On Mark Gungor, a Revealing Recording, and the Authors Talking about Me

by | May 24, 2021 | Theology of Marriage and Sex | 67 comments

Mark Gungor Recorded Phone Call

So apparently Shaunti Feldhahn, Emerson Eggerichs, and Kevin Leman were all talking with Mark Gungor about what to do about me.

This is an odd story, and a little hard to follow, but bear with me.

Do you remember the kerfuffle in early April with Mark Gungor? He had written a long Facebook post about why, if you’re in a sexless marriage, it’s grounds for separation, and I wrote a comment that our survey of 20,000 had found that sexlessness is a symptom of another problem, and usually not the issue itself. It’s better to identify the underlying issue and deal with THAT.

He took offense, started banning any of my supporters, and came on Twitter to chastise me. It was very bizarre. I talked about it briefly in a podcast, and a bit in this post on why I’m not trying to cancel people. 

Anyway, on Friday, Dee at the Wartburg Watch published an audio recording of a conversation between a sexual assault survivor and Mark Gungor.

Four and a half years ago, a young woman named Lexi was sexually assaulted by someone at her church where Mark Gungor is the pastor. A friend of hers was also assaulted. When they went to Mark, the first thing out of his mouth was, “What were you girls thinking?”

When Lexi saw me calling out Mark on Twitter, she decided to come forward with her story. She hadn’t said anything publicly before, but after seeing someone call him out, she decided to as well. And that Saturday she phoned him, and recorded the conversation (that’s legal to do in Wisconsin, even if the other person doesn’t know).

I’ve listened to it; it’s quite telling. Dee does a great job of breaking it down.

And Sarah McDugal has written an AMAZING post with a transcript, too–CHECK IT OUT HERE!

Here are some of her questions after listening:

Mark says that it’s only (considered) rape if the police press charges.

He also says (at the 5:00 mark) “if it was a major assault he’d be in jail.”This is concerning since few rapes are ever prosecuted. He appears to be woefully uneducated in this area…

There appears to be a lack of pastoral care for Lexi.

Lexi says that after she left his church after he treated her so badly and she stopped believing in God. His response? “I don’t hate you.” He shows no care for her at all. No follow-up questions to see if she’s okay. Again, he appears to be poorly trained, or is he exhibiting a poor emotional quotient. Maybe both?

He says those who “think I’ve destroyed their lives” don’t matter.

Mark says that everyone gets accused of something, so hurting people doesn’t really matter. “I’m in front of hundreds of thousands of people. You can’t make them all happy.” It seems he means that he doesn’t have to address criticism!

He appears to imply that if he destroys the lives of 500 people, it doesn’t matter, because every professional has destroyed at least some lives,

My question. “Is he even a professional? What sort of license does he have? ”

The Wartburg Watch

Why Is Mark Gungor Requested by the US Military When He Uses Humor to Degrade Women, Including Sheila Gregoire, and Mishandles a Sex Abuse Victim?

It really is astounding how he talked to her.

But one of the more relevant parts of the conversation for this blog is what he said about me.

Even though Lexi called him to talk about how he handled her case years ago, he kept turning the conversation back around to me and what my Facebook followers were doing on social media.

He said that you were all crazy and offensive and he was deleting hundreds of comments because you were all offensive. I have dozens of screenshots people sent me of their comments before they were deleted; they were polite and referenced Bible verses and simply asked Mark to calm down and deal with this issue appropriately.

But he also said that Emerson Eggerichs, Shaunti Feldhahn, and Kevin Leman all talked with him about what to do about me.

Rebecca and I asked on a podcast a few weeks ago why none of these authors has apologized or responded to The Great Sex Rescue, except Shaunti Feldhahn, who issued a statement against it (I released one in response; hers is linked within mine so you can see them both).

Now we learn that the authors have indeed been talking together, and were wondering what to do about me. Dee sums it up with some background information here:

Sheila Gregoire appears to have been a target when it comes to Mark Gungor

I know some of that is hard to follow, so here’s a little more context:

  • When Mark says that he is being criticized for talking about Sheila in sexual terms, he’s referring to this tweet.
  • Mark says Shaunti Feldhahn has written a statement about Sheila (although Mark calls her Shaunti FeldMAN). Sheila wrote one in response. She links to Shaunti’s in hers, so you can read them both here.
  • Mark constantly claims that people were “attacking him” and “calling him evil.” For the record, I’ve seen the screenshots and the Twitter conversations, and Sheila never attacked anyone personally, nor did I see her followers doing that. The only people I saw calling people evil and calling names were Mark and his followers.
  • Shaunti Feldhahn (For Women Only), Kevin Leman (Sheet Music), and Emerson Eggerichs (Love & Respect) have all written best-selling marriage books that Sheila Gregoire shows in her book The Great Sex Rescue contain very harmful messages that hurt women’s marital and sexual satisfaction.
The Wartburg Watch

Why Is Mark Gungor Requested by the US Military When He Uses Humor to Degrade Women, Including Sheila Gregoire, and Mishandles a Sex Abuse Victim?

