Dec 242014
 

monkimage.phpCapo Beach Church accepted his resignation this morning.

 

Pete’s last blog post on the matter is here.

  256 Responses to “Update on Peter-John Courson”

  1. =(
    Praying & working to support all concerned

  2. I’m really sad for Pete and his family, but at the same time, I’ve been around long enough to know that the Lord moves people on and has many more good plans for them. I have no doubt that Peter John and his wife and kids will look back one day and rejoice over how the Lord worked things out. Yet for now, I know it can be painful. I’m praying for them and for the church there. I would imagine there are many folks who will be hurt to lose their pastor.

  3. Pain is real. But I’ve been around long enough to know that I’ll live to see another day. And God has better for both CBC and my family. 🙂

  4. At my old CC, the pastor resigned. The buzz was he was asked to resign. Who knows, he never said. In his last sermon, where he announced his resignation (a great surprise to many, who had no idea anything was going on) he compared himself to Abraham and that was that. When I talk to those people to this day, none of them know what happened. If that pastor had written an honest blog like Neo did and at least told the gist of what was going on, so much confusion and just plain gossip could have been avoided. But nope, it was “I am just like Abraham” and that’s all you are going to hear, people.

  5. Dear Xenia,
    He resigned on his own accord, and his heart was in immense pain and turmoil. His world had been turned on it’s head, and not at his doing. He was unable to effectively communicate his condition, because he was still trying to get afloat. I was a victim of that personally at the time. Sometimes it is better to say nothing than to say the wrong thing. Since that time, he has become very open, honest and authentic. I have seen this. It is God’s grace and love. Love you my sister and Merry Christmas.

  6. Dear Neo, my earnest prayers are with you. God will honor you and bless you in His good and right time, which as we know is always perfect. It is good, no it is GREAT to be a free man and not a hireling.

  7. and not at his doing<<<

    That is very true.

    I think that's all I will say. As always Jeff, you have a big heart.

    I love you too and Merry Christmas!

  8. I am not a hireling. That’s right, JJ. And it makes me feel like a rich man this Christmas Eve even amidst my family and church family weeping around me.

  9. Thanks Xenia.

  10. Dear Neo, I once heard this description of ministry and it is oh so true: “I have not hurt so much and cried so much and yet felt such joy…all at the same time.” I feel your pain today. God is greater than all of these things, and like it says in the Book of Acts: “None of these move me.” I am praying for you and yours this Christmas.

  11. “None of these THINGS move me…” (sorry!)

  12. I am grateful for the presence of Jeff, Victorious, and even Tim Brown on this blog because they prevent me from exaggerating too much about stuff that happened at my old CC. We may have a different take on what happened, or we may remember differently, or we may have had access to different info, but the presence of these men keep me from going completely off the rails and I am thankful for them. 🙂

  13. Neo,
    I do believe that a true servant of God steps down with humility when asked to do so and is not ashamed to acknowledge this. You certainly have handled things graciously my friend. Although we may not realize it, it is no coincidence that at Xmas we Christians celebrate the greatest act of humility mankind has ever witnessed when 2000 years ago the Word Himself actually stepped down from His heavenly throne to became flesh and dwell among us.

    Both John the Baptist(John 3:30) and David’s good friend Jonathan stepped down during their ministries and both did not try to cling on to their little earthly thrones but rather stepped down with great humility and grace. The book A Tale of Three Kings by Gene Edwards mentions that God given authority makes no defense, is not afraid of challengers, and cares not if it is dethroned because Christ sits on the throne of His Church. I think that your example like those mentioned above will continue to serve as templates to some of us on how to prepare for the inevitable when our own time comes to do the same. Whether we like it or not we are all interim undershepherds this side of heaven.

    I don’t know you personally but what I do know is that the Lord will certainly bless you and your family for honoring Christ in the way you handled things.
    Merry Xmas.
    fco.

  14. I have so many questions about all this, and yet what’s done is done. Being a pastor who took over a church that went through a massive division, I pray for all parties involved. The CBC leadership, the congregation, ant the Courson family.

  15. Interesting, yet convoluted and a bit hard to follow. Courson submitted a resignation letter last week and it was accepted only today? Lot’s of questions here.

    Is the board responding to Courson going public?

    Is this how we deal with conflict?

    Why go public in the way that you did if in fact you had already submitted a resignation letter? Who cares whether the board accepted it or not…… Really?

    Will you send me an autographed copy of your book? 😉 Just kidding, but I’m curious what an Oregon boy would have to say after living and pastoring in Orange County for eight years.

    See ya at Applegate………

  16. Ministry is hard. But as Tom Hanks said, “It’s supposed to be hard! If it wasn’t hard everyone would do it! That’s what makes it so great.” Love you PJ.

  17. Praying for you Neo Pete! May your Christmas truly be ‘merry and bright’ with your dear wife and beautiful daughters…and knowing the many who love you and are praying for you.

  18. Dave Rolph, how is “ministry” any harder than the trials and difficulties any of the rest of us encounter who aren’t in the “ministry”? All of us are subject to incredible challenges in one way or another.

    As a truck driver, I know what it’s like to face unbelievable levels of loneliness, self-doubt, fear and anxiety.

    In my first two years of driving truck after my vocational life was turned upside down 6 years ago, I spent 600 nights on the road away from home doing what I had to do to save my home, my family and my own dignity.

    I have driven in some of the most dangerous conditions imaginable for peanuts in order to get the product that consumers want to market.

    Think about that the next time your preparing your sermon in your cozy home or office, enjoying your freshly prepared Starbucks Blonde Roast Coffee.

    Oh yeah, truck driving is hard! But as Tom Hanks said, “It’s supposed to be hard! If it wasn’t hard everyone would do it!” That’s what makes it so great. 😉

  19. In response to #19.
    Scott remember that ministry is not limited only to those in the pastoral office. If you are serving Him in some capacity then by definition…. you are ministry. I know several truck drivers personally who happen to be great evangelists in His kingdom.

    Some of the greatest evangelists in the history of the Church happen to be experienced some loneliest times. It certainly comes with the territory. As difficult as these times may be, I encourage you to see these seasons of solitude as opportunities to draw closer to Him. He says He is always with us always even though we may not feel it.
    Blessings

  20. Scott, in answer to your comment about how is ministry so much harder than other vocations…..First, let me say, THANK YOU to those folks who spend those countless hours transporting the stuff of life that I generally take for granted. I remember your career path upheaval and the impending losses and the multitude of adjustments involved. I agree with #20, Francisco’s comment….You ARE in ‘ministry’…. places where a pastor may not be.

    Additionally, as Fransisco pointed out, the extreme lonliness of those in minstry… surrounded by people 24/7, yet cannot have close friends and the needs of the church always in the back of the mind.

    I was wife of a pastor for 30 years. We founded and served the same church for 24 years. IMO, the two main things that make ‘ministry’ exceptionally difficult are:
    1. spiritual warfare. While all believers are subjected to spiritual warfare, the intensity of what those who present the Gospel face is indescribable. It’s relentless, Job-like.
    2. People and their ups and downs, marriages, funerals, births and deaths, opinions and rants, damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Pastor’s kids take a critical beating for everything they do, as they are scrutinized and judged and then, the pastor and wife are judged if kids don’t perform as congregants think they should. Pastor’s wives are often expected to work as much at the church and or 24/7 for no pay, are expected to be ‘perfect’ on multiple levels, meet unrealistic expectations of parishioners who will get mad and leave the church if the pastor’s wife’s skirt is too short or her hair too ‘big’…. or, you name it. ….

    These sorts of broad 24/7 expectations (not to mention the twice weekly pressure to perform and dazzle congregations with ‘heavy’ and ‘deep’ teachings) do not accompany many other professions….

  21. We all have our lot in life.

    Thank you Paige. You nailed it……

    There are times I wonder why do this. There times like tonight that I remember why.

    and Scott, if you wanna compare paychecks…….

  22. i think i understand what Scott is trying to convey here (hope he’s home with family this winter night)
    Neo/Pastor Peter-Jon is not alone and not singled out for hard times…
    i think all or most of us who have set out to walk with the Lord look at some of our fellow travelers who go thru unscathed… prospering for whatever luck, connections or good decision making put them into a smooth “nice” life experience…
    to have a physical ailment on top of being in an on-call 24/7 fish bowl career does sound intolerable – just the 24/7 fish bowl would make me strange – stranger than i already am. That said, it speaks to our immaturity that we’d make such myopic demands on our shepherds… something is wrong with the way some do church, i think… we are supposed to grow, mature and be there for each other… only babies have the right to need babying…
    God keep Pastor Peter-Jon through it all and He will – look for the little blessings – praise Him

  23. Before you all cry in you drink remember we only exist in the shoes we wear, you don’t get to live in anyone else’s.

    I can only express sympath, care, and extend a hand to help others walk in their shoes.

    Merry Christmas!
    He is Messiah and Lord!

    PS He walked in Human shoes and extends His hand.

  24. Capo Beach Church has posted a statement at their website.

  25. Thank you Paige for your comment. I didn’t think that Dave Rolph said anything wrong. I remember listening to Dave cohost Word for Today with Chuck years ago and someone called in and asked if there was one thing that they both regretted about ministry, what would it be? Both Dave and Chuck responded by admitting that the toll ministry took on their family life was brutal. I understand what they meant now and it’s hard to balance family and ministry. I agree with all that Paige said.

  26. Thanks Scott for stating the obvious!

    Especially when those in “full-time ministry” cry chocking on the silver spoon!

    Hey, just call daddy and take another long extened “missions trip” to (favorite place)
    and you’ll get over it!

  27. I’m certainly not whining about being in vocational ministry. But as Paige pointed out so well, it has its unique pain, as do all professions. But I know two pastors this week who have been removed from their jobs because a small group of unknown people felt like it was God’s will. Try going home and explaining that to your kids at Christmas. In every profession you are at the whim of fallible people. But generally only in ministry are those fallible people who control your destiny believing that the voices in their head come from God. It is why you measure years in ministry like dog years. Merry Christmas.

  28. But I know two pastors this week who have been removed from their jobs because a small group of unknown people felt like it was God’s will.

    Maybe it was God’s will Dave?

    Many Sheeple are finally waking up to the manipulation used by the “sheperherds” in order to fleece them so they can maintain the budget and payroll of their 501c3 jesus corporations. I believe Chuck had well over 100 of his close relatives on staff at CCCM and the WFT in one way or another.

    “preparing your sermon in your cozy home or office, enjoying your freshly prepared Starbucks Blonde Roast Coffee.”

    Merry Christmas!

  29. One of the unique challenges to pastoral ministry comes when one simply tries to offer a supportive word on a public forum to a longtime friend who just lost his job the day before Christmas, and anonymous reader of said forum, arriving with an agenda to promote and thus intent on making the simple well-wishing a source of debate, deliberately or ignorantly (hard to tell) misread a simple adjective as if it were a comparative adjective, thus completely rewriting the pastor’s message to that which they then can take issue with said pastor concerning, requiring said pastor to follow-up to the aforementioned anonymous poster in a manner still befitting the name and witness of Jesus Christ less a further general condemnation be hurled his way for not “acting like a pastor”, thus showing by the anonymous poster the clear double standard in establishing one higher standard for those who hold the office (as opposed to said anonymous poster) while simultaneously denying any unique challenges to the office.

    and to all a good night…

  30. LIke the song says, “Everybody hurts.”

    A brother is hurting, and it doesn’t matter if he is a pastor, shop keeper, teacher, doctor, nurse, etc……Let’s pray for our hurting brothers and sisters. Let’s hope the best for them.

    Today we celebrate the One who came to bind up wounds and heal the broken hearted…let’s follow Him in that ministry.

  31. Neo, remember, He wastes nothing! Nothing!! Amen.

  32. The truck driver certainly has the freedom to defend himself, if he is cut down.

    It is only the pastor that cannot really defend himself. And if he does, then he is guilty of “unpastoral behavior” and “not representing Jesus”.

