Feb 242014
 

thinking_man_ape_wood_3d_sculpture_thinker_think-480x3251. We were all blown away last week by the crass narcissism of a “pastor” who would indoctrinate children to see him as the center of the church. We rail against the ethical abuses and corruption we see all around us in the church and we wonder why someone won’t deal with these rogue leaders…when both the blame and the cure for such is clearly seen in the mirror.

In this country, both church and state have the leadership they choose and only the people can choose to change leaders.

2. In the Scriptures, God calls both an individual and a “people”…a group of called individuals. What the church has forgotten is that we are both, and the deeply communal nature of the Christian faith has gone by the wayside. We care only about whether something “works” for us individually, instead of the whole community we are called to participate in and care for.

3. I feel very righteous every time we expose the failings of another wolf…and move one step closer to becoming what I despise.

4. “Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.” (1 Peter 3:8–9 ESV) Unless of course, you’re online.

5. The person without a regular prayer life may be a professing Christian, but is a practical agnostic. This isn’t original with me, but I needed to tape it to my computer…

6. Sometimes…maybe most of the time…having child like faith in the midst of a crisis seems like nothing more than superstition and a foolish avoidance of reality. God is the Maker of reality…have child like faith anyway.

7. Job’s counselors multiplied like rabbits… they are a huge people group in the church.

8. I am a firm believer in the doctrine of providence that says God is continually working in all things to accomplish His purposes and that all things come from His hand. Therefore…if you find yourself in a difficult relationship, maybe a heartrending relationship, with a child or a spouse ( or anyone else) you were the person God specifically chose and equipped to demonstrate His love and His ways to the person.  Make your own application…

9. It’s chic now to be a “recovering fundamentalist”. I’m happily still “infected”.

10. I wake up in a hot panic every morning over finances and sheer survival. My cat wakes up every morning in perfect peace, yawns, stretches, and waits, fully expecting the one who adopted and loves her to provide for her…and he does.  Stupid cat…

  496 Responses to “Things I Think”

  1. First……

  2. Yep. Sometimes I am a functional agnostic.

  3. I love this “Things”. Have a beautiful day, Michael.

  4. Thank you, Noelle…may you have one as well.

  5. Neo, congrats on your first. 🙂

  6. Re: #9. Is it a flight from accountability? Accountability, we don’t need no stinkin’ accountability. Or am I failing at #4? Who’s to judge? Certainly not me.

  7. Rarely drop in anymore but glad I did. #8 & #10 were written for me. My 13 year old and I are in constant conflict. This is the time to demonstrate God’s love.

    Pray that we can be stupid cats!

  8. Samer – good to see you! 🙂

  9. J.U.

    What happens is that folks decide that they don’t care for some part of the Scriptures and reject the canon as the word of God.
    Then they can create their own religion that suits them better…

  10. Good to see you, Samer!

  11. Give me that old time religion
    It’s good enough for me

    t was good for Hebrew children
    And it’s good enough for me

    It was tried in the fairy furnace
    It’s good enough for me

    It can take us all to heaven
    It’s good enough for me

    Give me that old time religion
    It’s good enough for me

    Not bad theology. And you can sing along.

  12. Of course, another verse is

    Makes me love everybody
    It’s good enough for me

    I think some object to Fundamentalism because it doesn’t focus on the love of God. I suppose that depends on where you find that old time religion. Sometimes Fundamentalism becomes Judgementalism.

    We can’t throw out parts of the Bible that seem too hard or too unloving. That I agree. Yet I appreciate people looking for more love and acceptance in the scriptures. I think those that want to discard parts of God’s word should look closer at those words. They may be more loving than first realized.

  13. J.U.,

    I think we should focus on the whole counsel of God…that speaks of His love, wrath, holiness, righteousness, etc.
    I need a God, not a grampa.

  14. Re #1 “when both the blame and the cure for such is clearly seen in the mirror.”

    I hope that you mean that the blame and cure is in THEIR mirror.

    See, this issue doesn’t bother me one bit, so i am not the blame or the cure. I am all for letting people choose the church they want to go to … because I don’t want to listen to anyone’s crap about how my church ‘does church’

  15. MLD,

    I was only writing to non LCMS Christians who own their own mirrors…

  16. #1

    I often ask why won’t people make a change?

    In my secular university days I was taught that all governments were in reality given to their leaders by the acts of those governed. While weapons, wars and violence and the threat of such are always means of control ultimately the people allow themselves to be subjugated to their leaders, good or bad.

    When I read #1 my first thoughts were about what is going on in the Ukraine. While I have no clue about the specifics causing the changes, it appears on the surface the people are making changes. So why don’t these “Elevation” (or any others) people make changes or see the threats?

    I also have something I say to others, “give them the ability to buy an SUV and that will solve most of the world’s problems.”

    When times are”good” for a majority of people they become very myopic about the problems looming on the horizon.

    Times are good at “Elevation!”

  17. Well. last I checked, I have no voice at Elevation Church.

    But what would you do if the folks at Elevation stated picking on your church of choice saying that you were destroying the spiritual minds of your people because you do not hold your pastors in high enough esteem?

    I have always been the one who has said in these problem churches, most of the blame belongs on the pewsters – but i am usually in the minority here.

  18. Bob,

    I think that’s part of it…but the biggest part is simple idolatry.

  19. 1) Some are true believers
    2) Some hate the opposition more
    3) Some fear the criticism
    4) Some fear the loss of personal benefit
    5) Some are apathetic

  20. I want to go on record and categorically state I have nothing to say.

  21. Fil,

    Just make something up…I do. 🙂

  22. Michael,

    I’m thinking about what you said to me.

    —————
    I think we should focus on the whole counsel of God…that speaks of His love, wrath, holiness, righteousness, etc.

    I need a God, not a grampa.
    —————-

    I understand what you are saying. I agree.

    Yet I look to the people I read here on this “community of faith” and I see the different directions many are taking and even the conflict between those directions and each other. As Brian would say “I get that.”

    Maybe the explanation is in what it is that each person seeks. Is it LOVE? Is it TRUTH? Is it PEACE? Is it reconciliation or forgiveness or even an apology? All these are things that have been discussed here on this blog.

    Why do the people in the pews put up with the shenanigans? Is it the age-old political saying that “he may be an S.O.B., but he’s my S.O.B.” Is it fear of CHANGE? Are they stuck and don’t know how to get out? Or are they just mesmerized by the carnival barker? Are they afraid? Of what? Maybe all of the above.

    What causes the deep hurt and disappointment that has some on this blog throwing out most of the scriptures in favor of, what you called, their own personal religion? What went wrong? Who is responsible? Should they apologize? Is that all it would take?

    I don’t know the answers to any of these questions. I often read here to try to find the answers. That and some understanding of my fellow believers. I also read the Bible to find answers. Now we are disagreeing even with that premise. Some find no answers in the Old Testament. Some find no answers in Paul or most of the new Testament. In the end, those people will have a very small Bible to view.

    Some reject it all as “worshipping the Bible, not God.” That seems silly since the Bible is the word of God. Some say that all they need is the Bible and no words from men through the ages to just confuse things. Just the BIBLE!!

    I try to understand what each person says and why they say it and where they are coming from. That’s how I try to show my love for my fellow men and women.

    Thanks for answering many of my questions. But you know I’ll just have more. I’ll thank you in advance for those answers too.

  23. “But what would you do if the folks at Elevation stated picking on your church of choice saying that you were destroying the spiritual minds of your people because you do not hold your pastors in high enough esteem?”

    I would crush them in debate. 🙂
    My church doesn’t need or want a visionary, it expects a pastor.

  24. I think Steve Wright and I are on the same wavelength. Of course, he’s much more succinct than me, much more.

  25. J.U.,

    Spiritual abuse at it’s most basic is a violation of trust.
    To some, those in authority in the church are representing God to them and if God will betray your trust,what’s left?
    In conservative churches the Bible is used to enforce faux authority and when people are victims of wicked leaders the Bible becomes the weapon used to wound them instead of a gift from God.
    I’m beginning to understand that some feel that the only way to reject the leaders who have wounded them, they must reject the weapon he used to hurt them.

  26. Michael,

    You’re #25 seems right on. I think you have captured the essence of the issue. Thanks.

  27. Michael:

    “…but the biggest part is simple idolatry.”

    I agree and may I be bold enough to add that “much” of what goes on in all, not just some, churches and religion is “idolatry.” (PS. but not by “all” people in those organizations.)

    I ask myself when reading the accounts throughout the scriptures, “why do they always turn back to idols?”

    Wew..

    MLD:

    Yep, I can’t speak for/to or influence the Elevation crowd one little vowel. There are enough warnings in scripture and history for them.

  28. I think your no.25 is closer than no.9, but still relies a lot on the intellect and logic to explain behavior. When people feel their world crashing and church/Christian people are willing to comfort for a time, but then retreat into christianeze, phrases that basically say, don’t know why your still suffering, get your act together, many make an emotional and psychological choice to find a way to cope. Not because of expecting a life of ease and happiness but because reality bites, and rules and pat answers and cold shoulders add to the tearing. Add a messed up church leadership (“where even they don’t live up to what they say, but are sure willing to tell me what to do”) and the survival decision becomes distance. Sometimes the comfort or longing for what was familiar keeps people in a type of Christianity whether it fits logically or not with old beliefs.

  29. Not that comfort or longing explain away new or different beliefs. Some come to a different understanding that becomes a “better” or more fitting way to walk out their faith.

  30. Cindy,

    My concern is that people toss out the only reference we have on who God is and what it means to follow Him in favor of things that may feel better for a season.
    We can’t blame the text for what people do with it…

  31. I understand about the text. And I think you demonstrate a lot of compassion towards people across a very wide spectrum. Beyond that, I got nothin’ 🙂

  32. For me, “recovering fundamentalist” isn’t about being chic.
    It sums up my toxic relationship with christian religion and my abuse an otherwise good and reasonable faith, with the havoc it wrought on others, my family and myself.

    Unless you’ve stopped using,
    and you’re in recovery,
    you’ll never know or understand addiction.

    It’s easy to mock,
    but perhaps you can understand what our brothers and sisters who are substance abusers have come to recognize,
    that balance and health are a daily individual choice.

  33. G,

    Let’s talk about mockery.
    As I scroll down my Facebook page daily there are innumerable posts from self proclaimed “recovering fundamentalists” mocking my faith, my intelligence, my comprehension skills, and my heart .
    All. day. long.
    The air of moral and intellectual superiority against traditional Christianity is thick and choking…and if one dares to challenge it, one is labeled “abusive” or “insensitive”.
    To be blunt, many have become exactly what they claim to have left.

  34. I like the recovery example. Thankfully, I haven’t had to walk the addict’s road (if we are strictly talking chemical dependency), but coming through a place of toxicity, that daily individual choice becomes very important. Balance and health, trying to meet today with as much of me as I can.

  35. I also didn’t realize there was a whole “recovering fundamentalist” thing. Like any group of humans I imagine.

  36. “All. day. long.”
    You may want to modify your ‘friends’ list. 🙂

  37. I raised so much hell with theological experimentors in a FB closed group that I kicked myself out. They one by one asked me back. My experiences here helped me to refuse grace. Not sure what that makes me.

    TIT is my favorite Monday moment. Not sure what that says either.

    Anyway me and that cat knew you had our back.

  38. BD,

    Thank you, sir. 🙂

  39. “I’m beginning to understand that some feel that the only way to reject the leaders who have wounded them, they must reject the weapon he used to hurt them.” Keeping this in mind may help you not to take the rants against fundamentalism so personally 😉

  40. Just from the self-professing fundies I know, there seems to be a lot of one-upsmanship involved. A never ending treadmill of never being as fundamentalist as the next guy. Sure, you read the KJV, but do you wear long pants all summer? Just seems exhausting, to an outside observer.

  41. Well, everybody needs a label, I guess. “skater,” “Straight Edge,” “SSPX,”
    “Gluten-free,” and I guess “Recovering Fundamentalist.”

  42. BTW, I like fundamentalist Christians. They are believers and I appreciate believers.

  43. Would someone like Xenia be considered a fundamentalist?

  44. Josh,

    In some circles, yes.
    It’s become another vague pejorative, instead of a theological term.

  45. let’s talk this thru for a moment

    There are posts on FB which mock Fundamentalism. I applaud them as I would if there were Muslims who posted, “I am a recovering Taliban”, or “I am a recovering extremist fill-in-the-blank-religion”.

    Back to our faith, there are posts by believers who continue on daily with Jesus, who are stunned by what they used to believe, how they practiced their beliefs, and are generally sharing the epiphanies which they have had once they reexamined and reprioritized their faith into something which can actually accommodate other human beings and even themselves.

    They are not mocking :: your :: faith if your faith in Jesus and His Church is welcoming to others, isn’t self loathing and causing you to daily hate yourself.

    When conversing with the average person who is one of my FB friends, something Jesus sent me out to do, to use that identifier, “recovering fundamentalist’ is a conversation starter, an equalizer, a way to let “the other” know that I have had a realization that what I was doing wasn’t what God intended and that I am now far more accessible.

    I never post anything, no matter how controversial, with the intent of harming you, Michael, here or on FB.

    For me, it’s about recognition of having been hurtful, regaining lost relationships, lost ground, before my fellow travelers are gone from this life, something which is happening on a daily basis now that I am on the 2nd half of middle age.

    Perhaps this gives you an insight into :: this :: recovering fundamentalist who is not into being chic but IS into reaching out to those whom I have hurt in my life.

  46. I am always different – I am a recovering evangelical.

  47. I think there is a difference between being fundamentalist, and have fundamental biblical beliefs. a big difference. this was what I was pondering while sitting in traffic this morning.
    and I wish there was a “like” button here.

  48. Maturing fundamentalist perhaps.

    Ripening fundamentalist maybe.

    Kinder gentler? Enlarged? A welcoming fundamentalist? Aspiring de-religionificated fundamentalist?

    But still … a fundamentalist.

  49. Why don’t the people get rid of the errant leader? Here’s a few reasons from what I experienced with an errant Calvary Chapel pastor:

    1. People had been through enough church issues in a town with a nasty history of church issues. After being counted among the many bodies strewn in the wake of these stories, they didn’t have the emotional reserve to endure yet another one.

    2. People with health issues could not afford the stress.

    3. The known practices of the CC leadership discrediting anyone approaching them with questions or concerns, encouraged some to remain quiet because the town is not big enough for their reputations to survive and not affect their making a living.

    4. After watching those with enough fortitude to “do the right thing” be squashed and shunned, others took the warning and left quietly.

    5. After receiving zero response from Chuck Smith and the CCOF; realizing the board could be fired if they disagreed with the pastor (were friends of his, ; finally understanding that the elders had zero power and were trained “yes” men; as well as taking note that each person with a concern or question had been shown the door and/or crushed, makes one leery of trying to stand up to the well oiled machine, alone.

    6. Your children staring you in the eyes saying, “You are NOT going to take me away from my friends!” is a powerful motivator to turn a blind eye.

    I suspect that Elevation, and the many Evangelical churches today, have the same -or similar- structure that allows for the pastor (or machine) to have all the control; thereby eliminating any negative pushback. Sometimes its just obvious that you have zero chance at making a difference.

    Some may say, “Then organize.” Have you ever seen what a church does to a person who tries to do that?

  50. Josh’s #40 is so true.
    GG’s #47 is also true.

    I found this article by Russell Moore to sum up a lot of shades between evangelical and fundamentalist.
    http://www.russellmoore.com/2013/10/30/halloween-and-evangelical-identities/

  51. My wife started as a KJV only. That is still the version she uses.
    But, she is getting better as time goes on. She will even put a like on FB for other translations verses posted.
    Not The Message though 😉
    I can’t blame her. I don’t care for The Message myself.

  52. I confess I’m a “fundamentalist!”

    I know there is just one God, one Messiah, one Lord, one Name above all names, one faith, one written book of scriptures (filled with various books and accounts). I also know this same God, Messiah, Lord and Name above all names loves my neighbor and created him/her.

    Yep I’m a “fundamentalist!”

    I believe this one God created all things and is not in some ying and yang battle with evil. I believe all humans are created in His image. I believe in creation this one God created humans to love each other and to be sexually intimate only through the design of creation.

    Yep I’m a “fundamentalist” and I am in recovery from following my own ideas.

    So I guess that makes me a recovering lustful self-centered human being.

  53. Long time lurker. Of the many Christian blogs I read, this one is sincerely my favorite. I realize you don’t all agree on everything, but I truly believe that Michael and everyone else is being honest and trying to really get at the heart of matters/issues. I feel a real sense of community here. Fortunately, for me and my family we have that in our church, but then the church only has about 50 people.

    I think the hardest part is that for many people, trust is the issue. People have been hurt and don’t want to trust others. On the other hand, the others have tried to help, but feel burned by those who needed help.

    A Christian women, dear to me and my family, years ago said it this way, especially regarding marriages, “Give 100% and expect nothing.” Now I know that is hard to understand. I know that many things in the Bible are hard to understand, and even harder to do, but didn’t our Lord and Savior wash the dirty feet of 12 men, including a traitor, on the night he was betrayed and during the Passover!

    I know that it is asking a lot, and as my wife always says, “It starts with you!”, but it seems to me that much of the problem we have in this world is that we all in some way, shape, or form, idolize our self. Didn’t the Lord say, “Deny yourself, pick up your cross and follow me.”?

    I guess what I am trying to say, and please don’t think I am in the least judgmental here since I am as guilty of this as much or more than anyone else, is that if Christians, esp. in this country, would live this out more, we might see more of God in this world.

    I realize that this country and Christians, in particular do a lot of good, however, we still have a lot of sin, inside and outside the church. We need to stop following men and follow Christ and His Word! We need to stop worrying about everything (A VERY BIG ONE FOR ME and I really like the cat analogy, Michael, you really got me thinking there), as well as, many, many, many other issues.

    I know I have written much. Forgive me. As tears well up in my eyes as I write this, I believe with all my heart that in that day when we all gather ’round His marriage supper, all of this on earth will not compare to that feast. None of the true believers at Elevation or CCCM are going to be following SF or CS.

    Do not take this to downplay anyone’s pain or issues. I just think much of what you all write about has happened because of the fall of man. I also know that none of us can do anything without Him.

    Again, I apologize for the screed, I just had to get that out. I struggle as everyone else. It just amazes how we can treat fellow humans at times. Christ died for our sins, but He also showed us a better way to live.

  54. Bob,
    “I confess I’m a “fundamentalist!”” Since you confessed, what else can I do but forgive you. 😉

  55. Chile:

    Putting all the kidding aside, why would someone want to reorganize?

    When a church comes to a crisis that is led by the pastor or some other faction within the group what is that the others are trying to save? I can only think of one thing, their relationship within the church. Over the years my wife and I have developed relationships with many people in many churches, these are the things which we highly value, not some stupid egocentric pastor’s needs to control. Frankly I have no problem walking away from them at a moments notice, but the relationships are special, enduring and really are life.

    So in my theory the problem is these pastors in their quest for control and domination will jump at the heart of the problem and attempt to destroy relationships.

  56. “But still … a fundamentalist.”

    …cannot agree. I cannot remain faithful to Jesus and be a “fundamentalist”.

    “Fundamentalism” is an actual thing, a reaction to another actual thing called “Modernism”. Modernism played itself out in the 1960’s, and in the church in the 1990s. What followed in culture is an actual thing called “Post Modernism”.

    My calling and dialog is to those who are Post Moderns, which is why I self-identify as “progressive”.

  57. MLD:

    “Since you confessed, what else can I do but forgive you.”

    Thank you!

  58. “Gluten-free” is also a real thing, a set of dietary choices necessitated by heredity conditions and allergic reactions to whole grain.

    One of my daughters suffers from Celiac and if she does not eat GF then she experiences horrible inflammation.

    This isn’t a “chic” choice either.

  59. Sometimes there’s trouble in Ortholandia. Not every bishop is worthy of his calling, not every priest is a paragon of piety. Yet the Church has suffered the ministrations of all kinds of ne’er-do-wells over the past 2000 years and has endured. Some people, who have the stomach for it, get involved and work for change.* Others (the majority) just continue doing what they know to do: Loving God and loving one’s neighbor: Going to Liturgy, praying, fasting, and being charitable in thought, word and deed. Eventually, the Good Ship will come aright. It always does.

    *By “change” I do not mean any kind of change of belief or practice but a personnel change.

    Josh, I don’t know if we can be called fundamentalists or not. In a sense, we are the only people who can wear this label since we have stuck to the fundamentals (as we see them) for a very long time. We sort of think of you all as liberals….

  60. G – guy

    “…cannot agree. I cannot remain faithful to Jesus and be a “fundamentalist”.”

    That’s because you don’t seem to believe Jesus is fundamental to everything. No Jesus no new life!

    Hillel the Elder said “everything is Mikveh,” meaning even the most base things are done unto the Lord.

    I believe it was Paul who said, “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men,

    And Paul was a student of Hillel.

    Of course your argument seems to be about placing labels on people and their system of thought, fundamentalist, post-modern, and such. Why can’t we just call them people and amongst those, people who love Jesus?

    I don’t mind being called a lover of Jesus or His follower or even one who loves His words (you can even call me a fundamentalist if you want, just don’t call me MLD).

  61. Dan,

    Thank you for the kind words and for sharing your road with us.
    Well said…

  62. Celiac disease is relatively rare, G. I have a lot of friends who don’t have celiac disease who are now gluten-free by choice.

    In fact, it’s almost impossible for me to invite a group of people over for dinner anymore. Everyone has a list of dietary preferences, some based on nothing more than a recent Internet article. I have folks who won’t eat wheat (they do not have celiac disease), people who won’t eat potatoes (read it on the internet), who won’t eat meat, can’t eat shrimp, refuse refined grains, only eats fish, won’t eat farm fresh eggs, won’t drink milk…. An impossible list. And one who is genuinely allergic to tree nuts. Throw in the Orthodox fasting schedule (Greek or Russian?) and it’s almost impossible to have a large meal. For Thanksgiving I had to compile a spreadsheet and fix three separate meals to accomodate everyone.

    It wasn’t like this when I was a kid.

  63. Oh and G guy

    ““Fundamentalism” is an actual thing, a reaction to another actual thing called “Modernism”.”

    Neither fundamentalism, nor post-modernism are things. They are descriptors, labels, adjectives and not nouns.

    Yes celiac is an affliction that is real and is probably a noun. My sister has it so bad that before she figured out what the problem was it almost cost her life.

  64. “That’s because you don’t seem to believe Jesus is fundamental to everything.”
    Disagree completely.

    Perhaps you could start by asking, “Do you believe that Jesus is fundamental to everything?”

    Yes, I do.

    Do your homework about Fundamentalism, Modernism, Post Modernism, learn how others think.

  65. X,
    That made me think of this article I saw yesterday.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/02/23/whole-foods-america-s-temple-of-pseudoscience.html

    I don’t care for their comparison of creationism, but a lot of the article is spot on.