So Mark Gungor is on social media calling me “disgusting”, saying “sadly, she’s real”, laughing about me in sexual terms, and leaving misogynistic memes all over his social media–and these authors would rather conspire behind the scenes with him address the concerns that we found with their work after surveying 20,000 women.

For reference, here are just a few of the memes on his social media right now:

Mark Gungor Misogynistic Meme
Mark Gungor Misogynistic Meme 2
Mark Gungor MIsogynistic Meme 3

For clarification, we did not survey 20,000 people to attack these authors’ books.

What we did was fourfold:

  1. Measure people’s marital and sexual satisfaction
  2. Measure how much people agreed with certain key evangelical teachings about sex and marriage
  3. Compare those measures and see which evangelical beliefs cause marital and sexual satisfaction to plummet
  4. Look at our best-sellers and identify where those beliefs are found

We happened to find problematic teachings in their books, and showed it, using their own words, in The Great Sex Rescue.

The Great Sex Rescue

Changing the conversation about sex & marriage in the evangelical church.

What if you’re NOT the problem with your sex life?

What if the things that you’ve been taught have messed things up–and what if there’s a way to escape these messages?

Welcome to the Great Sex Rescue.

And you know what? There were problematic teachings in some of my older books and on this blog, so I’ve apologized, taken stuff down, edited stuff, and tried to make it right.

It isn’t that hard.

What I didn’t do was conspire behind the scenes with people who say in their “comedy” videos that without sex, men would have nothing to do with women. I didn’t conspire with someone who calls women untrainable.

The fact that they would rather do that than address the very real concerns in our book is very, very disturbing and depressing to me.

The fact that they contacted Mark while this was playing out–and while the rest of the world saw how appalling his behaviour was–and they thought it was good to ally with him, is very disturbing and depressing.

I’m just really thrown today, and I’ve been processing this all weekend and been quite down about the state of the evangelical church, and just quite hurt in general. Why do people care more about their platforms than about the sheep?

I guess it all really can be summed up in what Mark Gungor said at the end–he doesn’t care about the 500 lives he ruined, if he helped so many.

But we serve a Savior who left the 99 to go after the 1.

To me, this is the most jarring bit–how Mark talked about this phone call in a sermon the next day. Lexi, the woman who was the other half of this phone call, took this clip from Celebration Church’s Facebook Page:

I find this the most disturbing of all–the cavalier way he treats communion.

Anyway, I’m not going to say much more about that. We’ll address it in the podcast this week. But somehow I’ve become part of a news item in Christian circles, and I thought I should address it today. 

If there’s any particular angle you think we should take in the podcast, let me know. We’re recording it this afternoon!

Mark Gungor Recorded Phone Call

Written by

Sheila Wray Gregoire


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Sheila Wray Gregoire

Author at Bare Marriage

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

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  1. CK

    Ohhh man. Wow. I don’t even know what to say, Sheila…this truly is sad. The ‘church’has done so much harm in the area of sex and marriage amd I bet that breaks Gods heart. A beautiful gift that has been stomped upon and abused, even from the pulpit.
    Stay strong and be encouraged, you have helped so many men and women myself included. God has given you an amazing gift and conviction. You and your team are causing change, and unfortunately egos get in the way of seeing your heart and message that I feel aligns with Gods truth.

    • Paula

      Sheila, all I can say is that with this much opposition, you must be doing something right! Of course the enemy doesn’t want men and women to be true partners, and you are in the way of his scheme.
      On another note, this type of misogyny and chauvinism is exactly why the world is all hung up on white male privilege. The enemy takes a kernel of truth and spins it into this particular social justice mantra of male privilege. You can see how men and women who work professional jobs making 6 figures look at what the male pastor from the evangelical church’s preach and simply write christianity off all together.
      As a former female pastor of an evangelical church who was not allowed to be an elder because it wasn’t “biblical”, I can totally see why the evangelical church is on the skids. Now I pastor my own church. As women, we need to lead biblically, and people can either get on board or get out of our way. “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”

      • Sheila Wray Gregoire

        Yes, I agree. Just be healthy. Why is that so difficult? Why does it have to be so difficult to consider women’s voices?