    Pastor = punching bag with the line forming. But that’s NOTHING. Because also, Pastor = wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

  33. Pete. you can apply for the opening at the Roseburg, OR CC. The young Pastor of only a couple of years stepped down due to some kind of indiscretion recently.

    I’m pretty sure Pete’s dad and the retired (founding) pastor from that church are good friends and can put in a good word for you. How about it? The folks here would probably receive you and your family with open arms about right now!

    Dave, far be it from you to whine 😉 I wasn’t attacking you, I was just trying to stand up for us normal folk.

  34. Something tells me that whatever situation lies ahead for Pete, it will not be something “in the box.” It seems obvious he has a hankering to do some extreme wing stretching.

  35. Wow.

    Most of the pastors I know personally are “normal folk”.
    They couldn’t afford to buy a silver spoon to choke on.
    A long time friend of the blog is unfairly and ungraciously taken down Christmas week and instead of supporting him we have a pissing contest to see who has it tougher.
    P.J’s family name may have helped him get this job…but his family name didn’t keep him from a chronic, debilitating illness that is just now under control after surgeries, drugs, and a lot of pain.
    It won’t shield him from the reality that his family will suffer from the being separated from the larger family they have been a part of for years.
    His name will not alleviate the pain he is going through now and will continue to go through from that forced separation.
    Injustice doesn’t only happen on the laity side of the church…if we truly care about injustice, then we care wherever it rears it’s head.
    Pete chose to deal with this transparently and graciously…I thought that’s what we wanted…

  36. I vote for Pete to go to Mars Hills – kick butt, take names and preach the gospel. 🙂

  37. but his family name didn’t keep him from a chronic, debilitating illness that is just now under control after surgeries, drugs, and a lot of pain.
    ——————————————————————–
    Pastoral ministry is about the only place a Board could get away with sacking a guy, still capable of doing his job, because they aren’t happy with the side effects of his disease and its treatment. Try that out there in the rest of the world and watch the Board get hit with a nice lawsuit.

    And nobody on the sidelines would report on it if it happened at Corporate USA, or criticize the employee for being unChristian and unBiblical….

    But the employment practices lawsuit is one more “option” not open to the pastor that would be open to any other employee in any other form of employment. Chalk up another difference between pastoral work and all other.

  38. Here’s the simple truth, the board are not evil bastards and Pete would be the first to admit he doesn’t walk on water. We’re talking a very human cast of players, all compassionate, all struggling to have their best hearts in the matter.

    Christmas would be a lot happier for all involved if the speculation and mud slinging would be minimized and allow this change to have its best outcome.

    As someone who supports both Peter-John AND the people and leadership of Capo Beach Church, I’m here for all and excited at what God will do for all.

    Merry Christmas, and may there be continued healing

  39. I’ll pop up somewhere else. And yes, it will be out of the box!

    Joseph was railroaded by his brothers and ended up “out of the box” because destiny is a mysterious and maddening and magical thing…

    Not that I’m a Joseph, but….

  40. I find it odd that they asked Pete to meet with them and he refused. There is something strange there – and I am talking bad blood strange. I am the board president at my church and if my board called for a meeting with the pastor, he had better show up.

    So Pete resigns, they don’t accept his resignation – try to get a meeting and Pete goes public and then resigns again???? Strange – bad blood strange.

  41. Neo,
    When I left my last rep gig I chose a direction I was passionate about. Took a couple years to study, hone my craft. Three years after that I’m doing what I love. Reinvention is wonderous

  42. I want to see the 12/14 service that has been excluded from the web site. – not that I have any standing to ask.

    Perhaps that would explain the call for the meeting.

  43. One thing I know about my “non sell-out” artist friends is that they never stay in the status quo very long. They are compelled to morph, transform, progress. It’s in their DNA. They also leave behind a lot of people who do not understand, agree or approve of some of their new directions. It doesn’t mean one is wrong or one is right. It just is. But it can sometimes leave a trail hurt and anger. Paul and Baenabbas came to a time when it was time to part for a season. Both had their perspectives, and they stayed true to their convictions. And the Gospel went in two directions instead of one.

  44. Can’t live under scrutiny whereby one is evaluated for “emotional”/ “mental” condition on a whim, MLD. I just went through “hoops” to get back into the pulpit, glad to do so….weekly meeting, doctors appointments, surgery, ext…. only to be told they were concerned with perceived emotional side effects of medication, ie Steriods. I’ve been on such for twenty years now and feel I know how I react and how to properly react to them by now.

    I gave a letter of resignation in lieu of my presence at said meeting. That wasn’t accepted, only another sabbatical given. I then went to social media and the Board did an about turn and did then accept it.

    I write these things publicly because I think it’s the only avenue to reach the larger congregation at CBC without some vague, polished statement whereby I would have received monetary reward but would have felt as a sell out. Now, I am interacting here to defend my name, the church, and even the board where necessary. That is because while I do not agree with the board’s decisions, there has been no “bad blood” until this past two weeks or so. Some preachers can operate under constant scrutiny of behavior and then how it pertains to sermons; not this guy, not so much.

  45. …and as in most disagreements, I am certain that neither side is completely right or wrong. All I can do is get good counsel, be true to God and myself, and go with my heart. Again, I can’t be under the scrutiny whereby if I’m to “happy” in the office or if my sermon was “hard to follow”, that is the basis for a convening of the board whereby I must attend that night to evaluate if I am fit for the role. We Coursons just don’t roll that way. 🙂

  46. Hey, I love ya Pete – I’m just pointing out that bad blood must have existed before last week.

    I hope you get the gig of a lifetime.

  47. For me, the most telling statement Pete in all of this was in a comment here, when he wrote something like this: I’m not a hireling. The comments above affirm that the issue was one of scrutiny (while someone else might define it as accountability).

  48. PH. Yes, there is a fine line between controlling and accountability. And that is where the disagreement here comes in.

    Either way, the best thing now is for all involved to love another, embrace what we can, leave behind the rest, and continue to be there as friends for one another.

    Where I am correct, I thank God for granting me wisdom. Where I am wrong, I ask for His grace. And when it’s all said and done, “To go against my conscience is neither right nor safe”.

  49. …and to think my kids had a (seemingly, at least) awesome Christmas through all of this $^%#. Lol, thank God for grace!

  50. How many rock bands have parted ways over the same issue! 🙂

  51. If nothing else, we are learning different definitions of transparency.

  52. Yes, in the corporate world, there are laws that protect an employee who becomes disabled or is disabled. Not so for those in direct services for churches and other types of religious organized entities, which has always perplex me, since a lot of churches are 501C. That being they can claim tax exempted, but not be held responsible for providing similar relief and protection to those who are or become disabled.

    On the meeting, sometimes this is just a step taken to be able to say to others, we did the Matthew 18 thing by attempting to have a meeting with him or her, but in reality it was a slam dunk and everything has been decided, tied down, and finalized. Now, all we have to do is to deliver the package. When in fact this step is supposed to be used for all parties including the one being put on front street to be able to “work out” the issues in such a matter that those concerns brought to the table are diligently worked out with all who has an interest in that which may be perceived as being detrimental or as having caused or will cause harm to others.

    In Nero’s sharing, he has told us that due to having worked with those who were a party to this, he felt that the bottom line had already been decided. And in this, why go through a meeting where his heart would only receive that which would be crushed even more. Why give this party of naysayer the luxury and cover to give an appearance of following Matthew 18 when in fact, it was only to be used to rubber stamp that which excluded his involvement while discussing these things among themselves and then coming to their decision. Not that the discussion was not normal to have, but to say that what they came up with among themselves did not include him which in turn led them to roll with what they think is right, but in fact cannot be so, simply because they cannot possess all the facts pertaining to, if this was a concern to his disability, possibly know what his limitations are or are not. And even if it were, so what–they cannot work with a disabled person who they once believe is called to be a Pastor.

    On who experiences more struggles: each person, no matter what the calling, the occupation, the position, the environment that one works in is no more and no less than another. To downplay or uplift or to compare is in my opinion being a bit myopic, if not just plain egocentric. It would be like a person making a statement to the effect of saying that those who are homeless who dares to share a sense of despair during the Christmas celebration and holiday festivities ought not to do so and to do so would mean that they are bitter and making it uncomfortable for those who are able to be with family, while enjoying all the things that goes along with this are able to do.

    In other words, be it a pastor, a deserted wife, a homeless soul, or a truck drive, a single parent, doctor, attorney, retail worker, or any other person on the face of the earth, each has his or her own struggles, challenges, temptations, and yes, even moments of joy, peace, and despair, heartaches, and misgivings. Yet, I would venture to say that each also have their times in the present, in the past, and the ability or at least the desire to hope, to trust, and to look and seek for a better time in the future to come. It is when we are able to share these things to come alongside of one another that we can find solace and empathy towards one another and to that which dwells within us, be it of, or not that which is of the Lord. In this, we can be strengthen to keep going and to remember that at any time, for those who are doing better, it doesn’t take a whole lot to be where those who are not, and it does not need to be as a result of one’s own doing either. In other words, we are our brothers and our sisters keeper. Just as they are ours.

  53. Correction:

    “when in fact, it was only to be used to rubber stamp that which excluded his involvement while discussing these things among themselves and then coming to their decision.”

    My error: should read, when in fact, It MAY have been used to rubber stamp . . .

  54. As the outgoing pastor, Neo could have very easily signed the non disclosure agreement , received the severance package, and then allowed the board to release a less than genuine statement to the congregation for the reason of parting of ways. Many in his shoes would have easily signed the agreement and passively gone just with the flow out of fear. The fact that he shared his heart graciously ultimately gives Christ the glory. Likewise I’m sure the board was challenged in a good way. These are all good things actually.

    Let’s not forget that there was a reason why the Holy Spirit allowed Luke to chronicle Paul and Barnabas’s differences and their parting of ways in Acts 15:39, for all to read. I can’t remember either Barnabas or Paul signing a confidentially agreement nor did they tell Luke not to disclose the real reason for their parting of ways. Both men followed their convictions by going in different directions, yet still they still honored one another. Just as Christ wanted us to learn from Paul and Barnabas parting of ways, I’m sure the Lord wants us to learn something from Neo’s account as well.

    Perhaps it’s time that we all across denominational lines reevaluate whether confidentiality agreements truly have a biblical foundation when shepherds move on. If a board of elders and an outgoing pastor are able sign off to details so freely behind closed doors before a Holy God but at the same time these same men are afraid to reveal these same details to the members of the body, then we must ask ourselves “whom are we fearing?” Are we Christ’s organism first or simply a man made 501c organization like any other?

    Sometimes The Lord changes the trajectories of His servants’ ministries. There is nothing wrong with sharing these things with the entire congregation. In doing so we can still honor God and one another.

  55. Unless you’ve been there, you have no idea what Pete and his family are going through, including his wife. I’m sure that over the 8 years that he has been there, they have forged many friendships; at least, that is what they thought. Now, he is Ichabod.

    Most will not contact them or offer them support. The friendships they thought were solid, never really existed. If they run into any of the congregation, it will be very uncomfortable and painful. Granted, there are some that are truly heartbroken, but not many. For most, this was God’s will. A conclusion they have reached without really taking any time to pray and without any real explanation from leadership.

    Dave is right, try going home to your children and explaining to them daddy lost his job just before Christmas.

    Church boards can be very cruel. Pastors are often fired or forced to resign for any reason the board feels is justified.

    I met a pastor who was fired because he rented a video from the local video store. Turns out, the store was owned by the chairman of the church board. Seems it was okay for the chairman of the board to rent videos, but wrong for the pastor to rent one for himself. The video was a “G” rated.

    Men will justify anything, it seems. God bless Pete and his family. Keep them in your prayers.

  56. Then the question for Pete and all those who have their perspective and opinions regarding the matter, is the Lord behind this?