  66. “Celiac disease is relatively rare”, true, and I have a daughter who was diagnosed with it.
    I have also seen and experienced the tremendous benefits of eating Gluten Free and applaud anyone who chooses to do so, as difficult as it is.

  67. Bob, you really need to do your homework.

  68. “Neither fundamentalism, nor post-modernism are things”

    your ignorance is astounding

  69. It would be easier to believe progressives cry of “All you need is love” if so many of them weren’t always so condescending and mocking.

  70. Wow…sort of hit that spot on.

  71. It’s like the produce section at any market – for a buck more you can get “organic” carrots. Hmm, aren’t the other carrots organic??

    People for the most part are idiots … but they also think they are cook.

  72. “Bob, you really need to do your homework.”

    Can we do that her? Assign each other homework?

  73. but they also think they are cook.= but they also think they are cool.

  74. I’m merely stating the need for Bob to stop making statements which are ignorant.
    A quick visit to The Wikipedia would help, though there are more authoritative works referenced there..

    I’m not being condescending or mocking to point out that there has been a huge cultural shift and there is a need to dialog with those who are not “us”.

    I’m also not willing to agree that someone who chooses GF diet or be unfundamentalist in their way of navigating christianity is being needlessly “chic”.

  75. “It wasn’t like this when I was a kid.”

    …and we’ve become a more gracious society because we ask our guests about their dietary choices.

  76. This is not meant to be at all demeaning to any one with actual Celiac’s, but I know tons of stupid people who by gluten-free merely because they think it is healthier.

    I wonder if a whole generation eating gluten-free for no reason will end up making more people that can’t consume glutens?

  77. in the vein of MLD’s #73 by=buy

  78. Derek, that article is very good. When family members who are perfectly healthy read some article on the Internet and decide that an entire category of food (potatoes, pasta) is now off limits, it is ridiculous, especially when the cook of the house can no longer prepare family favorites and has to spend extra to buy stuff they will eat.

    I agree- Whole Foods is a temple to pseudo-science.

    I used to follow along with popular food trends but not so much anymore. When my husband appeared at breakfast proclaiming “Only sprouted bread for us!” I rebelled. Sprouted bread, which tastes like compost, costs 2-3 times what ordinary WW bread costs and for what purpose? Maybe I’ll live 2 days longer. Am I dreading meeting God so much that I will do anything to live longer? (The sprouted bread scene was just an example.)

    Here’s what I think people ought to eat, if they can afford it: Simple food, as unprocessed as possible. Lots of fruit and veggies, whole grains if you like them, not too much fatty stuff, go easy on the cheese and meat. (I am leery of GMO products but I don’t know that there’s any science to support my concern.) Leave the acai and other $$$ jungle berries on the shelf unless you happen to really like them.

    I have sympathy for folks with lactose intolerance. For them I will cheerfully buy almond milk. People with genuine food allergies and diseases have my full cooperation.

    The best thing a person can do, regarding food, is not to eat so much of it.

  79. g,
    “I’m not being condescending or mocking to point out that there has been a huge cultural shift and there is a need to dialog with those who are not “us”.

    Do you read what you write. In this thread to Bob, (1) you have said that you cannot be faithful to Jesus and be a fundamentalist. (2) you called him ignorant and (3) you told him to go do his homework.

    The you said in the comment above “…there is a need to dialog with those who are not “us”.

    That was not very good dialog on your part. LOL

  80. I thought one revealing part of the article was the comparison to Jewish dietary laws.

  81. and we’ve become a more gracious society<<<

    Then why do *you* try being gracious to people who don't agree with you and stop telling people they are ignorant.

  82. don’t, not do

  83. Another problem I have with the fad-food scene is that if Whole Foods cuisine is so important for mankind, what about the poor people who cannot afford any of it? It’s elitist to the max.

    Even when I tried to follow a whole foods diet, I felt conflicted. I live in the less affluent part of town and it bugged me to drive over the the rich part of town to buy groceries that my neighbors can’t afford. They all shop at the bargain store in town. My conscience is a lot happier when I shop there with them, so that’s what we do, most of the time. (Plus, it’s in walking distance.) The bargain store has enough of the stuff that I think comprises a decent, healthy diet if I look hard enough. Maybe no $4/ jar fancy smancy yogurt with exotic cultures flavored with free trade jungle berries. but some decent enough yogurt.

  84. “you have said that you cannot be faithful to Jesus and be a fundamentalist.”

    Yes, that is correct. Fundamentalism is a reaction to Modernism.
    We live in a Post Modern era, surrounded by Post Modern people, and Fundamentalism doesn’t answer the questions Post Modern people are concerned with.

    I said “there is a need to dialog with those who are not ‘us’.”

    Let me say it a different way.
    I find a need to dialog with those who are not believers in Evangelicalism or Fundamentalism. There is the concept of “other”, and how we dialog with those who are “other”, outside of our camp, our tribe, is vitally important in offering them the Jesus Who is readily available and to be found in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

    As to my other interactions, I am simply replying in kind.

  85. “We live in a Post Modern era, ”
    You are such a follower of modern culture – you will believe anything.

    Go do the Man on the Street interview / similar to the Jay walk and ask people if they are they are post modern – no qualifying no explaining just ask – almost 100% will give you the blank stare.

    Then ask people is they want well defined answers to direct questions (modernism) or if they want open ended answers (post modernism) – I think you will be surprised that people have lied to you.

  86. I was going to come on and talk a little about how ridiculously silly it is to compare someone with a physical and mental addiction to drugs or alcohol with a person unwilling to leave their local church….but then I see the conversation has now come to where fundamentalism is to Christianity as Taliban is to Islam.

  87. Re: Recovering Bob @55 said, “So in my theory the problem is these pastors in their quest for control and domination will jump at the heart of the problem and attempt to destroy relationships.”

    True. Which is precisely why people leave and don’t stand up to spiritual abuse and other corruption. Whatever is important is what gets crushed by the machine that protects the narcissistic leader.

    Spiritual Sounding Board linked to this article today: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rogereolson/2014/02/a-problem-in-evangelicalism-narcissistic-leaders/ –Guest post by electrical engineer Stephen Berger

    Quote:
    “People soon learn not to challenge a narcissistic leader because when you do you are very likely to suffer. Any criticism will be attacked and the attack will typically be both vicious and without limits. The Evangelical landscape is littered with black marks where a narcissistic leader scorched the earth attacking those who dared to challenge in the slightest way. Other leaders soon learn not to challenge a narcissist, but it is a failure of leadership to turn the agenda over to them. Sadly, it is not uncommon to talk to church staff or even seminary professors who live in fear they will fall out of favor and suffer the attack of a narcissistic leader.”

  88. I do not believe anything, I learn, study, stay relevant and current.
    The majority of people in my world are post modern.
    These are my friend friends, associates and clients.
    These are also the ones I grew up with and am still in touch with.

  89. By the way…all pseudo-psychoanalysis aside…people reject the Bible because God’s word is convicting and leads to repentance…and God’s word produces faith (not just salvation faith but daily faith).

    Two things our spiritual enemy would rather not any person experience.

  90. there is fundamentalism within christianity.
    there are extremist taliban in islam.

    I only address my religion’s need for reform

  91. Chile,
    I think many people are looking not for a spiritual leader but are looking for a church boss – they like being told the rules and what to do. Then one day they wake up and don’t like the church boss they chose.

    A spiritual leader can and usually is a godly man.
    A church boss almost by definition needs to be a narcissistic leader

  92. “there are progressives within christianity.
    there are extremist taliban in islam.”

  93. I agree with your 91, MLD; except I don’t think people usually know what they are getting into before they are in too deep. I still think people either have some notion of what is right and wrong and assume the best of any leader, only to find out they were entirely too naive, OR, they grew up in this environment and don’t even realize it’s wrong. The indoctrination is powerful … just ask the Mormons.

  94. Re: Steve @89 said, “…people reject the Bible because God’s word is convicting and leads to repentance…and God’s word produces faith (not just salvation faith but daily faith).”
    “Two things our spiritual enemy would rather not any person experience.”

    They reject it for another reason, at least for a season sometimes. When a liked/respected leader uses Scripture to his own ends, to demolish another person (using it wrongfully, of course,) or when he lives it differently than what the God meant, thereby creating false doctrine out of technically correct doctrine; THEN people sometimes have a need to throw it all out and start over.

    People from my old CC are still trying to sort through what they were taught, or what they “caught”, from our old errant CC pastor. What was true from Scripture and what was the pastor’s deviant use of it? It’s not always easy to pick apart. There were nuances. Things were said technically correct, but meant as tools to get you to do things that weren’t right.

  95. I only address my religion’s need for reform<<<

    Who is the "my" in "my religion?" I am not interested in an attempt on your part to do any "reforming" in my neck of the woods.

  96. Nixon abused the American people – did everyone trash the Constitution?

  97. Not necessary to trash the Constitution. It was the Constitution that gave the right to the people to hold him accountable.

  98. I’m going to repost this here because there is overlap with this discussion, as well.

    Chile says:
    February 24, 2014 at 2:39 pm
    JANUARY 31, 2014
    from Elevation Church
    Why Is Elevation Church The Best Place To Work?
    Note: 1, 3, 7 and 16.

    http://www.alittleleaven.com/2014/01/why-is-elevation-church-the-best-place-to-work.html

    1. We serve a lead pastor who seeks and hears from God.
    3. We serve a lead pastor we can trust.
    7. We serve a lead pastor who pours into us spiritually and professionally.
    16. We serve a lead pastor who goes first.

    MLD, take notice of how the indoctrination starts, before one is even involved, to make one’s social circle consist of those from the church. It’s the sort of situation where you can’t bring in outsiders due to the high level of conformity that creates a culture of inside jokes, unwritten expectations, that do not bode well with mixing friendships.

    6. While we work very hard, we also play very hard (insiders know this means play time is with the same group.)
    8. We are asked of much, but given more (insiders know this means long hours, prohibiting outside interests.)
    9. We bear each other’s armor and fully support one another (insiders know this means all your free time is meeting the needs of those in the group. Ex: CC assistant pastor refused meals when he was sick from the neighborhood, because he said he only needed to rely on his church to provide for him. The neighbors didn’t need to be told twice.)
    11. Our co-workers are talented, yet have great humility. (Read: We are better than others. Want to be cool, hang with us.)
    12. Our spouses and families are included and highly involved. (Read: Your whole family will be at the church all the time, so you might as well, too. No time for outside interests or friends, not even time in your neighborhood.)
    18. Spending time outside of work with our co-workers is something we look forward to.

    There’s more, but this makes the point.

  99. And the Bible give us the right to hold the pastor accountable.

    Look, it’s not like someone told Nixon, you are going against the constitution – he fought for years.

    If that many people are affected in your old church, they should have stood, one at a time and read aloud a conviction bible verse. When that person was silenced or removed, the next one should have done the same. If there were 100 of you, that would be quite the presentation.

  100. We don’t talk enough about Satan here. But the bottom line is that God wants us to read our Bibles and Satan does not.

    Under no circumstances, even if for a season, can one say it is God’s will to stop reading your Bible. Whether one cares to admit it or not (or cares to admit ‘him’ or not) when we stop reading the Bible we are doing exactly what Satan would desire.

    If someone wants to describe it as a sort of coping mechanism after bad experience, that does not mean it is a healthy coping mechanism – when someone eats a gallon of ice cream whenever they have bad experiences with others, while we certainly want to sympathize, nonetheless, we must try and show them how unhealthy it is to use that particular coping mechanism and get them to stop

    Satan could care less if some rogue pastor is blamed for why another stops reading the Bible – in fact, he probably gets some extra satisfaction from it.

  101. Chile re #98 – “MLD, take notice of how the indoctrination starts, before one is even involved,”

    I think I saw a similar add from Disney, why they were the best place to work.

    Is that indoctrination also – of the evil stature you are talking of?

  102. G – guy

    I am neither ignorant nor ill-informed. I have used the terms fundamentalist, post-modernist, next-gen, x-gen, baby-boomers and other descriptions of thought for at least two decades. What I am often steamed about is how your posts often spill an attitude which approaches the hate and elitism you so seem to dis-avow yourself from. You are a contradictory person full of the same guile and prejudices those whom you point at but from a different angle.

    I have grown more “tolerant” and understanding of others and their lifestyles as I have aged, but one thing I will never compromise on is that Jesus is Lord over all and the Name above all names, including the labels you so easily throw around.

    Sorry Michael for the rant.

  103. MLD said, “…they should have stood, one at a time and read aloud a conviction bible verse. When that person was silenced or removed, the next one should have done the same. If there were 100 of you, that would be quite the presentation.”

    You know, as well as I do, that in the process of organizing something that big someone would have decided it was their duty to warn the pastor, even if they agreed he was trouble. The damage that would have followed would have run every participant out of town.

    Even after that pastor was caught with 4 women, leaving the church $440K in debt due to his personal spending, people were unsure of what to do because they lacked teaching and scriptural understanding of the doctrine of grace. The pastor only confessed to one woman with a claim that it was merely emotional and then threw his wife under the bus as the reason he was tempted. He’s never admitted that the $440K is his fault, nor has he ever attempted any sort of repayment. Without any real repentance, rather continued cover-ups and attempts at diversions, some of the people still thought they were commanded to show “grace”, meaning overlooking all his failures and remaining loyal to him. They followed him to his new church plant up the road.

    Others were wiser and knew the pastor remained unrepentant based on the clear facts that could be known. They also knew the cost paid by others who’d attempted to deal honestly with this man were immeasurable.

  104. Steve at 100 – excellent! 🙂

  105. MLD, I know people from my IFB days who also worked for Disney. Disney has had cultural issues because of its extreme rules. But they are a business and one reads the very thick rulebook before signing on, with full knowledge of what is required of them. That is a totally different scenario, which you already knew; but you get points for yet another attempt at diversion from the real issue when someone makes a point that successfully undermines your case.

  106. Chile,
    OK, perhaps shouting him down wouldn’t have worked 😉

  107. And let’s not lose sight of the fact that Disney doesn’t tell anyone their leader is a man to be blindly trusted and followed. They don’t make a person give their time outside of work to the company, nor do they involve family members for free to keep their attention and time in one place, thus making it much more difficult to ever leave.

  108. Wait, are you saying if you hire on at Elevation that you don’t get an employee handbook with all the rules?

  109. MLD said “OK, perhaps shouting him down wouldn’t have worked ;-)”

    It’s so nice to have an agreement with you. 😉

  110. MLD, in these types of organizations, you know the rules are not spelled out. There are many very important rules that are unwritten, so as to keep up the impression that it’s all for the LORD, that it’s all because we LOVE to do it, that everyone is simply willing on their own to be completely in unity with the pastor, etc… You already know this is true.

  111. My husband and I read from a book of devotions over breakfast (featuring non-sprouted toast) and there’s always a few short bios of the Saints of the day. Most of these Saints were martyrs and this is a common story: There’s a Christian in town and he’s being dragged off to the iron maiden/lions/pot of boiling oil with the choice of torture and death or a cushy life if he denounces Christ. The Christian, often a young woman or an old man, refuse to denounce Christ and say something like “Christ has been good to me all my life, how could I betray my Lord?” The next thing that often happens is that one of the guards, who was maybe a secret Christian, steps forward and says “I am also a Christian.” And then another guard says “I have decided to follow Christ.” So it can happen. All it takes is one person with guts.

  112. Well, if you are an employee working off the clock and they have required expectations that your family work also, take them to the labor board.

    Did anyone file suit?

  113. With guts and a willingness to die over the issue. The entire family suffers. One has to decide if this pastor’s issues, this congregation’s issues are worth the annihilation of his family? No, I’m not exaggerating.

  114. Bob,
    I post, you rant.

  115. ” he’s being dragged off to the iron maiden”

    I know the feeling – my son at 15 talked me into taking him to an Iron Maiden concert. I almost denounced my lord. 😉

  116. Chile, my church was not abusive, but I did leave and I left all my friends and most of my family behind. Some of those old friends are still mad at me. That’s what conviction is all about, making hard choices. If all people want is friendship and comfort they pretty much lose their right to complain, IMO.

  117. MLD, did they sing “The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner?”

  118. MLD, “master of diversion from the real issue at hand”, of course not. No one says out loud that the family is “required” to work. They say that “good/mature Christian men”, leaders of the households, lead their families to the “healthy, God-loving” activities at the church. If those men want to be in the ministry, or in some key position, moving up the “ladder”, then they subconsciously know what they are to do.

    I watched the assistant CC pastor keep himself and his wife working at the church 60-80 hours a week. The kids were put to good use while they had to hang out there, as well. The wife was so naive she was honest about the fact that to be in the ministry it was expected that the wife give free labor along side her paid husband, else they’d find someone else that could give them a twofer.

  119. Chile,
    Let me ask you this – in a nice way. You said you have been through this a couple of times. Have you learn anything from it. Would you choose you next church differently than you chose the last 2?

    Would you go to the less popular church in town – the kind of church that your old pastored denied were even Christian churches?

  120. Or maybe the Rime of the Ancient Mariner.
    —-

    I personally do not think being a Christian is all about having a happy life. I think there is pain involved in following Christ. Saying No to the world and Yes to God will hurt sometimes. We have to decide if it is worth it.

  121. ” If those men want to be in the ministry, or in some key position, moving up the “ladder”, then they subconsciously know what they are to do.”

    And there is the problem. The guys who want to climb the ladder put their families at risk.

    The reason 95% of the people in those churches are fat and happy is not because they are deceived, it is because they are happy to just be participants … not striving for a position of power.

    I have seen it before, some regular folks who get a hair up their butt and think that the most important next step is to be invited to the staff Christmas party – and they spend their time on that goal.

  122. Xenia, I don’t remember what they sang, it was oover 20 yrs ago.

    Was that you standing next to me flicking your Bic? 🙂

  123. Re: Xenia @116 said, “…my church was not abusive,…”

    Therein lies the difference.

    I stood up to a non-abusive organization that was large. The result was my expulsion. It took them 10 years to comprehend the issue and then they apologized to me. It didn’t bother me because I knew they meant well and just didn’t see what was going on. It wasn’t an organizational issue; it wasn’t a lack of accountability issue; it wasn’t a man-worship issue. Instead, it was the old guard not understanding the culture of the younger people rising up, which made them make some damaging judgements. Once they understood, they made it right in ways that were beyond my hopes or dreams. I, personally, find that fairly easy to do, even though it did cost me some respect in their eyes for a decade, which did affect my standing in the community surrounding this well-respected school.

  124. Chile, a lot of people did think that church was abusive. I have a different definition of abuse.

  125. @121

    There are different reasons as to why a person wants to “climb the ladder.”

    Bad reasons:
    1. Selfish ambition
    2. Insecurity

    Sometimes there are well-meaning reasons:
    1. I just want to be a good Christian and this is what I’m taught is what it looks like.
    2. I sense a calling, others corroborate it, and it requires moving up through the ranks to do that ministry that I love and am equipped for.

  126. @129

    It matters how YOU saw it, Xenia, as to whether or not it was going to be hard or easy to stand up to them. The others who called it “abusive” may have had a very different experience than you did.

  127. MLD said, “The reason 95% of the people in those churches are fat and happy is not because they are deceived, it is because they are happy to just be participants …”

    Oooh, 3 agreements in one thread. We are on a roll!

  128. X’s 120.

    Anyone who wants to count the cost needs to read Ephesians and see how much riches is related to Christ.
    I choose the riches of His grace, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, the riches of his glory and indeed the unsearchable riches of Christ.
    ________________

    And, though I love breads of all different types, you have pretty much convinced me to stay away from sprouted bread.

  129. Chile, now #121 – you are making excuses for these people. Even if they have a good reason to wan to climb the ladder, they do not have a good reason to abuse their families or to put them in harms way – per your own discussion.

    So these guys who you thought were new victims had indeed themselves become the new abusers.

  130. Job summed up his comforters quite well:

    Job 16:2

    “I have heard many such things;
    Miserable comforters are you all!

    I guess the good thing is that they showed up. There are a lot of people who won’t bother to show up when we’re down.

  131. I’ll add that being a “participant” can be someone who just warms a pew; but it can also be one who volunteers to lead a Bible study, if said person is not personally aware of any issues behind the scenes, or asking any questions or bucking the system -even innocently-in any way.

    The second scenario was me, for awhile, till a leader went ballistic in front of me and I then had a responsibility to deal with it myself. THEN I got a peak behind the curtain and I became a liability. If one is fortunate enough to never run into an issue that sparks such a responsibility to respond, then they can be fat and happy and see it all through rose colored glasses; staunchly convinced that their experience is the way it is in every area of the church for everyone. See no evil, hear no evil = sure the others who complain are all wrong.

  132. Well, when I was at my old CC I was very ambitious and I did want to move up the ladder and I did manage to get about as close to the inner circle as it was possible for a non-pastor’s wife female to get. When there was something that needed doing, I said “me me me, I’ll do it.” There was very little of God in any of this and a lot of Diane (pre-Xenia.) I saw all my peers as competition. This was a wretched, wretched time in my life but I have to say, that’s the soup we were swimming in. There was death in that pot! But it was all my own fault. I can’t blame anyone, I can’t say they overworked me or took advantage of me, I chose it. You have to ask a person who volunteers for every job at church- what is the motive? To serve God or to feed ambition? I think many people do work hard at church to serve God but I was of the ambitious sort. I do things at church now but I try to stick to washing dishes and changing diapers. This is also a choice.

  133. “I’ll add that being a “participant” can be someone who just warms a pew; ”

    That’s the 95% of fat and happy I was talking about.

  134. MLD — “they do not have a good reason to abuse their families or to put them in harms way …”

    Agreed. But these guys will tell you they didn’t know it was wrong. They were taught this was healthy for the family in the long run. Many of them were chosen for their loyalty which was taught to them as a serious character trait that God required. They weren’t always the sharpest tools in the shed, but they were sometimes driven by a desire to sacrifice for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They thought that this is what “sacrifice” and “suffering” meant. For those who were sharper, they tended to have been indoctrinated early and were simply blind in this area, imo.

    One of the pastors, was only 2 years from his last crack indulgence. He exhibits the thinking issues that drug addicts have from the chemical changes that have taken place in the brain. They tend to trade their drug addiction for a church addiction. I get the positives, but there are still negatives along with that; not the least of which is that they are novices put too soon into positions.

    Two of the pastors were old friends from years past who simply believed the best to the point of it clouding their vision. Fortunately, one of them woke up and pulled out of the ministry. They paid a price for it though.

  135. Xenia — “I can’t say they overworked me or took advantage of me, I chose it.”

    I agree this is true for those who understand this. But I give a break to those who were simply trying to obey what they thought was being taught to them (whether taught in word or deed.) It can be done out of pure motives. This same naiveté can also keep one from recognizing the death in which you refer to, Xenia. When this is the case, I believe blame can and should be laid at the feet of those leading them.

    Jesus gives me the impression He thought the same when he reserved His harshest rebukes for the Pharisees who laid unnecessary burden of rules and regulations on the people.