    • Tanya

      It truly grieves my heart that those who are leading the church and influencing their thought process and views on sex are taking this so personally.
      Instead, why aren’t they taking this to the Lord and asking him to reveal areas where they were wrong? People should always be more important than our views and beliefs, especially if our views and beliefs are hurting others. The church has had to change their thought process several times. There was even a point when the church taught that racism was biblical! At this point, we all recognize that racism is in no way biblical, and hopefully the church wakes up in this way as well.
      Praying for you all as you continue to be on the front lines of this battle. Praying that you represent Jesus well as you speak with grace, TRUTH, and loving correction. Because correction truly is a loving thing when done well. Praying you have the wisdom to do it well.

      • Tanya

        Oops, that wasn’t supposed to be in reply to the previous comment. 😁

    • Moe

      I am a 49 year old man married for 15 years and your book hit me like a ton of bricks. My wife and I are healing and growing since having these tough conversations. Thank you for the work you and your team does , it is so needed. I grew up on every mans battle material and I Now realize the damage that teaching has done. I am praying for you guys, yell this message from the roof tops…

      • Sheila Wray Gregoire

        Thank you so much, Moe! Thank you for being humble enough to listen, too.

  2. Andrea

    So, a bunch of men who couldn’t find their wife’s clitoris with a map and a flashlight are conspiring against an expert whose survey of 20,000 women has been approved for peer-review submission.
    I’m gonna slip into something comfortable, pour myself a large glass of wine, and just really enjoy watching how all this plays out.

    • Jen

      I was steeped in this as a young adult before marriage.
      I don’t know that they can’t…..I struggle with the basis that they don’t want to. I walked into marriage with the mindset that I didn’t matter and I need to make my marriage work. I could do that by keeping my husband happy. I have failed, drastically for 14 years. I quickly felt like I was forced to have sex out of duty and since I fail at keeping house and meals and all the wife things, I’m stuck in doing nothing.
      I’m sure my husband has his expectations walking in but most of this was on me and the things in my head because of messages I’d read and soaked in to be a “good Christian wife”. Which turns out has meant that I have no worth outside of what I can do for my husband.

  3. Samantha

    Thanks for having the courage to speak up when nobody else! When I read Love and Respect, I wanted to smack Emerson every time he called women some derogatory name – tender, sweet little thing. I can’t believe nobody’s spoken out about this before.
    I do genuinely think Shaunti has good intentions, but Gungor and Eggerichs are misogynistic and narcissistic.

  4. Meg

    The funny thing about the skeleton meme is that is a male skeleton on the right.

    • Phil

      That’s super hilarious! LOL

  5. Emilie

    I keep thinking about Gungors comment that men wouldn’t have anything to do with women if it weren’t for sex. Here’s the thing, I think men are already at that point if they aren’t in true relationship with Jesus. Men already abandon their partners for porn. They don’t need women to feel some sort of sexual satisfaction when they have porn and a hand to do the job. (Sorry to be graphic but it’s true.) But the issue here is that Mark seems to think that men’s satisfaction sexually is the only thing that makes women and marriage matter. He actually seems to be saying “men wouldn’t have anything to do with marriage if it wasn’t for sex,” specifically Christian men since that’s his main audience.
    I have a few friends whose husbands barely sleep with them more than 2-3 times a year and their wives are desperate for sex. They adore and serve their husbands faithfully. They’re submissive. They do the right things. And their husbands barely touch them. I don’t know if it’s due to porn or just some weird theological belief or out of tiredness, but these women want to have sex but are consistently rejected. If they were to go to Gungor for counseling regarding these issues, he would blame the women!
    If pastors don’t start examining what they tolerate within themselves, their congregations, marriage books and counseling, and those they invite to speak at their churches, women will leave the church and their marriages in droves and then men really won’t have anybody to have sex with. And they’ll still be blamed and labeled feminists for taking a stand.

    • Andrea

      What’s always baffled my mind is how such churches STILL have so many more women than men, which means that men have plenty of choice in who they sleep with or marry while the women, if they’re committed to only marrying a “Christian” have no choice but to stay sexy and submissive.

    • Hannah

      That mindset completely baffles me, that men only want to be around women if they get sex. Do they really not have any mothers, sisters, daughters, cousins, friends, coworkers, bosses, employees, neighbors, teachers, students, acquaintances who are women? Like really?
      The way Gungor and others portray men makes me so angry. Men are better than that, and when they aren’t, they should be. They aren’t sex-crazed monsters.