    Pete already alluded to the Joseph principle.If that’s the case, then God will fully redeem the situation in his own time, in his own way.

    If Pete tries to manipulate what he perceives the outcome should be, he’ll only prolong the process.

  57. Interesting question, Scott. Is the Lord behind this? I see more and more carnality in the church with things that do not look like the handiwork of God. I tend to think that God is more about picking up pieces than ordaining such actions. We really give Him very little, if any thing to work with. He still does much of His work ex nihilo.

    Randall,
    I’m with you. Church is not a safe place for many people, and that includes the pastor and his family. While there are many abusive pastors out there, there are many abusive boards (CBC may or may not fall into that category) and even greater amounts of abusive church attenders, who collectively, are a near impossible force to contend with.

    To Pete and the CBC leadership: In all the rhetoric of this impasse, and for all the transparency that you were given credit for, your have really said very little. I suspect you both have probably done the best with what you felt comfortable disclosing, and I comment you both at least for the attempt. I don’t know that I would have dared to disclose any more if it were me. As one who has seen a few of these rodeos before, I would only venture to say that the outcome is probably the best that could have been hoped for.

  58. If you look at my facebook page and also my blog, you will see I feel anything but abandoned by the general congregation. In fact, I didn’t even realize the extent I’ve been given the grace to both affect and be affected by the church community and even beyond. I honestly did not know.

  59. Just a thought I’ve carried around today as I labored in the kitchen. It’s easy to point the finger at a board and view them as “the man,” or “the establishment,” some cold collection of heartless individuals…kind of like that grumpy board of directors of the bank in the movie Mary Poppins. But in my experience in churches, board members, though not perfect, usually have a passion for the gospel, a love for Jesus and a strong sense of responsibility for the body. I love learning from the collective wisdom of our board, and they help fill in some of the areas where I am weak (which are many). Just as Pete had to make decisions that aligned with His conscience before God, so each board member must do the same thing, and some of those decisions are really tough.

  60. Neo, I also went to the Capo Beach FB page and read the news release from the board. The comments that followed are also very gracious towards you.

  61. Scott. I am as surprised as blessed by the support. Still trying to make sense of it all and process it all.

  62. I don’t understand the whole “hireling” mindset. It seems to be an issue with authority and someone having some authority over you as a pastor (not directed at any specifically, just generally).

    Most of the problems in Calvary Chapel (and similar churches) happens when a particular individual Pastor has too much power and there isn’t a healthy check-and-balance from a more independent-minded Board that is looking out for the best interests of the whole congregation, not just what the individual Pastor wants to do.

    I don’t know the situation at Capo and by observation and comment isn’t directed at Courson or Jeff Jones…but this situation and some of the subsequent comments did invoke the “hireling” narrative…which I hope some will reconsider.

    Ironic that the whole Board concept is derived from a deal between Church and State so that pastors and churches can enjoy tax exempt status. However, spiritually, the Board usually doubles as the Elders of that particular church body and as such there is a biblical argument for being accountable to a Board of Elders and that doesn’t make you a “hireling”…it makes you accountable to other Elders who presumably also hear from God as pastors do (or so it is assumed).

  63. this is why I’m still “waiting for orders”

  64. Randel says, “Church boards can be very cruel. Pastors are often fired or forced to resign for any reason the board feels is justified”…

    The bogie man board concept again. How dare the board also keep watch over the flock and attempt to keep “Moses’ accountable… after all Pete is/was on payroll and a employee!

    Perhaps Pete you should have taken Brian’s lead and fire the existing board and hire your friends and family to maintain a majority in your favor, Isn’t that CC way of doing church?

  65. Fly….Maybe I should have. Except Babylon sucks.

  66. It isn’t like he will go hungry as his Dad will get him another job soon.

  67. Yes, you are right John. CBC has a history of nepotism. Chuck Jr. son of the CC founder and his successor son of CC VIP and Jr’s youth pastor Marcus McClure, son of CC mainstay Don. I think Mike MacIntosh or Raul Ries might have a job for Pete. Maybe the CC insiders see their pastoral office as the tribe of Levi — pass it down to their sons. It’s the PK-Syndrome. Pete – go out and make an honest living – Marcus did and I hear he’s doing very well at it. You are not leadership material. You don’t have to walk in your dad’s footsteps. Be your own person and get a real job.

  68. To the best I know, and I think I said it before – CBC is not CC and if any of you know PJ, he is definitely not CC.

    As to #65 from Wall – I don’t think PJ was the senior pastor at CBC and probably in no position to fire one board and bring in another.

    CC Watcher – PJ has been making an honest living all these years. Just because one is in “dad’s” line of work, does not make it nepotism.

  69. MLD,

    I think you’re right across the board…

  70. Neo – You wrote ” and to think my kids had a (seemingly, at least) awesome Christmas through all of this $^%#. Lol, thank God for grace!”
    why complain about it being $^%# then James 1 :2 – 4 tells us Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

    it is joy and not $^%# if you believe what the bible and not circumstances call it. I know it is rough on children hearing bad things about their father and I do feel sorry for them, but you are not the first ex Pastor out of the pulpit at Christmas with it all over the newspaper. Many of them don’t have the support system that you have. But they have the Christmas Babe who is KIng. James tells us Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

    This is the time you can be a Godly witness to those children. We know your heavenly Father won’t ever let you down.

    I am just a brother who stood in your shoes at Christmas time as I left my pulpit for I knew by staying,I would be sinning.

    Things didn’t come out the way I had planned, but I am old now and I have had a blessed life, godly children, a good wife and I have the freedom to speak about Jesus as the Spirit leads me. There is nothing greater than that. Talking to one or talking to 1 thousand is all the same as long as the subject is Jesus. Jesus never fails Pete.

    Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

    Oh the wonderful paths you will see.

    Isn’t Jesus wonderful

  71. Alex makes a good point and one I’m writing about in my book.
    Somehow, Chuck Smith was able to redefine the definition of the word “hireling’ to mean any pastor who didn’t have ultimate control of all things in his church.
    That is a gross distortion of the term.
    A “hireling” is someone who is only in the ministry for financial gain with no concern for the flock he shepherds.
    It has nothing to do with any level of authority whatsoever.
    The distorted use of the term in CC and elsewhere just chaps my butt…

  72. As for the nepotism nonsense does anyone really doubt PJC’s gift and calling to teach. If so I haven’t heard of it. And once that is established accusations of nepotism are nonsense.

    AND … implying ministry is not a real job is silly.

    Get an original thought.

  73. John Mushenhouse – I think you have some Pollyannish view of James. If you are going to count it all joy, you need to identify what it is you are counting as joy.

    PJ has identified it as $^%#

  74. The only thing I would also add to Michael’s definition of a “hireling” is a man who is “unwilling” to be a tentmaker should the need arise. In some of the smaller fellowships this can surely happen. Notice the key word “unwilling”.

    Another good self test is to ask oneself when one gets up in the morning, does my heart say “I get to minister to His people today?” or does my heart say ” I have to serve His people? ” By His Grace may we abide in the former.

  75. “AND … implying ministry is not a real job is silly.”

    And what about prostituion?

  76. As for the nepotism nonsense does anyone really doubt PJC’s gift and calling to teach.

    Yes, but teaching and pastoring are two diffrent eggs… except in the cc world.

  77. But PJ is NOT CC – so why does everyone keep bringing up the CC connection? Is there a mental block here?

  78. MLD,

    LOL!
    When someone starts comparing prostitution to the ministry they really stop being worth responding to…

  79. Michael, @72

    Was wondering when someone among the Pastors would step up to give an accurate definition of an hireling.

  80. Linda,

    It’s funny that Alex would bring it up…I’m working on that issue for the book.
    It’s an odd CC distinctive that’s spread to other independents…and it’s biblical nonsense of the highest order.

  81. I was about to compliment Alex’s comment, (after coffee of course) and see Michael beat me to it. 🙂

    I would add that an additional aspect to hireling is when the Board dictates what and how is taught from the pulpit.

    The word is tossed around improperly..

    As an aside, the Board in their role of protectors of the church, can also be the pastor’s greatest asset in times of unwarranted attacks

  82. Ya know, Pete’s journey was chronicled here on PP 8 years ago when he wrote as Costco Cal. If I recall, his move toCapo was partly motivated by a desire to make his own way. Amazing, he started communicating at the PP as an incognito poster, and has now ended up the topic of a PP POST.

  83. When someone starts comparing prostitution to the ministry they really stop being worth responding to…

    Michael, who was comparing prostitution to ministry? but now that you mention it…

  84. I also see that another example is added to support the notion that pastoral ministry has challenges other lines of work don’t.

    Anyone not vote for their preferred candidate just because his/her daddy once served?
    Anyone not go to a movie because the actors all got their chance due to daddy or mommy?
    In some union jobs with good benefits and job security you don’t have a chance if daddy wasn’t working there first.
    Anyone dishonor sons of military vets who serve in the military themselves?

    But apparently, the pastor’s kid better work a secular job, no matter his faithfulness, abilities, and desire to serve the Lord with his life. Because he will be criticized if he doesn’t – even if he serves at a different church, even in a different “denomination” than father.

    Amazing.

  85. Steve, so what is the definition of nepotism?

  86. A Mormon told me all pastors are hirelings……..

  87. Wall,

    It’s obvious you’ve had some hurtful and injurious circumstances in the church.
    You may have good reasons for feeling angry towards it.
    Your comments so far have not been well thought out or pertinent to the situation at hand.
    It’s not helpful in reform, and it’s not helpful to you.

    I’m out for the day…

  88. I don’t understand what the big issue of “hirelings” may be.
    If you get a paycheck and benefits, you are for all intents and purposes an employee of the church. (the church does dictate when you need to show up to work)

    My pastor knows he is employed by the church – he even tells me he needs this job.

    But then to play on something Steve said, we do give him free reign in word, worship and sacraments.

    How many pastors when asked by a passerby “hey, where do you work?” doesn’t reply “at 1st Church Down the Block”

  89. In 2002, Courson accepted a request to join his longtime mentor and friend Chuck Smith at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa in California. In 2005,

    “Chuck Smith Jr. is no longer the pastor of Capo Beach Calvary Chapel as of about February 2007.”

    http://procinwarn.com/chuck_smith_jr.htm

    It’s my understanding that Chuck Jr. Pastored CC Capo over 2-3 decades, the went emergent which cause a break with CC, then founded Capo Church, which means he was the Sr. Pastor. Not sure if he is still there or just a board member now. Don’t see him on the sight for pastors and staff.

    Nevertheless, there is nepotism within the ranks, whether one might be called or not. It does appear that being blood related and among pastor fatherhood, the baton is more often said to be anointed more than those that are not.

    And no, it is not natural or customary that should be the basis for the calling.

  90. MLD, I even told people I worked at CCLE even when I wasn’t being paid a dime those early years. It was still “work” (legal employee definition or not) and opened more doors for witness than to mention my insurance agency. 🙂

  91. Linda – you are confusing PJ with his dad Jon Courson who is in Oregon, never at Capo Beach and spent perhaps a year or 2 at CCCM in 2002 / 2003

    Capo Beach Calvary has always been the same church since the mid 70s with a change in affiliation.

  92. John 10:12 (KJV) Authorized Version

    But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.

    John 10:13

    The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep

    In Context:

    11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. 12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. 13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.

    14 I am the good shepherd, and know my [sheep], and am known of mine.

  93. No, I’m not. I know the father from the son.

  94. Linda – are you saying that the Apostles James and Jude were illegitimate holders of the Apostolic office because they rode the coat tails of their older brother Jesus?

  95. Linda, if you were not mixing up father and son, what was the point of this statement “In 2002, Courson accepted a request to join his longtime mentor and friend Chuck Smith at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa in California.” – this is the Father Courson.