  136. G

    You’re everything you find distasteful in others.

    Enough.

  137. MLD–“I’ll add that being a “participant” can be someone who just warms a pew; ”

    That’s the 95% of fat and happy I was talking about.”

    I know. But the fat/happy crowd who is involved exists, too, as long as they don’t rock the boat in any way. They are actually the most damaging to those who do get spiritually abused, because they tend to spend their time and efforts on defending the health of the organization simply because they haven’t run into any issues themselves; as well as rebuking the wounded because they don’t believe them. It’s a tool to create confusion, and we know where that comes from.

  138. Chile,
    Sounds like your churchmates would have made great Nazi soldiers.
    If you want to tell me that CC takes advantage of the mindless, well fine – but you have to admit you were mindless.

  139. Xenia @132,

    I’m curious. Looking back, what do you think your original motives to get involved were? I understand it turned into selfish ambition, something I can relate to, but do you think that is how it started?

  140. I don’t think I was actually mindless. I think I was busy and focused and had no reason to think I was going to run into what I did run into, since I had no prior experience of that type of behavior in a church.

    I ran a group and we functioned as a mini-church, so to speak. We were busy supporting one another, I was busy prepping the Bible studies, and we all had jobs, families, and outside activities. We were unsupervised and it seemed healthy. No one from that group remained in that church after they threw me out. They knew something was wrong at that point. The issues made us all wake up and see.

    Other groups were very different from what I’m told. There were leaders who appeared to be mindless, and those who appeared to choose selfish ambition.

  141. I have always admitted that i am a bit insensitive …

    “It’s a tool to create confusion, and we know where that comes from.” So now you are saying that those who come to just sit are a tool and complicit in the problem?

  142. Chile… We had a pastor’s wife, a very cheerful, hardworking woman, who told us she wakes up in the morning and prays, “Lord, what do you have for me today?” and whatever opportunity popped up in the course of the day to serve Him, she saw that as an answer to her prayer. <— I still think this is a wonderful attitude. I adopted it for myself.

    But in my case, I had some other issues burning on a back burner, some unresolved problems in my own life that I should have dealt with before trying this out. My selfishness just snowballed until it got so bad that even I had to take notice.

  143. Chile – Serious question. At this CC, were people forbidden to read their Bibles on their own? Were they forbidden to listen to something like the Calvary Satellite Netowrk? Were they warned about buying and reading Christian books? Were they encouraged not to seek the Lord in prayer? Surely that would be quite an odd CC indeed.

    I ask because I never see God in these examples. The person who gets out always “wakes up” or whatever.

    I don’t deny the idea of the rogue pastor getting away with all sorts of stuff, and that people feel duped in hindsight. But feeling duped because you believed the pastor was a man of God and turned out to be a scoundrel is not abuse.

  144. MLD –“Sounds like your churchmates would have made great Nazi soldiers.”

    Yes, those who bolster the pastor would. They believed what he told them. They did as he told them. They never questioned him, even when the pastor’s sins started coming to light, they turned a blind eye. In the end, a pastor from Arizona flew up to tell the leaders of the church what facts he had about the pastor’s serious sins, and it was only then that some of the leaders were willing to do anything out of step with what they were told to do. Even then, they didn’t have a clue what to do since they really didn’t have any authority, CCOF didn’t help them, the board had been fired, and they didn’t know how to think on their own. Yes, like the Nazi soldiers, if you will.

    Finally, the assistant pastor had to call another CC pastor to ask what to do and he called 2 of his buddies and then the three of them hatched a plan to force the pastor to hand over his church assets to them. The pastor did so, knowing they could have had him prosecuted and sent to jail, and that he was leaving them $440K in debt.

    The pastor’s last blow to his underling pastors: He accused them of not being loyal to him. So yes, I think you can make a Nazi reference here.

  145. The pastor’s last blow to his underling pastors: He accused them of not being loyal to him.
    —————————————————————
    After all that, how in the world is that a “blow” and not the rantings of a madman, caught, and neck-deep in unrepentant sin?

    Again, in all seriousness, was there ANYONE who actually felt hurt when he said that as he went out the door?

  146. Steve, a pastor can teach the Scripture in such a way as to technically say what it says, but give examples of how to apply that twists the meanings all together.

    Satanists do this all the time. It’s far more blatant, but they use the symbols, Scriptures, and verbiage of Christianity as their own. It makes the people involved in that unable to see or hear those good symbols, Scripture and verbiage in the way they were meant to be used. They’ve been perverted.

    The CC pastor effectively used the same tool, just in a much much more subtle way, effective none-the-less. I know this is not the only CC, or church group, that has done this. It’s a legitimate and serious issue.

    Blind loyalty to the pastor was set up as the way one loves the church, loves God, loves others. It was communicated, from twisting Scriptures ever so slightly, that this was how one showed their maturity in Christ. Many more examples, but you see my point with this one.

    Yes, people should have been able to read their Bibles and recognize their was a problem; but when you have people exhausted from working too much, and set up all concerns or disagreements as a sign of immaturity, then it makes it even harder for the average person to see the truth.

  147. Chile, do you accept any personal responsibility for any of the things that happened?

    You sort of present yourself as a very innocent person who was mesmerized by a Houdini.

  148. Yes, Steve, the pastors were crushed by it. They had been SO loyal! It had cost them so much! You have to understand, they were still in the middle of trying comprehend it all. There was confusion. They expected him to come clean, repent, and go through a reasonable process of restoration. Up till that point, they were taught/caught that this pastor basically functioned as the mediator between them and God, though they could not have articulated that back then. The pastor’s response of attacking them was brutal. They had no understanding that this happens sometimes. Remember, all but one pastor was a novice. The one pastor was totally loyal to all things CC and even this rocked him.

    This was such a crushing blow to them, that it put their faith in jeopardy. They didn’t know what to believe. Everything they had trusted was up for grabs. Their jobs were in jeopardy. Kids were chunking the faith. Some admitted privately they were near breakdowns.

  149. good grief…Satanist comparisons now??

  150. They expected him to come clean, repent, and go through a reasonable process of restoration
    —————————————————–
    That’s my point, Chile. They also expected him not to run around with other women and steal half a million from the church.

    But once found out, and once he made it clear he would not “come clean, repent and go through a reasonable process of restoration”

    Then you’re telling me these guys STILL were crushed when this guy tossed an insult as he went out the door?

  151. Xenia, let’s put it this way:

    I asked the pastor if I had done anything wrong when he was throwing me out. He said, “No.” I asked if the other leader had done anything wrong and he said, “Yes, that person has a reputation of having an habitual sin of outbursts of anger.” He simply said that he had to protect his leader over me and that since I’d seen the outbursts, that leader didn’t feel comfortable having me around the church. (I often wonder what caused him to be so honest?)

    I did not understand the underlying issues of the CC organizational chart and lack of meaningful accountability for me to have foreseen danger and made the appropriate decisions to avoid such issues by even attending; but when we asked in the very beginning we were told they didn’t have anything written up, then the pastor lied about how it worked. I’m guilty for not having checked further. Since I’d never known of any org being that unaccountable, I did not have a grid to even think of someone organizing in such a way.

  152. This kind of goes back to about a month ago when the accussation was that CC pastors hate women and teach others to hate women.

    When I said in my CC years I never heard anything except to love, honor and cherish your wife – to be willing to die for her as Christ died for the church. The rebuttal was “est, but in thebackrooms is where the real theology of women was taught.

    this non sense,- as Steve says, it can be rogue pastors but it is not the teaching in the system.

    I still think that the people who have trouble with CC are those who had their own (emphasis on their own) expectations thwarted.

    Too much conspiracy theory for me. Understand though, I don’t doubt what happened, but I do think that everyone involved were enablers of the others and it just fed on itself like a giant snake eating at his own back-end – pretty soon you ate yourselves .. the leaders and the wannabees.

  153. “I asked the pastor if I had done anything wrong when he was throwing me out. He said, “No.” ”

    You already said this guy was a liar – why did you believe him when he gave you that answer?

  154. Chile,

    For what it’s worth, having lived through it myself, you are very articulate and I understand fully.

  155. Steve, that’s not the order in which it happened. The pastor was called on the carpet, and he immediately accused two pastors of stealing money, and some other accusations I can’t remember. He also denied the facts as presented and began spinning in a skilled way that created much confusion. The others didn’t know if these two pastors did something wrong or not? No one knew for sure how it was going to turn out. The disloyalty accusation came around this time. The guys just didn’t know if what they thought were facts would stand up or if somehow the pastor would prove what looked like indisputable facts to be wrong. What they knew is that the pastor’s disapproval was often seen as God’s disapproval. This was subtly ingrained over time. It’s not something one just recognizes easily and simply stops believing it. For them it has taken time.

  156. I have an acquaintance who likes to tell of the very dramatic last day at our old CC. I won’t give the details, but if you just heard their story you would be stupefied that anyone could have been treated that way at a church.

    Until you heard the rest of the story.

  157. (from other people)

  158. Bob,
    Really?
    You don’t need to get so worked up.

  159. Thanks, Michael.

    I guess I really don’t understand why others spend more time trying to indict the victims rather than the perpetrators.

  160. Again, for what it’s worth… living in these dynamics is very damn different from writing about them in hindsight.
    I wish I’d written the story of the Colorado cluster bleep when it happened.

  161. Xenia, my story and the other stories I tell are backed by witnesses, in the plural. I have many more stories that I heard from the individuals, where no one else heard or saw what happened, but they fit the general theme of what went on … once we had hindsight, anyway.

  162. I spent two years as a pariah in my own hometown …. damn right I understand.

  163. For what it’s worth…the depth of the depravity and abuse in this situation was reported to me by CC glitterati…not Chile.

  164. Well Chile, God bless you. I hope you have been able to disentangle yourself from this unpleasant situation and have been able to find a decent church and are worshiping the Lord in a better environment.

    I apologize for hectoring you. In my own life, I have seen myself as the guilty party and not the victim more times than not yet I have seen people in situations similar to my own who saw things the other way around. So I tend to be suspicious. But I have no reason to doubt your story so I apologize.

  165. Well Michael I still have people who don’t speak to me. What of it?

  166. That’s exactly the issue, Michael. When we were in the middle of it, nothing was that clear. Lots of conflicting information, just a consistent stench underneath of good works continued to rise up. Seemed like only those with attuned noses could smell it, at first; though as time passed those who realized something was desperately wrong grew in numbers, just not clear indisputable facts. It was very confusing and difficult.

    To this day, many who were creatively extricated from the church, are still living under suspicion because people don’t know if what the pastor said about them was true or not, so they stay away from them … as they were taught to do. People don’t know how to discern what was of God and what was of the pastor.

  167. Steve, that’s not the order in which it happened.
    —————————————
    I thought you meant last blow in the sense of chronology, after all the sin was fully exposed and no doubt of his guilt. That’s how I read your 144. As a narrative.

  168. Xenia,

    This is a small town and I was born and will die here.
    To be hated and condemned by the people of God for standing for the things of God…by long time friends and neighbors…was hellish. That’s what of it…

  169. Please don’t even hint at the suggestion that I don’t understand what it is like to live through chaos, confusion, lies and the unrepentant sin of church leaders…or can’t relate to a cost associated with it.

    Thanks.

  170. Ok. This is what I get for offering opinions about things that are none of my business.

    What goes on in your churches aren’t really any of my business. If you guys stand up for righteousness and suffer for it, God bless you.

    As for me, I think I will stick to the church history threads.

  171. Thanks, Xenia!

    I have to say that when I was an IFBer, I was a total pharisee and hurt many people for which I worked hard to make right later. Though I did start out innocently as a youngster simply obeying and emulating my leaders, I later on knew enough from my own Bible study and conviction of the Holy Spirit, that God wanted love from me towards others which looked different than I saw as my examples to follow. Because I was able to leave and go into a totally different Christian culture, I recovered much faster than my classmates.

    So I do know what it’s like to definitely be guilty once I passed the novice and naive stage. That just wasn’t the case while I was in CC. Though I did defend the pastor in the beginning, it was based on poorly presented criticisms that I later learned were accurate. I did repent of that early on and changed my policy to not defend pastors or churches after that.

  172. changed my policy to not defend pastors or churches after that.
    ————————————————-
    And there we have it….

    You see, I challenge anyone, anywhere, to find that bias supported in the Scripture.

    We should defend the innocent. Period. Whoever the innocent happens to be.

  173. @167,

    Sorry, maybe poorly worded. Though I do think that even if it had happened in that order it still would have been a blow. That pastor still has ways of hurting those men, though less and less as time goes on.

    I think anytime someone doesn’t apologize, as Michael wrote about recently, the wound never fully heals. Even ridiculous accusations, or even false niceties from the unrepentant, have a way of continuing to sting, even for the strongest among us.

  174. Steve, I was defending a pastor without having been there to know if the accusations were true or not. I was basing my defense on the fact that I had not seen him act that way. I won’t do that again. That is not refusing to defend the innocent, that is not knowing if he’s innocent. Let the investigation begin and show whether he be innocent or not, but not based on my defense out of ignorance.

  175. Steve–“And there we have it….”

    You come across as if you are focused on coming up with a gotcha moment, instead of hearing what my points are.

  176. #174

    That’s what I always say here on the PhxP. Let’s hear both sides of a story, not just victim’s side but also the abuser’s side. May turn out there is no victim after all. You have to hear both sides.

  177. Steve–“Please don’t even hint at the suggestion that I don’t understand what it is like to live through chaos, confusion, lies and the unrepentant sin of church leaders…or can’t relate to a cost associated with it.”

    Your 143 gives the impression that maybe you don’t understand what it’s like.

  178. Chile, no gotcha intended.

    My point is that pastors like me (or their congregations) should not be “pro-pastor” as many of the men are that are reported about and (rightly) criticized at this blog.

    However, as a follower of Jesus nobody should be “anti-pastor” either.

    Maybe you can explain your “policy” – Do you think that the pastor is always wrong? Do you think the pastor can defend himself without any friends?

    Why would you have a one-sided policy like that, and not rather follow the Biblical instruction of hearing both sides of a matter and trying to come to the aid, as led, of the innocent party – especially if it is a case where guilt/innocence is crystal clear.

    Why would a faithful, humble, servant of God’s people be automatically removed from your concern if faced with a baseless charge that could destroy him and/or his family? Just because he is a pastor?

    That makes zero sense to me…this “policy” of yours that by your own admission you formed in light of the bad experience.

    Now, if all you are really saying is this policy of yours means you don’t give the benefit of the doubt to a guy just because he is a pastor…well, not only do I understand but I frankly would agree with you as well.

  179. Michael @168,

    That must be rough. I didn’t realize you are currently in that situation. I’m so sorry.

    We fared much better than those who stayed in the town, but then the rogue pastor set up shop down the street. Thankfully, there are enough people around here that his church is just a blip in the radar. Even if he grew, he will never be the big fish in a small pond like he used to be. Those who currently listen to him are like the kids in high school who wished they could get into the cool crowd so badly they would do anything. They are discredited just for being this unrepentant man’s disciple.

  180. Your 143 gives the impression that maybe you don’t understand what it’s like.
    ———————————————-
    Oh to the contrary…my 143 was asked through that filter.

  181. Steve–“Now, if all you are really saying is this policy of yours means you don’t give the benefit of the doubt to a guy just because he is a pastor…well, not only do I understand but I frankly would agree with you as well.”

    This is my policy, as you stated. I don’t believe in giving a defense to anyone based upon their title, position, power, because they represent what I’m involved in and I want it to be seen as making a wise choice, or because I simply haven’t seen them do it.

    If I’m asked if I saw them, I can say no. If I’m asked do I know of any reason to think this might be an issue I can say no. But what I’m talking about is more of the average conversation when a person brings up some issue they are concerned about and the others pounce on them to say they believe so totally in their pastor that how could anyone insinuate that there is an issue. A bit of an overstatement to make my point.

  182. When I was ten years old, my parents and the pastor of our little rural Baptist church fell into a strong disagreement about something. Basically, this pastor was a wimp and my dad, the head deacon, was zealous for the Lord. This is how it seemed to me as a ten year old. I don’t believe this pastor did anything dishonest. My mother was the church secretary. She said loudly, to our living room full of like-minded friends “I am so disgusted with this situation that I am never going to set foot in a church again.” And she was true to her word. That was over sixty years ago an my mother has never said a kind word about churches or pastors since. Needless to say, her spiritual life suffered big time. Because of this (and from other similar cases I’ve seen) I am very sad to see people use one event as the basis for avoiding church and mistrusting pastors.

  183. Uh, make that “was over fifty years ago,” not sixty!

  184. Michael, what is the “glitterati”?

  185. Michael –“I wish I’d written the story of the Colorado cluster bleep when it happened.”

    I talked with a lot of people in private as they were scared to speak publicly. With the pastor’s vindictive nature (one he admitted to many times publicly,) and his return close to town, many people are guarded and unwilling to speak out even now. Can you imagine how scared they were when it was all happening? Lots of secrecy even to this day about the actual facts and how it finally ended.

    With such a reaction from so many, you can surmise that either this situation was really that bad and/or that the people were groomed well to never speak out against their pastor or the church in general. I think it’s both. Even when we lost 5 elders in one year, not a one of them ever spoke up. They were taught well. They contributed to enabling and covering up well. I think they are guilty for their silence since the Apostle Paul tells us in ACTS that their job description is to “protect the sheep” and not to protect the pastor.

  186. I’m sorry your mother experienced such pain or disillusionment that she felt she had to leave the church forever. I don’t know what happened with her, but most people that I know who’ve left the church do so for awhile to get their heads straight after such confusion and pain, and to draw close to God without the distraction of having to be so on guard.

    If the leaders are supposed to be the mature ones, the ones given the task to protect the sheep, feed the sheep, care for the sheep by God, then I’m betting that God will hold them more responsible like a parent who is responsible for a child. New believers (or those who’ve not grown yet,) are like babes in need of care, impressionable, and in need of growth and maturity before they can be expected to be held solely responsible for their actions and beliefs.

    I don’t know what category your parents were in at the time of that event, Xenia, nor if there were events that led up to that one, making it that last straw or not? But I grieve for them even if it could have been purely their fault. My own kids don’t even know the full story of what was happening to us to create a full picture of why the our church expulsion was so painful, and probably never will. They may just think we were weak. That would be better than their having full understanding in my case, at least for now.

  187. Chile,

    Glitterati refers to people very high on the food chain.
    That were utterly disgusted with what happened and the absurd power play that followed.

  188. Chile, well, the point of my story was not so much “poor Mom, she was so badly hurt” but what can happen if you decide you can get along in your Christian life without church in it.

    She allowed this one rather insignificant episode to make her Christian life a shipwreck.

    My father was not affected at all. He continued at that church under that pastor, doing his job the best he could and continued when a new pastor came. He was a devout Christian until the day he died.

  189. I am very pro pastor and in most cases would give the pastor the benefit of the doubt ,,, to this extent – pastors who are seminary trained in a denomination.

    Not for the smarts they get, but for the vetting they get. In my denomination, the routine is usually raised in a church, mentored by a pastor – 4 yr at a Lutheran university, vetted and evaluated by the theology faculty, again not just for smarts but for skills and aptitude. Then off to 4 yrs at the seminary with the constant vetting and the 3rd yr being and on the job training in a church and finally the call process to a church.

    With those credentials and the watchful eye and evaluation, I think they are prepared.

  190. Chile,

    I outlasted them and the pastor eventually fell horribly and publicly.
    I started the Phoenix Preacher and the rest is history.
    The local CC guys still hate me, but it would trouble me more if they liked me.
    My life vindicated me…but it took many, many years.

  191. Michael I call bs on your #8 thought!

  192. David,

    Offer a cogent challenge not an aspersion. I would agree that the premise is flawed but not that it is some form of dung. I would agree that thinking you are the person GOD has set as a solution to another person’s problem is a very unhelpful thought in the direction Michael was going. But I would affirm Michael in his conviction that the hand of God is on a matter and leads you to bring your wits to bear on it.

  193. David,

    Simply calling “bs” on a principle I live by does not inform or alter my opinion.
    State your objection and we’ll talk about it.

  194. Batter women in a toxic relationship….

  195. Sorry…battered women

  196. David,

    I said difficult, not deadly.
    There are exceptions to every rule.
    What I had in mind were those of us who are caring for children with emotional difficulties,those caring for fading parents…those who are exhausted from the work and care they pour out that has little visible reward.
    Sometimes that applies to difficult marriages, but not always.
    It’s far more helpful to ask questions about what I say rather than calling bull… as if this were a contest.

  197. you were the person God specifically chose and equipped to demonstrate His love and His ways to the person
    ———————————————————————
    Call the authorities on the s.o.b. – file charges – if the man is a believer you will be God’s hand of chastening which is an act of love, and if an unbeliever, a jail cell very well may be the wake-up call God uses to bring the person to salvation.

    I didn’t become a Calvinist in the last four days since I was arguing with Michael in a prior thread…but I did not see anything wrong in his statement.

    Now…if Michael had said something to the extent like Piper has said “That getting beaten is submitting to the will of God in your life…or similar pastoral malpractice, then yeah..inexcusable.

    But “His love and His ways” is an expression I personally can’t find fault with.

    Lord, why is this person in my life, is always a legit question for us.

  198. Ok babylon D
    I admit my knee jerk reaction. I was thinking about the women I know in toxic relationships and the one I had just spent a couple of hours talking to.

  199. Interesting discussion about food.

    I’m in the food business.

    Organic foods (particularly produce) is an exploding market…some of it is buying a feeling but any good entrepreneur knows that people don’t buy products, they buy feelings. You market to the feeling and you’ll sell more _____.

    That being said locally grown, organic produce is by far a better product. You can’t replicate the nutrients in the soil that are transferred to the crop with fertilizers. It’s all about the soil…large commercial farms are working with inferior soil and then add fertilizers filled with nitrogen to create fast growth but it compromises the taste and the nutrient value.

    That being said not everyone has the opportunity to live in areas with long growing seasons and many people in lower income urban areas may not have access to farmer’s markets and locally grown food. For many they just need to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into their diets period…most Americans are stuffing themselves full with some variation of genetically modified corn recreated and repackaged into about 1000 different items. Basically the entire middle section of every grocery store.

    The cost of food compared to the average household income is actually at an all time low…Americans have bought the lie that food should be cheap. It’s why we are the only country in the world where poor people are obese, they are filling themselves with sugar (most from corn), processed grains, and deep fried foods. These foods are cheap but they are not filling and it takes more to get a person through the day therefore they are consuming more empty calories.

    We need to see the price of more expensive foods (produce, grass fed beef, good dairy products, nuts) as the actual price of food…you’re going to pay for it one way or the other…in the short run with a higher food budget or in the long run with medical bills.

  200. Sorry Michael. I reacted from the context of what I had been dealing with recently. I do not believe nor do I want to believe that anyone in an emotional abusive relationship is there to show Gods love.