  6. Amy

    That clip is so disturbing. He’s the pastor of a large church and is publicly declaring from a stage that not only can he not remember his past actions but that no one is allowed to hold him accountable for them. No acknowledgement, let alone remorse or repentance, that he hurt someone, regardless of how long ago it was. Instead of him needing to apologize, the victim is supposed to forgive and get over it. Massive blame shifting. This man has no business representing Jesus on a public platform. Shameful.

    • Meagan Beth Gee-Henry

      I am a conservative Christian woman and minister, and this message of little need for accountability and repentance is wholly UNACCEPTABLE in the house of God.
      Shane on you, Mark Gungour.
      What personal sins have you committed (or perhaps still are) that lead you to peddle such cheap grace?
      Can’t help but think that they may be many and ongoing…
      Honestly, the kind of talk in that pulpit clip of his rings forth from the mouths of countless abusers, predators, and sex offenders.
      But take heart, true Christians: what happens in secret will eventually be shouted from the rooftops, and all things done in darkness will be brought to the light.
      The Lord is faithful to execute justice even when humanity is not; that’s why He assures us that vengeance is His, and He WILL repay.
      Evildoers and those who provide cover for them, your number will soon be up.

  7. Elf

    Mark Gungor spoke at the air force base where my husband was stationed. We went to his show and I thought it was awesome and hilarious even though my marriage was abusive.. it was a great comedy show! But I got his book and I still say there’s lots of good stuff in it. However, over the next couple years as I’ve gone through therapy, I’ve noticed the misogeny in alot of his humor.
    But the thing I’ve noticed most is not how he devalues women but how he devalues men. His whole message is basically “women, your man is stupid and lazy and that will never change, so here’s how to manipulate him to get what you want”.
    I’m married to a recovering sex addict and abuser. This has been a long road and it’s still super tough and heartbreaking at times. But I’m still here because I know he’s better than that. My husband knows he’s better than that. We’re in a great recovery community and he’s made alot of progress.
    It’s not ok to assume our men are just lazy perverts with their head up their a– and just accept and condone that. ESPECIALLY as christians! God calls men to be warriors to advance his kingdom. They SHOULD apologize. And not just an apology but repentance.
    My husband has liked to use the argument “I’m a sinner. You need to have grace.” But I eventually confronted him with “being a sinner does not excuse living in active sin”. There is grace, but it’s grace UNTO repentance, forgiveness and restoration. Not grace unto more sin!

  8. Anon

    Sending my love and sympathy to you, Sheila, my dear sister in the Lord. May you be granted wisdom, grace and strength for the battle.
    I wish I could make all these horrible comments just go away. But in a weird way, maybe you should be encouraged. If these people were completely unmoved by your words, they wouldn’t be responding. The fact that they feel the need to club together to ‘do’ something about you suggests that either their consciences are being stirred but they don’t want to listen right now or that they are scared they will lose their influence. And whether they change their teaching to something more healthy OR lose their power to influence so many with harmful messages, either way, it would be a good result. So maybe this is a sign of a change that is coming.

  9. Michelle

    Holy cow, the way he referred to the phone call and Lexi in his sermon the next day was so awful. Made. me. want. to. vomit. YUCK!!!! 🤮
    I know you’re taking so much heat right now Sheila (and team). But I want to thank you for using your platform to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves in this way. Thank you for going after the 1. God is doing something important in the church right now. Thank you for being a part of it.

  10. Kelly Ann

    Listening to that phone call between Lexi and Mark just affirms how toxic he is! Like, why were you even a topic of conversation? You had nothing to do with what occurred at Mark’s Church with Lexi and her friend.
    Now some are calling you out on your FB post saying, you’re looking for a fight here. That you misquoted EE, SF, and KL. I think that should be addressed in the podcast.