  96. Jon Courson was at CCCM until 2005 then went to Mexico then went and returned to Oregon. He then returned to Applegate where he then returned to Oregon to the church that he founded.

    http://www.reachfm.org/jon-courson/

    http://procinwarn.com/courson.htm

  97. Shepherds will surely go through seasons of discouragement along with seasons of opposition, loneliness, even accusations. These things all come with the territory and with the functions of tending to the flock.

    A sobering fact is that is that several US surveys have documented that “50% of pastors feel so discouraged that they would leave the ministry if they could, but have no other way of making a living” http://www.pastorburnout.com/pastor-burnout-statistics.html

    If you are serving His flock faithfully despite the above challenges consider yourself blessed. If the Lord prompts you that its now time to step aside and you are able to do that freely so that He may increase, than consider yourself blessed as well. However if you are in a situation where you truly want to leave the pastoral office but can’t because you need the paycheck, than this is another matter.

  98. “Capo Beach Calvary has always been the same church since the mid 70s with a change in affiliation.”

    Precisely, — except for my first comment earlier on during this thread, and only due to an oversight, not due to not knowing, never indicated otherwise. Which is the whole point of referencing the way things are done without the congregation taking more and being more informed of process involving their pastor.

    By those who have commented and who attend this “church.” Obviously, not everyone agrees with PJ being put into a position that led to his resignation.

  99. I believe Neo or PJ stated he had been at Chuck’s Jr. Church about 8 years. Which means he would have left the CC he had been pastoring to then start up at with Chuck Smith, Jr. about 2006-2007,

    I just find this a bit ironic. Being how Jon came down to leave his growing church in his other son’s hand to come down and help Chuck Sr. out and given how things naturally unfold, have no doubt that during this time, PJ (if not before) also had formed an alliance with the son, Chuck Jr. and vice versa.

    Why not stay up in Oregon and plant more churches?????

    There were plenty of other Pastors in the immediate area, that Chuck Senior could have asked to assist him.

  100. I guess I am just confused why you brought Jon Courson into the conversation at all. It is obvious PJ left his dad – left the CC affiliation and some still speak of nepotism.

    3 yrs ago our board suspended our pastor for 7 months. We are a congregational ruled church and not everyone agreed. Is that a prerequisite for action … 100% unanimous thought?

  101. So nothing much have changed in the way things are administrated, only the affiliated and one being more emergent (for now) than the other.

  102. Linda – curious – what church (or type) do you attend?

  103. Due to safety issues and threats made on my life, I am not able to share this information.

  104. “3 yrs ago our board suspended our pastor for 7 months. We are a congregational ruled church and not everyone agreed. Is that a prerequisite for action … 100% unanimous thought”

    IMO, it’s not. It is a structure I think is far more biblical model as it includes the rest of the congregation—not just a few who thinks that they are the church or to just keep these things in the family—-aside from the congregation.

  105. But then again, even with this structure it would all depend upon if this process was simply be used as a means to rid the church organization of a thorn in the side, so to speak or seeking genuine repentance, reconciliation, and healing as much a possible with the person or persons offended and person or persons harmed or being harmed.

  106. “Why not stay up in Oregon and plant more churches?????”

    Because we are utterly and completely saturated with CC’s and CC spinoffs from one end of the state to the other…especially here in Southern Oregon.

    Now, I’m out again… 🙂

  107. What is wrong with just getting rid of a thorn in the side?

    The fact that the person has been causing issues without correction or repentance for some time is what gets them to the level of “thorn in the side.”

  108. Francisco Nunez – I agree with you. Many will not leave their nice churches, guarantee salary, benefits etc. to go to a storefront. That is how most movements started to begin with though. In my life as a Pastor, my district supervisor didn’t want me to confront a sin in the church as it would have ruined the Christmas collection. I prayed and the Lord said go. That was on a Saturday night. When Sunday came, I knew if I opened my mouth to preach that I would be sinning the sin of disobedience. I resigned immediately and then was thrown out of my parsonage.

    Luckily I had a itty, bitty trailer I lived in when I attended seminary. It was home and I was able to get a security job. We had one child and my wife was 8 months pregnant with the second. All my wife said to me was let her know ahead of time. That was my only regret (except I feared that the gospel wouldn’t be preached in the church again and knowing who followed me that fear was correct as the church closed it doors), but she stood with me. I did know that the church had heard the gospel while I was there and quite a few years before I got there. Many just get caught up with religion and life and leave their first love.

    The Lord blessed my life as he put me in areas where the gospel was needed as well and few, if any, pastors could get in. Through it all, no matter what problems we faced, the Lord Jesus was always there. I would not trade that for having a very nice building, a set salary, pension and other benefits yet with a broken relationship with the Lord. Of course Jesus gave me all that too Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek: ) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Mat 6:31-33

    Nobody could ask for a better friend and for a better God. Of course there are no other Gods. I didn’t blame the church for my leaving . I was just being a disciple of Jesus. Jesus never let me down and the joy He gives when I share Him with others is still there only I appreciate every opportunity I get to share Him.

    Jesus is truly wonderful and the great God. How can anybody not love Him.

  109. Due to safety issues and threats made on my life, I am not able to share this information.
    ——————————————————
    Good grief. I have people at my church concerned about the safety of my family and I even as I type this. If you are so wanted and fearful maybe you should back away from the keyboard.

    Linda, there is no doubt that nepotism can and does exist in the church. In this the comparison to other forms of employment is noted.

    However, your attempt to connect these disconnected dots, your desire to speak of nepotism here, in this story, concerning this man – is laughable, invalid and unseemly.

    That’s a rare trifecta for blog commentary.

    I am glad you contributed one salient point, namely love for the sheep is to mark the true shepherd who ministers as Jesus did.

    And PJ Courson has indicated love for the sheep of his (now former) church in great measure in his public comments. Many have rightly noted this, and applauded him.

    Open blogging is tomorrow…maybe hypothetical, random nepotism discussions can go there.

  110. I just have to say it one more time. When thinking back on my life Jesus has been so great to me. This is what we should be typing to each other on forums.

    There is no other fount from which our true help comes from

    Jesus is truly full of wonder.

  111. #110 John thanks for sharing your testimony. Consider yourself blessed that you are able to serve Him and His flock freely. It is truly a blessing to fear Him and not man if we are true heralds of the gospel.
    God bless you.

  112. Martin Luther’s disciple – Here are words about a man who is the only worthy one to have disciples

    Hebrews 12 :2 looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

    Jesus died for the joy that was set before Him. That joy was us as His holy disciples ;freed from sin and living in a relationship with Him. That suffering was a joy to Jesus because He knew it would redeem us. The Jews always knew that suffering is redemptive. That joy is available to us. We know that we will make it all the way with Jesus for the Joy of the Lord (us living in His victory) is our strenght. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

    The Lord’s joy is us with Him . If He would die to see us make it, what else won’t He do for us.

    I feel sorry for you claiming to be a man’s disciple when you are missing out on the reality of Jesus.

    Now please don’t answer me anymore as I find it is unfruitful to answer a contentious person.

    I pray you find that the joy of the Lord is your strenght and you live with Him being your only Master.

  113. Playing church is truly a road that only leads to frustration, delusion and depression.

    I think the many topics on this forum has proven that many times over.

    Hey it is about Jesus.

    There are only 2 things in life that will get you down.

    People and situations.

    That leaves only one thing that won’t and that is the Lord Jesus.

    It is up to you on which of the 3 you want to dwell on.

  114. I’m totally in a place of being blessed because of my dad. So, I shouldn’t follow his footsteps? Even if my passion is the preaching the the Gospel, a righteousness that is revealed apart from the works of the Law? Is that not a “real job”? Ha ha….what folly!

    Why God separated me from my mother’s womb to be a preacher of His Gospel is beyond my understanding. However, I don’t reject it nor scorn it. I am grateful for it above anything else in this world except my wife and children. I make no apology for my name nor for the Gospel I preach. Get a proverbial grip, Mushenhouse.

  115. John Mushenhouse,
    Your audition for the vacancy in the trinity is duly noted. You did a fine playing Holy Spirit for all of us. Should the vacancy ever actually come to pass, you will be contacted.

  116. Nobody in my family ever worked in pastoral ministry. However, I fed my family and served the Lord for years working a job in a family owned and run business…even the company was named after my dad. And my brother and I kept his name on it even after we bought it from him.

    Funny how nobody in the Body of Christ claimed nepotism when God provided the opportunity for me to serve and preach without compensation for 15 years in various ministries because of the connections to my dad coming out of college when looking for a job. 🙂

  117. I need a like button for several of MLD’s posts inthis thread.

  118. Nepotism is a charge that we should take seriously in the overall Body of Christ, but not for this instance of Neo/PJC. When someone who has served a church he’s not related to for eight years – that itself should squash any mention of nepotism.

    The appearance that someone only got the job because of family connections is something unknown in the Bible – except in the negative sense.(Thinking sons of Eli here) The fact that it occurs out in the world in seemingly all areas of life is something that rarely gets pointed out – people don’t like it if the big bosses kid gets to then become their boss. But like the Korean airlines CEO being embarrassed by his daughter (who was a high level exec), it rarely gets addressed as being a real negative unless that person is not competent in the position.

    Nepotism shows us that life isn’t fair. Its not always the best, most qualified person who gets the job – sometimes it boils down to politics. And when it happens in the church, that’s when folks groan and wonder where God is at that moment.

    Sure – when someone gets a role as a pastor in a church, there can be a “good ol boy” network at play. But that happens everywhere – even the railroad. 🙂

    Its when the pastor calls his son onstage to announce that he’s taking a new staff role at the church thats currently being performed by a volunteer – not related to the pastor – that things quickly go south. When the beaming father/pastor says “I’m not bringing my son on staff because he’s my son, its because he’s the most qualified(God has called him).” – Bleech.

  119. mld- I said please.

    There is so much more than bitterness. I realize this forum seldom speaks of Jesus (with all the preachers here it is a mystery), but Jesus will take your bitterness away.

    Playing church and playing forum is not an excuse for seeking Jesus.

  120. John Mushenhouse,
    “Playing church and playing forum is not an excuse for seeking Jesus.”

    I would advise then that you curtail such activity.

  121. Talk about getting sidetracted…..So many opinions here based in conjecture. Neo ( didnt know this was your alter name) I am CBC member and this whole event has thrown me.
    With the building purchase going on and the healthy membership at this time, cannot imagine the fallout. I know you can’t t take back a spoken word but is there any way all parties involved could meet and reconsider? Isn’t reconciliation always the higher road. I know It is true in marriages.
    We love your teaching, your way of expository preaching and your joyful humor. Many times Ive relayed your famiy antecdotes to others..I can truly say I have never had pastor where every Sunday and Thursday I can’t wait to go and hear more about our amazing God. I even have a active Catholic friend who comes to hear you. I’m just so very sad.
    I respect your decision based on what I don’t know and will pray for you and your family. Thank you for your faithfulness to our congregation. Peace and goodwill We love you.
    BTW we heard the “sermon–in question” and tho a little confusing had no problem with it at all. God can use any message to reach the people who need to hear it.

  122. Neo has shared no offense and this site and others should not try to foment offense where none is expressed. Let’s wish everyone well and believe that they are conducting there own business in the light.

  123. My reference is to the posters not the host site.

  124. Steve,

    I believe that the topic of “nepotism” began at 68.

    As for the appropriateness of discussing tomorrow versa today, really—is this your blog?

    Being a pastor, I would expect your response towards my safety and my very life being threatened on a number of occasions to be far different than the flippancy that you directed towards me.

    As for my safety and need to protect myself, I find it most sad that you would use this to insult me by negating my participation in the thread or any other thread I choose to venture out once in a while to be where others are participating. I am not a wanted person in terms of any criminal activities. But I am a person that my death would make it so much easier for some to be able to cover up that which should not ever have been able or enabled to be perpetrated against me, my household, and other things that are to be honored and respected and ordained of the Lord. Or would you as well circle the wagons to cut me off from the body of Christ, as well. Woe unto you, for this brother is an error on your part.