  201. One more thing…if you can only afford to buy organic in one area I would highly recommend buying organic meats. Particularly beef.

    I know cattle ranchers, beef producers…if Americans knew what they were eating with non-organic corn fed beef they would vomit.

    Most feed lots (finishing grounds for steers that are butchered for beef) use a feed called “blood meal”, it’s basically all the guts of the slaughtered steers ground up with corn…they are then shot full of steroids to make them grow quicker.

    FYI…if you are buying “organic, grass fed” beef the fat will be yellow, it it’s not yellow it’s not grass fed. Many steers are grass fed for a time and then finished off with a corn based feed …in this case it only takes 30 days to ruin the nutritional value of the beef, evidenced by the fat turning white.

  202. Steve Wright your 197 makes sense to me… Thank you.

  203. What does the cat say?

    mad-ing a ding mad-ing a ding

    mr-mr me-me-me meow

    ma-ma-ma pa-pa a-dow meow

    ma-ma-ma pa-pa a-dow meow

    mer-ring a ding a-dow meow

    mer-ring a ding a-dow meow

    cha-cha-cha-cha cha- a meow

    meow-ow-ow-ooh-oo-ooo
    meow-ow-ow-ooh-oo-ooo
    meow-ow-ow-ooh-oo-ooo

    I like you now feed me!

  204. Learner –” Many steers are grass fed for a time and then finished off with a corn based feed …in this case it only takes 30 days to ruin the nutritional value of the beef,…”

    Which is why only 3 places in Colorado are certified “Grass Fed”; but everyone seems to be selling it without certification.

  205. Thanks, Michael, for the explanation. I’m glad to hear others were bothered by both sets of antics.

  206. @ Michael’s 190,

    So you outlasted them and experienced vindication. That’s great!

    I found that even when I was vindicated, people in leadership who enabled the pastor for far too long, still wouldn’t admit their role; instead they chose to play only the victim, when they were both victim and abuser. I’ve yet to get an apology from those who shunned me, yelled at me, and participated in the pastor’s phone call to administer the creative removal of me from the church all together. But the new pastor and his crew coddle them and hold them up as the righteous ones. Gag!

  207. I found that even when I was vindicated, people in leadership who enabled the pastor for far too long, still wouldn’t admit their role; instead they chose to play only the victim, when they were both victim and abuser.
    ——————————————————–
    Chile, that is what I, and I think a couple other commentators, were getting at. Maybe I was reading you wrong but it seemed like you were in fact saying that everyone else was duped or a victim or this or that.

    You even wrote “I guess I really don’t understand why others spend more time trying to indict the victims rather than the perpetrators.” …….in response to my questions about those other pastors and leaders who it seemed to me deserve a whole lot of blame too.

    I’m trying to understand you, but do you see how there could be confusion.

  208. This is pretty cool.
    Pope revolutionizes Vatican by opening finances to scrutiny
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/24/us-vatican-bank-idUSBREA1N0TA20140224

  209. I knew I liked this pope, he may actually believe all that Jesus is Lord nonsense people go on about. He should be careful as they have taken out “vicars of Christ” for far less. But he is a Jesuit so I think he gets it. As stupid and pathetic as this may seem, he may actually wish to serve Jesus. I know Gag I get that in spades. No one with real power actually buys that twaddle. I buy that twaddle just goes to show what a piece of crap I am. I get that, trust me I get that in spades. I wish the pope the best, I hope there is reform and I hope people are healed and restored. If that hope does not seal me as a heretic and God hater I dont know what will.

  210. Steve,

    1. the unrepentant pastor was an abuser in more than one sense of the word. He was not a victim. Even his losing his church in an unethical manner, was his own doing in one respect. In exchange for not being taken to court and most likely spending time in jail for his crimes, he handed over the keys to his business, the church, that was $440K in debt because he spent the money instead of paying the rent, from what I’m told.

    2. The only people who were victims and abusers at the same time were the other pastors on staff and their wives. They enabled the pastor to abuse, and even emulated him in abusing others. They were also victims because they trusted their teacher, who taught them it was their God-given spiritual duty to trust him, the pastor. They were novices. They were victims when the pastor over worked them in a serious way; and then when he accused them of doing what he was actually doing (stealing and messing with several other women,) as a way to try and throw in enough confusion into the mix so people wouldn’t figure out what sins he was busy committing.

    3. Those who were attenders were not abusers, but they were victims. I don’t know of any attenders who were trying to attack and bring down the pastor, though I do know of several who asked questions out of concern about the high spending of the pastor and his wife and the lack of funds to run the church. They were shown the door. I know of other stories where the pastor claimed people were trying to undermine him, but none of his stories have been corroborated. However, those who claimed the pastor was falsely accusing them have been vindicated over the long run. So no, I don’t know of any attender abusing the leadership, nor of anyone in the leadership claiming that anyone did. If there is some story that does exist and is true, it was not the norm enough for those of us asking around to have heard it.

  211. If I may offer my twisted experience, those “pastors” were working the business, that is what they were taught, and what is deified. All that I believe in the triune God nonsense means nothing what so ever, it is maintaining market share, nothing more. Try going against the the tide trust me God Himself cant help you. I never quite got that aspect of the good news, oh wait, its not good news and ever has been. Actually its rather awful news.

  212. Steve, if this is what you meant,

    “You even wrote “I guess I really don’t understand why others spend more time trying to indict the victims rather than the perpetrators.” …….in response to my questions about those other pastors and leaders who it seemed to me deserve a whole lot of blame too.”

    then I did not understand you. I was responding to the heat I take each time I state facts that can be known (by not just me,) from you and some others on here. What I observe is that when those who’ve been victimized in CC speak up, you and some others come across as insensitive to the verifiable damaging events that have taken place in real victims lives. You seem to be more interested in picking apart their testimony to see where the weakest part of the story is in order to defend CC.

    If you were intending to spread out the blame from the unrepentant pastor to the other surrounding pastors, then I still don’t like your approach. The pastor is verifiably guilty and I think he is responsible. He hand picked and personally trained his novice pastors. They obeyed his orders. It was unadvisable for them not to obey in short order, too. They have stated that they truly believed that they were obedient as unto the Lord, when they served the pastor’s wishes without reserve or hesitation as the pastor taught them to do.

    The confusion may have come in when I was thinking of the assistant pastor’s responsibility to recognize that he was enabling the pastor, whether wittingly or not. I truly believe he was too much of a novice to know better. But he frequently boasted of his maturity in Christ and how he and his wife were going to teach the rest of us how to become as “mature” as him. It was with that arrogance that I, along with many others, want to see him admit he was the pastor’s sidekick witnessing all the spiritual abuse and if he’s so mature, he should have recognized this, owned it, apologized for it, and tried to make things right with all of us who were actual victims. He can either admit he wasn’t mature and apologize; or own his actions, repent & apologize.

  213. Hi Brian! Yes, it most certainly was a business. It’s also a business to the new owners, I suspect, too. They took on a good money maker with a $440K debt, because they knew they could pay that off and still make more money. Otherwise, no one would have been vying for this place, neither the unrepentant pastor, nor the hostage takeover pastors. The location is good, the money potential is good, and the people are blind, loyal to the brand, and willing to obey without questions. Those who are not, left long ago.

  214. G @209,

    So true!

  215. It must be a really cold day in hell. Even the Catholics are opening their finances to scrutiny. Wow! If this keeps up -and I can’t find any protestant groups that don’t make me squeamish due to their lack of accountability and spiritual culture that doesn’t resolve issues well- then I may have to go back to Rome. At least they can’t just swing with latest fad each week. You know what to expect when you walk in and you know not to just trust the priests, either.

  216. I will admit and as many may guess I left long ago, good riddance and that goes both ways. But I do admit I, at times, seek that certainty but it can’t exist and never ever has. It is an illusion and when I am reminded of that I am even more grateful. I am truly thankful that I put that stuff off. It truly was freeing.

  217. I agree, Brian. The spiritual abuse was the best eye opener I could have ever asked for. I’m not tempted by vain ambition in ministry anymore. I’m not tempted to follow and/or worship a man. I’m not tempted to have blind trust/loyalty. I found a freedom I was unaware I needed to get away from that culture of conformity.

  218. You know Chile all I ever wanted was to be part of a family of the faith, I will admit I have repented of such evil. Back when I first believed it was just me and Jesus. Of course it never was that was just a marketing scheme I get that. I was stupid and pathetic enough to actually need Jesus, I often try to repent of such childish nonsense. But cant see to even do that right. Like I said, what a piece of crap. I get that, if I have gotten one theme I am piece of Crap. I get that. In spades, with holy writ. What a rather strange religion, if someone happens to come across this good news people talk about let us all in on it. From the cheap seats it is not and never has been that, good news.

  219. So what’s the upshot here Chile. You have never recounted where you went from here.

    Did you learn anything about choosing churches?
    Have you found a new church? If so, how is it going?
    What about the kids, are they resettled?

  220. Chile:

    I’m familiar with the Castle Rock, CO situation you were involved in and Michael posted about in the past. Just a simple question or two though; how is his new start doing in the old neighborhood? Did his former followers seek him out to continue in their past positions or did he just show up and start again?

  221. Chile, I think we’re good. And no, I was not diminishing the primary guilt of the pastor

  222. Good, I appreciate the clarification, Steve.

  223. MLD, I’ve already commented on how we moved on several times already. You can look it up in the history if you want.

  224. Bob, the pastor left for about 10 months, then returned with a rich financial backer, and then 2 or 3 more. He moved up the road about 10 minutes from the Castle Rock church and started a church he calls, “Beauty for Ashes.”

    None of the leadership who worked with him followed him. No one in the inner circle followed. The people who did follow come across as those who really wanted to be recognized by the pastor, in need of attention, and not known as thinkers. I know that sounds harsh, but it is the impression many of us have. We knew these people and were not surprised that the pastor saw them as easy targets to manipulate. They had a very poor understanding of grace, as noted when several stood up in the repentance service and asked if the pastor could be reinstated right away. They continue to refuse to believe the facts that are verifiable about the things the pastor never admitted to and never repented of.

    His first Sunday, he had about 100 people show up. He hit up all our kids by using his daughter’s Instagram accounts to advertise his church opening. The man has no shame. His financial backers set him up in a very nice large home in northern Colorado Springs, an hours drive away from the church.

    He drives right past the Castle Rock church that sits next to the highway each time he goes to his new one. Because he openly admitted to being a man who holds a grudge forever, and likes to retribution, I can only imagine what he is manipulating as I type. He’s not a man who is ever satisfied, or at peace, or can let things go. He likes annihilation as exampled in how he destroyed folks behind their backs, even from the pulpit. He’s a master at acting, slight of hand, implicating others, and getting the weak minded to give their all to him. Everyone else he keeps at a distance so they don’t see through him too quickly.

    (All of the above is my opinion based on 10 years of observation.)

  225. Chili:

    What amazed me more than anything is how this guy and his wife gets the money to open up shop. The typical building that will hold any size group of people costs at minimum $ 6 grand a month and that does not include paying anyone a single cent. So typically a small church needs to bring at minimum about $20,000 in donations a month to keep the column in the black (assuming they want to pay the pastor).

    Spreading that between say 100 families means they would have to each give at least $200 a month in donations.

    So who or what kind are these people this man and his wife are fleecing each month?

  226. BTW it is not uncommon for a medium size church, 300-400 families to have a budget of $80-90 thousand a month. Now picture the kind of monies Elevation, Joel Osteen and others like them are taking in.

    Note: I read Elevation last year announced they gave $10,000,000., yes 10 million, over its 6 year history as a church to help others, so if this represents 10% (which it probably isn’t) imagine how much they take in.

  227. “MLD, I’ve already commented on how we moved on several times already. You can look it up in the history if you want.”

    Sorry I missed it.

  228. “they would have to each give at least $200 a month in donations.”

    That’s only 4% on a family income of $60K a yr.

  229. MLD:

    Yep, most never give 10%, no matter how you measure it.

    It’s just the way it is.

    Of course your church may require a 1040 to verify the members giving.

    😉

    PS. I mean that only in jest. I really don’t care what people give and I believe that is a biblical approach.

  230. Bob,
    My point was that if they were going to fleece, they would take more than 4%

  231. It’s a wealthy area. They rent a room in a local rec center for Sunday mornings. Someone is paying for his ~4500 sqft home.

    The pastor and his wife made off with loads of money & assets the church had paid for. He managed to get someone to buy him a Range Rover with gangsta wheels just before he got caught. $200K was unaccounted for when he left and then the church’s rent wasn’t paid= $440k. This couple was dripping with money, expensive clothes, and kept the profit of the house the church paid for with the highest end appliances. There’s more, but you get the picture.

    He’s a real actor. You have to have a pretty fine tuned radar to not get deceived for too long. He hoodwinked wealthy men who have refused (from what I’m told) to listen to the facts. The pastor has, I assume, creating a back story for a long time so that these people won’t even believe, much less listen.

  232. Chile, There is someone well known to these pages that set up shop in our general area. A lot of folks have no idea of the past, but some do and yet continue to support as guest artists etc. But at the end of the day, man can put on a show, but only God can build a church.

  233. Bob, if one of the financial backers gave 1% of their income, they could fund the whole shabang! These are not needy people. The pastor is playing off what he’s learned about others’ failures by basing his whole ministry on cheap grace, IMO. “Sin and we’ll forgive you and accept you … Even if you don’t actually repent.”

    One of the backers was pulled away from long running ministry to those in ministry who need emergency marriage help. This pastor and his wife had attended the year before he got caught, when they were in one of their many crisis’. I often wonder if he lured the benefactor away from that ministry as a revenge? It would fit his MO.

    Bob, how is it that you became familiar with this fiasco?

  234. Steve, there is an artist who moved from here to SoCal to make a living off of your churches. She left husband claiming abuse … But she left her kids, too. Makes ya wonder?

  235. I do think this is totally a show. But these people seem happy to get their ears tickled. As long as they are getting the attention they need, they will die being loyal.

    Also, pride is on the line. They can’t admit to being wrong.

  236. @235
    I don’t know who you are talking about, but if she is who I think she is, her plans haven’t quite grown to fruition.

  237. If you know who she is, lxtian, then you also know she altered part of her body, as well. And that though the talent is definitely there, the soul seems slightly dead, which is why the coveted fame will never find her.

    Just for the record, I was not inside her marriage so I’ll never know if her accusations were true or not; and her poor choices do not automatically vindicate her ex. who was engaged to someone else before they were even divorced.

    I just wish the church had a way to reach out to them before it got to this, if at all possible.

  238. I personally feel that music ministers should be held to the same standards as pastors.

    Sometimes these things are so well hidden that they do not reach the light of day before it is too late. Restoration then becomes necessary, and not particularly to the ministry, but to becoming whole (of which they probably never were) in their lives and walk before the Lord. Better to cut off your right hand than to enter hell with both attached (that in red letters too).

    These types of issues further damage our soul, and much time is needed before they ever get back on stage, pick up a guitar or sit at the keyboards and step up to microphone. It is not so much that Body of Christ needs unbroken vessels ministering before them, quite the contrary actually. But to usher ministers back into the spot light without allowing the Lord to tear them down usually means they never experienced brokenness and we as the Body of Christ do them and ourselves a great injustice by allowing them back on stage too early, or in some cases, ever again.

  239. “Steve, there is an artist who moved from here to SoCal to make a living off of your churches. She left husband claiming abuse … But she left her kids, too. Makes ya wonder?”

    So who is it? If she is out to fleece the sheep and if she has lost her credibility by leaving her children – why isn’t she named.

    Everybody is so secretive it’s like these are made up stories.

  240. I remember when the CO stuff was starting and the conversation was about the one pastor trying to steal another man’s church and he forced 6 pastor’s to swap churches/ Who were those guys.

    All a big secret all the time.

  241. Yep, lxtian, I agree. Need to allow some time to truly get some perspective in order to repent and make the necessary changes that true repentance produces.

    Leaving one’s kids is pretty serious stuff, but then so is a pastor being unfaithful to his wife and bilking a church. Both needed help before they ever stepped into ministry. Granted the woman was under the radar with the church, though she wasn’t with some who had contact with her outside of the church. The pastor was not under the radar. He was known by his previous pastor in Virginia, along with others, who said he was not ready for ministry. The pastor just got a different pastor in CO, to back him.

    The backing pastor fell earlier, wrote the book on how to deny guilt, and also returned to CO, to start a new ministry in the backyard of his old one. These men have no shame and no signs of repentance. They also didn’t belong to a denomination that could provide a record to warn anyone who wanted to know the facts of their failure by which to measure if they have shown repentance by making things right since then. I wish this was not so.

  242. For those who need to know in CO, it’s not a big secret, MLD. We all know their names and locations. But we don’t see a need to drag them through the national mud for their being naive, or even if they were purposely supporting the machine. Several of them ended up with a better deal after they were moved. It was just the congregations who were jolted around and sometimes lost, depending on who they got as their new pastor. But they don’t have any rights since they don’t even have any membership. They are not even in any associations, because only the pastor is recognized as belonging. There were bigger fish to fry, like the head honchos who designed the takeover and pulled it off. They’ve all been mentioned here before.

    Truth be told, the architects of the takeover knew that the biggest fish to fry was the unrepentant pastor. They knew he was a large enough diversion that their shenanigans would fade in the background.

  243. MLD –“Everybody is so secretive it’s like these are made up stories.”

    You are a hoot! 3 people have the same or similar story, and you insinuate that we’re making it up, instead of recognizing that odds are good that if 3 people’s stories have this much in common that there just might be an issue. MLD=MyLaughableDenials

  244. MLD

    I am just pointing to what the basics cost. This pastor Chile mentions was something else. I always wondered how a young un knowledgable man can raise so much money so fast.

    Chile

    I have very close Colorado connections and am well aware of many of the CC players in the south Denver area. Let’s just leave it at that.

  245. Bob, then you know how they are all intertwined, one owing the other. This has played out to be unhealthy. Loyalty over what’s right appears to win in these circles.

    I’ve been in 3 of the churches over the last few decades from moving across town twice. By the time we ended up in the last one, we saw the weaknesses on steroids. It was only then that I realized there was no way to hold the pastor accountable for gross verifiable sins.

    From my observation, I suspect that the way that pastor has been able to raise so much money has been because the particular rich culture that he goes after is very different from the middle class culture around here. The average middle class person makes mistakes without even knowing it when navigating among the wealthy. This pastor is adept at studying people and figuring out what they were looking for. Shoes, watches, the wife’s purse (which is why he bought her a multi-thousand dollar purse) and new big diamond, are all signals that you are “one of them.” What you talk about, where you’ve traveled to, how mysterious your job is, all play a role. It helps that you eat out at the nicest restaurants for every meal every day, too.

    He spent a lot of time and money dressing the part, hanging out regularly where the wealthy frequent, and learning how to emulate them. Ultimately, he gets past the gate keepers and then once he’s in he can use his honed manipulative skills to find out their weaknesses and play on them. He feeds people’s inadequacies and fears in such a way that people get hooked. He gives them just enough to draw them in for more and then pulls back just enough to keep them vying for more attention. This is my suspicion, anyway. The other middle class people who fill up the seats in his new church are probably just viewed as space fillers by him to make his ministry seem more legit, as well as to get more free labor. They are more easily duped, in my estimation, anyway.

    Last thought, which cannot be underestimated: He and his wife and 4 daughters are very very beautiful at the skin level. People like to be seen with people who have stunning looks. They have the rockstar persona. Too bad the beauty is only skin deep and their relationships are even more shallow.

  246. Chile, you are so 2 faced it is ridiculous. Why would you use Chuck Smith by name?

    Look, if there is a rogue singer out their fleecing the sheep (your accusation) you should name her or shut up. You should give a proper warning or drop the issue.

    When everyone was making the accusations against the Colorado musical chairs all the parties were listed as rogues – now you think they need their privacy?

    I think the reason you seem to know so much about the CO situations is that you were a rogue among rogues and the other rogues turned on you. I guess my charge is that all of you full time church workers are insider power brokers who eventually turn on each other.

  247. “But we don’t see a need to drag them through the national mud for their being naive, or even if they were purposely supporting the machine.”

    ” It was just the congregations who were jolted around and sometimes lost, depending on who they got as their new pastor. But they don’t have any rights since they don’t even have any membership.”

    It is amazing to hear you defend the rogue pastors over the hurt and crumbling attendees.

    We do know all the pastors were willing participants – as no one person has control over another CC pastor. All one had to say was No! and kick the ‘big shot’ (your new hero) out of his church.

    Now you sound like you are on some CC payroll.

  248. You twist and turn with my words and meanings. Different day, same stuff. I’m in no way defending rogue pastors. I’m not taking the time and effort to name the naive and novice pastors for making an unwise decision.

    As for the congregations being jolted around, that was tongue in cheek. The definitely should have had a say. CC’s organizational structure is not a true church structure if you ask me. The people are the church, not just the pastor who gets to be “associated.”

    What they did in causing musical chairs in CO was ridiculous and disrespectful to the congregations. But in the context of what was going on, there were much bigger fish to fry.

    I have no reason to name them at this time. I think they were all wrong to do it. I don’t know that this failing is along the lines of the fallen pastor, or those big whigs who were the architects of this folly.

    Anyone can claim all CC’s are independent, but there are unwritten rules of loyalty, rank, and who owes who. We all know that there’s what a group claims and then there’s reality.

    “My new hero”? Who could you possibly be referring to? I have no heroes or man worship. If you are referring to the new pastor who took over the church, then you are sorely mistaken. I don’t approve of any pastor who runs any church without meaningful accountability, open finances, and church membership where the people do have some say. That doesn’t exist in the CC’s.

    #MoreLaughableDiversions

  249. Chuck Smith was no novice. He was the architect and should always be named with the accusations and facts clearly stated and repeated.

  250. MLD –“Now you sound like you are on some CC payroll.”

    SHOW ME THE MONEY! LoL!

  251. Chile, you find much intellectual honesty with MLD much of the time, not b/c he’s incapable of it, but b/c he views the PhxP as “blog theater” much of the time and likes to stir the pot.

  252. “you won’t find” above.

  253. “but there are unwritten rules of loyalty, rank, and who owes who.”

    Only an insider knows about the unwritten rules of loyalty, rank, and who owes who.

    So, my claim that you were an insider, one of the insider rogues … later scorned by the others.

  254. I agree, RiBo @252.

    After all the corroboration of the corruption that took place here, MLaughableD doesn’t make points backed by anything but his imagination and an apparent desire to show those in the audience that he’s hell-bent on attacking anyone on the receiving end of such sinful behavior. He reveals his character every day, which is why no one has to warn anyone about him, he does a very effective job all by himself in this theatre of his. Stir-baby-stir! 😉

    Me an “insider rogue” is your best guess, MLD? That is truly your best joke of the day! Your comedy show will soon be picked up by the big networks, I’m sure. 😉

  255. Chile,
    I bet you even knew the secret handshake.

    How else did you know the “unwritten rules of loyalty, rank, and who owes who.”?