  11. Phil

    Sheila – I am so sorry you are going through this but as you know I SO SUPPORT YOU AND ALL THE WOMEN WHO HAVE BEEN HARMED BY HARMFUL TEACHINGS! Can I just add this bible verse from 3 John: 11 – Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God. I have found many things disturbing in the past couple weeks on the blog. First was the Podcast share from last week about trafficked women and how sad that situation is. It was quite ick. Today as I listened to the clip of Mark Gungor I really found it disturbing that he said “Some sin is unforgivable. Let’s take communion.” WHAT? Dude – um maybe you don’t need to stop Pastoring (although with a comment like that maybe you should?) But at the very least change your language. Super harmful stuff. I am with you Sheila – super sad. I am proud to stand with you – your work is the work of Jesus. You have taught me and I have now finally gotten on the other side of 5 months of some really hard health issues and I have taken the message that you have been teaching and I have gone to work with it. A couple examples are this: 3 weeks ago I in Sunday school class and the man who I have shared about here before who has put his political agenda in front of Jesus both in the sanctuary and in Sunday School hijacked out class with his Political rhetoric. I was not teaching that day and I tried to guide the teacher away from the garbage that was being spewed. Ultimately it didn’t work and it was absolutely awful. It was hard for me to not go bonkers as this man was basically saying certain political agendas were more important than Jesus! I took it to my Pastor swiftly and within a week and half the issue was addressed. I used Jesus as my platform! Not my agenda but the word of Jesus! I told my Pastor that this was not Mathew 18 but rather Galatians 2! It was now time for this garbage message that has been going on in the church since we go their 5 years ago to end! I promised my Pastor that if it was not addressed that I would do so publicly either in the sanctuary or in Sunday School class as needed. By the grace of God the situation has been addressed and the follow up is that the man agreed to not do that anymore. It is because of you that I took this action. You helped me remove a toxic message from my church. Jesus thanks you! The other message that I have been carrying is the clear message about porn and how it contributes to child sexual abuse, sexual abuse of women, sex trafficking and rape! We don’t talk about that in my 12 step meetings. Well guess what? We do now! It happened upon me at my recent meeting this past weekend that this needs to be in front of these guys and also myself! We need to be aware and reminded that unfortunately for us – most sex addiction issues contribute to child sexual abuse, sexual abuse of women, sex trafficking and rape! Awe Sheila – I know what you do is hard. Having Christian men collaborate about what to do with you rather than having Christian men welcome you and US and say hey – lets look at this together and be like Jesus! How completely sad. I am so proud of the very small part I play around here and I proud to be in the right Army! I am just so grateful to be part of what happens around here on the blog. We all thank you and JESUS thanks you! Keep going Sheila don’t stand down..and I am willing to do whatever I can if you ever need anything.

  12. Renee

    Sheila, I understand why the call upset you, but I think labeling the conversations Gungor had with Eggerich, Feldhan, etc. “conspiring” against you is an exaggeration and kind of inflammatory. He just said they were coming together to respond to your book in the form of a public letter. That seems like an expected response in this case. It’s what you did when Shaunti Feldhan posted about you.
    I fully support you, but just want to caution you about the language you used here and on facebook.

    • Kelly Ann

      Except Mark Gungor was never mentioned in The Great Sex Rescue, IIRC. And what WOULD you call it when he admitted to having a meeting with Emerson, Shaunti, and Kevin ? Sounds like conspiring to me?

      • Renee

        I would call it a meeting. Or that they are discussing together their response, as I said above. If Sheila and Rebecca together formulate a response to Mark Gungor’s tweets regarding them, did they “conspire” when they wrote it?

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Yes, perhaps it is inflammatory. I guess I’m just upset this weekend. The difference is that I’ve said all my critiques publicly. They haven’t. They’ve done a lot behind the scenes that I haven’t even talked about, but they haven’t done it publicly. And that puts me in an awkward position, because I have to deal with all the emotion of this but I can’t talk about it. At least now that this phone call is out some of it is out publicly and now I can talk about it. I’ve always been very public in the things that I have a problem with, and I’ve quoted people directly that I have a problem with. And any “conspiring” I’ve done with like-minded people has simply been about posts that we’re all writing that are public, not about things that we’re trying to get done behind the scenes, like suing someone or stopping something from being published. Anyway, I think I was thrown to hear this and that Shaunti would talk to Mark of all people, especially with what he’s posted. I understand her being mad at me, but to go to him is just another level that I’m still processing, and I hope people just have grace for the fact that I am processing right now.

  13. Laura

    Sheila and team, keep up the excellent work! Listening to your podcasts, reading your blog, and finally reading The Great Sex Rescue has been inspiring to me and has also helped me realize that some of the teachings I’ve heard in church and women’s Bible studies have been unhealthy. Yet, the women I’ve encountered don’t want to admit that or they think I’m too much of a feminist, which they consider ungodly. Jesus advocated for women which is something that Gungor and Eggerichs have not done.
    It’s time the entire church hears this message loud and clear and for them to stop putting women down and letting men behave badly.

  14. Mark Kieft

    I’m so sorry for he heat you are facing right now. I’ve been a missionary and a pastor for over 40 yrs. and the kind of things that are going on and being said are hideous in every way. Carol and I have been serving God’s people for years and always felt a need for materials like those that you have written. We find ourselves more and more separated from some of the so called main stream Christian books. Thank you to you and your team for doing the work and then wethering the storm.
    Mark n Carol

  15. Ali

    I think you made a very interesting point about the fact that Feldhahn, Eggerichs, and Leman are coordinating with Gungor to respond to you. I could see the first three making a joint effort or response, since they are all authors that were cited in TGSR, but Gungor wasn’t a part of the book, and the fact that they are choosing to associate with someone as openly misogynistic as Gungor is very telling and incredibly sad. Thank you for continuing to focus on Jesus and the good fruit, and keep fighting the good fight!