    Nepotism in the world and in the church are not synonymous or least should not be. But when the church is administrative more like a corporation to benefit those in authority than those that are in the entire body of Christ, then I am not surprise any more that the heart and mind of Christ is compromised and exhibited less and less by those in charge.

    John Mushenhouse has made some very good and sound comments. But they seem to go unheard here. I just don’t sense the love of Christ being exhibited much with the exception of the grace and compassion being forwards to PJ. Surely, we can find something redeemable in what he has shared as much as any other. Surely, there can be found truth in what he has shared instead of coming off in a response to him by saying in effect, that he is playing, “the Holy Spirit” to others as a defense to not hear what he has shared.

  125. A couple of comments that were meant to be included in what I directed towards Steve.

    I don’t know how or what came about in terms of how PJ came to being an assistant pastor at Capo, but given Chuck Jr.’s bent on the gospel I would assume that an assistant pastor would also need to align themselves with the Senior Pastor. 30 plus years in CC, as well as, in direct ministry in more than CC, and having the Holy Spirit, and being as anointed as any on this blog enables me to consider the various factors enough to enable me to also share my thoughts and observations. It does not give you the right to be so glib or to join in with others to negate what I have shared in such a way that is most dishonoring to a sister in the Lord and probably your senior, chronologically and in Christ, Jesus.

    As PJ, I have made several comments on the side of compassion and encouragement, while posing question on the administrative process that took place that led him to his choice to resigned.

  126. I don’t believe Pete ever served as an assistant Pastor at Capo.

  127. Time flies. It just doesn’t seem that long ago that PJ posted here about heading down to So Cal from Oregon with his bulldog in a VW van. It was at the same time I was heading off to Utah for ministry.

  128. I am curious about the content of the controversial sermon!

  129. Neo, please read #123. This was always my concern with how this was going down. I still stand by my comments that posting on your blog before reaching some sort of resolution with your Board was hurtful. How many others that call CBC home will hear via a blog or the internet that the pastor they love resigned?

    You will land on your feet and as we all can see here, you are highly favored by many. Count on many prayers for you and your family as you sort it all out.

  130. Linda,
    I am sure that Chuck Jr. was gone from CBC before PJ showed up. I do not think Jr had any involvement with PJ’s call.

    When I said PJ was not the senior pastor, I did not mean that he was an assistnt pastor. They have a lead pastor and PJ is the teaching pastor. My point was he did not have unilateral nor ultimate power to fire a board as was suggested.

  131. I apologize Pineapple–didn’t mean to imply that he did. Thought I made it clear that I had thought he had been an Asst. Pastor for the past 8 years at Capo Beach Church.

  132. If we are defining “nepotism” as the granting of office or privilege based on heritage than let us consider what that looks like in Scripture and life:

    Aaron and his sons, nepotism. David and Solomon, nepotism. The local plumber and his son working together in my community, nepotism. Yes, this is the way of fathers and sons for as long as history has been recorded. I am blessed in my heritage…with opportunity, with legacy, with the privilege to preach, with the message of peace and salvation; one that has been handed down for generations in my family. I have used these things for good; to fight against it and/or ignore it would be wasting what God has given.

    I also have been able to experience other “stuff” that comes with the territory. Ha, life is interesting. I know as much of death, illness, ministry, tragedy, as anyone in my community. That’s good. And it’s difficult. And it’s good and difficult. I wouldn’t trade my life with anyone nor would I wish my life on anyone- that is my conclusion on the matter.

  133. “What a privilege to help shoulder the load that transitioned from the founding pastor to the one that follows me. Let no one remember our names or the order of our tenures . . . ”

    http://theboysofbabylon.com/2014/12/thank-you-cbc/

    Also confirmed by several of the congregants who attended there and commented on his blog site.

  134. Jefull. My facebook page and specifically my blog lay things out. I am not 100 percent correct not at fault. This is the case in any disagreement as far as I have observed. All i can do is go with my conscience on this. I communicate through social media because it is an avenue to speak directly to you whereas I may never have had that opportunity in the past. It is quite a remarkable beast, this social media thing. You ride it and best be very careful it doesn’t turn on you and consume you in the end!

  135. Yes, I do believe injustice was done, Jefull. I stood up based on principle to what I perceived was serious error. I believe to stand “toe to toe” is only to compound error for error in this matter. I have all sorts of opinions I have not aired, believe it or not, and for all I know the BOD of our church might say the same. It’s step by step doing what one believes is right and what is right for CBC.

  136. Neo,

    I personally appreciate your last comment.

    At the same time you know as well as any being a Pastor’s son how this can be terribly misused and lend itself to doing much harm.

    The Levitical priesthood is over by the way. Since Jesus came, it has solely to do with really being called of the Lord, not by blood or favoritism of man. There is only One King who is the Son, called Jesus. To be made a king by blood on this earth is nothing more than handing over that which was governed by the father while having little to do with dying to oneself for the sake of others. It was to protect and to preserve the sovereignty of that which was won originally be those who posses the strength and the backing of the lives of humans to do so. Not with the King who will usher in His Kingdom one day. He never boasted that His Father was this or that, but instead took on the role of a humble servant to die for those who would believe and follow in His footsteps.

    What was given to you may have been given to you by those who had gone before you, that is those examples in the flesh serving the Lord and modeling/influencing what that meant to you to want to do the same. But that calling you upon you is determine only by One and it has absolutely nothing to do with your earthly father, grandfather, brothers, or anyone else, other than the Holy Spirit manifesting the will of God to you and to those who are truly in Him and of Him.

  137. Linda. I don’t want to or need to defend myself in this area of nepotism. Neither are you asking me to. All I want to say is that in my case, I am exceedingly blessed and have had my share of challenges. Something everyone can say who has shared in the human experience. I know there are abuses. It’s the system. I don’t think of myself as one has abused the system but if anyone wants to believe I have… I don’t care if you disregard the messenger. Just listen to the Message.

  138. I dislike the fact that the topic of nepotism has entered into this thread. Talk about muddying the waters.

  139. …The Message being: I no longer live a life justified by results! Rather, by one Result. Being apart from doing. And while sin cannot overcome grace, grace does overcome sin. Yes!

  140. Pete, have you ever read The Search For Significance by Robert McGee? Very much speaks to how taking hold of the finished work of Christ can change everything. I teach it as a class at our local rescue mission to a host of women who believe they have no worth or that it’s too late for God to love them.

  141. MLD

    “hen I said PJ was not the senior pastor, I did not mean that he was an assistnt pastor. They have a lead pastor and PJ is the teaching pastor. My point was he did not have unilateral nor ultimate power to fire a board as was suggested.”

    Thanks for the clarification.

  142. Good book, Pineapple. Not the Good Book 🙂 but a good book.

  143. As for the appropriateness of discussing tomorrow versa today, really—is this your blog?
    ——————————————-
    Nope. Timing wasn’t the point at all and doesn’t mean a thing.
    Just knowing that this article and comments will appear on search engines for years to come..when people are actually reading this with little to zero background knowledge. But by all means, plant all the unwarranted, misinformed stuff you can dream up and smear this good family. Most people would feel convicted about being corrected as much as you have been here already by those familiar with this church.

    You see, THAT is the pastor responding, watching someone pile on in both an ill-informed and hurtful manner in a forum that will last much longer than this conversation.

    As to the now repeated many occasions of threats on your life – your claim is these threats prohibit you from telling this community what type of church you attend (if you attend at all)? Not the name of the church of course.

    Well, another part of being a pastor is discerning when people seek to trash others within a community while remaining unaccountable to that same community. I’m sure that is not the case here though.

    I take people at face value, and if you have threats on your life then my counsel is to make sure you have notified the authorities, have obtained restraining orders, and I repeat my earlier advice about not posting by your name on the internet (especially given the possibility of being tracked down to a home city, even if using an alias that is recognized by your enemies (not to mention your writing style).

    However, how that means you can write pages and pages of criticisms over the years and yet not be safe to tell us what sort of church government you sit under is sort of a mystery.

    I do appreciate you pointing out an aforementioned double standard requirement for the pastoral vocation versus any other (helps bring things full circle). Apparently the rank and file Christians can offer their criticisms and comebacks to your words, but guys like me get the “being a pastor I would expect….” treatment.

    Next time you say you can’t answer a simple question because your life is in danger, I’ll let one of the non-pastors respond. 🙂

  144. Thanks Neo, I do trust you as our called and beloved pastor, to do what you feel God is leading you to do… implicitly. I anxiously await you book having gone thru Daniel in womens study. May God give you clarity each step of this and preserve your joy.

  145. Steve,

    I do what I do in the way that I do first because I am a Christian and secondly, because I have gone to those who are far more knowledgeable than you are to gain the advice, the wisdom and the wherewithal to protect myself, yet speak the truth when I so feel led to do on matters of a church that I once attended and dearly loved.

    As for using my name, that is my option to do or not to do, for and when, I think it is safe/appropriate to do so,

    I had to laugh when you suggested that I use a fake name, rather my real name, then offered up your opinion, whether, or not, and why it would or would not be safe to do so.

    At the same time I have found that if I do not, then I would also be criticized for not using my name. As for disclosing what type or where I go to church, that would be really stupid for me to do according to those that have given me legal and protective expert advice. I would tell you what they have stated about pastors who offer such suggestions, but you wouldn’t appreciate it as you wouldn’t do want would be needed to make the changes that I myself have on several occasion made known in comments along the way.

    Steve, what you think you know compared to what expert knows, is ZIP. What wisdom or insight on this is based upon assumptions that you have adopted to make you think that things are as simple or as straight forward in going forth in handling such issues, as you would like to believe.

    I may have been played for a fool, but I am not a fool nor will you or anyone else speak such nonsense that will ever cow me into putting myself at further risk just to appease you, your curiosity, or your need to use this to distract from those opinions I have shared concerning CC and its respective operation, leadership, and family affiliation vs. the non-members.

    You know Steve, it is curious that you stated so far what you have ever stated to me in the tone that you do. Last time, you told me that you were not going to converse with anyone that no longer went to church—without even inquiring why this might be so. Again, you used my personal circumstances to defend against the criticism and opinions of those who don’t go along with how things should be administrated within most of the CC’s and similar churches. Or perhaps you are just fishing to see what I will give up in terms of my whereabouts. Paranoid, one person who came to your aid suggested. Speaking clinically, hardly. Speaking realistically–you betcha. without a doubt. the experts are in total support and agreement with me. You wouldn’t suggest that I would anything that would go against that which I know to be true and that is against advice of those who are far better educated, trained, and skilled in these things, now would you?

    And now, your last comment to me—-you offer me some advice regarding restraining orders, etcetera, etcetera.

    For those whom I trust they are fully aware of the what and whys of my situation. But to you and others, sorry–given the tone you have used with me and others on this and another blog site, I wouldn’t trust you, your advice, or your discernment for a minute. And by the way is the very things I was warned about not to give into that you have suggested. For to do so would most likely cause me irreparable harm.

    Your attempt to tell others here that your discernment tells you this or that have revealed to me how utterly underhanded you can and would be if it meant to protect against something that CC did not want others to know. You see, Steve—some will buy that, but those like me who know the truth and have had their lives placed at risk—well, we know the truth and we know that God stands with us. So, yeah you will get some mileage out of that with people, but with the Lord—–woe unto you. .

    I will share what is safe to do so. Pastor, or not, this is not for you to determine for me or any other person.

    And for you to put things in such a way to invalidate the person having express their opinions and concerns by claiming you have discernment so that you can then use this to say that whatever is shared regarding the form of leadership or governing construct being used, is invalid is quite frankly, manipulative, exploitative, and purely being a bully. You know this–otherwise you wouldn’t use it as often as you do.