    If they are unwritten, then ONLY an insider can know.

    I would watch what I brag knowing about – you reveal too much of yourself.

    But now you are like a mob boss and want to protect your Colorado 6

  256. The stuff has a way of leaking out MLD. Sometimes insiders talk and tell the whole story, but info is usually very slow in coming.

    It can be easily corrected in many areas if the Calvary Chapel Association and Calvary Chapel simply required open/transparent finances as a by-law to get the CC Name and Dove logo use rights in the agreement/contract to be considered an “official” Calvary Chapel.

    “Worldly” groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center do it…Calvary Chapel does not.

    http://www.splcenter.org/who-we-are/financial-information

  257. The point is that Chile is now protecting the Colorado 6… she is one of them.

  258. I don’t think Chile is protecting them as much as Chile doesn’t want to get sued since Calvary Chapel guys are very litigious.

  259. MLD–“I would watch what I brag knowing about – you reveal too much of yourself.”

    Oh my, MLD, are you suggesting that I need to be a-f-r-a-i-d? What “inside” info do you have?

    Don’t mind me, I’ll just go back to “protecting” the Colorado guys, LOL! I say enough so that anyone directly affected by the mistakes of these novices who ever reads here will know a little more, open their eyes, and feel vindicated. They know the names already. Since no one outside of CO can do anything about it, it’s not a defense of these guys. But then anyone reading here would be able to surmise that without me spelling it out for them.

  260. RiBo, MLD is salivating at his keyboard just hoping I will somehow slip up and say something in the wrong way. He hasn’t had enough blood of innocents lately and he sees me as a soft target. I guess you were just too much for him and G is too nice.

  261. RiBo@259, those switch-a-roo pastors can’t do anything even if I name them. I’m just choosing my battles. I know what I’m doing and I know what would simply be a distraction. MLD just loves to try and provoke distractions.

  262. “even if they were purposely supporting the machine.”

    These aren’t innocent guys you are protecting – you said you were protecting them “even if they were purposely supporting the machine.”

  263. Chile, yup, pretty much. He’s a bully and a jerk sometimes which is why I like to pick on him.

  264. ” provoke distractions.”
    A distraction from what.
    You can’t have it both ways and say that CC does nothing in these situations and then claim corruption when the CC guy comes in, kicks your old pastor out and then realigns the district to better the situation.

    Which is it – do nothing or do too much.

  265. Chile, Maybe I have missed something, but I don’t really understand either, why you are going on and on about this and yet want to “protect’ people. I guess I don’t understand what the commotion is all about, if you want to protect people….assuming these people are innocent and needed protecting. Like they say here in England…”name and shame” or let it go and quit writing about it.

  266. Oh yes I can.

    And so can the congregations and the Glitterati. I don’t believe your buddy, Steve, would approve of any other CC pastors coming in and taking over his property since they are all “independent” and all.

  267. Nonnie, have you read the thread? I’m not protecting anyone. That’s MLD’s attempt at changing the subject.

  268. Chile, “Perhaps I have missed something. I was going by 249: “I have no reason to name them at this time. I think they were all wrong to do it. I don’t know that this failing is along the lines of the fallen pastor, or those big whigs who were the architects of this folly.

    Anyone can claim all CC’s are independent, but there are unwritten rules of loyalty, rank, and who owes who. We all know that there’s what a group claims and then there’s reality.”

    Please point me to where I should read. Sorry if I missed it. Thanks.

  269. You are protecting this woman who you made wild charges about fleecing the churches
    “Steve, there is an artist who moved from here to SoCal to make a living off of your churches. She left husband claiming abuse … But she left her kids, too. Makes ya wonder?”

    And then when I asked about the Colorado 6 – who months ago were accused of everything except sleeping with the Colorado farm animals – and you protect them saying ““But we don’t see a need to drag them through the national mud for their being naive, or even if they were purposely supporting the machine.”

  270. . I don’t believe your buddy, Steve, would approve of any other CC pastors coming in and taking over his property since they are all “independent” and all.
    ————————————————————-
    Why use quotes with independent, which is literal, and not use them for “his property” which certainly is not literal. It ain’t MY property.

    Odd…

    There is zero legal way any other CC pastor could come and take over a church property without the consent and desire of that church. Period. Yeah, the church might have had to leave the CC movement in all that debacle up there – but if I remember correctly your own testimony was that the assistant pastors began calling all sorts of other CC pastors on the outside when they discovered the senior pastor was a rogue – rather than take responsibility within the flock and dealing with it all “in house”

    And as an aside…remember I speak from some experience here.

  271. The Colorado Six didn’t think they had any choice in the matter.
    They assumed Ed Taylor had authority he really didn’t have,
    To name them all now serves no real purpose.
    Chile, you’ve represented yourself well…people are going to think what they choose to regardless of facts.

  272. I’ve noticed, Michael. It still helps those looking for help to read about this here. They are my audience.

  273. Michael, I don’t care to relive the story.

    Chile said CCOF and Chuck did nothing. That then assistant pastors were calling all over asking what they should do, and finally found some guy in Arizona who got involved and things rolled from there.

    That sounds like being proactive outside the local church – even after no initial involvement from CCOF (again, per Chile). Sure, then things spiral out of control – nobody in the pews knows what people can and can’t do…and it is a mess.

    People “assume”, they “didn’t think” and yada yada but at some point this reads like every other scam in other walks of life. Yes, the guilty perpetrator deserves justice and shame, but when someone keeps giving their money to a shyster doctor, investment guy, real estate developer or whatever, at some point you say “How could you not care about taking some responsibility for yourself?” – But we don’t call those ripped off and conned “abused” – choosing to use that word for actions befitting the gravity of the definition.

    I think spiritually conned should be added to the lexicon. It implies at least a little bit of self-reflection and responsibility.

  274. What are the Colorado Six? That sounds serious. Murderous gang or something?

  275. “What are the Colorado Six? That sounds serious. Murderous gang or something?”

    Chile’s partners 🙂

  276. While that was funny, I don’t want to pick on Chile.

    Seriously though, is there a link somewhere? I don’t recall having ever heard of such a thing.

  277. Josh,
    When Chile’s pastor went of the deep end, this Ed guy jumped in, fired the pastor and realigned the 6 CCs in the area by moving the pastors around.

    The degree of kosher seems to be in dispute.

  278. Chile, respectfully, my 270 was not mocking you. I was asking a serious question. If you don’t want to get into it, that is fine. I guess I missed the original article back when it was all going down. I just didn’t understand you bringing it all up and then saying you wanted to protect them??? Of course, if you wish, let it drop now. However, I wanted to say that I was not poking fun nor mocking you with my question. I was asking sincerely. All the best.

  279. Correction @275: CC pastor from Arizona flew to Colorado to present the facts he had that the pastor was in ongoing sin. Finally, there was something concrete. It wasn’t until after the assistant pastor called the board to tell them that he found out that the board had not been in existence for 3 years. Ed Taylor was one of those former board members.

    The assistant pastor had no power to remove the pastor, or take over the church; not to mention he was too green even for the position he was in. (The pastor had already purged most of the thinking people who may have been qualified.)

    When you are taught by your CC pastor that no one has authority over the pastor, then what can anyone do? Calls and emails to Chuck and the CCOF went unanswered. It was then that the big whigs were called to ask for advice. Neither the assistant pastor, nor anyone else, had any legitimate power to handle this situation. The pastor was still in charge and denying the facts; all the while throwing in smoke bombs to create confusion by accusing his accusers of doing exactly what he was actually doing. Asking for advice was needful. The leader(s) who gave the advice, also ended up taking over the church.

    This case is the perfect example as to why every organization has to have the power written in the by-laws by which an errant pastor can be removed, along with how deal with all the business that follows.

  280. “This case is the perfect example as to why every organization has to have the power written in the by-laws by which an errant pastor can be removed, along with how deal with all the business that follows.”

    This is not in my church’s constitution or by laws … that is a ridiculous place to put them. Does anyone’s church have hire / firing policies in their constitution and or by laws??

  281. So was Ed Taylor seen in this situation as a good guy or bad guy? Did he come in and save the day, or was the new devil just as bad as the old devil?

  282. Steve–“Yes, the guilty perpetrator deserves justice and shame, but when someone keeps giving their money to a shyster doctor, investment guy, real estate developer or whatever, at some point you say “How could you not care about taking some responsibility for yourself?” ”

    Many people came to Christ and were as newborn babes, like the Scripture says. They were indoctrinated to believe that to follow God was to be blindly loyal to the pastor. Thinking outside of that box was not encouraged. Many others were raised in the CC sub-culture and had never known anything different. They were been taught to just trust the pastor, and if there was a problem, God would take care of it. They were excellent lemmings. I don’t think that people who fit these descriptions should be blamed. Anyone who did stand up or speak up was shown the door, so not many left who should have been more reflective.

    Keep the blame where the blame belongs … on the perpetrator.

    Even the justice system prosecutes the shyster doctor, the corrupt investment guy, etc…; but they don’t prosecute the people who were taken in by them, for a reason.

  283. Nonnie, it’s not pertinent to the main points and I just didn’t want to follow the distraction. You can reread and the info is all in there if you want.

  284. Chile, if someone willingly walks out the door the moment it is “shown” to them…then they are neither standing up nor speaking up.

  285. The fact that the big whig’s takeover, asset grab, was not something they had a right to do, only highlights the ever present problem that CC is not organized in such a way that a local church can be empowered to deal with such issues, well.

    Each of the 3 leaders have churches where they can not be fired. Their finances are not open. The people have no say. Nothing empowers the remaining leaders to deal with serious issues in-house. Again, the CO shift just highlights this issue. That’s a point worth remembering and not getting lost in all the other diversions.

  286. “and the info is all in there if you want.”

    Hey Chile, where is this info? i just have no clue what you guys are talking about.

  287. Chile,
    “Each of the 3 leaders have churches where they can not be fired. Their finances are not open. The people have no say.”

    The big question of the day is this … do the people who stay wish to have a say – or is this something that you want to force on them.

    Why can’t you be happy for them that they are happy at that church? I find your attitude maddening. I don’t want someone from outside coming to me and telling why I should be unhappy with my church.

  288. “That’s a point worth remembering and not getting lost in all the other diversions.”

    That is one of those statements a person uses when they have no point, but what to shut down the conversation.

    I think your comments are the diversion.

  289. Steve, how many times have I exampled on here how many of us never walked out. We did stand up and speak out, which resulted in our being thrown out. Subsequently, our character was attacked, we were shunned, some people’s jobs were lost or affected.

    I can think of people who did walk out quietly. There were numerous reasons as to why these people simply could not take on what they knew would end badly, and it did for everyone else. Some were ill, stretched too thin due to the season of life they were in, didn’t have the stomach to go through this again, new babies, etc… Plenty of reasonable reasons for some to just leave. Others who walked out quietly were taught to never speak up and just leave quietly leaving the correction up to God, alone. I blame them if they had any way of knowing better; but most truly did not know better. They really thought the teaching of dealing with it this way, that came directly from Chuck Smith tapes, was what they were supposed to do.

  290. MLD, you are running out of good comebacks. Drink some more coffee.

  291. Thrown out. You are saying the police were called when you tried to attend Sunday worship services?

  292. Who was “happy” when the pastor sinned and no one could do anything about it? It was a very unhappy place for way too long due to poor organization that was predicated upon the leader always being trustworthy, and always walking with God.

  293. Where is this story? This sounds quite titillating.

  294. Oh, Steve … if you are trying to insinuate that the only way to throw someone out from a church is to call the police, then you are silly. I assume this is theatre for you, too, at this point.

    Several of us who were thrown out, were told that if we attempted to set foot on the premises that the police would be called. People had been escorted out before, by the security force of the church.

  295. Josh, it’s just the old news of the Colorado debacle.

  296. What Colorado debacle? Is there a link?

  297. No Chile, not theater. Just that you use victim words CONSTANTLY when actually definite choices are what you are describing.

  298. And I am sure those churches are still full to this day and that rankles you as in “you could be wrong”. Your refusal to just be happy for people who like their church experience is tragic.

    But that’s the point – you feel like a victim and those who sit in the church today do not.

  299. Is there actually something called the Colorado Six?!? ISn’t that a tad dramatic?

  300. You are wrong, Wright.

    I was there. I know these people. You don’t. Most of the people there were victims.

    You focus on blaming victims often. Sad.

  301. Josh, Michael coined the term, I think, up the thread.

  302. Gotta run …

  303. Oh, gotcha.

    Alright, I’m out. Y’all have fun.

  304. No one coins a phrase like me – I named them the Colorado 6 early this morning in my #256

  305. Just for the record, based on all I know about the situation, I’m 100% in agreement with Chile.
    Maybe 110%…

  306. Chile, I too have to run,,,when you come back. Here is the deal I am trying to understand.

    On the one hand. You took charge of your spiritual health. You found the church to be dysfunctional with corrupt leadership, you voiced your concerns and it fell on deaf ears, and so for your own well-being you voted with your feet. Yes it was costly, yes you were leaving behind years of investment in time, money, relationships – but obviously you felt like this is what the Lord wanted you to do.

    Now, that is noble and I applaud you. Except for the fact that you insist all those left behind were innocents in the clutches of evil. In which case then your abandoning THEM, as one of the few people in that church mature enough to understand what was going on, is not noble at all. The whole “evil triumphs when good people do nothing”

    To cap it all off, you now claim you were actually kicked out. Purged was a word you used earlier. (That’s why I asked about the police). Which makes sense if you want to disown the fact that you CHOSE to leave, and leave others behind – but if in fact you and the others chose to split rather than be used as God’s instruments to encourage the others that you keep saying were blind, innocent little sheep who had no idea what they were suffering to leave as well – to unite to form a new church (congregational leadership maybe?) or at least join a healthy one en masse, well…then own it. Own your actions, and let other people own their actions.

    If we are all servants of Jesus, and we all answer to Him – then that speaks to personal responsibility for each of us, does it not?

    And once more, I know EXACTLY what I am speaking about..because I had the same choice you had once, and I stayed around to fight instead.

  307. Steve,

    I fully believe the asshats in charge would have tried to destroy Chile.
    I would bet on it.
    This ain’t a comic book, this is real people with real money and influence protecting their assets.

  308. Don’t insult me with the comic book crack. Taking a stand for Christ when real people are on the verge of getting hurt, and when God’s church is under attack is something you know as well if not better than most. The whole world is killing Christians and in our country people run instead of fight and I for one am tired of it.

    We need to chill on the use of words like “destroy” – Are you really saying someone would hire a hitman? Who’s sounding like a TV story now?

    Or…do you mean they would have destroyed a reputation, or an economic livlihood. If so, then say THAT. It still is quite a cost, and I for one am very sympathetic to that – but it also makes clear that we are talking about reputation and income and not life and death

  309. Steve,

    I confronted it in real life here and online for over 10 years.
    I would NEVER advocate someone do the same.
    The cost is too great, my family and I have suffered too much, and in the end it makes little difference.

  310. Holy crap! As far as I’m concerned, “reputation and livelihood” are still pretty important. At what point does one agree that their tribe is guilty of a huge injustice?

  311. If so, then say THAT. It still is quite a cost, and I for one am very sympathetic to that
    ————————————————–
    my exact words covered.

    I’m tired of repeating myself….yes huge injustice. Yes, those responsible should be brought to justice to the fullest.

    But if reputation and livelihood are more important than doing what is right before Christ, then maybe one picked the wrong Lord to follow. Because it is sure hard to square that with Scripture. I do NOT say that lightly or without experience.

    And no, I am not talking about meddling to one’s hurt in the affairs of another – I’m talking about when the providence of God puts the injutice in front of your eyes, affecting your friends, and one chooses silence instead of standing strong in the Lord.

  312. My recommendation yesterday was to plan with some people and one at a time stand up in the church service – 1st person rebuke the pastor and the bad acts. When that person gets asked to leave, the 2nd person stands and does the same. When that person is hauled off, the 3rd person gets up and does likewise.

    What could it hurt – you still have to leave the church, but the pastor and the congregation heard the charge.

    The reply I got was “we couldn’t do that because the leaders would have found out ahead of time” – No try.

    Stand outside the church with protest signs – “WE WANT DAVE LOVE OUT AND JESUS IN!!”

  313. I risked it all and lost.
    Every slimy son of a bitch that I proved unworthy of ministry is still in the pulpit.
    Exactly what was the point?
    I did the right thing over and over again…and paid for it every time.
    Why in hell would I ever suggest that someone do the same?

  314. Everyone of those slimy sob’s have multitudes of Facebook friends in the movement…why didn’t they stand with me?

  315. There are legitimate victims that come to this site looking for healing or something to help them to understand why they had to endure bad behavior by others. To take any position other than agreeing that “yes we screwed up” can be taken the same as being mocked. In my personal situation, I couldn’t be more blessed with the outcome of a horrible situation involving an abusive pastor. That outcome happened because of God’s grace and the fact that the leadership from Costa Mesa refused to deal with an abusive pastor. I see many others here who aren’t as blessed. As pastor’s, we need to abhor all abusive behavior even from our own team.

  316. “I risked it all and lost.”

    Michael,
    You have given us a voice, a refuge and a fellowship.

    The counting and ledger are not complete.

    You are admired and loved, regardless of how the masses of unthinking followers have responded to the shenanigans of those who control them out of their willing submission.

    You have the admiration of those of us who you helped. When he comes of age, your boy will understand and admire you for it as well. If given the opportunity, we will teach him of your risks and the price you incurred.

  317. G,

    Thank you.
    I get a little emotional about this…

  318. I never chose to leave. I was kicked out. I was shunned. I’m not the only one.

    I stood up. I voiced. I investigated. And I continue to help those who want help. I did not abandon the Body.

    Amazing how much energy and time is used to place the responsibility on the attendee who has no say, no rights, and is taught that to stay and speak up is sinful.

    Steve, the context eludes you.

  319. Thanks, Michael.

  320. Michael,
    You’re good.

  321. To cast suspicion over one’s character, or flat out malign it, is destructive …especially in a smaller town.

    To threaten to end one’s decades long career, for which one paid dearly to survive in, if you ever speak about what the pastor has said or done, is extremely threatening.

    To minimize what these two things can do to a man/woman and their family is insensitive at best, but more likely hateful. Protecting the brand by placing the responsibility on the people who were only doing as they were taught is cruel.

  322. Covered–” To take any position other than agreeing that “yes we screwed up” can be taken the same as being mocked”

    I agree.

  323. Michael, it is emotional because the cost is real, the pain is real, the destruction is real.

    People chose their own vain ambitions over righteousness. Relationships proved to be hollow. Jesus must have wept. It was wrong.

    I’m so sorry for what they did to you.

  324. You show up at a church and are taught that if you disagree with anything you should keep it to yourself and leave quietly. But if someone obeys then they are told by others they were wrong to do so. So which is it? Chuck Smith’s teaching to leave quietly or Steve’s admonition to stay and fight?

  325. How can one stay and fight when attenders have no say? An elder who speaks up just gets fired, at least that is what happened here. Same with the board members.

    We lost all 3 board members. We also lost ~5 elders in one year. They were all trained by CC and all left quietly refusing to talk even after the fact. They had all seen what this pastor had done to others and didn’t want it to happen to them.

    All of those men should have spoken up; but they followed Chuck’s teaching and left quietly. If the head of an association teaches this, then how can we now lay blame on these men for being obedient to the head of the organization? The blame lies with the errant pastor as well as the organization that perpetuates this teaching/culture.

    You can’t support the org AND blame the obedient ones.

  326. “You show up at a church and are taught that if you disagree with anything you should keep it to yourself and leave quietly”

    I belonged to 3 CCs over the years and was never taught about how to remain silent and leave silently.When I left my last CC I sent an email to about 100 people including all of the leadership – telling them why I was leaving. Accepting responsibility for what were my issues and laying their issues at their own feet.

    Hmmm..

  327. Probably too much attendee in breeding going on in those Colorado CC churches.These folks need to get out in the church world a little more.

  328. Yea…maybe they’re waiting for ‘National Punch Out A Lutheran Day”…

  329. The following section of material was used to train the leaders (really followers) at all 3 of the CC’s I attended:

    7. Never Gossip
    “Gossip is a sin that most of us feel we are not guilty of, and which most of us are very guilty of. Gossip may be defined as saying anything negative, whether true or not, to anyone about the pastor or about the ministry. If there are things wrong, take it to the Lord in prayer. Tell absolutely no one, including your spouse. Do not repeat anything that would cast aspersion on the ministry in any way. Doing so dishonors Christ and His cause.
    But, you say, what do you do if there are real problems? Pray about them and forget them. If that doesn’t work, take your concerns directly and only to the pastor himself, and share with him honestly. If that doesn’t work, resign, and move on. Under no circumstances should you ever say anything negative about the pastor or the ministry to anyone, even after you’ve quit.
    In a situation where something in the church is so completely wrong that the sheep in the body are in spiritual danger, then say nothing to anybody, resign, and move on. If the church is a Calvary Chapel affiliate, then take your concerns and share them privately with Pastor Chuck or with Oden Fong, then drop it; leave it alone. Let them handle it. Trust God. He’ll correct the situation. But do not gossip. It is a terrible sin before God. ”

    Larry Taylor
    The Ministryof An Assisting Pastor
    (Or, More Things I Learned From My Pastor) –Chuck Smith
    Calvary Chapel Bible College 1994

  330. Just to make sure you don’t miss it:

    “In a situation where something in the church is so completely wrong that the sheep in the body are in spiritual danger, then say nothing to anybody, resign, and move on.”

  331. MLD–“These folks need to get out in the church world a little more.”

    I TOTALLY agree!

  332. 6. “Be loyal no matter what is happening.”
    8. “… defend the ministry. When you hear anything even slightly negative about the pastor or about the ministry, intervene, correct it, and stop it.”

  333. One of my favs: Be a Narc for Jesus!

    17. “Absolutely everything that goes on in a ministry is confidential … The only exception is that the senior pastor needs to know everything in order to properly oversee the ministry. Sharing with him is biblical; sharing with any one else is sinful. ”

    20. “Keep the Pastor Informed About Absolutely Everything—Be His Eyes and Ears, Be a Narc for Jesus. The Pastor needs to be told everything. … Tell the pastor all about the people in the congregation. Tell him what’s happening at meetings he doesn’t attend. … Leave no stone unturned. Tell him everything. … Be the eyes and ears of the ministry. Listen to what people are saying. Pick up on the attitudes of the staff and leadership. Watch people to see who serves diligently and who goofs off. Be a narc for Jesus. Squeal on people. Narc on the guy who litters the parking lot. Tell the pastor everything. Absolutely everything.”

  334. 21. Be Submissive and Loyal
    “… the Senior Pastor makes the final decisions. If you don’t agree with him, either keep quiet and support him, or resign and find a job working for someone you can support.”

  335. 34. Make the Pastor Look Good
    “… If something is not right, take it to the Lord in prayer, and leave it. If needed, take it to the pastor. If it doesn’t change and you can’t live with it, resign quietly and part lovingly. Avoid public criticism. Present a united front.”