  16. Maria Bernadette

    Sheila and team, thank you for standing up to misogyny that masquerades as Christianity. As you have said repeatedly, there are good churches out there. People just need to know that not all Christians think like Grungor.
    Speaking of. He plays the victim and claims that those who want him to stop teaching toxic crap are motivated by trying to make it so that he can’t earn a living. I call B.S. Plenty of ways to make a living other than being a bad pastor.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Exactly! Also, he’s already past retirement age. I assume he has enough saved already?

  17. Jeannie Miller

    What is this guy’s problem? He’s not used to rebuke or correction. Remember that your struggle is not against flesh and blood. Your struggle is against the enemy. I’m praying for you and your team. Keep fighting the good fight

  18. Michelle

    Wow. Just… Wow. I am so glad you highlighted that our Savior will leave the 99 you save the 1. So many people who have found your books and blogs are the “1s” and you/your team SAW US and show that Jesus sees us, even if those in the church entrusted to care for the hurting took the attitude of “it’s not real without a police report” (physical nausea on reading that…). Much of what is seen in the western church is so far from the Bible, it’s hard to see a Savior who loves and cares for you when you’re on the outside looking in. TLHV has started a fire and it’s catching!

    • Jeff

      We’re all the 1.

  19. Dorthea

    Sheila and team, I’m praying for you all. It’s a lot to process and quite simply hard to understand as many have already pointed out. Thank you for speaking up and going after the 1, showing us what it means to love like Jesus does. Unlike Mark Gungor and those conspiring with him you are showing humility while being courageous and honest. Keep fighting the good fight God and many others are with you.

  20. Madeline H

    The cognitive dissonance with these authors and that pastor is astounding. Sounds like they need to get right with God. I looked at the tweets and was thoroughly disgusted with Mark’s behavior. Shame on him! Sheila, you are very much appreciated by so many, including myself. I am curious however, what issue you found with To Love, Honor, and Vacuum? I have read some of that and enjoyed it so far so I was curious.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      It was just one page–I didn’t have a trauma-informed view of abuse when I wrote about seeing how your past choices may have impacted where you are today. And in the sex chapter I didn’t talk enough about how it’s natural not to want sex if you didn’t enjoy it and if he didn’t spend enough time on foreplay. Honestly, most of it is great–I just cringe at like two pages!

  21. Jo

    Why don’t they just come out and say that marriage, from the woman’s perspective, really is just legalized prostitution? They’re already expecting wives to be one-woman harems for their husbands, catering on demand to their every whim.
    Oh, and if the wife dares to have any needs, she just gets told that “You can’t rely on your husband to meet your needs. You need to turn to God for them.”

    • Bethany#2

      They do all but say that! I read Alot of marriage books and that was the impression I had of all marriages. It was signing up for abuse from one man to be shielded from abuse of others. It took me about a year or so to get it out of my head, and learn to have a relationship. Even if they don’t mean it, that’s the result of over emphasizing male sexuality and not a word about the female.
      I believe this is a conversation that’s about to grow in cultural size.

  22. Linda

    Sheila, I am so sorry you are experiencing this hurtfulness. I pray it will not enter any further into your heart and soul but that you receive instead strength, power and protection in resisting these weapons of the enemy. With all the progress you have made regarding marriage, women and sex, you have taken back a great deal of ground that the enemy had stolen. Stand firm in the knowledge that you have done what is right in the sight of the Lord. He is pleased with you and no one else’s opinion matters. I love you and He loves you. Breathe in deeply of His peace, and rest in His comforting arms today and always.

  23. Sara

    Don’t give him too much airtime. (I’d never heard of him before today.) Don’t waste your health on his idiocy. Perhaps he has to tell his followers that a sexless marriage is grounds for divorce… because he needs an excuse for a bunch of his followers being unable to sustain marriage under his leadership. Those people choose to put themselves under him. Hopefully when they come to the end of being able to stand him, they find you! You’re doing a great thing. Just like the news would have you believe the worst about the world, he represents the worst in evangelical circles. But he does NOT represent all of Christianity.
    I don’t come to your site to read about the low-lifes behind some of the pulpits in our world. I don’t come to your site to read about the confused families with sons addicted to child pornography. I can find all of this detailed in the news, which I avoid at all costs. I come to your site to be encouraged. I come to your site to learn how to be a better wife. I come to your site for a drink from the well.
    Much peace and blessings!!! 🙂

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I understand that, Sara. The problem with Mark is that he’s widely used in the U.S. military. That’s what concerns me. That’s why I want to talk about it in this week’s podcast, so that people have something to show their chaplain.