    I am the only one who have stepped forward and share on these type of things. There have been many, but all the ones I know did not do this to hurt CC and the body of Christ, but to wake up those who are asleep and are trying to protect the brand and its leadership rather than to do that which would greatly reduce the harm done to the much larger body and non members of the CC’s.
    .

    You owe me a huge apology, Steve—you and many others in CC. One day — I believe, as God tells us that all things will be revealed and every word spoken will be held to an account. I hope it doesn’t take until the Lord return to find this out. I pray that the Holy Spirit would speak to your heart and that you would from thence forth hold back on your need to treat me in this manner. I don’t deserve it —in fact, I deserve so much better. It only grieves me to hear a pastor speak like this — as there is absolutely no cause or excuse to do so—except for that which you think you are justify as doing, but in fact is like I have already mentioned, thinking you know something when in truth and in fact, you are really striking blindly at the air, thinking you have discernment and are being clever in your attempts to smoke out a person who Is being insincere and ingenious in what she shares and who she is in the Lord.

    In only one sense does it matter—that is for my own protection and safety and the safety of others my place of sanctuary, support, and fellowship off to remain off limits, be it what type or the name of such person, places, or things, it is best that I leave these things off limits to people who in particular would respond in like fashion as you have since first responding to me in the first place.

    Michael, in terms of our sentiment towards Steve, sorry friend — I hope you we can remain friends irrespective of how Stave and I might view one another.

  146. “Next time you say you can’t answer a simple question because your life is in danger, I’ll let one of the non-pastors respond.”

    You have known of my situation for some time now — why in the world would you used my response to legitimize your own. I didn’t ask you for advice – I merely let MLD know and why, so that he would know that I wasn’t trying to be rude.

  147. Neo,
    I would hope your next role is out-of-the-box. The box is merely a conforming pattern which allows many to go through the motions without thought or regard to what the Spirit would prompt or lead. Go with what you’re convinced God would have you do & go until he says ‘enough.’

  148. I would add that an additional aspect to hireling is when the Board dictates what and how is taught from the pulpit.
    ________________________________________________________________________
    Steve, I’m having a really hard time following you since I was brought up in a tradition where the board members were all pastors and hence by definition did dictate what was taught from the pulpit. And all pastors had authority equally. There was no single senior pastor of what the assumption always is with these discussions.

  149. Andrew – I think you may be confusing an Elder Board with a Leadership Board.

  150. Neo/PJC, you seem like a great guy. I hope everything works out well for you and your family. All of your responses seem to be from a man who is very mature and secure and has the heart of a true pastor. Just my opinion FWIW.

  151. Tell your pops I’m sorry I bought into crazy ladies’ stuff for awhile. It’s hard not to believe people who claim they have been abused by the church or a pastor having come from my background/upbringing. Fortunately, the person’s true colors became very evident and there were some major red flags, so I ended up deleting all the stuff that was sourced from her. She came at me pretty hard, but I let it go rather than trying to fight her, she is clearly a troubled soul and I decided to be gracious to her. I understand why your pops had to respond to her through an attorney (now).

  152. In response to Andrew #151.

    No doubt that in an elder led church there must be doctrinal unity with what is to be taught from the pulpit but there should also be freedom in style and personality to preach. I heard it said that preaching is truth through personality. Sometimes a challenge can arise from a change of direction or a sudden affirmation of a certain doctrine by the elder board. We certainly don’t have to have everything our way but if a teaching pastor/elder all of a sudden finds himself in a situation where he no longer has the freedom to preach from his convictions out of fear of being divisive or worse fear of losing his position this can be a very unhealthy situation. This is especially difficult when the lead pastor/elder is receiving some type of compensation

    The prudent thing is to certainly to seek the Lord in prayer but also communicate these concerns candidly with the other elders in confidence. A heart to talk discussion will either strengthen and unite the elders more so or………..give the seeking elder clarity that he is no longer in harmony with the new direction and the rest of the elders.

    If after a time of seeking the Lord the teaching pastor/elder still feels restricted to truly preach from his convictions then its clearly time for him to step down graciously and move on. A man who steps down graciously is not a hireling but a true humble servant of Jesus. The Lord will certainly honor this and a Christ centered elder board must also honor the outgoing elder and extend him grace.

  153. Linda,

    I can easily affirm both you and Steve because I actually know both of you personally and you only know each other from blog debates.
    This is a limited means of communication usually involving people who are on opposite sides of an issue.
    I’ve stood shoulder to shoulder with Steve in the past when we had to protect a flock and would do so without hesitation again.
    You and I have walked through many trials together and will do so without hesitation in the future.
    Blogs are a very hard place to discern character…

  154. I’m late to this –

    Concerning the charge of nepotism: given some of the sentiment here, PJ and any other son of a well known pastor, would never be able to enter the ministry without the suspicion of special privilege and unearned office being given to him. Did PJ come to CBC having been mentored and trained and educated and experienced in ministry? Yes, he had (as far as I know). He, and most other PKs, go through the traditional approach to ministry. Did PJ have a connection to a pastoral position by reason of his father’s relationships? Yes (as far as I know) – but so what? Would Jon have recommended PJ if PJ was unworthy? That makes no sense. Would CBC have received PJ if they thought he were unworthy? That makes no sense.

    Anybody – the son of a well known pastor or the son of a no-known – all pay their dues. Ministry is the great equalizer and squeezes and presses and brings all her sons to a place where they despair of self and find themselves looking unto Jesus. Maybe PJ came to CBC not walking with a limp, but he leaves CBC walking with a limp. In ministry, whatever is given is eventually earned.

  155. I forgot to sign my previous comment.

    Tim Brown, Pastor
    Calvary Chapel Fremont

  156. I’m of the belief (and experience) of the value and need to have others defend you (and not yourself) against baseless charges, and so I spoke up for PJ Courson on the nepotism thing

    I’m also of the belief that on blogs one ought to measure their own criticisms based on their own transparencies. I recognize not all share that belief.

    Peace to all.

  157. Fil:

    “I would hope your next role is out-of-the-box.”

    Come on now; I think you’re not a young-un and should know there’s no such thing as “out of the box” in anything. We simply jump from one “box” to another.

    I find a generality which appears to be true is this; people like a form of structure and to be recognized with those who are in some sort of box. Even the “radicals” seem to just take a box they are familiar with, un-glue it, paint it up a bit in a “new look” and then selling it for others to join them.

    Nothing new under the sun.

    Neo I really like the way you handled it!

  158. Nepotism…

    If a pastor’s son wants to be a pastor, this is not a bad thing. If his dad can use some influence to help him get started in a church somewhere, why not.

    Where nepotism is very wrong is when all the jobs in a church are given to members of the pastor’s family or when a non-family member is fired so the job can be given to a member of the pastor’s family who needs employment. IOW, if most of the people on staff are members of the pastor’s family when there are plenty of other qualified people around, it’s wrong.

  159. I think it’s funny that we are talking about Nepotism and my name on here is Neo. Nepo might be more appropriate, lol.

  160. By the time your my age, you don’t even give a rip about charges of nepotism anymore. You are what you are by this stage and it is what is. How is that for platitudes?

  161. Bob has a point about there being no outside of the box. In fact if you were outside of any box you are away from God.

    God has put himself inside a box – this is how and why we can count on him to come through with his promises. Imagine if God were just a willy – nilly God doing whatever he wanted when he wanted regardless of systems he created, set up and endorsed earlier.

    No one has ever been in a tighter box than God – Neo, get back into the God box.

  162. No one is entitled to lifelong employment in any role. The board of a church or a corporation have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of the institution and people they represent and serve.

    Whenever serving the various communities I am privileged to have a role and accountability I’ve always remembered that, even with long tenure or repeated invitations to return, I am a guest, expendable, subject to an end in my run of service. If I’m no longer needed in the given role It’s best and kindest to part ways and celebrate the things we agree we did well and learn from those things which were not so hot.

    The next thing is always up to me and God and it’s always an adventure.

  163. Neo,
    Be free to be “unboxed”, to be outside the camp, just know that you might be alone awhile and you will have to find your own funding of like minded people for the unique vision you and God bring to others

  164. Our brother Tim is right on.

    The nepotism argument is nonsense. It is important to ask ourselves “is Christ’s Church an organism first or simply a place of equal opportunity employment?” I don’t think that it was God’s intent to make the Church an Equal Opportunity Employer. If somebody wants to bring anti-nepotism policies to the church then why not “no-spouse” policies, or Labor&Wage policies as well? Do we need or want that? I also don’t think Christ had California labor law or Employee handbook policies in mind when he shared the parable of the vineyard workers. Matt 20:11-12

    I’m sure we all know men who’s fathers were or are in ministry and are no longer in ministry but if man after many years is still in ministry regardless of bloodline, then its because Christ wants him there. Also if a man is not from the bloodline, it doesn’t matter because if God has called you there is no need to worry because He will make sure to keep you regardless of the circumstances.

    Perhaps we should really think twice when we get upset when we think things are not fair. I’m blessed He hasn’t carried out fairness on me because I know what that would mean.

    Before we ask for fairness or Justice, do we really want that?. Thank God He doesn’t give us fairness but Grace.

  165. ( |o )====:::
    You may wish to look up the definition of unique. That is the advise Joseph Smith followed.

    Neo – stick to the basics and the fundamentals. The fad driven church is already overpopulated. The best feedback you can get from is a parishioner is “haven’t we already heard that a dozen times?”

  166. Neo, I am praying for you and your family. I know it’s hard to pack up and move your children, but I also know God loves them more than you do and His grace will cover it all. Wishing you and yours the very best. Praying for the folks at CBC, who I am sure many are in sorrow to see their beloved pastor leaving.

    God bless you!

  167. Out of the box doesn’t mean out of the Book, MLD.

    We don’t reinvent the wheel but the wheel does reinvent us…. you know Jeremiah and the potter’s house and all.

    There are so many options for me right now. My dad is no small part of that. Neither are the means of ministry available to us now that weren’t even present ten or twenty years ago when I started in ministry.

    I am intrigued by two things right now as far as a personal joy is concerned: The dichotomy of Grace and the Law. Been untangling the two in our Evangelical world for quite some time now and every time I do I find it thrilling. The other is the dichotomy of Babylon and Jerusalem…

    I’m in the process of writing a book on the second. I think blogs, facebook, preaching, and podcasting are all great tools at our disposal.

  168. I’m not too cool on living Dana Point. Absolutely love this city. God knows. And good things are happening.

  169. DP is a great place to live. I hope you can stay! We lived there back in the 70’s, when it was affordable to a couple of young hippies. Those days are long gone…..affordable and young. 😀

    Wishing you and yours the very best!!

  170. Thank you. Dana Point is cool. So is the Rogue Valley. I have two great homes.

  171. ….hometowns that is. Just to clear up any misunderstandings of nepotism and second houses and such, lol.

  172. wow, tough crowd. out of the box–thought I clarified my intent by more than just a figure of speech. OK, neo…pioneer instead of settle. 😉

    I’m sure Bob and MLD will find some short-coming with that too.

  173. Very tough crowd. Internet grief, just for fun. It’s really no fun at all.

  174. “You may wish to look up the definition of unique. That is the advise Joseph Smith followed.”

    No one said what you’re implying MLD.

    Neo got it immediately, mostly because he ‘s not a ceaseless inane troll, but instead a man who passionately loves Jesus and is anchored to Him

  175. Gee G,
    I would have just said “yeah, I guess I was sloppy with the English language” … but instead you stoop to name calling.

  176. My language was precice, my words were chosen to exactly communicate to my friend Neo encouragement.

    Butt out, MLD.

  177. Pete, this snippet from your blog raised a question for me : “This goes beyond the physical nature of my condition, ie “Crohn’s Disease”, which was the reason you and I were given for the first sabbatical I was given, one that lasted six months.” Does this mean your six month sabbatical was precipitated for another reason?