  336. FORWARD
    “Once more, I can take no credit whatsoever for the material in this small book. Everything here was taught to me by my pastor of the last twenty years or more, Chuck Smith, the senior pastor of Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, California. Moreover, virtually everything contained here, Pastor Chuck taught to me non-verbally. Pastor Chuck believes that ministry must be “caught” and not “taught,” i.e., that ultimately it is something you learn by watching and doing, not by classes, reading books, or listening to lectures.”–Larry Taylor

    Later on, Larry repented of propagating Chuck’s way of doing things and left Calvary Chapel.

  337. The assistant pastor of my church was excited to learn this stuff and ignorantly shared it in the home fellowship group in order to pass along the “training”. He was then put in charge of spending a lot of time to train a brand new Christian, fresh ex-druggy, to be a new pastor in charge of the teens and later worship. Indoctrinate, indoctrinate, indoctrinate …

    MLD, you may have just been too rough around the edges socially for them to share this with you. I’ve seen them basically just leave a person alone because they don’t think they belong there and don’t think they will last. dunno?

  338. Chile, I don;t know – they let me teach for 3 yrs, twice a week. I taught the only non segregated on campus classes in the church , plus I worked in the food ministry for almost 4 yrs.

  339. Perhaps I was able to diffuse abuse in my church experience and you weren’t. Perhaps my spirituality and demeanor help fledgling abusers give up there bad ways,

    Perhaps you inflamed them to further their pursuits.

  340. Chile,

    Pure unadulterated narcissism is what it is. Saying one thing then switching up and saying the opposite, always, but always putting the burden upon those that were, have, are, and will be abused and targeted and or preyed upon spiritually and otherwise.

  341. Oh, MLD, so it’s all my fault? Oh, of course it is ;)! How could I have missed that all these years? And so many who were there, or are well-informed, were totally wrong about their assessment based on the verifiable facts. Michael must be a real idiot with all that info he has that corroborates my stories, to actually believe it’s true. If only we had all come to you first, to learn how to be so unfeeling and thick-skinned that we not only don’t love others, but that we could actually become adept at being mean and belittling, like you. I so wish I’d met you, oh great wise one, long ago. I could have mimicked you, MLD! 😉 ……. not.

    Do you have Aspergers? Serious question. If the answer is yes, it’s better than your just being evil.

    I worked for 6 years before I figured it out … maybe you weren’t there long enough? But it wouldn’t matter, just because you didn’t see something doesn’t mean it wasn’t there.

    Uriah is totally right, you always put the burden on the one’s not in charge and remove the burden of those charged with protecting sheep and not hurting them.

  342. I appreciate what you said, Uriah.

  343. Uriah, MLD had to come back with something that bad because he could not respond to the points I made.

    He said the CC church doesn’t teach people to keep quiet and leave quietly if they see an issue. I quoted from the old CC teaching material that proved I was right and he was wrong. That ALWAYS gets him to dig down deep and try and be as mean as he can be. He doesn’t have anything else.

  344. I was given Larry’s booklet when I was made an associate pastor. I can’t recall what I thought. Looking back there is so much I wish I had known.

    Larry has helped me a lot on my blog and is in a field now where he is helping others.

    He lost a son tragically to suicide many years ago.

    He posted here years ago concerning the booklet.

    I wish him nothing but the best as time goes on.

  345. Respond to this, MLD:

    MLD said, “I belonged to 3 CCs over the years and was never taught about how to remain silent and leave silently.”

    CC teaching says, “In a situation where something in the church is so completely wrong that the sheep in the body are in spiritual danger, then say nothing to anybody, resign, and move on.”
    “Be loyal no matter what is happening.”
    “If you don’t agree with him, either keep quiet and support him, or resign…”
    “If it doesn’t change and you can’t live with it, resign quietly …”

    Were you not paying attention?

  346. Larry repented of it. I really appreciate his honesty and desire to break free from it and do right. I wish him the best.

    Thanks, Erunner.

  347. I saw, heard, and experienced some disturbing things during my CC days that had nothing to do with Larry’s booklet. I imagine it was like a gold mine for pastor’s who had a bent towards the power of ‘being Moses.’

    I am encouraged by the men who have hearts for God and are serving God and His people the best they can. This place had a bit to do with that.

  348. These statements and others are couched between very religious and nice sounding statements. If you want to believe the booklet is good, you will only read the good stuff and forget the bad stuff. The issue is not that they don’t say anything good, it’s that these statements have no place in any training manual. There sheer existence, backed up by their repetition, reveals something very wrong with the leadership’s attitude towards the congregation, as well as perpetuating an unhealthy relationship with the pastor that has potential for doing damage … something many of us has seen in spades.

  349. MLD–“Perhaps I was able to diffuse abuse in my church experience and you weren’t.”

    With your people skills, MLD, it’s highly unlikely … no, make that impossible.

  350. yet here you are weeping about abuse that you never stopped and I am not

    I have great people skills – look, you haven’t seen anyone run me out of their church. What was your testimony, you were run out of 3?

    I never once had someone hand me a Larry Taylor book.

  351. It seems to me the voice of the Church, the ones who are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ, should be as loud or louder than the feel-good, motivational speakers out there making millions telling people “You are not a victim”

    Likewise, it seems the most powerful people in our world seem to encourage a victimhood mentality in order to stay in power and control. So I don’t see why anyone would model that.

    So I have seen a mixed message throughout this discussion. I am gratified to see that awhile back Chile finally “got it” when I was ripping on the other leaders of these churches that were continually described as victims earlier, finally called out for their role as perpetrators by Chile as well.

    Those who have accused me of giving a pass to the guilty are either not paying attention or deliberately obtuse.

    Fresh victims of this evil world with open wounds need much tending, and as Michael has written well in the past, sometimes an old wound can be ripped open afresh.

    But I rest in the fact that it is not some piece of paper in our bylaws, but it is dozens and dozens and dozens of Christians who would kick me up one side and down the other, in Jesus name, if I tried some stunt that hurt people – that we have multitudes who love the people at our church enough to not just go away and leave them to the wolf should one appear at the door. That they won’t seek their own safety and let the naive or young sheep stay and be slaughtered. And no matter what power play I might attempt as “Moses” their response would be “Like hell you will, Steve” until I left with my tail between my legs.

    And I like to think I have had a little something to do with that – with weekly reminders of who they are in Christ…..and what that means in practice on occasion.

  352. I agree with Chile on being taught that if we didn’t like something in a church, to just leave quietly. It wasn’t until we were serving in a non CC church and they got a new pastor, whose teaching we just couldn’t sit under. So we left quietly, not saying anything to anyone. We were contacted and gently corrected and told that out of respect, we should have at least written a letter and told them we were leaving. Honestly, we were surprised. As CC people, we truly believed the right thing to do was not to question but just walk away quietly.

  353. “As CC people, we truly believed the right thing to do was not to question but just walk away quietly.”

    Ditto

  354. Be a narc for Jesus. Absolutely my favorite phrase. I remember when I first read that I thought wth? But I wanted to be “in ministry” so badly that I did another shot and pressed on.

  355. Chile, I hear you and completely agree with you. I’ve experienced it at 2 CC’s. I know exactly what you are saying. Oh, how I wish I could go back in time and reply to some of the things I was taught, especially the stuff in that little booklet that I know I read in the early 2000’s. Ya know, it’s not as easy to stand up to this BS as some think it is. When you’ve been taught/caught this stuff for years it causes a kind of cognitive dissonance. You question how could all this be? You question yourself. What is taught is so ingrained in your thinking. Even now, after being gone for about 3 years, I worry that maybe God will do something to me for the things I’ve told people about our experiences. Sometimes I am bold and I want to shout it on the rooftops about what is going on, other times I am scared and think ‘oh no’! I’ve said something bad about God’s anointed. Any time something bad happens to me the first thought that comes to my mind is ‘God is punishing me for leaving Calvary Chapel or speaking out’. Yeah, I know, I guess that’s not biblical, but I still can’t help thinking that way. Believe me, I’ve heard many comments over the years about bad stuff happening to people who have stood up to the pastor and/or left CC.

    Steve and MLD, you just don’t understand. You really don’t. When I read your words it really just rips my heart in half again. I don’t know Chile, but I know myself. I know that I love God, I wanted to serve Him by holding up Moses’ arms. That’s what we were taught. Do your work unto the Lord. Submit to God by submitting to the pastor. He answers to God. God will take care of it, blah, blah, blah. We thought the best of our leader. We made excuses for our pastors because that’s what Love does, it thinks the best. I will never be the same.

    Steve, are you or have you been an attorney? Because you argue and parse words like one. And…just because you can win an argument by parsing another’s words doesn’t mean that you are right. Hopefully, I won’t get torn apart by posting this.

    So, Chile, I hear you, I know it happened, I saw it.

  356. Thanks, Summer. I’m sorry for what you experienced. The indoctrination was so subtle that it really did create a cognitive dissonance in most people.

  357. lxtian,

    The being a narc for Jesus really does give a peak into the unhealthy nature of the behind the scenes culture.

    Congregation must never repeat anything. It’s a terrible sin.
    Leaders must repeat everything. It glorifies God.

    Just WOW!

  358. Thanks Nonnie & G for acknowledging this was/is true.

  359. G @353,

    Roaring with laughter!!!!

  360. Chile, would it be possible for you to email me? summer.joy62@gmail.com.

  361. I just want to encourage the men that if they see some punk bullying, abusing, manipulating and taking advantage of women or children to be a man and put a stop to it.

    We can’t take on every cause we read or hear about.

    But when it is before your own eyes, whether it be strangers at the McDonalds, on the street corner, co-workers at the jobsite, or amongst family, and yeah, in your church – be a Christian MAN and take a stand.

    I can’t possibly believe I am a voice in the wilderness in this plea.

    (And I’ll give old RiBo some credit on that score. I have no doubt that he would be the first guy on the scene to stop some of the crap that the Christian men of this country enable)

  362. Steve, I’m not sure that I agree with you as you state.

    I’m glad that you think you have people around you who would not let you get away with doing underhanded stuff. But I argue that if a CC church doesn’t have a way to hold the pastor accountable, as per the by-laws, a legal document, as my church did not … then when the pastor goes south, there is no way to hold him accountable.

    Please grasp this:

    Our pastor was out of town for months without a good reason. No one could make him come home and work.

    He was spending large sums of money from the church coiffeurs, but there was no legal way to stop him because he was in charge of the finances.

    He was spending time with 4 women besides his wife, as well as filed for divorce but told his worship leader wife to keep up appearances, keep leading worship, and not to tell anyone he was divorcing her. But no one could force him to do anything about his wrecked family life, his infidelity, or remove him from office because he disqualified himself for ministry.

    He was spiritually abusive, gave marriage ending counsel, gave free passes to other men in sin, was particularly harsh towards women, and so much more …

    Without a legal recourse, the people of the church had zero say and the leaders how no legit course of action that could take to remove the man. He had to be basically blackmailed to give up the assets.

    Steve, if you ever go south like this guy, they will have their hands tied to remove you unless you have some legal document that says they have the power to fire you. That is my point. You may have that, but most true Moses Models don’t. Our church certainly didn’t. And without a built-in legal requirement to have open finances, you could always set it up so no one knows what’s happening to the finances like happened at my church. We were chastised for even asking about how the money is spent and told that people who ask are only troublemakers.

  363. Steve, that’s exactly what we did do in our church. We stood up to the manipulative, underhanded, sneaky, bullying tactics of our pastor. He told lies about us, kicked us out of church, some named from the pulpit and threatened further. Our reputations were smeared. He continued to teach the congregation to remain loyal and keep quiet, don’t touch the Lord’s Annointed!

    Those who remained often didn’t understand what was going on. Either they didn’t hear what happened to people, or they didn’t know who was telling the truth so they just trusted the pastor, as they were taught to do. Meanwhile the pile of bodies out back was growing!

  364. Steve, “I just want to encourage the men that if they see some punk bullying, abusing, manipulating and taking advantage of women or children to be a man and put a stop to it.”

    You mean like Bob Grenier? Go for it, buddy!

  365. Summer, I just tried but the email returned undeliverable. Let me double check and try again.

  366. Summer, it’s telling me it’s not a valid email address. Got another one?

  367. Steve, I’d like to point out that these are not bar room brawls where you can just step in and stop the fight, or protect the women and children.

    Spiritual abuse starts with subtle grooming laced with all sorts of good religious thoughts. It’s good stuff so you trust and don’t recognize as the bad stuff increases over time.

    By the time the pastor is taken over by sin, most people have already been trained to have blind loyalty, don’t touch the Lord’s anointed, keep quiet, trust God, and the like. Speaking about this with another person is anathema, and they are supposed to correct you for gossiping or slandering. If the leaders find out they are supposed to tell the pastor what you said.

    See, it’s just not that easy to stand up to an errant pastor. So don’t simplify what is actually a very complicated, fraught with danger, action to call out a pastor to anyone but your spouse.

  368. Chile said – “Steve, if you ever go south like this guy, they will have their hands tied to remove you unless you have some legal document that says they have the power to fire you.”

    First off this is untrue. We watched Joe Sobolic and Danny Bond get kicked out their churches within 6 months of each other.

    When your pastor spent 4 months away from work – you had recource to get him back. Someone from the board , no matter how weak the board, walks into the payroll clerk and say “stop paying him.”

    I guarantee after the first missed paycheck – the dude would be back at the church – if for no other reason than to raise hell.

  369. I can tell one thing from the line of conversation. That these folks depended upon teaching much more than they did their own reading and private study. If anyone had opened their bible for themselves they would have seen that what they were asked to do was wrong.

    That is why a good many CCs are hopping busy every night of the week. People coming to be spoon fed.

  370. I guess this is my thought in the end. I am absolutely sure that everything Chile has described happened – hey bad people do bad things all of the time.
    What I have objected to in any of the Chile conversations is what she has said several times here.

    “The people had no recourse” and that is absolutely false. Recourse of course is after the fact, but it can still end the abuse.

  371. The funny part is I think it is a theological issue. And I would venture a guess that most people who “escape” the CC system still go back to an independent non denominational church that teaches the damaging doctrines of
    1.) Baptism doesn’t mean anything
    2.) The wine and the bread do not mean anything
    3.) Basic rapture theology
    4.) A worship service that emphasizes what we give to God NOT what God gives to us.

  372. MLD

    If you had read what chile’s pastor had put out you’d be asking the question, why would anyone go there, it’s so obvious he’s a nut case?

    The problem is people go their for the same reasons many attend your church, they like the people they meet, the connections they make and self worth they develop.

    Church research consistently show people in general don’t attend church for the theology or doctrines, they go because of the other people. They fit into the whole group and when it goes bad they can’t leave because of those ties.

    To you and I it’s simple, pack up and leave and find one which meets our studied criteria. But for those who go for other reasons the bonds are pretty strong and it here where pastors have a hold on them.

  373. Bob,
    “They fit into the whole group and when it goes bad they can’t leave because of those ties.”

    I fully understand 100% – in fact I even agree with the statement.

    Here is my issue – why all the bitching and moaning? As you state these people are getting EXACTLY what they want out of A CHURCH situation.The bonds and the friendships … you even said they don’t care about the theology.

  374. uriah,

    Everyone who has a different view than you isn’t a narcissist.
    That’s grown very tiresome.

  375. MLD

    I agree up to a point with you, then I care about people and their welfare. It’s a fine line of respect for peoples independence and rights to decide their own fate and the standing up to evil and wicked men.

    Of course there are consequences to either action for all who are involved.

  376. MLD,
    A few things.
    Sabolick was handed an expensive piece of property and helped to start over.
    Danny Bond is now on staff with Raul Ries after leaving his last pastorate under a cloud…again.
    The Calvary system was built to protect pastors, not the pews.
    Finally, as you’ve managed to make clear here, you have no clue as to how a church is supposed to function biblically.
    You know your Lutheran theology, but you know nothing of what it means to be in the Body of Christ.
    You never have.
    Despite your demeanor here, I know you to be a loving parent and grandparent and you have lived sacrificially for your own.
    That’s the sort of care we are to expect from leaders in the church…and when people are abused for their trust it’s a serious matter.
    A family matter.

  377. For the record, Steve has by laws in place that protect his people and he has a fine board as well.
    I spar with him here, but I have stood with him against abusers offline.
    He is a good man.

  378. Michael,
    No, I think the difference is that you see everyone as a helpless victim – where I listen to their own testimony where they weigh cost vs what is right.

    “It doesn’t matter if it harms my kids, it will cost to much to leave the current situation”
    “I know my pastor is wrong, but I can’t leave my friends”.

    I have never defended – not once – the actions of rogue pastors. I even said above, this morning that I am sure that everything Chile said happened did indeed actually happen. But no one and I mean not a single person is stuck there … everyone who is there has chosen, by their own free will (like choosing which socks to wear this morning) to be in that church.

    99% of the people in any given CC are there for 1 hour on Sunday morning and a third of those will go Wed nights. The damage is not done to those people.

    Now perhaps we need to speak about the psychological state of those who want to hang around the church and the leaders all the time. What are their expectations vs what the church delivers. Perhaps this is the totality of the issue.

  379. Here is my point, and I asked Chile yesterday. I would guess that in the rogue Colorado churches, at least those I coined the Colorado 6 – i am sure that 99% of the pewsters are perfectly happy in their church and with their church. Is it not possible to be happy for them?

  380. Leaving friends and family in the Body of Christ should be very difficult…it’s a Body.
    That’s what you don’t get.
    The Colorado 6 may be ok now…but they sure as hell weren’t when it went down.

  381. You are correct – I do not understand.

    I will give you an example. About 2 yrs ago we had a rift in our church. About 1/3rd of our church folks left (over a yrs period of time) and most went to the next Lutheran church over.

    All of the people are still friends outside of church and they do home bible studies together and do all the things they did together (drink martinis etc) . Our view is that we are all still Lutheran, we are still friends – we are all still the Body of Christ – we just can’t do church together.

    So you are right. When someone says “my CC really stinks and is doing damage to me and my family …but I can’t leave” – I do not understand.

  382. “The Colorado 6 may be ok now…but they sure as hell weren’t when it went down.”

    So the intervention – that you say is non existent in CC, actually worked and brought forth good fruit.

  383. OK, for those playing along at home, I’m taking it that the Colorado 6 are 6 attenders that took a stand against bad leadership? Is that right?

  384. No, they were 6 CC churches around the Denver area.
    When Chile’s pastor didi the dirty deed, Ed Taylor – who is at CC Aurora took matters into his own hands – booted Chile’s pastor and realigned the 6 CC’s moving the pastors around. I am sure his intent was to make the best fit pastor / to congregation that would work.

    It sounds like a good deed to me … but in PP land, no good deed goes unpunished.

    I listen to a Ed Taylor teaching yesterday – didn’t sound demonic to me. I also watched a Dave Love video teaching (the replacement pastor at Chile’s old church – he sounded OK also.

  385. So…Ed Taylor is another CC pastor, who tried to take action against a bad guy in a different CC? Maybe his execution was flawed, but sounds like a good motive?

  386. In my world we read a lot of hagiography (which Michael has already dismissed as mythology) where Christians routinely make hard decisions regarding truth. We also admire the stories of monastics who leave the comfort of their families for the rigors of the monastery. These self-denying people are our heroes. Follow God and Truth even if it means losing your family and friends, even if it costs your life.

    Yet when I was an evangelical, we never read literature like this. Fox’s Book of Maryrs was admired from a distance but I never knew a woman (including myself) who ever read it. We read syrupy books about how much God loves us. These books were not heretical but they were not sufficient to encourage courageous Christianity. They encouraged a “Jesus is my Boyfriend/ Homeboy” type of Christianity rather than a “I will go to the lions rather than deny Christ” type of Christianity. The worship music, ditto.

    So I have to join MLD in his perplexity. If people choose to stay at a church with a corrupt leadership because they don’t want to be at odds with family and friends- well, they have made their choice. If there’s people who don’t know their pastor is corrupt and are happy, let them enjoy their happiness. If a pastor preaches heresy, you have to leave, even if it means a temporary adios to all your friends and family. I personally came to see evangelical teaching to be so faulty that I did this very thing so yes, I do know what it is like to wake up, smell the coffee and take painful action.

    Personally, I prefer the kind of robust Christianity I see in the Lives of the Saints over the modern penchant for victimology.

    To sum up, I think MLD understands Church very well. He had made some hard decisions over the years, is not blaming others and is not calling himself a victim.

    “if we can’t run with the footmen how can we ever run with the horses?” I posted this OT quote (paraphrased) here years ago an no one understood what I mean. I wonder if anyone understands it now.

  387. Regardless of the change in the heading of this blog, the focus still remains on “abuse.” Usually abuse at a Calvary Chapel. Let me first state this disclaimer. I was never a member of any CC and I only heard about CC on this blog.

    But one thing I’ve noted. It is probably obvious to everyone else, but let me state it anyway. There are several definitions of “abuse” as used on this blog. First is what I’ll call “real” or “real serious” abuse. That includes child sexual abuse and also the kind of abuse the RiBo describes from his stepfather. It is double or triply or quadruply bad when this serious abuse occurs at a church or is done by a pastor.

    To consider that that kind of abuse occurs in the body of Christ and by the pastors and other leaders is simply sickening. As Brian would say “I get that.”

    Then there is a second kind of abuse that we talk about more. That’s the abuse of authority, especially Christ’s authority by the leadership of a church. This is a little more fuzzy. It might be financials that are not open and transparent. It might be pastors benefiting financially above and beyond what should be normal. It might be shunning or kicking people out of church or pastors that don’t match the qualifications stated in Timothy.

    So what is to be done about this kind of abuse. It typically isn’t illegal, just unethical or unChristian. Most would expect the denomination and the hierarchy of the church to handle that. (Yet the RCC, with its very strict hierarchy, is well known for hiding serious abuse.) But what about the non-denominal?. Specifically churches like CC or many others mentioned here.

    We’ve heard of CC churches such as Steve Wright’s that has rules and procedures in place to deal with certain abuses. On the other hand, we’ve heard of revolving door pastors and pastors that sin and then reappear in the pulpit. We’ve spoken of mega churches and celebrity pastors. We’ve been reminded of the thousands of different denominations with different doctrine and different rules of accountability.

    Is the issue really that people stay in these abusive churches? MLD reminds us that the exits are there if people want to leave. Are we the religious federal trade commission worried about truth in advertising and product ingredients?

    We are all members of the body of Christ and we resent other members tarnishing God’s message. Yet we’re all sinners, including pastors. We see wrong and Michael rightly publishes the wrong and we wring our hands and discuss and worry about the wrong while some defend it.

    I gotta ask. What can we do about it?

    I came on here and I continue to read and participate to try to understand my fellow Christians and their beliefs. I’ve gained a lot from that. Thank you Michael and Xenia, and Josh, and MLD and Steve and G-man and Brian even RiBo for that. I understand you all a little better now. My understanding and compassion has been effected by this blog and in a most positive way.

