Bride and groom come up.
Let’s stand and rejoice together by singing Psalm of Your Choice
Please be seated.
Scripture Reading—Dad one
Prayer of Blessing—Dad two
The . . . many cool things are said here . . .
In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, amen.
Let us stand together and continue to rejoice by singing Hymn of Your Choice.
I, Murgatroyd, take thee, Georgiana,
to be my wedded wife;
and I do promise and covenant
before God and these witnesses;
to be thy loving and faithful husband;
for better for worse,
in plenty and in want;
in joy and in sorrow;
in sickness and in health;
to love and to cherish
as long as we both shall live.
I, Georgiana, take thee, Murgatroyd,
to be my wedded husband;
and I do promise and covenant
before God and these witnesses;
to be thy loving and faithful wife;
for better for worse,
in plenty and in want;
in joy and in sorrow;
in sickness and in health;
to love, cherish, and to obey
as long as we both shall live.
With this ring, I thee wed; In the name of the Father, And of the Son And of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
On the basis of the vows exchanged here today, and by the authority vested in me as a minister of the Lord Jesus Christ, I now declare that you are in fact husband and wife.
You may kiss your bride.
May the God of all blessedness grant His Holy Spirit now, resting upon this couple, this new household just now established before us, and may He register His presence with them through bestowing every manner of blessing. And in the reception of these good gifts may the WTGS household never forget the Giver. I declare this benediction in the strong name of Jesus, and amen.
Present for the very first time Mr. and Mrs. Murgatroyd Wannabash. Wahoo
Thank you all for coming. You are all cordially invited to the reception . . .
Time to Heal?
I’m connecting a few threads of yours to potentially make a point. The point is that time is necessary for healing and to assess whether change is authentic. I believe on multiple occasions you have used some kind of necessary time frame to assess whether an individual has truly turned the corner on porn usage as related to fitness for dating/marriage. And on other occasions you have indicated that our nation has healed itself of racism “in the 60’s.” Was this a collective agreement that everyone shared?
There is this theory of peace building (think conflict zone resolution), that says that it takes as long to get out of a conflict as it took to get into it. For example in recovery circles, they often say, “If you go 20 miles into the woods, it takes 20 miles to get back out,” you can’t learn a pattern of behavior for 20 years and expect to change it in one.
So basically, when I hear you say our nation healed ourselves of the sin of racism all I can compare that to is the guy who says “yeah, I’ve been done with porn since last Wednesday. Trust me.” I just hate the fact that the idea that our nation might have to deal with the ramifications of racism for another few hundred years is flat out preposterous to you. Yes, I agree that many folks have gone way overboard with trying to correct centuries of wrong. But I think your position on the other end of barging forward giving no ear to the other side is equally unwise. Maybe now is the time for silence and humility instead of just labeling anybody who seems to want to evaluate our current state on the matter as “woke” and disregard them immediately.
Thanks for your time
J, thanks for taking the time to write. Your analogy is helpful as far as it goes, but there is a key place where it breaks down. The porn example has to do with one individual and his habits, and his need to demonstrate a real change. Ethnic sins extend over generations, and people who grew up under Jim Crow are completely distinct individuals from those who have grown up under affirmative action. In other words, our slow solutions have only served to inflame ethnic tensions.
A Case in Point
Just curious as to how you respond to the 2 kingdom view on separation. That is radical separation, i.e., the church should not have anything to do with the secular sphere, other than praying for “all men” (1 Timothy). I have to admit, I’ve struggled to reconcile my own views with either a “single kingdom” or “dual kingdom” view. I have been swayed to the single kingdom view as I have been influenced by godly postmils like yourself, Durbin and others. But I find that the current state of our world combined with a deep study of the New Testament has me thinking that those Anabaptists may have got one or two things right. I mean, if Jesus was preaching one kingdom, when he commissioned the disciples to “disciple the nations,” they would have gone out and run for office on the Sanhedrin or tried to get on some local synagogue school boards, but they don’t seem to have taken that path. They just preached the gospel and established churches.
Jake, this is a great case in point. The apostles routinely went to the Jews first, and then to the Greeks. They preached in synagogues first, and if they were rejected, they planted churches.
I have a topic that I was wondering if you have already covered, and if not, if you could weigh in on it. It has to do with his opinions on historical book bans and/or library censorship and then compare that to his opinion on current attempts by citizens to get inappropriate children books out of the library that are of a sexual nature. These children books are pornographic in their graphicness and encourage all kinds of sexual relations and fornications. Further, when self-proclaimed Christians work at a library, what is their duty in regards to dealing with this situation, particularly when they consider (and are taught) that supporting a book ban or book relocation is a violation of first amendment rights. Last, do you have any recommendations to Christians on how to handle situations like this within their communities.
Thank you for your time,
Anonymous, every library in the world has a selection process, and they have criteria by which they include some books and not others. This by itself is not censorship. And if it is a public library, that selection process needs to take the morals of the community into account. If they weed out porn for the tots, there is nothing wrong with it.
I have a question about hospitality and principles. My wife and want to be hospitable, and sometimes we will have relatives who are traveling through stay the night in our spare room. This has been a blessing to all so far. But alas, I am faced with a difficult situation. A cousin will be traveling through soon, and she is coming with her live-in boyfriend. They are not believers. I want to welcome them, but I only have one room to offer. How can I tell them they are welcome, but can’t stay in the same room, without being offensive? Thanks!
Chris, I think you should contact them before they arrive, and explain the situation. You would be happy to put either one of them up, but not both.
More on the Pink Stuff
“We need to drink another quart of that pink stuff.” It’s abundantly clear that our nation has some serious health problems—and that the root of it all, as you’ve pointed out before, is our ill spiritual health. And Trump just might be the chemo that we continue to need for our poor civil health. I definitely think that God is not done with his purpose for Trump yet, the enduring levels of TDS show that clearly enough. But I do wonder if the core purpose isn’t even in the governing, but in the running—certainly I see no way that he won’t raise the levels of madness further.
Ian, yes. Even though it is hard to imagine any higher levels of madness.
Discipline and Autism
Addressing: Chapter 9 “The Application of Godly Wisdom” from your book “Standing on the Promises”
Hello Pastor Doug,
I am reaching out to you looking for advice on disciplining a child with special needs. The Lord blessed my wife and me with a little boy (Gideon) who has autism. He is four years old and non-verbal (he does not speak any words).
In many ways, he is like any other child. He does not have any physical limitations brought on by his autism. He also appears to be able to understand some simple verbal commands from us like “No,” “Don’t do that,” “Come Here,” “Hold my hand,” etc. He will even express frustration when we tell him “no.”
Because of his autism, my wife and I struggle with knowing how and when to discipline him. Because of his linguistic limitations, we cannot confirm that he understands what is going on. We don’t want to be tyrannical and impose expectations that he is unable to meet due to his special needs. At the same time, we want to be faithful to God in our calling to be Gideon’s parents.
Do you have any advice for us?
Tyler, because this is an area where I have very little experience, let me just offer a general principle. You can calculate what he understands regarding the connection between his behavior and the discipline by looking carefully at what he understands about the connection between his behavior and something that he wants.
But for more specific advice, you would need to talk to someone who has had real experience with this kind of thing. The comments are open . . . . anyone?