  178. Pete, thank you for everything. I hope that you know how much that you,Amanda, and your family mean to the long term locals in this area. You might not remember me, but I first met you when you came down here and were wondering where to get firewood. I laughed and said that you wouldn’t need any until well after Thanksgiving, but directed you to a local place. I’m just a long term believer in Jesus Christ, with no agenda.
    I know that this is a busy time for you and your family and would love to spend a little time with a friend such as you, if you would like.
    God bless you

    My contact info is
    Jack Staggs
    ifix356 at Juno.com
    949 492 96O6
    ifix356@Juno.com

  179. Jack. Bless you!

  180. Okay… MLD to your corner. G, to yours.

    Both MLD and G have equally, (and greatly, might I add), enriched my own life and view of God over the years…

    MLD as a stodgy Lutheran and G as an Emergent Hippy. And I embrace them both equally, as opposite as ends of the spectrum of my personal truth. Each of you!….continue to be you.

  181. That’s just getting petty, PH. I don’t have the energy this Saturday night to delve into all that. Thanks for understanding (I hope).

  182. I was seriously just curious based on your wording. I was hesitant even to ask, and yet as you’ve sought transparency in all of this, I’m one who is naturally drawn to questions and conversation. You owe me no responses to any questions I may pose, as most of us here are mere spectators to what has unfolded at this time with you and CBC.

  183. PH, this is the reason for my comment yesterday regarding transparency. It either needs to be redifined or it is misunderstood.

  184. I think all of us, even in our best attempts to be transparent, authentic or real have blind spots or selectivity in what we choose to expose. I know I sure do. Been busted many a time! the fact this is playing out via social media is so new. And I’m of the thinking this experiment will prove to become more messier and confusing (and perhaps more hurtful) than was necessary.

  185. The fact that that this situation “breaks the mold” is very fascinating for me and piques my curiosity. But really, if I stop and think about it, my questions only add to the mix. Probably best to sit back like Habakkuk and just observe. The Internet truly is a jungle!

  186. I agree with your #189 PH. My problem is that the word transparency should include facts like a letter of resignation and the BOD’s requesting 2 different meetings. There may have been good reasons for omitting these things but transparency should include all the facts or am I out of line?

    It looks like PJ already has many options and I am sure that he will reconcile with the Board of Director’s before leaving the area.

  187. Neo, feeling a little like Job? So happy that you love Dana Point and haven’t packed your bags already.

  188. Andrew – I think you may be confusing an Elder Board with a Leadership Board.
    _____________________________________________________________________

    MLD, If churches focused on the Bible instead of trying to be a business there would be no confusion. The confusion started with CEO pastors running their franchises as an American corporation.

  189. Andrew. True. Pastor- preunuers.

  190. Wow, a celebrity PK actually taking time to interact with the commons…

    Lets bump this threat to 200

  191. Hey Pete, remember me? I was the guy that looked at you once back in 1999 and dad’s church!

    I would give you my phone # also but they might think I was stalking you… just say’n 🙂

  192. Oh yeah. You’re the guy that goosed me during worship.

  193. Andrew,
    “MLD, If churches focused on the Bible instead of trying to be a business there would be no confusion.”

    The reality is that all churches have a business side … a left hand kingdom side – which actually is everything a church does aside from Word and Sacrament. If someone puts an ad in the yellow pages for a church – that is part of the business side as is a blog or a church Facebook page.

    If you would like to point out to me any church that does not have a business side, I would be glad to look at it. When a ‘church’ says they focus only on the Bible – well, they lie.

  194. 199

  195. 200! All the best to Neo!

  196. MLD. Often, most often, in fact…it’s Babylon. Remember, the two headed dragon in Revelation has one head as government and the other is religion.

  197. Perhaps in the evangelical world of independent churches it is. Let me know how your new venture goes with no payroll, building, marketing – no purchases of congregational materials etc.

    Besides, I thought that that the evangelical mantra was “we aren’t a religion, we are a relationship.” 🙂

    I find the calling of the majority of Christian churches to be of Babylon or of the dragon to be most troubling.

  198. Oh, I’m “guilty” of providing for my family over the years through preaching the Gospel. I’m also pointing out the flaws in the system, including those which I have or need to be aware of in my own heart and life.

  199. I agree with you Neo 100%… The “system” IS Babylon!

  200. What is the system? Is everyone a product of ‘the system”? Doesn’t that sound a bit conspiratorial? Who is running the system Nicolae Carpathia?

  201. The System, ie “Babylon”.

    Mark, image, brand, and name. Reputation over character. Pimping instead of serving. Selling out rather than paid for. Riding the Beast for as long as one can before inevitably being consumed by the very thing one was using to make a name.

    Yeah, maybe a little conspiratorial. Doesn’t mean it’s not true!

  202. Sounds like theology a la The Matrix.

  203. Oh, I get it – The Bible according to Hal Lindsey. 😉

  204. Solomon: “there’s nothing new under the sun.”

  205. “Mark, image, brand, and name. Reputation over character. Pimping instead of serving. Selling out rather than paid for. Riding the Beast for as long as one can before inevitably being consumed by the very thing one was using to make a name.”

    This isn’t just true of religious institutions though. It’s easy to get caught up in it even in our little nonprofit world. Once you get big enough to not just be doing things with a few friends to help a few people, it’s easy to start seeking growth rather than service.

  206. But that is all part of human nature, the human condition and not some “spiritual” entity = Babylon.

  207. MLD, 40 years ago if you asked who the church board was, they would all tell you its the elders making up the elder board. Now, when someone mentions the church board its assumed to be the business side with the accountants, lawyers, etc.. My point is we should know what God intended to be the church from the Bible not from some Harvard business school text book.

  208. Andrew – My church has both an Elder Board that looks after Word and Sacrament and a Leadership Board that is accountable to the congregation.

    I have been apart of these Leadership Boards in both the SBC and LCMS churches.

    We have no the accountants, or lawyers on our board and we hold our meetings in the church library and I have not seen any Harvard business school text books on the shelves although I can look harder if you like. We do use Robert’s Rules for both our board and congregational meetings.

    Do these Elder boards you speak of report to the congregation at regular intervals in open forum meetings?

  209. MLD,
    I have no problem with a business side to a church and I believe your congregation is probably a healthy body being part of the LCMS. My comment was towards Steve when he was elaborating on a hireling with the board telling the pastor what to teach. My assumption was the board Steve was referring to was the board of elders which obviously should look after the teaching of the Word. Obviously I was probably wrong but it goes to show the business mentality rather than the biblical mentality when it comes to church order. My experience in CC is that many times the Moses Model pastor is not accountable to the board of elders or the congregation in Word, sacrament, church discipline or normal affairs of the church or really anything at all. And to take it a step farther they are not even accountable to any historic confessions, creeds or liturgy. It appears they are not accountable to anyone. Now of course, Steve would say CC liturgy is the Bible which is admirable but this is a far cry from what is traditionally known as a liturgy. So not to pick on CC in particular but maybe the greater evangelical American church in general is starting to resemble a bunch of star bucks franchises with little resemblance to the historic Christian faith.

  210. Andrew…I truly hope you can come visit us some day at CC Lake Elsinore.

    If you’re ever in the area….(and make sure to introduce yourself afterwards! 🙂 )

  211. Andrew said “Steve would say CC liturgy is the Bible which is admirable but this is a far cry from what is traditionally known as a liturgy.”

    I don’t know a single part of the Lutheran liturgy that is not from the Bible.

  212. I don’t know a single part of the Lutheran liturgy that is not from the Bible
    ___________________________________________________________________

    Exactly. This is why I said its admirable that CC teaches through the Bible. But Liturgy is not just reading verse by verse through the Bible. Isn’t there a Rhyme and reason to it, well thought out and consistent among the congregations? I don’t even know two CC, that are on the same teaching agenda through the Bible. Basically each Franchise is completely independent when it comes to teaching but they sure do look exactly alike at least many of them on the outside surface.

  213. I don’t even know two CC, that are on the same teaching agenda through the Bible.

    Not so sure, I’ve heard Chuck’s jokes and idioms regurgitated countless times by many different cc cronies…

  214. Any two SBC churches going through teaching at the same time would be strictly coincidental. Why would this be a problem?

  215. In response to #218.

    Regardless of ecclesiastical polity, one of hallmarks of the early NT church was the autonomy of the local church along with the freedom to teach and minister as the Holy Ghost leads. Unity among like minded independent churches does not mean uniformity in ministry, as Christ calls men with diverse gifting to the specific community they serve. we can say that the early NT churches were united in the essential doctrines but ministered to diverse communities by different elders with diverse gifting. This is the beauty in the diversity and freedom we have in His Church. There is no exact cookie cutter ministry model in His Church.

    Also there are many healthy churches that are non confessional but whose shepherds have a high view of Christ and a high view of scripture and most importantly, they are clothed with Charity for the people. At the end of the day these three things are far more important in the local fellowship than just being confessional or belonging to the denomination.

  216. Francisco Nunez sums it up for me – amen to #221

    this has been, for me, a strange thread of posts, considering the subject… God moved Peter-jon and will still use him as a God-fearing man who will honor his new task(s) with reverence for his Master … or so it seems to me

  217. one of hallmarks of the early NT church was the autonomy of the local church<<<

    Where did you ever get this idea?

  218. Francisco,
    “Also there are many healthy churches that are non confessional but whose shepherds have a high view of Christ and a high view of scripture ”

    How would you know if they don’t acknowledge the confessions or have no stated confessions.?

  219. Hi MLD,

    When I mentioned “confessional”, I was referring generally to the confessions that arose out of the reformation during the 16th and 17 centuries (i.e., The three forms of unity, Westminster Confession, and so on). If we want to get technical and want to call a church that has a “Statement of Faith” as confessional than yes you are right. All churches that have a Statement of Faith are by definition confessional. This said I do believe that it is important that every local fellowship have a Statement of Faith.

    The most important and non negotiable confession that must exist between all local churches that I can think of is 1Corintians 2:2. We must be united in this one as there is no wiggle room here.
    Peace.

  220. Francisco – I guess I was thinking more about the historic church creeds and those pastors who refuse to acknowledge them in a confessional manner within the church body.

  221. MLD, I thought your concern was always more to what was denied by people rather than what was specifically affirmed. 🙂

  222. The early church was under apostolic, then bishopric authority.
    I haven’t done any research on when the church grabbed on to the notion of the autonomous local church, but I suspect it originated in 16-17th century Baptists…I could be wrong.

  223. In response to #223.

    Sister, I must acknowledge that I personally lean towards a presbyterian form of church government so I probably have my biases in this area. However I do see 1Peter 5:1-2, 1Tim 5:17,Acts 20:17,Acts 14:23 in my personal opinion, as scripture supporting the autonomy of the local church and authority vested in the local church elders.(second only to Christ). We can see in Paul’s epistles that ministry decisions and matters of church discipline were carried out primarily by the local elders, not the founding apostles or Paul necessarily. An example of this was in terms of church discipline when word got to Paul about the existing problems at Corinth , he simply exhorted the local elders to carry out their responsibilities vested in them, but it wasn’t Paul himself who came to town to disfellowship(1Cor5) the young man who needed tough love.

    This said when I say autonomy of the local church, I do not mean autonomy from accountability for the elders. In a healthy local church, elders must be accountable to one another and of course ultimately to Christ.

  224. Francisco, thank you for your response.

    I must respectfully disagree, though. I think if one were to read the letters of St. Ignatius of Antioch (1st century) another view might be discovered.

    Anyway, Merry Christmas!

  225. I thought the context was the “teaching agenda of the local church” – that led to the initial comment about local church autonomy.

  226. There was church autonomy. Paul said to Jerusalem, “Hands off!” But they were connected.

  227. Thx Xenia for sharing your point of view. Glad we can share our different differing thoughts on this blog in a way that honors Him and others.

    Merry Xmas & happy New Year to you as well.