    But I’m afraid that the quest to correct the abuses in Christendom is a bit of tilting at windmills. The Colorado 6 or the discussion of a post-Smith CC seem like all sound and furry with no real results.

    I’m sorry Michael if that sounds cynical. I’m old and cynicism comes easy. I thank you and God bless you for what you do here. I just pray that this on-going discussion of abuse does have a positive effect. Yet, if one person is saved, if one church is changed for the better, then it would all be worth it. So ignore my negativity and battle on. I’ve said what’s on my mind.

  388. J.U. very good comments. You’ve summarized things very well and I think your take is balanced, nuanced and largely accurate IMO.

  389. J.U., you have spoken my mind as well.

  390. “We read syrupy books about how much God loves us. These books were not heretical but they were not sufficient to encourage courageous Christianity. They encouraged a “Jesus is my Boyfriend/ Homeboy” type of Christianity rather than a “I will go to the lions rather than deny Christ” type of Christianity. The worship music, ditto.”

    That is an interesting observation and similar to conversations that I have with friends. I think Xenia, that you have described not just CC, but the bulk of evangelicalism that takes their spirituality in light doses and are perfectly fine as long as their faith does not get in the way of their own self will, ambition, and comfort. Evangelicalism sells a soft optimism and entertainment designed to make us feel better. I’ve wondered at times whether that syrupy Christianity is any different than the over-medicated culture that we evangelicals like to criticize. I hope I’m wrong about that. We’ve forgotten the message of the cross and I fear the focus today of “feel good Christianity” is more of a distraction to the life of a disciple than an encouragement.

    At times I feel almost persuaded toward Greek Orthodoxy……….. almost 😉

  391. J.U.,

    Good comment there.
    Much of this is tilting at windmills.
    My long term goal is not, I hope.
    My goal is to have these conversations, but beyond the conversations to make people more aware of their own faith and history and empower people to make changes from the ground up instead of the top down.
    We do have to take responsibility for our own spiritual lives and that of our families…but first we have to recognize that we not only have the ability, but the responsibility to do so.

  392. Ixtlan,

    That was very well said.
    I sat with someone yesterday who is going through hell as I am at the moment…and that person was stunned when I pointed out that the NT speaks much more of suffering than victory.
    They didn’t want to hear it…but until you hear it you will not recognize the victory that comes.

  393. Good morning, Chile! I just tested it and I got the email at that address. Are you sure you are sending it to summer.joy62@gmail.com No caps or anything. And there’s a ‘period’ after summer. 🙂

  394. Perhaps culturally relevant evangelicalism has lulled us into a very soft, superficial Christianity.

  395. Michael, You ARE having a long term effect. I’ve learned much of church history, the source of my personal beliefs, things happening behind the scenes in churches that I was unaware of, an increased understanding of my spirituality, the struggles that many have with their Christian faith, how some are misled, how to discern true and accurate theology, and much more.

    I love and respect you and your work and don’t, for even a moment, mean to imply your work is for nought. Obviously, you have had a very positive effect on many who appear regularly on this blog and those you interact with personally.

    I consider you one of my pastors, and I thank you for what you’ve taught me. I am a better person and a better Christian because of what you have said and done. I am not exaggerating that. I know that is true of many others on here, only to a greater extent.

    So I continue to pray for you and your ministry and I pray for those caught up in the whirlwind of abuse. Keep up the good work.

  396. Josh,

    I am not ashamed to tell you that you just brought tears this morning.
    Thank you for being part of everything we do.
    My personal life and the lives of some people I love very much are hard right now…and I am compelled to continue working this child abuse story from the Philippines that is going to cause me much more difficulty.
    The prayers and kind words keep me going…

  397. J.U….that was to you, not Josh.
    I like Josh too, though. 🙂

  398. Darn. That close to being significant.

    🙂

  399. Josh,

    You’re significant.
    When you haven’t posted all day I start to worry…you are a huge part of what good happens here.

  400. There, that’s better. 🙂

    Seriously though, thanks for the kind words. I really do like all the people here, regardless of our differences. Through this site, I have grown a learned, and found a way forward in my faith.

    In regards to the content of this particular thread, I want to say something to MLD and Steve, both of whom I hold in the highest regard. I don’t know your history with Chile, or the Colorado situation, and perhaps that is the rub. But the appearance is that you guys are badgering someone who at least feels that she was treated poorly in a church, and regardless of if her feelings are true or not (sorry, Chile. I honestly don’t know the situation.), her resulting pain is very real.

    As was pointed out to me a couple of weeks ago, perhaps we should all choose our words more wisely, so that it does not appear that we are kicking someone when she is down.

  401. And that, Josh, is the hardest part of blogging. Written communications, often hastily written and poorly proof read, lack the nuance of direct, in-the-flesh, conversation. The reply may be hours or days after the first comment. Words seem harsher without visual clues. And, worst of all, we don’t see the reaction of the person we’re speaking to immediately, or else we see the over reaction in their response.

    Regarding issues of belief, we’ve all heard the saying about majoring on the majors and not on the minors. A statement about what is really significant in a particular theological situation. For example, my denomination, Evangelical Free Church, believes that baptism is important, but not essential. We consider it like a wedding ring, a sign to others of our faith. But many denominations hold baptism as essential to being saved. Therefore, upon a statement of faith, it is imperative that the individual get baptized immediately before they are run over by a bus and lose out on paradise.

    I would not call either view heretical. However, when I told a friend that the difference was minor, he said “not to those that hold that it.” Do these distinctives just divide us? Or do they define what is a heresy. We’ve discussed before such issues like belief in the trinity.

    Combine differences in theology with differences in opinions, and the blog often turns into a battle ground. That is sad and I know you try very hard to keep the conversation civil. It is a good reminder to us all. This is a gathering place for people of faith, and we can all be reminded of that fact now and again. “As you treated the least of these, so you treated me.”

  402. J.U. said, “But I’m afraid that the quest to correct the abuses in Christendom is a bit of tilting at windmills. The Colorado 6 or the discussion of a post-Smith CC seem like all sound and furry with no real results.”

    That’s why a person has to decide if it’s about Results or Principles.

    If you are principled then the results don’t matter so much, you just keep pushing.

  403. “That’s why a person has to decide if it’s about Results or Principles” good word.

  404. Josh, you want me to go easy on Chile? I feel like I’ve gone 12 rounds and my legs are like jelly. Perhaps she needs to go easy on me.

    In the beginning Chile and I got along fine. I think it turned several months ago when her accusations turned directly on Steve. No matter what the wrong, Steve was 100% guilty of rape, incest and murder just because he flew the dove.

    I know Steve and I know it is the furthest thing from the truth. But she would go on and on. Her story changes over the months – she knows the details of every situation of every CC in Colorado … but then claims victim hood for herself … even though she was in the know.

    But the biggest thing I push back on is that fact that she claims ‘no way out’ and there is no recourse for anyone – and this is not true.Call the cops for starters – that’s what got people going with the Jim Jones affair.

    Should I give her slack – OK, I will … but I am still going to wear my cup.

  405. That’s all good MLD. Like i said, I don’t know the background, just telling you the appearance. It appears that you guys are ganging up on her a bit, etc. May not be the case, but that is the appearance.

    “That’s why a person has to decide if it’s about Results or Principles.”

    Sometimes, goals can be adapted, too, to make results more attainable in reality. For instance, if the results desired are increased exposure and broader conversation, then this site is a raging success.

  406. I will say, on behalf of Chile, if I were a woman in a congregation, a church who I had served and loved, and then discovered that my pastor stole from the church. ran around on his wife and fired one leader after another who tried to expose him…… it would break my heart. Then, if I spoke out and tried to get men/leaders to step up and do the right thing, but was instead, mocked, called crazy, vindictive, rebellious, etc, etc….. and the men who did step up just allowed the rogue pastor to walk away and start all over again, fleecing a new flock……well that would hurt and I would have to wonder what in the hell was wrong with the system.

    Thankfully, no CC pastor I have ever sat under was like that. But I can only imagine how much that must hurt.

  407. Thanks, Josh @403.

    I think the issue that is the most frustrating is the refusal to consider one aspect of class B abuse (as articulated by JU.) It’s that the greatest responsibility lies with those who’ve been entrusted by God to shepherd, oversee, protect the Body of Christ and not bring harm or use them for their own vain ambitions.

    To continue to focus on blaming those who were either abused (class B,) or who were simply doing what they were taught to do, instead of focusing on the one(s) responsible for the abuse and encouraging changes at the leadership and organizational levels, seems to be inappropriate.

    The New Testament describes and promotes a local church that does act in a collaborative way, as a family -if you will- because we are all members of the same Body. This means that packing up one’s family to look for a new church, when you attend with your neighbors, kid’s school mates, along with family and friends, is necessarily difficult.

    If abuses in leadership are not dealt with by a governing authority, then the responsibility to leave lands in the lap of the congregation. Where do they go? Other churches are a part of this same culture of class B abuses, too. If one church leader gets away with it, it encourages other leaders they can too, or at a minimum that it’s an innocent way to organize … without the needed accountability. This is what has already happened on a large scale within Evangelical circles. So were is the leaving family supposed to go?

  408. If I have badgered anyone in this thread, including and especially Chile, then I repent and ask forgiveness.

    As God is my witness, my desire is that the Body of Christ be filled with Esthers – those to be used by God “for such a time as this” – it has been the message I have tried to get across throughout this discussion. Soldiers, not victims.

    I preach it at CCLE. I preach it here. Maybe I should do so in more general theory rather than look at specific real-world examples when discussed herein.

    Peace.

  409. Thanks, Nonnie.

    I had the fortune of having spent time in other denominations & independents in different states over the years, before ending up on CC’s. I also am grateful I was able to get a decent theology degree in a school that drew people from all sorts of theological backgrounds, though rooted in the pale of orthodoxy. This always made me an outsider within the CC’s, that actually helped me in that I was not indoctrinated to read Scripture the way they did. I did not read serving God as equal to serving my pastor, etc…

    It also hurt me because I was ignorant of the structure and it’s weaknesses. My pastor held me at a distance, along with others since education made him insecure.

    I was mostly shocked that there was no recourse within the organization or the structure to deal with issues that involved leadership.

    1. One could not call upon Chuck Smith or the CCOF. They didn’t answer.
    2. One could not speak to the board with any success; because if they disagreed with the pastor, their buddy, they would be fired.
    3. One could not appeal to the elders because they had no power, and could be fired.
    4. The congregation had no power, no say whatsoever.

    All those routes were tried by different people, who all disappeared. They were also smeared. When a true Moses Model pastor is hardened in his sin, the structure doesn’t allow for any recourse.

  410. “Maybe I should do so in more general theory rather than look at specific real-world examples when discussed herein.”

    I think maybe that’s the key Steve. Same as my discussing Michael’s situation a couple of weeks ago. While what I said may not have been untrue or particularly cruel, it came across as insensitive because it was not sympathetic enough with the real-life situation.

  411. Steve–“If I have badgered anyone in this thread, including and especially Chile, then I repent and ask forgiveness.”

    Steve, I’ll accept your apology; but it may help to know that I would not characterize this as badgering so much as it’s as frustrating as running into a brick wall, because you seem to miss the point and only see things from one perspective. In context, it is insensitive; but I’ll put up with that if we can ever make any headway on actually dealing with the point being made.

    Steve–“As God is my witness, my desire is that the Body of Christ be filled with Esthers – those to be used by God “for such a time as this” – it has been the message I have tried to get across throughout this discussion. Soldiers, not victims.”

    A soldier who is shot by their superior, is a victim, too. To tell victims that they should not be a victim only shows you don’t understand the reality of it. People do get victimized and to tell them to pretend they haven’t been, is a way of minimizing the real issue that ought to be dealt with.

  412. because you seem to miss the point and only see things from one perspective.
    ———————————————————
    My sentiments exactly. How I’ve felt the whole time. Which is why I am taking Josh’s wise counsel and not going to speak on the specific of the Colorado debacle anymore.

    Now, may I gently suggest, since you know next to nothing about me either, my life, my history, my family…that you don’t pretend to know what I do or don’t understand personally about the reality of being a victim, or of ministering to others who have been as well. Such tactics really make civil conversation impossible.

  413. Michael,

    Obviously, it would seem to me that you tend to have a knee jerk reaction due to my use of the term narcissism or narcissist. Your comment had little to do with what I shared with Chile. He/she recognized what I was stating.

    A person can be exhibiting traits of narcissism or they may be what is viewed as having a Narcissist Personality. There is a huge difference between the first and the second, however. To say you tire of hearing my mentioning this is unfortunate, simply due to not understanding that the CC system is severely geared to a narcissistic mindset, thus its constructs which does draw, promote, and enables corruption and abuse to be perpetrated, then fault the person (s) being harmed and victimized for the harms done, while at the same time re-victimizes the abused by token of failing to protect them and holding the perps to an account or if they do, using the occasion to further their own agendas is very much the working of those who are at minimum, Narcissist.

    If you don’t know what you are dealing with, then we will continue to spin our wheels and nothing will change—has nothing to do with working from the ground up. It has only to do with getting rid of that which perpetrates and enables it in the first place. It is those who would like to continue to put a normal sane explanation upon these types of behaviors that miss the mark in what is needed to stop the abuse. That is because we do not think like narcissists do and they know that in our best intentions and desire to reason together, they can always weave or throw a wrench in the process that sends us back to the drawing board again, trying to work our way out of the insanity or chaos that they know they created in the first place.

    Chili, Ribo, Josh, Andy has a good handle on this.

    Has nothing to do with agreeing or not agreeing with me. It is what it is and unless we “get it” many more will be ripped apart and then thrown under the bus, while those who are narcissistically oriented groom and train others to be proxies to fend off what would have exposed them much sooner, had they not been duped into trusting such individuals.

  414. Well this brings up a point;
    “that actually helped me in that I was not indoctrinated to read Scripture the way they did. I did not read serving God as equal to serving my pastor, etc…”

    So, the first time you heard “serve me…” why didn’t you pack up and leave – saying as you did, that you knew better.?

  415. Re: MLD@407 said, “In the beginning Chile and I got along fine.” (For a day or two till you took info told to you in private, you were asked not to repeat, and then repeated it publicly. You immediately got so focused on defending your buddy that you kept telling me the Colorado stuff never happened, accusing me of making things up, or something along those lines. You were beyond insensitive to the point of being mean.)

    MLD–“I think it turned several months ago when her accusations turned directly on Steve. No matter what the wrong, Steve was 100% guilty of rape, incest and murder just because he flew the dove.” (FALSE statement. You attack me and others, blindly defending Steve, showing your lack of ability to discuss the issues at hand without your prejudices coloring your view.)

    MLD–“Her story changes over the months” (FALSE statement.)
    MLD –“she knows the details of every situation of every CC in Colorado” (FALSE statement. I know some things after living in a place for decades, involved in 3 CC’s, having many ongoing relationships from those days, having been involved with the youth who are now CC pastors/leaders/missionaries and lay leaders. With such relationships comes an ability to see patterns. I’m also involved with a mission org where I have more relationships that take me out of this region and out of the country, relationally, that further corroborate patterns that begin to emerge. Never once have I claimed that I know all the details. But I have commented on the things I do know. This is yet another example of how you overstate in order to undermine me.)

    MLD–“… but then claims victim hood for herself … even though she was in the know.” (I was victimized, not as bad as others, but it did happen. Much of what I “know” was pieced together slowly, and plenty was realized after-the-fact. I’m sure others who post here have similar stories. You simplify in order to undermine. You act consistently as if your goal is to discredit me at every step. It’s certainly not to interact with the issues fairly.)

    MLD–“But the biggest thing I push back on is that fact that she claims ‘no way out’ and there is no recourse for anyone – and this is not true.” (It is true. Reread post 412.)

    MLD–“Call the cops for starters” (You can’t call the cops on a pastor kicking you out of a church. You can’t call the cops on a pastor who is unfaithful with 4 other women. You can’t call the cops on the pastor’s misuse of funds, when the organization is set up with him in control of the finances and the congregation has zero rights because there is not membership. We’ve been over this point a thousand times and yet you still spout off as if this is a good point. Either you don’t pay attention when you read, or you are purposely trying to obfuscate for the purpose of protecting the brand.)

    MLD–“Should I give her slack – OK, I will” (You should enter into the conversation and pay attention to points well made, with an open mind to understanding the side being presented, speak in a respectful way, and give up your mean jabs at victims, grow a heart, and stop making blatantly false statements to get other posters to follow you down the path of distraction. I’m serious. Your behavior on here is poor.)

  416. Steve said, “But I rest in the fact that it is not some piece of paper in our bylaws, but it is dozens and dozens and dozens of Christians who would kick me up one side and down the other, in Jesus name, if I tried some stunt that hurt people”

    I’ve been trying to kick you in the butt, you don’t respond properly and keep supporting abuse by not speaking up in YOUR Association…at least not publicly b/c you are afraid of losing butts in seats and making waves and losing money.

  417. And, I’m not victim, I fight back and fight hard….so hard in fact that the bullies claim they are victims, when in fact they are simply not used to folks fighting back.

  418. MLD–“So, the first time you heard “serve me…” why didn’t you pack up and leave – saying as you did, that you knew better.?”

    I didn’t hear it. He talked about serving God. The others who were indoctrinated knew that “serving God” was equal to “serving the pastor”. Over time, I caught what the expectation was, but also figured that the pastor was having a bad day, or bad month, or the people misunderstood, etc… Because I’d not seen this before, I didn’t have a grid that could grasp such a notion even existed.

    Listen, nothing is ever presented clearly in a form you can just recognize right away. Things are buried in a mound of religious talk that makes you think that even if you thought you picked up on something, you assume you are probably wrong … give the benefit of the doubt.

  419. RiBo–” bullies claim they are victims, ”

    LOL, like MLD.

  420. Steve you ain’t fooling many on here. You’re “Not my problem!” where’s thin when you spend more time and energy publicly apologizing for CC and fighting against those who have legit beefs…than you have fighting publicly to make necessary and common sense changes to YOUR Association (by contract/agreement to use the Name and Logo rights). In fact, you have done zero publicly to effect positive change in your Association. Zilch.

    Your words on here are about as useful as tits on a bull.

  421. Typical Narcissist Statement:

    If you believe me when I told a lie, that is your fault, not mine. Don’t you know that if a person believes a lie, then it must have been the truth.

    How is it possible that I should be held account for abusing her/him when I told them that if they didn’t go along, I would making their lives a living hell if they told anyone.

  422. 1.) “For a day or two till you took info told to you in private,” LOL – by a slip of the tongue (fingers on the keyboard) I refereed to Chile as “she”. I admit that she did not want anyone to know, but it was a slip – but I found no forgiveness.

    2.) I don’t defend Steve blindly – in fact i have my biggest theological fights here with Steve. But he is not guilty by association.But you accuse blindly “I see a dove – I see guilt!”

    3.) I gave an example of the way out when I told the story of 1/3rd of my church leaving – no broken relationships.Another falsehood of yours -you said “This means that packing up one’s family to look for a new church, when you attend with your neighbors, kid’s school mates, along with family and friends, ”

    Are you saying that none of your neighbors, kid’s school mates, your friends or family attend the great Baptist church down the street? Couldn’t you just plug in there?

    4.) And yes you can call the cops on the misuse of funds or contact the District Attorney. it probably won’t pan out but i bet they would crap their pants at first contact.

  423. Steve–“Now, may I gently suggest, since you know next to nothing about me either, ”

    I don’t know why you resort to this. You’ve done it often. It doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t claim to know you, nor you me. That’s irrelevant. I responded to your statement about how victims should not be victims. But people who’ve been victimized are victims. They don’t have to define themselves by it, but they do have to deal with it. It’s a reality.

    You tend to focus on the responsibility of the congregation, and appear to minimize the responsibility of the organization and the leader(s). You often try to undermine my call for the opposite.

  424. ” But he is not guilty by association”

    Actually he is:

    http://calvarychapelassociation.com/location/calvary-chapel-lake-elsinore/

  425. My pastor had a bad day – that’s why I was abused. – Chile, come on, you are losing it.

    You have come up with every excuse in the book except – boy was I dumb and kept falling for the same trick at 3 CCs over 10 yrs.

    You should be saying, fool me once shame on you, fool me… well in your case 100 times, shame on me.

  426. MLD, do franchisees like NFL team owners, have any responsibility in official policies or non-policies in the “independent!” NFL which is a separate Non-profit entity?

  427. MLD said, “You have come up with every excuse in the book except – boy was I dumb and kept falling for the same trick at 3 CCs over 10 yrs.”

    No, that is a misrepresentation. I don’t get that at all from Chile’s expression of the CC experiences.

    I think Chile has made it very evident that the person feels naive for believing the Calvary Chapel advertising and propaganda and message going into CC that the pastors and the CC System cares about the “sheep” and has the “sheep” in their best interest.

    I also think that Chile rightfully calls public attention to the wrongs, the scandal, the abuse etc and warns people: “Don’t be fooled like I and many others were”

    You, in fact, cannot rely on Calvary Chapel as an Association to tell the truth or to warn people about the many bad apples in their Franchise/Association/Denomination/System

  428. MLD you don’t really have a dog in the fight, you’re just the typical pot-stirring a-hole.

    Steve on the other hand is the one I am much more concerned about and much more disgusted with. He should be doing something…and publicly…but he doesn’t and is stubborn in his apologizing for why it’s none of his responsibility. Poor character. I have zero respect for guys like Steve Wright.

  429. RB,
    You mean like New England’s owner Robert Kraft walking into Dallas Cowboy owner Jerry Jones’ office and taking down his NFL sign because Kraft doesn’t like the way Jones is doing something? (Just like you wanted someone to do to BG’s Dove)

  430. “MLD, do franchisees like NFL team owners, have any responsibility in official policies or non-policies in the “independent!” NFL which is a separate Non-profit entity?”

    Only in a voluntary way – there is no law that makes them do so.

  431. In fact the Calvary Chapel system and Association does the exact opposite, rather than do the biblical (supposed, that’s what the bible says simply) job of warning others about the bad apples in Calvary Chapel so more don’t get blindsided, they cover it up, they lie, they protect, they enable and they claim, “Not my problem! Not my responsibility!” which adds insult to injury and demonstrates extremely poor character and bad fruit.

    Then some in CC come on blogs and apologize for the poor character and dishonesty of the CC System and try to turn the tables on those who have a legit beef and specific situations of major problems in CC.

    Disgusting, but that’s what has happened on here for years from several of the CC guys.

  432. 1.) “For a day or two till you took info told to you in private,” LOL – by a slip of the tongue (fingers on the keyboard) – but I found no forgiveness.

    LOL, you joke! You had 20 “slips”, I’m not buying it. You never asked for forgiveness. You use things as weapons.

    2.) I don’t defend Steve blindly –But you accuse blindly “I see a dove – I see guilt!”