      • Phil

        That military thing feeds into last weeks podcast on trafficked women and Us military guys from the US. eeekk!

      • Anonymous305

        Personally, I get more benefit from exposing harmful authors than from happy stuff because it vindicates the pain I already felt.

    • Jo

      We can’t fix widespread rot by only talking about rainbows and unicorns (and orgasms, oh my!). We have to point out wrong and even partly wrong teaching. Sheila’s got a couple of good examples: Jesus and Paul.
      Jesus said on several topics, “You have heard that it was said… But I say to you,” to correct partially wrong teachings. Paul “opposed him [Peter] to his face…before them all,” correcting a totally wrong teaching.
      All the good teaching in the world won’t overcome bad teaching if the bad teaching isn’t called out. Lead poisoning needs to be treated with drugs that bind the lead already in the body…but it’s a good idea to stop ingesting lead as well.

  24. Sara

    P.S. I just sent my husband an article about this guy on medium.com that popped up in a google search. He was shocked. Said to message you to let you know we support you 100%. Your research has brought our marriage so far!!! 🙂 Shake the dust of this guy off and press onward! 🙂 Your books, and especially “The Great Sex Rescue” are my go-to engagement gifts 🙂

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Yay! So glad that you’re giving them out for premarital gifts. I love that!

  25. Melissa

    Hey, people of God: If your pastor exposes himself as being a protector of predators instead of a protector of the vulnerable people in his flock, you have every Biblical right to call him out on it. Demand better from your pastors. If a pastor receives a report of underage girls being sexually assaulted in their church, and they do not report it to law enforcement, they are now an accessory to a commission of a crime. Whether or not they can be charged as such per the laws of the state in which they reside doesn’t matter. They have disqualified themselves from being the shepherd of a flock of God’s people.
    When David’s flock of sheep was attacked by a bear and a lion, David did not ask the sheep “what were you thinking being so tempting to that bear and that lion?” No! He confronted the bear and the lion and killed them! He protected his flock!
    When the woman caught in adultery was dragged through the streets and thrown to the ground at the feet of Jesus did Jesus ask her “what were you thinking?” No! He showed her compassion and caused her accusers to turn away and leave her alone!
    Mark Gungor’s treatment of Lexi (and who knows how many other vulnerable members of his flock) shows he is not a shepherd, he is a wolf. Mark Gungor isn’t God. He is a MAN who ought to be challenged for his behavior. He doesn’t get some sort of special protection from being held accountable for his actions because he holds the title of pastor. In fact, it is BECAUSE he holds that title that he should be challenged.
    Demand better. Challenge him.

  26. Jane Eyre

    Sheila, you are doing wonderful, life affirming work. Many thanks for what you do.
    The order I get, the more I believe that Satan attacks sex like nothing else. You think our society is obsessed with it? Try seeing how evil goes after it like almost nothing else. That is what you are seeing here, I think – spiritual warfare.
    I just read Mark’s justifications for leaving a marriage: adultery, refusing sex, pornography, and abuse. Which is to say, not having sex because you just pushed a baby out of your vagina or sex hurts or you never orgasm is, apparently, just as bad as punching your wife in the face before storming off to bang your mistress.
    That’s just wrong. Refusing sex can happen for a host of reasons (manipulation, lack of satisfaction, physical difficulties) and mean a lot of different things (someone whose wife refuses to have sex three times a day isn’t the same as someone whose spouse has refused sex foe the last five years). Whereas punching your wife or screwing some other dude is never okay ambiguous.

  27. Wild Honey

    I’ve been stuck in Romans 16 for the last several days.
    “I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people” (v. 17-18).
    Mark Gungor and those he is conspiring with (yes, “conspiring”) are serving their own appetites with teachings that are contrary to those of Christ.
    Sheila and her team follow in the tradition of Pheobe, Priscilla, Mary, Junia, Tryphena, Tryphosa, Persis, the mother of Rufus, Julia, the sister of Nereus, and the men of Romans 16 whom Paul commends.
    While my faith in Jesus has not wavered, my trust in church as an institution and in other Christians has taken a beating these last two+ years (multiple long stories). But people like Sheila and Dee of The Wartburg Watch, who are taking the risk of speaking out publicly and calling a spade for what it is, are giving me hope that God is still at work among His people.
    For anyone else who grew up in the 80s, maybe you’ll remember She-Ra, the Princess of Power: “I guess everyone can be good if they want to. We just have to make the right choice.” The “world” gets it! When will these authors?