  228. I thought the context was the “teaching agenda of the local church” – that led to the initial comment about local church autonomy.
    _____________________________________________________________________

    Steve, I think I am the one that mentioned the teaching agenda and it was in the context of the liturgy. My thoughts were more in line with the liturgical calendar. I was at one CC where they were doing a Daniel fast right through Easter not even stopping the fast for celebration of the resurrection. While most of the rest of the confessing world just stopped their Lent season and is now in celebration. So as Wall stated, many CC’s are so similar in regurgitating old jokes, etc. ironically its more in cloning the personality of the pastor and less so in keeping the same liturgical year and theology.

  229. Autonomy of the local church is a doctrine that morphed from the anabaptist ideals being worked out by baptist in their context.

    The anabaptists were being coerced. They developed the idea that faith cannot be coerced that the conscience is free… fairly Lutheran concept I would say… enlightenment thinking

    The Protestants were protected by armies so they could not be coerced by the Catholics
    The anabaptist were only protected by ideas; everyone persecuted them. So they were ‘radical’ in their insistence that the authorities could not force them and they were willing to die. For the radicals all governmental authority was potentially beastly.

    The autonomy of a local church is a derivative of the idea that the individual can interpret scriptures because of the priesthood of a believer…

    If believers can interpret scripture then groups of believers can govern their own affairs without the intervention of the state church

    If you have no state to protect you then you need ideas that nullify the coercion of the state… you begin to see that the anabaptist/baptist spirit is the root of the radical application of freedom to “separate” church and state.

    Freedom is a hell of a thing… once loosed it runs amok.

    Once the anabaptist developed their pacifism and were willing to die for it they became indestructible… the Baptist grabbed their ideas of freedom, and turned them into; priesthood of every believer, soul competency, autonomy of the local church, and no creed but the Bible, but the Baptist would also pick up a gun…;)

  230. Local church autonomy is a fairly new concept in regards to the Church (thinking Anabaptist origins as well). I understand why Neo would see the example of Acts 15 in that sense, but would disagree that churches were somehow “autonomous”. That kind of implies independence from one another, which is a foreign concept for the Church.

    The Church has always been comprised of individual churches having a common koinonia. I don’t think one could prove from the NT that one church existed outside of the bounds of the overall church – else it would by definition NOT be a NT church.

    When Paul writes his letters to the church at Colosse, he tells them to “And when this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea.” Col 4:16. This would tell us that in Pauls (And God’s) mind, both letters were to read in both churches – seeing the commonality between two different local churches.

    And Xenia is correct: when you read Ignatius’s letters to the churches, he basically says the same thing to all of them; he’s not saying one thing to one church and another thing to another church. You can argue what he meant by “being subject to the bishop”, but at least in his mind these different churches needed the same message.

  231. I certainly learned something new about autonomy of the local church from both BD, and Michael. I know this thread has gone on quite a while but I simply wanted to touch on something that Andrew and Steve both pointed out with regard to the “teaching agenda in the local church”.

    Even though the early 1st century Church was under apostolic authority, I do think that the apostle Paul still gave Timothy much autonomy when it came to the teaching agenda. He exhorted the young pastor in 2Tim4:2 to simply preach the Word in and out of season and to exhort and correct the flock with careful instruction. Other than this text I don’t think there was a clear cut detailed formula in the how to preach but simply that the Word be preached.

    The church in Corinth certainly had different needs and challenges than those at the church in Galatia and we can assume the local pastors preached to the needs of the flock. Ultimately whether you are a shepherd that comes from a background that fellows a lectionary format or one that follows a book by book expository format, I do think that God has given His undershepherds the freedom to choose the “teaching agenda in the local church ” including the format in how the Word will be preached. Just like it was in the 1st century its important to consider the needs and challenges of the local church and community today as well.

  232. Francisco, I would respectfully disagree with your point about “teaching autonomy in the 1st Century church”, at least in regards to the Eucharist and Communion aspects of a service.

    Consider what the Didache has to say:

    “Chapter 9. The Eucharist. Now concerning the Eucharist, give thanks this way. First, concerning the cup:

    We thank thee, our Father, for the holy vine of David Thy servant, which You madest known to us through Jesus Thy Servant; to Thee be the glory for ever..
    And concerning the broken bread:

    We thank Thee, our Father, for the life and knowledge which You madest known to us through Jesus Thy Servant; to Thee be the glory for ever. Even as this broken bread was scattered over the hills, and was gathered together and became one, so let Thy Church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into Thy kingdom; for Thine is the glory and the power through Jesus Christ for ever..

    But let no one eat or drink of your Eucharist, unless they have been baptized into the name of the Lord; for concerning this also the Lord has said, “Give not that which is holy to the dogs.”

    Chapter 10. Prayer after Communion. But after you are filled, give thanks this way:

    We thank Thee, holy Father, for Thy holy name which You didst cause to tabernacle in our hearts, and for the knowledge and faith and immortality, which You modest known to us through Jesus Thy Servant; to Thee be the glory for ever. Thou, Master almighty, didst create all things for Thy name’s sake; You gavest food and drink to men for enjoyment, that they might give thanks to Thee; but to us You didst freely give spiritual food and drink and life eternal through Thy Servant. Before all things we thank Thee that You are mighty; to Thee be the glory for ever. Remember, Lord, Thy Church, to deliver it from all evil and to make it perfect in Thy love, and gather it from the four winds, sanctified for Thy kingdom which Thou have prepared for it; for Thine is the power and the glory for ever. Let grace come, and let this world pass away. Hosanna to the God (Son) of David! If any one is holy, let him come; if any one is not so, let him repent. Maranatha. Amen.

    But permit the prophets to make Thanksgiving as much as they desire.

    Chapter 11. Concerning Teachers, Apostles, and Prophets. Whosoever, therefore, comes and teaches you all these things that have been said before, receive him. But if the teacher himself turns and teaches another doctrine to the destruction of this, hear him not. But if he teaches so as to increase righteousness and the knowledge of the Lord, receive him as the Lord. But concerning the apostles and prophets, act according to the decree of the Gospel. Let every apostle who comes to you be received as the Lord. But he shall not remain more than one day; or two days, if there’s a need. But if he remains three days, he is a false prophet. And when the apostle goes away, let him take nothing but bread until he lodges. If he asks for money, he is a false prophet. And every prophet who speaks in the Spirit you shall neither try nor judge; for every sin shall be forgiven, but this sin shall not be forgiven. But not every one who speaks in the Spirit is a prophet; but only if he holds the ways of the Lord. Therefore from their ways shall the false prophet and the prophet be known. And every prophet who orders a meal in the Spirit does not eat it, unless he is indeed a false prophet. And every prophet who teaches the truth, but does not do what he teaches, is a false prophet. And every prophet, proved true, working unto the mystery of the Church in the world, yet not teaching others to do what he himself does, shall not be judged among you, for with God he has his judgment; for so did also the ancient prophets. But whoever says in the Spirit, Give me money, or something else, you shall not listen to him. But if he tells you to give for others’ sake who are in need, let no one judge him. ”

    I would look at Chapter 11 as taking place outside the bounds of a “Sunday service”.

  233. Since hearing about Pete’s resignation or what ever it was, I have felt grief. I have known him since he was a young man at ACF. He is a very capable young man facing a difficult disease called Chrones. The challenges of that disease are greater than than we know. Don’t know the circumstances around which Pete was asked to resign but tegardless, he is a pastor without a church. With his talents and fine mind this might be a good opportunity to go to school and refine his talents into even greater skill. I think Pete has great potential to infiltrate culture with the gospel. But education is import these days. Just saying….joining you all in praying for pur brother

  234. Going thru difficult and uncertain times are agonizing as we go thru them. But when we get beyond them and look back we see them as times of learning. Simple but true. And I speak from experience.

  235. Papiaslogia. I appreciate the feedback.

  236. The autonomy conversation here is a weird one. I’m betting everyone here goes to an autonomous church, with the exception of Xenia.

  237. Steve H. That’s good advice.

  238. Pete – go out and make an honest living

    ya right, Daddy has always given him everything, so it’s a no brainer that he is now back at Daddies church raking in a fat pay day along with ole Benny boy. Also don’t forget Mrs.Courson/Debore is from a wealth family.

  239. Justin, your facts are mistaken regarding in-laws and I would recommend you tread carefully in stating things which may well be an exaggeration.

  240. Thanks, Fil.

    May or may not be an exaggeration.

    But I will say this: If only “Justin” knew half the other crud I’m guilty of he and any other skeptic/critic/hater of mine could go to town and back! LOL.

    That’s what I tell the devil when he accuses me. Add it to the list. 🙂

    Glad for the robe, shoes, signet ring….and will continue to preach my guts out.

  241. And if getting an honest job would have included splitting CBC so I wouldn’t have had to move, I suppose I
    I’ll just have to settle with mooching.

  242. neo,
    first of all, your passion, gifting, and experience is with preaching/ministry…that is an honest living. second, even if relatives had the bucks, it’s rather presumptive for someone to expect you to mooch. third, ain’t no one’s business what you choose to do or what opportunities you might elect to pursue. That’s between you and prospective employers & you and God. You’re not public property.

  243. Fil.

    If and when I’m in a foxhole in SoOre….I would love to look over and see you in it with me. Lemme know when I can have your back like you’ve got mine, Amigo. Just call. I’ll be there.

  244. Neo,
    My daughters tell a story of their darkest days every now and then. Family obliterated, shamed publicly, disorientation galore. None of it their doing–all their parents crud(censored). Neither attend church anymore, but both tell this story of when you accepted their call, made time for them, and showed them what God’s love and grace looked like by your availability and advice. It really impacted them. To this day they have a great respect for your heart toward those ministry families who are hurting for whatever reason.
    Don’t grow weary just yet.

  245. Ps40. Love your name. Favorite U2 Song. 🙂

    Thanks for the encouragement!

  246. Pretty sure I’ll be happy when this thread closes down someday…

  247. Stop responding and it will

  248. Miss hearing your messages down the street, although it wasn’t my home church I enjoyed and learned. Anyway, heads up! Jubilee is never more than 49 years away.

  249. Doing my part to keep the thread alive 🙂

    I like Neo. Seems a good dude.

  250. A good amount of time has elapsed since this happened. It appeared that the Board were fearful that the same medication that Pastor Peter-John had been on was going to affect him differently (or perhaps that was an excuse) and his sermons were “difficult to follow.” I personally, from the outside and as a long-time Christian who has been involved in small and mega-churches, liked the set-up at CBC. There was a head-pastor that had the heart and Peter-John had a very strong teaching gift. I liked his “meaty” sermons and although they often did drive me to go home and search the scriptures, they were almost always directly related to what the Holy Spirit was telling me or showing me. My husband and I would talk about the very subject on our drive to church that Pastor Peter-John taught on, with our Lord preparing our hearts ahead of time. I have seen this in-fighting way too often in churches and it is sad indeed. I have seen churches disintegrate and “go out of business” due to it. It starts with gossip. Gossip is a sin. One can justify gossip all one wants, but it is exactly the weapon that Satan uses to divide and conquer. Wisdom is proved right by her children – Peter-John is using his amazing teaching gift in Oregon and as of July 2015, CBC still does not have a pastor who has filled that teaching role – now we get a good sermon from various good teachers. The Board is either afraid to relinquish their control to a single person in that role or they have not found one but it has been a long time. Just saying. Lastly, I served under a Pastor whose wife and him had given everything to build a church – he worked outside of church to pay the bills, they lived very modestly, she taught the children’s church, cleaned the bathrooms, etc. Once it grew, the Board kicked him out for some drummed up reason based on gossip and their need for control/power. The church split and then went out of business not soon after. He said, never again. He and his wife again gave everything to build a church, including the sacrifices that one’s family makes and now they are Pastors of a very large congregation, really making a difference for the Lord, but he is the head of the Board. One can talk about accountability, but who holds rogue Boards accountable? Just saying.

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