    I don’t accuse Steve. I discuss the issues with CC, with the Moses Model. You keep choosing to see that as a personal attack against Steve. But that’s not what I’ve done.

    3.)Are you saying that none of your neighbors, kid’s school mates, your friends or family attend the great Baptist church down the street? Couldn’t you just plug in there?

    I’ve addressed this a number of times. NO, there wasn’t a healthy church in the town, unless I was willing to go to the largest church that hardly uses the Bible, and relies upon “prophets.” Several others were weakened by sin issues that their denoms were trying to fix, but still unhealthy and messy. Both of the largest pastoral failures known nationally came from this area 2 years apart. Many have to drive out of town to find something, not easy.

    4.) And yes you can call the cops on the misuse of funds or contact the District Attorney. it probably won’t pan out but i bet they would crap their pants at first contact.

    No you can’t, when the church is structured where the pastor is the only one in the association, and the structure allows him to be solely in charge of finances. We had an attorney in the congregation who was horrified when he realized there was nothing that could be done, so I’m told.

    This is it, MLD, this post is yet another example how you focus all your time and energy on trying to prove me wrong, going over and over things we’ve established many times and long ago. You are a distraction and not helpful in understanding the issues and what can or should be done about them.

  433. “MLD you don’t really have a dog in the fight, you’re just the typical pot-stirring a-hole.”

    I can always tell when you have run out of substance and rage takes over.

  434. I better shut up before I offend the Calvary Chapel pastors on here and get banned or moderated again.

  435. No rage at all, you are trivial and I’m trying to accurately identify you in hopes that the others view you as I do, more of a source of entertainment in theological discussions than someone to take seriously in the CC stuff.

  436. I am rarely in “rage” especially on blogs. This is light-weight to what I have faced down off-blog many times in life. No biggie.

    But, I’ll go with it RAAWWWWWWRRRRRRR! I am so full of RAAAGGGEEEE! RAWRRR!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GkEhwOxKgY

    RAAAAAAWWWWWWRRRRRRR! I am full of rage at this moment!!! 😆

  437. RiBo @430,

    YES!

    It doesn’t matter what I say, MLD and Steve keep saying that I’m wrong:

    1. If I leave quietly, obeying the instructions from the CC org & my pastor – as unto the LORD, then I’m wrong for not speaking up.
    2. If I speak up, then I’m wrong for playing the victim and implicating the org.

    1. If I stay, I should have left and found a healthier place, regardless of what it does to my family and relationships.
    2. If I go, I am accused of abandoning the Body and not staying to protect them.

  438. I think I will end the conversation this way. When a person has made a final evaluation and comes up with;

    “NO, there wasn’t a healthy church in the town”

    What can I say – there is nothing left to say.

  439. Yep, when RB starts posting the most disgusting things he can find, the thread has died.

  440. “NO, there wasn’t a healthy church in the town”

    http://www.castlerockchurchlist.info/

    I counted 51 churches on this list of churches in Castle Rock and Chile has deemed everyone of them to be unhealthy

  441. Chile, yup. That’s by design. It’s the CC M.O.

    These guys figured out how to control and manipulate people long ago. It’s been effective strategy and tactics for them for a long time and has served them well.

    The ‘sheep’ don’t have much power to do much about it and the “leadership” could care less as long as it doesn’t affect their franchise or their flow of people and money.

    Just gotta keep speaking out and telling the other sides of the story about the bad Brand and even the inactions of those in the CC Association who do nothing to effect changes.

    Topix threads, Yelp, FB, Twitter, Blogs, etc etc. Keep speaking out and warning people. It doesn’t seem like it has much effect, but it does. That’s why CC guys cringe and spit fire on here and elsewhere when you speak out. To me it’s one of the best indicators that the constant drip of criticism and pointing out the bad stuff works and strikes a nerve.

  442. I want people to think about how a church structure that only empowers the pastor, where he can fire others and they can’t fire him, is a morally wrong because of the damage that allows a man to do when his sinful nature gets the best of him.

    The rest is details and distractions.

    Ya’ll have fun …

  443. Hi Derek, typical you. Go take some pictures and let the adults talk.

  444. I’m sorry was the bull pooping stylistic.

  445. Stylistic….I laughed so hard at that.

  446. I just glanced at the list of Castle Rock churches. There’s a huge number that are brand new in the last year or two … post CC debacle. If you know the town’s history, you find out why they have had a record number of splits. Several of those churches are KJV, BJU sorts of churches. Several are offshoots of the two major catastrophes which has left them with a revolving door of leadership, congregations of 25 (or whatever, exaggerating to make a point,) and much more. One of the pastors accused a little kid of threatening to murder his daughter, which was a joke, but how he handled it was a clear warning to everyone around to steer clear because there has to be more going on behind the scenes.

    Castle Rock is a place that has been known to draw new pastors who want to live in a cool place at the foot of the Rockies and make some money. It’s a joke in town every spring that we get a whole new crop of start-ups that don’t make it. They beg, plead, overwork people, try to bleed them of money … but the old cow town people know better. It strange how in this place it’s almost always the pastor’s falling into clear biblical sin. These people aren’t perfect, but they aren’t taking down the ship like the pastor’s are. The place draws novices.

  447. The bull pooping was the bull pooping was a metaphor of what I imagine are the words coming out of MLD’s mouth quite often LOL 😆

    It’s a good visual. You’re pretty thin-skinned for having been in the military.

  448. At my old CC I observed some obnoxious behavior in the leadership. Nothing criminal, probably not even unethical, just obnoxious. And my usual personality is to speak up and say something. But I never did because I did not want to jeopardize my cool (non-paying) jobs at that church. My ego-stroking tech jobs that made me feel so important, like being a director of the TV show and producing the daily radio show. I looked at the obnoxious behavior and I looked at my cool jobs and made the choice to keep the cool jobs. I didn’t do this forever (as you know, I did depart) but I did it for several years, long enough to know that I aided and abetted some of the obnoxious behavior because it benefited me to look the other way. My definition of abuse being what it is, I do not believe any of this obnoxiousness ever rose to the level of abuse (many here might think differently) but it went on, un-criticized by me, for my own personal benefit.

    I am not saying this is the case for everyone- I have no way of knowing how common this type of self-serving behavior I practiced is. All I can say is I kept my mouth shut because I wanted to keep my cool jobs. I imagine this is not uncommon in churches? So who is to blame here? Not just the leaders but also me, ambitious me.

    As I mentioned earlier, this Sunday is Forgiveness Vespers, a special service just before the start of Lent where all church members bow down (forehead on the carpet) individually before each other and ask forgiveness for sins we might have committed against them in the past year. This week I have been thinking about ways I have sinned against various people. (I have a few in mind, believe me.) This service is not for me to think about the ways people have sinned against me!

  449. Chile said, “Castle Rock is a place that has been known to draw new pastors who want to live in a cool place at the foot of the Rockies and make some money.”

    That’s the truth of the matter.

    Funny how “God” never calls these hipster jerks to say Detroit.

  450. Last post:

    Summer, I’ll get ahold of you soon. I think it’s my email that isn’t working, again.

  451. I just find it very problematic to believe Chile’s evaluation of the CCs – when her evaluation of ALL OTHER churches is the exact same.

    You know, the last person I remember who said that all Christian churches were unhealthy and corrupt was Joseph Smith. But at least he had the backbone to go out and start his own church.

    Chile – go and do like wise.

  452. uriah,

    First, as a mental health professional, you should be extremely careful about tossing around diagnostic terms.
    All your enemies have some sort of psychological disorder, when in reality they may just be sinners.
    Next, The senior pastor model under any name is a big part of the American Christianity landscape that isn’t going to change.
    My job, the best thing I can do… is empower, educate, and inform people about who they are in Christ, who they are in church, and how both work together.
    I’m not going to waste precious time trying to rid the world of something it will not be rid of.

  453. I took that video down.
    Good Lord…

  454. A description of Forgiveness Vespers (at another parish, not mine.)

    http://frederica.com/writings/forgiveness-vespers2.html

  455. One more thing.
    The CCA is utterly impotent right now, so appealing to that group is as effective as yelling out the back door.
    Celebrate the guys who have protections in place and name the bad guys…that’s the best we’ve got right now.

  456. Last Last post …

    RiBo, yes.

    Castle Rock surprised me. I had no idea 20 years ago, that the place could possibly draw so many young, novice, ambitious, independent church planters. You will see the same struggling church of 25 to 50 people change their name and affiliation, even join a denomination, in order to trick people into thinking they are a new church. People play the name that church game at the coffee shop. It’s when you try to recall all the names the same church has had over the time it was or is here.

    Even the healthy SBC in Denver, has been propping up church plants in Castle Rock for years, but has found problems with the pastors that even they sent down. Last I heard, they were even thinking about calling it quits.

    Dave Love’s church was in a neighborhood that turned poor. He lived in Castle Rock and wanted to pastor the Castle Rock CC. When the pastor was blackmailed into handing over the place, Dave took over. It can be legitimate … but many of us are skeptical as a result of all we’ve seen.

  457. >>>I want people to think about how a church structure that only empowers the pastor, where he can fire others and they can’t fire him, is a morally wrong because of the damage that allows a man to do when his sinful nature gets the best of him.<<<

    Chile, I think we all agree with this. At least, I know I do.

    But I don't want us to overlook our own fault in cozying up to such a person for our own benefit, which I think happens more than some people want to admit. I have offered my own story here as an example and I do not think I was/am unique. A church can have a charismatic pastor that people want to get close to. People want to get themselves into his inner circle, for an assortment of reasons, few of them godly, I would suspect. When this all blows up in their faces, they do have to take some responsibility, I think.

    I do understand that some people are genuine victims and are truly innocent but often I have found that the story is often a little more complicated than that.

  458. Forget the last post thing …

    MLD–“all Christian churches were unhealthy and corrupt”

    You claim I said that. FALSE, again.

    Castle Rock has an issue of attracting unhealthy novice start-ups. The extent seems unusual. The reason I take issue with CC is that there was no recourse in dealing with such issues. The SBC has had to deal with issues, but there was someone to turn to in that case. Even the independent churches had by-laws that empowered the board and/or the elders.

    CC had no recourse. No where to turn. What was done went against how it’s legally set up, so they had to use blackmail. I’m glad they got him out, but it only highlighted the structural problem with their church government, yet no changes were made.

    MLD, don’t quote me anymore since you just state falsehoods. You even said I was in 3 CC’s in 10 years. FALSE.

  459. Xenia, I don’t want to focus on whether or not people need to work on their motives because in this context it always clouds the point that a church must be structured so that there is recourse when things go south.

    Each time I make that point, the focus gets shifted to the people to undermine the point. I think the organizational teaching as a whole needs to be cleaned up so the people are not taught do things like serve the pastor, stay quiet, etc… I’d like to see the culture in CC get an overhaul so they don’t encourage and example selfish-ambition. And more …

    But those issues are the weeds of confusion because it takes us out of the black and white issues that need to be changed in a definitive way, and into a pot of millions of ideas of how to change things and what to change. I can’t go there … it just takes my clarion call for change and turns it into wasted breath of pontificating.

  460. Xenia–“Chile, I think we all agree with this. At least, I know I do.”

    This is important to note. They don’t all agree which is why the subject keeps emerging. This is what I get flack over repeatedly.

    One says, “I have accountability” and implies that it’s of no concern to him if other CC’s don’t.

    Sometimes they say, “Chile’s wrong, there is recourse.”

    Most of the time the conversation is rerouted to then put the burden of responsibility for the issue on the congregation that doesn’t even have membership or any say.

  461. Chile, the reason I always bring this up is because I am concerned about individual souls and their well-being. If we (and I do not mean you) never see our own faults and responsibilities in various situations and only see the fault in others, this is corrosive to our own Christian lives. Again, I am not talking about you and your situation, I am speaking in general.

  462. Chile, I am sorry to call you out on this one you stated above “NO, there wasn’t a healthy church in the town”

    Here is the funny thing – I said Chile knows everything about all the CCs and she / he was all offended. But when I produce a list of 51 churches in town he / she rattles off all the faults of each of those churches. LOL 🙂

    Not a single healthy church in town – 51 churches deemed unhealthy. – A town without God.

  463. All churches are unhealthy to a small or large degree and everything in between. I picked one that has checks and balances in place b/c it’s not a matter of “if” men will go sideways, it’s a matter of what things are in place when they do.

  464. If I lived in Castle Rock I would drive the 40 miles to attend this parish:

    Holy Theophany Orthodox Church

    http://theophany.org/

    I’ve visited there several times and was always blessed.

  465. Open/transparent finances, Child Protection policy, Background checked sunday school workers, youth workers, pastors, etc. Membership. Elected board/elders. Shared power. Process for members with a beef.

  466. RB,
    Actually, you chose not to go to church. 😉

  467. Often folks act surprised and shocked when “God’s anointed!” go sideways.

    Well, I don’t accept the premise. There are no “specially anointed” just jerks who think they’re called.

    They’re still men. They’re not “transformed”.

    They’ll sin and sometimes big.

    You have to have a system in place that accepts that reality and protects against the inevitability to minimize the damage and abuses and corruption.

  468. “Actually, you chose not to go to church”

    I’m still a member and I go once in awhile.

  469. To that church led by the gun toting Steven Crane? Watch out for him buddy.

  470. In fact, just attended the Daddy/Daughter Ball at our church. The best event each year. More Godliness goes on at that event than any morning service all year.

  471. Steve Crane’s a great guy. Everyone owns guns here, just like most men in California are metrosexual.

    He’s got his degrees and credentials, seminary etc, has the formal chops, but it’s about the checks and balances the Church as created that deemphasizes his role and his power that is best.

  472. I don’t agree with my church doctrinally on many issues, but I agree with their construct and their accountability measures. That’s more important to me at this stage of the game. I know all the “stuff” so services are not sunday school or Jesus 101 for me, it’s more a social function.

    The real philosophical/theological studying will never be done in a McService.

    Church is more about relationship and habit and family-building.

  473. RB,
    I agree with the way your church is set up as I am with mine. But aren’t you glad that this is America and people can choose to go to any kind of church they want?

    Aren’t you glad Mormons can go to Mormon churches without me busting their chops for abusing their people with false teaching. Aren’t you glad that Satan worshippers can go without me busting their chops about abusing their people spiritually?

    Is this a great country or what? A place where castle rock CO can thrive without me busting their chops for having 51 out of 51 unhealthy churches.

    A place where we can all say Krishna Bless America!

  474. Ribo, I understand you lighting up folks who you think are out of line but why throw all men in CA under the bus with the “metrosexual” comment? Dang, that may have been the biggest shot of the day! In my neck of the woods, we tar and feather men with skinny boy jeans (unless they are camo) I may have to ask Michael to ban you 🙂

  475. RiBo @ 475…… “I know all the “stuff” so services are not sunday school or Jesus 101 for me, it’s more a social function.”

    I certainly don’t know all the stuff but I’ve found that when going over a particular verse or portion of scripture I’ve see umpteen times that it can take on a whole new meaning for me depending on the circumstances of my life.

    When I was younger the tough stuff in many areas was still waiting to take place so scripture that didn’t particularly impact me then has a whole new meaning/application now. That’s what makes God’s word so wonderful is it speaks to us all at different times and different ways.

  476. Michael, as a person in the profession, I am most careful in helping others understand what it that they are looking at to enable them to stop spinning there wheels and call it for what it is. Narcissim has specific behavioral manifestation that is easily identifiable if you know what to look for and how to address it.

    Currious, in you first “Things I Think, you mention narcissism. So, it’s okay for you, being a pastor, but not for another who is willing to break down the sin and make it more identifiable?

    As for enemies, as far as I know I do not have any enemies. Not to say that I do not have anyone that would like to do me harm–and are being used by the enemy due to their unrepentant hearts. In my heart though, I have only the deepest desire that they would repent. But as for me counting them as an enemy—-hardly. Harmful yes, dangerous–most certainly—but not just to me personally and this is why I say what I do and join with others who have been harmed by those who maintains a systematic construct that enables such things.

    To negate the severe underlying workings of what is referred to as narcissism and insisting that it is irrelevant to the nature and depths of what we also know is sin makes it all the more anemic when having to exposed and to deal with it if nothing else to enable victims to be able to heal and to warn others in the process.

    For instance, when a person is an adulterer, most people don’t really think about all that went into and all that was committed before, during, and while this person did what they did. Most just think about that moment and time that “adultery” was perpetrated. And then again, that’s up for debates as well, depending upon how well a person is able to understanding the depth and breadth of such treachery was involved in order to cover up by using one smoke screen after another to avoid being found out, then to make it look as if it never happened.

    So too, when using a clinical term it enables us to go beyond just saying it is sin. It enable us to recognize the very behaviors that gives us that gut feeling that something is not right when in the face of things we are being told that we are just being to critical or that we should trust this pastor or leader or whomever, simply because they are who they are and to do less is not honoring the Lord.

    To tell any victim to look into the mirror to see how they enable their own victimization does not stop the narcissist nor does it adequately protect the victim from further harm. They have to know what the narcissist is and how they operate in order to do this.

  477. hey erunner – Dodgers beat the Diamondbacks today – but Greinke hurt himself after 4 pitches.

  478. I messed up and created a diversion by even mentioning unhealthy churches in CR. I was just pointing out how it’s not so easy to just find another church down the street without subjecting your family to another unstable situation.

    We need community. Starting over is hard.

  479. covered, you’re in Northern America California, it’s a different State 🙂

  480. E said, “That’s what makes God’s word so wonderful is it speaks to us all at different times and different ways.”

    Ya, it sure does speak differently to the tune of 9,000 to 30,000 different denominations and Main Lines LOL

  481. MLD, I read that and I also heard Puig came in 26 pounds heavier than last year! Also, it stinks that we have to open up the season in Australia.

  482. RiBo, Hopefully you know that isn’t what I was saying! 🙂

  483. e,
    I came in 26 lbs overweight this spring also. 🙂

  484. RiBo,
    “men in California are metrosexual”
    LOL!

    Dude, you’ve seen my photos.

    Hardly!

  485. G, LOL

    E, LOL and yes of course 🙂

  486. Uriah,

    What I described in my article was a behavior, not a diagnosis.
    To be blunt, I find it grossly irresponsible and unprofessional to throw a diagnostic label around without actual testing and diagnoses.
    I have been in the pastorate for many, many years and known every type of sinner and sin there is…the majority of those folks have been able to repent and walk with the Lord after their fall.
    Most had no clinical psychoses…they fell prey to that which was common to us all.
    There is no doubt that there are clinical narcissists among us, but I don’t know who they are and unless they are your patients, you don’t either.

  487. Since I was not able to respond and due to the nature of your comment, you can find my comment on the other blog.

  488. uriah,

    You were neither banned or blocked, you just wanted to post where you would find a more receptive audience.
    I stand by my comment and will continue to oppose this irresponsible posting.

  489. You are free to repost your comments here as well…

  490. Michael,

    I attempted several times to post a response. Since you are familiar with the other blog, I posted there. You are entitled to your opinion, however, please remember, that it was the very first statement you made that used the word Narcissism as a descriptor concerning a specific person. Now I understand you writing this off as saying you were describing a behavior to a person. Well, no actually you called him a “Crass Narcissism,” which is an interesting term in itself, being that you made it up. Also, you mentioned in your comment the word, Psychoses as relating to Narcissism.

    Michael, you are misusing psychoses. It has nothing whatsoever to do with Narcissism. You speak of things that you do not understand, then take issue with others, particularly me when I used these terms appropriately. Your tact is to discredit me by stating I am being irresponsible. You will have to read my comment on the other blog to understand and to learn why your opinion is faulty.

    Your level of respect towards me is not that which you would like me to have towards you. That in itself speak volumes in my knowing that this is not about being a professional or being unprofessional. And by the way, I am not in session with anyone here, nor am I commenting as a professional giving anyone advice. This does not mean that I will not share or draw from what I do know to shed light on what I see as well.
    By the way, as I have share with you before, when I speak to you, I am speaking as one person to another. So, do not pull the Pastor card out to attempt to establish that you are more knowledgeable, experienced, spiritual, or wiser than I am. It’s arrogant and most unattractive.

    We are all traveling this road called life. We stopped living it and being able to negotiate the twist and turns when we fail to be able to look beyond the comfort of our own box to see what we thought to be true is in fact that which serves only ourselves. Such is the nature of abuse and corruption in the church.

  491. uriah,

    Amazingly enough, you were able to post this!
    I don’t comment on other blogs, so I’ll briefly comment here.
    You believe that you can diagnose a clinical condition outside the clinic.
    I don’t.
    I’ve consulted with the professionals our church uses and those I work with personally to form this opinion.
    I further believe that labeling someone as a “psychopath” without that kind of clinical examination is wrong as sin.
    What is even more wrong is that you seem to be demanding and suggesting that the average parishioner make those same calls.
    I quote;
    “To avoid learning and being able to identify these things does not need to be done in a clinical settng—-but rather enables others to know what the hell they are looking at and then be able to take steps to protect themselves, while exposing the evil that others would like to downplay in order to what I see as being a friend to all.”
    There are signs that a church is unhealthy and we can look for behaviors that are warning flags.
    That does not mean we all become clinical diagnosticians with the capability to make clinical diagnoses.
    Sinners do sinful things, and not all sinners are mentally ill.
    I quote again;
    “This is the very same mindset that keeps the church from being able to protect the sheep, simply due to lack of knowledge and awareness of knowing the signs and symptoms of such behaviors that would reduce the extent of such corruption and abuse that takes place in front of people who eyes cannot possibly see or ears that cannot possibly hear—-because they simply don’t even recognise what they are seeing and looking at. Along with this, IMO I think it also has to do with being desensitize by abuse, either though perpetrating it ourselves or by prior earlier experience, and wanting to believe that what we see and what we hear just has to be something than what it really is.”
    Nonsense.
    We can identify sinful and harmful behaviors without making radical diagnoses of the cause of sin.
    The best protection for the person in the pew is to know the Bible, not become amateur therapists.
    You seem to posit that anyone who disagrees with you is protecting and perpetuating abuse and that is offensive as hell.
    I’ve never played the “pastor” card…but I’ve been in the ministry a long time and I was fighting the bad guys before you were and frankly, I think you’re full of it.
    You don’t need a DSM to expose and confront sin in the church.
    Frankly, I would have preferred to have this conversation privately, but it seems that I’ve been banned from your Facebook for disagreeing with you on secondary theological issues.
    That’s healthy…

  492. The utterly ironic thing here is that you are angry that church discipline hasn’t been exercised in your situation, but if it were there would be people screaming that the pastor was a narcissist and a psychopath.

  493. Uriah,

    You have now slandered my name and character with gross untruths and accusations.
    I have no option according to your system than to assume you are a narcissist .
    You have not been banned or blocked here, but you choose to post you’re accusations where I will not respond.
    How very wicked and how like those you claim to oppose.
    Anyone who disagrees with you has vile character and motives…you must be a Moses Model counselor.
    I will let the Lord decide between thee and me…

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