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Very true, Wild Honey! And I love how 10/29 people Paul mentions in Romans 16 are women, and 7/10 are mentioned in reference to their ministry roles (a higher percentage than that of the men). I wonder if today’s pastors had to greet people, how many would mention more than a third that were women who worked alongside them?

  28. Nathan

    It’s very sad that such things are happening. Sheila, I’m so sorry that you’re taking so much heat just for saying that men and women are equal partners in family and marriage. But we all need to keep up the drumbeat.

  29. Chris

    Sheila, I got your back.

  30. Jenlyn

    Oh, Sheila, I am sorry for the unfair judgement and attack from these folks. It hurts to be misunderstood, especially when what you are doing isn’t even to benefit yourself, but to help others. The only thing I am feeling curious about, is if there is a way for you to disengage from it all a bit. I would hate to see you become entrenched is this battle and it to further harm you emotionally. They are not defending their work, they are defending their egos and I just am not sure that is a “battle” you can or should want to win. I feel like your survey speaks for itself and am just wondering if there is a means for you to become less embroiled in this conflict.
    With love,

    • Sara

      Really well said!!! I tried to say this earlier, but I must have come across wrong. You said it even better 🙂

  31. M

    I love your picture!
    You seem like such a fun person!

  32. Lisa

    Based on Gungor’s massive over-reaction to your comment, some red flags are raised. His reaction is far out of any range of normal.
    Based on my personal experiences with a few people who have reacted this way, I have a strong reason to suspect that his portrayal of facts is not in line with reality. It’s highly possible that he, Eggerichs, and Feldhahn have had no communication. It’s possible he contacted them and the gave him no reply or a polite “non-reply.” It’s also possible that the three of them are discussing Shelia.
    Basically, it could be anything. I wouldn’t put any trust in what he’s saying, though. His behavior is beyond just being rude, it’s symptomatic.
    Think of Chuck DeGroat’s book. Red flags everywhere with Gungor. Everywhere.

    • Kat

      I had a similar thought. I read through many of the twitter messages between Sheila and Mark and was encouraged by the fact she kept calm and cool and continued to respond in a Christian manner while he did not. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was name dropping the authors in the call and did not actually have an association with them. Another thought is since Sheet Music faired far better on the rubric (while still having issues) than Love and Respect, would it really make sense for Kevin Leman to align with Emerson Eggerichs? I think there’s a possibility that Mark is exaggerating or lying here.

      • Sheila Wray Gregoire

        There’s been more going on behind the scenes that I haven’t disclosed publicly that make me think he is not. But that’s all I’ll say.

      • Lisa


  33. Cynthia

    I hadn’t heard of him before, but he sounds like a stand-up comedian whose material hasn’t been updated since the 1980s. Casual misogyny is no longer considered so funny, but adding his position in the church to it and calling himself a marriage resource for the military shifts it from unfunny to a problem with power.
    That’s ultimately what this is about. Being in front of an audience, whether doing a comedy routine or as a pastor or as a speaker, puts him front and center. Any criticism, or need to reveal that problems exist and he might need to take action against another man who may not be happy, is seen as a threat. It has nothing to do with whether someone has actually been hurt and needs help, or whether your points are valid. It’s bad for the brand.

  34. Sue

    I would like to hear how you personally have changed your philosophy. You said that you have taught some of the same things as Shaunti in the past, but now have taken down those posts and books. Why did you formerly agree with her and why not now. Can you impart what you currently believe in a positive , not reactionary approach, including scripture.

  35. Robert

    It’s truly interesting to watch how your comments Shelia, have stirred the pot. Shelia, I’m sure you knew what you were doing, but how do you see, in a sense of unity coming together, as most if not all those you’ve pointed out are believers? Or maybe you don’t believe they are all believers. Is that your sense?
    I’m hoping that the John 17 prayer which Jesus prayed has some application here. We don’t have to believe the same thing and you have surfaced incredible insights, but how do we come together since our differences are not against each other, as much as they are in the spiritual world, which is opposition to the good which we all embrace?
    One of the comments noted hat Mark G. was a wolf, like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. That’s a challenging comment, because it’s saying that Mark isn’t a sheep, he’s a wolf. Do you believe that?
    I look forward to hearing from you, as your stirring the pot has prompted these thoughts. Best, Robert


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